Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1728 (since 2009-08-07 20:50:47)


Showing comments 1728 - 1701

  • Whose violence?
    • Silent and faceless. This image of five cowards hiding behind their veils. One brave man. And terrified. In a few seconds another bully with a gun, outside the frame, will approach this unarmed protester. He will shoot him in the right leg above the knee, at point blank range. All the bullies will then go home to tuck then kids in for the night before settling down to watch their day's work on television.

  • 'It's like military reserve duty': Jerusalem mayor calls on Israelis to carry guns as tension soars
    • @Jon -
      You are right. You obviously do not support the use of the Holocaust by Israel to justify its crimes.
      And you are right that you are not argumentative. That too is obvious.

    • @ RoHa - Yes, even the Gestapo in Denmark were not gung-ho about transporting Jews to the death camps (per Hannah Arentdt). And the Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church who cajoled the Bulgarian king to take a stand. There were other notable exceptions to the rule, as there are today in Israel.

    • @ a blah chick -
      Sure does! Although Jon will be quick to point out that there some new Palestinian developments that have red roofs too. So that makes it all alright, then.

    • @Jon -
      The conversation we were having was whether the marking of the Palestinians by the Israelis is comparable to the Nazi yellow star. I gave you a list and I could give you many more. The blue license gives the Israeli thugs in uniform a license to kill. Tell your fine distinctions to a Palestinian driver from Nablus who is routinely humiliated and risks his life every time he drives in his blue plate car. I'm sure it will make a big difference in the real world.

      "I agree regarding the Holocaust. We should be able to have a reasoned discussion without the hyperbole. Every enemy of Israel is not Hitler and everything wrong with Israeli society is not Nazi-like. "

      Cut out the smarmy attitude. We do not agree at all. You lie. You are very comfortable with Nazi language - so long as Israel is the one doing it in order to sanitize its terrible abuse of the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors.

    • On the West Bank, Jewish villages are easily distinguishable from non-Jewish ones by their red-roofed homes; Jewish cars carry (ironically) yellow license plates to distinguish them from the blue, non-Jewish plates; Jews carry guns, non-Jews don't; ID papers are different colors too.
      My guess is the next step for the start-up nation is to install chips in ID papers and/or cars which can be scanned from a distance so an undercover Shin Bet operative can unobtrusively scan a crowd for unfriendlies. Police monitoring a demonstration would use the technology to zero in on those who are not carrying the required IDs while getting an instant read on the personal details of everybody else. They could send a squad to arrest a demonstrator's kid brother before the demo is even over.
      I don't like dragging the Holocaust into this issue. It's personal for me. But this question is now on the table and Israelis, of all people, should be much more sensitive to openly marking minorities for discrimination. The yellow star served to mark Jews for the authorities and also to isolate them from the rest of the population. In Nazi Europe, who would ever dare show friendship or support to a Jew wearing a yellow star. Israel is pretty much there with the exception of a few brave souls.

    • When the violence against Jews gets bad, the Israelis flood Jerusalem with security guards. The security guards engage people in casual conversation. They are on the lookout for an Arab accent in Hebrew.
      I guess it was more difficult in Germany where Jews were culturally assimilated.

    • "Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, who was recently spotted holding a Glock in an East Jerusalem neighborhood, today suggested Israeli citizens prepare themselves for vigilantism and called for all Israelis..."

      Surely, Nir Barkat wasn't calling all Israelis to bear arms, only Jewish Israelis. If all Israelis were armed, it would be a shoot-out between the two sides.

  • Video: Undercover Israeli soldiers infiltrate Palestinian demonstration, beat protesters and shoot detainee in leg
    • It must have been 20 or 25 years ago when I was living in Israel that I read one of those military hero myths in the Israeli media. It was the story of an Israeli combat pilot - the most admired masculine role model in Israel. I think it was during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This pilot had been wounded in combat over Syria and lost his leg below the knee. He was taken prisoner but was eventually returned to Israel. The pilot vowed to return to active duty and after months of rehab he healed and flew his first sortie. The magazine article celebrated his grit.

      What has stayed with me all these years was the story of how that Israeli pilot lost his leg. His plane was shot down in a rural area over Syria. He parachuted to ground intact and was immediately surrounded by hostile people. He feared they were going to lynch him. A Syrian army officer broke through the crowd and took control. The Syrian officer pulled out his pistol as he approached the Israeli pilot. He said to him: "don't be afraid." And then shot him in the leg, smashing it beyond repair.
      I don't know if the Syrian officer felt the only way he could save the Israeli pilot from death by the mob was by hurting him or whether it was cold vindictiveness.

      This video reminded me of that story. The cowardice and utter evil of firing a gun into a man on the ground who is surrounded by overwhelming odds. What was gained by doing that? It's torture. And they do that in public in full view of the cameras. They have no fear of retribution. This was done to be seen. This was an act of terrorism. We have heard no condemnation from the authorities, not even the routine pablum about some empty investigation. This is Israeli policy. Israeli policy is terrorism.

  • Jerusalem at a breaking point
    • Zaid,
      You have twice attributed opinions and words to me that are not mine.
      You reduce religious feeling to malicious intent and you tar "most, but not all" Jews with the same brush. Let's not slide down that slope.
      We basically agree. We are allies, not enemies.

    • @Sibiriak,
      If you look through to the end of the snippet you took from my post, you will see that you actually agree with me.

    • Zaid,
      I have no quarrel with your anger at the current outburst of violence that Israel encouraged and enacts. Israel has learned nothing from Ariel Sharon's foray on to the Temple Mount or Netanyahu's tunnel. Here we go again, with the grimly predictable violent consequence. Unless of course, that's the point.
      Why, in your mind, are Muslims who want a caliphate in Spain are freaks but the Jewish nutsos who plans a Third Temple on the Haram el-Sharif are representative of (most, not all) Jews.
      I personally don't care for holy sites, including Judaism's supposed holiest, the Western Wall. I see the Omar Mosque as a beautiful Muslim shrine.

      The worship of the past is not limited to Jews. Archaeological sites are secular shrines to westerners. Look at the world's horrified response to Isis' destruction in Palmyra (and the Taliban's destruction of buddhist statues). That destruction of old stones captured the headlines more than many deaths. The Western Wall is really an archaeological site, unchanged in 2,000 years. In that case, worshipping the past trumps building something new on top of that. I imagine that the Muslim attachment to the Haram el-Sharif has something to do with its antiquity too.

    • “The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest place”

      Was but not anymore,

      I agree with all the rest of your post but disagree on your opening argument.
      If Christianity wants to decide that Mecca is its holiest site, more power to them. If there is no claim to ownership or expectation that Islam vacate the premises.
      Throughout the ages Jewish tradition has tied Jewish feelings to the Temple Mount through many narratives. Many traditional Jews share those feelings but still have zero designs on the Haram el-Sharif.
      Even the Messianic dimension that defers the rebuilding of the Third Temple to a mythical time beyond history does necessarily using force to harm Islam's shrine. It could be read as some miraculous unity of religions when it won't matter whether the Golden Dome is a mosque or anything else.
      Let Jews venerate the Temple Mount. It is the extreme sanctity of the Temple Mount within Judaism that has kept almost all traditional Jews from even stepping foot there.

  • 'Third intifada was launched,' Palestinian law student posted before carrying out fatal attack in Jerusalem
    • Haaretz leads today with a quote from "a senior officer in Central Command" (usually means OC Central Command, Major General Roni Nomeh). He hopes that: "the Palestinians and the settlers will calm down."
      Besides the paternalism in this statement, it also takes the IDF out of the picture. As if the IDF has done no wrong. Our fine young men in khaki are just doing their best to hold it together while the rival gangs tear up the neighborhood. It's also classic liberal Zionist. If only the West Bank Palestinians and the settlers would calm down the State of Israel could carry on as normal.

  • Netanyahu's 44 seconds of silence at UN are being widely mocked -- 'pathetic,' 'creepy'
    • For me, it felt a lot quicker than a 44 second stretch. I welcome whole lot more of the silent Netanyahu. Imagine how sweet a full 20 minutes would be of not having to hear him go on.

  • J'lem mayor warns Palestinians in holy site clashes: 'if they use violence we will hunt them'
    • @Zaid - I was talking about myself, and, I think, Yonah, too.
      Like everyone else I had to pass thru an IsraelI police checkpoint and metal detector. Once I was past that, I didn't see any security.

    • Zaid, Thanks for clarifying that the issue for you is political, not religious.
      FYI, the Israeli police don't allow any individual Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. They certainly would not allow visibly recognizable Jews like Neturei Karta to pray there. NK don't want to go on to the Temple Mount anyway on account of its sacred status. It is taboo until the Messiah comes. It's a pity the Jewish religious-nationalists did away with that taboo.

      I imagine the pope prays wherever he goes. Do Christians, in general, have any feelings about the Haram el-Sharif?

    • @ Old Geezer,
      So, if Yonah - or any likeminded Jews - say anything about any Jewish feeling for any place in Palestine, they are fair game.
      I think it's smarter to keep Jewish feeling out of the ethical debate. I have a feeling of affinity for the Temple as a Jew. And I vehemently oppose the Third Temple nutsos and their notsonutso backers in the Israeli government and military.
      Sounds like Yonah feels the same way.

    • @ Mooser:
      Hi there! Would you kindly explain why it's an act of privilege and entitlement for someone to visit the shrine of another religion. This visitor obeyed the rules, dressed appropriately, removed his shoes on entering the mosque, was respectful of the worshippers and left the place no worse than it was before.
      What's the problem?

    • I agree with Yonah on this. The world is full of sites that are sacred to more than one tradition. The Temple Mount Faithful are troublemakers but they work within a tradition that venerates the Temple Mount as the holiest spot on earth. It has nothing to with mosques. If there was a church there or absolutely nothing there the Dome of the Rock would still be the site associated with Judaism's origins.

      I visited the Dome of the Rock, in part to see the beauty of the mosque but also to see the rock that Judaism venerates as the site where the biblical Isaac was almost sacrificed. You don't often get to see a physical feature that appears in your community's ancient texts. Whether or not you are "a believer", a site can be sacred because of your community's tradition.

  • Which nation spends more on its military: Iran or Israel?
    • @ RoHa (& DaBakr)
      What is the significance of "now". The refugee crisis has been a pressure cooker building to explosion. So it exploded now. This "now" could have been last month or a month from now. It just happened to nbe at this particular now.
      DaBakr insinuates but won't say what his conspiracy is because the moment he does so he sounds ridiculous. So he lobs out the meditation: is it hyperbole or is it nothing. Perhaps it's just nothing. Perhaps it isn't. Who knows? The world is so perplexing.

    • @DB -
      Thank you for completely dropping your ridiculous, repeated insinuations re Putin and Russia.

    • @DB
      Let us say that the conspiracy theory you seem to be suggesting is true: the Syrian refugee crisis is being masterminded by Russia. So what? How does arming Israel to the teeth and sabotaging the president's Iran deal help resolve the refugee crisis? More strife and more warfare are not going to help Syria. You are using the refugees to try to knock down the Iran deal and to support the accompanying Israel arms deal.

  • Palestinian students and teachers protest Israeli govt discrimination against church-run schools
    • "Church-run schools receive funding to cover only 29% of their total operating costs in comparison to similarly sized Jewish Haredi and religious schools which have 100% of their costs covered by the government."

  • 'New Yorker' says anti-Zionism is 'firmly rooted' in British left, and it's anti-Semitic
    • England has had a strong socialist political movement for almost the last 100 years, long before the pink was rolled back across the world. On the other end of it, Margaret Thatcher crushed the trades union when Britain was even more finished than it is today.
      The Empire explanation doesn't hold.
      Perhaps the times are changing. Corbyn was a surprise win. Tony Blair was supposed to have cleaned out the crazies. But then, who would have predicted Bernie Sanders' prominence as a presidential candidate?

  • Dreamspace in Jerusalem
    • "Perhaps however, had she ever had to fight (really -as in physically) to defend her family and neighbors from actual harm and/or death her perspective might have taken on a slightly more mature stance."

      Translation: almost getting killed in downtown Jerusalem isn't good enough to make the Israeli experience real. That's child's play. Only those who put on the IDF's uniform and terrorize Palestinians on the West Bank or massacre them on Gaza truly get it.

      "So she came to Israel and availed herself of the educational system for a higher degree and left."

      Translation: She paid good money to attend a university built by world Jewry (the whole place looks like a giant synagogue; there are donation plaques everywhere) in a city massively subsidized by world Jewry (I bet that Botanic Garden was a Jerusalem Foundation project or similar non-Israeli, Jewish enterprise) in a city whose international standing is built in it importance to three world religions. But this American Jew is just a taker. Unlike Mr Israeli Baker, the rightful owner of it all.

  • I am Israeli
    • Thanks, Marnie.

    • I don't have current meaningful relationships in Israel outside of immediate family. For me, it's not so much the prejudices themselves but uncovering warped thinking predicated on those prejudices. Like a liberal American suddenly realizing that a term they always used is tainted with racism or that the place they live has a Native history that was obliterated by Europeans. So, it's more about trying to clean that stuff up. But how do you know you have that way of thinking when you don't yet know you have that way of thinking....

    • Page: 17
    • "I can only wonder that the cleavage between the Jewish population in the US which largely subscribes to universal humanist values, and the Zionists in Israel"

      Bizarre, isn't it? The ability of the human mind to effortlessly compartmentalize seemingly contradictory areas of thought is amazing. It's a feat of mental self-preservation.

    • Krauss -
      Thanks. There is research that shows the arborists who provided the know-how for the JNF in its infancy had previously worked for the British administration in India and the German colonial project in Africa. In other words, Israel's landscape was manufactured by the scientists of other European colonists. This is a European use of trees to disrupt village life and indigenous agriculture in foreign lands. As Ritzl pointed out, this European fantasy projected on to a Middle Eastern climate continues to hurt Palestinians today. The colonists' trees are living thieves of Palestinian water.
      The epitome of the good life in Israel is having a house with a garden in the suburbs. Flat roofs or the Arab domed roofs are more appropriate for the climate, but the sloped, red-tiled roofs are means to look like European houses. On the West Bank you can spot an Israeli settlement from miles away by cluster of red roofs against the olive green landscape.

  • Video: Israel's celebrated Labour Party 'is the mother and father of racism', says member of Knesset
    • Thanks, Ritzl for both of your comments. The JL's power is in being a unified force. That drives Israelis (and Zionists over here) crazy. Remember how the mainstream Jewish community went beserk over the Kairos statement of Palestinian Christian unity. When "divide and rule" fails, they are left with no more manipulations in their bag of tricks.
      Unfortunately, the number of Jewish voters for the JL was miniscule. The party still is beyond the pale in Jewish circles just like it was before. The Arab is still the same Arab.
      Over here in the States, the people I meet have never even heard of the JL. J St is still a radical novelty for them.

    • The Joint List is Israel's only democratic party. Even the most secular Israeli Jews prefer to share power with the settler Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox they despise rather than give any power to people who have the same democratic, egalitarian people as them, folk who watch the same American TV and movies and have the same aspirations. There is no getting over their Arabness. "Jewish" always trumps "democratic." I voted for the Joint List in the last elections. A family dinner almost fell apart when I objected to the casual nastiness directed at MK Zoabi and declared my support for her party.

    • Gideon Levy linked to this video in his latest piece. Amazing. It's not just Zahalka's courage in directly challenging the crushing force of the Israeli state but his self-control. How do you maintain your composure in such a hostile environment backed up by the force of the state. I wonder how the Israeli pols will retaliate? Shaffir's sneers were not quite so charming as her J St glamor shot.
      Let's give this as much publicity as possible. Ari Shavit, Labor and J St will all look like quite silly once we hear the authentic voices of Palestinians over here.

  • 'NYT' misrepresents Iran's prediction about 'Zionist regime' to mean 'Israel'
    • DB -
      "It’s too broad of a subject to delve into"

      and yet, we do exactly that here every day on multiple threads.

      "many believe Israel has no legitimate right to exist."

      Is that not a legitimate idea in your book? If so, make the case. If your like, respond to Annie's last comment.

      "On this site however, you are either against Zionism or you are a racist supremacist."

      Mooser responded to that already.

      "There is no in between in ME world. Just the slightly more guilty liberal supremacist Israel supporters"

      If you don't like people's shorthand, then address the issue and make the case.

      It's great that you are here. Is it fair to say that you recognize that this is not just an internal conversation between Israelis. I think that's right. Happy New Year.

    • DB -
      "If Israel was as demonic as Elliot has suddenly realized why hasn’t he fled as there are no laws binding anybody to remain. Such moral giants have the temerity to lecture on ‘morality’ when they only know how to lay blame and emote shame for their formerly wanton ways."

      I never used the word 'morality'. This conversation might make you feel bad but that's not the point. (Although, it's ok to feel bad about this stuff). The point is not to make you feel lectured, blamed or shamed. Neither does it matter whether I, or anybody else, is morally gargantuan, wanton or just formerly wanton. It's not about me. It's not about you. This website is about the war of ideas in the Middle East. It's about Palestinian human rights. It's about Jewish culpability, U.S. culpability, Jewish amnesia, American blithe obliviousness among others.

      You may have missed this but I did leave Israel. I chose to do so not for any high minded reason or for any particular necessity. It was just that I decided that I didn't want to build my life in Israel. Although I cannot imagine it now, had I had a different set of personal circumstances, I might well have stayed. And that would have been 'morally' fine. I do think that to stay in Israel and not become complicit or willfully oblivious you do need a particular strength of character. I don't know if I would have measured up. Israelis like Gideon Levy, and others who are not known to the public, are inspirational figures. They lead the rest of us in thinking clearly and moving to bold action.

    • DB -
      Obviously, the real world successes of the BDS movement is just the opposite of liberal Zionist handwringing.
      The telltale sign that the money slur traditionally used against Jews was racist nonsense was that Jews were simultaneously accused of being internationalist communists and rapacious capitalists. Better to stick to one or the other. In this exchange alone, you slurred the Palestinians for their "billion dollar PR campaign" and also mocked them for not being able to afford the price of a falafel.
      Honestly, I don't feel the guilt you ascribe to me. Perhaps I should, but I don't. I don't even feel guilty for not feeling guilty. So there. I do feel that I have woken up from a state of unconsciousness and am eager to expose the ones drugging others. And I feel a human connection to Palestinians that I never felt before. My world has expanded and I am excited about that. I wish I could do more to move the tide of history along.

    • DB -
      I assume you know that I am Israeli. I was indoctrinated with so many distortions of history which left me cold to Palestinian suffering. I would see the empty houses of Lifta every day at the western entrance to Jerusalem, I played in those houses yet I never made the human connection to the people who built those houses and lived there before I came along; in all my years in Israel I never befriended a Palestinian; it took me until just a few years ago to really own the simple fact that over 750,000 Palestinians had to leave Palestine to make way for me and my fellow Jewish Israelis; I had no sense that Palestinians had roots in the land, that it was their land that I was taking.

      The best I could do was find overt anti-Arab racism distasteful, reject the occupation and generally try to be nice.
      I was the successful product of an education system that - to use your word - brainwashes as essential mental preparation for every Israeli's first job as an adult, i.e. enforcing the Occupation and terrorizing other Palestinians in Gaza and Lebanon. Because that is the main job of the IDF.

      I never understood that the JNF's forests are literally a coverup for the Nakba. These wonderful green forests ("look how brown and bare South Lebanon is next to the green Galillee") were planted on the ruins of hundreds of Palestinian villages. I never questioned the fairness of bringing millions of non-residents from around the world into an already populated land.

      I could go on and on. And I am still uncovering more of my prejudices. If I could lay my hands on even a small part of that billion (dollars?) you referenced as payment for all the time I've spent undoing the damage of years of indoctrination, let me know who to go to for that. Much appreciated.

    • DB - "you have suceeded in turning the entire narrative of the I/P conflict on its head."

      Yes, that's the work that a lot of us here have done and continue to do. Re-evaluating received truths about Zionism and Israel in light of our political commitments. We are helped by the Internet, an ever-growing body of hard evidence and a community like this which shares information.

      The understanding that "Zionist entity" is not a dig but means just what it says is something that stands on first hand reports of Jews and no-Jews, Americans and Israelis who had confidential conversations with Arab leaders going back to the beginning of the State of Israel.

      And if that upends the received Zionist narrative of history, that's a good thing.

    • DB - Israelis and Zionists take "Zionist entity" as an Arab euphemism. The argument is that the Arabs hate Israel (and Jews) so much that they cannot even bring themselves to utter the word "Israel". But there is no evidence for that. On the contrary, there is plenty of evidence going back to Israel's founding that Palestinians and Arabs in general were willing to make peace with Israel. But they were weren't willing to give in to an expansionist ideology claiming to represent millions non- resident, non-citizens from around the world who could show up at any moment and disrupt any delicate accord that had been reached.

      And since this distraction is being used to bring us yet more American military intervention with more war, more bloodshed and more wasted years, I'm with Khamenei on this.

  • The Star of David is fair game
    • In relation to the discussion about appropriating Jewish religious symbols for the Israeli state, the cushion in the article's link to "kanfei tayis" shows the Commander of the Israeli Air Force pinning pilot's wings on new pilots at their graduation ceremony . The cushion the general is carrying is embroidered with a tassle. Very fancy for informal, rough-and-ready Israel. Looks to me like it's taken straight out of a synagogue ritual covers of holy objects: the Ark, the stand for reading the Torah and so on.

      link to

  • 'Jimmy Carter's cancer is God's punishment,' says leading Israeli newspaper
    • Phil - where did you get that The Jerusalem Post is "a leading Israeli newspaper?" Just because an immigrant paper happens to be in the English language doesnt't make it a leader of anything.
      Some American cultural superiority going on here.

  • Ben and Jerry won't tell you who's trying to kill Iran Deal
    • Thanks David for calling this out. I'm also unclear what the issue is here. From the "Ben and Jerrys in Israel" page:

      "We have no economic interest in the occupied territories."

      The Vermont group criticizes Ben and Jerrys for having their products sold on West Bank settlements and for using the Jewish roads on the West Bank. I'm not sure how they know this as fact. Regardless, everybody uses those roads. It's pretty much impossible to live in Israel-Palestine without crossing into the West Bank. The government has built roads and other infrastructure to bury the Green Line and create the one state reality. As for selling stuff in settler shops, I'm sure they sell Toblerone and other goodies somewhere on some settlement. Does that mean now I have to give up my chocolate?

    • Sounds like an endorsement of this article - aside from the question of how many tens of millions of dollars AIPAC and other Jewish orgs have committed to torpedo the U.S. deal with Iran.

  • 'They tried to kill me': Nonviolent activist recounts brutal encounter with Israeli military
    • Shame, shame on Israel. I am an Israeli. These thugs and their masters should be exposed to the whole world.
      What determination and dignity on the part of Iyad Burnat. I pray neither he nor his family suffer irreparable harm in the hands of these tyrants.
      It's reports like these that make me want to tear up my Israeli passport.

  • Israeli minister says IDF should have fired on unarmed Palestinian protesters for humiliating a soldier
    • "Regev" means "clod" as in "clod of dirt." Regev's popularity as a new Hebrew name comes from the infatuation of Zionists with land and soil. Seems to have caught on in particular with two Israeli spokesmen, Mark and Miri. Miri may be able to point to her parents for being called a clod; Mark has only himself to blame.

  • Videos: Brave Tamimi women of Nabi Saleh take down Israeli soldier assaulting injured child
    • Interesting observations. Elite police routinely hide their faces. It adds to the mystique. This mask is bizarre. Looks like somebody made a hash of turning a hair net into underwear and then this soldier stuck his head in it. Maybe it's the heaviest thing they can wear on their faces in Palestine's summer heat, so they make do.

    • The soldier attacking the boy with the broken arm calls out (to other soldiers): "send someone over to me". And then, to one of the protesters: "leftists (i.e. Israeli Jewish solidarity activists) are trash."

  • Jewish community is Humpty Dumpty-- it won't come back together again, and shouldn't
    • I belong to a Jewish community in which the only topic we cannot discuss is Israel. There has even been a move to create a separate online discussion group for the subject of Israel. Everything else can stay on the regular listserv. How ironic that the one thing that was supposed to "normalize" Jews is the only abnormal component of Jewish life today. Israel fails at its own game.

  • Calling Herzog and liberal Zionism ‘racist,’ Gideon Levy instigates a reckoning
    • I read The Guardian - USA. Both Donald Trump's outrageous anti-immigrant bloviating and the horrific deaths on the Hungarian border were at the top of the homepage. I never saw any reports on Israel's Cholot facility outside of Haaretz.
      Jews lived as minorities in Arab countries for centuries. As others have noted countless times, they fared much better under Muslim rule than their less fortunate Ashkenazi brethren who were burned at the stake, tortured in the Inquisition's dungeons, massacred by Crusaders or suffered any other genocidal Christian pathology.
      Israeli Jews seem like to Arab countries a lot. They are flocking to Morroco. Turkey too.

    • Thanks for the summary and insights.

      "Herzog says he leads a large ‘camp’ of liberal Zionists"

      The Hebrew adjective Buji Herzog uses repeatedly to magnify his camp is עצום, which translates as "mighty". It sounds as hollow in Hebrew as it does in English.
      It is a measure of Gideon Levy's increasing stature that the leader of Israel's mighty opposition picks an ongoing, losing scrap with him to try to build up his own standing.

  • Palestinian forced to strip to underwear before attending briefing at Israeli Embassy in Washington DC
    • @ W. Jones - Israel officially justified the questioning of Turkish nationals because of their stated intention of "visiting Al-Aqsah mosque." Where are the liberal Zionists who routinely praise Israel for its religious tolerance of non-Jewish religions?

  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • Rosross,
      I appreciate your perspective but I don't think that a superiority complex is at the root of endogamy. My sense of Jewish endogamy is that it's about preserving the culture. I've seen Jews reject converts to Judaism/Jews-by-choice just because they weren't born Jewish but mostly, it has to do with perpetuating a Jewish family. In recent decades, with the mainstreaming of interfaith marriage with Jewish children, non-Jews are welcomed into the community. I don't think that in mainstream Reform congregations they are made to feel inferior.
      Whether or not perpetuating the culture is a worthy goal, it doesn't mean that to hold to that practice means you think others are inferior. For instance, most Jews I know who are married to Jews out of conviction would not marry a Jew who had converted to Christianity. It's not about race or the tribe.
      Israelis usually prefer to marry Israelis (or, for Israelis living in Israel they will accept immigrants to Israel who have chosen to assimilate into Israel).
      The outsiderness is an identity.

    • Avigail,
      Thank you for your strong article and your other excellent writings.
      I don't see shaming as a successful strategy.
      My experience with challenging individuals who identify with the Jewish establishment has not resulted in breakthroughs.
      This Palestinian solidarity work is very important for Jews to do yo reclaim their soul. Palestinians say it's valuable for them too. But success won't come from showing PEP Jews just how wrong they are. In my experience, it just makes them defensive.

    • Avigail -
      Unfortunately, it's a tougher nut than that. Obviously, individually, Jews are good and bad just like everybody else. And American Jews do have a legacy of social justice with a blind spot when it comes to Israel (PEP). But the bigger problem is that this blind spot is not just in relation to Israel, but over here too. And it relates to Jews' sense of themselves. Jewish identity. Jews, as a community, feel the need to make the case for being different. And they see themselves (again, as Jews) as being a special case. Ideally, thus outsiderness would work a la Levinas to embrace the Other. But, unfortunately, it usually works the other way, as a self-embrace. What you are asking of American Jews is to transcend a bigger problem than PEP. I don't think you can leverage their liberalism so as to open their eyes to Palestine. I don't think it works that way.

    • Avigail -
      You put too much faith in American Jews. Their social justice (the famed "tikkun olam") concerns do not relate to America's original sins. They talk about Rwanda and Darfur, gay rights in Africa (or the U.S.). They praise Martin Luther King to the skies but not a word about Jewish speculators defrauding Black homeowners in the 60s and 70s, not a word about Jewish complicity in slavery. As for the European genocide against first nations, that is considered to have happened before the Jews arrived. Anyway, what have Native Americans got to do with the lives of American Jews in suburbia today?
      So, yes, in the present moment, the socially conscious fringe of the mainstream Jewish community has shown up for Ferguson and Black Lives Matter. Most Jews won't touch even that.
      American Jews avoiding the structural issues is not limited to Israel. Jews, to the extent that they feel Jewish, see themselves as outsiders. We are not responsible for the big problems, certainly not the historical ones.

  • St. Louis Jews call on ADL to cancel honor to police
    • Annie, thank you for all your work on this.
      It's not clear why Alison Weir doesn't put an end to this this and take the easy step of disassociating herself from racists.

  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • I come from a similar background. I witnessed anti-Semitic attacks including on a synagogue during the 70s. There were some members of the community who moved to Israel but none to my knowledge did so because of the anti-Semitism. This includes my own family.
      I remember understanding through the grown-ups around me that the hooliganism directed at members of the Orthodox Jewish community had several dimensions aside from "they hate us."
      This included socio-economic class (unlike American suburban Judaism, Orthodox communities often live in lower income areas) and general juvenile delinquency. We weren't concerned about organized, adult anti-Semites but by the odd one more teenagers.
      We weren't so great either. Within my community, I heard Pakistanis and others spoken about in derogatory terms. There was plenty of prejudice to go round.
      It sounds like 15 year old Oren had a strong response to this incident, jumped on board an ideology that made it better and let it shape his entire life. That's sad.

  • A racist country with too much influence over US -- Israel's new image among Democrats
    • @Double Standard - the link Phil provides defines elites as "highly educated, high income, publicly active US Democrats." That's got to include lots of professors and many Jews but not every upper middle class person you and I might know.

  • Episcopal Church rejects BDS resolutions citing fears divestment would hamper church in Jerusalem
    • "Interfaith dialogue" = The Jewish establishment.
      Back in the Revolutionary War, the Episcopalians escaped the charge of treason when they separated from the British Anglicans. My impression is that this is largely an establishment religion with some notable, inspiring exceptions such as Fr. Cotton Fite.

  • 'Patronizing Israeli crap' -- more American Jewish responses to Oren
    • "They have a schizophrenic world view"
      Your points are spot on. In particular, the schizophrenia. It's not just geographical. Take Jewish summer camp for example. You have a community that is built on interfaith families. Reform Judaism would not be the largest Jewish denomination without interfaith families . Other streams of Judaism have also embraced the openness of contemporary U.S. life.
      But then comes summer. The jewel in the crown of Jewish life is Jewish summer camp. It's where most rabbis get hooked on Judaism. But Jewish summer camp is a shtetl in the wilderness. It's all Jews all the time, with dozens of Israeli counselors. And then at the end of the summer, the kids head back to America back to their Jewish/non-Jewish interfaith community.

  • Oren's criticism of US Jews earns his book five thumbs down: 'slinky,' 'self-aggrandizing,' 'twists reality'
    • Piotr: "Amazingly, this point of view was largely (but never universally) accepted by “Galut”, and this happened quite gradually."

      There is a precedent for this. One historian quipped that "Gentile" is the only time in history that an overwhelming majority accepted the name given to it by a very small minority.

    • Thanks, Krauss. Michael Oren chose to leave his homeland in the U.S. and join the America Jewish diaspora in Israel. Given how recently Jews left their ancient homelands in Europe and the Middle East to settlethe Israeli frontier, the whole country rates as today's Jewish Diaspora.
      As for Yonah's metaphysics, Israel is in deeper Golus than any other Jewish community today.

  • 'Obama coffee' is black and weak -- racist tweet from wife of Israel's vice premier
    • I think what's going in there is an identification of Israeli elites with the U.S. Zionism aspired to integrate the (Ashkenazi) Jews into Europe. That love affair didn't work out so well. So Israelis see themselves as part of America (I guess the billions in aid make that true). Israelis see New York as their stomping ground, consume American culture as if it's their own.
      There is anti-Black racism within the Israeli Jewish community. Look at the Israeli Ethiopian Jewish community. But Nir Mozes wouldn't use an offensive line like this against Black Israelis. She thought she was cracking an American joke. There are plenty of places in America, including in the Jewish community, where racist jokes at Obama's expense are socially acceptable. I've heard them.

      btw, the identification of Israelis with the U.S. seems to cut both ways of the racial divide: Israeli Ethiopians took to the streets following the Baltimore killing and Black Lives Matter movement.

  • Video: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs ridicules foreign press in cartoon defending Gaza attack
    • The second article is behind a paywall. Per the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian military delegation was paid for by a pro-Israel group. There is no mention of them going to Gaza or meeting with Palestinians. The fluff quote that mistakes happen may or may not be all they said on the issue.

  • Netanyahu likens BDS to Nazi Germany
    • The Vogons in general were bloodyminded, incompetent bureacrats, but the Vogon captain in charge of destroying Earth also had an unpleasant personality disorder. Actually he was a . His psychiatrist (who gave him counseling sessions by some early, intergalactic version of Skype) was happy to be many light years away from his psycopath patient.

      Like Israel, the Vogon system was terrible but it still takes committed individuals to keep it going.

  • Is BDS practicing a double standard with respect to Arab countries?
    • Yonah - You fault BDS because you see its goal as achieving a one state solution. Your fear of one state is not an excuse for denying whatever justice the Palestinians can get right now.
      Regarding your pronouncement about how BDS working, you wouldn't bother to address the 1SS without BDS. Thanks for confirming the success of the BDS strategy.

    • Yonah: "Elliot- I am glad that your conception of the future one state is so benevolent if only the US truly wills it."

      Nothing will happen in Israel/Palestine without the U.S. willing it and paying for it. There's $4.7b a year and counting involved. I think a one state solution has as much chance of success as anything else with or without the U.S.
      You cling to the current impossible situation because no one can give you ironclad guarantees about the future. That's not a good enough reason to make life hell for others. And it's not as if the current situation is guaranteed to last either.

    • The U.S. invests over 80% of its direct foreign aid in maintaining the status quo of Israel. It backs that up with the Sixth Fleet, other military and lots of political capital. If the U.S. can sustain the current, unstable, violent status quo, what's to stop it creating a more just - and therefore more stable - democratic state. You may not have faith in Arabs but the U.S.'s power in the region is demonstrated every day.

    • Thanks for all the great comments exposing Beinart's misuse of "double standards."

      Beinart: "If you’re talking about boycotting Israeli behavior in the West Bank and Gaza, because of the fundamental oppression that exists there, but not boycott anything else in the Arab Middle East, I’m with you."

      I don't buy his distinction between Israel proper and the West Bank. Life on the West Bank is better than under ISIS: there are no mass beheadings, blowing up of landmark archeological sites, wholesale rapes and so on.
      Beinart's distinction is artificial and serves his own liberal Zionism.

      Also, the folks who say they are ok with BDS against settlements usually don't follow through. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the leader of the largest Jewish denomination in the U.S. said he backed targeted BDS and then he led the attack on the Presbyterian church for doing just that.

  • People behind BDS are also responsible for 9/11 attack, Israeli centrist tells NY synagogue
    • It bears repeating that the Jerusalem Post is a rag. It is written and edited primarily by members of the ex-pat community of American Jews. Its readership is the same. The Jerusalem Post's reputation in the U.S. is still sustained by the fumes from its heydey 40+ years ago. It once was the unofficial English language outlet of the Labor Zionist establishment. The JP's editorials were pre- approved by the Prime Minister's office.
      It's odd that a Jerusalem Post event got such high recognition from the White House and Israeli pols. Other Israeli dailies have much better access to the corridors of power in Jerusalem. I guess "Jerusalem Post" is easier to work with in the English language rather than the unwieldy "Ha'aretz" (where do you put the accent?) or the impossible Yediot Aharonot.

  • Netanyahu under siege, in 'the most embattled democracy on earth'
    • Good for Netanyahu for referencing FIFA.
      Like Sepp Blatter, Netanyahu won an election after the voters had plenty of information to know better. And now the international community is repudiating both men and their electorates.

  • Once again, 'NYT' fails to tell its readers that many Jews support BDS
    • Yonah,
      If the Pew poll is your text then it refutes the anti-BDS campaign. Per the poll, JVP and BDS are solidly within the Jewish camp. 89% of American Jews believe that it is compatible to be "strongly critical of Israel" and still be within the camp.
      Tell that to Sheldon Adelson.
      link to

    • Decent Jews who are LZ really do see themselves as victims. It's bizarre but it happens all the time. One retired prof complained to me that BDS was polarizing the Jewish community. He's a lovely guy, progressive on all the issues and open to talking about BDS. I asked him why put all the blame for polarization on BDS, I know many Jews were are upset to the point of tears because they are shunned by the Zionist mainstream on account of not being Zionists. Zionism is also polarizing.
      And the result of using that line with my professor friend was to end the conversation. He didn't want to talk any more. This is the social shunning BDS supporters experience in the Jewish community. You say "BDS", the other guy gets offended and there goes your relationship, or at least that conversation.
      At least we know who to blame: it's all the fault of BDS.

  • Munayyer and Beinart's historic debate on the solution to the conflict
    • Beinart's need for a Jewish national state is another example of projecting American Jewish needs on to Israel/Palestine.

      The reality is that there is an Israeli identity that is distinct from American Jewishness. It is actually a tribute to the success of Zionism: a vibrant Hebrew culture, connection to the country and its Palestinian citizens. Say what you will about hummus but its function for Israelis is similar to Palestinians and nothing like its place in the lives of American Jews. Most Israelis have much more in common with Hebrew speaking Palestinians like Sayyed Kashua and his peers than with Beinart and American Jews.

      And yet secular Israelis choose to share power with ultra-Orthodox Jews rather than with secular Arabs. Imagine in the U.S. if progressive Democrats made coalitions with rightwing Republicans only because they happened to be Christians, never mind whether it's Southern Baptist of Episcopalian.

      This identification of Israel with Jewish nationalism is artificial and is kept alive, in part, by the needs of American Jews (and Christians).

      Beinart is part of the problem.

    • @Pabelmont: "However, it is easy to get behind the times. I had never heard of the PNA’s (not PLO’s) 2003 Palestinian Constitution that Beinart attributes to the PLO (see wikipedia on Palestinian Constitution). Which does mention Islam and Sharia, just as Beinart says.

      And, BTW, Beinart is very convincing to me when he described 1SS as utopian and unworkable."

      At first blush, I agree but then I read Ali Abunima and Omar Barghouti's one state declaration: link to

      We should consider that the current state of enmity reinforces the religious component on both sides. One example from the Jewish side was covered recently in Haaretz. Overwhelmingly, secular Israelis get married according to Jewish religious law or otherwise bind themselves to religious laws. Any two Jews who marry in Israel or whose marriage is recognized by the State are governed by the Rabbinical Courts. This means that in the case of a divorce, they must go before a panel of three Orthodox rabbis - all men - who typically live in a different world to the couple. I once had to have business with one of these Rabbincal courts. It was shameful. The Haaretz article posed the question why secular Israelis submit to this willingly. The analysis "Israel's leading demographer" offered was that this strengthens Jewish identity and is a direct consequence of the state of war with the Arabs.
      Jewish and Palestinian nationalism mutually reinforce each other. Getting out of this vicious cycle is going to be tough and may take many years. But Beinart is wrong to tell us to despair of a one state solution because of current official attitudes.
      The United Kingdom has held together for over 400 years; other European countries have their histories of long civil wars and opposing identities.
      No reason why it can't be achieved in Israel/Palestine. It's just that Beinart doesn't want it.

  • '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

      "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.

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