Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1603 (since 2009-08-07 20:50:47)

Elliot

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  • Israel will lose all American Jews but the crazies
    • Netanyahu posted this pic because he liked that the dog he just met relates to him as the leader, rather than to his trainer, the soldier. You gotta admit, it's flattering to be instantly identified as top dog.

  • Israel has no answer to BDS, Barghouti tells packed hall at Columbia
    • Interesting breakdown of the signatories of Israel's Declaration of Independence. Some progress compared to the U.S.'s founding document 175 years earlier with the inclusion of two women.
      Also worth noting, that of the 38, all are Ashkenazi Jews, born in Eastern Europe. The two exception are the the one highlighted in the post and Saadia Kobashi of Yemen.

  • What if the USA was the state of Anglo-Saxon Protestants round the world?
    • "A policy like that of Israel’s toward its minority groups who do not belong to the dominant ethnos is rarely found today outside the post-Communist countries of Eastern Europe, where there exists a nationalist right wing that is significant if not hegemonic."

      Jeff Halper has pointed out that the State of Israel - like modern Hebrew was - created by Russian Jews and is cast in their mold. Russia was the land of the Rus, all other tribes be damned.

      As an American, I find the idea that Israel is my country just because I'm Jewish to be anti-American. "No taxation with our representation" also means "no national identity without representation." If Netanyahu speaks for me and Israel is my country, then they must give me the vote!

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  • Lieberman unveils racist peace plan: Pay Palestinians to leave Israel
    • @Horizontal - you just bought into the Zionist myth that Israel = the Jews. As you likely know, not all Jews are Israeli or Zionist. Your snark assumes otherwise.

  • Poster questioning Zionism makes her feel 'unsafe', Wellesley student says
    • Thanks, Horizontal. I think you are right on both points. The person who attended that session is a progressive on I/P. Even she was duped by it. I wonder what would happen if I crashed a session like that and told them exactly what Israel means to me…..

    • Fascinating how the Israel camp is using the same language. I know from talking to a former Hillel rabbi and hearing of a recent educational presentation by a Hillel executive director that Hillel is trying a new tack on Israel. They call it "educational." getting people to reflect on "what Israel means to you."

      See below:

      "Too often, the discourse regarding Israel is framed in black and white, with "pro-Israel" forces responding to "anti-Israel" activity (and vice versa). Difficult facts that challenge one's point of view are often ignored so as not to undermine one's position. This may be an effective approach for advocacy, but not for education. This session will explore a methodology designed by the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and grounded in the philosophy of the Talmudic sage Hillel the Elder, which Northwestern Hillel is using in its approach to engaging with Israel. Join this session for tools for moving beyond the crisis narrative in your own exploration of Israel."

  • Israel sows despair and senseless violence
    • "It now seems to be routine for Israeli police to shoot Palestinians attackers on the spot. "
      Aharonovitch have publicly declared this policy. It is long practiced on the West Bank. The policy is just making headlines recently because it is being applied against Israeli citizens within Israel proper.
      Seems to me that the White police in Ferguson and elsewhere have adopted the same policy regarding Black protesters. American and Israeli police routinely train together and likely share a racist and murderous mindset against colored folks.

  • In mind-boggling contradiction, UNICEF Ambassador Robbie Williams books gig in Tel Aviv
  • Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society
    • Ivri: "consider what you constantly hear from the other side (e.g how Jews and Israelis are presented in Palestinian material)"

      How does Palestinian representation of Jews shed light on the victimization of this woman by a uniformed (and armed?) Israeli soldier?

    • The veneer of politeness expressed in the soldiers' calm demeanor is indeed chilling. The implied violence is palpable. That poor woman. In a normal country, she would file a complaint with the police for being harassed by uniformed soldiers on account of her ethnicity.

  • What is the vision of Jews who want to replace Al Aqsa mosque with temple?
    • @ Jon S. "Actually Israel is still a pretty safe place. The odds of meeting a violent death are very low, certainly lower than in the US."

      You gotta be kidding. All those bomb blasts I head in Jerusalem were just in my imagination? Some years ago, the stretch of Rehov Yafo in Jerusalem between Kikar Hadavidka and King George was listed as the most dangerous stretch of road in the world. And that's before we even begin to talk about what it's like to live on the West Bank.

      Since you don't offer any specifics, we can't even begin to talk about which apples you are comparing to which oranges.
      .

    • hophmi,
      As an ideal, the answer is obviously yes.
      The status quo is that Jews have been granted the Western Wall, the Muslims Haram-el Sharif. Even this state of affairs is inequitable: Muslim access to the Haram el-Sharif is controlled and limited by the Jewish authorities; the Western Wall is open 24/7 to Jews. We should also remember that the Western Wall was made available to mass Jewish crowds by exiling the Palestinian population of the Moroccan Quarter and leveling their homes.
      And that's just focussing on the tiny area of the Western Wall/ Temple Mount.

      The overall system of Jewish control of Palestinian lives is so blatant that o invoke absolutes out of context is disingenuous and dangerous.

    • @ a blah chick
      "Stay safe, Elliot."
      Appreciated. I took the necessary precaution years ago. Israel is obviously a very unsafe place to be. Once I stopped believing the in the ideology, the cons outweighed the pros. And so I left the country.

    • Translation of Michael Ben-Ari's speech (last video in the article). My comments are in parentheses:
      We want to go home. They talk about terrorist attacks. The biggest terror attack, the most hurtful was that they entered our home and built all manner of illegal buildings and seized the place. and they tell us, about our home that it’s not our home.

      This Saturday we read (in the torah) that God said to our forefather, Abraham, go to to Mt. Moriah (Genesis 23. Identified with the Temple Mount.) 4,000 years, the Jewish people is connected to Mt. Moriah, to the House of God.

      What are we asking for, after all?

      The most basic right, the most human right: the right of return. The right of return (appluase)
      They talk about “provocations”.
      Who is perpretrating a provocation?! The thief who entered my home or the homeowner who wants to go home.
      We want to go home. (applause) We demand the right of return for the Jewish People.
      What did my grandfather pray for?! What did my great-grandfather pray for? For the pubs in Tel Aviv?! The promenade in Haifa?! What did they cry for and aspire to? What did they sit at midnight (prayers) and cried? For the mountain of the lord laid desolate. They prayed for the day when the priests and Levites were back at their posts. That is the dream which sustains all the talkers. That’s how they got to be here too. It is only that dream that brought us here.
      Without that dream we would have evaporated in the desert of the nations.

      I must add one more important thing.
      Last week, we learned once again a grave lesson about employing terrorists.
      in the morning he slaughters; in the evening he slaughters
      In the morning he is a tractor driver; in the evening, he beheads people with the tractor.
      Who employs his people’s enemy?! Who gives them a livelihood in hospitals, public transportation, restaurants.
      Yesterday I came to Jerusalem after work for a demonstration against the murder yesterday in the heart of Jerusalem. I was hungry. I went into a falafel place. There was a sign in Hebrew but I saw a terrorist in front of my eyes. So I left and went into a pizza place. and what do I see: a terrorist. I don’t want to give money to a terrorist.
      Today I give him money; tomorrow he kills me. We do not give money to terrorists (applause). There is no co-existence wth those who want to kill you.
      The “lone terrorist” is not alone. He is not a “lone terrorist”. It’s not a “third Intifada”., It’s war for the land. For the right of return.
      The thief, the robber, when he sees the homeowner coming home he pulls out a gun to shoot him. So what do we say?
      So we say, perhaps we are guilty. Perhaps we didn’t dress nicely.
      The provocation is those who say it’s a provocations.
      So, gentlemen, we are standing tall. We are right. Those who justify the wicked is himself a criminal. We demand our basic rights.

      I say in front of the world media I say: we live here, we are the home owners; they are the thieves.
      If you want to solve their problem: build them a Palestinian state, in England, France or the Arizona desert. Not here, in the land of our forefathers.
      We have come home to stay. Here. For ever. For ever. For ever.

  • After deadly attack Netanyahu vows ‘iron fist’ as clashes and closures rock Jerusalem
    • In July, Netanyahu's irresponsible inflammatory call for revenge at the funeral of one of the three Jewish boys killed on the West Bank likely contributed to the Abu Khder murder - and the start of this latest violence in Jerusalem.
      Hi "iron fist" comment follows on the heels of Aharonvitch's call to kill Palestinian suspects at the scene and the many reports that this is already Israeli policy. Netanyahu's call will be seen by Israeli police and military as an official endorsement of the practice of murdering suspects.
      Almost thirty years ago, Shin Bet murdered one of the Palestinians who attacked the no. 300 bus just north of Gaza. It sparked a huge political scandal. While the cases are not identical (there was an internal Israeli power struggle involved and the suspect was taken away form the scene of the attack before he was killed), look how far Israel has sunk. These shameful extra-judicial murders has now become publicly endorsed policy.

      On a lighter note: the biblical Hebrew phrase that Netanyahu used is cryptic. It can also be translated: "If I forget thee O Jerusalem, it will be because the right wing has forgotten you." Giving up on a unified Jewish Jerusalem can't happen soon enough.

  • Update: Why did Netanyahu respond to chickenshit with 'grassy knoll' remark?
    • Yonah's question deserves an answer. If Netanyahu made this statement in a speech to the Knesset, as the report holds, he would have been speaking in Hebrew. Had he said "grassy knoll" in English, I think that would have been conveyed somehow.
      The context is clearly referring to something like the White House lawn where Mid-East peace treaties are famously signed.
      Since nobody has shown the evidence, Yonah's question stands.

  • UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement
    • I got a laugh out of the ADL's accusation that the Palestinian solidarity movement
      "stifles dialog". Of course, their report provided no evidence for this. The pot can't help itself pointing at the kettle.

      On the positive side, the ADL acknowledges JVP's work on campuses.
      Go JVP!

    • The Zionist establishment understands that they cannot win the debate with SJP. They are fighting a rearguard action. In desperation, they turn to "the 80%" ignorant young Jews. They hope to open their innocent minds just enough to indoctrinate them. They cross their fingers that these students don't get curious and seek out further education outside Hillel.
      Good luck with that.

      Israel is central to the vision of Jewish communal leadership. This strategy equals a retreat from history. The great project of modernizing Judaism of the past two centuries is now headed straight back to the ghetto. Israel is already there. Now American Jews are following suit.

      This is bad for the Palestinians. It's bad for the Jews too.

  • 'Village on the volcano' is latest effort to change the subject from the occupation
    • "nd the fact that this matter is discussed by three Jews on National Public Radio, two of them Zionists, one an Islamophobe; and you almost never hear from a Palestinian– that reflects the conservative Jewish presence in the media"

      Since Hophmi missed this one, let me fill in for him:
      it is anti-Semitic of you to insinuate that having three Jews and no Palestinians on a radio program equals biased coverage of Israel.

  • A peek inside the Israeli subconscious as revealed at the King Hussein crossing from Jordan
    • It's not just outside the synagogue. it's inside the synagogue too. That is where you will hear anti-Muslim/Arab racism spoken in a casual tone. Synagogues have become safe places for Jewish racists to speak honestly. These racists are mainstream, upstanding people. There are enough of them to warrant calling synagogues out for not doing enough to counter the perception by Jews that Judaism is racist.

  • Anti-semitism charge is increasingly being leveled against Israel's mainstream critics
  • The Center for Jewish Life is stifling free speech at Princeton University
    • Mooser is right. Soon you will be accusing Phil of all sorts of evil.
      The Bar Illan villain is the infamous Hillel Weiss.

    • From the response:
      "Professor Weiss has supported the cultural and academic boycott of Israeli professors and institutions of higher learning, a position that infringes academic freedom and is incompatible with CJL event sponsorship".

      This is dishonest. The call for the academic boycott is clear that it stands for academic freedom and mere association with Israeli universities is not enough to merit boycott.

      link to pacbi.org

      The statement is dishonest a second time in that it willfully ignores the Israeli government's well -documented manipulation of academic freedom and international collaboration to promote its racist ideology. overseas.

  • How 'Open Hillel' created a new community by challenging the Jewish establishment
    • Yonah,

      In the spirit of trying to start afresh, I will give you my honest thoughts on your comment:

      "Sounds like it could be called BDS Hillel that is willing to talk to nonBDS Jews,"
      This is not fair on several counts:
      1. Open Hillel includes opponents of BDS
      2. you are missing a key issue. Open Hillel is committed to Interfaith. It talks to everybody, not just Jews. Palestinians and Israelis; Muslims and Christians.
      "Doesn’t strike me as false to have two tents, "
      3. Open Hillel does not want to be pigeonholed. They want the Jewish community to be open. They would like nothing more than to disband. All it would take would be for Hillel International to decide to serve the entire Jewish community and not discriminate along political lines.

      "and the only ones who can participate in both tents are those on the left of Zionism"
      This reads to me as self-congratulatory snarkiness.

    • Yonah -
      "But I do not consider our interchanges to be conversations "
      I tend to respond to your wilder assertions, and that includes those in the comment section of this article. If you are going to make statements in a public space which denigrate others including the incredibly impressive folks of Open Hillel, you've got to expect pushback.

      If you find the response to your comments to be offensive then perhaps you shouldn't post those kind of comments in the first place.

    • Yonah -

      "You, for example. When was the last time you got into a real conversation with anyone here that was a tad Zionistic?"

      You mean, besides you? I don't know if conversations outside Mondoweiss count. But just in case they do, I had lunch today with a staunch J Street, liberal Zionist. The stated objective of our meeting was to discuss Israel, BDS and the like.

      The last time before lunch today was on Monday.

      I'm sorry but I don't keep a record beyond the current week.

    • hophmi:

      "Their views are born mostly of lefty politics, not their activity in the Jewish community."

      The proof, if any is needed for this self-evident conclusion, is that the Open Hillel motto (printed proudly on their official red T-shirt) is a quote from, and attributed to the foundational Marxist tract: Pirkey Avot.
      Socialist kippot, radical beards, communitarian arba minim, even progressive Democratic payot were proudly on display at the conference. The rabbis who participated were all dispatched from 'lefty politics' central.
      All you need is the right spectacles to see the obvious lefty context of these symbols.

      Glad to hear 'these kids' earned your patronizing respect, hophmi.

    • Yonah,
      "Doesn’t strike me as false to have two tents"

      Except that one tent is closed to the other, controls the money and bullies those it keeps outside its tent. Open Hillel OTOH graciously invited its detractors to participate in the conference. Some did, others did not. Their choice.

      " and the only ones who can participate in both tents are those on the left of Zionism. "

      Must be amazing to be able to dance at all the weddings. Live and let live. Both the bullies and their targets are legitimate options in your universe. But it's not true. " Those on the left of Zionism" i.e. J St is also barred from Jewish community institutions.

  • Following shocking sermon, Atlanta JVP calls on area rabbis to challenge racism in Jewish community
    • Rabbi Lewis preaches genocide against non-Jews. The outcome: a standing ovation and lifetime tenure.
      Rabbi Rosen preached equal human rights for non-Jews. The outcome: he's out of a job.

      Thank you JVP for saying what needed to be said. Jewish Voice for Peace is practically the only reason you can say all Jews are not racists.

  • Palestinian babies not included on Israel gov't list of most popular names
    • hophmi -
      Does the U.S., Britain or France publish a list of their top 10 Hebrew names? They each have far more Hebrew names than the red herring you tried to drag into the conversation.
      Only Israel both discriminates in favor of the Jews and then pretends it doesn't.

  • The rabbi at the shitshow
    • The three tweets that Annie re-posted are great. and the July 27 one is clearly in response to Israeli violence. "Hate n Hamas" is not great but a whole lot better than what many other rabbis were dishing out over the summer. She clearly does have a heart when it comes to Israeli violence in Palestinians.
      And I'm as turned off as anybody else by the histrionics and drama she generated in response to Marzec's protest.

    • "“I can’t talk to you until this conflict is over,” one relative writes me. I don’t know if she’s joking. Except I haven’t heard from her."

      The version I've heard is: "people can't hear that while this is going on." The corollary of that is, when you do bring it up later - as I have - that same person says: "why now?"

      If they were talking to the ancient Hillel, they'd likely phrase it: "If not now, then not later either".

    • The Jewish communal leadership is ridiculous. Endless bellyaching about "youth engagement" while slamming the door shut on the things youth care about: free speech and universal justice.

      link to theguardian.com

    • As Rabbi Leshaw's statements show, she speaks for the broader Jewish community: donors, national organizations including Hillel.
      Their complaint against Marzec is that she failed to take into consideration the feelings of the Jews on campus. But what is the exact complaint? Should a student leader not speak out on any political issue for fear of giving offense? Was divestment the trigger or was it the graphic nature of her protest?
      Looks like Rabbi Leshaw turned to obscenities and then hid her Twitter from the public because her position is simply indefensible.

  • Yale Jewish center to hold 'intellectual' panel on storm over ousted priest's comments-- without inviting the priest
    • Sharon Kugler, Maurice Samuels, Jeffrey Alexander, Jay Winter.
      Lots of Jewish-sounding names. Not to mention the rabbi-moderator.

  • Photo-cartoon making Tutu into Hitler is published then taken down by South African Jewish paper
    • DaBakr -
      Of course, you are right on A), except that for me, as a Jew, it is hard not to see potent similarities. I grew up around many Holocaust survivors. A prevalent statement was: "the younger Germans are ok, but anybody over a certain age is suspect. Even if they did nothing, they knew." Whether the notion that all Germans were culpable is a fair one is immaterial. Jews were taught that if your people commit genocide, you are complicit. Nowadays, nobody can pretend they do not know (the premise behind the South African Jewish piece is that that is all anybody talks about). So, it is appropriate to compare Jews today to Germans back then.

      On B) - if you are going to play the "they started" game, you immediately lose. The constant barrage of Nazi/Holocaust metaphors has been around for the last 60 years.

  • Salaita speaks publicly for the first time since firing: 'I am here to reaffirm my commitment to teaching and to a position with the American Indian Studies program at UIUC'
    • Exciting stuff! I hope he has good people advising him. His strategy is to take on Phyllis Wise. Can he bring enough embarrassment to the U of I so that they ditch her and bring him back.
      May the better man win.

  • Sign of the times, in a Brooklyn window
    • There is a detailed bio of him up on the Israeli Wikipedia. Nathan Chofshi was born as Nathan Fraenkl in Europe. (Chofshi is a typical new, Israeli-Hebrew name. It translates as "free".) Chofshi was a vegan and a pacifist. He was no stranger to the Arab-Israeli conflict, having escaped with his two children and sick, pregnant wife from the far north settlement of Metulla in 1920, as the Arab militia entered the gates of the village.
      He was an associate of Martin Buber's and active in Brit Shalom.
      He had a farm for many years in the village of Nahalal, whose most famous son was Moshe Dayan.
      Lived 1889 - 1980.

  • Gaza 'fractured' Rabbi Rosen's spiritual home
    • Dear JRCMember -
      I am sorry for your heartbreak.

      Thank you for putting "apolitical" in quotes. Those rabbis and congregations are, of course, deeply political. All the more so, because they deny it, thus denying those who disagree with them their own space in the debate. Unlike JRC, where your honesty gave Rabbi Rosen's detractors their own space.

  • Brant Rosen's prophetic voice elevated him beyond the rabbinic politics of our day
    • "Where can you attend Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in NYC not in front of an Israeli flag (hate symbol)? "

      It's a great question to ask synagogues but hardly a rhetorical one. You're telling me that there is not one synagogue in NYC that does not worship the flag?!

  • Rabbi Brant Rosen steps down from Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue saying his activism on Israel/Palestine has been 'lightning rod for division'
    • Babylouise -
      I've finally figured out what you are doing hanging out with us at Mondoweiss. Your job is to tell us that JRC - sans Rabbi Rosen - is absolutely perfect. Now that he is out, he will take the cold building, the greasy coffee and the hairy armpits with him.

      Your JRC is both "left of center" and warm and cozy and traditional. In Biblical terms "It was good." (Genesis 1)

      " I can’t imagine it being more fair." or, to paraphrase Voltaire, your JRC is the best of all possible worlds.

    • Babylouise -

      You made your feelings known when Danaa's wording about the Holocaust challenged your own - i.e. political - reading of the Shoah. Yet, you insist that you have not given any thought to how your kids were taught about the Holocaust during their years in your synagogue's Religious School. In case you didn't know, the Holocaust is an important part of any Jewish kid's religious education.

      Do you sell bridges for a living?

    • Babylouise -
      Thank you. That's just the topics. You still don't tell us what you wanted your kids to get:

      Jewish history:
      Which"Jewish history"? One that contextualizes Jewish suffering as part of a larger picture or teaches Jewish responsibility for Jewish history or one that plays up "The Holocaust" as a Jewish monopoly?

      Making friends/sense of community/peers:
      Who is their community? Orthodox Jews or their classmates who may practice both Christianity and Judaism? Is Israel part of their community? And if so, does this sense of community extend there too, or just to the 100% Israeli Jews as determined by the Israeli government?

      Sense of their tradition:
      Does it have to be completely vague in order to work?

      "I think that’s what most parents if they are being honest hope for in the Hebrew/Sunday school at JRC."
      You're right. In most cases, most people who are comfortable with the status quo will refuse to discuss their true motivations.

    • Dand and Ritzl,

      +1!

      This is an aspect of l’affaire Rosen is getting buried in the spin. The fact is that the faction that rose against Rosen did not complain that their rabbi was forcing his progressive politics on them. Comparing the reports of Dan Solomon and others against what goes in many, establishment synagogues shows that Israel is discussed a whole lot less at JRC than in rightwing synagogues. The JRC website and Rabbi Rosen went out of their way to give space to those who might disagree. Unlike many mainstream synagogues and establishment rightwing rabbis. Their rightwing agenda is a central feature of their rabbinic leadership and their synagogues. Just start googling synagogues in your zip code. Unlike Chicago, many of these synagogues are the only game in town. And if you don't like it, you just got to lump it.

      Civility, respect, live and let live were the hallmark of Rabbi Rosen's leadership - alongside sustained dedicated commitment to a range of progressive issues. Even his detractors from the fashionable center such as Babylouise don't challenge that. Unlike many of his rightwing colleagues who trumpeted their despicable support of Israel's war on Gaza. Those rabbis are comfortably sitting in their offices right now, drafting their High Holyday sermons. One of those sermons, no doubt, will cheer Israel on yet again - just in case someone missed it over the summer.

    • babylouise -
      More smoke and still no substance. I've asked you twice what was the Jewish education you were providing your children at JRC, one of your key motivations for being there. You've said nothing. except to refine your definition from "Jewish education" to "a basic Jewish education." Ok, so what was the "advanced Jewish education" that you reject?
      And, please, don't insult our intelligence by another diversionary rant about coffee or armpits.
      What do you actually care about, babylouise?

    • Babylouise -
      I don't care for the Fair Trade coffee thing either. It costs double what I pay for my coffee so I don't bother. Others do and have their legitimate reasons. More power to them. Do-gooding is par for the course in liberal religious institutions, Christian and Jewish. Your synagogue did not start the Fair Trade coffee fad. Evanston did not invent the organic/hybrid car/Farmers Market/I-bring-my-own-cloth-shopping-bags-with-me-to-Whole-Foods fashion either.
      Religious institutions necessarily need to stand for more than just the kind of cultural/social club you say you want. For instance, if you are talking about being bugged by the coffee in the lobby, my pet peeve is that even before I've even pulled into pretty much any synagogue's parking lot I'm hit by the standard "We Stand With Israel" sign. Complete with the two national flags.
      My understanding is that JRC doesn't have that sign. I'll take bad, overpriced, preachy Fair Trade coffee as an alternate welcome any day.

      Pet peeves aside, what is the content of your Judaism? If Judaism is just a laid back place to make friends and make your kids Jewish, what is it that makes a synagogue a synagogue? What was the content of your kids' religious education beyond making friends within the clan and learning a few phrases in another language?

    • Babylouise -

      Thank you for taking the time to post this.
      Many synagogues in your metropolitan area openly supported the war on Gaza. At least one Chicago-area temple turned every single one of its Shabbat services over the course of the war into a pro-war rally. That's got to bug lots of people a whole lot more than greasy, fair trade coffee. From what I've read, the war was rarely discussed at JRC over this past summer.
      You might say, well, that's them and this is me but what feels cozy and warm and "responsive to the needs of the congregation" to one Jew is an outrage to another.

      "An easy going place for my children to receive a cultural Jewish education and become Bar Mitzvah’d."

      You don't say anything about Rabbi Rosen's pastoral role in your family's life, or of attending services or study sessions at the synagogue. Perhaps you are the voice of the silent majority of Jews who join synagogues out of a sense of Jewish cultural affiliation and want a place of comfort and a Jewish education for their kids. Nothing wrong with that, but I am curious to know what you thought of your children's religious education. Israel is always a part of Jewish education. What were they taught at your synagogue and were you ok with that?

    • Annie - "in the hebrew press last week 63% of israelis are not shopping at arab businesses. so they believe in boycott. they believe in sanctioning iran, in principle zionists support boycotts, just not of israel."

      The hypocrisy is blatant. Zionists will boycott people who boycott Israel.

    • "am glad to witness the efforts of synagogues, Federation’s and even JCRC’s to promote dialogue, education and to have the guts to open a difficult conversation instead of close it."

      You gotta be kidding. The role of Jewish Federations and JCRC around the country is to go after people like Rabbi Rosen and to enforce orthodoxy on the Israel question . Their so-called "big tent" dialog initiatives are designed specifically to draw J Street types into the fold and leave JVP out in the cold.
      They did say "big tent", not XL.

  • Beinart urges young Jews to get arrested in the West Bank for the sake of Zionism. Will they?
    • Right. "This is what it will take". Beinart is right.
      And the outlandishness of his plan itself demonstrates why the 2-state solution is over.

    • A detail in Beinart's writing is troubling. He claims BDS (alongside Hamas) wants to see Israel go. That's a distortion. The thrust of three calls of BDS mean an end to Jewish privilege in Israel, i.e. the end of the Jewish State of Israel. But that's not the same as calling for the destruction of Israel. Beinart is willfully endorsing the AIPAC-J Street demonization of BDS.
      Peter Beinart wants to focus the problem on the 67 territories so he supports the delegitimization of those who see the 48 territories as an inseparable problem.
      That's dishonest.

  • Salaita's hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor
    • Thanks to Scott Jascik for compiling this. (I wonder who did the redactions of the emails and why?)
      I posted last week that we should "follow the money." The exposure of the donor threats invites the question of whether this was the campaign to fire Salaita orchestrated. Was it Hillel (who has access to names of incoming students)? The ADL?

  • 'NO DISCUSSION of Gaza' -- new Zionist etiquette
    • I was at a "Jewish-Muslim" rally during the war. There was one lone Muslim - one of the speakers. The Jewish speeches were inane. Her speech sounded to me despairing, justifying the event, grateful for this crumb of friendship.
      Even she couldn't take it. She left before the end of the rally.

  • As Salaita's case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on 'civility'
    • @ Mooser
      :)

    • "Salaita is a terrible negotiator to have put himself in this position where he was expected to be this far out on a limb before the contract was signed."

      From what I have read, universities are notorious for mistreating junior faculty. Untenured lecturers are underpaid and overworked. The U of I is the behemoth. What "negotiating skills" was a junior professor supposed to bring to get the Board of Trustees to finalize the contract in a timely manner?
      What were his options in such an imbalanced situation? And how was he supposed to know that while this system has always worked in the past, he would be singled out because of his Twitter account about war crimes.

      You really sound heartless.

    • U of I is very popular in the Chicago Jewish community. I know of at least one department that received a hefty donation - including naming rights - from a Jewish family. Given that most of the Jewish community is Zionist, certainly the older and more affluent ones, it would be interesting to "follow the money." It's unlikely that many people outside of Jewish Zionists would agitate for revoking the job offer.
      Who are the alums with deep pockets who might have made the phone calls to Chancellor Wise?

    • If the Board of Trustees' approval was intended to be more than a rubber stamp, they would have scheduled hearings of new hires way before August 1. Would Chancellor Wise have fired Prof. Salaita over his Twitter comments if Israel had attacked Gaza three months later and he was already on staff? If the answer is no, then she should have the decency to make Salaita whole. This is like a very late term abortion.

    • "Academics should not be political activists."

      The institution of the public intellectual is a vital one in society. Anyway, academia is packed with former senior government people.

      Why start to undo that with Prof. Salaita, of all people?

  • Salaita’s stellar teaching record exposes political motivation behind his firing
    • @Gene,
      At the beginning of the Iraq war, do you think the statement: "If you are defending Iraq right now, you are an awful human being" would have raised any eyebrows?
      The second statement has no parallel because the Jewish State is such an anomaly. But the characterization of Israel as "a murderous, colonial regime" is not unfair. Prof. Salaita does not attack Jews or Israelis. So no Jews or Israelis should feel uncomfortable unless they support Israel's policies. Even so, they should be able to separate the classroom from Twitter as Prof. Salaita does.

      Prof. Salaita has never previously been prone to brassiness and there is no reason to think that moving to Champagne-Urbana will make bring out any latent brassiness. Looks to me like he is prone to speaking his mind on Twitter on topical issues. Isn't that what Twitter is for?

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • Jeff, you say we are still stuck in this גלותי nebishe "Jewish angst that liberal Jews feel towards Israeli state violence which they can neither embrace or fully break from". I don't see it.
      The more Easter ham that Jews eat, the more they stay just as Zionist as ever. Zionism - as Netanyahu never ceases to declare - is as much a Christian project as it is Jewish. Becoming less Jewish doesn't diminish the Zionism.
      It's all about privilege and power. The power to have one homeland here and a backup one over there, even if it means that the locals have to do without. Same with all the American Jews who keep vacation homes in Jerusalem pushing real estate prices beyond the reach of Israeli Jews. American Jews don't know or understand or care about Israelis or Palestinians.

    • "On point the angst that liberal Jews feel towards Israeli state violence which they can neither fully embrace nor fully break from is precisely the sort of existential angst that Zionists writers of earlier generations critiqued in diaspora Jews. "

      There was Israeli state violence in earlier generations?

    • @JeffB

      "I’m assuming you are Christian"

      Danaa is Israeli.

    • From the State Archivist's latest rumination:

      " When I was researching my doctorate many years ago the Nazis I was following were mostly dead and I learned about them from documents. The Mondoweiss hordes are alive and active, and I can provoke them and learn how they respond)."

      My, for a man who condones bombing kids to death, he seems to have rather thin skin! Calling Mondoweiss commenters neo-Nazis. That's what you get for a Ph.D. in Nazi studies.

    • @Martin:
      "that pulse of exultation in ‘even if it means killing children’."
      Thank you for your perceptive observation and your humanity.

    • They are singing three songs on the clip:
      1) "My God, My God, why have You abandoned me." (No, not that one from the NT).
      2) Indecipherable. Something about "the wicked people."
      3) The Neturei Karta anthem: "We do not believe in the regime of the heretics, we do not follow their laws, we will follow the flag of the Torah and sanctify the name of heaven!"
      The Jews of Kiryas Yoel are singing in solidarity with Jerusalem's Neturei Karta

    • @ Philip M - "My wife is a member of JVP, but she is not Jewish. 50,000 in one month is a lot. Is anyone estimating what percentage of new members of JVP are not Jewish?"

      I don't know and I would think JVP does not ask that question. Just like in other Jewish orgs, it is impolite to ask. Reform synagogues are full of non-Jews and nobody quite knows exactly how many there are. The Jewish community is increasingly interfaith (literally, Judeo-Christian or Judeo-formerly Christian), why should Jewish Voice for Peace be any different?

      I'm curious why your wife chose JVP and not any other organization working on the issue?

    • "As for Mooser’s dream of a non-Zionist Judaism emerging in any significant way — I’ll believe it when I see it."

      It's happening. Jewish Voice for Peace is Jews organizing as Jews against Israeli policy, dropping Zionism. JVP is growing at a fantastic rate. 50,000 new members and some 20 new chapters in July alone.

    • "sit around singing Beach Boy’s songs all day, like NK"

      Now, that would be a sight! Can you imagine Neturei Karta singing the Beach Boys?

    • 1) "a majority of self-identifying Jews among the non-Israelis are Zionists, "

      If we are tossing out assertions as facts, it's safe to say that ""a majority of self-identifying Christians among Americans are Zionists, " And Netanyahu repeatedly credits Christian Zionism with the creation and continuation of the State of Israel.
      So what?

      2) Since Lozowick brings identity into it, it should be noted that he wears a kippa; he identifies as Orthodox. The overwhelming majority of Israeli Orthodox Jews are anti-democratic, are perceived by American Jews as anti-women and hold racist attitudes against non-Jews.

    • Good letter, Phil.

      1) Israeli Jews use the simple majority to deny Palestinians their rights. They struggle to maintain the magic trump card of 50% +1 by importing Russians and managing the Palestinians. Now Lozowick uses that argument against the Jews of the world - which, per the Israeli government is what makes the State of Israel "the Jewish State".

      2) "You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there, and not have it be the most important development in all those millennia."

      Over the course of three generations, I have several family members who moved to Palestine or Israel and then left. The Second Aliya (which produced Ben Gurion and the other founders of the State of Israel) was famous for losing . It seems that pining leads to experimentation in some cases. In most cases, Jews are happy to continue to pine from the comfort of their synagogues around the world. Perhaps these Jews have figured out that some dream are better left unrealized.

      3) "how if we’re such agressors the Palestinians keep multiplying "
      Nice family you got there. What a pity if somebody happened to blow them to smithereens.

      4) Finally, how poetically perfect. Israel, which is lost in its own Holocaust narrative about Palestinians, hires a Holocaust historian to be its archivist.
      Was the Ph.D. in Nazi studies a requirement for getting the job?

  • 'I mourn my Jewish community, which seeks to justify these inexcusable acts'
    • @ Jon S.
      "If you think that the Jewish communities can be “divorced ” from the Jewish state – it will be a cold day in hell when that happens."

      This sense of inevitable identification with Israel is relatively recent. As recently as the 1950s, there was a viable stream within organized liberal Judaism that was anti-Zionist. The American Council for Judaism saw Judaism as a religion. It divorced Judaism from Israeli nationalism. Oddly enough, just like secular Israelis today.
      The surge in American Jewish identification correlates with the successes of the State of Israel and its popularity in the general American and world culture. Given the continuing downward spiral of Israel's reputation, it is likely that Jews will turn away from Israel long before hell becomes a temperate climate.

  • More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times
    • Orthodox settlers including the so-called "ideological settlers" would use "Hashem." The secular ones, along with non-Orthodox politicians, use "Elohim". "Yahweh", as Yonah points out, is taboo.
      Settler politicans regularly use "Adonai" (the holy name that is only used in prayers and reading Scripture) to make their claim on Palestine, including the West Bank. They just do so by quoting Scripture. I think rendering "Adonai" - the conventional Jewish representation of Yahweh - as the original "Yahweh" is reasonable.

      Now who is here for the stoning?

  • Jewish Voice for Peace stomps AIPAC and J Street in latest online traffic figures
    • Am not sure how reliable these numbers are. Try putting in J Street vs. JVP. J Street gets 260 million to JVP's paltry 400,000.
      That would be depressing if it didn't seem plausible.

  • US branch of the Jewish 'family' owes the homeland 'unconditional love' -- Rosner
    • Rosner ends with: "Israel will have to learn to survive without that support, and I’m certain it will."

      Israel loses the bedrock of its political support in the one country that bankrolls, arms and shields her politically. Israel loses the support of the one group whose friendship justifies its existence as the state of the Jewish people.
      Consequently, the shekel plummets, the Israeli army is left without its main supplier, Israel is exposed at the U.N. and every other international arena. On top of which its mission statement is exposed as a sham.
      Mr. Rosner, why don't you show us your evidence of how Israel that can survive such a collapse?
      The Times' editors could have subtitled the piece: From whining narcissism to empty bravado.

    • I have always thought of Israel as family in the sense of a difficult, eternal teenager:
      - Well into his 60s he still demands an annual allowance of several billions dollars a year from his folks.
      - He pretends that he is doing his parents a favor by taking their money.
      - He then tells his folks to shut up with their opinions about how he should or shouldn't behave.
      - He threatens to go ape shit if anybody tries to stage an intervention.
      - He periodically does go ape shit, starting fights with the neighbors, making the above threat real.
      -He makes up his own rules. He pouts when people point out that these are self-serving and unfair.
      - Nobody can make him see reason, least of all his parents.

    • Since Yonah claims the right as a Jew to call out a non-Jew for calling out Jews then I, as a Jew, will call out another Jew for calling out a non-Jew for calling out the Jews.
      May red flags rise out of the blue and salmon colored suns sink in the the azure oceans, rising and falling in an endless flow of colorful metaphor, flying the flags and flagging the flies. And the chosen will choose what the unchosen may choose to say.

  • Is the firing of Steven Salaita the beginning of a new Blacklist?
    • Mooser -
      No worries. I do worry about what comes next for us in the U.S. There is clearly a growth spurt in leftist organizations but there is also a harsh edge to the opposition. There's nothing like war to give the reactionaries license to be nasty. I fear that Prof. Salaita's case is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Mooser - chill, baby. All is well.

    • Annie,
      Many Germanic names are shared by Jews and non-Jews. For instance, Miller. I wonder what makes someone who looks like a minority herself to be so intolerant. Same goes for gays who are anti-Palestinian. I was hoping someone could shed light on her non-academic life, since she shares nothing of her personal background.
      Isaac Meyer Wise founded organized Reform Judaism in the US.

    • Phyllis Wise's opposition to the ASA boycott is relevant. At the risk of being politically incorrect, she looks like she is from east Asia. She doesn't look like a "Wise". Since her academic biography does not disclose her personal "extramural" history, one wonders from whence the name? Is she married into (or grew up in a) Jewish "Wise" family? If Prof. Salaita's personal commitments are relevant, then so are hers.

  • 'One nation, one state, one leader' -- frightening slogan at Tel Aviv protest
    • @DaBakr -
      You have my quote on top but your rant makes mysterious references to…what?

    • Mooser,
      If you like, we can go thru other examples of western countries silencing popular and parliamentary dissent at times of war. It didn't make 'em Nazis.

    • I don't know enough about Nazi ideology to critique the significance of this Nazi slogan in an Israeli context. As the article makes clear, the sign is directed not at Palestinians but at the Israeli anti-war camp (such as it is). It seems that the intent of this sign is to appeal to a sense of national unity in this war and to defer to the wartime leader. Sans any violence, it is not unlike a typical wartime situation in a democracy such as the U.S. leading up to the Iraq war.
      I don't like it either but, I find, (rather than turning to mendacity) that stupidity and ignorance are more often than not sufficient explanations.

  • Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren dropped as CNN 'analyst'
    • Wonderful stuff!
      He knows Israel and has Jewish connections yet is fearless in going after Israel.
      Thank you for posting this.

  • Israeli deceptions revealed in story of ‘kidnapped’ soldier
    • I think the degree to which regular Israelis don't acknowledge the awful Hannibal directive is an insight into what the human mind will refuse to believe in order to avoid dealing with the consequences. Parents of soldiers and soldiers must deny the existence of the Hannibal directive or otherwise submerge it underneath their consciousness. If they would take its existence on, they would go crazy or catch the first plane out. Much better to dodge one more piece of reality.

  • Evanston Public Library censors Ali Abunimah, saying issue is 'complex' and he'd need to be balanced (Updated)
    • The two distinctions that are apparent are: a. Ali Abunima would have been the first Palestinian at the library, rather than Jews talking about Palestinians and b. the war on Gaza has made this a very touchy issue.
      If I were writing a letter, I wouldn't bother with the library director. Write Mayor Tisdahl.

  • Crisis in Rafah: Palestinian civilians trapped trying to escape Israeli onslaught (Updated)
    • As a former Israeli who served in the military, my perspective is a little different.
      It has been widely reported that the bombing of Rafah was the implementation of the "Hannibal doctrine." This calls for bombing the site of a kidnapping of an Israeli soldier to prevent his removal to another location. But the kicker is the final line, "even at the risk of killing the soldier." I know the most wonderful army in the world most likely copied this from other armies, but that's not the story Israeli boys are told. We were promised that every soldier was special and would be brought back from captivity. Now, it appears, that once you are taken captive, you become a liability. For the Israeli authorities, better a dead soldier than a POW.
      What a monstrous betrayal of Israel's young men by their own parents and leaders.

  • Cease-fire breaks down: Israeli shelling kills 50 after reported capture of soldier
    • Haaretz is reporting that Israel will declare victory in a "one sided solution." They are recycling the chestnut of "there is no one to talk to on the other side." The UN/US endorsement of the Israeli claim that Hamas violated the 72 hour ceasefire has given the Israelis the ladder they were desperately seeking to climb down from the Israeli tree.
      As long as they stop the massacre, it's a good thing.
      In the next episode: Goldstone redux.

  • Video: Mark Regev, deciphered
    • That was satisfying. Reminded me of the subtitles of the Fyu's speech in The Great Dictator. There was also that British sitcom "Captain Subtext."
      If Alex Nunns is reading this: we want more! Netanyahu. Obama.

  • Video: Celebrities, artists and activists call for Palestinian freedom in #GazaNames project
    • Tokybk,
      For the most part, my experience is the same as Citizen's. My family, all my work associates absolutely don't care. Most of my friends don't care either. A few do humor me but they don't do anything. Outside of the friends I have made as an activist, my situation is the same as Citizen's. And whatever you may say about him, you cannot say that about me.

  • 'Telegenically Dead': Israel’s crumbling media war
    • Yes. That was way too many for the stability of the government.
      Netanyahu won't let this get to that point.
      I'm not saying that Netanyahu prefers some Israeli deaths, only that Mr. Hasbara welcomes the PR spin he can put to work here. When he analyzes Hamas for their supposed use of the "telegenic dead", he knows of what he speaks.

    • Thank you for covering this.
      I think there is a deeper, darker truthiness to Netanyahu's talk.
      From his perspective, ISRAELI fatalities are a propaganda boon. It allows him to play the "balance" card. "Look we have casualties too!" It rallies the country. And it plays into the Israeli narrative of "sh'khol" - the grief at the dead of young men. This is a powerful force in Israeli psyche. It ties this military campaign back to Israel's wars going back to Yosef Trumpeldor and beyond. In every generation they try to kill us, so we kill them first and sacrifice some of our young men.
      It's a delicate balance for him. Too many dead would not be good. No dead was working against him.
      He really is that cavalier with the lives of his own young people.

  • Violence outside Paris synagogue falsely attributed to anti-Semitism (Updated)
    • Since most synagogues routinely serve as venues for Israeli Hasbara and self-identify as supporting Israel, it is appropriate for Palestinian supporters to protest there. Israel supporters would inevitably cast such a protest as anti Semitic, but they would be wrong.
      If a synagogue granted space to a JDL gang to plan and launch racist, violent attacks, then the synagogue could not complain if it we attacked by a counter-group.
      Although, that is not what we are talking about here.

    • Besides if you look at the short video shot from the synagogue there is no one attacking the synagogue itself. People are running back and forth in front of it, but no one is attacking it.
      That is true. This important distinction should be used to counter the insinuations and outright lies of the anti-Palestinian camp.

  • Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire, says senior Palestinian official (Updated)
    • @Naftush,
      Israel chooses to direct its missiles directly at children and other innocents;
      Hamas may, or may not, have the same intent.

      You are silent in the face of repeated acts of targeted killings of innocents and speak up to argue points of law where there is no loss of life.

      Palestinian life is meaningless to you, because it is Palestinian.

      Take your racism somewhere else.

    • Asher,
      Israeli apologists try to equate the killing of the Israeli with Israel's massacres in Gaza. Izz a-Din al Qassam obviously does not have the ability to pinpoint its targets with the technology that Israel has: satellites, drones, airplanes. So when Israel sends a missile directly into a hospital it threatened to destroy and kills helpless patients, that's a war crime.
      Since the Palestinians don't have that capability it's open to interpretation. The fact is that all their missiles have not resulted in one death.
      What has any of this to do with Israel starting this war and killing 195 people to date.
      Where's your outrage at that?

    • Hamas' conditions for a ceasefire as of last week were:
      1. Return to 2012 ceasefire.
      2. Stop the crackdown on the West Bank.
      3. Stop re-arresting the Palestinian prisoners released under the Gilad Shalit deal.
      I don't see any mention in the media of #2 and #3. Instead, Israel has offered Hamas better border openings on the Gaza border.

      Is it the case that Israel has offered Hamas a benefit in Gaza but is refusing to answer its two demands on the West Bank? That would be in line with one of Israel's objectives in attacking Hamas, i.e. breaking up the Gaza-West Bank/ Hamas-PA unity deal.

    • All the more reason for Hamas not to trust anything the U.S.-backed Egyptian government says.

    • he was “delivering food to soldiers Tuesday at the Erez crossing”.
      So, he was a volunteer provisioning the Israeli attackers. If the shoe were on the other foot and this was a Palestinian bringing supplies to an Islamic Jihad unit, he would be killed by the IDF, and labeled "a terrorist".
      Am not saying his death, or any death, isn't tragic, but killing soldiers is not in the same category as Israeli state terrorism, targeting civilian homes and massacring entire families including babies.
      And, by the way, when is the Israeli military brass at the Kiryah in Tel Aviv, going to stop hiding behind women and children?

  • Terror in Gaza: 57 seconds after 'warning,' Israel destroys a house
    • @Shuki,
      Obviously there was an earlier warning shot… why else was the camera already fixed on that particular house?

      So, what was the second shot for? Extra credit? Browse the internet and you will see amazing footage of all sorts of remarkable events. Anyway, if Israel's warning is so clear, why did the man Tree pointed out still standing next to the house when it blew up?

      As an Israeli, I find this dressed up murder particularly shocking. So, Israel only kills when it means to kill, unless there is an innocent child on the bicycle too. When it means just to destroy, Israel doesn't kill, or at least, appears to want to kill.

      Shuki is a good representative of the Israeli mindset. Since Israel feels completely justified in killing and blowing up whatever it wants, anything that it does beyond murdering and smashing at random and at will is from the goodness of its heart.

      Only the anti-Semitic media and "intellectually dishonest outlets" refuse to see what a saint Israel really is.

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