Perhaps Alan Dershowitz Should Not Be the Arbiter of Who Speaks on American University Campuses

Brooklyn College’s Department of Political Science, the home department of Corey Robin among others, is under attack for inviting speakers such as Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti to speak on the subject of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Right-wing fake outrage is building, a topic which I know well. Alan Dershowitz is leading the charge and now the New York Daily News is on the case with an editorial basically accusing the department of anti-Semitism. The campaign is on to shut this event down.

Regardless of how you feel about the issue (personally, I support this movement until Israel tears down the settlements and removes its citizens to the 1967 boundaries), what’s important here is that academics be allowed to host public forums on important political, social, and economic issues, even if they challenge the status quo. This is another attempt to silence voices critical of power structures that ensure inequality and injustice.

Contact Info for Brooklyn College administrators:

President Karen Gould (718.951.5671; klgould@brooklyn.cuny.edu);

Provost William Tramontano (718.951.5864; tramontano@brooklyn.cuny.edu);

Director of Communications and Public Relations Jeremy Thompson (718.951.5882; JeremyThompson@brooklyn.cuny.edu).

Do what you can do.

…Says Scott in the comments about the linked article:

Seriously, talk about yer classic moments in passive-aggressive weasel wording:

Do all support welcoming to campus an event that will verge on anti-Semitism?

“We won’t actually call the speakers anti-Semitic. But they might do something other than criticize the Likud platform for being insufficiently dismissive of Palestinian rights, so close enough.”

Indeed.

318 comments on this post.
  1. Scott Lemieux:

    Wait, I thought that Alan Dershowitz spoke for American liberals? This is very confusing!

    Seriously, talk about yer classic moments in passive-aggressive weasel wording:

    Do all support welcoming to campus an event that will verge on anti-Semitism?

    “We won’t actually call the speakers anti-Semitic. But they might do something other than criticize the Likud platform for being insufficiently dismissive of Palestinian rights, so close enough.”

  2. J. Otto Pohl:

    Just moving back to the 1967 armistice line does not solve the problem of either the refugees and their descendant or the fact that within Israel proper there are a whole host of racist laws that discriminate against non-Jewish citizens. I am not sure what a complete solution would look like, but allowing those Palestinians who wished to return to their ancestral land to do so and making Israel a state of all its citizens rather than just of one ethnic group are minimal requirements for justice.

    The Palestinian national movement existed before 1967 and its grievances had to do with the mass expulsions, expropriations, and denial of human rights to Palestinians in 1948. The Israelis annexed a considerable chunk of land that the UN did not allocate to it in 1947 long before 1967 and they have systematically ignored UN Resolution 194 regarding the right of Palestinians to return to their homes. This is the crux of the conflict. The occupation of the West Bank in 1967 was just an extension.

  3. Brian:

    Perhaps a silly question, but why tear down the settlements? Just move out the occupiers and let the buildings stand as a from of reparations for what Israel has done to those people?

  4. david mizner:

    Thanks for this. Part of a longstanding effort by “pro-Israel” zealots to restrict speech on college campuses. Last year the California State Assembly passed a resolution that calls on colleges to crack down on “anti-Semitic” speech, which it defines to include criticism of Israel.

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/09/06/california-passes-controversial-resolution-equating-criticism-of-israel-with-anti-semiticism-on-college-campuses/

  5. rea:

    I’ve never understood this kind of attitude. The speakers you should want to hear most are the ones who don’t agree with you. If you bitterly oppose the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, should you not want to hear what its advocates say, in order to refute them?

  6. david mizner:

    I think it’s on-point(ish) to mention that Israel recently admitted to giving Ethiopian Jews birth control without their knowledge. The horrible racism in Israel has (of course) received scant coverage here.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/28/israel-s-ethiopian-birth-control-story-reflects-a-broader-problem.html

  7. david mizner:

    There are, incidentally, some strong pro-Palestinian voices — Norman Finkelstein, most notably — who oppose BDS.

  8. Erik Loomis:

    I love that you are saying Israel’s racism gets no coverage here in the comments of a post critical of Israel’s policy in Palestine.

  9. J. Otto Pohl:

    There is also a growing racist movement to expel the Sudanese and other Africans from Israel.

  10. Richard:

    As a strong supporter of Israel and an opponent of the BDS movement (which includes many anti-Semites among its supporters), I still believe the movement has a right to appear on the Brooklyn campus or any campus. The way to defeat the movement is to refute its arguments.

  11. J. Otto Pohl:

    To be honest he said “scant attention” and I took it to mean the mainstream media as a whole rather than LGM.

  12. J. Otto Pohl:

    Actually he said “scant coverage” but same thing.

  13. sharculese:

    David Mizner may troll this blog from the left pretty frequently, but to be fair I thought that in this case ‘here’ meant the U.S.

  14. sharculese:

    Oh no, not Judith Butler!

  15. rea:

    Well, yeah. But the right and appropriate thing to happen in a free society would be to have Dershowitz siting in the back of the room, taking notes while the BDS advocates talk. Stephen Douglas, much to his credit, didn’t try to make Lincoln shut up.

  16. Erik Loomis:

    OK, that does make more sense.

    Snarky comment retracted!

  17. Robert Farley:

    This is obviously tangential to the main point (that the speakers should be allowed on campus), but I remain skeptical of Boycott/Divest et al. I have trouble getting past the Russia-China comparison; both Russia and China are unwanted occupiers, and it’s not difficult to make the case that they’ve both been significantly more brutal to the populations they’ve subjugated than the Israelis.

    Non-rhetorical question: What’s the best case for concentrating political efforts on Israel rather than on Russia or China? Is it as an (internally) democratic state Israel is more likely to bend to pressure? Or that the economy of Israel is sufficiently small that such pressure might be more effective? Or that we should, in fact, also be divesting/boycotting from China and Russia and similar states?

    I guess part of the problem is that I’d rate “evacuation of the settlements” as an increasingly low order probability, and “Israel allowing right of return” as substantially less likely than a Russian evacuation of Chechnya or a Chinese withdrawal from Tibet.

  18. Ronald Reagan:

    the BDS movement (which includes many anti-Semites among its supporters)

    That’s why I always supported Constructive Engagement – all the communists supporting Mandela. They were everywhere. You can trust me on that, just like I trust you on your statement.

  19. Malaclypse:

    Or that they are so dependent upon US aid that their actions reflect on us, in a way that the actions of China and Russia do not.

  20. laura:

    Seriously, you think there *aren’t* any anti-semites in the BDS movement?

  21. Robert Farley:

    Right, but Divest isn’t about US aid; if US aid is really the issue, then action needs to be targeted at the US government. This, to my understanding, is about the conduct of economic relations with Israel.

  22. Erik Loomis:

    In thinking about this though, you have to consider that the movement had a positive role in South Africa.

  23. Joshua:

    From the article:

    BDS stands for boycotting Israel, divesting from concerns doing business with Israel and applying sanctions against Israel because it exists.

    Yea, that’s why.

  24. rea:

    Just because we can’t fix everything doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to fix anything.

  25. Malaclypse:

    But wasn’t South Africa in the 80s perceived as being somewhat of a client state of the US as well? Didn’t our government veto several Security Council measures to shield them, in the same way we shield Israel? And are we not entitled to say that, while our government may support an unjust regime, we don’t? Because otherwise, our government’s actions leave us responsible, in a way we are not responsible for Russia/China.

  26. david mizner:

    Well, as Naomi Klein says, it’s a tactic, not a dogma.

    On the question of efficacy, its value is not that it will actually force Israel to end its occupation-brutalization of Palestinians but that it highlights the occupation, pushes the debate leftward, and makes more moderate approaches (like boycott of products made in the settlements) seem mainstream. When Americans are refusing to buy Sodastreams, you’re having a impact.

    For that matter, sanctions are generally a PR tool as much as anything; their impact in bringing down Apartheid in South Africa, for example, is sometimes overstated.

  27. sharculese:

    New York Daily News, noted bastion of classiness.

  28. Robert Farley:

    Right; and so then attention to Israel over Russia/China is basically a triage decision, not necessarily in the sense that Palestine is worse than Tibet/Chechnya but rather that something more productive can be done about it?

  29. Robert Farley:

    Gotcha.

  30. david mizner:

    Your insecurity noted.

  31. Malaclypse:

    I’d agree with that.

  32. david mizner:

    Sure, there are also anti-Semites welcomed at AIPAC.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgSA4z-OcM8

  33. Incontinentia Buttocks:

    Exactly. I happen not to support BDS, either…and I actually mentioned my lack of support for BDS in my e-mails strongly supporting the panel to the Brooklyn College administration.

  34. Cody:

    The racism in Israel is something that tears at me. I’m afraid the media has won me over, making it hard for my image of Israel to be reconciled with what I see on more Liberal sites as having happened there.

    Honestly, how we can support a nation where being a first-class citizen is dependent on your race and/or religion is beyond me. It seems we’ve gone to war for much less, let alone been allies of.

  35. Cary Grant:

    Judy, Judy, Judy!

  36. JL:

    One thing that’s really unfortunate about that is that a lot of it is driven by politicians and demagogues playing off the fears of the poor/ghettoized South Tel Aviv Mizrahi community (a lot of the Sudanese migrants live in that and other poor Sephardi/Mizrahi communities). Who ended up ghettoized in slums in the first place because of Israeli Ashkenazi racism.

    It’s much like in the US where politicians and demagogues exploit the fears of blacks and poor whites to turn them against Latino immigrants (or any number of other examples).

  37. Murc:

    You know, I don’t usually agree with Otto, but in this instance I kind of agree with Otto.

    Especially re: this.

    making Israel a state of all its citizens rather than just of one ethnic group are minimal requirements for justice.

    I confess to having always been baffled with the idea that heaven and earth should be moved to continue to maintain Israel as “a Jewish state.” You don’t have some sort of inherent right to only be surrounded by members of your own ethnic group or religion, and for them to always have numerical superiority within a defined physical region.

  38. IM:

    That just proves that Israel is a totally average western democracy.

  39. Malaclypse:

    I confess to having always been baffled with the idea that heaven and earth should be moved to continue to maintain Israel as “a Jewish state.”

    Agreed. The idea is every bit as bad as trying to make America be “a Christian nation.”

  40. Data Tutashkhia:

    I must say I’m confused about this whole antisemitism thingy. Jews used to be despised because they were Arabs, and therefore sneaky, lazy, untrustworthy bastards. But that’s in the past; now they are white and respectable. Great. But how come those who say that the Arabs are as much human beings as everybody else are antisemites now?

  41. daveNYC:

    If you’re not with us, you’re against us. Same as it’s always been.

  42. Malaclypse:

    You think there were no Communists in the ANC?

  43. DrDick:

    How can it be anti-Semitic? Aren’t the Arabs Semites as well? For that matter, the best available evidence is that the majority of the Palestinians are descended from Hebrews who converted to Christianity and/or Islam. That would make the Likud policies themselves anti-Semitic, as well as overtly genocidal.

  44. Leeds man:

    Please to clarify how BDS doesn’t want Israel to exist. You mean in the same way that liberals don’t want America to exist?

  45. DrDick:

    Yep and of the same winding cloth.

  46. DrDick:

    Have to agree with this.

  47. DrDick:

    I think that is a fair assessment. We clearly have much more leverage with Israel than with either Russia or China.

  48. Mister Spock:

    But captain, going to war on that basis would violate the Prime Directive.

  49. BobS:

    Probably.
    I also think there’s many more anti-Semites among the ranks of American Christian Zionists.
    The cheap anti-Semite smear is obviously used in the context of the BDS movement to discredit it’s proponents, pretty much par for the execrable Dershowitz, as well as Lanny Davis, Abe Foxman, and at least a few of the liberals hanging out here.

  50. Jameson Quinn:

    Sounds great. I see certain practical problems with implementations. They’d might take all the W’s off the keyboards on their way out.

  51. John Protevi:

    There are degrees of adherence to BDS I believe. Here is Judith Butler’s position:

    I do support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement in a very specific way. I reject some versions and accept others. For me, BDS means that I oppose investments in companies that make military equipment whose sole purpose is to demolish homes. It means as well that I do not speak at Israeli institutions unless they take a strong stand against the occupation. I do not accept any version of BDS that discriminates against individuals on the basis of their national citizenship, and I maintain strong collaborative relationships with many Israeli scholars. One reason I can endorse BDS and not endorse Hamas and Hezbollah is that BDS is the largest non-violent civic political movement seeking to establish equality and the rights of self-determination for Palestinians. My own view is that the peoples of those lands, Jewish and Palestinian, must find a way to live together on the condition of equality. Like so many others, I long for a truly democratic polity on those lands and I affirm the principles of self-determination and co-habitation for both peoples, indeed, for all peoples. And my wish, as is the wish of an increasing number of Jews and non-Jews, is that the occupation come to an end, that violence of all kinds cease, and that the substantial political rights of all people in that land be secured through a new political structure.

  52. J. Otto Pohl:

    The ANC had close ties with SACP and received a lot of Soviet support. But, its and SWAPO’s goals in Namibia were fundamentally different from that of the Bolsheviks in 1917. So when Mandela came to power in S. Africa and Nujoma in Namibia they actually instituted economic polices that were more capitalist than the old apartheid regime. A number of CPSA members like Kasrils who were in the ANC served in the new S. African government, but did not implement policies at all resembling the old USSR. In fact Kasrils notes already being rather disillusioned with Soviet society when he was in Odessa for military training as a member of Umkhonto We Sizwe. Basically a lot of ANC relationships with communists ended up being to just get arms, training, money, and diplomatic support.

  53. david mizner:

    In other words, you’re anti-Zionists.

  54. Richard:

    There are many in the BDS movement that want the destruction of Israel (or want conditions placed, such as a right of return for all Palestinians, which would effectively destroy Israel as a Jewish state). There are also many in the BDS movement who believe that sanctions, boycott, etc will convince Israel to enter into negotiations with the Palestinians that will result in a two state solution.

    I oppose the BDS movement on both moral and practical grounds (although fully supporting a two state solution)but still believe BDS has a right to make its misguided arguments on college campuses or anywhere else.

    However, I make it a point not to debate Israel on the internet so will get back to my legal work.

  55. J. Otto Pohl:

    Yes, a boycott of Israel now is more likely to be effective for a whole host of reasons. Whereas it is unlikely to move China to free Tibet or Russia to grant independence to Chechnya now. However, it is not like people who support BDS against Israel don’t think that there should be any pressure on Russia and China. It is just that calling for a boycott of Chinese goods until Tibet is independent is unlikely to be very effective.

  56. rea:

    Depends on what you mean by “anti-semites” doesn’t it? I don’t think that, as a movement, at least, it’s much inclined to “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-type anti-semitism. If you think anti-Zionism = anti-semitism, you probably have a different view. And of course (1) every movement has its nutjobs, and (2) as the Nelson Mandala example shows, sometimes there are people who support a movement without supporting all of its goals (communists really did support Mandala, but he was not a communist himself).

  57. Jameson Quinn:

    Actually, though of course the antisemitism charge is massively overused, that’s partly because even today it is somewhat effective. There really are people who think that clannish Jews conspire to control the media; Pat Buchanan has his followers and seems actually less of a fringe figure today than he was in the 90s. And it really can be a bit complicated to distinguish between such racists and non-racists who just oppose AIPAC and Likud. Especially because the non-racists have mostly abandoned the “look, I’m not an anti-semite, let me say some good things about Israel before I get to my actual point” shtick.

    Also, of course, a lot of the Arab and Muslim world is seriously racist against Jews. A tiny but not insignificant section is murderously so. Lets pretend for the moment that the word “anti-semite” just means “anti-Jew”; in that case, antisemitism is a very serious threat, and you can understand why people take it seriously. Which of course makes it a perfect charge for fucking Likud apartheid imperialists and their apologists like Dershowitz to throw around at every opportunity.

  58. rea:

    And it’s not simply that we have more leverage–it’s also that our country supports Israel, and therefore bears more responsibility for what Israel does.

  59. spencer:

    I would have guessed Z instead of W.

  60. spencer:

    Maybe there are. However, what that little aside had to do with the rest of Richard’s comments is, um, not clear.

  61. John:

    “Anti-Semitism” is a term that means “bigotry against Jews.” It was coined to mean that by “scientific anti-Semites” in the nineteenth century, and it still means that today. The fact that Arabs speak Semitic languages, or that Palestinians are maybe descended from ancient Jews, is neither here nor there. Prejudice against Arabs, Akkadians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, and the Maltese does not constitute anti-Semitism. This is the kind of weak sophomoric gotcha I expect from my undergraduates, not from you, DrDick.

  62. rea:

    There really are people who think that clannish Jews conspire to control the media

    Whereas those of us who are reality-based know that it’s clanninsh Australians who conspire to control the media.

  63. witless chum:

    Richard, are you trying to argue that supporting a one-state solution for Israel/Palestine makes one an anti-semite?

    I don’t have a strong opinion on that, other than the conviction the U.S. giving Israel military aid is a waste of money that does no good for anyone, but I fail to see how that makes someone an anti-semite.

  64. david mizner:

    He was just quoting, but to answer you question, critics argue that the right of return for Palestinians and a one-state solution — which some in the BDS movement support — would mean the death of Israel.

  65. Richard:

    I dont think anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism although there are anti-Zionists who are also Jew haters (probably a better word than anti-Semites). Jew haters include more people than Protocols of the Elder of Zion believers. And, of course, there are many Jew haters among the right wing Christian supporters of Israel.

    But that really doesn’t matter to me. Even Jew haters have a right to convene on a public campus (or anywhere else)and BDS, which most likely only has a relatively small percentage of Jew haters among its supporters, clearly has a right to bring its campaign anywhere.

    IMHO, BDS is unlikely to lead to a comprehensive peace solution between Israel and the Palestinians and surely isnt going to lead to the demise of Israel

  66. mtraven:

    It’s not baffling at all, although you are certainly free to dislike it. Ethnic nationalism is hardly unique to Israel.

    I’d probably prefer that everyone live in multi-ethnic or a-ethnic societies where every citizen was equal. That sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t (see Yugoslavia). It’s pretty hard to imagine a single non-ethnic state working out in the Israel/Palestine region.

    This is a blog full of academic historians and political scientists, so let’s not make believe that ethnic clustering and conflict can be simply wished away.

  67. DrDick:

    I am aware of the generally accepted meaning of the term. I am merely highlighting the inherent stupidity of their argument. Claiming this is anti-Semitism or that the policies of the Likud are not essentially genocidal is simply bullshit.

  68. Substance McGravitas:

    It’s more than an undergraduate gotcha though: it addresses an attempt to wipe away history and associations through language.

    The fact that Arabs speak Semitic languages, or that Palestinians are maybe descended from ancient Jews, is neither here nor there.

    Like that.

  69. John:

    We’ve gone to war for less, perhaps, but we’ve never actually gone to war because another country was racist.

  70. John:

    The policies of Likud are basically genocidal, and this is not anti-Semitism, but anti-Semitism is a word with a clear and well-established English meaning, and this tired old chestnut doesn’t do anything to advance any argument.

  71. DrDick:

    Also this, though the leverage issue means that we are more likely to have an effect.

  72. DrDick:

    The Australians do far more than merely conspire.

  73. Richard:

    No. There are people who advocate a one state solution (Chomsky, many others including friends of mine) who are clearly not anti-Semites. But a one state solution, in my opinion, will inevitably lead to the destruction of Israel. And for Jews like me and my family, the existence of a Jewish homeland is very important (even though we choose not to live there).

  74. Philip:

    They’re all descendants of criminals, after all!

  75. Cody:

    Well, I would be opposed to a country ruled by Sharia law as I think it would being oppressing it’s citizens. Especially if it had a long list of humanitarian abuses.

    Does that make me an anti-Muslim (is there a cooler phrase for that?). Or just anti-religious-persecution? I’m not sure. It’s not like we would invade a nation because of that.

  76. Cody:

    That’s also why you can never trust a Brazilian.

  77. rea:

    It’s pretty hard to imagine a single non-ethnic state working out in the Israel/Palestine region.

    Well, it seemed to work from about 135 AD or so until about 1948.

  78. Hogan:

    With some heavily armed adult supervision.

  79. Leeds man:

    Prejudice against Arabs, Akkadians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, and the Maltese does not constitute anti-Semitism.

    Of course. It would be silly to call Arab-hating Israelis anti-Semitic. We call them allies instead. I love clarity in English an’ all.

  80. david mizner:

    But as you know, there are various interpretations of what a “Jewish” homeland means, or should mean. What does it mean to you, and do you distinguish between a Jewish homeland and a Jewish state?

  81. DrDick:

    No. It is an effort to point out that they are hypocritically attempting to label protests against the racist and genocidal policies of Likud and the Israeli government as racists. They want to erase Israeli racism by recourse to calling critics racists.

  82. sharculese:

    heavily armed adult supervision

    it’s spelled ‘midwife’

  83. Richard:

    Well, the whole point of the creation of Israel was to create a Jewish state, not merely a place in the Middle East where some Jews could move to. Its a concept I firmly believe in (although choosing to live in America).

    There was a great debate between Jews before WWII between the Zionists, led by Herzl and others, and the assimilationists and secularists. Herzl believed that anti-Semitism was so prevalent that the Jews needed a homeland of their own and that they couldnt trust in the benificence of the gentiles. The assimilationists believed that Jews were doing better in the world, that they were in the process of assimilating into Western society and that anti-Semitism would be a thing of the past and that there was no need for a Jewish state. For almost all Jews worldwide, the Holocaust provided the answer to that debate. My grandparents were secular socialist Jews, immigrants from Russia, whose life centered around the Arbeiter Ring (Workmen’s Circle), a secular socialist organization. Although they were indifferent to Zionism in the twenties, they like almost all Jews became fervent supporters of Israel in the aftermath of the Holocaust.

    I’m no supporter of the Likud or the ultra-orthodox but, like most Jews in the US, support a two state solution (although not very optimistic about it happening in my lifetime), oppose BDS and, to the extent BDS creates any economic hardship for Israel, would be very active in organizing economic support for it. That said, let BDS make its arguments wherever it wants to and let people like myself refute its arguments and ideas.

  84. John:

    The word “anti-Semite” does just mean “anti-Jew.”

  85. John:

    Recognizing that “anti-Semitic” is a term which has always been synonymous with “anti-Jewish” is not mutually exclusive with recognizing that the State of Israel pursues a whole load of racist policies against Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.

  86. John:

    I don’t see how any of that purpose (which I agree with) is served by repeating hoary nonsense pretending that “anti-Semitism” hasn’t always been a term that refers specifically to Jews.

  87. Malaclypse:

    What have the Romans ever done for us?

  88. Richard:

    I think its a question of semantics whether you call it a Jewish state or a Jewish homeland. I want a Israel where people of all religions, nationalities, etc can live but which has a Jewish identity, which offers sanctuary to all Jews in times of crisis and where Jews remain a majority of the population. As I said before, a one state solution that incorporates the West Bank and Gaza will, in my opinion, inevitably lead to an Arab majority population and, almost assuredly, to deportation of the Jews from Israel and the destruction of a Jewish state.

  89. Data Tutashkhia:

    in that case, antisemitism is a very serious threat, and you can understand why people take it seriously

    I don’t think so. Prejudice against powerless groups, like the Gypsies, is a threat, and it would be understandable if people took it seriously (they usually don’t).

    Alarmism about prejudices against powerful well-to-do groups (Afrikaners, Anglos, French) is usually ridiculed.

    Maybe Pat Buchanan is racist against the Jews (I don’t really know; the accusation of ‘clannishness’ is not racist), but so what, where’s the treat?

  90. Richard:

    Thats correct. As I stated above, I dont believe that everybody who supports BDS supports a one state solution but it is certainly the viewpoint of many in that cause. And I believe a one state solution and a right of return (which all the one state solutionists support) will inevitably lead to the death of Israel.

  91. cpinva:

    you conveniently omitted certain, very pertinant facts:

    1. it’s a non-binding resolution, having no force of law.
    2. it was proposed by a republican, and passed, without debate, on a voice vote.
    3. did i mention it has no force of law?

    “Last year the California State Assembly passed a resolution that calls on colleges to crack down on “anti-Semitic” speech, which it defines to include criticism of Israel.”

    funny how some people “accidentally” neglect to be fully forthcoming, when to do so would make their case less compelling. go figure.

    i don’t support the BDS movement, but i’m certainly willing to be convinced, which is the whole point of free speech.

  92. Richard:

    You are unaware of European history. The argument was made in pre-war Germany that the Jews controlled publishing, the movie theaters, certain other parts of industry, the universities. Nothing to worry about. Germany will get over this Nazi thing

    And if you don’t believe that Buchanan is an anti-Semite, you obviously haven’t read much of what he has said and written.

  93. Data Tutashkhia:

    Like I said: it’s confusing. The Jews are white now. And now it’s those who don’t despise the Semites are antisemites.

  94. Substance McGravitas:

    It’s not about pretending it’s not used that way, it’s about recognizing that it serves a racist purpose in itself. But it seems like you agree so maybe we’re talking past each other and I’m missing something.

  95. Dave:

    Well, as Israeli politics seems to be carving a fairly steady route towards out-and-out fascism – in a simply, direct, poli-sci textbook kind of sense – soon all sane folk will want to have nothing to do with them – won’t they?

  96. mtraven:

    Don’t see many candidates to play the Romans (or Ottomans or British or any other empire) these days. The US has the muscle but doesn’t seem interested in using it effectively (more or less to its credit).

  97. John:

    I imagine I’d agree with basically any criticism of Israel and Israeli policy you’d care to make. My only point here is that I strongly dislike the “Arabs are Semites too, so anti-Arab prejudice is also anti-Semitism” line. “Anti-Semitism” means anti-Jewish prejudice. Anti-Arab prejudice is obviously still bad, and I can’t see any special reason that we should privilege anti-Jewish prejudice as a priori more important, or worse, than any other form of prejudice.

    But words have meanings, damn it.

  98. John:

    Also: flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. And canny is not the opposite of uncanny. Such is language.

  99. Malaclypse:

    and where Jews remain a majority of the population

    The only way this can happen is 1) everything we think we know about demographics is wrong, or 2) ethnic cleaning.

  100. Data Tutashkhia:

    I think the right lesson from European history should be that scapegoating of ethnic or religious groups is unacceptable. Which is pretty trivial, really, for most of us, even without any special lessons.

    That’s any group; there is no reason to single out the Jews specifically.

    Buchanan, whatever his feelings are, doesn’t seem dangerous, but there are a few groups that, I believe, a reasonable person might consider being in danger now; for example: Gypsies in Europe (or at least here, in Hungary), Semites living in Gaza.

  101. Substance McGravitas:

    Yes they do, but language is subject to change, sometimes even for the better. Mind you I’d just prefer to avoid it for “racist”.

  102. Ed:

    But wasn’t South Africa in the 80s perceived as being somewhat of a client state of the US as well? Didn’t our government veto several Security Council measures to shield them, in the same way we shield Israel?

    I suppose it made a sort of sense that the US should support both, since Israel and South Africa were quite chummy back in the day, having some obvious problems in common. But then many Western governments didn’t distinguish themselves on the question of apartheid South Africa, the US was hardly alone in that.

  103. Leeds man:

    But words have meanings, damn it.

    And accepted meanings should never be questioned, even if they have side effects?

  104. IM:

    Nothing to worry about. Germany will get over this Nazi thing

    We didn’t?

    Yes I know, the past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past. But apart from that.

    That said the past is the reason I can’t support BSD.

  105. Eli Rabett:

    The solution to all problems is to give Oklahoma back to the Choctaws, Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, and Chickasaws. Till then, nothing is going to happen about Palestinians moving back to Israel.

  106. Richard:

    Simply untrue. Jews are now the majority of the residents of Israel and, in the absence of a single state, that will be the case for hundreds of years. No ethnic cleansing required. If no right of return to Palestians remains the law of the land, if the right of any Jew to move to Israel stays intact and if the West Bank and Gaza become a separate state, then Arabs will not become a majority (since the birth rate of the orthodox now is higher than the birth rate of the Israeli Arabs -indeed the birth rate of Palestinians in Israel has been falling in recent years as they become more Westernized). No Arabs would have to be expelled from Israel in order to keep Jews in the majority and, with the creation of a second state, some parts of predominantly Arab Jerusalem would become part of the new state.

  107. Bijan Parsia:

    I think it’s more than that…even putting aside the aid our government gives, the US and Israel have a very intimate relation. Part of that is because of our history as their closest ally, but part of it is the connection American Jews (and other Americans) have with Israel.

    And, most simply, the US has the second largest population of Jews which is actually close to the size of the Israeli Jewish population (5.3 million US vs. 6 million in Israel).

    In contrast, there are an estimated 9,000 Tibetan-Americans and 448,722 Iranian-Americans.

  108. cpinva:

    this alone tells me you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground, with respect to the issue at hand:

    “The policies of Likud are basically genocidal”

    if they were indeed “genocidal”, then i guarantee you, the palestinians would be gone, poof! if anyone knows genocidal, it’s the jews, and they learned from the masters in the art, the nazis. if it were ever the intent of the israeli state to just flat out eliminate the palestinians, they’d have done it by now, so you clearly don’t know jack shit on the subject.

    further, a little real history, vs made up history:

    1. jews have a right to the land of israel, going back 3,000 years, the palestinians are relative newcomers, and squatters. it was the roman conquest/occupation, that resulted in that particular first diaspora, not the jews deciding they were bored, and leaving freely. if you’re going to use the “well, the palestinians have a history there.”, at least be honest, and admit both parties do.

    2. the state of israel probably did boot out many palestians, unfortunately. however, the majority of them left of their own accord, refusing to live under jewish rule. their decision. that said, israel didn’t round them up, put them in a walled ghetto to starve to death, and then come collect those left for the gas chambers. now that, my friend, is genocide! pol pot took no lessons from israel.

    3. when you just had a good chunk of your fellows intentionally killed, as part of state policy, and you go back to what was your ancestoral home, now surrounded by enemies, you probably have legitimate reason to be paranoid. when those enemies continually attack you, and you seize their land, one might be tempted to keep it, as a buffer. it might not be the right thing to do, but then again, it might make them think twice, before attacking you again. as it turns out, they were slow learners, and got their asses kicked again. at this point, if you’re not paranoid, you’re mentally ill.

    3. at some point, it becomes time to recognize when you’ve screwed up, and try and rectify it, much as the US has, in some areas. i think israel is starting to reach that point, their rightwingnuts notwithstanding. a people can only be on a constant war footing for so long, before the population gets tired of it, and seeks legitimate solutions, fair to all parties concerned. i suspect the palestinians are probably tired of it as well. both sets of rightwingnuts will need to be dealt with.

    as richard notes downstream, the big issue (and why the modern state of israel was founded): how to keep israel a jewish state, and also include those of other persuasions? on that, i have no answer.

  109. IM:

    But look the people who hate gypsies in Hungary are also antisemites, so I don’t see the difference between the two minorities.

  110. IM:

    Cherokees back to Georgia, of course.

  111. Richard:

    I simply disagree. While the treatment of Gypsies in parts of Europe has been and is deplorable, the history of the Jews and what happened to them in Europe is unique. The Holocaust is not just any old genocide. Many Jews believed something like that could never happen and the history of what happened will never be wiped from the consciousness of most Jews (certainly not me). Its a cliche but the words “Never Again” are part of my upbringing, and of my children.

    I agree that the chance of another genocide of the Jews is unlikely but I am not willing to count it out altogether. And I agree that Buchanan doesn’t seem dangerous now but thats no reason to not call him out as a Jew hater.

    As far as the Arabs in Gaza, I dont think they are in danger of being systematically killed but I agree that the conditions under which they live are deplorable. Work for a two state solution

  112. Malaclypse:

    You do realize that Gaza cannot possibly function as a separate state, any more than the Bantustans could?

  113. Data Tutashkhia:

    There is a huge difference. One group is extremely vulnerable, the other isn’t vulnerable at all.

  114. Bijan Parsia:

    And, of course, if places like the US had been more active in accepting refugees, I imagine that sentiments might have been somewhat different. The St. Louis is a dramatic symbol of the need for a refuge.

    (I write this while having a deep discomfort with ethnically defined states. Zionism is hardly the only form of ethnic nationalism and, given the Holocaust, it’s more justifiable and understandable than most. I disagree with it, but that’s compatible with acknowledging its appeal.)

  115. Malaclypse:

    And out of curiosity, when Bill O’Reilly says that it is important that American be a majority-Christian, majority-White country, do you see the problem? Why is this a bad analogy?

  116. IM:

    Jews in Hungary are not vulnerable? Why?

  117. wengler:

    Israel is just a settler state like the US, Canada or Australia. The only difference being it was founded in 1948.

    If it was founded the same time as the white European settler states it would have already killed and/or expelled the native population or reverted to native rule(like Zimbabwe or South Africa).

    It is probably not the best thing to be judgmental about it in the US, since the US was founded on a strict racial order, but it’s pretty silly to deny that Israel is a race-ordered state.

  118. IM:

    The Holocaust is not just any old genocide.

    Yes, but it included the gypsies, as you know.

    Its a cliche but the words “Never Again” are part of my upbringing, and of my children.

    Never again or never again to us?

  119. Richard:

    I agree. If the US and other parts of the world had accepted more refugees from Europe, sentiments might have been different. My grandparents didn’t believe in the argument that God gave Israel to the Jews and that settlement there was divinely mandated but they did believe in the argument that the Jews needed to establish a homeland somewhere.

  120. sibusisodan:

    OK, dumb question, talk to me like I’m stupid time (feel free to make obvious joke here!):

    - is it possible to have a one- or two-state solution which actually provides some kind of medium-to-long-term stability and provides for the majority population of Israel to remain Jewish?

    Could someone explain a route to a peaceful settlement which doesn’t involve any kind of alterations in the political structure of Israel as currently constituted (which is what I’m reading Richard’s comments on a ‘Jewish state’ to mean)?

  121. wengler:

    Of course. If there was any country that should’ve given up territory for a Jewish state after WW2, it was Germany. Instead the Zionist concept is pretty close to the Liberia or Sierra Leone concept. Get people we don’t like away from us and fighting someone else.

    In fact, the conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone between groups broadly representing the ruling ex-Western slave class and the natives have probably killed far more people than Israel-Palestine, but the Holy Land oriented Western media doesn’t care.

  122. Richard:

    Gaza will become part of a Palestinian state along with the West Bank and a part of Jerusalem. Nobody advocates that Gaza be incorporated into Jerusalem. Once that happens, then I imagine that many Israeli Arabs will move to the new state of Palestine, further insuring a majority Jewish population in Israel.

    With regard to O’Reilly, I’ve already pointed out why I, and the overwhelming majority of Jews, believe in the creation of a Jewish state. Its not because of a mandate from God – its because of the lessons of history. If white Christians were a persecuted minority throughout history who population had been systematically massacred by their neighbors and whose very existence was in doubt, I might support a small white Christian homeland.

  123. Data Tutashkhia:

    Well, what can I say? That’s very parochial of you.

    May I suggest a quote from Isaac Asimov, here.

  124. Richard:

    Never again to anybody but my history and upbringing has brought special importance to Never Again to the Jews

    And I know the genocide included the Gypsies but there was something unique to the Jewish genocide

  125. wengler:

    What is the US interest in supporting Israel though? For you it’s to support your co-religionists, but for the rest of us it’s what exactly?

    To not be smeared as anti-Semites? To fulfill apocalyptic prophecy? To field test new weapons systems?

  126. JoyfulA:

    I have been saying for a long time that Bavaria should have become the Jewish homeland.

  127. Leeds man:

    “the palestinians would be gone, poof!”

    Ooh, look. Poof!

    This is very interesting since there is no such thing as a “Palestinian People”

  128. wengler:

    If it was important enough to you, you would move there, be guaranteed citizenship even though you have never lived there(presumably), be subsidized in a settlement and be free to have as many children as possible to better the demographics struggle.

    Of course if you are a Palestinian whose family had lived there since ancient times, you would get none of these things. It’s nice to have good feelings about something you don’t actually have to live every day, isn’t it?

  129. Richard:

    I dont think its parochial to believe that the Holocaust was something unique and of a scale far different than other massacres which can be called genocides. As far as the Asimov quote, I agree with much of it but strongly disagree with his smug disapproval of Elie Weisel. Asimov spent 1939-1945 in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, after having graduated from Columbia while Weisel spent it in a concentration camp. Doesnt mean that Weisel is necessarily right in his observations but Asimov should have realized the reasons why the two of them might have different viewpoints.

  130. Data Tutashkhia:

    Well, they are an integral part of the society, the government protects them. When a rabbi gets insulted on a street, it’s in the newspapers, a scandal. Their main problem seems to be Israel-related; Jobbik thugs accuse them of being foreign spies.

    Gypsies are mostly segregated, they get murdered. A popular journo writes:
    “A significant part of the Roma is unfit for coexistence. They are not fit to live among people. These Roma are animals, and they behave like animals. These animals shouldn’t be allowed to exist. That needs to be solved – immediately and regardless of the method.”

  131. wengler:

    For the same reason that no one cares about Western Sahara. Jews, the Holocaust and Israel are at the center attention of a foreign policy debate because so many Westerners take baggage into that debate.

    See the death to coverage ratio of anything in Israel-Palestine compared to anything in Africa.

  132. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    It’s democracy, stupid!*

    *Note: not calling you stupid, just repeating more or less the answer I always get when I ask that question to others who have no religious or cultural connection to Israel.

  133. david mizner:

    So you think that makes it kosher — the fact that it was non-binding and “proposed by a republican, and passed, without debate, on a voice vote?”

  134. wengler:

    The Cherokees would govern and everyone else would be angry.

  135. david mizner:

    What an odd statement:

    “It is probably not the best thing to be judgmental about it in the US.”

    And Americans shouldn’t be “judgmental” about slavery either.

  136. Richard:

    Yes, now we’re getting the personal attacks (which is why I generally don’t like to debate Israel on the internet). The fact that I dont live in Israel doesn’t mean the idea of a Jewish state isn’t important to me. As I have explained, what is important to the vast majority of Jews here and throughout the world is to have a place where we can go (in light of the lessons of history).

    As far as Palestinians go, its important to have a two state solution to achieve their goals. Its important to not have a one state solution since that would mean the end of Israel. The Jews accepted the two state partition in 1947, the Palestinians did not. That doesn’t justify all the actions Israel has taken since but it is essential to understand that to understand the current situation.

    With regard to the question about a peaceful solution that doesn’t mean a change in the political structure, I think almost all thoughtful thinkers know what a solution would look like – a Palestinian state incorporating Gaza, the West Bank and a portion of Jerusalem, no right of return but some “reparations” to the state of Palestine for the persons who left or were moved out in 1948, a return to the 1967 borders but with adjustments and land swaps made for settlements and security concerns. With that, Israel could remain a Jewish state and the Palestinians could create a viable entity. Unfortunately, we are nowhere close to getting this done (for a variety of reasons attributable to both sides)

  137. Richard:

    Why do you think providing a link to some exremist web site proves your point? I could point to the fact that the religious leader of the Palestinian Arabs, the Grand Mufti, spent the war years in Berlin and actively supported Hitler but that wouldnt mean that the Palestinians meant to kill all the Jews in the Holy Land.
    The fact is, as cpinva explains, that the Israelis did not kill the Palestinians in a mass genocide (although they surely had the firepower to do so) or expel them from Gaza and the West Bank (which they also could have done). I don’t support many of the policies of the current Israeli government but calling those policies genocidal is just false.

  138. Murc:

    If there was any country that should’ve given up territory for a Jewish state after WW2, it was Germany.

    And it’s not like the allies had a problem with turning Germans out of their homes in order to achieve desired ethnic parity in specific geographical regions, either.

  139. IM:

    To the time machine go!

    Could we make a small detour and uncreate Pakistan? I detest states founded on religion on principle and am a big supporter of an unified Bengal.

  140. Murc:

    It’s not baffling at all, although you are certainly free to dislike it.

    Well, to clarify: it’s baffling the way the idea is presented as a kind of positive good that we should expend political and actual resources on. Generally speaking, in the western world, people making explicit calls for ethnic supremacy are not well-regarded. But people who are strong, nay, passionate defenders of America as a melting pot suddenly turn into reactionaries when the country in question is Israel.

  141. IM:

    Core Israel has about the size of Hessen.

    would include Frankfurt though and since we don’t want to reinforce prejudices…

    (Has actually a jewish mayor now)

  142. GeoX:

    As someone who’s slogged through both Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter, I can’t help but echo that sentiment, though obviously that’s neither here nor there.

  143. Data Tutashkhia:

    No, I don’t mean that an extermination policy formalized and executed as a bureaucratic task for several years is unremarkable, of course it was something unique and different than other massacres.

    What’s parochial (to me) is this focus on it never happening again to the Jews specifically.

    This means that the others should take care of themselves. Which also means that they don’t need to care about the Jews, what happens to them. Which not only seems parochial, but also an exceptionally bad strategy, for a small group.

  144. Richard:

    That, of course, is different than the question of why I and many like me support a Jewish state. Dont have time to respond today but since you dont believe there should be a Jewish state in any case, you’re not likely to believe that there is a reason for the US to support Israel.

  145. Murc:

    What is the US interest in supporting Israel though?

    Well, despite my massive differences with the Israeli government, it’s still massively better than all the other governments in the region, and they genuinely ARE surrounded by nation-states that have tried and failed to hurl it into the sea.

    Having said that, support is a two-way street. The government of Israel is utterly dependent on US support to, you know, survive. We give this gladly, for now, but in return we should expect basic respect and for them to not make a bad situation worse. And that’s at bare minimum.

  146. Murc:

    Well, generally “tear down the settlements” is code for “settlers out.” I don’t think the Palestinians have a beef with the buildings themselves.

    I personally think the settlers should be able to live wherever they damn well want, they just shouldn’t annex land to do it. If I decide I like me some land in Quebec, I can’t go there and make it part of New York.

  147. Hogan:

    Well, they are an integral part of the society, the government protects them.

    And that can never change.

  148. DrDick:

    So what do we call anti-Arab racism? They are Semitic, not just linguistically, but also genetically. Indeed, they are more Semitic in the latter sense than the Ashkenazim are, since most of the latter are primarily descended from Europeans and Khazars (though they have some Middle Eastern ancestry as well). I would argue that it is simply a variant of anti-Semitism. Arguing we cannot expand the meaning both privileges anti-Jewish racism and argues that language cannot change. The latter is like arguing that awful and awesome must always be synonyms because that is what they originally were.

  149. Winchester:

    Jews are despised because they’ve been elected by God as the proxy of mankind, as the representative of humanity.

    Christians have the duty to protect the Jewish People from evil: socialism (national-socialism and marxist-socialism) and from islam.

    God promised the descendance of Abraham a land and a people; in exchange, the Jewish people promised to stop ANY human sacrifice.

    Because of that election, the Jewish people are the prime target of satan.

  150. DrDick:

    I think what I dislike is the way that privileges anti-Jewish racism relative to other forms. What we are seeing in Israel is really little different from what happened to the Jews in Europe.

  151. Leeds man:

    Golda Meir said the same thing.

    This is extremism:

    the life of one yeshiva boy is worth more than the lives of 1,000 Arabs.

    We can play the back-and-forth “yeah but this guy said…” crap all day, but the bottom line is that Israel has a voice in the West. Palestine, not so much. It all seems to come down to “Israel must be guaranteed integrity, and lets hope the Palestinians can get something out of it as well”. At best.

  152. DrDick:

    Five of the cities with the largest Jewish population are in the US and only three in Israel (Paris and Buenos Ares round out the top ten).

  153. wengler:

    You quickly end up in a state of hypocrisy if you are. Free land and free labor, all on top of a river of blood.

  154. DrDick:

    1. jews have a right to the land of israel, going back 3,000 years, the palestinians are relative newcomers, and squatters. it was the roman conquest/occupation, that resulted in that particular first diaspora, not the jews deciding they were bored, and leaving freely. if you’re going to use the “well, the palestinians have a history there.”, at least be honest, and admit both parties do.

    No. The Ashkenazim are mostly of European and Khazar ancestry (as I link to Below) and most of the Palestinians are descended from the Hebrews and their neighbors who converted to Christianity and Islam.

  155. Winchester:

    Arabs speak a semitic language. The fracture is islam. It’s the descendance of Ishmael; whereas the Jewish people are coming from Isaac — both sons of Abraham.

    Abraham may or may not have been the personification of a tribe. It does not matter; those persons are paradigms of a faultline.

    Ishmael was the son of a slave, Hagar, slave of Sarah. Rabinnical literature says Hagar was the daughter of the Pharaon.

    Isaac is the son of Sarah.

  156. The Dark Avenger:

    Thanks for the relay from the voices in your head.

  157. Malacylpse:

    Cool Bronze-Age Mythology, bro.

  158. wengler:

    I believe there are plenty of terrible reasons to support any state. Supporting co-religionists isn’t that terrible of a reason, but supporting a state based on biblical prophecy or out of hatred of Muslims is a pretty terrible reason.

  159. Jephthah's daughter:

    God promised the descendance (sic) of Abraham a land and a people; in exchange, the Jewish people promised to stop ANY human sacrifice.

    I don’t count, I presume?

  160. Winchester:

    No, “divine election” is the foundational premise of the Jewish people. This is why the Jews are called “the chosen people:” God chose Israel to stand in representation of all people everywhere. This is an honor, but it is a taxing and dubious honor due to the Fall of Adam and Eve and the inherent tendency that all people have for sin.

    God chose Israel to stand at the fore of humanity and be the people with whom the historical narrative of Salvation History is played out:

    This history began with a married couple, Adam and Eve (not homosexuals here, not an evil and STERILE same-sex couple). It then expanded to a family unit through Noah. It then expanded to the tribal level through Abraham.

    The level of “nation” (not the same concept of nation-state; more like a meta-tribe, a tribe of many tribes) was reached through Moses.

    And the level of a kingdom through David.

    The history of salvation then expanded beyond the Jewish People to cover all people, everywhere through Jesus Christ.

    YET, the only way to fully understand God’s relationship with us (both as individuals and as people) is to understand God’s interaction with the Jewish People through history.

  161. Winchester:

    Are you Jewish?

  162. Atticus Dogsbody:

    and they learned from the masters in the art, the nazis.

    Deuteronomy, Joshua, Samuel.

    They had some ideas about it well before then.

  163. wengler:

    Israel has nuclear weapons. None of their neighbors are currently an existential threat and they made peace with their largest potential enemy 40 years ago.

    The policies that the US pursues in the conflict are so one-sided that the pro-Israeli maximalists always smear their opponents as a standard operating procedure.

  164. Malaclypse:

    How very special that a Catholic revanchist presumes to speak for the Jewish people.

  165. Jephthah's daughter:

    If you knew your own scriptures, you would know the answer, wouldn’t you?

  166. Richard:

    The Khazar thing is a myth. No legitimate historian believes it.

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/12/28/haaretz-resurrects-the-khazar-jews-theory/

    And while the Ashkenazi come most recently from Euope, they trace their ancestry to Canaan

  167. Atticus Dogsbody:

    A unified Bengal would give the easterners a chance to play in a decent cricket team. It’s a human rights issue.

  168. Murc:

    I’m curious, Richard. As a supporter of the two-state solution, what do you think of the feasibility of the options facing Israel in this regard?

    As someone who is gradually drifting toward a one-state solution, they all seem equally unworkable. Israel trying to turn the West Bank into a neutered pseudo-state with no control over its own borders or internal security will just mean endless violence. Ditto Israel seizing all the best parts of the West Bank and leaving the Palestinians with shitty tracts of desert.

    But returning to anything even resembling the 1967 borders will involve an Israeli government willing to order the IDF to forcibly remove a couple million settlers. That seems like something that would provoke a mutiny.

    At some point it seems like an Israeli government is going to have pick between a two-state solution their army refuses to implement and that might spark civil war, an explicit apartheid regime that will turn them into international pariahs, ethnic cleansing, or incorporating the Palestinians into Greater Israel as equal citizens. All of those seem politically unacceptable to Israel, but my read on the situation is that the Eretz Israel nuts currently in power are painting themselves into a corner where they hope they can pull of ethnic cleansing, but will be forced to accept a single state instead.

  169. Murc:

    To be more precise, a one-state solution moots right of return on account of how everyone in the West Bank and Gaza would sort of be instantly ‘returned’ due to gaining Israeli citizenship.

  170. Jameson Quinn:

    This is silly. Yes, there are many groups more oppressed than Jews. Yes, there are contexts in which Jews are very much one of the dominant groups. But there are also a lot people who hate Jews qua Jews. In fact, if you really must compare, there’s probably more violent antisemites than violent racists of most other stripes. So there’s nothing unreasonable about being worried about antisemitism. Which is exactly what makes the facile “antisemisism” charge against anyone to the left of Likud effective. Rarely true, but still effective.

  171. Richard Nixon:

    Take it from someone who found out the hard way – you can’t ask that question any more. I still blame that bastard Kissinger for the leak.

  172. Richard:

    I agee that supporting a state because of biblical prophecy or out of hatred of Muslims are bad reasons. That is not why most people and this nation support Israel

  173. wengler:

    It’s not at all a personal attack, I am merely pointing out that you as an American have more right to live in a place you have never lived than people who have lived there their entire lives.

    You support the policies and concepts that make that true. Defend them.

  174. Murc:

    Christians have the duty to protect the Jewish People from evil: socialism (national-socialism and marxist-socialism) and from islam.

    What about Jews who are socialists? Does the world end?

  175. Murc:

    The solution to all problems is to give Oklahoma back to the Choctaws, Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, and Chickasaws.

    Oklahoma? I believe you mean Occupied North Texas.

  176. djw:

    Mizner’s rhetorical exaggeration doesn’t make the resolution any less appalling. It’s certainly the kind of thing that could have a chilling effect on free speech, especially considering the uncertain and changing financial relationship between state government and the state universities.

  177. Richard:

    We disagree. The peace with their largest potential enemy, Egypt, is in jeopardy as we speak. Israel doesn’t have a treaty with any other neighbor.

    And there are existential threats since almost all of their neighbors still maintain the position that it should be driven into the sea. Syria, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc have never recognized the state of Israel and, at least on paper, are committed to its destruction. Are they capable of wiping Israel off the map tomorrow? No. Could they achieve that power in ten years? Of course. That doesn’t justify all of Israel’s actions but the implication that Israel should just chill and relax is nonsense.

  178. Winchester:

    The sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter was evil. It was forbiden.

    We see in the Old Testament a continuous pattern of Israel falling away from grace in sin, and God taking Israel back, usually after a chastisement to make Israel fully appreciate the gravity of her sin. God says to Israel over and over again that He will NEVER, EVER forsake His covenant.

    God uses the imagery of MARRIAGE to make Israel understand that the relationship between God and Israel is not a mere contract – it is an alliance, a covenant sealed in flesh (via circumcision).

    This is an example of the relation between marriage and salvation.

    This is part of why same-sex marriage is forbidden.

    God does not walk out. God does not “get divorced”. He always has been and always will be ready and willing to take us back, forgive our indiscretions and betrayals, if we will only turn back to Him.

    He did it after the incident of the golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
    He did it after the numerous instances in which Israel had bad kings and fell into idolatry and immorality — such as, indeed, sacrificing humans, unborn (abortions), or born (like Jephthah).

    The exuberant joy of the “honeymoon” period after Israel’s return to God was put into words by Solomon in the Song of Songs.

    Thanks, btw, for pointing this incident out. Very interesting.

    “again did what was evil in the eyes of God…they abandoned God and did not worship him. So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Ammonites …” (Judges 10:6-7).

  179. Leeds man:

    Idiot. Even the Japanese admit that Koreans are the Chosen People.

  180. Jephthah's daughter:

    The sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter was evil. It was forbiden (sic).

    And yet Dad never got in trouble over it. Go figure.

    This is part of why same-sex marriage is forbidden.

    Don’t drag me into your bigotry – I suffered enough for being a second-class citizen, and don’t want to see others denied their rights.

  181. Erik Loomis:

    I’m assuming this is our favorite Canadian from a couple of weeks ago under a different name.

  182. Leeds man:

    Well, my bowels were moved. Thanks mate.

  183. Winchester:

    Look at where the locus of anti-Semitism exists in today’s world. There are two main loci today: socialism and islam. Both of these political systems have at their core an intrinsic hatred of the individual man, which they mask by wrapping themselves in a false cloak of collectivism (classless society or jihad). Both systems use the Jews as their primary scapegoat, blaming all problems in the world on Jews, and then calling for the “final solution” to the stumbling block to utopia that is the Jewish race.

    From the Koran to Mein Kampf, the rhetoric is exactly the same: exterminate the Jews so that utopia can be achieved.

    This is in fact a call to exterminate humanity itself, which is the ultimate goal of both socialism and islam. If the Jews are exterminated, the rest of humanity will follow quickly, because if the Jews are exterminated, that means that there are no longer any people of good will on earth who could see and understand the representative quality of humanity itself in Israel.

    Christians and Jews — and, really, all people of civilization and good will, — are allied in a war of survival against evil, manifested today by islam and socialism.

    Socialism and islam are actually cut from exactly the same ideological cloth.

    So long as islam or socialism is the driving force behind ANY form of government, that government is satanic and will destroy the people within it.

    One CAN NOT BE both a Christian or a Jew and a Marxist.

    Folks have to pick, either socialism or Christ, either socialism or God.

    All the Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the huge majority of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, of the Jesuit order, the majority of the United Methodist church, the majority of the USA Presbyterian Church, the majority of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and all of the others, have to CHOOSE.

    CHOOSE NOW.

  184. Erik Loomis:

    All of these tribes would have to leave Oklahoma.

    Oklahoma for the Comanche!

  185. Erik Loomis:

    That is, assuming we are using 1850 lines.

    If we are thinking in terms of 1650, Oklahoma for the Lipan Apache or whatnot!

  186. Richard:

    Murc

    As I have repeatedly said, a one state solution, which of course would have a right of return, would mean that Jews would shortly be in the minority. And what that would inevitably mean, given the history of the last seventy years, is that the Arabs would expel the Jews or create untenable conditions leading to civil war or, in any event, the destruction of Jews in the Holy Land. I wish I could believe that Jews and Muslim Arabs could live together in peace and sing Kumbaya but I dont. The fact is that Israel will fight to the last man rather than accept a one state solution because they know what it would mean.

    Am I optimistic about a two state solution in the next decade? No. But eventually both sides have to realize that its the only way out. Would some settlers on the West Bank have to be moved. Of course. Would the border be exactly as it was in 1967. No. There would be land swaps to accomodate some of the settlements. Would there be a revolt of the IDF if it were ordered to carry out evictions? I don’t think so.

    I dont like the actions of the current government not only because many of them are unjust but many of them are counterproductive to what I believe the long term interests of Israel involve. I am not convinced that more rational min

    Wengler

    Its a personal attack when you claim that its not important to me because I choose not to live there now. Bullshit. How about not deciding whether or not something is important to me. It’s important because of the history of the Jews as I’ve tried to explain.
    Nobody is moving the Arabs out of Gaza or the West Bank. Arabs, both voluntarily and by force, left in 1948. Most of those people who left, through the sheer passage of time, are dead or about to die. So when you say that people are being displaced who have lived there for their entire lives, thats simply not true. They were displaced over a half century ago. The fact is that displacement of populations, while always tragic in one sense, are fairly common in history. Many more people were displaced in the creation of India and Pakistan. And of course, the people of central Europe went through massive displacements from 1930 to 1945. The fact is that the Arabs who were displaced from what is now Israel in 1948 aren’t coming back but, with a two state solution, can become citizens of a Palestinian state (a state which by the way should have been create for them by Jordan anytime from 1948 to 1967)

  187. Winchester:

    I was explaning the role of marriage in the history of salvation.

  188. Winchester:

    Israel however did get in trouble:

    the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Ammonites …” (Judges 10:6-7).

  189. Erik Loomis:

    Or you were pontificating to people who don’t want to hear you speak.

    One or the other.

  190. Erik Loomis:

    And other mythology no one over the age of 12 takes seriously.

  191. Richard:

    Last sentence in response to Murc should say

    I am not convinced that a more rational government will take power soon but I think its the only way out and that the current situation is not indefinitely sustainable.

  192. Leeds man:

    Last I heard, the Hebrews began as the Canaanite version of Occupy Wall Street. So weren’t they socialists? I’m confused.

    Folks have to pick, either socialism or Christ, either socialism or God.

    Jesus seemed like a nice bloke, but God is obviously a prick, so socialism, I guess.

  193. Murc:

    But eventually both sides have to realize that its the only way out.

    Assumes facts not in evidence. It’s the only way out that’s both somewhat moral and presumes Israel as a majority Jewish state.

    It’s far from the only actual way out. Ethnic cleansing is a very, very real possibility. That’d settle the entire problem real fast.

    Your response is fair enough, I guess, Richard. It may even be accurate. I’m just rather skeptical of that read on things.

  194. Erik Loomis:

    The dude who made the rich man-needle parable is totally a right-wing capitalist.

  195. Winchester:

    Well, this history is serious enough to be the central narrative around the war of civilization against islam and socialism.

    The temple of the Rock on Mount Moriah (or Mount Zion) remains to this day THE focal point of the conflict against islam; each side (the Ziosnists and the neo-Crusaders versus islam) claims sovereignty over it.

    Israel controls the site since the Six-Day War of 1967.

    After the islamic conquest of Jerusalem in 637, the construction of the Dome was commissioned by caliph Umar.

    This “temple of the Rock”, dedicated to allah (AKA satan) must be destroyed, and the holy place where Solomon had built the Temple restored to God.

    Racism, btw, has nothing to do with this; it’s a religious war, a war against satan.

  196. Richard:

    No, it doesn’t. Your’e right that the current residents of the West Bank and Gaza would become citizens of the new state (making moot the right of return for them) but all of the Palestinians who moved anywhere out of Palestine, including Egypt, Jordan, NYC AND their offspring, would be allowed to come to the new state. Those, in addition to all the Palestinians currently in the West Bank and Gaza, would give a majority of the population to the Arabs.

  197. Winchester:

    At least now you know why sodomite marriage is evil.

  198. Malaclypse:

    Luckily, neither Testament is about collective soteriology, or obligation to the poor, because if that was the case, you would just be a right-wing blowhard who didn’t actually know what he was talking about.

  199. Erik Loomis:

    Because it’s opposite day?

  200. Erik Loomis:

    As someone openly on the side of Satan, I approve.

  201. Malaclypse:

    Racism, btw, has nothing to do with this; it’s a religious war, a war against satan.

    Well, at least you are not batshit insane.

  202. Malaclypse:

    Because Dagney is obsessed. I can’t for the life of me understand why that might be.

  203. Jepthah's daughter:

    No, you were completely failing to understand the point of what happened to me.

  204. DrDick:

    The Khazar thing is a myth. No legitimate historian believes it.

    If you had read the linked article, you would have seen this is based on a very large scale genetic analysis (I have read the original journal publication in The European Journal of Genetics). The genetics show a preponderance of distinctive genetic markers from the Caucuses and Eastern Europe, though there are also some from the Middle East.

  205. DrDick:

    Except that most Palestinians are descended from Jews who converted to Christianity and Islam. The genetic evidence is compelling.

  206. William Burns:

    For the vast majority of the time from the founding of Islam to the present day, Jews fled from Christian lands where they were persecuted to Islamic lands where they were tolerated.

  207. DrDick:

    Or a Georgian (the US state, not the Republic).

  208. DrDick:

    Assumes facts which do not exist and cannot be demonstrated.

  209. Malaclypse:

    I’m stunned that someone calling himself a neo-Crusader would know nothing of that history.

  210. Winchester:

    That’s the core of the issue.

    The satanic agenda of socialism is to shift the dynamic of tithing from the VOLUNTARY system to a government-coerced back-door tithe with the IRS.
    nternal Revenue Service

    The idea was planted in the Church decades ago by the first socialist infiltrators that if the Church embraced socialism, it could then lay off upon the STATE all of the costs associated with caring for the poor, the elderly and the sick.

    The fact that the Church now no longer spends significant amounts of money on these things, but instead sit upon massive “endowments,” is HUGE problem.

    What the bishops, priests and nuns have done is to ally themselves with socialist statists in the government.

    They formed this alliance in order to bring about a system whereby the government could take over all of the charitable services that the Church should be providing, and which Christ specifically commanded the Church, not the state, to undertake, most notably caring for the elderly, the poor and the sick.

    The care of the poor was laid off on the government under the guise of “Welfare”.
    The care of the elderly was laid off on the government under the guise of “Social Security”.
    The care of the sick was laid off on the government under the guise of “Medicare”, “Medicaid” and “ObamaCare”.

    The Church would continue to provide healthcare, but instead of tapping the Church’s own coffers when an indigent patient needed care, the Church would simply bill the Federal Government.

    What the creation of these government programs accomplished, in essence, was to shift the dynamic of tithing from the proper VOLUNTARY system, with the Church’s potential tithing pool limited to Roman Catholics, to a government-coerced back-door tithe with the Internal Revenue Service as the enforcer, with the “tithe pool” comprised of every earner in the country.
    Think FDR with the New Deal and Social Security.

    Think LBJ with the Great Society.

    Think Obama and ObamaCare.

  211. djw:

    This:

    Arabs, both voluntarily and by force, left in 1948. Most of those people who left, through the sheer passage of time, are dead or about to die. So when you say that people are being displaced who have lived there for their entire lives, thats simply not true. They were displaced over a half century ago.

    Would seem to imply that the following is a viable strategy to deal with historical injustice:

    1)Unjustly steal land from people

    2)Delay addressing injustice from (1) for 75 or so years.

    3)Declare more debt incurred by (1) void because of the passage of time, deaths of a particular generation.

    This seems pretty problematic.

  212. DrDick:

    Well, this history is serious enough to be the central narrative around the war of civilization against islam and socialism.

    I see somebody is channeling his inner Furher, or perhaps it is his inner Torquemada. What you are saying is that these fabricated Bronze Age stories provide a pretext for vile racist bigots to wage genocidal campaigns against people who are different from them. Certainly something that the Catholic Church has enthusiastically endorsed on numerous occasions.

  213. The Illuminati:

    What the bishops, priests and nuns have done is to ally themselves with socialist statists in the government.

    Dagney, we’ve told you before that if you tell our secrets, we know where you live.

  214. Uncle Kvetch:

    Good to see that it only took 200 comments for the troll to show up and bring the conversation back to where it properly belongs: buttsex, in all its frightening yet strangely alluring glory.

  215. Malaclypse:

    Think FDR with the New Deal and Social Security.

    Think LBJ with the Great Society.

    Think Obama and ObamaCare.

    Yes, successful government programs are successful.

  216. Marcus Bachmann:

    He does seem quite concerned about

    a government-coerced back-door tithe

    You could even say he doesn’t want a coerced back-door tithe rammed down his throat.

  217. Hogan:

    They couldn’t put it in the Bible if it weren’t true!

  218. Leeds man:

    What the bishops, priests and nuns have done is to ally themselves with socialist statists in the government.

    That probably explains the child-fucking as well. The perfidy of socialism knows no bounds, I tells ya!

  219. Richard:

    Well thats the way the world works. Besides being Jewish, I’m part Blackfoot. I’m not waiting to get my tribal lands back from the US, refusing to recognize the US until that happens. The creation of the State of Israel is a settled fact. And its a problem that could have been settled back in 1948 if the Arabs had accepted the UN Partition. They chose not to (after the Jews accepted). Consequences followed. The Jews aren’t going to give the land back so what needs to happen is the best possible solution given the current realities and the passage of time

  220. Winchester:

    The Church has been infiltrated not only by socialist, but also by homosexualists.

  221. DrDick:

    The Rabbi Yeshua bar Yosef was a communist and would cast you out of his church:

    And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.(Acts 4:32)

    21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

    23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

    24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

    25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:21-25)

  222. Erik Loomis:

    Where is this church? I want to go!!!

  223. Erik Loomis:

    Isn’t this where all conversations should end?

  224. Malaclypse:

    I blame Satan.

    PS I AM NOT A CRANK

  225. DrDick:

    Actually, you would have to give the Southern Appalachians back to the Cherokees, Georgia and eastern Alabama to the Creeks, Florida to the Seminole, the southern half of Mississippi and western Alabama back to the Choctaws. The Chicasaws get northern Mississippi and western Tennessee.

  226. Winchester:

    Christ specifically commanded the Church, NOT The State, to care for the elderly, the poor and the sick.

    Socialism uses the power of the state apparatus to capture, to tax.

    There is a communism that does not involve the State apparatus. It not a Marxism, nor a socialism.

    The Church should not lay off the care of the poor onto the state government. And it should not bill the Federal Government for the care it provides to the needy.

    What has been killing the Church was this shift, from a vonluntary system of tithing to a COERCED imposition enforced by the State apparatus.

  227. Charles Peterson:

    Chomsky suggests “no-state” solution, heh, but then argues for two state solution following existing international agreements. Since that includes negotiation with the starting point being 1967 borders and right-of-return for Palestinians, you (Richard) may choose to call that one-state. But he doesn’t and I wouldn’t.

  228. Malaclypse:

    Christ specifically commanded the Church, NOT The State, to care for the elderly, the poor and the sick.

    You do realize that pretty much everybody here is aware of poverty statistics, which show pretty conclusively that “the Church” (like that is not problematic) either a) did not actually care about helping the poor in any meaningful way, b) is woefully incompetent compared to government, or c) both. There is no choice d. Incompetent people are not Entitled By God to run things they suck at, even if you think the Imaginary Sky Fairy wants you to. You all had a chance, you sucked, and now we are doing better.

  229. Richard:

    I read the linked article. One geneticist, a young researcher from the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins, says that genetic research shows that the rise of European Jewry is explained by the contribution of the Judeo-Khazars. The other geneticist, Harry Ostrer, former director of the Human Genetics Program at NYU School of Medicine and currently head of genetic testing at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, disputes that finding and claims in his most recent book, The Genetic History of the Jews, published by Oxford Univeristy Press in 2012 that that European Jewry does not come from Central Asia and that “Jews around the world can trace their genetic history to the Middle East 2000 years ago”. The article also says that the Khazar proponents “are motivated mainly by a hostile political agenda that aims to advance the delegitimization of the Jewish state, rather than by any hard evidence that they have been able to marshall to date”. I’m no geneticist and haven’t read either the paper by Dr. Elhaik or the book by Dr. Ostrer but I’m more likely to believe Dr. Ostrer than the work of the Mental Health guy. Plus I have read the historical Khazar theories, first put forth by Arthur Koestler, and they are a bunch of speculative crap.

  230. Leeds man:

    The Church has been infiltrated not only by socialist, but also by homosexualists.

    My Xian interpreter says this means priests raping little girls is AOK. Allahu Akbar!

  231. Louis Althusser:

    Yeah, but he capitalized “State” and put “apparatus” after it so he is TOTALLY NOT A CRANK WORRIED ABOUT A COERCED BACK-DOOR TITHE BEING RAMMED DOWN HIS THROAT BY THE HOMOSEXUALISTS WHO HAVE INFILTRATED THE CHURCH

  232. joe from Lowell:

    This is extremism:

    That’s nice.

    The question was, is it genocide.

  233. Richard:

    I think Chomsky has said that he prefers a one state or no state solution but, given the realities of the world, he supports a two state solution as the best that can be accomplished. His ideal world has no Jewish state but his fall back position is a two state solution. I presume that is your position as well which is fine with me – a two state solution is the only possible good outcome. A right of return for Palestinians to come back to the new state from wherever they are now is no problem.Its only a right to return to Israel that is a problem. Accepting the 1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations is a non-starter if you actually want to accomplish something. I support the position of the US – use the 1967 borders as the guidelines for beginning negotiations and then wrangle from there (with the final agreement necessarily involving some land swaps

  234. joe from Lowell:

    Actually, the question was, are their policies genocide?

    Dumbing down the definition to encompass Apartheid and its equivalents robs the term of its meaning.

  235. Bill Murray:

    Jesus was pretty clearly a Marxist. As The Housemartins said “Take Jesus, Take Marx, Take Hope”

  236. joe from Lowell:

    I somehow manage to both oppose the Arab-hating policies of Likud and still use well-know, universally-understood English words in a manner other people can recognize.

    Go figure.

  237. joe from Lowell:

    Instead the Zionist concept is pretty close to the Liberia or Sierra Leone concept. Get people we don’t like away from us and fighting someone else.

    The “Zionist concept” goes back well before the existence of Nazi Germany, and was dreamed up Jewish people. It’s a bit of a stretch to claim that it grew out of a desire to protect Europeans from the presence of Jews.

  238. joe from Lowell:

    So what do we call anti-Arab racism?

    The actual, historical experience of anti-Arab racism is so tied up with anti-Muslim sentiment that “Islamaphobia” is a good-enough answer to this question.

    These terms for various bigotries are labels that we put on actual, historically- and culturally-generated phenomena. Pointing out their scientific imprecision misses the point – the things that they label are, themselves, scientifically imprecise.

    You frequently point out that race is an artificial construct, unsupportable by any appeal to valid genetic science. Does that mean we should do away with the term “racism” as well? Of course not, because just like Jew-hatred, there is an actual history of black-hatred that the term labels. Taking away that label, or watering it down by insisting that it also encompass, say, the prejudice that some Catholics feel towards Orthodox believers, would only serve to bury the historical reality it was invented to name.

  239. Leeds man:

    The question was, is it genocide.

    Denying that a people exist, or that 1000 of theirs is worth less than one of yours, seems a dangerously long stride on that path. But it’s not genocide because they didn’t actually kill ‘em all yet, although cpinva pointed out that they could have if they really wanted to. Gotcha.

    No, Israel hasn’t committed genocide. Forgive me for thinking that’s only because they are being watched by their benefactors.

  240. joe from Lowell:

    Israel is just a settler state like the US, Canada or Australia. The only difference being it was founded in 1948.

    But if you don’t recognize that generations of existence convey a certain legitimacy, what’s your argument against the claim that the existence of Biblical Israel gives Jews the right to take over “the Land of Israel?”

  241. Leeds man:

    “and still use well-know, universally-understood English words in a manner other people can recognize.”

    Like “faggot” or “nigger”? Good for you!

  242. joe from Lowell:

    In other words, you’re anti-Zionists.

    “Non-Zionists” would probably be better.

    Finding the Zionist argument unpersuasive is not the same thing as being persuaded that it should be resisted or destroyed.

  243. joe from Lowell:

    Yes, Leeds man, using the term “anti-semitic” is just like using the term “nigger.”

    Thank you so much for your “contribution.”

  244. joe from Lowell:

    seems a dangerously long stride on that path

    Racism, or some other variety of bigotry, is certain a necessary condition for genocide, but it’s not sufficient. We wouldn’t describe anti-black racism in the United States as genocidal.

    But it’s not genocide because they didn’t actually kill ‘em all yet

    It’s not genocide because they didn’t try to kill ‘em all.

    Forgive me for thinking that’s only because they are being watched by their benefactors.

    So now you’re moving the goalposts from “Were their policies genocidal?” to “Why weren’t their policies genocidal?” OK. You’re forgiven. Go, and engage in sloppy thinking no more.

  245. Shwell Thanksh:

    Yeah but since it took a few hundred years to cull the indigenous American population by the millions, it’s totally not at all like the Holocaust.

  246. jefft452:

    “Christ specifically commanded…”

    Not elected to any public office, not even elegible cuz he’s not a US citizen

    who cares what he commanded

  247. joe from Lowell:

    Someone in a Lowell Sun comment thread threw out the “only democracy in the Middle East” appeal the other day.

    I responded, “What ‘Only democracy in the Middle East?’ Turkey? Libya? Tunisia?”

    That felt good.

  248. joe from Lowell:

    Herzl believed that anti-Semitism was so prevalent that the Jews needed a homeland of their own and that they couldnt trust in the benificence of the gentiles. The assimilationists believed that Jews were doing better in the world, that they were in the process of assimilating into Western society and that anti-Semitism would be a thing of the past and that there was no need for a Jewish state. For almost all Jews worldwide, the Holocaust provided the answer to that debate.

    The Jews who answered “We need a state in the Middle East” would seem to have been decisively proven wrong at this point.

    Off the top of my head, the list of countries in which Jews are safer than in Israel includes Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Mexico, Ireland…hell, they’re safer in Germany and Austria than they are in Israel.

  249. joe from Lowell:

    The solution to all problems is to give Oklahoma back to the Choctaws, Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, and Chickasaws. Till then, nothing is going to happen about Palestinians moving back to Israel.

    Do you really want to make the argument that severed historical claims to land don’t provide any legitimate contemporary claim to that land?

    Because I can think of a certain movement that puts a whole lot of stock into a severed historical claim that’s a heck of a lot older than that of the Cherokees to Georgia.

  250. Leeds man:

    Well I’ll grant you that it’s more subtle. But thank you for your “Thank you so much for your “contribution.”” I expect nothing more.

  251. djw:

    Well thats the way the world works.

    If you want to play the hard-headed realist, “that’s the way the world works” card, fair enough. But that rather dramatically undermines your position that the Jewish community was owed a state by the world in 1947.

    I’m actually quite open to the argument that the world did, indeed, owe the global Jewish community a homeland of their own in 1947 based on recent events, but the way in which the defenders of that position habitually evade and dodge moral responsibility for the practical consequences of that view give me considerable pause.

  252. Leeds man:

    Oh, fuck your “sloppy thinking” bullshit, Joe. Israel’s actions have made it perfectly clear they don’t give a shit about Palestinian lives. Give them a fucking cookie for not finishing the job if you like.

  253. joe from Lowell:

    Yes, Leeds Man, the difference between “nigger” and “anti-semitic” is subtlety.

    Please don’t feel compelled to grant me anything. I’m fine, thanks.

  254. joe from Lowell:

    Calm yourself.

    “They don’t give a shit about XXX lives” is not what the word “genocide” means.

  255. joe from Lowell:

    Give them a fucking cookie

    So now describing their policies as “racist” and “apartheid” is a reward, in your estimation.

    I can’t imagine why anyone would find your thinking sloppy.

  256. Jameson Quinn:

    In the 1980s, Israeli weapons and advisors were an important part of the genocide in Guatemala. I have no idea how official that was on the Israeli side, but there is no question that there were Israelis who were intimate enough with the Guatemalan government to know that genocide was happening, and they turned a blind eye.

    Yesterday (Monday, January 28th) is a historic day in that regard: it is the first time an ex head of state (Rios Montt) proceeded to go on trial for genocide.

  257. Richard:

    But the Jews had no way of getting a state in Mexico or Canada. The argument was that Jews couldn’t be safe anywhere if they didn’t have their own country. Fortunately, Hitler was defeated and it turned out that there were other safe places. However the defeat of Hitler was not a foregone conclusion

  258. Richard:

    I actually have not made the argument that the world owed the Jews a homeland. My position is that it was a rational position for the Jews to believe that they needed a homeland , that they were justified in taking actions to secure that homeland and that it is still a rational position for Jews today to believe that a homeland is essential

  259. Leeds man:

    Having calmed myself, my name isn’t John, Joe. I think you’re having your little pissing match with the wrong person. I think Likud would commit genocide if they could get away with it, like racist fucks everywhere, but I can’t prove it. History just points that way rather insistently.

  260. Leeds man:

    JFL, see my misplaced and sloppy response below Atticus’ comment.

  261. joe from Lowell:

    But the Jews had no way of getting a state in Mexico or Canada. The argument was that Jews couldn’t be safe anywhere if they didn’t have their own country.

    Clearly, having a state is not the most relevant variable in ascertaining their safety, and the belief that it was has been pretty thoroughly disproved at this point.

    What Jew, living in Boston, Atlanta, Dublin, or Toronto, would move to Tel Aviv if his primary goal was safety?

  262. Jameson Quinn:

    I don’t think Israel’s policy with Palestinians is genocide per se, though certainly some Israelis have participated in acts of genocide there (as well as, luke the US, facilitating getocide in Guatemala, see below). But “if we wanted to kill em they’d be dead” is one of the worst defenses against such charges. Genocide is not just mass murder. Foc instance, sterilization and baby stealing are also genacide.

  263. Charles Peterson:

    In the words above, Jesus is commanding YOU to give up ALL of YOUR possessions to give to the poor. The word Church does not appear.

    Have you given up all your possessions yet?

  264. Richard:

    Well the fact that they’ve had seventy years to kill all the Arabs in Palestine and the weaponry including nuclear weapons to do it and haven’t done it, despite hundreds of attacks on their civilians, seems pretty irrefutable proof that the Likud have neither committed genocide nor would commit genocide if they could get away with it . As I keep saying, I’m no fan of the Likud nor Bibi but they have not committed genocide nor tried to do so

  265. joe from Lowell:

    I know your name isn’t “John.” I also know that you defended John’s argument, and wrote this.

    I think Likud would commit genocide if they could get away with it, like racist fucks everywhere, but I can’t prove it. History just points that way rather insistently.

    I think it’s sloppy thinking to claim that the end point of all racism is genocide. That racism is ubiquitous throughout history, but genocide or attempted genocide much rarer, is a strong argument against this claim.

    Look at the history of Japanese dominance of Korea, or the Spanish colonization of Mexico. Wiping out the locals was never the goal. Look at American attitudes towards the Japanese in the 40s. MacArthur certainly didn’t attempt a genocide, though.

  266. Richard:

    Depends on how you conceive of safety, as a short term goal or a long term goal. For the Jews of the thirties like my grandparents, it became apparent that you couldn’t depend on the Gentiles and the world was coming to kill them (just like the Cossacks did when they lived in Russia). The only way to be sure of safety , since it was not a given that the rest of the world wouldn’t go fascist, was to have a Jewish state. And for many Jews today, including myself, the presence of a Jewish state is a safety net in case the Jew haters come to the fore in Canada, the US and Mexico. Not likely but nobody was predicting the Holocaust in 1920 either

  267. Leeds man:

    Genocide is hard, Joe. Thanks for pointing that out.

    And this, from Richard:

    Well the fact that they’ve had seventy years to kill all the Arabs in Palestine and the weaponry including nuclear weapons to do it and haven’t done it, despite hundreds of attacks on their civilians, seems pretty irrefutable proof that the Likud have neither committed genocide nor would commit genocide if they could get away with it .

    is the genocide cookie. Cuz, ya know, if they wanted to, they could have, with no consequences, right? Does that meet your unsloppy, irrefutable proof standards, Joe?

  268. Leeds man:

    “Genocide is hard, Joe”.

    Let me rephrase that. Genocide is suboptimal if you want a cheap source of labour. Better?

  269. DrDick:

    Richard –

    My bioanthropology colleagues, including one who specifically does this kind of genetic research, beg to differ with you.

  270. DrDick:

    You (and your church) are simply pissed off that the state has reduced the church’s ability to coerce tithes compliance from people by providing these services without strings attached. The church simply does not like competition. If the church actually followed the Rabbi Yeshua’s teachings the pope would live in poverty and all the money raised by the church would go to feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and housing the homeless.

  271. DrDick:

    Actually, that is only southwestern Oklahoma. Northeast Oklahoma belonged to the Osage, southeast Oklahoma to the Caddo, and northwest Oklahoma to the Cheyenne and Arapaho.

  272. Richard:

    And Dr. Ostrer, one of the the top geneticists in the country who has done extensive research here, thinks the Khazar thesis is a crock. I’m no expert and would have no way of assessing the validity of competing genetic papers but I think your statement that Ashkenazim are mostly of Khazar descent it, at the very least, highly disputed.

  273. Origami Isopod:

    And don’t forget the Ethiopian Jews, who have been shit on by both the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim/Mizrahim.

  274. Richard:

    Tell me when the Likud sterilized or stole the babyies of Palestinians? And these acts are only genocide when the goal or intent is to destroy a group. The plain fact is that the Israeli government has not participated in acts of genocide against the Palestinians. Just like the Palestinians, despite actions like Munich and bus bombings, have not committed genocide against the Israelis. Acts of hatred, even acts of murder, are not genocide

  275. Erik Loomis:

    Were the Cheyenne and Arapaho allies at that point?

  276. Richard:

    Its a far more persuasive argument than your claim that the Israelis would commit genocide against the Palestinians if they could get away with it because, well you know, I really know what they would do or not do. Plain fact is that no genocide has been committed nor attempted

  277. Richard:

    Richard says:
    January 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    And Dr. Ostrer, one of the the top geneticists in the country who has done extensive research here, thinks the Khazar thesis is a crock. I’m no expert and would have no way of assessing the validity of competing genetic papers but I think your statement that Ashkenazim are mostly of Khazar descent it, at the very least, highly disputed.

  278. Origami Isopod:

    Um.

  279. Origami Isopod:

    Because xtians have been so swell to Jews over the last two millennia.

  280. DrDick:

    Richard -

    I said Kahazar and Eastern European, not merely Khazar. You are also placing the Khazar in Central Asia, rather than the Caucasus where the article places it (and much of the ancestry of the Ashkenazim). The point is not to place the origins of the Ashkenazim in any particular place, but the genetics indicates diverse origins, only a minority of which are from the Middle East. I would also point out that those who oppose this view also have a very strong political agenda in defending the Jewish claims to Israel. When I forwarded this to my bioanth colleagues, their reaction was that it corresponded to other data and was what they would have expected.

  281. DrDick:

    Still are sort of. They share a former reservation in Oklahoma. It has always been a somewhat tense alliance.

  282. DrDick:

    Richard -
    Here are some other studies showing similar results:

    Signatures of founder effects, admixture, and selection in the Ashkenazi Jewish population

    The Use of Genetic Markers in Oriental Jewish Historical Studies

    Bioassay of Kinship in Populations of Middle Eastern Origin and Controls

    CAVALLI-SFORZA, L. L., and D. CARMELLI. 1979a. “The Ashkenazi gene pool: Interpretations,” in Genetic diseases among Ashkenazi Jews. Edited by R. M. Goodman and A. Motulsky, pp. 93-102. New York: Raven Press

    The links are all to JSTOR.

  283. Bijan Parsia:

    It’s an interesting, and very difficult, problem to determine the threat level to Jews over the post WWII era and the contribution (positive and negative) of the existence of Israel to that level. After all, it’s at least possible that in absence of Israel (or Israel with the occupation) that Jews, overall, would be more secure, globally, today.

    I wouldn’t bet on it. There’s way too many variables. But it’s certainly possible. While I think Joe overstates the case a bit, I think it’s hard to make strong claims either way. (The situation in the 1950s-1970s seems rather different.)

    If the US went sufficiently insane to enact a genocidal pogram against the Jews, then the existence of Israeli couldn’t stop that. It might provide an outlet (e.g., expulsion) that would kick in before the killing started, but, frankly, once you get to the state based killing, aren’t all bets off?

  284. Bijan Parsia:

    Right, so, Rob, this seems sufficient to explain the special interest.

    Plus, there are an estimated 3,500,000 Arab-Americans with 60% from Lebanon (mostly), Syria, Egypt, and Palestine. Now, most of these are Christian, but that adds to the proportion of the population who have a quite understandable special interest in the region.

  285. Joey Maloney:

    Tell me when the Likud sterilized or stole the babyies of Palestinians?

    They’ve been too busy sterilizing dusky-hued Jews.

  286. Joey Maloney:

    I don’t understand your point. Even taking into account the occasional crude rocket or bus bomb, your risk of death-by-violence is lower in Tel Aviv than in three of those four cities. You’re safer in Dublin, plus you have Guinness.

  287. Data Tutashkhia:

    Hogan, “And that can never change.

    Anything can change. Earth can be struck by a meteor.

    Meanwhile, some groups keep being oppressed, persecuted, and, arguably, slowly exterminated, while others keep nurturing their gigantic victimization complex. Which would be fine, if it didn’t take so much space in the public discourse.

  288. IM:

    It was dreamed up by jews of western europe as a solution to the oppressed jewish masses of eastern europe.

    (Yes I simplify but there was a large aspect of that)

  289. Lurker:

    In fact, I have seen quite a few “one-state solutionists” who do not support unlimited right of return. It is clear that there cannot be any deal on that basis. No Israeli government will accept it. And at least Fatah has given indications that it would be willing to negotiate monetary compensations for the Palestinian diaspora. You know, the Palestinians of West Bank and Gaza don’t really want the diaspora to return, either.

    Of course, any such solution should be regional, with Syria, Lebanon and Jordania pressured into giving citizenship to the Palestinian refugees. Which is also not easy, because it would e.g. destroy the current power-sharing-based constitution of Lebanon.

    Personally, I cannot support the right-of-return. I am a grandchild of refugees from Finnish Karelia, which was ceded to Soviet Union. I definitely do not have any claim at all to those areas, which have now been populated by Russians for three generations. It is an injustice, but you can’t right all historical wrongs without plunging in an endless war.

  290. J. Otto Pohl:

    The etymology of the word anti-Semitism makes no sense. But, having taught classes here in Africa dealing with the Holocaust a couple times I have found that you really do have to explain that the word only means hatred of Jews. Otherwise you get essays talking about Nazi genocide against Arabs. The fact is that when people talk about anti-Semitism in the context of European history it refers to racism against Jews. The concept is difficult enough to explain to explain to Africans given that Jews are White Europeans.

    Also while I would never defend the Israelis, Genocide does have a specific legal meaning under the 1948 Treaty. Lots of atrocities meet this threshold, but Israel has not. I would say they have been guilty of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and colonialism. But, not genocide. I do not see the current Likud government escalating these other crimes into genocide as it is currently defined under international law.

  291. herr doktor bimler:

    the Lord was kindled against Israel

    Apparently the Lord of Creation turns grumpy if you give him a Kindle. “You call that a sacrifice?”

  292. herr doktor bimler:

    my bowels were moved
    But did they sound like an harp for Moab, and thy inward parts for Kirharesh?
    That’s the real test.

  293. Jameson Quinn:

    No, Likud has not had genocide as a policy. Merely the covering up of small-scale acts of genocide which have been incidental to war and settlement. It’s nat the same but it is still a betrayal of “never again”.

  294. Jameson Quinn:

    I remember prejudice against “arab oil sheiks” from growing up in the SF bay area in the 80s. That wasn’t Islamophobia, which to me is a largely post-9/11 beast.

  295. Jameson Quinn:

    Words that are utterly unobjectionable at one time can become contested or vice versa. Welch, scot free, even niggardly. (I still use “niggardly” when there are no racial overtones, but the racists have taken it up and the day may come when they ruin it entirely). If the anti-”antisemitic” people want to start saying “anti-Jewish”, that’s OK.

  296. Jameson Quinn:

    I have a hard time drawing a clear line between ethnic cleansing and genocide. Obviously it’s easy to distinguish systematic genocide under color of law, that is, the Holocaust. But people occasionally get killed in ethnic cleansing, and the killers generally get away with it; to me that’s genocidal, just on a much smaller scale.

    But you’ve made me think, J Otto, and you may yet convince me.

  297. DrDick:

    I remember prejudice against “arab oil sheiks” from growing up in the SF bay area in the 80s.

    I remember prejudice against “rag heads” in Oklahoma when I was in college in the 70s. It has been epidemic in Britain for a century (see “Wogs”). It is also the case that anti-Arab racism applies equally to non-Muslim Arabs.

  298. J. Otto Pohl:

    Well the line between ethnic cleansing and genocide is not clear. Lots of cases of ethnic cleansing are also genocide because it is obvious that the forced removal will inevitably lead to lots of deaths. But, in the case of Palestine in 1948 unlike say Armenia in 1915 this was not the case. It was possible to forcibly evict most of the Palestinian Arabs from their homes (ethnic cleansing) into areas outside of Israeli control in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt with minimal fatalities. The total death toll was about 15,000 out of over 750,000 expelled. Most of these deaths occurred during the expulsion. In the refugee camps conditions were miserable, but UNRWA and other assistance prevented them from becoming lethal. So there is a considerable difference in the outcome of the Israeli case and say the Ottoman deportation of Armenians to Syria and Mesopotamia or Stalin’s exile of the Chechens to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Actually I have a published journal article comparing Israeli and Soviet ethnic cleansing. “Socialist Racism: Ethnic Cleansing and Racial Exclusion in the USSR and Israel,” Human Rights Review, vol. 7, no. 3 (April-June 2006).

  299. J. Otto Pohl:

    Well some people do care about the Western Sahara and a lot of them are the same people that care about Palestine. I know I have written about it on my blog. Certainly Africa is poorly covered by US media.

  300. PSP:

    I’ve long thought that it would be a great turn around, if the US praised the Israelis for building all those wonderful homes for Palestinians on the West Bank, then asked the Palestinians to devise a fair way of distributing them. It would make the point that staying there is not an option for discussion, and maybe make some Israelis think twice about investing there.

  301. Incontinentia Buttocks:

    I gotta agree with John here, DrDick. Even if you want to make the case that what we are seeing in Israel is really little different from what happened to the Jews in Europe, pretending that “anti-semitism” means something other than what it means hardly helps your case.

    Your argument is a bit like saying that I ought to be able to use the word “anti-Catholicism” to describe prejudice against Muslims because such prejudice is structurally similar.

  302. Origami Isopod:

    You not only left out the gypsies but the queers, Richard. Whom various conservative Jews did not want mentioned at the Holocaust Museum in D.C.

  303. Origami Isopod:

    Actually, what I should have said was “Roma/Romani,” not “gypsy,” which is now regarded as a racial slur. I plead being too disgusted with Richard’s line of argumentation.

  304. joe from Lowell:

    Genocide is hard, Joe. Thanks for pointing that out.

    eyeroll.

    Yes, Leeds Man, MacArthur tried to commit genocide in Japan, but goshdarnit, it was just too darn hard! lol

    Does that meet your unsloppy, irrefutable proof standards, Joe?

    The standard of proof you have so dramatically failed to meet is not “unsloppy, irrefutable,” but rather, “any.” Any, whatsoever.

    BTW, the MacArthur/genocide thing: more lololol

  305. joe from Lowell:

    Let me rephrase that. Genocide is suboptimal if you want a cheap source of labour. Better?

    You didn’t “rephrase” that. You just completely abandoned your argument.

    I don’t think you know enough to even understand that.

  306. wengler:

    Wow. If you think that the forced evictions of non-Jews and non-Israelis don’t continue to happen to this day, then you don’t really study this issue that closely.

    The Israeli government has a very legal process in place to do it too. They go to a farmer with usually a very small orchard and demand that he produce his deed to the land or state papers issued all the way back when the Ottomans were in control. He doesn’t have it and replies that his family has farmed this area for hundreds of years. He is then promptly told that it is Ottoman state land and therefore falls under the control of the Israeli government.

  307. DrDick:

    Not even close, given that Arabs are actual Semites (both linguistically and biologically closely related to the Jews), while Muslims are not even Christian, let alone Catholic. Anti-Arab racism is constructed much the same as anti-Jewish racism, combining supposed biology, religion, and culture in defining difference. I do not insist that we have to use anti-Semitic to describe the former, though I think a perfectly legitimate argument can be made that it applies.

    Part of my issue is insisting that we need a special word to describe the Jewish experience, which can only be used to describe them and nobody else regardless of the similarities of their experience. There seems to be a privileging of that experience. It is also the way that privileging serves to silence criticism of Israel and speaking about the horrors of the Palestinian experience.

    Mind you, I am not anti-Israel and support their right to exist. I also support the US protecting them from unprovoked attacks by their neighbors. I have real problems with Zionism, for the same reasons as I do Christian Dominionism and White Supremacists. I am adamantly opposed to Israeli policies toward the Palestinians and to the Likud government, as well as to the Settler Movement and Jewish settlements in the West Bank or Gaza. The settlers need to be removed and their leaders tried and convicted.

  308. joe from Lowell:

    Depends on how you conceive of safety, as a short term goal or a long term goal.

    Over the long term, every settler state established by Europeans on the eastern end of the Mediterranean has been wiped off the face of the earth.

    For the Jews of the thirties like my grandparents, it became apparent that you couldn’t depend on the Gentiles and the world was coming to kill them (just like the Cossacks did when they lived in Russia).

    While your grandparents’ misapprehension is understandable as a result of their time and place, it is no less a misapprehension.

  309. joe from Lowell:

    If you think my point is about urban crime rates, you do, indeed, not understand it.

  310. joe from Lowell:

    There is no similarity between the actual, existing, historical experience of anti-Semitism and that of anti-Arab bigotry.

    “Arabs control the media. Arabs scheme together at the highest levels of government to undermine our society. Arabs have the blood of Christ on their hands. An international cabal of Arab bankers schemes to control world history. Arab-Americans only pretend to be patriotic, but their real loyalty is to Saudi Arabia (or whatever). Capitalism and/or communism and/or the conflict between them is an Arab conspiracy to weaken our society.”

    Has anyone ever seen any of these old anti-semitic tropes pushed about Arabs? Has anyone ever heard of people asking an Arab if his wants pennies, because Arabs love money lololol? Has anyone ever heard of “The Protocols of the Elders of That Cave Where Mohammed Heard the Angel?”

    Jewish history, and anti-Jewish bigotry, are not remotely similar to Arab history and anti-Arab bigotry. They are, in fact, much closer to Roma history and prejudice (a cohesive, stateless people who live among a Christian mainstream and conspire together to screw us and get rich), but the idea of conflating anti-Jewish and anti-Roma prejudice into one indistinguishable blob would get laughed off the stage.

    It isn’t about “privileging” prejudice against them, but about naming things accurately. Anti-semitism is a thing, and it’s a different thing than anti-Arab prejudice.

  311. Malaclypse:

    Over the long term, every settler state established by Europeans on the eastern end of the Mediterranean has been wiped off the face of the earth.

    Yep. And pretty much the only people who remember now that the Kingdom of Jerusalem ever existed are the Palestinians.

  312. John F:

    West Bank Palestinians in particular are descended from Samaritans

  313. David Nieporent:

    I see you are both an anti-semite and deeply stupid. You are neither aware of the actual meaning (not the “generally accepted meaning”) of the word nor of the word genocide.

  314. Rhino:

    David? Your phrasing was imprecise. Imprecise to the point of total ambiguity. Snark on your part is inappropriate to say the least.

  315. joe from Lowell:

    I would suggest, Data, that comparing the possibility of Jews being persecuted to a meteor destroying the earth demonstrates a lack of historical knowledge.

    This is why people are accusing you of not knowing anything about European history. When the Inquisition happened, when the Holocaust happened, when all of the Palm Sunday pogroms throughout history happened, the Jewish community was in the same relatively high-status position it is in today.

  316. Donald:

    My understanding is that the Cherokee are in fact allowed to move back to Georgia. I’m not sure when that happened. No doubt if there were enough of them to pose a threat to white electoral dominance that wouldn’t have been allowed. At least not back when people were openly racist about such things.

    Not making any particular point here, except that analogies between the Palestinian right of return and US/Native American history aren’t perfect.

  317. Donald:

    And yes, I realize people were joking about the Cherokee and others, but I couldn’t tell if anyone was also trying to make some sort of point by comparing a Palestinian ROR with “giving the land back to the Indians”.

  318. ipalestine.net:

    hello!,I like your writing so much! percentage we communicate extra
    approximately your post on AOL? I need a specialist in this space to unravel my problem.
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