Trending Topics:

Jeffrey Goldberg terrorizes peers into silence over his daily intellectual and moral outrages

on 66 Comments

You feel guilty, you invent a plot, many plots. And to counter them, you have to organize your own plot. – Umberto Eco

A few days ago Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted out a piece by James Kirchick, saying “Important essay on Bernie Sanders and the Jews.”

The article was published in the Jewish magazine Tablet and was called “Bernie Sanders’s Jewish Problem, and Ours’.” Kirchick mocked the idea that Bernie Sanders had broken any taboos when he spoke about Israel/Palestine and criticized Israeli attacks on Gaza during the Democratic debate on April 14. Let’s begin with this excerpt:

Within seconds [of the debate], hosannas from the herd of independent minds poured forth. “Historic” declared The Huffington Post. “Bernie Sanders just shattered an American taboo on Israel,” gushed Vox’s Zack Beauchamp, whose knowledge of the Middle East is so voluminous as to include the imaginative, like the “bridge” connecting Gaza to the West Bank (which, naturally, Israel “limits traffic on.”) “Bravo to Sanders for saying that Israel’s assault on Gaza was disproportionate!” exclaimed Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. “Truth in a campaign! Wonders never cease!”

In reality, standing up for “Palestinians’ humanity,” as Beauchamp wrote, is as much a “taboo” as being in favor of healthy school lunches or cleaner air and water.

To think otherwise, one would have to inhabit world where ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the BBC, The Guardian, every major European broadcast network and newspaper, Vox, Salon, Slate, American academia, the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, and countless other media outlets and international institutions don’t exist. George W. Bush, remember, was the first American president to call for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Not so fast, James, I can’t let you pull that one off. You see, the “taboo” wasn’t “not sticking up for Palestinian humanity.” Though just in case it was, Hillary Clinton made sure not to make that mistake in her Aipac speech.

No; it was the first time a serious Presidential candidate attacked another for being “too pro Israel.”  Until now, politicians only got attacked from the right over their position on Israel. That was the taboo.

James, concentrate hard now. Do you recall a politician (David Duke doesn’t count) with designs on the White House who insisted and refused to back down from a statement like “Israel used disproportionate force”?

It used to be if an American politician, in a fit of masochism, proclaimed  during a debate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “not right all of the time,” you and Jeffrey and all your friends would go on and on about why said politician “suspiciously” picked Netanyahu as someone who was “not right all of the time” — when billions of people in the world are not right all of the time! And so his singling out Netanyahu raised “certain suspicions.”

James, let me give you a tip before you write your next article on subjects like this. You might want to follow the ADL on twitter. I think you have a lot in common. This is what the ADL  had to say about that same debate:

Hmm, interesting. Does the ADL have a problem with Senator Sanders standing up for “Palestinian humanity?” Maybe it does, but that wasn’t the taboo, was it? But you know all this. If Sanders had not “broken a taboo” – criticizing another politician for being too pro-Israel – it’s a lot less likely you would be writing, “Bernie Sanders’ Jewish problem.”

Back to Kirchick:

But to a particular type of commentator, and a particular type of Jew, the relevance of Sanders’ remarks lay not in what he said. Rather, it is the act of virtue-signaling—only we, the righteous Jews, as opposed to those cold-hearted tribalists, appreciate another people’s suffering—that sends the proverbial thrill down the leg….

While Sanders’ even-handedness on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is utterly banal, there is one sense in which his campaign is genuinely historic: He is the most successful Jewish presidential candidate in American history. But unlike Joe Lieberman, who was the first Jew to appear on a major party ticket in 2000, Jewishness—religious, cultural, political—is not something that Sanders likes to discuss. More often than not, it has been a source of awkward embarrassment, which he often tries to avoid by identifying himself as “Polish.” In an interview last June, NPR’s Diane Rehm asked Sanders to address his “dual citizenship with Israel.” When Sanders informed Rehm that he is “an American citizen, period,” the host protested that his name appeared on a “list” of American-Israeli dual nationals. (Rehm later apologized, though why she and her producer accepted as fact the assertions of neo-Nazis on the Internet has not been sufficiently explained.)

I love when you guys look for hidden motives. It can’t just be exactly what it looks like, which is the most normal perspective  anywhere else in the world. You see, James, when a people is under a military occupation for 50 years, it is not shocking that most people think they’re the victims. There is no need for your “virtue signaling theory” to explain their behavior. One would think that a group of people so very sensitive to questions about their own motives would exercise a little more restraint before looking for psychological explanations in someone else’s conduct.

Oh and Sanders’s “utterly banal” even handedness– I’m going to point to the ADL tweet again. It’s his criticism of Israel that breaks the taboo.

And what about what he said to Diane Rehm? Now we get to the heart of  the matter.  Bernie Sanders is a proud American who happens to be Jewish. Before you and your friends moved the goalposts for Jews, that’s what Jews wanted when they came to this country. They wanted to be “American citizen period.” They dreamt of being able to be Americans, and unlike where they came from, they were hoping not to stand out  as Jews if they didn’t want to. They wanted to “happen to be a Jew.” They wanted to be like all other Americans. But now—this is Bernie Sanders’s Jewish problem, as you put it– Bernie Sanders is not allowed to be an “American citizen, period.”

James, it could be “awkward embarrassment” or maybe Sanders is thinking: “What’s the point of all these Jewish questions? What does this have to do with the minimum wage, or trade, or Hillary’s Wall Street speeches. Why can’t I just be an American. Why must I be tribal? Why can’t I just be a fucking American who happens to be Jewish?”

Rehm later apologized, though why she and her producer accepted as fact the assertions of neo-Nazis on the Internet has not been sufficiently explained.

Yes I agree with you that Rehm’s explanation is not sufficient. Do you think she has a Nazi boyfriend? Or maybe she’s been bought off?

Or maybe she just woke up that day and said today “I’m going to empower the anti-Semites!” Be sure to email Jeffrey Goldberg and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and Jennifer Rubin and Daniel Goldhagen and Bret Stephens and Abe Foxman and put your heads together and come up with a united game plan as to what to do about Rehm. Even though she issues an apology maybe we should demand she make a donation to “Birthright;” I have to say there is still something disturbing about it. I don’t think it’s premature for Aipac to open a file on her unless of course there is one already. In any event  I think you guys should pay special attention to her for a while.

Earlier this month, anti-Semitism again reared its ugly head in the form of a questioner who confronted Sanders at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. “As you know,” the man asked, “the Zionist Jews—and I don’t mean to offend anybody—they run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign.” Struggling to finish over the audience’s loud booing (the only hopeful sign in an otherwise dispiriting moment of an already dispiriting campaign season), the man asked, “What is your affiliation to your Jewish community? That’s all I’m asking.”

As my Tablet magazine colleague Yair Rosenberg noted, Sanders’ answer was disappointing. Rather than use the outburst as an opportunity to rebuke blatant bigotry and leave it at that, Sanders thought it necessary to express his pro-Palestinian bona fides—so, you know, no one might think he was that kind of Jew. “Talking about Zionism and Israel,” Sanders said, “I am a strong defender of Israel, but I also believe that we have got to pay attention to the needs of the Palestinian people.” Of course, the questioner was not talking about the subtleties of the Middle East conflict when he alleged that “Zionist Jews” control everything from the nation’s money supply to its political system. His use of “Zionist,” as is so often the case when anti-Semites wish to disguise their anti-Semitism, was plainly conspiratorial.

Dear James, I’ve never read you before but I’m sure you make Jeffrey Goldberg proud. This is what your college Yair Rosenberg actually wrote:

“As you know,” opened the questioner, “the Zionist Jews–and I don’t mean to offend anybody–they run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign.” As this unfolded, Sanders began wagging his finger in dissent, and interjected to deem “Zionist Jews” a “bad phrase.” His interlocutor, pressed to articulate a question, concluded by saying, “What is your affiliation to your Jewish community? That’s all I’m asking.”

“No, no, no, that’s not what you’re asking,” Sanders quickly replied, in a nod to the question’s underlying prejudice. “I am proud to be Jewish,” he declared, to cheers from the audience.

So Sanders’s actual response to the question was 1. “Zionist Jews” is a “bad  phrase.” 2. “Your question is not innocent.” Sanders is implying, if not saying outright, that the guy has a problem with Jews, which he restates when he says, 3. “That’s not what you’re asking.” I.e., You are prejudiced.  4. “I am proud to be Jewish”

What is James Kirchick’s take away from this exchange?

Sanders thought it necessary to express his pro-Palestinian bona fides—so, you know, no one might think he was that kind of Jew.

Have you no shame at all?

Bernie Sanders’ campaign has illuminated the new rules that govern Jewish participation on the progressive left. One cannot simply be a Jew: One must be a Jew who loudly and proudly declaims his distance from Israel and the American Jewish “establishment” at every possible opportunity. And unlike every other member of the progressive coalition, Judaism and Jewish peoplehood must only be expressed through a universalist vision of “social justice” that emphatically proclaims that Jewish causes and rights are no more (or usually less) worthy than those of Black Lives Matter, the Palestinians, La Raza, etc., and which sees this self-abnegation as the price of entry—for Jews alone.

Quite a mouthful, James.

Let’s see what type of “Jews” join the progressive left. Firstly shockingly enough, they’re going to be less tribal than you. And no it’s not a “new rule that governs Jewish participation on the progressive left.” I think it’s the internet that’s causing all of this. Maybe when you guys get done outlawing  BDS,  you can outlaw the internet.

See, the problem is they read people like you and see exactly what you’re up to. And they know stuff like, Abe Foxman’s and the ADL’s position on the Armenian genocide is totally dependent on Turkey’s relationship with Israel, and  know that  great moral voice Elie Wiesel supports ethnic cleansing on the side. (Haaretz’s language not mine.) They also know what your contemptible rabbi Boteach wrote about Jimmy Carter:

Mr. Carter’s recent accusations of Israeli war crimes, his demand for a United Nations investigation into Israel’s actions in Gaza, and his call for Hamas – a genocidal terror organization – to be recognized as a legitimate political partner by Israel is making it near impossible not to ascribe to Carter some nasty feelings toward the Jewish state.

Where is Mr. Carter’s call for the world to recognize the legitimacy of Al Qaida or the Taliban?

When the choice is Jimmy Carter who has devoted his life to doing what he can to improve the world or Rabbi Shmuley, strangely enough it ain’t no choice at all for those kids.

And James, you’re being dishonest again. Those Jewish progressive leftists that got arrested having  those seders at Jewish establishment offices on Passover were doing it “as Jews.”  Now of course their ideas of Judaism are very different than yours. But theirs is a Jewish movement. To them what they do  is “simply being Jewish.”

Oh and there is the issue of the never ending occupation and all its evils that surprisingly enough leads  idealistic people to activism.

The Sanders campaign is important as a space in which the left’s universalistic pretensions are coming into conflict with the particularistic concerns of Jewish nationalism—as many on the left single out Israel for opprobrium and demand that their Jewish comrades do the same. English novelist Howard Jacobson ridiculed “ ‘As a Jew’ Jews” as those who invoke their ethnic identity solely to criticize Israel and their ethno-religious brethren. It is a species hardly unique to the Jewish tribe, but one that is certainly louder—and the recipient of more disproportionate and fawning media coverage—than any other genus of self-styled ethnic dissenter, a type that when found in other communities is generally ridiculed as an Uncle Tom or a puppet of the patriarchy.

Again: questioning motives. You do realize that you people are the only ones questioning their motives. For the rest of the world there is no mystery at all. You guys are the mystery. All the deceit, the witch hunts, character assassinations, the hysteria, the fanaticism. You guys act like a bunch of Bolsheviks.

Did you guys ever consider that being members of the most moral people in the world with the most moral army in the world– you don’t need to get so emotional and destroy all your  enemies? Tell Jeffrey to take a day off! It can’t be easy every second tweet he has to waste so much energy on is it “good for the Jews/not good for the Jews,” “good for Israel/not good for Israel.” It has to take a toll on him. You have justice on your side! The world will inevitably come around to you!

And I notice you invoke the “particularistic concerns of Jewish nationalism.” Is that what Netanyahu means when he responded to an Israeli soldier’s  execution of a prone Palestinian (who btw had every right according to international law to stab a soldier in Hebron, ground zero of occupation), by stating:

“I hope that a way will be found to find a balance between the act and the overall context of the event.”

When Netanyahu said, “overall context of the event,” did he mean the context of the “particularist concerns of Jewish nationalism” – in which our murdering medic is doing his very tribal best?

Sanders’ snub of the bipartisan AIPAC conference (he was the only presidential candidate not to address its nearly 20,000 members) was a defining mark of this tendency.

James, I have a question. I know you would have liked Sanders to have flown back to Washington and have you write his speech for him for Aipac. But how many of Sanders’s supporters do you think wanted him to do that? Some would say that it is more accurate that “bipartisan Aipac” snubbed Sanders. He was perfectly happy giving the speech to them by video, he couldn’t justify going back to Washington. Aipac said no thanks.

Just between us, James– the goyim don’t have to know your answer– What do you think would have happened if Sanders said he had no interest in giving any speech to Aipac and Hillary said because of this ridiculous Sanders campaign she had to stay on the road campaigning and couldn’t come to Washington for the Aipac conference but would love to give her speech via video hookup? And she could probably even get a permission slip from her megadonor Haim “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel” Saban to do it? I suspect an ”exception” would have been made over the no-speeches-to-Aipac-via-video policy. It’s only against Sanders that they enforce that rule. Hillary could have sent her speech by carrier pigeon and it wouldn’t be an issue.

But then again maybe I’m a paranoid conspiratorial self-hating Jew. Maybe Jeffrey Goldberg’s diagnosis of Glenn Greenwald applies to me as well: Maybe someone beat me up when I was a kid in Yeshiva!  Remember Goldberg’s diagnosis:

“Self-hatred is a deeply-inexact description of the people this reader is trying to describe. In my experience, those Jews who consciously set themselves apart from the Jewish majority in the disgust they display for Israel, or for the principles of their faith, are often narcissists, and therefore seem to suffer from an excess of self-regard, rather than self-loathing. “Self-hater” is a euphemism, then, for “auto-anti-Semite,” or some other such locution. I generally try to stay away from such descriptions (though there are some very obvious candidates for the label of auto-anti-Semite, including the John Mearsheimer-endorsed neo-Nazi Gilad Atzmon).” ….I often suspect that some really bad shit happened to him [Greenwald] in Hebrew school…… (This is not to say I don’t admire some of his stands, including his forthright stance against torture — of course, this is a very Jewish position to take, if you ask me.)

I’m not a shrink, but it’s very strange to me that Goldberg so unselfconsciously talks about “narcissists” and “an excess of self regard.” If there are any characteristics you guys all share, it’s exactly that. Go down the list: Jeffrey Goldberg, Jennifer Rubin, Marty Peretz, Rabbi Boteach, Bret Stephens, Daniel Goldhagen, Alan Dershowitz. The list goes on and on. The preening self confidence, the nauseating degree of self righteousness, the smugness, the sanctimonious moralizing, the lecturing, the hectoring, the unscrupulousness, the lack of humility and of course– no sense of fair play at all.

Where does Jeffrey Goldberg get this chutzpah? He admires some of Greenwald’s stands, like on torture, but we all know: that’s “a very Jewish position.” Poor Glenn Greenwald. Who knows what happened to him in Hebrew school, and now Goldberg can’t even let him have his anti-torture position in peace. No, it’s the “Jew in you”! That’s the only reason you’re against torture, Glenn Greenwald.

If I were Jeffrey Goldberg I would be a little concerned  that perhaps history is more likely to say Jeffrey Goldberg got beaten up  in Hebrew school– and that’s why little insecure Jeffrey thought Meir Kahane’s JDL “had all the answers” as he put it, at a time when the Kahanists were beating up black people, because as much as he prayed and fantasized at night about going back in time and killing Hitler it didn’t look like it was happening. And then Jeffrey realized that American inner-cities are small potatoes.  He could get on a plane and get a real gun and be in his very own Jewish army and shoot Arabs, or at least be a prison guard.

And then Jeffrey thought to himself “Anyone  can be a prison guard for Arabs”– maybe Hashem has bigger plans for me. Maybe I can become one of those Middle East experts! If you know the right people you never know how the gig will turn out. And lo and behold now Jeffrey Goldberg is America’s  “most influential Jewish Journalist;” instead of imprisoning Arabs he can fight the good cause in less brutal ways.

There’s a special place in Jewish heaven for Jeffrey Goldberg for all the extracurricular work he did surrounding Trump’s Aipac speech.

Before the speech, Goldberg was very clear about what was happening: Trump is a fascist. Here are three of his retweets:

First, the Trump -Hitler comparison.

  1. If the Hitler comparison is so flawed then why do 100% of the antisemitic replies to my tweets come from Trump supporters?

Second, Jews have very good ears for these things  and they hear echos of fascism from Trump.

Third, Aipac is going to be Trump’s “toughest room yet.”

So you see, Jeffrey was all ready to demonstrate to America once again the moral superiority of Jews: the special ears we have for fascists. He should have realized though that it is much easier to convince his  readers how wonderful Jews are by repeating the standard talking points every day ad nauseum than actually having an almost scientific experiment in which you could compare Jews’ and non Jews’ reaction to a Trump speech. Seems just a  little risky. But understandable: years of bullying everyone has made Jeffrey feel invincible. Because maybe Jeffrey should have entertained  the possibility for a brief moment that  all of the wonderful things he thinks and says about the Jews and Israel might be influenced so very, very slightly by, you know, his ethnicity and Kahane and the JDL and the IDF and being an Israeli prison guard and all that stuff.

Because maybe Jews are just like everyone else and they might actually respond to Trump like other crowds do!

Yikes. Poor Jeffrey. The Aipac crowd didn’t act as hoped for. They applauded!!! Raucously, with several standing ovations. So he really needed to work his magic now: 15,000 delirious Jews responding to Trump. What does Goldberg do? Well, he’s been here before. Main thing is not to panic.

First try denying reality:

Translation “WoW! Trump used his Trumpian evil magic (brilliant what the words “quite effectively” contribute to the meaning of  the sentence! ) to get the 75? 100?  Obama haters in the crowd of twenty  thousand to express their displeasure with Obama.

Problem: even the most influential Jewish Journalist in America can’t get people to believe his tweet over their eyes and ears!

Second, Nothing to see here.

Pro-Israel audience. What’s that about? Why not write the “Jewish audience.” Because it can’t hurt to suggest the 45 Christian Evangelicals in the Aipac arena were making all that ruckus.

And did you notice, “likes” Trump speech instead of, you know, “loving” his speech.

But that still doesn’t solve the big problem. Jeffrey needed to tell the goyim what the correct way to understand what happened is, with the minimum damage to the good guys. It’s amazing just how impervious Goldberg feels here from even needing to have a defensible position on his favorite subject: the evils of prejudice.

True he had no good answer that would satisfy the goyim. He had foolishly set himself up by drinking  his own Kool-aid. He believed his own propaganda. Aipac Jews were “better” than an average Trump crowd. When any non Jew (if they dared) could have told Jeffrey that the Aipac crowd would be just as loud as the rest of Trump’s rallies, if Trump just told the Aipac crowd what they wanted to hear.

Thankfully Goldberg still had one thing left, his moral authority:

Those of you who are surprised a pro-Israel audience likes a pro-Israel speech by Donald Trump should stop being surprised.

You should know better than to even think these Jews are doing something wrong! And  you need to stop thinking those things immediately!

But why, Jeffrey? Can you explain why different rules and standards apply to Jews? Why is it OK for Jews to act like that when they hear a bigot but nobody else?  Jeffrey what are you doing here? What is this all about? Why are you trying to mislead everyone?

I know nobody else can suggest a motive. But what’s your answer?

Jeffrey Goldberg has long ago lost the ability to realize how he comes across to other people. Especially when you look at his own motive-mongering. Remember this piece, “Andrew Sullivan Is Frightened by Complexity.”

If it is condescending to think that Andrew Sullivan — formerly an embarrassingly rabid Zionist, who lately has become an embarrassingly rabid anti-Zionist — doesn’t know much about the Middle East, and fears its complexity, well, I guess I’m guilty. ……  (I remember when Andrew, of course, characterized Palestinians as devils and thought Israelis wore halos, but this was before, as he told me over lunch one day a couple of years ago, he realized that Netanyahu, in his opinion, was standing in the way of President Obama’s destiny. Once Netanyahu got in the way, Andrew said, he was finished defending Israel).

It’s fairly obvious that both sides in the conflict have screwed-up, in different ways and at different times. But to acknowledge that this is all very complicated is to forgo the opportunity to demonize Israel and its Jewish supporters, and Andrew wouldn’t want to miss that opportunity.

1. “Formerly an embarrassingly rabid Zionist”= you were always a little crazy in the head even when you were on our side. Now you’re crazy in the head in their side.

2. “Characterized Palestinians as devils”= you were a fanatic when you were on our side. Now you’re a fanatic on their side.

3. During lunch Andrew “told me” = Not something I heard, a rumor or a guess or an assumption.  Andrew  himself told me what I’m about to tell you. Look what Golberg is doing to his erstwhile friend. He had lunch with his then friend and takes a couple of words that Sullivan said totally out of context  and turns it into, This is what Sullivan told me with his own mouth. Wait, who does things like this?

4. Netanyahu standing in the way of Obama’s destiny, so Sullivan finished defending Israel = Andrew really knows Israel is “correct” but she is standing in the way of (Sullivan’s irrational almost religious obsession with) Obama’s destiny. Sullivan– Goldberg  is telling his readers– is willing to cloud his own judgment or lie or trick himself because: He just Can’t think straight when something gets into the way of Obama’s destiny.

Of course Sullivan never characterized Palestinians as devils.  Sullivan simply used to accept the Goldberg narrative of Israel/Palestine as reality; but no good deed goes unpunished. This is what absolutely no scruples looks like.

OK, back to James Kirchick on Sanders. The Vermont senator’s Jewish problem just gets worse and worse:

So too was [the campaign’s] hiring of a Jewish outreach director, Simone Zimmerman, whose key qualification for the job of liaising with American Jewry was antagonizing her fellow Jews. When it was revealed that Zimmerman had attacked Clinton’s AIPAC speech as “racist and orientalist,” called on Hillel to provide a platform for anti-Zionists and other supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, and authored an expletive-laden Facebook tirade condemning Netanyahu as an “asshole” who had “sanctioned the murder of over 2,000 people,” the Sanders campaign suspended her. Rushing to Zimmerman’s defense was the chameleon-like Peter Beinart (Rhodes Scholar, Marshall “declined”), who, having grown tired of being a leading liberal hawk shape-shifted into a left-wing critic of American imperial hubris, now bears the burden of being the self-appointed conscience of American Jewry. He told the Times that Zimmerman’s suspension amounted to “the American Jewish community eating its own”; Beinart elaborated that, “She cares deeply and wants to make [the Jewish community] live up to its own stated ideals.” If only American Jews were as conscientious and caring as Peter Beinart and Simone Zimmermann.

Maybe it’s just me but it looks like a lot of taboos are being broken by a leading presidential candidate! Whatever you want to say about Peter Beinart, he comes to his positions honestly: This shit is really eating him up. You have to feel bad for him. He debated all of you. He is so earnest naive and idealistic. And careful to be precise, in  every word he said.

While the bunch of you are the most cynical dishonest debaters around. If God came down and said you guys were wrong, you would look to find a way to trip Him up.

But you can’t bully history. Unless Sheldon Adelson buys the world, you guys  are likely to be compared unfavorably to the likes of  Walter Duranty. (Google him: The New York Times Moscow correspondent who is known as “Stalin’s apologist”). But relax, the ADL is not going to make you give all those awards back.

I don’t know what your guys’ religion actually is, but Simone Zimmerman and her friends aren’t  joining  not because something bad happened to them in Hebrew school or they have  “excess self regard” or because they’re narcissists. It’s most likely what everyone else assumes: they just don’t want to lose their souls.

A more revealing aspect of the Sanders phenomenon concerned his notorious interview with the Daily News editorial board, in which he incorrectly asserted that 10,000 civilians had been killed in the 2014 Gaza War. After Sanders consulted with the Anti-Defamation League, his campaign revised the number down to the United Nations estimate of some 1,500 civilians (Israel maintains the number of innocents killed is substantially lower).

Ah the “notorious” Daily News interview. Who decided it was “notorious?”  Perhaps the same people that Jennifer Rubin was talking about when she described the interview as “disastrous” in the Washington Post?

he incorrectly asserted that 10,000 civilians had been killed

Let’s look up the word “asserted.” Assert – “to state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.”

Now let’s go back to the notorious and disastrous Daily News interview.

Sanders: Can anybody help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right

Daily News: I think it’s probably high, but we can look at that.

Sanders: I don’t have it in my number…but I think it’s over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.

Why would you use the word “assert,” which is a lie, and then to cover your tracks you don’t put the Daily News url:  you put in the Times of Israel link?

Do you see why Simone Zimmerman and her friends want to have nothing to do with people like you? And what do you folks tell yourself when you realize that journalists like Peter Beinart or Andrew Sullivan never do what you just did? That it’s just the Walter Duranty types that do it. And that every single one of your crowd does it literally every time they write anything. If it’s too challenging to be a journalist, if the burden of being honest is too much– perhaps Sheldon Adelson can open a dental school and you all can become successful dentists. And the rest of the  country can breathe a sigh of relief and go about their business.

The questioning of casualty figures, however, is beside the point, because to Sanders and his supporters, the number doesn’t matter. Even five hundred or one hundred Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza—in the midst of a racist war started by a genocidal terrorist organization—would have been “disproportionate.”

James, who is speaking here? Who says the casualty figure here is beside the point and doesn’t matter and even 100 dead would have been “disproportionate.” Oh ok; must be a hunch or theory of yours.

Which in turn brings up a very important point: If the numbers are irrelevant, and the need for moral outrage is not based on the quantity of the dead, then what is it based on, exactly?

So it’s your claim that for them numbers don’t matter at all, “which in turn bring up a very important point: if the numbers are irrelevant…..”  Just a second, James. I would like to suggest that if only 100 Palestinian died in the last Gaza war Sanders would not use the word “Disproportionate” and would sound much more like Hillary, and also a good chance you would never have heard of Simone Zimmerman.

Why are Bernie Sanders and his Jewish surrogates not permanently outraged by the nearly half a million dead civilians in Syria? The answer, apparently, is that there exists a special kind of math in which even one dead Palestinian—killed unintentionally by Israeli forces in the midst of an ethically justified, defensive war provoked by its adversary—is proof of some horrible moral outrage committed not by the Palestinians but by Israel. Meanwhile, these self same critics have little or nothing to say about the incessant American drone strikes, dramatically intensified by a president they idolize, which have killed far more innocent people than the Israeli Defense Forces, never mind the atrocities committed by Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and practically every other country on the planet.

Yada Yada Yada Yada Yada

I’m curious: do you believe these arguments or do you know it’s all obfuscation?

Last month, the Village Voice published a cover story titled, “The Heresy and Evangelism of Bernie Sanders,” which explicitly put forth the sociologically accurate if hardly morally binding proposition that, to be good leftists, Jews must denounce Israel….

This is not a new phenomenon for Jews on the left, who have always had to balance their commitment to cosmopolitan principles with their communal concerns. … For many left-wing Jews, distancing oneself from Israel and the American Jewish majority has become a marker of enlightenment and urbanity not unlike the way German Jews looked down upon shtetl Ostjuden from Poland and Russia. Contemporary Western liberal Jewish criticism of Israel’s “right wing drift” also has an unspoken racial component, as the vast majority of American Jews are of Ashkenazi descent while more than half of Israeli Jews are of Sephardic or Mizrahi lineage. And so the tension that long existed (and to some extent, still exists) between the old, Ashkenazi Israeli elite and the dispossessed Mizrahim is now being grafted onto the American-Israeli relationship—with the “good leftist” in the role of the racist Ashkenazi snobs.

Bernie Sanders and his Jewish devotees can distance themselves from Israel and Zionism all they want. But as has always been the case, it will make no difference to the people they are trying to please, who continue to reduce them to a single factor of their identity which in their minds has attained the totalizing force of an epithet: Jew.

I get all the Jewish self hatred and (very clever) the  American Jewish racism against dark Israelis is what’s  behind the American Jewish critique of Israel. It looks like we’re going to hear a lot more of that.

Quite a lot of chutzpah to accuse those American Jews sticking up for Palestinians as racist against dark-skinned people. But the payoff is if that actually catches on and becomes part of the narrative. (Simone Zimmerman, why are you so racist against Mizrachi Jews!?)

Did you ever consider the alternative explanation that unlike you and your friends these Jews have limits to their tribal loyalty– what James calls “their communal concerns”? And when they see and read what is going on over there, they think they have more in common with their next door gentile neighbors than with Netanyahu, Abe Foxman, Jeffrey and you. Shocking isn’t it?

And where is all this psychological analysis when the rare Arab or Muslim agrees with you guys on Israel. I haven’t read a discussion by you guys about what gets these Arabs to “betray” their own tribe? I don’t recall conjecture from you people about what happened to them in the madrasa, or talk of “virtue signalling” when you proudly trot them out and give them jobs in your think tanks.

If you are honestly seeking the truth you might want to watch this video–

and read the Israeli government’s explanation of it. The Education Minister, for instance:

If the terrorist was indeed wearing an explosive vest, the soldier would be considered a national hero….
The attacks on a soldier who protects all of us before the investigation has even started harms the military, harms Israel’s standing in the world, and is harmful towards our attempts to thwart future attacks.

Weird how it’s such a big deal in Israel and you guys are the biggest authorities on all things Israel; and not a peep from you guys about this.

And if you try hard to imagine what the Jewish kids see when they see that video, sadly for you and the ADL they don’t have that voice in your head with all the apologetics you tell yourself when you see it. And maybe they even know all about Colonel Ofer Winter as well, leading his troops to the border of Gaza before the 2014 slaughter:

“History has chosen us to spearhead the fight against the terrorist Gazan enemy who curses, vilifies and abominates Israel’s God,” Colonel Ofer Winter, the [Givati] unit’s commanding officer, wrote in the letter to his troops. He ended with a biblical quote promising divine protection for Israel’s warriors on the battlefield………

Jeffrey and James: your troubles are only beginning.  You have terrorized your peers into silence over your daily intellectual and moral outrages. But these kids are iconoclasts/breakers of idols. And they are not afraid of the likes of you.

When Ayelet Waldman, an Israeli American writer, makes a (light-hearted) tweet about Israelis–

she does not have to wait long for the arbiter of all things moral Jeffrey Goldberg to denounce it as  “blatant prejudice.”

And what tends to happen with these things happened.  The most moral subgroup of the most moral people in the world are forced to take a moral stand:

And then, produce a follow up article about the “controversy.”

Novelist Ayelet Waldman spars with Jeffrey Goldberg over Israel’s “#nationalcharacter”

And Ayelet Waldman is left pleading/hoping for a pass:

But wait, let’s look at one of comrade Kirchick’s tweets.

What brought on Kirchick labeling millions and millions of Austrians as Nazis? Nothing more than the victory of a right wing Austrian political party whose leader as it happens, was in Israel two weeks ago at the invite of the Likud party (the most moral political party of the most moral country in the world) meeting government ministers.

“[Heinz-Christian] Strache, who arrived in Israel on Monday night, told Channel 1 TV on Wednesday that he had met with government ministers during the course of his visit, but declined to mention names, saying that he had promised confidentiality.”

Let me just guess what Jeffrey Goldberg’s response to Kirchick’s tweet would be:

“Those of you that are surprised that James Kirchick tweeted a prejudiced tweet about Austria should stop being surprised.”

But no. Jeffrey Goldberg has created a fantasy life for himself about Jews, Israel and the world in which the most anodyne observation– Waldman again:

results in this:

Since it’s a Jewish occupation, if you’re not surprised by resistance, that means you believe the “Jews had it coming apparently.”

For too long Jeffrey Goldberg has done his darnedest to intimidate everyone from  asking him why there are different rules for Jews and Israel than for everyone else. If Goldberg keeps it  up he might very well have a bunch of Jewish kids holding a seder on his lawn next Pesach.

Yakov Hirsch

Yakov Hirsch is a professional poker player and a writer. His twitter handle is @Yakovhirsch and his articles are posted at

Other posts by .

Posted In:

66 Responses

  1. pabelmont on April 29, 2016, 12:03 pm

    “You guys are the mystery. All the deceit, the witch hunts, character assassinations, the hysteria, the fanaticism. You guys act like a bunch of Bolsheviks.”

    All the deceit! Too delicious to pass this one up, quoting myself from a comment yesterday:

    In his excellent review of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) “Spain In Our Hearts”, Adam Hochschild reports how a representative of Stalin in Republican (democratic, non-Franco, anti-fascist) Spain berated a newspaper reporter who told a (damaging) truth about the Republican forces:

    Yes, Koltsev answered cuttingly, those are the facts. How extraordinarily observant and truthful you are — You’ve done more harm than thirty British M.P.’s working for Franco. And then you expect me to shake hands with you. * * * You,as the French say, have lost an excellent opportunity to keep your mouth shut. // Koltsev and [Claud] Cockburn insisted that the duty of a committed journalist was to write whatever was necessary to win the war.

    And the NYT, which clearly adopts the Stalinist wisdom, regards itself, never doubt it, as “at war”.

    And as clearly, James and Jeffrey are at war, too, and although the clear-headed will notice their transgressions, fearful tribe-members will be frightened into continuing subservience.

  2. Don on April 29, 2016, 1:03 pm

    Really outstanding post…as good as anything that gets published on this site (and that is VERY good).

    • Yakov Hirsch on April 29, 2016, 6:37 pm

      Don, we try to avoid hyperbole on this site. But Thanks!

      • Donald on April 29, 2016, 8:51 pm

        It looks like I am repeating myself, but I agree with my namesake.

      • Don on April 30, 2016, 11:26 am

        You are very welcome! (hyperbole is one of my strong points…but not in this case.)

      • Don on April 30, 2016, 11:27 am

        Donald…I thought you were my namesake.

      • Shingo on May 1, 2016, 1:16 am

        It’s not hyperbole Yakov,

        I have been reading this blog for many years now and your article is one of the most outstanding take downs I have read anywhere. Not since Gleen Greenwald have I read such incisive and powerful rebuttals.

        I only hope the Goldberg reads it. And I also hope your writings become a regular occurrence here.

  3. annie on April 29, 2016, 1:15 pm

    this is like everything i’ve ever wanted to say to jeffrey goldberg and more. really awesome op ed yakov!

  4. Walker on April 29, 2016, 2:26 pm

    What an amazing riff. Very impressive.

  5. Mooser on April 29, 2016, 4:36 pm

    “why there are different rules for Jews and Israel than for everyone else.”

    A youth, who bore, ‘mid blooming desert, A banner with the strange device, Jews suis Generis!

  6. WH on April 29, 2016, 7:59 pm

    Great article, but I object to this passage: “Jimmy Carter, who has devoted his life to doing what he can to improve the world” – Carter may have started doing that in later years, but one of his notable achievements as president was supporting the militants and warlords in Afghanistan who set the country back decades and became Al-Qaeda.

    • MRW on May 1, 2016, 6:34 am

      Urban legend, and part of the neocon effort to demonize Carter. It was Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson in Reagan’s second term who took it to the level you ascribe to Carter. Look it up.

      • WH on May 2, 2016, 2:12 am

        Urban legend? Hardly. Wilson and Vickers may have ramped things up further, but it was Carter (with Brzezinski) who initiated Operation Cyclone, funding atrocious warlords like Hekmatyar through their longtime partners, the Pakistani secret service (ISI).

      • MRW on May 2, 2016, 6:00 pm


        I’m perfectly aware of Brzezinski’s part in the Grand Chess Game with Carter, but it wasn’t a bigtime operation in 1979 and they only allotted $5 million to it initially. That’s 25% of what the govt spends on funding OSHA training grants every year.

        It was Charlie Wilson who got the funds bumped up during the election campaign in 1980, just before Reagan got in, and in the succeeding 9 years, multiple times. The Reaganites were inspired that the Mujahideen were hitting Russian planes with their second-hand shoulder-to-plane missiles and ramped the whole thing up. All of this is documented in George Crile’s book, Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. (They made the movie from it.)

        The ‘atrocious warlords’ like Hekmatyar and Mojadeddi were tribal leaders running their tribal soldiers in the valleys and hills. Who else were they supposed to fund? Funding guerrillas was the point. It was the Cold War, and getting the Ruskies was all that mattered to the US, even if it meant sleeping with the enemy. The US has never been very good at studying the consequences. The ISI has always acted like CIA-East. It was they who approached the Mujahideen to help contain what they perceived as a serious Soviet threat along their entire northern border.

  7. wondering jew on April 29, 2016, 9:35 pm

    ” Bernie Sanders is a proud American who happens to be Jewish. Before you and your friends moved the goalposts for Jews, that’s what Jews wanted when they came to this country. They wanted to be “American citizen period.” They dreamt of being able to be Americans, and unlike where they came from, they were hoping not to stand out as Jews if they didn’t want to. They wanted to “happen to be a Jew.” They wanted to be like all other Americans. But now—this is Bernie Sanders’s Jewish problem, as you put it– Bernie Sanders is not allowed to be an “American citizen, period.” – See more at:

    this part of the rant, i don’t buy. yes, there is certainly a mainstream of assimilationism that yakov hirsch identifies as: we just want to be ignored. we want to stop being jewish if we want to and we want to.

    but that is not the only goal post that ever existed for jews. when we left the slavery of eastern europe the parents who bade farewell to the teenagers who were fleeing, “bleibt a yid” “remain a jew” and even if few of the teenagers and the adults they grew into in fact remained jewish in terms of tradition like their parents were wishing, there is an echo of the wishes of our european parents that kirchik is representing and to paint him as moving the goalposts seems to reveal that the only kosher thought in your mind, mr. hirsch, is assimilationism. and america is great and assimilating into america and disappearing as a jew is fine, not against the law, not against morality, although the direct line between the desires of our grandparents or our great grandparents to disappear into the american mass ran into a philosphic problem in the years between 1924 and 1945 specifically with the closed gates to this country and the state of the world which asserted (at least for a few years) that forgetting you are jewish is shirking. and the desire to disappear is a type of loss of soul and selling out and passing for something you are not. so the assertion that the disappearing act of the jews is the only fair goal and that any other goal is moving the goalposts reveals an overly eager acceptance of the disappearance of the jews. you are allowed to be apathetic (or even eager) for the disappearance of the jews, but the assertion that we, jews, wish to survive and continue to say, we are proud to be alive as jews and as americans, that assertion is valid and less of a sell out than the assimilation that your are touting as the only natural goal.

    • Mooser on April 29, 2016, 11:35 pm

      What a mess! Who is going to clean up all this logorrhea and projection vomiting?

      “overly eager acceptance of the disappearance of the jews”

      “Yonah” what’s happening to the Jewish religion is nobody’s fault or responsibility but our own.

      • johneill on May 1, 2016, 1:42 am

        he lost me at ‘assimilationism’, then refused to make a lick of sense – or maybe my mistake is assuming he is responding to the article he commented on.

    • Mooser on April 29, 2016, 11:59 pm

      “there is certainly a mainstream of assimilationism that yakov hirsch identifies as: we just want to be ignored.”

      “Yonah” gets very upset when people ignore Jews. If they are not picking us out and persecuting us, the world just isn’t right, is it “Yonah”?

      “Yonah” as far as I know there is not a single law in the US which prevents anybody from being as Jewish as they want to be. But you can’t expect the US Government to actually force people to be Orthodox Jews. We have to do that ourselves!

      But of course, “Yonah” gets a a little mixed up between what and who Jews actually are, and who other people have said we are, or have forced us to be. There’s a name for that, but it escapes me at the moment, since I’ve never heard it. Usually a two-word phrase.

  8. Pixel on April 30, 2016, 1:31 am

    Absolutely LOVE this!

    • philweiss on April 30, 2016, 12:46 pm

      I completely agree with the reviews of Yakov Hirsch’s piece. I look forward to reading more of his lacerating wit on our site and many other places…

      • Shingo on May 1, 2016, 1:18 am

        Me too Philip,

        If we have to, let’s start a funding drive to pay for his contributions. He’s worth his weight in gold.

      • Yakov Hirsch on May 1, 2016, 1:32 am

        Finally!! why did it take this long??

      • Yakov Hirsch on May 1, 2016, 7:01 am

        I told Phil I had one condition for agreeing to our 10 essays deal and that was no matter what he would not let anyone comment about my my weight. he said “deal.”
        Even though I am the best debater in the world and have never even once been defeated my “kryptonite” is my weight and if someone calls me fat I cant think straight for days. I have 9 more essays to go and already I have to deal with hes “Worth his weight in gold” which is like the worst worst thing anyone has said about my weight ever!.

      • Shingo on May 1, 2016, 7:15 am

        Well, if you’re worried about weight, may I suggest cycling? I’ve lost 11 kg in the last year.

        But to be honest, I was tempted to say you were worth your weight goldberg.

  9. LeaNder on April 30, 2016, 7:48 am

    This is absolutely great, Yakov. The Goldie once again. I cannot read him anymore, but apparently there are others. Without even caring to take a look.

    The layman’s use of psychology is something I deeply dislike for longer now. But narcissist may well top the list in this context. Seems to pop up everywhere as core argument.

    But this is a gem, no doubt, I suppose the guy was pretty pleased when he had this revelation how to best connect lines of thought, but it seems to belong into a larger recurring theme in variations:

    “This is not a new phenomenon for Jews on the left, who have always had to balance their commitment to cosmopolitan principles with their communal concerns. … For many left-wing Jews, distancing oneself from Israel and the American Jewish majority has become a marker of enlightenment and urbanity not unlike the way German Jews looked down upon shtetl Ostjuden from Poland and Russia. Contemporary Western liberal Jewish criticism of Israel’s “right wing drift” also has an unspoken racial component, as the vast majority of American Jews are of Ashkenazi descent while more than half of Israeli Jews are of Sephardic or Mizrahi lineage. And so the tension that long existed (and to some extent, still exists) between the old, Ashkenazi Israeli elite and the dispossessed Mizrahim is now being grafted onto the American-Israeli relationship—with the “good leftist” in the role of the racist Ashkenazi snobs.”

    Some else vague impression somewhere, they seem to consider their readers as children that have to be led on the right path. Well done.

  10. Kay24 on April 30, 2016, 9:06 am

    Why the zionists are delusional and assume the US Presidential elections are all about THEM.
    Here is an article (most probably typical zio narrative over there) criticizing Trump and Sanders, and the role of AIPAC. It is obvious there is not ONE mention of the OCCUPATION nor ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS. It is all about the interests of zio land and their suffering. Aw….

    Here is one of the delusional parts:

    ” Either he doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, that Israel went to great lengths to avoid harming civilians even as it battled to thwart the attacks on its people, and that Hamas routinely emplaces its rockets and tunnels near those hospitals, schools and refugee camps.

    • pabelmont on May 1, 2016, 5:48 pm

      Kay24 quotes this part of a greater delusion: “Israel battled to thwart attacks on its people”.

      The problem is this: “Who, exactly, are Israel’s people?” If Israel is going to great lengths to avoid harm to its people, why and who and how?

      In my book, a country’s people are the people who were living there when the government changed and that includes the 750,000 Palestinians who were permanently exiled in and forever after 1948. And their kids and grandkids ad infinitem.

      Their book has it differently: We wanted, desired, were due, were entitled to, blah blah blah, a predominantly Jewish country and we did what it took to arrange to have just that. Yea!! Yippee! And now we fight those we expelled, calling them “enemies”, “terrorists”, “infiltrators” and we call upon all the Jews of the world — and upon everyone else — to say it’s OK for us to have done the one and to do the other. No crime here, not by us anyhow. The nerve to suggest crime! The very nerve!

      The Palestinians were the older inhabitants of Palestine in 1900-1950; they were the parents. The Jews were the intruders, the bad children who murdered (so to speak) their parents and then asked the mercy due to orphans. Or something. (Doesn’t quite work, does it?)

  11. Rooster on April 30, 2016, 11:15 am

    Goldberg can always be counted on to polish a turd (the israeli-supremacist OUTRAGE at Bernie’s relatively pithy ‘criticism’ of Israel (but still quite groundbreaking on THAT stage)) in defending apartheid!

    After all, once apartheid collapses in Israel, and the names of the Palestinian Bikos emerge, Goldberg will be handcuffed to the torturers. Figuratively and hopefully literally.

    Keep stalling, Jeffrey. The statute of limitations on tortute are prettttty long….

  12. CigarGod on April 30, 2016, 11:27 am

    Poker player and dog trainer.
    I’m wondering which one I should take up first…just assuming he acquired some of his brilliance from one or both.
    Dog training skills to deal with Yonah and poker for Jeffery?

    • Mooser on April 30, 2016, 12:42 pm

      “Dog training skills to deal with Yonah…?”

      Well, you know what they say about teaching an old dog new schtik.

  13. traintosiberia on April 30, 2016, 1:04 pm

    May be someone should tell ADL that the collective silence from the media encourages more attacks on GAZA and allows passing of gigantic amount of handout or dole to Israel under the deceptive headings of Rift between Obama and Netanyahu The press focuses on Gaza’s blak Arabic writings and on masked faces
    The press puts a mask on the bipartisan deal so the poverty stricken Americans don’t see a oneday deal is making through the US congress

    Media reminds how Israel American ally has become weaker from one way US Iran deal that blunted the edge of Iran for generations to come and Israel is looking foe security

    It is time to remind Tablet Mag that occasional pangs of conscience ate not the answer to the atrocious Israel attacks – militarily,diplomatically,or in print media where foot soldiers like their columnists sway the debate with use of forked tongues and abuse of language.
    But something more is required. Bernie is a sidetrack. Trump’s philosophy can cut the head of the snakes in its tracks. Simple languages can jar the tongues of thesew wordsmith and word carpenters forcing the debate to ie against their favor unless they stop abusing the language.

  14. traintosiberia on April 30, 2016, 1:46 pm

    “This is why perhaps his most significant statement was: ‘I will also look for talented experts with new approaches, and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect résumés but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war.’ What Trump is talking about is dispensing with an entire wing of the GOP that has controlled the commanding heights of foreign policy over recent decades.” Trump as quoted by National Interest. 29thPril. Justin. Raimondo

    PNAC FDD will not have place in US. Diplomatic affairs. in Trump’sAmeruca

    Is that what driving These people to desolation? Bernie ,in that case may not be that bad to them. They should cut their losses and grab Bernie . In future they can claim even being pro Palestinian .

  15. Tchoupitoulas on April 30, 2016, 9:26 pm


  16. JLewisDickerson on May 1, 2016, 1:00 am

    IN RE TWEET: “@SenSanders’ comments on #Israel at #DemDebate were counterproductive because it encourages Palestinians to reject peace talks w/ #Israel 3:17 PM – 15 Apr 2016” ~~~ ADL ✔ ‎@ADL_National

    QUESTION FOR THE ADL: If Hillary Clinton were to recognize Israel’s claim on an “undivided Jerusalem”, would that likewise be counterproductive because it would be seen by the Palestinians as a repudiation of the concept of a two-state solution, and it would consequently encourage the Palestinians to reject peace talks with Israel?
    Enquiring minds mimes want to know!™

    LET’S DO THE TIME WARP* AGAIN: “Hillary Clinton’s Little-Noticed Israel Problem” — By Justin Elliott | | Fri May 7, 2010 8:14 PM EDT
    HRC’s position on Israel could mean a significant departure from longstanding U.S. policy. How come no one cares?

    [EXCERPT] Though Senator Barack Obama has never—neither in his Senate votes nor in his campaign literature—strayed from the conventional position of support for Israel, he has in this primary season been dogged by the issue. The flare-up last week surrounding Obama’s allegedly “anti-Jewish” campaign cochairman, sparked by a piece in the conservative American Spectator magazine, was only the latest instance in which his foes have suggested that Obama has an “Israel problem.” Yet even as Obama has been subjected to intense scrutiny, Senator Hillary Clinton has received virtually no attention for taking an unconventional position on Israel (albeit in a direction approved by pro-Israel hardliners). Her vow of support for Israel’s claim on an “undivided Jerusalem,” if enacted, would mark a major—and problematic—break with longstanding U.S. policy.

    Under the heading “Standing with Israel against terrorism,” Clinton’s official policy paper, released last September and currently touted on her campaign website, states, “Hillary Clinton believes that Israel’s right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, secure from violence and terrorism, must never be questioned.” With the phrase “an undivided Jerusalem as its capital,” Clinton seems to take a hardline position on a deeply contested facet of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a position like this should have garnered at least passing interest from the mainstream media. So how come nobody’s paying attention?

    The answer may lie within the long history of empty rhetoric on Jerusalem doled out by presidential candidates. Perhaps the lack of interest can be chalked up to uncertainty in how to interpret Clinton’s position. Or it may be that right-wing pronouncements that give short shrift to the Palestinian side are simply not seen as remarkable. (An exception to the media silence on Clinton’s position was the American Prospect‘s Gershom Gorenberg, an Israeli.)

    Clinton is toying with one of the few most important final-status issues that will have to be resolved as part of any two-state solution. Israel captured the eastern half of Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. While Israel has declared the whole of an expanded Jerusalem its capital, the international community views east Jerusalem as occupied territory and the potential capital of any future Palestinian state. In recognition of the contested status of Jerusalem, the United States and other countries maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.

    “Jerusalem is not only of political, religious, and emotional significance to Palestinians. It’s the cultural and economic capital of any future state of Palestine. To carve out east Jerusalem from the rest of Palestine would be to deprive of it the geographic area which traditionally has been the heart of the Palestinian economy,” said Philip Wilcox, a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer who served as consul general and chief of mission in Jerusalem and is now president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a D.C. nonprofit. “It’s an absolute deal –breaker, and there will be no peace if there isn’t an agreed political division of Jerusalem.”

    If opposing a compromise on Jerusalem is a deal breaker, one would think there would be more importance attached to Clinton’s words—especially appearing in the unequivocal construction of Israel’s “right to exist” that “must never be questioned.” If Clinton did, as president, endorse Israel’s annexation of all of Jerusalem, it could mean nothing less than a repudiation of the concept of a two-state solution. And while her position mirrors that of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), it actually puts her at odds with some prominent Israeli officials, notably Vice Premier Haim Ramon, who have publicly spoken about the need to cede the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. One explanation for this incongruity, offered by all of the half-dozen experts I spoke to on the subject, is that Clinton’s statement is nothing more than election-year rhetoric. That is, her stand may tell us more about the fraught politics of Israel/Palestine in the United States than it does about how a Hillary Clinton administration would approach the conflict. . .


    * P.S. ‘Time Warp’ Scene w/ Lyrics | The Rocky Horror Picture Show [VIDEO, 03:50] –

  17. REALITY CHECK 101 on May 1, 2016, 2:17 am

    His interlocutor, pressed to articulate a question, concluded by saying, “What is your affiliation to your Jewish community? That’s all I’m asking.” – Now we get to the heart of the matter … that’s what Jews wanted when they came to this country. They wanted to be “American citizen period.” – the “particularistic concerns of Jewish nationalism”.

    “I’ll confess it, at least, like thousands of other typical Jewish kids of my generation, I was reared as a Jewish nationalist, even a quasi-separatist. Every summer for two months for 10 formative years during my childhood and adolescence I attended Jewish summer camp. There, each morning, I saluted a foreign flag, dressed in a uniform reflecting its colors, sang a foreign national anthem, learned a foreign language, learned foreign folk songs and dances, and was taught that Israel was the true homeland. Emigration to Israel was considered the highest virtue, and, like many other Jewish teens of my generation, I spent two summers working in Israel on a collective farm while I contemplated that possibility. More tacitly and subconsciously, I was taught the superiority of my people to the gentiles who had oppressed us. We were taught to view non-Jews as untrustworthy outsiders, people from whom sudden gusts of hatred might be anticipated, people less sensitive, intelligent, and moral than ourselves. -Dr. Stephen Steinlight, who served for five years as the Directory of National Affairs for the American Jewish Committee, one of the most powerful Jewish organizations said in an article in 2001 entitled “The Jewish Stake in America’s Changing Demographics”

  18. RepresentativePress on May 1, 2016, 5:02 am

    It’s sad that anyone thinks he has any credibility. Look at how I called him out on his ignorance about WMD:

  19. Yakov Hirsch on May 1, 2016, 6:36 am

    I already see how power corrupts! I find myself thinking
    “All these wonderful comments why does yonah fredman’s nonsense have to ruin everything and it takes up so much space as well! ”
    So I need to remind myself that even though any child on the playground understands the world better than Yona. And nobody reading Yona will learn anything about anything other than about Yona. That still censoring is bad. But since Yona took the opportunity to share what he thought we all needed to spend our time reading I will give him a tip. Im new to this writing gig. But i realized right away that if i started anything with “this part of the rant” the game was over before it even began. You’re welcome.

  20. MRW on May 1, 2016, 6:43 am

    Well, Yakov, you galloped through that and I gladly followed. What was delicious is that you started at their assholes and worked your way to their mouths. What a ride.

  21. Ossinev on May 1, 2016, 8:07 am

    “To think otherwise, one would have to inhabit world where ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the BBC, The Guardian, every major European broadcast network and newspaper, Vox, Salon, Slate, American academia, the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, and countless other media outlets and international institutions don’t exist”

    On the subject of media the Rupert Murdoch owned UK Times has been in super frenzy mode in recent days with its attacks on ex UK MP / London Mayor Ken Livingstone who dared to suggest that Hitler was originally in favour of deportation of the Jews ( I am sure that I have heard that claimed being aired by someone else – the Mufti springs to mind ). Anyway Ken who is a lifelong supporter of the Palestinians and has always therefore been fair game to the Jewish Lobby in the UK is being savaged as being anti semitic and apparently the problem of anti semitism in the UK is growing out of control within huge numbers of the UK population ( well actually about half a dozen members of the Labour Party including one MP voicing anti – Zionist / anti – Israel remarks ). The problem is so huge that every other critical current news issue such as the EU Referendum vote,the ongoing strikes in the National Health Service, the Hillsborough Football Stadium Scandal , the Immigration problem to name but a few have been relegated to the back of the queue. Yes it is official the number one problem facing the UK / Europe / the World / the Universe is rampant anti – semitism. It is all around us in the UK , not in the form of relentless physical attacks and abuse of Jews and Jewish property , but cleverly disguised as criticism of Zionism and/or criticism of the poor tiny defenceless little start up statelet of Israel which as we all know is surrounded by vaste hordes of brutal kitchen knife / sharpened pencil wielding Palestinians. Most of all it is evident in the barbaric,savage and Nazi inspired BDS movement.

    It stinks to high heaven of a Jewish Lobby attempt at a counteroffensive against BDS and it has even prompted the new Israeli Ambassador to London , the world famous Mark Regurgitev , to pop his head out of the Zionist swamp. As reported by the BBC:
    The new Israeli ambassador to London said elements of left-wing parties were “deluding themselves” if they presumed there was no problem with anti-Semitism.
    Mark Regev said language used in the past couple of weeks had been “very concerning”, and there was “a difference between legitimate criticism and hate speech”.
    Comments in the last few weeks had crossed from criticism of Israeli government policies to “demonising and a vilification of” the Jewish state and perpetuating racist stereotypes, he said.

    To be fair to Regurgitev who has been strangely quiet since taking up his post in Pommieland ( he is of course an Australian who metamorphisized into an Israeli) he wasn`t “being clear” when he made his remarks.

    Meanwhile Livingstone is sticking to his guns and not apologising for his comments and pointing out amongst other things and in a matter of fact fashion that the leader of all of the Jews in all of the world , the glorious Yahoo , has expressed the same “Nazi Apologist” views:

    Hang in there Ken.

    • Yakov Hirsch on May 1, 2016, 9:11 am

      Patience patience

    • Rodneywatts on May 1, 2016, 3:32 pm

      Hi Ossinev– love your comment and sarcasm, which nicely relate Yakov’s great piece to the ridiculous situation we have in the UK. This is certainly a time for those of us over here to stand up to the conflationary arguments and accusations of not only the Jewish zionists but also Christian zionists ( I used to be one) and others.
      As it happens I am part way through a draft email to Revelation TV, which my wife watches quite often, concerning quite an interesting discussion on Brexit 2 weeks ago. However one of the participants, in considering our leaders, made a typical zionist statement that Jeremy Corbyn was definitely an anti-semite! It was only because of other pressing matters that I didn’t finish writing then, and include refs to letters written by a number of Jews to the Guardian last August to counter the zionist accuations. Little did I know that by today there would be current refs to counter that slur on Corbyn and the others like Livingstone. It’s a pity that more people are not aware of Lenni Brenner’s book ‘Zionism in the age of the dictators’. –and I say that as someone who is certainly not on the far left.

    • MRW on May 1, 2016, 4:34 pm



    • John O on May 2, 2016, 4:27 am

      It’s been a depressing few days in the UK – concerted attacks on Corbyn and Livingstone, a laughable article on Israel from Jonathan Freedland, who hopes that “one day” Israel will do right by the Palestinians.

      Regev’s intervention actually cheered me up – I expect few people would have realised he’s the ambassador, but many more will know him from his days as Israel’s bullshitter-in-chief.

  22. wondering jew on May 1, 2016, 10:40 am

    Mr hirsch- kirchik’s rant deserved to be skewered as does Netanyahu’s rhetoric and his policies as well. Kirchik’s major attack on

    • wondering jew on May 1, 2016, 11:17 am

      Kirchik’s major attack on sanders’ Jewishness issue focused on sanders vis a vis Israel and thus deserves to be skewered as well. But the style of any rant (it is a negative term, but aptly used to describe what your post is or most closely resembles) is breezy, no time for speed bumps or depth of thought and Sanders and left politics and Jewishness actually deserve real thought.

      The jews leaving eastern Europe (and other jews as well) wanted to be treated by the new society in america as mere humans. Hath not a jew eyes? that great yid fictional villain asks. We are human and treat us as human. But there are other demands placed on the jew by his parents and brothers: Don’t deny who you are and also “be true to your school”. It is the second dictum which implies blind loyalty which is deserving of mockery, but “don’t deny who you are” is part of the wisdom of the human species.

      It is natural and right to reject the amnesia that is implied by the American ideal. It is easiest for many ethnics to gain acceptance by the white conquerors of this great continent by pretending that they too arrived on the mayflower and not at Ellis island, but it is false. Many men succeeded by pretending to be the sons of white men instead of the sons of greenhorns, that’s the nature of our planet, but wisdom rejects success through lies and insists on some minimum of memory. Every morality tale goes the same route rejecting this amnesia.
      Kirchik is not a leftist and when jews of the left declare leftism to be the modern incarnation of Jewishness he rejects this identification. Myerson’s article in the Voice raised my hackles as well and his apathy regarding any jews who are of opposing opinions certainly painted him as someone who was not dealing with the question of Jewishness with any depth, who sees his own leftism in Jewishness and declares the two to be the same, which is narcissism, not analysis.

      Bernie Sanders does not deny he is Jewish like tobias wolff’s real father in “A Boy’s life.”
      But sanders has figured out a narrative of his life that works for him and sells to the Vermont American public, and that narration is, I am the son of Polish immigrants. Where I come from that rhetoric immediately stimulates a just-a-minute response. Your parents or grandparents did not flee Poland because they were poor poles, but because they were persecuted jews and though this ethnic fact will not help you get elected senator, it is still a fact and Bernie’s breezy formulation rubs those who care about such facts the wrong way.

      • wondering jew on May 1, 2016, 12:03 pm

        Tobias wolff’s “this boy’s life” and in its sequel “in Pharaoh’s army”.

      • Mooser on May 1, 2016, 1:33 pm

        “Myerson’s article in the Voice raised my hackles as well”

        Good to know, “Yonah”, I hoped the reports of hackual dysfunction were vastly exaggerated

      • Mooser on May 1, 2016, 3:15 pm

        “in Pharaoh’s army”.

        Pharoah’s Army, of course, got drowned in the Red Sea.

      • Mooser on May 1, 2016, 3:36 pm

        “Your parents or grandparents did not flee Poland because they were poor poles, but because they were persecuted jews”

        And with Poland all fat and happy between Germany and Russia, enjoying centuries of independence and stability. But for some reason out of all the Poles in Poland only the Jews suffered. Hell of a thing.

      • wondering jew on May 1, 2016, 3:43 pm

        Bernie Sanders’ father left Poland in 21, and to blame Polish persecution without referencing czarist rule til 1917 is unfair.

      • wondering jew on May 1, 2016, 5:15 pm

        mooser- “Why are you Jews always moving? Why are you leaving?” the Polish (or Russian) driver asks Mendel in Joseph Roth’s “Job”. The mobility of Sanders’ parents was a Jewish trait, caught up in the emigration wave that began in 1881. Whether some god (Mooser 120 years later) can define their circumstances as justifying their emigration or not, the fact is that millions of Jews left eastern Europe between 1881 and 1921 and to define that emigration but deprive it of its Jewish flavor is just plain historical ignorance. The fact is that if Bernie’s father had been asked as he departed, “why are you leaving?” odds are good that he’d say, “the other jews who have gone to america have done okay and things are not so good here in Poland now for us Jews now that the nationalists have taken over, so I’m going to America to make a new start.” and maybe the average pole who immigrated had greater reason to leave Poland than the average Jew who immigrated, but if he had been given an exit interview, what do you think Bernie’s father would have said.

      • Mooser on May 1, 2016, 10:41 pm

        “mooser- “Why are you Jews…”

        “Yonah”, you have an amazing capacity to trivialize Judaism and Jewishness

    • Mooser on May 1, 2016, 1:26 pm

      ” Don’t deny who you are and also “be true to your school”

      “Yonah” promotiong Judaism with the surf-and-sand music of Southern California is a brilliant idea. And just in time for summer, too. Yes, there’s “Be true to Your Schul“,
      But let’s not forget those other perennial favorites like:
      “My Little Jewish Coupe (You don’t know what I’ve got)” not to mention:
      Frum, frum, frum til’ Daddy takes the Torah Away”
      and who can forget, “The Little Old Zayde From Pasedena”? Go, bubbe go!

      • Mooser on May 1, 2016, 2:27 pm

        I left out the Beach Blanket Bingo remake of “Yentil” starring Fabian and Annette and its theme song “Cheder Girl (My Little Cheder Girl)”

        And that affecting, if somewhat maudlin paean to in-marriage “Wouldn’t I Get Naches” and a look at the consequences of ecumenical concupiscence in “Little Shondah

        I apologize for the omissions.

  23. Rodneywatts on May 1, 2016, 3:39 pm

    Hi Yakov, managed to ‘speed read’ your article, and glad I did. You certainly deserve the accolades! As I am in the UK I found Ossinev’s comment a great link to our situation over here, and left a longer comment there.

  24. Yakov Hirsch on May 2, 2016, 2:07 am

    I have finally “made it” @Yair_Rosenberg blocked me from twitter because I hurt his feelings.
    You can hide but you cant run Yair. I am sitting at my computer now and writing all about you. Its all about “Yair Rosenberg the new Zionist Wunderkind on the block.” So precocious! Already at so young an age the worlds biggest expert on antisemitism. Truly a rare genius.
    Prepare Yair a cruise missle is coming at you that will do more than hurt your feelings. At the end of all this I know you will say “that Yakov Hirsch that sent me to accounting school was only so smart because he was Jewish” And that is one thing i will never be able to take away from you.

    • a blah chick on May 2, 2016, 7:37 am

      “Yair_Rosenberg blocked me from twitter because I hurt his feelings.”

      That, my friend, should earn you the medal of freedom.

      I will never forgive him for spreading the lie that Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s family burned him alive for being gay.

      • Yakov Hirsch on May 2, 2016, 10:13 am

        Yair Rosenberg is done.

    • Mooser on May 2, 2016, 3:04 pm

      ” Truly a rare genius.”

      Really? I’ve heard he has a team of Hebrew Slave Worriers to do all his thinking.

      “that Yakov Hirsch that sent me to accounting school was only so smart because he was Jewish” And that is one thing i will never be able to take away from you.”

      That’s the beauty of tribal unity, baby! It’ll make it much easier for Yair to take his come-uppance. From anybody else, he couldn’t accept it.

  25. Kay24 on May 2, 2016, 10:14 am

    Yet another attempt to make the illegal settlements legit and theirs

    The snake woman slithers on:

    Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked Pushes Plan to Apply Israeli Law in West Bank Settlements

    “Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Monday she is crafting a plan with the attorney general to apply Israeli law in the West Bank.
    A committee on the plan would be established to review all Knesset laws and decide if Israeli law could immediately be implemented in the settlements through a military order.
    Shaked said the initiative would replace failed efforts by her Habayit Hayehudi party in recent years to promote the so-called Norms Law, under which any law passed by the Knesset would apply to the settlements via orders by the region’s military commander.

    Most such efforts – known by critics as “creeping annexation” of the settlements – have failed in recent years. Currently several similar bills are at the Knesset.”

    read more:

  26. Ossinev on May 2, 2016, 1:37 pm

    @John O
    “Regev’s intervention actually cheered me up – I expect few people would have realised he’s the ambassador, but many more will know him from his days as Israel’s bullshitter-in-chief.”

    100 % agree. Regurgitev always cheers me up. It`s a combination of his deadpan facial expression ( I have never seen one but I am thinking constipated wallaby ) and his unique catchphrases including the immortal “let`s be clear ” and the ever popular “Haaaaaaaggghhhmas is a terrorist organisation”. But lets be clear it seems clear to me that Hasbara Central has tweaked his act and they have clearly said to him FFS lets be clear Mark you have got to give up on the “let`s be clear” when defending JSIL actions and promising hundreds of thousands of investigations into alleged war crimes since it is clear that the expression is clearly cracking people up including some of your fellow Hasbarists. This is clearly a sad development and I for one would clearly be relieved if he slips back into his old ways – perhaps another encounter with newscaster Jon Snow will clear the way for further clarity.

  27. Atlantaiconoclast on May 3, 2016, 4:41 pm

    The part that grabbed my attention was the guy in the crowd asking Bernie about his Jewishness. Why is what he said offensive? Are we supposed to pretend that there is no ethnocentrism in the banking industry, in the Federal Reserve? Give me a break.

Leave a Reply