Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1511 (since 2009-08-07 20:50:47)

Elliot

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  • '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.

  • Relentless bombing on Gaza continues: Israel kills media worker, 9 people watching World Cup on beach
    • How do you know? you got your impression since you visit MW and maybe other anti-Zionist sites. Those sites always emphasize on the “dark side” of the Israeli society, make you believe that this side is the majority.

      Several minutes ago, I saw a ten meters long sign written by pupils, on the wall of the Jewish-Arab school “Hand in Hand” near Beit Safafa in Jerusalem says “نرفض ان نكون اعداء” ” מסרבים להיות אויבים” means “(we) refuse to be enemies”*. This kind of sign is only one example of the things from Israel you won’t see in those sites.

      (*Elliot – please, confirm. The school is opposite to Faradus, in the way to Gilo).

      (I am unable to post comments within the thread, so I copied the whole thing here).

      Gilo is a settlement with the modern facilities that are the birthright of Jewish Jerusalemites. Bet Safafa is yet another neglected East Jerusalem Palestinian village. Just drive through its alleyways and streets.

      I marched from West Jerusalem to Sheikh Jarrah under that sign. I was lucky it was the week that the Israeli police did not attack the marchers.

      We are not going to help you cover up Israel's nakedness by spending time talking about this or that fig leaf. You can shout "anti-Semitism" until you are blue in the face. Nobody outside your bubble is buying it.

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  • Terrifying tweets of pre-Army Israeli teens
    • @hophmi,
      Where is the outcry in Israel against this kind of talk? This kind of racism is accepted in Israel.
      Netanyahu made the claim that Jews are better than Arabs because, unlike Arabs, Jews don't gloat over the death of their enemies.
      Without David's expose we might have missed that Netanyahu is a lying racist.

  • Beating Palestinian boys 'to a pulp' is a tradition among Israeli forces
    • How can Israel have “border police” when they have no borders?
      LOL! The only border that matters is the one between Jews and Palestinians. Policing that border is the mandate of the Border Police.

  • State Dep't says it 'remains shocked' by Abu Khdeir beating
    • why were the faces of the cops covered in the video.
      That does seem to indicate special forces, the Israeli equivalent of a SWAT team or a Shin Bet team that needs to protect their identity. It certainly points away from the Israeli claim that this was a routine riot control squad. The goons should have waited to haul Tarek into a cell before beating him up. Or is that how flagrant the Israelis have become. They don't feel the need to hide their crimes, just to make sure the culprits' identities are protected.

  • Contradicting Israeli officials, family of Tarek Abu Khdeir says he was attacked while in uncle's Jerusalem backyard
    • Yonah,
      The Palestinian boy who covers his face is suspect:
      The Israeli thug in uniform who covers his face while brutalizing the Palestinian boy is therefore... less culpable?
      Jewish exceptionalism.

  • After brutal police beating, Palestinian-American Tarek Abu Khdeir, 15, sentenced to home arrest without charge
    • Elizabeth, we only got to see Tarek three days after he was attacked. He looks pretty bad to me. Can't imagine what he looked like in hospital right after the attack.

    • Had Netanyahu been less of a bully and more of a man, he would have visited Shuafat right after Mohammed was murdered. He could have given a speech and embraced the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem as brothers. He might have headed off this blow up.
      Annie's conjecture that the policemen who brutalized Tarek were sent there to terrorize Mohammed's family is not unreasonable. As we cans see, the Israeli government's strategy is to pummel Hamas, Gaza and the Palestinians into submisson. Tarek's case is emblematic.

    • Yes, Ellen.
      Another revealing detail: this time, even the Hasbara machine wasn't able to fake the lie that Israel's Palestinian citizens are equal under the law.
      Shu'afat was annexed by Israel and its residents are, per Israel, Israelis. When three Israeli (Jewish) teens are murdered, the Prime Minister speaks at the funeral; when rockets fell on the Israeli (Jewish) town of Sderot, a senior minister, Ya'ir Lapid, visited in a show of official support.
      But when an Israeli (Palestinian) boy is brutally murdered, Israeli (Jewish) government officials are nowhere to be found. No wonder the residents of Shu'afat are terrified. I would be on the streets too if my government abandoned me to the goons.

  • Video: Jewish mob chanting 'Death to Arabs!' stops cars in Jerusalem to check drivers' ethnicity
    • @stephen,
      Good question. You are far more likely to find Palestinian taxi drivers than passengers in the heart of West Jerusalem. See my post above.

    • There are many Palestinian taxi drivers in West (Jewish) Jerusalem. They must have been terrified. For instance, in the middle of the large neighborhood of Gilo (at the southern end of Jerusalem, annexed by Israel and legally, a West Bank settlement), there are two competing taxi cab companies. One is staffed, mostly by Palestinian drivers. The owners of the medallions, of course, are Jewish. (The other employs Jews only and advertises its racially discriminatory hiring policy as a selling point.) These cabs connect Gilo to the center of Jerusalem, where these thugs were in action.

  • Video: Israeli border police brutally beat Palestinian youth (Update)
    • I was raised in the Jewish community to accuse all Germans of the Holocaust. "They knew what the Nazis were doing. Why did they say nothing?" Of course, that's nonsense. But look at the blatant hypocrisy of all those fine American Jews who delicately turn a blind eye now that it's the Jews who are the racist, murderous thugs.

      Meanwhile, Rabbi Jacobs who fought tooth and nail to save the Occupation from the hands of the Presbyterians issues lofty statements:
      link to urj.org
      With no evidence, he judges the murder of the three Jews teens as "senseless". He then implies that the Palestinians are Nazis.
      Another plausible reading of the kidnappings is that the three were seized as bargaining chips, like Gilad Shalit. They were only shot when the kidnappers feared they had been busted by the 9-1-1 call. But that reading doesn't fit into the narrative that the only reason the Palestinians could fight the Israelis is because the Palestinians are just anti-Semites.
      Thanks for your vision and spiritual leadership, Rabbi.

  • Missing Israeli teens found dead near Hebron; Netanyahu: 'Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay'
    • If I remember correctly, there is a statue of Nathan Hale at Yale where he studied briefly. He dropped out to serve in the war. Hale blew his mission by going into a bar in New York on day 1 and mouthed off over a pint of beer about why he was in town. One of the people at the bar turned him in to the British.

    • "Well, I have to keep in mind how little feel I have for life in the OT. I just have to remember that it must be worse than I can imagine."

      Thank you Martin. I appreciated your sensitivity and thoughtful attitude.

  • The case for a BDS coalition
    • If the State of Israel can survive without racial and religious discrimination, then that's up to Israel to prove. Jerry Haber believes it is possible and desirable. Most people here oppose a state that discriminates against its own citizens. Since you do care about the State of Israel, go ahead and support Jerry. Do you oppose his call because, unlike him, you prefer a racist state to one that provides equal rights for all?

  • 'Haaretz' conference trumpets tired word 'Peace' (when the only solution is 'equality')
    • Jon,
      You feel the "peace movement" is engaged in a Sisyphean task. I think that's the general sentiment here too: it's pointless.
      Without a baseline commitment to equality, the cause of "peace" keeps crashing down on your heads.
      The Bible would appear to agree. If you don't shun evil and just turn to "seeking peace", you will be pursuing an elusive goal.
      "They say: 'peace, peace' - but there is no peace." (Jeremiah 6:14)

    • J-Live:
      "The rich minorities control the gov'ment
      But they would have you believe we on the same team"

  • Reform Jews offer no proposal to end occupation, says Jewish Voice for Peace
    • Jon and Yonah,
      Outside a tight-knit religious denomination, no one is in charge of a core Jewish curriculum, so it's meaningless to insist on this or that knowledge. So insisting on it is really just one more way of labeling who is and who is not "one of us".
      In my experience, those Jews who have heard the name "Heschel" know him only for his booklet on the Sabbath and, of course, his march with King.
      Hardly a robust grasp of who the man was.

      The insinuation is that Mondoweiss's mislabeling of the Heschel photo casts doubt on the validity of this Jewish discourse. Ipcha mistabra, the opposite is true. This is THE Jewish discourse of our times. Phil and the rest of us here are becoming better educated than all those well-educated Jews who reel off quotes from Bible to Buber.

    • I don't play the game of what a Jew should/should not know. Seems pointless to me. There are so many different types of Jew and there is no one size fits all. I'm much happier with Jews who care about justice. I'm happier with anyone who does. It's not just about Zionism, certainly not in American terms.
      Regarding your inquiry, I don't know about N.Y, but I don't suppose it was so different to Chicago. After all, the same interests were at stake. Beryl Satter in Family Properties documents the resistance of the Jewish establishment in Chicago to Rabbi Marx and his progressives. The establishment Jews were no different to the WASP establishment and the Daley machine who closed ranks against Martin Luther King in 1968. So now, for the spiritual heirs of that Jewish establishment to parade King as if none of this ever happened is to mock King's battles.

    • Yonah,
      I first encountered Heschel through his scholarship. Most American Jews who know the name first encountered him in the context that Phil references him. Hechel's memory is used to inspire "social justice" today, but also as an icon of the sacred pact between the Jew and the Black man in the 1960s. This is highly political and manipulative. It blocks out the many Jews and Jewish institutions who were worked against Blacks and benefitted from their misery 50 years ago.
      I don't see why you place value on which Jew is and which Jews is not familiar with a name from the 60s. I'd be suspicious of anybody who was too conversant in Abraham Joshua Heschel and his march with Martin Luther King.

    • Jon:
      Good catch. He is known by his full name as Abraham Joshua Heschel. I wouldn't insist on clergy titles though. Both men transcended that.

    • This is a major endorsement for Jewish Voice for Peace. Rabbi Yoffie is still one of the top rabbis in America. And he credits JVP with pushing the Presbyterian vote through.
      Per Yoffie,where would the Christians be without the Jews?

  • 75% of visitors to Israel's Canada Park believe it is located inside the Green Line (it's not)
    • @Mikhael,
      I do not share your concern about Palestinians forgetting that Masjid Bilal bin Rabah is a Jewish shrine. They can just look at the Israeli military checkpoint and the Jewish pilgrims.

      Thanks to this thread, I learned for the first time that קבר רחל, Rachel's Tomb, has an Arab name too and is venerated by Muslims. It took Mondoweiss to teach me its Palestinian name. Who would have thought it: in all my years of Jewish and general education, I had never heard the name " Masjid Bilal bin Rabah."

      Thank you, Phil Weiss and Mahane Yehuda!

    • @Mahane Yehuda,
      We should also require Australian aborigines to master the history of Melbourne and Native Americans to know all about New York. As if the Palestinians don't know all about Rachel's Tomb.

      Thank you Zochrot for the fantastic work you are doing. And to Charles Kamen for making this available to us in English. Give us more!

      Kudos to Eitan and Rabbi Jeremy!

  • 'Forward' editor says Presbyterian vote was anti-Semitic
    • Oleg,
      What are you doing over here at Mondoweiss discussing "The War of Ideas in the Middle East"?
      Russia and Ukraine are calling.

    • @ Yonah,
      What gave offense in Piotr's profile of the people who fund the Jewish community?
      Jewish organizations serve a vital role in keeping the Jewish community misinformed and uninformed about Israel/Palestine. This has a knock on effect on the general population that supplements the control systems in place there. Piotr was just describing how it works, not proposing a strategy for how to address the BDS bogeyman.

    • "The Presbyterian action is probably not going to measurably hurt Israel. But it has understandably hurt Jews."

      Cute bravado. i.e. "so you won. Big deal. You won nothing. All you succeeded in doing was to make me feel bad." If Presbyterian divestment is so insignificant, why did the organized Jewish community invest so much energy in its failed attempt to stop it?

      It's too bad that Jane Eisner fell back into deploying 'anti-Semitism' to impugn the motives of the PCUSA. She has done good work at the Forward and in public settings expanding the scope of what can be heard in the Jewish community.

  • Israel maintains gag order in missing teens' case, leading to charge of media 'manipulation'
    • The Nahshone Vachsman case is significant because it epitomizes Israel's objectification of Israeli prisoners. At the time, the Israeli government was widely criticized for attacking rather than negotiating with his abductors. Israel routinely chooses to shoot to kill. In a cold-blooded analysis, given the Israeli preference for killing rather than detaining or negotiating, it is more likely that the kidnappers killed their victims.
      The Gil'ad Shalit case stands out as the exception because Gaza is a much safer hideout than the West Bank.

  • Reform Jewish leader offers alternative to Presbyterian divestment: meet Netanyahu
    • Rick Jacobs looks like a Presbyterian pastor. He doesn't have a messy beard or wear outlandish ritual objects. One of the pro-Israel commissioners pointed out that Jacobs has the same liberal commitments as Presbyterians. The one exception to Reform Judaism's mainstream Protestantism is Jewish nationalism, the supreme value which trumps all else. Reform Judaism has managed to dupe itself into believing that Zionism trumps liberal values and that their otherwise liberal values gives them room to indulge in Israeli racism, apartheid and theocracy. Pastor Jacobs almost pulled it off.
      The fact that the Presbyterians invited Jacobs to speak to the plenary and to distribute his letter and anointed him as an honorary commissioner should be enough to dispel Jewish accusations. The Presbyterians handicapped its pro-divestment camp, and they still won.
      It's time for Jacobs (his post yesterday), the AJC, and all the other Jewish orgs to stop attacking the Presbyterians. The mainstream Jews played with an advantage and still lost.
      Quit whining.

  • 'Kill those who rise up to kill us' -- a prime minister's chilling tweet
    • In Judaism, this phrase is applied to situations where you are not in immediate danger, but dealing with a person engaged in nefarious activities who might endanger you. In the Talmud, Sanhedrin 72b, it is a nighttime burglar. If you confront the thief, he might kill you. The Talmud gives the homeowner permission to use lethal force in confronting the intruder. The earlier, biblical source for this is God's command to the Israelites to pre-emptively attack their enemy, the Midianites.
      Yet there are other Jewish sources that outlaw murder and that welcome the Midianites as family.
      Trust Netanyahu, a secular, Israeli politician, to co-opt an ancient religious text and distort Jewish sources in order to justify his killing of Palestinians.

  • Ambiguity on the Jerusalem train
    • Zach S,
      Apartheid reigns in the West Bank. Jerusalem's light rail is a step forward to bringing the two parts of the city together. However, it doesn't change all the discrimination that is obvious if you just take a walk through East Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a microcosm of Israel's massive financial, political and military investment in turning Israel-Palestine into one state. There will be some benefits in this emerging single state to Palestinians alongside the discrimination.
      Blacks in apartheid South Africa also got goodies, particularly in the big cities.

  • Let it go
    • @Keith,
      Tribalism is a constant of any group. Look at sports teams or, for that matter, commenters on blogs. You referenced some of the Jewish religious response to modernity. (A note on your terminology: The Christian church was "Reformed"; the 19h century Jewish response to modernity was styled as "Reform".) There are others. And there were, and continue to be, non-religious responses.
      To reduce non-Israeli Jewry to fading tribalism is straight out of the Zionist ideological playbook. This rejection of modern Judaism also ignores a heck of a lot of evidence, past and ongoing.

    • @ Krauss,
      I don't think it's even true that American Jews can't "let it go" because they believe your statement to be true (even though they act in ways that are self-fulfilling of this prognosis). Consider for a moment why a much larger group, namely, Christian Americans, can't let it go. Surely, they are not obsessed with Jewish continuity too.
      The answer lies elsewhere.

    • Also, the justification for a Jewish state is anti-Semitism. So, your argument is that Judaism cannot survive in a free and open world. This is the challenge that modernity posed to Judaism ever since the walls of the ghetto came tumbling down, going back to the 1780s Berlin. This problem is now in its third century and likely will be around for centuries to come.

    • @krauss,
      You seem to have overlooked the experience of the last 30 years. Reform Judaism (and other streams) embraced interfaith families with remarkable success. There would be no Reform movement today without the Jewish children of interfaith couples. These families' commitment to Judaism cannot be said to be predicated on anti-Semitism.
      There are several other important developments that show it is premature to mourn the death of non-Orthodox or non-Israeli Judaism.
      Having a non-Jewish girlfriend does not spell the end of the Jewish People, even for the Orthodox.

    • @Shuki,
      "Self-hatred"
      As others have already commented, it's not "hatred." Phil explained in the article why it's not "self-". Truth of the matter that Israelis don't care about American Jews, so you are in no position to reprimand an American Jew for recognizing the gap between the two cultures.

    • "Generational change will occur, but mostly among activists and the people described here are not activists."
      Why will generational change be limited to activists and why do activists need generational change in the first place? My demographic is different to yours and Phil's yet I see the same lack of interest as in his circle and Israel's general lack of relevance. Outside of the hardcore, this is a societal - not activist - shift. The activists are the ones who do care, the ones who travel to I/P and talk about BDS. Many of those started out in the the hardcore Israel - kids with strong Jewish backgrounds, Israelis and so on. Look at the very strong Jewish backgrounds of the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace or, more recently, Open Hillel.

  • Dershowitz disqualifies an entire continent from supporting BDS, citing history of 'Jew hatred'
    • yonah: "millions who had clung to the old identity for the mere sake of the old identity"

      After WWI, my grandparents moved to central Europe from Eastern Europe. They became more acculturated if not assimilated. During that period, the The millions of Jews who flocked to the major cities of Warsaw, Vienna and so on went through a similar process. Many abandoned or shed layers of religion. Their sense of being Jewish was also a function of legal and social anti-Semitism. They were Jewish because everybody said so.

      Your formulation of who died in the Holocaust is common in the Orthodox world.

  • Jeff Goldberg gets hit from right and left for suggesting Jews should leave Europe
    • Thanks for changing your position. So you now agree in this instance there is nothing ridiculous in suggesting that this may have been yet another Israeli assassination.

    • Yonah,
      Just because your theory happened to be right doesn't make the other guy's theory worthy of ridicule. At least you guys were trading in theories. Netanyahu was flinging around accusations as if he had all the facts before anybody knew anything for sure.

  • Blacklisted by the 'Jewish community' over Israel, the Shondes take their stand
    • "Ditzy kids"

      The Jewish community is in a state of grave concern ranging to panic over the steady and deep decline in affiliation, particularly among the young. These same you people are increasingly disinterested in the rightwing holy dyad of Holocaust + Israel. Just check out the Pew survey on trends in the Jewish community. So you better get used to "ditzy kids" who are in to Jewish stuff. They aren't going away, if you're lucky.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel protest draft in Tel Aviv as passersby tell them to die or emigrate
    • Thanks, Just.

    • Way before the horse. Israeli combat soldiers spend most of their deployment time on the West Bank. The Israeli military's primary responsibility is enforcing the Occupation. Its secondary role is periodically invading Lebanon and Gaza. The IDF protects Israel? Nah. Its existential security needs are guaranteed by the U.S. Sixth Fleet, U.S. patriot missile batteries and U.S. intelligence.
      Israel's military draft and the overblown place of the military in Israel life are part of the problem. Solve the Palestinian issue and there is no need for the draft.
      Which sick mind wants to extend the draft to the people who are the target of the army in the first place?

    • It has nothing to do with affluence or with relative liberal values. When it comes to the military, you are attacking the heart of the nation. Particularly, right outside the Kirya, the command center of the Israeli military. Imagine what would happen if you went to an affluent suburb outside a major US military base and demonstrated against US militarism.

  • Dr. Ruth says she might shoot you if you don't support Israel
  • In Brussels whodunnit, Netanyahu irresponsibly claims anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic motive
    • Yonah, your piece is an exercise in irresponsibility as a layman or as any man. First you defend the anti-Semitic theory as perhaps not worthy of a professional but good enough for you (and for the rest us). Then you rely on your theory as fact. Then you retreat into humility.
      Why bother?

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • @biorabbi,
      The pope did not equate Israel's treatment of the Palestinians with the Warsaw ghetto. What is unforgivable to you is that the grafitti did not stop him praying at the separation wall. Words, as you say are important, but not more important than concrete reality.
      Ignoring someone else's words and reducing them to the people they relate to and their ethnic identification appears to me to be a classic example of racism. Re-read your last comment to me for an example of that kind of attitude.

    • @biorabbi,
      I am a Jew, very involved in the Jewish community, highly educated in Jewish text and a child of Holocaust survivors and I have no problem with this image. So save the anti-Semitism accusation for the real thing.
      I am moved by the image of the pope praying at the separation wall. There is an equivalence between the ignorance of Germans about the Holocaust (that Jews complained about in the decades after WWII) and the ongoing wilful denial of Jews to see the war crimes of Israel beyond the separation wall. As Friedlander pointed out, you can't accept Netanyahu's habitual use of the Holocaust as a political weapon and then say you are "sickened" when the Palestinians finally use the same imagery.

    • How ungracious of Netanyahu. Instead of simply thanking his guest for doing the "victims of arab terror" stop, he has to blow his own horn. The implication being that Netanyahu is the man who stands against the world's apathy towards the killing of Jews. Without Netanyahu's 'invitation', the pope would have blithely ignored Jewish victims of terrorism.
      As Ellen just wrote on another thread in response to Mahaneh Yehudah, this is yet another display of Netanyahu's paranoia and narcissism.

  • Netanyahu says Jews invented the idea of 'honoring your father and mother'
    • 'Continuity' as it is used today is a recent buzz word coming out of the demise of anti-Semitism. In the modern world, there are no external pressures (laws/social norms) that will shape a Jewish community, hence all the Jewish anxiety about 'continuity.' Quite different to what you find in the Bible. Anyway, I don't know if other religions do (or do not) have a similar focus on teaching kids the stories of the ancestors. I'd hazard a guess that this is - along with filial piety - at least not uncommon, if not pretty universal.
      Jews, or their ancient forbears, didn't invent filial piety or continuity and Jews don't hold a monopoly on either one.

    • When Netanyahu says Jesus spoke Hebrew, he means, just like modern Israelis. Actually, Biblical and Rabbinic Hebrew, while sharing vocabulary and using the same alphabet, are quite different languages to Israeli Hebrew - as Zuckerman himself has shown. Good for the pope for slowing Netanyahu down.

  • Notice who is welcoming the Pope, and who is outraged
    • "the Pope is coming as an adversary to Jewish interests "
      Yonah, to the extent that you defend Israeli Jewish animosity to Christianity, why is sharing a prayer space a threat to Jews? Two hours a day sounds very reasonable. This location is the site of a foundational Christian miracle. Honoring that will show respect, engender goodwill and contribute to harmonious relations between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Christians. Why would any sane, decent Jew want to mess with that?

  • Pope watch: Incendiary flyer passed out in Jerusalem says Francis's visit is against Jewish law
    • The author of this letter smears all Christian prayer when he calls it "idle worship." I know for a fact some services are very energized and are anything but "idle." Therefore, I can't trust anything else he writes.
      Nice opening paragraph. How appropriate to address Francis frankly.

  • Friedlander's 'plain speaking' on Israeli trends (per Bromwich)
    • "He sees the catastrophe not as a unique instance of something non-Jews did to Jews, but as an extreme instance of something people have done to other people, and still are capable of doing, anywhere."

      This is a restatement of Hannah Arendt's conclusion in "Eichmann in Jerusalem". For taking the Holocaust out of the Jewish domain and making it a universal issue she was shunned by Israel and Zionists. 50+ years later, this is not the point that is going to stoke controversy.

  • Apartheid label is reminiscent of runup to Holocaust -- Michael Oren
    • Y'know, the situation of the Israelite slaves in ancient Egypt was complex. It's not fair to lay all the blame on one party.
      First of all, the Israelites may have had less rights than ethnic Egyptians but they were better off than their brethren in surrounding areas. That's why they moved to Goshen in the first place, to escape famine elsewhere. The slaves' standard of living was higher than anywhere else. Even their holy book, the Torah, tells how, later, after they had left Egypt, the Israelites complained that the food was better back home in Egypt.
      Secondly, The slave leader Moses was a militant extremist. He once killed an Egyptian man and hid the body. He lied in negotiations with Pharoah, claiming all he wanted was a travel permit for a three day religious holiday. When Pharoah agreed to Moses' terms, Moses packed up everything with the clear intention of never coming back. When Pharoah came after Moses to hold him to their deal, Moses got his god to kill Pharoah and wipe out his entire army.
      Moses was a violent extremist and could not be trusted to keep his promises.
      How could you negotiate with such a man?
      It's complicated. There are two sides to every story.

  • 'NYT' publishes unvarnished ADL propaganda: 93% of Palestinians are anti-Semites
    • 1) For years, the ADL has worked hard to convince us that anti-Semitism in America was still a potent threat. Is the ADL's large investment in the Global 100 survey an implicit admission that that is no longer the case?

      2) I'd be interested to see a comparative survey of the same people answering questions about ethnic (and other forms of bias) alongside anti-Semitism. This might illuminate anti-Semitic beliefs as a marker of other forms of bias. For instance, if the same percentage of ethnic Spaniards hate Jews as much as they hate Basques, we could apply the ADL's research on anti-Semitism toward understanding that conflict.

      3) Regarding the methodology, I find it odd that you need to rack up at least 6 positives to be an anti-Semite. If the markers are so egregious, wouldn't one be enough. Using the N word isn't just a contributing factor, it is in itself a gross violation. So the ADL's premise feels like witch-hunting, working from the assumption that there are hidden anti-Semites lurking everywhere (with the exception of 99% of Laos).

      4) Expecting people on the other side of the world to know about the Holocaust when we don't care to know anything about their tragedies and genocides is an example of Marker #10: we talk too much about the Holocaust. There, I admitted it. I'm at least one sixth anti-semitic.

  • Jerusalem authorities ask Catholics to take down banner welcoming Pope Francis
  • Long faces at Israel's birthday party
    • Yes. It's the simple truth. Even the Reform movement which elevates faith in God more than any other movement now accepts atheist (Humanist) congregations into its ranks.
      The only dogma today is the Jewish State. That's why the flag of the State of Israel is next to the Torah.

  • Don't destroy our dream-castle Israel! (Why the Jewish establishment shut out J Street)
    • This shines a light on the rift between the people who finance the Jewish community and the spiritual leaders. 800 rabbis have publicly identified with J Street despite its perceived edginess in many of their congregations. It's likely that many more are secret admirers. So far, it's clear who's been calling the shots.

  • John Kerry and the Pope set to face off with Jewish Knight Templars on the Temple Mount
    • Since as long as I can remember Israelis have rallied around freeing Jewish prisoners. In the 70s it was Anatoly Sharansky was the face of the refuseniks, and by extension, all Soviet Jews. in the 80s and 90s it was Ron Arad, the Israeli airman shot down during Israel's war on the PLO in Lebanon. Jonathan Pollard is another icon in the pantheon of Jewish prisoners whom we must set free.
      There is a venerable Jewish tradition of pidyon sh'vuyim, freeing Jewish prisoners from non-Jewish hands. The premise is that the Jew is innocent of anything but being Jewish so the Jewish community rallies to bring him home. The State of Israel fulfills its mission and finds its identity in living out this value.
      Problem is we're talking about soldiers and spies, not innocent Jews.
      I don't believe Netanyahu actually gives two hoots about Pollard. Ask not what we can do for the Jews of the world, ask what they can do for us.

  • Snowden revealed a world of conspiracies I once would have scoffed at-- Bryan Burrough
    • "We saw the same thing in the smears and attacks against Greenwald in the aftermath of the Snowden story. I was stunned by the spectacle of elite journalists more or less accusing Greenwald of treason on live TV time and again."
      Exactly so. What if Edward Snowden had not succeeded in staying out of the hands of the US government long enough for the story to gain traction? Last summer and fall Glenn Greenwald wrote repeatedly, lambasting his media colleagues in the most derisive terms for their failure to act responsibly as journalists. Here we are, less than a year later and he has been transformed into their darling.
      It is telling how much the US media is in bed with the US government (see also the NY Times and the Iraq war) that a foreign newspaper had to start a US operation in order to give Glenn Greenwald his institutional media home.
      I rely on The Guardian and CBC (radio) for my American political news.

  • Some pro-Israel images to ease you into the weekend
    • Those silly Israeli soldiers.
      How will those olive green fatigues camouflage them on that lush, green lawn?

  • A Jew's dead dog has more rights than a Bedouin in the Negev
    • The one headstone that the Goldog website shows celebrates the friendship and fidelity of "Dusty". Another American fantasy: suburbia on the West Bank, now, American-named Jewish dogs "resting in their eternal resting place in the bosom of nature."
      The hardcore settlers must detest this self-indulgence as much as they abhor Christian fundies. But when you are in the Zionist business, you must take help wherever you can get it: from Hagee to Micronesia to Dusty.

  • When you watch football, you are complicit in violent assault
    • We were driving past the big football stadium and this is how I explained it to my pre-school child:
      Lots and lots of people come to watch a bunch of people play with a ball. There is only one ball. But only 20 or so players get to play. Everybody else just sits on the side and watches. The 22 people fight over the ball constantly. Some of the people who try to get the ball get boo-boos from the other people.
      She got it. At least for now.

  • Fact-checking Jeffrey Goldberg: the American Jewish unanimity on Israel
    • Ok, so why doesn't Rabbi Weintraub do something about #2, "demonization. " She is one of the four leaders of a "big tent" JCPA initiative that is all about #1 "avoiding JVP".

      Good for her, she doesn't do #3, " villifying those she disagrees with."

  • Jon Stewart plays 'Let's break a deal' with AIPAC
    • @ Krauss.
      Jon Stewart lost me a few years ago when he had Pevez Musharraf on his show to promote a new book. The value of this piece is that since he is a lightweight - and a successful one - it means that AIPAC no longer rules the mainstream.

  • BDS: The best hope for a true peace
    • Thank you for this thought-provoking analysis. I'd be interested to read comments from people who are more knowledgeable than me about Algeria and Zimbabwe.

  • Reactions to Ariel Sharon's death over social media (Updated)
    • Kalithea, I am not so sure. I'm reading Howard Zinn's People History of the United States. As you may know, it's packed with monumental deceptions that I, for one, had never heard of previously.

    • With so many of our national leaders saddened and in mourning, will they lower the stars and stripes to half mast?

    • Oh, the ever-cautious, nice J Street. Note the absence of any details or judgement in the perfunctory reference to the man's worst crimes. Sharon was the father of West Bank colonization. This is his baby more than anybody else's. And the J Street statement leads one to wonder what happened in his Lebanon adventure of 1982, if anything at all.

      "Sharon will be remembered for many things - his bold thrust across the Suez Canal during the war of 1973, his role in planning the vast expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank and his tenure as Defense Minister, when he presided over the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

  • Ariel Sharon, whose political career was unhindered by civilian massacres, dies at 85
    • Actually, as criminal as he was in life, he didn't deserve this prolonged death. Anybody else would have been taken off the machines long ago. The manipulation of his comatose body for political benefit by his own family was cruel and self-serving. Now it's time to give him a decent burial.
      It's a sign of how terrible Sharon was, that even postponing the inevitable for eight years has done nothing to clear his name. Actually, had he been allowed to die in peace eight years ago, he would have gotten better tributes for getting out of Gaza. Now, it's obvious that there's nothing to choose from between him and Netanyahu. Let the false pieties flow.

  • My Disillusionment with Hillel: Feeling censored and unwelcomed in the Jewish community
  • 'Haaretz' says many Orthodox are taught to see non-Jews as 'not quite human'
    • I should have stated at the end of my post that Haredi and Israeli insularity obviously do not result inevitably in this kind of crime or attempt to . There are sleazy types everywhere. But I do think that American Jews tend to fantasize Israel as more authentically Jewish because they see it as an all-Jewish society and the authentic heir to the supposed all-Jewish world of their ancestors. There are all sorts of problems with these dangerous fantasies, not least is that the fantasy does not match reality.

    • @Yonah -
      I cannot afford to carelessly destroy all racism, but must instead understand it

      Why?

      All Woody was attacking was racism. Why did you get defensive about Judaism?

    • I was going to post this on the excellent Idan Raichel discussion, but it works here too.
      I know secular, self-styled leftie Israelis who hate the Occupation, have Arab friends, don't serve in the army. They read The Guardian. They live in West Jerusalem's hip enclave of the German Colony with like-minded folk. Yet they still feel it is their duty to promote Israel's good name. I suppose they are trying to project their bubble existence. They wouldn't call what they do Hasbara, except in quotes. They are not radicals. They don't want to through the pain of declaring for Palestinian solidarity and the high social price that entails. Bottom line, it is Hasbara. Without the quotes.
      I think "Hasbarah" is a secularized form of "kiddush hashem/chilul hashem" (Sanctifying/profaning the Name). Every Orthodox child, from Satmar to the most liberal Modern Orthodox is taught to always make the community look good. The good name of the community (or, God, as they put it) rests on the shoulders of every member of the community. If they misbehave in public, they are shamed with: "what you are doing is a chilul hashem!"
      Israelis adopted certain mindsets from pre-modern Jewish life. Even though they would vigorously deny that the New Hebrew Man kept anything from the shtetl. I think that's what Phil is getting at in exposing Satmar. The Us vs. Them construction that justifies all manner of wrongdoing comes inevitably from this carefully constructed and rigorously enforced sense of "us". The damage done is a function of the power of the community. For Satmar, it's a landlord scandal. In Israel, it could start a new Mid East war.

  • A bible park grows in (occupied) Jerusalem
    • Richb, you beat me to it. Emek Shaveh is the go-to website for apolitical archeology at Silwan. The story Elad sells is flattering to Jewish ears and would be lovely if it were true. Do we know that the tower of rough hewn stones is the original "Zion" or is that just a myth the messianic settlers offer secular Israelis to justify Zionism?
      @yrn - you gotta be kidding. Palestine is covered in ancient sites and artifacts that have absolutely nothing to do with Jewish or Israelite history.

    • I confess that I did this tour a few years ago. It's impressive and very political. With a h/t to Seafoid: the Disneyfication of Israel continues full steam ahead. In the good old days, when I was a kid, we would wander through the Silwan waterway. I suppose as Israeli Jews we were not welcome guests. Still, we were kids and we weren't carrying guns. The site then was completely undeveloped. It was wonderful to get down there in the boiling summer and walk through the icy water.
      Now, it is a fortress with security cameras and guards, walls and turnstiles. It's an odd combination of privatization and settler colonization. Like a cruise's private beach in Haiti. Carribean paradise fenced off from Haitian misery. But also like a settlement, fenced in with technology, protected by the army and armed settlers.
      Other sites have gone through the same kind of commercialization and are used as tools of indoctrination. I used to play in the blown up bunkers and trenches of the Castel fortress just west of Jerusalem. I remember balancing on a huge concrete slab that was hanging by a couple of metal rods. It was quite unsafe and there were no fences barring my entry. I would imagine the battles in 1948 between the Jewish and Arab forces. Today it is a national (Jewish) monument. It is safe and official and has become a tool of indoctrination. You are told exactly what to think.
      I'm sure the soldiers you saw there were on some tour of indoctrination, a key function of Israeli military service.

      Btw, it is "Shiloah". "Shiloh" is to the north and is unrelated.

  • Israel aims to silence growing international criticism with Texas A&M deal in Nazareth
    • @David. Fair enough and, for the sake of the students, I hope the project succeeds and grows.
      But it still highlights the structural problem of the Jewish state. In Israel, Jewish universities are endowed by wealthy American Jews, Arab universities go to the American Christians. Israel is still the project of Judeo-Christian Zionists overseas.

  • JNF on why blue box has no green line: 'This doesn’t say this is a map of Israel'
    • @Ritzl - no, no change was forthcoming. My friend had asked me to call the local JNF rep who, I was told, was eager to answer my questions. I said that I didn't have any questions. I had an opinion based on facts. If the rep wanted to engage in conversation with me, I'd be happy to take his call. So, that didn't go anywhere.
      Also, unfortunately, ToivoS, you are are right. My Israeli friend and I were once close, meeting on a weekly basis for dinner and so on but our circumstances have changed and the friendship has not withstood those changes. The unpleasantness over Israel has not helped. We've each tried many times to stay in touch and be close. But the Israel stuff kept on rearing its ugly head. On both sides. The thing that was our strongest connection, "Israeliness", became the bone of contention. He eventually grew bitter. I suppose I was combative (as in the JNF conversation). His wife is a former leftie, hence her eagerness to put the JNF argument to the test. But I think she has buried that history to make the marriage work. Also, ultimately, you have to give up a lot to be Israeli and honestly pro-justice. I understand that due to her history and current circumstances, her pull to stay connected is stronger than my own. I don't have any facts on the Israeli diaspora this but I expect like all diasporas, it's harder to be flexible when you don't live there. Just look at the (fictional) diaspora of American Jews.

    • True story.
      A few years ago, I as debating this point with an Israeli friend in the U.S. I said: the JNF plants trees on both sides of the Green Line. He said: no. His wife was in the next room on the phone with her brother. Her brother lives on (an extreme rightwing) settlement on the West Bank. She called out to us: hold on, let me ask my brother. Her settler brother's answer: I'm in my living room and I'm looking through the window at a JNF sign in front of a bunch of trees right now.

  • Roger Cohen (who doesn't live there) explains the need for 'my Jewish state'
    • OlegR who is a Zionist (and who doesn't live here) comments regularly on an American blog about undoing America's co-dependence with a "Jewish State".

      But that somehow makes sense to him.

  • Simon Wiesenthal Center calls Falk, Walker, Waters, Blumenthal and ASA anti-Semites
    • @Woody - thanks for making that point. What would the Wiesels, Foxmen and Wiesenthals do without anti-Zionism? If it didn't exist, they'd need to create it to justify their pulpits.

    • @Stephen -
      I think "holiness" is not the right term. The Hebrew word is "yochasin" (which gave birth to the Yiddish "yichus") translates somewhat archaically as "pedigree". But then again, the whole concept is archaic.

      The earliest Rabbinic source, the Mishnah lists the pedigrees thus:
      Ten pedigrees emigrated from Babylonia [to Palestine in the 6th century BC]
      Priestly, Levitical, [Ordinary] Jewish,
      Invalidated Priestly, Converted, Freed,
      Mamzeric [bastards], Nathinitic, Silent Ones and Foundlings.
      Priestly, Levitical and [Ordinary] Jewish
      (Mishnah, Tractate Kiddushin 4:1).

      The context is fitness for marriage within the Jewish community, a focus of this wave of immigration dating back to the Bible.

    • Do you know each other from the potato business? The Mahaneh Yehuda market in West Jerusalem is known coloquially as the "Shuk" (cognate of "souk").

  • El Al airlines promotes tourism in occupied territories
    • For what it's worth, the brilliant copyrighter who came up with this was likely working off the Hebrew. "El Al" is supposed to invoke "to the heights" through a loose use of the word "al" (on, upon, above).

  • African refugees hold up i.d. numbers, recalling Holocaust tattoos
    • "(Rabbi Judah Magnes) went to the States during the (1948) war for health reasons, although he also lobbied the Truman administration and the Jewish community to withdraw support from Israel."

      Thank you for that! Rabbi Magnes was an early proponent for sanctions against Israel. As a Jewish organization on university campuses Hillel should take note that:
      A. The concept of BDS is as old as the State of Israel
      B. BDS is as Jewish as it comes. The founder of Hebrew University instituted a prototype of BDS.

    • Thanks, Ira.
      While we are looking at the resonance of images, one should note that the biblical verse is set in Koren type. This distinctive type is familiar to Israelis from formal texts. In English language terms, Koren type not quite as grand as Gothic but is not for everyday use either. It was actually developed for the first Hebrew bible printed in Israel ("wiping away Jewish shame" at all the Christian=printed bibles as Ben Gurion put it). Curiously, the man who initiated the new print type was an American Reform rabbi Judah Magnes. Magnes moved to a Palestine as a Zionist. He objected vocally to Ben Gurion's aggression and went back home to the States in 1948 over an ideological rift with Israel.

  • Rage over ASA boycott shows, world has never punished Israel for human rights violations --Derfner
    • Thanks Annie for putting this together. It is odd that Larry Derfner who was so impressive in this piece on BDS still holds to the liberal Zionist argument that Israel does not need to answer for 1948. He reinforces his own argument that Israel cannot save the Palestinians or itself and so it's up to the rest of us to stand for justice.

  • 'WSJ' piece argues that Israeli Christians and Jews are aligned, but not Muslims
    • @yrn -
      Even your tone is colonialist.

    • @Mikhael,
      Welcome to the debate. We have several Russian-Israelis here.
      "Shirking" as you put it is becoming increasingly popular among young Israelis, particularly women. It is gaining increasing socially acceptance as the numbers soar. The army is happy not to have them. First, it doesn't need so many non-combatants (the overwhelming majority of soldiers), second, their indoctrination as Israelis is complete.
      Thirdly, there is no PR stunt to be won. It used to be the sexy girl soldier in cute white socks and a gun that sold Israel to the Americans and Europeans, then it was the platoon of bearded Haredi men. Now it's going to be priests singing Hatikva handing out Bibles (with or without the New Testament?)

    • @citizen et al
      my great great grandfather was one of those Russian Jews who evaded conscription by cutting off part of his thumb. We have a picture of him that shows it.

    • @dimadok -
      How many Palestinian Christians do you know?
      I am in touch with several Palestinian Christian leaders and they describe their reality and the place they occupy in Israel very differently to you. And for standing tall, Israel routinely humiliates them.

  • Shavit and Beinart willfully ignore an anti-Zionist Jewish movement
    • Schlemiel - you don't get Mondoweiss because you appear to reject a Judaism rooted in universal values. This is a world community of Jews and non-Jews, including Jews like myself who are also Israeli. I hope you stay curious and stick around.

    • @yonah
      You most likely know that Israeli settlers on the West Bank have also proposed 1 state solution. This is the only meaningful settler proposal, although it is not the democratic solution we are discussing here. The 1ss is the only viable one for ideological settlers as they cannot support a 2 state solution. They understand firsthand the 1 state reality that Israel created for them.
      Meanwhile the politicians play the game of pursuing pie in the sky.

  • Israeli rap warns vulnerable Jewish women about seductive, dangerous Arab men
    • Mahane Yehuda -
      Cut out the warm welcome act. Your winking play of Sephardi and Yiddish confirms for me what others have already posted: you are a troll. I hope both of you who make up your online presence are well paid for being a nuisance.

    • @mahaneh yehudah:
      "In contrary to you, I think that the fact the Muslims don’t allow non-Muslims men to marry Muslim women (or even to be friends) is also kind of racism. I agree with you, it exists in most Muslims societies and it is not specifically against Jews. "
      I hope you are enjoying your imaginary debate. I never said the first statement that you disagree with or the second statement that you do agree with.
      I am not the source for your unfounded claims.

    • @MahaneYehuda:
      Thank you for not contesting that there is Jewish racism against non-Jews in Israel.
      There is no parallel between this Jewish racism that we agree exists and any possible anti-Jewish racism (which you have not demonstrated). Israeli racism is official, backed by laws and the Israeli Jewish power structure. The second is societal and exists in some form or other most places I know.

    • @yrn
      "If this is the impression you got from the Israel society all you miserable life in Israel."
      I actually had a nice life as an Israeli Jew in Israel. Since leaving Israel, I have come to realize how much of that comfort was Jewish privilege made possible by disadvantaging non-Jews.
      To cite another religious example from Israel's international airport, it has a synagogue but no designated place for Christians and Muslims to pray. The same is true in Israeli hospitals. As the recent Knesset story showed, Palestinian religious life is made invisible in Israeli public spaces.
      In contrast, a devout relative of mine just told me that he prayed with tallit and tefillin in the multi-faith "Meditation Room" at Schiphol airport right next to a Muslim man who was performing his own prayers.
      In case you were wondering, I am managing just fine here in the U.S. without Israeli Jewish privilege.

    • Yet more racism from Israel.
      At Ben Gurion airport, some 49 VIP rabbis can be driven by their chauffeur up to the plane when flying overseas.
      No imams or priests enjoy this privilege.
      link to haaretz.co.il (Hebrew)

    • @ Konrad -
      Desperate indeed. This is a fantasy, exoticizing Arab leaders. No warning and no parallel whatsoever to Lehava's crude, inflammatory, racist warning to Jewish Israeli women.

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