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An Israeli tells American Jews they’re miserable

on 33 Comments

Two weeks ago a coalition of groups including Adalah-NY, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews Say No held a demonstration outside Zabar’s calling on New Yorkers to boycott SodaStream seltzer-makers, which are manufactured in the occupied West Bank. I posted about this demo before, but was going through my videos yesterday when I saw this one and thought others might want to see it.

It’s an angry exchange between an Israeli man and the demonstrators. He says they should be in a mental hospital. I come in at the end and when the guy determines I’m with the demonstrators, he says that I’m a miserable Jew.

The demonstrators are singing a variation on a union song: “I aint going to let occupation turn me round.”

The incident is a reflection of how contemptuous Israelis can be of Americans with liberal opinions about Palestinians. Also note that he denies that the West Bank is occupied.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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33 Responses

  1. Feathers on May 13, 2014, 10:26 am

    “I don’t buy SodaStream because they are made by Palestinians. . . . Close the factory. Close the factory. Close the factory. Put the Palestinians out of work.”


    But then, destroying the economies of other people’s nations has become a hallmark of USA “diplomacy.”

    Do Americans who gripe about unemployment in the USA ever reflect that the USA is pulling levers to cause the misery of unemployment among other “children of Abraham”?

    • Krauss on May 13, 2014, 5:19 pm

      Don’t blame the US for this one. The US has a lot of responsibility but it is not the prime responsibility.

      The burden of blame relies by and large with Israel.

      And the guy’s arguments are really stupid. If he was really concerned with Palestinian jobs then why won’t he push for them to gain real freedom? Because that’s a threat to his racial privilege. No, just bread crumbs for them.

      • Ecru on May 14, 2014, 4:59 am

        @ Krauss

        “The burden of blame relies by and large with Israel.

        I think you’re letting too many off the hook. Without the support of the Diaspora and to a lesser extent Christian Zionists, Israel would not enjoy the cover for its crimes that it has so far recieved. Israel may be the prime mover but those who support it have been, and continue to be, willing accessories.

    • on May 13, 2014, 9:13 pm

      i am so goddam sick and tired of israel. its like an inoperable cancer.

  2. seafoid on May 13, 2014, 10:59 am

    In my life
    why do I give valuable time
    to hasbara muppets ?

  3. ritzl on May 13, 2014, 11:24 am

    Sterling, it would appear, wasn’t an outlier.

    • Krauss on May 13, 2014, 5:20 pm

      Sterling even referenced Israeli racism to justify his own.

      He would probably fit in there just fine. I wouldn’t be surprised if he made aliyah at the end of his life to Israel or asked to be buried there like a crook such as Marc Rich and people like him.

      • Citizen on May 14, 2014, 8:21 am

        @ Krauss
        I notice there’s tons of coverage of Sperling on TV; one of the main cable news channels, I think MSNBC if memory serves, had a whole hour devoted to Sperling, with interviews with Magic Johnson and a big panel of experts from different areas of expertise–nobody ever mentioned how Sperling justified his POV by pointing at Israel. They mostly talked about Sperling’s claim that Magic Johnson was not a good role model as he had HIV and had been a tremendous womanizer, and didn’t do anything for the black community (“unlike the Jews do for their community”).

    • mikeo on May 14, 2014, 7:03 am

      Sterling is just digging himself a deeper and deeper hole…

      He’s not a racist but:

      Jews when they get successful, they will help their people, and some of the African Americans – maybe I’ll get in trouble again – they don’t want to help anybody


      Big Magic Johnson, what has he done? He’s got Aids … what kind of a guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV?

      Not a popularity contest you are likely to win Don ;)

      Armour: Shame belongs to Donald Sterling, not Magic Johnson

  4. lysias on May 13, 2014, 11:34 am

    OT, from Firedoglake piece on Greenwald’s new book:

    A few slides reflect the tension between the US and Israel. “Balancing the SIGINT exchange equally between US and Israeli needs has been a constant challenge in the last decade.” And, “It arguably tilted heavily in favor of Israeli security concerns.” As 9/11 came and went, this counterterrorism relationship continued to be “driven almost totally by the needs of the partner”—Israel.

    • Citizen on May 14, 2014, 8:24 am

      Everything the US and Israel agree on, partner in–has always been way off balance since the late 1960’s. Israel always comes out way ahead of any such arrangement.

  5. American on May 13, 2014, 12:04 pm

    ” Two weeks ago a coalition of groups including Adalah-NY, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews Say No held a demonstration outside Zabar’s calling on New Yorkers to boycott SodaStream seltzer-makers,’……

    oh hum…wake me when they march on congress demanding halt to US aid to Israel.
    But they are never going to do that……protesting SodaStream is just dribbling on our legs and telling us its a hurricane.

    Religious leaders ask Congress to condition Israel military ……/religious-leaders-ask-con...
    Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
    Oct 5, 2012 – Signers of the letter include Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated … They urge Congress to hold hearings to examine Israel’s …

    Church Appeal on Israel Angers Jewish Groups – NYTimes ……/church-appeal-on-israel-ange...
    The New York Times
    Oct 20, 2012 – Fifteen leaders of Christian churches signed a letter accusing Israel of human … that calls for Congress to reconsider giving aid to Israel because of … Gradye Parsons, the top official of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), “to

    • Citizen on May 14, 2014, 8:27 am

      “oh hum…wake me when they march on congress demanding halt to US aid to Israel.
      But they are never going to do that……protesting SodaStream is just dribbling on our legs and telling us its a hurricane.”

  6. Shmuel on May 13, 2014, 12:21 pm

    You are Jewish, right? You are miserable, like most of the Jews. And everywhere, miserable.

    So he hates Palestinians and Jews. What a surprise.

  7. Sycamores on May 13, 2014, 12:26 pm

    the Israeli won’t buy SodaStream because they are made by Palestinians, we won’t buy SodaStream because it made on occupied Palestinian land run by Israelis.

    he defends Israel by insulting Americans by calling them stupid and miserable yet it’s him who looks manic and uncomfortable.

    at least the policeman didn’t arrest you all for causing a distrubance like what happen in Galway back in 2009

    the video below shows what happen

  8. amigo on May 13, 2014, 12:34 pm

    Too bad Phil did not get the chance to ask this “Israeli” why 4+ million People in so called unoccupied Palestine are not given citizenship.

    I guess that might have invited cries of anti semitism or self hating Jew.

    This poor Israeli must have felt so unsafe away from his beloved peace loving Apartheid State.

  9. German Lefty on May 13, 2014, 12:34 pm

    The incident is a reflection of how contemptuous Israelis can be of Americans with liberal opinions about Palestinians.

    I don’t think that this has anything to do with nationality. This is solely about political views. “Conservative Zionists” are contemptuous of self-declared “liberal Zionists”. And Zionists in general are contemptuous of anti-Zionists. Zionists need to resort to name-calling because they lack factual arguments.

    • Citizen on May 14, 2014, 8:30 am

      @ GL
      Yes. A perfect on-going example of this is the weeks of comment exchange now under the main negative review of Allison Weir’s new book on Amazon, here in the USA.

  10. ritzl on May 13, 2014, 12:49 pm

    I wonder if that guy had a visa to be here. Do we need people like him coming in and out of the US at will?

    Intelligence concerns are important, but do we really need any more racist f*ks coming here and lecturing us on matters of conscience? If I’m in a foreign country, the very last thing I’d do is walk up to a demonstration and start hurling derogatory accusations at citizens. Kinda makes the welcome mat curl up on its own.

  11. Taxi on May 13, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Gaza may be the largest open prison in the world, but israel sure is the large (insane) asylum in the history of the whole darn world.

    Apartheid kookoocaca land.

  12. seafoid on May 13, 2014, 2:04 pm

    His poor wife. She must be so used to dragging him away from discussions.

  13. James Canning on May 13, 2014, 2:13 pm

    Funny, though pathetic, notion: the West Bank is not occupied.

  14. DICKERSON3870 on May 13, 2014, 3:46 pm

    RE: “I come in at the end and when the guy determines I’m with the demonstrators, he says that I’m a miserable Jew.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Tsk, tsk, I’m disappointed that he did not use the exact wording (i.e. “self-hating Jew” as opposed to “miserable Jew”) specified in the officially approved hasbara, consequently I feel compelled to subtract 2 points for sloppiness. Let’s have a little consistency, hasbara brigade. I expect better!

  15. LeaNder on May 13, 2014, 4:57 pm

    Odd. Maybe I miss something. But how did he realize you are Jewish, Phil?

    • annie on May 14, 2014, 1:29 am

      leaNder, at :58, he asks (and assumes) ‘you’re jewish right?’

      maybe, because you’re german, not accustomed to being around many jewish people, you’re not familiar. sometimes you can just tell. phil is just.. very jewish.

      • Shmuel on May 14, 2014, 2:23 am

        you’re not familiar. sometimes you can just tell. phil is just.. very jewish.

        The odds in front of Zabar’s on the Upper West Side weren’t exactly running against him either ;-)

      • ziusudra on May 14, 2014, 2:30 am

        Greetings Annie,
        ….not accustomed to being around many Jewish People,……..

        Dear Annie, sometimes we all mistake mannerisms of one which are really taken on by all connected.
        My relatives, Italo/Greco immigrants of 1900, relocated in the 40s to Flatbush & Sheepshead Bay, Bklyn coming from Williamsburg.
        They & all their offspring come over as east europeans (Jews) today.
        The Jew adage is not so important because these Brooklynites really are
        & were associated with these immigrants meaning what we americans seem to think are jewish mannerisms is the same which has rubbed off on east coast italian immigrant descendents like de Niro, Pacino, Ms. Bahr etc. East Coast descendents of euro immigrants of 1890 to 1945 all have mannerisms of East euro Jews, Southern Italians, Irish, Puerto Ricans.

      • German Lefty on May 14, 2014, 4:23 am

        maybe, because you’re german, not accustomed to being around many jewish people, you’re not familiar. sometimes you can just tell.

        In Germany, if you ask someone if he is Jewish (because somehow he “looks Jewish” or “behaves Jewish”), then you will be called an anti-Semite. We are taught that “you CAN’T just tell” if someone is Jewish unless he wears religious clothes or symbols.
        Assuming that someone is Jewish because he “appears Jewish” is like assuming that someone is gay because he “appears gay”. Such an assumption is based on stereotypes. And falling for stereotypes is wrong. If you dare to make any assumptions about Jews in Germany, then you will be accused of anti-Semitism.

        phil is just.. very jewish.

        Really? There’s nothing about him that I find “Jewish”. If I had met him in the street, I would have never guessed that he is Jewish.

      • LeaNder on May 14, 2014, 10:57 am

        Annie, I did in fact miss something. There is a strong organizational Jewish presence among protesters.

        But, yes I assume a man with black hat hastening to the synagogue not too far from my home on Shabbat, may actually be Jewish. The same as if I meet someone with a Kippah wherever.

        I had and still have quite a few Jewish friends. I would be at a complete loss to pick one of the them out as looking specifically Jewish. I am actually quite accustomed to being around Jewish friends, and frequently eat at a tiny restaurant run by people from Israel. OK most of my friends are no doubt secular but I have been to the reform community over when a friend once took me there.

        Neither the man nor his wife in the video above look specifically “Jewish” to me.

        Random pick, a woman I worked with in theater. A little older now like myself: Does she look Jewish? A more famous director. Someone I loved too: George Tabori? Jewish? Similar features to my grandfather, my mom’s dad, really. And from there of my mom, the older she gets the more visible.

  16. pabelmont on May 13, 2014, 7:15 pm


    This was (probably) not hasbara!

    Racism is part of conservatism, that is, of the ideology of preserving unearned privilege. Typically in USA, this means preserving privilege of this group or parts of it {rich white straight male} over everyone else {women blacks poor labor-unions gays}.

    Since, lately, “political correctness” has forced conservatives (for the most part) to give up OVERT expression of some of this, REACTION (which I guess makes reactionaries out of conservatives) sets in when the bums feel safe enough to return to overt expression of their prejudices.

    In Israel, the absolute triumph of Jews over Palestinians (and everyone else) being in a way part of the essence of Zionism and evidently part of the outcome of Zionism in practice, racism and Zionist privilege comes out OVERTLY in Israel to such a point that Israelis over here sometimes forget where they are and blast away with overt racism and allied expressions.

    American Jews, led by AIPAC et al,, have let Israeli Jews imagine that that TRIUMPHAL OVERT Israel-uber-alles is proper, not shameful, and “flies” even over here.


  17. Justpassingby on May 14, 2014, 5:29 am

    I love your comment at end Phil.

  18. Citizen on May 14, 2014, 9:19 am

    I guess that Israeli guy in Phil’s clip represents the sort of aggressive, disparaging, belligerent “new Jew” Zionist dogma wanted to create. He reminds me of a neoNazi street thug. And Israel has somewhere between 200 and 400 nukes.

    Last night, on PBS, Charlie interviewed the former head of Qatar for an hour. Lots of discussion of the various most current POVs, strategies, core interests, hopes, of Arab states and their relations with each other and their respective populations, including Iran’s. In the last five minutes, the interviewee said that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and the US full support of same, was a key irritation all the states had in common. Qatar supports HAMAS, the Palestinian cause, and likes the US diplomatic negotiations with Iran. He said a war on Iran would be a catastrophe for the whole region. He also said Qatar is increasingly investing in US business to prepare for the day when its oil and gas revenue will no longer sustain the state economically, and he pointed to the US removing itself from dependence on foreign oil and gas.

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