100 Most Recent Comments

May 4, 2015, 12:17 am

I think the book is in Hebrew only right now: link to tikkun.org

May 4, 2015, 12:03 am

Is there no end to Israel’s lying, stealing, and cruelty in the name of all Jews?

This is so very, very sad.

Thank you for this article, which should be widely shared. The more that people know about the “Jewish” state, the more ashamed and embarrassed young Jews will be because of Israel, and the sooner justice will be achieved.

May 3, 2015, 11:57 pm


No it doesn’t happen everywhere.

Your post may have been believable if you hadn’t launched into the stereotypical zionist apologist hasbara line.

An artificially created minority is permitted to participate in governing (ignoring that certain positions are off limits due to so called security considerations, ignoring the repeated efforts to reduce and minimize the impact of their participation). Surprised you didn’t throw in the fact that a supreme court judge was a Palestinian. After all, everyone knows Obama being president is proof that racism doesn’t exist in the US.

There are many good people and organizations who criticize the government. They are targetted as traitors by those in the Knesset. Their lives are threatened and people are beaten in the street for looking like a leftist let alone being one.

So much more but terror tunnels sealed it. They were used for smuggling and for attacks on the IDF.

You don’t seek discourse, just the usual excuses and defamation of all who appose you.

May 3, 2015, 11:49 pm


Is that true about your kid? So sorry. I’ve buried two wives (a wife and fiance really) but not a child. That’s several order of magnitudes worse so I can’t even imagine. Sincere condolences from the heart.

May 3, 2015, 11:48 pm


No not permanent hospitals. Field hospitals which are, by and large, tents. I doubt tent hospitals are frequently moved in the first instance as the cost of sanitizing and steralizing them would be prohibitive. There tends to be a lot of blood splatter around.

jon never answered about the equipment and I don’t know the answer. I do know modern equipment is useless unless you have idle staff who know how to use it. Might make decent spares (or boat anchors) but that’s about it.

May 3, 2015, 11:14 pm

Many thanks, Ian Berman, for this very clear summary. Yours is an outstanding post, and adds so much to my understanding.

May 3, 2015, 10:41 pm

Jon s is probably telling all his friends that cigargod is Mondoweiss.

May 3, 2015, 10:17 pm

“but regardless of the cause, one day the Israeli ruling class will lose the superior firepower that allowed it to bully and oppress the Palestinians”

The sooner the better. It has been long overdue, and the Palestinians have lost too much.

May 3, 2015, 9:52 pm

I like humility, especially when confronting intractable problems.

May 3, 2015, 9:48 pm

Third world countries are the victims of various versions of an Argentinian situation.
link to lobelog.com
Haiti ,or Nepal are victim of natural disaster for they don’t have resources left usually due to the corruption ,IMF,WB,and the pressure of the individuals who profit personally from outside using the internal weakness of the countries,connection to the international financial organizations and sometimes using Uncle Sam’s judicial System .
Argentina could end up like Nepal when faced with new natural calamities . Sure Israel and also Singer will send some volunteers to rescue the victims from under the rubble . Still ,even then it would constitue a great act .

May 3, 2015, 9:47 pm

Thanks so much Just. You are such a joy to have around, :))

It seems this coverage is surprising. It will bring some focus on the victims of the occupation, especially the little children. If the MSM really wanted something new to investigate and cover, they only have to look at the situation in Gaza and the Palestinian territories. There is so much of pain and suffering over there, that the people in the US would be shocked about. After all it is our money that enables the occupier to keep going

May 3, 2015, 9:44 pm

I would love to see Gvirtz try to get this published in The Forward as well. Also, I looked for his book “Don’t Say We Did Not Know” and couldn’t find it listed anywhere.

Stephen Shenfield
May 3, 2015, 9:27 pm

He wrote a book about his personal and political evolution: “Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey.” He was involved with the Black Panther Party and shocked to discover how corrupt and thuggish its leaders were. Having become alienated from the left, for understandable reasons, he looked for a new home. He does not seem capable of working out an independent stance.

May 3, 2015, 9:16 pm

Who said most of them fit the definition? I’m speaking for myself and others like me, mainly non-Israeli progressives.

May 3, 2015, 9:15 pm

@ Pam Geller’s festival:

“Two gunmen opened fire Sunday evening outside an anti-Islam event at Garland ISD’s Curtis Culwell Center, police said.

The two men pulled up in a vehicle and shot a Garland ISD officer. The men were fatally shot by Garland police, and their bodies remain on the street outside the events center.

The security officer’s wounds were not believed to be life-threatening, but he had been hospitalized.

No one was being allowed to leave the facility, where an art show centering on caricatures of Muhammed was being held. Nearby businesses, including a Walmart and Sam’s Club, were evacuated. …”

link to dallasnews.com

Geert Wilders was the keynote speaker of Pam’s AFDI festival.

Nevada Ned
May 3, 2015, 9:14 pm

Actually, IMHO American Jews and UK Jews have something in common that makes them very different from Israeli Jews. American Jews are a minority (2-3%) of the US population. British Jews are a minority also (dunno the percentage in the UK population). number but it’s small).
So it’s in the interest of US and UK Jews to oppose racism in very form.

However, Israeli Jews have expelled enough Palestinians that Jews are now a majority in Israel. So they’re in a different position. Israeli Jews have (or think they have) a stake in racial discrimination against the minority Palestinians,

An unpleasant fact. But a fact.

May 3, 2015, 8:53 pm

RE: “BTW ‘mcohen’ what race is it we are talking about?” – Mooser

MY COMMENT: According to Rabbi Schneerson’s Chabad-Lubavitch teachings Jews are a completely different species from that of non-Jews!*

* SEE: “Why is the US Honoring a Racist Rabbi?”, by Alison Weir, counterpunch.org, 4/07/14

[EXCERPTS] If things proceed normally, President Barak Obama will soon proclaim April 11, 2014 “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.” Despite the innocuous name, this day honors the memory of a religious leader whose lesser-known teachings help fuel some of the most violent attacks against Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers.
The leader being honored on this day is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, charismatic head of a mystical/fundamentalist version of Judaism [namely, Chabad-Lubavitch]. . .
. . . Congress first passed a Resolution honoring Schneerson in 1975. . .
. . . Schneerson and his movement are an extremely mixed bag.
Schneerson has been praised widely for a public persona and organization that emphasized “deep compassion and insight,” worked to bring many secular Jews “back” into the fold, created numerous schools around the world, and had offered, in the words of the Jewish Virtual Library, “social-service programs and humanitarian aid to all people, regardless of religious affiliation or background.”
However, there is also a less attractive underside often at odds with such public perceptions. And some of the more extreme parts of Schneerson’s teachings – such as that Jews are a completely different species than non-Jews, and that non-Jews exist only to serve Jews – have been largely hidden, it appears, even from many who consider themselves his followers.
As we will see, such views profoundly impact the lives of Palestinians living – and dying – under Israeli occupation and military invasions. . .
. . . Another such rabbi is Manis Friedman, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi inspired by Schneerson who served as the simultaneous translator for a series of Schneerson’s talks. (Friedman is currently dean of a Jewish Studies institute in Minnesota.)
A 2009 article in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports, “Like the best Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis, Manis Friedman has won the hearts of many unaffiliated Jews with his charismatic talks about love and God; it was Friedman who helped lead Bob Dylan into a relationship with Chabad.
“But Friedman, who today travels the country as a Chabad speaker, showed a less warm and cuddly side when he was asked how he thinks Jews should treat their Arab neighbors.”

In ‘Moment; magazine’s article, “Ask the Rabbis // How Should Jews Treat Their Arab Neighbors?” Friedman answered: “I don’t believe in western morality, i.e. don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. “The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).” . . .

ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to counterpunch.org

May 3, 2015, 8:33 pm

Just FYI: The Jewish Daily Forward recently changed its name to The Forward. In the redesigned format, links can now be posted in the comments section. Links to Mondoweiss, however, have been promptly removed.

May 3, 2015, 8:27 pm

P.P.P.S. RE: “Tested In Combat” ~ from the above video on Catalan police training in Israel

MY COMMENT – Here is a very powerful testimonial regarding the impact of Israel’s “tested in combat” marketing on policing here in the U.S.
An Israeli Soldier’s Story – Eran Efrati [VIDEO, 40:05] – link to youtube.com
Published on Mar 8, 2014
The talk by Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talks about his experiences in the IDF and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism.


Bornajoo October 24, 2014, 3:37 pm
That was indeed a very powerful must-watch testimonial. Thank you for the link. More honest and courageous people from within like Eran urgently required
The digger you deep it just becomes even more hideous, even more grotesque and even more evil.

MRW October 27, 2014, 12:43 am
Everyone should see that “An Israeli Soldier’s Story – Eran Efrati [VIDEO, 40:05].”
If you can’t stand to watch the whole thing, the last 10 minutes will do it.

May 3, 2015, 8:22 pm

Catalan Police in Israel: repression courses “Tested In Combat” [VIDEO, 05:41] – link to youtube.com
“Public security” training in Israel for police from Catalonia – or how to wage war on your own civilian population to protect the investments of bankster criminals!

SOURCE – link to roblosricos.wordpress.com

May 3, 2015, 8:13 pm

Here Kay24:

“The Lesson of War
Scott Pelley explores the effects on children in the age-old conflict that reached another boiling point in last summer’s war between Gaza and Israel”

link to cbsnews.com

Some regular grains of salt needed, imho. But it is good to see it covered.

May 3, 2015, 8:13 pm

Marnie, Elisabeth, you are getting distracted a bit? Anybody can be Jewish, and they can speak ubbity-dubbity . What religion you proclaim doesn’t matter diddlysquat when it comes to kicking people out of their homes, which is just wrong.

May 3, 2015, 8:09 pm

Dickerson: Re the Avi Tasher story, I suppose it proves that paid killers with an Israeli name are a normal presence in a US police department.

May 3, 2015, 8:07 pm

UPDATE: A search through the Maryland Judiciary website, which lists complaining officers and witnesses, revealed there is a Baltimore cop named Avraham Tasher, who has been a cop since at least 2010. He is also listed as chief of the Organized Crime Division. He also made more than $78,000 in 2014. – link to photographyisnotacrime.com

AVI TASHER ON FB (8-24-14): “I’m an edged weapons instructor, have experience in martial arts . . .” [Sounds like the IDF. An Israeli hired as chief of the Baltimore PD Organized Crime Division?- J.L.D.]

PROGRAM (IKMAP) Edged Weapons DT

May 3, 2015, 7:54 pm

Yep, Mooser’s pretty much got it. The language origin thing was cranks rather than serious scholars.

After all, most non-crank linguists and philologists were perfectly well aware that people are always learning new languages. The really good ones knew about it first-hand. The “Semitic” term wasn’t racial at the time. It was merely a classification of some language groups with similar root lexical phonemic combinations, like the The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

link to amazon.com

Honestly, given that they used the term “Semitic” for all languages with related roots, including modern Arabic and languages older than Old Babylonian, which pre-dated Judaism, it obviously wasn’t originally meant as a specific term for Jews, many of whom did not speak any Semitic language at all.

But, as Mooser said, on the racial language-origin thing. Completely spurious. Cranks.

May 3, 2015, 7:40 pm

“Hebrew needs to be depoliticised”…. Now that’s a good one. A politically custom-made invented language, constructed with the exclusive goal of killing people’s mother tongues so that they will get rid of their ancestral culture and become cannon fodder for some crazy racialist fake-national scheme. You want to “depoliticize” the very self of politics, what?

May 3, 2015, 7:33 pm

Shenfield, I suppose we on Mondoweiss only have one thing in common, and that is to help Palestinians win against their Zionist aggressors.
So, political questions internal to the US are highly misplaced here (even if they help the Zionists by trying to deviate the discussions.) So please cease and desist . I’d expect the web site owners to intervene, too. As for the “Israeli Black Panthers”, they were a totally irrelevant inside-Herrenvolk movement, a little like the current Ethiopian movement that could not realize its common objectives with the Palestinian resistance, a movement not related to the invasion, spoliation and genocide.

May 3, 2015, 7:18 pm

Scott Pelley of Sixty Minutes (CBS) is covering the children in Gaza and their suffering. Unbelievable.
They refer to the blockade etc. I would like to see this in its entirety is someone could get it for us. Thank you.

May 3, 2015, 7:15 pm

The devil wil be buying central heating for Hell before Sanders (or any Democrat, or any Republican) will reduce support to Zionism. Period.
Besides, none of the other points are supposed to be common to us all on this web site. Just Palestine solidarity and incidentally US war spending. Our only interest is curbing Zionist influence. So let’s concentrate on that and avoid all other generators of discord.
(Besides, if you haven’t got your lesson about “implicit promises” until now, youd be hopeless, but I don’t believe it.)

May 3, 2015, 7:08 pm

No one who can marshall this kind of hatred and venomous hypocrisy should ever be taken lightly. There are many who believe and follow this “clown.” Hitler was a “clown” too. Horowitz is very scary and we ignore him and people like him at our peril.

May 3, 2015, 7:04 pm

Thanks for posting this story Kate. It’s one my family, friends and I have been following. I really do hope that they are made to reconstruct this beautiful historic building brick by brick. It’s completely unacceptable and unbelievable that they demolished it without permission but they tend to demolish with impunity don’t they.

May 3, 2015, 7:01 pm

But the fun tours of Spain may well help to confirm British Jews in their opposition to Zionism.

Laurent Weppe
May 3, 2015, 7:00 pm

Somehow I cannot see the Palestinians ever get as strong, or close to being strong, as the US supported Israel.

Here’s the first rule of world politics: might is transient (otherwise Israel would still be an autonomous iranian satrapy). Sooner or later, Israel will stop being the region’s strongest bully: we can spend hours upon hours speculating about how it will happen (will Israel lose its US subsidies? will the UE become more politically united and proactive, pulling its weight in the regional balance of power? will the arabic states finally succeed in building their own continental polity and become once again the middle-east dominant force? will the flight of Israel’s intellectuals bring the country down as it cease to have enough competent personnel to handle its day to day administration? will the increasing wealth gap push the israeli jewish plebs into an open rebellion against the local patricians?) but regardless of the cause, one day the Israeli ruling class will lose the superior firepower that allowed it to bully and oppress the Palestinians.

May 3, 2015, 6:43 pm

“I think that Mondoweiss is crossing a line here, in posting a link to the Hamas website.”

Nobody except you “Jon s” says that Mondo does that or is going to do it. But now it’s become a fact? “is crossing a line”? Well, well, put it on Mondo’s ‘permanent record’!

My, oh my, I can just imagine what it’s like to have you for a teacher.

May 3, 2015, 6:39 pm

“There are many ways to describe you….”

“Jon s” I’m sorry to say, is the kind of guy my Orthodox relatives would look at and mutter “That one, he’s eine kleine nachtmusik , all right.”

May 3, 2015, 6:37 pm

The Birthright tours take young impressionable Jews to Auschwitz to indoctrinate them with a sense of eternal and irrational anti-Semitism, the mother’s milk of Zionism. Max Blumenthal goes to Spain where the emphasis is on historical anti-Semitism. See the difference?

For those interested in a more balanced account of Jewish life in Christian Spain, I, once again, recommend “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” by Israel Shahak. One brief quote: “Politically, the position of Jews in the Christian Spanish kingdoms was the highest ever attained by Jews in any country…before the 19th century. Many Jews served officially as Treasurers General to the kings of Castile, regional and general tax collectors, diplomats (representing their king in foreign courts, both Muslim and Christian, even outside Spain), courtiers and advisers to rulers and great noblemen.” (p59-60) He also indicates that the Rabbis had considerable authority over the local Jewish population including capital punishment.

And once again we seem to be drifting into the never ending narrative of anti-Semitism.

Ian Berman
May 3, 2015, 6:33 pm

The key points that Liberal Zionists do not appreciate or refuse to acknowledge.

1. Israel was created on the land of a whole other nation. A land that they took by conducting ethnic cleansing during a colonial war and thereafter, they refused to allow its inhabitants to rightfully return.

2. Even if we were to ignore that the land was taken by the gun, the Israelis never lived up to the terms of the documents and decrees that “justify” its “legal” creation.


First, I would like to thank Hophmi for waging the battle. Without him, we would have no discourse.

Second, while I find all the detail fascinating, it reminds me of learning to speak a language fluently. You have to learn 5 to 10,000 words so that you are most comfortable with the 5-600 most commonly used words.

So let’s bring this back to history and morality on the larger scale.

About two decades before Israel’s Declaration of Independence, Jews were a small minority of the population in Palestine. Yet they had already decided they would build a state for Jews on that land. By this time, it was well known that a decade earlier European Jews had cut a deal with Palestine’s European Ruler to take this land for Jews (the celebrated Balfour Declaration we will return to later). So Jews did not immigrate to Palestine with neighborly intentions. They did not come to build a great country side by side with those already there. They came to take the land for themselves. This was long before the Holocaust mind you.

So who amongst the so called liberal Zionists would say if they were Palestinian, they would accept this? Does it really matter that Palestinians governed themselves or were ruled by foreigners with the military power to suppress them? This is where they lived. For millennia. Can anyone honestly say that today they would give up their homeland to new colonialists determined to set up an exclusionary government by definition? Of course not. So to expect Palestinians to not react to the Zionist cause is simply a complete lack of empathy and an understanding of the human condition.

Then, as the members of the newly formed UN try to lessen the shame of a world in which the Holocaust happened, a relatively small number of countries in the world, 33, voted in favor of a resolution to forward to the Security Council the idea of a partition of Palestine, giving 55% of the land to 1/3 of the population, most of whom arrived in the last 20 years. We should also note that not only was it a bad idea to give away someone else’s land, but that the Security Council never acted upon the resolution, meaning it had no legal effect, and there was nothing in the UN Charter that allows for giving away or partitioning of land. The resolution that Israel points to for legitimacy has no legal effect.

So the Zionists accepted something with no legal effect. As one would expect, the Arabs rejected it. Would any American accept such a granting of 55% of Canada to a third population by the vote of an international body? Would any American accept that of their own home?

Then came the battles in Palestine between a people with no formal military and the Zionist Haganah and paramilitary forces with far greater manpower and military hardware. The Israelis quickly routed the Palestinian resistance. Surrounding Arab forces did not join the conflict immediately as Zionist propaganda would have you believe. Only after at least 200,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed did the Arab armies enter. Still, their militaries were only half the size and had inferior military hardware, leading to the Zionist victory.

So Israel was created not by legal resolution, but by the gun. And during the battle for Palestine, Israel ethnically cleansed at least 750,000 Palestinians, destroyed 500 villages, towns and cities and took 78% of the land. They did not give or leave anything to the Palestinian population. The remaining 22% was promised to Jordan to keep them out of the war.

link to mondediplo.com

Of course liberal Zionists won’t admit this because they refuse to look at the work of Benny Morris, Ilan Pappe, Ari Shavit and others. Yet the conclusion is no longer controversial among historians of Israel and Palestine, especially among Israeli historians. So their so called liberal stance is based upon an ostrich strategy of refusing to examine history. A history that is inconvenient to their position of Zionist support which is far more important than their liberal values.

Those same liberal values would also endorse the right of return for Palestinians, a human right under international law, agreed to by Israel, but always thwarted, because it would create a “demographic problem.” Yes it would. A problem that people would return to their homes or the places where their towns once existed and want to live with a government that treated them as equal human beings. Something the Zionist colonialists could not accept. And so we have 67 years of dispossession and counting. Enforced by the rule of the gun.

Still, the liberal Zionists say, yes, but, BUT, the British promised us a country of our own with the Balfour Declaration. Yes Great Britain’s Lord Balfour issued a declaration, which was approved by the Cabinet, but was not an act of Parliament, principally stating:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object”

yet the heart of the declaration did not stop there, although liberal Zionists pretend it does. The Declaration continues:

“it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Similarly, the UN Resolution Israel so readily accepted stated that there would be no transfer of populations regardless of which side of the partition upon which they live.

Therefore, even if these were legitimate legal foundations for the creation of Israel, what liberal Zionist can say Israel has lived up to any deal that grants it legitimacy?

May 3, 2015, 6:28 pm

The Spaniards are mongrels like every other nation. There is no purity. It’s everyone who ever passed through. Visigoths raped and slept with locals and widened the gene pool. Same as the previous wave of visitors. And the one after.

Spain went in for pork products in a big way post Reconquista. So much jamon. Just to put a point on it. We are not Muslim. We are not Jewish.

May 3, 2015, 6:25 pm

Apparently the Israelis think they can demolish buildings at will not only in Palestine, but in other countries as well:
link to haaretz.com

Israeli developer in trouble for demolishing historic pub in London

An Israeli property develop[er] will be ordered to reconstruct an historic London building that it demolished without permission, according to the London Evening Standard and other media …
Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster council, said he was “absolutely horrified” at the “scandalous” destruction …
The Carlton Tavern was the only building in its street not destroyed during the blitz in World War II and was considered an important historical building.
Patsy Lord, the landlady, said she had been told by the owners on Easter Monday to close for an “inventory.” When she came back two days later, she found that the 94-year-old building had been reduced to rubble.
The council has arranged for the pub to be listed as a non-designated heritage asset, a status which should prevent it being pulled down in future.
In January, the council threw out a planning application to replace the redbrick pub with flats.
CLTX, a relatively unknown company with only one listed director – Tel Aviv lawyer Ori Calif – is said to be appealing the decision to refuse consent.

Ian Berman
May 3, 2015, 6:23 pm

Thanks for the compliment David. First, I have to admit, I posted on the wrong article comments. Accordingly, I have reposted the comment on the correct one “Two videos to challenge my liberal Zionist friends”

link to mondoweiss.net

That being said, your response is quite correct. The point was not to deny Israel’s statehood. That fact is true, and like you, I hope that the state will become a valued member of the community of international democracies with equal treatment for all citizens, including those it now has dominion over, but does not recognize.

My point is what most Zionist supporters do not appreciate or refuse to acknowledge.

1. Israel was created on the land of a whole other nation. A land that they took by conducting ethnic cleansing during a colonial war and thereafter, they refused to allow its inhabitants to rightfully return.

2. Even if we were to ignore that the land was taken by the gun, the Israelis never lived up to the terms of the documents and decrees that “justify” its “legal” creation.

May 3, 2015, 6:23 pm

“a pogrom, would probably label this a self-pogrom.”

Yes, but you know what Dersh is like. He’s extremely philo-semantic.

May 3, 2015, 6:16 pm

And if they concocted a story, they would have degraded themselves (what do they have to be ashamed of, why should they need to lie?) and also, lied to Security, which will probably, when discovered (what plausible lie could they concoct?), leave them open to further mistreatment.

May 3, 2015, 6:14 pm

Great idea. Hebrew needs to be depoliticised as well. Ladino is a normal langage. Hebrew isn’t.
Not with all the IDF crap in it.

Allen Ginsberg on Vietnam rather than the Israel car crash but the sentiment is the same.

Smoke some grass and relax. Drop the nonsense

May 3, 2015, 6:09 pm


Personally, I’m truly sorry to hear about the occurrence of such events.

The fact that it happens doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. I could tell you a few stories as an alien arriving in the USA and the shaming treatment I received, even though I was doing everything completely legally – entering with an artist visa. I don’t think most Americans would view this as acceptable, but it happens all the time.

Also, with respect to non jews in Israel, of course a lot of progress still needs to be made. And yet, there is significant Arab representation in the parliament, and from my own perspective, and this relates specifically to this story – I think my former school – ‘Jerusalem Academy of Music’, is a great example of an institution where all kinds of music and students fuse, including Arabs.

I think you won’t find a lot of ‘hasbarists’ commenting here, because a quick browsing of this site and some of the comments on this page even, suggests that the activity is mostly about fueling hatred of Israel and wishing it gone, not about criticism that is meant to bring change.

The Israeli media very often criticizes government, and there are many good people and organizations that do the same and act towards change. You can easily find evidence for this online, but you have to want to do so of course. I don’t feel I can say the same about Palestinian self-criticism (for example, why hamas so much money on terror tunnels, instead of education, welfare, government, etc.) – though I would love to be proven wrong.

May 3, 2015, 6:05 pm

RE: “A man claiming to be a Baltimore police officer is facing criticism on social media over posts he made on Facebook about the death of Freddie Gray.” ~ marc b

Baltimore Cop Claimed on Facebook Freddie Gray Broke His Own Neck in Police Van Before Deleting FB Page After Social Media Backlash (Updated II) – link to photographyisnotacrime.com

● Avi Tasher: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know – link to heavy.com

May 3, 2015, 6:02 pm

CATALAN- “The heart of Sepharadic culture in Europe was Thesalonikki. All Jews there were killed. That must warm your heart, a place emptied of Jews. The joy you and Giles must feel.”

I assume that you are referring to the Greek Jews who died in the Holocaust when Nazi Germany conquered Thessalonikki (Greece) and deported the local Jews to the camps? One can only wonder why you would make this comment other than to confuse the issue, implying universal anti-Semitism and ongoing pogroms everywhere, rather than part of World War II. And then you display your complete lack of moral and intellectual integrity by smearing Peter and Giles as Jew haters who relish the death of Jews. Based upon your comments I can only assume you think that there is “meritocracy” in Gentile hatred. Yet, you insist that as a hiring manager your decisions are bias free. Who could disagree?

May 3, 2015, 6:00 pm

Dershowitz, who called the 1991 Crown Heights riots a pogrom, would probably label this a self-pogrom.

May 3, 2015, 5:57 pm

I checked 12 points of Sander’s program. Not too bad, but I would add some points (perhaps removing some redundant ones).

Nothing about the military, and only implicit promise on foreign policy. The implicit promise is to break trade treaties. But I would add reducing imperialist posture and commitments and make a huge reduction in military spending, perhaps associated with some wider demilitarization. For example, as we insist on antiballistic missile programs and improving missiles, raising fears of “first strike capability” we are getting a renewed nuclear arms race. Annual savings 100-200 billion, and fewer victims of inane policies. (Support for Israel, KSA and terrorist movements would be under “reducing imperialist posture”.)

In reversing global warming, I would advocate substantial carbon tax and international cooperation on that basis. Another 100-200 billion dollars in the budget.

May 3, 2015, 5:34 pm

P.S. ALSO SEE: “Brothers go on trial in beating of black teen in their neighborhood”, By Associated Press, 4/22/12

[EXCERPT] BALTIMORE — Two brothers accused of beating a black teenager while patrolling an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood are set to go on trial Monday in a case with similarities to the Trayvon Martin shooting.
The brothers, who are white and Jewish, have claimed self-defense, saying the teen was holding a nail-studded board. Local civil rights activists hope the Martin case will draw more attention to what they believe was racial profiling by neighborhood watch vigilantes.
Eliyahu and Avi Werdesheim are accused of beating a 15-year-old boy who was walking through a Baltimore neighborhood in November 2010. The brothers pulled up next to the teen in a vehicle, then got out and “surrounded him,” according to charging documents. The passenger threw the teen to the ground and the driver hit him in the head with a hand-held radio and patted him down.
The teen remembered the driver yelling, “You wanna (mess) with us, you don’t belong around here, get outta here!” according to court documents, which do not identify which brother was driving. . .

SOURCE – link to usnews.nbcnews.com

P.P.S. AND SEE: “Eliyahu Werdesheim convicted in Md. neighborhood watch beating case”, By CBS/AP, 5-04-12
LINK – link to cbsnews.com

May 3, 2015, 5:28 pm

Somehow I cannot see the Palestinians ever get as strong, or close to being strong, as the US supported Israel. So that that excuse does not fly. That also does not justify the atrocities, the massacres, and the brutal occupation of the Palestinian territories. No other nation has agreed to the occupation, or recognized the illegal settlements, although they do nothing about it.

No Israeli supporter should realistically expect the Arabs to smile and welcome transgressors who have a record of violence, stolen resources, and use deadly force on their unarmed civilians.

May 3, 2015, 5:25 pm

The fertility rate in Spain is around 1.2. Israel is going to outlive Spain the way things are going.

It’s so funny how the Europeans — and some European Jews looking to gain social acceptance by showing they’re not loyal to other Jews — think that bashing Israel will do them any good.

Meanwhile, Europe weakens economically, culturally, and diplomatically by the day.

The permanent future of the Jewish people is in Israel. Not only is that desirable, it’s inevitable no matter the invectives and resistance of people on this site.

Steve Grover
May 3, 2015, 5:22 pm

“If only the Jews in Israel had the ability to look into history of their own people,who were oppressed”
They have and they said never fucking again! And that is exactly why the IDF is strong and Netanyahu is the Prime Minister. That is also why Judea and Sameria will be annexed.

May 3, 2015, 4:52 pm

Again, via Max:

“EXCLUSIVE Ethiopian-Israelis flip over police car at Rabin square in Tel-Aviv. Police using stun grenades”

link to twitter.com

They couldn’t do that in the OPT, you know. Though I am saddened that the racism in Israel exists, I am glad that it is being seen all around the world.


“41 injured in Ethiopian Israeli protest against police brutality in Tel Aviv
Police take harsh action against protesters hurling rocks and bottles; 41 people injured; earlier, thousands blocked roads in rally against police violence and racism.”

link to haaretz.com

May 3, 2015, 4:41 pm

DABAKR- “B.Gates, Elon Musk, Buffet, Waltons, the Big Oil families, Big tobacco families, Big Pharma and Big Insurance Co.’s…..all non-Jewish billionaires….”

You mean to tell me that Gentiles comprise over 50% of the power elite? Sounds like anti-Semitism to me! I certainly hope that you Zionists are attempting to correct this injustice!

DaBakr- “The growth of Chinese, African and Indian billionaires has also put a little damper on the Zionists ‘plan’ to rule the earth.”

Well that certainly explains all of the shameless standing ovations that our congress gives to all of the Chinese and African leaders! And we are all only too aware of the awesome power of the American Indian Political Action Committee (AIPAC)! Sir/Madam, I admire your courage in speaking out about this. Anything I can do to help that doesn’t involve spending money or taking action?

May 3, 2015, 4:38 pm

the ‘jon s’ response to the article is a perfect example of the point of the article.
all the news says is that poor little Israel has to level buildings on top of thousands of civilians because it is so wonderful to do so, and that’s all you get on NPR, and hey, even NYT writers send their kids to get in on that action. what heroes!
but the cameras won’t show that horror, in fact, they’ll be crushed, too. in contrast, Israel shoves its face in front of the lens even before it got together a trip to Nepal – I read the first one about their plans to go to Nepal!
and now we hear that they have planted permanent hospitals there? amazing.

the face of Israel in the media is ‘jon s’. reality is entirely different.

May 3, 2015, 4:04 pm


“Muslims entered Iberia as conquerors in 710, finished in 756, were expelled in 1492 ”

I don’t read the timeline the same as you do. I read several hundred bloody years from the time of the conquest until the expulsion.

May 3, 2015, 3:48 pm

“Come on Mooser, that was overnight mail, probably 10 bucks. And Id already proposed!”

It still might be considered a kind of fraud. There’s nothing like the real thing.

May 3, 2015, 3:38 pm

It is true that Israelis are helping us out with tactical training and technology to control the unruly parts of our population, but there have been all types of tactics since the start to control large groups of people here-from slave patrols, to lynchings, to Indian reservations, to mass incarceration…you get the picture. i would say that if a good portion of wealthier Americans knew everything Israel does to control Palestinians, rather than shrinking in horror, they would want some of that stuff to use on their less fortunate neighbors-as long as they didn’t have to actually see it.

May 3, 2015, 3:21 pm

Some amazing photos at the link via Max B.:

“…”Apparently the streets of Israel must burn like they do in Baltimore, in order for someone to finally wake up. The apartheid regime is back, this time in 21st-century Israel,” said Gadi Yevarkan, the head of the Campaign for Equality for Ethiopian Jews, to Israel’s Ynet.

“To see a soldier in uniform beaten by policemen in uniform is confirmation of official policy that allows police to beat blacks without having to be accountable to state laws,” Yevarkan added.

The demonstrations, which turned violent and raged for hours, saw protesters block several of the capital’s main arteries, including the entrance to the city and the movement of the light rail near the National Headquarters of the Israel Police, the focal point of the protest.

Three police officers were injured after protesters threw rocks and bottles at them and an estimated 13 demonstrators were wounded. Another two were arrested.

The protesters, who promised that this was “only the beginning” held up banners reading: “Stop police brutality, stop racism” and “Today it’s him, tomorrow it’s you!”

As the rally began, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement saying that on Monday he would meet Damas Pakada, the soldier who was beaten, as well as other representatives of the Ethiopian community….”

link to i24news.tv

Yo Netanyahu: too little, too late. again. And yes, it is APARTHEID and Occupation and a self- made disaster.

May 3, 2015, 3:20 pm

One additional point Krauss;
the Spaniards are not the original Iberian residents, they are decedents of the Visigoths who had arrived from Eastern Europe, should they go back to where ever?

May 3, 2015, 3:02 pm

You’re wrong on this one Krauss.
The Jews of Spain came in with the Berber/Arab Muslims. There was a Berber Kingdom in what is today Libya, who had converted to Judaism (I believe even Shlomo Sand mentions in one of his books). These Berber Jews are the forefathers of the Sephardim Jews.
Just like the Palestinian Druze suck up to the Jewish Israelis to make their lives more comfortable than the other non-Jewish Israelis, the Sephardim sucked up to the Moors of Spain to make their lives more comfortable than the other non-Moors of Spain. At a minimum as the Druze enable Apartheid Israel so did the Sephardim of the Moors.
Nothing is black and white Krauss.

May 3, 2015, 2:25 pm

They came there with the intent of conquest and it was right that the colonizers were expelled.

So are you likewise advocating that European Americans should be expelled from the US, and that Israeli Jews should be expelled from Israel?

Seven hundred years after the fact its OK to expel people based on their ancient heritage or their religious preference?

May 3, 2015, 2:21 pm

I thought it was an interesting article with some good pictures and I liked the allusion to keys and mention of Ali Abunimah. But I worry about what Laurent Weppe mentioned above: merely showing the history of Jewish past persecution is insufficient, because as Laurent mentioned in his comment above, Israeli nationalists are aware of that history and drew the opposite conclusion: that one must oppress in order to avoid oppression. Indeed, the story of past Jewish oppression, while important to remember, is also a key staple of conservative Israeli ideology. Netanyahu’s father even wrote a book on Spanish persecution of Jews. It’s necessary to explain in such articles and flesh out all the analogies in order for people to make the right, ultimately humanitarian conclusions. I understand that the story has a lot of personal meaning, but without the full fleshing out of analogies, it can easily become a reinforcement of the Israeli nationalist narrative that we are feed with movies and news reports ranging from Netanyahu’s father’s book, all the way to movies portraying Muslims as villains.

May 3, 2015, 2:12 pm

Thanks very much, edwardm.

May 3, 2015, 2:08 pm

I have a hard time arguing against you. Herzl’s idea was that Jews were oppressed in Europe as a national minority by nationalist governments. So his answer was for them to go and make a nationalist state of their own, ignoring whatever people lived in the territory he claimed.

For the Europeans I suppose the Zionists were refugees who didn’t like Europe, but for the Arabs, they were colonizers who came to conquer and rule as a governing religious community.

May 3, 2015, 2:06 pm

“He defined a Jew as ” a person whose integrity decays when unmoved by the knowledge of wrong done to other people.”

Oh gosh, how awful the Jews in Israel must feel about the Palestinians. Gosh, it must just sear their souls, considering what Israel has done and is doing is worse than anything it does to less-equal-than-others Jews.

May 3, 2015, 2:01 pm

I am still gnashing my poor teeth over it! From Kate’s info above:

“…Regarding the PA’s role in the cancellation of Carter’s visit, a well-informed PA official said that close aides of Mahmoud Abbas put pressure on certain official close to Carter to cancel the visit. Sources said that Carter had met Saudi officials and has been working on a new reconciliation known as Mecca II … It is worth mentioning that Fateh (PA backbone) official Abdullah Abdullah had announced the cancellation of Carter’s visit 36 hours before the official announcement by Carter’s staff.” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

May 3, 2015, 1:59 pm

“It was my understanding that the semitic definition was strictly a racial one”

And what, exactly, is the definition of “race”? When we can define “race” we’ll know who is in each one. So, now, what makes a “race” of men?

May 3, 2015, 1:51 pm

they were the descendants of the local population who converted over the years to Islam. Just like Muslims everywhere in the world.

Including the indigenous Muslims of Palestine. And the indigenous Christians of Palestine.

May 3, 2015, 1:49 pm

“Police fire tear gas as Tel Aviv protest by Ethiopian Israelis turns violent
Thousands of protesters rally against police violence and racism; protesters try to break into Tel Aviv City Hall in Rabin Square.

Clashes erupted in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday as thousands of people gathered to protest police brutality toward Israeli Jews of Ethiopian descent.

Police are firing tear gas as some reports claim protesters are trying to break into the Tel Aviv City Hall, located at the square.

The protest began near the Kaplan Interchange, where protester blocked major arteries and junctions, including the Ayalon South freeway and Hashalom Interchange, as well as surrounding streets. Protesters also marched along Derech Begin towards the train station but were blocked by police.

Later on, the protest moved to Rabin Square as police gradually opened the blocked roads.

Two protesters were arrested; one has already been released.

The police decided not to deploy policemen of Ethiopian descent along with hundreds of forces guarding the protest. According to the police, the move was taken in the hope of preventing such forces from facing a conflict of interests. They also said that police officers of Ethiopian descent were targeted during last week’s protest in Jerusalem. They stressed that additional forces were on call in case backups were needed.

‘We’re not Baltimore’

Speaking ahead of the demonstration, organizers rejected comparisons with recent events in Baltimore but said the protests will continue until their messages sink in and the government takes action to foster equality. “The fact that we’re black doesn’t mean that we’re Baltimore,” one of the organizers, Inbal Bogale, told Haaretz. “In Jerusalem we didn’t ‘do a Baltimore’ as people are saying, that’s not what it was about,” she said, referring to protests in the capital on Thursday night that turned violent. …

…“We don’t want favors, we want to be like everyone else.” A few hours before the demonstration, and after they had received the appropriate permits, they make sure to explain that the protests will not end until the goal is achieved. “We’re peace-loving. We’re part of this nation, Jews who want justice, to take to the streets and cry out for change. We have enough enemies outside the country and don’t need enemies from within, but the handful who are against us must be held responsible. We’re calling on everyone to behave with restraint and without violence, because that’s not the way. Violence will not necessarily achieve better results. We’re disappointed by the results of the demonstration on Wednesday, apparently it still hasn’t penetrated and therefore we’ll continue to demonstrate.”

Despite the call to avoid violence, Meni Yasu, another organizer, says he’s afraid of violence, especially because the police don’t exercise restraint either. “We’re trying to achieve important goals, and the demonstration could spin out of control. The young people, the new generation that is leading the protest, has a bellyful about all these years and wants to let off steam, the police are not known for restraint and things could get out of control.””

Much more @ link to haaretz.com

(an aside: Israelis who are Palestinians, and all those that are disenfranchised by the state, are wise to watch this play out from the sidelines. They are also part of that place, after all…)

May 3, 2015, 1:42 pm

Just, can’t help thinking that Carter & Friends’ aborted Gaza visit was instigated by Abbas. There’s somewhat of a make-believe scenarion in Carter’s discussions with Abbas about the need of Palestinian elections; Abbas has been overholding his office since 6 years and doesn’t appear anxious to leave. Hamas complains a lot about this but they too don’t appear in any particular hurry to have elections.

May 3, 2015, 1:41 pm

P.S. the Pepsistore.com link above was an example of one type of third party fair use in commerce that I intended to cite. The Pepsi Co. brand history timeline link should have been: link to pepsico.com

An example of the same type of statutory third party fair use of the Coca Cola mark would be the Collectors Club link to cocacolaclub.org

May 3, 2015, 1:40 pm

“It was my understanding that the semitic definition was strictly a racial”

Not at all. It is, as I understand it, from a now-known-to-be-pretty-spurious language origin system that sought to intergrate history as it was then known, with the Bible, to some extent I may be wrong You can start here, and find out about it

It’s not racial, and it’s s-p-u-r-i-o-u-s! I mean you can make up your own mind, about it, but I think the term “Semite” when you add it up means nothing..

Of course, the use of anti-semitism to mean hatred of Jews has become a standard term. I can’t help that.

Once you look into it, you may come to the same conclusion. I don’t know.

See also “Hametic” and “Japhetic” I think it’s pretty much spurious.

May 3, 2015, 1:10 pm

The claim is that Hillel is a brand like Pepsi

That’s preposterous. You keep citing Coca Cola and Pepsi, but there is simply no parallel to the Hillel word-type service mark in those product names. Neither of those words was a generic term or the name of an ancient Jewish religious school that had fallen into the public domain and become popular in that same connection with synagogues and scores of other Jewish educational institutions engaged in commerce, before one of “the many” using the word finally registered it with the USPTO. The name Hillel appeared in English texts like Rodkison’s Talmud, The JPS Tanakh Book of Judges, and the Jewish Encyclopedia “Hillel”, “School of Hillel”, & etc. entries. By then, it had even been mentioned and discussed at length in older English Christian works authored by scholars, like Alfred Edersheim.

In terms of the local groups being run by colleges that makes things far better for Hillel not worse. If college X is funding an independent Open Hillel then when B’nai B’rith sends them a cease and desist letter it is going to be directed at the college misleading students by fraudulently claiming to be providing Hillel brand Jewish social clubs while in reality college X is running the club themselves – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

For reasons of standing and joinder, B’nai B’rith would inevitably get dragged into court as a result of any lawsuit filed by its licensees against a third party. So I would be amazed if it didn’t retain the right to waive Hillel International’s claims in exactly the same fashion that Novell finally stepped-in and waived SCO’s claims against IBM in the decade-long UNIX open source code case I mentioned above. FYI, Neither B’nai B’rith nor Hillel International provided services to Swarthmore College, but that didn’t stop Hillel International from soliciting charitable donations from the public as if it did. The College chartered the student group, funded it, and provided it with facilities. That means the College was the normal everyday “source” or “origin” of the campus Hillel brand “service”. The Supreme Court ruled in the Daystar case that the Lanham trademark Act cannot be used to prevent unattributed use by others of any material that has fallen into the public domain and that the trademark act cannot be used to sustain a “passing-off” claim against other independent sources or points of origin in such cases. link to supreme.justia.com

Hillel was just another campus ministry back in 1923 and there were already other Jewish community centers with study halls or dedicated integral auxiliaries, e.g. Beth Hillel synagogues with integral Beth Midrash and/or: seminaries; elementary schools; high schools; academies; yeshivas; and university book clubs – all doing business as “Hillel’s” and promoting the same forms of Jewish religious or cultural education. That situation rules out the only conclusive statutory ground used to establish that a word mark has acquired a secondary meaning, i.e. five years of exclusive or nearly exclusive use in commerce. I’ve already provided a link to 15 USC 1052 here is a link to the USPTO Examiner’s manual discussion of its criteria for acquired secondary meaning: link to tmep.uspto.gov

I’ve already discussed the fact that either a more “senior” mark or long-term, unchallenged common law use of junior marks by others (through “waiver”, “laches”, and “estoppel”) are explicitly mentioned as statutory defenses against a claim of infringement involving a so-called “incontestable mark”. In fact, the Daystar decision notes with irony that infringement of an unregistered trademark can even provide the basis of a claim that would result in a federal case against the USPTO-registered owner.

Anyone can use a generic word for an exclusive trademark, but not if it’s merely descriptive of the service or product subject matter. For example, people in the apple orchard business have to disclaim exclusive rights to the word “Apple” in their trademarks. Entities in non-related fields, like the computer or record industries, have been permitted to use the same generic, word “Apple” in their “exclusive” non-orchard related trademarks – precisely because it is unintuitive and non-descriptive. By 1963, any use of the term Hillel in the field of Jewish religious or cultural education was no longer exclusive, original, unintuitive, or non-descriptive of the subject matter.

In regard to your example, the “Coca Cola” and “Pepsi” web sites explain that those are trademarks owned by their companies. There are pages providing legal notices about that fact: link to coca-colacompany.com link to pepsicobeveragefacts.com and timelines or histories of the companies trademarked brands link to coca-colacompany.com link to pepsistore.com

Neither B’nai B’rith nor Hillel International have legal notices on their web sites to inform the public that “Hillel” is a registered trademark. In fact, the Hillel.org web page for “Small Campus Hillels” advises students how to become “Hillel Student Organizations (HSO’s): Affiliated Hillel’s without professional staff that exist as student groups and are overseen by an advisor.” The page description repeatedly uses the term “Hillel” and the step-by-step instructions amount to an implied license for any group of students to use that same name when applying with their Dean of Students to become a registered student group on their campus, as a necessary preliminary step, before they can even approach Hillel to apply for an affiliation or trademark license agreement (much less agree in writing to accept its Israel guidelines):

If your school does not belong to our network of Hillels with smaller Jewish populations, and your Jewish student group would like to join the Hillel network, follow these simple steps:

*Become a registered student organization on your campus
*Recruit students interested in helping to build a Jewish community on campus
*Find an advisor on campus who can provide counsel and guidance
*Complete the application
A Hillel Campus Services representative will contact you when we receive your application.”

link to hillel.org

There’s obviously nothing remotely like that on any Pepsico or Coca Cola company web page.

6) A servicemark is a type of trademark. While there are some specifics that change mostly the same rules apply.

A service mark is supposed to identify the “source” or “origin” of a service. It actually used to do that when B’nai B’rith Foundation was the national sponsor, proprietor, and trademark owner. The Remaking of Hillel Case Study I cited elsewhere explained that the Foundation bylaws even prohibited local chapters from doing their own fund raising back in those days.

When B’nai B’rith spun-off Hillel, it retained the trademark and merely licensed it to Hillel International and signed over the other property rights to the local foundations. In some cases it actually sold them-off to third parties. Hillel International reports that the 550 local Hillels are actually “independently funded” and the Forward reported that individual universities even provide the staff Rabbis in many cases. There is obviously no mention of the Israel guidelines in the accreditation manual and that program itself doesn’t seem to be urgent or mandatory. All of that has led to situations where the actual service provider is neither B’nai B’rith nor Hillel International, i.e. one of the statutory “defenses” or “defects” that can be raised against an “incontestable trademark” is: “That the registered mark is being used by or with the permission of the registrant or a person in privity with the registrant, so as to misrepresent the source of the goods or services on or in connection with which the mark is used” link to law.cornell.edu

For example, there was another unusual case in the headlines a few years ago regarding the Chicago Metro Jewish Federation’s surprise mass firing of the entire University of Chicago Hillel Board and its announcement that it had purchased all the Hillel’s in the State of Illinois when B’nai B’rith spun-off the organizations. That funding/ownership/management situation even came as something of a surprise to people and groups who thought they were familiar with the Chicago Federation and the Chicago Campus Hillel. See “Looking Beneath the Surface in Chicago” link to ejewishphilanthropy.com

I think we are going in circles. You are presenting interesting arguments but you are not dealing with the central question of how your arguments if they were accepted wouldn’t completely undermine trademarks in almost all situations.

No, you are arguing in circles and trying to redefine statutory terms and employ the normal consumer confusion standard to statutory and nominative fair use situations, where the Courts have explicitly ruled that test simply doesn’t apply.

May 3, 2015, 1:03 pm

Maybe Spain is inviting back Jews, but not Muslims, because Jews didn’t enter Iberia as conquerors.

Thanks for the link, Jackdaw. I see that Muslims entered Iberia as conquerors in 710, finished in 756, were expelled in 1492, and denied equal right of return in 2014. And I thought Joan Rivers could hold a grudge for a long time, but this is ridiculous.

May 3, 2015, 1:01 pm

Your comment implies that there were no native Iberian converts to Islam or that there was no intermingling of indigenous and and North African populations over centuries of Islamic polities in Al Andalus – both of which are false.

In addition, I find it ironic that Muslims are being cast in an unedifying light here when it was the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Bayezid II who deployed his naval forces to evacuate both Muslims and Jews from Spain, declaring edicts welcoming the latter group to settle in his domains.

David Doppler
May 3, 2015, 12:57 pm

O/T, the important news from Israel that isn’t being covered in the US (including here on MW) concerns the coalition building going on, which Netanyahu has until Wednesday to complete, or risk having President Rivlin invite Herzog to make a go of it. I’ve found the comments posted on this article in JPost to be valuable in exposing the various perspectives of the many factions (what I assume is primarily a Tel Aviv perspective). link to jpost.com

The overarching context is that Netanyahu decided in December to dissolve early his broad-based coalition by firing Livni and Lapid, in favor of an opportunity to build a more purely right-wing government. The tactic may have backfired, because the Centrist Zionist Union and the Herzog part have declined to discuss joining, and the election tended to rearrange votes within larger factional divides, rather than show major movement on the right-left axis. Likud improved its showing, but at the expense of the farther right parties, while the Arabs and the Zionist Union also made major gains.

Netanyahu (Likud 30) has now struck “deals” (nothing’s final until all coalition partners sign onto the same deal) with Kahlon (Kulanu 10, a former Likud faction focused on improving economic issues for the Middle Class), with Shas (7) and UTJ (6, and with Shas, the religious parties) , and he needs his far-right wingers (BY Bennett 8, YB Lieberman 7) to join, with much-diminished role, which they are being offered on a take-it-or-leave-it-basis, and with which they are none too happy. This will get him a 67-53 majority that re-incorporates the religious parties expelled to form his last government, and who are expected to demand repeal of recent laws forcing the Haredi to serve in the IDF, and reducing their public dole, issues that Bennett of Bayit Yehudi fought hard for in the last coalition’s brief tenure. Bennett is being forced to take less authority and eat crow on a core issue for him, he who lectured the Saban Conference about the only important thing being the strength of the Leader’s Spine. If forced to choose between Shas and Bayit Yehudi – Bennett vs Deri – Netanyahu would have a one vote majority 61-59 with Bennett, Shas without BY would result in only 60 votes, but Shas’s Deri is here asserting no compromise; Shas has a history of being part of every coalition, except the last). Without both, a one vote majority would be very unstable, with every coalition partner having effective veto power over every issue. If Netanyahu goes back to the well of Kulanu to ask for more authority to redistribute, he risks losing that essential piece. If he’s forced to concede more authority tentatively assigned to Likud, he’s giving up Likud’s just spoils, earned with Netanyahu’s election day appeals to right-wingers everywhere.

The comments in JPost express many different perspectives on each of the factions, the risks inherent in any deal, and the many issues (other than how to treat Palestinians, which doesn’t seem to come up) that occupy its readers’ attention, as the deadline looms. Fascinating stuff, worthy of greater attention here.

May 3, 2015, 12:38 pm


Well said. And not much more can, or needs, to be said.

May 3, 2015, 12:20 pm

“they should have concocted a story as so many activists do.”

DavidDaoud, the airport goons in Israel know very well where travelers are headed before asking their questions since they receive the passenger manifest before the planes actually take off for Israel. The no-fly advance-notice list policy currently in effect in the US and about to be put into effect by Canada is an Israeli concept; the basic difference is that the US prevents passengers from getting on planes headed for the US or Canada and Israel blocks them at the TA airport and sends them back to where they came from. It’s obvious the 2 kids were targetted for expulsion before the first question was asked of them. The multiple questioning sessions and stalling were part of goons’ theatrics.

May 3, 2015, 12:15 pm

not a rhetorical question”

Well apparently the “OSU College Republicans” do. He doesn’t do this for free, and they though Horowitz was worth hearing. Wonder what his speaking fee is?

May 3, 2015, 12:11 pm

“In my long life I have visited over 60 countries, many of them dictatorships, however I have never seen anything like what is contstantly reported from the Tel Aviv airport.”

Big ditto, Theo. The same goes for my very well- traveled friends and family. It’s so important that this kind of article gets passed along and that governments/lawmakers are made aware of these terrible, and all too frequent, incidents.

May 3, 2015, 12:08 pm

Bring something good to read because you will most likely be detained for the a very special Welcome to Israel. Strip search – most likely. Cell phone – you’ll be asked for your contacts, who are they, etc., e-mail contacts, maybe demand to search your email. You may then be turned around and sent back to your destination and considered an enemy of the people of Israel, a threat to their very existence or actually all Jews because if you saw N’Yahoo give his speeches in France and in the vomitorium (congress), you know that all Jews are of one mind and if you hurt one, you hurt all.

May 3, 2015, 12:07 pm

“As a jew I can only imagine what I would have to suffer….”

You need go no further, brown_cond.

May 3, 2015, 12:05 pm


So you’re suggesting the end justifies the means? That’s the same mindset which led zionism to this point. And frankly the end doesn’t justify the means. Wrong is wrong.

May 3, 2015, 12:03 pm

As a jew I can only imagine what I would have to suffer if I only try to enter Iran, Irak or Saudi Arabia. I would probably lose my head…. and the same would probably be done to me if I only try to enter Ramallah.

Last time I saw photos of Ramallah residents Adam Shapiro and Tali Shapiro (unrelated AFAIK), their heads were firmly intact. I’m pretty sure there was no Photoshopping their heads on.

May 3, 2015, 12:00 pm

Link goes to Ben E. Kinng’s “Stand by Me”. Certainly a great song.

May 3, 2015, 11:56 am

“what’s missing is the activists. There is no student on any campus campaigning for boycott of Israel. They are terrified to even be accused of that.”

Mr. Coleman, it’s a ‘contest of wills’ you know. Sometimes a contest of wills is won by patience.

May 3, 2015, 11:56 am

“I don’t know about Saudi Arabia or Iraq.” (DavidDaoud)

For the northeastern part of Iraq which has become the autonomous Kurdistan al-Iraq, Israelis have been very welcome since the first Gulf War. For over 10 years, about 500 Israeli companies were involved in rebuilding the region’s infrastructures including the airport. As to all other Arab countries, Jews including Israeli ones using non-Israeli passports have been welcomed everywhere. After the 2006 war, Liza Goldman entering Lebanon on her Canadian passport filed a report for Israel’s Channel 10 News from downtown Beirut and the Israeli authorities were more upset about it than the Lebanese ones. Till today, 4 Beirut TV stations provide a weekly digest of Israel’s news taken from Israeli stations with a fifth one running almost daily clips of what’s happening in Israeli filed by a reporter based in Haifa.

A few years back, an Israeli motel owner in north Israel and a bon-vivant was caught in Lebanon that had been entering almost every weekend to party in Beirut using his German passport. After 24 hours, he was put on a plane to Germany to be flown to Israel from there without any fuss.

As to Saudi Arabia, Israeli leaders were invited twice to inter-faith seminars sponsored by the Saudi royals and Israel’s FM has been welcomed more than once to the UAE and to Oman. A Saudi prince recently declared that they were more afraid of the Iranians than of the Israelis.

The ones all paranoid about Arabs-Jews contacts are the Israelis and Jews like brown_cond.

May 3, 2015, 11:55 am

He is also very purchasable on defense spending. Note his support of the F-35 fighter jet and his tireless efforts to have it based in Burlington. His excuse is something along the lines of “Well, it’s going to be approved anyway, so I might as well get some jobs for my constituents out of it.”

Also note his vote to approve huge cuts in the Food Stamp program. Again, he had some sort of “Oh I had to compromise for expediency” type excuse.

Look closely at his voting record and you will see he rarely if ever votes outside the Democratic Party line unless it’s a “safe” vote, one he knows won’t cause a bill to actually be passed.

His claims to be a Socialist are dubious at best, in my opinion. He’s been feeding at the public trough for decades now and really hasn’t accomplished much beyond making a lot of noise when it’s safe to do so.

May 3, 2015, 11:53 am

“Although I don’t see why the muslims should be allowed citizenship. They came there as invaders and colonizers.”

Gosh, maybe we could do some ‘invading and colonizing ‘caps’ trading, with them. You know, like trading pollution credits.

May 3, 2015, 11:27 am

Rocky Anderson is one man, not a party. The Green Party is the only nationwide party that calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions explicitly in its platform and also explicitly recognizes in its platform that one democratic state is the emerging reality.

May 3, 2015, 11:09 am

Neither did the vast majority of Spain’s Muslims: they were the descendants of the local population who converted over the years to Islam. Just like Muslims everywhere in the world.

May 3, 2015, 11:05 am

That’s nonsense, Krauss. The Muslims of Spain were no more “invaders and colonizers” than the Christians of Spain, or any other people anywhere in the world. The number of Arab and Berber soldiers who invaded Iberia was minuscule compared to the number of native converts to Islam and their descendants.

Arguing that it was legitimate that the Muslims of Spain be expelled as “invaders and colonizers” is exactly the same as arguing that the Palestinians be expelled from Palestine.

May 3, 2015, 10:52 am

@brown_cond: “As a jew I can only imagine what I would have to suffer if I only try to enter Iran, Irak or Saudi Arabia. I would probably lose my head…. and the same would probably be done to me if I only try to enter Ramallah.”

Really, it would be better to seek out information; depending on your imagination is not a good strategy. Google is a wonderful tool:

As a Jew, it’s safe for you to go to Iran, but if you’re an Israeli, you probably won’t be allowed to enter the country.

link to npr.org

As an American, no matter what your religion, you should probably stay out of Iraq. I don’t know about Israelis; here’s an article from Israel talking up tourism to Iraq: link to jewishpost.com

As a Jew, Saudi Arabia is safe for you (assuming you don’t deal/buy drugs, steal, insult people, violate cultural norms) but if you are an Israeli, you won’t be allowed into the country: link to timesofisrael.com

As for Ramallah, Jewish visitors are safe from violence from Palestinians. Not sure how safe you would be from violence committed by Israeli Jews: link to tripadvisor.com

It is probably sensible policy for countries not to allow Israelis to enter, since Israelis have been responsible for so many false flag operations. But they don’t seem to be targetting Jews.