Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 5719 (since 2009-08-12 22:27:08)

yonah fredman

"i am a zionist who believes in a two state solution." This was my profile sentence for the last three years. Here is my update: The two state solution is striking in its simplicity and its legal basis on the 1947 partition resolution and UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967. A US president should certainly pursue this direction. But unelected to the US presidency, I am not so limited. Recent calls from various parts of the Israeli political spectrum to grant the right to vote (in Israeli elections) to West Bank Palestinians appeals to me. The trick is to turn this idea into a policy of the state. Granted this would not solve Gaza or the refugees, but it would be a giant step, if not a leap. Another addendum: Shlomo Sand is the last person I thought would "buck me up" in my Zionism, but he has. The attempt to dismantle Israel in the one state plans offered will not result in a solution, and I think that at some point the situation will clarify itself into forcing israel to turn itself into a nation of its citizens and to get Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. As Sand says things don't look good from here.

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  • By putting the word occupation in scare quotes the New York Times demonstrated everything that is wrong with its coverage of Israel/Palestine
    • I think that most people do not follow the I-P issue closely enough to really benefit from the openness of other outlets of information such as social media.

      I think that Netanyahu is to blame for the change in opinion of liberal democrats. Bibi's conflict with Obama and coming to the Congress in that speech of his really broke through into the mainstream of people who really don't read very deeply on the issue.. I think that many people who rarely read beyond the headlines on I-P were negatively impressed by Netanyahu's bold move to diss Obama. I think the left hates Netanyahu and this has caused the large gap between polls in 2014 and 2016. I think Netanyahu will be in power for a few more years at least and it would take a major change by Israel to win over the left to put the genie of anti Israel sentiment back in the bottle. But I think that the combination of wars against Gaza and Netanyahu's arrogance have created this shift in public opinion of those Democrats who call themselves liberal.

  • Front-page play for Israel battle shows that Israel has lost the Democratic Party base
    • I do not agree with placing quotation marks around "occupation". The standard line of Likudniks is that the west bank is disputed territory rather than occupied territory, because occupied implies that the territories were under a recognized government's authority before the occupation, as in Sinai and Golan which were under Egyptian and Syrian sovereignty. But the West bank which was under Jordanian sovereignty unrecognized by the world, is not in the category of occupied, but disputed. (Jordan's occupation of the west bank was recognized by two countries: great britain and pakistan, I believe.) But in 1974 Jordan withdrew its claims on the west bank to make room for PLO claims on the west bank and so even jordan admits it is not Jordanian occupied territory. since a Palestinian state does not yet exist and has never existed, therefore it cannot be occupied since the sovereignty of the Palestinians was never established.

      Because Israel has not annexed the territory and certainly not annexed it with the approval of the protected peoples, and because Israel has never offered citizenship to those protected peoples, I think occupied, as in reference to resolution 242: territories to be withdrawn from in the context of negotiations and mutual recognitions, I think that occupied is an accurate term and needs no quotation marks.

  • Tom Friedman needs to get an inoculation (attacking BDS) before he can say how bad Israel is
    • Talk of a military coup is not exactly nonsense, but not exactly sense either. Let us conjure scenarios of military vs civilian conflict. A defense ministry decision to stop the prosecution of azaria? This is really unlikely. A defense ministry decision to reoccupy gaza? That won't happen under bibi's current administration. An attack on iran? Didn't someone insist on widening the circle of deciders? Wasn't that reported as an important element in the nonattack?
      There was a type of coup in 67 when the army wanted war and eshkol counseled patience and he was forced to bring dayan into his cabinet.
      Floating the phrase military coup without any history is superficial.

  • Sanders appoints Palestine advocates to committee drafting Democrat's 2016 platform
    • It is feasible that Sanders would beat Trump whereas Clinton will not. It is also feasible that Clinton can beat Trump whereas Sanders would not. Clinton is indeed a very weak candidate, but the strength of Sanders cannot be determined by polls taken in May before most of the American public has more than a few hours information on Sanders.

  • 'New York Times' finally tells its readers: Netanyahu is 'dangerous'
    • Technical point, the article states regarding lieberman: "the man Netanyahu has lately installed as defense minister." Inaccurate. Netanyahu has not yet installed him. Coalition negotiations have not concluded. "The man Netanyahu plans to install as defense minister" would be accurate.

  • Video: Gaza family mourns children who burned to death
    • Annie robbins- your eager participation in this 'social rejects' discussion, essentially name calling for the sake of name calling, is one more indication of your anti dialog bias and the propaganda tilt of your rhetoric.

  • Thank you, Chief Rabbi. Now I know: Judaism is to blame for the Nakba
    • This pretense that Americanism is what is written on a piece of paper, but has nothing to do with the prevailing winds of hatred, as existed in many precincts in America in the 20's and especially the '30's is just further historical ignorance. Since in 2016 Jews are in the mainstream without feeling excluded it must have always been so. This is the idiocy that is being expressed here. in fact the idea that America is a Christian country, now heard only in part of the country, was an attitude of much of the country before WWII, and as obstacles were placed in the way of further immigration from Europe of Jews, even when those would be immigrants were desperate, was partially justified based upon the economic needs of a country to keep out economic competition from its labor force, but was also culturally based and biased against certain immigrant groups. Those members of the group that had made it to america and been granted citizenship expressed their disdain for more recent immigrants in a variety of ways, and those who struggled to be accepted by mainstream society, quite often went far to deny their roots and consider those who wished to immigrate in the later years as foreigners. They are foreign Jews who are trying to mess things up for us good Americans. The desire to be accepted by the mainstream christian society involved an unconscious or a not so unconscious denial of roots and disdain for the culture that had birthed them.

      This pretense that immigration is a one time thing that happens by the stamp of some official is nonsense. It is a process that involves deep sociological and psychological changes and as such creates frictions in individuals regarding the society that they have immigrated to and the societies that they have immigrated from.

    • The strength of the geographic impulse towards jerusalem is not enough to justify the facts of the Nakba, that is the upshot of the argument of Robert Cohen and I agree, that if israel, as in the immigration of jews to Palestine had resulted from a study of books and religious impulse it would have been quite impressive had such a religious impulse occurred, but the number of jews in1914 in palestine ( before wwI caused a change of the rules) was 85,000 and insignificant compared to the immigration to more developed ports. It was the crisis of the jews in between the wars: and the pressure to emigrate coupled with the new anti immigration movement in various western destinations. That's what caused the surge of immigration to a population of 400,000 in 1939.
      in the aftermath of the exchange: We will forgive god for the slaughter in exchange for redemption here in jerusalem, indeed there is a significant religious aspect to such zionism. Seems to me that the average American jew with their eyes trained on the prize of americanism truly wished Judaism's disappearance and the wish fulfillment done by Hitler was too much to accept. In any case from a Jewish point of view 70 years is an eyeblink, but from a modern point of view it is a million years ago.

    • J Walters, it is useful to hear from those whose concept of god is untainted by church. I too believe in a distant god untainted by concerns of common humans. But intoxication is a precise term in its root word toxic, that's in the nature of much religious fervor. It's been a few years since I read William james, but he delineates the unhealthy religious impulse and it is the religious impulse rather than a pure impulse towards god that I am referring to. Most yehudim were in the midst of multiple generation skepticism and identity redefinition processes when the world went black. The specific content of traditional judaism is tribal and the daughters of judaism- Christianity and Islam testify that Judaism as their mother is... well, precisely what- now there's the rub.
      I think specifically of specific rabbis whose songs play chords that combine tribe and belief in a benevolent creator. I believe God's benevolence is an optical illusion, so I merely study Jewish sentimental popular religion among those who claim allegiance to what they call the ancient authentic ways.
      Compared to an ideal myth: God the Father of us all, the Jewish myth which includes a historical and indeed a very eccentric god does not measure up. But to deny the power of myths because they don't measure up to your rational standards- you are denying history and the psychology of religion and stating, this is the way and follow me or be called tribalists.

    • Shmuel- two comments. One is an aphorism: "Religion is too important to be left to believers."
      Second- In Jerusalem almost 6 years ago, I once attended a Friday afternoon protest against the expulsion/eviction of East Jerusalem (Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood) Palestinians from their homes in favor of settlers. As per usual, my participation was tenuous, interested to see what the protests were like, who participated and how I would react to the events. In fact I met some people I knew. But the primary fact that remains most firmly in my memory was the chant by some young Israeli (anarchists?), "we will not kill, nor will we die, just for the sake of Zionism" (lo naharog, v'lo namut, rak bishvil ha'tziyonut) (it rhymes in hebrew and not in English). The intensity of the chanters discomfited me and I realized that this is not a business for on-the-fence people like myself but for the committed (meaning people who don't give a damn about my degree of discomfort.)

    • rosross- I was speaking regarding the societies of central and eastern europe between 1789 and 1914, in particular Czarist Russia. If you wish to deal with the societies of 19th century europe then you would be relating to what i am talking about. English, Australian, American history are irrelevant, and you probably realize this and mention them for the sake of obfuscation.

    • here is the quote: Zionism is a belief in the right to Jewish self-determination in a land that has been at the centre of the Jewish world for more than 3,000 years.
      and another quote:Throughout our collective history we have yearned for a chance to determine our own future.

      Rabbi Mirvis did not say that we prayed for self determination, but merely that we yearned for it.

    • jwalters- were you raised going to church? do you still go to the same church?

    • Mirvis's greatest leap is the "we prayed for self determination for thousands of years", which is a very secular interpretation of the prayer for redemption and replanting the plant of david.

      My argument vis a vis Mirvis is that he is inaccurate as to the emotional causes for zionism attributing the impulse as the result of prayers and texts. I attribute the impulse to history.

      The primary problem with zionism is not its distortion of torah or god, but simply its harsh treatment of the Palestinians. I think there is no ivory tower interpretation of torah and prayers and texts that will set mirvis's mind right nor certainly the laymen who chose him.
      An ivory tower interpretation of Hatikva instead. To be a free nation in our land, I would add two commentaries: (out of the proper order: our land that we must share with others.) free nation- we yahoodis will not be free while the Palestinians are yoked like this. The freer they are, the freer we will be. I think this is a long long road and not near.

    • Shmuel- regarding compassion for the future survival of the yahoodis neither you nor I can see the future. So who knows if your path or mine leads to more bloodshed. If you had a wand to turn your compassion for the Palestinians into a reality without bloodshed I would doff my cap to your wand. Someone solid like larry derfner seems to support bds, so I do not scorn it. He has the advantage of 35 years living in israel and a comfort zone of sureness that will never be my portion. Personally I am to the left of the fifty or so relatives and friends I know in israel and reading the polls on certain issues I belong to the 18% who wish to prosecute azaria and the 5% who opposed the gaza war of 2014. But communicating with zionists is not your thang, azoy.

      Mirvis will not wake up tomorrow with Norman finkelstein's soul replacing his own. To pick on him for fetishizing the Jewish people and land is to use language that might promote the bds agenda, but IMHO is borrowed from books of leftists skeptics and haters of the Jewish tribal tendency. That was the language that prompted my comment.

      But by all means don't let me interrupt you. Maybe bds is the path and barbed wire communication might be the only way you can handle the bds message. To me it seems the flip side of rush limbaugh, but maybe it's what works for you.

    • Shmuel- i grew up in a milieu where every week the words were chanted, blessing the state of israel, the beginning of the planting of our redemption. I quit believing in torah and that's the primary reason I am on the other side of the divide than rabbi Mirvis. The body blow of the shoah was worse than the body blow of the exile from spain. Gershon Scholem traces lurianic kabbala to that earlier catastrophe and thus the shabtai tzvi movement as well. So the events of 1666 can be traced back to 1492.
      Calmer, less God intoxicated minds might over a period of 70 years (1945 - 2016 ) achieve a universalistic perspective, but though our people produced some great skeptics, it also produced some intense believers and in what direction would a god intoxicated jew move (or dance) to in the aftermath of such a blackness? He would turn inward, he would turn to his tribe.
      Tribal impulses are right there in the books of moses and in the prayer book. I too agree that the ultimate truth of isaiah and amos universalized even moreso is the desired direction for the future and this tribal impulse seems to lead to a rocky path with stagnant waters. But when analyzing where we are, an ability to put oneself into the shoes of the nonskeptic is an element that should be included.

    • Annie- I should have specified: traditional judaism circa 1789-1917, was passivist. Traditional judaism post 1945 was far less passivist, and traditional judaism 2016 has an entirely new status quo compared to the status quo of 1917.
      I can imagine an end to occupation. I can't imagine the return of those exiled since 1948.

    • Judaism, if we include the Talmud and its three oaths, places a contradiction near its core: We will pray about jerusalem, pray about a return to the land, but refrain from any political activity in that direction. Two dynamics combined to make that contradiction unbearable: secularization, as in the urge to emancipate oneself from the rule of the rabbis, plus antisemitism: the refusal of specific European societies at a specific moment of history to react calmly/reasonably to the phenomenon of jews wishing to enter mainstream society. (I add: the refusal of those secularizing jews to go the extra mile in their denial of their identity as jews, their refusal to get baptised.)

      This emancipation from the rule of the rabbis (and the traditional passivism of the rabbis), when confronted by the seemingly immovable force of antisemitism, resulted in the movement to turn prayers into reality.
      The form of the return to zionism is/was embodied by the Nakba. Those who read the prayers or those who stopped reading the prayers, instead read the book of Joshua and saw this as the map forward.
      The need to undo the Nakba is implied and is frankly difficult to imagine.

  • 'NYT' blames Hamas for civilian deaths in front-page article that sounds like Hillary Clinton
    • James north, a journalist, could have included seven to 13 words that would have put his statement right as in hamas won the last election (in 2006. No elections have been held since for a variety of reasons.) He did not include this sentence for a variety of possible reasons- sentence flow was one and why weaken an argument was another. I accused him of a mild form of lying, it would have been more accurate to accuse him of hasbara.
      If you think this was ad hominem you're being mildly silly but totally full of it.

    • Page: 57
    • James north writes: the people of Gaza voted for hamas the last time they voted. An accurate statement, as far as it goes, but it does not go nearly far enough. That vote was held in 2006, more than 10 years ago, and no vote has been conducted since. Omitting this minor fact is a mild form of lying.

  • Israeli leader's 'extremism' charge makes headlines around the world -- but 10th paragraph in New York Times!
    • The inclusion of Lieberman in the current Netanyahu coalition makes much more sense in terms of domestic politics than does the hypothetical Herzog Netanyahu coalition that was being bandied about as a possibility earlier this week. Two questions arise: how will Lieberman react to this sudden power. (The foreign ministry has traditionally been a powerless position in Israel, and thus even though Lieberman's appointment as foreign minister in 2009 was disturbing in terms of symbolism, it was relatively innocuous in terms of power.) The minister of defense is subservient to the prime minister, certainly usually, (although a defense minister like Lavon could undercut a prime minister like Sharett), but it still is a powerful position. Will Lieberman see responsibility as his way to increase his popularity in the long run, or will he see an opportunity to push for new policies: 1. change the rules of engagement for Israeli soldiers so that someone like Azaria will not be prosecuted. 2. greater militancy vis a vis Gaza and/or 3. an assertion of the civilian (read right wing) authority over the traditional power of the army (read center/left).

      The second question is will this move mark the moment when centrists were cast out of Israeli governments or will it mark the moment when the center left had to get their act together and end Netanyahu's dominion over Israel. Can the combination of Gideon Sa'ar, Ya'alon and Kahalon force bibi out? Will Bennet, lieberman and bibi go too far and force the other parts of the political map into vibrancy to save the day or is this the first day of the rest of the future of rightward history of the Israeli governments.

  • Clinton campaign is 'nervous' Sanders will push 'divisive' battle over Democratic platform on Israel
    • Annie robbins wrote: "as horrible as trump is, i think the 2 party system is more dangerous for our country right now. i think the dem party takes us for granted and we need a new party that will make more of an effort to be inclusive of the left and independents." - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net
      Every voter must choose for themselves whether to vote for a lesser evil or to choose a protest vote. But "we need a new party..." is really pie in the sky talk. Currently the democratic party is trying to lock in its control of the white house and is fighting to regain control of the congress. This idea that a vote against Hillary is going to give a boost to the existence to an as yet unnamed third party is based on zero historical precedent as far as American history is concerned and I would wonder what 3rd party births in other western democracies give one hope that some 3rd party would be successful in America. Destroying the Democratic Party before having something (a plan, a strategy, a historical analogy) in hand is recklessness. But think about this instead: Sanders won the white vote of the democratic party. Why didn't the blacks and latinos vote for him? (I have my theories regarding the reluctance of blacks and latinos to vote for candidates they never heard of before, but the theory is besides the point.) The point is that the democratic party is ready to move towards a more liberal, more socialistic, less militaristic point of view. But it will take careful thought and a willingness to deal with the specific voting blocs of the democratic party to prepare it to move to the left. This pie in the sky, we need a new party, reflects weak thinking.

  • 'Clinton scares the generals' -- Democratic Party divides over foreign policy
    • Another misleading headline from mw: " 'Clinton scares the generals', democratic party divides over foreign policy" Implies that the quote about clinton and the generals comes from the Democratic party. It did not. It came from Ralph Nader. not a Democrat. The man whose candidacy elected George Bush 43.

  • Sharansky disses American Jews for assimilating, then tells 'major donors' to universities to stop BDS
    • The coinage "we will dance on zionism's grave" is more than just succinct. It is negative bordering on hateful. It may play well to the choir, but...

    • I heard Sharansky speak at the 92nd street Y about 28 years ago, just a few years after his release from the Soviet Union and when the first intifada was barely half a year old. Like most Russian refuseniks his attitude towards "the situation" reflected the nationalism that he had nurtured as a rebellion against the conformist Soviet system that had tried to stifle all Jewish identity. Russian Jews who left Russia (or the Russian empire) 120 years ago were of the left as a reaction to the conservatism of the monarchy which repressed them. Russian Jews who left Russia in the last 50 years are of the right as a reaction against the leftism of the soviet system that repressed them.

    • There are two common theories (unproven strategies: unproven over the long haul, but somewhat proven over the short haul) of Jewish continuity: Zionism and Torah. (Usually the Torah aspect is expressed as traditional Judaism or Orthodox Judaism).

      It is well established that this site is dedicated to the eradication of Zionism, as is so succinctly expressed here: "Some day we will dance on Zionism's grave." But this site is also dedicated to assimilation, as in the disappearance of Jewishness or Jewish culture. Anything that speaks against assimilation speaks against the love of Phil Weiss for his wife and therefore assimilation is good and the fight against assimilation is bad.

      it is clear that Phil Weiss cannot wait to toss Zionism and its american jewish elite supporters onto the dustbin of history. Is there any aspect of Judaism, Jewishness, Jewish culture, Jewish continuity that he supports? It seems not.

  • Liberal Zionist group calls for 'Obama Parameters' to resolve conflict (but no real pressure on Israel)
    • The only parameters which would matter would be a statement backing Palestinian one for one land swaps, which would create a stir vis a vis Israel who wants this issue to be up for negotiation. Israel maintains that the gaza west bank connecting corridor is worth more than its square meters, thus a one for one strict meter for meter deal is not necessary. Such a statement after election day would clash with the will of the president elect.

  • A brief history of the 'Nakba' in Israel
    • This is an op ed piece from Haaretz by Steven Klein that decries the timing of Nakba day.

      Nakba Day, commemorating the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948, came and went on Sunday with the usual marches with demonstrators holding real or symbolic keys, maps depicting all of mandatory Palestine and, this time, the number 68 being displayed for the years since the tragedy. 
      But for most of the world, it was just another May 15. This day fails to resonate with many potential partners to the Palestinian cause because it represents a fixation with the past that prevents Palestinians from moving on and securing a future state.
      Why was May 15 chosen and why does it matter? A young Israeli Arab diplomat from Jaffa called George Deek framed the problem well.
      "The Nakba Day is not April 9th – the day of the Deir Yassin massacre, or July 13th – the day of the expulsion from Lod,” Deek, Israel’s then-deputy ambassador to Norway said in a speech in November 2014. “The Nakba Day was set on May 15th – the day after Israel proclaimed its independence. By that the Palestinian leadership declared that the disaster of the Nakba is not the expulsion, the abandoned villages or the exile – the Nakba in their eyes is the creation of Israel.” 
      For Deek, whose grandfather had fled Jaffa in 1948 but returned to Israel with the help of Jewish friends, the choice of May 15 means that Palestinian leaders mourn more the fact that he is Israeli than that his cousins are Jordanians: they mourn Jewish statehood more than Palestinian statelessness.
       “The Palestinians have become slaves to the past, held captive by the chains of resentment, prisoners in the world of frustration and hate," he concluded. 
       
      Long before I heard this speech, I had sympathized with the Palestinians’ fate, accepted Israel’s contribution to the tragic outcome of the War of Independence and advocated a two-state solution. Yet Deek articulated why marking Nakba Day on the 15th May makes even those sympathetic to the Palestinian cause too uncomfortable to join marking the day.
      Choosing this date turns the conflict into a zero-sum game, in which the only way to right the Nakba is to undo Israel through the full exercise of the right of return: to turn back the clock. Indeed, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, who opposes a two-state solution, has stated unequivocally that Israel ending the occupation would not end the boycott movement because there would still be Palestinian refugees.  
      Associating the Nakba with Israel’s creation also prevents Palestinians from being able to move on. Saeb Erekat admitted as much when he wrote in Haaretz this week, “For the Palestinian people, the Nakba is a collective tragedy whose wounds have yet to heal 68 years later….The two-part makeup of the Nakba was borne through the destruction of Palestine and the construction of Israel.” He demands, “Israel must recognizing what it has done to the Palestinian people” without recognizing that many Israelis, unrestricted by a single narrative, already have done just that.
      The problem, perhaps for Palestinians like Erekat, is that Israelis are unwilling to accept the most extreme narrative of the Nakba imposed en masse on Palestinians, just as Palestinians don’t accept extreme Israeli versions of the War of Independence narrative. 
      But Israelis are free to develop several – often competing – narratives of that war, allowing many to embrace the idea of a Palestinian state, even including notions of an Israeli "original sin." 
      In contrast, the Palestinian leadership demands one narrative, which allows no reconciliation with even moderate Israeli versions of events, closing off the path to the genuine acceptance of a two-state solution. Because that’s what’s at stake here: Without mutual recognition of both peoples’ rights to self-determination there can be no peace negotiations predicated on a two-state solution. While Israeli leaders have made two-state solution offers, even if they fell short of Palestinian demands, the Palestinian leadership despite having expressed support for the idea nix its viability in their insistence on the right of return.
      This problem goes back nearly a century, and in that sense there is a symbolic connection between the Nakba and the 100th anniversary of Sykes-Picot, which is marked this week.
      While the Zionist movement's aspirations were excluded from Sykes-Picot, it had the political wherewithal to position itself to obtain an independent Jewish state. David Ben-Gurion was not fixated on how much land he was being offered but rather on getting something to form a base for a state. 
      In contrast, the Arab national movement was unable to overcome Sykes-Picot. It became obsessed with one injustice after another, from the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate to the partition plans of the Peel Commission in 1937 and the UN in 1947. Internecine killing of Arabs in Palestine who “collaborated” with the Jews helped decimate Palestinian Arab society before 1948, making the Nakba more likely, as the Arabs tried to resist the creation of Israel without any organized political or military strategy. This self-destructive behavior continued through two intifadas up to the present-day anti-normalization movement.
      A century of political failure should be a kickstart for the Palestinian national movement to review its strategies and tactics that have allowed successive Israeli governments to push Palestinians’ national aspirations ever more further away from being realized.
      Changing the date the Nakba is marked won’t bring Palestinians palpably closer to statehood, but it would signal a shift: It would say – let’s look at the universal issue of civilian suffering and how best to address it in as wide a coalition as possible. These are dates that the entire pro-peace camp can identify with. The challenge is, who will take the lead, and how will they avoid being branded “collaborators”?
      read more: link to haaretz.com

      I think the tone is too negative, but he raises some decent questions particularly the zero sum game question.

  • Hillary Clinton supported Iraq war because of Israel, say Matthews and Landler
    • Dick Cheney was elected Vice President in 2000. (there are two problems with this statement. 1. The Bush-Cheney ticket won the election only because of a Supreme Court vote and 2. Usually the Vice president is a supporting player while the president is the primary player, but regarding foreign policy and security, this was clearly not the case with Bush-Cheney, certainly not at the critical early points: 9/11 and the decision to go to war against Iraq.) Cheney had signed onto the Project for the New American Century in 1998, a program that prioritized finishing the war against Iraq. His reaction to 9/11, given his PNAC affiliation was no surprise.

      Clearly PNAC was a neoconservative document. (neoconservative implies- right wing Jews and likud Zionism) But Cheney was elected and put the document into reality.

      Hillary represented the state of New York after the election of 2000, she had a specific constituency that included many supporters of Israel. Once the administration decided that the 9/11 attack implied a necessity (an opportunity) to put the PNAC into effect, someone representing the state of New York was not in a position to buck the trend of history, particular a senator. (Nadler, as a congressman, could choose independence, but Clinton could not. She was a rookie, just elected and she could not buck that moment in history.)

    • But of course, the democratic party should reform itself and the Jewish people should reform itself, but purists like Phil Weiss advocating "poison" and "breaking" are not allies, but gadflies.

    • "It's worth breaking the party over the issue." Thus sayeth Phil Weiss. And if breaking the party results in a trump presidency?

  • Israeli settlements 'screwed up' Kerry peace talks, Indyk says--but U.S. is still Israel's lawyer!
    • The American revolutionaries were settler colonialists and comparing the Palestinians to the revolt of the settlers against the mother country is, shall we say, mixing one's metaphors.

  • Wide-ranging interfaith coalition backs 'Freedom of Religion' bill to stop Trump ban on Muslims
    • mooser- the republicans control both houses of the congress.

      on a different point: the republican candidates for president always win the white vote. is it politically incorrect to raise this fact from time to time.

  • Resolution 242 does not mean what you may think it means
    • The change that will come to the Middle East will not be affected by a new interpretation of 242 published on mw. Certainly the timing of such a change will be key to what the new border between israel and palestine will look like. The closer we are to 2000 when Clinton proposed his parameters and 2003 when beilin and abd rabbo proposed a possible solution, the closer those borders will resemble those near misses. As time goes on other factors may make the 67 borders more sacrosanct than those proposed in 2000 and 2003. Or not. But a lawyerly disposition on the uselessness of statements by those who actually wrote the resolution, well, this is just politics. and easily forgettable politics as well.

  • 'Either Assad or we'll burn the country' - An excerpt from 'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War'
    • I question the amount of pleasure I get when I read comments like this: Assad was elected by the Syrian people. Period. It is only because I know the writer expresses hatred for Israel that I get pleasure from this ignorance.

      Removing leaders from countries is a dangerous business and a foolhardy business. Assad winning an election in 2014 in the midst of a civil war against Islamists is a valid way of asserting the questionable nature of trying to replace him at the point of a bayonet.

      But Assad's rule was one of the most dictatorial in the world and was seen as such in 2010. If you have some list of democracies and dictatorships that you assert is more valid than those compiled by groups that aren't as anti Israel as you, please present them. Until then the validity of those lists is hereby asserted. Before 2011 the world recognized that Assad was a stone cold dictator.

  • Once, most Jews viewed Israel as the anti-semite's best friend
    • Mhughes- "he also prophesied that jewish immigration to a new land would do much more good than harm to everyone concerned."
      This formulation really is insufficient. he prophesied that jewish statehood in some territory (probably through colonizing a powerless people) (probably in palestine) would do more good than harm. i agree that judah magnes was closer to the truth regarding the nature of the consequences of such a state rather than herzl.

      but that was not the content of this post by cook.

    • Misterioso - Henry morgenthau senior's opposition to zionism is not news to me. But his status as senator is news (most probably false).

    • The headline is a falsehood: Once, most Jews viewed zionism as antisemitism's best friend is a falsity. Most of those fleeing the vast home of Jews: the Russian empire, did not view Zionism as antisemitism's best friend, they viewed Zionism as a dream for utopian thinkers and unrealistic people, that's why they chose other destinations. True there were those who were settled in the west who might have viewed Zionism like Montagu did in the case of the British cabinet at the time of the Balfour Declaration. But most Jews did not view Zionism as a threat, they viewed it as a dream, an impractical dream.

      And missing from the article is the single raw fact that makes Herzl, not the enemy of Jews, but the friend to the Jews: his prophecy. He saw the future and that future was Hitler. So to attribute to him friendship with people who hated Jews without mentioning the fact that he saw the reality for the vast numbers of the Jews under the yoke of the Czar and the majority of Jews living in Europe: a future where Jew hatred would consume them. to skip that fact makes this piece by Jonathan Cook as propagandistic as anything coming out of Hasbara Central.

  • A new proposal for confederated states (without any idea of how to get Israel to comply)
    • here's some more of Bradley Burston's piece:

      I don't believe that collective punishment works. At all. Not when we in Israel practice it, and not in the form of BDS.
      I don't believe in the religion of BDS, which holds that it is the One True Way, the only way to fight occupation and injustice. 
      I've had it up to here with the bludgeoning, exclusivist tactics of BDS activists, who attack with immediate and snarkily supremacist condescension any suggestion that there might be other ways to fight occupation.
      I've had it with the My Way or the Highway assumptions that anyone, even a leftist, who questions BDS – or even simply asks for clarification of its artfully ambiguous goals, or criticizes its methods, or the quality of its leadership - is obviously either a racist, a blockhead, a despicable Zionist, or, worst of all, most dismissible of all, not leftist enough.
      I've had it with the way that BDS supporters, with a peculiar middle school glee, exalt any gains as the Second Coming, while conveniently ignoring or justifying away any setbacks. 
      And one other thing. I've had it with the assumption that BDS supporters assiduously identify and condemn and root out elements of anti-Semitism from their ranks and the statements of their supporters.
      You needn't look farther than Mondoweiss, one of the flagship platforms of the BDS movement. Its founder and co-editor, Philip Weiss, is a leading exponent of what he explicitly and proudly calls anti-zionism. 
      On Saturday, Weiss, approvingly summarizing recent remarks by journalist Seymour Hersh, wrote the following: "So to be clear: were it not for the role of Jewish money in the American political process, there would have been a peace settlement before now in Israel and Palestine. And that's a 'forbidden statement.'"
      I do not believe for a moment that Philip Weiss, who is Jewish, is anti-Semitic. But I believe that at a time when leftists across the sea are being forced – correctly – to re-examine statements they have made in the light of perceived or outright anti-Semitism, the exclusively pro-Palestinian left in North America needs to do so as well.

  • US Jews adopted 'deferential' relationship to Israel, and tabooed dissent so as to preserve US gov't support
    • yes, the last paragraph of phil's is significant:
      Waxman ended his talk by saying that Jews must learn to argue about this issue in a more tolerant manner so that the “poison” doesn’t destroy the community. I don’t buy that. That’s like saying, have dialogue with the White Citizens Council in Mississippi in the 1960s. This battle has to get more open and more critical. Just look at the young Jews who are angry at being lied to about ethnic cleansing and apartheid. They are making documentaries about this and hollering. They shouldn’t be having a civil dialogue over these matters, they should be undertaking civil disobedience against a corrupt and oppressive power structure. In fact, they are doing so. The taboo isn’t working on them. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      if phil is referring to groups like "if not now?" and whether they should demonstrate on the street so as to be covered by the media or whether they should agree to quiet dialogue, I agree that media coverage is superior to false dialogue.
      but phil's white citizen's councils of mississippi tips his hand and shows us his disdain for anything other than a scorched earth policy. and that makes sense from phil's perspective. he is alienated from all things jewish and he welcomes all poison to be poured upon all things jewish if at least 50% (or maybe even 20%) of that poison lands on and destroys Zionism. waxman and others might be a little reticent about collateral damage, but phil is curtis lemay, bombs away!

  • Netanyahu announces 'seminar on Jewish history' in his office-- for European diplomats
    • see above another quote from carradon.

    • from lord carradon, author of the resolution, as quoted in wikipedia:

      Knowing as I did the unsatisfactory nature of the 1967 line I was not prepared to use wording in the Resolution which would have made that line permanent. Nevertheless it is necessary to say again that the overriding principle was the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and that meant that there could be no justification for annexation of territory on the Arab side of the 1967 line merely because it had been conquered in the 1967 war. The sensible way to decide permanent "secure and recognized" boundaries would be to set up a Boundary Commission and hear both sides and then to make impartial recommendations for a new frontier line, bearing in mind, of course, the "inadmissibility" principle.[24]

    • I suggest for those who are serious about a historical understanding of 242 to read the Wikipedia article on it. For those interested only in scoring points no such seriousness should be implied or understood. The lbj administration was responsible for the official english version of 242 and to pretend that the language was somehow accidental is historical nonsense. In the aftermath of 56 USSR AND US ensured withdrawal without negotiation, 242 was deliberately different.

    • Talknic- Yes, your language clarifies your attitude towards Israel and me. Helps a lot. Feel better now?

      In fact weeks after the 6 day war, Israel announced that it was willing to exchange land for peace on two fronts: Syria and Egypt, whereas regarding the west bank, its willingness was decidedly unclear {or clearly not). Aside from this, for withdrawal from the west bank to result in a peace accord would have/will require dealing with the issue of the Palestinian refugees, an issue that Israel has always seen as life threatening. Not nearly as easy an issue as territory. For whatever reason the LBJ administration did not mimic the Eisenhower administration's post 1956 demand that Israel withdraw without negotiations.

    • In a 2 state solution based on resolution 242, the starting point is the withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories. The extent of this withdrawal was not strictly delineated: the text does not say withdrawal from all of the territories occupied, but its language was ambiguous enough to allow the Americans who negotiated the resolution to contend that the possibility of minor changes in the borders was allowed by the resolution. When the resolution spoke of boundaries it referred to secure and recognized boundaries (the phrase recognized alone would have inferred unchangeable boundaries, but the word secure inferred the possibility of change.) Israel's claim on East Jerusalem indeed is unrelated to security, to the topography of a few acres, but rather to the Jewish significance of those acres, and would not seem to be included as a cause for altering the boundaries.
      Of course one cannot call resolution 242 a success. Although it led to withdrawal from sinai (attributable as well to the 73 war) and treaties with egypt and jordan, it led nowhere in regards to the west bank and jerusalem. The failure of 242 has led to unesco seeing its role as the authority figure: "the un refuses to exert its power vis a vis resolution 242, but we at unesco will assert that the situation is unfair to the occupied people." Thus unesco does not see its role to determine the history of the spot in a global sense (which might have included some history from a nonmuslim perspective) but rather to assert on behalf of the occupied Palestinians and to accept in toto their historic viewpoint.
      Those who hold onto 242 as a hope for the future should recognize the limited possibilities of interpreting 242 as allowing minor changes. The right wing (and indeed the center) in israel, do not base their hopes on the text of 242, but wish for something outside of 242:as in the Clinton parameters or the Geneva framework. These documents recognized the Jewish narrative vis a vis the temple mount in a way that 242 does not. These rightists and centrists are rather adamant that they will not yield all Jewish rights vis a vis the temple mount. (Rightists will not yield any such rights, while centrists will yield some rights, but not all rights.)

  • Democratic Party is now split over Israel, and Clinton and Sanders represent opposing camps, says Pew
    • pabelmont- I appreciate the devotion of Sanders' supporters and their frustrations, particularly in the next two weeks when Hillary will be questioned by the FBI. But Hillary leads Sanders by over 3 million votes of a total of 22 million cast, for something like a 56 to 42% advantage. Sanders will not make up that difference, can we agree on that? And how is a lifelong independent supposed to take over the party of a lifelong servant of the party when he has less votes? makes no sense.

  • Donald Trump has one proposal to unite a fractured Republican party -- Islamophobia
    • Humans, usually the elite, whose ancestors murdered competitors, and thus landed on the top of the heap, should gather in pursuit of a just law and order and establish the law of the land. I recoil at the thought of talmudic law being imposed as the law of the land. BTW the equivalent of sharia is not talmud, but halacha, which literally means the way. Talmud like the written text of the five books of moses, is a far from perfect model for how to build a better more just society. But those who have never opened one of those jumbo tomes, sound ignorant and bigoted in using a word that has no real world representation in their mind.
      The reality is that too many Talmud proponents see it as a preferable set of laws and would like to see its imposition. Altho, I have no numbers, I suspect the passivity gist of the talmud would find the knowledgeable rabbis opposed to any process of unnatural coercion. (Natural coercion, as in those who are born into a closed society, is a different story.) Those like me, who appreciate the talmud without endorsing it represent a point of view that dissolves into nothing over time, although cultural ebb and flow can produce useful nonmainstream thoughts and images.

    • So honor killings is a problem that demagogues attack under the topic of sharia and this is unfair, so to delve into the talmud is a type of quid pro quo, as in unfairness in exchange for unfairness.

    • I get it zaid. It's whataboutery but it's your whataboutery.

    • Mooser- a direct heir of johannes pfeffercorn?

    • Have to echo the point. Is the attack on the Talmud really necessary here? Isn't it besides the point. If Sharia law is no threat, and nothing indicates that it is a threat here in America, why bring up the Talmud, except as gratuitous political incorrectness.

  • Anti-Semitism is considered a serious moral failing. But no one calls out anti-Palestinian bigotry
    • For film portraits of black self hatred see "Boyz in the hood" and "straight outta compton". Both films portray black cops who hate uppity black youths. When j.j. walker is accused of minstrelsy it is also an accusation (fair or unfair) of black self hate.

  • DC meeting between Israel and Saudi Arabia marks end of Arab Peace Initiative and two-state solution
    • Jon's celebration of his soccer team's success in the context of this blog was certainly not vile, but it was cold. But it was a reminder of reality. Most people cannot live 24 hours a day mourning the sins of society. The fact is that normalcy is part of Jon's Israeli reality, including sports joys. Sharing his joy with the mondoweiss commentator world obviously will precipitate more agitation than joy.

  • Saying Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state is not anti-Semitic
    • Quotation marks are free, so I use them at will. I don't think anyone thought it was a quote from this page. It is not. It is a view expressed by a throaty minority of antizionists and commenters of mw. also a view expressed by a prominent labor party brit, that caused a to-do.

      it is tedious to use hyphens which might be the more exact communication of the thought. (they-should-go-back-to-where-they-came-from)

    • The "they should go back where they came from" antizionists are bound to be perceived as offensive by most Jews and justifiably so. if the only upshot of the holocaust is to be able to quote leni brenner, the transfer agreement, the stern gang and the kastner train, then there is something skewed in your thinking. you pat yourself on the back and say, 'i know i am no racist,' and therefore my logic must be impeccable, you see that mindset over and over again in comment after comment.

    • emory riddle, 100 years ago places us in 1916 and between 1914 and 1916 turkey might have kicked out Jews from palestine for reasons of citizenship in countries that were at war with turkey (including Russia where most recent immigrants had come from.) but in fact in 1914 the numbers were recorded as follows. 650,000 Muslim Arabs and 81,000 Christian Arabs and 59,000 Jews. Get out your calculator to find the precise percentage. It is about 7.5%.

  • Advice to British leftwingers on kicking racism out of their anti-Israel rhetoric
    • Stephen, thanks for the name and page number from the isaiah trunk book.

    • stephen sheinfeld- "of those jews who did collaborate most were zionists". do you have numbers or a link to a historian to back this up?

    • the judges were forced to act in the place of historians. but they were not historians.

    • kastner was no hero. but he was no collaborator. to blame him for facilitating the murder of Hungarian Jews is just malarkey. he was a tool used by the nazis who hoped they might exchange jews for trucks, a deal that never had a chance and that in fact failed. (the original negotiator for the deal was not a zionist and only when the nonzionist negotiator was unable to carry through the necessary task did the zionist kastner come forward. it was not his zionism that was key to his role, but his personality.) (the only jews who might have been fooled by kastner were those who were convinced not to run across the border, this limits the number of Jews whose death kastner facilitated to those who lived near the border and who trusted kastner personally. in fact kastner was not known by very many of the hungarian victims of the nazi genocide.) kastner's choice of Jews was not limited to the rich and to the Zionists and to kastner's family but according to bauer, yehuda who is/was a real historian and not a polemicist like hecht, the proportions of those saved represented all major jewish groups and not just the rich and zionists. this is just part of the rigamarole of the antizionists who read one book on the issue and thus feel free to malign zionism because of the personality of kastner, whose real sin was not anything he did during the war, but only the fact that after the war he wrote a letter to the Allied judge to be lenient with the nazi who in fact did not deserve leniency. those who lived in freedom their entire lives who know enough to condemn kastner based upon reading a few paragraphs on some anti zionist web site, really should limit their mouths to something they know something about, which does not include people with families controlled by the nazi murderers. he was not a collaborator. he was a hostage whose family was a hostage. he was human and fallible and imperfect. not a hero. a negotiator. an imperfect negotiator.

      (yehuda bauer- "jews for sale? Nazi jewish negotiations 1933-1945. New Haven. Yale university press, 1994)

    • Stephen Shenfield- If you think your representation of kastner is fair, then you're wrong. to call him a collaborator is wrong and you are way wrong.

  • Sy Hersh's 'forbidden statement': Sanders's liberation from NY Jewish money could change US foreign policy
    • This is why that the first real crack in democratic party's support for Israel will be a presidential candidate, whereas the congress will lag behind. Not hillary. I predict 2032, maybe sooner. But I doubt the Bernie movement will create a grass roots funding drive. It is the presidential election that electrified the country. Congressmen still need big donors. President's can support themselves from the grass roots.

  • BDS or emigration: pick one
  • Jeffrey Goldberg terrorizes peers into silence over his daily intellectual and moral outrages
    • mooser- "Why are you Jews always moving? Why are you leaving?" the Polish (or Russian) driver asks Mendel in Joseph Roth's "Job". The mobility of Sanders' parents was a Jewish trait, caught up in the emigration wave that began in 1881. Whether some god (Mooser 120 years later) can define their circumstances as justifying their emigration or not, the fact is that millions of Jews left eastern Europe between 1881 and 1921 and to define that emigration but deprive it of its Jewish flavor is just plain historical ignorance. The fact is that if Bernie's father had been asked as he departed, "why are you leaving?" odds are good that he'd say, "the other jews who have gone to america have done okay and things are not so good here in Poland now for us Jews now that the nationalists have taken over, so I'm going to America to make a new start." and maybe the average pole who immigrated had greater reason to leave Poland than the average Jew who immigrated, but if he had been given an exit interview, what do you think Bernie's father would have said.

    • Bernie Sanders' father left Poland in 21, and to blame Polish persecution without referencing czarist rule til 1917 is unfair.

    • Tobias wolff's "this boy's life" and in its sequel "in Pharaoh's army".

    • Kirchik's major attack on sanders' Jewishness issue focused on sanders vis a vis Israel and thus deserves to be skewered as well. But the style of any rant (it is a negative term, but aptly used to describe what your post is or most closely resembles) is breezy, no time for speed bumps or depth of thought and Sanders and left politics and Jewishness actually deserve real thought.

      The jews leaving eastern Europe (and other jews as well) wanted to be treated by the new society in america as mere humans. Hath not a jew eyes? that great yid fictional villain asks. We are human and treat us as human. But there are other demands placed on the jew by his parents and brothers: Don't deny who you are and also "be true to your school". It is the second dictum which implies blind loyalty which is deserving of mockery, but "don't deny who you are" is part of the wisdom of the human species.

      It is natural and right to reject the amnesia that is implied by the American ideal. It is easiest for many ethnics to gain acceptance by the white conquerors of this great continent by pretending that they too arrived on the mayflower and not at Ellis island, but it is false. Many men succeeded by pretending to be the sons of white men instead of the sons of greenhorns, that's the nature of our planet, but wisdom rejects success through lies and insists on some minimum of memory. Every morality tale goes the same route rejecting this amnesia.
      Kirchik is not a leftist and when jews of the left declare leftism to be the modern incarnation of Jewishness he rejects this identification. Myerson's article in the Voice raised my hackles as well and his apathy regarding any jews who are of opposing opinions certainly painted him as someone who was not dealing with the question of Jewishness with any depth, who sees his own leftism in Jewishness and declares the two to be the same, which is narcissism, not analysis.

      Bernie Sanders does not deny he is Jewish like tobias wolff's real father in "A Boy's life."
      But sanders has figured out a narrative of his life that works for him and sells to the Vermont American public, and that narration is, I am the son of Polish immigrants. Where I come from that rhetoric immediately stimulates a just-a-minute response. Your parents or grandparents did not flee Poland because they were poor poles, but because they were persecuted jews and though this ethnic fact will not help you get elected senator, it is still a fact and Bernie's breezy formulation rubs those who care about such facts the wrong way.

    • Mr hirsch- kirchik's rant deserved to be skewered as does Netanyahu's rhetoric and his policies as well. Kirchik's major attack on

    • " Bernie Sanders is a proud American who happens to be Jewish. Before you and your friends moved the goalposts for Jews, that’s what Jews wanted when they came to this country. They wanted to be “American citizen period.” They dreamt of being able to be Americans, and unlike where they came from, they were hoping not to stand out as Jews if they didn’t want to. They wanted to “happen to be a Jew.” They wanted to be like all other Americans. But now—this is Bernie Sanders’s Jewish problem, as you put it– Bernie Sanders is not allowed to be an “American citizen, period.” - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      this part of the rant, i don't buy. yes, there is certainly a mainstream of assimilationism that yakov hirsch identifies as: we just want to be ignored. we want to stop being jewish if we want to and we want to.

      but that is not the only goal post that ever existed for jews. when we left the slavery of eastern europe the parents who bade farewell to the teenagers who were fleeing, "bleibt a yid" "remain a jew" and even if few of the teenagers and the adults they grew into in fact remained jewish in terms of tradition like their parents were wishing, there is an echo of the wishes of our european parents that kirchik is representing and to paint him as moving the goalposts seems to reveal that the only kosher thought in your mind, mr. hirsch, is assimilationism. and america is great and assimilating into america and disappearing as a jew is fine, not against the law, not against morality, although the direct line between the desires of our grandparents or our great grandparents to disappear into the american mass ran into a philosphic problem in the years between 1924 and 1945 specifically with the closed gates to this country and the state of the world which asserted (at least for a few years) that forgetting you are jewish is shirking. and the desire to disappear is a type of loss of soul and selling out and passing for something you are not. so the assertion that the disappearing act of the jews is the only fair goal and that any other goal is moving the goalposts reveals an overly eager acceptance of the disappearance of the jews. you are allowed to be apathetic (or even eager) for the disappearance of the jews, but the assertion that we, jews, wish to survive and continue to say, we are proud to be alive as jews and as americans, that assertion is valid and less of a sell out than the assimilation that your are touting as the only natural goal.

  • Beinart's Jewish double-bind: Support oppression or you're out of the family
    • My speculation regarding hebrew slave soldiers is based on the following:
      People are usually reticent to admit they are the offspring of slaves or the offspring of foreigners, thus the claim of slavery is on its face believed as is the foreign origin of the Hebrews , a word translated as coming from the other side of the river referring to the Euphrates by way of egypt.
      The common male origins versus the lack of common female genetic origins indicate a force of soldiers who populated with the indigenous women.
      The verses of Exodus regarding: lest they become plentiful and add themselves unto our enemies and ascend from the land, is indeed the true short story of what occurred: a time of war and a population transfer.

    • Fictitious passover is the assertion. Fictitious slavery and the link to lack of evidence. My theory, hebrew slave warriors fighting Egyptian wars in the vicinity of Canaan, rebelled and decided not to return with the defeated Egyptian army, instead claiming Canaan for themselves. This theory credits the slavery as factual, but the exodus as mythical. But the exodus was still an act of freedom and the unique identity of these ex slaves became a major motif in the book.

      Dismissing the story in total as Peter feld has done strikes me as deconstructionism to the point of alienation and it is in that vein that I read his anti zionism.

  • Norman Finkelstein on Sanders, the first intifada, BDS, and ten years of unemployment
    • Bryan, I am not trying to discourage the pursuit of these goals, I have overstated my case in that direction, but that is not my purpose. My purpose is to expose the tendency towards cheerleading and away from historical analysis in finkelstein's spiel.

      The two first movements that finkelstein refers to involved imitating the world: in fact though racism was (is) a problem throughout the US at the time the legacy of the civil war had been put on hold and the momentum of the Movement proved unstoppable. Opposition to a war at the least has a very concrete and immediate goal.

      Redistribution of wealth is a serious issue and no cause for apathy and activism in this direction is historic and probably important, but to pretend this is an issue that has momentum on the side of the Movement is to misread reality and teach us to fool ourselves rather than to face up to facts. How many congressmen do you have on your side, how many state reps or mayors believe in your movement. Mayor Daley turned against the war in vietnam in his heart when all the flag draped coffins were coming home to his neighborhood, what similarity is there between today's movement and the Vietnam movement.

      The collapse of the economy in 2008 is being blamed on fraudulent practices by wall Street and time behind bars seems appropriate to such damaging irresponsible greed and illegal acts. Fine. Go for it. But it ain't the two movements that finkelstein referenced, it has an entirely different dynamic and politics and place at this moment. This moment is Trump's moment and not bernie Sanders moment and this "I've seen the future and it works" wide eyed optimism is surely in the category of a cheerleader and not a political analysis.

    • I’ve witnessed three great social movements in my lifetime, the Civil Rights Movement, the Antiwar Movement and this is the third. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net
      whereas the first two are widely accepted as great social movements, the current movement's vitality is still to be proven. the civil rights movement was a long time coming and the anti vietnam war movement was a passing phase, particularly given the shift to a volunteer army. (although unquestionably the preference for short wars was reflected by attitudes of presidents, congressmen and generals.)
      this current movement has what goals: punishing wall street? redistributing wealth? overthrowing the oligarchy? these are not achievable goals. though the movement could influence the democratic party, currently it sounds like a fad, a passing whim, something without staying power.
      pro civil rights congressmen were not the key to the overthrow of jim crow in the 60's. it was the singular personality of lbj and the tenor of the times. jfk was dragged kicking and screaming until he finally delivered his "this is an issue as old as the scriptures and as clear as the constitution." so there was the movement and the audience/power holders pressured by the movement.
      it is not clear what the goals of this movement are and who their audience is. what congressional moves are anticipated by this movement, because eventually it was congress that forced nixon to withdraw from vietnam and it was lbj pressuring congress to change the law of the land that were the successes of the first two movements that finkelstein mentioned.

  • When 'Broad City' Went On Birthright, and taught us all a lesson about American Jews and Israel
    • Ossinev- I do not favor a blanket right of return. I favor negotiations that will result into something akin to the beillin abd rabbo negotiations aka Geneva agreement of 2003.

    • Eljay- your attitude-the more alienated the jew the better. My attitude-the more educated/knowledgeable the jew the better. In fact polls show that alienated/ignorant/uneducated jews are m ore likely to support what you consider the acceptable position on i/p. And in fact very few educated nonalienated jews adopt Peter beinart's position which is closest to my own. Nonetheless I like to talk to yehudim about this issue and the more educated and knowledgeable the better for the purposes of my conversation. Yes the slant taught on birthright is slanted the wrong way. But still I prefer to talk to people who know something, and though some know a lot without ever visiting, the vast majority are ignorant and a ten day trip despite the slant can begin to chip away at that ignorance

    • osssinev- Yes, i realize that the Palestinians are against the Jewish population living in their land and bringing over tourists touting the results of the nakba as positive is antithetical to their urge for independence, the freeing of a yoke.
      zionism, israel are the primary jewish issues today in 2016. i prefer that jews be as educated as possible with this issue. so i consider the birthright program a boon. the entire story is not a blessing, and i can dig that. but it is a fact and a primary fact of jewish life and ten days in israel is an introduction to the subject which is great for every jew to have.

    • there was a shot of an airplane making a u turn. originally they had planned to film in israel but because of the recent unrest they decided not to, the location of the interrogation was based upon the original script that would have included much more of israel. if you watch the episode again you will see the shot of the airplane making a u turn. the combination of shots inconsistent with this narrative are indeed confusing.

      donald- the headline of this article promised more. it promised something. this was nothing. i am a fan of abbie and ilana. i am also a fan of arguing about the middle east. possible to do both. but not based on this article. this person might never have seen ilana and abbie before, just like apparently you. you're going to tell me you don't need to see it you read about it on "angry arab'. is that your next line.

      the interrogation of american culture from the larry david episode on palestinians to this broad city episode reveal a superficiality regarding mainstream culture that is not impressive.

    • They never got off the plane at ben gurion airport. the plane turned around midair so that they could be brought back home.

      I am a big fan of the show and therefore laughed at the interplay between Ilana and Abby and their different levels of Jewishness and despite my support for Israel and support for the idea of birthright (although i prefer its hebrew name taglit which means discovery and is less political and freighted than the english name, and realize that there is a superficiality to much of what i have heard about birthright) i was able to put aside my politics and enjoy the show. the fact that mw publishes a post that adds zero insight into the characters of abby and ilana and focuses on anti zionism is utterly predictable.

  • Obama's November surprise
    • Bryan- thank you for informing me of the exact timing of the birth of j street. Thus let me amend my statement: j street was created so that the next democratic president (or even republican president) would have cover to pressure israel.

    • I have to mention that Obama's nomination of yet another jew to the Supreme Court makes me uneasy. It may be pure coincidence that this politically astute selection is Jewish but it certainly looks bad.

    • Thanks be to the Master of the Universe that hillary beat Sanders by a large margin. Imagine how Phil Weiss would have scolded Jewish voters, if they had God forbid been essential in hillary's victory.

      Of course the question of money and Jewish democratic money is still an issue. The role of money in politics is crucial and difficult to control, certainly when the Supreme Court asserts freedom of speech for corporations, so this is a bigger problem than Jewish money and the middle east, though this does not mean to trivialize that issue.

      J street was created to give Obama cover if it ever came to pressuring Israel to make a peace, but it never came to that. Except as weather vane to tell us which way the wind was blowing, J street accomplished absolutely zero, and so of course they will trumpet their one success, but really, did corey booker support the iran deal because of j street, that's only a tad more believable than the clearly inconsequential role played by the activist left. Obama staked his presidency on the issue and that won the day.

      I cannot imagine Obama handing hillary a fait accomplis vis a vis Israel against hillary's will. That would be unfriendly and there's nothing to make me believe that would happen. Has there been one consequential resolution since the toothless 242 of 1967. (On israel) no. In 1957 in the aftermath of 56, ussr and us joined in forcing a withdrawal of Israel from sinai. That was the last un action with teeth. The 80 days from election day to inauguration will not seek to break the mold, which is what is being suggested. What indicators would lead to predicting such a farfetched history making change?

  • 'Forward' columnist and Emily's List leader relate 'gigantic,' 'shocking' role of Jewish Democratic donors
    • mooser- one rule of common sense: never talk seriously to a comic. you want to play jackie mason one second and then ask serious questions. you're surely joking. out of every 100 sentences that you write (excluding block quotes) about 7 have content of interest. see if you can improve your batting average.

    • keith- I have followed the career of david duke and the overlap between KKK and trump is certainly of interest in 2016, so a tape of duke's semi endorsement of trump was of interest. i don't know what milieu timothy mcveigh came from, so i do not feel that i can ignore certain segments of the population.

    • Bryan- you referred to the mob in rabin square as my friends and that was the insult. They are not my friends. Hebron is the front line of the current intifada and in a way sending soldiers to defend the settlers in Hebron involves placing them in a perverse mindset, so as such it is hebron, the settlers and the occupation that is to blame. The soldier should not be given a free ride. There are rules and laws and I accept the prosecution of the soldier as necessary and right and I view the knesset members who participate as dangerous,whereas defense minister yaalon has increased in my estimation due to his solidity on the issue ( in contrast to Netanyahu's waffling and politicking.) Regarding the west bank : due to my attachment to jerusalem if I woke up tomorrow as prime minister I would not immediately withdraw, I would consult avrum Burg and others to guide me through the process of negotiation and withdrawal. The harm done to the Palestinians is/was/ continues to be grievous and for healing to occur is really beyond my hopes at this time to see in my lifetime. Still I think in practical terms and do not suggest a wholesale exit of the post 1897 jews, which means juggling practicality and morality which is a weak position. Not the purism of the God of wrath and liberation.

    • Keith-you are right, antisemitism is mistranslated as hatred, opposition need not be hatred. American Jewish political and financial success naturally arouses opposition. Watched some David duke on YouTube the other day. Now thats jew hatred.
      Y'see it's one thing to hear that prince is dead and it's another thing to hear about a bomb on a bus or a soldier dispatching (murdering) a wounded, pause, pause, not a terrorist, it's Hebron and the battle is too serious to dismiss with such rhetoric. To me the situation seems fated, which includes likud still dominant for a while longer, Jewish money dominating the Democratic party, and a comments section in mondoweiss, the symptom of the future of the Democratic party inhabited by various types, including people who talk like educated David dukes and it's tough to really say who is a mere opponent and who in fact is an enemy.

    • bryan- I took Eva at her word that she wanted a definition and I sought to provide my own definition that included a few different aspects.

      citing Jewish Israeli zionist hatred for Arabs/Palestinians as represented (apparently accurately without any doubts) by the crowd in Rabin Square deals with none of the points that I raised. but why deal with what I said, when you can insult me. war of ideas? forget about it. war of insults.

    • Antisemitism is partially the hatred for individual jews just because they are jews. But it is also the hatred for judaism, the hatred for jews unless they are willing to disown their traditions and their fellow jews. These additions involve some nuance, for many atheists hate all religions including Judaism and many people criticize particular aspects of judaism. There is also regarding "disown their fellow jews" the aspect of solidarity with their fellow jews even when those fellows are in the wrong. That is part of the reason why these additional aspects lead to controversy.
      As a rule all analogies are inexact and thus it becomes a question of context: why do they hate the religion of the jews but accept the other religions or why do they accept ethnic solidarity of other groups but hate the Jews for their solidarity.
      Whereas hatred of the jews for their particular noses (to quote moses hess) is not acceptable in modern society, hating the Jews because of the content of the book of Esther or of the passover hagada is considered acceptable by some. Then again any attempt by jews to question the content of the hagada, say, will inevitably lead to accusations of dilution, assimilation and deracination. So there is a narrow eye of the needle that needs to be threaded.
      There are very few Armenians or roma who comment here, or rwandans or native Americans for that matter, thus the lack of empathy with the 1939 to 1945 period seems to indicate some animus based on something hateful. (And the refusal to view Jewish concerns for survival and continuity as something natural given the extreme recent history, is indicative of some stubborn refusal that indicates a lack of human feelings for the other.)

  • Ringleader in Abu Khdeir murder case convicted in Jerusalem court
    • The lack of a constitution is tragic and another indication of Ben Gurion's style of personal power and extemporaneousness. The knesset and the vote for the knesset is firmly established by tradition, but the power of the judiciary is far shakier than it would be if there were a constitution. The coup that you are referring to is farfetched unless you mean the generals who forced eshkol to fight the 6 day war. Imagination might lead to the idea of a general or chief of staff rebelling against a prime minister unwilling to comply with a diktat of the US or UN, but it's farfetched.

  • Sanders's leftwing base made him take on Netanyahu
    • Bernie is not an idiot, nor do I believe him to be ignorant re: the Israel vs Palestinians conflict. He is smart and picks his battles wisely. You can disagree with his selections (as ta nehesi Coates disagrees with Sanders reticence regarding reparations. )

    • Obviously you mean the Zionist boot and not the Jewish boot, mister shamir.

    • Meanwhile Democrats control neither the house nor the senate. On the state level they are getting creamed by the GOP. link to nytimes.com
      My point: building a movement is tested at the polls (although certain types of change occur culturally and judicially, the legislatures both national and state play a major role.) and that test is being failed by the democrats. Yes, the occupy wall street, black lives matter and the Bernie Sanders campaign prepare the way, but this self congratulation, as if the revolution is here already is certainly premature and immature. The hard work of winning the legislatures has not even begun.
      One other point: this recent change in democratic predominance of presidential elections, reflects demography rather than the winning of hearts and minds. That is: whites are a dwindling percentage of this country's population and they consistently vote for the republican candidate for president. immigration and maternity wards are where the democratic strength derives from.

    • Bernie Sanders will in all probability not be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, but his candidacy will be cited in the next phase of left activism in the us. (Just as occupy wall Street must be mentioned when discussing the Sanders campaign.) Since Sanders is right wing on Israel compared to most of the Democratic left, his stance on Israel is relevant and a precursor of the next stages when an anti Israel stance will not be as moderate as Sanders'.

  • 'Anti-Zionism = anti-semitism' is a formal logical fallacy
    • Kay24- if you think ihr is untainted, then you're tainted. If you think neutrality regarding historical events is an untainted position, then you're tainted. Nuff said.

    • Jon s, yonifalik is a jew hater, who considers himself an ex jew, or the son of an ex jew. I suppose that given the taboo on such words as kapo and piece of s*** and worthless c*** you have found the word meshumad instead. That he is defended by echo and the demon offspring of pfeffercorn and Jackie mason indicates that you might be on to something. It's tuff to find appropriate names for some of the drek around here.

    • Kay24- as you say there are many who blame Israel for the second war against iraq. One wonders why you would quote a revisionist Web site on this day of the year. A little effort, you could have found a less tainted site.

    • A meshumad means someone who is born Jewish and who converts to another religion. If someone was born Jewish and declares they are no longer jewish, I have never heard the term meshumad used to describe them.

  • Sanders' unprecedented call for 'justice and peace' marks decline of lobby's power
    • "Andy Bachman, a prominent Brooklyn progressive rabbi [but not really all that progressive]"
      Ilene Cohen, can't control herself long enough to quote the NYTimes, has to insert her own slant on its quoted rabbis, right in the middle of the quote. quite unprofessional. high school, street corner gossip. maybe that's what blog journalism is like these days and I am from the old school or something.

    • I would divide the period since 67 as follows:
      til 73 and the yom kippur war.
      Til 78 and the peace with egypt.
      Til 82 and the war in lebanon.
      Til 87 and the first intifada.
      Til 93 and the handshake on the white house lawn.
      Til 2000: failed camp David talks, 2nd intifada followed in 2001 by sept. 11, followed by the war in iraq.
      Til 2006 sharon suffers stroke.
      I would not attempt to measure aipac's strength, but rather focus upon the inconclusive nature of resolution 242. The gist of 242 negotiate and solve it, without specific parameters or certainly ambiguous enough language to let the resolution remain a text, an unimplemented text for 48 plus years.
      If we admit that the cold war was the basic cause for the US tilt towards crafting a text rather than a course of action, I think we get closer to the truth. Yes nixon's 1st sect'y of state Rogers was interested in a resolution, but the real power was with kissinger to whom a resolution of the conflict made little sense in cold war terms. (Kissinger played chess with the conflict, it fit into his game as another hot spot where leverage could be exerted and an advantage gained). The post cold war world which began in 90-91 with the first Gulf War on the other hand is really an unclear period compared to the bipolar superpower conflict, this new world has a new dynamic. So support for Israel is 1. dependent on the chaos of the Arab world ,but 2. otherwise not a natural part of an overall strategy, because post cold war there is no comprehensive overall strategy.
      Aipac thus has to prove that support for Israel fits into a plan, when there is in fact no plan. Then we are left with "democracy" "common values" both of which are not a strattegy, but more like groping for a strategy and undercut by the post 67 occupation. Aipac's job is either impossible (no overarching strategy to mesh with) or very difficult (a disenfranchised population explained as a temporary problem in it 49th year. ) so don't blame the lobby: blame history and the occupation.

  • Jewish leaders' excommunication of Sanders aide over Israel will only alienate young Jews -- Open Hillel
    • Stephen Shenfield- roots. The TV show. The dyed hair's real color revealed by the roots. Be true to your school. Continuity. Anagram roost.

      The first two torah thoughts I have are sinai and the akeda. Sinai is complicated but the akeda is simple. Abraham was supposed to rebel against the command, but he was weak and succumbed. But this interpretation is a dissident interpretation a minority interpretation and the flow of Jewish history (We are not a tree but a boat in a river) is a history of fatalism and obedience and a dash or two of martyrdom too, so my rebellion interpretation is just one of many in the stream of history.
      If one separates the two main mitzvahs: love of God and love of man from all the wrapping and you are true to those two mitzvahs, who am I to criticize you.
      To most American jews hebrew is Greek to them. The torah was watered down to a fast and a meal and nothing to compare or compete with the incredible moment of history presented by Herr Hitler and modernity.
      In fact the historical moment is indigestible no matter how much or little torah.

    • European history from 1897 to 1945 established Herzl as a prophet.

      Israeli history from 1948 to 2016 establishes Judah Magnes as a prophet.

      At this point in time there is a scant population that is tribal (strong Jewish identity) but anti or non Zionist. Tribal as in Simone Zimmerman, but not Phil Weiss. Simone Zimmerman who takes photos of young Jews with payess (sidecurls) and calls them sweet little yids, words that one could never imagine being used by Phil Weiss.

      Zionism at this point in time is in very deep moral trouble and Magnes saw that from the start. It is very difficult to separate a strong Jewish identity from Zionism, though Simone Zimmerman is an example of someone attempting that separation.

      (One cannot expect such a person to be appointed as coordinator of Jewish outreach without there being a reaction from those who support Israel's existence and disagree with Ms. Zimmerman's opinions or language.)

      Phil Weiss has no problem separating a strong Jewish identity from Zionism, because his hatred for Zionism measures 100 on a scale of 100, whereas his Jewish identity is in the single digits closer to 1 than to 10.

      Read Irving Howe and see how his generation disdained their Jewish roots. This is the core intellectual leftist position that existed before WWII and continued through the 60's and til today. The breakdown of Jewish identity has very little to do with Zionism's problems, unless one would say that neither American Jews nor Zionism is true to their Jewish roots.

    • The caption misidentifies Foxman as the current national director of the ADL, he is a former national director of the ADL who still has the world's ear because of his previous status. or did he quit as international director and take up a post as national director?

  • Segregation of Palestinians and Jews in maternity wards becomes an issue in Israel
    • Amigo- I concur with eljay.

    • amigo- echinoccus and keith.

    • Dickerson- the topic of Jewish racial features typified by the phrase "are you jewish, you don't look jewish," is an interesting topic, but this is hardly the place with wise guys and jew haters abounding for me to discuss this issue with equanimity.

  • Note to Progressive Jews: The right of return is not the 'i'm-doing-you-a-favor' of return

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