Israel Left and Right

19 Aug

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Left vs. Right
There are a number of reasons why I tend to avoid trying to force-fit the whole Arab-Israeli conflict into a Left-Right continuum.

First off, the terms “Left” and “Right” have become so all-encompassing, which (if you include all those who insist they represent each end of the political spectrum) means everyone from the Stalin and the BDS brigade through Senator Robert Byrd must be considered “The Left” and everyone from Bill Weld through Hitler the “Right.”

Needless to say, this makes self-serving category errors along the lines of “since the Nazis were rightists, only the Left can defend the Jews” or “no liberal can be trusted with regard to support for Israel, just look at the BDSers!” inevitable.

Secondly, our political dialog actually becomes diminished when we boil every issue down to figuring out where our tribe should fall on any political matter.  And in the manner of the “where to put your finger” argument, this usually translates to figuring out how the other tribe feels about an issue, and then choosing the opposite position out of contrariness or the need to define ourselves against our political enemies.

The Middle East is a perfect example of how our debate becomes diminished by this attitude.  For example, the most salient feature of the US-Israel relationship is that support for the Jewish state transcends partisanship like no other foreign policy issue (or domestic issue for that matter).  Not that genuine partisan issues regarding this relationship do not exist (we’ve certainly seen them with Presidents Obama, Bush I and Carter).  But by not recognizing these excesses as exceptions to the general rule of bi-partisan support, we risk creating the very partisan divide over Israel that we should be trying to avoid.

Finally, on too many occasions aspects of the Arab-Israel dispute have become surrogates for general domestic Left-Right politics (especially in the US and in Israel) which have caused leaders to make decisions based on factors other than wisdom and facts on the ground.  One could look at the entire Oslo experiment as an attempt for political parties in Israel to do end-runs around each other (and the electorate), meaning political decisions that have defined the last two decades were made based on short-term partisan intrigue.

With all that said, I think there are some interesting points worth reflecting on, especially if you are convinced that BDS and the general language of anti-Israel politics (which is mostly drawn from a progressive vocabulary) warrants a response.

Firstly, one of the great ironies of anti-Israel politics is that the two groups most interested in branding all liberals (including mainstream Democrats) as anti-Israel (or, most generously, as creating a hostile environment in which efforts like BDS can thrive) are the BDSers themselves and political conservatives.

For the boycotters, claiming to represent not a rejected fringe movement but the heart and soul of all progressive politics, helps them to punch well above their limited political weight.  You can see this in accusations that progressives who do not toe the BDS line are “PEPs” (i.e., Progressives in Everything but Palestine”), implying that every “true” progressive must adhere to the BDS message (whatever that happens to be this week) or risk being accused of betraying all of their principles.  Interestingly, the BDSers avoid the obvious counter argument that it is they who have betrayed liberal principle by supporting a reactionary Palestinian political movement (one which includes clan politics, corrupt economic monopolies, repression of women and gays and religious fanaticism) by ignoring such counter-accusations completely (regardless of their accuracy).

Naturally, this allies them with conservatives who would also like to brand liberals of any stripe as falling into the BDS camp, helping to cement their sought-after position of being the only true friends of the Jewish state.

Since both BDSers and conservatives might object loudly to this analysis, I might as well go for broke and point out something likely to make progressives uncomfortable (meaning genuine progressives, not the Israel haters trying to exploit them).  For the fact that BDS travels under a wholly liberal banner and expresses itself almost entirely with a progressive vocabulary cannot be dismissed by just accusing the boycotters of cynically exploiting language.

For, as Ruth Wisse has pointed out (yes, I know she is both conservative and controversial, but she is also quite brilliant), the liberal world view of an unstoppable march towards progress slams into a mile-thick brick wall when confronted by an Arab-Israeli conflict where the former seems more than willing to work against its own economic interests and personal interests in order to achieve victory over the latter.  In other words, the Middle East is not just a trouble spot but exists in open defiance of the progressive world view.

When confronted by such a situation, liberals have two choices: to modify their world view (while not jettisoning their principles) or blaming the Jews for a situation that would otherwise require them to re-think their ideological assumptions.

A heroic group of liberals faced a similar conundrum when another reactionary movement (Marxism) insisted that their political cause represented the culmination of every progressive hope and dream.  And, to their credit, political conservatives (at least in the US) have put a fair amount of intellectual energy (and took some risks) by pushing religious bigots masquerading as anti-Zionists (such as Pat Buchannan) out of their “mainstream.”

Today’s progressives still have work to do creating a vocabulary that will allow them to similarly kick BDS and other practitioners of anti-Israel “disease politics” out of the tent without feeling guilty over a lack of “inclusiveness.”

We have been fortunate that genuine progressive institutions have almost universally rejected the blandishments of the boycotters.  But there is some intellectual heavy lifting to be done to explain in ideological terms that are commonly accepted across the left-end of the political spectrum as to why BDS and liberalism have nothing in common and should have nothing to do with one another.

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103 Responses to “Israel Left and Right”

  1. Stop BDS Park Slope August 19, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Excellently said, Jon.

    I would add one point. The so-called progressive/liberal world – such as a University or my Food Coop – puts a value on free speech. Their tolerance for all points of view provides a soapbox for the intolerant. It is a problem of philosophically finding a way to oppose it.

    You are 100% correct in saying that we need to cultivate the liberal language. For my food coop, one of the issues might be the value of maintaining an inclusive environment versus the value of free speech. I think it is also important to identify anti-Jewish racism when it occurs.

    Israel is home to 40% of the worlds Jews and 80% of American Jews say Israel is an important part of their identification as a Jew. So anyone who says “I am anti-Zionist or anti-Israel but not anti-Jewish,” doesn't know what he is talking about.

    For more about the blindness of the extreme left and the anti-Israel movements I recommend Paul Berman's “Flight of the Intellectuals” and Bernard Henri-Levi's “Left in the Dark.” Robert Wistrich has a new book out as well on the subject.

    Nycerbarb

  2. Anonymous August 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    “Interestingly, the BDSers avoid the obvious counter argument that it is they who have betrayed liberal principle by supporting a reactionary Palestinian political movement (one which includes clan politics, corrupt economic monopolies, repression of women and gays and religious fanaticism) by ignoring such counter-accusations completely (regardless of their accuracy).”

    Nice try, but this argument doesn't work at all for two reasons: Firstly, the scope and motivation behind Israeli crimes outweigh, both morally and literally, the internal backwardness of Palestinian society. Secondly, the Israeli history of oppressive colonialism itself has caused or fostered much of the non-intellectual, unprogressive sentiment to which you refer.

    To the first point, hardly anyone denies that there are certain facets of Palestinian society that don't meet our high progressive standards. However, it's a pretty uncontroversial opinion that no matter how backwards an individual may be, that person still doesn't deserve for his house to be bulldozed, his land appropriated, his family shot at, or his freedom of movement restricted. I'm certainly not proud of the general Palestinian mindset towards women and gays, but do you really think that I'm betraying my progressive values by defending Palestinians from the aforementioned heinous crimes that are routinely perpetrated against them? Gosh, Palestinian women's and gay rights groups themselves say that the oppressiveness of the occupation far outweighs the cultural and religious restrictions of Palestinian society, whatever they may be.

    To the second point, It's always pretty laughable when Zionists exclusively blame the Palestinians for their own backwardness. Throughout history, societies living under oppressive regimes have consistently reverted to radicalism, often religious fanaticism, in hopes of freedom, and yes, they do often learn to dislike (hate) their oppressor. Furthermore, tolerance and progressivism are generally linked to economic growth and development. Unfortunately, both the World Bank and IMF have stated that the occupation places severe limitations on growth in the Palestinian territories, which of course affects education and other important areas of intellectual stimulation. Lastly, the Palestinians have virtually no real governance or leadership. One, because many of their real leaders are imprisoned as political prisoners, and two, because the PA merely exists as a negotiating partner for Israel while Hamas is too economically crippled to do anything more than organize fireworks displays. The real governing power in the West Bank is Israel (the occupier). That's not how you structure a society for success.

    So yes, the distinction of PEP continues to fall on your shoulders alone.

    • fizziks August 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      And right there is the moral depravity of BDS and anti-Israel people laid bare:

      Hamas is too economically crippled to do anything more than organize fireworks displays.

      You have the gall to call military rockets landing on and maiming and killing civilians “fireworks displays.” Of course when non-Jews are killed in the Middle East conflict it is the worst thing ever, but when Jews are killed it's “fireworks”. A big colorful explosion for you to enjoy. You are a disgusting person, and you are part of a disgusting, genocidal movement.

    • Anonymous August 19, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

      Surely you don't really believe that “a big colorful explosion for you to enjoy” is what I meant. Of course I don't support the rockets, but let's be honest with ourselves, shall we? There are fewer Israelis killed by Palestinian crude missile fire than there are deaths from fireworks in the US every year. What Hamas does, as unfortunate as it is for all parties involved, is far more successful in psychologically terrorizing the inhabitants of neighboring villages, not killing them or destroying their homes . Hamas' crude missiles are of course dissimilar to Israeli military rockets which are fired onto Palestinian homes on a weekly basis, killing thousands and notably culminating in the 2008 Cast Lead massacre that left 1400 dead, 300 of whom children. Of course, you wouldn't deem that “genocidal”, would you?

    • fizziks August 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

      No, I certainly don't deem an attack carried out against a polity that is repeatedly targeting civilians with rockets, that kills 1400, mostly combatants, out of a population of millions, “genocidal”. You need to look up the definition of genocide.

      But I do consider the attitude that can make light of rocket attacks against civilians by calling them “fireworks” genocidal indeed. Shame on you.

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 12:06 am #

      You just “made light of” (to treat as of little consequence; to slight; to disregard) a 3 week long, internationally condemned Israeli rocket barrage that left 300 civilian children dead along with hundreds of other innocent civilian adults by referencing the overall size of the Palestinian population and an inaccurate statistic concerning the innocence of those killed, did you not? Oh yeah, because the fact that Israel only massacred a fraction of the entire Palestinian population makes it so much better. And of course, I totally forgot that those children were undoubtedly part of the polity carrying out rocket attacks. Therefore, they must have deserved to die in the way they did. Oh yeah, and I should have also known that an “attitude” can be construed as more genocidal than the relentless murder of civilians.

    • DrMike August 20, 2012 at 1:55 am #

      So Anon, what would YOU do if your country had 500,000 people (that's quite a few “neighboring villages”) within range of rocket fire that targeted your home, your work, and your children's schools? (Note that there are quite a few IDF bases in the Negev– those are NOT where the rockets are aimed).
      So your children have grown up with this for years. Asking Hamas nicely to “please stop the rocket fire” didn't seem to work well. Evacuating every Israeli out of Gaza (except for Gilad Shalit who Israel would have desperately wanted to evacuate) didn't work.
      Yet when Israel responds, all the so-called “human rights advocates” who were thunderously silent while Hamas and PIJ launched rockets at half a million people suddenly found their voices.
      If Israel wanted to just create massive casualties in Gaza, are you saying that it couldn't have? Why didn't Israel just level every large building in Gaza? Why did Israel send text messages to every cellphone in Gaza telling them where they were going to attack? Because it was trying to minimize civilian casualties in setting where Hamas terrorists used children as human shields (check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWQQFJXMrg4)

      You should already be familiar with this quote, but just in case you aren't:

      “During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

      Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.”

      Col. Richard Kemp, Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, testifying before the UN “Human Rights Council” in 2009.

      So let's hear it, Anon, what do YOU do to stop Hamas rocket fire? And no, Israel disbanding itself and turning the land over to the Arabs is not an acceptable response, though it might leave you without another.

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 2:44 am #

      What would I do? Well I certainly wouldn't massacre my enemies' children, bomb their homes, and decimate their economy. I constantly hear about how Israel “warned” the Palestinians before they bombed them. Even if this was true, can you tell me where they were supposed to go for safety? Where were they supposed to hide? Well, Israel told them to seek shelter in schools and hospitals. And what happened next? Those very schools and hospitals were bombed with white phosphorous “by accident”. Furthermore, if Israel were safeguarding Palestinian civilians, why did it illegally shower white phosphorous over densely populated civilian populations, an act rigorously condemned by the international community? Why did 300 children die needlessly? Every major human rights organization, the UN, the Goldstone Report, and so on and so forth have all come to the same conclusion: that Israel employed unjustifiably disproportionate force during Cast Lead and is responsible for war crimes. Only you and your small minority of like-minded comrades absolve Israel of all blame, probably because you can't image how your precious state could do anything wrong.

      If anyone here is genuinely interested in seeing on-the-ground footage of Cast Lead, they should watch this documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t238PXON8_Q

      I hope that it will move you like it did me.

    • Sylvia August 20, 2012 at 3:47 am #

      I know more about Cast Lead and rockets than you, Goldstone and all the youtubes you can produce combined. I am a survivor of more than 9000 rockets.
      Now, how comes we – Sderot – had less casualties than Gaza?
      Simple: if you value your children's life more than public opinion you get them fast into a shelter where they will remain as long as it takes.
      If you value public opinion more than you do your children's life you send them to the rooftop. The people of Gaza had warnings by phone and leaflets at least half a day before the attack. Plenty of time for them to put their children out of harms'way.
      We have 15 seconds at best from our own siren warnings to take cover.

      Fireworks? Your callousness is simply mind boggling.
      And there is nothing “crude” about stone and glass-packed Qassam rockets or Grad missiles. Even a simple stone launched at that velocity and from that distance can kill.

      You sound like you're sorry that we are doing a good job protecting ourselves?
      To think that we owe the fact that we have reduced the casualties to Hamas and Islamic Jihad's compassionate heart would be hilarious if it didn't sound so pathetic.

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 3:50 am #

      Again, where was safe shelter? Where could the Palestinians have been safe? Israel bombed the schools and hospitals that it had said were safe zones, that were housing innocent civilians at the time. Look it up.

    • Sylvia August 20, 2012 at 4:14 am #

      “It's always pretty laughable when Zionists exclusively blame the Palestinians for their own backwardness.”
      I was shocked by your use of the term “backwardness” – the Palestinians are far from being backward – suggesting that you're responding to Jon or Nycerbarb's use of the term.
      I had to read their post twice. they never said “backward”. You, on the other hand, are trying to project on others your own paternalistic and orientalist mindset.

      Your repugnant use of the term “backward” in reference to Palestinians also suggests that you see your “mission” as a white man's burden of sorts. Disgusting.

    • Sylvia August 20, 2012 at 4:36 am #

      When you don't have a shelter, safe shelter is a central hallway in the house, a windowless bathroom, or better yet, a basement. Far away from windows.
      The same thing as you do in a hurricane.
      But no, they had to go to the rooftop. And that was reported by AlJazeera.

    • Mike from Ann Arbor August 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      Sylvia: you, Jon, and Fizziks are exactly right. Only in the Middle East and only against the world's only Jewish State are the people who start and lose wars, supposed to be rewarded.

      Everywhere else, the winners of any war, esp. a war of self-defense, get to dictate the policy after they have successfully defended themselves and defeated the aggressors who attacked them, even if it ends up in gaining and _holding_ territory as a result.

      And even the term _occupied,_ in this case, is a misnomer. When no permanent international borders have been agreed to by the parties involved, the land in question is called _disputed._

      There are hundreds of such disputed boundaries in the world, yet the fixated BDSers like “Anonymous” above are concerned with Israel and only Israel. We never hear them call for boycotts of Hamas and the PA and Egypt and Syria and Sudan; we never hear them complain how despicably Palestinian Arabs are treated by their fellow Arabs in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc. and how for PR points, they are kept in squalid, miserable refugee camps even in Palestinian Authority- and Hamas-controlled (I could just as easily say “occupied,” but I won't) territory, a fact of life for over 60 years for many Palestinian Arabs.

      The multiple millions of dollars that pour into Hamas's terrorist coffers and the billions funneled into the corrupt PA bankroll could have built more decent housing at the very least for its long-suffering citizens. But, that wouldn't suit them or their antisemitic backers like Iran whose main goal is the destruction of the Jewish State and disseminating the propaganda and missiles that will bring that about according to their odious desires.

      Supporters of BDS, whether willingly or unintentionally (how blind can one be?) by being suckered into it under cynical, phony “human rights” banners, aid and abet the genocidal target of utterly eliminating the State of Israel.

      And yes, calling the Palestinian Arabs “backwards” is racism, too; it is a sort of faulty thinking that looks on the Arabs as benighted children incapable of making sophisticated, mature decisions and maybe even looking to long-term peaceful stability by swallowing hard and accepting a powerful non-Moslem—Jewish—majority in one tiny country in their midst.

      As long as destroying Israel is more important to all-too-many Palestinian leaders, their virulently antisemitic backers such as Iran, and their jihadi cheerleaders in the ISM and BDS than the lives and future of the Palestinian Arab children, there will be continued war in the area.

      And, Jon, your op-ed blog above about the battle between the Right and Left is spot on. I say this as a lifelong liberal who recognizes that support for Israel is and ought to be a true liberal value, whereas lining up behind its enemies is as far from “progressive” as one can get as the war with bullets, bombs, mortars, rockets, and propaganda against the Jewish State is one of antediluvian reaction. And, I, like I hope, the majority of my fellow progressives and liberals, have absolutely no problem with tossing the BDSers out of the “progressive” and “liberal tent.” As they are really witting or unwitting reactionaries, they have no place among the truly liberal ranks. And, on this—i.e., considering them unworthy debate partners in civil and social discourse—I will proudly join hands with my conservative pro-Israel friends.

    • volleyboy1 August 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      Excellent Points Dr. Mike.

      My friends just got back from Israel and a visit to their families Kibbutz. They showed me pictures of the “fireworks” that hit their kibbutz.

      Sorry but those are deadly weapons. No doubt about it.

      Very well said.

  3. fizziks August 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Jon, this is an interesting piece, but there are two things I would take issue with.

    First there is this:

    “BDS travels under a wholly liberal banner and expresses itself almost entirely with a progressive vocabulary”

    I think it is more accurate to say that BDS expresses itself almost entirely with a progressive vocabulary when aiming their rhetoric at progressives. But when they are talking amongst themselves or to other audiences the rhetoric can vary greatly.

    For instance, Mondofront and Yahoo News are often graced by comments to the effect of 'I don't want $3 billion of MY tax dollars being sent to Israel…' which have a distinctly right-leaning ring to them. And, of course, when amongst other audiences liberal buzzwords like “peace” and “coexistence” are replaced with “revolution”, “armed resistance”, “total victory” and so on.

    Secondly, I disagree with the analysis that says the lack of 'progress' in the Middle East is what provides a conundrum to the progressive or liberal worldview. I think it is much simpler than that: The big tent of the left has two values that are now in fundamental conflict: a) universal human rights and b) cultural relativism. Many overlook the terrible anti-humanist nature of brutal regimes and societies in the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere choose the later value when they are in conflict, and this is the source of the conundrum that the ME conflict and other similar issues present to the left / progressive alliance.

    And a last thing: Pat Buchannon is both an antisemite and an anti-Zionist. I don't think he uses one to cover the other, I think he is rather open about both. And antisemitism is not, primarily, a religious hatred, but an ethnic or national one – I'm sure you know that but the way you phrased it in this piece was that Pat has a religious prejudice. Also, I would argue against the statement that he has been effectively marginalized by the right. He's still on TV, after all, and has been there for 30 years.

    • Anonymous August 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

      How does socially responsible investment have a right-leaning ring? Surely liberals who believe in peace, coexistence, and revolution wouldn't want their tax dollars used to counter-act and prevent the achievement of those goals.

    • fizziks August 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

      Bitching about taxes has a right leaning ring. Don't play dumb. Or maybe you're not playing. Who knows.

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 12:10 am #

      We're not “bitching” about taxes. We're bitching about how government funds are spent. For example, wouldn't you agree that liberals generally prefer and advocate for government funds to be spent more on education and welfare than the military? In any country where resources are limited, the citizenship must decide where to allocate its government's funds. There is nothing illiberal about advocating for 3 billion dollars/year to be put to better use.

    • DrMike August 20, 2012 at 1:37 am #

      So in order to prioritize things, you have decided that American aid to Israel (most of which is then spent in this country) is THE SINGLE #1 PRIORITY to cut from the US budget, correct? I don't see billboards or bus ads calling for ending subsidies to oil companies, or decreasing spending on the US military overall.

      But I really want to throw a different question at you: if the US did indeed stop its aid to Israel, would you then end your BDS efforts? Of course not. So stop claiming that this is your motivation.

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 1:44 am #

      When did I say that cutting US aid to Israel is the #1 priority? It is important, just like cutting military spending overall which is in fact on billboards and bus ads and is a pivotal part of both the Democratic Party and BDS platforms.

      Regarding your hypothetical, I would imagine that because Israel relies on US aid to sustain the occupation and its oppression of the Palestinians, there would no longer be a need for BDS. Undoubtedly, if the US were to genuinely cut off all aid to Israel until it meets its obligations under international law, Israel would have no choice but to do so.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 3:33 am #

      Something I learned once again just recently, Dr. Mike, and it surely applies to this latest Anon – don't argue with a moron, he'll just drag you down to his level and [at least make you look like a fool, too] with experience.

    • DrMike August 20, 2012 at 3:46 am #

      Jay, as we know, we're not going to convince any of these anons. While it would be great to have one of them post “wow, I never thought of THAT! You guys are right!”, in the words on the immortal Wayne Campbell “yeah, and pigs might fly out of my butt!”.
      But responding to them does serve several useful purposes 1) to sharpen the rhetorical ax, as it were– I give talks in the Bay Area about Israel and about BDS. So having already worked out the responses to any points that they can bring up can be helpful when actually on my feet at one of these. 2) for any of Jon's readers who is truly conflicted about BDS. Jon has had visits in the past from some thoughtful interlocutors who recognize on the one hand the need to try to help bring this conflict further towards a resolution and on the other the fact that BDS' version of a “resolution” is in fact a recipe for ongoing war.

      But to respond to Anon, the BDS manifesto insists that there is a need for BDS until Israel is eliminated as the state of the Jewish people. So are you actually renouncing the BDS Manifesto that insists on the fictional “right” of return for generations of descendants of Palestinian refugees? Or is “oppression” the state of being a minority of Israeli citizens, and “occupation” being the existence of the Jewish state on any part of the Jewish people's homeland?
      I don't recall meeting a BDS supporter here who stated that if Israel and the Palestinians came to a peace agreement– in which land borders were settled and the Palestinians got something real (a state) in exchange for renouncing a “right” that never existed– that he/she would then see no need for further BDS activities.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 3:57 am #

      All very good points, Dr. Mike. I admire your patience (or at least, your willingness to deal with liars and / or the delusional)…

      I, for one, would like to know when this particular Anon (the advantage of being an Anon, who can claim anything anywhere), who is obviously so concerned about 'human rights,' has ever denounced, say, the shooting of rockets at school buses or the decapitations of babies…

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 4:07 am #

      The right of return most certainly is included in Israel's obligations under international law. Believe it or not, Israel can remain the Jewish homeland while also being inclusive of Palestinian refugees, who suffer tremendously, and the Palestinians in the WB and Gaza, who also call Israel/Palestine their homeland. Would you mind explaining to me why you won't accept a one state solution? What is so bad about the Palestinians that makes every Zionist vomit when faced with the idea of, god forbid, sharing a land which both the Palestinians and Israelis see as home? As an American, the disconnect is astounding. My neighborhood is comprised of Jews, Arabs, African-Americans, Asians, and everything else under the sun. Imagine if one day I were to say that I want to move to a white-only neighborhood because I can't stand to live next to anyone who doesn't look like me or believe what I believe. I would be called a racist! And they would be right!

      Ultimately, the question you pose is not 'why can't the Jews have a homeland'. They can. They can live alongside the Palestinians as they've done for centuries. No, the question is rather 'why can't the Jews have a state at the expense of 4 millon Palestinians in the WB and Gaza and hundreds of thousands of refugees who'd like to return to their ancestral homeland. To that, the answer is self-evident.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 4:19 am #

      “Palestinian refugees, who suffer tremendously”

      Why are they still suffering tremendously in the places they were born, Anon? And are you also calling for the destruction of, say, Lebanon? And the other Arab countries, who continue to make them suffer? If not, why not?

      And oops, I typed this before I saw the rest of your comment. Clearly, Dr. Mike was correct in continuing to reply to you.

      “My neighborhood is comprised of Jews, Arabs, African-Americans, Asians, and everything else under the sun.”

      So does mine. Kensington, Philadelphia. The River Wards. Look it up.

      And so does Israel contain Africans, Arabs, Jews, etc etc. All citizens, and all with equal rights. Are you denying this is true? Are you really claiming Israel is a “white-only neighborhood?”

      My g-d, Anon, can you even take three seconds to do a simple google search to correct your ignorance?

    • fizziks August 20, 2012 at 4:34 am #

      Whoa Anon, you are straying off of the Mondofront reservation there!

      They can live alongside the Palestinians as they've done for centuries.

      Admitting that Jews have lived in Israel for centuries??? Tsk tsk. That is definitely deviating from the Mondofront party line.

      This is another example of the two-faced liars that comprise BDS. At Mondofront and Adalah and similar forums all you gullible idiots do is spin ridiculous conspiracy theories fed to you by Press TV and Shlomo Sands about the Khazars and 'fake' Jews, how Israel is nothing but a European colony and what not. And yet when you go out in 'public' and think other people are looking you try to make nice with a soothing concession such as this that completely contradicts what you all say over there. Bitch please, we weren't born yesterday.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 4:58 am #

      It would be nice if they weren't allowed to post as “anonymous,” as well.

      It would be interesting (and of course, quite useful) to be able to track just how many of these types that there are, but this just isn't in the cards, I guess.

    • Sylvia August 20, 2012 at 5:13 am #

      Because a one-state solution as you call it will not be a democracy with equal rights for all religions and their members – at least not for very long.

      I won't spell it out because I do not wish to sound politically incorrect.

      Perhaps you should research it on your own. Nothing to do with “color”. Many Palestinians are whiter than we are.

      Trust me, skin color is only in your mind – not ours.

    • Sylvia August 20, 2012 at 5:27 am #

      Anonymous
      The questions of the Palestinian refugees and that of the Jewish refugees from Arabo-Muslim lands are tied at the hip. They were already tied in UN Resolution 242.

      The fact that you mention one without the other tells me that you are lagging behind in terms of the I/P Conflict debate.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 5:29 am #

      Sylvia – you are absolutely correct when you call Anon out on this, and you do not need to worry about sounding 'politically incorrect.' Do not even grant them that fig leaf, for even a second.

      The guy has not only never been to Israel, but he has also clearly never even attended an Israeli event in the US (assuming he's an American — but I'm sure there are also similar events in the UK, Canada and Australia, etc), either, like the one I was just at earlier this summer, where Mizrahim and Sephardim were and are prominent amongst performers and participants.

      Or he does know this, and he's lying. But then, neither one is good, is it? I mean, in the end, all one really has to do is a Google image search of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to put the lie to this “white-only, apartheid” bullcrap.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 5:33 am #

      Oh, or to look up what their hero, Omar Barghouti, master of BDS, is.

      Which would be a grad student at Israel's largest public university.

      BDS that, homies.

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 6:37 am #

      Actually, I thought I would stay out of this because the anon BDS visitor is so full of it, but in his or her comment above he or she actually revealed himself for a bigot. He sees his neighbors as black, Asian, etc. That's funny because I would see them all as Americans. For our BDS BSer, people are their color. That's too bod but also too revealing to let pass.

      BDS BSer is right that Jews have lived in Israel for centuries and of course Arabs have discriminated against them for centuries. The Arabs haven't even spent five minutes examining their treatment of Jews, or any other minority for that matter. The BDS BS is simply to tow the line and spread the lie that Jews were treated well. This is of course false and given that half my family is Arab, I think I have a good handle on things.

      The BDS hero Abunimah denies Jews are a people and states openly they will have no national rights in this wonderful one state you support. Further he has said that all citizens will have equal rights with exceptions for local custom — well local custom is that Jews have to wear distinct clothing, have to pay special taxes, can't testify against Muslims in court, etc… Local custom is to discriminate against Jews. He's telling you that the state the Palestinians want to create is a racist, apartheid state.

      So once it exists, I suppose you will call for BDS against Palestine? You are a joke. All these anti-Israel people can't even be bothered to hold a rally against Assad in Syria. It's fine with you if innocent people die for real — you would much rather throw around made-up figures about Palestinians while Syrian children die.

      I even know your response — that the US doesn't give Syria money so there's nothing to protest. Of course the BDS movement has worked closely with Assad. The “aid convoys” go through Syria. George Galloway and other stalwarts of the movement fawn over Assad. Anti-Israel activist pose with SSNP flags. The BDS movement is happy to list the Syrian groups that support it. You had an alliance with the Syrians or so they must have thought.

      You have used the Syrian people and now that they are being devoured, you are willing to see them thrown to the lions without a word of protest on your part. If there are any Palestinians reading this, understand that this is what will happen to you once the BDS crowd is through with you.

      If BDS really wants to see the one state they claim, then I would expect them to go about trying to convince Jews and Israelis that they could really create a state that would recognize Jewish rights. Instead, they align themselves with Jew-hating murderers and thugs and then sit quietly while those allies murder and rape and torture. Your leaders deny Jews even exist and spread racist lies about Jewish control of the media and political institutions.

      No wonder most Israelis don't accept a one-state solution. It's all just BDS BS.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 6:53 am #

      Eh, I don't see how he's a 'bigot' for noting the ethnicity of his neighbors.

      Careful of that charge, for one could then claim that, say, Jews in Egypt in 1967 were not being discriminated against for being Jews. After all, they were just random “Egyptians,” right?

      Which is not to say that our BDSer Anon friend isn't a bigot (I'd bet he is), but there are better ways to peg him than that. Just sayin'…

    • Sylvia August 20, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      Anonymous BDSer

      Here is a start
      http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/clueless-in-cleveland-about-jewish-refugees/

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 7:23 am #

      Progressives will note that there is not currently a Jewish refugee problem, because Israel took in the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries.

      Would that this were true for the Arab countries and their endless abuse of Palestinian 'refugees,' eh?

    • fizziks August 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

      However Jay, as you may remember from Daily Kos, according to one of the brilliant members of the anti-Israel brain trust there, back when Israel took in the Jewish refugees they settled them in southern cities such as Ashkelon, which they knew, in they're Zionist diabolical wisdom, would 60 years later be the front lines in Hamas rocket attacks. Therefore they weren't taking them in as citizens so much as human shields. (yes, this was actually said, and uprated)

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      Ha! Good times…

    • volleyboy1 August 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

      fiz… excellent points, particularly on the Right/Left rhetoric. Anon furthers this with his “Teh Federal Gubmin't can't spend the money properly”… THAT is a right wing / Libertarian talking point.

      The BDS Anon post is a Paulbot or LaRouchite. That much is clear from his rhetoric.

  4. JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    Here is an instructive example of the problem at hand.

    This is an aspiring author whose agent told him to increase his Twitter followers to make his naive, anti-Israel tome more attractive to a publisher. So he went to a popular left wing blog, not a right wing one, to get those followers. There's a reason for that, and it isn't because he wanted to aid some alleged conservative smear campaign.

    This is not at all to make any sort of judgment call on the entirety of the Left's values as a whole (I am, after all, a lifelong liberal, and I'm sure I always will be), but the point is that his support there at that site, at least while I participated there until just last year, was quite instructive when it comes to the issue at hand. Even if BDS support at left blogs is only limited to a minority, it's certainly a much larger number than at right blogs; and is in fact not an insignificant portion of support, either. The diary I linked to above received well over 400 'recommends,' which means that he spent at least a day at the top of the prominent 'recommended diaries' list on the front page of that site, which claims over 3 million hits a month.

    This level of support can not simply be explained away by claiming there's only a tiny, chameleonic group pushing this stuff, and that they're not welcome amongst 'the real left.' Which I agree (and know) that they actually aren't, in general as a whole (to add a bunch of qualifiers), but still… why does most of the BDSers' support, at least on the internet, come from left forums?

    If we want to beat them, we'll need to understand how to counteract them on this.

    I'm also pretty sure that the BDS-loving, anti-Israel kids at, say, the University of Pennsylvania, aren't members of Young Republican groups, either, but that's another issue for another time.

    So either the community at places like Daily Kos (and HuffPo, Cif, etc etc) either are likely, in general, to support calls to end Israel, or they're just easily duped f'ing morons. Neither speaks well to the online left, or refutes the point at hand, to say the very least. So I guess I'd say that means there's a problem.

    That all being said, I don't see how this is a mark against liberals as a whole, and I take no offense to this being pointed out. It just means we need to clean up our house, and keep on our toes. That's what I've been doing for a while now, anyway, and is what I'll continue to do.

    • fizziks August 20, 2012 at 4:26 am #

      Indeed, the embrace by some people on the left of that transparent fraud David Harris Gershon, no matter how small in number, is a blemish on the left.

      I tend to think that phenomenon, number-wise, it is a pretty evenly divided combination of true, nasty antisemitism, and epic gullibility. Either way, it speaks very poorly of anyone involved.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 4:36 am #

      Nice link, and great piece. I don't want to link to it anymore for obvious reasons, but that is just an absolute classic work. I highly approve, fiz. :)

    • fizziks August 20, 2012 at 4:50 am #

      Thanks! It's still coming up on page 1, as far as I can tell.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 4:59 am #

      #3 on page 1 for me, but I don't want to log out of Google and check that way, because I'm not quite sure I'm tech-literate enough to even get back in to my own account. Heh.

    • fizziks August 20, 2012 at 5:37 am #

      #6 on page 1 from a logged out browser.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 6:11 am #

      Nice. 5 spots to go!

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Oh, and btw. Just re-read the comments there. :)

      Ekta did indeed live up to its hype (mostly). The malai kofta, the baigan bharta, the paneer mangoli and the naan (garlic, onion, alu, paneer, palak, whatever… it's all good!). All just fantastic.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 7:17 am #

      They do generally come a bit short on the meat dishes, but I can certainly deal with that. And I can also just wait until the next time I visit my mother, who lives up in Central New Jersey, in the greatest place in the world for Indian food outside of India anyway, for that… ;)

  5. Stop BDS Park Slope August 20, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    Jay -

    I think part of the answer to your question comes from the fact that guys like Barghouti and Abunimah are coming out of a Marxist camp. As Marxists they do their “marketing,” as it were, among other Marxists and their close neighbors on the extreme left.

    I think people from both sides of the spectrum are guilty of buying their politics bundled. Someone can say “Climate change is an important issue to me, and I see it is an important issue to Joe. Joe also says Israel is a pariah. Well, I don't know much about Israel, but because I agree with Joe on climate change, he must be right about Israel, too.” And there is the reverse, “I like Israel. Joe hates Israel. I don't know anything about climate change, but Joe thinks it's important. He is wrong on Israel, so he must be wrong on climate change, as well.”

    But just to put things in perspective, and this is totally anecdotal. My Brooklyn Food Coop is probably overall left leaning just by virtue of being in Brooklyn and being a Coop. When we had our vote on holding a BDS referendum, 90% of the Coop stayed home. Only 4% voted in favor of holding the referendum, and some of them voted for holding the referendum, even though they opposed BDS, because they felt it to be the most democratic means of decision making.

    I guess my point is, that Daily Kos or Huff Post, might seem overwhelmingly pro-BDS. But when you view the comments, you are looking at a self-selected subset, and you shouldn't draw conclusions from that.

    Nycerbarb

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 6:00 am #

      I understand your point, and I'm not drawing conclusions from anything. I've noted

      But they're not drawing their talking points from the right, are they? They're not claiming that boycotting Jews is a core conservative value, and they're not writing highly-popular blogs at RedState, are they?

      Once again, I say this as a life-long liberal. I voted for Ralph Nader (much as I hate to admit) in the first presidential election I was able to vote in (I was only 17 in 1996, but I probably would have voted for Clinton then). I was a Howard Dean volunteer in 2003 / 2004, I was for Edwards later in that race and .

      I knocked on doors for Tim Carden in NJ in 2002, for Steve Brozak in 2004, for Linda Stender in 2006.

      I was in a small meeting of like fourteen people in a tiny room in Southeast Portland in 2008 when, planning our strategy which would eventually send a largely unknown Oregon State House representative to the United States Senate, we organized the plan for the Jeff Merkley campaign.

      Certain people (not you!) like to lie about and smear me these days, but I am always what I have been, and I always will be what I am. I know how politics works. I've been a part of it all of my adult life. I've knocked on tens of thousands of doors canvassing. I know where the left is coming from.

      Whether we want to believe it or not, BDS is a left phenomenon these days. It's not just the language. It's the whole shebang. They're gaining a solid foothold there, and BDS is not coming from the right.

      This is not meant to be an insult to my fellow liberals, it's meant to let us know to keep our guard up. Of course, I obviously agree that BDS is not a liberal value. But again, the Penn BDSers aren't Young Republicans. They may not be Democrats, either, but that's not the point… if they're anything, they're leftists. They're not conservatives. BDS isn't coming from the right.

      I'm not only drawing the conclusion from what I see on Daily Kos.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      Well, that was weird. Some of my words were left out of this comment! Please ignore the seemingly weird missing stuff, the overall point of the comment isn't really affected… ;)

  6. Dusty August 20, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    Anonymous says : Israel bombed the schools and hospitals that it had said were safe zones, that were housing innocent civilians at the time. Look it up.

    I did look it up, and according to Wikileaks, hospitals were not used for “civilians” See http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09JERUSALEM317

    Hamas operates interrogation rooms in hospitals,
    clinics, former NGOs, and residences, al-Mughani said. He
    described Gaza City's Shifa Hospital as “an operations center
    for Hamas” and said it was a virtual “closed military zone”
    during the December 2008 – January 2009 fighting. Anyone
    attempting to visit patients during the conflict was subject
    to scrutiny from Hamas security personnel.

    That was from Wikileaks, Anonymous- hardly part of the evil network of Zionist media control.

  7. Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    From Amnesty International (pages 33-34):

    Al-Quds hospital, located in the Tal al-Hawa neighbour-hood in the centre of Gaza City, was repeatedly struck from morning to night on 15 January by white phosphorus lumps, white phosphorus artillery shells and tank shells, eventually forcing medical staff and patients to
    evacuate the facility. At the time, some 50 patients were receiving treatment at the hospital and about 500 local residents had sought shelter there from the bombardments and shelling
    in the area.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/015/2009/en/8f299083-9a74-4853-860f-0563725e633a/mde150152009en.pdf

    • Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      Moreover, I'm sure you know that that leak wasn't written by Wikileaks as you implied. It was written by the American Consulate in Israel.

    • fizziks August 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      Oh Anon, you keep straying from the Mondofront script!

      Above you admitted that Jews have lived in Israel for “centuries”, in clear violation of Mondofront policy. And here you are implying that agents of the US government – ie the “second biggest terrorist in the world” – second to you-know-who – are to be taken as credible?

      And this, again, is what so clearly demonstrates the two-faced lying nature of BDS people. When you're over there and similar places, you can't get enough parroting the antisemitic pseudoscience of Press TV and Shlomo Sands, and anti-American extremism such as 9/11 CT, but then you come in here and its totally different. Bleh.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2012 at 1:15 am #

      Fizziks, that response does little more than demonstrate your own ignorance and your poor reading skills.

      Your assertion that Mondoweiss denies the historical Jewish presence in Palestine is an outright lie. Here's an excerpt from an article they published just 10 days ago:

      “No one disputes that Jewish presence in Palestine has been continuous since antiquity, albeit in varying degrees of population percentage whereby Jews often represented a very small minority of the total population of Palestine. In 1517, when the Ottoman Empire seized control of Palestine, Jewish inhabitants of the region made up only 1.7% of the native population. By 1882, Jewish Palestinians comprised 8% of the population.”

      http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/standwithus-revisionist-history-train-campaign.html

      Of course, if you would actually read Mondoweiss before routinely making ill-informed (and frankly, ridiculous) comments about its content, authors, and readership, you would have known not to write something that could be disproven so easily.

      Secondly, I did not “implying that agents of the US government are to be taken as credible”. In fact, just the opposite. Dusty used that Wikileaks leak as “proof” that Israel hadn't bombed hospitals, and tried to paint it as unbiased proof by arguing that Wikileaks, who he believes is hostile towards Israel, published/wrote it. I corrected him, saying that Wikileaks merely published a leaked document it had received from a whistleblower, that Wikileaks itself obviously hadn't endorsed the contents of the cable.

      Read, bro.

    • fizziks August 21, 2012 at 2:41 am #

      I'm not your bro. Not by a long shot.

      But I do read Mondofront. In fact, it was precisely their spasms of exctasy over Shlomo Sands et al. denying Jewish peoplehood, and their parroting of transparent antisemitic Iranian regime propaganda as fact, that first turned me on to the true danger that anti-Israel people pose.

      I can pretty confidently say that if it wasn't for Mondofront, and their alter egos at Daily Kos, with their enthusiastic embrace of the Khazar hoax and other antisemitic extremism, I would have remained much less vested in defending Israel. But once I saw the anti-science, anti-rationality, hate filled psychopaths that dominate your movement, I sprung into action.

      I know, I know, your anti Israel people aren't like that. But all the ones I have ever seen or heard from are. So boo.

  8. Sylvia August 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Coincidentally, just today, a group of Chinese soldiers specializing in homefront defense came to visit today in Sderot.
    They came to see the only sheltered children playground in the world and spent time there today playing with the children -who just loved them.
    Unlike Gaza, we don't invest in fancy hotels, we have no gourmet restaurants, and the only movie theater closed over a decade ago. We invest instead in keeping our children safe and showing those who share the same values how it's done.
    May our experience be of use to all those victims of violence present and future, throughout the world.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      Which is truly sad, really. That Israel thrives today as it does, despite being under constant assault, is amazing. I wonder what Sderot and other southern cities could be like if they were able to live like any other society in the world, and not have to invest so much in simply protecting themselves from constant attacks by the terrorist organization next door.

  9. Anonymous August 22, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    A leaked report from an eyewitness in Gaza Saji al-Mughani, who lives and works
    in Gaza is discounted, because it came from an “American” source. After all only Palestinian sources are reliable. Footage of mosques and schools used as armories are discounted as well, because only sources that perpetuate Palestinian victimhood could possibly be reliable. Its like talking to a flat earther

    • Anonymous August 22, 2012 at 1:59 am #

      Give me a break. That leak says virtually nothing of interest to this debate and it's sad that that's the best you can come up with. Contrary to what Dusty says, al-Mughani doesn't even deny that hospitals, which were sanctioned as civilian safe-zones, were attacked by Israeli forces. He only refers to one hospital out of many.

      This is the problem with you guys. You're all so desperate to find any source that you can spin to fit your skewed romantic vision of Israel that you completely ignore the substantive human rights reports that are all but required reading for both sides of the political spectrum. If you don't understand the basic facts (and the fact that hospitals and schools used as civilian shelters were bombed is one), then you really need to learn something before you make decisions on which side to support in this conflict. Your ignorance affects real people.

      The aforementioned reports:

      Amnesty International: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/015/2009/en/8f299083-9a74-4853-860f-0563725e633a/mde150152009en.pdf

      B'Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/castlead_operation

      Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2010/israel-occupied-palestinian-territories-opt

      Goldstone Report: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/9/docs/UNFFMGC_Report.pdf

    • fizziks August 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      It is good that you trust Richard Goldstone as an authority. So you must agree with his editorial that Israel does not practice Apartheid. Excellent.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/opinion/israel-and-the-apartheid-slander.html

    • fizziks August 23, 2012 at 1:05 am #

      Oh, and here are some more of the typical lovely people from your movement:

      http://www.investigativeproject.org/3716/israel-america-bashed-at-iranian-inspired-dc-rally

      Great, high quality people you've got there on your side. So coherent! And peace loving!

      I know, I know. Your anti-Israel people aren't like that. Somehow your anti-Israel people have very little web presence.

    • DrMike August 23, 2012 at 1:22 am #

      you forgot to add that B'Tselem lists as “civilians” adults who were officially honored as “fighters” by Hamas and PIJ:
      see http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=201946

      more on B'tselem: http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2010/11/btselems-hypocrisy.html

      here's a nice list of HUNDREDS of people classified by B'tselem as “civilians” claimed by terror groups themselves as active members:

      http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-of-those-civilians-killed-in-gaza.html
      who are you going to believe, B'tselem or Hamas, as to who was a terrorist?

      so let's see–Goldstone repudiates the “apartheid” canard, B'tselem is repudiated by Hamas itself, Human Rights Watch has been repudiated by its own founder….. yep, “must-read” sources.

      though I guess those references aren't reliable to Anon since they aren't BDS sites, which are of course impeccable in their accurate and unbiased portrayal of the facts….

    • Anonymous August 23, 2012 at 4:40 am #

      How does Goldstone “repudiating the apartheid canard” have anything to do with the legitimacy of the Goldstone Report? The Goldstone Report didn't investigate whether or not Israel practices apartheid, but rather the legality of Operation Cast Lead. I frankly don't care much at all with regards to Goldstone's personal opinion on the applicability of the apartheid label to Israel.

      Concerning the three links:
      Link 1) Most of the controversy regarding casualties statistics stemmed from difficulties in determining the innocence of members of the police force. Both the Goldstone Report and B'Tselem statistics put the police in a separate category, separate from both civilians and fighters. I believe that this was the fairest way that they could have done it, don't you?

      B'Tselem statistics: http://old.btselem.org/statistics/english/casualties.asp?sD=27&sM=12&sY=2008&eD=18&eM=01&eY=2009&filterby=event&oferet_stat=during

      Also, it can sometimes be hard for international human rights NGOs to garner 100% accurate statistics when the Israeli government refuses to allow them entry before, during, and after the “war”. Just sayin'.

      Link 2) This is nonsensical garbage. No further response necessary.

      Link 3) This blog post refers to the PCHR statistics, not B'Tselem's. Am I missing something?

      Actually, Dr. Mike, when I try to build an argument, I use legitimate statistics from legitimate sources (i.e. the UN, AI, HRW, etc.). You're the one who links to the Elder of Ziyon and similar filth.

    • DrMike August 24, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Wow, so many softballs lobbed at me I don't even know where to start!
      1. While it was Fizziks who made the initial reference and I just mentioned it, perhaps you missed where Goldstone also repudiated many of the conclusions that people like you have drawn from the report that bears his name. Odd, that you missed it; it was quite newsworthy at the time. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reconsidering-the-goldstone-report-on-israel-and-war-crimes/2011/04/01/AFg111JC_story_1.html He notes that “civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy” by Israel. Hate to deflate your balloon on that one. No apartheid, no intentional targeting of civilians– oh wait, there WAS intentional targeting of civilians in that war: “That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.”

      2. “nonsensical garbage, no further response necessary”. Gee, when I try to build an argument, I usually try to use facts. How about if I take any statement of the BDS cru and say “nonsensical garbage, no further response necessary”.

      3. You are correct about that post referring to PCHR stats and not B'tselem. My bad– you must realize that it's hard to keep all those faux “human rights” groups straight. Here's a better reference about B'tselem's flawed methodology: http://spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=5980

      but let's get serious: Aside from the fact that your “legitimate sources” include the UN (remember, the same group that is about to elect SYRIA to the Human Rights Council and named Iran to the Commission on the Status of Women), your reference to EoZ as “filth” gives away both your agenda and your mindset.
      I don't believe that I have used the word “filth” to describe those who I disagree with. And because I don't comment Anonymously, you can track MY comments on this site. I'm pretty damn sure Jon hasn't used it either. “Filth” is a term used by those who seek to delegitimize the very existence of opponents. It's language favored by Ahmedinejad, and by the extremist Islamic clerics whose sermons get broadcasted on PA and Hamas TV.
      Referring to people as “filth” is the first step towards openly calling for their extermination. It's a time-tested tactic over the centuries. You want to have a legitimate political discussion? Fine. You want to refer to those with whom you disagree as “filth”? Get the fuck out of here, take your blatant anti-Semitism with you, and go back to the foul swamp of places like Stormfront where you will find plenty of people who agree with you.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 2:38 am #

      And the doctor carves up our latest brave Anon's 'arguments' with surgical precision…

      ;)

      Anon doesn't care what Goldstone himself says, he only cares about the impression his friends get about what Goldstone must have meant when he was saying things that they don't believe he was really saying. Or something like that.

    • Anonymous August 24, 2012 at 3:19 am #

      Really, Dr. Mike? Scroll up to where fizziks refers to Mondoweiss as Mondofront (not once, not twice, but many, many times throughout this comment thread and many others). It's funny that I make one admittedly distasteful comment about a blog with which I vehemently disagree, and I'm immediately called an anti-Semite and Stormfront member, but fizziks can use far worse rhetoric against Mondoweiss and you're completely silent. That's the most blatant hypocrisy I've seen on this site in a long time.

      P.S. And the Goldstone report was authored by four people. Only Goldstone later repudiated the findings while all three of the others issued statements in support. I know full well what Goldstone has said since the report came out, and it doesn't change my mind about the findings of this report or those of any other's.

    • DrMike August 24, 2012 at 4:41 am #

      of course nothing anyone says against the report will change your mind. And given the fact that two of the other members of the committee had declared Israel guilty prior to the start of any “investigation”, it's just another example of the “impartiality” of the UN that you value so highly.

      Sorry, associating Mondoweiss' ideology with Stormfront is a far cry from referring to someone as “filth”. If that's the most blatant hypocrisy you've seen, then you're not reading any of Jon's posts exposing the hypocrisy that is the entire core of the BDS movement.

      You'll pardon the Jewish people's sensitivity to terms like that given the lessons we have learned both in the last century and this about people who use who refer to us as “filth”. And don't give me that shit that it's only “Zionists”. As Dr King said shortly before his death (no, this is NOT from the “Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend” which has been exposed as a hoax)”“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.” (Zionists= those who support the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination in a portion of their historical homeland. Not limited to settlers, Likudniks, neocons but rather including J Streeters, Meretz voters, and the overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans).

      You want to apologize for your own abusive language? Do it like a man (or woman). “Admittedly distasteful” doesn't cut it.

    • Anonymous August 24, 2012 at 5:27 am #

      “Sorry, associating Mondoweiss' ideology with Stormfront is a far cry from referring to someone as “filth”.”

      I didn't refer to “someone” as “filth”. I referred to “something” as “filth”, namely the blog “Elder of Ziyon”. I realize now that the editor of that blog also refers to himself as “the Elder of Ziyon” but clearly I was referring to the blog and its contents because I said “You're the one who links to the Elder of Ziyon and similar filth.” One doesn't link to a “person”, but rather a website or an article, so let's stop perpetuating the myth that I called anyone “filth”. Saying someone is filth is a far cry from saying that what someone writes is filth.

      And sorry if that offended you. I'm glad that you suddenly care so much about maintaining civil discourse between the pro-BDSers and anti-BDSers. I'm still waiting for you to apologize for the fact that many people on this website call all BDSers (not just certain ones) Nazis, anti-semites, white supremacists, bigots, conservatives (shout-out to fizziks), Communists, terrorists, America-haters, Jihadists, and virtually every other derogatory name one could think of. Of course, that doesn't mean anything to you because they're on your side, and I don't expect you to apologize. But let's stop pretending that me calling that blog “filth” even approaches the level of vicious rhetoric that others have used on this website, including you for that matter. Up until now, I've kept all of my comments fairly level-headed. I haven't resorted to your tactics by calling all Zionists bigoted, Islamophobic, or racists, because not all of them are. I've tried to engage with the issues presented here substantively, but for the past few comments, all you've been trying to do is frame me as an anti-Semite, associate me with Stormfront, and twist my words to mean something completely different. If anyone should apologize, it's you, Dr. Mike.

    • fizziks August 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Actually, much of the content at Mondofront is indistinguishable from the content at Stormfont. Here are some examples:

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/25/997457/-This-Stuff-Could-be-at-Stormfront

      (see if you can correctly identify which passages came from Mondoweiss and which came from a website that is open about being neo-Nazis, rather than occasiionally hiding behind a thin liberal veneer)

      I know BDSers like you hate when the obvious is pointed out, but nonetheless it is still obvious.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      Yeah, I think “truth” is a pretty good defense against what you're being accused of by this latest Anon…

    • Sylvia August 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      Mondoweiss is a site where members have called for “Zionists and their friends” to be “decapitated”. I don't think anyone at Stormfront has ever gone that far.
      As a matter of fact, as an Israeli with no other citizenship, I was thinking seriously of having him served with a law suit at the border last time he came to the Est Bank to genuflex before his benefactors.

      Threatening people with decapitation is a serious offense.

    • Sylvia August 24, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

      And the fact, Anon, that you seem to be totally desensitized to the abuse spewed on that site says a lot about you.
      That's precisely what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil”.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      This is a very good point, Sylvia.

      Some of them don't even realize how depraved and vile what they're seeing truly is, and when it's pointed out to them, instead of taking a step back to reassess the situation, their immediate reaction is instead to assume they're being 'attacked' by some malicious Zionist conspiracy, or whatever, and to double down (or worse) on the incitement and hate speech they've been led to believe aligns with their own political points of view.

      That only applies to the naive amongst them, of course. Then there are the truly bad actors, who only pretend to not know what they're up to…

    • Anonymous August 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      Sylvia, either attach a link to your comment so I can independently verify your allegations or don't say anything at all. I read Mondoweiss all the time and I'm very curious to know where you read that “Zionists and their friends” should be “decapitated. Of course, it's almost certain that you just made that up, but I'll still be waiting for you to produce some form of evidence. Since JayinPhiladelphia was clearly duped by you too, maybe he could help you search.

      Fizziks, you're honestly no better than the Republicans who take that Obama quote “you didn't build that” to mean “the government built your business” rather than it's contextual meaning, “the government built the infrastructure to help your business succeed”. If you take random quotes completely out of context, it's very easy to draw similarities to a handpicked quote of any bigot of your choosing. I could easily pull quotes from your comments and compare them to those of white supremacists, but why would I? It's easier and more rewarding to defeat you on the issues rather than issuing desperate accusations of racism.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

      A link was provided above by fizziks, oh brave anonymous poster whose past statements can conveniently never be tracked, which is what I built my above comment around. I did not build it around any 'decapitation' comment, although I surely wouldn't doubt that either, considering all I already know about that hate site.

      The goalpost store just called, and asked you to stop moving the merchandise around.

      “Random quotes completely out of context”?

      Thanks for proving my point in the comment above, Anon. Truth hurts oh so bad, don't it?

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Oh, and since you asked Anon, here it is.

      “They are vipers who need to be decapitated.”

      In a moderated thread. Not only decapitation, but also eliminationism.

      Now apologize to Sylvia and the rest of us.

    • Sylvia August 24, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

      … and be sure you look at the date. It's been there long enough for the whole blogosphere to make a screenshot … along with other items.

      And not just ANY moderated thread, Jay. It's an immoderately moderated thread.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

      And the sad thing is, it's probably not even close to the most disgusting comment ever made there.

      Something tells me Anon will pretend this never happened though, eh? I'm sure he'll just… ignore it.

      He still owes you an apology, though.

    • Sylvia August 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

      You can be sure she/he went to tell Harpie to delete the post.

      An apology? Don't hold your breath.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

      Assuming “Anon” isn't Phil Weiss or Adam Horowitz, themselves… ;)

    • Anonymous August 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

      OH, it was a COMMENT. In that case, let's take a quick look at just one article in Ynet news and see what comments they tolerate: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3651665,00.html

      Comment 18) Let's start with one individual calling for Gaza to be obliterated and turned into a parking lot:
      “any other normal country would have obliterated gaza from the air and turned it into a parking lot without sending in its young men to be slaughtered in hand to hand combat with these murderous butchers. Olmert and Barak we will never forget and forgive you for this. “

      Comment 38) Hmm, here someone is saying that he's happy when the “problem” (Palestinians) dies: “But no-one cares about you or how many Palestinians civilians die – infact, the world is very happy because you'll be another problem out the way. “

      Comment 22) This guy says to ignore the school bombings. After all, who cares about Palestinians, right???:
      “Do not rush into a ceasefire. Keep going and ignore the school bombinga s it was provoked by the terrorists inside.”

      And this is a separate, yet perfectly applicable instance, but how could we forget Ehud Barak's infamous quote, “Those who operate against us will be decapitated.” Sound familiar?

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4112000,00.html

      Hypocrisy at it's finest today.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

      The possessive pronoun form is “its,” anon. I wasn't gonna go into this earlier, but now it's (contraction – it is) like nails on a chalkboard.

      Anyway.

      Sylvia, either attach a link to your comment so I can independently verify your allegations or don't say anything at all. I read Mondoweiss all the time and I'm very curious to know where you read that “Zionists and their friends” should be “decapitated.”

      Right there, where I linked to, Anon.

      Of course, it's almost certain that you just made that up,

      This is where you owe Sylvia an apology.

      but I'll still be waiting for you to produce some form of evidence.

      Done.

      Since JayinPhiladelphia was clearly duped by you too, maybe he could help you search.

      See above.

      Thank you, Anon, for once again confirming my thesis, that you, like so many other BDSers, are a master of ignorance in all of its (possessive pronoun, see how that works?) forms.

      And you still owe Sylvia an apology.

    • Sylvia August 24, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

      You can have all these guys arrested when they come to see you in the West Bank.

      I feel threatened by these people if they come to my country. As a peaceful person, non-belligerent, a woman, a Zionist and an Israeli, it is my right to go to court to defend myself from threats. And I'll do it.

      Did you say apology, Jay?

    • Sylvia August 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

      “Assuming “Anon” isn't Phil Weiss or Adam Horowitz, themselves…”

      I don't think so. They're probably out enjoying their 40 000 pieces of silver ;)

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

      Heh. Regardless, it's still fun playing with this angry little fella… ;)

    • Anonymous August 24, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

      Ah, the two signs that you're winning a debate coming to the fore: 1) your opponent calling you out on a typo and 2) your opponent resorting to accusations of racism. I feel good about this.

      Aside from the fact that I've already thoroughly refuted Sylvia's main point, I don't feel the need to apologize for not believing her allegations because her initial comment implied that Weiss/Horowitz had published that message, not a reader of the site in the comment section. She said it was written by a “member” of Mondoweiss. I don't really know what that means. If I comment on a NYT article, does that make me a member of the NYT? No. That doesn't make sense. Had she said that some random person had written that comment instead, I wouldn't have thrown it out as rubbish.

      And sorry, Sylvia – you can't just sue anyone with whom you disagree, just like I can't sue the individuals who wrote those racist comments on Ynet.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 25, 2012 at 12:13 am #

      It's not a “typo” when it's clearly a consistent, chalkboard-scraping habit, duke. Rather, it's just a part of making fun of you, and proving that you're not as bright as you think you are.

      If you think you're 'winning a debate' by having your illiteracy pointed out in a joking manner, that's your problem. Not mine.

      You haven't “refuted” anything, and you've only provided a classic example of BDSer ignorance.

      Do keep trying though, Anon. It's kinda cute.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 25, 2012 at 12:17 am #

      And you still owe Sylvia an apology.

    • Sylvia August 25, 2012 at 12:25 am #

      I can sue the website owner. In Israel we take death threats very very seriously.

    • Anonymous August 25, 2012 at 12:31 am #

      Yeah, I'd say that the fact that you've wasted a ton of my (and your) time by harping on my misuse of “it's” (the two times in this entire comment thread that I did misuse it – I'm sorry that I don't revise my comments for grammar) is a pretty good indicator that you don't really have anything of substance to say.

      You completely ignored the Ynet comments I provided you and thus revealed your outrageous double standard, you continue to insist that I owe Sylvia an apology even though she clearly misspoke in such a way that it changed the meaning of her comment entirely, and you continue to really say nothing of interest to anyone but yourself.

      You fail. Really, it's just pathetic.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 25, 2012 at 1:01 am #

      I have nothing of substance to say? Aside from also blowing to shreds every 'argument' you've made, you mean?

      Yeah. Rock on with your bad self, Anon. ;)

      And you still owe Sylvia an apology.

    • Anonymous August 25, 2012 at 1:05 am #

      I want some of what you're smoking.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 25, 2012 at 1:08 am #

      Ah, the sure sign I'm winning an argument. When my opponent accuses me of being on drugs. Particularly when he's the one who can't spell.

      Do keep this up, please. :)

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 25, 2012 at 1:10 am #

      And you still owe Sylvia an apology, honey.

      ;)

    • fizziks August 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      Also, Anon, honey, all of the Mondoweiss content in the link I gave was from Front Page articles, not comments. So you don't get to compare it to the comments at ynet, NY Times or anywhere else. Those things that are linked, which are indistinguishable from a neo-Nazi web site, are what Phil Weiss and the other Front Pagers believe.

    • JayinPhiladelphia August 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      Well fizziks, you'll note that our brave Anononymous friend did claim that your link only contained “[r]andom quotes completely out of context”.

      As if there's any 'context' in which sounding exactly like a neo-Nazi can be acceptable…

  10. Sylvia August 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    No doubt you have encountered this news on every BDS-supporting site:
    Don’t go to Israel because it mistreats Palestinians, South Africa tells citizens as mayors cancel trip
    August 13, 2012 by Ali Abunimah on Electronic Intifada
    “Because of the treatment and policies of Israel towards the Palestinian people, we strongly discourage South Africans from going there,” South Africa’s deputy minister of international relations and co-operation has told a South African newspaper

    But how about this one?

    On august 16, Massacre by South African police of mineworkers protesting their conditions. 34 dead.

    Only Counterpunch calls it a massacre. And if you expect the usual “bleeding hearts” and white knights of “Jewish values” to mention it, well, don’t hold your breath. Only Hebrew graffiti awaken their compassion – and unleashes their outrage.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19290086
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/south-africa-mine-shooting_n_1794042.html

  11. Sylvia August 25, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    The BDS Rabbis are now Rabbis for Obama!
    We were treated to the Arafat's Rabbis, then the Ahmadinejad's Rabbis now it's Obama's Rabbis.

    No need for a link, it's all over the place, take your pick.

    Now, isn't it time to drop that silly right vs left argument and face reality?

  12. Sylvia August 29, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    Read on the website on the JVP Rabbinical Council:

    ““The state many [sic] not be legally culpable, but the Jewish people are not exonerated, or free from the stain of Rachel Corrie’s death.”

    http://palestiniantalmud.com/2012/08/28/rabbinical-thoughts-on-the-corrie-verdict/#comment-353

    Well, folks, it seems like we have another deicide on our hands.

    Is Insanity Left or Right?

    • Stop BDS Park Slope August 29, 2012 at 3:56 am #

      Sylvia-

      I have been thinking of you these last few days and praying for your safety and the safety of all Sderot.

      Nycerbarb

    • volleyboy1 August 30, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      JVP is a joke, and all 300 of them nationwide represent no one but themselves.

  13. Sylvia August 29, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Thanks Nycerbarb
    Stay safe from that hurricane.

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