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‘Forward’ editor says Presbyterian vote was anti-Semitic

Israel/Palestine
on 178 Comments
Jane Eisner, from Jewish Boston

Jane Eisner, from Jewish Boston

Last week, after nearly a decade of debating such resolutions, the Presbyterians voted to divest from three companies (HP, Caterpillar, and Motorola Solutions) that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and that refused to have serious discussions with the Presbyterians’ investment committee about their practices. Many of the Presbyterians who opposed the divestment measure said they were afraid that they would be accused of anti-Semitism; many who supported it were also aware of that eventuality and accepted it.

Now here is Forward editor Jane Eisner’s column describing the Presbyterian divestment measure as anti-Semitic: it “hurts Jews.” A liberal Zionist writing from Israel, she ignores all the non-Zionist Jews who supported divestment, and says that divestment will achieve nothing, and other places are much worse.

Channeling Netanyahu (something not easy for me to do) I could understand how the Presbyterian decision could seem biased, hypocritical and, yes, anti-Semitic. Why should Israel be singled out for its treatment of the Palestinians when Christians elsewhere in the region are fleeing for their lives? At the very least, shouldn’t Syria and Iraq and Egypt be boycotted, too?

In his own clumsy way, Netanyahu pinpointed why the Presbyterian vote is, indeed, unfair and hypocritical. Put aside for a moment whether such divestment is even effective — selling shares in a few companies is hardly going to hobble Israel’s steady economic growth or deter future global investment, so this sort of financial pressure is unlikely to stop the occupation…

when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical? How does that not undermine Israel’s legitimacy?

As for their love for me and my Jewish brethren, it may be sincere but it’s awfully misguided. You’ll not usually find me in the Netanyahu amen corner, nor am I prone to identify anti-Semitism at every turn. But when Jewish treatment of Palestinians is judged worse than the way any other dominant group treats a minority, when it is deemed worthy of unique sanction, when other horrors around the world are ignored — how can I believe that this isn’t about the Jews? And that, my Presbyterian friends, is anti-Semitism…

The Presbyterian action is probably not going to measurably hurt Israel. But it has understandably hurt Jews.

Eisner’s argument is characterized by “whataboutery” — how can the Presbyterians single out Israel when so many other places are so much worse? I believe in whataboutery myself (Look at Syria), but it is an inherently conservative way of looking at things, not a forward one. If Palestinian Christians have it so good, does that mean they don’t want equal rights? Just because you live in a bad neighborhood, does that mean that you get to deprive your neighbor of freedom?

Also, how persuasive do you find an American Jewish Zionist’s argument that what my people are doing in Israel isn’t so bad? A wide spectrum of Palestinian society supports BDS– boycott, divestment and sanctions. Even conservative bourgeois Palestinians do. If you’ve been in the occupation, you understand why they feel that way. I defer to their view of conditions there.

As for the absence of political freedom in Syria and Egypt, Americans and Jews have a special relationship to Palestine; Israeli Jews established apartheid there with our complicity. What means does Eisner advocate for ending apartheid? The occupation has now lasted almost 50 years– and the creation of Israel involved ethnic cleansing and dispossession that has never been addressed (decades after Jews received reparations from Germany). As Eisner says, “divestment is not only about wielding punishment; it’s about shaping a moral conversation.” O.K., let’s have it. (And if you’re the liberal Jewish newspaper, are you making any room for anti-Zionist Jews?)

About Philip Weiss

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

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178 Responses

  1. Giles
    June 25, 2014, 11:27 am

    Same old recycled hasbara.

    • Krauss
      June 25, 2014, 11:54 am

      Do not forget. Eisner defended Sodastream, too.

      As we always said, when you strip the flowery rhetoric, all liberal Zionists become Likudniks.

      Of course she sides with Netanyahu.

      • Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 1:21 pm

        Do not forget. Eisner defended Sodastream, too.

        While the Bedouins displaced by Ma’ale Adumim and its industrial park have been relocated to the immediate vicinity of the Abu Dis garbage dump. See Bedouins around Ma’ale Adumim http://www.btselem.org/area_c/maale_adumim_bedouins

        P.S, Sodastream is currently trading at a 52 week low:-)

      • yonah fredman
        June 25, 2014, 3:22 pm

        Krauss- Is Larry Derfner a liberal Zionist? Apparently not. Would Larry Derfner call himself a liberal Zionist? I think so.

        Is Peter Beinart a liberal Zionist? I think he is not as far left as Derfner, but I do not think he is a Likudnik? Do you disagree, Mr. Krauss?

        Jane Eisner is representative of most liberal Zionists and therefore she and they might deserve the “most liberal Zionists become Likudniks” without the flowery rhetoric. But “all liberal Zionists” is patently false.

  2. ritzl
    June 25, 2014, 11:27 am

    “The occupation has now lasted almost 50 years…”

    Yep. So in about 40 years the Presbyterians will get around to starting to work on Syria. Meanwhile, Israel’s had plenty of time to solve the problem, but the decades-long trend is in the wrong direction. It’s their turn in the spotlight.

    Eisner needs to go live in Nablus for a year, or a month, or a week.

    And I will never get how the moral statement of divesting from US companies complicit in human rights abuses “hurts Jews.” Pure selfish, bubble-based nonsense.

  3. just
    June 25, 2014, 11:28 am

    See Jane. See Jane hop. See Jane flop.

  4. Binyamin in Orangeburg
    June 25, 2014, 11:31 am

    Oy gevalt!

    Sure we “single out” Israel, Ms. Eisner. Reason is simple: Our government singles out Israel: for weapons aid and diplomatic defense.

    We do not give such support to any of the other human rights violators in your list. And if it is kosher for the pro-Israel folks to single out Israel for support, it is also kashrut for the Presbys to single it out for criticism. How else could the policy be criticized, if the criticism is in proportion to America’s policy?

    When the U.S. begins giving $4 billion a year (20% of Israel’s military budget) to Assad, and the BDSers refuse to condemn it with equal vigor, I will join you and Bibi.

    Israel is about the same size (in area) as Macedonia, Belize and Fiji, and (in population) as Burundi, Honduras and Switzerland. Because of your efforts, Ms. Eisner, and those of your comrades in the pro-Israel lobby here in the U.S., Israel gets a hugely disproportionate share of our country’s foreign aid, even if it were a “light unto nations.”

    But lets be for real. What you call “anti-semitism” is really your panic over the unprecedented inroads BDS is making. So-called “liberals” back in the Sixties tried to shut off criticism of the Vietnam War by calling its opponents traitors and communists. Your neo-McCarthyism has an equally unpleasant aroma.

    Yeah, Israel is not the worst human rights abuser in the region; but it’s the only one our government gives weapons to, as well as moral sanction.

    • Chu
      June 25, 2014, 12:27 pm

      They are in panic mode. There’s a perception problem that is not going away with Israel. They are the aggressor, and the more the continue to steal and build on occupied territory, the more their entire existence comes into question. A real paradox for Zionists.

    • JohnAdamTurnbull
      June 25, 2014, 1:05 pm

      Yes.

      And in that vein, the US does sanction Syria. Good for the goose, etc.

      http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/pages/syria.aspx

    • DaBakr
      June 25, 2014, 1:13 pm

      @b in o
      “but it’s the only one our government gives weapons to, as well as moral sanction.”

      you might want to examine this statement for veracity.

      p.s.-“whataboutery” is the dumbest phrase and lamest excuse for deflecting criticism i have ever heard. it would be so convenient if opponents of Zionism could erase questions about hypocrisy but it is not going to happen by trying to label them with a silly made up term.

      • Philip Weiss
        June 25, 2014, 3:12 pm

        DaB, whataboutery is ideologically neutral description of anyone seeking to change the subject of a criticism by pointing out far better targets of the criticism. Example: Why are you criticizing my use of this term when you could be criticizing the NYT’s who/whom mistake on today’s front page…etc

      • DaBakr
        June 25, 2014, 4:37 pm

        yes, I understand that it is ideologically neutral but if one wants to point out what they think is hypocrisy in either policy or ideology it is often necessary to point out what one is comparing to. I understand that in this conflict there is a tendency for BOTH sides to use this tactic but at the same time i think it has to be used with much discretion or it becomes just another trick or gimmick to deflect the ‘others’ pov. I also understand your blog has a discerned pov and ‘guests’ have to be somewhat respectful of this but again-if i wanted to engage in and change peoples minds i wouldn’t label every ‘deflection’ as ‘whatabout’ since “about”, as a preposition means something like:
        ‘affecting the outcome’, or ‘to affect’.

        So , I would answer:
        I am criticizing your use of this term because it belittles my pov while I don’t know that the NYT (I actually don’t. maybe it is incorrect.) actually printed a mistaken headline. And I would then say: “the NYT has often printed mistakes regarding Israel in the negative (and some retracted) as well which anyone has the right to try and prove otherwise”. And so I suppose that is ‘whataboutism’ too.

        I will cede you one thing…that is when the day comes when people on either side and in between this issue no longer find they have to resort to endless comparisons for ‘point scoring’ and/or otherwise we will have come a very long way towards ending the cycle of hostility that exists between the two ideas.

      • Justpassingby
        June 25, 2014, 3:28 pm

        dabakr doesnt understand what whaboutism means and then use it himself :) Hilarious

      • DaBakr
        June 26, 2014, 10:17 am

        oh I understand it Jpassby, and I said so. I also said it was basically nothing more then a rhetorical gimmick to silence opposition. read.

      • Cliff
        June 25, 2014, 5:40 pm

        @Dabakr

        Whataboutery is a type of logical fallacy.

        When your only argument is to divert attention, that’s not really an argument.

        Why should we first deal with every single other conflict in the world before we get to Israel?

        Do you Zionists behave the same?

        Should Israel first consider all the horrible things going on in the world before it kills several Palestinians, while it searches for three kidnapped settler kids?

        Israel suffers a fraction of what it inflicts on Palestine and Palestinians.

        Should you and your cult of murderers/racists/colonists/etc. all consider what you’ve done to your victims before you again go on a rampage?

        Answer that first and then maybe you can begin to lecture people on the term ‘whataboutery’.

        In Israel’s case, that ‘whataboutery’ is right in it’s backyard, right next to Israelis. Among Israelis.

        Whereas Iraq is not. Syria is not. China is not. Darfur is not. Dolphins in Japan are not. Blah blah.

        Take your own advice Zio.

      • DaBakr
        June 26, 2014, 10:21 am

        this is one muddled response. not even sure how it could be answered except I have taken my own advice.

        and i believe the following statement you wrote is also a direct violation of the ‘whatabout’ clause:
        “Israel suffers a fraction of what it inflicts on Palestine and Palestinians.”

        [its also completely subjective but that is another issue]

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 26, 2014, 10:44 am

        ““Israel suffers a fraction of what it inflicts on Palestine and Palestinians.”

        [its also completely subjective…] ”

        No, it’s true as an objective matter. Anyone who denies that is kidding himself, lying or is crazy.

    • ahadhaadam
      June 25, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Yeah, Israel is not the worst human rights abuser in the region; but it’s the only one our government gives weapons to, as well as moral sanction.

      That is very contestable. I may write an essay about the myth of “Israel’s light crimes”, which some good meaning people seem to repeat as evidently true. Israel’s crimes are anything but minor, even on an absolute basis. Both Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing are designated as Crimes Against Humanity, which are the gravest crimes a state can commit, on par with genocide. And while autocratic regimes are indeed human rights violators and their body count and those of civil and internecine strife often exceeds those of ethnic cleansing campaigns or apartheid regimes, their motivation is often regime preservation rather than racism and displacement. As the joke in my childhood’s bazooka bubble gum went: “My boss is terrible but fair. He is equally terrible to everyone”.

      How many people died under Apartheid S. Africa? Not that many if you compare to dictatorships across Africa at that time, such as Idi Amin’s Uganda. Yet how many people claim that S. Africa was unjustly singled out? Even the body count of Milosovic the ethnic cleanser didn’t exceed that of Pol Pot the dictator. Yet Milosovic, just like Israel, tried by forceful means to change the demography, i.e. was motivated by racial and ethnic considerations and thus committed a Crime Against Humanity.

      • Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 4:38 pm

        Both Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing are designated as Crimes Against Humanity

        True enough, but that simply allows the ICC to prosecute them when there is no connection to an armed conflict. FYI, Article 85 of the 1st Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions (1977) also designates them as grave breaches and war crimes if the are committed during an occupation or armed conflict. So they can also be prosecuted as war crimes under Article 8(2)(b) of the Rome Statute, i.e. “Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law”.

        P.S. The IDF is killing Palestinian civilians nearly every damn day. We don’t have to wait for some other country to right all of its wrongs before we can insist that the illegal situation in the OPT be brought to an immediate end.

      • DaBakr
        June 25, 2014, 4:48 pm

        so, by your logic the US must be the worst perpetrator of human rights abuses in the entire history of the world. and all the people that clamor to get there must be pretty dumb. or, you are speaking in terms of ‘technicalities’ and when peoples lives are at stake ‘technicalities’ don;t mean much. so, your attempt to paint Israel as the “worst” would make little sense to Arabs living in SW Syria trying to survive the civil war, technically.

      • Ron Edwards
        June 26, 2014, 9:40 am

        Your intellectual dishonesty is intolerable.

        1. Yes, the U.S. ranks among the top five perpetrators of human rights abuses, world-wide. This is not a controversial or difficult statement. The use of atomic weapons in 1945 alone would put it in the top slot for many.

        2. The U.S. also affords considerable economic opportunity and political freedoms to its citizens, both to varying degrees and neither to the extent of its propaganda.

        The combination of #1 and #2 is typical for empires. That’s not confusing or contradictory at all.

      • DaBakr
        June 26, 2014, 10:24 am

        you accuse me of intellectual “dishonesty” by pointing out I was telling….the ‘truth’? hmm. But I see. I can not apply the same logic to the comment accusing Israel of being the ‘worst in the world’ since that would be ‘aboutery’.

        anyway-I’ll lay off the whole issue of ‘aboutism’ since it really leads nowhere and the point of this blog is to discuss the merits of anti-Zionism, Zionism and pro-Palestinian and where they depart and collide

    • MahaneYehude1
      June 26, 2014, 3:42 am

      @Binyamin in Orangeburg:

      Israel is about the same size (in area) as Macedonia, Belize and Fiji, and (in population) as Burundi, Honduras and Switzerland. Because of your efforts, Ms. Eisner, and those of your comrades in the pro-Israel lobby here in the U.S., Israel gets a hugely disproportionate share of our country’s foreign aid, even if it were a “light unto nations.”

      It seems to me that people here like to talk about “proportion” only when it serves their arguments. I remember several months ago, I had a “discussion” with one of the anti-Israelis here and always when I said that both Israelis and Palestinians are victims of the conflict, she insisted on “proportion”. But whenever a pro-Israeli says “Why you single-out Israel, What about other worse places?”, this is of course “whataboutery”, a nice word you invented to avoid real discussion.

      So, if you started with “proportion” let’s continue: USA supports Israel by giving $4 billion per annum*, but not to Macedonia, Belize and Fiji. The reason is simple, none of those three countries are under constant threat, no one of them experiences terror attacks and missile attacks. None one of them has to deal with an enemy that don’t want to recognize their existence, refuse to do peace and settle all the problems.

      It’s about the time that people here start to understand that we, the Jews, are in our homeland, the only homeland of the Jewish people. We have no intentions to give up, but we want to live in peace with our neighbors. The ball is in their hands: Recognizing the Jewish state of Israel and start (real) peace process.

      Yeah, Israel is not the worst human rights abuser in the region; but it’s the only one our government gives weapons to, as well as moral sanction.

      If so, “whatabout” a new Mondoweiss deals with the real problems of the world? With the millions of victims in our region? You can start with learning one name of one victim from those millions of victims, only one name, Binyamin in Orangeburg!!!

      • iResistDe4iAm
        June 26, 2014, 7:26 am

        MahaneYehude1 says:
        “USA supports Israel by giving $4 billion per annum*, but not to Macedonia, Belize and Fiji. The reason is simple, none of those three countries are under constant threat, no one of them experiences terror attacks and missile attacks. None one of them has to deal with an enemy that don’t want to recognize their existence, refuse to do peace and settle all the problems.”

        The reason is simple, none of those three countries are in perpetual conflict as none of them are occupying, oppressing, or ethnically cleansing another people (namely the indigenous inhabitants).

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 26, 2014, 11:25 am

        “The reason is simple, none of those three countries are under constant threat, no one of them experiences terror attacks and missile attacks.”

        LMAO. Nope. The reason is because none of them have a fifth column lobby working to stick up the US taxpayers to pay for your filthy Apartheid government.

        “None one of them has to deal with an enemy that don’t want to recognize their existence, refuse to do peace and settle all the problems.”

        Are you a liar, a moron or crazy? The Arab Peace Plan has been out there waiting for you people to accept it for over a decade, yet you — who oh, so want peace — refuse to accept it. Why? Because then you wouldn’t get to oppress Palestinians.

        “It’s about the time that people here start to understand that we, the Jews, are in our homeland,”

        No, you are in Palestine. The fact that some Jews used to live there a few thousand years ago doesn’t change that fact. THAT is what YOU have to understand.

        “but we want to live in peace with our neighbors.”

        No you don’t. If you did, you’d have accepted the Arab Peace Plan a decade ago. What you want is to steal all the land, oppress all the people and have them agree not to shoot back at you; you don’t want peace because that would mean having to give justice to your prey.

        “The ball is in their hands: Recognizing the Jewish state of Israel and start (real) peace process.”

        Oh, go stuff that nonsense. What you want is abject surrender and they aren’t game. Good for them. If you’re not willing to offer justice to the Palestinians, you people should experience even one minute of peace.

        But

      • Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 11:38 am

        It seems to me that people here like to talk about “proportion” only when it serves their arguments.

        Then you aren’t reading very carefully. I’ve always pointed out that under customary international law, organizations, like the UN are responsible for guaranteeing fundamental human rights in the new states that are created through their assistance. Israel has actively prevented the creation of Arab Palestine, so it’s practically the only state the UN has ever created so far that stubbornly rejects the principle of fundamental equality of all its citizens and the role of the UN to step in and attempt to fulfill its legal guarantees.

        It’s important to recall that Zionists and Jews living in other countries asked to be singled out for special treatment under the terms of the minority rights treaties and the Palestine mandate. The JCPA published a tract which included an essay by Eli Likovski on the “Status of the Jewish Agency and WZO”. He explained that when the Zionist Congress said “to create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine, secured under public law” that they simply meant “public international law”. See page 32 of Daniel Judah Elazar, Alysa M. Dortort (editors) “Understanding the Jewish Agency: a handbook, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs*, 1984.

        Adam Keller wrote an article which sums-up the situation. The Zionists asked for special treatment and promised to observe the usual legal obligations, then they turned right around an broke all of their promises:

        And thus, to go back to the question posed at the beginning of this article: Is Israel singled out, by international civil society if not (yet?) by international diplomacy? Yes, it is. Is it unfair and biased? To my view, it is not. It is but a quite fair demand upon Israel to pay at least part of a long-overdue debt, and keep their part of a contract which Israel’s Founding Fathers solemnly signed.
        Yes, there are many countries whose conduct fully deserves condemnation – but none was given such a unique privilege as the Zionist movement was given, none had made such a binding obligation in return for being given such a privilege, and which it failed to keep.
        In recent years the State of Israel has been vociferously criticized for planting settlers in the occupied territories – which it can be argued that China is also doing in Tibet; and for killing civilians in the bombings of Gaza, which it can shown that Americans and Europeans are also doing in Iraq and Afghanistan; and for lethally raiding the Gaza Aid Flotilla, for which some apologists also tried to find various precedents and parallels. Yet Israel is singled out because it, and it alone, is in obvious default of a fundamental obligation, an obligation which was the condition for Israel coming into being in the first place.
        The plan which is now on offer – and had been on offer for quite a long time – gives Israel the possibility of settling this debt on quite comfortable conditions. The West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are to be given up and become the State of Palestine, are after all little more than 22% of what was Mandatory Palestine, and by giving them up Israel would be intentionally recognized as having at last discharged its debt and kept its obligation. But continued persistence in refusing to pay the debt – continuing it until the international balance of power has fundamentally changed, some years or decades from now – might put Israel at the risk of what happens to those who fail to pay their debts: going into liquidation.

        link to israeli-occupation.org

  5. Annie Robbins
    June 25, 2014, 11:34 am

    there are a few flaws in her logic

    Why should Israel be singled out for its treatment of the Palestinians when Christians elsewhere in the region are fleeing for their lives?

    this implies that the decision to divest from the 3 american companies by the presbyterian church is specifically related to how christians are treated. but that is not the case.

    wrt “israel being singled out” this came up at the conference in a Q&A from a member of the GA and a person from the church panel was asked for a history of similar measures by the church in the past. i didn’t listen to the recitation of the list (from the podium) but it started decades ago and included sudan. someone should find the video of that section of the GA meeting.

    • Sycamores
      June 25, 2014, 12:08 pm

      Annie Robbins,

      South Africa was mention as well.

      until someone finds that part in Q&A’s

      i found this interesting about divestment from Syria and Sudan

      by Rev. Debra Avery
      June 24, 2014

      To many the divestment from three corporations looks like a lopsided action. But as someone who has attended many assemblies and who has served congregations which have supported the bringing of a variety of other kinds of overtures to General Assembly, I think it would be good to remember that any Presbyterian has the ability to move an overture forward through their session, their presbytery and finally to General Assembly. If people are passionate about divesting from corporations doing business in Syria or Sudan or any of the other nation-states mentioned in the comments below, it is entirely possible to initiate that process and make it happen. The church will move if there is passion and interest in doing that work. I want to encourage people who have concerns about those kinds of investments to begin work now so your interests can be represented at the next assembly.

      https://www.pcusa.org/events/24273/221st-general-assembly-2014/

      this is also interesting because it calls out those who profess theirs concern about Syria, Sudan etc to actually do something about it.

    • richb
      June 25, 2014, 12:33 pm

      One particular example is helpful. Before MRTI recommends divestment they work with the companies to change their practices which the 2008 GA defined as “non peaceful pursuits”. This is defined as follows:

      “… to confine their business activity solely to peaceful pursuits, and refrain from allowing their products or services to support or facilitate violent acts by Israelis or Palestinians against innocent civilians, construction and maintenance of settlements or Israeli only roads in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territory, and construction of the Separation Barrier as it extends beyond the 1967 “Green Line” into Palestinian territories.”

      [Minutes, 218th General Assembly (2008), p. 1223. Emphasis mine.]

      MRTI engaged Citigroup because they were wire transferring money to the families of suicide bombers. Citigroup unlike HP, Moto, and Cat responded favorably to our requests.Even if we restrict ourselves to the conflict we don’t take sides but rather invest solely according to our values.

    • DaBakr
      June 25, 2014, 1:21 pm

      the decision by the pcusa was a long fought and hard won victory for bds activists. it was a very close vote. there was no sense of any anti-Jewishness from the vote as a whole even if many Jews don’t agree with it. if the vote had gone a few % points the other way-how could that have made the pcusa any ‘less’ anti-semetic ? which is why this has little to do with anti-Jewish activity.

      what can be sensed is here, on mw, there are a few who seem to relish the idea that many Jews who are Zionist feel ‘pain’ or especially ‘fear’ from the results of this vote. while there is definitely a lot of ‘opinion’ pieces out there it doesn;t seem like anybody is running around in a panic-much as that seems amusing to some here.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 25, 2014, 3:26 pm

        what can be sensed… a few who seem to relish the idea that many Jews who are Zionist feel ‘pain’ or especially ‘fear’

        if you perceive anyone “relishing” your pain/fear just link to it or blockquote. by all means share…

        btw, i noticed this same sentiment in a comment the other day w/another of the hasbrats. this idea of ‘enjoying the suffering of others’ theme. you don’t happen to notice it do you? this ascribing your adversaries to sadistic overtones. hmm. rather ad hominem and diversionary of you. did you think no one would notice?

      • DaBakr
        June 25, 2014, 4:54 pm

        not sadistic. just infantile. and get real. you know darn well the comments about “zionist hasbarists” being in :”panic mode” and “scurrying for cover”. I read them here. funny how I can’t find that comment anymore. but fine, you win. i wasn’t implying they were inhuman. but if you think they don’t relish the defeat wether via bds or otherwise of ‘zionist’ cause then what can I tell you. I also think that Jews and/or Zionists that can;t take criticism or a joke are equally as pathetic. lighten up.

        (i’m sorry. i know this is all such a serious business. but you are trying to change peoples minds. maybe not mine, but at least I am open to reading what you have to say without disparaging it. I am exactly the kind of person you don;t want to alienate, at least imo. i know there are angry racist fanatics that sound like fascist extremists on some pro-Israeli blogs. they certainly aren;t helping themselves and I have little sympathy for their stupidity)

      • Cliff
        June 25, 2014, 5:42 pm

        @Dab

        You and the troll brigade across the web have always smeared opposition to your cult as being antisemitic or worse.

        Whether it’s non-violent resistance or violent resistance.

        You’ve long jumped the shark.

      • lyn117
        June 26, 2014, 2:19 am

        @Dabakr, Isn’t calling a point of view “infantile” rather disparaging? also stating that “whataboutery” the “is the dumbest phrase?” Are there any actual examples where you actually do what you claim, that is, read things here without disparaging them?

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 25, 2014, 3:49 pm

        “there are a few who seem to relish the idea that many Jews who are Zionist feel ‘pain’ or especially ‘fear’ from the results of this vote. ”

        I think that’s simply the way of expressing hope that the long history of Israelis committing crimes against humanity with impunity is coming to an end. They’re hoping that these people feel the just consequences of their acts.

      • DaBakr
        June 25, 2014, 10:28 pm

        people don’t feel the “just consequences of their acts” just because you and a few (or millions) others believe they have acted so. even were Israel to be tried as so many here long for there is no indication it would be found guilty of most of the ‘crimes’ attributed to it and certainly-in the true spirit of ‘aboutism’ israels enemies including Palestinian actors would be equally as culpable of similar ‘war-crimes’. there are many other factors such as the legitimacy of the icc and wether or not there is any movement towards a treaty which you believe Israel is not interested in while I may believe the same of the Palestinians. And what if both groups are holding out for the best possible outcome in their favor? Concepts of ‘justice’ and ‘consequences’ are far less impressive when applied to a long running conflict with endless tit-for-tat violence and killing.I don;t deny Israel is militarily superior but that is certainly not for the Arabs and Palestinians lack of trying.
        And before you go spouting off about ‘consequences’ for what the Nazis and some ordinary Germans did in ww2 there were literally libraries filled with intricate documentation, plans, architecture, policy, constant list making and filming of every detail. Ther was never a more caculated crime in the past century. But for Israel-you have these fuzzy ‘plan D’ which is hardly conclusive and you have pretty much for every atrocity committed by one side an either precipitating or reciprocal response(depending on who is doing the telling) So-while I know that some Israeli historians have come to terms with Israeli war atrocities and written about them I have yet to read much from Arab historians that don;t keep pushing the same line about how it was ALL (and I mean from the 1900 British Colonial Commission to ‘cherry-picked’ Ben Gurion quotes and up to today-the waqf insists Jews are planning to blow up Al-Aqsa)

        And here is another recent example of the tit-for-tat that will keep this conflict from ever reaching the level of war crimes that many anti-Zionist seem to hanker for-which was my initial point. they are hankering for what they think is ‘justice’ and that ‘justice’ will be painful to…well you get the point(or not) . Morris mentions the sources for the Arab and British pov but as I usually point out-Rashamon didn’t become the classic story/film for nothing.
        http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/176858/kfar-etzion?all=1

      • Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 11:10 am

        But for Israel-you have these fuzzy ‘plan D’ which is hardly conclusive

        There was nothing vague about it. The preamble of Plan dalet said that it was based upon three earlier plans, Plan B, September 1945, The May 1946 Plan, and the Yehoshua Plan, 1948. The official published history of the Haganah says that in the summer of 1937, ten years before the UN Partition plan, David Ben Gurion directed the Haganah Commander of Tel Aviv, Elimelech Slikowitz (“Avnir” the author of Plan A), to draw up a plan to take over the entire country after the British withdrawal. Full stop.

        Plan Dalet was not a defensive plan. It literally declared war upon the Arab State:

        (a) The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlement and concentration which are located outside the borders [of the Hebrew state] against regular, semi-regular, and small forces operating from bases outside or inside the state.

        I take it you have no military training or formal education on the subject of the laws and customs of land warfare. The plan explicitly called for terror operations in cities and probes or unprovoked attacks against Arab population centers, and in the cases of those which defended themselves, it required that the inhabitants be driven beyond the borders of the Hebrew State.
        It also amounts to a plan for a war of aggression against the Arab state by a fifth column working in tandem with the militias of the Jewish state. The explicit objectives were to gain control of the territory in and around the Jewish settlements in the Arab state, in order to allow the settlements freedom of military activity. That was to be accomplished by destroying or occupying legitimate Arab defense installations located inside the Arab state through the use of unprovoked attacks. At the time this was all happening the Jewish militias were under an obligation contained in resolution 181(II) to only use military force for internal security and to prevent border clashes. The resolution recited the prohibition against the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of “any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”.
        This portion of Plan Dalet can only be described as an operational plan for premeditated ethnic cleansing:

        4. Mounting operations against enemy population centers located inside or near our defensive system in order to prevent them from being used as bases by an active armed force. These operations can be divided into the following categories:
        Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.
        Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.
        The villages which are emptied in the manner described above must be included in the fixed defensive system and must be fortified as necessary.

        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

      • Annie Robbins
        June 26, 2014, 11:15 am

        Concepts of ‘justice’ and ‘consequences’ are far less impressive when applied to a long running conflict with endless tit-for-tat violence and killing.I don;t deny Israel is militarily superior but that is certainly not for the Arabs and Palestinians lack of trying.

        this narrative doesn’t really work for me. ” endless tit-for-tat violence and killing”? really, so if palestinians came into jewish houses regularly and hauled away children and adults on no charges and imprisoned and tortured them you’d call this ” tit-for-tat violence”. i don’t think so. there’s no parity here and that can’t be erased with a simple “I don;t deny Israel is militarily superior “. if you don’t deny it please cease using terms that imply a balance where there is none.

        And before you go spouting off about ‘consequences’ for what the Nazis and some ordinary Germans did in ww2 there were literally libraries filled with intricate documentation, plans, architecture, policy, constant list making and filming of every detail. Ther was never a more calculated crime in the past century. But for Israel-you have these fuzzy ‘plan D’

        not really, go watch the gatekeepers or The Law in These Parts

        this is not “fuzzy ‘plan D'”. as the film says “hundreds of thousands” of palestinians have been thru these military show trials. the occupation wasn’t some random thing that just happened. it was a calculated plan to take over the land and suppress opposition to ethnic cleansing. the torture, death and imprisonment of men. the judge says he knew about the torture for confessions which is what leads to the 99% conviction rates, so why have trials? why have judges? so it won’t be so blatant what is going on? but we know what is happening today. this is why there are the hunger strikers. don’t pretend this is plan d from last century. the only reason they released mahmoud sarsak was international pressure before israel hosted the under21 football. he starved himself, no charges against him ever. he was a hero to children, a soccer star. why do this? to remove male role models from society. it’s common in colonialist societies. this is not complicated stuff.

        which is hardly conclusive and you have pretty much for every atrocity committed by one side an either precipitating or reciprocal response(depending on who is doing the telling)

        just stop making excuses. really, this is ridiculous. it defies all logic. there is nothing “tit for tat” about this, listen to bassem tamimi’s words:

    • richb
      June 25, 2014, 1:42 pm

      This is the presentation MRTI made to the ME committee of why they recommended divestment.

      http://pcusa-pcbiz.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/Uploads/893af81f-1691-4170-94ce-e55c3bed7631/MRTI%20Presentation%20Cmte%2004.pdf

    • Pat Nguyen
      June 25, 2014, 6:38 pm

      Annie, I am a supporter of Israel, her policies, and elected officials.
      I am not particularly upset by the vote from the standpoint that I do not feel it will impact the economy of Israel, nor do I see it as a trend that Israel will have to contend with. If I see something different evolve,I will be sure to express those views.
      It seems like the denizens of this board are not able to digest this sentiment.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 25, 2014, 9:11 pm

        pat, why are there three commenter names posting from your i.p. address?

      • just
        June 25, 2014, 9:20 pm

        Ergo, my question the other day/night ‘which pat is which”?

        Thanks Annie.

      • ritzl
        June 25, 2014, 9:23 pm

        Too funny.

      • iResistDe4iAm
        June 25, 2014, 11:41 pm

        1. Commenter Profile: Pat Nguyen
        Total number of comments: 57 (since 2014-06-22 19:24:19)
        http://mondoweiss.net/profile/pat-nguyen

        2. Commenter Profile: Pat
        Total number of comments: 11 (since 2014-06-21 20:36:58)
        http://mondoweiss.net/profile/pat

        Who’s the third commenter?

    • wes
      June 26, 2014, 6:57 am

      Annie says

      “related to christians”

      of course it is,the prebyt church is first and foremost supporting christians in the middle east,support for moslems in israel is a trade off.
      american evangies, christian zionies,all want a piece of the show that never ends called “Israel”
      Wait till you see what comes next

  6. seafoid
    June 25, 2014, 11:36 am

    It hurts Jews.
    Yeah. The Psalms should have given the game away but there are none so deaf as the hasbara listeners. If you think it hurts now it’s only going to intensify pain wise. Jim Crow withdrawal is excruciating. It’s worse than heroin.

  7. Ron Edwards
    June 25, 2014, 11:41 am

    Agreed, especially with your last point. I no longer accept these abstract projections about abstract masses in conversations. I don’t even bother to say, “Hurts how? Which Jews?” Not when there are completely real harms done to completely real people being explicitly supported by the person I’m talking with.

    Time we should also start calling this wretched rag “The Backward.”

  8. Annie Robbins
    June 25, 2014, 11:42 am

    when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet.

    by this same logic one could understand how it might be in israel’s best interest to ensure there’s constantly conflict surrounding it. not only would that distract from israel’s ongoing violations of human right and land theft but it could be used as an excuse to continue.

    and this at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence is simply not the case. for ten years the church has been working w/’positive investment’ initiatives w/their jewish interfaith partners, to no avail. so, using “at a time when” logic is flawed.

    • ritzl
      June 25, 2014, 12:05 pm

      Great comment, Annie.

      Israel trades in ongoing human misery at a remarkable level.

      Our invasion of Iraq was politically stupid [convenient?] and/or grossly miscalculated (in the go-no go sense), but Israel’s ongoing violent destabilization of its neighbors is calculated evil. The “ongoing,” as eljay says, part is crucial because Israel, with all its experience with incitement, knows that thousands will die as a result of the chaos it generates for its selfish PR purposes.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 25, 2014, 3:37 pm

        Our invasion of Iraq was politically stupid [convenient?] and/or grossly miscalculated (in the go-no go sense), but Israel’s ongoing violent destabilization of its neighbors is calculated evil.

        Our invasion of Iraq was not miscalculated by Israel, they used the invasion and ensuing chaos to double down on settlement expansion, took huge advantage of it.

      • DaBakr
        June 25, 2014, 5:04 pm

        even though Israeli military advisors warned Cheney and co.(including Perle, Wfwtz,etc) that IRAN would stand to gain and it was a mistake. Why shouldn’t Israel take advantage of somebody else’s mistake especially whn it now has a more assertive and hostile Iran to deal with? Oh, right, you believe because Israel stood behind its ally that it somehow was behind the push towards war with Iraq.

        you must know by now that just because people like wolfwtz and the now anti-neocon[!] Perle claim they are ‘friends’ of israel does not mean they really have Israel’s best interest at heart. So much for the ‘Israel-1st’ accusations.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 25, 2014, 9:23 pm

        Oh, right, you believe because Israel stood behind its ally that it somehow was behind the push towards war with Iraq….wolfwtz … Perle claim they are ‘friends’ of israel does not mean they really have Israel’s best interest at heart.

        what about netanyahu, does he qualify as having israel’s best interest at heart?:

        saddam was pursuing all avenues of developing wmd and the means of delivering them..he was enjoying in this effort the support of …russians technology….nkorea were supporting that effort as well. there is no question he had not given up on his nuclear program, not whatsoever, there is also no question he was not satisfied with the arsenal of chemical and biological weapons that he had and was trying to perfect them constantly if perfect is the word to describe this ghoulish enterprise. so, i think frankly it is ah not serious to assume this man.. was sitting on his hands ..every indication pursuing with abandonment with every ounce of effort the advancement on weapons of mass destruction saddam is hellbent on achieving atomic bombs as soon as he can.

        “Oh, right, you believe .. Israel … was behind the push towards war with Iraq”

        and therefore i think the choice of iraq is a good choice, i think it’s the right choice

        maybe he was advising we hug iraq? nah.

      • ritzl
        June 25, 2014, 9:31 pm

        Good Lord, DaBakr. Such blatant revisionism.

        It’s been shown time after time after time after time after time that AIPAC wanted the Iraq war. It’s not a question of “Israel taking advantage of of somebody else’s mistake.” It’s a question of Israel deliberately crafting and influencing the strategy.

        My personal experience with staffers at the time was that it did. Such deeply-held, guiding nonsense you wouldn’t believe.

      • ritzl
        June 25, 2014, 5:19 pm

        Yep. Exactly. We/the US miscalculated the depth of Israel’s black hole of selfishness and bad-faith, and just how light-years apart our respective interests are.

      • DaBakr
        June 26, 2014, 12:19 am

        Netanyahu would have said anything at that time as he needed funds to get re-elected. I did not deny he kow-towed to AIPAC. And didn;t deny that AIPAC along with (or-you could say they were the same thing) Perle, Wolf, Rums Chen, and others) were wrong. Colin Powel went along but obviously disagreed. Am I supposed to be surprised that a politician said what he had to say to maintain his base of support?
        I said the military strategists in Israel advised the US it was Iran (at that time) that was the bigger danger. (and ironically back when Bush 1 went after Iran by arming Saddam the same group advised against agitating Iran any more since the mullahs were looking for an excuse to more tightly grip the reins. But if you honestly believe that Israel controls the biggest superpower on earth and the US military takes Israeli ‘advice” so be it. But there is a big difference between Netanyahu running for office and the IDF planners.
        It didn’t take brain surgeons to figure out who stood to gain from the 2nd Iraq war. As for what they did have? I can;t answer that honestly as I was one of those who foolishly went along with the joke of Iraq2 although I came around more quickly then some. But that is hardly bragging. Bremer was the last straw for me. Disgusting.
        Anyway-however you argue this point you could conceivably come up with an answer that Israel schemed a way to benefit from it which is a fairly typical and bigoted comment

      • Annie Robbins
        June 26, 2014, 12:32 am

        however you argue this point you could conceivably come up with an answer that Israel schemed a way to benefit from it which is a fairly typical and bigoted comment

        is that shorthand for ‘however u prove my allegation was BS you’re still a bigot’? try harder.

        israel didn’t just ‘scheme a way to benefit from it, israel went on full steroid settlement expansion.they also lobbied for it full throttle and every single one of their pundit minions were for it. so they did a little more than ‘scheme a way to benefit from it’. spoken like a true ‘make lemonade from lemons’ guru. no one is buying your framing. it was a neocon war from the get go. signed and sealed and we delivered.

        I did not deny he kow-towed to AIPAC.

        oh tell us more about how aipac rules israel. this should be instructive.

      • James Canning
        June 25, 2014, 6:54 pm

        Very true, Annie. And too few people see the connection between idiotic US invasion of Iraq and continuing expansion of illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank.

    • MHughes976
      June 25, 2014, 5:48 pm

      The question should be ‘Do they hold Israel to a standard that everyone ought to meet’?

    • DaBakr
      June 25, 2014, 11:47 pm

      yes, these liberal Zionist Jews just can’t seem to help adding in the “…, troubling though they may be,…” I think I could write an entire book on the phrase “troubling though they may be”. wtf.

  9. Woody Tanaka
    June 25, 2014, 11:42 am

    Oh, FFS, not this nonsense again.

    Here’s exactly why this woman is a moral degenerate, in one paragraph:

    “when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical? How does that not undermine Israel’s legitimacy?”

    What you have here is three generations of killings, assaults, and oppressions on the Palestinians, for no reason other than the fact that they are non-Jews, and for which she can only muster a concession that they are “troubling.” On the other hand is the charge that the critic is unfair, hypocritical and undermining the state’s “legitimacy” on the other. Based on that, she actually believes that the latter outweighs the former; that the need to be “fair” to a state is more important than trying to ensure that Palestinian babies aren’t burned to death with white phosophorus, that Palestinian teens aren’t shot for sport, and that mass retaliatory pogroms in the West Bank aren’t held. Again, she’s a moral degenerate.

    So she calls it antisemitism?? Who cares. If they’re making people wears stars or otherwise oppressing people because because they’re Jews, then it’s antisemitism. I’m there. I’m opposing it. But if the claim is made because someone objects to what Israel is doing? Then if you can’t demonstrate beyond doubt that the criticism is solely based on an animus against Jews, my responose is “oh, just shut the hell up already.”

    • seafoid
      June 25, 2014, 1:25 pm

      “when they singled out only the SS’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical? How does that not undermine Germany’s legitimacy?”

      I mean, the Soviets did dreadful things too.

      • G. Seauton
        June 25, 2014, 6:59 pm

        Actually, in many respects, the Soviets were worse human rights violators before and during World War II than the Nazis. Certainly, more people were killed over several decades by Stalin than by Hitler over his time in power.

        The real problem with your “whataboutery” is that it amounts to an argument against protesting any regime anywhere. If we must begin with the worst regimes with the highest body counts before working our way up to merely vicious war criminals with lower body counts, then we have a long list of war criminals to protest, boycott, sanction, etc., before we get to Israel. Very convenient. It could also be difficult to determine the absolutely worst regime, with several in contention for the title. “Whataboutery” is nothing more than rhetoric designed to deflect criticism of criminals partisans prefer to protect. Invoking that argument should automatically qualify as propaganda for war criminals and human rights violators.

        In the case of Israel, as Woody and others have pointed out, we are protesting the regime of war criminals most heavily supported by our own governments. This does not mean that we are OK with other vicious human rights violators in the world. Those who protest the regime in Sudan have similar “whataboutery” hurled at them. Those of us who protested the apartheid regime in South Africa have heard your arguments before.

        So smear away. “Anti-Semitism,” you* say? That word is not a charm that magically validates your arguments. You remain an apologist for war criminals.

        *Jane Eisner

      • Annie Robbins
        June 25, 2014, 10:02 pm

        In the case of Israel… we are protesting the regime of war criminals most heavily supported by our own governments.

        also, as far as i know, palestinians refugees have been refugees longer than any other refugees living today. their time has come, they deserve their freedom. syrian refugees? is less then a tenth amount of time. if we keep judging israel/palestine by degree of current conflict there would likely always be some conflict in the world more violent, immediately. but the presbyterian church has been on this effort for ten years, complying with and engaging in zionist ‘suggestions’ for positive investment or whatever, and the occupation has only dug in deeper. this must end. it’s gone on too long. and if the world can’t stop this (massive) infraction on human rights, relatively “small” on a global scale, well then what power do individuals have thru their churches or unions or what have you? end it now.

        personally i wouldlike nothing better than to move on to another conflict (and as a human rights activist i definitely will). but there’s a mass movement behind this effort and why squander this opportunity? we have a responsibility as human to end this thing and it’s very doable. we just have to stick with it. and we will. palestine (the region) and palestinians will be free on their land, mark my words.

        like netanyahu advised in the above video, referencing iraq, the regime must go. we ask for no less, the zionist regime must be dismantled (or conform to basic rules of decency and equal human rights which would in effect dismantle zionism as we have always known it to act/be).

      • RoHa
        June 26, 2014, 12:15 am

        “Whataboutery” is just another name for the informal fallacy “pointing to another wrong”.

        MHughes (below) points out, in a single, pithy, sentence, why this “reasoning” is fallacious.

        “Nothing that is wrong ceases to be wrong because something else is wrong too.”

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 26, 2014, 11:18 am

        “Actually, in many respects, the Soviets were worse human rights violators … during World War II than the Nazis.”

        I disagree with this. I think that in the six years between 1939 and 1945, that the human rights violations of the Germans clearly exceeded those of the USSR (which is not to say that the USSR did not commit any during this time (as it did, especially against the Poles in the parts of Poland it seized as part of the Nazi-USSR Partition) nor is it a comment on the period before the war.)

      • G. Seauton
        June 26, 2014, 7:43 pm

        I wrote: “Actually, in many respects, the Soviets were worse human rights violators … during World War II than the Nazis.”

        Woody wrote: “I disagree with this. I think that in the six years between 1939 and 1945, that the human rights violations of the Germans clearly exceeded those of the USSR….”

        Yes, I take back that statement with respect to the years 1939-1945. Nazi human rights violations exceeded Soviet human rights violations in virtually every respect. (Also, I apologize for accidentally posting the same thing twice.)

        However, Stalin’s crimes were horrendous throughout his time in power. Scholars began to have much greater access to Soviet archives at the end of the 1980s. The Times reported the results of one historian’s research as follows:


        A Soviet weekly newspaper today published the most detailed accounting of Stalin’s victims yet presented to a mass audience here, indicating that about 20 million died in labor camps, forced collectivization, famine and executions.

        In all, Mr. Medvedev calculated about 40 million victims of Stalin’s repressions, including those arrested, driven from their land or blacklisted….

        Mr. Medevedev’s accounting included these victims:

        * One million imprisoned or exiled from 1927 to 1929, falsely accused of being saboteurs or members of opposition parties.

        * Nine million to 11 million of the more prosperous peasants driven from their lands and another two million to three million arrested or exiled in the early 1930’s campaign of forced farm collectivization. Many of these were believed to have been killed.

        * Six million to seven million killed in the punitive famine inflicted on peasants in 1932 and 1933.

        * One million exiled from Moscow and Leningrad in 1935 for belonging to families of former nobility, merchants, capitalists and officials.

        * About one million executed in the ”great terror” of 1937-38, and another four million to six million sent to forced labor camps from which most, including Mr. Medvedev’s father, did not return.

        * Two million to three million sent to camps for violating absurdly strict labor laws imposed in 1940.

        * At least 10 million to 12 million ”repressed” in World War II, including millions of Soviet-Germans and other ethnic minorities forcibly relocated.

        * More than one million arrested on political grounds from 1946 to Stalin’s death in 1953.

        Are these findings now in dispute?

        http://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/04/world/major-soviet-paper-says-20-million-died-as-victims-of-stalin.html

      • Donald
        June 26, 2014, 11:49 am

        “Certainly, more people were killed over several decades by Stalin than by Hitler over his time in power.”

        Actually, we don’t know that. In fact, historian Timothy Snyder claims that we now know this is wrong–despite the Cold War estimates one still sees, he says the evidence shows Hitler probably killed more people than Stalin. I haven’t gone to look for it, but I also remember reading a NYT story a few years ago where a Ukrainian historian said Stalin was guilty of genocide in the Ukraine (the starvation was deliberate), but the numbers have been exaggerated–it was three million, and not the 7 to 10 million one often sees.

        Snyder article

        I agree with the rest of your post. I’d add that the US government does single Israel out–for praise and aid and support. For ordinary Americans that makes Israel more of our responsibility, precisely because Israel is singled out for so much praise and assistance. In fact, I think you’d find more politicians willing to criticize our own government for war crimes than you’d find willing to criticize Israel. Add to that the fact that many in the press go along with this. Our government isn’t out there supporting Syria or Iran–in fact we have a rather brutal sanctions regime imposed on Iran and I never hear anyone on the pro-Israel side criticize this on the grounds that ordinary Iranians are suffering and Iran is far from the worst human rights violator.

  10. Donald
    June 25, 2014, 11:46 am

    This antisemitism accusation should be thrown back in their faces–anyone who makes false accusations of antisemitism in this context is an anti-Palestinian bigot. As for singling out Israel, that ship has sailed. She doesn’t care that the US government supports Israel as it oppresses Palestinians and that Jewish organizations claim to support a 2SS while wielding the antisemitism club whenever anyone actually tries to push it. How much support does she imagine the US government is giving Assad as he bombs his own people? We are supporting the military thugs in Egypt, but that’s partly because of Israel. And nobody pretends that Egypt is anything other than a military dictatorship, while in America we are constantly hearing praise for Israel’s “Jewish and democratic” state. If she doesn’t want Israel singled out, fine—let Israel be treated like every other country with a crappy human rights record, and not singled out for praise and support that never ends no matter what they do. If our government supports Israel, as the Obama Administration wants to support Sisi, then let that support be treated by the press and everyone else with the same cynicism that we use when discussing our support for thugs like Sisi.

    And boycotting Iraq? Evidently the sanctions on Iraq in the 90’s, which killed hundreds of thousands, made no dent on her conscience. Not to mention what we did later. But Presbyterians divesting themselves from companies–oh, the horror. She says nothing about the sanctions on Iran either.

    That said, the pro-Israel commenters below her piece make her look like Martin Luther King (and she looks nothing like Martin Luther King). There are a few Presbyterians commenting, one or two with amazing restraint.

    You were much too kind in this post, Phil. Maybe that’s a good thing. But every time someone makes a false charge of antisemitism, it allows them to frame the debate. It’s long past time to start pointing out the implicit bigotry of the people who do this.

    • richb
      June 25, 2014, 12:21 pm

      Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy was critical of our divestment here:

      http://juicyecumenism.com/2014/06/20/presbyterians-back-anti-israel-divestment/

      It is revealing that Israel is the only country targeted for divestment, not countries that oppress, torture and execute dissidents, like Iran among many others.

      So, fair question: what about countries like Iraq? Well, as Annie noted we don’t just pick on Israel. In fact, we address the issues as they happened. We opposed getting into Iraq in 2002. The same Mark Tooley said the following on this decision:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20021025052532/http://www.ird-renew.org/News/News.cfm?ID=465&c=4

      Opposing U.S. military action against Iraq fits well into the mindset of mainline church officials. Functionally pacifist, they see any kind of warfare as unworthy of a humanity progressing toward global harmony. They believe that the United States lacks any moral authority to wage warfare. All international conflicts can and should be settled through United Nations diplomacy, they are convinced. These same religious leaders opposed the Persian Gulf War twelve years ago, as they opposed virtually every U.S. military initiative during the final 25 years of the Cold War.

      Usually, these church officials are ignored. Their press conference last week on Capitol Hill, though it featured spokesmen who ostensibly represented tens of millions of American church members, was sparsely attended and barely reported. Their opposition to war with Iraq will have almost no appreciable effect upon the upcoming debate in Congress, despite the large lobby presence that mainline denominations maintain in the prominent United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill.

      Some of these mainline denominations have lost a third of their membership or more over the last four decades. Most of the millions who have left these churches have not left directly because of the radical politics of church elites. But the spiritual void left when politics becomes the bottom line does not fulfill the yearnings of the churches’ youth for a more ultimate meaning by which to guide their lives. Nor does it attract the interest of the unchurched, who—if politics appeals to them at all—could find it more readily in a secular activist group, without all the archaic religious trappings.

      Some abandon organized religion altogether. Others seek deeper spiritual experiences at more theologically orthodox and morally demanding churches. Few church members, even liberal ones, are actually energized by the calls to political activism routinely sounded by their denominational leaders.

      Those denominational leaders include the Evangelical Lutheran and Episcopal bishops who met with National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice this week to denounce the administration’s war plans. No doubt Rice, who is a devout Presbyterian, was polite. But she should not lose any sleep over the bishops’ opposition.

      These bishops, and other mainline church leaders, are largely captive to egalitarian visions of world justice and harmony presided over by the United Nations and a plethora of international courts and concordats. For them, global peace is just one more treaty away.

      In 2002 Presbyterians were universal pacifists that would jump on any and every perceived violation of social justice. Now we just pick on Israel. Given the history of Iraq perhaps our liberal Zionist friends might listen to our friendly critique.

      • justicewillprevail
        June 25, 2014, 1:25 pm

        Exactly, many churches have a long tradition of opposing war, occupation, arms manufacture and dealing, as well as campaigning for justice and fairness on behalf of the poor and marginalised. Zionists, in their self-centred obsession, choose to ignore this since it would mean admitting that the churches have a point, and one which is widely acknowledged outside of the Israeli fantasy programme which they demand we adhere to.

    • Nevada Ned
      June 25, 2014, 2:30 pm

      Donald in his comment (scroll up to see it) was speaking of Martin Luther King…
      MLK first started getting publicity when he organized the Montgomery Bus BOYCOTT.

      A BOYCOTT!

      Can you hear me, Ms. Eisler?

      I wonder if the Forward had an opinion about MLK’s Boycott of the Montgomery (Alabama) bus system, protesting the segregated bus system.

      If the Forward editor applied to MLK the same pinhead logic that she now applies to the Presbyterians and Israel, she would write something like this….

      “Now I’m not a big fan of Alabama’s Jim Crow system. But calling for a boycott is singling out Alabama and Montgomery for special criticism. What about Mississippi where things are much worse???”

      “But when Montgomery Alabama’s treatment of colored folks is judged worse than the way any other dominant group treats a minority, when it is deemed worthy of unique sanction, when other horrors around the world are ignored — how can I believe that this isn’t about the Alabama whites? And that, my friends, is anti-white agitation…Why, if this continues, our precious tradition and our Southern way of life will be trampled and torn. Blacks and whites will share the same swimming pools, the same restrooms, and the same bedrooms….Intermarriage will destroy our Southern way of life and out traditions..”

      “Alabama has a right to exist….as a white man’s country, as God wanted it. Our right to exist is threatened by the race-mixers and outside agitators.”

      etc etc

  11. just
    June 25, 2014, 11:49 am

    “anti-Semitic: it “hurts Jews.””

    This communal hymnal that Jane is singing from is getting really old. Thank goodness that sane folks continue to stray from it, and make a new sound. It also goes to show there is no such thing as a “liberal Zionist”.

    A world class oxymoron if there ever was one.

  12. seethelight
    June 25, 2014, 11:56 am

    Eisner is another example of the huge ethical blindspot possessed by liberal Zionist Jews who are both unwilling and unable to see past the Green Line or over the Separation Wall to the human misery suffered by Palestinians under the military occupation of the state of Israel for almost 50 years. Why is that so difficult?

  13. amigo
    June 25, 2014, 11:58 am

    “when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical? How does that not undermine Israel’s legitimacy?” eisner

    Well jane , you are the people who keep telling us , you are the Light unto the nations and an example for we lesser beings.

    You set the standard and then, well ignore it and then complain when someone points that out to you.

    Tiresome whining and tedious hypocrisy.

  14. Tzombo
    June 25, 2014, 12:03 pm

    You know what ‘hurts Jews’? Israeli policies and more than anything GRATUITOUS ACCUSATIONS OF ANTISEMITISM based on even the mildest criticisms of Israel.

  15. ritzl
    June 25, 2014, 12:11 pm

    Have you no sense of decency, Ms. Eisner?

    — (@ :50) —

  16. W.Jones
    June 25, 2014, 12:22 pm

    Dear Jane Eisner,

    You ask a good question:
    “when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical?”

    First, the oppression of Palestinians is in important ways worse: they are generally of frequently deprived of their homes, land, freedom, independence, equality, and even important subsistence needs like water. They make up one of the world’s largest and longest refugee populations.

    Secondly, there is the permanency and difficulty of addressing the issue, as Phil says: “The occupation has now lasted almost 50 years– and the creation of Israel involved ethnic cleansing and dispossession that has never been addressed (decades after Jews received reparations from Germany).” The oppression is hardly something the media is interested in touching. The Forward has been a significant liberal paper and thus for the oppression to be at least recognized we should expect it to take a significantly progressive position. Condemning Presbyterians for divesting from companies for committing human rights violations is not a progressive position. Look at Netanyahu’s 28 unanimous ovations at the joint session while a protestor was beaten up. The oppression requires extraordinary attention because of how severely entrenched and long lasting it is.

    Third, the Holy Land is central to the tradition and history of Christians and Jews, and thus Christians like the Presbyterians have a strong, special interest in helping Palestinians.

    Fourth, unlike the actions of Iraqi militias or Egypt, the US has a “special relationship” with the Israeli state, which receives far more in foreign aid, etc. than any other country. As a result, the US has a special responsibility to address its oppressive acts.

    • breakingthesilence
      June 26, 2014, 1:21 pm

      I’m glad that W.Jones reminds us that (in Phil’s words) “the creation of Israel involved ethnic cleansing and dispossession that has never been addressed.” Isn’t that central and generally forgotten? And isn’t that different from what happened elsewhere? And it didn’t just “involve” ethnic cleansing, it was the direct result of a long planned ethnic cleansing. That is to say, Israel exists entirely on land it stole, and had long planned to steal, from the rightful inhabitants. That means, quite simply and obviously, that Israel, as a Jewish state, has absolutely no right to exist. It has no legitimacy. Which makes the situation in the stolen Palestinian homeland different from the situation in other states that oppress ethnic minorities. When Eisner says: “But when Jewish treatment of Palestinians is judged worse than the way any other dominant group treats a minority, when it is deemed worthy of unique sanction, when other horrors around the world are ignored — how can I believe that this isn’t about the Jews? And that, my Presbyterian friends, is anti-Semitism…” No! the Presbyterians were talking about land (the so-called Palestinian Occupied Territories) that the whole world (except for Israel) recognizes as belonging not to Israel but to the Palestinian people. They are simply refusing to invest in companies that profit from that stolen land. What Israel has done is not the same thing as oppressing a minority population: it has stolen and is continuing to steal their land. But that larger issue, as I have stated above, is generally ignored even on Mondoweiss, this wonderful site: the entirety of Israel is land brutally stolen from the Palestinian people. I have never come upon an honest argument that the Zionists have a right to a single inch of this stolen land. The Jews had two kingdoms in Canaan some three thousand years ago. But the Canaanites, Hittites, Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, Romans, and lots of other peoples also possessed that land and/or added populations to that land, and the Jews were never expelled from that land. Even after the advent of Christianity during the Roman Empire and the Jewish-Roman wars, we Jews were building temples in Jerusalem and the Jewish religion was thriving. It is not land that was taken away from the Jews that they are now taking back. That is simply one more self-serving myth to justify the theft of the Palestinian homeland. The Palestinian homeland was stolen brutally and murderously and every inch of that land belongs to the people from whom it was stolen in and since 1948.

  17. doug
    June 25, 2014, 12:26 pm

    “It hurts Jews”

    It’s true. Israel’s actions, and the State’s declaration that it represents worldwide Jewry thereby entangling its actions, hurts Jews.

  18. hophmi
    June 25, 2014, 12:42 pm

    “Eisner’s argument is characterized by “whataboutery” — how can the Presbyterians single out Israel when so many other places are so much worse?”

    No, Eisner’s argument is how can a Christian organization single out Israel in a region where Christians are literally running for their lives from other countries because they are being killed or ethnically cleansed AS CHRISTIANS. That’s not “whataboutery,” your derogatory term for what everyone else calls gross hypocrisy.

    ” Americans and Jews have a special relationship to Palestine; Israeli Jews established apartheid there with our complicity”

    That’s your argument. It certainly isn’t an argument adopted by stalwarts of the BDS movement, like Omar Barghouti, or anywhere else outside of America, where Jews are not burdened with additional responsibilities as Jews that no members of other religions seem to be saddled with.

    As the piece you posted highlighted, your claim that anti-Zionist Jews constitute more than a negligible percentage of American Jewry is hotly disputed.

    • Hostage
      June 25, 2014, 5:13 pm

      how can a Christian organization single out Israel in a region where Christians are literally running for their lives from other countries because they are being killed or ethnically cleansed AS CHRISTIANS.

      They don’t. The PCUSA has taken similar actions in connection with the conflict in Sudan that included persecution of Christians. As you know, we’ve had stories here which explain that Israel denies asylum to African Christians running for their lives.

      In the past, I’ve explained to readers how they can find articles on the PCUSA website about the situation in Tibet: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/12/in-dissent-debate-walzer-hints-that-liberals-who-focus-on-israel-are-anti-semitic.html/comment-page-1#comment-524549

      You can use the same method to find over 300 articles about Jordan; 400 articles on Syria; 400 articles on Iraq; 300 articles on Lebanon; and 680 articles on Egypt. But that still puts the cart before the horse. What companies are aiding and abetting or facilitating those other human rights situations and does the PCUSA own any of their stock that it should divest?

      In the case of Israel, Christians living in Palestine have asked the PCUSA for help in ending Zionist persecution, e.g. http://www.kairospalestine.ps/

  19. just
    June 25, 2014, 12:44 pm

    Is this ‘anti- Semitic’?

    “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid will march in Toronto’s Pride parade unhindered this year, as its opponents decided their campaigns against the group have only given it free publicity.

    “This year, we decided that we were not going to provide [QuAIA] with the gift of free publicity,” Howard English, a spokesperson for Toronto’s Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, told the Canadian National Post.

    Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, formed “in solidarity with queers in Palestine” (according to its website), has marched in Toronto’s parade since 2010, despite opposition from some members of the city council and Mayor Rob Ford, who threatened to cut the parade’s funding unless the group was booted out.
    ……
    According to McCaskell, QuAIA aims to expose what he termed as “Israel’s pinkwashing campaign,” defined on the group’s website as the cultivation of an image of Israel “as an oasis of gay tolerance in the Middle East” in attempt to distract the critics of its human rights violations. ”

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.601228

  20. just
    June 25, 2014, 12:54 pm

    Trouble in Zioland. Is this “anti- Semitic”?

    “Bennett slams Netanyahu after minister booted from cabinet meeting
    Habayit Hayehudi chairman brings Minister Uri Ariel to security cabinet meeting, only to be turned away by prime minister.

    An altercation between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Habayit Hayehudi’s Naftali Bennett broke out Wednesday, when the PM refused to let Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel of Bennett’s faction into the security cabinet meeting.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.601247

    • just
      June 25, 2014, 1:43 pm

      one very scary paragraph:

      “So far, Netanyahu has handled Operation Brother’s Keeper well, careful not to slide down any slippery slopes. In the security cabinet meetings he is usually attentive and patient, navigating between Bennett’s belligerent suggestions and the more moderate positions espoused by ministers Tzipi Livni, Yair Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.601247

      Moderates? Where? “Slippery slopes”?

  21. justicewillprevail
    June 25, 2014, 1:08 pm

    What an empty-headed litany of cliches. She could have phoned this in, and probably did. Rearrange a few timeworn hasbara phrases, top it off with a routine (and evidence-free) accusation of antisemitism, job done, get the invoice in. It barely merits being dignified with a reply, since that would imply that there is some sort of rational argument being made, rather than a confection of lame shopworn phrases, designed to provoke a knee jerk response.
    Apparently Eisner feels free to pass comment on the Presbyterian decision without actually knowing anything about it, the reasons for it, or the evidence available. I hope she doesn’t have the chutzpah to call herself a journalist. I was unaware that consideration for human rights was subject to not ‘singling out’ any country or people which abuse them – a notion so bizarre it is meaningless. As long as we can find somewhere ‘worse’ ( how so – worse than the open air imprisonment and denial of rights of 1.8 million people in a tiny enclave? the kidnapping and imprisonment of children? the shooting of boys in a public square?) then we can’t criticise them? What sort of moral scale is this – should we have refrained from condemning apartheid S Africa because of atrocities in Congo, or Russia? Should we have worried about ‘hurting’ white S Africans? This is so ridiculous it is risible.
    Slinging around utterly baseless accusation of ‘antisemitism’ is of course the time-honoured way of avoiding facing the issues or arguments, and changing the subject on the ground favoured by zionists – that it is always about them, and never about Palestinians or human rights or the sadism of occupation (oh, it’s just a little ‘troubling’, but nothing to write about in Forward). How can the truth, or people who care about justice, ‘hurt’ Jews? The preposterousness of her vague and vapid claims are an insult to the fictional ‘Jews’ she imagines she represents. But anything to divert the spotlight from Israel’s crimes against humanity, eh?

  22. Hostage
    June 25, 2014, 1:14 pm

    At the very least, shouldn’t Syria and Iraq and Egypt be boycotted, too?

    The US government has adopted sanctions against Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. There are still a panoply of prohibitions and asset freezes in place for entities and individuals associated with the former regime and those who threaten the stability of the current government of Iraq. We literally went to war against Iraq twice, and imposed a crippling sanctions regime on the country. One of our Presidents [Bush Sr.] rejected a proposal to settle the first war peacefully by tying the Iraqi withdrawal from occupied Kuwait to the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories. A couple hundred thousand dead Iraqi people latter, why shouldn’t Israel and its corporate enablers be on the top of our shit todo list?

    • hophmi
      June 25, 2014, 3:51 pm

      Exactly what sanctions are on the current regimes in Iraq and Egypt? Egypt receives a couple billion in military aid every year. You’re spinning.

      • amigo
        June 25, 2014, 4:29 pm

        “Exactly what sanctions are on the current regimes in Iraq and Egypt? Egypt receives a couple billion in military aid every year. You’re spinning.”hopmi.

        Well, you had better hope none.Israel loves your everyday tyrant.

        “Israel urges world to curb criticism of Egypt’s Mubarak
        Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West’s interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime.” Barak ravid

        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-urges-world-to-curb-criticism-of-egypt-s-mubarak-1.340238

        Your shucking and jiving.

      • Cliff
        June 25, 2014, 5:43 pm

        Egypt’s aide is the result of a treaty with your apartheid country club.

      • Hostage
        June 25, 2014, 5:54 pm

        Exactly what sanctions are on the current regimes in Iraq and Egypt? Egypt receives a couple billion in military aid every year. You’re spinning.

        The Huffington Post carried a Reuters report today that aid to Egypt will be cut by a third, even if the threat of a Leahy Act freeze is averted, and that’s unlikely if it doesn’t free the Al Jazeera journalists and call off the mass executions of the members of the Muslim Brotherhood. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/24/us-egypt-aid_n_5527704.html

        The US withheld aid under the Leahy Act last year after Morsi was deposed and Leahy is doing it again this year:

        Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) has prevented all U.S. military assistance to the Egyptians, asserting the Egyptian government had violated human rights in ousting the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood regime.

        Bill Gertz, “Leahy Holds Up Egypt’s Apache Attack Helicopters”, June 12, 2014, http://freebeacon.com/national-security/leahy-holds-up-egypts-apache-attack-helicopters/

        The Leahy Act cuts last year were reported here at Mondoweiss, but they were covered by the mainstream press too:

        The U.S. will withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt amid a crackdown by the country’s military-backed regime, the State Department said Wednesday.

        The U.S., which provides up to $1.5 billion in aid annually to the Arab nation, will withhold delivery of certain large-scale military systems and cash assistance to the Egyptian government, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

        — U.S. Will Cut Aid to Egypt: The move marks a chilling of relations between the two nations http://world.time.com/2013/10/09/u-s-will-cut-aid-to-egypt/#ixzz2hGaB58cX

        The sanctions on Iraq are contained in the Iraq Stabilization and Insurgency Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 576 (“ISISR”). According to the Treasury Department:

        In response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, the United States imposed comprehensive sanctions, including a trade embargo against Iraq and a freeze of the assets of the then-Iraqi government, which were implemented in the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 575.
        Over the years, a series of Executive orders adjusted the sanctions in response to events in Iraq. On September 13, 2010, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published final rules removing the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations from 31 C.F.R. chapter V and adding the Iraq Stabilization and Insurgency Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 576 (“ISISR”), in implementation of Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003 (“E.O. 13303”), Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003 (“E.O. 13315”), Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004 (“E.O. 13350”), Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004 (“E.O. 13364”), and Executive Order 13438 of July 17, 2007 (“E.O. 13438”). A summary of the provisions of these Executive orders can be found in the Preamble of the final rule promulgating the ISISR (75 Fed. Reg. 55464, September 13, 2010). The ISISR contain all of the current OFAC restrictions involving Iraq and Iraqi property.
        This brochure summarizes these new regulations.

        There currently are no broad-based sanctions in place against Iraq, but there are certain prohibitions and asset freezes against specific individuals and entities associated with the former Saddam Hussein regime, as well as parties determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act of violence that has the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people. The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to name all such individuals and entities. These names are included in OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN List”). In addition to these targeted sanctions, the ISISR impose some specific prohibitions designed to protect certain Iraqi property and contain certain provisions dealing with residual restrictions from the 1990 Iraqi sanctions.

        http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/iraq.txt

      • The Hasbara Buster
        June 25, 2014, 7:27 pm

        @hophmi

        Exactly what sanctions are on the current regimes in Iraq and Egypt? Egypt receives a couple billion in military aid every year.

        The only reason the US gives $2 bn to Egypt is so that the African nation won’t make war on Israel. Actually, that money should be counted as part of the aid given to Israel: the US is bribing dictators on behalf of the Zionist state.

  23. Kay24
    June 25, 2014, 1:30 pm

    By Jane Eisner’s twisted logic and obvious zionist leanings, then the boycotts and sanctions against Iran is “anti Islam” too, and will hurt the Muslim people.

    Here is her hero Bibi, urging the world to sanction Iran (because Iran refuses to please Israel).

    “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said world powers need to put more sanctions on Iran.

    Netanyahu criticized the deal floated by the United States and other members of the United Nations Security Council to loosen sanctions if Iran halts parts of its nuclear program.

    “I think you should not only keep up the pressure, I think you should increase the pressure because it’s finally working. And if you give it up now when you have that pressure, and Iran doesn’t even take apart, dismantle one centrifuge, what leverage will you have when you’ve eased the pressure? It just doesn’t make sense,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
    “If you went the other way, and you not only preserved the sanctions, instead of reducing them, you actually increased them, then all of these countries and all these companies would have to choose between the Iranian economy and the U.S. economy.”

    Netanyahu’s comments coincide with an increased diplomatic push by Israel to undercut the deal the U.S. and other countries are working on with Iran. Israel has lobbied world leaders including France, which opposes the deal, and is working with its allies in Congress to push for a bill for increased sanctions against the country.

    He has been a vocal opponent of a partial deal and warned of potentially dire consequences if it goes through.

    “If you do a bad deal, you may get to the point where the only option is a military option, so a bad deal could get you to the place where you don’t want to be,” Netanyahu said.

    “Israel always reserves the right to defend itself against any threat. I personally hope that a better deal is achieved because that’s the way to achieve a peaceful diplomatic solution.”

    . economy.”

    Netanyahu’s comments coincide with an increased diplomatic push by Israel to undercut the deal the U.S. and other countries are working on with Iran. Israel has lobbied world leaders including France, which opposes the deal, and is working with its allies in Congress to push for a bill for increased sanctions against the country.

    He has been a vocal opponent of a partial deal and warned of potentially dire consequences if it goes through.

    “If you do a bad deal, you may get to the point where the only option is a military option, so a bad deal could get you to the place where you don’t want to be,” Netanyahu said.

    “Israel always reserves the right to defend itself against any threat. I personally hope that a better deal is achieved because that’s the way to achieve a peaceful diplomatic solution.” The Hill 11/17/13

    The world is getting wiser Ms. Eisner. France has just warned it’s citizens to NOT do business in the illegal settlements, and other EU nations will follow.
    Deal with that.

    • Kay24
      June 25, 2014, 1:44 pm

      Sorry I did not notice what I pasted had been doubled. :((

  24. James Canning
    June 25, 2014, 1:35 pm

    Jane Eisner is simply mistaken. Israel needs some tough love.

    • wes
      June 26, 2014, 6:42 am

      James caning

      yes tough love.israel needs

      what comes next.i have a feeling its gonna be a big day friday.

  25. Dan Crowther
    June 25, 2014, 1:35 pm

    The anti-semitism accusation, in my opinion, is really just projection, and says much more about how the accuser views the gentiles than the other way around.

    • Jethro
      June 25, 2014, 3:37 pm

      I agree.

      I also think there’s an assumption that everyone is tribal, when they’re not.

    • crone
      June 25, 2014, 3:55 pm

      The meaning of the term “antisemite” has significantly changed in recent years. There was a time when this term referred to those who despised Jews. Later, the term referred to those who promoted myths about a global Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. Today the term “antisemite” is used by the ruling elite to lambast human rights activists who advocate equal rights between Jews, Christians and Muslims, the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the vision of a common, democratic state for both Palestinians and Israelis. The word “antisemite”, which initially conveyed a negative and even sinister meaning, refers now to positive and highly commendable attitudes that can be carried with honour. One may lament this change of meaning, but one should remember that a word does not carry any particular meaning. It is merely a conventional symbol that refers to external contents. By convention, society could agree to name animosity towards Jews “xakaculca”, democracy “zbzb” and elefants “democracy”.
      Advocacy for a just and democratic solution to the conflict in Israel/Palestine is grounded on international human rights norms, including the right to equality and the right of everyone to return to her country. These norms are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 1, 2, 7, 13(2)) and the Preamble of the U.N. Charter. This advocacy also seeks its legitimacy from the constitutional principles that underpin the Western democratic order. According to current terminology, as imposed by those who mould public opinion, the word “antisemitism” now refers to human rights advocacy and to the struggle for democracy. There is no need to combat the new convention. One merely has to adjust to it.
      Inasmuch as the term “antisemite” now refers to human rights advocates and radical democrats, I declare myself a radical antisemite.
      Elias Davidsson
      Bonn, Germany
      June 10, 2011

  26. piotr
    June 25, 2014, 1:40 pm

    I would use a different term than “whataboutery”. According to professional anti-anti-Semites, the term anti-Semitism cover a plethora of thought crimes, one of them being “singling out”. However, however acutely perceived, “singling out” is not always easy to prove. I can give example from my own life:

    I live in a college town which is particularly moribund between Spring and Summer semester. During such time I was fined 60 bucks for bicycling in the wrong direction in a one-way alley where only three persons were present: the policeman and two bicyclists (both guilty as charged). Even today I am somewhat irate when I think about it, but the objective fact is that the other bicyclist profusely apologized why I was rather surly. Thus the policeman had other motivation than personal animus, and appreciation of the contrition is a legitimate legal reason. Of course, it helps that it is hard to proceed in the wrong direction in more or less aggravating manner.

    On another occasion I was singled out in a less excusable manner: I was 15 minutes late to move my car away from the street during the time when parking was prohibited for the sake of “street cleaning”. Several other offenders were present, my car was the only one with the ticket and the only one with out-of-state plate. Should the blind justice be lured by territorial solidarity? Perhaps not.

    Thus group solidarity can sway judgement, but Eisner should also examine herself: did she examine benign reasons for Israel being singled out, or was her own judgement swayed? “they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet.”

    This statement is moot in respect of countries that are subjected to US sanctions that are magnitudes more severe than whatever Presbyterians could affect. Other than that, are there benign reasons to expect more from some countries than from other? For example, members of OECD? And what OECD countries can be charged with abuses that rely on products of US corporations, and are comparable with Israeli abuses?

  27. LuLu
    June 25, 2014, 1:44 pm

    These people absolutely have NO shame.

  28. Sumud
    June 25, 2014, 2:41 pm

    I believe in whataboutery myself (Look at Syria), but it is an inherently conservative way of looking at things, not a forward one.

    Why Why WHY would you believe in the shitty rhetorical trick that us whataboutery???

    The only people who deploy it EVER are perpetrators and their apologists.

    Nobody needs to explain or justify why they are interested in Israel/Palestine.

  29. Sumud
    June 25, 2014, 2:53 pm

    Israel has just re-legalised torture. Jane Eisner is a blinkered idiot.

    http://youtu.be/iDP7ZSJlikA

    • Kay24
      June 25, 2014, 6:41 pm

      That was great. Thank you for linking. I wish this would be seen by those who keep supporting the occupation, and keep apartheid alive.

      • Sumud
        June 27, 2014, 2:53 am

        You’re welcome. If you have a YouTube account they regularly put out new videos, you can subscribe to see them autonatically.

  30. Philip Munger
    June 25, 2014, 3:15 pm

    There is a major problem with militant expansionist Zionism’s defenders such as Judith Eisner. On the one hand, they chastise organizations like the Presbyterians for breaking off so-called “dialogue” when they refuse to support or at least stay out of the way of ethnic cleansing in Israel-Palestine. Yet, on the other hand, the Zionists refuse themselves to acknowledge the basic centrality of this physical area to the Presbyterians, and to all Christian faiths:

    Places where Jesus probably went:

    Bethlehem: birth
    Ænon on the Jordan River: possible baptism
    Betharaba on the Jordan River: possible baptism
    Bethsaida: healed a blind man
    Cana: Jesus’ first miracle
    Capernaum: the beginning of Jesus’ ministry
    Chorazin: rejection of Jesus by Nazarenes
    Gennesaret: multiple healings
    Mount Tabor: transfiguration
    Nain: Jesus raises the dead
    Nazareth: Jesus upbringing, finding in the temple
    Sea of Galilee: prominent in Jesus’ narrative
    Decapolis: healing the deaf-mute
    Gerasa: cast out demons
    Sychar (Shechem:) the Samaritan woman at the well
    Bethany: raising of Lazarus
    dinner with Simon the leper
    beginning of palm progression to Jerusalem
    Bethesda: Jesus heals a paralytic
    Bethpage: where Jesus sent disciples to get the mule he rode into Jerusalem
    Calvary: Jesus’ crucifixion
    Emmaus: resurrected Jesus appears
    Jericho: Jesus heals the blind
    Caesearea Phillippi: Jesus predicts his impending death

    None of these events, supremely important to practicing Christians, happened in the Sudan. Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus in Darfur. Her didn’t speak to the multitudes in Fallujah. He wasn’t baptized in the Congo River. He wasn’t transfigured in Tibet. He didn’t walk on water in northern Nigeria. He wasn’t tried in Cairo. He wasn’t crucified in Pyongyang.

    • hophmi
      June 25, 2014, 3:54 pm

      First of all, get her name right. It’s Jane Eisner. Second of all, get her position right; she’s not a defender of “militant expansionist Zionism.” Third of all, get the rest of your facts right; Zionists do not deny the Christian link to the Holy Land, like Palestinians deny the Jewish link to the Holy Land.

      • Walid
        June 26, 2014, 5:41 am

        “like Palestinians deny the Jewish link to the Holy Land.”

        What is denied is not the Jewish link but the claim to the land because they lived on it at one time in the past. Canaanites from which the Palestinians probably originated were on the land before the Jews but it would be just as idiotic for them to claim the land on that “maybe” fact. Some of Islam’s holy people were Jews and the religion started out praying towards the Jewish Jerusalem and celebrating Passover with the Jews, so there’s no denying the Jewish link. Where do you get the denying from?

      • James Canning
        June 26, 2014, 2:02 pm

        And most Palestinians descend from Jews who changed their religion over the centuries.

    • DaBakr
      June 25, 2014, 5:14 pm

      yeah, and he was a big time Jew as well.

      and unless your talking about the fanatical Haredim who don’t really differ much from fanatic Muslims and/or Christians I don’t know any Israelis (except athiests, maybe) who discount the “centrality” of Jesus life to the area and land. Otherwise, your point is more about religious doctrine, not authority.

      And other then the few anecdotes about religious Jews spitting or cursing non Jews i Jerusalem I can not see any sense in the argument that Israel has been bad for Christians. It hasn’t. One of the many reasons tourism is up.

      • Ron Edwards
        June 26, 2014, 9:54 am

        Unless, of course, you’re a Christian who happens to be living there already.

        Newsflash: “Christians” does not equal “white Americans.”

      • Annie Robbins
        June 26, 2014, 10:03 am

        I can not see any sense in the argument that Israel has been bad for Christians. It hasn’t.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/05/holdchristians-manhandling-apologizes.html

        Early Saturday May 4– at a time when Orthodox Christians were welcoming in Easter with the “Holy Fire” ceremony in Gaza– tens of thousands of Christians gathered in Jerusalem and “thousands” of Israeli police officers were deployed to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The head of the National Christian Coalition in the Holy Land said Israeli security forces were present inside the church itself and on its roof, and prevented many worshipers from getting into the church. As one witness said, these forces “turned a religious occasion into a battle camp scenario.”

        Ma’an News reported that barriers were set up in the early hours of the morning to keep people out of the courtyard of the church. AlJazeera Channel video shows the turbulence outside these barricades, with some being beaten by police.

        One of the many reasons tourism is up.

        yeah, they beat the local christian down to make room for christian tourist, especially white ones. more from the link:

        The Denver Post published a story by Welsh crime novelist/journalist Mike Rees implying thousands of Palestinian Christians were not in attendance because their numbers are dwindling; “caught in other peoples’ conflicts. They are victims of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Muslim majority.” Rees speaks of worshipers with “Slavic” faces in the church. No mention of throngs of Palestinian worshipers, prevented from entering the church by “thousands” of Israeli police.

    • MahaneYehude1
      June 25, 2014, 5:48 pm

      @Philip Munger;

      None of these events, supremely important to practicing Christians, happened in the Sudan. Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus in Darfur. Her didn’t speak to the multitudes in Fallujah. He wasn’t baptized in the Congo River. He wasn’t transfigured in Tibet. He didn’t walk on water in northern Nigeria. He wasn’t tried in Cairo. He wasn’t crucified in Pyongyang.

      Correct!!! All of these events happened in Judea.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 26, 2014, 10:12 am

        “Correct!!! All of these events happened in Judea.”

        Learn some geography and history. Most of these events occurred in Galilee.

      • MahaneYehude1
        June 26, 2014, 12:04 pm

        @Woody:

        Thanks for the correction. It should be: “Most of these events happened in Judea (the state) and part in Galilee, the region that was separated by the Romans from the state of Judea”

        Many thanks!!

      • Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 12:06 pm

        Learn some geography and history. Most of these events occurred in Galilee.

        Thanks to Jewish sectarianism and snobbery, that region was part of the original Who is a Jew? controversy. Like today’s Reform and Conservative Jews, the inhabitants of Samaria and “Galilee of the Gentiles” weren’t even considered proper Jews back in those days. All of Ben Gurion’s posturing about re-establishing the glory of the Second Commonwealth era, should have created doubts about the title to those regions. Not that I would object to a Roman governor and an Idumean or Hashemite Tetrarchy;-)

    • RoHa
      June 25, 2014, 7:37 pm

      ” He wasn’t transfigured in Tibet. He didn’t walk on water in northern Nigeria. He wasn’t tried in Cairo. He wasn’t crucified in Pyongyang.”

      But apparently he was buried both in Kashmir and in Japan. Really ingenious.

      • Philip Munger
        June 26, 2014, 5:01 am

        Look, RoHa, MahaneYehude1, DaBakr and hophmi:

        1. Sorry I got the author’s name spelled incorrectly.

        2. Anyone who doesn’t object to the settlements and supports Israel supports militant expansionist Zionism. She has been wan at best.

        3. Few of my scores of Palestinian friends deny a Jewish link to the so-called “Holy Land.” All accept a Jewish presence there. hophmi has created a straw dog equivalence.

        4. Whatever the feelings of some Israelis regarding the centrality of this geographical area to most Christian sects, very few commentaries about the growing BDS movement’s relationship to organizational Christianity, when they cry about these sects’ wanting to wash their hands of this mess, address this important issue in any perspective. I may have missed an article or two, but haven’t found any. You are welcome to supply some links.

        5. “I can not see any sense in the argument that Israel has been bad for Christians. It hasn’t.” Bullshit.

        1947: 1,200,000 Muslims, 630,000 Jews, 143,000 Christians. Almost 2 million. 14% Christian, 52% Muslim, 31% Jewish.

        2011: 2% Christian, 17% Muslim, 75% Jewish. So, this was good – a reduction of percentile of population by a factor of 7X? Instead of being 47% as large as the Jewish population, they are now 1/35th the size. This is your definition of good? What is your definition of bad?

        6. Some of these (alleged) acts occurred in so-called Judea. Some occurred in so-called Samaria. Some happened on the Israeli side of the so-called Green Line. A few happened in southern Lebanon, or western Syria or Western Jordan. All but the nuttiest of Christians view the flight to Egypt of the baby Jesus as myth.

        7. For RoHa – I’m not a Christian. I’m sort of UU.

      • RoHa
        June 26, 2014, 6:17 am

        Eh? I never said you were.

      • Philip Munger
        June 26, 2014, 12:24 pm

        That didn’t come across very well on my part. Sorry. I was just informing you and other readers that I am viewing this as an outsider. I don’t regard the “Holy Land” as any more holy than Oslo Fjord or Fukushima Prefecture.

  31. eljay
    June 25, 2014, 3:22 pm

    Ms. Eisner says “Why do people pick on the poor serial rapist while murderers roam our streets? Why are people so anti-Rapist?!” :-(

    >> when they singled out only Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be, at a time when the region is aflame with tribal violence, they did hold one nation to a standard that others are not obliged or expected to meet. How is that not unfair and hypocritical?

    Israel claims to be a better nation than the ones that surround it. Israel claims to be a “moral beacon” to the world. There is nothing unfair or hypocritical about holding Israel to the standard it has set.

    >> How does that not undermine Israel’s legitimacy?

    Israel undermines its own legitimacy by:
    – being an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state;
    – insisting on remaining a supremacist state;
    – remaining engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
    – refusing to honour its obligations under international law; and
    – refusing to be held accountable for any of its past or ON-GOING (war) crimes.

  32. Shmuel
    June 25, 2014, 3:23 pm

    Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be

    Obviously they do not trouble Ms. Eisner very much at all, or she would welcome the PCUSA decision; and were she actually concerned about the state of human rights in Syria, Iraq or Egypt (as opposed to using them as both shield and bludgeon), she would be urging PCUSA and others to tackle those issues as well, rather than criticising steps that have already been taken in the direction of ethical investment and trying to dissuade others from following suit.

  33. Justpassingby
    June 25, 2014, 3:26 pm

    Keep the antisemtic accusations coming jane eisner, soon it wont mean anything.

    • Walid
      June 26, 2014, 6:32 am

      “.. soon it wont mean anything.”

      It’s actually helping spread anti-Jewish hatred all over the world. They should have stopped peddling this stuff long ago as people have grown tired of it. It’s a shame because most Jews outside Israel don’t deserve it.

  34. Betsy
    June 25, 2014, 3:29 pm

    Eisner’s piece is inaccurate on its key substantive points: (see FAQ http://www.pcusa.org/resource/faq-middle-east-issues/)
    1) Israel is not being ‘singled out’. The PC(USA) has practiced divestment before (e.g., South Africa under apartheid)
    2) it has also used various financial mechanisms to express moral concern on all sorts of issues, not just Israel / Palestine http://www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/acswp/pdf/boycotts_policy_analysis_criteria.pdf, such as boycotts of liquor establishments (1910s), child labor (1930s), businesses discriminating ‘against Negroes’ (1950s) to name a few
    3) the church has made repeated pronouncements about injustice in many parts of the world — here’s just last week’s list http://officeofpublicwitness.blogspot.com/2014/06/peacemaking-and-international-issues.html (Cuba, drones, Haiti, persecution of Christians in Egypt & elsewhere, Congo, Western Sahara, sexual violence in the military) but if you look back over the last several years http://officeofpublicwitness.blogspot.com/, you will see it’s a very long & diverse list of issues engaged (with Israel being a small part — and I can find no one else attacking the church for these critiques, in the way that Jewish Forward & others are on this issue. )
    4) the charge that PC(USA) does not care about “Christians” in the Middle East is bizarre and ignorant. First, we are not just focusing on our faith community — the PC(USA) divestment from American companies was out of a concern for universal human rights, not “Christians”. Second, we are very concerned about sister churches in the Middle East (along with every other human there). But, the situation in Syria is far more complicated than she’s suggesting — as is our relationship to it. In 2013, our leader, Gradye Parsons sent this letter to Pres Obama, re-stating & elaborating on the resolution on Syria from the 2012 General Assembly http://www.pcusa.org/news/2013/5/6/letter-president-obama-stated-clerk-gradye-parsons/ And, in Sept 2013, Parsons made another urgent call, which emphasized the views of the Christian churches in Syria http://www.pcusa.org/news/2013/9/5/call-action/
    5) the Presbyterian Church has taken a very strong stand against anti-Semitism, as it has repeatedly stated. I know of no concrete examples of anti-Semitic behavior towards Jewish persons (unless you go back centuries) or Jewish organizations, by the church or church representatives. We are only criticizing a nation-state that is occupying territory & violating human rights in that territory (as established by international law) — and the American companies that are complicit in those illegal actions. A key part of our theology is that there is a big difference between a State, a faith community, and an ethnic community. The Hebrew prophets have been key to our theological understanding. To criticize a govt or a State, is a duty. And, to not put our church money into a corporation that violates our moral principles is a very well established church practice. We have all sorts of filters on investment portfolio (and many of us want even more, like against fossil fuels). It is our money & we should be able to choose to invest it where we like.

    Finally, I am not impressed by Jane Eisner’s work as a piece of journalism (yet, her bio suggests that she has expertise) — it shows no research into facts, and she does not address the substantive issues (are there human rights violations? what’s happening to Palestinians?). *She’s* the one making this a question of Jewish identity, that was never the intention of the Presbyterian church to focus this on Jewish people or issues — in fact, the church has elaborately tried to prevent any such interpretation, based on mere ethnic or religious identity. These moral questions about human rights are far more important than that & should be engaged on their own, substantively — she avoids engagement with the key issues at stake here.

    For the PC(USA) it’s not about Jewish identity — it’s about universal human rights. She ignores the situation of Palestinians totally (is that moral blindness to people who are not of her faith / ethnic identity? is it only people of what she considers to be ‘her community’ who matter? if yes, what is the name for that?)

    • Jethro
      June 25, 2014, 3:41 pm

      Tribalism. She thinks everyone is as tribal as she is, but they are not.

    • MHughes976
      June 25, 2014, 5:41 pm

      Nothing that is wrong ceases to be wrong because something else is wrong too. Nothing that is true ceases to be true because someone who is wrong about most things believes it. To suggest that injustice should be condoned by me because there are benefits from it for others who are like me, say in religion, is mistaken and rather sinister, don’t you think?

    • Annie Robbins
      June 25, 2014, 11:14 pm

      Finally, I am not impressed by Jane Eisner’s work as a piece of journalism (yet, her bio suggests that she has expertise) — it shows no research into facts, and she does not address the substantive issues

      it is as if she just listened to netanyahu, did not research, and based on what he said had to come to the same conclusion he did. it’s so … blind.

      i expected more from her. a higher standard.

  35. yonah fredman
    June 25, 2014, 4:21 pm

    There are those who wish to solidify the status quo and there are those who do not wish to weaken the status quo and it’s difficult to tell them apart. Netanyahu wishes to solidify the status quo. Eisner has some other vision in mind, but she really does not wish to weaken the status quo, because it feels dangerous and as such she is willing to give Netanyahu the benefit of the doubt in strengthening the status quo.

    At this moment of June 2014 I can empathize with those who do not wish to weaken Israel at this moment given the general chaos of the Middle East. Yet I must take into account the period of 47 years since the occupation began and it turns out to have been a very serious error, that did not happen all at once, but developed over time, but between the moral error that Yeshaya Leibowitz foresaw and the strategic error that Tzipi Livni sees, there is a very serious error. And even though this specific moment of time is not auspicious to wave a flag and yell, “let us join the middle east” for it is a caldron of chaos, 47 years is too long to sit by and accept this error as something that should not be noted as a serious error.

    Eisner is not an individual, she is the editor of the most credible Jewish weekly today (maybe I misspeak, but I am in the ballpark of accuracy). I think she is representing the scared majority of liberal zionists. Unable to digest the consequences of the probable demise of the two state solution. unable to digest that Netanyahu and not Rabin is the face of Israel today. Unable to digest that the settlements are not just a problem, but a very serious existential problem. Therefore the attempt to not offend Netanyahu and the status quo. She is not about rocking the boat and as such, she defends against those that are devoted to rocking the boat.

    • Ellen
      June 25, 2014, 4:31 pm

      Interesting observations. In other words, she is a spineless coward.

    • seafoid
      June 25, 2014, 6:06 pm

      She likes her career, she doesn’t want to cut off any donor/ad money.

      Nusseibeh captured the essence of the tragedy of Zionism

      “If once they held the flame of an extraordinary dream – to re-gather the nation in its historical homeland and to show the world what a moral human community might look like – they somehow only succeeded in the end to turn themselves into yet another ugly colonial power, feeding off the sorrows of others. ”

    • Donald
      June 25, 2014, 6:56 pm

      I think your description of Eisner fits in with my notion that there are two types of liberal Zionist, two state solution supporters. (Leaving aside the question of whether the 2ss is fair or just to Palestinians) Some believe in a 2SS and would support actions like those taken by the Presbyterians. But it seems there are a great many alleged 2SS supporters who, when it comes down to it, are willing to live indefinitely with the occupation rather than see the slightest bit of pressure placed on Israel. They can’t even bear to hear harsh criticism. Their support for a 2SS is merely lip service, something to make them feel good about themselves–if it takes another 100 years to achieve that’s fine, so long as Israel continues to receive support and praise from the US.

      Some white southerners were like this–they knew that white racism was wrong and that the South’s racial history was shameful, but they were ultra-sensitive to any criticism from outsiders. They were more passionate about what they perceived as unfair and hypocritical criticism from the North then they were about white racism. The analogy doesn’t carry over in all respects, but I think some of the psychology is similar.

      • yonah fredman
        June 25, 2014, 7:18 pm

        Donald- I heard a debate between Beinart and Dershowitz, about a year ago, and I think that Beinart fits into the category of truly opposed to the occupation and Dershowitz in the category of defense attorney for Netanyahu (until the day that Likud wakes up to the demographic realities or Israel elects Herzog or Livni) which in fact could be the 100 years that you described.

        As far as the Jim Crow analogy: the psychology of taking of sides of us against them has similarities. The change of the South in fact did not take place ultimately in the South, but in the Congress of the United States. (spurred on by white Southern “overreaction” to black heroic Gandhi tactic movement people). White Southern liberals did not free the blacks from Jim Crow, but rather Northern (Union) Congressmen and a Southern President acting on behalf of the Union. (Just riffing on the analogy, not accepting it or rejecting it.)

      • Donald
        June 25, 2014, 7:36 pm

        “he change of the South in fact did not take place ultimately in the South, but in the Congress of the United States. ”

        If it had been up to white southern liberals, we might still have Jim Crow. Sometimes change comes when the people with power see no harm in allowing the people without power to have equal rights. I think that’s more or less what is happening with gay rights in America–conservative religious types see gay marriage as a “threat” to marriage in general, but most Americans realize it’s no skin off their nose if gays are allowed to marry. It’s a lot tougher to bring about equal rights when people see it as a zero sum game, and unfortunately that’s how the I/P conflict tends to be seen.

      • yonah fredman
        June 25, 2014, 8:11 pm

        Donald- I probably will only show my New York big city (pale skinned) northern provincialism, but when I first visited NC, my friend explained the difference between Northerners and Southerners. Northerners don’t mind blacks if they’re uppity, just as long as they don’t live next door. And Southerners don’t mind blacks if they live next door, just as long as they’re not uppity.

      • Donald
        June 26, 2014, 12:07 pm

        “Northerners don’t mind blacks if they’re uppity, just as long as they don’t live next door. And Southerners don’t mind blacks if they live next door, just as long as they’re not uppity.”

        That’s funny. I’ve read that the north is more segregated than the South–I don’t know if that’s true, but it does get at some hypocrisy in the North. Regarding the South, it’s a half-truth. When I was living there (68-81), it was very heavily segregated, but some whites did claim they got along better with blacks than the Yankee hypocrites and out in the country you’d see big (white-owned houses) where the nearest neighbor was a (black-owned) shack. But in the city, no, they were not happy when blacks moved into the neighborhood. I remember when a black family moved into our neighborhood, my father and I were out in the front yard pulling weeds (in suburbia we like our monocultures) when a white woman driving by stopped and asked us whether we were worried about this development. He said no. Right after I moved away, when I visited my parents the local newspaper had sent white and black reporters to apartment complexes, and the black reporter was often told there were no vacancies, when the white wasn’t. But that was the climate then. Don’t know about now.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 26, 2014, 12:16 pm

        Donald, I think that what you’re describing is simply the fact that there are racists everywhere (thankfully fewer now than in the past.) I don’t think that any region is immune due to region, but some regions are worse than others. However, I think one thing that is unique in the racism in the South was the official and overt involvment of govenrment officers and governmental institutions in putting racist policies in place and enforcing them.

      • Shmuel
        June 26, 2014, 3:12 pm

        some whites did claim they got along better with blacks than the Yankee hypocrites

        I’ve heard similar things from settlers and non-settler right-wingers in Israel — the “Yankees” being Ashkenazi lefties, emblematically residing in the highly segregated upscale Tel Aviv neighbourhood of Ramat Aviv. They have a point.

    • ritzl
      June 25, 2014, 7:42 pm

      Excellent comment, yonah. To your credit, you DO seem to be struggling with this.

      To carry it a little further, from your perspective, what would it take for the Eisners of the world to quit backstopping Netanyahu, et. al. in their efforts to enshrine the status quo?

      It can’t be make nice to them because that hasn’t worked and it’s a subordinating method in any event. It has to be some hypothetical form of “tough love”* empowerment from outside (and in conjunction with JVP and/or others inside) the Jewish “community.” Maybe a better way to ask it is, how can the IRoW Jewish “community” and its liberal scribes acknowledge and receive the “love” part without going all ballistic about the “tough” part? What will give Eisner, et. al. the opening and motivation to step outside the wagon circle?


      * Almost certainly the wrong words, but nothing succinct comes to mind at the moment.

      • yonah fredman
        June 25, 2014, 7:54 pm

        Thanks for the feedback, Ritzl. I certainly do not expect someone who is editor of the Forward to break away from the pack. I think Beinart is the exception rather than the rule. I think Beinart cannot go as far as Derfner because Derfner lives in Israel and that gives him a freedom that Beinart has not “earned”. I do not expect many Beinart’s or many Derfners in the near future. But it will be individuals rather than the editor of the Forward that would step forward. (Even Avraham Burg faced reality when he was in the Knesset and only after he left the Knesset did he let his “freak flag fly”.)

      • ritzl
        June 25, 2014, 8:47 pm

        @yf- Yes. But I was asking more as a practical, “how-to” matter. As a non-Jew, how do I in writing or in person allay what seems to be a profound Jewish fear of stepping outside the wagon circle? Maybe there’s nothing, but I’m asking anyway.

        A few months back (or longer, time flies…) Phil wrote about “a Jew” living in the UK who asked this same question. I was maybe in the minority in paraphrasing that lament as a valid, “If not where I am, where can I be?” tendril of an acceptance question (I don’t know what that writer concluded, but it would be instructive if we did). Beinart and maybe Eisner seem to be in the same place of questioning what they are doing. What can I (or anyone) do/say to help put them over the boundary of doing right v. communal acceptance, if anything? Again, the answer may simply be, nothing.

        I understand if you don’t want to speculate, broadly or otherwise, but I believe it’s a very relevant question.

      • yonah fredman
        June 25, 2014, 9:35 pm

        Ritzl, I don’t think you as a single commentator here on MW can make that much of a difference. I don’t think one can really create a safe environment for people to change their mind in the ether sphere, although it is certainly helpful when interactions are pleasant rather than nasty. I used to counter protest a Free Palestine demonstration Saturdays at Union Square Park. There were some people that were just full of cant and negativity and screaming slogans, but there were others who acted human and brought out the human in me. I think the defensiveness of the person is not only political but personal as well and I think that the attributes that make good activists- singleminded, sure of themselves, self righteous are all attributes that push the people on the other side away. I realize that this is not very useful on a large scale or in a place like MW, but in the real world that’s the best advice I can give.

      • yonah fredman
        June 25, 2014, 10:09 pm

        ritzl, let me just add that confronting someone and saying, really are you for or against the status quo and if you are against the status quo, then what do you think it will take to change the status quo. if olmert had still been prime minister willing to put a map on the table and not just on a napkin, then if there had been serious negotiations I would have much more patience for the israeli position, but I just do not take Netanyahu seriously, and so now with the collapse of the kerry peace process those who want to change the status quo, while they might not be ready to go whole hog on BDS or on one state, but now is the time to get them to admit that it will be difficult to change the status quo without something, some thing forcing the Israelis to move in that direction. But realize that the leap that Derfner took is not going to happen very often and that merely an admission of “I feel something must be done to change the status quo and Israel must do more to change the status quo” is but a baby step but that’s about all you should expect on a street corner and so much moreso on a website.

      • ritzl
        June 25, 2014, 10:32 pm

        @yf- I’m not talking about “confronting.” I’m focusing on influencing by addressing concerns, mostly in RL, if change is the objective.

        Conversation TBCd, no doubt.

      • ritzl
        June 25, 2014, 10:48 pm

        @yf- btw, this is a small state and we all know each other, politically speaking. Whether I influence national policy or not (most likely do not), I have the ear of those who can and/or do. So you never know where or when a Mondo conversation or point get’s made at the national level. I wouldn’t dismiss MW so easily.

      • Shmuel
        June 26, 2014, 2:35 am

        Ritzl and Yonah,

        I think that this is precisely where the Presbyterians come in. In their cautious pace, considerate tone and measured debate, they have given real weight to Palestinian suffering and human rights. The more truly moderate groups and individuals such as PCUSA say “this is not right and we will not condone it” and back it up with even symbolic action, the more liberal US Jews will feel they are on the wrong side. They won’t like it and they won’t thank anyone, but they will be forced to treat the systematic and brutal oppression and dispossession of Palestinians as much more than just “Israel’s actions, troubling though they may be”.

        It is this moral isolation, as opposed to any real economic pressure, that will change minds in Israel as well, among the left-leaning intellectual and cultural elite, which sees itself as part of a broader, international elite. When enough people and institutions they respect and relate to as peers tell them that the treatment of Palestinians is not acceptable and can no longer be met merely with the clicking of tongues and rolling of eyes and getting Israelis and Palestinians to hug each other, they will be forced to ask themselves some extremely difficult questions and grapple with their previous self-perceptions.

        It is in fact the move by the Presbyterians, rather than J. Goldberg’s slimy insinuation about David Duke’s “support” for it, that should be cause for reflection – and I think it will be, not for people like Dershowitz or Ruth Wisse, but for people like Eisner.

      • just
        June 25, 2014, 8:09 pm

        Not “wrong words” at all, ritzl.

        yonah– you could be exactly correct. “earning freedom” seems strange, but that is how it has been. I hope to see many more converts– soon.

      • yonah fredman
        June 26, 2014, 3:24 am

        I feel a need to emphasize how this moment is not an inspiring one to step forward and urge Israel to “join the middle east”. Between Egypt and Syria and ISIS in Iraq, the moment does not belong to those who wish to rock the boat in Israel. Things are in real flux (we’ll see how Iran’s nukes and ISIS progresses in Iraq by the end of the year and certainly by the end of the Obama presidency) and the impulse to slow things down is influenced by the headlines of uncertainty. The Obama administration’s fecklessness, granting that the overall point of view of turning inward is both popular and a sensible counter reaction to the Bush overreach in the time of a weak economy, does not help encourage rocking the boat.

        But on the other hand there is the blatant arrogance of Netanyahu that rubs the Eisner demographic very wrong and in the wings there is Lieberman and Bennett.

        As far as the Preb Church influencing this demographic, I have my doubts. Liberal Zionists of my age might scoff at the david duke smear, but they certainly do not scoff at the history of Christianity (negative) and I do not think any church associated with the Christian religion will have any effect on Jews of my age, with any boycott of Israel. (Although the effect of Roger Waters plus the Preb Church might have an effect on the youngster liberal Zionists.) (Presbyterians: Please let me know if my shorthand for your difficult to spell name is offensive.)

      • Betsy
        June 26, 2014, 10:36 am

        @Yonah — thanks for wondering re/ being offensive. I’d say we tend to use “Presby” as a short hand, or PCUSA. I really appreciate your empathic attunement to how we might react to the labels put on us.

        It’s been an extremely painful period for many of us. I’ve been reading the Jewish Forward and other periodicals that claim to represent Jewish American communities. I’m hurt and shocked by what I’m reading about Presbyterians! To me, much of it is both grossly distorting of who we are and our history. And, much appears to be simply ignorant. It’s not just the many highly emotional comparisons of us to Nazis in the comment section. It’s also that frankly I feel like our church & others like it have been at the forefront of building a tolerance in US for religious diversity. The principle of separation of church & State is basic to us — and we have *fought* for inclusion of minorities (including Jewish Americans), *fought* against the idea of Christian ethnonationalism. So, I’m wondering what ‘history’ of Christians you are referring to? The Presbyterian church is part of a Reformed & always Reforming tradition, which is explicitly standing up *against* imperialism, religious / ethnic / racial intolerance & supremacy. If we are explicitly standing & working against anti-Semitism and other forms of racism — how are we part of that past ‘history’? I just don’t get it. If you’re arguing that our theological beliefs are based on anti-Semitism, I would counter that our theologians have been actively trying to undo any such imagery or ideas.

        anyway, thanks again, for your empathy concern re/ labels for Presbys!! It lifted my spirit in this dark & worrisome time for my faith community.

      • Shmuel
        June 26, 2014, 11:18 am

        Betsy,

        First of all, I’d like to thank you for all of the information and insight you have given us into the Presbyterian Church, its history, ethos, actions, members, etc.

        On the subject of the history of Christian attitudes toward and treatment of Jews, I consider the accusations levelled against PCUSA in the realm of “essentialism”, which I have often criticised in my comments at MW, with regard to Jews and Muslims. Yes, there are racist and discriminatory attitudes and practices in all of our (monotheistic) traditions and cultures, but to hold any of us responsible for them or to claim that we are necessarily influenced by them (consciously or unconsciously) is to do us a great injustice. Presbyterians seem to strive to combine the best in Christian tradition with the best universal values of our time. Why should they be identified with traditions and ideas they have clearly repudiated in thought and deed?

        “Fathers shall not be put to death over sons, and sons shall not be put to death over fathers. Each man shall be put to death for his own offence (Deuteronomy 24:16).”

      • Walid
        June 26, 2014, 11:54 am

        Shmuel, the “iniquities of the father” commandment is repeated in 5 other places including one in Deut.5:9

        What’s the final verdict, do the sons of the 3rd and 4th generation squeak by or is it curtains for them?

      • Shmuel
        June 26, 2014, 12:03 pm

        What’s the final verdict, do the sons of the 3rd and 4th generation squeak by or is it curtains for them?

        Short answer: Not curtains (at least in Rabbinic exegetical tradition). Deuteronomy 5:9 (like Exodus 20:4) — “for my foes”, i.e. those who persist in the evil ways of their fathers — points the way to resolving the apparent contradictions to Deuteronomy 24:16.

        See also Ezekiel 18: and Jeremiah 31:28-29.

      • yonah fredman
        June 26, 2014, 2:06 pm

        Betsy- Hello. The flattening of all experience with Christianity into its negative features is a simplification and a bad thing to do. It took me time to accept that one can never tell where the next good idea about God is going to come from and to accept the New Testament as containing positive and negative. Growing up the only positive attitude I had towards clergy resulted from the fame of Martin Luther King Jr. (I was more than 12 1/2 when he was murdered.) Today as a student of history I can see that his Christianity played a major part in his conception of the arc of his life and his belief in the Bible played a major part in his conception of the arc of the movement, but as a kid, he transcended the title of reverend and I did not revere clergy of a church that seemed spooky and scary.

        Fast forward 35 years, I’m seated in a church attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and though the crucifix is artistic and colorful, it is still a crucifix and not a symbol I like. But I have to give the punch line that lightens the load. I like composing down and across “magic square” crossword puzzles. Such as:
        CHIPS
        HAREM
        IRATE
        PETAL
        SMELL.

        So on that occasion I composed:
        GOD
        OUR
        DRY.

        Which was perfect for my alienation from the church and for the subject of the AA meeting.

        I was raised with a serious dosage of anti Christian bias, against the religion and even against the blasphemy of Jesus and the idea of anything other than God is One. Today with the history of war and the negative press on monotheism and its intolerance, though I am not tempted to incorporate a belief in the sonhood of Jesus into my concepts about God, I am no longer wedded to the anti Christian feelings of the strict monotheism of rabbinic teaching.

        Certainly when I said, Jews of my age, Jews of a certain age, I was referring to the recentness of the abyss (Hitler 1939 to 1945) and the belief that Christianity, although not the progenitor of Hitler’s pagan philosophy, did allow people to see the slaughter as the Jews’ just reward for killing Jesus and I was taught to see Christianity as the preparation phase for the genocide. It is great that scholars are trying to turn ‘his blood on our selves and on our children” into something innocuous, but as long as that verse is in Matthew, there will be those who use it for evil.

        As such for this person of my age, namely me, I make efforts to respect people despite their association with Christianity rather than because of their association with Christianity. The god idea and much of the teaching of Jesus happen to be great organizing principles for doing good in this world and my alienation and defensiveness regarding Christianity is not necessarily one of the best features of my personality. But I think that honesty is the first step that must be handled before progressing from there.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 26, 2014, 3:32 pm

        Well yonah, it’s nice that you admit that you are the anti-Christian equivalent of an anti-Semite. Admiting it to yourself is the first step.

      • Betsy
        June 26, 2014, 12:12 pm

        @Shmuel
        :) the balancing of particular & universal in Reformed & always Reforming traditions depends on, springs out of, our legacy from ancient Jewish prophets…So, this good interdependence of faith traditions *is* something from the past to hold on to, celebrate & try to carry forward in a reformed American civic culture — that moves (somehow) beyond the current crazinesses…

      • Betsy
        June 26, 2014, 3:40 pm

        @yonah — what you’re saying re/ not ‘flattening others’ experience into simplified labels is so incredibly important, especially now in our crazed postmodern media sensationalized culture. I hope you won’t mind if I speak personally that for me this is very spiritual. We need some kind of *form* (like symbols, rituals, ideas) just as an artist needs material materials from which to create. But, we have to hold them very lightly & be willing to let them go at a moment’s notice. That’s the only way I can read the biblical scriptures — as a *channel* for a spiritual encounter, but *not* as a map of what’s true. There’s so much in it that’s clearly archaic & false & intolerant I’m now using a great version of the New Testament by Marcus Borg, EVOLUTION OF THE WORD, in which he puts the books into the order in which they were written & contextualizes them in their times – one theme is that at certain stages there were tensions between Jewish identity & emerging Christian identity — which hard baked negative comments re/ Jewish practices & identity (a process that was both *within* Jewish communities & between different cultural groups — it’s confusing for me as I don’t really know the historical contexts). What I take from this is that Christians have to be ever vigilant against the imagery / ideas left from this origin.

        But, at the same time, I’ve just over the past several years, decided that this is a 2 way street. I used to be, I think, philo-Semitic (or whatever Phil calls it) — because of the extraordinary people & thinkers from Jewish backgrounds I knew or knew about. It’s only recently that I’ve to really listen to some of the more intolerant (or self-enclosed & Other-stereotyping) parts of Jewish American life. I’ve started to periodically visit Temple with a friend. I learned that many people seem to have almost no understanding of the variety & reformations & historical changes within Christianity — it seemed that a lot of what is taught is (for such a well-educated community) an incredibly thin & stereotyped view of Christianity. But, then I thought how much do I actually know about Judaism? I’m dismayed to realize that we as Americans can live so close together & know so little of each other!!

        but, I do want to ask my Temple going friend if there’s discussion re/ how Judaism’s origin story relates to the people conquered in early Jewish scriptures. Is there equivalent work re/ the ‘supercession’ of the peoples of Canaan by ancient Hebrews (and it’s lingering effects now) — with the efforts, say in PC(USA) to stamp out all bad traces of ‘supercessionism’ (sp?) in our theology?

      • RoHa
        June 26, 2014, 9:11 pm

        “which he puts the books into the order in which they were written”

        The order he thinks they were written in. No-one actually knows when they were written. (As Borg himself acknowledges.)

        “one theme is that at certain stages there were tensions between Jewish identity & emerging Christian identity ”

        Er, yes. There is an enormous amount written about this.

  36. G. Seauton
    June 25, 2014, 7:43 pm

    Actually, in many respects, the Soviets were worse human rights violators before and during World War II than the Nazis. Certainly, more people were killed over several decades by Stalin than by Hitler over his time in power.

    The real problem with your “whataboutery” is that it amounts to an argument against protesting any regime anywhere. If we must begin with the worst regimes with the highest body counts before working our way up to merely vicious war criminals with lower body counts, then we have a long list of war criminals to protest, boycott, sanction, etc., before we get to Israel. Very convenient. It could also be difficult to determine the absolute worst regime, with several in contention for the title. “Whataboutery” is nothing more than rhetoric designed to deflect criticism of criminals partisans prefer to protect. Invoking that argument should automatically qualify as making propaganda for war criminals and human rights violators.

    In the case of Israel, as Woody and others have pointed out, we are protesting the regime of war criminals most heavily supported by our own governments. This does not mean that we are OK with other vicious human rights violators in the world. Those who protest the regime in Sudan have similar “whataboutery” hurled at them. Those of us who protested the apartheid regime in South Africa have heard your arguments before.

    So smear away. “Anti-Semitism,” you* say? That word is not a charm that magically validates your arguments. You remain an apologist for war criminals.

    *Jane Eisner

  37. Castellio
    June 25, 2014, 8:36 pm

    I have two questions: 1) on what do Eisner and the Presbyterians actually agree, and 2) why don’t we know that?

    We know on what they don’t agree: the divestment of shares of very large public companies making money off the occupation. But on what do they agree?

    If the Liberal Zionists had really wanted to defeat the Presbyterian motion, they wouldn’t have used the General Assembly and its process to simply offer a form of coercion (if you do that you’re anti-Semite and we’ll tell everybody and it will hurt you). To win, they would have led the Assembly’s conversation towards the positive steps both sides wanted to achieve and could attempt to accomplish by working together.

    Where is the list of changes (in law or in practice) that these liberal Zionists actually want and will work towards?

  38. tommy
    June 25, 2014, 9:15 pm

    The article describes Ms. Eisner as a Zionist writing from Israel, but does not say if she is an American citizen, and that is the root of what she apparently does not understand. Israel is targeted for BDS because of subsidies the US and other European governments provides to execute and prolong Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Americans like Presbyterians repudiate US policy with a civil movement focused on reducing economic and cultural aid to Israel with their boycott. She does not want to understand, and prefers Palestinians remain under imminent threat to life and interests.

  39. Elliot
    June 25, 2014, 11:21 pm

    “The Presbyterian action is probably not going to measurably hurt Israel. But it has understandably hurt Jews.”

    Cute bravado. i.e. “so you won. Big deal. You won nothing. All you succeeded in doing was to make me feel bad.” If Presbyterian divestment is so insignificant, why did the organized Jewish community invest so much energy in its failed attempt to stop it?

    It’s too bad that Jane Eisner fell back into deploying ‘anti-Semitism’ to impugn the motives of the PCUSA. She has done good work at the Forward and in public settings expanding the scope of what can be heard in the Jewish community.

  40. piotr
    June 26, 2014, 2:32 am

    I think that people like Eisner are cursed by they craving to remain in “Jewish community”. In an abstract, nothing wrong, but that community is dominated by rich people who collect badges of importance by being supporters of Israel and witch hunters of “anti-Semitism”. Forward as a magazine has a lot of good articles, but the corollary is that they eke their existence at the barely tolerated edge of the “Jewish community”, always in danger of being demoted to ex-communicated radicals. Only the rites like joining solemn condemnations when required by the community keep them from being “Goldstoned”. So congrats, Ms. Eisner, Forward will survive another year. And, one the bright side, look at cephalopods: intelligent, thriving, spines are so unnecessary.

    • yonah fredman
      June 26, 2014, 2:55 am

      piotr- Firstly I assume that you are referring to people like Eisner. She herself has no need to crave remaining in the Jewish community, she is at the core of the Jewish literati establishment/community and to expect her to give up her version of Zionism is like expecting Jackie Robinson back in the 60’s to act like Malcolm X and not like a black Republican. Further, let me state that if I was to read this description of yours, “but that community is dominated by rich people who collect badges of importance by being supporters of Israel and witch hunters of ‘anti-Semitism'”, to the demographic in question (the demographic of Eisner rather than just she herself), they would suspect you of antiSemitism and then they’d read a handful of the rest of your comments and they would be convinced. Your rhetoric is not meant for them, but for the choir here at MW. The demographic that needs to endorse seriousness regarding the occupation needs to be real supporters of Israel and not apathetic on one side of the spectrum or knee jerk supporters of Israel on the other side of the spectrum, but real supporters and you are not talking to them at all. Your language is precisely the language that will make these people recoil and say, hmm, BDS and antiZionists do contain a large contingent of people who really hate Jews.

      • piotr
        June 26, 2014, 6:58 am

        I am not sure if Eisner would recoil at my language. The fact that most Jewish organizations (or Major Jewish Organizations) have very highly paid executives, generous donors and very opaque ways of choosing their leaders is known to us from — Forward. And how does 99% of Hillel chapters operate? Student grass root organizations? With centrally established rules, ideology, professional training about talking points and so on, and they should obey or they loose financial support, and thus they would have to pay from their own student pockets for this or that (no more free Friday night dinners?).

        And we know how lines are drawn and how heretics who cross them are excommunicated. We have seen a very nice show how Christie asked for forgiveness (I concede that Jewish Republican donors are especially particular in their demands, especially Sheldon Adelson), how Metropolitan Opera was brought to submission (which verges on weird, Opera is a favorite charitable cause of rich New Yorkers) and most recently, the poor chap Oldman, and we have also seen the witch trial of J-Street (when the biggest puzzle was why they want to be recognized as a Major Jewish Organization).

        The situation of Forward is more subtle because “as the core of the Jewish literati establishment” they have something to loose, but they are already detested by ZOA types and the feeling is mutual and open. But even on the liberal end of “organized Jewish community” the tolerance has distinct limits. When a children’s museum in Oakland was muzzled, I suspect that it was done by “liberals”, I do not see the likes of Sheldon Adelson contributing there anyway. Something similar happened in NYC, but the censorship was accomplished almost singlehandedly by one rich Jewish gay anti-Muslim donor. Collecting scalps seems to be a tribal sport, when the elders gather at their fires and pass the pipe along, they also show their trophies (sorry, not THAT tribe).

        Thus there is a lot of fear out there. Part of it is a general affectation of American establishment: you are either Mainstream, or Outsider (a radical, a crank, or both). Only Mainstream opinions count. Thus the importance of what NYT deigns to report, and what it deigns not — this is a veritable battle of Mainstream Heights.

    • Elliot
      June 26, 2014, 3:52 am

      @ Yonah,
      What gave offense in Piotr’s profile of the people who fund the Jewish community?
      Jewish organizations serve a vital role in keeping the Jewish community misinformed and uninformed about Israel/Palestine. This has a knock on effect on the general population that supplements the control systems in place there. Piotr was just describing how it works, not proposing a strategy for how to address the BDS bogeyman.

      • James Canning
        June 26, 2014, 2:07 pm

        e put your finger on the heart of the matter, Elliot.

  41. piotr
    June 26, 2014, 2:39 am

    On the topic of marine organisms and “not singling out Israel”, eating seafood is more complicated than ever. You should care not to eat from over-depleted fisheries, without harming dolphins, and apparently, without using products of slave labor which is widely used in Thailand. I inspected my packets of shrimp: mercifully, from Vietnam, where even if forced labor is used, it would be for the cause of re-education, mackerels are from China (ditto), but tuna cans from Thailand. I inspected cans in my supermarket, and they are either marked “make in Thailand” or are “distributed”, so who knows where they are from. How to get, or substitute, ethical tuna cans?

  42. wes
    June 26, 2014, 8:07 am

    Phil weiss says……….lets have conversation

    how could you leave this statement out by jane eisner.in fact no one has brought it up.instead you make some idiotic statement about non zionist jews.

    “The collapse of the latest round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians has left a dangerous, depressing vacuum, and I appreciate the impulse to find non-violent methods to promote an end to this conflict.”

    Jane eisner at least has the courage to call it while you hide behind your fake anti something meaning of life please don,t hurt me i am a good jew not like those bad ones over there.

  43. OlegR
    June 26, 2014, 8:31 am

    It’s nice to know there are some stable things in the world.
    Syria is tearing itself apart Iraq is joining it the Russians and Ukrainians (now there is the stupidest war ever) are at each others throats but here at MW
    all is well. Just another day in the choir , condemning, exposing, fighting the good fight.

    • Elliot
      June 26, 2014, 11:53 am

      Oleg,
      What are you doing over here at Mondoweiss discussing “The War of Ideas in the Middle East”?
      Russia and Ukraine are calling.

      • Hostage
        June 26, 2014, 12:25 pm

        Russia and Ukraine are calling.

        File this under the heading of unintended irony or things meant to drive Victoria Nuland over the edge: “Putin meets with Abbas, calls for renewal of Mideast peace talks: Russian leader tells PA president that despite difficulties, he is open to discussing joint steps on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Putin-meets-with-Abbas-calls-for-renewal-of-Mideast-peace-talks-360606

      • just
        June 26, 2014, 12:34 pm

        This is good news, imho.

        The US certainly cannot be trusted. We’ve lost all credibility.

  44. piotr
    June 26, 2014, 11:01 am

    yonah: “The demographic that needs to endorse seriousness regarding the occupation needs to be real supporters of Israel…”

    Why? This is a self-defeating approach. A dynamic of group thinking is that most people align their views with the perceived majority. Within Israel, this dynamic pushes the majority to increasingly intolerant attitudes. Now we create a larger group that incorporates American Jews (their friends should defer to their wisdom) but we dismiss those who are not “real supporters”. And so constructed group imports Israeli intolerance. So you can conceive a scenario than an enlightened 2-state policy could find a majority acceptance in your group of “real supporters” and then something good will happen, but this is not how it works.

    The way I see it, you as a real supporter of Israel have the best chances with people who are indifferent to Israel or worse. The idea of universal rights of people gives sufficient contours. Once you start policing people who follow that idea for some phony type of anti-Semitism, you are a useful idiot of ZOA (this is how I see Eisner). And whatever “the crowd at Mondoweiss” thinks about Eisner and you, ZOA crowd detests you guys with passion, something you should consider.

  45. mtorres
    June 26, 2014, 11:13 am

    Of course they called it “anti-semitic”. It’s the closest thing they have left as a “defense” against the indefensible.

    One state for only one kind of people is indefensible.

    The horror and cruelty that state inflicts on the people from whom they stole the land is indefensible.

    The support of somewhere between 87% and 96% (depending on which poll you’re reading) of the “right kind” of Israeli citizen for this horror is indefensible.

    The only thing left is to heap false accusations on people and institutions who point out that all of that is indefensible.

    They’ve taken a word that once signaled Danger, and rendered it meaningless. That, too, is indefensible.

  46. rsmatesic
    June 26, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Do the anti-PCUSA posters here really not get it, or are they just pretending not to get it? Eisner is clearly arguing in bad faith, and I suspect the same holds true for many of the former.

    PCUSA has accused Israel of specific wrongs. But rather than squarely address the issues PCUSA has presented, Eisner attempts to evade them entirely, by countering with a completely unrelated accusation–PCUSA’s alleged bias–which Eisner necessarily implies is MORE deserving of examination than anything the PCUSA has raised.

    Which begs the question: does Eisner ever provide evidence that would justify such a prioritization, beyond the emotional appeal of her position? Emphatically, no. Furthermore, her argument has no persuasive force except to the extent we, her audience, accept her invitation to engage in a logical fallacy, namely, that she has established, without evidence, the superior priority of her accusation. And that’s bad faith.

    You’d have to think at some point Eisner’s argument would prove self-defeating. Those who invoke moral norms to imply the superiority of their position presuppose we’re all living in a moral universe. But Eisner’s whataboutery lives in another universe entirely, that of moral relativism, where claims of moral superiority are as useful as a belief in magic.

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