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Conjuring the ‘Jewish community’ to shut down debate of apartheid in San Francisco

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The news that San Francisco supervisors are claiming that a bus ad opposing Israeli “apartheid” is hurtful to the Jewish community has really hit a nerve. The supervisors are just mouthing what rightwing Jewish organizations said about the American Muslims for Palestine(AMP) ad, and it turns out I’m not the only one who’s sick of gasbags conjuring ‘the Jewish community’ every time they want to shut down a conversation. The Supervisor’s letter claims the ad creates “a very real danger to constructive discussion and debate.”

As the National Lawyers Guild says, “While the position that Israel is an apartheid state may be controversial to some, it is an integral part of the global discussion concerning Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.”

Below are three responses to the ad. The first is a National Lawyers Guild Open Letter sent to the Municipal Transportation Agency defending the ad. Then a statement from Cecilie Surasky of Jewish Voice for Peace addressing both the “apartheid” issue and the “Jewish community” in support of the ad two weeks back. Finally a response by Shmuel from our comment board.

An Open Letter Regarding SF Muni Bus Ads:

May 24, 2013

Ed Reiskin
Executive Director
Municipal Transportation Agency
1 South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Tom Nolan
Chairman, Board of Directors
Municipal Transportation Agency
1 South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear Mr. Reiskin and Chairman Nolan:

On behalf of the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, we are writing you to voice our support for the advertisements commissioned by American Muslims for Palestine and express our disagreement with the substance of a letter sent by some San Francisco supervisors, led by Scott Wiener.

The most deplorable aspect of the letter from Supervisor Wiener is its attempt to equate hateful ads targeting all Muslims and labeling them “savages” with ads criticizing a state of affairs in Israel, quoting Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu, and calling for a political solution – ending U.S. aid to Israel. The anti-Muslim ads were undeniably hate speech. The ads critical of Israeli policies are pure political speech targeting a nation-state not a class of persons.

While the position that Israel is an apartheid state may be controversial to some, it is an integral part of the global discussion concerning Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Former President Jimmy Carter has used the word “apartheid” to describe the situation in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where Jewish-only settlements dot the landscape connected by Jewish-only roads and Palestinians are controlled by walls and checkpoints.

In October 2010 Richard A. Falk reported to the General Assembly Third Committee “It is the opinion of the current Special Rapporteur that the nature of the occupation as of 2010 substantiates earlier allegations of colonialism and apartheid in evidence and law to a greater extent than was the case even three years ago. The entrenching of colonialist and apartheid features of the Israeli occupation has been a cumulative process. The longer it continues, the more difficult it is to overcome and the more serious is the abridgement of fundamental Palestinian rights.”

Furthermore, the idea that Israel is, or is becoming an, apartheid state is openly discussed in Israel as well as among Jewish scholars and commentators. Supervisor Weiner’s letter claims to speak for “the Jewish community,” yet ignores the fact that the Israel apartheid ads are supported by Jewish Voice for Peace and that the position of the Jewish diaspora on Israel and its policies is immensely diverse. As Israeli writer, and former member of the Knesset, Uri Avnery said in 2012: “As it is today, it is an Apartheid state, a full apartheid in the occupied territories and a growing apartheid in Israel – and if this goes on, it will be full apartheid throughout the country, incontestably.”

Equating these two sets of advertisements, one from a recognized hate group defaming Muslims another supported by a range of community organizations criticizing the policies of a nation state, is, at best, irresponsible. We applaud your decision not to accept the funds from hate speech on Muni buses and we urge you to treat the ads critical of Israeli policies toward Palestinians as distinctly different and a critical part of the political discourse.

Sincerely,

Carlos Villarreal
Executive Director

Mike Flynn
President

Cecilie Surasky wrote a “Backlash” article when the ad campaign was first going up and it was getting slammed by those right wing Jewish organizations. These are some of her remarks at AMP’s  “End Apartheid Now” Muni ad campaign press conference in downtown San Francisco, addressing who speaks for the Bay Area Jewish community…and apartheid:

The Jewish community here in the Bay Area is stunningly rich and diverse. We disagree about politics, we disagree about God, and we disagree most passionately of all about Israel.

You could say our difference and diversity is our very essence. Which is why we don’t and will never have one spokesperson for the Jews of the Bay Area.

Suffice it to say, our members, and we have thousands of people on our mailing list just in the Bay Area, were shocked to see a statement from the Jewish Community Relations Council, and the local offices of the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, announcing that the “Bay Area Jewish Community” condemned these ads because they used the phrase Israeli apartheid.

None of these organizations have the right to claim to represent the Jews of the Bay Area. In fact, the Jewish Community Relations Council will not publicly release its list of members, we can only assume, because the number of groups they can claim to represent is so small. We know that none of the most vibrant and fastest growing progressive Jewish groups in the Bay Area are part of the JCRC. Neither are many synagogues we know.

And the Anti-Defamation League lost its moral standing to judge what is or isn’t “apartheid” when they famously spied on progressive political and anti-apartheid groups in the 80s and early 90s and, when Israel had close ties with South Africa’s apartheid regime, condemned Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress as “totalitarian, anti-humane, anti-democratic, anti-Israel and anti-American.”

I could go on, but you get the point.

Instead, let me explain why we fully defend American Muslims for Palestine’s right to use the term apartheid.

Apartheid is a legal term precisely defined under international law and refers to policies in any state, not just South Africa. The question is not whether the word is offensive, but whether Israel’s practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory meet that definition. While people are free to have different opinions, the truth is that many high-ranking Israeli officials, journalists, and human rights experts have already concluded that the term apartheid does indeed accurately describe Israel’s regime.

In fact, the South African government funded an extensive study to answer the question—top legal experts from South Africa, Palestine and Israel spent 15 months looking at international law and Israel’s practices in the Occupied Territory and their 300 page report that stated “this study concludes that Israel has introduced a system of apartheid in the OPT.” (pdf)

So why is it OK when high ranking Israeli officials, and legal scholars use the term apartheid, but considered “morally reprehensible,” “extremist,” “inflammatory,” when Palestinians and American Muslims do exactly the same? At best, this is a double standard of the worst kind. At worst, this is pure bigotry.

Worse, how can critics claim the ad is “targeting one segment of our community.”

What segment? Israel is a state that should be treated like any other- no better and no worse– and as such, people should be able to criticize its policies just as we criticize US policies, or Iranian policies or Mexican policies without being called bigots. If it were any other country, the idea of calling criticism a form of bigotry would be laughable. We don’t think Israel should be singled out for exceptional treatment.

We at Jewish Voice for Peace believe the groups attacking these ads would better serve Jews, Israelis and Palestinians, and all Americans by using their considerable resources and expertise to display outrage not over ads on buses, but instead over the illegal and morally abhorrent Israeli government policy and practices that violate Palestinian human rights.

Palestinians and Jewish Israelis both have the right to live with dignity and opportunity: to go to school and better their lives, provide a home for their families without fear of demolition, travel safely to the hospital for care, and hold the people who have control over them accountable through fair elections.

But in Occupied Palestinian Territory– — over 4 million Palestinians don’t have those rights, while some 600,000 Jewish Israeli settlers do. That’s not fair. That’s called separate and unequal. That’s called Birmingham in the 1950’s –and by some of us, that’s called South Africa during apartheid.
 

And Shmuel, responding to “intolerance alienating the Jewish community” asks:

Why? Did someone suggest that the Jewish community in SF practises apartheid? Supports apartheid? Defends apartheid? The ad mentions Israel (not the Jewish community), Americans (not Jewish Americans) and the U.S. (not the San Francisco Jewish community).

Had someone called out the “Jewish community” (or at least its mainstream institutions and most vocal spokesmen) for its support and defence of apartheid, that would have been alienating – true, but alienating. If the “Jewish community” can’t take its political choices being challenged (even harshly), then it should stay out of politics.

It’s rather ironic that it is those claiming to defend the Jewish community — not the people behind the ad — who are blaming all Jews (by religious/ethnic association) for Israeli apartheid. Shame on them.

It’s not “dangerous” we’re having this long overdue discussion, in fact it’s quite the opposite.

annie
About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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40 Responses

  1. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    May 27, 2013, 5:16 pm

    First, and foremost, there’s this attempt to keep stuff like The Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans hidden in the shadows erected by accusations of ‘anti-semitism’ and the untouchable ‘holocaust.’

    Even Mondoweiss chooses to moderate every single word before it reaches the ‘outside world,’ so what example are we setting here in doing so?

    • Dutch
      Dutch
      May 27, 2013, 6:16 pm

      I just read the piece by Pamela Olson (The Staggering Cost), and I think it should be published at Mondoweiss as well. Actually this belongs in the mainstream media.

      • annie
        annie
        May 27, 2013, 11:32 pm

        actually the byline is unclear to me dutch. at the base it says This report was produced by If Americans Knew analysts, particularly Pamela Olson. that sounds like it was a group effort.

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      May 27, 2013, 7:01 pm

      Yes, it’s a good thing the public is not encouraged to read websites that promote antisemitic drivel like this: http://www.veteransnewsnow.com

      • tree
        tree
        May 28, 2013, 12:23 am

        You must mean this one:

        http://www.jewishpress.com/news/dustin-hoffman-latest-jew-to-give-israel-hater-an-award/2013/04/26/

        complete with the anti-semitic description “the fact that his height, his nose, his nasal voice and his plucky, outsider roles are all stereotypically Jewish”.

        Side note: I hadn’t noticed before but the “picture” that accompanied that anti-semitic attack on Hoffman was a photoshop job with Hoffman, with a phony Hitler type mustache, put in place of Burnat.

        Heaven forbid anyone compare Israel and Nazi Germany in any way, but the Jewish Press thinks its just fine to compare Dustin Hoffman to Hitler. These people are insane.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        May 28, 2013, 11:28 am

        “You must mean this one:

        link to jewishpress.com”

        No, I mean http://www.veteransnewsnow.com. You don’t see me citing the Jewish Press here, do you? Veterans News Now is cited here all the time.

      • annie
        annie
        May 28, 2013, 12:11 pm

        hops, why are you evading referencing anything in the article cited by daniel you object to? this site is not referenced in the comments here ‘all the time’ but even if it were, i doubt moderators would allow a link thru that didn’t pass the comment policy. by placing a period after your link you’ve broken it, same for quotation marks. but you’ll be finding it as difficult as any commenter to get a link thru that’s too wild on conspiracies. how about dealing with what is posted here, instead of what’s not.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        May 28, 2013, 12:24 pm

        Sure, I’ll respond to Pamela Olsen.
        74% of the aid is spent on US military equipment. So most of it comes right back to the US.

        It adopts the discredited antisemitic theory that the US invaded Iraq principally because of Israel, and blames the cost on “Washington insiders,” which the readers of Veterans Now undoubtedly interpret as powerful Jewish Americans.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        May 28, 2013, 1:03 pm

        You are a liar. Veteran News Now is not cited here all the time.

        As if that even matters. The garbage you continually posts is allowed through moderation so if someone cited Veteran News Now, then it balances out your racist and fascist drivel.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        May 28, 2013, 1:45 pm

        Powerful Jewish Americans are Washington insiders but not all Washington insiders are powerful Jewish Americans.

        It’s not antisemitic to say that Israel was one of the reasons (or even the reason) for the Iraq War.

      • annie
        annie
        May 28, 2013, 1:56 pm

        you mean It adopts the theory that the US invaded Iraq principally because of Israel?

        re “discredited antisemitic theory”

        hops, israel’s most staunch defenders attempt to discredit everything and everyone they don’t like, and frequently use the tired worn accusation of anti semitism. that doesn’t mean everything they touch turns to gold or everything they don’t like becomes ‘discredited’ or is anti semitic, you wish.

        and blaming “Washington insiders?” well, i blame the war on washington insiders. there’s certainly lots of evidence for that. so what you’re saying is you don’t like the suggestion we invaded iraq by following the same plan designed by the neonuts for netanyahu/israel back in the 90’s. but we did. and those guys did become washington insiders. but not all washington insiders who got us into the war were jewish, like cheney. but they never claimed they were did they? hence…your not-so-creative framing

        “undoubtedly interpret as powerful Jewish Americans. ”

        that’s how you interpreted it anyway. if only those powerful jewish americans you’re referencing were benign. do you think they are benign? or do you just think they wouldn’t consider dragging the US to war with iran iraq ..for our lil bf/sidekick israel? and not all ‘powerful’ jewish americans supported the war in iraq. it’s not so simply conflated, your interpretation. and there’s nothing ‘undoubtedly’ about it.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        May 28, 2013, 2:06 pm

        What were they talking about at Herzliya in 2002?

        http://www.herzliyaconference.org/eng/?ArticleID=5&CategoryID=85
        Dinner
        Chair: Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder

        “America’s Sense of Purpose”
        Mr. William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard

        “From Geopolitics to Global Politics”
        Mr. James B. Steinberg, Vice President, Brookings Institution

        Tuesday, December 3, 2002

        08:30 Second Session: The Gulf Theater – Threats, Readiness and Responses

        Chair: Maj. Gen. (res.) Eitan Ben-Eliahu

        “Biological Threat”
        Ms. Judith Miller, Senior Correspondent, The New York Times

        “Conflicts in the Second and Third Circles”
        Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, IDF Colleges’ Commandant
        “Long Range Naval Power”
        Maj. Gen. Yedidya Ya’ari, Commander of the Navy
        “Dilemmas in the Use of Force in the New Strategic Environment”
        Dr. Ariel Levite, IAEC (Stanford University)

        Discussion
        Opened by: Ms. Thיrטse Delpech, Head of Direction of Strategic Affairs, French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)

        —————————————————————–

        Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, The IDF Chief of General Staff

        11:30 Third Session: The Homefront – Threats and Readiness

        Chair: Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yaron, Director General, Ministry of Defense

        “Threats Assessments and the Homefront”
        General (ret.) Charles G. Boyd, President & CEO, Business Executives for National Security (BENS)

        ”The Homefront – Threats and Preparations”, Task Force Report
        Maj. Gen. (res.) Herzl Shafir
        Maj. Gen. (res.) Shmuel Arad

        Discussion
        Opened by: Col. Dr. James A. Davis, Deputy Director, US Air Force Counter-proliferation Center

        Lunch

        Chair: Ms. Shula Bahat, Associate Executive Director, The American Jewish Committee

        Lt. Gen. (res.) Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Defense

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        May 28, 2013, 2:08 pm

        “you mean It adopts the theory that the US invaded Iraq principally because of Israel?”

        It’s a fringe conspiracy theory, and not well-regarded, even on the left.

        “hops, israel’s most staunch defenders attempt to discredit everything and everyone they don’t like”

        Noam Chomsky is an Israel supporter?

        Norman Finkelstein is an Israel supporter?

        Blaming the Iraq War, a war that was supported by the majority of the American public when it was launched, on the “Israel lobby” is blatantly and obviously antisemitic, and years of attempting to push this poison in this blog have not changed that fact nor proved the theory.

        “that’s how you interpreted it anyway.” That’s the clear implication, including on this blog. Don’t deny it.

        “if only those powerful jewish americans you’re referencing were benign.”

        They’re as benign as anyone else involved in politics is.

        ” or do you just think they wouldn’t consider dragging the US to war with iran iraq ..for our lil bf/sidekick israel?”

        No, I do not. I think they support policies that they believe are in America’s best interest.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        May 28, 2013, 2:38 pm

        It’s not in America’s interest to get into another ME war.

        It is in Israel’s interest to get into a war with Iran and Israel and it’s Jewish American Zionist/Israel-Firsters Lobby are trying to drag us into a war with Iran.

        And wealthy/powerful Washington insiders who are Jewish American Zionists are not ‘benign’ at all. They are war-mongers and hate-mongers (ADL, AJC, SWU, Dersh, Sheldon Adelson, etc.)

        And you’re a member of those racist Jewish supremacist organizations.

        The ADL and the rest of those organizations could go totally bankrupt and become politically irrelevant and no American would give a **** except Zionist Jews.

      • annie
        annie
        May 28, 2013, 2:41 pm

        Noam Chomsky is an Israel supporter?

        Norman Finkelstein is an Israel supporter?

        neither of them would anyone regard as ” israel’s most staunch defenders ” and you know it. your hasbara tactics are glaringly obvious for all to see. can you even argue with a straight face? can you even address my words head on? or is distortion an imperative for you?

        on background i have not read this article produced by multiple If Americans Knew analysts. you’ve not cited even one sentence/quote from them thus far. not one. so i am not going to argue with you about what is “blatantly and obviously anti semitic” until you produce a blockquote with a statement in it’s context from the referenced text including the complete paragraph you’re referencing.

        and the reason for that is because, quite unfortunately, hasbarists (such as yourself) have watered down the meaning of anti semitism thru the decades by slinging it around like it has no significance outside your/their usefulness as a weapon. not that different than weiner&co supervisors conjuring “the jewish community” to fight off accusations of israel being an apartheid state, which we all know it is.

        They’re as benign as anyone else involved in politics is.

        actually out here in the real world money opens doors. that’s where the term ‘money talks’ comes from. sometimes, but often times not, power comes from access to money. so when referencing powerful people, how you can imply they are as benign as anyone else involved in politics is beyond me. if that were the case they would not be referenced as “powerful”, which btw, was your phrasing for “washington insiders”.

        that is merely one example of ‘powerful’ but wrt to people like adelson, it’s relevant.

        so since it’s your phrasing, what exactly do you mean by “powerful Jewish Americans”? who are you referencing? because in my book, cecilie surasky is extremely powerful (have you ever heard her speak?!?!..she can open minds, the most powerful tool(along with truth) available to a person) and i wouldn’t categorize her as “benign as anyone else involved in politics”

        the problem with your ‘hasbrat logic’ is “washington insiders” is not synonymous with “powerful jewish americans”. and your argument is based on this ‘undoubtedly interpretation’ claim.

        yet you don’t even cite it. why?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        May 28, 2013, 3:04 pm

        “neither of them would anyone regard as ” israel’s most staunch defenders ” ”

        My point is that neither one supports the Israel-Lobby-Caused-Iraq conspiracy theory.

        “until you produce a blockquote with a statement in it’s context from the referenced text including the complete paragraph you’re referencing. ”

        “And if, as many experts believe, the US would not have invaded Iraq without intense and sustained pressure from Washington insiders who advocate actively on behalf of Israel,[27] this adds yet another dimension of staggering cost to the equation: “hundreds of billions of dollars, 4,000-plus U.S. and allied fatalities, untold tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths, and many thousands of other US, allied, and Iraqi casualties,” according to retired US foreign service officer Shirl McArthur.[28]…

        “The Israel lobby and partisans are currently gunning for a war with Iran with the same zeal they showed in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[30] By all estimates, the costs of a war with Iran will be much higher than the Iraq war. In addition to the loss of life, analysts predict, for example, that if Iran’s oil production were taken out of the world market, gas prices would rise 25-70 percent.”

        It’s all the Israel lobby. Jewish-Americans are bad people who lead us to war, except for the few good ones who are on the left, you see.

        Stop with the disassembling. You know exactly what I’m saying, and your response smacks of a guilty conscience.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        May 28, 2013, 3:40 pm

        “It’s a fringe conspiracy theory, and not well-regarded, even on the left.”

        Not according to my 2002 newspaper files from Ha’aretz.

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        May 28, 2013, 4:03 pm

        hopni wites: “you mean It adopts the theory that the US invaded Iraq principally because of Israel?”
        It’s a fringe conspiracy theory, and not well-regarded, even on the left.

        Wrong. You should go back and read the Iraq chapter in M&W’s “The Lobby”. Especially check the references to that chapter. It lists an impressive number of editorials written by Israeli’s and the neocons urging war with Iraq in the previous 18 months to that war.

        I have met no one on the left that does not hold that book in high regard. There is a debate between the “it was all about oil” crowd and those who believe it was primarily about Israel. Oil cannot be dismissed as one of the issues, but it is clear to most that if Israel and the Lobby were not beating the drums of war and having established their agents in the Bush admin there never would have been that war.

        It is most definitely not antisemitic to make that argument. You really discredit yourself by bringing that up all the time.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        May 28, 2013, 6:25 pm

        hoppity
        ” a fringe conspiracy theory”! What a load of bollox! Who wrote the “Clean Break” policy document for Netanyahu’s first go-round at the helm in Israel? Why, it was those very same fellas who re-wrote it as “Project for a New American Century” and tried to flog it first to the Clinton admin, then successfully to the G W Bush admin, and look how that turned out!!

      • annie
        annie
        May 28, 2013, 6:27 pm

        My point is that neither one supports the Israel-Lobby-Caused-Iraq…theory.

        yeah, and i wasn’t even addressing that when i referenced “israel’s most staunch defenders attempt to discredit everything and everyone they don’t like”, you know who i am talking about…go look in the mirror. i’m talking about your crutches and the disingenuous cowardly way you argue.

        you think you’re a smooth operator but it’s all smoke and mirrors with you. if it was just a matter who “supports the Israel-Lobby-Caused-Iraq” theory we wouldn’t be talking. it’s not. it’s a bunch of ad hominem accusatory anti semitism crap. and now you declare even i think i’m guilty? seriously hops, this is no way to win an argument.

        and many experts DO believe, the US would not have invaded Iraq without intense and sustained pressure from Washington insiders who advocate actively on behalf of Israel!! that’s kind of a no brainer. really not that different than the sustained pressure to attack iran we’ve been so unfortunately afforded for a long long time.

        you don’t want to argue on merit, you’re just all about mudslinging. grow up.

      • annie
        annie
        May 28, 2013, 6:36 pm

        and what’s this crap:

        It’s all the Israel lobby. Jewish-Americans are bad people who lead us to war,

        go up and read cecilie’s text…. AGAIN.that is if you even read it once. and stop pushing this MYTH the israel lobby represents”jewish americans” because it doesn’t. it represents right wing extremist israel policies. 2 very different kettle of fish.

        Jewish-Americans come in all different stripes, right wing extremist israel policies..not so much!

        I’m not the only one who’s sick of gasbags conjuring ‘the Jewish community’ every time they want to shut down a conversation.

        that would be YOU.

      • Dutch
        Dutch
        May 28, 2013, 7:02 pm

        @ Hophmi
        “Blaming the Iraq War, a war that was supported by the majority of the American public when it was launched, on the “Israel lobby” is blatantly and obviously antisemitic (…)”

        Explanation, please. How does that work? You’re not just fiddling around a bit with that term, I hope?

      • Donald
        Donald
        May 28, 2013, 7:46 pm

        Hophmi, did you read the Jacob Heilbrunn piece linked at the Chas Freeman piece yesterday? Here’s what Heilbrunn said–

        “Furthermore, multiple efforts were made to get Israel to curb its settlement drive in the occupied territories of the West Bank. It was during the George H. W. Bush administration, and in the aftermath of the Gulf War, that the last serious attempt took place. It failed. Then with the George W. Bush administration, Israel was given a degree of American support that it had never previously enjoyed. This was the golden age of the Likud-neocon partnership. The credulous Bush came under the spell of the neocons, who dazzled him with a ready-made plan for action to triumph over terrorism. He now had a mission to pursue, and he pursued it with zeal.

        It is true that Bush was the first American president to call for the creation of a Palestinian state, but he voiced no criticisms of Israeli settlements and, indeed, may have embarked upon the Iraq War partly in the conviction—most notably championed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz—that the road to Middle East peace led through Baghdad, not the West Bank. Not until the end of his presidency did the sway of the neocons begin to abate.”

      • Djinn
        Djinn
        May 28, 2013, 7:59 pm

        Your figure is one you made up however just because Israel uses some of the largesse to buy weapons fron the USA doesn’t mean the cost to American taxpayers is lessened. Unless you are going to try and claim that Israel doesn’t want those weapons and only purchases them out of the goodness of their heart then your argument is utterly invalid.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        May 28, 2013, 9:41 pm
      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 28, 2013, 11:55 pm

        “74% of the aid is spent on US military equipment. So most of it comes right back to the US. ”

        How is that different from the US giving some aid as cash and some as weapons?

      • American
        American
        May 28, 2013, 1:00 am

        @ hoppie

        While I have seen some conspiracy theories on that site that imo verge on anti semitism —this report is not anti semitic.
        It’s factual and true, the evidence is there , own it….

        ”The answer is simple and summed up well by professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer in their ground-breaking article in the London Review of Books , “The Israel Lobby,”[35] and their book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy .[36]

        “Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state?” the article asks. “One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

        “Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby.’ Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country—in this case, Israel—are essentially identical.”[37]

        AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is consistently ranked in the top two most powerful lobbies in Washington.[38] And it is only one arm of the much larger, multi-faceted, and well-financed Israel lobby.[39]

        According to Congressman Jim Moran, “AIPAC is very well organized. The members are willing to be very generous with their personal wealth. But it’s a two edged sword. If you cross AIPAC, AIPAC is unforgiving and will destroy you politically. Their means of communications, their ties to certain newspapers and magazines, and individuals in the media are substantial and intimidating. Every [Congress] member knows it’s the best-organized national lobbying force.”[40]

        Senator Joseph Lieberman proudly stated, “Any attempt to pressure Israel, to force Israel to the negotiating table by denying Israel support, will not pass in Congress… Congress will act against any attempt to do that.”[41]

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        May 28, 2013, 4:39 pm

        Senator Joseph Lieberman proudly stated, “Any attempt to pressure Israel, to force Israel to the negotiating table by denying Israel support, will not pass in Congress… Congress will act against any attempt to do that.”[41]

        I wonder who they’ll get from the next generation to replace the old bigots like Lieberman and the Dersh. Does anyone 40 years younger share their rabid love for the country that is going off the rails?

      • pjdude
        pjdude
        May 28, 2013, 3:26 am

        I assume your referencing the article on the liberty? And what’s anti Semitic about calling a spade a spade?

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        May 28, 2013, 4:15 pm

        Nobody seems to be defending veteransnewsnow from Hophmi’s scurrilous attack. This is not an antisemitic outlet.

        I think he is trying to confuse us with veteranstoday, which most certainly is. I have not noticed that latter site being linked here at MW since moderation, but it is possible a few have slipped through.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        May 28, 2013, 4:28 pm

        I don’t even know what ‘veteranstoday’ is. Obviously a website, but never heard of it.

        Pathetic attempt at guilt-by-association.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        May 28, 2013, 6:09 pm

        @ hopmi,

        Your disrespect for US military personnel and their sacrifices is one thing, but it would be nice if one day you’ll learn how much damage you do to the way Judaism is perceived, simply because of members like yourself [who can’t seem to get through the day without uttering ‘antisemitism’ at least once]. Unfortunately you believe you’re actions/words protect the Jewish cause, while in reality they’re the ‘rot’ that will destroy it from within.

        But I’ve been preaching to this crowd for over 2 decades now and there isn’t a single insult I haven’t heard or act I’ve been accused of. Blame me, but never yourself. I can live with that.

        So many lines and not one single word addressing Pamela’s article. See, I can do that too. It ain’t that difficult.

        GTR5

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        May 28, 2013, 7:30 pm

        @ hopmi,

        Faces of some of the deceased military men and women you [seem to] despise.

        “When you’re drowning, don’t expect the sinking ship to be of any help.” – D.R.

  2. Blownaway
    Blownaway
    May 27, 2013, 5:45 pm

    Lets see Ehud barak and Olmert can say apartheid but San Franciscans can’t?

  3. American
    American
    May 27, 2013, 5:51 pm

    ‘Had someone called out the “Jewish community” (or at least its mainstream institutions and most vocal spokesmen) for its support and defence of apartheid, that would have been alienating – true, but alienating. If the “Jewish community” can’t take its political choices being challenged (even harshly), then it should stay out of politics”

    Exactly.

  4. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    May 27, 2013, 8:26 pm

    It’s a pity that we were unable to institute the billboard project in San Francisco that you had written about earlier, annie. It would have been perfect on 101 and 84. If more San Franciscans are educated on this, the less likely that the ilk that currently comprises the San Francisco Supervisors will ever be elected to those posts again.

  5. Taxi
    Taxi
    May 28, 2013, 12:49 am

    Who is the biggest whiner in the whole goddamn universe?

    I’ll give you guys one guess.

    I’m so sick of hearing about the feeeeeeelings of the ‘jewish community’ while their hands are busy polishing up israel’s jackboot!

  6. Denis
    Denis
    May 28, 2013, 11:38 am

    — sick of gasbags conjuring ‘the Jewish community’ —

    Never in my life have I seen a more perspicacious use of the word “conjuring.” Brilliant.

    If I may, I will add this to my list of “nuke ’em” phrases.

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