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Obama says Muslims bear responsibility to counter radical Islam (so are Jews responsible for Israeli violence?)

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A central theme of President Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday is that Muslims have a special responsibility to fight radical Islam and redeem their religion from a scourge. Here is some of that message:

It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL….

It is one of the tasks of all great religions to accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world.  No children are born hating, and no children — anywhere — should be educated to hate other people…

All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all great religions:  Do unto thy neighbor as you would do — you would have done unto yourself…

Here he put special responsibility on Muslims:

The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed and confronted and refuted in the light of day.  Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies — Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose:  “We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.”  Look at the young British Muslims who responded to terrorist propaganda by starting the “NotInMyName” campaign, declaring, “ISIS is hiding behind a false Islam.” …

The countries of the Arab and Muslim world must focus on the extraordinary potential of their people — especially the youth.

And here I’d like to speak directly to young people across the Muslim world.  You come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder.  Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.

The message is fascinating because it mirrors the view that Jews have a special responsibility to redeem Judaism from militant Zionism. Bruce Shipman lost his job at Yale in part for saying that (or hinting it):

As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.

People were angered at Shipman’s suggestion that Israel’s actions foster anti-Semitism. Israel might be the Jewish state, but even if you hate Israel you can’t carry that hatred over to Jews, these concerned people said. Obama is saying that there is a special responsibility inside religious communities to deal with violent ideologies that seem to spring from that religious community. Many Jews would seem to agree with him: we hold up signs saying Not In Our Name at demonstrations against Zionist atrocities.

It’s common sense that Israel is fostering rage against Jews. Raphael Magarik at the Forward, asks “Do Jewish Actions ever Cause Anti-Semitism?”He writes:

 First off, denying that Israel’s behavior has any causal role in anti-Semitism is deeply counter-intuitive. This summer, Israel fought a war and anti-Semitism surged in Europe — are those two facts supposed to be a coincidence?

He gets support from an unlikely place:

This issue is in the news. Yesterday’s Times had a big piece about anti-Semitism in Europe that I am told downplayed the role that Israel’s human rights abuses have  in some of the angry expressions that the Times highlighted. Haven’t read it yet….

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102 Responses

  1. Donald
    Donald
    September 25, 2014, 11:21 am

    Whatever Obama planned to do after 2016, he just blew his chances for a chaplaincy at Yale–unless of course there are double standards for what one can say about various religions. Perish the thought.

    • Don
      Don
      September 25, 2014, 12:05 pm

      Mooser Humor Award!

      Tooo blinking funny…

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      September 25, 2014, 7:44 pm

      Obama is right, however.

      The reality is that the current chaos in the Middle East cannot be blamed on Western policies, which people like Juan Cole and others are pushing. It is an indigenous problem.

      It is true, as Chomsky and others have pointed out, that the U.S. has often supported Islamists in the past to get at secular Arab dictators who were supported by the Soviets back in the day, but Chomsky and others ignore the fact that the U.S. did this simply because the secular opposition was often a total joke, like the one we have in Syria today or the one which exists in Egypt.

      Just look at a graduation photo from Cairo University from the 1950s and today and see the massive difference. Back then almost no woman had a hijab, today it isn’t uncommon to see a niqab or a burka. These are just proxies for a much more religious (and often intolerant) society, just like the ongoing Haredization of Israeli society.

      I also think that while the I/P is a problem for the U.S. and contributes negatively to U.S. national security, I actually agree with Obama that it is dumb to see it as a major cause of conflict in the region. Israel isn’t causing ISIS to wreak havoc on religious minorities in Syria or in Iraq.

      Nor is it responsible for Turkey’s increasingly intolerant and regressive turn backwards in time(violence against women has increased by over 1000% since Erdogan took power, women’s rights are increasingly curtailed, they are told they have to stay home, some even say they shouldn’t smile in public etc).

      The Middle East has moved steadily backwards in time in the post-war era on most social issues, while most if not all of the rest of the world has moved forward. That’s in part why you see so much conflict there. And the only rich states have a lot of oil. The non-oil economy is really in the toilet, because how can a society be successful if it is culturally backwards?

      A society can be successful but politically dictatorial, like China, but Chinese culture is far more secular and open-minded than its political system.

      • September 26, 2014, 8:42 am

        An “indigenous” problem? Only if you actually believe the European Jews who run Israel and Washington DC are somehow native to the Middle East. And even then it’s not true

      • just
        just
        September 26, 2014, 8:42 am

        “The Middle East has moved steadily backwards in time in the post-war era on most social issues, while most if not all of the rest of the world has moved forward. That’s in part why you see so much conflict there. And the only rich states have a lot of oil. The non-oil economy is really in the toilet, because how can a society be successful if it is culturally backwards?”

        I find that statement more than a little repugnant. Further, if you fail to see that our ‘interventions’ in the region have brought much misery and chaos, and that our hypocrisy and hegemonic desires are now legendary, then your worldview is one that I reject.

      • Donald
        Donald
        September 26, 2014, 8:48 am

        “I actually agree with Obama that it is dumb to see it as a major cause of conflict in the region. Israel isn’t causing ISIS to wreak havoc on religious minorities in Syria or in Iraq.”

        I agree with the gist of what you say here in your comment–I don’t want to agree with every word because I’d have to be much more familiar with the societies than I am. But yes, it’s true that you can’t blame everything wrong in some given part of the world on Western imperialism or Israeli machinations or whatever. I don’t think Israel can be blamed for most of what is wrong in the Middle East.

        But the Middle East is not unique–we focus on it now because of Israel and because of oil, but plenty of other places in the world have problems as serious either now or in the very recent past. As recently as the 80’s people in the US sometimes claimed Latin America was and always would be a nest of dictatorships, either leftwing or rightwing, and the US, or so the claim went, was largely free from blame. Supposedly it was their Spanish Catholic colonial heritage (or Portuguese I suppose in the case of Brazil). Sub-Saharan Africa seemed to be a permanent basket case–people defended apartheid South Africa on the grounds that other places in the region were worse (similar to how Israel is defended) and they also pointed out that Western colonialism couldn’t be the only reason for this. And there are still massive problems in Africa. Then there is Sri Lanka, whose recent civil war ended with massive atrocities and currently Burma (or last I heard) is persecuting its Muslims. India has had violence between Muslims and Hindus. China is economically successful right now, but has horrible pollution problems and we’ll see how well they manage to deal with them under a dictatorial system. Europe, of course, was one of the most screwed up places on the planet (I’m using technical sociological terminology) in the first half of the 20th century, but is doing much better now.

        I agree that in all the above cases the problems were not solely due to Western interference–in some cases that’s at best a small contributing factor. The precise degree to which the West can be blamed is going to vary from case to case and people will never entirely agree.

      • aiman
        aiman
        September 26, 2014, 11:29 am

        Krauss, weren’t you the guy supporting Israeli strikes on Syria? Culture is the derivative of political stability and non-interference. You are right on one point: the problem does not owe everything to western interference, but you are largely wrong. Imperial interests, and that includes regional imperial interests by Israeli/American regional allies like Saudi Arabia is what has strengthened the hand of Takfiris. Once a society is allowed to grow organically, culture opens its buds to the season.

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        September 28, 2014, 7:11 am

        The reality is that the current chaos in the Middle East cannot be blamed on Western policies, which people like Juan Cole and others are pushing. It is an indigenous problem.

        Don’t be a fool. The extremists have been used by the US since the end of the Cold War, going back to Afghanistan and ever since.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 6:39 pm

        Poor Krauss. None of you guys can see the fun in concern-trolling Islam?

      • piotr
        piotr
        November 2, 2014, 1:11 pm

        Is it repugnant to say that “The Middle East has moved steadily backwards in time in the post-war era on most social issues”?

        Well, it includes Israel, “Haredization”, but indeed, such sweeping statement is much to broad.

        Consider the example of graduation photos in Cairo, presumably from this article: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2010/jamie-glazov/how-the-veil-conquered-cairo-university/

        This is not a “post-war” phenomenon, instead, dating after 1980 or perhaps even after 1990. Recognizing the temporal limitations allows to see that it is not particularly inheritant property of religions of the region. Additionally, there is a huge different in external relationships of the region before 1980/1990 and after, when Western influence was no longer checked by Communist block, and sadly, the local darlings of Western influence happened to be socially very backward.

      • K Renner
        K Renner
        January 16, 2015, 12:38 pm

        One thing that has to be taken into account when we speak about this sort of thing in general is that it’s not like the Arab or Muslim world, at least for the most part, has been just looking the other way or snoozing or getting all disinterested and saying “well it’s not our problem”.

        I dislike it when people in general try to push that line and in doing so disregard the fact that a hell of a lot of the fighting in regard to the “war on terror” or the war against international Jihadism is in fact done by other Muslims and Muslim majority states, with varying degrees of success.

        I agree and disagree at the same time in what you’re saying in regard to the issue being an indigenous problem– and in saying this I mean that there are certain elements within the indigenous population in Egypt, for example, who are certainly part of the problem when it comes to a certain kind of very austere version of religion that ends up bordering on the puritanical.

        It’s interesting in that vein– if you’ll excuse my rambling– to see how Egypt especially was harder hit by this increase in excessive religious conservatism amongst members of the population in comparison to states like Morocco or Algeria or Tunisia or Lebanon. All of those states are decidedly less populous but they never seem to have experienced the social polarization that became more of an issue in Egypt when it comes to religious liberals and religious moderates versus religious conservatives or ultra-conservatives.

  2. Donald
    Donald
    September 25, 2014, 11:24 am

    I read the NYT piece and have to reread it, but I wouldn’t say that it downplayed the role of Israel’s actions in causing antisemitism–rather, it implied that concern over Israeli atrocities might be fuelled by anti-semitism. Israel’s crimes are just the excuse, or that’s how some of it read to me.

    • Donald
      Donald
      September 25, 2014, 11:28 am

      Now if there were an edit feature, I would edit that to say that I don’t agree with the NYT and that there is something racist about people implying that moral outrage over Gaza must be in part the result of anti-semitism. As though no one could possibly care so much otherwise.

    • philweiss
      philweiss
      September 25, 2014, 11:38 am

      Yes Donald, you were the one who told me about that piece, with your usual incisiveness….
      Phil

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      September 25, 2014, 6:41 pm

      Does NYT really say, in so many words, that there were Israeli atrocities or Israeli crimes (or war-crimes or crimes against humanity)? My guess, not having read NYT on this, is that they didn’t — getting only as close as “perceived” by anti-Zionists and/or anti-semites.

      If NYT *DID* expressly mention Israeli crimes etc., then did it call upon Israel to STOP DOING IT? (My guess: nope). Did it call on USA to call on Israel to stop? (ditto).

      NYT — a paper you can rely on, trust, to hold a party line.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      September 25, 2014, 8:59 pm

      I haven’t read it. Is it saying that no-one would be outraged at children being blown to pieces if, say, Welsh Methodists were doing it, and that Jew haters are just pretending that they don’t like it?

      • Donald
        Donald
        September 26, 2014, 8:58 am

        The article is worth reading and makes a convincing case that anti-semitism in Europe is a real problem. But it also in places conflates anger at Israel with anti-semitism and segues smoothly from one to the other. Here’s an example–

        “And since the start of the conflict in Gaza this summer, many describe social media, especially Facebook, as a swamp of hatred.

        “I have friends who are never political and they are posting things about Gaza every day,” said Ms. Frommer, the employee of the nonprofit organization. “It seems like an obsession. Is your obsession because you want to save children, or because you have a problem with Jews?”

        In a city so devoted to politics, the issue of Israel can seem unavoidable to some Jews, even those who strive to be apolitical or tend to be critical of Israeli policy. Ms. Frommer grew up in Brussels, but then left for college in Britain, followed by a long stint working in Cambodia. When she returned to Brussels four years ago, she was struck by how much more polarized life seemed. Her Jewish friends were sticking closer together as office chatter now sometimes bore a sharper edge.

        This summer, one of her Belgian colleagues repeatedly mentioned the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “He would often try to bring up the subject when I tried not to,” she said. “Then the subject would shift from Israel to Jews. Then it was, ‘Were there really six million Jews killed in the Second World War?’ ”

        Nor was the comment isolated. There have been signs that anti-Jewish sentiment transcended the immediate backlash against the Gaza war. In Hungary, the rise of the far-right Jobbik party has brought concerns that anti-Semitic views are gaining mainstream traction.”

        ————————————————————

        So that Belgium guy is an anti-semite, assuming that the person is accurately conveying his comments, but that first paragraph implies that if you were outraged about Gaza this past summer then it was an “obsession” and Frommer (not the author of the piece, but someone who is quoted within it) seems to be implying that it is a very suspicious one. They are being tagged as possible anti-semites and then the implied accusation is backed up with an anecdote about a Belgium man who seems to be a

      • Donald
        Donald
        September 26, 2014, 9:01 am

        My comment got cut off. Anyway, I meant to add something. Frommer also says at the beginning that the internet was a “swamp of hatred” during the summer, and this apparently means in part the outrage about Gaza. So yeah, real acts of anti-semitism are being conflated with moral outrage about Gaza.

    • gamal
      gamal
      November 2, 2014, 5:19 pm

      “I’d have to be much more familiar with the societies than I am. But yes” – sometimes tears are the only answer, i weep for you Donald.

  3. ckg
    ckg
    September 25, 2014, 11:50 am

    CAIR put out a press release praising Obama’s speech, and I’m not going to second-guess its assessment. But many on the right (e.g. Breitbart) are upset about these words:

    The violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace. And that’s something worthy of reflection within Israel.

    Because let’s be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable. We cannot afford to turn away from this effort – not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza.

    • ckg
      ckg
      September 25, 2014, 11:55 am

      Edit: Those are Obama’s words, not Cair’s.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      September 25, 2014, 3:18 pm

      “…rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza.”

      Is it possible for Zionists to mention dead Palestinians and NOT use the passive tense?

      • Neil Schipper
        Neil Schipper
        September 25, 2014, 5:32 pm

        Both phrases use the passive tense.

        An alternate first phrase could start Islamists fire rockets at innocent Israelis

        An alternate second phrase could start Zionists murder Palestinian children in Gaza

        You can place these with the original phrases into a 2×2 choice matrix. Of the four available combinations, two provide incitement against an enemy. A third choice might be suitable for a message of “fanatical non-violence”.

        The 4th, Obama’s, is what you expect from a (purported peace-oriented) statesman.

        In making her specific complaint, a blah chick provides a glimpse into the working of an ideologized mind.

        If she’d quoted solely the second phrase, this would have provided a significantly superior hamasbara experience to many site readers.

      • September 26, 2014, 8:48 am

        Rockets are fired at innocent Israelis.

        Palestinian children are taken from us.

        You see, the Israelis are innocent and we know who is firing rockets at them.

        The Palestinian kids however may or may not be innocent and there is no mention of how it is they are being taken from us.

        Israel kills 2,200 noncombatants, Hamas kills 3. But, once again, Israel merely is defending itself while Hamas is a terrorist organization .

        The Big Lie

      • Donald
        Donald
        September 26, 2014, 12:33 pm

        That’s as close as Obama has ever come to condemning Israeli violence, but if we are going to parse this phrase to death, no, he doesn’t quite say it. “Rockets are fired” is part of a tradition among American politicians (including Obama) of condemning the “rain of rockets” that fall on Israel. He’s never mentioned the Palestinian civilians in Gaza killed by Israel during “truces”.

        The phrase about Palestinian children leaves open who is responsible–you’ve got plenty of people who agree Palestinian children died, and then they go on to blame it entirely on Hamas. We’ve got one self-described “liberal” Zionist commenter who does that at this blog. The US claims that Israel has the right to defend itself (a dubious proposition when Israel is the bully in this conflict) and never says that about the Palestinians. So in that context Palestinian rocket fire is automatically seen as terrorism, whereas Palestinian children who die are victims of a tragedy, but not necessarily a crime.

        That said, this is about as far as any US official will go these days in possibly criticizing Israeli violence, and it takes hundreds of Palestinian children to get Obama to go even this far.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 6:48 pm

        “this would have provided a significantly superior hamasbara experience to many site readers”

        “Hamasbara”, Neil? Oh gosh, that’s clever.

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      January 16, 2015, 12:41 pm

      Good for Obama but if he wanted to really get serious about it, then the children of Gaza dying by the hundreds would be of far more importance then the rocket bogeymen.

  4. amigo
    amigo
    September 25, 2014, 12:05 pm

    “This summer, Israel fought a war and anti-Semitism surged in Europe” Raphael Magarik

    I am not sure where all this surge in antisemitism in Europe is manifesting itself.

    Ireland is considered by certain individuals , to be rabidly antisemitic but here is what the leader of Ireland,s Jewish community , had to say on the matter.

    ” The Republic’s Jewish population has experienced little or no hostility since the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza, the chairman of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, Maurice Cohen, has said in an interview with The Irish Times.

    “There have been a few emails and messages but not very many. There have never been any major incidents of anti-Semitism in Ireland. Yes, there were those slogans along the [Dublin] quays and on hoardings last year but those involved just foolish people. Such are isolated incidents.”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/jewish-population-here-not-experiencing-hostility-says-official-1.1896293

    • annie
      annie
      September 26, 2014, 11:02 pm

      I am not sure where all this surge in antisemitism in Europe is manifesting itself.

      the other day i was over at the forwards article/comment section and noticed the majority of references were to the synagogue that was “attacked” w/ jews locked inside to save them selves from the angry AS crowds outside. not one person mentioned that story got completely debunked and outed by a video and it was the JDL (or their french equivalent) responsible for instigating the attack. plus the statements of the rabbi inside that they never felt unsafe. but i think the hyperventilating hasbrats like the victim AS narrative better so they are pretending the initial story was truth instead of fiction. maybe they think if they repeat the lie enough it will stick. ha! not going to happen.

    • Gene Shae
      Gene Shae
      September 27, 2014, 10:53 am

      There is more to Europe than Ireland.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 6:52 pm

        “There is more to Europe than Ireland.”

        Hope springs eternal in the human beast, as the saying goes.
        There’s never enough anti-Semitism for Zionists anymore.

  5. Kay24
    Kay24
    September 25, 2014, 1:00 pm

    If Geraldo Rivera, a self admitted zionist can fathom it out, I don’t how why others cannot, and keep living in denial. The recent increase in anti-semitism in parts of the world is due to the recent massacre in Gaza. Israel prods the wasps nest then whines when it gets stung.

    No occupation, no land theft = no resistance.

  6. ckg
    ckg
    September 25, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Geraldo’s personal blog elaborates and also mentions the Gaza War.

    For historic reasons, and now mostly because of paper’s willingness to criticize Israel’s unlawful occupation of Palestine, many Zionists have smeared the NYT’s ownership as self-hating Jews. Anti-Semitism is a disgusting, low-down and dirty phenomenon that has plagued the planet for millennia. Its purveyors must be confronted and routed from the ranks of decent, civilized people. But those of us who refuse to recognize how the Gaza War and the 47-year long occupation of Palestine is exacerbating this most recent incarnation of that age-old instinct are self-denying Jews.

    I am sure he will hear from Cpl. Goldberg about this.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 26, 2014, 12:22 pm

      “are self-denying Jews.”

      Oy Gevalt! I can’t stand it, I have to worry about if I’m “self-hating” and now I have to worry if I’m “self-denying”?

      Good Lord, to Gentiles have to worry about these things? Are their lives that complicated (I suppose I could ask my wife, but she would just roll her eyes and say “From that kind of mishegos you don’t want to know!” I should never have given her those Rosten books.)

  7. Scott
    Scott
    September 25, 2014, 1:57 pm

    I read the Times piece, and I thought the most interesting bit what when it discussed Sarcelles, a town with anti-Semitism, it quoted a political scientist who noted that the town’s Sephardid Jews had enough clout to force all the towns politicians to say pro-Israel stuff during one of Israel’s rampages in Lebanon.

  8. just
    just
    September 25, 2014, 2:27 pm

    All people should condemn and combat all kinds of religious or any other forms of radicalization.

    Our foreign policy, which is marked by its rank hypocrisy and historic war making, has long been culpable for engendering radicals.

    I read this yesterday evening:

    “In what may be one of the most well publicized acts of cognitive dissonance in history US President Barack Obama, leader of the most powerful empire in the world, told the United Nations General Assembly that “the cause of empire leads to the graveyard.”

    Not surprisingly, Obama was not talking about US foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere but Russia in Ukraine. One can only imagine the amusement of other world leaders in the room watching the head of an empire that covers the globe with over 700 military bases condemn imperialism – especially a day after he began bombing yet another country.

    Then came Obama’s assertion that the US would continue its imperial presence in the Asia-pacific to make sure the people there “abide by the rules.” The hypocrisy was palpable.

    ‘This is a vision of the world in which might makes right – a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future…

    America is and will continue to be a Pacific power, promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of commerce among nations. But we will insist that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law. That’s how the Asia-Pacific has grown. And that’s the only way to protect this progress going forward.'”

    huh?

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2014/09/24/obama-tells-un-general-assembly-the-cause-of-empire-leads-to-the-graveyard/

    • Antidote
      Antidote
      September 26, 2014, 9:29 pm

      see also Paul Craig Robert’s reaction to Obama’s UN speech:

      “Obama’s September 24 speech at the UN is the most absurd thing I have heard in my entire life. It is absolutely amazing that the president of the United States would stand before the entire world and tell what everyone knows are blatant lies while simultaneously demonstrating Washington’s double standards and belief that Washington alone, because the US is exceptional and indispensable, has the right to violate all law.

      It is even more amazing that every person present did not get up and walk out of the assembly.

      The diplomats of the world actually sat there and listened to blatant lies from the world’s worst terrorist. They even clapped their approval.

      The rest of the speech was just utter bullshit: “We stand at a crossroads,” “signposts of progress,” “reduced chance of war between major powers,” “hundreds of millions lifted from poverty,” and while ebola ravages Africa “we’ve learned how to cure disease and harness the power of the wind and the sun.” We are now God. “We” is comprised of the “exceptional people”–Americans. No one else counts. “We” are it.

      It is impossible to pick the most absurd statement in Obama’s speech or the most outrageous lie.”

      you can read the rest here

      http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/25/will-russia-china-hold-fire-war-alternative-paul-craig-roberts/

      Roberts does not need to mention Israel to point out the blatant double-standards and absurdities in this speech. He stays focussed on Russia, China, ISIS

    • K Renner
      K Renner
      January 16, 2015, 12:53 pm

      ” Not surprisingly, Obama was not talking about US foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere but Russia in Ukraine. One can only imagine the amusement of other world leaders in the room watching the head of an empire that covers the globe with over 700 military bases condemn imperialism – especially a day after he began bombing yet another country. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/responsibility-responsible-violence/comment-page-1#comment-738664

      This is certainly a worthwhile criticism but it does dampen if you end up playing the apologist for Russian actions in this regard as some on the left or far-left are known to do. I suppose that question remains– I myself can condemn those American actions that’re unjust or immoral like the immense blunder that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and being the cherry on top of the cake in terms of Iraq blunders at that; or of course the unconditional support that America gives Israel to do whatever it pleases in Gaza and the West Bank and occasionally Lebanon, while at the same time condemn the immoral or unjust actions of the Russian Federation, especially under Putin.

      As it stands, when you talk about America “starting to bomb another country”, I can only assume that you’re referring to the air campaign against ISIS. This does have traces of American heavy-handedness to it, although “collateral” damage from their air strikes is surprisingly and thankfully fairly light– not much in terms of praise, I know.

      My point here is that there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Americans going after ISIS, especially if in doing so they can do at least some good, particularly when it comes to Iraq. If they were throwing tonnes of DU around or doing things that make no tactical or strategic sense and only served to cause plenty of “collateral” damage, then it’d be a very different story.

  9. hophmi
    hophmi
    September 25, 2014, 3:38 pm

    Well, there are 15 million Jews and close to 1.5 billion Muslims. Some estimates put the percentage of radicalized Muslims at 10-15% of that 1.5 billion. There is ISIS. There is Boko Haram. There is the Taliban. There are the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia. There is the Janjaweed in Sudan. And many others.

    So, yes, Jews are responsible for their own by this logic. No, the problems are not remotely similar.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      September 25, 2014, 7:37 pm

      That’s easy for a Jew to say. The victims of Jewish fanaticism are not Jews, so how would you know? If you lived in the West Bank, your opinion would differ.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 26, 2014, 12:25 pm

        With Hophmi, there’s always a whiter shade of fail.

    • annie
      annie
      September 26, 2014, 11:09 pm

      Some estimates put the percentage of radicalized Muslims at 10-15% of that 1.5 billion.

      omg! some people think there are 225 million muslims out to slaughter us all. i’m so scarred, tell us more uncle hophmi. especially who it is pushing this figure. maybe that reliable SITE mossad operation?

      meanwhile, back on main street…let’s go bomb the f out of them so israel can added another few hundred thousand radical settlers to the WB like they did when we invaded iraq. nobody will notice because will be watching the slaughter of muslims (collateral damage is such a b*tch)

      you know what just occurred to me? you don’t think those jewish extremists would pressure the US to kill another million muslims so they could finish colonizing palestine? nah, that’s way to much of a conspiracy! they would never even think of doing anything like that, it was just a coincidence last time they did it.

  10. amigo
    amigo
    September 25, 2014, 4:47 pm

    There is ISIS. There is Boko Haram. There is the Taliban. There are the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia. There is the Janjaweed in Sudan. And many others. “hopknee

    Yep , all those bad eggs spread out over a large Area.OTOH , Israel keeps most of it,s bad eggs in one small basket.Much easier to change their behavior.Copious helpings of BDS and lashings of isolation and trade embargoes.

    Nope , no self healing for ziosville.They are going to need some outside help.

  11. just
    just
    September 25, 2014, 6:14 pm

    “Iranian president Hassan Rouhani blames the rise of Isis on Western intervention in the Middle East during his UN address in New York. Rouhani calls on those responsible for facilitating the extremist group to acknowledge their errors and apologise to Middle Eastern nations affected. The Iranian president says only local powers can help combat extremism”

    video here– he did not say those exact words in the clip:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/sep/25/irans-hassan-rouhani-west-apologise-isis-video

  12. JeffB
    JeffB
    September 25, 2014, 7:51 pm

    If anti-semitism were a reaction to Israeli violence we’d expect to see spikes of anti-Semitism around the times when Israel is violent and huge drop offs when it is being peaceful. To some extent we see that sort of cycle in European street protests. But overwhelming what correlates with anti-Semitim is geography and the political orientation of a nation’s leaders not Israel’s particular actions.

    We see this BTW in both directions. For example in 2010 Israel decided to spend a fortune in providing aide in Haiti. The accusations were that the Israelis weren’t really there to provide food and clear water but rather they were there to harvest the organs of dead Haitians, mass organ harvesting is to the best of my knowledge an entirely new charge against Israel. So here we have a situation where Israel is being as humane as possible, and yet this induces a surge of anti-Semitism that Jews aren’t satisfied with limited amounts of blood for their matzah but thousands of organs from corpses.

    anti-Semitism is part of Christian theology. It comes from the bible putting Jews into a Christian theological play, not from anything Israel is doing. And the evidence of that is that anti-Semitism doesn’t correlate with violence. Unless you are arguing for some vague unprovable causation where Israel violence at time X can induce acts in time Y even when it doesn’t induce acts at intermediate times. In which case for example the Kosovaars were being justifiably punished by Milošević for their 17th century expulsion of the Serbs.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 26, 2014, 12:31 pm

      “anti-Semitism is part of Christian theology.”

      You are simply lying, JeffB. And anybody who is sitting in front of a computer can prove it. Almost every Christian Church in the worls has a web presence. Look up as many as you want, and see if anti-Semitism is part of their theology.

      Yes, it may have been at one time, but now know. If you can impute an essential anti-Semitism to Christians, why don’t they have the right to impute whatever “theology” characteristics they want to Jews?

      The difference is you feel like you are in control of those, and can use them to your advantage. You just keep that up, and see where it gets you.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 26, 2014, 1:50 pm

        @Mooser

        why don’t they have the right to impute whatever “theology” characteristics they want to Jews?

        They do. That’s the problem. Jews are tree they are grafted into as part of the new covenant. Moses (along with other Jewish figures) is a prototype of Jesus and part of messianic revelation apparent since the beginning of time when the creator revealed his plan of redemption in creation. Jesus is the pesach lamb… That’s why I just wish they would leave the whole thing untranslated so that their bible is about the Ioudaios who practice Ioudaismos and come from Ioudaia. Then we can go be a totally irrelevant sect whom no one cares about living in our little country without any theological implications what-so-ever.

        Just imagine how great things would be if we weren’t characters in their mythos so people couldn’t find Israel on a map and had no clue what Jews were.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 26, 2014, 10:15 pm

        “and had no clue what Jews were.”

        But you never tell us what the Jews are JeffB. Is being Jewish like porn, ‘you know it when you see it’?

        You need to give me some description of this polity, this people, the Jews. One which shows why it is necessary for them to have their own country? So far, you’ve pretty much have been sticking to the “we stole it, fair and square” line.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 26, 2014, 12:43 pm

      “that Jews aren’t satisfied with limited amounts of blood for their matzah but thousands of organs from corpses.

      Man, I don’t get you at all! Look, if somebody passes away, and his widow sells the B3 or C3, what’s the big deal? I’m pretty sure my CV belonged to a now expired person. They haven’t made them for a good 50 years, you know.

    • Keith
      Keith
      September 26, 2014, 6:05 pm

      JEFFB- “The accusations were that the Israelis weren’t really there to provide food and clear water but rather they were there to harvest the organs of dead Haitians….”

      I am unaware of any accusations of Israel harvasting the organs of dead Haitians. Unless you have a link or two, I think you made that up. Funny that you should bring up Kosovo where organ harvesting and other criminal activities are widespread.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 27, 2014, 1:01 am

        @Keith

        I am unaware of any accusations of Israel harvasting the organs of dead Haitians. Unless you have a link or two, I think you made that up

        http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/2370.htm
        http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/116613.html
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmIlqjVtqnU
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07QdJ1iXh3M
        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/stephaniegutmann/100025868/jenny-tonge-and-organ-harvesting-this-woman-is-scary/

        And there are dozens more like this. Nonsense false claims against Israel even when they do good stuff. The unique hatred of Israel does not originate with anything Israel is doing.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 27, 2014, 2:24 am

        @ JeffB

        As if Israel’s chief pathologist Hiss didn’t harvest organs. ROFL

      • Keith
        Keith
        September 27, 2014, 5:44 pm

        JEFFB- Foolish me. I should have realized that a determined person surfing the web will eventually find what he is looking for. I hadn’t seen the Haiti allegations before, however, I was aware of the documented case of Israelis harvesting organs from dead Palestinians. Also, the Israeli connection in the Kosovo organ harvesting operation. Both of these brought the standard denials and allegations of anti-Semitism and blood libel. Tribal solidarity brought to grotesque extremes. I tend to doubt that the Israelis engaged in organ harvesting in Haiti when there were so many oportunities back home. Why risk the negative PR? And that is what the Haiti mission was. If Israel was really interested in humanitarianism, they should start by lifting the seige of Gaza and stop their mistreatment and periodic mass murder of Palestinians. I provide two quotes, first from the Guardian on Kosovo and the Israeli connection, the second by Noam Chomsky on Israels shameful behavior towards Gaza.

        “It is fitting that the man described as the “fixer” in Kosovo’s alleged organ ring was an Israeli of Turkish descent….The Israeli market for donor livers has been well-documented, and most international trafficking rings have involved wealthy Israeli patients on so-called “transplant tours”. (Paul Lewis, The Guardian)
        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/17/kosovo-organ-donor-ring-israel

        “The official story is that after Israel graciously handed Gaza over to the Palestinians, in the hope that they would construct a flourishing state, they revealed their true nature by subjecting Israel to unremitting rocket attack and forcing the captive population to become martyrs to so that Israel would be pictured in a bad light. Reality is rather different.

        A few weeks after Israeli troops withdrew, leaving the occupation intact, Palestinians committed a major crime. In January 2006, they voted the wrong way in a carefully monitored free election, handing control of the Parliament to Hamas. The media constantly intone that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In reality, its leaders have repeatedly made it clear and explicit that Hamas would accept a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus that has been blocked by the US and Israel for 40 years. In contrast, Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Palestine, apart from some occasional meaningless words, and is implementing that commitment.

        The crime of the Palestinians in January 2006 was punished at once. The US and Israel, with Europe shamefully trailing behind, imposed harsh sanctions on the errant population and Israel stepped up its violence. By June, when the attacks sharply escalated, Israel had already fired more than 7700 [155 mm] shells at northern Gaza.

        There should be no need to review again the horrendous record since. The relentless siege and savage attacks are punctuated by episodes of “mowing the lawn,” to borrow Israel’s cheery expression for its periodic exercises of shooting fish in a pond in what it calls a “war of defense.” Once the lawn is mowed and the desperate population seeks to reconstruct somehow from the devastation and the murders, there is a cease-fire agreement. These have been regularly observed by Hamas, as Israel concedes, until Israel violates them with renewed violence.” (Noam Chomsky)
        http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/outrage/

      • annie
        annie
        September 28, 2014, 1:27 am

        jeff, did memri cover the big scandal and organ harvesting lawsuit in south africa?

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/8008096/South-African-hospital-charged-with-organ-trafficking.html

        http://mg.co.za/article/2011-04-29-kidneygate-what-the-netcare-bosses-really-knew/

        http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2010/09/15/netcare-charged-in-organs-for-cash-scam

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-01/organ-gangs-force-poor-to-sell-kidneys-for-desperate-israelis.html

        http://www.sott.net/article/217865-Israel-South-Africa-Netcare-coughs-up-about-illegal-organ-trafficking

        Israel & South Africa: Netcare coughs up about illegal organ trafficking

        The scheme, dubbed the Israeli Transplant Programme, recruited living kidney “donors”. They were flown to South Africa for harvesting and transplant operations at Netcare’s facilities in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

        The recipients were Israelis who paid on average $120 000 to an international organ broker, Ilan Perry, and his agents to organise the transplants.

        finding underage donors in brazil for rich israelis/ argh.

        ….

    • Antidote
      Antidote
      September 27, 2014, 7:03 am

      “anti-Semitism doesn’t correlate with violence. Unless you are arguing for some vague unprovable causation where Israel violence at time X can induce acts in time Y even when it doesn’t induce acts at intermediate times. In which case for example the Kosovaars were being justifiably punished by Milošević for their 17th century expulsion of the Serbs.”

      there was no violence against Serbs between the 17th and 20h centuries?

      Excerpt from Bat Ye’oor ” Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide” ( 2002):

      “To anyone with some knowledge of the centuries-old history of Serbian resistance to Ottoman domination, it was obvious that the return of a form of Islamic power in Bosnia- Herzegovina would be rejected by Orthodox Serbs. The five centuries of “harmonious and peaceful coexistence” under Islamic rule, cited by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic belong to the theological dogma of the perfection of the shari’a and the dhimmi For the Orthodox Serbs, however, this same period is considered one of massacre, pillage, slavery, deportation, and the exile of Christian populations. In their eyes it was a regime which found its justification in the usurpation of their land and denial of their rights; hence it represented the exact opposite of a peaceful, multicultural coexistence based on a system of social and political justice. Thus, two conceptions of history clashed, having never before been confronted. On the one hand, there is the version the dhimmi victims; on the other, that of the conquerors, through jihad.
      In their wars of emancipation-and, later, of liberation-the Orthodox Serbs found that their bitterest adversaries were their Muslim compatriots attached to their religious privileges and their domination over the humiliated Christians. During World War II Axis forces invaded Yugoslavia and sponsored the creation of a Nazi Croat state (Ustashi) with which many Bosnian Muslims cooperated. At the prompting of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husayni, they formed military corps, including the 13th (Hanjar) Waffen SS Division, some of which were trained in France. Early in the war, these Muslim Slavs actively participated in the policies of the Ustashi Croats and Nazis in the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Serbs, Jews, and gypsies. Even their German allies were shocked by the bestial atrocities committed then in Yugoslavia.
      The Nazis encouraged secessionist claims by Muslims, some of whose leaders cited the traditional peaceful coexistence under Islam to denounce later these atrocities which they imputed to the Croats-although Muslim participation in the massacres was notorious. In fact, these allegations aimed at exploiting the inter-Christian conflicts between Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs which had facilitated Islam’s expansion for a millennium.
      Under the authoritarian Communist rule of Tito-a Croat-the Muslim religion benefited from being recognized as Muslim nationality. It was the only group defined by religious criteria, whereas others were characterized by their ethnic differences. The deliberate policy of allowing the Islamization of the Orthodox Serbian homeland (Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina) to continue also earned Tito the economic and political support of the Islamic world and perpetuated inter-Christian schisms. The communist dogma of human brotherhood once again froze the conflicts without resolving them. In 1991, before the conflict erupted, the English edition of Alija Izetbegovic’s Islamic Declaration (1970) was published in Sarajevo. It specifically stated: “There can be neither peace nor coexistence between Arabia, the cradle of Islam and non-Islamic social and political institutions.” And his conclusion affirmed:
      ‘The Islamic movement must, and can, take over power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only destroy the existing non- Islamic power, but also build up a new Islamic one’.
      Underneath the camouflage of “the multicultural Islamic state” and the “five hundred years of peaceful coexistence,” Bosnian Serbs recognized the shari’a system which had decimated them. Hence, the cruelty of the fighting in Bosnia reflected the historical confrontation which, instead of being settled by dialogue, erupted in hatred. Its barbarity expresses the revenge of repressed history, a parody of the distorted myth of idyllic coexistence. Izetbegovic described the Canadian UN commander, Major-General Lewis W. MacKenzie, as “an ignorant man” for his statement in New York that:
      ‘both sides’ in the war were filled with hatred. According to Izetbegovic, this could only have been said by someone who knew nothing of Sarajevo’s Muslims and their ‘500-year tradition of tolerance’.
      Izetbegovic’s reference to an “Ottoman paradise” scandalized Serbs, Greeks, and Armenians. Innocent individuals regardless of religion have become victims of a past which, because it was buried in silence, vengefully returns, accompanied by appalling acts of violence. Those responsible are the politicians who, to safeguard their own interests, tried to impose the myth of tolerance on their victims”.

      source:
      http://lamar.colostate.edu/~grjan/kosovohistory.html

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 27, 2014, 11:55 pm

        @Antidote

        I’m not sure what specifically you are are trying to address. I said the Kosovaars not the Ottomans. Certainly the Serbs had more recent problems with other Muslims but even then you are talking many decades.

        In terms of what life was like for the Serbs under the Ottomans, it probably was pretty bad. One of the advantages of the nation-state over empires is that it allows people to have governments which better represent their interests. That’s been a key component in creating a more just world, a concentration of people large enough to engage in complex economics yet not so large that the there is no connection between those residing in the territory. So I guess I mostly agree with what you wrote above.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 27, 2014, 2:10 pm

        “In terms of what life was like for the Serbs under the Ottomans, it probably was pretty bad.”

        Coughing, and saying ‘doesn’t anybody ever vacuum around this place?’

    • annie
      annie
      September 28, 2014, 1:51 am

      jeff , why are you bringing up organ harvesting?

      For example in 2010 Israel decided to spend a fortune in providing aide in Haiti. The accusations were that the Israelis weren’t really there to provide food and clear water but rather they were there to harvest the organs of dead Haitians, mass organ harvesting is to the best of my knowledge an entirely new charge against Israel.

      well it’s certainly not a new charge against israelis. are you really so clueless that you are not aware of the huge lawsuit in south africa that same year? there were over 200 israeli recipients in the organ harvesting scam.

      or didn’t you read about “Israel & South Africa: Netcare coughs up about illegal organ trafficking” in the US msm press? http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/responsibility-responsible-violence/comment-page-1#comment-712601 my recollection is israel had to cough up the doe because their insurance paid for all those operations w/kidneys from poor brazilians, some underage actually. not a pretty scene. 2010? same year as the court case as i recall, so excuse some people for being a tad paranoid. of course if memri wasn’t covering it, that is probably why it slipped your attention. here are those links again in case you’d like to brush up:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/8008096/South-African-hospital-charged-with-organ-trafficking.html

      http://mg.co.za/article/2011-04-29-kidneygate-what-the-netcare-bosses-really-knew/

      http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2010/09/15/netcare-charged-in-organs-for-cash-scam

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-01/organ-gangs-force-poor-to-sell-kidneys-for-desperate-israelis.html

      http://www.sott.net/article/217865-Israel-South-Africa-Netcare-coughs-up-about-illegal-organ-trafficking

      and there are lots more where they came from. seriously, why are you initiating this topic, especially given the fact israel’s dr hess israeli state chief pathologist is such a notorious scumbag/organ thief.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehuda_Hiss

      Investigations revealed that Hiss had removed organs, bones and other tissues from corpses, against the expressed wishes of family, and had sold many of the organs … He remained the chief pathologist of the Institute and regained his position as director before being dismissed by the Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman on Oct 15 2012

      literally thousands of body parts.

      and ilan perry?
      so why did you bring up this topic?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 7:02 pm

        “so why did you bring up this topic?”

        Paint, corner, brush, porta-potty. That’s JeffyB.

  13. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    September 26, 2014, 11:08 am

    This is what i was saying the other day: superficiality and shallowness puts mondoweiss on the same level as geraldo rivera’s tweet. antisemitism is terrible and israel’s actions exacerbate it. okay, nothing false there. but oh so shallow. eric sevareid had gravitas. geraldo rivera, mister sound bite. and mw resembles rivera and not sevareid.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 26, 2014, 12:35 pm

      ” eric sevareid had gravitas.”

      Yonah, there a new hydro-cortisone ointment which does wonders for the heartbreak of gravitas.
      Smooth, but not greasy, with a pleasant, mountain-fresh scent. Also available in minty-fresh and sprintime-fresh. Releves the itching and burning, and reduces gravitas outbreaks by 70%

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 26, 2014, 12:38 pm

        Of course, the heartbreak is, it came along to late for Mr. Sevareid. It’s a hell of a way to go, terminal gravitas. People die from it, and it can be fatal, too!

    • Donald
      Donald
      September 26, 2014, 12:43 pm

      I can’t believe I’m defending Rivera, but he’s right–anti-semitism is a bigger problem because of Israeli actions. The same is true of Islamophobia–there’s obviously much more of it in the US after 9/11 and every time an Muslim fanatic does something terrible it probably reinforces bigotry against Muslims. MW is quoting him because of all the people who labeled Shipman a bigot.

      I don’t think humans fall neatly into the two categories of “bigot” and “non-bigot”. Well, some are solidly in the “bigot” category, but the rest of us can harbor unconscious bigoted feelings of one sort or another without realizing it, and there are also degrees of bigotry. If people were purely logical, the bad actions of some members of ethnic group A would not increase bigotry against group A in general, but if people were purely logical there wouldn’t be bigotry in the first place.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 26, 2014, 12:56 pm

        By the way, is any distinction being made between what we can call “social anti-Semitism” (the misguided actions of individuals or non-government groups) or real anti-Semitism, the actual accounting of and assigning certain people to the designation “Jew” and then treating them differently legally, administratively, and educationally, by the government?
        Sure, those things can work together, and did, but there is a big distinction.

        Has anyone, anywhere, who wanted to stop being a Jew been prevented from doing so by the laws of his country (except in Israel, of course)? After all, that is the true measure of anti-Semitism.

      • Keith
        Keith
        September 26, 2014, 5:43 pm

        MOOSER- “Has anyone, anywhere, who wanted to stop being a Jew been prevented from doing so by the laws of his country (except in Israel, of course)?”

        Nazi Germany.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 26, 2014, 10:18 pm

        “Nazi Germany.”

        Yup, there was no getting out of being a Jew then and there. I wonder how easy it would be for an Israeli denizen to have his identity card changed from “Jewish” to something else?

    • Keith
      Keith
      September 26, 2014, 5:55 pm

      YONAH FREDMAN- “…antisemitism is terrible….”

      Compared to all of the crap which is going on in the world today, anti-Semitism is a relatively minor consideration. That you perceive it a major problem indicates that you may suffer from a terminal sense of eternal victimhood. Believing yourself a victim means you never have to concern yourself with your own prejudices or be held accountable for the actions of your own group.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 26, 2014, 10:29 pm

        “Compared to all of the crap which is going on in the world today, anti-Semitism is a relatively minor consideration”

        The extreme sufferings today, and for a number of years past, the genocidal predicaments, are not Jewish ones.
        In the past, yes Jewish suffering was among the most extreme, but it is not so today.

      • Antidote
        Antidote
        September 27, 2014, 8:57 am

        “In the past, yes Jewish suffering was among the most extreme, but it is not so today.”

        I can’t think of any period in human history during which “Jewish suffering was among the most extreme”. When the Romans fed Jews to the lions? During the Middle Ages and the Crusades? The modern period? So much “crap” going on at any time in human history

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        September 27, 2014, 1:53 pm

        antidote states: I can’t think of any period of human history when Jewish suffering was among the most extreme. antidote, try the period between 1939 to 1945. I accuse MW of superficiality. but antidote ups the ante.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        September 27, 2014, 2:29 pm

        Keith- The content of Mondoweiss emphasizes different aspects of the Israel Palestine conflict, including antisemitism, primarily these days in reference to the attempts of Israel to deflect criticism. I react to the content of Mondoweiss with my own thoughts and feelings. This does not mean that i think that antisemitism is a major problem today. I think the major problem of the Jewish people today is two fold: Israel’s future (both immediate and long range) and the (slow) disappearance of nonOrthodox Diaspora Judaism from the pages of history due to the rejection of Judaism and Jewish texts by the Jewish millions.

        The antisemitism in America of asshole psychos like the guy who shot up the Jewish Community center in Kansas City last April is really not major, except to those who were killed, but in a global sense, not major. The antisemitism in America of assholes, (but non psychos) is certainly not a major problem for America or American Jews, as long as America’s social health remains relatively stable.

        The antisemitism in France and England or Belgium is difficult for me to measure, but I do not spend much time or energy devoted to determining whether it is a real threat to the communities, beyond the mind fuck of having to take off one’s yarmulke when walking through Muslim neighborhoods or the disappearance of kosher foods from the shelves of stores or the avoidance of certain parts of town on days of demonstrations. Certainly the people (Jews) killed in Tolouse a few years ago are still dead whether or not it is a global problem and for them it is a major issue or more precisely it was a major issue before they were dead.

        My point is that Mondoweiss is shallow on this issue, not that it is a major issue. It is an issue that Mondoweiss perforce mentions regularly, if only because Israel supporters use the language of antisemitism to attack supporters of BDS and opponents of Israel. And since it is mentioned regularly, if only for purposes of dismissing it as a red herring, I feel that it would behoove MW to have some writers whose knowledge of Jewish history was not of the Cliff notes variety.

        I read Mondoweiss regularly. I am not sure if this is a useful habit or a stupid one, but it has become a habit. To get into the causality, first I read,and then I react to what I read. And then sometimes I react in print. Whether my reactions reflect the true threats to the globe or only my own reactions is not something that I bother to measure. (except for now in this reaction to your obnoxiousness.)

        The net effect of your words is that you are telling me to shut up. But knowing myself I will continue to react to topics that stir my emotions. Antisemitism whether or not it is a major global issue or only an issue for the occasional murder victim (Tolouse, Belgium and Kansas City) is a topic that stirs my emotions. So I predict I will not shut up and i still believe that MW is shallow on this issue and that you misstate my state of mind in an obnoxious fashion for some purposes of your own.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 7:09 pm

        Yonah, when it comes to muttering in a corner, looking daggers at the people in the room, you are in a class by yourself. You are the master feuilletoniste of passive-aggressiveness!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 7:15 pm

        “So I predict I will not shut up and i still believe that MW is shallow on this issue and that you misstate my state of mind in an obnoxious fashion for some purposes of your own.”

        Yonah, I give you fair warning: Keith has read “Portnoy’s Complaint” by his own count “multiple times”! Given that, what is the chances he will ‘misstate you state of mind’? He probably knows more about your state of mind than you do.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 7:27 pm

        ” I can’t think of any period of human history when Jewish suffering was among the most extreme. antidote, try the period between 1939 to 1945″

        And even more shocking when you consider the peace and prosperity the rest of the world enjoyed during those years. Everybody having a good time, except for us Jews.

  14. eljay
    eljay
    September 26, 2014, 11:31 am

    >> y.f.: This is what i was saying the other day: superficiality and shallowness puts mondoweiss on the same level as geraldo rivera’s tweet. antisemitism is terrible and israel’s actions exacerbate it. okay, nothing false there. but oh so shallow.

    But you seem to love it here just the same. Birds of a feather, eh? :-)

  15. Mooser
    Mooser
    September 26, 2014, 12:50 pm

    “the bad actions of some members of ethnic group A would not increase bigotry against group A in general,”

    Well, if those doing the bad actions claim they arise from essential characteristics (Ziotropism?) of the “ethnic group A”, traits which, they claim, are shared by all members of the “ethnic group A”, the problem will only get worse, won’t it? And the fact that they “own” these characteristics will be very hard for people to see past, it being pretty hard for people to imagine that people would actively work towards arousing hatred toward themselves. It’s a good trick, one the Zionists worked well.

  16. jd65
    jd65
    September 26, 2014, 2:04 pm

    “Obama says Muslims bear responsibility to counter radical Islam (so are Jews responsible for Israeli violence?)”

    Does anyone else see a problem w/ this article’s title? It’s glaring to me…

  17. Keith
    Keith
    September 26, 2014, 7:19 pm

    “It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL….”

    Unbelievable! Obama’s misrepresentations surpass even those of Slick Willy, no easy task. Since the US virtually created the Mujahideen from which al Qaeda sprang, and encouraged, funded and trained ISIS (ISIL, IS) as proxy fighters to destroy Syria, this statement, along with the rest of his speech, is mind boggling hypocrisy. Two quotes: the first on ISIS, the second on Obama’s speech:

    “”The Empire began attacks against its own creation – the Islamic State or ISIS as it is known here in the Middle East. Countless ISIS cadres were armed and trained in the NATO-run refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan, right on the Syrian border. And the main purpose of ISIS was to destabilize and destroy Bashar al-Assad’s Government in Damascus.

    ISIS did not fall from the sky. Nor is it some sort of spontaneous movement. Like the Mujahedeen forces in Afghanistan, which fought both, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) and later the Soviet Union, ISIS were paid, armed and trained by the United States and its allies.” (Andre Vltchek)
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/26/syria-the-latest-crusade/

    “Obama’s September 24 speech at the UN is the most absurd thing I have heard in my entire life. It is absolutely amazing that the president of the United States would stand before the entire world and tell what everyone knows are blatant lies while simultaneously demonstrating Washington’s double standards and belief that Washington alone, because the US is exceptional and indispensable, has the right to violate all law.” (Paul Craig Roberts)
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/26/obamas-house-of-cards/

  18. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    September 26, 2014, 9:42 pm

    There is no moral equivalence or valid comparison between the actions of Islamic extremists in their ever-increasing numbers and those of Israelis defending their very existence.
    The dolly arguments here are like the ones we hear complaining that our Australian government should stop Jews who go to fight for the IDF as well as Muslims who join ISIS.
    The falsity of this argument is that the Jews who support Israel don’t threaten the very fabric of our western society in the way that radical Muslims do.
    Let’s keep a proper perspective and not get distracted by those who are pushing their anti-western, anti-zionist agendas.
    The misguided followers of Islam are responsible for screwing up our world with their supremacist ideologies and unfortunately with the complicity of their deluded supporters they keep on finding excuses for shifting the blame from themselves on to others.

    • annie
      annie
      September 27, 2014, 12:02 am

      Jews who support Israel don’t threaten the very fabric of our western society in the way that radical Muslims do.

      i agree they don’t threaten the fabric of our western society in the way that radical Muslims do, but they threaten it as much if not much more in other ways. the practice of colonizing , permanent occupation, submission as a people, and empowering the concept people (or a peoples) can exist permanently right-less threatens to turn back the clock on the progress of human rights/humanity/international law. this is much more dangerous to western culture than any threat we face from radical islam.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 7:30 pm

        Wait a minute, I am worried about those religious radicals!! Quick, tell me, among all those Middle Eastern religious radicals, which ones have nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them almost anywhere in the world?

    • eljay
      eljay
      September 29, 2014, 9:02 am

      >> Mayhem: … Jews who support Israel don’t threaten the very fabric of our western society in the way that radical Muslims do.

      The very fabric of our Western society has not been threatened by radical Muslims, but by our reactions to radical Muslims.

      The very fabric of many Middle Eastern nations, however, has been threatened by radical Muslims. But I guess that doesn’t matter.

      Israel and Jews who support it have been threatening the very fabric of Palestine and Palestinians for over 60 years. But I guess that doesn’t matter, either.

  19. Gene Shae
    Gene Shae
    September 26, 2014, 10:29 pm

    Why all the resistance to the message ?

    • annie
      annie
      September 27, 2014, 12:13 am

      good question. one you should take up w/ jeffrey goldberg http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/09/does-human-rights-watchs-kenneth-roth-understand-the-nature-of-prejudice/380556/

      It is a universal and immutable rule that the targets of prejudice are not the cause of prejudice.

      if obama thinks Muslims have a special responsibility to fight radical Islam, then jews have a special responsibility to fight radical actions by the government of ‘the jewish state’.

      one difference tho is that by far muslims have been the ones to suffer most from the actions of radical islam. that is not the case of zionist extremists tho.

      • Gene Shae
        Gene Shae
        September 27, 2014, 10:58 am

        If your last paragraph were true, then Obama’s argument is common sense, right?

      • annie
        annie
        September 27, 2014, 12:05 pm

        i think it is common sense to assume when radical extremist terrorist action takes place by members an ethnic group, whether it is the israeli perpetrated genocide in gaza, or the massacre of innocents by ISIS, bigoted people will blame other members of the ethnic group.

        in this regard it is always a powerful statement when members of those ethnic groups call out those who are violating tenants of their religion or presuming to act in ‘their name’. in that regard what obama says is true, however, it is not more true for muslims wrt ISIS than it is for jews wrt the slaughter of innocents by israel and state that portends to act in the name of all jews as is demonstrated recently: “Netanyahu erases the boundary between world Jewry and Israel in celebration of ‘our country’ “- http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/netanyahu-boundary-celebration#sthash.EYhsgCoy.dpuf

        but more importantly what goldberg says is just absurd wrt anti semitism because, while certainly it is never the fault of all jews, what israel does, those jews who do support and empower zionist terrorism are certainly worthy of being called out for that support. albeit, i don’t consider that anti semitism. however, hasbara has spent oodles of energy blurring the line between criticism and condemnation of israel and conflating that with anti semitism, the way goldberg does and has many times, his statment coming from him is disingenuous and wrong headed.

        jews should have even have more responsibility condemning terrorism in their name since they are less likely to be victimized by their own group, unlike ordinary iraqis or syrian muslims by muslims extremists.

  20. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    September 27, 2014, 12:13 am

    At one level this view is free speech and Obama has every right to articulate his position. Will he tolerate a similar view expressed by another leader against Jews? I don’t know.
    But Cameron of UK has made up his mind in this speech at UN . He thinks ideas that don’t comport with official explanations or doesn’t dovetail with official positions on events happening or those that happened in past around the world should be treated as sinister conspiracy theories akin to extremism and be treated as incitement to violence . He wants UN to monitor those echoes and beliefs and he wants those holding and airing those views be prosecuted .
    In the same speech ,he himself refers to Iran and Syria using the languages that have not that long ago were used against Libya and Iraq with results that should not have been unfamiliar to him.
    In this speech he excoriates Islamic fanaticism but wants to prosecute anybody who believes Israel had roles in 911.

    Will Obama excoriate his own cabinet member for blaming Assad of using Sarin gas ? Will he excoriate the constant war rhetorics against Iran! Will he ask Israel not to spread dangerous lies against Iran or Assad? Will he tell Cameron that incitement is not confined within the four walls of mosques but can be heard emanating from Cameron” s pedantic UN sermons as well and from Tel Aviv ? It is incitement when countries go to war on the basis of created and manufactured facts that they know they are creating .

    • JeffB
      JeffB
      September 28, 2014, 12:21 am

      @aintosiberia

      Will Obama excoriate his own cabinet member for blaming Assad of using Sarin gas ?

      No because the USA conducted an investigation and concluded that those officials were correct.

      Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a rocket and artillery attack against the Damascus suburbs in the early hours of August 21. Satellite detections corroborate that attacks from a regime-controlled area struck neighborhoods where the chemical attacks reportedly occurred – including Kafr Batna, Jawbar, ‘Ayn Tarma, Darayya, and Mu’addamiyah. This includes the detection of rocket launches from regime controlled territory early in the morning, approximately 90 minutes before the first report of a chemical attack appeared in social media. The lack of flight activity or missile launches also leads us to conclude that the regime used rockets in the attack.

      http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/08/30/text-of-u-s-assessment-on-syrias-use-of-chemical-weapons/

      • annie
        annie
        September 28, 2014, 1:48 am

        zzzzzzz

  21. JeffB
    JeffB
    September 28, 2014, 12:09 am

    @Keith

    1) You asked I found the links in 10 seconds. As far the rest of the organ hunting, if you believe that Israelis are running around the world stealing organs I’m not sure what else there is to talk about. At a certain point criticism just becomes willfully false and evil.

    2) The claim was the IDF was organizing it. I’m sure Israelis like people in all countries are individually involved in all sorts of crimes. But there has been no state sanction or support much less direct state action. Hezbollah was lying about this. Something vaguely similar doesn’t make it any more true, anymore than the USA army is harvesting organs in Iraq because their are illegal transplants in the USA.

    3) This had nothing to do with Gaza. Stay on point. The claim was that Israel’s violence created these false rumors. The Haiti example disproves that as here Israel was doing something manifestly good, and yet people such as yourself are unable to admit it so had to create a false narrative of organ theft. The fact that you want to divert a conversation about something Israel did which was wonderful, spending lots of money to help the Haitians, to something you don’t like harming the Gazans is precisely the point. There will never be any possibility of Israel being perfect. If someone is unwilling to acknowledge any good Israel does in any area because in some other area there is a bad then the cause of their agitation is not the bad thing. Your shift is a good counter example of the point that it is the violence that causes the hatred. If it was the violence you would be happy when Israel isn’t violent. If the hatred originates from another cause and the violence is just a way of expressing it, then anytime someone tries to talk about something else you would want to focus on the violence.

    4) On Charlie Rose just a few weeks back the head of Hamas was repeatedly asked if he would accept Israel and he continually refused to do so. So no it is not clear they would accept Israel. It most certainly is clear they haven’t. This doesn’t require experts. If Hamas wants to accept a two state solution, they just have to say “we are willing to accept a two state solution” they have not done so and when asked about it indicate they consider all of Israel to be occupied territory and illegitimate.

    • Keith
      Keith
      September 28, 2014, 5:56 pm

      JEFFB- “This had nothing to do with Gaza. Stay on point.”

      The article was about responsibility for violence in the Middle East. Israel’s failure to lift the siege of Gaza, to actually implement their responsibilities under previous cease fire agreements, and to continually engage in provocations and periodic mass murder dealt with the article. Your attempt to divert the discussion to Israel’s PR efforts in Haiti was a thread hijack. All that your “10 second” effort demonstrated was that it was necessary to search out the story. In fact, the first I heard about it was when you brought it up in your comment. You are the one who knowingly and provocatively brought up Haiti and organ harvesting. No one was talking about this until you diverted the discussion, then implied anti-Semitism (blood libel?) when other commenters responded to you. Apparently, your ongoing intent is to fabricate examples of “anti-Semitism” and irrational “hatred” of Israel in the Mondoweiss comment section. My mistake was in responding to your propagandistic nonsense.

      • JeffB
        JeffB
        September 29, 2014, 6:48 am

        @Keith

        The article was about responsibility for violence in the Middle East. srael’s failure to lift the siege of Gaza, to actually implement their responsibilities under previous cease fire agreements, and to continually engage in provocations and periodic mass murder dealt with the article.

        No actually it was not about Israel. That was taken as a given. The article was about Jewish responsibility as contrasted with Muslim and Islamic extremism.

        The point about Haiti was that given good actions on the part of Israel they are still hated which provides good evidence that the problem is not their actions. Your own reaction was pretty indicative of this.

        1) First you assume since I’m a Zionist I’m lying about Hezbollah having spread the rumor.
        2) Then when I present evidence that that I wasn’t lying rather than apologize you immediately start trying to argue that Israel treating the Gazans badly justifies Hezbollah et al. making up lies about Israel in Haiti.

        Rather then saying something like “Jeff you are right. What Israel did in Haiti was pretty wonderful and what Hezbollah did in spreading that rumor was awful. There does seem to be a deeper problem where people are critical of Israel despite good actions and they are being judged unfairly at least some of the time”. you decide instead to pretending that I was derailing the thread.

        How much character do you have to lack to not be able to say on a clear cut example like that, that your accusation against me was false and your tone inappropriate? Confronted with the fact that you wrongfully made an accusation your response is to try and shift rather than apologize. The reality is Israel’s actions don’t determine people’s attitudes towards them anymore than your reactions are determined by the facts of what is happening in the world.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 27, 2014, 2:18 pm

        “The reality is Israel’s actions don’t determine people’s attitudes towards them anymore than your reactions are determined by the facts of what is happening in the world.”

        Sure, JeffyB, everybody is crazy except the Zionists. Sure, JeffyB.

  22. JeffB
    JeffB
    September 28, 2014, 7:49 am

    @Annie —

    2010? same year as the court case as i recall, so excuse some people for being a tad paranoid. of course if memri wasn’t covering it, that is probably why it slipped your attention. here are those links again in case you’d like to brush up

    As I said to Keith there is a world of difference between your story about grey market transplants in South Africa and the criminal conspiracy involving the IDF having not gone into Haiti to save people but rather on a massive organ stealing program. They aren’t even close. And similarly with a pathologist removing organs illegally.

    For example in the USA we regularly have organization that sell used car parts from totaled cars without notifying the insurance companies and tax guys that they were able to salvage some parts. That’s wholly different than if there were widespread rumors that the USA is going against ISIS because we wanted to steal cars from the Yazidis.

    The whole claim against Israel was insane, it doesn’t make any sense. No, that kind of hatred is not understandable. No the confusion is not natural. Yes it is absolutely indicative of something much deeper and more sinister. For .1% of the cost of Haitian relief effort the Israelis could have bought on the black market all the organs they would have stolen without notice. It doesn’t even make sense as a crime. It just comes from people who are so filled with hatred that they are unwilling to see any good at all in Israel or Israelis.

    The fact that people are defending Hezbollah’s fiction here rather than just say what Israel did in Haiti was a wonderful humanitarian act and what Hezbollah did with their lying, which may very well have gotten people killed, was evil I think proves my point the issues with Israel aren’t about violence.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      September 28, 2014, 8:35 am

      The fact that people are defending Hezbollah’s fiction here rather than just say what Israel did in Haiti was a wonderful humanitarian act and what Hezbollah did with their lying, which may very well have gotten people killed, was evil I think proves my point the issues with Israel aren’t about violence.

      No, it just goes to show that there is no limit to the verbal diarrhea you are prepared to soil this forum with JeffB. These links have NOTHING to do with Hezbollah. NOT ONE.

      AS for Haiti, the fact is that the Israelis were only prepared to stick around while the cameras were rolling and then packed up and left when they were gone.

  23. JeffB
    JeffB
    September 28, 2014, 8:03 am

    @Mooser —

    Let’s start this way. You give me the moral justification for the French, the Chinese and the Polish to have their own country. Why should the Polish have not welcomed having a German government rather than a Polish one if people aren’t entitled to self determination? Why should the Chinese have been upset that the British took over their government if self determination doesn’t matter? So let’s setup the criteria first that gives any people have the right to their own country.

    Jews are a religious group whose religion has some vague historical ties to the religion practiced in Judaea (Judaeanism so to speak) during the time of the Roman Republic and early Empire. A huge chunk of them formed a nation in Israel mostly during the mid 20th century and their descendants now live there as a nation. Israel is for the Jews of Israel the same way France is for the Catholics of France. A state is the organizing mechanism for collective action. The Israelis are a nation hence they want to engage in collective action.

    Finally, the Palestinians stole Palestine. Everyone stole every country from others that stole the country from others who stole the country. The anaerobic bacteria would like their planet back and are very bitter about the evolution of plants.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 3, 2014, 7:46 pm

      JeffyB, you put the ‘ick’ in “pathetic”. If I saw that comment try to walk, I’d offer it a cane.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 27, 2014, 2:23 pm

        “A huge chunk of them formed a nation in Israel….”

        See, JeffyB, I believe lot’s of Jews were prevailed upon, or forced by circumstances to participate in a fraud against themselves perpetrated by Zionist operators and “leaders”.
        So, you see, we have a different view of the situation.

  24. stevieb
    stevieb
    June 17, 2015, 10:39 am

    I think Obama is mostly correct on this (unusually)…Muslim communities do have a responsibility living in America -or any other non-Islamic nation – to generally discourage religious extremism in their new nations..respecting the dominant culture of any nation one chooses to call home is paramount. To sort of answer the question about Israel…I think the same applies to Jewish communities ….they too have a responsibility to counter the excesses of Talmudic extremism…rather than specific Israeli policies…supporting Israel is -imho – an example of Talmudic extremism, based on it’s history and the general history of the Zionist movement. If Israel being a Jewish state isn’t the big problem…it’s the where, how and why that doesn’t work for me…

  25. JustJessetr
    JustJessetr
    November 28, 2015, 9:44 pm

    Another one of your horse-shit stuffed essays.

    Jews world-wide continuously debate and condemn Israel’s actions. It’s a never ending, very public conversation which in the end has minimal impact on a sovereign nation’s obligation to defend itself.

    Along those same lines, radical Islam is a minority, but they are driving the conversation about Islam. If the majority of peaceful Muslims want to be seen as the majority then it is not their obligation to explain terrorism at every point, but it is their obligation to control the conversation. So far, too few have taken the challenge. if a minority bunch of psycopaths can control social media so well so as to tarnish Islam then the peaceful majority must beat them at their own game. And until that happens, then peaceful Muslims are IRRELEVANT.

    Jews both inside and outside the Diaspora are HIGHLY outspoken with regard to Israeli policy, therefore they are RELEVANT to the conversation. They are keenly aware of their responsibility, even if they don’t appear on your forum and don’t think exactly like you do (thank God).

    On a separate note; If Israel’s actions are legitimate grounds for Jew-hatred, then ISIS actions (and Qaeda, and Hizbullah, and Hamas) are legitimate grounds for Muslim hatred. See how that works, Phil? Time to stop defending these lice because all you do is support Islamophobia. But both of us know that ancient Jew-hatred is being provided fresh cover by “anti-Zionism”, and ancient Muslim-hatred is being provided cover by terrorists. When are you going to give up the lie? When a skinhead finally comes for you as a Jew and he doesn’t care about your post-Zionist credentials?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      November 29, 2015, 5:30 pm

      “When a skinhead finally comes for you as a Jew and he doesn’t care about your post-Zionist credentials?”

      I’m pretty sure the skinheads and the JDL are just a big band of bro’s by now. Together, they will bring Judaism a whiter shade of fail.

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