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Israeli leader’s plea to US Jews to hang in there never mentions Palestinians

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Israeli Jews and American Jews are getting a divorce– everyone now acknowledges that. “Let’s talk,” was the theme of the recent Jewish Federations conference in Tel Aviv, and I just listened to the welcoming speech by Danna Azrieli, the ceo of a leading Israeli real estate company who moved from Canada to Israel 18 years ago.

Azrieli’s speech is remarkable because her understanding of Israeli life and culture is so entirely Jewish that she never mentions Palestinians. “I grew up in a Jewish community bubble,” she says; and though she acknowledges deep divisions between North American and Israeli Jews over values, she focuses on religious differences. Her enthusiasm about Israeli diversity and culture is an enthusiasm about Jewish diversity and Jewish culture– “our country,” where Jews celebrate the Jewish new year on top of one of her buildings, and traffic stops on Jewish holidays.

Azrieli briefly mentions settlements and the (explicitly racist) nation-state law as sources of friction, but she never mentions the occupation– which young American Jews say is their beef with the “Jewish establishment”.

Her only reference to Palestinians in the speech is “Arab” schools. She never speaks of Palestinian conditions, from second-class status inside Israel to rightslessness in the West Bank and Jerusalem and Gaza. She never mentions the killings of unarmed protesters in Gaza.

And meanwhile, Azrieli, who is also a director of family foundations devoted chiefly to Jewish causes, speaks movingly of her father’s experience escaping the Holocaust in Poland — and her own activism as a college student to bring down South African apartheid. It is obviously deeply traumatic to be the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. But does that justify leaving out half the population under the government’s control?

Azrieli’s goal in this speech is to keep American Jews supportive of Israel, because Israel depends on American support. We need each other, she claims. I do not think such an ethnocentric appeal will keep young Jews who are critical of Israel on the team.

Some excerpts:

The air of my childhood was filled… with memories and stories of Zionist heroes. In my mind, I visualized and even envied the brawny, tall, tanned, muscled and European men and women who moved to the swamplands of Palestine against all odds to build a country for our people….

I have always been an ardent Zionist and I have also always been a product of the liberal Northeast… I slept on the porch of the Swarthmore College president’s house so we would divest from South Africa…

When I see violence in the world, I feel despair. I cannot understand how people murder, and even as a fully therapized child of a Holocaust survivor, I struggle with anxiety and fear that an enemy may lurk in a place I don’t expect. I am always vigilant…

I hope that my overactive antennae that work overtime all the time and have a deeply psychosomatic effect on my health will save me if ever one day I am faced with an unexpected horror in a restaurant or a dance club.

I have been with six meters of a terrorist running down the main street of the city where I live. I saw his knife. I saw his sweat. I heard the sirens because he had just stabbed a 70 year old lady at the coffee shop on the corner, and I also saw the total abandonment of morality, the bestiality that overcame my Jewish neighbors when they ran the terrorist over with a car and hit his legs with a stick as he was face down at a bus stop while they were waiting for the police to arrive.

I am a product of all of these things…  Every day I wake up and do my part to build the country…

We Israelis have our share of extremely complicated issues but 70 years ago we were given a mandate to build the country, and we did…

As today’s world is becoming more extreme, as people are becoming more closed and protectionist, we the Jewish people of the world do not have the privilege or the luxury of becoming protectionist from each other…

An arch is two sides pressing together. North American Jewry and Israeli Jewry are like two sides of an arch.

We need each other. We need to push against each other to stay strong. By leaning into each other, by providing each other with the right amount of resistance and the right amount of support, we will have the strength to withstand the pressure from all sides. But one side of an arch cannot stand without the other.

We have different elements on each side, some which give strength and some which create weakness…. The art is to find… the right amount of dependence and independence to insure that our two sides will always stay strong visavis one another…

Israel is an immigrant society with incredibly ethnically diverse Jewish cultures. This Jewishly-diverse Israel is exactly what our Zionist dream intended. When we built this country,  our immigrant mentality tried to push us to belong, just like those of you whose grandparents immigrated to America. As immigrants to any country, we learned the language, we changed the way we dressed, but this next generation.. they’re native Israelis and native North Americans… They’re no longer immigrants. This next generation has the benefits and the burdens of a people who feel like they actually belong… The burden is that we’ve forgotten what it is like to be other, so we forget that we need each other…

But we are two sides of an arch… And we have layers and layers of success and failure, inclusion and exclusion, protectionism and universalism, moments of great fairness and moments of terrible close-mindedness, moments of great heroism and moments of bestiality. We love our countries but we criticize them. We love America but we don’t give up when we disagree with our leaders. As I know you love Israel, we must never give up on our commitment to the country when we disagree with its policies or leaders. We must never give up on our mutual bond which keeps each other strong…

It’s not just the settlements, it’s not just religious extremism, it’s not just Women at the Wall, it’s not just the nation state law. In addition, it’s not just who’s serving in the army, It’s not just who’s paying taxes in Israel, and it’s not just about who pays the price for living here you’re afraid for your security.

Our shared story is much more complicated than that. Don’t give up on our country! Don’t walk away because your liberal sensibilities are insulted. Don’t assume that nothing can change. Things do change, just painfully, slowly, incrementally, and with all of our help. Help by continuing the dialogue but not by oversimplifying it. Help by infusing your children with a love of our heritage that celebrates the good. I am not suggesting that we ignore the things we disagree with. I am simply suggesting that we remember it’s a marathon not a sprint and the strength of Israel today is an equal force leaning into the counter strength of Jews throughout the world.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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67 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    November 4, 2018, 10:13 am

    there have been a flurry of these sort of conversation conferences or panels between israel and american jews this year. i think this might be the 4th or 5th i’ve read about or watched the video. they all touch on the same theme:

    The art is to find… the right amount of dependence and independence to insure that our two sides will always stay strong visavis one another…

    keeping up the unflinching support no matter what (especially financial) because israel is dependent on it and allow israel to be completely independent. that is the balance that makes them strong.

    Don’t give up on our country! Don’t walk away because …. Don’t assume that nothing can change. Things do change, just painfully, slowly, incrementally ….. it’s a marathon not a sprint and the strength of Israel today is an equal force leaning into the counter strength of Jews throughout the world.

    yeah, things change so incrementally painfully slowly it could take a lifetime to reverse the very fast pace of israel’s extremist rightward trajectory. because that aspect doesn’t seen slow at all. she misses the good old days when israel had a liberal veneer. those days seem over for good.

    all these panels and conferences nurturing this relationship for it all to blow up in their faces by israel’s leaders and right wing supporters grotesque response to the massacre.

    • helen4yemen
      helen4yemen
      November 4, 2018, 11:19 am

      There is no other word that offends me more than the word “diaspora”. Its meaning is quite clear: a people called “Israelite” were dispersed from a central location called “Israel” and over many generations kept their Israelite genes in tact and 2,000 years later were demanding the right to return to the location from which they were dispersed. If you believe that the German, Yemeni, Ugandan, Chinese, Indian, Zimbabwean Jews are the descendants of the ancient Hebrews, then there is nothing that I can say except that it is delusional. The Jews “returned” not because they had the right to it but mostly because of the conflict between the Jews and Christians of Europe and the Christian West performed its Final Solution using Arab land.

      “israel had a liberal veneer”. “Israel” is a foreign implant, planted on Arab soil without the consent of the natives. The Arabs do not care how liberal “Israel” is, the issue is that a foreign entity populated by a foreign people are holding Arab land hostage against the wishes of the natives. Do you get that?

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 4, 2018, 12:28 pm

        || helen4yemen: There is no other word that offends me more than the word “diaspora”. … ||

        The word perpetuates the fallacy that the choice to embrace the religion-based identity of “Jewish” transforms an individual into an “exile” centuries removed from his “ancient homeland” in geographic Palestine.

        It also validates the hateful and immoral Zionist ideology that all individuals who have chosen to be Jewish are entitled:
        – to “return” to geographic Palestine;
        – to establish in as much as possible of it a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”; and
        – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      • annie
        annie
        November 4, 2018, 2:50 pm

        point taken about the term diaspora. should have used the term non israeli jews.

      • helen4yemen
        helen4yemen
        November 4, 2018, 8:41 pm

        annie November 4, 2018, 2:50 pm

        point taken about the term diaspora.

        should have used the term non israeli jews.
        —————-

        Thank you for your understanding .

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      November 4, 2018, 8:45 pm

      @annie

      Yes all blown up by the massacre.

      That this was a defining moment is sadly telling when contrasted against the fact of apartheid and slaughter of children and civilians on the Gaza border had so very little impact on the community. A lot of soul searching is needed.

    • Bumblebye
      Bumblebye
      November 5, 2018, 2:41 pm

      Annie, if you need an uplift after all those panels and videos may i suggest the one in the following Skwawkbox article? Kerry-Anne Mendoza, founder of “The Canary”, giving the first *alternative* Claudia Jones lecture after having been unceremoniously disinvited from giving the NUJ one due to pressure from Guardian ‘journalists’. (You’ll understand why they didn’t want her)
      Kerry arrived late so her speech starts about 24 minutes in, she reached her personal journey around the 40 minute mark – I/P a very significant and substantial element:

      https://skwawkbox.org/2018/10/30/video-mendoza-delivers-gripping-inaugural-alternative-claudia-jones-lecture/

      • annie
        annie
        November 5, 2018, 4:37 pm

        thanks bumblebye! i started watching her much anticipated speech the other day and must have gotten distracted at some point because i didn’t watch the whole thing and forgot to get back to it, i will now.

        old geezer, yeah, it didn’t happen in a vacuum. months and months of snipers slaughtering palestinians protestors in the great march forward had strained the relationship (along with israel not recognizing american non orthodox jews, the nation state law, and the trump embrace) preceding these conferences imho. there was already a distancing according to the polls, so i think the recent kumbaya conversations and fretting about the youth has been a drawn out process. but the insult, to suggest american jews should move to israel, i mean what planet are they on? don’t they know american jews have had decades to move there if they wanted to? and largely, they haven’t. so to suggest this in response to the massacre is like pouring salt on a deep wound.

  2. helen4yemen
    helen4yemen
    November 4, 2018, 11:21 am

    “Israeli Jews and American Jews are getting a divorce– everyone now acknowledges that.”
    _________

    The ADL had a survey in 2009 where it was disclosed that US Jews supported the Gaza war in overwhelming numbers. In 2014, a Gallup poll revealed that 93% of US Jews expressed solidarity with the Jews in Palestine, 2% with the Palestinians and 5% did not care. Therefore, in 2014 when bombs were raining on Gaza, 98% of US Jews did not care about that tragedy. The survey of Jews in Palestine were at around 95% who were in favor of bombing Gaza. Please tell me where is the difference between US Jews and those in Palestine?

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      November 4, 2018, 12:28 pm

      Helen- please link to the adl survey and the Gallup poll. Without a link, I assume you are making it up.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 4, 2018, 1:43 pm

        “Without a link, I assume you are making it up.”

        Well, there you go, plenty of links. Does it change your opinion any?

        BTW, “Yonah” can we apply the same standards to you?

      • annie
        annie
        November 4, 2018, 2:55 pm

        yonah, she linked to it down thread. it was a poll taken in february, before the war and results were “across the timespan” referencing interviews taken “each February from 2001 to 2014”, hence i am not sure if the results accurately reflect the percentages supporting the summer slaughter. what i do recall is that membership in JVP quadrupled or something that summer (that’s from memory, i could look it up).

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 4, 2018, 3:42 pm

        ““Without a link, I assume you are making it up.” “WJ”

        Okay “WJ” if you want to argue the levels of support for Zionism are much, much lower, go right ahead.

      • amigo
        amigo
        November 5, 2018, 11:29 am

        “BTW, “Yonah” can we apply the same standards to you?” Mooser

        Now , now Mooser , you are breaking IHRA rules.

        Zionists will decide which rules apply to Jews just as they get to decide what is and is not Antisemitic.

        Just as Yonah the wondering Jew who is possessed of a twisted mindset decides that the invasion of and destruction of Palestine is a ok because some white Europeans committed genocide against Jews.

        What does one do with folks like Yonah except shun them from civilised society until they come to their senses and act as normal human beings that treat others as equal and having the same rights as everyone else.

    • Steve Grover
      Steve Grover
      November 4, 2018, 4:00 pm

      Helen, it is Phil Weiss’s anti-Semetic style of wishful thinking. There is no “divorce״. I was at a reformed synagogue Friday night and we sang Am Yisrael Chai after the Mourner’s Kaddish for the victims of Tree of Life and Saturday Morning I went to my Conservative Shul and we did the same thing. And we sang more Zionist songs during Kiddush celebrating a Bar Mitzvah. So let Phil dream on and real Jews will never fulfill his dreams.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 4, 2018, 6:03 pm

        “I went to my Conservative Shul “

        “Steve” don’t you mean ‘my Conservative Jewish Center’? Check with the Israeli Orthodox Chief Rabbi. When the “Tree of Life” shooting occurred, he was very quick to point out the difference.

      • James North
        James North
        November 4, 2018, 6:45 pm

        Mooser: More brilliance! You set up your sock-puppet, “Grover,” with his comment about a “conservative shul” — then you hit him with Israel’s Orthodox Chief Rabbi! Now make “Grover” pretend to explain away the chief rabbi’s offensive comment.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 4, 2018, 6:47 pm

        “I was at a reformed synagogue Friday night… I went to my Conservative Shul”

        Are those congregations affiliated with HIAS, too like “Tree of Life”?

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 4, 2018, 6:52 pm

        || Steve Grover: … it is Phil Weiss’s anti-Semetic style of wishful thinking. … I was at a reformed synagogue Friday night and we sang Am Yisrael Chai … and Saturday Morning I went to my Conservative Shul and we did the same thing. And we sang more Zionist songs during Kiddush celebrating a Bar Mitzvah. So let Phil dream on and real Jews will never fulfill his dreams. ||

        Phil’s thinking may be “anti-Semetic” but your thinking – that “real Jews” are hateful and immoral supremacist hypocrites – is definitely anti-Semitic. And tragic.

      • Steve Grover
        Steve Grover
        November 5, 2018, 7:19 am

        Yes Mooser, the Conservative Shul I go to had a HIAS Shabbat. Jews love Israel and support HIAS. And some Conservative Shuls call themselves Jewish Centers, one that I can think of off the top of my head is the East Brunswick Jewish Center in East Brunswick, NJ. Many Chabads call themselves Jewish Centers too.
        Most importantly you North and Weiss and anyone who works for or supports Mondoweiss are an affront to the families of the victims who were murdered at Tree Of Life Synagogue (May G-D comfort the families together with all of the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem) in such an unspeakable way.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 5, 2018, 7:48 am

        || Steve Grover: … anyone who works for or supports Mondoweiss are an affront to the families of the victims who were murdered at Tree Of Life Synagogue … ||

        It is truly sad to know that – according to you – the families of those victims are offended by moral ideals such as…
        – justice, accountability and equality; and,
        – respect for human rights and international law and the protections they are meant to afford all people,
        …and by the people who advocate these ideals.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        November 5, 2018, 8:49 am

        James NorthMooser: More brilliance! You set up your sock-puppet, “Grover,” with his comment about a “conservative shul” — then you hit him with Israel’s Orthodox Chief Rabbi! Now make “Grover” pretend to explain away the chief rabbi’s offensive comment.

        That must be the friendliest approach to sockpuppets on a forum I’ve seen yet. Instead of banning them, praise them so at least the readers are aware. Or at least that one.
        I’m all for it, I mean Mooser has earned some privileges, and it’s useful as well, since how else can people ever distinguish the parody from the real thing with this stuff.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        November 5, 2018, 10:09 am

        @Steve Grover

        “There is no ‘divorce.'”

        Au contraire, the divorce documents are being filed:

        Support for Israel among American Jewish college students and young American Jews in general is in decline:
        Times of Israel, June 21/17:
        http://www.timesofisrael.com/devastating-survey-shows-huge-loss-of-israel-support-among-jewish-college-students/

        https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-jewish-agency-chief-warns-young-u-s-jews-more-turned-off-to-israel-1.5751616
        Haaretz – Jan 22, 2018, by Judy Maltz
        “Young American Jews Increasingly Turning Away From Israel, Jewish Agency Leader Warns”
        “The Jewish Agency’s CEO and director-general called the trend ‘extremely worrisome,’ and said that a new strategy must be undertaken to engage young American Jews with Israel.”

        https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623?utm_campaign=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.haaretz.com%2Fopinion%2F.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623
        “Why Young Jews and Democrats Are Waving Goodbye to AIPAC”
        “My generation has only known Israel as an occupier. We won’t back anyone who supports that injustice – including the powerful lobby that is AIPAC”
        By Emily Mayer, March 6, 2018 – Haaretz

      • amigo
        amigo
        November 5, 2018, 11:42 am

        “anyone who works for or supports Mondoweiss are an affront to the families of the victims who were murdered at Tree Of Life Synagogue” Grover

        Shouldn,t that read, “Is an affront to “.

        By posting on MW you are supporting it. Without your involvement and that of your zio apologist brethren , MW would wither and die on the vine of Jewish hatred.

        Why do you hate Jews so much.

        BTW , I guess an appeal for a generous donation would be out of the question.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 5, 2018, 3:47 pm

        “I’m all for it, I mean Mooser has earned some privileges”

        I never meant for it to go this far. Only meant to do it once or twice. “James North” caught on, and made me keep going, which I had to do lest he inform the Mods.

        Only too late did I realize what being willing to create a character like “Grover” says about me. Ooops.
        With “North” goading me on I shudder to think what “Grover” might say one day.
        But if I stop, exposure is my certain fate.

        “Privileged”? Not hardly. More like the victim of a fiendish plot, a long drawn-out exquisitely humiliating retaliation for violating the Comment Policy.

  3. eljay
    eljay
    November 4, 2018, 12:22 pm

    Israeli Jews and American Jews are getting a divorce– everyone now acknowledges that. …

    Are Jewish Americans really in the process of ending their identification with Israel, Jewish Israelis and Zionism? It seems more likely that they just stepping back a bit – taking a little break, as it were – until the “Jewish State” gets its head on straight, after which they’ll resume the relationship.

  4. helen4yemen
    helen4yemen
    November 4, 2018, 1:03 pm

    There is one reason that I would never want to make anything up: if I lie once, how can
    you trust anything else I write?

    1- Jewish support for the war stands at upwards of 90 percent.Nov 19, 2012Operation Pillar of Defense
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/haaretz-poll-more-than-90-percent-of-israeli-jews-support-gaza-war.premium-1.478903

    2- Public support among Israeli Jews for the military campaign in Gaza has been overwhelming throughout its 24-day duration, with a recent opinion poll showing 95% of respondents believed the war was justified.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/31/israeli-polls-support-gaza-campaign-media

    3- Over 90% of Jewish Israelis say Gaza op justifiedFewer than 4% of this month’s Peace Index poll participants think Operation Protective Edge is disproportionateBY YIFA YAAKOV July 29, 2014, 9:03 pm
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/over-90-of-jewish-israelis-say-gaza-op-justified/

    4- A survey by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 95 percent of Israeli Jews think the operation in Gaza is just,
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israelis-support-netanyahu-and-gaza-war-despite-rising-deaths-on-both-sides/2014/07/29/0d562c44-1748-11e4-9349-84d4a85be981_story.html

    5- Poll: 90% of Israeli Jews believe Gaza operation is justified
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4551824,00.html

    6- ADL Survey Shows American Jews Overwhelmingly Supported Israel’s Gaza Action
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140815052442/http://archive.adl.org/presrele/islme_62/5455_62.html#.WXh_g4jytpk

    7- Sympathy for Israelis is — not surprisingly — higher among U.S. Jews than among Americans in any other major religious group. More than nine in 10 Jews across the time span surveyed expressed sympathy for Israelis, while only 2% were more sympathetic to the Palestinians.

    http://news.gallup.com/poll/174266/religion-plays-large-role-americans-support-israelis.aspx

    • annie
      annie
      November 4, 2018, 1:37 pm

      Sympathy for Israelis is — not surprisingly — higher among U.S. Jews than among Americans in any other major religious group. More than nine in 10 Jews across the time span surveyed expressed sympathy for Israelis, while only 2% were more sympathetic to the Palestinians.

      the report explained “across the timespan” references interviews “each February from 2001 to 2014”, i wonder what the results have been the last couple years. especially after the 2014 summer slaughter.

      here’s one statistic from a poll released last february by the Jewish Federation in the Bay Area. https://mondoweiss.net/2018/02/zionisms-california-comfortable/

      When 18-34 year olds are asked if they’re “very attached” to Israel, only 11 percent say yes, compared to 25 percent of those 50 and older. Is a Jewish state very important? 37 percent of the young say yes. Only 40 percent of the young are “comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state.”

      only 40%. that means 60% are uncomfortable. of course, this is just bay area jews. but my point is that percentages ‘across a time span’, the most recent being 4 years ago, aren’t very reliable for how people might respond today. https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-vast-numbers-of-california-jews-disengaging-from-israel-survey-finds-1.5821675

      Vast Numbers of Progressive California Jews Are Disengaging From Israel, Survey Finds
      Only a minority of young Jews in San Francisco’s Bay Area believe a Jewish state is important and only a third sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians

      • just
        just
        November 4, 2018, 2:00 pm

        Of course we can never forget the ongoing slaughter, maiming and other horrors visited every single day upon the Palestinian people since the wholesale slaughter of same from the last war crimes by the GoI and the IOF… it has never been otherwise. How can ‘democracies’ support this ongoing Nakba?

        The world powers prefer to remain silent, feign ignorance and remain complicit in this genocide. So do their constituents.

      • annie
        annie
        November 4, 2018, 2:42 pm

        i totally agree just. none the less, i have hope in the youth of this country.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        November 5, 2018, 9:37 am

        Eljay,

        What you and Mr. Jonah are both peddling has been heard a lot of times, directed at the resistance to the Nazi occupation of Europe and other places. All resistance is futile, give up is the message. Sure, sure, the Zionists are going to fold up and live happily ever after with their victims. There is no difference between the two of you when it comes to the end effect.

      • annie
        annie
        November 5, 2018, 4:48 pm

        echi, you lost me. is there a particular comment you’re referencing? time stamp perhaps if you don’t want to copy paste. thanks.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      November 4, 2018, 7:56 pm

      helen4yemen- Your error regarding the date of the gallup poll threw me off. the numbers in 2014 were certainly lower than the combined numbers that the poll cites.

      the poll was specifically people who regarded their religion as Jewish. In the Pew Poll of 2013, there was a new category unveiled: Jews of no religion. that is jews when they are asked, what is your religion, answer none rather than Jewish and only upon further questioning (not sure the content of the further questioning) they reveal Jewish roots (?) that are considered separately from their religion. this group is substantially less zionist than the jews of the jewish religion and as such the inclusion or exclusion of this category will yield different results.

      on the issue that you raised elsewhere: yes, the jews ended up in the Arab middle east rather suddenly and certainly harmed the Palestinians. and the cause and effect that led to this result was the fault of white europeans. still i do not think you can dismiss the jewish presence there in the absolute manner that you have adopted if you wish to face the situation seriously. if it is merely you wish to convince the world of the lack of justice of their presence there, don’t let me cramp your style. but if you are convinced that they will crumble like a spider web, i think you are underestimating the difficulty of the situation. your rhetoric “go back where you came from” might play well to the audience of antizionists that you have chosen to address, but it is hardly in the realm of dialogue if you are addressing zionists.

      • Donald
        Donald
        November 5, 2018, 8:28 am

        “your rhetoric “go back where you came from” might play well to the audience of antizionists that you have chosen to address, “

        I support a 1ss with equal rights for all and oppose my government’s support for Israeli apartheid and war crimes. However, in the case of Brooklynites living on the West Bank one could say “ go back where you came from” and it makes sense, but when talking to people descended from refugees from some other country it makes no sense.

        But anyway, there is no prospect of expulsion of Israeli Jews. If it were attempted it would involve a war on a massive scale and massive atrocities.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 5, 2018, 8:52 am

        || wondering jew: helen4yemen … if it is merely you wish to convince the world of the lack of justice of their presence there, don’t let me cramp your style. but if you are convinced that they will crumble like a spider web, i think you are underestimating the difficulty of the situation. your rhetoric “go back where you came from” might play well to the audience of antizionists that you have chosen to address, but it is hardly in the realm of dialogue if you are addressing zionists. ||

        wondering jew (a.k.a. yonah fredman) is right, helen. The only thing truly in the realm of dialogue with Zionists is advocating a Zionist “peace” that:
        – allows Israel to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews;
        – allows Israel to keep as much as possible of what it has stolen, occupied and colonized;
        – absolves Israel of its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and
        – absolves Israel of responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

        Advocating a solution to I-P based on justice, accountability , equality and respect for human rights is viewed by Zionists as anti-Semitism and “Jew hatred”.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        November 5, 2018, 9:32 am

        And who wants to address the Zionists? They have amply demonstrated that this is a kind of people exactly as refractory to talk as their WWII pupils.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        November 5, 2018, 10:25 am

        @wondering jew

        “…yes, the jews ended up in the Arab middle east rather suddenly and certainly harmed the Palestinians.”

        “Harmed.” How dare you minimize the monstrous horrors Zionist Jews of foreign origin inflicted on the virtually defenseless indigenous** Palestinian Arabs.

        To be brief:
        What happened in Palestine between late 1947 and 1949 was described by eye-witness Nathan Chofshi, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, who arrived in Palestine in 1908 in the same group as Polish born David Ben-Gurion, (real name, David Gruen): “…we old Jewish settlers in Palestine who witnessed the flight know how and in what manner we, Jews, forced the Arabs to leave cities and villages…some of them were driven out by force of arms; others were made to leave by deceit, lying and false promises. It is enough to cite the cities of Jaffa, Lydda, Ramle, Beersheba, Acre from among numberless others.” (Jewish Newsletter, New York, February 9, 1959)

        Chofshi was deeply ashamed of what his fellow Jews did to the Palestinians: “We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and of trying to undo some of the evil we committed…we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them.” (ibid, p. 803)

        In 2004, when asked by Ha’aretz journalist, Ari Shavit, what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Israeli historian Benny Morris replied: “It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.” (Ha’aretz, January 9, 2004)

        As determined by Walter Walter Eytan, then Director General of “Israel’s” Foreign Ministry, 800,000 Palestinians were dispossessed and expelled from their homeland between late 1947 and 1948. Prior to and during Israel’s first invasion of Egypt in 1956 (in league with Britain and France) an additional 25,000 were expelled. As a consequence of the war Israel launched on 5 June, 1967, a further 250,000 were driven out.

        ** http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fgene.2017.00087/full Front. Genet., 21 June 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2017.00087

        EXCERPT: “The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish”
        “Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.”
        Furthermore:
        “The non-Levantine origin of AJs [Ashkenazi Jews] is further supported by an ancient DNA analysis of six Natufians and a Levantine Neolithic (Lazaridis et al., 2016), some of the most likely Judaean progenitors (Finkelstein and Silberman, 2002; Frendo, 2004). In a principle component analysis (PCA), the ancient Levantines clustered predominantly with modern-day Palestinians and Bedouins and marginally overlapped with Arabian Jews, whereas AJs clustered away from Levantine individuals and adjacent to Neolithic Anatolians and Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans.”

        “Overall, the combined results are in a strong agreement with the predictions of the Irano-Turko-Slavic hypothesis (Table 1) and rule out an ancient Levantine origin for AJs, which is predominant among modern-day Levantine populations (e.g., Bedouins and Palestinians). This is not surprising since Jews differed in cultural practices and norms (Sand, 2011) and tended to adopt local customs (Falk, 2006). Very little Palestinian Jewish culture survived outside of Palestine (Sand, 2009). For example, the folklore and folkways of the Jews in northern Europe is distinctly pre-Christian German (Patai, 1983) and Slavic in origin, which disappeared among the latter (Wexler, 1993, 2012).”

      • helen4yemen
        helen4yemen
        November 5, 2018, 11:59 am

        I did respond to your comment yesterday but for whatever reason it was blocked. So I will try to simply ask questions so that I can hope to lessen the chances of censorship. Here we go:

        1. “Jews of no religion.”

        It sounds so odd! What are “Jews of no religion”? Do we also have “Christians of no religion”? Why are they considered “Jews” if Judaism is not their religion?

        2. “they reveal Jewish roots (?) that are considered separately from their religion.+

        “Jewish roots”? Does the Yemeni Jew have the same “Jewish roots” as the German Jew? In fact, the Yemeni Jews’ “roots” are very Yemeni – period. Please tell me what you you mean by “Jewish roots”?

        3. “the jews of the jewish religion”.

        So many bizarre statements. If there are “Jews of the Jewish religion”, do we also have “Jews of the Muslim religion”?

        Why on earth would anyone believe that the Yemeni Jews could have any other ancestry except for Yemeni origin?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        November 5, 2018, 3:00 pm

        Helen- Jews of no religion is a strange nomenclature. Those who wish to assess where the American Jewish population is today need to stretch the definition of Jew if their assessment is to be accurate. I don’t think that questionaires about stances re: Israel/Palestine should go deeper than asking, “What is your religion?” and if the one being polled answers, “none” to leave it at that.

        The Jewish peoples have been in flux for the better part of the last 150 years and part of that flux has been the movement away from tradition and religion. Sociologists studying populations are interested in social groupings that are a generation or two away from the traditional beliefs and so an accurate assessment of populations should allow for such terms.

        Was Freud Jewish? He did not believe in God. Was Kafka Jewish? Was Einstein Jewish? My answer to all 3 is yes. What do you say?

        Was Karl Marx Jewish? Because of his parents’ conversion and his prominent anti Jewish stance, this is a thornier question.

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 5, 2018, 3:40 pm

        || helen4yemen: … 1. “Jews of no religion.”

        It sounds so odd! What are “Jews of no religion”? … Why are they considered “Jews” if Judaism is not their religion? … ||

        Jewish is fundamentally a religion-based identity that is acquired by:
        – undergoing a religious conversion to Judaism; or
        – being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

        But we’ve been told that Jewish is not just a religion – it’s a tribe, a collective, a culture, an ethnicity, a people, a nation and a civilization.

        So although religion is key to acquiring the identity, it seems that one does not need to be religious after one has acquired it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 5, 2018, 3:55 pm

        “Those who wish to assess where the American Jewish population is today need to stretch the definition of Jew if their assessment is to be accurate” “WJ”

        “WJ” is talking about the definition of a Jew for the purposes of dunning us for contributions for Zionism. Gotta “assess” those Jews.

        But when you get to Israel, the definition begins to narrow down pretty seriously. Gotta satisfy the Nation-State Law.
        Holy Land, you know, they’re not making any more of it.

      • catalan
        catalan
        November 5, 2018, 3:58 pm

        “Jewish is fundamentally a religion-based identity that is acquired by:
        – undergoing a religious conversion to Judaism; or
        – being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.” Eljay
        If it can happen by descent, religion has nothing to do with it. I can change my religion, not my descent. It’s a contradiction.
        As a side note, Jews seem overall like a pretty bright group of people as Keith consistently reminds us. You really think Jews need your help in figuring out who they are?

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 5, 2018, 5:16 pm

        || catalan: “Jewish is fundamentally a religion-based identity that is acquired by:
        – undergoing a religious conversion to Judaism; or
        – being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.” Eljay
        If it can happen by descent, religion has nothing to do with it. … ||

        Descent from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism. Religion is fundamental to the identity.

        || … I can change my religion, not my descent. It’s a contradiction. … ||

        You can choose to embrace or not to embrace the identity you acquired through descent. No contradiction.

        || … You really think Jews need your help in figuring out who they are? ||

        Who Jews are is up to them – I have never suggested otherwise. Doesn’t change the fact that Jewish is a religion-based identity.

      • catalan
        catalan
        November 5, 2018, 8:32 pm

        “You can choose to embrace or not to embrace the identity you acquired through descent” Eljay
        And if I don’t embrace what do I become?

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 5, 2018, 9:04 pm

        || catalan: “You can choose to embrace or not to embrace the identity you acquired through descent” Eljay
        And if I don’t embrace what do I become? ||

        Something else.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 5, 2018, 10:15 pm

        “And if I don’t embrace what do I become?”

        You can just be yourself. Identities are for superheroes to change in phone boxes.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 6, 2018, 12:36 pm

        . “You really think Jews need your help in figuring out who they are?” “catalan”

        “catalan” do you think non-Jews need the Jews help to figure out who Jews are?

        (And if you want to know who Jews are, refer to Israel’s “Nation-State Law”. That’s the only legal definition extant)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 6, 2018, 12:52 pm

        “And if I don’t embrace what do I become?” “catalan”

        HoKay, “catalan” is gonna get all touchy-feely with Judaism:

        “I live very far from Israel. I am not an Israeli citizen or speak Hebrew. My son doesn’t even have any Jewish friends. I don’t practice Judaism…I have no contact with Israelis and don’t donate anything to Israel.” “Catalan”

        “frankly individualistic, selfish Jews like me who care little about either Judaism or Zionism and very much like capitalism.” “catalan” .

        That’s some “embrace” you got there, “catalan”. More like getting your hooks into it. But if you think protestations of Judaism will give you capitalist advantages, that’s your business. Why do you need confirmation from us?

  5. niass2
    niass2
    November 4, 2018, 1:41 pm

    MMMkaay, here the seperation is permanent, were just not going to be what they wanted us to be, so that’s that. This isn’t like we embargoed their salt for 2 years, we are trying to exterminate them. My older relatives don’t see it that way. They don’t see it it all. Most just won’t discuss it, cause they are cowards. I have no sympathy for Jewish Israelis more than any other human. I like all people. Why should I like them more than other people and why are they always insisting i like them more than I like other humans? I don’t understand them but I can’t be one now or ever again. I don’t want a piece of a rotten apple, I’ll stick with my band. The band says ain’t no time to hate its pretty damn simple. Also I wanna go to Hawaii.

  6. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    November 4, 2018, 5:07 pm

    The level of hypocrisy in the speech by this creature is astounding even by Zio standards.Clue the fact that she speaks with pride of her claimed activism against Apartheid South Africa a few sentences after saying that she
    “envied the brawny, tall, tanned, muscled and European men and women who moved to the swamplands of Palestine against all odds to build a country for our people” .

    So the brawny,tall,tanned and muscled Dutch Europeans who invaded and took control and “built a land for their people “in South Africa and who set up and enforced South African Apartheid were in the wrong ( though perhaps not the Jewish ones ?) but the Jewish Zionist Europeans who did the same thing in Palestine were of course in the right.

    How to square the circle ? Probably cue nasty Romans , ancient Hysterical Homeland , Chosen People etc etc

  7. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    November 5, 2018, 1:03 am

    Phil doesn’t mention that his so-called dream of a divorce between Israeli and American Jews is taking place only among the very far left wing so-called progressive Jews allied with other anti Zionist Israel haters. It is not a formidable movement.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      November 5, 2018, 10:55 am

      @DaBakr

      “Phil doesn’t mention that his so-called dream of a divorce between Israeli and American Jews is taking place only among the very far left wing so-called progressive Jews allied with other anti Zionist Israel haters. It is not a formidable movement.”

      Dream on!!
      You gotta’ get out more!! You spend too much time in the fantasy world of Hasbara Central (or your mother’s basement.)

      To any sane reasonably well informed person, it is screamingly obvious that Zionism is rotting within, e.g., Netanyahu and “Israel’s” love affairs with Trump, MBS and most recently, Brazil’s fascist monster, President Jair Bolsonara.

      Young American Jews, along with those living in Europe, Canada, everywhere, are increasingly disgusted with “Israel” and refusing to support it, let alone move there. “Israel’s” international image is in the toilet. Indeed, references to “Israel” among young Jews (and non-Jews) as “fascistic” and “racist” on campuses, in coffee shops, social gatherings, etc., are now common place. No wonder ever more of them are stepping forward, forming organizations and standing shoulder to shoulder with the dispossessed and oppressed indigenous Palestinian Arabs.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        November 5, 2018, 1:03 pm

        Moment Magazine has an article for August 18 2018 called ‘The Growing Gap between Israel and American Jews’ which uses the metaphor of divorce quite a bit, so Phil is not alone in his usage. There is a long list of contributors each writing a long paragraph – interesting enough, though I grew a bit weary with it. I don’t think we can be too encouraged. Everything seems very ambiguous. The information mentioned by Helen is worth attention too.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        November 6, 2018, 1:22 am

        @m @mh

        It really depends on the source of these reports. There is an opposite reaction of American Jews raised conservative or orthodox not in proximity to hard left so-called progressive Jews and they are embracing Israel like never before. I wouldn’t go out on a limb with numbers but this dream of pw is never quite breaking into the mainstream or lasting longer then the radical left chic that may college campuses bring out in gullible students looking to fit in with the cool radical crowd.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 6, 2018, 1:09 pm

        “There is an opposite reaction of American Jews raised conservative or orthodox not in proximity to anybody else”

        And how many of those are there? Couple hundred thousand?

        And doesn’t Israel have a few problems to work out with the Conservatives?

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        November 6, 2018, 1:31 pm

        The Pew poll of March this year has stopped me getting too enthused about declining support for Israel. But the process isn’t imaginary – see Ben White Al Jazeera November 5, citing the deeply respectable Economist/YouGov poll and indeed the Moment article I mentioned above. with deeply respectable journalists writing deeply respectable (slightly boring) analyses that take the idea of ‘divorce’ seriously. I would say that we who argue in the West for the Palestinian cause have not completely wasted our time.

  8. Marnie
    Marnie
    November 5, 2018, 6:24 am

    “…and her own activism as a college student to bring down South African apartheid. It is obviously deeply traumatic to be the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. But does that justify leaving out half the population under the government’s control?”

    I assume it’s deeply traumatic, but to the point of complete cognitive dissonance? What could her activism wrt SA apartheid entailed? It couldn’t have had any impact on her (or black south africans most likely) to be so oblivious to the apartheid system of the ‘state of israel’. Zionism is a mental illness.

    ‘So the brawny,tall,tanned and muscled Dutch Europeans’ – OMG that’s the most inaccurate description I’ve ever read!

    Dutch Masters Presidents 1966 Commercial – YouTube

  9. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    November 5, 2018, 9:53 am

    Reality:
    “Israel’s global standing is continuing to deteriorate, a new report from some of the country’s top strategists concludes.”
    “’Israel’s image in Western countries continues to decline, a trend that enhances the ability of hostile groups to engage in actions aimed at depriving Israel of moral and political legitimacy and launch boycotts,’” the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University states in its 2016-2017 Strategic Survey for Israel.
    “The 275-page report, authored by a who’s who of figures from Israel’s political, intelligence and military establishment, was presented on Monday to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin by INSS director Amos Yadlin, a former air force general and head of Israeli military intelligence.”

    The Forward, June 21/17: “Support for Israel on Campus Drops by ‘Devastating’ 27%: Study”
    “The Brand Israel Group [BIG], a coalition of volunteer advertising and marketing specialists, has released a survey that shows a significant decrease in Israel’s approval rating among Americans.
    “’The future of America no longer believe that Israel shares their values. This is huge! Devastating,’ Fern Oppenheim, a co-founder of BIG, told The Times of Israel. While approval of Israel among American college students dropped 27% between the group’s 2010 and 2016 surveys, Israel’s approval rating among all Americans dropped 14 points, from 76% to 62%.”

    Furthermore, regarding the USA: http://forward.com/news/ national/376097/study-israel- losing-support-among- democrats-minorities- millennials/ The Forward July 2, 2017
    ”Study: Israel Losing Support Among Democrats, Minorities, Millennials ‘It appears that the more Americans learn about Israel, the less they like it.’”

    Support for Israel among American Jewish college students and young American Jews in general is in decline:
    Times of Israel, June 21/17:
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/devastating-survey-shows-huge-loss-of-israel-support-among-jewish-college-students/

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel -news/.premium-jewish-agency- chief-warns-young-u-s-jews- more-turned-off-to-israel-1. 5751616
    Haaretz – Jan 22, 2018, by Judy Maltz
    “Young American Jews Increasingly Turning Away From Israel, Jewish Agency Leader Warns”
    “The Jewish Agency’s CEO and director-general called the trend ‘extremely worrisome,’ and said that a new strategy must be undertaken to engage young American Jews with Israel.”

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20982'%20style='color:#000;
    The Real News, Jan. 25/18
    “US Bipartisan Support for Israel over Palestinians Is Breaking Down, New Study Shows”
    “The bipartisan consensus of support for Israel over the Palestinians is breaking down in the United States.

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623?utm_campaign=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.haaretz.com%2Fopinion%2F.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623
    “Why Young Jews and Democrats Are Waving Goodbye to AIPAC”
    “My generation has only known Israel as an occupier. We won’t back anyone who supports that injustice – including the powerful lobby that is AIPAC”
    By Emily Mayer, March 6, 2018 – Haaretz

    Also:
    May 10/18
    https://www.newsweek.com/2018/05/18/israel-brain-drain-technology-startup-nation-religion-palestinians-economy-919477.html
    “More Israelis are moving to the U.S.—and staying for good”
    “Spurred by the high cost of living, low salaries, and political and demographic trends, Israelis are leaving the country in droves.”
    By Yardena Schwartz Newsweek
    EXCERPTS:
    “Israel celebrates its 70th birthday in May with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Yet the country is grappling with an existential crisis—one that doesn’t involve Iranian nukes or Palestinian protests. Spurred by the high cost of living, low salaries, and political and demographic trends, Israelis are leaving the country in droves, trying to build their lives elsewhere, mostly in the United States. Many of these young Israelis are moving to big cities, and yet, even in these often expensive places, they see more opportunities to advance.”

  10. bcg
    bcg
    November 5, 2018, 10:12 am

    “Israeli Jews and American Jews are getting a divorce– everyone now acknowledges that.”

    On that whole can of worms I recommend this recent essay in the New Yorker by Bernard Avishai:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/in-pittsburgh-naftali-bennetts-presence-highlights-the-debate-between-netanyahus-government-and-american-jews

    In Pittsburgh, Naftali Bennett’s Presence Highlights the Debate Between Netanyahu’s Government and American Jews…I suspect that most of the congregants would view Trump’s demagoguery as a menace—an open letter asking that he not come to Pittsburgh garnered more than seventy thousand signatures, and his arrival, on Tuesday afternoon, was met with hundreds of protesters—and would consider Bennett’s conflation of anti-Semitic murder with Palestinian violence an offense. Nancy Bernstein, the co-chair of J Street Pittsburgh and a member of a nearby synagogue in Squirrel Hill, who attended the gathering on Sunday evening, told me that, in her personal opinion, Bennett’s appearance was a “blight” on otherwise moving proceedings.

  11. helen4yemen
    helen4yemen
    November 5, 2018, 10:51 am

    CENSORSHIP!

    The last time I commented here was in April of 2017 and I posted only a couple of comments and I never came back – as interesting as I find this blog – and the reason was because I had no doubt in my mind that censorship was very strong. Yesterday when I came back to comment after 18 months, 3 of my comments never made it online. My comments did not break any of the commenting rules. What are they afraid of? Incidentally, I happen to comment at Robert Cohen’s blog regularly and – bless his heart – he never deleted even 1 of my comments and we have had quite a few disagreements. I will say it again, I would have loved to participate commenting here but the chances of many of my comments being suppressed is just too great. What are you guys afraid of?

    • Eva Smagacz
      Eva Smagacz
      November 6, 2018, 12:41 pm

      Helen, I symphatise.
      It really depends on who is moderating, and the criteria are bewildering ( in practice, not in principle).

      I discovered some red lines and am choosing to participate much less.

      You are very, very lucky to even get a comment raising the issue of moderation to go through. Some people with my background (I’m Polish) can’t really write much about world before mid-last century. Historians ditto.

      There are interesting discussions about what offends Mondoweiss moderators sensibilities elsewhere on the net.

      160/175

      Having said that, Mondoweiss done more to crack open the topic of Palestinian rights and suffering to discussion than anyone in USA.

      • helen4yemen
        helen4yemen
        November 6, 2018, 3:06 pm

        Thank you for your support. From what I have read, Philip Weiss was a rising star in the corporate media world when he opted to forgo fame and fortune and decided to create his blog and write unhindered what he believes in. That was great! But I also noticed that Weiss – like 99.99% of the Jews – has an emotional attachment to Palestine and to the “Jewish people”.

        That’s my torment. The feeling that I am helping to extinguish my people.

        That was Philip Weiss in 2007 about having married a non-Jewish woman. The only other people who speak of their race or group being “extinguished” are the white supremacists. There you have it, Philip, brilliant, way too brilliant, but hampered by “Jewishness” and unable to think outside the confines of being Jewish. Weiss feels he is part of the “Jewish people” first and foremost and the rest of the world’s 99.8% just happens to be there. If Jews like Weiss can bust out of the confines of being “Jews” and simply feel they are part of the human race, that, I believe, would make such a big difference. I invite opinions on this matter.

      • Keith
        Keith
        November 6, 2018, 5:22 pm

        HELEN4YEMEN- “I invite opinions on this matter.”

        It is difficult to evaluate the moderation process because of the extraordinarily hostile environment Mondoweiss operates in. So that while I consider Mondoweiss to be a Judeocentric forum with a strong pro-Jewish bias, Jewish Zionists in the media have called Mondoweiss an anti-Semitic hate site. And some of these people/groups have the power to cause Phil and Mondoweiss a lot of grief. And the possibility of a SLAPP lawsuit always must be considered. And, of course, fundraising. So one never knows if you are dealing with moderator bias or moderator fear of consequences in an environment where money dominates. An environment where co-option is the rule, not the exception. For what it is worth, the comments section has lost a lot of the edge it used to have. Honest debate appears to have been replaced by ritual incantations of a social media nature. Mondoweiss appears to have moved quite close to JVP in outlook and emphasis.

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz
        November 6, 2018, 5:30 pm

        Helen,

        We cannot erase feelings from our brains – especially those feelings that imprint which tribe we belong to. This xenophobia is so strong, that some argue it evolved when we were stil apes, let alone homids.

        I theorise that such xenophobia is pre-verbal, and the feelings of superiority, fear and contempt for others were added later, to justify and reinforce the xenophobic instincts.

        Having said that, we consider ourselves to be evolved and civilised and expect to transcend our base instincts and to hone in our virtues – for justice and for compassion for example.

        I cannot fault Philip for honesty about the battles that are being waged in his own head and heart, and for his integrity continuing to win. 161/176

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 7, 2018, 12:04 am

        “That’s my torment. The feeling that I am helping to extinguish my people.”

        “A khasuren die kalleh is tsu shayn”

        There is an “Evil Eye” tradition in Judaism. To say something is perfect, or your happiness is complete will attract the “Evil Eye” and misfortune.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 7, 2018, 1:36 am

        “So one never knows if you are dealing with moderator bias or moderator fear of consequences in an environment where money dominates. An environment where co-option is the rule, not the exception.”

        Now, now, flattery will get you nowhere.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        November 7, 2018, 10:35 am

        Keith,

        I would suggest that Mondoweiss is now an organ of the JVP current, which occasionally publishes divergent opinions, provided they are exceptionally politely formulated.

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