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    Jews without Israel                                                                                         LATEST SHARED DISCUSSED TWEETS

                                                                                                                 1. State Dept: No US aid to Israel until
    Corey Robin on September 8, 2013                     391                                                        budget deal …        2


           Facebook         Twitter       Reddit        Google                                                   2. ‘Together,’ US and Israel have probed
                                                                                                                    horizons of science, medicine …         2


    This post originally appeared September 6, 2013 on Corey Robin’s blog.                                       3. Sam Tanenhaus rebrands antiwar as–
                                                                                                                    ‘isolationist’   2

    In shul this morning, the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the rabbi spoke at length
                                                                                                                 4. Netanyahu’s tale of Iranian deception
    about the State of Israel. This is more surprising than you might think. I’ve been                              debunked by British diplomat       9
    going to this shul since I moved to Brooklyn in 1999, and if memory serves, it’s
                                                                                                                 5. In battle for American hearts and minds,
    only been in the last two or three years that the rabbi has devoted at least one of
                                                                                                                    Iran says Obama …        4
    her High Holy Days talks to Israel.
                                                                                                                 6. Hillel director slams Birthright for refusing
                                                                                                                    students’ requests to meet …       24
    Throughout the aughts, Israel didn’t come up much in shul. During flash points of
    the Second Intifada, you might hear a prayer for Jewish Israelis or nervous                                  7. Netanyahu previously used family story of
    temporizing about some action in Jenin or Gaza. But I can’t recall an entire                                    anti-Semitic attack to justify …     18

    sermon devoted to the State of Israel and its meaning for Jews.
                                                                                                                 8. Israel’s painful concessions are like Iran’s
                                                                                                                    nuclear weapon — a …         3
    That’s also how I remember much of my synagogue experience as a kid. Don’t get
    me wrong: Israel was central to my Jewish education. My entire family—my five
    sisters, my parents, and my grandfather—visited there with our synagogue in 1977.
    Several of my sisters, as well as my parents, have been back. The safety of Israel
    was always on my mind; I remember spending many a Friday night service
    imagining a terrorist attack on our synagogue, so short seemed the distance
    between suburban New York and Tel Aviv. I wrote about Israel in school essays (I
    actually defended its role in the Sabra and Shatila massacre). I had a strong
    feeling for Israel (or what I thought was Israel): a combination of hippie and holy,                        RECENT COMMENTS
    Godly and groovy, a feeling well captured by Steven Spielberg in Munich.                                    CLICK LINK TO SEE LAST 100 COMMENTS

                                                                                                               ‘Together,’ US and Israel have probed
    But for all of Israel’s role in my Jewish upbringing, I don’t remember my rabbi                            horizons of science, medicine and
    talking about the state all that much. In fact, the only time I remember him                               military technology, Oren says (2)
    bringing it up was in 1982, not long after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. This was                          seafoid: “the ideal of a Jewish people which
                                                                                                               can bridge political and religious differences
    the first time that I became aware of international criticism of Israel. I had known,
                                                                                                               and which remains...
    of course, about Arab and Palestinian opposition to the state, but in the world of                         seafoid: Together they have rolled back
    American Jewry, that was all too easy to dismiss. The 1982 invasion, however, was                          international law and the Geneva
    especially controversial and brought Israel intense criticism from across the globe.                       conventions. Well done, Israel. Jews of the...
    Or at least sufficiently intense that I noticed.                                                           State Dept: No US aid to Israel until
                                                                                                               budget deal is reached (2)
    Our rabbi—Chaim Stern, who edited the prayer book that’s now used at Reform                                edwin: It is an ill wind that blows no good.
    synagogues across the country—was wry and erudite, not given to hot                                        BillM: Meh. I took that to mean that the aid
                                                                                                               itself is not interrupted, but some of the
    pronouncements. But something in the air that year stirred him to defend the
                                                                                                               people who actually do the...



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Jews without Israel | Mondoweiss


    State of Israel against its many critics. I’ve forgotten most of what he said, but one
                                                                                             J Street leaders praise IDF, but
    comment stuck with me: Israel should be allowed to be a normal state. We
                                                                                             audience cheers BDS (139)
    shouldn’t demand of Israel that it be a nation above others; we should let it be a       Hostage: In actual practice people have had
    state among others. Stern didn’t mean what many of us would now take that                extreme difficulty proving to the State
    statement to mean: that Israel should be held to the same standard as other states,      Department’s satisfaction...
    particularly states that claim to be liberal democracies. He meant that it should be     Light: Although a person’s enlistment in the
                                                                                             armed forces of a foreign country may not
    free to hunt and kill its enemies. Just like any other state.
                                                                                             constitute a violation...

    But aside from this one instance, my memory of my rabbi is that he was relatively        Netanyahu previously used family
                                                                                             story of anti-Semitic attack to justify
    silent on the topic. Israel was so much a part of the moral and material fabric of
                                                                                             expelling African asylum seekers from
    our lives that it didn’t require elaborate sermons and defenses or justifications. It    Israel (18)
    (or an image of it) was something we lived rather than something we were                 tree: Max said this: In January 2011, at the
    lectured about.                                                                          July 2011 Manufacturers Association
                                                                                             Conference in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu...

    And that’s how it had mostly been at the shul I now attend in Brooklyn. Until            J Street’s achievements (60)
    about two years ago. I remember the rabbi first taking up the topic in earnest in        seafoid: The thousand year reich and israel’s
                                                                                             eternal indivisible capital must be cousins.
    2011 (or was it 2010?), almost apologetically, saying that we in the shul had been
    too quiet about Israel. It was time to talk. And by talk, she meant defend. Israel       Hotel Rwanda at Cooper Union (51)
    was under attack, politically and ideologically; its status in the culture could no      Hostage: I found only two tiny organisations
                                                                                             signing a letter , which is all in fact that the
    longer be taken for granted. We had to speak up on its behalf. I remember
                                                                                             ‘One State Declaration...
    wondering at the time whether she wasn’t responding to some specific call from
                                                                                             Sam Tanenhaus rebrands antiwar as–
    other rabbis, a sense that Israel was beginning to lose control of the conversation
                                                                                             ‘isolationist’ (2)
    not just internationally but in the US as well.                                          Chespirito: Great post Phil, with a perfect
                                                                                             kicker, Annie. After all, what’s an
    But what’s become clear to me since then—and this morning’s sermon confirmed             isolationist? An isolationist...
    it—is that it’s not the goyim the rabbis are worried about; it’s Jews. And not
    merely anti-Zionist, middle-aged lefty Jews like me but also younger Jews who are         OUR WRITERS

    indifferent to Zionism.
                                                                                                            PHILIP WEISS


    In her talk this morning, the rabbi cited a statistic: where 80 percent of Jews over                    ANNIE ROBBINS
    65 feel that the destruction of the State of Israel would be a personal tragedy, only
    50 percent of Jews under 35 feel the same way. I have no idea if this is true or                        MARC H. ELLIS
    what study it’s based on (this article in Tablet cites the same statistic), and
    admittedly it’s a high (and kind of weird) bar upon which to hang and measure                           ADAM HOROWITZ

    support for the State of Israel. But my anecdotal sense is that there is something
                                                                                                            KATE
    to it. Earlier this year, I had a drink with a 20-something journalist who’s Jewish.
    He said most Jews his age didn’t think or care all that much about Israel. Where
                                                                                                            IRA GLUNTS
    Jews my age had to work toward our opposition to Israel—overcoming heated
    criticism and feelings of betrayal from friends and family—Jews his age, he
                                                                                                            ALEX KANE
    suggested, could simply slough off the state as if it were so many old clothes.
                                                                                                            ALLISON DEGER
    But what most stood out for me from this morning’s sermon was how nervous the
    rabbi was about bringing up the topic. After talking a bit about how Israel felt to                                        More Writers
    her as a kid (her memories are much like mine), she said that nowadays it seemed
                                                                                              BLOGROLL
    as if one couldn’t have a conversation with another Jew about Israel without
    fearing that it would explode into an argument. So fraught is the topic, she said,        Select
                                                                                              Select ...   ...

    that many of us have opted not to talk about it at all. An uneasy silence had
    descended upon the Jewish community—an anxious modus vivendi in which we
    don’t agree to disagree but agree not to discuss—and it was this, more than
    anything, that worried her.



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    Now there are many reasons why a Jew would be made nervous by such a silence.
    Jews like to pride themselves on their tradition of argument and internal dissent.
    For every two Jews, three opinions, and so on. (That’s often not been my
    experience of Jews and Judaism, but it’s certainly a part of our sense of ourselves).
    Judaism, moreover, is not a religion of inner lights, of atomistic individuals who
    do their own thing. Ours is the religion of a people, a people with a rather insistent
    sense of collectivity. We do not shuffle into private confessionals; we declare our
    guilt publicly and communally. On Yom Kippur, we recite all the offenses we have
    committed against God and to each other (my personal favorite is “stiff-
    neckedness”). Individually, we may not have committed all of them, but that
    doesn’t matter. Somewhere, someone in the community did, and we’re all
    responsible.

    But the rabbi wasn’t concerned about the conversation about Israel for these
    reasons. Something else seemed to be bothering her. If Jews can’t speak to each
    other about Israel, how can they defend the state to the rest of the country, much
    less the world? If defenders of Israel can’t make the case to the Jewish people, to
    whom can they make the case? Instead of issuing a call to arms, the rabbi pleaded
    for civility: let’s learn to speak to each other with mutual regard and respect, not
    to demonize each other simply because we take different positions on the State of
    Israel. Though she framed this as a universal injunction, I suspect she was
    speaking more personally. It seemed as if she felt like she had been demonized for
    her support for Israel (which is not, I should hasten to add, uncritical support but
    probably something closer to Peter Beinart’s liberal Zionism). And not by Arabs or
    the French, but by other Jews, perhaps even Jews in her own congregation.


    I know how she feels. Though I grew up in a Zionist family, my position on Israel
    began to shift during my last years as an undergraduate in the late 1980s. In my
    junior year, I studied at Jesus College, Oxford. On the one hand, the experience
    solidified my identity as a Jew. Growing up in suburban Westchester, I never felt
    marked as other, as exotic or alien or strange. But at Oxford I did (I remember
    visiting a friend’s family over the Christmas holiday. Upon my arrival, the first
    thing they remarked upon was my being Jewish. It was as if they had been talking
    about it for weeks, wondering what they would do with this Jew once he crossed
    the threshold.) I came away from my year in England not only more identified as
    a Jew but also more interested in being Jewish.


    On the other hand, that was the year of the Intifada, which set me on a path of
    questioning the State of Israel. When I returned to the States, I heard Edward
    Said speak on campus. I was mesmerized (anyone who had the privilege of hearing
    Said on Israel/Palestine knows what I’m talking about).


    Coming out of these experiences, I recommitted myself to Judaism while rejecting
    Zionism. I learned how to be a Jew without Israel.

    My break with Israel didn’t happen all at once. It was a process, but it did have an
    end point. In the summer of 1993, I was in Tennessee with my then-girlfriend,
    who was doing dissertation research there. Toward the end of the summer, I
    bought a copy of Said’s The Question of Palestine and read it in two days. As we
    drove back to New Haven, all hell broke loose. She was Jewish and at the time a


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    firm if critical believer in Israel as a Jewish state. I began the car ride by voicing
    some tentative criticisms, but the conversation quickly escalated. It ended with me
    declaring that no child of mine would ever step foot in the State of Israel (I was
    kind of melodramatic in those days). We didn’t speak for a week.

    That was my last experience of really getting into it with another Jew over Israel. I
    learned my lesson. I kept quiet. For about a decade and a half. The topic was
    simply too painful. I would only talk about it with ideologically sympathetic
    friends (and a couple of my sisters, who had come around to the same position as
    me) or with non-Jews. I couldn’t bear the feeling that I was being disloyal to the
    Jewish people; it was as if I had turned my back on my own family. I didn’t change
    my position; I just didn’t publicize or push it.

    But something has changed in the last few years. The BDS movement has made
    great strides, critics like Ali Abunimah provide thousands of followers on Twitter
    with a constant stream of vital information we wouldn’t get elsewhere, books like
    Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby (whatever you think of its thesis) have
    blown open a topic long considered taboo, and respected voices in the mainstream
    media like Glenn Greenwald (and before him, Tony Judt) have made it possible
    for Jews to speak our minds on the topic. Now my little tribe within a tribe is
    more vocal, and suddenly it is our opponents who feel like they have to be careful
    around us and not vice versa.

    I don’t want to overstate things. The pro-Israel forces still have an iron grip on the
    conversation in Congress (not to mention the expenditures and actions of the
    American state as a whole); critics of Israel are still vulnerable on college
    campuses; and lock-step support for Israel is still a requirement for mainstream
    respectability in most of the mainstream media.

    I also wouldn’t want to make too much of a few sermons at my shul in Brooklyn,
    which despite being Conservative is politically progressive. I suspect the
    conversation in other shuls is rather different.

    Still, if what my rabbi says is any indication, something may be happening in the
    Jewish community. If we look beneath the world of AIPAC and high politics, if we
    pay attention to the everyday conversation and its unspoken rules of discretion, we
    may be seeing a subtle shift in manners and mores that portends something larger
    and more fundamental.

    I don’t know what that something larger is, or will be, and despite what
    Montesquieu and Tocqueville taught us, the politics of politesse is just that. Even
    so, for the first time in 20 years, I’m hopeful.


    Shanah Tovah.


           Facebook         Twitter       Reddit        Google




                            About Corey Robin
                            Corey Robin teaches political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY



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Jews without Israel | Mondoweiss




                            Graduate Center. He is the author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism
                            from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin and Fear: The History of a Political Idea.
                            View all posts by Corey Robin →



    Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics


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    { 391 comments... read them below or add one }

    seanmcbride says:
    September 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Corey,



            Coming out of these experiences, I recommitted myself to Judaism while
            rejecting Zionism. I learned how to be a Jew without Israel.




    But the worldwide Jewish religious establishment — the official authority on Judaism
    — has fully embraced Zionism and merged Jewish ethnic and religious nationalism
    with Judaism.

    Your thoughts?

    Committing yourself to Judaism these days means committing yourself to Israel and
    Zionism — unless you belong to a fringe Jewish religious group like Neturei Karta.

          Annie Robbins says:
          September 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm

          Committing yourself to Judaism these days means committing yourself to Israel
          and Zionism — unless you belong to a fringe Jewish religious group like Neturei
          Karta.

          that’s just the way you see it sean, but others don’t. for one thing judaism is not
          confined by a Jewish religious establishment. and “worldwide” implies there are
          no practicing jews outside this ‘establishment’ (sans your caveat).

          all it takes is one person like corey to commit himself to judaism while rejecting
          zionism to disprove your theory, and i’m sure there’s many others besides corey.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

                Annie,

                We continue to miscommunicate on this subject for reasons that are entirely
                mystifying to me.

                I have never denied that many religious Jews are not are embroiled or
                enmeshed in Zionism or Israeli politics — a relatively small minority of them
                are even passionate anti-Zionists.



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                What I have argued, and continue to argue, is that the leading organizations
                within the Jewish religious establishment (see the membership list of the
                Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations) have
                strongly promoted the belief that Judaism and Zionism are joined at the hip
                — elements of a single ethnic and religious nationalist ideology — and that
                their efforts have played an extremely important role in indoctrinating many
                religious Jews into Zionism.

                What’s to argue? Shouldn’t these facts of life be obvious?

                Until that belief system is chipped away at, the Israel lobby is going to remain
                enormously powerful in American politics.

                I would love to hear Corey Robin’s thoughts on this subject — he is obviously
                a thoughtful person (and he has an academic background in intellectual
                history).

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm

                mystifying? sean, just for the heck of it let’s imagine corey is not familiar with
                your comment history. i think we’ve run into these communication issues
                before over your framing. i’m not saying you’ve denied anything, i mentioned
                what your framing/wording implies, at least to me.

                when you write ‘Committing yourself to Judaism …. means committing
                yourself to Israel and Zionism’ the way i read that statement, is that is
                directly contradicts corey’s statement.

                can you both be right? can corey commit himself to judaism and still reject
                zionism? or not. because as you say, if committing yourself to Judaism ….
                means committing yourself to Israel and Zionism, then it would seem both
                cannot be right.

                What’s to argue? Shouldn’t these facts of life be obvious?

                since you brought up facts, what leading organizations do, and how they
                indoctrinate, is not the same as stating an idea (Committing to Judaism=
                committing to Israel/Zionism) as fact.

                so just for clarity, is this your idea, or a fact:

                Committing yourself to Judaism these days means committing yourself to
                Israel and Zionism — unless you belong to a fringe Jewish religious group
                like Neturei Karta.

                hope this dissipates some of your mystification, it’s really not that
                complicated. and i’d love to hear Corey Robin’s thoughts too, i hope you don’t
                think my seeking clarification will somehow prevent him from responding to
                you, for that is not the case, nor my purpose.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

                Annie,

                Sorry, I am still somewhat mystified.



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Jews without Israel | Mondoweiss


                This is the essence of my thoughts behind my comment for Corey:

                Which branches of Judaism currently repudiate the ideological and political
                linkage of Judaism with Zionism? Are you a member of one of those groups
                — or perhaps pursuing the study of Judaism without any organizational
                affiliation? What actions do you think might be effective in weaning
                mainstream Jewish religious organizations away from Zionism? What do you
                think explains the grip of Zionism on the minds of many or most Orthodox,
                Conservative and Reform leaders?

                If this discussion is inappropriate for Mondoweiss, feel free to pursue it here:

                link to friendfeed.com

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm

                i’m just commenting as a person sean, a singular individual and i will be
                departing for the rest of the day shortly so i’m sure others will share their
                ideas as well. but i can’t figure out why you’re mystified. can you answer my
                question? maybe we can sort it out:



                        so just for clarity, is this your idea, or a fact:


                        Committing yourself to Judaism these days means committing
                        yourself to Israel and Zionism — unless you belong to a fringe
                        Jewish religious group like Neturei Karta.




                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

                Annie,

                This statement makes sense to me:



                        Committing yourself to Judaism these days means committing
                        yourself to Israel and Zionism — unless you belong to a fringe
                        Jewish religious group like Neturei Karta.




                Contemporary mainstream Judaism is passionately Zionist, even when some
                members of that establishment dissent from particular Israeli policies.

                Non-Zionist or anti-Zionist groups within the Jewish religious world are in a
                decided minority — with little impact on the affairs of the Jewish
                establishment (religious or secular).

                This doesn’t strike me as a controversial statement.

                I will be happy to be corrected by Corey or anyone else here if I am mistaken.




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Jews without Israel | Mondoweiss


                Citizen says:
                September 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm

                @ Annie Robbins
                I think seanmcbride is just echoing Mr Robin, who says there’s a difference
                between Gentiles, especially Western Christians and secular ones, and Jews.
                The difference is between people like yourself, who operate totally as
                individuals, and any Jew, who operates in the Jewish environment he was
                born and bred in, which values the collective more than the individual. That’s
                why it’s so hard for any born Jew to fight Zionism in today’s general Jewish
                environment, which remains highly pro-Israel right or wrong. True, Robin
                says this is changing as to younger American Jews because they’ve been more
                assimilated to individualism, the American way. But the established PTB
                have not changed, and they are leading us into a war on Syria, then on Iran.
                If you watch the JINSA panel on CSPAN today, it’s really obvious.

                Hostage says:
                September 8, 2013 at 4:19 pm

                Which branches of Judaism currently repudiate the ideological and political
                linkage of Judaism with Zionism?

                To answer your question many Jewish congregations don’t take marching
                orders from their own Rabbis, let alone the self-important “Major”
                organizations. The Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council includes
                Zionists, non-Zionists and anti-Zionists from Orthodox, Conservative,
                Reform, and Reconstructionist streams.

                I’ve pointed out before that Rabbi Elmer Berger was an Anti-Zionist Reform
                Jew who was also the head of one of those Jewish organizations. Phil and
                Jack Ross have devoted several articles to the subject here in the past. I’ve
                also pointed out that the Pittsburgh Platform of the Reform movement
                discredited the idea that Jews are required to support a Jewish nation state
                in Palestine on any divine or religious bases.

                The subsequent statement in the Columbus Platform that there is an
                obligation of all Jewry to aid in upbuilding Palestinie as a Jewish homeland
                has always been a non-sequitur that was patently political in nature. It wasn’t
                rationalized or grounded in either the movement’s theology or its ethics. It’s
                still a political linkage, that isn’t an essential element of Judaism.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm

                Hostage,

                Ok: we’ve got one name so far in the quest for Jewish religious organizations
                that challenge the Jewish establishment on Israel and Zionism:

                Wikipedia: Jewish Voice for Peace
                link to en.wikipedia.org

                To the best of my knowledge JVP has had little impact on the Israeli
                government, the Israel lobby or the Jewish religious establishment. Sheldon
                Adelson or Haim Saban could buy all their assets with pocket change.

                Let me be clear: in no way am I trying to denigrate or ridicule the heroic



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Jews without Israel | Mondoweiss


                efforts of JVP members and supporters — I am just trying to be realistic
                about their relative power vis-a-vis the Jewish establishment.

                PeaceThroughJustice says:
                September 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

                Annie writes, “i can’t figure out why you’re mystified …”

                Oh come on Annie. This ban on the use of collective nouns gets boring.
                Obviously there can be individuals who both call themselves “committed to
                Judaism” and who also oppose Zionism. Anyone can call themselves anything
                they want.

                But if you agree with Robin that Jewishness is clearly marked by “a rather
                insistent sense of collectivity” (to put it mildly), and since roughly 95% of that
                collectivity not only supports Zionism but has made it the very cornerstone of
                their identities, then it seems to me it’s perfectly legitimate for sean to point
                out just how remarkable Robin’s conversion is and to wonder how it was
                done. Trying to square Jewishness with anti-zionism is after all what Phil’s
                site is basically all about.

                (Two quick asides: watch out for people who switch back and forth between
                talking about “Jewishness and Jewish identity” and “Judaism.” While
                sometimes it can just be the result of lazy thinking, it’s usually part of a shell
                game and an attempt to justify what can’t be justified by wrapping it in the
                robes of religion. Second: notice that Robin makes clear that his idea of
                Jewishness is based on a feeling of “otherness”, of being apart from non-
                Jews. This is pretty standard stuff for the modern secular Jewish self-identity
                and while it’s not exactly the same thing as the ideology of Zionism, you’ll
                have to admit it’s not unrelated to it.)

                MHughes976 says:
                September 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm

                I think it’s clear (from books like Jacqueline Rose’s ‘Question of Zion’ for
                instance) that there’s no logical necessity for a believer in Judaism, however
                committed, to be a Zionist and that until quite recently the majority were not
                Zionist at all. However it does seem that as of now there’s a massive majority
                within Jewish religion -whether you think of individuals or of organisations –
                for Zionism, presumably with all the usual shades of opinion from hardline to
                liberal. So it must be very hard not to feel at least somewhat alienated from
                Judaism, as Judaism is now, if you can’t accept Zionism – the Joel Kovel
                problem, perhaps. This brings a non-religious element into the relationship
                between different religions, which is unpleasant, as the Church of Scotland
                found out recently.

                Sibiriak says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:17 am

                PeaceThroughJustice:


                        Trying to square Jewishness with anti-zionism is after all what
                        Phil’s site is basically all about.


                        (Two quick asides: watch out for people who switch back and


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                        forth between talking about “Jewishness and Jewish identity” and
                        “Judaism.”




                It follows, then, that squaring Jewishness with anti-Zionism is not necessarily
                the same as squaring Judaism with anti-Zionism.

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 6:59 am

                Hostage,

                Ok: we’ve got one name so far in the quest for Jewish religious
                organizations that challenge the Jewish establishment on Israel and
                Zionism:

                The oligarchy of zillionares that prop the so-called Jewish establishment
                aren’t theologically inspired, can’t deliver the Jewish vote, and don’t care
                what the grass roots think about their agenda in any event.

                You and CitizenC have wasted a lot of our time here bitching about the mere
                existence of Jewish organizations like JVP. Now you’re complaining that you
                want more of them? I gather that Annie thinks there is something wrong with
                that picture. If you are looking for Jewish organizations and leadership why
                ignore B’tselem, Yesh Din, Peace Now, the Association for Civil Rights in
                Israel, and opinion makers like Tony Judt, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky,
                Norman Finkelstein, Tony Kushner, Anthony Lowenstein, Ed Asner, Mandy
                Patinkin, and for that matter the Jews who write or support Phil, Adam, Max,
                Allison & etc. right here at Mondoweiss?

                You must be aware of the fact that the surveys show the majority of young
                persons of Jewish descent aren’t active in religious organizations and that
                they don’t financially or politically support the so-called “major” Jewish
                organizations either. Judaism is like any other form of spirituality. It’s based
                upon individual personal beliefs, not on political front groups. All the surveys
                show that young Jews are alienated by Israeli policies and these Zionist
                organizations that you are so concerned about. They may influence Dick and
                Jane, but they don’t sway Jewish public opinion on Israel or impact the
                Jewish vote so much.

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 7:08 am

                I am just trying to be realistic about their relative power vis-a-vis the
                Jewish establishment.

                I think the Jewish vote for Obama in the last election, despite the best efforts
                of Netanyahu, Adelson, et al on behalf of Gingrich, Romney, or anyone else
                illustrates the power of the Jewish establishment. Most Jews, like the rest of
                the population, oppose the current effort by the same “Jewish establishment ”
                to intervene in the civil war in Syria.

                Theo says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:28 am

                @seanmcbride


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                By reading that article in Wikipedia on the JVP I noticed that all founding
                members were females. According to many, this world would be a better
                place if the majority of politicians and heads of governments were woman, we
                would have less wars and strite.
                On the other hand Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi and president of Sri
                Lanka with a name one can never remember, were not very peaceful and
                waged wars without remorse.

                I second your observation that there are very few jewish organisations that
                really fight zionism and they are mostly ineffective and totally ignored by
                Israel.
                This is a jewish blog and put your hand on your heart, if it came to an attack
                on Israel by UN forces, including troops from the USA, to free Palestina, how
                many of you would approve such action?

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:29 am

                Hostage,



                        You and CitizenC have wasted a lot of our time here bitching
                        about the mere existence of Jewish organizations like JVP.




                This is a false statement. I’ve praised JVP for its courage and heroism. I have
                also remarked, factually, that JVP and groups like it have exerted very little
                influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and the Jewish religious
                establishment.

                Try comparing the budget of AIPAC and the ADL with that of JVP — and
                AIPAC and the ADL are merely the tip of a vast pro-Israel organizational
                network.

                Wikipedia on how “the mainstream Jewish comunity” views JVP:



                        The Jewish Bulletin of Northern California wrote in 2003 that
                        “the mainstream Jewish community has viewed A Jewish Voice
                        for Peace [sic] as a group of radical Jews who air dirty laundry by
                        criticizing Israel when the Jewish state is under attack. Some go
                        as far as to label the members self-hating Jews.”


                        link to en.wikipedia.org




                Betsy says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:31 am

                @Citizen — it is a stereotype of “Western Christians” to describe as “totally”
                individualistic. For instance, within Christian communities over past half



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                century, there have been repeated waves of wrenching struggles to balance
                collective identities against a call to stand against what is wrong in the
                collective (e.g., for mainline Christian churches — this has meant struggles
                against imperialist “America-first” militarism vs. anti-war; gay rights;
                ‘gradualism’ in racial justice vs. civil rights movement, etc). There is a
                constant struggle in most faith traditions between collective
                feelings/identities & the scary process of taking a stand. The nature of ethics
                & morality is that there’s a constant need for renewal & reform — & usually
                the reform comes in the form of lonely “voices crying in the wilderness”. To
                frame this as a uniquely “Jewish” issue is problematic. As Marc Ellis keeps
                reminding us — there is the strong tradition of the lonely prophet who stops
                worrying about tact & social acceptance. I think that Corey Robin & others
                are beginning this conversation — but if it gets framed as a particularly
                Jewish problem — it could reinforce a kind of Jewish exceptionalism — as if
                this is unique — when in fact it’s one of the most widespread tensions in any
                faith community. It’s built into religion — and gets framed in diverse ways,
                with some foregrounding on side or the other, at different times. The
                question of individualism in “the American Way” is a separate question…
                from what’s happening in “Western Christianity” right now.

                German Lefty says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:21 am

                According to many, this world would be a better place if the majority of
                politicians and heads of governments were woman, we would have less
                wars and strite.
                Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Christine O’Donnell …
                Although I am a woman and consider myself a feminist, I don’t think that
                women are any better than men.

                if it came to an attack on Israel by UN forces, including troops from the
                USA, to free Palestina, how many of you would approve such action?
                My vote would depend on what the Palestinians want. Israel was built on
                Palestinian land. Therefore, an invasion of Israel would require Palestinian
                approval. Invading land without the permission of its rightful owners would
                be aggression. As a pacifist, I am against aggression.

                AlGhorear says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

                Interesting comment, PeaceThroughJustice. It helped clarify some things in
                my mind. But I still can’t make the illogical leap that Sean does when he says
                ” Committing yourself to Judaism these days means committing yourself to
                Israel and Zionism — unless you belong to a fringe Jewish religious group
                like Neturei Karta.”

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:28 am

                AlGhorear,



                        But I still can’t make the illogical leap that Sean does when he
                        says “Committing yourself to Judaism these days means



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                        committing yourself to Israel and Zionism — unless you belong to
                        a fringe Jewish religious group like Neturei Karta.”




                The logic here is elementary and solid: the mainstream Jewish religious
                establishment (including Reform Judaism) has embraced Zionism and folded
                it into Judaism.

                Perhaps Corey Robin is affiliated with a non-mainstream branch of
                contemporary Judaism that opposes Zionism. I would love to hear his
                thoughts on this subject.

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:40 am

                Hostage,

                You and CitizenC have wasted a lot of our time here bitching about the mere
                existence of Jewish organizations like JVP.

                This is a false statement.

                Let me straighten you out then. I found it remarkable when you claimed that
                CitizenC had produced “a wealth of documentation” to support the
                proposition that there was no basis for the existence of a secular Jewish
                identity. His assertion was pretty easily refuted from Talmudic sources and
                the Jewish Publication Society of America. It also illustrated that you had
                made up your mind without bothering to even read the material he cited. link
                to mondoweiss.net

                I confronted CitizenC with verbatim citations from my old mentor Dr.
                Mallison on the key role played by Anti-Zionist Jews in insisting that the
                drafts of the Balfour declaration be amended to safeguard the rights of non-
                Jews, and Jews in other countries, because I happened to know that CitizenC
                had utterly mischaracterized Mallison’s position on the role of the minority
                treaties. Mallison testified to the Senate that Israel’s claim to territory was
                based upon its compliance with the terms of a minority treaty. They aren’t an
                anachronism from a by-gone age as CitzenC would have you believe.

                He also made a bogus claim with respect to the alleged difference of opinion
                between Rabbi Elmer Berger and Noam Chomsky on the factors that
                influence foreign policy and the role of the Jewish Lobby. I quoted a portion
                of an essay written by Berger on the subject which illustrated that CitizenC
                was misusing his own sources.

                More importantly, I provided documentary evidence from treaties ratified by
                the United States, including the Palestine Mandate Convention, and Supreme
                Court decisions which established that various Jewish ethnic minority groups
                were, and still are, legally recognized. Jewish ethnicity is thus a federally
                protected characteristic under all of the key US civil rights legislation,
                whether they are considered “a people” or not. FYI, minority groups in this
                country, including the Jews, only obtained equal opportunities and treatment
                by being pushy and going to Court early and often. The legislatures usually
                acted begrudgingly or belatedly to codify landmark Court decisions.



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                I’ve also cited a number of books and articles about the role played by non-
                Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews in defending the rights of other ethnic
                minorities throughout much of Europe and the Ottoman Empire as part of
                what they perceived to be a traditional Jewish social or charitable mission. If
                you find fault with that movement, it only proves that no good deed ever goes
                unpunished.

                When CitzenC tried to misuse David Landy’s book and Miko Peled’s book and
                lectures as the basis for his diatribes about the JVP, I pointed out that both
                men have actually praised the work of our organization and that Landy had
                acknowledged the historical contributions of secular and social Jewish
                political movements, contrary to CitizenC’s claims.

                In fact, CitizenC almost never produced a single citation about “Jewish
                identity politics” that failed to distort things or mislead the reader about the
                views of the original authors. A lot of your comments tend to create the
                impression that you feel Judaism or Jewish identity should be taboo.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

                Hostage,



                        Let me straighten you out then. I found it remarkable when you
                        claimed that CitizenC had produced “a wealth of documentation”
                        to support the proposition that there was no basis for the
                        existence of a secular Jewish identity.




                That is not my belief at all: I think there is a plentiful basis for a secular
                Jewish identity based on Enlightenment streams of thought. Albert Einstein
                is a perfect example of a secular Jew — there are many others.

                My main point in that debate was that Zionism — including secular Zionism
                — has been heavily influenced by myths, symbols, themes, memes, etc. from
                ancient and rabbinical Judaism. See, for instance, the writings of Max
                Nordau.

                With regard to the details of your debate with CitizenC, I’ll have to review
                them with I find some time. I think that you both you and CitizenC are
                exceptionally strong thinkers.

                Main point: I hold JVP in high respect. To suggest otherwise is to make a
                false statement.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm

                @Annie, Shalom: This is a personal message to you. Please, don’t publish it:

                [edit: see here: link to mondoweiss.net ]

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm




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                Oh come on Annie. This ban on the use of collective nouns gets boring.

                if there were a ban on it you wouldn’t have read it here.

                But if you agree with Robin that Jewishness is clearly marked by “a rather
                insistent sense of collectivity” (to put it mildly),……then it seems to me it’s
                perfectly legitimate for sean to point out just how remarkable Robin’s
                conversion is and to wonder how it was done.

                actually i was responding to the very first comment in the thread ptj. for your
                review: link to mondoweiss.net

                this is the comment that started the conversation, and the way i read it
                there’s nothing in there about sean pointing out just how remarkable Robin’s
                conversion is or wondering how it was done. the comment was a statement,
                unflorished by ‘it seems to me’ on ‘imho’. sean’s question to corey began with
                ‘but’, referenced ” the worldwide Jewish religious establishment — the official
                authority on Judaism” and then claimed judaism “means committing yourself
                to Israel and Zionism” (which is directly opposed to corey’s personal
                contention) w/the caveat “unless you belong to a fringe Jewish religious
                group like Neturei Karta. ”

                the implication/suggestion of equivalence w/Neturei Karta noted.

                i only speak for myself in these threads, so my querie doesn’t represent a
                ‘ban’, but how anyone can find my point ‘mysterious’ is frankly beyond me.

                hophmi says:
                September 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm

                “My vote would depend on what the Palestinians want. Israel was built on
                Palestinian land. Therefore, an invasion of Israel would require Palestinian
                approval. Invading land without the permission of its rightful owners would
                be aggression. As a pacifist, I am against aggression.”

                ROTFLMFAO. You’re a pacifist, but you’d support a military attack on Israel
                if the Palestinians wanted it.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm

                “ROTFLMFAO.”

                Still haven’t mastered that whole “reading for comprehension” thing, I see,
                eh, hoppy?

                German Lefty says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm

                You’re a pacifist, but you’d support a military attack on Israel if the
                Palestinians wanted it.
                It couldn’t be regarded as an attack. It would be helping the Palestinians
                defend themselves against the Zionist land thieves.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

                German Lefty,




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                        Although I am a woman and consider myself a feminist, I don’t
                        think that women are any better than men.




                # female hawks and pro-Israel activists

                1. Anne Bayefsky
                2. Caroline Glick
                3. Cheryl Halpern
                4. Danielle Pletka
                5. Debbie Schlussel
                6. Dianne Feinstein
                7. Hillary Clinton
                8. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
                9. Jane Harman
                10. Jennifer Rubin
                11. Kimberley Kagan
                12. Laurie Mylroie
                13. Madeleine Albright
                14. Meyrav Wurmser
                15. Michele Bachmann
                16. Miriam Adelson
                17. Mona Charen
                18. Nancy Pelosi
                19. Pamela Geller
                20. Paul Dobriansky
                21. Rita Katz
                22. Samantha Power
                23. Sarah Palin
                24. Shoshana Bryen
                25. Susan Rice

                1. Madeleine Albright argued that the deaths of a half million Iraqi children
                as the result of US sanctions were “worth it.”

                2. Hillary Clinton threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran during the 2008
                election campaign.

                3. Susan Rice and Samantha Power are spearheading the campaign to go to
                war against Syria.

                All four of them are “liberal Zionists” and “humanitarian interventionists.”

                Some hoped that feminism would present a challenge to the brutal
                warmongering of testosterone-driven males. No such luck.

                hophmi says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm

                “It couldn’t be regarded as an attack. It would be helping the Palestinians
                defend themselves against the Zionist land thieves.”

                Pacifist: “a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.”



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                not “a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable except
                when it’s used to defend Palestinians.”

                Cliff says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

                Zionist: someone who justifies rape, murder, ethnic cleansing, propaganda,
                censorship, discrimination against non-Jews in Israel/Palestine

                i.e. hoppy

                German Lefty says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

                Pacifist: “a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.”

                Read here: link to en.wikipedia.org
                “In contrast to the non-violence principle stands the non-aggression
                principle which rejects the initiation of violence, but permits the use of
                violence for self-defence or delegated defence.”

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm

                But I still can’t make the illogical leap that Sean does when he says ”
                Committing yourself to Judaism these days means committing yourself to
                Israel and Zionism — unless you belong to a fringe Jewish religious group
                like Neturei Karta.”

                i can’t either alghorear, because it’s not logical. note how he just morphs the
                meaning into “mainstream Jewish religious establishment”, or whatever. sean
                never actually walks back anything he says, at least not that i’ve ever
                observed.

                ziusudra says:
                September 10, 2013 at 4:07 am

                Greetings Sean, Annie, Citizen, Hostage
                Now that Socialism in Russia has disappeared, can a Russian still be a
                Russian w/o being a socialist?
                Can’t we be democratic Americans w/o imperialsim?
                Can’t anyone of Judasim be pro Israel w/o being a Zionist?
                Aren’t the Germans Democratic today w/o being Nazis?
                No group of people need to idenify with an ideology,
                especially, imperialism, nazism, socialism for oneness.
                PS Israel has today, a state, the first time since their last short
                period of autonomy in Hasmonean rule from 164BC to 63BC
                betw. the Macedonian & Roman Empires!
                What have they done with this Chance?
                They brought their fears of Europe with them. They lived
                in Ghetti from 70AD to 1945AD & they wish to exist along
                that line. You cannot be a Democracy & not expect wandering
                Mankind to enter into your compound.
                Ideologies & religions are not compatable.
                ziusudra
                PS Can one of Judaism be a true Zio w/o living in Israel ?



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                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 5:24 am

                What I have argued, and continue to argue, is that the leading
                organizations within the Jewish religious establishment (see the
                membership list of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
                Organizations) have strongly promoted the belief that Judaism and Zionism
                are joined at the hip

                The last time I checked, it was perfectly okay for members of the Reform
                Movement to condemn Israeli/WZO settlement policies in the West Bank and
                East Jerusalem. Their leadership has done that, e.g.:


                        America’s largest Jewish movement, the Union for
                        Reform Judaism (URJ), has formally adopted a
                        resolution that publicly denounces Israel’s decision to
                        increase settlement activity, “especially in the E-1 area”.




                – See Chemi Shalev, “Union for Reform Judaism denounces Israel’s decision
                to expand settlements”, Haaretz, Dec. 4, 2012 link to haaretz.com

                So I’m waiting for you to acknowledge that the largest of those 51 “Major”
                Jewish Organizations is really NOT joined at the hip with everything that
                passes itself off under the label of Zionism.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 6:20 am

                To the best of my knowledge JVP has had little impact on the Israeli
                government, the Israel lobby or the Jewish religious establishment. Sheldon
                Adelson or Haim Saban could buy all their assets with pocket change.

                Nonetheless, JVP is still here and those other organizations and individuals
                have spilled oceans of ink promulgating propaganda against us and our
                positions. By way of comparison, the spending and programs of the
                government of Israel and its mogels on US campus hasbara have been
                disasters by their own admission. So we must be doing something right.
                BTW, what are your people or organizations doing to impact Israel and has
                anyone else ever heard from them?

                Our chapters and campus organizations have been very successful in support
                of the efforts of the BDS movement and Israeli Apartheid Week activities that
                have raised public awareness. We’ve certainly had more success than Obama,
                and he has thousands of nuclear weapons and a trillion dollar budget.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:24 am

                Hostage,

                I think JVP, working with a fraction of the resources enjoyed by the
                mainstream Israel lobby, has done amazing work — one JVP member is
                worth more than 100 mainstream Israel lobby members in terms of impact.
                Perhaps David will eventually beat Goliath in this battle — but it’s an uphill



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                struggle. The opposition is fabulously wealthy, well-organized and highly
                motivated.

                One can envision a possible future tipping point in which a critical mass of
                mainstream Israel lobby members figure out that JVP has the better analysis
                of what is going on in the world — and then the political situation could
                suddenly flip. So you may win down the line if you don’t give up.

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 11:13 am

                “1. Madeleine Albright argued that the deaths of a half million Iraqi children
                as the result of US sanctions were ‘worth it.’”

                That was how the interviewer formulated the question, not what Albright
                said. Albright said the sanctions were worth the price; there is always a
                human toll with economic sanctions. Responsibility for the deaths of Iraqi
                children hardly lies with the United States as much as it lies with those Iraqi
                leaders who chose not to heed the UN Security Counsel and those who
                designed the economy to be completely reliant on oil. These were UN
                sanctions, not US sanctions.

                “2. Hillary Clinton threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran during the 2008
                election campaign.”

                Nonsense. She said that if Iran attacked Israel, the US could totally obliterate
                it, not that the US would, and certainly not that the US would in the abstract.
                I assume most of us agree with that statement.

                “3. Susan Rice and Samantha Power are spearheading the campaign to go to
                war against Syria.”

                “All four of them are ‘liberal Zionists’ and ‘humanitarian interventionists.’”

                Yep. They do seem to all believe that the United States should respond when
                enemies mass murder their civilians. Power was certainly right about Bosnia
                and Kosovo. The real question is why the leftists do not seem to think
                anything need be done.

                eljay        says:
                September 10, 2013 at 11:31 am

                >> Yep. They do seem to all believe that the United States should respond
                when enemies mass murder their civilians.

                I like how the phrasing – “when enemies mass murder their civilians” –
                spares the U.S. the need to respond to mass murders committed by its
                friends – such as Israel – or by the U.S. itself of their own or of foreign
                civilians.

                That said, you omitted a phrase from your comment: “They do seem to all
                believe that, when it suits its purposes to do so, the United States should
                respond when enemies mass murder their civilians.”

                It’s less noble-sounding, but more accurate.

                Donald says:



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                September 10, 2013 at 11:56 am

                “I like how the phrasing – “when enemies mass murder their civilians” –
                spares the U.S. the need to respond to mass murders committed by its
                friends – such as Israel – or by the U.S. itself of their own or of foreign
                civilians.”

                Hophmi is a good example of a certain type of unreflective, morally
                inconsistent, self-serving “liberal”. For anyone tempted to swallow his
                excuses for the Iraq sanctions, Joy Gordon’s book and website provide an
                antidote–

                Invisible War

                Can anyone imagine hophmi excusing sanctions on Israel that increased
                mortality rates and impoverished the country on the grounds that all the
                responsibility for the suffering fell on Israel for not treating the Palestinians
                justly? Hophmi would never dream of using this sort of fatuous reasoning to
                justify a cold-blooded policy of destroying a country’s economy and hurting
                innocent people in Israel’s case, because when all is said and done,
                humanitarian liberal interventionists of this sort have double standards on
                moral responsibility and they are willing to do to “enemy”civilians what they
                would never excuse if it were done to Westerners. .

                seanmcbride says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm

                “Humanitarian interventionism” is often a cover for sociopathic aggression
                and predation. The contemporary Democratic Party has spawned and
                nurtured quite a few of these sociopaths — call them neoliberals, liberal
                Zionists, whatever. An alarming number of them are women (Susan Rice and
                Samantha Power are the latest examples). Much of the time there is the
                appearance that they are being cattle prodded forward by the Israel lobby.

                Of course there is nothing new about mass murder being committed by
                passionate leftists in the name of progressive idealism — review the deeds of
                the Soviet Union and Communist China.

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

                “Hophmi is a good example of a certain type of unreflective, morally
                inconsistent, self-serving “liberal”. For anyone tempted to swallow his
                excuses for the Iraq sanctions, Joy Gordon’s book and website provide an
                antidote–”

                And, another personal attack from someone without a good argument.

                100,000 people have died in Syria. The leader of Syria is a dictator whose
                dad also murdered tens of thousands of his own people. The country is allied
                with a US enemy. The regime is supported by a terrorist organization.

                So stop the whataboutery. The issues are not remotely similar.

                “Can anyone imagine hophmi excusing sanctions on Israel that increased
                mortality rates and impoverished the country on the grounds that all the



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                responsibility for the suffering fell on Israel for not treating the Palestinians
                justly”

                I can’t imagine crippling economic sanctions on a democratic country that is
                a US ally, so it’s not a very good question. These were UN sanctions.

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

                “‘Humanitarian interventionism’ is often a cover for sociopathic aggression
                and predation.”

                Is this an argument? It’s also a philosophy that the international community
                has a responsibility to act when heads of state kill their own people in large
                numbers.

                So typical of the way Sean simply attaches an inflammatory label to
                something and calls it an argument.

                “Much of the time there is the appearance that they are being cattle prodded
                forward by the Israel lobby.”

                And then says the Jews are responsible for it. Humanitarian interventionism
                probably came into full flower in Kosovo. That was not “cattle-prodded
                forward by the Israel lobby.”

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:07 pm

                The country is allied with a US enemy.

                The US is not at war with Iran. In fact the US and Iran are still operating an
                arbital tribunal in the Hague, so that the US can pay-off Iran-Iraq war era
                claims to oil companies for its attacks on the Iranian oil platforms. BTW,
                that’s the result of an ICJ decision against the USA.

                These were UN sanctions.

                That doesn’t mean they are legal. In the Bosnia genocide case, Judge Elihu
                Lauterpacht affirmed a preliminary objection (paras 98-107 on Pages 64-71)
                which held that the Security Council arms embargo was illegal and exceeded
                the organ’s authority under the Charter. He said it had, in effect, required the
                other member states to assist in Serbia’s genocidal activities, while denying
                the Bosnians the ability to exercise an inherent and customary right of self-
                defense. link to icj-cij.org

                P.S. All of this “enemy” bullshit and constant talk about striking Iranian
                nuclear facilities is patently illegal. FYI, the State parties that authored and
                adopted the Non-Proliferation Treaty recognized that threats to national
                security, like the ones made by Israel and the US against Iran, justify the
                proliferation of weapons. That fact is acknowledged in the terms of Article X
                of the Treaty:



                        Article X
                        1. Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the



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                        right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary
                        events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have
                        jeopardized the supreme interests of its country. It shall give
                        notice of such withdrawal to all other Parties to the Treaty and to
                        the United Nations Security Council three months in advance.
                        Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events
                        it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.




                It is in the international interest to keep Iran in the NTP, and to stop the
                threat or use of force in violation of the UN Charter by either Israel or its
                supporters in the US.

                AlGhorear says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

                Nonsense, hophmi. Albright was asked if the price of 500,000 dead Iraqi
                children was worth the sanctions.

                Below is the transcript and video of the 60 Minutes Interview:

                Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half
                million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in
                Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

                Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but
                the price–we think the price is worth it.”

                Youtube video of Albright interview

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:37 pm

                Exactly AlGhorear, Albright never said anything about 500,000 children or
                accepted the premise that the United States was responsible for their deaths.
                Leslie Stahl said it, and Albright, clearly understanding that the question was
                about whether it was worth sanctioning Iraq even though there were
                collateral consequences.

                You guys are every bit as good as Fox News is taking these things out of
                context and repeating it to yourselves so often that they become fact to you.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm

                Humanitarian interventionism probably came into full flower in Kosovo.

                Yes but the actions of NATO forces apparently couldn’t withstand any
                scrutiny. Their ministers promptly asked for, and received, immunity from
                criminal prosecution. Why do you suppose the Security Council and the ICTY
                agreed that sort of impunity was necessary? We know that national courts
                have found the same peacekeepers responsible for the deaths of innocent
                people through dereliction. How do we rule out intentional crimes without
                any inquiries? i.e. link to nytimes.com

                One of the earlier comments here reminded me of the time that Madeleine
                Albright defended UN peacekeepers who opened fire on unarmed


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                demonstrators in Sudan, killing many women and children. She said they
                were associating with a few gunmen who were in the crowd. I guess we can
                thank God she wasn’t in charge of security in Dealy Plaza when Kennedy was
                assassinated or there would have been a much higher body count.

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm

                “Why do you suppose the Security Council and the ICTY agreed that sort of
                impunity was necessary?”

                Probably because it would have been obscene to prosecute them for trying to
                stop a genocide, rather than the Russian ministers who were willing to allow
                it to continue in the name of Slavic pride.

                Donald says:
                September 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm

                “And, another personal attack from someone without a good argument…So
                stop the whataboutery. The issues are not remotely similar.”

                Hophmi, if you want to talk about Syria then talk about Syria, but you were
                the one who was defending the cruel and murderous sanctions on Iraq and
                that’s what I jumped on. If yo want to restrict your discussion to Syria then
                perhaps you could, you know, restrict your end of the discussion to Syria. I
                know, logic and all that, not your strong point.

                And your defense of the sanctions continues to demonstrate that you have no
                grasp of the basic moral issues. In sanctioning Iraq as cruelly as we did, we
                inflicted great harm on innocent people living under a dictatorship, on the
                theory that this would pressure Saddam or even topple his regime. But the
                people who were actually hurt, and quite intentionally so, were innocent.

                In the case of Israel, which as you say is a democracy, the people choose the
                the governments which impose the cruel policies, so there is actually more of
                a case to be made for sanctions on a country like Israel than there is a
                country like Iraq. Not that I would support anything so draconian as what
                was done to Iraq in the 90′s being done to Israel or anyone else–it was
                barbaric, and I’m sure that if there is a future for humanity the historians a
                century or two from now will look back at the reasoning that you and other
                sanctions supporters use with the same bemused distaste that we feel when
                we read the rationalizations of 19th century Americans as they mistreated the
                Native Americans. At best we try to put ourselves in their shoes, make
                allowances for the prejudices and bigotries of the time–presumably future
                historians will say “Well, many of the so-called liberals of the early 21st
                century were strangely blind to the ugliness of some of the policies they
                supported. But that’s how people were back then.”

                And if you actually cared about the issues, hophmi, you would know that the
                US did everything in its quite considerable power to make the Iraqi sanctions
                harsh and cruel. But you don’t care. You really don’t give a crap.

                German Lefty says:
                September 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm

                In the case of Israel, which as you say is a democracy, the people choose the



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                governments which impose the cruel policies, so there is actually more of a
                case to be made for sanctions on a country like Israel than there is a
                country like Iraq.

                Exactly!

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

                “In sanctioning Iraq as cruelly as we did, we inflicted great harm on innocent
                people living under a dictatorship,”

                It’s interesting that you believe sanctions made children starve, but that you
                want to inflict the same program on Israel.

                “But the people who were actually hurt, and quite intentionally so, were
                innocent.”

                That was the price Saddam was willing to pay to stay in power.

                “In the case of Israel, which as you say is a democracy, the people choose the
                the governments which impose the cruel policies, so there is actually more of
                a case to be made for sanctions on a country like Israel than there is a
                country like Iraq. ”

                That’s pure nonsense. You’re basically arguing that if people elect a
                government you don’t like, they deserve to starve. Saddam Hussein was in
                power for 35 years. It was not just because he was unpopular.

                “Not that I would support anything so draconian as what was done to Iraq in
                the 90′s being done to Israel or anyone else”

                But you support those who do.

                “And if you actually cared about the issues, hophmi, you would know that the
                US did everything in its quite considerable power to make the Iraqi sanctions
                harsh and cruel. But you don’t care. You really don’t give a crap.”

                Save your high horse moralizing for someone who cares. You pick and choose
                just like everyone else does.

                Hostage says:
                September 11, 2013 at 6:30 am

                Greetings Sean, Annie, Citizen, Hostage
                Now that Socialism in Russia has disappeared, can a Russian still be a
                Russian w/o being a socialist?

                If you check the comment archives, you’ll see that I fully support equal
                human rights for indigenous Jews, including the right to marry whoever they
                choose and live together in Palestine/Israel. Other than situations like that, I
                don’t support the idea of alien Jewish immigration. I have no problem with
                the pie in the sky variety of religious Zionism which posits a Divine in-
                gathering one day. But I don’t approve of this atheistic irredentist bullshit
                based upon dislike or hatred of Gentiles, even when it has a veneer of
                religiosity.

                P.S. I have no problem with the idea that Israel has a right to exist, but only


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                on condition that it can fulfill the obligations contained in the minority
                protection plan and the revenue sharing plan and economic union contained
                in UN resolution 181(II).

                Hostage says:
                September 11, 2013 at 6:53 am

                Probably because it would have been obscene to prosecute them for trying
                to stop a genocide,

                That doesn’t pass the giggle test. The Nuremberg principles don’t contain any
                exceptions that permit one country to fight war crimes and crimes against
                humanity by employing forces that commit war crimes and crimes against
                humanity.

                FYI, it took the ICJ 14 years to reach a decision in the Bosnian genocide case,
                but it concluded that Serbia wasn’t pursuing a policy of genocide. Why would
                it be “obscene” to prosecute those members of the NATO forces who were
                responsible for committing violations of the laws and customs of war against
                Serbs on that account?

                Hostage says:
                September 11, 2013 at 6:57 am

                Hophmi there is nothing being taken out of context here:


                        Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a
                        half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than
                        died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”


                        Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard
                        choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”




                You’re a walking, talking Hasbara disaster and failure who doesn’t know
                when to quit.

                eljay        says:
                September 11, 2013 at 7:31 am

                >> That was the price Saddam was willing to pay to stay in power.

                And yet you complain when Israelis are killed, even though that’s the price
                their government is willing to pay to continue with its 60+ years, ON-GOING
                and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft,
                colonization, destruction and murder. Interesting.

                >> That’s pure nonsense. You’re basically arguing that if people elect a
                government you don’t like, they deserve to starve.

                And yet that reasoning is sound enough for Israel when it comes to Gaza and
                Hamas. Interesting.

                Theo says:
                September 11, 2013 at 7:42 am




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                hophmi

                “100,000 people died in Syria”.
                First of all, a great number of them were killed by the rebels, not by the
                government forces, so according to you should we bomb both Assad and the
                rebels?

                “The leader of Syria is a dictator whose dad also murdered tens of thousands
                of his own people”.
                On the other hand israelis are bloody old fashioned colonists and would you
                care to discuss how many thousands of palestinian did you kill since 1947?
                I make a bet the number is a multiple of the dead in Syria.

                You want Syria attacked for having chemical weapons, although Israel has
                both chemical and nuclear weapons, doesn´t allow any inspection by the UN
                and used chemical WP in Gaza!

                So according to you, to be fair, we should bomb both Syria and Israel to
                diminish their ability to use those weapons.
                Do you agree with this arrangment?
                Or do you think Israel has rights that is not available to other nations?

                seanmcbride says:
                September 11, 2013 at 11:34 am

                Hostage,



                        Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a
                        half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than
                        died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”


                        Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard
                        choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”




                Thoughts on Albright’s glib response to Lesley Stahl’s question about the
                effects of the Iraq sanctions:

                1. Reminiscent of acts of biblical genocide.

                2. Reminiscent of the Soviet/Stalinist use of mass starvation to crush its
                opposition in the early 20th century.

                3. Her views are shared by most neoliberals in the Democratic Party — she is
                still a respected figure among her fellow Democrats.

                4. Pro-Israel activists have been prominent in defending or trying to explain
                away Albright’s response to Stahl.

                5. Americans have been intensely conditioned over decades now to accept and
                embrace these acts of brutality. It has been repeatedly drilled into their heads
                by the mainstream media that Arab and Muslim leaders are the reincarnation
                of Hitler. (Neoliberal John Kerry is following that propaganda script in the



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                current crisis with Syria.)

                6. Prediction: American political figures with Albright’s profile will probably
                succeed in committing major acts of mass murder against Israel’s enemies in
                the future — probably on a far greater scale than anything we have seen to
                date and possibly using WMDs (including nuclear weapons). Hiroshima and
                Nagasaki will serve as the precedent and model.

                hophmi says:
                September 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

                “That doesn’t pass the giggle test.”

                It does in the real world where decisions are based on political
                considerations, and not international law.

                “FYI, it took the ICJ 14 years to reach a decision in the Bosnian genocide
                case, but it concluded that Serbia wasn’t pursuing a policy of genocide. ”

                The court found that a genocide took place. Its highly controversial findings
                on Serbian complicity were justly castigated by Antonio Cassese and others.

                hophmi says:
                September 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm

                “Thoughts on Albright’s glib response to Lesley Stahl’s question about the
                effects of the Iraq sanctions:”

                “1. Reminiscent of acts of biblical genocide.”

                Oh gawd. How so, exactly? The kids who died in Iraq died as an indirect
                result of the sanctions regime, which was trying to curb Saddam’s military
                capabilities. I’m not aware of anyone who said “you shall kill every Iraqi.”

                “2. Reminiscent of the Soviet/Stalinist use of mass starvation to crush its
                opposition in the early 20th century.”

                Weren’t the numbers on that one, I don’t know, way way different? And
                wasn’t the express purpose to actually starve people?

                “3. Her views are shared by most neoliberals in the Democratic Party — she is
                still a respected figure among her fellow Democrats.”

                Well, in the Democratic Party, and most other places, people don’t take her
                words out of context to suggest that she thought the deaths of Iraqi children
                were OK, or that she accepted the premise that Americans were responsible
                for them.

                “4. Pro-Israel activists have been prominent in defending or trying to explain
                away Albright’s response to Stahl.”

                Oh, bull. Anyone honest person can understand what the question was, and
                what she was responding to. Pro-Arab activists have, for a very long time,
                tried to distort what she said in much the same way anti-Al Gore activists
                tried to suggest that Gore was taking credit for inventing the internet. Pretty
                much no one outside the left-wing fringe adopts the pro-Arab understanding
                of what Albright said.




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                “5. Americans have been intensely conditioned over decades now to accept
                and embrace these acts of brutality.”

                Which ones? We’ve also been conditioned to reject them, as we did in Bosnia
                and Kosovo.

                Other people on this earth accept plenty of brutality and disease and
                starvation and murder without intervening or caring. No one conditioned
                America to be much different.

                ” It has been repeatedly drilled into their heads by the mainstream media
                that Arab and Muslim leaders are the reincarnation of Hitler.”

                No, it hasn’t, and most Americans don’t believe that.

                “Prediction: American political figures with Albright’s profile will probably
                succeed in committing major acts of mass murder against Israel’s enemies in
                the future — probably on a far greater scale than anything we have seen to
                date and possibly using WMDs (including nuclear weapons). Hiroshima and
                Nagasaki will serve as the precedent and model.”

                You’re a piece of work, Sean. This is typical of your disingenuous
                antisemitism. You take a quote out of context. You throw in words like
                “biblical” and “pro-Israel” to subtly suggest that the UN sanctions regime was
                just another project of pro-Israel Jews. And then you say it will get worse
                because pro-Israel Jews are all mass murders.

                Let’s see if you respond. You usually don’t when someone questions your
                assumptions.

                Hostage says:
                September 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

                It does in the real world where decisions are based on political
                considerations, and not international law.

                I was talking about a decision made by the Prosecutor and rulings thereafter
                from the bench of the ICTY regarding evidence of NATO crimes, like a strike
                against a bridge as a passenger train was crossing it, the bombing of a refugee
                convoy near Djakovica, and the targeting of the Serbian television building in
                Belgrade.

                Contrary to your claim, the Judges and the Prosecutors always claimed to be
                “stupified” by accusations that the Tribunal had become “politicized”. link to
                wesleyclark.h1.ru

                Of course that’s utter nonsense because Bush always demanded immunity as
                a precondition to renewing the mandate of the peacekeepers, e.g. US
                demands immunity for its peacekeepers link to theguardian.com

                Donald says:
                September 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm

                “It’s interesting that you believe sanctions made children starve, but that you
                want to inflict the same program on Israel.”

                Wrong, and you show that you know you’re lying a few sentences later when



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                you quote me and respond with–

                “Not that I would support anything so draconian as what was done to Iraq in
                the 90′s being done to Israel or anyone else”

                But you support those who do.”

                Goodness, hophmi lies again. There is zero chance of Israel being subjected
                to the sort of sanctions imposed on Iraq and if there were I would oppose
                them.

                Basically, hophmi, you don’t have a moral leg to stand on, so you use insults
                and try to claim that my position is the mirror image of yours. But you’re the
                one who cavalierly supported the sanctions on Iraq, whereas if there was a
                serious chance that BDS would be imposed in a similarly draconian way I’d
                be opposed.

                “You’re basically arguing that if people elect a government you don’t like, they
                deserve to starve. Saddam Hussein was in power for 35 years. It was not just
                because he was unpopular.”

                What a surprise. Hophmi lies again. I pointed out that if one did want to
                impose sanctions on an entire people, which I think is wrong, it would be
                more defensible, but still wrong, to impose them on people who voted for the
                government that cruelly oppresses another people, and not on innocent
                Iraqis suffering under a dictator. The fact is, though, that in either country
                there would be large numbers of innocents (children if no one else) who
                would suffer and die under the policies you supported.

                “Save your high horse moralizing for someone who cares. You pick and
                choose just like everyone else does.”

                You don’t care. You justify this to yourself by pretending everyone is as
                hypocritical on these issues as you are. It really doesn’t take much for
                someone to be your moral superior on these issues–they just have to oppose
                policies that deliberately increase mortality rates, whether Iraqi or Israeli.
                You’d like to think everyone is in the gutter with you. Sorry, not everyone is.

                Donald says:
                September 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm

                “Americans have been intensely conditioned over decades now to accept and
                embrace these acts of brutality. It has been repeatedly drilled into their heads
                by the mainstream media that Arab and Muslim leaders are the reincarnation
                of Hitler.”

                Most Americans barely know what is being done in their name. Some would
                embrace it if they knew, because of that conditioning, and some would be
                horrified, but would find it hard to believe.

                The real masters of doublethink are the educated types who know (or could
                know if they bothered to check) that the sanctions were meant to hurt
                innocents, as a means of pressuring Saddam, and who then turn around and
                say it is all Saddam’s fault because he wouldn’t obey orders. (It was fine when
                he was killing civilians with gas and other methods when we found it useful.)
                None of them would accept similar reasoning by terrorists aiming at Western


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                civilians as a means of pressuring our governments. But it’s the same
                reasoning.

                miriam6 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 1:15 am

                Donald@:

                Most Americans barely know what is being done in their name.

                Donald , can the American public REALLY be as ignorant as you would have
                others believe?

                I don’t buy your excuses

                The American public are still blissfully unaware according to you despite ALL
                the evidence in the American media over the past decade+ about the effects
                of America’s wars in Iraq etc. ?

                According to Donald, the American public are clueless and therefore innocent
                of all blame , but, by contrast the Israeli public are completely aware of
                EVERYTHING bad thing the Israeli government has ever done, therefore
                making Israelis fully culpable unlike the ignorant -of- America’s- bad -actions
                – American public whose ignorance according to Donald makes them entirely
                innocent , that is, with the exception of Hophmi

                That apparently is Donald’s moral stance and excuse for lambasting the
                Israelis, but excusing the American public’s continuing support of bad
                American policies.

                You are ever so critical of Hophmi over a sanctions regime imposed on Iraq
                twenty odd years ago and yet , in the here and now finds a whole raft of polls
                done in June this year that show Americans STILL support the use of drone
                strikes abroad even after more than a decade on after 9/11

                Plenty of time for Americans to become aware of all the evidence in the
                media that shows how many innocents have been killed by American drone
                strikes.

                MOST Americans for example , by a clear majority of around 65% , continue
                to SUPPORT American drone strikes abroad which have killed at least 4,700
                people to date.



                        A wave of recent polls show a majority of Americans support
                        overseas drone strikes against terrorist targets.
                        June 4, 2013 AT 5:36AM


                        A Monitor/TIPP poll found 57% of Americans favor the current
                        level of drone strikes targeting terrorists in foreign countries, such
                        as Al Qaeda. Nearly a quarter supported the increase of drones
                        overseas, while 11% supported scaling back drone use.
                        June 4, 2013, 1:55 a.m.

                        A recent Pew Global Attitudes Project poll that surveyed 21


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                        countries found that while most condemned U.S. drone attacks
                        abroad, the U.S. was one of three where a majority didn’t. The poll
                        showed 62% of Americans supported drone use; 28%
                        disapproved.
                        June 4, 2013, 1:59 a.m.

                        A Gallup poll from March also found nearly two-thirds of
                        Americans surveyed supported drone strikes abroad.
                        June 4, 2013, 2:07 a.m.




                link to cir.ca

                Cliff says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:39 am

                There are no polls that test American’s general knowledge of the
                Israel/Palestine conflict.

                Only opinions. Opinions like ‘do you support Israel versus Palestine’ or ‘do
                you support neither’ or ‘do you believe America should be more even-
                handed’.

                Once again, miriam666, you FAIL.

                Donald says:
                September 12, 2013 at 11:45 am

                “I don’t buy your excuses

                The American public are still blissfully unaware according to you despite ALL
                the evidence in the American media over the past decade+ about the effects
                of America’s wars in Iraq etc. ?”

                Actually, miriam, you make some very good points here. I’ve never been sure
                what ordinary Americans know–from personal experience, some don’t know
                anything while others stick their hand in the sand and others come right out
                and defend our worst policies knowing full well what they are.

                If you think I’ve got some deep investment in the innocence of the American
                people you’ll have to find someone else to argue with, because I find your
                arguments fairly persuasive.

                I know where this fits in your general view–Americans are hypocritical and
                have no right to criticize Israel, but again, that misses the point. Israel and
                the US do the same things and the US supports Israel while it does them, so
                both should be criticized by Americans. I know of some people who would be
                a fair target of your critique–the Obamabots,some of whom criticize Israel
                but defend Obama’s drone strikes. It’s a weird illogical position that they
                come to because they’re partisan Democrats or in love with Obama or both.
                You can find some like that at other blogs–I haven’t seen any here.

                Donald says:
                September 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm

                Now one thing I don’t get in your case Miriam is your interest in American
                crimes. Virtually every commenter here EXCEPT the ones who defend Israel


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                would agree with your condemnation of American foreign policy, yet
                invariably you go after the people who criticize Israel and start preaching to
                the choir, as though everyone here is a fan of Obama’s drone strikes or Bush’s
                invasion of Iraq or the sanctions on Iraq, etc… Again, the only people who
                frequent the comment sections here who would defend Obama’s drone strikes
                or Bush’s invasion or the sanctions on Iraq, etc… would be some (or all?) of
                the regular Israel supporters, yet you never seem to jump on them. Why is
                that?

                American says:
                September 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

                @ miriam6

                You’re a fool to beleve every poll that comes down the pike. Polls are
                commissioned—someone pays pollesters to do these polls and frequently
                whatever group that does gets the results they want so they can ‘advertise’ the
                results. Pew and Gallup both –with good reason–have been accused of
                squewing poll questions to get the right answers.

          tokyobk says:
          September 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm

          Please introduce me to this official authority on Judaism some time, I have some
          questions I need answered.
          This is the style over at Jihad Watch too, there they say the same kind of thing
          about Islam.

          In fact, most of religious Judaism rejected secular Zionism at its inception, so the
          “these days” part is significant.

          IMO, Jews without Israel is fine as long as Jews in Palestine is fine.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:08 pm

                tokyobk,

                Is it or is it not a fact that the leading organizations representing Orthodox,
                Conservative and Reform Judaism in the contemporary era have been using
                Judaism to buttress their ideological and political arguments for Zionism?

                Anyone who reads the Jewish press, and who knows how to use Google,
                knows for a fact that this is the case. No other factor is more important in
                explaining the grip of Zionism on the contemporary Jewish establishment —
                for many Jews, Zionism is literally a religion, with all the irrational emotion
                that brings with it. Their minds are not open to rational discussion and
                debate.

                I’ve encountered this mindset repeatedly in arguments about Israel — we’ve
                all encountered that mindset among many Zionists right here in the
                comments section of Mondoweiss.

                Why are many critics of Israel evasive and shifty on this subject?

                I am not opposed to Judaism, and think it will long outlive Zionism. I find
                many positive elements in Judaism. But Judaism currently is being misused
                and abused by the Jewish establishment (NOT all religious Jews).



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                tokyobk says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm

                What you write above is true but in your first statement and in others you
                take two additional steps.

                1) You say this is the official authority. No its not.
                2) You say to commit Judaism means to engage Zionism. No it doesn’t.

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm

                Why are many critics of Israel evasive and shifty on this subject?

                just off the top of my head, maybe many critics of israel don’t know much or
                anything about judaism and culturally for many of us it’s considered offensive
                or rude to question or insult or make generalizations about others religious
                affiliations? but just because people do not respond to you doesn’t necessarily
                mean they are evading you. often times my comments on these threads do
                not elicit any response.

                also sean, your question assumes your premise is right. if it’s not and
                someone questions it are they being shifty? is it ‘evasive’ to question your
                premise or not discuss your ideas inthe framing in which you’ve introduced
                them? by labeling your potential detractors as evasive or shifty how is that
                not an ad hominem?

                plus, i’d like to point out your caveat descriptor: “fringe”. that’s not a very
                empowering word and it could very well be the case that MW has a fair
                amount of readers who do take judaism seriously and do not self identify as
                zionists. so calling them ‘fringe’, well dis-empowering. the point of that is
                what?

                whereas, the topic, to discuss the indoctrination of zionism/nationalism
                embedded with intent via synagogues..a worthy topic indeed.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm

                tokyobk,

                I know far too much about Judaism to think it is directed by a centralized
                official authority — what I have said is that the leading Jewish religious
                organizations worldwide have passionately embraced Zionism — from
                different schools of thought within Judaism. That’s the issue under
                discussion.

                And I have also stated clearly many times that many religious Jews are not
                Zionists.

                Let’s try to focus on what is really being said here — or perhaps that topic is
                far too hot to handle.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm

                Annie,




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                        whereas, the topic, to discuss the indoctrination of
                        zionism/nationalism embedded with intent via synagogues..a
                        worthy topic indeed.




                That is the only topic I have tried to open up with my comments on this
                subject.

                Any claims that I have tried to characterize all religious Jews in a particular
                way are simply false — I fully acknowledge that there is great diversity all
                across the Jewish secular *and* religious spectrum.

                In any case, I would be curious to hear Corey Robin’s thoughts on your
                paragraph quoted above — your succinct statement gets to the heart of the
                matter — thanks for composing it.

                What especially interests me are the practical politics in this controversy: is
                there any chance that dissenters from Zionism within Judaism will be able to
                exert any influence on the views of the current Jewish religious establishment
                and leadership? Does Corey see any movement in that direction? That
                establishment strikes me as being incredibly powerful — virtually
                impregnable. Am I wrong?

                tokyobk says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm

                seanmcbride: “But the worldwide Jewish religious establishment — the
                official authority on Judaism “

                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm

                tokyobk,

                That statement is open to misinterpretation:

                rewrite:

                “But the worldwide Jewish religious establishment — the official authority on
                the leading branches of Judaism”

                There are separate and diverging authorities within the Jewish religious
                establishment (just as there are within Christianity and Islam), but the
                Jewish religious establishment as a whole has passionately embraced
                Zionism and merged it with Judaism.

                Would you care to address that point — which is my only point? What are the
                political implications of this state of affairs? Where is this going?

                seanmcbride says:
                September 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm

                tokyobk (and Corey),

                Can you name any Jewish religious organizations or groups that are
                dissenting from the support for an American war against Syria by the Jewish
                establishment — the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish


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                Organizations (which includes the Jewish religious establishment)?

                I know that many Christian groups are dissenting from that policy —
                including the Roman Catholic Church and many Christian evangelicals.

                Names?

                Citizen says:
                September 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm

                @ seanmcbride
                Phil Weiss himself has agonized here on his blog over how frustrating it is to
                be an individual, rather than a mirror of Jewish collective response as
                ingrained in American Jews by its own Establishment powers. He’s written
                quite a few short stories about his own experiences with this situation right
                here on his blog. I don’t know why Annie ignores this. According to her own
                statements here, she was born and bred to be a true individual with no acute
                religion or ideological premises. Phil, in contrast, has often said the contrary
                as to his upbringing. Mr Robin echoes Phil Weiss as to his upbringing, not
                Annie Robbins.

                The more major practical point (not root origin point) is all three agree now
                on what is best US foreign policy regarding the Middle East.

                tokyobk says:
                September 9, 2013 at 12:51 am

                If your point is that non and anti-zionist jewish groups are smaller and less
                powerful than zionist Jewish groups you are correct. But you and anyone else
                with google or twitter can find prominent anti-war Jewish voices. We are
                having a conversation on a site established by such self-identified Jews.

                You take additional steps and insist this defines Jewry and there is where you
                are wrong and would still be wrong even if 99% of Jews were professing
                Zionists (which they are not and the number is decreasing by all accounts)

                Please take a look over at Jihad Watch for some insight into how the same
                arguments are used to create an immobile, static and eternally oppositional
                Islam.

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 7:49 am

                Can you name any Jewish religious organizations or groups that are
                dissenting from the support for an American war against Syria by the
                Jewish establishment — the Conference of Presidents of Major American
                Jewish Organizations (which includes the Jewish religious establishment)?

                The URJ is still conducting a survey of their congregations on the subject of
                the President’s call for intervention in the Syrian civil war.
                link to rac.org

                So you’re engaging in a false generalization with regard to representation by
                the Conference of Presidents.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:08 am




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                tokyobk,



                        You take additional steps and insist this defines Jewry and there
                        is where you are wrong and would still be wrong even if 99% of
                        Jews were professing Zionists (which they are not and the number
                        is decreasing by all accounts)




                Your statement is false: I haven’t tried to define “Jewry” any way other than
                to say it is highly diverse.

                What I have said is that the contemporary worldwide Jewish establishment
                (including the Jewish religious establishment) has worked hard to define
                Judaism in terms of Zionism and Zionism in terms of Judaism — it has
                merged the two ideologies into a single ethno-religious nationalist belief
                system.

                And its propaganda efforts have been highly successful: most of the world
                now believes that Israel and Zionism = Judaism.

                Dissenting groups within the Jewish world (like JVP) have been powerless to
                exert any meaningful influence on the Israeli government, the Israel lobby
                and the mainstream Jewish religious establishment with regard to the
                propagation of these beliefs.

                What I foresee is a possible coming catastrophe for Judaism on the level of
                what happened in 70 AD. What do you foresee?

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:37 am

                Hostage,



                        So you’re engaging in a false generalization with regard to
                        representation by the Conference of Presidents.




                The Washington Post:

                link to washingtonpost.com



                        Many of the United States’ most influential pro-Israel and Jewish
                        groups on Tuesday backed the Obama administration’s call for
                        military action in Syria, putting strong momentum behind the
                        effort to persuade reluctant lawmakers to authorize a strike
                        against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.


                        The stances mark a new phase in the debate over how to respond
                        to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons against Syrian


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                        civilians, setting in motion a robust lobbying effort on Capitol Hill
                        — powered in part by the memory of the Holocaust and how the
                        Nazis gassed Jews.

                        After a period of conspicuous silence on the issue, major groups
                        such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the
                        CONFERENCE OF PRESIDENTS OF MAJOR AMERICAN
                        JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS called for bipartisan consensus
                        Tuesday around the use of force.

                        “Those who perpetuate such acts of wanton murder must know
                        that they cannot do so with impunity,” the conference, which
                        represents 52 national Jewish agencies, said in a statement.
                        “Those who possess or seek weapons of mass destruction,
                        particularly Iran and Hezbollah, must see that there is
                        accountability.”




                So I’m the bad guy for pointing out what the mainstream media are reporting
                about the role of the Conference of Presidents in agitating for an American
                war against Syria?

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:59 am

                So I’m the bad guy for pointing out what the mainstream media are
                reporting about the role of the Conference of Presidents in agitating for an
                American war against Syria?

                No you are the guy who keeps saying that Jewish religious movements, like
                the URJ, are represented by the Conference of Presidents. In fact, they don’t
                have a policy position on this and many other controversial policy issues. In
                this case, the URJ headquarters staff are still busy surveying rabbis,
                synagogue presidents and social action chairs after the Conference of
                Presidents has taken a position on Syria. So Reform Judaism is not
                represented by the Conference on this issue.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

                Hostage,



                        No you are the guy who keeps saying that Jewish religious
                        movements, like the URJ, are represented by the Conference of
                        Presidents.




                Yet another false statement from you, Hostage — I didn’t say that.

                What I have said repeatedly is that the worldwide and mainstream Jewish
                religious *establishment* (in general, overall) over decades has worked
                tirelessly to conflate Judaism with Zionism — and you have failed to rebut



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                this clearly factual assertion.

                By the way, I looked up the Wikipedia entry on Union for Reform Judaism
                and discovered this:



                        The URJ Camp & Israel Programs is the largest Jewish camping
                        system in the world, comprising 13 summer camps across North
                        America, including a sports specialty camp, teen leadership
                        institute and programs for youth with special needs. Campers
                        observe Shabbat, engage in programming about Jewish values
                        and history, and partake in recreational activities including
                        athletics, creative arts and color war. Many of the camps have
                        long provided the opportunity for high school aged campers to
                        travel to Israel during the summer.


                        link to en.wikipedia.org




                At the official URJ page for these programs one notices, among other things:



                        Taglit-Birthright Israel:
                        URJ Kesher is an official provider of ten-day Taglit-Birthright
                        Israel trips. This program is 100% free and is open to anyone who
                        is Jewish, age 18-26, and who has never been to Israel on a peer
                        program.


                        link to urj.org




                Contemporary Reform Judaism has merged Judaism with Zionism.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm

                Hostage,

                Side note: I spent two summers as a kid at a Jewish summer camp on a
                music scholarship (and I’m not Jewish) — it was a great and memorable
                experience. And it is probably one of the reasons I feel totally comfortable
                with all styles of Jewish communication — including full-throttle
                argumentative styles.

                hophmi says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm

                “or many Jews, Zionism is literally a religion, with all the irrational emotion
                that brings with it. Their minds are not open to rational discussion and
                debate.”

                LOL, ie, they don’t agree with your arguments, Sean, and you are not a


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                person who is into rational discussion or debate either, as evidenced by the
                fact that you throw a hissy fit whenever someone dares to challenge your
                assumptions.

                “Why are many critics of Israel evasive and shifty on this subject?”

                Which one? Do religious organizations use Judaism to buttress their
                arguments for the Jewish state? Yeah, of course. They have also used
                Judaism to buttress their argument for why America is a great country. And
                no one is denying it, Sean, so your assumption is, as it often is, wrong.

                Also wrong is the notion that because Jews use Judaism to buttress their
                argument for a Jewish state, Judaism and Zionism are the same thing or
                irretrievably interlaced. You could use the principles of self-determination to
                defend Zionism, the principles of national sovereignty, historical arguments,
                legal arguments – there are many available. You can also use appeals to the
                emotions, as virtually everybody who promotes a cause does.

                I’m not aware of a time in history where whatever the majority religion is in
                a country hasn’t been used to buttress the argument for a nation-state –
                Christianity has certainly played that role in the United States and in Europe
                (here, it was used to defend slavery and in Europe it was used as a basis for
                slaughtering non-Christians), and we all know how Islam is used and abused
                in Muslim states.

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm

                Hostage,

                No you are the guy who keeps saying that Jewish religious movements, like
                the URJ, are represented by the Conference of Presidents.

                Yet another false statement from you, Hostage — I didn’t say that.

                Your September 8, 2013 3:36 pm post said that the Conference of Presidents
                includes the Jewish religious establishment. It challenged everyone to name
                any Jewish denomination that differed from their position on the war in
                Syria:


                        tokyobk (and Corey),


                        Can you name any Jewish religious organizations or groups that
                        are dissenting from the support for an American war against Syria
                        by the Jewish establishment — the Conference of Presidents of
                        Major American Jewish Organizations (which includes the Jewish
                        religious establishment)?




                From what I’ve always heard, the Birthright Movement hasn’t gone over like
                gangbusters among the large number of assimilated and intermarried Reform
                Jews. Most people know that the Government of Israel doesn’t employ the
                same eligibility requirements as Birthright does in determining the “personal



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                status” of Jews. That’s a big problem for about of half of the members of the
                Reform movement, e.g. See the discussion here: link to half-jewish.net

                The fact that Phil, Allison, or Reform Jews visit Israel, doesn’t mean that they
                support its racist or illegal policies. The same thing applies to people who
                support religious or cultural Zionism and equal rights for the inhabitants of
                Palestine or Israel. That has always been part Judaism, but it has nothing
                whatever to do with issues of Jewish statehood, dominating other indigenous
                ethnic communities, or support for a flood of alien Jewish immigration.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm

                Hostage,

                Regarding the Zionist agenda of contemporary Reform Judaism:

                article; Shlomo Shamir; The new leader of Reform Judaism: A Zionist and
                lover of Israel; Haaretz; April 28, 2011

                link to haaretz.com



                        Reuben Jacob (Richard) Jacobs, known to all as Rick, will only
                        take up the position of president of the Reform Movement in the
                        summer of 2012. But the report of his appointment as head of the
                        largest denomination in American Jewry – estimated to be some
                        1.5-million strong – sparked a wave of praise and compliments.


                        …

                        But the rabbis who lead the movement believe that Jacobs’
                        decisive advantage in the contest for the position, which pitted
                        him against seven other rabbis, was his reputation as a Zionist
                        activist who insists on nurturing close ties with Israel. In that,
                        they say, Jacobs will continue the vision of current president Eric
                        Yoffie, who placed Zionism at the head of the Reform Movement’s
                        list of priorities, making it an issue of central importance. During
                        his term, Yoffie concentrated on two things: expanding the circle
                        of Torah study and the values of Jewish tradition among members
                        of the movement, and strengthening the centrality of Zionism in
                        Reform discourse.

                        …

                        Rabbi Jacobs, 55, who speaks fluent Hebrew, firmly maintained in
                        a conversation last week that he is first and foremost a Zionist
                        and a lover of Israel. And to leave no room for doubt, the rabbi
                        emphasizes that his love for the Jewish state and his loyalty to it
                        operate on an emotional and fundamental level, independent of
                        anything and uninfluenced by the nature or policy of the country’s
                        leadership.

                        …



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                        In a sermon he delivered last Yom Kippur and that was
                        disseminated in the community, Jacobs firmly declared that if you
                        love Israel, you must support it and stand at its side without
                        asking questions.




                There is no indication whatever that Reform Jewish leaders are working to
                delink Judaism from Zionism — quite the opposite.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

                There is no indication whatever that Reform Jewish leaders are working to
                delink Judaism from Zionism — quite the opposite.

                Unless of course you acknowledge that URJ has condemned expansion of the
                settlements including any new ones in the E1 area of Jerusalem.

                So there’s Zionism and then there’s Zionism – and it isn’t necessarily the
                same thing.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:17 am

                Hostage,

                Regarding the merging or delinking of Judaism with Zionism:



                        Unless of course you acknowledge that URJ has condemned
                        expansion of the settlements including any new ones in the E1
                        area of Jerusalem.




                I understand and acknowledge that URJ has expressed dissent from some
                Israeli government policies (including the settlements) — and I applaud it in
                expressing that dissent.

                But there is a much larger issue in play here than arguments about specific
                Israeli policies — and that is the fusion of Judaism and Zionism into a single
                ethno-religious nationalist ideology, which the URJ has promoted, along with
                all the other Jewish religious organizations within the Conference of
                Presidents.

                Most religious Jews now associate Judaism with a passionate loyalty to Israel
                and Zionism — they have been heavily indoctrinated into that belief.

                I think this trend in the intellectual and cultural history of Jewish civilization
                will be disastrous: universalist religions that become anchored down and
                circumscribed by a particular nation, government and piece of territory in
                time and space are asking for huge problems. All it takes is one bad
                government or regime to discredit or take down the religion.

                Try this thought experiment: imagine Roman Catholicism being exclusively
                defined by Italian ethnic nationalism and circumscribed by its association


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                with the nation of ethnic Italians and the Italian government. What influence
                would it have on the world and how long would it last? Imagine if Silvio
                Berlusconi were viewed by himself and the world as the leader of “the Roman
                Catholics.” It would be a joke.

                American says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm

                “IMO, Jews without Israel is fine as long as Jews in Palestine is fine.”

                well there’s your problemo tokyo……cause the world and now maybe some
                Jews dont think what Jews in Palestine consider “fine for themselves” is all
                that fine for anyone else.

                German Lefty says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm

                Jews without Israel is fine as long as Jews in Palestine is fine.

                Great!

                eljay        says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:36 pm

                >> tokyobk: Jews without Israel is fine as long as Jews in Palestine is fine.
                >> GL: Great!

                +1.

    seafoid says:
    September 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Maybe Israel can sell wars of soi disant self defence to erez amrika . Selling apartheid
    of self defence is beyond it. The gulf between US and Israeli jews can only widen.

    Danaa says:
    September 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Good piece, Corey. Perfect for Rosh Hashannah.

    I do tend to agree that something has been happening in the past two years; that
    based on a couple of my own personal experiences plus my readings that indicate a
    intensifying sense of anxiety about israel. On a recent visit to NYC for a family
    member i was asked (well, ordered) to not bring up israel – good or bad – in any
    company, no matter how large the temptation. I said that’s not fair as Israel is part of
    my history. The reply was that there just may be a few more bits of history i could
    draw on, if need be. Besides, I could make things up, right? why not have things
    happen – if happenings are to be recounted – in say, Russia, or Sweden? surely, a
    little imagination might make the stories even better, and who’s to tell anyways? But
    what of the political message(s) buried in the stories? Ah, they said, that’s the point,
    may be it could be wrapped in russian politics or something so people won’t realize it’s
    actually about Israel until at least a year has gone by and dinner, in any case, was
    saved.

    like the rabbi in Corey’s congregation implied, the topic of israel has become a toxic
    subject among Jews. Everyone knows israel did not quite turn out as hoped and is, at
    the very least, something that not everyone can feel proud about. All of this indicates
    that the schism in the jewish community is, in fact happening, if most of it is still
    underground. But as this post indicates, the rumblings that come from deep within are



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    a portent of things to come. It won’t be too long before it breaks above the surface.

    American says:
    September 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Hope is good. But it’s slow.
    The Zionist and Israel buzz saw is moving faster, time is not on the Other Jews side.
    I have no suggestions to offer, just saying—–history is probably already writ on Israel.
    Well, maybe one suggestion, pray for a miracle.

          seafoid says:
          September 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

          Last year’s Storm Sandy that hit nyc was influenced by carbon emissions from 15
          years ago, not last year’s. There are way more storms to come. It is the same with
          Israel. There is not going to be a miracle.

                MRW says:
                September 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm

                Oh jeezuss, seafoid. Carbon emissions from 15 years ago?

                Read the bible. Storms are caused by temperature gradients or temp
                differences in fronts. What happened with Sandy happened in 1955/56:
                “Severe and Hazardous Weather: An Introduction to High Impact
                Meteorology”
                by Bob Rauber, John Walsh, Donna Charlevoix

                RoHa says:
                September 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm

                “Storm Sandy that hit nyc was influenced by carbon emissions from 15 years
                ago”

                And the empirical evidence for this is …. ?

    Citizen says:
    September 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    “… it’s not the goyim the rabbis are worried about; it’s Jews.”

    Am I the only one who finds this tidbit annoying in that the US is 98% goyim? A very
    significant percentage of everyday Americans are against a strike on Syria for many
    reasons, including rational distrust of our government and what it says, especially
    since 9/11, Iraq War, and the Big Bank bailout, etc., and concern about the cost of war
    with Syria in our very bad economic times where both main parties are cutting the
    safety net from a myriad of welfare programs, and also has to the apparent lack of any
    Plan B if Assad decides he’s in a war to the death with US/Israel, even if Kerry keeps
    telling them no war is being planned in Plan A, which is just a memo to Assad to
    shape up.

    The number is growing by the day, the number of those 98% of American goys duly
    noting how loud the “pro-Israel” lobby is being, urging the US spend its treasure and
    blood to teach Assad a lesson, and some of them have even figured out the lesson is
    directed at Iran–to the net benefit of nobody except Israel and the US military-
    industrial complex Ike warned us about, along with our congress critters indebted to
    AIPAC.

          tokyobk says:
          September 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm

          You make the assumption (obviously) that a majority of Jews support a strike in


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          different numbers than non-Jews. I am not so sure. As Prof. Cole points out, the
          Muslim community is also split.

          link to juancole.com

          BY the way, Jews are everyday Americans, right? or no?

                Danaa says:
                September 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm

                tokyobk, however you choose to cast it, the people out front pumping up a
                bogus case for strikes, are jewish. Wherever muslims are (and i didn’t read
                juan Cole’s piece0 it’s a red herring. many establishment moslems are by
                definition ‘exile” groups. many were pumped with AIPAC type money or
                seduced with think tank jobs. rank and file moslems are divided because
                many have a dog in the fight and figure they stand to win depending which
                side prevails.

                BTW – are those establishment jews (or empire jews, as marc Ellis refers to
                them) everyday Americans? really? may be we should take a vote?

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm

                “tokyobk, however you choose to cast it, the people out front pumping up a
                bogus case for strikes, are jewish.”

                Obama is Jewish? I always suspected it, especially when he became a Nobel
                Prize winner:-p

                ” rank and file moslems are divided because many have a dog in the fight and
                figure they stand to win depending which side prevails. ”

                Are there rank and file Muslims? I assume you mean the average American
                Muslim. In that case, the average American Jew is probably not in favor of
                the attacks either.

                You know, this whole Syria thing really explodes all the myths you people
                traffic in. It explodes the myth that AIPAC easily can get whatever it wants in
                Congress, regardless of what Americans think. It explodes the myth that the
                Conference and AIPAC ask and receive from those in power; it is exactly the
                opposite here, because the President asked AIPAC for help. It also explodes
                the myth that AIPAC is simply acting in Israel’s interest; here, it’s lobbying at
                the request of the American commander-in-chief, not at the behest of any
                Israeli leader. As every article on the issue has pointed out, AIPAC did not
                want to get involved on this issue. They didn’t have a strong position either
                way, and they did not want people like you blaming the Jews for a war like
                you unjustly did last time. There is little in this for them; they lose, and they
                look weak, they win, and they get blamed.

                American says:
                September 8, 2013 at 3:31 pm

                ”BY the way, Jews are everyday Americans, right? or no?”

                Some sometimes yes, some sometimes no…is probably the best answer when
                it involves Israel.
                I saw the Forward’s Jane Eisen’s editorial telling US Jews to get out and


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                ‘support ‘the strike on Syria. …….2000 yrs of tribal cohesiveness and 65 years
                of holocaust conditoning will mean some of them will do that
                unquestioningly…especially the oldies…some others wont.
                So yes Jews (in general terms) are different from average Americans when it
                comes to Israel issues……most Amercans have no ‘emotional’ investment in
                Israel like they do.
                Just as Cory pointed out the difficulty Jews have in discussing the realities of
                Israel even among themselves ..
                And dont go off on one of those ‘whiffs of anti semitism’ things for pointing
                this out, this is just how it is on things related to Israel.

                Citizen says:
                September 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

                @ tokyobk
                I’m just saying, as Mr Robin does, that the Jewish Establishment supports a
                strike on Syria. It’s all over the news. While the significant majority of
                average Americans do not, as polled, which is also all over the news. Anybody
                can easily see this. I don’t know why you ask if Jews are everyday Americans,
                yes or no. They are 2 % at most of Americans. Why don’t you check out
                Jewish blogs and organizations as to whether or not they see eye to eye with
                98% of the USA–and whether or not the 98% of American Gentiles see eye to
                eye with them. You can start with “the silent holocaust” theme re assimilation
                of American values, OK?

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:52 am

                I’m just saying, as Mr Robin does, that the Jewish Establishment supports a
                strike on Syria. It’s all over the news. While the significant majority of
                average Americans do not, as polled, which is also all over the news.

                ok, but while the significant majority of average Americans do not, our own
                president does. if i am not mistaken, what tokyo is saying is that what you’re
                referencing as ‘the jewish establishment’ often does not represent american
                jews. he said You make the assumption (obviously) that a majority of Jews
                support a strike in different numbers than non-Jews. so in this instance
                when you speak of the jewish establishment and ‘the significant majority of
                average Americans ‘ , are you including american jews in this ‘significant
                majority of average Americans’? because lots of american jews are average
                americans. or are you gluing all american jews to this ‘jewish establishment?
                and if so why?

                i ask this because we’ve got a significant portion of the american
                establishment (like clinton, pelosi, obama, mcCain, grahm..etc etc) who are
                not jewish who also are in conflict with ‘the significant majority of average
                Americans’. so what’s up with assuming most american jews want to attack
                syria? could it be american jews, like american non jews , are not interested
                in a world war? this assumption that american jews generally merge w/the
                establishment could be overwrought. i might be wrong, it’s just a thought.

                tokyobk says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:01 am

                Thank you Annie for your points.



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                And actually there is wide debate about this among many communities
                including the Muslim and Arab community. So the dyad of Jews and
                Americans does not work here regardless of what the professional lobbies are
                arguing for.

                I think btw assimilation is a wonderful two way street and has made both
                Jewish and non-Jewish communities more vibrant and more interesting.

                But yes, the construction (real) Citizen and (real) American favor which is
                constantly that Jews are apart from the 98% has a whiff of antisemitism to it
                whether done by Jew lovers or Jew haters.

                Citizen says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:30 am

                @ Annie Robbins
                I didn’t mean to imply all or even most Jewish Americans support a strike on
                Syria. Glue? I’d say in addition to it being all over the news that the Jewish
                Establishment is engaged in a full court press supporting Obama’s strike on
                Syria, and all the Establishment Gentiles such as those you named on both
                sides of the aisle are partnering with them. AIPAC glue is very sticky in
                Washington, DC. It doesn’t stick as well in the hinterlands–as the polls and
                calls to congress folks have been bearing out. We have YES, NO percentages
                in the polls, but they are not broken down as between hinterland Gentiles
                and hinterland Jews.

                See Danaa’s snapshot comment of September 8 at 2:38 PM.

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:45 am

                that Jews are apart from the 98% has a whiff of antisemitism to it whether
                done by Jew lovers or Jew haters.

                the accusation, or primary focus, on anti semitism wrt to this impression of
                separateness is not helpful for eradicating this misperception. that’s because
                it’s primarily perpetuated by those who wish to coral and browbeat jews, and
                speak for all jews. most americans could not even identify a jew in a group of
                nons. iow, the main culprits, by this definition of ‘ that Jews are apart’, are
                jewish extremists. so, do you really want to go there? constantly hammering
                on about anti semitismis not going to solve this problem. it’s like a wall of
                accusation and guilt which the main culprits are offered a get of of jail free
                card.

                we’re operating in an arena in which some ‘average’ people (who might
                consider themselves exceptionally bright) think american jews who follow
                basic tenants of judaism while rejecting zionism are ‘fringe’ at a time when
                the the zionist regime feels threatened by the prospect the american jewish
                youth are turning against zionism (not a fringe group). iow there are strong
                powerful forces at work w/the intention of convincing the american public
                american jews are separate/unique. under these circumstances, accusations
                of anti semitism are circular and self perpetuating.

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:03 am




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                Glue? I’d say in addition to it being all over the news that the Jewish
                Establishment is engaged in a full court press supporting Obama’s strike on
                Syria

                i completely agree citizen.

                I didn’t mean to imply all or even most Jewish Americans support a strike
                on Syria.

                perhaps i thought you implied that by ommisson. when you spoke of the 2%
                as well as the 98%…i’m not sure how accurate it is to divide americans by
                ethnicity wrt who belongs in the 29% who support attacking syria. i don’t
                know how helpful that is. what’s clear to me is the lobby wants us to attack
                syria. and they are pressuring the jewish community to be unified and speak
                in one loud voice. but it’s not that clear to me the american jewish
                community are following their establishment leaders. just like it’s not so clear
                to me any americans are following their establishment leaders.

                this could be an opportune time for all americans to challenge the
                establishment. so it’s not helpful to label american jews who do that as
                ‘fringe’ when they are part of an overwhelming part of the american populace
                who oppose this horrendous intervention. we (anti war)need to
                unify/mobilize/empower eachother, not separate or identify by sub-ethnicity
                groups within american culture.

                Citizen says:
                September 9, 2013 at 6:33 am

                @ Annie Robbins
                I agree. I sure hope people keep pestering their congress critters and the WH
                to stop Obama-McCain strike on Syria.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:19 am

                Annie,



                        this assumption that american jews merge w/the establishment
                        could be overwrought. i might be wrong, it’s just a thought.




                I don’t think that the Jewish establishment speaks for all Jews, but if *most*
                Jews disagree with that establishment why haven’t they created an effective
                organizational network which *does* speak for them?

                Also, if there is public confusion about Jewish views on these matters, much
                of the blame needs to be squarely placed on the Jewish establishment, which
                relentlessly blares to the world that there a single “Jewish people” — “the
                Jews” — and that it speaks for that monolithic people. The public statements
                of member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major American
                Jewish Organizations are loaded with this kind of strident “collectivist”
                language (to get back to the all-important collectivism issue, which was
                raised by Corey Robin).



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                By the way, the official leadership of the worldwide Roman Catholic
                community — the Vatican no less — has clearly stated its opposition to an
                American attack on Syria — as have many Christian evangelicals.

                American says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

                “and (real) American favor which is constantly that Jews are apart from the
                98% has a whiff of antisemitism to it whether done by Jew lovers or Jew
                haters.”…tokyo

                Well, there you go again.
                No one said Jews were ‘apart’ from the 98%..or ‘constantly’ apart from the
                98%.
                What was said was that *on Israel* US Jews are *generally* different from
                the 98% *on Israel*—more involved and care more about it than the 98%.
                No one said *All* Jews.
                No one said *Most* Jews are for strike either.
                Some might be for or against because of Israel, some be for or against on
                other general principles.
                What was also pointed out was that the Jewish establishment, lobby,
                whatever you want to call it, is supporting the strike and like Jane Eisen at
                the Forward, are calling for other Jews to support it.
                Tell me somethng tokyo, if you werent Jewish and didnt have the I am Jewish
                and you’re a anti semite thing to insult people with, what would you use
                then?
                I’m guessing you would find something regardless.

                Betsy says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

                @seanmcbride — the mainline churches are coming out against strike on
                Syria (it’s not just evangelicals). Here’s the Presbyterian (USA) statement last
                Thursday — link to pcusa.org

                PeaceThroughJustice says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

                Meanwhile the Union of Reform Judaism wants to conduct a survey before
                publicly taking a stand. (Not wanting to get burned a second time for
                supporting a war for Israel.)

                (Results due out 4:00 pm EDT tonight, September 9. Any bets on which way
                they’ll go? Hostage and TokyoBK seem confident they’ll oppose but I
                wonder.)

                link to rac.org

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

                Betsy,



                        the mainline churches are coming out against strike on Syria (it’s
                        not just evangelicals). Here’s the Presbyterian (USA) statement
                        last Thursday


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                It’s impossible not to notice that while much of the Christian establishment
                (including the Vatican) has been quick to oppose an American war against
                Syria, the Jewish establishment has decided to promote that war with
                maximum lobbying — clearly with the interests of Israel and Zionism in
                mind.

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

                I don’t think that the Jewish establishment speaks for all Jews, but if *most*
                Jews disagree with that establishment why haven’t they created an effective
                organizational network which *does* speak for them?

                Because most people outside the Beltway speak for themselves and don’t
                create organizations to speak on their behalf.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

                Hostage,



                        Because most people outside the Beltway speak for themselves
                        and don’t create organizations to speak on their behalf.




                The organizational network of the Jewish establishment reaches deeply into
                localities, large and small, all across the United States (and beyond) — it is
                certainly not circumscribed by the Beltway. A bit of social science could turn
                up all the hard numbers with regard to the geographical distribution of
                Jewish political funding and activism on behalf of Israel.

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:53 am

                Hostage and TokyoBK seem confident they’ll oppose but I wonder.)

                link to rac.org

                I’m not a prophet. I always try to avoid making any such predictions. In this
                instance I merely pointed out that they are not represented in the position
                already taken by the Conference of Presidents.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm

                Hostage,

                Which of the 51 members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American
                Jewish Organizations (the American Jewish establishment) have come out in
                opposition to an American war against Syria?

                Those 51 Jewish organizations are listed here:

                link to conferenceofpresidents.org


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                Some Jewish organizations (including non-CoP Jewish organizations) that
                have played a prominent role in agitating for this war so far: ADL, AIPAC,
                AJC, CoP, ECI, Forward, JCPA, JINSA, NJDC, RJC, Simon Wiesenthal
                Center, WINEP.

                (WINEP is not officially a Jewish organization, but it is an appendage of
                AIPAC, which is a member organization of the Conference of Presidents.)

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm

                A bit of social science could turn up all the hard numbers with regard to the
                geographical distribution of Jewish political funding and activism on behalf
                of Israel.

                How do you determine hard numbers for persons of Jewish descent that
                aren’t organized or part of the Zionist system or the federations? Give us an
                illustration. There’s still no way that they can claim 6 million American Jews
                as participating members or financial supporters.

                I’ve pointed out myself that the Jewish Federations were always instrumental
                in taking-up collections for the old and new Yishuv in Palestine, even before
                WWI and that they were also exploited for the promulgation of Zionist
                political propaganda and desiderata. That relationship continued after 1948,
                and the Entente, e.g. link to jta.org

                I’ve also pointed out that nowadays the federations and campus Hillel are
                openly staffed and funded by agents of the government of Israel, e.g. a
                Shaliah (messenger) is a Jewish legal emissary or agent according to halakhic
                tradition. See
                * Jewish Youth Challenged to Combat Anti-israel Propaganda on Campus
                link to jta.org
                *Community Shaliach Jewish Agency for Israel link to jafi.org
                * The World Zionist Organization Department for Diaspora Activities’ staff
                operates throughout North America
                link to izionist.org

                But we’ve had articles and comments here which explain that those efforts
                have been a dismal failure, by their own accounting.
                * The new anti-Semitism, and the campaign to silence American critics of
                Israel link to mondoweiss.net

                Betsy says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm

                @ seanmcbride — yup – altho’ it’s not smart — e.g., the interests of Israel
                would be much better served with peace-making.

                Re/ them Presbyterians, I must say that when I brought this issue up, during
                our prayers this Sunday in church — many folks looked at me with scared
                looks, like I’d opened up something they’d rather not hear about. (I’m in a
                VERY conservative part of the country). But, afterwards, several individuals
                came up to profusely thank me. It felt like I was forcing a “coming out”
                process, breaking a taboo. This despite the fact that I was mostly reading the
                words of the church’s top leader! The collective pressures to not speak about


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                this stuff are huge in many faith communities — in the Presby church the
                national ‘establishment’ is far more informed & committed on this issue than
                many rank & file.

                Walid says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:07 pm

                “I’ve also pointed out that nowadays the federations and campus Hillel are
                openly staffed and funded by agents of the government of Israel” (Hostage)

                I saw a TV documentary today describing how Israel is the only country in
                the world where a ministry of education works so closely with a ministry of
                defense. It described how military staff and especially ex-military are hired to
                teach in schools where students from a very young age are inculcated in the
                military mindset with school visits to miltary bases. The documentary from
                Israeli footage showed 7, 10 and 12-year olds climbing aboard Merkavas or
                artillery batteries with an uniformed miltary guide explaining how these
                equipments worked. The interviewer asked the students with which branch
                they would enlist when they get older and what was their purpose and a
                couple of students answered it was to kill Arabs with one of them saying the
                number he wanted to kill was 80. It included photos we all saw before of the
                12-year old girls that had been taken to a base during the 2006 war where
                they autographed shells destined to be shot into Lebanon. The last part that I
                didn’t understand very much was about how the military is now also involved
                into the religious schools. In short, it was about brainwashing the kids from a
                very early age to develop a military and warring frame of mind, which
                explains the paranoia that prevails in Israel and why the mistreatment of
                Palestinians by the military is taken so lightly by everybody.

                PeaceThroughJustice says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

                “How do you determine hard numbers for persons of Jewish descent …”

                Hostage, with all respect, I notice that when it suits your purposes both you
                and TokyoBK will slip into the Nordau/Nazi definition of Jewishness — a
                matter of bloodlines/genes/race. You’re entitled to think of things this way of
                course but you should be aware that it isn’t the way most of the gentiles on
                this site use the term. To them Jewishness is a choice, not genetic fate. It’s a
                matter of which aspects of our pasts we choose to construct our self-identities
                around, and which aspects we choose to regard as more accidental.

                So when Citizen discusses the behavior of the Jewish community, he’s talking
                primarily about those people who have chosen to make “being Jewish” a
                central part of their identities.

                (Remember when Christopher Hitchens “became Jewish” and his brother
                didn’t? It’s a choice.)

                Danaa says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

                walid – do you happen to have a name and/or link to the Documentary? I
                would be interested. Got my own info but could use updating – especially the
                part about the military penetration into the religious school system. That, I
                know, is a relatively recent development (am assuming you meant the ultra-


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                orthodox system, not just the national religious, or observant, which has
                always been the case).

                not sure what the documentary shows, but I agree that disdain for Arabs as
                basically an inferior life form – whether or not explicitely stated – is a
                common theme in the education system. there are many ways to do that with
                children but the most obvious trick is to avoid showing anything positive
                about arab history, culture and lifestyles. the less humanizing, the better.

                Which is a trend resisted by not a few pieces of israeli literature and movies.
                of course, those works will be watched /read by only a small subsystem and
                there you have it in a nutshell – the relatively few vs the all too many. An
                especially dangerous trend among the religious who are generally not
                exposed to much movies/book/art.

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm

                but if *most* Jews disagree with that establishment why haven’t they
                created an effective organizational network which *does* speak for them?

                and if *most* americans disagree with aipac’s push to bomb syria why
                haven’t they created an effective organizational network which *does* speak
                for them?

                Walid says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

                Danaa, it was on Mayadeen and made up mostly of Israeli footage with
                people being interviewed in Hebrew subtitled in small type Arabic hard to
                make out. The Arabic part consisted mostly of a Palestinian commenting
                between the different reports in Hebrew. It’s in 2 episodes with the first
                showing a blackboard and the second a white-haired Israeli man that speaks
                in Hebrew throughout the documentary. Interviews are all in Hebrew. Hope
                this will be of use to you:

                link to almayadeen.net

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm

                Hostage, with all respect, I notice that when it suits your purposes both you
                and TokyoBK will slip into the Nordau/Nazi definition of Jewishness

                Correction: I always use the consensus legal definition of Jewish ethnicity
                found in the minority treaties and the laws of various nations. Those
                conventions of international law are something that we still have in common
                with Nordau and the Nazis.

                They are based upon bloodlines/genes/race. Some employ the halakhah to
                determine personal status. That criteria is also based predominately on
                matrilineal bloodlines, rather than the actual religious belief or practices of
                the individual concerned. 40 percent of the Jews in Israel are secular and do
                not obey Jewish religious laws. I’ve commented on that fact before and have
                explained at length that there are no other agreed upon criteria.

                link to mondoweiss.net



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                tokyobk says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

                PTJ I have no idea what you are talking about and neither do you.

                I believe any one who calls themselves Jewish (for whatever reason) is
                Jewish.

                There are genetic clusters within that group (ashkenazic is a meaningful term
                when looking at for example disease patters) but this is hardly what Jewish
                means which from the beginning has always been a collection of tribes and
                converts.

                When Citizen says Jew he means the stiff necked interloping 2% that
                subverts the will of the pure 98% (even when in fact among that 2% there is
                the same range of ideas as within the 98%).

                tokyobk says:
                September 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

                I don’t insult people with that generally because most people on this issue are
                not anti-semites.

                I believe your and Citizen’s construction of Jewish and other things you have
                written has the whiff of antisemitism and when I see it, I say so. You may be
                perfectly nice people with generally good intentions.

                marc b. says:
                September 9, 2013 at 6:21 pm

                I notice that when it suits your purposes both you and TokyoBK will slip
                into the Nordau/Nazi definition of Jewishness — a matter of
                bloodlines/genes/race. You’re entitled to think of things this way of course
                but you should be aware that it isn’t the way most of the gentiles on this site
                use the term. To them Jewishness is a choice, not genetic fate.

                actually, peaceTJ, speaking as a gentile, I have no idea what it means to be
                ‘jewish’. I do know there is a small subset of self-identified jewish people who
                are exploiting that identity for personal political and economic gain. there is
                another small subset, which overlaps, to an extent, with the exploiters, who
                define Jewishness in terms synonymous with race. neither group is
                particularly appealing in my opinion, but they certainly don’t represent the
                majority of self-identified jewish persons. TokyoBk says that anyone who
                calls her/himself a jew, is a jew, the easiest of choices. I wouldn’t go that far.
                but it is a pretty elastic identity.

                PeaceThroughJustice says:
                September 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm

                “I always use the consensus legal definition of Jewish ethnicity found in the
                minority treaties and the laws of various nations.”

                I know you do, Hostage. (That’s why I posted.) The information I was trying
                to communicate to you is that not everyone shares your definition.

                Danaa says:
                September 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm

                Annie, there is no American organization pushing this morally reprehensible


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                push to bomb people other than AIPAC +Establishment jewish orgs and
                individuals, including it’s coterie of neocons, a couple of christian zionists-de-
                jour and a host of harvard-trained shills. The latter include a smattering of
                house-moslems and christians, usually embedded within “exile’ groups
                (people like elizabeth O’bagy come to mind, or the washington DC offshoots
                of that justly disreputable “Syrian” observatory in London, or that oh-so-
                human group known as “Human” Rights Watch, with a rather not-so-humane
                looking director by the name of Kenneth Roth, who I just saw the other day).

                Oh yes there are the famous American Saudi groups (including all of what, 2
                individuals?) or a some American iranians and most importantly some
                American aerospace companies, reputed to be working behind the scenes for
                a strike for pure profit reasons, but unfortunately not seen or heard much
                from.

                As for Americans, opinions run somewhere between 9 and 7:1 against. Now
                those Americans may include jewish people and certainly progressive groups
                coming out against this punitive operation” include many jewish people in
                their ranks.

                The problem is AIPAC is, by its name, a shrill and openly extremist pro-israel
                group, the country that most analysts believe is behind this push to “degrade’
                Syria and throw it into chaos all along (lame denials notwithstanding),
                teamed with that other bastion of human rights Saudi Arabia. AIPAC is
                basically out there – in force – advocating something that is expressly against
                the interests of the American people. It doesn’t do to ignore that this is first
                and foremost a jewish group, a very-in-your-face group, one that is
                recognizable as such.

                Are there nice jewish people too (I don’t consider anyone involved with
                AIPAC “nice’ any more than any other cult member)? sure. but my
                recommendation is to get out there in front beating the drums right now, Or
                else, the impressions left behind will be what they are. On one side
                Americans. On the other? israel + super=pushy/aggressive lobby arm. Not a
                good set-up, I’d say.

                Around where i live people are already noticing. I make it a point to speak
                clearly about where i stand on this Syria issue and sure ain’t with the
                Polosi/Feinsteins of this world. Now that’s been making republicans out here
                quite happy. they might even let it slide that i have any slight connection with
                AIPAC-like traitors (which is what i call them sometimes. Easy kudos. Why
                not?).

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm

                danaa, i really can’t think of anyone who has dedicated more time exposing
                aipac as the staff here. of course i think aipac should be exposed. perhaps you
                missed the meaning of my post. i didn’t bring up ‘most jews’, sean did when
                he asked but if *most* Jews disagree with that establishment why haven’t
                they created an effective organizational network which *does* speak for
                them?

                my point is, aipac, being a huge american problem, is my problem too.



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                (obviously) so why not asked (like i did):



                        and if *most* americans disagree with aipac’s push to bomb syria
                        why haven’t they created an effective organizational network
                        which *does* speak for them?




                (‘they’, being most americans, as opposed to ‘jewish americans’) now if you,
                speaking as a jew, think you have more responsibility creating an effective
                organizational network which *does* speak for you, more than me…just
                answers sean’s question. why haven’t you created an effective organizational
                network which *does* speak for you?

                because i’m a part of this site, and think it’s fairly effective in spreading the
                word. but still we’re no match for aipac (not yet anyway!). we clearly don’t
                have that kind of money or msm access.

                do you think, as a jew, you have more responsibility stopping aipac than me?
                because i happen to think if we stand around labeling anti zionist jews as
                ‘fringe’ it’s really not going to be a very effective way to motivate anyone. in
                fact, it doesn’t sound like ‘kudos’ to me, it sounds like a heavy hammer.

                and another thing, this comment about ‘most jews’ was relayed to me in
                response to ” this assumption that american jews merge w/the establishment
                could be overwrought. i might be wrong, it’s just a thought. ”

                so argue it’s not overwrought danaa, if that’s your pleasure. but i happen to
                know a few other american jews who are not down w/the establishment view
                of bombing syria. i’d rather empower those voices, not shrink them thru
                ‘fringe’-like messaging.

                Danaa says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm

                Annie, I know quite a few jewish people who are not only not down with
                AIPAC but pretty much hate all it stands for. Most progressive jews for
                example – or those who belong to progressive groups – despise AIPAC, not
                just because it’s another twisting, churning Lobby in Washington, but
                specifically because it taints them in the eyes of their fellow Americans and
                forever they have to answer for its actions.

                I certainly don’t doubt this site, and you in particular, carry not a tiny drop of
                water for AIPAC or even AIPAC-Lite, like J street et al. So many good
                commenters here who took stand on this issue many, if not most, Jewish.

                I don’t even doubt that most American jewish people have little to do with
                AIPAC and many may not even know what the heck it is.

                But that’s not the problem I was pointing out. The problem is what people see
                out there, on MSM channels and media. And what they see is AIPAC and
                some rather unpleasant sounding people speaking for it. Not many people are
                familiar with MW or MJRosenberg or Peter Beinart. They see what they see.
                And Aipac is out there, in full force, acting like the shrill shills that they are.


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                making themselves unpleasant. Pushing for things no one wants. Suspected
                of lying through their teeth.

                That’s the image. And it unfortunate. And it taints me as well with an
                invisible brush that we know is unfair. And that sucks and i doubt i’m the
                only one annoyed of being lumped with idiots. Kind of like some astute
                republicans got lumped with Donald Trump and the squirrel on his head. I
                recall how irate some people i know got at the time (even as some were
                digging the dagger deeper. hey those were innocent days…).

                I was merely suggesting that some high profile people, known to be jewish,
                get out there pronto and pitch for the other side. Where are they all? grayson
                alone just doesn’t cut it, does he (as great as he is)?

                Don’t get mad at the messenger now, OK?

                PS correction to my post above: “those Americans INCLUDE many jewish
                people…” (minus the “may” – just haste, no slip)

                American says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm

                tokyobk says:
                September 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm

                I don’t insult people with that generally because most people on this issue are
                not anti-semites. >>>>>>

                So just Citizen and I are anti semites huh? I notice there are a quite a few
                Jews who say the exact same things , much more critical actually——but
                Citizen and I are anti semites because we are gentiles isnt that it?:
                You’re a bigot who hides behind being Jewish.
                Yep you’re just an ordinary bigot, no different than any other racist.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:34 pm

                Annie,



                        danaa, i really can’t think of anyone who has dedicated more time
                        exposing aipac as the staff here. of course i think aipac should be
                        exposed.




                It’s important to keep in mind that the Israel lobby is much greater in scope
                than AIPAC. AIPAC is just one of 51 organizations in the Conference of
                Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which includes, among
                many other organizations, these groups:

                1. Association of Reform Zionists of America
                2. Central Conference of American Rabbis
                3. Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
                4. MERCAZ USA, Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement
                5. Rabbinical Assembly



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                6. Rabbinical Council of America
                7. Religious Zionists of America
                8. Union for Reform Judaism
                9. Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
                10. United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
                11. Women of Reform Judaism
                12. Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

                One shouldn’t overfocus on AIPAC — it’s just the tip of the iceberg. This
                entire political network and machine needs to be viewed, analyzed and
                understood whole.

                PeaceThroughJustice says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

                narc b. writes: “I have no idea what it means to be ‘jewish’”

                That’s because we use the word in so many different ways. Obviously, as
                TokyoBk says, the most important way is when people choose it as a label for
                themselves. As a self-identity, “Jew” can mean at least three different things–

                1. Someone who practices the religion of Judaism (i.e., who is religious in the
                sense of believing in a purposeful supernatural Creator, and who tries to live
                out the Creator’s intentions as depicted in Judaism).
                2. Someone who happens to have had an ancestor who called himself
                “Jewish”, but who identifies as just a human being.
                3. Someone who has made “being Jewish” the center of his self-identity,
                prioritizing it above the other aspects of his humanity.

                It is this third category which is the most relevant one in discussions of the
                Israel lobby in the US.

                RoHa says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm

                ” the whiff of antisemitism and when I see it, I say so ”

                Forget about that. Look for the whiff of falsehood, and tell us when you see
                that. It is truth and falsity that are important.

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm

                gee sean, where would i be without your timely reminders.

                yrn says:
                September 10, 2013 at 1:19 am

                “Someone who has made “being Jewish” the center of his self-identity,
                prioritizing it above the other aspects of his humanity.”
                This is usually used by Jew Haters and in antisemitic sites….

                A Jew is someone who belongs to the Jewish people and it’s says it all.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 5:46 am

                One shouldn’t overfocus on AIPAC — it’s just the tip of the iceberg. This
                entire political network and machine needs to be viewed, analyzed and



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                understood whole.

                Agreed, but you are glossing over the fact that some of the largest, like URJ
                have adopted resolutions that condemn the expansion of settlements. Others
                have faced years of flagging membership and declining revenues. See $5
                million budget hole is latest woe for Conservative synagogue group link to
                jta.org

                AIPAC only has 100,000 Jewish and Christian members. It might speak for
                the right-wing governments of Israel, but there’s no evidence it can deliver
                the Jewish vote or that it represents Americas 6 million Jews.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 7:26 am

                “I always use the consensus legal definition of Jewish ethnicity found in the
                minority treaties and the laws of various nations.”

                I know you do, Hostage. (That’s why I posted.) The information I was
                trying to communicate to you is that not everyone shares your definition.

                So you ought to understand that when we discuss “the Jews” or being
                “Jewish” here we have to address the union of various legally, but ill-defined
                sets of “Jews”. If you were aware of that fact, I fail to see why you are acting
                surprised or complaining that we sometimes slip into the Nordau/Nazi
                definition of Jewishness, when that’s always going to be completely
                unavoidable.

                As for people not sharing the agreed upon historical definitions that resulted
                from international treaties and national legislation, are these dissenters going
                to rewrite history or deal with the reality? There is an old maxim which says
                that you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

                If you live in the United States or many other countries, your government
                ratified treaties which formally recognized a Palestinian Jewish ethnic group
                and their national home. Deal with it. That same treaty recognized the rights
                of Jews in other countries. The US and other governments had by that time
                ratified many other treaties which recognized and protected the rights of
                other national Jewish ethnic groups. That sort of thing has continuing legal
                consequences today.

                So, just as surely as night follows the day, all of those very historical Jewish
                national and Jewish ethnic groups can be considered valid federally protected
                characteristics under the applicable US anti-discrimination laws. That fact
                was affirmed by the Supreme Court in Shaare Tefila Congregation v. Cobb –
                481 U.S. 615 (1987) link to supreme.justia.com

                In every case that I’m aware of that formal recognition was based upon race,
                ethnicity, and national origin, not on religious observance. In the 19th
                century, persons of Jewish descent in Europe and the Ottoman Empire were
                usually registered at birth under a Jewish “nationality” by operation of the
                public laws. That practice continued up until WWII. For example, in
                Czechoslovakia, adult Jews were considered to be Jewish by nationality even
                if they lacked knowledge of a Jewish dialect or membership in the Jewish
                religious community. Their status was guaranteed by the official


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                interpretation of Article 128 of the Czechoslovak constitution of 1920 and the
                clauses on minorities in the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. link to
                yivoencyclopedia.org

                eljay        says:
                September 10, 2013 at 7:41 am

                >> A Jew is someone who belongs to the Jewish people and it’s says it all.

                No, it doesn’t say it all at all, especially since Zio-supremacists on this site
                have frequently referred to those Jews who don’t support Zio-supremacist as
                “not real Jews” (or words to that effect).

                So, please, do tell:
                - How, precisely, does one go about “belonging to the Jewish people”?
                - Who decides whether or not a person “belongs to the Jewish people”?
                - Can a person choose not to “belong to the Jewish people” but still be
                Jewish?
                - Can a person who “belongs to the Jewish people” have his belonging
                terminated against his will?
                - It has been repeatedly asserted that a Jew can be an atheist, because
                “Jewish” is not bound by religion. But it has also been asserted that a Jew
                cannot be a Christian or a Muslim because “Jewish” is bound be religion. In
                order to “belong to the Jewish people”, is a person bound by the Jewish
                religion or not?

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 11:19 am

                “One shouldn’t overfocus on AIPAC — it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

                It’s most of the iceberg. AIPAC’s job is to lobby Congress. The Conference
                covers the Executive Branch, which has made up its mind already. The
                organizations on Sean’s list might take a position on a hot-button issue, but
                they generally do not get involved in lobbying.

                “This entire political network and machine needs to be viewed, analyzed and
                understood whole.”

                There’s no lack of understanding here; it’s been analyzed many times, and is
                fairly-well understood. I think a ten-year-old should have no trouble
                understanding how lobbying and political coalition building works.

                JJ Goldberg wrote about all of it in “Jewish Power” in the 1990s. Little has
                changed since then.

                seafoid says:
                September 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

                Hoph

                Lobbying is so normal yada yada.

                Why does the Israeli side need so much money in DC ? Any spin that can
                reassure me? Because it looks like deep corruption from the outside.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm




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                I think a ten-year-old should have no trouble understanding how lobbying
                and political coalition building works. JJ Goldberg wrote about all of it in
                “Jewish Power” in the 1990s. Little has changed since then.

                JJ Goldberg said the Jewish political establishment was in trouble, had an
                uncertain future, and was out of touch with its so-called constituents. If he
                said the same things on MW you’d have called him a member of the fringe.

                Most people agree that Mearsheimer and Walt have done a good job of
                moving the conversation along and calling into question the idea that the two
                countries have similar aims or should pursue ideologically driven Zionist
                policies.

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm

                “Why does the Israeli side need so much money in DC ? Any spin that can
                reassure me? Because it looks like deep corruption from the outside.”

                Why does the AARP?
                Why does the NRA?
                Why does big business?
                Why does anyone?

                You have a political position to advance, you usually try to build an operation
                to advance it. That’s not corruption. It’s political lobbying. You’re welcome to
                organize the opposition.

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

                “JJ Goldberg said the Jewish political establishment was in trouble, had an
                uncertain future, and was out of touch with its so-called constituents. If he
                said the same things on MW you’d have called him a member of the fringe. ”

                He did say that, and he was somewhat right. But he also said that the power
                of AIPAC was vastly overstated.

                “Most people agree that Mearsheimer and Walt have done a good job of
                moving the conversation along and calling into question the idea that the two
                countries have similar aims or should pursue ideologically driven Zionist
                policies.”

                Who is most people?

                Danaa says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:56 pm

                Hostage, condemning expansion of settlements is the easy part. has URJ
                taken a position on the settlement enterprise in general, as in stating the
                need for it to be scaled back? have they taken a position on the unilateral
                annexation of east jerusalem and the dispossession of its indigenous
                inhabitants in favor of all-encompassing greed?

                More questions: what was URJ’s position with regard to the murderous
                attacks on Gaza and the slaughter of children there?

                the displacement of bedouins in favor of rapacious private interests and ever



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                crueler state confiscation of property?

                Or, more generically, the 1967 borders?

                Sean’s contention was generic – that Judaism, especially in its secular
                version, but partly the religious one two – was folded into the tent of zionism.
                If URJ – with all the Tikkun olam talk cannot bring itself to condemn
                egregious violations of human rights in the territories, acquired by cconquest,
                then what’s left of the vaunted jewish values?

                Actually, come to think of it, seeing what all these jewish people are peddling
                at the moment – mayhem and death – should I take those as part and parcel
                of Jewish values? followed by individuals clearly lesser than yourself, are
                those values, at their base, the least bit universal? and if, as seems to be the
                case, they are only universal-when-convenient (again with you and like-
                minded aside for a moment), what is secular Judaism left with other than
                allegiance to a country hell bent on being a very bad actor? oh and lots of
                theoretical talk about “humanitarianism” and grand sounding ‘fellowship of
                men”. just no acid tests please, or it’ll crumble, like a house of cards, with a
                joker in the deck.

                You may be one of the last Lamed-Vav Tzadikim for all I know, roaming the
                earth in search of justice prescribed by law. A fine Jewish value indeed, were
                it only followed by more. This value ascribed to no doubt by all 36 of you in
                any generation – some known, some not – tirelessly showing the way out to
                an unheeding multitude. Indeed you have brought light to many of us in the
                limited audience here, jews and not, on many occasions. I do believe you
                have thus more than earned the right to advocate on behalf of those more
                miscreant jews in front of god when the time cometh. Alas, we really need at
                least another 25 now – I can count only to 20, no matter how hard I try (yes,
                i know they are supposed to be hidden – but isn’t there a saying about justice
                needing to be seen to be effective?).

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

                Hostage, condemning expansion of settlements is the easy part. has URJ
                taken a position on the settlement enterprise in general, as in stating the
                need for it to be scaled back?

                I’m simply giving credit where credit is due. You couldn’t get me to join a
                Reform congregation at gun point, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual;-)

                RoHa says:
                September 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm

                eljay,
                “is a person bound by the Jewish religion or not?”

                Now you’re the one being reasonable. Stop it at once.

                Theo says:
                September 11, 2013 at 7:55 am

                Annie

                All those persons you mentioned above, (Obama, Pelosi, Clinton, McCaine,



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                etc.) were bought by and are in the pockets of zionist organisations like
                AIPAC and take their marching orders from Israel, therefore you certainly
                cannot consider them to be “average americans”.

                May I ask you the following: would you agree that AIPAC and many similar
                jewish organisations are agents for a foreign power and should be registered
                as such?

                eljay        says:
                September 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

                >> Now you’re the one being reasonable. Stop it at once.

                Sure, as soon as I get a definitive explanation of what “Jewish” / “belongs to
                the Jewish people” means, how it works and why it requires the existence of
                an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state in Palestine.

                It shouldn’t be too hard for the *eees to put their heads together and come
                up with something clear, concise, consistent and universal…right?

                hophmi says:
                September 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

                “No, it doesn’t say it all at all, especially since Zio-supremacists on this site
                have frequently referred to those Jews who don’t support Zio-supremacist as
                ‘not real Jews’”

                You’re making it up, at least with regard to me. I have noted, many times,
                that anti-Zionist Jews tend to have few, if any, Jewish affiliations, and thus,
                are simply using their Judaism as a prop for their politics. It has nothing to
                do with the religious question of who is a Jew.

                ” How, precisely, does one go about “belonging to the Jewish people”?”

                Your mom’s Jewish. In Reform Judaism, it can be either parent.

                “Who decides whether or not a person “belongs to the Jewish people”?”

                No one.

                “Can a person who “belongs to the Jewish people” have his belonging
                terminated against his will?”

                No.

                ” It has been repeatedly asserted that a Jew can be an atheist, because
                “Jewish” is not bound by religion. But it has also been asserted that a Jew
                cannot be a Christian or a Muslim because “Jewish” is bound be religion. In
                order to “belong to the Jewish people”, is a person bound by the Jewish
                religion or not?”

                Yes. I don’t see how you can be part of the Jewish people without being
                Jewish.

                I feel like we’re having a George-Washington’s-White-Horse discussion here.

                eljay        says:
                September 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm




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                >> You’re making it up, at least with regard to me.

                I didn’t specify a single Zio-supremacist. If you haven’t said it, that’s good.
                But your co-collectivists have been very clear on the matter.

                >> eljay: How, precisely, does one go about “belonging to the Jewish people”?
                >> hophmi: Your mom’s Jewish. In Reform Judaism, it can be either parent.

                Okay, so, “belonging to the Jewish people” is not a religious thing. All it takes
                is being born to a Jewish woman…or to a Jewish man. Got it.

                >> eljay: In order to “belong to the Jewish people”, is a person bound by the
                Jewish religion or not?”
                >> hophmi: Yes. I don’t see how you can be part of the Jewish people without
                being Jewish.

                This contradicts your earlier assertion (see above). And it doesn’t explain why
                Jewish atheists – who have shunned their god and their faith; who are not
                bound by the Jewish religion – nevertheless “belong to the Jewish people”.

                Although your explanation is concise and clear, it’s not consistent or
                universal.

                But I do appreciate the effort.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm

                “I feel like we’re having a George-Washington’s-White-Horse discussion
                here.”

                No, you’re just refusing to see the inherent contradiction in your responses.
                You say all it takes to belong to the Jewish people is to have a Jewish mother,
                but then later say, in essence, that you must also be of the Jewish religion,
                which would prove your first answer to be false or, at best, incomplete.

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm

                theo, All those persons you mentioned above, (Obama, Pelosi, Clinton,
                McCaine, etc.) were bought by and are in the pockets of zionist
                organisations like AIPAC and take their marching orders from Israel,
                therefore you certainly cannot consider them to be “average americans”.

                i agree. here’s how i referenced them: we’ve got a significant portion of the
                american establishment (like clinton, pelosi, obama, mcCain, grahm..etc etc)
                who are not jewish who also are in conflict with ‘the significant majority of
                average Americans’.

                what i posited was these establishment figures are working against the will of
                the majority of the american public, wrt attacking syria.

                would you agree that AIPAC and many similar jewish organisations are
                agents for a foreign power and should be registered as such?

                many, and absolutely people who work for aipac should be required to
                register as agents of a foreign government. and i know many american jews
                who are not in the elite, part of ‘the establishment’ or any jewish


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                organizations. although i have not taken a survey i doubt any of them want
                the US to attack syria. i don’t personally know many american jews who are
                ‘close to israel’ or have even been there.

                RoHa says:
                September 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

                “Can a person who “belongs to the Jewish people” have his belonging
                terminated against his will?”

                No.

                But it looks like they did that to Spinoza.

                “In order to “belong to the Jewish people”, is a person bound by the Jewish
                religion or not?”

                Yes. I don’t see how you can be part of the Jewish people without being
                Jewish.

                So “atheist Jews” aren’t really Jews, and Spinoza stopped being a Jew when
                his beliefs divagated from Judaism. The excommunication was a formal
                declaration of his non-Jewish status, not the instrument that created that
                status.

                So why is he so often called a Jew, now?

                “ How, precisely, does one go about “belonging to the Jewish people”?”

                Your mom’s Jewish. In Reform Judaism, it can be either parent.

                “Who decides whether or not a person “belongs to the Jewish people”?”

                No one.

                Hold on. You just laid down a criterion for belonging. Surely anyone who
                knows that a person satisfies that criterion can then decide whether or not
                that person belongs to the Jewish people. The answer to the second question
                should, then, be:

                “Anyone who can check the parentage of the person in question”.

                RoHa says:
                September 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm

                It looks to me as though Jewishness is similar to nobility.

                1. A noble father is sufficient to make one noble. A Jewish mother is sufficient
                to make one Jewish.
                (Nobility, however, can decline through the cadet branches. If all the
                firstborns live and reproduce, the second son of the second son of the second
                son of the second son of an Earl probably will not get a mention in Burke’s
                Peerage. Jewishness does not decline in this way.)

                2. A commoner can be ennobled by Royal decree. A Gentile can become
                Jewish by conversion.

                But there seems to be some uncertainty about reversing the process.

                3. A nobleman can become a commoner by renouncing his title. From what


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                hophmi has said it would seem that a Jew can become a Gentile by
                renouncing the Jewish religion. But the talk of “atheist Jews” suggests that is
                not sufficient. Perhaps our reluctant Jew has to renounce all connection with
                “the Jewish people” for that.

                4. A nobleman (whether noble by birth or decree) can be stripped of his
                nobility by Royal decree, and so become a commoner against his will. hophmi
                tells us that a Jew can not be stripped of his Jewishness by others, but the
                Dutch Jews seem to have thought that is exactly what they were doing.

          Danaa says:
          September 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

          I agree that Syria has really brought things out to the fore. It;s basically AIPAC
          and establishment jews against most Americans. can anything have ever been
          clearer?

                MRW says:
                September 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm

                I know. It’s delish.

          Don says:
          September 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

          I usually like what you have to say, Citizen. And today is no exception.

          But it would be much easier to read your comments, I think, if you ceased waging
          a one man war against punctuation.

          The above comment is supposed to be amusing…

                Citizen says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:36 am

                @ Don
                Gee, is it that bad? Do you mean it’s punctuated badly or not enough? Or
                both?

    Balfour says:
    September 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    While I appreciate the difficulty of Mr. Robin’s discussing Israel amongst fellow Jews
    and how his personal journey of exploration has allowed him to ultimately self
    identify as being “Jewish without Israel” his private journey has come at a heavy cost
    to the non-Jewish American citizens who have been extorted by pro-Israeli forces to
    pay the financial, diplomatic and physical costs of supporting a religious, nationalist
    Jewish state. The emotional difficulty Mr. Robin describes of thinking counter to his
    own kind is no different than individual Germans, Boers or Southern Americans
    questioning the hateful practices practiced by their respective ethnic groups. Yet while
    Mr. Robin remained publically silent about his private concerns and practices of the
    state of Israel his silence also allowed pro-Israeli political forces in the USA to claim
    to speak in his name and create the public perception that Jews, and Israel are one
    and the same thing and that the self appointed members of the American Jewish
    establishment speak for all American Jews. This distortion of fact has grown
    unchecked to such a degree that any public, open discussion of current U.S./Israel
    relations has become a taboo subject in American politics and society.

    I wish you a Happy New Year, Mr. Robin, and I hope at Yom Kippur you reflect upon



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    the ramifications of keeping silent amongst fellow ethnic brethren and please also
    reflect upon the condition that pro Israeli forces who do not represent the American
    Jewish community in the United States are openly lobbying Congress and the
    President to begin yet a third American war on behalf of Israel in the last 11 years.

          Citizen says:
          September 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm

          @ Balfour
          JINSA was on CSPAN today, pushing for war on Syria as prelude to war on Iran.
          Remember Colin Powell’s concern about JINSA? But now that POTUS is Obama,
          he seems to have forgotten his angst.

          MHughes976 says:
          September 8, 2013 at 5:47 pm

          The KJV Isaiah verse ‘I have long time holden my peace…now I will cry like a
          travailing woman’ comes to mind. The context hints effectively at the pain and
          danger involved.

                Balfour says:
                September 9, 2013 at 7:57 am

                MHughes976: I also think of the prophetic Martin Niemoller verse that
                begins “First they came for…”

    piotr says:
    September 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    “He meant that [Israel] should be free to hunt and kill its enemies. Just like any other
    state.”

    Very salient observation, Corey. The times change, now even USA may fail in a hunt
    on an enemy:



            “Russia has stabbed us in the back, and each day that Mr. Snowden is
            allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife,” Schumer said in a
            scathing statement.




    “Each day Roadrunner is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife in our
    back”, Wile. E. Coyote told reporters.

    By the way, of 3000 years of Jewish history (give it or take a few hundred years), most
    of it was without any state, and this is precisely the reason that Judaism survived: that
    it was not tied to any particular territory. In the same time, a very large number of
    small nations and cults vanished, and quite a few of them were exterminated. Why
    Reform Jews would tie their religion to a state is beyond me, particularly a state that
    finds their religion invalid and inferior. It fits into a theory that “everyone is an S or
    an M”. National Zionist Orthodox: S. Reform: M.

          MHughes976 says:
          September 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm

          The idea of normality including that right to pursue and kill is terrifying.

                Citizen says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:44 am

                @ MHughes976


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                Yeah, it is terrifying, and yes, Corey’s very salient observation.

    eljay        says:
    September 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    >> If Jews can’t speak to each other about Israel, how can they defend the state to the
    rest of the country, much less the world?

    No-one – not even Jews – should defend a state as a supremacist state.

    >> It seemed as if she felt like she had been demonized for her support for Israel …

    If she supports Israel as a supremacist “Jewish State” rather than as a secular,
    democratic and egalitarian Israeli state – a state of and for all Israelis, equally – her
    demonization is not undeserved.

    just says:
    September 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I’m sorry that some Jewish people are disassociating themselves from Israel as it has
    evolved (or, more properly) devolved, but I understand it. Many people from all over
    the world have chosen to or dream of emigrating from places where there really is no
    freedom of thought or expression, and where one group is favored over another. Those
    places where little or no justice is done.

    Judaism itself is a honorable and great religion. As are other religions. It is
    man/woman who corrupts them and uses them as a shield for their own horrendous
    deeds and retaining or gaining power & wealth.

          German Lefty says:
          September 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

          Judaism itself is a honorable and great religion. As are other religions.

          Seriously? You think that being superstitious is honourable?
          The most positive thing that I can say about Judaism (or any other religion) is
          that at least it’s not inherently harmful, whereas Zionism is inherently harmful.

                Citizen says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:52 am

                @ German Lefty
                I tend to agree. Look at the activity of the latest Pope. I wonder how many of
                the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics admire him, and how many consider
                him a fool. Are there any other ideologies besides Zionism you find
                inherently harmful?

                German Lefty says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

                Are there any other ideologies besides Zionism you find inherently harmful?

                Ethnic nationalism in general.

                Theo says:
                September 11, 2013 at 8:03 am

                “Ethnic nationalism in general”.

                I would add the following: fascism, communism, racial hate, (like the KKK)
                and national egoism, like “we are the greatest nation on Earth”!




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          ritzl says:
          September 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm

          I don’t know if it’s so much a question of evolution or devolution. To me it’s about
          the more mundane question of how it has come to be fully understood.

          Not sure Israel could have or would have been different given the effect of the
          Holocaust and its philosophical and geopolitical origins. As Mr. Robin said, I
          don’t know what that means in larger terms.

          RoHa says:
          September 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm

          “I’m sorry that some Jewish people are disassociating themselves from Israel as it
          has evolved (or, more properly) devolved, but I understand it.”

          I am sorry that any Jewish people ever associated themselves with Israel. Israel
          was evil in conception and evil in creation, and is evil in conduct.

          “places … where one group is favored over another.”

          Israel is one of those places.

          ” Those places where little or no justice is done.”

          Israel is an injustice.

          RoHa says:
          September 8, 2013 at 10:07 pm

          “Judaism itself is a honorable and great religion.”

          What makes a religion great?

                just says:
                September 8, 2013 at 11:12 pm

                There is more good in “religions” than there is bad.

                Religion was brought by humans & for humans as a means to control the
                base impulses of insane humans.

                I happen to believe that no humans are better than other humans. Those
                humans with delusional, majestic & self- imposed power seek to vanquish
                those that don’t muster to our will are US.

                Nature weeps.

                Citizen says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:56 am

                @ just
                I’m not sure if religion has been a net plus or minus for humanity. Personally,
                I view “God” or “G-d” as a metaphor.

    MRW says:
    September 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Corey Robin,

    I enjoyed your piece and tracing your internal travel. Made infinite sense to me, and I
    am not plagued by the questions you are assaulted with above. I thought it was crystal
    clear.




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          Citizen says:
          September 9, 2013 at 5:01 am

          @ MRW
          Yes, it was a fine, courageous piece of persistent introspection and searching for
          wider truth(s).

    rensanceman says:
    September 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    It is understandable why Jews are disenchanted with Zionist Israel. The morality of
    the Jewish state is antithetical to the precepts of Judaism. Israel denigrates Judaism.
    How is it possible to “heal the world” when the people of Gaza are allowed a measured
    number of calories per day by their brutal Occupiers, or when white phosphorous ,
    depleted uranium munitions, and cluster bombs are unleashed on a captive and
    unarmed population? Those who know what is happening on Palestine are justifiably
    enraged. They ask if the true soul of Jews is represented by Israel. Jews of conscience
    should not be silent and these inconvenient truths should be discussed, otherwise the
    arc of history for the Jewish state slopes downward.

    German Lefty says:
    September 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I remember the rabbi first taking up the topic in earnest in 2011, almost
    apologetically, saying that we in the shul had been too quiet about Israel. It was time
    to talk. And by talk, she meant defend.

    That made me laugh! Also, it reminds me of German Jews. The vast majority of them
    are Zionists. This makes me wonder why they keep living in “enemy territory”.

          Citizen says:
          September 9, 2013 at 5:11 am

          @ German Lefty
          Have you ever had the chance to ask one why he or she lives in “enemy territory?”
          Do you guess any probable reasons why? Is Israel their hobby horse, meant for
          play, not real life as they wish to live it? Do they look at Israel as an insurance
          policy, a back door in case of fire? If memory serves, compared to Jews from
          Poland, Eastern Europe, for example, most German Jews escaped Nazi Germany
          to Israel and the USA, etc.

    pabelmont says:
    September 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    So people are being asked whether for them ” the destruction of the State of Israel
    would be a personal tragedy”.

    Wrong question was clearly asked, as, of course, the Zionists wished it to be wrongly
    asked. How about “changed” instead of “destroyed”? For Israel is changing daily, and
    not, in my opinion, for the better, but changing, surely. How do Jews (and others, if
    any, who care) feel about that?

    What if Israel became (oh horrors, I seem to hear) truly democratic, allowing full
    citizenship to all (including all non-Jews) who live under its military control (at least
    both sides of the green line, at most also the refugees who are EXCLUDED by Israel’s
    military? What then? And so on?

    Try getting these fearful rabbis and others to answer THESE questions. And talk
    honestly about all kinds of CHANGES happening within Israel.

          MRW says:


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          September 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm

          I agree with Ritzl. Great comment, and observation. The word “destruction” in the
          sentence you cite implies, insists, no change is allowed.



                  So people are being asked whether for them ” the changing of the
                  State of Israel would be a personal tragedy”.



          Sibiriak says:
          September 9, 2013 at 1:40 am

          pabelmont:


                  What if Israel became (oh horrors, I seem to hear) truly democratic,
                  allowing full citizenship to all (including all non-Jews) who live under
                  its military control (at least both sides of the green line, at most also
                  the refugees who are EXCLUDED by Israel’s military? What then?
                  And so on?




          With full citizenship etc. Israel would cease to exist, literally.
          What would remain? Not the name; not the flag; not the national anthem. Not
          Zionism; not the “national home” for the Jewish people envisioned in the Balfour
          declaration. Not the “Jewish State” envisioned in the U.N. partition plan. Not the
          political, economic, or social structure. Not the IDF. What about the “changed”
          entity would remain so that it would make any sense to still call it “Israel”?

                Citizen says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:16 am

                @ Sibiriak
                Actually Balfour declaration’s description of the intended “Jewish Homeland”
                includes specifically, full rights for the native non-Jews within it.

          Theo says:
          September 9, 2013 at 9:51 am

          @pabelmont

          “Try getting these fearful rabbies and other…..”

          Those fearful rabbies cannot allow any intelligent discussion on judaism, because
          their livelyhood depends on having the flock kept together!
          Look at other religions like roman catholics and protestants in Europe, their flock
          is smarter now, they are leaving the church in great numbers, cutting into the
          amount of silvers they are able to collect.
          Religions are, and always were, great business opportunities. Priests always lived
          in luxuary and were a power to be reconned with.

    ritzl says:
    September 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Great comment, pabelmont.

    fnlevit says:


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    September 8, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Israel is viewed favorably by most Americans and ranks as the eighth “most favored”
    country, according to a Gallup poll released last week. Israel was viewed by 71 percent
    of those surveyed in a “very favorable” or “mostly favorable” light, among its highest
    rankings in the ten year history of this particular Gallup poll.

    link to timesofisrael.com

          Shingo says:
          September 9, 2013 at 12:25 am




                  Israel is viewed favorably by most Americans and ranks as the eighth
                  “most favored” country




          Which is pretty pathetic, considering that:

          1. The leaders in Washington keep insisting it’s America’s most important ally
          2. That Israel enjoys no positive approval ratings in any other country in the
          world
          3. Israel was only viewed in a “very favorable” or “mostly favorable” light when
          compared to the Palestinians.

                Theo says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:56 am

                The MSM, television and our politicians are brainwashing this nation since
                50 years, repeating the same untruth.
                Was it not Göbbels who said: “if you keep repeating a lie for a long period
                people will think that it is the truth, if you later tell them the truth they will
                call you a liar.”

          amigo says:
          September 9, 2013 at 5:32 am

          “Israel is viewed favorably by most Americans and ranks as the eighth “most
          favored” country, according to a Gallup poll released last week. Israel was viewed
          by 71 percent of those surveyed in a “very favorable” or “mostly favorable” light,
          among its highest rankings in the ten year history of this particular Gallup
          poll.”Prof,(???)fnlevit.

          Whoopsie doo -doo.

          Now let,s see what the rest of the thinking world thinks.

          “BBC poll: Israel among world’s least popular nations
          The annual BBC World Service poll finds Germany most popular; only countries
          less popular than Israel are North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.”

          link to haaretz.com

          Keep up the self deception prof.

          “Illusion is the first of all pleasures.” Oscar Wilde.

                German Lefty says:


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                September 9, 2013 at 11:50 am

                Israel among world’s least popular nations

                On page 29 is the detailed chart for Israel:
                link to worldpublicopinion.org

                hophmi says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm

                Whoopdy-do. Iran is last on the list.

                If Germany were subjected to daily media coverage of its treatment of the
                Turks, it would be where Israel is too.

                Shingo says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm




                        Whoopdy-do. Iran is last on the list.




                Yes, and that is without a having the media and countless poitical leaders in
                it’s pocket. If it had anything like Israel’s spin machine at it’s beck and call, it
                would fair far better than Israel.



                        If Germany were subjected to daily media coverage of its
                        treatment of the Turks, it would be where Israel is too.




                Wishful thinking. The treatment of the Turks is not even close to Israel’s
                treatment of the Palestinians.

          German Lefty says:
          September 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm

          @ fnlevit
          I took a screenshot and uploaded the chart just for you:
          link to img9.imageshack.us

    Nevada Ned says:
    September 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Corey Robin, thanks for your thoughtful and honest piece.

    You come from a family that was more attached to Israel than most American Jews
    today: you visited Israel several times as a youngster. Most American Jews never visit
    Israel, they’re more likely to visit France or Italy.

    Your disillusionment with Israel happened after a long trajectory, influenced by
    Edward Said, Mearsheimer/Walt, Ali Abunimah, Tony Judt, Glenn Greenwald and
    others.

    One hopeful thought emerges from your account: American Jews are likely to be more
    receptive to appeals for a combined Jewish/Palestinian political effort. Not all, but at



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    least some American Jews, and an increasing number in the future.

    After all, the values of American Jews include opposition to racism. (Consult any
    history of the struggle against racism in the US). And Israel contradicts those values
    every day, and in a big way. Some of the sharpest and most articulate critics of Israeli
    policy are Jewish, after all.

    joer says:
    September 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Religion-not just Judaism – seems to be about money and power. And it seems to
    attract more than its share of perverts, especially for such a godly institution. And
    when it gets down to the actual practices, they usually seem either pointless or
    ridiculous to me, unless things get scary…but every once in a while I think I must be
    missing something, and I look into Judaism, which is where my roots are-sort of-it
    just seems too close to Zionism for me. For instance, when the internet first came out,
    I looked up the Kaballah and I found a site that explained it in easy to understand
    terms, and I could see why Madonna was so enthralled by it. Then I looked to see who
    published the web site-and it was a settler group from Hebron. And I thought to
    myself, no matter how interesting the insights the Kaballah might be to read, these
    settlers do nothing but study it and they act like a–holes. And on Forward.com, they
    had this app to find a New Year service close to where you live-and when I looked to
    see who put it up there, it was Birthright Israel. I don’t like the feeling I’m being
    tricked into supporting a political ideology I disagree with by doing a benign activity
    like attending synagogue.

          NorthCascadian says:
          September 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

          I keep searching for the public “ex-Jews” or maybe the “recovering Jews”.
          Humans that realize these highly partisan religions are not for them. I know
          plenty of “recovering Catholics” They seem to be getting along fine, no one
          ostracizes (at least that I have witnessed) them for “waking up to humanity”.
          When a human wants to be a Buddhist that is all it takes, let this religious/tribal
          thing go, wake up and into humanity, people are great here.

                joer says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:54 am

                Maybe you should look up “wandering Jew”. Whatever you call people who
                have Jewish parents or grandparents and don’t participate in any Jewish
                activities, I think there’s a lot more of us than those who have following
                Jewish traditions as a big priority in their life. I don’t even know how a poll
                could measure a trend like this. But where are all these wandering Jews?
                Well, forget about that recovery rhetoric. Start with Jews For Jesus, then
                maybe the Communist Party, then try your locar ashram or punk rock show,
                basically anywhere. Although Phil and AIPAC disagree on much, they seem to
                agree that you don’t count as a Jew if you don’t belong to some organization
                with Jewish in the title and make a point of announcing you’re Jewish at least
                43 times a day.

    MahaneYehude1 says:
    September 9, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Dear Corey,

    Thank you very much for your nice article. Since we are in the middle of ten days of
    repentance, in which each one of us have to do Heshbon Nefesh with himself, I think


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    your article comes just in time.

    Corey, it was very interesting to read about you and your family. I hope you won’t care
    if I tell you little about mine. I must say in advance that I am not an educated man,
    have bad English and bad ability to express my self like you did in your nice article.
    Hope you don’t care.

    My parents were born in Kurdistan, North Iraq. Later their families moved to
    Baghdad. The Jewish community of Iraq was considered the most ancient Jewish
    community in the world apart from the Eretz Israel Jewish community. Jews were
    integral part of Iraq, especially after they received full emancipation from the
    Ottomans. They took part in all fields of life and most of them were in the elite of the
    society: education, medicine, finance systems, businesses and even in politics, as a
    members of parliament and positions like Finance Minister (1920-1923). In those
    years no one of them was involved in Zionist movement and my father told me that
    they even didn’t hear this term.

    The end of the Jewish community starts in 1933, fifteen years before the creation of
    the state of Israel, fifteen years before the Palestinian Naqba. Many Jews experienced
    discrimination and their properties appropriated. In 1941, Several Iraqis groups,
    leaded by the pro-Nazi leader Rasheed Ali Al-Kilani, brutally attacked the Jews of
    Baghdad with no reason, only because they were Jews. In this attack, called Farhud,
    about 200 were killed (my grandparents knew several of them), thousands injured,
    houses and synagogues were burned and many fled to other countries. Since then
    their life was under constant threatening, children were bitten sometime to death,
    women bodies became cheap and many of them were brutally raped (Taali, Ya
    Yahudia, Anikek!!). No body protect them, no body care about them.

    In 1951 came the final destruction of the Jewish community in Iraq. All of them left
    their homes, businesses, stores, hotels etc. and became helpless refugees. They came to
    the newly born state of Israel. My parents were among them.

    Thanks for reading
    Wish you Shana Tova and Hatima Tova

          just says:
          September 9, 2013 at 5:12 am

          You certainly have loads of ” humility” MY. “I must say in advance that I am not
          an educated man, have bad English and bad ability to express my self like you did
          in your nice article. Hope you don’t care.”

          Your English is quite fine– in fact, it reads perfectly American English- like.
          You’ve said that you are a “simple potato seller”– do you grow the potatoes that
          you sell in the market? Where is your farm?

          Shana Tova to you.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:32 am

                @Just: thanks for the compliments. It is not humility – I always worried that
                my English is bad and people hardly understand me. But I take your word
                and if you say it perfect – I glad.

                No, I am not a farmer and don’t grow potatoes. I receive them from my
                supplier, a Palestinian from Sur Baher, East Jerusalem. If it is important to



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                you, I can ask him where he buy them.

                Shana Tova

          eljay        says:
          September 9, 2013 at 8:02 am

          >> In 1951 came the final destruction of the Jewish community in Iraq.

          What happened to Jews in Iraq is a gross injustice. The remedy to injustice
          against Jews is justice for Jews, NOT Jewish terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of
          Palestinians from their homes and lands in order to create an oppressive,
          colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

          >> You’ve said that you are a “simple potato seller”–

          “[S]imple potato seller” seems like better way to get the same old information
          across more effectively: While (some) readers might approve of verbal
          confrontations with aggressive propagandists like yrneee, miriam6eee, OlegReee
          and others, and accept the facts presented by the debunkers, they may reject
          similar confrontations with a humble-sounding “simple potato seller” and choose
          to accept his message instead…despite the fact that he’s selling the same potatoes
          as are the *eee’s.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

                @eljay: I don’t agree with you that people accept my message since I am a
                potato seller. I received a lot of replied from many readers that didn’t agree
                with me and didn’t accept my messages. Please, don’t compare me to other
                readers here that I don’t know. I represent my self only and I am here to
                bring different voice to MW.

                “Potato Seller” means I met thousands, if not not tens of thousands,
                Palestinians, talk with them and learn to know them better. Thousands
                conversations with them, visiting their homes, working with them shape my
                views on the I/P conflict. I learned that both peoples here are victims of the
                blindness of our and their leaders, I learned that the Palestinians are not the
                same, I learned that most of them want peace with Israel and not instead
                Israel, I learned that many of them want to be integral part of the Israeli
                society, I learned that we can solve their and our refugees problems – I
                learned and still learning.

                Thanks

                eljay        says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

                >> @eljay: I don’t agree with you that people accept my message since I am a
                potato seller. I received a lot of replied from many readers that didn’t agree
                with me and didn’t accept my messages.

                I’m not talking about the commenters, I’m talking about the readers.

                >> … I learned and still learning.

                I hope one day you will learn that there is nothing just or moral about
                supremacism – not even Jewish supremacism.



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                RoHa says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm

                ” I learned that most of them want peace with Israel and not instead Israel, I
                learned that many of them want to be integral part of the Israeli society,”

                And yet you still reject the idea of a single unified state in Palestine where
                Jews, Muslims, and Christians – Arab and non-Arab – have equal rights.

          amigo says:
          September 9, 2013 at 8:45 am

          MY, when are you going to back up your claims with “credible and traceable
          sources”.

          Otherwise your posts are just full of the regurgitated rantings of a Zionist
          apologist supremacist.

          BTW, where do you farm???.

          Occupied Palestine , ???.

          I just want to be sure “your “spuds don,t end up on a plate with my corned beef
          and cabbage.I would not want to be contributing to war crimes or helping to
          provide a means of living to an illegal settler thief.

          You do understand that , don,t you.

    Shingo says:
    September 9, 2013 at 4:15 am




            Several Iraqis groups, leaded by the pro-Nazi leader Rasheed Ali Al-Kilani,
            brutally attacked the Jews of Baghdad with no reason




    I know you admit to being poorly educated MY, but you really have to stop with all
    these lies. Rasheed Ali Al-Kilani wanted to kick the British out of Iraq – and
    understandably so. The British had other ideas so they incited violence in Iraq to
    create a excuse for intervention and their ongoing presence. They removed Kilami –
    illegally of course – and when Kilai was reinstated as leader, they intervened.

    Among those activities, was implicating the Jews of Iraq as being in bed with the
    British. The pro-British supporters aimed to bring about an ethnic war in order to give
    the British army a pretext to intervene.

    The Gurkha unit, composed of Indian soldiers from that ethnic group, occupied
    Basra’s el-Oshar quarter, a neighborhood with a large Jewish population. The soldiers,
    led by British officers, began looting. Many shops in the commercial district were
    plundered. Private homes were broken into. Cases of attempted rape were reported.
    Local residents, Jews and Muslims, responded with pistols and old rifles, but their
    bullets were no match for the soldiers’ Tommy Guns.

    Afterwards, it was learned that the soldiers acted with the acquiescence, if not the
    blessing, of their British commanders. The British goal clearly was to create chaos and
    to blacken the image of the pro-nationalist regime in Baghdad, thereby giving the
    British forces reason to proceed to the capital and to overthrow the al-Kilani


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    government.

    Also, Jewish terrorists were caught setting off bombs against Jewish targets in
    Baghdad, to incite the Jews to flee to Israel. It was all orchestrated rom Israel of
    course and it worked perfectly.

    I know you are probably ignorant of this historical record, but you really should
    educate yourself before spouting nonesense on this forum.

          Citizen says:
          September 9, 2013 at 5:26 am

          The humble guy probably was born and grew up in Brooklyn.

                Citizen says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:50 am

                He claims he’s a Zionist Israeli potato seller in a Jerusalem market. Will he
                respond to Shingo’s remarks on his contextual version of Iraqui Jewish
                history?

                If memory serves, his past comments suggest lots of Palestinians serve in the
                IDF. This appears to conflict with facts asserted elsewhere, e.g., here: link to
                en.wikipedia.org

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:20 am

                @Citizen: Thanks for the compliment. I learn that my English is not bad as I
                thought. I was born in Jerusalem, live in Jerusalem and will die here.

                Shingo remarks very resemble to Naqba deniers remarks. i don’t understand
                what the purpose of all these remarks. Jews were persecutad in Iraq, no
                matter the reasons, interests and politic behind, the same as a Palestinian
                that lost his home doesn’t care what King….. told to PM….

                Your memory half served: I said and repeat – Palestinians always join the
                IDF voluntarily. In the last two years their number increased dramatically
                especially Christian Palestinians. You can check by yourself the reasons. Here
                is one Christian Palestinian girl joins the IDF:
                link to youtube.com

                Shingo says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm




                        Shingo remarks very resemble to Naqba deniers remarks.




                No they do not, they are historically accurate and point out that Jews were
                victmized by the British as well as Arabs in 1941.



                        Jews were persecutad in Iraq, no matter the reasons




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                True, but you originally claimed there was no reason for that persecution,
                which you have to admit was a false claim.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm

                Dear Mr. Shingo,
                I told the story about my parents and the Iraqi Jewish community not in
                order that you attack me. I wrote this story mainly to Corey Robin to explain
                her, in my way, why we, the Jews, need Jewish state and why we returned to
                our homeland. I didn’t mention refugees, Nakba, conflicts or such. You,
                among others, took my story, smashed it, extracted any sentence and word
                and turned all the debate to the way convenient to you. I sure that most, if
                not all, the readers and commentators here are clever enough and understood
                my point. The way you replied is little heartless and show you have no ability
                to sympathize with others when it not stand with your agenda.

                I can guess how your next reply will look like. You will take my sentence:
                “why we, the Jews, need Jewish state and why we returned to our
                homeland..” and say “but apartheid, but supremacist…”.

                German Lefty says:
                September 10, 2013 at 4:39 am

                @ MahaneYehude1
                I told the story about my parents and the Iraqi Jewish community [...] to
                explain her, in my way, why we, the Jews, need Jewish state and why we
                returned to our homeland.

                I really wonder why there are refugees who find it perfectly acceptable to
                make other people refugees. Victims of persecution shouldn’t start
                persecuting others, because they know how unjust this is.
                Also, Corey is a guy.

                amigo says:
                September 10, 2013 at 8:00 am

                “why we, the Jews, need Jewish state and why we returned to our
                homeland..” and say “but apartheid, but supremacist…”.” MY1

                You are learning–slowly but, it is progress.Keep up the good work.

                eljay        says:
                September 10, 2013 at 8:20 am

                >> … I wrote this story … to explain … why we, the Jews, need Jewish state
                and why we returned to our homeland.

                1. You didn’t need a supremacist “Jewish State”, you needed justice in your
                homeland of Iraq.
                2. You didn’t return to your homeland of Iraq, you emigrated to a
                supremacist “Jewish State” situated in a geographical region that was the
                homeland of the Palestinians.

          tokyobk says:
          September 9, 2013 at 6:17 am

          You are contextualizng expulsion, which is what people do when they want to



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          deny the Nakba.

                Walid says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

                “You are contextualizng expulsion, which is what people do when they want
                to deny the Nakba.”

                Expulsion, tokyobk, you are doing the denying here. Mostly everything I’ve
                read (by 5 or 6 Iraqi Jews) said that most had left voluntarily to make their
                aliyah or were coerced by Iraqi shysters in the government that were in
                cahoots with the Zionists to steal their properties being left behind. Operation
                Ezra & Nehemiah started a full 3 years after Israel’s declared statehood and
                ended in the 4th year. Had the Iraqi Jews been expelled, it would not have
                taken 4 years to throw them out of the country.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:08 am

                @Walid: Correct, I agree with you!! No body came to the Jewish home,
                knocked the door and said: “Go Out!!”. No. But when you constantly
                persecute people, kill them, injured them, take their properties, rape their
                women, beat their children, discriminate them – you push them out!! They
                all left and ALL their properties were stolen by the Iraqi government. The fact
                that Ezra & Nehemiah operation took about one year doesn’t change nothing
                – They were refugees. My parents came with small suitcase and found shelter
                in the newly born state – the Jewish state of Israel.

                You know better than most of us that the Naqba continued more than a year.
                This can’t change the fact that the Palestinians are refugees – exactly like the
                Arab Jews refugees.

                eljay        says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:07 am

                >> … This can’t change the fact that the Palestinians are refugees – exactly
                like the Arab Jews refugees.

                Both groups are refugees. Both groups are entitled to return to their homes
                and lands. Neither group is entitled to use terrorism and ethnic cleansing to
                create an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state.

                jon s says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

                Jews from Arab countries are not refugees. Since 1948 there’s no such thing
                as a Jewish refugee.

                talknic says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:41 am

                MahaneYehude1 ” They all left and ALL their properties were stolen by the
                Iraqi government”

                Oh I see. Absentee property laws only apply when it’s Israel taking
                Palestinian properties. But when Jewish property is frozen it’s theft …. right?

                BTW I wonder why Canon Andrew White was trying to persuade Jews to
                leave Iraq in 2009?



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                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

                @jon S: Right!! that’s the reason why I always write “were refugees”. I think
                that in any future solution of the Palestinian refugees problem, the politician
                must bring solution to the Jewish Arab (former) refugees and their years of
                suffering.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

                @talknic: sometimes I wonder whether you read my comments carefully.
                Here again a paragraph I wrote in my one of my comments:

                Compensations: As I wrote earlier, I want justice to all refugees. I think the
                Palestinians refugees need justice. My solution is that Israel will not destroy
                the settlements and would give the houses to the Palestinian refugees in
                addition to full compensation for their properties and for years of suffering. I
                also want justice to all Arab Jews refugees forced to leave their homes.
                Justice to all refugees must be done.
                link to mondoweiss.net

                eljay        says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

                >> Jews from Arab countries are not refugees. Since 1948 there’s no such
                thing as a Jewish refugee.

                Sorry, MY1, it looks like jon s has debunked your claim. :-(

                Shmuel says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

                I think that in any future solution of the Palestinian refugees problem, the
                politician must bring solution to the Jewish Arab (former) refugees and
                their years of suffering.

                Why the linkage MY1? Do you hold Palestinian refugees responsible for the
                suffering of Mizrahi Jews? Why should their suffering be prolonged or their
                rights continue to be denied — until the just claims of Mizrahi Jews against
                third parties are satisfied?

                Despite your “generous offer” of houses on the settlements (note: no right of
                return to Israel proper), the fact that you link a resolution to the Palestinian
                refugee problem to compensation of “Jewish Arab (former) refugees” (classic
                hasbara, btw), makes me suspect that your “offer” is somewhat less than
                genuine.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

                @Shmuel: the linkage is just because the Arab countries also responsible for
                the Palestinian refugees, beside the responsibility of Israel, which I admit.

                About 750,000 Palestinians fled from their homes in the Naqba during the
                war in 1948. The estimated number of world refugees in the last century is
                more than 50 millions. All of those refugees and their descendants were
                settled and have citizenship, living in dignity and raise families.



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                One reason (there are many) the Palestinians are still refugees is because
                Arab countries and the P leaders wanted them to remain refugees. They
                prevented any solution and kept them refugees only to use them against the
                state of Israel. Since Arab countries and non-aligned states, have majority in
                the UN, they voted for several laws that aimed to keep the problem. For
                instance, only Palestinian refugee status is inherited. So, less than 1 million
                refugees became today more than five.

                In addition, many Arab countries prevent the Palestinian from citizenship. A
                Palestinian refugee can’t receive Egyptian citizenship if he marries Egyptian,
                in contrary to other nationalities. This is an example of law that Arab
                countries apply on Palestinians in order to keep them refugees. The
                consequence is that until today most of the refugees living in poor camps, in
                poverty and with many restrictions.

                My solution, that Israel will not destroy the settlement houses but give them
                to the refugees in addition to full compensations, is genuine and honest.

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm

                One reason (there are many) the Palestinians are still refugees is because
                Arab countries and the P leaders wanted them to remain refugees. They
                prevented any solution and kept them refugees only to use them against the
                state of Israel.

                my no, they did not prevent any solution. it was israel that prevented the best
                solution, a return to their land. btw, this reminded me of some of your
                comments:



                        I got trained by the Jewish Agency, how to take things that people
                        say and make a “salad” out of them, like a mix, in order to
                        appear more just. The consulate and the Jewish Agency
                        brought us experts like Neil Lazarus, Ben-Dror Yemini. If
                        someone starts to ask you “why do you put the children of Gaza in
                        the world’s biggest prison camp?” you tell them “Thank you for
                        your question, sir, but that is not the issue: what about the
                        children in Sderot?” They assumed that anyone who’s in this
                        room with them doesn’t need the basis of the “why” but only the
                        “how” to know how to spin the subject around.




                link to 972mag.com

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

                @Annie: Sorry, I never wrote this comment and never wrote in 972mag web
                site. Check my profile.

                Look, Annie, I am not from any agency. I am here only to bring other voice.
                If you think I interrupt the debate here, no problem to me to quit. I don’t
                want to make people angry.



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                Walid says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

                “One reason (there are many) the Palestinians are still refugees is because
                Arab countries and the P leaders wanted them to remain refugees”

                Annie, Mahane never got around to understanding why. One way they could
                have stopped being refugees would have been to have Arab states naturalize
                some of them and this is where Palestinian leaders got in the way out of fear
                of jeopardizing the overall RoR. Lebanon naturalized about 100,000
                Palestinians.

                German Lefty says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

                I don’t want to make people angry.

                Oh, really? Then why are you denying Palestinians equal rights?

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm

                MY, I never wrote this comment

                sorry for the misunderstanding. when i said ‘this comment reminded me of
                some of your comments’ i meant the salad, mixing it up part. like this:

                This can’t change the fact that the Palestinians are refugees – exactly like
                the Arab Jews refugees.

                this is a false equivalence because it is most definitely not exactly the same as
                jews from arab countries. we’ve discussed that a lot on these threads, over
                and over actually, and recently on this thread:
                link to mondoweiss.net

                more examples: link to mondoweiss.net



                        Lara Friedman’s Exploiting Jews from Arab Countries and Ben
                        White’s A new hasbara campaign: Countering the ‘Arab Narrative’
                        both provide excellent overviews of the campaign. It began in
                        earnest in 1975, with the founding of the World Organization of
                        Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC)–”as a deterrent to block
                        claims harbored by the Palestinian national movement”.


                        Yehouda Shenhav explains how the term “Jewish refugee”,
                        pertaining to Mizrahi Jews, first originated in an article titled,
                        Hitching a ride on the magic carpet:




                meanwhile, this is a grown up debate. which of course doesn’t exclude you
                from using point scoring techniques or offering to quit for the upmteenth
                time (which i find rather amusing).

                but don’t pretend it’s not completely off topic to drag iraqi jews into this



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                thread like hasbrats have done over and over and over and over for years
                here. it’s a little salad tossing, that’s how it reads to me, that’s all. and let’s
                not pretend like it’s not an active israel government hasbara campaign. you
                wanna argue that’s just a coincidence, have at it. but we’ve all heard this so
                many times your insertion of this (OFF)topic into repeated threads will
                probably be seen for what it is, a professional thread jack.

                Cliff says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

                MahaneYehude1

                You aren’t bringing any ideas we haven’t already heard.

                You are a liar and a racist. I asked you repeatedly to substantiate your
                SLANDER that Israeli Jews marry thousands of Muslims.

                You still haven’t been able to provide any single iota of evidence.

                And in your last exchange with Shmuel, you displayed your shallow
                nationalistic and cult mentality by ‘preaching’ to Shmuel the virtue of reading
                all sides (which you haven’t) whilst denying the validity of Shmuel’s argument
                (without providing a counter-argument).

                It was the equivalent to sticking your fingers in your years and shaking your
                head, saying ‘Nananananana’.

                You have nothing to add to the discussion because you know nothing.

                In response to the FACT that Israel is an apartheid State, you puke forth the
                TYPICAL Zionist propaganda that because 1 Arab serves (not literally before
                you go off on a nonsensical tangent about how it’s actually 2! Arabs and not
                1) in the IDF, that THAT is ‘proof’ Israel isn’t a racist settler-colonial State.

                In other words, you are like EVERY OTHER Zionist commentator here who
                rehashes hasbara talking points that have been long-debunked.

                It’s intuitive too – like, we do not need to be anti-/post-Zionist to recognize
                the fallacy of your arguments.

                If you say ‘No, it’s not Apartheid’ – because a small number of Arabs do not
                fit the pattern of reality, it’s simply not ENOUGH evidence. Not enough
                evidence to undermine the argument we put forth.

                It’s the exception that an Arab here and there is not treated like dirt or
                subjected to racial hatred and discrimination.

                It’s the RULE that Israel is an apartheid State.

                And the rule does not require 100% criteria @100% consistency.

                No situation is perfect in that regard and I’m sure there are historical
                analogues.

                Many PA reps. live well but they do not represent the experience of most
                Palestinians.

                You are illogical and dishonest and a TROLL.



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                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

                @Walid: I wonder why readers here take always one or two sentences that
                are convenient to them and discuss on them. I wrote a relatively long
                comment. I can also choose one sentence from my comment and do the
                same: “They (Arab countries) prevented any solution and kept them refugees
                only….” – When I say “any solution” it can be any solution that nations
                solved other refugees problems, not assimilation in Arab countries and
                evaporation of the problem.

                Shingo says:
                September 9, 2013 at 2:59 pm

                No body came to the Jewish home, knocked the door and said: “Go Out!!”.

                That is what the Jews did to the Palestinians in 1947 to the present day.



                        But when you constantly persecute people, kill them, injured
                        them, take their properties, rape their women, beat their children,
                        discriminate them – you push them out!!




                Israel is doing that too, but there is no evidence that there was any systematic
                program of carrying out these abuses, unlike what Israel is doing.



                        They were refugees. My parents came with small suitcase and
                        found shelter in the newly born state – the Jewish state of Israel.




                Most immigrants after WWII arrived at their destinations with small
                suitcases – they didn’t call themselves refugees.



                        You know better than most of us that the Naqba continued more
                        than a year. This can’t change the fact that the Palestinians are
                        refugees – exactly like the Arab Jews refugees.




                Your analogy doesn’t apply. The Naqba was a systematic program of ethnic
                cleansing – often carried out at the barrel of a gun – whereas the Jews in
                arab states – with the exception of Egypt – were not driven out.

                Shlomo Hillel, a government minister and an active Zionist in Iraq,
                adamantly opposed the analogy:

                “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees.
                They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”

                Annie Robbins says:


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                September 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

                I am not from any agency.

                perhaps you are not aware professional hasbara operatives NEVER self
                identify as such. you want to be believed? contact the covert ops operating
                out of the PM’s office,the israel project, and all the other zionist orgs that
                provide us with a constant stream of operatives, and tell them to have their
                operatives come out of the closet. then your claim might be more compelling.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

                “One reason (there are many) the Palestinians are still refugees is because
                Arab countries and the P leaders wanted them to remain refugees.”

                This is disingenuous. It’s like a criminal whose been ordered to pay
                restitution to his victim but hasn’t blaming his rich uncle for not paying the
                debt.

                The israelis caused this crises with the Nakba and all your rhetoric is aimed
                at doing is doing is attempting to avoid the truth — that your suggestion, at
                heart, is that these Arab states are at fault because they did not assist in the
                ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian nation by creating circumstances whereby
                the nation would, in essence, disappear by assimilating into the surrounding
                Arab nations.

                If you want to suggest that these countries have not provided sufficient
                support and services for them, fine. If you want to suggest that they should
                have made it so that Palestinians would become Egyptians and Jordanians,
                Lebonese and Syrian, so as to eliminate the Palestinian people and aid the
                israelis in their slow-motion genocide, you’re crazy.

                German Lefty says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm

                I want justice to all refugees. I think the Palestinians refugees need justice.
                My solution is that Israel will not destroy the settlements and would give
                the houses to the Palestinian refugees in addition to full compensation for
                their properties and for years of suffering.

                So, you want to bribe Palestinians into perpetual exile… Why don’t you
                support a right to return? According to international law, all refugees have a
                right to return.

                Shmuel says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm

                MY1,

                You haven’t answered my question. At best you have made a case for the
                (partial) responsibility of Arab countries toward the Palestinian refugees, but
                you have not explained why the rights of Palestinian refugees should be
                contingent upon the rights of displaced Arab Jews.

                Walid says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm




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                Woody, there is a bit of truth in what he said about Palestinian leaders but he
                never got around to finding out why. Of course, there were Arab states that
                wanted no part of naturalizing Palestinians, such as the Gulf countries, while
                there were others open to the idea at one point of time or other. Lebanon
                naturalized about 100,000 but mostly because it needed the numbers to
                rectify its demographic imbalance, especially after the civil war. It was in the
                process of naturalizing another 200,000 or so when it was told by the
                Palestinian leadership to stop the process as it could jeopardize the overall
                RoR. Today it has become impossible to go ahead with this naturalization
                project as it’s opposed by various groups in the country that are afraid of
                losing whatever demographic edge they have should the 200,000 or 300,000
                Sunni Palestinians get naturalized. But if any Camp Palestinians were to be
                asked if he’d prefer naturalization or to go back to Palestine, almost 100%
                would answer that they’d prefer to go home to Palestine. As you and Shingo
                said, the guilty party that dispossessed the Palestinians is Israel.

                Shingo says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm




                        the linkage is just because the Arab countries also responsible for
                        the Palestinian refugees, beside the responsibility of Israel, which
                        I admit.




                No they are not. Israel created the refugees when Israel drove them from
                their homes and refuses to allow them to return.

                Israeli apologists like to pretend that Israel had the moral high ground
                because it took the Arab Jews in, but the fact is that Israel needed them and
                conducted widespread programs to encourage these Jews to migrate to Israel.
                As Ben Gurion said, without widespread immigration, the Zionist project
                would fail. It needed to achieve a Jewish majority and could only do this by
                mass immigration of Jews and ethnically cleansing Palestinians.

                It’s false to claim that 750,000 Palestinians fled from their homes in the
                Naqba during the war in 1948,when most were driven out directly by Zionist
                forces under threat of murder.



                        All of those refugees and their descendants were settled and have
                        citizenship, living in dignity and raise families.




                False.

                1. They were not all settled and
                2. They do not all have citizenship and
                3. They do not all live in dignity




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                        One reason (there are many) the Palestinians are still refugees is
                        because Arab countries and the P leaders wanted them to remain
                        refugees.




                That’s simply an Israeli BS trope. Israel agreed to allow all these refugees to
                return as a condition of it’s admission to the UN. UNGA194 states that Israel
                is obliged to allow them to return to their homes. Israel agreed to these terms
                when it was admitted to the UN.



                        Since Arab countries and non-aligned states, have majority in the
                        UN, they voted for several laws that aimed to keep the problem.




                Absolute rubbish. What possible reason would the non aligned states have for
                preventing any solution and keeping them refugees only to use them against
                the state of Israel? After all, were it not for the non aligned states, Israel
                would never have been admitted to the UN.



                        My solution, that Israel will not destroy the settlement houses but
                        give them to the refugees in addition to full compensations, is
                        genuine and honest.




                Good solution but Israel won’t do that. The other thing missing from your
                solution if granting Palestinians independence and self determination.

                is inherited. So, less than 1 million refugees became today more than five.

                In addition, many Arab countries prevent the Palestinian from citizenship. A
                Palestinian refugee can’t receive Egyptian citizenship if he marries Egyptian,
                in contrary to other nationalities. This is an example of law that Arab
                countries apply on Palestinians in order to keep them refugees. The
                consequence is that until today most of the refugees living in poor camps, in
                poverty and with many restrictions.

                My solution, that Israel will not destroy the settlement houses but give them
                to the refugees in addition to full compensations, is genuine and honest.

                tree says:
                September 9, 2013 at 7:00 pm

                For instance, only Palestinian refugee status is inherited.

                This is another falsity, promulgated to imply that Palestinian refugees get
                some benefit that all other refugees do not.

                From the UNRWA website:




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                        Questions raised about the passing of refugee status through
                        generations stem from a lack of understanding of the
                        international protection regime. These questions serve only to
                        distract from the need to address the real reasons for the
                        protracted Palestinian refugee situation, namely the absence of
                        negotiated solution to the underlying political issues.


                        UNHCR’s Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for determining
                        Refugee Status provides in paragraph 184: “If the head of a
                        family meets the criteria of the definition, [for refugee
                        status] his dependants are normally granted refugee
                        status according to the principle of family unity.”

                        In effect, REFUGEE FAMILIES EVERYWHERE retain
                        their status as refugees until they fall within the terms of
                        a cessation clause or are able to avail themselves of one
                        of three durable solutions already mentioned —
                        voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement
                        in a third country.

                        Also, Chapter 5 of the UNHCR publication, Procedural Standards
                        for Refugee Status Determination under UNHCR’s Mandate is
                        very clear that in accordance with the refugee’s right to family
                        unity, refugee status is transferred through the
                        generations. According to Chapter 5.1.2 “the categories of
                        persons who should be considered to be eligible for derivative
                        status under the right to family unity include:” “all unmarried
                        children of the Principal Applicant who are under 18 years.”

                        Chapter 5.1.1 makes it clear that this status is retained
                        after the age of 18. It states “individuals who obtain
                        derivative refugee status enjoy the same rights and
                        entitlements as other recognised refugees and should
                        retain this status notwithstanding the subsequent
                        dissolution of the family through separation, divorce,
                        death, or the fact that the child reaches the age of
                        majority.”

                        In addition, UNHCR typically cites a Palestinian refugee
                        population number in their State of the World’s Refugees reports:
                        see as an example this document. This makes clear that the
                        practice of registering descendants of refugees is not disputed.




                link to unrwa.org

                The website goes on further to state:



                        During a meeting of its Standing Committee in March 2008,
                        UNHCR informed that “at the end of 2006, over half of the 9.9



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                        million refugees worldwide were living in exile in protracted
                        situations.”


                        It noted that “The 10 largest populations living in protracted
                        situations were: 1. Over 1 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, 2.
                        Nearly 1 million Afghan refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran,
                        3. 350,000 Burundians in the United Republic of Tanzania, 4.
                        215,000 Sudanese in Uganda, 5. 174,000 Somalis in Kenya, 6.
                        157,000 Eritreans in Sudan, 7. 132,000 Angolans in the
                        Democratic Republic of Congo, 8. 132,000 refugees from
                        Myanmar in Thailand, 9. 128,000 Congolese (DRC) in the United
                        Republic of Tanzania, 10. 107,000 Bhutanese in Nepal.”

                        The meeting was further informed that there had been a
                        substantial recent reduction in numbers of refugees in protracted
                        situations because the durable solution of voluntary return to
                        their countries had been achieved. The minutes record “the
                        substantial decrease in the number of refugees in protracted
                        situations can be attributed to a handful of major repatriation
                        operations in recent years. In 2005 and 2006, more than 1.8
                        million long-term refugees returned to their country of origin,
                        more than a million of them to Afghanistan alone. Substantial
                        numbers were also repatriated in Africa, particularly Angola,
                        Burundi, Liberia and Sudan.”

                        The UNHCR Global Appeal for 2010 and 2011, Finding Durable
                        Solutions estimated that about 1.2 million UNHCR refugees
                        would return to their homes, during that period. These figures
                        attest to the fact that voluntary repatriation is the
                        “preferred choice” for refugees.




                talknic says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm

                MahaneYehude1
                “About 750,000 Palestinians fled from their homes in the Naqba during the
                war in 1948. “

                Some from the territory that became Israel and some from territory “outside
                the State of Israel” link to pages.citebite.com . All from territory under Israeli
                control at the time link to pages.citebite.com

                Only those who actually lived in territory link to unispal.un.org that became
                the State of Israel 00:01 May 15th 1948 have a right to return to Israel as it
                was proclaimed, asked to be and was recognized ..


                        ” as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the
                        General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of
                        November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been
                        charged to assume the rights and duties of government for
                        preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for


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                        defending the state against external aggression, and for
                        discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the
                        world in accordance with international law. The Act of
                        Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock
                        on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time” link to
                        trumanlibrary.org




                “The estimated number of world refugees in the last century is more than 50
                millions. All of those refugees and their descendants were settled and have
                citizenship, living in dignity and raise families.”

                Nothing is too low for an illegal settler. Any garbage. No matter how false or
                easily discredited. In this day and age of the internet, people can check on the
                bullsh*t people like you insist on posting link to unhcr.org

                “One reason (there are many) the Palestinians are still refugees is because
                Arab countries and the P leaders wanted them to remain refugees”

                There is only one reason. Israel illegally refuses to recognize their LEGAL
                rights.

                “They prevented any solution and kept them refugees only to use them
                against the state of Israel”

                Israel has refused to adhere to the law and grant them their legal rights.
                Blaming the Arabs is nonsense. The Arab states have generously hosted
                Palestine refugees for 65 years, even changed their legislation to
                accommodate and preserve the LEGAL RIGHT and Palestinian wish to return
                to their homeland.

                “Since Arab countries and non-aligned states, have majority in the UN, they
                voted for several laws that aimed to keep the problem. “

                Problem with your theory. The laws were formulated before many Arab states
                or the UN existed link to unispal.un.org . The laws and conventions were
                later refined and codified under the UN which has always had a MAJORITY
                of non Arab states. Simple maths is an area where illegal settlers have an epic
                fail.

                ” For instance, only Palestinian refugee status is inherited.

                Nonsense. The only exception is where the host country grants automatic
                citizenship for people born in that country. Otherwise a person born to a
                refugee is also refugee and they do not necessarily have RoR as lineal
                descendants if they never lived in the country of their parents.

                Lineal return is up to the country of return. For example Germany allows
                lineal return of Jewish folk, even though there are no actual Jewish refugees,
                having all taken up or being citizens of other states, they’ve long ago lost any
                refugee status.

                “So, less than 1 million refugees became today more than five”

                The Palestinian demand for RoR to what became Israel, is under UNGA res


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                194 of 1948. The UNRWA definition to which you’re ignorantly referring, DID
                NOT EXIST in 1948 when UNGA res 194 was adopted. Furthermore, the
                UNRWA definition does not extend to final status link to unrwa.org

                According to the definition used for UNGA res 194 link to unispal.un.org only
                those who actually lived in the territory that became Israel have a RoR to
                Israel, no lineal descendants.

                In 1948 people with a legal RoR to what became Israel had a life expectancy
                of about 45 yrs. Simple maths tells us that 65 years later, the majority of
                people who had a RoR to Israel are DEAD!

                “In addition, many Arab countries prevent the Palestinian from citizenship”

                The Palestinians don’t want citizenship they’d rather return. BTW Israel
                prevents their return and prevents Palestinians from gaining citizenship even
                if they marry an Israeli.

                ” A Palestinian refugee can’t receive Egyptian citizenship if he marries
                Egyptian, in contrary to other nationalities. This is an example of law that
                Arab countries apply on Palestinians ..”

                From past experience, you couldn’t support ANY of the drivel you wrote, why
                should anyone believe you in this instance?

                “The consequence is that until today most of the refugees living in poor
                camps, in poverty and with many restrictions”

                Same as the majority of refugees world wide, except the Arab states have
                allowed and apart from assistance fromUNRWA helped Palestinian refugees
                build houses, connected electricity, water, sewerage, built roads

                “My solution, that Israel will not destroy the settlement houses but give
                them to the refugees in addition to full compensations, is genuine and
                honest”

                You’re an illegal settler who posts complete garbage. The fact that you expect
                anyone to believe anything you write is simply AMAZING! Never the less
                thanks for the opportunity of showing genuinely honest readers just how full
                of bullsh*t an illegal settler can be

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:14 am

                @eljay: No, he didn’t debunked nothing. Arab Jews were refugees but no
                more thanks to the Jewish state of Israel.

                I always speak on the position of Arab Jews as refugees using “was” and
                “were”.

                eljay        says:
                September 10, 2013 at 7:38 am

                >> @eljay: No, he didn’t debunked nothing. Arab Jews were refugees but no
                more thanks to the Jewish state of Israel.

                In an earlier post, you stated: ” … the Palestinians are refugees – exactly like
                the Arab Jews refugees.”


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                I fail to see the similarities, given that:
                - Palestinians are refugees while Arab Jews are not;
                - Palestinians are still waiting to return to their homes and lands, while Arab
                Jews have abandoned their homes and lands and chosen to settle in a
                supremacist “Jewish State” that i) created the Palestinian refugee problem
                and ii) has colonized most of Palestine.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 8:03 am

                @talknic:

                If I ignore for a moment from the dirty parts of your comment, which are
                unnecessary, I admit that I learn from you new thing, but I need clarification:

                I stated that only Palestinian refugees position is inherited while other
                refugee groups – not. You wrote the following paragraphs:

                The Palestinian demand for RoR to what became Israel, is under UNGA res
                194 of 1948. The UNRWA definition to which you’re ignorantly referring, DID
                NOT EXIST in 1948 when UNGA res 194 was adopted. Furthermore, the
                UNRWA definition does not extend to final status link to unrwa.org
                According to the definition used for UNGA res 194 link to unispal.un.org only
                those who actually lived in the territory that became Israel have a RoR to
                Israel, no lineal descendants.
                In 1948 people with a legal RoR to what became Israel had a life expectancy
                of about 45 yrs. Simple maths tells us that 65 years later, the majority of
                people who had a RoR to Israel are DEAD!

                To tell you the truth, I read it many times and it is new to me. If I
                understand, you say that only a man that left Palestine has RoR but not his
                children? Do I understand correct? If yes, what we talking about? Assuming
                your calculation wrong, and let’s say 100,000 refugees from 1948 still alive. If
                I remember good, Israel offered in the past in one negotiation, to allow RoR
                to 50 or 100 thousands (don’t remember exactly).

                I am waiting your clarification before continue commenting here because it is
                very important to me. Please, send clarification (don’t bother with my
                personality, leave it for other time).

                I do thank you in advance

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 8:07 am

                @eljay: I want my parents home!!!

                Shmuel says:
                September 10, 2013 at 8:27 am

                MY1: I want my parents home!!!

                Please feel free to pursue that with the Iraqi government and any relevant
                international bodies. More power to you. But (again) what on earth does that
                have to do with the Palestinian refugees?

                eljay        says:


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                September 10, 2013 at 8:31 am

                >> @eljay: I want my parents home!!!

                In my opinion, your family is entitled:
                - to have returned to you what was taken from you, or to be given fair
                compensation in lieu; and
                - to live as equal citizens in your homeland (in your case, Iraq).

                Similarly, the Palestinians are entitled:
                - to have returned to them what was taken from them, or to be given fair
                compensation in lieu; and
                - to live as equal citizens in their homeland (in their case, whatever part of
                the geographic region of Palestine they were originally from).

                eljay        says:
                September 10, 2013 at 8:49 am

                Correction to my previous post:

                In my opinion, your family is entitled:
                ...
                - to live as equal citizens in your homeland (in your case, Iraq Israel; perhaps
                in the case of some of your family, Iraq).

                (I re-read your original story and, as I understand it now, you were born in
                Israel, not in Iraq.)

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:09 am

                @Shmuel: Both sides have the same responsibility in creating the Palestinian
                refugees problem. About Israel – you are the expert. Arab countries, by
                refusing to accept the partition plane, by declaring war on state of Israel and
                fought together with the Palestinians, have also responsibility and must take
                part in the solution. You don’t expect countries that fought several wars
                against us and declared that the wars goal is “liberation of Palestine”
                (Although I know it is only declaration and had other goals) to sit in aside
                when Israel reach agreement. One major event of this conflict is the final
                destruction of Jewish communities in Arab countries and the arrival of Arab
                Jews refugees (then) to Israel leaving all behind. Please, don’t say their is no
                connection between the two refugees groups. The solution must include all
                the problems created by us, by the Palestinians and by Arab countries. That is
                my position and I have nothing more to add.

                Thanks for the recommendation. I already sent email to the Israeli embassy
                in Baghdad.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:17 am

                @eljay: Although we don’t agree, I appreciate your sincerity. We can bedate
                without militancy. My goal is peace and no more than peace.

                Indeed, I was born in Jerusalem, live in Jerusalem and will die in Jerusalem.

                German Lefty says:



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                September 10, 2013 at 9:34 am

                I was born in Jerusalem, live in Jerusalem and will die in Jerusalem.

                Huh? I thought you want your parents’ home?

                ritzl says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:34 am

                @MY1 What in eljay’s and Shmuel’s question makes it so hard to answer?

                Why does what happened to Iraqi Jews have anything to do with what Israel
                did to the Palestinians and subsequent, legitimate Palestinian rights and
                claims in Israel?

                The answer is either, “It doesn’t. Palestinian claims are valid and should be
                addressed.” or, “I live in a house/on land of an ‘absentee’ Palestinian
                landowner [who lives in a camp a couple of km away]. My kind of case is
                special and/or complicated. It is tied to an unresolvable whole. Oh well…”

                I think you don’t believe in the first, but to directly say the second betrays
                your reasonableness act here.

                Personally I think you check too many Israeli talking point (hasbara) boxes
                with wild exaggerations masked by calculated folksy-ness to be a real person.
                Palestinian potato vendors (too water intensive)? A lot of your comment
                times are right in the middle of when a stall operator would be setting up and
                operating. Kurdish? You’re just a whole string of improbabilities. But hey, I
                could be wrong about all of that. If so, my bad.

                Shmuel says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:44 am

                OK, let me break this down. You (MY1) believe that:
                1. Israel bears some responsibility for the plight of the Palestinian refugees
                (but not of Arab Jews – you might run into some trouble over that one).
                2. Arab countries (such as Iraq) bear some responsibility for the plight of the
                Palestinian refugees and of their respective (former) Jewish citizens.

                All that I can logically conclude from this is that Palestinians are entitled to
                compensation for their property in Israel (perhaps houses on settlements in
                the WB – in a kind of exchange), as well as some kind of moral damages from
                the various Arab governments for their respective roles in
                creating/perpetuating the refugee problem.

                I’m missing 2 things:
                1. Where is the responsibility of the Palestinian refugees for the plight of Arab
                Jews? If they are not responsible, why would you deny them their rights until
                third parties have agreed to compensate fourth parties for other injustices?
                2. How could Arab governments possibly be expected to allow Palestinians to
                return to their homes (in Israeli-controlled territory) or to compensate them
                for properties over which they have no control and from which they have not
                benefited in the years that have passed since 1947-48?

                Thanks for the recommendation. I already sent email to the Israeli embassy
                in Baghdad.



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                Tasteless, MY1, very tasteless.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:46 am

                @German: Please, don’t be naive with your questions. People demanded
                from Germany compensations and still live in Israel. As Palestinians want
                their homes or compensations – we do too. Kapish!!

                Thanks for the correction of “him” instead of “her” – it was the only mistake
                in the sentence. all the rest correct.

                German Lefty says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:50 am

                Both sides have the same responsibility in creating the Palestinian refugees
                problem. Arab countries, by refusing to accept the partition plane, by
                declaring war on state of Israel and fought together with the Palestinians,
                have also responsibility and must take part in the solution.

                Bullshit! Arab countries or any other foreign countries had no right to decide
                about Palestinian land. Only Palestinians can decide about their land. They
                were unjustly expelled by the Zionist invaders. This means that the Zionists
                created the Palestinian refugees. Therefore, it is the Zionists’ obligation to
                solve the refugee problem by acknowledging the refugees’ right to return.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 10:10 am

                @ritzl: Look, replies on personal attacks against me are behind my abilities,
                since I receive many replies and try to answer them as seriously as I can
                without running from any issue on the table. I declared and repeat: If I
                interfere here and I am unwanted guest, just say so. MW exist before MY1
                and will exist after MY1. One reader wrote me that from time to time one like
                me (pro-Israeli Zionist) enters MW, writes his Hasbara and than disappear. I
                really can understand why they disappear. Each second reply is a personal
                attack, Why? Don’t want me, just say so!!

                You never know who is behind the computer. How old I am? What about
                work half day (after several decades) and be replaced by one of my family
                member works with me? What is your problem with Kurdish origin (I born in
                Israel, Al-Hamd Li-Allah)? Look, if all readers will hold one point of view, I
                think no real debates will be here. Want it? Ask it!!!

                eljay        says:
                September 10, 2013 at 10:22 am

                >> My goal is peace and no more than peace.

                It’s a pity that your goal does not also include justice, accountability and
                equality.

                German Lefty says:
                September 10, 2013 at 10:35 am

                People demanded from Germany compensations and still live in Israel. As
                Palestinians want their homes or compensations – we do too.

                Germany paid and still pays compensation. Additionally, Germany grants


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                ALL German-Jewish refugees and ALL their descendants the right to return
                to Germany.
                I expect the same from Israel with regard to Palestinian refugees. NOT right
                to return OR compensation, BUT right to return AND compensation.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

                Arab countries, by refusing to accept the partition plane, by declaring war
                on state of Israel and fought together with the Palestinians, have also
                responsibility and must take part in the solution.

                You can’t say that the partition plan created an obligation for others, and
                ignore the fact that the Zionists had already begun to alter the terms of the
                plan by force and to ethnically cleanse the region before the Arab States ever
                entered Palestine.

                During the People’s Council meeting on the eve of the Declaration of the
                Establishment of the State of Israel, the members discussed a request from
                New York that the new provisional government make “The return of the Arab
                population of the Jewish State to their homes” the first order of business. link
                to books.google.com

                eljay        says:
                September 10, 2013 at 10:56 am

                >> Look, if all readers will hold one point of view, I think no real debates will
                be here. Want it? Ask it!!!

                That sounds good, but you’re not the first person who has issued the “want
                it? ask it!” challenge, only to “dodge it” / “side-step it” / “gloss over it” /
                “deflect from it” when faced with a specific question from someone who
                wants a specific answer.

                Theo says:
                September 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm

                MY

                “I wonder why readers here always take one or two sentences….-”

                Very simple, if you find a dead cockroach in a terrible soup, you complain
                about what disturbs you the most.
                In your case it is not the soup, but the dead bug!

                talknic says:
                September 10, 2013 at 9:01 pm

                @ MahaneYehude1

                “Both sides have the same responsibility in creating the Palestinian refugees
                problem.”

                The Arab states didn’t dispossess Palestinian refugees. Israel did by its refusal
                to allow any RoR. All civilians have a right to flee the violence of war and a
                right to return.

                “Arab countries, by refusing to accept the partition plan..”




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                Irrelevant. The Jewish Agency itself said “The setting up of one State was not
                made conditional upon the setting up of the other State”
                http://pages.citebite.com Israel was declared and recognized “as an
                independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of
                the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″ link to
                trumanlibrary.org
                States are required to keep to their borders.

                “by declaring war on state of Israel “

                No such declaration exists. The Arab states invaded “Palestine” link to
                mfa.gov.il

                They had a legal right to attempt to expel foreign forces (Jewish/Israeli) from
                what remained of Palestine after Israel was declared independent of Palestine

                ” Please, don’t say their is no connection between the two refugees groups. “

                What is the alleged connection? Answer honestly.
                Did the Palestinians expel Jewish folk from the Arab States? NO.
                Did the Palestinians suspend Jewish folks’ properties in the Arab States? NO.
                Did the Palestinians vote for the leaders of the Arab States? NO.
                Did the Palestinians negate Jewish folks’ refugee status by granting
                citizenship in a new country? NO

                Did Israel/Israelis expel Palestinians from both Israel and from territories
                “outside the State of Israel” link to pages.citebite.com ? YES link to
                pages.citebite.com
                Did Israel/Israelis confiscate non-Jewish and non-Israeli properties and
                territories? YES
                Did Israelis vote for the leaders of the Israeli Government? YES
                Did Israel negate Jewish folks’ refugee status by granting citizenship? YES

                “I already sent email to the Israeli embassy in Baghdad.”

                Oh really…..Propagandists for Israel really are quite stupid

                link to science.co.il

                You just keep on stepping in it…

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm

                @talknic: I agree with all your facts and claim.

                Still waiting: link to mondoweiss.net

                Don’t ignore

                gamal says:
                September 11, 2013 at 5:10 am

                “Al-Hamd Li-Allah” have you ever heard anybody say that? looks weird what
                does it mean? i (take that RoHa) think you are fluent in English, it was an
                error to write the above. Any one who has ever heard it said can write it
                phonetically near perfectly, no one leaves out the all important back vowel
                that allows it to flow out nicely as yet another crusader kingdom bites the


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                dust, the only point at which your very effective mask slipped the character
                took over in a stupidly mechanistic way, just because you cant write English
                doesnt mean you cant hear Arabic, sloppy really, I (wont happen again)
                would dock you a coffee break, you are of Kurdish Jewish origin, nice
                hasbarorigin, very effective, you are the rhetorical uberantiarav . Luk Tim

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 11, 2013 at 7:34 am

                @Gamal: Thanks. I wrote it this way only because I assume most people here
                don’t speak Arabic and wanted them understand the meaning is like “thank
                G-d”. writing phonetically, Alhamdilillah, wasn’t sure people understand. If it
                is really offended you, ps accept my apologies. Arab Jews also used it in daily
                life as well as Arabs use “Baruch Hashem” while talking Hebrew. It is the
                same G-d for all of us.

                BTW, “Gamal” instead of “Jamal” because you are Egyptian?
                All the rest of your comment was unnecessary.

                Hostage says:
                September 11, 2013 at 7:58 am

                @talknic: I agree with all your facts and claim.

                Still waiting: link to mondoweiss.net

                Don’t ignore

                There are precedents in customary international law for repatriation of the
                descendants of refugees. The Jews of German descent are a prime example.
                In addition, representatives of your own government have agreed on several
                occasions to negotiate terms for their return. In international law agreements
                must be interpreted in good faith – and above all – they must be kept.

                Theo says:
                September 11, 2013 at 8:33 am

                German Lefty

                In addition tens of thousands of old jews from the Sovietunion came to
                Germany and receive a large retirement income, well above what the average
                german has, although they have nothing to do with that land and never paid
                a penny into the pot!!
                I personally found appartments for several of them, the rent being paid by
                the german taxpayers.

                talknic says:
                September 11, 2013 at 8:37 am

                MahaneYehude1 “If I ignore for a moment from the dirty parts of your
                comment, which are unnecessary”

                Your fabrications are unnecessary and judging by the words you use, your
                poor grammar appears to be fabricated as well

                “If I understand, you say that only a man that left Palestine has RoR but
                not his children?”

                A person, man woman or child, who actually lived in the region, has a right


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                to return. The definition used for UNGA res 194 is very clear link to
                unispal.un.org It does not include people who did not live in the region of
                return

                “let’s say 100,000 refugees from 1948 still alive”

                Life expectancy in the region in 1948/50 was 45 yrs. 65 years has passed.
                They were all children in 1948. They are all absolute minimum, 65 years of
                age and older.

                Let’s say their parents were a minimum of 16 yrs old in 1948. If they have
                survived, they would now be between 82 yrs old. However the life expectancy
                of a Palestinian refugee born today is only about 73 yrs. So the chances
                that any parents from 1948 still survive is about NIL.

                The odds that 100,000 of 700,000 lived to be older than 65 are about NIL.
                My intuitive guess is in the vicinity of 20,000 to 30,000.

                “Israel offered in the past in one negotiation, to allow RoR to 50 or 100
                thousands (don’t remember exactly)”

                Exactly where did they offer to allow return? To Israel as it was declared and
                recognized “within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of
                the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″ ??

                OR

                To Israel and non-Israeli territories “outside the State of Israel”
                Territories that have never been legally annexed to Israel.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

                @talknic: Thank you very much. I always thought that when Palestinian
                representatives talks about RoR they mean that anyone from the 5-7 million
                refugees today could return if he wishes to accept his RoR. So, I really
                appreciate your clarification and again, I admit, I learn from you new
                information I didn’t know. If RoR is only, according to your assumption, up
                to 30 or even 50 thousands, I personally, don’t see any problem. Israel could
                absorbed them all.

                Both documents you linked are from 1948. Well, I really don’t remember, but
                I sure that Israel offered in one negotiation to accept the refugees inside
                Israel (not OT). I can’t find the source so give me time. Hostage also wrote
                “In addition, representatives of your own government have agreed on several
                occasions to negotiate terms for their return”.

                BTW, talknic, I don’t need any fabrications – I am really not English speaker
                and live in Jerusalem, Israel. Let’s wait until peace come to meet in
                Jerusalem or Ramallah, which I prefer. Tx.

                Talkback says:
                September 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

                MahaneYehude1 says: “I stated that only Palestinian refugees position is
                inherited while other refugee groups – not.”




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                UNWRA Spokesman Chris Gunness:
                “All refugee communities, whether those under the care of UNRWA or
                UNHCR, have their refugee status passed through the generations while their
                plight remains unresolved. Refugees in Kenya administered by UNHCR are a
                good example. In this regard, the accusation that UNRWA uniquely
                perpetuates the Palestine refugee problem is ignorant of international refugee
                law and practice.”

                MahaneYehude1 says: “One reason (there are many) the Palestinians are still
                refugees is because Arab countries and the P leaders wanted them to remain
                refugees.”

                No, the only reason is that the Zionist Junta of Palestine wants to keep them
                segregated and denationalized to maintain a regime dominated by (a
                minority of) Jews. And that is one way (there are many) to commit the crime
                of Apartheid.

                talknic says:
                September 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm

                @ Hostage

                Re – Lineal descendants born outside the country of return. It is my
                understanding that;

                A) In some instances automatic citizenship is granted to a child born in a
                country that may be hosting the parent/s link to numbersusa.com

                Having citizenship by birth, they’d not have refugee status link to
                pages.citebite.com

                B) Germany passed legislation beyond the basic requirement in that
                1. It grants the right to Jewish folk who have taken citizenship in a country
                other than that of return and no longer refugees (ibid)
                2. The lineal descendants of those non-refugees

                miriam6 says:
                September 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm

                Theo;

                although they have nothing to do with that land and never paid a penny
                into the pot!! says Theo indignantly

                What a nerve you have

                The aforementioned old Russian Jews may never had anything to do with
                that land (Germany) but YOUR predecessors certainly DID have much TOO
                MUCH to do with the country (Russia)those old Jews came from.

                The invading Germans murdered over 2 million Jews and the Russians
                themselves lost 26.6 million lives fighting to remove your predecessors’ Nazi
                army from Russian territory

                What is more YOUR country, – not Russia , the country that probably
                suffered more than any other from Nazi brutality , benefited from Allied
                nations help to rebuild Germany , ultimately leaving Germany the leading



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                economic power of Europe, whilst Russia remained in ruins

                So really, all in all , as a German you have no reason whatsoever to whine
                about those old Russian Jews spending their last years in Germany

                Also, I daresay your whole penny in the pot business was amply covered by
                all the possessions the Nazis stole from the Jews it murdered (even including
                the Jewish victims gold teeth)

                Hostage says:
                September 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

                Re – Lineal descendants born outside the country of return.

                There probably should be an attempt to obtain an advisory opinion on the
                subject. Israel has agreed on several occasions to negotiate a just settlement
                that would permit at least some of them to return.

                Germany passed legislation beyond the basic requirement

                I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. The Germany Constitution restored
                citizenship to those who it had persecuted and denationalized and their
                descendants. They were treated as if they had never been deprived of their
                citizenship in the first place:


                        Restored Citizenship


                        Information on obtaining/re-obtaining German citizenship for
                        former German citizens and their descendants who were
                        persecuted on political, racial or religious grounds between
                        January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945

                        Article 116 par. 2 of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz) reads:

                        “Former German citizens who between January 30, 1933 and May
                        8, 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial, or
                        religious grounds, and their descendants, shall on application
                        have their citizenship restored. They shall be deemed never to
                        have been deprived of their citizenship if they have established
                        their domicile in Germany after May 8, 1945 and have not
                        expressed a contrary intention.’




                link to germany.info

                In fact, the Germans recently decided to compensate Jews whose freedom of
                movement had been violated by the Vichy regime acting as its agent. The
                German efforts to compensate surviving family members, make full
                restitution, and pay reparations are powerful evidence of the sense in the
                international community that a customary obligation exists regarding
                descendants and the corresponding state practice regarding treatment of that
                category of refugees.

                In some instances automatic citizenship is granted to a child born in a



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                country that may be hosting the parent/s link to numbersusa.com

                That’s true of course, but not usually a factor with regard to the bulk of the
                Palestinian refugees living in UNRWA camps. Some refugees are displaced
                citizens of Jordan, but Palestine was part of a federal union with Transjordan
                for many years during the conflict. The Geneva Conventions and Refugee
                Convention both reflect customary law and provide protections for persons
                who are internally displaced, stateless, or outside their country of origin,
                country of nationality, or country of habitual residence.

                The US and Israel have blocked attempts to survey the refugees and their
                descendants to find out their individual preferences. Informal surveys have
                indicated that the majority may opt for compensation and resettlement
                elsewhere.

                German Lefty says:
                September 13, 2013 at 9:07 am

                So really, all in all , as a German you have no reason whatsoever to whine
                about those old Russian Jews spending their last years in Germany

                miriam6, what are you talking about? As far as I know, Theo is an “Ami”.
                That’s German for “US citizen”. Besides, it’s not okay to attack people for
                their citizenship or for things that previous generations did. Why should
                present generations of Germans pay for crimes they didn’t commit?

                What is more YOUR country

                That’s really offensive. Nazi Germany is definitely not MY country. It was a
                different German state, which I only know from history books and whose
                society had very different values from my society.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 13, 2013 at 11:11 am

                “What a nerve you have”

                And in one post, miriam’s racism is laid bare.

                Shingo says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:41 am




                        You are contextualizng expulsion, which is what people do when
                        they want to deny the Nakba.




                No, I am making the clear distinction between what happened to the
                Palestinians and the Jews of Arab states.

                For example, I would never compare the Nakba to the Holocaust, even
                though many thousands of Palestinians were murdered by the Zionist gangs.
                That is not contextualizing the Nakba, it’s pointing out the clear differences
                between the two events.

                Pointing out that that British themselves incited and carried out some of the



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                violence is pointing out a historical reality.

                German Lefty says:
                September 10, 2013 at 11:18 am

                I would never compare the Nakba to the Holocaust

                Comparing and drawing certain parallels is fine. However, equating would be
                incorrect.

                tree says:
                September 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm

                You are contextualizng expulsion, which is what people do when they want
                to deny the Nakba.

                No, when people want to deny the Nakba, they lie about what happened, such
                as making the longstanding Israeli claim that the Palestinians left at the
                insistence of Arab leaders, rather than as a result of planned Zionist violence,
                forcible expulsion and violent and deadly denial of Palestinian refugees’
                attempts to return to their own homes.

                What happened to Iraqi Jews in 1950-51 was not expulsion. To say that is not
                to excuse what happened, but is instead a refutation of a lie. If someone said
                that Japanese-Americans interned by the US during WWII were sent to death
                camps, that would be a lie, and to correct such a lie would not be to unfairly
                diminish the injustice of that situation, but to speak truthfully. Likewise, if
                someone were to insist that Josephine Baker, and other black expatriates,
                were expelled from the US, that too would be a lie, and to correct it would
                not be either a denial of the discrimination she and other blacks had to deal
                with in the US, nor a diminishment of that oppressive discrimination. Its
                simply stating the truth.

                I agree with Walid here. What you are doing is a form of Nakba denial, tbk.
                By overstating what happened to Iraqi Jews you are seeking to diminish the
                gravity of what happened to the Palestinian refugees when the two are not
                comparable in circumstance and severity.

                And MahaneYehude1 has repeated several falsities about Iraqi Jews, which I
                would go into in greater detail if I was in easy reach of my library of books,
                but at present I am traveling. If I get a chance later on I will cite references,
                most of them from Iraqi Jews themselves.

                Suffice it for the moment to say that Iraqi Jews did not have their homes
                expropriated in 1933. Many of them were part of the upper class elite, and
                Jews were represented in the Iraqi Parliament and in the Iraqi government
                up to the creation of Israel, and the forcible dispossession of the Palestinians.
                And the Wathba (Uprising) in 1948 was a more significant event to most
                Iraqi Jews (and other Iraqis) than the Farhud. I’m betting that MY1 doesn’t
                even know what the Wathba was, nor does he know that the Iraqi
                government compensated Iraqi Jews who lost property to rioters in the 1942
                Farhud, or that rioters in Basra attacked the shops of both Jews and non-
                Jews alike. Iraqi Jews were barred from government jobs but they did not
                have their schools closed down, nor was there widespread violence against
                them. Iraq originally prohibited any Iraqi Jew from traveling to Israel, but



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                faced continual pressure from the British and American governments and
                American Jewish organizations to legalize Jewish emigration, which resulted
                in voluntary citizenship revocation law. The organizing of lists of those who
                chose to leave were totally in the hands of Zionist emissaries and not the
                Iraqi government, and the government of Israel lied continually to the Iraqi
                Jews, organized the dismissal of the Chief Rabbi, who was anti-Zionist, and
                replaced him with a Zionist, and and helped create a climate of fear by setting
                off bombs in Jewish centers. There were certainly push factors, including the
                then current questioning of the loyalty of Iraqi Jews and the discrimination
                in government against them, as well as the government’s anti-communist
                laws, which, while not targeted specifically at Jews, discouraged those Iraqi
                Jews who were leaning communist. And there were certainly pull factors,
                encouraged by Israel. It was not an expulsion.

                RoHa says:
                September 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm

                “or that rioters in Basra attacked the shops of both Jews and non-Jews alike.”

                But only the shops of Jews matter.

                miriam6 says:
                September 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

                Tree@;

                And the Wathba (Uprising) in 1948 was a more significant event to most
                Iraqi Jews (and other Iraqis) than the Farhud.

                Really?

                How so?

                There were only the most minimal consequences and involvement therein for
                Iraqi Jews – other than the involvement of The League Against Zionism , an
                organisation led by Iraqi Jewish Communist party members.

                However those Communist Jews were only a tiny minority

                Why on earth drag this diversionary red herring about a Communist uprising
                into the matter of the persecution , on account of religion and ethnicity , and
                subsequent ethnic cleansing of Iraqi Jews?

                The Wathba was a Communist protest movement against the British and
                there is no comparison at all with the Farhud , which was an anti – Jewish
                pogrom

                Also the ‘compensation’ you mention was too little and came too late

                Tree said;
                And there were certainly pull factors, encouraged by Israel..

                What a distortion of the truth.

                Push factors facilitating the later ethnic cleansing of Iraq’s Jews were already
                there well before 1948 and shortly after the demise of the Ottoman Empire
                after WW1




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                In fact , once Iraqi Jews had lost the protection afforded them by the
                Ottomans their insecurity of what was to come was already evident as EARLY
                as 1918 and subsequently borne out by their later persecution and more
                immediately that of the 600 Circassians massacred in 1933.

                Finally , why on earth are you seeking to whitewash the responsibility that
                the Iraqi government and also OTHER Arab governments had to protect
                their Jewish citizens?

                Talkback says:
                September 12, 2013 at 8:23 am

                miriam6 says: “Finally , why on earth are you seeking to whitewash the
                responsibility that the Iraqi government and also OTHER Arab governments
                had to protect their Jewish citizens?”

                I wouldn’t whitewash this. But I also wouldn’t whitewash the responsibility
                that the Israeli goverment had to protect their Nonjewish citizens. But they
                denationalized the majority and their descendents and keep them expelled to
                maintain a regime dominated by Jews which is Apartheid. The Arab states on
                the other hand don’t need to keep Jews expelled and denationalized so that a
                minority regime can ‘survive’.

                Hostage says:
                September 12, 2013 at 8:53 am

                The memo recording the State Department’s conversation with Israeli
                Ambassador Teddy Kolleck about Iran establishes that the government of
                Israel was responsible for the earlier mass exoduses, including the one from
                Iraq. We know from other sources that they did that by worsening the
                conditions and recruiting Sayanim, like Eli Cohen or Naeim Giladi, to assist
                in black flag operations.

                Thanks to the 30-year declassification rule, it’s a matter of public record that
                the government of Israel instigated deliberate exodus from the Arab and
                Muslim states as part of its state building program. Here is one example:



                        Ingathering of Exiles
                        At the close of the interview I asked Kollek to tell me frankly
                        whether Israel planned to start the ingathering of 70,000 Jews
                        from Iran along the lines of the ingathering from Iraq. I said that
                        so far as I knew, the level of anti-semitism in Iran was not
                        abnormally high and I thought the friends of Israel, including the
                        United States, would not favor a deliberately generated exodus
                        there.
                        Kollek replied that there was a school of thought in Israel which
                        believes that when a nationalistic government of the Mossadegh
                        type comes into power sooner or later they turn against their
                        minorities and this has caused consideration to be given to the
                        Iranian Jews. He did not believe, however, that efforts would be
                        made to bring them to Israel unless the situation generally
                        deteriorates. There could be no doubt that the need of the
                        Roumanian Jews to come to Israel is far greater than the need of



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                        the Iranian Jews.
                        I opined that the Iraqi operation had been bad for Iraq. I said that
                        I hoped the Iraqi Government would not disenfranchise the Jews
                        who had elected to remain Iraqi citizens. Kollek argued that short
                        range, Iraq may have lost some skills, but he thought that long
                        range it is “better for a country to be homogeneous” as would be
                        the case if all of the Jews left Iraq. I asserted that homogeneity of
                        population is not always a good thing and pointed with pride to
                        the fact that the United States is in no sense homogeneous.
                        Kollek’s only answer was “The United States is different.”




                – Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Near
                Eastern Affairs (Jones), Secret [WASHINGTON,] August 2,1951.
                Subject: Israel’s Concern Re Peace With the Arabs and Other Matters.
                Participants: Mr. Theodore Kollek, Embassy of Israel and Mr. G. Lewis Jones,
                NE, Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. The Near East and Africa,
                page 815 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

                miriam6 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

                Hostage@:

                Your comment is most mysterious

                Exactly which false flag operation is the fantasist Naeim Giladi supposedly
                recollecting?

                miriam6 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

                Hostage@;

                Of course I meant black flag operations not false flag..However, Naeim
                Giladi’s allegations your comment refers to have been subsequently
                debunked.

                See the full rebuttal Posted by bataween here: link to
                jewishrefugees.blogspot.co.uk

                Hostage says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

                Your comment is most mysterious

                There’s nothing mysterious about the comment at all. We all know that Israel
                had a corps of assassins. Jewish undercover units, called “The Arabists of the
                Palmach” or Mista’arvim [literally, "Arab-pretenders"] who carried out black
                flag operations. We also know that the Zionist Executive authorized bombings
                against targets, like the S.S. Patria, where Jews were bound to be terrorized
                or sacrificed merely for propaganda.

                Naeim Giladi wrote a book about the situation in Iraq and explained that
                Zionists were behind a terror bombing campaign there, just like the one
                carried out in Egypt by Zionists against US and western targets during the



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                so-called Lavon Affair.

                I take it that you don’t find the conversation with Kolleck regarding the State
                of Israel being ultimately responsible for the mass exodus from Iraq
                mysterious. Maybe you can explain why you fail to mention Israel’s role in all
                of your shreying about responsibility for the plight of these Iraqi Jewish
                refugees? Please remember to mention that Israel recruited Jews, like Galidi,
                Eli Cohen, and the team members in the Lavon Affair and used them in
                enemy territories as spies, fifth columnists, and for pre-planned state building
                efforts disguised as in-gathering of refugees.

                miriam6 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

                Hostage@:

                As for this so-called conversation with Teddy Kollek, Kollek is essentially
                right that despotic regimes do eventually turn against their minorities and
                that they can’t be compared to the US!
                At the time this conversation took place there must have been fear that the
                same fate would befall the Iranian Jews as befell the Iraqis, but Mossadegh’s
                coup was thwarted and there was no major Jewish exodus until the
                Ayatollahs took power in 1979.

                Which only proves that Israel does not determine whether and when these
                exoduses take place, the regimes do.

                talknic says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm

                @miriam6

                It is NORMAL for countries at war to expel or inter possible 5th columnists.
                Israel was at war in Palestine, “outside the State of Israel” link to
                pages.citebite.com .

                The Arab states had a right to A) invade Palestine in order to attempt to
                expel Jewish forces “outside the State of Israel” B) expel and/or inter possible
                5th columnists while at war with Israel.

                The Jewish state encouraged Arab Jews to lose their refugee status by taking
                up Israeli citizenship. They and those who took up citizenship in other
                countries, have no RoR.

                “meaning that today around 20% of the Israeli population today is Arab”

                More idiotic nonsense. Hundreds of thousands who were once refugees from
                ARAB countries are Arab Jews

                Israeli propaganda really is pathetic!!!

                miriam6 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm

                Hostage@;

                More on the debunked anti Zionist theories you are attempting to pass off as
                the truth;



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                        For years anti-Zionists have maintained that the Zionist
                        underground in Iraq had planted bombs aimed at Jewish
                        targets to cause or hasten the Jewish exodus in 1950 -51.
                        Now evidence published in Haaretz by Tom Segev – an
                        Israeli ‘new historian’ – vindicates the official Israeli line
                        that Iraqi Muslims, not Jews, threw the deadly bomb at
                        the Masuda Shemtov synagogue in January 1951 which
                        killed four Jews and injured 10




                link to jewishrefugees.blogspot.co.uk

                Read the Tom Segev article here;

                link to haaretz.com

                Annie Robbins says:
                September 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm

                miriam, this is an allegation based off a widows words, and they are not
                definitive that they didn’t carryout the bombing in question..



                        Now, a recent publication is shedding new light on the mystery.
                        The revelations come from Yehuda Tager, an Israeli agent who
                        operated in Baghdad, was exposed and spent about 10 years in
                        prison there. According to Tager, the bombing of the Masuda
                        Shemtov synagogue was not carried out by Israelis, but by
                        members of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, at least one
                        activist from the Zionist underground, Yosef Beit-Halahmi,
                        did apparently carry out several terror attacks after the
                        arrest of his comrades, in the hope of proving to the
                        Iraqi authorities that the detainees were not involved in
                        these actions. This is the first time someone involved in the
                        episode is confirming that members of the Zionist underground
                        did commit bombings in Baghdad.


                        The interview with Tager, now 83, appears in a new book by the
                        British journalist Arthur Neslen, titled “Occupied Minds.” Tager
                        quoted a conversation he had with Beit-Halahmi’s widow: “She
                        said she had asked him (if he had thrown the bombs) and he had
                        replied that if a bomb was thrown while we were in prison, it
                        would have proved that it was not us who bombed the Masuda
                        Shemtov. She implied that he, on his own initiative, without
                        orders from Israel, did it in order to save us.”

                        Ehud Ein-Gil, deputy editor of Haaretz Magazine, who came
                        across this information, called up Tager and the latter confirmed
                        the version of events depicted in Neslen’s book. But when he



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                        appeared before the Mossad’s commission of inquiry in 1960,
                        Tager did not tell this part of the story. Ein-Gil asked him why.




                iow, just because he carried out attacks while his cohorts were in jail to prove
                they didn’t do it, doesn’t mean they didn’t do it.

                Hostage says:
                September 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

                Hostage@;

                Of course I meant black flag operations not false flag..However, Naeim
                Giladi’s allegations your comment refers to have been subsequently
                debunked.

                That’s hardly more convincing than the stories that supposedly debunked
                Jewish Agency responsibility for the bombing of the Patria and the State of
                Israel’s role in the bombings carried out in Egypt.

                You are still not acknowledging what the Israeli Ambassador had to say about
                the role played by the State of Israel in initiating the exodus of Jews from
                Iraq and other countries.

                seanmcbride says:
                September 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm

                miriam6,

                There is no good reason to believe a word that Yehuda Tager says about
                anything related to the Masuda Shemtov bombing — he is almost certainly
                lying — this Tom Segev article has the look and feel of flimsy hasbara on its
                face.

                What are your thoughts on Operation Susannah (the Lavon Affair)?
                Operation Trojan? The USS Liberty attack?

                Why has Israel become so closely associated in the public mind with false flag
                ops? Google [israel false flag] to receive a flood of hits on the subject.

                The latest suspicions about Israel revolve around the Unit 8200 “intelligence”
                which reportedly has served as the basis of the highly questionable claim that
                Assad was behind the recent chemical attack. That evidence is so thin that
                Obama, Kerry and the US government are afraid to discuss it out of concern
                that it will immediately be ripped to pieces.

                RoHa says:
                September 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm

                “this is an allegation based off a widows words”

                Does that make it more or less trustworthy than an allegation based on a
                widow’s words?

                Hostage says:
                September 13, 2013 at 9:42 am

                Miriam you are still failing to address the fact that the US government was



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                talking to the ambassador about Israel’s plans to initiate another
                “deliberately generated exodus”. As usual, your comments here are blatantly
                dishonest and evasive.

          jon s says:
          September 9, 2013 at 10:02 am

          I’m repeating an earlier comment of mine on this issue, in support of MY1′s
          account:
          Iraq effectually forced the Jews to leave:
          - the 1941 pogrom, known as the the “farhud” traumatized the community.
          - Iraq’s intervention in the 1948 war brought anti-Jewish incitement to a fever-
          pitch.
          -The Iraqi regime took steps to make life in Iraq impossible for the Jewish
          community: they were dismissed from the civil service , boycotted economically,
          bank accounts were frozen , access to public facilities, including schools and
          hospitals – denied. Then the regime declared that the Jews could leave, within a
          one – year deadline, while relinquishing their property. In this situation the Jews
          scarcely needed “encouragement” (in the form of bombings ) to leave. It was
          pretty clear that they had to.
          -Initially the Iraqi goverment demanded that the flights evacuating the Jews touch
          down in Cyprus , in order to maintain the fiction that they are not enabling
          immigration to Israel. In the later stages the pretense was dropped and flights
          arrived directly from Iraq to Israel.

          I would add that Rashid Ali al-Kilani was not only anti-British, he was pro-Nazi.
          After his defeat in Iraq he fled to Nazi Germany, where he joined the Mufti Haj
          Amin al Husseini , and was received personally by Hitler.

          In anticipation of Yom Kippur, wishing G’mar Hatima Tova to all.

                talknic says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:27 am

                @jons It’s normal for countries at war to expel or inter possible 5th
                columnists. E.g., the US, Australia, the UK expelled and interred Japanese
                and Germans in ww2. Unlike Israel, it’s also normal to release and/or allow
                their return at the end of hostilities. Also unlike Israel they didn’t raze the
                homes of possible fifth columnist suspects.

                Furthermore Israel prohibits by 1948 LAW, the entry of Israeli citizens and
                residents into the territories of hostile states. 5th columnists expelled from
                Arab States and fleeing to Israel were forbidden by Israeli law from
                returning and prevented by Israeli law from praying in the West Bank
                while it was under Jordanian sovereignty.

                jon s says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

                Talknic, Are you justifying the disgraceful and racist persecution, especially of
                Japanese-Americans, during WW2? By the same measure, it would be
                “normal” for Israel to expel or inter the Israeli Arab population in time of
                war, as potential 5th columnists.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm




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                “By the same measure, it would be “normal” for Israel to expel or inter the
                Israeli Arab population in time of war, as potential 5th columnists.”

                Well, it would normal for israelis to do this. They kept these people under
                military rule until a short time ago and continue to officially discriminate
                against them to this day. What it would not be is “moral.” Of course, the
                israeli government and society has never treated its Palestinian population
                morally.

                Shingo says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm




                        By the same measure, it would be “normal” for Israel to expel or
                        inter the Israeli Arab population in time of war, as potential 5th
                        columnists.




                …so long as they then allowed them to return after the war, which ended in
                1948.

                Hostage says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm

                Talknic, Are you justifying the disgraceful and racist persecution, especially
                of Japanese-Americans, during WW2?

                Japanese-Americans were not enemy civilians. But Japanese civilians in the
                United States were fair game – and still would be under the terms of the 4th
                Geneva Convention.

                talknic says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:02 am

                jon s s “Are you justifying the disgraceful and racist persecution, especially
                of Japanese-Americans, during WW2?

                No, I was pointing out that it is NORMAL to inter or expel possible 5th
                columnists during a war.

                “By the same measure, it would be “normal” for Israel to expel or inter the
                Israeli Arab population in time of war, as potential 5th columnists”

                Correct. However, Israel razed their homes. villages, farms and unlike the US,
                UK et al, has never allowed their return either to the territory that became
                Israel or to any of the territory that remained of Palestine after Israel was
                declared independent of Palestine link to wp.me

                BTW your own weird criteria begs this question. Are you justifying the
                disgraceful and racist persecution, especially of Palestinians and Palestinian
                Israelis, during the 1948 Israeli war on Palestinian?

    hophmi says:
    September 9, 2013 at 11:00 am

    There isn’t much in this article that is accurate.




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    No one prevented Corey Robin, or any other Jew, from criticizing Israeli policy in the
    past, and there has never been a shortage of Jews who have done so. There are a
    number of Jews, just about all on the radical left, who have created a sort of victim
    narrative for themselves of a past world in which, they say, they were “silenced” and
    unable to speak on Israel. Sadly, in doing so, they’ve internalized many of the
    antisemitic tropes of past, placing the American Jewish community at the center of
    world affairs, and using the language of antisemites to describe their own community,
    claiming that Jews are so financially and politically powerful that they deserve to be
    criticized collectively, in language that would never, ever be tolerated for other
    minority groups in this society.

    “The pro-Israel forces still have an iron grip on the conversation in Congress (not to
    mention the expenditures and actions of the American state as a whole)”

    No group has an “iron grip” on Congress, and the debate over the last couple of weeks
    over Syria shows what a lie that is. Anti-Zionist forces will do everything to deny the
    basic fact that the American people generally support pro-Israel policies over pro-
    Palestinian policies by a factor of about 8 to 1, and pro-Israel groups simply marshall
    that support to achieve a political objective. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped Corey’s
    friends at Mondoweiss and elsewhere from claiming that Jews who support these
    policies are dually loyal and that groups like AIPAC are a fifth column acting on behalf
    of a foreign agent.

    One wonder how “pro-Israel forces” maintains an “iron grip” on the “expenditures and
    actions of the American state as a whole.” What does that mean, Corey?

    “critics of Israel are still vulnerable on college campuses”

    This is part of the victim narrative. The truth is that it’s exactly the opposite. It’s pro-
    Israel forces who are vulnerable on college campuses, where pro-Israel speakers are
    regularly heckled and shouted down, their lectures jammed by pro-Palestinian
    students who walk out and refuse to listen to any perspective that is not their own,
    and in some cases, are threatened with physical violence and are thus unable to speak.

    In a country where the Middle East Studies Association is overwhelmingly pro-
    Palestinian, and not bashful about it, the idea that they are ones who are vulnerable is
    aberrant nonsense.

    ” and lock-step support for Israel is still a requirement for mainstream respectability
    in most of the mainstream media”

    Again, this is bull. There are many critics of Israel in the mainstream media. They are
    not, however, generally supportive of the BDS position, which is essentially the one-
    statist perspective. So they are in “lock-step support of Israel.”

    The notion that rabbis are reluctant to talk about Israel because of the BDS movement
    is something of a conceit. It is true that in a few places, like Corey’s Park Slope
    congregation, rabbis are reluctant to face the shrill voices of BDS advocates, who like
    nothing better, it seems, than to dump on liberal Zionists, who make up the vast
    majority of these communities. If Mondoweiss is any example, and if last year’s
    campaign by them to boycott Israeli products at the Park Slope co-op is any example,
    they’re simply people who are difficult to deal with, generally closed-minded to any
    perspective besides their own, and openly dismissive of those pro-Palestinian Jews
    who think the way forward is to work with the Palestinians to achieve a two-state



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    solution. That was my experience with BDSers at last year’s panel on the issue at
    Congregation Beth Elohim. Most of them were completely unwilling to engage in
    dialogue with liberal Zionist Jews, and quick to dismiss the work of those who had
    devoted substantial parts of the their lives to helping Palestinians build their state.

    In most other places, the failure of rabbis to regularly address the subject of Israel is
    actually a reluctance to offend Jews on the hard right, who are the BDSers biggest
    beneficiaries, and like BDSers, also shrill and closed-minded. But in most
    congregations, there is no reluctance at all.

          Shingo says:
          September 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm




                  No one prevented Corey Robin, or any other Jew, from criticizing
                  Israeli policy in the past, and there has never been a shortage of Jews
                  who have done so.


                  And the fete of those Jews who have done so speaks for itself. Just ask
                  Norman Finkelstein.



                          There are a number of Jews, just about all on the radical
                          left, who have created a sort of victim narrative for
                          themselves of a past world




                  You must be thinking of the IDF, AIPAC and Stand with Us.



                          No group has an “iron grip” on Congress, and the debate
                          over the last couple of weeks over Syria shows what a lie
                          that is.




                  No, that proves that the iron grip might be weakening, not that it
                  never existed. Unfortunately for you, not everyone here has such a
                  short term memory that that have forgotten the macabre displays and
                  the Hagel and Power confirmation hearings.



                          Anti-Zionist forces will do everything to deny the basic fact
                          that the American people generally support pro-Israel
                          policies over pro-Palestinian policies by a factor of about 8
                          to 1, and pro-Israel groups simply marshall that support to
                          achieve a political objective.




                  That’s grossly dishonesty Hop and you know it. You are pretending



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                  that the 8:1 factor is some happy accident, when in fact, it is the
                  product of the stranglehold Israel and it’s lobbies have over the issue.
                  The fact that this phenomenon does not exist in any other country in
                  the world illustrates this perfectly.

                  This is part of the victim narrative. The truth is that it’s exactly the
                  opposite. It’s pro-Israel forces who are vulnerable on college
                  campuses, where pro-Israel speakers are regularly heckled and
                  shouted down




          Whereas Israeli critics are denied platforms altogether when donors threaten to
          pul funding if those speakers are allowed to speak. Or when BDS resolutions are
          voted down buy a single veto or the intervention of boards who over rule the
          wishes of the student body.

          And you have evidently never heard of resolutions in California likening all
          criticism of Israel to anti semitism.

          Pathetic Hop, truly pathetic.



                  They are not, however, generally supportive of the BDS position,
                  which is essentially the one-statist perspective. So they are in “lock-
                  step support of Israel.”




          False on all counts.

          1. There is very little criticism on the media of Israel, which is why it is such big
          news when it appears
          2. BDS is not a one-statist perspective.

          generally closed-minded to any perspective besides their own, and openly
          dismissive of those pro-Palestinian Jews who think the way forward is to work
          with the Palestinians to achieve a two-state solution.

          What a grossly dishonest assertion!! It is the Palestinians who came up with BDS,
          so pro-Palestinian Jews who think the way forward is to work with the
          Palestinians to achieve a two-state solution would be open to BDS as an option.

          J Street is not pro Palestinian Hop.



                  Most of them were completely unwilling to engage in dialogue with
                  liberal Zionist Jews, and quick to dismiss the work of those who had
                  devoted substantial parts of the their lives to helping Palestinians
                  build their state.




          Sorry, but this doesn’t hold water. J Street claims to want a 2 ss but opposes all



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          means of achieving this outcome other than maintaining the status quo.

          As we have all come to realize, there is no such thing as Liberal Zionist Jews. One
          cannot be Liberal and be a Zionist, so one can hardly blame the BDSrs for not
          wanting to waste their time listening to these ethnocentric racist supremacists
          trying to convince the world that they know whats best for the Palestinians.

          We’ve been listening to Liberal Zionists for decades Hop, and what we have come
          to realize is that Liberal Zionists are just like right wing Zionists, but much less
          honest,

                hophmi says:
                September 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm

                “Whereas Israeli critics are denied platforms altogether when donors threaten
                to pul funding if those speakers are allowed to speak”

                How many times has this actually happened? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke
                at Columbia University. Pro-Palestinian speakers lecture on college campuses
                literally all the time. So I’m curious as to how many times this has actually
                happened.

                ” Or when BDS resolutions are voted down buy a single veto or the
                intervention of boards who over rule the wishes of the student body.”

                So, when BDS resolutions are voted down (as they have been in most cases),
                it’s an example of pro-Palestinian students not having a voice on campus?

                “And you have evidently never heard of resolutions in California likening all
                criticism of Israel to anti semitism.”

                I have. I know of no instance where it actually stopped pro-Palestinian
                students from speaking. The only possible example I can think of is the Irvine
                11, who were justly arrested for trying to disrupt the lecture of a pro-Israel
                speaker and deny others the ability to hear him at all.

                “1. There is very little criticism on the media of Israel, which is why it is such
                big news when it appears”

                There is plenty, just not the type you want. The NY Times prints op-eds
                critical of Israel all the time, and criticizes Israeli settlement policy in its
                editorials frequently. I’ve debunked this myth many times now.

                “2. BDS is not a one-statist perspective. ”

                OK, whatever you need to tell yourself. It’s a perspective where most of the
                adherents are one-statists.

                ” It is the Palestinians who came up with BDS, so pro-Palestinian Jews who
                think the way forward is to work with the Palestinians to achieve a two-state
                solution would be open to BDS as an option.”

                Again, whatever you need to tell yourself. There is no one who believes that
                BDSers would be happy with a two-state solution.

                “J Street is not pro Palestinian Hop.”

                Yes, actually, it is. You don’t need to be a BDSer to be pro-Palestinian. I don’t



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                consider you pro-Palestinian. You do much more harm than good.

                “We’ve been listening to Liberal Zionists for decades Hop, and what we have
                come to realize is that Liberal Zionists are just like right wing Zionists, but
                much less honest,”

                You don’t understand nuance; that’s ok. There’s always online classes.

                Cliff says:
                September 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

                hoppie said



                        You don’t understand nuance; that’s ok. There’s always online
                        classes.




                hoppie speaks from experience – he must take a lot of ‘online classes’

                talknic says:
                September 11, 2013 at 1:40 am

                @ hophmi

                link to haaretz.com

    Citizen says:
    September 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Back to Corey Robins’s very short romansbildung, here’s another coming-of-age short
    story, this time from a young Israeli female: link to 972mag.com

    Betsy says:
    September 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    the comments in reaction to Dennis Ross piece in the WashPo — are mostly GREAT!
    Suggests a sea change in American understanding & attitudes link to
    washingtonpost.com;

    Annie Robbins says:
    September 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    cory, thanks for your really interesting article. it reminded me of and article phil wrote
    in may “US Jews are so ‘polarized’ over Israel they can’t talk about it to each other,
    ‘Jewish Chronicle’ reports”

    link to mondoweiss.net
    http://thejewishchronicle.net/view/full_story/22504337/article-Felson–Civility-on-
    the-Israel-debate-is-an-issue-that-must-be-addressed?
    instance=secondary_stories_left_column

    there’s another article we wrote at MW last spring about this, or some other program,
    designed to talk about israel within the setting of synagogues. i can’t find the other
    article. but both addressed ‘civility’ in talking about israel.

    i got the sense from reading them there was a lot of concern in the direction discourse
    was going and these programs were designed to reel in the troops.

    NickJOCW says:



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    September 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    It’s not just AIPAC and Zionists, there are leaders all over who have expressed support
    for an attack on Syria though, frankly, I don’t think any single one of them has been
    honest about their real motives, which are anyway not all the same. What has become
    obvious is that their populations are overwhelmingly opposed to the business of
    launching such military adventures and their opposition reflects a much broader
    distrust of political leaders across a wide range of current economic and social issues.
    Putin faces this political reality just as much as Obama. Now suddenly we have the
    notion from Russia and Assad that Damascus relinquish its entire chemical arsenal
    into international hands.

    link to latimes.com

    I have heard it suggested the proposal was cooked up between Obama and Putin.
    Heaven knows if that is so but it would be pretty genial if it were, and it couldn’t have
    come about at all but for Obama announcing a scarcely characteristic decision to wait
    for Congress to return from holiday to debate his proposed attack. Were this to
    become the face saving solution, the only real losers would be…

    piotr says:
    September 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    “Anti-Zionist forces will do everything to deny the basic fact that the American people
    generally support pro-Israel policies over pro-Palestinian policies by a factor of about
    8 to 1, and pro-Israel groups simply marshall that support to achieve a political
    objective.”

    It begs the question which particular pro-Israeli policies are approved by the
    majority of Americans. For example, support of the expansion of the settlements is
    disapproved by the majority, but that question is rarely placed in polls. Supports of
    attacks on countries that AIPAC wishes to be attacked is probably low even among
    American Jews and very low among the general population. Suppose that there was a
    poll with such questions: our Secretary of State visited a meeting of EU countries.
    What should be his priority:

    * coordinating trade issues according to American economic interests

    * trying to get European support for an attack of Syria

    * trying to convince European countries to abandon even very feeble sanctions of
    Israeli entities engaged in settlements in the occupied territories

    As American officials are busy with imperial and Zionist priorities, bread and butter
    issues that may interest Americans (like jobs) take the back burner. Actually, when
    they negotiate trade issues they concentrate on topics with scant impact on jobs, like
    securing royalties for drug companies and Microsoft, or not giving asylum to
    Snowden.

    tokyobk says:
    September 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    link to fcnl.org

    Faith Leaders (Including Jewish Groups) No War In Syria

          Ellen says:
          September 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm




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          Jewish groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, The Shalom Center, but no Jewish
          faith leadership or mainstream Rabbinical groups. I can imagine there are some
          Jewish faith groups who do not want to see war against Syria. Why do they not
          speak out?

                tokyobk says:
                September 9, 2013 at 10:44 pm

                Rabbi Arthur Waskow. Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Rosen are all faith
                leadership, no? As for mainstream, the mainstream leadership in the Jewish
                community has been pro-attack. The numbers of Israeli’s who support the
                attack is something like 67%. My guess is the Jewish community in the US is
                divided equally. Americans in General are about 56% against attack in Syria.

                As I have expressed here before I think the facts should always be taken as
                they are but when one defines a community by a segment, even the dominant
                groups, it helps a static essential definition when faiths and communities are
                always dynamic and should be encouraged. This way of looking at
                communities is the underpinning of Islamophobia such that when a
                progressive Islamic group takes a position but more conservative elements
                within the faith – AND – critics without write it off as a “private” Islam
                counter to the -real- faith.

                Most religious Jews opposed a secular state of Israel when it was founded
                and many conservative, reform and assimilated American and European Jews
                did as well, and there is no eternal or essential reason why Judaism and
                Zionism need to be linked regardless of how it serves the interests of those
                who (from self promotion or external derision) want to keep Jews as an
                isolated and ahistorical (changing) entity.

                PeaceThroughJustice says:
                September 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm

                “and there is no eternal or essential reason why Judaism and Zionism need
                to be linked”

                Apart from anti-assimilationism.

                Danaa says:
                September 10, 2013 at 12:48 am

                tokybk, you are behind the curve about the polls. They moved – 6 polls
                released today from pew to ABC to NCC etc. They are all pretty consistent
                with about 2:1 against and the No opinion inching to 60-65%. As the analysts
                all confirm, the undecidedes are breaking towards the No column.

                Percentages are similarly lopsided in other countries, the only exception
                being israel – where it’s 2:1 for a little bombing fun.

                In congress too, the lines are shifting with the Nos gaining sharply in the
                house – one count has the No’s at over 240 now and the yes’s actually
                dropping to below 30%, probably as more progressive caucus members are
                making their opinions known.

                In the senate it’s a toss-up about 26 to 20 for the Yes column and numerous
                undeclared.

                The break-up becomes interesting when one looks at the districts with lots of


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                jewish voters. those – as best I could tell – are all yes’s or leaning so.

                My personal opinion is that if there was a poll taken of just known jewish
                people (not sure how that would work), it would be about 50-50. Still
                significant divergence from American population as a whole but not
                monumentally so. The only other demographic group that’s all for bombing
                are – Cuban American. Heard that on the grape vine. I won’t venture to
                estimate how many jewish people out there are in acute distress ….

                NickJOCW says:
                September 10, 2013 at 7:54 am

                One should also bear in mind that just because you don’t vote against
                something doesn’t automatically mean you are in favor of it.

    seanmcbride says:
    September 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Looking at the signers of this letter: mostly leading Christian organizations; no
    member organizations from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
    Organizations (or from the mainstream Jewish establishment).

    There is no indication here that the Jewish religious establishment has joined forces
    with the Christian establishment to oppose a Syria War. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    This letter hammers home the main point I’ve been trying to make all along.

    yonah fredman says:
    September 10, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Professor Corey Robin’s article is interesting. (Any relation to Professor Irwin Corey?)
    But two notes: What is the essence of American Jewish support for Israel depicted in
    Spielberg’s “Munich”? I only saw it once and have no idea what Professor Robin is
    talking about. Minor point.

    Major point: Robin writes: “Coming out of these experiences, I recommitted myself to
    Judaism while rejecting Zionism. I learned how to be a Jew without Israel.”
    Since Mondoweiss picked this quote for the headline, it deserves comment. I am not
    sure how one can be a Jew without Israel, that is without caring about the Jews in
    Israel. It can be argued that Zionism is dangerous to the Jews in Israel and in the long
    run some nonZionist political arrangement would be best for the Jews in Israel. But I
    truly cannot figure out how one can be Jewish without caring about the Jews in Israel.

    (Of course there is enough material and concepts bandied about in Tanach and
    Talmud to establish some religion that really is divorced from caring about the Jews
    of Israel, or at least caring no more about the Jews of Israel than any other human
    group on the planet. But this is not Judaism. This is the distilled essence of Judaism
    divorced from one essential element of Judaism, that is caring about other Jews. Anti
    Zionism might be caring about the spiritual, moral health of the Jews of Israel or it
    might be caring about the long range physical health of the Jews of Israel, but if you
    don’t give a hoot about the Jews of Israel, or no more than you give a hoot about
    other humans, then there seems to me to be something missing from your Judaism.
    Marc Ellis, MW’s resident authentic Jew, never claims to be apathetic about the Jews
    of Israel, he merely views them from a conscience point of view or from a long range
    point of view rather than from an imperial point of view or a short term point of view.
    That is a different perspective on care, but still caring. (Tough love is still love.) But
    the apathy towards Israel, (which is not apparent in Robin’s other words, except for


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    this specific phrase that I quoted, but is apparent in the words that he quotes from the
    20 something Jew) is apparently an abandonment of Judaism, and an imagination of
    a new Judaism, new and improved (maybe), but no longer the Real Thing. Paul of
    Tarsus offered such a new and improved “new covenant” a few thousand years ago
    and the result was a new religion. Is this what is being proposed?)

          talknic says:
          September 10, 2013 at 6:54 am

          @yonah fredman “if you don’t give a hoot about the Jews of Israel”

          The State of Israel hasn’t given a hoot about the Jews of Israel.

          Its provisional Government 1st robbed Israeli Jews of a constitution and
          consequently robbed Israeli Jews of ever having a constitutionally elected
          Government.
          Lied to Israeli Jews about Israel not having borders.
          Then lied to Israeli Jews about having borders that are in fact no more than
          Armistice Demarcation Lines.
          Encouraged Israeli Jews to illegally settle between Israel’s actual borders and the
          Armistice Demarcation Lines.
          Encouraged Israeli Jews to illegally settle over the Armistice Demarcation lines.
          Encouraged Israeli Jews to break GC IV which is to protect all civilians, including
          those of the occupying power from the highly likely violent consequences of
          occupying another people.
          Encourages Israeli Jews to engage in deceitful attempts to justify illegally
          usurping non-Jews from non-Israeli territory.

          Judaism survived without Israel. Without stealing other folks territory, without
          the deceit and lies. The establishment of the State of Israel has done more to drive
          a wedge between us than any other event on our history.

          eljay        says:
          September 10, 2013 at 7:22 am

          >> But the apathy towards Israel … is apparently an abandonment of Judaism,
          and an imagination of a new Judaism, new and improved (maybe), but no longer
          the Real Thing.

          According to y.f., “Real Thing” Judaism requires interest in / concern for a
          supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel. Anything else is either the abandonment of
          Judaism or the creation of an ersatz Judaism.

          Interesting.

          When and by whom was he appointed Chief Jew?

                yonah fredman says:
                September 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

                eljay- i meant to infer by my comment that one can be anti Israel or pro
                Israel (as regards its political system) , but one cannot be apathetic towards
                the Jewish population of Israel.

          Hostage says:
          September 10, 2013 at 9:43 am

          Since Mondoweiss picked this quote for the headline, it deserves comment. I am
          not sure how one can be a Jew without Israel, that is without caring about the



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          Jews in Israel.

          It should be really simple for the Jewish people, Israel, to get along just fine
          without the land that used to be Eretz Israel. After all, our founding myth, the
          Torah, ordains that Israel will be exiled from it and dispersed among the nations.
          Only political Zionists question that status quo which has prevailed and served as
          the natural state of affairs for generations.

                yrn says:
                September 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

                ” It should be really simple for the Jewish people, Israel, to get along just fine
                without the land that used to be Eretz Israel.”
                Well I have read some stupid arguments, but this gets to higher grounds.
                Looks like once you don’t cut and paste you are the most pragmatic, realistic
                and up to date in Mondowiess.
                Get back a 150 years, you might be relevant then for discussions.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm

                Get back a 150 years, you might be relevant then for discussions.

                We can go back as far as you want. The sort of bellicose pride and militarism
                exhibited by the state of Israel has always preceded some great calamity. The
                majority of your Jewish co-religionists have never lived in that country and
                have always been content to live elsewhere. That’s just as true today as it was
                in the days when Ezra and Nehemiah tried to lend religious credibility to
                their mundane Persian mandate.

                Zionists talk about restoring the glory of the Second Commonwealth, but it
                was a predictable disaster by all accounts that ended ignominiously in the
                Bar Kokhba revolt. According to Jewish tradition, the Shekinah had never
                rested on the Temple of Cyrus. The Maccabees were viewed as pretenders and
                usurpers to the mythical throne of David who introduced a number of
                antinomian-like innovations in the Jewish law. For example the community
                treated Yom Kippur like a festive occasion – almost like Valentine’s Day – not
                a day in which the soul is supposed to be afflicted, e.g.:


                        The daughters of Jerusalem would go forth, dressed in white, and
                        dance in the vineyards – “And what did they say? – ‘Young man!
                        Raise your eyes and behold what you choose for yourself ” (Ta’an.
                        4:8).




                Compare that with Vayikra – Leviticus – Chapter 23:27-30 especially 29 “For
                any person who will not be afflicted on that very day, shall be cut off from its
                people.” It’s easy to see why a multitude of devout Jews chose to go on living
                elsewhere.

                It’s only a matter of time for a country that engages in perpetual war to bleed
                its economy dry or be subjugated by a greater power.

                hophmi says:
                September 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm




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                “The majority of your Jewish co-religionists have never lived in that country
                and have always been content to live elsewhere. ”

                Whatever. A plurality do live there, and Zionism never posited that all Jews
                had to live there.

                “Zionists talk about restoring the glory of the Second Commonwealth”

                Which ones? It’s not been a trope of today’s Zionists, certainly. Most Zionists
                talk about a state, and that’s about it.

                “It’s only a matter of time for a country that engages in perpetual war to
                bleed its economy dry or be subjugated by a greater power.”

                Uh-huh. The latest thing here is the “matter of time” nonsense. There will
                always be naysayers. I’d say it’s more likely that the Arab states don’t survive,
                than the Jewish state.

                Hostage says:
                September 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

                Whatever. A plurality do live there, and Zionism never posited that all Jews
                had to live there.

                The fact is that Jews who rejected the idea of an obligation to live in Palestine
                were labeled non-Zionists. They weren’t even allowed to work for the Jewish
                Agency prior to 1929 because the Zionist Congress explicitly rejected any
                such proposal.

                Even if they promoted immigration by others, they were still called non-
                Zionists, unless they embraced the obligation to eventually move there
                themselves. The whole raison d’etat of political Zionism was that Jews could
                only live in peace and security in their own state and that all Jews have an
                obligation to build-up the country despite any sacrifices or hardships that
                might entail.

                yonah fredman says:
                September 10, 2013 at 5:36 pm

                Hostage- Do you have a Jewish prayerbook, aka siddur, in your home? If not
                borrow one and study the Shmone Esreh (the 18 or 19 blessings that are the
                backbone of the three daily Jewish prayers.) Then come back to me when
                you’ve done so and then repeat to me how simple it is to disregard the
                concept of ingathering of the exiles. I suppose I am referring to the Orthodox
                prayer book, I don’t know what the Reform Shmone Esre looks like.

                Hostage says:
                September 11, 2013 at 6:41 am

                Hostage- Do you have a Jewish prayerbook, aka siddur, in your home? If
                not borrow one and study the Shmone Esreh (the 18 or 19 blessings that are
                the backbone of the three daily Jewish prayers.)

                Yes, that’s why I know damn good and well that Weizmann, Ben Gurion, and
                Jabotinsky were enemies of God and were not on a Divine mission. Try to get
                some clue and learn the Torah yourself.

          Donald says:


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          September 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

          “What is the essence of American Jewish support for Israel depicted in Spielberg’s
          “Munich”? I only saw it once and have no idea what Professor Robin is talking
          about.”

          Robin said this–”I had a strong feeling for Israel (or what I thought was Israel): a
          combination of hippie and holy, Godly and groovy, a feeling well captured by
          Steven Spielberg in Munich.”

          I can’t be sure, since I never even got around to seeing “Munich”, but Asad
          AbuKhalil (The Angry Arab blogger) ripped into the movie for, among other
          things, depicting the Israeli assassins as sensitive conscience-stricken people
          ambivalent about what they were doing. The old shooting and crying meme, I
          gather. I don’t know if that’s fair to the movie, but that sounds sort of like Corey’s
          summary in the sense that in some Hollywood renditions Israel is “cool”. (I
          started to go off on a tangent about how one could see that in the liberal fantasy
          show “The West Wing”, but will refrain.) Ironically, I think I remember some
          rightwing critics of “Munich” criticizing it for the same reason, though from a
          rather different POV. They thought it was weak and liberal and stupid to show
          Israeli agents feeling conflicted when they killed the agents of evil.

                marc b. says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

                one of the remarkably silly things about ‘Munich’ is the conscience angle. in
                one scene, the assassins are rushing about in bug-eyed, mouth agog slow
                motion to prevent a bomb from being detonated after the child daughter of
                one of their targets unexpectedly returns home to retrieve a book for school
                or some such artifice. thankfully the agents saved her and were able to blow
                her father to smithereens moments after she left. what this narrative
                conveniently leaves out is that the assassins did murder at least one person
                erroneously, a Palestinian waiter in Europe somewhere I believe, who had
                nothing to do with ‘Munich’. I must have been getting a popcorn refill when
                that scene played in the fillum.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm

                Yeah, those things were there. If you can disconnect from those things, as a
                film it’s a fairly well made film, a little bloated (this is late Spielberg, after all,
                so bloat comes with the territory) with some good performances. But it
                should get criticized from both sides, Spielberg and Kuchner tried to address
                a controversy without taking a side.

    MahaneYehude1 says:
    September 10, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Since many personal attacks and dirty language toward me, I lost my abilities to
    respond seriously to each one of you. these attack “drain my juice” and actually,
    prevent me to discuss seriosley with others. I will take break for several days and will
    return if atmosphere will be change. I do thank to all who wrote seriously without any
    personal attack against me. I promise I will reply to each one of you in other time
    since I never running from any issue or debate.

    Shalom from Israel.



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          marc b. says:
          September 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm

          Since many personal attacks and dirty language toward me, I lost my abilities
          to respond seriously to each one of you.

          i’m sorry mahane, but I am the Vatican’s legal representative for this site, and if
          you want to strike a ‘Jesus Christ pose’ you either have to convert or pay a user’s
          fee.

                 Woody Tanaka says:
                 September 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm

                 LMAO. marc b. wins one internet!!

                 MahaneYehude1 says:
                 September 13, 2013 at 4:51 am

                 @Marc B: Thank you very much Marc for your great offer!!! You know, we
                 are in the evening of Yom-Kippur, a day we fast 28 hours. Now, when you
                 offered me to convert, it is great opportunity to me to convert and forget
                 about the fasting.

                 This remind me nice joke (Hope people will take it with smile):

                 A Jewish Financial genius was a General Director of the Central Bank of
                 Ireland. One day, the PM asked him to be the Finance Minister of Ireland.
                 The man agreed but then the PM told him “only small problem…I don’t know
                 if my voters will love the fact that you…you know…not a Christian Finance
                 Minister. Could you and your wife, please, convert?”. The man, now minister,
                 agreed again.
                 After a year as a minister, he told the PM:
                 -”Look, my conscience kills me and I can’t stand it. Do you care if we convert
                 back to be Jewish again”. The PM said “OK, do it but, please, be silent”.
                 The minister returned home “Darling, surprise, we can convert to be Jewish
                 again!!” “Are you crazy” said his wife “one week before Passover!!! No way!!!”

    Shmuel says:
    September 10, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I will take break for several days and will return if atmosphere will be change… I
    never running from any issue or debate.

    But that is exactly what you are doing. I’m not justifying personal attacks, but where
    did you think you were commenting? You came in with both hasbara guns blazing,
    hoping to teach that bunch of “Israel-haters” at MW a lesson, and you weren’t
    welcomed with open arms. Surprise surprise.

          MahaneYehude1 says:
          September 10, 2013 at 11:32 am

          @Shmuel; This is exception reply only because I appreciate you and you are not
          among those attackers: I had a long debate with you. I did all my best to answer
          all your questions and was ready to continue the debate. I think I have good
          answers and explanations to you. The problem is that it became impossible. It
          starts in the first day when I called Islamophobe after wrote several claims that
          later were confirmed by readers with Muslim names (although they won’t admit
          they confirmed me) and continue with every second comment. If it is more
          convenient to people here think I run from question (after replied to tens or more



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          than hundred not easy questions) and not because the cloudy atmosphere – no
          problem at all. But the atmosphere here really cloudy.

          I didn’t came here to teach “Israel-haters”. No, you are wrong. I am here to bring
          other voice and show people that behind the line there are human-beings. I didn’t
          expect open-arms, but people can be polite although not agree with me (see Walid
          comments as paragon).

          One thing that is hard to me here is that most people attack you but don’t bother
          theme self to write any solution to the conflict after I wrote my solution many
          times. I wonder whether they don’t write their solution because it conflicts human
          rights and western democratic values. I hope I wrong.

          Any way, I like debating you.

                German Lefty says:
                September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

                I am here to bring other voice
                We already know the other voices and we don’t like them. That’s why we are
                here and not on some Zionist website.

                I am here to show people that behind the line there are human-beings.
                Yes, Zionists are human beings who refuse to treat Palestinians like human
                beings.

                most people attack you but don’t bother theme self to write any solution to
                the conflict after I wrote my solution many times.
                Well, most people here agree with the BDS goals:
                link to en.wikipedia.org

                I wonder whether they don’t write their solution because it conflicts human
                rights and western democratic values.
                Bullshit! The Zionists are the ones who don’t respect human rights and
                democratic values.

                Shmuel says:
                September 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm

                I did all my best to answer all your questions and was ready to continue the
                debate. I think I have good answers and explanations to you.

                You could have answered the questions I actually asked or related to the
                arguments I actually raised, instead of answering questions of your own
                choosing and telling me I should broaden my horizons. You still can.

                I am here to bring other voice and show people that behind the line there
                are human-beings.

                I’m all for the other voice and seeing human beings, but that is precisely what
                your comments have failed to bring to the discussion. It’s like your voice is
                not your own and interaction with you is not with another “human being” but
                with a manual of talking points. Being polite is not enough.

                Should you ever feel like having a real conversation (or “debate”, if you
                prefer), remember that your exile is self-imposed. You may still get insulted,
                but at least there will be some point to your commenting here.



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                Zay gezunt un shtark, as they say in Kurdistan.

                German Lefty says:
                September 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm

                Zay gezunt un shtark

                Or as we say in Germany, “Sei gesund und stark.”

                Shmuel says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

                Or as we say in Germany, “Sei gesund und stark.”

                I didn’t know Germans spoke Kurdish ;-)

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

                @Shmuel: If you really think that “It’s like your voice is not your own and
                interaction with you is not with another “human being” but with a manual of
                talking points”, so why you enter debate with me? why you let me sitting
                hours, writing my views to you, take you seriosley, checking each word of
                your comments in the web dictionary to understand you well and replied to
                you? Why you didn’t tell it from beginning so I can stop the conversation
                with you? If I think about it now, it was unfair.
                It was my filling too that I speak with “manuals” when I interact here with
                many readers (supremacist…apartheid…). Many people here know each UN
                resolution against Israel and can find facts from the 1930′s in Basra, Iraq, but
                have no ability to check facts like the destruction of Christian communities in
                Arab countries, and worse, can’t express little sympathy without connection
                to Israel. They choose to ignore the increasing number of Arabs join the IDF.
                My feeling is that people here always turn the debate to way convenient to
                them.
                You may say it is self-imposed exile, but in such atmosphere it is very hard to
                do serious debate.

                “Sein gesunt” I say to most readers here I believe from US and know little
                Iddish. If you want to bless me in my parents language you can start with
                “Ilaha Natiruch” (“ch” the 20th Hebrew letter) or “Ilaha Shamiruch”. That’s
                makes sense.

                Sein Gesunt und Stark!!

                Shmuel says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm

                If you really think that “It’s like your voice is not your own and interaction
                with you is not with another “human being” but with a manual of talking
                points” … Why you didn’t tell it from beginning so I can stop the
                conversation with you? If I think about it now, it was unfair.

                That’s pretty funny. What part of “hasbara”, “propaganda”, “talking points”
                and “you haven’t answered my question” didn’t you understand?

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm

                @Shmuel: What about my second paragraph?



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                Shmuel says:
                September 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm

                What about my second paragraph?

                Are you serious? You just repeated the same talking points you’ve been
                harping on from the very start.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

                @Shmuel: OK, I understand. Just let me tell you my feeling. I felt and feel
                that you didn’t start the debate with me with open mind in order to learn new
                ideas but to “I will show him who is stronger”, something childish, if I speak
                in delicate way. Any way, I do thank you and others for strengthen my views
                about my country and about our justice.

                @talknic: I am still waiting your answer about RoR. Please, don’t ignore.

                eljay        says:
                September 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

                >> … I felt and feel that you didn’t start the debate with me with open mind
                in order to learn new ideas but to “I will show him who is stronger”,
                something childish, if I speak in delicate way.

                What you’re saying is that you came into the debate not to learn but rather,
                by speaking “in a delicate way”, to try to convince someone else to accept
                your “new ideas”…which are no different than Zio-supremacism’s old ideas.

                Fail #1.

                What is truly childish is being upset that people who believe in justice,
                equality and accountability – among other positive values – are not willing to
                abandon those beliefs simply because you “speak in a delicate way”.

                Fail #2.

                And although you have the power of “simple potato farmer” behind you,
                you’ve met your match in Shmuel’s firmly-inquisitive, yet polite approach.

                Fail #3.

                So much for “You want it? Ask it!”

                Fail #4.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 10, 2013 at 11:36 pm

                @eljay: Your reply is another proof for my claim about the level of this forum.

                Solution, please? Solution, any one? Solution, please Shmuel?

                Shmuel says:
                September 11, 2013 at 4:30 am

                Solution, please? Solution, any one? Solution, please Shmuel?

                Utopian or pragmatic? Let’s start with the pragmatic: Stop talking about
                solutions and focus on current suffering, oppression and injustice. If and



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                when the stronger side is serious about affording the weaker side a minimum
                of dignity and humanity (hint: attempts to stop the abuse and right some of
                the greater wrongs, like the theft of resources in the WB and E. Jerusalem,
                would be a good indication), there will be plenty of time to discuss solutions.

                eljay        says:
                September 11, 2013 at 7:49 am

                >> Solution, please?

                Sure. At a minimum…

                Israel must:
                - halt its occupation and colonization of Palestine;
                - withdraw to within its / Partition borders;
                - honour its obligations under international law;
                - be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes;
                - enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace;
                - respect the existence of a law-abiding, secular, democratic and egalitarian
                Palestinian state; and
                - work to transform itself from a supremacist “Jewish State” into a secular,
                democratic and egalitarian Israeli state – a state of and for all Israelis,
                equally.

                The Palestininans must:
                - create a secular, democratic and egalitarian Palestinian state – a state of and
                for all Palestinians, equally;
                - respect the existence of a law-abiding, secular, democratic and egalitarian
                state of Israel within its / Partition borders;
                - be held accountable for their past and on-going (war) crimes;
                - enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

                talknic says:
                September 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

                @ MahaneYehude1

                “I am still waiting your answer about RoR. Please, don’t ignore.”

                link to mondoweiss.net

                BTW I am still waiting for your links… link to mondoweiss.net “or any above
                claims I can send credible links or sources.”

                eljay        says:
                September 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

                >> Sure. At a minimum…

                Please note that I wrote my proposed solution in a delicate way. Because you
                have an open mind, I trust that you will accept it and not try to show me who
                is stronger.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm

                @Shmuel: acceptable!! as one that want peace I can’t be against, and as I
                stated many times, I don’t have problem if Israel won’t destroy the houses



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                but give them to the Palestinians. I hope you won’t oppose if I add to your,
                that when Israel will show positive steps toward the Palestinians, the
                Palestinians also sign cease fire for a period to give some quit days to both
                sides. I think we can agree on the above, but our main disagreement will be
                the next steps: The character of the state of Israel, Two states solution, the
                RoR and the Arab countries responsibility. But, as you say, we have time.

                I didn’t want to end with you in not nice way before Yom-Kipur, so again
                Gmar Hatima Tova to you.

                miriam6 says:
                September 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm




                        The Palestininans must:
                        – create a secular, democratic and egalitarian Palestinian state – a
                        state of and for all Palestinians, equally;
                        – respect the existence of a law-abiding, secular, democratic and
                        egalitarian state of Israel within its / Partition borders;
                        – be held accountable for their past and on-going (war) crimes;
                        – enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-
                        beneficial peace.




                Christ on a bike!!!!!!!!

                I am breaking my own rules here but unfortunately given that no other
                commenter has chosen to pull you up and question you about your ridiculous
                notion that the Israelis must accomplish egalitarianism something NO
                human nation state on earth has achieved its obviously left to me to carry out
                that onerous job

                When you are done with your absurd condescending sanctimonious lecturing
                of the Palestinians and Israelis on creating these mythical , unattainable
                egalitarian states perhaps you would finally like to tell us

                EXACTLY WHERE ON EARTH DO THESE IMAGINARY OFT QUOTED BY
                YOU EGALITARIAN SOCIETIES ACTUALLY
                EXIST ON THIS PLANET???

                The answer is NOWHERE on this planet !

                There is NO such egalitarian nation state on this earth

                You keep harping on and on insanely about something egalitarianism that
                doesn’t exist in any nation on this planet

                (or perhaps only on the alien planet you clearly inhabit)

                link to en.wikipedia.org

                Shmuel says:
                September 12, 2013 at 2:10 am

                I hope you won’t oppose if I add to your, that when Israel will show positive



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                steps toward the Palestinians, the Palestinians also sign cease fire for a
                period to give some quit days to both sides.

                Not violating international law and human rights is not a “concession” and
                requires no quid pro quo. If Israel starts treating the Palestinians like human
                beings and respecting their rights, however, I’m sure it will go a long way to
                defusing violence by Palestinians. For a signed cease fire, I think Israel would
                have to do better than that, but that would be up to the Palestinian
                leadership.

                Character of the State of Israel: The character will reflect the character of its
                inhabitants, and will undoubtedly be varied. As for the political system:
                equality before the law and equal allocation of resources to all citizens.
                Presuming a 2ss, Israel will finally have the opportunity to become Israeli
                “like France is French”.

                Two states solution: If it is the result of true and honest negotiations and
                serves the interests of both sides, fine. One state, three states, a federation, a
                confederaation, no-state anarcho-socialism — all fine as long as they are the
                outcome of true and honest negotiations.

                RoR: All Palestinian refugees (as defined by the UNHCR) have the right to
                return to their former homes (if possible) or the vicinity of their former
                homes, and to compensation. The modalities of implementation must be
                (sincerely) negotiated. Palestinian scholars such as Salman Abu-Sitta have
                already done feasibility studies, and Palestinian representatives have
                proposed a phased return (negotiated), based on a clear plan for economic
                absorption, etc.

                Arab countries responsibility: To be negotiated directly between Israel and
                the countries in question. Obviously, those countries will also have the right
                to address Israel’s responsibility on an entire range of issues. Palestinian
                refugees cannot be held hostage to the outcome of these negotiations.

                We have time. We may, but the Palestinians don’t. What I meant by “plenty
                of time” is that until the principles of negotiation are changed, it is pointless
                to talk about “solutions”, and once they are changed, finding a solution will
                not be that difficult.

                Gemar hatimah tovah.

                eljay        says:
                September 12, 2013 at 7:22 am

                >> miriam6 @ September 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm

                You sure do babble a lot. But I knew you’d come back to me. ;-)

                eljay        says:
                September 12, 2013 at 7:24 am

                >> Character of the State of Israel: As for the political system: equality before
                the law …

                Advocating equality can only mean one thing: You’re trying to woo miriam6
                away from me! ;-)



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                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 7:37 am

                @Shmuel: As a regular citizen in democratic state, I have no power to decide
                for solution but have small power: my vote. I use my vote and try to convince
                others vote to Israeli party which supports my views:

                Your first paragraph: I agree and also add that both sides have to respect the
                international laws. I am sure, that good will of both sides, by respecting the
                int law and stopping the mutual hostilities, will be the first step toward peace.

                Character of the State of Israel: The dream of most Israelis is that Israel will
                be like all nations and will be treated as such. Since Israel does efforts toward
                equality (maybe not enough for you) although we are in a state of war and
                experience many hostilities, I absolutely sure that when walls will fall and the
                fear disappear, we will see a nature process toward full equality. One
                principle of the character of my state, that I and most Israelis won’t
                withdrawal, is Israel being a refuge for the Jewish people*.

                Two States Solution: I support two states solution. I think most Israelis will
                respect any outcome of honest negotiations, as we did when we signed peace
                with Egypt and Jordan.

                RoR: I was against the RoR since I thought, like many Israelis, that the PA
                representatives mean RoR to the refugees and their descendants which
                estimated up to 7 million. I learned from talknic that the RoR will not be
                applied on descendants. My government already offered to absorb 50 or 100
                thousands refugees so I don’t see any obstacle. Descendants can return to the
                independent Palestine state.

                Arab states and Israel responsibility: My though life teaches me to be
                practical man and not play with words or semantics. If you think there is no
                connection between the two waves of refugees, I don’t care two separate
                negotiations, as long as the consequences will satisfy all victims of this
                conflict. AS must take responsibility to the Arab Jews refugees and their
                suffering (Maabarot) and the expenses of Israel to absorb them. They have
                take responsibility to wars they declared and their consequences such as
                creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. In parallel, Israel must also take
                responsibility for wars and damages in the AS, for creating the Palestinian
                refugee problem and their suffering. Since Israel is economically stronger, I
                should help the future Palestine.

                *Our history and my family experience teach me that the persecutions against
                the Jewish people are cyclic. Israel will remain always the refuge and home to
                the Jewish people. This is not to say that the Jews in Israel have to be
                benefited. All citizens of Israel will be equal before the law, but all have to
                accept that Israel is the Jewish state and as such offers refuge to any Jew in
                danger. This is my main principle and the main Zionist movement principle
                – Israel is the home of the Jewish people!

                German Lefty says:
                September 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm

                eljay, please stop flirting with miriam6. I am getting jealous.




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                eljay        says:
                September 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

                >> eljay, please stop flirting with miriam6. I am getting jealous.

                Entschuldigungen, Fräulein. :-)

                miriam6 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

                eljay@;

                LOL!

                I am beginning to suspect we have a bitter and frustrated ‘relationship’
                vaguely reminiscent of that of poor Martha and George in Who’s Afraid of
                Virginia Woolf? …

                Watch this clip , it is funny

                link to youtube.com

                You are proving a bit of a distraction for me right now.

                I have a number of other comments I need to write and post for moderation
                before this thread closes down

                miriam6 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

                GermanLefty@;

                LOL!

                Don’t worry girl

                eljay’s just a big tease!

                I am sure eljay has room enough in his (dis?) – affections for us both

                Anyway it’s nice that people can be a bit light-hearted and have a laugh once
                in a while rather than constantly slinging vitriolic comments at each other..

                eljay        says:
                September 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

                @ miriam6 and GL: I’m happily-married, so you’re both quite safe with me.
                ;-)

                @ miriam6:
                - I’ll watch the clip this evening – thanks.
                - There’s plenty of room in my affections for people who consistently advocate
                for justice and equality (among other positive values).

                German Lefty says:
                September 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

                Anyway it’s nice that people can be a bit light-hearted and have a laugh
                once in a while

                Well, the Palestinians don’t have much to laugh behind the Wall of Shame.
                Right?



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                your ridiculous notion that the Israelis must accomplish egalitarianism
                something NO human nation state on earth has achieved

                Of course, perfection doesn’t exist. However, we should still strive for it. As
                Che Guevara said, “Let’s be realistic, demand the impossible.”
                The problem with Israel is that it doesn’t even try to achieve equality. Israel’s
                goal is as much inequality as possible between Jews and Palestinians. And
                that’s unacceptable.
                For normal countries, perfection means equality. For evil countries, such as
                Israel, perfection means inequality.

                libra says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:21 pm

                GL: Of course, perfection doesn’t exist.

                Surely the GDR must have been close? How else could you pine for an old
                Marxist like Che?

                Shmuel says:
                September 13, 2013 at 5:34 am

                I learned from talknic that the RoR will not be applied on descendants.

                That is Talknic’s opinion, based on a reading of UN Resoution 194 as
                applicable only to those who were already refugees at the time (as opposed to
                family members who acquired refugees status later, based on the principle of
                unity of the family).

                Allowing the refugee problem to literally die off or insisting that 80-year-olds
                must hobble home alone doesn’t strike me as a very reasonable or just
                position, or one consistent with UNHCR definitions and policies.

                Israel will remain always the refuge and home to the Jewish people.

                At least Talknic is consistent and doesn’t believe that Jews who have never
                lived in Israel have the automatic right to settle there. You, on the other
                hand, seem to believe that being a descendant of Jews (or a Jew by choice)
                from anywhere in the world affords the right to settle in Israel, but being the
                daughter or granddaughter of a Palestinian refugee, who was born and raised
                in that very land (in a specific place, with specific memories, specific
                properties and specific documents) — and ethnically cleansed from it!– does
                nothing of the kind.

                This is my main principle and the main Zionist movement principle – Israel
                is the home of the Jewish people!

                See my previous comments on ethnocracy.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 13, 2013 at 5:51 am

                @Shmuel: OK, I read your reply carefully. I already noted my principles and
                beliefs and have nothing more to add. I think we both remain divided. Any
                way, although tough, it was nice to “meet” you. From my side, I will continue
                my efforts for peace and reconciliation.

                Shalom from Jerusalem.



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                Shmuel says:
                September 13, 2013 at 6:02 am

                From my side, I will continue my efforts for peace and reconciliation.

                Without seriously addressing the refugee issue and finding a “just and lasting
                solution” (also considering the wishes of the refugees themselves), kalam
                fadi.

                Shalom from Jerusalem.

                Shalom shalom ve’ein shalom.

                Theo says:
                September 13, 2013 at 6:56 am

                eljay

                It is an insult today to call a female a Fräulein in Germany.
                Frau is proper, regardless if married or not.
                If you want to be real nice call her a grädige Frau.

                MahaneYehude1 says:
                September 13, 2013 at 6:58 am

                @Shmuel: I let you say the last word in this “conversation” to make you
                Mabsoot and won’t continue. The Basta is closed!!!
                link to youtube.com

                Cliff says:
                September 13, 2013 at 7:12 am

                MahaneYehude1,

                Thank you for your politely engaging with Shmuel.

                Nevertheless, this dialogue has proven what a shallow, fascist and hypocrite
                you are (which was what we ALL knew from the very beginning).

                As I said earlier, you have nothing to add. You are a settler.

                German Lefty says:
                September 13, 2013 at 8:49 am

                Surely the GDR must have been close? How else could you pine for an old
                Marxist like Che?

                Just because I like that particular quote from Che doesn’t mean that I pine
                for him or approve of everything he did.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 13, 2013 at 11:14 am

                “Surely the GDR must have been close? How else could you pine for an old
                Marxist like Che?”

                You might say that one is a fool not to find much in Che to detest and dislike,
                but I would say that one has to be a bigger fool not to find something to love
                and admire in Che.

          yonah fredman says:
          September 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm



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          No, Shmuel. I have not been reading the Machane Yehuda debate, so I don’t know
          his specifics. But this comments section is between 33% and 50%, a festering sore
          of obnoxiousness, obtuseness and cruelty. Maybe that’s the general ether ethic
          and I am used to the street corner in New York where there is a higher ethic of
          live and let live. But this comments section has a handful of denizens that are
          truly creme de la creme obnoxious. It is commendable to aim to focus on the 50%
          to 67% that is reasonable, but it is not surprising that humans also react to the
          33% to 50%.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

                “I am used to the street corner in New York where there is a higher ethic of
                live and let live. ”

                And if half of New York was holding the other half as peons without human
                rights, and had for 3 generations, based solely on their ethnoreligious
                background, no doubt those who would want justice for the oppressed would
                be called “a festering sore of obnoxiousness, obtuseness and cruelty” by the
                oppressors or those who spoke for them.

                Citizen says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:51 am

                @ Woody Tanaka
                Looks like NYC mayoral race indicators suggest just that.

                Ludwig says:
                September 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm

                I totally agree with Yonah. It should be possible to have a spirited debate
                without personal attacks and cruelty.

                Woody Tanaka says:
                September 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm

                “It should be possible to have a spirited debate without personal attacks and
                cruelty.”

                And it should be possible for the Palestinians to live in their own land free of
                oppression. The zionists make that impossible. In light of that reality and
                compared to that, someone saying something nasty to a zio here is a matter
                of absolute insignificance, to the point of almost literal non-existence. It is
                horrific hubris for yonah to make such a complaint, in light of the horrific
                oppression that zionism is creating as we speak.

                Talkback says:
                September 12, 2013 at 8:31 am

                I agree with Yonah and Ludwig.

                Leave the personal attacks and cruelty to the occupier and his junta.

                Cliff says:
                September 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

                Wondering Jew,

                It is absolutely predictable and disgusting of you and other Zionist trolls to


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                complain about the lack of civility with which anti-Zionists engage with you
                (Zionist trolls).

                How about you invest your energy in stopping the on-going colonization of
                Palestinian land and the violation of their basic human rights?

                Instead of devoting your life to being a real-life concern-troll.

                It’s so strange that you care about how we react to your banality of evil.

                miriam6 says:
                September 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm


    German Lefty says:
    September 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I didn’t know Germans spoke Kurdish ;-)

    Thanks, Shmuel. That made me laugh.
    How on earth can Yiddish speakers believe that Palestine is their home country?
    Totally deluded people!

          Talkback says:
          September 12, 2013 at 8:42 am

          Not deluded, if they were citizens of Palestine (including their Israeli
          descendants).

    RudyM says:
    September 11, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I just glanced at this book. Not sure it’s really worth anyone’s time. Yes there is a
    chapter on Israel and some typical dancing around the issues on some of the other
    pages in the book that deal with Israel:

    link to amazon.com

    The book is bullish on Birthright Israel, the existence of which it seems to consider a
    revelation to its potential readers, which makes me wonder who the target audience is
    supposed to be (seeing how it seems to mostly have blurbs from rabbis, who I’m
    assuming already know about Birthright Israel).



            Calls for authenticity a renewed focus on community, prayer, learning,
            social justice, Israel travel and cultural participation as ends in themselves,
            rather than as mere instruments to some other end. To get the best results,
            just do the right thing.
            Professor Steven M. Cohen, Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of
            Religion and Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner




    MONDOWEISS.NET
    All materials © 2013 Mondoweiss | Contact.




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