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Welcome the doubting liberals

Middle East
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When I left Gaza, I did not realize how hard it would be to watch the occupation from outside the blockade wall.  I want to act, protect, hit the world over its indifferent head, scream.

Instead, my piece of this uphill battle is to speak about what I know.  The humanity of Gaza, its ambitions and its human rights – those I know after living and working in Gaza 2011 – 2015.

I dissent as a Jew who studies her religion and finds it a positive asset in the search for justice.   As Israel radicalizes, some liberal (on matters other than Palestine) Jews are shuddering and hesitating in their reflexive Zionism.  Natalie Portman has stood up for her Jewish values when Netanyahu stands against them.  I think there are others pausing right now, discomfited but not yet ready to overturn the world as they know it. Their dismay represents one direction to grow the support for Palestinian rights.  Each time I try to nudge someone from helplessness into action, I wonder whether a passionate pro-Palestinian movement will welcome them. Is this a tolerant space for their partial or conditional agreement?

I argue below that there are two good reasons to join with them, to challenge the majority adherence to a Zionist understanding of the Palestine-Israel conflict.  First, it is more promising to persuade an engaged and questioning person, than it is to try to reach and interest an indifferent person. Second, a rights-based campaign is by nature inclusive.  The substance of the campaign is undermined by calling for universal rights from a closed room.

I should state my own position.  I believe that the value of human life is indivisible, not ethnic.  Palestinian rights follow from that simple fact: our lives are of equal value.  Human rights are foundations, not rewards for good behaviour. They need to be restored prior to political negotiations.  I welcome every additional voice that amplifies the demand.

When Palestinians speak as of right in a fearless public debate, they will have the access to persuade others that their claims are just.  Until that time, pro-rights gatherings and websites need to do more of the work of educating, hosting discussion and inviting new scrutiny.  The movement will not gather momentum if it responds to Palestinian exclusion by becoming insular.

Throw open the doors.

This season, Israel is alienating liberal Zionist support by killing unarmed protesters, by its  more overt annexation of the West Bank through lawfare, by its domestic racism and its gleeful embrace of Donald Trump.  Jews have protested alongside non-Jews for the rights of asylum-seekers. Netanyahu is ripping open a space of liberal doubt.  A campaign for Palestinian rights can fill that vacancy.

My time in Gaza concluded nearly two decades of work with excluded, hidden communities.  I lived with my observer’s outrage, but I learned to act with my colleagues’ pragmatism. In 1990s Cambodia, I built a social enterprise with former child combatants and people with disabilities.  They were all child survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide. I bristled at the voyeuristic visitors to our workplace. They pointed their cameras at the absence of a limb, and placed the whole person at the edge of their frame.  My colleagues welcomed even such uninformed interest. They said that they already knew they were amputees. They wanted to be included amputees.  After a few searching arguments about privacy, dignity and mainstreaming, I bit my tongue and took their lead.  Our workshop welcomed visitors.

A decade later, I helped establish a decentralized social enterprise, to employ some of the Afghan women who are not permitted to move beyond their courtyard walls.  I had lived in Afghanistan five years (and America had had troops there for nine) when I met an effusive buyer at a New York trade show.

“Afghanistan,” she said brightly.  “That’s in Africa, right?”

The Afghan and Pakistani colleagues travelling with me didn’t miss a beat.  The work of Afghan women was their calling card, and they wanted it distributed as widely as possible – even by the geographically impaired.

Long before I moved to Gaza, I had become convinced that hidden people needed to be made visible and recognizable in their full humanity, before they had any chance of mustering the broad political will for change.  The validity of a community’s cause can persuade people who notice it – but injustice is not sufficient to get a community noticed. Before the justice comes the work of being seen and heard. That work is more difficult, of course, when it confronts a widely-held narrative.  I wish it were otherwise, but those who are out of sight, really are out of mind.

I arrived in Gaza knowing that walls preserve the status quo by concealment.  Even knowing that, the frank dehumanization of Gaza took my breath away, and made this issue mine.  Dehumanization places Gaza at urgent risk because it denies Gazans’ right to human and civilian protections.  When Israel’s Defence Minister says, “There are no innocent people in Gaza,”  I feel absolutely frantic.  What does that man feel entitled to do next?

My Gazan colleagues were strategic survivors of sustained threat and violence.  After the war in 2012, my team crafted an explanation for their small children: Israel and Gaza held plenty of good people, but they had angry governments.  When the governments fought, everyone was afraid. But angry governments will fall, so my colleagues taught their children that all the good people must remember how to live together.

They held every door open.  On their behalf, I try to do the same.

In 2014, I chose to remain and work in Gaza through the war.   Gaza’s vulnerability was obvious, but no one imagined the gratuitous onslaught that followed.  In its wake, I had to reconstruct the piece of my identity that had been destroyed by the nightly bombardments, by the obliteration of Shuja’iyya and the bombing of seven shelter schools:  what was my Judaism without Israel? How deeply was my Zionism baked in?

The long unravelling that had begun in the First Intifada continues today.  It has required more than the unshrouding of religion from ideology. Just as class is a structure that replicates and enforces itself, so is this.  Zionism is a worldview and a social principle and a family relation; a telling of history and prayer; an advantage and a fear and an entitlement. It is positionality and politics, and I mention it here because every doubting Zionist is likely to weigh up the length and uncertain price of some similar path.  They will imagine what they are losing, long before they glimpse the net gains in their civic, political and religious lives.

It would be easier for them to turn away and lapse into indifference, retaining their community’s approval while their backs hold up the blockade walls.  I am guessing that the people I know in Gaza would prefer to gain their conditional support – and then to bring them more fully on board by showing them the justice of the Palestinian case.

I speak widely about Gaza in order to add adjectives to the impoverished, politicized image of the community, and to frame Gaza in the language of human rights.  I want discomfited liberals (Jews and others) to hear those two messages because they are often new, because they are true and because they are actionable where politics and violence have failed so abysmally.  Rights are accessible: anyone can uphold the rights of humans, and in doing so, can protect all parties to a conflict. Rights are quietly radical, levelling the ground in favour of the disempowered and the dehumanized.

A unifying framework is needed, if liberal Jews are to broadly question their role in enabling and legitimizing the occupation.  Just as Palestinians cannot be expected to swear loyalty oaths to an occupying regime which oppresses them, Jews cannot be expected to adopt visions of justice which (they believe) would threaten them.  Rights can be a signpost, pointing to a progressive, non-tribal path away from conflict. We need that. Liberation is not zero-sum. Two peoples going to learn some liberation, or we’re going to tear each other apart.

Natalie Portman has taken a huge step in that direction.   Jews are given to understand that Judaism-Israel-Zionism-Netanyahu is a single, total edifice.  Portman has dismantled it, saying that Jewish values require speech and action to defend principles from racist politicians.  In a weekend, mainstream media overwrote or frantically clung to the received wisdom.

Portman just made it easier for any number of liberal Jews to turn to the person sitting next to them and start a conversation where compliant silence has prevailed.

There is a second reason to be wary of the kind of ideological scrutiny that has taken place in some forums and at some protests, as Phil Weiss  has discussed.

The content of human and political rights sits uneasily alongside that scrutiny.  Human rights are universal or they are nothing. Israel de-legitimizes itself when it tramples the rights of Palestinians.  A campaign to restore Palestinian rights is a call to equalize and include. If the tone of protest excludes, it erodes the substance of the message.

Exclusion further reinforces every fearmonger who insists that Palestinian rights are merely the polite face of a deeper threat.   The status quo thrives on the fear that a Palestinian liberation would simply replace one tribal regime with another. Surely the potential of a future co-existence is best modelled by a present co-activism, to dismantle those fears.

I can hear – and at times I also feel – the retort, “But they…!”   Yes, Israel’s advocates at times punish and exclude and rationalize.  As long as they have the weight of inertia behind them, they can do so.   Netanyahu doesn’t have to pretend any interest in a resolution while he has Trump.

Palestinian justice is an uphill battle, and it will not be won by mimicking Zionism’s rearguard actions.

Hidden people need visibility.  Silenced people need an audience.  There is every reason to oppose the occupation with a liberal, wide-ranging discussion that can bring the Palestinian case fearlessly into the mainstream.  When they can be heard (rather than being lied about by the likes of Lieberman and Netanyahu), Palestinian claims for their human rights will be recognized.

Beyond that, I imagine we will re-form and debate all the negotiable politics.  So it should be. With rights and respect, the real estate will be made to work.

From New Zealand, American political protest looks like a blood sport, notwithstanding its delicate language of creating safe spaces.  I admire anyone with skin thick enough to withstand the clobbering that comes with visibility. However, neither thick skin nor ideological purity should be required to join the protest.  Most protest takes place in the street and in the aisles and in the comments columns. In those spaces, disagree and include.

In summary, Palestinian thought leaders are asserting positive new terms, transcending the old factions and wresting something good from an ugly, brutal season.  Gazans are laying bare Israel’s violence at real and immediate risk. Both initiatives are phrased in the language of rights.  This language is true, and it is broadly actionable. The potential breadth includes a number of liberals and liberal Jews, who are increasingly dismayed by a radicalizing Israel.  The curiosity of any disillusioned erstwhile Zionist should be welcomed. They can help grow the movement for Palestinian rights, and they can pave a path for others to shake off the orthodoxy and seek justice.

When I see Gazans stand up to soldiers, what can I do to support their protest from so far away?  I can bring them to others’ notice, and capitalize on every doubt that Netanyahu creates.

marilyng
About Marilyn Garson

Marilyn Garson worked with communities affected by war, including Afghanistan and Pakistan (2005 – 2010) and the Gaza Strip (2011 – 2015). She is a co-founder of the Gaza Gateway, a social enterprise creating employment in Gaza. She writes from New Zealand, and blogs at Contrapuntal: Transforming Gaza. You can follow her on Twitter @skinonbothsides.

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38 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    April 26, 2018, 11:58 am

    RE: “As Israel radicalizes, some liberal (on matters other than Palestine) Jews are shuddering and hesitating in their reflexive Zionism. “ ~ Marilyn Garson

    IF THE SHOE FITS . . .
    One of Us (2017)
    1h 35min | Documentary | 20 October 2017 (USA)
    Penetrating the insular world of New York’s Hasidic community, focusing on three individuals driven to break away despite threats of retaliation.
    ▪ IMDb – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7214842/
    ▪ Netflix Streaming – https://www.netflix.com/title/80118101

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      April 26, 2018, 12:05 pm

      Jesus Camp (2006) Official Trailer #1 – Documentary Movie HD

      ENTIRE DOCUMENTARY [1:24:45]

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        April 26, 2018, 12:40 pm

        P.S. ALSO SEE:
        The kids of Jesus Camp, 10 years later: ‘Was it child abuse? Yes and no’
        ▪ The controversial 2006 documentary about an evangelical church camp outraged secular audiences, but its subjects have mixed memories
        By Josiah Hesse | 6 July 2016
        EXCERPT: . . . Ten years later, Sommerkamp (yes, that’s his real name) has abandoned evangelical Christianity, living with a group of spiritual seekers in Mount Shasta, California. His split from the evangelical world happening when his father came out as gay. He says he spent several years angry at the church, but has since discovered peace in eastern mysticism, quantum mechanics, and psychotropic drugs. . .
        ENTIRE ARTICLE – https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jul/06/jesus-camp-christian-documentary-kids-10-years-later

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        April 26, 2018, 7:05 pm

        Kidnapped For Christ Official Trailer 1 (2014) – Documentary HD

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      April 27, 2018, 6:59 am

      Freaks (1932) – One of Us! Scene (6/9) | Movieclips https://youtu.be/39Bnk6VU53Y via @YouTube

  2. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    April 26, 2018, 1:24 pm

    RE: When Israel’s Defence Minister says, “There are no innocent people in Gaza,” I feel absolutely frantic. What does that man feel entitled to do next? ~ Marilyn Garson

    THIS PROBABLY WILL NOT ALLAY YOUR WORST FEARS, BUT . . .

    FACTBOX: Israel’s Lieberman and controversial comments – Reuters

    Apr 1, 2009 – (Reuters) – Israel’s incoming foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has stirred controversy over the years with comments about Arabs, notably Arab Israeli citizens and also Egypt. He once suggested Egypt’s Aswan Dam might be bombed and last year he said the president of Israel’s Arab peace partner could “go to hell.”

    Following is a selection of quotes from Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beitenu party . . .

    CONTINUED AT – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-lieberman-quotes-sb/factbox-israels-lieberman-and-controversial-comments-idUSTRE52U3FU20090401

  3. eljay
    eljay
    April 26, 2018, 1:25 pm

    … Natalie Portman has stood up for her Jewish values when Netanyahu stands against them. …

    But when Netanyahu doesn’t stand against them, Natalie Portman – a Zionist – is happy to do what all Zionists do and let her “Jewish values” stand up for Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

    I understand wanting to welcome “into the fold” (to the fight for Palestinian rights) Zionists who question their Zionism and are considering abandoning it in favour of advocating and defending the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality.

    I don’t understand wanting to welcome “liberal” Zionists who question the harsh methods and tactics of hard-core Zionists but who – like all Zionists – desire to:
    – maintain Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of geographic Palestine;
    – absolve Israel of its obligations under international law (incl. RoR) and of accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed.

    Seems to me that courting the assistance of…
    – “liberal” Zionists in the fight for Palestinian rights;
    – “liberal” anti-Semites in the fight for the rights of Jews; or
    – “liberal” white supremacists in the fight for the rights of blacks,
    …ensures that the outcome is a partial victory at best.

    • April 29, 2018, 4:35 pm

      So well said – working along side partial racists leads to partial victories

  4. gamal
    gamal
    April 26, 2018, 1:32 pm

    “There is every reason to oppose the occupation with a liberal, wide-ranging discussion that can bring the Palestinian case fearlessly into the mainstream. When they can be heard (rather than being lied about by the likes of Lieberman and Netanyahu), Palestinian claims for their human rights will be recognized”

    “My Gazan colleagues were strategic survivors of sustained threat and violence. After the war in 2012, my team crafted an explanation for their small children: Israel and Gaza held plenty of good people, but they had angry governments. When the governments fought, everyone was afraid. But angry governments will fall, so my colleagues taught their children that all the good people must remember how to live together”

    you don’t see any contradiction between those two paragraphs, why would Palestinians teach their children a basically liberal Zionist view? you don’t need to be angry to defend yourself from a century of aggression, the Palestinian case fearlessly? but they said that you say oh oh well you just an observer..sorry benefactor,

    ” I can hear – and at times I also feel – the retort, “But they…!” Yes, Israel’s advocates at times punish and exclude and rationalize. As long as they have the weight of inertia behind them, they can do so. Netanyahu doesn’t have to pretend any interest in a resolution while he has Trump”

    inertia? on what analysis is that notion based

    “This language is true, and it is broadly actionable. The potential breadth includes a number of liberals and liberal Jews, who are increasingly dismayed by a radicalizing Israel. The curiosity of any disillusioned erstwhile Zionist should be welcomed. They can help grow the movement for Palestinian rights, and they can pave a path for others to shake off the orthodoxy and seek justice”

    so if this language is true what is it that you are accusing the exclusionist Palestinians of , too much truth?

    you seem to be selling something maybe Americans like that but i get all British ” oh how lovely but no thank you, not for me I already have several”

    “Hidden people need visibility” sure but chocolate boxy ventriloquism on their behalf doesn’t help anyone, phony positivity rings kind of hollow

    how come

    Marilyn Garson worked with communities affected by war, including Afghanistan and Pakistan (2005 – 2010) and the Gaza Strip (2011 – 2015). She is a co-founder of the Gaza Gateway, a social enterprise creating employment in Gaza. She writes from New Zealand, and blogs at Contrapuntal: Transforming Gaza. You can follow her on Twitter @skinonbothsides.

    what you just come to help calm down angry people in dangerous places blighted by inexplicable bickering, touring the empire hotspots doing what “liberation the business model”

    excuse my rudeness your piece really went down the wrong way with me, but I am in every way everyday getting better and better…Vultures also attend catastrophes but they don’t come to help.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      April 26, 2018, 2:39 pm

      The article assumes that there are enough decent Jews to fix Israel. Behind this is the assumption Israel can be fixed. There aren’t and it can’t.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        April 27, 2018, 10:21 am

        @Maghlawtan

        “There aren’t and it can’t.”
        Precisely!!

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      April 26, 2018, 3:23 pm

      It is more than just the occupation. It is the whole project of Zionism.

      9 israeli Jews have died in a flash flood in the desert in the south of Palestine . Shows again that they are all settlers, outsiders . I wonder how many Bedouin hAve died misjudging the desert. Not as many as are shot by Israelis I would guess.

      • April 29, 2018, 4:40 pm

        Foreign invaders know nothing of the environment they have stolen – their arrogance cost them

  5. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    April 26, 2018, 1:40 pm

    RE: “Afghanistan,” she said brightly. “That’s in Africa, right?”

    ACCORDING TO THE CORPORATE “MAINSTREAM MEDIA” IN THE U.S., AFGHANISTAN IS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. I’VE HEARD IT SAID A ZILLION TIMES!

    Afghanistan – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan
    Afghanistan officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Its territory covers 652,000 square …

    Afghanistan | history – geography | Britannica.com
    https://www.britannica.com/place/Afghanistan
    Mar 18, 2018 – Afghanistan: Afghanistan, landlocked multiethnic country located in the heart of south-central Asia. Lying along important trade routes connecting southern and eastern Asia to Europe and the Middle East, Afghanistan has long been a prize sought by empire builders, and for millennia great armies have …

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      April 26, 2018, 1:59 pm

      “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.” ~ Mark Twain in Innocents Abroad [No longer very innocently abroad! ~ J.L.D.]

      ALL I CAN SAY is that judging from Americans’ knowledge of geography, God is a pi## poor teacher! We’ve been at war in Afghanistan for about 17 years now, yet the MSM thinks Afghanistan is in the Middle East!

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      April 26, 2018, 6:34 pm

      Africa is that place right next to Canada, isn’t it? Where kangaroos come from?

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        April 27, 2018, 1:54 am

        At last! Someone who really knows their geography (and considerable zoology, to boot). I owe you a box of very expensive, hand-rolled, Cuban cigars and a case of the very finest pink champagne! If you will kindly deposit to my PayPal account the paltry $534.27 in shipping charges . . .

      • April 29, 2018, 4:41 pm

        And shawarma

  6. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    April 26, 2018, 2:33 pm

    RE: “The validity of a community’s cause can persuade people who notice it – but injustice is not sufficient to get a community noticed. Before the justice comes the work of being seen and heard. That work is more difficult, of course, when it confronts a widely-held narrative. I wish it were otherwise, but those who are out of sight, really are out of mind.” ~ Marilyn Garson

    ABOUT THAT “WIDELY HELD NARRATIVE”:

    ■ FRANZ FANON:

    “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” ~ Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (1961)

    ■ FROM BRITANNICA.COM [ cognitive dissonance ]

    cognitive dissonance – the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in a person is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: the person rejects, explains away, or avoids the new information, persuades himself that no conflict really exists, reconciles the differences, or resorts to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in his conception of the world and of himself. The concept, first introduced in the 1950s, has become a major point of discussion and research.

  7. yourstruly
    yourstruly
    April 26, 2018, 7:12 pm

    “Netanyahu is ripping open a space of liberal doubt. A campaign for Palestinian rights can fill that vacancy,”

    No it can’t, for the simple reason that until Palestine is liberated from Zionist supremacism, any rights granted will at best be provisional and dependent upon the whims of the supremacists. But once their homeland is liberated, Palestinians will be free to attain their heretofore denied rights. And the author must know that liberation is not brought about by convincing, one by one, the undecided or wavering to stand up for the slave, but by ongoing collective struggle to smash his/her chains. Thus it was and is for black liberation here in America, as in most of Africa, not to mention women’s and lbqt rights.

  8. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    April 26, 2018, 11:12 pm

    RE: “Palestinian justice is an uphill battle, and it will not be won by mimicking Zionism’s rearguard actions.” ~ Marilyn Garson

    MY COMMENT: Very well put!

  9. Citizen
    Citizen
    April 27, 2018, 7:16 am

    I wonder if any US congress critter will ever bring up Natalie Portman’s pointing a finger at the latest Gaza Massacre, followed by her pointing a finger at Netanyahu? Will any talking head on main tv news channels? Silence so far–how many more unarmed Palestinian protesters need to be mowed down by IDF snipers? Nobody going to mention the Leahy Amendments on cable news?

    Pretty hard to protest effectively when the official narrative is none at all for primetime public exposure.

  10. chocopie
    chocopie
    April 27, 2018, 6:10 pm

    Welcoming them how? Of course anyone is welcome to tune in, pay attention, listen to Palestinians, and learn. Zionists are not going to have a leadership role, a place near the head of the table, or a megaphone in the movement for justice. Those roles are for Palestinians.

    “Liberal” Zionists (whatever that means) are not ready for prime time. Who would want them around in the movement?? They might be FBI informants, AIPAC spies, undercover Canary Mission contributors, etc. If they really want to be useful, how about working in their own communities, with Jewish and/or Zionist groups? That would require they be willing to take their knocks, be seen as a villain, and endure the inevitable pushback from other Zionists, rather than trying to have some kind of white savior role in the Palestine movement.

    • April 29, 2018, 4:56 pm

      But what about the Zionesses? what will become of them? Surely there’s room in some progressive cause for their kind.

      http://www.thejewishstar.com/stories/zioness-women-progressives-can-be-zionists-too,14933

    • Stephen Shenfield
      Stephen Shenfield
      April 29, 2018, 8:00 pm

      They might be spies for the FBI, AIPAC, or even Mossad. But then so might anyone. Even someone with the most militant anti-Zionist positions conceivable may be an agent provocateur. A Palestinian too can be an informer if (for instance) he/she has relatives in the OPT whose fate depends on his/her cooperation with Israeli security services.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 30, 2018, 9:22 am

        Shenfield,

        “Official”, organized spies are not the problem.
        People who keep “loved ones” among the enemy in wartime are very much the problem.
        So are tribals who participate in resistance solidarity movements as tribally separate organizations and claim leadership.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 30, 2018, 12:58 pm

        “People who keep “loved ones” among the enemy in wartime are very much the problem.”

        “Echin, have you ever thought of applying for a job as political commissar? You’d be a wiz at it.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 30, 2018, 3:43 pm

        Mooser,

        Did you get the memo that says that we are in war, that it’s being going full blast for 70+ years and that a lot of people are dying of it?
        Asking just to make sure.

        Your dislike of political commissars is noted –I can promise I won’t mention them to you.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 30, 2018, 5:24 pm

        “Did you get the memo that says that we are in war, that it’s being going full blast for 70+ years and that a lot of people are dying of it?” “echin”

        Maybe I just missed the memo announcing your promotion to Major-General.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 1, 2018, 12:04 am

        I’m so sorry, Mooser, I didn’t pay attention to your need for plain, obvious facts to be pointed out to you in official orders by high officers. And they better be military, of course. Not political commissars.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 1, 2018, 12:30 pm

        “I’m so sorry, Mooser, I didn’t pay attention to your need for plain, obvious facts to be pointed out to you”

        Yes, you “summarized the news and gave a link and issued two reminders. If that is not enough…”.
        Well, all I can say is ‘a nod is as good as a wink to a blind moose.’

  11. chocopie
    chocopie
    April 27, 2018, 6:28 pm

    “Just as Palestinians cannot be expected to swear loyalty oaths to an occupying regime which oppresses them, Jews cannot be expected to adopt visions of justice which (they believe) would threaten them.”

    Whaaaa? You are either really bad at analogies or not as far along as you think.

    Palestinians can NEVER be expected to swear loyalty to a regime which is committed to eliminating them and Jews can DEFINITELY be expected to support justice (equality) no matter what it costs them on a personal level.

  12. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    April 29, 2018, 8:31 pm

    There is no longer a stable niche for the “liberal Zionist”. Until quite recently there was. You could criticize Israeli policies and politicians and still be accepted in the mainstream (i.e., Zionist) Jewish community provided that the criticism was expressed in a restrained way and did not touch on fundamentals. No longer. Natalie Portman has distanced herself from Netanyahu but is still clearly loyal to Israel, and yet she is being denounced as a traitor. Now you have to approve of everything that Israel does. Zionism is becoming totalitarian. Loyal opposition is no longer an option.

    This creates a new situation in terms of incentives. As even restrained criticism entails excommunication there is no incentive to keep it restrained. You may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. The critic may need time to work things out but the conditions for going further are favorable. The first step is the crucial one. It will be very hard to take the first step, but having taken it further steps will be fairly easy.

    The price to be paid may be very high if one’s personal and family life is lived wholly within the mainstream Jewish community. That is why Goldstone caved in. In the worst case protest may entail not only exclusion from the local Jewish community but also loss of livelihood and even divorce. The gain of a clear conscience may be adequate compensation for some, but in general it cannot be expected that many will take this path (‘expect’ in a probabilistic sense, not a moral one).

    What can help is assurances that the loss in relationships will be temporary. You will lose old fair-weather friends but find new and better ones. I suspect that the Goldstones do not realize this. If they did they would be less vulnerable to blackmail.

  13. inbound39
    inbound39
    April 29, 2018, 8:46 pm

    Jews and Zionists are two seperate entities. Jews practice Judaism and Zionists do not. One is inclusive the other is exclusive or supremacist. One is apartheid the other is not. The two will never fit together because they are polar opposites. Pre Partition Plan Jews lived in peace with Palestinians in a shared community. Zionists arrived and began excluding Palestinians from their villages and began ethnic cleansing and slaughter. Zionists brought Apartheid and lawlessness and supremacism. Zionists hide behind Judaism to further their cause just like they hide behind the Holocaust and use it for leverage to achive their nefarious goals. To me , when I hear the term Liberal Zionist I immediately think who on earth would want to be criminal, racist and inhuman freely. One definition of Liberal is generous and tolerant. How can you be generous and tolerant of Zionism and what it does? To liberate means to set free from oppression…….something Zionism is loathe to do so how can anyone ,therefore ,be a Liberal Zionist…….its just a Zionist smoke screen.

  14. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    April 30, 2018, 6:41 pm

    RE: “Welcome the doubting liberals”

    MY ADMISSION (I.E., BARING MY SOUL/SOLES): That might be easy for you to say, but while I certainly welcome “doubting liberals”, please don’t ask me to welcome “doubting Thomas” liberals! I’m very sorry, but it’s a personal foible of mine that I do not fully understand. I’m beginning to suspect it might have something to do with an ancient, and very bitter, apostolic feud.
    Don’t laugh! Once upon a biblical time Jesus might very well have tried to smooth many a feather ruffled by one or another of his Apostles by saying to the offended party something akin to: The members of my apostolic entourage “are (just) people*, my friend”!

    * somewhat like modern-day corporations, but not nearly as greedy!

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      April 30, 2018, 8:45 pm

      P.S. It’s even worse than I thought!

      READ IT AND WEEP:
      72 CE: Thomas the Apostle is murdered in India
      ▪ According to common Christian tradition, ‘doubting’ Thomas, a practicing Jew, was killed by jealous Hindu priests of Kali. (Or a peacock hunter.)
      By David B. Green | Haaretz.com | December 21, 2015

      December 21 in the year 72 C.E., is the day of the martyrdom of Thomas the Apostle, according to the tradition of a number of Christian churches.

      Like all of the 12 apostles, or disciples, of Jesus, Thomas was a practicing Jew, and was given the mission by his mentor to spread his teachings, both among the Jews and the Gentiles.

      In both the Book of John, one of the Gospels of the New Testament, and in the apocryphal Acts of Thomas, Thomas is described as “Thomas, who is called Didymus,” a redundancy, since “Thomas” comes from the Aramaic word teoma, meaning “twin” (in Hebrew, it’s te’om), for which the word in Greek is didymus.

      It is not clear either from the Gospels, written at the end of the 1st century, or from the Acts of Thomas, from the 2nd century, just whose twin Thomas was meant to be, but there are several references in classical sources that suggest that he was the brother either of the Apostle Jude (son of James) or of Jesus himself.

      None of the sources tell us about Thomas’ origins, but like the other apostles, he is presumed to come from the Galilee, like Jesus, and to have returned there to teach after Jesus’ death.

      • Have you believed?

      Thomas was the first “doubting Thomas,” because he refused to believe the reports of sightings of a resurrected Jesus until, according to John 20:25, “I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the print of the nails, and place my hand in his side” (Revised Standard Version).

      A short time later, Jesus appears to Thomas, and the latter calls him “my Lord and my God,” and Jesus seems to mock him gently when he responds, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:29).

      Earlier, when told by his teacher that he will be departing soon to prepare a home in heaven for his followers, who will be joining him there one day, the practical-minded Thomas says, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” (John 14:5).

      The assignment of December 21 as the date of Thomas’ death is derived from a tradition that anyone who fits the description of a “doubting Thomas” might have some difficulty giving credence to.

      • Priests of Kali

      A late tradition sees Thomas as having carried the gospel of Jesus to the Indian subcontinent, first to the northwestern kingdom of Gondophorus. Then, according to the third-century Acts of Thomas, in the year 52, the apostle sailed, in the company of a Jewish traveler named Abbanes, to the southern tip of India, to the port of Muziris, present-day Pattanam, in Kerala state.

      Kerala was home, even at that time, to a Jewish community. A 17th-century work called Thomma Parvam (Songs of Thomas) says that he converted 40 Jews upon his arrival, along with 3,000 Hindus of Brahmin origin.

      Modern historians believe that Christianity actually arrived in India several centuries after the era of the historical Thomas, with the arrival of Christians from Syria and from Perisa.

      The martyrdom of Thomas, however, took place not on western coast of India, but on the other side of the subcontinent, in the southeastern city of Mylapore, near latter-day Chennai. There, Thomas came into conflict with the Hindu priests of Kali, who killed him for insulting their deity – or simply for converting many of their followers. (Marco Polo, in the 13th century, heard that Thomas had died, more than a millennium earlier, when an archer out hunting peacocks had accidentally shot him.)

      His bones were then brought into the city of Mylapore and buried inside a church he had already built there, where in the 16th century, Portuguese explorers built the San Thome Basilica, which was rebuilt by the British in 1893.

      Today, December 21 is still observed as the feast day of St. Thomas in some Protestant churches, and among traditionalist Catholics. In the Roman Catholic Church, however, the feast day was moved, in 1960, to July 3, so as not to interfere with the days leading up to Christmas, on December 25.

      SOURCE – https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/72-ce-thomas-the-apostle-is-murdered-in-india-1.5379553

      * As MLK, Jr. said: “Faith is taking the first step up even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/palestinian-christians-communities/#comment-914648

      P.P.S. Methinks the “doubting Thomas” might very well have been an Aspie!

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        April 30, 2018, 9:01 pm

        P.P.P.S. RE: Earlier, when told by his teacher that he will be departing soon to prepare a home in heaven for his followers, who will be joining him there one day, the practical-minded Thomas says, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). [SHOULD HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED BY AN ASTERISK]

        MLK JR (paraphrased): “Faith is taking the first step up even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/palestinian-christians-communities/#comment-914648

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