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Last weekend I joined my wife’s extended family on a mountain lake; and every time Gaza came up, my ears pricked up.

For instance, someone grabbed The New York Times business section with Bloomberg’s picture on the front and said “What’s Bloomberg up to?” and someone else said snarkily, “Going to Israel.” The article was about Bloomberg trying to become “mayor of the world” by going to Turkey and Indonesia to stop people from smoking. There was not a word in the article about the “mayor of the world” rushing out to embrace Netanyahu when Netanyahu was being criticized for the Gaza massacre. The Times left that out. But not my in-law.

Later the next-door cabin’s argument about Gaza spilled into our cabin. The neighbor said that Israel was justified in firing missiles because of the rockets, and his sister took sharp exception. I listened and nodded. Then an older relative of my wife pulled me aside, a rockribbed conservative, to offer me advice. “When they start up about the rockets, you have to talk about the siege. The siege. The siege. The siege. Those people are in a prison. How big is it? 140 square miles?  Don’t give me that— square miles means nothing to people. Six miles by 25 miles? Say that! Say 2 million people are under siege inside 6 by 25 miles.”

I was surprised. I’ve never heard her speak so forcefully or knowledgeably on this subject.

Gaza has hit home for non-Jews in a way that nothing before has. They’re upset and they’re going to say something at last. My wife’s clan are privileged but civic-minded people, and what’s stopped them in the past is the Don’t-criticize-someone-else’s-family taboo, plus the anti-Semite label. It’s not going to work anymore. Maybe because they see so many Jews like myself engaged in the issue; maybe because they’re sick of the repeating wanton violence. But they’re going to break loose, and it’s an important trend. The church divestment measures are going to pass. The politicians are going to start feeling the heat from non-Jews who are tired of the well-worn loop they’ve walked: I hate this/I can’t say anything because my Jewish friends will be upset/I’ll wait till it goes away.

I remember when the divestment measure at Harvard and MIT in 2002 failed after Harvard President Lawrence Summers declared it anti-semitic. I talked to a professor who’d signed it who said he wanted to hide under the desk. He didn’t want to be accused of anti-Semitism; Jews were part of the fabric of elite academic settings, he didn’t want to be alienated from his Jewish colleagues. I remember when Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer spoke out as establishment non-Jews in 2006. I thought they were going to open the floodgates. But they didn’t; they were pioneers, the territory was still too dangerous. They were willing to get hit by the anti-semitic smear, but others weren’t. That was eight years ago, and there have been two Gaza massacres in between. As Mearsheimer said back in July, “How can any person with a shred of decency support what Israel is doing in Gaza?” As Jim Fallows said at the same time, this is like napalming kids in Vietnam. Some of my wife’s extended family feel the same way, and they want the freedom to say so.

Again I quote Andrew Sullivan, rejecting the old terms of debate:

[T]he thing that happens to me in this debate in America is that many of my Jewish friends cannot debate this, it seems to me, without extreme emotional investment in it, and that’s a very hard thing to deal with. It seems as if when you criticize Israel, every Jewish American takes it personally. That, I think, makes debate about this very tough.

That is of course emotional blackmail, and I don’t think it’s working anymore. There are too many prominent Jewish dissenters breaking up the Jewish unity on the issue and giving folks cover to criticize Israel. IfNotNow are young Jews dedicated to confronting Jewish establishment organizations for their moral deadness. Many liberal Zionists are embarrassed or in crisis: “I fear Israel has no idea how thoroughly it has lost international support,” says one.  There are showbiz faces in Jewish Voice for Peace’s great video of Gaza names. And Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are going to get away with calling it genocide.

When I was growing up I thought Protestants were boring because they didn’t have feelings. Then I married one and she explained to me that (while it was a generalization) they were boring because they repress their feelings– but they have the feelings. Well now they’re not going to repress them. And it won’t be boring.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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41 Responses

  1. annie on August 26, 2014, 3:55 pm

    you’re so right, of course it is emotional blackmail. i am so ready for this, so ready. i’ve been arguing for years the break will come when the masses speak out. and those masses in this country, for the most part, are not jewish.

    and i had a very similar experience/conversation last saturday night. maybe i should write about that. wow.

    • Denis on August 26, 2014, 4:56 pm

      annie, you’ve roundly criticized me for using “goyim” and yet you don’t seem to have any problem with Phil’s headline.

      Hypocrisy, double-standard, or myopia?

      • annie on August 26, 2014, 5:17 pm

        actually phil and i had a conversation about it before he penned the headline. after i get more of these comments cleared i’ll try to come back and address this!

      • Citizen on August 27, 2014, 3:39 am

        How and why avoid the term when anyone who self-identifies as a Jew on any issue ipso facto separates the self from the non-Jew? “Goyim” originated as a Hebrew term to designate all the people on the earth that were deemed not part of the chosen tribe. This bipolar framing seems the default by volunteering Jews and acquiescing non-Jewish people–unless one states one is speaking solely as an individual human intent on applying universal humanistic values?

      • Mooser on August 27, 2014, 12:22 pm

        “How and why avoid the term when anyone who self-identifies as a Jew on any issue ipso facto separates the self from the non-Jew?”

        That’s right, you are from Chicago, aren’t you? Another words, why bring a knife to a gunfight?
        What’s the good of having different identity cohorts if we can’t call each other names!

    • Pixel on August 27, 2014, 1:10 am

      Annie, please DO write about it.

    • Faisal on August 27, 2014, 6:28 am

      Sure Phil used it sarcastically; as such terms are indicative of Jewish exceptionalism and out-group derogation.

      It’s actually more embarrassing than offensive to have scornful nicknames for non-members of a religion; such collective narcissism and herd mentality are so troglodytic in my humble view.

      And finaly Phil, please no more links to that Tory, double-faced and self-promoting mollusk called Andrew Sullivan conversing with a scientific Islamophobia extraordinaire (I for one pity the former and absolutely abominate the latter.)

      • philweiss on August 27, 2014, 11:16 am

        I did ask Annie about using it, and Annie is kind in her comment.
        Here’s why I think it’s excusable here. Because it’s ironic, because I love the family I’m talking about. Because I’m Jewish and I’m ironicizing it. It’s tonal. Maybe I should change the headline,but I felt it was not an epithet in the way I used it, not something to cause offense. I imagine the same trick is possible with shiksa, though we find it generally an offensive word. Just like Schwarzer. If this is a case of special pleading, well–

      • Mooser on August 27, 2014, 12:29 pm

        Phil, how many times do I have to tell you: Think Yiddish, Talk British Give ’em that Anglophile orthography and you’ll never go wrong.

      • Mooser on August 27, 2014, 1:01 pm

        When I was growing up I thought Protestants were boring because they didn’t have feelings. Then I married one “

        You married one? I prefer to think I married the only one.

      • Denis on August 27, 2014, 1:43 pm

        Phil and annie, thank you both for addressing this semantic point. I find these racial/cultural epithets fascinating.

        On one level “goy” is a bit of a spoofer — like who really cares? And in an article about a mixed Jewish/gentile family, the word seems perfect. (BTW, I look forward to these reports from the annual family mash-up. I’m trying to figure out how I can marry into one side or the other so I can see the whole dynamic unfold in person. Great reality TV idea here.)

        But I, personally, don’t know a single person who would be offended by “goyim”; although annie has said that she is. That tells me that maybe my friends and family and I are too provincial to get the (sharp) point of it.

        But there are interesting and more general issues at play in this subject. Like: is it more alright for the subjects of a derogatory term to use the term to refer to themselves? One of the reasons I loved Richard Pryor was the way he drove the word “nigger” into the ground. But he could do that and get away with it b/c he was; a) black, and b) very funny. Wouldn’t have worked for Johnny Carson. By making it funny Pryor threw the word back into the face of people who use it malevolently.

        And I think that’s the point with these types of dicey words — what is the intent of the person using it? Often the intent — Pryor’s intent — is to emphasize that there really are differences in races and cultures and those differences are always interesting and sometimes funny.

        But when the intent is obviously malicious, most often today it’s the person using the dicey word that gets tarred. The repugnance with “nigger” is so strong and so universal today, I don’t think even Pryor could get away with using it. I feel squeamish even putting it in quotes.

        My guess is most gentiles are as clueless as I am — couldn’t care less if someone called me a “goy” b/c I am oblivious to the fact that Jews may considered it a slur. I always saw it as a “soft slur,” like “cracker,” which is a pretty funny epithet when you think about it.

        And when I use the anagram “GoI” for Government of Israel, I mean absolutely no offense to Bibi . . . LOL. At least I don’t derive the anagram from Government of Yisrael. That would be too obvious.

        NB: I would point out, for whatever it’s worth, that the spell-checker for this blog doesn’t recognize “goy” or “goyim.”

      • annie on August 27, 2014, 2:05 pm

        denis, sorry for getting back to you so late. i forgot!

        And I think that’s the point with these types of dicey words — what is the intent of the person using it?

        exactly, without context, it’s a derogatory term. used with purpose, to make a point , either in chiding or sarcasm or however (for me) is different than using it as a casual lazy substitute for referencing a person who is not jewish or referencing oneself the same way. i can’t off the top of my head recall your usage. but i know i have encountered many times where posters (specifically citizen) just seems to use it because it’s short/3 letters. i’m not interested in this becoming a normal way to reference people. like ‘are you jewish’ .. i’m a goy. why should we use other people’s derogatory definitions of ourselves to self identify? so as far as i am concerned if it’s used primarily or solely as shorthand, with regularity..i’ll try to end that. this is a site self identified a “from a jewish perspective” but everyone should feel comfortable here. as phil pointed out, the way he used it, it is tonal, ironic, part of the story. it’s not a word he uses regularly as an acceptable interchangeable word meaning ‘non jew’.

        i hope that clarifies my opinion on the usage.

      • marc b. on August 27, 2014, 2:17 pm

        denis, you may not know us personally, but there are many here that find it offensive. if you read the remarks of stone age rabbis casually equating non-jews with cattle and the like, you’ll get to the kernel of the problem. if Weiss could describe the context in which he’d feel comfortable with a back slap and being handed a bottle of beer to the tune of ‘how about a beer y*ddo?’ from one of his non-Jewish friends, I’m all ears.

      • wondering jew on August 27, 2014, 5:58 pm

        The contrast between Richard Pryor and Johnny Carson is inappropriate. Carson’s comedy was not confrontational and certainly not self revelatory or philosophical. The appropriate comedian comparison would be Pryor and Lenny Bruce. Lenny Bruce, at least in the movie by the name Lenny, did delve into language and differences and feelings and attacked the taboo on many words including cocksucking and nigger. Is it easier to listen to Pryor on this taboo than it is Bruce? definitely. so we do not need the Carson hypothetical and instead the Bruce factual might reveal something about the usage of the language.

        Phil is Jewish and was referring to (in law) family members that he loves and a phenomenon: breaking the taboo about discussing Israel, that he loves and his use of the term was loving as if he had written, “you go, goy” (as in ‘you go, girl!”). It is often used here in the context of those g.d. jews and their chosen people exceptionalism and i’m not allowed to call them kike, but they are allowed to call me goy and this only shows how much they control the conversation. it is not ironic at all, it is filled with rage and quite often with rabid rage. totally different that phil’s usage.

        the word “goy” means nation and is a compliment, Israel is sometimes referred to as a goy, meaning a nation, (I do not have a concordance in front of me to find its usage in the hebrew bible but in the Jewish prayers on Saturday afternoon, the nation of Israel is referred to as a singular nation in the world, goy echad ba’aretz.)
        shikse’s original meaning as in derivation is from the word shaketz, meaning despicable, so its etymological origins are treif, whereas goy’s etymological origin is much more kosher.

        there is no negative etymology involved in hebe or yid or even zhid as far as I know, but used in the wrong way, they are not intended to be friendly.

      • marc b. on August 27, 2014, 1:43 pm

        oh, I can well imagine the just-so setting for embracing the ironically warm and fuzzy tonal qualities of ‘my brother-in-law the y*d’, or ‘my girlfriend the k*ke.’ yup. it’s a just matter of context.

      • marc b. on August 27, 2014, 6:40 pm

        It is often used here in the context of those g.d. jews and their chosen people exceptionalism and i’m not allowed to call them kike, but they are allowed to call me goy and this only shows how much they control the conversation.

        sigh. yeah, that’s it. racism envy. i”ll make it simple. the use of these words should be avoided except as part of an etymological or ideological analysis. I don’t feel comfortable with the intraracial use of ‘n*gger’, ‘y*ddo’, etc., but that’s my problem. whites should not use ‘n*gger, ‘shine’, etc.’ to describe any black people; gentiles should not use ‘y*ddo’, ‘k*ke’, etc. to describe any jew; jews should not use ‘goy’, ‘shiksa’, etc. to describe gentiles. racism is about establishing hierarchies of power, which is inherent in the interracial use of the terms.

        sorry, fredman. we’re not all dying to scream ‘k*ke’, as unsettling as that may be to your personal psychology.

  2. Mary T on August 26, 2014, 4:13 pm

    This piece really resonated with me. Nicely done. I have been surprised by the reaction of family members when I broached this subject; surprised in a good way. One sibling amazed me with her knowledge of the issues.

  3. just on August 26, 2014, 4:15 pm

    Great and bracing article, Phil.

    So true, and becoming more true every single day. Some of my friends don’t even wince when I bring it up.

    I linked to an article earlier about a film that is coming out:

    “Drama about Holocaust survivors’ illegal voyage to Palestine sets sail

    Chris Columbus is to co-produce the drama, centered around the 1947 voyage of the SS Exodus from France to Palestine that was intercepted by the British navy”

    So many pro- Israelis are there expressing their allegiance that it truly smells like desperation in the comments section! One example:

    “26 August 2014 3:33pm

    I holiday with Palestinians (Israeli Arabs) in Eilat and Tiberias. Palestinians are helping me put my house together. If I want a pharmacist invariably its a Palestinian. Christian Palestinins are the single most educated group in Israel – more than Jews.

    Our future is together. The problem is Arab society is very patriarchal and tribal and therefore very backward. It will take time for Arabs to reject these defects and realise that the Israeli way is the best way.

    If you can speak to Palestinians anonymously they will tell you the same. It is telling that no Israeli Arab city wants to be included in a Palestinian state, they all want to remain part of Israel.”

    (They’ve even brought up Zuheir Mohsen.)

    • Kay24 on August 26, 2014, 4:43 pm

      I guess I do not blame those Palestinians who are in Israel for wanting to stay there.
      Either they stay safe in the occupying nation, with sirens and shelters, and chances of being hit by a rocket being slim, rather than live among their people, who are living in open concentration camps, blockaded, with high chances of being killed even if they take shelter at an UN compound. They must also fear that their homes will be bombed into rubble, and that their children could be killed with hundreds of others.

      No brainer really.

      • just on August 26, 2014, 5:55 pm

        I acknowledge that living under Occupation reeks of death, destruction, and injustice.

        Note that the writer only has praise for “Christian Arab Israelis”. He denigrates other Arabs, presumably Muslim Arabs. Bedouin in Israel have no shelters, nor protection from ‘Iron Dome’– they aren’t worthy, acc. to the GoI. The couple whose marriage was protested by crazed loons of Lehava weren’t exactly celebrated, either.

        In short, it was one of the most devious and rotten comments that I have had the displeasure to read.

        And, I’d really love to see a poll of Israeli Arabs.

        And then, there is Sayed Kashua:

        “Sayed Kashua: why I have to leave Israel
        The Arab-Israeli author moved to Jerusalem as a child and has devoted his life to telling Israelis the Palestinian story. But last week he decided to emigrate with his family to the US”

      • Kay24 on August 26, 2014, 7:00 pm

        It is a sad story. It must be hard to leave everything you love and have, because you have lost all hope. Sayed Kashua should be admired for trying hard to share his story with those around him, he has blended in with the Jewish population, and he has strived hard to master the language, with hopes he can live peacefully with them. I wish him and his family the best of luck as they start a new life together. It will be hard at first, but with his positive outlook and the ability to do the difficult thing, so that he can achieve his objectives, he will be successful in whatever he does in his new home.

  4. Les on August 26, 2014, 4:19 pm

    Robert Naiman

    Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy

    If Liberal Zionism Were Dead, What Actions Would That Imply?

    Posted: 08/26/2014 12:54 pm EDT

    On Sunday, the New York Times ran an opinion piece by Antony Lerman, a former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, with the provocative title, “The End of Liberal Zionism,” which raised the question of whether “Liberal Zionism” — broadly speaking, the ideology that has animated such “pro-Israel, pro-peace” groups as J Street and Americans for Peace Now — went from moribund to clinically dead during the recent (ongoing) Israeli assault on Gaza.

    It’s an important, well-meaning, thoughtful piece that Americans who care about these issues should read. But in suggesting that we should abandon pursuit of the “two-state solution” to the conflict in favor of a “one state solution” that ensures equal rights for Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs in a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the article fell into a common fallacy of left discussions about this issue.

    The fallacy goes like this: there are two possible solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict that would meet minimal standards of justice for the Palestinians: the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, or a single binational state with equal rights for all. The main argument, from the point of view of justice for the Palestinians, for preferring the two-state solution over the equal-rights one state solution has been that the two-state solution appeared to be much more politically realistic: it was plausible that the Israeli government would agree under international pressure to implement the two-state solution. The two-state solution has clearly failed, the argument goes: therefore, the only remaining option is the equal-rights one-state solution.

    This argument is like saying: I have two choices for a career. I could be a lawyer or I could be an astronaut. I thought that being a lawyer was more realistic, so I went for that. But I failed the bar exam repeatedly because I didn’t study hard enough. Since the strategy of becoming a lawyer failed, I should now try to be an astronaut instead, since that is the only other choice.

    The problem with this argument is: becoming an astronaut is much harder than becoming a lawyer. If you don’t have the discipline to become a lawyer, you probably don’t have the discipline to become an astronaut.

    The problem that this argument never seriously engages is: What is the process that will compel the Israeli government, which is already enjoying a “one state solution” in which it does not have to grant equal rights to Palestinians, to accept a one state solution in which it does have to grant equal rights to Palestinians?

    The answer given to this question, to the extent that an answer is given to this question, is that “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” on the Israeli government will eventually bring about sufficient pressure on the Israeli government to compel the Israeli government to accept an equal rights one state solution, “just like it did to apartheid South Africa.” Some people seem to think that is sufficient argument that the equal rights one state advocates have a plausible political strategy to reach their goal.

    But even if you and I and everyone we know could agree to the proposition that the experience of Palestinians under Israeli rule is very similar to the experience of black South Africans under apartheid, that would only matter to the degree that the world would agree that faced with the same situation from the point of view of the victims, they should advocate for the same political solution, and, crucially, apply a similar amount of pressure to achieve the same political solution.

    In other words: in order for the BDS-South Africa equal rights one state story to work, the same actors — the same governments and political groups — who have failed to compel the Israeli government to accept the two-state solution would have to use the same tools of pressure on the Israeli government that they have so far refused to use to bring about the two-state solution — a solution that they officially endorse — in order to bring about the equal rights one state solution, a solution that they are very far away from officially endorsing.

    In other words: the core problem is not one state or two states. The core problem is the failure to organize effective pressure on the Israeli government to force it to change its policies. Why would we think that “abandoning the two-state solution” is a solution to the problem of the failure to organize effective pressure on the Israeli government to force it to change its policies?

    The most crucial failing of the Liberal Zionists has not been that they have a morally contradictory ideology that cannot manage the tension between the liberal value of equality and the Zionist assumption of Jewish supremacy in Palestine. The most crucial failing of the Liberal Zionists has been that they have been politically passive, unwilling to fight politically for their stated beliefs, using the same nonviolent political pressure tactics that a labor union or an environmental group or a women’s group would use to force the changes in government policy that they want.

    There is a boycott of SodaStream, an Israeli company that is based in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Liberal Zionists claim that they oppose Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Many Liberal Zionists personally support the boycott of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Why aren’t Liberal Zionists leading the campaign in the United States to boycott SodaStream? Why are so many content with merely personally supporting a boycott, instead of engaging in organizing that would have much broader political impact?

    There is a divestment campaign against Caterpillar, which supplies bulldozers to the Israeli military to destroy Palestinian homes in the West Bank. The Presbyterian Church supports this divestment campaign. Liberal Zionists claim that they oppose destroying Palestinian homes in the West Bank. Why aren’t Liberal Zionists leading the campaign to divest from Caterpillar?

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas went to the United Nations seeking recognition for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, in a diplomatic bid to save the two-state solution. For this peaceful diplomatic move President Abbas was viciously attacked by the Zionist right and the “one state” left. Why didn’t Liberal Zionists forcefully defend President Abbas when he was taking heavy fire for peacefully advocating the position that they claim to support?

    Liberal Zionists claim that they care about Congress. Why don’t Liberal Zionist groups ever send their members an alert asking them to contact their representatives in Congress in support of any form of pressure whatsoever on the Israeli government to bring about the policies that the Liberal Zionists claim to support?

    The core problem with the Liberal Zionists, the key reason that they are politically moribund, is not that they believe in Zionism, but that they do not believe in organizing effective pressure on the Israeli government to bring about the policies that the Liberal Zionists claim to support. The problem is not that they support two states; the problem is that they are “two-state fakers,” people who claim to support the two-state solution but oppose the pressure on the Israeli government necessary to bring it about.

    “Abandoning the two-state solution” doesn’t address this problem at all. And, until now, the “abandon the two-state solution” people have no realistic strategy at all for trying to engage and move the U.S. government, or any other government. For people who care about changing government policies, the problem of the failure to organize effective pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies is what should dominate our attention, rather than academic and philosophical debates on ideology.

    • Donald on August 27, 2014, 8:44 am

      “the problem is that they are “two-state fakers,” people who claim to support the two-state solution but oppose the pressure on the Israeli government necessary to bring it about.”

      Without getting into the 1SS vs 2SS question (it’s for Palestinians to decide what they want to push for), this statement about most alleged 2SS supporters is correct. If anything, Naiman is too kind to the people he is talking about. Their support for a 2SS is probably nothing more than a moral fig leaf, something they use to justify support for Israel while doing precisely nothing to help the Palestinians–in practice, they claim to oppose the settlements, but oppose doing anything to pressure Israel to stop them, and then they turn around and support Israel for massacring Palestinian civilians. And to top it off, they then blame Hamas for the civilians that Israel has killed.

  5. ohiojoes on August 26, 2014, 5:50 pm

    The real revolution will occur when someday, soon I hope, Americans will get fed up with this whole business and realize that, in the end, it’s Israel’s problem and the Arab world’s problem. Neither liberal American Jews nor boring American WASPS can change that.

    • Citizen on August 27, 2014, 3:53 am

      @ ohiojoes
      Problem is the (“great, unwashed”) American public is not getting the facts about the I-P conflict from the US mainstream media; this works to continue the status quo, the main relevant feature of that being the ever-increasing Israeli settlements.

  6. surewin on August 26, 2014, 6:15 pm

    The Clinton-Barak-Arafat Camp David summit ended in late July 2000 without an agreement. Kerry announced the latest effort in late June 2013. There was no US-sponsored effort of significance in almost 13 years because Bush-Cheney didn’t do anything, and Obama waited until he was re-elected. If these criteria remain in force, and if the Democrats hold the White House and the next President gets re-elected, the next peace effort will be about seven years from now. If we don’t get two more consecutive Democratic Presidential terms, it will be 11 or 15 years from now.

    The fact that there was no American peace initiative for 13 years and that the latest one was quickly followed by the current operation in Gaza has pushed many Americans, Jewish and not, past the breaking point. Many are asking what exactly is the long-term plan for the Palestinian Arabs. Many feel that for 45 years or so, since the Nixon administration’s first peace proposal, the Israeli discourse about resolving the conflict as been, most of the time, dishonest, because the strategy of all the leaders other than Rabin, and that of the Israeli establishment, is gradually to get rid of the Palestinian Arabs.

    The current Gaza operation is prompting many Americans to realize that the extreme bias of the media and our regime of campaign finance are dire problems.

    • Citizen on August 27, 2014, 4:02 am

      @ surewin
      I’d say the current Gaza operation is prompting a slight, but very slowly growing segment of average Americans to realize that the extreme bias of the media and our regime’s campaign finance laws are dire problems also related to US foreign policy, an aspect of government much lower on their priority list than issues such as jobs, wages, and similar much more purely domestic issues.

      • surewin on August 27, 2014, 4:22 pm

        Yes, it will be interesting to see what kind of role Israel/Palestine plays in the elections later this year and in 2016, given how voters tend to focus on economic issues.

  7. Pixel on August 26, 2014, 6:22 pm

    I’m surprised not to see the Connie Bruck New Yorker article featured in MW.

    Have I just missed it or have I magnified its importance?

  8. John Douglas on August 26, 2014, 6:33 pm

    @ As Mearsheimer said back in July, “How can any person with a shred of decency support what Israel is doing in Gaza?”

    Didn’t Cary Nelson pronounce that Steven Salaita should not work at the University of Illinois for saying exactly this? That it would make Salaita’s Jewish students uncomfortable to be in a classroom taught by someone who had said such a thing?

  9. chris_k on August 26, 2014, 7:30 pm

    I’m a goy and I for one don’t mind the term for amusement.

    An American… We the goyim should be concerned about our country’s policies and feel enfranchised to speak about them, and about the policies of other countries including “allies,” obvious though not followed in practice as this site documents.

    But there is in all these issues something that is true that is also abused, like the legacy of the Holocaust.. that a goy can never fully comprehend on an emotional level the significance of Israel to Jews and why so many American and European Jews defend it, and that this incomprehension is in turn exploited by Israeli propagandists to silence criticism. That we are brought up to worship a Jewish martyr and won’t accept the specific imperatives of survival — an increasingly anachronistic notion in this age of multiculturalism and taboo against anti-Semitism and again one exploited by the Israeli settlers and their sponsors.

    • American on August 27, 2014, 1:27 am

      chris_kAugust 26, 2014, 7:30 pm
      I’m a goy and I for one don’t mind the term for amusement.

      An American… We the goyim should be concerned about our country’s policies and feel enfranchised to speak about them, and about the policies of other countries including “allies,” obvious though not followed in practice as this site documents.”>>>>

      I am a goy and couldnt care less about being referred to as a goy either. Its nothing of importance.
      And yes goys should should be raising hell with their politicians over the Isr problem.
      But I think goys can comprehend the holocaust just like we can feel for what is happening to people in Gaza today.
      What goys and everyone else has to reject or refuse to accept is the holocaust as a excuse or entitlement for zionist and Israel’s actions .

      • marc b. on August 28, 2014, 9:30 am

        That a gentile is incapable of comprehending the holocaust, or the significance of Israel to Jews is a pretty hollow argument. it completely ignores, and in fact erases, the history of most Central Europeans, by way of example, who have led a dangerous, tenuous existence for centuries, as one faction, ethnic, national, whatever, steamrolls over the other, gobbling up nations, a problem that continues in the Balkans, Ukraine, etc. (Cambodians can’t understand the murderous consequences of modern warfare and genocide’?) The argument also presumes that Jews are incapable of describing their histories or expressing their interests. does anyone who regularly reads on the topic really believe that they don’t understand Israeli policies and the various rationales for those policies?

    • John Douglas on August 27, 2014, 6:52 am


      Chris-k, If as you say you are a goy and the goyim, “. . . can never fully comprehend on an emotional level the significance of Israel to Jews . . . ” how are you able to know that you as a goy do not comprehend and, say, Abe Foxman does? Perhaps the trick of the Israel propagandist was to convince people of the (false) idea of the goyim’s incomprehension, “You’ll never understand so just shut up about it”!

      • chris_k on August 28, 2014, 9:54 am

        John, I respect the dedication implicit in your response as well as the emotional ties to Israel of many Jews that don’t care what Abe Foxman thinks but may be slow to wake to the reality of what is happening there.

      • Mooser on August 28, 2014, 6:10 pm

        “as the emotional ties to Israel of many Jew”

        Emotional ties are all right, but they can be switched off in a second. On the other hand, something like having close relatives living in Israel, owning property in Israel, being invested in Israel, stuff like that real, material ties to the place, makes things very hard. But that is lessening for many reasons.

  10. Pixel on August 26, 2014, 11:00 pm

    Really great title, Phil. Ha!

  11. Pixel on August 27, 2014, 1:09 am

    Who’s the guy in the photo?

  12. American on August 27, 2014, 1:45 am

    ” My wife’s clan are privileged but civic-minded people, and what’s stopped them in the past is the Don’t-criticize-someone-else’s-family taboo, plus the anti-Semite label. “..Phil

    What is interesting is that most intelligent goys of good will wouldnt have considered criticizing Israel, even though its the so called jewish state, to be the same as an attack on Jews in the US…until they got propagandized into considering them one and the same some where along the line.

  13. Chu on August 27, 2014, 7:54 am

    Bennett and Lieberman still want more blood in Gaza, even though Netanyahu(!) agreed to cease fire. Things are only getting nuttier in Israel, and Americans need to wake up and finally realize this issue is not going away, but seemingly getting worse. How many civilians have to die in Gaza and the West Bank for American citizens & politicians to voice their anger?

    Politicians in the US should wake up (see Bernie Sanders recent video), and Israel politicians better wake up. Once BDS starts and newer campaigns emerge, and after the decades(!) of spoon fed-propaganda is realized, the US citizens could turn on Israel’s criminal enterprise of occupation & land grabs quickly.

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