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The sensitive Zionist — a review of Natalie Portman’s new film

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Natalie Portman, supermodel, Oscar winning actress, has written, directed, and stars in a recent film adaptation of Amos Oz’s autobiographical novel, A Tale of Love and Darkness (2002). Amos Oz, the celebrated writer of 13 novels, and 25 other books, has been published in 42 languages. Tale of Love and Darkness traces his parents’ journey to Palestine, and the formative relationship with his mother, Fania Mussman who committed suicide when Amos was just 12 years old. We saw Portman’s film last night at the Castro in San Francisco, on the third day of the Jewish Film Festival currently in progress here. The film is slated for a wider theatrical release in the United States next month.

Portman is smart, complex, famous, and not entirely comfortable with her celebrity. In interviews her hands interact nervously: she knows how to hold herself, and knows just what to say in order to play the game that’s made her a wealthy woman, but she looks uncomfortable with that game. She’s nervous on screen when not in character as model or actress. It’s a discomfort that serves her well playing the role of Amos Oz’s brilliant, disturbed mother.

It’s clear why Portman was interested in making this film. The family histories of Portman and Oz are vaguely parallel, and together they encompass the essence of the 20th century Jewish narrative: emigration to Palestine, emigration to the United States, the Holocaust, formation of the state of Israel, and the complex relationship between Israel and Jews in the diaspora, and Israel and the Palestinians. It’s this overarching narrative that gives depth to this film and makes it special, even if it’s not perfect.

Both Oz and Portman changed their names: Oz [the word means “strength” or “might” in Hebrew] adopted his new name as he left home at age 14 to become a writer on Kibbutz Hulda; Portman, born Neta-Lee Hershlag, adopted the maiden name of her paternal grandmother (presumably) to facilitate her film career. The film intimately links Oz and Portman in a loving inverted parent-child relationship.

Portman’s paternal grandparents emigrated to Palestine from Poland in the 1930’s while her maternal grandparents emigrated to the United States from Poland and Austria. Her parents met at Ohio State University and her mother followed her father back to Israel where Portman was born in 1981. The family moved back to the United States when she was three years old.

Oz was born Amos Klausner in Jerusalem in 1939 where his parents met at the Hebrew University. His mother, Fania Mussman, was born to a wealthy mill owner in Rivne (82 miles west of Kiev). Fania and her two sisters attended a Hebrew Zionist grade school in Rivne. Later she studied history and philosophy at Charles University in Prague, and after her father’s business collapsed in the Great Depression, the family emigrated to Palestine and she continued her studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Oz’s father, Yehuda Arieh Klausner, studied history and literature at the university in Vilnius. His right wing revisionist Zionist family moved from there to Palestine in the 1930’s.

The Mussmans and Klausners were served well by their Zionism. They may not have cared for the dusty and unrefined streets of Jerusalem when they arrived, but it was better than the alternative. Of approximately 210,000 Jews living in Lithuania at the start of World War II, almost all (approximately 195,000) perished in the Holocaust. In Rivne, the Germans shot 23,000 men, women, and children in the forest on November 6-8, 1941. The region was ground zero for approximately half of the Holocaust.

The film omits the biographical story of how the families came to be in Jerusalem. It opens with mother and son in bed, in the dark, telling stories. It’s 1945 and Amos is six years old. There is tension in the house, vaguely connected with a difference in the parents’ Zionism. Yehuda understands implicitly the coming assertion of Jewish power and what it will mean for the Arabs. “Our nation is standing at the gate,” he says. Fania sees no gate, “there’s an abyss,” she says. In her mind she sees the streets of Rivne emptied of life, and she is terrified. In her dreams she fantasizes a virile labor Zionist working the land in peace–no guns. To be sensitive is more important than to be honest, Fania counseled her son.

On the way to school Jewish children casually vandalize the hanging laundry of Palestinians.

What does it mean “to be sensitive” in the context of Zionism? Does it imply sharing the land? It would seem so. The Palestinian author and critic, Samir El-Youssef, observes that even prior to 1948, Jews sought to share the land by living apart. Amos Oz has been advocating to complete this separation and to make it permanent through a “two-state-solution.” But such a separation can never be “sensitive,” or just, says El-Youssef: with the passage of time, future generations will naturally overlap and want to integrate in the land. He concluded an article in the Jewish Quarterly in 2004 as follows:

The problem, at least for Oz and those who believe in peace on the basis of the two-state solution, is that separation as a policy – like every policy which needs to be imposed from above – entails the use of violent means: waging wars, raising walls, removing settlers, slamming the doors in the face of Palestinian workers trying to earn their living in Israel, etc. But couldn’t such a policy, one might ask, be achieved peacefully? No, because the two states proposed by Oz and others are unequal states on every possible form of comparison. And unequal states are unlikely to make good neighbours even if the fences are good.

A scene early in the film appears to illustrate this point. The family is invited to a party at the home of a rich Arab in Jerusalem. On the way Yehuda lectures this son not to accept food that is offered, and to be polite. Yehuda appears to be counseling separation, so as not to upset relations between the Jews and Arabs. When they arrive, Amos is sent to the garden to play with the host’s children. In the garden he finds an attractive, intelligent, and ambitious girl his own age and her younger brother. But Amos does not know how to play. He knows how to talk: “There’s room here for both peoples,” he volunteers out of the blue. He is not oblivious to the implied threat in what he says. The girl coaxes him to climb a tree. Reaching the branch that supports the swing, he seizes it and shakes it violently with mindless animal aggression. It’s vaguely frightening–and it causes an accident that harms the younger child. The parents understand this for the metaphor that it is. Dread is in the air.

Seventy years ago, on July 22, 1946, the Zionist underground blew up the southern wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 and injuring 46 more. In the film the blast breaks up an intimate family outing with Fania gently stroking the heads of both father and son lying on the grass in the park. We don’t see the hotel. It’s like a rumor. More upheaval follows. There is a picture of a British lout of a soldier slouching on his jeep. It’s a picture of occupation. Any occupation. Annoying. Entitled. It makes manifest the Zionist desire to seize power and rid themselves of the British, because they can; but the irony of the Israeli occupation over Palestinians is not lost.

An abyss, said Fania. And as time goes on she withdraws more and more into depression. Her stories grow darker: a drowning girl, a young Polish officer shooting himself.

The UN declaration of partition of Palestine on November 29, 1947 brought the moment to its crisis. The film shows a sniper killing of Fania’s friend as she hangs laundry; a sniper killing of a young boy kicking a soccer ball; Fania establishing a bomb shelter in the Klausner basement. There is a small amount of archive war footage. We don’t see any of the Palestinian suffering. We see Oz collecting bottles to be used as Molotov cocktails. And Portman shows us Oz remembering the bright young Palestinian girl from the garden in Jerusalem. He instinctively knows that this war has robbed her of her future. The war has separated these societies into separate camps: occupier and occupied.

What did Fania think? Would she have agreed with El-Youssef? “Nobody knows anything about anyone,” she said to her son. And we don’t know if her melancholia and eventual suicide was the result of World War II and the resulting emptiness in Rivne, the tragedy of Zioninsm as she saw it unfold, or something about her constitution. We do know that she provided inspiration for her son, and now to Natalie Portman, and that as long as we can hear her counsel to choose to “be sensitive” as an overarching value, there’s hope.

The film co-stars Gilad Kahana as Arieh Klausner, Amir Tessler (Amos Oz as a child), Yonatan Shirai (Amos Oz as a teenager), Makram Khoury, Shira Haas, Neta Riskin, and Asia Naifeld. The film will be shown again as part of the festival on August 4 at the Rhoda Repertory theater in Berkeley.

Roland Nikles
About Roland Nikles

Roland Nikles is a Bay Area writer and attorney. He blogs here: And you can follow him on twitter @RolandNikles

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58 Responses

  1. Atlantaiconoclast
    Atlantaiconoclast on July 25, 2016, 11:10 am

    I’ll be impressed with her when she helps produce a movie about the Nakba and the decades long occupation of Palestine. Till Hollywood starts making movies about the genocides and tragedies of other peoples, I refuse to watch any Holocaust related movies, and I will not watch the WW2, I mean, the History Channel.

    • Marnie
      Marnie on July 25, 2016, 12:06 pm

      I agree. I won’t watch this or watch another Holocaust-centric movie. We know that story. It’s long past time to tell other stories, especially the Nakba.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on July 25, 2016, 1:09 pm

        Do you? I don’t think that you do. I think that you view the Holocaust as a nuisance, and something that you’d rather not be reminded of.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 25, 2016, 4:12 pm

        ” I think that you view the Holocaust as a nuisance, and something that you’d rather not be reminded of.”

        I think you not only have the right to judge anybody’s “view” of the Holocaust, “Hophmi”, you have an obligation to judge everybody’s “view” of the Holocaust.

      • jd65
        jd65 on July 25, 2016, 6:48 pm

        Marnie: We know that story.

        hophmi: Do you? I don’t think that you do.

        First: That’s rude, hophmi. Second: What’s your basis for saying Marnie doesn’t know?

      • Marnie
        Marnie on July 26, 2016, 1:16 am

        Are you for real? The Holocaust is on television 24/7. It is required study in schools. I see and speak with Holocaust survivors all the time and you know what? They’re not one bit like you, they’re compassionate and hate the occupation and the bigotry they see here, because it’s what they experienced in europe. You are ridiculous hophni and you bring shame upon people who’ve experienced first hand what you talk shit about every [email protected]$%ng day.

      • Marnie
        Marnie on July 26, 2016, 1:20 am

        “I think that you view the Holocaust as a nuisance, and something that you’d rather not be reminded of.”

        Not be reminded of? What are you not saying? I feel no guilt about the Holocaust. I had no part in it. I do feel guilt about the Nakba, because the country I come from has a lot to do with it continues to have a lot to do with the situation right now, and no matter who wins the election, this horrible situation in Palestine is going to worsen. The Holocaust ended over 70 years ago. The Nakba continues. Its that fact that zionists refuse to acknowledge and it needs to be in your face 24/7.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on July 26, 2016, 7:36 am

        You are right Marnie. Unfortunately, the Holocaust has been used and overused by zionists, for their own devious reasons, and it has lost the impact is should have for that very reason.
        The tragedies of the past should always be referred to, when there is urgent need to avoid a similar tragedy. The on going occupation, land grabs and thousands being killed, attacked, and children abused in jails, needs the attention of the world right now. No one can control what happened decades ago, but certainly can right the wrongs of what the zionists keep doing every today.

        As for the real story of the true Holocaust survivors, this should tell you exactly how precious they are to Israel and how well they are taken care of:

        “Hundreds Protest at Knesset Over State Neglect of Holocaust Survivors
        Welfare Minister: New team will address survivors’ needs; some 180,000 Israeli survivors don’t receive assistance.
        read more:

        It seems the poor Holocaust survivors were treated like a NUISANCE by the Israeli government.

        People that pretend to be outraged at the mere mention of the Holocaust in a discussion are simply using it to silence any reference to what the zionists are doing TODAY.

      • Marnie
        Marnie on July 26, 2016, 12:06 pm

        Hophni you’re not only a phony but a coward. Nothing but hit and run.

      • Marnie
        Marnie on July 26, 2016, 12:38 pm

        Kay24 – I remember an article from at least 10 years ago about Holocaust survivors in israel eating out of garbage bins, the indignities they suffer to get their benefits, the hoops they have to jump through and many are in very poor health, which they must prove was the result of their internment in concentration camps. It’s absolutely disgusting, but here we have the hophni’s, et al, constantly talking about what’s been done with over 70 years as a distraction from discussing the continued abuse they suffer at the hands of the zionist enterprise, who’ve put them on a diet and out of sight/out of mind, but don’t hesitate to trot them out for the crowds and exploit them for their propaganda every yom ha’shoah.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod on July 27, 2016, 9:33 am

        Hophmi employs his imaginary mind-reading super-powers again.

      • eljay
        eljay on July 27, 2016, 10:15 am

        || hophmi: … I think that you view the Holocaust as a nuisance, and something that you’d rather not be reminded of. ||

        The Holocaust is a tragedy. It should have compelled – and should continue to compel – all people to advocate and uphold the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

        To hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists like you, the Holocaust is a tool. It enabled – and continues to enable – people like you hypocritically to advocate, commit, defend, justify and/or excuse acts of injustice and immorality committed by Jews against others.

        Your indignation rings hollow.

      • Mayhem
        Mayhem on July 30, 2016, 2:19 am

        Marnie, why not ask Abbas if he will extend his plan to sue Britain for the Balfour Declaration and sue Germany as well for causing the Holocaust and thus upsetting the Palestinians and their supporters?

    • jd65
      jd65 on July 25, 2016, 6:42 pm

      Hey Atlanta: I’ll be impressed with her when she helps produce a movie about the Nakba and the decades long occupation of Palestine. Yeah. Me too. The little I’ve heard from her, my impression is that she’s a “liberal Zionist,” and likely considers herself one. Maybe she’s even a “gentler, kinder” Zionist. But sticking the word “liberal” in front of Zionist doesn’t make it ok. And my understanding is that Oz is basically the same. Coloring the planned takeover of Palestine from it’s centuries old inhabitants with liberal, “sensitive” heart-on-your-sleeve pseudo-liberationistic jargon is a smokescreen. A smokescreen to cover, among other things, ethnic cleansing. It’s related to the “shoot, then cry” Israeli modus operandi. My assumption is that’s what this film is similar to as well. And I won’t be seeing it until I hear different from someone I know, or assume, has a truly Pro-Palestinian attitude. Portman is an excellent actor, and she’s been in some truly fantastic movies. But my guess is that this will not be among them. She’s lucky to be in a position to be able to make it. I sincerely hope that she knows how fortunate she is…

    • Froggy
      Froggy on July 26, 2016, 5:26 pm

      Like you, I also refuse to watch Holocaust-themed films, and for the same reasons as you.

      There is one exception though. I’ll always watch The Pianist, an historical drama based on the autobiographical book The Pianist, a World War II memoir by the great Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman.

      I also have Szpilman’s book.

  2. echinococcus
    echinococcus on July 25, 2016, 12:46 pm

    Summary: be “sensitive” and make sure you keep as much ad you can of other people’s stolen land.
    Shouldn’t this guy have published this in any Zionist paper, where he would be met with approval?

  3. W.Jones
    W.Jones on July 25, 2016, 3:48 pm

    Natalie Portman was in a 2005 movie called the Free Zone. I got that the Conflict is bad and that we need peace, but did not really get what the movie was trying to say, particularly the ending where it focuses on her face for maybe 5 minutes when she is crying and it plays the same chorus over and over about “the lamb”.

    The Free Zone

    Do you understand what the movie is trying to say at that part?

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson on July 26, 2016, 1:38 am

      FILM: Free Zone, 2005 NR 90 minutes
      Netflix’s best guess for me: 4.3 stars (I rated it 5/5 on Netflix, and 8/10 on IMDb)
      Average of 27203 ratings: 2.6 stars
      Hana Laszlo won a Cannes Best Actress award for her portrayal of Hanna, an Israeli taxi driver, in this drama. Headed to the Free Zone* to collect money owed to her husband, Hanna picks up Rebecca (Natalie Portman), a frazzled American who begs to come along. But retrieving the money won’t be easy; the two wind up on a strange journey with a Palestinian woman (Hiam Abbass) who reveals that Hanna’s debtor has vanished, along with all of his loot.
      Director: Amos Gitai
      Writers: Amos Gitai, Marie-Jose Sanselme
      Cast: Natalie Portman, Hana Laszlo, Hiam Abbass, more…
      Genres: Foreign, Foreign Dramas, Israel (some Jordanian funding), Hebrew Language
      Language: Hebrew (with some English, and a bit of Arabic) [English subtitles for the Hebrew and Arabic]
      Netflix format: DVD
      • Netflix listing –
      • Internet Movie Database (Ratings: 5.9/10 from 2,537 users) –
      • Trailer de “Free Zone” [VIDEO, 01:56]

      * An economic ‘Free Zone’ was established by Jordan in Aqaba in August 2000. It covers one million square metres, although an additional 2.5 million sq. m. has been allocated for the purpose of establishing industrial projects. Goods traded in the Free Zone are exempt of duty.
      Aqaba The Oasis and beyond فلم العقبة السياحي [VIDEO, 05:28] –

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson on July 26, 2016, 1:58 am


        ■ CONFLICT ZONE: “We’re surrounded by the craziest people” | Conflict Zone | DW (English) [VIDEO, 25:50] –
        Published on Nov 4, 2015
        Tim Sebastian interviews Naftali Bennett, Israeli Minister of Education and leader of the right-wing Jewish Home Party.

        THE LAWLESS ZONE ~ The Transfer of Policing and Security Powers to the Civilian Security Coordinators in the Settlements and Outposts

        A Fifty-Five Page PDF | By Yesh Din | June 2014



        A protracted territorial struggle has been waged in recent years in many parts of the West Bank between settlers seeking to expand the areas under their control and annexing as much land as possible and Palestinian landowners interested in farming their land. The civilian security coordinators (CSCs) and the civilian guarding squads that operate in the Israeli settlements on the West Bank are among the most influential parties in this struggle. The CSCs are agents of the army, in that they are subject to the Military Justice Law and hold policing powers, but they are appointed by the settlements and see themselves as representing the settlements’ interests. This conflict of interests, combined with the absence of a clear definition of their powers and weak supervision of their actions, creates daily friction and clashes between the CSCs and settlement civilian guard usquads, on the one hand, and Palestinians farmers, on the other. In many cases the end result is that Palestinian landowners are unable to farm their land.

        The CSCs and the guarding squads that operate in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are quasi-military civilian forces composed of residents of the settlements and outposts in the area. They are equipped with IDF weapons, undergo military training, and are empowered to undertake policing actions, such as searches and detentions, and to use force. Their activities are ostensibly supervised and monitored by the IDF. The use of these forces in the settlements is based on a military doctrine called “regional defense,” which predates the establishment of the State of Israel, when such forces based in Israeli frontline communities were charged with supporting army forces during military confrontations or invasions by foreign armies. In the West Bank, the “regional defense” approach has come to be confined to the protection of the settlements and outposts against intrusion, without the additional aspect of contributing to the overall security situation.

        This report reviews the powers granted to these quasi-military forces in the fields of law enforcement and authority over soldiers stationed in the settlements and in the extensive areas placed under their control – areas referred to as “guarding zones.” In 1971 the State of Israel began to operate quasi-military forces in the settlements and outposts, yet over forty years later key aspects of their operations have yet to be formally defined. By way of example, no rules have been established regarding IDF supervision of the appointment and operations of CSCs and guarding squads. Neither have rules been defined regarding the relations between these forces and IDF soldiers stationed in the settlements, or other army units, nor regarding the geographical boundaries within which these quasi-military forces are permitted to operate. Moreover, the operational responsibility for these forces is currently diffused between three bodies: The Ministry of Defense, which finances their operations; the IDF, which is suppoed to supervise their work; and the settlements themselves, which appoint the CSCs and guards from among their residents and serve as their direct employers.

        This diffusion of authority creates a conflict of interests manifested in two key areas. Firstly, the CSCs and the members of the guarding squads, who bear weapons and hold policing and law enforcement powers, are supposed to represent neutral interests for the respect for the law and maintenance of public order. Yet they also belong to one of the two mutually hostile groups in the West Bank – i.e. the settler population – and, as such, they clearly support the territorial interests of the settlements in a manner that frequently clashes with their function as representatives of the law and public order. There is no dispute that the settlements in the West Bank seek to expand the territorial areas under their control, in most cases at the expense of the land of Palestinian residents. In their struggle to this end, many settlements use means including the violation of military orders (which enjoy the status of law in the West Bank), through means such as illegal construction and the criminal seizure of Palestinian land. This conflict of interests is clearly illustrated in the application of the authority granted to CSCs to define what constitutes a security threat as the foundation for the deployment of guarding squads and army forces. This authority enables the CSCs to define events in a manner that prevents Palestinians from accessing their land adjacent to settlements and outposts, thereby realizing the settlements’ aspirations to expand their sphere of territorial control.

        Secondly, although the CSCs are accountable to the IDF in professional terms, their salaries are paid by the settlements (with funds from the Ministry of Defense), and in most cases they are residents of the settlements. This situation creates tension between their commitment to army orders and their commitment to their place of residence and to the leaders of the settlements.

        It is also important to note that the use of these quasi-military forces is part of a broader trend. Since the mid-1980s, executive powers in the field of law enforcement, including the state’s core powers relating to the use of force, have been increasingly privatized and transferred to interest groups. As in the case of the privatization processes inside Israel, this transfer has taken place without meaningful supervision and without adequate examination of its ramifications. No consideration has been given to the manner in which the transfer of powers to elements within the settlements influences the rule of law in the West Bank or the rights of Palestinians – the protected residents of the area in accordance with the provisions of international law.

        The transfer of policing and law enforcement powers to an ideological interest group has a particularly pernicious impact when it takes place in an occupied territory, in which the settlements themselves were established in gross violation of international law and entail the usurping of land on a massive and protracted basis. The granting of such sweeping powers to an interest group that openly and declaratively rejects the provisions of international law is indicative of the chaos that characterizes the official Israeli attitude toward law enforcement in the West Bank.

        Yesh Din believes the activity of the CSCs and guarding squads not only fails to uphold public order and the rule of law in the West Bank, it also undermines them and weakens Israel’s ability to fulfill its duty under international law to protect the Palestinians and their property.

        TO DOWNLOAD The Lawless Zone (PDF, 55 pages) –

  4. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on July 26, 2016, 1:26 am

    Very interesting. Much thanks. I look forward to seeing the film, and I ordered the book.
    I have always very much liked both Amos Oz and Natalie Portman.

    • gamal
      gamal on July 26, 2016, 8:49 pm

      “You are squatting on stolen land.”

      well yes but this is all it takes to keep Jon ,man of the left, S, the refugee from Palookaville in place, the absurdity of its my homeland too, yes man you really fitting in round here.

      “According to the report, 37-year old Asi Kasim, who had been injured while in detention at Ofer detention centre, died at Ramallah hospital after being denied medical attention for 23 days. According to an eyewitness, Mr. Asim was subjected to degrading treatment while in custody: he was reportedly forced to strip and stay outside in the rain for several hours. Shari Al Kawasmi, a Palestinian detainee, reported that his 22-year old brother Hamid, who had recently undergone surgery before his arrest and detention in April 28th, 2002, has been severely beaten.

      According to the report, a Palestinian minor, Abdul Salam Abu al-Hajja, who was captured at the Jenin refugee camp, was subjected to sleep deprivation and long hours of interrogation at the al-Jalami detention centre, in Jerusalem. Several other detainees at al-Jalami prison have reportedly been subjected to torture. The report states that they were tied against chairs and exposed to cold air for several hours, during which time they fainted repeatedly. ”

      i thought Mooser had already killed Jon S but he is undead?

      • gamal
        gamal on July 26, 2016, 9:17 pm

        also you know we all follow the lunar calendar so watch out man for the rising of the moon, how do you sleep hope this helps..

        “And come tell me Sean O’Farrell, tell me why you hurry so
        Hush a bhuachaill, hush and listen and his cheeks were all aglow
        I bear orders from the captain, get you ready quick and soon
        For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon

        At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon
        For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon
        And come tell me Sean O’Farrell, where the gathering is to be
        At the old spot by the river quite well known to you and me

        One more word for signal token, whistle out the marching tune
        With your pike upon your shoulder at the rising of the moon
        At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon
        With your pike upon your shoulder at the rising of the moon

        Out from many a mud walled cabin eyes were watching through the night
        Many a manly heart was beating for the blessed morning’s light
        Murmurs ran along the valley to the banshee’s lonely croon
        And a thousand pikes were flashing by the rising of the moon

        By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon
        And a thousand pikes were flashing by the rising of the moon
        All along that singing river, that black mass of men was seen
        High above their shining weapons flew their own beloved green

        Death to every foe and traitor, whistle out the marching tune
        And hoorah me boys for freedom ’tis the rising of the moon
        ‘Tis the rising of the moon, ’tis the rising of the moon
        And hoorah me boys for freedom ’tis the rising of the moon”

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 27, 2016, 4:58 pm

        “…but he is undead?”

        Oh no, certainly not, “Gamal”. After all, a man like “Jon s”cannot be shamed or embarrassed by his inferiors. Nor can he be in any way discomfited, or made to question himself.

        No, “Jon s” just tells us: “Let’s get some things straight:…”

      • jon s
        jon s on July 28, 2016, 9:30 am


        I love that song, gives me goosebumps.
        See this version:

        I think that Theodore Bikel also performed it.

      • jon s
        jon s on July 28, 2016, 9:38 am

        As to the Dubliners:

        Sorry for being off-topic…

      • gamal
        gamal on July 28, 2016, 9:55 am


        I love that song”

        oh back to the rictus grin then fair play to you, stick at it,

        i’d get those goosebumps looked in to you may have pre-trauma.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on July 28, 2016, 9:56 pm

        I doubt that the Dubliners are ever off topic, but if they are, it’s forgivable.

      • gamal
        gamal on July 29, 2016, 7:05 pm

        “I doubt that the Dubliners are ever off topic, ”

        a Dublin supremacist let me quote an actual Cork graffito

        ” End Dublin Rule in Cork now”

  5. jon s
    jon s on July 26, 2016, 5:10 am

    Amos Oz is one of our foremost writers, and also known for his outspoken commitment to the Israeli peace movement.

    Natalie Portman- who can forget her debut in “Leon”?

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus on July 26, 2016, 8:35 am

      John S,

      Amos Oz is well known as a Zionist giving maximum help to the Zionist effort to keep Palestine under the murderous, illegitimate racial supremacist domination. As opposed to the now sitting wing of Zionists who are doing everything to lose it fast.
      So what you call “peace movement” in Zionistese is the worst enemy of Palestinian resistance.
      Someone like you, I suppose, squatting on Palestinian land and intending to keep it. And writing BS.

      • jon s
        jon s on July 26, 2016, 10:56 am

        How can anyone take seriously a commenter who can’t even get my name straight, and keeps adding an “h”?

        Anyway there are those- like Amos Oz – who seek a future of peace for both peoples, who haven’t given up despite the difficulties and setbacks. He’s a better friend of the Palestinian people than those who encourage them to reject any prospects for peace.

        And I’m not “squatting on Palestinian land” . I live in a home which I purchased legally with my own money (and a mortgage from the bank…). I’m living in my homeland, which is also the Palestinian homeland.

      • amigo
        amigo on July 26, 2016, 8:17 pm

        “And I’m not “squatting on Palestinian land” . I live in a home which I purchased legally with my own money (and a mortgage from the bank…). I’m living in my homeland, which is also the Palestinian homeland.” jon s.

        Israel declared it,s borders in 1947 . Beersheba was illegally stolen in 1948.You are squatting on stolen land.

        Is your next door neighbour an Arab .How close is your nearest Arab neighbour.I bet you live in a gated community that only Jewish citizens of Beersheba have the code to get in.

        Btw , in my country , it is against the law to purchase “stolen ” goods and whose money you used to pay for it is of no significance. You go to jail.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 26, 2016, 8:37 pm

        “Israel declared it,s borders in 1947 . Beersheba was illegally stolen in 1948.You are squatting on stolen land.”

        Hey, “Jon s”, do kicks keep getting harder to find in Beersheba?
        How many did you get in? Or were you wielding a chair?

        “Terrorist attack in Beersheva this evening.”
        Oct. 18, 2015.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on July 26, 2016, 8:55 pm


        just because you and a bunch of kooks that drew up a bogus treaty at the outraggeous Durban conference and belive in the absurd legality of the kangaroo court called the russel tribunal think jons or anyone else in judea, israel, galilee , palestine samarianis living illegally on ‘stolen’ land does not by any stretch of the imagination make it illegal.
        and while the zionist-haters may also claim-as do many in the MSM – that the jews living in the so-called occupied territories are “considered” illegal while the truth is “considered” is not the same as “IS” and the status of the land are yet to be decided until direct negotiations between the parties settle the issue.

        illegal=strictly opinion. considered=not actually.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on July 26, 2016, 11:13 pm


        Sorry to say, your post is full of it, too.

        So what if the Zionist entity “declared its borders”?
        Who gives a rat’s if they declared? The colonialist powers’agreement is manifestly illegal:
        These borders were “declared” on other people’s territory and the other people owning the sovereignty over it WERE NOT CONSULTED.

        Nowhere in Palestine is a single inch legitimately the Zionist entity’s and that’s it.

        The invasion with hostile intent starts with the 1897 Zionist Congress.

        By the way, it seems that the “moderators” here are still working to protect the Zionist propaganda people from answers, too.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 26, 2016, 11:24 pm

        “DaBakr” you are “muttering” again.

      • jon s
        jon s on July 27, 2016, 10:56 am

        Let’s get some things straight: when referring to “the settlements” in the context of the Middle East, the accepted, conventional, usual, use of the term refers to the Israeli settlements established in the territories occupied in the 1967 Six Days War: Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan. Now, the settlements in Sinai and Gaza have been dismantled and evacuated, leaving those in the WB and Golan. Of course, you can invent your own definitions, expand the term to the entire country, call Beersheva a settlement, you can even call New York and Chicago “settlements’. But that’s ridiculous: noone in the world, except a bunch of Mondoweiss commenters, thinks the 1947 partitin plan borders are relevant today.

        To your questions:
        No, my next door neighbor is not an Arab.
        I have no idea how close my nearest Arab neighbor lives. Never thought to estimate the distance.
        A gated community??
        Jewish only??
        In Beersheba???
        What are you talking about?
        You’re welcome to visit and see for yourself.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on July 27, 2016, 1:39 pm

        “… and while the zionist-haters may also claim-as do many in the MSM – that the jews living in the so-called occupied territories are “considered” illegal …”

        DaBakr and other propagandists of an Occupying state (Judeonazis and German Nazis included) are the only one who DON’T consider an occupation to be one or that citizens of the occupying state are illegal when settling in occupied terrories. No other state in the world does this, not the UN, it’s Security Council including the US, nor the International Court of Justice. Even Israel’s Military’s orders and its Supreme Court’s rulings regarding the Westbank are based on the legal framework that it is administered under Israel’s “belligerent occupation”.

        Which tell us a lot of the DaBakr’s obsessive accusation of hatred and why he calls a normal position “far lefty”.

      • Talkback
        Talkback on July 27, 2016, 2:11 pm

        jon s”… noone in the world, except a bunch of Mondoweiss commenters, thinks the 1947 partitin plan borders are relevant today.”

        Like noone in the world, except a bunch of Hasbara commenters, considers the settlements to be legal and the Westbank to be disputed instead of occupied. Even Israel’s Supreme court calls it a “belligerent occupation”. And whether the Hasbara imbeciles like it or not: Settling in occopied territories is a violation of humanitarian law since the Nuremberg Trials. Of course back then they were refering to the main charce “Germanization of occupied territories”. That’s the reason why the International Red Cross commented the relevant article of the Geneva Conventions like this:

        “[This clause] is intended to prevent a practice adopted during the Second World War by certain Powers, which transferred portions of their own population to occupied territory for political and racial reasons or in order, as they claimed, to colonize those territories. Such transfers worsened the economic situation of the native population and endangered their separate existence as a race.”

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 27, 2016, 3:50 pm

        ” no one in the world, except a bunch of Mondoweiss commenters,”

        Must be frustrating to be the only disinterested, objective analyst of IP issues and not be listened to.

        I mean, there you are, with no conflict-of-interest whatsoever, ready to offer helpful advice, and people just won’t listen.
        Frankly “Jon s” I think it’s anti-semetic to assume that Jews are prey to the same kind of self-interests as ordinary people.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on July 28, 2016, 10:19 pm


        power to the people. nobody is sovereign over any land under your plan. arabs not sovereign over the levant. europeans enjoy no sovereignty in north america, spanish out of south america and who knows who has to leave the middle east. well thought out position


        while you may say its “hatred” it is simply the fact that the ownership and legality of the land and the borders after 7wars and 70 years as never been settled legally. so even if your partly correct about the majority of nations considering the occupied areas ‘illegal’ it still remains to be decided by mutual negotiations between parties. Unless the issue is forced through a war which establishes new realities -just as the arab rejection and attack caused realities that still exist today.

      • Donald
        Donald on July 29, 2016, 12:43 pm

        Jon s, you just endorsed a one state solution with equal rights for both sides when you say that you are living in your homeland, which is also the Palestinian homeland. I assume you did that inadvertently , but if you really meant it, great.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 29, 2016, 12:48 pm

        “Jon s, you just endorsed a one state solution with equal rights for both sides when you say…”

        Yeah, yeah, when he says. Where he lives, and how he acts, tells a different and truer story.
        “Jon s” is out to get his kicks, and they keep getting harder to find.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on July 29, 2016, 1:01 pm


        Even if he had acknowledged a one-state solution, this invader is still there illegally. It will be “great” when he takes his *$$ back to Brooklyn or wherever he belongs.

      • eljay
        eljay on July 29, 2016, 3:35 pm

        || Donald Johnson: Jon s, you just endorsed a one state solution with equal rights for both sides when you say that you are living in your homeland, which is also the Palestinian homeland. I assume you did that inadvertently , but if you really meant it, great. ||

        He didn’t mean it. He has made it very clear on more than one occasion that he believes in a “peace” which excludes justice, accountability and equality, but includes an Israel that…
        – exists as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and
        – is absolved as much as possible of its obligations under international law and of accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

      • jon s
        jon s on July 30, 2016, 4:01 pm

        Donald Johnson,
        I didn’t endorse the “one state” concept. One state doesn’t necessarily follow from the recognition that this country is the homeland of both peoples. What I wrote -and have done so numerous times – is that under the present circumstances partition is the best solution. Establishing two states which will co-exist peacefully -that’s still the most reasonable and morally sound solution. Both sides have the same homeland; neither side can have it all.
        My support for the two state solution is one of the main reasons for my opposition to the settlements: the settlement project – aside from being illegal – is a major obstacle on the road to achieving it.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on July 26, 2016, 1:09 pm

      “commitment to the Israeli peace movement.”

      That’s just “Jon s” way of saying:
      “Be thankful we haven’t killed all the Palestinians yet.”

    • gamal
      gamal on July 26, 2016, 6:34 pm

      yeah and you couldn’t find this video so just posted the text, a real artist, no rockets though

  6. Rooster
    Rooster on July 26, 2016, 9:58 am

    The rapist who cries as s/he rapes.

    Liberal Zionists are just Zionists who are aware of their crime but want to steal anyway.

    • eljay
      eljay on July 27, 2016, 1:50 pm

      Liberal Zionism is just a “kinder, gentler” form of Zio-supremacism. Liberal Zionists don’t enjoy the dirty work – they “hold their noses” while their hardier co-collectivists handle it – but they too want:
      – Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine;
      – Zio-supremacists and the “Jewish State” to be absolved as much as possible of their past and on-going (war) crimes and of their obligations under international law.

  7. DaBakr
    DaBakr on July 26, 2016, 5:05 pm

    The answer to this article is simple. No commentary required. Just BDS.

    • Marnie
      Marnie on July 27, 2016, 6:22 am

      What was the question?

      • Talkback
        Talkback on July 27, 2016, 2:12 pm

        Should Portman and other Jews BDS Israel or not.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus on July 28, 2016, 9:33 pm


        (take 2) They seem to be on board with the Zionist version of BDS. The one limited to post-1967 conquest and “settlements” only. I agree with these Zionists that this way of fake opposition to only post-67 occupation is their only chance of delaying their getting kicked out; these “liberal” genocidaires could even manage to make people believe they are “legitimate” invaders and thieves.
        We’ll see if JVP and the official BDSers come off that strategy soon.
        Once more, these “Liberal” Zionists are more dangerous than the Yahoos and Likoods and Bennets etc.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on July 28, 2016, 10:33 pm


        so, just to be clear, who is it that is eventually ‘kicking us out’? I’m just wondering. and are we talking years, decades or centuries?

  8. Jim Holstun
    Jim Holstun on July 28, 2016, 12:07 pm

    Ms. Portman’s debut was in Luc Besson’s truly creeply pedophilic film, Léon: The Professional. Even worse, as a Harvard undergraduate (credited as “Natalie Hershlag”), she was a research assistant for Alan Dershowitz’s THE CASE FOR ISRAEL. Perhaps she was responsible for copying out the bits from Joan Peters’s FROM TIMEIMMEMORIAL

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr on July 29, 2016, 10:30 pm


      wow. how unusual and startling. an israeli born girl raised in the us gains into harvard and assists on a project: the case for israel.

      and btw- that you seem to think the actress is of some low moral character for debuting in a “creepy pedophilic film” (which i think any film critic and/or local pedophile would explain to you that there was no sexual context or nature to the man and girl’s relationship. it was about love, loneliness , devotion and need. get your mind out of the gutter. poor leon died for little natalie so she could live a halfway normal child’s life.

  9. jon s
    jon s on July 28, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Jim Holstun,
    See my comment and link, above.

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