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Naive? At a Jewish spiritual retreat center, I insist on talking about Gaza

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This summer, I returned to the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center to relax in the Connecticut woods, canoe on the lake and take part in the workshops that participant/leaders were offering. When I arrived late afternoon, the lake was shimmering in the sunlight, framed by tall trees. Up the hill lay the organic farm; to the right was the kitchen where fresh goat cheese was made and lacto fermented vegetables were put up. I made my way up to my cabin, unpacked my yoga togs, then set out for a walk in the woods. But even the quiet tranquility of the woods could not totally distract me from the terrible images of Gaza’s destruction that filled my thoughts.

I’d come for the ‘Mikvah’ retreat, named after the purifying ritual immersion in water which is an integral part of Jewish practice. The Center described the retreat as a ‘transformative experience’, where we could delve deep into spiritual practice and emerge refreshed and purified. Isabella Freedman, part of the Jewish Renewal movement, also welcomes other spiritual traditions and practices. I was here to teach a yoga meditation workshop. I’d also volunteered to lead some discussions on Israel/Gaza.

Awful as Israel’s previous assaults on Gaza had been, there was something qualitatively worse about this latest war. How could anyone remain complacent as the images of murdered children and gutted homes flooded the media? As Israeli journalist Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz:

No other war had turned my stomach, every day and every hour, like this one did. The horrific pictures of Gaza haunted me. They were almost not shown in the Israeli media, the greatest voluntary collaborator of this war. I thought it was impossible to not be appalled by the crimes in Gaza, that it was okay to express compassion for its residents, that 2,200 killed people are an outrageous matter – regardless whether they’re Palestinians or Israelis. I thought it was okay to be ashamed, that it was necessary to remind ourselves that some people bear responsibility for the brutality, and these people aren’t only Hamas, but first and foremost the Israelis, their leaders, commanders and even their pilots.

Levy was addressing primarily Israeli Jews. But his words express just as well the feelings of European and American Jews of conscience. After all, we can’t ignore the fact that this war would never have happened without American backing and support. Americans, including the American Jews who supported this war, who gave contributions, who belonged to organizations that sent money to finance the war, were also responsible. Still, one vacationer told me that the war was not relevant to American Jews; it was only really of concern to the Israelis. For her the conflict was, in Neville Chamberlain’s words,  ‘a quarrel in a far away country’.

marshmallowsWe were mostly American Jews, some with joint Israeli-American citizenship, many with family in Israel. We were all, in one way or another, vicariously involved in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Could we reach out across our ideological differences? Could we have a respectful dialogue about the Jewish state and its policies? Count me naive in hoping so; in hindsight I’d agree.

The first thing I noticed was the silence. Gaza was on everyone’s minds, but no-one was talking about it. Not one person. People talked about food and permaculture and open-source software and the drug war. People talked about pickling and making goat cheese. There was a lot of talk about spirituality: Mindful Walking, Mindful Yoga, Embodied Spiritual Practice. But it felt abstract and disconnected. When someone asked me what I most admired about the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, I mentioned his practice of Engaged Buddhism. During the Vietnam war, he had risked his life to help the fleeing boat people. As a result, he was exiled from his homeland. At this, my questioner abruptly changed the subject.

How did I like the baked tofu? she asked. Personally, she had never been a great fan of tofu. But it wasn’t that bad if one smothered it in sauce.

After dinner, people relaxed on overstuffed sofas, powered up their laptops, and caught up on the news. A ceasefire was declared, then quickly broken. The bombing started up again. Gaza was burning: apartment blocks leveled, mosques destroyed. More children murdered, more grieving mothers, thousands without shelter, without power, without water, without medicine. Hospitals bombed and doctors and patients shelled. Gaza was burning. But not a word was said. We were living in an alternate world, a claustrophobic world where the food was organic and the weather was perfect and the early morning yoga sessions got you feeling spiritually psyched for the labyrinth walk and the life goals workshop.

A few people told me pointedly that they didn’t intend to attend the Israel/Gaza discussions that I would be leading. They seemed offended that I’d even brought the subject up. A kindly silver haired woman confided that she had hardly been able to sleep since the recent Gaza conflict began. (She was the only person I met who seemed genuinely upset by the carnage.) But she too couldn’t understand why I was bringing the subject up. What does this have to do with spirituality? she complained to one of the other vacationers. If she’d asked me directly, I would have told her: Everything. It has everything to do with spirituality. One can’t divorce spirituality from ethics without rendering it bankrupt. As Isaiah put it:

Stop bringing meaningless offerings…. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

We held the Gaza discussion in the synagogue. Above the Ark, a flag announced  ‘Prayer must be subversive.’ A woman pointed to the flag and objected. Here, in the synagogue? Talk about revolution? How inappropriate!

Only five people turned up to the discussion. We sat in a circle on blue laminate chairs, surrounded by sacred books. I introduced myself: raised in a secular Zionist family in London, spent time in Israel, a son who lives in the Galilee. Descendant of Holocaust victims. So far, they were with me. Then I talked of how the Jews had barely survived the Holocaust, how a terrible reversal of history was occurring: the very people who had once been segregated, starved, demonized and murdered were now doing the same to the Palestinians.

For a moment, there was a deathly quiet. Then an intense dark-haired woman opposite me launched into a tirade. Never, she said, had she heard a fellow Jew speak like this. I was anti-semitic. I was a traitor. Didn’t I know that Israel was under existential threat? Hamas was planning to kill all the Jews, after they’d killed their own children. All they cared about was killing….

Gideon Levy has railed against this kind of racist rant for years in his columns in Haaretz. For this, he’s been  thanked with death threats and forced to hire bodyguards. In a recent article, he summed up the prevailing mindset in the Jewish community, both in Israel and America:

They thought that comparing between the blood of Israelis and Palestinians is a sin. That feeling dismay is treason, compassion is heresy and that placing responsibility is an inexpiable crime. It’s no different in the American Jewish community. A spurious innocence and ersatz righteousness blinds them into condoning, even supporting the massacres of innocent Palestinian women and children, rights workers, health workers, journalists.

And so it was at my discussion group. I tried to talk facts in vain; no-one was listening. A vicious hasbara indoctrination had overtaken these people’s minds and shuttered their ability to think. A woman explained that Israel was a small, weak, oppressed country surrounded by hostile Arab states who would throw all the Jews into the sea at their first chance. When I pointed out that Israel was the world’s fourth most powerful military force, with a substantial nuclear arsenal, and with allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and of course America, she shouted me down. In a sickening reversal of reality, these people viewed Israel as the innocent victim and the Palestinians as demonic aggressors. In this twilight zone nothing made sense, facts were irrelevant, black was white, up was down. The Palestinians were murdering their own children, who in any case deserved to die because they were, well, Palestinians; while the Israelis naturally deserved to live, because they were innocent/oppressed/Holocaust survivors/God’s chosen people. Wasn’t I Jewish? Couldn’t I stick by my tribe? What exactly was wrong with me?

A young Israeli-American man burst into the room just as the workshop was degenerating into a shouting match. He sat down across from me, and told me I was doing a terrible job of moderating the ‘discussion’. I didn’t know anything about Israel, he said. He lived there, and he wanted me to know what it was really like living with the constant threat of Hamas’ rockets: He’s driving his kids to school and the sirens go off, and he has to get his children out of the car and lie down with them by the roadside until the all clear sounds. Is that any way to live? Why are they attacking us? he asks me, feigning perplexity. All we want is peace. We don’t want war. Hamas brings it on themselves. Haven’t  I read the Hamas charter? If I’d read it, I’d realize what Israel was up against.

In the Israeli narrative, there is only one side to the story. Israel has a history, a mission, a right to exist. But the Palestinians? Their history is ignored, their suffering blamed on themselves: They voted for Hamas, which proves beyond a doubt that they are all depraved, murderous terrorists, every last one of them, even the children. They deserve everything they get, as popular Knesset lawmaker Ayelet Shaked recently proclaimed on Facebook. Her post, as translated by Gideon Resnick, states:

Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there….(Israel should declare war on) the entire (Palestinian) people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.

If the Palestinians aren’t human beings, if they are nothing more than reptiles, as Shaked and her like believe, then it stands to reason that they should have no right to self-defense. No right to live in dignity. No rights whatsoever. Terrible parallels come to mind: the Nazis’ characterization of the Jews as vermin, which provided an obscene ‘justification’ for genocide. Faced with such brutality, is it any wonder that the Palestinians in Gaza choose resistance?

“In actuality, if you really do want peace,”  I told this man, “then end the Occupation. Open an airport in Gaza. A seaport.” “We can’t do that,” he said. “That would be asking for trouble.” And he stormed out, leaving me hanging in mid-sentence.

A staff member came to tell me I was late for my meditation workshop. Rushing down the trail to the tent where people were waiting for me, I tried to compose my thoughts. Despite my nervous shaking, I made it through the workshop, barely.

Next morning, an Israeli  musician led a choral workshop. We divided into three groups, each chanting in contrapuntal rhythm.The woman who had called me anti-semitic was singing a song full-pelt about how life without soul is worthless. Oy vey. It was enough to turn one’s stomach…

After the Gaza workshop, people who hadn’t even come to it started avoiding me. By no means did everyone behave this way. But enough people did so to make a point: Talk about ethics in the Jewish community and you’re out. Show moral indignation and you’ll be sorry. No-one can criticize Israel without being accused of anti-semitism. Israel has become the golden calf of religious Jews. The ideological merger between Judaism and Zionism has given rise to a form of idolatry that one rejects at one’s own peril. But in actuality, Judaism is a religion, not an expansionist nationalist enterprise. Equating Judaism with Israel’s violent colonialism only degrades the Jewish faith.

____

One evening, I was relaxing in the lounge when a plump blonde woman started recounting her recent trip to London. She had switched flights in Berlin on her way home, she told me. It gave her the shivers to be in Germany. Even stopping over. The Germans! She hadn’t even left the airport, and yet she felt spooked in that place. How could we ever forget what the Germans did to us? We must never forget! Thank goodness she didn’t end up sitting next to a German on the plane home, she said. Or worse, an Arab! Her face grew hard and dark at the thought.

I asked her what she meant by ‘Arab’. She looked confused. Did she mean a Jordanian? An Egyptian? A Palestinian? “They’re all the same,” she replied. She screwed up her face in disgust. “I think you meant a Palestinian,” I said. She nodded. I told her that If I found myself sitting next to a Palestinian, I’d be honored to talk with him.

The woman’s eyes opened wide. She was nonplussed. I was breaking rank. She’d never heard a Jewish person talk like this. Then she launched into a tirade: Didn’t I know? The Palestinians kill their own children. They kill their own children! We Jews love our children, but they use their children as human shields…. It was as if Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev had implanted a diabolical endless loop in her head. I tried to get a word in edgeways, but she was off on a hate-filled diatribe. They would kill me too! They would kill all of us!  We have to defend ourselves…

An overweight man sitting nearby was more honest. He didn’t need excuses. He knew what needed to be done, and he had no qualms about doing it.  “I’ve been staying quiet all this time,” he told me. “But now I’m going to talk! My family are settlers in the West Bank. Let me tell you something. Did you know that there is no letter ‘P’ in Arabic? There is no word in Arabic for Palestinian. Why? Because they don’t exist as a people. They have never existed. They are a fictitious people. You didn’t know that, did you? Now you do.”

“They were the indigenous inhabitants of what is now Israel,” I reminded him. “It sounds to me like you’d prefer them not to exist.”

“I wouldn’t go as far as genocide,” he said. “Almost, but not quite.” And he smiled.

I wondered what ‘almost genocide’ might look like. What exactly did he have in mind?  Killing off most of the Palestinians, but keeping just one or two alive as showpieces? Or was ‘almost’ a sardonic, contemptuous nod to my misguided compassion? I was sitting face to face with a man who was advocating mass murder. A religious man. A devoted father and husband. A smiling, confident psychopath.

A petite older woman with deep blue eyes and blonde hair took me aside. She said she’d been at my meditation workshop and wanted to talk to me. Something had happened during the meditation, she said. She had felt something that she’d never felt before. We had done some Pranayama (breathing) exercises, in which I’d suggested she experience her breath as a river of light. “I entered a space I had never been before,’” she told me. “I felt this great love washing over me. Love for myself. Love for you. I had never felt anything like it.”  She wanted to continue meditating. I made some suggestions. We exchanged phone numbers. I told her the love she had felt was not just for herself or for me; it was for all humanity. She nodded, and folded my phone number into her purse. And a wild hope came to me: If she continued connecting with the spiritual force she’d accessed, would the feeling of love and peace she’d felt gradually extend to embrace everyone, not just people close to her?

On the last day, we all gathered at the lakeside in a circle. Each of us held a sprig of purple flowers as we said our goodbyes. The man who had openly advocated genocide stood opposite me. He said how much he had missed his minyan (prayer group) during the retreat, how much he was looking forward to praying with them again. I wondered what this man said to God in his private prayers. Would God grant him his wish for a Greater Israel, where the Palestinians were eradicated, both physically and in memory? Would what had almost happened to the Jews happen to the Palestinians at the Jewish state’s hands? Would God once again fall silent, as He had during the Holocaust?

I held the purple flower close. It was fragile, wilting in the summer heat. We all posed for one last photo, then the group dispersed. On the train ride home, I suddenly felt terribly tired. I had shared meals with men intent on murder. I had sung choral chants with racists. I felt defiled by it all.

A few days later, Israel and Hamas declared an extended ceasefire. The guns fell quiet and the people of Gaza danced in the streets in celebration. The work of reparation won’t just mean restoring clean water and shelter and electricity to Gaza’s devastated population. It will also mean shedding the lies that made this brutal war possible. Each truth spoken will bring us one step closer to peace. As Gaza rebuilds, we must dismantle the pervasive hasbara indoctrination that feeds the war. Only then can we start to reclaim Israel/Palestine from the false gods of nationalist fanaticism.

Jewish Voice for Peace Press Conference  White Plains  NY 9.4.14Lynne Lopez-Salzedo, left, at a Jewish Voice for Peace event this summer (photo by Andrew Courtney), is a writer and activist who lives in New York. She is a member of JVP.

Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
About Lynne Lopez-Salzedo

Lynne Lopez-Salzedo is a writer and activist who lives in New York. She is a member of Jewish Voice for Peace.

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191 Responses

  1. just
    just on September 21, 2014, 12:27 pm

    An incredible and beautifully written account that I will save and share. We certainly have much work to do.

    Thank you Lynne.

    Namaste.

    • mjkenoyer
      mjkenoyer on September 23, 2014, 7:22 am

      Agreed. I too am an American Jewish woman and member of JVP, and it breaks my heart that trying to engage our community in a thoughtful discussion of what is really going on WRT Israel’s aggression against innocents is met with constant screaming and refusal to listen. Kudos to Lynne Lopez-Salzedo for standing up for what’s right.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24 on September 21, 2014, 12:27 pm

    A wonderful article by Ms. Lynne Lopez-Salzedo. Her sad experience only shows just how delusional, ignorant, and racist, many of these pro Israeli supporters are. They are simply regurgitating ad nauseam, the hasbara and zio narrative. Liars like Regev, Oren, Dermer, and even Bibi the butcher, boldly lie about Palestinians being at fault for the deaths of their own children, that they deserve the bombs raining on them, that the fourth most powerful military in the world is “defending” itself from unarmed civilians and rockets that hardly strikes a target, and the lemmings are naive enough to believe it all, and become fierce defenders of those lies. It also shows their lack of compassion or humanity. To see the carnage, the little babies being blown up, UN shelters being bombed, homes bombed into rubble, and Gaza being bombed into the middle ages, and NOT feel any remorse, pity, be outraged, or understand the suffering of those THEY occupy and have power over, simply reveals their coldness, hatred, and racism.

    It is impossible to change minds, especially what I think are prejudiced and brainwashed minds, and the US media not challenging those lies, nor reporting on the lies, adds to the ignorance.

    What comes through is the writers feeling of helplessness, that we feel too. There is no hope for the Palestinian people, years have gone by, and the situation is still the same. The Gaza massacre is over for now, and the criminals have got away with murder and mayhem, the world has begun to forget what they saw and heard in Gaza. Same old story.

  3. dsingh
    dsingh on September 21, 2014, 12:44 pm

    Thank you Lynne for sharing this experience. Its sad and troubling to read these views . The change in such attitudes will come from concerned citizens around the world keeping the Palestinian conditions highlighted – this is less so in the US but its happening, more so in other countries such as Europe and South America

  4. amigo
    amigo on September 21, 2014, 12:45 pm

    “What does this have to do with spirituality? she complained to one of the other vacationers ”

    Has to qualify as the most idiotic question of the decade.

    “I’d come for the ‘Mikvah’ retreat, named after the purifying ritual immersion in water which is an integral part of Jewish practice. The Center described the retreat as a ‘transformative experience’, where we could delve deep into spiritual practice and emerge refreshed and purified.”Lynn

    I wonder if Gazans could avail of this trans-formative and purifying experience , or is that only necessary for those feeling guilty about something.

    It is all so simple!!.

    Spend the whole year denying Israel,s war crimes and then take a trip to the centre of the earth and purify yourself –of what?.

    They have not done anything wrong–right.

    • arobertsccl
      arobertsccl on September 22, 2014, 3:26 pm

      During the Civil Rights era here the Catholic Bishop in New Orleans (one of the few Christian leaders in the South to speak out) excommunicated the women who were leading the harassment and torment of those bright and brave children integrating the NO elementary schools. They cried out the same thing, “what does being a good Catholic have to do with harassing minority children? . None are so deaf as those who will not hear.

    • Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
      Lynne Lopez-Salzedo on September 30, 2014, 6:44 pm

      For a start, there would be logistical problems if Gazans wanted to participate in a Jewish spiritual retreat in teh U.S.! If they did manage to leave Gaza without drowning at sea or being killed in the tunnels, the last place they’d head for would be Isabellla Freedman Center in Sharon, Ct. But it would be great if the Center would hold a joint Jewish-Israeli-Palestinian retreat at some point.

      • annie
        annie on September 30, 2014, 9:05 pm

        thanks for your article lynne, and your activism.

  5. chocopie
    chocopie on September 21, 2014, 12:48 pm

    Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “spiritual retreat.” Some of these people are retreating spiritually from the rest of humanity.

  6. amigo
    amigo on September 21, 2014, 1:08 pm

    “And so it was at my discussion group. I tried to talk facts in vain; no-one was listening. A vicious hasbara indoctrination had overtaken these people’s minds and shuttered their ability to think – “Lynn

    Much like the Ivris and the mayhems and others who claim to be liberal zionists (never met one) but cannot get past placing most of the blame where it belongs.

    • amigo
      amigo on September 21, 2014, 3:24 pm

      “Much like the Ivris and the mayhems ” amigo

      Please add Gene Shae to that.

      Ok Councillor.

  7. Liz18
    Liz18 on September 21, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Lynne,

    Thanks so much for writing such a beautiful personal essay. It captures much of what I have felt too in similar situations when I’d like to believe that coming together spiritually softens people’s hearts and fears, only to find that they are still closed. I can’t even count the number of communities anymore that I have been alienated from for standing up for what I believe in. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but I do still find myself surprised at the hypocrisy by those who claim to be the most “liberal.” I felt less lonely reading your essay; thank you!

  8. Gene Shae
    Gene Shae on September 21, 2014, 1:20 pm

    Seems to me you were out to provoke people

    • John O
      John O on September 21, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Takes one to know one, I guess.

    • Marnie
      Marnie on September 21, 2014, 2:29 pm

      You mean like you’re doing right now?

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on September 21, 2014, 9:07 pm

        You’ll get over it, in fact, I really doubt you were provoked. However, this annoying, pushy woman overstepped her boundaries and is upset that nobody wanted to play her game

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 12:54 am

        Gene,

        Yes, at this stage I suppose that feeling bad for mass victims only amounts to a “nuisance”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:20 am

        “However, this annoying, pushy woman overstepped her boundaries….”

        Why you could even call her “a typical Jew”! They have no manners, no class, those Jews, huh Gene?

        Scratch a Zionist, find an anti-Semite. It never fails. But ye Gods! “Pushy”? I can tell you have been exposed to a lot of anti-Semitism, Gene. (Hey, can we call you “Jewish Gene” from now on, or would that be “pushy” and (ROTFLMSJAO) “overstepping the boundaries”?

    • justicewillprevail
      justicewillprevail on September 21, 2014, 2:37 pm

      The truth is provocative. Spirituality is provocative.

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870 on September 21, 2014, 3:09 pm

      You never did enlighten us as to where you acquired your impressive knowledge of U.S. law (especially as to Fair Housing Law).
      Cat finally got your tongue?

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on September 21, 2014, 6:12 pm

        I must have missed your query….

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870 on September 21, 2014, 9:11 pm

        RE: “I must have missed your query….” ~ Gene Shae

        MY REPLY: Here is my original query. – http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/allowing-discrimination-palestinians#comment-710628
        I anxiously await you revealing the source of your über omnipotence as to U.S. law (and seemingly about almost everything else).

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on September 21, 2014, 11:49 pm

        I see. You are free to provide your credentials. And who else have you requested these of? Me thinks you are unable to save face to my posts, so you try a little kid trick.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:24 am

        “I see. You are free to provide your credentials.”

        Of course, Gene has the ultimate credential, which makes him judge, jury and executioner, and, come to think of it, excommunicater, too.

        He has a degree, in Zionism!

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:26 am

        Oh, sorry Gene. Didn’t give your vita a full herring, whoops, I mean hearing:

        He also runs a business and raises a family. Coming here to comment is the only time he leaves his little girls behind.

    • just
      just on September 21, 2014, 3:30 pm

      Nope.

      Fail and flail Geneous strikes again!

    • RoHa
      RoHa on September 21, 2014, 6:40 pm

      I used to provoke my students regularly. It was a way of getting them to think. However, they were, on the whole, fairly sane and semi-rational.

      These people are clearly mad as cut snakes. Not just the ordinary, everyday, paranoia that we all share, but total dissociation from reality. Provoking them with facts and rational arguments was probably not the best tactic. I’m sure the writer did not know how crazy they were before she began.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:29 am

        For Gawd’s friggin’ sake, RoHa, don’t you recognize the signs? They think they are an aristocracy.
        An aristocracy deposed from its rightful place, and owed by the world for its sins against them.

        I’m no mayven no Dr. Spock, but I can’t help wondering if that is a healthy kind of perspective to instill in your kids. But whatever.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on September 22, 2014, 7:41 pm

        Aristocracy that lacks grace, elegance, courtesy, and that has no sense of the duties and obligations of nobility.

        Sound the trump of Germinal! Let the tumbrils roll!

        (I think I will not hang myself today.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 12:25 pm

        “Aristocracy that lacks grace, elegance, courtesy, and that has no sense of the duties and obligations of nobility.”

        RoHa, are you sitting down? Good, wouldn’t want to cause a major cergral plotz.
        Okay, here goes: Aristocracies don’t actually have those qualities, they can just afford to have those things written or said about them. I know, shocked the hell out of me when I found out, too.

      • just
        just on September 23, 2014, 12:33 pm

        LOL — the both of you!

  9. eljay
    eljay on September 21, 2014, 1:28 pm

    A woman explained that Israel was a small, weak, oppressed country …

    The rapist explains that he is but a small, weak, oppressed man – scarred by the abuse he suffered as a child, despised by society and hated by the women he has chained in his basement. All he wants peace and the right to self-determine himself in them.

    Aggressor-victimhood, he says, is a very tough gig. :-(

    A young Israeli-American man burst into the room … Why are they attacking us? he asks me, feigning perplexity. All we want is peace. We don’t want war. …

    Zio-supremacists say they don’t want war, but they refuse to end their 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.

    Zio-supremacists say they want peace, but they refuse:
    – to honour their obligations under international law;
    – to accept responsibility and accountability for their past and ON-GOING (war) crimes; and
    – to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    Zio-supremacists want a supremacist “Jewish State” of (Greater) Israel. They do not want justice, accountability and equality.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on September 21, 2014, 2:29 pm

      “Zio-supremacists want a supremacist “Jewish State” of (Greater) Israel. They do not want justice, accountability and equality.”

      Sounds eerily like what Hitler and the nazi’s wanted for themselves. They also considered themselves the master race, and looked down on those they bullied with contempt and hatred.
      They too thought they were right.

      Look what happened to them afterwards.

    • Marnie
      Marnie on September 21, 2014, 2:31 pm

      “A young Israeli-American man burst into the room….”

      That sounds pretty violent.

      Then he goes on to say all we want is peace. Crazier and crazier it gets.

    • Gene Shae
      Gene Shae on September 21, 2014, 10:14 pm

      What’s a Zio-Supremist?

      • amigo
        amigo on September 22, 2014, 7:09 am

        “What’s a Zio-Supremist?” gs

        You tell us.

        It,s your word.

        If you meant to ask what a “Zio supremacist ” is , then that would be similar to a snob.

        Someone who thinks they are better than they are.

      • eljay
        eljay on September 22, 2014, 7:29 am

        >> Gene Shaeee: What’s a Zio-Supremist?

        What is a rapist?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:31 am

        “What’s a Zio-Supremist?”

        Well, it is becoming what good old PG Wodehouse used to call “a hissing and a by-word”.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on September 22, 2014, 11:46 am

        Seeing the great responses to your question, aren’t you glad you asked. :))

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on September 23, 2014, 10:39 pm

        Oh hi Kay :). Yes. The attempt to educate myself was futile. I guess it is one of those words that can mean whatever you like. The guy with the rape projections, however, is scary. Is this not offensive to women and/or rape victims?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 24, 2014, 12:19 pm

        “Yes. The attempt to educate myself was futile.”

        Gene, just between you and me, I can tell you that the futility of your attempt to educate yourself has been noticed in the very highest, top-floor penthouse of the Mondoweiss Towers.
        Can’t say any more, but I just wanted you to know your futility is not in vain.

  10. American
    American on September 21, 2014, 1:57 pm

    What makes some people susceptible to propaganda and brain washing?

    Wikipedia says for ”Weak Minded “… is the state of being easily impressionable or possessing a weak sense of self-will, judgement or conviction.
    A weak minded individual’s opinion may be easily swayed by propaganda or emotional manipulation tactics, as they do not possess an adequate ability to judge or discern the quality of an assertion, or they may exhibit a lack of discipline.”

    Weak minded used to be a term used a lot in the past to describe someone who could be easily led. Most brainwashed and/or fanatics of any kind are weak minded and it has nothing to do with being educated or not or mentally deficient or not . The rational logical part of their brain is short circuited by their ‘ emotional quirks’.
    Their brains basically have blown a fuse, the power is off upstairs.

    • chet
      chet on September 21, 2014, 5:55 pm

      These people are not “weak-minded”, they are typical American Jews who have allowed their loyalty to their ultra-violent racist co-religionists to over-ride any instincts that they may have in respect of justice and humanistic thought.

      • American
        American on September 21, 2014, 11:49 pm

        @ Chet

        I am not a neurologist but here’s how my psychiatrist sister in law explained it to me. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different processes —the logical -rational part of the brain absorbs and processes information—-but the part of the brain responsible for ’emotions’ is actually the part of the brain that ‘ makes judgements” —- depending on how screwed up it is its ‘judgements’ will be faulty (wrong) even though it has received all the information from the logical part necessary to make an accurate/ the right judgement. The emotional part of the brain is also the part that produces a person’s ‘conscience’ —neurologist and psychiatrist who study psychopaths claim that studies of their brains show area of no activity … a small dead area in that portion of the brain.

        I am not excusing these people because even in the emotional brain a person still mentally ‘chooses’ the judgement he wants to go with. Probably why another old saying is a person believes what he wants to believe in spite of all facts to the contrary.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:36 am

        “they are typical American Jews who…”

        Any of you folks run into the children of affluent, born-again style ( “Evangelical”?) American Christians who have been home-schooled, and/or finished at one of the “Christian” colleges?

        They’re about the same. Believe me, Jews are very well-assimilated in America, and do everything their non-Jewish neighbors do. As long as they can afford it, and they can.

        Of course, the Christians only talk about having a “Christian nation” and it mostly produces real-estate scams and child abuse, so they admire the heck out of a group that can go out and get the job done! They looooove Zionism.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:39 am

        America, the Goldenah Medina! A country where any man, of any religion, can work hard, live right, and be successful enough to raise his kids intellectually in the 19th Century. Well, except they probably put a higher value on literacy. What a country!

      • catporn
        catporn on September 22, 2014, 2:33 pm

        I don’t think they’re just “typical American Jews”, more like typical people. This kind of indoctrination seems quite normal and readily accepted amongst our species, there’s plenty of examples of genocide, mass murder, irrational hate and fear, we fall for it all to easily, and many of those who don’t are afraid to ‘break rank’, be the odd one out or part of the despised minority that point out uncomfortable facts.
        Even your run of the mill type war, the sort we’ve been having lots of since pre-history, requires lots of indoctrinated weak minds, son’s that’ll go wherever they’re told, to kill and die for whatever they’re told, and their mothers, that were proud that they gave their lives for whatever she was told.
        There’s nothing unusual or particularly evil about those ‘spiritual campers’ (though I’d personally rather have a tooth pulled than spend an evening with them), they’re ten a penny.

        I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how to engage the Zionist support network, a way to get even one or two to reassess their blind allegiance to Israel’s policies. Found several methods that don’t work, arguing facts, figures, history, international law, morality, in fact any type of arguing quickly descends into mutual ire. I’m lost for ideas really, but people do come over to the side of humanity and compassion, historian Ilan Pappe (among many others) was a fervent Zionist but woke up and started thinking for himself, so it does happen, just wish I new how I could help facilitate it.

        I’ve got mention the “What does this have to do with spirituality” line. Even as a committed atheist agnostic, 90% 10% respectively, the line hit me like a slap in the face. Suppose it shows that spirituality has very little to do with religion.

        Many Thanks to Ms. Lynne Lopez-Salzedo.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on September 21, 2014, 2:16 pm

    RE: “It was as if Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev had implanted a diabolical endless loop in her head.” ~ Lynne Lopez-Salzedo

    MY COMMENT: That poor woman! ! !

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    RE: “I wouldn’t go as far as genocide,” he [the overweight man who’s family are settlers in the West Bank] said. “Almost, but not quite.” And he smiled. I wondered what ‘almost genocide’ might look like.What exactly did he have in mind? ~ Lynne Lopez-Salzedo

    MY COMMENT: I thought last night as I watched the 2005 film “Beyond the Gates”, and I heard the Hutus refer to the Tutsis as “cockroaches” (something that Israeli’s have called Palestinians), that I could easily see something like this happeneing in Israel/Palestine (i.e., a far, right-wing coup in Israel followed by acute episodes of “ethnic cleansing”).

    AN EXCELLENT FILM: Beyond the Gates, 2005 UR 112 minutes
    Average of 95110 ratings: 3.6 stars out of 5 / Our best guess for you: 4.4 stars / My rating: 5.0
    As bloody genocide erupts in Rwanda in April 1994, a weathered Catholic priest (John Hurt) and a fresh-faced British schoolteacher (Hugh Dancy) are forced to decide whether to flee with their lives or tempt fate by staying behind. With thousands of Tutsis being slaughtered all around them, the choice seems easy, but thinking selfishly is anything but simple in this harrowing, well-crafted drama from director Michael Caton-Jones.
    Netflix format: DVD
    Netflix listing – http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Beyond-the-Gates/70048302
    Internet Movie Database (Rating: 7.7/10) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0420901/
    Beyond the Gates (trailer) [VIDEO, 02:14] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abfq51dChdM

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870 on September 21, 2014, 2:55 pm

      P.S. At the very end of the film “Beyond the Gates” the screen goes black for several seconds except for this in white lettering (all caps):

      THE OPPOSITE OF FAITH IS NOT HERESY,
      BUT INDIFFERENCE.
      Elie Wiesel

      • Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
        Lynne Lopez-Salzedo on September 30, 2014, 7:05 pm

        Elie Wiesel has spoken out repeatedly against indifference to crimes against humanity and genocide. But then he goes and publishes an ad in several major newspapers, including the New York Times, accusing Hamas of child sacrifice. I was among hundreds of Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors who condemned Elie Wiesel’s ‘abuse of history’ in our own ad in the New York Times. ‘Never again’ must mean ‘Never again for anyone,’ we stated.

  12. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail on September 21, 2014, 2:36 pm

    Not only have they ruined and destroyed innocent people and their livelihood, they have apparently also destroyed their own consciences and rational capacities.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:41 am

      “Not only have they ruined and destroyed innocent people and their livelihood, they have apparently also destroyed their own consciences and rational capacities.”

      I had a dog, once, and his was “Bingo” B-I-N-G-O!!

  13. eGuard
    eGuard on September 21, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Sigh.

  14. peacenotapartheid
    peacenotapartheid on September 21, 2014, 3:13 pm

    On Thursday’s “On Point” with Antony Lerman and Peter Beinart, Caroline Glick personified the “this can’t be discussed” position, starting out by saying “…I’m just completely appalled by this entire discourse…”, and “I don’t understand what service you’re performing for your audience…”: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/09/18/the-future-of-liberal-zionism .

  15. Donald
    Donald on September 21, 2014, 3:31 pm

    The reason these people can be so unquestioningly self-righteous in their racism is because they live in a cocoon–not only their co-religionists, but the larger American society lets them get away with it. Nearly all American politicians echo what they say about the Palestinians and virtually all American politicians condemn Palestinian terrorism, but not Israeli war crimes.

    I’ve often compared American supporters of Israel to white southern racists that I knew growing up, but there’s a difference–by the 1970’s mainstream American society had turned against explicit Jim Crow attitudes and white racists knew that their views were no longer acceptable in polite society. Not that racism had ended by any means, but it wasn’t respectable any more and people had to express it using code words. The people in this article are still living in a world where they aren’t challenged–or rather, they probably think the piddling little criticisms of Israel that they might see in the NYT are “anti-Israel”, but they don’t really hear anything serious from anyone they think they have to respect. White racists in the 1970’s were on the defensive. These people are more like white racists in the early part of the 20th century, when white racism was the default assumption among whites.

    • Kris
      Kris on September 21, 2014, 6:29 pm

      Excellent comment, Donald. In the early 1960’s, it was fine to express openly racist views where I lived in east Texas. Oddly enough, though, it was definitely NOT acceptable to be openly greedy for wealth.

      But by the 1970’s, as you note, people had to use code words to express their racist ideas. Though it was still very much alive, racism at least had to be concealed.

      The 1970’s were also when it seemed to become socially acceptable to aspire to wealth for wealth’s sake. Greed was no longer a sin, and “getting rich” was suddenly an admirable life goal.

      Maybe this attitude of “greed is good” has combined with the ever-present racism in the U.S. to make Israel’s bloody past, present, and future so acceptable to U.S. Jews that the Jews in the article could be so clueless: “What does this (Gaza) have to do with spirituality? (one woman) complained to one of the other vacationers.” At a Jewish retreat for “ritual purification.” “Where we could delve deep into spiritual practice and emerge refreshed and purified.”

      Are we talking about “purification” as in a colonic cleanse, or are we talking about our relationship with the divine? Israel, and U.S. Zionists, score 100% on the following criterion:

      “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

      Citations from religious texts are meaningless to most people today, but still, you’d think texts like this would be important to people exploring Jewish “spirituality.” Maybe mondoweiss could run an article explaining just what Jewish “spirituality” is supposed to mean at retreats like this.

      • catporn
        catporn on September 22, 2014, 3:05 pm

        Your analogy is good and the ‘spiritual campers’, much like the drinkers of some KKK tavern circa 1975, probably felt they were among their own and could be lose lipped with their racist views.
        However the end of your proverb “a man who stirs up dissension among brothers” would, in the campers eyes, probably describe Lynne’s well meaning attempt to discuss Palestine.

      • piotr
        piotr on September 23, 2014, 4:38 pm

        Perhaps Lynne was the person who “stirs up dissension among brothers”. OTOH, I fail to grasp the idea of a retreat, I would rather quote Bruce Springsteen: “No retreat, baby, no surrender”. If you want to meditate, rent a cabin in the middle of a forest, and meditate! (I live in the sticks and there are plenty of such cabins here. Do not try it during a hunting season, though.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 24, 2014, 12:22 pm

        “(I live in the sticks and there are plenty of such cabins here. Do not try it during a hunting season, though.)”

        And you ain’t kidding, and that goes double for me. I have a simple rule which has served me well; during hunting season, I never go anyplace further than a mile away from a good dry-cleaners.

      • Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
        Lynne Lopez-Salzedo on September 30, 2014, 7:15 pm

        My impression was that ‘spirituality’ was simply a feel-good catchword at this retreat.

        The question is, can we have a Jewish spirituality that doesn’t include the Palestinians and their suffering? I don’t think so. Not at retreats, not at synagogues, not in private prayer. Jewish spirituality is now inextricably linked to our relationship with the Palestinians.

    • American
      American on September 21, 2014, 8:41 pm

      ” but the larger American society lets them (zionist/israelis) get away with it.”””

      Yes we have for decades….but I dont think its been from indifference or racism—its been from ignorance. Allthe public knew of Israel was the false story media and press fed them.

      The internet has changed that a great deal.

      Plus activist are finally ‘exposing’ zionist and politicians by confronting them directly where they have to either answer the question put to them in public or run away in public….

      The few times I have gone to political meetings where there was any kind of back and forth between the candidate and audience I have wanted them to make some statement like Debbie Wasserman made—that” the US has a moral obligation to Israel’.
      So I could ask……. ‘why do we have a moral obligation to Israel?”
      So he or she could say…….”because of the holocaust.”
      So I could say……..’what did the holocaust have to do with the US?
      So he or she could say…….”Americans let the Jews be murdered and didnt rescue them so they owe the Jews and Israel.”
      So I could say ..’we didnt rescue our own POWs either,
      we let them die in Japaneses camps’.
      So she or he could say……’but we are Jews, the killed 6 million of us”.
      So I could say….” but others are also people and Hitlers war killed 75 million non Jews”.
      So she or he could then say….”but you wouldnt even let Jewish refuges into the US”
      So I could say……” you dont let any non Jews refugees into your Jewish state today so that complaint is hypocritical”
      So she or he could say what?…..”but because of non jews anti semitism the Jewish state has to be treated special for Jews to be safe’.
      So I could say…..’ if anti semitism is a threat and thats why you dont let non Jews into the Jewish State why arent you and all Jews living in Israel, why are you here in a non Jewish state around possible anti semites if the safe place for Jews is Israel”?
      This could go on like this forever to everything they would say.

      I would luv to see a political “menage a trois’ public debate on Isr-USA-I/P with Zionist, jewish anti zionist and gentiles and Palestine Israel critics all go at the issues of US-Isr, Israel and Palestine.
      Israel and the Zios would be totally ruined, stripped naked.

      But they would never allow themselves to be put on a stand in any real back and forth because they know they would lose..in 10 minute flat their responses would be reduced to –anti semite, self hating jew, terrorist, anti semite, self hating jew, terrorist, anti semite, self hating jew, terrorist…

      And the politicians?…they just keep running and ducking for cover.

      https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal

      Max Blumenthal
      @MaxBlumenthal

      Bernie Sanders shrank away when I asked him about his vote on Gaza slaughter

      Gaza slaughter http://youtu.be/UEXzRre43fs sequel to this https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bzhEkHzIUno

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:48 am

        The heck with all that, even tho it’s all true, and well said. Why not just ask them to describe a Jew? You know what it will come down to, when you strip away all the bullshit and/or anti-Semitism? A Jew is a person who considers themselves a Jew. End of story. And for that you get a country, taken from others? Not good.
        But thanks to good old Israel, we have lost that privilege, haven’t we? Cause now a “Jew” is a person that has an Israeli identity card which says “Jewish”.

        They can kick the rest of us out any time they feel like it, and how do you plan to stop them? Isn’t Israel the representative of the Jews, the Jewish State?

      • American
        American on September 22, 2014, 2:59 pm

        @ Mooser

        “hey can kick the rest of us out any time they feel like it, and how do you plan to stop them? Isn’t Israel the representative of the Jews, the Jewish State? ‘>>>>

        If I were Jewish, ( since I’m not cant say for certain) , but I dont think I would care if they kicked me out.

        The fact is the Zionist and Israel ‘need’ the Jews, not visa versa.

        I have read that when Jews were excluded from wasp country clubs back when, they pitched in some coins and built their own country clubs.
        Build some clubs that exclude zionist…..application for membership denied due to anti social and moral turpitude concerns. lol

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 10:33 am

        “If I were Jewish, ( since I’m not cant say for certain)”

        Okay American, what do you mean “I am not Jewish”? I realize you may not follow the Jewish religion (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) but aqpart from that, why aren’t you Jewish? What is the difference between you and a Jew?

        Well, American, until you can tell me what that difference is, I will consider you to be Jewish. If you don’t want to face up to it, that’s your problem.

      • American
        American on September 25, 2014, 1:50 pm

        Mooser,,,,

        Okay American, what do you mean “I am not Jewish”? I realize you may not follow the Jewish religion (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) but aqpart from that, why aren’t you Jewish? What is the difference between you and a Jew?>>>>

        The answer is right there—-I am not Jewish because I dont follow the Jewish religion.
        I am not a believer in all that Jews are a certain peoplehood and distinct ethnic or race stuff.
        That is such common sense it shouldnt have taken Sands to have to point that out.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 26, 2014, 9:40 pm

        “The answer is right there—-I am not Jewish because I dont follow the Jewish religion.”

        Oh, for gosh sakes, American, don’t let a little thing like that stop you! So you don’t follow the Jewish religion? Don’t worry about it. Frankly, neither do lots of Jews, and nobody gives them a hard time about it. You could be a secular Jew. That gets you out of all the praying, the dietary laws, and so much else. In fact, it makes being a Jew so easy, anybody can do it!.

        There’s no reason to deny yourself! No religious test will be administered.

  16. seafoid
    seafoid on September 21, 2014, 3:36 pm

    This “spiritual” defence of barbarism reminds me of an interaction between Shavit and Levy on Israeli TV

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

    Shavit: Gideon, You want a secular, democratic state. You’re worse than the extremists among the Palestinians.
    Levy: Terrific. OK. Perfect. Anti-Semite.
    Shavit: And this is a kind of anti-Semitism, an unwillingness to recognize the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.
    Levy: [Just] say Nazi.
    Shavit: No, this is an extreme anti-Israeli approach that you spread like poison around the world. And then you call it demagoguery. This is demagoguery of the worst kind, your demagoguery.
    Levy: I’m a little tired of Ari Shavit. Who tries to have it all. It is … I want to refresh people’s memory, once and for all. We came to a country inhabited by another people.

    Margalit: Oh, delegitimizing of Israel. We understand.
    Shavit: Then let’s leave. That’s why you’re not worried about Iran, because you agree with Ahmedinejad. You think we should go back to Austria. That’s what you’re saying.
    Levy: [Just say] Adolf Hitler.

    Israel has a particularly shallow culture- they ensured that when they dropped everything in favour of a dead language and moved to a land virtually none of them had any familiarity with.

    India has a much more resilient culture with far more real life experience to fall back on

    “The four standard methods for dealing with conflict : conciliation, placating with gifts, sowing dissension and using force. It is easier to employ a method earlier in the order than a later one . Placating with gifts is twice as hard as conciliation: sowing dissension is three times as hard and use of force four times as hard.”

    Kautilya, the Arthashastra

    ” One must always be vigilant, without a moment’s carelessness, against the eight sins that the mind perpetrates

    Kamam or craving
    Krodham or anger
    Lobham or greed
    Moham or attachment
    Impatience
    Hatred
    Egoism
    Pride ”

    Man’s primary duty is toi keep all these things at a safe distance from himself”

    Sai baba

    China too

    “Those who assist a leader by means of the Tao do not use arms to coerce the world, for these things tend to reverse – brambles grow where an army has been, bad years follow a great war.

    Weapons are inauspicious instruments, not the tools of the enlightened. When there is no choice but to use them, it is best to be calm and free from greed, and not to celebrate victory. Those who celebrate victory are bloodthirsty, and the bloodthirsty cannot have their way with the world”

    Sun Tzu

    Even the US

    “The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its power, and when they realize that at the centre of the universe dwells the great spirit and that this centre is really everywhere, it is within each of us”

    Black Elk

    Poor Judaism. So lost.

    Zionism was just one big inherent mistake.

    • just
      just on September 21, 2014, 4:04 pm

      Great comment, and so is your next one.

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870 on September 21, 2014, 9:34 pm

      “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” ~ Proverbs 16:18, KJV

    • jon s
      jon s on September 22, 2014, 7:30 am

      Seafoid: “Israel has a particularly shallow culture” .
      I wonder how familiar you are with the vibrant Israeli cultural scene :literature, music, film, theatre , etc.
      Or are you making a comparison – with say, American culture?

      “they dropped everything in favor of a dead languge” . What exactly was “dropped?’ If the language was dead, how do you explain its comeback? Wait a minute, if they ” dropped everything” , wouldn’t the languge be included in what was dropped? Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?

      On the post itself, it’s always amazing how the extremists on both sides echo and mirror each other. The Jewish man who wants to get rid of the Palestinians mirrors the Palestinians who would like to see us gone…

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel on September 22, 2014, 8:01 am

        Israel has a particularly shallow culture- they ensured that when they dropped everything in favour of a dead language and moved to a land virtually none of them had any familiarity with.

        What a strange thing to say and even stranger reasoning. Like most cultures, Israeli culture has both shallow and profound aspects, and I have no idea why the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language (or immigration to/colonisation of a foreign land) would have given rise to “a particularly shallow culture”.

        The purpose of the comparison to India and China also eludes me.

      • eljay
        eljay on September 22, 2014, 8:13 am

        >> jon seee: The Jewish man who wants to get rid of the Palestinians mirrors the Palestinians who would like to see us gone…

        And the Jewish man who wants justice, accountability and equality mirrors the Palestinian man who also wants justice, accountability and equality. It is to your shame that you are neither of those men.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on September 22, 2014, 8:16 am

        It’s very interesting to listen to people like Hass and Finkelstein talk about the influence their parents had on their thinking and compare it to the 95% of Israelis who supported the last round of carnage in Gaza. It must be related to how Israelis are educated . Because how did 95% of the people become so indoctrinated that they can’t see beyond the Hebrew bubble?

        If you think it’s not the Hebrew issue- what is it? Is it a specifically Jewish insularity problem? My guess is that the language has a lot to do with it. Israel is so out of touch with the rest of the world.

        No cultural continuity and a lot of stuff was made up on the spot in the 20s and 30s. Zionism is full of shit. It has to be in order to run apartheid successfully.

        The overwhelming belief in violence as the answer to Israel’s systematic problems. What exactly is the problem in Israeli culture and where does it come from? Answers on a postcard.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on September 22, 2014, 8:22 am

        Shmuel

        Take another settler colonial society with an invented identity- Ulster Unionists- and look at what happens when the memes break down after the natives gain their rights.

        Israel has a massive identity crisis coming up. Who exactly are Israeli Jews and can they be Israeli without going to war every 4 years ?

        I think language has a lot to do with how issues are framed and how ideas are shared.

        And if Israeli culture were deeper maybe it would have been able to withstand the encroachment of the right wing IDF/settler Weltanschauung into most of the important areas of Israeli public life.

        When it all goes tits up the Israeli Jewish people will still be there but what sort of identity will they have ?

      • seafoid
        seafoid on September 22, 2014, 8:41 am

        Jon

        “On the post itself, it’s always amazing how the extremists on both sides echo and mirror each other. The Jewish man who wants to get rid of the Palestinians mirrors the Palestinians who would like to see us gone… -”

        Your descent into Blutwahn during July was fascinating . Most people just want to see Israelis living in peace with Palestinians but Israeli society will have to be reformatted for that to happen. It would be far better if you stayed- otherwise you’ll bring the same crap to wherever you go next.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel on September 22, 2014, 9:00 am

        Seafoid,

        You’re confusing a lot of different (albeit related) issues — education, culture, society, insularity, continuity, identity etc. — and making vague judgements such as “shallow” or “deep”.

        Israel is a militaristic ethnocracy, rooted in a romantic-nationalist ideology and born out of extreme trauma (both experienced and inflicted). It has serious problems — objective, perceived and manufactured. Issues of continuity are interesting (and debatable) but, in and of themselves, do not make a culture shallow or profound. Modern Hebrew today is a language like any other, with “high” and “low” speakers, jingoistic fetishists and those for whom it is simply a mother tongue.

        There’s a lot of nasty stuff going on in Israel, but not everything about it is worthy of condemnation or dismissal.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 10:32 am

        Seafoid:

        Have a look at this Brandeis Survey of US young Jewish opinions on the Gaza bombing:
        http://www.brandeis.edu/cmjs/pdfs/birthright/BirthrightGazaReport082514.pdf

        It shows 67% of young American Jews saying Israeli actions were justified, in contrast to only 25% of young Americans saying that.

        In contrast, we know that about 90% of Israeli agree with the Israeli attack.

        What do you conclude from that?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 11:14 am

        If you think it’s not the Hebrew issue- what is it? Is it a specifically Jewish insularity problem? – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/jewish-spiritual-retreat/comment-page-1#c

        Seafoid,

        That 67% figure I cited and Lynne’s retreat surprised me, as does the intensity of many pro-Israelis’ support. I like Judaism a lot – in fact more than most other religions, and I know that its true, hidden meaning is universalism and equality. But, yes, it must be acknowledged that nationalism is a major aspect of Judaism – although it is not one of the Ten Commandments or something.

        Look at ancient Israel’s conquest of Canaan and other small countries and how positively it’s depicted. Even Christians today would generally approve of that. I am not rejecting those conquests, but I am have at least reservations – it’s a bit disconcerting. Nationalism has continued as part of its religious tradition and culture. It’s adherents would say it’s a good thing, and I am not saying that it’s all bad. But in a situation like Palestine where there are two other major religions living on that same national “Promised Land”, you have to admit that conflict and that age-old pattern of nationalist conquest is a real risk.

        Look at Christians who are into religious nationalism like Hagee – they are fervent enough about IP, and they don’t enough think that the Promise of it is them. I am aware that many pro-Israelis are not even deeply religious. However, there are plenty of people throughout world history who feel strongly about their religious group for cultural reasons without really focusing on theological reasoning.

        What do you think?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 11:24 am

        Seafoid,

        If 1/3 of young American Jews disagree with the Israeli attack on Gaza, then one can’t generalize or stereotype their beliefs about the conflict. And Judaism is a beautiful religion. But still, it must be admitted that a major aspect of Judaism and its nation’s culture is a kind of nationalism, and this can easily lead to conflict when its promised land has a ton of people from two other major religions living there.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 11:54 am

        ” I like Judaism a lot – in fact more than most other religions, and I know that its true, hidden meaning is universalism and equality.”

        Are you saying, W Jones, that Judaism is not honest, that it conceals its real meanings and motivations? But let it pass, let it pass.
        I can’t tell you how relieved and happy I am that you like Judaism. I was afraid to ask, you see, afraid of what a man who has experienced true Grace might say. But you like us, you really, really, like us! Gosh, Thanks, and if you ever find a short pier leading to a beautiful,deep, cold lake, take a long walk!

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 2:32 pm

        “Israeli culture has both shallow and profound aspects”

        And Israeli culture is Jewish culture? Is that what you are saying Schmuel? I sure as hell hope not. If Israel is Jewish culture, what have Jews all over the world been indulging in for a couple of thousand years, an inferior “diaspora” culture.

        Yes, you can contend that Israel has a culture, and so did South Africa, and so did Germany, in the thirties. And if you want to call what they do in Israel “Jewish culture” go ahead.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel on September 22, 2014, 3:05 pm

        And Israeli culture is Jewish culture? Is that what you are saying Schmuel? I sure as hell hope not. If Israel is Jewish culture, what have Jews all over the world been indulging in for a couple of thousand years, an inferior “diaspora” culture.

        There is no single, definitive Jewish culture, nor has there ever been. Jewish Israeli cultures are Jewish Israeli cultures — no more, no less. They have no special standing or authority or “authenticity”, and some aspects of those cultures turn my stomach — and not necessarily the “shallowest” bits.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on September 22, 2014, 6:16 pm

        Great comment, Shmuel

        I do think the culture is a big part of the problem. Trauma as well, obviously. But what is it in the educational system that overrides what kids inherit from their families about living a good life with respect for other people? Do you think it’s all down to trauma ? It seems like the culture wasn’t strong enough to show people another way.

        And yeah, of course there are deep aspects and Israel has poets and some great artists but at the height of the madness in July what was coming out with 95% approval was pathetic. And it’s so hard for thinkers to stand up to that.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 6:29 pm

        Mooser,

        You ask: “Are you saying, W Jones, that Judaism is not honest, that it conceals its real meanings and motivations?”
        I meant that Judaism has a prophetic, visionary side. Some of its meanings and motivations must be revealed with prophecy, like how the prophets of Joseph and Daniel were able to reveal the meaning of divine dreams.

        God’s words in the Bible come through prophecy, so they require revelation of their meaning by the prophets and/or God’s spirit.

        Why did you write: “if you ever find a short pier leading to a beautiful,deep, cold lake, take a long walk”?

      • seafoid
        seafoid on September 22, 2014, 6:30 pm

        Another thing, Shmuel. Cultures do dumb down especially when a lot of thinkers leave and the values of the ignorant dominate. Sayed Kashua is the latest in a very long line. A lot of the people who could have enriched Israeli culture are living abroad now.

        I think about say Orthodox girls and what kind of cultural inspiration they are likely to get in monotone IDF YESHA Israel.

        Israeli culture doesn’t seem particularly blessed with resilience. Maybe that’s a better way of putting it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 8:13 pm

        “They (Israeli culture) have no special standing or authority or “authenticity”, “

        Oh, Israeli culture has a very special standing and authenticity with me. It just gets right in amongst me.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 8:17 pm

        “God’s words in the Bible come through prophecy, so they require revelation of their meaning by the prophets and/or God’s spirit.”

        And then, of course, it’s turtles, all the way down.

      • just
        just on September 22, 2014, 9:53 pm

        “God’s words in the Bible come through prophecy, so they require revelation of their meaning by the prophets and/or God’s spirit.”

        And here I thought that humans had something to do with entire thing.

        whoops.

    • catporn
      catporn on September 22, 2014, 3:21 pm

      Ye, but what does spirituality have to do with all that?

      • catporn
        catporn on September 22, 2014, 3:58 pm

        A fledgling state, its raison d’etre built on a labyrinth of lies, and the truth is blinding for those that open their eyes, its not going to be a pretty picture as the blinkers melt, quicker, and quicker.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 10:35 am

        But don’t you dare say it ain’t got no culture!

      • michelle
        michelle on September 24, 2014, 11:56 am

        .
        “MooserSeptember 23, 2014, 10:35 am
        But don’t you dare say it ain’t got no culture!”
        .
        – ure and i would agree
        .
        for each & every there is always hope
        all it takes is faith and trust
        and a bit of fairy dust
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

  17. seafoid
    seafoid on September 21, 2014, 3:55 pm

    If I were Lynne Lopez S I would take a different tack with the morons. I wouldn’t say anything about Gaza. I’d just talk about hypocrisy and the difficulty of inner peace while harboring feelings of hatred

    When a man finds no peace within himself it is useless seeking it elsewhere, as they say in France.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on September 21, 2014, 6:26 pm

      Seafoid,

      What about when you are dealing with people who are 100% convinced that they are not “hateful”, and that it’s the wicked semi-Nazi barbarians who are hateful?

      • American
        American on September 22, 2014, 2:16 am

        Well then you are probably wasting your time on them and should read this book to understand the folly of trying to change them.
        I have used the narcissism label for the tribe many times, at least the Zionist wing of it, and this book also covers tribal narcissism.
        Tribal narcissism breeds a lot of very bad and scary things, from soccer fans killing each other to Zionist .

        ” This is your brain on narcissism”

        http://www.salon.com/2014/09/20/this_is_your_brain_about_narcissism_the_truth_about_a_disorder_that_nobody_really_understands/?source=newsletter

        Jeffrey Kluger, author of “The Narcissist Next Door,” is that it is actually a clinical personality disorder affecting 1 to 3 percent of the population. Kluger’s book goes beyond cautionary tales of narcissism — like that of Narcissus — and explores how the disorder affects daily life, relationships, government, Hollywood, sports and elsewhere.

        snips….

        Personality disorders like narcissism, paranoia, histrionic personality disorder and borderline personality disorders are what is called egosyntonic.
        You think you’re not narcissistic, you really are better. You’re not paranoid, there really are people who are after you. So until you get over that belief, until you can stop fighting on behalf of your disorder, you’re never going to get into a psychologist’s office in the first place

        Is there a chapter that was really surprising?

        The one on tribal narcissism. I find that topic terrible and dark and fascinating and all kinds of combinations. I’ve written a bunch for Time on morality and racism and how tribalism drives those kinds of behaviors. And tribalism in this case really is just narcissism, the grandiosity of the group. So it wasn’t too hard to find the overlap in the Venn diagram there. So I find that topic both compelling and awful.”

        Do you want to delve more into the chapter for the reader who hasn’t gone more into it?

        There’s narcissism of the individual and there’s narcissism of the group, and in both cases it’s essentially the same thing. We are better, we are more entitled, we are different or at least less interested in the people around us, or the tribes or nations around us, because we’re worthier than they are. Our people are the prettiest, our language is the most musical, our clothes are the most stylish. And these people are barbarians or at the very best civilized but crude. We are deserving of resources just as I, as the individual, am deserving of the raise, or deserving of the job or deserving of the hottest girl at the party because I’m better than the other guys around me”

        At the end of book you arrived at a place of having sympathy for narcissists. What led you to that that place?

        Well there’s nothing wrong with responding to narcissism with frustration and fear and outrage and exasperation, and all these different things we feel when we’re dealing with impossible people. But at the same time, almost all that behavior comes from pain. Almost all of that behavior comes from some kind of internal suffering.
        The same is true of anyone. Anyone who is so tormented by internal doubt and a private personal history that affects the way you behave — I wouldn’t want to feel the pain the raging narcissist feels”

    • jon s
      jon s on September 22, 2014, 10:05 am

      seafoid, OK, you got me. What’s Blutwahn?

      • seafoid
        seafoid on September 22, 2014, 10:48 am

        Blood madness

        I would have expected someone like you to be able to stand back and take a nuanced view of the madness that Israel went through in July but 95% is pretty comprehensive so even people like you were roped in .

        July 18, 2014, 7:45 am We are hoping and praying for the safety of our soldiers, in battle with a vicious enemy and for the innocent civilians on both sides. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israel-launches-invasion#sthash.Ywf2FAN8.dpuf

        No awareness of why Gaza might want to lose the occupation or what sort of PR damage Israel was doing to itself.

      • annie
        annie on September 22, 2014, 10:50 am

        google translate from german says it means blood mania

      • seafoid
        seafoid on September 22, 2014, 4:49 pm

        German is a great language if you need to construct a word- they clip together – you can call anything a wahn/mania – eg Sausage + Wahn, Building + Wahn, Money + wahn
        Zionism is a Landwahn

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 12:32 pm

        “German is a great language if you need to construct a word”

        It’s even got a word for the Rabbi’s husband. Go ahead, just look at the “shitshow” picture of the pair and tell me it doesn’t.

    • Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
      Lynne Lopez-Salzedo on September 30, 2014, 7:24 pm

      As Thich Nhat Hanh says: ‘Call things by their true names.’ I was talking about Gaza because this was not an abstract discussion about hypocrisy and inner peace; it was a very specific discussion about the recent Israeli assault on Gaza.

  18. Boomer
    Boomer on September 21, 2014, 4:19 pm

    Lynne,

    Thanks for your testimony, and thanks for what you do. You are courageous. What you do is hard, but important. Surely it will have good effects in the fullness of time.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 22, 2014, 2:12 pm

      ” Surely it will have good effects in the fullness of time.”

      Is a “fullness of time” something like a “Friedman unit”? Or is it more like a “light-year”?

      How the hell can you talk about a “fullness of time” when, if I am not mistaken, the UN says that conditions in Gaza are verging on extinctual? Just asking, of course, don’t want to disturb the sanctimony.

      • Boomer
        Boomer on September 27, 2014, 3:48 pm

        Mooser, If I recall correctly, a “Friedman Unit (FU)” is six months. No, I didn’t mean that. Nor even six years, necessarily. Still, I didn’t want to discourage her. She is doing a good thing, but it is hard to continue without hope.

    • jon s
      jon s on September 23, 2014, 5:09 am

      Seafoid, So by hoping and praying for our soldier’s safety and for the innocent civilians on both sides – I was manifesting “blood madness”?? What kind of Orwellian, upside-down , “logic” is that?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 12:33 pm

        ” I was manifesting “blood madness”?? “

        Any commentor’s archive can be accessed simply by clicking the name above a comment.

      • Donald
        Donald on September 23, 2014, 4:35 pm

        “So by hoping and praying for our soldier’s safety and for the innocent civilians on both sides – I was manifesting “blood madness”?? What kind of Orwellian, upside-down , “logic” is that? ”

        Speaking of Orwellian upside down logic, when you claim to care for civilians and then absolve the Israeli military of all blame for the civilians it kills and put it all on Hamas, that might be blood madness. I wouldn’t know–never heard the term before. But I feel safe in calling it self-serving vicious hypocrisy.

  19. pgtl10
    pgtl10 on September 21, 2014, 5:58 pm

    “Did you know that there is no letter ‘P’ in Arabic? There is no word in Arabic for Palestinian. Why? Because they don’t exist as a people.”

    This could be dumbest argument against Palestinians I’ve ever heard. The man bases his conclusion on a western language. Not once did he consider that maybe you judge based on a foreign language. The man never considered that maybe in Arabic the term Palestinians is pronounced differently.

    Racism is gone ones but this man a lack of intelligence that

    • Accentitude
      Accentitude on September 22, 2014, 4:50 am

      Wow, talk about enlightenment, huh? Indeed it is a dumb argument.
      So our lack of a letter P means that we don’t exist as a people. That’s a new one. I’m never bored by the new and innovative ways that Zionists will discredit our existence. Never mind the fact that the word “Palestine” is an English-based translation for what we “Palestinians” actually call ourselves and is not actually the name of “Palestine” because non-Arabs can’t actually pronounce the words we use in our language. Maybe he can also explain that Germany isn’t a country either because Germans call it Deutschland.

      If Palestine doesn’t exist, surely فلسطين (pronounce Falasteen) does and فلسطينيا (Falasteeniyah) have been around for thousands of years well before the manufactured state of Israel or Mr. Pro-Genocide Psychotic Settler’s Settlement and he can even thumb through the pages of Torah to find evidence of our being here.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 2:16 pm

        I’m still waiting for somebody, Zionist, or anti-Zionist, go give me the reasons those calling themselves “Jews” form a polity? A religion, sure, there’s a Jewish religion, in many forms, too. But a Jewish polity, a Jewish people-hood? Of what does it consist?

    • seafoid
      seafoid on September 22, 2014, 4:50 pm

      Maybe they are called filisteeni in Arabic and they don’t need p.
      The ignorance is breathtaking.

  20. pgtl10
    pgtl10 on September 21, 2014, 5:59 pm

    I messed up and posted prematurely.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 12:51 am

      Welcome to the new format, PGT. Personally, I liked the Edit buttons better.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 2:50 pm

        “Personally, I liked the Edit buttons better”

        So did I, a lot. They give me a chance to clean up any premature,,,uh, expostulations.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 6:20 pm

        Mooser,

        I hate it when I can’t clean up my messes!

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 26, 2014, 11:52 am

        “I hate it when I can’t clean up my messes!”

        I have suffered a lot from the messes caused by premature expostulation.

  21. W.Jones
    W.Jones on September 21, 2014, 6:05 pm

    Only five people turned up to the discussion.
    Out of what, twenty or fifty?

    5 + yourself + the Israeli out of 20 would be a good turnout.

    7 out of 60 would be small.

    I introduced myself: raised in a secular Zionist family in London, spent time in Israel, a son who lives in the Galilee. Descendant of Holocaust victims. So far, they were with me. Then

    I think that the next thing to do would be to give your visitors the best framework, although you apparently didn’t realize what their mindset was, and you (sorry) thought that they would be more amenable.

    You chose to talk about the Holocaust to use it as a human rights lesson. That’s OK, but you should do a better job explaining the lessons of universal morality – ie. make clear what the lessons are, and how they relate to suffering all over the world.

    Don’t forget – some people drew nationalist lessons from the nationalist persecutions, while what you want people to draw are internationalist, universal lessons about all people. You can use examples of Germans massacring Polish villages that resisted.

    But it’s also tough, because the scale of Holocaust casualties is nowhere near Palestinian ones. What you are concerned about is the POSSIBILITY of repeating those figures, and of violating what you see as the non-nationalist lessons of the Holocaust – that having a society supercharged on nationalism can be a problem.

    The other topic you should think about is the prophesied peace and antiwar morality in Judaism – if you are able to “reveal” it, then it would be a good link to the theme of having your spirituality retreat.

    Whether you agree with Christian theology or not, in its philosophical system it was able to bring out some of those peaceful, merciful ideas that are latent in Judaism. This is why Marc Ellis’ Liberation Theology originates in Christian Liberation Theology. However, bringing those themes out independent of Christianity in a theological discussion might require much deeper thinking. In fact, a whole class could be taught on that.

    But once people in your discussion group are on board with a radical pro-peace idea of Judaism that matches their (normally) liberal politics, you can make better headway.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 22, 2014, 2:37 pm

      “That’s OK, but you should do a better job explaining the lessons of universal morality”

      Well, see, that gets a little difficult when almost everything people see of know about the Holocaust emphasizes the exclusivity of Jewish suffering, with little context. Think about the major films (Night and Fog, Shoah, Schindlers List). Makes conclusions of universal morality a little difficult.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 6:19 pm

        Well, even if you emphasized the Polish casualties, it would still not include Palestinians. Maybe what you could do though is after connecting it with the Poles, you could connect it to the Armenians, and after that, emphasize how actually over the last several thousand years the various natives of Palestine have been massacred. The Egyptians, Turks, and British all carried out massacres. Even the harsh side of the Exodus story could be partly problematic from that perspective.

        So once you start feeling bad for people, then offer a different approach.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 12:35 pm

        W Jones, you are a man who has an almost prehensile grasp of language. Almost.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 23, 2014, 10:38 am

      “Whether you agree with Christian theology or not, in its philosophical system it was able to bring out some of those peaceful, merciful ideas that are latent in Judaism. This is why Marc Ellis’ Liberation Theology originates in Christian Liberation Theology. “

      Oh, don’t wait, you must e-mail Mr. Ellis, and make sure he knows his ideas are “derived” from Christian liberation theology. That’s news he can’t do without!-

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 28, 2014, 9:34 pm

        Ellis certainly knows this. He went to a Catholic Jesuit college for his PhD.

        From Wikipedia:

        In 1980 he received his doctorate in contemporary American Social and Religious Thought from Marquette University. He then became a faculty member at the Maryknoll School of Theology in Maryknoll, New York, and director of the M.A. program at the Maryknoll Institute for Justice and Peace.

        The whole concept of Liberation Theology was created by Catholic theologians in Latin America through the second half of the 20th century.

    • Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
      Lynne Lopez-Salzedo on September 30, 2014, 7:34 pm

      ‘But once people…. are on board with a radical pro-peace idea….’
      As I made clear, I was shouted down the moment I started to challenge them. No way was anyone there prepared to listen to Liberation Theology, or even to let me finish my sentences. Their sole intent was to silence me.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on October 1, 2014, 8:23 pm

        OK, I got it. They were not going to listen to pro-peace ideas in a meeting with Gaza in its title.

        I still think it’s good that you had the meeting. The other thing you can do is pass materials out (even if they cut off your oratory), and in case any one person seems open minded, you can talk with them afterwards.

  22. KarlRKaiser
    KarlRKaiser on September 21, 2014, 6:12 pm

    Thanks for your story. I find that all of these provocations of guilty consciences are necessary, and in the long, long run, they will prove useful. But will Palestinian society survive that long?

    There are no two ways about it though: the mindsets you encounter are a form of cultism, indoctrinate by family, “church” and community from an early age, so they will not easily recover, especially when they assiduously themselves to echo chambers of like minds.

    In light of that, these painful discussions where people are haplessly thrown together in spite of themselves, are one of the few opportunities to challenge people to reassess the assumption that association with past victimhood earns one moral exceptionalism in the present.

    I hope you would participate in the same way if you have another chance.

  23. seafoid
    seafoid on September 21, 2014, 6:18 pm

    http://www.uark.edu/depts/comminfo/www/zappa.html

    “In _Teaching as a Subversive Activity_ (1969), Neil Postman
    and Charles Weingartner argued that “crap detectors” have
    played a key role in history:

    One way of looking at the history of the human
    group is that it has been a continuing struggle
    against the veneration of ‘crap.’ Our
    intellectual history is a chronicle of the anguish
    and suffering of men(and women) who tried to help their
    contemporaries see that some part of their fondest
    beliefs were misconceptions, faulty assumptions,
    superstitions, and even outright lies. (p. 3).”

    Would it be possible for Lynn to rise above the barbs and do something that recognizes just how crap Zionism has become ? Forget about what the bots say- just stay focused and try to show them how deluded they are . No need to even mention palestinians.

    I like the idea of sitting shiva for tikkun olam . It would make a great workshop.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 1:24 am

      Seafoid,

      You wrote:

      One way of looking at the history of the human
      group is that it has been a continuing struggle against the veneration of ‘crap.’

      Is the Israeli religio-nationalist struggle for the “Holy Land” practically neverending? That’s part of the “conventional wisdom” about it.

      It is discussed in the Bible as the people’s history, and after that, there have been repeated attempts to re-control the land, from Bar Kochba to the revolt of the mid-7th century, to various Messianic movements, and culminating in the events of 1947.

      What is to say that if the international community imposed a solution that the community wouldn’t keep fighting to take over the land, like they fought against the British who supervised it?

      Yes, I am aware that post-Temple Judaism’s traditional philosophy has been and theoretically should be construed to avoid a national takeover of the land. But it seems that there have frequently been serious attempts to do so throughout history, and what stopped it was chiefly the power of Roman or Islamic imperial rule, which collapsed in the 20th century.

      I’m also aware that from a progressive, idealistic, international standpoint we would want the land to be shared by everyone without a state for any one religion alone. But it looks like there is a strong, longstanding, sometimes latent drive to do that. The
      Marxist “internationalist” kibbitzers Chomsky described as having a very strong nationalism.

      The fact is, that Judaism is to some extent a religion of a “people”. And with a “people” generally comes nationhood and territory. Now the implications of that can be deconstructed, and the understanding of Judaism can be radically reinterpreted in a Messianic, universalist, internationalist way. But given what the current understanding of the religion, nationality, and culture is, is this a conflict or longterm struggle that is impractical difficult to “solve”, even if the international community imposed an equal, shared solution? Wouldn’t nationalist uprisings continue over the centuries?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 1:41 am

        From this retreat and discussions I’ve had with dedicated pro-Israeli Americans, it sounds like belief in nationalism is pretty intense and religious, even among the less religious. It’s like a principle.

        Even if the international community decided to “impose” a solution and take over the occupation of the west bank and enforce an internationalization or division of Jerusalem, it sounds like the intensity of their nationalism would not dissipate. You might still be talking with them at retreats and at lunchtime, with the same way of thinking appearing. In fact, now the complaint might be that the international community was siding with the Muslims and taking away East Jerusalem.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 3:13 pm

        “Is the Israeli religio-nationalist struggle for the “Holy Land” practically neverending? That’s part of the “conventional wisdom” about it.”

        No, it’s just a phase we are going through. Remember, Europe had the Crusades? They were fixated as hell on the Holy Land for years, and then they forgot all about it, for the most part.
        Same thing. It’s just a fad, a passing fancy. It’s a way to fleece the peasants, too.

        For God’s freakin’ sake, W Jones, this “neverending” struggle for the Holy Land was conjured up during the 19th Century, a terrible time for a lot of Jews in Europe, naturally, a new interpretation of Jewish history and religion which offered the hope of getting the hell out of there would be attractive. In the 20th, the Zionists basically hitched their wagon to the Empires, and made advantage from Jewish suffering.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 3:22 pm

        “But given what the current understanding of the religion, nationality, and culture is, is this a conflict or longterm struggle that is impractical difficult to “solve”, even if the international community imposed an equal, shared solution?”

        Shorter W Jones, and yeah, it worries me to: If outside powers impose some kind of egalitarian or democratic solution on Palestine, will the Zionists resort to underground terror operations to insure their dominance? A virtual underground government run by violence and intimidation, manned by an trained IDF vets and united by bitterness and ideology? With a network of civilian resources (espionage, medical financial) .
        Would that be a fair way to put it? Well all I can say is, you usually go out how you come in.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on September 22, 2014, 4:56 pm

        Mooser

        If the US army or the Russians ever have to, shall we say, mop up resistance to a peace deal in Israel/Palestine that involves maverick ex IDF it won’t be pretty.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 5:30 pm

        Hey Mooser.

        You brought up an interesting analogy with the Crusades. Christian society actually is pretty intensely set on its right or privilege to make pilgrimages to Palestine’s holy sites. Maybe 4 million Christians make pilgrimages annually. Supposedly, the Crusaders thought that the Muslims, along with forcibly converting the Christian population, banned pilgrimages. I think that if ISIS or the Israeli State banned pilgrimages to the Levant, it would be a pretty big issue, and perhaps generate Euro-American political action.

        The other thing is that actually tension between some Muslim power and Europe never totally went away after the Crusades ended. Look at the Armenian genocide and the liberation of the Balkans, Mooser. Weren’t half of Armenians killed? But anyway, the postwar West and Soviets eventually figured out that it was not worth fighting Arabs to make a Christian society in Palestine, and the best thing to do was to work past religious divisions with a kind of realpolitick. Arab Christians have found that it’s best to support forces that will seriously tolerate them in the Mideast, and aren’t interested in a destructive Crusade on their society.

        The Crusades are not really a perfect analogy though because the eastern half of Christianity often opposed it. The Crusaders sacked Constantinople and Christians in Palestine, some of whom ended up fighting on the Muslim side.

        So the Crusades were not really a past ideological phase for Christian society – half the Christians opposed it, the underlying desire to make pilgrimages remains, and the interfaith tension that some people had did not go away totally but is rather something that people are still trying to address, either through realpolitick or by supporting interfaith coexistence. (Armenians are pretty happy not being genocided again.)

        By the way, i am not trying to make Christian society sound wonderful – it isn’t. Just to explain how they have addressed the kinds of important past issues you raised.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 5:57 pm

        I gave some more thought to what you said, Mooser. As a general matter, Christian society believes in spreading itself, and at times it was in misguided conflicts to do that. Its holy sites in the Levant are very important for it. It seems to me that there is no direct belief or tradition that Palestine’s land in particular must be Christian.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 5:59 pm

        If the US army or the Russians ever have to, shall we say, mop up resistance to a peace deal in Israel/Palestine that involves maverick ex IDF it won’t be pretty.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 6:01 pm

        IP is a bit like the NES.

      • annie
        annie on September 22, 2014, 6:33 pm

        huh?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 7:01 pm

        Never Ending Story.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 8:26 pm

        “By the way, i am not trying to make Christian society sound wonderful “

        You are not, don’t worry. Not by a long shot.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 8:30 pm

        ” It seems to me that there is no direct belief or tradition that Palestine’s land in particular must be Christian.”

        That’s nice. The Palestinians deserve a break. Who needs two religions on their back?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 24, 2014, 12:27 pm

        “I gave some more thought to what you said, Mooser. “

        Oh, no need for that, W Jones. I think you did a great job of failing to grasp it the first time.

    • Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
      Lynne Lopez-Salzedo on September 30, 2014, 7:41 pm

      I talked about the Palestinians because I was discussing the Gaza war. One can’t dissociate Zionism from Israel’s brutal behavior towards the Palestinians. Yes, we need to mourn for the Jewish values that have become degraded by Zionism. And what better time of the year to start atoning for these sins than on Yom Kippur?

  24. Gene Shae
    Gene Shae on September 21, 2014, 10:16 pm

    If I was at this retreat, lynne would have been in tears.

    • American
      American on September 22, 2014, 12:02 am

      Gene Shae
      September 21, 2014, 10:16 pm

      If I was at this retreat, lynne would have been in tears”>>>>

      And If I had been there you would then have been sipping your dinner thru a straw for offending the lady.

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on September 23, 2014, 10:56 pm

        Sipping cider through a straw?

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones on September 22, 2014, 12:50 am

        ^That’s a photo from Gaza of a kid who wants his Mom back.

    • straightline
      straightline on September 22, 2014, 1:32 am

      I’m sure she would, Gene! Tears of despair!

    • amigo
      amigo on September 22, 2014, 6:48 am

      “If I was at this retreat, lynne would have been in tears. ” gs

      Well, if your responses here are anything to go by , then I agree .She would have been in tears, of laughter.

    • eljay
      eljay on September 22, 2014, 7:38 am

      >> Gene Shaeee: If I was at this retreat, lynne would have been in tears.

      Would you have physically assaulted her with a baseball bat or would you have been a brave Zio-supremacist and used only your fists? Either way, I’m sure you would have made Captain Israel proud.

      • annie
        annie on September 22, 2014, 7:58 am

        gene’s probably more of the halborn variety http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/received-vicious-threats

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 22, 2014, 3:33 pm

        Make no mistake, if, and when, Zionism becomes convinced that violence will be an effective tool to use against activists in America, they will have no trouble producing appropriately skilled and experienced people, or, if needed, a multitude of ‘lone nuts’.

      • eljay
        eljay on September 23, 2014, 7:49 am

        >> Mooser: Make no mistake, if, and when, Zionism becomes convinced that violence will be an effective tool to use against activists in America …

        … “liberal Zio-supremacists” will hold their while their hardier co-collectivists do the dirty, bloody work.

        All in the name of defending injustice and immorality simply because it happens to be Jewish injustice and immorality.

        But, hey, it’s not as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali or African “hell-holes”, dontcha know…

      • eljay
        eljay on September 23, 2014, 7:50 am

        >> eljay: … “liberal Zio-supremacists” will hold their while their hardier co-collectivists do the dirty, bloody work.

        Correction: … “liberal Zio-supremacists” will hold their noses …

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 12:42 pm

        “All in the name of defending injustice and immorality simply because it happens to be Jewish injustice and immorality.”

        It’s “Jewish injustice and immorality”? Gosh, I didn’t know we had our own special type of “injustice and immorality”. Just so I know, what’s “Jewish” about it. I’ve heard of “homemade sin”
        but ‘this is new’!

      • eljay
        eljay on September 23, 2014, 1:20 pm

        >> Mooser: It’s “Jewish injustice and immorality”? Gosh, I didn’t know we had our own special type of “injustice and immorality”. Just so I know, what’s “Jewish” about it.

        It’s Jewish in the sense that it’s being committed by “Jewish State” Jews.

        Sort of how when people refer to Russian aggression, they’re not suggesting that it is a special type of aggression, merely that Russians happen to be the ones committing it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 8:23 pm

        “Sort of how when people refer to Russian aggression”

        Yes, it refers to aggression from Russia, by the Russian state is. Where and who does “Jewish aggression” come from?

      • eljay
        eljay on September 24, 2014, 7:18 am

        >> Mooser: Yes, it refers to aggression from Russia, by the Russian state is. Where and who does “Jewish aggression” come from?

        From the “Jewish State”. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of it. ;-)

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on September 24, 2014, 11:08 am

        Annie: Those letters to Megan are awful. There is no place for them and not something to joke about. Let’s agree to no threats

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae on September 24, 2014, 11:11 am

        AJ & Seafoid: I am still trying to learn about Jewish smugness. Does it fit into the same category?

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 26, 2014, 11:56 am

        AJ & Seafoid: I am still trying to learn about Jewish smugness.

        Gene you are much, much to modest about your educational attainments. I don’t think you have anything at all to learn about “Jewish smugness”. Heck, you should be given an honorary doctorate in smugness.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 26, 2014, 9:50 pm

        “Annie: Those letters to Megan are awful. There is no place for them and not something to joke about. Let’s agree to no threats”

        I see, you don’t want to see the letters, because they threaten your image of Zionism, or the one you wish to project. Got it, Gene Shae, loud and clear.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 22, 2014, 12:01 pm

      “If I was at this retreat, lynne would have been in tears.”

      Oy Gevalt listen to the big yeshiva scholar! Such pilpull he would have pulled on her! He’s a mayven!

      Why don’t you tell us what you said to the liberals at that dinner party, Gene?

    • seafoid
      seafoid on September 22, 2014, 4:57 pm

      Invitation only, Gene. Sorry. You need to keep talking to your therapist and maybe when you are older if you make enough progress we could think about inviting you. But you have to engage first.

    • Marnie
      Marnie on September 23, 2014, 1:36 pm

      Yes and I too end up in tears after laughing too hard!

  25. Clif Brown
    Clif Brown on September 21, 2014, 11:16 pm

    A cause for optimism – would I be right in assuming that none of the people on this spiritual retreat were under 30 (except for the “young” Israeli)?, maybe not under 40?

    There is good reason to value mortality: old minds are usually set, young ones are open to reality.

    • Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
      Lynne Lopez-Salzedo on September 30, 2014, 7:46 pm

      The people at the retreat ranged in age from teenagers to octogenarians. I’m afraid the younger people were just as crazy as everyone else.

  26. NickJOCW
    NickJOCW on September 22, 2014, 5:36 am

    We can’t ignore the fact that this war would never have happened without American backing and support.

    Israel is a vast US military installation and arsenal. as is most of Okinawa, Bahrain and many other places. South Africa wasn’t, so there the US could afford to sport a humanitarian hat. The US will continue to tolerate Israeli abuses just as it does in the KSA and elsewhere while doing anything to keep Palestine from independence for fear of a free and independent Palestine becoming a magnet for external commercial investment and associated alliances and undermining the role of its Israeli military installations next door, the same fears apply to a sanction free Iran. Meanwhile the Palestinians are culled mercilessly like vermin, the conscience of the civilised world is outraged, and Jewish solidarity is contaminated. It was once said that no one could imagine how much it cost the Indian National Congress to maintain Gandhi in poverty, and the same might be said of the price we all pay to keep US foreign policy in the era of the horse drawn carriage.

    • American
      American on September 24, 2014, 2:29 pm

      NickJOCW
      September 22, 2014, 5:36 am

      We can’t ignore the fact that this war would never have happened without American backing and support.”>>>>

      We know this already.
      Talk about a solution that would work to end US support.

  27. Shmuel
    Shmuel on September 22, 2014, 11:20 am

    Hi Lynne,

    Thanks for your thought-provoking article.

    A friend recently introduced me Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Art of Communicating”, and particularly the concept of “Right Speech”, which she (my friend) has been trying to employ in talking about Palestine.

    Thich Nhat Hanh lists four parts of Right Speech: 1. Tell the truth; 2. Don’t exaggerate; 3. Be consistent; 4. Use peaceful language.

    I certainly don’t mean to criticise and I’m still working on these things myself. I know next to nothing about about Buddhism, and until a couple of weeks ago, had never even heard of Thich Nhat Hanh. I wonder though, whether your opening statement (“the very people who had once been segregated, starved, demonized and murdered were now doing the same to the Palestinians”), which set the tone for the entire discussion might not have fallen into the category of Wrong Speech.

    Is the “very people” an appropriate label, and are those who are oppressing the Palestinians really “doing the same” as was done to Jews (and others) during the Holocaust? Is this statement a true reflection of reality, or is it an exaggeration and/or a distraction that may have emotional impact, but may also close minds and raise hackles – especially among those likely to oppose the message you are trying to convey?

    I’d really like to hear your thoughts on Right Speech and human rights advocacy in Israel/Palestine.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 23, 2014, 8:14 pm

      “I know next to nothing about about Buddhism”

      Maybe you should learn. Some people say you even look a little bit Buddhist.

    • Lynne Lopez-Salzedo
      Lynne Lopez-Salzedo on September 30, 2014, 8:05 pm

      I did not claim that Israel was behaving exactly the same way to the Palestinians as the Nazis behaved to the Jews. That would not be accurate. What I said was that Israel was segregating, starving, demonizing and murdering Palestinians, just as the Nazis had done to the Jews (and others) during the Holocaust.
      Thich Nhat Hanh says of Right Speech: ‘We will speak only with the intention to understand and help transform the situation. … We will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may make difficulties for us or threaten our safety.’ If that means ‘raising hackles’, as you put it, then so be it.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel on October 1, 2014, 2:43 am

        Lynne,

        Thank you for your reply. To clarify, my reference to “raising hackles” was not about your own difficulties or safety (an issue you confronted with great courage), but about the communicative approach you took to this audience. In my experience, Holocaust analogies (I too am from a family deeply affected by the Holocaust) are mind-closers that make communication all but impossible. That is not to say that there was necessarily any kind of receptiveness to the message itself, but if there was, perhaps another approach would have been more effective.

        I know this sounds presumptuous. I wasn’t there, and probably wouldn’t have had your courage, but have been thinking a lot lately about effective approaches to different kinds of audiences on the subject of I/P in general and Gaza in particular, and having been reflecting on the concept of “Right Speech” in that context. Of course, if we only speak to those we know will be receptive to our messages, we will accomplish very little indeed.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel on October 1, 2014, 4:17 am

        There’s a good article by Amira Hass, in today’s Haaretz, about the difficulty in getting the Palestinian message across — when they are “polite”, they are ignored, and when they shout (as she characterises Abbas’ speech at the UN), the discussion becomes all about the fact that they are shouting.

  28. Shmuel
    Shmuel on September 22, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Thank goodness she didn’t end up sitting next to a German on the plane home, she said. Or worse, an Arab! Her face grew hard and dark at the thought.

    This reminds me of Avrum Burg’s discussion, in The Holocaust is Over of the displacement of anger and revenge from the Germans to the Arabs (restoring relations with Germany while “reincarnating the Nazi spirit into the Arab body”).

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 22, 2014, 2:20 pm

      “reincarnating the Nazi spirit into the Arab body”

      As far as I know, only the Zionists, and a few unreconstructed anti-Semites still believe their is an essential Jewish quality of people hood, or an essential Jewish component to individuals. You know the old saying, Schmuel: If it walks and Goebbels like a turkey, it probably is.

  29. Hakuna_Matata
    Hakuna_Matata on September 22, 2014, 7:17 pm

    In Buddhism it is taught that the core or essence of any emotion (like anger) is the desire to be happy and free from suffering , which is loving kindness and compassion. The word to describe such emotions is not “negative”, but rather “unskillful” because they cause one to suffer more in the end. When one sees the essence of anger in this way, it is transformed into loving kindness and compassion and one sees the anger of others in a compassionate way. I have found this practice very useful as I look my emotions and those of others that were stirred by the latest conflict in Gaza. The “facts/viewpoints” that different people bring up to express their emotions might be different, but the emotions are felt in the same way, and their essence is the same.

    As the example goes, when a lion sees a bone being thrown, he doesn’t go after the bone, he goes after the person that threw it.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 23, 2014, 10:42 am

      “In Buddhism it is taught that the core or essence of any emotion (like anger) is the desire to be happy and free from suffering , which is loving kindness and compassion.”

      As the great Bhudda hisself expressed it: “Leave no turn unstoned!”

  30. Mooser
    Mooser on September 23, 2014, 10:45 am

    You know what might, just might throw a monkey-wrench into Zionism? Well, a vociferous denial of Jewish polity, of a Jewish political peoplehood might help, if it came from enough Jews.

    We should all get together, as a people, and do that!

    • eljay
      eljay on September 23, 2014, 12:48 pm

      >> Mooser: You know what might, just might throw a monkey-wrench into Zionism? Well, a vociferous denial of Jewish polity, of a Jewish political peoplehood might help, if it came from enough Jews. We should all get together, as a people, and do that!

      The way I hear it, getting together as a people entitles you to your own state. Sure, you have to oppress, cleanse or kill the indigenous population, but that’s part of the fun burden of statehood.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on September 23, 2014, 8:21 pm

        “The way I hear it, getting together as a people entitles you to your own state.”

        Yup, I call it “Catch 18”. (instead of 22, of course). We all get together us Jews of Conscience, to express our concern or even disapproval, and the Zionists say : “See how concerned they are, and all together, as Jews! We are a people, and we gotta have a state”

        Good trick they pulled, huh? Gotta hand it to ’em. Good trick. Once they got that “gotta be a people” thing going, they were set.

  31. NoMoreIsrael
    NoMoreIsrael on September 23, 2014, 4:34 pm

    In the medical world, there are people called HEPS patients. It stands for Heavily Exposed Persistently Seronegative.

    These are people who have been repeatedly exposed to HIV but never get sick. They are of great interest to AIDS researchers, who want to understand what makes them immune to the pathogen.

    I propose the term HEPS Jews, to describe Jews like myself, like those on Mondoweiss, but particularly, Israeli jews like Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

    How is it that decades of exposure to the Israeli virus has not caused them to become sick, when virtually their entire society has long since succumed? What allows this? What is the secret?

    • just
      just on September 23, 2014, 6:31 pm

      the ‘secret’ is a soul, a conscience, more than a soupçon of empathy and compassion, and a belief in and practice of that good old Golden Rule among other things. A firm grounding in reality helps as well.

      You make a good point.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on September 23, 2014, 8:10 pm

      “These are people who have been repeatedly exposed to HIV but never get sick. They are of great interest to AIDS researchers, who want to understand what makes them immune to the pathogen. “

      And I thought I was just lucky.

  32. michelle
    michelle on September 24, 2014, 1:41 pm

    .
    “Sean: Thought about what you said to me the other day, about my painting. Stayed up half the night thinking about it. Something occurred to me… fell into a deep peaceful sleep, and haven’t thought about you since. Do you know what occurred to me?
    Will: No.
    Sean: You’re just a kid, you don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talkin’ about.
    Will: Why thank you.
    Sean: It’s all right. You’ve never been out of Boston.
    Will: Nope.
    Sean: So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you… I don’t see an intelligent, confident man… I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You’re an orphan right?
    [Will nods]
    Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally… I don’t give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can’t learn anything from you, I can’t read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t want to do that do you sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief. ”
    http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0003602/quotes
    .
    live your life create your own past
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

  33. philweiss
    philweiss on September 27, 2014, 12:44 pm

    Lynne Lopez-Salzedo tells me, “I very much appreciate all the comments and would like to reply individually to each one – I can’t do so right now due to a software glitch, so I will reply to all the comments in a separate post.”

  34. sineadobrien
    sineadobrien on September 27, 2014, 7:33 pm

    Lynne, I commend you for your bravery. I don’t think I would have the guts to confront entrenched Zionists in such a way as you did. It was not an easy task.

  35. W.Jones
    W.Jones on October 3, 2014, 2:21 pm

    Rabbi Brant is still posting on his blog about dealing with this topic in his community:

    Another bit of history: several years ago, in response to the growing tensions caused by my Palestinian solidarity activism, the JRC Board reached out to consultants to help us to create a process for civil discourse on this issue; to build a culture of openness to all views and the development of safe spaces for conversation and programming on Israel/Palestine that truly reflected the range of our members’ views and concerns. This work resulted in what we eventually called the “Sicha Project,” in which we trained JRC members to become group facilitators to be used whenever we addressed difficult or potentially controversial aspects of the Israel/Palestine issue together as a community. At the same time, we created an Israel Program Committee charged with the creation of a wide variety of programs on this issue.


    I believe we failed to remain as vigilant as we should have been in bringing new leadership aboard and I believe the work of our first Israel Program Committee became paralyzed and left to languish.


    Although I’ve personally made the decision to leave congregational life professionally, I still do believe in congregations. And I’ll admit, I say this selfishly: quite frankly, Hallie and I would love to find a congregation in which we ourselves can make a comfortable Jewish home.

    http://rabbibrant.com/

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