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Don’t let’s go to the war of civilizations again

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You would think that the Paris terrorist attacks offer a chance for western intellectuals to reflect not react. We have been involved with issues of radical Islam for more than 20 years. What have we learned? What is the so-called clash of civilizations? What are we to do about Islam?

Maybe thoughtfulness was impossible. The attack was directly on speech, on the way that journalists make their living, and so there have been a great number of intemperate responses from writers who live far from Paris. Roger Cohen called on the west to respond ruthlessly to the attack. OK, yes ruthless toward the perpetrators, but who else should we go after? Their enablers and their ideologues, he told Justin Raimondo, indicating that it is a widely-held vision of the world we must fight. That is similar to the view of French premier Manuel Valls, who has declared “war” on Islamic radicalism. George Packer wrote a piece in The New Yorker that is getting widely denounced as shades of 2001, in which he said the curtain has been pulled back and we are in a battle with an extremist ideology that “is the product of a major world religion.” Packer seemed to be justifying his own support for the Iraq war as a means of disabling radical Islam. But one of the radicals in the Charie Hebdo murders was himself radicalized by the Iraq war, according to accounts. So what would another spasm of Middle East shock and awe achieve? More dead Arab children, more Kouachis. Isn’t that a big part of the problem?

There have been some thoughtful responses. Raimondo, a conservative, points out there are material causes for Islamic terrorism, including French colonialism and western war/occupation. The Kouachis were French citizens, born in France—despite the New York Times’s casual characterization of them as immigrants. And James North says that most terrorist violence falls into the category of policeable activity, which is to say it is best solved by informants within the community from which it arises. He sent along the dramatic graphic above. It goes without saying that almost all Muslims are as disturbed by the attacks as anyone else and that they are the best folks to deal with radical Islam, to lead their religion away from this response to oppression and inequality.

I’m a modern. I don’t doubt that there are plenty of codes inside Islam that radicals can draw upon. But that’s true of all traditional religions. They are human creations filled with godly justifications for gore. Just the other day I did a report on a Jewish leader, a former congressman, who has called for banning speech critical of Israel inside the Jewish community and cited a bible passage in which a rebel and his followers are swallowed up by the fiery earth for going against god. That’s not a very peaceable code now, is it? Last summer a friend of mine seeing the Gaza slaughter, in which hundreds of children were killed and a good number of journalists too, said, This is making me really anti-Semitic. He was convinced, as George Packer is, that something in the religion had produced the atrocity– in Islam’s case an intolerance of free thought, in Judaism’s case the rabid ethnic self-centeredness so evident in Zionist political culture. I didn’t try and argue with my friend, though I did point out that a growing number of Jews oppose Israel’s militarism, and are taking on the leading Jewish orgs.

As a non-traditional religious person myself, I think the sooner we rid ourselves of these oldtime codes the better. They serve to separate humanity more than they bring it together.

But there are relatively few people like me. Hordes of folks get direction in life from these religions and they are not going away any time soon. Even if George Packer is right that Islam is the problem, what can we do about that? Muslims are people too, there are 2 billion of them, they outnumber Christians, and the planet is getting smaller by the day. You would think that the Charlie Hebdo murders are a time to instruct greater tolerance, to learn to get along with different types of people on this little ship we call the earth…. And yes, to emphasize that free speech is an animating principle of democracy, even speech for racists and Islamophobes, like some of the content of Charlie Hebdo.

David Brooks says that even racist speech must be allowed, and that in the west we hear anti-Semites through veils of opprobrium. But that is another lesson of the Hebdo murders: We actually don’t allow the expression of anti-semitism or anything near it in legitimate venues, while Islamophobia is expressed in mainstream places. As Andrew Sulllivan pointed out, people lose their jobs for saying anything that is vaguely critical of Jews in France; pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been barred at times in France; and the good priest Bruce Shipman lost his job at Yale last summer for for suggesting that maybe Israel’s behavior—PS it slaughtered 2300 Palestinians last summer in an orgy of violence– played a role in the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. Our free speech codes are patently hypocritical.

And though I think of myself as a libertarian, I’m writing for a site that censors, or tries to, expressions of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and racism. We adopted this policy because we think it is important to build a diverse community; and gosh, people are driven away by prejudice.

Speaking of double standards, our obsession with radical Islam overlooks the incredible peacefulness of most Arab societies (Cairo is one of the safest huge cities you can ever visit, James North has said here) and the wide destruction we’ve wrought in the Middle East. Steve Walt used to keep a counter on how many Muslims we’ve killed– over 200,000 Muslims a few years ago. Bill Kristol and George Packer and Roger Cohen seem to think the answer is to undertake actions that will kill more, because we are now in a civilizational clash. That will just radicalize more Kouachis and make us all more unsafe.

I don’t mean to diminish the great struggle that Arab societies and Islam are now experiencing as tradition confronts modernity. These are huge social/philosophical conflicts, not so different from the ones that filled the streets of Paris with blood 200 years ago, and I’m on the modern side, of personal freedom over tradition, of cosmopolitanism over fundamentalism. I’m all for women marathoners in Gaza. But as a great Palestinian/Jewish/Christian teacher once said, the mote in The Other’s eye is bigger than the beam in ours, and now I will go where I always do in these debates. Zionism is a European movement aimed at (liberating Jews and) colonizing a Middle Eastern land. If the New York Times can get away with saying that the Kouachi brothers undertook jobs typical of immigrants – when it was their parents who moved to France, from a colonial holding of France – how should we refer to Israel’s foreign minister, who moved to the country from Moldova when people born in the country were not allowed to return to their homes, and who has come up with a peace plan to pay off even more indigenous people to leave their own lands?

If I’m obsessed with Zionism it’s because it’s part of this civilizational misunderstanding, and concern for Palestinian human rights was a factor in at least one of the French terrorists’ rabid anti-Semitism; again, Zionists killed 500 children in Gaza last summer because they were the wrong religion. If I’m obsessed with Zionism, it’s because the State Department warned 70 years ago we’d have endless conflict in that region if a Jewish state was established in Palestine, and because just last year the head of the State Department said that the Palestinian conflict is a material source of terrorist violence. John Kerry, speaking to Muslims at Eid:

As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL coalition, the truth is we – there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt – and I see a lot of heads nodding – they had to respond to. And people need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity, and Eid celebrates the opposite of all of that

If I’m obsessed with Zionism, it’s because I’m Jewish and know that Jewish culture formed elements of my thinking I’m deeply proud of; but this is a time when all religious organizations should examine their codes and consider what works and what doesn’t to make our societies peaceful and respectful.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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164 Responses

  1. eljay on January 11, 2015, 3:31 pm

    Good article, Mr. Weiss. But the Zio-supremacists will be along any moment now to tell you that you’ve got all wrong – probably because you’re self-loathing and/or anti-Semitic – and that Jewish supremacism, a supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine and Jewish colonialism are good for “the Jews” and good for the world.

    Zio-supremacists say some of the darnedest – and most hateful and immoral – things.

    • Krauss on January 12, 2015, 6:38 am

      There are some issues to be identified:

      1. Cairo safe for people? North is a man. Ask a woman if she can get through Cairo. We’re not just talking catcalling here, but outright sexual physical harrassment and/or rape. This was evident even among the so-called “liberals” who protested at Tahrir.

      2. Yes, the membership of ISIS/AQ are small. But that’s missing the point. The Pew study on muslims that came out a few years ago showed massive percentages who supported Islamist ideology. They might not be violent, but they still supported the death penalty for people who left the religion. In “liberal” countries like in Lebanon, it was upwards 70%. In Egypt over 90%.

      How many Christians or Jews would support the death penalty for those who leave the religion?

      The bottom line is that there is a problem within Islam that is much bigger than in Christianity and Judaism. Does the non-stop bombing and invasion of Middle Eastern countries help? No, they’re fanning the flames, so I’m not saying the West is innocent, not even by a longshot. But anyone who only tries to pin the blame on U.S. military inventervention essentially sees muslims in the Middle East as without their own agency, as mere puppets for Western design. I think that is naive.

      • aiman on January 12, 2015, 10:21 am

        Krauss, good on you for giving an inch or two, or let’s call it the whole yard, since last time. Yes US intervention does fan the flames – call it the flame – and yes Muslims have a lot to work on. You write massive percentage of Muslims support the Islamist ideology, but duck Judaism with Christianity. The fact is an overwhelming number of Jews support Zionism. This includes academics and journalists. Christians definitely come off better I agree; in fact they are some of the most anti-tribal, universal people on today’s planet. So drop that baton and join the line.

  2. Donald on January 11, 2015, 3:43 pm

    “You would think that the Charlie Hebdo murders are a time to instruct greater tolerance, to learn to get along with different types of people on this little ship we call the earth ”

    You’d think. But no.

    For a week after 9/11 I naively thought that many or at least the self-described liberals would react with empathy to all the victims of violence and terror. Middle class whites who live in the US are mostly shielded from ugly realties and even if we read about atrocities and wars it’s an abstraction to most of us (except maybe veterans and a few journalists and others) but here, for those of us in or near NYC, was something that shocked us to the core. Now we knew what it felt like to be at the mercy of violent men who were willing to slaughter us. We’d look at all the ruthless policies our country had supported in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia and really get serious about putting an end to it all and living up to our professed ideals.

    Boy was I ever stupid. Amazingly, stunningly stupid on a scale I wouldn’t have believed possible for anyone, a level of stupidity that set the bar so high I don’t think I could even imagine reaching it again unless I had a springboard, a running start and a rocket strapped to my back, or to change metaphors, a level of denseness that should have immediately converted me into a black hole that could have swallowed the entire earth.

    Never, ever expect the American liberal pundit class to show empathy when hurt or scared or even mildly bothered.

    • Ellen on January 12, 2015, 11:23 am

      Donald, I relate. And your words are so eloquent . I remember how shocked I was by the primitive spirit of revenge and violence, and the readiness to cast this onto a world they knew nothing about. How the propaganda and fear mongering whipped up, and soaked up by the public.

      Frightening times, but we are still there.

  3. JLewisDickerson on January 11, 2015, 3:50 pm

    RE: “The Kouachis were French citizens, born in France—despite the New York Times’s casual characterization of them as immigrants.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Not only that, from 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was referred to by the French as “French Algeria”; and it was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica is to this day.
    Of course, what the New York Times really meant by referring to the Kouachis as “immigrants”, is that notwithstanding their French birth/citizenship, [voice now lowered to a barely audible whisper] they weren’t really “French”.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Algeria]:

    [EXCERPTS] Algeria, officially People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. . .

    French colonisation of Algeria

    On the pretext of a slight to their consul, the French invaded and captured Algiers in 1830.[43][44] The conquest of Algeria by the French took some time and resulted in considerable bloodshed. A combination of violence and disease epidemics caused the indigenous Algerian population to decline by nearly one-third from 1830 to 1872.[45][unreliable source?] The population of Algeria, which stood at about 1.5 million in 1830, reached nearly 11 million in 1960.[46] French policy was predicated on “civilizing” the country.[47] Algeria’s social fabric suffered during the occupation: literacy plummeted.[48] During this period, a small but influential French-speaking indigenous elite was formed, made up of Berbers mostly from Kabyles. As a consequence, French government favored the Kabyles.[49] About 80% of Indigenous Schools were constructed for Kabyles.

    From 1848 until independence, France administered the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria as an integral part and département of the nation. One of France’s longest-held overseas territories, Algeria became a destination for hundreds of thousands of European immigrants, who became known as colons and later, as Pied-Noirs. Between 1825 and 1847, 50,000 French people emigrated to Algeria.[50][page needed] These settlers benefited from the French government’s confiscation of communal land from tribal peoples, and the application of modern agricultural techniques that increased the amount of arable land.[51]
    Gradually, dissatisfaction among the Muslim population, which lacked political and economic status in the colonial system, gave rise to demands for greater political autonomy, and eventually independence, from France. . .

    • JLewisDickerson on January 11, 2015, 4:27 pm

      P.S. ALSO FROM WIKIPEDIA [French Algeria]:

      [EXCERPTS] French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France . . .
      . . . One of France’s longest-held overseas territories, Algeria became a destination for hundreds of thousands of European immigrants, known as colons and later, as pieds-noirs. However, indigenous Muslims remained a majority of the territory’s population throughout its history. . .

      Hegemony of the Colon

      A commission of inquiry set up by the French Senate in 1892 and headed by former Premier Jules Ferry, an advocate of colonial expansion, recommended that the government abandon a policy that assumed French law, without major modifications, could fit the needs of an area inhabited by close to two million Europeans and four million Muslims. Muslims had no representation in Algeria’s National Assembly and were grossly underrepresented on local councils. Because of the many restrictions imposed by the authorities, by 1915 only 50,000 Muslims were eligible to vote in elections in the civil communes. Attempts to implement even the most modest reforms were blocked or delayed by the local administration in Algeria, dominated by colons, and by the 27 colon representatives in the National Assembly (six deputies and three senators from each department).[citation needed]
      Once elected to the National Assembly, colons became permanent fixtures. Because of their seniority, they exercised disproportionate influence, and their support was important to any government’s survival.[citation needed] The leader of the colon delegation, Auguste Warnier (1810–1875), succeeded during the 1870s in modifying or introducing legislation to facilitate the private transfer of land to settlers and continue the Algerian state’s appropriation of land from the local population and distribution to settlers. Consistent proponents of reform, like Georges Clemenceau and socialist Jean Jaurès, were rare in the National Assembly.
      The bulk of Algeria’s wealth in manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and trade was controlled by the grands colons. The modern European-owned and -managed sector of the economy centered around small industry and a highly developed export trade, designed to provide food and raw materials to France in return for capital and consumer goods. Europeans held about 30% of the total arable land, including the bulk of the most fertile land and most of the areas under irrigation.[19] By 1900, Europeans produced more than two-thirds of the value of output in agriculture and practically all agricultural exports. The modern, or European, sector was run on a commercial basis and meshed with the French market system that it supplied with wine, citrus, olives, and vegetables. Nearly half of the value of European-owned real property was in vineyards by 1914. By contrast, subsistence cereal production—supplemented by olive, fig, and date growing and stock raising—formed the basis of the traditional sector, but the land available for cropping was submarginal even for cereals under prevailing traditional cultivation practices.
      The colonial regime imposed more and higher taxes on Muslims than on Europeans.[20] The Muslims, in addition to paying traditional taxes dating from before the French conquest, also paid new taxes, from which the colons were normally exempted. In 1909, for instance, Muslims, who made up almost 90% of the population but produced 20% of Algeria’s income, paid 70% of direct taxes and 45% of the total taxes collected. And colons controlled how these revenues would be spent. As a result, colon towns had handsome municipal buildings, paved streets lined with trees, fountains and statues, while Algerian villages and rural areas benefited little if at all from tax revenues.
      The colonial regime proved severely detrimental to overall education for Algerian Muslims, who had previously relied on religious schools to learn reading, writing, and engage in religious studies. Not only did the state appropriate the habus lands (the religious foundations that constituted the main source of income for religious institutions, including schools) in 1843, but colon officials refused to allocate enough money to maintain schools and mosques properly and to provide for enough teachers and religious leaders for the growing population. In 1892, more than five times as much was spent for the education of Europeans as for Muslims, who had five times as many children of school age. Because few Muslim teachers were trained, Muslim schools were largely staffed by French teachers.
      Even a state-operated madrasah (school) often had French faculty members. Attempts to institute bilingual, bicultural schools, intended to bring Muslim and European children together in the classroom, were a conspicuous failure, rejected by both communities and phased out after 1870. According to one estimate, fewer than 5% of Algerian children attended any kind of school in 1870. As late as 1954 only one Muslim boy in five and one girl in sixteen was receiving formal schooling.[21]
      Efforts were begun by 1890 to educate a small number of Muslims along with European students in the French school system as part of France’s “civilizing mission” in Algeria.
      The curriculum was entirely French and allowed no place for Arabic studies, which were deliberately downgraded even in Muslim schools. Within a generation, a class of well-educated, gallicized Muslims—the évolués (literally, the evolved ones)—had been created. Almost all of the handful of Muslims who accepted French citizenship were évolués; ironically, this privileged group of Muslims, strongly influenced by French culture and political attitudes, developed a new Algerian self-consciousness.
      Reporting to the French Senate in 1894, Governor General Jules Cambon wrote that Algeria had “only a dust of people left her.” He referred to the destruction of the traditional ruling class that had left Muslims without leaders and had deprived France of interlocuteurs valables (literally, valid go-betweens), through whom to reach the masses of the people. He lamented that no genuine communication was possible between the two communities.[22]
      The colons who ran Algeria maintained a dialog only with the beni-oui-ouis [a derogatory term for Muslims considered as collaborators with the French colonial institutions in North Africa]. Later they thwarted contact between the évolués [a French term used during the colonial era to refer to a native African and Asian who had “evolved” by becoming Europeanised] and Muslim traditionalists on the one hand and between évolués and official circles in France on the other. They feared and mistrusted the Francophone évolués, who were classified either as assimilationist, insisting on being accepted as Frenchmen but on their own terms, or as integrationists, eager to work as members of a distinct Muslim elite on equal terms with the French.


      Following its conquest of Ottoman controlled Algeria in 1830, for well over a century France maintained colonial rule in the territory which has been described as “quasi-apartheid”.[23] The colonial law of 1865 allowed Arab and Berber Algerians to apply for French citizenship only if they abandoned their Muslim identity; Azzedine Haddour argues that this established “the formal structures of a political apartheid”.[24] Camille Bonora-Waisman writes that, “[i]n contrast with the Moroccan and Tunisian protectorates”, this “colonial apartheid society” was unique to Algeria.[25]
      Under the French Fourth Republic, although Muslim Algerians were accorded the rights of citizenship, this system of discrimination was maintained in more informal ways. Frederick Cooper writes that Muslim Algerians “were still marginalized in their own territory, notably the separate voter roles of ‘French’ civil status and of ‘Muslim’ civil status, to keep their hands on power.”[26]
      This “internal system of apartheid” met with considerable resistance from the Muslims affected by it, and is cited as one of the causes of the 1954 insurrection.[27] . . .

      • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 11:04 am

        Thanks, Dickerson.

  4. Marshall on January 11, 2015, 4:13 pm

    Masterful, Phil.

  5. DoubleStandard on January 11, 2015, 4:23 pm

    All religions contain stuff that can be used to justify violence — especially the Abrahamic religions, that’s true. So why does only Islam produce this?

    You could say it’s political circumstances in the Muslim world (e.g. US-backed dictators, oil exploitation), but why doesn’t this lead to popular uprising against Western hegemony in the form of a secular-populist movement? Why does it manifest under the banner of Islam? You are at a loss to explain this.

    You mention the story of Korach, but it is worth noting that GOD carried out the punishment in this story — not other Jews. Nowhere in Jewish scriptures do we find commandments urging war with people who won’t convert to Judaism. The only wars Jews are obligated to fight — at the most basic biblical level — are battles to rid the Land of Israel, and only the Land of Israel, of idol worshippers and a nation called “Amalek” that everyone agrees no longer exists.

    Beware of conflating Islamphobia –to the extent such a prejudice exists — with anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is based primarily on ethnic hatred aimed at the Jews as a collective people — rarely does anti-Semitism make references to things in the Jewish religion. By contrast, Islamophobia is simply the belief that Islam — an ideology, like all religions — preaches violence and conflict with other religions. Being against the ideology of Islam is no different than being anti-Communist or anti-Capitalist, for instance. Being against an ideology means that you have a problem with its practitioners only to the extent that they subscribe to that ideology. It’s not racism.

    They’re not the same thing.

    • annie on January 11, 2015, 6:53 pm

      So why does only Islam produce this?

      are you crazy? maybe you missed the story of the king’s torah justifying killing gentile babies. and maybe you missed the story of the slaughter of palestinian children that took place last summer. all you’ve got is fancy framing to distinguish between the hatred of one kind of people vs that of another. but that’s crazy because people do have individual agency.

      Beware of conflating Islamphobia –to the extent such a prejudice exists — with anti-Semitism.

      ha ha ha ha ha. if you hate me it’s really bad but if i hate you it doesn’t count.

      Islamophobia is simply the belief that Islam — an ideology, like all religions — preaches violence…

      so all that screaming ‘death to arabs’ doesn’t compare to screaming death to jews? it comes from the same place. you sound like a fool. as if i stated, i hate jews because their ideology rooted in their faith is violent and hateful is wouldn’t be anti semitism. ha! try telling that to abe foxman while handing him a copy of the king’s torah. you’re just making excuses to justify condemning muslims and islam.

      Nowhere in Jewish scriptures do we find commandments urging war with people who won’t convert to Judaism.

      no, but when you preach killing children because they may grow up to become an enemy what frigging difference does it make? besides, it takes a very special interpretation of islam, and many/most would argue it’s not islam at all, to urge the killing of those who will not convert. you’re cherry picking and justifying hatred. if i wasn’t of a good mind to lecture you i’d be tempted to trash your comment, it’s grotesque.

      rarely does anti-Semitism make references to things in the Jewish religion.

      you’ve simply got to be kidding me. you mean if i say ‘jews won’t return a stolen item to a gentile’ it’s not anti semitism eh? there’s a whole lot more where that came from. the reason people don’t say that stuff is because it’s a glaring red flag, and anti semites, like islamophobes, clothe their hatred in fancy excuses as you have done. they disguise their bigoted nature.

      • oldgeezer on January 11, 2015, 7:18 pm

        Well said. I think DS has appropriately named him/herself

    • Nevada Ned on January 11, 2015, 8:48 pm

      Look, Mr. Double Standard:

      You write…”Nowhere in Jewish scriptures do we find commandments urging war with people who won’t convert to Judaism. The only wars Jews are obligated to fight — at the most basic biblical level — are battles to rid the Land of Israel, and only the Land of Israel, of idol worshippers and a nation called “Amalek” that everyone agrees no longer exists

      I have in my hand a copy of the Christian Bible, including the “Old Testament”. Look at the book of Joshua, chapter 8. Joshua, with the help of 30,000 soldiers (and of course with the help of God), captures the city of Ai, and slaughters all the men, “until there was left none that survived or escaped” (verse 22).

      Then “all Israel returned to Ai, and smote them with the edge of the sword. And all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand.” (verse 25). “For Joshua did not draw back his hand…until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took as their booty, according to the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua. (verses 26-28)”

      But wait! There’s more!

      Joshua chapter 10, verse 28..”And Joshua took Makke’dah on that day, and smote it and its king with the edge of the sword; he utterly destroyed every person in it, he left none remaining; and he did to the king of Makke’dah as he had done to the king of Jericho.”

      The summary comes in Joshua 10, verse 40. “So Joshua defeated the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the lowland and the slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD GOD of Israel commanded.

      The Old Testament has lots of passage that are genocidal. It’s not war against people who “refuse to convert to Judaism.” It’s a series of bloody massacres among rival stone age tribes, and the ancient Hebrews naturally reassure them selves that their tribal God commands them to carry out these massacres. Joshua kills everybody, and then loots the ruins. It’s a war for plunder.

      The Bible is genocidal. Parts of it anyway. The only consolation is perhaps many (most?) of these ancient holy wars didn’t happen. The anthropologists tell us that the Exodus story didn’t happen. At all.

      I would be very cautious about making favorable claims about the Jewish (or Christian) scriptures.

    • Sibiriak on January 12, 2015, 2:00 am

      DoubleStandard: “ So why does only Islam produce this? You could say it’s political circumstances in the Muslim world

      Yes, you could. That wouldn’t be the entire explanation, but it would be a central part of it.

      “but why doesn’t this lead to popular uprising against Western hegemony in the form of a secular-populist movement?

      It did. The rise of political Islam came in the wake of the failure/repression of Arab secular nationalism.

      “You are at a loss to explain this.”

      No, you are at a loss to explain why violent political Islam (and in fact militant religious fundamentalism in general) has become so salient today, when it was not so not very long ago.

    • DoubleStandard on January 12, 2015, 3:39 am

      The Egyptian election saw the Muslim Brotherhood take power. Hardly a victory for Arab secularism . I’m not at a loss to explain it – – I’m not naive enough to totally exonerate the west’s foreign policy from any responsibility in the radicalization of the Muslim world, but there is a point at which people have to be accountable for their behavior and stop just blaming it on White imperialism.

      You missed my point about the Bible. I agree it contains some pretty crazy stuff, but it’s limited to particular circumstances. There is no concept of jihad in Judaism or Christianity.

      And yes, Annie, if you disliked jews because of their religion I don’t think that’s anti semitism. Anti semitism is a prejudice aimed more at the idea of jews as a people.

      • Ellen on January 12, 2015, 11:31 am

        DS, there is so much grievous and ugly nonsense in your postings here, I am surprised MW allows this.

        And others have even taken the time to politely and thoroughly respond to this insanity.

        Jihad, btw means struggle. The Islamic understanding of Jihad is conducted first with oneself — a jihad, or struggle with our human weaknesses.

        This concept exists in all theologies.

    • Laurent Weppe on January 12, 2015, 4:57 am

      So why does only Islam produce this?

      Speaking of Abrahamic wasn’t there a commandment from Moses that said “Thou shalt not spew lying bullshit that harms thy neighbor“?
      You’re breaking it now.

      • OyVey00 on January 12, 2015, 10:42 am

        That only applies of thy neighbor is a Jew (according to the Talmud).

      • Laurent Weppe on January 13, 2015, 2:48 am

        That only applies of thy neighbor is a Jew (according to the Talmud).

        Anyone is entitled to proclaim that their talmudic/biblical/koranic paper pope just happen to justify their own brand of chauvinism: I for one will continue to give jewish self-serving tribalistic excuses as much credit as I give christian, hindu, muslim or atheistic self-serving tribalistic excuses: none.

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 2:43 pm

        Mr. Weppe, I am fairly sure, since “OyVey00” is more than willing to proclaim that he is actuated by (and I quote) “anti-Jewish sentiments” that his comment was more of a condemnation than an apologia. YMMV.

      • OyVey00 on January 14, 2015, 3:04 pm

        You’re right, Mooser. I’m sorry. I should really step up my game.

        I mean, what have we come to when anti-semites come off as Judaism apologists?

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 7:00 pm

        “I mean, what have we come to when anti-semites come off as Judaism apologists?”

        So, “0yVey00” which is it?
        “Anti-Jewish sentiments” (your words) which should (again) “slap you in the face” or “Judaism apologist”?

        Or are you indeed, as you state, an “anti-semite” who was misunderstood?

      • OyVey00 on January 14, 2015, 9:54 pm

        Mooser, I’ll leave that to your imagination.

      • Mooser on January 16, 2015, 12:26 pm

        “Mooser, I’ll leave that to your imagination.”

        Not my imagination you have to worry about “OyVey00”. It’s your own.

    • Theo on January 13, 2015, 9:10 am


      I suggest you read the Talmud once more, it seems you missed the best parts about jewish violence. Like when Joshua conquered the land, he killed all inhabitants of those city-states, that means men, women and children, so he will not have to fight them again. Kind of reminds us of the wars in Gaza. Or Esther.

      Talmud also tells us that having sex with a 3 years old is not a sin, (boy or girl), goyims are here to serve the jews, in front of a jewish court always the jew must win, regardless who is right and killing a goy is also not a sin!
      I also must refute your observation of christianity. That religion was spread with utmost violence, millions had to die if not converted. Even today we have millions of christians killing eachother, (the irish civil war or the 50 million born again US evangelists), or in the past, (the 30 years war in Europe, etc.).
      I must admit jews had the least religious bloodlettings, however I base that on their relatively low numbers and on the facts that they never were in power during the past 2,000 years until Israel was established. Once in power they do exactly what the christians and moslems did for centuries, namely waging war after war. Perhaps if we want to have peace we must eliminate all three Abrahamic religions and send all their holy men to the gulags.

  6. Whizdom on January 11, 2015, 4:50 pm

    European style colonialism is not a sustainable model. Greed always interferes. The only real variable is how it ends.

    • Laurent Weppe on January 12, 2015, 5:03 am

      Make no mistake: greed is the raison d’être of european colonialism, and its advocates know perfectly well that it is not sustainable: their goal is to prosper through raubwirtschaft then get out of the region before the unavoidable collapse of the regime that sustains them: that’s why besides a minority of romantics, the ruling class of european colonial empires tended to leave their domains years before their actual collapse.

  7. Keith on January 11, 2015, 4:59 pm

    PHIL- “What is the so-called clash of civilizations?”

    It is a reasonably effective rationalization for the bogus war on terror. Propaganda. A pretext for ongoing militarism. Are you feigning innocence or are you really that dense?

    Phil: “The attack was directly on speech….”

    The notion that this was an attack on “free speech” is a propaganda meme. It will hardly deter “free speech,” which is a Western illusion in any event. US violations of free speech, whether domestic or overseas, are sufficiently numerous to require listing. To name just one, over at Znet, Noam Chomsky recalls the US attack on the Serb TV station where “At least 10 people were reported at once to have died in the explosion, with 20 missing, “presumably buried in the rubble.” The US claimed the TV station was a legitimate target, the attack justified. I could go on, but why bother? Those who want to see will, those that don’t won’t.

    No, the outrage is highly selective, an orchestrated propaganda assault by the propaganda machine known as the “free press.” The empire is on a rampage and the public is being conditioned for intensified war and strife through the manufacture of threats and fear. Continuing to discuss this as a “free speech” issue is to miss the point entirely. Perhaps intentionally?

  8. wondering jew on January 11, 2015, 5:17 pm

    First reaction: What a mouthful of mediocre predictable mush!

    On a side point, if you had asked Jesus, (I assume he’s the dude regarding the mote), he would not have recognized 2 out of the 3 descriptors you chose. He would have recognized himself as a Jew and certainly not as a Christian nor as a Palestinian.

    • justicewillprevail on January 11, 2015, 6:17 pm

      So your first reaction is a meaningless cheap shot with no substance. Hmm, then a really dismal attempt at some frat humour.

      Of course Jesus would have been all of these things, that’s the point, dude.

      • tree on January 11, 2015, 9:26 pm

        So your first reaction is a meaningless cheap shot with no substance.

        And what’s even more pathetic is that he’s been waiting impatiently for three days to be able to level that cheap shot, after making this one on the 8th:

        phil has to wait until omar barghouti tells him what to write. has to get it lined up with the party line first.

        Yonah’s honing his part as the stereotypical grumpy old man, yelling at Phil (and pretty much everyone else who disagrees with him) to get off his lawn.

      • Daniel Rich on January 12, 2015, 6:58 am

        @ tree,

        Q: Yonah’s honing his part as the stereotypical grumpy old man, yelling at Phil (and pretty much everyone else who disagrees with him) to get off his lawn.

        R: Although that lawn is conveniently located on Phil’s yard.

      • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 11:07 am

        “So your first reaction is a meaningless cheap shot with no substance. Hmm, then a really dismal attempt at some frat humour.”

        Yonah, be careful! Don’t think you can get away with the same stuff I do!

      • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 11:11 am

        “Yonah’s honing his part as the stereotypical grumpy old man, yelling at Phil (and pretty much everyone else who disagrees with him) to get off his lawn.”

        Well, Yonah lives New York City! (‘ get a rope!’*) so I doubt he has a front lawn. More likely, he’ll sit on a stoop, and whenever he hears Spanish or Yiddish instead of Israeli Hebrew, yells ‘Get off my street!’

        *from an old salsa commercial, “Pace Picante” I think it was.

    • michelle on January 11, 2015, 11:06 pm

      Jesus is the wheat
      those who reject Him are the chaft
      Jesus did not see Himself as a Jew
      (not by ‘adams’ measure anyway)
      He Is The Lamb Offering Of G-d
      G-d Bless

      • Walid on January 12, 2015, 1:43 am

        “… Jesus did not see Himself as a Jew”

        Other than for the “other cheek” issue, is there anything Jesus did that he did not do as a Jew?
        BTW, Moslems claim Jesus as their very own, as they have a claim on Abraham, Moses, Isaac and the many of the prophets.

      • RoHa on January 12, 2015, 2:33 am

        Jesus is portrayed in the Gospels as arguing the Law like a Jew. However, whether there was real person behind the fiction is something we cannot tell.

      • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 11:14 am

        “Jesus did not see Himself as a Jew”

        People say he used to walk around Bethlehem muttering “I am soooo not Jewish” and explaining why to all who would listen. And people would answer back, contemptuously “So who says you are, moser, you Litvak? Tumler! God’s tsevishen-shtotisheh telefonistkeh, he thinks he is!”
        And things went downhill from there, usually. And you know, when he went uphill, things didn’t work out any better for him.

      • amigo on January 12, 2015, 3:38 pm

        “And things went downhill from there, usually. And you know, when he went uphill, things didn’t work out any better for him” Mooser.

        You are incorrigibly satirical. I know where there are a few openings .Parlee voo fransay .

        And before anyone steps on my freedom of speech?.

        Attack my French if you must.

      • michelle on January 12, 2015, 4:20 pm

        what did Jesus value more than Himself
        more than what others see when they ‘look’ at Him
        more than His mother His family His community
        what did Jesus think about all the time
        He told every & all
        “G-ds Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven”
        it’s what He lived & ‘died’ for
        For G-d So Loved The World
        G-d Bless

      • Mooser on January 13, 2015, 11:05 am

        “Jesus did not see Himself as a Jew”

        I should hope not! With hair like that? And those sandals, and no socks? Who ever heard of a Jewish hippie!

        The Blood Will Never Lose its Power!

        Andrae Crouch passed on Jan. 8th 2015. Leaving us this, and so much more.

      • Walid on January 13, 2015, 11:53 am

        “Who ever heard of a Jewish hippie!” (Mooser)

        Mooser is probably the closest to the truth although I’m sure he already knows it. From historical accounts and various descriptions about Jesus’ message, some experts believe that he belonged to an offshoot religious cult of his day known as the Essenes (modest, humble, pious ones). It was believed that Jesus was a rabbi among them. The sect began around 200 BC and lasted about 300 years from the way it’s described, it was all about peace-love which blended perfectly with the message of Jesus. It also went with the sandals-look.

        They probably didn’t eat meat (that was from me).

        The Jewish Encyclopedia has a comprehensive essay on the Essenes, a small sampling:

        “A branch of the Pharisees who conformed to the most rigid rules of Levitical purity while aspiring to the highest degree of holiness. They lived solely by the work of their hands and in a state of communism, devoted their time to study and devotion and to the practise of benevolence, and refrained as far as feasible from conjugal intercourse and sensual pleasures, in order to be initiated into the highest mysteries of heaven and cause the expected Messianic time to come (‘Ab. Zarah ix. 15; Luke ii. 25, 38; xxiii. 51). The strangest reports were spread about this mysterious class of Jews. Pliny (l.c.), speaking of the Essene community in the neighborhood of the Dead Sea, calls it the marvel of the world, and characterizes it as a race continuing its existence for thousands of centuries without either wives and children, or money for support, and with only the palm-trees for companions in its retreat from the storms of the world. Philo, who calls the Essenes “the holy ones,” after the Greek ὅσιοι, says in one place (as quoted by Eusebius, “Præparatio Evangelica,” viii. 11) that ten thousand of them had been initiated by Moses into the mysteries of the sect, which, consisting of men of advanced years having neither wives nor children, practised the virtues of love and holiness and inhabited many cities and villages of Judea, living in communism as tillers of the soil or as mechanics according to common rules of simplicity and abstinence. In another passage (“Quod Omnis Probus Liber,” 12 et seq.) he speaks of only four thousand Essenes, who lived as farmers and artisans apart from the cities and in a perfect state of communism, and who condemned slavery, avoided sacrifice, abstained from swearing, strove for holiness, and were particularly scrupulous regarding the Sabbath, which day was devoted to the reading and allegorical interpretation of the Law.”

        For rest of the interesting essay:

      • Walid on January 13, 2015, 11:59 am

        “what did Jesus value more than Himself more than what others see when they ‘look’ at Him more than His mother His family His community .” (Michelle)

        Michelle, from the way the story is told in the Bible, Jesus’ treatment of his mother of his apostles and the community in general was not totally exemplary. Maybe I’m being too picky.

      • michelle on January 13, 2015, 12:01 pm

        if ‘you’ were to make a list
        of what you aspire to be (to learn) in this life/time
        iow what do you believe to be most important about you
        what would be your top ten
        (how high up would you put bloodline or ‘religious’ affiliation)
        @ Mooser
        i hope your day is wonderfilled
        one can almost hear them
        i wonder if your ‘mug’ is in there somewhere
        or more likely here;
        G-d Bless

      • Taxi on January 13, 2015, 12:06 pm

        “Who ever heard of a Jewish hippie!” – Mooser.

        Well they didn’t call Jesus the “Anointed One” for nothing. Anointed with what, I hear you puzzling. With Levant marijuana oil, no less. Here’s google’s page on Jesus and marijuana:

        So yeah, maybe Jesus was the first jewish Palestinian hippie – if he existed, that is. And if he didn’t exist, then still, his message remains valid and welcomed in our contemporary high times.

      • michelle on January 13, 2015, 1:29 pm

        @ Walid
        seems like an expert is;
        someone with a strong opinion that wants/needs
        others to agree
        from what i hear read;
        as far as footwear food choice and hair styling
        Jesus lived as most low income/poor do/did
        many poor men didn’t take wives/marry being as
        they had enough to do keeping themselves fed/heathly
        many of the religious consider(ed) sexual relations a distraction from G-d
        therefore a sin only acceptable in the producing of children/offspring
        how could Jesus best love His mum family community without first loving
        their Creater how better could He show His Love than doing G-ds Will
        (or as some might say He ‘died’ for their sins that they might forever be
        with G-d what more could He have done to show His Love)
        G-d is First/Foremost
        all else comes after as it should
        without G-d there is nothing
        G-d Bless

      • Mooser on January 13, 2015, 3:03 pm
      • michelle on January 13, 2015, 4:55 pm

        @ Mooser
        i did read about Andraé Edward Crouch
        and i read the lyrics to his song;
        ‘The Blood will never lose its power’
        he sounds like a powerfilled person
        thanks for the share
        i will look for his works at the library
        G-d Bless

      • RoHa on January 13, 2015, 8:32 pm

        I’ve actually put a lot of time and effort into studying this issue, both the primary sources (Canonical and non-Canonical Gospels, other Early Christian writings, contemporary historians) and the scholarly arguments about these, and I am now prepared to make the following definitive statements.

        Jesus may or may not have existed.

        If he existed:

        He may or may not have lived ~5BC to ~33AD.
        He may or may not have lived a hundred years earlier.
        He may or may not have been an Essene.
        He may or may not have been a radical preacher.
        He may or may not have been rude to his mother.
        He may or may not have been executed by the Romans for rebellion.
        He may or may not have been survived that execution, gone to Kashmir, married a very nice Kashmiri girl, and become a greengrocer.

        And if you have any belief about Jesus which does not include “may or may not” then you are going beyond that which is rationally supportable by the evidence.

      • Walid on January 14, 2015, 4:48 am

        “… if he did exist….(RoHa)

        Although there is no recorded history of his Biblical existence by known historians of his time, there are recorded instances of 5 different people living at about the same time going by the same given name and all claiming messianic vocations; seems it was a raging fad at the time. The story we go by, the “Testimonium Flavianum” is supposedly attributed to Flavius Josephus by Catholic Church historian Origen in the 4th century.

        A more current controversy on existence much easier to resolve by Joe Dassin:

      • michelle on January 14, 2015, 9:22 am

        by ‘your’ measure
        in 2000 years
        Jesus will still exist
        there will be no proof that we ever did
        i am thinking therefore i exist
        G-d Bless

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 2:55 pm

        “he sounds like a powerfilled person”

        Andrae Crouch is one of the links between traditional Gospel, and Contemporary Christian music. He had many “hits” (as far as the Gospel and Contemporary Christian market goes) and was involved with nurturing a new generation of performers in those genres.
        He was also influential commercially.

        My favorite version of “The Blood Will Never Lose it’s Power” is by “The Sensational Nightingales”, but I like everything they cover. Unfortunately, that version is not on YouTube.

    • Zofia on January 12, 2015, 8:59 am

      You should know that Jewish scholars have had different concepts of “Jesus the Jew” ;] Their ideas changed in time.;]
      First they claimed that he wasn’t a “true Jew”. Roland Deines who examined the literature about that subject points that:
      Upon closer examination it can be seen that reference to Galilee nearly always serves either the inner-Jewish qualification of Jesus or his distancing from his Jewish context, whereby the transition from one position to the other is often rather fluid. The first of these phenomena are already encountered in the New Testament and it appears again in the nineteenth century, especially in the beginnings of modern Jewish study of Jesus. Here Jesus, as a Galilean, is neither a Jerusalemite nor a Judean, but rather is placed on the fringe of the religious and social Jewish centers (where “Jewish” indirectly stands for “Judean”). Heinrich Graetz, in his turn-of-the-century work, maintained that, since Jesus was a Galilean, it is “impossible that his knowledge of the law could match the [Jerusalem] standard,” which then explains his conflicts with the Pharisees, being less about his messianic claims than about his ignorance of (and contempt for) halakhah. Nevertheless, Jesus’ relative “success” among his Jewish contemporaries had to be explained, and the solution offered was that his “intensely sympathetic character” made up for his “deficiency in knowledge.” With his enthusiastic and charismatic manner of preaching, he was able to impress the equally ill-educated, but all-the-more-spirited Galilean country folk and later also the gentiles, who were offered his message in Paul’s altered form intended for pagans. He made little impression, however, on the real (“true”) Judaism as taught by Hillel and Shammai.
      Graetz (1817–1891), who was one of the first representatives of the academic study of Judaism that also studied Jesus, represents fairly well the main thrust of the Jewish contributions to Jesus research in the nineteenth century and beyond, which was adopted in Christian scholarship as well. As a Galilean, Jesus belonged to an uneducated, half-pagan fringe form of Judaism that was guided more by feeling (and therefore also by sentimentality and rash, volatile temperament) than intellect. It was this milieu in which Jesus grew up, and here (and only here!) was he successful, where people were foolish enough to follow him and to consider him to be special. For Jerusalemites and Judeans, however, “humanity’s salvation came from Zion and Jerusalem, it had to come from Judean blood.” With this sentence from Armand (Aaron) Kaminka (1866–1950) the academic study of Judaism reached its zenith in terms of distancing Jesus from Judaism: as a Galilean, Jesus belonged to a “mixed race,” which had the status of a foreign nation to Judea. And with this, although hidden behind a few circumlocutions, on account of his Galilean origins some scholars repudiated the claim that Jesus belonged among the Jewish people.
      About half a century later, this topic was resumed by some New Testament scholars, who took it as their task to formulate a “völkische,” or “German” theology. Their ideologically driven and firmer conclusions resulted in, first, the claim that Jesus most likely had non-Jewish origins and, second, the founding of the Institute for the Study of the Jewish Influence on German Church Life, which had the task of making the German church “judenfrei” (that is, free of Jews). Probably the most influential book among the publications of this institute was Walter Grundmann’s Jesus der Galiläer und das Judentum (Jesus the Galilean and Judaism).
      The starting point of recent Galilee research, which was spearheaded by the late Seán Freyne’s first monograph on the history of Galilee, is diametrically opposed to the process of alienation of Jesus from Judaism mentioned above. Instead it can be understood as a catalyst for the present (“third”) quest for the historical Jesus. The “Third Quest,” in almost opposite fashion, favor the plausibility and similarity criterion. This means that those things that associated Jesus with contemporary Judaism were now deemed most likely to be authentic. But here it had to be asked: With what form, variant, or stream of Judaism? At that time Jesus was seen to be facing a mostly Pharisaic-rabbinic–influenced “nomistic” Judaism, whereas now plurality of form and content is emphasized, together with geographic diversity, not only between the land of Israel and the Diaspora but also within the Jewish motherland itself. In terms of geography, Galilean Judaism is now differentiated from Judean and Samaritan Judaism, and in addition to these regional differences (which are further defined internally, for example, with Upper and Lower Galilee as culturally different regions), there are also sociological (for example, the difference between urban and rural, and foreign dominated and indigenous populations) and cultural variations (for example, level of hellenization, education, religious links). This change in Jewish studies forces one to define carefully any placement of Jesus on this by now rather intricate map of the Jewish world.

      In more recent times, when Zionism developed the study of Jesus has become incorporated into the Zionist vision of ancient history- the mission to make the idea of a “Jew” more homogeneous, and the land itself… That is why more works were written about “Jesus the Jew”- a reverse trend in comparison to the previous Jewish writings on the matter.
      But still scholars see the diff between Judean (which itself has diff meanings: link: and Galilean and Jews from Galilee can’t be just equated with those from Judea + there are diff among Galileans themselves :) Galilee was Judaised for about a century in Jesus times…their form of Judaism wasn’t the same as in Judea, etc. + we must remember that not only “Jews” (diff. meanings) lived there….
      Plus… even today there are diff concepts for a “Jew”. Zionism represents only 1 + it is a nationalistic project, and even among Zionists there are diff opinions about that, for example:
      1.Kimmerling B., The Invention and Decline of Israeliness: State, Society, and the Military, University of California Press, 2001
      2.Ohana D., The shaping of Israeli identity: myth, memory, and trauma, Routledge 3.Orr A., Israel: Politics, Myths and Identity Crises, Pluto Press, 1994
      4.Oz A., The Sabra: the creation of the new Jew, University of California Press, 2000
      5.Piterberg G., The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel, Verso, 2008
      6.Shabi R., We Look Like the Enemy: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands, Walker & Company, 2008
      7.Sternhell Z.,The Founding Myths of Israel: Nationalism, Socialism, and the Making of the Jewish State, Princeton University Press, Nowy Jork 1999
      8.Yehuda N., Masada Myth: Collective Memory and Mythmaking in Israel, University of Wisconsin Press, 1995
      9.Yehuda N., Sacrificing Truth: Archaeology and the Myth of Masada, Humanity Books, 2002
      10.Zerubavel Y., Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition, University Of Chicago Press, 1995
      11.Ammiel Alcalay, “After Jews And Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture”
      12.”Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Hebron”

      So if one wants to write that Jesus was a Jew it can’t be understood in contemporary ways of thinking about that identity.

      Going back to the issue itself- Roland Deines:
      But what is known about Galilee in the time of Jesus? One look at the prevailing litera- ture shows that behind this simple question is not just one but a whole plethora of questions:
      What do we know about the history of settlement and population of Galilee? Was there a specific Galilean Judaism? Or even several? How far is the piety in the villages of Galilee different from that of the two cities Sepphoris and Tiberias? What differences are there between Jewish life in Upper and Lower Galilee? What is Galilee’s relationship to Judea, and to the temple?
      Were there Pharisees in Galilee? What status did the priests have there? How did the administration of the villages work?And finally—how does Jesus fit into this? What molded and formed him as a Galilean? The range of answers given to these questions is vast and can only be illustrated here with a few representative examples. MORE in: Galilee and the Historical Jesus in Recent Research, by Roland Deines.

      • just on January 12, 2015, 9:11 am

        thank you.

      • Whizdom on January 12, 2015, 11:37 am

        Didn’t those wackabee Hasmonean dudes forcibly convert the Idumeans of Galilee, I mean the ones they didn’t kill? That was a few generations before Christ, so I imagine they were still working that identity thing out.

        Herod was an Idumean, and the Pharisees were politically aligned with Herod. Many were likely Idumeans themselves, because they are said to have claimed the exodus bits didn’t apply to them, because they weren’t part of the Egyptian exile.

        So it is complicated

      • jon s on January 12, 2015, 12:44 pm

        It’s interesting that the saying that Phil quotes appears both in the Christian New Testament and in the Talmud:

        And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
        Matthew 7:3

        It was taught [in a Baraitha]: R. Tarfon said, I wonder whether there is any one in this generation who accepts reproof, for if one says to him: Remove the mote from between your eyes, he would answer: Remove the beam from between your eyes.

        Bavli Arachin 16 b( Soncino translation)

      • Walid on January 12, 2015, 1:07 pm

        Jon, if you’d read the NT, you’d find that most of it is a rehash of what was prophesied a few hundred years earlier in the OT, from the birth, to the ministry, the entry into Jerusalem at Pesach, the crucifixion and so on. Most of it is in Isaiah.

      • Walid on January 12, 2015, 1:31 pm

        Another one for you, jon, is John the Baptist when asked who he was replied saying of himself “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”

        In Isaiah, it’s ” The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

      • amigo on January 12, 2015, 3:42 pm

        First they claimed that he wasn’t a “true Jew”.Zofia.

        So what does INRI mean.

        I,,m not really Israeli” .

      • Zofia on January 12, 2015, 5:41 pm

        @amigo :)
        You should have read the whole text. First of all it was about how some Jewish scholars in XIX/XX century treated him. Second: the “Jew” part in INRI is an English translation. In Greek is Ἰουδαίων in Latin is Iūdaeōrum. In the comment I gave a link to other texts referring to the problem with that term, about how it was used by Romans, its various meanings in Greek, etc. I won’t repeat here. Also in the New Testament, the “King of the Jews” title is used by Pontius Pilate, and Roman soldiers. Some scholars see it as a form of mockery…[and I think it was once mentioned at the beginning also using Ἰουδαίων].
        Remember also the problem of many translations of those texts, how terms were differently used, how the texts were written, modified etc. About the term and its meaning you can also read The Jewish Annotated New Testament, from p. 524.
        The comments+the books and articles all show the problem of translations of that word, its diff meaning. Roland Deines shows the many questions that revolve around Galilee, various Jewish traditions (you will read that “Jewish traditions” can’t be only associated with religion, but also with some kind of ethnos, customs, laws, especially when it comes to proselytes+ the mix of it all), tensions between them, etc.

        I say again one must be careful using modern terms to ancient ones, to their ideas, various meanings, etc. I was only writing that there are many discussions on the issue, and saying that for example in 100% Jesus was a “Jew” (in what meaning?) or not; or that he saw himself as a “Jew” or not has no sense, unless some1 has direct contact with him and can ask the question directly. During history Jews saw him in various ways, moods towards him changed and I pointed that out. The same is with Christian scholars.

      • amigo on January 12, 2015, 6:01 pm

        “@amigo :)
        You should have read the whole text. First of all it was about how some Jewish scholars in XIX/XX century treated him.

        Zofia, my apologies .I was being satirical and should have not done so with someone of your obvious sincere commitment to the truth.I was just taking a swipe at Israel.

        Thanks for the history lesson.

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

        Oh gosh!! I am sorry!! It is late and I am sometimes dense when it comes to that at this hour! I usually get those things hehehe maybe that 5th coffee wasn’t good for me after all;p sorry again!:)

      • Mooser on January 13, 2015, 5:14 pm

        Zofia, thanks! Gee, I don’t want to pry, but you just sit down and toss off those long, informative erudite and well-written comments? Don’t you have to do warm-up exercises and drink a lot of coffee first?

        Well, I don’t care how you do it, it’s great! Thanks.

      • MHughes976 on January 13, 2015, 5:44 pm

        By faith I must regard Jesus as one who came from heaven and whose consciousness must have transcended any group belonging. By such reason as I can muster, I’d say that if Yonah means that Jesus is presented in the New Testament as somehow deeply committed to the Tanakh and deeply involved with the religion centred on the Jerusalem Temple he’s quite right. He is also shown as in some ways a dissident who believed that his rejection by the Temple’s representatives would lead to the destruction of the Temple, city and polity of the Jews – ie those commonly called Jews then and now.
        This presentation must reflect a theological split in Tanakh interpretation between those who would as Jews ‘by themselves’ await ‘the adding of many nations to Yahweh’ in the last days and those who wanted to make the addition happen a bit quicker: ‘I will go to the Gentiles, they will listen!’. The latter group claimed Jesus as their principal thinker and authority and shortly added that the otherwise inexplicable (in Tanakh terms) destruction of the Temple was due to the rejection of Jesus by the Temple authorities. They were regarded by many others as betraying Jewish tradition: whether this sort of ambiguous status, Jewish but not Jewish, had existed in Pilate’s Palestine and been exemplified by the elusive historical Jesus I think we cannot say.
        One reason to think that Jesus was actually like that – an early version of an early Christian – is the very negative view of him taken in the Talmud, which reports for instance that he had tattoos. This might well indicate sympathy with the dreaded Egyptian tradition of sacred writing. Or was that just part of third century literary sniping between two (now) rather different faiths?
        First century Jews would have had no problem in saying ‘I live in Palestine’ – the strong and continuing usage of that name is unquestionable. Thanks to Zofia and American.
        But I think that Yonah would be right again to say that ‘Palestinian/Philistine’ had fallen on days of neglect. This was partly because the Septuagint had all but abolished the word and substituted ‘allophyloi’ – ‘assorted foreigners’ (perhaps an ingenious play on the ‘phil’ element in ‘Philistine’). We see that when Mark wants to refer to a Palestinian he has to invent the complicated ‘Syrophoenician’, a word which contrasts her with Jesus. But it is significant in the Christian presentation of Jesus that this is the only character who defeats Jesus in argument: quite a dramatic way of showing openness to non-Jewish influences.
        The moral of all this to me? – Well, I’d like this little pointer to the permanent non-Jewish presence in Palestine to be recalled sometimes.
        The likes of Phil and Shlomo Sand are not Christians but are in the authentic Jewish tradition of critique of Jewish tradition. Also, we Christians owe our existence to the Tanakh-debating Jewish people of the first century.

      • Zofia on January 14, 2015, 6:14 pm

        Hello MHughes :)
        You may find interesting:
        Daniel Boyarin, Semantic Differences; or, “Judaism”/”Christianity” in: The Ways That Never Parted Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, edited by A.H. Becker, A.Y. Reed

        Judaisms and their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Era (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987), edited by Jacob Neusner, William Scott Green, and Ernest S. Frerichs.

        Seth Schwartz emphasizes the variety without embracing the plural terminology: “It is difficult to imagine any serious scholar ever again describing the Judaism of the later Second Temple period as a rigorous, monolithic orthodoxy, as was still common only a generation ago” (Imperialism and Jewish Society, 4-5); or , “In this book I assume that ancient Judaism was complex, capacious, and rather frayed at the edges,” although not “multiple” (p. 9).

        “Who was a Jew?: Rabbinic and Halakhic Perspectives on the Jewish Christian Schism”, by Lawrence H. Schiffman. He asks what caused the Jews of the tannaitic period to reject the Christians. His study seeks to understand why Christianity was not simply regarded as one of the sects.

        J. Levinson, There is no Place Like Home: Rabbinic Responses to the Christianization of Palestine in Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire The Poetics of Power in Late Antiquity, by Natalie B. Dohrmann and Annette Yoshiko Reed. The whole book is quite interesting :)

        They represent different conceptions, methodologies, opinions, etc. A fun read ;]

    • wondering jew on January 12, 2015, 4:48 pm

      phil gets 3 days to react to Charlie Hebdo and I should get one day to react to phil:

      i’ve heard someone (on the radio) call this the French 9/11. I do not wish to recall the fear I felt those days (less than 7 miles away in Brooklyn where you could smell the aftermath of the carnage: was it jet fuel or the buildings’ “dust”?) There was plenty of saber rattling from the commentators on the news back then and that evolved into even stupider saber usage. But what I wanted then and want now was clarity. And clarity is precisely what Phil obscures here with his Zionism obsession.

      If this obsession would lead to the avoidance of yet another round of thousands of dead Palestinians in Gaza, I would tell him, Right on!’ Save lives with mediocre analysis. Great! I wish life worked that way, but it doesn’t.

      French colonialism and “immigrant” (even second generation) alienation are the causes here (and I use the word cause as in cause and effect). Islam is the language in which the alienation is expressed and radical Islam is the sword that the truly messed up alienated second generation immigrants use to assert their defiance of the winners (so far) in the Arab versus West war that has existed since at least the aftermath of WWI.

      Zionism is not irrelevant, but certainly not relevant if one is attempting clarity.

      Last week Phil told us that he is an American and a former Jew. (I know i will take hits for my inexactitude.) This week he dons the mantle of Jew once more. Why? In order to utter the only phrase of Yiddish that he apparently knows: Mea culpa. And by mea, he doesn’t mean him. He means the other meshugene Jews who refuse to assimilate like him.

      Last week Phil flushed “Jew” down the drain- why shed any tears over one more disappearing language? But this week Phil has salvaged “Jew” from the ash heap of his story, so that he can attack Zionism from the inside, as one of the tribe.

      Spare us, white American Phil Weiss: Plead mea culpa for your fellow white Americans, and attack Zionism from the outside and not as a fake insider.

      • Kris on January 12, 2015, 6:07 pm

        yonah: “phil gets 3 days to react to Charlie Hebdo and I should get one day to react to phil.”

        Phil can do whatever he wants, since this is his website, but I don’t understand why you, Yonah, think you “should” get anything at all here. What is your sense of entitlement about?

        Oh, wait, maybe that’s the whole problem.

      • Walid on January 12, 2015, 6:50 pm

        “… where you could smell the aftermath of the carnage: was it jet fuel or the buildings’ “dust”?”

        I know the smell you are talking about, Yonah, I smelled it back in 2006 in Dahieh the morning after Israel levelled 20,000 homes to the ground. It was an ungly eerie smell of concrete, steel. dust, ash, possibly decaying bodies under thre rubble or maybe the the sanitary drains that had been blown wide open or a combination of all of them. I can still remember that smell.

        When you’re standing in the middle of all this destruction, it’s impossible to feel anything but hate for Israel.

      • wondering jew on January 12, 2015, 7:00 pm

        Walid- I understand the hatred. But allow me to ask a question. Did you favor the action by Hezbollah, the capture of the Israeli soldiers, that was the immediate cause of that war?

      • lysias on January 12, 2015, 7:03 pm

        Cause, or pretext? (The distinction Thucydides draws between prophasis and aitia.)

      • wondering jew on January 12, 2015, 7:41 pm

        lysias- Could you link to something that indicates that Olmert had a desire to go to war against Hezbollah and Lebanon in the summer of 2006? Once the war started it seemed to be the Americans (Bush administration) more than Israel itself who were interested in defeating Hezbollah, why do you think the attack by Hezbollah was a pretext rather than a cause? (an immediate cause rather than an underlying cause, but a cause and not a pretext.)

      • Walid on January 12, 2015, 8:20 pm

        Yes I do, Yonah, the whole thing was Israel’s fault for not having lived up to its side of the deal

      • Walid on January 12, 2015, 8:27 pm

        Yonah, about your question to lysias, at the time, Seymour Hersh wrote a lot about it.

      • Zofia on January 12, 2015, 8:56 pm

        Israel Admits that the Justification for Waging the 2006 War on Lebanon Was Fabricated

        Olmert: Even before Hezbollah war, Israel knew it was hopeless to retrieve abducted IDF soldiers
        Report: Interim findings of war won’t deal with personal failures Olmert has told the Winograd Commission that his decision to respond to the abduction of soldiers with a broad military operation was made as early as March 2006, four months before last summer’s Lebanon war broke out.

        Olmert admits blueprint for 2006 war preceded conflict

        Israeli PM says Lebanon war was pre-planned: report

        The Real Reason for Israel’s Wars on Gaza And Lebanon

        Olmert’s leaked testimony reveals real goal of summer war

        The Premeditated Nature of the War on Lebanon: A Stage of the Broader Middle East Military Roadmap

        and from 12.30.2014: In defense simulation, Hezbollah border attack doesn’t lead to war

      • Mooser on January 13, 2015, 10:55 am

        “phil gets 3 days to react to Charlie Hebdo and I should get one day to react to phil.”

        Gee, can I get one day to react to you, Yonah?
        You couldn’t make it in the Occupied Territories, had a nervous breakdown, and got busted back to the US. Now you sit at home in NYC, and you have to spend all day at Mondoweiss because not a goddam person in your community can stand your dumb, crazy and quite disturbed ass. Er drayt sich arum vie a fortz in russell You’re warehoused, another mental casualty of Zionism.

      • Mooser on January 13, 2015, 10:58 am

        “Last week Phil flushed “Jew” down the drain- why shed any tears over one more disappearing language? But this week Phil has salvaged “Jew” from the ash heap of his story, so that he can attack Zionism from the inside, as one of the tribe.”

        For once in my life, I will take the unpardonable liberty of answering for Phil: “Tough titties, asshole! Like it or lump it.”

      • Mooser on January 13, 2015, 11:01 am

        “Phil can do whatever he wants, since this is his website, but I don’t understand why you, Yonah, think you “should” get anything at all here. What is your sense of entitlement about?”

        Kris, don’t you know about “tribal unity” and how it works?

      • jon s on January 14, 2015, 4:39 am

        At first the early Christians were probably seen as just one more Jewish sect, like the Pharisees, the Essennes, the Zealots and others. The point where they were regarded as “betraying Jewish tradition” -as you put it- came when they decided that the laws of the Torah no longer apply. Once they no longer observed circumcision, and the Sabbath and the dietary laws and all the rest – they could no longer be considered Jews.

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 3:00 pm

        “was it jet fuel or the buildings’ “dust”?

        Or is it the smell left by explosives, the smell of spent thermite? And gosh, that “dust” was soooo fine.

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 3:03 pm

        “Once they no longer observed circumcision,”

        We made people watch? Ewwww!!
        Hey, and what about my privacy, me, the bris-day boy? A bunch of strangers staring at my pitzel while….no, I can’t even think about it.

        No, I’ll sing a song, instead:

        “The prettiest Rabbi I ever saw,
        was sipping….”

        No, this isn’t helping either.
        Anyway, the whole thing worked out well for my Mom. I was an extremely neat baby. I was changing my own diapers within a few months. It wasn’t easy for an infant, but I remembered what happened the last time I let somebody else take my clothes off…

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 7:25 pm

        “Spare us, white American Phil Weiss: Plead mea culpa for your fellow white Americans,”

        Yonah, I apologize for what the white folks have done to you and your family.

  9. Boomer on January 11, 2015, 5:29 pm

    “Don’t go to the war of civilizations again.” Good advice, wise counsel. Though in truth, we did that in 2001 (or earlier, some would say, not without reason), and that war has never ended. I recall reading some debates among Buddhists after 9/11 . . . some asserted that only nonviolence comported with Buddhists teachings, even in response to such an attack. Others, including the Dali Lama, allowed that violence, even killing, might be justified IF it were undertaken with a motive to save more lives, and IF it were limited to what was necessary to accomplish that objective. I fantasized that Mr. Bush would lead our response with such motivation, such limitations, such wisdom. Perhaps violence coupled with compassion was possible. Perhaps that could lead to a better outcome. But that was, I knew, a fantasy.

    Today I spent time at a museum exhibit on nonviolence. It was devoted primarily to Gandhi and M. L. King Jr. Two different lives, both noble and hard. Two different cultures. Both men succeeded to some extent, not without much loss of life. I don’t often read Tom Friedman these days, haven’t for years, but I recall many years ago reading one of his columns in which he advised the Palestinians to use nonviolence. What has that availed them? It seems that neither violence or nonviolence can avail against their foe . . . nothing can earn them dignity, or “a place to belong” as one of artists in the exhibit described the goal of peoples subjugated by Europeans. Nothing as earned citizenship for those in the refugee camps and “contested” territories (or equal citizenship, for those in Israel). “Citizenship,” which Juan Cole describes as “the right to have rights.” I see no hope for them.

    “Nonviolence” worked for Blacks in the American South because they had allies in other regions. The South was not the dominant region, and could not forever block their aspirations. “Nonviolence” worked for India, because Britain was weakened by the war, and no longer dominated the world. Because the numbers were overwhelmingly against Britain, and because the Indians had allies in other parts of the world. And the old ruling class in Britain was losing its grip, and its will to imperial power. (In neither case, of course, was nonviolence truly nonviolent; the dying power structure killed many before it died.)

    But what of Israel, aided and enabled by the U.S.? Does it have the will to change? Is there any force that can require change? I don’t see it. As far as I can tell, Israel seems unwilling to grant Palestinians dignity and rights under any formula, one state or two. It would have happened by now, if Israel wanted it. It is easy to have sympathy with the victims of the Holocaust. It is even possible to understand the desire of Israeli Jews to live in a culture that they dominate. “Diversity” is praised in the U.S. today, but ethnic diversity has its costs and difficulties. Jonathan Haidt points out some of those costs and difficulties in his book, “The Righteous Mind: why good people are divided by politics and religion.”

    And what of us, here in America, complicit as we are? What of those of us who would like to see a different policy? Our numbers are large, but our influence nil. Congress routinely passes whatever Israel wants by unanimous consent. For example, the recent legislation to assure the continued flow of weapons to Israel, regardless of how they are used. And the recent legislation to deny funding to the PA if they go to Court, seeking justice. Contemplate the irony. And it isn’t just the Congressional branch. Consider too the recent elevation of a man who has made ever-more punitive sanctions on Iran a top priority to a key role in the surveillance state that America has become. What hope can we reasonably hold for an enlightened policy regarding Palestine?

    I appreciate what you and the others do here, Phil, but I feel no hope. This site seems to be a way to say, “not in my name.” There is value in that, I guess. Maybe others are more hopeful. Maybe someday I will be. But not now.

    • Bumblebye on January 11, 2015, 6:09 pm

      “Dali Lama”. That tickled!

      • Boomer on January 11, 2015, 6:34 pm


        There was also a large exhibit of Surrealist work at the museum, including several by Dali, so perhaps he was on my mind . . . or perhaps it’s just my surrealist spelling at work, when spell check can’t help. Hopefully that won’t detract from more serious aspects of the topic.

    • Daniel Rich on January 11, 2015, 6:40 pm

      @ Boomer,

      Q: Gandhi and M. L. King Jr

      R: Oh, the cynicism of propagandist of non-violence dying a violent death…

      Once upon a day I saw a hairy animal in a kosher shop… It turned out to be the ‘Deli Lama.’

      • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 11:25 am

        And you said “Funny, you don’t look Bh…..” What’s that? Oh, I have? Okay, I won’t repeat it. Huh? Okay, it wasn’t very funny the first time, either. Man, tough bunch. It’s enough to drive you…. Oh, that one, too? Sorry.

    • Danaa on January 11, 2015, 8:11 pm

      I kind of have to agree with Boomer here – especially about one point: the will to change does not exist in Israel. Not at all. Nothing above a smidgen that shows itself among the few groups, like B’tselem and breaking the Silence and Zochrot. Organizations that count hundreds not thousands among their members, each. The reality of israel is far more dire than even Phil is willing to acknowledge.

      For which degrees of separation I count the distance in language as a key factor. Phil and most other progressive American jews do not speak hebrew, and those who understand a little are neither fluent nor comfortable in it. I keep harping on this point, something that no israeli or ex-Israeli has ever challenged me on – the secret is in the language. American jews – conservatives, liberals, progressives and indifferent simply do not know what the discourse is really like in Israel. They have some translations and some accounts. They may be aware of some of it. But they don’t know the full extent of what’s in the hearts and minds of israelis, a people hardly inclined to keep their opinions to themselves.

      And If they knew, they would grow ashen with despair. I once thought of starting a project with similarly minded and linguistically schooled friends of having snippets of translations from israelis social media, especially facebook. But then, a problem arose. The more I read, the more despondent I became. not because of what I read on the pages of some radicals and settler types. But because of what I saw endorsed – and seconded – on the pages of perfectly normal people, from everyday grandmothers and sweet looking teenagers. At which point I realized that despondency is the enemy of hope. It is actually essential that people like Phil maintain a measure of hope. That things can change, perhaps first among American jews and ultimately among Israelis. It is essential because some must hope against hope to remain motivated to do the hard lifting.

      Sometimes I wish I could be among the activists, bright eyed and a bit naive as some of them are. Be a foot soldier among the righteous. Instead of issuing periodic jeremiads that seem to do no good at all to anyone, myself included. Other than letting off steam, perhaps. But perhaps this is not my choice to make. Some march, some activate, some pontificate, and some just rant. What can the fox do?

      More than anything I wish to be ultimately proven wrong in my prognosis. Stranger things have happened. Parts of humanity did step back from the brink before. Though certainly not all, and not always. Alas, at the moment I don’t see anything good happening vis-a-vis I/P other than a steady, almost dull march towards an inevitable drreary conclusion. That because I cannot stop being aware of a collusion of factors – somewhere between the empire of chaos, neoliberalism as an ultimately dead-end economic path (unless neo-feudalism is a legitimate end-point), the rise of extreme radicalism among muslims due to all the reasons that have been cited – accompanied by a fear-motivated radicalism in the West, and above all, the steady and inexorable march of global warning, I see nothing but trouble ahead as far as my own logic will allow me.

      I would give much to have just a somewhat larger sliver of Phil’s optimism. may be he could lend me a few bits of his genome?

      • Keith on January 11, 2015, 8:55 pm

        DANAA- “Alas, at the moment I don’t see anything good happening….”

        Look at the bright side! Has there ever been a better time for gallows humor?

      • Walid on January 12, 2015, 12:57 am

        “The more I read, the more despondent I became. not because of what I read on the pages of some radicals and settler types. But because of what I saw endorsed – and seconded – on the pages of perfectly normal people, from everyday grandmothers and sweet looking teenagers. ” (Danaa)

        Danaa, now I understand why you were interested in the al-Mayadeen videos and why you didn’t go ahead with your project. Seafoid was right on when he referred to Israel as the picture of Dorian. I made some of the same disappointing discoveries on my side of the woods. The worst of it is not the lack of will but a total disinterest in it because people feel that their path is the one and only right one and won’t let you nudge them away from it. And you can’t do anything about it.

      • Boomer on January 12, 2015, 7:02 am

        Danaa: Your linguistic skill gives you even more reason than I have to abandon hope, alas. Your knowledge and eloquence don’t inspire hope. But since, as you say, some must have hope to continue their efforts, perhaps we can hope that people like Phil here in the U.S., and like-minded people in Europe, and perhaps a wider community operating through the ICC will someday reinforce that smidgen you see in Israel, and that someday another path will emerge. It will happen, if it happens, too late to avoid more moral failures by the U.S. and Israel. But that faint prospect may be enough for some people to continue with the heavy lifting while the rest of us rant, or simply tend our own garden.

      • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 11:32 am

        “American jews – conservatives, liberals, progressives and indifferent simply do not know what the discourse is really like in Israel.”

        Danaa, from your experience, do you think participants like “Mayhem”, “Ivri” and “JeffB” and “Hophmi” (among others, sorry if I left anybody out) give us a pretty good English equivalent (if not exact translation) of both the depth and the, ah, fervor of Hebrew discourse in Israel?
        Maybe the flavor of the language is different, but it’s the lack of thought that counts.

      • Danaa on January 12, 2015, 1:42 pm

        Believe it or not, Mooser, these pro-israel posters would be considered practically righteous saintly apparitions, were they to speak in Israel as they do here. For one thing, they are polite in language (yes, I know, otherwise they’d be out). For another, they do seem, for the most part, to take pains to issue standard Hasbara, each with their few personal “flourishes” and ornamentations. They all put on a good show of “being reasonable” and “engaging with the other side”. Some, like JeffB would even add the mandatory humanitarian concern (for all those poor Tibetans and Syrians that the MW pages painstakingly neglect). In Israel, were they to speak as they do here (assuming some, like jeffB could be a bit more condensed – patience is thin over there), they would be lambasted for being “naive”, failing to see just how Amaleki Muslims really are and for being weak-kneed liberals trembling before the mighty ‘Bama, all for daring to posit that somehow Palestinians have a human dimension too (despited being obvious Amalekites) . And those accusations would be the gentlest of the lot.

        All these posters you mention, Mooser (and we have seen a few more over time) are American or Anglo versions of liberal or semi-liberal zionists. They all seem to enjoy what they probably consider a “debate” never mind not making much hey with their points. The real right wingers are not likely to even bother to engage with a blog like MW, other than in passing through.

        The discourse I speak of inside israel, in hebrew, is far more raw and vitriolic, especially on social media. In general, I’d call it bloody-minded, something that works well in Hebrew, a more guttoral, concise and picturesque language than English. After all, inside israel they have no need for Hasbara. That’s something that’s done just for the consumption of the educated western useful idiots (idiots to their mind). So just try to imagine what the discourse would be like in parts of the US if people didn’t feel the need to mask their true feelings. FOX doesn’t even get to the starting line. After all, they too must be “polite”.

        Were hophmi, or ivri or jeffB or Gilad or jonS, to ever read the hebrew lingo fluently (ie, other than the rudimentary basics they might have been exposed to in the US or an Israeli ulpan) they would run screaming into the stormy night, covering their ears all they way to kingdom come.

        As for lack of thought, you’ll just have to believe me when i sa that what we are dealing with here, on these pages, are veritable Einsteins, cogent in their brilliant coherence, by comparison with the Israeli variant, even the more educated ones.

        Sorry all for the praise I had to heap upon the innocently undeserving. Aren’t we the lucky ones, here at MW?

      • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 3:05 pm

        “Believe it or not, Mooser, these pro-israel posters would be considered practically righteous saintly apparitions, were they to speak in Israel as they do here.”

        Thanks for responding. I’ll go study the three “R”s for a while, I guess.

      • straightline on January 14, 2015, 5:44 am


        The modus operandi of the posters you name (“ivri”, “hophmi”, etc) is to insert themselves into a conversation with some falsehood. After a few (often no more than one) interaction their falsehoods are exposed. They disappear from the conversation and move on to another. See the example of Yonah above about the 2006 war with Lebanon. Never do they apologize for attempting to mislead us – or even accept that they were wrong. In fact, they will go to another conversation and state the same lies. When others posters say something that’s proved wrong they typically express some regret. Being a hasbarist means never having to say you’re sorry. This MO is what distinguishes them most clearly from the others here for me.

        This is nothing to do with the content of their arguments or the language, it’s about basic human respect for others and self-respect. When you’re discovered with your hand in the cookie jar, you don’t just walk off and find another cookie jar. If that’s what Israeli society is like (and you say it is worse) then it explains everything about I/P.

        These people are not here to debate – or as Yonah said on another thread “have a dialogue”. Their role is purely that of propaganda.

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 3:12 pm

        Danaa, I didn’t mean to be short. It’s just that your comment putting our zio-trolls in perspective vis-a-vis Israeli Hebrew discourse was pretty gobsmacking. I really couldn’t say much after I read it the third time. So it’s that bad, that bad…and I trust you to know, which really makes it hit hard.

    • jon s on January 15, 2015, 1:29 am

      Mooser, I hope you’re not complaining .
      (About the consequences of your bris,)

      • Mooser on January 16, 2015, 12:38 pm

        “Mooser, I hope you’re not complaining .
        (About the consequences of your bris,)”

        Why don’t you stop worrying about my dick, “Jon s”? Okay? Does it interest you a lot? Okay, pal, here’s the story: The mohel was on Demorol and Scotch, and he botched the job badly. But to go to a real doctor and have it looked at (I found this out later) would have exposed the mohel, so it simply festered until it became an emergency.
        Okay, “Jon s”? You want pictures?
        So no, “Jon s”, I’m not complaining about my bris since it wasn’t successful. It happens more than you might think.

        Yes, I know, “Jon s”, your’s ‘increased two inches in length and and 37% in girth after the process. There, happy now?

        Say, “Jon s”, don’t forget to bring this up as the root of all my problems. It’ll cut off a lot of useless discussion.

  10. radii on January 11, 2015, 5:33 pm

    an alternative narrative needs to be offered, both the jihadist muslims and to zionists

    time to aim high instead of low

    muslims should look back to the era of their greatest achievement, the 8th-9th centuries and the House of Wisdom

    zionists need to stop trying to dominate and utterly control their neighborhood and just be a good neighbor within the neighborhood

    militarism and war-making is the lowest-common-denominator

    • Walid on January 12, 2015, 1:05 am

      “muslims should look back to the era of their greatest achievement, the 8th-9th centuries and the House of Wisdom ” (radii)

      Radii, they did and that’s when the problems started, only they didn’t have the wisdom to pick and choose from it. They have to look ahead, too much nostalgia is not so good for the health.

      • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 1:55 pm

        “They have to look ahead, too much nostalgia is not so good for the health.”

        That’s right. You don’t want to catch the de la boue!

    • jon s on January 14, 2015, 5:54 am

      Since you mentioned me : I live here in Israel, am fluent and up-to-date in Hebrew, and don’t see myself” screaming into the stormy night…”
      It seems to me that social media lends itself to racist and extremist manifestations

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 3:18 pm

        ” screaming into the stormy night…”

        Of course not, “Jon s”! Never! You do the “evasive sanctimony” and “passive-aggressive piety” schtick!!
        And none better, son, none better! Stick to your last, “Jon s”. Open for business at the same old stand, we never closed, our product available in the Small (reform) bottle, the large (Conservative) jug, and the large carboy (Orthodox, with self-tipping stand and spout) size.

  11. Whizdom on January 11, 2015, 5:36 pm

    From Amos Oz

    “Well, my definition of a tragedy is a clash between right and right. And in this respect, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a tragedy, a clash between one very powerful, very convincing, very painful claim over this land and another no less powerful, no less convincing claim.

    “Now such a clash between right claims can be resolved in one of two manners. There’s the Shakespeare tradition of resolving a tragedy with the stage hewed with dead bodies and justice of sorts prevails. But there is also the Chekhov tradition. In the conclusion of the tragedy by Chekhov, everyone is disappointed, disillusioned, embittered, heartbroken, but alive” (“Coping With Conflict,” PBS, Jan. 23, 2002).

    • RoHa on January 11, 2015, 8:03 pm

      “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a tragedy, a clash between one very powerful, very convincing, very painful claim over this land and another no less powerful, no less convincing claim. ”

      I, of course, would deny that this clash was between right and right, no matter how powerful and convincing the Zionist claim might seem.

      • Whizdom on January 11, 2015, 8:52 pm

        Objectively, I would agree, RoHa. But objectivity and reason has left the building a long time ago. As Danaa notes above.

      • Boomer on January 12, 2015, 9:08 am

        re: “I, of course, would deny that this clash was between right and right.”

        Indeed. It isn’t odd that a person or few people a would say this. Perpetrators of criminal and/or immoral acts often rationalize their actions in a variety of ways. Members of their family often do the same. I find it surprising, however, that whole societies (including my own) take such claims seriously, treat them (and those who say them) with respect.

      • Whizdom on January 12, 2015, 9:33 am

        It matters less what we might think, than it does what is in the minds of the protagonists, like Danaa I have progressively less reason to have any hope that the current power structure is amenable to internal self correction based on any modern conception of moral imagination. There are the zealots determinedly slouching towards Masada, and a sort of zio-nihilism has settled on the rest. They have mentally and morally shut down. There is no reaching them with moral arguments. The best and brightest have left the country, or plan to once the inevitable collapse occurs.

  12. Daniel Rich on January 11, 2015, 5:54 pm

    Q:”Don’t let’s go to the war of civilizations again”

    R: I’m not going to lecture about grammatical issues [here], but for the sake of rhyme and rhythm would a headline like ‘Let’s not go to a war of civilizations again’ be less of a tongue twister?

    • Whizdom on January 11, 2015, 6:47 pm

      an hommage to Dylan Thomas

      “Do not go gently into that good night”, maybe?

    • RoHa on January 11, 2015, 8:13 pm

      I am always eager to lecture about grammatical issues, so I will support the first part of your correction.

      In “let’s go” the “let” is not permission but exhortation. The correct negation is “let’s not”. “Let” is functioning as a modal auxiliary, so it follows the same pattern as “may not”, “must not”, “should not”, etc.

      When “let” is permission, as in “let the cat sit there”, then “don’t let” is the correct negation.

      The distinction between “the war of civilizations” and “a war of civilizations” depends on whether the writer is referring to a specific war of civilizations or any old war of civilizations. It seems that Phil does mean a specific one.

      • Sibiriak on January 11, 2015, 11:24 pm

        [double post originally submitted to wrong thread]

        RoHa: “I am always eager to lecture about grammatical issues, so I will support the first part of your correction. In “let’s go” the “let” is not permission but exhortation. The correct negation is “let’s not”

        The Oxford Modern English Grammar, however, seems to take a different view:

        A special type of imperative is the let imperative, exemplified in (30) and (31). In these cases the speaker is included in the directive. Thus we can interpret (30) as ‘Let’s you and I have a look at the list’.

        The negated versions of let imperatives are formed with the negated dummy auxiliary verb DO.

        30 Let’s have a look at the list.

        31 Don’t let’s tell the police.

        Aarts, Bas (2011-02-10). Oxford Modern English Grammar (p.171).

        (I wouldn’t use that construction myself.)

      • RoHa on January 12, 2015, 12:14 am

        Though perhaps I should add that the cat neither seeks nor sees the need for your permission, and will be highly offended if you push her off.

      • Daniel Rich on January 12, 2015, 7:21 am

        @ RoHa,

        Q: I am always eager to lecture about grammatical issues, so I will support the first part of your correction.

        R: Thank you.

        The acoustics in today’s auditorium were phenomenal [and I didn’t even doze off].

      • RoHa on January 12, 2015, 5:41 pm

        Depressing to see even Oxford publications contributing to the debasement of the language.

        But Phil can use that in his defence.

      • Sibiriak on January 13, 2015, 2:17 am

        RoHa: “Depressing to see even Oxford publications contributing to the debasement of the language.

        Not just Oxford, but Cambridge as well!

        There are two negative forms of let’s: let’s not and don’t let’s. Let’s not is more common:

        Let’s not argue about money. We can share the costs.

        Don’t let’s throw away the good books with the damaged ones. We can sell them.

        We can use the full forms let us, let us not and do not let us in very formal situations such as political documents and speeches, and religious and other ceremonies:

        Let us remember all those who have died in this terrible conflict.

        We must forgive, but let us not forget, what happened on that day ten years ago.

        Do not let us deceive ourselves that our economic problems can be easily solved.


        When it is used with the negative there are two alternative versions to choose from: don’t let’s or let’s not. Both are very common.

        Let’s not get too involved in their argument. It’s better if they sort it out themselves.

        Don’t let’s go to Sheila’s party tonight. Let’s just have a quiet evening at home.


        Evidently, “don’t let’s” is standard English of longstanding usage, not a recent “debasement”.

    • Mooser on January 12, 2015, 11:33 am

      He wants an echo of “to the mattresses” in there. Maybe that’s why he locuted it thus, if you get my drift.

  13. American on January 11, 2015, 6:18 pm

    If people want to understand just how insane all this is they need to know (or remind themselves for those that already know) how it all started. This almost how all of our wars start—-asses with brain farts and agendas. That is how the “Green Peril’ started 20 years ago—a few I-First zios , some Neos, some media that needs a new boggie man and subject for ratings, pimple ass thnhk tankers and academics pontificating on what they know nothing about….pretty soon they have a club and its off to the new war.

    The “Green Peril”: Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat
    By Leon T. Hadar
    August 27, 1992

    ”The creation of a peril usually starts with mysterious “sources” and unnamed officials who leak information, float trial balloons, and warn about the coming threat. Those sources reflect debates and discussions taking place within government. Their information is then augmented by colorful intelligence reports that finger exotic and conspiratorial terrorists and military advisers. Journalists then search for the named and other villains. The media end up finding corroboration from foreign sources who form an informal coalition with the sources in the U.S. government and help the press uncover further information substantiating the threat coming from the new bad guys.”

    You should read the whole thing….if you havent.

  14. joemowrey on January 11, 2015, 6:37 pm

    Brilliant article. Almost!

    Why in the world taint this excellent analysis by using a quote from the master hypocrite and war criminal, John Kerry? It’s like using a line from Charlie Manson, who may well have said some true stuff in his lifetime. But would we quote him on anything for any reason?

    There are so many other honorable and dependable sources which could have been used to point out that “the Palestinian conflict is a material source of terrorist violence.” John Kerry?! Oh, please. Can we just stop already with legitimizing characters of his ilk by making them part of a rational discussion?

  15. Daniel Rich on January 11, 2015, 6:52 pm

    Netanyahu greeted with cheers at Paris Grand Synagogue.

    I would have expected a moment of silence, but yeah…. I just can’t get stop those mob images from popping up in my head.

    French Prime Minister: If 100,000 Jews Leave, France Will No Longer Be France.

    I haven’t set foot in ‘Le Provence’ for ages, but the last time I looked around, I saw French people. Am I missing something?

    Netanyahu: Israel will welcome European Jews with open arms.

    So… the Palestinians went to the Hague and then what happened?

    • Walid on January 12, 2015, 1:27 am

      “Am I missing something?” (Daniel)

      Valls is spooked by the prospect, his Moldovian Jewish wife could be among the 100,000 and he wouldn’t want to lose her.

      Netanyahu is indoctrinating French Jews into becoming Israeli firsters if they decide to stay there. This also helps with fund raising.

      Palestinians haven’t yet done anything concrete about the Hague and are still in the “threats” stage but an advanced one. President Abbas could wait until after the elections in the hope that Israel would elect a good Prime Minister to restart serious negotiations.

      • Daniel Rich on January 12, 2015, 7:28 am

        @ Walid,

        Thank you. As always, your thoughtful input is appreciated.

        Q: President Abbas could wait until after the elections in the hope that Israel would elect a good Prime Minister to restart serious negotiations.

        R: Israel does not want peace. It’s negotiations are a charade, masquerading as meaningful and masterfully camouflaged as ‘reaching out a hand,’ to buy time and allow the Apartheid State to cull all those who never inhabited the Promised Land to begin with…

  16. Hester on January 11, 2015, 8:17 pm

    “And though I think of myself as a libertarian, I’m writing for a site that censors, or tries to, expressions of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and racism. We adopted this policy because we think it is important to build a diverse community; and gosh, people are driven away by prejudice. }

    And yet, I was quite surprised to read an article here this past summer that ended with “Islam will triumph”.

    • Walid on January 12, 2015, 1:33 am

      Which article was that, Hester?

    • NickJOCW on January 12, 2015, 7:17 am

      Such a policy is essential, like keeping a cover over honey, else it attracts bugs and spoils.

    • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 3:44 pm

      “And yet, I was quite surprised to read an article here this past summer that ended with “Islam will triumph”.”

      Oh Mondo is full of surprises, like quote-mining, and out-of-context quotes, and false quotes, too. You’ll never know what you might find.

      And I can’t find that one. Care to give a link?

  17. michelle on January 11, 2015, 10:22 pm

    ” Islamic terrorism”
    yet another misnomer
    in the effort to slander
    a truth seeking religion
    John 10
    If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
    But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the
    works: that ye may know, and believe, that the
    Father is in me, and I in him.
    no matter what ‘they’ claim
    killers kill in the name of evil
    they try to mock The Truth
    and lead ‘blind’ followers on the wrong path
    Truth is not in them, they are not in Truth
    G-d Bless

  18. Kathleen on January 11, 2015, 10:31 pm

    You knocked it out of the park with this one Mr. Weiss. Thanks for reminding us all to reflect on our own knee jerk reactions. Thanks for reminding me about Justin Raimando used to go read at weekly especially what Justin was writing about. He was so spot on before the invasion of Iraq and many other issues.

    Do think you will be interested in MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry’s panel discussion of the Paris killing. Lots of similarities between what you have said and her program about the topic.

  19. Taxi on January 12, 2015, 12:11 am

    Yeah will the West might see it as a “clash of civilization”, but that just doesn’t quite work when the victims are moslem/christian Arabs. And there are more moslem/Arab victims of Alqaida than there are Western ones.

  20. Kay24 on January 12, 2015, 12:17 am

    A great article Phil Weiss, it gives us lots to think about. This is a very complex situation, and there is enough of blame to go around, not only the violent extremists, who seem to be doing the dirty work for the anti Muslim groups. They are consistently giving the world reasons to be hating Muslims and the religion.

    What irks me is the selective outrage that the Western world leaders, media, and comics like Bill Maher keep showing. One always sees the immediate reaction and outrage, when it is some senseless terror attack by crazy people who think they, the minority, represents the religion, and
    the almost revered reaction when it comes to bloody massacres by the US and especially by Israel. As I mentioned earlier, idiots like Maher, can watch videos of little boys innocently playing soccer being blown up, and there is NO mention of Israel being brutal, savages, or outrage about the hundreds of children being killed by Israel’s menacing weapons sent into civilian shelters.
    Did US officials, or comics like Maher, show outrage when the SEVEN UN shelters were bombed while children were asleep, by war criminals? No attack on religion or tarring all Jews with the same brush there. According the the apologists, it was still the fault of the victims.
    It is disgusting to see selective outrage, and the questioning of the religion only when it comes to Muslims and Islam. This time an array of Muslim leaders condemned this brutal incident, but it seem it is not good enough to please the Islamaphobes.

    The majority of Muslims say their religion is hijacked by these extremists, and scholars of Islam and religion, mostly say the same thing too, but it sure suits some to ignore that, and keep the attacks on 1.5 billion Muslims going. It is time the majority stood up to these criminals, like they did this time, and send a louder message, that they represent the real Islam. They are the target of hate from Islamaphobes, despite being the biggest victims of the extremists.

    The Western world is not blameless in this, it has time and time again, given Muslims to hate it, by senseless wars, killing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims/Arabs, and supporting a brutal occupier, that massacres at the slightest excuse. That however, seems to be acceptable and ignored by the haters of Islam. Ironic.

  21. seafoid on January 12, 2015, 5:30 am

    This is outrageous

    “Non-Muslims do not go to the British city of Birmingham, which has become a “totally Muslim” city, it has been claimed. Speaking on US news channel Fox News, Steven Emerson – who claims to be a “terrorism expert” – also said that gangs of religious police in parts of London beat up people who are not wearing Islamic clothes.
    Emerson later apologised for his comments, which he admitted were “totally in error”, and said he was planning to make a donation to the Birmingham Children’s hospital.
    Emerson appeared as part of Fox News coverage of the recent series of murders in Paris, including the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
    He said: “In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”

    Very hard for Brits to speak on Fox and retain coherence back in the UK…

    • just on January 12, 2015, 8:54 am

      That’s Emerson for you.

      Here’s something much better, friend:

    • a blah chick on January 12, 2015, 9:12 am

      Emerson has been making stuff up for years. The only reason he is back tracking is because it was easily disproven. Which makes you wonder why he said it in the first place. Had he been to Birmingham?

      He was on Fox, his comfort zone, and he just thought he could, once again, lie and not get caught. If this so called Terra expert could get something so wrong like this makes you wonder what other lies he’s told.

      I recall him saying that years ago he was at a conference of some Arab American organization and when news of a suicide bombing in Israel was broadcast over the load speaker the audience cheered. But he never said when this happened, where it happened, or what organization was involved, so no one could fact check him.

      Right now there is a great twitter storm going on with #foxnewsfacts, check it out.

  22. Boomer on January 12, 2015, 9:57 am

    A minor footnote, almost OT, almost trivial, yet indicative, perhaps, of attitudes at the top of our news media. Last night at the Golden Globes awards Tina Fey and Amy Poehler joked about George Clooney getting the lifetime achievement award, whereas his wife had done a variety of things as a human rights lawyer, including advising UN-sponsored peace efforts in Syria and being asked to help investigate violations of rules of war in the Gaza strip. This morning, while watching CBS’s recap, I noticed that the reference to the Gaza strip was edited out. Time constraints perhaps : it takes a second to say “Gaza strip” after all. It would have cut into the time devoted to demonstrations in Paris, to sports and weather . . . to so many other things worthy of attention.

  23. NickJOCW on January 12, 2015, 10:14 am

    I think there may be something going on a bit deeper than civilisation war. The behaviour of invaders has always been bloody and ruthless. Cities were traditionally given over to plunder, rape and pillage, it was a way of ‘paying’ and otherwise rewarding the soldiery, and was traditional in ancient times, alive and well in the 19th century, going strong in WWII and still evidenced in many places today. Even the victims had no real notion their sufferings were ‘wrong’ in some abstract moral way, such concepts simply didn’t exist. That’s why selective passages from Joshua have no relevance today. His has always been human behaviour in war and territorial expansion and still is. What is different today is the imposition of a compassionate humanitarian dimension by outside observers, even enshrined in the Geneva Convention. This is all quite new and may have had its birth in the Nuremberg trials. What it does is split aggression in two, making one half illegal, and by extension open to time consuming debate, while leaving the other free to proceed as before. It’s like differentiating between rape with or without a condom. We are more frequently preoccupied by Israeli treatment of Palestinians than their theft of Palestinian land and resources, more desirous of bringing individuals to justice in a remote court than kicking Israelis the hell off Palestinian land. I believe pervasive hypocrisy not only allows the continued oppression of Palestinians, but feeds corresponding acts like the Paris slaughter. Just read the tortuous circumlocutions of Jen Psaki among others responding to almost any question and consider why anyone should feel constrained to adopt abstract moral norms the US clearly eschews.

  24. hophmi on January 12, 2015, 10:36 am

    “As Andrew Sulllivan pointed out, people lose their jobs for saying anything that is vaguely critical of Jews in France”

    People keep repeating this, and it’s untrue. ONE cartoonist at Hebdo, ONE, lost his job for an crude antisemitic parody of the child of the President of France. If there were no other antisemitic caricatures in Hebdo, that would be one thing. But there have been many other nasty depictions of Jews in Hebdo. No one else has lost their job over it. Dieudonne continues to perform throughout France. He’s an antisemite. He hasn’t lost his job. Perhaps his expression today of solidarity with Charlie Coulibaly will do the job.

    I’m curious as to why a condemnation of radical Islam should result in a comment about the peacefulness of Cairo (which is not as peaceful for Coptic Christians as it is for Sunni Muslims, Do the people in Cairo practice the same religion as the people who killed the journalists at Hebdo? In my view, they do not; your juxtaposition of the two suggests that they are related.

    In your many articles about violent Jews in West Bank settlements, have you ever bothered to note the peacefulness of 99% of Jews who live everywhere else in the world (or the fact that comparisons of any kind between the dynamics of a faith of 1.5 billion and a faith of 15 million are ridiculous)?

    “Zionists killed 500 children in Gaza last summer because they were the wrong religion”

    This is abject nonsense. You’re purposely turning a conflict over land into a religious conflict, and you’re ignoring any possible reason that Israelis and Gazans would fight with one another other than religion. The Israelis bombed Gaza because of the rockets that were fired, in violation of international law, into Israeli civilian communities. That was the reason. If the rockets had been fired by Jews, Gaza would have bombed. If the rockets had been fired by Christians (and perhaps some were) Gaza would have been bombed. If the rockets had been fired by an international coalition of kumbaya koala bears, Gaza would have bombed.

    I don’t think your obsession with Zionism is primarily because you’re a Jew. I think it’s primarily because you’re a leftist, and leftists today find far more solidarity with terrorists in the Gaza Strip than they do with liberal democratic values.

    • lysias on January 12, 2015, 6:40 pm

      But there have been many other nasty depictions of Jews in Hebdo.

      Are you sure? That is most definitely not what Glenn Greenwald said in a very recent piece in The Intercept.

      • Walid on January 12, 2015, 6:59 pm

        Yes, lysias, the Jews were not spared. these guys at Charlie Hebdo treated everybody and everything the same way; that’s why it was trash and freedom of speech had nothing to do with it. The only magazine that didn’t come out with an opinion piece about what happened but said it would issue a statement on Wednesday, is France’s real satirical magazine, Le Canard enchaîné.

    • Keith on January 12, 2015, 6:44 pm

      HOPHMI- “The Israelis bombed Gaza because of the rockets that were fired, in violation of international law, into Israeli civilian communities.”

      Doesn’t it bother you to so callously misrepresent reality? Israel continues its ongoing repression of the Palestinians, targeting Hamas in particular, until such time as Israeli actions escalate to the point of provoking one of Hamas ineffectual retaliatory rocket firings. The siege of Gaza is in violation of the initial cease fire agreement which Hamas observed and Israel violated at will, including ongoing assassinations. Yet, when Hamas retaliates, you make it sound like they started it. Shame on you! Anytime Israel wants to lift the siege of Gaza and begin treating Palestinians like human beings, they can have peace. But that isn’t what they want. Israel is a warfare society that needs enemies and warfare to maintain domestic cohesion.

      Below are a couple of quotes and links to Noam Chomsky reviewing the reality of Israel’s ongoing efforts to drive non-Jews from the biblical land of Israel.

      “One of Israel’s leading authorities on Hamas, Shlomi Eldar, reported almost at once that the killers very likely came from a dissident clan in Hebron that has long been a thorn in the side of Hamas. Eldar added that “I’m sure they didn’t get any green light from the leadership of Hamas, they just thought it was the right time to act.” The Israeli police have since been searching for two members of the clan, still claiming, without evidence, that they are “Hamas terrorists.”

      The 18-day rampage however did succeed in undermining the feared unity government, and sharply increasing Israeli repression. According to Israeli military sources, Israeli soldiers arrested 419 Palestinians, including 335 affiliated with Hamas, and killed six Palestinians, also searching thousands of locations and confiscating $350,000. Israel also conducted dozens of attacks in Gaza, killing 5 Hamas members on July 7.

      Hamas finally reacted with its first rockets in 19 months, Israeli officials reported, providing Israel with the pretext for Operation Protective Edge on July 8.” (Noam Chomsky)

      “This is, however, just the most recent of a series of ceasefire agreements reached after each of Israel’s periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza. Throughout this period, the terms of these agreements remain essentially the same. The regular pattern is for Israel, then, to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it — as Israel has officially recognized — until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality. These escalations, which amount to shooting fish in a pond, are called “mowing the lawn” in Israeli parlance. The most recent was more accurately described as “removing the topsoil” by a senior U.S. military officer, appalled by the practices of the self-described “most moral army in the world.” (Noam Chomsky)

    • jon s on January 13, 2015, 3:54 pm
  25. subconscious on January 12, 2015, 4:04 pm

    Among the 1.5 billion Muslims would be the Malian Lassana Bathily, who saved more than a dozen lives, including several Jews, by risking his own, during the Kosher store hostage crisis:

    • Kay24 on January 12, 2015, 9:19 pm

      There have been other incidences in history, where Jews were saved by Muslims, but to hear the hate speeches, racist attacks, and anger against Muslims, you would think it were the Muslims who should show appreciation. I wonder if there are any noted events where Jews saved Muslim lives,, it is obvious that the last massacre in Gaza, they wanted the entire population bombed.
      There is a movie about BESA, but the zionist media never mentions this:

      “Besa during World War II[edit]
      Besa also means taking care of those in need and being hospitable. During World War II, Albanians, 70% of whom are Muslim, saved over 2000 Jews from Nazi persecution.[2] Rather than hiding the Jews in attics or the woods, Albanians gave them clothes, gave them Albanian names, and treated them as part of the family. The concept of besa is incorporated into their culture. Before World War II only about 200 Albanians were Jewish.”

      The zionists have played a big part in trying to portray Muslims as evil, for their own devious purposes, and justification for taking their lands and resources. I have never seen such an ungrateful lot.

      • RoHa on January 12, 2015, 11:18 pm

        “Albanians gave them clothes, gave them Albanian names, and treated them as part of the family”

        Evil Albanian Muslim anti-Semites deprive Jews of their identity.

      • jon s on January 13, 2015, 4:18 pm

        During the Holocaust there were “Righteous Gentiles”, non-jews who risked their lives to save Jews, from all nationalities and religions, including Muslim Albanians. We have never forgotten them and their humanity and courage is celebrated in textbooks and at Yad Vashem and other museums.
        Sadly, there were also Nazi collaborators from all nationalities and religions, including Muslims such as the Bosnian SS division.

      • Kay24 on January 13, 2015, 8:48 pm

        The way the Jews in Israel treats Muslims these days, it is hard to see how the big favor they did in Albania is not forgotten. One would think there is nothing but hatred for the Muslims, they way they are treated and refused their rights.

        It seems there were Jews who collaborated with the nazis too, imagine how self hating they must have been:

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 3:37 pm

        “During the Holocaust there were Righteous Gentiles”

        Mildenstein had taken an early interest in Zionism, even going so far as to attend Zionist conferences to help deepen his understanding of the movement. He actively promoted Zionism as a way out of the official impasse on the Jewish question: as a way of making Germany Judenrein (free of Jews). Some Zionists, whose movement had grown tremendously in popularity among German Jews since Hitler came to power, co-operated.[citation needed] On 7 April 1933, the Juedische Rundschau, the bi-weekly paper of the movement, declared that of all Jewish groups only the Zionist Federation of Germany was capable of approaching the Nazis in good faith as “honest partners”.[4][5] The Federation then commissioned Kurt Tuchler to make contact with possible Zionist sympathisers within the Nazi Party, with the aim of easing emigration to Palestine, and Tuchler approached Mildenstein, who was asked to write something positive about Jewish Palestine in the press. Mildenstein agreed, on condition that he be allowed to visit the country in person, with Tuchler as his guide. So, in the spring of 1933 an odd little party of four set out from Berlin, consisting of Mildenstein, Tuchler and their wives. They spent a month together in Palestine,.[2][6] Mildenstein came to write a series of articles for Der Angriff, the Berlin newspaper Goebbels founded in 1927. Mildenstein himself remaining for a total of six months before his return to Germany as an enthusiast for Zionism. He even began to study Hebrew.[7]”

        Maybe he was one?

      • Mooser on January 15, 2015, 7:33 pm

        “During the Holocaust there were “Righteous Gentiles”, non-jews who risked their lives to save Jews, from all nationalities and religions, including Muslim Albanians. We have never forgotten them and their humanity and courage is celebrated in textbooks and at Yad Vashem and other museums.”

        And what, I ask you, what, have the Palestinians ever done for us? They even put a fair-size village where Vad Yashem was supposed to be! So we need to make that distinction clear! We know who’s righteous and who’s not!

  26. Whizdom on January 12, 2015, 9:36 pm

    If anyone thinks that muslims have any more or less propensity than any other major religious group to form into extremist anti-social militancy, then they are a fool. We American Christians have the Hutaree, the Michigan Militia, all kinds of racist, populist, and nativist movements with the cross as their banner. Pour enough money and a little organization into a disenfranchised minority you can accomplish anything. Look at the Central African Republic, French supported Anti-Balaka Christians are mutilating their way to depopulating the country of Muslims. Funded by France by ,the way.
    In an attempt to secure mineral rights for Western corporations.
    The problem of resistance to income inequality and colonialist exploitation won’t be solved by teaching have-nots to accept their condition peaceably, not if someone is there to give them weapons, a place in an organization, and the dignity of fighting back. Poverty is an equal opportunity radicalizer.

    • Kris on January 12, 2015, 11:07 pm

      Great post, Whizdom: “The problem of resistance to income inequality and colonialist exploitation won’t be solved by teaching have-nots to accept their condition peaceably, not if someone is there to give them weapons, a place in an organization, and the dignity of fighting back. Poverty is an equal opportunity radicalizer.”

      Chris Hedges is on the same page:


      “You want us to weep for the Americans when they bomb and kill Palestinians and Iraqis every day?” Mohaam Abak, a Moroccan immigrant sitting with two friends on a bench told me during my 2001 visit to La Cité des 4,000. “We want more Americans to die so they can begin to see what it feels like.”

      “America declared war on Muslims a long time ago,” said Laala Teula, an Algerian immigrant who worked for many years as a railroad mechanic. “This is just the response.”

      “It is dangerous to ignore this rage. But it is even more dangerous to refuse to examine and understand its origins. It did not arise from the Quran or Islam. It arose from mass despair, from palpable conditions of poverty, along with the West’s imperial violence, capitalist exploitation and hubris. As the resources of the world diminish, especially with the onslaught of climate change, the message we send to the unfortunate of the earth is stark and unequivocal: We have everything and if you try to take anything away from us we will kill you. The message the dispossessed send back is also stark and unequivocal. It was delivered in Paris.”

    • jon s on January 14, 2015, 4:12 am

      The way Israel treats Muslims is in any case not as bad as the way some Muslims treat other Muslims.

      During the Holocaust there were Jews who were coerced into working for the Nazis or did so as a survival strategy. And there were some, a small number, who can really be considered collaborators.
      Not quite the same as volunteering for the SS.

      • seafoid on January 14, 2015, 7:45 am

        Just a few who can be considered as collaborators. But many of that subgroup were Jewish leaders.
        And that was the greatest tragedy. And it’s too explosive for anyone in Zionism to talk about now. So let’s talk about 1948 and the glory of 1967 instead.

      • Mooser on January 14, 2015, 3:31 pm

        “During the Holocaust there were Jews who were coerced into working for the Nazis or did so as a survival strategy”

        Oh please, “Jon s” we know now how Zionist connived with Nazis against the Jews.
        Ever hear of the “Transfer Agreement” When the Nazis said Jews couldn’t be German, who were some of the first people to agree with them?

        What about this: “A Nazi Goes to Palestine” You can select from among the readings.

      • Mooser on January 15, 2015, 7:46 pm

        “The way Israel treats Muslims is in any case not as bad as the way some Muslims treat other Muslims.”

        Just amazing, “Jon s”. Just how, how does one gain such omniscience, and the ability to authoritatively render judgement like that? And always with the weasel word “some” and the little weaselly qualifier “in any case not as bad as” (and oh, in that case, would you like to compare “cases”?) which actually hangs you. “In any case?”

        Oh, but I forgot, you’re a Zionist, so you know and can deliver judgement on anything, a judgement which should of course be considered as completely disinterested, formed by facts and the highest principles alone! Why, to think anything else would be downright insidious, wouldn’t it, “Jon s”?

      • Mooser on January 16, 2015, 12:48 pm

        “The way Israel treats Muslims is in any case not as bad as the way some Muslims treat other Muslims.”

        See what I mean? Who, I ask you, is more qualified to judge who is “righteous” among the Gentiles?

  27. Whizdom on January 12, 2015, 11:44 pm

    That’s a dark view from Chris Hedges. It would be playing right into AQ’s playbook if this heinous act resulted in a harsh crackdown on France’s muslim minority. They need that to recruit. AS bad as conditions are in the Banlieue, the second generation Algerian migrants are starting to gain a little property and hope. As bad as it is, thousands of North African refugees are dying to get into France because life is better. To recruit, AQ and ISIL need an Israeli style crackdown on the muslim community to create a pool of hopeless and oppressed recruits with nothing left to lose, and offer them women, status, adventure and a cause.
    I am not a communist, as a full throated capitalist, I am OK with a wealth gap, but when that gap get too wide, bad shit surely comes. I think we are there.

  28. Mooser on January 16, 2015, 12:51 pm

    “I am not a communist, as a full throated capitalist,”

    Well, Whizbang, if you are “full throated” capitalist, things must be going well for you.

    • Whizdom on January 16, 2015, 1:17 pm

      Well Mosher, Not bad, and I want to keep the Bon Temps Rouler. All this turmoil is bad for my business.

      Unless I was in the small arms smuggling trade, those guys are making a mint.

      • Mooser on January 16, 2015, 3:46 pm

        Well, you gotta do the best you can. Turmoil or not. Good luck.

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