Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1652 (since 2009-08-07 20:50:47)

Elliot

Showing comments 1652 - 1601
Page:

  • 'This land is ours. All of it is ours': Meet the Netanyahu cabinet members focused on fighting BDS & annexing the West Bank
    • You don't need to be ultra-Orthodox to believe this stuff. On the contrary, this is more modern Orthodox.

    • " never thougt that could be a form of Zionism that wasn’t about all the land but only about some of it."
      Amos Oz (I think, in "Black Box") suggests that Zionism was about securing a place of refuge. To want more than that was greedy. If all you want is that + a place for Hebrew culture to thrive, the West Bank is a liability.
      At least in principle.

    • "This land is ours. All of it is ours"

      Reminds me of two poems.
      I saw the first one framed on the wall of a daycare center. The second one is with apologies to a great American:

      1) "The Toddler's Creed" by Dr. Burton White

      If I want it,
      IT'S MINE!

      If I give it to you and change my mind later,
      IT'S MINE!

      If I can take it away from you,
      IT'S MINE!

      If it's mine it will never belong to anybody else,
      No matter what.
      If we are building something together,
      All the pieces are mine!

      If it looks just like mine,
      IT'S MINE!

      If it breaks or needs putting away,
      IT'S YOURS!

      2) This land was your land and now it’s my land

      From the sea of Gaza to the Jordan River
      
From the Hermon Mountain to the Gulf of Akaba

      This land was made for you, now me.

      As I was walking that ribbon of highway, 

      I saw above me that endless skyway: 

      I saw below me that golden valley: 

      This land was made for you, now me.

      As I went walking I saw a sign there 

      And on the sign it said "A Border Crossing." 

      But on the other side it didn't say nothing, 

      That side was made for me as well

      Nobody living can ever stop me, 

      As I go walking that Jewish highway;
      
Nobody living can ever make me turn back 

      This land was made for me, all mine

  • The grotesque injustice of Obama's speech at the Washington synagogue
    • "Not the easiest of partners" is Obama's sanitized version of Netanyahu's "Israel lives in a tough neighborhood." He copied-and-pasted the rest: Holocaust, Yad vashem, Jewish values,

      In the wake of his nuclear disarmament kerfuffle with Israel, Obama needed a feel good moment with the Jewish community. This speech nailed it. Thank God for synagogues. If they didn't exist, we'd have to invent them.

  • Losing public opinion on BDS, activists turn to 'lawfare'
    • "This manipulative language aids, conceptually and otherwise, in the full annexation of the West Bank into Israel."

      Today, BBC World Service did a piece on Orthodox Jews. The reporter visited a business on a West Bank settlement which was presented as being in Israel ("Alon Shevut, Israel"). The reporter did not correct that statement.

  • Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott
    • The article that Tree posted on the founder of the Hartman Institute (by Donald) is damning.

    • "Hartman receives much of its funding from the right-wing and Islamophobic Russell Berrie Foundation"
      Sa'ed, that's a serious accusation and potentially helpful. Would you post your source for this (and other claims). Thanks.

  • The Jewish establishment has banned these four valiant Jews. Why?
    • I've run into Yonah's comment wrt the use of "McCarthyism". I really don't know whether these charged words are just a convenient target or whether dropping them would make a difference. I love Phil's style because it challenges the norms of the MSM which are just as "agit prop" - but they get to pretend that that's normal just because they can.
      This stuff fells like the proverbial joke about trying to talk to a deaf man. You repeat what you have to say, each time increasing the volume of your voice. Finally, you are practically shouting but then the deaf man objects: stop shouting, I'm not deaf you know!" And you still don't end up having the conversation you wanted to have.

  • Netanyahu's speech and the American Jewish condition
    • I recently attended a small, closed event of Jewish leaders where Israel was stye declared topic of the meeting. Most of the participants were downbeat about Israel and spoke openly about their fear that Israel was about to be destroyed. In my opinion they are deranged. I think post-traumatic is the kindest way of saying it. Although, why people born a generation or two after the Holocaust should be traumatized by an event that, in most cases, did not touch their families is beyond me. Most Jews today choose to be Jewish. If the trauma of being Jewish is too overwhelming, just choose to be something else; don't take your Jewishness out on the Palestinians.

  • Netanyahu's disaster: speech cost 'omnipotent' lobby a veto proof majority for Iran sanctions
    • Krauss,
      Thank you for this clear analysis. My reaction to this piece is that Phil is overdoing his stirring-of-the-pot writing. But he is following the liberal Zios on this. And that's misplaced hope. So it's great that J St is using language that 15 years ago was fresh, edgy and taboo (remember the Jewish "Not in My Name" group that picketed Ehud Barak in 1999?). But we are not here to save the Israeli liberal center.
      Netanyahu has made the calculation that having his name in the news alongside America's political A -list sets him ahead of the Israeli political pack. So far, it's working.
      There's no way whatever possible fallout from the speech that lies in the future is going to hurt Netanyahu in the elections coming up next month.

  • Biden will skip Netanyahu's speech
    • "If we struck Iran we’d have to do so again every two years. "
      If Israel struck Gaza they'd have to do so again every two years.

  • 'Great American villain' Henry Kissinger faces citizen's arrest inside a Senate hearing room
    • Yonah,
      I feel uncomfortable with the prosecution on nonagenarian Nazis. It all seems part of the fetishizing of the Holocaust, in the face of the inevitable aging and passing of that generation.

      There is a furore in South Africa about the parole of Eugene de Kock, who brutally murdered over 100 South Africans under the apartheid regime. It was pointed out that the people who testified in front of the Truth and Reconciliation commission and who served prison terms were the policemen and soldiers carrying out orders. De Kock had the explicit support of top politicians; he received medals for the killings and torture that he perpetrated. But the men who ran the show were never made to pay for their crimes. Just like in the U.S.

      Kissinger is responsible for more deaths than John Demjanjuk or most of the other Nazis who are still being hounded today. I think Eva's point is fair. 'Shalom' objected to CodePink harassing "a 91 year old". Kissinger looks like he is in better health than some of those Nazi war criminals and his is culpable for much more.

  • Shit dead rabbis say about gentiles
    • 1) Not sure whether the Lubavitcher Rebbe's statement was descriptive or prescriptive.
      2) 'Gentile' does not communicate the pejorative "goy." After all, gentiles call themselves gentiles but no goy would call himself a goy. Re Hophmi's defense of Schneersohn, he would not have called any of the non-Jewish people he met "goyim." I've always thought that "goy" is also a classist snub. Distinguished, affluent, generous and refined non-Jews are not goyim. It's the poor, rough types who get slammed with that: the drunks, villains and crass anti-Semites.

  • That thrilling, anti-elitist Shas campaign video
    • Plenty of state funded indoctrination goes on in public schools in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    • "Shas has built schools"

      To clarify, it wasn't Shas but the State of Israel that built those schools. The money was not private but public. In a system which is overtly sectarian in ways unimaginable in the United States, Shas positions itself as a remedy to the racist Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox system and the and mainstream secular or "state religious" schools. As a religious school system, Shas gets more hours of state-funded schooling per child than the comparable non-sectarian stream.

  • 'The New York Times' throws another sop to lovers of Israel
    • @ Ivri -

      So sorry you don't find the ladies the article suggests to fit your criteria of attractiveness. I actually find women with progressive politics to be sexy.

  • Netanyahu speech could turn Israel lobby into a political football
  • Living in Israel isn't the solution to antisemitism
    • I'm watching Valls too and the response he is getting from the French public. His knee-jerk retort to Netanyahu's bodyguard in the synagogue, not to mention his speech to the French assembly were just great.

  • Diaspora Jews are not in 'exile,' they are at home
    • @ Mikhael

      "the idea that Jews living outside of the borders of Erets Yisrael are on a fundamental level not truly at home has always been part and parcel of Judaism."

      That is not the view of Judaism. The actual traditional view of Judaism was that Jews are in a state of exile galut גלות until the Coming of the Messiah. Over the centuries not just Jews living throughout the world but also those Jews living in Palestine saw themselves as living in exile. The Jewish religious term "exile" was not a removal from "The Land" but a state of removal from the presence of God, or, in more accessible terms, the assessment that the world is in a state of poor spiritual health.
      That is why traditionalist Jews still view the world as being in a state of exile - including such Jews who live in the State of Israel.
      Modern religious folk held to the idea that the State of Israel heralded the Messianic age. But it doesn't look like that that is the case.

      It’s disingenuous to portray points of view such as those expressed by the 19th century Reform rabbi from South Carolina quoted by Brownfield political Zionists in the original article such as yourself as if such declarations encapsulated the traditional Jewish view

    • The distinction is between what the French Jew in the street says and does and what the Israeli leader says. I can understand if a traditional Jew in France is tired of worrying if his publicly identifying as a Jew is a safe thing. Some may want to stay and fight on principle, others may decided to move. Is it an ethical choice for a French Jew to pick up all the benefits he can get in Israel just for being a Jew who moves there? Perhaps not. I think the more courageous action is stand one's ground in France, but I do feel for the guy who has to make that decision.

      But that debate has got nothing to do with Netanyahu's willful behavior in France.

    • Yonah - I agree. Oyvey's comment was shameful.

    • Agreed, but then why do you accept the Israeli label of "diaspora Jew"? This is a term that projects the idea that the Jewish immigrants to Palestine have returned home and therefore all other Jews were still in "diaspora." The reality, of course, is that in the wake of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel, the old centers of Jewry disappeared. From the ancient North African and Middle Eastern Jewish civilizations to the thousand year old Ashkenazi civilization. So, the hallmark of mainstream Jewry today is diaspora. Although arguably, the American Jewish community, with its older vintage, has a stronger claim to being the Jewish center than the more recent immigrant Jewish community in Palestine.

  • Congress invites Netanyahu to rebut Obama on Iran, and White House slams 'breach of protocol'
  • Gaza war blowback? Palestinian stabs 13 on Tel Aviv bus.
    • I'm more likely to be on a Tel Aviv bus than on the West Bank so this random violence is more dangerous to me personally than Israeli violence. Israelis have killed internationals and wounded other Israelis who have stood with Palestinians. And Palestinians have shown bravery in shielding non-Palestinians from Israeli violence. Ordinary people do brave things. They are victims of bigger systems.
      If Herzl Bitton is being praised as a hero, it's fair to ask if he is also a soldier in the army enforcing the Occupation?

    • GL -
      Shhhh. You aren't supposed to be thinking that right now. Now it's time to talk about murderous Palestinians who can never be trusted no matter what we do. It's only when Jews are killed in Europe that we bring your point up.
      Some people will never learn….

    • Israel sees the Palestinian Authority as the corollary of the Jewish State. Just as Israel is not the state of all Israelis but sees itself (in some regards) as the state of all Jews so the PA is the state of all Palestinians.

    • Marnie - "my question is why did they hold back on this guy? "
      I was hoping someone would point this out. Could be all sorts of reasons. Like they aimed at his head but missed. I prefer that prison guards aren't part of the anti-terror forces. Had it been the army or the anti-terrorist police who roam around Israel's cities on motorbikes, is likely he would have been assassinated.

  • Netanyahu and Europe’s far right find common ground after the Paris attacks
    • hophmi,
      The article does not say what you ridicule. So, strawman aside, the Jewish State's raison d'être is to provide safety for Jews. By Israel's own definitions of anti-Jewish violence, Israel is the most dangerous place in the world for Jews today. It is also a growing liability for the safety of non-Israeli Jews. For Netanyahu to purposefully jeopardize French solidarity and the case for French citizenship vs. ethnic definitions of French identity is to further undermines Israel's case for being a Jewish state, even on Netanyahu's terms.

    • "“in their hearts that they have only one country”

      Since this is such an important statement, it must said that the word "only" was added in the English translation of Netanyahu's statement. It's bad enough as is.

    • "To stretch this to claim that Netanyahu wants ALL Jews to leave Europe is false, shoddy, alarmist rubbish"

      Of course that is what he means. He believes French Jews are inherently unsafe. He believes all Jews are unsafe outside of Israel; their position is untenable and their future is doomed - only Israel can guarantee a Jew's safety.
      He doesn't say: "all Jews know that, if they feel unsafe as Jews in their native country, Israel's doors will always be open to them." Instead, he denounced their French citizenship as false; "al Jews know that they have one country: Israel."

      What is astounding is how stuck Israel still is in its founding myths. The stuff the 19th century Zionists said about European Jews was indistinguishable from the right wing anti-Semites. The Zionists agreed with the anti-Semites that the old Jew was no good. The Zionists replaced him with the new Hebrew man, rippling with masculinity and a Biblical name to boot.

  • There is no pride for Jews in the state of Israel
    • "As the birthplace of the Jewish religion and the location where its most important modern day features and symbols came into being, the land of Israel should..."

      Scott, I agree with most of what you write and thank you for writing it but this reading of Jewish history is simply not true:.
      1) 4.5 out of the 5 books of the Torah take place outside Canaan. For the Israelite period, it would be more reasonable to locate the birth of Judaism in Egypt or the desert.
      2) The most fundamental work of Judaism, the Talmud is the Babylonian version. (Its Palestinian counterpart is much smaller and is largely ignored). One could more fairly say that Judaism is predominantly Iraqi.
      3) With rare exception all of the post-Talmudic development of Judaism happened outside the Land of Israel.

      Regarding the present day, the identification of modern Israel with the "most important symbols" of Judaism is ideological. I think that would largely be rejected by non-Zionists.

  • Why I am not Charlie
    • Thanks, Tree. Nothing like a piece of reality to clear up the comment: "but it can't be so!" The New York Times creates the perception that there is no way the U.S. funds Al-Q'adeh by exactly the kind of reporting Piotr referenced. Jeff's logic is circular.

  • Eric Fingerhut, head of Hillel, says JVP is 'frustrating' and that Open Hillel movement has no legs
    • I know lots of people who are not "deep-pocketed" but support Hillel. If this all all about "Jews and money" then make the case. Otherwise, let's be more careful with old tropes.

    • "a well-off suburban area in New York with a high Jewish population"
      and "Hillel, the big-pocketed, leading Jewish campus organization"

      Since this article is not about money why is a synagogue introduced as full of rich Jews and Hillel presented as a rich Jewish group?

  • Hillel exec likens Open Hillel to biblical rebel against Moses who was swallowed up by the earth
    • Eric Fingerhut: "Their [alluding to Open Hillel] real agenda is to have another platform for anti-Israel agitation. This is an argument that is not for the sake of heaven and one that we will not join." [applause]

      This is the correct framing of the debate. Can Fingerhut convince the public that all Open Hillel wants is to take over Hillel to take down Israel. I think that by attacking the integrity of this growing movement of Jewish students he is setting himself up to lose. His audience are the hardcore Israel supporters. Fingerhut is their leader. But his other audience are the liberal Zionists who still feel uncomfortable in the radical camp but could be pushed in that direction by people like Fingerhut,

  • Against self-determination
    • Jon -
      You believe in the Israeli system and the options the Israeli electorate has produced. That's why you live there and that's why you vote. I don't. You want us ex-pat Israelis to fly home to win the day for your candidate, whomever he may be.
      That's Israel in a nutshell. Pretending to be the center of the Jewish universe but constantly appealing - and demanding - that we save you. But only on your terms. Jewish independence and utterly dependent. First, on the American empire for survival and second, on us Jews for your self-declared legitimacy.

    • Danaa -

      I appreciate your irreverence for those oh-so-serious finest and brightest young Israelis. Once, one of them gave me a grilling because my last name was the same as someone on their blacklist. She called over her superior, an even more serious "gorilla." They seemed to believe that I was a danger to the state by virtue of sharing genes or family dinners with that persona non grata. Luckily, they believed me when I told them that the only thing we shared was a rather common surname.

      And this was when I was LEAVING Israel. I would have thought this would be a greater concern on the way in.

      Another time, they were partially mollified when I was able to pull out the name of a synagogue at home. I got a helping hand from a family member who lives on a kibbutz and muttered that we were together.

      It all felt rather melodramatic.

    • @ Roha -
      "Apple pie is neither a German nor a Jewish invention."
      I had to sit down after your broke that to me. I'm feeling a bit better now. :)

    • Jon -

      Some elections ago, Israeli orgs were flying in non-resident Israelis on free charter flights. I didn't go then either and that was when I thought elections mattered and believed that one candidate was better than the other one.

      My future is not in Israel and I shouldn't be making decisions on behalf of people who have to live with the consequences. Besides, elections in general are overblown in importance, typically at the expense of real engagement, advocacy and activism on a daily basis. On top of that, there is not one realistic candidate for leader who I would vote for in a million years.

      Bottom line I object in principle to non-residents voting in any country's election.

      If I change my mind, I can still vote in the World Zionist Organization elections in the “Parliament of the Jewish people” as a Jew.

      link to arzenuwzc.wordpress.com

      "Israeli citizens are represented in the elections through political parties in Israel; world Jews are represented through international Zionist political parties to which they belong."

    • "German Jews assimilated to the point where many were celebrating Xmas, and thought persecution would never happen in such a modern society. America is safe for Jews, yes. But don’t make the same mistake they German Jews did. Like it or not, you’re a Jew. "

      I disagree. Jews in the U.S. have long celebrated Xmas. Many are descendants of German Jews. They brought their tannenbaum over to the U.S. along with their apple pie. And the Christmas tree became as American as their pie.
      But that's not what makes Jews in America so much more powerful and safe than German Jews back in Europe. It's the more recent changes. The next president or the one after that could easily be a Jew. Joe Lieberman's candidacy for vice-president made many older Jews worry. Now, just a few years later, it's a non-issue.

      Why should that fear dominate Phil's thinking,? If the worst happened, he would automatically have a kinship with whoever else the government labeled as "a Jew". Just like all those Germans and other nationalities who suddenly become part of a Jewish community only because the Nazis said so. There's no value in choosing an identity solely out of anxiety for a possible bleak future.

    • Danaa -
      I assume you go to Israel occasionally to visit family. How do the border policemen treat you? Is it obvious you are Israeli?

      For myself, I keep an Israeli passport to get in and out easily. Israelis are required to use an Israeli passport. A couple of years ago, there was a problem with my passport (-the local consulate botched the job). At Ben Gurion airport a police officer in a back room asked me if I had another passport on me. He admitted me to the country with that. We are all monitored on a shared international database anyway.

    • @ Yonah,
      Thank you for agreeing that in the Middle East (and the broader Arab world and beyond), Islam transcends national identity.
      Palestinian Christianity transcended religious sectarianism with the Kairos statement of Palestinian unity.
      As you know, there have also been secular pan-Arab movements.
      And going back a bit, there have been all sorts of super-national empires.

      For what it's worth, I'm not convinced by Phil's apotheosis either. Feels like a post-industrial society (say, the U.S) lecturing developing countries about greenhouse emissions.

    • Jerusalem isn't sweating this one. The Senate voted 100-0 to cheer on Israel's onslaught on Gaza.

    • @Yonah: "Your post nationalism is not something that is that common in the middle east. rather rare in fact"

      I'm not sure how "post-national" Phil is. He's post religious-sectarian and urban, Jewish New York. There are other versions of "Americanized" out there which wouldn't recognize his new, larger identity . He also doesn't say how this new identity fits not any larger, North American or fully American (north and south) group.
      To your point, there are plenty of Arab identities that transcend sectarianism and national identity. Take Islam for example.

    • "One great thing about Jewish Voice for Peace is it welcomes non-Jewish members"

      Nothing special there. AIPAC or J St don't turn the non-Jews away at the door either. The Jewish community is an interfaith one. It's only that lefties still feel insecure about their Jewish creds.

  • 'Spiral,' 'threat,' 'polarization,' or 'full-scale popular campaign for Palestinian freedom' -- reactions to the ICC move
    • The U.S. has launched the diplomatic front to allow Israel's punitive actions against the Palestinians to go ahead. We are expected to greet the soon to follow Israeli sanctions against the PA with a shrug. What can you do, they've been fighting each other forever.

  • Leading rabbi tells Arab ambassador not to 'shlep' Kerry's view of Palestine into discussion of religion and terrorism
    • hophmi -
      Israeli Jews today don't need the spectacular mass murder of Baruch Goldstein. They use terror on a daily basis, killing one or two at a time (see B'teselem's reports). And the media over here gives regular coverage to your list instead of Israeli (or American) state terrorism.

  • Dissecting 'The Jewish Voices on Campus': a predictable but necessary endeavor
    • David - Thank you for doing this work and exposing this stuff for what it is. I am filing away for use when people refer to anti-semitism on campus as a given.

  • Ari Roth is fired by DC Jewish center -- after staging Nakba play
    • "And I’m still trying to figure out why it’s always a tent"

      Judaism prides itself on embracing debate. The Talmud is the foundational document of Judaism and its largest work. The overarching theme of the Talmud's discussions is to affirm debate and honor dissenting opinion.
      The tent is an image associated with the Biblical patriarch Jacob (aka Israel) (Genesis 25:27) that the Talmud and contemporaneous rabbinic works re-imagine as the study hall . Rabbinic commentary also interprets Abraham's tent (Genesis 18:1) as an icon of his hospitality and openness .
      So, the Jewish community;s "Big Tent" evokes for its proponents the openness of Jewish debate on Israel. It should be noted that the Bible contrasts pious Jacob's "tent" to evil Esau's hunt for wild game in the "field" .
      If you take yourself outside the tent, you are associating yourself with Israel's mortal enemy, Esau.

  • 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.

Showing comments 1652 - 1601
Page: