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Yonah Fredman

"i am a zionist who believes in a two state solution." This was my profile sentence for the last three years. Here is my update: The two state solution is striking in its simplicity and its legal basis on the 1947 partition resolution and UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967. A US president should certainly pursue this direction. But unelected to the US presidency, I am not so limited. Recent calls from various parts of the Israeli political spectrum to grant the right to vote (in Israeli elections) to West Bank Palestinians appeals to me. The trick is to turn this idea into a policy of the state. Granted this would not solve Gaza or the refugees, but it would be a giant step, if not a leap. Another addendum: Shlomo Sand is the last person I thought would "buck me up" in my Zionism, but he has. The attempt to dismantle Israel in the one state plans offered will not result in a solution, and I think that at some point the situation will clarify itself into forcing israel to turn itself into a nation of its citizens and to get Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. As Sand says things don't look good from here.

Showing comments 360 - 301

  • Just boycott settlements? Liberal Zionist agenda faces huge pressure now
    • Liberal Zionism has its internal contradictions. Listen to Brant Rosen (recently on Judaism unbound) if your priority is to see what happens when a liberal zionist becomes pro palestinian.

      probably if i were younger i would sign up with If Not Now. At my stage of life to go forward without a game plan feels foolhardy, although the game plan (if you can call it that) of Likud is provocative enough for me to say, If i were younger i would sign up with If Not Now.

      (My emotional reactions requests that it be noted as well: Peter Beinart is part of the Jewish community in a way that Phil Weiss never was, so Phil Weiss gave up zilch to become anti Zionist whereas Peter Beinart is being asked to give up half his identity.)

  • Literary hero Yossi Klein Halevi says anti-Zionist Jews aren't Jewish
    • The chasm between a Yossi Klein Halevy and a Phil Weiss is self apparent. Halevy declares Weiss to be outside the community and Weiss says, "You don't get to define the community."

      Seems like this is not an argument anyone will win. All you can do is ask, Whose side are you on. if you are closer to Max Blumenthal than to Yossi Klein Halevy you will find yourself in one crowd and if the opposite, the other. I suppose there are some who feel equidistant to both, but probably very few.

      I think there are visions of the future that are more peace oriented than Halevy's. (the anonymous military officer who spoke off the record about "now is the time to make a deal with Hamas", is not something that Halevy mentions in his noncritique of the policy towards Gaza.)

  • Joyless in Zion
    • Danaa, when you write about losing your hebrew, i snicker inside, for i know after six seconds you'd be correcting my hebrew and mocking my accent, which shows that i know israel temperament as well.
      cult like, well, we'll discuss that, but meanwhile hanging out in the mw comments section, i happen to think that the prevailing Zionist attitude is rational.
      will an arab majority be democratic and stable in the new post conflict israel envisioned by phil weiss? maybe. probability between .1 and .3
      is it logical to exchange the current tense with this slender promise? decidedly not.
      the fact that this simple premise leads to the logic of squeezing gaza is farkackt. (as they'd say in the jewish part of town here in jewville america.)
      those photos (not the russian jew in the beitar get up, which is a purim outfit to 999 out of 1000 israelis) in jerusalem are places that i walk. i probably know jerusalem better than you, and of course, you'd say, thank god, or whatever your equivalent is.
      in 1948 ben gurion was logical, but neglecting gaza for 70 years doesn't work.
      but you'd have to prove to me the illogic of rejecting mass refugee return in order to prove the cult point.
      there was no alternative to hebrew as the jewish language of zionism. you like english. i do too. universal-ee is a fine word and means the same thing as universal. maybe with a sneer. which i hear in your words too.

  • Portman's move puts pressure on liberal Zionists to take a stand
    • To Donald Johnson and also Phil Weiss:
      Is Efraim Halevy a liberal Zionist?
      He talks pragmatism, what i like to call game theory, not liberalism.

      I agree that attention to BDS as a battle to be waged rather than attention to the occupation as the struggle of our generation is as good as any an indication of what one's priorities are in their Zionism. But you seem a bit doctrinaire, regarding a doctrine that is not yours.

      I think that each liberal zionist expresses himself (herself) based upon a level of knowledge plus experience negotiating social circles of agreement and disagreement. You would condemn him because of his illiberal position, but in fact because he is to the left of his community, he has arrived at his point of view through thought and independence and even though much of his position still reflects his social circle, to the degree that he defies his social circle, this political stance has been hard won.
      Maybe he is of no use to your cause unless he speaks in the exact tone that you demand. But just in terms of curiosity if not in terms of communication, there is a lack in such a demand.

  • There are only two kinds of Jews, Schumers and Feinsteins
    • Politics is a strange game: sometimes it calls for purity, other times for compromise. Sometimes the wheels of history move slowly, other times with awesome and terrifying speed.

      Whose side are you on? A familiar phrase, sometimes useful, sometimes not.

      By including beinart and Roger Cohen on the right side of history Phil Weiss has earned a thumbs down from the choir here, which demands purity. How history will play out, is unclear. Will this liberal demarcation of the border between good and evil drawn in this way help? Unclear.

  • Rabbi Cardozo: outlawing circumcision would 'end the state of Israel'
    • Phil, your decision to include this anti bris piece is your own choice. Cardozo's rhetoric is his rhetoric and your decision should not depend on his rhetoric. That's an excuse. You choose to say: this is an antizionist web site and one that also attacks Jewish practice. And from a certain perspective that's okay. (Antizionism is as valid as Isaac Deutscher and...)The Torah is not a perfect document and Jewish practice is not based on a tabula rasa inscribed with the recipe for humanity's perfection, but rather a mix of good and bad and criticizing Jewish practice is part and parcel of being Jewish, certainly in the modern era, so that's okay.

      Only, it's not 100% okay. I would prefer that the Palestine versus Israel issue could be discussed with a maximum of "cool, calm and collected". That is hardly the prevalent tone of the discourse, but it seems to me the ideal. Raising the issue of bris automatically pushes the discourse in the opposite direction.

      Anyone as far left as me who has spent as much time as me as the furthest left voice at every single shabbos table (overblown rhetoric but not far from the truth) is familiar with the accusation of antisemite. anyone who grew up orthodox and left the path is considered an enemy to Torah.

      I am curious regarding the future developments in the saga of Jews versus Palestinians on the land and Jews versus Jews regarding Torah.

      The flow of history has its reversions, but the movement against bris will continue, for a society protects its children. As world hygiene improves the life saving aspect of circumcision will seem an anachronism. (The life saving aspect of mila is not a factor in the west today, but it is a factor elsewhere on this globe. And as that fact changes, this aspect will seem an anachronism.) And thus the protection of the individual will eventually force governments in the direction of this prohibition. It will be interesting.

      But if one wishes to keep the discourse on the level of logic, waving red flags is no way to accomplish that.

      If there are two tribal aspects to Jewishness, they are bris and the Holocaust. Both very tribal and both very inflammatory.

  • Fearing breakup of Israel lobby, liberal Zionists stress the power of Jewish unity
    • Annie- first of all deutscher was referring to Polish gentiles' apathy and his assertion stands, while your question mark is ignorant.

      Second- I did not mention one Palestinian in my comment . Accusing Palestinians of antisemitism is not my thing. You'd be hard pressed to find that as my theme. (Hard pressed but not impossible.) But I do discuss white Americans and their obliviousness to antisemitism, black Americans and their occasional (kwame toure and brother Louis Farrakhan and jesse jackson) indulgence in jew hatred.

      What drew me to this post was Phil Weiss lecturing liberal zionists about what to do and the either/or of the situation and my statement, that his casual use of antisemitic language and indulgence of antisemitic motifs means that lz's of good hearts and or of questionable motives can dismiss him.

      For this I am scolded and told that I revel in jew hatred, by ideological soul mates of Kevin Macdonald and those who marry socialism with jew hatred and think they are wise men and not fools. (August bebel once called antisemitism the socialism of fools).

      Deutscher, in fact, is no zionist despite his obvious feelings for the slaughtered, and despite the analogy of the man jumping out of the building, escaping from a fire. He asserts that zionism was a middle class eastern European Jewish hobby, whereas deutscher's working class comrades of Jewish persuasion were foes of zionism and he dismisses the equation out of hand.

      I am not asserting the equation, merely asserting that if Phil Weiss were interested in winning minds and hearts he wouldn't indulge in childish silliness. But though Weiss claims the importance of the liberal zionist, he can barely deign to talk to them/us, because he'd have to take time out from his scorn and petty adolescent spitball indulgences. He has his own Web site and he doesn't feel like acting and he truly disdains Jews who care about Jewish continuity and so he let's us see into his heart. Liberal zionist might or might not be the key here, but Phil Weiss won't waste any emotions trying to prove his sentimental credentials. He has none. He is happy to watch the Jews and their languages disappear.

      Jeremy Haber, who shows no such disdain, does not convince many liberal zionist to think twice, so Phil is probably right that censoring himself won't win many hearts or minds.

    • Actually, keith, one of the keys here is perception. The choir sees no antisemitism. But liberal zionists probably will. If Phil cared about talking to lz's, rather than preaching at lz's, he would care how he would be perceived. But he doesn't. He only cares about communicating with his choir, who as in your case couldn't care less.

    • Here's phil's most famous antisemitic post.

    • I like Phil Ochs's song, "love me I'm a liberal", but he hanged himself and so I don't take his dogma as life affirming.
      Regarding Zionism, I've been reading a collection of essays/interviews of Isaac Deutscher, released under the name of the key essay, "the nonjewish jew". He is not a Jew lover when he talks of the Yahudim of the west who have much money and a few taboos, but I do not react to him as strongly as I do to Phil's occasional forays into scorn of Jews with money. I suppose the biographer of Trotsky is allowed some leeway that I don't allow Phil. Also Deutscher was raised orthodox and rebelled and so his rejection of tradition was done by himself based on knowledge rather than done by his grandparents leaving him with no language in common with the tradition. Also his ideology is socialism and Phil's ideology is assimilationism and whatever the weekly progressive or dominant zeitgeist happens to be.

      I'd be interested in the reactions of the local Marxist "jewhater" to Deutscher's writings.

      Deutscher also mentions that 100 years after his death people (Leibniz) still could not mention Spinoza's name. Who's to blame for that? Surely the Jews who excommunicated him, the denizens of mw comments would have us believe.

    • annie- Here's phil's quote: "My host and I went for a walk and you could trespass on the big estates because no one was there, and at one sprawling compound with a Jewish name on the sign out by the road, we stuck our noses in the windows to check out the (garish) furnishings, and someone came to the door to ask if we needed anything."
      I can't comment on the double murder. don't know much about it.

  • Israel’s expulsion of African refugees - betrayal with a kiss
    • The overlap of antizionism and antisemitism has gotten a couple new samples in the last few days: first Phil Weiss ragging on the garishness of the rich jew in upstate new York at christmastime, (as if to say: not only are these people retrograde regarding marriage and colonialism, but they have bad taste too and their aesthetics of interior design certainly revoke any claims regarding nation state status) and now this gratuitous invocation of Christian antisemitism by invoking judas's kiss of betrayal.

      Btw, regarding judas, amos oz has written a novel about judas, intercutting the story of judas as studied by a young Israeli in a young Israel of 1959, with the story of a zionist who was called a judas because of his opposition to statehood in 1948 (reminiscent of Judah magnes''s attitudes).

      Of course mondoweiss is more concerned with the interior decorations of rich Jews and not the novels of amos oz. And it calls itself "the war of ideas"!

  • Documentary on Israeli-Palestinian dialogue -- 'Pomegranates' -- leaves the viewer even more despairing
    • Rimon in Ivrit means pomegranate and grenade. Saw the film. The anger of the young Palestinians was the lasting impression. My takeaway is also despair.
      The film's selections of the surrounding materials was interesting. The surgery human interest story was the most extraneous. A few clips of Israel harel and "the temple mount is on our hands" was interesting in its selection.
      The woman and her kids next door to Gaza and the ptsd Galilee man were poignant.
      I like the way the Palestinian organizer says his aim is to affect 5out of 60 Palestinians. He was a revelation.
      The dialogue Phil Weiss proposes in the last paragraph in this post does not ring true. It's the only important dialogue? And you're a dialoguer?

  • Israeli Jews will never accept Palestinians as equals -- Klutznick, chair of Americans for Peace Now
    • Donald- I think proposing analogies is part of the thought processes of argumentation. And they have some use, but limited use. The black slave situation which by 1963 was the century old former black slave situation is quite different than zionist yahoods versus palestinians, which is more analogous to white settlers versus native americans.
      It is natural for palestinians to view basel 1897 and Balfour 1917 as catastrophes and injustices. When I try to envision the state described by omar barghouti and abunima I don't succeed. Thus their tone of voice is real, whereas their ideas are theoretical.
      I don't know if phil's theory of Jewish American liberal zionists being the key to the issue is accurate, but it could be. In 1987 the first intifada broke out and it is now 30 years later and I did not expect democratic party support for Israel to last this long. In that time jesse jackson was a major star and he combined many layers: farrakhan, hymietown and viewing zionism as a poisonous weed. No one has been as powerful since in the pro Palestinian democratic party camp, although Jews feared and others hoped that Obama would claim the pro Palestinian mantle. And it seems like he wanted to, but poor timing (coming into office when bibi replaced olmert) and forces in the Democratic party limited his influence to the Iran deal, something achievable and away from Israel palestine.
      The American public at large don't think much about Israel palestine, but grass roots Democrats do.

  • Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to 'Israel's might'-- Roger Cohen
    • It is difficult to imagine Jewish history without the establishment of Israel, but let's try. I think we'd need to eliminate the Balfour Declaration and imagine a British mandate in Palestine that gave some consideration to the multiple religions of the land of their mandate, but except for some minor protecting of holy sites, the mandate would have been to encourage financial growth and political maturity of the indigenous in the direction of self determination. Thus instead of 400,000 Jews in Palestine in 1939, we would imagine 120,000 Jews there; no Palestinian state yet, but no encouragement of Zionism.
      Then WWII occurs and in the aftermath of the war, Britain leaves Palestine, not in 1947, but probably closer to 1960 or so. In my scenario: a large exodus of Jews from palestine as a result of this independence in 1960, cutting the Jewish population from 120,000 to less than 40,000 primarily ultra Orthodox and those who are willing and able to blend into the ultra Orthodox milieu.

      Difficult to imagine.

      What degree of support was there for Israel in 1947 in America Jewry compared to in 1967. For one thing, the world shrank in the interim. The other side of the world (not quite, but more than halfway to the other side of the world) was quite distant in 1947 and not nearly as distant in 1967. transatlantic travel was not yet common in 1967, but tens of times more common than in 1947. Live television transmission was not a factor in 1947, but became a factor with morley safer videotaping the burning of the vietnamese village around 1967.

      Roger Cohen comes from Europe (certainly South Africa was a European colony and britain, despite the emotional nature of the relationship, is part of Europe.) As such his relationship to Jewish vulnerability is far different than american jews like phil weiss, whose grandparents left the old country back before world war I. as such he is much closer to the Holocaust and the European debacle and does not find the comfort or the exceptionalism of the American Jewish experience.

      Jews are more accepted in America today than they were in 1945. America is much more cosmopolitan today than it was in 1945 and the civil rights movement (in which Jews played a crucial supporting role) opened up society. I would not attribute the change to the existence of Israel.

      I think that the Holocaust and Israel are intimately tied in the psyches of many Jews.

      I think Phil Weiss is fortunate that when he was young his heroes were Vietnamese martyr burning monks and not concentration camp martyrs or Jewish partisans in the forest. I think his instinct is distinctly alienated from Jewish consciousness, that he thinks that when he was cracking wise against the rabbis in his bar mitzvah class that he was on the right track and all that Jewish stuff was a small pond that he was thrilled to leave. I think Judaism would have held him back and he only got as far as he did (before getting fired and then discovering the issue of antizionism) was because he really felt that shooting spit balls at the rabbis was the core truth of what there was to learn in hebrew school.

      There are many Jews who dismiss Jewishness and thrive as a result. They are Jews (part of a process of disappearing Jews, but still Jews as of the moment) and out of sociological curiosity it is interesting to hear how the grandchildren of those who were part of the old world of pre world war I have evolved over the last century. but my sensibilities are far closer to roger cohen's and he speaks to me in a way that phil weiss can not.

      I think that the conflict with the Palestinians is a god awful mess and that Israel had an opportunity to opt for a two state solution back in 2008 when Olmert was Prime Minister and Livni was heir apparent. They did not. out of hubris they thought they could win an election and they had all the time in the world. they did not. they handed the premiership over to bibi, who was not interested in a two state solution and thus we find ourselves 9 years later with no end in sight and thus the one state solution beckons.

  • Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital of 'Jewish people' is assault on my religion -- Queens rabbi
    • When David son of jesse, moved his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem, he made Jerusalem the capital city. This rabbi, whom Phil can't even bother to identify properly, exaggerates the lack of nationalism involved in the history of the jews. I think neturei karta, which seems to be who this learned rabbi represents, has some points, but let us not confuse insight with political relevance, or the orthodox viewpoint of 1939 with the orthodox viewpoint in 2018.
      The vast majority of orthodox jews accept zionism. Enthusiastically. Neturei karta and their position, is a small minority. Their influence is minimal.

  • Zionism didn't have to turn out so badly for Palestinians, says Roger Cohen
    • Phil- Schama's book and Cohen's piece were about western european history up until 1900. Your and Cohen's experiences in the post world war II era will be relevant when Schama's next book comes out. To inject Cohen's personal experience of a different period would not be relevant to the book being discussed.

    • I've been following the Israel versus Palestine story since 67 and in a daily way since 73, so you experts who speak neither of the languages and have never lived there for more than 2 months at a time, I'm supposed to prefer your analysis, you who've been following the story only since 2001?

      i would estimate that it is about fifty years away, the one state solution that you are aiming for. that time might be shortened by a campaign of some practicality, for example: encourage Jerusalem Palestinians to seek Israeli citizenship. Israel has turned most applicants away and a real effort to achieve single state civil rights for all status would be to start: on the front lines for full citizenship for Jerusalem Palestinians. there are a few valid reasons to oppose the idea of this campaign, but the current "campaign" (rushing the gaza fence) is pretty stale.

      ben gurion founded israel with great ruthlessness and some effectiveness for the short range. arafat was a major figure in the palestinian struggle, but the face that will achieve the breakthrough for the palestinians might still be in the maternity ward today, y'know the ones that bezalel smotrich dislikes because of the integration.

      if the future belongs to the one state paradigm, the roger cohen perception, which belongs to the two state paradigm, will eventually be clarified as an idea that didn't happen. i don't understand what phil weiss is harping on regarding roger cohen coming clean about the openness of western society to jews. Israel is not located in the west, nor are most of its citizens jewish or not, from the west. maybe all you really want is for roger cohen to channel the olov hashalom tony judt and call it an anachronism. i don't think it's an anachronism, i think it's a solution to a problem that does not exist globally but only in parts at times. the openness of america does not change the fact of israel's existence or explain the facts in the immediate vicinity of israel. arab hatred for israel is understandable and one can hypothesize a nonzionist alternate history where the jews who were integrated in arab society might serve a function of a bridge to the jews in western society and the entire dynamic might have been if not 180 degrees different, certainly quite different. but it's in fact a fact that the arab societies have been largely emptied of their jewish populations and that the influence of islam is such that coptic populations and christian populations feel insecure and to call jewish identity politics anachronistic is to treat the islamic part of the world as if they don't exist. in fact identity politics is certainly a major part of the culture in that part of the world and anachronistic means that the arabs are part of the past too, so the term anachronistic has got to go.

      i still feel the appeal of the two state solution and so i know where roger cohen is coming from. just read gideon levy about a debate between abunimah and some fatah bigwig. interesting.

  • 'Where did we go wrong in our homes and schools?' David Harris laments young Jews' hostility to Israel
    • larick- I knew that using the phrase "war broke out" would elicit a negative response. But I was trying to discuss a different issue: that of the development of a particular mindset which is prevalent in david harris's generation (although particularly absent in phil's case, as in his insistence that any mention of the holocaust even to a jewish audience, must include universalization in order to avoid phil's censorious remarks) cannot be expected to be present in the current generation of young.

      as far as the 6 day war, once king hussein handed over the reins of jordan's army to nasser and iraq announced that it was going to send forces through jordan to attack israel, war became inevitable. the idea that nasser could rattle his sabers to his heart's content and not expect consequences is and was ridiculous. but there was a basic problem and that was that the direction of israel under ben gurion was towards war rather than towards peace (or sharett's direction) and when b.g. reluctantly handed over reins to eshkol the army was still in the b.g. mindset and eshkol did not have the security credentials to take control over the army so it is not as if it is all nasser's fault, due to all that occurred up until may of 67, but from may of 67 onwards, either nassser was delusional or suicidal. in the long range it might be the undoing of israel, but in the short range nasser's behavior was off the wall.

  • On empathy, Yom Kippur, and the NFL
    • When someone says, You better assimilate or else, (or: "since you don't assimilate it is a sign that you are separating yourself from the rest of the human species") this is in essence different than a description of the inevitability of assimilation or the advisability of not resisting the inevitable, claiming that it is inevitably good. (in this case).

      I don't think that the question of identity is equivalent for every human on earth. History is too multi colored with varied experiences to expect all reactions to the past to be the same.

      recently read phil roth commenting on the fact that he describes himself as an american writer rather than as an american jewish writer, and its basis was this: (i paraphrase), me and my friends growing up did not identify as jewish, we identified as americans and we wanted to be all american and for me now to accept the identity of jew diminishes how american we aspired to be.

      which is a different experience than mine.

      i grew up in america together with my four siblings who all grew up in america, raised to be modern orthodox. (my mother was born in europe and escaped to america with her parents and brother in 1941 as a child, my father was born in 1930's st. louis to parents who emigrated from eastern europe in the 20's. ) all my siblings remained orthodox, sometimes with slight detours, in the case of my brother he rebelled by embracing ultra orthodoxy. all my siblings moved to israel. they all have right wing views regarding the occupation. they have kids most of whom live in israel, most of whom are still orthodox. childless myself i think i feel closer to my nephews and nieces because of my childlessness.

      to expect my struggle with identity to be identical with someone born on Long Island to twice a year Jews, who has one sibling, who married out and is childless and lives far away from any Jewish community, it is obviously absurd to think our identity formation journey has all that much in common.

      my attitudes towards assimilation are based upon my identity formation journey. my reaction to someone telling me, "if you don't assimilate it means you're a racist," is negative. When someone tells me, "assimilation is inevitable, just lean back and enjoy it" my reaction is slightly less negative.

      right now it is sukkot. and i agree that the issue of the day for Jews is Israel and its mistreatment, harsh cruelty to the Palestinians. But it is impossible for the average Joe to face the issue day in and day out. So right now it is sukkot, where Jews keep the tradition of eating in the sukka going for one more year. it is clearly a minority of Jews in america that are still affected by the holiday, whereas in Israel, because of days off, it is an official holiday. (it also has caused a closure on the west bank, adding to the usual harshness an added holiday element.)

      I have found the sukkot holiday to be quite pleasant. and though i do not do much to guide my life in a direction that promotes future sukkot observance, i bless it in my heart, exactly the opposite of scrooge's "bah, humbug!" i think "nice to see it still around." i realize that the politics of most of the people sitting in the sukka is far to the right of mine and the battle for the future is the battle to move israel politically in the opposite direction from the one they have in mind. and i realize that the custom of the sukka has nothing to do with pushing for that necessary battle, but i must still say, "nice to see it still around."

  • Samuel Freedman extols Jewish 'love affair' with Jewish state-- while decrying 'dogma of white supremacy'
    • Freedman's piece in the forward was not quite as vacuous as Phil Weiss depicts it. Freedman mentions the book by Chabon and Waldman. This is not advocacy as Weiss would prefer, rather reportage, but it alludes to attitudes that are not empty regarding the Palestinians.

  • High holidays? Meh
  • Jews have religious commandment to support Israel and fight BDS -- American Jewish Committee
    • To the contributors to the ajc the primary Jewish issue of the day is Israel. To Phil Weiss the primary Jewish issue of the day is Israel. Not a headline.

  • Blunt references to Israeli apartheid are published by 'Peace Now' and 'The New Yorker'
    • Phil cites remnick's article as a landmark, while Donald johnson whined about remnick's article.

      BLM was savaged for using the word "genocide". Shoddy journalism by Phil Weiss.

  • The liberal Zionist crisis -- white nationalists are villains, but settlers are 'complex'
    • The roles of Peter Beinart, individual, and Yehuda Kurtzer as representative of the Shalom Hartman Institute are very different. Without parsing the specifics of the event, it sounds like rabbis are coming to Israel in a group run by the Hartman Institute and are being brought to meet, talk, even dine with West Bank settlers. When Phil Weiss travels to the settlements, this is okay, because it serves a journalistic purpose, but when the Hartman Institute arranges for such travel it is suddenly forbidden. How are these rabbis supposed to learn about the settlers, by reading Mondoweiss? of course not. they need to form their own opinions by talking to the settlers.

      the rhetoric used to justify such a visit, regarding complexity and such, is background noise and opportunity for sniping, but the major fact is the meeting with the settlers and that meeting is totally justified on the basis of obtaining knowledge.

  • Lessons from Finkelstein: International Law and equal rights should be the focus for Palestine solidarity
    • Phil Weiss argued recently that it is conventional wisdom that Israel is an anachronism particularly regarding the west. This may be true. (Only in regards to the Islamic world, it is not better than it was 140 years ago, but everywhere including former Soviet union, yehudi hatred is a nonissue ( when compared to the era of zionism's birth. And since zionism was birthed in Europe , the change in Europe and the west is the predominant fact.)

      Today the primary argument for Israel's existence is its existence. A fact is a fact and undoing a fact, well, let's just say it's easier said than done.

      But history is relevant. Particularly getting history right.

      All the pulses of increased aliya to israel and consciousness of the Zionist idea followed the trend of history of pogroms or yehudi hatred cultural eruptions. Maybe my knowledge is limited to pinsker and herzl, but here are two men who were more than willing to toss yehudi onto the ash heap or a vestige a fading echo. Herzl would have been willing to convert, as long as it was a mass conversion and he could lead the parade. Pinsker was just as willing as Phil Weiss and mooser to wave bye bye to tradition. What stopped him? Jew hatred. His concept of the incapacity of the world to control the disease of this hatred was wrong, but only in the long run and with a global perspective. Focused on his time and place, pinsker was a prophet.

      We can go back to talking about 2017, but self determination is a high faluttin' term. Self protection is clearer. Yes in 2017 the present tense is here and self determination and self protection as historical dynamics takes a back seat to the present tense: Israel's existence, the west bank and the history of palestinian pain.

  • As Israeli soldiers crushed Gaza, world Jewry united, and sent Ben & Jerry's ice cream to the front
    • Although insecurity regarding the regime in Cairo explains some of the delay, the refusal of israel to find some modus operandi vis a vis hamas in Gaza that allows for the free flow of gazans to egypt and allows for the movement of people and goods into and out of gaza on a reasonable basis, indicates that Israel is in no hurry to alleviate the gaza situation because the status quo is known and the effects of such an agreement are unknown. Given this attitude I must recoil at the readiness of israel to wreak such destruction on gaza, without any hope on the horizon provided.

      The words of this blogger are not encouraging, it is easy to find hard headed non thinkers in the blogosphere, and phil has found one. It is not a war of ideas to attack a blogger like this. It is an opportunity for a pat on one's own back. Oh look, how unreasonable. But there is a problem and it is not this blogger. it is the lack of conscientious leadership that is the problem. God and guns is not a good mix, I encourage young jews to read a lot, so that the simplistic views of bibi and phil weiss will become insufficient.

  • 'Irreplaceable bedrock' of U.S. backing for Israel is threatened by -- intermarriage
    • I will not parse Freilich's words, but I think Phil Weiss is confusing cause and effect.
      The "cause" of what Freilich is referring to is Jewish continuity. There are two proven (and insufficient) modes of Jewish continuity and they are Torah (Orthodoxy) and Zionism. (There is also innovation which seeks to redo, in order to make it something worthwhile, but let us leave the hopeful future for another time.)
      Supporters of Israel in the Jewish community are those who are wholeheartedly devoted to continuity and somewhat also devoted to Torah. Young Jews are proud to be Jewish and the word that they associate with Jewish is "tradition" and much of that tradition is forward looking but the tradition part of tradition, as in its essence, is backwards looking and by definition that is not progressive, but nostalgic.
      There are many personality types on this planet and they include the religious personality, and there are no deists in the foxholes and so in times of trouble people seek comfort from comfort texts and traditions, so Judaism will continue, just on the force of the religious impulse of some hard core believing group.
      But in our modern society of individualism, the primary motivating force towards Judaism is some kind of a context beyond the present tense (call it history, call it tradition.)
      Intermarriage is not the key here, but the revelation of the problem. People stopped being religious and treat it as something minor, and Judaism is designed with an all encompassing life style in mind. Those who lack the religious impulse and opt out of Judaism, quite often extrapolate from their own experience and state, if it's good enough for me, then it's good enough for everybody, and they abandon Judaism and toss it on the ash heap of history. Others are not so cold, not so alienated, but instead of the personality willing to concede something to the past, to nostalgia, to history, to the group, to all that came before and see some value in the Jewish experience and as such they seek ways to bolster it, if only in their imagination, "wouldn't it be nice if there could be some continuity from the past," even as they themselves speed towards the individualized atomic urban/suburban future.

      Those who are concerned about the Jewish future in America are also concerned regarding the Jewish future on the globe.

  • 'I am not your goy' -- chaos at a liberal Zionist conference
    • Annie- I am reacting to my digital environment: the mw comments section which has a much higher percentage of animus than the general pro palestine population, I presume. I speak for a small demographic, of a specific age and background, with strong Jewish roots. Both Phil's parents are jewish, so he is just as Jewish as me, but at this point Harvard is where he was born again. To those with deep roots, there are visceral knee jerk reactions to "goy" in the headline. ( and to norm finkelstein attributing the attack on the uss liberty to some deep seated animus to the nonjew, for example.) When jvp speaker talks about zionism and judaism, sounding like someone writing a book report from the cliff notes, and gets jvp applause, I wince, whereas someone whose religion is Harvard really is alien to the sentiment and the discomfort.

  • The Israelis
    • have to say that finding phil writing "off the derech" was a real kick in reading this article.

      this concept that american jews are the key to change of Israeli policy, i don't know. if jews hated netanyahu as much as they hate trump, then the change could come about, but that day seems far away. most american jews are minimally involved in thinking about israel.

      read the bernie sanders op ed and if the democratic party can free itself from depending on big donors then the democratic party can free itself from lockstep support for israel, right or wrong. but i think it is a good 20 years if not 50 years until american jews really rebel against israel and thus it seems that events will dictate the future, rather than a change of mind of a small percentage of the population.

      i had an insight today riding on a bus in jerusalem, that i still get a kick out of everyday life in Israel. when jon s, sometimes, cites the joy in his hometown of beersheva at some soccer victory, i cringe, because i know that's not what the comments section on mondoweiss considers a value. but merely standing on a street corner and watching life go on, gives me a type of pleasure regarding life going on in israel.

      the line and song, "am yisroel chai" , which essentially means, the jewish people still lives, has been labeled as fascistic and many wrongheaded zionists sing the song and use the idea of the song to dismiss other thoughts regarding the necessity of politics going forward. but persistence both as credo and as marvel is certainly near the thoughts of many supporters of israel through the years, particularly my age and older. and just seeing life persisting is something that gives me pleasure as i ride on the bus here.

      but then i notice that one of the bus passengers is wearing a uniform and the insignia on the uniform indicates that he works in the prison system and he (or his uniform) bring to light, the unseen of the situation: thus life goes on normally here on this bus, but normal is not nearly good enough in the totality of the control of the army which calls itself the Jewish army.

    • My yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem was earlier than usual due to a family celebration and has not yet ended. So I am inspired by phil's report to share some biographical notes.
      of course, i come from the other side of the tracks from phil. he was raised secular, even anti religious, with an emphasis on rationalism. my father was a rabbi (still is) and I was raised to believe in Torah and Zionism. phil never set foot in Israel until he was close to 50, I first moved here/ visited here at the age of 16 or so back in 72.
      I arrived in israel in 2017 the day that Trump left. The next day my first visit was to my aging parents. My mother was born in Europe, Western Europe, because there were quotas limiting Jewish opportunities of education in Poland and so her parents moved from Poland to France. When the Nazis invaded Belgium and France in May 1940, my mother was not yet 7. By the following April, my mother and her 9 year old brother were on a boat with their parents heading from Lisbon to New York City. My father was born in St. Louis to parents who were immigrants from Ukraine. My paternal grandparents arrived in the 1920's, after the great migration. My grandfather was very religious, more religious than his two brothers who came to America before him. And though they lived in small town Peoria Illinois, they raised their family to keep kosher and shabbos. Small town orthodox Jews in America, a rarity even then, is even rarer today.
      my parents are now in their 80's and ailing.
      My father taught 28 or so years at Queens College in Queens New York and retired to Jerusalem. They bought an apartment near my brother, who underwent a transformation in his late teens and early 20's from modern Orthodox Judaism to ultra Orthodox Judaism, so they live in a very religious neighborhood, which makes my visiting them a bit more difficult, because I stopped being religious (with some backsliding) in my mid 20's.
      After seeing my parents I headed to my uncle for a get together of my Israeli cousins, all first cousins of my mother's. This is the family that would have been wiped out (in all probability) had there been no Zionism in the 1930's. Their parents left Poland in that decade and came to Palestine. (One brother stayed in Europe and perished.) Most of these cousins of my mother's are religious, but a minority are not. The sons of my great grandparents (aside from the brother who was murdered in Europe) all remained religious and all their children remained religious. The two daughters of my great grandparents married secular husbands and thus the results have been mixed: half religious and half secular.
      This was Jerusalem Day and I had passed the crowds flying their flags and made my way not to the center of the action but to my uncle's for the family get together. Some recollection of the days of the 6 day war were recounted and some songs were sung. I asked the husband of one of my mother's cousins whether he celebrated Jerusalem Day and he said no. He ardently celebrates the 5th of Iyar, I am a zionist he proclaimed, but the occupation should not be celebrated. Another of my cousins reported about where some of her children live and proudly proclaimed, "they are settlers", a gathering of cousins is really no place for politics, laying religious and political differences aside are of the essence when a family is diverse and so the assertion of settlerism was not answered by anyone there.

      The kabbala group meets on thursday nights and the kabala is a book which encourages flights of fancy and although i wore a baseball cap and not a yarmulka i partook of the hostliness and the biblical commentary. because jerusalem day was recent when some selection in the text fortuitously referred to Jerusalem, this was given extra emphasis. no politics or should i say no contrary politics was mentioned.

      friday night i ate at my half uncle, who hosted the cousins' gathering two nights before. my half uncle is a year and a half younger than me and his eldest son and his family were the other featured guests. I got it into my head to explain to my uncle's son about my politics and told him about the Democratic convention in Chicago 1968, the week of my bar mitzvah. my uncle's parents moved to Israel when he was not yet 13 and he is thus ambidextrous in hebrew and english and he married an israeli woman. my uncle's politics are decidedly to the left of the primary thrust of the religious nationalist camp. but he teaches at a school in the territories and most of his kids are currently studying, teaching or living in the territories. (the most neutral term to refer to the west bank is to call them the territories rather than the west bank or judea and samaria.)
      my uncle's wife (whose politics is decidedly to the right of my uncle's) commented at one of the meals i ate at their house that she liked when i came over, because my presence causes her husband to reveal his right wing attitudes on certain issues (particularly he feels that the demand that the palestinians recognize the Jewish nature of Israel is natural).

      my uncle's daughter in law was present that friday night. Her father was one of the founders of one of the major settlements in the territories, ofra. and her grandfather was killed in a terrorist attack in the 2nd intifada, so my uncle explained why he resisted talking about politics as much as he would have preferred.

  • No anti-Zionists allowed on Hadassah panel exploring 'tension' between feminism and Zionism
    • upon careful attention, i see that i posted my words under the words of nada rather than of phil. this was really meant to comment on the phil article, in which the idea of explaining why people support israel was emphasized by the speakers and certainly in my case my support for israel is based upon the specific history of 1881 to 1945 (and the specific aspect of hatred of so called jews), and a specific place: europe.

  • Leonard Cohen song is anthem of Jewish exclusivists
    • I agree that Phil Weiss's article explaining himself as an ex Jew is a perfect companion piece to his attitude towards Leonard Cohen. And the theme seems to be: the only good Jew is an ex Jew.

  • Trump and Pence had a Jewish connection before a political one -- and it's steeped in the Holocaust
  • What would Anne Frank do?
  • The formal end of the two-state solution
    • Listen people, last I heard there are three paths here: 1. 2 state solution, 2. One state solution and 3. Status quo. The refrain I hear here is that the 2 state solution is dead and the essence of mw is opposition to the status quo, which leaves one state solution. Apparently you're imagining some armed forces other than IDF controlling Ben Gurion airport, (obviously renamed) and also controlling the country's other points of entry as well. Or you're imagining a UN revoking Israel's membership and here is your list of demands. Well give me a brief scenario or something to imagine this new reality you are waiting for. I gave a glimpse of the way a Zionist sees the evolution towards one state. First the west bank. Only later gaza. And then even later refugees. That's just stating plain sense.

      You imagine having a loaded gun pointing at zionism's forehead and the demilitarization of israel and the coerced dissolution of zionism.

      Meanwhile the Palestinian split "government" hamas and fatah consider themselves as the sole owners of gaza and the west bank, so my suggestion (which is only an attempt to flesh out the support Phil Weiss heard from the dude at the reform temple last week for the idea of annex and give citizenship and let history sort out the result.) is more in the realm of a thought experiment than a proposal that stands a chance at this time.

  • Trump has a 'magic moment' in June 2017 to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Israel lobbyist tells NY synagogue
    • Right wing white american antisemitism in my lifetime: there was a man named George lincoln Rockwell who made my mother nervous on TV when I was a little kid. (50 plus years later in retrospect in adulthood the fear seems to have been ungrounded, although a nonhistory buff whose family fled europe by the skin of their teeth in 1941, I forgive her fear.) George wallace never voiced jew hatred that I heard, although my father relayed to me rumors that his obvious race hatred extended to jews as well. From George wallace til today, the primary national star was pat buchanan, his speech to the Republican convention in 92 was scary and his deep seated Catholic right wing nationalism was apparent to anyone who read his writings and the joy he took in shocking sensibilities was not reassuring revealing a populism that might go awry.

      It would be silly to pretend that these were the major stories of race friction in the US before the advent of obama. Poppa Bush's campaign in 88 featured black Willie Horton revolving door freedom from jail on a loop, which revealed the true racial wedge issue in america.

      (It is also silly to ignore where the focus of Jewish gentile American friction has been since the late 60's and that has been primarily from black radicals like kwame toure and the candidacy of jesse Jackson. because of the predominance of farrakhan in this aspect of friction, I think labeling this friction as coming from the left is a mislabeling, because farrakhan and the nation of islam is a distinctly conservative reactionary group and further the nationalism of kwame toure for example is distinctly illiberal and nonuniversalist, understandable as a reaction to a history of exploitation, but still distinctly illiberal. The intersection of antizionism and black antisemitism has been quite apparent and would be the natural focus to those whose issue is opposing zionism. But the friction is a natural feature of urban societies where economic and political battles for power and turf, and toxic relations between tenant and landlord, store owner and customer, are seemingly inevitable or certainly not unusual.)

      The trump campaign has surely taken the sewer cover off the sewer. It may be selfish to focus on spencer's seig heil, when trump's anti muslim and anti bad hombre rhetoric is the true problem.

      Joke: young boy: grampa, grampa, Mickey mantle hit three home runs today.
      Grandfather: what this Mickey mantle did was it good for the jews or bad for the jews.

      Phil Weiss attends David makovsky speech with venom to israel in his heart, so when the rabbi begins with "good for the jews or bad for the jews" he views from the outside and calls it selfish. I'm sure most of the crowd realizes the trump problem is much deeper than the threat to the jews, but I assume most do not come to hear makovsky wishing to bury him and in general agreement with his aipac stance or at least deep sympathy for Israel's existence. To them the Jewish angle on trump is the issue of the evening and the antizionist in their midst is an enemy of sorts.

  • Defending Ellison, Jewish writers publish 'apartheid' description of Israel in 'Slate' and 'Washington Post'
  • 'He won because of race' -- Netanyahu's upset anticipated Trump's
    • Two other commonalities between the two elections: the mediocrity of Phil Weiss's analysis of both events. The utter non questioning of the pre election polls by Phil Weiss of both events.

      There has never been an election that I voted for the Republican candidate for president, but I have never been this scared of a Republican candidate as I am of trump. This vulgar clown with his kkk endorsement , his "Lock her up" rhetoric. His wink and nod to jew haters in the yellen, soros, blankfein commercial. His blatant anti muslim, blatant anti hispanic rhetoric, ( "Mexican judge") his history of anti black racism (birther), and mondoweiss chose to sit out the election and only in the aftermath hurls its deepest insult: you're just like bibi.
      There is a clear tendency in US presidential elections, democrats have won 6 of 7 of the last contests in terms of popular vote, two of which have been overturned by the electoral college. Do we hear one word from phil weiss against the electoral college, not even a whisper. One man, one vote is good enough for the middle east, but in america we accept the electoral college without a protest.

      In israel, the right wing has won or essentially tied, every election since 1977. Any competent analysis of the israeli polls before the 2015 elections showed there was ZERO chance for a left wing coalition. Herzog was predicted to get more seats, true, but he would need Lapid to form a coalition and Lapid scorned the zoabis in 2013 and there was no reason to think he had changed his mind. It was all smoke and mirrors swallowed as if nutritious by mw's superficial analysis and the feckless white house.

      The Democratic party is not sure where to turn whether towards its energetic confidently liberal base or towards the center, to court the fence sitters in suburbia. A strong candidate rather than a weak candidate can make a big difference as well and certainly if we're still a democracy four years hence, trump will be the status quo and the democrat will be change and defeating trump is definitely doable, whether with a Joe Biden centrist or a Bernie Sanders leftist . (I mention both as types not actual candidates. Not to be ageist, but they're too old.)

      Israel is certainly a negative to the left wing of the democratic party and any proposal to move the party to the left will involve democrats who are weak on israel. (Nowhere near the anti Israel sentiment of mw or the mw comments section, fer sure, but certainly closer to Keith Ellison in heart, if not in courage of his convictions.) It is the general leftness that will bring with it the anti Israel sentiment. The i-p issue is not the priority to the grass roots, but rather wall street is. But the natural place of leftists is to be anti Israel (in2016) despite the tumult of the region and the Democratic party will choose grass roots enthusiasm over wooing the fence sitters. We will see how the strategy works in2018. Usually Dem voters are too lazy or busy to vote in off year elections, we'll see if Keith Ellison can get them to the polls.

  • A conversation with Miko Peled
    • It was an analogy. Assuming that the topic is israel and its evil, peled has hijacked the thread and made the conversation about himself.
      Phil Weiss's namby pamby questions to peled as peled attempts to win the gilad atzmon award of the year is another shining example of the tone deafness of mondoweiss, backed up to the hilt by the choir.

    • Dudes- seriously you're all so full of it. A little comment in the mw comments section and I use the word bark and you foam at the mouth.
      I will quote you the great lover of mankind miko peled the spoiled child the anointed one: "then theyr surprised Jews have reputation 4 being sleazy thieves. " These are the words you are defending, these are the words that entice Phil Weiss's empathy. You are a choir that agrees with itself. Congratulations. Bannon's trump commercial, no hate there. Peled's "sleazy thieves", no problem there. I used the word bark. Unfair. To the dogs.

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
    • Two weeks ago I woke up on Sunday and wrote in my head, "It was the Sunday before trump was elected president." I hoped the line was just fear, but I feared the line was not preposterous. And it was not.

      I am ashamed to have Donald trump as president. I am ashamed that white americans voted for him in such large numbers and I am ashamed that orthodox jews voted for him in such large numbers. He is a clown and a bully and a mussolini in his temperament. He is an embarrassment. When he was running I quipped, "I would laugh, but it's not polite to laugh at your own funeral."
      Now the assertion from phil weiss, it's not your funeral or certainly not your funeral as a jew.
      So I feel it appropriate to catalogue my fears and prioritize them in order to make sense of them.
      I do not fear a nuclear war from trump, but I fear a diminution of democracy, which seems like a minor problem, so I will cite the real problems.
      1. And that is first. Anti muslim measures. Could president trump ask all Muslims to register? Will he be satisfied with much less blatant measures? ( how will he react to the next San Bernardino or orlando?)
      2. Anti illegal immigrants measures. Will trump go "to war" against the big cities that have declared themselves sanctuaries for our neighbors without papers?
      3. Temperament. Who the f*** knows what such a thin skinned rabble rouser is capable of?
      4. Racism- the anti black inferences of the birther movement are quite apparent to me? Who denies them?
      5. Republican agenda- repealing obamacare and giving tax breaks to the rich and putting judges on the Supreme court.
      6. Associating with haters. Bannon, who has David duke's seal of approval.
      So I put bannon down on the list.
      But when trump runs for reelection his currying favor with David duke may be a factor of higher importance.
      Choosing an unpredictable bully who threatens hillary with prison (and 2nd amendment people) during the campaign and rubs elbows with bannon is enough to make me think that calling trump dangerous was and is a reasonable reaction.

    • Steve bannon brings a smile to david duke's face. That is sufficient to put me on guard. The yellen-soros - blankfein commercial featuring the faces of three jews that were not readily recognizable to the mass of voters, but which were surely recognized by kkk leaders, was a sign of either an improbable coincidence, or a wink and a nod from bannon (Unless someone else created that commercial) to duke. To me, it is clearly a bannon duke dog whistle. Although I don't quite understand why people hate the federal reserve, I know that some do , and I also know that some people hate soros and others hate blankfein or Goldman sachs. But to pretend that the images of all three showing up in one commercial talking about global levers of power is nothing fishy requires either some motive for ignoring bannon's shout out to duke because bannon is good for israel and that's all that really counts, which would explain glick's ideological blindness, or else an assimilationist's deaf ear to attacks on jews, which is Phil Weiss's problem.
      In general glick and phil have zero in common, but whitewashing bannon's shout out from hi IQ kkk to kkk 1.0 has created the rare moment when two opposing ideologies find common deafness.
      Talk about jews who have low facial recognition among the masses, Isaac babel is one such. Interesting to include babel, since Phil never once ever said a word of recognition of stalin's jew hatred or of Soviet union hatred of the jew. Phil's only concerns with non hitler jew hatred is back to the pogroms when he whitewashed the Russian officialdom's role in the kishinev pogrom or over to America and wasp culture's pre wwII law firm barriers. Never a word about the anti immigration sentiment and policies of American Republicans in the 20's, which surely had the effect of adding hundreds of thousands of jews to hitler's dead jews, and also tens of thousands of jews who ended up in palestine rather than Ellis island, thus giving the Yishuv the demographic critical mass it needed to build the state to be. Phil, like the good assimilationist that he is pooh poohs or ignores antisemitism as much as he can and the presence of babel's photo reminds me of Phil's dogmatic assimilationist's bent.

    • Caroline glick agrees with Phil that bannon is not an antisemite. Both Caroline and phil are blinded by their ideologies.

  • In standing up for Bannon, Dershowitz is true to his Orthodox Brooklyn roots
    • Goldberg tries too hard. Saw a video of him with Christopher Hitchens and Martin Amis, and the gaps in the education between him and those two was quite apparent. At other times he thinks he has to crack wise as if he was the godchild of buddy hacket.

      as far as him dealing with his roots as far as being netanyahu's primary voice intimating that iran was going to be attacked, I don't know what to think of that, other than i'm happy that it didn't come about like goldberg, the voice of bibi, was selling. some say that the people around bibi put the reins on bibi. i'm pretty sure, that risk averse bibi was happy to not attack iran. that means that goldberg was fed some sort of "spin" and sold it to us.

      very few nonorthodox jews make aliya like goldberg did, so his jdl/idf roots are quite unusual given the milieu of his upbringing. jdl and idf are quite usual in the milieu of my upbringing, so there is a curiosity about what was the personality that reacted the way he did to childhood bullies. i never dealt with bullies (except online) so i cannot assert that goldberg's reaction was typical or atypical.

      Is he an honest journalist? no. are you an honest journalist? i doubt it. is phil an honest journalist? i doubt it.

  • Trump is bad because Israeli Jews will love him and US Jews will see it -- NYT columnist
    • Hardly navel gazing. the intersection of American jews and israeli Jews is rosner's beat.

      Off topic: Phil Weiss pooh-pooh'ing Steve Bannon's shout out to David Duke with his Yellen, Soros commercial is indicative that Phil Weiss is no friend to the Jews.

  • Before Trump's revolution, there was Sanders'
    • The TV ad featuring yellen and soros was a "secret" message to 2 audiences: David duke and Jonathan greenblatt. 15% of the population recognizes yellen and 10% recognize soros, but this was not a message to them. It was a smoke signal, a secret handshake, a salute, a shout out to David duke and his 3%, or his 13%. "We are on your side," steve bannon announced to that fraction of trump voters. The average trump voters ignores this, but the alt right loves it. The alt right also loves Phil Weiss's tone deafness. Phil could not choose between trump and hillary. Okay. I understand. But now he can't choose between Steve bannon and Jonathan greenblatt. Phil Weiss says, " you get power, you get attention from jew counters of all types. It's the price you pay. Don't complain."

    • Reporting on racist attacks by trump supporters does not substitute for analysis of exit polls indicating such a gap between the votes of whites compared to the votes of blacks and hispanics.
      I do not call all trump supporters racist, (in fact a majority of trump supporters reported that their choice was more a vote against hillary rather than a vote for trump). The lopsided differences between the votes by the races merely reflected the gap in those numbers republicans versus democrats since 1964. Trumps numbers were not that far off from romney's numbers. But these lopsided figures don't even get mentioned? An analysis of the results that doesn't include the numbers 57-38, 8-88 and 29-65 (which are the numbers of trump versus clinton supporters of white, blacks and hispanics) is hiding from the facts. Yes class and the hollowing out of the rust belt economies should be a part of any analysis, but ignoring the landslide among white voters compared to the votes by non-whites show a refusal to admit that the country's problems are deeply rooted in a racial divide.
      ( During the primaries when Clinton's victory was due entirely to the loyalty of black voters, did that aspect of her victory get any coverage by you and phil? Nope. Every time I mentioned it, you waved it away and Phil kept saying that Bernie should hit israel harder and that was the key to success which according to the numbers was sheer nonsense.)

    • Zero analysis of racial politics found on mondoweiss. Whites vote 57 to 38 for trump, yet nothing offered to elucidate, only the next stage in Israel palestine. How can one trust Phil Weiss regarding a region that he doesn't know, when his analysis of America is so shallow. But backed up by mooser.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg is Jewish
    • Well, so bryan of semi anonymity has come to protect the honor of Phil Weiss.
      You cite the c of e, but if you were armenian, rwandan, or even Cambodian you would be talking more to the point. There is the immigrant aspect as well, a tradition of survival and continuity, as a group separate, minority ethnic group, self segregating, and then came napoleon and declared freedom from identities other than the state or the conqueror and the winds of change hit the Jewish population of the Russian empire. Russia, the slumbering bear, staggering to and fro, til today, was led by backward Romanovs who had no inkling of the utility of the jews and their words and middlemanship, to an economy. It would be interesting to end the story there with the winds of change and the myopic romanovs. Unfortunately, a saga on one trajectory which involved massive emigration and the Soviet dictatorship in the name of the proletariat, was interrupted by a little kerfuffle that was a major shock comparable to Armenians and rwandans.
      Religion is important too, and modernity and revealed religion do not really mesh all that well. There was a massive loss of faith, but the faith was irrelevant to the Rwandan experience. (I like the wordplay fate vs faith.)
      On this Web site the Jewish "return"to zion against the will of the Palestinians is the primary issue and questions of Jewish identity are commonly raised by our host, Phil Weiss.
      I was watching margaret cho the other day and I realized the different strands of race, immigration, tradition, free will, really are an interesting combination that I shared with her and her fans.
      I consider Phil's post of April 2015 to be a shocking document. It is exhibit one.
      Phil was raised different than the way I was raised. He was raised by atheist secular jews with a heavy dose of "I had 6 children, for the six million". He hated the Jewish religion and resented the ethnic solidarity of the jews when he encountered opposition to his marriage to a nonjew. I was raised by modern orthodox jews who believed in God and three times a day prayers facing jerusalem, and also, the idf is the answer to hitler .

    • Bryan, the issue raised by Phil Weiss's website: Israel's conduct towards the palestinians, and the ancillary: American Jewish support for israel are very real issues.

      For conscious thinking jews born between 45 and 65, jew is more than a religion, it is a fate.

      I would say more if the venue was friendly.

    • Here is the link to phil's column regarding his presentation at the Brecht forum.

    • Jew counting is something that stirs reactions, and it is a "walking on thin ice" reaction that it stirs in me. Phil Weiss does not walk on eggshells, but stomps on as many toes as possible.
      P. Weiss did not begin his jew counting with the issue of israel, but as cited in the tablet article, was knee deep into jew counting, when the jews were defending bill Clinton and Phil Weiss was attacking him. Phil also attacked clinton's jewish defenders as being unjewish. (Phil also called himself a jewy jew in the piece from the archives of the observer.)

      I consider Phil's relationship to the jews problematic, particularly in the antisemitic article from post passover of 2015.

      Quite often he has been clearly apathetic regarding the idea of jewish continuity and antipathetic towards almost any project with that as its goal.

      I also choose to mention the vibe of alienation that I sensed when I went to hear Phil speak in the west village a few years ago. Two things from his presentation negatively impressed me. The first: a paraphrase: i expected to be the only jew at the upstate gentile cocktail party and when my words elicited response from the other jew unexpectedly present, I was flummoxed, he said. The second:. When describing the jews and their difficulty disowning zionism, he compared them to a dog under a blanket confused and blind and pathetic in its efforts. If the words seem innocent, the tone was definitely, I am not one of them.

  • 'Peace Now' chief slams AIPAC for misrepresenting Jews -- but Peace Now is on AIPAC exec committee
    • Politics makes strange bedfellows. Apn sees an advantage to be inside the tent, but Phil Weiss wants them to choose to be outside the tent, just like Phil's compadres in questioning zionism, jvp. Another vote for purity and against any form of community consciousness.

  • Broadway club cancels 'Black Lives Matter' benefit because of movement's stance on Israel
  • The politics of Jewish ethnocentrism
    • Yakov Hirsch- Thanks for mentioning my name out of nowhere. Your adaptation to the lower percentiles of MIA etiquette is impressive.

      I have never attacked Gideon Levy. He lives in Israel and his bona fides vis a vis his Jewishness are established by that fact.

      When Phil Weiss attacks Israel based on his American senses and his human senses, I have accepted his words as given. When he flashes his Jew card and says, "see, I'm a Jew and I'm against Israel," it is only then that my back gets out of joint.

      Some Jews do not care about the disappearance of the Jews. I don't see anything evil or blind or self hating in that attitude. But then when they pull out the Jew card and start up and claim to care about the Jews in one breath and then wax wise about how hundreds of languages disappear all the time, so who cares if the Jewish languages (and cultures) disappear, then there is something fishy.

  • Beinart calls anti-Zionists 'revolutionaries'
    • Every once in a while Phil Weiss compares zionism to the shabtai zevi movement. Why? Most people are unfamiliar with the name and those few familiar must scoff at the superficial nature of the comparison. It seems sophomoric, trying to prove Phil knows and cares about Jewish history.

      The shabtai zevi movement was irrational, without cause, focused on a specific human for a specific role. Zionism had two causes: assimilation and antisemitism, was focused on taking the initiative as a group rather than concede the moment to immigration with individualistic motives and designed to defy the passivism of the rabbis. At the center of any accurate story of zionism's prebirth is the turmoil of europe, the home of the birth of the movement. Nothing in the false messiah hood of zevi had any relation to history that compares to the turmoil of the first half of the 20th century.

  • Jews need to study the Torah in order to criticize Israel, Beinart says
    • Phil- I believe you are sincere in opposing Zionism, but you and Beinart are on two different pages. He wants to increase the communication of the dissenter with the "community". You want to decrease the communication of the dissenter with the community. Even in this piece your disdain for Samuel, Jeremiah and Judges (as representatives of the essence of Jewish learning) is apparent. How does that increase the communication between yourself and the community? It doesn't. It is just one more instance of playing to the choir and your choir (here in the comments section at least) really does not begin to think about caring about two generations hence, and in fact disdains Hebrew both ancient and modern, Yiddish, both spoken and written, and Torah both written and oral. Beinart is about building bridges between the Jewish present and the Jewish future and between the anti Zionist community and the Zionist community. That is not your thing whatsoever. Let the democratic party implode. Let one more language disappear, what do I care? You are not on the same page or involved in the same struggle as Beinart.

    • From a practical point of view, Israel needs to change its policy towards the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank and inside Israel, as well. If this argument can be made (I think it can be made, but it is not clear cut, particularly when the extent of this "change" is not yet clear, and particularly at this moment of Middle East turmoil), then obviously the person arguing this point of view deserves the attention of those who support Israel, no matter that person's identity. (If someone shows you a good chess move, you examine the utility of the move through analysis, not by saying, "you're not on my side.") when the practicality of the move is not provable, then clearly doubt is present and it is more likely (human) to say, "are you on my side or not?"

      It is clear that Phil Weiss is on the side of Jefferson and MLK rather than Jeremiah and Samuel as he puts it. (All of a sudden, Hillel disappears from relevance and it is only the Old Testament Jews that are relevant or to be more precise irrelevant compared to good old American values.) But aside from Zionism in what way is Phil Weiss on the side of the Jews. (more precisely to be read: aside from antiZionism in order to save the Jews of America from association with evil Israel, in what way is Phil Weiss on the side of the Jews.)

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