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I am Israeli

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  • Sick of Zionism’s stranglehold on Jewish culture? There is an alternative.
    • Regarding Yonah`s comment above: I agree that Zionism, the Nation, requires the religious heritage to survive, even just to be complete. However, the reverse dependence may be also true, even as many would be reluctant to admit. Namely, at this historical juncture, as different from previous ones, what future Judaism really has without the existence of Israel?
      The two are now inextricably intertwined. Something truly big happened in Jewish history in the return of the nation to a land of its own (which, importantly, it is an intrinsic part of its eschatology - the divinely promised one), and there is no going back to the past anymore, in any clear sense.

    • Secularism is kind of misleading term. Zionism is at best when embeds in it the macro Judaism trajectory, which includes the history of the Jews and with that Moses and the Promised Land. Nothing is clear cut here – it cannot be – we humans are destined to live with “vagueness” in all realms of life. A lot is often left to beliefs, emotions, instincts and alike and expecting to have it all clarified rationally is delusional. Indeed, while frustrating, it can fortunately be turned into a plus - perhaps that`s the secret of it all - just requires the right attitude and proper balancing.

    • @mooser (your various comments)
      Actually I did have a reaction to those counterclaims - for instance the ultra-religious Jews didn`t sign up on present-day Israel because it was established on a secular basis – but it seemed to me not central to the argument so don`t worth the effort. After all I began it with claiming that Zionism is the leading force today in the Jewish world – namely, the national side of Judaism is central now - whereas in pre-Israel times religion was the only anchor to cling to. This argument still stands and it is what really matters today in any practical way (as different from scholarly arguments on the historical evolution, which is certainly interesting but is also under serious dispute).

    • @shmuel 1.37
      I see you are deep into this theological-philosophical context. I am not, so I cannot argue about that from a scholarly position. But my instinctive feeling is that what you suggest here is an overshoot and contrary to the common interpretation and conventional wisdom in Israel and the Jewish world of the issue – a kind of eccentric view of matters. Would you agree with that?

    • @MHughes
      The wars of the Israelites in Biblical times were aimed at conquering the Promised Land only. You find no intention to wish to constantly move into other places and add them to own rule - as Alexander the Great clearly exemplifies, the Romans and the Spanish and Portuguese Kings. All of the above spent huge energy on military expeditions even very far away. It appears that the Jewish nation, following Judaism prescriptions, had little interest in all that

    • Excuse me Shmuel but this comment is manipulative. There are VERY MANY prayers – and I was of course referring to them - that asks simply ask for a return to Zion and Jerusalem. There are of course also many other kinds of prayers – you quoted some of them – but what does that prove?
      I am afraid the last one you quoted indeed applies here, only in reverse, as are those, in the Yamim Noraim mainly, that warn against such attitudes.

    • @ejay 2.44
      I think you know what I mean. Very many other nations in the world spent much of their energy conquering and ruling other countries: From the Babylonians and Persians through the Greeks and Romans to modern-day Britain and France. Judaism has no such ambitions and that`s important to notice. The fight on its OWN land is a different issue and has taken place also in ancient times with the then nations in this area.

    • To sum up the above: the interrelations between Israel/ Zionism on one hand and the World Jewry/Judaism on the other hand is not at all a simple topic – involves many related issues. It is also an evolving one – Israel, after all, is in historical terms a new phenomenon.
      Whatever the case, to me it`s a great thing to be fortunate enough to be born, within the Jewish history, into the generation that has seen the rebirth of Israel – what few people in the past really expected to materialize (even as they were daily praying for it) – which, astonishingly, came on the heels of the complete opposite of it: one of the lowest points in Jewish history and its greatest tragedies. These are all truly BIG things, except that by living through them, with their everyday mundane details, we lose sight of the grand scope here. That probably will be what future historians will be concerned with.

    • @annie 4.27: “i almost thought you said setting up… Jewish world order”
      Why make a megalomaniac of me? I meant the Jewish world only. That`s the natural Zionist scope. You think anybody here wants Israel to set the agenda for other countries? One got to be crazy even to think about that. Indeed, it is all taking place right at the opposite extreme, namely no wish to dominate others – that has never been, historically, a Jewish ambition – just be left alone in peace. Plus, these days, make sure that this tiny country here manages to withstand the enormous pressures on it while keeping links to its natural partner – the broader world-Jewry. Now what`s exactly so outlandish about it?

    • @Annie 5.24 “how is this normal”?
      Patience, please. The Jewish nation reunited within the new Zionist realm only 70 or so years ago after millennia of exile. It takes time to straighten up things in both the internal and external fronts - setting up branching into the broader international Jewish world and forging global contacts. E.g. with many in the New-World (immigration), countries, prominently the US, now also strengthened links to India and Japan; getting apolitical foothold in the region here; putting a fight to the traditional many detractors; and so on and on.
      It`s a big job in the making, still in its infancy. Including learning from mistakes. Give us time please.

    • As an afterthought this issue seems to relate to the broader topic of Judaism defined as a religion and the Jews - a nation. Since the nation lost its country, at some point in history, all it was left with its distinct religion as the only anchor. Now it is again a normal nation, with almost half of the world Jewry in it and the vast majority of the Jewry outside it – in effect all the mainstream Jewish organizations anywhere in the world - holding a Zionist stance (even if they choose not to move physically into it). So you have a reconfiguration here that brought Zionism to the center of the (mainstream) Jewish world – the Jewish nation in a country of its own (then one that is part of both its history and eschatology) with Judaism as its religion.

    • @eljay
      Your comments are indeed relevant and some further clarifications are in place. What I wrote was not exactly the standard way things are formulated and what I was trying to suggest is that viewed from today`s perspective it is not Judaism anymore that embodies Zionism but the other way round.
      The reason is that Zionism is now so central to the Jewish world, both quantitatively and qualitatively, that Judaism without it (unless you talk about the ultra-orthodox) is of much less essence. For instance, consider a Jewish (so called) progressive (ordinarily secular). What is exactly in his/her Jewishness that puts him/her apart from other non-Jewish people in this political class? Not much really.
      However if you are a Zionist than there is a clear political statement here, especially in the conditions of today`s politically divided world, and it is in this sense that Zionism came to transcend Jewishness in today`s conditions (unless again a person is ultra-orthodox). For instance, Jerusalem the capital of Israel has become – for the first time since 3000 years ago (the times, approx., of the First Temple) – the world center of Judaism, spiritually and organizationally (within the Jewish world).
      The issue is of course complex but for the purposes here, given the focus of this particular blogging site, the essence of things is perhaps already delivered above.

    • You are all getting it WRONG here. In fact Zionism, which comes from Judaism, is now in the process of superseding it. Judaism was strong in the European and Arab diaspora in exile times simply as a way of keeping the spirit alive but once Zion was re-established the setting shifted and returned to its real self.
      US Judaism by and large complements Zionism within a broader US-Israel alliance - a unity of goals in both the political world and the spiritual one (which, prominently, includes the Christian Zionists).
      So, indeed, it is all not so much about Birthright, as it is misnamed, but really Rebirth got RIGHT.

  • My one word interrogation at Ben Gurion airport
    • John O
      The problem is that there is a clash between 2 values here (which is usually the problem, except that sometimes the other one is less obvious). In this case, on one hand thee is your point but then there is on the other hand the counter point that spending money in an irrational way results from a performance angle in a no less troubling and concrete consequence – namely, less terror acts will be prevented per $ spent. Or, in other words, there will be more innocent victims. Now go and explain to their families your rationale.

    • Profiling may appear racist but there is nothing of that in the way of intentions. It`s all about Statistics, common sense and optimizing performance. If you have X money to thwart a threat, which may come from 2 sources A and B and historical data shows their respective contribution to be 99% and 1%, respectively - would you spend your budget half-half (and be politically correct if people are involved) on the two sources?

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel hold the key -- Zellner
    • @ossinev
      No problem. Think of an Israel-Jordanian accord that has the West Bank as a commonly governed territory with Arabs there voting in Jordan (which already has Palestinians as a sizeable part of its citizenry) and Jews there - in Israel. Gaza will be a separate political entity enlarged by part of the Sinai desert. So it’s a kind of 3 States – 3 nations, scheme: Jordan, Israel and Gaza being the states, Jews, Palestinians and the Hashemite Bedouins, being the nations.
      It fundamentally requires beginning to treat Israel it as part of the regional political fixture and while there are many practical aspects to work out here, it is not at all a trivial exercise, the above is still the biggest hurdle – too many Arabs just cannot give up on the hope otherwise.

    • @eljay ““Chicken little” whiny or “Captain Israel” brave”
      Think about a moment and you will see that there is no real contradiction between these two characters in this particular context. Indeed, it is embodied by the small David versus the big Goliath story in the Bible, which is taken as foundational in Israelite thinking. Namely, Jewish eternal fate is to be few (there is no wish or aspiration to become otherwise), but chosen, and be a permanent target of the many – yet still, while keep suffering, survive and triumph.
      The return to the Promised Land of Israel against the wishes of the hundreds of millions of Arabs around – through a yet one more David vs. Goliath episode – is only the most recent manifestation of this historical projection.

    • So what`s the main fallacies in the outlook provided here? It`s the same ones that failed the many that made predictions on similar lines perennially since 70 years ago. Anybody has the time and patience to check that will find that just about most of the “gloomy” predictions of the past – many when Israel was far smaller and weaker simply didn`t materialize. You can argue about what will happen in the future but not what we already see with our eyes now. Apparently there are some serious blind spots in play here.
      The claim here that the situation is unstable and hence unsustainable sounds logical, until you remember that in the past it was much more so - tempting many to raise thoughtful scenarios about what will soon happen and yet they didn`t even come close to materialization. Just a decade ago Israel was the focus of everybody – there was no major political speech in the world that didn`t contain a segment about “the mid-east conflict” - tellingly, that how it was usually called (not the I/P or I/Arabs conflict) even as there were other highly problematic ongoing conflicts in the mid-east region (as e.g. those involving Saddam Hussein).
      In order not to come up with a very long analysis I stop here – but I think there is already enough food for thought here.

  • Manifesto, 2016
    • @ Pabelmont: “Is the USA-Israel special relationship unravelling?”
      US-Israel relationship is like in marriage – in most cases there, even if it is hard to keep the initial intensity indefinitely what often happens is that while the fervor is on all kinds of physical links are forged (children, house, common memories, joint economic interests, common friends etc.) that then keep the relations thereafter. There are numerous tie types between the US and Israel, which in the present world, with its increasingly limited choice for any meaningful alliance so chances ae the relations will wither counter forces.
      In particular, the loss of liberal Jewish circles is more than compensated for by a strong alliance with Christian circles, which, indeed, has a deeper meaning than just political – it is a new reshuffling along different dividing lines. The self-named progressives, whatever their religion, are now on the same side. It`s a pretty amazing development – probably mainly applies to the US and Canada – a reality that would have not been predictable from the vantage point of pre-Israel European history.

  • Video: A glimpse of Palestinians living under occupation in Hebron
    • @Froggy
      Actually, one reason why the Jews have survived their long troubled history as persecuted minorities in other countries – sometimes horrible beyond grasping - exactly because they fully understood what causality is about. The Arab culture loves metaphors from Mature and here is one on that line (not original): A tree that is able to bend with winds always return eventually to normal position whereas the firm tree, while never bending, will be broken by too strong a wind.

    • Kris, I don`t think that what you need here is examples but instead an insightful explanation for a much broader phenomenon.
      There is this feeling in the Arab world of deep grievance versus the West (“the Crusaders”) and the Jews. In my non-professional view it goes back many centuries, even millennia, and is part of some kind of ahistorical rivalry between the 3 groups. The Arabs had their days of glory and the Europeans their low point (the Jews were always the quantitatively marginal players although in other ways they had meaningful influence) but now, in the era of modernity, it appears as if the West, and now also the Jews (not until a century ago), has gained the upper and the Arab world is left behind. Europe, and the other newer Western countries, glitter with success and the Arab world is in a bad shape (and that was the case before the present major turbulence in Arabia that began few years ago). It takes a professional historian to study how this outcome in this “historical rivalry (or competition)” came about – I am familiar with some theories – but the important point now is not is what it means for today`s world conditions.
      In particular, Arabs (and now it has expanded into the broader Islamic world) feel that they have been wronged and generally blame The West” for it. That is not without foundations but then mainly so in indirect ways – past colonialist periods, the post WW1 arrangements (which have created many modern Arab states), the rise of the US and its oil dealings with Gulf countries etc. (and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire is also there) and, more generally, the way the globalization process (cum technology advances) made the big guys of the world interfere with what goes on everywhere in it (so, in particular, leaving no option for Arabia to be excluded from the “big common arena” even as a lot in Western tradition contradicted theirs).
      To cut a truly very long story short – all this appear to give Arabs a sense of having a card-blanche for retributions. Hence, for instance, the Sep 11 attack (remember Bin-Laden`s justifications) and acts in Europe and of course Israel.
      Israel seemed the most acute and concrete case of the above – not “the occupation” but mainly its very establishment right at the heart of the Arab world. In Arab eyes, the most blatant manifestation of their mistreatment (“humiliation”) by “The West” of which Israel was conceived as a part even as, paradoxically, or perhaps ironically, the arriving Jews into it were in fact fleeing European persecutions. It thus attracted most of their attention – even as it was in realistic terms a marginal issue for the, It also seemed the easiest target to score a retribution success, from a practical point of view, since in their midst, miniature in size, with a small population and mot too much love by Europeans (within the abovementioned historical three-party rivalry). What happened since, we all know.
      It is kind of a very general background and a serious examination is clearly not for here and not by me – generally, one of those grand sagas that History is composed of except that it is happening now, with us and part of our everyday life. It is anybody`s guess how it will develop.

    • This is of course what happens there SINCE the present disturbances began. Hebron, statistically, was the origin of many of the assailants: stabbers, car ramming also live fire. There is this attitude among Palestinian of disconnecting causes and effects or total disregard to the causality phenomenon in life
      In addition, Hebron is a stronghold of Hamas (their associate party is always the one who gets elected there to power) so also a rival of the PA main group – in the context of the eternal interplay among the 3 key entities in this perennial (and macabre) political-violent “games”.

  • Nate Silver should stop calling Israel a democracy
    • When suggesting that Israel is not a democracy it is useful to take a glance around the world we live in, continent by continent, and check; (a) which country comes even close to the democracy`s definition and (b) if it does how it compares to Israel in this regard.
      It kind of provides a better appreciation of what Israel has managed to keep, in conditions that are immensely harder than most countries in the world face.

  • Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
    • @annie
      I sdidn`t read it but I can see already from the title (Arens) the critical difference. He must be referring to the lunatic right in Israel – not to the country – and it is a kind of exaggerated but useful wake up call to those here - thankfully a very small fringe group – that are the “danger from inside” to Israel.
      Every country has that, especially when in warring conditions, and there is a huge effort here to subdue them. It is the total failure in the Arab/Islamic world to do the same, which is, in my opinion, their greatest problem.

    • @ossinev
      The double-posting, just a mis-click (on both versions of the same posting).
      To the point: there is no Hasbara here – just trying to say that equating Israel to ISIL is a meaningless joke or a propaganda ploy dressed as a serious examination. I am sure that you can find 10 similarities between the US and Russia and many other doubles but does that warrant an article? Does any serious person in the world benefit from such pseudo-analytic gimmickry? The fact that it is at all done indicates to me the pitiful obsession with Israel of some people – an insatiable desire, or a psychological need, to see it portrayed it darkly, whatever it takes.

    • I doubt that having read this analogy will have practical effects on the security agencies in Europe and the coalition forces in Syria, namely that they shift track – forget about ISIL and deal instead with the now “exposed” parallel.
      Apparently there is no end to imaginative anti-Israel ideas. Albeit, the problem is that real people with real concerns have little time for gimmicks - they need to deal with the actual threats of this world - playing games is for those who do not.

    • I doubt though that having read this article will have the practical effect of making the security agencies in Europe and the allied forces in Syria shift track – forget about ISIL and deal instead with its now “exposed” parallel.
      Nice try though.

  • Our Top Ten posts of 2015
    • @mooser
      Think positively.
      What about the many: Brilliant, Insightful Zionist-Advocacy Remarks?
      Sounds bizarre to you?

  • Top ten ways Muslim-Americans can do more
    • #Annie
      Oh please, don`t define “inconvenient truth” as hasbara

    • @diaspora
      OK, OK I get it – indeed I forgot another important tip:
      “Stop wasting time, yours and others`, with vacuous and tired slogans that nobody takes any more seriously”
      (You know very well that had the Arabs accept the partition plan there would have been no ”ethnic cleansing”)

    • Well, you forgot the most three important ones:
      Uphold Zionism as a sign of sympathy for the Holocaust refugees that through it managed to build a new home at a negligible land-sacrifice for the Arab world – in the best hospitality tradition of the latter.
      Make it clear that you consider the vast efforts and energy spent on antagonizing it a historical magnitude miscalculation on the side of the Arab world – allowing a non-important issue, with little real threat to the Arab world from it, turned into a major goal that resulted in calamitous consequences for its promoters and little tangible results on the round.
      Denounce pseudo-supporters of the anti-Israel campaign who by encouraging Arabs & Muslims to pursue it made them fall into a cynical trap that exposed them to charges of bigotry right when they were in a dire need for protection from it.

  • 'A real Israeli doesn't abandon his duty'
    • @ mooser
      Well that`s what I just wrote (see above), namely the normal center is caught between the extremist right and left - and they also feed into each other, using the other side, what it does and say, as their raison d`etre.
      And, well, like a one-trick-pony, you just did that again!

    • @marnie : “what you understand would fill a thimble. Maybe”
      Well, that`s my common experience with the loony left: when they are out of answers their instinctive fallback is to insults.
      This, plus the generally aggressive language they are prone to use, often outright vulgar, is puzzling - oxymoronic to the lofty human values and moral standards that these people are purportedly (or self-described to be) committed to.
      It kind of suggests an impersonation - a sugarcoating of what deep down is pretty brutal - and I think people intuitively sense that and are repulsed by it.

    • @mooser : “I`m not the only comedian around here"
      It`s OK to want to be a comedian but what about being also funny?

    • @marnie
      OK, I understand – you are part of that loony Left here. I know that Israel has also a growing loony right but that`s exactly the problem – namely, the danger of shrinkage of the reasonable and responsible center in this country. By your extremism you are contributing to that problem!!

    • @marnie
      What you should have written is: There will never be security in Israel as long as there is Israel – and that could be true – because Israel itself is what it appears to Palestinians as first and foremost as “the occupation”. So you have got it right in putting it between quotation marks, because that`s exactly how it is seen from the Palestinian side – as the “original sin” – and, accordingly, when they say “lasting peace” `with it`, they really mean and think `without it`.
      And as for your macabre, doomsday, “prophecy” – that`s actually already happening except that in neighboring countries

    • Page: 7
    • @zaid
      It will be a great day when Hamas begins to think responsibly in the way those countries do – right now they are busy digging more tunnels for mortars and missiles in the Gaza strip that Israel left already many years ago. Even Egypt considers Hamas a threat to it – linked to the Moslem Brotherhood there, which carries its own terrorist attacks in it.

    • #DaBakr
      Yes, you could be right. But even so they should at least be concerned about their own fate. The Palestinians areas were calm and people there safe from the mayhem all around Israel – and now they are pushing things in that direction. They might come to regret it badly.

    • @marnie: “It`s the occupation, stupid|”
      No, it` s not – it is far deeper than that. And beyond that it is a dangerous delusion to think that relinquishing (security) control over the West-Bank the will make matters better (as also some Israelis do). You do that and Israel security drops sharply instantly. Remember the mortars form Gaza in the last war that were shot continuously at Israeli towns (not settlements!) around it – so now take a look at the map and imagine the same coming from the West-Bank right on the heartland of Israel (for instance, the distance between the green line and the sea in the area where I am writing at this moment is less than8 (!!!) miles). That`s the story in a nutshell.

    • @ MDC
      You keep dismissing the IDF. These “toys” are today`s warfare tools – times have changed – and mastering them is what is needed.
      “Israel not win a single war for over 40 years”
      That`s because it was blocked in every instance. Indeed, the definition of “winning” itself is not anymore what it used to be – namely, who had the upper hand at the end - because the way things are designed today wars in fact never end. As e.g. the war on terror – at what point can one say it is won, or over? And who is there to concede defeat? For instance the mighty US has been said “to have lost” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – simply because it never “won” them.
      “inevitable demise”
      That`s wishful thinking – at least because already repeated for decades and decades now - and not only to no avail but that very period has actually seen the demise of those who kept predicting it. It would have been better for all parties concerned if the wishful-thinkers would have adopted instead another attitude in times past. But apparently they got addicted to this mindset - it`s high time “to change disc”.

    • That`s OK, Israel is a real democracy and this woman proves that and although I don`t agree with what she says I would be sorry and surprised if there were not people at all here who think otherwise than me on such a complicated matter as the conflict here.
      More to the point: I think Israel is approaching the moment where the “people`s army”, which served it well for decades, needs a re-make. Given that a lot has shifted to the technological arena, where the need for human soldiers is much smaller, coupled with the growth of Israel`s population (almost tenfold since its establishment), there is, indeed, no point to coerce people to do what they don`t believe in – as e.g. serving in the various active arenas of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
      Israel must move to set a semi-professional army - on the lines of the US, but since it is much smaller and still has a lot of needs those that don`t want to serve actively in the Palestinian or other arenas should be offered other opportunities. The professional army, on the other hand, will only accept people that are ready to be positioned where the army decides and they should have more extensive training programs, be more like career-soldiers (even if possibly for shorter periods if they want so) and of course be rewarded correspondingly in all kinds of ways.
      I think that kind of takes care of the issue raised here – including the giving up on active service duties in the army for the kind of Break the Silence people - and will also be better and more effective from the point of view of Israel`s goals and needs.

  • Video: O little invasion of Bethlehem
    • @MDM : "English is not your first language"
      What you mean is that I have to break that one long sentence into three – I sometimes write it as I think – but, nevertheless, I the ideas there, I think, are pretty clear. And in this case that`s what mattes.
      Thanks anyway for pointing it out but I wish your devotion to proper writing would be matched by a similar attitude to clarity and ingenuity in political-thinking – it is seemed to be driven too much by negative intentions and unreasonable or unfounded expectations. And that`s bad.

    • @MDM
      “overwhelming joy”
      Not at all – it is a sin to do so - just a cold headed analysis of the process that is taking place.
      “lead people to forget that Israel”
      Not forget, but understand better the situation that Israel found itself caught in – one phase before it arrived there – and so perhaps regret their moral preaching to it when they felt safe, thinking that it has nothing to do with them because they are OK - even support the Palestinians and denounce Israel. It`s simply rude- awakening time there.

    • @Froggy
      I am afraid you are deluding yourself in believing that what goes here in Israel is particular to it. Apparently, what happened here was a precursor for things to come elsewhere – were here first because Israel is closer to “the scene”.
      In France the process is still in its infancy but the Chari Hebdo and the recent terror are having big effect there. You may call the FN extremists but they were a marginal political entity in France only decade ago and now they are at the political forefront and constantly at the ascent. Indeed, many that voted to other parties are just as worried and you can see that in how those other parties are gradually shifting positions to account for that.

    • @yourstruly
      “the more desperate…. become”
      Not desperate but rather extremely angry and agitated.
      There are daily occurrences today where Palestinians stab people at random around them and ram cars into groups waiting in bus stops. I don`t think the Palestinians appreciate the extent and intensity of the reaction to such acts in the Israeli public to what they are doing. If anything, that`s a desperate campaign on their side.

      “the first Intifada was nothing like this”
      Terror tend to have a meaningful psychological impact on those it is directed at, as we just saw also in France – that`s perhaps the rationale behind it – and with this random stabbing and car ramming campaign the Palestinians are shaping an altogether different Israeli opponent. ,

  • Rubio's neocon-establishment team bolstered by 'Zionaire' hedgefunder who denies existence of Palestine
    • @JC
      Try to be real. These people who want to be the president of today`s world leader look around the globe that they will have to run, if elected, and what do they see?
      Consider, China, Russia and even India within that big league, the Islamic world and the Mid-East, Central and South America countries (including the big ones: Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina and now already also Brazil), Africa, East Europe`s past Communist countries and its south-west (as Spain, Portugal and Greece), a big part of Asia.
      Wouldn`t you conclude that Israel is really a top performer in THIS globe in more than one away and a Western Democracy, unlike most of the others, and moreover (again unlike most of the others) a real ally of the US that shares its general values and goals. So would not you, as a potential President-elect, want this phenomenal national enterprise to be part of your inner alliance?

    • @K
      It is a non-binding and symbolic declaration – and as such there is nothing wrong with that. Israel itself has expressed willingness to recognize an autonomous Palestinian entity in the West-Bank since the present situation is indeed problematic and only an agreed formal framework is elusive.
      In the meantime the relationship between Israel and Greece has never been better (the improvement began with PM George Papandreou, whose grandfather PM, Andreas, got them practically ruined). I hope the government of Israel will not be naïve enough to let that change given some recent purported reconciliation with Turkey – few people here in Israel will forget the ugly way Erdogan spoke about Zionism and Israel, not that long ago. But as betraying “allies” became second nature for him: Israel, Assad and Kurds he pushed it too far with Russia.

    • @marnie
      Thanks for reminding me, in this context, of Adam Sandler. It is daytime now in the Holy Land this reminder of yours will surely make my day.
      You have to understand that given the numerous enemies of Israel - in Europe, the Islamic world and other countries like South Africa – the country relies heavily on a far smaller number of stalwart supporters. What makes this asymmetry is work is stature and talent within the latter group, as with Herentstein and Sandler - may God bless their souls.

    • All too often, I admit, reading what is “on sale” on this sight can be depressing. But then there are good moments too – and reading this article (after the necessary usual undertone adaptations) is one of those.
      It is nighttime now in the Holy land and this one will surely work towards some good dreams. And who knows they might even become reality?
      (consider it "a confession of a Zionist")
      Thanks Mr. Weiss.

  • Sanders warns U.S. against 'quagmire' of 'perpetual warfare' in Mideast for 20, 30 years
    • Just a minute, sorry to interrupt, but the title is about Sanders and wars in the Mid-East but I am shocked not to see Palestine mentioned even ONCE in the discussion above! (but mentioned in the article)
      Could it be that the issue lost importance in the present general Mid-East context?

  • Large majority of Palestinians in WB and Gaza think a full scale Intifada is on the horizon
    • @ diaspora
      Yes, regarding your last paragraph, I have to agree (and it is elaborated in my earlier comment) - this saga is unfortunately for the long haul. Life is full with such situations – problems that don`t have easy solutions, or at all, and that includes the political-security realm.
      But then who knows? History is also full with surprises – if you told somebody in Europe in 1916 or 1936 that just few decades later there will be some kind of a lasting peace there, and even some EU format, they would have sent you to check your head. “Life is also about patience” as they say.

    • @Annie
      My sense of what goes on in the world is that, as already happened before, what takes place here is just a harbinger for what will happen elsewhere – Israel is simply the first to experience things (terror, airplanes hijacking and the victimhood parlance that justifies all that) because of its particular vulnerabilities. I wonder how people in the US, including you, will react when these troubles come in earnest closer to home – as they already began – and likewise in Europe, who loves preaching to us. That would be the real test.

    • @ Diaspora “You need to choose between safety and occupation”
      Don`t be ridiculous. Every sane Israeli believes that leaving the West-Bank, probably to Hamas rule, will make Israel`s safety infinitely worse. Following the Oslo accord when Arafat gained back a lot of the West-Bank we had the Second Intifada. Then, we may have from there a repeat of the Gaza saga – missiles launching into Israel from tunnels, only this time from right near the heartland of Israel.
      No matter how long the stabbings will continue the present situation is a piece of cake compared to what expects Israel if it abandons military control over the west-Bank.
      Truly and sadly, chances are that Israel will never have real security whatever it does – because it is its very existence that is most likely is the key problem for many.
      This is the price of being in this region (just note what goes on in around) – it has to be paid, no other choice. What`s left to be done is to try to minimize it and you can bet that many brains in Israel are now busy thinking about how to deal effectively with this phenomenon. And here there is at least, some “good news” for Israel – it has generally become prosperous partly from similar inventions in the past.

    • @ zaid “you have a history of giving false predictions…”
      Are you not a bit impatient? My prediction of just months ago was not supposed, or claimed, to happen instantly. Did you not follow the last elections there (in France)? Or what goes on too in other countries in Europe in similar regards and also in the US?
      In my view the trends can`t be clearer. What is taking place in the world now is some kind of a new type of a world-war – done generally under a similar political-religious ideology and takes place simultaneously all around the world - mainly in the Mid-East, Europe, Africa and the US.
      There is no telling how it will develop because such within-country, rather than between countries, global war has no precedence. It is a product of today`s advanced state of the globalization process cum the dramatic technology advances plus a ubiquitous media (which is essential for terror to make a big impact) – a situation and combination that the world have never had before.
      But this global drama of today is a process, a build-up - something to watch over time and, likely for a very long time.

    • @mooser: “and today`s US and CIA will come to the aid of the Palestinians”
      Only if Trump is elected

    • @Annie
      I think a general problem with your outlook is that it does not seem to change with circumstances. You got to take into account that what you call Israel`s isolation or dependence is marginal compared to the effects of recent major world developments, which combined create an altogether new situation in the world, which affects Israel too. As with what is happening in Europe, with immigrants and terror, the US developing new attitude – far more assertive - to Islamism (which will take a more pronounced effect with a new president in the US – listen to ALL main candidates), the continued upheaval in the Mid-East in, the developments with turkey (which now seeks to reconcile with Israel), The new Iran posturing, Jordan`s tightened yup links to Israel, Egypt`s new attitude to Israel and so on an don – there is a lot on the plate here and yet your outlook seem to be stuck where it ever was - and that` s to me unrealistic.

    • @ Theo
      OK, it`s not a universal rule – I referred to the Intifadas here (namely, SELF-ignited popular uprisings). In general, and especially if there is outside subversion – as was indeed common in the Cold War where the 2 Big Guys used routinely small countries as pawns in the global (“chess”) theatre – matters can be indeed different.

    • @zaid
      OK, thanks. But, regardless, I think that the second part of my earlier comment still applies.
      Beyond that, the whole notion somehow does not seem to carry the “energy” it once had. Answering polls requires nothing and can be a way to vent frustration but Israel of 2015 is already a different entity. A hi-tech giant, powerful army, strong and diverse economy, advanced tools of all kinds and primarily more than 6 million Jews, mostly living in cities which, as in the entire Tel-Aviv metropolitan area, are not ethnically mixed (unlike the situation in Europe). So just how much should people here fear these threats (see my earlier comment)?
      You could say that this poll demonstrates that bad will towards Israel apparently is in abundance among Palestinians but then reality also has a practical dimension to it. I too sometimes have those dreams, as e.g. having the entire (Biblical) Promised Land under Israel, but I admit I doubt it will ever happen.

    • They quote the two-third figure, supporting the idea of another armed Intifada, but as I understand it includes both Gazans and West-Bankers and it would be interesting and of practical implications, to break it down to the two regions - that is, to know what proportion in the West-Bank support it?
      My estimate is that in Gaza it is near 100% - because it does not directly affect them and they are already kind of a de-facto different entity – so if they are 40% of the total Palestinian population then it mathematically means that the majority in the West-Bank don`t support it.
      More to the point: Intifadas, by their nature, HAPPEN, are not planned, so this to me is just a reflection of a mindset, and also a bit of the usual psychological warfare that goes on here routinely, not actuality. The second Intifada was serious enough for Israel to have developed and deployed massive countermeasures of all kinds – active or latent (as surveillance means) - and chances are that this wave of violence will remain, or cannot exceed, its present parameters.
      Also the depressing scenes from the general region around have their effects too: it makes it easier to conceptualize (and with that internalize) how bad matters can go for people caught in chaotic violent situations.

  • The mainstream press can't handle anti-Zionism-- Rosengarten
    • @michelle: “Life is a test”
      More like a never-ending sequence of tests - and I already have behind me a decent number of `F`s - but I agree with you: there are always new things to explore.
      Travails and Illumination

    • That`s actually true: these are the 3 Mesopotamian monotheistic religions and they are linked in all kinds of ways. The problem is that they tend to have periods – e.g. with Christianity, the Crusaders and the Dark Age and other (and Judaism had a very bad period prior to the destruction of the Second Temple).
      Toady though we witness the great going astray of Islam and just as with the bad periods of the other there is little point to cover that with layers of political correctness - condoning terrible acts as I think you try do (out of compassion) - because it will only make things worse for everybody – Muslims included.
      There are times for showing understanding and times for being clear -even if it is not music to the ears.
      Truthfulness and Exorcism

    • @michelle
      Although Jewish, as I think you say, I have a feeling that you are not fully familiar with Jewish eschatology (as many others in the “tribe”) – and the use of “End of times” in the list of titles above (in my earlier comment) may have actually anticipated your comment.
      I notice your spiritual angle but it is from that one that it is relevant that Jewish eschatology (as indeed also that of its sister religion, Christianity) has, as an integral chapter of it, the Gog and Magog (apocalypse in Christianity) ultimate struggle at the End of Times plus a general description of the condition of the world and Humanity at that time - prior to the ultimate redemption which is not congenial at all (as a gross understatement).
      So in view of your remark I might add two other dual titles:
      Mayhem and Redemption or Havoc and Salvation

    • Survival and Conscience, Exile and the Prophetic,… Esoteric Jews escaping reality through lofty dual titles.
      Me, as a non-esoteric and committed Zionist, I would rather go for (all dedicated to the State of Israel):
      Transcendence and Jubilation, Glory and End of Times, Elevation and Triumph, Conquest and Destiny,…

  • Obama's ISIS czar says we can't defeat extremism without resolving Palestinian issue
    • @Ossinev: “Foreigners …..who took over the land by force, drove out the bulk of its native population…..”
      Well, this description I think mainly applies to the US, Canada and Australia – or, if we go back some further centuries, to the takeover of the Mid-East by Arabs that arrived from the Saudi desert.

    • @Old
      That`s not the point here. What I was trying to highlight is that the “Palestinian issue”, which in times past occupied center-podium in regional (and beyond) affairs, have been de-facto demoted to a footnote.
      Some people who spent all their life dealing with it just cannot accept it – still embracing their “baby” trying to pump it up into its erstwhile global and regional centrality. One way it is done is by raising the rhetoric volume – e.g. injecting the “crime” noun twice into any sentence. But can that make a real difference when you daily watch what goes on in Syria – just one flashpoint in a world “on fire”?

    • There is a fundamental, and common, fallacy here. Even if it is true that the I/P conflict played a meaningful role in the many present problems in the Mid-East, which in itself requires a serious examination, it still does not mean that solving it will have a meaningful impact, perhaps even any impact, on the latter - they simply already took a life of their own. Just how much the guys fighting in Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia and even Iraq and Syria or Egypt care about what goes on in the West-Bank or think that it can in any way affect their case?
      Logically, being the origin of something does not imply that you still have an effect on what grew out of it.

  • Israeli forces kill Palestinian youth, 24, six weeks after killing his sister, 17
  • Israel should give back the Golan
    • @JC
      Well, that was actually a manipulation by Erdogan. At that time he was very close to Assad, even personally (they used to take vacations together), and most likely promised him that because of Israel`s great desire to keep good relations with their only ally in the region it will have no choice but to agree to his mediation and he will of course make the Golan go back to Syria. Israelis are not exactly fools and as much they wanted to keep good relations with Turkey it was already clear then where Erdogan is generally heading. So, when Erdogan was refused he began his anti-Israel campaign in earnest – partly, because, as a consequence, he lost many points with his friend Assad. Then came the insurgency in Syria and cards were reshuffled and Erdogan stabbed his friend Assad in the back just as he did earlier with Israel. He kind of overplayed that general approach of his now with Russia - but was lucky enough to be able to blackmail the EU over their immigrants` fear, and so remain in the game.

    • @ckg “You are living in an alternate universe”
      Don`t bet on it. The “old” solution proposals are clearly dysfunctional and unrealistic – notice how nothing is moving in their direction. And the drastic changes in the entire region only fortifies that. You lack vision here – find it convenient to stick to worn-out and debunked ideas while everything is changing. Carson got it right and I bet Cruz, Rubio and all the rest are even further than him in that regard – just listen to what they say.

    • @ckg
      This is no by the way a fantasy but a serious reading of real possibilities for some kind of a reasonable arrangement in the conflict.
      Using common parlance here, it will be part of a “3 states-3 Nations” configuration. One state will be Gaza, allowed to expand into Sinai, which will give it living space. Then there will be a “2 States – 3 Nations” configuration with Israel and Jordan as the 2 states, which jointly managing a commonly administered West-Bank, whose Jewish residents vote in Israel and Palestinians - in Jordan. The 3 nations involved are the Jews, Bedouins and Palestinians with Israel being the base of the former and Jordan – of the 2 latter.
      This arrangement kind of solves all issues: voting, affiliation, enough land and space for all, formal status for the West-Bank and a normal state potential for Gaza. It will replace the present belligerency and instability – caused by a lingering tacit hope of Arabs to see Israel gone (which only brought them troubles, or worse, and holds no hope for them apart form more of the same given Israel`s enormous capabilities) - with potential cooperation and common economic growth (in a troubled region that lacks it).

    • @Talknic “Completely irrelevant…..”
      Well, that was then. Things are dynamic.
      As for Syria this is not just about leaving a place because of ongoing violence – the country itself stopped functioning (remember also that it all began with a 5 years drought, which was partly responsible for the unrest). A quarter of its residents already left it and right now it is the middle-class that is moving, which is also why Germany became generous – they can see the economic potential.
      The writer of the article above is right about one thing – the Israeli held part of Syria still functions normally (and as an “Israel-lover” he wants to see it get destabilized too). Right now Israel is an island of normalcy in the Mid-East even as it suffers disturbances in the West-Bank and Gaza – which is inevitable given broader regional - and now already beyond - trends within the Arab world.

    • If dealing with fantasies is open now I have another great idea – except in the opposite direction. If you look in the ancient maps of the kingdoms of the Hebraic kings David and Solomon, or read in the Bible the contours of the Promised Land, you see that most of Syria (and part of Jordan) is actually part of that. Now if you adopt a prophetic vision you might say that what we see now is the coming-true of yet another times-old design.
      As most of Syria is actually being now abandoned by its citizens as a cursed land that they cannot live in anymore and are ready to risk their life to leave it for other (essentially unwelcoming) countries and as Israel already has a foothold there and also given that the Iranians (with their Hezbollah allies) want to turn it into a base of theirs – which is very dangerous for Israel`s security –you see emerging an altogether different potential geo-strategic design. Recall here Netanyahu`s visit to Russia, right before the latter moved in, for all kinds of coordination and filling in what is missing with a bit of imagination and you can begin to see things.
      I admit this vision is in the same category as of that of Mr. Bird`s but perhaps the very establishment of the State of Israel would have been seen so just one century ago. So who knows?

  • Terrorism is an understandable response to west's wars in Middle East, realist and left writers say
    • @echino…. :””Terrorism” is just a tactic…”
      No, the random-killing nature of terrorism puts it apart – the fact that you don`t know who your target is makes a huge difference. And people understand that and respond accordingly.
      Bin-Laden tried it – using loaded airplanes as bombs and ruining towers with people from all over the world. That had put in motion what you now see – and is Very Big. In Israel it led to the re-occupation of the West-Bank after the Oslo accord and now, as it re-emerged, it will no doubt have meaningful implications too (prominently for Jerusalem). Europe will be fundamentally changed by it if terror continues there (which is likely) as you can easily conclude from what just happened.
      It is today`s Big Thing - replacing yesterday`s classical wars, between countries and with heave armament, and just like those changed the world in the big world wars so will do this new global warring mode.

    • @ zaid: “Dump the … middle-east”
      Well, before you dump other people`s views consider yours.
      There is no dumping anymore of parts of the world – that`s what globalization is about. Any part of the world, if ignored, can risk the rest of it in all kinds of ways. As in: being rogue and having nuclear and missiles (Iran), broader hegemonic ambitions (Turkey and Iran), bases for terrorists that then go to other places ( Syria, Iraq , Libya and Yemen), flood of immigrants (Arabia and others), Energy needs (Saudi-Arabia and the other producing emirates) - and this is of course just a partial list.

    • Condoning terrorism will only increase it. Its random nature – killing people that you don`t know, by chance, as an expression of political anger – is hugely problematic and goes beyond classical warring in ruining the trust between human beings (when the guy who assaults you just uses you and the act as an instrument for a broader cause).
      The coming world-war is apparently of this category, namely no tanks or infantry just individuals killing individuals at random. The countermeasures are countries using big tools to follow the organizational bodies behind terror albeit that would only have a limited impact when there are very many small cells that act independently (possibly guided in a general way through the Internet). So the real response is likely to be - as we already see now - is of the “collective punishment” type with sweeping antagonism and castigation of the ethnic groups or religion that are seem responsible. That in turn would create vicious cycles and hence the world-war categorization – it would inevitably lead to that.
      How this new world-war mode - which is not fought, as classical wars, between nations but within them - will evolve is not clear because it has no precedent in its today global scale and right now it is still in its infancy. One thing is clear – it will have fundamental impacts on ordinary life.

  • The 'betrayal of Jewish history' -- an interview with radical theologian Marc H. Ellis
    • @citizen
      OK, it`s true that whatever takes place has behind it plans and acts of people and so the actual materialization of the State of Israel is, retrospectively, a historical development like any other.
      The term miraculous refers here to the broader historical scope, namely 2000 years ago a nation is expelled from its homeland and ever since keeps praying to return and also keep together as a nation even as it is dispersed all around the globe. Then, it reunites and manages to regain its ancient homeland where it reestablishes a normal nationhood. That`s what that shorthand phrase referred to – and to me it is not less than a miracle.

    • I don`t know but summing up what I already read on this site from Ellis he kind of appears to me as one of those eccentric dreamers –one more example of gained prominence by being both a Jew and anti-Israel. The ”prophetic” parlance appears as not much more than a clever gimmick to elevate a political position into spiritual spheres – wrapping a pretty common approach to the Israel-Palestine saga (by those that don`t like Israel) with some lofty clothing.
      Since Jews have had in their long history enough “prophetic” aspirants that turned out to be frauds the exile part of the equation seems more to the point - you better go somewhere far from the people whose sacred stuff is used by you for targeting their miraculously-reborn ancient homeland.

  • Hatred of Israel was reported motive for CA attack, but US press politely ignores the story
    • @Bryan
      Just briefly.
      Point 1. I have big trouble staking seriously a claim that Israel could be so powerful to have been doing all that. It is possible though that it acted as a catalyst in some of the moves that now devastate Arab countries - in those instances where it felt under direct threat – but even there it only dovetailed processes that are broad and general or even, in some cases, historic.
      I can tell you first-hand that up until recently, or perhaps the second Intifada, there were no serious Islamphobic tendencies in Israel. It was all political here – conflict over land and security - and only marginally ethnic or religious.
      Point 2. Your negative view of Israel is unjustified (and the fact that you put it in the league of North-Korea and Sudan is frankly insulting, if not utterly ridiculous, and in my view anybody who does that exposes himself/herself as having an irrational hostility towards Israel) - and that is why it is not accepted by the entire political class in the US. Beyond all the heavy propaganda Israel is a real democracy, it has a vast array of civil institutions, it is ruled by the law and it has a can-do attitude and a highly energetic one in many fields: industrial, economic, the virtual scene, agriculture, medicine, academic research in all fields and so on. Serious people in the US understands that and also know in what hard conditions it came to happen – whence their very strong pro-Israeli attitude (apart from the concrete ties that got developed between an array of bodies and branches in the 2 countries). That is also where the split between the anti-Israel obsessed and the strongly pro-Israel came to be.
      Point 3. ISIS is huge trouble for everybody – Israel included.

    • Well, just because one person used Israel as a cause cannot make much difference – not in principle (the US cannot be frightened to change policy due to a terror incident) - but mainly because of the many other fronts that the US itself is involved in wars and conflicts that also involve Muslims.

  • Elliott Abrams wants John Kerry to STFU about Palestine
    • @Zaid: “Aren`t you the idiot who predicted…..”
      Thanks for the compliment but are you absolutely sure I was wrong?

    • @kalithea
      Try to see the backdrop: It is not as if the world is moving on some normal course. Can`t you see that the “Comeback of the Jews” is happening right when the world itself is on an edge in broader regards and in several ways. I hate to detail that – it`s not cheerful – but I am sure that it is clear to you that Humanity and the human-world are approaching a very particular juncture in their historical trajectory: it is not “business as usual” anymore - just in a new format (as was always the case in history).
      And it is here where the metaphysical suggests itself in an almost natural way, and it is against this backdrop that the sudden surge of an ancient nation to such global centrality – while the other parts of the Western Hemisphere are in a continual slide - demands explanations. And what you (and others) keep writing is indeed the BEST proof of that – attributing some omnipotence to the “Zionists” that purportedly drive everything in this world. How come this is at all possible and why don`t Turkey, Iran, Pakistan or Austria do that? How comes what happens with petite Israel is such a central issue in the eyes of so many and for so long? After all other problems in the world dwarf the Israel-Palestinian case 1000 times.
      It is here where the “delusional” that you refer to is perhaps self-delusional on your side. Can`t you see what`s going on? Is everything “normal” in your eyes?

    • In a cited link in the article the father of the Californian killer says that his son was obsessed with Israel so the father tells his son; “nobody wants the Jews… In 2 years there will be no Israel”.
      It is amazing to what extent these people got carried away with Israel – no less than a historic-level phenomenon. And this soothing prediction about the fate of Israel while in reality just so many Islamic countries, including the father`s origin (Pakistan, if I remember right), are in tatters.
      I don`t think, given what is at stake here, that there is any rational explanation for this. Especially at this time where the Israel case and the so called “Palestinian plight” is in respect infinitesimal in magnitude compared to what goes on in the Muslim world and in Arabia. It defies any logical reasoning and in some peculiar sense it actually magnifies the Jewish/Israel sage – a very small country that is attributed such a global centrality or seen so important by many (not just Muslims but also European detractors of Israel) is not something of the ordinary.
      It will only be with hindsight that the Israel phenomenon will be understood – depending of course also on how matters will evolve. But the most fascinating question here is; Can small Israel, given the looming demise of Europe, the actual collapse of the Islamic world and the close relations it has with many ”big guys” of the world become what the ancient Hebraic prophets predicted for it? If so then something truly big, almost metaphysical, is taking place right in front of our eyes!

  • More than 1,000 Israeli forces enter Shuafat refugee camp to demolish Palestinian attacker's home with explosives
    • @Maximus
      Don`t dismiss the IDF so cavalierly and I wouldn`t either adulate the Iranian force that much – I don`t think you have a realistic picture of things. But to the point didn`t it occur to you that there is a logic in this operation - a purpose of its own beyond the mere demolishing of a house?

  • Golem and Big Brother
    • @echinoc....
      The hell Is not here, but in the region as a whole. It`s true that Israel cannot fully escape that but still the demographics points the other way – constant emigration to Israel and population growth in general.

    • @kris
      No, that is what I am saying. See my comment below here for elaboration.

    • There is a fundamental fallacy in the analysis here in failing to distinguish between “the first to experience” and ”the originator”.
      Israel, by its proximity and being small (and with that a tempting target that promises an easy and quick success), was the first to experience, and therefore develop counter measures, what the others will do later. Islamic/Arab terror began with it (at least in earnest), hijacking airplanes and bombing cafes, and the general Islamic “victim ideology” which justifies violence.
      So now Israel finds itself already prepared to what other are just beginning to encounter – making it both a source of appropriate counter tools and countermeasures and a model for how to approach the developing broader threats.

    • @ Kris: “The question is how long…..
      The key point here is that not only the Internet is evolving but also the general conditions are changing. If you add up:
      -the spiraling out of control of terror violence by and their huge impact on people`s minds by the media-power and remember that it has only started in earnest and given little protection means (ones that are common in Israel) has infinite potential (as e.g. the train-terror incident that this time was luckily blocked)
      -the chaotic immigration into Europe which can vastly grow when people of other countries will get fed up with conditions in their own countries and try to go to normal places - it cis likely to turn into a flood of many, many millions - exacerbated by the worsening climate conditions, which jeopardizes the very existence of people (as the draught in Syria which played a big role in the insurgency there)
      -the increasing appetite of Russia for power and ramifications in Europe and the Mid-East,
      and that`s clearly a very partial list, you will see that “understanding” better what happened in the past must be of very little effect – the threats faced now and to be faced in the future are the things that really matter.

  • Siegman says Palestinians are turning to violence 'to achieve freedom and self-determination'
    • @yoniFalic
      In that case better look for your fortunes somewhere else because the majority of the country here actually seems to be in a “fighting mood” – having managed to go through successfully quite difficult tests in the past. Also seeing now similar problems are visiting now the rest of the world – including those that used to lecture Israel from a high moral ground when it was nice and placid there and now seem lost – certainly fortifies that attitude.
      It might also mean that the applauds you used to get when denigrating Israel, while still there – Europe is generally unsympathetic to Israel – they are likely to be more reserved, especially if it is a person from an anti-immigrant, Euro-skeptic party that you talk to. In the US don`t even try that – too many there see things the way people here do.

    • @YoniFalic
      Blich is not representative of Israel – the “spoiled children” of the general Tel-Aviv metropolitan area are more cosmopolitan than most and at every junction of difficulty in the history of the country think of going abroad. I am sure you know that most people of the earlies `Aliyah`s to Israel left it. It is not so much the terror now – that is rather an excuse - but a general sense of being in a country that is alien to its environment and knowing that this will never change in any fundamental way (some “peace agreements” notwithstanding). I agree that it is indeed depressing – all the more so given that how the increasing turmoil in the region around. Whence, if you can afford it and have the qualifications to move smoothly to Europe, or likewise immigrate to the US or Canada, then why not?
      What happens though is that many of those that actually go in the end return. Because Europe is not what you think it is – and now also not so safe – and when abroad you acquire a different perspective.
      Shangri-La don`t accept immigrants anymore and even if it did – it turns out that some level of difficulties, in both the personal and societal realm, is the “spice” of life in how it drives you to make an effort and overcome them.

    • @Maximus “Imminent relish of problems”
      OK, that`s indeed not standard English – thanks for the correction – but then also that`s what fast blogging is about. It meant to refer to the immediate “pleasure” in the aftermath of a terror act - in seeing the pain of the victim`s relatives, the fear expressed by others from being stabbed etc. It is however a short-sighted attitude and a loser in the longer term and in more than one way. Those who do that know it – after all how can the stabbing of some people make any tangible effect on a country or a population of millions - but they still cannot resist the momentary relish and the sense of having an instant “upper hand” over the hated “big guy”. It`s a tragic emotional trap and a vicious cycle that threatens the very fate of those who got addicted to it.

    • But will violence be helpful for Palestinians? Especially given its random nature, namely you kill somebody that you know nothing about. Even Arab countries now denounce terror – unlike their erstwhile sympathy when it was only directed against Israel - they came to understand to where it leads.
      It appears that the Palestinians are ready to sacrifice real interests of theirs for the imminent relish of problems – suffering and fear - their acts cause to Israeli Jews. A shortsighted attitude that has failed them in the past time and again - yet, in an almost addictive manner, they walk into it moonstruck. When they will wake up there will already be new realities around them – and surely they will blame the Israelis for that.

  • Hillary Clinton equates ISIS and Hamas
    • @YoniFalic
      That`s an insightful observation Yoni.

    • @ mooser “Judeo-Christian bullshit”
      The Judaism-Christian saga is not bullshit. The persecution of Jews by Christians in Europe was a major issue for a long time. It generally came to a partial end in Europe after the Holocaust, for obvious reasons, and was not repeated in the new-world immigration countries. So it`s a big change – at least when viewed from a Jewish angle – especially when coupled with the re-establishment of an independent Jewish political entity around about the same time.
      The pro-Israel alliance in the US of Jews and Christians makes that all the more so dramatic and the emergence of Islamists as a common threat cements it further. Alas, in Europe, the latter threat will not be enough to make a real change – they will continue to have a basic un-sympathetic attitude to Israel.

    • @mooser
      That` was in EUROPE – the “old world”. There the Jew was an “outsider” because of the self-perceived homogeneity of the “locals” – the “real” citizens of the nation. All that is gone In the New World, which has no original “locals” and its multi-ethnic population is from many nations (well, I ignore here the small number of Red Indians).
      In the US these essentially two sister religions – they are similar in many fundamental ways (different in religious symbols and rituals) and let us not forget that Christ came from the Jews – found their way back to each other.

    • The simple answer is: they don`t allow that or anything close to that. Despite what you read here – and people already convinced themselves that what in effect is sheer propaganda is the truth just because it is kept repeated by likeminded others – there is a real convergence of interests between the two countries and a lot of effective mutual cooperation in various important fields.
      Beyond that – and once more, in sharp contrast to what is generally stated here – Israel IS highly appreciated in the US for its frontier spirit, the “can do” attitude, the ability to create a successful economy out of nothing (and even if Israel was helped it did use that effectively) and survive in hard conditions and under dire threats. Isn`t it also the American Spirit? And no wonder both see themselves in “exceptionalism” terms.
      Then there is also the Judeo-Christian heritage which unites in a spiritual way – especially in these times in the face of a global movements that made the fight with “the Zionists/Jews & the Crusaders” a central motto of its.
      Isn`t all that plenty?

    • @RoHa “ISIS seems to lack hostility towards Isreal”
      Don’t worry this is just the first phase - they want first to consolidate their position in Arabia, which makes a strategic sense.
      However their lack of use by ISIS of the “Israel (Palestinian) card” – a one-time key tool to all power aspirants in the region – is what stands out. It shows to tell you how much weight the Palestinian case has lost – even as some sworn enemies of Israel, e.g. recently in Sweden, still refer to it as the “Palestinians are the core issue in the Mid-East”.
      So, indeed, it the main point is not so much that the Palestinian issue is lumped together with other Islamic ones – that`s inevitable - but how it now pales in comparison to them. That`s to me the biggest reward to Israel in managing to withstand pressures long enough until this change arrived. Reaping the full benefit of that awaits the arrival of a new president in the White House – with a firmer general stance on related matters.

    • To those hear that keep repeating the irrelevant argument that the Palestinian case is different than others involving Arab or Muslim and in particular Hamas terror is different that others`:
      All cases are different and have their own attributes and history – Syria is not Iraq or Yemen or Sudan or Libya - and likewise the Palestinian arena has its own particular. But analysis is not just about differentiating but even more so about finding commonalities – all sciences are founded on that.
      Now Hamas and ISIS both uphold Islamic ideologies, both use violence as a main approach and in particular terror as main tool, both have Western-style democratic countries as target (in addition to other Muslim enemies), neither is democratic and both enforce themselves on opponents brutally, both mainly operate in the Mid-East – that`s plenty enough to deal with them within the same analytical framework and response attitude.

  • ISIS as a fascist movement
    • I think all that is generally beside the point - ISIS is actually trying a new (or perhaps renewed and amplified) path, namely breaking ALL norms. The peculiar side of it is that there is no clear response to that in Europe given its openness and its mixed ethnic populations (in the big cities). The Eastern hemisphere (as China) is pretty much immune to that while the US and Israel, which are also targets to terror acts, already have a lot in place to fight it and even more critically are fundamentally far more belligerent and forceful in their response attitude (which is likely to be magnified in the US with the president).
      It is intriguing to see what would the Europeans do as this new global drama unfolds - will they sacrifice some of their cherished norms and if so what?

    • @MH
      You have touched upon the crux issue here (it is ridiculous, as some above try, to check whether the fascism definition, if one at all exists, applies here – that is the last thing that matter now). The key point is that there is a fundamental asymmetry here, which is simply unsustainable.
      One side accuses others of bigotry, Islamophobia, whereas it feels free to exercise it against others (as, but not only, Jews). One side complains about violence against it, or being subject to collective punishment, yet uses random killing as almost a normal tool: if there are some grievances then the way to vented it out is to go and finding at random people from the opposite group and summarily execute them.
      This cannot work for long and failed throughout the Middle-East – the obvious consequences are all around it – and therefore the real question is: are we witnessing now the actual start of importing that anomaly into the European arena?

  • To help prevent future Paris attacks, stop stigmatizing Muslim communities
    • @Annie
      Reading your response I have a feeling you simply didn`t understand what I wrote – perhaps you are too quick in “draw and shoot”?

    • That`s actually true – the best preventive way is to connect to the many Muslims that don`t want all this mayhem and wish to live peacefully. Israel has done that for years and was careful to avoid Islamophobia (it is done only by fringe groups in it) and there is little question that such cooperation was highly helpful.
      But there is also a background here. In Europe there is a deep sense of discrimination and rootlessness among the many immigrants there while, in contrast, in Israel the Arabs are not immigrants and don`t live in neglected neighborhoods but rather where they used to live all along – even before Israel was established – and while there are discrimination complaints (not just from them but also from Sephardi Jews in the past and from Ethiopian Jews now) - there is a meaningful degree of integration within the country. The situation in the Palestinian territories is different but even there has been a decent degree of cooperation.

  • Paris and Islamophobia
    • Well, an even better way to advance your ides than quasi-moral arguments that nobody takes any more seriously is a practical one. What really can the French actually do except heightened rhetoric?
      The situation in France has already passed reversibility threshold – it is factually a mixed ethnic country now with Muslims percentage of population in the big cities, where they are concentrated (including their suburbs), is 20, 30 or even 40 percent (there are very few in rural France and its many small towns). For instance in neighboring Brussels – the headquarters of the EU - the fraction is above a quarter.
      The hard truth is that in such conditions there is simply not much you can do except hoping for the better or, as you seem to suggest, behaving “nicely” so that Islamists, mercifully, will leave you alone and go target others in “worst” places, which are less attentive to their grievances.
      As for yourself, personally (I see you are Jewish) - consider an Aliya to Israel. It is in no submission mood - it passed through an Intifada which had hundreds of such attacks. Mnany thousands of your fellow citizens are already here.

  • The way for Americans to take on the Islamic state is to end support for Jewish nationalism
    • @Kalithea
      Let me tell you where the main weaknesses of your argument lie.
      Can`t you notice that you actually treat the entire world as a bunch of fools that “Zionists” can lead wherever they want to. You mention here Europe, with its infinite historical experiences, and the US with its hugely advanced analysis forums and apparatus – treating them as naïve fools that are incapable to see what you have so “brilliantly” “explored”.
      Isn`t a far more plausible explanation that they have their own agendas and analyses while your conspiratorial theories may look ingenious to you but sheer nonsense to just about anybody else.
      And another point: can`t you see that by implication you attribute supernatural powers to those “Zionist forces” – they are able to see anything better and ahead of others and drive everybody else to wherever they want to. Thanks for the compliment Mr. Fantasy but very few people in the world will take such arguments seriously.

    • @MH
      Have you really thought through what you said?
      Let`s see what we have around here:
      Shias, Sunnis, ISIS, Alawites, Yazidis;
      Turkey and its regional ambitions;
      South Sudan;
      Moslem brotherhood in Egypt;;
      Tunisia on the edge with internal terror;
      Libya dissected into fighting tribes;
      Iran vs. Saudi-Arabia and Gulf Emirates;
      Kurds feel oppressed in 4 countries in where they live as a minority and wish and ready to fight for (a bit like the Jews) to have a country of their own;
      Iraq`s split;
      Lebanon`s Sunnis, Christians and Hezbollah;
      Arab Christian communities in distress all around Arabia;
      ,Dire economic problems throughout the region with millions of displaced immigrants in it;
      And I can easily fill easily the page here with more than just these “headline” issues that flow from “my pen”.
      So you tell me, what on earth have all that have to do with whatever evolves with the Palestinians?

    • Is it not more than just a bit of exaggeration – no matter how purportedly morally-intentioned – to suggest that attitudes to such a narrow agenda as “Jewish nationalism” can have a meaningful impact on what is essentially a historical-global agenda? One that mainly involves Europe and the Arab world (plus Islam) - now also the US and others – and has its roots in historical developments and narratives? And is just as much anchored in what modernity is about and its associated globalization process?

  • Today's a day to grieve for Paris, not score political points
    • @mayhem
      If all that really played a role here then it goes to show you how much the Arab world has sacrificed in its antagonism of Israel.
      It began with a series of wars with Israel that caused huge damage to Ara countries – changing them in a fundamental manner (as e.g. with Nasser in Egypt and the loss of Lebanon first to the Palestinians and then to Hezbollah). It continued with the loss of the relationship with the US, which in turn played a role in what happened in Libya, Syria and Iraq. What is apparently taking place now (and recently) is a repetition of that in Europe as the latter will now be much more willing to join more actively this global fight.
      There will come a moment when somebody in the Arab world will ask the Big Question: Was it really worth it?

    • @Mooser: “you are too old to join up”
      Well, that`s what History is about – each generation has its own Big Thing. What changed though is that with our era`s speedy pace of things in major “programs” keep changing like never before. You can condense into one lifetime (if not actually living through it than still feel doing so in its shadow): there was WW2 and the Holocaust (and WW! right before that); then the USSR and the Cold War; the formation of an EU (after a millennium of wars) and only few decades later the start of its decline, and now we have this new-style conflict and warfare with the Islamists. The latter after a hesitant start is developing right in front of our eyes into this generation`s center-podium drama.
      Fascinatingly the US was and is involved, in a major role, in ALL of the abovementioned grand global conflicts and warring: fighting to thwart major assaults on the civilized world. Little question that such a mammoth contribution by just one country, in all kinds of ways, gains it a central part in mankind`s modern history.

    • It is amazing how delusional people can be. The fight with Islamists is the next Big Thing – it`s the return of the Clash of Civilization with vehemence. Did you hear what any of the presidential candidates on the Republican side has just said? Are you listening to the voices from Europe – West and East?
      Combine this terror act with many in France that were recently foiled and the Charlie Hebdo one that was not with the situation in other European capitals; the inextricable link to the current Immigration crisis in Europe (one of the assailants belonged there); the continual horrible scenes from Syria and Iraq and Libya; the surging violence in the west-Bank – just to name some prominent cases – and you will see where it is all heading,.

  • Israeli hospital raid reflects the criminal behavior of the country’s political leadership
    • @Mooser: "Zionist omniscience and omnipotence"
      No omni`s, just trying to be prepared - in a scary world it helps a great deal to be so. Peculiarly the many troubles Israel went through – and I don`t wish anybody (I like) to encounter experiences as the second Intifada here – served as an immune act. Now, when similar scary times are spreading all around the world, being ready for it has its benefits.
      It is gradually turning out that in many ways Israel was just a harbinger for things to come – experiencing first, by its physical proximity (and tempting smallness), what others will do later. For instance, I still remember the time when only El-Al counters were guarded and people checked there thoroughly and I used to envy other destination`s passengers – they seemed to live in a different world.
      For a long time French people regarded anti-Israel (or Jewish) violent acts there as not their concern – it` s all about “the Mid-East conflict” (at that time it meant Israel vs. others) - even tacitly accepting the “understandable/justifiable rage” of Arabs in France about what is happening to their “Palestinian brethren”.
      That era is definitely over.

    • The labels can stay. What the Europeans will be charged for the anti-terror assistance can be used to compensate the settlements for sale losses.

    • @john O
      That`s possible – a competition between branches (as the CIA operated drones and other military-like actions) – although it is not characteristic of Israel. It could also be a live exercise? Apparently, the second Intifada, due to its severity, has pushed Israel to develop all kinds of capabilities and deploy a range of units in case it erupts again. You have now the Police anti-terror fighting units, the border-police (which is semi military), the various IDF units, the Shin-Beth, the disguised-like-Arabs commandos, the military intelligence active units and who knows what else.

    • Indeed, I was wondering myself about this operation -it would have better befitted an operation in a hostile country, even Gaza, than an area where your forces can move almost freely.
      The explanation probably lie in the psychological-warfare realm, which is not less important in this general particular arena – a quasi-Intifada in the West-Bank – since given its (very) low-intensity warfare nature the outcome is very much about mindsets rather than physical gains.
      It is likely aimed at blocking Hamas – the common nemesis of Israel and the PA – as Hebron is a stronghold of it. Note also the flare up in Bethlehem, which is another city where Hamas is politically strong. In other words there is here a double split strategy: Gaza from the West-Bank and in the later: Hamas strongholds and the PA ones.

  • Saddam was just a 'neighborhood bully,' Netanyahu says-- 13 years after saying Saddam threatened 'security of our entire world'
    • @kay24
      What a level of blindness? Try to pause for a moment from your Israel-obsession and answer the following simple question:
      Do you REALLY think that Israel treats minorities in it worse than any country around it and very many others in the world?
      If you can reach a mental state where you can be honest enough with yourself to answer that fairly y you will begin to understand why people`s attitude to how Israel react to threats to it is so much different than what you suggest it should be.

    • @Cull-it-ea
      “Concentration camp”, “Warsaw ghetto”, Guernica
      Relax. You have just had another attack of IsraeliMania.

    • There was a chain reaction here. Iraqi refugees fled to Syria where there was already a drought for several years and the combined effect stared the insurgency there. But the fear that Saddam is developing nukes was real at the time – not a fictional excuse – so even if Israel played a partial role in pushing for a war there – there were plenty other motives - it is understandable. Another reason was that Saddam payed 25000 dollars as a reward to each family of a suicide-bomber.

    • A lot of things look differently in hindsight – not only perspectives change but also realities. The only difference is that with the pace of things today it all happens much faster – just a decade later and all get transformed.
      Remember the axis of rejection or the Shia Crescent of just 5 years ago – it is in tatters now in Syria and Lebanon (all the missiles in tunnels notwithstanding) and Iran itself changed presidents and tack - partly flirting with the West. Saddam can be seen now as the first domino piece to fall in a great tragedy that awaited Arabia.

  • Obama friends Netanyahu with one-sided statement
    • I find the interpretations in the article here overly cynical. Leaders can change their views and it is plausible that the collapse in Syria of Obama`s rosy vision have has its effects. It does not mean that he now is now charmed personally by Netanyahu, but that is beside the point. Obama is a considered person and for sure discerns personal taste in regard to people from attitudes to countries and situations.
      Given what happened to his Syria vision Obama now seems to understand that running away from confronting hard situations is not a guarantee for calm – as the father of the main character in “Bonfire of vanity” tells his in-trouble son: if you run away from reality, reality will go after you. Obama already changed tack in Syria – taking a more aggressive approach - and also delayed the withdrawal from Afghanistan. This “lessons learning” applies also to his dealings with Netanyahu – he may now be less dismissive about the worries of the latter and don`t let unease in personal contacts overshadow realism. This Facebook gesture is likely a step in that direction and who knows the two leaders may even find in the end a way to each other`s heart – necessities can do miracles to relationships of all kinds (see the recent thawing in relationships between Israel and some erstwhile staunch Arab enemies of it).

  • Netanyahu flips the bird to Obama -- 2200 more settlement units!
    • Try for a moment to get unchained from slogans. There are now 10 millions of displaced people in Syria who are on the way to other countries. Russia and Iran are there. Iraq and Libya are on the brink. And you want Obama, the President of the US, to deal seriously with a plan to add a small neighborhood in the West-Bank? Doesn`t it show that your obsession with Israel has gone ludicrous more than just a bit?

    • This is peanuts within the whole equation – what `s adding 2200 units means in the world we live in? It is not a quid pro quo for something as big as the Iran deal, which is a strategic issue – just a side issue within a much, much broader picture. Real big things are happening in the region – ones that worry Obama not less than Israel and no doubt have made him rethink visions and hopes he may have had. So what this meeting is really about getting back to dealing with fundamentals. The rather childish - indeed staged – public “quarrel” between them is over and serious matters, where the US and Israel see eye to eye, are back on the agenda.
      This will thus be a somber discussion - dealing with the state of a world and a region where matters are getting progressively scarier. A situation where shared fundamental perspectives trump made-for-public shows and there is no energy and space left for trivialities.

  • Obama administration will do nothing for Palestinians through end of term
    • @citizen
      But that`s a common error: it is not about Jews versus Arabs – that has been a misrepresentation all along. Already now, barely 2-3 generations after the big drama of it`s entering a fairly homogeneous region Israel has developed meaningful links with Arabs around. Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, the Gulf emirates are getting close within a new political-security configuration in the region.
      Jordan in particular is tied to Israel in meaningful ways, which has the extra importance of setting a base for a REALISTIC long-term solution to the conflict: 2 states (Israel and Jordan) for 3 nations (Bedouins, Jews, Palestinians).

    • @ H Law: “Money, money…
      Don`t believe in that for a moment. Money can buy so much and for so long – we are talking now decades and very many politicians some of which are independently very rich. And they all have pride – forcing on them something they don`t believe in backfires fast. Remember Bush? Did pro-Israel lobby money played ANY role in his approach? And he visited Israel in the end of his second incumbency. So it`s all plain nonsense.
      The real reason is deep: Israel is a model, a shining place upon a hill, that upholds American basics: the pioneer/frontier spirit, effectiveness, economic successes, small overcoming big, a vibrant democracy, the Jewish- Christian heritage and so on; even a common sense of exceptionalism. Without that the attachment would have gone long time ago. Evidently, the recent bad experiences of the US in Arabia contributed to that – strengthening the Israeli argument.

    • Indeed, Obama planned to put Israel high on his agenda in the last 2 years portion of his incumbency but 3 things changed that.
      The dramatic worsening of the situation in Syria where he kind of acknowledges that his inaction was a part cause for that – with that his political standing and capital were not enough for such a demanding venture.
      The Iran deal: that`s a big project on its own, which of course involves Israel, and you cannot add another big dish to an already full plate.
      The loss of majority in both Senate and House in the last election weakened his political hand.

  • The idea that people living under violent military occupation must be instructed in nonviolence is problematic
    • @zaid: ”Israel is stuck with 6 million Palestinians and there is really nothing they can do to change that”
      That`s true and I believe it served as a main hope-anchor for the Palestinians: What can they do? They can never get rid of us so all what we have to do is to give them enough trouble that they will have enough of that, give up and go.
      But what happened in reality was different, Circumstances changed: the 6 million Palestinians got divided into 3 groups – each with its own interests and condition. The Gazan group was actually separated into another entity with which Israel has wars like with another country (and a tremendously weaker one). The Israeli Arabs got integrated into Israel to one degree or another – constituting in it a sector (out of several).
      So what`s left is what you hear in the news now: the West-Bank. Over there they staged a big try in the past – Arafat and the second Intifada – but once that failed plus the fact of that there are similar population of Jews in that broader territory (the Jews living in Jerusalem plus the settlers), the situation has reached some manageable form.
      There are indeed troubles there again now but that only means that Israel will have to find ways to deal with it - an unorganized low-level warring mode – likely by developing new technologies (metal-detectors, scanning devices), fencing troublesome neighborhoods, random check points strategy, better surveillance plus all kinds of deterrence modes. It takes time but as in the previous cases, after an initial tough period things are likely to subside.
      That`s the name of the game here and it will just continue to roll on. Not ideal, but that`s life.

    • @Annie
      I know this argument (in your last sentence) and I don`t think it`s true. There are far deeper forces that drive the Palestinian antagonism (and no point to repeat that) and in any case the Gaza case shows that – there are no settlements there anymore and it only got MORE violent.
      The Palestinians are on a losing track here – repeating mistakes done in other countries in the region - and those who encourage them in the wrong ways (themselves living in faraway safe places) do them no favor. Some of those “supporters” are really less interested in the fate of the Palestinians than in wishing harm to Israel (due to broader approaches) and so don`t care that the Palestinians will pay the price. Perhaps even the opposite, since bloodshed will serve their main: defaming Israel even more brutally.

    • People refuse to accept that there are intricate conflicts in this world that defy a “normal” solution – meaning that what left practically to be done is to “live around” the situation and try to make the best of it even if problematic. At some point in the future – as happened in Europe and nobody would have predicted it just few decades earlier – matters can reach some kind of an acceptable political form.
      In the meantime encouraging Palestinians to struggle, which inevitably deteriorates to violence, cannot be helpful. Such obstinacy and lack of readiness to tolerate peacefully problematic periods have ended up very badly for most of Arabia and can drive a relatively normal situation in the Palestinian territories into similar conditions.
      If hell really break out the Palestinians will be on their own - Israel is very powerful and the world, including Arabia, is totally consumed with real big conflicts with no attention slack left. It would only mean for the world that in yet another country and a couple of millions more Arabs have joined the regional mayhem - with already 100 million affected (the combined population of Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, the Sudan and some others are on the brink).
      So is it not more sensible in such conditions to avoid pushing people down to abyss by with the use of inflaming language on how bad is they condition or how urgently they need liberation from a “violent occupation” and alike?

  • When Palestinian 'protection' stands in the way of equality
    • What is progressive Zionism?
      I don`t understand either. Some people delude themselves that playing it nice will win applauds and change hearts – or, by being hard on Israel they will show how better human beings they are from the “heartless” government of Israel (or Israelis in general).
      As clear from the reactions here: Zionism can`t be made benign to people who are full-pledged anti-Israeli by merely adding to it positive-connotation adjectives (as “progressive”). Nobody has time anymore for these pretension games – neither in Israel nor within its committed detractors.
      Waste of time indeed.

  • Living and dying by Netanyahu's 'forever' sword
    • Well, I actually see today`s Jewish revival in a much more positive way. It can be titled as "The comeback of the Jews to the last round". Erstwhile big competitors that vastly outnumbered Jews - in comparison to whom it always seemed that the Jews have no chance (and were indeed always persecuted by them) are in a rapid and apparently irreversible decline.
      Europe for sure lost the world`s center-podium – where it had a dominant role for ages - and even its recent “last try” in the form of the EU is clearly faltering. Indeed, very dark clouds already loom over it. Arabia is in tatters, almost in its entirety, and symptomatic to that is how the Palestinian issue, which once a central agenda for it has almost vanished there - hardly mentioned by anybody of importance.
      While Israel is thriving and a mini superpower on its own, maintaining excellent and intimate ties with the power centers of this world - be they the US establishment, Modi`s India, Abe`s Japan, Canada and Australia, key people in the UK, and many others (there are admittedly a lot of midgets against it but quality matters in today`s world more than quantity).
      Now who would have guessed this outcome – taking place right in front of our eyes - anytime in the past?

  • Two establishment Jews (Harvard and Microsoft) endorse boycott of Israel and 'single state' in Washington Post
    • @Mooser
      Can`t blame you man. You are already so deep in the counter-truth culture that developed here that a voice from the real world disturbs your peace. I am truly sorry but have you ever wondered how come the entire establishment in your country sees matters in the way I present them?

    • Questioning the usefulness of Israel for the US ignores what has been going on in the last decades is peculiar. Having in your camp a country in the region that is committed to you and shares your general global outlook, effective in the use of resources and generally resourceful, a knowledge-era champion, Western style and democratic, have world-class military abilities, an indispensable source of information on the region since within it and have widely-acclaimed r intelligence services.
      Giving up on all that – and in a time when all is so shaky in the region? Somebody who suggests that may hate Israel but also doesn`t really care about the US either. Finding all kinds of faults and blemishes is an easy exercise – nobody is perfect and there are always all kinds of divergences – but the BIG Picture is what matters here. Especially so given with all alternative countries it is the opposite situation: you need to swallow huge frogs for the meagre benefits offered.

  • JK Rowling stumps for Israel -- what would Harry Potter do?
  • Video: Even the water flows with tear gas in Gaza
    • @Annie: “In your dreams”
      Well, just pushing it one step further: the whole Israel-establishment idea was a dream - for many centuries and looked infinitely less likely to materialize.
      But ,indeed, to tell you the truth, when I look at the realistic situation now, taking into consideration all relevant capabilities, it hardly looks as dreams to me to me anymore – just difficulties and phases in a logical process.

    • “Israeli soldiers again opened fire”
      Interestingly, many people, focused on the West-Bank arena, failed to notice that in the Gaza border Israel acted far more strongly –doing it does not do the West-Bank. That may look surprising – after all the West-Bank events are “closer to home”. But there is a rationale here: The west-Bank is already seen by Israel, even if it is not so officially, as a de-facto part of Israel while Gaza is not so.
      That is also why what is reported here about all the many grievances of the Gazans is already not on the radar screen in Israel – it happens in another country. The proximity to Israel only means that there could be inter-country clashes, even full wars, but everything else there is treated as those in Iraq or Syria, or Libya or Yemen,... – maybe bad but not anymore our concern.

  • Chaos in Jerusalem is a warning of things to come
    • Wishful thinking Jonathan (not your first!) - there is no chaos in Israel at all. I don`t know if you still live here but I do. All major events in the historical conflict here have begun the same way - bravado about finding “the way to do it”, with dire predictions for the future of Israel, coming to a naught. My own prediction is that this will only lead to making some better sense of the in-limbo conditions in Jerusalem.
      One main thing to notice in Israel is that unlike Europe where the local and immigrant populations co-habit the very same areas here it is practically a separation. It is due to historical reasons: the Arabs are not immigrants but indigenous population and so continue to live in the same places where they have been all along while the major Israeli cities are all new and almost 100% Jewish (Haifa is an exception but relations there between Jews and Arabs are traditionally good and there is marginally also Jaffa). This is a huge factor in making a civil war in Israel, or even just major disruptions, unlikely. You can have troubles but that`s it. Don`t forget also that the regional conditions make Arabs much more hesitant in rocking a boat that is far calmer than all the ones around – they can much better grasp what a deterioration really means and what`s the fate of those who are forced to run from chaos to faraway countries.
      Jerusalem was the real mixed and problematic city and now the time has arrived for some more stable arrangements there. As in all major junctures in the past this one will not be without some violence – and it will take time - but Israel now is immensely more advanced than it was even just a decade or two ago and also developed a lot capabilities as a result of what was learned.
      So all in all, this country will continue to be the most stable and normal in the region, which is not a small thing if you remember how things looked even half a century ago – a small and vulnerable country facing a solid Arab-world monolith around it.

  • Rubio prays for Israel, and auditions for Adelson
    • @Annie
      A person of age 16 may be technically called a teenager but he is capable of stubbing people exactly as somebody who is 18 years old – so emphasizing this aspect is beside the point or just plain demagoguery. And don`t you think that a Palestinian terrorist camouflaged as a journalist endangers other people in that profession.
      I hope Annie that there will come a time when you will develop a capability to look also at the other side of the coin. Until then it`s all futile – waste of time.

    • @Annie
      Well, if you want to believe in these things… There are far simpler explanations for what goes on and the causes of it - the general explosive conditions in the Palestinian territories and in Jerusalem in particular, because of its bi-ethnic composition, don`t need a conspiracy theory.
      As for bloodlust – please reserve this phrase to the Islamists of this world.

    • @Annie: “They made it happen”
      Pure nonsense. The paramount interest of Israel and Israelis is normal and peaceful conditions.

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