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Stirring debate on BDS, ‘NYT’ allows readers to speak out about inequality

Israel/Palestine
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PLO official Hanan Ashrawi (photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli/Flash90 via The Times of Israel)

One NYT letter writer: PLO official Hanan Ashrawi (photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli/Flash90 via The Times of Israel)

I’m easily astonished, but this is astonishing. The New York Times runs a bumper crop of letters about BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) in its international edition today, 15 of them, and most of the letters are pro-BDS, and from Americans, including activists in the Palestinian solidarity movement who oppose ethnic supremacy and inequality. Exciting excerpts are below.

The letters astonish me for two reasons:

First, I sense that the Times editors are seeking to balance two articles it ran describing BDS as anti-Semitic. Columnist Roger Cohen said that the BDS movement harbors anti-Semitism, because it would deny “the core of the Zionist idea,” that Jews have a national home (p.s. Roger Cohen has led a worldly life of accomplishment in New York and London). And reporter Jodi Rudoren wrote a piece quoting rightwing Israelis, saying BDS is immoral and anti-Semitic and reminiscent of Nazi tactics (with Omar Barghouti quoted from the other side). These letters are a response to those two pieces. If I were Rudoren, I’d feel embarrassed.

Second astonishment. The Times is announcing, we want Americans to discuss BDS openly, with a headline, “Is a Boycott of Israel Just?”. This is a wonderful thing on the part of our leading newspaper, and we should celebrate it.

Now here are some excerpts. Cherry-picked, of course!

It’s galling that in a piece on the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement, launched in 2005 by Palestinian civil society in response to Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, Jodi Rudoren frames her story in terms of B.D.S. echoing the anti-Semitic boycotts of Nazi Germany, quoting several Israelis harshly critical of B.D.S. and just one Palestinian supporter. Ms. Rudoren even seems to endorse allegations that B.D.S. is anti-Semitic and directed at Jews rather than Israel and Israelis, writing, “Avoiding a coffee shop because you don’t like the way the boss treats his employees is voting with your wallet; doing so because the boss is Jewish — or black or female or gay — is discrimination.” Contrary to what Ms. Rudoren and the quoted B.D.S. critics suggest, the movement does not target Jews, individually or collectively, and rejects all forms of bigotry and discrimination, including anti-Semitism. B.D.S. is, in fact, a legal, moral and inclusive movement struggling against the discriminatory policies of a country that defines itself in religiously exclusive terms, and that seeks to deny Palestinians the most basic rights simply because we are not Jewish.

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Ramallah, West Bank

The B.D.S. movement has nothing to do with animus toward Jews. Many American Jews, myself included, are vigorously working in support of B.D.S. — and there are more and more of us with every passing month. We target Israel for boycott not because we believe Israel is the worst human rights violator (we don’t), but because Israel is the single largest recipient of American foreign aid, more than $3 billion a year. As Jews, as taxpayers, as people of conscience, we have not only the right but the moral obligation to use boycott and divestment as strategies of nonviolent resistance to Israel’s systematic, racist mistreatment of Palestinians being done on our nickel and in our names.

Hannah Schwarzschild Arlington, Mass.

The Israelis claim that anti-Semitism is behind the boycott, but they don’t see the real reason: the occupation of Palestinian lands and the subjugation of the Palestinians over the years.

Lillian Laskin, Los Angeles

In view of the massive unquestioned support of Israel by the American government, one might assume that Israel would be more cooperative in the search for peace and justice. This has obviously not happened. Resorting to proclaiming anti-Semitism every time there are questions as to the policies of the Israeli government is the fallback position when all else fails. This should not be allowed.

Doris Rausch, Columbia, Md.

Roger Cohen cites the fact that my brother, Omar Barghouti, received a degree from Tel Aviv University to conclude that Israel affords more rights to minorities than other regional states. But minorities receive higher academic degrees in all neighboring states.

…If a state defines its legitimacy on the premise of denying the indigenous people their right to live within it, then what choice do the indigenous people have but to delegitimize that state? To deny the Palestinians the right to fight for their right of return is to say they are not equal to Israeli Jews.

Dr. Nasser Barghouti, San Diego

The United Nations did not give a mandate for expanded borders, ethnic cleansing and mass expulsion. Allowing Palestinians to return is necessary for the healing of this conflict. A novel solution — two states with identical borders — would enable Palestinians to return and have self-determination, while allowing Israel to remain a Jewish state and haven for Jews. The two states would have equal power.

Esther Riley, Fairfax, Calif.

Mr. Cohen’s embrace of full equality is insincere because he justifies an unequal law. Inequality and guarantees of ethnic/religious supremacy are endemic to the notion of a Jewish state. Such a state can never be democratic, because in a democracy the people are sovereign. The state belongs to all its citizens.

Rod Such, Portland, Ore.

What Mr. Cohen’s argument boils down to is a belief that civil equality and human rights are less lofty ideals than the perseverance of a Jewish majority state. I wonder, would you ever publish an opinion article voicing concern over the end of America as a white state? … To preserve a Jewish majority, would Mr. Cohen push his argument further to call for the removal of Israel’s Palestinian population?

Bayann Hamid, New York

This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the letters appeared in the international edition of the New York Times. Thanks to commenters for pointing this out.

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107 Responses

  1. Balfour
    Balfour
    February 18, 2014, 11:12 am

    Read the fine print: these letters were only printed in the international addition of the NY Times, the letters don’t appear in the domestic editions.

    • Parity
      Parity
      February 18, 2014, 2:21 pm

      The letters do appear in the national, as well as international, online edition. Check for yourself. How about writing to the New York Times ([email protected]) and asking them to print the letters in the U.S. print edition? Or call or fax the Letters editor at

      Phone: (212) 556-1873
      Fax: (212) 556-3622

      • Baldur
        Baldur
        February 18, 2014, 4:35 pm

        Indeed. The best way to influence newspapers towards fairer debate is to contact them and voice your feelings. There are a lot of people with a clear picture of what’s really going on in Israel/Palestine, it’s about time we made sure several news outlets who have been known in the past for their one-sided journalism (and at times even outright lies) know people see through their smoke and mirrors.

    • ckg
      ckg
      February 18, 2014, 3:43 pm

      And NY Times digital (including online) circulation exceeds print circulation by a wide margin.

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    February 18, 2014, 11:24 am

    Super letters. Ashrawi’s was brilliant. Israel has no hope with that dead hasbara.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      February 18, 2014, 1:05 pm

      Most people don’t know the facts, though.

      On another note, I would question an assertion you made earlier that Israelis had to emigrate to there after WWII. I understand the traumas of the Nazi genocide. But the Allies were strongly against the genocide, were generally safe, and certainly weren’t expelling them. Why would greater safety be found in Palestine where there was a civil war with Palestinians and the neighboring countries were actively against the project?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 18, 2014, 2:13 pm

        Nobody wanted them in Europe , I think. Most of them were displaced persons. The Kielce pogrom happened in 1946 in Poland. Eastern Europe was under the Soviets. Amira Hass’ parents were Romanian, for example.
        I don’t know if a lot of UK or French Jews went to Israel between 45 and 48 – I think it was mostly Eastern European Jews.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        February 18, 2014, 2:39 pm

        Nobody wanted them in Europe…..

        Considering what they’ve gotten up to in Palestine that might not have been such a bad decision.

        (For Europe at least, for Palestine it was an unmitigated disaster)

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 18, 2014, 3:48 pm

        Seafoid.

        Your answer is the issue I am getting at. Yes, there was a Kielce pogrom, but Poland’s government actually shot nine perpetrators and convicted the official for failing to stop it. How can you say “no one” wanted them in Europe, when Greece’s church made very many fake baptism certificates to hide them and Denmark’s king wore a yellow star? The Soviets even had a self-governing Jewish region, which remains there today.

        Do you see Palestine as more accommodating and safe when there were actual battles going on there with the immigrants since the 1920’s, not to mention and a full-on intervention from all directions in 1948 to stop the Nakba and nationalism?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 19, 2014, 2:19 am

        The Polish Government was not independent. I think the Polish post war treatment of the Jewish question was really dreadful but Poles will say the whole situation was.
        You had Jews whose families were wiped out. Finkelstein’s wider family was exterminated for example.
        Even if Poland had been Starbucks Coffee offering nutmeg latte 24/7 would you have wanted to go back given everything that had happened ? Think of the trauma.

        And then the Zionists come along and say “you know, you are hated but if you come with us we’ll build paradise”

        Are you familiar with the children’s story Borka, by John Burningham?

        http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/mar/08/booksforchildrenandteenagers

        Borka is a goose with no feathers. She ends up meeting kindly strangers who bring her to Kew Gardens where all the birds are different and she fits right in.

        It’s very like early Zionism, innit
        As are coming out stories.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 19, 2014, 9:56 am

        Seafoid,

        Poland’s Postwar president, Bierut until 1956, was Jewish. I understand trauma about staying where there was hardship, but the Poles were so anti-Nazi, and “Polish Nazis” is practically an oxymoron. Poland was not independent, it was allied with the Soviets, and a significant Jewish minority stayed in Soviet Odessa up to today.

        What about Bulgaria proper? There was basically no Holocaust there because the government, monarchy and Church opposed it. So in that case they were wanted and there was no trauma.

        Wasn’t there far greater resistance in Palestine, as the Arabs actively opposed significant pre-war immigration? So if you compare Bulgaria and Palestine, or Poland and Palestine, how was it a matter of where they had to go and were wanted?

        You said that the nationalists told them: “you are hated but if you come with us we’ll build paradise”. And then you give a story about a goose with no feathers. Certainly, birds inherently need feathers. Does a nation or community need a state? I am not disagreeing with you or making Poland Starbucks coffee 24/7 (that would be nice), but trying to understand your views.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 20, 2014, 5:01 pm

        W Jones

        So the Polish prez was Jewish. Obama is black. Doesn’t make any difference in Mississippi.

        The thing about the Holocaust is that a lot of non Jews in Eastern Europe collaborated with the Nazis. The Germans got a lot of help. So one reason not to go back.

        Look at Bosnia today. Muslims ethnically cleansed from their villages. They go back and a Serb family is living in their house. Same thing happened to Jews in Poland. Some Polish family has moved in. Another reason to get the hell out. Who is going to take the house back for you. Same thing in West Jerusalem in 1948 BTW…..

        Third reason- the family was wiped out . That book about after the war mentioned that a lot of DPs were making out like jackrabbits- they literally didn’t give a fuck . They had been through hell. Why would you want to go back to live under Stalin ?

        I think it makes sense that a lot of Jews took the bot option.

      • Light
        Light
        February 20, 2014, 5:11 pm

        and Denmark’s king wore a yellow star?

        Many Danes helped Jews escape the Nazis but wearing the yellow star is a myth that originated from the fictional book “Exodus”.

        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1990/mar/29/the-legend-of-king-christian-an-exchange/?pagination=false

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 20, 2014, 5:32 pm

        @seafoid – Your goose story and sob stories are all a lot of bunk. Nazism had been stamped to the ground and there were laws. So what, a part of the occupied population collaborated? Tough shit. Where did that not happen? The war was over and collaborators were tried and sentenced. These “Jewish” persons were part of their respective nations and subject to the same laws and conditions as everybody.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 18, 2014, 4:48 pm

        @seafoid – That’s a lot of lame excuses. The political power was firmly anti-Nazi. The law did not allow for any racially motivated repression. Similar things happened with other groups and were duly repressed by the state. All it boils down to was a use of religious-racial excuses to escape from the socialist bloc, where the Ashkenazi were definitely not the only group to have problems. “Nobody wanted them in Europe” is a cold war lie. Everyone could go back to one’s own country and exercise citizenship. Disliking the political power structure doesn’t give the right to claim racial oppression (when significant parts of the ruling group had “Jewish” ancestry…)

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 20, 2014, 5:05 pm

        “The law did not allow for any racially motivated repression”

        So what? Czechoslovakia was the same yet they ethnically cleansed 1.7 m Germans. Many were tortured in broad daylight. AFTER THE WAR.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_OYRqXN1mg

        And your point was?

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 20, 2014, 5:21 pm

        The point is that this is after the fall of Nazism, under strongly anti-Nazi governments. All countries have troubles. Just because someone decides to call himself “Jewish” that does not automatically authorize an exception to the general rule applying to all citizens. The state organs were repressing the rioters, shot a number of them and captured others. If anything, the official organs were on the side of the Jews. The anti-German movement was definitely different.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 20, 2014, 6:02 pm

        The law was mostly ignored for at least 3 years post 1945, puppies. It was survival of the fittest.
        Europe was a mess. Jews were still discriminated against. The NKVD didn’t want Jews in Poland.

        Even if people could go back to their countries, for a lot of Jews the whole world they knew had vanished. Warsaw was razed in 1944. The shtetls were empty.

        There had been 3.5 million Jews in prewar Poland and 90% were murdered.

        Were Jews supposed to get over it and pretend nothing had happened? Even now 70 years on the Israelis haven’t managed the trauma particularly well.

        Sending the remnant Jews off to Palestine suited a lot of powers.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 21, 2014, 12:52 pm

        Puppies,

        I am certain that if a survey was taken of Postwar Eastern Europeans: Do you want your Jewish population to leave, I am certain most people would say No, especially in some countries.

        Some of the most intolerant collaborators were the Ukrainian ones, who kept fighting the Allies after the War. Yet the Ukrainian UPA racists/fascists actually had mixed relationships with the Jewish population, sometimes protecting them. I would call the UPA areas the worst and least safe, yet they did have some safety. And by the way, the Poles were extremely anti-UPA and anti-Nazi.

        The other ones I would suspect of being racist in the postwar era would be the Hungarians, because of the 1956 anti-Soviet mob uprising. But even that was not necessarily pro-Nazi, was it?

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        February 18, 2014, 2:22 pm

        “But the Allies were strongly against the genocide, were generally safe, and certainly weren’t expelling them. ”

        You’re missing the point. Poland wasn’t a safe place;over 90% of the Jewish population in Poland died. France wasn’t a safe place. Neither was the Netherlands. And unlike Germany, where Jews had a window of several years in between 1933 and 1939 to experience Hitler and to get out, Jews elsewhere did not have that advantage, and thus, did not flee in great numbers. And much as the United States and Great Britain were safe, they weren’t exactly opening their doors to refugees.

        “Why would greater safety be found in Palestine where there was a civil war with Palestinians and the neighboring countries were actively against the project?”

        There wasn’t a civil war in 1939-45, and regardless, that situation was surely more safe than living under Nazi rule. In the 1948 War, the Yishuv lost one percent of its population, around 6,000 out of 600,000. In Europe, more the 50% of the Jews lost their lives.

        In any event, I don’t believe the case for a Jewish state rests solely on this issue; the case is painfully easy to make once one looks at the entire world in reality, rather than at Israel in a vacuum.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 18, 2014, 5:05 pm

        You’re missing the point. Poland wasn’t a safe place;over 90% of the Jewish population in Poland died. France wasn’t a safe place.

        Neither was Palestine, which is why the British were there. What’s your point?

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 18, 2014, 6:19 pm

        >> In any event, I don’t believe the case for a Jewish state rests solely on this issue; the case is painfully easy to make once one looks at the entire world in reality, rather than at Israel in a vacuum.

        There is no case for a supremacist “Jewish State”. There is no case for any supremacist state. Only a supremacist would think there was.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 19, 2014, 12:57 am

        Hopmi,

        I am directing my question at Seafoid.

        Seafoid’s claim is that the immigrants were unable to deal with the events of WWII and emigrated afterwards because they had to. I question whether they had to for safety.

        Fervent nationalist literature occasionally claims, with practically no basis, that the Arabs were preparing some kind of second Holocaust. If that is correct, then how does it make Palestine, alleged full of crazy antiSemite Jihadis, safer than postwar Europe?

        Your response dealt with the defeated Nazis, rather than Postwar Europe.

        Regards.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 21, 2014, 2:52 am

        W Jones

        Palestine in 1946 was fairly quiet compared to continental Europe. Yes, the bots were waging a terror campaign but there hadn’t been 6 years of insanity that destroyed the world that existed before. The bots unleashed that in 1948.

        You have to understand what the war did to Europe. It was a tabula rasa sort of thing. Forget about the greatest generation.

        The conditions that led to the Holocaust couldn’t just be switched off by a few Marines with bananas.

        It took the UK and France 6 or 7 years to get back on their feet economically and Germany at least 10. Eastern Europe never made it.
        Central Warsaw was rebuilt in the 1970s IIRC.

        Palestine was safer than Eastern Europe. The Jews had guns in Palestine and they had no predators.

        I am not totally au fait with what happened in France but there is still a big Jewish population there and very few of the bot leadership seem to have French roots so my guess is that most French Jews stayed put. France was ok post war- poorer, lots of structural damage- but it had something to work with.

        Poland was destroyed. The country was shifted west- Eastern Poland was cleared of Poles and settled with Ukrainians and the dispossessed Poles were sent to what had been eastern Germany- Silesia and Pomerania .

        Once in maybe 500 year stuff where the rule of law meant nothing. Property rights meaningless in that sort of situation. Children are dying , women are being raped – so what if you lost your paintings. Massive suffering on all sides.

        And safety ?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 20, 2014, 5:08 pm

        Hoph

        France was fairly safe. I agree about Poland. I think the Dutch had already helped exterminate most of their Jews.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 20, 2014, 5:35 pm

        @seafoid – “the Dutch had already helped exterminate most of their Jews.” Of all the vile, racist, nauseating bullshit I have ever read, this takes the cherry. Not only had the whole nation been under Nazi occupation, they now have to be slandered by some clueless persons.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 21, 2014, 2:56 am

        @ Puppies

        http://www-lib.usc.edu/~anthonya/holo.htm

        “In my talk last week, A Forgotten Chapter: Holland Under the Third Reich I stated that 70% of the Jews in Holland perished in the Holocaust. This 70% figure represents the highest loss in any country occupied by the Germans in western Europe. In my talk today I will try to explain why the percentage in Holland was just so high as it was.”

        Can you tell me why the percentage in the Netherlands was so high ? How many non Jews were murdered in the Netherlands during the war ? was it as high as 70% ?

        “Seafoid seems to be another case of Jewish nationalist paranoia.”

        Ya reet.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 20, 2014, 5:51 pm

        I think it would have made most sense to establish a Jewish state in the former East Prussia. By the winter of 1944-45, most of the Germans had fled. Those remaining were expelled by the Russians and Poles in the next couple of years. The Soviets wanted Königsberg/Kaliningrad as a port/naval base, but that could have been established in a Jewish republic within the Soviet Union. Such a republic would have been in no military danger. The Russians and Poles had great difficulty finding people to settle in East Prussia after the Germans had left.

        Stalin eventually turned against the Jews, but his motive there seems to have been disappointment at Israel’s turn towards the U.S. and distrust of Soviet Jews’ enthusiasm for Israel. Without an Israel, I wonder if he would have turned, and anyway he had only a few more years to live in any case.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 20, 2014, 6:17 pm

        @ Puppies

        The Dutch are very efficient and good at following orders.
        The French tend to be more sloppy and headstrong. France was a better place to be Jewish in WW2. That Appeldoorn Hospital case was one of the single worst episodes of the war in Western Europe.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 21, 2014, 1:26 am

        @Seafoid – I don’t care about the censorship here, stop dealing in irresponsible racism with your “national character” stereotypes. I suppose someone or the other was too lazy to read when he censored because of the Jewish stereotype
        I had given as an example. Who the hell are you to stand in judgment on a whole people’s suffering and resistance to Nazism?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 20, 2014, 6:19 pm

        @ Lysias

        It probably would have but Stalin did whatever he wanted and the Yanks didn’t stand up to him. He wanted Koenigsberg.
        The bots in the US were lobbying hard and Israel was probably inevitable.
        It is such a mess.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 20, 2014, 7:20 pm

        Seafoid,

        You are intelligent with a great sense of humor. But somehow I feel we are not connecting about this. It sounds like your view is that no one wanted its own Jewish population and that they had to leave?

        You compared Poland’s Jewish president to America’s black president. It’s not a bad analogy, because it shows that there are major regions of the country where they are wanted. If Poles were major antiSemites, the Soviets would have preferred someone who they could accept. It was just Bierut, but Poland’s postwar CP had many Jewish leaders. Wikipedia says that 37% of the CP was Jewish, and that they tended to be more loyal. How do you know that the NKVD actually wanted Poland’s Jews to leave, if that was the case?

        Next you said that many non-Jews helped the Germans. Maybe you were not aware how few and hated those collaborators were in Poland, not to mention other countries like Denmark, Norway, Czechoslovakia, and Serbia?

        Next, you mentioned that in some cases Polish families moved in, and compared it to the Nakba. I definitely disagree with the comparison. The Polish families could see that there has been a house that people have not lived in for many years, and then give it up when the family returned, or even through a judicial lawsuit. In the Nakba case, the families moved in knowing that the occupant was kicked out by their side and wanting it back, and there is 0 judicial recource for its owners even though they have the key.

        You mentioned the fact that Stalin took over Poland and the DPs, asking Who wants to live under Stalin? Stalin did not have control over Serbia, Greece, or some other anti-fascist countries. Besides, Stalin’s dictatorship does not mean that they cannot live there or aren’t wanted, but that conditions were bad for everyone.

        Next, you pointed to the fact that Czechs abused very many Germans after the war. But doesn’t this prove the point that German collaborators were actually hated and not representative of the population, and that the population were actually anti-fascist, Seafoid?

        Next, you said there was still discrimination in Europe. I would assume that was true in Hungary, although I think some Jews were in the postwar government. But do you think there was so much discrimination in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece that they had to leave, even after those countries either strongly protected them or were strongly anti-fascist?

        You mentioned that Warsaw and shtetls destroyed. I fully agree that it is very traumatic, and sympathize with people wanting to leave a traumatic area. But maybe the Poles did not actually want them all to leave, Seafoid? Don’t you think the Poles might actually have sympathized with Jews even more after the war, because they both suffered under the Nazis who the Poles opposed? 3 million Poles were killed by the Nazis, and like you said, Warsaw was destroyed. Maybe it was a trauma for everyone? Moscow was and many other cities were leveled badly by the Mongols. I am not justifying it or saying it was OK. But people have to live somehow to survive.

        In any case, did none of the peoples in Europe want an important, anti-fascist, and economically valuable population, that included neighbors and friends they grew up with?

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 21, 2014, 1:32 am

        @Jones (no reply button)- Remarkable post, thank you. Seafoid seems to be another case of Jewish nationalist paranoia. As if the single object of all the war was the tribe.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 21, 2014, 3:16 am

        @ W.Jones

        You compared Poland’s Jewish president to America’s black president. It’s not a bad analogy, because it shows that there are major regions of the country where they are wanted. If Poles were major antiSemites, the Soviets would have preferred someone who they could accept. It was just Bierut, but Poland’s postwar CP had many Jewish leaders. Wikipedia says that 37% of the CP was Jewish, and that they tended to be more loyal. How do you know that the NKVD actually wanted Poland’s Jews to leave, if that was the case?

        Who instigated the Kielce pogrom ? I have read that it was the NKVD.
        There were 240K Jews in Poland pre Kielce and less than 70K a few years later . The Soviets wanted Poland as a satellite state and they didn’t want any thinkers, any networked people.
        Remember what they did at Katyn

        It took the Poles 30 years to get organised.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_(Polish_trade_union)
        Stalin was insane.

        Next you said that many non-Jews helped the Germans. Maybe you were not aware how few and hated those collaborators were in Poland, not to mention other countries like Denmark, Norway, Czechoslovakia, and Serbia?

        Throw up a few links .
        I don’t consider Denmark and Norway to be relevant to this discussion.
        My guess is that where countries had an extermination rate in excess of 60% there was widespread collaboration.

        Next, you mentioned that in some cases Polish families moved in, and compared it to the Nakba. I definitely disagree with the comparison. The Polish families could see that there has been a house that people have not lived in for many years, and then give it up when the family returned, or even through a judicial lawsuit. In the Nakba case, the families moved in knowing that the occupant was kicked out by their side and wanting it back, and there is 0 judicial recource for its owners even though they have the key.

        Eastern Poland was given to the Ukraine by Stalin.

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

        A lot of shtetls there. How does a Jew get his property back in that territory? Remember there was no shurat ha din at that stage.
        A Jewish DP in a camp hears about murders in Ukraine, purges, the madness. Does he really want to go back there to his old shtetl ?

        You mentioned the fact that Stalin took over Poland and the DPs, asking Who wants to live under Stalin? Stalin did not have control over Serbia, Greece, or some other anti-fascist countries. Besides, Stalin’s dictatorship does not mean that they cannot live there or aren’t wanted, but that conditions were bad for everyone.

        Where did the majority of the Yishuv DPs come from? I think it was Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus but feel free to correct me.
        Greece’s Jews had already been mostly exterminated.

        Next, you pointed to the fact that Czechs abused very many Germans after the war. But doesn’t this prove the point that German collaborators were actually hated and not representative of the population, and that the population were actually anti-fascist, Seafoid?

        I think it was completely insane in the 3 years immediately after the war.
        What’s your take on it ?

        Next, you said there was still discrimination in Europe. I would assume that was true in Hungary, although I think some Jews were in the postwar government. But do you think there was so much discrimination in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece that they had to leave, even after those countries either strongly protected them or were strongly anti-fascist?

        How many Jews from Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria went to Palestine ?

        You mentioned that Warsaw and shtetls destroyed. I fully agree that it is very traumatic, and sympathize with people wanting to leave a traumatic area. But maybe the Poles did not actually want them all to leave, Seafoid?

        Maybe they didn’t. But others did. This was high geopolitics.
        Maybe Americans don’t want temperatures to increase by 4 degrees this century. But how do they stop it ?

        Don’t you think the Poles might actually have sympathized with Jews even more after the war, because they both suffered under the Nazis who the Poles opposed? 3 million Poles were killed by the Nazis, and like you said, Warsaw was destroyed. Maybe it was a trauma for everyone? Moscow was and many other cities were leveled badly by the Mongols. I am not justifying it or saying it was OK. But people have to live somehow to survive.

        Most people are decent. but war is awful. Most Iraqis probably were traumatised over the last 10 years. Why do you think the Christians haven’t gone back?

        In any case, did none of the peoples in Europe want an important, anti-fascist, and economically valuable population, that included neighbors and friends they grew up with?

        Yes in Western Europe. No in Eastern Europe – they were never give the choice.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 21, 2014, 3:27 am

        @ Puppies

        “In April, 1942 the Germans instituted within Holland their Nuremberg laws. Gentiles and Jew could no longer marry and the act of sexual intercourse between the two “races” became a felony offense.”

        How did the Nazis implement that law ?

        Or this one ?

        “On March 20, 1942 the Germans issued a decree whereby Jews could no longer ride in cars. Exceptions, however, would be granted to those Jews traveling in ambulances, Hearsts, or working in the service of the German war effort. Also on March 20, 1942 the Germans announced Jews could no longer move furniture outside of their homes unless they had expressed permission. ”

        How many soldiers did the Nazis have in the Netherlands in 1942 ? Was everything resisted ?

      • Gien
        Gien
        February 21, 2014, 3:54 am

        Seafoid, this is a quote from the website http://www-lib.usc.edu/~anthonya/holo.htm you yourself linked to in a earlier post.

        “In response to the Germans and the measures they were taking against the Jews, the underground Communist Party decided to call a sympathy strike in support of the Jews. This has come to be known as the February Strike. It lasted two days, beginning first in Amsterdam and then spreading to several other cities in Holland. Hundreds of thousands workers were involved. It marks the only time in Nazi Occupied Europe where people publicly protested against the Nazis’ anti-Jewish policies. The strike was ended with great brutality on the part of the Nazis. The strike absolutely failed to change their policy, and so it must be considered a failure, albeit a most noble one. It may be that the strike’s failure convinced many Amsterdamers that any further resistance to their occupiers was useless, and that may have been the strike’s saddest consequence. ”

        My father was one of those strikers in Amsterdam, after the arrested and transported to Germany and had to do forced labor. After February 1941 there were student strikes in november and again strikes on a national scale in April–May strikes in 1943.

        Yes, there were Dutch traitors who helped the Nazis. But there also were hundreds of thousands Dutch workers who bravely resisted and protested.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 21, 2014, 5:52 am

        Yes Gien but the Nazis defeated them and the police got on with the job of following orders.

        You can’t exterminate 110,000 people in a vacuum. It is a dreadful history and I’m not surprised that the Netherlands has been so pro Israel until now.

        ” strikes in 1943″

        I think it was too late by then

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 21, 2014, 9:27 am

        @seafoid – Now blaming occupier decrees themselves on the occupied populations, eh?
        Seeing your insane insistence in attributing Nazi crimes to occupied populations, one has to conclude that talking to you is pointless: discussions with flaming racists are unlikely to go anywhere.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 21, 2014, 11:50 am

        Hello Seafoid,

        I like your sense of wit, the movies that you add, and your sense of realism about the Holy Land. Is it really the case that no one in Europe wanted their Jewish community, and that they had to leave?

        Didn’t Gien give a good example where very large masses of conquered Dutch people were resisting the Nazis for the singular goal of protecting the Jewish population? Your reply is correct that the Nazis defeated them, and that most likely there must have been at least some Dutch who collaborated. But does the fact that they were conquered or that there were a small number of collaborators mean that the conquered Dutch were not against the Nazis?

        You are right to ask who instigated the Kielce pogrom. I don’t know, but the instigators were shot. If the tragedy was a very rare event, why is it representative of Poland’s antifascist population?

        You asked me to find links showing that Czechs and Serbs hated collaborators. If I show you with twenty links that Serbia, which underwent genocide itself, really hated Nazi collaborators, will you change your mind about whether no one in Europe wanted its Jewish population and they had to go?

        Next, you pointed to the fact that Czechs abused very many Germans after the war. But doesn’t this prove the point that German collaborators were actually hated and not representative of the population, and that the population were actually anti-fascist, Seafoid? ~W.Jones

        I think it was completely insane in the 3 years immediately after the war.
        What’s your take on it ? ~Seafoid

        My take on Czechs abusing very many Germans is that the Czechs hated the Germans for their Nazism. Thus, the Czechs were not targeting their Jewish population. Come on, Seafoid, my friend.

        You added about Poland not wanting the Nazis and their genocides:

        Maybe Americans don’t want temperatures to increase by 4 degrees this century. But how do they stop it?

        Isn’t this going along with my idea that Polish people actually did not want the genocides?

        Just consider what we discussed:
        Russia- very anti-fascist,
        Bulgaria – fascist, but protected its Jewish population,
        Serbia – very anti-fascist and never fully conquered
        Poland – very anti-fascist with even 3 million non-Jewish Poles killed, but the Kielce pogrom where 9 instigators were shot and others imprisoned
        Czechs – very anti-fascist, abused very many Germans after the war, as you mentioned
        Denmark and France don’t count, you mentioned.
        Dutch – antifascist, 100,000+ went on strike against the genocide

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 22, 2014, 11:17 am

        @ Puppies

        ” Now blaming occupier decrees themselves on the occupied populations, eh?
        Seeing your insane insistence in attributing Nazi crimes to occupied populations, one has to conclude that talking to you is pointless: discussions with flaming racists are unlikely to go anywhere.”

        Laws have to be implemented, Puppies. I see Seyss Inquart was hanged at Nuremberg. What happened to the rest of the people who ran the Netherlands 1939-45

        Only 11 Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg. Seyss Inquart was thus one of the worst. What he did in the Netherlands was amongst the most evil.
        Did the Nazis act alone? I doubt it. Who ran the trains ? Who served in the police? Who dispossessed the Jews ? Who took over their homes ?

        I don’t doubt that a lot of people took part in the strikes. But 110,000 people were exterminated. And it was all done by Nazis, was it ?

        And it’s so easy for the Dutch Government now to repay its debt to the Jewish people by preventing any progress at EU level.

      • Gien
        Gien
        February 22, 2014, 3:49 pm

        Seafoid, over 225.000 Dutch died in the Second World War. 107.000 of them were Dutch jews and German jewish refugees.

        Do you really think little Holland had a fighting chance against Nazi-Germany? Nevertheless, as I wrote before, there was resistance, like the Februari 1941 strike and the strikes in 1943. Dutch railworkers went on strike and died for it because they did not want to transport jewish citizens or help the Nazis in any way!

        More than 240 German and Austrian Nazis were brought to justice in The Netherlands and more than 50.000 Dutch collaborators and traitors. So a little more than Seyß-Inquart and 10 others. That was only the Nuremberg Trials. There were other trials as well.

        But yes, the Dutch still feel guilty about what happened to their jewish countrymen and women. And I agree with you that the Dutch governement should not stop progress at a EU level.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 22, 2014, 11:21 am

        @ WJones

        I don’t know about the majority of Poles. But very powerful leaders did not want the Jews in Poland. Massive decisions about population movements were made at that time. Look at the Potsdam agreement.
        And fascist/antifascist – how relevant is that?
        Why do you think all of those DPs left Europe ? I think it suited European leaders and it suited Zionists. Send the problem off somewhere else.

        Beirut got it. Gaza got it.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 22, 2014, 2:14 pm

        @seafoid (still no Reply button) – If you are sincere you must have no fucking idea of what Nazis were or what a military occupation in war is. None at all. I would recommend a couple months in Gaza or even better a West Bank hotspot to get a very diluted idea of how enforcement works (given that the Zionists have not yet started to, for example, round up all neighborhood people and shoot X number of them, or collect them wholesale and kill them all, etc.) Can the Zionist soldiers enforce not only Z regulations but every whim on the occupied populations? You bet they can. The German Nazis were a lot more disinhibited, having already reached the stage of being in war against everyone. Also, they did encounter active resistance, sorely missing in the West Bank in our days –and retaliated. Not only against the Jewish citizens, as believed by Jewish nationalist morons. Poles were on the way of being exterminated. Do you know what happened to the non-Jewish Dutch even though they weren’t marked for annihilation? Who the hell do you think you are to fault people because Resistance was not immediately successful before the Red Army victory? What do you think a war is? Some singing concert?
        As for collaborators, of course there were collaborators all over the place. But first, those collaborators were a lot less numerous than the ones the Israelis have infested all of occupied (and Israelian) Palestine with. They got summarily dispatched when discovered –something also sorely missing in Palestine (you have to consider the ignoble health blackmail, too…) In fact, collaborators by dint of ethnic groups faced genocide in postwar Bohemia, as you pointed out yourself.

        So, what the f$%^ are you imagining in your sick mental world? All the war was against the Jews, nobody else was involved? All the world hates “us”? Judging by the caveman-grade anticommunism you display, I’d guess that you never really talked to Resistants. You may also possibly be way too young to have had much first-hand reporting, and a typical product of today’s schools who only hear about the war in “Holocaust” merchandise marketing. So let’s not make a big story of it, but put it in your bin that what you wrote about entire populations under the Nazis is nothing but stark raging racism. Of the Jewish nationalist variety. Oh and, if you accept your atrocious logic about collaborators then you must consider that the Palestinians are to blame for the Zionist occupation and refuse to help…
        I don’t expect you to listen, by the way. Jones addressed you a couple times in the friendliest and also most articulate way, without result. I’ve never yet seen people who can write generalizations about “national characters”, as you do, give up their racism.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 22, 2014, 3:58 pm

        Seafoid,

        I like that you take progressive positions on the Middle East, and would like you to give antifascist peoples in Europe similar consideration.

        The Nazis decided they were going to destroy Polish culture and language. They shot Poles for being academics and closed schools so they could not learn Polish. In the course of the war, 3 million Poles were executed. if the Polish people could not stop themselves from being genocided, does the Germans’ genocide of Jewish Poles mean that the Polish people wanted them to leave or wanted the genocide?

        You are right about massive movements of populations, such as in the Potsdam agreement, which reallocated Germans. Do you feel that the Potsdam agreement was reallocating the Jewish population as well? If the German population was targeted, perhaps this suggests that the goal of the “allocators” was to deal with leftover fascists?

        As for whether the people were antifascist, shouldn’t this count for something, my friend? That is, racism and intolerance has generaly been the purview of rightwing forces, and in WWII it was the fascists. So shouldn’t it count for something if the populations were anti-fascist- or in the case of Bulgaria, fascist but especially protective of its Jewish population?

        Peace.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      February 18, 2014, 1:05 pm

      But it can always count on the Gray Lady, the arch lion of liberal America, to smear the opponents of Apartheid as blood-thirsty Nazis looking to re-act the Kristallnacht and who knows! Maybe Auschwitz, too?

      The NYT reputation on I/P is completely destroyed and they know this. Hence the desperate, last-minute appeasement, all in vain too. People won’t forget.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 18, 2014, 2:14 pm

        The NYT has to follow its readers. Gay marriage first, now Palestine

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre_Auguste_Ledru-Rollin
        “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        February 18, 2014, 3:31 pm

        Seafoid,

        It’s not just the NYT only following readers as you know of course. But I see that you mean if readers feel strongly enough they probably will.

        If NYT had the staff of Commentary, I don’t think even a pro-BDS readership would make it change.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 19, 2014, 7:16 am

        W Jones

        When elite confidence and nerve collapse it is usually because the people below have had enough crap.

        http://www.theguardian.com/media/video/2011/jul/07/news-of-the-world-phone-hacking-nick-davies-rupert-murdoch-video

        Zionism is bullshit at this stage and the NYT are figuring that out .
        Dutch companies are not lefty airy fairy Birkenstock lentil eaters. They operate in the real world and Zionism is too dangerous liability wise to support any longer.

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        February 20, 2014, 8:00 pm

        Seafoid — This means you are hopeful that NYT does not have (precisely, or even close?) the staff of Commentary? Well, of course I know nothing of Commentary, but NYT has been pretty bad for quite a while. Look at its reps in Jerusalem, fer Gawd’s sake.

        Still, tho, it does seem to have allowed some oddities to appear, some odd stuff has crawled in under the tent recently.

  3. amigo
    amigo
    February 18, 2014, 11:31 am

    Holy cow.

    Now you tell 2 friends and they will tell two friends and they etc etc.

    Crack in the dam is getting larger and people will talk openly !!!! Finally.

    Thanks to the hard work of people like Phillip/Adam/Allison/Alex/Annie et al.

    By the way, you have a first name imbalance???. Is there something special about Names beginning with A.

    Amigo.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 18, 2014, 2:58 pm

      Crack in the dam is getting larger and people will talk openly !!!! Finally.

      And there is nothing CAMERA, the ADL and the NYT propagandists like Friedman, Rodoren and Cohen can so about it. What are they going to do – call the readership anti Semitic?

  4. Blaine Coleman
    Blaine Coleman
    February 18, 2014, 11:43 am

    Phil, I can’t complain. The whole Mondoweiss team is doing its best to push for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the last apartheid state – Israel. Boycott (or “BDS”) really is the most vivid tool to push for liberation, when it comes to Palestine today.

    And the entire student movement for Palestine knows it, in every inch of North America, Europe, and Africa. They know it, but won’t act on it.

    So I hope that students on U.S. campuses will finally come out of their closets and publicly demand boycott against Israel. When they finally start that ball rolling, it will end with liberation for Palestine and for the entire region.

    Every tyranny in the entire region is directly or indirectly kept alive by the cold heartless racism of the Israeli state, which is still backed by all three branches of the U.S. government.

    So when you abolish the apartheid state, you topple tyranny across the region, too.

  5. doug
    doug
    February 18, 2014, 12:08 pm

    I can’t wait for the apoplexy sure to come from the Commentary crowd.

  6. American
    American
    February 18, 2014, 12:20 pm

    The anti boycott letters appear as just what they are…’exceptionalism’ for Israel because of exceptionalism for Jewish vicitimhood.
    Realistically that is all they have for an argument—they dont have a moral or legal leg to stand in argueing on behalf of Israel’s constantly expanding occupation –so what else can they say?

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 18, 2014, 1:34 pm

      Jewish victimhood extends all the way to the Jewish torturers in the Gush Etzion Police station.

      L’Oreal. Because we are Jewish. Because we are worth it.

  7. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    February 18, 2014, 12:20 pm

    An interesting dynamic. [1] Palestinians start BDS, 2005, and not much happens. Then [2] a bit happens. And then [3] a bit more. [4] The big news is the EU banks and pension funds pulling away from occupation/settlement related companies. [5] then Kerry announces impending ruin. [6] Netanyahu decries BDS as Nazi and calls for more puff-pieces on Israeli hi-tech and they duly appear, this one from the Jerusalem bureau chief at Christian Science Monitor. BUT it is getting to be too late, and today we have [7] NYT as herein described.

    I guess that by the time the NYT starts pushing Kerry’s line (BDS is bad for Israel, Israel is bad for Palestine, etc.. and it is OK to talk about BDS), the fat’s in the fire.

    Watch this space!

    • Henry Norr
      Henry Norr
      February 18, 2014, 12:51 pm

      Re the puff piece about Israeli hi tech in the Christian Science Monitor: I hold no brief for the CSM, but it’s worth noting that more recently – Feb. 16 – the same reporter plus a colleague published a long and remarkably good article under the headline “European boycotts begin to bite, catching Israel’s attention” and deck “For years, boycott efforts in Europe seemed to be only symbolic gestures. But several major efforts announced in the past year, including one by the EU, are raising alarm.”

      One interesting bit:

      Discontent on the rise

      According to a 2013 BBC poll, public opinion of Israel is worsening. Favorability ratings dropped 8 percent in both Spain and Germany, to the single digits. Even in Britain, the first European country to formally support the establishment of a Jewish state, only 14 percent of citizens have a positive view of Israel today.

      EU citizens and lawmakers alike have long opposed Israeli policies, but popular discontent – cultivated by the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement since 2005 – is increasingly pressuring businesses and governments to take more concrete action.

      The contrast between that article and the bilge that the NY Times keeps publishing is quite striking. I’m not sure who reads the Monitor these days, but it used to be highly respected and purportedly influential among segments of the U.S. elite.

      • ckg
        ckg
        February 18, 2014, 1:59 pm

        I was aghast reading the accompanying article in CS Monitor:

        “10 brands you’ll have to give up if you’re boycotting Israel–Here are 10 brands in the crosshairs of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.”

        3. Volvo [in a photo a Volvo XC Coupe is shown].
        6. Motorola [in a photo Motorola Moto X smartphones are shown.]

        AB Volvo and Motorola Solutions are targets of boycotters, but AB Volvo does not produce or market Volvo cars, Geely Automobile does. And Motorola Solutions does not produce or market Motorola phones, Google does.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 18, 2014, 1:48 pm

      When Bennett and Lieberman and then Bibi told the world the 2SS was dead the game changed.

  8. seafoid
    seafoid
    February 18, 2014, 12:30 pm

    http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.574821#

    Ministry to resume bidding process for private ports in Ashdod and Haifa
    By Haim Bior and Daniel Schmil

    The deterioration of Israel’s international standing has been evident this week as at least two leading international companies bidding to build private seaports here dropped out of the government’s tender due to concerns over the political repercussions.

    Royal Boskalis Westminster, a Dutch operator of ports that had submitted a proposal under the name Holland Terminal in the prequalification stage last December, dropped out shortly thereafter. More recently, Italy’s Condote de Agua withdrew after passing the prequalification process.

    The companies that had initially expressed their interest in the PQ stage last April made their decisions to drop out in recent months as boycott pressure on Israel has grown. The deadline for submitting bids was Monday.
    In addition to the companies that withdrew from bidding, a third company – Jan De Nul from Belgium – only agreed to submit its bid after it was permitted to do so through a company registered in Luxembourg called Ludreco, out of fear of jeopardizing its business in the Arab world.

  9. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr
    February 18, 2014, 12:38 pm

    How many, if any, of these letters appear in the paper New York Times in NYC or nationally? How about in the paper International NY Times?

    There’s a note at the bottom of the web page, below one of the anti-A.S.A. letters, suggesting that “this letter” (singular) appeared in the International NY Times. I’m guessing that means none of them appeared in the paper paper in the US and only one in the paper international edition, but I’m hoping I’m wrong.

  10. Krauss
    Krauss
    February 18, 2014, 12:41 pm

    Letters or no letters, the NYT has exposed itself that it views BDS as essentially anti-Semitism or even Nazi tactics(per Rudoren).

    The letters were a last-ditch effort to repair a repuation that will not be able to be repair on I/P with the left.

    The Times’ institutional liberal Zionist bias was revealed to be even Likudnik when it really mattered.
    The Times’ has said that the single biggest miss in the 20th century was its coverage of the Holocaust. Well, the treatment of Palestinians can’t equate to genocide(but Eva Illousz says it can be viewed as a form of slavery), and together with the Iraq war the Palestinian question will be seen as a huge blot on the paper’s reputation.

    20 years from now, I think the Palestinian question will overshadow the Iraq war simply because it has dragged on for so long and you won’t be able to blame “the mood” like you could with the Iraq war.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      February 18, 2014, 12:48 pm

      Just to be clear: the Times’ move should be viewed as a desperate concenssion to be even relevant and not to be taken as a Likudnik rag with large swathes of the left on I/P after trying to smear BDS as Nazi tactics. But Rudoren’s reputation is destroyed for life. And so is the Times’ for even publishing something like that, together with Cohen’s hysterical Op-Ed.

      • Krauss
        Krauss
        February 18, 2014, 12:59 pm

        (Tried to edit, but was a bit too late. Multitasking here).

        Final word:

        This is tactical concenssion aimed at trying to retain somekind of influence, Phil, it is not a sign of their “liberalism”. Just like Goldberg uses words like Apartheid to describe the Occupation, but freaks out whenever someone else uses it. This is the old bigoted double-standard. It’s okay to criticize Israel, even harshly, as long as you are A) Jewish and B) a Zionist. Goldberg uses liberal words to try to mask his own racism but when it comes down to it, when it really matters, he will always go down the Likudnik path.

        The Times is acting the same exact way here.
        Do not be fooled.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 18, 2014, 1:51 pm

        “This is tactical concession aimed at trying to retain somekind of influence”

        Like Beinart trying to triangulate between apartheid and justice to find the mythical sweet spot that only people as intelligent as he can see. Far too late for the NYT to try this, when Ashdod Port can’t find foreign tenders. Reputation is everything for capital and Zionism is sludge.

      • American
        American
        February 18, 2014, 5:46 pm

        krauss says..
        ”This is tactical concenssion aimed at trying to retain some kind of influence”

        I think so too. Just like the coming together of J-Street and the more hard line orgs..
        The US zios are all basically trying to hold the line in the US I believe.
        But the whole Zio plan from the US to Netanyahu is out of control and all over the place…they are throwing everything but the kitchen sink into their fight against making a I/P agreement and on Iran—-Europe holocausting Jews, the US/ Obama/ Kerry as a enemy, a obvious effort to hype anti semitism to Jews to either lure them to Israel or have them mount protest for Israel against their goverments.
        Its wild..and one thing I am sure of, ‘most’ nations leaders and diplomats are rolling their eyes, at least in private, at this Isr screaming and stomping circus and deciding they cant continue to coddle Israel, everyone is too worn out with it and wants to close the books on the Israel problem somehow.

    • Antidote
      Antidote
      February 21, 2014, 8:09 am

      “The Times’ has said that the single biggest miss in the 20th century was its coverage of the Holocaust. Well, the treatment of Palestinians can’t equate to genocide”

      The treatment of the Ukrainians (Holodomor) during the early 1930s surely can.

      “In 1933, the recently elected administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt granted official U.S. recognition to the Soviet Union for the first time. Especially repugnant was that this recognition was granted even though Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had just concluded a campaign of genocide against Ukraine that left over 10 million dead. This atrocity was known to the Roosevelt administration, but not to the American people at large, thanks to suppression of the story by the Western press […]. How did a holocaust of these dimensions remain unknown in the West? First, the Soviets suppressed all information regarding the famine. Russia’s state-controlled press was prohibited from discussing it, and for ordinary citizens, just mentioning the famine carried a penalty of three to five years’ imprisonment.

      Although some Western observers did report the magnitude of the Ukrainians’ plight, such comments were extremely rare. During the famine, the Soviets prohibited foreign journalists from visiting Ukraine. But just as significant was the cooperation of influential Western writers sympathetic to communism. The Fabian Socialist George Bernard Shaw, after receiving a tour carefully orchestrated by the Soviets, proclaimed in 1932: “I did not see a single under-nourished person in Russia, young or old.”

      But by far the worst offender was Walter Duranty, New York Times’ Moscow bureau chief from 1922 to 1936. Duranty enjoyed personal access to Stalin, called him “the greatest living statesman,” and even praised the dictator’s notorious show trials. To call Duranty a Soviet sympathizer greatly understates his role. Journalist Joseph Alsop termed Duranty a “KGB agent,” and Malcolm Muggeridge called him “the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in 50 years of journalism.”

      Duranty’s published denials of Ukraine’s Holodomor were perhaps the vilest acts of his career. In November 1932, he brazenly told his New York Times readers, “There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be.” He denounced as “liars” the few brave writers who reported the famine, which he called “malignant propaganda.” When accumulating reports made the massive deaths hard to dispute, Duranty switched tactics from outright denial to downplay. He wrote in the Times in March 1933: “There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from deaths due to malnutrition.”

      Incredibly, Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for “dispassionate, interpretive reporting of the news from Russia.”

      http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4656-holodomor-the-secret-holocaust-in-ukraine

      “S. J. Taylor, author of the critical Duranty biography, “Stalin’s Apologist”, argues that Duranty’s reporting was a key factor in U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 decision to grant official recognition to the Soviet Union.

      The concern over Duranty’s reporting on the famine in Soviet Ukraine led to a move to posthumously and symbolically strip him of his Pulitzer award he garnered in 1932, the year the famine started, although Pulitzer in question did not involve the famine. In response to Taylor’s book, the Times assigned a member of its editorial board, Karl Meyer, to write a signed editorial regarding Duranty’s work. In a scathing piece, Meyer said that Duranty’s articles were “some of the worst reporting to appear in this newspaper.”

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

      see also

      http://www.nytco.com/new-york-times-statement-about-1932-pulitzer-prize-awarded-to-walter-duranty/

      http://www.garethjones.org/soviet_articles/russians_hungry_not_starving.htm

  11. jsinton
    jsinton
    February 18, 2014, 12:59 pm

    I was struck from the line attributed by Mr. Rudoren in an attempt to portray BDS as discrimination against Jews: “Avoiding a coffee shop because you don’t like the way the boss treats his employees is voting with your wallet; doing so because the boss is Jewish — or black or female or gay — is discrimination.”

    Gee, he just made the case for support of the boycott. The coffee shop steals the land, water, and sovereignty from the hired help. So why would anyone want to buy coffee there?

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 18, 2014, 1:54 pm

      ” doing so because the boss is Jewish — or black or female or gay — is discrimination.”

      Doing so because the Jewish boss is torturing minors at the back of the shop is not discrimination . It is the TORTURE that trumps the fact that the boss is JEWISH.
      Bots do not understand this.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        February 18, 2014, 3:53 pm

        Nice try. But you’re not boycotting some guy who’s torturing minors. You’re boycotting the entire country, which includes small, innocent children who have done nothing wrong. And you’re boycotting it because of the religion of most of the inhabitants. I don’t think you can deny either of those facts.

        Moreover, you’re not boycotting anyone else, such as, say, Saudi Arabia, where people get tortured all the time.

        So clearly, it’s not about torture, and it’s not about the religion of state. It’s about the religion of most of the inhabitants of the state. Your target is the Jews.

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 18, 2014, 4:57 pm

        Hophmi – “You’re boycotting the entire country, which includes small, innocent children who have done nothing wrong. And you’re boycotting it because of the religion of most of the inhabitants”
        What a despicable, sleazy, nauseating little liar you are!
        Small,innocent children have nothing to do there. Stop the war you started in 11/1947 against the Palestinian population, during which you murdered thousands of similar small children first. And the boycott has nothing to do with the religion of most of the inhabitants, most of whom are atheists anyway, but their murderous racism. You are one of them.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 18, 2014, 5:12 pm

        But you’re not boycotting some guy who’s torturing minors. You’re boycotting the entire country

        Stop trolling Hop. It was Rudoren who came up with the cafe owner analogy.

        The entire country is responsible for it’s policies, just as apartheid South Africa was. That’s how boycott has always worked. Israel is blockading all of Gaza, including small, innocent children who have done nothing wrong, not just Hamas, so drop the BS.

        And no, were NOT boycotting it because of the religion of most of the inhabitants. The inhabitants happen to be Jewish, Muslim and Christian. So clearly it has noting to do with religion.

        If Jews were the target, the boycott would be against Jews everywhere.

        Moreover, you’re not boycotting anyone else, such as, say, Saudi Arabia, where people get tortured all the time.

        I would be all for boycotting SA. Please provide a list of products that are made in SA and I will be sure not to buy them.

      • justicewillprevail
        justicewillprevail
        February 18, 2014, 5:52 pm

        Lol, your ‘facts’ are your highly tendentious beliefs, and yours alone. Like your ‘logic’. Quite frankly, the ‘religion’ (if that indeed what the beliefs of a cultural group is) of the inhabitants is irrelevant. What is relevant is the systematic discrimination against Palestinians, the theft of their land and homes, the abuse and harassment of them and every aspect of their daily lives – in short the disavowal of human and civil rights of the indigenous people. Playing the old martyr whilst Israel is engaged in implementing ‘apartheid on steroids’ is feeble whining in the extreme. Guess what, it’s not all about you, or whatever set of myths you choose to follow.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        February 18, 2014, 6:23 pm

        Why is Israel different from Iraq, or Iran,… or Gaza, to you? Yes, you can absolutely make the case that they’re all wrong (if only in the “dead children” sense), and be unassailably correct in that argument. But you’re not doing that.

        But the “because of religion” bit? I sure deny it. I don’t buy stuff from China, as far as possible. Is that because of religion? Nope.

        I wish you would put your considerable energy into solving the problem, not into obscuring it.

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 18, 2014, 6:34 pm

        >> And you’re boycotting it because of the religion of most of the inhabitants. … It’s about the religion of most of the inhabitants of the state.

        And with the wave of his Zio-supremacist hand, hophmeee turns “Jewish” back into just a religion. (Until the next time he conveniently needs it to be a culture, a nation, a civilization or something else.)

        Meanwhile, and very typically, he conveniently ignores the fact that Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state; that it was born of terrorism and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands; that it has expanded and colonized Palestinian land far outside of its / Partition borders; that it refuses to honour its obligations under international law; and that it refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

      • Djinn
        Djinn
        February 18, 2014, 6:39 pm

        So much bullshit in one short post Hophmi.

        1) do you oppose sanctions against Iran because of the harm it causes to ordinary Iranians?
        2) religion has absolutely nothing to do with it. Other countries with a minute or non existent Jewish population, like Indonesia & Morocco face boycotts. They, like Israel, face them because of their occupation of other peoples land, not their religion.
        3) You’ve been told many times by people here that they support other boycotts. So I guess the question is are you dementing or just lying?

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        February 18, 2014, 7:19 pm

        So clearly, it’s not about torture, and it’s not about the religion of state. It’s about the religion of most of the inhabitants of the state. Your target is the Jews.

        Liar.

        Evidence that BDS Movement has targeted non-Israeli jews?

      • puppies
        puppies
        February 19, 2014, 1:22 pm

        @Sumud – “Evidence that BDS Movement has targeted non-Israeli jews?”

        It should. Businesses that support Zionists with money or means are not limited to Caterpillar and the like.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        February 19, 2014, 3:25 am

        And you’re boycotting it because of the religion of most of the inhabitants.

        You’ve got it backwards, hophmi. You (and Netanyahu) are suggesting that Israel, of all the countries in the world, should be immune to boycott — simply because of the religion of most of its inhabitants.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 19, 2014, 5:19 am

        The boycott is about the system, Hoph. The system where Jews do the torturing so they get all the resources.

        I don’t want to support that.

      • talknic
        talknic
        February 19, 2014, 5:19 am

        @ hophmi “You’re boycotting the entire country, which includes small, innocent children who have done nothing wrong”

        Complain to the Israeli government you stupid stupid person, they’re the ones supporting the ILLEGAL settlements in non-Israeli territories

        “And you’re boycotting it because of the religion of most of the inhabitants”

        The UNSC doesn’t mention religion when it points out the illegality of Israeli settlements in non-Israeli territories.

        “I don’t think you can deny either of those facts”

        Non-existent facts are a really interesting phenomenon

        ” you’re not boycotting anyone else, such as, say, Saudi Arabia, where people get tortured all the time”

        In Saudi Arabia. The illegal settlements and the illegal settlers and the Knesset itself sit in non-Israeli territories

        “It’s about the religion of most of the inhabitants of the state. Your target is the Jews”

        Strange. When the Soda Stream issue was front page Israel’s spewmeisters were claiming BDS was damaging to non-Jews working there and;
        UNSC resolutions showing the illegality of Israeli settlements in non-Israeli territory do not discriminate between Jews and non-Jews.

        BTW hophmi LYING for the Jewish state is quite bizarre … lying is against the basic tenets of Judaism… You’re not Jewish?

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        February 19, 2014, 9:56 am

        Moreover, you’re not boycotting anyone else . . . and more nonsense.

        bullshit. look at the list of sanctions currently imposed by the EU, the US through the Dept. of Treasury, individual European countries, etc. Israel is not the only target of sanctions. and it’s not the only country/entity being boycotted by private individuals and groups.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 19, 2014, 2:15 pm

        Hoppy’s concern for Israeli kids is touching. The kids are idf brainwashed from age 4 but hoppy is kosher on that.

  12. Hostage
    Hostage
    February 18, 2014, 1:09 pm

    Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Ramallah, West Bank The writer is a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and head of the P.L.O. Department of Culture and Information.

    For those who are interested, the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization has served as the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine since 1988. This is further evidence that state officials do defend the right of Palestinian Civil Society to conduct their boycott in line with all the aims and non-violent tactics embodied in the 2005 BDS call to action.

    • Sycamores
      Sycamores
      February 18, 2014, 1:36 pm

      but is Dr. Hanan Ashrawi going along with what Abbas said in South Africa at Mandela funeral

      “No, we do not support the boycott of Israel,” Abbas said. “But we ask everyone to boycott the products of the settlements. Because the settlements are in our territories. It is illegal.”

      or does Dr. Hanan Ashrawi includes boycotting any israeli company, bank etc in greater israel that is complicit with the settlements?

  13. Krauss
    Krauss
    February 18, 2014, 1:10 pm

    By the way Phil, could you take a look at this(and possibly write about it, too?):

    http://brandeiscenter.com/blog/max-blumenthals-goliath-and-the-mainstreaming-of-anti-semitism/

    Brandeis Center, not exactly a minor outfit, is smearing Max as an anti-Semite!
    I’m sure they’ve been encouraged by the Times’ trying to smear the entire BDS movement as Nazis, lately. And Max has already been targeted by Simon Wiesenthal Center, too.

    Things are getting serious.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      February 18, 2014, 3:09 pm

      Apartheid Israel feeling threatened. But not threatened enough to do the right thing and stop expanding illegal settlements, illegal building in E Jerusalem and more apartheid roads to illegal settlements. Everything they do slams the two state door closed even tighter, then they put caulking around the seams, and are covering it over with plaster to make sure that the once open door is unrecognizable.

  14. Mndwss
    Mndwss
    February 18, 2014, 1:22 pm

    Hmm…

    Soon i hope BDS will make all non-Israeli firms fly like a Bat Out of Hell from Israel.

  15. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    February 18, 2014, 2:11 pm

    297 comments. Comments closed

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/opinion/cohen-the-bds-threat.html?_r=0

    Cohen “It would be gratifying if Israelis and Palestinians could learn overnight to live together as equal citizens in some United States of the Holy Land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, a binational and democratic secular state that resolves their differences. But it is an illusion to think this could ever happen, the one-state pipe dream. The fault lines are too deep. A single state cannot mark its Day of Independence and Day of Catastrophe on the same date.

    One state, however conceived, equals the end of Israel as a Jewish state, the core of the Zionist idea. Jews must not allow this to happen. Trust your neighbor? Been there, tried that.”

    Cohen sure tells the truth here. Majority of Jews do not want one state. They do not want a real democracy. They do not want diversity. They do not want equal rights for all. That is very clear.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      February 18, 2014, 3:11 pm

      A single state cannot mark its Day of Independence and Day of Catastrophe on the same date.

      Of course they can. Australia Day is both a day of celebration and sobriety that acknowledges the and recognizes the original owners of the land. Every year they nominate an Australian of the year. This year, the award went to an aboriginal football player who has been at the forefront of the fight against racism.

      Imagine Israel doing the same thing? Or does Cohen believe Israeli Jews are incapable of such enlightenment?

    • Ecru
      Ecru
      February 18, 2014, 3:50 pm

      This little snippet got my attention.

      The so-called right of return of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians driven out in the 1948 war (whose descendants now number in the millions) cannot be exercised, any more than the Jews of Baghdad and Cairo have deeds to return home. There can, and should be, agreed compensation for the dispossessed, but there cannot be a reversal of history.

      I wonder if he also opposes the idea of Sephardic Jews of today being given Spanish passports because of something that happened 500 years ago. Or is that a history that can be reversed?

    • hophmi
      hophmi
      February 18, 2014, 3:57 pm

      “Cohen sure tells the truth here. Majority of Jews do not want one state. They do not want a real democracy. They do not want diversity. They do not want equal rights for all. That is very clear.”

      As usual, you’re cavalier with the lives of Jews, and dismissive of their legitimate concerns. I hope no one is cavalier about your life.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        February 18, 2014, 5:13 pm

        As usual, you’re cavalier with the lives of Jews, and dismissive of their legitimate concerns.

        Israel has been cavalier with the lives of Arabs, and dismissive of their legitimate concerns for 65 years.

        Of course, what you mean to say is that the lives of Jews are more precious than anyone else’s, fingernails and all.

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        February 19, 2014, 1:25 am

        @ Hoppy

        WOW! Now democracy, equal rights and diversity are threats to the lives of Jews. Hope you get the message across to all those Jews in the Diaspora Hoppy. You know those who are in mortal danger from societies that through being diverse grant them equal rights, and the ability to vote.

        No?

  16. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    February 18, 2014, 3:17 pm

    Know this is ot but can anyone explain in the original division in 48 why was the coastline divided in such an unfair way? A sliver of the coastline going to Palestinians looks like about one fifth of that coastline and 4/5ths going to Israel? Can anyone explain that totally unfair division?

    • Whizdom
      Whizdom
      February 18, 2014, 3:22 pm

      They tried, in extensive consultation with the Jewish leadership to aggregate population centers of “like” Jewish and Arab resident density, while maintaining some degree of territorial contiguity.

      • just
        just
        February 18, 2014, 7:28 pm

        huh?

  17. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    February 18, 2014, 6:57 pm

    Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank (DB), has included the Israeli Hapoalim bank in a blacklist of “unethical companies” reportedly because of its involvement in funding settlement activities in the West Bank.

    Deutsche Bank said Hapoalim does not abide by ethical standards, and that the bank’s work in settlements is no different from selling explosives or other acts that violate human rights, Maariv newspaper reported. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/europe/9828-israeli-bank-blacklisted-in-germany

    • just
      just
      February 18, 2014, 7:24 pm

      Holy %$^&– first Schulz , now DB!

      Yay!

    • American
      American
      February 18, 2014, 7:39 pm

      Told you so, …hahahahah.
      I said 3 years ago that coporations and businesses were going to start avoiding Israel because of the many risk factors–unstability, possible future lawsuits if Palestine did ever go to the ICC, corporate reputations, etc..
      However I have to give BDS more credit than I did originally—-I really think the street activist did kick this up into high gear.
      I have some curiousity also about whether or not Saudi, the UAE, Qutar have used their considerable financial clout with world corps..suggesting to corps they do business with that they would frown on doing business with them if they operated in Israel.

  18. Bing Bong
    Bing Bong
    February 19, 2014, 6:51 am

    “The B.D.S. movement has nothing to do with animus toward Jews.”

    That’s right, plenty of non Jews suffer because of BDS.

  19. Parity
    Parity
    February 19, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Henry, “wonder” no longer. I found the answer this morning. I called up the New York Times Letters section (phone number above) and asked whether the International edition included only one letter or all of the letters in its print edition. It included all of the letters! I’m even going to be sent a copy. I asked that the American print edition also print the letters. The person on the phone said she would relay my request (which was also made yesterday on their answering machine) but that “we get so many letters.” (As if that were an excuse.) Heck, they selected these letters for an international audience. Don’t Americans need to read them, too? Anyway, now we now that “a version of this letter” can mean all the letters.

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