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Why Rabbi Susan Talve was called a ‘real terrorist’ by St Louis activists

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A meme created and posted by HandsUp United on Monday has caused an uproar in St. Louis activist circles. The image that circulated on social media bears the photo of Rabbi Susan Talve, the leader of St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation. Rabbi Talve is well known figure in the Ferguson protest movement and interfaith community of St. Louis. The controversy surrounds the commentary in the meme about Rabbi Talve referring to her as a “Real Terrorist” for her support of Israeli apartheid and its oppression of Palestinians. The image is part of HandsUp United “Real Terrorist” campaign calling out St. Louis power brokers for their role in perpetuating systems of racial oppression and includes photos of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Missouri Senator Jamilah Nasheed with the hashtag #‎RealTerrorist.

As Palestinians, we are too familiar with the label “terrorist” and Hands Up’s use of the word attempts to turn the term on its head by applying it to state political power as a way to illustrate society’s hypocrisy about the use of violence. The messaging is blunt and could have used more context. Here I hope to provide some background on why Rabbi Talve was targeted.

In the summer of 2014, Palestinians around the globe, including the community in St. Louis, watched in agony as Israel assaulted our people in Gaza for over 50 days killing over 2000. Our anguish was only amplified by the murder of Mohammad Abu Khader in Jerusalem who was set on fire alive by Jewish settlers. In the midst of this agony, Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson. For many of us, this awakened an active love and solidarity with the Black liberation movement. The pain of both of our communities was raw and fresh, and was being met with very similar responses of state violence.

During our summer of sorrow, Rabbi Talve was traveling in Israel with a delegation organized by AIPAC, a conservative, war-mongering lobby group that has vigorously supported U.S. funding and defense of the Israeli policies of settler colonialism in Palestine.

During her time in Israel, Talve sent dispatches back to her community in St. Louis. In her messages, Talve asserted that all of Jerusalem belonged to Israel, blamed the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza on Hamas and praised the Israeli army for their morality and courage. When she returned from Israel, she hosted a promotional event for AIPAC at her synagogue. AIPAC hosted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at their annual conference in Washington, DC in March 2015, the day before he spoke to the US Congress. His message to Washington was clear: the US and Israel are engaged in a common war against the “uncivilized” of the Middle East. His racism against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims rivaled his racialized hatred of President Obama. AIPAC is the organization Talve chose to travel to Israel with and to support in St. Louis. Her actions made it clear that she supports Israel at all costs. At the Ferguson October events in 2014, she told a reporter, “A lot of American Jews are very conflicted as I am about the occupation, they’re scared for Israel because we don’t feel safe in this country.”

As a Palestinian who is exiled from her father’s country of birth, those words could not sound more privileged and racist. In this sick logic, my family and millions of other Palestinians are denied return to Palestine so that Talve and her co-religionists can have a back-up country. The idea is absurd and that it comes from the lips of the “progressive” rabbi makes it harder to comprehend.

In March 2015 the Missouri History Museum censored a panel, From Ayotzinapa to Ferguson to Palestine by telling organizers that Palestine was not permitted to be part of the discussion.

Emails secured through a FOIA request show that Jewish establishment leaders in St. Louis pressured the museum to remove Palestine from the discussion. Our Black and brown alliance refused to continue with the panel at the museum without Palestinian voices included and staged a protest on the steps of the Museum. Included among the emails retrieved is a message from Talve offering her support to Museum Director, Frances Levine. In her email dated March 18, 2015 she writes, “dear Fran…let me know if you want to talk about the protests planned for tomorrow night. not sure how I can help but I will if I can….talk to you soon! Love, susan.”

Does this strike you as the offer of a person committed to social justice and dialogue?

Our brown and black partners refused this attempt to divide our alliances and cancelled the event at the museum. We continued with our plans to welcome the Ayotiznapa Caravana to St. Louis. One of the events with the delegates was a vigil for victims of state violence at the Mike Brown memorial in Ferguson. Talve was in attendance. Our dear friend and comrade, Murad, a Palestinian student from Deheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank, was asked to speak. Murad told the story of his high school friend who was shot by Israeli soldiers and died in his arms. It was a story of unimaginable pain. As the gathering dispersed, Talve was discussing the event with my friend, Harry, and remarked, “What do we have to learn from the Palestinians, to strap bombs to ourselves?”

When Harry told me about this I was speechless and angry for Murad. Talve had come to a sacred space organized by people of color in mourning and basically said a big FU. She called all Palestinians suicide bombers, so excuse me if I’m not morally outraged that she was referred to as a #RealTerrorist.

Talve is at the center of social justice movements in St. Louis. For that, she should be commended. But her hypocrisy of fighting against racial injustice in St. Louis while supporting it in Israel is what HandsUp United was calling out. Zionism has no place in liberation spaces led by people of color. I am so grateful to my family at HandsUp United for understanding that none of us are free until all of us are free.

A version of this post first appeared on Sandra Tamari’s Facebook page.

Sandra Tamari
About Sandra Tamari

Sandra Tamari is Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Adalah Justice Project.

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59 Responses

  1. Kris
    Kris
    December 3, 2015, 2:52 pm

    Thank you for this very interesting and informative article. Rabbi Talve’s faith calls her to stand with the oppressed, except when Jews are the oppressors.

    At the Ferguson October events in 2014, she told a reporter, “A lot of American Jews are very conflicted as I am about the occupation, they’re scared for Israel because we don’t feel safe in this country.”

    As a Palestinian who is exiled from her father’s country of birth, those words could not sound more privileged and racist. In this sick logic, my family and millions of other Palestinians are denied return to Palestine so that Talve and her co-religionists can have a back-up country. The idea is absurd and that it comes from the lips of the “progressive” rabbi makes it harder to comprehend.

    Privileged, racist, and absurd is an exact description of the Jewish Zionists, who insist on subjugating the Palestinians and stealing their land so that they and their fellow Jews can have a “back-up” “Jewish” country in addition to the European countries and the U.S., all of which welcome Jews.

  2. Parity
    Parity
    December 3, 2015, 3:48 pm

    This article and the accompanying open letter from Saint Louis Jewish Voice for Peace are watershed articles, two of the most powerful articles I’ve read. Send them to every Jew you know who is progressive except for Palestine. Send the articles also to the heads of the Interfaith Councils and to Christian leaders who give Zionists a pass.

    The problem with PEPs is their inability to see go back far enough, to understand how the decision to establish a Jewish-majority state by force, on as much land as possible, set forth endless violence, just as the State Department predicted it would. To justify the expulsion of the Palestinians and the appropriation of their lands on the basis of our having done the same to the American Indians is like saying it’s OK to have slavery in this day and age, since the U.S. was once a slave state.

    The only way out of the mess we have created is to focus on equality and justice.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      December 3, 2015, 8:20 pm

      “The problem with PEPs is their inability to see go back far enough, to understand how the decision to establish a Jewish-majority state by force, on as much land as possible, set forth endless violence, just as the State Department predicted it would.”

      Here’s a speech by a longtime, high-level insider back in 1961, giving historical facts that have been expunged from society’s official memory.
      http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/israel/freedman.htm

      The audio is here.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH7ti2B8EPc

      These will be very inconvenient facts for some people.

  3. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    December 3, 2015, 4:00 pm

    Thank you for the well-written post; first and foremost a huge thank you to Hands Up United, makers of the poster. It’s 70 years overdue. That’s exactly what Zionists should always be called. Wonder what’s holding back –and polite– the Solidarity people in the big cities.

  4. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    December 3, 2015, 8:24 pm

    Talve: A lot of American Jews “are scared for Israel because we don’t feel safe in this country.”

    Huh? They’re scared here? Then why haven’t they gone there? Isn’t Israel supposed to be a safe haven for Jews who feel unsafe or oppressed elsewhere?

    But wait! If Israel’s safety seems to them to depend on the largesse (and good feeling) of the USA, then her feeling of unsafety here (in the USA) might translate to a feeling of unsureness that the USA will continue to support Israel. Hence her support for AIPAC, the thumbscrew intended to keep the USA in line!

    Wouldn’t it be a riot (so to speak) if there were in the USA massive, real antisemitic behavior — you know, really, actually frightening to Jews unlike the JVP and SJP on-campus agitation which is not in any way aimed at Jews here in the USA but is fraudulently called frightening to Jewish students — BUT at the same time AIPAC or other BIGs in the American oligarchy made sure to keep the aid flowing to Israel!

    Yes, that must be what she is imagining (or actually feeling)! If so, poor dear. Not merely paranoiac but completely detached from reality. But it would explain her support for AIPAC whilst remaining in the USA, refusing to evacuate to Israel, and imagining all the while that there is frightening antisemitism in the USA.

  5. kalithea
    kalithea
    December 3, 2015, 9:30 pm

    Such a long letter by JVP; such a waste of genuine concern for the lives and welfare of Palestinians thrown like precious pearls at this woman who’s heart is stone cold and who’s soul is afflicted with the moral contradiction that Zionism creates because this is what Zionism is; she is the personification of Zionism.

    Why waste time on this individual? The Black Movement should reject whatever this woman offers as her hypocrisy sullies the struggle for equal justice. She is not worthy to represent in any way the cause for justice that the Black Movement is about.

    When she comes knocking to cleanse her conscience with the Black Movement because that is all she is doing, attempting to cleanse her conscience, the door should be slammed in her face as she slammed the door in the face of Palestinian men, women and children fighting and struggling for generations for rights in their own land.

  6. skipper
    skipper
    December 4, 2015, 1:01 am

    This article is a colletion of the usual Palestinian Justice slanders, aimed against Rabbi Talve. Too bad Sandra Tamari does not mention the dead Palestinian kids who continue to used as suicide martyrs, because the adults are too chicken-hearted to attack an Israeli themselves.

    Black People will eventually understand that the Palestinian activists don’t care at all about Black lives, they only focused on pushing the Palestinian agenda. and using Ferguson to their own selfish advantage.

    It is the Jews that have worked, fought for, and died for Black civil rights for 150 years here in America. Many of the founders and the later members of the NAACP were Jews. An unusually high number of the White civil rights marchers were Jewish. And White supremacists hate Jews because they’ve worked so hard, and have been so successful at helping Blacks win voting rights and outlaw the Jim Crow “seperate but equal” laws in the South.

    Palestinians activists are looking to split Blacks and Jews apart with phoney-baloney talks of solidarity, mixed with selling them an equally false crying towel story of how […]

    • annie
      annie
      December 4, 2015, 2:36 am

      skipper, nakba denial is against our comment policy. i suggest reading it http://mondoweiss.net/policy

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 4, 2015, 2:46 am

      “It is the Jews that have worked, fought for, and died for Black civil rights for 150 years here in America…Palestinians activists are looking to split Blacks and Jews apart “

      I’ve seen some low shit around here, but this takes the cake. You don’t feel the least bit embarrassed by saying this kind of stuff?

      Oh, never mind, “skipper”. You just keep explaining it along those lines. You might also point out to “Blacks” that they are letting us down after all we Jews have done for them! I mean, Jeez, if it wasn’t for us, those people would be nowhere, and now they turn on us? Do they think all that support, that crucial support from Jews is free? We expect something in return.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        December 4, 2015, 4:57 pm

        Thank you, Mooser.

    • talknic
      talknic
      December 4, 2015, 3:02 am

      @ skipper “This article is a colletion of the usual Palestinian Justice slanders, aimed against Rabbi Talve”

      Slanders? She could sue. Unfortunately her own words show her to be as depicted,
      a propagator of nonsense Israeli propaganda , a supporter of illegal settlements and a supporter of Israel’s illegal activities in non-Israeli territories http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/b86613e7d92097880525672e007227a7/6de6da8a650b4c3b852560df00663826?OpenDocument

      ” It is the Jews that have worked, fought for, and died for Black civil rights for 150 years here in America”

      Irrelevant to the illegal activities Israel has engaged in since proclaiming its borders effective at 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf – Illegal activities she supports

      ” Many of the founders and the later members of the NAACP were Jews. “

      Irrelevant to the illegal activities Israel has engaged in in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” – Illegal activities she supports

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      December 4, 2015, 9:02 am

      Please respond on point, Skipper.
      Does she apply her conflicted social justice ethics to Palestine…or not?

      Btw, did she march arm in arm…in Selma?
      If not, why the hell do you even mention it? A streak of dishonesty maybe?

      • December 4, 2015, 9:40 am

        To expect perfection from someone while you are far from perfect yourself is peak hypocrisy. Majority of the readers here though are extremely sympathetic to the Palestinian political cause are also complicit of the continued oppression of the native Americans and people of colour by the US gov. There are sovereignty movements all across the 50 states by the various native groups, and also demand of financial reparation and federal land reform by black and native americans that I am sure will be opposed tooth and nail by the same people who critize Israel for stealing land. Give back the stolen land, pay back the stolen labour and then feel free to criticise someone for not being good enough for your holy selves.

      • Kris
        Kris
        December 4, 2015, 11:30 am

        a4tech: “To expect perfection from someone while you are far from perfect…”

        Did you accidentally place this comment in the wrong place? What you are saying has nothing to do with CigarGod’s comment.

        CigarGod asks:

        1. Did this rabbi apply her conflicted social justice ethics to Palestine?

        2. Did she march arm in arm in Selma?

        Please help your readers by placing your replies appropriately. Admittedly, that is not easy here, since the threads become so long. A good way of ensuring that people know what you’re replying to is to begin your reply with the direct quote to which you are replying.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 4, 2015, 12:29 pm

        “There are sovereignty movements all across the 50 states by the various native groups, and also demand of financial reparation and federal land reform by black and native americans that I am sure will be opposed tooth and nail by the same people who critize Israel for stealing land.”

        Ah “a4tech”, you have joined the select group of practitioners here who are trying to slip me an overdose of the best medicine. I laughed myself silly over that one.

      • talknic
        talknic
        December 4, 2015, 2:51 pm

        @ a4tech “To expect perfection from someone while you are far from perfect yourself is peak hypocrisy.”

        Therefore all law is hypocritical?

        ” Majority of the readers here though are extremely sympathetic to the Palestinian political cause are also complicit of the continued oppression of the native Americans and people of colour by the US gov.”

        OK. Let’s say your assertion is true, not that you’ve shown any evidence. Were this alleged complicity to cease, the Zionist Federation not have planned, in 1897, to colonize Palestine. Is that what you’re trying to say?

        “There are sovereignty movements all across the 50 states by the various native groups, and also demand of financial reparation and federal land reform by black and native americans”

        That’d be a domestic issue. Israel on the other hand has been acting illegally for some 68 years in territories the Israeli Government itself claimed were “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

        “that I am sure will be opposed tooth and nail by the same people who critize Israel for stealing land”

        What’s the basis for this allegation? Remember an allegation or accusation isn’t evidence.
        “Give back the stolen land, pay back the stolen labour”

        And? Go where?

        “and then feel free to criticise someone for not being good enough for your holy selves”

        What say Israel first end the occupation, withdraw to its only Internationally recognized borders, pay for 68 years of intransigence, allow non-Jewish Israeli citizens to return, then you can criticize the US/MW for not being good enough for your holy self.

      • gamal
        gamal
        December 4, 2015, 5:01 pm

        ‘To expect perfection from someone while you are far from perfect yourself is peak hypocrisy”

        “perfection” really is that what Handsup are calling for, crimes can not ratify crimes,

        I not only have ethnically cleansed no one, neither has my ‘race’, I am myself somewhat ethnically grubby, its shocking, we don’t breed true,

        but

        I would recommend the choral sophistication of the Heptones to people of all persuasions, the pitch perfect and the tone deaf, its for us all, the genuine and the ….

        https://youtu.be/HQldneFqkvk

      • annie
        annie
        December 4, 2015, 5:10 pm

        no one called for her perfection gamal. this is just 4techs concerned trolling.

      • gamal
        gamal
        December 4, 2015, 5:18 pm

        Ah thanks Annie, hope my usual Friday dispensation is in operation, i watched the video of the boys at their brothers funeral, and now i don’t know what to do.

      • annie
        annie
        December 4, 2015, 5:30 pm

        i know, that video was just over the top sad. and is it my imagination or are palestinian men just breathtakingly gorgeous in abundance.

      • gamal
        gamal
        December 4, 2015, 5:45 pm

        “are palestinian men just breathtakingly gorgeous in abundance.”

        its not just the Palestinians, we all rugged and dark and those boys, those boys their hearts are the most beautiful part of them.

      • annie
        annie
        December 4, 2015, 5:59 pm

        yes of course, the hearts. bravery too.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        December 4, 2015, 8:21 pm

        No, a4tech…I don’t expect perfection from the good Rabbi…or you. But, you can learn how to debate according to established…and universally accepted rules of logic. There’s even a good wiki on it. If you choose to accept this mission…and as you will be a beginner…I won:t expect perfection of you as you practice. But I do expect you to give it the old college try.
        There’s a good lad. Now here’s one of Ramon Bueso’s Genesis Habanos to get you started down the road in style.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 5, 2015, 12:06 pm

        “men just breathtakingly gorgeous in abundance.”

        Okay, you appearancist! What price Walaa Ghussein ? (I nearly proposed in comments, which would have been big of me.)
        And I might mention (now that you have opened up the subject) that Palestinian women dress beautifully. Tasteful, original, distinct and very attractive. Okay, I said it, let’s see if the Mods will let it through.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 5, 2015, 5:49 pm

        Sorry, wrong link, the striking photo of Ms. Ghussein

    • annie
      annie
      December 4, 2015, 10:16 am

      It is the Jews that have … died for Black civil rights for 150 years here in America.

      do you know how many? because frankly ‘ “the jews” have died for civil rights’ is a tad overwrought. they certainly don’t seem to be the ones being gunned down in the streets of america today, not by a long shot.

      • skipper
        skipper
        December 5, 2015, 12:50 am

        Annie: You deny history. You also deny reality. To ask me how many Jews died for black civil rights in all of American history proves your contempt for Jews.

        Doctor King was a supporter of Zionism and Israel. He was pleased with the outcome of the 1967 war and that the holy sites in Jerusalem were now going to saved from desecration by the Jordanians. They had turned the Western Wall into a garbage dump, and decided to built a road straight through the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, demolishing graves. And the Jordanian official in charge of maintaining holy sites had a home built for himself using Jewish tombstones robbed from the cemetery.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        December 5, 2015, 10:00 am

        Skipper, Annie has you cold.
        You are overwrought.
        You cannot expect to be taken as a reasonable person when you try to paint Jewish civil rights history as some sort of American holocaust. Finally, your little focus problem is again in evidence. How in the world do Jewish tombstones on the mount have anything to do with Rabbi Talve’s anti-semitism against Palestinians?

      • talknic
        talknic
        December 5, 2015, 10:56 am

        @ skipper “To ask me how many Jews died for black civil rights in all of American history proves your contempt for Jews”

        Nonsense. What was actually asked is still there for all to read. You said this “It is the Jews that have worked, fought for, and died for Black civil rights for 150 years here in America “

        So how many died?

        “Doctor King … was pleased with the outcome of the 1967 war and that the holy sites in Jerusalem were now going to saved from desecration by the Jordanians”

        Source please

        “They had turned the Western Wall into a garbage dump”

        It was insignificant to them and the territory was under Jordanian sovereignty

        ” and decided to built a road straight through the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, demolishing graves”

        There was a war, stuff gets destroyed in a war. People rebuild according to their needs

        “And the Jordanian official in charge of maintaining holy sites had a home built for himself using Jewish tombstones robbed from the cemetery”

        Source please

      • diasp0ra
        diasp0ra
        December 5, 2015, 12:44 pm

        @Skipper

        “And the Jordanian official in charge of maintaining holy sites had a home built for himself using Jewish tombstones robbed from the cemetery.”

        After that, he put on his military suit, which was made of Jewish baby organs and then ate his bread which was baked using the same oven Hitler himself used in Germany and sprinkled powdered Jewish bones on his toast for flavor.

  7. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    December 4, 2015, 5:46 am

    I’m not quite sure on the evidence that Talves called all Palestinians suicide bombers or that she is a real terrorist in the normal meaning of the term, which involves carrying out or organising violent acts rather than merely defending them.
    Perhaps she should be invited to expand on her brief remarks about her own moral conflict about Palestine. Can she even begin to defend the suggestion, which she does seem to have made, that certain feelings in the Amercan Jewish community about not being safe in America – feelings which have, as pabelmont notes, not been strong enough to cause emigration – are of sufficient importance to resolve that moral conflict, which does involve real suffering, disfranchisement and violence, in Israel’s favour?

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      December 4, 2015, 9:32 am

      She, along with many ardent zionists, provides considerable support for ongoing Israeli crimes against Palestinians/Palestine. Under the “PATRIOT Act” American Muslims have been incarcerated for decades for virtually nothing in comparison. Remember the Holyland Five?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 4, 2015, 11:23 am

      “I’m not quite sure on the evidence that Talves called all Palestinians suicide bombers or that she is a real terrorist in the normal meaning of the term, which involves carrying out or organising violent acts rather than merely defending them.”

      If I am not mistaken, US law can put you in jail for so much as looking at the wrong website, or being the wrong person’s lawyer. Or sending money to the wrong charity.

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        December 4, 2015, 4:13 pm

        “If I am not mistaken, US law can put you in jail for so much as looking at the wrong website, or being the wrong person’s lawyer. Or sending money to the wrong charity.

        I would add Don Siegelman to your list, Mooser.

        There was a communist saying “show me the man, and the paragraph [in criminal law] can always be found”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 4, 2015, 4:37 pm

        ” “show me the man, and the paragraph [in criminal law] can always be found”.

        Article 58. And it’s sub-clauses.

  8. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    December 4, 2015, 6:42 am

    Actually I think that labeling Rabbi Talve a “real terrorist” is disgusting and Orwellian, but I leave it to those who wish Israel dismantled to approve or disapprove of the “terrorist” rhetoric.

    If Talve herself feels that her essential connection to Israel is one of fear of living in America, this is contused. I suspect she is speaking on behalf of the machers in her community, that much of their emotion comes from this fear and she feels she must speak on their behalf. Dystopian fears are part of the collective unconscious, particularly the Jewish collective unconscious, and as such a rabbi who tends to her flock naturally must be aware and sensitive to the emotions of her congregation. In my opinion, as individual (Jews) it is important to overcome such fears or to prioritize and put them in their place. (For example to give political precedence to the hope of peace or the very distinct and real fear of the damage that Yeshaya Leibowitz preached against rather than the fear of America Undone), but as a sensitive representative of her flock she is “allowed” to express the feelings of fear of her congregation.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 4, 2015, 11:56 am

      “If Talve herself feels that her essential connection to Israel is one of fear of living in America, this is contused.”

      Yup, the Rebbitzim could be “cruisin’ for a bruisin'”. Contusion reigns in America these days.

      Shorter “Yonah”: ‘The function of a Rabbi is to glorify the lowest common denominator in the congregation. And of course, encourage depression! Gotta keep the numerators happy.’

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 4, 2015, 12:39 pm

      “Dystopian fears are part of the collective unconscious, particularly the Jewish collective unconscious, and as such a rabbi who tends to her flock naturally must be aware and sensitive to the emotions of her congregation.”

      Yes, those are the things we celebrate during the most sacred time of the year, The High Anxiety Days!

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        December 5, 2015, 10:09 am

        Ha!
        Dropped my cigar!

  9. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    December 4, 2015, 7:23 am

    “During our summer of sorrow, Rabbi Talve was traveling in Israel with a delegation organized by AIPAC, a conservative, war-mongering lobby group that has vigorously supported U.S. funding and defense of the Israeli policies of settler colonialism in Palestine.

    During her time in Israel, Talve sent dispatches back to her community in St. Louis. In her messages, Talve asserted that all of Jerusalem belonged to Israel, blamed the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza on Hamas and praised the Israeli army for their morality and courage.”

    Based in particular on the comments she made in the “dispatches” I am not sure that it is fair to describe this woman as a “Real Terrorist” or even a Zionist Hypocrite. “Pathetic Idiot” I think is much nearer the mark. She actually referred to “an aide to Netanyahu” setting up an organisation which sits at Israeli checkpoints to make sure that there are no human rights violations against Palestinians. FFS !

  10. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    December 4, 2015, 11:28 am

    Maybe I don’t have much feel for St. Louis and its ethos or for Rabbi Talve. But I don’t think she’s an idiot, in fact I think she’s highly intelligent and articulate, rather charming in manner. A person who presents false ideas in this style is perhaps just as infuriating as one who presents them with total aggression. I’m sure she is indeed, as Yonah remarks, representing the people in her milieu, presumably has never really questioned its prevalent beliefs. A fuller statement of her assessment of the significance for the ME of feelings among people in St.Loiuis might be useful.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 4, 2015, 12:35 pm

      “I’m sure she is indeed, as Yonah remarks, representing the people in her milieu, presumably has never really questioned its prevalent beliefs”

      And the fact that her entire schtik is patently self-serving has nothing, nothing to do with it.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        December 4, 2015, 5:14 pm

        Maybe even intentionally self-serving. As in deliberately cloaking Israel’s propensity to slaughter Palestinians on a whim and export its crowd control methods into the US black community with an manufactured aura of “Jews really do care about you.”

        That may be harsh, but as MHughes implied the discrepancy is too gross and glaring for seemingly intelligent people to miss.

        I’m at a loss to explain PeP-dom any other way at this point. Ignorance is not an explanation. Too much info available.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 5, 2015, 6:28 pm

        “I’m at a loss to explain PeP-dom any other way at this point”

        They start by fooling around with PEP pilpuls, and before you know it, they acquire a Ziocaine Syndrome habit.

  11. tommy
    tommy
    December 4, 2015, 12:16 pm

    Accusing leaders like Rabbi Susan Talve of terrorism is the correct, and honest way to oppose institutional violence. Forthright condemnation of religious, political, and other leaders embrace of racial, ethnic, and national violence is the best way to respond to them, and educate the rest of society about the terrorism they impose through their power.

  12. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    December 4, 2015, 12:46 pm

    Talve is using her position as a rabbi to act as a political activist for a foreign country. She is aiding and abetting in war crimes and crimes against humanity. She proudly wears her racism on her sleeve for all to see.

    She isn’t technically a terrorist, in my books, but as a political activist she certainly earns the label on a rhetorical basis. Just as the Israeli right wing, and it’s western supporters, label anyone concerned about Palestinians or peace and justice as terrrorist supporters/sympathizers.

    I’m sure she is aghast but if she ever thought about the morality from a position other than tribal or self interest, I’m sure she’s smart enough to get it. I highly doubt she’s capable of taking a higher level view of things though.

    Sorry hophmi…. While I wouldn’t label individuals with a viewpoint as a terrorist she has asked for and earned the label if only because that label is constantly used against peace loving people.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      December 4, 2015, 5:15 pm

      Well said.

    • annie
      annie
      December 4, 2015, 5:57 pm

      I’m sure she’s smart enough to get it

      me too. and as the jvp open letter explains, they’ve discussed it with her repeatedly.

  13. ritzl
    ritzl
    December 4, 2015, 5:24 pm

    Strong stuff. Well voiced and necessarily on the clarifying offensive.

    I wonder if Sandra has been called anti-semitic after writing this. Hope not.

    • annie
      annie
      December 4, 2015, 5:32 pm

      she’s probably been called everything under the sun by now. she’s been an activist for a long long time.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        December 5, 2015, 3:58 am

        Maybe so, Annie. But this is doubly noteworthy because it’s pretty direct for her and it may be new ground. She seems to go out of her way (out of personal conviction) to NOT be this directly confrontational with even potentially tangential allies.

        I get the sense that, even as radically inclusive as she is, this may be (is probably?) a sign of a new, no-BS, phase in the/her Palestinian struggle. It’s going to invite new levels of vitriol in the counterattacks, imho.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        December 5, 2015, 8:44 pm

        And my bad for saying “maybe.”

        I remember once at dKos she was called anti-semitic by the pro-Israel goon squad there for posting something on the eve a Jewish holiday or some such, intentionally so that the Jewish debaters would not have a chance to see it.

        Beyond bizarre.

        That was the clincher for me that the only rule for pro-Israel arguments (and arguers) is that there are no rules.

  14. skipper
    skipper
    December 5, 2015, 12:19 am

    You can call Rabbi Talve a terrorist but you’re lying to yourself. She represents dignity and is proven fighter for civil rights.

    Almost all of the commentary and articles here are in support of foreigners (Palestinain Arabs), who are encouraging small children to be suicide martyrs.

    Black people in America have nothing in common with the Palestinians, and the efforts to join them in solidarity is a sad joke. Solidarity is a ploy to increase visibilty for the Palestinian Arab cause, and to drive a wedge in between Blacks, and Israelis and Jews.

    Problem is America is not going t tolerate Stalinization; The majority isn’t going to stand for a crazed radical minority pushing them around, like the activists apperaing here and supporting Palestinian Justice.

  15. Kris
    Kris
    December 5, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Our anguish was only amplified by the murder of Mohammad Abu Khader in Jerusalem who was set on fire alive by Jewish settlers. In the midst of this agony, Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson. For many of us, this awakened an active love and solidarity with the Black liberation movement. The pain of both of our communities was raw and fresh, and was being met with very similar responses of state violence. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/called-terrorist-activists#sthash.Vq7OOsmA.dpuf

    Rabbi Talve is no doubt aware that:

    While American police were getting schooled in Israeli execution tactics, dashcam footage of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke emptying his clip into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was making headlines.

    The video shows Van Dyke shooting McDonald, as he walks away from police, a total of 16 times in 15 seconds, thoroughly debunking police accounts that McDonald was lunging at officers with a knife when shot. The killing was so egregious that Van Dyke was charged with murder and Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy was fired, an incredibly rare outcome in the US, where, much like in Israel, impunity is the rule.

    Van Dyke’s own department in Chicago participated in an Israeli training junket as recently as September, joining representatives from 14 other US police agencies for a weeklong annual seminar hosted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

    Among the participants were officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US Marshals Service, the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. They were joined by senior police executives from Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin, Seattle, Oakland and Miami-Dade.

    David Friedman, the ADL’s director of national law enforcement initiatives, told The Jerusalem Post that the objective of the trip was “to learn lessons from Israel in terms of tactics and strategies,” with the added benefit of churning out influential supporters for Israel’s colonial project. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/us-cops-trained-use-lethal-israeli-tactics

    Rabbi Talve is like a person who tries to nurse cholera patients back to health, but continues to support pouring sewage into their water supply.

    • Kris
      Kris
      December 5, 2015, 12:42 pm

      Under the cover of counterterrorism training, high-ranking officers from nearly every major US police department have traveled to Israel for lessons in occupation enforcement. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/us-cops-trained-use-lethal-israeli-tactics

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        December 6, 2015, 11:16 am

        I can’t see any difference.
        Both…shoot knife carriers or people who have knives planted on them. Their fellow officers lie and cover up for them. Police unions defend them with outrageous statements. Police unions donate to politicians. Prosecutors decline to prosecute…and hide evidence. None of the cops go to jail.
        Gotta love our Police Planet.

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