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Total number of comments: 1552 (since 2009-08-07 20:50:47)

Elliot

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

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

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

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

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

      You really sound heartless.

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

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

    • "Academics should not be political activists."

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

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

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

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

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

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

      There was Israeli state violence in earlier generations?

    • @JeffB

      "I’m assuming you are Christian"

      Danaa is Israeli.

    • From the State Archivist's latest rumination:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Good letter, Phil.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Now who is here for the stoning?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Mooser - chill, baby. All is well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Take your racism somewhere else.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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