Trending Topics:

Liberal Zionists are afraid their parents will reject them if they come out

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 196 Comments
Ilyse Hogue
Ilyse Hogue

For weeks now I have been meaning to post the speech below, an astonishing speech given at J Street’s conference last March 26 by a longtime progressive activist, Ilyse Hogue. It’s best I get out of the way and let Hogue speak for herself, but a few words in advance.

Hogue’s was the most majestic performance at J St after Mustafa Barghouti’s appearance. Her ten-minute speech was beautifully written, and beautifully delivered. Its thrilling surprise ending brought the crowd to its feet.

But the speech is tragic. You will see in Hogue’s words everything that is problematic in American progressive Jewish identity: our vanguard liberal position in American politics and culture coupled with our reactionary stance on Israel and Palestine and the Arab Spring, our cowardice on the one issue for which we have the greatest responsibility, and our inability to grapple with our wealth and influence, even as we are shouting down the Tea Party. You will see in Hogue’s emotionally-honest account what Israel represents to countless American Jews: family but also sexuality, and connection to a more primal, earthy, less materialistic existence.

When you wonder why Paul Krugman was so afraid to speak out, and why Rick Perlstein was afraid to speak out — big brave liberals– it’s because of these community adhesions and constraints.

Finally, notice that when Hogue does advocate a political position (on prisoners), it is a retrograde position, completely divorced from Palestinian reality, from any awareness of Palestinian conditions, from any interaction with the beautiful young people in Tahrir.

That said, I honor Hogue’s feelings. She was brave to address them so honestly. And she is representative of a huge segment of Jewish life in the Zionist captivity. But listen to her:

I’m Ilyse Hogue, and as I was listening to the incredible rich portfolio of all the speakers that precede me, I have this tune going through my head. Anyone here remember ‘Schoolhouse Rock’? I kept thinking, ‘I’m just a Jew yeah, I’m only a Jew.’ And the reason for that is, while my progressive political resume is long, when I stand here before you today, I stand here as a Jew. I’ve not been involved in progressive Jewish politics the way all the speakers that I follow have. And that’s really important for what I have to say today.

Anyone here ever seen the movie ‘Milk’? About Harvey Milk in San Francisco. Really, really, really powerful movie. For me one of the most incredible scenes in that movie was when Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk gathered all his core community together in his living room after a political loss and said to them, ‘I figured out what our obstacle to victory is. I have it now, it is that until every American knows that they know one of us, we will never win.’ When I got the call from Carinne [Luck, J Street’s vice president of field and campaigns] to be on this panel, my mind went to that scene. My mind went to that scene, because I’m not out, I’m not out as a J street supporter.

So I went to the same place that that man in the scene went to when Harvey Milk handed him the telephone and said, ‘Call your parents now, tell them that you’re out.’ I felt the same determination that now is the time to speak out and that same terrified feeling that I could be rejected by those I most love.

I’m not a shy person. I don’t scare easily. I was the political advocacy communication director for move.on org for six years, I got in my fair share of fights. [wild applause] I have negotiated with bank CEOs for stronger environmental standards on their lending policies. I have stood my ground when rightwing radical activists have shouted down congresspeople supporting the health care law in town halls of 2009. None of that stuff has scared me as much as standing here right today with you all, right now with the cameras rolling and the tweeters tweeting and saying, ‘I’m out, I’m a J Street supporter.’

I come from a very conservative Jewish Texan family. I love my parents. They’re wonderful people. I get my activism from them. My mom was the president of the JCC in Dallas, my dad was the president of the [Jewish] Federation. Some of my earliest memories are of my mom being very involved in Operation Moses airlifting Ethiopian Jews to save them from famine. My dad in his role as as president of the Holocaust Museum in Dallas has expanded the content of that museum from the the persecution of Jews in World War 2 to include the persecution of African Americans in Texas. I’m very proud of that.

My parents as well as most of our tightknit Jewish political community in Texas are also AIPAC supporters. They do lobby days in Dallas. And they are that 7 percent you hear about where Israel does decide their vote in elections. Because I love my parents, I have made sure to avoid this topic at all costs in my progressive activism. I have not wanted to go there, to disappoint them, to make them sad, to make them want to reject me.

But I love Israel, I love Israel with all my heart. The family lore has it that when I was a child and they took me I didn’t sleep for two weeks straight because I was so invigorated by my surroundings and I didn’t want to miss a single thing. I love Israel the way you do when you’re 16 and you’re free from your parents’ grasp for the first time and go on a team tour and you get to go out and experience things on your own. I fell in love with Israel when I fell in love for the first time, with a boy in Israel, drinking Maccabi beers and dancing at the nightclubs in Tiberas. Anyone been there? ‘You spin me right round, right round.’ That was the tune that will always remind me of Israel and my first boyfriend. It will always take me back there.

I remember being young and playing hide and seek in the Old City inside the Dung Gate with my Israeli cousins and teaching them how to shout, ‘Come out, come out wherever you are’ as we ran along the twisty turns in the stone walls. I remember watching my older cousins bargain in the shouk. It was a sport, I wanted to learn it, I wanted to be as exciting and passionate as my Israeli cousins. It was such a contrast to the safety of my strip mall existence back in Texas.

I love Israel with everything I have, and because I love Israel, I can’t not notice that the range is getting smaller. That when American teen tours go, they don’t go to the souk as much. They’re not free to wander the Arab quarter. Many of them don’t go to Bethlehem anymore. And the place that I used to go when I was in my mid 20s and went back to study in college… the night club I went to hang out in Tel Aviv where they played Grateful Dead tunes, that was bombed. That was bombed several years ago. It’s no longer there.

I cant help but notice, we’re retracting, that we’ve taken the unprecedented step of trading one soldier for thousands of Palestinians, emboldening Hamas, and undercutting Fatah.

And I can’t help but notice when I do talk to, when I do venture into political terrain with my Israeli and my American family that hope seems to be retreating and everybody seems to be hunkering down. And it is for this reason that I’m here today. I’m not an expert. I’m not an expert on this issue at all. Everybody who will speak here this weekend will be more an expert than me. I have probably already belied my stature by some of the language I’ve chosen to use in this talk.

It’s part of what’s kept me silent– that nuance, that sophistication that’s required to avoid the rhetorical and political landmines that we don’t even know we’ve hit until we step on them, that’s what’s kept me silent.

But I cant be silent anymore, because I understand that in order to secure the future of Israel so that my nieces can go back and create the kinds of memory– experience the magic of floating in the Dead Sea and the power of watching the sunrise over Masada– we cannot continue with the status quo. We have to open an honest conversation, and opening an honest conversation requires us to challenge the conventional wisdom that questioning– questioning in itself is heresy.

And in order to achieve the questions and the open dialogue, we all need to go somewhere where we fear to tread. When we’re in rooms like this, it’s really easy to feel like we’re the majority. But I know I’m not the only one who has to go home and get nervous and have my heart clutch when I have to have this conversation. But it’s more important than ever– to walk to the seder table, to walk into the living room, to walk into the communities, and say, I’m out, I’m proud, I support J street. And I support an incredibly open conversation, so we can secure a safe future for Israel.

I am the future of pro-Israel and I invite you to join me and ‘come out come out wherever you are.’

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

196 Responses

  1. Les
    Les
    May 11, 2012, 1:52 pm

    Those afraid to speak out include our Jewish media moguls and managers. Surely all do not support occupation and ethnic cleansing.

  2. Shunra
    Shunra
    May 11, 2012, 2:03 pm

    That woman is despicable. For her kicks, for her pleasure of playing hide-and-go-seek in Jerusalem, how many children have been displaced? How many families torn apart?

    That woman – pretending to be a progressive, negotiating with banks for the environment – cares not a whit for the actual people in the actual country. She wants to play hide and seek with her cousins there, but when she goes home and they spend years conscripted in the service of her dream – she sends money.
    So it’s not even for the benefit of the Israeli Jews she speaks up.

    And for what? For J-Street? For two states, with ethnic cleansing for all?

    What a failure of humanity.

    There are many possible solutions for the problems on the ground in Israel/Palestine. NONE of them gives the American Jewish community a free pass to exile, imprison, conscript, and buy off people for a game of hide and seek. That is Just. Not. ON.

    • Inanna
      Inanna
      May 12, 2012, 12:29 am

      This makes me really angry too. When I read stuff like this that talks about Israel as being some utopian place that has now lost its lustre because of occupation etc, I can’t help but think that these people are deluding themselves – specifically about the massacre and ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. And not just that but the destruction of their state/nation as well as the theft of their property and lives. How the hell is that utopian?

      These people are living a mass delusion. Don’t even get me started about J Street.

      • Samuel T
        Samuel T
        May 15, 2012, 9:02 pm

        Shunra, Inanna…

        “That woman is despicable” AND “This makes me really angry too.”

        She is sharing from her personal experience, from her memories as a child, She shares her personal struggle with inconsistencies in Liberalism. She shares her personal decision not to be silent, to advocate her personal views. AND You Shunra, after calling her “despicable” also declare that she does not care a whit for the “actual” people in the “actual” country. WOW! Even playing hide and seek as a child is twisted into something sinister.

        So, Shunra. Is She NOT one of the “actual” people in the “actual” Country you mentioned? OR does she become a non-person, the enemy in your view because she is different, isn’t she? AND that is offensive to you, right? You who declare: “What a failure of humanity” Where is your humanity? Does it extend to all humanity or to “actual” humanity, that selective group by your own choosing and prejudices?

        Inanna? This makes you really angry too? Really angry? Please consider the possibility that you were angry before you ever read her speech.

        Does hatred and anger justify hatred and anger? No, it just spreads it like terminal cancer. You mentioned many possible solutions, I would like to hear them. I’m all about solutions. Like, you know, how does anything justify firing rockets from the Gaza Strip into civilian populated areas of Israel (Over 265 since January 2012, Source: U.S. Intelligence) And how does that fact coincide with one-sided victimization and oppression of the Palestinian people? A sincere question Inanna, you mentioned the concept of mass delusion so I thought you may be able to explain that to me.

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 16, 2012, 1:34 am

        She is sharing, SamuelT, her immense privilege.
        Playing hide-and-seek is not a problem at all – but playing hide-and-seek in the safety of an ethnically-cleansed enclave is sinister and twisted, and it’s not me who’s doing the twisting.

        The *actual* people of the *actual* country are the ones who live there. Neither she nor I will decide what the people there do.

        You have an awful lot of compassion for the privileged, wealthy, white American woman, SamuelT. For her comfort she is willing to sacrifice the Palestinian families (displaced from her playground) and the very playmates, the very cousins she “teachers how to play”, in her insufferable arrogance.

        As it happens, my family consigned me to the role of “cousin in Israel” for quite a few young Americans. I know how little they thought of the situation and their requirements of the people who lived there: we were supposed to become brave and sexy soldiers, and give our lives (if necessary) so that our American cousins would have a playground.

        Thanks, but no thanks. Neither I nor the friends I grew up with deserve the role assigned by the bankrollers.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        May 16, 2012, 1:58 am

        She is sharing from her personal experience, from her memories as a child, She shares her personal struggle with inconsistencies in Liberalism.

        You hear that Shunra? So if you have to come across of Himler’s or Goebells memoirs, bear in mind that they you’ll be reading about their personal struggles and their humanity and their struggle with inconsistencies in socialism.

        WOW! Even playing hide and seek as a child is twisted into something sinister.

        So next time you hear a right wing settled teenager, living in land that was stolen from a Palestinian family, spare a thought that she might have broken a fingernail as she spat of the fleeing family.

        Please consider the possibility that you were angry before you ever read her speech.

        Too right, so listen here Shunra. If you were angry about the ethnic cleansing of 800,000 Palestinians, mass murder, home demolitions and destruction of hundreds of Palestinisn villages before reading this speech, then there is something clearly wrong with you.

        What’s not to love about all that?

        Does hatred and anger justify hatred and anger? No, it just spreads it like terminal cancer

        Take if from Samuel T. The next time Israel unleashes a Cast Lead type massacre on Gaza, don’t hate it but embrace it and celebrate it. Hating such wanton and saddistic destruction only feeds it.

        Like, you know, how does anything justify firing rockets from the Gaza Strip into civilian populated areas of Israel (Over 265 since January 2012, Source: U.S. Intelligence)

        And you’re not allowed to mention the 7,700 shells Israle fired into Gaza over the 10 months after it withdrew (Septmeber 2005), or the fact that, as Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar documented in their book “Lords of the Land”:

        “After Israel withdrew it’s forces from Gaza, in August 2005, the ruined territory was not released for even a single day from Israel’s military grip, or from the price of the occupation that the inhabitants pay every day. Israel left behind scotched earth, devastated services, and people with nearly a present or a future. The Jewish settlements were destroyed in an ungenerous move by an unenlightened occupier, which in fact continues to control the territory and kill and harass it’s inhabitants, by means of it’s formidable military might.”

        …or the fact that Israel imposed a brutal, illegal siege on Gaza (an act of war) for the purpose of inflicting economic warfare on Hamas.

        Nor are you allowed to mention the fact that Israel boke the 4 mnths ceasefire in 2008 (which Israel admit Hamas were sticking to very well)

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/05/israelandthepalestinians

        , not because of rocket fire, but because Israel feared the ceasefire was givign Hamas too much legitimacy,

        http://www.lobelog.com/new-revelations-on-the-run-up-to-cast-lead/

        or the ceasefire Israel broke in October

        http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/israel-breaks-ceasefire-shells-several-targets-in-gaza/

        Which led to those rockets in January.

        And how does that fact coincide with one-sided victimization and oppression of the Palestinian people?

        Remember that Shunra, the Palestinians are not allowed to respond or retaliate to Israeli violence in any way, because that would be terrorism.

        A sincere question Inanna, you mentioned the concept of mass delusion so I thought you may be able to explain that to me.

        I second that Shunra, please explain mass delusion to Samuel. And when you’re done with that, please exaplain the holes in the flat earth theory.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        May 16, 2012, 2:11 am

        Playing hide-and-seek is not a problem at all – but playing hide-and-seek in the safety of an ethnically-cleansed enclave is sinister and twisted, and it’s not me who’s doing the twisting.

        Come on Shunra, what’s the problem with hide-and-seek? Surely, it’s no more sinister than a couple of kinds sending loving messages to kids in in other countries.

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 16, 2012, 11:25 am

        Precisely.

        Now imagine what it feels like to have some ability to think about reality, and every time you mention the forbidden subjects – you’re told you’re crazy. And if you insist, you get shunned.

        …which is why Hogue sounds the way she does. Engaging with reality is severely punished in her milieu.

  3. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    May 11, 2012, 2:05 pm

    When I think of “brave” I dont generally think of well-heeled people “opening up” in front of other well-heeled people who share their same views – it was a J street conference, yes? Isnt that the biggest problem of all, people saying one thing in one setting, and something different in another? Where has she been? O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-S-T. The one thing I will give her credit for is not mentioning anti-semitism, so I guess thats progress

    I’ve heard plenty of american women recount similar stories of “clubbing” and “finding love etc” when discussing their vacations in the Caribbean (eddie murphy has a GREAT bit about this as well; see Raw, his standup special) – how is this any different? Is this the new “liberal” zionist rallying cry?: “Save Israel because american jewish women are more attracted to their tanned, fit and heavily accented co-religionists from Israel”?

    At the end of the day, this is just more talk about future talks “within the jewish community” – american jewish so called activists are like Treebeard and co. in the Lord of The Rings – where they (the trees) meet to talk about what they are going to talk about and how they will eventually talk about it, but only amongst themselves. As if the cure to Tribalism is more Tribalism. Brave, indeed.

  4. upsidedownism
    upsidedownism
    May 11, 2012, 2:11 pm

    It might have been a great experience to hear Ilyse’s speech, but there is so little substance in the text it could mean anything. You could just change a few words and it would have cheered at an aipac conference. It only increas’s one scepticism that j street is substantially different than aipac.
    For example, Texas Governor Rick Perry is among those who also recently said ” I love Israel with all my heart”.
    How can Ilyse and Perry and others have any room left in their hearts to love America?

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      May 11, 2012, 11:02 pm

      What she said was that she is rebelling against people “hunkering down” and preventing questioning about the State and its policies. And she is rebelling by being for J Street instead of AIPAC.

      Unfortunately, her talk didn’t really say what policies or aspects of the State she is “questioning.” One of the problems she mentioned is:

      I can’t not notice that the range is getting smaller. That when American teen tours go, they don’t go to the souk as much. They’re not free to wander the Arab quarter. Many of them don’t go to Bethlehem anymore.

      But she doesn’t say why they can’t. eg. Is it because of Israeli restrictions, or because Palestinians are getting poorer and this adds to crime?

      In fact, I would say that her other critical statement is reactionary to a big extent:

      I cant help but notice, we’re retracting, that we’ve taken the unprecedented step of trading one soldier for thousands of Palestinians, emboldening Hamas, and undercutting Fatah.

      In other words, she is complaining that the State is losing ground because in her view it is giving up too much in one of the few major deals it made with Hamas. Rather than mention the thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails, including children, her position is basically a more militaristic one- that the State isn’t being tough enough in negotiating about prisoners!

      The conclusion is that this stirring J-Street speaker has a sense there are problems, and based on being generally liberal, she wants to be in a liberal group. But when it comes to Reconciliation and deciding what is wrong and what to do, she doesn’t say anything, except sense that there is a problem.

  5. eljay
    eljay
    May 11, 2012, 2:19 pm

    >> But listen to her:

    I read the comments and waited for something substantial…and got nothing.

    >> We have to open an honest conversation, and opening an honest conversation requires us to challenge the conventional wisdom that questioning– questioning in itself is heresy.
    >> And in order to achieve the questions and the open dialogue, we all need to go somewhere where we fear to tread.

    Wow, that sounds dramatic! But…she fails to mention:
    – what the conversation is about;
    – what the conventional wisdom is;
    – how the conventional wisdom will be questioned;
    – where it is that she fears to tread; and
    – what she will say when she has the conversation and asks the questions and treads in foreboding place.

    All smoke and no fire. Boring.

  6. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    May 11, 2012, 2:49 pm

    I went through a phase of justifying my criticism of Israeli policies by explaining that it was “from a place” of patriotism – no less and possibly more patriotic than the positions espoused by the warmongers and the land-grabbers. I argued that it was legitimate to talk about Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights because that is what was in Israel’s best interest. I was full of crap.

    Coming out is not telling people you’re straight but want to write your own vows It’s telling people that you don’t love Israel, that you have other values, other concerns and other loves, and what’s more, you don’t believe that all “preferences” are equally legitimate.

    I haven’t come out that way to my family (although I no longer argue patriotism), but I don’t delude myself that I have.

    • evets
      evets
      May 11, 2012, 3:10 pm

      Shmuel –

      Out of curiosity — when you were in your ‘patriotism’ phase, were you simply softening the opinions you express in the 2nd paragraph (so as not to offend, court rejection etc.)? Or did you change internally from critical patriotism to unlove?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 11, 2012, 4:09 pm

        when you were in your ‘patriotism’ phase, were you simply softening the opinions you express in the 2nd paragraph (so as not to offend, court rejection etc.)? Or did you change internally from critical patriotism to unlove?

        Disloyalty is not a fun charge, especially in Israel. I played the patriotism card with others, but I also needed to believe it about myself (although it was by no means what motivated me in the first place). It took me a while to get over.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 13, 2012, 9:07 am

        So basically you don’t “love” the country anymore.
        Dare i use the word “hate” the country ?
        But why are you here ?Why not just distance yourself from your “hate” object and simply forget about it ?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 13, 2012, 11:05 am

        So basically you don’t “love” the country anymore.
        Dare i use the word “hate” the country ?
        But why are you here ?Why not just distance yourself from your “hate” object and simply forget about it ?

        Interesting dichotomy, Oleg. Not the way my world works.

      • annie
        annie
        May 13, 2012, 11:34 am

        Interesting dichotomy

        i thought so too. in oleg’s world, to not love is transformed to “hate”, specifically “your “hate””. then he wonders why you don’t distance yourself and forget about it.

        it is as if he cannot imagine one (you) might be motivated by a higher calling, one of love for justice, mankind, humanity, serving others for a higher good, possibly even in honor of ones faith or interpretation of ones faith.

        other values, other concerns and other loves

        and all he hears is hate. so sad. he might ask himself why he is here, why he does not just distance himself from us, and forget about it? no matter what i will not assume he is here out of hatred. there is no worse state of being than that place, i would not assume this even of my worst enemy. shmuel, of all the people here you would be the last i would fathom of harboring hatred in your soul. but these accusations, they seem to be wedded with zionisms defense:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/foxman-says-google-and-facebook-are-on-his-team-to-combat-internet-hate.html

        it is so pervasive, so all encompassing. it is as if one washes ones hands of all responsibility and simply declares ones ideological opponent of being in a state of inner decay. the uber ad hominem with a wide brush. sad.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 13, 2012, 12:12 pm

        There is a difference between thinking something morally wrong and hating those who support it.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 13, 2012, 12:25 pm

        I did put it as a question.
        How does your world works, what word would you use to describe your attitude?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 13, 2012, 12:26 pm

        OlegR, so you recommend one “forget about it” if influential public figures and influential writers, speaking in your name, to maintain and/or implement state and community policies you abhor, and urge others to do the same, while all the while you severely disagree with their POV, conduct, and the conduct they support and urge others to support?

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 13, 2012, 12:27 pm

        Such a lovely analysis Annie.
        A wrong one as usual.

      • annie
        annie
        May 13, 2012, 12:39 pm

        A wrong one as usual.

        that’s good to hear.

        I did put it as a question.

        3 questions actually. it seemed as if you answered the first for shmuel and then proceeded on to the following 2. perhaps you could explain for us what you meant by this one, since i misinterpreted your meaning:

        Why not just distance yourself from your “hate” object and simply forget about it ?

        when you say “your “hate”” it implies you’re assuming shmuel harbors hate.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 13, 2012, 12:47 pm

        I did put it as a question.

        Based on a false premise. I addressed the premise.

        If you are asking why I bother with I/P, it is an ongoing travesty to which I am connected in many different ways (not least by familiarity, knowledge and awareness). I suspect you would get a similar answer from just about everyone here.

      • American
        American
        May 13, 2012, 12:52 pm

        “How does your world works, what word would you use to describe your attitude?”..Oleg

        Not like yours that’s for sure. If the world had the attitude you have toward others you’d already be gone.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 13, 2012, 4:11 pm

        No i am asking you about your current attitude toward
        Israel since you no longer argue the patriotic argument
        from any perspective.
        I am asking in a broader context than just the I/P

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 13, 2012, 4:20 pm

        I used the word “hate” in quotation marks in retrospective i should have used something else
        I had the impression that Shmuel still lives in Israel and also given the general public opinion he must be feeling pretty lonely.Living in a country that you bear no patriotic feelings towards, in fact when you object a lot of it’s policies seems to me (and this is just my own sentiment) an unpleasant experience which i would not want to prolong.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 13, 2012, 4:27 pm

        I had the impression that Shmuel still lives in Israel and also given the general public opinion he must be feeling pretty lonely.

        I left Israel about nine years ago.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 13, 2012, 4:44 pm

        i am asking you about your current attitude toward
        Israel … I am asking in a broader context than just the I/P

        Israel is a country I know intimately, having lived there most of my life. It is also an ethnocracy and serial violator of human rights, which has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The broader context is and has always been an ethical one.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        May 13, 2012, 5:50 pm

        in oleg’s world, to not love is transformed to “hate”, specifically “your “hate””. then he wonders why you don’t distance yourself and forget about it.

        That’s a text book sign of narcisism. If you don’t love Israel you must hate it, which gives Israel equal stature. I find that Americans are the same. If they are not loved, they want to be hated because that stil makes them relevant. What they can’t bear is to be ignored, irrelevant or pittied.

        Also, being hated by someone feeds the argument the hatred is fed by irrationality, whereas indifference indicates objectivity.

        I suspect Oleg shares the same anxiety.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 14, 2012, 5:17 am

        Seems to me Israel haven’t left you…

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 14, 2012, 5:18 am

        Why did you leave if i may ask?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 14, 2012, 9:05 am
      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 14, 2012, 9:06 am

        Seems to me Israel haven’t left you…

        You’ll have to take that up with Israel.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 14, 2012, 9:41 am

        >> Shmuel @ May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

        The respect I already had for you has increased substantially.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 14, 2012, 9:49 am

        An interesting life story.
        Thank you.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        May 14, 2012, 10:06 am

        Mmmmmm I love my Shmuely.

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 14, 2012, 10:55 am

        Thank you. You & I traveled a somewhat similar path out of there.

        I left in ’01. I had never intended to stay that long, but originally I was not planning to leave before my son was older. As it happened, things got so bad, so racist, so crazy, that I knew I could not raise healthy children there.

      • American
        American
        May 14, 2012, 12:07 pm

        “eljay says:
        May 14, 2012 at 9:41 am
        + Show content
        >> Shmuel @ May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

        The respect I already had for you has increased substantially.”

        I repeat that….admirable and brave Shmuel.

      • AlGhorear
        AlGhorear
        May 14, 2012, 11:37 pm

        Schmuel, you give me faith in humanity. Thank you.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        May 15, 2012, 7:33 am

        Shmuel is one of my personal heroes. As is Danaa and Phil and Hostage, and the rest of the MW regulars but the Israelis Jews who have been able to break away from the Zionist upbringing in Israel especially.

    • Danaa
      Danaa
      May 11, 2012, 3:33 pm

      “Coming out” to your family is the hardest thing of all, and I can understand why you may be in no rush to do so. I think that for Israelis their sense of identity as persons is so intertwined with their Israeliness that to confess to the end of “love” can only come across as a rejection of them personally. The reactions may differ, depending on temperament, but most would react as one does when their identity is undermined. I know that’s how I would have taken it once. For all too many years I’d react purely emotionally to harsh criticism of Israel, to the point that a cool conversation would not have been possible (too fiery a temperament is the one constant, alas, from then to now).

      Chances are though that most will choose not to believe you when you’ll say you “lost the love”, and everyone will go on pretending as if nothing has changed. Except for a certain chill in the air. That’s for family though. I found that friends do drift away, often by mutual unspoken acceptance. Indicating perhaps that too many of these friendships were deeply rooted in a sense of tribal commonality, rathen than a purely human one. When that bond is stretched, friendships fray first, even if families make an effort to somehow transcend. Mine just wasn’t so good at transcendal stuff. Live and learn.

      Apologies for presuming, as in truth I only had a small family and a relatively limited circle of friends, so such claims as I make should not be taken as springing from any deep knowledge. But I did observe what happened to a few others, and the patterns were there.

      I think that in this sense, “coming out” as “not loving your tribe” is much more irrevocable than say, coming out gay. I’ve been thinking about the differences, having read accounts of some outings. Those who put themselves outside their tribe (which is, to me, what Israeliness kind of is, much more so than Jewish-ness) cannot expect their family and friends to come marching with them at some pride parade. They are more likely to sit at home, beating their chests with a sack over, as the parade passes them by.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 11, 2012, 4:29 pm

        Danaa,

        I agree with your analysis. In my case, I try not to be dishonest but also try to avoid confrontation that won’t convince anyone anyway and will have severe repercussions within the family. It may sound like a cliché, but I think everyone knows by now and would rather make believe. My mum actually confronted me about it once (on a “personal rejection” level), but seemed perfectly happy with my evasive answers. You’re also right that friends are different.

        There is something to be said for the Harvey Milk argument though.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        May 11, 2012, 5:28 pm

        I think there’s a difference between coming out as gay and broadcasting to the family that Israel is heading for disaster.
        South African whites en masse had to make the mental switch when apartheid fell. Because it was morally and economically imperative. Dropping homophobia in a population is harder-look how long Obama had to wait before making his announcement. And that was only because the poll numbers were supportive.

        . I can’t believe there are so few Jewish families who don’t have the blinkers on when it comes to Israel. This is the greatest collective Jewish moral collapse in a very long time.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 11, 2012, 6:11 pm

        Dropping homophobia in a population is harder-look how long Obama had to wait before making his announcement.

        When will he announce that he’s dropping his support for Israel?

        Obama’s announcement was a good thing, but it didn’t really cost him anything. On the contrary, it was a relatively easy way of re-establishing his liberal credentials without actually challenging the power structure of which he is a part. Centre-left (and even far-right) politicians in Europe have been doing it for years.

        During the last elections in Italy, the centre-left candidate made one of the nastiest hard-core neo-liberal speeches you can imagine, but promised gay “partnership”. I couldn’t believe how many of my lefty friends got taken in.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        May 11, 2012, 7:10 pm

        Shmuel,

        I couldn’t believe how many of my lefty friends got taken in.

        That in a nutshell is the problem with the left – same in the US it appears. It’s so much easier to agitate for gay marriage than to agitate against drones spraying death in the name of empire. Or something abstract (at least for now) like the surveillance state and erosion of civil rights. Or something very complicated like the environment or neoliberal economics (ever tried to argue that one with an avowed global capitalist?). Leftists do share the affliction common to all humans – a craving for the simple sound bite – a reflection of our fundamental laziness as a species (mentally especially). Gay marriage is nice that way. the arguments are clear, the opposition incoherent, the history on your side, and, most importantly, no need for any cognitive dissonance, such as when one dares to criticize one’s own country’s military escapades.

        it was a relatively easy way of re-establishing his liberal credentials without actually challenging the power structure of which he is a part.

        So it was, indeed. In America the political dynamics is interesting in that politicians (including presidents etc.) will go the path of least resistance. If there’s no strong well-monetized lobby against something that their base supports, that’s where they’ll go. especially if the cost to them politically is minimal. So it’s really all a lobby game. Where the lobby is strong we can expect minimal action (financial regulations, environment, alternative energy, gun control, I/P come to mind). But there’s really no powerful opposition to gay rights, just lip service from fundamentalists and conservatives. So you are right about the US and I imagine Europe too.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        May 11, 2012, 11:08 pm

        “This is the greatest collective Jewish moral collapse in a very long time.”

        Since when, would you say?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 12, 2012, 9:41 am

        Shmuel (and Danaa), I think what you say is very honest and goes, as well for any family trying to remain loyal and comforting to each other but having deep differences of view on some subject(s) very important to them. It’s human nature. But I also think the same struggle sometimes erupts between even close friends; when it does, it’s seems to me, that’s no different. True, you can pick your friends (not your family), and that’s some difference because presumeably you pick them based on your personally and individually–realized values, and its always in that sense an optional relationship; still, sometimes friends change, or you do?

        What is to be said for Harvey Milk argument? This: “I have it now, it is that until every American knows that they know one of us Palestinians, or at least an Arab, we will never win”?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        May 12, 2012, 10:41 am

        What is to be said for Harvey Milk argument? This: “I have it now, it is that until every American knows that they know one of us Palestinians, or at least an Arab, we will never win”?

        In keeping with the subject of the post and the speech, I was thinking more along the lines of “until every American Jew knows that they know one of us anti-Zionist Jews, we will never win”.

      • aiman
        aiman
        May 12, 2012, 10:43 am

        Seafoid, what I don’t know is if it’s moral or political. Either the language of morality is being used to “save Israel” from the right-wingers not because the right-wingers are cruel but what they might do in their haste, or that graphic news events (post-9/11) have opened up a reality of Israel to the world (which liberal Zionists cannot defend and risk losing their liberal status) or that in fact liberal Zionists have themselves been shaken up psychologically and are protesting from a genuine moral depth.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        May 12, 2012, 11:12 am

        and when they see we are only talking about human rights

  7. American
    American
    May 11, 2012, 3:00 pm

    I see nothing admirable in her….or her joining J-Street.
    The same old narcissistic Jews and Israel first tribalism.
    Seriously…you know what I want to say to this weepy our love for Israel is more important than anyone or anything else in the whole wide world because our Jewish ‘feelings’ are more important than anything or anyone else in the whole wide world….

    “My parents as well as most of our tightknit Jewish political community in Texas are also AIPAC supporters. They do lobby days in Dallas. And they are that 7 percent you hear about where Israel does decide their vote in elections. Because I love my parents, I have made sure to avoid this topic at all costs in my progressive activism. I have not wanted to go there, to disappoint them, to make them sad, to make them want to reject me.
    But I love Israel, I love Israel with all my heart. The family lore has it that when I was a child and they took me I didn’t sleep for two weeks straight because I was so invigorated by my surroundings and I didn’t want to miss a single thing.””

    Take yourself, your AIPAC parents and the rest of the 7% and move to Israel before your “Israel love” creates so much resentment in this country you actually have to.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      May 11, 2012, 5:30 pm

      “this weepy our love for Israel is more important than anyone or anything else in the whole world”

      And if you really loved Israel you would disarm it, tell it you loved it but only on condition that it went into hospital and came out fixed. Pandering to sociopaths is pointless/ . That isn’t love.

    • proudzionist777
      proudzionist777
      May 11, 2012, 6:49 pm

      American.The anthrax attacks?

    • Taxi
      Taxi
      May 12, 2012, 12:02 am

      Jeez American, don’t go sending more despicable foreigners to the middle east to live. Don’t you think there’s enough of them out there? Shouldn’t we perhaps be sending American zionists to USA Constitution classes?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 12, 2012, 9:46 am

      RE: “And they are that 7 percent you hear about where Israel does decide their vote in elections.” The young lady is talking about American elections for American political leaders. I guess Charity says, “Well, of course, because the US and Israel are one, just as Bibi told all Americans. That’s why our American leaders always tell us there’s ‘no sky’ between the two states.”

  8. evets
    evets
    May 11, 2012, 3:19 pm

    Not having been at a J Street conference I wonder if it’s considered necessary to proclaim love for Israel, recount teen adventures, romantic evenings etc. in order to then have the standing to say something critical. Not that she said much that was critical in any detailed sense.

    • ToivoS
      ToivoS
      May 11, 2012, 4:45 pm

      At the first J-Street conference I over-heard a woman saying “What is this, I don’t love Israel, why should I love Israel?” Based on the supportive chuckles from a dozen or so people within earshot, I think she was not alone in her assessment. The delegates at that conference were way to the left of the J-Street organizers.

      This speech by Ilyse is party-line but must sound incredibly naive to the average member of J-Street. Nevertheless, Phil is right that this kind of change is positive, even if progress here is measured in baby steps.

  9. seafoid
    seafoid
    May 11, 2012, 3:52 pm

    “I’m out, I’m proud, I support J street”

    Like Jstreet is going stop the car crash. Like Jews are going to continue to dictate Israel’s terms.

    It’s a bit like saying “I reject manufactured pop music. I stand with Katy Perry “

  10. clenchner
    clenchner
    May 11, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Quite a few J Street folks throw up a little when they do the ‘I love Israel’ stuff. Not necessarily because they don’t; it’s that they recognize that this patriotic language is unseemly for all kinds of reasons.
    But they buy the strategy that it will be easier to win hearts and minds of other Jews, and then to win votes and policy decisions with that power, if they are seen to be operating from inside the pro-Israel camp. It’s not a fake front, it’s more that many of these folks in real life would sound vastly more liberal and human.
    Is this strategy paying off? Reviews are mixed of course, but I think on balance they are doing a good job mobilizing American Jews against the AIPAC line and the AIPAC mentality.

    • Chaos4700
      Chaos4700
      May 11, 2012, 6:57 pm

      It’s not a fake front, it’s more that many of these folks in real life would sound vastly more liberal and human.

      Oh, would only sound vastly more liberal and human? Yeah that doesn’t sound fake at all.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 12, 2012, 9:52 am

        Imagine any of those types feeling the need to proclaim their love for America before they politely criticise some aspect of what the US government has done or is doing. Do you think that’s done often by these same people?

    • American
      American
      May 12, 2012, 11:31 am

      “But they buy the strategy that it will be easier to win hearts and minds of other Jews, and then to win votes and policy decisions with that power, if they are seen to be operating from inside the pro-Israel camp”…clencher

      And that…is the problem……..because it ‘reinforces’ the ”Jews Love Israel, Jews should Love Israel, Jews should do anything for Israel”. …it’s an enormous help to the US Uber Zios and those in Israel to show congress how much US Jews love Israel.
      Yea, spread the Israel love, that’s the way to bring US Jews to their senses. NOT.
      Someone has to tell them they’re crazy.

  11. PeaceThroughJustice
    PeaceThroughJustice
    May 11, 2012, 4:58 pm

    I also didn’t see much to admire here. More of the usual self-regarding lite liberalism. The most valuable part was the description of the intensity of the Birthright experience, that mix of hormones and tribal belonging that Kiera Feldman already spoke about in Nation.

    BTW, about the claim: “… the Holocaust Museum in Dallas has expanded the content of that museum from the the persecution of Jews in World War 2 to include the persecution of African Americans in Texas.”

    Maybe they’re still working on the transition, but right now the only people allowed on their front page are still all Jews–
    http://www.dallasholocaustmuseum.org/index.php
    If a Black story has been allowed to share space with the story of G-d’s Chosen Victims, you have to drill down pretty far to find it. I gave up looking.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 12, 2012, 9:58 am

      It also seems if anyone should have such a museum it’s the Native Americans and blacks brought here in chains–because that’s part of American history. Instead, we got a Holocaust Museum in Dallas memorializing an aspect of European history. The black experience in America is added (eventually) to an American museum originally dedicated to the Jewish experience across the sea.

  12. Shunra
    Shunra
    May 11, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Now this man, an entertainer of some sort, speaks of his fear of signing a petition against settlements.

    His position does not require enslavement, conscription, destruction, desolation. And he, unlike the woman above, is not using the people in Israel/Palestine to prop up his need for a back-up fantasy land.

    • tree
      tree
      May 11, 2012, 6:03 pm

      Mandy Patinkin. Tony Award winning actor. His favorite movie role was Inigo Montoya, from The Princess Bride.

      Phil should post that speech. Much more poignant, and to the point, than Hogue’s speech. Love his statement on fear.

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 11, 2012, 6:19 pm

        Ah, he did a lovely job as Inigo Montoya.

        My point is, though, that his job is to entertain – and hers is to lead political change. He’s doing her job. She’s not reciprocating.

        And he – who went so far as to attend Aish Torah school for tribe-based hatefulness and scripture – speaks far more to the basic values of humanism. More power to him.

  13. Sin Nombre
    Sin Nombre
    May 11, 2012, 5:03 pm

    American wrote:

    “Take yourself, your AIPAC parents and the rest of the 7% and move to Israel before your “Israel love” creates so much resentment in this country you actually have to.”

    I suspect that’s the voice of exasperation speaking, God knows how validly prodded if still over the top a bit.

    But I do think this kind of thing from this young woman, which can seem so representative in so many ways—the unrestrained statements above all the love she feels towards Israel, and the utter absence of any statement of feeling for the U.S., and etc.—raises the question of just how do most jews regard America and us, their non-jewish co-American citizens? E.g., are we *always* regarded as something of “the other” even when non-Israeli issues exist?

    I mean, from this young woman’s comments, quite aside from the “Texas strip mall” snark which may be otherwise explainable, it’s almost as if … the U.S. is just a place where she stays alot and … and uses as a stage to act out her politco-moral superiority over the inhabitants, with her supposedly deep politico-moral sensibilities however not even leading her any further than J-Street in terms of ever-so-gently disagreeing with Israel.

    What has this country ever done to not earn the kind of love or affection from her that this young lady feels for Israel? Yes it’s had it’s bouts with anti-semitism, but her presence on the J-Street wagon shows she knows that Israel itself has problems with anti-arab racism and etc.

    Calls to mind a comment I *think* that was made by that Chief Rabbi of American Reform Jewry (Yoffie) where he was speaking to some jewish gathering and as he mentioned Israel he said with seeming deliberateness “the one country we can unreservedly love.”

    What’s the reserves then about here? About us? Can it really be such historical blindness to believe jews have never been the tormentor of others, and only always the tormented?

    And it’s funny, for all the American jewish authors and writers and etc. I don’t know of any books or pieces or etc. that focuses on and discusses this one particular point about how American jews view their relationship with America and us co-citizens in any depth, even though you would think it would attract at least some attention.

    Maybe I have just not heard of same, but its certainly swamped out by all the things said all the time that are instead like this young woman’s J-Street comments: Somehow we are all just supposed to fill in the blank when it comes to her view of America, if notice at all that this is a question given her own utter lack of mention of it.

    It makes me wonder too about this “love Israel with all my heart” type of modern sentiment about the future with that sort of individual, since of course history is never static, in terms of what happens if—or perhaps more accurately “when” given history’s certain changebility—the U.S. and Israel get seriously cross-wise at some point. (It has, for instance, seem to dally with getting mighty cosy with China of late, and who knows where American/Chinese issues are going.)

    For a long time even after Israel’s birth in ’48 that is, and indeed despite the newness of that birth, my sense was that American jewry never had any problem with saying that in such a circumstance of course they sided with the U.S. Just as—to my knowledge at least—when Eisenhower told Israel in no uncertain terms back then to back the hell out of the attempted taking of the Suez Canal and pushed it hard to do same I don’t recall reading about this causing any huge anger or etc. in the American jewish community.

    But now, with all this “all Israel all the time love it with all my heart” stuff, well hell, you wanna ask: “*ALL* your heart? None for the U.S. and us here? And if otherwise, how much, and when?”

    I realize it’s a complex thing for jews, but hell, its been a complex thing for lots of folks coming here from lots of other places too.

    For what it’s worth then I’d really be interested in some book or piece exploring this in depth and giving some better perspective on it. Maybe, contra J-Street and Peter Beinart, that indeed is the issue that the American jewish community itself ought to be considering in and amongst itself, although I see no indication that is so. Instead from what I’ve heard about Beinart’s book, once again it’s just about how to *best* love Israel.

    There’s a very odd marriage here, causing a very odd marital discord: Diaspora American jews, seeming to positively define themselves in that diaspora not by their Americanism, but instead by their liberal universalist views, suddenly having all sorts of angst when those views run up against what Israel does, with most then just jettisoning in large part their former self-definition so as to support Israel, but never quite to the point of moving there.

    Angst, hypocriticalness, irony … you name it. But where’s the talk of it? Just the ability to so far pretend that the U.S. and Israel have no daylight between them? But isn’t it obvious that same can’t last forever, even if it still actually existed before? So have they even *considered* this point and where they would be then?

    • American
      American
      May 12, 2012, 12:25 am

      Well I am exasperated with this…this….craziness. That was the most insipid, narcissistic speech I’ve seen in a while. All flops like this woman is are stepping stones for the real hard core zios. She’s not the future of anything, ……they are all like passengers on a runaway train so drunk with themselves and their tribal love for their Golden Calf they are cheering the train right off the cliff.
      I don’t even want to repeat what I would say to her parents who based their US vote on Israel interest.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        May 12, 2012, 8:33 am

        That was the most insipid, narcissistic speech I’ve seen in a while. All flops like this woman is are stepping stones for the real hard core zios.

        I couldn’t agree more. If this is what the Liberal Zionists think is he bleeding edge of activism, then Israel has no hope. This delusional and self obsessed woman makes Peter Beinardt look like a radical.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 12, 2012, 10:17 am

      Any study of American literature since the mid-60’s is chock full of Jewish American writers; a constant theme is ridicule of living in Goyland, so to speak, and lots of fear of the “boy next door.” One could get the impression, after reading up, that the American Jew still lives in a ghetto while prancing high over most rooftops across the land.

    • May 14, 2012, 12:09 pm

      “I realize it’s a complex thing for jews, but hell, its been a complex thing for lots of folks coming here from lots of other places too. ”

      Well, no. “Israel”is not where they came from. They are not related to it in law be they Jewish, i.e. religious, or not. If they were doing like the “folks coming from other places” (many of said folks from the same, not other places) they would be concerned with their old countries, or their own culture and language (which the Zionists despise!), not a late-invented, parachuted country and a constructed language.

  14. seafoid
    seafoid
    May 11, 2012, 5:05 pm

    Texas AIPAC must be hard core.

  15. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    May 11, 2012, 5:36 pm

    RE: “Anyone here ever seen the movie ‘Milk’? About Harvey Milk in San Francisco. Really, really, really powerful movie.” ~ Ilyse Hogue

    Milk (2008) R – http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Milk/70100084?trkid=496751

    The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) UR – http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/The_Times_of_Harvey_Milk/60027982

  16. Keith
    Keith
    May 11, 2012, 5:52 pm

    PHIL- “…an astonishing speech….” “Hogue’s was the most majestic performance at J St after Mustafa Barghouti’s appearance. Her ten-minute speech was beautifully written, and beautifully delivered.” “But the speech is tragic.” “…Hogue’s emotionally-honest account….” “…I honor Hogue’s feelings. She was brave to address them so honestly.”

    So, who was filling your wine glass when you wrote this? I personally tend to agree with Dena Shunra and Dan Crowther in regards to this smarmy shill for Israel.

    • tree
      tree
      May 11, 2012, 6:30 pm

      So, who was filling your wine glass when you wrote this?

      LOL. Phil’s the proverbial optimistic child digging through the mound of horse manure, looking for the pony he’s sure must be there somewhere.

  17. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    May 11, 2012, 5:54 pm

    To me the word ‘liberal’ has as much appeal as a used condom. It has served its purpose, but now it’s time to move on. Liberal Zionist is an oxy-moron.

  18. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    May 11, 2012, 6:42 pm

    I don’t like the ‘coming out’ analogy. Coming out is more about revealing something about oneself that might change how others see/treat you, as it is also a statement about how you’ll be living your life.
    This one goes back to Phil’s abuse pieces. A child is trying to tell his/her parents that beloved Uncle Israel is abusing his stepkids, who the rest of the family consider to be ‘troubled’ and ‘troublesome’ despite his supposed kindness. Will they believe the child, or round on him/her for telling lies or spreading slander?? Uncle Izzy’s got the whole family dazzled by his cleverness, his achievements, his affableness, etc. They’ve forgotten he married into everything he has, or that he has generous backers for all his wild schemes.

  19. Chaos4700
    Chaos4700
    May 11, 2012, 6:45 pm

    What, they’re going to be rejected by their parents because they think prison camps and white phosphorous is too much Zionism? I’m with Daniel Rich. This is kind of like a white guy being afraid that his KKK parents will reject him because he sat next to a black man in a college class.

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      May 11, 2012, 10:39 pm

      fair enough. and didn’t those attitudes prevail across the south during segregation among even leaders? note that i speak of cowardice

      • Chaos4700
        Chaos4700
        May 12, 2012, 9:58 am

        I can tolerate cowards, Mr. Weiss. What I can’t tolerate are people who facilitate the systematic oppression and murder of a whole culture, purely for fun and profit.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        May 12, 2012, 10:57 am

        Worse are those who facilitate the systematic oppression and murder of a whole culture as part of their identity

  20. LanceThruster
    LanceThruster
    May 11, 2012, 6:50 pm

    Though it’s true the wheels of justice turn slowly, I’d like to up the ante on what constitutes “bravery.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rose

    [edited excerpt]The group was motivated by ethical and moral considerations. They rejected fascism and militarism and believed in a federated Europe that adhered to principles of tolerance and justice. In 1941 Hans Scholl read a copy of a sermon by an outspoken critic of the Nazi regime, Bishop August von Galen, decrying the euthanasia policies (extended that same year to the concentration camps) which the Nazis maintained would protect the German gene pool. [end text]

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      May 12, 2012, 1:33 am

      @ LanceThruster,

      side note:

      Q: … which the Nazis maintained would protect the German gene pool.

      R: And then they end up with Merkel? Or did they wish for a Miracle, but things got lost in translation?.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 12, 2012, 10:31 am

      LanceThruster, I think you lanced her inflated balloon sharply; perhaps she will read up on the young Germans who made up the White Rose. Or can’t they be a light to the world? Or didn’t they give themselves to repairing the world sans selfish, opportunistic motives? They didn’t pay a high enough price?

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        May 12, 2012, 11:14 am

        all these people are exceptional. max blumenthal is exceptional. ilyse hogue is conventional, and helpful because she shines a light on the problem inside the conventional liberal american jewish community

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 14, 2012, 5:16 am

        /and helpful /
        Lenin’s famous term comes to mind.

      • LanceThruster
        LanceThruster
        May 14, 2012, 1:06 pm

        As a non-religionist, and indiferrent tribalist (“Yay, America!” when we get things right), I am always amazed and concerned when the fear of not being in lockstep with one’s particular group affiliation in even minor ways so fully overrides what I would like to think is the standard application of morality and ethics for most human beings.

  21. eGuard
    eGuard
    May 11, 2012, 7:33 pm

    Header: Liberal Zionists are afraid their parents will reject them if they come out

    And they are in the easiest position. Just imagine non-Zionists, Netanyahu (jr.), non-liberal Zionists: coming out.

  22. andrew r
    andrew r
    May 11, 2012, 8:24 pm

    My dad in his role as as president of the Holocaust Museum in Dallas has expanded the content of that museum from the the persecution of Jews in World War 2 to include the persecution of African Americans in Texas. I’m very proud of that.

    It must be safe to assume that her parents don’t view any action against the Palestinians at any stage of the conflict as persecution. Their focus on segregation in the Old South is just a feel-good trip so they can support a regime that segregates in their favor, while pretending to anti-racism. You might as well campaign against porn while keeping a stash of Hustler in the crawlspace — the hypocrisy is no less blatant.

    The biggest failure of liberalism in the US is that it’s taboo to come out in favor of apartheid or Jim Crow, but you can make a career justifying racial exclusion for the sake of Zionism, and, of course Indian removal.

    I have not wanted to go there, to disappoint them, to make them sad, to make them want to reject me.

    That’s infuriating. I don’t know what to tell her, except there are no compromises. Anything that threatens to disown one’s offspring for turning against it can’t be all that defensible.

    I love Israel the way you do when you’re 16 and you’re free from your parents’ grasp for the first time and go on a team tour and you get to go out and experience things on your own.

    Now this whole paragraph seems disrespectful to anyone who was forcibly relocated to make Palestine become and remain a Jewish state. For propriety’s sake she could keep thoughts like this to herself. Of course, she’s not talking to Palestinians here.

    I’m not an expert on this issue at all. Everybody who will speak here this weekend will be more an expert than me. I have probably already belied my stature by some of the language I’ve chosen to use in this talk.

    If you want to become an expert, or better informed at least, you simply have to learn the facts of the Zionist movement that supporters of Israel in general do not seem to know and those who do would rather not talk about. Not only what it’s done to Palestinians; what it’s done to certain Jews as well, however far down the memory hole that’s been flushed. Like I said about Bradley Burston — Liberal Zionism is the art of saying a whole lot of nothing. In the time it takes you to admit Israel might’ve gone overboard, you could have more fun riding a glacier.

    But I cant be silent anymore, because I understand that in order to secure the future of Israel so that my nieces can go back and create the kinds of memory– experience the magic of floating in the Dead Sea and the power of watching the sunrise over Masada– we cannot continue with the status quo.

    Israel hasn’t been able to ride roughshod completely unscathed and now you want to try the carrot. It’s not going to happen.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      May 11, 2012, 11:30 pm

      Sometimes Burston has discussed real problems, unlike this speech, whose only progressive point is her main one, basically: I am pro-J Street and ask hard questions.

      If your expectation is that these kinds of guys are going to have a huge major reversal when they find out about white phosphorous and that their reversal is “the answer”, is that like relying on Americans in the 17th-19th centuries to “wake up” to dispossesion of the Native Americans?

      It would be nice, of course.

  23. RoHa
    RoHa
    May 11, 2012, 11:17 pm

    What sort of parents would reject their children for such a thing?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      May 14, 2012, 9:42 pm

      I’m going to ask this again. Am I the only one who thinks it only an appalling lack of parental feeling would lead a parent to reject his child over this sort of thing?

      I cannot easily imagine what it would take for me to reject RoHa2. I would disapprove (loudly and often) if he became a Zionist, a Wahabi Muslim, a member of the Liberal Party, an opera singer, or all of those together, but I would not reject him.

      I don’t even reject him for his bad English grammar and poor spelling!

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 14, 2012, 10:21 pm

        RoHa, I forget which country you are from…what is so egregious about the Liberal Party, or, for that matter opera.
        Now, if you were to say, a shrill soprano or a wobbly bass, I’d feel the same way.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 15, 2012, 12:49 am

        “what is so egregious about the Liberal Party,”

        They are conservatives. http://www.liberal.org.au/

        ” or, for that matter opera.”

        It involves singing. Great composers write wonderful music, but you can hardly hear it because there is a stage full of fat people screaming and honking at each other.

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 15, 2012, 5:59 pm

        RoHa,
        That makes perfect sense. If there’s one thing that just destroys wonderful music, it’s people performing it. George Bernard Shaw used to go to concerts and listen to the entire concert with his eyes closed. He may have been on to something.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        May 14, 2012, 10:25 pm

        I cannot easily imagine what it would take for me to reject RoHa2.

        Neither could I RoHa, in fact, I’d give my life for my children.

        The one circumstance that I’ve noticed has led to parents rejecting their children, is in cults or religious communes. I have a friend who’s parents belong to a religious cult. They were typical loving parents until she decided to leave, at which point, she was excommunicated from the group and her parents.

        Zionism ticks all the boxes in terms if cult status.

  24. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    May 12, 2012, 12:41 am

    It’s unreaslistic to expect Hogue or Beinart or any person who has learned to love Israel on his/her daddy’s knee, to drink Israel in his/her mother’s milk, to suddenly become an ardent critic of Israel and Zionism. In ‘coming out’ at the JStreet conference, Hogue has, however tepidly, recognized that Israel is at least responsible for injustices against Palestinians. Once she started tugging on that string of truth about Israel, she committed herself to an unravelling of the myths and legends she grew up with. I’m confident she’ll get there. Like Beinart, she would be a great ally:

    ” …I got in my fair share of fights. [wild applause] I have negotiated with bank CEOs for stronger environmental standards on their lending policies. I have stood my ground when rightwing radical activists have shouted down congresspeople supporting the health care law in town halls of 2009.”

  25. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    May 12, 2012, 12:47 am

    Interesting metaphor Andrew: In the time it takes you to admit Israel might’ve gone overboard, you could have more fun riding a glacier.

    As someone who spent some time on glaciers it is true you do not feel the motion most of the time. But every once in awhile a whole lot of hell breaks out very quickly. These are the collapses of seracs or a sudden shift that opens up a thousand foot deep crevice in what appeared as smooth snow or the calving of an ice burg. As far as human perception can tell at any given point the glacier seems motionless. But there is continuous strain building below the surface.

    I like to look at attitudes towards Israel with that kind of dynamic in mind.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      May 12, 2012, 9:01 am

      Good analogy Toivos,

      I definitely think we are going to see examples of collapse and deep crevices developing and most of the Zionists who’s built their house on the glacier won’t know what hit them.

  26. Pixel
    Pixel
    May 12, 2012, 1:39 am

    .
    Each and every little bit helps.

  27. English colleague
    English colleague
    May 12, 2012, 4:02 am

    She comes from a Jewish Texan family, and yet she says ‘we’ the Israelis. Therein lies the problem, quite apart from the odious blindness and racism of this statement:

    ‘I cant help but notice, we’re retracting, that we’ve taken the unprecedented step of trading one soldier for thousands of Palestinians, emboldening Hamas, and undercutting Fatah.’

    No matter how much I identify with Palestinians and their righteous cause, i might say ‘we, the solidarity movement’ but never ‘we the Palestinians’ as a non-Palestinian.

    Hogue knows she has the ‘right of return’ as a Jew, and above all wants to hold on to and exercise that entitlement in a ‘secure’ Israel for the next generation of American Jews. That is her principal concern.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      May 15, 2012, 9:29 am

      And that, Eleanor, is the heart of the problem. The fact that American Jews, in large numbers, view this foreign entity as an “us” is the key problem. That drives American policies in opposition to her professed ideals and supports this filthy aparthied Judeo-supremacist state.

  28. Shingo
    Shingo
    May 12, 2012, 8:39 am

    Has anyone noticed that not a single experssion of regard for the humanity of Palestinians is expressed anywhere in this speech?

    And to put things in perspectve here. She is laying it all on the line here for J Street, who threw even Peter Beinardt under the bus, and who are firmly commited to:

    1. Israel remaining a Jewish majority
    2. Ongoing military aid to Israel to ensure it remains the toughest bully on the block

    This simply goes to illustrate how far these nut jobs need to go just to get up up to speed with the rest of the world.

  29. Sin Nombre
    Sin Nombre
    May 12, 2012, 9:38 am

    Eleanor Kilroy wrote:

    “She comes from a Jewish Texan family, and yet she says ‘we’ the Israelis.”

    You know, I didn’t even notice that, and yet how perfectly it invites the kind of questions that I asked before. E.g., how do American jews view the rest of us Americans?

    Obviously for this woman at least “we” ain’t her, and this is perhaps what most bothers me about, say, the J-Street crowd, Beinart and etc., and it’s kind of counter-intuitive.

    One the one hand this woman and Beinart and J-Street are clearly the young guns of politically active American jewry, and yes they say better things about how Israel should treat the Palestinians than the old guard is wont to say.

    But how do these young guns view *us*? From my perspective at least the old guard were concerned and cautious about the idea of dual loyalties and etc. Indeed very very concerned and cautious to the frequent point where this or that figure would stand up and say to the Israelis even that “hey, remember we’re Americans first.”

    Look even at Dershowitz at that recent event telling his listeners to never ever openly boo the President of the U.S. in relation to Israel.

    Now however I get *no* sense of that from the young guns at all. *None.* (Admitting I haven’t read Beinart’s book.)

    So while everyone’s celebrating their feelings of solicitation for the Palestinians (or perhaps just how standing on the necks of the Palestinians so much hurts Israel), while I’m happy to see that how come I can’t be concerned about their feelings towards me and *this* country?

    For all I see, to be blunt, it’s an ever more open “Fuck you you ain’t us.”

    So I’m still supposed to prefer the new young guns to the oldsters?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 12, 2012, 11:04 am

      Well, you cold prefer neither the new young guns nor the oldsters, but the middlers, e.g., Rahm Immanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, who use to be Obama’s gate-keeper at the Oval Office—he never joined the US Military, but he did clean up Merkavah tank treads for the IDF, in Israel.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        May 15, 2012, 9:32 am

        Exactly. His actions should have ended any hope for political office in the US. (Hell, it should have meant a forfeiture of his US citizenship, but I digress…)

    • American
      American
      May 12, 2012, 12:56 pm

      “From my perspective at least the old guard were concerned and cautious about the idea of dual loyalties and etc. Indeed very very concerned and cautious to the frequent point where this or that figure would stand up and say to the Israelis even that “hey, remember we’re Americans first.”
      Look even at Dershowitz at that recent event telling his listeners to never ever openly boo the President of the U.S. in relation to Israel.
      Now however I get *no* sense of that from the young guns at all. *None.* (Admitting I haven’t read Beinart’s book.) “…..SN

      I think I agree…..it seems the young lib zios, maybe because they were raised in a political atmosphere where US abdication to Israel in US Jews behalf seems normal and accepted, don’t get that while they think this exceptionalism is normal, the majority in this country increasingly don’t/wouldn’t think it’s normal, would see something very wrong about a small group that dictates policies or actions that impact the country as a whole and them.
      The fact that American don’t really care about Israel one way or another, enough to take any real interest in it, plus the fact the media prevents them knowing too much about it and the Isr-USA relationship is why it’s not yet risen to the level of popular outcry against it like public opinion on WS elites and the 1%.
      While the old guard understood that the lobby had to be a ‘nightflower’ to escape the notice/resentment of the broader public in their political bludgeoning for favortism for them and Israel, the young crew doesn’t recognize that, they think their Israel Love entitlement and the US and world revolving around it is perfectly natural. ..some kind of universally established privilege of Jewish State ‘feelings’ that no one should think twice about.
      I have only seen a few like MJ ( and yes even Dershowitz) and some others who understand the danger of this.
      All that is necessary for the Israel Loving Liberal Zios to become Uber Zios is for Israel to actually get itself into some ‘threat to it’s existence war’ and their Israel Love would make them all Ubers.
      And if Israel feels it’s losing it’s grip on diaspora Israel lovers, it’s necessary lifeblood, that’s exactly what it will do.
      The demand by Israel and US zios that the US attack Iran, and congress’s groveling to them, is just a small taste of what it would be like politically and for the US if Israel really got itself into a war.

  30. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    May 12, 2012, 10:11 am

    “I felt the same determination that now is the time to speak out and that same terrified feeling that I could be rejected by those I most love.”

    She is telling us that she loves them, but she feels that their (presumed) love for her is conditional — and she can lose it by “coming out”. And she fears losing it, frightened of losing “communion” with people who, she feels, are quite ready to toss her (and other pro-Palestinian activists and writers) out with the bath water. Some love! [I love you, mom, even though I fear you don’t really love me.]

    She’s telling us (and telling herself) that acting for human rights is all very well unless and until it threatens to step on the toes of the actor.

    And that’s J-street, all over. Pity.

    When I married a Palestinian woman in June 1967, my family (all non-community Jews) were fine with it. My (and her) marriage certificate was signed by all the guests as witnesses, Jews and Palestinians and others. After she died, my father mentioned that in June 1967 he had for the first time been really proud of “the Jews” or of “being Jewish” (I forget which), but he’d kept quiet about it for 25 years out of care not to offend me or my wife.

    The Jewish community as a censoring community (aren’t they all?) is a heavy burden on its members. I sure hope it has some compensating social value. Catholics can choose birth control, whatever the Bishops say. Cannot Jews choose human rights — whatever AIPAC or their own rabbi says — for Palestinians?

    !!!

  31. Cliff
    Cliff
    May 12, 2012, 10:36 am

    This woman is not a progressive or a liberal. She is a tribalist/Zionist to the core. Nothing else to it.

    A total coward and shadow of a human being.

  32. HHM
    HHM
    May 12, 2012, 11:04 am

    Marc Ellis, professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University states in his book, Judaism does not Equal Israel, “The progressive Jewish two-state option is too limited, has become dishonest, and is discredited – it is simply a cover for power.”

    And didn’t Ben-Ami say the main difference between J Street and AIPAC is that J Street has different priorities rather than different views?

    J Street hosted Olmert at their DC conference. ( http://tinyurl.com/77s2ab9 )

    The January 2012 issue of the Lane County Jewish Federation Newsletter, (http://www.jewishfedlc.org/HTML/newsletters.html) page 7 advertises a local event as such: J-Street and AIPAC will present how each organization supports Israel “Come find out how both groups are walking different paths to the same goal.”

    J Street Field Director Carinne Luck stated in this Jewish Review piece on one of Eugene, Oregon’s J Street events: “…J Street is more often lobbying on the same side as AIPAC…” http://tinyurl.com/4hducdv

    Yes, since young American Jews are opting out (http://tinyurl.com/6sk3qns) (and this survey was done before Operation Cast Lead and the Mavi Marmara massacre) perhaps “we all need to go somewhere where we fear to tread.” Perhaps what is needed is for more American Jews to “come out” in support of Palestinian human rights – the Palestinian civil society call for non-violence in the form of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, including the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

  33. annie
    annie
    May 12, 2012, 12:14 pm

    we all need to go somewhere where we fear to tread

    it’s unfortunate she wasn’t able to take her own advice. the extent of her complaint (aside from lamenting israel traded 1000 soldiers for one, which she referenced as a retraction) was “we cannot continue with the status quo” but she never goes there..she never verbalizes the status quo.

    what we learn about her is how much she loves israel and her relationship with her parents and what a highpowered person she can be when she sets her mind to it.

    now maybe (and the response of the crowd in the room affirms this) jews have an endless well of appreciation for hearing the “how much i love of israel expression”, but i’ve already heard it over and over. we get it. so perhaps this was her build up, the requirement she felt she needed to express to preface her ‘coming out’ as a j street supporter.

    but a teensy weensy descriptive of why the status quo is not ok for her, just as a practice run before she talks to her parents..might have been helpful. because, ultimately..that is where she will have to tread if she is going to be part of any solution. it take no guts saying israel disappointed her by trading the prisoners. maybe she doesn’t know about administrative detention.

    i realize to her this was a big deal. for the j street crowd getting one of the salwarts in their corner signifies something. but if she came here would she be repulsed by us? by those who freely express what we see as the status quo? she didn’t put her foot in the water. professing ones love for israel is not going to cut it. maybe this kind of stuff works at aa meetings for first time visitors. but at some point she’s gonna have to get up there and really talk about that addiction and what it’s done, the harm it has caused. but it’s a step. she came to the meeting and said the equivalent of, i am an alcoholic and the status quo isn’t working.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 12, 2012, 12:38 pm

      She describes herself as a long-time progressive activist for Move On, and says she has “negotiated with bank CEOs for stronger environmental standards on their lending policies” & has “stood my ground when rightwing radical activists have shouted down congresspeople supporting the health care law in town halls of 2009.” But before she came to make her speach at the J-St Conference she didn’t do any homework to prepare, not even enough to speak out about a few things in the status quo handling of the Palestinians she didn’t like? Or that maybe her land of birth and breeding might be at risk, or even just the troops Petraeus said were made vulnerable by US blank checks and UNSC vetos to Israel? She cares not for Biff, her American country boy neighbor who died defending the wet dreams of the neocons and PEPS? She just claims ignorance of the whole I-P issue, yet she stands up and makes her speech, saying she is motivated by her crush on Israel, not on America, which has been her safe, freedom-loving nest since she was born? She wants her kids to be able to play hide & seek under the warm Israeli sun, which she watched over Massada land. she never had a thought that maybe Israel was Imperial Rome to the native Palestinians driven to their last defense? Nothing about America’s blood and treasure expended to enable this? With two US wars going on over there, and another threatened by the nuclear-armed state of Israel, which state the increasingly poverty-stricken average US taxpayer continues to subsidize, even when its own credit rating is lowered while it underwrites Israel’s debt?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 12, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Here, this is more comprensive:
        She describes herself as a long-time progressive activist for Move On, and says she has “negotiated with bank CEOs for stronger environmental standards on their lending policies” & has “stood my ground when rightwing radical activists have shouted down congresspeople supporting the health care law in town halls of 2009.” But before she came to make her speach at the J-St Conference she didn’t do any homework to prepare, not even enough to speak out about a few things in the status quo handling of the Palestinians she didn’t like? Or that maybe her land of birth and breeding might be at risk, or even just the troops Petraeus said were made vulnerable by US blank checks and UNSC vetos to Israel? She cares not for Biff, her American country boy neighbor who died defending the wet dreams of the neocons and PEPS? She just claims ignorance of the whole I-P issue, yet she stands up and makes her speech, saying she is motivated by her crush on Israel, not on America, which has been her safe, freedom-loving nest since she was born? She wants her kids to be able to play hide & seek under the warm Israeli sun, which she watched over Massada land. she never had a thought that maybe Israel was Imperial Rome to the native Palestinians driven to their last defense? Nothing about America’s blood and treasure expended to enable this? With two US wars going on over there, and another threatened by the nuclear-armed state of Israel, which state the increasingly poverty-stricken average US taxpayer continues to subsidize, even when its own credit rating is lowered while it underwrites Israel’s debt? Even when US leaders are willing to cut the US safety net, kick its seniors to the curb, cut all sorts of government spending on needy Americans, just to give $4 Billion dollars to Israel for the 2013 fiscal year commencing in October?

      • annie
        annie
        May 12, 2012, 1:06 pm

        citizen, opening the link phil provided reveals she is a very very big fish in the grass roots activist community. (“In her over five years at MoveOn, she was responsible for shaping political strategy and developing communications initiatives to give MoveOn’s five million members a voice in Washington. “) and that’s not all.

        so, taking this under consideration i am willing to assume she knows a little more than she’s letting on and as a professional has made the choice to not talk about the conflict in a public environment where many present know a lot more than she does (what’s that saying about better to keep quiet than open your mouth and reveal you’re a fool).

        normally one might ask (and ask myself i did) ‘why was she asked to speak’? the reason is because of her profile. so, she’s a newbie and could be a real asset in the long run. maybe she is just now coming on board, completely fresh out of the water, i don’t know. but if she’s going to be an effective activist immersed in I/P she’s gonna have to learn how to take the dive, face the truth, and articulate israeli violations.

        better late than never, this could be part of the beinart effect. but we’ve got a mountain to move. either you’re part of the problem or part of the solution. i’m one of those people who gets extremely frustrated with jstreet (for all the obvious reasons, they are so far behind) but i am reluctant to throw them to the wolves. it remains to be seen whether they can be an effective catalyst for positive change. but if they are they will need people/professionals like hogue who know how to mobilize the troops. we have to shove the middle over to the left. metaphorically, imagine we’re part of a team pulling on the rope from the left. it doesn’t hurt to have people shoving from the other side of the spectrum.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 12, 2012, 1:14 pm

        Annie, your comment is well-taken; I hope as you hope here. Perhaps the White Rose members had parents who were all humanists, so they naturally had more courage to speak out (drop those leaflets). Even so, I imagine it’s easier to wake up in contemporary USA than in Germany under Hitler.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 12, 2012, 1:25 pm

        Looks like the White Rose kids were brought up as Nazis by their culture, but their parents were “oddballs” who did not agree with Nazi culture, while with our heroine here, she grew up with hard core Zionist parents and values, still adheres to them, but just wants Zionism-lite; we have no sense of what that means to her in terms of Palestine life or her adherence to American egalitarian values at this point. http://www.fff.org/freedom/0196a.asp

      • American
        American
        May 12, 2012, 2:43 pm

        “we have to shove the middle over to the left. “..annie

        One question…..how long do you think it will take you to do that?
        And even if you did shove the Jewish middle to the Jewish left as the solution to US-Isr-Palestine what it means is you are still leaving US foreign policy in the hands of a select minority interest…exactly what has been wrong about it all along.
        I am not picking on your fine efforts and good intentions, you know I admire them, but this is stop gap effort at best, not a correction of the core problem.
        And for Palestine, it’s just burning daylight, Israel is marching right on.

        No I don’t have a better suggestion…not one that’s legal anyway. LOL

      • annie
        annie
        May 12, 2012, 4:28 pm

        “we have to shove the middle over to the left. “..annie

        how long do you think it will take you to do that?

        it’s not me it’s everybody, including you i presume. and i’m not talking about moving the jewish middle to the left i am talking about the mountain, the whole society to the left. jstreet is a jewish group so of course they are going to employ and engage jewish activists. my focus is not that community. i waited a long time to comment in this thread even tho i had read it before there were any comments on it. my initial reaction was sort of like inanna’s w/some kinda ‘lordy lordy lordy girl, get over it’ thrown into the mix. but heck, i’m not jewish. the more i know about that community, the ones on the inside, the more cult-like it seems. but at the same time when i was growing up, the kids i was growing up with, like me they were born less than a decade away from the holocaust. which means their parents were teenagers during the holocaust. that’s some strong medicine in terms of life lessons so i don’t know if i can really comprehend the kind of mindf*ck that might do to my household. and the same for palestinians growing up with this. i don’t think, as a non trauma kid, i can really put myself securely in those shoes and speak to my own experience and say ‘i know what that’s like’.

        more than anything what i take away from her speech is that her entire home life will be turned over by this choice she’s making and i guess her way of dealing with that is to profess her love for israel endlessly as a precursor to her new found commitment. reading her speech is sort of like stepping into a theatre and watching a one act play. you just take away from it whatever you do, and sometimes it impacts you differently the next day.

        i’m glad i didn’t respond when i first read it. i can leave it to others to express the fullness of what’s lacking. she will probably be reading this so if i had to impart a message to her it would be, glad you’ve decided to step into the mix and do some catching up..fast, very very fast.

      • Rusty Pipes
        Rusty Pipes
        May 12, 2012, 5:00 pm

        She may be a big fish in the move-on community. But is Move-On as influential as it was at one time? At best, it ignores the I/P issue. I doubt that I am the only progressive that has moved-on from Move On’s PEP organizing. Her speaking at J-Street may be just as much outreach from Move On as outreach from J-Street. Move On’s adopting J Street’s platform may be an improvement over where they’ve been, but it still may not make their e-mails relevant enough to open on a regular basis.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 12, 2012, 5:38 pm

        PS: I see you used the IRA as example; does this mean you think the Orangemen and their Brit enablers were not terrorists because they operated under color of law?

  34. May 12, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Ilyse Hogue’s ‘coming out’?

    Compare Ilyse to Nana – (‘I always knew, Nana was Jewish’, by Jamie Dyer)

    Jamie wanted his grandmother Nana who had always said she was German to come out as Jewish. That means, in Jamie’s view Nana had a different identity/essence.

    But an American Communist who becomes an anti-Communist doesn’t change his identity. Nor does a pro-Zionist Jew change his identity when he becomes an anti-Zionist Jew. Communism or Zionism are sets of beliefs. But being a Jew is considered to be your basic essensce. You can only become a self-hating Jew. Isn’t that so – from the Jewish point of view?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      May 13, 2012, 7:23 pm

      So these identity things are thought of as a sort of unchanging Aristotelian essence?

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 14, 2012, 7:48 am

      >> But being a Jew is considered to be your basic essensce.

      Unless you don’t support the Jewish state, in which case you should not be considered a Jew:
      >> 1. The Jewish community in Israel is about 50% of the Jews in the world.
      >> 2. BDS aim is to cause change in Israel’s Jews view by harming them economically.
      >> 3. A major tenant [sic] of Judaism is caring about other Jews
      >> Therefore, anyone wanting to harm 50% of Jews is putting himself outside the Jewish community and should not be considered a Jew.

    • OlegR
      OlegR
      May 14, 2012, 9:20 am

      Sure .
      Anti Zionists are no lesser Jews then Zionists
      just like communists Jews or Trotzkist Jew or Neocon Jews.

      Eljay the fact that some anonym says a stupid thing
      does not mean that you can quote him as a proof of anything.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 14, 2012, 10:18 am

        >> Eljay the fact that some anonym says a stupid thing does not mean that you can quote him as a proof of anything.

        Evidently I can, because I did. :-)

        I quoted him as proof that not every Jew believes that “Jewish is part of your essence”.

        He believes he’s right, you believe you’re right. You’re both Jews and you’re both anonyms. How’s a poor goy guy like me supposed to know which one of you to believe? ;-)

  35. May 12, 2012, 12:50 pm

    “longtime progressive activist… most majestic performance at J St… speech was beautifully written, and beautifully delivered… Its thrilling surprise…”

    After reading that, by the Editor, a clear answer to the following should be in order (even though we know inconvenient questions are censored on arrival):
    – is the primary purpose of the site that of supporting the fight of the spoliated owners of the land or providing additional PR, pitched to the relatively more intelligent, for the Tribe’s “image with a human face”?

    – is fraternization with Zionists (good to see the number of readers who see through the propaganda garbage on “progressive Zionists”, though) an objective?

  36. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 12, 2012, 1:04 pm

    If the United States officially suddenly defined itself as a white Christian state (or even more narrowly as an Anglo-Protestant state), and was building white Christian (or Anglo-Protestant) settlements in occupied territories, and one justification for this was the fast-dwindling number of such “real” Americans demographically, would Ms Hogue gush over how much she loves America? And say in the next sentence she’s ignorant, without expertise, but she’s just prompted by her love of her homeland, America, to speak up even though she knows it will hurt her Parents’ feelings so much they may reject her for not speaking in behalf of real American values?

  37. American
    American
    May 12, 2012, 2:21 pm

    You know we spend a lot of time talking/arguing about the “tribalism” behind the Jewish State, among Jews. etc.etc……..that tribalism is bad, so forth. I think the truth is no one can do anything about that. I look at so called Liberal Zios and see the same tribalism (meaning they don’t see/care that anyone else is affected by it) with just different ideas about how to keep Israel.
    Bottom line is, if people want to be tribal they can and will be tribal, that’s their freedom to be/ live whatever/however they want as long as it’s not detrimental to others.
    What they have to be told, taught, shown though, however you want to put it, is they have to keep their tribalism to themselves, not demand exorbitant things from others for their tribe, not impose their tribal interest on others, not step on others rights/interest.
    How they learn this though is a whole other question. I can’t think offhand of a comparison where a citizen tribe with ‘foreign interest as opposed to tribe- like domestic groups with opposite ‘domestic interest, have created this kind of situation or problem. We had a problem with this in the Cuban exile groups and US
    Cuba policy but small potatoes compared to the impact of our Israel policy on the US. There might be some example somewhere else and someone here will no doubt tell me if there is.
    Anyway, we aren’t going to change the tribe, all we can do is aim for a government that will just say No to this kind of minority foreign interest influence and control.
    Realistically I don’t think we’re going to get that kind of government any time soon so I guess we just wait and see where it all goes…if we limp along behind Israel indefinitely or if it all goes boom at some point.

  38. May 12, 2012, 2:27 pm

    I mean, what’s the big deal, turning from a pro-Israel Jew to one opposed to Israel?

    When I was in Jerusalem in 2002 I talked to a New York Jew. He told me he had come to visit his son. I asked him: “Why did your son come to live in Israel?”
    His answer was: “My son is a Zionist.” (He implied he himself wasn’t one.)

    – So why not the other way round also: Jews who turn their back on Israel?
    What’s the big deal about ‘coming out’ as anti-Zionist?

  39. Xpat
    Xpat
    May 12, 2012, 3:45 pm

    I love Israel with everything I have, and because I love Israel, I can’t not notice that the range is getting smaller. That when American teen tours go, they don’t go to the souk as much. They’re not free to wander the Arab quarter. Many of them don’t go to Bethlehem anymore.

    Ilyse Hogue is showing how long she has has been away from Israel. Bethlehem?! Israelis – and certainly American Jewish tourists – stopped going to Bethlehem (and other areas) over 20 years ago.

    Isn’t it odd, how, out there, in the real world, J Street is so edgy and current?

    • May 12, 2012, 8:08 pm

      – “American Jewish tourists – stopped going to Bethlehem … over 20 years ago.”

      I went to Bethlehem in December 2002, ten years ago. But I wasn’t an American Jewish tourist. Let me tell you one thing that struck me when I was in Israel. (I was there two weeks on my own, not in tourist group.)

      – Whenever I met and talked to someone, Israeli Jews, and had told them that I was from Germany, they asked me “are you Jewish?” When I said ‘no’, it was okay with them. But the point is: They wanted to know: ‘Are you one of us?’

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 12, 2012, 11:50 pm

        I think that’s true. In my experience, Israelis have a strong “us vs. them” mentality. If you are not with us, then you are with them. I’ve seen this repeatedly. An Israeli starts talking to a stranger. At some point, the Israeli realizes that the other guy is actually Israeli/Jewish/has family in Israel or whatever other marker makes the other guy safe. The Israeli’s whole bearing changes to acceptance and, worse, approval.

      • May 13, 2012, 6:28 am

        – “the other guy [stranger]… has family in Israel”

        Yes, there was also this indirect way to find out whether I was Jewish by asking me “are you visiting family?” . Although I’m not Jewish (and even German), the very fact that I visited Israel in Dec. 2002 – at a time of great tension and when tourism was rock bottom low – made me in a way ‘one of them’. I have no unpleasent memories of the Israelis I met.

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 13, 2012, 8:34 am

        Makes sense. I was talking about recently arrived Israelis in the U.S.
        I imagine that, in Israel, Israelis feel more secure. Although, I expect German are a special case.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      May 12, 2012, 10:47 pm

      Isn’t it odd, how, out there, in the real world, J Street is so edgy and current?

      It reminds me of some very wealthy friends of mine (an oolder couple) who think that going on Safari involves staying at 5 and 6 star hotels in Africa.

  40. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 12, 2012, 5:03 pm

    I sincerely hope Ilyse Hogue does read all the comments here reacting to her speech. There are regular American commenters here other than myself who are not Jewish and object severely to many things their own government had done, and is doing, and deeply resent their own tax money and American lives, directly or indirectly, pays for such things, for example, regarding foreign policy in the ME. They are not wealthy, nor do they come from well-off, or merely “well-to-do” families and/or families with any political influence. Basically, common variety American working stiffs, who grew up with the principles of equality before the law and equal opportunity for all, with, in short, the notion of fairness every grammar school kid I ever met knew instinctively during my own childhood, often when they intuited they were getting the shaft, something important was being left out of whatever solution was rendered, and/or the official justification for some action or inaction. In the end, the Golden Rule really is important and it has universal application.

  41. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 12, 2012, 6:00 pm

    You’ve often encountered the label “Pro-Israel”–so what does that mean? What’s inside the can?
    Here’s the contents:
    http://peacenow.org/entries/ambassador_oren_gets_it_right_on_pro-israel_lfriedman_at_the_daily_beast

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      May 12, 2012, 7:09 pm

      Thanks for that link Citizen,

      Another example of the incoherence in these pro Israrlis. They criticize proponents of Israel
      While lauding Oren, who represents a government who believes in the same ideology.

  42. May 12, 2012, 6:14 pm

    – “terrified feeling that I could be rejected by those I most love.” – Ilyse Hogue

    Why doesn’t she feel the other way round?: Those who love me will be terrified that I could reject them. – Parents are often more terrified that their children reject them.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 12, 2012, 6:28 pm

      Maybe Ilyse Hogue is like the main characters on the HBO series, Girls. She does not mumble, but she may as well? The writer and actor in the show claims she represents the new generation but she really represents the spawn of the lower tier of the 1%. Ms Hogue claims she’s “the future of Pro-Israel.” Kinda creepy, these new girls, er I mean young women.

      • annie
        annie
        May 12, 2012, 7:23 pm

        citizen, i watched that opening segment of girls. the mother is a school teacher. how does that make her part of the 1%? yes she’s spoiled (my son has been supporting himself for years and he’s that girl’s age) but spawn of the 1%? please.

      • annie
        annie
        May 12, 2012, 7:27 pm

        citizen, i was talking about the main character in girls, i don’t know anything about the writer/actress.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 13, 2012, 5:17 am

        Annie, point taken, so I will amend my comment to characterize Girls as representing the product of, and a reflection of the upper middle class aspiring to be part of the 1%. A big indicator is their glib empathy, at best, and knee-jerk private total indifference at worst, to the rest of us. Look at the CBO Report’s graph on the last 30 years of widening income gap to see more precisely where the parent’s of the main four characters fit in real life–then add familial connections to the business, in this case show business, and then in the Show itself, since the characters live off their parents even when a quarter century old: ttp://www.jweekly.com/article/full/64984/is-hbos-girls-about-lifes-struggles-or-lives-of-privilege/

        Don’t get me wrong–I’m a big fan of Sylvia Plath’s work.

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 12, 2012, 6:35 pm

      >> Why doesn’t she feel the other way round?

      If the people she loves most are hateful and immoral, she should be more terrified that they will accept her – and she, them – than that they will reject her for embracing kindness and morality and justice.

    • Xpat
      Xpat
      May 13, 2012, 12:30 am

      @ Klaus – as others have explained, all Israelis (and many Jews) who come out as anti-Zionists pay a social price. It strains relationships, sometimes to the breaking point. I know of cases where coming out as an anti-Zionist has cost people their job.

      I had a close childhood friend in Israel. We lost touch in recent years. We spoke a few times on the phone and made tentative plans to meet that never came to fruition. A year ago, he suddenly contacted me by email and almost immediately started to harangue me about my blog, on Israel. My efforts to avoid a blowup confrontation only slowed him down a little. It was quite unpleasant. Since then he has not responded to my emails. I feel that that relationship which was dormant is now dead.

      Similarly, I had a close friend of some 18 years with whom I’ve shared the ups and downs of life. The kind of guy I would speak to several times a weeks. Our friendship is much less engaged now. I attribute that to discomfort over the issue of Israel.

      In general, managing what to say and what not to say among Jews is a constant negotiation.

      Seems to me that gays who “come out” can leave their family and join a gay community. Their parents may turn out not be homophobes after all. I don’t see Harvey Milk’s strategy working for Jewish anti-Zionists. Jews who come out as anti-Zionist do not have a Jewish community of fellow anti-Zionists that they can join. Moreover the general American community is either indifferent or just as Zionist as the Jews.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 13, 2012, 5:30 am

        Elliot, what you say is, in my experience, applicable to non-Jews in USA too–who come out with criticism of what the US “special relationship” has wrought; it’s a great way of spoiling a family outing or turning off otherwise nice and friendly “salt of the earth” Jesus fundies one knows. And don’t even try to bring the issue into your endeavors in the art world, I don’t care how talented you are.

      • May 13, 2012, 6:27 am

        Eliot – “Jews who come out as anti-Zionist do not have a Jewish community of fellow anti-Zionists that they can join.”

        If you’re religious, you’d need a propaganda-free congregation, but if you are not, what do you need a “Jewish community” for, except for Zionising?

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 14, 2012, 10:02 am

        My experience of Jewish life is that the boundaries between family, religious life and cultural community are more fluid than that. Anyway, finding the non-Zio version of any of those three is not easy to come by.
        As Shmuel has explained, being Jewish is not a private matter. Being Jewish means being part of a community. Therefore, your premise would equate Judaism with Zionism.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 14, 2012, 12:25 pm

        Elliot, what about the theory that Zionism merely reflects Judaism once it is armed with a gun and has a place to fall back to when it exerts itself forcefully against the Other in the bipolar world it has always believed in? By uniting economic power with a sovereign state (nuclear-armed & with 4th strongest Military in world thks to USA), true Judaism in the form of Zionism in Israel and Liberalism elsewhere where it must depend on the host state’s tolerance for its Jews?

        In this sense, maybe Judaism is well represented by the fact usury* is biblically authorized to be practiced in any case against non-Jews, but not as between Jews–because Jews must be charitable to their own kin, while no such duty is extended to humanity generally. The principle of double standards enshrined–doesn’t Israel pose belief and action as justified by such double standard?

        *In the 12th Century the Church banned the practice of usury by Christians, saying both scripture and natural law required this ban; the punishment for transgression was excommunication. The special talent of the Jews in banking (which industry is now at the top of all power) stems from this as Jews had no competition and were, simultaneously forbidden to earn their livings in many ways Gentiles could.

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 14, 2012, 2:59 pm

        Citizen –
        1) That’s the point. Judaism was never meant to be militarized. On the contrary, the founders of Rabbinic Judaism went to great lengths to hide, explain away, or supersede the militarism of the Bible. Therefore “armed Judaism” is a contradiction in terms.

        2) Regarding usury and states tolerating their Jews, I think that the history of thew Jews can be explained to a large degree as a collaboration, if not collusion, between Jews and the majority, such as Christians. At certain points in Europe, it was theologically convenient to the Church to have the Jews cowering, alive but humbled, under their protection. As you point out, the Jews’ prediliction for moneylending and being the middle man in general was useful to non-Jews and advantageous – given the repressiveness of the Christians – to the Jews.

        3) Many of the tribalistic rulings of Jewish law come from an age when the boundaries between Jew and Gentile were as obvious as night and day. But already in the 19th century, leading rabbis voided the usury ruling that you referenced. The first modern denomination of Judaism, Reform Judaism famously expanded the scope of interest of the Jew beyond the Jewish community. Other modern denominations, including the Orthodox have followed suit to greater or lesser degrees. The 19th century rabbi, known as “Malbim” expanded the ban on usury to include non-Jews and explained away the traditional ruling in the context of ancient Israelite religion, as not being relevant in the modern world.

        I see the State of Israel as being regressive in their attitudes to non-Jews. Israelis embrace separateness. Zionism models itself on a mythical, lost world that predates Rabbinic Judaism. Zionism idealizes the world of the Bible, bypassing 2,000 years of rabbinic commentary.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 14, 2012, 4:19 pm

        Elliott, I agree generally, but I would say, “I think that the history of the Jews, at least in Europe, and in current America when it comes to US foreign policy, can be explained to a large degree as a collaboration, if not collusion, between Jews and the elite, more or less 1% of the majority Christians.”

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 14, 2012, 7:11 pm

        Elliott, Citizen,

        Sefi Rachlevsky’s book, Hamoro Shel Mashiach (never translated, more’s the pity – it is one of my dreams to get to translate it) covers the Jewish thought angle.
        To summarize his argument (trampling on nuances left and right): the Jewish religion in Europe maintained the tension between a miserable life and the concept of chosen-ness by means of having a sort of switch between legal systems. Judaism was a fiery religion, full of absolutism and revenge, but somewhat like Walter Mitty, it was only practicable “when the Jews had the upper hand”. ACTUAL daily life was conducted under “mipnei darkei shalom” (to keep things peaceful).
        And example is about doctors: it is forbidden for a Jewish doctor to treat a non-Jewish patient – but, just to keep things peaceful, that prohibition is lifted. But, if someday “the Jews have the upper hand” – why then, then a Jew won’t have to degrade himself by treating a gentile.

        Jewish practice is packed with these – and one of the problems at the moment in Israel is that there are influential rabbis saying: “hey, the Jews have the upper hand. This. Has. IMPLICATIONS!” – and have been handing down laws and instructions relating to that.

        Rechlevsky’s brilliant book points this out, and talks about the flipping of the legal system inside out. His book is of crucial importance for understanding the philosophical/theological background for everything that’s going on there at the moment.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 14, 2012, 9:04 pm

        “*In the 12th Century the Church banned the practice of usury by Christians, saying both scripture and natural law required this ban”

        It is banned under Islamic Law as well. Is this yet another case of the Church learning from the Muslims?

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 14, 2012, 11:06 pm

        Shunra –
        Thanks. I’m familiar with the term Hamoro Shel Mashiach (The Messiah’s Donkey) from Kook theology which fuels ideological settlers on the West Bank. 100 years ago, “the Messiah’s donkey” was a stratagem of the devoutly religious to explain how come the Jewish Age of the Messiah was led not by the devout but by atheists. The donkey provided a solution; the atheists are the donkey that heralds the Messiah. The atheists will build the roads and towns. And then, the religious, will infuse that “body” with spirit.
        From the way Israel is going, the plan seems to be working.
        The Messiah is taking over from the donkey.

        I agree that it is accurate to point out that Jewish religious thinking kept alive some pretty nasty stuff. True, if you add up all the exemptions “mipnei darkhei shalom” it’s a long and substantive list – but nobody ever does. Thus the concepts of discrimination in Jewish thinking were kept alive into the modern era, even if they were only on the books.

        My impression was that “mipnei darkhei shalom” is more common in practical Jewish law. I read it as inculcating the importance of harmonious relations.

        As you note, Maimonides (among others) explicitly distinguishes between how to conduct affairs when Jews are powerless and what to do when they have power. Maimonides is significant because his 12th century code of law is the most expansive, including laws associated with the Land of Israel and the Messianic Age. This is useful for the settlers who believe they have both.

        The difference is that non-Messianic Halachic Jews such as the ultra-Orthodox may have callousness towards non-Jews based on attitudes of discrimination such as the one you cited, but the settlers dig into the really nasty stuff of Maimonides that makes attacking Palestinians on the Sabbath a religious requirement.

      • annie
        annie
        May 14, 2012, 11:22 pm

        attacking Palestinians on the Sabbath a religious requirement.

        really?

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 14, 2012, 11:32 pm

        You may have seen clips of settlers in white shirts attacking Palestinian olive farmers. The settlers wear white shirts on the Sabbath and religious holidays.
        Rabbinic Judaism developed the concept of Sabbath to the point where it supersedes a whole list of Biblical commandments.
        The settlers reading of Judaism is regressive. They promote “The Land” to supremacy. The settlers have revived a defunct Talmudic law that states: if non-Jews are encroaching on Jewish property in the Land of Israel, you are required to violate the Sabbath and take up arms to fight them off. Palestinian olive farmers, who insist on continuing to grow their olive trees right next to Jewish settlements, fit the bill.
        The scandal involving Israeli rabbis who publicly banned the sale and rental of Jewish-owned apartments to Palestinians is a similar case.

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 15, 2012, 12:52 am

        Elliott – yes, it’s the ideas of Rabbi Kook that Rechlevsky exposes in his book. Taking over from the donkey is a big part of the book, and there’s also the whole issue of hipuch-ha’aderet (turning the coat/the world inside out).

        About the change due to Jews having power: we’re seeing more and more of this lately, codified into law. Israel’s Ministry of Justice held a seminar on Lo Tehunam.

        My understanding of it is that the conduct of the settler-orthodox is in direct contravention of the 13 Principles stated by Maimonides. They may be in violation of the 10 Commandments (the 1st one, in particular, with their land-worship). Moreover, they’re doing what antinomian followers of messianic ideas everywhere have done, and violating laws for the express purpose of manifesting the true messiah.
        The antinomian aspect is not a coincidence. There is a persistent legend stating that the messiah will arrive when either all Jews do Jewish law to the letter – or all Jews *break* Jewish law (Shabtai Zvi’s messianic experiences involved expressions of this legend, but were far from the only case of this).

        The bottom line is that the settlers have a scary framework, lots of political power, and access to nukes. Even if they split off from Judaism (which seems likely), putting down their arms and walking away from their privilege will be neither easy nor straightforward – but it is increasingly necessary.

      • annie
        annie
        May 15, 2012, 1:05 am

        you are required to violate the Sabbath and take up arms to fight them off

        saturdays must be hell in palestine.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 15, 2012, 1:20 am

        RoHa, objections against usury predate your question suggestion: http://www.henciclopedia.org.uy/autores/Laguiadelmundo/Usury.htm

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 15, 2012, 1:35 am

        Thanks. Looks like another inheritance from Stoic ethics.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 15, 2012, 2:54 am

        RoHa, how so? I don’t see any connection with Stoic ethics and usury. What is it?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 15, 2012, 6:54 am

        From that article:
        “Many of the early Western philosophers including Plato, Aristotle, Cato, Cicero, Seneca and Plutarch were critics of usury. ”

        This criticism would have worked its way into the natural law ethical system the Christians adopted from the Stoics.

  43. May 12, 2012, 6:59 pm

    Maybe it’s strange that I comment on Ilyse Hogue. But here is something from a German friend that may help:

    Otto von Bismarck (who forged Germany by war) coined the term ‘civil courage’.
    He once said to someone in the German parliament: “There is not only courage on the battlefield there is also courage in civilian life.”

    Israel and in particular her American supporters think of courage only militarily.

  44. OlegR
    OlegR
    May 13, 2012, 9:29 am

    From what i have read here.
    All those J Street persons have a very simple solution lying before them.
    Make alia fill in the ranks of the shrinking Israeli left and push the policy in your direction.
    All this bickering inside the American Jewish community it’a all nice and well but you guys really overestimate your influence on Israeli politics.
    In the end i go to the voting table and decide who will represent me in the Knesset
    and what policy i want implemented.

    An additional benefit would be the resolution of that age long conflict of diaspora Jews. which many of the commentators to this article have noticed,
    Where do your loyalties lie?
    In the past it was the State or the Tribe and now it’s the State or the Tribe’s State.
    Trying to hold the stick at both ends is well , problematic for personal sanity
    and it sure as hell annoys the rest of the citizens.

    • Xpat
      Xpat
      May 13, 2012, 1:13 pm

      you guys really overestimate your influence on Israeli politics.
      In the end i go to the voting table and decide who will represent me in the Knesset and what policy i want implemented.

      The Israeli politicians let you play the democratic game of voting, but don’t fool yourself that you have real power.

      You may be interested to learn that the West Bank settlement project was authorized, not by the Israeli government, but by the major world Jewish organizations. Similarly, Israel’s nuclear program, airlift of Ethiopians and even the formation of the state itself would not have been possible without the financial, political, moral and logistical support of Jews and Christians around the world, and particularly in the U.S.

      I wonder if you have spent any time outside Israel and had the opportunity to appreciate how Israel is the product of forces much larger than itself.

      • American
        American
        May 13, 2012, 1:37 pm

        “I wonder if you have spent any time outside Israel and had the opportunity to appreciate how Israel is the product of forces much larger than itself.”

        Oleg doesn’t get that….I have seen very few Israelis who do…or I should say zionist who do. I think Israelis in general do have some understanding that should the US cease support of them Israel would be in big trouble.
        LOL..it’s funny I was watching a discussion among Israelis once where they were discussing what Israel should do if the US ever abandoned them and about what big country Israel could find to replace the US as it’s protector and benefactor…..half of them said ‘we don’t need anyone’s help, we’re big, we’re bad’… and the other half favored China as their new big brother..which I though was hysterical.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 13, 2012, 3:39 pm

        JFK fought against Israel getting the Bomb; the uranium was stolen from the US by Israel First Jewish Americans, wasn’t it? And didn’t Johnson drop JFK’s fight against Israel getting the bomb, as well as cover up the attack on the USS Liberty–to trade for Establishment Jewish help to thwart lack of popularity for his decision to expand to war in Vietnam?

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 13, 2012, 4:25 pm

        I do not deny that we are a small country that does rely heavily on
        support of superpowers be it France in the past or US now.

        However being a democracy we the citizens do have our fair share of influence.
        /The Israeli politicians let you play the democratic game of voting, but don’t fool yourself that you have real power./

        This a very patronizing remark , do hold the US democracy in the same contempt?

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        May 13, 2012, 8:31 pm

        @ Oleg –
        Since you agree that Israel depends on the US, our opinion as American citizens has an impact on your life.

        Democracy happens every day, not once every four years. As a US citizen, I believe that participating in activism such as Mondoweiss is more valuable to democracy than casting my ballot in elections. That is certainly the case in the US where my vote doesn’t count in most elections, local or national. The last time I voted for the city council, my alderman ran unopposed – just as he has done in at least five other city elections. My vote for president in November will be symbolic, since my state is one of the many that are not in play. So, I take elections with a grain of salt.

        I do vote but I value citizens who advocate and participate in public affairs more than those who limit their participation in democracy to voting.

        Oleg, you mocked the bloggers of Mondoweiss for no good reason and then complained when you got some of your own medicine back. You won’t get much respect around here with that attitude.

    • May 13, 2012, 1:53 pm

      OlegR – on your commentator profile you say you are “Soviet Union born” – why did your parents go to Israel? They might as well have gone to Canada or Germany. Was Israel their choice? Was your familie alway registered as Jews in the Soviet Union (where)? I’m just curious. You needn’t answer.

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 13, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Klaus, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the lengths to which Israel went to prevent the emigration of Soviet Jews to anywhere BUT Israel.

        A documentary I saw in about ’99 or 2000 had footage of the armed guards, carrying automatic weapons and standing grimly in the transit airports to prevent USSR Jews from making it to the West.

        Friends who moved from from the USSR to Israel in the large wave of immigration (89-91) corroborated that. Their impression was that many people would have wanted to move to the U.S. if that were possible, or to Germany. But Israel’s hiring of armed guards made that impossible.

      • May 13, 2012, 7:05 pm

        The reason I asked Oleg was because …

        1. I remember that after the opening of the USSR Germany took in many ex-Soviet Jews. Then Sharon complained with the German government. They should come to Israel.

        2. When I was in Israel, a Jewish lady from Russia who worked in a museum told me she had originally planned to go to Canada but the Canadians wouldn’t take her. Israel was her second choice.

        3. The USSR passport had an entry ‘nationality’. That could be Estonian, Georgian etc. and also Jewish. – An Israeli told me this:
        Someone went to the Russian passport office, gave the officer a pack of Marlboros and said: ”Write in Jewish as my nationality”.

      • American
        American
        May 14, 2012, 12:11 am

        Shunra says:
        May 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm
        + Show content
        Klaus, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the lengths to which Israel went to prevent the emigration of Soviet Jews to anywhere BUT Israel”

        Actually almost half of them ended up in the US. The first 7 years they were here they were given financial aid thru social service programs and the 7 years period was for them ‘ to learn English” and be able to get jobs.
        However, congress several years ago ‘extended” their government aid to 9 years. I don’t know how aid to immigrants works so don’t know if this is usual or not but the US got stuck with a lot of them……not counting the 10 billlion the US gave Israel for ‘resettlement of Russia Jews” in Israel we’ve probably got several more billion in the ones here.

        The Russian wave also gave us a nice little gift of what the FBI says is now the largest organized crime group in the US….bigger then the SA cartels and more violent even than them. There is a book out on this written by a NYT or some other newspaper reporter but I can’t remember the name of it.

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 14, 2012, 2:44 am

        I hear from friends in Germany that quite a few made it there, too. The calculation (which was not wrong) that Germans would not want to be visibly expelling Jews. And there was the whole unification thing: people from the former USSR could have had contacts of various kinds in East Germany.

        I’ve heard of quite a few living in the UK, as well. I have no numbers in either case, it is all anecdotal.
        Moreover, as Oleg points out, leaving then and there was a very good idea. As the former USSR collapsed, conditions became deathly for many of the people who lived there. Health insurance was tied to factory jobs, but when the factories closed down or laid people off – they were left with nothing. No wages, no healthcare, no way to heat themselves. For a while, men’s life expectancy was in the mid fifties. (This sounds awfully similar to the U.S.’s trajectory these days. I hope it doesn’t get this bad here.)
        Anyhow, then there was “shock therapy” and the oligarchs took over the resources; and force was used to pacify riots, both real and potential. The former USSR was not a safe and stable place to raise children.

        Seeing all that, it is not at all surprising that Oleg’s family (representing a cohesive demographic group of people who got a Get Out of the USSR Free card) are grateful for having been spared all that.
        And they are definitely not going to volunteer to give up what they’ve clawed out for themselves with hard work.

        And I think that’s why Israel tried to force refugees into it. Refugees (goes Israel’s diabolical reasoning) have their back against the wall, you can count on them to fight. Israel has built itself up on the shoulders of refugees with their back against walls, regardless of what they initially wanted. And after a few years of buy-in (trapped by “generous loans” in the 90s, by a demolished Europe and head-prices paid for immigrants in the 50s, and similar arrangements for the Ethiopian immigration) – who’d throw away those years of tears and pain and effort?

        Israel is culpable for putting people in that situation, again and again, and using their desperation to steal land and all other resources from Palestinians. It is a diabolical plan.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 14, 2012, 5:11 am

        /A documentary I saw in about ’99 or 2000 had footage of the armed guards, carrying automatic weapons and standing grimly in the transit airports to prevent USSR Jews from making it to the West./

        LOL ROFL .
        Please Shunra do tell me more of these hired guards
        you might also on that occasion tell what the hell have you been smoking
        and where can i buy it?

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 14, 2012, 10:18 am

        You might read this story in The Marker http://www.themarker.com/news/1.626350 before you laugh quite so loudly.

        There was also a fairly prominent documentary about it in 1999 or 2000 or so (it was broadcast on Israeli television) and I believe there were some items written about it here and there in the Hebrew press. The English press in Israel hasn’t been interested in the story.
        And I don’t read Russian, so I don’t know to what extent it was covered there.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 14, 2012, 10:43 am

        Shunra how about you get the book the article talks about read it and then get back to me.
        I mean really, believing everything you read in the press…

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 14, 2012, 10:46 am

        How uncultured of you, Oleg, to change your argument midstream.

        You accuse me of smoking something, presumably mind-altering, I cite personal communications & bring one link – now you fault my link?

        I’m done with answering you. צא ולמד

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 14, 2012, 10:54 am

        What argument should i adress Shunra (am i speaking to the husband or the wife BTW)
        A link to article in DeMarker that bring quotes from an article in Yediot
        about a book that has not yet been published when the article was written.
        Come on…

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 14, 2012, 10:56 am

        Or maybe this one

        “A documentary I saw in about ’99 or 2000 had footage of the armed guards, carrying automatic weapons and standing grimly in the transit airports to prevent USSR Jews from making it to the West.”
        What documentary do you remember the name ?

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 14, 2012, 11:05 am

        Do I look like your personal research department, Oleg?

        I gave you a link. I gave you enough to start with, including an interview with a man who said he financed guards to make sure your family didn’t get to a free country.
        That’s enough to start with. That’s why I suggested tzeh ulmad.

        As to asking about whether I’m a man or a woman… ROTFL.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 14, 2012, 2:08 pm

        n 1989 a record 71,000 Soviet Jews were granted exodus from the USSR, of whom only 12,117 immigrated to Israel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Russia#Mass_emigration

        First choice of (apparently polled)Ukrainian Jews–wish result: 31% to Israel; 41% to USA/Canada; 13% to Germany. But thousands of Ukrainian Jews who left USSR with “Israeli visas” switched on the way and went to USA & Germany. http://www.vaadua.org/VaadENG/JosefEng/Emmigration.htm

        Shamir, in a 1-14-’90 speech to Likud veterans, predicted 300,000 new immigrants from the Soviet Union by 1993, and he said they were needed for Greater Israel, that is, for control over the land captured in the ’67 war via settlement expansion: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2537387?uid=3739600&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21100799704601

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 14, 2012, 6:55 pm

        Thanks, Citizen.

        I remember how the immigrants often spoke good English (or pretty good English), because they’d spent a lifetime expecting to emigrate to the U.S.

        A dear friend had piles of English children’s books which she carefully saved from her daughter’s childhood – so her yet-unborn grandchildren could enjoy them, too. There was no question in any of their minds that it would happen, someday – even though they’d been frustrated in their attempt to break away in ’90, when they made the move.

      • OlegR
        OlegR
        May 13, 2012, 4:35 pm

        Yes we are Jews.
        Israel was a prime choice, the reasons were a mixture of ideology
        and pragmatism on the part of my parents.
        We made alia just after the First Golf War.
        At the time, being just a boy i obviously had no say in the matter.
        In retrospective i believe they have made the right choice.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 14, 2012, 1:32 pm

        “We made alia just after the First Golf War.”

        One is tempted to say (inter-alia, of course) that in the Mid-East, such things are par for the course.

      • Shunra
        Shunra
        May 14, 2012, 6:51 pm

        Spectacular LOL there, neighbor.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        May 14, 2012, 11:55 pm

        oleg,
        And ever since the “Golf War” (yeah right golf and golfing!), you’ve been living on stolen property and off the backs of Palestinians young and old. What an honorable ‘jew’ you are. How do you sleep at night? With your boots on I hope. Colonialists like you are gonna wake up one morning with two choices: “the suitcase or the coffin/la valise ou le cercueil”.

  45. Mooser
    Mooser
    May 14, 2012, 1:17 pm

    It is only fair that all who are considering abandoning Zionism should be made cognizant of certain incontestable facts I was made painfully aware of after my poor Mom’s passing. An inheritance is a gift, and the giving of that gift is entirely in the power of the testator. No first child has a right to an inheritance, nor are equal shares mandated, or, as I understand, any particular distribution required by law. If the senile old biddy wants to leave her entire fortune to the Audubon society or the ASPCA and cut you off without a farthing, without enough money to tune your Porsche, that’s entirely (as I understand it) within their rights.
    If a person finds another person’s, no matter how affinitive their consanguinuity, if you get my drift, political or religious ideas abhorrent or even unattractive, they have not the slightest obligation to leave them a groat.
    Just want to mention that, don’t want anybody proceeding under groat expectations, if you know what I mean.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 14, 2012, 1:19 pm

      And this all happened in spite of the fact that my father, a promininent cobbler and leather-scultpure artist, promised me: “Son, when I die, this awl will be yours!”

  46. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    May 15, 2012, 9:40 am

    My dad in his role as as president of the Holocaust Museum in Dallas has expanded the content of that museum from the the persecution of Jews in World War 2 to include the persecution of African Americans in Texas. I’m very proud of that.

    Too bad he couldn’t bring himself to include the persecution of the Palestinians by the Jews in Israel. That would be something to be very proud of.

Leave a Reply