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Richard Cohen and the Jewish man’s burden

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Several times we have noted that Democrats are trying to run to the right of Romney on Israel/Palestine. The efforts show that support for Israel is a core value of the US establishment; and that in the mainstream political sphere, despite J Street’s work, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between neocons and neoliberals on the conflict.

Here’s more evidence of the trend: Richard Cohen of the Washington Post standing up for Romney’s superior Jewish culture argument in a column called “For Israelis and Palestinians, a difference beyond question.” Cohen is a liberal Democrat, but his column exposes the chauvinistic thinking about Jews and Israel that underlies even “liberal” considerations of the issue. Again, the guy might as well be a neocon. The neocons were all Democrats a while back.

Cohen’s putdown of Palestinians scarcely acknowledges the occupation and says nothing about the destruction of the educated elites that Israel achieved with the Nakba. I simply don’t understand how American liberals can get away with this sort of racial contempt about countries half the world away. Oh and what about all the Palestinian businesses destroyed? What about brilliant young men like the late Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, forced to follow through on their studies in foreign countries?

Cohen argues that Israel far outranks the entire Arab world in U.S. patents. I’m sure he’s right. But so what? Did the higher standard of living of Afrikaaners justify apartheid? Of course not. I’m sure such repulsive arguments were a staple of the slavery south, and the Jim Crow south, too.

That a liberal American columnist would put forward a white man’s burden argument shows how Zionism has corrupted Jewish intellectual tradition. Cohen sounds like a crank at a dinner table. I bet the entire younger generation is fuming, stewing, walking away. He just doesn’t get it. (You young people should be speaking out!)

Though I am pleased that Cohen openly addresses Jewish achievement numbers that I have been attacked for bringing up. He mentions the number of lawyers in Germany, and Jewish real estate ownership in Hungary (something Herzl also focused on). I welcome Cohen’s statistics here because we all know that Jewish achievement in the U.S. is spectacular; and a Washington Post columnist is giving us permission to talk about it. In my view, American Jewish achievement is a cultural phenomenon: our educational and urban traditions suited us for 20th century industrial conditions, and we excelled—the Jewish Century, as sociologist Yuri Slezkine has put it.

But if you are going to talk about the composition of the American elite, then people have a right to ask about the importance of Jewish kinship networks (e.g., I got most of my jobs from male Jewish editors who saw me as a familiar type) and the role of the Israel lobby in the establishment. Cohen has opened a door here he may soon want to shut.

Philip Weiss

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

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226 Responses

  1. Mooser on August 10, 2012, 11:40 am

    “I bet the entire younger generation is fuming, stewing, walking away.”

    Muttering “remember, an inheritance is a gift, not an obligation or a right”

  2. Donald on August 10, 2012, 11:46 am

    “I’m sure such arguments were a staple of the slavery south, and the Jim Crow south, too.”

    They were in the 1970’s.

  3. MRW on August 10, 2012, 12:00 pm

    the importance of Jewish kinship networks (i.e., I got most of my jobs from male Jewish editors who saw me as a familiar type)

    Then this is one talk from a principled Jew all you ‘arrived’ American Jews better listen to. Now. And since you’ve become so powerful, then you better do something about it (because this is what the Israelization of the US has wrought). Now. Because this guy is 10X smarter, more educated, and more visionary than a lot of Jews I meet or communicate with online, by a long shot, and he doesn’t shove his Jewishness in your face as a raison d’être. He’s not craven. He understands consequences. [His talk ends at 47:10] May 2012, Berlin.

    P.S. Where’s my gold star?

    • Mooser on August 10, 2012, 12:28 pm

      “(i.e., I got most of my jobs from male Jewish editors who saw me as a familiar type)”

      They looked at you, and they saw a cellophane wrapper with “Hostess” on it?

      • Scott on August 10, 2012, 4:41 pm

        I want to get this joke (it helped when I stopped reading “cellophane” as “cell-phone”) but I don’t. Someone can explain?

      • Mooser on August 10, 2012, 6:17 pm

        “I want to get this joke”

        No, you don’t. Really. It’s a dumb joke. The joke (on me) is that I told it.

      • libra on August 10, 2012, 10:07 pm

        Scott: “I want to get this joke (it helped when I stopped reading “cellophane” as “cell-phone”) but I don’t. Someone can explain?”

        After mom with her homemade apple pie, the Hostess Corporation was for many years the peerless purveyor of All-American wholesomeness in the baked goods department. Perhaps the most famous – or rather infamous (though through no fault of its own) – of its many delicacies is the Twinkie. And I believe the term Twinkie has, in certain circles, a euphemistic meaning.

        That said, I think it far more likely that Mooser was referring to the (arguably superior to the snack cake connoisseur) Ding Dong as the long-running and highly convoluted Ring Ding/Ding Dong conflict in the creme-filled chocolate cake category is an eery echo of the Phil’s main preoccupation in the Middle East.

        See YouTube and Wikipedia article

        The latest twist to this saga is a de facto single cake but with the subsumed Ring Ding remaining in its North Eastern enclave alongside the national and dominant Ding Dong.

        Is this a portent for the future? Well, it has to be noted that, sadly, Hostess has recently filed for bankruptcy. I’m not saying this complex and clearly flawed compromise was entirely to blame but surely with a new name it would have been easier (as no doubt Richard Witty would tell us) “to bake a better cake” that everyone could equally enjoy.

      • Mooser on August 11, 2012, 12:57 pm
  4. CitizenC on August 10, 2012, 12:08 pm

    The distinctive periods in Jewish history have come in synthesis with larger cultures, to which Jews contributed and influenced. Sand argues in “Invention of the JP” that the synthesis of Judaism and Hellenism saved the Jews from the fate of the Samaritans and turned Judaism into a dynamic, propagating force in classical times.

    Islamic Andalusia was another remarkable synthesis; a third was the German-Jewish synthesis of the 19th and 20th c, a burst of creativity which has been compared to the Renaissance.

    And a fourth is today’s American-Jewish synthesis, distinctive in the very worst sense, alas, for returning relations between the Islamic and Christian states to the level of the Crusades, for turning the US into a fascist state in pursuit of that. 9/11 and what followed are diabolical fruits of that synthesis.

    Zionism is a Jewish negative; Jacob Neusner famously dismissed Israel as a Jewish intellectual backwater. Only with others do Jews flourish, for better or worse. Zionism has “succeeded” only in concert with US Jewry and its accomplishments.

    • lysias on August 10, 2012, 12:30 pm

      Christianity is itself a fusion of Judaism and Hellenism.

      • ColinWright on August 10, 2012, 4:54 pm

        “Christianity is itself a fusion of Judaism and Hellenism.”

        One is also entitled to wonder about the influence of Hellenism on Judaism itself. I suspect the truth of the matter is that while there seems to be a persistent impulse to see ‘Judaism’ as some kind of unchanging constant that has existed throughout history unaffected by the intellectual and ideological currents around it, it’s obviously been continually interacting with other elements in the environment all the time, and changing in consequence. I’d argue this was probably true right from the start, and therefore there has never been a ‘pure’ Judaism. It’s always been a hybrid fusion — which is true of almost any product of a reasonably advanced culture. Possibly the Chinese and Japanese have been able to develop ideas in relative isolation at times — but I don’t think anyone else has.

      • RoHa on August 11, 2012, 12:39 am

        “Possibly the Chinese and Japanese have been able to develop ideas in relative isolation at times ”

        Pre-Buddhist China developed ideas in relative isolation. Those ideas influenced Korea and Japan. But after Buddhism crossed the Himalayas, the Indian influence was there to stay.

        Not long ago, a bunch of Japanese researchers took copies of traditional Japanese images of Bodhisattvas to India. Ordinary Indian people immediately recognized them as Hindu Gods.

        So yes, plenty of fusion going on there as well.

      • ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 2:49 pm

        “So yes, plenty of fusion going on there as well.”

        Yeah. However, compared to that, the whole Middle East/Mediterranean/European arena is a positive melting pot, with continuous and powerful exchanges of ideas — and in that melting pot, I’d argue it’s essentially misconceived to see any tradition developing separately from those around it.

        Judaism logically couldn’t be an autonomous growth. Like everything else in this arena, it must have originated in response to other traditions, have developed in response to those traditions, and have evolved in response to those traditions.

        To cite an example of the sort of thing I am thinking of, in the eighth and ninth centuries, a good deal of the Byzantine artistic heritage was destroyed in a couple of fits of iconoclasm. It seems likely there must be some connection there with the Islamic prohibition against images. Whether the Byzantines were adopting Islamic ideas, or whether both Islam and Byzantine Christianity were responding to some independent idea I couldn’t say — but it seems misconceived to treat either development in isolation from the other. All these cultures were evolving in a matrix of essentially continuous response to each other.

      • homingpigeon on August 12, 2012, 9:35 am

        This statue smashing thing keeps popping up. In Switzerland Calvin and Zwingli were big on cleaning out the Catholic churches they took over five centuries ago. Go into a church in Switzerland. If you see paintings and statues, it is Catholic. If you see the places where statues used to be and where paintings were scraped off the walls, then it is Reformed. There are precedents to the Taliban.

  5. Roya on August 10, 2012, 12:32 pm

    Cohen argues that Israel far outranks the entire Arab world in U.S. patents.

    LOL so what. Now everybody’s supposed to run to the US to get a patent? Other countries are sovereign too, you know, and I’m sure they even have their very own patent systems.

    • Fredblogs on August 10, 2012, 1:50 pm

      The U.S. is the world’s largest economy. If you have something technological to sell, you want to patent it in the U.S.

      • thankgodimatheist on August 11, 2012, 12:35 am

        I don’t care how many more patents you get more than anyone else, Freddo. You’re still a land thief.

      • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 12:45 am

        Not necessarily. You can register a patent in Europe and have it valid all over the world. That’s what European countries do. There’s just some compliance to be done with the American counter-parts.

        Israel has a large diaspora in the States which help it lift off.
        If we take Skype, the Swedish/Danish company, it got off to a billion-dollar valuation before it got bought by Microsoft. And they did all the major things in London, not in New York.

        In Israel, there are so many connections for a young entrepreneurs, there is even a bank whose single mission is to fund and bring about Israeli-made companies to the States, that it’s hard not to go across the Ocean.

        You can’t say the same about the Arab world, since the Arab diaspora in the States are still quite weak.

        Nonetheless, despite all the help Israelis get(and it’s often forgotten just how much), Arabs outside of Palestine need to do better. But it’s not going to happen under Islamists, and that’s the direction the people have chosen.

        Palestinians have a good reason(the Occupation), but Arabs in many other countries can’t blame Israel, they gotta do better regardless.

      • Roya on August 11, 2012, 4:46 pm

        Krauss I’m not understanding what you mean by saying that the Arab “people have chosen” the direction of their countries. The only Arab countries I can think of where “the people have chosen” their leaders are Lebanon and now Egypt and Iraq and supposedly-but-not-really Syria. As far as Egypt, I have more hope in the “Islamists” that the people put in power than I did in the non-“Islamist” kowtowing Puppet of All Puppets Mubarak. As far as Lebanon, when Mr. Bush was in power he helped put in place a government of his liking, which in itself indicates that the Lebanese people did not fully choose their leaders. Besides, for the past century Lebanese politics has been a quagmire dictated and/or heavily influenced by the French, British, Americans, and Israelis. Same goes with (perhaps all?) other Arab nations. American imperialism has its fingerprints all over the Middle East including in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, etc. where the leaders are NOT chosen by the people, in large part thanks to the US, and before that it was the British and the French with their fingerprints all over the Middle East, putting in leaders that were again NOT chosen by the people.

        And frankly, as long as the United States (or any other country) is an empire, and as long as its Middle East policy is dictated by Israel, Arab countries will not be able to choose the direction of their countries. Imperialists do not like democracies in other parts of the world, because democracies are not as easily controlled as dictatorships. And God forbid a country in the Middle East do something crazy like nationalize its own natural resources industry! When Iran tried to pull that trick (how dare they?), the nice MI6 and CIA took out the democratically elected leader. Had imperialists not done that, Iran would likely be a democracy right now. That was 59 years ago but things have not changed since then. I was listening to a recent interview with Cairo-based American journalist Adam Morrow at the Scott Horton Show (I think it was this one), and at the very end he says that the US will never let Egypt become an independent nation. Never. Because geopolitically, Egypt is the most important Arab state. It straddles both the resource-rich regions of the Middle East and Africa, possesses the Suez Canal, which is vital to international trade, and shares a long border with Israel, which, to the treasonous dudes in Capitol Hill, is reason enough to extend imperial tendencies to Egypt. If Egypt or any other Arab country ever tries to become independent, the West will put them through hell. Just look at how Iran has been treated.

        So perhaps instead of putting all the blame on Arabs for the state of affairs in their countries and advising them to “do better,” we should also put a good bit of well-deserved blame on our own Western countries and then tell our respective leaders to get the hell out of Arab countries. No?

      • Krauss on August 12, 2012, 12:24 am

        So perhaps instead of putting all the blame on Arabs for the state of affairs in their countries and advising them to “do better,” we should also put a good bit of well-deserved blame on our own Western countries and then tell our respective leaders to get the hell out of Arab countries. No?

        Although Western powers have some influence today, it’s a large overstretch to say that, say, France has tremendous amounts on countries such as Jordan or Egypt.

        Also, countries like China were under the heel of the British, same with India but even more so(they were even a direct colony).

        Strong countries will always rule over weaker ones. If it’s not Western then it is Chinese. The Chinese are now going into Africa, bribing their leaders and making sure that they serve Chinese interests. They may not directly colonize the countries, but there’s no need to.

        And if India was more powerful than it is, it would do the same.

        This is what major powers do. And the Arabs can always blame the rest of the world forever, or they can ask why they are constantly weak?
        After all, just a few centuries ago, Europe was the one being invaded constantly. Now it’s the Western world(primarily America) meddling with Arab affairs. That doesn’t make it right, but it’s naive to the extreme and a little childish to expect strong nations not to lean on weaker ones. Arabs themselves did this in their conquest, do you think Arabs were nice when they butchered people and forced them to convert? Arabs aren’t victims, neither are Europeans.

        But Arabs have to ask themselves why they are so weak today, just like Europeans had to do in the medieval era.

        The answer is philosophical and scientific progress. The Arab world was world-leading in philosophy, mathematics and all the rest of it. But that requires an open mind.

        Islamism is the opposite of all of that.
        Arabs outside of Israel cannot blame the West for all their ills. That’s what small children do. Yes, it’s humilating to be weak. But humiliation does not need to last forever if one takes the step to fix it. Jews were oppressed for over 2000 years until now. Arabs haven’t been as weak as Jews have been historically for nearly as long at all.

        It should give you pause to think that Greece alone translates more book into Greek than the entire Arab world does combined(despite having a population over 100 times as large). Or that if you take away all the oil exports, the Arab world exports equals that of about Finland, a nation of just 5 million.

        Or take the fact, the dubious accomplishment, that sub-Saharan Africa, for the first time in history, managed to get past the Arab world in terms of conditions for women and now the Arab world is behind countries like Angola or Congo for women according to the annual study done by the U.N.

        Is the way Arab nations treat their women – via Islamism – really a Western conspiracy?

        Roya, you should do better than being a caricature of a bitter Arab blaming everything on the West. Nobody forces the Arab world to treat women the way they are being treated according to the non-partisan U.N study, which had many Arabs on it’s editorial board.

        But you’re praising Islamists. I don’t think that the dictators were a better choice but with Islamists you often get the first election and you’re never sure about the second(see Hamas). And even if they are democratic, do that make them a good choice? Hitler was elected democratically too.
        It’s a strong example but it serves to show that just because someone is democratically elected does not mean their agenda is very democratic.

      • Roya on August 13, 2012, 5:05 am

        Krauss, you copied and pasted my last statement, indicating that you were going to write a response to it, but you didn’t. Instead you just went on a rage about how Arab countries suck and how other countries don’t and how the West can do no wrong and how imperialism has no consequences and how I’m a “caricature” for a “bitter Arab” and a mouthpiece for “Islamists” and whatnot. I will not ask why you deliberately distorted my words, but instead I will repeat my conclusion and elaborate a bit since you didn’t get it:

        So perhaps instead of putting all the blame on Arabs for the state of affairs in their countries and advising them to “do better,” we should also put a good bit of well-deserved blame on our own Western countries and then tell our respective leaders to get the hell out of Arab countries. No?

        Did I say that Arabs bear no responsibility for the state of their countries? No. Did I say that the West bears all responsibility for the state of affairs in Arab countries? No. So what did I say? I said that instead of putting all the blame on Arabs, we should give some very well-deserved blame to the Western imperialists, who have been consistently and relentlessly interfering in the affairs of the Middle East for about a century. Why? Because (1) the Middle East is blessed with the curse of natural resources, and because (2) now it is apparently America’s divine duty to protect the Zionists who decided to set up camp in the region. If you are going to deny these very true and uncontroversial facts, then you yourself are the conspiracist. Here is a little something from Al Jazeera on “How the West de-democratized the Middle East” to give you a crash course on Western intervention.

        And a note on “Islamism,” on which you seem to have gotten a degree from the NYPD and/or Jihad Watch and/or Bernard Lewis: the rise of contemporary “Islamism” directly coincides with the era of interventionism in the Middle East. This is more than just mere coincidence–for example, in its initial years, Israel helped to spawn Hamas. Here you can read all about it at the Wall Street Journal. Not only is the article very bluntly titled, “How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas,” but you will also see the following words, attributed to a former Israeli military official, written, “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation” and then you can read all about how Israel admits to assisting to create the “Islamist” Hamas as a “counterweight to the secular nationalists” of the PLO. Not only that, but according to Walt and Mearsheimer, “by refusing to negotiate with [Mahmoud] Abbas and making it impossible for him to deliver tangible benefits to the Palestinian people, Sharon contributed directly to Hamas’s electoral victory in January 2006.” This led Haaretz columnist Bradley Burston to comment, “If it appears to you . . . that Israel is Hamas’ campaign manager in next week’s election for the Palestinian parliament, few would argue–especially in Hamas.”

        Another example, this one even more “shocking,” and confirmed by Hillary Clinton herself on national television–the United States helped to create al-Qaeda. A little more insight courtesy of Wikipedia:

        During the 1970s and sometimes later, Western and pro-Western governments often supported sometimes fledgling Islamists and Islamist groups that later came to be seen as dangerous enemies.[Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman, W.W. Norton and Company, 2003, p.101] Islamists were considered bulwarks against—what were thought to be at the time—more dangerous leftist/communist/nationalist insurgents/opposition, which Islamists were correctly seen as opposing. The US spent billions of dollars to aid the mujahideen Muslim Afghanistan enemies of the Soviet Union, and non-Afghan veteran of the war returned home with their prestige, “experience, ideology, and weapons”, and had considerable impact.[Peter Bergen, Alec Reynolds (November/December 2005). “Blowback Revisited”. Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2007-11-09.]

        You can either do as the Zionists do, which is to deny reality, and rehash your above claims, or just accept facts as facts.

        And as far as your general perceptions on the Middle East and Islam, I would have thought that someone who knows the truth about Israel and Palestine and therefore knows not to trust the mainstream media, with its deliberate misperceptions and outright lies on Israel and Palestine, would figure that such disinformation would apply to the broader Middle East as well and in turn know not to trust the mainstream establishment on such matters. Apparently not. So from now I will try to not always give others the benefit of the doubt. “Thanks” for the reminder.

      • Roya on August 11, 2012, 3:52 pm

        Freddie if you really want to talk about Israeli contribution to IP in the United States then we can also talk about this:

        During the spring of 1984 American trade associations, companies and industries provided input solicited by the International Trade Commission and US Trade Representative for development of a classified 300+ page report on proposed duty-free entry of Israeli products into the US market. In August of 1984 the Israeli Government and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) obtained copies of the classified report Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty Free Treatment for U.S. Imports from Israel, Investigation No. 332-180.

        Their possession and use of the data contained in the classified report represented the first in a subsequent string of actions denying adequate and effective protection of intellectual property (IP) rights of US industry. This is in violation of the Treaty of Paris and the superseding WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS). The International Trade Commission solicited and compiled trade secrets, internal costs, market share and other confidential business information from interested parties under the firm understanding that the data would be considered “business confidential” and used primarily by the USTR to negotiate the most favorable deal for the United States. In 1984 only fifteen numbered copies were circulated to key parties under tight control and scheduled destruction schedules.

        The FBI launched an investigation into how AIPAC obtained and circulated copies of the classified report during the most critical negotiation period. The ITC confirmed in 2008 that the Israeli government also obtained a copy of the classified report. Industry groups such as the US Bromine Alliance obtained verification from the ITC on November 1, 1984 that all of their most closely guarded trade secrets had been obtained by AIPAC (see appendix).

        In the following quarter century Israeli manufacturers and the Israeli government have continued to systematically violate US IP rights. In the case of American military and defense systems, Israel has a long history of reverse engineering, copying, manufacturing and exporting unauthorized versions of US systems. In doing so, Israeli manufacturers have not only deprived American manufacturers of revenue and US workers high paying jobs, but also negatively altered the strategic and tactical military balance of power. US taxpayers who subsidized the research, development, and deployment costs for weapons have witnessed the tragedy of US military personnel facing weapons on the battlefield from illicitly manufactured Israeli systems obtained by rogue states.

        The American pharmaceutical industry has recently faced systemic industry-government violations of IP rights in the form of an ongoing IP “trap” in which confidential clinical dossiers are purposely misused. While US pharmaceutical industry representatives insisted that Israel remain on the USTR Priority Watch List for the past four years, no effective action has been taken against egregious behavior. The Israeli government regulatory agency solicits patented data and formulas under the auspices of granting approval of drugs for the Israeli market. It delays the approval process while data is obtained by Israeli drug-makers. These manufacturers then commercialize cutting edge US innovations world wide. Israeli IP laws have been purposely weakened and placed out of sync with major industrial countries that all permit longer patent terms so inventors can recoup investments in new drugs before patents expire. The short periods left to recover investments have left US pharmaceutical manufacturers at a major disadvantage to Israeli generic drug manufacturers benefiting from global sales enabled by ever weaker IP protection. US consumers and taxpayers funding medical research are indirectly subsidizing the clinical dossiers upon which Israeli generic drug manufacturers capitalize by selling back into the American market.

        The US-Israel Free Trade Area is unique among bilateral FTAs in that it has been marked by years of industry and grassroots protests from various US associations. A comparative analysis against other bilateral FTAs confirms why they have been right to protest. The US-Israel Free Trade Area has been manifestly negative for American workers and businesses by undermining the system of rules based global trade. The burden from the ongoing Israeli commercialization of US IP is most clearly reflected in the bilateral trade deficit.

        Since 1989 US-Israel trade has shifted from rough import/export parity into a permanent Israeli surplus and a $71 billion cumulative trade deficit for the US (adjusted for inflation). Among all active bilateral US free trade agreements it is the only agreement producing multi-billion dollar deficits every year since 1997. Indeed, the US has significant surpluses with most other bilateral FTA partners. The Israeli disregard for rules based trade is also now financing and enabling ancillary activities that threaten US national security and regional stability.

        Israel’s leading duty free export to the American market—precious stones, metals and coins—has grown under the FTA preferences to 20.6% of the total US import demand. But the value chain of Israel’s leading export leaves a trail of violence, corruption, and property theft. LLD Diamonds Ltd., owned by Israeli-American Lev Leviev exported $417 million in cut diamonds from Israeli to the US in 2008. Leviev has been cited for human rights abuses in Angola and Namibia where Leviev companies source rough diamonds. Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups have documented how Leviev revenues finance illegal settlement construction in the Israeli occupied West Bank. Leviev’s overseas activities not only violate international law, but also US foreign policy initiatives against illegal Israeli colonization. Preferential Israeli access to the US market under the FTA enables LLD Diamond’s illicit activities.

        In summary, the flawed process that produced the US-Israel Free Trade Area was itself a violation of the IP of American industries. The USTR and ITC are partially culpable for failing to secure sensitive US information that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Israel had no right to obtain, possess or utilize. The subsequent pattern of ongoing violations and negative outcomes for American stakeholders place this trade agreement in the column of the types of “failed programs” that President Barak Obama has promised Americans he would reevaluate. IRmep does not join previous Section-301 petitioners seeking further investigations, consultations with the Israeli government for regulations changes, hearings or requests for WTO “process” compliance. Given the serious and growing nature of the national security threat, regional impact and threat to rule of law, and heavy burden to US industries and workers, this petition provides the evidence and rationale for immediately suspending the US-Israel Free Trade Area as allowed under Section 301. Suspension should continue until such time as Israel’s legal and regulatory systems are developed enough to engage in legitimate, rules based bilateral trade with the United States. Given the long term and highly damaging history of IP violations, an in-depth damage assessment should be performed in order to negotiate appropriate Israeli compensation for affected US industries and workers.

  6. Mooser on August 10, 2012, 12:32 pm

    “synthesis of Judaism and Hellenism saved the Jews”

    Yes, when I looked at the Adelson pictures I saw a face that could launch a thousand strips.

    • chinese box on August 10, 2012, 2:28 pm

      LOL Mooser you are on fire today…

      As for Cohen, I don’t know why WaPo keeps him around. He’s long past his expiration date.

      • lysias on August 10, 2012, 5:33 pm

        The whole WaPo (and especially its editorial and op ed pages) is long past its expiration date.

        Krauthammer is a lot worse than Cohen. (And so are Fred Hiatt’s editorials.)

      • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 12:46 am

        WaPo is the WSJ on all matters Foreign Policy.

        Fred Hiatt is the Sheldon Adelson of Journalism.

      • chinese box on August 11, 2012, 9:45 am

        @lysias

        I don’t agree with Krauthammer on anything politically but I have to admit he has an acerbic wit that I enjoyed on the Sunday morning talk shows. At least he doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not, unlike these other PEPs and poseurs.

      • MRW on August 11, 2012, 10:41 am

        Got that right, Krauss: “Fred Hiatt is the Sheldon Adelson of Journalism”

    • ColinWright on August 10, 2012, 4:58 pm

      “…Yes, when I looked at the Adelson pictures I saw a face that could launch a thousand strips…”

      Maybe Adelson is an unwitting agent of the great anti-semitic gentile conspiracy.

      In our hidden laboratory, we came up with this visually hideous, morally tacky frog thing. The idea is to make the Adelson emblematic of Jews in general and thus excite widespread revulsion.

      It really is comic. When it comes to Adelson, the answer to that stereotyped question ‘is it good for the Jews?’ is obviously no.

      Who thought up this guy? He’s living proof there is no massive Jewish conspiracy. If there was, Adelson would be smothered with a pillow immediately.

      • Mooser on August 11, 2012, 1:00 pm

        In Las Vegas, the street with all the casinos is called “the strip”.

      • Citizen on August 13, 2012, 8:02 am

        @ Colin Wright
        You’re on fire today! Keep it up.

  7. Roya on August 10, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Palestinian Americans’ response to Romney, miraculously published at the Washington Post: The Palestine Romney Doesn’t Know. The comments are even more interesting.

  8. Shmuel on August 10, 2012, 12:50 pm

    This hubbub about culture may seem esoteric, but it is really very important. The tendency to hold the Arabs blameless for their own culture is part of the predilection to hold them harmless for the lack of peace agreement with Israel. The Israelis have much to account for, but they are not alone in this matter and they are not the ones who have over and over again rejected peace plans. The adamant refusal to hold the Arabs accountable infantilizes them — a neo-colonialist mentality that is, in the end, simply insulting.

    Palestinians are incidental to Cohen’s article. They are what they are, poor dears. The real problem lies with those infantilising, neo-colonialist leftists, who insult the culturally-deficient “Arabs”, by making excuses not only for the shameful number of U.S. patents they have managed to chalk up, but for their serial rejection of eminently reasonable “peace plans”. Since two Arab countries have actually signed peace agreements with Israel and a third has made its own proposal (to which Israel has failed to respond for more than a decade – probably too busy working on U.S. patents and Nobel prizes), we can only assume that Cohen is referring to the Palestinians here, proudly calling their chronic disease by its rightful name: Arab.

    Good thing Cohen recognises the fact that the political situation is “complicated” and avoids the racist argument that Jews are “inherently” better than non-Jews. You almost had him there, Phil, but he’s too smart for you. Must be all those Arabs you’ve been hanging out with, condescending neo-colonialist that you are.

    • Fredblogs on August 10, 2012, 1:58 pm

      The so called “Arab peace plan” of the Saudis is too insulting to be worth responding to. It includes a thinly veiled reference to a requirement for the “right of return” that the authors of the plan knew made it a worthless non-starter.

      BTW, it has nothing to do with race, Arabs in America who embrace American culture do fine. It’s all about culture.

      • Woody Tanaka on August 10, 2012, 4:52 pm

        “The so called “Arab peace plan” of the Saudis is too insulting to be worth responding to. It includes a thinly veiled reference to a requirement for the “right of return” that the authors of the plan knew made it a worthless non-starter.”

        Fredo, you know that’s not true, as it’s been discussed a million times. Why do you always have to lie about it? In fact, this term was written specifically to bend over backwards to appease the israelis and it still wasn’t enough, because they didn’t get keep the West Bank and disappear the people living there. (Well, the non-Jews, at least…)

      • thankgodimatheist on August 11, 2012, 12:23 am

        “Why do you always have to lie about it?”

        Let’s be honest Woody. Where would Israel be today without a century long lies? I doubt it would exist today. It was, and still is for the “good” cause.

      • thankgodimatheist on August 11, 2012, 12:38 am

        Has there been one single myth about Israel’s foundation that is not, well, a myth or a lie?! Not one! Reading the New Historians is edifying in that sense.

      • Shingo on August 10, 2012, 9:56 pm

        The so called “Arab peace plan” of the Saudis is too insulting to be worth responding to.

        Yes, it stupidly offers to meet Israel’s demands and makes Israel look hypocritical and cynical.

        It includes a thinly veiled reference to a requirement for the “right of return” that the authors of the plan knew made it a worthless non-starter.

        No it doesn’t, but it’s udnerstandable why you Zioniost shills have to resort to this lie, becasue as I pointed out, it makes Israle looki increduible duplicitous and cynical for rejecting it otherwise.

      • mondonut on August 10, 2012, 10:50 pm

        /II- Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194./

        So the above either means something, or it does not. Either it affirms the RoR or it is a throw away statement to appease Israel. So here it the real test that the Arabs will never bother to speak of: Have the Palestinians signed on to this agreement with the understanding that they will both end all claims and no longer pursue the RoR? Because if not, the Arab plan is worthless. Any other than a symbolic RoR is a deal killer, and is only slight less abhorrent than expecting the Israelis to give up the holiest site in Judaism. Which of course is also expected of the Israelis.

      • annie on August 11, 2012, 1:36 am

        expecting the Israelis to give up the holiest site in Judaism

        you mean the land the Al-Aqsa Mosque is sitting on? how can you give up something that’s not yours to begin with?

      • Citizen on August 13, 2012, 8:16 am

        @ Shingo
        This article makes it look like elements of HAMAS have been the sticking point on the Arab peace offer–it does not say much on Israel’s reasons for not accepting the offer, except to say both the US and Israel said the Palestinian ROT is a non-starter: http://www.haaretz.com/news/arab-states-unanimously-approve-saudi-peace-initiative-1.216851

      • Woody Tanaka on August 13, 2012, 6:59 pm

        “So here it the real test that the Arabs will never bother to speak of:”

        Why is it up to the Arabs to propose a test? Why not the ask the israelis to offer the full withdraw to the green line, end the occupation fully, and pay a fair compensation for the Right of Return? Because they know that it would be accepted and they have no intention of undoing their theft of Palestine.

        “and is only slight less abhorrent than expecting the Israelis to give up the holiest site in Judaism.”

        And Jews having soveignty over the third-holiest site in Islam: where it that on the “abhorrence” scale?? I’d bet to a Muslim, it’s pretty abhorrent.

      • thankgodimatheist on August 11, 2012, 12:19 am

        “The so called “Arab peace plan” of the Saudis is too insulting to be worth responding to”
        When Israel rejects an Arab peace plan it’s for good reasons but when Arabs rejects Israel’s that’s because they don’t want peace!! Got it.

    • chinese box on August 10, 2012, 2:32 pm

      The most PhDs, patents, blah blah…do these people think these achievements somehow justify ethnic cleansing? What kind of moral argument is that?

      • Fredblogs on August 10, 2012, 5:03 pm

        No, just that it proves that Israeli culture is head and shoulders above the cultures of the surrounding countries. Kicking out the Palestinians (note, not ethnic cleansing because no one is kicking out Israeli Arabs) is justified by the attempts of the Palestinians to murder the Jews.

      • Woody Tanaka on August 10, 2012, 6:18 pm

        “No, just that it proves that Israeli culture is head and shoulders above the cultures of the surrounding countries.”

        Yeah, because a Jewish-apartheid Spartan regime is so wonderful.

        “Kicking out the Palestinians (note, not ethnic cleansing because no one is kicking out Israeli Arabs) is justified by the attempts of the Palestinians to murder the Jews.”

        Bullshit. It was an ethnic cleansing and that doesn’t change because it wasn’t fully successful. Gutter-level Nakba denial. (I thought this was a banning offense, mods…)

      • Mooser on August 10, 2012, 6:26 pm

        “Kicking out the Palestinians (note, not ethnic cleansing because no one is kicking out Israeli Arabs) is justified by the attempts of the Palestinians to murder the Jews.”

        So basically, you’re in favor of “transfer” and “annexation” of the occupied territories? And you take this brave, principled stance from America, where you live?
        What a piece of work.

      • Shingo on August 10, 2012, 9:57 pm

        Kicking out the Palestinians (note, not ethnic cleansing because no one is kicking out Israeli Arabs) is justified by the attempts of the Palestinians to murder the Jews.

        And before that, it was justified becasue the Palestinians were there to begin with.

      • ColinWright on August 10, 2012, 10:32 pm

        “…No, just that it proves that Israeli culture is head and shoulders above the cultures of the surrounding countries. Kicking out the Palestinians (note, not ethnic cleansing because no one is kicking out Israeli Arabs) is justified by the attempts of the Palestinians to murder the Jews….”

        That’s what Hitler said. Substitute ‘German’ and ‘Germans’ for ‘Israeli’ and ‘Jews’ and ‘Jews’ for ‘Palestinians’ and you can start posting at Volkischer Beobachter. Your post literally is a perfect fit. Well, that qualification in the parentheses has to go — but hey, you got rid of most of them, didn’t you?

        Here’s your post with the changes I mentioned:

        “…No, just that it proves that German culture is head and shoulders above the cultures of the surrounding countries. Kicking out the Jews is justified by the attempts of the Jews to murder the Germans….”

        See? Flawless. You are a Nazi. I don’t say that to be rude — just observing a fact. Even ‘culture’ is a perfect fit. The Nazis liked that word too. They were big on their cultural superiority as well. Like you.

        I hate this. People are so frigging blind. It’s the same damned thing.

      • Djinn on August 10, 2012, 11:38 pm

        In the ante bellum years white Americans produced infinitely more lawyers, doctors, scientists etc than than blacks did. Stupid abolitionists just didn’t understand that white culture was clearly more superior.

      • ritzl on August 11, 2012, 2:43 am

        “(note, not ethnic cleansing because no one is kicking out Israeli Arabs)”

        Tell it to the people of Al-Araquib. To make way for, wait for it, trees (in the desert, which when mature each use the equivalent of the daily water that, wait for it again, four Palestinians use, ~200l/day/tree), oh and a few Jewish-only “communities” (there goes the eminent domain argument as well).

      • Roya on August 11, 2012, 2:53 am

        You have such a way with words, Fredo. I for one appreciate your ability to predictably spout abhorrent streams of nonsense at any given time. Not all of us have such admirable skills.

      • Citizen on August 13, 2012, 8:22 am

        @ Fredblogs
        Israel ignores US patents on military and pharmaceutical inventions regularly, and has done so for decades. The first US mutual trade agreement, the 1984 one with Israel, has been a huge and continuing windfall for Israel at the expense of US taxpayers and US industry and its workers. As usual, Israel does not play by the same rules as other nations, and the US pretends it’s not being hosed by Israel because if a US politician objects his or her career will be very limited.

      • lysias on August 10, 2012, 5:35 pm

        Once upon a time, Germany had won a lot more scientific Nobel Prizes than any other country.

      • American on August 10, 2012, 6:41 pm

        Money and resources = better educations = achievements.
        A society’s needs or desires probably dictates what kind of achievements are made.
        If we had put a trillion dollars into Palestine no doubt they’d be receiving some prizes in something, agriculture, medicine, water conservation inventions, whatever is important to them.
        Asian countries that don’t have a high incidence of cancer don’t put as much money into cancer research as those they do for instance.

        I tell you though, no one can look at the Germany in ruins in 1945 and then look at it today and doubt the cultural force of German discipline and resilience.

      • ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 3:34 pm

        lysias: “Once upon a time, Germany had won a lot more scientific Nobel Prizes than any other country.

        Yeah — and without checking, I know that 25% or 50% or something of those Nobels were won by German Jews — who were around 1% of the German population.

        …and a highly assimilated 1%. And this brings us to the point.

        Whatever the causes of Jewish achievement, and whatever one chooses to read into it, it has always occurred primarily along the ‘seam line’ between the gentile and Jewish worlds. Rebbe Whatever in Mogilev in 1563 did not independently discover that the earth goes around the sun rather than vice-versa.

        Therefore, to return to the focus of this whole site, it is a non-sequitur to argue that Jewish achievement somehow justifies Israel. Even if that were a sound argument in the first place, one is hardly likely to perpetuate Jewish achievement by isolating Jews. And indeed, once created Israel rather promptly confounds just about every tenet of the Jewish claim to exceptionalism. They conspicuously cease to be more moral than anyone else and the per-capita level of Jewish intellectual and cultural achievement in Israel is actually abysmal compared to that of Jews in the diaspora.

        It’s ironic that Jewish chauvinists would promote Israel. Israel is rapidly eroding any basis for that chauvinism. It’s nothing to be proud of — and never will be.

      • Citizen on August 13, 2012, 8:23 am

        @ lysias
        And Germany did not accomplish that feat by ripping of US patented inventions.

      • marc b. on August 13, 2012, 9:29 am

        citizen, you’re right, and this whole nobel ‘debate’ is idiotic. the collection of nobel prizes isn’t any more emblematic of cultural superiority than the tally of olympic medals. germany, the scandanavian countries, and others, are clearly ‘culturally’ superior to israel, and, arguably, the US, if, rather than engage in this dick-measuring context you look at a broad range of indicators such as income disparity, technological innovation, academic performance (not just of the few at the top), mortality rates, crime statistics, etc. and germany seems to have achieved its position without having to lay prostrate before ‘the market’ (insert glassy-eyed, drug induced cultish ‘oooohhhmmm’). how is it that germany has been able to produce such relative wealth without the corruption and inevitable ‘sugar crash’ that occurs after each feeding frenzy in the US?

    • ritzl on August 10, 2012, 6:37 pm

      Good one Shmuel. This article does have all the hallmarks of having been actually drafted by an Israeli. Terms used, PR boxes checked, racial/ethnic “distinctions” generalized, and requisite unmentionables not mentioned in support of the above.

      As sites like MW become more successful and the POV here gains credence, is this is the type of desperate (and ugly) MSM pushback that’s going to bubble up with increasing frequency?

  9. marc b. on August 10, 2012, 1:01 pm

    and that in the mainstream political sphere, despite J Street’s work, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between neocons and neoliberals on the conflict.

    ‘despite J Street’s work’? yeah. right. still can’t give up your addiction to Diet Coke, phil? no, really, it’s not a healthy substitute for ‘the real thing’.

    In my view, American Jewish achievement is a cultural phenomenon: our educational and urban traditions suited us for 20th century industrial conditions, and we excelled . …

    oh, lord, here we go again. so if the 20th century is the pinacle of jewish achievment, jews being specially suited for ’20th century industrial conditions’ are you also taking responsible for an economy is which ‘fraud is the business model’? (i had earlier posted critical commentary in which many scientists have concluded that financial/commercial prerogatives had fatally undermined the scientific process, to the extent that many published scientific papers cannot be relied upon as the source of reliable information – ‘science’ being yet another endeavor especially suited for jewish talents.)

    here is what some economists have concluded regarding the economy:

    Bill Black joined our department in 2006. At UMKC (and the Levy Institute) we had long been discussing and analyzing the GFC that we knew was going to hit, using the approaches of Hyman Minsky and Wynne Godley. Bill insisted we were overlooking the most important factor, fraud. To be more specific, Bill called it control fraud, where top corporate management runs an institution as a weapon to loot shareholders and customers to the benefit of top management. Think Bob Rubin, Hank Paulson, Bernie Madoff, Jamie Dimon and Jon Corzine. Long before, I had come across Bill’s name when I wrote about the S&L scandal, and I had listed fraud as the second most important cause of that crisis. While I was open to his argument back in 2006, I could never have conceived of the scope of Wall Street’s depravity. It is all about fraud. As I’ve said, this crisis is like Shrek’s Onion, with fraud in every layer. There is, quite simply, no part of the financial system that is not riddled with fraud.

    Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/randy-wray-why-were-screwed.html#QyLAdleVwDJSfb3O.99

    • American on August 10, 2012, 3:58 pm

      Those who are too young or weren’t involved in business or real estate investments during the S&L debacle need to go read up on it…..the actual cost to the public was $16,000 per taxpayer in that public funds bailout. The criminality in it was the same as what we see in WS.
      The fraud and criminality just keeps going right on today…no end to it…just gets bigger and bigger.
      True story….there was a resort property development foreclosed on that some investor friends and I wanted to bid on. The bank that had financed it for the original developers was in New Jersey so I called them to get the particulars on it. I had a feeling something was wrong when the girl answering at the bank said no officers were available to take my call. So I then asked if ‘anyone’ with ‘any’ authority was in the bank. Turned out the RTC was in the bank basement packing up their records so the girl transferred me to them….LOL. The RTC guy in charge was nice enough and eager enough to tell me all about it to go find the files on the property and tell me what selling agent it had been turned over to. So I finally got them on the phone..but opps!…the property wasn’t going to the public bid stage…..it had already been bought by a WS REIT for 10 cents on the dollar. Prime properties somehow skirted the legally required public RTC auction sale where they would have brought more money and recouped more for the taxpayers and RTC in competive bidding.
      That was the second level of the S&L fraud, the political and insider fraud, that most people didn’t know about.

      • marc b. on August 10, 2012, 4:48 pm

        True story

        my wife and i have had similar experiences, american. we placed offers on several foreclosed properties in the south end in boston back in the day, only to find out a year later that the properties had been sold by the bank to this or that investment trust for 50% or lower of our offer. there is scheme in the works now to sell off foreclosed properties held by Fannie/Fredie/FHA to ‘qualified’ investors, about 1/4 million properties. and the transfer of wealth continues.

    • Roya on August 10, 2012, 9:35 pm

      Agreed. American Jews are proportionally over-represented in the finance and economic sectors. The economy is in shambles right now. American Jews are proportionally over-represented in the political sphere. American foreign policy is a mess. Jews are proportionally over-represented in American mainstream media. The mainstream media establishment can correctly be called the mainstream disinformation establishment. While this in itself does not prove a causal relationship, and I think it’s important to recognize Jewish achievement, I also believe that acknowledgement of (partial) responsibility in un-achievements should be acknowledged alongside recognition of achievements.

      • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 12:54 am

        I agree with this point as long as it is not taken too far – a sign that Jews are ‘inherently’ this or that – but I think this issue is the same what Brooks talked about when he thinly wrote of the failure of the ‘new elites’ who ‘forever see themselves as outsiders to the Establishment’.

        The old WASPs were far from perfect, but as Brooks pointed out, they had a long-term view of what was right for the nation and under their rule, at least once the country got prosperous, inequality didn’t increase as it has in India or China, but rather decreased and prosperity was shared for all, Wall St was under control, the media was far from perfect back then but it wasn’t the screaming matches you see or hear today. Most people had a decent shot at life.

        The “new elite” as Brooks like to talk about, of which Jews are overrepresented in, don’t really seem to take the same long-term view perhaps because most Jews still view themselves as Americans, but still a minority that somehow isn’t as responsible as those others, whoever they are.

        And let’s not even talk about the vertical disaster that uncondtional support for Zionism has meant inside the American MSM for the Middle East, or the coddling of the neocons.

    • Citizen on August 13, 2012, 8:34 am

      @ marc b,

      RE: “… so [Phil], if the 20th century is the pinacle of jewish achievment, jews being specially suited for ’20th century industrial conditions’ are you also taking responsible for an economy is which ‘fraud is the business model’?”

      Ouch! So true, so true. What can a poor little American girl do than marry into the total expertise? Chelsea knows. And, hey, she loves her father-in-law, the white collar criminal, and also, certainly, her Daddy–you know, the draft dodger who told us all he was ready to snatch up an M-16 and hit the trenches for Israel? BTW, anybody know how Chelsea’s hubby is doing on (that font of honest sweat and blood) Wall St these days? Ivy interested to know.

      • marc b. on August 13, 2012, 10:25 am

        we must tread lightly, citizen. phil is calling for change, while admitting flaws, but this transformation has to happen on the analyst’s couch as much as through objective political argument. (you wouldn’t want phil to give up the double addiction of freud and herzl at the same time?) his (and ‘his’ people’s) fragile ego is only so flexible, and ‘tribal’ affiliations (as he puts it) still trump humanity. how else to explain his willful inability to divorce himself from the duplicity of j-street and other trojan horse enablers.

  10. American on August 10, 2012, 1:06 pm

    “I’m also pleased that Cohen openly addresses Jewish achievement numbers that I have been attacked for bringing up. “…Phil

    You don’t get attacked for bringing it up…….you get criticized for not putting Jewish achievement in the proper context —-the historical cycles of minorities or any group’s maturing and or advancing in various periods of civilizations.
    Yes, achievement is praiseworthy in any ‘group—– but it’s not unique to Jews alone in the way you seem to want to believe or at least present it —that’s the catch.

    In fairness maybe I should say it’s ‘unique’ to the Jews in the way they themselves see their rise or achievements because they believe they achieved this ‘in spite of oppression’ and that may be valid to some degree, but’s it’s not unique to just Jews in the world’s historical cycles.
    You can almost explain history and groups dynamics with Business 101—the topping out of ‘mature’ established markets where growth and gains have been maxed out and stagnate vr. the rise of ’emerging’ markets where there’s room for growth. Jews as a group had room for growth just as new minorities in any society do.
    So there’s nothing wrong with taking pride in or enjoying Jewish acheivement but trying to make it ‘too’ unique to Jews alone is the same as those who believe in American or other kinds of group specialness.

    Most humans have some vanity in them …like most of us on here who think we know better or give better advice than others….but it’s usually a big mistake….rotflmao.

  11. Carllarc on August 10, 2012, 1:59 pm

    a reply in the WaPo has been written by Zahi Khouri,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-palestine-romney-doesnt-know/2012/08/09/5de0bcdc-e235-11e1-98e7-89d659f9c106_story.html

    this is a very passionate response to Cohen’s vulgar racism.

    • marc b. on August 10, 2012, 5:01 pm

      this is a very passionate response to Cohen’s vulgar racism.

      unless i missed it, he didn’t identify cohen in his ‘reply’, only romney. i suppose it’s bad form to criticize another writer in the same paper, even if the criticism is as cleanly and politely rendered as khouri’s. maybe cohen (or khouri) could explain why a coca cola bottler is such a clearly superior writer to an experienced, professional journalist? is it culture?

    • MRW on August 10, 2012, 7:24 pm

      I’d like to see Hostage take on some of the comments in that Khouri WaPo piece.

    • FreddyV on August 11, 2012, 10:29 am

      Wow! I made the huge mistake of reading the comments section. That’s an hour of my life I won’t get back and it made me feel quite ill…..

      I need to have a think about what I got from that:

      The Zios there are quite nuts with hardwired fear of any solution to the issue.

      A whole bunch of LON bullsh1t and the usual Hasbara, but the crazy thing is, they believe it wholeheartedly.

      Despite International Law saying otherwise, they truly believe the West Bank belongs to them and that you cannot have Apartheid if the people living there aren’t Israeli Citizens. One poster suggested that Israel will pay Palestinians $300,000 each to clear out and if they refuse throw them out at the end of a bayonet.

      It kind of made me lose heart. How do you reason with lunatics?

      Thank goodness Hasbara Central have only allocated Fred Blogs and Winnica to this place.

      Obviously, Mondoweiss obviously isn’t as much a priority as WaPo.

  12. Dan Crowther on August 10, 2012, 2:39 pm

    Phil criticizes Cohen, and now I want to criticize Phil. I gotta stop reading these posts.

    • Dan Crowther on August 10, 2012, 3:12 pm

      I usually refrain from double posting, but I have a question: The way phil and others talk about Jews, I have to wonder if he/they would be willing to discuss “Jewish” as a box to check off on say, college admissions and so on? I hope I haven’t stumbled into “anti-semitic” territory with this, but every time I read these posts I have that question.

      • philweiss on August 10, 2012, 4:12 pm

        of course i wouldnt be for that dan. but are kinship networks, unspoken, important in other areas of american social life?

      • Dan Crowther on August 10, 2012, 4:54 pm

        Phil – I didnt think you would be. My thing is, you seem to view “jewish” as wholly separate and distinct from anything else; I get the sense you view “jewish” as others would view physically obvious things like “black” and so on.
        I mean, how else can you explain the widely accepted identifier “secular jew” if there wasn’t this racialist view of Jewishness among Jews?

        I myself dont think of Jews as a racial group, so I too would object to the addition of “jewish” as a group category in the way I mentioned – but in my opinion, your being against it seems hypocritical. “my people” is a familiar refrain around here – so, what gives?

      • marc b. on August 10, 2012, 5:09 pm

        so it’s permissible to collect other ethnic/racial data on applicants, but not jewish applicants? and if this further classification of applicants is somehow inappropriate or irrelevant, why are jewish groups so busy compiling that information by other means? (unspoken kinship networks are ‘important’ in other areas of american social life, but ‘you wouldn’t be for’ compiling possible evidence of the existence of such networks in academia? bully for you that you’ve reconciled these logical inconsistencies without resort to medication.)

      • philweiss on August 10, 2012, 5:48 pm

        i always shrugged off the “my people” refrain growing up and led my life on my own terms. though yes along the way jewish friendship and collegial fellowship was important to me, personally, and professionally. now engaged politically, i think that many of the group i am trying to talk to think in “my people” ways, and they have a significant role in american public life and they are actually endangering jewish life, which is something i care about because i come out of it and love the intellectual culture i grew up with, my dad being a scientist. So i think i invoke it both tactically and sincerely now, though it’s just a part of my core identity

      • American on August 10, 2012, 6:21 pm

        “which is something i care about because i come out of it and love the intellectual culture i grew up with, my dad being a scientist. So i think i invoke it both tactically and sincerely now, though it’s just a part of my core identity”…Phil

        Well pardon my butting into this exchange. But the above
        statement is a better explaination for your people thing than you’ve made before and now understandable because many people feel the culture (the people or community around them) that they grew up in is part of or formed their identity or self.

      • Dan Crowther on August 10, 2012, 6:40 pm

        Oh, must have been another Phil Weiss who wrote “notes on my racism, part 3..”my people”

        http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/notes-on-my-racism-part-3-my-people.html

        Doesn’t really jive with your last Phil.

      • Keith on August 10, 2012, 8:56 pm

        DAN CROWTHER- “I mean, how else can you explain the widely accepted identifier “secular jew” if there wasn’t this racialist view of Jewishness among Jews?”

        A group identifier doesn’t have to be racial to be a group identifier. The term “Jew” signifies membership in the Jewish collective, religion and race notwithstanding, however, I doubt that large numbers of Black Jews would be welcomed with open arms. I think that Phil is doing a service in bringing up the inherent favoritism associated with Jewish “kinship,” a somewhat euphemistic phrase to describe organized tribalistic power-seeking. I should point out that the Jewish concept of dividing people into two categories, Jews and Gentiles, is inherently discriminatory. To lump together all the diverse non-Jewish peoples of the world into a ‘group’ called Gentiles, and attribute organizational attributes and characteristics, including the myth of irrational and eternal anti-Semitism, creates a dynamic where Jewish favoritism to their ‘fellow Jews’ is virtually inevitable. To the degree that all non-Jews are viewed as being essentially the same and inherently anti-Semitic, what Jew wouldn’t seek out Jews and avoid Gentiles? Furthermore, I find these cultural explanations such as “our educational and urban traditions suited us for 20th century industrial conditions, and we excelled” to be unconvincing. All elites posit some form of meritocracy to justify their status. In reality, elite educational opportunities are the consequence of power, not the cause of it.

      • libra on August 10, 2012, 10:40 pm

        DC: “– so, what gives?”

        Dan , if you’re in the kinship network you don’t need to ask. And if you’re not in – as you so clearly aren’t – then you really shouldn’t ask. After all, as Phil says it’s all unspoken about. Just like the Emperor’s new clothes. How else in a country with an unspoken Empire do you know who the Emperor is?

      • ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 3:23 am

        Philip says:“…i always shrugged off the “my people” refrain growing up …now engaged politically, i think that many of the group i am trying to talk to think in “my people” ways, and they have a significant role in american public life and they are actually endangering jewish life, which is something i care about …”

        I keep coming back to Israel on this. Absent Israel, would anything you’re mentioning really be a problem — or even unique to Jews? I think not: for starters, in what way would perceived American Jewish interests diverge from perceived American gentile interests?

      • Mooser on August 11, 2012, 1:06 pm

        “Doesn’t really jive with your last Phil.”

        Oh, Dan, go easy on Phil. His thought is constantly devolving and changing. In my stupid opinion, he’s doing something now I would have thought you do in your adolescence, or not at all, but I was wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time, surely.

  13. Edward Q on August 10, 2012, 3:15 pm

    Palestinians are a highly educated group; they are more educated then Americans. Are Americans “culturally deficient”? An old variation on the “cultural deficiency” argument is the “making the desert bloom” argument.

    What this whole discussion reminds me of is how there are media haves and have-nots. The zionist establishment is free to broadcast their self-serving prejudices far and wide and nary a word is heard from Palestinians or people sympathetic to them.

    A huge transfer of wealth took place in 1948 when most Palestinians were left destitute and their property transferred to zionist colonists. That just might have something to do with the disparities in wealth. Israelis also enjoy substantial economic support from America. I once read that Americans receive about $452 in support from our government while Israelis receive on average a largess of $1000.

    • Fredblogs on August 10, 2012, 5:09 pm

      More like $500 a year on average for the Israelis. A bit deceptive as a statistic though since the majority of the money gets plowed right back into the American economy as weapons exports. Also about $7500 per American.

      • Fredblogs on August 10, 2012, 5:34 pm

        Oops, sorry, more like $12,000 per American per year.

      • Edward Q on August 10, 2012, 8:47 pm

        I don’t recall exactly how those figures were arrived at; I read them in a pamphlet back in the 1990’s, but they were supposed to represent the value of services provided by the government to its citizens, such as roads, the post office, ect. The military would not count. It should also be kept in mind that there are explicit and hidden forms of U.S. aid to Israel and the $1000 figure probably only takes into account the explicit aid.

      • Edward Q on August 10, 2012, 9:33 pm

        Gad, I think I zapped my reply; here is a 2nd attempt:

        I read those figures in a pamphlet in the 1990’s. I don’t recall exactly how they were calculated but they were meant to represent services provided by the government to its citizens such as roads, the post office, ect. Military spending did not count. It should also be kept in mind that there is official and hidden U.S. aid to Israel. The $1000 figure was probably determined from the official values.

        Do Americans really benefit from military spending abroad? I take issue with the idea that the money spent in Israel returns to us because some of it is used to support Israel’s armaments industry, which competes with U.S. firms. Unlike aid to any other country, Israel is not required to spend this money on U.S. products. Israel has also transferred U.S. military technology to countries such as China, which undermines these companies. They have blocked U.S. arms sales to other countries in the Middle East.

        Personally, I think the military-industrial complex is a plague on this country that can’t go away fast enough. They are responsible for wars, corruption, and enabling sociopathic behavior from our politicians. There was a study from the late 1990’s that found the military had lost track of $1 trillion during that decade.

      • Fredblogs on August 13, 2012, 2:05 pm

        @Edward Q
        First off, that was 20 years ago. Second, it doesn’t come close to being accurate since it ignores the elephants in the room, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.
        Drop the military (which is silly, because they work for us too) and you are back to about $8000 per American. The $1000 doesn’t take into account only explicit aid, which is about 3 billion per year, which when divided up among 7 million Israelis comes to about $500 each.

      • Woody Tanaka on August 10, 2012, 6:10 pm

        It would only be deceptive if the money would not or could not otherwise get into the American economy. Would that money not be better spend on improve roads and schools in America? Isn’t the health of American children more important to you than Israelis??

      • ritzl on August 10, 2012, 6:49 pm

        The money that’s “plowed back” into the US is money that Israel doesn’t have to allocate from its own internal sources to meet its needs. The benefit to Israel is the same as if it were a direct cash transfer (of which 25% is, btw. Israel is again specially treated in that regard).

      • Fredblogs on August 13, 2012, 2:07 pm

        It would be cheaper for Israel to buy from the former Soviets or China. They wouldn’t be spending all that money on U.S. weapons without subsidies.

  14. ColinWright on August 10, 2012, 3:19 pm

    A lot of people seem to be carefully stepping around a rather large elephant here: Ashkenazi Jews are on the average somewhat more intelligent than members of other ethnic groups.

    Rather than attempting to pretend the elephant isn’t there, I suggest you consider the possibility that it may be an awkward fact — but a fact nevertheless.

    Once admitted, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover the sky doesn’t fall down. The implications are actually rather limited.

    • Ranjit Suresh on August 10, 2012, 4:38 pm

      If that’s the case, then why use kinship groups so extensively, as Philip and many others have testified?

      Consider: you have a disproportionately powerful, wealthy, and as you say, intelligent ethnicity. This ethnic group then magnifies their status through preferential hiring practices.

      When any other elite racial group does this, it becomes a civil rights issue. It should be recognized as one here, as well.

      • ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 3:56 am

        “…Consider: you have a disproportionately powerful, wealthy, and as you say, intelligent ethnicity. This ethnic group then magnifies their status through preferential hiring practices…”

        Well…how preferential?

        If you want clannish, try Armenians. Then when I was in the moving business there was a warehouse I dealt with once that was staffed by a lot of jovial — and extremely slow — Pacific Islanders of some sort. All Tongans or something. According to what I heard, if anyone else was hired, they promptly drove him out. I don’t see any reason to think that wasn’t true.

        On the other hand, while I have been explicitly discriminated against, it was never by a Jew on the grounds that I was gentile.

        I have little doubt that an element of this could and presumably does enter into a lot of decisions — but never so I’ve noticed it. We all discriminate all the time in all kinds of ways. It would largely be a matter of how grossly and how cruelly.

        Discrimination in some form is not going to go away just because you want it to. The pretty girl will always get invited out more than the ugly girl with chronic halitosis.

        That’s the way life is…and the way it will always be. I’m not even sure it’s something that should be changed. After all, a good deal of human intelligence is all about discrimination. You decide ‘I can trust this guy,’ and inshallah, you’re right. You’re a fool if you feel ‘I can’t trust this guy’ — and you feel obliged to go ahead and trust him anyway.

        ….and most of the elements that went into that decision were discrimination of one kind or another. So what if one of those elements was common ethnic background?

        It’s all a matter of degree. If Philip and I go up for a job interview, and the interviewer considers a variety of factors, and indeed, both he and Philip are Jewish, and that plays into his decision on some level, and I don’t get picked — well, that’s life. I’d prefer that he had focused on how both he and I like to fish, and picked me rather than Philip, but there it is. In the incredibly random business that is life, I lost a round.

        On the other hand, if Philip shows up, and the interviewer says ‘we don’t have an opening…oh wait, there’s a gentile we can fire’ — then that would be a different matter. As I say, it’s a matter of degree.

        Maybe come the millennium, everyone will be perfectly fair and yet discerning all the time. In the meantime, yeah — I would assume that being Jewish would sometimes work in your favor. So? I’ve never seen anything to suggest there’s a problem that’s out of hand.

      • on August 11, 2012, 7:13 pm

        “I would assume that being Jewish would sometimes work in your favor. So? I’ve never seen anything to suggest there’s a problem that’s out of hand.”

        Are you blind, man?

    • Edward Q on August 10, 2012, 5:08 pm

      I don’t know if this is a fact or not, but a group’s political rights should not depend on whether they “deserve” them by virtue of their collective talents.

      • philweiss on August 10, 2012, 5:42 pm

        if it’s not a fact it’s a moral verity

    • Fredblogs on August 10, 2012, 5:16 pm

      I’m sure the 15 IQ points involved on average don’t make that much of a difference. I think it has more to do with our insistence on literacy and the respect that knowledge is held in. I mean, we aspire to be doctors, lawyers, and scientists.

      • Mooser on August 10, 2012, 6:49 pm

        “I’m sure the 15 IQ points involved on average…”

        Dude, you are one pathetic case. You’d be beneath contempt, if you weren’t dangerous. Suck my “15 IQ points”

      • Woody Tanaka on August 10, 2012, 10:45 pm

        “Dude, you are one pathetic case. You’d be beneath contempt, if you weren’t dangerous. Suck my ’15 IQ points'”

        Mooser, be gentle with poor Fredo. Imagine: this is him with his 15 pt. boost. Imagine if he were some poor non-Ashkenazi shlub…

      • ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 3:10 am

        Woody says:

        “…Mooser, be gentle with poor Fredo. Imagine: this is him with his 15 pt. boost. Imagine if he were some poor non-Ashkenazi shlub…”

        Lol. He probably still wouldn’t have gotten tying his shoes down.

        Anyway, a ‘fifteen point difference’ must really be cherry-picking the results. As I’ve said, when I read about all this, the difference was more like 8 points. Maybe it was only 5. I forget. It probably varies depending on which test results you choose to refer to.

        …you may be happy to hear Japanese were number one at 109…according to someone or other. That wouldn’t surprise me much.

      • Fredblogs on August 13, 2012, 2:25 pm

        Well, apparently the studies vary wildly. I was going from memory based on something I read years ago. Apparently the Ashkenazim average IQ difference goes from 3 to 15 depending on which studies you are looking at. In any case, it’s not a big deal.

      • Mooser on August 10, 2012, 6:58 pm

        ” I mean, we aspire to be doctors, lawyers, and scientists.”

        Like Dr. The Honorable Phd. Sheldon Adelson? Or my ancestor Jacob Lys? Or Abramoff? Or Madoff? No wait, I forgot, they’re what happens when anti-Semitism prevents good Jewish boys from becoming doctors, lawyers and scientists.

        O BTW way, ferdfortz, what do settlers, (with their extra 15 points IQ) aspire to? WHat do the “ultra-religious” aspire to?

      • Mooser on August 10, 2012, 9:04 pm

        “I’m sure the 15 IQ points involved on average don’t make that much of a difference. I think it has more to do with our insistence on literacy and the respect that knowledge is held in. I mean, we aspire to be doctors, lawyers, and scientists.”

        Apparently it takes 16 extra points IQ before you’re smart enough not to be a boor and a braggart. Too bad you just missed it.

      • NorthOfFortyNine on August 10, 2012, 10:12 pm

        Yikes!! The “jews are smart” meme seems to be running amok here tonight, supported, apparently, by the liberal progressive set here.

        Gimme a break, guys. Is a population rich because it’s smart? Or smart because it’s rich? Best evidence supports the latter. See here: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/race-iq-and-wealth/

        A revised interpretation then is : zionists steal land, get rich, turn smart.

        Not the other way around. -n49.

      • Fredblogs on August 13, 2012, 2:27 pm

        I’m going with the latter. Good nutrition, good schools, etc. make a big difference. A culture of learning can help you get rich in the first place though.

      • libra on August 10, 2012, 11:02 pm

        FB: “I’m sure the 15 IQ points involved on average don’t make that much of a difference.”

        Fred, I would have thought that given the number of Jewish intellectuals an average of 15 IQ points seems rather small unless they have some really quite dim co-religionists.

        That said, you make a convincing case.

      • ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 3:04 am

        Fred says.“…the 15 IQ points involved…”

        That IQ difference keeps growing. When I first read the figures, it was something like an 8 point difference.

        I guess 8 points wasn’t enough.

        Anyway, neither Jews nor gentiles are a Borg collective. We’re individuals: and while I am gentile and you are Jewish, I am practically certain my IQ is higher than yours.

    • MRW on August 10, 2012, 5:27 pm

      What? And ignore the Sephardics like Spinoza and Maimonides? There were no Askenazim of note when they were still in the shtetls; it took coming to more advanced countries where they were allowed to study and innovate freely.

    • lysias on August 10, 2012, 5:38 pm

      If there’s any innate superiority, it may be a diminishing asset. If it’s a result of being discriminated against, then remove that discrimination and you are likely to see the phenomenon of regression to the mean.

      • Mooser on August 10, 2012, 9:01 pm

        “then remove that discrimination and you are likely to see the phenomenon of regression to the mean.”

        I knew I never should have trusted Gentiles! I thought they were so nice and tolerant, and it was all a plot to dumb us down! Well, if it’s stress and danger which produces a high-grade Jew, I can rest assured Israel is doing its part to improve the breed.

      • Mooser on August 10, 2012, 9:02 pm

        Oy, sorry lysias, I misread your comment. You’re right, they are getting meaner and meaner.

      • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 2:20 am

        Jewish Intelligence and Jewish Ethnocentrism

        Okay folks, let’s go.

        When people talk about Jewish intelligence, first they should do is to be specific.

        What kind of Jews do we talk about? Ashkenazi Jews have been observed to have an average IQ around 115 in Western nations.
        (Curiously, for whatever reason, it’s lower in Israel, giving weight to the whole ‘Jews need a nurturing environment to flourish’ argument – a.k.a. advanced gentile cultures).

        Whether you take the biological explanation or the cultural one (or both) – it doesn’t really matter in the end.
        Because the fact is there and it’s been observed over and over again.

        Also, while I’m at it. Someone a bit knowledgable will bring up the fact that Jews scored quite low when they came to America.
        And that’s a misrepresentation.
        That argument is based on an IQ testing of mentally challenged children for new immigrants at the turn of the last century(meaning early 1900s).

        The testing was mostly done on gentile white children to see if the accuracy of IQ tests held true.

        IQ tests were pretty novel back then and people forget that the primary reason why the IQ was invented wasn’t to test intelligence for everyone, it was mainly created as a tool for education; namely identify those who have such low intelligence that normal schoolwork will be so hard for them that it is better to create special education and help them on their own terms. That’s why IQ test scores to this day can vary wild(often 20 %) from time to time and IQ tests do not capture things such as creativity very well, which is a key ingredient in truly influential people – but anyway, I disgress.

        Now, after testing mostly gentile children the educators wanted to know, is this a test only for one type of race/people? Can it be applied to others? Ah, here came the Jews!

        So they tested Jewish children who were observed to have behaviour congruent with that of a low intelligence and lo and behold, they did find that these Jewish children had a low intelligence(although they were not retarded, they had an IQ of about 92 in today’s term, Flynn-adjusted. Which is an indication that Jews already back then had a high intelligence and the dumbest Jews were not very close to the area where you’re usually regarded as mentally challenged(around 75).

        But that low IQ was just because the group was self-selected.

        Moving on!

        The origins of high Jewish IQ etc is long and complicated and I won’t get into it in detail, but high Ashekanzi IQ has been an observed fact for centuries, as long as Jews were relatively emancipated.

        Now comes the ethnocentric question. If you go by IQ alone, Jews over 130(which is around where the average Ivy grad is) would be around 14 % of the U.S. population. Instead at many schools they are at 25%, sometimes pushing 30 %.

        Part of the reason is legacy. A lot of Jewish donors send their children to the same schools and these children get prefential treatment.
        A part of the reason, frankly, is that Jews have it great in America.

        We can pass for white but also claim minority status, which is a key strength in post-1960s America. So Jewish admissions is still seen as minority.

        The other month, CUNY debated and accepted to introduce a new addition to diversity pool, namely the category ‘White/Jewish’. So it’s okay to give Jewish professors positions based on their Jewishness, but not so for gentile equivalents. Got it.

        Do Jews self-select? Of course we do. Just look at the neocons. There’s a good article here:

        http://forward.com/articles/160010/

        All Jews who got into to a Jews-only scholarship in Israel and then all of the sudden found themselves going straight from graduate school to high positions such as senior editor of Foreign Affairs(the number 1 foreign policy magazine in America) or Assistant editor of Wall Street Journal.

        And these folks are in their upper 20s!

        The story doesn’t detail who got them there, the journalist is probably a bit kind, but it’s hard to imagine that an average Columbia grad would rise to the very top of America’s, if not the world’s, most prestigious foreign policy magazine just years after graduation.

        And notice who gave them the money to start their own journals on Campus?
        All Jewish hawkish donors.

        So the notion that Jews are successful solely on intelligence is a fraud. Ethnocentrism plays a role, if not larger. Just look at Hollywood. Don’t tell me that 10 out of 11 heads of studios there who are Jewish are there only because they’re the greatest.

        Many are there because they have the right connections.

        And in the end, this kind of narrow ethnocentrism does damage to America’s democracy. Just as the ethnocentrism of the WASPs did.
        The difference is that it was okay to attack WASPish ethnocentrism but attacking the Jewish equivalence is somehow ‘anti-Semitism’ and should be discouraged.

        And there are, of course, attacks on ‘Jewish power’ which is not about equal distribution, while not allowing that Jews will probably outperform based on our numbers, and instead taking an overtly hostile, and often conspiratorial outlook which can easily be classified as classic anti-Semitism.

        But there is no debate on this at all, and it should. Because you can debate and criticize this issue without going overboard into pure Elders of Protocols of Zion territory.

        Nonethless, even if Jewish ethnocentrism subsided, Jews would still be overwhelmingly productive. Part of who we are.

        Addendum:
        Do note that I haven’t talked about Sephardi or Mizrahi Jews.
        They currently score lower on IQ tests but it would be a misleading jump to assume that they are somehow more ‘stupid’ than Ashkenazi. Prior to the beginning of the 19th centuriy, both of these groups, especially Sephardi Jewry, dominated Jewish life in culture, science and so forth. Ashkenazi were for the most part mostly rabble in the shtetl(a little bit of ironic hyperbole, of course).

        So it just seems that for whatever reason, Ashkenazi have the upper hand within World Jewry as of now, but that role has shiften throughout history and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if it does shift again away from Ashkenazi Jewry.

      • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 2:42 am

        A small addition to the whole CUNY debate re: ‘White/Jewish’ diversity category.

        There’s a good article by Diane Tobin over att Huffington Post:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-tobin/are-all-jews-white-the-woody-allen-syndrome_b_1577788.html

        According to her organization, which is promoting awarness that in fact, all Jews do not look like Woody Allen, about 25 % of American Jewry is non-Ashkenazi. And this share is increasing due to the fact that adoption, intermarriage, conversion rates have all gone up substantially the last few decades.

        In Israel, the non-Ashkenazi population is pushing 70 %. It’s a bit lower than that if you count people of mixed Mizrahi/Sephardi ancenstry together with Ashkenazi ancestry, but the results are the same.

        It’s interesting in of itself that Jewishness is still considered so white, yet it’s also ironic that the category ‘White/Jewish’ is viewed as a legitmate position of minority status. As I wrote earlier, Jews have the dual benefit of both passing for whites, the dominant ethnic group in America, as well as cling to our minority status and cry afoul if there’s a conflict(and apparently getting affirmative action too, both as students and as faculty).

        That we as Jews don’t want to debate this is understandable – after all, what happens to a small child when you take away their candy? They cry bitterly and are angry with you.

        But sometimes, taking away the candy is the right thing to do.
        Not least because we have our own affirmative action in play, called ethnocetric hiring. And having public, institutionalized affirmative action built upon that wastes the resources of public coffers which should be directed to minorities in genuine need, e.g. hispanics and blacks etc.

        Jews will be fine at any rate.

        And these two issues show that even if many(most?) Jews don’t regard ourselves as white, we sure do pass that way from outsiders and trying to claim being an oppressed minority on the same level as blacks by wanting minority status at universities strikes me as more than silly anno 2012.

        And although Diane Tobin was right to criticize that there is actually a substantial minority of Jews who are not white, she should be criticized for not taking this up.

        By going on race alone, instead of ethnicity or religion, black Jews(who certainly don’t have it easy) would receive affirmative action while white, upper-class Jews would not.

        That strikes me as a far better solution than lumping in all Jews into one group and then conventiently forgetting 25 % of it afterwards.
        But I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

      • MRW on August 11, 2012, 12:00 pm

        Don’t forget the physical, Krauss. As Dr. Norman Doidge pointed out in his breakaway book on neuroscience in the late 20th, early 21st C: contrary to previous brain research belief, they have now proven with the help of MRIs that behavior determines the culture, and culture rewires the brain.

        As for this: Many are there because they have the right connections. And in the end, this kind of narrow ethnocentrism does damage to America’s democracy.

        You’re right. It’s what caused resentment in 1930-1933 Germany (according to my sister-in-law’s Jewish mother). I call it the synagogue syllogism. It’s more than apparent in the puzzling choices of Ezra Klein (WaPo) and Andrew Ross Sorkin (NYT) as economic writers, both of whom are economically illiterate…or, to be kinder, neoclassicists in their economic perspectives, which two years of actual study of the US federal monetary system would alleviate, not that they have any incentive to do it (being anointed and all).

      • MRW on August 11, 2012, 12:17 pm

        Krauss,

        Addendum:
        Do note that I haven’t talked about Sephardi or Mizrahi Jews.
        They currently score lower on IQ tests but it would be a misleading jump to assume that they are somehow more ‘stupid’ than Ashkenazi. Prior to the beginning of the 19th centuriy, both of these groups, especially Sephardi Jewry, dominated Jewish life in culture, science and so forth. Ashkenazi were for the most part mostly rabble in the shtetl(a little bit of ironic hyperbole, of course).

        Sephardic Jews have a long rich history in this country. The 12 original Jewish (Sephardic) families showed up in Curacao from the Netherlands in the 16th C, and populated the Jewish communities from Recife, Brazil to Montreal. They brought the slave and cotton businesses with them. In the US, they created the original plantations–Touro was one of the original 12–and helped found the NY Stock Exchange, Columbia University, Law colleges (Cardozo, another one of the original 12). The de Leon family, too, was another one of the original 12. Don’t forget that it was Juan Ponce de Leon who ‘discovered’ America at St. Augustine, FL, not Columbus…assuming we ignore the Vikings, the possibility of Zhang He, the Chinese admiral, and other explorers who drew maps of America before the mythical discoverers of this country were said to have founded it.

        EDIT: David Shasha is no slouch. Check him out.

      • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 4:25 pm

        I have read Shasha.

        In part he fascinates me because Sephardi voices within American Jewry are so rare. Instead we get an army of Ashkenazi Jews who claim to represent all Jews.

        Yet I still feel both are overdoing it vastly.

        Yes, there are issues and yes Ashkenazi Jewry often is arrogant and assumes that it represents the 25 % automatically. Nonetheless, it’s hard not to get the sense that Shasha bitterly grieves the loss of power within the Jewish community away from Sepharad towards Ashkenaz.

        He also claims that Ashkenazi Jewry are far more probable to get into conflict than Sephardi, which there is actually some evidence for. Sephardi Jewry did well in Spain under muslim rule, as well as in protestant Holland and England. They also did remarkably well here in America.

        Ashkenazi didn’t get along that well in Europe nor when they came here to America and anti-Semitism rose quickly.

        Shasha claims this is due to the differing religious traditions.
        Maybe he’s right, but it also strikes me as a bit anti-Ashkenazi and even a bit vile to blame Ashkenazi for their own misfortunes.

        Finally, Shasha and others like him often fail to mention the dismissive view the Sephardic elite held of the Ashkenazi ‘rabble’ as they called them at the time of the French revolution.

        Back then, the debates started to emerge surrounding the ‘Jewish Question’ and Sepharad went to great, great lengths to distance themselves what they consider to be ‘not quite Jews’ of an ‘questionable nature’.

        They also viewed Ashkenazi in dismissive terms when they came to America in greater numbers, as Sephardi Jews were so integrated in New York already.

        Is it true that Sephardi Jews are more at ease with their gentile neighbours? Maybe, but they’ve also held down some pretty awful opinions about their Ashkenazi brethren throughout Jewish history.

        Nonethless, I think these issues matter far less today than it once did since back in the day the difference between an Irish and an Anglo-Saxon was considered a huge issue. Even the difference between a Protestant German and a Catholic German was at one point the cause for war.

        It shouldn’t surprise us that intra-Jewish conflict 200 years ago was far worse than it is today.

        Today it’s mostly an issue of realizing that the Ashkenazi-centric model is outdated and should be made more inclusive both in Israel as well as in the diaspora.

      • NorthOfFortyNine on August 11, 2012, 5:47 pm

        Krauss– your spiel about IQ is outdated nonsense. See my link above. Why is it that the IQ of Mexicans in Mexico is less than the IQ of Mexicans in the US?

        Genetic origins of IQ is junk science. N49.

      • Krauss on August 12, 2012, 12:28 am

        N49, you need to sharpen your reading skills:

        Whether you take the biological explanation or the cultural one (or both) – it doesn’t really matter in the end.

        Whether it’s genetical, cultural or for whatever other reason does not interest me.
        But the fact that Ashkenazi Jews have had a consistently higher IQ is an observed fact, which is confirmed by an above-average amount of Nobel laurates, billionaires and so on.

        By bringing the debate into “is IQ genetic or not” you’re completely and totally missing the point. That’s not what we are debating here.

      • ColinWright on August 13, 2012, 5:28 am

        “…Genetic origins of IQ is junk science. N49.”

        I think this owes more to finding the results unpalatable than to any objective appraisal of the evidence. The equivalent would be if I decided God exists on the grounds that I don’t like the idea that when I die, I go out like a light.

        Well, it’ll be nice if it turns out I do stick around in some reasonably pleasant way or rather, but really, I don’t think it’s very likely I do. Similarly, one might not like the idea that average intelligence varies between different ethnic and racial groups — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t so.

      • Fredblogs on August 13, 2012, 2:39 pm

        It’s possible that average intelligence varies among different groups of people for genetic reasons. After all, average height does, and that’s probably less complicated genetically than IQ. However, there are too many confounding factors to determine whether this is so. The very fact that the people being considered are in different groups leads to the question of what defines them as the groups they are, which makes for different cultural, wealth related, and nutritional factors. The non-genetic factors can have enormous influence. Back to height, the height of the average person in the first world has increased as a result of diet, with no significant change in genetics.

  15. Abuadam on August 10, 2012, 3:37 pm

    “In my view, American Jewish achievement is a cultural phenomenon: our educational and urban traditions suited us for 20th century industrial conditions, and we excelled”

    Educational and urban traditions that was FORCED on to thee, by Europe’s Christian Discrimination (Land cannot be owned or farmed by Jews) and when a country called USA was formed, it came in handy !!!!!!
    Luck or Devine Intervention ??????

  16. Dexter on August 10, 2012, 7:07 pm

    I wonder how much this “Fredblogs” person gets paid to monitor this website and post what are obviously racist, ignorant, and false comments.

    He/she claims to be American but clearly supports Israel over any other country.

    I bet there is a lot of $$$ to be made in the racism industry, huh Freddie?

    • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 3:50 am

      I think it’s a known fact that Israeli authorities as well as pro-Likudnik organizations have long used the notion of paying people to post on blogs and websites.

      I’ve seen a strong uptick in pro-Hasbara voices the past month or so.

      ‘Giladg’, ‘OlegR’, ‘Fredblogs’ and the list goes on. It used to be only hophmi, who’s a member of the ADL(it’s entirely possible he’s paid to, or maybe he is just volunteering?).

      Nonethless, it’s past time for mods to take a hard look at these accounts and try to make the difference between a valid point of view, even if it is opposed, and obvious paid hasbara trolls who are just polluting.

  17. Les on August 10, 2012, 8:49 pm

    It’s just as easy for a liberal Democrat to support Obama’s kill list, since the names are limited to Muslims, as it is for a liberal Zionist.

  18. Sassan on August 10, 2012, 10:20 pm

    I always say judge a culture by the number of people they produce for the betterment and advancement of humanity. And all one has to do is to take a look at the Nobel Laureate list and see the great contributors of science produced by he Jewish culture. And the greatest of them all was Albert Einstein. I also tend to look at the fact that an approximate 15-30% of Israelis are atheist Jews. Atheism is quite high among people of Jewish origin and Jewish culture. And hence, they produce great numbers of Nobel Laureates and scientists whom are involved from physics to medicine.

    • Ranjit Suresh on August 11, 2012, 12:13 am

      With all due respect sir, any person or group which practices a devout form of *self-worship* cannot claim to be clear-headed atheists.

    • Woody Tanaka on August 11, 2012, 12:25 am

      Shouldn’t you also look at the number of people they produce who’ve acted to the detriment of humanity, too? To get a proper picture.

      I mean, we’d have to consider all the Jews who’ve been involved in questionable financial shenanigans, from Michael Milken to “the greatest of them all,” Bernie Madoff. If we credit Jewish culture for Einstein, don’t we have to blame Jewish culture for Madoff?

      You’d also have to note that the most horrific weapon to ever curse mankind, the thing that most threatens universal death — thermonuclear weapons — were disproportionately the result of the work of Jews, both in America, the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Should we also blame Jewish culture for making the destruction of the biosphere as we know it a possibility?

      Or maybe, just maybe, we should take individual people as they come and not engage in any of this bullshit you’re pulling here. I don’t know. Just a thought.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 4:57 am

        Einstein was convinced it was the moral duty of the United States to create the bomb before Hitler was able to do so. You can’t blame Einstein or the Jewish scientists for the use of the bomb. Imagine if Hitler had the bomb…

        I personally uploaded this documentary to youtube on Einstein and the nuclear bomb… I think that you would enjoy it!: http://youtu.be/oCqjjVgXOg4

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Einstein was convinced it was the moral duty of the United States to create the bomb before Hitler was able to do so

        At 1:20 the documentary satys that Einstein woudl describe writing this letter as the one mistake of his life.

        You can’t blame Einstein or the Jewish scientists for the use of the bomb. Imagine if Hitler had the bomb…

        What a stupid argument!! There is nothing the US did or could have done to prevent Hitler obtaiing one if they could have.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 5:41 pm

        It is called deterrence. Build it before him.

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 7:31 pm

        It is called deterrence. Build it before him.

        How can it be deterrence when it was used against a state was not even close to obtaining one?

        You’re not having a very lucid day Sassan, even by your derranged standards.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 7:39 pm

        Hitler was actively trying to build nuclear weapons. That is why Einstein and the other Jewish scientists urged President Roosevelt to build nuclear weapons. They had no idea that it would be used against Japan. Please watch the full documentary I posted and then come back and try to argue. Thank you.

      • Shingo on August 12, 2012, 7:30 am

        Please watch the full documentary I posted and then come back and try to argue.

        I don’t have time. Your point was shattered in the first few monutes when Einstein claims it is his biggest mistake.

        Now plesae explain why you insist on repeating he lie that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

      • Woody Tanaka on August 13, 2012, 5:37 pm

        ” You can’t blame Einstein or the Jewish scientists for the use of the bomb.”

        Sure you can. Unless you are making the absolutely stupid claim that they thought they were spending all that money — during wartime — for a weapon that they thought wasn’t going to be used…

        If you’re crediting “Jewish culture” for the good stuff, it has to take the hit for the bad.

        But what about after the war? Again, if you credit Jews for the good stuff, they also get credit for the likes of Edward Teller, who was salivating to figure out new and bigger ways of unleashing mass death.

        “I personally uploaded this documentary to youtube on Einstein and the nuclear bomb”

        No thanks. I already know the history. I feel no desire to watch some second-rate propaganda from a delusional hasbarist.

      • Woody Tanaka on August 13, 2012, 5:52 pm

        “They had no idea that it would be used against Japan.”

        That’s complete nonsense. Anyone with half a brain would know that the war with Japan was going to take longer than the war against Germany.

        But in any event, the weapon was designed to do one thing: murder people, the vast majority of them civilians, on a massive scale. Again, if you’re going to credit Jewish Culture for the good though the works of people who happen to be Jews, you also have to credit the bad, too. And the evil of the bomb would have been no less evil regardless of who the bomb was dropped on.

        Again, or we can simply stop this racist nonsese you’re in favor of.

      • Roya on August 13, 2012, 9:05 pm

        Now plesae explain why you insist on repeating he lie that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

        Or better yet, maybe he can explain why according to the Laws of Sassan Iran can’t build a bomb for deterrence but others can. With the bomb, Iranians wouldn’t be under existential threat like now. As he says, “It’s called deterrence.”

        By the way Sassy, as of last week Philip Giraldi predicts that Israel will bomb Iran before the elections. Your fairy tale dreams might come true after all! And ayy, ever thought of moving to Israel? With your moral compass and intellectual capacity you could be the next Shaul Mofaz! #treason

      • Shingo on August 14, 2012, 8:36 am

        Or better yet, maybe he can explain why according to the Laws of Sassan Iran can’t build a bomb for deterrence but others can. With the bomb, Iranians wouldn’t be under existential threat like now. As he says, “It’s called deterrence.”

        I wouldn’t even bother asking Sassan that question, because I know what his reponse will be. Iran’s leaders want to usher in the 12th Imam and accodring to Sassan, nuking Israel is seen by the Tehran leadership as a means to hurry him along.

      • ColinWright on August 13, 2012, 5:34 am

        “…You’d also have to note that the most horrific weapon to ever curse mankind, the thing that most threatens universal death — thermonuclear weapons — were disproportionately the result of the work of Jews, both in America, the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Should we also blame Jewish culture for making the destruction of the biosphere as we know it a possibility? ….”

        I’ll grant the bomb poses a continuing risk, but to date, it has produced one of the longer intervals of human peace: the ‘wars’ that have occurred since 1945 have really been rather trifling affairs compared to the usual scale of mayhem.

        More specifically, it’s pretty hard to picture the Western and Communist blocs not having gone at it hammer and tongs at some point in the late forties or the fifties absent the bomb — so credit the bomb with having saved forty million or so lives there.

        I wouldn’t go so far as to call the bomb a blessing — but to date, it hasn’t been the unqualified evil you portray it as.

      • Woody Tanaka on August 13, 2012, 6:08 pm

        “but to date, it has produced one of the longer intervals of human peace: the ‘wars’ that have occurred since 1945 have really been rather trifling affairs compared to the usual scale of mayhem.”

        50 million people died in wars in the second half of the 20th Century. Granted, it wasn’t all at once, but that’s nothing to sneeze at. The only thing “trifling” have been the number of Euro-American deaths. East-Asians, Southeast Asians and African died in massive numbers in the that time period.

        “it’s pretty hard to picture the Western and Communist blocs not having gone at it hammer and tongs at some point in the late forties or the fifties absent the bomb”

        Well, there were significant superpower proxy conflicts in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan from the 40-80s. But I acutally disagree with this assessment. Stalin was a “revolution in one country” kind of guy. Once he secured his cushin in Eastern Europe, I don’t see him fighting another war to expand further West. He was a paranoiac, not the kind of expansionist lunatic that cold-war American propaganda portrayed him as. Certainly not someone who would start another world war, after the millions and millions that died in WWII.

        Now, would some crazy in the West have started it? I think there were certainly people who could considered it. LeMay, for one comes to mind… But I don’t think any of the presidents would have. This was the group that fought WWII. Why do you think they would have wanted to reopen that?? Over what?

    • RoHa on August 11, 2012, 12:33 am

      “the great contributors of science produced by he Jewish culture.”

      Most of those contributions were made in the ninteenth and twentieth centuries by European Jews who adopted British/German/French/Italian scientific culture.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 4:55 am

        True. They adopted it within the framework of their culture. But the fact is that a disproportionally high number of our greatest thinkers were of Jewish origin. I equate this with something innate about the culture who produced the likes of Spinoza.

      • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 4:31 pm

        Hmm, I disagree. Spinoza was an anomoly, and he was cast out for being too much of a free thinker. Not exactly the kind of culture that fosters indepence of thought, right?

        It was only after Jews embraced European Enlightenment that we began to flourish and the Einsteins, the Wittgensteins, the Poppers began to spring up from under the surface.

        Nonethless, of all political philosophers, who are the greatest? The Jewish ones or John Stuart Mill, Edmund Burke, Voltaire etc etc?

        You cannot divorce Jewish achievement from the fact that we, the Jews, were already near a remarkably brilliant culture, Western culture. We merged, we didn’t create it. And we made huge contributions, to be sure, but it’s worth remembering that as long as we isolated ourselves we made very little of anything. Only after access to Western/European civilization did magic happen as became transformed and left traditional Judaism behind in the dust in favour of Western culture.

        Also on Einstein. He was brilliant but so was Darwin. Yet both Einstein and Darwin had competitors that basically had the same idea at the same time. Einstein is often made out to be this unique genius, same as if Darwin was an unique genius, but neither of them were.

        They were terribly smart, but if Einstein hadn’t existed a Swiss guy would have thought of the same thing. I can’t remember his name but he came to the same conclusions as Einstein did and even submitted a paper with identical positions as Einstein just a few months later.

        Darwin had in fact several people who had thought of the same idea. Both Darwin and Einstein were just a few years(in Darwins case) or mere months(in Einstein’s case) ahead of the rest.

        Again, Jewish laurates are impressive, but they must be placed within context. Jewish success within the Jewish community was very low.

        And the most successful Jews were the ones who had left Judaism and the Jewish community(Einstein married a non-Jewish woman). And what does that say?

        Jews are smart, but it’s not the culture. It’s Western civilization.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 5:57 pm

        I consider western civilization and the Jewish culture to be intermingled together. They have essentially been merged and part of the same continuum (albeit with their own peculiarities).

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 7:32 pm

        I consider western civilization and the Jewish culture to be intermingled together. They have essentially been merged and part of the same continuum

        Does hat mean that you consider a Jewish state an anachronism?

      • tree on August 11, 2012, 8:03 pm

        Henri Poincare , French mathematician and physicist, born Roman Catholic, became a deist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Poincar%C3%A9

        Einstein’s first paper on relativity was published three months after Poincaré’s short paper,[24] but before Poincaré’s longer version.[25] It relied on the principle of relativity to derive the Lorentz transformations and used a similar clock synchronisation procedure (Einstein synchronisation) that Poincaré (1900) had described, but was remarkable in that it contained no references at all. Poincaré never acknowledged Einstein’s work on special relativity. Einstein acknowledged Poincaré in the text of a lecture in 1921 called Geometrie und Erfahrung in connection with non-Euclidean geometry, but not in connection with special relativity. A few years before his death Einstein commented on Poincaré as being one of the pioneers of relativity, saying “Lorentz had already recognised that the transformation named after him is essential for the analysis of Maxwell’s equations, and Poincaré deepened this insight still further ….”[31]

        Hendrik Lorentz, Dutch physicist, raised Protestant, became a freethinker:

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

        And here’s a short description of the “relativity priority dispute” from Wikipedia:

        Albert Einstein presented the theories of Special Relativity and General Relativity in groundbreaking publications that either contained no formal references to previous literature, or referred only to a small number of his predecessors for fundamental results on which he based his theories, most notably to the work of Hendrik Lorentz for special relativity, and to the work of Gauss, Riemann, and Mach for general relativity. Subsequently claims have been put forward about both theories, asserting that they were formulated, either wholly or in part, by others before Einstein. At issue is the extent to which Einstein and various other individuals should be credited for the formulation of these theories, based on priority considerations.

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

    • thankgodimatheist on August 11, 2012, 12:45 am

      “I always say judge a culture by the number of people they produce for the betterment and advancement of humanity.”

      Sounds good but I wonder what you think of the “culture” that produced the likes of Meir Kahane, Baruch Goldstein, Menachim Begin, Ariel Sharon, the settlers and other criminals against humanity?

      • Roya on August 11, 2012, 6:01 pm

        Atheist, this “Sassan” character is a broken record. He said this exact same line a few weeks ago to justify ethnic cleansing. He also always introduces himself the same way, “I am . . . science and reason.” He probably just copies and pastes from the handbook Sohrab Ahmari (the Ahmad Chalaby of Iran) gave him, no use engaging him.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 6:17 pm

        Thanks for the ad hominems and claiming that I “justified ethnic cleansing”. Next time please try to be factual. Dislike me all you like, but don’t make things up.

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 7:26 pm

        Dislike me all you like, but don’t make things up.

        Right, that’s your gig and you don’t want to share.

  19. thankgodimatheist on August 11, 2012, 12:15 am

    Does that give them the right to take over someone Else’s country?

    • thankgodimatheist on August 11, 2012, 1:20 am

      BTW, your philo-Semitism is the other face of the anti-Semitism coin. It’s still a belief that one particular culture (Jewsish here) is superior to another whatever it is. In many ways you’re not unlike the inane anan when he blares “Jews rock!”. Only you articulate it differently.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 4:54 am

        I am not Jewish. I am Iranian-American (atheist). But first and foremost I am a human being who values science and reason. The fact that disproportionally high numbers of scientists throughout history have been of Jewish origin (and continue to be) makes me respect the Jewish culture. Jews love to argument and debate about all things including their beliefs. I love this skepticism and intellectual component of Jewish culture.

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 5:00 pm

        But first and foremost I am a human being who values science and reason.

        Acually, all you have demonstrated is a that you are a neocon who has contemtp for science and reason.

        1. On a number of occasions, you have insisted that Iran is prouducing nukes, even though all US and Israeli intelligence agencies insisit otherwise. if you valued science and reason, you wouldn’t be repeating such lies.

        2. When asked to produce evidence to back up your neocon theories about the 12th Imam, all you can link to is a video that looks like it was produced in some guys basement. According to you, the proof that this was producing by the Tehran leadership is an obscure news report that some conservative clerics accusing Ahmadinejad of practicing sorcery.

        3. On top of all this, you repeat the most bizarre theories about vigins being raped before being executed, so they won’t go to heaven(without evidence), abd that the majority fo Iranians (who you claim to kow personally), wish the US has bombed Iran rather than Iraq.

        Your arguments are the entitheis of science and reason. All you have demonstrated here is fanataticism and anti intellectualism – a uniquely Zionist characteristic.

      • RoHa on August 12, 2012, 3:11 am

        “disproportionally high numbers of scientists throughout history have been of Jewish origin”

        Throughout history?

        How many Jewish scientists were there in the ancient world? How many Jewish scientists were there in the mediaeval world, when the leading lights in Western science were in the Islamic empires? Up until the seventeenth century Chinese science and technology was in many ways superior to that of Europe and the Middle East. How many Chinese scientists were Jews?
        When European science began to surge ahead in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, how many of the scientists were Jews?

        Learn some history of science.

      • Blake on August 12, 2012, 9:19 am

        You make it sound like all jews have the same culture. That’s as absurd as the Cheshire cat grinning mug staring out from your avatar. They don’t and scientists may be of the jewish religion but does not mean they are zionists. None of that justifies zionists being in Palestine at the native peoples’ expense. By the by what other websites do you haunt because I have come across you somewhere else before.

      • Roya on August 12, 2012, 3:27 pm

        Exactly, Blake. I mean, how much do an Egyptian, Austrian, and Argentinean Jew have in common? Likewise, how much do a Filipino, American, and Iraqi Christian have in common? The only way that the Israel project has been able to work out so far is by uniting different Jews with vastly different cultures and histories through an enmity towards a common “enemy.” If Israel ever finds “peace” with the Palestinians, the project will be in danger, and the leaders know it.

      • ColinWright on August 12, 2012, 3:42 am

        “…BTW, your philo-Semitism is the other face of the anti-Semitism coin…”

        Just as an abstract proposition, I’ve usually observed that both uncritical admiration of and unalloyed loathing for almost any group are a function of unfamiliarity.

        Closer and more extensive contact almost invariably produces more mixed feelings. Like the Arizona guns ‘n liberty type I know who went to Iraq. He came back with the revelation that Iraqis are actually okay.

    • ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 3:15 am

      “…Does that give them the right to take over someone Else’s country?”

      Well, of course it does. By coincidence, I found out my I.Q. was higher than my neighbor’s. I immediately went over there and helped myself to his 168″ flat screen TV and his new car. Since I was smarter, he had no choice but to acquiesce.

      • Roya on August 11, 2012, 8:47 pm

        LOL Colin. How’d that go down with your neighbor? When he tried to resist did you call him a “terrorist” and infiltrate the American government to turn public opinion towards you and against him?

      • ColinWright on August 12, 2012, 4:03 am

        “LOL Colin. How’d that go down with your neighbor? When he tried to resist did you call him a “terrorist” and infiltrate the American government to turn public opinion towards you and against him?”

        Nah. I just shot him. Him and the children he was employing as human shields (the monster). I’ve moved into the house as well — but I refuse to pay property tax on it. It’s ‘disputed territory.’ The county can dun his estate.

        …it’s quite safe. The police are on my side. We’re allies. In fact, they arrested everyone in the neighborhood association who objected.

  20. RoHa on August 11, 2012, 12:29 am

    “the destruction of the educated elites that Israel achieved with the Nakba.”

    It began before then, with the British destruction of the elites in 1936.

    ” this sort of racial contempt ”

    To me it looks like cultural contempt, not racial.

  21. talknic on August 11, 2012, 1:07 am

    Sassan August 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    ” take a look at the Nobel Laureate list and see the great contributors of science produced by he Jewish culture.”

    Can you explain this theoretical phenomenon, because Albert Einstein is a really good example of education and circumstance rather than anything related to Jewish culture.

    • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 4:51 am

      I suggest you read the great book on Einstein written by Walter Isaacson, entitled “Einstein – His Life and Universe”.

      Some of my book notes from my reading:

      “The rise of German anti-Semitism after World War I produced a counterreaction in Einstein: it made him identify more strongly with his Jewish heritage and community. At one extreme were German Jews such as Fritz Haber, who did everything they could, including converting to Christianity, to assimilate, and they urged Einstein to do the same. But Einstein took the opposite approach. Just when he was becoming famous, he embraced the Zionist cause. He did not officially join any Zionist organization, nor for that matter did he belong to or worship at any synagogue. But he cast his lot in favor of Jewish settlements in Palestine, a national identity among Jews everywhere, and the rejection of assimilationist desires. ”

      “As Sigmund Freud pointed out, part of the success of Jewish scientists was their “creative skepticism,” which arose from their essential nature as outsiders.”

      “As he would note near the end of his life, after declining the presidency of Israel, “My relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human tie.” ”

      “He took issue with Haber’s way of regarding Jews as being people “of the Jewish faith” and instead, once again, cast the identity as being inextricably a matter of ethnic kinship. “Despite my emphatic internationalist beliefs, I have always felt an obligation to stand up for my persecuted and morally oppressed tribal companions,” he said. “The prospect of establishing a Jewish university fills me with particular joy, having recently seen countless instances of perfidious and uncharitable treatment of splendid young Jews with attempts to deny their chances of education.” “

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 5:13 pm

        “The rise of German anti-Semitism after World War I produced a counterreaction in Einstein: it made him identify more strongly with his Jewish heritage and community.

        With the Jewish heritage and community perhaps, but certainly not with Israel or the Zionist leadership. In fact, he was no a fan of Zionism—letter to NYT on December 4, 1948:

        TO THE EDITORS OF NEW YORK TIMES:

        Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

        The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

        Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin’s behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

        The public avowals of Begin’s party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.

        Attack on Arab Village

        A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants (240 men, women, and children) and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin.

        The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party.

        Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.

        During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.

        The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots.

        Discrepancies Seen

        The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a “Leader State” is the goal.

        In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin’s efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 5:36 pm

        He campaigned with Chaim Weizmann emphatically for the creation of Israel. In the eyes of people like you, that defines him as to supporting the Zionist cause.

      • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 5:37 pm

        From my book notes: ‘ “Einstein told him that he saw the birth of Israel as one of the few political acts in his lifetime that had a moral quality. But he was concerned that the Jews were having trouble learning to live with the Arabs. “The attitude we adopt toward the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people,” he had told a friend a few weeks earlier. He wanted to broaden his speech, which he was scribbling in German in a very tight and neat handwriting, to urge the creation of a world government to preserve peace.” ‘

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 7:30 pm

        Einstein told him that he saw the birth of Israel as one of the few political acts in his lifetime that had a moral quality.

        Your book notes? What about the actual source?

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 7:33 pm

        In the eyes of people like you, that defines him as to supporting the Zionist cause.

        But his letter to the NYT reveals he was morally repulsed by it.

      • ColinWright on August 12, 2012, 3:56 am

        “He campaigned with Chaim Weizmann emphatically for the creation of Israel. In the eyes of people like you, that defines him as to supporting the Zionist cause.”

        But (to his credit) Einstein was obviously disillusioned by the results. So he thought Israel would be just great — but felt less enthusiastic once he saw the actual product.

        How is that support for Israel? Obviously, yes — as an idea. In practice — no.

        I think we can all agree on that. Anyone who wants to support an ideal Israel is welcome to it. As we’ve spent sixty years seeing, it not only isn’t going to happen, but the reality becomes more of a travesty with every passing year.

        This gets to be like Communism. I wouldn’t want it, but if someone wants to assert that it would be an ideal system, have at it. The germane point to me is that in practice it obviously doesn’t work, hasn’t worked, and never will work.

        Ditto for Israel.

      • Hostage on August 12, 2012, 10:18 am

        He campaigned with Chaim Weizmann emphatically for the creation of Israel. In the eyes of people like you, that defines him as to supporting the Zionist cause.

        No he always spoke out against the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. You can read about that right here at Mondoweiss: http://mondoweiss.net/2009/05/einstein-and-zionism.html

        Here are some quotes from the book, Einstein on Israel and Zionism:

        ”The first and most important necessity is the creation of a modus vivendi with the Arab people.

        The greatest danger in the present situation is that blind chauvinism may gain ground in our ranks.”

        – Einstein (About Zionism, 1930)

        It would seem that men always need some…fiction in the name of which they can hate one another. Once it was religion. Now it is the State.

        – Einstein to Hendrik A. Lorentz, 1915

        I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. …the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power….I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks…

        – Einstein speech in New York, April 17, 1938.

        The state idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with many difficulties and narrow-mindedness. I believe it is bad.

        – From Einstein’s statement to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine, Jan. 11, 1946

        Did it not come to your mind that the “Pilgrims” [who] came from England to colonize this country came to realize a plan very similar to your own? Do you also know how tyrannical, intolerant and aggressive these people became after a short while? Being baptized in Jewish water is no protection either.

        – Einstein to a Zionist (Louis Rabinowitz) in Brooklyn, March 17, 1952

        The most important aspect of our policy must be our ever-present, manifest desire to institute complete equality for the Arab citizens living in our midst….The attitude we adopt toward the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people.

        – Einstein to Zvi Lurie, January 4, 1955

        We had great hopes for Israel at first. We thought it might be better than other nations, but it is no better.

        – Einstein to Dorothy Schiff, publisher of the NY Post(in her “Dear Reader” column, March 13, 1955)

        –http://einsteinonisrael.com/aboutthebook.html

        P.S. For a discussion of what Alfred Lilienthal called the “kidnapping” of Albert Einstein by the Zionists, see Alfred Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection II, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: North American, 1982), pp. 340‑343 or this: Einstein, Zionism and Israel: Setting the Record Straight http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm/writings/other/einstein.htm

      • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 4:18 pm

        Great you cite a book that has been discredited for its bias. The fact is that Einstein campaigned with Chaim Weizmann emphatically for the creation of Israel; and the fact is that Einstein was offered the Presidency of Israel. You can’t change these facts.

      • Hostage on August 12, 2012, 6:59 pm

        Great you cite a book that has been discredited for its bias. . . . The fact is that Einstein campaigned with Chaim Weizmann emphatically for the creation of Israel;

        LOL! I actually cited a two books and two websites which quote Einstein’s correspondence and public testimony. So far, you haven’t cited anything to support the claim that Einstein did any campaigning for a Jewish state, either emphatically or otherwise. Can you provide any third party verifiable sources to support your claim?

        I assume you are aware of the fact that Dr. Weizmann spent nearly as much time campaigning against a Jewish state as Einstein:

        Dr. Weizmann expressed the view that the most advantageous settlement of the Palestine question in his opinion would be the division of the country into Jewish and Arab cantons with wide powers of autonomy and the federation of Palestine and Trans-Jordan into one state under continued British supervision for some time to come. As Jewish cantons he would include Galilee (northern Palestine) and the coastal region of Palestine, and as Arab cantons the hill country and western Palestine, together with Trans-Jordan. The Negev or southern Palestine comprises 11,000,000 dunums of land inhabited by no more than 50,000 Bedouins. At least one-tenth of this region was cultivable and might serve as an eventual place of settlement of large numbers of people. He would leave this area, however, outside the cantonization plan for subsequent disposition.

        The hope was expressed by Dr. Weizmann that eventually such Jewish and Arab areas as might be set up in Palestine and Trans-Jordan could be merged in a larger federation of states, including Syria and Iraq, but he was afraid that the French might be an obstacle to this. The Jewish leader added that his proposed boundaries for cantonal settlement followed in general the lines of the partition proposals of the Royal Commission. He had succeeded in obtaining the approval of the partition proposals by the World Zionist Congress in 1937 as he felt that those proposals were something in hand which were worth accepting. Unfortunately, the partition scheme had had to be abandoned.

        Dr. Weizmann stated that he would be one of the first to admit that the Jews had made many mistakes in Palestine. Twenty years had not been enough in which to reach a durable basis of settlement. It would take many more years than that. Mr. Murray inquired what Dr. Weizmann’s reaction had been to the statement in Parliament in 1938 of Viscount Samuel that the Arab nationalist movement in Palestine was as genuine as the Egyptian nationalist movement, the Irish nationalist movement, or the Indian nationalist movement. Dr. Weizmann replied that he was in entire accord with Viscount Samuel as to this.

        Mr. Murray observed that he did not think that Dr. Weizmann’s views as to the advantages of the partition proposals of the Royal Commission or as to the significance of the Arab uprising of the past three years in Palestine were generally shared by American Zionists. Dr. Weizmann replied that with all due respect to American Zionists, he found them either too extreme in their views, on the one hand, or too lukewarm, on the other. By reason of their distance from the practical problems which the Jews had to face, American Zionists were insufficiently informed concerning the day-to-day development of those problems. As a result, American Zionists were either uncompromising in their outlook or completely disillusioned regarding the future.

        – See Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1940. The British Commonwealth, the Soviet Union, the Near East and Africa (1940), pages 837-838 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        Five years later in 1945 he still didn’t express any desire for a separate Jewish state:

        *10. As regards the possible government of Palestine, Mr. Blevin recently had a talk with Dr. Weizmann, who appears now to be against partition and talked about a Swiss constitution with cantons which would be a bilingual state with opportunities for both races to be represented abroad, and which would provide common services within. His Majesty’s Government would be willing for consideration to be given to this as well.

        – See Foreign relations of the United States : diplomatic papers, 1945, The Near East and Africa, page 776

        You can’t change these facts.

        I’ve been discussing facts that are a matter of public record in many cases. You haven’t been doing anything but making unsupported assertions.

      • Shingo on August 12, 2012, 7:16 pm

        Great you cite a book that has been discredited for its bias.

        Great, you just made that up. The book has ringing endorsements from Harvard Professors, and ahtorative authors of books on Einstein himself. You claim you’re not a Zionist yet you sound like one.

        The fact is that Einstein campaigned with Chaim Weizmann emphatically for the creation of Israel; and the fact is that Einstein was offered the Presidency of Israel.

        It’s not a fact until you back it up with evidence and Hostage has shredded your claims anyway. The fact is that Einstein was offered the Presidency of Israel proves nothing other than the fact that Israel were looking for a figurehead with impreccable cedentials to gain legitimacy.

        If Einstein had been such a huge supporter, does it not stand to reason that he woudl have accepted it? The fact is that Einstein turned down the offer and experssed his reasons for doing so – digust at what Israel represented.

      • Shingo on August 12, 2012, 7:20 pm

        You haven’t been doing anything but making unsupported assertions.

        That’s the only thing Sassan has ever done since he began posting here. I’m still wiating on him to explain why he, as a someone who claims to be a devotee of sciene and evidence, continues to insist Iran is producing nukes when all US and Israeli intelliegcne agencies unanimously conclude otherise.

      • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 7:52 pm

        ‘In a 1947 letter to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru intended to persuade India to support the establishment of a Jewish state, Einstein stated that the Balfour Declaration’s proposal to establish a national home for Jews in Palestine “redresses the balance” of justice and history.[29]

        The United Nations did divide the mandate, demarcating the borders of several new countries including the State of Israel, and war broke out immediately. Einstein was one of the authors of an open letter to the New York Times in 1948 deeply criticizing Menachem Begin’s Herut (Freedom) Party for the Deir Yassin massacre (Einstein et al. 1948) likening it to “the Nazi and Fascist parties” and stated “The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party”. The letter stated clear concerns for the future of Israel if the Freedom Party continued to gain power. When President Harry Truman recognized Israel in May 1948, Einstein declared it “the fulfillment of our(Jewish) dreams.”[7] Einstein also supported vice president Henry Wallace’s Progressive Party during 1948 Presidential election which also advocate pro-Soviet and pro-Israel foreign policy.[8]

        Einstein served on the Board of Governors of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his Will of 1950, Einstein bequeathed literary rights to his writings to The Hebrew University, where many of his original documents are held in the Albert Einstein Archives.[30]

        When President Chaim Weizmann died in 1952, Einstein was asked to be Israel’s second president, but he declined, stating that he had “neither the natural ability nor the experience to deal with human beings.”[31] He wrote: “I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it.” ‘

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein's_political_views

      • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 7:58 pm

        “When President Harry Truman recognized Israel in May 1948, Einstein declared it “the fulfillment of our dreams.” Perceiving its vulnerability after independence, he again set aside his pacifism in the name of human preservation. “No one respects or bothers about those who do not fight for their rights,” a changed Einstein wrote to his cousin in Uruguay. As planned, the cousin auctioned off Einstein’s letter, raising $5,000 to buy arms for the Haganah.”

      • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 8:00 pm

        “I’m very disillusioned with politics right now. Those countries [the Allied powers] whose victory I thought, during the war, would be by far the lesser evil, now show themselves to be an only slightly lesser evil. On top of that, there’s the thoroughly dishonorable domestic politics: the reactionaries with all their shameful deeds in repulsive revolutionary disguise. One doesn’t know where to look to take pleasure in human striving. What makes me happiest is the [prospective] realization of a Jewish state in Palestine. It seems to me that our brethren [Stammgenossenen] really are nicer [sympathische] (at least less brutal) than these awful [scheuslichen] Europeans. Maybe it can only get better if the Chinese alone survive; they lump all Europeans together as ‘bandits.’ ”
        Letter to Paul Ehrenfest, March 22, 1919
        Physics Today , April 2005
        Translated and annotated by Bertram Schwarzschild

      • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 8:02 pm

        ‘ Kurt Blumenfeld recruited Einstein to Zionism in 1919, though not without difficulty. Albert Einstein was very much for assertion of Jewish rights, but this conflicted with his lifelong opposition to militant nationalism. Blumenfeld quoted him as saying:

        “I am against nationalism but in favor of Zionism [Blumenfeld quotes Einstein as having told him]. The reason has become clear to me today. When a man has both arms and he is always saying I have a right arm, then he is a chauvinist. However, when the right arm is missing, then he must do something to make up for the missing limb. Therefore, I am, as a human being, an opponent of nationalism. But as a Jew I am from today a supporter of the Jewish Zionist efforts.”
        Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, World Publishing (1971) p. 378.

        In October of 1919, he wrote to physicist Paul Epstein:

        “Zionist cause is very close to my heart…. I am very confident of the happy development of the Jewish colony and am glad that there should be a tiny speck on this earth in which the members of our tribe should not be aliens….

        One can be internationally minded, without renouncing interest in one’s tribal comrades.” ‘

      • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 8:04 pm

        ‘ Chaim Weizmann met Albert Einstein and the two scientists became good friends. Einstein was enlisted to help raise funds for the creation of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. To make the trip, Einstein cancelled many scheduled lectures, including an invitation to the famed Solvay conference. He wrote to friends about this trip.

        To Maurice Solovine:

        “I am not at all eager to go to America but am doing it only in the interests of the Zionists, who must beg for dollars to build educational institutions in Jerusalem and for whom I act as high priest and decoy…

        I do what I can to help those in my tribe who are treated so badly everywhere.”
        (Ronald W Clark Einstein: The Life and Times , p. 383)

        To Friedrich Zangger, he wrote on March 14, 1921:

        “On Saturday I’m off to America – not to speak at universities (though there will probably be that, too, on the side) but rather to help in the founding of the Jewish University in Jerusalem. I feel an intense need to do something for this cause.” ( Letter to Zangger, In Einstein, Albert, Albert Einstein, The Human Side (Hofmann, Banesh and Dukas, Helen, eds.) Princeton University Press, p 62).

        Chaim Weizmann, Albert Einstein and their party traveled by ship and the two got to know each other. Weizmann supposedly remarked, “Every day he explained his theory to me, and now I am convinced that he understands it.” They arrived in New York to begin what would be a very long and famous tour. ‘

      • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 8:06 pm
      • Shingo on August 12, 2012, 8:31 pm

        A great article to read

        Not really. Seliger offers no evidence that Einstain supported a Jewish state in Palestine, but was in favour of a binational state. Seliger resorts to backflips to insist that Einstein suported Israel’s establishment whiel offering no evidence to support it – much like yourself. The only single quaote he can source is Einstein’s reference to “an independent society as a free nation…”, but nothing more. Never does the word state appear, so Seliger argues that it is implied.

        He resorts to the age old carnard that Zionist founders were forced to resort to creating a state because they were not welcomed by the Arabs. He resorts to the blatant lies that the Arabs attacked kibbutz communities out of nowhere, ignoring the fact that Ben Gurion was anticipating war a decade earlier and the view that partition was a stepping stone towards reclaiming (as opposed to sharing) Palestine in it;s entirety.

        What is truly pathetic about this diatribe, is that Seliger psends half of it trying to argue that Jerome misses the complexity of Einstion’s position, while resortign to a superifical and unsubstantiated one himself.

        Fail!

      • Shingo on August 12, 2012, 8:35 pm

        To Maurice Solovine:

        Still no mention of support for a Jewish state in Palestine. he talks about suporting Jews and creating a university in Jerusalem. He does not even refer to it as Jewish.

        Have you heard what they say about the wisdom of digging when you are in a hole Sassan?

      • Hostage on August 12, 2012, 9:03 pm

        A great article to read: link to inthesetimes.com

        That’s fairly long-winded article that draws the tendentious conclusion that Einstein was merely disappointed by the less than utopian nature of Israeli society and that his repeated public statements in opposition to the establishment of a Jewish or Zionist state in Palestine didn’t really mean exactly that.

        Tellingly Ralph Seliger, doesn’t produce a shred of direct evidence to support his claim that “Jerome’s thesis that the scientist didn’t really support Israel’s establishment is over-stated in the extreme.” That’s especially telling, since Jerome supported his thesis by using Einstein’s own words. Einstein’s statement about Jews becoming part of an independent society did not contain an endorsement of a separate Jewish or Zionist state. Your claim that Einstein campaigned for the establishment of “Israel” implies that he approved of that, not a bi-national one as Seliger suggests.

        That was actually the Arab High Committee position that the representatives of the Jewish Agency rejected. On September 29, 1947, the representative of the Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Husseini, appeared before the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee hearing on Palestine. He said:

        “The future constitutional organization of Palestine should be based on the following principles: first, establishment on democratic lines of an Arab State comprising all Palestine; secondly, observance by the said Arab State of Palestine of human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law; thirdly, protection by the Arab State of the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities; fourthly, guarantee to all of freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places.”

        FYI, unlike the so-called Zionist wing of the Jewish Agency, the non-Zionist wing did not accept Herzl’s beliefs that Jews must immigrate to Palestine or that they couldn’t go right on living normal lives in other countries. Einstein, and some of my own relatives, were members of that non-Zionist wing of the Agency. They believed in a center of Jewish culture, but not in a Jewish state.

      • Hostage on August 12, 2012, 9:26 pm

        Chaim Weizmann met Albert Einstein and the two scientists became good friends. Einstein was enlisted to help raise funds for the creation of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

        That fact is that you claimed that Einstein had emphatically campaigned with Weizmann to establish Israel. Now you seem to be implying that “Israel” was only the modest university campus on Mt Scopus. Einstein’s reluctance and sarcastic remarks about acting as high priest and decoy don’t sound very emphatic either. We know he was not very happy with the quality of the university. He said Magnus owed his position there to Felix Warburg and was:

        a failed American rabbi, who, through his dilettantish enterprises had become uncomfortable to his family in America, who very much hoped to dispatch him honorably to some exotic place. This ambitious and weak person surrounded himself with other morally inferior men, who did not allow any decent person to succeed there … These people managed to poison the atmosphere there totally and to keep the level of the institution low.

        –Albrecht Folsing, Albert Einstein: A Biography, (trans. Eald Osers), Penguin, 1998, 494–495.

      • Roya on August 12, 2012, 9:44 pm

        Hostage, you have an impressive archive for every point. Can I ask how long you’ve been involved with the Israel-Palestine issue?

      • Roya on August 12, 2012, 9:59 pm

        Not only has Einstein on Israel and Zionism not been “discredited,” but it has also received rave reviews from the likes of the very Israeli and very Zionist Avraham Burg.

        I’m still wiating on him to explain why he, as a someone who claims to be a devotee of sciene and evidence, continues to insist Iran is producing nukes when all US and Israeli intelliegcne agencies unanimously conclude otherise.

        Shingo, I hope you are a very patient person, as you will likely be waiting for millennia.

      • Shingo on August 13, 2012, 3:05 am

        Einstein stated that the Balfour Declaration’s proposal to establish a national home for Jews in Palestine “redresses the balance” of justice and history.

        The Balfour Declaration made no mention of a state. Chaim Weismann stated that national home did not mean state.

        When President Harry Truman recognized Israel in May 1948, Einstein declared it “the fulfillment of our(Jewish) dreams.

        The Wiki link references the http://www.zionism-israel.com web site, which itself does not source the of the quote in which Einstein declared this “the fulfillment of our(Jewish) dreams”. This is likely pure propaganda.

        In his Will of 1950, Einstein bequeathed literary rights to his writings to The Hebrew University, where many of his original documents are held in the Albert Einstein Archives.

        Again, nothing to do with support for a state.

        but he declined, stating that he had “neither the natural ability nor the experience to deal with human beings.”[31] He wrote: “I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it.”

        He was being dimplomatic in that letter and witholding his true sentimets.

        Einstein’s opinion of Israel:

        I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain — especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein%27s_political_views

      • Sassan on August 13, 2012, 3:30 am

        Read above for all the quotes. You spoke too early when my other comments (quotes) were pending approval. Fail! :)

      • Shingo on August 13, 2012, 3:31 am

        I’m very disillusioned with politics right now. Those countries [the Allied powers] whose victory I thought, during the war, would be by far the lesser evil, now show themselves to be an only slightly lesser evil.

        Another alledge quote that appears nowhere but on http://www.zionism-israel.com.

        “I am against nationalism but in favor of Zionism [Blumenfeld quotes Einstein as having told him]. The reason has become clear to me today. When a man has both arms and he is always saying I have a right arm, then he is a chauvinist. However, when the right arm is missing, then he must do something to make up for the missing limb. Therefore, I am, as a human being, an opponent of nationalism. But as a Jew I am from today a supporter of the Jewish Zionist efforts.”
        Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, World Publishing (1971) p. 378.

        Note that at the time, Jewish Zionist efforts were not in the service of creating a Jewish state.

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 5:35 am

        “When President Harry Truman recognized Israel in May 1948, Einstein declared it “the fulfillment of our dreams.” . . . . & etc.

        Ami Isseroff and the Wikimedia Foundation are the apparent sources of the anecdotal story that you’ve cited. http://www.zionism-israel.com/ezine/Einstein_and_Zionism.htm

        Isseroff sets it off from the body of his article in an unattributed block quote. But the claims 1) that Einstein was reluctantly won over by the force of events; and 2) that these two snippets (supposedly taken from an Einstein letter) prove that he supported a separate Jewish state are material supplied by an anonymous narrator and Isseroff himself, not by Einstein.

        FYI, the Isseroff article is hasbara polemic about Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq’s “farago of disinformation”.
        *It’s another lame attempt to establish that Einstein must have favored the establishment of a Jewish state, because he donated his papers to Hebrew University or the Weizmann Institute.
        *It present this 1921 Einstein quote as “massive supporting evidence”: “Your leader, Dr. Weizmann, has spoken…Follow him and you will do well. That is all I have to say.”

        For all we know, Weizmann was only asking for university donations, not a Jewish state. It’s a matter of public record that Weizmann continued to back proposals for a bi-national state until at least the mid-1940s.

      • johnshoemaker on August 13, 2012, 6:09 am

        Einsten called himself a cultural zionist; he thought Jewish influence was valuable in any country. He was clear that immigrants to Palestine must get along with Palestinians. He agreed with Mrs. Roosevelt that US should agree in new UN to create an international police force to insure that no country possessed a bomb. The cia and cabal squelched him since ’48. He disagreed with Truman and Stalin in their race to recognize the new “state”.

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 6:37 am

        In a 1947 letter to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru intended to persuade India to support the establishment of a Jewish state, Einstein stated that the Balfour Declaration’s proposal to establish a national home for Jews in Palestine “redresses the balance” of justice and history.[29]

        This is citation to an article written by Benny Morris for the Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/feb/16/israel.india

        Once again most of the key points of the narrative are supplied by Morris, not Einstein. His statements are constructed from a collection of snippets, with embellishments added by Morris. But they really only indicate that Einstein would have accepted the Ihad party proposals for a bi-national state, where Arabs didn’t exercise exclusive national sovereignty:

        But then Einstein took the bull by the horns, “the nature of [the] Arab opposition. Though the Arab of Palestine has benefited… economically, he wants exclusive national sovereignty, such as is enjoyed by the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria [sic]. It is a legitimate and natural desire, and justice would seem to call for its satisfaction.” But at the end of the first world war, the Allies gave the Arabs 99% of the “vast, underpopulated territories” liberated from the Turks to satisfy their national aspirations and five independent Arab states were established. One per cent was reserved for the Jews “in the land of their origin”. “In the august scale of justice, which weighs need against need, there is no doubt as to whose is more heavy.” What the Jews were allotted in the Balfour Declaration “redresses the balance” of justice and history. He concluded by appealing to Nehru to brush aside “the rivalries of power politics and the egotism of petty nationalist appetites” and to support “the glorious renascence which has begun in Palestine”.

        We are not treated to the quotes or details about the actual request for Einstien’s assistance. Morris only explains that this exchange transpired in the summer of 1947. The UNSCOP heard testimony and collected written proposals for 1) a democratic Arab-Jewish State from Ihud (Judah Magnes, et al) and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Palestine;
        *Palestine–Divided Or United?: The Case for a Bi-National Palestine Before the United Nations, Judah Leon Magnes, Greenwood Press, 1947
        http://books.google.com/books/about/Palestine_Divided_Or_United.html?id=tg0yAAAACAAJ

        And 2) a partition proposal from the Jewish Agency.
        *Palestine and the United Nations: prelude to solution, Jacob Robinson, Public Affairs Press, 1947
        http://books.google.com/books?id=NQaPAAAAMAAJ&q=&dq=&source=bl&ots=0kVp4k-Npw&sig=foYHaYRyKX5nUL74fPicoiZLDhg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=otUoUKjzF7To2gXghoCABg&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA
        3) A proposal for a single democratic Arab state with constitutional protections of equality for minorities from the Arabs;
        *Chapter VIII, The Arab Higher Committee Before the United Nations, in Robinson, Palestine and the United Nations, page 127

        All I see in Einstein’s remarks is support for continued Jewish immigration and the putting aside of “petty nationalist appetites”, but nothing about a Jewish or Zionist state.

      • Sassan on August 13, 2012, 6:52 am

        ‘ In this speech delivered to a Zionist audience in Berlin in 1921, upon his return from his first travel to the United States, Einstein paints a broad picture of the history of German Jewry in modern times culminating in a call to support the Zionist effort. In America, Einstein had advocated financial support for the nascent university in Jerusalem by American Jews. In Berlin, he explains to a German Jewish public why the inane feeling of national identity is also based on rationality and leads invariably to support of the Zionist cause.

        “Palestine is for us Jews not a mere matter of charity or colonization: it is a problem of paramount importance for the Jewish people. Palestine is first and foremost not a refuge for east European Jews, but the incarnation of a reawakening sense of national solidarity for all Jews. Is it opportune and necessary to waken and strengthen this feeling of community? I believe I can answer this question with an absolute “yes”, based on not only on spontaneous emotion but from sound reason. Let us briefly look at the development of German Jewry during the last one hundred years. A Century ago, our forefathers, with few exceptions, lived in the ghetto. They were poor, without political rights, separated from the Gentiles by a barrier of religious traditions, habits of life and legal restrictions; their intellectual development was restricted to their own literature, and they had remained almost unaffected by the mighty advance of the European intellect which dates from the Renaissance. And yet, these obscure, humble people had one great advantage over us: each of them belonged in every fiber of his being to a community in which he was completely absorbed, in which he felt himself a fully privileged member, and which demanded nothing of him that was contrary to his natural habit of thought. Our forefathers in those days were pretty poor specimens intellectually and physically, but socially speaking they enjoyed an enviable spiritual equilibrium. We Jews [must] become once more conscious of our existence as a nation and regain the self-respect which we require for a prosperous existence. We must learn once more to enthusiastically declare our loyalty to our ancestry and our history; we must once more taken upon ourselves, as a nation, cultural tasks of a kind calculated to strengthen our feeling of solidarity. It is not sufficient for us to participate as individuals in the cultural development of mankind: we must also set our hands to such tasks which can only be accomplished by national communities. In this way and in this way only can the Jewish people regain its social health.” -Albert Einstein’

        http://www.alberteinstein.info/gallery/jewish_people.html

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 7:24 am

        What makes me happiest is the [prospective] realization of a Jewish state in Palestine. It seems to me that our brethren [Stammgenossenen] really are nicer [sympathische] (at least less brutal) than these awful [scheuslichen] Europeans. Letter to Paul Ehrenfest, March 22, 1919

        There wasn’t even a mandate in 1919. So once again let’s look at what he said after it was implemented:

        *”The greatest danger in the present situation is that blind chauvinism may gain ground in our ranks.”

        The lone reference to “The Jewish State” in Einstein’s own book on the subject of Zionism was the inclusion of Herzl’s pamphlet in the bibliography on page 67 — See “About Zionism: speeches and letters by Professor Albert Einstein”, The Soncino press, 1930 http://books.google.com/books?id=l8NtAAAAMAAJ&q=&dq=&source=bl&ots=YpnSMFg–j&sig=OPmB1LG6hQKYX8fQETvYlInD1kQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Q9woUJb8D4SA2wWikoBo&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA

        *Just one more personal word on the question of partition. I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state. We are no longer the Jews of the Maccabee period. A return to a nation in the political sense of the word would be equivalent to turning away from the spiritualization of our community which we owe to the genius of our prophets.
        – From an address on the occasion of the celebration of the “Third Seder” by the National Labor Committee for Palestine, at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, April 17, 1938. Published in New Palestine, Washington, D. C.: April 28, 1938.

        *The state idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with many difficulties and narrow-mindedness. I believe it is bad.

        – From Einstein’s statement to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine, Jan. 11, 1946

        As for Truman’s recognition being the fulfillment of Einstein’s dream, you should keep in mind that the UN Ad Hoc Committee report, A/AC.14/32, dated 11 November 1947 noted the updated population figures supplied by the British mandatory government which indicated that, from the outset, Arabs would constitute a majority of the population of the proposed “Jewish” state – 509,780 Arabs and 499,020 Jews. See pdf file page 42 of 69.

      • Shingo on August 13, 2012, 8:34 am

        You spoke too early when my other comments (quotes) were pending approval. Fail! :)

        It’s alright, I and Hostage debunked your pending hasbra anyway, so you needn’t have wasted your time.

        Epic fail!

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 9:13 am

        Hostage, you have an impressive archive for every point. Can I ask how long you’ve been involved with the Israel-Palestine issue?

        Some of my earliest memories as a pre-schooler were debates between my grandfather, who was an anti-Zionist secular Jew, and his brothers on the subject. One, in particular, was an argumentative, “non-Zionist”, who had worked in the Political Department of the Jewish Agency for Palestine during the Mandate. I’ve always been interested in reading and discussing anything remotely related to the subject, so I’ve learned a lot on my own initiative. Of course, I have a variety of other interests too.

      • annie on August 13, 2012, 9:32 am

        hostage, following your 9:o3 link a couple more pages to the U.S. approving the majority plan with recommendations to include Jaffa as an enclave to the arab state and saying the objections to this are not valid. plus, to move the eastern border of the arab state in western galilee to include Safad. also parts of the negev. http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=turn&entity=FRUS.FRUS1947v05.p1181&id=FRUS.FRUS1947v05&isize=M

      • Shingo on August 13, 2012, 9:32 am

        In America, Einstein had advocated financial support for the nascent university in Jerusalem by American Jews. In Berlin, he explains to a German Jewish public why the inane feeling of national identity is also based on rationality and leads invariably to support of the Zionist cause.

        All that hot air and nary a mention of the word “State” much less “Jewish State”

      • Antidote on August 13, 2012, 10:53 am

        “Seliger offers no evidence that Einstain supported a Jewish state in Palestine”

        Pilpul!

      • wondering jew on August 13, 2012, 11:44 am

        Hello Antidote,
        I haven’t seen you around recently.
        Why do you feel that the use of the term Pilpul is appropriate? Can you just humor me and tell me what you mean by the term?

      • Hostage on August 13, 2012, 6:07 pm

        In this speech delivered to a Zionist audience in Berlin in 1921

        Yet another speech that doesn’t mention a Jewish nation-state. In fact this one claims Palestine is first and foremost NOT supposed to be a refuge for east European Jews. It’s just the cultural center that reawakens a “sense” or “feeling” of being a nation or community for Jews living everywhere.

        The speech contains no call for Jews to make aliyah and actually go and live in this community. The Jewish nation he describes is obviously not incompatible with the mixture of non-Jewish and Jewish communities in a single country that Weizmann, Sokolow, Magnes, and the Allies were promoting in 1921. In fact the nationality and rights of Jews living in any other country were the subject of a safeguarding clause in the Balfour Declaration and treaties that created the new states under the auspices of the post war peace conference.

        In 1930 Einstien published his own proposal for a bi-national system of government in Palestine:

        LETTER TO AN ARAB
        Mein Weltbild, Amsterdam: Querido Verlag, 1934.

        March 15, 1930
        SIR: Your letter has given me great pleasure. It shows me that there is good will available on your side, too, for solving the present difficulties in a manner worthy of both our nations. I believe that these difficulties are more psychological than real, and that they can be got over if both sides bring honesty and good will to the task.

        What makes the present position so bad is the fact that Jews and Arabs confront each other as opponents before the mandatory power. This state of affairs is unworthy of both nations and can only be altered by our finding a via media on which both sides agree.

        I will now tell you how I think that the present difficulties might be remedied; at the same time I must add that this is only my personal opinion, which I have discussed with nobody. I am writing this letter in German because I am not capable of writing it in English myself and because I want to bear the entire responsibility for it myself. You will, I am sure, be able to get some Jewish friend of conciliation to translate it.

        A Privy Council is to be formed to which the Jews and Arabs shall each send four representatives, who must be independent of all political parties:— Each group to be composed as follows:—
        A doctor, elected by the Medical Association.
        A lawyer, elected by the lawyers.
        A working men’s representative, elected by the trade unions.
        An ecclesiastic, elected by the ecclesiastics.

        These eight people are to meet once a week. They undertake not to espouse the sectional interests of their profession or nation but conscientiously and to the best of their power to aim at the welfare of the whole population of the country. Their deliberations shall be secret and they are strictly forbidden to give any information about them, even in private. When a decision has been reached on any subject in which not less than three members on each side concur, it may be published, but only in the name of the whole Council. If a member dissents he may retire from the Council, but he is not thereby released from the obligation to secrecy. If one of the elective bodies above specified is dissatisfied with a resolution of the Council, it may replace its representative by another.

        Even if this “Privy Council” has no definite powers, it may nevertheless bring about the gradual composition of differences, and secure a united representation of the common interests of the country before the mandatory power, clear of the dust of ephemeral politics.

  22. ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 3:01 pm

    Sassan:

    This is what Talknic said: “Can you explain this theoretical phenomenon, because Albert Einstein is a really good example of education and circumstance rather than anything related to Jewish culture.”

    Your post completely failed to respond to that. It’s irrelevant where Einstein went to: Talknic was talking about where he started from.

  23. ColinWright on August 11, 2012, 3:14 pm

    Sassan says: “True. They adopted it within the framework of their culture. But the fact is that a disproportionally high number of our greatest thinkers were of Jewish origin. I equate this with something innate about the culture who produced the likes of Spinoza.”

    But Sephardic culture didn’t produce Spinoza — certainly not solely. He wasn’t writing in a Jewish community in Portugal. He was writing in response to the impact of gentile ideas. This from Wikipedia:

    “…In 1653, at age 20, Spinoza began studying Latin with Frances van den Enden (Franciscus van den Enden), a notorious free thinker, former Jesuit, and radical democrat who likely introduced Spinoza to scholastic and modern philosophy, including that of Descartes…

    Spinoza adopted the Latin name Benedictus de Spinoza,[24] began boarding with Van den Enden, and began teaching in his school…

    During this period Spinoza also became acquainted with the Collegiants, an anti-clerical sect of Remonstrants with tendencies towards rationalism, and with the Mennonites who had existed for a century but were close to the Remonstrants.[26] Many of his friends belonged to dissident Christian groups which met regularly as discussion groups and which typically rejected the authority of established churches as well as traditional dogmas.[1]

    Questioned by two members of the synagogue, Spinoza at this time apparently responded that God has a body and nothing in scripture says otherwise…”

    Spinoza is an example of a great Jewish thinker — thinking in response to the challenge of the clash between Jewish, Christian, and rationalist ideas. To simply claim him for Judaism is to distort the matter.

    Put it this way. Had Sephardic Jews been living undisturbed on an island somewhere, while Spinoza might well have been born, it’s not clear he ever would have said anything significant. Therefore, his thought cannot clearly be claimed for something ‘innate’ in Sephardic culture. Had that been the case, Spinoza wouldn’t have needed to be in Holland and hanging around with the gentiles to have the ideas he had. Need I point out that the Jewish community expelled Spinoza?

    • Sassan on August 11, 2012, 5:13 pm

      I put a lot of truth to what Freud said, “As Sigmund Freud pointed out, part of the success of Jewish scientists was their “creative skepticism,” which arose from their essential nature as outsiders.”

      • Shingo on August 11, 2012, 7:34 pm

        I put a lot of truth to what Freud said, “As Sigmund Freud pointed out, part of the success of Jewish scientists was their “creative skepticism,” which arose from their essential nature as outsiders.”

        While it’s tro be expected that you would quote a well knolwn mysoginist, the reality is that Israel and Zionism has stunted skepticism on the part fo Jewish Israeli supporters and reuires that they acept teh false narrative of Israle withouth question – or be deemed a self hating Jew.

      • piotr on August 11, 2012, 8:25 pm

        Traditional Jewish community had a high regard for learning “for its own sake”, even if from the point of view of an agnostic, the studies and speculations were in a totally ridiculous realm. Combined with culture shock of assimilation and abandonment of literally understood religion this attitude was very productive in arts and sciences.

        Something similar can be observed with Indian Brahmins who, by my cursory observation, are not particularly successful in business but quite overrepresented among scientists.

        Concerning Spinosa, he seems to be one of many participants of the vibrant culture of the Netherlands at the time when ruling Calvinists abandoned their initial rigidity, and the Netherlands were a refuge of choice for dissidents from many countries or their former communities.

      • on August 11, 2012, 9:31 pm

        I’m not Jewish, but my substandard creative skepticism tells me that you might be of the Z tribe, and misrepresenting yourself makes you feel reeaal special. Superior even.

        Maybe there’s a Walter Isaacson book about that.

      • ColinWright on August 12, 2012, 4:40 am

        “I’m not Jewish, but my substandard creative skepticism tells me that you might be of the Z tribe, and misrepresenting yourself makes you feel reeaal special. Superior even…

        That thought has crossed my mind, but if Sassan’s one of the Hasbarists you speak of, he’s much better than average. Usually, those guys are flamingly obvious and can’t help but throw in a demand for unconditional surrender a.k.a ‘peace’ about once every post.

        My money’s on him being a disgruntled scion of one of those wealthy families that had to flee Iran when the Shah came tumbling down. Probably went to Cal State whatever, did poorly, and now has a job as the real estate agent who has to handle all the unsellable dogs.

        …or something like that. Interesting to see if he responds and proffers a different story line.

      • ColinWright on August 12, 2012, 3:48 am

        “I put a lot of truth to what Freud said, “As Sigmund Freud pointed out, part of the success of Jewish scientists was their “creative skepticism,” which arose from their essential nature as outsiders.”

        Well now. There you are. You also said you judge a people by how much they contribute to science and progress (or something.)

        If Jews are to be valued by how much they contribute, and if being outsiders makes them contribute, you must be heartily against Israel. Obviously, Jews need to be made back into outsiders. That’s certainly not going to happen if they stay in Israel.

      • ColinWright on August 12, 2012, 4:35 am

        Lol. Speak of the devil. This from Haaretz:

        OECD: Israelis work more, but less productive than workers in other developed countries

        Israel labor productivity lags behind other OECD countries; in recent years, the number of college-educated adults has also declined…”

        You see what a bad idea Israel is, Sassan? If you want to keep admiring Jews, you need to help get them out of that place quick. They’re practically in a power dive towards mediocrity…

  24. Ali Anvari on August 11, 2012, 11:41 pm

    Jewish success in science through history? What are you talking about Sassan?

    Science started with Imhotep’s medicine in ancient Egypt, and Archimedes’s steam engines.

    Oh, and Iranians going back 5000 years who invented the modern hospital system and modern drip-irrigation system, among other things. (I am ashamed that you are also Iranian).

    Fast forward through the Renaissance to Leonardo da Vinci Galileo, Newton, Copernicus, Kepler and Leibniz etc etc etc.

    Keep fast forwarding through the Agricultural Revolution and then the Industrial Revolution. Ignore in the meanwhile all the inventions of the Far East (such as the Chinese inventing the gyro) and the mathematics of India.

    Finally you get to what, the last 200 years? Some tiny percentage of the history of science, when most of the foundations were already laid…

    And then some jews show up in science.

    And you think your poor grasp of science history is supposed to somehow justify racist op-ed columns in the Washington Post?

    • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 6:19 am

      You judge a culture by how much it has progressed and advanced. Absolutely ancient Persians had a great deal to do with the progress of science and we still due today. The only problem is that the Islamic Republic has created a brain drain and all the smartest and brightest Iranians are forced to contribute the fruits of their labor to advance science and humanity inside of the west instead of inside Iran.

      And as I inferred, you judge things by how much things have progressed. 40+ years ago there was segregation in half of America. Today we have an African American President. Over 2500 years ago Cyrus the Great laid down the first human rights declaration including having had saved the Jews from Babylon. Today Iran is living under medieval rule and barbarity. Therefore, the ultimate judgement of progression is progress and advancement. It is true that the Islamic world had a period of scientific enlightenment and inquiry. But that no longer exists as free thinkers and rationalists are hunted down and executed, are forced to keep quiet about their beliefs (including evolution), or go abroad to contribute to science. So while the Iranian culture is indeed unique and continues to be a great aid for humanity, you have to move forward to the modern era and analyze where the progress has shifted in the greatest age of human thinking for mankind. And that was the 20th and now 21st centuries.

      And check out this list of the top 100 scientists & more: http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html/

    • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 6:32 am

      And don’t forget about one of the greatest scientists of all time, the great Persian Omar Khayyam. Omar Khayyam, the great Persian poet and scientist was a non-believer and despised religion. A true Iranian patriot and hero for humanity indeed!

      • thankgodimatheist on August 12, 2012, 9:58 am

        “A true Iranian patriot”

        Yes, as much as Cicero was Italian, hehe..
        Geez, Sassan. Did you really ignore that it was called Persia in Omar Khayyam’s life time? And you say you’re Iranian?

      • Sassan on August 12, 2012, 4:15 pm

        It was also called Persia during the time of Reza Pahlavi. He changed it from Persia to Iran. So what of the name? Omar Khayyam was still an Iranian. He resided from Nishapur, in present day Iran.

    • ColinWright on August 12, 2012, 3:23 pm

      “…Finally you get to what, the last 200 years? Some tiny percentage of the history of science, when most of the foundations were already laid…

      And then some jews show up in science.

      And you think your poor grasp of science history is supposed to somehow justify racist op-ed columns in the Washington Post?”

      I think Jewish achievement over the last two hundred years has been not merely remarkable, but incredible. I’m even perfectly open to the argument that it has a genetic basis — even if I’d rather not think of myself as belonging to the inherently dumber group.

      Reality doesn’t always contain the answer we’d prefer.

      However, the slippage comes in finding in any of that a justification for Israel. There simply isn’t a logical connection.

      • Roya on August 12, 2012, 8:40 pm

        I think Jewish achievement over the last two hundred years has been not merely remarkable, but incredible. I’m even perfectly open to the argument that it has a genetic basis — even if I’d rather not think of myself as belonging to the inherently dumber group.

        Colin, if I recall correctly you were one of those at the “Crisis of Jewish Identity” thread rebutting those who exalted Jews as a superior group. It’s odd to see that you have had a change of heart in a matter of three weeks. Anyhow, unverified makes a very valid point. Jews have achieved quite a lot in the past two hundred years, but before that they were far outranked in achievements by others. So did their supremacy stay dormant for 4,000 years or could this recent surge in Jewish achievement be a function of something else? And you say that you are open to accepting that this “supremacy” may be genetic based on contributions you find incredible from the last 200 years. Jewish history is over 4,000 years long so you will notice that this accounts for just 5% of Jewish existence. So would you argue that this gene is a new mutation or one that has just stayed dormant for 3,800+ years?

      • ColinWright on August 13, 2012, 5:50 am

        “…Colin, if I recall correctly you were one of those at the “Crisis of Jewish Identity” thread rebutting those who exalted Jews as a superior group. It’s odd to see that you have had a change of heart in a matter of three weeks. ….”

        I don’t see it that way. Three weeks ago I was arguing against those who would wallow in unreasoning exaltation. Now I’m differing with those who would deny that Jewish achievement has been at all exceptional.

        It’s like my feelings about Obama. Assert that he is a great man and a great president and I’ll promptly disagree with you. However, claim he is the anti-Christ and I’ll argue with that as well.

        I have an opinion. What you are noting is simply the result of it not being at either extreme.

      • ColinWright on August 13, 2012, 6:20 am

        Roya says“…Anyhow, unverified makes a very valid point. Jews have achieved quite a lot in the past two hundred years, but before that they were far outranked in achievements by others. So did their supremacy stay dormant for 4,000 years or could this recent surge in Jewish achievement be a function of something else? And you say that you are open to accepting that this “supremacy” may be genetic based on contributions you find incredible from the last 200 years. Jewish history is over 4,000 years long so you will notice that this accounts for just 5% of Jewish existence. So would you argue that this gene is a new mutation or one that has just stayed dormant for 3,800+ years?”

        That’s an excellent point. I’d be inclined to argue that cultural and intellectual achievement is (a) subjective, and (b) not solely a function of intelligence.

        As far as (a) goes, medieval and pre-enlightenment Jews seem to have dumped a lot of energy into creating the culture that is now derided as ‘ultra-orthodox’ — as well as stuff like the Kabbala. That all this isn’t currently valued by anyone except the practitioners themselves and Madonna doesn’t mean it wasn’t an achievement.

        As far as (b) goes, of course cultural and intellectual achievement is a function of other factors besides intelligence. Nevertheless, it has to be admitted that starting around 1800, Jews certainly exploded out of the starting gate as soon as they were allowed onto the track. That — as well as good ol’ IQ test results — suggests that on average, they are unusually intelligent as a group.

        To directly answer ‘So did their supremacy stay dormant for 4,000 years or could this recent surge in Jewish achievement be a function of something else?’, I’d do like Towelly and choose both. Without getting drawn into the ‘4000 years figure’ I’d say that until 1800, either circumstances weren’t propitious to achievement or that that achievement tended to go in directions that are no longer valued. Then too, Jews and converted Jews did play a major role in the Muslim efflourescence — so it’s a bit of a distortion to see them as having lain utterly moribund until the European enlightenment. Indeed, considering the Jewish role in both Muslim learning and in matters Western since 1800, it’s pretty clear that given the chance to participate in a wider culture, Jews promptly achieve at a level that strongly suggest they are more intelligent than average. Conversely, stripping Jews out seems to reduce group achievement. I once read a piece on the rather lackluster German intellectual performance since World War Two as compared to German achievement in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. That piece ascribed the decline to the leveling practices of German universities — but it seems to me that chasing off or killing all the Jews could also be the cause.

        All this is a complex and interesting subject. I’d certainly like to go into more of my ideas on it — particularly as I lack enough information to be sure they’re correct. However, Mooser et al essentially serve to stifle any reasonably open discussion.

      • Roya on August 13, 2012, 10:14 pm

        I’d do like Towelly and choose both. Without getting drawn into the ’4000 years figure’ I’d say that until 1800, either circumstances weren’t propitious to achievement or that that achievement tended to go in directions that are no longer valued.

        Now isn’t this a convenient excuse to keep your conclusion? It looks like you’ve arrived at a conclusion but want to omit or make excuses for any observations that point to the contrary.

        Then too, Jews and converted Jews did play a major role in the Muslim efflourescence — so it’s a bit of a distortion to see them as having lain utterly moribund until the European enlightenment

        Sure, there were periods in which Jews flourished prior to the 19th century but the argument that this proves or points to Jewish superiority just does not hold water, especially considering all of the non-Jewish achievements and contributions to civilization that were made prior to the 1800’s.

        Nevertheless, it has to be admitted that starting around 1800, Jews certainly exploded out of the starting gate as soon as they were allowed onto the track. That — as well as good ol’ IQ test results — suggests that on average, they are unusually intelligent as a group.

        East Asian countries have the highest national IQ’s in the world. Does that make them superior too, or once again could this be a function of something else, such as a cultural emphasis on education?

        I once read a piece on the rather lackluster German intellectual performance since World War Two as compared to German achievement in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. That piece ascribed the decline to the leveling practices of German universities — but it seems to me that chasing off or killing all the Jews could also be the cause.

        Well I would stay away from that particular misleading news outlet as Germany is today one of the most prosperous nations in the world by multiple measures including economy and political leverage. Germany’s infrastructure was destroyed by two world wars, but it still managed to become one of the world’s top 4 economies in a matter of two decades, and it is now the largest economy in Europe. In June the German unemployment rate was 6.8%. Compare that to America’s 8.2%. While the rest of the world has been suffering in a global economic recession, Germany’s economy has grown by 3% in each of the last two years. I can’t comment specifically on German “intellectual performance,” but considering that intellectual performance and economy are inextricably correlated, I’d say that whoever tried to tell you that Germany is falling isn’t very up-to-date with today’s state of affairs.

      • Citizen on August 14, 2012, 12:08 pm

        @ Roya (responding to Colin Wright)

        Both the US and USSR Stalin used captured German scientists to quickly advance their military jet programs and rocket programs after WW2–with the US getting first to the moon because of theirs. I don’t see any lack of continued German technological, engineering, social or economic success at all. So they haven’t contributed to the Humanities so much? Perhaps it takes awhile to absorb what Nazism did to those fields, where they had long been so fertile? Maybe one of our German commenters here might respond to this issue?

  25. Ali Anvari on August 12, 2012, 9:18 am

    So because Sassan doesn’t like the Islamic Republic, that makes it OK for Cohen to be racist against Palestinians?

    Let me remind you what this thread was about before you hijacked it. Cohen’s article was defending Romney. Romney’s speech put down the Palestinian economy on the basis of their culture without mentioning the Occupation at all.

    Do you honestly believe that if we found some magic time-machine, and turned Spinoza into a Palestinian, but Israel continued bombing the Palestinian power plants and stealing their wells, that Gaza would have an economic boom?

    Or would it be better to let the jews keep Spinoza, but stop the bombing and let the Palestinians have electricity and water?

    • justicewillprevail on August 12, 2012, 8:43 pm

      Quite. Sassan, whoever he is, seems obsessed with the zionist meme of ‘proving’ Einstein was an ardent zionist, despite the lack of evidence. Even if he was, so what? Hardly makes the case for the current regime. But impressive piece of threadjacking, with league tables of intellectual’s loyalties, in a kind of egghead Olympics.

  26. ColinWright on August 13, 2012, 6:26 am

    “Quite. Sassan, whoever he is, seems obsessed with the zionist meme of ‘proving’ Einstein was an ardent zionist, despite the lack of evidence.”

    There’s also the point that Einstein was not God. He spent years obstinately insisting the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle or something couldn’t be true, and I’ve always felt ‘you cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war’ leaves a lot be desired, both historically and logically.

    Einstein could have energetically and unequivocally endorsed Israel. That wouldn’t validate it.

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