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Lara Alqasem’s lawyer: her detention is part of a larger, more worrying trend

Israel/Palestine
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More than a week after she was put in a detention center at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, Palestinian-American student Lara Alqasem sat before the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday morning as her lawyer plead her case as to why she should be allowed entry into Israel to participate in a Master’s program that she was accepted to at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Alqasem, a Florida resident of Palestinian descent, was detained on October 2 by Israeli authorities for her alleged connections to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Her detention is the latest high-profile case in the government’s growing crackdown on the movement.

The government is claiming that it has reasons to deny the 22-year-old student entry due to the fact that she marked herself as “attending” on a Facebook event allegedly supporting the BDS movement, and her listing on the right-wing website Canary Mission that targets and “exposes” pro-Palestinian activists.

The legal basis for barring Alqasem from Israel, is the government’s 2017 anti-BDS law which gives authorities the right to prohibit entry to foreigners who publicly act to boycott Israel or its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Alqasem’s lawyer, Yotam Ben-Hillel, argued on Thursday that Alqasem is not an active participant in the BDS movement, and that the anti-BDS law should not apply in her case.

“According to their law, which itself is extremely problematic, they should be targeting significant BDS activists, not someone like Lara,” Ben-Hillel told Mondoweiss.

“She was in a very small organization at the University of Florida and hardly did anything there, nor did she call for a boycott of Israel,” he said.

“We also claim that during the past year-and-a-half, she hasn’t been working for this organization, and the fact that she applied to become a Hebrew University student says it all — that she doesn’t promote BDS, and she said she is not intending to do so while in Israel.”

Ben-Hillel is arguing that, for this reason, and along with the fact that she got accepted to the university and obtained an Israeli visa from the Israeli consulate in Miami prior to traveling, she should be let into the country.

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

While the judge did not give a deadline for his decision, Ben-Hillel told Mondoweiss that he expects a decision to be made in the coming days, noting that Alqasem is voluntarily staying in detention at Ben Gurion to avoid deportation until the decision.

On her first day of detention, Alqasem reported having to move cells due to bed bugs in the women’s detention area.

Sources, who have requested anonymity, have described the conditions in Ben Gurion’s detention center as dreadful and “absolutely filthy.”

One woman of Palestinian descent, who was denied entry and detained for 36 hours, told Mondoweiss that she was verbally harassed by the soldiers guarding her cell, who hurled racist insults at her, saying they wanted to “get rid of all the Arabs” in the country, and that the guards repeatedly told her she “wasn’t Palestinian since there was no such thing as Palestine.”

She said she was not allowed to take any of her personal belongings in the cell with her, and was not allowed to leave the cell except to smoke — guarded by an officer at all times.

“There was no clock to tell time and I wasn’t allowed my phone, even though before I was transferred to the detention facility they lied and told me I would keep my phone and have access to wifi,” she told Mondoweiss.

“Detention there is literally staring at the filthy walls waiting for time to pass,” she said.

Ben-Hillel criticized Israel’s crackdown over recent months on activists, journalists, and foreigners with Palestinian heritage attempting to enter the country.

“It really looks like they [Israel] are putting a lot of effort and money and resources in order to prevent entry,” he said, “and it’s not just entry into Israel. It’s in the West Bank — for people working in the West Bank, even people whose spouses live in the West Bank.”

“This is all motivated by Jewish supremacy and wanting to keep the land — even if it’s the occupied territory — with as little amount of Palestinians as possible and to completely control who is entering, and the number of every Arab between the Jordan river and the sea,” Ben-Hillel told Mondoweiss.

“All of these things are part of one picture, and this is very worrying. Unfortunately this is the direction that  we are headed in.”

yumnapatel
About Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is a multimedia journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine. Follow her on Twitter at @yumna_patel

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89 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    October 12, 2018, 10:09 am

    … “This is all motivated by Jewish supremacy and wanting to keep the land — even if it’s the occupied territory — with as little amount of Palestinians as possible and to completely control who is entering, and the number of every Arab between the Jordan river and the sea,” Ben-Hillel told Mondoweiss. …

    Zionism: Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of (geographic) Palestine.

    And if that means spending decades doing “necessary evil” in order to expel, subjugate or otherwise minimize the “demographic threat” of non-Jews, well, sometimes a “moral beacon” and “light unto the nations” has to get its hands bloody dirty.

  2. bcg
    bcg
    October 12, 2018, 10:24 am

    There’s something fundamental about Alqasem’s case I don’t understand, maybe some could explain it: just exactly how does preventing BDS supporters from entering Israel hurt the BDS movement? Supporters of BDS are unlikely to change their minds because Israel won’t let them in, Israelis who don’t support BDS aren’t going to be swayed by some visiting grad student, and the whole thing generates attention that probably isn’t going to be good for Israel – last night the PBS newshour had a small section on Alqasem’s story, so now millions of people are aware of it. None of it makes sense….

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      October 12, 2018, 11:01 am

      If Palestinians are less than human, they have to be something else.
      A virus.
      Thus the quarantine, aka…detention.

      Plus, bedbug bites on faces make for good fear and revulsion propaganda photos when they are released.
      “Looks like a virus to me, Martha. Let’s send a check but don’t invite her to dinner.”

  3. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    October 12, 2018, 10:48 am

    “All of these things are part of one picture, and this is very worrying. Unfortunately this is the direction that we are headed in.”

    Unfortunately, this is the direction Zionism has being headed for the last 100+ years.
    “One picture” of racism, arrogance, violence and criminal cruelty.

  4. Citizen
    Citizen
    October 12, 2018, 3:51 pm
  5. Citizen
    Citizen
    October 12, 2018, 4:11 pm

    One may argue this is Ridiculous. Boycott is directed against specific government policies, not people, and it is a viable political tactic used by Jewish organizations and Americans repeatedly, e.g. South Africa, Grape Boycott, etc. Presumably a free, democratic nation would not incarcerate, deny or otherwise act against anyone expressing political views out of sync with the current government. That this happens shows that Israel does not “share values” with the US. Since when does a traveler or a student have to support the political party in power in a free, democratic country?

    BTW, her mother is of Welsh extraction–what if she had used her mother’s original last name?

  6. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    October 13, 2018, 10:26 am

    To state the screaming obvious, this incident further proves that the entity known as “Israel” is an ever increasing tragic mess. As predicted long ago, it’s totally f***ed up.

    To wit:
    On June 4, 2009, the Israeli daily Haaretz published an editorial by mainstream liberal politician and long time Knesset member Shulamit Aloni in which she quotes a letter Lord Rothschild sent in 1902 to Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement. In the letter, Rothschild explained why he could not support a Jewish state in Palestine. He wrote that he “should view with horror the establishment of a Jewish colony pure and simple; such a colony would be Imperium Imperio; it would be a Ghetto with the prejudice of the Ghetto; it would be a small petty Jewish state, orthodox and illiberal, excluding the Gentile and the Christian.”

    In 1919, Henry Morgenthau Sr., former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, left no doubt as to where he stood on Zionism: “Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history…. The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is… a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light.” (Quoted by Frank Epp, Whose Land is Palestine? p. 261)

    Judaism may never recover from Zionism.

    • catalan
      catalan
      October 13, 2018, 10:55 am

      “this incident further proves that the entity known as “Israel” …” Misterioso
      It also proves that the commenter known as “Misterioso” does not believe in the trait known as “succinctness”.

      • bcg
        bcg
        October 13, 2018, 11:34 am

        @Catalan: succinctly: Zionism is mostly a 19th century creation; the eternal longing of the Jews to return to their ancestral homeland is not even two centuries old.

      • jon s
        jon s
        October 14, 2018, 10:43 am

        bcg,
        Modern political Zionism is indeed a creation of the late 19th century.
        However , the Jewish longing to return to our ancestral homeland is way older than two centuries. For nearly 2000 years Jews prayed three times a day (four on the Sabbath and holidays) for a return to Zion.

      • annie
        annie
        October 14, 2018, 4:39 pm

        jon, it’s been explained to me that the term jerusalem as it pertains to jewish prayers is a spiritual place vs a physical place. but for those like yourself who think the prayers are referencing an earthly physical location, can you explain to me why, for nearly 2000 years, this longing didn’t manifest itself in swarms of jews, putting those longings into action? i just can’t figure out why the vast majority didn’t go there. i can understand the poor, but what about wealthy jews? why didn’t they immigrate for 2000 years if they longed to be there so much? and look at all the jews who immigrated here? why would they do that if they longed to be there (for 2000 years presumably). and when the zionist movement first started, what explains so many jews not jumping on board? why did it require a political movement if the longing had been there for so long, as a physical place that was being prayed to? it doesn’t make sense. and when jews were kicked out of spain and england, why not go to jerusalem then? why were they only a 5% minority in the place they longed to be? because that 5% were not prosecuted in palestine for the most part, they lived comfortably. and the arab jews living in iraq, yemen, morocco, iran etc, what took them so long? isn’t it reasonable to assume european jews (at a minimum) preferred living in europe during those 2 centuries. because that’s a long time to wait around for literally dozens and dozens of generations of jews, if, as you claim, they were longing to change their physical destination. that goes for 1/2 the jews alive today. what’s the reasoning for them not moving to israel if, as you claim, this longing exists?

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 14, 2018, 11:26 am

        || jon s: …
        However , the Jewish longing to return to our ancestral homeland is way older than two centuries. … ||

        Geographic Palestine was not and is not the “ancestral homeland” of every person in the world – citizens of homelands all over the world – who chose / has chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish.

        || … For nearly 2000 years Jews prayed three times a day (four on the Sabbath and holidays) for a return to Zion. ||

        Prayer – no matter how fervent – does not create a right to do evil unto others.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 14, 2018, 11:47 am

        “However , the Jewish longing to return to our ancestral homeland is way older than two centuries. For nearly 2000 years Jews prayed three times a day (four on the Sabbath and holidays) for a return to Zion.”

        Oh, I see. They have ethnic ressentiment, but we have “the Jewish longing” which is so much better, even our sex lives are ‘different’.

        And you may not be aware of this “Jon s”, but all kinds of people pray for things, not just Jews. They actually have religions, too.

      • catalan
        catalan
        October 14, 2018, 12:23 pm

        “Geographic Palestine was not”…Eljay
        Is there any other Palestine besides the “geographic” one? If Palestine is a place and geo-graphy means “earth drawing” in Greek, then wouldn’t Palestine automatically qualify as “geographic”? What am I missing? Geographic India vs regular India? What does that even mean?

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 14, 2018, 12:44 pm

        I had a Hindu driver in India. His son got chicken pox. He went to the Temple. The priest told him the deal :

        Puja (prayer) to the goddess plus flowers ( 50 rupees, available from the Temple only)

        No meat for 10 days
        No shaving for 10 days

        After 10 days the goddess ensures the chicken pox is gone !

        The virus lasts 7 days.

        Religion is like that. So what if Jews prayed for Zion. Prayer is not ownership.

      • catalan
        catalan
        October 14, 2018, 1:31 pm

        “So what, exactly, do you hope to accomplish by commenting here?” Bcg
        Nothing – I am positive I will accomplish nothing. However, I have always had this weird fascination how some people become true believers – in the good, in “progress”, in “socialism”, in “freedom”. These are all illusions but people are like children. So it’s just a way to pass the time. I am not egomaniacal enough to think that what I say makes any difference in the universe. I love how everyone thinks that they are “good” but the others are “bad”.

      • gamal
        gamal
        October 14, 2018, 1:45 pm

        “Religion is like that”…..ouch, it is though isn’t it, imagine a religion that had no pay off

        when Umar asked Muhammad what would be best use of his property Muhammad said

        “habis al asl wa sabil al thamara” ….”sequester the substance and donate the usufruct”

        Palestine had the most Awqaf of any Muslim land, no one can dissolve a waqf at the point of a gun, Religion is like that too.

      • Keith
        Keith
        October 14, 2018, 3:43 pm

        CATALAN- “Is there any other Palestine besides the “geographic” one?”

        Yes, the metaphysical one of the Torah/Talmud.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        October 14, 2018, 3:58 pm

        Before Romantic nationalism it wasn’t so easy to distinguish the restoration of the Jews ‘to their country’ and the worldwide manifestation of divine providence. I think – Jon will correct me – that most Jews thought of these two things as inevitably connected, all but identical processes. So did many Christians, as in Oldenburg’s letter from London to Spinoza of December 1665, which refers to the national restoration and remarks that few believed that it was imminent, though many hoped it would be – I think he means many people, not just many Jews. Oldenburg says that the event would ‘turn over the world’. Zionism as it emerged secularised the idea radically but never completely, in a sense making it just another call for national territory – if it’s good enough for the Germans it’s good enough for the Jews – but never for one moment abandoning the idea that it would be good for everyone and that all the nations would get a thorough enlightenment. So I think that there is both deep continuity in Jewish ideas about the Holy Land from early to Romantic times and a notable transformation: these together are inspiring to some but really frighten me.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 14, 2018, 6:49 pm

        || catalan: “Geographic Palestine was not”…Eljay … What am I missing? … ||

        Not everything is about you.

        || … Geographic India vs regular India? What does that even mean? ||

        What would you like it to mean?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 14, 2018, 7:12 pm

        That shows how efficient the goddess is. She gets the job done before the official completion date.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 14, 2018, 7:17 pm

        There is also the political State of Palestine, which may or may not exist, but does get mentioned.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 14, 2018, 8:27 pm

        Annie

        The rabbis used the fantasy of the return to build Jewish identity. It was an emotional lever. They had a mitzvah/ rule that forbade Jews from actually going to Zion . Can’t remember the name. Zion was ancient marketing fluff. It could never be what the prayers wanted it to be

      • annie
        annie
        October 14, 2018, 10:22 pm

        build Jewish identity….emotional lever…. mitzvah/ rule that forbade Jews from actually going to Zion

        religions are like that. what i’ll probably never understand is how so many people buy into them.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 14, 2018, 10:48 pm

        Jerusalem was certainly a physical place which was identifiable on any map of the globe, or preceding the wide knowledge of what the globe looked like, it was a spot on a map, where one, if one were educated, could find the place of Jerusalem approximately at the eastern end of the Mediterranean. The Jews were parts of communities and the communities as a whole did not move to Jerusalem and its environs for a variety of reasons, primarily among them, because this return to Zion had become associated with the end of days, the coming of the Messiah and until then it was the role of Jews to suffer or survive the exile, and not to force the hand of God in any way, but to allow God to determine the end of the exile. The messianic movement led by Shabtai Zevi demonstrated the dangers of attempting a massive return to Zion, particularly one that tried to mobilize world Jewry to turn the return into a historic turning point. When Shabtai presented his idea to the grand vizier, he was given the choice of beheading or adopting Islam and he adopted Islam.

        Modern Zionism involved a number of changes: 1. rejection of the passivism involved in accepting the exile’s end as in God’s hands and 2. the general disappointment of late 19th century hopes for an acceptance of Jewish emancipation.

        In fact, if the west had not (mostly) closed its gates in the aftermath of WWI the critical mass of the number of Jews needed to make Zionism into a successful movement would not have been achieved. Humans migrate to places of economic opportunity and political freedom. Palestine was certainly not a place of economic opportunity and only when Europe began to show its fangs between the wars did the mass movement of Jews to Palestine become sufficient to achieve the population that could achieve independence.

        Passivism and placing one’s faith in God’s deeds was largely responsible for placing the end of the exile in some distant time in the future. (See the Three Oaths). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Oaths

        Also to call the Jewish community in Palestine comfortable distorts the term comfort. It was not a self supporting community but one of poverty, thus dependent on financial support from world Jewish communities and dependent on political freedom to the powers that be.

        And since the zeitgeist of the Arab world is quite religious, declaring one’s inability to understand religion does not give you greater credibility to comment on the politics of the region.

      • annie
        annie
        October 15, 2018, 12:18 am

        yonah, i’m not seeking credibility, just answers.

        Jerusalem was certainly a physical place

        thanks, i knew that. as i had referenced: it’s been explained to me that the term jerusalem as it pertains to jewish prayers. but thanks for addressing my questions.

        Modern Zionism involved a number of changes: 1. rejection of the passivism involved in accepting the exile’s end as in God’s hands

        so, does it also reject the idea of exile’s end as in God’s hands? or just the “passivism involved” in that acceptance? this part about “not to force the hand of God in any way, but to allow God to determine the end of the exile”? has judaism fundamentally changed since the advent of zionism? or has the interpretation of “force the hand of God” changed, or “allow God to determine the end of the exile” changed? are the settlers the hand of god now? are they the messiah’s donkey?

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        October 15, 2018, 3:51 am

        @WJ

        Those 3 rules were very pragmatic. Judaism has always had size limitations perhaps because of concerns about dilution. Power comes and goes. Zionism has always been audacious and always involved huge risks. Israel can’t manage them now and I don’t see Moshiach anywhere.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 15, 2018, 1:34 pm

        Annie- the major thrust of Zionism ignored the oaths and the passivity encouraged in general by rabbinic judaism. There were religious zionists who considered the oaths to be midrash rather than halakha, sort of like advisory rather than legal. The religious zionists from the pre WWI era were those who sought to balance modernism and tradition, so they picked and chose and they chose zionism, particularly avoiding the passivity of “let God write history”, our role is to follow the commandments. Once the league of nations approved zionism, the nations could now be construed as approving the project, so that it was not nearly as rebellious as pre league of nations zionism. The other 2 major turning points were the holocaust and the United nations general assembly partition plan. To be continued.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 15, 2018, 5:44 pm

        The three oaths were really 2 oaths taken by klal Israel (the commonality of Israel, meaning the Jewish people) and those were not to forcibly go back to the land and not to rebel against the nations and one vow taken by the nations of the world: not to overly repress the Jews. (The distinction between midrash and halacha, or legend and law, might better be described as a theory of history versus a prohibition, or a description rather than a prescription.) In the aftermath of the Holocaust, I have heard it explained that since the nations have not kept their part of the vow (bargain) then the Jewish oath is no longer binding since the nations busted their vow.

        Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, (1903-1993) considered even now 25 years after his death, the primary rabbi of Modern Orthodoxy in America has been quoted as saying that his attitude towards Zionism changed as a result of the Holocaust, to be specific: Post-Dachau, he had a different attitude than before Dachau. (Interesting that the quote that I cannot find on line, but that I heard 45 years ago, specified Dachau rather than Auschwitz.)

        The General Assembly’s acceptance of the Partition Plan combined with the acceptance of Israel into the United Nations, certainly changes the dynamics of the “rebellion against the nations” element involved in Zionism. (I think that the actions re: the West Bank signify a rebellion in a way that the actions re: Israel proper do not constitute rebellion against the nations, although this may be debatable.)

        Although I have never heard anyone claim Talmudic erudition for any Modern Orthodox rabbi superior to Rabbi Soloveitchik, in Israel itself his attitudes towards Israel were considered tepid compared to the rabbis in Israel itself. Their “first” leader was the first Rabbi Kook who died in 1935, and their chief spokesman after his death became his son, Zevi Yehuda Kook. The school of Zevi Yehuda Kook believes that once the nations have given the go ahead to the Zionist enterprise the green light has been given and any limitations are to be dismissed.

        Now that the Jews have gotten into the game of history and are no longer bystanders, they must grab the bull by the horns and assert their full rights. I think that sums up the attitude of the religious Zionist settlers.

        As far as the ultra Orthodox, their attitude is mixed. Disregarding for the moment outliers like Neturei Karta, for the most part the ultra Orthodox see the Orthodox community in Israel as a fulfillment of the continuity of the traditions that Hitler did his best to erase (aided by Stalin’s spiritual genocide to accompany Hitler’s physical genocide.) Israel is the home of more study of Talmud by ultra Orthodox than the rest of the world combined, I believe, and as such protecting that community from being tainted by modernity (and service in the IDF) and from stabbing by Palestinians, is paramount in their thoughts. Their attitudes towards the occupied territories can be summed up by, “Ask Rabin, what is going to be part of the eventual Israel and anywhere that Rabin delineates is territory where we may inhabit.” (paraphrase of quote by Rabbi Shach, 1899-2001)

        There are several large communities of ultra Orthodox in the West Bank, where apartment prices are reasonable compared to similar housing in Israel proper, but those ultra Orthodox who see their role as furthering the conquering and settling of the territories are outliers. Such outliers include Lubavitch, so the term “outliers” is probably misleading in terms of numbers, but certainly the hard core of the settlers do not get their inspiration from the traditional rabbis who are humble regarding history, but rather from the rabbis who see history as having undergone a basic change, something that conservative rabbis (in outlook, not in denomination) do not see.

        (One other point that may be extraneous. The primary enumerator of the Biblical laws is considered to be Maimonides. There are 613 laws in the Torah (a tradition that is described in the Talmud) and Rambam, delineates them in a book called “Sefer Hamitzvot” “The Book of the Commandments”. There are many laws that can only be performed in Israel itself, but moving to Israel, is not itself one of the 613 commandments. According to Maimonides. But Nachmanides, whose Hebrew acronym Ramban is awfully similar to the Rambam, does enumerate moving to Israel as a commandment, particularly to places where the presence of Jews would solidify Jewish claims on the territory.)

      • annie
        annie
        October 16, 2018, 4:50 pm

        yonah, thank you for these extensive responses to my questions.

        2 oaths taken by klal Israel (the commonality of Israel, meaning the Jewish people) and those were not to forcibly go back to the land and

        isn’t the nakba considered “forcefully”?

        I have heard it explained that since the nations have not kept their part of the vow (bargain) then the Jewish oath is no longer binding since the nations busted their vow.

        what is your/their definition of “nations”? do you mean the aryan nation of germany?

        Once the league of nations approved zionism, the nations could now be construed as approving the project,

        except the neighboring nations didn’t approve.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 15, 2018, 7:24 pm

        “The three oaths were really 2 oaths…”

        There’s always a catch, isn’t there?

      • jon s
        jon s
        October 16, 2018, 3:58 pm

        Annie, The question of why modern Zionism arose in the late 19th century is like asking why the French Revolution broke out in 1789 and not ten years earlier or twenty years later. The answer in both cases is: because that’s when conditions were ripe. The rise of modern national movements all over Europe, together with poverty and persecution in Eastern Europe and the emergence of modern , racist, Anti-Semitism in Western Europe and all those factors building on the foundation of the centuries-old yearnings for a return to the homeland.
        It’s true that most of those Jews who prayed for a return never actually got up and moved there. Reminds me of all those New Englanders who keep saying (usually during the winter) “someday we should move to Florida”. But then there are friends and family around, and the kids are in school here and there’s a business to run and the huge headache of actually moving…I realize that my analogy here is far from precise, but expecting masses of Jews , in pre-modern times , to leave their homes in Poland or Germany or Yemen and try to make their way to the land of Israel…the practical difficulties would have been overwhelming. So most of them just kept praying, studying and dreaming and ,when the right conditions formed, modern Zionism was born.

      • annie
        annie
        October 16, 2018, 4:12 pm

        Reminds me of all those New Englanders who keep saying (usually during the winter) “someday we should move to Florida”.

        precisely, that’s sort of my sentiments also, but then nobody’s suggesting giving prime florida real estate to new englanders because they’ve been fantasizing about flordia every winter for generations.

      • jon s
        jon s
        October 16, 2018, 4:10 pm

        Wondering Jew
        The idea that it’s a mitzvah is based on Numbers 33:53 “You shall possess the Land and you shall settle in it, for to you have I given the Land to possess it.”
        As I understand , the Rambam considered conquering the land a mitzvah but did not count living in it as one. Nevertheless in Mishne Torah he wrote: “At all times, a person should dwell in the Land of Israel even in a city whose population is primarily idol-worshippers, rather than dwell in the Diaspora even in a city whose population is primarily Jewish.”(Laws of Kings 5:12)

      • Keith
        Keith
        October 16, 2018, 8:10 pm

        JON S- “… all those factors building on the foundation of the centuries-old yearnings for a return to the homeland.”

        How can you keep repeating crap like this? Zionism was unpopular with the majority of Jews up until World War II. Jewish refugees from pre-war Germany overwhelmingly opted to go to the Western Democracies instead of Palestine if they had the choice. Even after the war, most of the Jewish refugees preferred the US or Britain to Palestine, many forcibly coerced to go to Palestine by Zionist agents within the camps. This manifest behavior belies your BS about “centuries-old yearnings.” Israel and Zionism only became truly popular with world Jewry after the 1967 war. Surely you are aware of this.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        October 16, 2018, 9:38 pm

        Annie- I think that a Jewish reaction to the Holocaust of rejecting passivism was natural and good. (And that I think is the essence of the breaking of the oath by the nations allowing the Jews out of their oaths, without getting into a historical analysis of which nations broke the oath and which did not.) Whether the ben Gurion view of world geopolitics was superior to Judah Magnes’s view of geopolitics is a different question. But the rejection of passivism (and also the rejection of “Let’s convert to Christianity and forget all about this Jewish thing”) was a very human reaction and in a good way. It certainly does not lessen the suffering by the Palestinians and the bitterness of those who identify with them.

        I first visited Israel at the age of 16 after having been raised with singing Hatikva and raised with considering Israel the ultimate destiny of Jewish history. But my longing for Jerusalem before I ever personally set eyes on it was certainly as naught compared to my love for the city now that I have lived there and walked its streets and developed an affinity for certain places vistas and paths.

        “The Jewish longing for Jerusalem” should not be denigrated because of the difference between a whisper and a shout. A whisper is significant as well. Praying for the coming of Messiah as entangled as it was with the idea of “Jerusalem” is not enough to denigrate the connection to Jerusalem (mentioned thrice daily and after every meal). I do not think that this is enough to dislodge others who feel other connections to the city, whether whispers or generations of living there, but I think this “Why didn’t you move there hundreds of years ago?” is insufficient and frankly immature. (Only someone who is alienated from religion would speak so disparagingly of this whisper.) (Of course you are motivated by the suffering of Palestinians, the disruption to tranquility and the diversion away from what you consider to be an optimal American foreign policy, so you have a valid motive for such disparagement. Still it is immature to refuse to recognize the strength of religion.)

      • annie
        annie
        October 16, 2018, 10:54 pm

        I think this “Why didn’t you move there hundreds of years ago?” is insufficient and frankly immature.

        could you do us the courtesy of reserving double quotemarks around actual quotes vs your paraphrasing? i ask this because it’s a long conversation and someone just tuning in might mistake that for an actual quote.

        “The Jewish longing for Jerusalem” should not be denigrated because of the difference between a whisper and a shout. A whisper is significant as well.

        significant enough to displace/ethnically cleanse the people who had actually lived there for the centuries you didn’t and built it for centuries and raised their families there for centuries and planted for centuries and harvested for centuries and vs whispering about it for centuries? and this “Jewish longing for Jerusalem” is what’s used to rationalize the unspeakable.

        even “jewish longing” reigns supreme over the lives of others? yet you’re concerned that longing should not be denigrated. i think you’re expecting too much. when more value is placed on your longing from centuries past than thousands of mothers today longing for their dead children killed by jewish israeli forces, something is very wrong. do you think you feel more acutely, in your whispers?

      • Keith
        Keith
        October 17, 2018, 10:39 am

        WONDERING JEW- “The Jewish longing for Jerusalem” should not be denigrated because of the difference between a whisper and a shout.”

        The “Jewish longing for Jerusalem” is myth history. The paucity of Jewish immigration to Palestine prior to World War II is strong evidence of no such “longing.” What empirical evidence do you have to suggest that the Jerusalem of the Torah was other than a metaphysical construct? The original Zionist leaders were mostly European atheists for cry sakes.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 17, 2018, 4:17 pm

        Shorter “WJ”: ‘There’s nothing like a colonial project and the political ideology that goes with it to perk up a tired religion, and put some zip in it!”

  7. catalan
    catalan
    October 13, 2018, 1:58 pm

    “the eternal longing of the Jews to return to their ancestral homeland is not even two centuries old.”
    Succinctly: I live in the US state of New Mexico and work for the local government. I have longing mostly to visit places within 20 miles of my home. I hate traveling, especially by plane. Zionism, communism, democratic socialism, and capitalism interest me not at all. I think that boycotting the Gap and Starbucks won’t bring about a Palestinian state; also I think if Bernie Sanders gets elected everything still will cost money. If Israel disappeared tomorrow, the effect on my life would be zero. Same if all the Palestinians disappeared.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 14, 2018, 11:51 am

      ” If Israel disappeared tomorrow, the effect on my life would be zero”

      You don’t pray “three times a day (four on the Sabbath and holidays) for a return to Zion.”? What’s the matter with you?

      But “Jon s” says you’d leave the USA in a hot second to live in Israel. He knows what Jews want!

    • bcg
      bcg
      October 14, 2018, 12:29 pm

      @Catalan: “If Israel disappeared tomorrow, the effect on my life would be zero. Same if all the Palestinians disappeared.”

      So what, exactly, do you hope to accomplish by commenting here?

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      October 14, 2018, 12:47 pm

      The «  eternal Jewish longing for Zion «  is like a drunken idea that a hook up with a high school classmate from 30 years ago is the best way forward.

      Zion was lost because it couldn’t be defended. It still can’t be. This is why there is an occupation.
      The pity of it all.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      October 14, 2018, 4:07 pm

      So the eternal longing is not something you share, Catalan, and you are not an interested party. Do you join us out of concern for right and wrong and for peace, even if you do not expect to have much impact, or out of enjoyment of controversy and argument?

      • catalan
        catalan
        October 14, 2018, 5:08 pm

        “So the eternal longing is not something you share, Catalan,” MHughes976.
        I did have a longing, not eternal, and it was to get to the US. I always wanted to live in America. Perhaps being Jewish played a role in that, actually I am sure it did. I never felt Bulgarian in a sense, I always felt like a stranger in my own country. So I can understand how some Jews wanted and indeed needed to leave Eastern Europe. Since not all could come to the US for a host of reasons, Israel makes sense to them. I just think that peace only can happen through compromise. The notion that Israelis will be deprived of things through a consumer boycott and therefore begin loving the Palestinians seems so ludicrous to me and yet is the premise of most commenters here. Ironically, after living in America for two decades, my enthusiasm for this country has waned considerably. As they say, wherever you go, there you are.

      • annie
        annie
        October 14, 2018, 8:38 pm

        The notion that Israelis will be deprived of things through a consumer boycott and therefore begin loving the Palestinians … is the premise of most commenters here.

        taking a short break from talking about yourself to make up little lying antidotes about others’ opinions. whatever gets you off catalan.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 15, 2018, 2:15 pm

        “taking a short break from talking about yourself to make up little lying antidotes about others’ opinions.”

        You must excuse him, “Annie”. He’s from Barcelona.

      • catalan
        catalan
        October 15, 2018, 8:24 pm

        “taking a short break from talking about yourself to make up little lying antidotes about others’ opinions. “ Annie
        Thanks for the kind words. I cannot thank you enough for not voting for Hillary and also for agitating others to follow your example. Not only was the night of Trump’s election one of the happiest in my life, but his presidency has been so good to me. Thanks again, I mean it! Trump is also loved in Israel so I thank you on their behalf as well!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 16, 2018, 11:52 am

        “catalan”, you get so vulgar when you get angry. Anybody can tell you’re a vulgarian.

      • annie
        annie
        October 16, 2018, 12:27 pm

        mooser, all those fake twitter bots repeating the bernie(or stein)=trump slander, punching left ad nauseam for months, has sort of inoculated me (and hundreds of thousands of others, or millions for all i know) to these kinds of sadistic passive aggressive outbursts. grab the popcorn.

      • catalan
        catalan
        October 16, 2018, 12:02 pm

        “Anybody can tell you’re a vulgarian.”
        Classy, making fun of the word “Bulgarian”. And your best friend is a Croatian (Read up on Jasenovac!). At least the Bulgarians did not kill all their Jews. It’s people like you that help me understand the phenomenon of antisemitism.
        And what’s vulgar about stating that Annie and I were on the same team – we both did not vote for Hillary. It’s the truth, vulgar on not.
        Actually, I decided to do a genetic test with ancestry. Wouldn’t it be fun if I turned out to have Arabic background? Guess what all your hateful comments towards me would make you then! An Arab hater!

      • annie
        annie
        October 16, 2018, 12:35 pm

        mooser, i meant pass the popcorn.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 16, 2018, 12:55 pm

        “Actually, I decided to do a genetic test with ancestry.”

        Good for you. That is information which may be critical to your health, and the health of others.

      • catalan
        catalan
        October 16, 2018, 1:17 pm

        “sadistic passive aggressive outbursts. “ Annie
        I am among the sixty million who voted for Trump and are happy that Hillary didn’t get elected, indeed thrilled. You not voting for Hillary helped us. What is sadistic, passive or aggressive about this? Are you saying that all 60 million Trump voters are sadistic? That would include most doctors, engineers, architects in the United States. Definitely the vast majority of accountants too. It’s just a fact that you and I both didn’t vote for Hillary – it’not a judgement. It’s also a fact that Trump’s years have been good to me. Ergo, your actions helped me, no matter whatever disagreements we may have here. And for that I am grateful.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 16, 2018, 1:24 pm

        || catalan: … And your best friend is a Croatian (Read up on Jasenovac!). … ||

        Mooser, I’m willing to bet that your best friend actually isn’t Croatian and this is just catalan going all “I ♥ Ustashi” again and assigning to him an identity that is not his.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 16, 2018, 2:13 pm

        “Mooser, I’m willing to bet that your best friend actually isn’t Croatian”

        ‘Oh, he might have been Croatian,
        Or Montengran or a Thracian,
        But he remains Canadian!
        He remain-ain-ain-ain-ain-ain-ain-ains- Canadian!’

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 16, 2018, 2:40 pm

        || Mooser: … He remain-ain-ain-ain-ain-ain-ain-ains- Canadian!’ ||

        I thought so.  ;-)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 16, 2018, 3:06 pm

        “I thought so. :-)”

        For he himself has said it, and it’s greatly to his credit. In spite of all temptations to belong to other nations, he is Canadian!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 16, 2018, 3:21 pm

        “mooser, i meant pass the popcorn.”

        I can’t eat popcorn, but I’m hoping for good results in the midterm.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 16, 2018, 3:22 pm

        || Mooser: … For he himself has said it, and it’s greatly to his credit. In spite of all temptations to belong to other nations, he is Canadian! ||

        Nicely done!  :-)

        To what tune should these lyrics be sung?

      • catalan
        catalan
        October 16, 2018, 3:49 pm

        “but I’m hoping for good results in the midterm.” Mooser
        And when the Republicans expand the majorities there will be an article here about how the loss is actually a win, because fill in the blanks. And Misterioso will tell us how in 1919 someone predicted that. Mooser you are so good at influencing people that you have created a lifetime republican. Even I think I like a democrat, I just think of you and I am like naaah.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 16, 2018, 4:08 pm

        “Mooser you are so good at influencing people…”

        Yes, yes, and a few comments ago I made you an antisemite, too.
        “catalan”, just bulg off already.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 16, 2018, 6:40 pm

        “To what tune should these lyrics be sung?”

        Are you serious? For shame!

        Ask Sir Arthur Sullivan.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 16, 2018, 6:46 pm

        || RoHa: … Are you serious? For shame! … ||

        I am serious and there’s no shame at all. You and me, know full well I’m not educated to good.

        || … Ask Sir Arthur Sullivan. ||

        Google says he’s got a lot of material. Which piece should I listen to?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 16, 2018, 10:41 pm

        I’m shocked! Shocked!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6_vyGuhkfA

        Poor Mooser must be prostrate with grief. Here’s something that might cheer him up.

        https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/pg-wodehouse-to-be-honoured-with-westminster-abbey-memorial-plaque-37415444.html

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 17, 2018, 7:37 am

        || RoHa: I’m shocked! Shocked! … ||

        You shouldn’t be! Shouldn’t be!

        || … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6_vyGuhkfA … ||

        Thanks for the link. The song would be more to my liking if it had just a bit* more electric guitar…but I am now better able to appreciate Mooser’s poetry.  :-)
        ______________
        (*where “bit” = “lot”)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 17, 2018, 12:25 pm

        Or perhaps Au-stra-li-an!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 17, 2018, 3:28 pm

        Remember,”eljay” the G&S “patter” songs, such as “Modern Major General” and “The Nightmare Song” are considered by many to be among the early precursors of rap music. I don’t know how many.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 17, 2018, 6:49 pm

        || Mooser: Remember,”eljay” the G&S “patter” songs, such as “Modern Major General” and “The Nightmare Song” are considered by many to be among the early precursors of rap music. I don’t know how many. ||

        I will remember this, but I doubt it will increase my appreciation of either G&S “patter” songs or rap music. Sorry.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 18, 2018, 3:08 am

        Eljay, you are a Canadian. That’s ex-British Empire. All such are required to have a thorough knowledge and appreciation of G & S. When you’ve finished your time in “diversity training”, you’ll have to go to another re-education camp.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 18, 2018, 8:09 am

        || RoHa: Eljay, you are a Canadian. That’s ex-British Empire. All such are required to have a thorough knowledge and appreciation of G & S. When you’ve finished your time in “diversity training”, you’ll have to go to another re-education camp. ||

        I appreciate Guitars & Scotch. I don’t need no (further) education, I don’t need no thought control. Rock on, Ro Ha.  :-D

  8. jon s
    jon s
    October 14, 2018, 10:33 am

    The Lara Alqasem case is an example of the absurd and contradictory policies of the Israeli government. If Ms Alqasem registered to study at HUJ , how could she be accused of supporting BDS? Stupid and counter-productive.
    Just reported: her attorneys will appeal to the Supreme Court.

  9. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 14, 2018, 12:37 pm

    I don’t think Israel is in control any more. BDS really gets to them in a way violence never did.

    BDS winds them up like a small child can to Zen parents.

    The Israeli response is to do things that make Israel look petulant and incoherent. The Alqasem decision is asymmetric- she can study elsewhere but Israel shoots itself in the foot in the court of public facepalm.

    Linked is the shura a din Lawfare case against 2 Kiwis. Stupid Israeli law finds them $18000 but Israel can’t collect just like Israel can’t fight BDS.

    Some dreams involve the subject turning up in public with no clothes on . Israel is living the dream!!!

  10. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 14, 2018, 1:02 pm

    « the guards repeatedly told her she “wasn’t Palestinian since there was no such thing as Palestine.”« 

    Scared
    Brainwashed
    Goons

  11. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    October 14, 2018, 1:27 pm

    @Mag
    “I don’t think Israel is in control any more. BDS really gets to them in a way violence never did.”

    Agreed. I think what really freaks Israeli Zios out is that they think of themselves fundamentally as being “Western” or “European” as opposed to the “smelly uncultured Untermenshen Arab ” natives under their colonial control and they can`t understand why their “fellow” Westerners/Europeans are being so nasty to them (sob).

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      October 14, 2018, 2:06 pm

      The Bots still don’t understand that killing the 2SS was insane especially in front of Europeans. Apartheid is a turd that cannot be polished.

  12. bcg
    bcg
    October 14, 2018, 5:31 pm

    @Catalan: “Nothing – I am positive I will accomplish nothing. However, I have always had this weird fascination how some people become true believers – in the good, in “progress”, in “socialism”, in “freedom”. These are all illusions but people are like children. So it’s just a way to pass the time.”

    This is a cartoon characterization of how people think and feel, it’s a straw man construction. Try reading David Shulman’s new book “Freedom and Despair – Notes From The South Hebron Hills”. It’s 13 bucks on Amazon.

  13. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 14, 2018, 9:50 pm

    It is so wonderful that the barbarian Netanyahu is in power in Israel to welcome all the chickens coming home to roost, 25 years after he decided on apartheid

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/14/israeli-supreme-court-suspends-deportation-us-student-lara-alqasem

    « Alqasem’s case has touched off debate in Israel over whether democratic values have been compromised by a 2017 law that bars the entry of foreigners who publicly support anti-Israel boycotts, and if a hard line against the student will ultimately harm the country’s image. »

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s stance was similar to other countries’ practices.

    “If … you’re virulently against America and you try to come into the United States, there’s a good chance you won’t be let in,” he told visiting Christian journalists. “That’s also true of many of the European democracies. It’s true of the democracy called Israel.”

  14. Nathan
    Nathan
    October 15, 2018, 8:20 pm

    annie – The phenomenon of returning to Jerusalem could not have occurred before the advent of modernity. The modern world has provided the tools of organization and communication. Moreover, the phenomenon of secularism in the Jewish world is very late (19th century). So, indeed, the yearning to return to Jerusalem is at the very center of the Jewish civilization. The Jews always saw themselves as an exiled nation that will ultimately be redeemed to their ancient land. However, your expectation that this should have happened at some point in late antiquity or during the Middle Ages is really quite silly. You are projecting your modern world onto people of the Middle Ages. Individuals and small groups of Jews, indeed, returned to Jerusalem throughout the ages, but a political movement that sets goals and organizes their realization is a recent phenomenon. Obviously, in traditional life, people are passive, and they have faith in divine control of history. In modern times, the there is a secular Jewish public which wishes to determine its own destiny through its own actions.

    The rise of Israel, therefore, is an expression of the ancient Jewish aspiration to return to Jerusalem. It’s obvious. Why would one dedicate one’s life to building a Hebrew society in the face of such hostility and dangers? People wish to fulfill their dreams, and the modern world enabled it to happen.

    You noted that one half of the Jews haven’t moved to Israel. I remember as a child going to Hebrew school that the teacher would belittle Israel, telling us that “there are more Jews here in NYC than there are in the entire Land of Israel” (and it was true). Today, as in your comment, that has to be corrected to “one half”. In other words, the trend in the Jewish world is clear. In our old age, we might be hearing a further correction to your demographics: “Why is it that a third of the Jews don’t want to live in Israel…”

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      October 16, 2018, 12:47 am

      Lovely theory Nathan, except Israel is not modern. Messianism is medieval at best. Political orthodoxy is dark ages.

      Features of a modern society such as the rule of law, individual rights and an independent judiciary are all absent.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 16, 2018, 7:47 am

      || Nathan @ October 15, 2018, 8:20 pm ||

      Strip away the dreamy words – “the yearning to return to Jerusalem”, “an exiled nation that will ultimately be redeemed to their ancient land”, “the ancient Jewish aspiration to return to Jerusalem” – and you’re left with:
      – The Middle Ages didn’t permit Jews to do evil unto others on a large scale, so they didn’t.
      – The modern world permitted (and continues to permit) Jews to do evil unto others on a large scale, so they did (and they still do).

      annie may be “projecting [her] modern world onto people of the Middle Ages”, but for decades you Zionists have been projecting your ancient, religion-based supremacism onto people of the Modern World.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 16, 2018, 4:26 pm

      ” In our old age, we might be hearing a further correction to your demographics: “Why is it that a third of the Jews don’t want to live in Israel…”

      ROTFLMSJAO! You mean as Jewish self-identification outside of Israel (you got another kind?) drops, almost certainly as a result of the actions of Zionism, Israel and Zionism will become more powerful and popular? You bet.

      Zionists always seem to think a reduction in the number of Jews will redound to Zionism’s advantage. I can never figure out why that is.

    • annie
      annie
      October 18, 2018, 2:16 am

      nathan, just saw your comment. but i am not following>

      The modern world has provided the tools of organization and communication. Moreover, the phenomenon of secularism in the Jewish world is very late (19th century). So, indeed, the yearning to return to Jerusalem is at the very center of the Jewish civilization.

      what do you mean by “so, indeed”? i m a human, i know what it is yearn. i know back then people yearned, migrated and sought better opportunities. sure, it was not as easy to get around, but for 2000 years? children, they grow up, they start following their dreams. my relatives did it. lots of people all over the world did it. that’s where the idea of “go west young man” came from. this is not some isolated thing 1% of the people do. it is 2nd– 3rd nature. so one does not follow the other; That the modern world has provided the tools of organization and communication and the phenomenon of secularism in the Jewish world was very late, does not “indeed” support the notion the yearning to return to Jerusalem is at the very center the Jewish civilization.

      maybe it was “at the very center the Jewish civilization” but this does not explain why they didn’t start walking, individually or in packs. eupore offered them a lot. they liked iraq and morocco, the zionist movement put a lot of effort into getting them to jerusalem, it was not a natural instinct for many if them. it doesn’t justify the colonization. and there’s nothing particularly “whispery” about it.

      furthermore, i’m not that interested in the middle ages. i feel like some mythic known has been thrust upon us, and we are supposed to just understand or grasp completely this idea that jews, as some pack or in some pact, “relate” in a way i can’t even think back 3 generations of my family to “feel” some attachment, and yet i am required to respect you do? dunno dude. people are dying. the battle you fought in te middles ages is behind us. the holocaust is too.

  15. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    October 17, 2018, 7:11 am

    @jonS
    “The Jewish longing for Jerusalem” should not be denigrated because of the difference between a whisper and a shout.

    Zionists do not “whisper” . They howl and roar their entitlement like a pack of jackals.

    Do keep delivering the biblical Ziotosh. It is a fascinating study in man`s ability to self delude and justify crimes against fellow human beings.

  16. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    October 18, 2018, 12:09 am

    If you want to know why we are here in 2018, it might be useful to look at 1945 without your sneering. obviously that’s a long time ago. but at least discuss it with a modicum of sensibility.

    to go around and say, oh, the people who came out of the death camps didn’t want to go to a war zone and laugh mockingly, that is your way.

    the zionists did not feel that assimilation was an option, because those yehudis under the czar, most were mere years away from tradition, many living under the roof of traditional parents, still familiar with traditional friends, before their breaking off. they were romantics, not wishing to go the path of vulgar assimilationism and the move to america, but to find a more ideal solution, and that ideal was the romance of nation. the russians and their zeitgeist said, we do not accept you, we are russians and you are zhid. and the zionist response was, indeed we are separate from you. we will go to zion and start over. the new jew no longer a jew, but the new hebrew. and that’s where the whisper of jerusalem comes in.
    the nakba was and is a cruelty to the palestinians and therefore recognizing the “validity” of the Jewish urge towards physical Jerusalem is verboten to those who are true blue (or true green black red and white). I hear you.

    as vonnegut says in another context, “so it goes.”

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 18, 2018, 2:49 am

      “they were romantics”

      That was their own fault.

      “,…but to find a more ideal solution, and that ideal was the romance of nation.”

      Romantic ideals are no excuse for cruel actions.

      “the path of vulgar assimilationism and the move to america, ”

      What is vulgar about assimilation? (I won’t argue about America.)

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 18, 2018, 2:50 am

      “the “validity” of the Jewish urge towards physical Jerusalem ”

      What do you mean by “validity”?

  17. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    October 18, 2018, 7:29 am

    @WJ
    ” that ideal was the romance of nation”

    I have always wanted a lovely garden.In fact one could say that I have “a romance of garden”.

    Does that give me the right to steal and occupy another person`s garden – I don`t think so.

    “the nakba was and is a cruelty to the palestinians”

    I know it probably made you feel better saying that but really? It`s like me or any other commentator saying the Nazis were “cruel” to the Jews during the Holocaust. The Nakba was a huge and horrific crime against humanity as was the Holocaust.

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