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Israeli ambassador’s present to Obama — settlement cufflinks!

Israel/Palestine
on 65 Comments

DermerThe new Israeli ambassador presented his credentials yesterday and tweeted, “Pic w/Pres. Obama-I look fwd to working w/you & your admin to make the bonds b/w Israel & America stronger than ever.'” And he gave the president some cufflinks.

Dermer's gift

Dermer’s gift

 

From Scott Roth:

The City of David is a Jewish settlement near the Dung Gate of the Old City. On occupied land, and resisted by the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, whose land it is taking.

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65 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    December 4, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Why is this ethno-religious supremacist state giving the President of our secular nation a provocative propaganda “gift” like this?

    Well, I guess it’s better than the spit in the face that Netanyahoo gave to the pope.

    “dating to approximately the year 0”

    There is no year zero. It goes from 1 BC to 1 AD.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      December 4, 2013, 2:03 pm

      It’s a reminder. The handcuffs are a way to show him: remember who and what constrains you.

      I also think it isn’t a surprise that the cuffs are out from occupied East Jerusalem, a double way to show that we’ll do what we want and you better accept it.

      Finally, by giving him the cuffs, they can directly measure if Obama is using the gift. If he isn’t, count on it to be a talking point to the neocon collaborationists that Dermer is close to in the America media. It’s like the whole “Obama threw out the Churchill statue” talking point only this time even more amplified.

      “Why does Obama refuse to use the gifts he’s gotten”. Obama can’t ever explain away not using them in their company. Either he uses them or not. It’s a direct measure: how dedicated is he to our settlement enterprise and to toe the line we set out for him, with the help of the lobby?

      The cuffs are actually a smart political move to try to box him in.
      It’s an understanding that perception matters a lot in politics, and the cuffs are a clever way to force that issue on Obama.

      Say what you will, but the even if the gifts being given by Israel are very telling of what country they are, and their mindset, they are clever and thought-through.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        December 4, 2013, 2:51 pm

        I think the first two are possibilities. However, I think most of these gifts simply go on display until the president is out of office and they they go on display in the presidential library. I think there’s a federal statute about it, plus, I don’t see the various security and intelligence agencies being too keen on the president having something given from any foreign government on his person.

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        December 4, 2013, 3:52 pm

        Well, to answer your last point. I think he has security people who can look that stuff up. If it was unsafe, they would probably have found whatever monitor device in them that was causing it to be unsafe, but I’d doubt the Israelis would even risk that.

        To your first point, yes, that’s probably Obama’s way out. Basically say, I treasure these so much, I don’t want to wear them down. It’s a clever way to counter their PR manouver. When he’s out of office, he can donate them to charity or whatever, but pretend to care deeply as long as it suits you.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        December 5, 2013, 10:17 am

        “I think he has security people who can look that stuff up. If it was unsafe, they would probably have found whatever monitor device in them that was causing it to be unsafe, but I’d doubt the Israelis would even risk that.”

        I don’t think that’s how they think. I think they think this way: “The fact that we can’t find anything doesn’t mean there’s nothing there, it means that they’ve developed a way to hide it from us. Better not let the President wear it.”

        As for the other point, I don’t think that Obama, as an individual, is permitted to accept these gifts, he accepts them in his capacity as Head of State/Head of Government, and they become property of the USA, so I don’t think he can donate them to charity. I think they go to the National Archives and then go on permanent loan to the Presidential Libraries.

  2. Sammar
    Sammar
    December 4, 2013, 12:36 pm

    I think Israeli politicians need to find a personal shopper or concierge service that can advise them on gifts. A book on the inquisition to the Pope and settlement cuff links to Obama??
    Are they really that clueless on etiquette and diplomacy?

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      December 4, 2013, 12:38 pm

      I agree with you Sammar. Rudeness isn’t cute

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        December 4, 2013, 12:50 pm

        But when Obama knuckles under and accepts the gift, they have another “win”. Especially if they know that he knows.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      December 4, 2013, 1:57 pm

      Obama actually uses zionist handcuffs away from the cameras.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      December 4, 2013, 8:13 pm

      If you listen to the president’s greetings for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (most recent dated 9/4/13) you will see that he repeatedly uses “we” to identify himself with Jewish religious observances. In terms of public self-presentation he is just as much a Jew as a Christian. As for his personal beliefs, only a telepath can judge them — it is quite possible that he is an atheist.

  3. FreddyV
    FreddyV
    December 4, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Wow! I hope international pressure forces Obama to return these. Now that would be awesome!

    • Egbert
      Egbert
      December 4, 2013, 1:22 pm

      A better solution would be for Obama to pass them on to Netanyahu next time he comes in to deliver his orders.

      • David Doppler
        David Doppler
        December 4, 2013, 6:48 pm

        That reminds me that Nancy Reagan was famous for recycling gifts, often without unwrapping them.

      • NickJOCW
        NickJOCW
        December 5, 2013, 9:05 am

        I’ve friends used to do that with Who on earth are they? Christmas cards that arrived saying something like ‘Season’s Wishes from Jack and Meg’. They appended ‘and Angus and Ann’ and posted them on.

  4. American
    American
    December 4, 2013, 1:08 pm

    A ounce of manners or plain common sense tells you you dont give religious symbols, much less personal jewelry to be worn, as a gift to someone of a different faith.
    Not quite as bad, but somewhat like giving a Jew a necklace of Jesus on the cross as a present.
    Do they know what “appropiate” means or isnt that in their handbook.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      December 4, 2013, 1:38 pm

      Well said American. Only a socially uneducated narcisstic zealot would give gifts of religious symbols to those of other or no religeon.

      Imagine the US Ambassador giving a replica of an ancient crucifix found anywhere in Jerusalem to Netanyahu?

      • bilal a
        bilal a
        December 4, 2013, 8:05 pm

        Jerusalem?

        The immediate results of the conquest of Jerusalem by a Persian-Jewish force filled the Jews with joy and pride.
        ..
        Antiochus Strategos claimed that many Christians were captured and held for ransom. Jews offered to help them escape if they “become Jews and deny Christ”. The Christian captives refused this offer. The Jews then purchased the Christians from the Persians and massacred them. He claimed that the total Christian death toll was 66,509.
        ..
        After executing the Jewish governor and ending the Jewish rule of the city, the Persians forbade Jews from settling within a three-mile radius of Jerusalem.

        http://www.jewishmag.com/161mag/persian_conquest_jerusalem/persian_conquest_jerusalem.htm

  5. surewin
    surewin
    December 4, 2013, 1:31 pm

    We should not underestimate the significance of what the U.S. administration has been doing since the 2012 election. Petraeus out; Hillary out; Kerry in; Hagel in; Obama saying some interesting things when in Israel; two-state process renewed with some urgency; Kerry saying some blunt things; interim deal with Iran; and some other developments that might be quite related, such as the Snowden affair.

    Obama does not seem to me to be a force of nature. He is more a spokesperson. And a good one. Maybe the greatest of the great communicators to date. Case in point: scroll back up and look at that smile. It’s the phoniest, most hideous smile you’ll ever see, especially if you know the context. He maintains deniability while sending his message, loud and clear. Perfect!

  6. talknic
    talknic
    December 4, 2013, 1:32 pm

    They’ll look just the part with a Kippah next he visits Israel. How embarrassing … https://www.google.com/search?q=obama%20wearing%20a%20yarmulke

  7. Balfour
    Balfour
    December 4, 2013, 2:33 pm

    What if the President were to “accidentally”re-gift them to Mr. Netanyahu at their next meeting together? Oops, my bad, Bibi…

  8. irmep
    irmep
    December 4, 2013, 2:54 pm

    I wonder if the cuffs or plaque were forged from depleted uranium from NUMEC?

    Perhaps the gift department of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is suffering the effect of watching too many episodes of “Revenge.”

  9. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    December 4, 2013, 2:59 pm

    I think it’s interesting that the last two ambassadors from israel were American-born people who abandoned their homeland in favor of this alien state. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t let them or anyone who gives up their US citizenship (or takes a second) back in the USA for any reason. “Want out so bad? Then stay the hell out.”

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      December 4, 2013, 3:58 pm

      Oh Woody…
      Golda and the others were from Russia, and they say the USSR was racist and brought refugees from there in the 1970’s. And yet Golda also was ambassador to the USSR……..

  10. NormanF
    NormanF
    December 4, 2013, 3:03 pm

    Jerusalem is one of the oldest inhabited Jewish cities in the world.

    Anti-Semites and Israel haters get upset at being reminded of Jewish antiquity – because the Jewish presence there preceded that of the Arabs by thousands of years.

    Jerusalem isn’t a “settlement.” Its the eternal capital of Israel!

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      December 4, 2013, 3:22 pm

      “Jerusalem is one of the oldest inhabited Jewish cities in the world.”

      Great. And it’s home to a centuries’ old Palestinian community.

      “Anti-Semites and”

      LMAO. Straw man.

      “Israel haters get upset at being reminded of Jewish antiquity – because the Jewish presence there preceded that of the Arabs by thousands of years.”

      Wrong on two counts. First, no one gets upset about Jewish antiquity (it’s not like anyone has to be reminded of it, given the way you zios babble on and on about it…). Second, to the extend people react to it, they are reacting to the criminal thesis that because there were Jews there are various points in the past, that the Jews of today have any right, soverignty or ownership there.

      “Jerusalem isn’t a ‘settlement.'”

      The Jewish developments in Arab East Jerusalem absolutely are.

      “Its the eternal capital of Israel!”

      LMAO. israel doesnt’ even have soveregnty over any of it. To judge by the embassies, the zionist settlement city of Tel Aviv is the capital. And, besides, for all but about 15 minutes back in the stone age, prior to 1948, there wasn’t even a political entity named “israel” that Jerusalem could be capital of. Nothing “eternal” about that.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      December 4, 2013, 3:33 pm

      No Norman,

      Jerusakem is a city. It was not built by Jews and thus is not a Jewish city. It’s not even in Israel.

      And nothing is eternal. Stated come and go and when Israel is gone,it will be a city in a future state.

    • pjdude
      pjdude
      December 4, 2013, 5:22 pm

      actual there is evidence of arabs and proto arab people in the area of jerusalem for as long as jews were there so no jews did not in fact precede arabs in jerusalem.

    • talknic
      talknic
      December 4, 2013, 5:33 pm

      @ NormanF

      “Jerusalem is one of the oldest inhabited Jewish cities in the world”

      Hasbara is such pathetic nonsense. Even the olde Testament tells us it existed before Judaism

      “Anti-Semites and Israel haters get upset at being reminded of Jewish antiquity – because the Jewish presence there preceded that of the Arabs by thousands of years”

      So what. It was rendered irrelevant as of the moment Israel was proclaimed and recognized as requested by the Israeli Government “as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.” http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

      “Jerusalem isn’t a “settlement.”

      Correct. It is however populated by Israelis illegally settling in it. (UNSC res 452 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/db942872b9eae454852560f6005a76fb/0b7116abb4b7e3e9852560e5007688a0?OpenDocument )

      “Its the eternal capital of Israel!”

      Odd. Most countries have their capital within their actual borders. Israel has never legally acquired any territory outside its proclaimed and recognized borders of May 15th 1948. Didn’t include Jerusalem which has never been legally separated from Palestine, corpus separatum was never instituted.

      You come, you spout nonsense, you’re shown its nonsense and still you come back for more, oblivious it seems to the opportunity you afford to show readers just how ignorant and/or stupid Israel’s apologists can be

    • xanadou
      xanadou
      December 4, 2013, 8:20 pm

      Palestine of the antiquities, also known (incorrectly) as Israel, was a land of many cults, including Judaism. (The religion was invented and propagated in Judea, hence the name.) The people who inhabited those lands are, today, called Arabs. Arabs are a semitic people. Palestinians are mostly a semitic people. It is overwhelmingly the Judaism-practicing people of Israel who are antisemites with a regime-fostered hatred for the semitic Palestinians. The non semitic Jews are converts from S/W Asia and Europe. Just like most Christians who have no ties to Palestine beyond the stories told in the New Testament and the myth of a nice Jewish chap with compassion for all.

      Present-day Jews who inhabit Palestine, aka Israel, constitute a large number of non-semites. Ergo: are you saying that you have a problem with those people v. Jewish antiquity? And how does one deal with antisemitism practiced by Jewish semites? And why is antisemitism expected to be synonymous with Jewish persecution, but not genocidal practices aimed at semitic non-Jews of Palestine?

      Al Quds, aka Jerusalem, was a crossroads between villages inhabited by sheep and goat herders until the Roman invasion. Romans are well-known builders of cities. Al Quds was built into a brick and mortar town b/c of its geo-strategic military value to the expanding Roman Empire. Sheep-herders and priests are competent at building shacks. For much more you may wish to consult a book by Finkelstein/Silberstein, “The Bible Unearthed”.

      Judaism is a religion adapted from the much older traditions of Mesopotamia, and influenced by the second oldest, (after the Egyptian cult of the Sun) monotheistic religion known as Zoroastrianism. Ur was a major religious centre until some of Ur’s priests elected to challenge their job description, for which they were banished. Some, like Abraham (if he existed), went West into what we know as ancient Palestine, today occupied by a regime that invokes Israel of the antiquities that never was more than a largely unpopulated land of pagan goat-herders. Which explains why nothing reflecting the glorious biblical stories has ever been found other than a few utilitarian leftovers, e.g., stables, of the many occupying armies.

      David, Solomon, Joshua/Jesus are identities invented to give a sublime idea a human face to uplift illiterate tribal peoples in need of laws and ideals, not idols, in a new world of growing human conglomerates.

      In sum: Al Quds/Jerusalem is a city with a rich history, also of many beliefs, paganism included, presently saddled with modern phony pretensions to being a capital of a theocratic people who cannot bring themselves to define the border of their own state.

      All religions are fantasies invented to hold together people, for any variety of purposes. Religions are not about land, but spiritual communality. That is all.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        December 5, 2013, 10:38 am

        Al Quds, aka Jerusalem, was a crossroads between villages inhabited by sheep and goat herders until the Roman invasion. Romans are well-known builders of cities.

        That is not quite true. Jerusalem. In any case there seem to be documents showing the name used before the biblical King David conquered it. Goat herders usually don’t built strong city walls.

        What he really refers to is the City of David

        In any case, I am pretty averse to the type of argument that in our age leads straight to genetic research. And some of your arguments remind me of this.

      • Theo
        Theo
        December 5, 2013, 11:23 am

        I have read several articles on the findings of ISRAELI scientists and archeologists, digging since good 30 years to find traces of jewish history, as described in the Torah and Talmud.

        They could not find any trace of the capital of David, who supposedly had a huge army of 30,000 soldiers! No trace at all and they conclude that the story of king David is just an invention.
        The original great temple was not in Jerusalem, but in a city north of it, ( I just cannot remember the name of it), and first it was destroyed by the invading assyrers, then later by an army led by the priest from Jerusalem to destroy any trace of that culture. Supposedly the temple in Jerusalem at that times was just a shack.

        The same scientists seriously doubted if there ever was a Moses, the crossing of the Read Sea, the egyptian slavery, etc. According to them the only real jews are the samatarians, about 1,500 of them still live in Israel, because their religion forbids a marriage to non jews. Others, who left the land, mixed with other nations or who are converts are not real jews!!! If we follow their reasoning, then there are only about 1,500 people in that area who can call themselves the children of the original tribe!

        I just noticed that alfa down below did a better job to comment on the jewish history.

      • xanadou
        xanadou
        December 5, 2013, 5:02 pm

        Theo, I hope you will find the time to read Finkelstein/Silberman’s “The Bible Unearthed”. It is not easy to read, and some of the rationale is tediously circuitous but it is much better that quoting “supposedlies”.

        What Finkelstein had found, and NOT found, is revelatory in itself. He is also one of the very few honest archeologists educated in Israel and able to still live in Israel. Give the man his due credit. He has earned it. Then read Shlomo Sands’, “The Invention of the Jewish People”. Sands proves that aggressive proselytising in the ME elevated a small local Judean cult to one of the major religions that unlike any of the its contemporary faiths, has survived to the present day. Two awesome reads worth your time.

    • alfa
      alfa
      December 4, 2013, 10:34 pm

      Norm, zionists can’t even find evidence to support their myths, they’re colonialist criminals using Jew as a Human shield. Israeli archeologists who tried for decades to find evidence of Moses, Saul, David, or the exodus tale(which was appropriated from earlier superstitions) agree; it never happened and there is no Santa. Prof. Ze’ev Herzog, Tel Aviv University wrote: “This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom…… Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people – and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story – now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people’s emergence are radically different from what that story tells.” (in an article in the Jewish magazine Haaretz, as republished on):

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        December 5, 2013, 10:51 am

        they’re colonialist criminals using Jew as a Human shield.

        Just in case, you are interested and don’t mind: the zero plural “Jew” is classical antisemitism, since obviously you are not referring to a specific single person who happens to be Jewish, which would justify the use of a singular, but use it as some type. One stands for all of them. Know one know “them” all.

        Norm, zionists can’t even find evidence to support their myths, they’re colonialist criminals using Jew as a Human shield.

        Interestingly you use the plural for Zionists.

      • Theo
        Theo
        December 6, 2013, 11:09 am

        Regardless how delicious the soup may be, there is always one who tries to find that proverbal hair in it!!

  11. eljay
    eljay
    December 4, 2013, 3:47 pm

    >> Jerusalem is one of the oldest inhabited Jewish cities in the world.

    There are no Jewish cities.

    >> Anti-Semites and Israel haters get upset at being reminded of Jewish antiquity …

    No-one is troubled by Jewish antiquity.

    >> Jerusalem … Its the eternal capital of Israel!

    It may be the “eternal capital” of colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”, but it shouldn’t be the capital of Israel.

    And Israel shouldn’t be an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”.

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      December 5, 2013, 10:59 am

      reminded of Jewish antiquity …

      Odd coinage, it is not antiquity as such dealing with the Levant and Syria, or more specifically the region once called Palestine , but it is “Jewish antiquity”. Although I don’t think he reflected much on that usage.

  12. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    December 4, 2013, 4:28 pm

    The Menorah graffito, usually dated to around 70 CE, shows how flexible and un-eternal was the symbolism of the time: this menorah has five branches and a tripod base, both of which are unconventional or debatable. Meanwhile, no one thinks that Jerusalem was a city founded by Israelites, so it is not Jewish ‘eternally’.

    • braciole
      braciole
      December 4, 2013, 5:08 pm

      I thought a Menorah were supposed to have seven lamps – biblical references seem to suggest so – the images shown above has the arms for only five. Also there are no signs of flames issuing from the end of the arms and what does the line across the top of the arms represent? It’s unfortunate that there is no indication of the scale. I believe quite a lot of graffiti of this type were crude scratchings that represented women – very early pornography if you like. Now that would be funny.

      • bilal a
        bilal a
        December 4, 2013, 10:22 pm

        Yes its a feminine, Cannanite Tree of Life symbol:

        “As time went on, the idea of a divine female figure at the core of Judaism was totally forgotten except within the Kabbalah, a secret mystical form of the religion. Central to this system is the Tree of Life concept, where the ten emanations are enveloped in the glory of the divine female Shekinah. Praxis within the Kabbalah included identification of the Tree of Life with the Menorah. I have suggested that we may reasonably perceive resonances between the Menorah and the biblical figure of Asherah, herself very possibly connected with the Tree of Life.”
        http://www.asphodel-long.com/html/asherah.html

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        December 6, 2013, 10:21 am

        bilal a, it feels to me this belongs into a deeper preMonotheist, “archetypal” context, Mother Goddess, Mother Earth complex. You’ll find these female statues anywhere. The Monotheist tradition in this context may well have supplanted earlier patterns, and that is why it surfaces in roots.

        I was interested in that at one point in time.

        Thus “early pornography” may not be the correct approach to deal with this. What about the specific importance of women in the Jewish tradition, could that be somehow a trace of something older too? If you don’t want to reduce it to: That the mother is the mother, that at least you can be sure about?

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      December 4, 2013, 5:31 pm

      this menorah has five branches and a tripod base, both of which are unconventional or debatable

      Quite a few depictions of five-armed menorot have been found in Palestine, Europe and North Africa. See Rachel Hachlili, The Menorah, the Ancient Seven-armed Candelabrum: Origin, Form and Significance. Other depictions show menorot with 3, 5, 9 or 11 arms. Apparently, the number of arms was not crucial to the recognisability of the symbol.

      • braciole
        braciole
        December 4, 2013, 10:28 pm

        But the archaeologists claim that the creator of this scratching was so taken with the Menhorah he had just seen in the Temple that he felt enthused to depict it on a piece of stone almost immediately upon his leaving the Temple. If he had just seen the one in the Temple which had seven lamps then surely in his high state of enthusiasm, he would draw what he’d just seen. Or were the archaeologists just making s**t up just like I am?

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        December 5, 2013, 7:38 am

        Shmuel, this is completely off topic, and maybe too much of an German Jewish history angle, although you may be interested in Leora Batnitzky. Moses Mendelssohn is very important figure in the 18 th. I didn’t know he almost had a nervous breakdown facing this specific challenge or question.

      • annie
        annie
        December 5, 2013, 7:59 am

        LeaNder , your link is not coming thru. now i am quite curious.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 5, 2013, 8:15 am

        Thanks, LeaNder. I always appreciate your “off-topics”. I hadn’t heard of Batnitzky. Her book looks very interesting.

        Regarding Mendelssohn’s nervous breakdown, it is generally attributed to his exchange with Lavater. I once tried to read some of the exchange, but found it extremely boring. I should probably try again, with the help of some modern interpretation and analysis.

      • MRW
        MRW
        December 5, 2013, 9:55 am

        Try wine.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 5, 2013, 9:58 am

        Try wine.

        Of course! I’ll get right on it.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        December 6, 2013, 9:38 am

        Sorry, Annie, I am spending too much time here again. I didn’t pay much attention on the link apparently as on proofreading generally. My core problem here may well be that I like quite a few people here and thus the discussion, but it is very hard to focus on something since you keep moving on from one topic, you would like to know about more than you do, to another. To get a grasp of the complete Jewish Spanish history alone could take quite a while ;)

        It’s an interview by Jonathan Judaken on his Counterpoint, which I occasionally visit, since I find it very interesting. I had an exchange with Shmuel in which Judaken surfaced about our lovers of the US empire and the to be protected at means Israel over here and their latest publications on antisemitism. Judaken is among the ones that were targeted in this context. In a nutshell: “He is too young, he does not have enough publications about antisemitism”. I hadn’t thought about him for a while, and thus not checked Counterpoint.

        Here is the link

        I find it interesting, maybe not quite the way the “no nation” “no people” crowd would want me to, and in way her argument feels really simple and obvious. Long, long time I encoutered Moses Mendelsohn apart from references in the more general German Jewish history . …

        Here is a link to what Shmuel has in mind, it provides a little context.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        December 6, 2013, 10:08 am

        Shmuel, you know why I sent this link? In a way it reminded me of Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin’s book. One of the many interests that started with Shakespeare … Which is of course also a much bigger issue in the Catholic Church.

        Why do you come to mind in this context? In that case, and I adore Raz-Krapotzkin for other writings too, I was painfully aware that you would easily be able to immediately realize what specific Jewish literature he referred to, while I probably would need to start senior studies in our Judaic institute. I didn’t use “nitwit” for no reason. ;)

        Pretty much the same thing may well happen in this case, since he will obviously argue in a specific tradition, but the argument sounds absolutely convincing and simple at least on the surface to this outsider.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        December 7, 2013, 11:58 am

        Thanks for interesting information. Maybe when we achieve a good understanding of first century monotheistic religions we will find that in many ways, not only in iconography, they were recognisable rather than sharply defined. It was surely the events of 70 and the intense problem of explaining them that led to increasingly well-defined and sharply conflicting views.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        December 7, 2013, 12:07 pm

        Maybe when we achieve a good understanding of first century monotheistic religions we will find that in many ways, not only in iconography, they were recognisable rather than sharply defined.

        An astute comment, MHughes.

  13. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    December 4, 2013, 7:31 pm

    Tis the season of symbol-laden gift giving and, my, what thought-provoking gifts entice comment at Mondoweiss! Here’s a thought, if you had an audience with Benjamin Netanyahu, what gift would give him to symbolize your deep feelings?

    a broom and dust pan, to clean up after himself, as he goes? or artistic rendition thereof, if you want to be more classy?

    colored tree ornaments (non-denominational) shaped like traditional spheres, but with red lines marked in 90% of the way to the top?

    how about miniature gold handcuffs inscribed with the seal of the International Court of Justice in the Hague?

    • MRW
      MRW
      December 5, 2013, 10:00 am

      You mean a ‘look what you did to us’ present like he gave the Pope?

  14. Rusty Pipes
    Rusty Pipes
    December 4, 2013, 8:06 pm

    Surely, if the Israeli ambassador wanted to make a gift during Hannukah, there are a myriad of other menorahs he could have chosen which are not connected to occupied territory. But then, even before the Foreign Ministry was headed by the tactless Avigdor Lieberman, its function has had less to do with negotiation than with manufacturing and exporting hasbara. Even for a country which defines Palestinian lands as “disputed”, apparently, attempting to be diplomatic is for freiers.

  15. sandhillexit
    sandhillexit
    December 4, 2013, 10:16 pm

    will we see BHO talking into his sleeve, GetSmart style? how will they replace the batteries?

  16. thankgodimatheist
    thankgodimatheist
    December 5, 2013, 6:28 am

    “year 0”
    There’s no such a thing. A count doesn’t start with a 0. It starts with 1. Making things up again. At the very image of all things Israeli.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      December 5, 2013, 6:43 am

      A count doesn’t start with a 0. It starts with 1. Making things up again.

      A clumsy and ignorant euphemism (engraved on a plaque!) for “the birth of Christ”. There may not be any ultra-orthodox parties in Netanyahu’s coalition, but the Foreign Ministry still minds its Ps and Qs when it comes to such things. Speaking of which, I wonder what will happen to the “graven image” (a “carved painting” of St. Paul) that Pope Francis gave Netanyahu.

      • NickJOCW
        NickJOCW
        December 5, 2013, 10:46 am

        A clumsy and ignorant euphemism (engraved on a plaque!) for “the birth of Christ”. or “622 years before the Prophet’s migration to Medina”.

  17. jon s
    jon s
    December 5, 2013, 9:35 am

    Maybe Bibi should have presented a replica of the menora on Titus’ Arch to the pope, to shore up our claim to Rome.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sack_of_jerusalem.JPG

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      December 5, 2013, 9:44 am

      Maybe Bibi should have presented a replica of the menora on Titus’ Arch to the pope, to shore up our claim to Rome.

      Great idea. Would work with many European and North African countries (where numerous ancient depictions of menorot have been found). Like the Jordan, the Mediterranean has (at least) two shores, no?

      Just one correction. Rome is not the Pope’s to give away (much like Palestine was not Balfour’s), although there must be a menorah somewhere in Vatican City … ;-)

  18. December 5, 2013, 10:23 am

    Menorah etching?

    So there weren’t eight candles? There were four? Or is this the world’s first abstract etching?

    And why is the bottom part identical to the top? And why is the bar going across the candles? Wouldn’t that put the flame out?

    Let’s cut to the chase. Are we sure the oil lasted eight days? malvernthenovel.com

  19. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    December 5, 2013, 2:55 pm

    So rude. Time to regift them to Israel’s Senator Schumer

  20. Chu
    Chu
    December 5, 2013, 3:04 pm

    what a sloppy picture. Could they get the brass sign to fit on the black felt
    and perhaps align the cufflinks toward the camera.

    Dating to approximately the year 0! LOL. who comes up with this garbage?

    I’m waiting for an ‘act now to get these special collectibles’ voice over like
    a tacky commercial would do.

  21. Ecru
    Ecru
    December 7, 2013, 1:13 pm

    How do they know the image is a menorah, what’s the basis for this interpretation? It could as easily (and my first reaction on seeing it) be an hour-glass.

    Everything that comes out of Silwan, Ahnenerbe archaeology at a level not seen since the originators were stopped in 1945, is problematic to say the very least.

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