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Ben-Ami says divestment will alienate Christians from ‘American Jewish community’

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Jeremy Ben-Ami, the head of J Street, is very upset by the divestment resolution being considered by the Presbyterian Church. He seems to threaten an end to Jewish-Christian harmony in this piece at Huffington Post: “BDS Puts Allies at Odds.”

Ben-Ami is trying to draw a red line inside liberal ranks, by threatening to withhold from the Christians beloved “traction in the American Jewish community.” To quote Prince: “All the critics love U in New York.” But he does not address the folks, many Jewish, inside J Street who are in favor of boycotting settlement products– like brave Peter Beinart. Ben-Ami seems to suggest they are anti-Israel.

And note that Jewish Voice for Peace is for divestment. They don’t speak for Jews? Excuse me but tens of thousands of Jews are in JVP, including bright young bushytailed Jews.

Also, Ben-Ami says “the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been clear for decades”. Isn’t that the problem? When something goes on for decades, it doesn’t work. Ben-Ami:

I would say to the Church’s leaders as they again consider joining forces with the BDS Movement, that the Movement’s rhetoric and tactics are not only a distraction, but a genuine threat to conflict resolution. Even the limited divestment approach under consideration by PCUSA falls under the rubric of larger BDS efforts to place blame entirely on one side of the conflict. Such an approach encourages not reconciliation, but polarization. Further, too many in and around the BDS movement refuse to acknowledge either the legitimacy of Israel or the right of the Jewish people as well as the Palestinian people to a state.

Pro-peace, pro-Israel advocacy has gained traction in the American Jewish community by embracing the mutuality inherent in the two-state solution….

the debate over BDS is sapping the resources of those working for peace by creating new and deep divisions among those who should be allies working together for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. If PCUSA disregards the voices of its Jewish allies in the quest for a two-state solution and votes to support divestment, it won’t bring a just peace any closer. It will merely lose the good will of many American Jews and

Then there’s this Ben-Ami alternative: “We call for bold American and international diplomatic initiatives, starting with a push to define mutually-agreed borders.” Yes J Street has been around four years with such clarion calls. Can they point to political progress?

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73 Responses

  1. Krauss
    July 3, 2012, 11:30 am

    What was it Reagan said when they asked him why he became a conservative after being a Hollywood liberal…

    “I didn’t leave the Democratic party; the Democratic party left me.”

    There’s a left-wing political analogy somewhere here to be used as a response to Ben-Ami’s scaremongering language of ‘Christians ailenating Jews’.

    • seafoid
      July 3, 2012, 5:19 pm

      Ben Ami is asking for more time. “Trust us, we can work this out.’

      too late. the settlers have won.

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-to-begin-recording-settler-land-claims-deny-palestinians-right-of-appeal.premium-1.448379#
      After 45 years of running the West Bank, the State of Israel plans to start compiling land registry records of assets controlled by settlers. The registry would bypass regular tabu land-listing processes, and appears designed to prevent Palestinians from appealing the validity of the ownership listings.

      Documents obtained by Haaretz indicate that this land registry process comes as official policy whose “legal and diplomatic repercussions” have been reviewed by top officials. The registry process is supported by deputy attorney general Mike Blass, along with Defense Ministry legal adviser Ahaz Ben-Ari, Civil Administration head Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz and Defense Ministry settlement adviser Eitan Broshi. The registry process is expected to receive Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s approval later in the month.

      The need for such a land registry process grows out of Israel’s continued control of the West Bank. In 1967, when IDF forces first occupied the territories, land ownership arrangements enforced by the Jordanians became void. To justify the lack of a formal land ownership registry process, Israel claimed that the occupation in the territories was temporary, whereas such a land registry is a permanent procedure. There was an option of registering land under existing tabu rules from the Ottoman era – but the state cannot initiate such registration processes. The processes can be initiated only by an individual, who is supposed to bring documents that attest to his ownership of the property; property owners in the vicinity are also supposed to be notified of the tabu registry request. Subsequently a review committee convenes to discuss the evidence, compile witness testimony, receive objections, and ultimately announce registration decisions.

      Jewish settlements in the territories were established on lands originally “occupied for military reasons” that were subsequently classified as “state lands.” For various reasons lands in the territories were not transferred to settler ownership; instead, the settlers were given authorization to reside on them. Under this procedure, the “official responsible for government property” provides “permission” to the World Zionist Organization, or to a housing company, to make use of the land. These entities have no rights to make tabu land registry listings.

      After the passage of time, some of the housing companies are currently on the verge of dissolution, and want to bring a halt to current land listing arrangements in the territories. For instance, with regard to the Oranit settlement in 2008, the Delta company, which built the community, announced that it did not intend to make listings of land transactions. Some residents submitted court claims, demanding that Delta compile such listings. The state claimed that Delta was obliged to make these listings. In discussions held by the Civil Administration in this Oranit case, officials entertained the possibility of initiating tabu registration processes in which all historic events that transpired in the area would be put under review – the ways in which the land was classified and allocated would be investigated.

      As part of this tabu registration process, Palestinians would be able to submit objections to land registry requests, and their objections could further complicate Israeli attempts to build settlements on privately owned land in the territories.

      As a result of this complication, deputy attorney general Blass sponsored a series of consultations. He instructed the civil administration to carry out an orderly process of land registration, one conducted in lieu of the ordinary tabu procedure and designed to recognize settler land rights.

      Blass’ authorization relies on an IDF order issued in 1974; up to now, this order has been invoked just once, to authorize multi-story construction in Kiryat Arba in the 1980s. Under this order, the “recorder” can carry out land asset registration processes in “certain cases”; the recorder’s decisions constitute “decisive proof” of an individual’s right to a property.

      The defense ministry responds: “This is a problem that has been known to the legal and security system for some time. Due to a request submitted by a number of authorities, including the Oranit council, defense ministry experts, in conjunction with authorities from other agencies, have held a preliminary review of the subject. This review has yet to generate a recommendation for submission to the political leadership.”

  2. Woody Tanaka
    July 3, 2012, 11:57 am

    I think this really brings up a very big political problem for some of the organized American Jewish groups. If their goals are “(1) justice for as many people in the region as possible and (2) protect israeli interests as paramount,” they have some overlap with the Christian groups whose goals are “(1) justice for as many people in the region as possible,” but not complete overlap. At a certain point, these American Jewish group’s interest in “protecting israeli interests as paramount” will conflict with the goal of “justice for as many people as possible.” At that point, they can put the “justice” goal aside or put it on hold, but do they really expect the Christians will, too??

    • Krauss
      July 3, 2012, 12:50 pm

      I think Peter Beinart was the last straw. Stalling the resolution of the conflict, which has been the de facto policy of the major Jewish orgs for decades, can be successful and it has as a political tactic. It has stalled. But stalling in of itself isn’t inevitable.

      I think people have just concluded in general, at least in the liberal spheres, that the Jewish interfaith contacts who have been feeding them with self-serving agitprop for years(‘The Jews are the most liberal people on Earth.. we have a very strong self-correcting tradition.. the conflict will be resolved just have patience with us’) have simply been wrong. No, the self-correcting mechanisms do not work at all. At all.

      The collective murder – hard to put it another way – of Beinart just sealed the coffin of that argument, of the skeptics. And now people understand. Change won’t come from within the Jewish community, they are neck-deep in the racism of Israel in support of it. So, they conclude, we must push it from the outside.

      No doubt things will become traumatic and Ben-Ami’s passive-aggressive rant proves this. But, alas, the point when it was still possible to keep this as a mostly-Jewish discussion has since long passed and the same reactionary and racist Jewish orgs who blocked all discussion and smeared everyone as an anti-Semite now are panicking. We could see the signs of this already breaking in 2006 with the Israel Lobby article by Walt/Mearsheimer.

      Since then, people have finally begun to break the taboo and realize that Jews are no worse than any other people, but we’re not better either and we, too, are capable of pretty grisly racism. That’s still something a lot of Jews inside America still don’t believe because their view of racism and Jews is the civil rights movement. Which was a great thing and something to be proud of.
      But Jews are now masters of our own destiny in Israel, we are now the insiders, not the outsiders. And a lot of people can’t cope with that transformation – and the responsiblity it necessarily requires.

      • American
        July 3, 2012, 1:07 pm

        “I think people have just concluded in general, at least in the liberal spheres, that the Jewish interfaith contacts who have been feeding them with self-serving agitprop for years”…..Krauss

        I agree. And since the Ben-Ami is typical of the response the churches will get from zionist Jews, the self serving agitprop will just get more irritating to people already fed up with their worn out stally stally talky talky ploy. Cause that’s all it is…the same old stall.

      • seafoid
        July 3, 2012, 5:15 pm

        They underestimate the effect the death of the 2SS is having on perceptions of Zionism. It’s all very well to legislate to hand over whatever land they want to the settlers but don’t expect us to buy it and by the way don’t bother with the Shoah moaning, Israel.

      • Scott
        July 3, 2012, 7:42 pm

        @Krauss– profound and incisive post!

      • aiman
        July 8, 2012, 6:25 am

        “But Jews are now masters of our own destiny in Israel, we are now the insiders, not the outsiders.”

        I remember Netanyahu using this phrase “masters of our destiny”. It appears to be a central Zionist belief that has done great harm to Jewish ethics. For truly, no one is a master of his destiny and we are all temporal. To believe oneself a master of one’s destiny means not thinking about others or even ourselves.

        Thanks for your awesome deconstruction of what’s happening.

  3. Avi_G.
    July 3, 2012, 12:09 pm

    Ben-Ami’s threat is simply a watered-down, veiled, version of the anti-Semitic charge.

    • Krauss
      July 3, 2012, 12:57 pm

      Shall we call it AIPAC-lite?

    • American
      July 3, 2012, 1:20 pm

      I am trying to figure out what the Zios think the Christians have to lose in a break between Judeo and Christian or in losing the good will of Jews. That alliance has always benefited the Jews and Israel, not the Christians anyway.

      • AllenBee
        July 3, 2012, 8:01 pm

        tombishop explained and linked to information about Christian zionism/Scofield bible. (thanks tombishop)

        That information led to an online book on the proceedings of the 1918 Light on Prophecy Conference held in Philadelphia, while WWI was still in progress.

        Zionists and even Hagee-ite Islamophobes have nothing on these upstanding Presbyterians and Baptists:

        Rev. A. E. Thompson, Pastor of the American Church at Jerusalem, driven by the Turk from the Holy City at the outbreak of the World War)
        The Capture of Jerusalem

        “The capture of Jerusalem is more than a prophetic event, it is a pivot in prophecy. The Germans might enter Paris and we would weep; but, desperate as that event would be, it would only be an incident in the great panorama of the ages. . . .The Hun might again sack Rome, but not one of us could with any assurance put our finger upon any text of Scripture and say it was so written. . . .But when Jerusalem was captured, we all said with one consent, “This is the climax of the ages.” We have entered a prophetic era. We are looking upon the things which Moses, and the prophets, and Christ Himself have foretold.

        The capture of Jerusalem is not the end, but the beginning. . . .

        First of all, it is the beginning of the downfall of Mohammedanism . . .

        In the second place, the capture of Jerusalem was the beginning of the defeat of age-long Turkish tyranny. . . .the deliverance of Jerusalem was the crisis of in the history of Turkey [and a burr in Herzl’s saddle].”

        I find no blessed assurance that Pastor Thompson’s thought processes have gone out of fashion.

  4. Mooser
    July 3, 2012, 12:09 pm

    “divestment will alienate Christians from ‘American Jewish community’”

    Those darn Gentiles better watch out. Remember each Jew (that means you
    Balebatisheh yiden!) will only have to deal with 60 Gentiles each. I’ll take those odds! It’ll be easy! We can all fire our menial workers.

  5. Les
    July 3, 2012, 12:27 pm

    What percent of the American Jewish community supports Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians?

    • Mooser
      July 3, 2012, 4:10 pm

      “What percent of the American Jewish community supports Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians?”
      Well, once we answer the question of how much they actually know about it, and in what context, we can get to the question of whether or not they know they are supporting it. Then maybe, we can get to the question of whether they want to support it or not.

      • Philip Weiss
        July 3, 2012, 4:49 pm

        ignorance is bris
        and no excuse

  6. Philip Munger
    July 3, 2012, 12:32 pm

    Let me rephrase Mr. Ben-Ami:

    I would say to the Church’s leaders as they again consider joining forces with the BDS Movement, that the Movement’s rhetoric and tactics are not only a distraction, but a genuine threat to conflict resolution. Even the limited South African divestment approach under consideration by PCUSA falls under the rubric of larger BDS efforts to place blame entirely on one side of the conflict. Such an approach encourages not reconciliation, but polarization. Further, too many in and around the BDS movement refuse to acknowledge either the legitimacy of the State of South Africa or the right of the White Afrikaner people as well as the Native people to states within a federation.

    Pro-peace, pro-Afrikaner advocacy has gained traction in the American White community by embracing the mutuality inherent in the multi-federation solution….

    The debate over BDS is sapping the resources of those working for peace by creating new and deep divisions among those who should be allies working together for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. If PCUSA disregards the voices of its Afrikaner allies in the quest for a multi-federation solution and votes to support divestment, it won’t bring a just peace any closer. It will merely lose the good will of many Americans of Afrikaner descent, members of the Calvinist Reformed Church of the Netherlands, and other sympathizers of White South African rights.

    • seafoid
      July 3, 2012, 5:13 pm

      I would say to the people of California as they hound the Manson family that such a response is not only a distraction, but a genuine threat to conflict resolution. Even the limited police action under consideration by LAPD falls under the rubric of larger efforts to place blame entirely on one side of the story without acknowledging the full facts of the case. Such an approach encourages not reconciliation, but polarization. Further, too many in and around the state of California refuse to acknowledge either the legitimacy of Charles Manson or the right of his family to follow their beliefs.

    • Shingo
      July 3, 2012, 9:12 pm

      That was sublime Phillip M.

    • yo_mamma
      July 4, 2012, 1:56 am

      @Phillip Munger

      Curt and poignant- that was brilliant.

  7. American
    July 3, 2012, 12:59 pm

    “He seems to threaten an end to Jewish-Christian harmony ”

    ‘Threaten’, ‘demand’, ‘accuse’, ‘denounce’ are the words most associated with Zionist and Israel.
    I have to say for long time I was against injecting religion and churches into the Israel issue because it gave me visions of the old religious Crusades of ancient times. I do trust the christian churches, at least their leadership, to be rational, but I don’t think the zionist are rational at all.
    The zios will be biting off more than they can chew I believe if they use their usual threat tactics against the majority religions or even elements within them.

  8. traintosiberia
    July 3, 2012, 1:07 pm

    “We call for bold American and international diplomatic initiatives, starting with a push to define mutually-agreed borders” .Here lies the trap known to J Street and Nethanyoo. Given the political, economic, and military strength of Palestine the outcome of mutual agreement will always gravitate inexorably to the ever expanding needs and whims of Israel . This has been shown in clear and bold relief by the disclosures of the inner workings of the mutual minds of Israeli leaders and PA leadership in Guardian , one of them dictating to the other who ultimately could never satisfy the beast. The status quo could not be maintained by brute forces and needs the soft power projection which J Street is providning by above argumnet hoping this will stop the resistance ( against partheid) to move beyond discussion level tried for last 19 years.
    Be Ami is afraid that the game is up

  9. Sumud
    July 3, 2012, 2:16 pm

    From Ben-Ami article:

    We explained then, and have reiterated ever since, that, in our view, the one-sided, extreme rhetoric that accompanies the Global BDS Movement makes a mutually agreeable solution more difficult to achieve, not less.

    Here is his problem: BS isn’t “one-sided” or “extremist”, BDS is moderate, extremely so. It asks that Israel obey the international laws and treaties Israel agreed to abide by when they joined the UN. That’s all.

    To oppose BDS is the extremist position – and that’s why Ben-Ami’s smear will fall flat on its face. He succeeded in convincing the Presbyterians to reject BDS 2 years ago, and today [soon] he fails.

    This is the future of BDS. Just like in South Africa, we will fail to achieve our gaol for many years, then we won’t. We just have to keep telling the truth because Israel’s behaviour speaks for itself.

  10. giladg
    July 3, 2012, 2:53 pm

    It’s called saying one thing to your face and stabbing you in the back when you turn.
    I grew up with this type of antisemitism. It’s in the blood.
    Now, did Ben Ami’s bubble burst? I don’t think so. His liberal skin is too thick. He has no intention of giving up on the perks.

    • Woody Tanaka
      July 3, 2012, 3:03 pm

      “I grew up with this type of antisemitism. It’s in the blood.”

      Really, mods? This kind of crap doesn’t get one banned? How about “Jews hate Arabs. It’s in their blood.” Is that okay, too?

    • Mooser
      July 3, 2012, 4:14 pm

      “I grew up with this type of antisemitism. It’s in the blood.”

      Giladg, everybody here can see exactly what kind of anti-Semitism is in your blood. But given that, it’s still hard to see why you want Israel to be as close to Soviet Russia as possible. Hey, maybe it’s all you know. But nobody doubts that you are, at bottom, quite anti-Semitic.

      • American
        July 3, 2012, 5:03 pm

        I think we should introduce a new term for gilad’s type….’self destructing Jew’.

      • W.Jones
        July 3, 2012, 10:22 pm

        Mooser-
        The Soviet Union had free housing at least, which is an issue related to the summer protests. So no, in some ways in its founding the Israeli state had positive aspects of Socialism it shared with the Soviet Union, thus it is not simply a matter of mirroring the USSR.

    • Mooser
      July 3, 2012, 4:46 pm

      “Now, did Ben Ami’s bubble burst? I don’t think so. His liberal skin is too thick. He has no intention of giving up on the perks.”

      Try reading the article again Giladg. Read very slowly, saying each word aloud if necessary. Keep a dictionary handy to look up words you don’t understand.
      Cause you obviously have no freakin’ idea what the article said.

    • Rusty Pipes
      July 3, 2012, 5:26 pm

      “It’s called saying one thing to your face and stabbing you in the back when you turn.
      I grew up with this ” Amazingly, all sorts of people grew up with this sort of treatment. It’s called High School (see Mean Girls). Most people outgrow it.

    • MRW
      July 3, 2012, 5:27 pm

      “It’s called saying one thing to your face and stabbing you in the back when you turn.”

      Which is just what Israelis do to American Jews.

    • ColinWright
      July 4, 2012, 12:34 am

      This is simply labeling anything but unconditional and uncritical support ‘anti-semitism.’

      Anti-semitism is real. It exists. This isn’t it. Stop kidding yourself.

  11. radii
    July 3, 2012, 3:03 pm

    sorry, J Street – your half-ass efforts are too little too late – get on board or get out of the way

    • Shingo
      July 4, 2012, 8:40 am

      sorry, J Street – your half-ass efforts are too little too late – get on board or get out of the way

      J Street are little more than gatekeepers for setting the limits of the narrative. It’s well known that Ben Ami won’t even discuss one state ideas and the J Street strategy is to pretty much avoid debates outside the Jewish community.

      Not only should you not expect J Street to get on board, but don’t expect them to get out of the way either.

  12. kma
    July 3, 2012, 3:40 pm

    the psych-term for this is “projection”. Ben-Ami wants it to sound as if christians are the ones snubbing Jews, but he’s saying the opposite.
    yeah, he’ll snub the Presbyterians. oh, well.

  13. DICKERSON3870
    July 3, 2012, 4:20 pm

    “We call for bold American and international diplomatic initiatives, starting with a push to define mutually-agreed borders.” ~ Ben-Ami

    MY COMMENT: “If pigs could fly. . .” But getting back to reality, Obama and the Democrats are a whole lot more interested in getting Obama reelected!
    Maybe next year (lol).

    P.S. SEE: “Repressive Democracy: How Not to Waste Your Vote in November”, by Andrew Levine, Counterpunch, 6/20/12
    LINK – http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/20/repressive-democracy/

    • Jill Stein for President – http://www.jillstein.org/

  14. wondering jew
    July 3, 2012, 4:38 pm

    The preb. church could do as it sees fit, as far as i am concerned, but if the level of dialogue and discourse between Jewish supporters of Israel and the Preb. supporters of the BDS resolution at all resembles the low practically nonexistent level of dialogue between zionists and anti zionists on this web site, then there is a gap that is not bridgeable, not because of any divestment, but because there is no dialogue, no grounds for dialogue, to be judged by the lack of dialogue on Mondoweiss.

    • American
      July 3, 2012, 4:58 pm

      WJ,

      No more dialogue. No more stall. Dialogue, as evidenced here, has gone no where because the zios refuse to own up to zionist/Israeli sins and actions and take responsibility.
      Talking to confirmed zionist is useless…so now we just throw stones and ridicule.

    • tear-stained uzi
      July 3, 2012, 7:12 pm

      Oh, my.

      Would somebody please call the Magen David Adom waaaaambulance?

    • Avi_G.
      July 3, 2012, 11:33 pm

      The entire point of BDS is to bring about change that which was otherwise impossible through this endless, protracted, stone-walling farce of a tactic known as “dialogue”.

      And you write such a comment with a straight face despite the irony of several articles on Mondoweiss describing how Shamir used the so-called “peace process” in 1991 to alleviate some of the international pressure on Israel while the state grabbed more and more Palestinian land.

      Where have you been in the last 45 years and particularly in the last 20 years?

      Better yet, where have you been in the last 3 days?

      By the way, dialogue can be had between people who have a full grasp on facts and information, not with people guided by a hollow ideology.

      • wondering jew
        July 4, 2012, 2:24 am

        Avi- I am not implying advocacy of dialogue as the means by which the conflict will be resolved. As a matter of faith as a communicating human I believe that whatever resolution will be reached, in my lifetime or after I’m dead, will require an atmosphere conducive to conflict resolution. I think both the Palestinians and Israeli Jews who wish to reach a resolution do not seem to idealize the poisonous attitude that you seem to emit.

      • wondering jew
        July 4, 2012, 3:49 am

        Avi- I’ve thought about what i just wrote and I’ve changed my mind. I agree with what Magnes Zionist wrote on Open Zion blog, that the path is going to be a long one, and therefore a poisonous attitude will probably suit you well during the long trek. Only at the end of the trek or after a major outburst of violence will the dialogue state of mind be absolutely necessary, but the anti dialogue mantra will serve you well until then.

      • seafoid
        July 4, 2012, 9:22 am

        “whatever resolution will be reached, in my lifetime or after I’m dead, will require an atmosphere conducive to conflict resolution”

        It is very clear that the zionists are not interested in conflict resolution. As far as they are concerned the conflict has been resolved and they won . Palestine belongs to them now.

        The time for waiting patiently
        for Israel to do something honourable has passed.

        As for poisonous ,where did Mossad get the polonium that they used to kill Arafat?

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/palestinian-authority-agrees-to-exhume-arafat-s-body-over-new-poison-claims-1.448814

      • seanmcbride
        July 4, 2012, 2:44 pm

        Regarding polonium poisoning:

        How many black ops of this type has Israel run against other political opponents and targets — including Americans, Europeans and Canadians? All is fair in the war against Amalek, right?

        Seriously — one has to wonder, especially given the known track record that Mossad and its associates, allies and independent wannabes have accumulated for the last five or six decades. For every incident like this that is uncovered, many more go undiscovered.

  15. Chu
    July 3, 2012, 5:12 pm

    ben ami: “…too many in and around the BDS movement refuse to acknowledge either the legitimacy of Israel or the right of the Jewish people as well as the Palestinian people to a state.”

    Because some do not support the legitimacy of Israel, BDS should be scrapped? Ben Ami should realize BDS is the only positive construct that is ultimately helping Israel from its demise as a neo-colonial pariah of arab land. Israel and its leadership is incapable of revising the ‘facts on the ground’ with their new settlements. They need help and the Presbyterians need to help them, by voting in favor of BDS. Otherwise, they are providing happy-talk to the corrupt Israeli political system.

    • Shingo
      July 4, 2012, 8:47 am

      Otherwise, they are providing happy-talk to the corrupt Israeli political system.

      It’s more akin to giving an alcoholic the keys to the liquor cabinet in the hope that he”ll sober up.

      What I find particualrly nauseating, is Ben-Amis shallow pretense that he gives a damn about the Palestinians. He has never been motivated by human rights – his concern is that Israeli policies make Israel look bad.

      • seafoid
        July 4, 2012, 10:14 am

        J Street’s message to the Palestinians

        You put the lotion on your skin or you get the hose again.

      • Abu Malia
        July 4, 2012, 12:19 pm

        lol ! seafoid, “You put the lotion on your skin or you get the hose again.”

        translation:

        Screw you softly with a chain saw!

      • seafoid
        July 4, 2012, 4:39 pm

  16. sydnestel
    July 3, 2012, 5:35 pm

    Phil

    You wrote: “Excuse me but tens of thousands of Jews are in JVP”

    And how do you know that to be true? I looked (briefly I admit) on the JVP site and couldn’t find any membership numbers?

    • Philip Weiss
      July 4, 2012, 12:02 am

      they regularly boast on tens of thousands. over 100,000 i think. and im guessing some good measure of their #s are jewish

  17. Fredblogs
    July 3, 2012, 5:35 pm

    Tens of thousands of self hating Jews in JVP? I suppose with several million of us in the country a couple of percent might have gone bad.

    • ColinWright
      July 4, 2012, 12:47 am

      Out of curiosity, were anti-Nazi Germans ‘self-hating Germans’? It would seem logical that they must have been.

    • Philip Munger
      July 4, 2012, 2:05 am

      I suppose with several million of us in the country a couple of percent might have gone bad.

      Fredblog slips out an honest admission…?

    • Shingo
      July 4, 2012, 8:14 am

      Once you purge all thosecself hating Jess Freddie, you’ll be down to your own Shtetl

      • Fredblogs
        July 5, 2012, 1:33 pm

        That was a bit overboard. Most of them are probably just naive idiots who don’t know JVP’s real purpose is to harm Israel, not to help make peace.

  18. Rusty Pipes
    July 3, 2012, 5:40 pm

    Actually, Phil, I think your title has it backwards: “Ben-Ami Says Divestment will Alienate ‘American Jewish Community’ from Christians (Presbyterians).”

    • ritzl
      July 4, 2012, 8:52 pm

      Agree from an end-result perspective, but the way it is stated in the title highlights the “Oh my stars and garters, did he really say that!” thought processes that result in Ben-Ami’s (and others like him) phrasing.

  19. W.Jones
    July 3, 2012, 6:46 pm

    Also, Ben-Ami says “the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been clear for decades”. Isn’t that the problem? When something goes on for decades, it doesn’t work.

    You could have a solution that is correct, for a problem that has been going on for decades, and the problem is not the solution but the failure by the party in control to want the solution.

    There is a complaint sometime that no nation has ever given up land taken in defensive war, so why should the Isr.State? My point is not to promote this claim. But if that is how those in control of the situation feel, would Ben Ami expect them to seek the solution of 2 states and giving up the land taken during war?

    • ColinWright
      July 4, 2012, 12:54 am

      “There is a complaint sometime that no nation has ever given up land taken in defensive war, so why should the Isr.State?”

      First off, if one took land, the war couldn’t have been entirely defensive. Secondly, states in fact normally do hand back some or all of their gains in exchange for the acquiescence of the defeated party: this would be true of ourselves in the Mexican-American War, Prussia in the War of 1870, the British in the Boer War, Germany in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and the victorious Allies in World War Two.

      As always, the pro-Israel argument falls apart upon examination. Why do you keep trotting out these things? Who is it who is supposed to buy them? Do you?

      • W.Jones
        July 7, 2012, 5:32 pm

        Colin,

        You asked: “Why do you keep trotting out these things? Who is it who is supposed to buy them? Do you?”
        My point is that if the party in control of the situation thinks this way, that the land should go to them, then you could have a perfectly good solution, like returning the West Bank, but since they are in control of the situation and think it’s theirs they probably are unlikely to work very hard to return it.

        The point I was making was not whether their claim was right, but that when Ben Ami says “everyone knows the solution, let’s focus on that instead of divesting from settlements” he does not hold accountable the party that prefers the current unsolved situation to a just peace.

    • Charon
      July 4, 2012, 2:00 am

      The land was taken in a preemptive war though. It wasn’t defensive. And there are laws in place since the mid 20th century to prevent such things from happening.

      Ben Ami might as well be Dennis Ross. Just another mouthpiece that parrots “Back to the table, KAW, 2 state solution, KAW, Back to the table, KAW”

      I used to work for a person who continued to tell us “This is what you have to do” and we did it and it never worked and he kept saying “This is what you have to do” repeating the same thing. Thankfully they let him go because it wasn’t working. Nobody has let the US go (I think that’s part of what you said) even though it is painfully obvious by now they need to be let go. As far as J Street is concerned, Ben Ami has shown his true cards as far as I’m concerned.

      So many voices trying to re-define and lead this movement. So much new lipstick on the same old pigs.

      • Sumud
        July 4, 2012, 3:47 pm

        The land was taken in a preemptive war though.

        Wrong.

        It wasn’t defensive.

        Right.

        Preemptive war is bunk: it is aggressive war botoxed and photoshopped.

        Just like ‘apartheid’ has entered general usage in English maybe so too should ‘hasbara’: the big lies governments tell their citizens and each other to conceal justify hideous crimes.

        Preemptive war is hasbara.

      • Charon
        July 5, 2012, 12:39 am

        That’s a great point. Preemptive war is their language, definitely hasbara. They start with the ‘defensive war’ line first unless they are engaged with somebody who knows better, then they say preemptive. Either way, thanks Sumud.

      • W.Jones
        July 7, 2012, 5:26 pm

        One of the deputy ministers has a movie clip where he explains his view that the West Bank should go to his State. He states in passing that the West Bank was taken in a “defensive” war. In fact, Egyot didn’t attack first, and Finkelstein has a good article showing that Egypt was unlikely to have attacked first- ie an Egyptian attack wasn’t really imminent and thus it wasn’t a preemptive war either.

  20. YoungMassJew
    July 3, 2012, 10:55 pm

    Moderators please allow this. It doesn’t violate any of the rules. You’d be a Zionist if you didn’t allow this through the censors… I challenge any of these sociopathic Zionists to a debate. And Krauss, these Zionists haven’t met me. Wait to I confront them on their throne. They’re going to come after me anyway once this BDS Sodastream gains traction. I’m going to need bodyguards then. Most of the Mondoweiss Anti-Zionist Jews are going to need them eventually sadly.

  21. kma
    July 4, 2012, 12:29 am

    whether anyone cares or not, there’s far more to this that Jews vs others. I joined JVP many years ago because they were the leaders against Caterpillar and (in my area) divestement. they did not require me to be Jewish.
    I’m just saying it’s way bigger than that, and it’s a majority of humanitarians vs others, many of them Jewish and most not just because of the statistical numbers.

    anyway, it still boils down to Ben-Ami drawing a line that he wants to exist that really doesn’t.

  22. wondering jew
    July 4, 2012, 2:27 am

    What are the polling numbers regarding the support of American Jews for the JVP position? Is it something like 16%? I don’t know. I’m asking.

  23. richb
    July 4, 2012, 9:12 am

    Phil accidentally corrected Jeremy in his headline. What J Street is doing is alienating Christians. We have completely run out of patience and the tired old anti-Semitism charges don’t work any more (at least for the young). At the start of the Obama administration Christians who cared about finding a solution saw J Street as part of the solution:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPdr9DOM2ek

    Now the scales have fallen and we see they are part of problem. This is not limited to J Street, however. What the PCUSA and others have also seen is that elective politics in the U.S. are not the answer. You can elect all the “right” people and the ball does not move forward. We as part of American civil society need to do what Palestinian civil society has already done: take this into our own hands because our government will not/cannot do it for us.

  24. W.Jones
    July 4, 2012, 9:18 am

    Ben Ami’s complaints:

    1. Divesting from the settlements that BenAmi calls illegal is bad because it is part of a larger divesting movement. That is bad because:

    2. Some other people in the BDS movement have bad views.

    3. Divesting from the bad settlements is one-sided.

    4. Divesting doesn’t help reconciliation.

    5. Divestment creates division against people like Ben Ami.

    • W.Jones
      July 4, 2012, 9:33 am

      Responses:

      2. OK, just because some people have bad views doesn’t mean everyone does.

      3. How much blame and how much suffering do you attribute to each side?
      Even if each side were equally blameful, should we keep investing in the settlement projects that one of the sides has?

      4. Settlements have been declared an obstacle to reconciliation and peace. So putting pressure to ending settlements helps peace.

      5. So we should keep investing in things Ben Ami is against in order to stay close to him?

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