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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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  • Cartoon of Dershowitz mingled appropriate satire and anti-Semitic imagery
    • As a rule political cartoons are not designed to win over the middle, but to encourage true believers. (Very rarely an astute cartoonist reveals something new, but usually mockery a la Charlie Hebdo and Herb Block are the rule.)

    • "Winning the hearts and minds"- to coin a phrase, seems to be what the overall battle seems to be about both from Zionist and antiZionist perspectives. Of course part of the battle is just to strengthen the spirit of the true believers. But on the other hand there is the battle for those who are yet to be convinced. To rationally explain the intersection of antiZionist imagery with antisemitic imagery as coincidence is certainly a valid attempt to win the minds, but it is a poor excuse for winning the hearts.

  • Blunt references to Israeli apartheid are published by 'Peace Now' and 'The New Yorker'
    • Donald, recently i realized that the distance between the yom kippur war and the rabin assassination is now matched by the passage of time between the assassination and today. (1973-1995-2017), although such arithmetic might be considered silly, i find it useful for measuring the perspectives of time and history.

      most of those who "believed" in rabin (interesting term to use) are sorely disappointed by the netanyahu-bennet current reality. the interlude of the 2nd intifada is not irrelevant in terms of understanding the stance of fellow israelis/zionists, but for the true believers in rabin there is severe disappointment in the current israeli leadership.

      my reaction to your reaction to remnick's reaction to the tv series reflects a reaction rather than a long term strategy. for me there is currently no long term strategy. i understand "if not now", (I have called myself a fellow traveler, but currently that is not my stance), I admire beinart, but my primary interaction with the facts on the ground is through the headlines and the month or so every year that i spend in Jerusalem and in a very substantial way i realize that i cannot overcome the current facts and the probability that the right wingers (which include 95% of the people i know in israel) are going to rule the day for the foreseeable future. when i interact with right wing people, if i engage on the issue, I am far from their point of view. when i read mondoweiss and encounter various points of view, i react in a different fashion.

      I will admit that the content of my reaction to your reaction to the remnick reaction to the tv show was primarily emotional rather than engaging on the issues. i will try to improve the content of my interactions with you.

  • Map map on the wall, who's most existing of them all?
    • Mooser- if myths and liturgy sometimes reflect a stretch of the imagination, that is precisely the term that is used " return to zion". Certainly the Palestinians qua inhabitants might scoff at the phrase, but I don't know how (or if) true believers in the qoranic tradition of respect for pre mohammed prophets: moses and David and respect for the book and people of the book and thus the book of psalms, how can they denigrate this language found in the book.
      Of course those who have no respect for the book, they can denigrate or derogate all you want.
      And also the book does not supercede all considerations. And also just because jews fixate on specific phrases from the book, does not mean that jews are deserving and will get to keep the land of zion. But from a believer perspective your mockery is not fitting.

  • Oren's criticism of US Jews earns his book five thumbs down: 'slinky,' 'self-aggrandizing,' 'twists reality'
    • Krauss- Traditionally world Jewry outside of Israel was referred to as the Golus, or the Galut, meaning the exile. (True believers would not exempt Israel from the term, insofar as the world is unredeemed and the idea is that this lack of redemption stems from God or the world being in exile from its truer state.) I think the world view that separates Israel from world Jewry outside of Israel is certainly apt at this time of Jewish sovereignty in Israel and the resulting actions of militarism, conflict and occupation. In other words I get your point regarding home versus diaspora as being denigrating to nonIsraeli Jews, but differentiating the two groups requires some term and Diaspora or Golus are the two traditional terms for those outside of Israel. If you want to unseat these terms you'll have to offer some new word or be satisfied to be merely a critic.

  • Pssst! Is Israel going crazy?
    • A graphic of this sensationalist nature makes me wonder about Phil Weiss's "the Jews are the key to US policy on Israel" thesis. It would seem that despite this thesis, Phil tilts his blog in an offensive direction. That is: the only Jews who will end up agreeing with Phil are those who already agree with him. How is MW taking a role in changing Jewish opinion?

      Who is this type of graphic aimed at? It seems aimed at the comments section of MW, with its attitude ranging from fervently antiZionist to violently antiZionist. And its (the comments section's) attitude towards secular Judaism (as in: are secular Jews allowed to call themselves Jews or must they call themselves former Jews?) somewhere between hatred and disdain and certainly not philSemitic by any stretch of the imagination.

      This graphic is playing to the choir of those apathetic or disdainful of secular Jews and how does Phil Weiss think MW is to play a role in influencing what he considers a key demographic.

      Maybe he is aiming it towards the true believers and thinks that the stronger the antiZionists are in their solidarity and resilience, that eventually this will influence the Democratic party and eventually the US Jews of the moderate left of the Democratic party will follow their liberal hearts into the antiZionist camp. Maybe.

      But this type of graphic will entice no one except those who are already true believers.

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • Chomsky and Finkelstein are indeed wearing two hats: analyst and activist. in their role of analysis they are putting themselves in the shoes of Israel supporters and measuring how that group can be convinced to force an end to the occupation. this requires them as analysts to accept certain arguments that true believers would never accept and those arguments are enumerated above.

      To me regarding Israel/Palestine the essential question is:What will be and how will it come about. To Chomsky and finkelstein an Israeli withdrawal to 67 lines is tantalizingly close in comparison to the one state proposal. Like generals who sense a weakness in their enemy's front line, they want to put all their firepower in probing that weakness. To them every thing except for that weakness is besides the point, a distraction. Thus goals 2 and 3 are counterproductive.

      I don't know that Chomsky and Finkelstein are right. For one thing, maybe in comparison to one state the international consensus is tantalizingly close, but in fact it is really far and therefore how can something be a distraction, when this so called weak position will survive a long time in any case, might as well build a 40 or 50 year movement with large goals, because there is not going to be a 10 year movement that will achieve the limited goal of two states.

      My own comment: Finally I hear someone comparing Israel to South Africa in terms of the economic pressures brought to bear and Chomsky tells me that South Africa was already suffering a business disinvestment in the 60's (and didn't collapse until 89 or so) and Israel's position is totally different. People here sometimes state that they prefer the South Africa outcome to the Algerian outcome. Good enough. But for someone who is not up to doing the real research on the South Africa economic model and the Israel economic model, there is no way of measuring how this will play out. But finally here comes someone and throws a few nuggets (facts) into the mix so that I can attempt to understand how one strategy (South Africa) was achieved and begin to understand the strategy in regards to Israel. In fact the strategy in regards to Israel is in its infancy and still being formulated. So I understand both the impatience for the near 2 state from chomsky and finkelstein and the desire for ideological self truth of the stated 3 goals of BDS.

  • 'Beyond Tribal Loyalties' -- new volume spotlights awakenings of 25 Jewish activists
    • Sibiriak - If Morsi had been the one to mint the phrase "sons of apes and pigs" and had applied it to Zionists, then you would have a point. But in fact the phrase was minted by the Prophet Muhammad ("peace be upon him", does not apply in this case, for this quote did not leave peace behind him.) and he was referring to some Jews and not to Zionists. Although the "some" aspect gives true believers an out and call Muhammad a realist rather than a hater, but "some" does not really let him off the hook.

      Since Morsi was quoting a Jew hating verse it is natural for people to attribute Jew hating to the comment rather than merely anti Zionism.

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