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Pogroms rage in Europe? Kidnaped Israeli teens were Freedom Riders? Liberal Zionists’ desperate slogans

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With the breakdown of the peace process, the umpteenth Gaza slaughter, and the approach of the 50th anniversary of the occupation, liberal Zionism has lost the ability to say that it has the answers to end the conflict. The ideology is in crisis, with pressure on its adherents either to fully join the pro-Israel chorus (ala J Street) or seek out new answers (ala IfNotNow). But some liberal Zionists are still trying to square the circle. A couple of recent items suggest that liberal Zionists are reduced to sloganeering and misrepresentation of the occupation and anti-semitism in order to maintain their worldview.

Susan Talve is a progressive rabbi who supports AIPAC and describes occupied Jerusalem as Israel but is also fervently against the occupation of the West Bank. She has gained a reputation in St. Louis as a supporter of racial justice in the Michael Brown case. At the Huffington Post, in a Yom Kippur piece by Antonia Blumberg, Talve seems to lump Michael Brown with the settler teens abducted and killed in the occupied West Bank in June and the East Jerusalem boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir killed in July as avatars of American Freedom Riders Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman.

Talve was in Israel this summer when three missing Israeli teenagers were found dead in the West Bank and a Palestinian boy was killed in a retribution attack. She returned home to Missouri just as Ferguson erupted following Michael Brown’s death. Talve said she felt that in many ways the recent months have been characterized by the deaths of young men.

2014 also marks the 50th anniversary of the murders of American civil rights’ workers James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner — three young men working on the “Freedom Summer” campaign, attempting to register African Americans to vote in Mississippi.

“I just wonder if the willingness of a society to sacrifice their sons is what we need to atone for,” Talve said. “I don’t want to see anymore of our young men die.”

I’d remind you that the three teens killed in the West Bank were hitchhiking home from a yeshiva in an illegal settlement in occupied Palestine, where Israel has imposed Jim Crow conditions. Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman gave their lives to end Jim Crow. If Talve was invoking the martyrs’ names, and it would seem from the article that she was, it’s a very hollow service.

Next, here is Todd Gitlin, a former 60s radical, lamenting the way that the left has turned on Israel. At Tablet, he writes that there are now “pogroms” raging against Jews in Europe, fueled by anti-Semitism using the pretext of Gaza.

especially as Jew-hating pogroms and murders rage through Europe, Australia, and elsewhere, fueled by the latest Gaza war, prickly tribalism has no shortage of anecdotes to support its call to circle the wagons. Disgraces and crimes, committed against Jews as such, in the name of a highly selective go-for-broke “solidarity,” are nothing less than disgraces and crimes—damnable, inexcusable, never to be pardoned even as they are understood. They are not simply collateral spillover from Gaza, though they are surely magnified thereby….

Gitlin is extremely defensive about the leftwing calls for democracy in all of Israel and Palestine. He knows these folks, and says they are just “tribalists.”

I want also to address the anti-Israeli BDS supporters I know. I want to tell them: You’re acting like inverted tribalists, singling out one tribe to demonize. You’ve surrendered to the tribalist recoil, the tit-for-tat temptation, to tell “the other” to go fuck him- or herself (not to put too fine a point on it).

But he concedes that Israel is now the touchstone issue, and litmus test for the left:

I would turn it to some of my brethren on campus, the young and the not-so-young, who think the only war crimes committed anywhere worth censuring and punishing are those of Israel and the United States; who think the only nation worth boycotting and divestment and sanctions is Israel; who think that the touchstone issue of our time is the urgent need to dismantle the one nation-state that, in a world of theocracies and semi-theocracies, is officially Jewish. I would ask them to reconsider not only their view, but the angry, fervent assurance with which they hold it. I would ask them how it came to pass that a position on Israel—of all the many issues in the world that cry out for our attention—became a litmus test for the left.

Israel is the touchstone issue of our time because it’s something we in the U.S. have a great deal of agency over. Especially American Jews. I don’t have much agency in Syria.

Liberal Zionist Eric Alterman sounds a similarly defensive tone about the left in a piece on the BDS battleground in Haaretz.

He has never been so personally attacked as he has been for writing about BDS, he adds, and it saps his energy for the fight. “I am writing less about BDS and Israel in The Nation, because I just don’t need the tsuris. My students come up to me and say ‘I hear you’re a racist white supremacist.’ I’ve been in fights my whole life and have never experienced the level of personal abuse that I have from the BDS crowd.”

The reason Alterman is getting this tsuris is because Jewish privilege in Israel and Palestine is finally being acknowledged by the U.S. left as a central question. In the wake of the latest failure of the peace process and the latest massacre in occupied territories, people are being called to take a stand on the ideology of Zionism, which has propagated the discrimination against Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel itself. (The late Doris Lessing abandoned Communism after the Stalinist crackdowns in the early ’50s.) On this issue, Alterman can justly be characterized a conservative, wishing to preserve an established and unfair order.

Both Gitlin and Alterman say that the BDS movement is anti-semitic.  “It’s reawakened liberals like myself to the enduring reality of anti-Semitism. There is anti-Semitism in BDS – quite a lot of it of a nasty variety,” notes Alterman in that Haaretz piece. “I am shocked by its vituperative character and the movement’s unwillingness to even admit it.” I’m not willing to admit the prevalence of anti-Semitism in the BDS movement because I don’t think it’s a current in the movement. Yes it rears its ugly head, and must be attacked; but it’s not the motivation. And meantime Gitlin and Alterman’s appeals re Jewish insecurity are part of the ideology of Zionism. We need a state in the Middle East because we’re not safe in other countries. The answer is liberal democracy, separation of church and state. Here and there.

 

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About Philip Weiss

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

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54 Responses

  1. MHughes976
    MHughes976 on October 7, 2014, 11:45 am

    If a bad thing is being done by members of a certain tribe the badness of the thing should be pointed out, surely? If you’re very much against singling out your own tribe then it is you who are reacting, not to the moral quality of the events but to the identity of those involved, and are therefore the tribalist in the room.
    The hitchhiking victims are not to be specially compared to the victims of the civil rights struggle because they were not advocating civil rights. They do of course have the rights that all human beings have and for that reason their deaths should be pointed out as a bad act. However, the same rights of all human beings are possessed by the people of Gaza just as much.
    Advocacy of Zionism is not advocacy of white supremacy. Neither of these beliefs implies the other, though both have it common that they do not accord equal rights to everyone, regardless of race or religion. But they’re not part and parcel of the same thing.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on October 7, 2014, 3:43 pm

      .“Advocacy of Zionism is not advocacy of white supremacy.”

      Same exact thing, no difference, where’s the difference? That Jews aren’t “white”?

      • American
        American on October 7, 2014, 9:42 pm

        Well its not exactly ‘white’ supremacy——-the Zios have narrowed white supremacy down to ‘ white zionist’…..other whites are excluded.
        If you’re a anti zionist white Jew you are excluded too…sorry about that….no supremacy for you.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on October 8, 2014, 9:39 am

        A white supremacist programme would, I suppose, imply that white people, without discrimination among themselves, should clearly dominate the Rest at every point. So maybe I would have been welcome, in a Whites Rights world, to join a settlement near Samaria on equal terms with Jewish residents and both of us would have been welcome to join in similar supremacist ventures in all sorts of places. We might be driving together on a whites-only road to Mandalay. That’s to say that white supremacism does not imply any special status for those of our white brothers and sisters who are Jewish, while Zionism for its part does not imply any rights in Judaea and Samaria for those who are white enough to shine in the dark but not of Jewish religion or descent. It does accord rights to people with dark skins who are accepted as Jewish.
        I guess that Professor Gitlin’s students, being steeped in American culture, are trying to express their disagreement with him in terms that every American readily understands. But they’re not quite hitting the mark. They miss the idiosyncrasy of central Zionist ideas about God’s gift and historic homeland.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on October 8, 2014, 12:21 pm

        “for those of our white brothers and sisters who are Jewish”

        Thanks to our recent promotion.

  2. eljay
    eljay on October 7, 2014, 12:03 pm

    >> ” … There is anti-Semitism in BDS – quite a lot of it of a nasty variety,” notes Alterman in that Haaretz piece. “I am shocked by its vituperative character and the movement’s unwillingness to even admit it.”

    BDS may contain anti-Semitism, but Zionism *is* Jewish supremacism. And while “liberal Zionism” advocates for a kinder and gentler form of Jewish supremacism (e.g., employing ethnic cleansing only when “necessary”), quite a lot of it is of a nasty variety. I am shocked by its vituperative character and the movement’s unwillingness to even admit it.

  3. American
    American on October 7, 2014, 12:36 pm

    Ah the brilliance of the zio brain……rotflmao

    We who are for ending the Isr Palestine occupation are the ‘tribalist’ not the Gitlin Jews…..so funny, such projection!

    And its all anti semitism say old Eric, the ultimate anti america and anti gentile tribal racist who said the US and Americans should take all the ‘hits’ for Israel……

    There is no saving these people or their tribal state —-sending them to a Gitmo club in the Antarctic would be the most humane solution.

    • annie
      annie on October 7, 2014, 1:04 pm

      the PEP’s are moaning and groaning because only they should be able to single out Israel in their activism as being worthy of special attention. what hypocrisy! and for alterman to complain about the pushback, after he penned like quadruple attack articles against max’s goliath? ha! he turned up the flame and then can’t take heat.

      maybe had there not been a behemoth lobby all these years protecting israel at every step of the way israel would not have been allowed to turn into the racist apartheid state it is today and there would be no need for this ALIGNMENT to right the wrongs. but the screams of anti semitism are primarily an sign of israel’s advocates exercising their favorite fallback position of screaming victim.

      israel is not fixing itself nor is our government participating in fixing it (carrot diet only!) which means either israel keeps getting its way ad infinitum, FOREVER, or we fix it now.

      • Bill in Maryland
        Bill in Maryland on October 7, 2014, 1:29 pm

        Great points, Annie- thanks. (BTW very funny about the restricted carrot diet!)

      • American
        American on October 7, 2014, 7:24 pm

        ” srael is not fixing itself nor is our government participating in fixing it (carrot diet only!) which means either israel keeps getting its way ad infinitum, FOREVER, or we fix it now. ”annie

        I agree but I dont think Isr can be fixed—not in time to stop their eventual world exit in a murder -suicide scenario.
        They are escalating too fast…..everything they do is worse than the last thing they did.
        Faster then we can turn US politicians on Israel.

  4. American
    American on October 7, 2014, 1:00 pm

    BTW…where are all those ‘pogroms’ in Europe?

    I’ve seen reports of some Jews being hassled by mainly Arabs or Muslims in Europe in random incidents but it seems the really serious attacks on Jews have been on Jews against Isr’s occupation by the pro I Jews.

    • annie
      annie on October 7, 2014, 1:17 pm

      american, i’ve noticed in comment sections around the web over the last month israeli advocates are continually repeating the lie a synagogue was attacked in paris my anti zionist mobs completely ignoring the news of the zionist thugs caught on video as well as the quote from the rabbi they were not attacked. they’re clearly more comfortable going with those first (jewish victims) reports and are denying the reality because it’s “hurts” their cause. as if non racist explanations make jews less safe. the anti semitism crutch, what shame.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on October 7, 2014, 5:39 pm

        Mahane Yehuda claimed that Jews were attacked in the West Bank shortly before he was removed from the site. It turned out he was talking about clashes at a checkpoint between Palestinians and the Israeli army.

        Lying is a very regrettable feature of Zionism

      • on October 7, 2014, 6:37 pm

        Pogroms raging in Europe. Simply mind boggling that anyone can believe such a thing but there it is. This always the victim mentality is deeply ingrained beginning very early in life.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on October 8, 2014, 12:24 pm

        Pogroms rage in Europe? Who can we get, who can we call? Call TOBAR, the Eighth Man!

      • Shingo
        Shingo on October 8, 2014, 7:14 pm

        Yes Annie,

        It’s much like the insistence of Israeli apologists who keep insisting Iran is commitee to the anihilation of Iran – no matter how many times this lie is debunked.

    • amigo
      amigo on October 7, 2014, 2:29 pm

      “BTW…where are all those ‘pogroms’ in Europe?” American

      He is referring to any anti Israeli policy protest march where people are calling for the boycott or isolation of Israel.

      This same fella probably accuses Europeans of not doing enough to save Jews in the second world war.

      People are free to protest all they wish to save Jews but not to save the Victim,s of Zionist Jews.

      • Shingo
        Shingo on October 8, 2014, 7:16 pm

        This same fella probably accuses Europeans of not doing enough to save Jews in the second world war.

        Or doing enough to sanction Iran or destroy Hamas

    • RoHa
      RoHa on October 7, 2014, 10:55 pm

      “especially as Jew-hating pogroms and murders rage through Europe, Australia, and elsewhere”

      I’m not a Jew, but I won’t eat pig meat, so I’m hiding under my bed at the moment. The rabid, Jew-hating, mobs rampaging through the streets of Brisbane might draw the wrong conclusion about me.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on October 8, 2014, 3:30 pm

        There are people, rampaging through the streets of Brisbane, asking people to eat ham sandwiches? Sounds like a nice place, if you like pork.

      • just
        just on October 8, 2014, 7:32 pm

        LOLOL!

  5. amigo
    amigo on October 7, 2014, 1:10 pm

    “I would turn it to some of my brethren on campus, the young and the not-so-young, who think the only war crimes committed anywhere worth censuring and punishing are those of Israel and the United States; who think the only nation worth boycotting and divestment and sanctions is Israel; who think that the touchstone issue of our time is the urgent need to dismantle the one nation-state that, in a world of theocracies and semi-theocracies, is officially Jewish”Gitlin

    Well , Mr Gitlin, maybe we are weary listening to the so called , “Jewish State,s ” endless bragging about being the only Democracy in the ME and having the most moral army and being a light unto the rest of us.

    Maybe we are weary being told our values are somehow diminished unless we are pro war crimes and ethnic cleansing , to name just two of ” official” Israel,s Jewish Values.

    Ever heard of the “Squeaky Wheel ” theory Mr Gitlin.Israel,s wheels have been squeaking for far too long and the time has come for the Mechanics to come in and give Israel a fine tuning. Maybe even a complete overhaul , if necessary.

    You can no longer drive on the freeway with smoke blowing from your exhaust system while you stick your fingers at the other freeway users.

    Enough already.

  6. Balfour
    Balfour on October 7, 2014, 1:57 pm

    I’m trying to understand why the New York Times runs a front page article about American Muslim youth joining Islamic military organizations overseas while remaining mum about the children of some of their own journalists joining a certain foreign military that protects illegally constructed settlements in the Occupied Territories- ironically, two years ago the Times published an article about American “Lone Soldiers” leaving the U.S.A. to join the Israel Defense Forces.

  7. just
    just on October 7, 2014, 2:38 pm

    These people are out of their collective heads. Must be so hard to get rid of the ideology.

    The only recent pogroms that I am viscerally aware of were in the WB, Gaza and in Jerusalem… most against Palestinians, but the crazed and incited Israelis even attacked Israeli Jews who were against the massacre occurring in their name.

    Some have left, others need bodyguards.

    • Elisabeth
      Elisabeth on October 7, 2014, 3:54 pm

      It seems almost like a sort of ‘folk wisdom’ in the US, to claim that Europe (all of it, no distinction between different countries, centuries or even millennia) is, and was, and will always be unsafe for Jews, as opposed to the US.

      In a way, this is easy to say, as some of the very worst periods (Crusades, Inquisition) were over before ‘we’ moved over in great numbers and the US was founded.

      There were however the pogroms in part of eastern Europe after that, and this is then seen as something that was rampant in ‘Europe’ as whole.

      The Nazi persecution was obviously the absolute low point: Nothing compares to anything before that, and certainly after that. But this genocide originated from one country. The countries occupied by Germany, like mine, failed in bravery to oppose this genocide in an effective way: There was opportunism, collaboration, you name it.

      But would the population of the US have been any braver? Does this cowardice in face of a brutal oppressor mean that the mentality of Europeans is different (inherently anti-semitic), as opposed to the mentality in of the population in the US?
      I don’t think so.

      All of these different periods, regions and circumstances are then mixed together and connected to sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians and the BDS movement. It is just convoluted thinking.

  8. Pixel
    Pixel on October 7, 2014, 3:46 pm

    .
    Sexism : There are still plenty of old guys of every stripe who just don’t “get it.”

    Racism: There are still plenty of old (and young) white people who just don’t “get it.”

    Palestinian Human Rights: There are still plenty of old (and young) Jewish people who just don’t “get it.”

    .

    In each case, they never will.

    • Pixel
      Pixel on October 7, 2014, 3:48 pm

      .
      True progress occurs one funeral at a time.

      • American
        American on October 7, 2014, 7:11 pm

        Pixel
        October 7, 2014, 3:48 pm

        .
        True progress occurs one funeral at a time.
        >>>>>>>>>

        Progress may depend on who’s funeral it is.

        Someone posted this qoute—“It’s easier to scare someone than to persuade him.” — Edwin Feulner”

        And it reminded me of a farrier I knew in my 20’s who lived near our old farm and traveled eastern NC shoeing horses. The fellow had a ‘reputation’ as a character and it was ‘rumored’ that he had something to do with the near death beating and crippling of a breeder who was known to mistreat his horses. In conversation one time he said to me that there…”.is some ‘folks you jus cant reason with, you has ta kill ’em or make ’em wish they was dead if you com-a calling”.
        The older I get , the more I see, the more I believe he was right about some people.

  9. Shmuel
    Shmuel on October 7, 2014, 4:42 pm

    Israel is the touchstone issue of our time because it’s something we in the U.S. have a great deal of agency over. Especially American Jews. I don’t have much agency in Syria.

    It is also a litmus test because it is indicative of a choice of conviction over convention. Other battles are not contested and denigrated in the public sphere with such fervour. If you support Palestinian rights, you must really mean it.

    I’m not willing to admit the prevalence of anti-Semitism in the BDS movement because I don’t think it’s a current in the movement. Yes it rears its ugly head, and must be attacked; but it’s not the motivation.

    No, it’s not the motivation and it’s not a current, but I’ve just had a pretty bad day on that score, and I’m not so sure about prevalence right now. Ask me again tomorrow. Regardless, it’s still the right thing to do.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on October 7, 2014, 5:36 pm

      “If you support Palestinian rights, you must really mean it.”

      If you stand up for Palestinian rights today you would have stood up for Jewish rights in the 1940s, I think. And not enough people stood up for Jews in the 1940s.
      That is the lesson of the 1940s, not the IDF, IMO.

      • American
        American on October 8, 2014, 9:28 am

        ” If you stand up for Palestinian rights today you would have stood up for Jewish rights in the 1940s, ”

        I agree, most people have the same reaction to any people being persecuted and slaughtered.

        Whats different is we are seeing the Palestine slaughters in real time today despite the msm effort to propagandize it. During WWII the general public had no way to know or see exactly what or the extent of what the nazis were doing.
        Back then the public didnt have the benefit of the kind of world wide communication we have today with alternative media and the net or there would have been massive outcries against it.

        Even today without the net and those other investigative sources and access to foreign press the US public would still know little about Palestine—–all we would know is what the politicians and the msm says.

    • eljay
      eljay on October 8, 2014, 8:18 pm

      >> Shmuel: No, it’s not the motivation and it’s not a current, but I’ve just had a pretty bad day on that score …

      I sincerely hope you haven’t been injured. :-(

    • annie
      annie on October 8, 2014, 8:39 pm

      i’m sorry to hear that shmuel. be strong take care.

      • jon s
        jon s on October 9, 2014, 2:06 am

        Shmuel,
        Hope you’re OK and able to celebrate Sukkot. What’s the story?

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel on October 9, 2014, 2:14 am

        Thanks, eljay and annie.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel on October 9, 2014, 2:22 am

        Nothing that serious, jon, and it’s not myself I’m worried about. Hag sameah.

  10. seafoid
    seafoid on October 7, 2014, 6:00 pm

    Gitlin is so disappointing. He writes really well on other topics but loses his mojo when it comes to Israel.

    As for Alterman “He has never been so personally attacked as he has been for writing about BDS, he adds, and it saps his energy for the fight. “I am writing less about BDS and Israel in The Nation, because I just don’t need the tsuris.”

    All those boomer Jewish gurus had long enough at the top to make a difference. Now it’s finished and they achieved nothing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU02tyBAp4A

    • jon s
      jon s on October 9, 2014, 2:30 am

      Shmuel,
      Glad to hear. You wrote “ask me again tomorrow”, so , quite naturally, you provoked some curiosity.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel on October 9, 2014, 4:21 am

        You wrote “ask me again tomorrow”

        I meant that my assessment at that moment was coloured by recent experience. A couple of days on, I am feeling encouraged by some very healthy antibodies within the movement that have come to the fore.

  11. seafoid
    seafoid on October 7, 2014, 6:03 pm

    “I would ask them how it came to pass that a position on Israel—of all the many issues in the world that cry out for our attention—became a litmus test for the left. -”

    https://twitter.com/abdellahiAM/status/493924264601329664/photo/1
    Otherwise ask MJ Rosenberg,
    Israel is fucking nuts.

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson on October 8, 2014, 12:00 am

      RE: “Israel is fucking nuts.” ~ seafoid

      ■ SEE: “Is Netanyahu an Existential Threat to Israel?” ~ by MJ Rosenberg, huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg, 11/12/2012

      [EXCEPTS] One ex-Israeli official put it best. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seems to be “going berserk.”
      He is demanding that the United States set a “red line” that, once crossed, will automatically initiate a U.S. attack on Iran. He doesn’t even bother to pretend that war with Iran is in U.S. interests. He just wants his war trigger. But he sees the chances for war diminishing every day.
      I think his latest tantrum was produced by last week’s New York Times op-ed by its former executive editor, Bill Keller, which stated that even if Iran develops nuclear weapons, they would not necessarily pose a significant threat to Israel, let alone to the United States.
      Keller merely suggested what I have heard Israelis say privately: this whole Iran scare is not about nukes per se, it is about Israel’s fear of losing the ability to do whatever it wants to, whenever it wants to. Bomb Gaza. Bomb Lebanon. Bomb Gaza relief ships. Bomb whoever, whenever.
      It is about regional hegemony.
      After all, militarily Israel can more than handle Iran and both countries know that. That is why Israelis do not share Netanyahu’s enthusiasm for war. . .

      SOURCE – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/is-netanyahu-an-existenti_b_1877461.html

      ■ AND SEE: “Former employee sues Sara Netanyahu” By Tsach Shpitsen, Ynet News, 1/15/10
      Lillian, who worked as housekeep for prime minister’s wife for six year, files claim with Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court accusing Netanyahu of abuse, underpayment, forced labor on Shabbat.

      [EXCERPT] “Sara Netanyahu abused me, paid me less than minimum wage, didn’t pay my social benefits, forced me to work Saturdays even though I observe Shabbat, and forced me to call her ‘Mrs. Sara Netanyahu’,” these are just some of the allegations Lillian, a former housekeeper for the Netanyahu family in their Caesarea residence, made against the prime minister’s wife.
      In a claim filed with the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court by her lawyers Asaf Sharaf and Shai Lavi, Lillian recounts her version of experiences during her six years working for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife.
      According to the claim: “The relationship (with Sara Netanyahu) constantly came with a line of humiliation and a hostile atmosphere both at work and outside of work. For example, after Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister, Lillian was not allowed to call the defendant by her first name, but was to call her, ‘Mrs. Sara Netanyahu’.
      “And if she was to make an innocent mistake, out of belief that this was a personal relationship, Netanyahu would shout at her for daring to call her by her first name since, ‘I am a person of authority, and every one of my household staff must respect me and call me by my title, Mrs. Sara Netanyahu.'”
      The claim continues to say that “Sara Netanyahu would adorn herself in her feathers and shout aloud: ‘This is my beautiful house, and I am the mother of the State of Israel’.” . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3834786,00.html

  12. surewin
    surewin on October 7, 2014, 6:18 pm

    “Israel is the touchstone issue of our time because it’s something we in the U.S. have a great deal of agency over. Especially American Jews. I don’t have much agency in Syria.” – Phil

    It’s also a paramount issue in the United States because of the extraordinary level of agency that Israel and its zealous supporters have in this country. Syrians don’t have much agency here in the United States.

  13. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on October 7, 2014, 11:37 pm

    RE: “With the breakdown of the peace process, the umpteenth Gaza slaughter, and the approach of the 50th anniversary of the occupation, liberal Zionism has lost the ability to say that it has the answers to end the conflict. The ideology is in crisis . . . But some liberal Zionists are still trying to square the circle. A couple of recent items suggest that liberal Zionists are reduced to sloganeering and misrepresentation of the occupation and anti-semitism in order to maintain their worldview.”* ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” ~ Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1849
    Literally translated as: “The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”
    Commonly translated as: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

    * SEE: “Notes on Nationalism”, by George Orwell, 1945

    [EXCERPTS] . . . All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. . .

    . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. For quite six years the English admirers of Hitler contrived not to learn of the existence of Dachau and Buchenwald. And those who are loudest in denouncing the German concentration camps are often quite unaware, or only very dimly aware, that there are also concentration camps in Russia. Huge events like the Ukraine famine of 1933, involving the deaths of millions of people, have actually escaped the attention of the majority of English russophiles. Many English people have heard almost nothing about the extermination of German and Polish Jews during the present war. Their own antisemitism has caused this vast crime to bounce off their consciousness. In nationalist thought there are facts which are both true and untrue, known and unknown. A known fact may be so unbearable that it is habitually pushed aside and not allowed to enter into logical processes, or on the other hand it may enter into every calculation and yet never be admitted as a fact, even in one’s own mind. . .

    SOURCE (“Notes on Nationalism”, by George Orwell, 1945) – http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat

  14. Talkback
    Talkback on October 8, 2014, 8:45 am

    Yeah, right. Illegal settlers are not the reason to opress and prevent a whole people from self determination, but they are “Freedom” riders.

    Please wake me up, if European “Progroms” have become 1% as bad as what Jews do to Gentiles in Palestine.

  15. a blah chick
    a blah chick on October 8, 2014, 4:40 pm

    I really love the web address for this article: “http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/kidnaped-liberal-kaflooey”

    I think that says it all!

  16. ThePolemicist
    ThePolemicist on October 8, 2014, 5:23 pm

    The carnage in Gaza this summer reveals the continuity of the crimes of Zionist colonialism.

    In response, liberal Zionists often fall back on the notions that Jews are unique and eternal targets, who must have a state of their own, as a kind of global safe room to protect themselves. Irrespective of any ostensible topic of rational discussion, non- and anti-Zionists are often seen and felt as implicitly harboring at least a disregard for the existential safety of Jews, and probably a secret desire to pounce on them once their safe room is unlocked. See analysis at:: Gaza Calling: It’s the Colonialism, Stupid!

  17. Shingo
    Shingo on October 8, 2014, 7:19 pm

    It seems that any act of hostility towards Jews anywhere in the world is not just a crime, it’s a pogrom Yet these same clowns will insist lynchings in Jerusalem are not.

  18. Shingo
    Shingo on October 8, 2014, 7:21 pm

    I suspect Alrernsn is getting tired of pushing a losing argument. The backlash from his attack on Blumenthal exposed how unhinged and irrational he is.

  19. jon s
    jon s on October 9, 2014, 2:34 am

    We shouldn’t exagerate the situation (“raging pogroms”) , but the rise of anti semitism shouldn’t be denied or ignored.
    A good place to start is to check the facts:
    http://antisemitism.org.il/list/4

    • Shingo
      Shingo on October 9, 2014, 4:20 am

      A good place to start is to check the facts

      If there is a rise in anti semitism it should be condemned and resisted, but empty statements like claims of 85 anti Semitic incidents without details is not a fact.

  20. seafoid
    seafoid on October 9, 2014, 5:05 am

    Shingo

    I don’t like to say it because
    A it is not going to help anything
    B it can be stopped
    C it is going to be horrible

    Israel is going to generate an increase in antisemitism over its treatment of the palestinians.

    Anshel Pferrer in Haaretz (I lost the link) says it’s all antisemitism from sick Euros that drives criticism of the Idf and that is obviously the hasbara but if you listen to what Mads gilbert and David Sheen said at the Russell Tribunal , Israel is very unwell.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV2wNvKG6NY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDNFdjwolaI

    Systematic evil is what it is. There is so much evidence online. And Israelis are the only ones who can change the dynamic. They aren’t interested. They think Bibi can shut the goys up with a nice American style speech.

    Israel passed the “have you no decency” point a long time ago.
    And when long tail risk blows up the consequences are very hard to manage. I would not be hopeful at all.

  21. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb on October 9, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Time to put aside ‘the israel project’s 2009 global language’ dictionary and time to start thinking for oneself.

  22. Kathleen
    Kathleen on October 10, 2014, 10:45 am

    Lawrence O’Donnell had Sam Harris on last night to talk about the encounter between Affleck, Maher and Harris. I have yet to hear Harris apply the same standard of criticism that he is applying to Islam but never to Judaism. He brings up Buddhism during his appearance on Lawrence O’Donnells MSNBC program.

    Young Turks Cenk Uygar has a great analysis up.

    Over at the Atlantic Peter Beinart has a piece about the confrontation. “Bill Maher’s Dangerous Critique of Islam”

    Peter Beinart

    Oct 9 2014

    “When Affleck told Maher that America has “killed more Muslims than they’ve killed us by an awful lot … and somehow we’re exempt from these things because they’re not really a reflection of what we believe in. We did it by accident,” he was making a crucial point”

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