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Total number of comments: 8 (since 2011-12-15 23:28:33)

David Mandel

Journalist, human rights/public interest attorney and JVP activist in Sacramento. Long involved in the struggle, with too little to show for it.

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  • In groundbreaking resolution, California Democratic Party decries US support for Israeli occupation
    • And sorry, eljay, for looking at a different part of the quotation. Yeah, we can trip over ourselves no matter how careful we try to be with the terminology. In any event, the intent of our resolution was to support a process that addresses and includes all portions of the Palestinian people. See my previous post for explanation of use of the term "Israeli Jews" instead of "Israelis" in this context.

    • Sorry for not realizing that I must have previously adopted that weird moniker for comments here. I'll try to figure out how to change it to my real name, which I really think should be the policy. So for now, dudu440 = David L. Mandel, author of the original post.

    • You misquote the language. It says “representatives of the Palestinian people,” not “Palestinians.” This too was a late addition amid negotiation, in which the other side didn’t like that the resolution said the quest for a solution should go through “the UN and other international bodies,” as opposed to the usual disingenuous insistence on “direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,” period.
      As for Festus’ speculation that it could mean only Israeli Palestinians and not those under ’67 occupation or in diaspora, well of course that was not intended. Finding the right formulation is tricky, given the interplay among nationality, peoplehood, ethnicity and religion. But I often deliberately say “Israeli Jews” and not “Israelis” both out of recognition that at least 20 percent of those with Israeli citizenship are not Jews, and to underline that Palestinian citizens are also a part of the Palestinian people whose demands must be part of the equation.

  • The immaculate conception of Louis Brandeis
    • Thanks, Phil, for a fascinating glimpse at a slice of history. I get that your (and Shapira's) theorem about the reasons for Brandeis' Zionist conversion remain debatable (thanks also to Hophmi for his rebuttal). But one thing should be made clear: Both sides in this debate demonstrate that Brandeis' Zionism, once established, was open and public, not conspiratorial and a secret driver for his efforts to push Wilson into entering WWI, as Weir alleges. To those who quote Weir's description of his "secret Parushim society," I urge you to read the sources of information about it that she herself cites. They paint a very different picture about the society's nature, more social than political, and its influence, which was clearly quite marginal.

      Through our lens of 2017, Brandeis' progressivism and his Zionism appear contradictory and irreconciliable. But 100 years earlier, he was hardly the only true domestic progressive who failed to appreciate the rights of indigenous peoples outside of Europe and North America, and to understand the crimes of colonialism, including, I assume, the North American version of settler colonialism that was still rampant in its murderous ways even during Brandeis' lifetime. It's easy now to dismiss and denounce those failures, but the historically tragic view of at least some "left Zionists" of that day exhibited reflected sincerely held beliefs about the "emptiness" of the land (yes, they should have known better if they had paid attention) and the "benefits" that Zionist colonialism would bring to the appreciative natives. In hindsight we can see how wrong-headed they were, but their views -- and, I would guess, Brandeis', on the subject, though I have not researched them -- need to be seen through the lens of their times. So whether his Zionist conversion was opportunistic, as Phil and Shapira maintain, more solidly based in core beliefs -- or, as I suspect, a combination -- his behavior was understandable and shouldn't mar his praiseworthy contributions to progressive politics in the era.

      Finally, of course, we must note that the modern-day "PEEPs" (progressive on everything except Palestine) have no such excuse. Their willing blindness about Israel casts suspicion on the authenticity of their progressivism, which often appears to be as opportunistic in the reverse as Brandeis' might have been, according to the Weiss/Shapira hypothesis.

  • 'You have dual citizenship with Israel' -- NPR host hits Sanders with internet canard
    • Raimondo writes: "Israel represents a danger to the national security of this country: this is an incontrovertible fact."

      ... and a lot of commenters here seem to agree.

      Excuse me, but since when are purported progressives so concerned for "the national security of this country"?

      First, full disclosure: Unlike Bernie, I am a dual citizen -- I wanted to check out Israel 40-some years ago as a curious 23-year-old and stayed 10 years when I found I was able to do journalism and legal work that seemed meaningful and connected to my involvement in radical left opposition politics there (starting when Labor ruled, to be clear). So, being Jewish, citizenship was kind of inevitable. I suppose I could renounce it, but that would be merely symbolic, and the way things are going, it could prevent me from getting in when there's a good reason to do so.

      But am I more "loyal" to Israel or to the U.S.? Wrong question altogether! I'm an internationalist, a socialist, an anti-imperialist. OK, all that is subject to interpretation -- some other time. But the basic idea is that the nation-state, to which we supposedly pledge our supreme fealty by virtue of the accident of our birth, is a blip in human history, and the sooner it passes, the better. It has begat (begotten?) more extreme violence and other nonsense than anything else I can think of during its existence, including fundamentalism and racism -- and that's a lot.

      As far as I'm concerned, the more dual citizens of whatever countries, the better, if it can help overcome narrow nationalist thinking. Heck, get three or four passports if you can. I visited Poland last year, and I haven't looked into it, but since both my grandfathers escaped persecution there, I hear, I might be eligible. Jews whose ancestors were expelled 500+ years ago can apply for Spanish citizenship. (Muslims should be invited too, but don't hold your breath.)

      I digress some. So back to Sanders and dual loyalty: It's correct that the Internet "list" of powerful dual Israeli-U.S. citizens is a canard of far, far right origin, and Rehm should be ashamed for swallowing it. But it also makes me wonder that so many writers here seem to have swallowed the part of that canard that considers "dual loyalty" as a real and major problem best addressed by demanding that we should be loyal to "America," and not Israel. Since when is that a progressive world view?

      How about let's be loyal to the people of all countries, the 99 percent, if you will, and work to unite their struggles against oppression of all sorts?

  • Exhibit of iconic 1948 photos -- 'The Long Journey' -- opens today in NYC
    • Is there any chance this exhibit could go on the road after New York? I sounds like it deserves to be seen by more of us in the hinterlands. UNRWA could organize the tour in cooperation with various others of us in the movements of solidarity.

  • 5 micro incidents of hope
    • Having been there with Ta'ayush and the shepherds one Saturday in June (I only wish I'd had the chance to meet you, David S.) and having spent just about every other day since July 1 shouting about Gaza and the occupation at street corners back in California ... I'm catching up on reading a bit today, seeing this and finding tears on my cheeks. Only three pieces of good news? It's our job to make more.

  • Jerusalem authorities ask Catholics to take down banner welcoming Pope Francis
    • Funny, because I was wandering around Jerusalem today and saw several large (though not that large) banners welcoming the pope hanging on lightposts and the like ... signed by the Jerusalem municipality.
      You'd think that would piss off the medieval maniacs even more.

Showing comments 8 - 1