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Hillel director slams Birthright for refusing students’ requests to meet Palestinians and see checkpoints

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One of the highlights of the J Street conference was a panel on Birthright, the program that sends young American Jews to Israel for free, sponsored by rightwing Zionist Sheldon Adelson. The mood of the panel, whose title was “J Street U Presents: Unpacking Birthright,” was critical, typified by Harpo Jaeger of Brown University (at left above) who marveled at the fact that a fellow student on his trip did not know who was occupying who, the Palestinians or the Israelis.

“Loving Israel is a very hard concept for me, to be honest,” Jaeger said.

I was most moved by the comments of Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, second from the left, above. The Hillel director at Ohio University in Athens, Leshaw sends 30 students a year on Birthright; and she said that in the last few years, these students have changed. They are interested in “solidarity” with Palestinians, and the program is disserving them. “Birthright is doing wrong by our students,” she said, by refusing their requests to meet Palestinians and to see the separation wall and checkpoints. Leshaw said she has declined to be a Birthright guide because she disapproves of the program.

Here is her speech, on September 30. (I turned on the video camera a couple minutes in when I realized how powerful her words were).

I’ve been sending students on Birthright trips for ten years, averaging about 30 students per year. I’ve spent time looking at Len’s studies [Professor Leonard Saxe of Brandeis is sitting at her left, above, wearing dark jacket] and I’m grateful for them. And those students who I sent in my  early years on campus, those who I still keep in touch with, or follow on Facebook, fit very neatly into the findings of the studies: more likely partnering with Jewish partners, more likely to join Jewish communal opportunities, more likely to light Shabbat candles. Their lives are changed, their lives have more meaning due to Birthright.

In part, some of my students are experiencing these things because they’re from the Midwest. Many of the students have natural, deeply-engrained, culturally-expected leanings to earlier partnership and strong communal identity, remaining in their communities of origin, Cleveland for example.

It’s the more recent students that I’m seeing, however, without data yet to support this, the students we’ve sent in the past four years or so that are asking different questions than their predecessors…. So why are students now in the very recent years more interested in learning about Palestinians, more interested in solidarity with the Palestinian people, more interested than they were eight and ten years ago? I only have anecdotal evidence, but it’s absolutely happening. I do know that in my interviews with students that more and more are now asking questions that they never used to ask:

Will we be meeting with a Palestinian family? Will we travel into the West Bank? Can we see the separation wall? A checkpoint?

Yes, students want these experiences.

So I sit in my office, in southeastern Ohio, far away from many, many things and I wonder, Do the shifts, do the new questions, do the new expectations– what do they have to do with? Why? Something to do with the economic downturn in 2008, the Democrats’ return to the White House, the arrival of Twitter, the Arab Spring, the 1 percent? How does their millennial experience inform how they see the Palestinians?

To all of their questions, Will we meet with Palestinians or  see the separation wall or spend time in the West Bank, I shake my head and say, No. No not this trip. But I’ll help you build your next trip, or I’ll help you extend your trip, and together we’ll figure out how to make your mission and vision for your time in Israel line up with your values.

I long for the day when I’ll get to say Yes to their questions. I often tell students that there are six things that they are mandated to see when they are on a Birthright trip. This should be a quiz for everybody. Everybody has to see a Jewish historical site, a Zionist history museum, a Holocaust remembrance site, a state national site, an arts and culture event, and of course the Western Wall.

Certainly a contemporary artist would tell us that the separation barrier, our new wall, is perhaps an arts and culture event, as it has become  a place for progressive and radical street art. Or perhaps a contemporary historian could make the claim that the separation barrier is already a Jewish historical site. It is in some ways a monument that pays tribute to a particular time period and to particular events.  It is also somewhat permanent, not easily removable. I bring this up because our Birthright tours aren’t telling the contemporary narrative of the Jewish people. And shame on us for not telling the story. And for not meeting Palestinian people and for not hearing their narrative in the context of our own.

I feel that Birthright is doing wrong by our students.

I often see myself as simply the gatekeeper, the interviewer, the person that sits with pen in hand and checks boxes about if and when a student went to Jewish day school, or became b’nai mitzvah, or has any food allergies or physical limitations that would prevent him or her from walking up or, worse, down Masada.

I make notes on different sheets of paper if a student has inquired about the Palestinian people or the conflict in general. If they’ve asked more than just questions about what they’ll be eating or whether they’ll get to meet extended family while on this trip.

Which brings us to the question about mission and vision for Birthright. There is no concern that the students aren’t having an amazing time, and don’t fall in love with all sorts of people and things and their own Jewishness. This is an absolute constant. But there’s a new tug on the heartstrings of the young people. I say again that I only know this anecdotally. But this is also my own empirical truth as a Hillel director in the field now for 12 years. Something is missing. We owe it to them and I see it as my birthright to help them ask and answer the questions they’re now articulating, this new generation.

My students ask me if I’m joining them on their Birthright trip and I tell them No. What I don’t say is that I don’t want to go on a Birthright trip in its current incarnation. Yet I’m one of the most qualified in the Hillel field to actually lead a trip– introduce the hard stuff, talk with passion and truth and knowledge about the current crisis. In fact I do have these conversations every summer when I spend five weeks leading a study abroad trip to Tel Aviv University. One day a dream that I have is to be part of the team that observes, assesses and completely reimagines the next ten years of Birthright. Trips that involve both Israeli and Palestinian people, trips that focus on the crisis, trips with qualified staff, trips with mandated pre-trip educational expectations and post-trip educational expectations. It’s time to refuse most– not all, but most– of the trips that have no pre- or post-contact with their participants.  This is absolutely irresponsible.

If we can’t unpack it together and help them grow in their new Israel relationship, then it likely won’t happen, it will not flourish, and it will not develop. We need a smarter Birthright. A Birthright that recognizes that students can hold the tension, that they can hold the crisis, that they are mature enough and bright enough to understand that this is theirs to own.

We talk about love, we talk about connection, we talk about Birthright as a first date– and we need to move beyond this language. Birthright can and should be something with greater depth, clarity and meaning.

Over and over again the assumption is made that young people won’t love Israel if they have a true understanding of the political landscape. We say all too often, that students need to ease into it, we have to be careful, not too much all at once. We don’t want anyone deciding that they don’t love Israel. Well again, shame on us.

Let’s give our young people the opportunity to be smart, unpack it all and fall in love because of the complexity of the situation. Birthright is not a smart enough trip for our incredibly smart students.

And further we need to stop assuming that they are not interested in the situation. We’re really good at telling ourselves that young people want to see the cultural landscape not the political landscape. We tell ourselves that students aren’t interested in politics. Yet 900 students are here at this conference, and hundreds more go to AIPAC. Students are interested in politics. And they’re interested in Palestine.

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

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75 Responses

  1. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    October 2, 2013, 11:00 am

    If Birthright were to heed Ms. Leshaw’s advice, it would only make the program more effective at strengthening the kids’ commitment to Zionism. They would obviously find (or create) a nicely landscaped piece of the Wall and a modern, smoothly functioning (at least for that moment) checkpoint, then take them to a slick coffee shop or nightclub in Ramallah and introduce them to some thoroughly “domesticated,” carefully vetted Palestinian(s) – probably some high-tech startup types – preaching peace and love and commitment to the “peace process.”

    I just hope the Birthright honchos remain too blinded by their own fanaticism and racism to see how much they’d have to gain by listening to this rabbi.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      October 2, 2013, 1:27 pm

      That’s right that they could find some loyal oppositionists. I think they do not want to get the ball rolling though. It basically gets the ball rolling. You could have an 18 year old who talks to the Uncle Tom, and Uncle Tom would say something like ‘I used to have a cabin, but now I love massa’s shack.’ And the 18 year old could ask ‘What do you mean you had a cabin? What happened to it?’

      Basically that would be a hole in the dike because it would validate that actually another story exists.

      • philweiss
        philweiss
        October 2, 2013, 1:29 pm

        when the dike goes it goes, I’ve observed

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        October 2, 2013, 2:22 pm

        Henry there certainly would be manipulation (its a propaganda tour) but you seem to make and W Jones runs with the assumption that Palestinians preaching love and peace in slick coffee shops and nightclubs and start-ups are not authentic enough natives (or necessarily “Uncle Toms”PS a much maligned image of (often) subverts “putting on ol massa.”

      • tree
        tree
        October 2, 2013, 6:13 pm

        tbk, Henry talks about “carefully vetted” Palestinians. In other words, Birthright, being the propaganda organ it is, would likely nix meeting any peace loving Palestinian, in a coffee shop or otherwise, unless they were willing to go along with the “proper” propaganda outlook that Birthright seeks to sell . No one is assuming that “peace and love” Palestinians are not authentic. The assumption is that Birthright has no interest in authentic Palestinians, whatever their viewpoint. Given Birthright’s outlook and mission, it is an entirely reasonable assumption.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        October 4, 2013, 9:35 am

        Tree’s view is where I am coming from.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 2, 2013, 11:11 am

    It must be weird for Jews from Ohio who grow up with a sense of being from a small minority with all that goes with it in terms of sensitivity to injustice to land in Israel where the boundaries of Jewish cruelty, arrogance and the abuse of power are continually being stretched. Imagine thinking you were sensitive and a genie offering you the opportunity to turn into an IDF bastard for the sake of your ‘identity’.

  3. Ellen
    Ellen
    October 2, 2013, 11:12 am

    I feel that Birthright is doing wrong by our students. So why does Rabbi Danielle Leshaw continue to send students on the “Birthright” propaganda and brainwashing trip?

    The Zio community tribal group dynamics change-your-life love fest can be done in Ohio.

    Better, yet, maybe she would send those kids from Cleveland on a trip of true cultural exposure and exchange to learn about themselves, instead of a Zionist camping trip.

    • German Lefty
      German Lefty
      October 2, 2013, 1:18 pm

      So why does Rabbi Danielle Leshaw continue to send students on the “Birthright” propaganda and brainwashing trip?

      Exactly! This was one of my first questions, too.

      • Dutch
        Dutch
        October 2, 2013, 5:44 pm

        @ Ellen, German Lefty,

        She’s on her way, obviously. And in the mean time, she’s doing fine inside her community with talks like this. Even though we might think it’s not good enough.

    • Xpat
      Xpat
      October 2, 2013, 5:44 pm

      I often see myself as simply the gatekeeper, the interviewer, the person that sits with pen in hand and checks boxes

      That’s exactly what she is. Why doesn’t she just refuse to vet young Jews for Birthright until they fix the program? She still values the Birthright program of building American Jewish (religious!) identity on the foundation of Holocaust and the State of Israel.

      • tree
        tree
        October 2, 2013, 6:21 pm

        She still values the Birthright program of building American Jewish (religious!) identity on the foundation of Holocaust and the State of Israel.
        Why are some American Jews so insecure about their own identity that they have to base it on the actions of a state that the vast majority will never live in? Why do they feel the need to “pretty it up”, or believe in fantasies about it, in order to feel good about themselves? Why are so many of them buying this crap?

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        October 2, 2013, 7:37 pm

        Israelis scorn non-Israeli (“diaspora”) Jews for being “galootee” – cowed, meek, old world Jewish. American Jews have internalized this atitude. (I almost fell off my chair when I heard an American Jew describe the Israeli accent in Hebrew as “sexy”). American Jews tell self-deprecating jokes about not being athletic, having two left hands and so on. Unlike the New Hebrew Man who is masculinity personified. The Middle Eastern sun makes his muscles and his spirit strong.
        The cliches are pathetic and predictable. What a way to create an identity.

      • Danaa
        Danaa
        October 2, 2013, 8:17 pm

        Aren’t you right, Elliot. American jews are considered effete, pale, physically cowardly, sort of dorky and generally not very handsome. Basically, they wear bermuda shorts, which is all the speedo wearers need to know to put them somewhere on the lower rungs of the hierarchy. American jewish girls is a somewhat different story – they do get some respect, though are generally suspected to be lesbians – or just severely neurotic – if they fail to jump into bed with any one of the above speedo-wearing types – at a drop of hat. The begrudging respect comes IMO from healthy appreciation of what trust funds can do for you. For the average israeli male a trust fund would be something like magic, and many a jewish American princess is reputed to have access to those secret doors. Some might even consider waiting for the second date – the sacrifice!

        If ever some of these Birthright types could understand what the talk is about them in that “other” language, they’d shrink and wilt in an instant. That would be kind of fun to see – in a crazy reality show kind of way?

        That being said, someone like Phil, with a popular blog, and followers galore, WILL get some respect, a touch of American jewish dorkiness and bermuda shorts be damned. Popularity, in israel is, after all, the ultimate Jewish value, even above material goods.

        If only, if only, I could get Max Blumenthal could do a some proper interviews!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 2, 2013, 9:53 pm

        “Galootee” sounds like galoshes for babies.

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        October 3, 2013, 9:11 am

        Danaa – LOL!
        It is safe to assume that the steamy, late night part of the Birthright program was not covered by the rabbi. Hooking up that is tacitly approved by one’s parents? Cool!
        It’s not just among the participants of Birthright. There used to be a well-used, distasteful Jewish quip: “shiksehs (derogatory Yiddish term for ‘non-Jewish women’) are for practice” i.e. young Jewish men should satisfy their sexual needs outside the Jewish community. For Israeli men, it helped that non-Jewish European blondes were flocking to the kibbutzim. Plenty to choose from. Now that Israel is no longer popular and kibbutzim are museum pieces, the American Jewish community has stepped in to fill that need. They send over planeloads of young Jewish women to serve that function. Two Jews having sex is increasingly desirable in our increasingly intermarried world. Israelis are good for that.
        And the function of “The Holocaust” and “Zionist History” is to make those Birthright unions that much more meaningful and pleasurable.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 3, 2013, 10:43 am

        Very good question, Tree.
        And how is it that nobody else in the US appears to need an insurance country ?

      • Keith
        Keith
        October 3, 2013, 6:20 pm

        DANAA- “American jews are considered effete, pale, physically cowardly, sort of dorky and generally not very handsome.”

        Phil’s trips to Israel HAVE had an impact!

        But seriously, how could I resist the temptation to once again post the link to “Israel Man and Diaspora Boy”?
        http://www.evcomics.com/2008/05/29/israel-man-and-diaspora-boy/

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        October 3, 2013, 7:46 pm

        Keith – Thank you for posting that. Hilarious.
        Warning: Zionists may be offended.

  4. Balfour
    Balfour
    October 2, 2013, 11:22 am

    Perhaps Rabbi Leshaw can tell her students about Birthright Unplugged (www.birthrightunplugged.org) an organization dedicated to organizing educational trips to the Occupied Territorities and educating participants to the institutional
    tools used by the Israeli government to carry out the occupation.

  5. eljay
    eljay
    October 2, 2013, 11:37 am

    >> “Loving Israel is a very hard concept for me, to be honest,” Jaeger said.

    So don’t bother with it. Love something that’s worth loving.

    >> We need a smarter Birthright. A Birthright that recognizes that students … are mature enough and bright enough to understand that this is theirs to own.

    What you need is a Birthright that recognizes that Israel:
    – is not the homeland of citizens of nations around the world who happen to be Jewish;
    – is an oppressive, colonalist, expansionist and supremacist state;
    – was born of terrorism and ethnic cleansing;
    – has been maintained and expanded by means of a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
    – refuses to honour its obligations under international law;
    – refuses to be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes; and
    – refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    Is Birthright – and are its students – mature enough and bright enough to understand that and to own that?

  6. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    October 2, 2013, 11:37 am

    Hey there, Mr Palestinian man, I’m from Columbus Ohio, never heard of it? Oh, well I’m on my “Birthright” trip – yea, that’s right, this land, and yours belongs to me – I’m wondering if you’d like to “dialogue” with me about how “we” can better share this land, that belongs to me, but that you currently reside in, so I can feel better about myself when I gaze into my navel back in Columbus Ohio. Can you tell me a little about yourself? Sorry for sounding like I’m on a anthropological study in the Amazon River Basin, do you know what anthropology even is, you crazy heathen you!?!

    F this Lady

    • yrn
      yrn
      October 2, 2013, 1:39 pm

      Dan Crowler

      You missed the highlight of Mr. Wiess.
      When they meet a young Palestinian they should ask him.
      Are you ready to Die for Palestine.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        October 2, 2013, 2:43 pm

        Yrn, you have commented on this website for more than two years. Therefore, you should know that Phil’s surname is Weiss, not Wiess.
        Also, it’s Crowther, not Crowler.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 2, 2013, 2:54 pm

        >> German Lefty @ October 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        What can you expect from a Zio-supremacist whose purpose is dis-/mis-information?

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        October 2, 2013, 3:21 pm

        What can you expect from a Zio-supremacist whose purpose is dis-/mis-information?

        Apparently, I overestimated him. I assumed that at least he would be able to get the names right. However, I should have known that the Zionists are too dumb for this too, because they believe that Rouhani’s actual name is “Hitler 2.0”.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      October 2, 2013, 5:19 pm

      Good one, Dan. But more zoo visit than anthropology study, what with the walls and wire and cages.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      October 2, 2013, 6:15 pm

      And not to dwell on this too much, but the name Birthright would have to be changed. It’s hard to have an honest conversation when that conversation starts with, ” I’m Jewish, here on a BIRTHRIGHT tour, and would like to meet some Palestinians.” Seems like an extended awkward pause generator.

      It’s hard to imagine that criticism (in the context of meeting more Palestinians) of the Birthright program could be meaningful without starting with a name change.

      • Xpat
        Xpat
        October 3, 2013, 7:38 am

        @ ritzl
        On a related but different note, how do the Birthright people justify including converts to Judaism on these trips to The Homeland. Rabbi Danielle should exclude those born outside the tribe on the grounds that they have no “birthright”.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 3, 2013, 8:30 am

        >> … how do the Birthright people justify including converts to Judaism on these trips to The Homeland.

        What’s to justify? When you can sell individuals on the idea that they are entitled to steal, occupy and colonize as a “homeland” territory that never was and is not either their home or their land – simply because they share what is a religiously-based identity – all bets are off.

    • Nab
      Nab
      October 3, 2013, 2:19 am

      Reminds me when I was crossing into Palestine with my family from the Jordan side, going through Israeli security a little over a year ago.
      The border officer stops my sister and asks her how many phones she has in her purse, berating and screaming at her to show him what’s inside, with a distinctly American accent. As he was shouting orders at her after passing the x-ray, he was having a side conversation with another officer, and it went something along these lines:
      “Yea man I just got here a few months ago from California, first time actually, gonna do this for a while and then head back there in a year or so”.. “I said OPEN your purse! Why do you have 2 phones in there?!”..”yea as I was saying man, maybe a year, maybe more”.

      Never disappoints, this trip.

      Understanding fully well that the reasons this man is there differ quite distinctly from these students she’s talking about; I can’t help thinking that a loaded gun is still a loaded gun, and giving guns indiscriminately on the basis of religion will make little men/women feel big. Entitlement is never a healthy basis for a bond between people and country, even if your concern is only that bond and not those it helps oppress.

  7. eGuard
    eGuard
    October 2, 2013, 12:08 pm

    Rabbi Danielle Leshaw: I make notes on different sheets of paper if a student has inquired about the Palestinian people

    So they are noted for asking questions. On a different paper. How generous of her not to tell that to the Birthrighters (I assume). The J-NSA.

  8. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 2, 2013, 12:23 pm

    It’s good to hear voices like these standing up for decency . Zionism is such a parody of Judaism. Thuggery is glorified and torture is par for the course.
    Thinking Jews need to take back control of the debate. The thugs have been running the show for far too long.

    That which is not designed to last will not last.

  9. German Lefty
    German Lefty
    October 2, 2013, 1:08 pm

    a fellow student on his trip did not know who was occupying who, the Palestinians or the Israelis.
    Please stop using the terms “Palestinians” and “Israelis” as if they were mutually exclusive. 20% of Israelis are Palestinians. Therefore, THE Israelis aren’t occupying anyone. Only the Zionist Israelis are the occupiers.

    I was most moved by the comments of Rabbi Danielle Leshaw
    Seriously? WTF is wrong with you? Have you become a Zionist or what? How on earth can you like this speech? It’s full of Zionist crap.

    more likely partnering with Jewish partners, more likely to join Jewish communal opportunities, more likely to light Shabbat candles. Their lives are changed, their lives have more meaning due to Birthright.
    Okay, I get it. Having a non-Jewish partner, hanging out with non-Jews, and using electric light makes your life less meaningful. How does the proverb go? Pride comes before a fall.
    Phil, this rabbi thinks that your non-Jewish wife makes your life less meaningful. Don’t you have a problem with that opinion?

    I bring this up because our Birthright tours aren’t telling the contemporary narrative of the Jewish people. And shame on us for not telling the story. And for not meeting Palestinian people and for not hearing their narrative in the context of our own.
    Well, what does she expect from a trip that is called “Birthright”? A land without a people for a people without a land.

    Over and over again the assumption is made that young people won’t love Israel if they have a true understanding of the political landscape.
    Um, that assumption is totally correct. Clearly, the rabbi is totally deluded.

    Let’s give our young people the opportunity to be smart, unpack it all and fall in love because of the complexity of the situation.
    Yeah, right! The situation is sooo complex, isn’t it? That’s what the Zionists always say.

    • libra
      libra
      October 2, 2013, 6:14 pm

      GL: Please stop using the terms “Palestinians” and “Israelis” as if they were mutually exclusive.

      Poor Phil. For all his faults one would have thought that people would at least recognise his skill as a writer, someone with a natural facility with the English language.

      But no, far from it. Instead, Phil has to sit like a naughty boy in kindergarten whilst first an unbelievably self-righteous and petty-minded American woman lectures him for mentioning, of all things, a woman was wearing a dress.

      Now we have a mind-numbingly pedantic German woman berating him for not describing in the most boring detail the complex Venn diagram that represents the Israeli population – no matter what that might do to the natural flow of Phil’s finely turned prose.

      I fear he will soon put his pen down in despair. Then we’ll have to put up with that bonkers British woman crowing about the so called ‘writer’ Phil Weiss. A bleak prospect indeed.

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        October 2, 2013, 10:16 pm

        I fear he will soon put his pen down in despair. Then we’ll have to put up with that bonkers British woman crowing about the so called ‘writer’ Phil Weiss. A bleak prospect indeed.

        Your weird misplaced admiration for bouffant haired narcissist Philly Weiss and his double standards- is really quite unfathomable..

        Your should read about the havoc that has befallen North Africa since the catastrophic NATO assault on Libya.

        http://brendanoneill.co.uk/post/41217124950/how-cameron-created-the-chaos-in-north-africa

        All of which consequences have been steadfastly ignored by the poseur Phil Weiss.

        Here is Philly crowing about NATO intervention in Libya;

        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/08/exulting-over-libya.html

        And here is Philly Weiss pronouncing sanctimoniously ;

        As if war is the way you engage positively in the world.

        Were we? I remember that we called ourselves peaceniks, and antiwar.

        So Philip Weiss has conveniently forgotten his war mongering over Libya.

        If anyone is truly bonkers it is Philip Weiss.

        BTW he REALLY is no ‘leftist’

      • libra
        libra
        October 3, 2013, 5:02 pm

        miriam: BTW he REALLY is no ‘leftist’

        I’ve always seen Phil as more liberal than ‘leftist’. And by liberal I mean a traditional New York liberal in his limousine. And what’s wrong with that?

        But since the limousine and chauffeur sadly had to go and Phil moved upstate, I’m sure he’s been drifting in an entirely different direction. Indeed, I imagine him now driving down to the bowling alley in his own pickup, complete with gun rack, beer cooler, Ron Paul sticker, the whole nine yards.

        But how on earth he manages to squeeze all that bouffant hair under his baseball cap, I simply can’t conceive.

      • Keith
        Keith
        October 3, 2013, 6:41 pm

        MIRIAM6- “Your weird misplaced admiration for bouffant haired narcissist Philly Weiss….”

        I object, Phil is no more narcissistic than I am! Okay, maybe you have a point, but “bouffant haired”?

      • Keith
        Keith
        October 3, 2013, 6:42 pm

        LIBRA- “But how on earth he manages to squeeze all that bouffant hair under his baseball cap, I simply can’t conceive.”

        Ever heard of an Obamahair net?

      • just
        just
        October 3, 2013, 8:58 pm

        miriam– Do you exert much energy in trying to be one of the most vapid and verbose ‘contributors’ here?

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        October 3, 2013, 9:51 pm

        [email protected];

        Do you exert much energy in trying to be one of the most vapid and verbose ‘contributors’ here?

        No – but apparently you do.

        What exactly is vapid about drawing attention to the hypocrisy of a person like Philip Weiss who claims he is a peacenik whilst simultaneously supporting NATO aggression on Libya?

        Why don’t you try reading the links about the disastrous destabilising effects of NATO’s aggression against Libya – that I put in my comment.

      • annie
        annie
        October 3, 2013, 10:38 pm

        phil doesn’t claim to be a peacenik. and why are you diverting the topic to libya?

        i think just is correct. try not constantly having to be the center of attention.

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        October 4, 2013, 1:34 pm

        [email protected] [email protected];

        I’ve always seen Phil as more liberal than ‘leftist’. And by liberal I mean a traditional New York liberal in his limousine. And what’s wrong with that?

        So in other words- no lunch pail for Weiss!
        Phil Weiss is what we in Blighty ( Britain ) call a ‘champagne socialist’!
        See dictionary definition of ‘ champagne socialist right here;
        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Champagne%20Socialist

        The really important question though is whether or not Phil can now afford several BIG bars of soap or not..

        Out of soap

        I’m at that point where I’ve run through all the real bars of soap in the house and I’m down to scrounging hotel bars, usually round mintlike non-bar bars of soap. I dream about the day when I will go out and get a big package of say, a dozen Ivory soaps, and I will be able to take a real shower again with an appropriately-sized bar, something that fits my hand and my body.
        When will that day come?
        To be continued.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2006/03/out_of_soap.html

        The whole idea that seven and a half years ago – Phil Weiss had nothing better to write about on MW than his heartfelt aspirations to shower with bigger bar of soap in his hand is just too funny.

      • talknic
        talknic
        October 4, 2013, 2:39 pm

        miriam6 “The whole idea that seven and a half years ago – Phil Weiss had nothing better to write about on MW than his heartfelt aspirations to shower with bigger bar of soap in his hand is just too funny”

        Goes to show how things have progressed. Today there are a lot of people unraveling the Hasbara by its frail loose threads http://wp.me/PDB7k-Y#ignorance

        If you think he’s so unimportant and impotent…what’re you doing here?

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        October 4, 2013, 2:51 pm

        [email protected];
        Way to go to advertise your own blog site!
        I was just having a giggle whilst looking at Weiss’s earliest posts on MW – that’s all.
        All perfectly innocent fun I was having – till you came along with your chewing a lemon face on..
        I was merely observing that Weiss used to write with an amusing sense of irony is all..

        Do YOU ever like to laugh Talknic?
        I mean REALLY laugh – EVER?!
        Apart from bitter twisted laughter prompted by the claims of so called hasbarists that is?
        Why are you so averse to the idea of debate?
        Doesn’t MW advertise itself as a ‘war of ideas?’

      • talknic
        talknic
        October 4, 2013, 3:23 pm

        miriam6 “Way to go to advertise your own blog site!”

        Reliable information is invaluable. Go ahead … refute something it contains

        “I was just having a giggle whilst looking at Weiss’s earliest posts on MW – that’s all”

        Oozing Zionist sarcasm is easy to spot and doesn’t wipe off. Try something else

        “Do YOU ever like to laugh Talknic?”

        Sure. Relevance ?

        “Apart from bitter twisted laughter prompted by the claims of so called hasbarists that is?”

        Having pity on people who spout obvious nonsense in defense of a state that illegally dispossesses people is not a laughing matter.

        “Why are you so averse to the idea of debate?”

        Uh? You’re not offering any debate you’re off topic

        “Doesn’t MW advertise itself as a ‘war of ideas?’”

        Yes. Got any you can debate without repeating Hasbara nonsense?

      • libra
        libra
        October 4, 2013, 3:44 pm

        Good lord miriam, I knew the champagne ran out a long time ago for Phil but I had no idea about the soap. We can only hope that in the next instalment the shampoo bottle doesn’t run out too. The thought of Phil telling us with searing self-honesty how his hair has lost its bouffant bounce would be too much to bear.

        Because, let’s face it, that’s the key difference between Phil’s writing, even when about soap, and your outpourings of concern for Libyans, Rwandans, even Palestinians. Honesty.

      • talknic
        talknic
        October 5, 2013, 2:16 pm

        http://talknic.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/waiting_for_the_israeli_propagandist.gif I guess there isn’t anything miriam6 can debate without repeating Hasbara nonsense …

      • miriam6
        miriam6
        October 6, 2013, 3:20 pm

        [email protected];

        Because, let’s face it, that’s the key difference between Phil’s writing, even when about soap, and your outpourings of concern for Libyans, Rwandans, even Palestinians. Honesty.

        Honesty? Really ?- don’t make me laugh..

        Phil supported the NATO aggression against Libya which makes him a war-monger.
        Is there any such thing as an honest war-monger ? I think not.

        Curiously you left out Iraq.. I guess that was guilt on your part. After all the reason Iraq is suffering it’s decade long sectarian bloodbath is all down to you Americans- therefore you probably thought it best not to mention Iraq – nor mention the 979 mostly Iraqi civilians who have perished in the month of September ALONE this year as a result of the terrorism unleashed by America’s intervention ten years ago..

        On the subject of dishonesty – Mondo Weiss’s Adam Horowitz gleefully posted this article on Mondoweiss ;
        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/10/following-poll-on-israeli-support-for-apartheid-gideon-levy-says-making-peace-would-be-an-almost-anti-democratic-act.html
        in which Adam Horowitz repeated Gideon Levy’s false claim in Haaretz that poll findings showed Israeli public support for apartheid.
        However – when it became clear that Gideon Levy had in fact distorted the poll findings to suggest that Israelis supported apartheid – Haaretz was forced to print this retraction of Levy’s erroneous interpretation of the poll findings ;
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/survey-most-israeli-jews-wouldn-t-give-palestinians-vote-if-west-bank-was-annexed.premium-1.471644
        Predictably Mondoweiss did not bother to follow Haaretz in admitting that Levy had got it wrong.

        Then there was Alex Kane two months ago claiming a new poll showed that 63% of Israelis were steadfastly opposed to a West Bank pull-out even one where Israel got to hold onto settlements Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim.
        Kane failed to notice that the question of a OPT pull-out and holding on to the 2 settlements in the poll were two separate questions until I pointed it out.

        link to peaceindex.org (Edited since I first misread it)

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/08/do-israelis-want-a-real-palestinian-state-the-polls-say-no.html/comment-page-1#comment-582573

        Then there was this piece ;
        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/contraceptive-injections-ethiopian.html/comment-page-1#comment-534379

        in Phil Weiss which failed to make clear that the long lasting Depo Provera contraceptive jab was only effective for THREE months- hardly a programme of Nazi style genetics as referred to be various commenters on the same thread ;
        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/contraceptive-injections-ethiopian.html/comment-page-1#comment-534379

        So all in all – so much for honesty as practised by MW and it’s commenters.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        October 3, 2013, 8:30 am

        Now we have a mind-numbingly pedantic German woman berating him
        It’s too bad that you can’t appreciate accuracy. Are you a Zionist? Or why do you find it acceptable to ignore the existence of Palestinian Israelis? Besides, does the phrase “Please stop using […]” sound like berating?

        I fear he will soon put his pen down in despair.
        Well, putting the pen down makes typing easier. You know, the content of this website is NOT handwritten.

      • libra
        libra
        October 4, 2013, 4:18 pm

        GL: It’s too bad that you can’t appreciate accuracy.

        Whenever I go down to the Volkswagen dealership, I look at the panel fit on ‘Das Auto’ and say “thank goodness for German accuracy”.

        Are you a Zionist?

        Whenever a Zionist goes down to the dockyard, he looks at the panel fit on ‘der Delfin’, and says “thank goodness for German accuracy”.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        October 5, 2013, 5:45 am

        Whenever a Zionist goes down to the dockyard, he looks at the panel fit on ‘der Delfin’, and says “thank goodness for German accuracy”.

        You know full well that these sales (partial presents) happen against the will of the German people. Holding something against me that is not my fault is very mean.
        Besides, the Zionists only get Western support because of pretending and blackmailing. They are liars and cheaters. That’s what I meant when I wrote that they don’t appreciate accuracy. You still haven’t answered my question yet. Why do you find it acceptable to ignore the existence of Palestinian Israelis?

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      October 2, 2013, 7:21 pm

      I agree with you re the “meaningful” bit. When she said that, I thought: I didn’t make those choices and I think my life has meaning, too.
      But can you open your heart at all to someone who is struggling from inside a narrow paradigm?
      Because we all know: Zionism cannot survive a real engagement with Palestinians.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 3, 2013, 12:19 am

        Phil- Has Beinart engaged in a real engagement with Palestinians. It seems that he has not, or otherwise his Zionism would not have survived. Is there not one Zionist who has engaged in a real engagement with Palestinians? According to you, it is impossible.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 3, 2013, 8:21 am

        >> Is there not one Zionist who has engaged in a real engagement with Palestinians? According to you, it is impossible.

        Zio-supremacism is a powerful force of hatefulness and immorality. I think it is , unfortunately, quite possible for a supremacist Jew to “engage in a real engagement” with Palestinians and to retain his sense of self-righteousness, entitlement and supremacism.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        October 3, 2013, 11:19 am

        @ Phil
        Due to lack of knowledge, I first thought that two states for two peoples were a good solution to the conflict. Then, I discovered Mondoweiss. This website turned me into an anti-Zionist. Therefore, one can say that it’s YOUR “fault” that I am an anti-Zionist now. And suddenly you start writing these articles full of praise for so-called “liberal Zionists” and expect me to be sympathetic to these Zionists. That doesn’t go together at all. If you want me to sympathise with Zionists, then you shouldn’t have made me an anti-Zionist!
        Ms Leshaw clearly believes that Jews and Jewish culture are superior to non-Jews and non-Jewish culture. I can only feel pity and disgust for such pathetic, supremacist creatures.
        As an educated Jew, Ms Leshaw should know what Zionism is about and realise how much harm it does to Palestinians.

    • annie
      annie
      October 3, 2013, 7:22 pm

      Seriously? WTF is wrong with you? ……..Phil, this rabbi thinks that your non-Jewish wife makes your life less meaningful. Don’t you have a problem with that opinion?

      you don’t know that GL. you’re sounding unhinged. and incredibly rude. maybe it’s the vicodon i’m on since having my tooth pulled yesterday..but what’s wrong with you?

      I bring this up because our Birthright tours aren’t telling the contemporary narrative of the Jewish people. And shame on us for not telling the story. And for not meeting Palestinian people and for not hearing their narrative in the context of our own.

      this person is obviously deeply torn.she’s in the process of a personal transformation. she’s not my enemy. and she didn’t say phil’s wife made his life less meaningful.

      here is what she said

      And those students who I sent in my early years on campus, those who I still keep in touch with, or follow on Facebook, fit very neatly into the findings of the studies: more likely partnering with Jewish partners, more likely to join Jewish communal opportunities, more likely to light Shabbat candles. Their lives are changed, their lives have more meaning due to Birthright.

      In part, some of my students are experiencing these things because they’re from the Midwest.

      you’re extrapolating the worst meaning from her words.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        October 4, 2013, 5:59 am

        @ Annie
        you’re sounding unhinged. and incredibly rude.
        Oh, I am not unhinged. And I didn’t mean to be rude. It’s just that the man who turned me into an anti-Zionist has become an admirer of Zionists. This upsets me. It’s like he develops backwards.

        this person is obviously deeply torn.she’s in the process of a personal transformation. she’s not my enemy.
        As I said, this woman is an educated Jew. Therefore, she should not be torn. She should have made up her mind and sided with the Palestinians already. After I learnt about the Nakba, it took me roughly half a year to become an anti-Zionist. So, why on earth does she take so long? If I could figure out within a few months that Zionism is unjust, then why didn’t she figure it out, too? The only explanation I can come up with is that she already realised that Zionism is unjust but supports it nonetheless. And knowingly supporting injustice is more morally reprehensible than unknowingly supporting injustice.

        you’re extrapolating the worst meaning from her words.
        Yes, but I didn’t do that intentionally. That’s how I interpreted her words right away.

      • annie
        annie
        October 5, 2013, 5:43 am

        After I learnt about the Nakba, it took me roughly half a year to become an anti-Zionist. So, why on earth does she take so long? If I could figure out within a few months that Zionism is unjust, then why didn’t she figure it out, too?

        maybe because she was suckling holocaust from her mother’s breast from the time she was born. maybe she grew up learning all her relatives were exterminated and then fed lots of myths about israel after that. maybe you didn’t have any emotional attachment to israel or the nakba and it was easier for you to understand.

        this woman is an educated Jew. Therefore, she should not be torn.

        do you feel that way about all educated people, or just germans jews?

        …. I didn’t do that intentionally. That’s how I interpreted her words right away.

        how revealing.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        October 5, 2013, 10:37 am

        maybe she grew up learning all her relatives were exterminated and then fed lots of myths about israel after that.
        Annie, she didn’t experience Zionist indoctrination as a child. She wrote in an article: “I grew up learning about the Holocaust but don’t recall ever being taught about Israel. In fact, I barely knew that Israel even existed until I arrived at college and started to explore the larger Jewish landscape.”
        However, she writes about her own parenting: “It’s not just that we love Israel. It’s that we want our children to see this land as their home. We want our children to grow up feeling this land is an extension of themselves.”
        http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/114347/explaining-the-occupation

        maybe you didn’t have any emotional attachment to israel or the nakba and it was easier for you to understand.
        Yes, that’s true. However, Ms Leshaw is not an Israeli. She is a US citizen. I am a German citizen. Therefore, Israel is a foreign country to both of us. As German, I have an emotional reaction to Israel’s misuse of the Holocaust. And I would think that she as a Jew has this, too.

        do you feel that way about all educated people, or just jews?
        I mentioned her Jewishness because as a Jew she is much more likely to hear, learn and bother about Israel than a non-Jew is. Israel commits crimes in the name of the Jews, NOT in the name of non-Jews. If there were a foreign country that committed crimes in MY name, then I would NOT be torn. I would take a firm stand against it. Also, an educated adult should not fall for Zionist propaganda, particularly now that there’s the Internet.

        how revealing.
        What do you mean by that? Phil stated in his response that he had the same thoughts as me when he heard Ms Leshaw’s words. Also, you have to consider that her statements sounded prepared, not spontaneous. Therefore, her phrasing was intentional. I think that she should have chosen her words more carefully if she had wanted to avoid misunderstandings.

      • annie
        annie
        October 6, 2013, 3:46 pm

        Phil stated in his response that he had the same thoughts as me when he heard Ms Leshaw’s words.

        well, obviously phil didn’t come to the same conclusion. he didn’t say this woman is an educated Jew. Therefore, she should not be torn., he recognizes she is torn and asked you about opening your heart. he probably didn’t have to open his cuz it’s already open.

      • German Lefty
        German Lefty
        October 6, 2013, 4:09 pm

        obviously phil didn’t come to the same conclusion.
        Annie, don’t twist my words. I only said that Phil had the same thought about her comment that Jews and Jewish culture make one’s life more meaningful. Obviously, his reaction to her entire speech is very different from mine.
        Instead of telling me to open my heart to Zionists, you should tell the Zionists to open their hearts to Palestinians. I really don’t understand why you defend a person who thinks that stealing 78% of Palestinian land is totally justified. Annie, I like you, but some of your views are really strange.

  10. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    October 2, 2013, 1:34 pm

    “Will we be meeting with a Palestinian family? Will we travel into the West Bank? Can we see the separation wall? A checkpoint?”

    “I long for the day when I’ll get to say Yes to their questions.”

    Unlikely. From the racist name on down, Birthright is about propagandizing the participants with a fantasy. Meeting the real owners of the land, going to where the crimes are occurring, seeing the apartheid wall, seeing the daily subjugation and oppression of the Palestinians would destroy the propaganda message.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      October 2, 2013, 3:23 pm

      Birthright is such an obnoxious name. It encapsulates the Jim Crow essence of Zionism. ” You are jewish and it is yours. [email protected]#$ the so called Palestinians. ”

      But even the best laid plans.. sorry guys but this birthright turned into a failed social experiment in the meantime. Please ignore the African concentration camp over there. And all of these indoctrinated racist provincials are your new family !!!

  11. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    October 2, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Basically JStreet considers defines itself as a pro-Israel organization. What you are telling me from the fact that so many people at the conference wanted Palestinians’ Right of Return is that the organization is not a mirror of its membership. The organization is not going to take a position that will drastically change things. Otherwise it would be a different organization. I can hear the lady talking in an earnest way, but if that matched the basis of her position and her religion or identity is so important to her, why not join JVP? JStreet is basically a support for the state, even the people in it generally have a pro-peace orientation or want to see some policies softened.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      October 2, 2013, 1:55 pm

      “even if the people in it generally have a pro-peace orientation”

  12. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    October 2, 2013, 2:30 pm

    RE: “Hillel director slams Birthright for refusing students’ requests to meet Palestinians and see checkpoints”

    MY COMMENT: Dare I say that Birthright sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson would probably like to have her arrested*. Failing that, he would no doubt like to have duct tape put over her mouth (as he recently fantasized about doing to Alex Kane).

    * FROM RICK PERLSTEIN (4/10/12):

    . . . In 1999, Adelson closed one casino, the Sands, and completed work on a new one, the Venetian, stiffing so many contractors that there were at one time 366 liens against the property. Taylor, of the Culinary Workers, said he and his colleagues presumed that “like every other casino that had done that, workers in the [closed] hotel would be given priority when the [new] hotel was built.” Instead, Adelson refused even to talk. All this, in a union town like Vegas, was unprecedented. “Even when you’re having battles, you continue to have talks. Shit, we’re talking to the North Koreans right now!” he told me. “The Israelis talk to the Arabs. Talking doesn’t necessarily solve anything, but at least you understand the other guy’s position.” Adelson, not much interested in understanding the other guy’s position, proceeded to launch a campaign against the Culinary Workers that Taylor calls “beyond aggressive.”
    Right before the grand opening of the Venetian, in 1999, the Culinary Workers staged a demonstration on the public sidewalk out front. Adelson told the cops to start making arrests
    ; the cops refused. Glen Arnodo, an official at the union at the time, relates what happened next: “I was standing on the sidewalk and they had two security guards say I was on private property, and if I didn’t move they’d have to put me under ‘citizen’s arrest.’ I ignored them.” The guards once again told the police to arrest Arnodo and again, he says, they refused. The Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis, in town to support the rally, said the whole thing reminded him of living in the South during Jim Crow. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/why-gop-mega-donor-sheldon-adelson-is-mad-bad-and-a-danger-to-the-republic-20120410

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      October 2, 2013, 2:44 pm

      P.S. RE: “Dare I say that Birthright sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson would probably like to have her arrested*. Failing that, he would no doubt like to have duct tape put over her mouth (as he recently fantasized about doing to Alex Kane).” – me (from above)

      AN EARLY AUTUMN EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, proudly brought to you by the makers of the new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine Ultra CR (Controlled Release) Transdermal Patch®: Let The Good Times Roll!™:

      Something in me, dark and sticky
      All the time it’s getting strong
      No way of dealing with this feeling
      Can’t go on like this too long

      [Chorus]
      This time you’ve gone too far [x3]
      I told you [x4]
      This time you’ve gone too far [x3]
      I told you [x4]

      Don’t talk back
      Just drive the car
      Shut your mouth
      I know what you are
      Don’t say nothing
      Keep your hands on the wheel
      Don’t turn around
      This is for real
      Digging in the dirt
      Stay with me, I need support
      I’m digging in the dirt
      To find the places I got hurt
      Open up the places I got hurt . . .
      ~ Peter Gabriel, 1992

      Peter Gabriel: Digging In The Dirt [VIDEO, 05:30] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0C3DHp36zc

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        October 2, 2013, 2:54 pm

        P.P.S. RE: “Something in me, dark and sticky . . . All the time it’s getting strong . . . No way of dealing with this feeling . . . Can’t go on like this too long” ~ Peter Gabriel (from above)

        FOR INSTANCE, SEE: “Injustice Collecting”, By Nando Pelusi, Ph.D., psychologytoday.com, published on November 01, 2006
        You can’t let go of a grudge, says Nando Pelusi, Ph.D., because there are deep-seated emotional payoffs.

        [EXCERPTS] We have a complicated relationship with the grudges we hold. We get obsessed and aggravated by the many slights [not to mention far more grievous victimization – J.L.D.] that befall us, but we’re ever reluctant to bury our pain and move on. Like an illicit affair, our beloved grudges usually end up creating misery for all involved.
        The tendency to itemize every unfair knock we’ve ever suffered is known as injustice collecting. Sometimes the injustices are personal, as in, “My boss unfairly promoted Rick over me.” This kind of self-talk leads to anger. At other times, the catalogued outrages lead to overwrought generalizations, such as, “Nothing ever goes well; this is too unfair.” This type of thinking leads to hopelessness and rage.
        Enough grudge holding and soon you’ll see more iniquity than actually exists. The injustice collector becomes a trigger-happy perceiver. If you walk down the street recounting the affronts you’ve suffered lately, you’ll kick up quite a cloud of dejection.
        Injustice collecting springs from a sensible motive: the monitoring of fairness as a form of self-protection, an impulse that evolved among social creatures who depended on one another. Nursing grudges may have raised our odds of survival and reproduction, however unconsciously. . .
        . . . But injustice collecting is about more than just resentment toward cheaters; just as often, it’s resentment on a mass scale—about anger at the very order of the universe. If a tree falls on a school bus or an earthquake levels our home, we’re stricken by the absolute injustice of it all. Islamist radicals, for example, resent the West’s development, and many are willing to die for their version of justice.
        Self-pity plus religious outrage—a combination that fuels suicide bombers—might also be a cognitive virus, replicating itself because humans are so easily attuned to believing in absolute justice.
        Fairness is a desirable abstraction, and one we’d better reach for, but it is not a concrete measurement, however much we might wish the courts, God, or the Constitution to decree it. . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200612/injustice-collecting

  13. joer
    joer
    October 2, 2013, 11:24 pm

    I don’t see why if these students want to meet Palestinians they need to have the visit arranged by Birthright Israel and have someone there to hold their hand. I’m sure there are many Palestinians who would love to share their stories with potential Israeli immigrants…And these students who spoke up are the most couragous and clear thining of the crew. Most of these kids don’t give a thought about Palestinians except as a security risk.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 3, 2013, 8:39 am

      Because they’re not actually interested in making a difference and helping the Palestinians. If they were, they’d reject the whole racist Birthright organization. Rather, like the “liberal” zionist, they simply want to be seen as caring about them so that they can feel good about themselves, while, at the same time, they engage in tribal atavism by supporting the continued existence of this inherently racist state.

  14. giladg
    giladg
    October 3, 2013, 9:04 am

    Maybe Birthright should include meetings with Palestinian suicide bombers in jail, those who were stopped before blowing up Israeli’s and those who sent them.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 3, 2013, 10:17 am

      “Maybe Birthright should include meetings with Palestinian suicide bombers in jail, those who were stopped before blowing up Israeli’s and those who sent them.”

      Yeah and then they can go visit worse criminals: idf terrorist who burn up Palestinian babies with white phosphorus and who murder Palestinians in cold blood for wanting to tend to their land.

    • talknic
      talknic
      October 3, 2013, 12:58 pm

      @giladg “Maybe Birthright should include meetings with Palestinian suicide bombers in jail, those who were stopped before blowing up Israeli’s and those who sent them.”

      Good idea and tell them why they embarked on a bombing attempt

      Partial List of Suicide Attackers
      with Prior History of Injury or Arrest
      SSA=Suicide Shooting Attacks. SBA=Suicide Bombing Attacks. FI=First Intifada.
      Date of attack
      Grievance noted in bios posted on official
      websites of Hamas, PIJ, and al-Aqsa Brigades.
      11/7/2002 (SSA)
      Cousin killed in gunfight with IDF.
      10/10/2002 (SBA)
      Arrested in FI.
      5/13/2002 (SSA)
      Arrested in 1995, held for one year.
      4/23/2002 (SSA)
      Left note to family informing of intention to carry out attack in
      revenge for actions of IDF in Jenin Camp during incursion.
      3/31/2002 (SBA)
      (i) Cousin assassinated, car bomb by Israeli Mossad.
      (ii) Older brother arrested by IDF.
      (iii) Arrested in 1997 by IDF.
      7/9/2001 (SBA)
      (i) Injured in the eye by IDF during FI.
      (ii) IDF killed one brothers in 1987.
      (iii) IDF shot and fully paralyzed other brothers.
      5/25/2001 (SBA)
      IDF killed older brother in FI.
      5/24/2001 (SBA)
      IDF killed older brother in FI.
      5/24/2001 (SBA)
      Older brother beaten to death by IDF during FI.
      1/1/2001 (SBA)
      Arrested twice before.
      11/7/2000 (SBA) with a boat
      (i) Arrested once before.
      (ii) Lost three fingers in FI after the IDF shot him in the hand.
      (iii) IDF shot and injured three brothers, had two arrested.
      10/19/1994 (SBA)
      (i) IDF killed brother in 1988.
      (ii) Arrested by IDF.
      12/13/1993
      (First Suicide Bomber)
      (i) Arrested twice and spent 2 ½ years in Israeli jail.
      (ii) Orphaned at age 10 http://www.epsusa.org/publications/newsletter/2004/nov2004/saleh.pdf

  15. eljay
    eljay
    October 3, 2013, 10:39 am

    >> Maybe Birthright should include meetings with Palestinian suicide bombers in jail …

    I think that’s an excellent idea.

    The Birthrighters could explain to the Palestinian prisoners why Zio-supremacist Jews felt justified and continue to feel justified:
    – to commit acts of terrorism against and to wilfully murder Palestinians;
    – to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homes and lands;
    – to establish an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine;
    – to engage in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
    – to refuse to honour their obligations under international law.

    And the Palestinian prisoners, in return, could explain to the Birthrighters:
    – why they felt justified in retaliating against Israel and Israelis; and
    – why they chose suicide bombing as their method of retaliation.

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