Trending Topics:

US Jewish voters have more favorable feelings about Netanyahu than Obama

US Politics
on 99 Comments

J Street published a poll of 800 Jewish voters on November 4 that is scary. When asked to “rate your feelings,” warm versus cold, they favor Benjamin Netanyahu by 53-24 percent but fewer warm up to Obama– 48-44. Notice the unfavorables for Obama are nearly twice Netanyahu’s. Hillary Clinton they favor, 61-31. And only Sheldon Adelson is in the doghouse. 10 percent favorable, 30 percent unfavorable. Jon Stewart does a lot better.

The Jewish numbers are better than Americans generally, who have a 44 percent favorable rating of Obama, and a 50 percent unfavorable rating.

The data from a liberal Jewish organization shows staunch support for the rightwing Israeli government. Jewish voters supported the Gaza slaughter 80-20 and are against pressuring Israel to stop settlements in the West Bank, or pressure Israel to accept a peace deal. This poll exposes the attitudes that are the basis of my statement that the Jewish community is reactionary on the Israel/Palestine issue.

Let’s whip through some of the numbers. The Jewish voters don’t care about Iran, didn’t vote on that basis. Domestic issues were most important to them.

These folks are officially liberals: by 69-28 they voted Democratic over Republican last election, and they’ll vote for Hillary over Rand Paul by 70-22.

Now here are some specific folks they register their feelings about. Numbers are Favorable/Unfavorable:

Barack Obama ………………………………………………………………………48 44
Democratic Party …………………………………………………………………..50 38

Republican Party……………………………………………………………………20 71

Hillary Clinton………………………………………………………………………61 31

John Boehner………………………………………………………………………..12 65
Benjamin Netanyahu………………………………………………………………53 24
Sheldon Adelson……………………………………………………………………10 30
Jon Stewart…………………………………………………………………………..45 27

Well at least they thought more of Jon Stewart than Sheldon Adelson.

They’re against putting pressure on Israel:

Would you support or oppose the United States playing an active role in helping the parties to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict if it meant the United States exerting pressure on Israel to make the compromises necessary to achieve peace?

54-46 opposed. That’s why the disapproval numbers of Obama are so high.

Approve of Israel’s actions in Gaza this summer? Yep. 80/20.

They support a deal with Iran, overwhelmingly. But only 28 percent say that Israel should suspend all settlement construction in the West Bank.
This is interesting:

Support/oppose BDS, 15/85
Support/oppose settlement products boycott, 20/80.

So Peter Beinart is little more popular in the Jewish community than Omar Barghouti.

As for religious observance: 77 percent say they go to a synagogue a few times a year or fewer, and only 64 percent are members of congregations. These folks are secular.

The group is heavily weighted generationally: 29 percent over 64; 59 percent over 50. So the Jewish population is aging remarkably.

These numbers help explain the Israel lobby. It’s older Jews. And they’re Democrats. Let’s not blame John Hagee and the Christian Zionists, they have little influence over the Democratic Party. These folks are the reason Obama isn’t pressuring Israel on the unending settlements, let alone saying anything strong about the crushing of Palestinian life in Jerusalem. They don’t care about Palestinian life. They approve the Gaza slaughter and think Netanyahu is doing a helluva job.

(A writer at The Hill says the poll shows that Jews are beginning to consider Republicans, 30 percent are anyway, in part because Obama was critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza.)


About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

Other posts by .

Posted In:

99 Responses

  1. W.Jones
    November 14, 2014, 4:46 pm

    I understand that you are talking about older generations. But why was it that so many of the younger generation supported the Gaza war? You mentioned 80% across all ages, so the younger group must be somewhere in that range, maybe 70%.

    • yonah fredman
      November 15, 2014, 3:40 pm

      W. Jones- I am of the older generation. I opposed the war against Gaza. I think support for the war against Gaza is understandable, particularly when removed from the context of what occurred in the preceding month on the West Bank (suppression of Hamas). I think that peace is not on the horizon, but despite this pressure should be put on Israel to negotiate borders on the future Palestinian state. Most of those in the poll agree that peace is not on the horizon and they would oppose negotiating borders without peace on the horizon. If the conflict is not resolvable (I agree in the short term) these people view pressuring Netanyahu as dead ended. I feel that the two state solution needs the negotiation of boundaries as a basis for the future, but strategically it might be considered a bad chess move to change the “disputed” territory into “occupied” territory, which would be the effect of negotiating borders.

      • oldgeezer
        November 15, 2014, 4:33 pm

        Silly. It is occupied territory and is referred to as such even in decisions rendered by the Israeli high court (not counting the UN, UNSC and ICJ). Disputed is a recent invention.

        I understand the desire for peace but don’t believe Likud or the GoI have any desire for it.

        There are lots of untried legal theories out there but if the GoI had any faith in them then they’d make a reference to the court.

        Once again Israel ignores international law. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern. There is a pattern.

      • W.Jones
        November 15, 2014, 5:09 pm

        I am glad to hear that you were against the onslaught on Gaza, bu am not sure how your explanation that peace and borders are not on the horizon explains why younger generations would also support the onslaught.

      • Horizontal
        November 15, 2014, 9:41 pm

        yonah ~

        Why not just go back to your original 1948 borders and be done with it? Or, conversely, stop being a Jewish Supremacist state and have all people be equally represented? Either choice seems better to me than the current bloody unsustainable repressive nonsense.

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2014, 3:05 pm

        “I think support for the war against Gaza is understandable,”

        That’s an interesting way to put it, Yonah. So you are willing to admit that Israel made an unprovoked attack, an act of war, and then contimued making war on Gaza? Good, glad you see it.

  2. Keith
    November 14, 2014, 5:31 pm

    In the picture, Obama is wearing a lapel pin. I wasn’t even aware that Wall Street had a lapel pin.

    • Horizontal
      November 15, 2014, 10:25 am

      That’s the one.

    • W.Jones
      November 15, 2014, 5:23 pm

      B.O. is not wearing a Wall Street pin but a US flag, which became fashionable among politicians after 911. Minus of course the fact that the US is a democracy and North Korea has a personality cult, the intense compulsion to wear political pins in both countries seems that it stems from the same psychological motives.

      • Horizontal
        November 15, 2014, 9:43 pm

        Some people view conformity as patriotic. I’m not one of those people.

      • CigarGod
        November 17, 2014, 9:24 am

        I recall that he (obama) didn’t wave the flag early on. But then, after a huge fox, republican, teaparty pr success, he’s worn it since. Is my memory correct?

  3. Steve Macklevore
    November 14, 2014, 5:46 pm

    Palestine will gain it’s freedom in opposition to and directly against the wishes of the Jewish diaspora.

    That’s what makes BDS so vital – it takes the responsibility and the ‘ownership’ of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict away from the organised Jewish community.

    All this is not to say that Phil and friends aren’t wonderful courageous people. But he and his friends will remain (sadly) a small minority subtracted from the Israel-can-do-no-wrong diaspora majority.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 14, 2014, 7:17 pm

      phil has friends that are not jewish, like me. just thought i’d mention. and largly i agree with you. there are a lot of people who think we need to change the jewish community moving forward. i think members of the jewish community working for justice in palestine are an extremely important force of the activist community. but the ones who are not, i think it’s a waste of time and energy trying to change them. energy is better spent on changing people who are not so passionately attached to israel. there are so many more out there who just don’t know or don’t care that are more accessible and ripe for change.

      • JWalters
        November 14, 2014, 8:23 pm

        I agree it will be difficult to change these people’s minds, but I don’t think it’s impossible. There are Jews who have changed their minds, and it’s almost always because they find out facts that contradict the myths they’ve been raised on. And people can become quite passionate when they find out they’ve been deceived.

        For instance, key historical facts that are always omitted from the standard myth are given in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” at

        Turning these people on to the facts would break the grip of the Israel-Wall Street axis, and enable more rational discussions in America on all the major issues confronting the world.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 14, 2014, 11:08 pm

        jw, of course it isn’t impossible and i didn’t mean to imply it was.

        Turning these people on to the facts would break the grip of the Israel-Wall Street axis, and enable more rational discussions in America on all the major issues confronting the world.

        sure, but at what price? you don’t need to ” break the grip of the Israel-Wall Street axis” to enable more rational discussions in america. you just need to change the nature of the game by getting americans engaged. allegedly only 2% of americans are jewish.

        so let me ask you this. if your entire family and everyone you loved friends and all were held hostage by a group of fanatics and you needed to convince 1000 people, as many as possible of them to come to your aid. you’re in an auditorium with the 1000 people for the weekend. in that room with you 200 were your allies and 200 of them were aligned with the fanatics. the narrative of the fanatics is that all your family and friends, the hostages ..are terrorists. the other 600 are in the middle and don’t know one from another, but the majority of them are fearful that if they align with you they will be called racist.

        so. of the 800 other people in the room you wanted to convince over the weekend who would you and your 200 allies prioritize in terms of convincing them to support you? given the options and your families life hung in the balance. you have only the weekend. should you and your allies spend your limited time on the 200 who are hell bent on supporting the fanatics or would you go for the people who are not otherwise engaged?

        for me, already knowing the deep attachment and dedication many american jews feel towards israel, coupled with the urgency i feel, i think an activists time is better spent engaging people who are not hardened zionists. there are over 300 million people in this country who are not jewish. they are paying for a genocide and don’t know it. they have almost non stop hasbara/programing telling them how wonderful and what a friend israel is for us. if there were an online campaign telling people to tweet their representatives that they won’t get their vote if they support israel and that threat came from 80% of the people we’d see some change. there are people i’ve talked with israel about for the first time, palestine was simply not on their radar. and within days they started hearing more and more and bam. i could spent years on a zionist and not get that kind of turnaround. literally years. and there are literally tons of people who do not like what is going on there and are to shy to say anything.

        i just fundamentally disagree with the idea we need to change the jewish community to turn this thing around. and i can perfectly understand someone wanting to change and influence their family members who are zionists. and i think that is different (time wise because spending time with our families if different) but if a person is an activist and has 4 or 20 valuable hrs a week to invest in activism, i think it’s best spent working on actions aimed at the general society at large and not being jew centric in our activism. the rest of us, we matter too. in a democracy the majority matters, or should. focusing on changing a tiny minority because they are most attached to israel and have the most funds is not the best use of ones resources.

        and example of changing the nature of the game re enabling more rational discussions in America on Israel is the internet. it didn’t require breaking the israel/wall street grip. the internet has made a huge difference. in america, it’s not a jewish issue, it’s an american issue. and it requires the engagement of the society at large.

        this is why i agree with steve That’s what makes BDS so vital – it takes the responsibility and the ‘ownership’ of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict away from the organised Jewish community. – See more at:

        and saying that, i think for many years jewish activists have been strong leaders and allies in the movement to free palestine and will continue to be. but the time has come for others to really step forward and engage from all segments of our society. we’re seeing that in the church divestment. but it’s not just groups, it’s individuals. bds is a palestinian led movement that focuses on everyone, not primarily jews.

      • Horizontal
        November 15, 2014, 10:33 am

        Annie ~

        A very interesting post. I’d never considered those points before. Nice.

        As far as family and friends go, whenever Israel came up, pretty much everyone I knew was sick and tired of our nonstop support; all except for my crazy talk-radio mouthing brother-in-law, so I was always mystified where all this pro-Israel sentiment form our politicians came from. Of course, this was before I found out about how lobbies work and campaigns are run.

      • Mooser
        November 15, 2014, 12:38 pm

        “i just fundamentally disagree with the idea we need to change the jewish community to turn this thing around.”

        Exactly. Zionists do not, will not, ever listen to Jews, or the “Jewish community”. Their plan is to tell us what to do, not the other way round.
        After all, what on earth has a Jew who does not think the successful “redemption” of Israel is the crown jewel of Jewish history, and worth any sacrifice, got to say to a Zionist, who knows that it is?

      • seafoid
        November 15, 2014, 1:46 pm

        “Exactly. Zionists do not, will not, ever listen to Jews, or the “Jewish community” ”


        You won in the great lottery of life. It didn’t look like it initially. You were born in a contemptible state with persecution 24/7 even at the weekends and out of office hours . And you may not even have been aware of it. But persecution is like germs, you know.

        And you may have spent a lot of time wondering who you actually were. But you don’t need to do that any more. You now have a family. You are a member of the Jewish people and you have a great leader who will take care of you. his name is Benjamin. He is really cool

        And there is a country far away full of people like you. There are soldiers who fight wars to keep you safe. You may not have heard of Amalek but Amalek wants to kill you.

        All you have to do is vote for the candidates Benjamin chooses. You will never again be persecuted. You don’t have to thank him. He is a wise leader and he only wants what is best for you.

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2014, 3:32 pm

        Where did people who wish to reform the thinking of Jews get the idea that Zionism, or Israel, would give a husky f–k what “golah” Jews think.

      • yonah fredman
        November 16, 2014, 4:42 pm

        mooser- no one says “golah”. in yiddish it’s ‘golus’ and in ivrit it’s “galut”. only an am haaretz would say “golah”.

      • RoHa
        November 16, 2014, 11:54 pm

        “mooser- no one says “golah”. in yiddish it’s ‘golus’ and in ivrit it’s “galut”. only an am haaretz would say “golah”. ”

        Not the same as “flamin’ galah”, then?

      • CigarGod
        November 17, 2014, 9:36 am

        I think I mentioned my conversion on this site a few years ago. I was born a zionist. But, a semester in Israel during high school was the catalyst for a shockingly abrupt awakening. The semester was marketed to inspire a deeper loyalty to israel, but what I saw with my own eyes…and heard with my own…northern california…ears…was so inhumanly barbaric, that I could no longer slumber at the teet of my childhood of indoctrination. So, annie, I agree with your argument to put your resources where they do the most good, but I think a little jujitsu can work nicely.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 11:32 am

        “mooser- no one says “golah”.”

        Yup, Yonah, you are one person who reads “carefully”. Did you notice the term is “linked”? Click the link, maybe I made a mistake.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 11:35 am

        And don’t correct me, Yonah. Everybody knows you only passed your Scripture Knowledge test by dint of a list of ‘begats’ inscribed on your shirt-cuffs!

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 11:38 am

        “phil has friends that are not jewish, like me.”

        Oh that’s not so great. I have mortal enemies who aren’t Jewish.
        Now, that’s assimilation!

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 7:41 pm

        ” The semester was marketed to inspire a deeper loyalty to israel, but what I saw with my own eyes…”

        There have been stories recently on Mondoweiss about “Birthright” trips which have ‘backfired’ in the same way. The blandishments of Zionism don’t work on everybody.

      • JWalters
        November 17, 2014, 7:49 pm

        Annie R. Excellent, detailed analysis, and I agree with all your points about allocating resources strategically. I would just add that IF information pieces were available to dynamite the myths, those would be worth deploying. Ex-Zionists have a useful extra degree of credibility on this topic. Thank you for your significant efforts.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 18, 2014, 6:16 pm

        thank you jwalters, and cigar god, and horizontal and everybody for the conversations and significant contributions.

        and absolutely “IF information pieces were available to dynamite the myths, those would be worth deploying.” which is why we’re here! and absolutely “Ex-Zionists have a useful extra degree of credibility on this topic” without a doubt, because they came into this struggle with a lot of baggage we (the rest of us) didn’t have. and i think cigargods “abrupt waking” is a good example of how things really change in a person, generally. one of my favorite sayings is “the heart has it’s own clock” which means you can’t really just decide to unlove a person, you can rationally decide in every which way they are wrong for you, but you can’t make you’re heart ache go away. and then one day, it’s gone (hopefully anyway). whereas a person with less personal attachment to as issue can read those same “information pieces available to dynamite the myth” and see it for what it is immediately.

        and that’s something the myth makers know inside and out, which along with the myths there this heavy dose of propaganda woven thru them all to keep non jews from speaking out. “it’s a jewish conversation!” etc etc. and it’s really not. it requires compliance from the masses for this crime to continue decade in an decade out. all the more reason we should treat this like the emergency this is and not give one inch until we’ve broken this run. not one inch! we’re growing, the movement is growing bds is growing and global opinion is on our side.

        see this link:

        we just have to not give up!

      • RoHa
        November 19, 2014, 12:55 am

        “you can’t really just decide to unlove a person,”

        You have to click a button on Facebook, don’t you?

      • Annie Robbins
        November 19, 2014, 1:20 am

        ha! i wouldn’t know. i’ve never had a FB account.

  4. pgtl10
    November 14, 2014, 6:54 pm

    A couple quick points:

    1. According to question 35 of the poll, 74% of respondents say they support if the US put pressure on both sides. It seems people want pressure to be applied equally.

    2. Question 40 said that all sides have agreed to certain parameters for peace including this:

    “the Palestinians recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and Israel
    recognizes the Palestinian state as the nation state of the Palestinian people”

    I don’t ever recall the Palestinians agreeing to such term.

    J Street = AIPAC in sheep’s clothing.

  5. RoHa
    November 14, 2014, 7:22 pm

    Disapproval of one’s leaders is standard. I prefer V. Putin to T. Abbott (even though Abbott did get rid of the stupid carbon tax) and Putin is, we are told, second only to ISIS in the hierarchy of the Forces of Evil.

    But the approval of Israel’s attack on Gaza, and of the settlements, is really depressing. It is hard to understand the moral blindness.

  6. Horizontal
    November 14, 2014, 7:41 pm

    Who are these people?

    Do the two sides of their brains ever talk to one another? Their views are uniformed, contradictory, and self-defeating.

    Oh, yeah, that’s right: they’re Americans.

  7. petersz
    November 14, 2014, 7:52 pm

    Fastest growing Jewish organisation is Jewish Voice for Peace.

    • Mooser
      November 15, 2014, 12:40 pm

      “Fastest growing Jewish organisation is Jewish Voice for Peace.”

      That’s right!

  8. ckg
    November 14, 2014, 8:03 pm

    I think it’s important to note that this is a survey of Jewish voters and not Jewish adults. Phil notes the age distribution:

    The group is heavily weighted generationally: 29 percent over 64; 59 percent over 50. So the Jewish population is aging remarkably.

    In contrast, in 2013 Pew Research found 24 percent of Jewish American adults (18+) to be over 64; 51 percent of over 50. The corresponding figures for the general American adult population are 18 and 44 percent.

    So Jewish voters are older as a group than Jewish adults (who in turn are older than the general adult population). This could explain some of their reactionary views on I/P.

  9. Scott
    November 14, 2014, 8:19 pm

    I wish they’d do a Netanyahu v. Obama poll with a national sample. With crosstabs. It would be (for this site) one of the most interesting polls around. By income, education, ethnicity, catholic v. protestant? etc.

  10. ckg
    November 14, 2014, 8:26 pm

    I question whether Obama is pressuring Israel on the unending settlements. The so-called pressure is merely Jen Psaki or Marie Harf occasionally announcing the U.S. is “deeply concerned” while having to endure Matt Lee ridiculing them for the ineffectiveness of their whimpers.

  11. W.Jones
    November 14, 2014, 8:40 pm

    Yes, Phil, it’s scary, since people who should be progressive are Neoconservative when it omes to this major human rights issue.

    A reason Netanyahu could have better ratings is because those Republicans and Democrats who are nationalists might both rate him well, but Obama’s popularity can be a partisan issue, with Democrats supporting him more than Republicans.

  12. ckg
    November 14, 2014, 8:58 pm

    I agree that the level of support–20 percent–for settlement products boycotts is interesting. The PCUSA assembly voted to divest from businesses operating in settlements, which is a laudable position but more timorous than also supporting settlement products boycotts. For this vote, the PCUSA was charged with antisemitism by numerous Jewish leaders. But support of anti-occupation activism within the Jewish population shows that there are many dissidents in the rank and file.

  13. Blownaway
    November 14, 2014, 11:28 pm

    Could someone please point out to me what Obama has done to earn such Jewish opprobrium? What pressure has he exerted on Israel? What punishment has he inflicted on them for all their disrespect? For endless settlements? The destruction of Gaza? Iron dome funding? Even when not necessary? Maybe he should actually do something to earn the hate

    • Walid
      November 15, 2014, 12:01 am

      “What pressure has he exerted on Israel?”

      1. Israel’s Defense Minister Ya’alon was snubbed by senior Washington officials.

      2. Something or other to do with “chickenshit”

      Not that bad after all in light of all the billions in handouts Israel keeps getting.

      • Blownaway
        November 15, 2014, 12:42 am

        Really two events from the last few weeks versus everything that he has taken from Netanyahu and Israels supporters for the last 6 years? that’s pressure? Do you even know why Yalon was denied a few meetings? Or that he met with Hagel and plenty of others and left with a suitcase full of goodies? Sorry doesn’t cut it

      • Walid
        November 15, 2014, 1:36 am

        That was my lame attempt at sarcasm, Blownaway.

      • Blownaway
        November 15, 2014, 1:40 am

        Sorry Walid too subtle. I know your comments I should have known we agree

    • Horizontal
      November 15, 2014, 10:43 am

      I think for their own dank political reasons, the Republican Wurlitzer keeps repeating the idea that “Obama doesn’t heart Israel enough,” since Jewish voters tend to vote for the democrats. This background noise just builds up over time, enforcing the idea. Remember, this is the same group who was trying to tell us that Clinton was a “Liberal.”

      Then there are those “frosty” meetings between Obama and the Beebster, who probably don’t really like each other very much on a personal level and don’t do much to hide the fact.

      But the level of worship of Israel that’s required by supporters in order to be deemed a “Friend of Israel” is not only disgusting, but downright un-American.

  14. German Lefty
    November 15, 2014, 4:58 am

    “So Peter Beinart is little more popular in the Jewish community than Omar Barghouti.”

    That comment made me laugh.
    I really wish there were such a survey with German Jews. My guess is that they are even more Zionist than US Jews.

    • yonah fredman
      November 15, 2014, 4:12 pm

      German Lefty- German Jews. Until 20 years ago there were 60,000. Now there are twice as many. Mobile jews, as in Jews who did not live in the country (or parents) 20 years ago, might have a distinct tendency towards certain political views. Jews who live in Germany in the aftermath of the abyss, certainly have to have the abyss in mind, and though Zionism is not the only answer to the abyss, it is certainly the predominant one of most Jews who self identify and so yes, my guess is that German Jews are more Zionist than US Jews. US Jews can be ignorant or apathetic towards recent Jewish history in a way that German Jews could not be.

      • German Lefty
        November 15, 2014, 4:27 pm

        Oh, Yonah! You are misusing Nazism to justify Zionism, like so many of your fellow Zionists. Puke, puke! There is absolutely no justification for settler-colonialism and ethnic cleansing.
        By the way, Jews who are too dumb to distinguish between past and present shouldn’t be living in Germany.

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2014, 3:38 pm

        “Oh, Yonah! You are misusing Nazism to justify Zionism, like so many of your fellow Zionists. Puke, puke!

        While I completely agree with your reply, I beg you to be careful. Yonah’s been having weird, well, conceptualizations of stuff getting on his shoes recently.

      • yonah fredman
        November 16, 2014, 4:06 pm

        german lefty- there is no answer to the abyss for a jew. period. all attempts to answer it fall flat. and that includes torah and zionism as well. let me put it this way: in the mind of jews searching for an answer to the abyss, zionism is one of the answers that appears on the screen.

        also, i bet you lots of the jews who live in germany come from the east to a better life. i don’t think you should preach to them about leaving the past behind. history has not been kind to them. which part of germany you come from? i’m guessing from the west. i don’t think someone from west germany should preach to the eastern europeans who seek a good life in germany that they should leave the past behind. that’s just obtuse.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 11:43 am

        “german lefty- there is no answer to the abyss for a jew. period.”

        Yonah, I been 25 years in the wedded abyss, and I love it!
        Oh, wait, I didn’t read carefully.
        Oh, I see, you have a lot of problems with depression, and have decided to blame being Jewish for it.
        Okay, but I really don’t think that’s fair.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 12:46 pm

        “Abyss, you is my woman now, you is you is!
        An’ you mus’ laugh an’ sing an’ dance
        for two instead of one.”

      • yonah fredman
        November 17, 2014, 1:13 pm

        mooser- the game player. a truly serious person. anyone who says anything against him, must be because his logic and his arguments are so strong. he is a true addition to a circus. game player.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 3:22 pm

        ” he is a true addition to a circus. game player.”

        Yonah, I suggest you watch your words, and bear in mind, Yonah, that I don’t have to be here.

      • yonah fredman
        November 17, 2014, 3:31 pm

        mooser- you’re a game player.

      • German Lefty
        November 17, 2014, 5:23 pm

        i don’t think someone from west germany should preach to the eastern europeans who seek a good life in germany that they should leave the past behind.

        Yonah, if you had looked at my profile, you would know that I am from the East. Besides, holding someone’s nationality against him in order to try to deny him the right to speak his mind is contemptible.
        Jews in Germany benefit from preferential treatment while claiming that nothing has changed since the Holocaust. This pisses me off. They need to stop terrorising us with their paranoia and start behaving like normal people.

  15. Bornajoo
    November 15, 2014, 8:50 am

    I really like your analogy in your comment above. I’m afraid I’m one of those who has spent a very long time trying to change the mind of family and friends with very little other activism. My results? Err.. Almost zilch
    In fact I sometimes ask myself why I bother to reply to certain hasbara-washed comments on MW as I doubt it will make any difference. That time could be better spent supporting the bds movement which as Steve put so eloquently; “that’s what makes the Bds movement so vital, it takes the responsibility and the ownership of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict away from the organised Jewish community”.

    • seafoid
      November 15, 2014, 11:47 am


      Hang on in there. You know they are nuts. So do we

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

      Israel is too big to fail but the remorseless working of things will kill it.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 16, 2014, 10:22 am

      @bornajoo, i’ve heard that from others too (“Almost zilch”) . i do think forums like mondoweiss threads are are valuable in our national discourse because people learn from them and they are read by millions of people (otherwise i wouldn’t put my energy into them). for one thing, because they are public (like the comment sections of nyt/huff po/wapo/etc) and reinforces the reality that there are many voices supporting palestine.

      a friend of mine devotes a lot of time engaging w/people at synagogues and interfaith groups trying to change the minds of zionists. this is the kind of stuff i mean. i think she’s nuts. i keep telling her she’s banging her head against a brick wall.

      • seafoid
        November 16, 2014, 10:48 am

        “friend of mine devotes a lot of time engaging w/people at synagogues and interfaith groups trying to change the minds of zionists -”

        Zionists living in Israel do not live in any mental reality shared with people in other countries. My theory is that Hebrew is the main vector.

        David Shulman has the following to say on the theme in an article for the NYR

        “One has to bear in mind that Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a somewhat modified and vastly simplified version of the Iliad. In this starkly polarized vision of reality, in which Israelis are by definition innocent victims of dark, irrational forces operating against them, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option both of necessity and of choice. The Hebrew proverb says: “If force doesn’t work, use more force.” But this summer the proverb failed to deliver.”


        Actually the whole article is a must-read

        “If you are Palestinian and happen to be gay, or need some special kind of medical care, or are in financial straits, or want a permit so that you can travel to visit a relative or spouse, or have had some run-in with the security forces, you’re fair game for blackmail or bribery or both.
        If anyone has any doubt about the veracity of the soldiers’ reports, he or she has only to read the superb Palestine Speaks, edited by Mateo Hoke and Cate Malek, a collection of documentary interviews with ordinary Palestinians living on the West Bank or in Gaza. It’s all there: the regime of surveillance and blackmail, the constant threat of arbitrary arrest and likely torture, the continuous theft of land, and the more mundane, but no less tormenting, reality of the roadblocks, state-inflicted terror, random violence, lack of legal recourse, and disenfranchisement.”

        Israel has all of the land now but at a dreadful price- the death of Jewish morality.
        And a very sick society that rationalises persecution as normal.

        I find it very hard to see how Israel can ever be a normal country.
        A slow meltdown is the most likely future for Israel.

      • Bornajoo
        November 17, 2014, 5:04 am

        Thanks for the article. Definitely a must read
        I also just saw an Al Jazeera documentary about the way in which the Shin Beth recruits collaborators through the most disgraceful methods. This takes the level of abuse and human rights violations towards the Palestinians to an even deeper and more sinister level (if that was even possible).
        Speaking of Al Jazeera, when my mother told her sister in Israel (during the summer slaughter) that she was shocked at what she was seeing on TV, my aunt replied “it’s because you are watching Al Jazeera, it’s all lies!”.

      • Bornajoo
        November 16, 2014, 10:54 am

        Hi Annie (and seafoid too)
        Thanks for the messages and support
        Yes I also agree your friend is nuts, a bit like I used to be
        I can definitely see how making my two penny’s worth of contributions can help due to the reach of the this forum and the others that speak of this issue
        Reaching out to the non zionist unaware or misinformed masses is definitely a more fruitful way forward

      • seafoid
        November 16, 2014, 11:31 am


        Some older relatives will just have to be classed as write-offs. They aren’t going to change. At least not until it’s too late. See the movie Downfall for details .

        There is plenty of work with the younger generation. Start by pointing them in the right direction. These are 2 very good books you could read them

      • Bornajoo
        November 17, 2014, 5:10 am

        I agree, a waste of energy. Yes seen Downfall and the parallels are there
        Thanks for the book recommendations. But I could only see one (“The Very Silly Mayor”) in the link.

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2014, 3:49 pm

        ” i keep telling her she’s banging her head against a brick wall.”

        Ask her when Israel takes its marching orders from the sentiments of American Jews? Has Zionism ever had anything to do with Jews who did not thoroughly support their projects? It’s a one way street.

        I don’t think Israel will let itself be run out of American Temples.

      • seafoid
        November 17, 2014, 9:53 am


        Here is the other book

        Shulman has a great insight in the NYR

        “One has to bear in mind that Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a somewhat modified and vastly simplified version of the Iliad. In this starkly polarized vision of reality, in which Israelis are by definition innocent victims of dark, irrational forces operating against them, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option both of necessity and of choice. The Hebrew proverb says: “If force doesn’t work, use more force.” ”

        I wonder what kind of bedtime stories they have to open this dystopia to their kids.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 11:49 am

        “Hebrew is the vector”

        You know, there they’ve got a made-up language which not only isolates them from the world, but from most other non-Israeli Jews.

  16. seafoid
    November 15, 2014, 11:33 am

    Boehner 12
    Bibi 53

    that is incoherent

    “because I’m Jewish. We ran civil rights in the US in the 60s but now we don’t give a f*ck about civil rights”

  17. seafoid
    November 15, 2014, 11:36 am

    Gaza unlivable by 20202 is the key point.
    Gilbert actually helps Yossi Israeli by pointing out what Israel is doing.
    Because anti-Semitism is going to explode in 2020 when Gaza becomes unlivable.
    And pointing out what happened in Alabama during the freedom rides is not going to help.

  18. American
    November 15, 2014, 1:26 pm

    ” i just fundamentally disagree with the idea we need to change the jewish community to turn this thing around. ”…..annie

    The Jewish community is not going to turn it around…..and saying this is not to disparage the work of the anti Zionist Jews at all…..they are a critical element and have jump started most of the Israel protest in the US.
    Its simply going to take the ‘others’….a big mass of others to turn the politicians.
    Some Jews–like Jerry Slater for instance, want to keep the Israeli fight ‘inside’ the Jewish community— and warn us against crossing the Jewish community on Israel.

    And I am sure this will be misinterpreted —–but the ‘Pro Israel Jewish Community and their Establishment and its followers and politicians also need to know there will be ‘consequences’ for crossing Americans.

    As my hero at AdBusters wisely said …Play Offense, Not Defense.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 15, 2014, 2:14 pm

      Play Offense, Not Defense.

      i agree! and speaking of “the work of the anti Zionist Jews”, as far as i know, with a few exceptions, their activism is not primarily directed towards “the jewish community” either. and jvp, most of their actions are directed at all americans. and look at the strong zionist community, they don’t only focus on keeping their troops in line, they most definitely target ordinary americans. they want to shut people up and make people scared to talk about it or only talk about israel is a good way or else. the power of making people think this is a jewish issue and the rest of us should shut up and mind our own business. and there’s huge power in making everyone think the majority of americans support israel and therefore anyone who doesn’t is part of a fringe.

      and bds really scars them so they come out in force and paint them as hating extremists and all that stuff. so competing with them, we have to target the masses. we have to expose them for the extremists they are.

      i was at nora friedman’s book opening about activism on campuses, and one of the student activists on the panel said (and i will not forget this) about the pro israel pro zionists activists on campus “we have to normalize their isolation”, and for me this meant that supporting ethnic nationalism and supporting israel/genocide etc should be called out for being weird, and literally isolated from mainstream ideas. and that should be a normal response to supporters of genocide and occupation. normalize the isolation. sitting around debating what’s fair and not fair or engaging in mutual discussion civility stuff (normalizing the idea this is a balanced debate between the oppressors and oppressed) is defense. offense is psychologically placing them as outliers, in the corner of the room metaphorically, away from the masses and representing perverse thought. and then normalizing that reaction to them. this is exactly what zionists strategists have tried to do for decades by painting palestinians as terrorists and anyone supporting them as being weird. and this is how they have silenced the masses because our entire generation was raised with these ideas. but that’s no longer working on the youth. they’re too smart. the tables need to be turned and we need to go on the offense.

      • American
        November 15, 2014, 3:00 pm

        A year or so ago I said the I-Zionist in the US need to be ‘shunned, ostracized, treated as socially unacceptable and outcast’—several people took issue with me on the grounds of historical anti semitism and sensitivities and so forth as if it applied only to Jews.

        The fact is making bad people unacceptable to society works to marginalize and discredit them…….no one welcomes pedophiles or racist or animal abusers into their company—-the I -Zionist should be treated the same way.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 15, 2014, 3:36 pm

        i do make a distinction between activists and non activists american. i don’t support shunning students for their ideologies (or my neighbors who may be zionists). but if they want to actively advocate for destructive policies (like supporting the idf who are slaughtering civilians) then they are fair game.

      • NorthCascadian
        November 17, 2014, 1:09 am

        “they’re too smart. the tables need to be turned and we need to go on the offense. ”
        I have been attending events here in Portland Oregon. I keep asking the Jewish “friends” of Palestine where the fault lines are in the Jewish community in Portland. Which Synagog will actually allow Palestinian Solidarity Work, what branch of Judaism is starting to split with the big Z.?
        Are there more Neturei Karta Jews besides New York? How can we look back at Benedict Spinoza and learn from his story? What about the ex-Israeli’s out there who will never go back and can’t stand the place? Let us elevate splits in Judaism to take down Zionism. Let us look to the ex-Israeli’s who have “woken up”! Let us start to dry up the “birth wrong” trips to Palestine and replace them with the right of return trips of the Palestinian Diaspora sponsored by JVP!

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 12:28 pm

        “Let us elevate splits in Judaism to take down Zionism.”

        Do you really think Judaism runs Zionism? I really doubt that.

    • German Lefty
      November 15, 2014, 3:36 pm

      American, I totally agree with you!

    • seafoid
      November 16, 2014, 10:58 am

      The Jewish community is not going to do anything. Agreed.
      Too much capital pumped already into Israel. Too big to fail. Too late to turn around. Press on and cross fingers and past as prologue and it will all work out.
      Any criticism to be responded to with cries of anti-Semitism. If necessary INVOKE THE SHOAH.
      Never admit anything, never back down.

      “Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it.”

      But Flannery O’Connor was catholic so what did she know ?

      • Mooser
        November 16, 2014, 4:01 pm

        “The Jewish community is not going to do anything.”

        What, exactly, could the “Jewish community” do? Yes, of course, they can make their feelings known, as individuals or even organize groups to inform and advocate. But the “Jewish community” as such, has absolutely no standing as far as Israel is concerned! It plays no part in Israeli politics, or the Israeli power structure.

  19. yonah fredman
    November 15, 2014, 4:19 pm

    US Jews have a far more educated perspective on Obama than they have on Netanyahu. Edward Said remarked I believe, that US Jews basic education about Israel is Uris’s Exodus. Their/our support for Netanyahu is primarily automatic, knee jerk. US Jews have given far more thought to Obamacare than they have to settlements on the West Bank. And the alternative that US Jews see to Obama is Romney or McCain or Hillary. The alternative US Jews see to Netanyahu is war in Syria, chaos in Egypt, ISIS in Iraq and Hamas in Gaza. It would/will require quite a bit of education before the knowledge of US Jews is such that they’ve even heard of Gideon Levy, Amira Hass or Avraham Burg or Marwan Barghouti.

    • Horizontal
      November 15, 2014, 9:50 pm

      Right. US Jews are subjected to the same selective pro-Israel brainwashing as the rest of us.

    • seafoid
      November 16, 2014, 11:01 am

      I think Netanyahu is a like a political version of Bernie Madoff. The YESHA numbers don’t add up but most people don’t want to know.Anyone asking questions is obviously a hater. The results are great and what could possibly go wrong ?

    • Mooser
      November 16, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Yonah, if the world has to wait on Zionist ignorance, nothing will ever get done. You keep on getting mixed up, Yonah. The slightest, or most mis-informed, or patently self-serving, or out-right larcenous sentiment on the part of a Zionist Jew is not orders from Supreme Headquarters for the rest of the world.

      • yonah fredman
        November 16, 2014, 4:26 pm

        mooser- I feel that American jewish zionists will not lead the charge towards changing Israel policy, but will follow the lead of the elites.

        That is those that consider themselves liberals will follow the lead of the elites and those who do not consider themselves liberals will attempt to solidify the conservative sense of fear of the unruly Arabs. but in the democratic party, which is still the prime location of the Jewish voters, the Jewish ability to balance support for israel and democratic party values will prove impossible over time, but the thrust of Jewish american opinion will lag behind the rest of the party. Jon stewart and peter beinart represent those who will not lag behind, but most American jewish supporters of israel will lag behind.

        according to pew 69% of jewish adults care about israel. and 43% consider that support for israel is integral to their jewish identity.

      • seafoid
        November 16, 2014, 5:33 pm

        I would like to see that 69% broken down hy age group

        43% of yank jews have an identity based on apartheid.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 12:15 pm

        “according to pew 69% of jewish adults”

        Sure, Yonah, like they are really Jewish? These days, everybody wants to be at least half-Jewish, and who can blame them. Yonah, did anybody ask you if all these 69ing adults are real Jews?
        These days, Yonah, we can’t just take anybody’s word for it that they are Jewish. Maybe they are just looking for a good deal on settlement property, or an apartment building in Jerusalem?

      • Mooser
        November 18, 2014, 7:03 pm

        If any American Jew has objections to Zionism, or, for that matter, any other facet of the Judaism which is presented to them, the simplest and most practicable plan is to change, or eliminate, their relationship to organized Judaism, negotiating whatever family or social complications.
        Given the seriousness of Zionism, I have a feeling that almost all Jews with serious objections to it are long gone from organized Judaism.

  20. W.Jones
    November 15, 2014, 7:03 pm


    I appreciate your work trying to bring the abuse of Palestinians to people’s attention. Your blog, as you know, has turned out to be one of the best sources of information on it.

    For a long time I simply assumed that the conflict was between Israel and Muslims, who were terrorists. What totally surprised me though was that Christian villages were being ruined. The Israelis would not have any reason to hurt them if it was just about “bad Muslims”. But to learn about Christians’ ruination cast the conflict in a totally new light, as one where an army was ruining people simply for being another group.

    It made no sense to me why the US was supporting this, especially the measures against Christians. What groups or forces in the US would support the state’s measures against Christian villages? Is that something pro-Israeli Christians support? I would not expect it’s something that liberal Christians, Jews, or Muslims would support, so why is a “Christian” America supporting that?

  21. wfleitz
    November 15, 2014, 11:58 pm

    My God, given the absolutely hideous and sadistic nature of the latest Gaza attack that 80% figure truly boggles the mind. From what depths of the soul among Jews does this hatredand lack of humanity come?

  22. yonah fredman
    November 16, 2014, 4:36 pm

    I think the difference between support for the democratic party versus support for obama is the true measure of the opposition to obama on the issue of Israel. Thus jewish negatives regarding the democratic party are 38%, but jewish negatives towards obama are 44%. That 6% is support for israel. not an insignificant number.

    i think this poll was inaccurate in comparison with the pew research of a year ago and focusing on a fly by night poll like this one is something that is useful for organizations like j street and campaigns for president or congress, but they are nowhere near the accuracy of what pew polled a year or so ago.

  23. Mooser
    November 17, 2014, 12:17 pm

    “but they are nowhere near the accuracy of what pew polled a year or so ago.”

    Naturally, the more a poll agrees with your conclusions, the more accurate it is. Anybody can see that.

    • yonah fredman
      November 17, 2014, 12:40 pm

      some more internet game playing from the moose/dog.

      go to the pew poll and see how serious it was. also see who they polled and the different answers that those polled gave. it is clearly a very serious poll.

      but you are not serious. you are a game player. play away game player. play away.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 12:50 pm


        Okay Yonah, clearly, it is a very serious poll.

      • yonah fredman
        November 17, 2014, 12:59 pm

        moose, the game player, plays some more.

        here’s the link to the poll.

        connection to and attitudes towards israel is in chapter 5 beginning on page 81.

        the poll was done over four months from february to june of 2013, with 70,000 phone calls and 3 thousand jews responding to about fifty or so questions. dividing people in five or six different categories. it is clearly a serious poll.

        but you are a game player. and it must be for spurious reasons that i call it a serious poll.

        game player, mooser.

      • seafoid
        November 17, 2014, 1:06 pm


        2 of the most interesting questions in that poll were

        have you been to Israel (non religious Jews no 73%)
        Was Israel given to the Jews by god ?

        Neither were particularly comforting to the Likud.

      • Mooser
        November 17, 2014, 7:54 pm

        “Was Israel given to the Jews by god ? “

        Seafoid, don’t leave us in suspense! How well did God do in the poll?

  24. yonah fredman
    November 18, 2014, 6:37 pm

    A poll taken on election day of the 6th year of the second term president’s administration, in which the president’s party gets whupped by an impressive margin and the anti president forces have been on the rampage blaming the world and all its discontents on the president and such a poll reveals that Jews feel negative towards that president in much smaller numbers than the voters at large, but in larger numbers than one would hope for… this is not a poll to be alarmed about. it is a moment a snapshot.

    the attitudes of the american jewish public were shown in the pew poll. it is tough to believe that they have changed that much since then. journalism- the first draft of history is a shoddy business if a poll of remarkable depth is not mentioned once in a post about a poll taken barely 18 months later. this is shoddy, omg, i can’t believe this, look at this, journalism, rather than an attempt to analyze the american jewish adult reactions beyond the snapshot.

    • Mooser
      November 18, 2014, 7:08 pm

      “the attitudes of the american jewish public were shown in the pew poll.”

      That makes sense. After all, it rhymes.

      • Mooser
        November 18, 2014, 7:10 pm

        “the first draft of history is a shoddy business if a poll of remarkable depth is not mentioned once in a post about a poll taken barely 18 months later. this is shoddy, omg, i can’t believe this, look at this, journalism, rather than an attempt to analyze the american jewish adult reactions beyond the snapshot.”

        Shorter Yonah: ‘This poll doesn’t look Pewish to me!’

Leave a Reply