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Wisconsin Jewish leaders open the door to– shhh — anti-Zionists

Israel/Palestine
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Brant Rosen, right, with Daoud Nasser at the Tent of Nations, at Rosen's blog

Brant Rosen, right, with Daoud Nasser at the Tent of Nations, at Rosen’s blog

In March, Max Blumenthal and Rabbi Brant Rosen spoke at Marquette University during Israel Apartheid Week on the subject “Living Under Apartheid.” To its credit, the Wisconsin Jewish establishment noticed that the two were in Milwaukee, and it has been doing some soul-searching in the aftermath. A couple of leaders have initiated a discussion of whether anti-Zionists and non-Zionists should not be included inside the American Jewish conversation. This seems to me as important an opening, in the older generation, as Open Hillel is in the younger one. (And it’s just inevitable now that we will be included.)

First, here is Leon Cohen, editor of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. He went to hear Blumenthal and Rosen, and says they’re part of a Jewish tradition. And he seems to be more on their side that on rightwing ranter Caroline Glick.

Jews taking the side of the Palestinian Arabs against Israel might seem like a “man bites dog” story. However, there is an historical context for this phenomenon.

          Before World War II, many liberal Jews intensely opposed the idea of a Jewish state. They included some significant historical figures, like philosopher Martin Buber and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s first president Judah Magnes. Blumenthal and Rosen showed themselves aware of that tradition during their talks, and recalled some of the arguments of that group — that Judaism is not and should not be tied down to a land and a military, that a “Jewish state” is bound almost by definition to treat resident non-Jews as problems instead of as equal human beings, and so on.

          Most Jews today do not agree with these views; but some do even within Israel itself. Moreover, apparently there seem to be increasing numbers of Jews who, if they don’t so radically criticize Zionism itself, at least seem willing to side with the Palestinian Arabs on some issues…

          Blumenthal, Rosen, et al also have powerful opponents, however. I’m sure the organizers of Caroline Glick’s appearance in Mequon on March 30 did not intend that event to constitute a rejoinder to the MU speakers, but her talk could well have been one.

          Glick is senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post, an author and an unabashed Zionist. She insisted that the Jewish people have the primary right to sovereignty over the entire land of Israel, and that the Jewish community in Israel and beyond should unapologetically say so.

          On that basis, she proposed in her latest book, “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East,” that Israel extend its law to the West Bank-Judea/Samaria region. (Curiously, neither in her talk nor the book does she use the word “annexation.”)

          I am not sure yet what I think of the merits of her plan. But I heard her some days after I heard Blumenthal and Rosen, and I couldn’t help but feel that the three speakers encapsulated the polar opposite positions within our community — positions held with frightening certainty and between which little if any dialogue or compromise is possible

Next, here is Elana Kahn-Oren, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, writing an article in Cohen’s Jewish Chronicle shortly after Blumenthal and Rosen’s visit: “Build a values-driven community.” Kahn-Oren observes that the Pew poll shows that young Jews don’t feel much connection to Israel. And while she writes out of devotion to Israel (and opposes boycott vehemently) she seems to acknowledge that the next generation is paying more attention to the likes of Blumenthal and Rosen. It’s painful to have to listen to anti-Zionists, she confesses. But “so what?” Good for her.

Like it or not, many young Jews don’t feel deeply tied to the Jewish state.

          Growing up in a post-1948 world, they have no memory of the Jewish experience without the state. They have grown up associating Israel with conflict, and many of them don’t see themselves in that conflict.

          Our community also includes Jews who are not Zionists, either because of ideology or lack of engagement. For those of us who care deeply about Zionism and modern Israel, this is deeply unsettling and painful.

          But so what? As a Jewish community, we must figure out how to transcend our discomfort and include those Jews and their opinions in our discourse — or we risk alienating them from any connection to community or Israel.

          Mindful that Israel is an expression of the deepest Jewish aspirations and that we cannot separate the Jewish story from the national project, I believe that we are strong enough to allow the range of voices within our community conversation. We must be. Or we risk pushing out of our tent those whose lot is with the Jewish people.

          Right now, we don’t know how to include those challenging opinions in our community discourse. Instead, we get caught on code language and infighting, with Jews attacking other Jews. Israel is so deeply intertwined with our identity that their disagreement feels like an existential threat.

          So we dig in our heels and affirm the “us vs. them” caricature. And then we learn to avoid the topic of Israel altogether; there is no upside to talking about Israel because you’re bound to become a target.

          We need to simultaneously teach love and allow criticism. As the mother of teenagers, I want my children to fall in love with Israel. But I also want them to be ready for the outside world. If they cannot see Israel’s imperfections, their love may collapse under the pressure of harsh criticism. I’ve seen it happen.

          But maybe, if our children are taught about Israel, warts and all, and if they are allowed to stray from our talking points and wrangle with its reality, perhaps they will become Israel’s most loving advocates. Perhaps they will see themselves in its aspirations, imperfect as they are.

          We would be wise to consider the Pew study our call to action — look deeper, open your arms, or perish.

Leon Cohen, the editor of the Chronicle, has now followed up with an article called, “Anti-Semites and other enemies,” where he argues that the old smear, “anti-Semite,” used against Blumenthal and Rosen, should be put aside as a block to conversation.

Calling such people “anti-Semites” may be harmful to the Jewish cause. For one, it often stiffens their resolve and makes them unwilling to listen to us. For another, it enables us to dismiss these people and ignore their concerns and issues, thereby preventing us from thinking about them and devising effective responses — and even from working to correct real problems they do at least sometimes point out.

Finally, here is reader Sorin Iancu writing to the Jewish Chronicle in response to Cohen. This is the reactionary backbone of the older Jewish community. Shows what anti-Zionists are up against, in a long sectarian struggle:

In the May Chronicle, Leon Cohen wrote in his Editor’s Desk column that the positions of two anti-Israel Jews who spoke at an event at Marquette University that accused Israel of being an “apartheid” state and the talk by Caroline Glick about a one-state solution “encapsulated the polar opposite positions within our community.”

I have no idea what “community” he is referring to.

The two anti-Israel Jews sat on a panel with Osama Abu Irshaid, the former editor of the newspaper for the Islamic Association of Palestine, a former part of the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and the predecessor of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to accuse Israel of being an apartheid state. Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government and the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

At best, these anti-Israel “Jews” can be described as “useful idiots” and at worst as anti-Semites. They are not part of any Jewish community my friends and I belong to, and we think that Cohen and The Chronicle owe all Jews of Milwaukee an apology for putting them in the same “community” with these people.

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75 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    June 14, 2014, 12:06 pm

    thanks for pulling all this together phil. it’s a good read. i feel sorry for Sorin Iancu. when he writes “They are not part of any Jewish community my friends and I belong to,” it makes me think he and his friends are the ones who will then be on the outside in not too much time, not too much time at all.

    • Ron Edwards
      Ron Edwards
      June 14, 2014, 2:09 pm

      I get emails from people like this, not all the time, but regularly. I have not been impressed with anything except their persistence, which usually lasts until I state I can no longer afford an hour a day batting down empty assertions. It’s given me an education in the rhetoric, though. Ultimately, it comes down precisely to this bit you quoted, Annie: that there is a single community that counts because Holocaust, it is defined as soldiering for Israel on all fronts, and that’s simply and only the meaning of “Jewish.” Anything else can be agreed upon, disagreed upon and discussed, or tolerated as long as the core tenet isn’t violated; anything that violates the core tenet is the enemy and must be suborned if possible (hence the friendly emails), distracted from if not, smeared if that doesn’t work, or when all else fails attacked with startling ruthlessness. That latter threat is always there, and it always contains elements of derangement. I’ve seen it happen to SJP during the past years of activism, and I’ve seen the “kindly old Holocaust survivor” (as one emailer introduced himself to me, and which I find unlikely) go rabid when I failed to hop through the right hoop. We’ve seen it here, as when JeffB spun into a disturbing fantasy about killing his daughter to save her, in the event of some unfathomable consequence of BDS.

      Therefore I don’t feel sorry for Sorin Iancu. I consider him and like-minded people unsettling.

      • annie
        annie
        June 14, 2014, 6:47 pm

        that there is a single community that counts because Holocaust, it is defined as soldiering for Israel on all fronts, and that’s simply and only the meaning of “Jewish.” Anything else can be agreed upon, disagreed upon and discussed, or tolerated as long as the core tenet isn’t violated; anything that violates the core tenet is the enemy and must be suborned if possible

        it must be very frustrating dealing with people like this, especially relatives. when people think and function in such enclosed parameters it’s probably best to accept them for who they are instead of spinning wheels to change them, if they refuse to evolve or change. i see what you mean about not feeling sorry for them, i still do tho.

        but i feel worse for Elana Kahn-Oren. for all her openness and willingness and what seems like a deep sincere effort to remain whole or have her community grow…there seems a real disconnect that appears so obvious to me.

        wrt the holocaust, she wrote:

        • When asked what is essential to being Jewish, 73 percent said, “remembering the Holocaust,” followed by “leading an ethical and moral life,” “working for justice and equality,” and “being intellectually curious.”

        well, “leading an ethical and moral life,”and “working for justice and equality,” runs completely counter to supporting israel, as it is, as a zionist entity today (unless one is simply NOT “being intellectually curious” and lives in a bubble). she talks about loving israel with it’s ‘imperfections’. in order to heal something you have to be able to identify it. apartheid is not an imperfection. ethnic cleansing and home demolitions and administrative detention and occupation are not merely imperfections. how can one lead an ethical and moral life and work for justice and equality and at the same time not tear away at the very fabric of the state to prevent these ongoing human right violations?? it’s like cutting out a cancer that is killing the body by applying lotion and massage and calling the cancer an imperfection…not going to work.

        now the kids, they can remember the holocaust and still lead ethical moral lives and work for justice and equality. but the fast non violent way to change israel is BDS. that’s common sense and that’s what the kids see (more and more).

        Kahn-Oren writes ” includes Jews who are not Zionists… figure out how to transcend our discomfort and include those Jews and their opinions in our discourse — or we risk alienating them from …Israel….Israel is an expression of the deepest Jewish aspirations” and that we cannot “separate the Jewish story from the national project”… believes “community is strong enough to allow the range of voices …”

        hear her definition of israel? an expression of deepest Jewish aspirations.

        where does she say israel needs to be radically overhauled. she doesn’t. these kids they’ve grown up with the kind of people you’re talking about, and the kind of person Sorin Iancu is. but i think they will figure out in no time israel’s problem are not like a case of acne (an imperfection) but a life threatening disease.

        politically israel is neither ethical or moral and there is no justice in the system imposed on palestinians. i don’t think these kids are going to be giving up their jewishness or intellectual curiosity (94 percent say they are proud to be Jewish) but the very thing that defines their jewishness (aside from the holocaust) runs directly counter to supporting israel.

        so here is Kahn-Oren “As the mother of teenagers, I want my children to fall in love with Israel. But I also want them to be ready for the outside world. If they cannot see Israel’s imperfections, their love may collapse under the pressure of harsh criticism.”

        and her solution: suggesting to “allow criticism”..” if our children are taught about Israel, warts and all, and if they are allowed to stray from our talking points and wrangle with its reality, perhaps they will become Israel’s most loving advocates.”

        criticizing israel is not enough. how can a person ACT to change what is going on? effectively? the kids, in the future will probably not be loving advocates of apartheid. not going to happen because you can’t hide what israel has become.

        that is the brick wall they are up against. supporting BDS is the most effective way to change israel (peacefully). that is a no brainer. Elana Kahn-Oren is director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, as such she probably can’t advocate what common sense would lead any normal thinking person conclude. if you love or care about israel, support the boycott. no different than as a mother she would support putting her kid in rehab if he/she became a junkie. without action, it’s all words.

      • Ron Edwards
        Ron Edwards
        June 14, 2014, 11:22 pm

        A minor clarification: I’m talking about people whom I don’t know, who email me out of the blue. Since I use my real name, it’s easy to find me on-line. For whatever reason I ring enough hasbara bells to bring’em to me. Some are “concerned.” Some are passive-aggressive. Some are ever-so “just interested” in dialogue. I’m convinced most of them are trading off between deliberate intimidation and deliberate time-sucking. This doesn’t affect any of your points except for the bit about accepting them as they are – since they’re not relatives or acquaintances of any kind, and since they seek me out, I have little compunction about replying with a solid position statement. The problem is avoiding replying again, because they’ll go into whatabout and just-one-more-thing for days.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        June 15, 2014, 12:12 pm

        Annie, you are so insufferably smug, it is stifling. Is it any wonder that your movement has zero traction in the US?

      • annie
        annie
        June 15, 2014, 12:54 pm

        Some are “concerned.” Some are passive-aggressive. Some are ever-so “just interested” in dialogue.

        until they snap. i get some really weird anti-fan mail in my mondoweiss email account.

        hang in there ron, thanks for commenting.

      • annie
        annie
        June 15, 2014, 1:04 pm

        thanks hops, it’s nice to know you’re listening. quite a little bind your community finds itself in. on the upside, this next generation of kids are undoubtedly coming around. no wonder the parents are wringing their hands.

      • hophmi
        hophmi
        June 15, 2014, 2:19 pm

        It’s nothing new. The nature of highly-secularized Judaism in the Diaspora is to assimilate into nothingness, and most of these young Jews are primarily lefties who could not care less about their brother and sister Jews.

        No evidence exists, including the Pew poll, to suggest that young Jews are becoming anti-Zionists. Zero.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 15, 2014, 8:00 pm

        “most of these young Jews are primarily lefties who could not care less about their brother and sister Jews.”

        And why should they care more about other Jews than about non-Jewish fellow citizens?

  2. Mooser
    Mooser
    June 14, 2014, 12:19 pm

    Note to self. After coffee, work on Yarmulke-with-hinge-down-sunglasses idea. And don’t forget, double the order if they just pay separate shipping and handling.

  3. Mooser
    Mooser
    June 14, 2014, 12:25 pm

    “They are not part of any Jewish community my friends and I belong to”

    Funny thing, I can’t remember whether my Dad told me, when I asked him about the divisions in Judaism “Yitzkok, from what I’ve seen saying you are Jewish can get you killed. If a man is brave enough to say he is Jewish, as far as I’m concerned, he must be” or whether I tell myself he told me that.

    Anyway, I don’t see what that alter knocker is so het up about. When the Zionist project comes apart, there will be lots of Jewish suffering, the Zionists will see to that. And we will all become Zionists again.

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      June 14, 2014, 2:32 pm

      presuming that anyone with this opinion must be an old person which doesn’t fit the mold that younger Jews are ‘not connected to Israel’. uh-huh

    • LeaNder
      LeaNder
      June 15, 2014, 9:29 pm

      look, Moose, mine would look pretty similar: alter knacker, I even dropped capitalization Annie-style.

      And don’t forget, double the order if they just pay separate shipping and handling.

      Great idea of course. But there must be trick somewhere in the above part. ;)

  4. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    June 14, 2014, 2:01 pm

    The “be true to your school” line of thought: they are disputed territory, not occupied territory. there is nothing wrong with the status quo. this delegitimization battle can be won without changing. to protect the status quo, keeping the topic within certain parameters of acceptable discourse is natural, although the urge to censor is not progressive, but given the logic, it follows. We want no change. The more people talk, the more likely people are to want some kind of change, because that is the nature of talk- action. We don’t want no action. We don’t want no talk.

    I want change and there are those that do want change, not Max Blumenthal change, but Amram Mitzna change and Yossi Beilin change. For those who want change, talk is natural, although not reassuring. The future we (Amram, Yossi and me) are groping for is not a sure thing, particularly with Netanyahu entrenched in power and Gideon Sa’ar in the on deck circle. Amram and Yossi having the street creds of service (to the military and to the government) are on surer territory than an american like myself and even they are ridiculed by those in power and those to the right of them.

    I view one of two changes due to come sooner or later. one state or two state and not the current state. the delay (nothing wrong with the status quo) reaction is understandable, but seems to defy logic and to hope for some mechanism offered by the heavens to allow israel to emerge somehow from this perils of pauline situation intact.

    Those who think the change is coming soon, if you are American I advise you to look to the Democratic party which is still quite a distance from the change you have in mind.

    • talknic
      talknic
      June 14, 2014, 3:26 pm

      @ yonah fredman “they are disputed territory, not occupied territory”

      The UNSC doesn’t use the weasel words ‘disputed territories’ (UNSC res 476)

    • annie
      annie
      June 14, 2014, 3:36 pm

      keeping the topic within certain parameters of acceptable discourse is natural

      you crack me up yonah. if it were natural the goi wouldn’t need reut to come up w/red line rules to impose on hasbrats and the jcc or whom ever it is who sets rules for discourse within the j community to reel in the troops.

      call it whatever you want but it won’t make it ‘natural’, it makes it conformed restricted speech, something that’s come to define the organized zionist community from my pov..

      you can dispute it’s occupied all you want, that doesn’t change the fact it’s under international law, it’s occupied territory (what’s next, going to claim there’s no occupation?). caroline glick can also avoid the word ‘annex’ wrt jerusalem, doesn’t mean it wasn’t illegally unilaterally annexed. israel doesn’t set the parameters of acceptable discourse, and neither do you. hasbara operatives are a dime a dozen.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 14, 2014, 4:03 pm

        annie- I was using the term natural, like a chess move is called a natural move, that is: given a specific objective this strategy makes sense.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        June 14, 2014, 4:51 pm

        “Those who think the change is coming soon, if you are American I advise you to look to the Democratic party which is still quite a distance from the change you have in mind.”

        I dunno Yonah. The US political scene is kabuki stuff really. The US is not going anywhere.
        Israel is more existential. Big calls made in 67 and not clear they were the right ones. Apartheid is the logical end point of 67.
        Is that what you ordered?

        Galbraith has this quote about the 30s that always reminds me of the Zionist project

        “The conventional wisdom gives way not so much to new ideas as to “the massive onslaught of circumstances with which it cannot contend”.”

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 14, 2014, 5:03 pm

        seafoid- You behave as if, all I have to do is call it existential and apartheid and then it will change. but obviously that is not it. and you don’t communicate with anyone pro Israeli here and I assume not elsewhere either, so your consciousness of the fact that Israel chose the direction of occupation/apartheid (my word/your word) has not much input on the situation. So here you are writing bukra fi mishmish and this is your contribution. what is the outcome of your comments here? if america is kabuki and the real game is where? at the UN? in the Knesset? In the hearts of the next generation of West Bank Palestinians?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        June 14, 2014, 5:16 pm

        Yonah

        American political GOP-Dem debate is kabuki. The tea party didn’t blow up the debt situation in October. Adults spoke to them and they backed down.
        Nobody did that for Israel in 67.

        It’s not an easy time for small countries. Look at what happened to Greece. Why is Israel going to sail through the next 20 years in your view? Israel has dumped a lot of moral stuff on the grounds that the land is more important. Apartheid is serious. And there is no opposition in Israel worth talking about. They bet the house on YESHA a long time ago.

        How do you know I’m not talking to anyone in Israel?

        I don’t think Israelis are in control of what happens anyway – I think it’s gone beyond the stage where Zionism gets to decide, honestly. It’s high risk.

        What’s going on in the States is early days but it doesn’t look good.
        Do you know the casino scene from Madagascar 3 ?


        “That is one ugly magugly lady” – where the Louis VIV lookalike gambler is at the table and it’s actually a mannequin with a couple of chimps inside operated by the penguins.

        And that’s what the lobby in the States is. No popular base. .

        Zionism needs to capture the imaginations of the Gen Z kids and indoctrinate them Leon Uris style to replace the boomers who are dying off. Is that going to fly with hasbara the way it is?

        And if the US turns away from Israel for whatever reason things will fall apart . And the risk is higher than minimal, in my view.

      • annie
        annie
        June 14, 2014, 5:25 pm

        Zionism needs to capture the imaginations of the Gen Z kids and indoctrinate them Leon Uris style

        pre internet/twitter days. never gonna happen.

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        June 14, 2014, 4:56 pm

        Yonah: do you believe that the West Bank is ‘disputed territory’, not occupied, or are you simply stating that to be true of the “be true to your school” line of thought, of which you are not a part?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        June 14, 2014, 5:39 pm

        “pre internet/twitter days. never gonna happen”.

        Exactly.
        Plus Israel flashes her cruelty more frequently nowadays.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 14, 2014, 7:21 pm

        goldmarx- I was simply stating the “be true to your school” line of thought, of which I am not a part.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 15, 2014, 8:57 am

        “Yonah: do you believe that the West Bank is ‘disputed territory’, not occupied,”

        The West Bank is occupied. It is the parts of Palestine west of the green line, claimed as “Israel” that are disputed.

      • just
        just
        June 15, 2014, 9:13 am

        “Abbott addressed the controversy when he faced the media in Houston, Texas, on the last leg of his trip to North America.

        “There has been no change in policy – absolutely no change in policy,” he said.

        “There’s been a terminological clarification. We absolutely refuse to refer to occupied East Jerusalem. That was what the argument between senator Brandis and the Greens was all about but there has been no change in policy – simply a terminological clarification.

        “We strongly support a two-state solution. We continue to support [United Nations] resolutions 242 and 338. We are giving, I think, $56m in aid this year to Palestine.

        UN security council resolution 242, adopted in November 1967, called for the withdrawal of Israel’s armed forces “from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and recognition of the right for all to live in peace “within secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force”.

        Abbott played down the potential for Australia’s position to affect trade but acknowledged the language surrounding the issue attracted strong views.
        ……

        The deputy Labor leader, Tanya Plibersek, has previously accused Brandis of “freelancing on foreign policy” and ditching an expression that had been “used by Coalition governments from the 70s, the 80s. It’s been used in a bipartisan way; it’s been used around the world.”

        The former Labor foreign affairs minister Bob Carr accused the government of siding “with the religious, ethno-nationalist right of Israeli politics”.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/tony-abbott-disputed-east-jerusalem-merely-a-clarification?commentpage=1

        I feel for the normal and sane folks in Australia…going down the tubes.

      • annie
        annie
        June 14, 2014, 7:18 pm

        given a specific objective this strategy makes sense.

        it might make logical sense to try to limit words people say and contain the way people talk about israel, but it won’t work. what is natural is to identify something accurately. it’s like trying to fool the human senses, people can spot a lie.

        You behave as if, all I have to do is call it existential and apartheid and then it will change.

        not really. who said that? this “strategy” as you call it, of owning and controlling the discourse is premised on this idea tho.

        and you don’t communicate with anyone pro Israeli here and I assume not elsewhere either,

        seafoid is communicating with you. why doesn’t that count?

        “The conventional wisdom gives way not so much to new ideas as to “the massive onslaught of circumstances with which it cannot contend”.”

        sounds like communication to me.

      • annie
        annie
        June 14, 2014, 10:57 pm

        also yonah, a little OT but i wanted to respond to your questions about the initial syrian demonstrations were fomented by non Syrians in a closed thread…thought you would like to see this link: http://mebriefing.com/?p=789

        i would say yes, for sure.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 15, 2014, 5:46 am

        Annie- Is it wrong for those who believe in democracy to give courage to those who yearn for democracy in other countries?

        Syria is a seriously repressed country. Let us begin before the Arab spring. It is the most seriously repressed Arab country in the world. What charts do you use to measure democracy? Find me one that does not list Syria dead last among all Arab countries in measures of political freedom. Look at videotape of someone walking in the shuk, suq, in Damascus and look for the fear in their eyes. I am no expert in Jordan or Lebanon or Egypt, but having followed the news for 40 plus years, I have a media formed, semi informed feel for the countries with a direct border with Israel and far and away Syria is the most repressed of those countries.

        The US being led by neoconservatives starting trouble overseas that the US people are uninterested in starting let alone solving, is the problem that you wish to address. I accept that perspective. But there is also something called “freedom” that you wave in the cause of the Palestinians, but when it comes to the Syrians, you left that banner at home or the dog ate it. You have no concept of the fear that Syrians were living under.

        The choice between Assad and the jihadists is no choice at all and realism regarding such choices is an unfortunate task. But to pretend that Syrians were happy under Assad and that fear did not rule Syria before 2011 is to deny the facts. Today already the situation is dire and you can present the alternative to Assad in its ugly face of the jihadists. But I don’t hear any concession to the mere fact of the extremely repressive society that the Assad family had created up to 2011.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 15, 2014, 8:55 am

        “Annie- Is it wrong for those who believe in democracy to give courage to those who yearn for democracy in other countries?”

        LOL. If the US had any interest in democracy, it would be withholding the 7 billion dollars it steals from the taxpayers to pay bloodmoney to Israel and Egypt as the former has held a population without the vote since 1947 and in the latter just supported the coup which seized and replaced the democratically elected leader and replaced him with an puppet willing to do Israel’s bidding.

        don’t kid yourself. You Zionists oppose Syria because the Syrians, Iranians, and Hezbollah constitute an Alliance that threatens the Washington – Tel Aviv Axis seeking hegemony over the entire region.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 15, 2014, 10:09 am

        Woody- I know that you don’t trust my stance on Syria, but where do you stand on Syria?

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      June 14, 2014, 5:37 pm

      “I want change and there are those that do want change, not Max Blumenthal change, but Amram Mitzna change and Yossi Beilin change.”

      Israelis chose Bibi every time, Yonah. And bibi changed things his way. He locked Israel into one way YESHA. No genuine talks, no peace and here we are. Is it 750,000 settlers now ?
      And where is Labor ?

      It is such a mess. And you start from now if you want to fix it. No point in lauding someone who failed 20 years ago.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      June 14, 2014, 5:59 pm

      No one but Israel thinks they are disputed territories, which means they are not.

  5. LeaNder
    LeaNder
    June 14, 2014, 2:03 pm

    Mindful that Israel is an expression of the deepest Jewish aspirations and that we cannot separate the Jewish story from the national project, I believe that we are strong enough to allow the range of voices within our community conversation. We must be. Or we risk pushing out of our tent those whose lot is with the Jewish people. …

    We need to simultaneously teach love and allow criticism. As the mother of teenagers, I want my children to fall in love with Israel. But I also want them to be ready for the outside world. If they cannot see Israel’s imperfections, their love may collapse under the pressure of harsh criticism. I’ve seen it happen.

    Now I guess that sets it once and for all. The essence of Judaism and correspondingly “the Jews” is the state of Israel. Alternatively Judaism means each and every Jew must love Israel warts and all.

    Now we have to reflect what they could possibly mean for non-Jews. I return to the chapter of my book about the rare, you guessed it, good Germans, in this case the “philosemites” between 1871 and 1932 who actively supported Herzl and Zionism. Maybe I find a partial of the answer there?

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      June 14, 2014, 2:49 pm

      Now I guess that sets it once and for all. The essence of Judaism and correspondingly “the Jews” is the state of Israel. Alternatively Judaism means each and every Jew must love Israel warts and all.

      There’s an indefinite article (“an expression of the deepest Jewish aspirations”) in there, along with the unusual recognition that “Our community also includes Jews who are not Zionists, either because of ideology or lack of engagement” (not even co-opting the uncommitted, as is so often the case).

      Sorin Iancu does raise an interesting point about “bedfellows”, but is obviously not open to any kind of discussion on that subject either, rejecting any truck with “anti-Israel Jews” (but not overtly racist Jews such as C. Glick) in and of themselves, regardless of who they may happen to sit next to on a panel.

      • LeaNder
        LeaNder
        June 16, 2014, 2:52 am

        Yes, Shmuel, there definitively is such a linguistic marker but the larger context context suggest not “an” but “the” to me. Since the Jewish story and the national project are also inseparable.

        But, you are absolutely correct, I definitively misused her commentary. Her no doubt carefully grafted Lets-be-united-in-faith and for-our-own-self-defense-and-Israel’s commentary–hopefully the youngsters can be won over–is no doubt very open and inclusive as it should be, based on its premise. It was simply such an enormous contrast to my own grumpy state of mind that I had to let off steam collected for some time now.

        I guess I was very insensitive, maybe even more since it contains quite a bit of religion. So I should have considered there may be sensibilities.

        But lately I am struggling with the fact again that I am a collective-multi-threat prototype, first as German, that I got used to by now, but second as baptized Catholic, a church that brought the antisemitic into world after all. And compared to the threat potential I represent Egyptian slavery must have been a picnic after all.

        Thanks G-d, I am not fond of anti-Zionism, but, notice I am careful now, would juxtapose some type of post-Zionism Utopia to the original Zionist one. Otherwise I would need to add another strain of collective threat stain to the above time bomb prototype: ME.

        Holocaust Remembrance Day 2014: the TABLET evasion

        Had I not a born-in-Morocco Sephardic son-in-law, I would never know about tensions in Israel between the expelled refugees from the Arab countries in North Africa and the Mid-East and the Ashkenazim in Israel (who are themselves internally divided). Nor would I be so focused on the Israeli or British Left that has taken up the Arab narrative on Israeli history with a malicious distinction between “anti-Semitism” and “anti-Zionism.” We are facing a potential second Holocaust and TABLET leads with a feel good article that escapes from the real dangers that “Jews” everywhere face?

        Seriously there were times, when I felt very, very sorry for Clare. It felt, she was multi-traumatized but my empathy dissipates.

        What would be the core Tanaka, Rabbinic themes or Talmud passage (no idea if I got close) about the necessity of the community to choose as the central aspect self-defense?

        Inspired lives

        Like many Jewish organizations, the Jewish Community Relations Council is built on the sharpened tip of Jewish self-defense. Our mission is to build strategic relationships and defend others — in order to protect ourselves.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        June 16, 2014, 7:47 am

        But lately I am struggling with the fact again that I am a collective-multi-threat prototype, first as German, that I got used to by now, but second as baptized Catholic, a church that brought the antisemitic into world after all. And compared to the threat potential I represent Egyptian slavery must have been a picnic after all.

        I don’t know what it’s like to be a German and a Catholic, but I do have a little experience with being a “collective-multi-threat prototype” (wonderful term!) — although, in my case, “progressives” (and Zionists) may replace the word “threat” with equally unsavoury descriptors. Either way, our respective experiences seem inextricably linked.

        Thanks G-d, I am not fond of anti-Zionism …

        Here our experiences must diverge. Anti-Zionism is a difficult (impossible? unnecessary?) position for your double-whammy prototype, and an imperative (both internal and external) for mine.

        What would be the core Tanaka, Rabbinic themes or Talmud passage (no idea if I got close) about the necessity of the community to choose as the central aspect self-defense?

        “Turn it over and turn it over again, for all lies therein.” Defence can be communal, individual, universal, cosmic — and the enemy can be anywhere, even among those who claim to defend you or the faith. The Word of God (or the mystic body of the nation) is multifaceted, not to mention malleable.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        June 16, 2014, 8:07 am

        What would be the core Tanaka, Rabbinic themes or Talmud passage (no idea if I got close) about the necessity of the community to choose as the central aspect self-defense?

        There’s always the old Talmudic advice that claims “the Torah has said: If a man comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first.” See the Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth, Folio 58a. http://halakhah.com/berakoth/berakoth_58.html

        See also the recent article here: ‘Kill those who rise up to kill us’ — a prime minister’s chilling tweet http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/ministers-chilling-tweet.html

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        June 16, 2014, 8:32 am

        There’s always the old Talmudic advice that claims “the Torah has said: If a man comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first.”

        The transposition of the personal right of self-defence (or obligation to defend the innocent) to the communal or national level is not as simple or obvious as it may seem — legally, morally or intellectually (Netanyahu’s interpretation is bankrupt on all three counts; the fb page advocating the mass execution of Palestinian prisoners cites the very same maxim).

    • Keith
      Keith
      June 14, 2014, 5:09 pm

      LEANDER- “Now I guess that sets it once and for all. The essence of Judaism and correspondingly “the Jews” is the state of Israel. Alternatively Judaism means each and every Jew must love Israel warts and all.”

      I’m not so sure. While her contention that Judaism and Israel (blood and soil nationalism) are historically co-joined is ludicrous, I sense that she is attempting to imagine the beginnings of a post-Israel Zionism. Initially, Zionism was a project to reunify a splintered world Jewry under the banner of nationalism as an alternative to adherence to Classical Judaism. A way to reestablish a unified tribal cohesion on a secular basis. To a significant degree, it worked.

      Nowadays, however, the Jewish tribe is in danger of re-splintering over Israeli actions. Elana Kahn-Oren here seems concerned that internal disputes over Israel could diminish the tribe by forcing many Jews outside the tribal tent. My guess is that she places tribal solidarity above love for Israel and that she is tentatively exploring a kind of Zionism beyond Israel. In a sense, trying to have her cake and eat it too. Interestingly, the term “Jew” which once designated a follower of the Judaic religion, now more accurately describes a member of a birthright affinity group concerned with power and privilege, united by an ideology of eternal victimhood, and where integration in the host society is described as assimilation even as tribal members psychologically separate themselves from non-Jews.

  6. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 14, 2014, 2:52 pm

    RE: “As the mother of teenagers, I want my children to fall in love with Israel. But I also want them to be ready for the outside world. If they cannot see Israel’s imperfections, their love may collapse under the pressure of harsh criticism. I’ve seen it happen.”

    Is Mommy here ignoring universal justice and saying she wants her kids to know Israel’s imperfections the better to prepare PR when said imperfections are pointed out?

  7. Citizen
    Citizen
    June 14, 2014, 2:56 pm

    Is Israel more a colonial apartheid state, bent on exploiting the natives and the land’s natural resources as the former S Africa regime was? Or is Israel more like Nazi Germany, an ethnocentric national state with the main priority ethnic cleansing? Appreciate any help here.

    • goldmarx
      goldmarx
      June 14, 2014, 5:06 pm

      I’d say the first choice.

      The main priority of Nazi Germany was wholesale, root-and-branch physical extermination of groups it deemed a threat to its Aryan project. Neither Israel nor apartheid South Africa can be put into that category, unless the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ is to be rendered so elastic as to be meaningless.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 14, 2014, 8:03 pm

        @ goldmarx

        As I understand it, there was no mass killing of Jews in camps until 1942 (the year the Germans started losing the war in the East clearly); the Nazi regime had already been going for a decade–and how does the Transfer Agreement fit in with your choice?

      • goldmarx
        goldmarx
        June 15, 2014, 2:42 am

        Careful, Citizen, you are flirting with Holocaust denial. Government-sponsored killing of Jews in Nazi Germany started with Kristallnacht in 1938. Anyone who read Mein Kampf understood Hitler’s real intent.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 15, 2014, 10:53 am

        @ goldmarx

        I fail to see how I’m “flirting with Holocaust denial.” What exactly am I denying?
        You didn’t answer my question to you. You are aware of Hitler’s plans to remove Jews “to the East?” He was counting on beating the Russians and sending them there to the coldest regions. Earlier he wanted to remove them to Madagasgar (sic). Seems the turning point leading towards programs of mass extermination was when Hitler realized he wouldn’t beat the Russian before the Russian winter set in…

        Kristallnacht did reveal the climate in the air, but not an intent to exterminate all Jews within reach.
        Re Mein Kampf: Intent to remove is not the same as intent to exterminate. “It’s complicated,” as the Zionists often say when referring to Israel’s ethnic cleansing and treatment of the leftover native Palestinians. Here’s the historical case on how and when the Nazi plans to ethnically cleansed the Jews morphed into extermination policy: http://www.yadvashem.org/about_HOLocaust/studies/vol34/Kershaw%20E.pdfhttp://www.yadvashem.org/about_HOLocaust/studies/vol34/Kershaw%20E.pdf

        Is that also flirting with Holocaust denial?

  8. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    June 14, 2014, 4:48 pm

    History?

    Like we should learn something from events that happened in the past?

    Did Germany have a past before WWII and if so, what happened?

    I am the proud owner of a $5,000,000,000 [that’s $5 billion] 1923 German stamp.

    Did people really vote for Mr. Hitler ‘en masse’?

    The Apartheid State is playing with fire. No matter what I say [or do], the Apartheid State believes those flames are soap bubbles. Well, I hate myself with a vengeance, so, wtf do I know?

    • annie
      annie
      June 14, 2014, 5:30 pm

      Did people really vote for Mr. Hitler ‘en masse’?

      no, he was appointed into power.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        June 14, 2014, 5:56 pm

        The Nazis still got one third of the votes

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_March_1933

      • Nevada Ned
        Nevada Ned
        June 14, 2014, 6:19 pm

        One third of the vote is less than 50%.

        Somebody ought to cite this fact to comfort the despondent Eric Cantor, who got quite a bit more than a third of the vote, but still lost.

      • annie
        annie
        June 14, 2014, 10:18 pm

        too true seafoid. but it wasn’t “en masse”

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 15, 2014, 8:42 am

        well, that is a bit too much of an oversimplification. The reason why Hitler was invited to form of government in 1933 was due to his electoral success prior to that time. You have to recall that throughout the elections of 1932 and 33, the Nazi party was the most popular party in Germany and garnered the most votes of any party, even though it never commanded the majority of voters.

        So did a majority of voters ever vote for the Nazis? No. But it is not unfair to say that the Germans voted for him en masse with the usual caveats regarding majority, the time in history, the reasons for that vote, etc.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        June 15, 2014, 8:56 am

        Woody- When someone wins a plurality rather than a majority, to use the term en masse is to speak misleadingly. En masse implies a Reaganesque landslide not a mere plurality.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 16, 2014, 7:19 am

        Yonah, My point was simply that the notion that Hitler had no general political support or democratic legitimacy in 1933 is baseless. Is en masse the correct term in that situation? No, as I said, you would need a slew of caveats. (And indeed in all but unanimous decisions, the term is at best inexact.). But it’s more congruent with reality to suggest that he was simply appointed to that role without more.

    • MahaneYehude1
      MahaneYehude1
      June 14, 2014, 11:18 pm

      @Daniel Rich:

      I am the proud owner of a $5,000,000,000 [that’s $5 billion] 1923 German stamp.

      You probably mean 5 billion RM (Reichsmark). There are more mistakes in your comment.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 15, 2014, 12:43 am

        There are more mistakes in your comment.

        What mistakes, apartheid potato salesman?

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1
        June 15, 2014, 1:46 am

        @Shingo:

        What mistakes, apartheid potato salesman?

        Yes, for instance.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 15, 2014, 4:48 am

        Yes, for instance.

        What instance, apartheid potato salesman?

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        June 15, 2014, 8:24 am

        @Daniel Rich:

        I am the proud owner of a $5,000,000,000 [that’s $5 billion] 1923 German stamp.

        You probably mean 5 billion RM (Reichsmark). There are more mistakes in your comment.

        The Reichmark wasn’t introduced into circulation until 1924. So, no, he probable didn’t mean the Reichmark. Any other “mistakes” you want to “correct”?

    • Feathers
      Feathers
      June 15, 2014, 1:00 pm

      Did Germany have a past before WWII and if so, what happened?

      One more thing that happened in Germany’s pre-WWII past — The Politics of Hunger: The Allied Blockade of Germany, 1915-1919

      Please take careful note of the dates — 1915 to 1919. The armistice was in November 1918; the Allied blockade remained in place and was even strengthened over a period of nine months AFTER the armistice, in order to force Germany to sign Versailles treaties.

      An estimated 800,000 German civilians died of starvation in that period.

      One of the most poignant passages in Vincent’s chronicle of the blockade of Germany captures the impact of starvation on those — particularly children — who survived but were malnourished for extended periods:

      “You think this is a kindergarten for the little ones. No, these are children of seven and eight years. Tiny faces with dull eyes overshadowed by huge, puffed, rickety foreheads, their small arms just skin and bones, and above the crooked legs with their dislocated joints, the swollen, pointed stomachs of the hunger edema. . . . “You see this child here,” the physician in charge explained; “it consumed an incredible amount of bread and yet it did not get any stronger. I found out that it hid all the bread it received underneath its straw mattress. The fear of hunger was so deeply rooted in the child that it collected the stores instead of eating the food: a misguided animal instinct made the dread of hunger worse than the actual pangs.”

      I am beyond outraged that our foreign policy leaders — Madeleine Albright, I’m talking to you — have failed to learn the lessons of history, and that they really don’t mean “Never Again,” when they once again, and again and again, deliberately starve other people’s children and expect a positive outcome.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    June 14, 2014, 9:43 pm

    RE: “Glick is senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post, an author and an unabashed Zionist. She insisted that the Jewish people have the primary right to sovereignty over the entire land of Israel, and that the Jewish community in Israel and beyond should unapologetically say so.” ~ Leon Cohen, editor of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

    MY COMMENT: In other words, Caroline Glick believes all Jews should get in touch with their inner John Hagees* (at least as to “the entire land of Israel”, if not as to the breeding of a “perfect red heifer”), and not worry about what the Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Iraqis, Saudis and nearly everyone else will think.

    * SEE: “A Serial Obstructionist”, By Rachel Tabachnick, ZEEK – Forward, 3/15/10

    [EXCERPTS] . . . Shortly after Vice President Joe Biden’s arrival in Israel, Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat were the headliners at Pastor John Hagee’s two-hour Christians United for Israel (CUFI) extravaganza at the Jerusalem Convention Center. . .
    . . . Monday’s CUFI production was based on the concept of “biblical Zionism,” or the belief that God mandates nonnegotiable borders of Israel, and any leader or nation who thwarts this divine plan will be cursed. Before introducing Netanyahu, Hagee stated, “World leaders do not have the authority to tell Israel and the Jewish people what they can and can not do in Jerusalem.” He added, “Israel does not exist because of a decree of the United Nations in 1948. Israel exists because of a covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. . . The settlements are not the problem.”
    In his books and sermons Hagee has promoted a “greater Israel,” that will reclaim all of Israel’s former biblical territory, stating “In modern terms, Israel rightfully owns all of present-day Israel, all of Lebanon, half of Syria, two-thirds of Jordan, all of Iraq, and the northern portion of Saudi Arabia.”
    At the Jerusalem CUFI event Hagee described Ahmadinejad as the Hitler of the Middle East who could turn the world upside down in 24 hours, words similar to those he made when lobbying for the attack on Iraq. . .
    . . . During a performance by singer Dudu Fisher, the God TV camera panned to the audience and centered on Joel Bell, leader of Worldwide Biblical Zionists. WBZ is currently building a center in Sha’ar Benjamin for “facilitating absorption” of Christian Zionists into the West Bank. It was established after a joint meeting held in Texas of the Board of Governors of World Likud led by Danny Danon, and World Evangelical Zionists led by Joel Bell. Speakers included ZOA’s Morton Klein. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116518/

    • MahaneYehude1
      MahaneYehude1
      June 15, 2014, 5:12 am

      @Shingo:

      What is this? a quiz?

      BTW, I am proud to be a potato salesman. at least I am doing something productive for my country, for my people.

      • just
        just
        June 15, 2014, 9:02 am

        Because Israelis would be lost without a knish or a latke……..

        Where do you grow your potatoes and with whose water are they nourished?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        June 15, 2014, 6:57 pm

        BTW, I am proud to be a potato salesman. at least I am doing something productive for my country, for my people.

        I asked you to point out what other errors where in the original post. We already established you are are proud apartheid supporter.

  10. Feathers
    Feathers
    June 14, 2014, 10:27 pm

    What most intrigues me is that Jews get to speak freely of their anti-zionism on the campus of a Catholic university.

    • Ron Edwards
      Ron Edwards
      June 14, 2014, 11:47 pm

      I can speak to that regarding DePaul, although the precise situation at Marquette is less familiar to me. The term “a Catholic university” can be misleading, especially in comparison to many U.S. Protestant universities and colleges. For instance, DePaul was founded by Vincentians and maintains a ministry, but is not otherwise owned by or affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church as an institution. The ministry does not wield policy-making power. The school’s board of trustees has no religious requirement or affiliation, its curriculum is not subject to review by the Church, and its policies aren’t required be “be” Roman Catholic except for its own internal charter’s inclusion of some rather vague Vincentian phrases. In the official literature and bylaws, there are a lot of references to the school’s Catholic “character,” but without specific policies or institutional teeth. (For those who are interested, as far as I can tell, Vincentian Catholics are best understood as Unitarians who ended up under the tent a few centuries ago.)

      Based on its public presentation, Marquette is more institutionally Catholic, but it’s also Jesuit, which historically is best described as “if there must be heretics, better to give the cleverest ones a title and keep them close.” Jesuit institutions are notable sites for intellectual and political debate, rather free from conservative doctrine, and fuddy-dud authoritarian Catholics tend not to thrive there. But I don’t know much about how this plays out at Marquette specifically.

      Neither is a Roman Catholic school in any sense similar to a parochial K-12 school. Again, both situations are very different from what one expects and finds at many Protestant religious institutions, in which the curriculum and the personal practice of faculty are expected to be firmly on-message concerning religious doctrine and the political positions of a particular church or sect.

      I’m not sure if this post is relevant to your point, which is a bit unclear to me, but since I’ve seen posts at Mondoweiss in the past which include some puzzlement about all this dissent at Catholic universities, I figured I’d try to explain a little. Let me know if I went down a different road from yours.

      • Feathers
        Feathers
        June 15, 2014, 12:19 pm

        No, it’s not at all relevant, Ron Edwards, but thanks for all the words.

        I spent sixteen years of my education in Roman Catholic schools — gr. 1 thru BA. I taught in RC high schools and at the college level. Many Catholic universities, including the one I attended and those where I taught, take their Catholic identity seriously. Jesuits are Roman Catholic priests. Pope Francis is a Jesuit.

        Mondoweiss covered Sheldon Adelson’s appearance at Yeshiva University when he told host Shmuely Boteach and the audience that “Obama should drop a nuclear bomb in the Iranian desert.”

        Did you come across that MW article, Ron Edwards? Do you have information or an opinion on the Jewish identity of Yeshiva University? Is it for “fuddy duddy conservative” Jews? Is it run by heretics? Does it not claim a Jewish identity in the same way that Hebrew day schools are Jewish?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 15, 2014, 3:30 pm

        Feathers, which agency of Judaism decrees which things are Jewish and which not? I’d really like to know.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 15, 2014, 6:13 pm

        @ Mooser
        As a practical matter, it seems to me AIPAC decrees the matter. If you think not, on your antlers, why not?

      • Feathers
        Feathers
        June 15, 2014, 7:21 pm

        Hi Mooser,

        It was not and is not my intention to “decree” which things are Jewish and which are not. That is for Jewish people to decide — or not, as they decide, or not.

        See also response to Ron Edwards, below.

      • Ron Edwards
        Ron Edwards
        June 15, 2014, 6:47 pm

        Feathers: you’re making no sense at all.

      • Feathers
        Feathers
        June 15, 2014, 7:29 pm

        Ron Edwards,
        My intention was less to “make sense” than to demand respect for Catholic institutions.

        I thought your flippant statements about Jesuit priests, Catholic universities, and Catholic identity were offensive. If you are not Catholic, j’accuse anti-Catholicism; if you are Catholic, your comment displayed aspects of a self-hating Catholic.

        Jewish people maintain their values and identity by defending them, not by subjecting them to, or allowing them to be subjected to, disrespect and ridicule. Catholics would do well to imitate that characteristic of Jewish people.

      • annie
        annie
        June 15, 2014, 8:08 pm

        uh oh. i am sure he wasn’t intending to offend anyone.

      • Ron Edwards
        Ron Edwards
        June 15, 2014, 8:52 pm

        Feathers: to answer your implied question, I am neither Catholic nor Jewish, not that it matters. Nor do I fear accusations of being “anti” anything.

        Your opinion is of no interest to me until you do, in fact, begin making sense. You might try beginning with reading my post which *praises* two Catholic institutions, specifically, and Catholic institutions of higher learning generally, for fostering debate rather than authoritarianism. Your defensiveness is misplaced.

  11. Feathers
    Feathers
    June 15, 2014, 10:42 pm

    That may be so — defensiveness may be misplaced.

    I just spent a glorious sunny Sunday working through “Zionism Unsettled” and it left me unsettled. Even more unsettling were the criticisms of the Presbyterian Study Guide from other Presbyterians.

    I thought “Zionism Unsettled” went out of its way to be equitable and to draw on sound sources, tho I did think the DVD could have done without James Carroll bashing the Catholic church. And Presbyterians need to replace their muddle-headed, fuzzy, unconditional commitment to dialogue with some tough-minded critical thinking, not to mention self-reflection.

    The banner of one of the groups that demanded that “Zionism Unsettled” be removed from Presbyterian sites, proclaims on its banner its mission of “advancing responsible and effective peacemaking policies”. It’s been doing so for 65 years. During those “responsible and effective” advancements, millions of people in the Middle East have lost their homes, lives, and futures.

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