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MondoWeiss assails Jewish identity politics, again

Several recent posts on MondoWeiss decry the fact that the overwhelming majority of attendees at the recent J Street conference were (horror of horrors!) Jews, or that they looked at the conflict through a distinctly (gasp!) Jewish prism and dared to discuss (how appalling!) Jewish values.

Lynn Gottleib asks “do we really need another Jewish only road?”

J Street was a place where Jews talked to Jews about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Few Palestinians were present. Apparently they didn’t make it through the checkpoint. The narrative of J Street, like most Jewish narratives about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reflects the nature of the conflict as seen through a Jewish lens: Palestinians are physically absent. A Jew who seeks to express her activism in solidarity with Palestinians is in danger of loosing her ‘I love Israel’ card at a mainstream Jewish checkpoint. There were checkpoints at J Street.

…How can we think that calling together 1,500 Jewish progressives with few Palestinians present will yield a realistic picture of how and what kind of struggle we might conduct in the name of peace? Only in partnership with Palestinians can we ever hope to transform the current conflict.

Philip Weiss concurs:

[T]his conversation (Israel/Palestine) also taps into Arab-Americans’ deepest personal feelings of family, history and community, as Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb reminded us. But they had a lesser role in the conference, just as they have no role in the political force that J Street says it’s taking on…I remember that American blacks played a key role in ending apartheid in South Africa, out of solidarity. J Street is not including the Palestinian solidarity folks this time around. And just imagine if Palestinians were included. J Street would have to change its line on Goldstone.

How can I count the ways in which this premise is wrongheaded? It ignores the political reality in Washington, where, like it or not, identity politics is a game that must be played. For years, the political elite believed that just one segment of the American Jewish community –the conventional Israel lobby– was politically consequential. To develop a political counterweight, it is essential to show them that there are Jewish voters and Jewish donors who disagree with that lobby on some–although not all–points. That was the purpose of the conference. It was not intended to take on the MUCH harder task of forging a broad-based movement with Palestinians. These criticisms are the expressions of people who have no practical responsibility for organizing anything other than their own thoughts. Their complaints boil down to the idea that the J Street ccnference, one of the most ambitious political undertakings in my memory, was simply not ambitious ENOUGH!
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Of course a broader-based movement of Jews, Muslims and Christians is vitally important. But you need to organize the union in your own industry before you can be in solidarity with workers in other industries.

Also, Weiss ignores the fact that, just before the conference, American Jewish leaders under the auspices of J Street met with Arab American leaders gathered together for a conference of the Arab American Institute. I was there. There were heartfelt pledges to work together. It was stirring. It offered hope for just the sort of “movement” Weiss wants. Would he also criticize the AAI for meeting separately?

These objections against a conference of Jews betray something deeper, I think, something more than just a practical objection to the organizing principles of one event. They betray a discomfort and sometimes even an outright hostility to the very idea of a Jewish people, of Jewish community, of Jewish bonds. That is one of the recurring themes in Philip Weiss’ commentaries and in the expressed sentiments of too many far leftists when they look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In other commentaries on the J Street conference, Weiss complained about all the “handwringing” and the agonized conversations about the impact of events in the Middle East on “Jewish identity.” He and his fans have no patience or tolerance for anyone who cares about Jewish identity while Palestinians are stranded at West Bank checkpoints or boycotted in Gaza. Figuring out who we are, and our place in the cosmos, and the nature of our own community, is treated as a kind of bourgeois indulgence rather than a critically important step in the process of making common cause with others.

I’ve noted this before. One of the best posts on this blog was an early one called “The far left’s discomfort with Jewish identity.” A brief excerpt:


Identifying oneself as part of the Jewish people is an expression of a simple, deep-seated human yearning for community, for ties with those outside of ourselves. What is wrong with that?…

…To most American Jews, the quest to define their Jewish identity and find solace in Jewish community is one way to remain sane and whole. To many of them, it also involves an embrace of principles rooted in ancient texts that, in fact, were the first to articulate many of the values that Phil Weiss and the modern left also embrace, including the injunctions to welcome strangers, pursue justice and “seek peace and pursue it.”

Much of my own Jewish identity is defined by an effort to fix what is broken in Israel and Palestine. This effort involves participation in a global community of progressive Zionists who are fighting settlement expansion, urging the Israeli government to stop taking steps that could preclude a 2-state solution and trying to build alternatives to the conventional pro-Israel lobby in America. If the price of building a community that can achieve those ends is a certain amount of parochialism, I’ll pay it.

Without a certain amount of parochialism, in fact, without the angry sense that human rights violations in the territories are perpetrated in our name, without the conviction that the Jewish community–OUR community–has been misrepresented in DC for far too long, the movement to circumvent the conventional Israel lobby would be less motivated, less effective. And, in the long run, that will hurt the Palestinian cause.

93 thoughts on “MondoWeiss assails Jewish identity politics, again

  1. I have been preparing myself Dan to jump on that one but still a little tired heh heh. Thanks a lot for providing this forum. Sometime we have to discuss the book.

  2. I prefer not to talk about Mondoweiss here.

    This site is based on far more humane premises, which I fear will be trashed.

  3. And yet, and yet…Weiss wants to be part of the Jewish community, and doesn’t seem to understand why the community wants no part of him…

  4. As long as the Palestinians have noodniks like him speaking on their behalf…they’re going to continue to be losers. He’s got baggage coming out of his pores.

    I noted Obama has backtracked on the settlement freeze issue, btw.

  5. Come on Rich, your buddy is a jew baiting anti-semite, ranks right up there.. His fan base is a bunch of neo-nazis and jihad types. And he love the adulation. What exactly does that make him?

  6. I don’t agree with Caustic Bill or MondoWeiss. Phil is a nice guy tho Bill so you might wanna be a little more cuddly. I think Philip is a leftist. This guilt by association thing is really tired and a bad habit Bill.

    So Bill……Endless War…..where do we stand on that?

  7. I suppose Lee. After all they did call is National Socialism, right. Phil would have been on board with the whole program.

  8. Here is a good description of what real “self-hatred” is, and it is by Bradley Burston of Ha’aretz who is a dye-in-the-wool Leftist.
    He describes the loathing of Henry Siegman, a professional “progressive” for Israel and Jews, the same hatred for Jews and Israel I hear from Phil Weiss and some (but not all) of the other “progressive” bloggers who took part in the bloggers-event at the J-Street Convention.
    Frankly, as someone who opposes J-Street, I can only thank them for bringing people like Weiss and some others in, this makes it clear what that organization really stands for.

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1125324.html

  9. Oddly, Bradley is described as a fascist Zionist on Mondoweiss for regarding terrorist actions as despicable and critical.

    He’s a very nice man.

    He opposes settlement expansion, and prejudicial application of Jewish law and administrative regulation.

    Smart.

  10. Bill,
    You keep repeating the accusation that he thinks “we got into WW2 on the wrong side.” That’s a serious allegation. What, specifically, are you talking about? What gave you that impression or that knowledge?

  11. Pat Buchanans last book had the premise that Hitler was just a misunderstood guy. and that he was forced into WW2 and the holocaust by Winston Churchill. Who was the real evil figure of the age. Your boy endorsed that book. Draw your own conclusions.

  12. He’s also extremely popular with neo-nazi’s. He’s there guy. And given that he obviously thinks that Jews and Israel are blots on humanity. What else can one think? Your thought?

  13. “Oddly, Bradley is described as a fascist Zionist on Mondoweiss for regarding terrorist actions as despicable and critical.”

    Cite? I’d criticize any Mondoweiss commenter who defends Palestinian suicide bombing or other Palestinian atrocities.

  14. Dan – I dropped in to check what’s up with the latest on jewish identity battles and am seriously disappointed to see the “caliber” of posters here. One thing you can say for Phil’s blog – he does get some excellent commentary going following certain posts – as well as kicking off some truly impressive discussions (ask witty – he should know). You may disagree with his wish to expand the universe so even non-jews can be included in the eternal hand wringing. especially those who have a dog in the fight. But that’s his personal preference – some like to reach out and others prefer to cave into a comfort zone. I doubt the real problem we all face – the festering I/P situation which is dragging america into the mud – has all that much bearing on abstract identity politics anyways.

    As for myself I prefer the more open minds one finds among those ready to question the raison d’etre and moral dimension of the Dollhouse. Which is not to say I have no understanding of the political ecology that dictates one-step-at-a time. I actually understand perfectly well why J street had to veer towards the jewish viewpoint. yes, it has the feel of the same self-absorption that jews were forever accused of (somewhat justifiably?) but the alternative would be a chaotic conference that would go all over the place. Of course, it’s disappointing for non jews and/or arabs and/or non-americans to feel somewhat excluded from the Havura. But on the other hand, J street has also laid down the gauntlet for new groups to form and new discussions to start with alternative viewpoints. And those can find their way in later. frankly, this is exactly what many israelis want to see ultimately since they all but gave up hope for Israel to find its way out of the morass on its own.

    I say, it’s time for the non-jewish and the not-so-jewish and the wanna-be-jewish to stop acting like disaffected groupies for jews and star in their own shows. With a clearer, more focused message they can always crash the party next year – or regroup, splinter and try again.

    So yes, J street took a long time to gel into a conference and they deserve kudos for pulling it off so well. But on his side of the fence, Phil has done an absolutely outstanding job getting people from all backgrounds – american and not, jewish and not – to join in the conversation. Which only goes to show that identity kvetching can work its own magic. So please give it some credit Dan and admit that broadening the spectrum to include all-around venting has itsr own merit.

  15. Dana,

    Thanks for the long and interesting comment. Rest assured that some of the regulars here are well-informed and often very incisive. Sad to say, I agree that they don’t display much of that in their comments on this particular topic. But they deserve some slack, as MondoWeiss tends to spark emotional reactions, notably raw anger.

    As for your other points, I suggest you read Chapter 9 in my book: “The far left’s `Jewish problem’ and why it hurts the Palestinians…” You’ve bought it, haven’t you? You understand that you are legally obligated to buy it, right? No one told you?

  16. “But on his side of the fence, Phil has done an absolutely outstanding job getting people from all backgrounds – including citings on Stormfront and David Duke’s site – to join in the conversation.”

    Yes…all we need now is commentary from Columbian drug cartels and maybe OBL’s personal foot washer to round out the conversation. haha!

  17. Dan, not to worry – I am well aware of my obligations. was in fact planning to order the book this month actually (a well justified delay, since i do not permit myself to have more than three unread books on my shelf at any one time, and I’m just finishing Sand’s book…..which leaves one to go – one of the late amos elon’s books, BTW….so yours will no doubt be perfect in the series. Am sure I’ll find myself in that chapter on them far leftists…..)

  18. I wonder…….are the digressions here ….gasp…. intentional?

    The Jewish community in the US has a lot of power. Especially, of course, on Israel. Hence, J Street.

    I live in the DC area. I know a significant number of Christian activists who attended the conference or have donated to J Street.

    I think J Street has a reasonably progressive message. It is more outspoken than Brit Tzedek v’ Shalom. A real key here, though, is that J Street is disciplined. They know what they’re doing. I have a lot of confidence in the leadership.

  19. I disagree with Dana on his description of the state of conversation at Mondoweiss.

    I find the gathering in the room that Phil has solicited to exclude and condemn those that include “I love Israel, but am critical of policies” as their definition of humanism.

    It is a far more exclusive and functionally suppressive place than here.

    The common thread there is a whine literally, constructed of complaint solely, with extremely limited proposal of any action, except for “action” defined as “what ‘action’ can we take to stick it to the status quo”.

    Action is FAR FAR more than that.

    The common thread between the far right and the far left, is the absence of action, the absence of proposal, the absence of strategy to realize peace. A structural absence.

    The criticism of the far left of the peace movement, is that it is not involved enough, not effective enough to realize fair reconciliation.

    The far left though confuses loudness with speech, and neglects far far further than those that it criticizes.

    Specifically, it also doesn’t accomplish its stated goals, but does accomplish the cultivation of animosities. So, the net result is far worse, a consistent falling apart, a consistent division, a consistent dysfunction.

    The peace movement actually pursued has the possibility of greater good, actual upliftment of Palestinians, actual reform of Israeli and Palestinian policies, actual cessation of violence.

    The committed center is THE right path on this, not the committed far left, not the committed far right.

  20. Hi there Witty. naturally you’d disagree with my description of the state of the commentariat here or there or anywhere, seeing how you are the foil for much said commentary yourself. Some better some worse. Nothing wrong with being a foil, since without one (and I don’t consider pure hasbara types to be of much use) conversations can become a bore. naturally you also gave occasion for much silly sniping caused by premature rush to hit the “reply” button. But that’s all par for the course, as long as inspiration is precipitated. Be it as it may, you make a good gauge of a frame of mind directly tied to arm wringing. With what you recommend (engage in endless but kindly chit chat with all manner of human rights violators) there’s a very good reason to believe that nothing will change for the better. More significantly, you are exactly the kind of “limp wristed, non-weapon brandishing” galut types Israelis of all kinds laugh at – all the way to all the banks. They need your money and your good exculpatory words on their behalf to deflect the pointing fingers off on a tangent, long enough till the evil deeds are done. The role you serve is that of chamberlain, something which every ill-intentioned regime has a need of.

    My job as a spokesperson for the prophets of old (OK, one of my jobs) is to keep pointing out that you, as an enabler – are as guilty as the perpetrators of the crimes going on in your name. It is my hope that J street will not ultimately slide into the apologist role, though there are great forces that’ll try to push it that way, forces I wouldn’t dismiss lightly. your ostensible support for J street gives me a pause – and should give them one as well. Alas, it is not my job to assign ultimate penalties, though I must say I have had occasion to wish to break out of my own programming.

  21. I dunno–like I said earlier–I only heard Jeremy Ben-Ami once on NPR..and he did not seem to be expansively divergent from AIPAC. Even said he agreed with AIPAC on lots of things. The settler issue seemed to be the big differentiator.

    I think people on both sides of this argument are reading their own stuff into him. Kinda like what happened with Obama.

  22. “More significantly, you are exactly the kind of “limp wristed, non-weapon brandishing” galut types Israelis of all kinds laugh at – all the way to all the banks.”

    You don’t mince words about what you feel about Jews and Israelis, do you?

    I seem to recall you grew up in Israel.

  23. Suzanne – you are right about the place where I got my mojo. And no, they don’t mince words over there – which is the one thing I (happily) carried all the way over here. And yes, I do happen to think americans need to grow some spine, the kind the leads to calling a spade a spade. And that goes for both jews and non jews. With a decent spine in place they would find it much easier to both talk to and understand israelis. Which would make it easier to affect israeli policy in a direction that benefits all the parties, america and israel included. And i think many who are associated with j street have come to understand that.

    One other thing I like to remind americans – and especially american jews (and in particular Witty) – the many who feel obliged to speak of the “love” they all “feel” for israel: they would do well to remember that this love is unrequited – and a one-way love is but an obssession. Rest assured that israelis are no dunces when it comes to self-love. Would that they could extend that “love’ to anything or anyone else (jews outside israel included).

    If you don’t believe me, just think – when was the last time you heard any Israeli – mere citizen or politician – left or right – exclaim how much they “love” the jews of america?

    The deal is; you give, they take. any questions?

  24. “I prefer not to talk about Mondoweiss here.”

    That’s understandable Richard, considering the notoriety you have created for yourself at Mondoweiss.

  25. I guess what I feared occurred.

    It is a mistake to bring the pointedness directed at me to this site, a violation of the terms of the site for one thing, a painful vanity for me on the other.

    I’m afraid that you two illustrate my contentions.

    You war. You war in words, yes, with the same mojo, Dana.

    As the welfare of both Israelis and Palestinians is so important, I would recommend Dana, that you articulate an approach that is effective at improvement, rather than self-satisfying in the expression of rage.

    I believe that the J Street approach is potentially effective, definitely not certainly.

    In a world that requires forcefulness for real confidence, maybe J Street is a big mistake.

    For me, to adopt either side in the “which side are you on?” polarity, would be a betrayal of my basic instincts and sentiment. I am genuinely sympathetic to both.

    Dana’s use of the term “love” was an odd usage, a ploy for him to rage. There is much to rage about, and at the same time, it alienates far more than it inspires.

  26. Mass murder, ethnic cleansing, terrorism, house demolitions, blockades, eviction and acts or war are among the most extreme and abominable creations of mankind Richard. One would have to be non human to be be outraged, enraged, and horrified about these realities.

    Simply preaching that we are failing by succumbing to these emotions is empty rhetoric and a transparent attempt to trivialize the suffering that has been inflicted on the victims. Please, for your own credibility, stop pretending that rage and anger are unjustified or illegitimate reactions to these crimes.

  27. Rage would be a starting point.

    The next actual ACTION would be to articulate your goal, and the most effective and humane manner to achieve that.

    You do fail by succombing to those emotions, as rage usually does not accompany conscientiousness.

    There is a dilemma though. That is that getting cool-headed and strategic and repetitive, can morph into a banality of evil (a strategy TO hate, but to avoid being seen for the hating).

    I’m accused of that at Mondoweiss, that I am in fact a racist for not feeling and expressing sufficient rage at Israel.

    That I am repelled by the rage, is an indication to me that others are similarly repelled.

    I can’t trust it, and won’t.

    How can I trust Norman Finkelstein yelling (in e-mail) at me that I am the equivalent of a nazi, because I contest a statement of his that Nasrallah is a truthful, morally reliable and heroic leader.

    Or, that I am the equivalent of a nazi, for considering the Hamas shelling of Israeli civilians as ANY contributing factor in the Gaza war last year?

    It would require me to adopt an Orwellian degree of self-deception to do so.

  28. No you are not accused of not feeling and expressing sufficient rage at Israel. You are accused of pretending to care for the Palestinian cause, while insisting that Israel be treated with kid gloves and not so much as admonished or condemned in any way.

    You yourself stop at articulate a goal and stop at that. How is that any more productive than expressing rage?

    You have brought up Finkelstein a number of times,as though he is supposed to be a standard bearer for the left. Fink is an astute scholar, but he is a flawed person. Perhaps you need to get over it.

    Without reading the correspondence between you, but having witnessed the monotone repetitive nature of your posts and the call to inaction and dismissing resistance.

    It could be argued that Nasrallah means what he says and says what he means. Is he morally reliable and heroic? It depends who you ask.

    Having debated you repeatedly on the Gaza Siege (it wasn’t a war), and your refusal to accept reality, I do tend to sympathize with Fink. You know as well as everyone else, that the rockets did not start the war. Yes, they became a component, but they were not the reason the war happened.

    That is what angers people Richrd. If you were less deceptive and more honest about your bias, you would actually attract greater respect.

  29. I think paternalism is what is objected to, more than parochialism. I think all activists, Jewish and otherwise (including myself), must recognize that the essence of this issue is the Palestinian struggle for freedom. And we should have the humility to accept Palestinian leadership in their own struggle for freedom. J Street, for instance, is paternalistic because it rejects fundamental Palestinian rights. It wants to change how Jews treat Palestinians, but not bring about a sharing of power between them.

    Did you read Ahmed Moor’s piece in Mondoweiss? It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t a condemnation of Jewish activists or J Street, but constructive criticism.

  30. Witty – you did know I am a ‘she’, right? if not, I hope it doesn’t change anything – I like our relationship just the way it is. With me doing the raging and the waring you doing the tzek-tzek thing.

    Besides, I do support what J street is trying to do – it’s a noble effort, even with all the political compromises they have to make this early in the game. See my comment above. But like many on the ‘hysterical far left’ to use greenwald’s phrase, I am guilty of impatience. And that’s because in the meantime, Palestinians continue to suffer, increasingly so. And that’s the source of the rage you see here as well as on mondoweiss. To me, the israeli side is merely irritating because for a long time now I have not had any expectation that they would behave betterr than they do. I know what they want and I know the plan to get there. I made my peace with what I know a good while back and proceed accordingly, without the illusions you seem so keen to entertain. You are welcome to pretend it is otherwise. Still, I am quite certain that in a year’s time you’ll come to see it my way. At that time i’ll let you in on the action plan, OK?

  31. Robin,

    I thnk you hot the nail on the head. It is paternalism that is infuriating, and the patronizing tone that Palestinians are wayward juveniles who need to get into line, as Netenyahu recently stated. It is not up to the Israelis to change, but for the Palestinians to convince the Israelis they are ready to negotiate and take responsibility. That’s the like Richard often adopts.

  32. Shingo-
    Rage has been the currency of Palestinian expression since the Balfour Declaration. All they can do is express rage….suicide bombings, indiscriminate rocket fire, shooting at civilian targets on the roads, slaughter of NON-ZIONIST Jewish communities in the 1920’s (Hevron, Tsefat). Never any constructive dialogue, just rage (see Benny Morris’ new book “One State, Two States”. The restrictions that the Palestinians are always complaining about…the security wall, the checpoints on the roads, the partial blockade of Gaza…all of these are a consequence of their rage. Have they ever considered the famous expression “you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar”? The New York Times had recent articles about the Palestinian Sesame Street, and a woman’s soccer team in Ramallah. In both articles the Palestinians stated they they won’t have any contacts with Israelis. They don’t want to start talking about peace with Israel on a person-to-person level, only to maintain the grievances and the rage.
    All I can say is that as long as they keep it up, Israel will keep pulling further and further ahead of them and the rest of the Arab world. It is the Arabs who lose out because of the rage, not Israel.

  33. I strongly agree with Yakov that now habitual Palestinian rage, and solidarity with Palestinian rage, has hurt their cause.

    I don’t believe that I even stated solidarity with Palestinian “cause”, as in willing abdication of my own sensitivities for political ends.

    I am very sympathetic with Palestinians’ experience.

    I am advocate for peace, and so long as solidarity advocates for warring in some form, punishment in some form, rather than progress, I’ll oppose that.

    I sincerely think that you disserve those that you pretend to help.

    I didn’t know that you were female, Dana. I actually thought that Robin was, until I think he disclosed that he was male a couple days ago.

    I regard both fear and anger as information. I’ve been angry in my life, politically and personally, and found that it most often conflicted with what I really wanted, and was primarily a form of self-abuse more than an actual liberation.

    An addiction really. “Liberation” being a temporary relaxation of anger, but identity constructed on the degree of righteous rage I was able to cultivate and spread.

    A vicious cycle, in which the angers themselves were really of different personal characters than the issues that I thought I was addressing.

    Even as the issues themselves were certainly real, and required someone being motivated enough to address them, raise the questions at least.

  34. Does anybody seriously think for a minute that Phil Weiss Inc. is perceived as part of the I/P dialogue?

    The fringe simply makes a lot of noise. That’s about it.

    What have they achieved beyond that?

  35. “I thnk you hot the nail on the head. It is paternalism that is infuriating, and the patronizing tone that Palestinians are wayward juveniles who need to get into line,”

    Funny…I see many on the left being paternalistic (precisely why American blacks roll their eyes at liberals)–the Arabs are seen as vulnerable, child-like 3rd world victims attacked by the great white shark. And only the great white (leftist) hope can save them. Yuck!

  36. Suzanne-
    You hit the nail on the head. The ‘progressives’ always accuse the US of supporting ‘corrupt, repressive’ Arab regimes, out of some sort of malevolent motive, out of which supposedly flows the ‘suffering of the Palestinian people’, whereas elsewhere in the world, the US was supporting the spread of democracy and prosperity, e.g. the Marshall Plan in Europe, Japan and East Asia, and even in Latin America where the US laid a heavy hand in the past. These same ‘progressives’ never ask why the Arabs don’t do more to democratize their own regimes and why there are so many bloody civil wars there, holding them back. It’s always somebody else’s fault in the Middle East.

  37. Another example of paternalism, from Dan’s “The kids are alright at J-Street” post: “I became committed, in a way I had never been before, to the survival of a Jewish democratic state next to a Palestinian state.”

    After 40 years of living under Israeli control with no rights, shouldn’t Palestinians have the right to become citizens of Israel if they choose? What is our moral justification for denying that them that right at the get-go?

    In other words, the non-paternalistic activist position allows Palestinians to make the choice between a 1-state and 2-state solution. That has always been the case in groups I’ve worked with.

    To tell Palestinians “you must accept a two-state solution” completely denies them the power that all of us rightly expect for ourselves: to have a voice in determining our fate. Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and in exile have never had this, and that is ultimately what we should be striving to establish.

  38. Is this Comedy Central??

    The Palestinians do NOT want to become Israeli citizens.

    There is no love lost nor trust between these 2 peoples. Logic alone tells you that Palestinians would NEVER trust things to get better under one state.

    Ding ding, time for reality.

  39. “These same ‘progressives’ never ask why the Arabs don’t do more to democratize their own regimes and why there are so many bloody civil wars there, holding them back. It’s always somebody else’s fault in the Middle East.”

    Dontcha know? It’s the great white shark’s fault (the one with the British accent). 🙂

  40. They’ve never had the choice, Suzanne, so how do you know? All I’m saying is: they’ve lived under Israeli rule for 40 years, so they should have the choice to have rights in that state.

    In fact they should have those rights now (like the right to vote in national elections), pending independence.

    And your attempts to speak for the Palestinians would be another example of paternalism: let them at least be responsible for telling us what they want.

  41. Robin–I think it’s been pretty well documented (and therefore established) that Palestinians are not interested in becoming Israelis.

    Maybe they’re reporting it differently in Parallel Universe…but over here…on this side of the looking glass…Palestinians have zero interest in becoming Israeli citizens–or having much to do with Israelis at all.

    No comment on the paternalistic talk accusation because anything I’d say would be cutting and rude. So skip it.

  42. Y. Ben-David,

    If rage is the problem, then surely Israel must suffer from it too. Since long before the Balfour Declaration, all Israel seem to be doing was expressing rage. Zionists spoke openly about their plans to carry out vilence against the Palestinians going back to Hertzl.

    The ethnic cleansing, mass murder, indiscriminate bombing and shooting of civilians (if not targeting them altogether), mass arrests and detentions, slaughter of non Palestinian communities in Lebanon, countless invasions, occupation, wars etc. etc. are certainly evidence of rage.

    Israel pretend to have constructive dialogue, but then violate their own agreements ceasefires what not. This habit also began before Israel was created.

    “The acceptance of partition does not commit us to renounce Transjordan; one does not demand from anybody to give up his vision. We shall accept a state in the boundaries fixed today. But the boundaries of Zionist aspirations are the concern of the Jewish people and no external factor will be able to limit them.“ Davis Ben-Gurion, in 1936, quoted in Noam Chomsky, “The Fateful Triangle.”[1]

    The restrictions that the Palestinians are always complaining about the security wall, the checkpoints , the partial blockade of Gaza, attacking civilians, all of these are designed to either steal more territory or make life sufficiency unbearable that the Palestinians might get up and move away. As Tzipi Livni told the world, “a long ceasefire is not in Israel’s strategic interests”. It appears that Israel has so much rage that they would rather have rockets rain down on Sderot than have peace.

    Ze’ev Shiff (Israeli journalist and military correspondent for Ha’aretz), told us that “The Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but has purposely attacked civilian targets.”

    It’s ironic that you should use the example of attracting more flies with honey, seeing as most of us find flies to be annoying and repulsive. Israel is also losing out, though not because of the Arabs or Palestinian, but because of their own collective psychosis. It was never in Israel”s blueprint to share the land with the Palestinians,in fact, had it not been for the ethnic cleansing of 1948, Israel would never have become a Jewish State (yet we’re expected to believe tat this was one biog happy accident). No, Israel’s demise will occur because of it’s own rage , it’s rage at the world, it’s rage towards it’s biggest ally and supporter.

    Israel is not pulling ahead. Israelis are leaving Israel is the same numbers tat they’re arriving and more importantly, those that are leaving are the skilled workers.

  43. Suzanne

    it’s obvious that you are not concerned with facts, but base your entire thesis on ad hominems, if not simply making stuff up as you go along. You also have a habbit of assuming that you speak for the public at large. You are typical of the right wing in America, who claim to speak for the country, even though they represent a minority.

    Richard Witty has a knack for doing that too.

    For a start, the majority of American blacks are liberals, so I don;t know where you get your imagery of them rolling their eyes at liberals.

    Arabs are seen as vulnerable becasue they are exploited, but certainly not child-like . It is interesting though, that like Africa, the Middle East is the most exploited part of the world and thus boasts the largest number of US supporter and sponsored dictators.

    But hey, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. Nothing to seer here right?

  44. Y. Ben-David,

    The sad fact is that America has made it’s bed, so if it’s reputation in the Middle East is soiled, it only has itself to blame.

    Even before the 1953 overthrew of Mossadegh, the West were meddling in the region, drawing arbitrary borders that suited their agenda, but ignored all regional sensibilities.

    You complain all you like about ‘progressives’ accusing the US of supporting ‘corrupt, repressive’ Arab regimes, but the sad fact is that they are right. It is pretty obvious that the motivation for supporting such regimes is self interest.

    I’m astounded that you should mention Latin America as some kind of example of US benevolence. Going back to the year after the overthrown of Mossadegh, the US pulled the same stunt in Guatemala with Arbenz and has been hooked on the habbit of overthrowing governments ever since. Then of course, there was Chile, with the darling of the US, Pinochet, setting the stage for decades of terrorism, mass murder, death squads and the rape of the continent.

    The simple reason why the Arabs don’t do more to democratize their own regimes is becasue we have seen to it that it never happens. Meanwhile, we continue the charade that dictators like Mubarak are making progress while pointing the finger at Russia for not being sufficiently democratic.

    So yes, the fact is that it is largely somebody else’s fault in the Middle East. Sorry to break it to you.

  45. There is a test case regarding the Palestinians of Judea/Samaria wanting or not wanting to become Israeli citizens. That is in Jerusalem, where the Arabs ARE offered citizenship. They large majority reject it. However, many living in Judea/Samaria try to get residency in Jerusalem because even if they are not citizens, they get the social welfare benefits. So, the botton line is that they despise Israel, but they want itse benefits….just like the Israeli Arabs, who vehemently reject Avigdor Lieberman’s proposal to have their areas under Palestinian soveriegnity.

  46. I suspect another reason for applying for residency in Jerusalem is to try avoid being evicted from a home they’ve owned for longer that Israel has been around.

    I suppose in your opinion, that would qualify as a benefit.

  47. Shingo

    Blacks tend to be democrats, not liberals necessarily. In other words, not synonymous. And there’s a lot on the liberal agenda that doesn’t sit well with many in the black community.

    The rest of your schpiel is too subjective and emotionally loaded. I refuse to go back to square one to argue the same old crap 101. We’ve graduated and are arguing the same old crap at another level here. You’ll have to catch up. haha!

  48. “I suspect another reason for applying for residency in Jerusalem is to try avoid being evicted from a home they’ve owned for longer that Israel has been around.”

    Is this your speculation or is there documentation to prove this is the objective?

  49. Suzanne,

    Certainly liberals and democrats are not synonymous, but there’s no point pretending that as far as black people are concerned, conservatives or Republicans are the lesser of the two evils.

    As for the rest of my argument or schpiel, there’s no emotion necessary to come to the obvious conclusion that where there are natural resources for the taking, the indigenous populations will usually suffer. It’s history 101.

    I can read your coded message all too well. You can’t rebut the obvious, so you’ll just pretend that you are too evolved to waste your time on it. It’s OK, you can’t win them all.

    Hahha.

  50. “Is this your speculation or is there documentation to prove this is the objective?”

    Seeing as no one else has bothered to provide documentation, other than alluding to the existence of case studies, I didn’t think it was necessary.

    Are we now required to produce documentation all of a sudden, or is this only incumbent upon those that disagree with you?

  51. Y. Ben-David, your Jerusalem test case is not a good one. Palestinians there do not accept citizenship (and its privileges!) as resistance to the annexation of East Jerusalem. IE, Israel would be taking East Jerusalem WITHOUT giving citizenship to Palestinians in the rest of the West Bank and Gaza. Can you see why they might object to this? It creates a situation where there can be no viable or desirable Palestinian state, but there is also not a true integration of Palestinians into the state of Israel. There can be no real test case that does not offer the latter to Palestinians.

  52. One encouraging thing though. At least Phil ( I think we got into WW2 on the wrong side ) Weiss. And his lovely bride ( lets marry a guy with strong attractions to men ) have chosen not to breed. And to not bring more Jew baiting, anti-semitic deviants into the world. And when they stick him into the ground. The Jewish people will be stronger. Addition by subtraction .

  53. Shingo writes:

    “The simple reason why the Arabs don’t do more to democratize their own regimes is becasue we have seen to it that it never happens.”

    I’ve followed this comment chain with a modicum of interest. This comment wins the “HUH?” award. Shingo, I tend not to criticize other nations about the extent to which they practice democracy. But, do you honestly without tongue in cheek take the position that but for us, Arab nations would be more democratic?

    Really?

  54. And, to be fair, I have to say to Bill Pearlman that you win the “Yuk” award. You’re actually writing about how it will be a good thing if Philip Weiss dies? Please retract. Totally inappropriate, even if Dana up above and others may have an exagerrated view of his relevance.

  55. Bill Pearlman,

    I think Hitler was also fond of the idea of castration so that undesirables wouldn’t breed. Some of you Zionists are sounding more and more like fascists every day, though you probably don’t realize it and your hatred for Jews who don’t fall into line, matches any vitriol that anti Semites are capable of.

  56. Bruce,

    Perhaps I should have explained myself better in regard to democratization.

    Let’s take 2 examples:

    1. The example of the election in Gaza. Hamas were democratically elected, yet Israel and the US refused to recognize the outcome. Israel demonstrated it’s appreciation for democracy by punishing the Palestinians for voting the wrong way in a free election.

    After the election-fixing failed, Israel turned to punishment of the Palestinians and arming of a militia run by Fatah strong-man Muhammad Dahlan. Hamas pre-emptive strike undermined the coup attempt, leading to far harsher US-Israeli measures to punish the disobedient people of Gaza.

    2. Egypt. Many in the West missed the irony that the tyrant, and US puppet, Mubarak, won more votes in an election that he claimed was free than then one he admitted to rigging.

    In the run up to the elections, Mubarak cracked down on all opposition groups yet was held up by Washington as a poster child for democratic reform.

    Are you seeing a pattern?

  57. Robin,

    Thanks for pointing out the holes in
    Y. Ben-David,s argument.

    Israel’s leader often make demands or offers that they know are unacceptable to the Palestinians. so that they can announce to a pliant media that the Palestinians rejected what appear to be a reasonable offer.

    Netenyahu for example, is demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a pre-requisite for negotiations, but such recognition would be to accept the occupation as legitimate.

  58. This place is starting to have the stink of mondoloco.

    On another note…I get a kick out of Bill’s remarks about Phil. But the one about his death was too much, I agree.

  59. All I’m saying is that the Jewish part of the Phil Weiss family story. You know the part that he despises. Will die when he does. And for the jewish people it will not exactly be a loss. And I stand by that. Nobody is threatening anybody, least of all me.

  60. Bill,

    I’m pleased to see you have moderated your earlier outrageous post.

    Since when did you become a spokesman for the Jewish people? Do you believe that Jews who dodn’t agree with you deserve to die? Are you that threatened by free speech and independent ideas? I always thought they were virtues held in high regard by Jews.

  61. Let me turn that around for a second. Here you have a guy who married out, does not observe anything remotely relalted to Judaism. And Is an advocate, a fervent advocate of the destruction of Israel. Which means the deaths of most of the Jews currently residing there and the dispersion of the rest. He is an opponent of religion, except for Islam. And really does hate jews that actually believe in it. So in what way is he Jewish except by some strange accident of birth.

  62. Married out, as in married a non Jewish woman?

    If Judaism requires observance, then does one cease to be a Jew if they choose not to observe these cutoms? If so, thet kinda debunks the notion that Jews are a peoplce doesn’t it Bill?

    The phrase, “destruction of Israel”, is oneo fht emost meaningless and ombiguous terms out there. I have had it used to explain the tramsformation from a Jewish state to a a secualr democracy. I have also seen it used to describe the demadn for Isrl to observe interntaionl law, end the occupation, cease teh bukding of settlements and the entnic clenasing of Palestinians.

    None of these would result in teh death of Jews in Israel, so I take it you believe that Phil supports the physical destruction of Israel through violence, in which case, I would ask you to please provide evidence that this is Phil’s position.

    So many Israeli supporters make these hyperbolic accuastions, but never suppport then with evidence.

    Again, if Judaism is about a people and not a religion, then support for religion should be inconsequential as far as Israel is concerned.

    Support for Isreal is clearly dropping in the US and wil continue to do so into the future. And given that fewer Jews in the US will continue to be religious, does that mean Judiasm is doomed?

  63. Shingo:

    There is no actual evidence that support for Israel is dropping in the United States. There is ample evidence that such support has plummeted to new depths in certain echo chambers on the extremes in the political realm. To say that the support is waning is a political tool, nay, correction, it is a rhetorical tool for people, often with pretend names on the internets who use it in a war of words which I generally refer to as a parlor game. It is part and parcel of an effort from a certain segment of our internet population to join with those with more serious portfolios around the world who are engaged in an ongoing effort to deligitimize the Jewish State by wearing its supporters down with hollow words. When President Obama comes running back to the American Jewish community and organziations like AIPAC–and mark my words he will, it won’t be because of Jewish control of the media or the arms of government; it will be because most Jewish Americans and other Americans who focus on Israel may want peace, but do not in any way seek to divorce ourselves from the Jewish State.

    Actual evidence, based on the most recent poll I have found, belies your contention about American support for the Jewish State. Rightly or wrongly, American support for Israel remains deep and it remains strong and it remains, to date, inpenetrable.

    http://www.adl.org/PresRele/IslME_62/5631_62.htm

    On another point, above you give me two totally “examples” of why you stand by your proposition that we Americans are precluding the development of democracy in Arab nations, and then you ask me if I see a pattern. I see no such pattern from your examples (I do see a non sequitur between the stated assertion and the examples you provide), nor do I see democracy expanding in moderate states like in Tunisia where my daughter plans to study next year. I don’t criticize nations like Tunisia or less moderate states in the Arab world for the extent of democracy in their countries. Neither do I pretend or engage in the extraordinarily paternalistic rhetoric of blaming the United States for the lack of ballot boxes in the Arab world.

    Finally, none of what I write should in any way suggest that I am not fully committed to the pursuit of a two-state solution that is fair and just for both the Jews and Palestinian populations in what I do not hestitate to call Israel AND Palestine. Returning full circle to the underlying essence of this post, I simply see a disconnect between the parlor games engaged in by the Phil Weiss contingent of the internets and the policies I understand that an organization like J Street, and people like Dan Flesher, seek to pursue. In the end, and I don’t mean to be disrispectful but this is how I honestly feel, Phil Weiss et al are irrelevant except in a tiny bubble that folks like us are tuned into. Does he annoy folks like me? Yes. Does he sometimes challenge me to think about the futility and contradictions of some of my own ideas, yes. Does that mean anything? Not really. You see, when Phil Weiss et al are giving daylight they always wind up being sent home. They were marginalized by J Street most recently. Mr. Weiss was invited to post at the TPM Cafe earlier this summer, and ultimately he was disinvited because he was more offensive than the clown who posts there regularly, MJ Rosenberg (who Dan for whatever reason asked to write the forward to his book–I guess in fairness Rosenberg can be serious when he wants to be but the fact is he rarely wants to be). In the meantime, I think that Jeremy Ben Ami and others who are serious about pursuing and fresh and new approach to peace in Israel and Palestine will continue, when its daylight, to keep distance from the mocking and hating wing of the constituency plugged into the I-P dispute.

    And that’s all I gotta say about that.

    Shabbat Shalom and Cheers.

  64. Well stated, Bruce.

    The claim that Israel is losing favor with the American public has been repeated ad nauseum for over 40 years, from what I understand.

    It may ring hopeful for anti-Israel newcomers who are in high school and college. But after a few years, it quickly becomes the same old, same old.

  65. I would like to add to Bruce’s pointing out that after Phil Weiss was invited, with great fanfare, to post on TPMCafe, he was later dropped, that the same happened to Richard Silverstein at “Comment is Free” on the British (anti-Israel) newspaper “Guardian” site. Silverstein posted on his “Tikkun Olam” website that he was the one who made the disconnect, but he stated the editors were not running columns that he wrote or were demanding extensive revisions so he eventually gave up. I am glad to see that there is still some concern with journalistic standards even with people like TPM and the Guardian who enjoy bashing Israel.

  66. Seriously Bruce,

    You’re citing the ADL to make your argument? Given the ADL’s reputation,it’s safe to say that the poll you cite was framed to produce a distorted outcome as it pits Israel against the Palestinians. There is no question that support for Palestinians has never been great in the US.

    It is Israeli support in the US that is actually limited to echo chambers and those in the political realm. Those chambers just happen to be the most powerful and influential, but hardly comprise the majority of Americans.

    Polls I’ve read suggest that support for Israel dropped 71% to 44% in one year.

    While I don’t question your integrity, I suspect that your inability to see the elephant in the room, is due to ideological blinders.

    Off the top of my head, here is a list of countries who’s leaders the US overthrown or helped to overthrow since 1953.

    Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Indonesia, Panama, Nicaragua, Grenada.

    This does not include the failed coups in Venezuela 2002, and Gaza in 2006.

    America is precluding self determination and representative government in most states in the Arab world that are of significance to US interests. I would imagine Tunisia is not one of them.

  67. My point is this. There are some minimum requirements for calling yourself Jewish. First, you have to observe something, anything about it and not consider it a joke. Second, you have to not take joy in the deaths of other Jews and devoutly wish for the destruction of Israel. Phil ( I wish Hitler had finished the job ) Weiss fails on both counts.

  68. Shingo-
    If you haven’t noticed, its not 1953 any more. You incorrectly read my earlier post…I noted that already in the 1980’s almost all the military dictatorships in Latin America were replaced by more-or-less democratic civilian regimes (this was during Reagan’s term). Yes, the US did interfere there in the past, I noted that, but not any more. If the Arab states are not democracies, its because they don’t want democracy. They view it as a “degenerate Western concept, not Islamic”.

  69. Seriously Y.Ben-David,

    Who are you trying to kid?

    In 200w, the Us supported a failed coup against Chavez and a successful one against Aristide. Then there were eh color coded revolutions in the Ukraine, Lebanon and Georgia, all paid for by the US.

  70. Bill,

    You’re making no sense and simply wallowing in hyperbole.

    There is no evidence that Phil regards being Jew as a joke. In fact, he takes it rather seriously and sees the actions of Israel as being contrary to Jewish values as he perceives them.

    There is even less evidence that he rejoices in the deaths of anyone, Jews included.

    Finally, expecting Israel to behave like a civlized state is not wishing for it’s destruction. Israel does not need to kill people to survive because no one is in any position to threaten Israel’s existence.

    Do you want to think about it and try again, or just admit you are being irrational here?

  71. With the Left, the US can’t win no matter what it does. Our involvement in both Latin America and the ME was largely about dealing with the status quo for lack of other choices (in order to serve our own interests, which were often global interests).

    The infrastructure down in South America and the ME were already in place and pretty much in decay. They were a feudal 19th century mess whether we were butting in or not.

    Add to that a stupid game called the Cold War…where Lefties STILL believe Russia would’ve created delightful utopias for participating nations. Riiigghhhhht!

    That’s not to say we always did the altruistic thing. Clearly we didn’t all the time. But the Leftist slant on things is so disproportionate–so out of touch with reality that it’s like arguing with my senile grandmother.

    Kudos to you who still have the patience…I’ve given up because they can’t hear you anyway. They can’t meet you in the middle. So what’s the point?

  72. Shingo:

    I thought about not posting an ADL-sponsored survey for the very reason that someone like you would, instead of reading what I wrote and what I posted, simply dismiss the survey out of hand and assert that I am guided by ideological blindless. Respectfully, balderdash.

    First, I cited the ADL survey because it is less than one month old and, more importantly, it is a survey that it is supported by year-by-year comparison. Thus, in deference to your ideological open-mindedness (hee), the same ADL data is compared year by year, and the results are reported accordingly, to wit, that the data reported this year reflects little change or an actual improvement in support for Israel in this country (as compared to prior years).

    I am not frankly never have been an ADL flunkie Israel right or wronger. In fact, in the old days I was probably more like you than you are. You may, however, assert to the contrary if it makes you feel more warm and fuzzy inside.

    Now, moving along, it is one thing to simply call me ideologically blind, but it is quite another thing to simply assert as you do that you have seen “other” polling data to support your naked assertion, and then not supply any reference to your data. On that basis, I rest on the point.

    You then cite to some exaples of American intervention in foreign states which anyone who has taken an introductory college history class should be familiar with (and I took quite a bit more way back when I was high above Cayuga’s waters), and you cite these examples as evidence to support your prior assertion that the United States is currently preventing the development of democracy in the Arab world. Your examples prove nothing, and corroborate what I asserted earllier, namely that you have made an ideologically blind knee-jerk statement that the U.S. continues to prevent democracy in the Arab world. Such a statement is paternalistic at the core.

    P.S. To Suzanne: Please don’t give up. I love reading your posts.

  73. Bruce,

    I take your point about the ADL’s year-by-year comparison, but the ADL’s agenda does not shift year to year.

    Secondly, I did qualify that the US does stand as roadblock to self determination and representative government in the Arab world. As you probably appreciate, democracy is itself a meaningless concept without liberty. Benjamin Franklin described democracy and 2 wolves and a sheep arguing about what’s for lunch.

    So let’s agree to disagree. When I see something that looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, I generally consider the obvious to conclusion to be freed of ideological constraints.

    The existence of close to 1000 US military bases obviously hasn’t given you pause to reflect.

  74. Suzanne,

    Given that my sentiments are not unique to your ide aof what the Left, is, it might be advisabel to simply dismiss me an a

    Given that the US happens to have it’s fingers in every flash point, it’s somewhat juvenile to lament that the US can’t win, no matter what it does. Let’s not kid ourselves. Our involvement in Latin America and the ME is entirely about self interest and exploitation of resources. That’s why nukes in North Korea can be tolerated while imaginary nukes in Iran cannot.

    The rub about self interests and protecting them is that it usually involves us taking them from someone else who might also covet the prize. By it’s very definition, the pursuit of self interest is more than likely not benevolent. It’s time you got over it.

    It’s ironic that you should raise the topic of infrastructure down in South America and the ME, when our own is is dire need of repair and replacement, and sadly we are in no position to pay for it.

    As for the Cold War, that too was largely a side show, though many on the Right have never gotten over it and have previously sought a new ally to fill the gaping hole left by the Soviet Union. Another irony is that the US power actually peaked during the Cold War, so while the Soviet Union may have collapsed, the fall of the Berlin Wall also marked the beginning of our demise.

    The fact is that when you continue to get caught meddling in the affairs of foreign states, you’re going to earn yourself a reputation and more importantly, establish a pattern that is hard to deny. The Leftist slant on things is disproportionate, because that it precisely what describes out our presence and influence in other countries. Facts are not fair and balanced, no matter what Fox News tells you.

    Similarly, meeting one another in the middle, is not an option. For a start, the middle is nowhere near where you believe it to be and secondly, as Reagan once said, facts as stubborned things and by their very definition, are not something you get to negotiate with.

  75. The more I hear Leftists, the more I’m convinced they’re arrogant, self-entitled misanthropes who’d likely be training in al qaeda bootcamps if they weren’t so busy sucking off the teat of America.

    P.S. Thanks Bruce! I’m sure the others think you shouldn’t be encouraging me. 🙂

  76. Sucking off the teat of America Suzanne?

    Sometimes I wonder if those on the Right ever stop to consider the absurdity of your remarks. Unless of course, you are of the opinion that the entire state of Israel is comprised of Leftists?

    BTW Suzanne, I do hope you take Bruce’s advice. I apologize if I’m annoying you, but I do enjoy reading you regardless.

  77. They have their own ideologically constructed myths that they repeat and repeat to frame what would otherwise be rational compassion for a community that is hurting.

  78. Phil ( Hitler should have finished the job ) Weiss also seems to be picking up a following among 9/11 truthers. But when you lay down with fleas and you are a flea yourself. That’s what happens

  79. Bill, sometimes I have thought that perhaps your characterizations of the anti-Zionist blogger gang have been exaggerated, but after looking at MONDOWEISS I am coming to the conclusion that you are right-on about him, at least. The filth, lies, distortions, hate and rage that he and his colleagues (Horowitz, Blumenthal), in addition to the commentators there defies any possible inclusion within the inner discourse of the Jewish people. For example, although the Satmar Hasidim are strongly anti-Zionist, they keep the argument within ideological bounds and keep out of politics and they will have no truck with the enemies of the State of Israel. Thus, although I firmly reject their anti-Zionist ideology, I would have no problem praying in their synagogue. But I am totally mystified why people who are civilized and pro-Zionist like Dan, or have strong Jewish identity but are anti-Zionist like MagnesZionist would have anything to do with him. MagnesZionist said he will make an alliance with anyone who is against settlements and AIPAC, but really, are there no limits? Why isn’t he appalled by the filth Weiss spews out (his latest tirade is about how Jews and Israel are ultimately responsible for Major Hasan’s rampage-even Richard Silverstein rejected such a connection!). How on earth could an organization that purports to be “pro-Israel” like J-Street invite him, even if “unofficially”. I also wonder what Richard is attempting to do at MONDOWEISS when his well meaning, mild comments are trashed by the the Jewish and non-Jewish Judeophobes hanging around there.
    I do get some comfort from the fact that although MONDOWEISS often gets up to 100 comments on a thread, it is actually only about 6 or 7 people who do the commenting, so perhaps everyone is overinflating his influence.
    But I am afraid the time has come for reasonable people who believe in brotherhood and “ahavat Israel” to distance themselves from him. TPMCafe dropped him when they saw what he was doing, and I think others should do the same. Dan-I am directing this at you especially.

  80. Stormfront loves Phil Weiss (so does David Duke). That’s all ye know…and all ye ever need to know. 🙂

    P.S. Well knock me down with a feather…Shingo enjoys my posts. Maybe there’s hope for opposite sides in the I/P conflict to get along after all!

  81. I am of the left, motivated by compassion for the other, as well as vibrancy for Jewish and other communities that I am a part.

    I regard the shift to anti-Zionism to be a betrayal of democratic values rather than a fulfillment of them, in the now very out of the closet support for a single-state articulated by Ali Abunimeh.

    I argue my reasonings, to keep those reasonings present in the discussion on what optimizes democracy.

    Compassionate dissenters rationally observe that “something is wrong”, and those that care at all about humanity study further to find the root of it.

    The tragedy is when prejudicial or imprinted ideology enters the math, and those that are predisposed to sympathy for the underdog, shift that to strategy to harm, rather than strategy to reform.

    For Israel, my sense is that it has gone 90% of the way towards confident viability, the remaining 10% being the development of actual convivial relations with its neighbors, and reforms of prejudicial applications of its basic laws.

    The far left asserts, “things are wrong. The answer is to turn back the clock, in the name of democracy.” When, the real answer is “finish the job, proceed forwards towards complete social development with moral integrity” (Jewish AND democratic).

    So, for Israel, the answer is reform, to return to original and rational fundamental principles, Jewish AND democratic with equal due process and equal rights.

    For the left (many originally motivated by compassion and sense of fairness) the answer is reform, to return to original and rational fundamental principles, optimal democracy.

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