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Gaza killings are rending the Jewish community

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Last week I was in Jerusalem as Israeli snipers shot 1360 people on the Gaza border, killing 60 of them; and even as the horror mounted, I was of the opinion that the historic atrocity would change American opinion and allow Democratic candidates to run against Israel. Indeed, in the hours that followed, many celebrities spoke out in outrage, joining brave Natalie Portman; Jeffrey Goldberg the Atlantic editor (and former Israeli army prison guard) acknowledged that a divorce between the American Jewish and Israeli Jewish communities is coming; and the Onion captured the mood with two savage headlines.

“IDF Soldier Recounts Harrowing, Heroic War Story Of Killing 8-Month-Old Child” [link]


“Netanyahu Announces Day Of Mourning For Fence Damaged In Yesterday’s Conflict.” [link]

By the way, The Onion is largely owned by Haim Saban, Israel lover…

Well this week some of the dust has settled, and the question arises, What changed? Nothing, some say. They note that Bernie Sanders is virtually alone in his condemnation of Israeli actions. They point to Thomas Friedman’s commentary that Hamas was responsible for a “human sacrifice,” killing the “flower of [Palestinian] youth” by ordering them to run up to Israeli guns.

But Thomas Friedman is notoriously insensitive; and what seems clear is that Gaza has fissured the Jewish community. What follows is a rapid survey of the field of Jewish opinion. I’m going to leave out the knuckle-draggers, and show that Gaza has fostered the progressive defection on Israel inside Democratic Party ranks. I focus on Jewish opinion because I think Jewish groups are the gatekeepers of the official discourse.

The young nonZionist group IfNotNow are leaders: “Israel’s violence against protesters in Gaza last week was completely inexcusable, and yet so many Jewish leaders and institutions tried to excuse it,” it writes. IfNotNow hails a Gaza tribute at a New York public school that has alienated a lot of establishment Jews, commenting “The kids are alright.”

Right alongside IfNotNow’s witness is Jewish Voice for Peace, calling on Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Dianne Feinstein (and all other senators) to condemn the killings on the border. “The massacre last week in Gaza was a horrific event for Palestinians and for everyone who supports the right to peaceful protest,” JVP writes.

Feinstein has merely urged Israel to exercise greater restraint. Elizabeth Warren went a millimeter further, saying that Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest.

Ian Lustick was unequivocal in The Nation, in a piece that has been widely shared:

There are many words for what this is. Palestinians speak of heroism, resistance, dedication, and martyrdom. The Israeli government calls the shoot-to-kill and shoot-to-injure policies “self-defense.” Individual soldiers call it “following orders.” Israeli human rights groups, meanwhile, call the policy ordered by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman “grossly illegal.” My grandmother would have called it a shanda (Yiddish for a “disgrace”). But whether it is heroism or self-defense; whether the orders to shoot are legal or illegal; the mounting Israeli gun violence the world has been forced to witness along the Gaza ghetto wall is, without a doubt, disgusting. For any human being, no matter what their political views or ties to Israel or to Palestinian Arabs, the continuous mass shooting of Palestinian civilians is, or should be, emotionally and spiritually intolerable.

(PS Even more people shared Saree Makdisi’s piece in Counterpunch, “Kill and Kill and Kill”— but that’s outside my survey.)

Eli Valley exposes Thomas Friedman and the rest of the NYT apologists-for-Israel in this amazing cartoon about the world’s indifference to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. And John Judis announces that he will tell his Jewish friends who try and deflect criticism by citing China and Russia’s human rights record, that Israel is just as bad: “troops firing on and killing Palestinian demonstrators who posed no mortal threat.” And Jews Say No argue that now is the time for the Jewish community to reckon with the Nakba, which crowded Gaza with refugees from the Jewish state.

Establishment Jewish groups have been very weak. This statement from Reconstructing Judaism (formerly the Reconstructionist Movement) was the strongest. Though it refused to blame Israel, at least it said this:

First and foremost, we feel shock and sorrow over the killing of approximately 60 Palestinians and the wounding of over 2000 during demonstrations near the border fence between Israel and Gaza….

one thing that’s clear is that hopelessness in the lives of Gazans is driving people to desperation. Whatever uses Hamas or other groups have made of the protest marches, they began as a nonviolent demonstration by people living in intolerable conditions, trying to raise awareness about their situation and to exert a new kind of leadership.

Ethan Miller of IfNotNow says it’s heartening that at least one major American Jewish religious movement recognizes “the devastating nature of the killing of 60+ Palestinians” and “the legitimacy of Palestinian protest in Gaza.” But he says that the mainstream Jewish groups are failing to represent the “increasing numbers of American Jews [who] vocally oppose the actions of the state of Israel and call for an end to the Occupation.”

AIPAC has of course toed the Israeli army’s line. If you read its analysis of Israel fighting a “defensive” war against Arab and Iran-backed terrorists, keep in mind that liberal Zionist groups are on AIPAC’s board.

Yossi Alpher adopts a neutral stance at Peace Now: “Monday… witnessed attempts by masses of Gazans to breach the Israel-Gaza boundary fence. Israeli efforts to rebuff them resulted in heavy Palestinian casualties.”

But many liberal Zionists appear to be sickened by the Israeli shootings. Ori Nir of Peace Now has noted that lethal force is only justified as a “last resort.” Daniel Seidemann asks why didn’t Israel use a water cannon? Gershom Gorenberg has retweeted B’Tselem’s view that the killings are illegal.

Debra Shushan is Peace Now’s new director for policy and, being about 40, is closer in age to IfNotNow activists than the old guard; and she writes in Haaretz that Israeli actions are indefensible. Gaza is occupied: “the open-air prison which Israel continues to occupy (through its control of air, sea, and land routes out of Gaza and even of its population registry).” And the killings were immoral:

While some Gazans were heeding calls to breech the separation fence, the use of live rounds against unarmed protesters is an offense against both law and morality.

You’d think that’s obvious; but again, the official Jewish community is reactionary on the Israel issue.

Shushan’s predecessor Lara Friedman, now at the Foundation for Middle East Peace, has been excellent. So has David Rothkopf, the foreign affairs eminence who is turning more and more sharply against Zionism. He called the killings immoral, and refused to give ground.

For those seeking to defend Israel’s actions on the Gaza border, some questions: –What is the acceptable ratio of terrorists to innocents killed? –What is the acceptable ratio of Hamas members protesting to Hamas members posing an imminent deadly threat to be killed?

–Do you think Israel has any responsibility for the conditions in Gaza that helped trigger the protests? Should that weight in the decision about how to deal w/protestors? –Should morality or doing what is best enter into the equation when deciding when snipers should fire.

–Would it be acceptable to you if Palestinians used the same criteria on Israelis crossing into Palestinian territory? –Given that the main argument made to justify the shooting is Israeli security do you think the actions on the Gaza border made Israel more secure?

Again, these are obvious questions, but not in the official Jewish community. J Street has been equivocal, trying to channel outrage but not point too much blame– except at Donald Trump.

From one day to the next, the Trump administration’s actions are sowing chaos… [W]ith Israeli-Palestinian tensions at a boiling point, he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. The world watched American and Israeli officials celebrate while, miles away, over fifty Palestinians were killed and thousands more were injured on the Gaza border.

Jeremy Ben-Ami was less equivocal on April 29. He blamed Hamas for fomenting violence, but said “there is no way to justify the use of lethal force against unarmed protesters.”

Though J Street ran a morally-empty piece by Israeli Bar Heffetz, saddened by the deaths but angry at Hamas and the radical left. The Israeli army are good guys in his post.

I am angry at the radical left that remembers Gaza only when Palestinians are killed and the army can be blamed for murder.

There’s been some thuggishness in the liberal Zionist community. Andy Bachman, a leading liberal Zionist rabbi on the J Street “cabinet,” blames the protesters for the violence:

Imagine thousands of protestors in Gaza marching on the Hamas leadership, demanding peaceful negotiations and recognition of a shared capital with shared legitimate claims. Would the response be hugs or bullets?

The Brooklynite also doesn’t like Natalie Portman’s refusal to appear at an awards ceremony with Benjamin Netanyahu:

For years I have been waiting for the right opportunity to say I have never seen a Natalie Portman movie. The time is here.

This is even worse. Eric Goldstein of the Jewish Federations knows that the killings are alienating a segment of his community. “Regrettably, I would say that Israel is the single most divisive issue in the American community, pitting American Jew against American Jew,” he said last fall. But he tries to straddle the divisions with a statement on Gaza that fails to acknowledge the anger among Jews: 

Then there is the loss of life in Gaza. As one person said to me, encapsulating her own internal conflict (and recognizing there are many other views), “I can’t abide those who blame Israel for what’s taken place in Gaza, and wholeheartedly defend Israel’s right to protect its borders. Yet, I find myself despairing over the number of lives lost, the bleak existence in Gaza, and wishing this wasn’t happening. How could I not?”

That’s utterly deceptive. IfNotNow is blocking Chuck Schumer’s office doors over the killings.

Our publisher Scott Roth gets at the true dimension of the moral crisis  in his weekly newsletter:

Judaism is in crisis over Israel. Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians would not be possible if mainstream Jewish organizations weren’t okay with it. As of this writing I haven’t seen one major mainstream Jewish organization condemn Israel’s latest slaughter, not J Street and not the Jewish Federation, the large group that likes to consider itself a philanthropic and humanitarian organization.  As the festival of Shavout begins Saturday night, it is incumbent upon all Jews to ask themselves if the costs required to maintain the Zionist project in the Levant is worth it. How many dead Palestinians must there be before the great collective of the Jewish community says, ENOUGH!  The Jews have a tragic history, one of the most tragic to befall any people, but we have become mighty and the nation-state that acts in the name of all Jews is downright giddy at the prospect of using that awesome might to spill the blood of those it oppresses. On Shavout we celebrate receiving the law – the Torah, but is this what that law teaches? Has millennia of cherishing that law culminated in the worship of a rogue apartheid state that commits murder in an almost flippant manner? I don’t believe that it does but far too many of my co-religionists apparently do.

A lot of young Americans, regardless of their background, feel the way that Roth does about the Gaza slaughter. They’re going to have to drive the wedge, if there are going to be political consequences.

Philip Weiss

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

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87 Responses

  1. Kay24 on May 23, 2018, 1:15 pm

    It is puzzling. What is holding these moderate American Jews back? They seem to be torn between their conscience, that tells them that killing unarmed civilians are wrong, the occupation is wrong, and the land theft is wrong, and their loyalty to an alien nation, that from their young days, the birthright trips, and their parents telling them, they should be devoted to. Surely you can love someone, or a nation, yet disagree with them/it, when you think they have overstepped their boundaries? Why are they so hesitant? Surely they would have chosen human rights very easily, had this been some other rogue nation?

    • genesto on May 24, 2018, 12:29 pm

      They are hesitant to lose their place in the tribal Jewish community which, for most of these troubled souls, is all they’ve ever known. Faced with the choice of being launched into a full-blown identity crisis or simply looking the other way, they are choosing the ‘easier’ way out. Unfortunately, by doing so, they are committing themselves to continuing, unresolved, inner turmoil over this most basic of personal issues. Their souls are at stake but, I believe, most don’t even realize it.

      (Note: I am not a Jew, but have witnessed this inner conflict in my two Jewish stepchildren over the past 20 years I have been married. Fortunately, my wife has since freed herself from this bondage, or we would not have survived together this long).

    • on May 25, 2018, 9:56 am

      “These boys and girls enter our organizations [at] ten years of age, and often for the first time get a little fresh air; after four years of the Young Folk they go on to the Hitler Youth, where we have them for another four years . . . And even if they are still not complete National Socialists, they go to Labor Service and are smoothed out there for another six, seven months . . . And whatever class consciousness or social status might still be left . . . the Wehrmacht [German armed forces] will take care of that.”
      —Adolf Hitler (1938)

      Indoctrination of the youth – the playbook used by Zionists is the second edition to the Nazi original.

      • on May 27, 2018, 9:20 am

        Both are, in the words of Hyman Roth, “small potatoes” compared to the Pledge of Allegiance.

    • niass2 on May 25, 2018, 12:46 pm

      on the other hand he’s right story over but that’s just the media the effect lingers in its own sickening way, like when you see the movie The Hostel (1,2,3) and can’t stop thinking about it years later.

  2. eljay on May 23, 2018, 1:16 pm

    … There’s been some thuggishness in the liberal Zionist community. Andy Bachman, a leading liberal Zionist rabbi on the J Street “cabinet,” blames the protesters for the violence:

    Imagine thousands of protestors in Gaza marching on the Hamas leadership, demanding peaceful negotiations and recognition of a shared capital with shared legitimate claims. Would the response be hugs or bullets?

    Even with “liberal Zionists”, it:
    – isn’t about being as good as you can and should be;
    – is about not being so bad that you can’t compare yourself to someone (you consider to be) worse to justify the evil you do.

    • oldgeezer on May 23, 2018, 2:14 pm


      Agreed. And it’s amazing how often those comparisons must be made fictional. Imagine if, or we all know what would happen if. Or false choices.

      If zionism was such disreputable, vile belief and movement they could probably at least make real world comparisons.

      Fact is they can’t. They’re in the bottom of the gutter.

    • Maghlawatan on May 23, 2018, 5:33 pm

      “Imagine thousands of protestors in Gaza marching on the Hamas leadership, demanding peaceful negotiations and recognition of a shared capital with shared legitimate claims. ”

      Hamas thought that through already. Israel wants everything. Netanyahu wrote the book in 1993.

  3. festus on May 23, 2018, 2:07 pm

    Gazans being murdered and Mondoweiss’ concern is what it is doing to the Jewish community! This is the problem in a nutshell….extreme ethnocentrism.

    • housedoc on May 23, 2018, 5:01 pm

      Rather unfair, Festus.
      1. This is one of Mondoweiss’ concerns, not its only concern.
      2. It isn’t my impression that generally or even in this article Mondoweiss’ concern is limited to what the slaughter “is doing to the Jewish community” although that is the explicit emphasis in this piece.
      3. Mondoweiss has content that is reporting not only content that is editorial or advocacy. This is an example of reporting. In other words, it fits squarely within the slogan that runs with the title, i.e.: “News & Opinion About Palestine, Israel & the United States”

      • echinococcus on May 23, 2018, 8:22 pm

        As a piece of “reporting” it should be at the same level as “The Trip to the Moon”

    • DaBakr on May 24, 2018, 11:32 pm


      are you really that dumb? You don’t understand that PW is praying for, working for and dedicated to causing massive dissension and splits between assorted groups of US Jews?

      • Mooser on May 25, 2018, 12:03 pm

        “causing massive dissension and splits between assorted groups of US Jews?”

        “Assorted groups of US Jews”??? This is shocking, “DaBakr”! “Assorted groups” ? Where is the tribal unity?
        How can you imply there are “assorted” (man, that one stung, ) groups of Jews, with different or even conflicting interests?

        We ain’t no “assorted” (like a box of M&Ms? ) flavors, we are a NATION, bound, as with bands of steel, to each other as one by our own brand of M&M’s: mishpocheh and mishegos! And our prayer: “May it melt in your mouth, and not in your hands”

      • DaBakr on May 26, 2018, 4:10 am


        Yes, mooser , at times we are and at other times not so much. What Phil and other Jewish so-called progressive far left anti-israel Zionist-hating extremists are trying to not only lower the point at which American Liberal Jews feel tolerant of Israeli policy. And while trying to lower the bar they certainly have no problems if the tribe factionalizes into tid-bits of small rebellious connectives that skew towards the far left. thats the theory anyway.

      • Mooser on May 26, 2018, 12:46 pm

        ” if the tribe factionalizes into tid-bits of small rebellious connectives that skew towards the far left. “

        “Tribes, “DaBakr” in the plural. It’s always been “tribes” (ten or so to start, wasn’t it)

        ” if the tribe factionalizes into tid-bits of small rebellious connectives that skew towards the far left. thats the theory anyway”

        Yeah, and then we sue Russia to let us back in and re-establish the Soviet Union.

        Here’s another theory, “Dabakr”; maybe since the various financial collapses, we are re-considering expensive luxuries like a colonial project. But it’s always better, more comforting, to say we are abandoning Zionism because it’s wrong.

  4. Mooser on May 23, 2018, 2:08 pm

    ” it is incumbent upon all Jews to ask themselves if the costs required to maintain the Zionist project in the Levant is worth it.”

    Maybe we can’t do it. Worth it or not. Just thought I would mention that.

    • Maghlawatan on May 23, 2018, 5:31 pm

      Imagine if all the costs were included.
      The community wouldnt be stuck in L’Oreal mode.

    • Emory Riddle on May 24, 2018, 8:35 am

      The costs to whom? The Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Iranians, etc? The American taxpayers?

      • Citizen on May 26, 2018, 5:32 am

        Good question. We may well find out when Iran is directly attacked.

  5. joemowrey on May 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

    “…Bernie Sanders is virtually alone in his condemnation of Israeli actions. ”

    That Bernie. What a guy. He talks out of two sides of his mouth with the best of them. Jumping right in there with a sound bite about Israel to appeal to his so-called progressives adulators, while at the same time supporting Israel across the board.

    “…in June of 2017, the Senate was undivided in voting to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. Eighty-nine Democratic and Republican senators, including Bernie Sanders, unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that not only “reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 as United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions,” but also reinforces several myths about Israel that fly in the face of all evidence and show an unwavering commitment to supporting the Israeli oppression of Palestine.”

    Funny how while all the war criminals were celebrating the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem (which Bernie helped accomplish) Israel was slaughtering civilians in Gaza (which Bernie expressed crocodile tears over). Go Bernie, Go!

    Kinda like the way he blathers on about excessive military spending while supporting the boondoggle F-35 fighter jet. Oh, and by the way, apparently Israel has been the first to use Bernies favorite weapons system in combat.

    What are the chances they either have or will field test it in Gaza on the captive audience there?

    Bernie Sanders. A real mensch, that guy.

    • Keith on May 23, 2018, 7:28 pm

      JOEMOWREY- “Bernie Sanders. A real mensch, that guy.”

      A sheepdog who keeps liberals from straying from overgrazed and unproductive pastures.

    • zaid on May 24, 2018, 11:56 am

      It is good to know that i am not the only one who doesnot find Bernie stance on Palestine that impressive.

      • echinococcus on May 24, 2018, 7:22 pm

        But then the letdown. When you realize that he said ““…Bernie Sanders is virtually alone in his condemnation of Israeli actions” and yes, the rah-rah supporter of all earlier Gaza massacres is the only politician who is making some insincere, warmongering but conscience-soothing noises. That’s what it means to be living in the US.

    • Citizen on May 26, 2018, 6:01 am

      @ joemowrey

      “What are the chances they either have or will field test it in Gaza on the captive audience there?”

      First use of F-35: Israel bombing it’s open air prison, Gaza, in August of 2017–US tax dollars hard at work!

      • on May 27, 2018, 9:33 am

        “That’s what it means to be living in the US.”

        Not quite. Accepting it is what it means to be living in the US.

    • on May 27, 2018, 10:35 am

      He’s as good as it gets these days but not for long I don’t think. I’m reminded of the heated discussion he had with a voter at a town hall type forum linked below. I think it gives viewers a good indication of how rather lame his position is.

      Watch “Bernie Sanders town hall gives US party line when confronted re: #gaza” on YouTube

  6. Kay24 on May 23, 2018, 4:52 pm

    Here is a video of Nikki Hayley getting an earful, when she was keynote speaker at the University of Houston. She truly deserved it. Trump and Netanyahu deserves the same treatment.

    • Marnie on May 24, 2018, 7:55 am

      Can’t thank you enough Kay24, that was the best thing I’ve seen all day. She really looked shook up by it. Must be hard to live in that airtight ziobubble and then suddenly thrust into the daylight and fresh air to deal with the consequences of your cruel intentions and smack-talking at the u.n.

      • Emory Riddle on May 24, 2018, 8:36 am

        She did have that deer in the headlights look on her face.

    • Misterioso on May 24, 2018, 9:32 am


      Excellent. Thank you!! Hayley is a monster.

      • Marnie on May 24, 2018, 4:06 pm

        Just watched episode 6 of the Handmaid’s Tale. Nikki Haley is Serena Joy.

      • Kay24 on May 24, 2018, 5:34 pm

        I enjoyed watching it too. In fact I watched it a few times. Yes, she did look like she did not know how to react, and a few more like this would be good for her. She was certainly taken by surprise. Hope there are more surprises planned for them, even Charles Schumer.

      • Marnie on May 25, 2018, 12:35 am

        I agree! Chuckles the clown and Nancy the nudge need an extreme wake up call as Schmuel Rosner needs to be tarred and feathered for incitement.

  7. Maghlawatan on May 23, 2018, 5:26 pm

    “B’Tselem’s view that the killings are illegal.” I hate this. Another flavour is “East Jerusalem is disputed. You say it is occupied.”

    Law is black and white. There is no nuance. There are no views.
    Israel shot unarmed protestors dead. That is illegal.

    100224 Joe Sacco talked about balance and objectivity in relation to his work in a recent interview. “I find it very difficult to be objective when to me there is a clear case of a people being oppressed,” he said. “I’m not sure what objective means in a situation like that. I would rather be honest about what’s going on.”

  8. on May 23, 2018, 6:49 pm

    Phil, it’s the same old shit, and you know it.

    • echinococcus on May 23, 2018, 9:32 pm

      If he knew it, he’d be running an Azraeli propaganda operation. I prefer to think that he’s just learning. There are some signs to justify that reading, in the 10+ years he’s been at it, with the several successive steps of understanding. Let’s keep some guarded optimism –unlike Weiss unjustifiable enthusiasm about some tribal component breaking off the Zio-wall every morning.

  9. Keith on May 23, 2018, 7:09 pm

    PHIL- “Gaza killings are rending the Jewish community”

    It used to be that when there was an Israeli Left, the Israeli stormtroopers were said to shoot and cry. Nowadays they shoot and laugh instead of cry, hence, the “liberal” American Jews have taken up the slack and do the crying for the Jewish community. This is an international division of labor. Yet how many of these weeping Jews disavow the Jewish state? Your “rending” is but another example of having your cake and eating it too, with a clear conscience to boot! Ritual incantations of little significance. Specific actions aside, American Jews overwhelmingly support Israel as a Jewish state and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future regardless of Israeli actions.

    I end with a Golda Meir quote which epitomizes the tribalist mentality and its ability to distort reality in a grotesque Judeocentric fashion.

    When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.” (Golda Meir)

    • Marnie on May 24, 2018, 8:00 am

      You made us hate you,
      we didn’t want to do it
      we didn’t want to do it
      You made us hate you
      And all the time you knew it
      I guess you always knew it

      You made us kill you,
      we didn’t want to do it,
      but you made us do it
      so all we can do is shoot and cry.

      I know that sucked but am pretty sure golda meir sucked more.

  10. echinococcus on May 23, 2018, 7:54 pm

    As if Weiss was born yesterday, clueless about the total number of times when his Jewish “community” has been feeling the political incorrectness of their sacred cow and made some vague tut-tuttibg noises . The best he can find is warmonger Sanders and a couple of other one-millimeter-better ones!

    We’ve had it with this daily “rhe big day is a-coming” mood, for 10 years and counting! Enough with that “community” already, we need the general American population to look at it and start moving. Who needs a bunch who’d primarily be concerned with the effect of massacres on the murderers.

  11. pabelmont on May 23, 2018, 10:34 pm

    Thanks, Phil, for this piece and particularly for sharing Scott Roth’s essay with us.

    I would like to do a “nutshell” on two Jewish tragedies of the last 100 years. First was the holocaust, not solely a Jewish tragedy any more than 1492 in Spain was solely a Jewish tragedy, but a Jewish tragedy of enormous proportions nevertheless. This was not a tragedy without moral failings, but the moral failings were those of the Nazis, not of the Jews.

    The second was the embarkation on the Zionist Project and its follow-up through today, a tragedy of tremendous proportions for most of the Jewish people (and of course for Palestinian Arabs, Lebanese, some others). This was a tragedy of vast moral failing, all of that failing on the part of Zionists, almost all Jews.

    As between these two tragedies, the holocaust — no fault of Jews — and the Zionist Project — only the fault of Jews — I count the second tragedy as far the worse, because I imagine (wrongly?) that in the long run morality and clear thinking will be particularly important to Jews.

    • Maghlawatan on May 24, 2018, 12:03 am

      The 2 tragedies/ obscenities are linked. The trauma of the former is the core of the latter.
      Zionism has gone on far longer than the Shoah. Behavioural patterns are easy to identify. It is a paranoid system without any equilibrium.

    • Misterioso on May 24, 2018, 9:40 am


      For the record:
      Speaking of holocausts, I wish the mainstream media would occasionally remind us of what was in fact the worst mass slaughter of humans in modern history. I am referring to the systematic murder of 10-12 million Congolese by “Christian” Belgian colonists during the latter part of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century when King Leopold II ruled Belgium. He was the founder and owner of what was then known as the Congo Free State. One of the first people of note to refer to this holocaust was Samuel Clemens, aka, Mark Twain.

      As well as mass murder, the unspeakable horrors Belgium inflicted on the natives of the Congo, including amputations of arms below the elbow and beheadings, were prompted by pure greed and chronic racism, i.e., to force them to work like slaves in order to harvest natural rubber on rubber tree plantations, which prior to the invention of the synthetic version, was in huge demand in Europe and America to manufacture tires for the burgeoning automobile industry.

      Written by Adam Hochschild and published in 1998, “King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa,” provides an excellent source to learn about King Leopold II and his monstrous crimes against humanity.

      • Keith on May 24, 2018, 10:47 am

        MISTERIOSO- “Written by Adam Hochschild and published in 1998, “King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa,” provides an excellent source to learn about King Leopold II and his monstrous crimes against humanity.”

        True enough, but let us not focus the blame entirely upon King Leopold. What Leopold did was more-or-less within the norms of European behavior towards Third World peoples albeit on a somewhat larger scale. Europe has a long and bloody history of mass murder. In addition to “Kings Leopold’s Ghost,” I would also recommend “Year 501: The Conquest Continues” by Noam Chomsky which gives a broader picture of the West’s history of mass murder and plunder, one not taught in schools. Reality may not be pleasant but it is what it is and we ignore it at our own peril.

      • RoHa on May 24, 2018, 8:19 pm

        “I wish the mainstream media would occasionally remind us of what was in fact the worst mass slaughter of humans in modern history.”

        Misterioso, how many Western newspapers, TV stations, film studios, and politicians do the Congolese own? Precious few.

        What political advantage can be gained from telling this story? Not a lot.

        So don’t expect the MM to mention it.

  12. RoHa on May 24, 2018, 12:33 am

    Let them be rent. I don’t care.

  13. RoHa on May 24, 2018, 12:34 am

    “While some Gazans were heeding calls to breech the separation fence,”

    Should be “breach”, of course.

  14. Maghlawatan on May 24, 2018, 2:34 am

    There is definitely more awareness that Israel is a problem but the level to which it has percolated inside the community is still not enough to get to the trigger point. Maybe intuitive Jews are joining the dots. MBTI S ones aren’t.
    Schumer was the one who asked “are there any votes in it” and the Groupthink is still the reference.

    Israel reminds me of a person who becomes a murderer or a child abuser. There are pathologies which are not shared with the general public. Israel could not behave normally even if it wanted to. I feel sorry for people like the Jons who keep shilling for someone who is clearly off the rails. It is too late for a culture of dissent.

    This means that there will be more massacres. There will be more Jews falling off the bandwagon. There will be more non Jews joining dots.
    And then at some stage we will have a tipping point.

    • on May 27, 2018, 10:04 am

      ‘Schumer was the one who asked “are there any votes in it” ‘

      Yes. And Truman was the one who said there aren’t any votes in it.

  15. CigarGod on May 24, 2018, 9:17 am

    Well, for 400 years of slavery in the usa…there was also an anti-slavery activist community. Then we had the law for the last 150 years..but also all kinds of slippery laws and law makers and judges that found work a rounds.

    There were all kinds of hopeful people (like Phil) during those 550 years…and a few noteworthy activists who used forceful means.

    Imo, Mondoweiss does a good job of documenting the flow of the Palestinian/Israeli molasses.

  16. Vera Gottlieb on May 24, 2018, 9:42 am

    Why did it take so long to realize AND admit what is being inflicted on Palestinians??? Shame on this country. Shame!!!

  17. MHughes976 on May 24, 2018, 2:25 pm

    There’s an article by Ronni Shaked in Ynet News for April 9, which seems like a long time ago in these things, called ‘For now, the Palestinians are winning the battle for public opinion’ but it doesn’t cite any opinion polls and is very like others, going back many years, to the same effect. The Great Change keeps on being announced by people who can’t believe it’s not happening, since there is every reason for it to happen in a rational world. You can certainly see a change, perhaps even a great change, in the Comment Sections. But without political leadership wider public interest fades. And we are still locked in the world where voting by politicians for Israel recycled money and favours – by a process which surely isn’t just donations by individuals – to the politicians themselves and perhaps even more importantly in a world where critique of Israel and its methods is always considered to be anti-Semitism.

  18. Stephen Shenfield on May 24, 2018, 4:13 pm

    The amount of attention given to Jewish opinion on Mondoweiss is disproportionate to its importance, but I suppose that is the purpose of the site. I would like to see some analysis of the response to the Gaza atrocities among Christian Zionists, who are at least as important as the Jewish kind — certainly there are many more of them. I suspect that their relative importance as a base of support for Israel is growing, because in contrast to Jewish Zionists, many of whom are for Israel but against Netanyahu and the Israeli ‘right’, Christian Zionists are aligned overwhelmingly with the most extreme Israelis (especially ideological settlers). Still, even they must surely find the latest events hard to swallow — or are they even aware of them?

  19. on May 24, 2018, 4:31 pm

    Question for Phil Weiss: why do you go to Israel so much? Do you consider it your homeland? I thought that nonsense was derided here; is it not? Am I wrong? Then why do you go — because you can? Tribal booster shot? How isn’t your going, buying food, paying for lodging, Western Jew in Israel, hanging out in hotel lobbies, supporting Israel no less than the Philadelphia orchestra?

    • CigarGod on May 24, 2018, 7:16 pm

      I value the opinion of people who know their subject…more than I do those who parrot others. Of course it is valuable for Phil to go there as often as he feels necessary. Geez!

      Dude, where is a reasonable sentence in your comment?

      • echinococcus on May 24, 2018, 10:42 pm

        Boycotting the Zionist entity is eminently reasonable. It’s also highly reasonable for a reader to want to discuss how dispensations for journalism/reporting are being used.

      • on May 25, 2018, 8:14 am

        Oh, yes, CigarGod. Very important to visit Israel twice a year. Just to confirm Israelis are just as foul and racist and mendacious, as big a bunch of ingrates and takers, as they were the last time.

        And if Phil truly believes –feels!! — Israel is his homeland, I think more discerning people than you have a right to know.

      • Maghlawatan on May 25, 2018, 10:15 am


        Once is enough to visit Israel. The country is cheap and shoddy. It is also tacky. The people are rude. There is very little sophistication. The buildings look like they were thrown up quickly. There is an air of menace.
        It is hard to believe any of them are special.

    • Mooser on May 24, 2018, 9:46 pm

      ” How isn’t your going, buying food, paying for lodging, Western Jew in Israel, hanging out in hotel lobbies, supporting Israel …”?

      He doesn’t tip while he’s there.

      • on May 25, 2018, 11:29 am

        Mags: remember the Zionist Jew returning to US after five years or so in Israel, his great comment: “I got tired of living in a place where no one ever says ‘excuse me.'”

      • Mooser on May 25, 2018, 6:52 pm

        “I got tired of living in a place where no one ever says ‘excuse me.’”

        Like, as in; “Excuse me for implying your website is run dishonestly”?

    • Donald on May 25, 2018, 10:27 pm

      You are such a discerning guy, broadside. Most people reading this blog would think it was ever so slightly critical of Israel, but you see right to the heart of the matter. Phil is using this blog and his journalistic credentials as an excuse to visit Israel and prop up their economy. It’s probably a Mossad operation.

      • echinococcus on May 26, 2018, 3:40 am


        Such dismissive levity would have been funny if the critique were misplaced. Here, though, the owner of a declaredly tribal web site (tribal as in belonging to the tribe that overwhelmingly supports the enemy ) that supports Palestinian resistance as a side effect of his principal aim of clearing the tribe’s reputation is clearly breaking the boycott. He has a valid excuse in the eyes of some (including yours truly) as a reporter but that is a very serious breach that needs discussion. Whatever private contacts and activities anyone has in the Zionist entity, outside that of reporting, is also a fully legitimate subject of inquiry.

        Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful to Weiss for the single tolerably free discussion forum but that does not automatically make it any easier to swallow the abominable fact that such a site, centered on a tribe statistically supporting a mortal enemy, is one of the very few places available in the US.

      • on May 26, 2018, 10:33 am

        “Mooser”: that wasn’t the implication at all. But this website is run dishonestly. Obviously. When only selected truths are presented, while larger truths ignored, or denied (Zionist behavior and Jewish behavior being kissin’ cousins being example #1) it’s a dishonest website. You’re refusing to publish truths you find objectionable. Does that mean there aren’t many valid truths to be found here? No. Just not all of them.

        (I do respect Phil. But his “my people,” his hugging of Jewish settlers — sorry. There’s the truth.)

      • annie on May 26, 2018, 12:29 pm

        donald ;)

        broadside, i don’t hear “my people” as a hug anymore than i might feel i’m hugging america if i express my rage or sorrow ‘my country’ is bombing the middle east. iow, it depends on the context. if you resent that phil identifies as being part of the jewish collective, or don’t like it or what.ever, then just own it. i think the idea “Zionist behavior and Jewish behavior being kissin’ cousins ” is a bigoted concept because it erases, or usurps, the agency of jewish people who reject zionism and the actions done in the name of a state. and as for your assertion you respect phil, that sounds like a throw away line and frankly, i don’t believe you.

      • Mooser on May 26, 2018, 12:55 pm

        .” Here, though, the owner of a declaredly tribal web site (tribal as in belonging to the tribe that overwhelmingly supports the enemy )”

        Oh, go see the “about” page yourself.

      • echinococcus on May 26, 2018, 1:41 pm

        broadside, i don’t hear “my people” as a hug anymore than i might feel i’m hugging america if i express my rage or sorrow ‘my country’ is bombing the middle east. iow, it depends on the context.

        Is this a case of tin ear, perhaps? If it all depends on the context, the context of calling a tribe of self-appointed relatives “my people” is the opposite of acknowledging that people sharing your administrative citizenship are officially under the same government and subject to the same coercion. One is a voluntary participation in mythical ultranationalism ferociously opposing universalism, the other is one constraint evaded by only very few human beings.

        i think the idea “Zionist behavior and Jewish behavior being kissin’ cousins ” is a bigoted concept because it erases, or usurps, the agency of jewish people who reject zionism and the actions done in the name of a state.

        First, being voluntarily participating in the tribal variety of a nationalist scam by populations that have nothing in common for the non-religious is still fully there even when one rejects Zionism. Second, the possible number of those who define themselves as part of the stone–age tribe is still statistically insignificant. Which makes the difference between a mythical nationalism without a requirement for land, on one side, and its next step the blood-and-soil nationalism (=Zionism) asking for others’ land not so radically different. “Kissing cousins” sounds like one way of noting similarities between distinct categories.

        and as for your assertion you respect phil, that sounds like a throw away line and frankly, i don’t believe you

        That “I don’t believe you” would indicate that you don’t believe tribally inclined people can be respected. I’m sure that is not what you wanted to express. Many of them are decent humans, often our betters, doing very important work –just like Phil. There is no need to be perfect to be respected.

      • on May 26, 2018, 3:58 pm

        Sounds like hasbara to me, Annie. Phil hugging Jewish settlers is no different than Benjamin Netanyahu greeting fleeing Jewish felons at the airport. It reeks of racism. (In a way, Phil made aliya to the Jewish settlements. Or … did he?)

        “… because it erases, or usurps, the agency of jewish people who reject zionism ….”

        See rending??

        (We few… we miserable few…)

        Reject how? My guess it’s a rejection of the “right of return” (see: “land without people”) beyond the ’67 lines. But inside, they’re all in. Book my flight! Isn’t that why Phil flies to Israel so regularly — that part he agrees with, the Jewish homeland part? Fix?? Readers of this site don’t have a right to know?

        And no similarity between Jewish and Zionist behavior… really?When will that discussion be allowed to take place? Paging Walt and Mearsheimer, get your seat at the table early.

      • echinococcus on May 27, 2018, 1:08 am

        I’m aware of the best-seller titled “About”. Entertaining, edifying and educating as quality literature –but why would you refer to it for practically every question? Has it at good last replaced the well-named Old Testament?

      • Mooser on May 27, 2018, 7:52 pm

        ” It’s probably a Mossad operation.”

        A very, very, very sophisticated operation. They tried infiltrating other publications first, but the Rolling Stone gathers no Mossad.

      • annie on May 27, 2018, 8:29 pm

        “Rolling Stone gathers no Mossad”?

        jeez louise Mooser, to be a fly on the wall of your mind for just 1 day, i’d die laughing — probably wouldn’t even last 6 hours.

      • Mooser on May 28, 2018, 2:10 pm

        But Dad, I’m serious! Here I expose the unclean money behind shell corporations.

      • RoHa on May 28, 2018, 11:10 pm

        It’s true. Royal Dutch Shell has made a few messy oil spills that needed cleaning.

  20. James North on May 24, 2018, 9:19 pm

    Scott Roth’s statement was the most powerful of all.

  21. CigarGod on May 25, 2018, 9:10 am

    I’ve noticed a rash of criticism of Phil lately that relys on very slim reasoning.
    It reminds me of the unskilled, hysterical comments I see on Facebook…and here…by grover, jon s, dbaker, etc. These people seem to demand perfection of the writer, and pounce and savage at the slightest hint of disagreement…even if they have to assume things not contained in the text.
    I had thought these people were supporters of and on the same page as most of us who want equality in Israel/Palestine.
    Now, I wonder if they are friends of grover, jon s, dbaker, etc.

    Yes, I wish Phil was tougher on the Zionists. But he’s doing a hell of a lot more than I do toward that end, so I’d be an idiot to try to undermine his efforts…especially by using Trump-like social media skills.

  22. niass2 on May 25, 2018, 12:39 pm

    Rending? What does that mean? I think the protests are making progress, onwards march and what is printed here won’t matter. Before u know it we’ll have anew President* good to get ready for that. I don’t know what rending means, however. I did see people taken aback it did matter and it will matter more soon. Homeland? I think I am Eura peein, how did I come from the middle east? I’m Polish etc. Obviously

    • annie on May 25, 2018, 12:40 pm

      no dictionary?

    • just on May 25, 2018, 1:15 pm

      LOL, Annie!

      Think ‘Keriah,’. Perhaps you’ll be able to understand.

      • annie on May 25, 2018, 1:50 pm

        hi just! always a joy having you near. ;)

      • just on May 25, 2018, 2:51 pm

        The feeling is mutual dear Annie.

      • Mooser on May 25, 2018, 3:04 pm

        “Definition of keriah. plural kerioth or keriot \-ēˌōt(h), -ōs\ : the traditional Jewish act or ceremony of renting one’s garment at the funeral of a near relative as a symbol of mourning.”

        Didn’t know that. No wonder the obsequies are always so formal.

  23. niass2 on May 25, 2018, 12:47 pm

    I can’t read, only write. Genesto’s comments are a bit odd,has he tried lysergic acid? As a free drink during Chanukah? that helps render ones predisposed thoughts and causes young Jews to yell at their grandparents, in laws, wives and anyone else who will-listen. About basic ideas like, say justice, and rejection of peace without justice. Time will tell. Its embarrasing for them when they have ignored you for most of your life and their BS is so thick and it boomerangs in their face. They have to now pass away acting like they always have-Violently. Its happening as they pass away, one by one. I say we turn it over to some better Zionists- say some Rastafarians…

  24. Citizen on May 26, 2018, 6:03 am

    “What are the chances they either have or will field test it in Gaza on the captive audience there?”
    Israel used F-35s to bomb Gaza in August of 2017.

  25. Citizen on May 26, 2018, 6:34 am

    F-35 maker Lockheed Martin to open Jerusalem preschools with Education Ministry’s backing Why not do this in USA? Free schools, free jets–for Jewish kids in Israel, all paid for by both directly & indirectly–US taxpayers.

  26. Kathleen on May 26, 2018, 9:52 pm

    No mincing of words. “Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians would not be possible if mainstream Jewish organizations weren’t okay with it’

  27. Citizen on May 27, 2018, 5:13 pm

    You Can’t Commit Genocide Without the Help of Local People by @NatCounterPunch

  28. Atlantaiconoclast on May 27, 2018, 5:37 pm

    I sure wish I saw evidence of this rending. I’d think it more auspicious to see a rending among American Evangelicals over Israel

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