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Free it or f— it, Palestine comes to Los Angeles

Israel/Palestine
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Photo of first graffiti, Workmen's Circle building, LA, by Dennis Romero of LA Weekly

Photo of first graffiti, Workmen’s Circle building, LA, by Dennis Romero of LA Weekly

Here’s a piece in the LA Weekly about a mural on the side of a liberal Zionist organization’s building being defaced, first with the graffiti, Free Palestine, later with the graffiti, Fuck Palestine. This is a good lead, by Dennis Romero:

The Israeli – Palestinian conflict has largely remained a distant battle removed from our everyday lives.

But the seemingly intractable strife this week came to Los Angeles’ Westside in a small but declarative way.

I like this sentence in particular:

Workmen’s Circle [the Jewish organization] has supported a so-called two-state solution that would give Palestine statehood alongside Israel, a stance that’s held by the Obama administration and even Israel itself (insincerely so, according to some critics).

And if you read the article, an official of the Workmen’s Circle is defensive about the group’s support for that so-called two-state solution, but how Free Palestine means an end to Israel.

The LA Jewish Journal says the original mural “includes a menorah, Israelites wandering in the desert, a young girl waving Israeli and American flags, and more.” And the LA Weekly says it contains the Hebrew biblical quote, “Justice justice shalt thou pursue.” The building is the Workmen’s Circle, originally a socialist organization in Jewish life.

Thanks to Max Blumenthal, author of Goliath.

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110 Responses

  1. Cliff
    Cliff
    February 9, 2014, 10:35 am

    An end to Israel means an end of the Jewish majority – which means an end of Jewish privilege over non-Jews.

    ‘Justice, justice shalt thou pursue’ – indeed.

    Unless of course, these catchy Jewish phrases are meant for Jews only (or Sudanese/Darfur refugee/etc. ie, people whose conflicts do not reflect poorly on Jewish identity in some way or undermine Zionism).

    The proposed Jewish State had 45% Palestinians. Non-Jews.

    The Jewish terrorists and pre-State Israeli army had ethnically cleansed 200,000-ish Palestinians prior to the declaration of Israeli statehood.

    So in 2014, these Zionists never believed in these catchphrases that promote justice.

    In 1948, they didn’t believe in them either.

    The building DESERVES to be defaced. Whoever writes ‘F**K’ in place of ‘Free’ is making the defacement worse (which is a good thing and symbolizes the cultism and fanatical nature of Jewish nationalism).

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 9, 2014, 12:02 pm

      Menschy except for Palestine and Never again except for Gaza are dead. Judaism really lost its way when it gave all that power to the bots.

    • Sumud
      Sumud
      February 9, 2014, 12:37 pm

      The Jewish terrorists and pre-State Israeli army had ethnically cleansed 200,000-ish Palestinians prior to the declaration of Israeli statehood.

      More than that, probably about double.

      Reading one of Hostage’s links earlier today (an archive publication of US diplomatic correspondence) I came across a reference made to Israel’s expansionist designs, which US diplomats were aware of even in 1948. The correspondence mentioned an interview Ben Gurion gave to TIME published August 1948, the month before Bernadotte was assassinated. I found a copy here, the relevant text:

      In a ground floor study, its windows bricked up against air raids, Ben-Gurion recently sat and answered a reporter’s questions with terse frankness.

      “Can you conquer the Arabs?”

      “Against the Arabs we are one against 40.”

      “Won’t Israel grow?”

      “There are eleven million Jews in the world. I don’t say that all of them will come here, but I expect several million, and with natural increase I can quite imagine a Jewish state of ten million.”

      “Can that many be accomodated within the U.N. partition boundaries of Israel?”

      “I doubt it.”

      There’s a number of other things that stood out [my emphasis]:

      “We would not have taken on this war merely for the purpose of enjoying this tiny state. There have been only two great peoples: the Greeks and the Jews. Perhaps the Greeks were even greater than the Jews, but now I can see no sign of that old greatness in the modern Greeks. Maybe, when the present process is finished we too will degenerate, but I see no sign of degeneration at present.”

      How things have changed:

      “Suffering makes a people greater, and we have suffered much. We had a message to give the world, but we were overwhelmed, and the message was cut off in the middle. In time there will be millions of us – becoming stronger and stronger – and we will complete the message.”

      “What is the message?” the reporter asked.

      “Our policy must be the unity of the human race. The world is divided into two blocs. We consider that the United Nations is a Jewish ideal.”

      And finally – Sparta!

      Political Bonds. The new Israelis walked with a confident swagger along the beach front at Tel Aviv. They talked confidently – indeed, stridently – of a state of ten million, not necessarily confined to the present boundaries of Israel. It was a bad joke, and also a sober observation, that the idea of Drang nach Osten lived in the new nation of Hitler’s victims. As they looked around them at a disorganized and unproductive Arab world, the Israelis showed some of the reactions of the prewar Germans looking around a disorganized and unproductive Europe.

      Jewish traditions of peace and democracy run deep, but the Israelis had been transferred so quickly from the depths of Europe to the heights of superiority in the Middle East that they could not escape the political equivalent of deep-sea divers’ bends. The new blood of nationalism ran fast and hot in Israel; sometimes it seemed to be gushing out on the ground. Pleading for more understanding and tolerance of Israel, one sympathetic observer warned, “This could become an ugly little Spartan state.”

      • American
        American
        February 9, 2014, 2:32 pm

        ”Perhaps the Greeks were even greater than the Jews, but now I can see no sign of that old greatness in the modern Greeks. Maybe, when the present process is finished we too will degenerate, but I see no sign of degeneration at present.”

        Er…..this …..”There have been *only * two great peoples: ..” …..means he was already degenerated.
        Vanity, vanity,vanity, its a real killer diller.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 9, 2014, 2:45 pm

        They were doped out on their own PR in 48, sumud. They mistook a once off for trend. They thought nukes, aipac and antisemitism together would be eternally waterproof. They dumped their own morality for power.
        They really believed they could leave the past behind. They were so naive.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 9, 2014, 8:26 pm

        “There have been only two great peoples: the Greeks and the Jews.”

        1. The Romans and the Chinese would be jostling to be first in the long queue to dispute that “only”.

        2. When were the Jews ever “great” in any conventional sense?

        3. In what unconventional sense were they “great”?

        3. Whatever sort of greatness the Jews allegedly possessed, they needed the support of the unGreat British to establish their Great Jewish State, and need the support of the similarly contemptible USA to maintain it.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 9, 2014, 10:18 pm

        4. Who in his right mind would pay any attention to the mythical elucubrations on national characters of such a mystical kook like Ben-Gurion? I mean, the guy was already widely famous for living in some parallel universe.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 10, 2014, 12:23 am

        Great in the Jewish mother sense. I tell you Harvey my Abraham is going to be the greatest doctor in the Hamptons.

      • American
        American
        February 10, 2014, 11:05 am

        2. When were the Jews ever “great” in any conventional sense?

        3. In what unconventional sense were they “great”?

        RoHa

        You’ve heard the saying….’legends in their own minds only”…I’m sure.
        Vanity, vanity,vanity.

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        February 10, 2014, 10:25 am

        They dumped their own morality for power.
        They really believed they could leave the past behind. They were so naive.

        All so true. I’m fascinated by this TIME article – the whole story of Israel is contained in it – the achievement of the state and accompanying arrogance, the “degeneration”: the original sin of Nakba which will be the undoing of it all. And that Sparta quote.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 9, 2014, 10:24 pm

        Thank you, Sumud. What a pearl. From the time when even Time magazine had educated and thinking people who could write.
        In such a time, Ben Gurion outing himself to a reporter almost as unashamedly as he did to the Zionist Congress should have created a firestorm of worldwide protest. The fact that nothing happened tells us a lot about the power of British colonialism.

      • Bing Bong
        Bing Bong
        February 10, 2014, 9:13 am

        “Thank you, Sumud. What a pearl. From the time when even Time magazine had educated and thinking people who could write.”

        “Two milleniums of sorrow and insecurity in a hostile world had put their stamp on the character of this people. In Israel, a few years of struggle to build a state, a few months at the center of the world stage, a few weeks of battle had superimposed another, bolder stamp. That the Israelis’ victory had come just after the worst of a thousand persecutions, that it had been won by those who survived the slaughter of 6,000,000, made the newly-minted Jewish character gleam brighter.”

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 10, 2014, 3:40 pm

        @BiongBong – Of course that garbage was there, and it was universal then. But at least they reported as is BG’s self-indictment and correctly characterized the crowd as loud barbarians and the place as a nasty little Spartan state. Who does nowadays?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 10, 2014, 6:29 pm

        Educated people write “two millennia”.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 11, 2014, 3:44 pm

        @RoHa – Compulsory Classics was in my time, over 2 generations ago. You may relax.

    • Naftush
      Naftush
      February 10, 2014, 2:15 am

      “The building DESERVES to be defaced.” Justifying price tag, are you?

      • just
        just
        February 10, 2014, 6:53 am

        puh-leeze.

        You are more than ridiculous, Naftush.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        February 10, 2014, 9:49 am

        Gosh, Zio, you have really high standards. You’ll weep for graffiti that reads ‘Free Palestine’ but not ‘Fuck Palestine’. You’ll weep for graffiti defacing a mural painted on a building, part of an organization that is deeply hypocritical (Never again for Jews only and peoples whose identity and troubles do not reflect poorly on Zionism).

        But you won’t hang-wring about the actual price-tag (ie Jewish terrorism) attacks on HUMAN BEINGS – because those human beings are Palestinian.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        February 12, 2014, 11:20 am

        (1) I drew no distinction between the graffitti (plural of graffitto if you’re scoring). (2) The Arbeter Ring is as universalistic as they come, unless you consider the very mention of Jews by Jews a moral blemish. (3) I don’t hang-wring (sic) about the actual price-tag. I decry it at every relevant opportunity, as I do against Baruch Goldstein’s crime, and I do so to the faces of those who sympathize with them. (4) Equating the malevolent vandalism and arson of price-tag with terrorism is false because it doesn’t work in the other direction.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      February 10, 2014, 8:29 am

      The proposed Jewish State had 45% Palestinians. Non-Jews.

      Nope. 49,5% Jews:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine#Sub-Committee_2

      And about half of them not even citizens of Palestine. So it’s about 33% Jews with Palestinian citizenship in the proposed state for the Jews. What a lough.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    February 9, 2014, 11:06 am

    The mural contains the Hebrew biblical quote, “Justice justice shalt thou pursue.”
    “There’s a certain amount of irony,” Adler-Peckerar, executive director of a group, Yiddishkayt, that collaborates often with Workmen’s Circle, told us, explaining himself: “The Workmen’s Circle has specifically been advocating for progress and fairness and justice in the world. Painting all organizations associated with Jews with one particular brush shows a real lack of cultural knowledge.”

    Irony indeed. All that original brush painted was “Free Palestine!!” Obviously it was an appeal by the graffiti artist to the mural’s Hebrew bible’s admonishment to pursue Justice, Justice.

    How is that ironical? How does it show “a real lack of cultural knowledge”?

    The only irony lies in Adler-Peckerar’s quoted comments, taken together. And of course, there’s nothing ironical at all about the counter graffiti: “Fuck Palestine.”

    • goldmarx
      goldmarx
      February 11, 2014, 11:16 pm

      Citizen: “And of course, there’s nothing ironical at all about the counter graffiti: “Fuck Palestine.”

      That graffiti was in retaliation for the defacement of the Workmen’s Circle building. One does not occur without the other.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 12, 2014, 7:45 am

        @ goldmarx

        True, but
        I don’t think the counter-paint sprayer was motivated by umbrage merely because the original sprayer spoiled the surface or appearance of the wall mural by marring or disfiguring it with paint overlay. Seeing the flag symbol of the state of Israel, the original sprayer was thinking, in effect, “Good, a thirst for justice, so let me add the Palestine flag by implication in the quickest, simple way–with a text phrase–& skedaddle otta here!”. And the counter-sprayer was saying, “Nobody should give a crap about justice for Palestinians!”

  3. annie
    annie
    February 9, 2014, 12:31 pm

    this is telling:

    “We’re for a ‘Free Palestine’ too,” Gordon told us. “But what that slogan probably means is to eliminate Israel completely. That’s the kind of slogan people would raise if that’s the belief they have.”

    what he is saying is that he agrees with the message of the graffiti but when he says it that’s good but the intent of the other is (“probably”) not. but he doesn’t know that. whereas there is only one way to interpret ‘fuck palestine’.

    the 4 exclamations marks at the end “FREE PALESTINE!!!!” belies a certain enthusiastic urgency to the message. if Workmen’s Circle is truly for a 2ss they could just as easily view the graffiti as ‘hurry up already and get the show on the road’.

    “eliminate Israel completely” speaks to WC’s fears. it tells us much more about the director Eric Gordon then it tells us about the intent of the graffiti artist.

    • Blaine Coleman
      Blaine Coleman
      February 9, 2014, 4:15 pm

      Yes, there is only one way to interpret such obscenities against the people of Palestine, who control not one square inch of land, who could not oppress a single soul if they tried. These obscenities against 11 million Palestinians are expressed by one Israeli prime minister after another, by means of bombing thousands of innocents to death in Palestine and in Lebanon.

      Who could blame Palestinians for uttering the words “Fuck Israel”, after so much violence, so much racism loosed upon the world by the Israeli state?

      Consider who is the occupier with hundreds of nukes (Israel) and who is the victim.
      It’s Israel which deserves expressions of contempt, not their victims.

      • Blaine Coleman
        Blaine Coleman
        February 9, 2014, 5:12 pm

        You would think that Israel would be content to bomb so many thousands of Palestinians to death, and to steal every ounce of control over Palestinian land, too. But no, they also want to insult and frighten Palestinians way over in North America, too.

        There are some antidotes on the web for that kind of genocide, and for the paralyzing fright it induces. Take this “Fuck Israel” poster for example: http://tinyurl.com/lw7whp6

        Sometimes a little expression of defiance just helps you to breathe easier.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        February 10, 2014, 10:38 am

        The Workmen’s Circle is a “liberal Zionist organization?”

        What garbage. This is how you excuse antisemitism in your movement.

        The Workmen’s Circle is a social justice organization. It engages in labor activism, protects immigrant’s rights, and preserves Yiddish. There isn’t a word about Israel in its mission statement.

        http://circle.org/mission/

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 10, 2014, 5:44 pm

        “There isn’t a word about Israel in its mission statement.”

        LMAO. Maybe not, but there’s a big one one the mural. Right there, in the insulting-to-the-US position above to the Stars and Stripes.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        February 10, 2014, 1:30 pm

        “Sometimes a little expression of defiance just helps you to breathe easier.”

        Who, you or the Palestinians?

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 8:51 am

        Blaine: I’d have no problem if the graffiti artist spray-painted that slogan on the Israeli consulate building in Los Angeles. It’s not a difficult place to find.

        BDS does not object to Israel’s nuclear arsenal per se. Perhaps when Omar Barghouti matriculated at Tel Aviv University, he appreciated the protection it offered.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 11, 2014, 9:03 am

        BDS does not object to Israel’s nuclear arsenal per se. Perhaps when Omar Barghouti matriculated at Tel Aviv University, he appreciated the protection it offered.

        Why the gratuitous Barghouti snipe, goldmarx?

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 1:14 pm

        Shmuel: Not a snipe at all. I like Mr. Barghouti and joined BDS after he kicked out Gilad Atzmon. I hope to meet him soon and am making a list for him to consider of others who should join Atzmon.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 11, 2014, 2:27 pm

        Not a snipe at all.

        Forgive me, but Barghouti’s studies at TAU are generally mentioned (especially out of context) with the intention of discrediting BDS.

        I like Mr. Barghouti and joined BDS after he kicked out Gilad Atzmon.

        He didn’t “kick out” Atzmon, because Atzmon was never a part of BDS and doesn’t even like it very much (particularly PACBI). Such insinuations are also generally made by those who wish to discredit BDS.

        I hope to meet him soon and am making a list for him to consider of others who should join Atzmon.

        Graffiti “artists” beware.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 11, 2014, 9:09 am

        I don’t know any people who like to spray messages and symbols on walls and the sides of buildings, do you? Do they know the many nuances and fine points of their oppressors? Or do they direct their short messages at the fact of their oppression? They express frustration or rage, a desperate cry for relief and empathy–it’s mostly all they have generally, most certainly if they express solidarity, for example, with the Palestinian cause against the US UN Security Council veto, isn’t it?

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 11:11 pm

        Shmuel: “Forgive me, but Barghouti’s studies at TAU are generally mentioned (especially out of context) with the intention of discrediting BDS.”

        You need to get out more. His studies at TAU, as well as his expulsion of Atzmon & Co from the BDS movement have been used by the Jewish Left to recruit for BDS. These things tend to document his trustworthiness. Of course, the fact that I like him should make you view him with suspicion, I suppose.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 12, 2014, 1:22 am

        His studies at TAU, as well as his expulsion of Atzmon & Co from the BDS movement have been used by the Jewish Left to recruit for BDS.

        Live and learn.

        Of course, the fact that I like him should make you view him with suspicion, I suppose.

        Nah, it’s not his fault.

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    February 9, 2014, 12:48 pm

    FREE PALESTINE means, precisely, “O Pharaoh, let my people go!” (or, perhaps, “O Pharaoh, let another people people go!”. That’s what it means. End the slavery and end the misery that Israel today enforces. And if anyone thinks it means the elimination of Israel, then they are nuts. As to what the GRAFFITIST had in mind, it is anybody’s guess, but no-one can know.

    As to another thread above, does anybody know how many Jews lived in Palestine in 1947 with permission to be there? Was it more or less than the 750,000 Palestinians (the usually quoted number) who were sent into exile in the 1948 war?

    • goldmarx
      goldmarx
      February 11, 2014, 11:06 pm

      pabelmont: Who gave the permission? Was there paperwork to document the permission?

  5. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    February 9, 2014, 1:29 pm

    Deuteronomy 16:20, which the King James version makes ‘That which is altogether just shalt thou follow’ is rather two-edged in this context, since the reward for absolute justice among the Israelites is that they may ‘live and inherit the land’. The Greek version makes it ‘enter and divide by lot’, very much after the manner of conquerors.

    • jon s
      jon s
      February 9, 2014, 4:42 pm

      MHughes, the King James version seems to embroider the original Hebrew text , which, simply translated is:
      “Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live and possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving you.”
      In other words : justice, and more justice. A fitting quote, considering the Workmen’s Circle’s commitment to social justice.
      The defacement itself is an ugly, barbaric, act and should be condemned.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 9, 2014, 6:05 pm

        @jons – In other words, that tribal god tells them to take possession of other peoples’ land that they cleansed by genocide (“and don’t you dare leave anyone alive! Go back and kill the farm animals, too”! –why do you ignore that quote?) and hangers-on to the crime call it justice. What a convenient scripture bullshit.
        As for the “defacement”, I found that that obscurantist and tribalist picture, which I always considered an intelorable insult to “workmen” and their internationalism, finally provided a very nicely fitting background to a call to free the occupied lands.

      • jon s
        jon s
        February 11, 2014, 3:12 pm

        Puppies, if you weren’t so blinded by hate, you could see a lot more, including the references to justice for all in the Jewish sources.

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 10, 2014, 12:58 pm

        >> The defacement itself is an ugly, barbaric, act and should be condemned.

        barbaric: savagely cruel; exceedingly brutal

        The defacement is ugly and I condemn it.

        But what’s actually barbaric is what Zio-supremacists like you have been advocating, defending and doing to the Palestinians for over 60+ years.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        February 10, 2014, 1:39 pm

        Thanks eljay. Generally as well.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        February 10, 2014, 1:34 pm

        @jon s- If they defaced the wall saying “F*k Jews” it would be a barbaric act (as is the second defacing of “F*k Palestine”).

        But “Free Palestine” is a noble sentiment, expressed via a vandal’s criminal act. I embrace the sentiment and condemn the act. Important distinction.

        But the larger problem is that the more Israel claims to represent all Jews, the harder it will be for some people to make that distinction. It will test us as a society to retain a consistently universal morality and NOT adopt the coercive hypocrisy that is an Israel trademark at this point (i.e. vandalism = “price tag” = coercive hypocrisy, imo). We all will have to struggle to distinguish places like the Workmen’s Circle from places that actively (or “liberally”/”benignly”) support Israel’s festering, ongoing oppression of the Palestinians.

        It’s a really shitty, dangerous situation, but it’s also a proverbial two-way street/effort to avoid the trap that Israel seems intent upon foisting on us all.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 10, 2014, 5:17 pm

        “The defacement itself is an ugly, barbaric, act and should be condemned.”

        The act may be immoral, because it is defacing someone else’s property, but it actually made a blah, limp piece of cultural propaganda into a rather interesting work of art. It shouldn’t have happened, but it actually improved the piece.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        February 11, 2014, 11:17 am

        It’s important to note that there are passages close by in Deuteronomy, like 27:19, that insist on justice for non-Israelites, comparing their rather weak social position to that of widows and orphans. That sort of passage should not be forgotten – perhaps is forgotten too easily – by Christians considering Jewish tradition. But it’s still true that the reward for justice in the passage quoted, Dt.16, is conquest.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 11, 2014, 11:28 am

        It’s important to note that there are passages close by in Deuteronomy, like 27:19, that insist on justice for non-Israelites, comparing their rather weak social position to that of widows and orphans.

        A similar passage appears in Deut. 16 itself.

        But it’s still true that the reward for justice in the passage quoted, Dt.16, is conquest.

        Traditional Jewish exegesis tends to understand this verse (like many of the passages concerning conquest) in the specific context of eradicating idolatry (in itself connected with the idea of justice), rather than a simple reward or promise. The following verses (16:21-22) lend support to this understanding.

        To get back to the modern context, Buber (based, inter alia, on this verse, if I’m not mistaken), viewed all Jewish religious claims to the land as entirely contingent upon the practice of justice (which for Buber meant universal justice, of course).

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        February 12, 2014, 10:49 am

        Replying to myself again because of where the reply button is – There does indeed seem to be something proto-existentialist about Dt. that would have appealed to Buber. The frequent use of the singular address and the instruction in ch.16 to admit non-Israelites to the party after some of the sacrifices does have that air of I-Thou encounter, both between God and human beings and between human beings themselves. And even on Buberian terms, with differences of creed not seeming to matter too much!
        My Oxford Commentary thinks of vs.20 as an addition to the original text, re-emphasising the main point of Deuteronomist history, that continued possession of the land depends on fidelity and on fleeing idolatry – making God an It or a Thing rather than a Thou or an Encounter. I would still suspect that there is something here of the ethical instability of (I think) all existentialism once it starts looking beyond I-thou-here-now towards continuity and the long term.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 12, 2014, 11:03 am

        My Oxford Commentary thinks of vs.20 as an addition to the original text, re-emphasising the main point of Deuteronomist history, that continued possession of the land depends on fidelity and on fleeing idolatry

        That further strengthens the idea (dominant in Jewish exegesis) of 20-21 as a single unit and, hence, the inexorable link between justice, eradication (not just fleeing) of idolatry and possession of the land or, in other words the spiritual rather than material (national?) dimension of the covenant.

  6. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    February 9, 2014, 3:18 pm

    Also out of LAla land comes a challenger to Mort Klein’s throne at the ZOA:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l03pm3mt5Q

    A true believer in the most debunked, tired old hasbara bs! But then, he’s proud of having defended the JDL, a terrorist organisation.
    More from:
    http://972mag.com/more-zionist-than-the-jewish-state-itself/86984/

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      February 9, 2014, 3:35 pm

      A true believer in the most debunked, tired old hasbara bs! But then, he’s proud of having defended the JDL, a terrorist organisation.

      Not to mention his (Steven Goldberg’s) political eugenics fantasies for the Jewish people:

      I’m mad as hell that we have protesters that have plagued the Jewish people, the mutants who betray us… For those who oppose a woman’s right to choose, I would say look at some of these Jewish protesters and maybe rethink a woman’s right to choose abortion.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/protest-settlements-aborted.html

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 9, 2014, 6:21 pm

        @Shmuel – Assuming that he was quoted correctly, he’s not entirely wrong:
        “he believes a two-state solution would be “morally wrong and strategically stupid,” “.
        “Strategically stupid” is a good characterization. The time in which the Zionists may still get away with their ongoing genocide and officially annex all of Palestine won’t last forever; hurdles are being built on that road. It makes sense for the Zionist to do it now, before EU and US call them on their rampant colonization if not on their unofficial annexion. The Yahoo can’t say it out loud but a propaganda instrument in the US would have no obstacles at all.

  7. Ira Glunts
    Ira Glunts
    February 9, 2014, 5:25 pm

    I participated in my first Color War at a Workmen’s Circle camp, Camp Kinder Ring in 1958. They were light on the Zionism/Israel thing back then. A look at the camp website makes me think they still are.

    http://www.campkr.com/kinder-ring-experience/about-us

    Camp Kinder Ring began in 1927, and is owned and operated by The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring. The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring was founded in 1900 by Jewish immigrants determined to establish a society to provide mutual assistance and to promote Jewish community, Yiddish culture and social justice. Today The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring is an activist-based national organization which is the prominent voice for continuation of a secular Jewish heritage and is committed to advocacy for social and economic justice. This mission supports the operation of a safe, fun summer camp in a nurturing Jewish community.

  8. crypticvalentin
    crypticvalentin
    February 9, 2014, 6:05 pm

    Palestine Story

  9. Naftush
    Naftush
    February 10, 2014, 1:43 am

    The Arbeter Ring is the last vestige of the Bund, which advocated just the kind of Jewishness that you commenters would approve of: without religion, without a homeland, without sovereignty, without a majority. Without moral quandaries that come with maintaining nationhood. Trade unionism as the new Torah. Yiddish as the new Hebrew. Poland as the new Eretz Israel. Well, guess where the Bundists went. But for some of you, even the nondescript vestige on Robertson Blvd. is too Zionistic and deserves defacement. A big gevalt to you.

    • puppies
      puppies
      February 10, 2014, 3:35 pm

      Of course it is Zionistic and of course it deserves being corrected by “Free Palestine”! Do you even think Marek Edelman would have advertised with menorahs and the like? And what is that “Israel” flag abomination doing there, if they are still Bundists? And where are the Bundists when you need them among the Zionist unanimity? That’s all a false front.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 8:53 am

        puppies: The Israeli flag is there for the same reason the American flag is there – because the Workmen’s Circle recognizes both countries right to exist. That’s all.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 11, 2014, 9:21 am

        “The Israeli flag is there for the same reason the American flag is there – because the Workmen’s Circle recognizes both countries right to exist”

        Well then their preclusion of the Palestinian flag is a de facto refusal to recognize the Palestinian State and a wish by the Workmen’s Circle that the zionist oppression of the Palestinian and the theft of their land continue. Therefore the grafitti was proper and targeted.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 11:03 pm

        Tanaka: “Well then their preclusion of the Palestinian flag is a de facto refusal to recognize the Palestinian State…”

        Really? And what does their preclusion of the French flag signify?

        Hey Woody, you’re losing your touch – no mention of rape.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 11, 2014, 3:47 pm

        @goldmark – A typical Zionist reply. There is no imaginable connection between a Yiddish worker’s association and the nasty little Spartan country, so why that flag out of the 194 non-US flags? That’s enough for the indictment.

    • puppies
      puppies
      February 11, 2014, 4:01 pm

      “Yiddish as the new Hebrew”
      Why can’t we get Zionist propaganda personnel with two brain cells to rub against each other over here? Guy doesn’t even seem to have heard that the first speaker of the Zio-invented Modern Hebrew language was born in 1882.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        February 12, 2014, 11:29 am

        Yeah, guy heard of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. He raised the first native Hebrew-speaking child in many centuries. During those centuries, however, Hebrew was used by Jews everywhere for scholarship, correspondence, jurisprudence, etc. By 1882, it was also being used for belles lettres and journalism. All before there were Zios. The Bund opposed all that and advocated for Yiddish as the Jewish collective (not national) language.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 13, 2014, 11:24 pm

        @Naftush – You are confusing written – liturgical language (like Latin in Western Europe past the Renaissance, or adapted Biblical Hebrew from 200 BC to 1920) with mother tongue. No one had Hebrew as a mother tongue until yesterday. And that is not the literary or liturgical Hebrew but an invented (technically, constructed or chimeric) language. As for the Bundists, they wanted to keep alive their mother tongue (just as they condemned, let’s repeat it here, the Zionist cowards who, instead of fighting Nazism, went to warm climes to turkey-shoot Eyrabs and commit terrorism against the British.) Also, the Bundists were not in the business of “The Jews” but only spoke in their own name, i.e. of the Yiddish-speaking East European population, not of some mythical Prussian-born fake nationalism.
        [Note: It’s Eliezer Perelman –before self-reinvention]

  10. Sumud
    Sumud
    February 10, 2014, 6:42 am

    …which advocated just the kind of Jewishness that you commenters would approve of: …

    What a sad little pity party you’re having!

    Something is NQR when you’re fabricating insults.

    • puppies
      puppies
      February 11, 2014, 3:50 pm

      He is right there, Sumud: Nationalist “Jewishness”, i.e. Zionism receives no approval here except among the almost-majority propaganda crowd. As you well know. That is certainly not an insult. That these guys are not Bundists but a sorry Zionist false front is another story.

  11. goldmarx
    goldmarx
    February 10, 2014, 11:52 am

    As someone who is a graduate of Workmen Circle schools and who sent his children to those schools, and who also supports the BDS movement, I am disgusted by the graffiti. The Workmen’s Circle is not even a Zionist organization, and yet they are targeted by so-called pro-Palestinian graffiti anyway.

    I guess when there are no Zionists around, any Jew will do.

    When people equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, they will point to events such as this.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      February 10, 2014, 12:43 pm

      goldmarx,

      From what I know of the Workmen’s Circle (obviously a lot less than you), I would tend to agree with you, but there’s something about the mural that precludes such an interpretation, and that is the presence of the Israeli flag. If the organisation is non-Zionist, why does it have a Zionist flag on a public artistic expression of its values, and would that, in itself (issues of vandalism aside) not warrant a big “Free Palestine”?

      Looking at it from the “other side”, what is someone sincerely dedicated to the Palestinian cause (for all the right reasons) going to feel (even knowing rationally that generalisation is bad), when even non-Zionist Jewish organisations like the Workmen’s Circle identify with Israel? Or, as Zeev Sternhell wrote last week, “Those who reject the occupation find it hard to embrace the occupier.”

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        February 10, 2014, 1:36 pm

        “I would tend to agree with you, but there’s something about the mural that precludes such an interpretation, and that is the presence of the Israeli flag. If the organisation is non-Zionist, why does it have a Zionist flag on a public artistic expression of its values, and would that, in itself (issues of vandalism aside) not warrant a big “Free Palestine”?”

        Because people take some pride in the symbol and believe in the right to Jewish self-determination without necessarily supporting every Israeli government policy?

        “What is someone sincerely dedicated to the Palestinian cause (for all the right reasons) going to feel (even knowing rationally that generalisation is bad), when even non-Zionist Jewish organisations like the Workmen’s Circle identify with Israel?”

        Hmm. Well, if they’re some dumb college-kid Western activist, they’re probably feel self-righteous anger, and think that destroying someone else’s mural would be an act of glorious revolution. If they’re a Palestinian, I’d bet that they understand that Jews take pride in their state, and that they’d hope for the day when they can take pride in a state of their own.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 10, 2014, 2:15 pm

        Because people take some pride in the symbol and believe in the right to Jewish self-determination without necessarily supporting every Israeli government policy?

        I don’t know about you, but I would call people who “take some pride in the symbol [the Israeli flag] and believe in the right to Jewish self-determination” Zionists. If the Workmen’s Circle is not Zionist, why would they take pride in the symbol and believe in the right to Jewish self-determination? To put it another way, what makes the Workmen’s Circle (or any other organisation for that matter) “non-Zionist”?

        Hmm. Well, if they’re some dumb college-kid Western activist, they’re probably feel self-righteous anger, and think that destroying someone else’s mural would be an act of glorious revolution.

        I was not discussing the rightness or efficacy of the gesture, but the feeling behind it.

        If they’re a Palestinian, I’d bet that they understand that Jews take pride in their state

        Really? Have you met many such Palestinians? Because the ones I meet tend to resent symbols of the ideology/movement and state that have destroyed their lives and the lives of their people, and to be frustrated by the fact that this movement/state enjoys so much support (even “without necessarily supporting every Israeli government policy”).

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 10, 2014, 3:08 pm

        The Workmen’s Circle does not accept the Jerusalem Program, which lists several conditions for making one a Zionist. For example, the Workmen’s Circle does not accept the concept that Israel is the center of the Jewish people.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 10, 2014, 3:49 pm

        The Workmen’s Circle does not accept the Jerusalem Program, which lists several conditions for making one a Zionist. For example, the Workmen’s Circle does not accept the concept that Israel is the center of the Jewish people.

        Setting aside the minutiae of the “pro-Israel, non-Zionist” stance (I think it’s a safe bet that the graffiti “artist” is not familiar with the Jerusalem Program), your assertion was that WC is not a Zionist organisation and the graffiti can therefore only be explained as an act of anti-Semitism. Is being pro-Israel and displaying an Israeli flag not enough of a reason to scrawl “Free Palestine” (again, questions of vandalism, efficacy, etc. aside), without resorting to explanations of anti-Semitism (“any Jew will do”) — whether the organisation in question happens to view “Israel as the center of the Jewish people” or not?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 10, 2014, 6:36 pm

        “Because people … believe in the right to Jewish self-determination”

        Those who believe in the right to Jewish self-determination are mistaken.

        I know you assert such a right, but this website is replete with arguments showing you are wrong.

        I do not recall you presenting a single counter argument, and assertion does not create a right.

        There is no such right for Jews qua Jews.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 8:56 am

        No Roha, this website is replete with argument claiming that “I” am wrong. Not proving, just claiming.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 11, 2014, 8:37 pm

        “No Roha, this website is replete with argument claiming that “I” am wrong. Not proving, just claiming.”

        Arguments may not be complete proof, but they give reason to believe. They are more than bare claims.

        In respect of Jewish self-determination, all hophmi offers are bare claims. In the face of the arguments, his claims cannot be taken seriously.

    • puppies
      puppies
      February 10, 2014, 3:31 pm

      @goldmarx – Bullshit. Non-Zionist? Pull the other one. Why are all the symbols of fake “Jewish” nationalism on that wall? Just because? A nationalist worker’s circle completely innocent of nationalism?

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      February 11, 2014, 9:24 am

      “The Workmen’s Circle is not even a Zionist organization”

      But their mural clearly is, even to the point of putting the israeli flag in a position of superiority to the US flag. If they don’t want to be seen as a zionist organization, then perhaps they shouldn’t adorn their building with a symbol of the zionist tyranny, like that flag.

  12. hophmi
    hophmi
    February 10, 2014, 2:38 pm

    I didn’t say that they were non-Zionist. I said that their work has nothing to do with Israel. By the way, Shmuel, there’s an American flag there too. How do you know that wasn’t the reason the mural was displaced? Should Workmen’s Circle be held responsible for everything the US did in Iraq and Afghanistan because they displayed an American flag?

    “Really? Have you met many such Palestinians?”

    Yes.

    “Because the ones I meet tend to resent symbols of the ideology/movement and state that have destroyed their lives and the lives of their people, and to be frustrated by the fact that this movement/state enjoys so much support (even “without necessarily supporting every Israeli government policy”).”

    Yeah, maybe. But watch the Sheikh Jarrah video that was on the Guardian website last year, the one about the settlers taking over that house in East Jerusalem. The family is amazed that Israelis would try to help them. That’s because they assume that the Jews are tribal and care only about their own, just as the Palestinians are tribal and care only about their own. I mean, it makes sense, doesn’t it? That’s why it’s a conflict. Both sides are dug in. Of course, there are moderates on both sides who desire co-existence, but the BDS movement won’t have any of that; they’re for divisiveness and demonizing.

    In general, I learned a long time ago that it’s a lot easier to talk to Palestinians about the Middle East than it is to talk to Western activists about it, on both sides. Activists are always a lot crazier average than the people on the ground are.

    • goldmarx
      goldmarx
      February 10, 2014, 3:05 pm

      Hophmi: The BDS movement is not for divisiveness and demonizing – many of the Jewish BDS activists in the US are from the Workmen’s Circle. Don’t confuse BDS with many of the posers and flamers on Mondoweiss.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      February 10, 2014, 3:20 pm

      I didn’t say that they were non-Zionist.

      You said:

      The Workmen’s Circle is a “liberal Zionist organization?”
      What garbage.

      And Goldmarx said:

      “The Workmen’s Circle is not even a Zionist organization.”

      The premise for my questions was Goldmarx’ assertion (and yours) that this had nothing to do with Zionism and must therefore be seen as an act of anti-Semitism.

      there’s an American flag there too. How do you know that wasn’t the reason the mural was displaced?

      Anti-Semitism was your interpretation, not mine. Were the sentiment anti-American, one would think the perpetrator might have found some more unequivocal things to deface in LA.

      Should Workmen’s Circle be held responsible for everything the US did in Iraq and Afghanistan because they displayed an American flag?

      It’s really very simple. Displaying an Israeli flag (without official reasons of state or protocol), expresses identification with Israel. The spray-can guy wrote a message against Israel. Where’s the rocket science?

      To be honest, I really don’t understand how the rest of your comment is related. Palestinians were surprised at Israelis helping them, so they understand that non-Israeli Jews take pride in their state, because we “tribalists” understand one another? And what does any of this have to do with BDS wanting to “divide and demonize”?

      In general, I learned a long time ago that it’s a lot easier to talk to Palestinians about the Middle East than it is to talk to Western activists about it, on both sides.

      In general, I learned a long time ago that people don’t express a lot of “understanding” for the nationalist pride of their oppressors and their oppressors’ supporters and enablers. Unless of course, they have little interest in getting into a fight with a “crazy western activist” like you.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 10, 2014, 3:36 pm

        Shmuel: “Were the sentiment anti-American, one would think the perpetrator might have found some more unequivocal things to deface in LA.”

        Well, there are far more unequivocal, pro-Occupation things to deface in L.A., such as Israeli consulate offices, affiliates of the Zionist Organization of America, etc. And yet, the target was among the more sympathetic to the Palestinians you can find in the organized sector of the American Jewish community.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 10, 2014, 4:10 pm

        goldmarx,

        The US flag is entirely beside the point – you’re not suggesting it was the reason for the scrawl anyway. You are suggesting that the reason was simply because WC is Jewish, and you know this because it’s not Zionist and “among the more sympathetic to the Palestinians …”. The guy had a thought (at least one) and a spray-can. He wasn’t writing a thesis on the relationship between the WC and Zionism. Mural with Israeli flag on it, psssssssss. But you know for a fact that it had nothing to do with the flag or (in the unlikely scenario that the guy actually knew something about the WC) WC’s declared pro-Israel position, but it was exclusively because WC is Jewish. So why WC and not Chabad across the street? Because any Jew will do?

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 10, 2014, 5:26 pm

        Shmuel, you continue to make excuses for an unjust action. Was Hitler only anti-Zionist because Zionists called themselves Jews, and therefore in his mind he was killing 6,000,000 Zionists?

        If you think that’s over the top, I recall the excuses made by some here for the Hebron Massacre of 1929, along the lines of “Well, the Palestinians just killed any Jew they could find, not because they hated Jews, but because they hated Zionists, who always called each other Jews” I don’t forget that stuff, and when Mondoweiss is judged in the court of public opinion, this will enjoy prominent attention.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 11, 2014, 1:38 am

        you continue to make excuses for an unjust action

        No, I continue to question your unequivocal interpretation of that action.

        Hitler? Massacres? Now you’ve really lost me. Some guy spray-painted “Free Palestine” on a wall in LA in 2014, and you’re talking about six million? When someone calls Hitler “merely” anti-Zionist, give me a call.

        To recapitulate, you based your argument on the fact that the WC is not Zionist and is, in fact, one of the most pro-Palestinian Jewish groups around. Therefore, you concluded, the action must have been directed at Jews as Jews. You have no other explanation. I pointed out that there was an Israeli flag on the mural and that (assuming the scrawler actually knew anything about the organisation, as you suggest he should have) WC is pro-Israel.

        It is rather odd that you argue “new anti-Semitism” (more or less) with regard to this incident, but reject it in the context of BDS.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 8:58 am

        Shmuel: “So why WC and not Chabad across the street?” Maybe when the ‘artist’ refills the spray can and the coast is clear, Chabad will be targeted next.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      February 10, 2014, 3:47 pm

      @hophmi- That’s because they assume that the Jews are tribal and care only about their own,…

      It’s because “the” Jews/al-yehude, locally speaking, are the unequivocal, ongoing, only, and omnipresent source of their dispossession/hardship, and when “some” Jews separate themselves from that it is a real and refreshing/hopeful exception their daily experience.

      And how do you not “demonize” something that has killed your family and or displaced you at gunpoint for decades. You couldn’t do it, as Israel cannot help but demonize Palestinians for wanting their land back, even through channels/RoR compensation.

      Of course both sides are “dug in.” It’s zero sum from the Israeli side, and correspondingly hopeless from the Palestinian side (P’s have made all the “compromises” they can make, in “peace process” lingo).

      In general, I learned a long time ago that it’s a lot easier to talk to Palestinians about the Middle East than it is to talk to Western activists about it, on both sides. Activists are always a lot crazier average than the people on the ground are.

      Jeez. ALL Palestinians, by definition, have family in the WB/Gaza. That family is continuously and violently at risk in the occupation. Do you think that Ps will ever relate their inner feelings to someone who advocates for, or presupposes that, their continued occupation is good and/or necessary (i.e. until they “behave” or act as continuously redefined “peace partners”, or with someone who might report back to Israel and make their families’ lives harsher, or simply be viewed as the oppressor)? I mean how do YOU start out these conversations in a neutral, solicitive way?

      “Western activists” don’t suffer from this violent limitation. Of course it’s harder.

      Exclusive Palestinian non-violence is not a normal human reaction to what Israel is doing to them. No free person would put up with that in that way, sans force, impressed over a long period of time. What makes you believe that your conversations as a perceived oppressor, with Palestinians about their oppression are either normal or representative?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 11, 2014, 7:51 am

        @ goldmarx (no reply button)

        Re your: “Was Hitler only anti-Zionist because Zionists called themselves Jews, and therefore in his mind he was killing 6,000,000 Zionists?”

        Was Hitler anti-Zionist? It doesn’t appear so, given the Nazi-Zionist medallion issued in 1933 by Goebbles to commemorate a joint visit to Zionist Palestine by SS Officer Leopold von Milderstein and Zionist Federation official Kurt Tuchler.

        Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e84_1382273064#VW1EL87oKY8EcDXm.99

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 10:58 pm

        Citizen: “Was Hitler anti-Zionist?” Well, the Mufti thought so, and had his picture taken with him seated in some opulent chairs. More importantly, the Mufti worked with the Nazis to organize battalions of Bosnian Moslems to fight on the Russian Front, among other things.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 12, 2014, 7:37 am

        @ goldmarx
        Touche. So it looks like both Hitler and the Zionist leaders of the times took support from wherever they could? And that would apply to the Mufti too.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 12, 2014, 8:07 am

        So it looks like both Hitler and the Zionist leaders of the times took support from wherever they could? And that would apply to the Mufti too.

        Not to mention the Bosnians, who had their own struggle to worry about.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      February 11, 2014, 9:26 am

      “By the way, Shmuel, there’s an American flag there too. How do you know that wasn’t the reason the mural was displaced?”

      LMAO. Wow, you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel with that argument.

  13. rplatkin
    rplatkin
    February 10, 2014, 4:03 pm

    As someone from LA who knows the Workmen’s Circle very well, I think the LA Weekly article was accurate, but that Phillip Weiss and Max Blumenthal comments were simply wrong in characterizing it as liberal zionist organization. It has nothing in common with groups like Meretz-USA, J Street, or Americans for Peace Now, all of which are liberal zionist organizations.
    The Workmen’s Circle is a progressive secular organization focused on maintaining the Yiddish language and developing a progressive, secular, Jewish culture in the United States. It does not advocate that anyone make aliyah (immigration) to Israel. It does it anyway maintain that Israel is central to Jewish life. It plays no role is disseminating the classical or modern Hebrew language, which is why it solely focuses on Yiddish. It does not engage in any hasbara (propaganda) activities. In fact, it is on the only Jewish institution in Los Angeles that has made it facilities available to Rabbis for Human Rights, Los Angeles Jews for Peace, and Jewish Voice for Peace – Los Angeles. It is also the only Jewish organization, other than LA Jews for Peace, that recognizes May Day (International Workers Day) and several years ago even prepared a May Day Passover Seder celebration. Its former director, Eric Gordon, was absolutely correct in his LA Weekly interview that it is ridiculous location for “Free Palestine” graffiti. If anything, the vaguely socialist politics of the Workmen’s Circle would go further than the mural graffiti since it would never advocate blind nationalism without a progressive political and economic program. In this case, the Workmen’s Circle implicit position would be that a neo-liberal (Fatah, PA, etc.) or clerical authoritarian (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) Palestinian state would not free its residents. The only truly “free” Palestinian state would be one that eliminated the yoke of religious or class oppression on its citizens. While some Palestinian and Israeli organization have this position, I doubt that Palestinian-supporter who graffitied the mural ever got that far in his or her understanding.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      February 10, 2014, 4:46 pm

      Great comment. Thanks.

    • goldmarx
      goldmarx
      February 10, 2014, 5:29 pm

      Eloquently put, RPLatkin, but lots of commenters here have drunk the Kool-Aid that no one who says “Free Palestine” is ever wrong.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      February 11, 2014, 1:46 am

      It does it anyway maintain that Israel is central to Jewish life.
      It does or it doesn’t?

      Why does it have the nationalist flag on its mural, but not the Palestinian one?

      it would never advocate blind nationalism without a progressive political and economic program.
      I am not sure you fully thought that sentence through, brother.

    • MRW
      MRW
      February 11, 2014, 4:05 am

      The Workmen’s Circle is a progressive secular organization focused on maintaining the Yiddish language and developing a progressive, secular, Jewish culture in the United States.

      Then why the foreign flag of a country where Yiddish is not the official language?

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 11, 2014, 4:58 am

        @MRW – of a country that is fighting as hard as it can to kill Yiddish!

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 9:00 am

        MRW: “Then why the foreign flag of a country where Yiddish is not the official language?” Well, it displays the American flag, where Yiddish is also not the official language.

    • puppies
      puppies
      February 11, 2014, 5:07 am

      @rplatkin – If we had heard them sometimes about Zionism and where they stand, as a genuine exception to the iron rule that all “Jewish” organizations with –perhaps– the exception of JVP are anti-Zionist, well then it might have percolated all the way to the writer of the beautiful graffito.
      You don’t seem to realize the statistical situation. And you don’t seem to realize that the “Israel” flag was part of that picture! Also don’t forget that the Zionist state has commandeered the menorah in addition to the six-pointed star, and again, by the simple law of overwhelming statistics, their appearance means Zionist to whoever is looking. Once more: If you know of any facility or institution calling itself “Jewish” that is not Zionist, tell the world, because right now the only exception seems to be Neturei Karta.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        February 11, 2014, 9:04 am

        Well, if we’re going to look at it from your statistical point of view, then Phil Weiss could be the next target. An interesting way to disguise anti-Semitism.

    • tree
      tree
      February 12, 2014, 11:19 pm

      It has nothing in common with groups like Meretz-USA, J Street, or Americans for Peace Now, all of which are liberal zionist organizations.

      It obviously has something in common with J Street as it has repeatedly linked to JStreet activities on its own facebook page, most recently just yesterday.

      https://www.facebook.com/workmenscircle

      Here’s a comment on their facebook page in reply to the official posted Workmens Circle response to the graffiti

      Dean Marger: as the predominant left-leaning promoter of yidishkeyt, there are a lot of us anti-zionist jews who maybe wish AR would take a different stance on palestine. And, while it is sad to see a work of art defaced (could the message have gone on a wall across the street?) i think it might be the american and israeli flags that were offensive enough to inspire this communication. in other words, to be shocked and confounded is not a completely honest response to what has been an ongoing and extremely complicated situation. Oh, and I’m from NYC.

      Not only does the commenter recognize that the graffiti was on the mural with the Israeli flag (exactly over the israeli flag on the mural) but she also recognizes that the WC has not been particularly interested in “justice, justice” as far as Palestine and Palestinians are concerned. Liberal Zionist seems like a most apt descriptor of the organization, or at least its leadership. Here’s another example of that from the WC facebook page: a link to an opinion piece in Haaretz by the former head of the Boston WC, Michael Felsen, calling for the end of the occupation and the “two-state solution” as the best way to challenge BDS. His description of the two-states is pure Zionism,

      Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and Palestine as the homeland of its people

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.567828

      A non-Zionist would never call Israel the “homeland of the Jewish people” but would accurately and justly refer to it as the homeland of all Israeli people, regardless of their religion or ethnicity. (But then of course, Israel doesn’t recognize its own nationality, does it?)

      If anything, the vaguely socialist politics of the Workmen’s Circle would go further than the mural graffiti since it would never advocate blind nationalism without a progressive political and economic program. In this case, the Workmen’s Circle implicit position would be that a neo-liberal (Fatah, PA, etc.) or clerical authoritarian (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) Palestinian state would not free its residents. The only truly “free” Palestinian state would be one that eliminated the yoke of religious or class oppression on its citizens. While some Palestinian and Israeli organization have this position, I doubt that Palestinian-supporter who graffitied the mural ever got that far in his or her understanding.

      I think Felsen has proven you wrong on that. He embraces Israel as the “homeland of the Jewish people” despite the fact than it is an ethnocracy that has not even “eliminated the yoke of religious” and “class oppression” over its Jewish citizens, not to mention the travesties that it heaps upon its non-Jewish citizens and subjects.

      And then, of course, there is the fact that Workmen’s Circle is a member organization of Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, an organization with a strong Zionist bent, which has support of Israel as one of its primary missions.

      http://www.conferenceofpresidents.org/about

      Information available over the internet from the Workmen’s Circle itself indicates that liberal Zionist is an accurate description of its leadership, if not its entire membership.

      In any case, the building’s front was not graffitied. Only the mural with the Israeli flag was hit, so that appears to be the target for the “Free Palestine” statement. The Workmen’s Circle may not have even been in the mind of the graffiti-ist, and he may not have even know of any connection of the mural with the WC entrance around the corner, or even had any idea what the Workmen’s Circle was, so it seems particularly contrived to claim anti-semitism as responsible for such an act of graffiti.

      • tree
        tree
        February 12, 2014, 11:47 pm

        Typo in my above post. The commenter on the WC facebook page was “Dena” not “Dean”.

  14. ritzl
    ritzl
    February 10, 2014, 4:29 pm

    Reading this thread, I’m curious, now, who did this and why, and why there. What was their info input and/or motivation?

    Come on graffitist, claim credit. Let everyone understand you. It’s important.

    • mcohen
      mcohen
      February 11, 2014, 5:07 am

      Ritzl

      “what was their info input”

      input came from the internet from sites that are anti israel and anti jew

      The grafffitist saw the jewish symbols and reacted giving little thought to the true purpose of the building or group
      i have a saying
      who would put a rock upon a sapling,a blind man searching for a blessing
      In south africa we used to say that when the zulu,s came marching down the streets armed with there traditional weapons anyone with a white skin was in danger regardless of his political beliefs.
      Attacks on zionism and israel can become “lost in translation” as people like to say and jews will be attacked regardless of there political beliefs much like the behaviour of some of the posters on this site.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 11, 2014, 7:10 am

        “The grafffitist saw the jewish symbols and reacted giving little thought to the true purpose of the building or group”

        Nope. more likely they saw the israeli zionist symbol and reacted accordingly. Frankly, if the world sees the israeli flag as the equal to the hammer and sickle, Confederate Battle Flag or the Swastika flag — as a symbol of hate and oppression — then those Jews who object to Jewish religious symbols being viewed in that manner are misdirecting their anger if it is aimed anywhere other than at the israelis.

        They’re the ones who corrupted a previously untarnished political and religious symbol and made it stand for little other than attempted genocide, ethnic cleansing, land theft, murder, oppression, Apartheid and injustice.

      • just
        just
        February 11, 2014, 7:42 am

        Great comment, Woody.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        February 12, 2014, 7:35 pm

        @mcohen-

        A) “input came from the internet from sites that are anti israel and anti jew” You don’t that, and nobody else does either, until and unless they perp comes forward.

        B) What Woody Tanaka said.

        C) My implied point was that, given Israel’s deliberate conflation of “the Jews” and Israel as a state, the coming societal “sea change” on Israel is going to be either harsh or ugly/degenerate. I would direly hope it be harsh (i.e factually, uncomfortably, and in all other ways, balancing) than degenerate, but unless we know, now, early on, why people do this kind of thing (i.e. why they act on the Israel-generated, well-propagated conflation), we aren’t likely to correct/discern/educate and come to a difficult, but much-needed, moral consensus on this.

        I think that is very, Very bad. But we need to do so, so what’s your strategy for channeling this rights-based anger in the right direction?

  15. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    February 11, 2014, 10:44 pm

    Seems to me that Phil is celebrating this defacement. It is not something that deserves celebration.

    • goldmarx
      goldmarx
      February 11, 2014, 10:53 pm

      Indeed, Yonah, the tone of Phil’s post is more critical of Eric Gordon of the non-Zionist Workmen’s Circle than it is of the defacer.

      Those of us on the Jewish Left have a habit of filing these things away and never forgetting.

      • tree
        tree
        February 12, 2014, 11:36 pm

        Those of us on the Jewish Left have a habit of filing these things away and never forgetting.

        And what pray tell is the “Jewish Left”. Is that any different from the “Left” in general? And if so, how so? Being willing to threaten fellow Jews like Phil who question tribal-think? Engaging in negative stereotypes about non-Jews? Considering it more important that the BDS movement conduct Stalinist purges of “anti-semites” than that Israel stop denying Palestinians their basic human rights? Because those are some of the viewpoints than you have brandished around here and they don’t seem very “left” to me, or, for that matter, the kind of ideas that anyone would be proud to identify as “Jewish”.

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