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Total number of comments: 2648 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

An Israeli history teacher,long-time activist on the Israeli Left.

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  • 100 days since protests began, Gazans reflect on what the Great March of Return has accomplished so far
    • Annie, sorry about not expressing appreciation for you looking up those links, it just seems like such a far-fetched plan at this point.

      As to the balloons and kites: fires are inherently dangerous and life-threatening, You've never heard of people being killed in fires? Just imagine if that baloon had set fire to a kindergarten full of five year-olds...

      And yes, I fear a war. I don't want war, I'm against war in most cases, I want a future of peace for Israelis and Palestinians. We've tried war, let's try peace.

    • Today there was a disturbing development: A fire - bearing baloon came down in a kindergarten. Fortunately the teachers kept the children away and noone was hurt. But this will have to stop or I fear there will be a war.

    • Does everyone now have to check a box for every comment?
      Slightly amnoying...

    • Ok, I get it, it's a Trump-Kushner plan.
      And I thought for a moment that it was something serious...

      Today something new turned up: A dead falcon was found in the south with a string and flammable material tied to its leg. A new method of causing fires?

    • Sinai is Egyptian territory. What are the chances of Egypt agreeing to this plan?

    • Annie, who's plan is that ?
      Sounds pretty crazy to me.

    • What, indeed, has Hamas accomplished? They have invested millions in violent demonstrations at the fence, millions in tunnels and rockets, and are now isolated and bankrupt while the people of Gaza are ever more miserable and have paid with blood. On our side they have caused fires, killing crops and wildlife, burning our country with baloons and kites, wanton destruction. Quite an accomplishment.
      The people of Gaza need development and reconstruction, massive investments in agriculture, industry, commerce and infrastrucure, schools and hospitals. All that boring stuff that Hamas doesn't care about.

  • Netanyahu’s war on transcendence 
  • Zionism ate my religion, and I am taking it back
    • eljay,
      Studying Jewish texts and languges and history does not contradict ideals of justice, equality and peace. Those ideals could even be reinforced.
      And yes, Israel is the Jewish historic homeland.

    • This is an important and thought-provoking essay.
      It brings me back to a point I once made regarding Phil Weiss' desire to "win the argument" in the Jewish community. I think that anti-Zionists like PW stand little chance of winning over the community as long as they seem to be indifferent to the needs and survival of the community and offer no real alternative. In other words if Jewish anti-Zionists said something like : "instead of supporting Israel , let's devote our resources to strengthening our institutions, let's have more Bible and Talmud study, more Hebrew or Yiddish language, more Jewish History and culture, etc. - then maybe they would have more of an impact.
      I also recall something that Peter Beinart wrote, when someone wrote that Jewish Zionists and anti-Zionists should get together to discuss Zionism and Israel and such he said that they should get together to discuss the weekly Torah portion...
      Ms. Garson's essay seems to open up possibilities along those lines.

  • Hasbara is dead
    • Amigo, yes, it strikes me as being disgraceful, I would have expected jail time.
      Community service does not mean Jewish. It could be, say, in a hospital or with special need kids.

    • Hamas turned it on, Hamas can turn it off.

    • Actually, it's been noted that this year, in comparison with 2014, there have been few expressions of sympathy with Hamas. Not in the Arab world , not even in the WB. In Gaza itself they're having a hard time getting people to show up at the fence, despite the financial incentives. It's as if Hamas' cynical use of their own people and squandeing of their resources is pretty much self-evident by now.

  • Obama was shocked -- shocked -- to find that settlements were eating the West Bank!
    • The Sea of Gallilee is entirely Israeli territory. Syria did not have access to it, pre-1967.

  • UNRWA does not perpetuate the conflict, the conflict perpetuates UNRWA
    • As usual echi resorts to personal attack...
      In this case practically every word is untrue:
      I'm not an invader.
      I have immediate ancestry in Palestine/Israel.
      I live here legally, I never stole anything.
      I never committed war crimes.
      He even got my name wrong.

    • echi,
      Where did Zionists announce their intention not to live in peace?
      Since you mention 1897 I assume you're referring to the First Zionist Congress., where the "Basel Program " was adopted. Where was such an intention announced?

      Jews are not "invaders" in the Jewish historic homeland. We are quite at home here.

  • Riveting Thai cave story was missing one element -- Israel to the rescue!
  • US Jewish leader expresses compassion for refugees at US border-- and contempt for Palestinian refugees
    • The destruction caused by the fire-bearing baloons and kites is continuing daily, with over 900 fires , 20-30 fires every day. Agricultural land, pasture, nature preserves, forests are burning every day, the wildlife are dying and by now there's a serious health risk to the civilians inhaling the smoke. Yesterday the goverment decided to impose a near-siege on Gaza , closing the crossing to all but food and medical supplies. I doubt that increasing the misery among the long-suffering people of Gaza will cause enough pressure on Hamas for them to stop the arson.

    • old geezer,

      Who wrote "a lot of them are kids"? you did! And now you say that there's zero evidence.

      I don't want to massacre anyone, especially not kids. If an adult criminal sends a kid to commit arson, then the primary responsibility lies with the adult (in this case Hamas). The kid should be stopped by non-lethal means, if possible.

    • old geezer,
      Kids? You do realize that recruiting and using child-soldiers, and using kids to facilitate terrorism is in itself a serious crime?

    • Talkback, I happen to agree that occupied people have the right to resist, including armed resistance, although I woud be wary of the words "by all means".
      The Hamas terrorists in Gaza are not under occupation.

    • Cliff, I served honourably in the IDF, that doesn't make me a terrorist.

    • The kites and baloons are not harmless toys and the people responsible for them are full-fledged terrorists, not some pranksters. Over the last few days there have been even more destructive and life-threatening fires, while the IDF has shown remarkable restraint so far. (The resrtaint may have something to do with the developing situation in the north, where thousands of Syrian civilians are fleeing towards Israeli -controlled territory, seeking shelter and assistance).

  • 'A Jew who tried to abuse this fact' -- Israel deports activist for supporting BDS
    • Donald Johnson,
      The anti-BDS law is in my view wrong ,anti-democratic and counter-productive, so, naturally I don't want anyone blacklisted for supporting BDS. I just noted that Ms. Gold herself is on shaky moral ground , being outraged at being blacklisted while supporting BDS. I don't support BDS. If the Israeli government would ban me from visiting the settlements, that would be fine with me.

    • I notice that Ms. Gold was on her way to a course at Hebrew University. How is that consistent with BDS?

    • If it was up to me I would welcome bds activists with flowers and red-carpet, VIP, treatment. (But that's just me...)
      The law against BDS is undemocratic and shameful. I suppose that I violate it every time that I express support for a boycott of the settlements...
      Nevertheless, it's somewhat ironic that a boycott supporter complains about being blacklisted herself.

  • The defiance that launched Gaza’s flaming kites cannot be extinguished
  • Israeli left leader says intermarriage by U.S. Jews is 'actual plague' and he vows to find 'a solution'
    • The Nazis used the term "Final Solution" at the Wannsee conference, which is why it's sometimes referred to as the Final Solution Conference.
      I don't know what you mean by "misinterpreted".

  • A Call to Action from Gaza: Cover your city with posters of the Great March of Return heroes
  • Hitchhiking to Treblinka
    • Phil's report is well-written and interesting .
      A few comments:
      1."A society will not prosper unless it treats its Jews well. " I can easily come up with an opposite example: Spain and Portugal became major world powers and acquired extensive empires AFTER persecuting and expelling the Jews.
      2." Of course today the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial is draped with Zionist propaganda. And the Zionists are shooting unarmed Palestinians at the Gaza fence. Israeli Jews are taking zest in the slaughter of innocent Palestinians; "
      What I see in the photo are Israeli flags. That's "Zionist propaganda"?And Israel Jews generally do not "take zest" in the slaughter of innocents.
      3. "Survivors were often the best speakers of common Polish (and the most Aryan looking, as the memoirists write) so they were able to vanish into the population." Phil seems to be saying that the more assimilated Jews had a better chance of survival. I know of no such study. In general survival depended on age, physical condition, resourcefulness , geographic location, and ,mostly, pure dumb luck.
      The Nazis and other Anti-Semites regarded assimilated Jews as especially dangerous. In their view those were the Jews who were weaseling their way into German society, and through ties with German women, poisoning the Aryan race, with "Jewish blood".
      4.I tend to agree that Jewish separation was an "active choice". Indeed, what Jews wanted was the right to be different, to have different beliefs and customs and holidays, different languages and different food and drink and sexual behavior. Today we would use terms like tolerance and multi-culturalism.
      5."…understand all the ways it [Israel] failed". It seems to me that Phil has more of a problem with Israel's successes than with its failures.

  • Gaza protests are where we say 'NO' to Trump's decision to move embassy -- demonstrator explains
    • The people of Gaza deserve better. Gaza needs a huge investment in infrastructure, it needs an airport and seaport, freedom of of movement for the people of Gaza: to the WB, to Israel and beyond, development of agriculture, industry and commerce, better schools and hospitals.
      Those are the challenges which apparently terrify the Hamas leadership, so , instead , they seem to be intent on provoking yet another useless round of bloodshed.

    • oldgeezer,
      Too bad that you can't write a comment without personal insults and name-calling, but that's your style...
      On topic: the damage from the kites and balloons has been extensive. Hundreds of fires have burned fields and crops, nature preserves, trees,livestock and wild animals. So far , thank God, there have been no human fatalities, but there's no guarantee that such a calamity won't occur. Those kites and balloons could ignite homes, schools, kindergartens and other civilian facilities.
      It looks like Hamas is trying to drag us -and their own people-into another major round of fighting. It's a horrible situation.

    • eljay,
      OK, I agree , it's a deal.
      Now will they stop the fires?

    • It's not "a few flames", we're talking about hundreds of fires, twenty or so every day, with extensive damage to crops, pasture, livestock, nature preserves and wildlife.
      So I'm asking: what can be done to stop it? What would be considered a legitimate response by Israel to prevent any more fires?Any ideas?

    • Meanwhile, the fires caused by the balloons and kites continue daily and so far the IDF has refrained from adopting a shoot-to-kill policy towards the terrorists launching them . This may change very soon as the destruction continues. When will it end? Are we expected to just sit back and watch our country burn?
      And I see no word of condemnation for the arson from most of the commenters here.
      See here:

  • 'Let them eat candy' – Israel’s ideological war against incendiary kites from Gaza
    • The kites were not launched "towards Gaza" , since the wind blows west to east. I heard an interview this morning with a resident of Nir Am who explained that they organized a kite activity for the kibbutz kids in order to remind themselves that flying kites used to considered a fun, peaceful , passtime and hopefully will return to being so. They knew that the kites would not reach Gaza and hadn't intended them to.

      Meanwhile yesterday and today were the most destructive since the incendiary kites and baloons were introduced. Yesterday 17 fires occured, today at least that much again. Thousands of dunams of crops and pasture and trees and farm equipment have been destroyed. Firefighters have been able to keep the flames and explosives away from homes and schools and other facilities but the damage is extensive. So far the IDF has only fired warning shots at the terrorist units responsible but so far they don't seem to be deterred, so the next step will probably be live fire . And then Hamas will cry that they're innocent victims...Does anyone expect the IDF to just sit by and watch our country burn?

  • 'The Israeli military said,' the New York Times reports
  • Israeli drones drop Ramadan blessings leaflet on Gaza-- before four more are killed
    • hechi,
      An 8 month old baby girl died and we all saw the heartbreaking photo of the mother holding her body. It turns out that Israel was not responsible for her death. According to this report the Gaza health authorities themselves have removed her name from the list of " martyrs".

    • Annie, eljay,
      Unarmed civilians protesting non-violently should not be targetted. Shooting unarmed civilians who pose no threat to anyone is a crime and should be treated as such.
      Armed terrorists attempting to cross the fence with guns, grenades and explosives, are, of course, in a different category. The challenge to the IDF is in making that distinction, especially when the terrorists are taking cover among the civilians, the usual Hamas strategy.
      And let's not forget that arson is not a form of non-violence. The burning kites and helium baloons have caused hundreds of fires, burning fields and crops, pasture and nature preserves,and endangering lives. Incidentally , the helium for the baloons is taken from supplies delivered for hospital use in Gaza

    • The Hamas leadership once again encouraged their people to attack the fence , hoping for as many casualties as possible. They must be disappointed by the relatively low turnout and relatively low casualty count.

      Meanwhile the flaming kites and weaponized baloons are causing extensive damage and are life threatening. Hopefully the IDF will come up with a solution .

  • Literary hero Yossi Klein Halevi says anti-Zionist Jews aren't Jewish
  • 'New York Times' teams up with Israel to smear slain medic Razzan al-Najjar as 'complex,' not innocent
    • eljay,
      I got tired of going around in circles the last time we had this exchange, so here we go again:
      What I wrote was that there's a difference between innocent civilians and armed terrorists or criminals. It's the kind of distiction that should be clear to any reasonable, decent, moral, person.
      If you don't see it then you're the one with the broken moral compass.

    • Eljay seems to be implying that I would condone a massacre of the inhabitants of Gaza.
      Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • The unwarranted presumption of Israeli soldier innocence in the killing of Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar
  • 'Disappearing Palestine' maps must spotlight Jaffa
    • just,
      I do my best to teach History as fairly as possible , introducing the students to different voices while keeping to the conventionally accepted facts. I certainly don't go for various "revisionist " versions of history.
      And I don't live on stolen land and haven't robbed anyone, unless you're claiming that all Israeli territory is "stolen".

    • What's wrong with the maps?
      Taking them chronologically (from left to right):
      In the first map, the impression is that the white is Jewish-owned land and the green Palestinian-owned. However there was a third category, state land. Land controlled by the government (the Turks, then the British and so forth), ostensibly to be used for the benefit of the entire population, from all communities. Conveniently, it's included in the green, in order to convey the impression that the Palestinians lost it.
      The second map accurately depicts the UN partition plan.The problem is just that : it shows a PLAN , a recommendation, that was never implemented as planned, since the Arab side rejected it.
      The third map ("1949-1967") ignores the reality of those years, when Gaza and the West Bank were under Egyptian and Jordanian rule, respectively. It creates the misleading impression that there was a Palestinian state which was subsequently erased.
      The fourth map, supposedly depicting the present, shows zero Palestinian land-ownership inside Israel, an obvious falsehood. Once again, like in the first map, state land is ignored, or, rather, shown this time as non-Palestinian, to emphasize the loss. Also, according to this map , the Palestinian (green) areas of the West Bank are not occupied.

    • As I've pointed out before the "disappearing Palestine" maps are brilliant propaganda, but factually wrong and misleading.

  • Palestinian medic, 21, is killed by Israeli sniper as she tends wounded in Gaza
    • zaid,
      Right. That's why Yonifalic should hand himself in to Palestinian justice. Since the crimes he confesses to were perpetrated in Gaza and Yonifalic apparently regards Hamas favourably, he could ask to be tried by a Hamas tribunal.

    • Yonifalic should hand himself in. Confess his crimes, name those who issued the order to murder, have his day in court.

    • Horrible. Razan impresses me as having been dedicated and brave. Her death should be investigated and whoever is responsible should be prosecuted .

  • Joyless in Zion
    • Marnie,
      Since I live here, I occasionally post a comment which includes a personal experience or observation. For example the visit with the Dawabshe family before Sa'ad Dawabshe died of his burns, or the account that you cited. As to the terrorist attack in Be'er Sheva in October 2015, I wrote an entirely accurate account at the time, including the tragic lynching.
      Regarding Be'er Sheva in general, I admit that I rather like the place . You can write that "there doesn't seem to be much there" , ignoring the top-notch university, major medical center, excellent theater, symphony, championship football team, basketball team, hi-tec sector, lots of good places to eat and shop, and relatively comfortable climate. Of couse it has its blemishes too, improvements that need to be made.
      You're welcome to see for yourself.
      Have a good week, shavua tov.

    • A personal experience from "Joyless Zion":
      It so happens that my wife and I were invited to the wedding of a wonderful young couple , last Tuesday evening, in Netivot.
      After the huppah and the first round of dancing we were sitting down for the first course and... the siren goes offf! For a split second I had an imaginary picture in my mind of hundreds of people running around looking for the shelter, pandemonium. Fortunately, that didn't happen. My son-in-law was the first at the table to take charge: "everyone, just stay where you are!" So we all stayed put -and started singing, and the celebration continued. It turned out that the siren was a false alarm, but later that night a rocket did hit Netivot.

  • Tom Friedman has advice for Palestinians: Embrace Zionism
    • Mhughes,

      "I would like to ask whether there is no way of retaining all these things in a situation where the human rights of the Palestinians are restored?"

      My answer is, yes, through the two state solution.

      "I would regard a non-religious expression of any historic culture as any activity, including works of literature, art or music, which involves no explicit call for respect for the authority of a divine being or a sacred text but which calls attention to the traditions of a community or family, including religious traditions, to which the creator of the work belongs or belonged. One does not have to look far such."

      There are many examples of non-religious Jewish culture, in literature, art, philosophy...

    • Gaza is not at present occupied by Israel, although some Israelis may wish it was.

      There's a naval blockade, and a partial siege. That's a different situation.

    • Spring renouncer,
      Why not, actually? Like Singapore, Gaza is small and densely populated, with many educated and talented people. If only they had a leadership which really cared about their own people...

    • Well said, Nathan

  • Portman and Perlman, and the liberal Zionist awakening
  • They prayed for Gaza's dead. Now it's time to say the mourner's prayer for Zionism
    • Robert Cohen,
      "Hardcore" is a gentle and understated description of some of the commenters here, believe me.
      In any case, I have some questions:
      If what you call the "trinity" has broken up, what will replace it? You mention "Jewish ethics". What are they ? Are they different from universal ethics? What makes them Jewish?
      Do you -and the group you describe - have a position on a possible solution ? Two states? One state? How can peace be achieved?

  • Israel detains Palestinian teen with severe head injury, again
    • Einstein and the other signatories were protesting a planned visit of Menachem Begin and his brand of ultra nationalism.
      Einstein was still a Zionist.

  • Gaza massacre ends American political oath: Israel support is bipartisan
    • A Hamas spokesperson claimed today that 50 of the men killed at the fence on Monday were members of the Ezaddin al Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, disguised as civilians. So much for "unarmed nonviolent civilians."
      As for not being controlled, look at how Hamas turned it off the next day, just like that.
      I hope that Phil finds the time and energy to visit the area bordering with Gaza and meet some of the people in Sderot and Nahal Oz...

  • Live Blog: Massacre in Gaza as US and Israel celebrate embassy move to Jerusalem
    • For the third time, they've set fire to the border crossing through which essential supplies are delivered to Gaza.
      Now we're going to hear complaints about shortages of gas , medical supplies , etc.

    • eljay,
      Huh? You were the one who mentioned soccer, and I asked if you're referring to the championship.
      OK, I see that you may have been baiting me, to see if I would write about soccer on a day when so many Palestinians were being killed, make me look like a dick (your words) and I fell into your trap. Nicely done.

    • Eljay are you referring to Hapoel Beersheva's third consecutive championship, clinched just a few days ago?

    • Absolutely.
      A horrific number of casualties.
      An "achievement" for Hamas.

  • 'Superpowers will not give us freedom so we will take it with our own hands': scenes from Gaza's final Friday protest at the border
  • Ending seventy years of exile for Palestinian refugees
    • Resolution 194, article 11. "Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;"

      A few notes:

      All the Arab states voted against resolution 194 at the time.

      It does not specifically mention Palestinian refugees. It could be understood to include the Jews forced to leave the Arab countries.

      It does not mention descendants of the refugees.

      " at peace with their neighbors..." Probably one of the reasons the Arab states rejected it.

      ..."Governments or authorities responsible". Note "governments" in the plural. Not (only ) Israel.

  • Kovel's 'Overcoming Zionism' was ahead of its time
    • I actually learned something new from MW.
      The only Nahum Gutman (with one t) I was aware of was the artist. It turns out that there was also a Nahum Guttman, apparently a Zionist writer .

    • eljay
      Again, the review states that Shamir "took part" in the operation , which is not true.
      If someone writes that OBL took part in the 9/11 attacks that would also be untrue.

    • Nahum Guttman the artist?

    • Annie, Eljay,
      Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I think that getting the facts right is important.
      Eljay, your analogy would work if someone had written that Osama Bin Laden took part in the operation.

    • Annie,
      The review says that Shamir "took part in the operation". Just another falsehood.

      And yes, mainstream Zionist leaders and thinkers did indeed express the desire for peaceful co-existence with the Arab population.

    • The late Joel Kovel not only broke with Zionism- which I can understand -he abandoned his Jewish identity and converted, which I find a lot harder to deal with.

      The review itself is full of falsehoods. For example : the leaders of Zionism expressed the desire to live in peace with the Arabs, not drive them out ; the “ bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man" quote is phony; the bombing of British headquarters was in 1946, not 1948; Yitzhak Shamir was not involved in Dir Yassin, he wasn't even in the country...

  • Another distorted 'NY Times' report on Gaza focuses on 'blazing kites' instead of Israeli snipers
  • Video: Médecins Sans Frontières clinic overwhelmed by Palestinians wounded during March of Return
    • Have I missed something? When and where is the "Great March of Return" going to take place?

  • Major bike race will kick off in Jerusalem Friday even as snipers line up on Gaza border
    • I don't usually follow cycling , but today the Giro kicked off from here in Beersheva and, as I write, is approaching Eilat. So there's been a lot of excitement ( "Giromania"?). It's a wonderfully photogenic event, and , so far, free of major foul-ups.
      It should be emphasized that one man is mainly responsible for bringing the Giro to Israel : I understand that Mr. Sylvan Adams paid for it with his own money:

  • Some Israeli soldiers on Gaza border have reached out to 'Breaking the Silence'
    • Today we remember our fallen soldiers and civilian casualties. Almost every israeli can think of a relative, friend, colleague, neighbor to remember on this occasion. Especially those of us who have seen war up close and personal.
      So many, the best of us... A good time to rededicate ourselves to pursuing peace.

  • Thousands demonstrate at Gaza border in 'Burn Israeli Flags' Friday
    • amigo,
      Non Jews were included proportionately in the Happiness Report.
      I wouldn't be too surprised if it turns out that they're even happier than the Jewish population.

  • Dershowitz's game
  • Jews and trauma
    • I know that I said that I wouldn't post any more comments on this thread, but eljay's comments are so absurdly over-the-top that I can't resist.
      What have we got here?
      I wrote that I don't make any distinctions based on ethnicity, nationality, religion and so forth but that I do make a distinction between innocent civilians and armed terrorists and criminals. Eljay then performed a spectacular, jaw-dropping, logic-defying , intellectual summersault and , based on that obvious (to me ,at least) moral distinction accused me of supporting massacres, including the massacre of Jews, no less!
      He also called me an idiot, which is the only point he made with which I tend to agree. I must be an idiot for bothering to reply to such nonsense.

    • Starting this evening Jews all over the world are remembering and mourning.

      Dan Pagis


      here in this carload
      i am eve
      with abel my son
      if you see my other son
      cain son of man
      tell him that i

      Translation: Stephen Mitchell

    • We see to be going around in circles so this will be my last comment on this thread.
      I don't advocate "massacres". I said that there's a difference between innocent civilians and armed terrorists and criminals. Blowing up a building full of civilians is not the same as blowing up a building housing terrorists. I made no distinctions based on ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender...
      A willingness to legally ban the practice of the Jewish religion - even of one important ritual-is in my view an expression of anti Jewish bigotry.

    • I certainly don't think that there should be some kind of macabre competition among genocides and didn't "elevate" the Holocaust. Different genocides can have unique features. For example, the Rwandan genocide was unique in its intensity, the huge number of victims murdered in a relatively short time . I pointed out a unique feature of the Holocaust, that there was no conflict, Jews were murdered without being in a conflict, except the one in the Nazi hallucination.

    • eljay,
      The Jews in the Holocaust were innocent, whatever they were "deemed by Hitler". If you can't acknowledge the difference between innocent civilians and armed terrorists and criminals your moral compass is broken.
      As to circumcision, sure , your position is not anti- Jewish. Next comes a ban on shehitah, kosher slaughter (already in the pipeline in some places) and you'll say it's not anti-Jewish, it's directed at ALL consumers of kosher meat. Then you can ban the celebration of Purim, and say that it's not anti-Jewish, it's directed at ALL those who celebrate Purim. ..

    • Eljay,
      I support the Nazi massacre? Have you lost your mind?

      As to your anti-Jewish bigotry, you manifested it by supporting a legal ban on circumcision. I haven't forgotten.

    • A unique aspect of the Holocaust is the absence of point #1. Unlike other genocides which took place in the context of a conflict - over territory, resources, political power, etc. - the Holocaust took place without any such conflict.

    • " She( PW's mother ) sometimes said that she had one child for each million."
      I have a somewhat similar recollection. I'm the youngest of four siblings. My mother (of blessed memory) once told me that she and my Dad had originally planned to have three kids. But at that time- in the years after the Holocaust- there was talk in the community that each family should have one more child beyond what they had originally thought or planned, as a kind of "answer" , adding Jewish children after so many had been lost. As a result, they had me.

      (So, for all MW readers who suffer from reading my comments : blame the Nazis.)

      I'm also reminded of a nice old Jewish survivor , visiting her grandchildren in Israel ,who put it this way: "If Hitler would see me today, he would plotz !"

  • Philadelphians to Philly Orchestra: Cancel your trip to Israel
    • Sorry amigo, there's no such Palestinian family.
      The place we live was previously uninhabited. It's new construction which we bought from the construction company. You're welcome to visit and see for yourself.

    • Annie,
      Oops, sorry about the last line ( you and your...), which got in there by mistake...

    • amigo,
      My home is quite legal and we're the original,legitimate, owners.

    • Annie,
      I still don't understand the reasoning. In the settlements there are supermarkets which sell...practically everything . Settlers also buy cars and computers and appliances and clothes. Singling out B&J when every other company sells in the settlements doesn't make much sense. (The only company I know of which refuses to sell there is McDonald's, thanks to the owner, one of the founders of Peace Now).

      It makes more sense to boycott items produced in the settlements. That's what the EU is doing in the initiative to label such items distinctively, and that's what I do and call on others to do . (By writing that I probably broke the law...)

      You and your friends may

    • Annie,
      B&J ice cream is SOLD in the settlements, like everything else.
      The settlers buy ice cream, along with other food, drinks, clothes, appliances, computers, cars, airline tickets, and everything else.
      So why boycott B&J and not Nestle, which also sells ice cream in the sttlements? and also Coke and Pepsi, and Google, Microsoft and Intel, all major car makers and airlines, and so on?
      I support a boycott of the illegal settlements and their produce, the kind of action which convinced Barkan Wines to pull out of the Barkan Industrial Zone and Sodastream to relocate to the Negev. I supported a boycott even though it cost many Palestinian jobs.

    • amigo,
      I'm not an illegal settler , I've opposed the settlements since their inception, and I support, and practice , a boycott of the settlements and their produce.
      I still don't see why we should boycott B&J ice cream.

    • I condemn the shooting of unarmed peaceful protesters.

    • I see that mw is carrying a prominent ad targetting Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Of all the companies in the world, Ben & Jerry's!?
      The bds campaign at its stupidest.

  • A brief, unhappy history of Israeli massacres
    • eljay,
      Do you or don't you acknowledge that there's a difference between innocent civilians and criminals or terrorists?

      Let's take an extreme example : picture an ISIS compound. There's one building which serves as a barracks for the ISIS terrorists, a second building where they're holding prisoners and hostages. Now imagine that you have the power to blow up those buildings. Are you saying that blowing up the first building is just the same as blowing up the second, because in both cases you're perpetrating a massacre?

    • gamal,
      "Exodus" and "Cast a Giant Shadow" were Hollywood productions, very inaccurate and fictionalized, especially "Exodus".
      The film I recommended is Israeli, with a much more modest budget, and based on the author Eli Amir's autobiographical account.

    • I also recommend this movie:

    • RoHa,
      I've commented on this issue numerous times, my point being that Iraq, in effect , expelled the Jews.
      I'm aware of the allegations and rumors of "Zionist bombings", which don't make much sense, since the Jews were being expelled, and the Israeli government would have probably preferred to slow down the rate of immigration at the time.

    • eljay,
      What's truly disturbing is that you can't acknowledge a distinction between innocent civilians on the one hand and criminals or terrorists on the other.

    • Eljay,
      I don't make any distinctions in condemning any massacre and any attack on innocent people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender...
      I do make a distinction between innocent, unarmed, civilians and armed terrorists and criminals. Again, regardless of their identity.

    • eljay,
      I was assuming that we're talking about innocent people. Children, unarmed civilians, POWs (soldiers who have surrendered) and such.
      Yes, there are people who do not qualify as "innocent". If terrorists or criminals were shooting at civilians , would you object to law-enforcement personnel shooting back?

    • The Iraqi authorities were effectively kicking the Jews out, so the Jews hardly needed "encouragement " in the form of bombings. It was official Iraqi policy that they had to go.

    • eljay,
      What "condition" and what distinctions did I make?

    • Eljay,
      I never wrote anything like that and that's not what I think.
      I regard all innocent human lives to be of equal value.
      I just think that if Phil Weiss made a list of massacres, without even mentioning massacres in which Jews and Israelis were the victims - it should be pointed out.
      I repeat: no massacre of innocents on one side justifies a massacre on the other side.

    • John O,
      What's the point of your "condition"? Why make distinctions?
      Innocent civilians and POWs should not be deliberately massacred by anyone whether by regular armed forces or by irregulars.

    • I'm surpised that Phil Weiss left out the massacre perpetrated by Dr. Baruch Goldstein in Hebron, 1994

      Would anyone care for a" brief unhappy history" of massacres in which Israelis and Jews were
      the victims?

    • Joseph A,
      Zionists did not massacre "Jews in Iraq several times" .

  • The problem with Passover
    • After attacking Purim and brit mila, now comes Passover. All in the context of "we're not anti-Jewish, just anti-Zionist"...

      Anyway, a happy and kosher Passover to all who celebrate it!

  • 'I found a system of segregated roads' -- Anna Baltzer's path to activism
  • Rabbi Cardozo: outlawing circumcision would 'end the state of Israel'
    • RoHa,
      Preserving jewish traditions and what has been a sign of Jewish identity for thousands of years qualifies as a good reason.

    • old geezer,
      Delusional? Self-aggrandizement? Me? And just when I was thinking of granting you an audience here at the palace...

      Seriously, what are you talking about?
      And why do you think that I teach fake history? What I teach is pretty much the conventional , mainstream , historical narrative.

    • Yonah,
      I would suggest, as numbers 9 and 10 :

      9. community
      10. the connection to the historic homeland in Eretz Yisrael

      The point on the brit mila I would extend to include various "life cycle events": brit mila, bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, funeral...

    • Annie,
      I have no problem discussing the issue.
      I do have a problem with any attempt to legally ban the practice.

    • Child abuse is evil and malicious. Abused children are traumatised for life.
      The Jewish brit mila is a celebration of a new life, an act of love, and non traumatic.
      Too bad you don't see the difference.

    • I think that the mondoweiss editors showed very poor judgement in posting this piece.
      On the other hand, it's instructive to see the reactions. We'll remember them next time we see that "I'm anti Zionist, not anti Jewish" slogan.

    • Roha,
      I would still like to know whether you favor legislation to outlaw the ritual.

    • Annie,
      From what I know about female circumcision, it's very traumatic, unlike the Jewish brit mila.
      When my son was born, when my grandson was born, we didn't even consider, even for a nano-second, NOT having a brit. The family deliberations were about the mohel, the guest list, the catering and so forth.
      As I've said, a joyous occasion.

    • old geezer
      I was responsible for my son's circumcision (I didn't do it with my own hands, but I hired the mohel, who acted on my behalf, so I'm responsible) and was of course involved in my cute little grandson's brit mila just over a year ago.
      Now do you really think that I would even contemplate , for one second, to deliberately do something which could harm them? Are you saying that for thousands of years, millions of Jews have "abused" their children? Do you realize how crazy that allegation is?
      I'll say it again: the brit mila is an act of love and a celebration of a new life. It's a far cry from "abuse" .

    • Annie, would you support banning it by law?

    • Ossinev,
      Absolutely, this is 2018 CE, not 132 CE, when the Emperor Hadrian tried to supress the ritual.

      About a year ago I wrote this:

    • MHughes,
      Do you also support legislation to ban ritual circumcision?

    • Ossinev,
      The brit mila (Jewish ritual circumcision) is the exact opposite of "abuse". It's an act of love and acceptance, a celebration of life, performed by devoted and loving parents, welcoming the new little guy into the tribe.

    • Jonathan Ofir,
      I see that you have replied, supporting legislation that would ban ritual circumcision.
      I'm disappointed, even horrified, by your reply. It's one thing to make a decision not to circumcise your own kids. It's quite another to prevent other parents from making the opposite decision.
      You should understand that the result of such a law would be to drive the brit mila underground, to be performed in secret, in dark basements, hidden from people like you.
      For myself - and I'm not even Orthodox-I would willingly break such a law and willingly go to jail.

    • I asked:
      My question to you and to the other commenters on this thread is: do you support a ban? Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?

      eljay, I understand that your answer is yes, that you would support legislation banning Jewish ritual circumcision.
      echinococcus, naturally, claims that it's already illegal.
      Ossinev also agrees.

      Yonah Fredman opposes.

      Jonathan Ofir hasn't replied so far.
      Other commenters haven't given straight answers as yet.

    • Mr. Ofir, let's forgot about Rabbi Cardozo for a moment.
      My question to you and to the other commenters on this thread is: do you support a ban? Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?

    • This is clearly a freedom-of-religion issue. a bigotted attempt to ban the practice of the Jewish religion. Jonathan Ofir objects to coercion, "forced circumcision" in his words, yet does not object to the coercion which would prevent parents from circumcising their boys.

      By the way, Mondoweiss claims to be a forum for "news and opinion about Palestine, Israel and the U.S." Yet the editors are willing to publish this piece which has nothing to do with the conflict (indeed, Jews and Muslims are on the same side on this issue).

  • Jared Kushner's swift rise and long, long fall
    • I'm reminded of a story about Stalin. Supposedly when Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin's widow, expressed disapproval of his rule and methods he threatened to appoint someone else to be "Lenin's Widow".
      Maybe Trump will apoint a new "First Son-in-Law"...

  • In calling for end of Jewish state, Avraham Burg is painted as 'troublemaker' at liberal NY synagogue
    • Amigo, if Beersheva is not in the occupied territories, it's not a "settlement", in the accepted use of the term.
      Resolution 242 refers to occupied territories as those occupied in the 1967war. Therefore it's not a settlement.

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