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A Response to the Jewish Voice for Peace Activist who Disrupted Netanyahu’s Speech and Posted Their Propaganda on Jewlicious

zionists

This is a response to the post written earlier today by Rae Abileah called Jewish Values vs. Israeli Policies. In that post, Abileah, a guest and first-time poster on Jewlicious, argues that she and others from Jewish Voices for Peace who disrupted Netanyahu’s speech were right to do so and their disruptions were also justified in their content.

Not only are these claims absolutely ridiculous, but they are posted under a banner proclaiming that these views are “Jewish values” which stand in stark contrast to “Israeli policies.” This is the kind of hyperbole which undermines any other claims they wish to make.

Here are the points I raised in objection to Abileah’s justification of the disruption and other activism driven by her group.

First of all, it’s amazing that you disrupted the speech in this way because I’m sure that you caused a severe disruption to whatever protective measures Netanyahu’s security detail was trying to put into effect. Sheer stupidity on your part.

Second, you were rude. There are ways to go about expressing viewpoints and this was extraordinarily rude.

Third, your organization is the founder of Muzzlewatch. Muzzlewatch is a blog that claims that voices criticizing Israel are under censorious attack. The irony of this claim is that when some of us went to Muzzlewatch to debate your group’s claims, they shut down all comments. Permanently. The fact that you would disrupt a speech with the claim that your claims can’t otherwise be heard is sheer hypocrisy.

Fourth, your banners are mistaken. What delegitimizes Israel are groups such as yours which serve as the vanguard of the numerous organizations that attack Israel regularly. What helps to delegitimize Israel is that many haters of Israel (as well as haters of Jews, just so we are perfectly clear on this point) use groups such as yours as shills, because you are Jewish, to enable their movements to avoid or to take cover behind you guys when they are justly criticized for singling Israel out in ways they don’t single out other nations that do far worse. In other words, you serve as a fig leaf for Israel’s enemies.

Fifth, your group and others like it have done more to damage the possibility of peace than has Hamas. What you have effectively done is give the Palestinians the confidence and belief that their waiting strategy is likely to succeed in defeating Israel over time. You have strengthened those who would refuse peace deals like Olmert’s and Barak’s.

Sixth, it is precisely peace offers such as Barak’s and Olmert’s which undermine the many false claims your organization makes in general and even specifically with your lying banners in this event. The fact is the occupation could already be over, the Palestinians could have their own state over approximately 98% of ’67 borders with additional land inside Israel to compensate for the other 2%. The Palestinians could have eastern Jerusalem with either sovereignty over their holy places or able to enjoy international sovereignty over the Holy Basin. The Palestinians could have received over $30 billion in reparations and even a limited return of original Palestinian refugees to Israel.

Yet, here you are complaining that the occupation continues and that an embargo on Gaza – a place which has launched thousands of rockets at Israel and is making great efforts to arm itself to the teeth – should be lifted thus easing the way for more arming of those who have no problem shooting rockets at Israeli civilian centers in order to cause both terror and death.

And I could go on and on.

My point, however, is different.

If you had the true courage of your convictions, you would make every effort to convince the Palestinians to negotiate for peace and to close a deal. Polls in Israel for many years and three of the past four Israeli Prime Ministers have shown conclusively that Israel is ready for peace and ready to close a deal. The Palestinians, however, true to their history of the past 90 years and particularly the past 73 years during which they have had 5 (or 6 depending on how you count) opportunities to agree to divide the land and build their own state next to the Jewish one, have continued to refuse. While they refuse, they continue to attack Israel in public forums, the press, university campuses, NGO conferences, church conferences, etc. as an illegitimate and criminal state. This, despite the fact that in their society they have no democracy, no liberal values to speak of, no freedom of expression, effective rules that discriminate heavily against minorities such as homosexuals and Christians and a heavy propaganda push that educates their young toward war and non-settlement of the conflict despite nearly two decades of a peace process.

Yup, if you were really Jewish Voices for Peace, you would make every effort to make the Palestinians come to the table and forge a historic compromise. Instead, you seek to weaken Israel and strengthen those who would damage it.

ck has balls for letting you post on our site. What you represent are the forces that will bring Israel to future wars – wars where young and middle aged Israeli men, fathers, brothers, sons – will have to give their lives and limbs to protect their homes and families.

33 Comments

  1. a.p.k.a.y.

    11/9/2010 at 7:06 pm

    and i say yey themiddle!

    • Shosh

      6/21/2017 at 10:53 am

      I love you. Thank you for taking the time to say all that.

      I am Jewish-American young adult and I was swept up in a group just like “Jewish Voice For Peace” my freshman year of college out of a genuine interest in ending the conflict…that was until I realized that I was in a sunken place (Have any of you seen Get Out?). I was completely denying who I was and was letting all these people convince me of concepts and ideas that deep down I knew were only half-truths about the conflict. I felt like I was, as a Jewish person, being used to validate their anti-Israel agenda, which is really screwed up, and if you think about it, if groups like “Jewish Voice for Peace” have to say over and over again that “we are not anti-semitic, we are anti-zionist”, then sorry to break it to you, but you are anti-semitic. Once I had enough, I ran farrrrrr away.

      But I continue to talk about the conflict.

      I just only talk to people (other Jews, Palestinians, Israelis, muslim americans, pretty much anyone) about the conflict who are willing to sit down and be RESPECTFUL to each other.

      As a Jewish person who

      (1) Can actually genuinely see the inequalities that Palestinian people face
      (2) Thinks Netanyahu sucks, but despite this, will never stop defending Israel and consider it home
      (3) Genuinely wants peace to prevail so that Israelis and Palestinians can co-exist

      I will say it again and again, The “Jewish Voice for Peace” wants no such things, they are only pretending.

      I wish all the Jews in “The Jewish Voice for Peace” would remember that song we were all forced to learn in Hebrew School called “Salam” (“Peace” in Arabic)

      Od yavo’ shalom aleinu
      Od yavo’ shalom aleinu
      Od yavo’ shalom aleinu
      Ve al kulam

      Salaam (Salaam)
      Aleinu ve al kol ha olam,
      Salaam, Salaam

      It means

      Peace will come upon us
      Peace will come upon us
      Peace will come upon us
      and on everyone.

      Salaam (‘peace’ in Arabic)
      On us and on everyone
      Salaam, Salaam

      They all know it. And now they have grown up and joined groups like “Jewish Voice for Peace” and seem to have forgotten that jews have been trying to achieve peace for thousands of years.

      Despite all of this, I genuinely believe if enough of us people who genuinely want peace and reach out to each other rather than continue fighting, peace will finally prevail in Israel/Palestine.

      xx Shosh

  2. Fun Joel

    11/9/2010 at 11:26 pm

    As is so often the case with fringe groups of this nature, they seem more focused on publicity than on results. It is for this reason that there was such a flurry of tweets proudly reminding people not only that protesters disrupted Netanyahu’s speech, but also which organization the protesters were affiliated with. The message coming out from Jewish Voices for Peace was not, “Look at all the good we’ve accomplished,” but rather, “Look how accomplished we are — we were able to cause a disruption to voice our disagreement.”

    Perhaps some day people will realize that publicity should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. And only one weak means of reaching an end.

  3. Pingback: Bibi’s hecklers | Jewschool

    • themiddle

      11/10/2010 at 3:07 am

      KFJ, you are pretty out of touch if you consider me “right wing.” I’m right wing compared to people who pretend the Gaza blockade is there just for fun as opposed to the security issues involved, but that’s not right wing. That’s sane.

  4. Loushon

    11/10/2010 at 7:53 am

    Finally, a reasoned, well-written response that refutes that tripe that was posted. Peace is there if the Palestinians want it.

  5. kayla starr

    11/10/2010 at 9:13 am

    As a Jewish woman, I am horrified and ashamed at the Israeli policies of oppression, humiliation, theft and violence against the Palestinians. It’s OVERKILL, and does not represent true Jewish values. I commend the brave people who stood up and raised these issues in a public meeting with Netanyahu. Bravo!

  6. themiddle

    11/10/2010 at 12:08 pm

    Oh Kayla, knock it off. A key Jewish value is survival. It’s important enough that you can desecrate the Shabbat in order to save a life. The Palestinians provided a serious lesson to Israel about survival in the years 2000-2004, particularly after Barak’s offer at Camp David and then during his revised and vastly superior offer of peace and a Palestinian state in the negotiations at Taba. They blew up over a thousand Israelis. In March, 2002 alone, they massacred over 140 Jews, primarily through suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians and sniper fire aimed at civilian cars.

    It was then AND ONLY THEN that Israel returned its soldiers to Areas A which had been under full Palestinian Authority control since 1998. Fully 98% of the Palestinian population had been living under PA rule and you can see a steady increase throughout the period in the number of attacks on Israelis.

    The “oppression and humiliation” of which you speak is a direct by-product. Were it not for Palestinian violence – and make no mistake, the biggest culprit was Fatah, the parent organization of the PA, with almost twice as many attacks as all other Palestinian groups combined – there wouldn’t be Israeli soldiers in or near Palestinian population centers in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, there would be far fewer checkpoints, there would be many more Palestinians working inside Israel, there would be no security barrier and far less intelligence gathering and operations.

    As for the “theft,” Palestinians have access to the Israeli high court and have no shortage of NGOs providing legal assistance and representation to the Palestinians, even the ones who are not Israeli citizens but live under Israeli rule. Unlike Palestinian courts, by the way, Israeli courts are independent of the political class and have no trouble exhibiting their independence regularly.

    The most miserable aspect of your claims about “violence” is that Israel actually evacuated Gaza and instead of acting peacefully toward Israel and attempting to find ways to build up that society, Gazans launched thousands of attacks on Israeli civilian targets and elected a party that uses the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as part of its charter to destroy Israel. Despite this, it took years for Israel to finally act in response. Years of watching Israeli communities around Gaza fall apart socially and economically while their children were traumatized by the Gazan Roulette being played with their lives. It took years and dozens of appeals to the UN before Israel finally went into Gaza to stop the attacks itself. You should be proud of the patience and restraint the Israelis showed. You should also be proud of the unusually low civilian death count in this operation. Hamas has now admitted that about 700 of the Gaza War’s casualties were their men or affiliated with them which means the civilian-militant death ratio is around 1:1 for that war. I challenge you to compare that to the violence enlightened Western countries that don’t embarrass you have wreaked on civilian populations in recent years.

  7. xisnotx

    11/10/2010 at 12:32 pm

    i always suspected the zios killed mj

  8. Janet Weil

    11/10/2010 at 3:56 pm

    A Jewish proverb comes to mind: “Who is wise? He (or she) who learns from everyone.”

    The Jewish Federation should stop being a shill for the Israeli government which is responsible for many crimes including the Apartheid Wall, the horrific attack on Gaza of Dec 08 – Jan 09 which killed about 1400 civilians, the torture of Palestinians in detention and much more. The Jewish Federation should hold panel discussions and other public events where the issues of the “loyalty oath”, the use of illegal weapons, the Right of Return and much more could be discussed and debated. That way courageous young American Jews who have a different point of view from the standard Israeli government propaganda line would be able to participate in the civil way that you say you are interested in.

    Jews, whether in Israel or in the US, are not helped by silencing dissent and multiple points of view.

  9. Eitan

    11/10/2010 at 4:22 pm

    First, Netanyahu’s security detail? I’m not sure I understand your point. He has professional security and I am sure they are all doing a great job.

    Second, Rude? Netanyahu was comparing peace activists (us) to Iranan’s nuclear program. He and his proponents are trying to label us as enemies of the state. So I am sorry our objection wasn’t more civil. Would you even be blogging about this if it were?

    Third, Anyone is entitled to open a blog, that is why we all love the web. Opening or closing posts for comments is the blogger’s choice.

    Fourth, You are right. If Israel used white phosphor and no one would bother reporting it, they would be in much better shape. But do you really have to shoot the messenger?

    Fifth, The Palestinians have a waiting strategy? What about the Israelis? Who is gaining more from the status quo? Who is expanding settlements? Who is unilaterally building a wall? Who is exploiting natural resources?

    I’m going to stop here with the geopolitical bit, and just say that any “historic compromise” you think Israel could get from the Palestinians would be damaged goods and could never lead to lasting peace. Peace could only be reached with an genuinely equitable solution that sees Palestinians both individually and collectively as equal, Israel currently recognizes neither.

    As for the protest, the style might not have been in your taste, but we are actively changing the discourse.

  10. Long Beach Chasid

    11/10/2010 at 5:07 pm

    You are actively changing a fantasy world in your mind. You are all silly and immature and no one outside of the internet cares about anything you have to say. Please though. Fill a comment with a myriad of characters that help you justify your cause in the matrix.

    Israel will always be here. There is NOTHING anyone can do about it. Just as you do not support Israels way of defending itself, I do not support the desecration of Shabbos and the sale of Chametz on Pesach.

    The difference between us is that my strong views of what is wrong is Israel are not more important than every single Jewish soul in Israel and the world.

    You would rather see a Palestinian live if it meant an innocent Jew die and that is why they love you because your passion that is ingrained in your soul will help them kill many many more Jews G-D Fobid!

    You will never see the light as you believe the sun is already shinning.

    Good Luck.

  11. Marla

    11/10/2010 at 5:21 pm

    “…a reasoned, well-written response”???? I wouldn’t call themiddle rightwing, rather the post is cliff notes for the Jewish Federations’ (among others) talking points for countering what they call the “delegitimization of Israel,” and, as ordered, it was not vituperative, name-calling, etc. Besides the fact that one can counter many of the claims in the response, it misses the point. There is a profound difference in goals. What the Jewish Federations are doing is drawing a line in defining what is Jewish, i.e., including only those who stand with Israel as it is constituted. The young Jews draw on traditions of justice, equality, solidarity and even anti-militarism, and for that they are locked out. For many of us, the question is not limited to peace, which historically has meant containment of the Palestinians, has meant an exclusionary ideology of ‘Jewish-only’ as a central tenet of Israeli policies, has meant the degradation of Arabs/Arab culture–whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim–as official policy (see Sami Shalom Chetrit on growing up as an immigrant Moroccan Jew in Israel). Note that the questions raised by the young Jews–loyalty oath, occupation, the siege of Gaza, settlements, etc. were not included in the General Assembly. If they had, the protest would not have been necessary. The protest represents, in part, a battle over what constitutes Jewishness and, for an increasing number of Jews, the policies of Israel are not it. themiddle hasn’t listened to the Jewish opposition or Palestinians–Christian or Muslim. The privileging of Jews over and against others is what must be defended and for themiddle, that is what he means by survival–the demographics of Jewish control and real estate claims throughout the territories. To those who say it was rude, the protest at the GA is reminiscent of the civil rights movement and other social and anti-war movements in the US. Perhaps the lyrics of the once popular song from the 60s, “It isn’t Nice” by Malvina Reynolds, famed folk and blues singer illuminates the point,– “It isn’t nice to block the doorway, it isn’t nice to go to jail…to shout freedom in the hotel or the store, … there are nicer ways to do it, but the nice ways always fail…it’s not nice, no it’s not nice, you told us once, you told us twice, but if that’s freedom price, we don’t mind.” The young Jews have followed this legacy of disrupting the status quo to stand for a just, equal and democratic future in Israel/Palestine, to represent Jewishness as an opposition to Israeli policy. Finally, I wonder where themiddle gets his information to state, “in their society they have no democracy, no liberal values to speak of, no freedom of expression, effective rules that discriminate heavily against minorities such as homosexuals and Christians and a heavy propaganda push that educates their young toward war and non-settlement of the conflict despite nearly two decades of a peace process.” themiddle really needs to visit the West Bank, encounter the growing democratic, non-violent movement-building, the opposition to ruling parties in Palestine and Israel. The effectiveness of this mobilization can be measured by the Israeli repression against it–arresting organizers in the villages, raids, assaults. Speak to the priests at schools, at Bethlehem University. They can explain why Christians have left the horror of the occupation; and the ruse of mentioning “homosexuals” (a term not used in decades except by the right) perhaps is most revealing. As Stand with Israel organizations draw on gay/lesbian/trans/bi rights to sell Israel as the “only democracy” in the ME, most l/b/t/b folks, especially the young, have responded with their goals of justice and equality–goals that are not narrowed to glbt folks, but to an expansive meaning for all people. Thus the racist depictions that some groups use in the name of gay rights–representing Arabs/Muslims as barbaric exposed the manipulation. There are gay Muslim and Arab groups, along with queer groups everywhere, and guess what, they work in solidarity with their heterosexual Muslim, Arab, Jewish, secular and Christian activists for justice and equality in Israel/Palestine.

  12. froylein

    11/10/2010 at 8:36 pm

    You know, there were so many things wrong about the original post (apart from its style), it’s hard to pick what to address first.

    Firstly, if you’re 28, your immature behaviour is not excused by calling yourself “young”. Behaviour worthy of a wannabe-politicial 15-year-old is not refreshing, provocative, eye-opening or anything else but childish. Grow up. Decent form merits recognition. Publicity stunts don’t.

    Secondly, having spent a lot of time over the past few weeks going through personal documents of my grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents, including many letters from South Africa by a relative who started many a successful social work project in the slums, the oldest of which date back to 1928, I can positively say that whoever claims “oppression” and “Apartheid” in this case hasn’t got the slightest bit of a clue. People over here even fared much, much worse under Prussian occupation. There’s no point to be made with anologies so lame, so ill-fitting and so ignorant of what the terms entail that it rings me as cynical to use them as a pseudo-dialectical tools in a lame attempt at discrediting opponents. An untruth won’t turn truth by repeating it over and over again and yelling it loudly. It’s rather insulting to even assume anyone would fall for that.

    Thirdly, bad behaviour only reflects negatively on any cause. This wasn’t a case of civil disobedience but a mere demonstration of poor education and bad manners. If anyone thinks they’ve done their cause any favour should think again; you haven’t called publicity to an ages-old issue but have demonstrated what kind of people side with the extremists that are.

    I thought I’d throw this in in defence of Middle, whose post was to the point. The adult world plays by different rules.

  13. Israeli Oleh

    11/10/2010 at 11:38 pm

    Policies aside, I am an Israeli immigrant who does not always agree with all of the Israeli Government’s ways and decision; however, I do believe they are always acting with whatever means they need to, in order to ensure their people’s safety (such as my own). That reason, among others, is why I can still feel safe and continue to have the choice and option to live in Israel and call her my home. The true homeland of the Jewish People.

    The fact of the matter is that the real issue runs far deeper than any ‘peace protest’, rudeness, action, disruption, whatever anyone wants to call it.

    Wake up, people. Jews that are fighting against the state of Israel, Wake Up! Because there are dangerous people laughing at our reactions beneath all the media, disconnected to your stats and politics; they won’t stop at delegitimizing Israel. These people who (even if they’re not the majority, and are a small minority) are laying low for now, deep within the Muslim, Islam, and Arab nations — They’ll kill you too. They live to be martyrs for their people. They honor death above all. Of themselves, of their children. This is not a war for them. It is destiny.

    The Hamas Charter blatantly states “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him…”

    Read the charter for yourselves: http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm

    The analogy that themiddle made about the fig tree was dead on, but he didn’t take it far enough. Jews are being used. In the worst ways by our own enemies. And we continue to fall for it. We’re ripping each other apart and graciously doing the jobs of those who are against us.

  14. themiddle

    11/11/2010 at 1:15 am

    Janet,

    It isn’t a wall, it is predominantly a fence with some wall sections. It exists because of Palestinian violence against Israelis, particularly in the years 2001-2003.

    1400 people may have died in Gaza, but half of them were militants, not civilians.

    Torture is outlawed in Israel.

    The Jewish Federation discussed what the majority of affiliated Jews want to discuss. If you want to set the agenda at conferences, then join the Federation and work your way through the system. Like everybody else.

    There is nothing courageous about American Jews who attack Israel and support anti-Israel positions. In fact, it’s quite fashionable to take this position. The courageous young American Jews are those who attend universities that have allowed themselves to become kens of anti-Israel propaganda, but still identify themselves both as Jews and as supporters of Israel. And by the way, they shine at handling their encounters in a civil manner, even with all the enmity expressed by their opponents.

    The suggestion, however, that anybody is “silencing dissent and multiple points of view” is ludicrous. Open any Jewish newspaper across the US or attend any Jewish film festival and you’ll see this is not so. The discussion about Israel is alive and well. And the minority who wishes to support the Palestinians certainly has a voice.

  15. themiddle

    11/11/2010 at 1:53 am

    Eitan,

    If you’re in an Israeli PM’s security detail, especially after Rabin’s murder, what do you think happens when protesters begin to pop up in the audience in the middle of a PM’s speech? Are they supposed to guess that you’re all safe and nobody intends to make a point using violence? You don’t think they immediately had to focus intensively on the protesters and ensure they weren’t missing something?

    Second, Rude?

    Yes you were rude. Rude to interrupt. Also, when you write: “Netanyahu was comparing peace activists (us) to Iranan’s nuclear program” you are lying. Here is his speech in its entirety:

    http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Communication/PMSpeaks/speechga081110.htm

    I challenge you to show where you are compared to Iranian’s nuclear program. Have fun twisting yourself into knots.

    “Would you even be blogging about this if it were?”

    I am only blogging about your disruption because my partner on Jewlicious, ck, let Rae post an article about the disruption. Otherwise, I would have ignored the silliness.

    “Anyone is entitled to open a blog, that is why we all love the web. Opening or closing posts for comments is the blogger’s choice.”

    Dude, Muzzlewatch is a blog complaining that anti-Israel activists are being censored. Yet they censor discussion on their site and they began after some of us went on there to debate. Do you realize how ridiculous it is for an anti-censorship group to censor discussion? Do you realize how ridiculous you and your colleagues here sound when you complain about being shut out at the GA but represent an organization that dares not have its assertions debated openly and publicly?

    “Fourth, You are right. If Israel used white phosphor and no one would bother reporting it, they would be in much better shape. But do you really have to shoot the messenger?”

    Come on Eitan, the same organization also claimed that Hamas didn’t fight from civilian areas or use civilians as shields. Just above your comment is a comment by a person who states that of the 1400 dead in Cast Lead, all were civilians. The messenger needs to speak truthfully, first of all, and second, needs to be fair and objective about the nature of the conflict. JVP fails on both counts.

    “Fifth, The Palestinians have a waiting strategy? What about the Israelis? Who is gaining more from the status quo? Who is expanding settlements? Who is unilaterally building a wall? Who is exploiting natural resources?”

    The Palestinians exploit natural resources quite well, actually. In fact, Israel provides them with more water and electricity than is called for in the Oslo Accords, even though the Palestinians continue to refuse to cooperate with building a desalination plant or water recycling plants to address their water needs.

    However, in answer to your point: the Palestinians are building like crazy, and very possibly in equal or greater numbers than the Israelis are building in settlements. They are also planting orchards like crazy, often on land they burn specifically to convert it to “Palestinian” land.

    The Palestinians believe that waiting only gives them good things and brings them closer to a point where they can weaken Israel sufficiently to make it into a state that is no longer a state for the Jewish nation. Otherwise, they would have signed off on a deal already. I mean, let’s be honest here, if somebody wants “1967 borders” as the Palestinians claim they do, and the other side offers them 98% of “1967 borders” with land swaps to compensate for the rest, then it’s impossible to find any justification for their refusal to end the conflict.

    Yet, not only is this what your group does, it actually attacks Israel on numerous grounds that could be resolved already if the Palestinians weren’t convinced by the actions of groups like JVP that not only can they wait because they are strengthened against Israel demographically and institutionally, but there are all kinds of shills in the West doing their bidding for them as well and weakening Israel’s international position. They are in a terrific position and you help them evade peace without facing consequences.

    “I’m going to stop here with the geopolitical bit, and just say that any “historic compromise” you think Israel could get from the Palestinians would be damaged goods and could never lead to lasting peace. Peace could only be reached with an genuinely equitable solution that sees Palestinians both individually and collectively as equal, Israel currently recognizes neither.”

    Aw, give me a break. Thanks for undermining peace and the process entirely. This is precisely what I’m talking about. What you want has nothing to do with peace and compromise, and certainly not with justice. One percent of the Yishuv’s population died because of the war launched by the Arabs locally in 1947 and on a national level in 1948.

    Furthermore, your assertions about how Israel “recognizes” Palestinians is nothing but more hyperbole that is unrelated to facts. The facts are that Israel offered peace on the basis of a Palestinian state residing side by side next to Israel with Jerusalem divided between the two states and the holy places shared. Just to remind you, if such a Palestine were to exist, then of the Ottoman province of Palestine which was under British Mandate – “historic Palestine” in leftist terminology – there would be Palestinians (and some non-Palestinian Jordanians) but no Jews in 89% of this land, and within the remaining 11% of “historic Palestine,” which would be Israel with its final borders after a peace deal along the lines of the Barak and Olmert proposals, 20% of the population would be Arab. However, the Palestinians can’t even bring themselves to agree to call this sliver of land a “Jewish state.” Tell me again who doesn’t wish to respect the other individually and collectively?

    “As for the protest, the style might not have been in your taste, but we are actively changing the discourse.”

    Don’t flatter yourselves. You are a shill and your organization is a shill for Palestinian interests and very likely for the propaganda efforts of Fatah itself, which appears to have a guiding hand over the anti-Israel activities taking place across the globe.

  16. themiddle

    11/11/2010 at 2:48 am

    Marla,

    Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not affiliated with any Federation and don’t need anybody to tell me what to write. What I write, I write independently.

    What the Jewish Federations are doing is drawing a line in defining what is Jewish, i.e., including only those who stand with Israel as it is constituted. The young Jews draw on traditions of justice, equality, solidarity and even anti-militarism, and for that they are locked out.

    Another way to view this, of course, is that the strident, extreme, anti-Israel minority of young Jewish activists are not given a platform in a conference intended for the mainstream. The rest of it “young Jews draw on traditions of justice, equality, solidarity and even anti-militarism” may be what you tell yourself, but in fact, the mainstream Jewish community addresses these issues far better than your group.

    For many of us, the question is not limited to peace, which historically has meant containment of the Palestinians, has meant an exclusionary ideology of ‘Jewish-only’ as a central tenet of Israeli policies, has meant the degradation of Arabs/Arab culture–whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim–as official policy (see Sami Shalom Chetrit on growing up as an immigrant Moroccan Jew in Israel).

    There are writers on this site who are Sephardic and whose families are refugees from Arab lands. At least two of them reject your assertions.

    Your comment about “Jewish only” being a tenet of Israel’s ideology is so wrong that one wonders what exactly you think your participation at the GA could have provided? In the meantime, you will note there are no Jews living in Jordan (77% of “historic Palestine), a Jew cannot acquire Jordanian citizenship, Jews cannot live as residents in Gaza and the PA has indicated that Jews may not remain and live in the future state of Palestine that would come into place if a peace agreement were to be signed.

    Contrast this with Israel’s Declaration of Independence:

    “THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions…”

    The privileging of Jews over and against others is what must be defended and for themiddle, that is what he means by survival–the demographics of Jewish control and real estate claims throughout the territories.

    No, that’s not what I mean by “survival.” I mean, survival of people but also of Israel as state that embodies the right of the Jewish nation to enjoy self-determination. Historically, the Jewish nation has been amenable to accepting that such self-determination would include a large Arab population within its borders. It agreed to such terms in 1937 and 1947.

    To those who say it was rude, the protest at the GA is reminiscent of the civil rights movement and other social and anti-war movements in the US.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    Finally, I wonder where themiddle gets his information to state, “in their society they have no democracy, no liberal values to speak of, no freedom of expression, effective rules that discriminate heavily against minorities such as homosexuals and Christians and a heavy propaganda push that educates their young toward war and non-settlement of the conflict despite nearly two decades of a peace process.”

    From the news, from Palestinian leaders, from Palestinian homosexuals, from Palestinian minorities and other similar sources.

    themiddle really needs to visit the West Bank,

    I have. Many times.

    encounter the growing democratic, non-violent movement-building, the opposition to ruling parties in Palestine and Israel. The effectiveness of this mobilization can be measured by the Israeli repression against it–arresting organizers in the villages, raids, assaults.

    Throwing rocks at soldiers is not non-violent. Attempting to thwart operations that are supposed to assist Israel’s enemies in accumulating the means to harm Israel is not nation-building.

    Also, don’t kid yourself. The ONLY reason Fayyad and the PA have been able to build out Palestinian state infrastructure, is that the Israeli government protects the PA and its leadership from Hamas. Without that support, the PA as a child organization of Fatah would already be gone. And also don’t kid yourself about who is being arrested most of the time. No, not all the time, but most of the time. They are people who are enemies of the PA quite often, and it serves the PA well to have them sit in Israeli prisons.

    Speak to the priests at schools, at Bethlehem University. They can explain why Christians have left the horror of the occupation

    Sure, because Muslim militants have made their lives quite difficult. Remember what they did to the Church of the Nativity?

    ; and the ruse of mentioning “homosexuals” (a term not used in decades except by the right)

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

    Did you prefer queer or gay? From this you determine that I’m of the right? Haahahahahahahaha!!!!

    perhaps is most revealing. As Stand with Israel organizations draw on gay/lesbian/trans/bi rights to sell Israel as the “only democracy” in the ME, most l/b/t/b folks, especially the young, have responded with their goals of justice and equality–goals that are not narrowed to glbt folks, but to an expansive meaning for all people. Thus the racist depictions that some groups use in the name of gay rights–representing Arabs/Muslims as barbaric exposed the manipulation. There are gay Muslim and Arab groups, along with queer groups everywhere, and guess what, they work in solidarity with their heterosexual Muslim, Arab, Jewish, secular and Christian activists for justice and equality in Israel/Palestine.

    Look, save us from the Queers against Israeli Apartheid speeches. They’re bullshit. Here: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/gay-palestinian-seeks-residency-in-israel-on-humanitarian-grounds-1.316274

    How can we have honest discourse and debate when you can’t openly address the truth? The PA is not democratic. They haven’t had an election in a long time. Palestinian society is predominantly Muslim and is understandably both conservative and not liberal in their views. Homosexuality is looked down upon in that society. There is little freedom of the press and freedom of expression is also relatively unwelcome in both Gaza and the WB. And yes, there is heavy indoctrination of Palestinian children to perceive Israel as the enemy and conflict as something heroic.

    If you wish to have a real debate about Israel, then you need to be honest about the positives and negatives of both sides. That has been and remains my position, and I believe the position of most writers on Jewlicious. It is not a claim you can make, based on what you’ve written, or one that JVP can make.

  17. Kung Fu Jew

    11/11/2010 at 9:49 am

    Throwing rocks at soldiers is not non-violent. Attempting to thwart operations that are supposed to assist Israel’s enemies in accumulating the means to harm Israel is not nation-building.

    If this is your argument, you’ve never really been to the West Bank and met the Palestinians in question. I have and I think painting all Palestinians as rock-throwers is prejudiced stereotyping.

  18. TomSelleck

    11/11/2010 at 12:42 pm

    To all you jews who think you know what is best for Israel,
    As an Israeli ex-paratrooper I have been exposed to the Israeli brain-washing for many many years. I know it feels good– it gives you a sense of belonging to stand up and defend the Israeli policies. But in fact, the corrupt Israeli politicians use the famous jewish guilt, and worst of all the memory of the holocaust as justification for their racist and illegal policies.
    It took me a while to wake up from the lies I’ve been fed, but I suggest you start reading up on what’s really happening. The protesters are heroes, and so is Jewish Voice for Peace, which I am a member of. Please remember that there are MANY Sane ISraelis who oppose this corrupt and racist government. And btw— Olmert and Barak both presented offers of peace when they were about to be thrown out of their chair- just so they can say they offered a deal to the Palestinians- in fact, it never would have passed. So don’t use that argument- it is ignorant.

    • themiddle

      11/11/2010 at 2:33 pm

      Oh wait, TomSelleck, I just saw your other comment where you wrote:

      “And btw— Olmert and Barak both presented offers of peace when they were about to be thrown out of their chair- just so they can say they offered a deal to the Palestinians- in fact, it never would have passed. So don’t use that argument- it is ignorant.”

      Barak offered peace long before elections were on the radar. The second time, at Taba, he upped the ante so significantly that they actually asked the Palestinians whether they would be amenable to a “horizontal and vertical” division of sovereignty over the Temple Mount. The negotiations were real and the offer was real. What was also real was the refusal of the Palestinians to change any of their positions from Camp David, except, according to FM Ben Ami, about a half percent movement on proposed areas that were to remain under Israeli control at the time.

      Olmert made his peace offer after extensive negotiations with the Palestinians.

      Both Olmert and Barak extended their offers under the watchful eyes of the Americans and within the context of intense maneuvers by US administrations to achieve deals. As Israeli PMs, democratically elected and heads of their parties who were negotiating with knowledge of the press, the Israeli and Palestinian public and the American political leadership, it is ignorant, at best, to suggest that their offers would never have passed. Their offers would have passed because there is nothing the Israeli public wants more than for the wars to end and for their sons to stop having to be sent away to war.

  19. themiddle

    11/11/2010 at 12:45 pm

    “prejudiced”

    I would expect more from you beyond the silly name-calling that I’m a right winger or that I’m bigoted.

    Of course not all Palestinians throw stones and not all Palestinians throw rockets. The key places where the “non-violent movement” to which Marla referred encounters the IDF, many of those who are gathered to demonstrate do throw stones at the soldiers. There is nothing prejudiced about pointing this out.

    By the way, not all Gazans launch rockets. Does that mean I shouldn’t say that “Palestinians launch rockets at Israeli civilians?” Should I qualify that as well? Or is that also “bigoted?” Are you okay with me saying “Israeli civilians” or am I being “prejudiced” because I didn’t qualify which Israeli civilians?

    By the way, does J Street stand behind Jewish Voices for Peace? Does it stand behind this disruptive behavior at the GA? Does J Street use the tactic of calling those with whom it disagrees “prejudiced” or “right wingers?”

    Let me know when you have something of substance to add.

  20. Tom Morrissey

    11/11/2010 at 12:47 pm

    Good move by ck to allow the guest post, and good to see this debate on Jewlicious. Let a hundred flowers bloom, as Mao once said of blogs.

    The most remarkable feature of the Bibi protest was the apparently successful law-enforcement initiative by the New Orleans Police, the first such occurrence in many years.

    • themiddle

      11/11/2010 at 2:24 pm

      Tom Morrissey, thanks for the laugh.

  21. TomSelleck

    11/11/2010 at 12:51 pm

    To themiddle,
    You talk of rude?
    Your comments, and especially all your cocky laughter and arrogant “Let me know when you have something of substance to add”— shows exactly what kind of rhetoric you are used to- garbage. You are a rude person and I feel sorry for you

    • themiddle

      11/11/2010 at 2:01 pm

      TomSelleck, if all you have to add to this conversation is that I am rude, let me know when you have something of substance to the discussion.

  22. Marla

    11/12/2010 at 11:44 am

    themiddle:

    We agree on one thing and if you had taken in what I wrote earlier you would have noted that in mentioning the Palestinian non-violent movement I indicated that this movement is building a democratic process and is in opposition to the ruling parties within Palestine and Israel. So, we agree that the PA is not a democratic structure, not representative, not even legal as elections never happened, but favored by Israel. But you keep hammering at Palestinian faults, laying blame only there and oddly leave Israelis and their political representatives free from criticism. If you read Haaretz yesterday, you will know that some of the Jewish youth brought to the GA from Hillels, etc. are identifying their criticisms–that almost all the youth brought in are center to right politically, that the panel on “delegitimation” had all conservative to rightwing speakers, that no youth, e.g. undergraduates were on any panels, that there was no criticism of Israeli policies. Now you know that a significant number of Jews in the US are critical, shamed by the loyalty oath, by the vulgar attacks against Arabs/Muslims, by settler activities, by Lieberman, ad nauseum. And, as Bradley Bursten mentioned, many of them are divesting emotionally from Israel, while remaining afraid to speak publicly, because a lot of nasty comments or threats may come their way. The culture of banishment within dominant Jewish circles is problematic to say the least. With regard to gay/lesbian/trans/bi, I did not say that therefore you are on the right, only that the use of “homosexual” is used by them–that is, the anti-gay forces–just thought you would want to know, but then maybe you speak of Negroes. Also, I was not talking about the Queers Against Apartheid, but including national gay organizations who get loads of propaganda from Stand with Israel types, but don’t go with that crap and are genuinely supportive of equality for all. After all, here in the US, queer politics include race, gender, sexuality and class–so bigotry against people based on race or ethnicity must be addressed. Finally, since you are aware of Shlomo Ben Ami’s work, you should acknowledge what he has said, that Barak walked out of Taba because Sharon and military leaders were stirring up Israelis for the upcoming election, saying that he was giving everything away. So Barak left to campaign, but Sharon had mobilized successfully. Thus how could you say the offers were solid? Also what agreements were ever kept? Throughout Oslo, settlement expansion zoomed, even though it was supposed to end. The sell-out of the Oslo agreements are well documented.

  23. Marla

    11/12/2010 at 12:04 pm

    Oh, a ps. On the question of Israel building a society by ingraining an anti-Arab prejudice and thus are racist against Eastern, Mizrahi Jews. Really, you can’t respond that you asked two Sephardi friends. I mentioned Sami Shalom Chetrit because he did an examination of the school text books, the history and literary texts where the little even included about Mizrahi is degrading and ignorant. Check it out, it is stunning.

    • themiddle

      11/16/2010 at 2:12 am

      First of all, Marla, on the issue of racism against Eastern, Mizrahi Jews, I will remind you that 3 of Israel’s Presidents and 2 of the last 5 Chiefs of Staff have come from such backgrounds. I will also point out that while it may have been tough for the grandparents when they arrived in Israel, today the grandchildren and children of those Jewish refugees from Arab lands are well integrated. I personally know of several families where Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews are married and where both members of the couple are well educated and quite successful. So give it a break with the racism crap. If you really want to worry about racism, go to Saudi Arabia.

      With respect to the Palestinians building a democratic movement that is “non-violent” and opposed to the “ruling parties,” you might want to revisit the 1980s and the intifada back then which was led by local Palestinians and not Fatah or the PLO. It’s nothing new. They get absorbed into the mainstream very quickly, as they did back then. As of today, there is no evidence that the Palestinians have groups pushing for democracy or open opposition to ruling parties. If there are, then all power to them. Of course, they might have more success instituting democracy among their people if they attempted to fix their own society instead of attacking Israel…

      As for the PA, it is undemocratic just like Hamas’s leadership is undemocratic. However, they most certainly were elected. They have just neglected to hold elections for a long time…

      Yes, the PA is favored by Israel. The alternative is Hamas. Of course, it’s the PA’s choice not to run new elections, just as it is Hamas’s choice not to run new elections. These choices have nothing to do with Israel. I hammer away at Palestinian leadership because that’s what it is, the Palestinian leadership. They function like governments for all intents and purposes. Why should I hammer Israel for what Hamas, the elected leadership in Gaza, does?

      I read the article trying to suggest that certain groups weren’t being heard at the GA. With all due respect, that article was nothing more than a rehash of what JVP did at the GA. They found 20 people who wanted to voice the vitriolic anti-Israel bullshit coming from your camp and suddenly this applied to all young Jews or even a large proportion of young Jews at the GA or within the Jewish community? I think not. As for a panel on delegitimizing Israel not having members of your camp there, that is good. You’re the opponents who lead such efforts against Israel. Why would I invite proponents of the BDS movement to sit on a panel seeking to find antidotes to the BDS movement?

      You also wrote:

      Now you know that a significant number of Jews in the US are critical, shamed by the loyalty oath, by the vulgar attacks against Arabs/Muslims, by settler activities, by Lieberman, ad nauseum. And, as Bradley Bursten mentioned, many of them are divesting emotionally from Israel, while remaining afraid to speak publicly, because a lot of nasty comments or threats may come their way. The culture of banishment within dominant Jewish circles is problematic to say the least.

      I don’t know what “banishment” is from “dominant Jewish circles” but I have seen many leftist Jewish groups shun discussion and debate from their ranks. I have seen these groups shamelessly attack those who disagree with them by, for example, calling them racists even when no racism at all is involved. I have seen Muzzlewatch, a JVP subsidiary focused on this supposed banishment and ostracism you’re describing shut down the comments section on their blog to avoid all criticism. Furthermore, I have seen non-Jewish leftist groups make a mockery of and apply inordinate pressure on Jewish leftist activism when it doesn’t hew to their preferred line of attack. That’s why ANSWER prevented Rabbi Lerner from getting on the stage and speaking out during their anti-Iraq war events and that’s why a person like Benny Morris is treated like a pariah today.

      The worst part of what is happening today to young Jews is that they “are divesting emotionally from Israel, while remaining afraid to speak publicly, because a lot of nasty comments or threats may come their way” from groups such as yours and especially active anti-Israel groups on university campuses across North America and Europe. These anti-Israel activists dominate areas on their campuses, sometimes for more than a week a year, not to mention on numerous occasions when anti-Israel speakers come to campus, so that young Jews who might otherwise have a link to Israel, instead find that such as association gets them labeled as racists, ethnic cleansers, supporters of war criminals, opponents to international law and the like. These are accusations your group makes regularly, for example. Of course many young Jews are walking away from the debate entirely. They want to live their lives, study, have relationships and friendships. Suddenly, thanks to groups like yours, the only way they can have normal lives on campus is if they disassociate themselves from anything related to Israel. Of course, they do have one other option. Since the number of leftist groups and anti-Israel groups on campuses ensures large, vibrant communities, some Jewish students determine that participating in the lynch against Israel and its supporters will provide them with community…and “cover” that they’re not supporters of “war criminals” and “ethnic cleansing.”

      The mainstream community does not accept the false labels and criticisms of Israel that seek to undermine its existence. Pure and simple. And that’s the way it should be. Your group has to write a position paper about why it accepts either a two state or a one state solution because your group doesn’t place a higher value on Jewish self-determination that what your group perceives as “justice.” That’s why commenters have come on here from your group telling us all how the peace offers extended by Israel are insufficient and will never be sufficient. The vast majority of Jews reject that proposition – especially the vast majority of Israeli Jews who have had to fight wars to establish their state and defend it.

      The term “homosexual” in no way connotes anything similar to “negro.” Plenty of people who aren’t from the right use “homosexual” in their writing. Fyi, I’ve written posts using the words “gay” and “queer.” The words are interchangeable. I find it laughable that this is even a topic for discussion. Your response earlier, however, sounded like it came out of the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid propaganda sheets. The attempt to obscure the horrendous options available to homosexuals/gays/queers/transsexuals in the Arab and Muslim world by shifting the debate to Israeli politics when Israel’s treatment of queers/gays/transsexuals/homosexuals stands on a higher plane than, say, even America’s, is an outrageous lie by those who promote these lies. It is the height of hypocrisy and, truthfully, reveals groups like yours to be entirely dishonest. I don’t mean that this is a small matter. I mean this is a huge lie on your part and only points to why your enmity towards Israel deserved to be rejected by Israel’s supporters and certainly by conferences like the GA.

      Finally, getting to your attempt to repaint history, I will be glad to set you straight. As far as Ben Ami goes, his opinions don’t matter. He has proven over the years that he is naive and entirely the wrong choice to have handled the complex negotiations that were taking place at Camp David and Taba. His only true value is as a reporter on what happened because he was there and because he is an honest person. However, his analysis is often wrong and his judgment was often proven wrong. Take a look at how Ben Ami debated Finkelstein once and got his ass handed to him if you want to understand just how weak of a choice to engage the Palestinians Ben Ami was.

      Irrespective of Ben Ami’s weaknesses, your claims about Barak and Oslo are entirely false. If anything, Barak risked his very prime ministership on coming up with a peace deal with the Palestinians. Instead of campaigning, he was at Taba. Instead of attacking the Palestinians at campaign stops, he was attempting to close a deal and justify it to the Israeli public. The deal he was offering was miles ahead of what the Palestinians or Israelis had ever assumed would be on the table, but he was putting it on the table. What makes what he did even more incredible is not only that it was during the final months of an election, but that the Palestinians had already launched their War of 2000, a war that was launched on the heels of his first peace offer at Camp David. Barak, furthermore, was making this offer with Clinton backing him. To suggest there was anything but serious negotiating by Israel is an absolute misrepresentation of events. This was real enough that the Palestinians demanded that where he left off the negotiations was where the next series of negotiations must begin. Which is precisely what happened with Olmert.

      With respect to the Oslo Accords, Israel has not violated them. Settlements, for example, are a final status issue. Israel fulfilled all of its obligations. In fact, of all people, it was Netanyahu who met the requirement that Israel exit Areas A which were then put under full PA control.

      Here is the full text, including annexes, of the Oslo Accords. I claim that by the year 2000, Israel had met its obligations. I challenge you to show otherwise. Furthermore, I claim that the Palestinians have not met a number of their obligations and challenge you to prove that they have met all of theirs. Why don’t you begin, for example, with Section XV which states:

      1.

      Disputes arising out of the application or interpretation of this Declaration of Principles. or any subsequent agreements pertaining to the interim period, shall be resolved by negotiations through the Joint Liaison Committee to be established pursuant to Article X above.
      2.

      Disputes which cannot be settled by negotiations may be resolved by a mechanism of conciliation to be agreed upon by the parties.
      3.

      The parties may agree to submit to arbitration disputes relating to the interim period, which cannot be settled through conciliation. To this end, upon the agreement of both parties, the parties will establish an Arbitration Committee.

      Did the Palestinians comply with this when they were conducting their suicide bombings in the late 1990s or their war that began in 2000?

      How about Section IV:

      Jurisdiction of the Council will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory, except for issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, whose integrity will be preserved during the interim period.

      Are Gaza and the WB a single unit?

      • Isaac

        7/19/2016 at 12:16 pm

        Ashkenazi Jews and Sefaradi Jews are genetically identical with Syrian Jews. All are of middle eastern descent, and all often look the same, not always, but often.

        So sick of radicals being racist against ashkenazi jews who happen to have lighter skin though. There are really dark ashkenazim, and really light sefaradim.

        I hate leftist racism.

  24. Pingback: What the Bleep?! Crazy Snowfall Edition | TC Jewfolk

  25. Berkeley Gal

    11/23/2010 at 4:29 pm

    The Jews of Berkeley got even, apparently. On Sunday, Nov. 14 Jewish Voice for peace had a meeting to celebrate the interruptors of Netanyhu- Rae Abileah, Matthew Taylor and three others were there, along with a room full of JVP die-hards. The meeting never had a chance to progress. Every five minutes, a well orchestrated stream of disruptions began from the audience. It ended badly- Jewish Voice for Peace turned out not to be for peace, after all- one of the pro-Israeli activists was assaulted for filming without permission- her response was to pepepr spray her assailant. JVP finally phoned it in to the local police department as a riot- prompting 6 police cars,1 firetruck and an ambulance to appear at the scene.

    JVP finally had a taste of their own medicine, and it was bitter, indeed.

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