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Against self-determination

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Here’s a golden moment from the holiday season: My wife brought me to a big Christmas party hosted by a friend at his ancestral estate in Dutchess County. I was walking amid the ancestral maples when I saw my congressman go in the front door and started after him with a mind to politely buttonhole him about Gaza when a darkhaired woman glided up to me on the porch and said, Didn’t I see you last week at shiva in New York? She had; it was for my father’s aunt. We talked for a while, and I forgot about the congressman. I guess she’s Jewish too. What does it matter?

I am now completely Americanized and can’t really claim to be part of an ethnic subculture anymore. I cooked Christmas Eve dinner for my inlaws and set out a menorah for the eighth night of Hanukkah, my father in law said that the tools he was giving me were my Hanukkah gift, but really I’m indistuingishable from others in his childrens’ generation. They don’t go to church, and they’re angered by Gaza, just like me.

This seems the proper outcome. I grew up in a subculture and didn’t want to be in one as an adult, I wanted to be worldly. I’ve gotten what I wanted, and I would never say that it’s Jewish per se. It’s just American and New York and the countryside. My wife spent the day after Christmas at a prison visiting a friend, I went for a long walk over to the Appalachian Trail 3 miles from my house. I study Jewish issues and I’m in a leftwing camp where everyone talks about the criminal justice system and Gaza, but I have a wide social circle. My closest friend’s son is a cop.

A year or so back when I met Bernard Avishai, he said that I failed to appreciate the Yiddish culture of Eastern European Jewry that was reborn in Israel with Hebrew, and that was a major hole in my worldview, as I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I told Avishai he was right. Well, now I know what I don’t know; but I could never see why I should rearrange my life or anyone else’s to preserve that culture. Hundreds of languages are dying in New Guinea because the world is getting smaller. Those people have chosen/been compelled to choose other cultures. I chose a more influential culture when I left my parents’ academic/scientific/eccentric/urban Jewish world, and of course my parents didn’t want to speak their parents’ Yiddish.

Last week NPR’s Emily Harris did a report on an American rabbi’s daughter who is living in Ramallah and “wrestles” with the idea of one democratic state. Amelia Wolf said:

The idea – like emotionally, not logically – that this first expression of Jewish self-determination in over 2000 years [Israel] would then have to fail for there to be any sort of fairness – like that makes me sick.

I don’t see the sadness there, at all. I’m so American. I don’t feel myself to be part of a Jewish people that needs a state (on other people’s lands) in the Middle East in order to continue. I have a lot of friends from different communities. As the scholar of our imagined identities, Shlomo Sand, writes in his latest book, resorting to the labels Jewish state and Arab state “at this point in the twenty-first century appears to be a questionable and dangerous anachronism.” I think of Gershom Scholem telling Hannah Arendt that she had insufficient love of the Jewish people, and she said:

I have never in my life “loved” some nation or collective — not the German, French or American nation, or the working class, or whatever else might exist. The fact is that I love only my friends and am quite incapable of any other sort of love.

I feel the same way. My friends come from a wide range of religious and ethnic backgrounds, but it’s background. Per Sand, the claim of a “secular Jewish culture” refers to “a dead past.” I’m sure a lot of folks on the Upper West Side would disagree with him, but not with this:

“National societies in which religious-communitarian criteria play a dominant role in the dividing lines of identity cannot be described as liberal or democratic.”

As little as I know about international relations theory, I find the idea of self-determination antiquated, part of the era of decolonization and the classic period of nationalism. Really I could not care less about one ethnicity or another having the right to self determination. Every state has minorities in it, and they should all have equal rights. That seems like the challenge in the era of air travel and the internet. More and more of us see the absurdity of traditions and religion; let diversity blossom everyhere.

In large part because of my work on this site, multiculturalism has shaped me. I used to write here that all people are tribal and I am most comfortable with other Jews in the antiZionism world because I know their ways. Today that statement seems quaint. I’m as comfortable with non-Jews as Jews, and the leading Jewish organizations are a real impediment to reaching an understanding of the I/P conflict. One great thing about Jewish Voice for Peace is it welcomes non-Jewish members. Just as NIAC welcomes non Iranian-Americans. I’m embarrassed about stupid stuff I used to write about Muslim women covering themselves. Now I really don’t care.

As a liberal, I think this really is a better way to be, tolerating others, worshiping whoever you want to (right now George Eliot), minding your own business. It’s great that Bernard Avishai gets a lot out of Bialik. That’s no reason to insist on a Jewish democracy. Especially when that Jewish democracy breeds people like Moshe Feiglin and Caroline Glick who believe the bible is a title for the Jews to the land of all of Israel. That’s lunacy. When one of our lunatics Sarah Palin sets out to protect Christmas from the cultural war against it, I don’t feel the least bit threatened. But Feiglin and Glick are truly threatening characters, because theirs is a vital belief system: the government is stealing land and forcing Palestinians out of their homes on that basis.

I used to be afraid of my mother’s best friend, who had escaped Berlin to move to the U.S. and then Jerusalem; it took me a while to come out to her as an anti-Zionist, when she started shouting at me about the Holocaust, and one reason I didn’t is that I had assimilated the idea that Jews in Jerusalem were aliyah, higher, than Jews in the Diaspora, yoredim, lower. It was an old religious idea inside my subculture. Without getting into who’s higher or lower, Zionists sure have propagated some backward ideas. Jewish democracy and the Jewish people’s right to self-determination are out of step with the culture that Jews and others have fashioned in my country over the last 30 or 40 years. Whether that identity is assimilationist or areligious or syncretist or idealistic, I leave to others to sort out. I know it’s where I’m happiest and most fully engaged. If the people of Israel gave up the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination, the Palestinians might give up theirs too, and they might get to the same place. I want to encourage them.

Philip Weiss

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

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330 Responses

  1. Baldur on January 4, 2015, 2:45 pm

    You are indeed on the right path Phil – a humanist world view for the 3rd millennium. Keep up your good work. This is the future.

  2. Boomer on January 4, 2015, 3:58 pm

    Phil,

    Thanks for sharing. I too have sensed a certain change or evolution in your perspective since I first started reading this site. That’s one of the reasons that I, as a non-Jew, finally felt comfortable in participating in the discussions. I appreciate the hard work that you and your colleagues do; I’m sure that many, many others appreciate it too.

  3. John Salisbury on January 4, 2015, 4:01 pm

    Beautifully put Phil.One for the ages.

    Highly unlikely the way forward for humanity is via Bronze Palestine. We would be better off if we had grown out of it a long time ago.

  4. Citizen on January 4, 2015, 4:01 pm

    Yeah, Phil, I grew up too & figure I’ve come some way since I was a child in upstate NY when the word “jew” was used in my neighborhood as a verb synonymous with “cheat.” Or as in the phrase “Don’t try to jew me down!”

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 10:46 am

      “Or as in the phrase “Don’t try to jew me down!”

      My Father-in-Law (on whom be peace) who was most certainly one of those right-handed Gentiles. (although he used his left to render me unconscious for the wedding ceremony) could not, just could not, rid himself of that expression!
      No matter how much he loved his daughter, and me, it would pop out every once in a while! (We used to maneuver the conversation around to subjects which might provoke it, actually) And then, oh he would blush, nearly purple, and stammer. He also favored, and highly recommended “National Hebrew” hot dogs. All beef, you know!

      Gosh, he was a great guy. There I was, a Jew with no money, wanting to marry his favorite daughter, and he treated me like a prince, anyway.

      • Citizen on January 6, 2015, 4:49 pm

        @ Mooser,
        Yeah well, I was a Gentile with no money when I wanted to marry my future father in law’s Jewish daughter. He didn’t say or do much of anything either way but his wife, my future mother in law, pulled out every stop to prevent the marriage. In the end, it turned out she was my biggest supporter–she learned this on her death bed.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 2:36 pm

        I’ll always appreciate my FIL’s steady hand on the trigger. I saw it tighten just a bit when the Minister said “Wilt thou, Mooser” and then relax after my “I w-w-will” And then all present repeated the words “And you damn well better!” and the ceremony was over. My new bride threw me over her shoulder like a side of low-quality beef destined for the pet-food factory, and my new life as a husband began.
        Sorry, I still get a little misty eyed when I think about it.

        EDIT: What on earth is wrong with me? “Righteous’, not “right-handed” Gentile. “Right-handed” Where did that come from? I’m going starkers. Somebody call Bonnie Brae and reserve me a spot.

      • RoHa on January 7, 2015, 6:03 pm

        “I’m going starkers.”

        Dear Mooser, I hope you mean “bonkers” or “crackers”.

        “Starkers” = “naked”, and we have quite enough of that sort of thing on MW these days.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:06 pm

        “Starkers” As in ‘stark, raving mad’. But I’m always decently dressed in my straight-weskit.

  5. Kathleen on January 4, 2015, 4:02 pm

    “angered” not just by what has gone and is going on in the Gaza…The West Bank, East Jerusalem.

    • bintbiba on January 4, 2015, 4:54 pm

      Common sense and human decency conveyed with such eloquent grace…..Truly Masterful, Mr. Weiss !
      Thank you .

    • Boomer on January 4, 2015, 8:50 pm

      “angered” not just by what has gone and is going on in the Gaza…The West Bank, East Jerusalem”

      and, don’t forget, in Washington, DC.

      • gracie fr on January 5, 2015, 3:43 pm

        The number of Israelis who renounced their citizenship rose by 60 per cent in 2014, compared to 2013, according to figures collected by the Israeli authorities. …In 2014, 765 Israeli citizens requested to renounce their citizenship, compared to 478 a year earlier, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported, citing data collected by Israel’s Administration of Border Crossings, Population, and Immigration and Israeli embassies abroad.
        The paper said that one of the main reasons cited in the applications included the unwillingness to hold a dual citizenship while others said they do not want to be subject to the Israeli passport or don’t see themselves living in Israel anymore.
        Most of the requests were received in Germany, United States, Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom, the figures showed.

        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/16147-israelis-renouncing-citizenship-up-by-60-in-2014

      • Danaa on January 5, 2015, 4:38 pm

        I wish I could meet one of those ex-Israelis. I only ever knew myself to have taken the action of renunciation of citizenship. For all the reasons cited by the individuals alluded to in the article, and then some. because in my case, I have kind of been giving up Hebrew too and with it the Hebrew culture so extolled by Bernard Avishai. Instead, I found a new home in American culture, history and world literature. Not a bad exchange, all in all.

      • Xpat on January 5, 2015, 11:55 pm

        Danaa –
        I assume you go to Israel occasionally to visit family. How do the border policemen treat you? Is it obvious you are Israeli?

        For myself, I keep an Israeli passport to get in and out easily. Israelis are required to use an Israeli passport. A couple of years ago, there was a problem with my passport (-the local consulate botched the job). At Ben Gurion airport a police officer in a back room asked me if I had another passport on me. He admitted me to the country with that. We are all monitored on a shared international database anyway.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 1:52 pm

        “We are all monitored on a shared international database anyway.”

        Helps with tribal unity, don’t you know, if we spy on each other.

      • Danaa on January 6, 2015, 9:55 pm

        Eljay, thanks for asking. For sure I am in their data base as an ex-israeli. For whatever reason the last time I entered israel with my American passport, I got a couple of raised eye brows, which beget a “please ask me” stare from yours truly. So to punish me, no one did. The time before that, I entered with my American passport and a letter from the consulate saying I returned all my israeli documents. With that letter in hand, I was able to slide straight in, eliciting just a curious, not even reproachful, stare. Don’t ask me why it has been so easy for me. Could be the fact that I only speak English, when it’s obvious I must be a fluent hebrew speaker. Could be that things are getting progressively worse and it’s been 3 years now since my last visit, so things may not be so smooth next time.

        So here’s what I suspect – israelis, for the most part play a “dare me” game with each other. A game i almost always win, even as the game barely starts. I get instantly classified – before anyone knows anything – as an alpha, whatever that means for israelis. Somehow to the average israeli something clicks that say ‘don’t go there or you’ll be sorry”. May be there is more information about me on their computers – going way back to those high school days where I perfected the paper airplane construction business + a few other odds and ends. Or there is a note about my IDF days, when everyone seemed to be counting the days when my service can be finally “over’ for everyone. May be it says something like “don’t ask or she’ll tell” on the computer screen. May be it says other, worse things, who knows?

        In any case, I’m sure it’s a matter of luck who one runs into at the airport, and I may have lucked out. Sounds like you got treated rather well too, all in all considered. I don’t intend to go too often in any case. I think my family may not mind all that much – it seems to really weigh on them, having to speak in English and realizing how little they can express themselves in the universal language, even with their degrees, much less the lack thereof. I suspect that most of the time, no one there quite understands what I am saying anyways – they suspect I went over to “the other side” but can’t be sure what that “other side” is exactly, so perhaps it’s best not to know too much>>>.

        What is it they say? you can’t go home again, right? especially if the original home was not the right home for the soul.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 2:46 pm

        Well, wow, Danaa, color me smitten!

      • Xpat on January 7, 2015, 10:00 pm

        Danaa –

        I appreciate your irreverence for those oh-so-serious finest and brightest young Israelis. Once, one of them gave me a grilling because my last name was the same as someone on their blacklist. She called over her superior, an even more serious “gorilla.” They seemed to believe that I was a danger to the state by virtue of sharing genes or family dinners with that persona non grata. Luckily, they believed me when I told them that the only thing we shared was a rather common surname.

        And this was when I was LEAVING Israel. I would have thought this would be a greater concern on the way in.

        Another time, they were partially mollified when I was able to pull out the name of a synagogue at home. I got a helping hand from a family member who lives on a kibbutz and muttered that we were together.

        It all felt rather melodramatic.

      • Danaa on January 8, 2015, 2:33 pm

        Sorry Elliot, for addressing “Eljay”. it’s thos “El”‘s that get me every time! Thanks for not saying anything….

      • RoHa on January 8, 2015, 6:35 pm

        “it’s thos “El”‘s that get me every time!”

        Yes, it is difficult to tell the Elohim apart.

  6. annie on January 4, 2015, 4:36 pm

    i loved reading this phil, i love how your mind works, i love how you write.

    • jon s on January 7, 2015, 4:45 pm

      Elliot, (-and anyone else here who may have Israeli citizenship)

      Now would be a good time to arrange to be here on March 17 and exercise your right to vote.

      • Xpat on January 7, 2015, 9:05 pm

        Jon –

        Some elections ago, Israeli orgs were flying in non-resident Israelis on free charter flights. I didn’t go then either and that was when I thought elections mattered and believed that one candidate was better than the other one.

        My future is not in Israel and I shouldn’t be making decisions on behalf of people who have to live with the consequences. Besides, elections in general are overblown in importance, typically at the expense of real engagement, advocacy and activism on a daily basis. On top of that, there is not one realistic candidate for leader who I would vote for in a million years.

        Bottom line I object in principle to non-residents voting in any country’s election.

        If I change my mind, I can still vote in the World Zionist Organization elections in the “Parliament of the Jewish people” as a Jew.

        https://arzenuwzc.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/information-about-the-world-zionist-congress-elections-and-arzenu/

        “Israeli citizens are represented in the elections through political parties in Israel; world Jews are represented through international Zionist political parties to which they belong.”

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:14 pm

        “Israeli citizens are represented in the elections through political parties in Israel; world Jews are represented through international Zionist political parties to which they belong.”

        Now, is that democracy, or what! I ask you. Why, if Israel could just get “world Jews” to live up to their democratic responsibilities, Israel can disarm the “demographic time bomb”!

        Gosh, what an inspiring way of extending Israeli democracy to the world. Me ken brechen!

  7. Bornajoo on January 4, 2015, 4:56 pm

    “If the people of Israel gave up the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination, the Palestinians might give up theirs too, and they might get to the same place. I want to encourage them”

    Amen

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Phil.

    • jon s on January 8, 2015, 1:33 am

      Elliot,
      Too bad. In my opinion people who don’t vote because “elections don’t matter”, “all the candidates are the same” and so on – are actually “voting” for the status quo.

      • Xpat on January 8, 2015, 7:26 am

        Jon –
        You believe in the Israeli system and the options the Israeli electorate has produced. That’s why you live there and that’s why you vote. I don’t. You want us ex-pat Israelis to fly home to win the day for your candidate, whomever he may be.
        That’s Israel in a nutshell. Pretending to be the center of the Jewish universe but constantly appealing – and demanding – that we save you. But only on your terms. Jewish independence and utterly dependent. First, on the American empire for survival and second, on us Jews for your self-declared legitimacy.

      • Bornajoo on January 8, 2015, 3:53 pm

        @Elliot
        “That’s Israel in a nutshell. Pretending to be the center of the Jewish universe but constantly appealing – and demanding – that we save you. But only on your terms. Jewish independence and utterly dependent. First, on the American empire for survival and second, on us Jews for your self-declared legitimacy.”

        Great comment Elliot.

  8. pabelmont on January 4, 2015, 5:33 pm

    Good essay Phil, but please don’t give up on “self-determination” for the Palestinians unless there is FIRST a PRoR (the exiles if 1948 et seq.) and real democracy in all of greater-Israel (aka Palestine). As long as Israelis can justify anything by the short argument “but the holocaust”, the Palestinians must be able to justify a demand for self-determination by the equally short “but the nakba”.

    • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 3:24 am

      and the Germans in the 40s said “but the depression”.

  9. seanmcbride on January 4, 2015, 5:40 pm

    I think this is Phil’s best personal essay yet — it’s been fascinating to watch his ideas evolve over the years. I especially like this Hannah Arendt quote:

    “I have never in my life “loved” some nation or collective — not the German, French or American nation, or the working class, or whatever else might exist. The fact is that I love only my friends and am quite incapable of any other sort of love.”

    Thanks, Phil, for putting yourself out there and always keeping it real — it’s not easy.

    • Krauss on January 7, 2015, 9:23 am

      I largely disagreed with it yet still thought it was and remains a brilliant essay, which speaks volumes to how well-written it was.

      As for Jewish identity, assimilating Jews are not new. Most of the 10 million strong Jews in the Roman empire assimilated. Most of the Jews of babylon stayed put and assimilated instead of going back to Judea.
      And most Jews in America are assimilating.

      Phil is not moving away from Jewish history as much as he confirms it.
      There is always a core group. As I write this, the next chapters of Jewish history is being written by the Orthodox who are growing by the hour, by the day and by the year.

      Finally, ethnocentrism is often brought up as a great evil, and it can be. But communism was far more deadlier force in the 20th century than Nazism, by a massive margin, and communism is supposed to cover the entire world, not one race.

      But even more importantly, if everyone was non-ethnocentric there wouldn’t be much if anything other than our looks to distinguish ourselves. Now wouldn’t that be extremely boring?

      • seanmcbride on January 7, 2015, 2:05 pm

        Krauss,

        “Finally, ethnocentrism is often brought up as a great evil, and it can be. But communism was far more deadlier force in the 20th century than Nazism, by a massive margin, and communism is supposed to cover the entire world, not one race.”

        What you say is true (particularly regarding the stats on 20th century mass murder).

        I think ethnocentrism — at a certain level of intensity — can be a positive thing — and I rejoice in the ethnic diversity of the world and its creative abundance. But when ethnic nationalism is merged with religious messianism, you usually have the recipe for a certain catastrophe.

        There is a fine balancing act between too much ethnocentrism and too much deracination. Most Americans (including most Jews) have learned to walk that tightrope with ease and grace.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 3:07 pm

        “Most Americans (including most Jews) have learned to walk that tightrope with ease and grace.”

        Sure Sean, but who, I ask you who, taught them every thing they know? Who taught them ev’rything they know?
        Oh they fly high like birds– yes indeed, but who used to stand there, and feed them the seed? Who taught them how to pick their clothes? And who taught them how to tap their toes?
        I really hate to say it, but why not be fair? When you them on the social stage, who do you see there?
        Now, they still have trouble executin’ one of those, but who taught them everything, how to hoof and how to sing? Who taught them everything they knows?

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 11:38 am

        Sean, think about it: That mischievous smile, so devil-may-care? You don’t pull such mannerisms out of the air!

      • seanmcbride on January 9, 2015, 11:42 am

        Mooser,

        On the “Jewishness” issue (yes, quite deliberately in quotes), I just came across this Alan Dershowitz quote:

        “God is not central to my particular brand of Jewishness.”

        What do you think he meant?

      • annie on January 9, 2015, 12:28 pm

        sean, how come you’re quoting yourself quoting jewishness? i still don’t get why you put quotes around the term jewishness.

      • seanmcbride on January 9, 2015, 1:07 pm

        Annie,

        As I explained before, assigning traits to ethnic groups is highly problematic — and can often lead to crude stereotyping or worse. I usually avoid it.

        But when some members of some ethnic groups insist on engaging in this activity in regard to themselves, that is interesting. One is curious about what precisely they have in mind.

        What do you think Alan Dershowitz had in mind?

        When Israeli leaders seek to define Israel officially as a Jewish state, what exactly do they mean by the term “Jewish”?

      • annie on January 9, 2015, 3:26 pm

        yes you’ve said that before, it still doesn’t explain why you quoted yourself quoting jewishness. because if you use scare quotes around the word jewishness because “assigning traits to ethnic groups is highly problematic” i’m not sure that’s a code most people will recognize.

      • seanmcbride on January 10, 2015, 12:54 am

        Comments provided as-is, without warranty of any kind and used at your own risk. ©2015

      • hophmi on January 10, 2015, 4:06 pm

        First and foremost, they mean a state with a Jewish majority. You have to remember that the language about a Jewish state is a reaction to Palestinian calls for RoR. Palestinian leaders understand that it’s good strategy to recognize Israel, which endears them to the West, and call for RoR, which allows them to tell their people that recognizing Israel does not mean that they’ve given up on reversing the events of 1948.

      • seanmcbride on January 9, 2015, 1:44 pm

        Annie,

        By the way, do you have a blog or social media feed in which you express the side of yourself that isn’t focused on Mideast politics?

        This is my feed: https://friendfeed.com/seanmcbride

        Some of my other interests: climate change issues, artificial intelligence, programming languages, linguistics, literature, film, music, etc.

        I wish more Mondoweiss commenters here would post pointers to their non-Mideast-politics-oriented social media feeds — I presume (hope) that all of us have other interests — most of what is going on in the world has nothing to do with the I/P conflict. It would also be useful for Mondoweiss commenters to expand their ability to communicate with one another multidirectionally across the entire Internet (not just within the confines of Mondoweiss). Most blogs do not provide features for enabling that kind of communication.

        For instance, Twitter, Friendfeed and Google+ offer the capability for users to communicate directly with one another in public or private messages without any centralized gatekeeper.

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 12:17 pm

        “This is my feed: link to friendfeed.com”

        Thank you Sean. I am sure. completely sure, that your “friendfeed” site is a much better place to discuss these things, today, and from now on. I am going to click over to it, and we’ll continue the discussion. See you there! (Click over there and wait for me, will ya’ so I know I’ve got the right place. okay?)

      • seanmcbride on January 10, 2015, 12:55 pm

        Mooser,

        Do you post on any social media platforms which we could follow? I am sure that you, like everyone else here, have interests that extend well beyond the range of the I/P conflict.

        I urge Mondoweiss commenters here to provide as many avenues of communication with them as they feel comfortable with sharing with us.

        Exploiting the capability of the Internet to enable multidirectional communications netwide, with no centralized gatekeepers, is a key tool for energizing grassroots political activism. For instance, I’ve noticed over the last year or two that many of the best minds on I/P issues are communicating with one another on Twitter — with no intervening moderation.

        Mondoweiss might be able to integrate some of these social media features with its blog. (The standalone blog with its comments section will always be irreplaceable.)

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 12:21 pm

        “When Israeli leaders seek to define Israel officially as a Jewish state, what exactly do they mean by the term “Jewish”? “ Seanmcbride

        Sean, You don’t know???. Gee, that sorta means we can flush nearly everything you’ve said so far. I though you had that “what is Jewish” thing all taped up and measured out?

      • seanmcbride on January 10, 2015, 12:43 pm

        Mooser,

        “Sean, You don’t know???. Gee, that sorta means we can flush nearly everything you’ve said so far. I though you had that “what is Jewish” thing all taped up and measured out?”

        Actually, what I have said several times is that the contemporary Jewish establishment has leaned heavily on Torah/Old Testament memes of sacred peoplehood, sacred nationhood and sacred territory to justify Zionist beliefs and policies. That establishment has itself framed “Jewishness” in those terms. Many prominent Jewish media outlets are supersaturated with these claims and assertions.

        But I would sincerely like to hear your thoughts on what traits constitute Jewishness — especially when it is stripped of Judaism. You would know a great deal more about these matters than I — someone of Christian European background — would.

      • seanmcbride on January 10, 2015, 2:28 pm

        Mooser,

        Btw, there is a worthy adversary for you on Twitter:

        Buber Zionist https://twitter.com/buberzionist

        He sometimes reminds me of you — but without your charm, wit and sense of humor.

        He has posted 163,000 tweets and has 3,700 followers.

      • Kris on January 10, 2015, 6:00 pm

        @hophmi: “First and foremost, they mean a state with a Jewish majority. You have to remember that the language about a Jewish state is a reaction to Palestinian calls for RoR. ”

        Don’t all people who are driven from their homes by war have the right to return to their homes? This seems obvious to me, but I don’t get the part about Jews from Europe and the U.S. whose families have never lived in the Middle East having the “right” to “return” to Israel.

        Surely the idea is that people should return to their OWN homes, and not that certain groups should be allowed to go somewhere and steal the homes of other people?

      • hophmi on January 10, 2015, 6:17 pm

        Forever? No. And certainly not when prevailing international law assumes two states for two peoples and requires that any returning refugees must live IN PEACE with their neighbors.

  10. John Douglas on January 4, 2015, 5:51 pm

    Philip, This is so wonderfully conceived and beautifully written. If I were still teaching western philosophy then in the section dealing with the 18th Century European Enlightenment (a system of ideas I greatly admire), I would include your essay as a concrete application of the three great statements of Enlightenment ideals from Jefferson, Lincoln and M.L. King. I belongs at very least on the NY Times op. ed. section to jab the Zionists into their pathetic hyperbole and teach others that anti-Zionist is a worthy position to adopt Thank you!.

    • Boomer on January 4, 2015, 7:25 pm

      I’m not a philosophy prof, but while reading Phil’s essay I too thought of the Enlightenment, and the long slog Europe and America have had, trying to implement those principles. A lot of lives were lost, but it seems that we have made some real progress at home. Unfortunately, the trend isn’t always and everywhere in the same direction, and our contribution in other parts of the world isn’t always and everywhere benign. I’m not a sociologist either, but I also thought of Emile Durkheim, who said a lot of insightful things about religion and society, including the notion that religion is a society worshiping itself. One of his observations I find hopeful in this context:

      “There are no gospels which are immortal, but neither is there any reason for believing that humanity is incapable of inventing new ones”

      http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/users/f/felwell/www/Theorists/Essays/Durkheim2.htm

      • MRW on January 6, 2015, 8:36 pm

        And the Europeans got the idea for the Enlightenment from the Moors in Cordoba, because they actually practiced it.

  11. eljay on January 4, 2015, 5:52 pm

    Mr. Weiss, I admire and respect your decision not to remain locked inside a tribe / culture / ethnicity / religion / nation / people / civilization box.

  12. RoHa on January 4, 2015, 7:11 pm

    “If the people of Israel gave up the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination, the Palestinians might give up theirs too, and they might get to the same place. ”

    I’m not convinced that the Palestinians have the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination to the same extent, if at all.

    • Boomer on January 4, 2015, 8:52 pm

      Indeed. And to the extent that they do now, it is perhaps in part an understandable self-defensive reaction.

    • Walid on January 5, 2015, 12:49 am

      “If the people of Israel gave up the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination, the Palestinians might give up theirs too, and they might get to the same place.” (Phil)

      A bogus concept tried and failed in Lebanon since 1943 that resulted in some form or other of civil war every 10 years or so since its independence from France. It was then that the 2 competing cultures living in the same nation about to become independent were lulled into a comprise known as the “national entente” by which the Lebanese Moslems gave up their vocation to join a pan-Arab confederation of newly independent Moslem states under the banner of Greater Syria in return of the Lebanese Christians giving up their reliance on Western Christian powers and more specifically French King Louis XIV’s 1701 committment to come to the rescue of Lebanese Christians when needed. To this day, whenever a new Maronite Catholic Patriarch is elected, his first visits Rome to receive the pallium and his very first official foreign visit is always to France, which shows that nothing was really given up.

      Ethnic and religious self-determinations cannot be extinguished; they may be attenuated, but not extinguished. Oriental Palestinians and western-rooted Jews can never be at the same place. This is probable only between oriental Palestians and oriental Jews. It’s doubtful that even oriental Jews and western Jews can ever be really at the same place and it’s only a question of time before they’d be at each other’s throat.

      • pabelmont on January 5, 2015, 10:06 am

        Walid — may it be that Phil’s idea of giving up on one’s “ethnic” identity, religious identity, etc., is merely a part of a somewhat new “western” or “American” mentality, part of the more-or-less erasure of roots that is typical of many Americans? And thus unavailable to people who have not washed their minds in this “western” stream?

        And, alternatively, may not the desire by many Jews for a Jewish “nationality” or “peoplehood” be the expression of a hunger for belonging which people may feel who have become so cosmopolitan (rootless) that they feel themselves to be people of no country, people of no people?

      • Walid on January 5, 2015, 11:58 am

        “And, alternatively, may not the desire by many Jews for a Jewish “nationality” or “peoplehood” be the expression of a hunger for belonging which people may feel who have become so cosmopolitan (rootless) that they feel themselves to be people of no country, people of no people? (Pablemont)

        Thanks, pabelmont, about those people that you are talking about and even those of other ethnicities, I’ve always wondered if their life in the “ghetto” was something that they had imposed on themselves as much as it was imposed on them since some succeeded in leaving it. Getting back specifically to the Jews, how much of their isolation and separation during 2000 years was self-imposed that resulted in their feeling of being a people of no country?

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 1:34 pm

        I’ve always wondered if their life in the “ghetto” was something that they had imposed on themselves as much as it was imposed on them since some succeeded in leaving it.”

        Yup, looking at us now, one could very easily wonder about those things.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 5:08 pm

        Walid, “oriental”? Really?

      • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 4:44 am

        “And, alternatively, may not the desire by many Jews for a Jewish “nationality” or “peoplehood” be the expression of a hunger for belonging which people may feel who have become so cosmopolitan (rootless) that they feel themselves to be people of no country, people of no people? ”

        I think it’s like 2 poles- one of which is American melting pot of ultimately nothing rooted while the other is a strong tribal identity deeply rooted and it depends where on the scale between the 2 you want to be.

        The question is where do working class Israeli Jews fit and they are hardly going to go for cosmopolitanism. Unless it’s the magazine.

      • MRW on January 6, 2015, 8:41 pm

        Mooser January 5, 2015, 5:08 pm
        Walid, “oriental”? Really?

        Oriental is also a term applied historically within Russia to people who come from the eastern half of Russia. It has the connotation of direction, from the East.

      • Walid on January 7, 2015, 12:18 am

        A song by Enrico Macias, an Algerian that for the first 5 years of his career was the chou-chou of the Arabs, and then he went and spoiled it when he made it public that he was a Jew and started campaigning for Israel. A great performer nonetheless.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 3:09 pm

        .” It has the connotation of direction, from the East.”

        I wonder if that’s what Ed Said?

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 10:49 am

      “I’m not convinced that the Palestinians have the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination to the same extent, if at all.”

      Thank you, RoHa. I’ve made that same comment, and been afraid to push “post” since I read the article.
      I’m convinced that bit of equivalence was just careless writing which slipped in at the end, but I didn’t want to call attention to it..

      • Stephen Shenfield on January 5, 2015, 7:15 pm

        I sympathize with what Phil says and went through a similar evolution (in the slightly different British context). But I think we should be tolerant of the aspiration of ethnic groups for self-determination in situations where the only realistic alternative seems to be unbearable oppression within a hostile state. That might apply to the non-Arab minorities in Sudan or the Abkhaz in Georgia as well as Palestine.

        My other point here is that while “self-determination” is usually interpreted to mean independent ethnically based statehood it does not have to be interpreted that way. It might take the form of a guaranteed level of representation to protect a vulnerable group, such as what Dr. Ambedkar was trying to achieve for India’s Untouchables.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 10:31 pm

        I’m with you Stephen, I’m sure the sentence was more about the incredible generosity and ability to tolerate change on the part of the Palestinians. That any move Israel might make to lessen the problems would be met with positive response.

      • American on January 6, 2015, 11:07 am

        ” I think it’s like 2 poles- one of which is American melting pot of ultimately nothing rooted while the other is a strong tribal identity deeply rooted and it depends where on the scale between the 2 you want to be. —-seafood.

        There’s an old saying in America you may not be familiar with…..”Stand where you are planted”. It means put down roots and grow where you live.

  13. dimadok on January 4, 2015, 7:15 pm

    What a soup of mixed identities, misconceptions, demonization and rejectionist approach to the “other”- a perfect example of a non-starter and dead-ended path of “liberal” anti-whatsoever. But I should really spare my words here and let the example to do the talking:
    ” As a liberal, I think this really is a better way to be, tolerating others, worshiping whoever you want” and there goes this gem: ” Jewish democracy and the Jewish people’s right to self-determination are out of step with the culture that Jews and others have fashioned in my country over the last 30 or 40 years”.
    Who gives a …. about your idea of a Jewish culture, if you don’t have a first clue about it? Who you are trying to influence or change, while simultaneously denying their choices and believes? You are entitled to your own opinion, but it certainly doesn’t make it the only right one, especially in Jewish and Israeli historical perspective. What value your views hold if on one hand you’re OK and approve Palestinian/Arabic national aspirations, while saying that Jews should assume your, a very fringed and low-carb, version of Jewish-flavored life.
    There is a multitude ways of being Jewish, and Israel is a living, constantly changing and vibrant example to it. Yours is a narrow and pointless as of ultra-orthodox sects in Brookline, NY.
    The have only a Torah word for it and you have a collections of liberalistic catchphrases.
    I’ll be curious to see , what would last longer.

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 10:53 am

      “There is a multitude ways of being Jewish,”

      And Judaism can be used as an excuse for theft, murder and brutality? That’s a high opinion you’ve got of the Jewish religion, there “dimadok”.

      So when Sean tells us that every sin and crime of Zionism is predicated on the Jewish religion and culture, you will jump to agree with him?

      Scratch a Zionist, and the first thing he does is blame the Jews, or the Jewish religion, every time.

    • eljay on January 5, 2015, 6:18 pm

      >> dimadokeee: There is a multitude ways of being Jewish, and Israel is a living, constantly changing and vibrant example to it.

      Israel is a living, constantly changing and vibrant example of being Israeli. Or are you suggesting that non-Jewish Israelis are, in fact, Jewish?

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 1:55 pm

      “I’ll be curious to see , what would last longer.”

      So you are dropping the whole “atheist Jew” schtick “dimadok”? Got religion now?

  14. wondering jew on January 4, 2015, 7:42 pm

    A quick reaction after the first read through. Your post nationalism is not something that is that common in the middle east. rather rare in fact.

    But mostly: I think given the fact that you have grown up and grown past your Jewish upbringing that you should recompose the about section of this website specifically #4: To offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity. This may have reflected your thinking years ago, but does not anymore and as a historical document of your thinking this part of the “about” section is relevant to your evolution, but it is no longer relevant to this website in 2015.

    • oldgeezer on January 4, 2015, 8:01 pm

      Even if your assessment of Weiss’s personal position is accurate (which I won’t judge) I’m rather astounded you see the about section of a website as somehow the appropriate place to detail the personal belief of one of the editors.

      • wondering jew on January 4, 2015, 8:06 pm

        old geezer- Come now. phil is not merely one of the editors. the site is called mondoweiss.

      • eljay on January 4, 2015, 8:21 pm

        >> y.f.: … I think given the fact that you have grown up and grown past your Jewish upbringing that you should recompose the about section of this website specifically #4: To offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity.

        1. Mr. Weiss can grow beyond the confines of Jewish tribalism and this site can still offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity.

        2. Offering alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity sounds like a good idea unless one thinks that the American Jewish identity should be based in Jewish supremacism.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 10:56 am

        Wow, Yonah, that was close! You nearly had him, dead to rights! He would have had to shut the place down!
        Kepp trying, Yonah, one of these days you’ll score the bulls-eye which will place Mr. Wiess hors de combat

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 11:40 am

        Gee, sorry, Yonah. I thought for sure that “What!-No-comment-on-Charlie Hebdo?” would do the trick!
        You almost made the place go dark.

    • oldgeezer on January 4, 2015, 8:26 pm

      Try reading the information subsequent to point four. The about section refers to the site and not the editor(s)

    • Xpat on January 4, 2015, 8:45 pm

      @Yonah: “Your post nationalism is not something that is that common in the middle east. rather rare in fact”

      I’m not sure how “post-national” Phil is. He’s post religious-sectarian and urban, Jewish New York. There are other versions of “Americanized” out there which wouldn’t recognize his new, larger identity . He also doesn’t say how this new identity fits not any larger, North American or fully American (north and south) group.
      To your point, there are plenty of Arab identities that transcend sectarianism and national identity. Take Islam for example.

      • wondering jew on January 5, 2015, 4:52 pm

        Elliot- Islam transcends national identity, it certainly does not transcend sectarianism except in an unrealized ideal.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 5:12 pm

        “Islam transcends national identity, it certainly does not transcend sectarianism except”

        Gotta stop right here and give ourselves, us Jews, a big pat on the back for rising above any sectarianism, and always resolving our religious differences by consensus and/or revelation in an orderly process. That, is what makes us unstoppable! We’re organized and united!

      • Xpat on January 5, 2015, 9:50 pm

        @ Yonah,
        Thank you for agreeing that in the Middle East (and the broader Arab world and beyond), Islam transcends national identity.
        Palestinian Christianity transcended religious sectarianism with the Kairos statement of Palestinian unity.
        As you know, there have also been secular pan-Arab movements.
        And going back a bit, there have been all sorts of super-national empires.

        For what it’s worth, I’m not convinced by Phil’s apotheosis either. Feels like a post-industrial society (say, the U.S) lecturing developing countries about greenhouse emissions.

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 12:27 pm

        “For what it’s worth, I’m not convinced by Phil’s apotheosis either”

        Neither am I. I don’t think Phil will sign a statement saying he is not Jewish, subject himself to a rigid examination (you must know each of the thousand dances!) and become an American citizen. He’ll probably be stuck in a half-way spot forever! With the benefits of neither identity!

    • seanmcbride on January 4, 2015, 9:12 pm

      yonah fredman,

      “To offer alternatives to pro-Zionist ideology as a basis for American Jewish identity.”

      Most Americans are now involved in an ever-evolving process of creatively constructing their identity across the boundaries of most traditional ethnic and religious categories — which doesn’t mean that they can’t derive nourishment from their ancestral traditions.

      It’s not an easy process — it can often be difficult or painful — but it can also be liberating and exhilarating. When it becomes too stressful, I suppose one always has the option of migrating back to your nation of origin, culturally speaking.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 11:01 am

        “which doesn’t mean that they can’t derive nourishment from their ancestral traditions.”

        Yonah, see my comment above, in which I detail how my Father-in-law (olav ha-sholom) always ate and recommended “National Hebrew” products (he always got the name backwards, so we invented a fantasy-baseball team for him the, “National Hebrews”)
        And he was a Right-handed Gentile! Can you imagine the nourishment he might have gotten from Manischevitz wines?

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 1:26 pm

        “When it becomes too stressful, I suppose one always has the option of migrating back to your nation of origin, culturally speaking.”

        With an attitude like that Yonah, you better stay pretty much ensconced in Brooklyn. That’s right, Yonah, everybody has a nice cultural ghetto to come home to, if they should only need it.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 1:45 pm

        Holy mackerel, I mistook Sean for Yonah! How on earth could that happen? I know, I’m in the iron-clad grip of a predilection!

        My mistake, and I apologize. I judged by content instead of reading fully. I should have been more attentive.

      • Danaa on January 5, 2015, 4:46 pm

        Mooser – Freudian slip?

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 5:23 pm

        “Mooser – Freudian slip?

        I wish I could get those guys to see how well they complement each other. Maybe that’s what caused it.

    • wondering jew on January 5, 2015, 4:57 pm

      The attitude: let the Jewish language fade away. hundreds of other languages are being lost. bye-bye. don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, as an organizing principle by which jews can organize, seems perverse to me.

      • eljay on January 5, 2015, 5:06 pm

        >> y.f.: The attitude: let the Jewish language fade away. hundreds of other languages are being lost. bye-bye. don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, as an organizing principle by which jews can organize, seems perverse to me.

        Jews have a perfectly good organizing principle: Judaism. The idea that Jews need a supremacist “Jewish State” to organize is perverse.

      • James North on January 5, 2015, 5:07 pm

        Yonah: Your comment sounds like the Israeli attitude toward Yiddish.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 5:33 pm

        “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out,”

        This is the way you talk, Yonah? Such refinement! Well, if you choose to assimilate into a batlan, a farbrecher, instead of retaining the refinement of Hebrew speech, I can’t stop you. But do, if you can, spare a thought to the people you represent, the community!
        You want people to think we talk like grobers?
        Is that why you talk like a cheap hoodnik!

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 10:36 pm

        Remember Yonah, it’s very important we present ourselves as being distinctly different in civility from people like Prof. Saliata.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 12:51 pm

        “organizing principle by which jews can organize, seems perverse to me.”

        Yonah, until the Epstein-Dershowitz matter, and a lot of other things on Failed Messiah are settled, ixnay on anything having to do with “perverse”, you know? We don’t want the conversation to get “lascivious”.

    • piotr on January 6, 2015, 3:57 pm

      After much thought, Phillip concluded that “maintaining identity” is not a worthy issue. Do Armenian-American, punk-American, Irish-American, red-neck American etc. maintain their “identity”? Some do, some do not, it is their choice. Definitely, the culture is enriched with all those identities, but some disappear, some appear.

      Assimilation is not something per se good or bad. Like miniskirts, it has proponents and detractors, both being subjects of “culture wars”. I guess, back when Mondoweiss created its “founding declaration”, Phillip felt differently about assimilation than today.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 10:46 pm

        A Jew who is born in America does not have to assimilate, he is a citizen.
        Now, since 1967 or thereabouts, for some stupid-ass reason Jews who could afford to have made a pretense of being “unassimilated” or some bullshit, but their status is no different from anybody else. No matter what hat they wear, no matter what coat, no matter what they do to their hair..
        This is completely different than the assimilation required in 19th and 20th Century Europe. It is an insult to what those Jews went through to compare the two.

  15. Xpat on January 4, 2015, 8:15 pm

    “One great thing about Jewish Voice for Peace is it welcomes non-Jewish members”

    Nothing special there. AIPAC or J St don’t turn the non-Jews away at the door either. The Jewish community is an interfaith one. It’s only that lefties still feel insecure about their Jewish creds.

  16. Philemon on January 4, 2015, 8:25 pm

    “‘If the people of Israel gave up the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination, the Palestinians might give up theirs too, and they might get to the same place. ‘

    “I’m not convinced that the Palestinians have the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination to the same extent, if at all.”

    Nor am I, Roha.

    If they have it at all I’m guessing it’s rhetorical in reaction to Zionism and its rhetoric.

    I’d think Palestinians had more basic injustices, like theft and murder to complain about.

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 11:04 am

      “I’d think Palestinians had more basic injustices, like theft and murder to complain about.”

      Well, that makes two people braver than me. I’m convinced he just fell down from exhaustion in the last sentence or so, and slipped back into equivalence.

      • Philemon on January 7, 2015, 9:55 pm

        It wasn’t really bravery; just that Roha made a good point. And I get your take on the exhaustion and equivalence, but some of us are not as forgiving as you, Mooser.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 10:50 pm

        “but some of us are not as forgiving as you, Mooser.”

        A gentle word turneth away Roth, so I thought it might work on Weiss, too.

  17. Kay24 on January 4, 2015, 8:49 pm

    Here it comes folks, US Congressmen will be asked to jump by Israel. Very soon we shall hear the “how high”. They control the US and we know it:

    “Israel to ask U.S. congressmen to halt aid to Palestinians
    Recently passed American legislation states that if the Palestinians initiate any action against Israel at the ICC, the State Department would have to stop American aid to the PA, which comes to some $400 million annually.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.635316

    For shame those we vote for lack spine and drink that zio- ade.

    • Philemon on January 4, 2015, 9:17 pm

      Kay, have a heart!

      Think of all those poor politicians who only got elected because the money-bags knew they had ’em by the short and curlies.

      Good God, you wouldn’t want those photos made public?

      Think of the scandal, all the divorces, the broken homes, the cancelled lecture tours at 50K a pop! Okay, maybe 20K. But still!

      • Kay24 on January 4, 2015, 11:52 pm

        Good point. They are indeed caught by the unmentionables. Heh.

    • Xpat on January 4, 2015, 9:37 pm

      Jerusalem isn’t sweating this one. The Senate voted 100-0 to cheer on Israel’s onslaught on Gaza.

      • Kay24 on January 4, 2015, 11:53 pm

        They never sweat when it comes to the wimps in congress. They Know for SURE they can make the puppets dance any way they want to, and it is mostly the Hora.

      • Danaa on January 5, 2015, 4:51 pm

        Even Elizabeth warren. Gotta check on rand paul. To condone Gaza is to condone slaughter of innocents. That’s the kind of moral principles our congress is made of. – all sold to the highest bidder. Something to bear in mind when we speak or praise American democracy – surely one of the world’s greatest illusions.

  18. Pixel on January 5, 2015, 12:25 am

    This is a really nice self-reflective piece, Phil.

    Don’t be too embarrassed by anything you did in the past.

    Just historic markers on the highways and byways of our lives.

    I used to wear zubaz and sport a mullet.

    • Pixel on January 5, 2015, 12:28 am

      Mullet: “business in the front, party in the back.”

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 11:06 am

        I myself, have given that a lot of thought, and have decided to try and get through life with mullets toward none.

        I got the idea from a pacifist polo-player. Simply by replacing an ‘a’ with a ‘u’

      • uh...clem on January 5, 2015, 1:32 pm

        did you mean “liquor up front and poker in the rear”? this was a common understanding in the days of small bars and speakeasies.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:34 am

        I went upstairs and sprang “with mullets toward none” on my wife. She thought it was funny.
        She’s a lovely girl.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 11:43 am

        My wife, a natural comedienne if I ever saw one, reports to me that she tried “With mullets toward none” at work, and got a big laugh. Just sayin.

    • RoHa on January 5, 2015, 2:52 am

      Pixel, for the sake of public decency, please refrain from any more of these true confessions. You have already gone beyond that which is acceptable.

  19. Stogumber on January 5, 2015, 6:03 am

    I disagree.
    The basic point of ethnos is not “imagined identity” but “hope of mutual solidarity”. In our individualized world, most families and most face-to-face groups are too small to protect their members effectively (or to help them to advance); so a lot of persons are quite reasonably looking for a broader community which protects its members (helps them to advance).
    I don’t know much about Hannah Arendt – but didn’t she ever take advantage from Jewish ethnical solidarity? And didn’t she feel that she had to give something back?
    What’s with the National Association for the Advancement of Black People?

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 12:14 pm

      “I don’t know much about Hannah Arendt – but didn’t she ever take advantage from Jewish ethnical solidarity? “

      She used to clasp it to her bosom on long winter nights, and put a bit in her purse, to take out and touch it when she felt discouraged. It wasn’t much, but it helped.

  20. JustJessetr on January 5, 2015, 6:59 am

    Complete and total assimilation, in thought and deed. Worked perfectly for Jews in Germany.

    (*golf clap*)

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 5:53 pm

      What on earth are you talking about? That makes no sense at all, in relation to events in Germany leading up to the Holocaust. But it sure does sound like you are saying the Jews were complicit in their own deaths, by assimilating when offered the opportunity.

      (And, oh, BTW, gosh, I hate to make this distinction, but are you talking about “assimilation” in terms of culture and religion, possibly, or “assimilation” as in being offered or having German citizen ship conferred on them? Big difference.)

      Or are you saying that, instead of “complete and total assimilation, in thought and deed” the Jews in post WW1 Germany should have moved, en masse to the then non-existent state of Israel?

      I mean WTF are you talking about?

      • Citizen on January 7, 2015, 2:23 pm

        He’s saying the nuke-armed and US supported Israel (no strings attached) is the only insurance policy for Jews because Weimar jews were 110% German and look where it got them? Pure Zionist thinking. But you knew that.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 3:23 pm

        “Pure Zionist thinking.”

        I don’t know how much “thinking” is involved. You remember Mad-Libs, Citizen? I think it’s about like that.

  21. bryan on January 5, 2015, 7:45 am

    Nicely written and argued but surely another Jew said it more concisely:” “PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER”. (Groucho Marx)

    • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 3:16 pm

      Grouche Marx, it is said, was also the one who famously pleaded, at a country club who wouldn’t let him in the pool: “My daughter is half-Jewish. Can she go in up to her knees?”

  22. hophmi on January 5, 2015, 9:34 am

    This post doesn’t surprise me; I’ve known from the beginning that Phil’s crusade is a personal one; he wants the rest of the world to be like him, and like many secular Jews, he wants Judaism to reflect his own predilections because while he fetishizes assimilation, deep down, he feels a need for acceptance. Like some secular liberals, he’s very, very closed minded when it comes to the choices of others. The manner in which he uses his vast American privilege to lord his stance against self-determination over others (which is virtually the entire world, since the United States and most of the other nations of the Earth are based on some notion of self-determination) is typical.

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 1:17 pm

      “and like many secular Jews, he wants Judaism to reflect his own predilections

      That word again! Hophmi, this has got to be one of the best Mondo laughs ever. Yup, you and Sean are twin souls, two mounds with but a single thought, or something.

      Damn those Jewish predilections, they’re everywhere.

      Oh, BTW, if Phil, to be a Jew, shouldn’t be like himself (and his “predilections”) Hophmi, tell us, who should he be like?

      • hophmi on January 5, 2015, 1:19 pm

        “Oh, BTW, if Phil, to be a Jew, shouldn’t be like himself (and his “predilections”) Hophmi, tell us, who should he be like?”

        He can be whomever he wants, but he hasn’t much credibility to talk about what the Jewish future should be if he’s essentially opting out of it.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 6:00 pm

        “I’ve known from the beginning that Phil’s crusade is a personal one;”

        Whereas, of course, Zionism is an exercise in complete selflessness, a vocation which requires total abnegation of the self, and unswerving devotion to the benefiting of all mankind. Nope, Zionism is as clean as a dog-whistle, there’s no self-interest in it at all. Why it’s a veritable correspondence course in self-sacrifice!
        No sir, there’s no “personal” interests in Zionism. After, what has anybody, except the Palestinians of course, to gain from it? For Jews, Zionism is based on sacrifice, not personal interest.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 6:07 pm

        “He can be whomever he wants, but he hasn’t much credibility to talk about what the Jewish future should be if he’s essentially opting out of it.”

        Wow, you’re just gettin dumber by the second. What the hell is that supposed to mean? And the funniest part is, Hophmi, if he has no credibility, why are stuck like glue here? Phil sure as hell seems credible to you, here you are. You come here to read a man who’s not credible?
        And the article was full of lies, and too short?

    • seafoid on January 5, 2015, 3:00 pm

      I agree with Hoppy. He does have a point -I think it’s arrogance to assume that a Beitar Jerusalem supporter would want something else (even if it’s deluded.)/ Identity is very slippery. And Phil never went through the Israeli education system.

      Contingency is underrated as a life force.

    • Danaa on January 5, 2015, 5:19 pm

      hophmi: “like many secular Jews, he wants Judaism to reflect his own predilections because while he fetishizes assimilation, deep down, he feels a need for acceptance .”

      You got it all wrong, hophmi. Phil is hardly asking “Judaism” to do anything, much less “reflect his own predilections”. Rather, he was implying that Jewish subculture (rather than judaism about which he has not made any comment) is something he has less and less use for, other than as one element in the great American mix, one that he values.

      If anything, it is Phil that’s moving, even as “Judaism” (I assume you mean the religion), and to a large extent the “Jewish subculture” is staying put, mired in one place, paralysed in thought and action; all because of one country in the Middle east that has chosen a path of abomination, dragging all that was good and laudable in both religion and culture with it. Israel killed the Yiddish culture and language. It killed the Mizrahi culture, stomping on it for good measure. It treats jewish American culture (including the reform and conservative streams) with contempt (except when it can brag about some accomplished jewish person or another). And it never stopped stealing land and trying to kill the person and soul of others who dared inhabit it. It is in the process of returning the religion of judaism back to a spiritual stone age where golden calves are worshipped and corruption is rampant everywhere throughout the land – among the highest and lowest, the devout and the secular. israel and the toxic version of zionism it promulgates far and wide kill the spirit of anything it will encounter until all that’s left is a “Torah” shorn of any meaning to anyone other than the self-selected, most cantankerous members of one part of one tribe. Thus it has ever been for the jews when they lived in their own country, and just because the pattern is not visible to all, does not mean it is ahistoric.

      Phil prefers to move beyond and away from this self-destructive path and finds company with others who share his chosen humanist, enlightenment values, be they jewish or not. That’s what he keeps saying – and has been saying – through this blog, nuances and changes notwithstanding. The evolution he is describing has absolutely nothing to do with some secret “desire for acceptance” but with spiritual and intellectual progression, which he is lucky to experience. No one says you have to follow that path, hophmi since you are seemingly comfortable in the embrace of a more tribal mix. Why you are here, on this blog, is the only mystery, though perhaps it speaks of a certain masochism (see? we can all be amateur psychologists).

      I was only surprised you didn’t dish out the tried and true “self hate” meme. But I’m sure that’s coming next.

    • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 3:27 pm

      “This post doesn’t surprise me; I’ve known from the beginning that Phil’s crusade is a personal one”

      Man, I feel for you, Hophmi! I mean, renouncing the collective for the individual, that must really hurt a sworn leftist like you to see. If Phil can’t see the collective is all, and the individual must accommodate (at the least) himself to it, he’ll just have to learn.

      But, Comrade Hophmi, I take comfort knowing that you see the importance of the collective, and obedience to its leaders! See you at the next Communist Party meeting, maybe we can step out of out tribalism and spark a revolution!

  23. CigarGod on January 5, 2015, 10:34 am

    Just terrific, Phil.
    I’m printing this for my sister who gave me hell this year…for putting multi-colored birthday candles in my Menorah. I had forgotten to buy new ones, they were all i had. Ill fitting and tipping at all angles was probably what sent her over the edge.

    I really loved that you included Hannah in your article.

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 11:09 am

      I’m not sure if my theology is one-hunnert-pacent correct, but I think it is the candle which is made sacred by its use and blessing in the Menorah (or Shabbos candelabra) and not a special candle.

      Use the ‘shamosh’ to melt a bit of wax on the bottom of each candle so it will stick in the Menorah,

      • CigarGod on January 5, 2015, 11:24 am

        Oh thanks a lot buddy. You want me to prolong the sibling battles on technicalities?
        Okay, at the next opportunity, i’ll try to insert a discussion of “long pigs”…and let you know how it goes.
        I dont think ill ever be the graceful man Phil is…i have too much fun this way.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 1:20 pm

        Cigar God, as long as your sister has her theology straight, and follows the correct custom (eight days means eight presents for a brother, no skimping) everything will be fine.

      • CigarGod on January 5, 2015, 2:51 pm

        She picks and chooses the stuff/rules she wants and dismisses me with a wave of her hand.
        You should try to play cards with her.

      • CigarGod on January 5, 2015, 2:54 pm

        Shamosh: Oh yeah, right, man.
        Another sacrilege that she’d make me pay for.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 6:21 pm

        “Shamosh”

        Never fear, IIRC the “Shamosh” is the ‘helper’ candle, and it duties can extend to steadying the other candles. I once used a Shamosh to heat-shrink insulation on an electrical connection to the Christmas tree, and it didn’t object at all. It was happy to do it.

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 12:36 pm

        BTW, the safer electric Menorah can also be used, but the rule is this: the bulbs must be thrown out (crushed underfoot in a Chivas Regal bag) every morning, and a new bulb used each night for the ceremony.
        A Menorah setting fire to a Christmas tree can be a big crises in the life of an intermarried couple. Rabbis have yet to rule on LED, compact fluorescent, high pressure sodium and neon bulbed Menorahs, so seek the advice of your electrician and Rabbi, or both. And eight days means eight presents. You don’t want to be Reform, do ya?

      • CigarGod on January 10, 2015, 12:50 pm

        Its a good thing we dont live in the same town. We’d be Cooling our heels in jail wondering where everyones sense of humour went.

  24. seafoid on January 5, 2015, 2:46 pm

    “Hundreds of languages are dying in New Guinea because the world is getting smaller. Those people have chosen/been compelled to choose other cultures. I chose a more influential culture when I left my parents’ academic/scientific/eccentric/urban Jewish world, and of course my parents didn’t want to speak their parents’ Yiddish. – ”

    The New Guineans won’t get much out of the world. Judaism would have been better off retaining Yiddish too, I think. Language brings nuance to things and Frankensteining Hebrew has been a disaster.

    • hophmi on January 5, 2015, 2:47 pm

      In what way has Hebrew been a disaster?

      • seafoid on January 5, 2015, 3:03 pm

        The fuel of Israeli martialism. The vector of Jewish hatred.
        It used to be a holy language. Now it’s a brainwash.

        I think Israelis suffer greatly from the fact they had to give up their cultures and got Hebrew in return. There is no balance in Israel. It’s as if there is no respect for the wisdom of the past. The only thing that counts is violence and look at where that has brought Israel.

        Modernity is overrated. The past can tell us so much about who we are.

      • hophmi on January 5, 2015, 3:32 pm

        “The fuel of Israeli martialism. The vector of Jewish hatred.
        [Hebrew] used to be a holy language. Now it’s a brainwash.”

        First of all, Modern Hebrew is not quite the same thing as Biblical Hebrew. The languages are obviously similar, but they’re not the same.

        Do you actually speak any Hebrew? Please, tell me more about your theory on how Hebrew is a “disaster” because of “Israeli martialism” and the “vector of Jewish hatred.” Because you’ve made no linkage between the two, nor explained in detail how the militarism of a society makes their language a “disaster.” That sounds an awful like so much ethnocentric bigotry; I don’t like a government’s policy or a society, so I’m going to declare that their language is a “disaster.” Is French a disaster because a Vichy? Is German a disaster because of the Holocaust? Surely English is a disaster because of the sins of British colonialism. Flemish is a total disaster because of the Congo. Arabic – another disaster because of the excesses of Arabic-speaking governments like Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

      • wondering jew on January 5, 2015, 5:08 pm

        seafoid- How much yiddish do you speak? how much hebrew do you speak? can you read either language?

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 6:43 pm

        “First of all, Modern Hebrew is not quite the same thing as Biblical Hebrew. The languages are obviously similar, but they’re not the same.”

        You hear that Yonah? So what happened to all that language-of-the-Talmud stuff?

      • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 2:10 am

        Hoppy

        Belgium is fine. They didn’t shit in their own nest.
        They didn’t destroy their own education system.

        Yonah

        I can read Yiddish. It’s very close to German.
        You couldn’t say “it’s not about what the goys say . It’s about what the Jews do” in Yiddish.

        Because someone would answer “woos iz mit im der klug”- what the f*ck is wrong with him

        I think Hebrew is a big part of Israel’s problem and also a reason behind the growing schism between Shangri la and the diaspora.

    • steven l on January 5, 2015, 4:18 pm

      ? last time U went to Israel.

      • jon s on January 6, 2015, 4:46 am

        Seafoid,
        The revival of Hebrew language and culture is one of Zionism’s finest achievements, something to be proud of.

        Mooser,
        The Talmud is mainly in Aramaic, not Hebrew.

      • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 5:02 am

        Jon

        The Hebrew culture? What is that? IDF indoctrination? Which Hebrew culture prior to Zionism included IDF brainwashing? What was the currency? what was the capital ?

        You can only call it magnificent if it endures.
        I don’t think Zionism will.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:39 am

        “Mooser,
        The Talmud is mainly in Aramaic, not Hebrew.”

        Yes, “Jon s” that was exactly my point, thank you. It was not a ‘revival’ of an ancient language, they made up a new one for their own purposes.

        But thank you for bolstering my point.

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 6:51 pm

      “Judaism would have been better off retaining Yiddish too”

      I would have been a hell of a lot better off myself if I had taken advantage of the chance I had a half-century ago to learn Yiddish from people in my family devoted to the language. Ah, but you know what they say, youth is wasted on the yukel. Didn’t hit me till years later what a chance I had missed.

      • Kris on January 5, 2015, 7:16 pm

        Mooser– When I was an undergrad at The University of Texas, this quote was emblazoned across the front page of the finals schedule:

        “Ah God! Had I but studied in the days of my foolish youth!” –Francois Villon

      • RoHa on January 5, 2015, 9:29 pm

        “youth is wasted on the yukel.”

        The buggers have got more hair, too.

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 10:45 pm

        “Ah God! Had I but studied in the days of my foolish youth!” –Francois Villon

        Well, if you run into M. Villon, you can tell him from me that he said a mouthful. And he put it well, too, with a lot of the good old je nes sais pas.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:45 am

        “The buggers have got more hair, too.”

        RoHa, I must be truthful, even if I expose certain family matters. All my Yiddish speaking relatives said I was “a yukel, and an urkle, too”!

      • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 11:01 am

        So it appears that Seafoid doesn’t speak the language he condemns. Whatever. Then he says Belgium is fine because they didn’t “destroy their own education system.” You might ask the people in the Congo whether they think the Belgians are fine.

        As usual, Seafoid is just blathering on. Whatever the shortcomings of the Israeli education system, it has little to do with the Hebrew language.

        Modern Hebrew is not “made up.” It’s related to Biblical Hebrew in much the same way Modern English is related to the English of Shakespeare’s time, or in the way Modern Standard Arabic is related to literary Arabic. If you understand Modern Hebrew, you’ll understand a lot of the Old Testament and the Mishna, as well as medieval Hebrew works. Hebrew has evolved over a long period of time, and it was already being revived as a literary language before Zionism. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda modernized the language for conversational speaking by creating a vernacular, and over time, Modern Hebrew has incorporated Yiddish and Judeo-Arabic influences, in the same way that American English has incorporated the influences of Hispanic, Jewish, Irish, German, and many other immigrant populations.

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

      • lysias on January 6, 2015, 11:36 am

        Shlomo Sand says in his latest book that Modern Hebrew’s vocabulary is basically derived from that of Biblical Hebrew, and thus Semitic, but that the syntax is “predominantly Yiddish and Slavic, and thus in no way biblical”.

        The only Hebrew I have studied is Biblical. I do not know Modern Hebrew, and so, although I have also studied Yiddish (and Russian), I am not qualified to judge Sand’s statement.

      • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 12:37 pm

        “As usual, Seafoid is just blathering on. Whatever the shortcomings of the Israeli education system, it has little to do with the Hebrew language

        All part of the same system Hoppy. The ghetto language is Hebrew and kids are deliberately not educated. Israelis are not born stupid. They are born ignorant. They are educated in Hebrew to be stupid.
        And nobody else speaks Hebrew so nobody else shares their paranoia and Manichean view of the world.

        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/nov/20/gaza-murderous-melodrama/

        “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. “

      • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 1:24 pm

        “The ghetto language is Hebrew and kids are deliberately not educated…They are educated in Hebrew to be stupid.”

        What are you talking about? You can’t just keep making up the terms and not defining them. How is modern Hebrew a “ghetto language?” What does the Hebrew language have to do with how Israeli kids are educated? Would you ever dare say these stupid things about Arabic or English?

        Israel is a first-world country. It has a 99% literacy rate, respected institutions of higher education, and per capita the most tech startup in the world. So I have no clue what you mean when you say that Israelis are “deliberately not educated” and certainly no idea what this has to do with the Hebrew language that you apparently don’t speak.

        “And nobody else speaks Hebrew so nobody else shares their paranoia and Manichean view of the world.”

        Are you seriously asserting that Israelis are security conscious because of the Hebrew language? You don’t think it has anything to do with terrorism, the geopolitics of the Middle East, or the incitement (in Arabic, but who cares) against Jews and others in the Middle East?

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 7:56 pm

        “Are you seriously asserting that Israelis are security conscious because of the Hebrew language?”

        Maybe ‘if you are so goddam “security conscious, why don’t you stay inside your declared borders, and not operate outside them?’ can’t be translated into Hebrew?

        Gee, for “security conscious” people, those Israelis sure like to take chances.

      • eljay on January 6, 2015, 8:27 pm

        >> hophmeee: Are you seriously asserting that Israelis are security conscious because of the Hebrew language? You don’t think it has anything to do with terrorism, the geopolitics of the Middle East, or the incitement (in Arabic, but who cares) against Jews and others in the Middle East?

        It likely has a lot to do with the fact that in addition to Jewish terrorism, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands and the establishment of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine, Israel – for over 60 years and with impunity – has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians.

      • jon s on January 7, 2015, 4:39 pm

        Mooser,
        The Talmud is Aramaic, but the Mishnah, which came earlier, is in Hebrew , and so is most of the Bible, which came before that. For the rest, see Hophmi’s comment, below.
        In other words, your “point” is nonsense.

      • Philemon on January 7, 2015, 9:08 pm

        Hophmi: “[Modern Hebrew is]… related to Biblical Hebrew in much the same way Modern English is related to the English of Shakespeare’s time…”

        Yeah, more like the way Modern Esperanto is related to the Italian of “Dante’s time.”

        And what eljay said, as well!

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:27 pm

        “The Talmud is Aramaic, but the Mishnah,”

        I really don’t see what difference it makes if they stuck to classical or pre-classical Hebrew or made up a new Hebrew. At any rate, all kinds of technological words (telephone, automobile, etc) had to be absorbed.

        But what of it. Okay, Israeli Hebrew is the most modern, traditional, beautiful language, it’s wonderful. What bearing does that have on the situation? The prize for reviving/adapting a near-dead language is getting your own country at somebody elses expense? Sure, “Jon s”

        BTW, the language will stay purer if you stay inside your own declared borders.

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 12:40 pm

        “Would you ever dare say these stupid things about Arabic or English?”

        I do! And you know, it never seems to hurt them.
        You should hear what I say about the languages I don’t know! Is Frenchman a man? Well, why doesn’t he talk like a man!

  25. steven l on January 5, 2015, 4:17 pm

    This is never going to work since the Islamists are on the path of war against the West. Then antisemitism will never disappear because it provides cover to the rest of the world to show their lack of ethics and morale values. The world will always want someone to blame and or hate. One people is left to show the ethical way.

    • seanmcbride on January 5, 2015, 6:07 pm

      steven l,

      “antisemitism will never disappear because it provides cover to the rest of the world to show their lack of ethics and morale values.”

      Are you saying that non-Jews lack ethical and moral values? Wouldn’t that be a racist point of view?

      (“the rest of the world” = “the nations” — all non-Jewish nations)

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 6:25 pm

      ” One people is left to show the ethical way.”

      Say what? Could you explain that a little more….nah, never mind, what am I thinking…

    • eljay on January 5, 2015, 6:37 pm

      >> steven l: One people is left to show the ethical way.

      The people who support justice, accountability and equality. Which rules out Zio-supremacists and their enablers and supporters.

    • RoHa on January 5, 2015, 9:23 pm

      “” One people is left to show the ethical way.”

      Let me guess. Hmmm.
      New Zealanders? Welsh? Maybe not. Think of the sheep.
      Bhutanese? Zuñí? Arapesh?

      I’ve got it!

      Baha’is, right?

      • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 10:48 pm

        “Baha’is, right?”

        Baha’i jove, I think you’ve got it!

        “Steve l” and “Justjessetr” seem to be doing a Zionist Mad-Libs thing.

    • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 2:49 am

      One people is left to show the ethical way.

      “The way will be opening” but only post Zionism

      The way will be opening, total insubordination
      Complete revolt, formal sabotage
      Still it must be stressed that on this port
      There is no room for compromise
      Faint, all our crime is crime of physical setting

      Except inside the mind, all inside the mind
      How come more and more futile?
      The American dream is the fertilize
      Nothing at all can be expected
      Except for the use of violence

      Nothing at all can be changed if
      Evolution turned us to silence
      Confrontations clearing the way
      Will be opening, will be opening
      Not as end in itself but as a beginning

  26. hophmi on January 5, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Please put through. I post about one comment for every twenty of Mooser’s.

    • Mooser on January 5, 2015, 6:23 pm

      Yes, but most of mine are too short!

      • Kris on January 5, 2015, 9:55 pm

        Though interesting.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:23 am

        “Though interesting.”

        Well, as the old saying has it: “Levity is the soul of wit!”

  27. jon s on January 6, 2015, 4:41 am

    Some comments:
    I understand that Phil, in his journey of assimilation, doesn’t see the justification for a Jewish state , and I can only hope that his quest for assimilation , which could have been written by an assimilationist in Berlin a hundred years ago, doesn’t end similarly.
    So Phil, and other Jews like him , don’t want a Jewish state. Fine. But what about other Jews, including myself , who do want there to be one small Jewish state on this planet , one small state in which Jewish culture is the majority culture and Hebrew is an official language? And not on” other people’s land” , but in our historic homeland? There are millions of Jews , here in Israel and abroad , who support that idea and should have the same right to a nation-state as other nations have.
    Phil seems to express indifference to the prospect of Jewish identity and culture disappearing. Hundreds of languages are dying in New Guinea, no big deal. Traditions and religion are absurd.
    For myself, and plenty of others, the loss of Jewish culture and traditions and identity would be a tragedy, something that I try to do my small part to prevent

    • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 5:10 am

      “There are millions of Jews , here in Israel and abroad , who support that idea and should have the same right to a nation-state as other nations have.”

      Shouldn’t the Palestinians have the right to a homeland where Jews aren’t bombing them with white phosphorous ? Or does the Holocaust mean that is sadly not possible for reasons known only to the management ?
      And if many Jews believe YESHA is Jewish land, who is going to tell them they are nuts ? The Sugar Plum Fairy ?

      • jon s on January 6, 2015, 5:22 am

        Seafoid, As I’m sure you know by now , I support 2 states, so I certainly recognize the Palestinian right to a homeland . Since this land is homeland to two peoples the only solution is partition and two states.

      • RoHa on January 6, 2015, 5:56 am

        “Since this land is homeland to two peoples the only solution is partition and two states. ”

        No, another solution would be for the two “peoples” to share the land in a single state. With luck and good sense they could become a single people .

      • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 11:03 am

        “No, another solution would be for the two “peoples” to share the land in a single state. With luck and good sense they could become a single people .”

        Is that what they want or what you want?

      • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 7:00 am

        How do you get 2 states, Jon? Is blowing up Gaza going to work ? and what will you do with all of those co religionists of yours in the settlements ? will they all go home before Shabbat next week?

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:05 am

        ” I support 2 states,”

        Translation from Zionist Mad-Libs: ‘The Zionists can keep everything they have taken, get more besides, and can’t be called to account, and not a settler moves’

        Yeah, “Jon s” we get it what you support.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:07 am

        “this land is homeland to two peoples”

        Please stop insulting our intelligence. Do you think repeating this ad nauseam makes it true?

      • annie on January 6, 2015, 11:14 am

        As I’m sure you know by now , I support 2 states, so I certainly recognize the Palestinian right to a homeland . Since this land is homeland to two peoples the only solution is partition and two states.

        seafoid ask you this question jon: And if many Jews believe YESHA is Jewish land, who is going to tell them they are nuts ? The Sugar Plum Fairy ?

        do you talk to them jon? or only us?

        it’s sort of irrelevant if one supports 2 states when the gov of israel (the powerful entity of this duo, the one with the backing of the superpower)is determined to make sure there is never a palestinian state. whereas the PA (who i have many issues with) are doing everything in their damndest to get a state (you may disagree with that assertion), that is not the case for israeli leaders who keep thieving more and more land.

        so i am curious what you’re doing to influence the jews seafoid is referencing. because it seems to me they are the biggest obstacle to the 2 states. assuming you really want a 2ss, could you direct us to the pro israel website frequented by right wing jews determined to annex all the land – where you hang out making comments trying to advocate for 2 states? i imagine your continued advocacy might be quite valuable there. or do you primarily lobby on this site or sites like this?

      • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 11:22 am

        “seafoid ask you a question jon: And if many Jews believe YESHA is Jewish land, who is going to tell them they are nuts ? The Sugar Plum Fairy ?”

        I have no trouble telling YESHA settlers and their supports that their vision is nuts. Do you tell that to Palestinian and Arab maximalists who talk about a Palestine from the River to the Sea and an Islamic Caliphate? Are you capable of acknowledging that radical groups like Hezb’allah, regardless of the justice or lack thereof of their cause against Israel, are also part of the problem in the Arab world, and deeply implicated in support for the Assad government? Because groups like these are not a fringe in the Muslim world. They’re a powerful minority that destabilizes the entire Arab world.

        “so i am curious what you’re doing to influence the jews seafoid is referencing. because it seems to me they are the biggest obstacle to the 2 states. ”

        I don’t think so. They’re an obstacle, but the bigger obstacle is the refusal of the Arab world that surrounds Israel to come to grips with its existence.

        “assuming you really want a 2ss, could you direct us to the pro israel website frequented by right wing jews determined to annex all the land – where you hang out making comments trying to advocate for 2 states?”

        There’s no YESHA equivalent of Mondoweiss. I am friends with many in the right-wing Jewish community, and I have written both to right-wing Jewish newspapers and commented on right-wing facebook feeds regarding the intellectual bankruptcy of the YESHA vision. Have you condemned Palestinian terrorism?

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:29 am

        “frequented by right wing jews determined to annex all the land”

        Another fraud, I’m pretty sure. Has anybody told them exactly what procedure “Israel” would have to go through to legally annex those lands? Or does Israel just say: “Do it, or we start throwing nukes around?”

        Talking about “annexing” any land is just a fraud on those poor schlimazels.

      • eljay on January 6, 2015, 12:05 pm

        >> annie: “so i am curious what you’re doing to influence the jews seafoid is referencing. because it seems to me they are the biggest obstacle to the 2 states. ”
        >> hophmeee: I don’t think so. They’re an obstacle, but the bigger obstacle is the refusal of the Arab world that surrounds Israel to come to grips with its existence.

        Like all Zio-supremacists, hophmeee intentionally mistakes the serial rapist for a law-abiding citizen and, accordingly, blames the anti-rape advocates and the victims chained in the rapist’s basement for refusing to “come to grips” with the man’s existence.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 12:23 pm

        “I have no trouble telling YESHA settlers and their supports that their vision is nuts”

        Hophmi, can you link us to some of that? I’m sure it’s powerful stuff! You will link us to the places where you tell the YESHA where to get off, right?

      • seafoid on January 6, 2015, 12:32 pm

        “don’t think so. They’re an obstacle, but the bigger obstacle is the refusal of the Arab world that surrounds Israel to come to grips with its existence. ”

        Crock of shit, Hoppy. the Arab Peace Initiative has been gathering dust in Tel Aviv since 2003. Israel is not interested in peace.
        Those near million Jews were put in situ for a reason- to kill the notion that would ever be a Palestinian state.

        And Hebrew is a huge problem and nothing to do with Belgium
        Israel is a lunatic state.

      • Sibiriak on January 6, 2015, 1:34 pm

        seafoid: “the Arab Peace Initiative has been gathering dust in Tel Aviv since 2003. Israel is not interested in peace. Those near million Jews were put in situ for a reason- to kill the notion that would ever be a Palestinian state. “
        ——————-

        True. That was the intention of the Israeli leadership.

        On the other hand, the Arab Peace Initiative (like the Geneva accords etc.) includes the possibility of land swaps which would allow large settlement blocs to be incorporated into Israel. That may be rightly viewed as unjust, but the fact remains that the vast majority of settlers would not have to be uprooted in order for the Palestinian state to become a concrete reality.

      • RoHa on January 6, 2015, 6:24 pm

        “Is that what they want or what you want?”

        It is a morally acceptable solution.

      • annie on January 7, 2015, 1:04 pm

        the bigger obstacle is the refusal of the Arab world that surrounds Israel to come to grips with its existence.

        everyone knows that’s a bunch of crap hops. israel hounded for this ‘israel’s right to exist’ yada yada and once they got that acknowledgement decades ago the goal post was abruptly adjusted to add “as a jewish state”. it’s a completely disingenuous and superfluous claim. and everyone knows it. it was demanded and required for no other reason than laying blame on palestine for israel’s obstinance and continued justification for control of everything.

      • hophmi on January 7, 2015, 2:15 pm

        “. israel hounded for this ‘israel’s right to exist’ yada yada and once they got that acknowledgement decades ago”

        Which acknowledgement are you talking about? I’m familiar with the argument that the PLO “acknowledged” Israel. It’s a little more complicated than that.

        “the goal post was abruptly adjusted to add “as a jewish state”.

        Not when the PLO talked about using a settlement as a springboard for taking over the rest of Israel, and not when 50 years of Arab diplomacy has been aimed at excluding Israel from international institutions, boycotting it, and making war with it. The partition plan references a Jewish State and an Arab State. Recognition means little if all the PLO recognized was a state they intended to attack and erase in the future, or if the PLO wishes to flood Israel with millions of refugees in order to render it another Arab state.

        ” it’s a completely disingenuous and superfluous claim.”

        It’s not a claim that I attach great importance to, but it’s understandable given past PLO rhetoric. It’s certainly not disingenuous. It’s superfluous only in the sense that a Jewish state exists in Israel, and recognition is ultimately unnecessary. Of course, recognition of a Palestinian state is also unnecessary, since it exists today in the form of the Palestinian Authority, but recognition certainly seems to matter to Palestinians.

        “it was demanded and required for no other reason than laying blame on palestine.”

        It has its political dimension, but what doesn’t? In any case, the refusal of the Palestinians to negotiate has little to do with the Jewish state demand.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 11:47 am

        “Like all Zio-supremacists, hophmeee intentionally mistakes the serial rapist for a law-abiding citizen and, accordingly, blames the anti-rape advocates and the victims chained in the rapist’s basement for refusing to “come to grips” with the man’s existence.”

        Hell, Hophmi thinks the only possible solution is for the woman to marry the rapist. He’s already planning a White Wedding. He sees no reason why it wouldn’t be a happy marriage.

      • CigarGod on January 9, 2015, 11:56 am

        One cartoonist office goes up in flames and another takes its place.

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 12:45 pm

        “There’s no YESHA equivalent of Mondoweiss. “

        Hophmi, are we selfish? No! All of your right-wing-Jewish-community fiends are welcome to read Mondo, and participate in the comments section. You should tell them that, Hophmi. Nobody here is selfish (although they might eat shellfish) and YESHA is welcome to use Mondo until they get their own Mondo!

      • hophmi on January 10, 2015, 4:16 pm

        That’s nonsense, Mooser. It is simply not true that right wing Jews have the same commenting privileges as others here. The moderator does not treat people with Zionist perspectives the same as those with anti-Zionist perspectives. People like you work hard to harass people like me, and the moderators allow it to go on unfettered.

        Cass Sunstein has just written a book about groupthink and how people who hang out only with those who share their political perspectives tend to become more extreme. As I’ve told you many times, you guys here are a cardinal example of that, and as a result, you do things here which, in the real world, are bigoted and hateful, and then wonder why your cause can’t break into the mainstream.

      • annie on January 10, 2015, 5:43 pm

        people who hang out only with those who share their political perspectives tend to become more extreme. As I’ve told you many times, you guys here are a cardinal example of that

        hops, you’ve had thousands of comments published here. THOUSANDS. how can anyone who hangs out here be an example of someone who “hang[s] out only with those who share their political perspectives” with you around?

        The moderator does not treat people with Zionist perspectives the same as those with anti-Zionist perspectives.

        fyi, there are plenty of anti zionists here who’ve had their comments trashed, believe me. since you are not privy to unpublished comments you have no way of knowing what does not make it thru moderation other than your own comments. and it’s plural btw, there is not ‘one’ moderator here, but several.

        People like you work hard to harass people like me, and the moderators allow it to go on unfettered.

        i’d just like to remind you that you called me a bigot the other day [unfettered] and it was published. again and again you’e repeated/accused people here of being “bigoted and hateful” (again in your current comment – unfettered). you’re no victim hops and you’re one of the staunchest predators on this site wrt harassing people and spewing accusations of “hatred”. if i had a dollar for every time i’ve cleared a comment of yours harassing people here i could take an all expense paid free vacation! so your hypocrisy is noted.

        and that’s it on the subject of moderation. we are not dkos and i personally do everything in my power to avoid extensive long arguments filling threads about what’s pc speech. it’s off topic. if you want to whine about your treatment here write phil and adam. -end of topic-

      • annie on January 10, 2015, 6:51 pm

        PS here’s your link from above http://www.nytimes.com/1988/12/08/world/arafat-says-plo-accepted-israel.html

        By STEVE LOHR, Special to the New York Times
        Published: December 8, 1988

        STOCKHOLM, Dec. 7— Yasir Arafat said today that the Palestine Liberation Organization accepted the existence of the state of Israel. His statement, which he presented as a milestone, was immediately dismissed in Israel and greeted coldly by the United States.

        After a two-day meeting with five prominent American Jews here, a P.L.O. delegation led by Mr. Arafat said in a joint statement that the Palestinian parliament in exile last month had ”accepted the existence of Israel as a state in the region” and ”declared its rejection and condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.” [ Text of statement, page A10. ]

        At a news conference, Mr. Arafat said, ”We accept two states, the Palestine state and the Jewish state of Israel.”

        “the goal post was abruptly adjusted to add “as a jewish state”.

        Not when the PLO talked about using a settlement as a springboard for taking over the rest of Israel, and not when 50 years of Arab diplomacy has been aimed at excluding Israel from international institutions, boycotting it, and making war with it.- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/against-self-determination/comment-page-1#comment-736855

        excuses excuses excuses. at least you admit they immediately upped the ante.

      • lysias on January 10, 2015, 6:55 pm

        Cass Sunstein complains about groupthink when he’s a prominent member of the governing class in Washington that is more guilty of groupthink than anybody is? Incredible!

        And I don’t think many of the people he complains about would recommend “cognitive infiltration” against those they disagree with.

    • RoHa on January 6, 2015, 5:52 am

      “But what about other Jews, including myself , who do want there to be one small Jewish state on this planet , one small state in which Jewish culture is the majority culture and Hebrew is an official language?”

      Wanting something does not give any right to have it, and certainly not at the expense of other people.

      “And not on” other people’s land” , but in our historic homeland?”

      What does “historic homeland” mean, and why does this “historic homeland” status give American or Polish Jews any greater rights there than Welsh Christians or Palestinian Muslims

      “There are millions of Jews , here in Israel and abroad , who support that idea and should have the same right to a nation-state as other nations have.”

      1. Jews are not a nation in any normal sense of the word. You have been reading this website long enough to know that.
      2. Where do you get the idea that a “nation” has a right to a nation-state? What is the basis for this alleged right?

      “Phil seems to express indifference to the prospect of Jewish identity and culture disappearing. Hundreds of languages are dying in New Guinea, no big deal. Traditions and religion are absurd.”

      He doesn’t say they are absurd, but has realised they are not important enough to suffer for, let alone inflict suffering on others. Human life, human happiness, are worth far more than any “identity” (whatever that means), culture, religion, or language.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:11 am

        “He doesn’t say they are absurd, but has realised they are not important enough to suffer for, let alone inflict suffering on others “

        Maybe Phil thinks Jewish traditions are one of the very important things in the world, important to him and the rest of the world but Zionism and the Jewish State are not the way to keep them alive, and will do more than anything else to extinguish them!!!!

        Don’t be drawn into a false Zionism vs. Jewish tradition dichotomy. Zionism is the death of Jewish tradition, and they will tell you so themselves! (Except when “Jon s” and his stern gang don the tallit and etc. and kvetch.

        Perhaps Phil even believes that Jewish tradition is worth suffering and sacrificing for. How ever, it’s hard to categorize “Look, I got a free country and lots of money” under the rubric of “suffering and sacrifice”

      • RoHa on January 6, 2015, 6:18 pm

        Good point, Mooser.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 3:43 pm

        “Good point, Mooser.”

        Thanks, RoHa, but the problem is, I thought of it way, way, way too soon. If I had only held off a bit, I’d have a story, and people could take me seriously. Instead, I’m a joke. I got nothin’. What freakin’ good is a Jewish anti-Zionist who never was a Zionist to begin with? Who was repelled by it even as a kid? (And that was before I knew what was going on in regard to the Palestinians) I got no boner fidoes and I know it.

      • JeffB on January 7, 2015, 7:41 pm

        @RoHa

        . Jews are not a nation in any normal sense of the word. You have been reading this website long enough to know that.

        Jewish-Israelis are a nation in every sense of the word. The non Israeli Jews are overwhelming Americans who to one extent or another practice the remaining fragments of dying religion and have allied themselves with Israelis. This isn’t 1914 the Jewish state exist it has existed for generations and has a nation that lives within it.

        Where do you get the idea that a “nation” has a right to a nation-state? What is the basis for this alleged right?

        They don’t. Nations fight to establish states. Those that are successful live those that fail die. Same as I don’t have a right to fight off colds but to live I must fight them off.

        What does “historic homeland” mean,

        It means the modern place most closely corresponding to Judaea where Judaeanism became a separate culture / religion 2600 or more years ago.

      • RoHa on January 7, 2015, 9:51 pm

        “Jewish-Israelis are a nation in every sense of the word.”

        Not quite. Israel – not Jewish Israelis – is a nation in one sense of the word. (A sovereign state.) Jewish Israelis are indeed a nation in the nineteenth-century “connected group” sense, but jon.s wanted to include Jews outside Israel as well.

        Glad to see you agree that there is no right to a nation-state.

        “What does “historic homeland” mean,

        It means the modern place most closely corresponding to Judaea where Judaeanism became a separate culture / religion 2600 or more years ago.”

        O.K. And what implications in terms of rights does this have?

      • annie on January 7, 2015, 10:04 pm

        And what implications in terms of rights does this have?

        nothing

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 10:59 pm

        “Those that are successful live those that fail die”

        Pro-tip on nation-making: Keep the birth-rate up, the intermarriage and walk-away rate down.
        And stay within your own borders.

        Poor Zionists, the end of Zionism may mean no Jews for them to boss around and take advantage of. Maybe you Zionists should appeal to the Gentile leaders to give you exclusive right to the Jews.

      • eljay on January 8, 2015, 7:31 am

        >> JeffBeee: Jewish-Israelis are a nation in every sense of the word.

        No they’re not. Israelis are a nation. Jewish Israelis – and non-Jewish Israelis – are a sub-set of the nation of Israelis.

        When Jewish is the bureaucratic nationality of all citizens of, immigrants to and ex-pats and refugees from “Jewish State”, you might finally have something. As it currently stands, all you have is Zio-supremacism.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:32 pm

        “Jewish-Israelis are a nation in every sense of the word.”

        “JeffyB”, you’re only half-way there!
        Drop the “Jewish” and just call yourself “Israeli”. See, that way, if there is ever an accounting, you can blame it on the Jews! And say “But they don’t live around here no more. There’s no-one here except us Israelis!”
        That ought to leave those accountants non plussed!

    • eljay on January 6, 2015, 8:26 am

      >> jon seee: But what about other Jews, including myself , who do want there to be one small Jewish state on this planet … And not on” other people’s land” , but in our historic homeland …

      1. Wanting a supremacist is not a valid reason to have a supremacist state. There is no valid reason to have a supremacist state. No group of people is entitled to a supremacist state.

      2. Palestine is the “historic homeland” of the indigenous population of Palestine. It is not the “historic homeland” of every person in the world who happens to be Jewish.

      • Bornajoo on January 6, 2015, 8:35 am

        @Ejay

        .” Palestine is the “historic homeland” of the indigenous population of Palestine. It is not the “historic homeland” of every person in the world who happens to be Jewish.”

        Superbly stated. Every word is the absolute and indefiable TRUTH

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:15 am

        “But what about other Jews, including myself , who do want there to be one small Jewish state on this planet “

        Where there are none of those Goyische age-of-consent laws and human trafficking laws?

      • just on January 8, 2015, 10:08 am

        “Palestine is the “historic homeland” of the indigenous population of Palestine. It is not the “historic homeland” of every person in the world who happens to be Jewish.”

        A big amen to that, eljay!!!

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:50 am

      Yes, “Jon s” Phil Wiess’ “journey of assimilation” is almost over! This very month he should receive (G-d willing!) his citizen papers! We’re going to have a party.

      Of course, he will have to determine if he is going to drop the caftan and fedora and get measured for some Saville Row suits, but all in good time.

      Imagine that, Phil Wiess, a real American! What a country!

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:56 am

      “But what about other Jews, including myself , who do want there to be one small Jewish state on this planet , one small state”

      You keep on saying “small”, but this “small Jewish State” keeps on getting bigger! ROTFLMSJAO!

      Johnny, babes, when you put on the tallit and tefillin and go into that peculiar passive-aggressive yet lachrymose Tevye act, there’s nobody can beat your time!

      So I get it, “Jon s” there a Jewish tradition of theft, oppression and murder, (not to mention a fraud on the Jewish people, such as it is, but don’t you think they deserve borders and stuff?) which must not perish from the earth!

      “Jon s” I think “Seanmcbride” is the man you want to talk to. You two can trace this tradition together from the Bible days to all the “major Jewish organizations”.

      • seanmcbride on January 6, 2015, 11:24 am

        Mooser,

        Jon s’s views are in fact in harmony with the Jewish establishment and every major politician on the American stage. Which major Jewish organization or leading American politician supports the views of progressive anti-Zionists?

        You vastly exaggerate the impact of your views in the big scheme of things. Progressive anti-Zionists have had much less influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and the Jewish establishment than even liberal Zionists — who have had zero influence for decades now.

        Do you have any realistic proposals for turning around the views of the Conference of Presidents or the US Congress?

        I would love to see some reality-based discussion on the future of progressive anti-Zionism.

      • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 12:18 pm

        “Jon s’s views are in fact in harmony with the Jewish establishment and every major politician on the American stage. Which major Jewish organization or leading American politician supports the views of progressive anti-Zionists?”

        In a sense, Sean is correct on this point; anti-Zionists have a habit of exaggerating their own influence, even though I can think of no small minority community as self-critical as the Jewish community is.

        Jewish Voice for Peace might argue that they are major Jewish organization, if they had the gumption to actually claim a Jewish mantle in more than name only. But they don’t seem to have it.

        So, generally, Sean is correct. None of major American Jewish organizations support the viewpoints that dissent from communal consensus. He insinuates that this is somewhat unusual, but it’s in no way unusual. What major Catholic organization supports abortion, or the abolition of the Vatican? What major Muslim organization supports Ayaan Hirst Ali’s right to speak on college campuses, or the views of other major Muslim dissidents?

        You’ll find as a general rule that organizations that represent the members of a religious group do not tend to favor the views of the dissidents within that group when there is communal consensus. And yes, there is a communal consensus on support for a Jewish state within the Jewish community, although I’d be the first to admit that there are very loud small minorities that dissent from that view.

      • annie on January 6, 2015, 12:29 pm

        Sean is correct on this point…So, generally, Sean is correct….

        exactly, hops and sean are like to peas in a pod. how could anyone not notice.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:33 am

        “You vastly exaggerate the impact of your views in the big scheme of things.”

        And, if I may have the unmitigated temerity to ask, at what point did I make an estimate of “the impact of your (my) views in the big scheme of things”?
        Okay? Exaggerated or not, would you like to show me that?

        Hey, Sean, why not start by getting the time-stamps straight, before you actually try to follow the discussion? It helps.

      • seanmcbride on January 6, 2015, 11:44 am

        Mooser,

        So how do you envision the future of progressive anti-Zionism? Under what circumstances is the small minority of Jews who support progressive anti-Zionism likely to overcome the power of the Jewish establishment, which is lined up behind Jewish Zionists like jon s and Hophmi?

        Mondoweiss needs to move this issue to the front and center of the conversation about Israel and the Israel lobby.

      • annie on January 6, 2015, 12:18 pm

        small minority of Jews small minority of Jews small minority of Jews small minority of Jews small minority of Jews small minority of Jews small minority of Jews

        what are the numbers jon? this is the number one growing movement on american campuses but you don’t recognize it because you’re so enthralled with “the power of the [so called] Jewish establishment”

        Mondoweiss needs to move this issue to the front and center
        Mondoweiss needs to move this issue to the front and center
        Mondoweiss needs to move this issue to the front and center
        Mondoweiss needs to move this issue to the front and center
        Mondoweiss needs to move this issue to the front and center

        why? because you’re obsessed with it? you’re framing about individual jews who are not zionists – on every level is degrading. we are not representing a “small minority of Jews” we are representing a growing movement, one that includes jews of course, that is growing by leaps and bounds. so why on earth would we seek to promote a concept we’re insignificant nothings and have no impact. if you want to know what issues we think need to move front and center look at our home page or just scroll to the top of the page. when we want to be as popular as your friendfeed site we’ll make sure to ask your advice.

        Progressive anti-Zionists have had much less influence
        Progressive anti-Zionists have had much less influence
        Progressive anti-Zionists have had much less influence
        Progressive anti-Zionists have had much less influence
        Progressive anti-Zionists have had much less influence

        thanks for reminding us day after day after day after day sean! NOT

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:51 am

        “Jon s’s views are in fact in harmony with the Jewish establishment and every major politician on the American stage.”

        Thanks, Sean.
        Shame on you guys for even hinting Sean has anti-Semitic ideas! Frankly, I think Sean believes in the “Jewish establishment” more than you do! You, “jon s” and “Hophmi” are always disputing things said by the “jewish establishment” or “major Jewish organizations” but Sean never does!
        You could learn a lesson from him, frankly.

        And, you might observe, Hophmi and Jon s, that Sean never turns a hair over anti-Zionist activity, he simply dismisses it with an airy wave as being nothing besides the power of the “Jewish establishment” and major Zionist organizations! You two should show such sanguinity about the power of anti-Zionism! Wasn’t it some Jewish guy who said something about how ‘ye of little faith couldn’t bust a mustard seed’, or something?

      • seanmcbride on January 6, 2015, 12:08 pm

        Mooser,

        Are you now trying to claim that there is no such thing as a Jewish establishment and Jewish lobby — and that it is not the most powerful component of the Israel lobby?

        The 55 organizations which represent the core of the Jewish establishment are listed here:

        Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: Member Organizations
        http://www.conferenceofpresidents.org/about/members

        JTA http://jta.org covers their activities and public statements on a regular basis — their beliefs and policies are an open book.

        By trying to downplay the power of the Jewish establishment in the Israel lobby, you are in effect running interference for the Israel lobby — quite a few progressive anti-Zionists are playing this game — which is as shifty as the behavior of liberal Zionists.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:54 am

        “I would love to see some reality-based discussion on the future of progressive anti-Zionism.”

        Try reading a blog called “Mondoweiss”. Lot’s of info there, on many aspects of the situation.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 12:28 pm

        ” you’re framing about individual jews who are not zionists on every level is degrading.”

        Thanks, Annie, but I long ago resigned myself to living with my “predilections” and my “psychological issues and blockages”. What ever I do will be tainted with “””Jewishness”””, and can only, inevitably, redound and rebound to the success of the Jewish establishment.

        Annie, you know what they say: “You can’t fight your custard”. So I’ll wait for Sean to tell me what to do. He’s got a way out of this mess, I’m sure. I mean, I’ve been in it my whole life, and I don’t even see how it works, like Sean does.

        You know, I’m beginning to doubt Sean. I haven’t spelled “predilections” right, the first time once since he brought the word up. Maybe I don’t have any?

      • annie on January 6, 2015, 12:55 pm

        did you catch the strawman mooser?

        Are you now trying to claim that there is no such thing as a Jewish establishment and Jewish lobby — and that it is not the most powerful component of the Israel lobby?

        note how he segues right into 4th base:

        By trying to downplay the power of the Jewish establishment in the Israel lobby, you are in effect running interference for the Israel lobby — quite a few progressive anti-Zionists are playing this game — which is as shifty as the behavior of liberal Zionists.

        as if no one here is aware of the power of the lobby! as if we don’t write about that lobby for friggin years! as if not desiring to constantly laud the success of the lobby 24/7 means someone denies how awesome they are!!!! iow, not following down sean’s road is essentially as shifty as the behavior of liberal Zionists. sorry, to me the person here “running interference for the Israel lobby” is none other than sean himself. i mean how many times do we have to read this crap:

        55 organizations which represent the core of the Jewish establishment are listed here:

        Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: Member Organizations
        link to conferenceofpresidents.org

        JTA http://jta.org covers their activities and public statements on a regular basis — their beliefs and policies are an open book.

        raise your hand if sean just told us something you didn’t already know. is there any reader here who denies this? any reader here who has not read this over and over and over and over or disagrees? can anyone direct us to ONE poster who has ever contested this was true? just one? RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU DON’T THINK THE LOBBY IS POWERFUL! and yet he keeps repeating is AS IF we were stand with us or something. yes, we know! we know on thread after thread after thread after thread. NOT because we have compulsive obsessive poster who keeps telling us, but because it’s common sense. we all know this already.

        what we don’t need is someone constantly telling us we don’t make a difference. one might think if one was so convinced his way was better he’d start a movement of his own and be the leader of it and go out and do something about it besides hanging around telling us the same thing day after day.

      • seanmcbride on January 6, 2015, 1:06 pm

        Annie,

        When you succeed in recruiting even *one* politician on the American national stage to the cause of progressive anti-Zionism, we will all stand up and take notice.

        I was once an enthusiastic supporter of liberal Zionism, during the early stages of “the Mideast peace process” — and I was rather slow in figuring out that it was going nowhere — and quite likely designed from the beginning to go nowhere. Shame on me for being so gullible.

        I see no reason to believe that progressive anti-Zionism will be more successful than liberal Zionism in mounting an effective challenge to the Israeli government and the Israel lobby. I am willing to be convinced otherwise — with real-world facts. Show me the facts.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 12:35 pm

        “So, generally, Sean is correct. None of major American Jewish organizations support the viewpoints that dissent from communal consensus” Hophmi

        Thank you, Hophmi! I knew I could get you and Sean together! See, you guys aren’t so far apart. Very gratifying. You might even say in Yiddish, “Ach! I’m so gruntled“!

      • seanmcbride on January 6, 2015, 12:42 pm

        Mooser,

        One would have to be delusional *not* to comprehend that the Jewish establishment strongly supports Israel and Zionism. I am quite certain that Phil Weiss, Max Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald, Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer and Gilad Atzmon would agree on this point — along with hophmi and every other pro-Israel activist in the Mondoweiss comments section. It is what it is.

        So then the question becomes: will progressive anti-Zionists succeed in overcoming the power of that establishment? Why should we believe that this will happen?

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 12:39 pm

        “Are you now trying to claim that there is no such thing as a Jewish establishment and Jewish lobby — and that it is not the most powerful component of the Israel lobby?”

        Sean, in one word: No, dummy, not at all.

        Have you been drinking Manicheawitz? Is your dichotomy bag overflowing?

      • seanmcbride on January 6, 2015, 1:52 pm

        Mooser,

        Do you have any predictions about the year in which progressive anti-Zionists will succeed in electing their first sympathetic politician to the US Congress? 2016? 2018? 2020? 2022? 2024? Perhaps never?

        Do you have any hard analysis on that? Strong intuitions?

        Since the emergence of liberal Zionism of the “Mideast peace process” variety two decades or so ago, the US Congress has continued to move towards the hard right on Israeli and Zionist issues — and, as we speak, is threatening to pull the rug out from under the executive branch in the making American Mideast policy.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 8:12 pm

        “Do you have any predictions?”

        Nope, only predilections. With all my prognostications predicated on predilections most probably prescribed by my proboscis, how could I possibly get it right?

        ( Sean, commenting pro-tip: Don’t worry about me, I’m just another commenter. Do try and pay some attention to what Annie is saying, she’s a Moderator.)

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 11:24 am

        “did you catch the strawman mooser?”

        I prefer budding shoots and tender water plants, but we all need roughage, too.

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:01 am

      ” which could have been written by an assimilationist in Berlin a hundred years ago”

      I’m sorry “Jon s” but that has got to be, bar none, one of the dumbest things you have ever said. And it reveals a literally breathtaking ignorance of the conditions for Jews in Europe and the conditions in Germany leading up to the Holocaust.

      Now tell us, “Jon s” in what way can the circumstances of a man born with American citizen ship who happens to be Jewish, be compared with the situation concerning “assimilation” in prer WW2 Germany? Please tell us, “Jon s”

      Zionist freakin Mad-Libs. You just take phrases and string them together.

      • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 11:15 am

        “I’m sorry “Jon s” but that has got to be, bar none, one of the dumbest things you have ever said. And it reveals a literally breathtaking ignorance of the conditions for Jews in Europe and the conditions in Germany leading up to the Holocaust.”

        Actually, Mooser, Phil’s sentiments are quite similar to the sentiments of assimilated German Jews of the pre-Holocaust period. There was certainly more antisemitism in German society than there is here in the United States, but the Jewish community in Germany was quite successful and accomplished, and largely assimilated. Many German Jews intermarried; the rate of intermarriage may have been higher then than it is now in the United States.

        In any event, the point I’ve made many times is not that United States isn’t a safe place. It is. The problem is that Jewish history didn’t start in the 20th century. One of the lessons of the Holocaust, at least for me, was that Enlightenment values could not save a highly assimilated European Jewish community from a Hitler; Jews could rise to be Prime Ministers, judges, and financiers in European society, and the Holocaust still happened in places like Germany, France, and Holland. So it matters little to me that the United States is safe because no one can predict what it will be like tomorrow, not less than the century after the Holocaust. The only insurance policy in a world of nation-states, is to be in a place where Jews are not a subject minority, a Jewish nation-state. Believing in the ideals of a non-sectarian America, a country which remains unique in the international community, is no insurance policy against another conflagration in a world where today, even liberal European societies discriminate against their Muslim minorities and fight insufficiently against recurrent antisemitism. Americans are not so vigilant that there is any guarantee that the values of our liberal democracy will endure long term.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:38 am

        “Actually, Mooser, Phil’s sentiments are quite similar to the sentiments of assimilated German Jews of the pre-Holocaust period.”

        Holy mackeral, Hophmi, if you ever come over to Moosehall, remind me to clean up the back yard really good. Wherever it is, you’ll find it and step in it.

        Yup, the conditions of citizenship and identification in regard to civil rights in Germany between the wars is just like that of Jews born in the US. OK.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 4:41 pm

        Yeah, Hophmi, I thought so. Brilliant rejoinder, stressing the similarities that make Jewish-American citizenship in post WW2 US, is just like exactly analogous to the citizenship, social and assimilation problems of Jews living in Germany from 1850 til the Holocaust.
        Thanks, Hoph,

      • RoHa on January 6, 2015, 6:31 pm

        “The only insurance policy in a world of nation-states, is to be in a place where Jews are not a subject minority, a Jewish nation-state. ”

        If this is so, then all Jews would have to move to that state in order to be safe.

        Also, it means Jews have to commit real injustices now in order to insure themselves against possible (but not yet, and perhaps never, real) injustices in the future.

        Since that is clearly an immoral situation, it looks as though Jews cannot have an insurance policy. They will just have to take their chances, like the rest of us, and work with the rest of us to keep society decent.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 11:19 am

        “The only insurance policy in a world of nation-states, is to be in a place where Jews are not a subject minority, a Jewish nation-state.’

        You know, I bet that sounded great, back in the days when cannon used round balls, and muskets fired a single shot. In the days of airplanes, rockets, nuclear bombs, and the Internet it really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      • eljay on January 7, 2015, 11:31 am

        >> hophmeee: The only insurance policy in a world of nation-states, is to be in a place where Jews are not a subject minority, a Jewish nation-state.
        >> Mooser: You know, I bet that sounded great, back in the days when cannon used round balls, and muskets fired a single shot. In the days of airplanes, rockets, nuclear bombs, and the Internet it really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

        Strange, isn’t it? Israel constantly faces “existential threats” and is perpetually on the verge of being wiped off the map and pushed into the sea…but it’s the “only insurance policy” for Jews living throughout the world.

        Reminds me of that Carlin skit about religion:

        Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!

        But He loves you. …

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 3:51 pm

        ” he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!”

        Take a back seat, God, these days men can do those things, and they don’t even have to wait until you’re dead to do it.. “now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”.

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 1:04 pm

      “For myself, and plenty of others, the loss of Jewish culture and traditions and identity would be a tragedy, something that I try to do my small part to prevent”

      And this year’s “Fiddler on the Roof” at IJC will be the best ever!

      • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 4:52 pm

        “Yeah, Hophmi, I thought so. Brilliant rejoinder, stressing the similarities that make Jewish-American citizenship in post WW2 US, is just like exactly analogous to the citizenship, social and assimilation problems of Jews living in Germany from 1850 til the Holocaust.”

        Please stop putting words in my mouth. I very clearly acknowledged that they’re not the same. There are parallels one can make while acknowledging that. What I said was that the feelings Phil expressed are similar to the feelings of German Jews. They’re also similar to the feelings of assimilated French Jews and assimilated Hungarian Jews. The point is about living as a minority in a majoritarian culture.

    • eljay on January 6, 2015, 1:30 pm

      >> jon seee: For myself, and plenty of others, the loss of Jewish culture and traditions and identity would be a tragedy …

      Jewish culture and traditions did not and do not owe their existence to a supremacist “Jewish State”. If you want to preserve Jewish culture and traditions, you can do so without one.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 8:16 pm

        ” If you want to preserve Jewish culture and traditions, you can do so without one.”

        But “eljay” no state to support artists? That would probably mean the end of the Zionist Realism school of art!

  28. Bornajoo on January 6, 2015, 7:43 am

    @Seafoid

    “How do you get 2 states, Jon? Is blowing up Gaza going to work ? and what will you do with all of those co religionists of yours in the settlements ? will they all go home before Shabbat next week?”

    Seafoid and Co… I congratulate you all for your incredible energy and persistence arguing with the likes of Jon S and his other deluded friends. However I think that unless they go through serious deprogramming or most likely a full brain transplant it’s probably a waste of time

    Let’s remind him of some facts and what better facts than those uttered from the mouths of the criminals themselves. Here is the interview with Dov Weisglass, Sharon’s adviser explaining the real reason for the separation of Gaza

    Top PM aide: Gaza plan aims to freeze the peace process
    “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process,” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Haaretz.

    By Ari Shavit
    Published 00:00 06.10.04

    “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process,” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Haaretz.

    “And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

    Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Haaretz for the Friday Magazine.

    “The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” he said. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”

    Asked why the disengagement plan had been hatched, Weisglass replied: “Because in the fall of 2003 we understood that everything was stuck. And although by the way the Americans read the situation, the blame fell on the Palestinians, not on us, Arik [Sharon] grasped that this state of affairs could not last, that they wouldn’t leave us alone, wouldn’t get off our case. Time was not on our side. There was international erosion, internal erosion. Domestically, in the meantime, everything was collapsing. The economy was stagnant, and the Geneva Initiative had gained broad support. And then we were hit with the letters of officers and letters of pilots and letters of commandos [refusing to serve in the territories]. These were not weird kids with green ponytails and a ring in their nose with a strong odor of grass. These were people like Spector’s group [Yiftah Spector, a renowned Air Force pilot who signed the pilot’s letter]. Really our finest young people.”

    Weisglass does not deny that the main achievement of the Gaza plan is the freezing of the peace process in a “legitimate manner.”

    “That is exactly what happened,” he said. “You know, the term `peace process’ is a bundle of concepts and commitments. The peace process is the establishment of a Palestinian state with all the security risks that entails. The peace process is the evacuation of settlements, it’s the return of refugees, it’s the partition of Jerusalem. And all that has now been frozen…. what I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns. That is the significance of what we did.”

    Sharon, he said, could also argue “honestly” that the disengagement plan was “a serious move because of which, out of 240,000 settlers, 190,000 will not be moved from their place.”

    • Walid on January 7, 2015, 5:48 am

      Bornajoo, sivce you took an interest in the formaldehyde scumbag that helped do a number on the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, you’d be interested to know that today he’s a senior consultant for a Palestinian company putting up a major real estate project outside of Ramallah. He acts as the liaison between the Palestinian developer and the Israeli government that’s authorizing the Israeli sales of 70% of the building materials going into the project. The (al-Masri)Palestinian-American and Qatari joint enterprise (Rawabi)was not affected by what Weisglass did.

      The not-so-illustrious story on the Rawabi project and the ongoing normalization::

      http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/rawabi-city-west-bank-accusation-partnership-israel.html#

      • Bornajoo on January 7, 2015, 6:03 am

        Walid…huh?! unbelievable

        what a racket! To paraphrase an Al Jazeera slogan, the Palestinians are truly being screwed from every angle, every side. By everyone, including some of their own.

        It’s a thicker plot than i thought

        Thanks Walid

  29. JustJessetr on January 6, 2015, 8:48 am

    Phil, I admire your devotion to humanist principles. But they are a weak bulwark against the vast majority of humanity who are, proudly, tribal.

    I will gladly slap that label on my own people, the Germans. Tribalism never really disappeared from Germany. You see that today in it’s growing anti-Islam, anti-immigrant demonstrations. They are not responsible for the hatred directed at them because of radical Islam, Blacks in WWII Germany weren’t responsible for their persecution because of any war in Africa. Gays weren’t responsible for their persecution, just as Jews aren’t responsible for the hatred directed at them because of Israel. Tribalists are just more comfortable with people who generally look and think like themselves.

    Please pick up Rise and Fall of the Third Reich again. I’m sure you’ve read it, but it bears another pass. German Jews assimilated to the point where many were celebrating Xmas, and thought persecution would never happen in such a modern society. America is safe for Jews, yes. But don’t make the same mistake they German Jews did. Like it or not, you’re a Jew.

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:41 am

      “But don’t make the same mistake they German Jews did. Like it or not, you’re a Jew.”

      Wow, what a strong finish. If Phil sees that, it’ll go straight to his very kishkas and make a balebatisheh yid out of him! Powerful stuff!

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 3:04 pm

        “Like it or not, you’re a Jew.”

        Not so fast, “Justjessetr”! Not so fast.
        Why don’t we wait until the results of his latest DNA test come back, and we can see if “assimilation” has done its awful work. Maybe there’s still hope! It doesn’t happen all at once, you know, and the process can be reversed with red-hot stones and brochas, liberally applied, where it counts!

    • Xpat on January 6, 2015, 1:27 pm

      “German Jews assimilated to the point where many were celebrating Xmas, and thought persecution would never happen in such a modern society. America is safe for Jews, yes. But don’t make the same mistake they German Jews did. Like it or not, you’re a Jew. ”

      I disagree. Jews in the U.S. have long celebrated Xmas. Many are descendants of German Jews. They brought their tannenbaum over to the U.S. along with their apple pie. And the Christmas tree became as American as their pie.
      But that’s not what makes Jews in America so much more powerful and safe than German Jews back in Europe. It’s the more recent changes. The next president or the one after that could easily be a Jew. Joe Lieberman’s candidacy for vice-president made many older Jews worry. Now, just a few years later, it’s a non-issue.

      Why should that fear dominate Phil’s thinking,? If the worst happened, he would automatically have a kinship with whoever else the government labeled as “a Jew”. Just like all those Germans and other nationalities who suddenly become part of a Jewish community only because the Nazis said so. There’s no value in choosing an identity solely out of anxiety for a possible bleak future.

      • RoHa on January 6, 2015, 6:55 pm

        Apple pie is neither a German nor a Jewish invention.

        “They brought their tannenbaum over to the U.S. ”

        As well as the song. Very confusing to me when I lived in the US. At Xmas, I would walk through capitalist America’s shopping malls and hear the loudspeakers playing “The Red Flag”.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 11:13 am

        ” I would walk through capitalist America’s shopping malls and hear the loudspeakers playing “The Red Flag”.

        When they play that, it mean some poor schmuck had his credit-card refused.

      • Xpat on January 7, 2015, 9:10 pm

        @ Roha –
        “Apple pie is neither a German nor a Jewish invention.”
        I had to sit down after your broke that to me. I’m feeling a bit better now. :)

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 11:54 am

        “I had to sit down after your broke that to me. I’m feeling a bit better now. :)”

        Good! It’s a bit rough around here, but I hope you can stick around (when time permits) Eliot.
        When I get all famischt over comments, I recline in a darkened room, and bathe my temples with eau de cologne. Sometimes it helps, but sometimes I end up drinking the stuff.

  30. StuartBrowning on January 6, 2015, 10:19 am

    “If the people of Israel gave up the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination, the Palestinians might give up theirs too”.

    Really? They “might”? What evidence is this “might” based on? And why should Israel jews take existential risks based on your “might”?

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 11:44 am

      “If the people of Israel gave up the idea of ethnic-religious self-determination, the Palestinians might give up theirs too”. Phil Wiess

      Really? They “might”? What evidence is this “might” based on? And why should Israel jews take existential risks based on your “might”?” Response from “StuartBrowning”

      Oh wow, look what they did to your song, Phil! I knew that last line was problematic.

      • jon s on January 7, 2015, 4:30 pm

        Some replies to some of the replies:

        Annie, I do what I can, as a citizen and as a teacher, to promote the ideals that I believe in, and not only on MW. Wish I could do more.

        RoHa, Phil did say that traditions and religion are absurdities.

        For the record, I don’t think that America is like Germany 100 years ago, and I don’t think that Jewish assimilationists in the US are likely to meet the same fate as the assimilationists in Germany. History generally doesn’t repeat itself like that.

        On Israel as the historic Jewish homeland – we’ve been over this numerous times on this blog,
        and all I can say is: learn the history.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 5:40 pm

        “Annie, I do what I can, as a citizen and as a teacher, to promote the ideals that I believe in”

        You are just too much of a weasel to say what they are, cause you know every “ideal I believe in” will choke you coming out of your mouth when it is contrasted against your Zionism.

        And I still don’t understand why you think your ridiculous passive-aggressive sanctimony is going to work. Did it used to?

        “The ideals I believe in….” So does NAMBLA.

      • RoHa on January 7, 2015, 6:38 pm

        “On Israel as the historic Jewish homeland – we’ve been over this numerous times on this blog, and all I can say is: learn the history. ”

        Indeed we have, and no-one has been able to clearly explain what is meant by “historic homeland” or why this status gives special rights to Polish or American Jews.

      • eljay on January 7, 2015, 8:53 pm

        >> jon seee: On Israel as the historic Jewish homeland – we’ve been over this numerous times on this blog …

        Yes, we have. And the fact remains that the geographic region of Palestine is not the “Jewish homeland”, but the homeland of all people – non-Jews and Jews alike – born in or up to n generations removed from the geographic region of Palestine.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 9:26 pm

        “I do what I can, as a citizen “

        Naturally, he refuses to divulge which country he considers himself a citizen of. Won’t name the country, won’t specify “the ideals I believe in”, and “it’s been discussed many times” so you’re phony “homeland” bullshit gets a pass?

        What do you teach, “Jon s”? “Basic Evasive Sanctimony 101”?

        But of course, you tell all your students to follow your comments on Mondoweiss, and note the follow-up, in the interests of academic freedom, I hope?

      • CigarGod on January 8, 2015, 12:20 am

        I hope you are writing a warning on the cover of your book, mooser…that one should sit down before opening.
        You are writing one, aren’t you?

        You could illustrate with graphic paintings of the poor souls who try to take you head on.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:44 pm

        CigarGod, “Jon s” is, or says he is, a teacher.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 3:06 pm

        “On Israel as the historic Jewish homeland – we’ve been over this numerous times on this blog,
        and all I can say is: learn the history.”

        And saying those words, “Jon s” opened his Bible and turned to “Genisis”. And so our ‘history’ lesson began.

  31. American on January 6, 2015, 11:38 am

    ” As a liberal, I think this really is a better way to be, tolerating others, worshiping whoever you want to (right now George Eliot), minding your own business – —Phil

    ‘minding your own business”…is excellent advice.
    People should keep their ‘ identities and ‘religions to themselves.
    And not use them as claims to special treatment politically or socially.
    No one cares if minority or majority ethnics or religions assimilate to American traditions or maintain their own customs as long as they conform to the prevailing law and are not hostile to or subversive to the nation as a whole.
    That’s all the ‘self determination’ anyone is entitled to in a democracy.

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 12:04 pm

      “That’s all the ‘self determination’ anyone is entitled to in a democracy.”

      Well, things would be better if American men could live with mullets toward none.

    • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 1:12 pm

      “In large part because of my work on this site, multiculturalism has shaped me. I used to write here that all people are tribal and I am most comfortable with other Jews in the antiZionism world because I know their ways. Today that statement seems quaint. I’m as comfortable with non-Jews as Jews, and the leading Jewish organizations are a real impediment to reaching an understanding of the I/P conflict. One great thing about Jewish Voice for Peace is it welcomes non-Jewish members. Just as NIAC welcomes non Iranian-Americans. I’m embarrassed about stupid stuff I used to write about Muslim women covering themselves. Now I really don’t care.”

      Multiculturalism shapes all of us. But it’s not a zero-sum game. Multiculturalism does not necessitate full assimilation or the abandonment of one’s identity. And neither is there a zero-sum dichotomy between tribalism and multiculturalism. Most people are both, and I would posit that it’s impossible to have one without the other. If there is no tribalism, there is no culture to contribute toward a multicultural society. America doesn’t just celebrate people who assimilate into a melting pot. It also celebrate people who bring their own cultural identities to that multicultural society. There is nothing particularly American about being a liberal, and there is nothing particularly American about being multicultural; other societies have both. I think most Jews, including many orthodox Jews, are perfectly comfortable with non-Jews. It’s not good, bad, or unusual that JVP welcomes non-Jewish members. Many Jewish organizations are open to non-Jewish members. AIPAC certainly is. So is J Street.

      I’m glad that you’ve evolved and that you don’t care about Muslim women covering their hair. I think that the many Jewish organizations, like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, that would defend that right would also applaud your evolution.

      “As a liberal, I think this really is a better way to be, tolerating others, worshiping whoever you want to (right now George Eliot), minding your own business.”

      I’d like to hear more about the “minding your own business” bit. Because in the past, minding your own business meant staying away from the halls of power, lest others judge Jews in power as representative of Jews as a group, and blame Jews collectively. It seems to me that you’ve fallen into that pattern, blaming Jews collectively for the war in Iraq, discussing the number of Jews who sit on the Supreme Court, allowing others here to talk about the number of Jews in position of financial power, etc. In Istvan Szabo’s Sunshine, the patriarch of a successful Jewish family, a factory owner living in mid-late 19th century Hungary, tells his educationally accomplished children not to rise too high, lest they engender antisemitic hatred.

      ” It’s great that Bernard Avishai gets a lot out of Bialik. That’s no reason to insist on a Jewish democracy. Especially when that Jewish democracy breeds people like Moshe Feiglin and Caroline Glick who believe the bible is a title for the Jews to the land of all of Israel. That’s lunacy.”

      Why is it lunacy if a Jewish democracy breeds a few lunatics? As you point out, lunatics exist in every society. There’s nothing exclusively Jewish about them. Look at the Middle East. Lots and lots of lunatics, some in charge of countries several times the size of Israel. But maybe you’re like the third generation character in Sunshine, Adam Sors, who converts to Christianity in order to join the Hungarian Fencing Team, and then develops antisemitic contempt for his fellow Jews, who he regards as “little” and “all the same.” Adam eventually is tortured to death by the Nazis, proclaiming his Jewish faith. Minding his own business didn’t work out.

      ” When one of our lunatics Sarah Palin sets out to protect Christmas from the cultural war against it, I don’t feel the least bit threatened.”

      Why? Maybe you should. I certainly do, as an American and as a member of a minority faith. It’s exactly this kind of false demagoguery that morphs into antisemitism. It’s exactly this sort of thing that turns from a fake “War on Christmas” into “Why are those Jews telling us that we can’t sing about Jesus at school assemblies?” The “War on Christmas” is a corollary of the war on prayer in public schools, and Jews have certainly been instrumental in creating the First Amendment jurisprudence that has kept Christianity as merely the majority religion in American society, rather than the hegemonic and semi-official religion in American society.

      ” But Feiglin and Glick are truly threatening characters, because theirs is a vital belief system: the government is stealing land and forcing Palestinians out of their homes on that basis.”

      I wouldn’t call it a “vital belief system,” whatever that is. It’s a land conflict; these are two of its more extreme protagonists. But you’re an American. They don’t threaten you as an American. Are you saying that they threaten you as a Jew? If you’re not a tribalist, why do you care? They’re in Israel. You’re here. They don’t threaten you here. You care because you are what you derisively call a tribalist; deep down, and you implicitly acknowledge by caring that the world is not as liberal, tolerant, and multicultural as you might want it to be, because it doesn’t judge Moshe Feiglin as Moshe Feiglin. It judges him as a Jew. Some Jew named Moshe Feiglin does something stupid in Israel, and it somehow it affects some Jew named Phil Weiss in New York.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 8:22 pm

        Hophmi, you’ve decided to adopt Yonah’s ‘stand-in-a-corner and mutter’ technique for yourself.
        Good move, on you it looks good.

      • hophmi on January 6, 2015, 8:25 pm

        And you’ve decided to continue to say nothing of substance. It’s like you’re a human transparency. I see through you because there’s nothing there.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 8:45 pm

        “It’s exactly this kind of false demagoguery that morphs into antisemitism. It’s exactly this sort of thing that turns from a fake “War on Christmas” into “Why are those Jews telling us that we can’t sing about Jesus at school assemblies?”

        Hophmi, at this stage of the game it’s ‘Why are those liberals telling us we can’t Christmas…’ Right? Nobody says “Jew” they say “liberal”
        Remember those, those “liberals” all you Zionists tell us are really the fascists, really the hate groups, really the racists?
        Well, Hophmi, if this manufactured rage against liberals does become anti-semitism whom shall we thank?

        But that’s all right, the laugh when I realized you were using Jewish liberalism to blame for a possible resurgence in anti-Semitism was worth a lot. It was a hearty one.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:54 pm

        “It’s like you’re a human transparency. I see through you because there’s nothing there.”

        Touchy, touchy, Hophmi. Hophmi, I ask you, in all honesty, have I ever, even once, disputed the Zionist claim to omniscience and omnipotence? Have I not said, many times that Zionists know it all, and can judge all?
        Why, I’m sure you know me better than I know myself. Oh hec,k Hophmi, I think you know the Jewish people better than we know ourselves!
        And thanks again, for “dialoging” with Sean today and yesterday.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 3:59 pm

        “And you’ve decided to continue to say nothing of substance.”

        And response to a comment about an alarming tonsorial trend, ‘mulletculturalism’, was very interesting.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 9:20 pm

        “because it doesn’t judge Moshe Feiglin as Moshe Feiglin. It judges him as a Jew.”

        Would you like to provide us with a non-Jewish Feighlin, Hophmi? Tell us about a man who does just like Feighlin, but because he is not Jewish, gets away with it or is praised for it. Who would that be, this Non-Jewish Feighlin, who everybody likes?

      • James North on January 7, 2015, 9:23 pm

        Mooser: I hurt myself laughing. How is everything up there in the North Woods?

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 9:35 pm

        Hello James. Happy Holidays and New Year. How is it? It’s wet, cool, cold, and wet. Mostly, it’s wet. And dark, but that’s getting better. But if anybody ever tells you the bluest skies they’ve ever seen are in Seattle, you can tell him from me that he’s an ass.

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 10:02 pm

        ” Some Jew named Moshe Feiglin does something stupid in Israel, and it somehow it affects some Jew named Phil Weiss in New York.”

        Uhh, Hophmi, I thought we were gonna need Israel as a refuge, all us American Jews, (when the American public figures out it was Jews what sprung the civil rights movement on them, and the feminists, and comes looking for revenge. Hophmi introduced this theory to me yesterday.) when things go bad and the boxcars are rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…
        So look try not to fuck it completely up before we get there to fix it, okay? Maybe that’s all Phil wants.

    • uh...clem on January 6, 2015, 3:27 pm

      “People should keep their ‘ identities and ‘religions to themselves.” Hey, AMERICAN, you are doing a good job at that. At least an identity of “American” has the virtue of being totally abstract which can then be filled in with any content of one’s choosing. American racism, anyone? And why do you select the individualistic side of self-determination when it usually means collective self-determination? And, in a democracy, are “hostility” and subversion not allowed?

      • American on January 6, 2015, 8:35 pm

        ” And why do you select the individualistic side of self-determination when it usually means collective self-determination? -=====clem

        Well you obviously live in a strange part of this country, are a stranger to it or have a strange mind if you think ‘individualism’ means ‘collective self determination.’

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 11:08 am

        “Well you obviously live in a strange part of this country,”

        Now, now, we are all strangers here, traveling through this barren land. But we know there’s a building somewhere, a building not made by hand.

      • jon s on January 8, 2015, 2:35 am

        Don’t worry, Mooser.
        When they come to round up the Jews you’ll be able to yell: “Hold it! Get your hands off me! I’m an anti-Zionist! I’m “Mooser” from Mondoweiss!!”

      • eljay on January 8, 2015, 8:26 am

        >> jon s: Don’t worry, Mooser. When they come to round up the Jews you’ll be able to yell: “Hold it! Get your hands off me! I’m an anti-Zionist! I’m “Mooser” from Mondoweiss!!”

        Mooser, when they come for you, ask them “Who sent you?” And don’t be surprised if they reply, “It was jon s.”

      • CigarGod on January 8, 2015, 10:39 am

        History will repeat…for everyone.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:48 pm

        “And don’t be surprised if they reply, “It was jon s.”

        Oh absolutely. I never saw a man more qualified to take it up a couple frets on the neck.

        And he no doubt, will say, if questioned, ‘Oh, he was only Reform, no loss, but we got 60,00 healthy specimens to take back to Palestine.’ He’ll have his reasons. He’s probably still mad about those Blue Points.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 3:16 pm

        “jon s: Don’t worry, Mooser. When they come to round up the Jews you’ll be able to yell: “Hold it! Get your hands off me! I’m an anti-Zionist! I’m “Mooser” from Mondoweiss!!”

        “Jon s” I’ve got a better plan than that. I’ve got one hell of a sound-system here, and I play Gospel music day and night at top volume. I bet they’ll skip the house entirely. And I have some great music to listen to while waiting for 1938 to come back around..

    • jon s on January 8, 2015, 2:22 am

      I don’t really see the point in Mooser’s interrogation, but just to avoid the “evasiveness” accusation:
      I hold dual citizenship, Israeli and American.
      I teach History and Civics.
      Over the years I’ve been active in various organizations on the Israeli Left. It’s too long a list to elaborate.
      The ideals I believe in should be obvious from my comments.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:52 pm

        “The ideals I believe in should be obvious from my comments.”

        Sssqquisshh Ewwww! What’s that?

        Comments, including those submitted during periods of yard-work, can all be accessed by clicking the poster’s name above any comment.

  32. seanmcbride on January 6, 2015, 3:23 pm

    Annie,

    I participate in the Mondoweiss comments section from time to time for the same reasons that everyone here does — I am interested in Mideast politics, I have a point of view (like everyone else, including you), I would like to see a major change in American Mideast policy, and I value “the war of ideas” — open and free debate and discussion about these matters. I presume that Mondoweiss commenters are free to disagree with one another (and with you) on some issues?

    Now this remark of yours was cogent and useful in helping me to understand your point of view:

    “sean, i’m not trying to recruit even *one* politician on the American national stage because i do not believe america holds the keys to palestines future. nor do i believe the lobby holds the keys. i believe in the global bds movement and the gradual growth of that movement. it’s you who have so much faith in the continued power of the lobby. as i’ve mentioned numerous times evidence suggests this growing bds movement is a considered a very big threat by these organizations you have so much faith in, because if that were not so they would not invest so much energy and money fighting it.”

    I don’t have “faith” in the power of the Israel lobby — I would just like to see concrete evidence that progressive anti-Zionists are succeeding in overcoming its power in a pragmatic way. One yardstick I use is the number of US Congress members who fall on either side of the divide — as of January 2015 the Israel lobby dominates and controls the entire US Congress and continues to push it ever farther to the right.

    Can the global BDS movement route around the undermine the power of the US government with regard to its pro-Israel policies? — I don’t know. I am trying to envision how that would work. Perhaps European nations, under the pressure of global BDS, will gradually disengage from the United States in its unqualified support for Israel (which seems to be happening now) — and that development will push American politics towards a more Israel-critical stance. Maybe.

    But we need to see evidence that something like this is happening — or will happen in the near future. What I see happening is the US Congress moving ever farther to the hard Likud right on American Mideast policy.

    See, for instance, this recent article in the Jerusalem Post: “Congress returns with punishing plans for Iran and the Palestinians” http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Republicans-to-weigh-sanctions-on-Iran-Palestinian-Authority-386772

    Congress is gradually underming the power of the executive branch in the American government on behalf of the agenda of the Israeli government. Where is there an effective pushback from progressive anti-Zionists, liberal Zionists, American foreign policy realists or anyone else? The Israel lobby keeps rolling over the opposition — including American presidents.

    Perhaps your argument is that American power doesn’t matter with regard to determining the future of Israel — that non-American powers and interests (including global BDS) will have the final say — but I think it matters a great deal. The US government is capable in inflicting incredible levels of physical and financial pain on any nation that gets on the wrong side Israel.

    • seanmcbride on January 6, 2015, 3:49 pm

      Annie,

      Btw, I stay on top of the global BDS movement with Google Alerts — I have a pretty good idea of how effective it has been and how it is trending.

      If you haven’t tried using Google Alerts for a wide range of topics, I highly recommend it.

      • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 8:24 pm

        Jeez, Sean, I guess my warning (upthread) about heeding what Annie says came too late. Sorry, I tried to tell you. Okay then do it your way.

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 8:29 pm

      “But we need to see evidence that something like this is happening — or will happen in the near future.”

      Sean, I beg you, on busted knees, not to shut Mondo down yet! Please? Give them six more months, and if you don’t “see evidence something like this is happening- or will happen in the near future” well, I guess the hammer has got to fall. But give them another chance to deliver on your promises!

  33. ivri on January 6, 2015, 5:46 pm

    There were historically many attempts by Jewish groups, intellectuals and moralists to step out of a “tribe” mentality, which they claimed was responsible for the woes of Jews. The most prominent try was of course about a hundred years ago in the Bolshevik revolution in Russia that engulfed many Jews there and outside the country and many were even key players in it – prominent among them is Lev Davidowich Bronshtein (AKA Leon Trotsky).
    Somehow it never worked (in the Soviet case Stalin turned against prominent Jews at some point) and it was Jean Paul Sartre who claimed that it was antisemitism which kept Judaism over the centuries.
    The pluralistic and open environment in the new-world immigration countries may have changed that – and you are writing from there – but that is not the case AT ALL in the Mid-East context. The hostility towards Israel as an alien entity, since its very birth, and prevalent sectarian feelings in the region ensure that the lofty ideals and high hopes expressed here will make little impression on Israel`s neighbors

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:32 pm

      “There were historically many attempts by Jewish groups, intellectuals and moralists to step out of a “tribe” mentality, which they claimed was responsible for the woes of Jews. The most prominent try was of course about a hundred years ago in the Bolshevik revolution in Russia”

      Gosh, that was us, “ivri”? So the Bolshvik Revolution in Russia was just a sort of escapade “by Jewish groups, intellectuals and moralists” in an attempt to “step out of a “tribe” mentality”?

      Okay, hey, you wanna own the Bolshevik Revolution for the Jews, “ivri” you go right ahead!

      “Somehow it never worked (in the Soviet case Stalin turned against prominent Jews at some point) and it was Jean Paul Sartre who claimed that it was antisemitism which kept Judaism over the centuries.”

      Of course! I must be a real dullard not to have grasped that absolutely vital relationship between the Stalin and Jean Paul Sartre!

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:38 pm

      “The pluralistic and open environment in the new-world immigration countries may have changed that “

      Wrong again, “Ivri” the “New World” was the last to outlaw slavery, and in the US, not without a great civil war.
      Try again, “ivri”

    • Mooser on January 6, 2015, 10:46 pm

      “The hostility towards Israel as an alien entity, since its very birth,”

      Uh, “ivri” I don’t want to shock you, but “Israel” most certainly is an alien body in the Mid East. For Cretin’s sake, “ivri” it’s you Zionists who are always telling us the Israel rescued the persecuted Jews of Europe Right? That’s what it’s there for, right?
      Well, all those European Jews, no matter what the conditions in Europe, were still pretty alien to the ME, and in fact, made sure to act as conquering aliens.

      So why don’t you try and tell us that the first Zionists just sprang up out of the earth in Palestine, products of the soil, to be cruelly cut down by the Palestinians while still rooted to the spot! Makes about as much sense as the “homeland” story.

      Yeah, they’re alien, they came from far away, and were armed, and took over. That’ll be good enough to alienate you from most people, I would think.

      • CigarGod on January 7, 2015, 9:39 am

        You are a disrespectful lout, mooser. Have you no shame?
        His cultural myths have as much right to exist as your historical facts.

        Finally, sir.
        You obviously reached the 10k hour of practice
        /genius threshhold about 10k hours ago…and he is just doing good not to slip off the piano bench…yet at every opportunity…you just slam the lid on his fingers.

        Finally at long last, have you no honor? Have you no shame?
        Ivm seareus.

      • eljay on January 7, 2015, 9:58 am

        >> CigarGod @ January 7, 2015, 9:39 am

        Good one… :-)

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 10:55 am

        “Ivm seareus.”

        When I was but a broth of a boy, (who was always in the soup) my Dad would often chuckle at some childish conceit or misconception of mine, cuffing me affectionately with a short piece of re-bar he kept handy for the purpose.
        “But Dad”, I would wail, once I regained consciousness, “I’m serious!!
        And then, that son of a….I meant my Dad, would cock one eyebrow and say “If you’re serious, I’ll be Roebuck! We’ll start a store!”
        He got me every time with that, drove me nuts. I never learned to expect it.
        Did I ever tell you about the time he put me up on the mantle and said “Jump, son! I’ll catch you!”?

      • CigarGod on January 7, 2015, 11:15 am

        Ha!
        Did he also say: sike!

      • Mooser on January 7, 2015, 10:59 am

        “So why don’t you try and tell us that the first Zionists just sprang up out of the earth in Palestine, products of the soil…”

        Like olive trees, “ivri”. Like fucking olive trees.

  34. Citizen on January 7, 2015, 6:58 pm

    Here’s a short piece on the origin and meaning of the phrase “self-determination” as applied in the political sphere: http://www.johndclare.net/ToV7_Fromkin.htm

    It says President Wilson was the first to apply it to nations and yet he grew concerned since allowing if for every faction with an urge to separate world-wide leads to chaos.

    • JeffB on January 8, 2015, 12:04 am

      @Citizen

      It goes back way before that. There has always been a general concept that the sovereign / government of a geographic entity should represent that entity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_Augsburg is probably where the modern concept comes from. Alternately the Peace of Westphalia (1648) gets used because the concept is that the prince and the people have obligations towards one another. So for example a prince was responsible for any militia based in his lands, and thus had the right to right to regulate all militias. If he was unable to do so, he wasn’t the prince.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2015, 3:11 pm

        “It goes back way before that. There has always been a general concept that the sovereign / government of a geographic entity should represent that entity.”

        And why, if you can get enough people with guns assembled in one spot, and get the colonial mandate holders taken in, why, you got yourself an “entity”.

        And everybody knows what an “entity” is!

      • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 1:03 pm

        “If he was unable to do so, he wasn’t the prince.”

        Ah yes, Feudal Warlordism, that’s the very model for Israel! I think I will start calling you “Prince JeffyB”

  35. JeffB on January 8, 2015, 10:26 am

    @Eljay

    No they’re not. Israelis are a nation. Jewish Israelis – and non-Jewish Israelis – are a sub-set of the nation of Israelis.

    When Jewish is the bureaucratic nationality of all citizens of, immigrants to and ex-pats and refugees from “Jewish State”, you might finally have something. As it currently stands, all you have is Zio-supremacism.

    Eljay as we’ve discussed before. Look up the definition of nation. You are (and frequently do) get nation, state and citizenry confused. You are entitled to your own opinions not your own facts. The words mean what they mean.

    A nation is large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory. It has nothing to do with laws.

    • Mooser on January 8, 2015, 6:57 pm

      ” inhabiting a particular country or territory.”

      “inhabiting”, not ‘coming from wherever-in the-world-we-can-get-them with the offer maybe someday of actually declaring our boundaries. Which we probably can’t, so ooops.
      It’s a fraud on the Jews, Zionism is.

    • Mooser on January 10, 2015, 7:07 pm

      “A nation is large aggregate of people united by common descent,”

      Well, gee, you got us there, JeffyB. In fact, I would say the common descent between two Jewish people is probably about the same as it is between any two people in the world, so yeah, I guess you could say “common descent”, they’re all people.

  36. Walid on January 8, 2015, 3:17 pm

    Palestine has more than one neighbour against its self-determination. Egypt has announced that it will be demolishing all 1220 houses in Egyptian Rafa to create a half km wide by 10.5 km long buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza. The 2044 families that live in these homes will be resettled in new homes away from the border. I wonder if Israel will be chipping in by sending its D9s and operators to help Egypt with the demolitions that should take only a few days for the experienced Israelis.

  37. light2014 on January 8, 2015, 6:50 pm

    The Beginning Of An Islamic Reformation?
    32 Comments
    Posted 01/05/2015 06:36 PM

    Al-Sisi: Islam must change.

    Reform: To many in the West, Islam seems mired in a pre-medieval mindset that makes it unable to reconcile the fundamental precepts of its faith with those of the modern world. But there are encouraging signs of change.

    In what Roger L. Simon rightly called “an extraordinary” New Year’s speech that got virtually no attention in the West, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a sweeping, no-holdsbarred critique of Islam — and suggested it needs major reform.

    “It’s inconceivable,” said al-Sisi, as translated by Raymond Ibrahim’s blog, “that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma (Islamic world) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.”

    “Is it possible,” he asked, “that 1.6 billion (Muslims) should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants — that is 7 billion — so that they themselves may live?” Islam needs a “religious revolution,” he concluded. Three things are notable in this remarkable speech. One, al-Sisi is the leader of Egypt, the most populous Arab Islamic nation, with 5% of the world’s Muslims. His speech will have a major impact.

    Two, it comes in the wake of the failed “Arab Spring” and the subsequent takeover of a wide swath of the Mideast by the fundamentalist Islamic State and its allies. It suggests there’s a growing revulsion at being associated with the beheaders, rapists and torturers who operate under the flag of fundamentalist Islam.

    As the British Guardian newspaper notes, “spiraling instability across much of the Arab world” has led to 16.7 million Arab refugees, an unprcedented human tide of misery. These are not happy people, and many will rightly blame their suffering on the Muslim extremists and terrorists who’ve driven them out.

    Three, al-Sisi pointedly made his comments at Al-Azhar — the same Cairo mosque/university that gave birth to the Muslim Brotherhood, and where President Obama in 2009 made a cringe-inducing apology to the Muslim world. The contrast couldn’t be sharper.

    Nor is al-Sisi alone. Bridget Johnson of the PJ Tatler quotes influential Sheikh Ahmad al-Ghamdi, the former head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police at the holy site of Mecca, as saying women shouldn’t have to wear the veil and should be able to mix with men, wear makeup and travel to foreign countries without being accompanied by a male.

    Such a statement may seem insignificant in the liberated West, but in a country like Saudi Arabia the very idea that women can have their own identity apart from husbands or fathers is, well, revolutionary.

    Islam has often been likened to medieval Christianity before the Reformation. Whether that’s true or not, even this inkling of an Islamic Reformation should be much welcomed.

    inShare.
    Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/010515-733240-egypt-president-abdel-fattah-al-sisi-speech-calls-for-major-reforms.htm#ixzz3OHBvUNjY
    Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

    • Pixel on January 9, 2015, 3:53 am

      Light, thanks for this. I would have missed it without you.

    • American on January 10, 2015, 10:17 pm

      Anyone who has followed Sis’s new reign in Egypt must be laughing their ass off at his call for Islamic reform and modernity…lol
      Under Sisi Egyptian courts have twice sentenced ‘en masse’ and ‘without’ trials hundreds of the MB ‘to death ‘ for ‘protesting’.
      Sisi is mirror image of ISIS.
      More hypocritical crap.

  38. Kathleen on January 9, 2015, 10:39 pm

    Segment on Chris Matthews on Friday “Is Europe taking a political turn to the right” Starts at 3:00 “Jewish people in Israel live right next door to the Palestinians who do not like them we know that of course they don’t like them they don’t want them to be there. But the percentage of Palestinian people who are violent or believe in killing Jews and actually do it is a small percentage/ But the Israeli’s have to live with that fact that they are there”

    Talk about some twisted spin. Chris Matthews missed Israel’s killing of thousands of Palestinians, the Israeli population supporting those massacres. Chris Matthews has missed the last six decades. Who hates who? Who has died, had their homes and lives destroyed? What an insult to Palestinians. How racist on Matthews part

  39. Kathleen on January 10, 2015, 10:01 am

    At times I really like Matthews his guest are varied at times. Although pulls from the passed by the owners MSNBC contributors so a bit stuffy and guarded. But on the I/P issue, Iran Matthews rolls over and generally spouts the I lobbies lines. He likes to puff himself up as if he ask really tough questions on all issues. On this topic he is a shriveled up scared old coward. A parrot. Pathetic

  40. JeffB on January 10, 2015, 6:15 pm

    @Kris

    Don’t all people who are driven from their homes by war have the right to return to their homes?

    No. But even if we assume they did they are almost all dead. The war you are talking about ended in 1949, 66 years ago. People who owned homes 66 years ago (with some few exceptions) died. What we are now talking about mostly are their great and great-great grandchildren. And most of those are only 1/4-3/4 descended from the refugees from 1949.

    This seems obvious to me, but I don’t get the part about Jews from Europe and the U.S. whose families have never lived in the Middle East having the “right” to “return” to Israel.

    Now here is where you run into trouble. Because generally you want to argue that this “right of return” is for some reason inheritable. If it is inheritable then of course all Jews inherited it. Which kills the whole argument against the original dispossession. Jews are just returning to their ancestral home and replacing a bunch of 7th century interlopers.

    Now I happen to think the whole idea of a right of return is stupid. The original return to Palestine in the 19th century was somewhat morally questionable. However the people who did that are also dead. What you have now in Israel are people who have lived their for generations. Those people, that nation, has interest in recruiting American and European Jews to their cause but all nations are allowed to import new citizens.

    Surely the idea is that people should return to their OWN homes, and not that certain groups should be allowed to go somewhere and steal the homes of other people?

    The Palestinians never owned the country. At best they just lived there and for many of them they migrated from other areas of the Levant at most 2 generations before. Before the Israelis were the British. Before the British were the Russians. Before the Russians were the Turks. Before the Turks were the Mamelukes (Mongolians). Before the Mamelukes were the Egyptians. Before the Egyptians the French (+ others)…. Nowhere in that chain are the Palestinians when you talk about ownership.

    That’s not to say some Palestinians didn’t lose homes in the wars. As did many Jews. Things get destroyed in wars.

    • Mooser on January 11, 2015, 1:17 pm

      JeffyB, are you on some kind of a quest to be the person with the most comments removed from Mondoweiss?

      ” But even if we assume they did they are almost all dead.” (Palestinians dispossessed by Zionists)

      But what about their children, and kin? You know, Palestinians have children and families, just like settlers.
      But the settler kids acquire a right, and of course, the children of dispossessed Palestinians lose all rights?

      You’re a peach, JeffyB. Compassion, learned from hard Jewish experience just oozes out of your pores.

      • Mooser on January 11, 2015, 1:19 pm

        “And most of those are only 1/4-3/4 descended from the refugees from 1949.”

        Oh, lovely, JeffyB, lovely. I think we’ll be hearing from you for a long time to come, with penetrating fractional analysis like that.

        “Jews are just returning to their ancestral home and replacing a bunch of 7th century interlopers.” JeffyB

        Good stuff, Jeffy, it’ll stand you in good stead.

      • JeffB on January 11, 2015, 7:27 pm

        @Mooser

        But what about their children, and kin?

        They should be citizens where they were born. There are no racial entitlements to land.

        But the settler kids acquire a right

        Settler kids acquire a right where they were born (Area C soon to be in Israel). They lose the right to where there parents were born: Russia, Poland, Iraq, Morocco… Same system for everyone.

        Compassion, learned from hard Jewish experience just oozes out of your pores.

        I can be compassionate towards the poor. I ain’t giving up my house to a homeless person for compassion though.

    • RoHa on January 11, 2015, 6:10 pm

      “Jews are just returning to their ancestral home and replacing a bunch of 7th century interlopers ”

      And every one of those Jews has a family tree (researched by Sable Basilisk and approved by the Garter King of Arms) that proves s/he is not 1/4 – 3/4 but completely descended from the Jews of ancient Palestine. No dirty deeds in the woodshed at all.

      • JeffB on January 11, 2015, 7:23 pm

        @Roha

        And every one of those Jews has a family tree (researched by Sable Basilisk and approved by the Garter King of Arms) that proves s/he is not 1/4 – 3/4 but completely descended from the Jews of ancient Palestine. No dirty deeds in the woodshed at all.

        No. The Jews probably aren’t 1/20th original after 60+ generations. My point was the Palestinians “refugees” that exist today are a bunch of mixed blood descendants just like the Jews who returned.

  41. Whizdom on January 11, 2015, 1:22 pm

    What about the refugees from 1967? By that argument, is Jeff B saying that the ‘350,000 refugees from ’67 have a case for repatriation? Including the Golan?

    • JeffB on January 11, 2015, 7:21 pm

      @Whizdom

      Yes “right of return” would apply to 1967 refugees though I’m not sure which you mean. In theory though I don’t have nearly the same problem with admitting them back as people 3-4 generations removed. Obviously this wouldn’t apply to their children born outside Israel.

      As for Golan, Golan is Syria. The displaces Syrians aren’t refugees but resettled inside Syria proper. There aren’t refugees in the same sense. The same way there aren’t refugees from Algeria anymore they are resettled in France.

      As an aside, here has been discussion in Israel of helping the Druze who were pushed out take some territory and establishing a Druze statelet. Israel so far, understandably has been reluctant to directly engage in the Syrian civil war, but if they were they might very well be helping the Druze who lost territory in Golan when Israel conquered it.

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