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Yitzchak Goodman

I support Israel against its enemies. I don't label myself a "Zionist," but it won't matter in these parts.

Showing comments 228 - 201

  • Israeli lawmaker: 'Jewish race is the greatest human capital, the smartest'
    • Yitzchak Goodman June 17, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      Speaking of the word geza, see Isaiah 11:1 (5 verses before the wolf dwelling with the lamb): "Geza Yishai"

    • It could be he was speaking with a bit of literary flair also. "Geza" is an example of a Modern Hebrew word adapted or evolved from a familiar older one. It's a tree word--trunk maybe. If I saw "geza Yisrael," I would just think it was a poetic way of saying "Jewish people." I wouldn't start thinking about genes and chromosomes. I'm admittedly a bad source for how Hebrew sounds to modern speakers, but the older layers of a language never completely go away. They remain available for a certain archaic flair. You probably can think of something analogous in English.

  • Rightwing video says New Israel Fund supports 'foreign agents' who persecute Israeli soldiers
    • Yitzchak Goodman May 3, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      Israelis are doped in large part because of Hebrew , a language nobody else speaks.

      So non-widely spoken languages are bad? Or they're fine unless they're Hebrew?

      Israeli morality is good only in Hebrew.

      For example?

      It is very hard to stop a society that has been so many years on a different path to the rest of humanity.

      What would it mean for all of "humanity" to be on the same linguistic "path"? You seem to be saying they all are except for Hebrew speakers. What if a Hebrew speaker is bilingual? Sorry about all the questions. I'm just trying to prod you to express yourself clearly.

  • Jeremy Corbyn and ’anti-Semitism’ - making sense of the hysteria
    • So you see those references to “proto-Germanic” etc being made to match up linguistic history with somebody’s ideas of Scripture history?

      IIAalsoNM, proto-Semitic was not an attempt to do that either.

      Kasher un Freilechen Pesach

    • IIANM “Semitic” is a purported “proto-language”. An attempt to make linguistic history consistent with the Biblical flood.

      When there is a group of obviously related languages, I think linguists usually posit a "proto" language they all came from. So you see references to "Proto-Germanic," "Proto-Indo-European," etc.

  • The problem with Passover
    • Me: "Shahak is doing his usual hit-and-run on this topic. "

      Keith: "Yet another ad hominem attack on Israel Shahak- your intellectual and moral superior- without any supporting argument. "

      The statement followed my discussion of correcting and republishing the classic texts, which was an answer to Shahak's assertion that the texts were corrected "following the establishment of the State of Israel, once the rabbis felt secure," as if that's all it was. Anyway, great melt-down. Loved the part where you call Shahak my "intellectual and moral superior." I usually don't continue a conversation if I have to waste a lot of time rehashing what has already been said. Kosher and Happy Passover to those who will be making a Seder tonight.

    • Are you claiming that passages of the Talmud weren’t modified under Gentile pressure during the period of Classical Judaism?

      I believe I said that myself. That doesn't mean all the things that were changed must have been hateful. Shahak makes it sound as if idol worship was always a non-issue used as a cover-up.

      Are you saying that the original texts have not been restored in Israel?

      The Vilna Shas came out in 1870, long before there was an Israel in the modern sense. It included tractate Avodah Zarah, which was sometimes entirely omitted in earlier editions. Freedom from censorship has been manifesting itself for quite some time. All things being equal, one wants the most accurate edition of a text for study. Israel has mostly made a big difference because there are so many Hebrew printers and people who can do editorial work in Hebrew. 20 years ago, sets of Shulchan Aruch still had blurry print. The flow of new editions of the classics speeds up the demand for corrected texts. Shahak is doing his usual hit-and-run on this topic. Delve into it using sources that have more expertise and impartiality than he does. I'm just asking for some intellectual curiosity. That's all I have time for--back to Passover preparations. By the way, has anyone mentioned that "Pour out Your wrath" etc. in the Haggadah is from the Book of Psalms?

    • I had more to say on this topic...

      More on Shahak or more on words like Akum and Cuti and censorship?

    • “…the expressions ‘Gentile’, ‘non-Jew’, ‘stranger’ (goy, eino yehudi, nokbri) – which appear in all early manuscripts and printings as well as as in all editions published in Islamic countries – were replaced by such terms as ‘idolator’, ‘heathen’ or even ‘Canaanite’ or ‘Samaritan’, terms which could be explained away but which the Jewish reader could recognize as euphemisms for the old expressions.”

      I can think of an example just off the top of my head where the term in the old manuscripts is Akum--idol worshiper. It is clear from the context often that would be the logical term. I would say use Shahak, if you must use him it all, to identify subjects for further research, but don't trust anything he says without further verification. The various terms for idolator and non-Jew in Rabbinic literature did go through many changes due to self-imposed and externally imposed censorship. It makes sense nowadays, just for scholarly reasons, to try to have the most accurate texts. Nobody is getting burned at the stake anymore. I would look into it more, but I'm in the middle of Pesach cleaning.

  • War-loving, Muslim-hating John Bolton wants to give 'pieces' of Palestine to Jordan and Egypt
    • "And Tuesday may be just as bad, and Wednesday’s worse, and Thursday’s also bad"

      No, Thursday's "oh so sad." May T-Bone forgive you.

  • Clashing with the Jewish state: ultra-Orthodox Israelis who reject Zionism
    • Only on Friday nights and Saturday until sundown, and during the High Holy Days.

      Not on Shabbos and Yom Tov? Delete the word "High" from this sentence.

    • The Badatz Eidah Hachareidis kosher symbol is considered very reliable. You can see it on all the famous Osem products: Bisslis, Bambas, the Chicken Soup base in the yellow plastic bottles, etc.

  • Criticism of Women’s March leaders reminiscent of attacks on Jesse Jackson 30 years ago
    • Farrakhan had a series of meetings with rabbis of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta, as a result of which Farrakhan acknowledged that his earlier anti-Semitic position was mistaken and began to distinguish between Jews and Zionists.

      Curious as to whether this is true? I suggest doing a Twitter search on the phrase "Synagogue of Satan."

  • In calling for end of Jewish state, Avraham Burg is painted as 'troublemaker' at liberal NY synagogue
    • Are you trying to tell us why it is all-right for the Zionists to steal Palestine, or why the world should invariably support the Zionists?

      Straw Moose Argument containing Complex Question. Pretty intricate maneuver. Should we hold up number signs as the do for certain Olympic sports?

    • Wait a minute “Yitzchak”! Are you trying to say there are people who don’t believe we are all descended from Noah’s son Shem?

      Straw Moose Argument.

    • it seems here, if i am not mistaken, that you have replaced exile w/jewishness

      I think I see what you mean, but I meant that nowadays, including in the MW comments section, you see people saying Jews have nothing to do with Israel--they aren't really "Semites," etc. So non-Jewish belief in the Jewish exile from Israel has been partially replaced with something more extreme, belief that the "real Jews" ceased to exist. Sand talks about the "myth of exile" I think. Sometimes you see it as a more casual attitude: Helen Thomas' saying Israelis should go back to Poland and Germany, etc.

      is exile your jewishness? and if so, how much of your jewish identity is exile?

      You remind me that there is a Satmar song about how Williamsburg is "Yereeshalayim fur di galus Yid"--"Jerusalem for the exile Jew." That isn't my community.

    • Some Jews lived in Palestine. Some Jews lived inPoland, and “made history “. Some Jews lived in Iraq, and made not only “history “, but also the BabylonianTalmud. By your principles, (“some” implies “all”) all Jews have a long history in Poland and Iraq. Jews can then claim Poland and Iraq as homelands.

      "Long history" was only one part of the definition of a homeland. Go back and look at it.

    • Me: “They would participate in collective Jewish history, though?”

      RoHa: So the principle is that if some Jews lived there, all Jews have a long history there.

      Me: Jews had a long "residence-based history" there, to use your term, followed by a diaspora in which some Jews continued to live in Israel and make history, and Israel is certainly a major population center for Jews now. That seems to qualify for a "long history," one element of that "homeland" definition we started talking about.

    • Me: “Israel probably beats any other individual country in having major Jewish populations in different eras.”

      Roha: That doesn’t provide a residence-based “long history” for those who didn’t live there.

      Me: They would participate in collective Jewish history, though? What are the requirements for "long"? A millennium?

    • Yitzchak Goodman March 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Are the Latin lessons I had at school sufficient for me to claim a deep cultural association with Rome?*

      Quick--third declension! If you actually regarded yourself as a Roman, that could play a role. Your use of the word "sufficient" suggests that you don't.

    • Yitzchak Goodman March 6, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      Now let’s try to make sense of “hold a long history “.

      If it means “the group has lived in the place for a long time”, then, of course, we would note that only a small number of Jews have lived in Palestine for a long time. Most Jews lived in other places.

      Israel probably beats any other individual country in having major Jewish populations in different eras. The most you can give the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry is what? 600 years? Iraq is probably the biggest competitor. And Jewish history was made in Israel at times when it wasn't so heavily populated. The Safed Kabbalists included the author of Lecha Dodi, the person Lurianic Kabbalah is named after, and the author of the Shulchan Aruch. Nachmanides wrote his Torah commentary there and so forth.

      Even so, unless some other meaning for “hold a long history” can be offered (surely someone can oblige) we find we are, once again, looking at attitudes of the members of the group.

      Attitudes of non-members would count for something also? For much of history, Christians agreed that the Jews were in exile from Israel. Exile means you belong there but you are in exile, right? They attributed the exile to different and negative reasons, of course, but they didn't try to deny the Jews their Jewishness.

    • Yitzchak Goodman March 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Me: “The Ashknazim and Sefardim counted for each other’s minyanim and so forth.”

      Roha: That’s religion. Belgian Christians and Chinese Christians can be part of the congregation of a single Church.

      Me: And have a shared theology and a sense of community with other Christians. Not much of sense of a shared homeland or language though. I mentioned minyanim. I could have added shochtim, mohalim, and sofrim. In America we are used to the idea that religion does not distinguish one person from another very much. This one goes to his Methodist church on Sunday and this one goes to his Episcopalian church and that's about it. Judaism the religion involves things we associate with ethnic groups--not absolutely uniquely--but in a way that needs to be pointed out here.

      Me: “Some European Jewish families had branches of the family tree in Palestine.”

      Roha: There iws a branch of my family tree in Canada. Does this make Australians part of the Canadian people? If so, it will be a shock to eljay.

      Me: People like to point to European Jews--Poland especially, for some reason--with the air of saying surely they have nothing to do with Middle Eastern Jews. That was my point.

      Roha: Are you going for religion+language? Yiddish is not the same language as Judeo-Arabic.

      Me: No, but Judeo-Arabic and Yiddish have a similar relationship to Hebrew. One of the early religious complaints about Zionism was that Hebrew is too holy for mundane use. Someone in the MW comments section once, quite incorrectly, told me that Hebrew was only a liturgical language at the dawn of Zionism. The Jewish intellectual tradition, using Hebrew mostly, was as vibrant as ever in those days, and still is. I have sat studying Mishnah etc. with Jews I can't easily converse with on mundane subjects. That's a humble example, but Hebrew is always part of the linguistic picture when you talk about Jews.

      Roha: Since behaviour is chosen by the members, that does not count as an external criterion.

      Me: Maybe you should clarify that external-internal distinction as you are using it for this conversation.

    • a) For example, are 1948 Polish Jews members of the same ethnic group as pre-1900 native Palestinian Jews? If they are not, it is perfectly possible that one group of Jews holds etc with Palestine, while another does not.

      The Old Yishuv had a contingent of Ashkenazi Jews. The Ashknazim and Sefardim counted for each other's minyanim and so forth. Some European Jewish families had branches of the family tree in Palestine.

      (b) If they are, what is it that makes them so? It is not first language (Polish/Yiddish vs Arabic) or culinary culture.

      Not merely Arabic, Judeo-Arabic. Written in Hebrew letters with some Hebrew vocabulary.

      If the answer is “Religion”, then that suggests that all people who follow a particular religion are members of that same ethnic group. This might be a surprise to Belgian and Chinese Christians.

      I don't think Chinese Christians speak Christo-Chinese, and that's just an example.

      If the answer is “regarding themselves as members of the Jewish people”, then that suggests that being a member of an ethnic group depends on the attitudes of the members rather than any external criterion.

      Not just attitudes but concrete behaviors.

    • Can you explain what ” historic Jewish homeland ” actually means

      There is Wikipedia entry on the word "homeland." It begins as follows:

      A homeland (rel.[clarification needed] country of origin and native land) is the concept of the place (cultural geography) with which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association – the country in which a particular national identity began.

    • Yitzchak Goodman March 2, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Me: I hope I’m spared the eljay take on Passover.

      Mooser: Spin your “shoddily built grogger” and maybe you can drown it out.

      Me: That wasn't my phrase, but maybe you thought it was too catchy not to use somewhere.

      Mooser: “Goodman”, it never occurred to you that Jewish Holidays might begin to look different after the triumph of Zionism? And that Judaism will not be able to control the process?

      Me: Why do you address me as if I was Herzl in a previous life? Anyway, the value I would like to see triumph in the world is know what you are talking about or shut up.

      Me: And Paul Robeson was wrong to record “Go down, Moses”?

      Mooser: And, you poor little nebbish, that’s so not the way to try and control it.

      Me: Can you actually address the point?

    • And, yes, the same can be said of Passover, which celebrates the God of the Jews killing some children while leaving others alive

      And Paul Robeson was wrong to record "Go down, Moses"?

    • Yitzchak Goodman March 1, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      I didn’t say I had a problem with the holiday. I said that your segue was strange.

      Your point involved reducing the holiday to nothing more than glee over someone's death. I hope I'm spared the eljay take on Passover

    • Yitzchak Goodman March 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      to wishing a happy celebration of the deliberate massacre by Jews of over 75,000 non-Jews

      That's right, we'll be singing those traditional Purim songs: "75,000 smiles on my face," "We love death," and "No accidental massacres for us." Freilechen Purim!

    • Page: 2
  • Zionism's tailspin: Stark minority of young California Jews are 'comfortable with idea of Jewish state'
    • "Goodman” you are the only one not in on the joke. Here’s the joke: In the age of Google it’s no big deal to have all kinds of references and quotes at hand.

      If you're not up on your racetracks, especially a certain one in Florida, you could Google it and still miss the full impact of the supreme joke in the song.

    • Micah would be an object of derision in Israel.

      Isn't MW against the messianic stuff about rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount? I think there is a current post about it. See Chapter 4.

    • There’s no “reference”. And believe me, this readership does not need any little explanations of “references”, like they’ve never, ever thought of it before.

      You sound annoyed. You quoted two lines from a song from a late 1950s Broadway musical. It's a funny song. Might as well let people in on the joke. Or did I miss some hugely successful revival of the show that made all the songs into current hits?

    • Mooser: It’s a simple little system, which any child can understand

      The composers names, we list 'em
      With the racetracks of the land.

      From Bells are Ringing in case some are not picking up the reference.

  • Video: 'You are godless atheists' --Jewish settlers harass Palestinian kindergarten
    • don’t think Kaffiri is a synonym for atheist in the sense of ‘believing there are no Gods’. It suffices that they’re not loyal to ‘our’ religion.

      The most common translation would be "infidels." "G-dless atheists" pretty much obscures what seems to be the point of the chant, the specifically Muslim baggage of the word, as if to say, "We're not the infidels, you are..." Also, I assume "Mmominin" is like "Ma'aminim" in Hebrew. "Believers" seems to be a good translation--it would be the opposite of infidels or non-believers. I don't understand why the post translates "we are the true believers (the chosen people)." There is no language there about being chosen and being chosen has nothing to do with throwing Muslim insults back into Muslim faces, which seems to be the idea. And yes, it's still obnoxious.

    • "Godless atheists”. Is there another sort of atheist we haven’t been told about?

      And is "atheists," with or without the redundancy, a good translation of "Kaffari"?

  • How to win the battle for freedom, justice, and equality
    • Mooser: "The King of Swing meets the High Priest of Bop."

    • And Thelonious Monk wears a yamulke.

      He was known for wearing different hats. Maybe the skullcap went with being the High Priest of Bop. Sometimes you see him in pictures with the sort of beret that Dizzy Gillespie is known for. Do you know all those Monk tunes you mentioned?

    • Goodman: “Does anyone advocate strict adherence to either one? They both call for an international Jerusalem.”

      Talkback: "How about holding a referendum on this question? Refugees included?"

      Does that mean you're conceding my point?

    • See Resolution 181 and accepting Israel as a UN member state despite its non adherence to 181 and 194.

      Does anyone advocate strict adherence to either one? They both call for an international Jerusalem.

    • The role of the Bible in Israeli pronouncements of all kinds is pointless unless it is an appeal to a divine authority. Without that kind of authority the Bible is just another ancient text, to be viewed with the same scepticism of the others and has no particular role in the definition of right and wrong

      It can be seen, and frequently is, I think, as documenting a historical and cultural link between Jews and Israel. (I don't like reducing it to history and culture myself--I'm an Orthodox Jew--but I'm not what they call a "religious Zionist" either.) One can also refer to the religious link without invoking religion. "Allah commanded the faithful to pray towards Mecca" is a religious statement. "Mecca is central to Muslim religiosity" is a secular statement and maybe an argument against a UN-controlled Mecca.

    • And the best part is, Zionism doesn’t need any stinklin’ moral authority.
      Zionism has divine authority!

      Many Zionists don't believe they have "divine authority." I know that from having civil conversations with them. Did you think you were making a point that applies to Zionists but not their enemies? What's that group called? Hezbollah or something....

    • Don`t tell let me guess oh yes that would be the same UN to whom the Israelis consistently say go f… yourselves whenever a resolution is passed NOT in their favour.

      So? You don't think the moral authority of an institution can go into decline?

    • That’s what they call a “double standard”

      The word is "contrafact" although I don't know if Jazz musicians use the word much. Duke Ellington's "Cotton Tail" is a new melody for the chords to "I Got Rhythm." So is the Flintstones Theme.

    • Like how “Goodman” came to use an image of Thelonius Monk as an avatar.

      He is sitting at a keyboard in a beard and a yarmulke. And I admire his aesthetic.

    • I would think that if partition cannot be done fairly it should not be done at all.

      I don't have any objection to what you are saying. I did not get into this thread to advocate any particular version of the two-state solution.

      I think that your main argument, Yitzchak, is that the Palestinians may not derserve the full range of human rights until they are clearly ready to concede those rights to others and you doubt that this readiness can be clear while theocratic ideas – about religious sources of law etc. – have strong support among them.

      I don't know if I am being so theoretical. I think Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the PFLP and the rest of the alphabet soup of militant groups simply have to be contained right now. The laws of war are the relevant part of humanitarian law where Gaza is concerned. I sometimes ask people if they would support the merger of Israel with the PA and the elimination of all legal distinctions between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians accompanied by any immigration policy the new entity wants, even with no right of return, and with Gaza continuing on the separate path it has embarked upon already. That sounds to me like what "a country for its inhabitants" is supposed to mean and it is something one could at least imagine being done by the parties to any likely future peace negotiations. I don't know if I am convinced that is the right solution--it is hard to know what the right solution is--but the responses are usually interesting.

    • Yup. Straight, no chaser

      I'm just a lucky So and So.

    • There is a John Scofield tune based on the chord changes to "There will never be another you." It's called "Not you again."

    • Me: “I like Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars by Yaacov Lozowick.”

      Talkback: "Of course you do, especially when it comes to his views about 'population transfers', don’t you?"

      If you have a specific passage in mind, why don't you quote it and tell me what your objections are?

    • Otherwise the State, by disfranchising those of suspect ideology, adopts the very same ‘us v, them’ attitude of some of its factions and so cannot be an impartial source of justice, which is asking for both injustice and trouble. Do you disagree about that?

      I think I agree with the values underlying what you are saying. The two-state solution envisions Palestinians as enfranchised citizens of a sovereign state. The need to avoid civil war or some other disaster might be more pressing at some given point.

      If you are saying that in some circumstances there has to be partition along ideological or religious lines then it is surely clear that partition must not be a form of dominance and subjugation, adding economic or pragmatic insult and injury to whatever discords there were in the first place.

      If partition is unavoidable, then a peaceful one is preferable, obviously. That doesn't mean it is easy to achieve.

    • The great blow to freedom and equality was the expulsion of Nonjews. Not their return. That would be a restoration of equality, human and civic rights.

      Unless it wasn't. If you think return is a right, it would be an exercise of that right. Whether it was a restoration of civic rights would be a question of whether those civic rights actually prevailed or not afterwards. That's why I'm in this conversation. I don't think it requires deflecting the potshots that Mondos usually take at the idea that Israel is a democracy.

      Yeah, right. I have allready noticed that you don’t like your support for Jewish supremacism, Apartheid and the expulsion of Nonjews to be questioned. Nor your double standards.

      I'm just not going to waste my time responding to points that are akin to the fallacy of the complex question. No, I don't beat my wife. No, I don't support something called "Jewish supremacism." No, I don't think expulsion is democracy. I don't think the 1948 war was a giant act of ethnic cleansing. A number of historians have made the case better than I could. If you are going to have a conversation with someone you disagree with widely, you have to be intelligent about what he is likely to accept as the premise for a point or a question. I like Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars by Yaacov Lozowick. You would probably hate it.

    • I would not have thought on first reading that the heavenly origin of Judaism is disallowed by those words.

      I think it is included, actually, and so is Christianity. I was wondering about the Baha'is.

    • Of course what ever the majority decides upon. Here is a constitution draft:

      I didn't read the whole constitution. I noticed some things that do sound democratic and also this from Article 4:

      1. Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
      2. The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.

      The phrase "heavenly religions" excludes some religions, doesn't it?


      But what if the people belonged to the current inhabitants and were expelled against their will and that is the only reason why they are not the current inhabitants?

      I won't go into how you are oversimplifying things. Maybe that applies to some people of Palestinian extraction living in Jordan and and maybe that is the sort of thing the title of the post means by "justice." Hard to see how a giant transfer of population from Jordan to Israel would be a great blow for freedom and equality.


      Of course you don’t. First expell Nonjews and then prevent them and their descendants from returning, right? Is that a democracy Jewish style or “Jewish democracy”?

      The rest of your points have the same tone. This doesn't seem worth replying to. Thanks for posting the link to the draft constitution.

    • No Yitzchak Goodman you didn’t. You wrote: “The Supreme Leader (don’t you love the sound of that?) of Iran has proposed a referendum in which everyone considered to be a Palestinian worldwide (including most of the population of Jordan?) would have a vote besides the current inhabitants of Israel/Palestine. Jews or Zios or whatever you want to call them would be greatly outnumbered.”

      I did ask what the practical results of the referendum would be. That was my next sentence.

      But allow me to ask you a question. Why do you connect a referendum to Iran? Do you need to demonize a referendum if it turns out that Jews are a minority? Do you have a problem with majority ruling (aka democracy) if Jews are a minority?

      I saw the referendum proposal on the English PressTV site and I started noticing that Khamanei repeated it every so often. I don't have a problem with countries having referendums of all the people who live in them. I don't think people who were born in Jordan should get to vote on the fate of people living in Israel/Palestine. Majority rule with Jews in the minority takes place in the US. That's what I live under and I support it. I don't support schemes to bring countries back under the domination of the people with the most authentic grandparents against the will of the current inhabitants.

      did when I wrote that “the freedoms, etc. ” (refering to the freedoms, etc. you mentioned.) must be constitutionally enshrined.

      I asked what the practical outcome would be of that referendum. Forgive my way of putting it, but I didn't ask what you would ask your fairy godmother for if you could have three wishes for the Middle East.

      A number of your questions were of the "I see you didn't comment on such and such" variety.
      I pass for the time being. I'm trying to stay focused on something limited.

    • Contrary to Israel the right to equalty and the freedoms, etc. must be constitutionally enshrined.

      I aaked what the practical results would be of Iran's proposed grand referendum. Advocating democracy in theory isn't necessarily the same thing as advocating policies which will actually lead to freedom of the press. You don't seem to feel the need to even make a case where frredom of the press is concerned. Go back and see what I wrote and what your response was.

    • If there is any validity in the idea of a right in anything like the normal understanding of the term then those who are being denied their rights do not have obligations towards those who are denying them. That would imply that wrongdoers have some sort of right to continue to do wrong, which I think makes no sense.

      Do they have the obligation to uphold the values that are involved in saying that their rights are being denied? Is the practical likelihood of their doing so (upholding those values) none of Israel's darn Zio business or something that should be taken into account when proposing a solution?

    • So according to you a call for equality and justice does not include minority rights … Well, ok.

      Supposing we frame it this way: Mere Zionist surrender in the I-P conflict is not identical to instituting an egalitarian country. The Mondo-plan is what? The Supreme Leader (don't you love the sound of that?) of Iran has proposed a referendum in which everyone considered to be a Palestinian worldwide (including most of the population of Jordan?) would have a vote besides the current inhabitants of Israel/Palestine. Jews or Zios or whatever you want to call them would be greatly outnumbered. Do you think the outcome of that would be a country with freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, etc.? If not, what do you propose? Or does it matter what the outcome would be?

  • Israel as a perversion of Judaism and the modern nation-state
    • The Jews of Iraq have a common history with the Jews of Russia?

      It isn't just a question of contact between the two communities in, say, the 17th century, is it? They both participate in general Jewish history. Iraq produced the Babylonian Talmud and remained the center of Torah scholarship for long after that.

    • I wonder what Ahed Tamimi thinks when she hears the story of David & Goliath?

      Does anybody remember this Mondoweiss post?

      'Palestine' is an ancient name, for a land of many cultures -

      It states: "Another inscription, recording King Ramesses’ conflict with the Sea Peoples, is dated to around 1175. Here we first meet the ‘Peleset’, who must be the Philistines or Palestinians. "

      According to that, wouldn't Goliath be a Palestinian?

    • In the Talmud (Ketubot 100b-111a), says Yadgar, the rabbis relate that, after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE, God commanded His people to accept life in exile and to obediently submit to living under foreign sovereignty. The absence of sovereignty became a cornerstone of Jewish political thought. This exilic rabbinic tradition highlighted Jewish law as the foundation of Jewish identity: law, which governs every aspect of the individual’s and the community’s life.

      That should be Ketuvot 110b-111a. 100b to 111a is about ten daf! This is a reference to the "Three oaths," and it exhibits a very Satmar sense of what it means. Is that the whole justification for the next sentence: "The absence of sovereignty became the cornerstone of Jewish political thought"? And why is emphasis on halacha something particularly associated with exile in the next sentence? There doesn't seem to be any transition between one vague assertion and the next.

  • From Spinoza to Vilkomerson, Jewish voices for peace have long been banned-- by Jews
    • The citation to Maimonides is faulty. Yad Hachazaka is just another name for the whole Mishneh Torah. 10:9 only means something (chapter and halacha) once one of the 14 books has been specified. Hilchos Talmud Torah, for instance.

    • In halachah yibum--Levirite marriage--is just seen as an exception to the prohibition of a brother's wife. The circumstances are specific. The original husband has to die without children.

  • Racial supremacy and the Zionist exception
    • "ashkinazi-convert-jews illegally occupying Palestine are eating themselves from the inside out."

      What an interesting comment! Do you enjoy having like-minded people here at Mondoweiss to exchange ideas with?

  • 'I am not your goy' -- chaos at a liberal Zionist conference
    • i think you’re missing the point. when Darawshe said “You need to outgrow your Judaism when you deal with Israel– to focus on the Israeli nature of the state of Israel” what does he mean? does he mean we need a discussion of ger vs goy? i don’t think so, quite the opposite.

      I think he makes a relatively limited point at first, and then the perspective broadens as he goes on. It's a fairly common thing in human discourse. Sorry if that last sentence sounds like Yoni.

      your insistence on discussing ger and the meaning of this phrase, is at the expense of understanding what Darawshe is saying

      I don't think it is at the expense of understanding him. Remember, he is responding to someone he describes as "well-meaning," someone who is trying to be sympathetic to his own point of view--and failing in his view. I keep discussing the word ger because a whole army of people seem determined to misunderstand what I am saying. I don't think it is the most Earth-shattering point that was ever made, but I am convinced I'm right. The teaching about loving a stranger is absolutely ubiquitous in sermons by liberal Rabbis that touch on the IP conflict. I can't think of anything that rivals it. Darawshe is described as displaying a kind of weariness over something constantly quoted to him. What else could it be? Nobody is going to call him a goy in a derogatory sense to his face.

      is there a reason you are not using the available reply functions in relation to the comment you are referencing? you’ve already started got 6 or so subthreads on this one article.

      No reason. Cyber-clumsiness. I realize I didn't respond to everything you wrote. I like small points. People think everything has to be a grandiose pronouncement. Sometimes little things are very telling.

    • Yitzchak Goodman June 19, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      I am not sure we can fault Mohammad Darawshe for not having a specific Torah reference

      I wasn't faulting him. I assumed he used the right word and Phil heard "goy."

      Of course, Zios reduce all of Jewish learning to the technique of nitpicking when someone tries to point out the elephant of Jewish racism, chauvinism, and superciliousness.

      I'm a fervently Orthodox Jew. We usually don't consider ourselves to be Zionists. Maybe that has nothing to do with whether one is a "Zio" or not. And fighting "superciliousness" begins at home. Hint, hint, hint....

    • Yitzchak Goodman June 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Sigh. Phil's post uses the word "goy" twice, once when mentioning the familiar Torah teaching and once when mentioning Darawshe's reaction to it. If you substitute ger for goy it makes more sense because (A) Phil's wording echoes the way it is usually rendered in English (the stranger among you) and (B) because Darawshe's reaction specifically focuses on the contrast between a sojourner, however ethically he should be treated, and native-born, which Darawshe is complaining is a category that he should not be excluded from. That is my entire point as I have been trying to make it all along.

    • I am not your goy is a reference to a Sabbath goy who performs service for his Jewish employer (master?) during the Sabbath

      See the sentence in the post: "But he said that he bridles when well-meaning rabbis come up to him and say the Torah teaches Jews to be kind to the goy among them."

      Where does the Torah teach that exactly in reference to a "Goy"? I say it is a reference to the familiar teaching about loving a stranger with "goy" substituted for "ger." According to my view, Darawshe's reply matches what he is replying to. The phrase "goy among them" from the post especially suggests this. Hager hagar besocham.

    • YG is making “excessively subtle distinctions” (the definition of E Euro pilpul) to distract from the bigotry, racism, and superciliousness that characterize far too many people of E Euro fake “Jewish” background as they pretend to be progressives or decent human beings.

      Remind me again why Mondoweiss has moderation?

    • YG is giving us some pilpul.

      What's with the constant insults?

    • i totally get it you’re going to keep discussing “ger” and evade any discussion or understanding of what he said or mean

      Of what Darawshe meant? I said he was irked by the citation of a teaching that was meant as very egalitarian and lofty, but still pictured him as non-native. I don't think I'm evading anything. Ask whatever you want that's relevant.

    • Yitzchak Goodman June 18, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      Together the two verses tell born Jews not to mistreat converts as inferior to born Jews

      Those are interesting Rashis, but a Ger Toshav is a non-Jew.

    • Yitzchak Goodman June 18, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      This rather obscure verse in Leviticus

      It isn't obscure in the Jewish world, especially not in the liberal Jewish world.

    • ok, i see your point yitz. but could you answer my question? what is the difference between a stranger and a non jew (goy)

      The point of using the word ger, I guess, is that the person is with us, "among us"--we have ethical obligations towards him. In halachah a Ger Tzedek is a convert, while a Ger Toshav ("Toshav" is something like "resident," one who dwells) is a non-Jew who accepted to not worship idols and who dwells in Israel. Goy has been commonly used for a long time for non-Jew, as everyone has been pointing out, but it isn't used that way in classic texts in the singular. It is used in the plural to mean Gentiles collectively--the nations of the world-- and thus not departing from the meaning nation. See the second psalm.

    • Phil even says "the Goy among you." The verse from Leviticus is sometimes translated in English with the phrase "the stranger among you." That would be ger , not goy, even though both words are one-syllable words beginning with a g-sound. That's why I characterized "I'm not your goy" as nonsense. Darawshe, according to Phil, didn't merely say I'm not a Goy, but not "your Goy."

    • Yitzchak Goodman June 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Ger means convert as well as stranger, and really does not fit the context of the article.

      Ger, shortened from "Ger Tzedek," has come to mean convert. My point is that it is the exact word used in the familiar biblical verses, much beloved by "well-meaning Rabbis," about loving a stranger because you were strangers in Egypt. A Jew is enjoined to "love him like you love yourself," but the contrast between stranger and native-born remains in the wording of the verse. So it makes sense for a "well-meaning rabbi" to quote it with no suggestion of inferiority, but still irk a Palestinian.

    • He goes on to say he doesn't want to be considered a foreigner in his own country. Ger means foreigner or stranger and there is a familiar teaching about one: "And if a stranger sojourn with you in your land, you shall not wrong shall love him like yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Leviticus 19:33-34) Goy, by contrast, means nation. God tells Abraham He is going to make him a "goy gadol"--"great nation"--but using the word to mean one person is slang otherwise. So Darawshe is saying he always "bridles" when someone quotes the verse about loving a stranger, a ger. He says "I'm not a stranger--it's my country." Clear?

    • But he said that he bridles when well-meaning rabbis come up to him and say the Torah teaches Jews to be kind to the goy among them.

      I think Phil confused the word "ger"--"stranger"--with the word "goy." The familiar teaching is to be kind to the "ger." "I'm not your ger. I'm not willing to play the role of foreigner..." makes sense. "Goy" turns the sentence into nonsense.

  • Reading Maimonides in Gaza
    • Maimonides never identified an obligation to take possession of the Holy Land and to settle in it.

      12th century Jews believed that the Jewish connection to Palestine like the Muslim connection to Hijaz was purely spiritual and that this connection had no ancestral ethnic or racial component — an idea that is completely alien to traditional pre-modern Jewish religion.

      Does the Mishnah Torah by Maimonides count as evidence for what is included in the "pre-modern Jewish religion"? Many rulings seem to assume that Jews are supposed to live in Israel. See Hilchos Melachim 5:9, 5:11, and 5:12, for instance. Or maybe you mean something different than I think you do. I'm puzzled.

  • Media accusations of blood libels -- against Abbas and Sanders -- amplify a Jewish tribal fantasy
    • But, as this article accurately asserts, it was not a blood libel, which is what really matters here.

      The well-poisoning libel is a separate libel. The blood libel involves using blood to make matzos. The article's argument is that it wasn't a well-poisoning libel because Abbas believed what he was saying. Are you agreeing with that precise argument? Let's pick yet another libel. Supposing Abbas said prominent Rabbis called for desecrating the host?

    • Did Abbas think that the statement about the rabbis’ was true and so he was expressing genuine outrage to the European Parliament? Or, as reported, did he intend to repeat a 700-year-old blood libel because he is anti-Semitic?

      I have never seen a definition of anti-Semitism (or any other bigotry) that holds that the person is exonerated if he believes his claims. Nobody just says "I think I'll repeat a 700-year-old blood libel because I'm anti-Semitic." Anti-Semitic claims sound bogus to a normal person but plausible to an anti-Semite. The anti-Semite is the one who reads that the Talmud says blah blah blah without wondering whether it is true or not. He believes it immediately, and he can't wait to share his new knowledge.

  • Sayed Kashua doesn't want to write in Hebrew for 'Haaretz' anymore
    • Did anyone notice the reference to "the new Hebrew with this Ashkenazi accent"? The Israeili accent is well-known for being Sefardic. And the Ashkenazi accent, by the way, preserves distinctions that were obviously in the language originally. Why should patach and kametz have the same sound--and taf and saf? The Mizrachi accent preserves the distinction between alef and ayin. (Some Israelis whose accent is just Israeli pronounce their ayins, some don't.) The Israeli accent is not exactly Mizrachi, but it certainly isn't Ashkenazi.

  • Which crowded cities can you fire into?
    • I could never understand why the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon was considered terrorism, when the Pentagon is a military target par excellence. (By the way, I have worked in the Pentagon myself. As a naval officer.)

      If it was carried out by the Japanese Red Army or Aryan Nations or Eco-terrorists, would you have the same difficulty understanding? That isn't supposed to be a gotcha point--ponder the question. Part of terrorism is violating what they sometimes call the state monopoly on violence. Also, 9/11 was part of a larger operation that certainly included civilian targets--most assume that the horror of the hijacked passengers was part of the intended effect. The whole operation was based on exploiting laxness in civilian transportation security.

  • Israel's message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die
    • Which Judaism are you talking about?

      One could also ask "which Zionism are you talking about"?

    • that;s crap. zionism came about with the transforming of a religious group into a nation albit a fake one.

      A "fake" nation? They were still carrying on an intellectual tradition in a language that dates back to the times when they had a king.

    • What is it about Judaism that led to European anti-Semitism?

      You mean what is it abut Judaism that led to the male-menstruation libel?

  • How long can Israel depend on Mizrahi docile loyalty? Smadar Lavie asks in new book
    • And how do you think, Yonah, the Mizrahim should be kept in their place, and docile? I’m sure you have an opinion on the subject.

      Don't feed the trolls. (I mean that you, Mooser, are a troll.)

    • Aren’t they 100% Jewish? I don’t see where the “mixed” comes from.

      Use whatever word you want. The post gave statistics for Ashkenazi and Mizrachi Jews. How does a Jew fit into these statistics if his mother's family is from Ukraine and his father's family is from Iraq?

    • Mizrahi Jews, or Mizrahim (pl. Hebrew), are 50% of the population of Israeli

      50% of the population or 50% of the ancestry of the population? Israelis of mixed Ashkenazi-Sefardi ancestry are quite common.

  • Young Jew seeks to prepares his community for heretical & inevitable-- end of Jewish state
    • Like Netanyahu constantly exclaims that Israel wants peace, he’s never willing to deal with the things that will bring peace, which is either retreating to the 1967 borders or allowing equal rights.

      "Retreating to the 1967 borders . . . will bring peace"? The Mondoweiss online community doesn't believe that as far as I can tell.

  • Make 'hasbara' a household word
    • it looks like Hasbara Central has directed its people to stay away from this comment thread

      Not specifically. We had prior orders to march around chanting "A land without a people for a people without a land." You guys never notice your own cliches. Gotta go now. I'm planning a trip to Greater Israel after I have stolen felafel for breakfast.

  • SodaStream stock loses fizz amid 'boycott fears'
    • @Ziobot . . . You mean when Jewish organizations disinvite speakers for their ‘anti-Israel’ stance or for supporting BDS?

      So don't be a Zionist either--I don't care. I simply noted the posturing required to demur without stirring up the locals here.

    • I’m certainly not trying to pooh-pooh BDS in general or the SodaStream campaign in particular

      Who cares? What could that possibly have to do with whether you are making a valid point or not? Wouldn't it be nice to part of a political movement that didn't require you to offer professions of loyalty to the cause in order to qualify a seemingly straightforward point about why a stock rose or fell?

  • Netanyahu says Jews invented the idea of 'honoring your father and mother'
    • There are long traditions of filial piety in other cultures. Confucius surely didn’t get the idea from Jews.

      The formulation "honoring your father and mother" distinctly echoes the Hebrew "Honor your father and your mother"--"Kaved es Avichicha ve'es Imecha." That particular formulation did achieve a nearly "universal," let's say, currency. I don't know how its phrased in Confucius, do you? There's a point to be made made there if its phrased carefully. You Mondos have such a need to feel superior to "Zios" that you end up being simple-minded yourself.

    • Their [Galilean Jews] understanding of the covenant came not from the written Thorah and Prophets in Hebrew, which few could read, but from their oral targum. A targum (Aramaic for “translation”) was more than a verbatim translation of the Hebrew text: whole paragraphs were added and long sections loosely paraphrased by the meturgeman, a “translator” who handed on the local tradition of rendering scripture. (Just as a local rabbi designated ethical norms for living the Torah, a meturgeman memorized and recited the oral scripture.

      An common person's inability to understand scripture in Hebrew wouldn't apply to a religious leader or Rabbi, would it? Aramaic was obviously the vernacular for a long time. Kaddish and some other passages in the Siddur are in Aramaic even though most of the Siddur is in Hebrew. The Aramaic passages appear in places where it is considered especially important to understand what one is saying, sometimes following and translating a verse or two in Hebrew. Look at Uva leTzion, for instance. On the other hand, the Gemara expects the student to understand a scriptural quote in Hebrew followed by analysis and discussion in Aramaic. Fine with me if you want to assume that Jesus was an Am Ha'aretz, but if Netanyahu assumed what the Pope obviously believes, that Jesus had scholarly attainments, I don't exactly see why that calls for ridicule. Maybe I'm missing something.

  • Settlers fell 7-year-old Palestinian with stones as she walks home from school
    • Surely one of the regular apologists for Israel’s crimes will help us out here. We need to hear your insights, yonah fredman, JeffB, NormanF, dimadok, Mayhem, hophmi, giladg, tokyobk!

      Apologetics for rock-throwing are more of an anti-Zionist thing. Make up your own $%#^& apologetics.

  • Tensions rise on Temple Mount as rightwing Jews seek to hold Passover rituals there
    • But why refer to Al Aqsa / Haram Sharif by their Zionist names Dome/Temple Mount?

      There isn't anything uniquely "Zionist" about the name "Har Habayis ."

  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
    • Killing Gentiles is how God liberates Jews. F16s, drones, angel of death – they all work. Just celebrate!

      Why isn't this an example of anti-Semitism? Just curious.

    • The passage in question begins "This is what stood by us." If you start from "in every generation" it changes the stress. Also, there are many hagaddah commentaries, some by classic commentators. Also, "anyone who is hungry" in "hey lachma anya" may have to do with not eating the Passover offering on an empty stomach. Jews are commanded to give charity to the non-Jewish poor (See Maimonides, Laws of Kings, I think), but that is probably not what is being discussed here. I am in the midst of Passover preparations, so I may not have time to follow-up, but approach this subject with a little humility. In fact, that's an appropriate stance for any treasure-house of information one has never explored, not just the haggadah. To anyone here who celebrates Pesach: chag kasher vesameiach!

  • In Philly, rightwing Zionists call Dershowitz anti-Semitic for opposing settlements
    • I think the Dersh and his friends should form a breakaway group, The Judean Peoples’ Front, to distinguish themselves from the more rightwing The Peoples’ Front of Judea. This should help avoid any confusion about where they stand on the issues.

      I always assumed these names satirized names like PFLP and DFLP. Did the Mondoweissniks all get mad when Life of Brian came out?

  • The crisis that Israel adroitly manufactured
  • Let Pollard go. But first get answers from Tel Aviv
    • a desire to help the Palestinians get rid of the Zionists

      That's a very interesting formulation. Who are the "Zionists" in this sentence? Jewish Israelis in general? Where will they be once they are gotten rid of?

      Your pal,


    • You are saying that if we commit some crimes at the beginning then set up our egalitarian state everything will be just dandy.

      Not really. I am saying that people who claim that Israel should "simply be a country for its inhabitants" or something like that are not being quite honest. They mean it should be a country for the inhabitants it would have after its demographics are adjusted to meet with Omar Barghouti's approval. So they aren't the ones who actually believe that countries belong to the people who live in them. Saying that the restoring the demographics of 1947 is not the supreme political principle of human existence is not the same thing as saying it is OK to "commit some crimes in the beginning." I don't grant the premise that the 1948 war was a giant crime anyway, and how much weight we give to currently ongoing life is the question here.

    • alleging it is ‘right wing’ to call him a traitor is insane!

      Sanity is overrated. Anyway, thank you for quoting my qualification "freely and with relish." Didn't MW have a post entitled "Set Off a Roman Candle for Edward Snowden"?

    • You weren’t alive in the mid-80s when this happened or you were in kindergarten? Scroll up and read the Allan C Brownfeld article I link to and educate yourself.

      I was in kindergarten in the 60s. Your article includes a quote about the need to deter "supposedly well-intentioned American citizens making judgments about foreign affairs, rationalizing their conduct because it is, after all, an ally they are assisting." Is that quote relevant to the Pollard case if he is simply another Aldrich Ames?

    • It is a slander to suggest that liberals cannot be patriots.

      I don't think I was trying to suggest that. Should Jane Fonda "die in prison"?

    • I keep seeing the word "traitor" in this thread, but it seems sort of like a right-wing thing to call somebody when it is really thrown around freely and with relish. What are the politics of the people who are always commenting at Mondoweiss when the subject isn't Israel? You don't have to be a leftist, after all, to say a great deal of what gets said here. Pat Buchanan says similar things. Do we have some, say, Paleocons here? Just curious.

  • Liberal Zionists are the new front line against BDS
    • Different strokes for different folks….not everyone agrees on what is brilliant and what isn’t.

      I decided years ago that the works of Heidegger are not my cup of tea, but I try to be modest and humble about that fact--perhaps if I had put more effort into understanding and appreciating his works, that effort would have been rewarded. I wouldn't have any respect for someone who put down the statements of his political opponents by calling them "a bunch of Heidegger."

    • ‘Nonsense, nonsensical,’ spinning’ is the gentile’s term for the practice of pilpul. Pilpul is the Jewish term for pilpul.

      Her is a link, showing the title page of the Minchas Chinuch. It reads "Sefer Minchas Chinuch, vehu biur rachav al sefer hachinuch bepilpul atzum ubekius nifla."--"Sefer Minchas Chinuch which is a wide-ranging (literally "broad") commentary on the Sefer Hachinuch with pilpul atzum and bekius nifla." "Atzum" is something like tremendous. "Nifla" is something like amazing. Bekius is something like expertise. Do you think the author of that title page is using the word pilpul to mean "Nonsense, nonsensical,’ spinning"?

    • ”As if this was not enough, the Tosafists instituted one more pilpul principle into Talmudic discourse. This was called the Lav Davqa method. In English we might call it the “Not Quite” way of reading a text.
      When a text appeared to be saying one thing, the Tosafot — in order to conform to the already-existing custom — would re-interpret it by saying that what it seemed to mean is not what it really meant!

      May I ask you something? The Torah (Exodus 21:35) says that if someone's ox gores his neighbor's ox, the owner of the goring ox is liable for damages. Does the Torah mean "davka" an ox? That is, if someone's dog hurts or kills his neighbor's dog, is the same verse not a warrant for holding the owner of damaging dog liable because it talks about an ox? Or is the Torah framing the legal principle in terms of a commonly occurring case and it is "lav davka" talking about just an ox? If you think the later makes sense, you now have an example of where the expression "lav davka" would be used.

    • What is Pilpul, and Why on Earth Should I Care About It”
      David Shasha
      link to

      Your source for how to use the word is Huffpo? The word sometimes suggests a display of erudition for its own sake or an intellectual exercise, but usually a certain question is looked at from multiple angles. You somehow seem to have gotten it into your head, judging from the Huffpo article, that it means displaying rhetorical skill by arguing for something manifestly false or something like that. Your use of the word reminds me of Seafoid's use of "goy" elsewhere in this comments thread if you want to know the truth. A little ethnic dig added to the sneering. The Huffpo article is garbage. "Hakhi garsinan" means Rashi is offering a variant reading of the text, for instance, for normal reasons of textual scholarship. There were different readings in the various manuscripts and printed editions, so Talmud commentators do that frequently. The Talmud text is in the state you'd expect of an ancient work transmitted for centuries in manuscript form, especially in certain tractates. The word "pilpul" is not particularly relevant to understanding Dershowitz or Chomsky or Aronoff. They don't inhabit intellectual circles that are involved with pipulim. When someone I was once talking to characterized what the Pri Megadim does as "chakiros and pilpulim," he was using the word "pilpul" appropriately in a sentence.

    • More pilpul from the ‘liberal’ Zionist.

      "Pilpul"? That's an awfully interesting word choice. What inspired you to use that word?

  • By 2035, Jewish population in Israel/Palestine is projected at 46 percent
    • Well, I suppose there are also Jews not in Israel who’d like to go there to live — but if so, why don’t they do it?)

      It is hard to just pull up roots and go somewhere else. You don't necessarily know how you'll make a living in the new place and how you will deal with everything else which is unfamiliar. Most Orthodox Jews feel the pull of Eretz Yisroel. I do although I remain in the US. (What I just said isn't particularly Zionist, by the way.)

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • Since you say boycotts are sometimes moral, please give us a few examples and explain regarding each moral one you give us as sample how they differ in fact and principle from (1) BDS against Israel and (2) BDS against only the Israeli settlements.

      What is this, an essay test? I believe there was a Lysistrata-style boycott to try to end the civil war in Sudan. There's a moral one for you. I think BDS-proponents have moral-sounding rationalizations for what they want. When the Japanese Red Army attacked Lod airport on behalf of the PFLP, even they probably thought they were striking a blow for human rights. Israel obviously has enemies who think absolutely anything that damages its interests is moral. Omar Barghouti , I believe, has made it clear that he opposes the continued existence of what Israel would be it if it simply withdrew completely from the West Bank. Isn't he the leading proponent of BDS? So if I understand him correctly, he sees BDS as a means to pursue the achievement of that non-existence, a goal which I see as immoral.

    • Didn't I post in response to Cliff that a troll is someone trying to disrupt conversation by provoking angry responses, not just someone who disagrees (unless TROLL in all-caps has a special meaning)? Does that violate the moderation policy somehow?

    • Has BDS ever been moral at any time and place in world history? Has it ever been justified as a form of non-violent protest against any government or group anywhere on the planet by any other government or group? Do you support any form of political protest speech?

      Can I take this all as one question? Boycotts are sometimes moral, yes.

    • <i.Please explain also how BDS is seeking to restore “dominance to the authentic people” rather than institute universal rights for all people.

      It think BDS-ers want to recreate an Arab majority in Israel and that trumps everything else. If it is actually a set-back for the libertarian human rights--freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, that sort of thing--they will still be deliriously happy. If the Helen Thomas vision of the future is realized and large numbers of Jews become refugees, well, too bad, a guy named Chaim born in Tel Aviv is an usurper by birth.

      I sometimes ask anti-Zionists whether they would support just abolishing all legal distinctions between Jews and non-Jews in the territories governed by the two governments that are supposedly negotiating for peace right now and merging the two territories. That means you would have a completely egalitarian state in what used to be green-line Israel and the West Bank, a country simply for its inhabitants. That new democratic country, let's call it Egalitaria, will have a Jewish majority and will probably not institute an immigration policy designed to reverse the demographics of the country. I even tried asking this question in the comments section of Mondoweiss once. The anti-Zionists always tell me they would not support such a plan. The "right of return" is non-negotiable. It is usually not a good idea to tell one's political opponents what they think--surely they know best what is in their own minds--but I think I'm on fairly solid ground here.

    • Below you make an appeal to the MW mods to take Zionist commentators like yourself more seriously.

      The moderation policy supposedly allows different viewpoints and disallows insults. They can do whatever they want.

      But here you draw a parallel between boycotting apartheid and boycotting the boycotters of apartheid.

      And when did you stop beating your wife? I don't think Zionism is Apartheid, so I didn't compare boycotting apartheid with boycotting boycotts.

      I even think a commentator, ‘dimmadok’ – was saying it was ok to shoot civilians and international observers.

      That is who you are and what Zionism is.

      Is that a new fallacy--the argument ad dimmadokum? Anything anyone ever said in favor of Zionism is "what I am"? Are you trying to see if you can get me to start insulting your intelligence?

      And please, spare us the pretentious and inane use of phrases like ‘pseudo intellectualism’. Every person is a pseudo-intellectual when it comes to social sciences, you clown.

      Um, look at what I was replying to. I turned the phrase "pseudo-intellectual" back on the person who introduced it into the conversation.

    • The US mainstream media is totally pro-Israel

      And that's why the Washington Post ran an editorial by Ismail Haniyeh? I wasn't shocked when that happened, were you?

    • That’s the kind of brain-dead response that marks the moral bankruptcy of zionism.

      You're exactly like the guy on Monty Python who says "this is just the sort blinkered philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage"

      BDS is about restoration of some very basic human rights.

      Not human rights conceived in libertarian terms. Maybe BDS notions of restoring dominance to the authentic people and making the inauthentic people (who should have had better taste in ancestors) choose between leaving and "indigenizing" are assimilated to some sort of social justice anti-imperialist notion of human rights, but no, BDS, isn't about human rights. If you believe that people should run their own lives, then you want that for Israeli Jews as well and you're careful about making common cause with groups like Hamas. This is too large a subject to do justice to in a few sentences, but at least I recognize the problem. Sumud showed no signs of recognizing it.

      Rather than causing Yitzgood and Shuki to reflect on where and why zionism is failing they simply want revenge.

      I can't speak for Shuki, but I think BDS is immoral. I'm not interested in patronizing its businesses or lending it any other sort of support or cooperation.

    • Really? What crimes did she commit to justify a boycott against her? Oh wait, she’s criticizing them. That’s antisemitic, right? Wait, she’s Jewish. Boycotting her is antisemitic, no? Damn I’m caught in the maze of Zionist pseudo intellectualism.

      I think you're caught in your own pseudo intellectualism. If someone is boycotting me or something I support, why can't I reciprocate?

    • Free speech begins at home. Fix the broken atmosphere at Mondoweiss which is hostile to serious pro-Israel viewpoints and which is aided and abetted by the moderation. Not allowing "Zio-bot" would be a start. And figure out how to get the moderation out of the way of people who adhere to the moderation policy. Institute automatic approval, for instance, which can be revoked if need be.

  • Adalah founder assails myth of 'Jewish and democratic' state
    • I don’t even think Israel is Jewish any more. Sure you can do the mitzvot and be a shatnez inspector etc but what’s the point when the State is so evil ?

      You do the mitzvot because G-d commanded you to. I live in the US. Is it "evil," too? If so, would you tell US Jews not to do mitzvot? I'm just curious: Do you believe in mitzvot?

  • The campaign against BDS is a deliberate choice to maintain the status quo
    • Uh? hophmi is discredited by the bullsh*t hophmi spouts. No different from any other idiot for Israel spouting nonsense

      You want total BS? Try the following:

      We want Mondoweiss to be a place that everyone feels comfortable visiting, to read and comment, regardless of political perspective . . .
      4. No personal attacks. We encourage spirited, passionate debate, but if you have to resort to vicious personal attack, you’re not advancing the discussion. Stay on the issues.

  • Eric Alterman declines request to debate Max Blumenthal at Brooklyn College
    • They are happiest torturing Palestinians. They can’t cope with words and arguments strung together artfully. They aren’t taught much in school.

      "They" includes Alterman? He's "happiest torturing Palestinians" and he "can’t cope with words and arguments strung together artfully" and he wasn't "taught much in school"?

  • Biden likens Sharon to -- hold on to your hat -- James Joyce
    • Biden compares Sharon's devotion to Israel to Joyce's devotion to Dublin. That would be a more accurate post title (and also wipe out the whole rationale for the post). Can I let go of my hat now?

  • Stanley Fish and the violence of neutrality
    • However, Salaita is addressing why it is that Fish believes he can take such a line of argument – disregarding the actual relation of the Israeli universities to the on-going state practices and the state support they receive for it

      He says things such as "liberal authority has always been thoroughly violent to the communities that had to be erased in order for academia to achieve the enlightened modernity for which it was manifestly destined." What you just wrote seems to be mean something, at least, but I have my doubts about Salaita. Many of his sentences seem to lack any discernible meaning at all, including the one I just quoted. But let's assume for a minute that the sentence has a meaning. It seems to take in a great deal more than just Israeli policies, doesn't it? He is making broad and dismissive pronouncements about things called "liberal authority" and "enlightened modernity."

    • Consider what Fish is saying: advocates of boycott are equivalent in deed and action to the practices of the State of Israel.

      Not directly. He is primarily refusing to equate Israel's government with Israeli universities. The phrase "bad things" is deliberately nonspecific.

      What then is worthy of moral judgment? Fish doesn’t say. He simply declares Israel exempt from it.

      He doesn't say that Israel in particular (or anyone else) is "exempt from moral judgement." He is saying that moral judgements about government policies, however negative, don't justify academic boycotts.

  • Shimon Peres' selective memory of apartheid
    • Speaking of what Iran "knows," the following appeared a few days ago at PressTV:

      [quote] The sad truth is that everything mankind needs to know about the deadly, radioactive nature of this political, social and cultural "element" on the periodic table of human ideas has been sitting there, screaming out to civilized man for literally thousands of years. Jewish power and violence, Jewish power and genocide, Jewish power and economic despoliation, Jewish power and corruption, none of this began in 1948 with the creation of Israel. It did not begin in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve, as some like to imagine.

      It did not even begin with the writing of a literary abomination known as the Babylonian Talmud.

      It--the criminal, barbaric nature of Jewish power--has been there from the beginning, congenital from its birth, the moment a penniless nomad begins hearing voices in his head promising him kingdoms, riches and power beyond his wildest dreams, accompanied by the moral justification for doing whatever needs to be done in attaining these items, including lying, genocide, and theft. [end quote]

      And there is considerably more in the same vein in that article.

      We should recall Ahmadinejad's statement that someone called "Zionists" "have been inflicting very heavy damage and suffering on the whole humanity for over two thousand years."

  • Why Israel wanted Arafat dead
    • In which case the presence of so much uranium would have to be explained.

      Not so much. According to the Kaszeta article I linked to, Polonium "is a natural decay product from uranium, which is ubiquitous in geology around the world, you will find small amounts of polonium 210 nearly everywhere if you look hard enough."

    • There was no mention in the article you linked to (or in the official report) of Uranium. Are you suggesting Arafat was poisoned with Uranium rather than Polonium, or that a combination was used?

      Here are the two sentences leading into the discussion of the amount that can be found in tobacco:

      "Polonium 210 is found in nature as well as occurring as the result of manmade activity. Many of the measurements of the personal effects could easily be within the realm of naturally occurring background levels. As it is a natural decay product from uranium, which is ubiquitous in geology around the world, you will find small amounts of polonium 210 nearly everywhere if you look hard enough."

      So…dead Arafat, shortly before his remains were examined, smoked a pack of cigarettes, and this boosted his Polonium 210 levels. Makes sense.

      No, if the amount rivals small amounts that can occur naturally, then the decay of a massive amount stops being the only possible explanation. Read the article again and here is the URL for the Independent article.

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