I was just watching C-Span, the commercial-free channel that likes to inject its cameras into relevant political events as well as occasional cultural events of note. This program was covering the National Book Festival and they were broadcasting a stellar line-up of speakers who were guests of the Festival.

David Brooks, who is a columnist for the NY Times and editor at The Atlantic, has an enviable record as a journalist and writer and was speaking at the Festival in order to promote his new book, On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now. I found his talk about where Americans were headed politically to be engaging and funny. It seemed the large audience in attendance did as well.

Then came the question period. Now I can’t be sure whether they edit these programs and how they are edited if they do. However, the very first question asked was never completed.

Why? Because the questioner, a large white guy who looked middle class enough that you’d expect him to be carrying a bag of golf clubs in his trunk at all times, began his question to Brooks as follows: “You belong to the Jewish Zionist Neo-con cabal that took us to Iraq…”

Many people in the audience immediately booed and hissed, which was nice to hear. Brooks reacted calmly and merely pointed at another person in the audience. “Next question.” The camera cut back to the Cabal Dude, and it was clear he wasn’t done but was out of luck because the sound person had cut off his microphone. Brooks then added, just before the next person asked a question, something to the effect of, “The Jewish thing was going too far. And yes, I am Jewish.”

Now of course it was very fashionable among Jewschool posters Lefty circles to bring out this accusation back when it looked like we would go to war in Iraq, and even in the first few months there. However, this cry of bigotry seems to have died down so it was quite surprising to see someone use this formulation without a hint of shame in a very public forum. In fact, I believe the man expected to be applauded by some in the crowd. He wasn’t applauded but vilified by many there, and virtually everyone remained for the rest of the question period.

Just a story I thought I’d share.

About the author

themiddle

79 Comments

  • The choice of ‘cabal’ is very fitting, as that word is derived ultimately from Kabbalah. Christian theologians drew from Kabbalah when developing their own spiritual beliefs. And with their intellectual activity in that area they also brought the word into the European lexicon. While the word ‘Kabbalah’ is fairly neutral in Hebrew, ‘cabal’ in English implies a conspiracy eminating from a mysterious, small circle (aka, the Jews). Check out my link for more info.

  • i’m sorry for my outburst. but your presumptiveness and continously snide jabs at me — you and other jewlicious staffers — are really starting to piss me off.

    i mean, show me where in this critique of neo-conservativism that i claim that zionism, let alone judaism, is relevant or being served by the neo-con agenda?

    leave mitzrayim man. sheesh!

  • When an author is speaking about political views in a public forum, people shouldn’t be ashamed to ask about religious, socio-economic or educational background, as that can help them assess where those views are coming from and whether they agree with them or not. However, the question should be phrased politely rather than in the form of a heckle. (Listen to me, I’m fuckin’ ms. manner’s over here!)

  • Am I out of the loop, cos I never once heard that statement when we were going into Iraq.

  • And don’t be scared.. I met him in person in Israel. He’s a bit of a chubby chub and couldn’t hurt a fly.

  • as i said last time you opened your trash talking trap, if you want to step up and talk that shit to my face, name your place, name your time. anonymous coward.

  • hehe. i can almost see the tumbleweeds blowing across the town square. you’re a chubby jackass. i don’t care enough about you or whatever you do to “name a time and place”. its just fun watching you hop around getting upset.

  • lmao. blog wars between Jews? love thy fellow as you love thyself, you bastards.

    what are you thinking of, acting this way? are you that childish and stupid? play nice, or comdenmn your eternal soul to flame! buahah… 😛

  • if you could pull aside your gut / and take alook below / you’d find yourself androgynous! — / my tubby, chubby “Romeo”.

  • you are so pathetic. is having a stomach the worst thing you have on me? superficial, petty, and lame. do you pick on people for being too skinny, short, blonde, blind, deaf, whellchair bound? feh. i’m done with your lame ass. if you want to be a man at some point and back your cowardly actions up in the real world, i’m waiting for you. bitch.

  • haha!! you lose. dodgeball is a game for men, beyatch. i don’t hate you because you have a gut or are ugly or have a two inch pianist. i hate you because you’re an arrogant self-hating jewish lefty. i hate you because you harasses jewlicious homeboyz. and because you can map north america’s river system in your stretch marks.

  • Mob, for fuck’s sake, have some manners.

    a) Don’t come to our site and start threatening our ‘staffers’ with lame ass threats like ‘I’m gonna kick you in the shins’. It’s not cool when Jobber does it to Michael and it certainly won’t be tolerated when you do it to TM. (Though, cheers to you for owning it and appologizing).

    b) Don’t come to our site and challenge people to duels. You have your own site where you can post settle whatever affairs of honour you like. At the very least, try to say something clever. ‘I’ll kick your ass’ doesn’t seem to qualify.

    Go get laid or something.

  • don’t use your site as a venue to attack me and my site, providing a pretext for this douche to talk his trash, and i won’t feel it necessary to stick up for myself here. i’m not going to sully up my own site with this shit. if you’re going to open the floor to bullying jewschool, jewschool’s going to take the floor to fight back. you don’t like it, you can kiss my ass too.

  • You can be pretty certain that Muffti isn’t going to kiss your ass…anyhow, if you really feel that Comrade Trotsky is ‘bullying’ Jewschool, you have some insecurity problems that go well beyond decent manners. Whatever, do what you like. Floor is open for attacking Mob and all are invited to participate.

    Want Muffti to say that to your face? Muffti is free tommorow…

  • if I had a penny for every time Dorkius threatened someone to “say it to his face”, i’d nearly have a nickle.

    i could buy Mob an egg to suck on.

  • Sheesh, make a leeetle joke and ya make Mobi cry. Hey Mobius, I can’t help it when I think of Asaf, Brown and Kelsey at Jewschool and conclude that you have a slight bias over on your site.

    Not to mention your proudly belonging to an organization that is attempting to have the British issue an arrest warrant for human rights violations to Jerusalem officials who are seeking to eliminate illegal Palestinian residences.

    But having said that, it seems that you, Mobi, have been consistently opposed to the Left’s (and far-Right’s) attacks on the Neo-cons with respect to their Jewishness. So if you feel swept up in my comments about your site, I do apologize.

    As for the idiotic trash-talking and threats: grow up.

    Oh, and if I do ever meet you in person, I promise to offer to buy you a beer.

    ps Muffti and Trotsky, thanks for the kind words…

  • can someone explain to me when it became immature and childish to stick up for yourself when people are insulting you and defaming your character? particularly when you didn’t attack their character back but instead told them to be men themselves and talk their trash to your face… since when is it undignified to have self-respect and to demand a person backs their words up? if you have a problem with me, take it up with me, face to face, don’t make up stories about me on a website. (which club did you see me in in tlv “trotsky”? hmm?)

    btw, tm, under international law, israel has no jurisdiction to administer zoning policy in unannexed territory. therefore, to claim a structure illegal is entirely fallacious. to demolish a civilian’s home under such circumstances is a war crime. there are no two ways around it.

    would someone kindly equate my taking that position now with defending terrorists, claiming the u.n. is perfect, seeking the destruction of israel, and being a self-hating jew so we can get it out of the way?

  • btw, can you show me one instance on jewschool where asaf, john brown, or david kelsey said that the neocons’ rush to war was motivated by an unrelenting zionism and dual-allegience to the state of israel?

    asaf is an israeli defector — how many israelis like him are given a voice in jewish publications? john brown is an adamant anti-racist / anti-fascist / anti-imperialist and focuses most of his posts on jewish extremism, particularly kahane chai — what jewish publication would you find his voice represented by? david kelsey? what has he written for jewschool other than entertainment reviews and lamentations on the starbucksification of the lower east side?

    you just look at their posts which present views that you disagree with, state without ground that they’re all thematic and emblematic of a straw man comprised of self-loathing, anti-zionism, and left-wing politics, and then write posts like this knocking down the straw man. but they aren’t your straw man. the straw man is in your head. and you’re criticizing and attacking something that doesn’t exist.

    it’s horseshit and i’m sick of it.

  • Well, you could have said, “Hey Middle, you are wrong about my site and its take on Neo-cons. ”

    Instead you wrote, “i hope one day i can meet you face to face so i can kick you in the shins.
    read this and this, examine the dates, and then shut the fuck up. dickhead.”

    So…grow up.

    As to your site, with all due respect and although it has improved in the past several months because certain people are posting less, it remains the site I go to primarily when I want to read typical Jewish far-Left (and non-Jewish far-Left, for that matter) attacks on Israel. You want to say that’s in my head? Keep evading facts.

    You want a prize for giving voice to Asaf’s hatefulness of Israel and its military? Not from me. You want a prize for Brown’s clever attacks on things Jewish and Israeli? Not from me. And if you don’t like that your site is attacked – more in jest in this post than anything – because it is identified with these folks and their “voice” including Kelsey’s, surely you know that comes with the territory.

    You see, I consider myself a “progressive” Jew and find it ludicrous that you think you guys represent anything progressive. Self-hating, maybe. Progressive doesn’t mean that we blame the Israelis and kinda not really blame the Palestinians.

    As for your organization and its war crimes charges, you should be ashamed of yourself not only for belonging but for supporting the charges. You know very well that the Jerusalem municipality – which the Israeli SC accepts as part of Israel because Israel has annexed it – has been asking these Arab families for years not to build where they did and then to remove the structures. With all due respect, they have the right to do this just as most governments, including the US government, are able to remove homes for far lesser reasons like economic development.

    Furthermore, while I am opposed to certain home demolitions by the IDF, any time an area is razed because it serves as a base for attacks, I believe that by ignoring the reality of the war on the ground and the cynical use of these homes by terrorists against the Israelis, you actually strengthen their hand.

    There is a war ongoing over land. The Palestinians play it no less aggressively than the Israelis. Just as you oppose the growth of settlements, you seem to ignore the Palestinian “natural growth” and accept it as okay. If they build facts on the ground, that is their right according to your movement (and you blame the Israelis for not giving them permits by way of justifying their breach of the law), but if the Israelis take umbrage and retaliate, then they are war criminals. Lovely.

    What is worse is that since you cannot accept Israeli government and judiciary’s positions on the matter, you have now taken it internationally so that many Israelis will now have to be very concerned. Moreover, one day when one of these matters actually goes to trial, the black eye Israel will receive – unfairly in my opinion but justifiably in yours – will cause severe damage to the state.

  • It’s been going pretty well, thanks, though on occassion it’s hard to make clear intended pronominal references. And some expressions that are common and crucially involve the word ‘I’ or ‘me’ are difficult to avoid such as ‘Oh my God’ and modifiers like ‘I mean,’, etc. Other than that, Muffti thinks it works fine and if it annoys you, well, that’s just a nice li’l bonus.

    Is that really the best you can do? And why don’t you take your own advice and come say it to Muffti’s face. As he said before, he’s happy to pencil you in tommorow. Of course, when you are done saying whatever clever tidbits you can muster (and assuming that you haven’t kicked him in the shins), expect him to do the only appropriate thing and laugh at you for a long, long time.

    Or just go get laid and chill out. But Muffti repeats, don’t go about physically threatening the crew. Keep that up and maybe we really all should have a tete a tete.

  • it really burns me up when people, religionists and non alike, declare any left of center position to be contrary to the nature of the religion. as a believing, practicing, and thinking jew, and as one who wants to make the study of his religion his life’s work, and as someone who holds decidedly liberal views, i am simply troubled and upset by said attitude. not only that, but it was my religion and the mindset it created that led me to be a “progressive” thinker.
    and please stop fighting. it makes me sad to see yiddin fight. don’t take pleasure in others’ distress. everyone has been in the awful position of being upset and trying to defend yourself, but others simply laugh at you / ignore you.
    sincerely,
    ~invisible

  • Salam Saudi Arabia!
    Now that that’s out of the way… Gentlemen, everyone has valid points. I think maybe mobius shouldn’t have come out swinging so quick with the kicking in the shins thing, but he did moderate his comments rather quickly.

    I started blogging in large measure to provide an alternative to mobius, but in that sense both our sites are alternatives – neither of us take direction from the powers that be, there are no sacred cows here and everything is open for discussion.

    So we don’t often agree with Jewschool, so what? We are both in the same boat and despite the fact that I strongly disagree with mobius on many things, Jewschool is an important presence in the Jewish world. I’m all in favor of that marketplace of ideas thing but if we don’t have guys like John Brown and Asaf and to a lesser extent mobius posting their uh… contentious ideas, then you know, who will we talk to? What will we discuss?

    Despite the fact that grandmuffti thinks I do it like a retard, I love productive, even animated arguments and discussions. Threats of violence are admittedly dumb, but reacting wildly to them is dumb too. Take the higher road, try to avoid self righteousness!

    I mean I have called mobius every name in the book – on his sites on other sites etc. When we finally met face to face the worst he did to me was buy me a beer. You may also notice that 2 of the adspaces on moby’s site originate from the jewlicious ad server. We actually help support Jewschool.

    So dudes. It’s the month of Elul. Can’t we just try to get along?

  • Um… so the last time I checked, CK, Jewschool isn’t a “important presence in the Jewish world”. No offense meant, but I don’t think 99.9% of the Jewish world knows or cares about Jewschool.

  • well, you have a point there editor. i think the same applies to jewlicious and all j-blogs. But I know that influential Jews, those that are Internet savvy and in important positions, read both Jewschool and Jewlicious. We may not have much influence on the rank and file per se, but we do represent an important grass roots voice and some folks are listening. They’re not doing much mind you, but they are listening. We’ll see how all this develops I suppose …

  • Nice throw down here. Wonderfully entertaining. I favor Jewlicious’ politics, but Mobius seems stronger politically (picked up more by outside press, involvement in mainstream Jewish orgs, etc.) I think promoting each other by way of argument is probably good for both of you. Not to mention fun to read.

  • Please understand that the only people who read blogs like Jewschool are already convinced in their beliefs and are reading it for comfort. I don’t think many (any?) people ready Jewschool and say “Hey! I used to be such and such, but thanks to Jewschool, I’m this now.”

    Someone who buys chips is usually going to buy dip. Someone who reads Raisethefist.com is usually going to read Jewschool.com… while, say, the editor of the Wall Street Journal isn’t going to feast on Mobius’ latest childish rantings.

    Am I wrong?

  • Muffti doesn’t think you do it like a retard, CK. Well, not most of the time. Anyhow, Muffti was just standing up for TM and enforcing some manners around here. He would hope that you would do the same for him. If you prefer to go on about ‘the market place of ideas’ rather than tell him not to threaten your co-writers, Muffti guesses that’s your business.

    If Mob wants to buy Muffti a beer, that’s cool too.

  • As long as mob is feeling generous, can i get a beer too?

    Reading this post and its subsequent comments is like popping a zit. It hurts really bad in the beginning, some pus comes out, then it eventually dries up and your skin is healed.

    Or, for the sake of another analogy, and lil wisdom from the Godfather, “a war every once in a while is good. It clears up the bad blood.”

    That said, I think EVERYONE should meet in Buenos Aires and party with Apples and Honey. that way mob could buy me a beer for real.

  • In a completely unrelated topic, ck, two things:

    1) Can we maybe have those comment moderation word type-in boxes or something to stem this endless flow of dumb comment spam?

    2) Do we have an apartment yet? And if not, WHY?

  • I do.

    It’s pretty interesting how quickly we find out, and almost obsess, about that one guy in the back who makes an Anti-semitic comment. TM I’m interested to know more about what his actual talk was about. Where does Brooks believe we’re headed?

  • hey middle, the kotzker rebbe once asked, “you know what walks in the middle of the road?”

    “donkeys and horses.”

    in rambam’s hilchot deot on last week’s parsha we learn that the jewish idea of walking “the middle path” is not to be centrist and to sit on the fence; it means you go to extremes when necessary — both to the left and extreme right as appropriate — but then return to resting in the middle. when your anger is deserved, be angry; when your compassion is deserved be compassionate. do not be angry always and do not be compassionate alwasy. but also do not be pareve. god is not pareve. rambam explains, this is the path of god.

    i go to the left when i need to, i go to the right when i need to. you sit on the fence like a right-of-center-allegedly-progressive dick and catcall. you never met asaf, you never met john brown, you never met david kelsey, and you certainly never met me. yet you presume to know me and what i’m about because of what i write on my weblog. pity the fool who thinks they know a writer from his writing.

    editor — as long as you think no one’s paying attention to us, that’s cool. b’nai brith, the jewish standard, tikkun, the jewish journal of great los angeles, kol hair, haaretz, the forward, the jerusalem post, new voices, the jta newswire and the jewish week would all beg to differ, as would all the chevra listed in our sidebar, and our 1,500 readers per day.

    also, in terms of reaching a target market, the primary makeup of the “lapsed” jewish community are progressive liberals who feel disenfranchised and unwelcome by mainstream jewish institutions and attitudes — and alienated by them. jewschool has helped, in the last three years, bring dozens of those people back into the fold by showing them that there’s a jewish world theyr’e welcome in. and i know this because they e-mail me to tell me so. hell, i have a friend in yeshiva right now i learn with who sprang on me at the bar the other night the reason that she came to israel to learn: she’d been reading orthodox anarchist religiously.

    on the other hand, if you read america 20/20, frank luntz’s latest report for the israel project, it shows how jewlicious approach (no offense ck, and we’ve had this discussion), further drives these people away from the fold because they find the approach self-righteous, condescending, and alienating. the criticism that’s being waged against jewschool — that we’re a cacophany of self-aggrandizing self-important jerks in our own insular world — is precisely what progressive liberals actually think of you.

    you can put yourself in the progressive camp as long as you realize, for jews (a lot of whom are backwards and narrow-minded, like the long island JAPs you’ll hear in kikar tziyon making off-color remarks about their Arab cab drivers), you’re progressive. but for you guys, your jewish identity comes first. which means all the attendant baggage of frumkeit and zionism comes before your progressivism.

    most of jewschool’s readers, on the other hand, and a handful of our contributors (including Asaf & John Brown), put their progressive identity before their jewish identity. they’re not “progressive for being jewish” … they’re progressives.

    now personally, i’m not in that camp. i consider myself a radical jew. my jewish identity is my primary, and arguably single identity. and everything i do and think has evolved from my understanding of what it means to be a jew and to follow a path in service of hashem. you can’t disagree with my relationship to god. that’s between me and god. you want to tell me i’m awful and wrong because i don’t have the same values as you. but if i told you your values were avodah zarah would you listen to me? it’s unlikely.

    i don’t worship liberal humanism, i don’t worship right-wing nationalism, and i don’t worship any denominational view within judaism. i worship god. and that’s who i serve. end of story.

    ***

    You see, I consider myself a “progressive” Jew and find it ludicrous that you think you guys represent anything progressive. Self-hating, maybe. Progressive doesn’t mean that we blame the Israelis and kinda not really blame the Palestinians.

    this is one of those snarky, you’re a dick and i-would-love-to-leave-a-red-handmark-on-your-face-after-i-bitch-slap-you, kind of comments. i don’t think you can identify any postings on jewschool where i or anyone else fails to hold palestinians accountable for their side of the conflict. being jewish, however, also means being concerned more with your own camp than what the other guy’s doing. if it’s the other way around — you get little green footballs.

    As for your organization and its war crimes charges, you should be ashamed of yourself not only for belonging but for supporting the charges. You know very well that the Jerusalem municipality – which the Israeli SC accepts as part of Israel because Israel has annexed it – has been asking these Arab families for years not to build where they did and then to remove the structures.

    dude that is such nonsense. you’re basing your positions entirely on dore gold/justice werner/jcpa’s rebuttal and neglecting entirely the fact that there is NO place in east jerusalem and the west bank where arabs are allowed to build. NONE. they own the land, they have the deeds, but they can’t build. and it’s explicitly because of discriminatory zoning policy geared towards the judaization of that territory. if you really think otherwise, you’re totally deluding yourself. as you note, this is a war over land, and this is the most subtle way israel can expropriate that land.

    Furthermore, while I am opposed to certain home demolitions by the IDF, any time an area is razed because it serves as a base for attacks, I believe that by ignoring the reality of the war on the ground and the cynical use of these homes by terrorists against the Israelis, you actually strengthen their hand.

    right…this is this classic settler’s claim. “arabs use olive groves to launch attacks so the olive groves must be uprooted.”

    and that’s why i get e-mails from rabbis for human rights like this, “We need a small number of volunteers for tomorrow, to accompany farmers and sheperds near Sussia (South Hebron Hills) to their lands. This request follows the violent attack by settlers yesterday, which ended in the severe wounding of a farmer who went without any accompaniament.”

    do you know that out of the 40,000 homes that have been demolished in the last 10 years by the israeli government, less then 6% were connected to terror related incidents? and even before the policy of demolishing terror-related homes was put into effect, an israeli military commission warned it would not work and rather exacerbate violence? and then when they finally ended that policy earlier this year (the policy of destroying terror related structures) they admitted it didn’t work? so — now they only bulldoze civilian structures. dozens of them each week.

    There is a war ongoing over land. The Palestinians play it no less aggressively than the Israelis. Just as you oppose the growth of settlements, you seem to ignore the Palestinian “natural growth” and accept it as okay. If they build facts on the ground, that is their right according to your movement (and you blame the Israelis for not giving them permits by way of justifying their breach of the law), but if the Israelis take umbrage and retaliate, then they are war criminals. Lovely.

    settlements are in occupied territory which doesn’t belong to the citizens of israel. palestinians in the west bank and east jerusalem are in their own territory which does belong to them. if arabs want natural growth in that area, they are entitled. if jews want natural growth in that area, they need to steal more land to make it possible. why is that so hard to understand and why i’m i upholding a double standard for stating this fact?

    What is worse is that since you cannot accept Israeli government and judiciary’s positions on the matter, you have now taken it internationally so that many Israelis will now have to be very concerned. Moreover, one day when one of these matters actually goes to trial, the black eye Israel will receive – unfairly in my opinion but justifiably in yours – will cause severe damage to the state.

    it is problematic that someone following orders legal in the eyes of his government should be arrested and charged for doing the job they were ordered to do. but “i was only following orders” is hardly an excuse if you know what you’re doing is wrong. if this guy didn’t know what he was doing was wrong… the larger problem is admitedly with the culture of brutality that accepts making people homeless as a normal activity of a municipal government.

    that being said, i didn’t support this initiative, and my support of icahd is limited to helping them format html, write e-mails, and organize volunteers to monitor demolitions. i don’t believe it just or right to persecute individual soldiers for these actions. but i do believe in holding the israeli government’s feet to the fire on the issue.

  • Mobi, that’s a lot of froth, but no specific information about your shoes.

    I’m not sure what you meant about there being a problem with taking a middle or centrist position, but I can assure you that taking an extremist position leads to damage and harm. In fact, in my opinion, it leads to violence and injury in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Palestinians have counted on a sympathetic public ear for two decades and all we get is progressively more aggressive attacks by them.

    Your comment about being “progressives first” as opposed to “Jews first” is completely off the mark. It presumes that somehow there is a conflict between Judaism or Zionism and being progressive. It’s as if there is justice and an opposite Jewish or Zionist justice. What crap.

    You speak as if somehow the conflict creates a division between good and bad when in reality there is so much complexity and grey that it’s very challenging to make clear cut divisions.

    I’ve been to plenty of dialogue groups and the consistent pattern among those who consider themselves to be the progressives is a desire to side with the perceived victim. “The Palestinians are suffering, therefore we must do all in our power to do something about the reason for their suffering.” And so you get these people (most often Jews) who “love” Israel giving their tortured mea culpas to the Palestinians or pro-Palestinians in the room; their apologetic paeans to their “moral superiors” (Christian, Muslim and those Jews who have already become “good Jews”) who sit in judgement. “Will they see me as a good person? Will I be the right kind of Jew in their eyes?” Your friend Kelsey is example #1, and I’m willing to bet Brown and Asaf are right there too, as are you.

    How many times have I heard these self-identified progressives explain away suicide bombings? They do it far less now because Iraq, Bali and a few other suicide bombings have proven their theories about the “evil Israeli government” as the cause to these bombings to be false.

    A true progressive person, my little shin-kicker, is able to see both sides clearly and seek solutions and justice accordingly. In a complex conflict, the person who can do this is the true progressive.

    In that vein, I’ll add a couple of points.

    You write: settlements are in occupied territory which doesn’t belong to the citizens of israel. palestinians in the west bank and east jerusalem are in their own territory which does belong to them. if arabs want natural growth in that area, they are entitled. if jews want natural growth in that area, they need to steal more land to make it possible. why is that so hard to understand and why i’m i upholding a double standard for stating this fact?

    The critical error here is to claim that somehow the land in these territories belongs to the Palestinians. It doesn’t. There is no place in international law where you can show that it does.

    Let’s recap:
    – Land under Ottoman control;
    – British control and mandate to give land to Jews;
    – War launched by Arab side rejecting international division of land;
    – Arab side wins West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza;
    – Jewish side wins everything West of Green Line and East, South and North of Gaza;
    – Jordan successfully removes all Jewish human presence, as well as most buildings and cemeteries from East Jerusalem and the West Bank;
    – Jordan attempts to annex West Bank and Jerusalem, int’l community rejects this attempt;
    – Jordan never grants status of any form to the Arabs living in the West Bank;
    – Jordan attacks in 1967, a mere 19 years after removing all Jewish presence from area, and loses West Bank again;
    – Israel annexes Jerusalem and most int’l community rejects annexation;
    – Israel begins to allow Jews to return to live in East Jerusalem and areas surrounding Jerusalem;
    – Arabs in the areas annexed given Israeli citizenship while those under Israeli control in unannexed areas retain former status;
    – Palestinians develop national movement;
    – Palestinians develop government thanks to Oslo;
    – Palestinians reject state in 2000 and launch war.

    Notice what you don’t have there? You don’t have anything saying anything about this being Palestinian or Arab land. You don’t see statehood or formal control over any land. It may become their land if there is a peace deal that meets the requirements of 242 and the internationl community and they somehow agree that it’s their land (kinda like what just happened in Gaza, except that the Palestinians refuse to formalize their control over that land as well because they still dream of overwhelming Israel one day). Otherwise, this land is in limbo. There is certainly no claim anywhere other than the mouths of politicians that somehow this land is Palestinian.

    Having said that, the Palestinians, permit-less and all, have built thousands of structures around Jerusalem and in the West Bank. Yes, some settlers seek to harm them, but many settlers also watch as the Palestinians suddenly plant a field right up to the settlement fence line because the Israeli SC forbade expansion on Arab land with existing agriculture or homes on it. It cuts both ways, and do me a favor and don’t start lumping all settlers in one blob of Arab-attacking wackos because you know they’re not.

    The Israeli SC also has declared a difference in jurisdiction for Israel inside annexed areas, including Jerusalem, and outside those areas. It is pursuant to those rules that Israel has determined who may build and who may not.

    You can scream racism all you want, but in fact, the Palestinians have built thousands of structures without being stopped. They also didn’t just appear one night to tear down certain homes. The inspectors whose names your organization sent to the British were involved in an EIGHT YEAR process to attempt to have the people living in these illegal structures leave.

    You don’t approve? Tough shit. That is the way any municipality would and should work. Your response to my question as to why you accept Palestinian right to build on this disputed land unequivocally, but reject the rights of Israelis to build on it or to control the building on it simply lists the fabricated idea that it’s Palestinian land. Why? Because the Jordanians controlled it for 19 years? Or the British before them? Or the Ottomans? Do the thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands of Arabs who have recently flooded the Jewish side of the Jerusalem section of the fence to avoid being left behind on the Arab side (hmmm, wonder why?) have a right to build their homes there? According to you they do. And if the municipality comes over and challenges them and ultimately destroys any of the houses they build, you will complain about the illegality of Israel’s actions, their unjustness, the unfortunate peons who are “following orders,” and the overall injustice of it. After all, it’s Palestinian land. 🙄

    Making fatuous claims about Palestinian land when it has never been part of any Palestinian state, and when the laws of land ownership made it rare that the local Arabs owned their own properties, and when certainly parts of East Jerusalem were heavily populated by Jews in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, is all well and good (and very progressive of you), but it has nothing to do with reality, proprietorship over the land, the right to build houses, or…justice.

    Oh, and one last thing. In your last paragraph you seem to suggest that you can pressure the Israeli government, but you don’t support pressuring Israeli individuals. That’s an interesting distinction. I assume the corollary is that I can condemn your organization but you get off free and clear for your support of its actions that will harm both Israel and Israelis. How nice for you to take that position when your organization rejects it. Perhaps you would do well to try to influence your organization to take a different approach. I wonder how receptive they’ll be…

  • How many times have I heard these self-identified progressives explain away suicide bombings?

    how many times have they heard you explain away targetted assassinations? or the killing of civilians as “colateral damage”? or the bulldozing of civilian homes as you do here now?

    you say palestinians don’t even have a legitimate stake in this land, nor a legitimate claim to their property, despite having been a part of this landscape for at least 600 years. the ottomans didn’t have a legitimate rule you say; the british didn’t have a legitimate rule; but somehow now the israelis do have a legitimate rule in the territories that were NOT allotted to them by the united nations and the british government which saw to the creation of the state? did jordan have a legitimate rule in the west bank? did egypt have a legitimate rule in gaza? if not, why does israel?

    as i’ve said before, you’re not a centrist, you’re a right-winger. and you are the furthest thing from progressive, unless progressive to you means “i’m not a die-hard war hungry zionist who believes arabs are all animals.” you don’t think they’re a tangible people with a right to self-determination. and you view their narrative through a one-sided jewish lens which perceives the history of the situation in your side’s favor alone.

    Do the thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands of Arabs who have recently flooded the Jewish side of the Jerusalem section of the fence to avoid being left behind on the Arab side (hmmm, wonder why?) have a right to build their homes there?

    i’d love to see a source for that. as per the question which follows, icahd only supports what it sees as legitimate claims by property owners.

    further, icahd is not “my” organization as your term it. i am not a board member, i am not a director, and i am not involved in their policy decisions. i am an occasional volunteer and friendly with the staffers. i believe in many cases they do good and important work, but i do not agree with every position they take, nor do i have to to support them in the areas where i do agree with them.

    finally:

    It presumes that somehow there is a conflict between Judaism or Zionism and being progressive. It’s as if there is justice and an opposite Jewish or Zionist justice. What crap.

    read yehoshua. consider halakhic views against homosexuals and the status of women in the orthodox world. consider the utter contempt for non-jews exhibited in much of our litertature, judaic and zionist. consider the status of everyone other than askenazic jews in israeli society. consider this essay in last week’s forward: which says ” one is able to understand the approach that Jews take to other groups in the Melting Pot: They coexist with them but never attempt to understand their circumstance.” we are a particularistic, ethnocentric people unto whose self the world revolves around. to be truly progressive is to take into account the world happening around us, to engage with it, to respond to it, and to grow with it — to sing the song of humanity as rav kook put it. historically, our approach has been to co-opt that which confronts our tightly-held views, refilter it through a particularistic lens, and to continue forth in our provinciality. and so i say again, that’s progressive in terms of being a jew first, but it’s not being progressive.

  • btw, i usually wear flip-flops and occassional skate shoes, but i do keep a pair of doc marten steel-toes for special occassions.

  • why is it so hostile here? I blame laya, for not writing more.

    Re: Jewish neo-conservative cabals.
    The accusation a symptom, of the popularly recognized moral maybe-weakness of Judaism: IT considers some people more important than others.
    Is this really an important part of Yiddishkite?
    Is that bad? discuss.

  • Mob said two things Muffti found interesting:
    1.

    pity the fool who thinks they know a writer from his writing.

    Clearly Middle doesn’t care a whole lot about the writer qua person. He cares about the content of the writing. For all he cares, you could be a schizo who takes on various online persona. What he cares about is a consistent political line that you take on your site.

    2.

    it shows how jewlicious approach (no offense ck, and we’ve had this discussion), further drives these people away from the fold because they find the approach self-righteous, condescending, and alienating.


    CK, we have an approach? Muffti never got the memo! Muffti finds it hard to see a consistent approach here (maybe THAT’S the real alienating feature Mob is referring to?)

  • ooog my goodness mobius sheket bavakasha.

    you like to write big, long old posts trying to impress the universe because you think people listen/care. but the majority of peeps stop reading after a few sentences. the fact o the matter is that mob is the worst kind of idiot: the kind that doesn’t know when to shut his trap.

    and much like it was when i was 14, nowadays only chubby insecure kids scared of getting beaten down wear steel toed boots. they think it makes them look tough.

    mob: save your commy jew-hating trash for your own blog.

  • Though mob isn’t entirely innocent, Trotsky, you really need to STOP instigating retaliation after retaliation.

    Heed your own advice, and just shut up already. Your jokes aren’t funny you’re NOT helping anyone. God, you totally remind of this guy named Adam from yeshiva who wore his kippa sideways and started fights with freshman. That was back in 9th grade dude. Only I see you, somewhere on the sidelines, throwing eggs from a distance, behind fence, from a car, your older, equally annoying brother driving really fast so that you couldn’t get spotted by the cops.

  • haha encino: i am adam the guy from yeshiva and i egged your car last purim, and i wrote your phone number in all the subway cars on the L line to billysburg. thats why your getting so many naughty phone calls.

    mobius is smelly

  • I can’t believe this kind of senseless bullying is going on on our playground. Although I appreciate Trotsky’s defense of Jewlicious as a worthwhile venue for thought and discourse (I’m paraphrasing, of course), I heartily disapprove of his cutting down Mobius through a series of irrelevant one-note insults to do so.

    Mobius and Middle have different opinions, and that’s fine. Good. Well. Fabulous! Two Jews, three blogs–we all know how that works. I don’t care who’s a neo-con, a paleo-con, a neo-maxi-zoom dweebie, or whatever other “affiliation” we can cook up. Kol yisrael areyvim zeh lazeh, and all that.

    Unfortunately, I’m also finding resonance in the words of Neal Karlen, author of “Shanda: The Making and Breaking of a Self-Loathing Jew” when he says: “I love Judaism: it’s Jews I can’t stand.” And I don’t think there’s a one of us who can claim to have not hated other Jews at one point.

    Tis the season to accept differences in others and try to transform ourselves. Let’s try, ok?

  • Point made. I never liked Adam, it’s raining so the eggs washed off and my Accord is fine, and I think you got the number wrong, cuz I’m not blowin’ up.

    I have nothing to comment on Mobius’s personal hygiene.

  • uh oh.. when estee gets annoyed even trostky has ta yield. all love to the jewlicious crew.

  • Fine, Esther. Well, almost. Muffti wants it noted that Mob should stop with his ‘come say it to my face’ bullshit. Muffti offered, Mob hasn’t even gotten around to graciously declining.

  • “I love Judaism, it’s Jews I can’t stand,” eh? I think I may have just found my new Messiah.

    Although I’m interesting in seeing the official Israel Project report that we’re a bunch of self-aggrandizing jerks, ‘cuz it seems the kiddies like us anyway. Maybe it’s because people are just innately attracted to self-aggrandizing jerks. Think back to high school for the best examples of this activity.

    I just don’t understand the sneering. You know, “Well, REAL progressives don’t like you bunch of jerks anyway! I’m taking my ball and going home!”

    Of course we’re self-important, self-aggrandizing, self-righteous jerks. We have that luxury cuz we’re always right. 😉

    Hey, can that be our new tagline?

  • This “the Jews are a bunch of racists who think the world revolves around them alone” is such a bunch of shit, just such a huge steaming pile of crap.

    Have you ever lived among a distinctly different group of people, Mobius? Not just hung out with a few ethnic types at the local Starbucks or gone slumming at a Cinco de Mayo street fair in the barrio or something, but actually lived for, oh, say, a decade or so in a foreign country, inhabited by people who are of a different race, who speak a different language, are of a different religion and whose culture is totally foreign? Have you learned their language, ate their food, learned their customs, etc.?

    If you haven’t, I’ve got news for you: every distinct nation/ethnic group/nationality/(insert you own nomenclature here) thinks they are the center of the universe, that their way of doing things is normal and that they are the measure of all things. In this, the Jews are neither unique nor particularly or egregiously racist, especially when compared to any number of other distinct groups of people the world over. After all, is that not the definition of a “people”? A group of humans that is distinct from the others? I thought Progressives were supposed to celebrate this kind of ethnocentric particularism.

    For all but the Jews, of course. Can you give me one good fucking reason why the Jews should care less about their own welfare than the welfare of others? Nobody else does. Nobody shits their pants and jumps up and down screaming “Racism, racism!!” when France cares about France or Russia cares about Russia. But let a Jew say “you know, I’m sick and tired of having goyim kick me around, I think I’m going to do something about it” and all of a sudden the whole fucking world just goes apeshit and starts waving the UN and Amnesty International around. In any case, the extent to which Jews, as a group, have worked for the benefit of people everywhere is an old and welll-documented story.

    I mean, you blather on and on about the “Judaization” of eastern Jerusalem. WTF is the matter with you? Do you honestly believe that Jews have no right to repopulate the part of Jerusalem from which they were forcibly expelled by a nation which was waging a war for the destruction of Israel? What, exactly, does Israel owe such people?

    And as for people who care about themselves first, last, and only can you possibly beat the Arab Muslims? Compared to them, Jews are pikers.

    You are obviously a one-worlder, as your remarks about the “melting pot” make crystal clear. The great Progressive Commandments: the Jews must sacrifice their particularity for the good of the Progressive Collective. The Collective is like the Borg, where everything is assimilated.

    Assimilated to what, exactly? In what language does the Progressive Collective (aka the Borg) speak? What holidays does it celebrate? Tell me: is there any other group of people anywhere in the world the distinct existence of which the Collective finds problematic? No. The Borg is all about “Diversity”, right? But just let a Jew say he has rights as a Jew and watch people start hemming and hawing and shuffling their feet as they try to change the subject.

    If the Jews, like The Xians believe Yoshkele did, elect to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the Borg, to offer up their life for the Good of the Peoples, are you honestly so stupid as to think that somehow the Bosnians, the Serbs, the Albanians, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Chines, the Russians, etc., etc., are all going to sit down and say “Well those racist Jews are all gone now. There’s no cause for war any more. Let’s all be friends”.

    Dream on, you freak.

  • Personally I am against the Iraq war, and in general, anytime America starts to strut and say how great they are, they screw up. But the culprit is Bush not these Neo cons Jews, who I happen to loathe, but the sentiment is wrong. The sheet rises to the top, and that is the Bushter.

  • But the paleostinians aren’t a real nation, Middle. They are distinct in no particular way from the rest of the Arabs either by race or ethnicity (however one defines it), language, culture, or religion. They possess none of the characteristics of an ethnos at all. They have, since 1967, pushed the idea of Paleostinian separatism as a tool to use in their ongoing struggle to destroy Israel, but having a manufactured political consciousness is not the same thing as being a people.

    If you look at the original UN debates over partition, there is absolutely no mention whatsoever of a distinct paleostinian identity; indeed, all of the Arab sokesmen specifically and vehemently denied that there was any such thing (even Haj Amin al Husseini’s group was called the “Arab Higher Committeee”, not the “Palestinian Higher Committee”). There has never been an independent Arab nation in “Palestine”, and at no time in its history has it had a separate and distinct identity except when it has been under Jewish rule. Everyone knows this.

    Hell, even the PLO needed Britain to tell them where and what “Palestine” was. Their “Covenant”, in its very first article, says plainly that the borders of “Palestine” are those defined by the british Mandate and that the area is an indivisible territorial unit. Everyone knows that the British Mandate borders were completely arbitrary and artifical and did not reflect the actual pre-existence of any “Palestinian” nation, since there was no such nation and everyone knew it. After all a real national liberation movement does not need its supposed oppressors to tell it where its country is. That one fact alone proves that the “Palestinian nation” is a fraud.

    However, because of political developments and the active collusion of the UN and other world bodies, the Arabs have managed to convince the world that there actually is such a thing as a “Palestinian nation”. And it is true, the Arabs who live in Israel Judea and Samaria have developed a certain political consciousness. This is a fact that must be dealt with. However since the “Palestinian national identity” is essentially a false one, I do not believe that creating a state for them will solve anything. They will not be able to maintain it, because their nationhood exists only as the negation of Zionism. Therefore, it is not FOR anything, it is only AGAINST something. For this reason and this reason alone, the “Palestinains” will never be able to create or maintain their own country, and that has never been the goal of their political institutions either.

  • Mobius, that you equate suicide bombings with targeted killings is precisely what I’m talking about. How progressive Hamas of you.

    As I’ve posted before, I prefer the Israelis kill the terrorists without using air force missiles so as to avoid potential injuries of innocent civilians. Having said that, when a Palestinian terrorist walks into a restaurant, or a market, or on to a bus, with instructions to seek the most crowded area possible, and then blows him/herself up killing and maiming as many people as possible without any concern for who they are other than they are Israelis and probably Jewish, that is a very different type of action than an Israeli unit targeting a terrorist – particularly one who is active in attacks – and doing their best to kill him while minimizing injuries to people around him.

    It’s not as if there is a fine distinction here, because the difference between the two actions is so glaring. One side, the Palestinian, feels comfortable attacking a school bus with children on it (remember the three children from one family who lost their legs?), or using an ambulance to transport a bomb and bomber, whereas the Israelis would never do either.

    Furthermore, it’s not as if the Israelis celebrate these attacks, as do the Palestinians with their gory art shows and celebratory parades.

    I know you seek to find the equivalence here, but it’s about as stupid as you talking in that street lingo (modern day Jewish white boy patois) to threaten me or to talk garbage to Trotsky.

    Next:
    You say I don’t believe the Palestinians have a legitimate claim to the land. Your phrasing is sneaky because we have to define “legitimate.” But I’ll expand on what I said because you are mistaken again.

    You are the one who claimed the Israelis don’t have a legitimate claim to the land, while the Palestinians do because it’s “theirs.” I merely pointed out that according to international law, the Palestinians have no claim.

    If they wish to have a legal claim and title, then they have to get a state or even a true autonomy. They choose not to have either and they do this because their ultimate goal is to take over Israel. Look at how they’re fighting to keep Gaza from being called anything but Palestinian.

    Just so you are clear on where I stand: I would like them to live in peace next to Israel, and with much pain even agree they should control most of the West Bank and Gaza. I reject that either area should be free of Jews as the Palestinians would like to have it. Within Jerusalem, I would like the Arabs to have a fair opportunity to live as do all Israeli residents of the city. Many of them already have many of these rights, although there’s no question the state could put more resources into their treatment of Israeli Arabs.

    But why should the Israelis support the Arab ultimate goal of obliterating Israel by giving up land they have come to control through the sacrifice of their own sons? Is Israeli blood that cheap to you? Did the loss of that blood come because Israel sought to have war or because it was in a defensive mode? If the Palestinians agree to live in peace, they can then begin to demand a share in the land. If they are willing to forego the struggle to uproot Israel, then they can have whatever opportunities to build and live as any Israeli – including Israeli Arabs. But if they’re part of a war – even when they don’t call it a war – don’t expect one side to disarm unilaterally.

    Now, I don’t know why you read so poorly, but where did I say the Ottomans or British didn’t have legitimate rule? Did you make that up? Did I say that Israel has legitimate rule in the West Bank?

    Israel is legitimately there on a temporary basis and will probably have to give up most of the West Bank when the other side complies with 242. I consider this a concession to pragmatism, not to rights over the land for a particular group. Israel didn’t win the West Bank from the Palestinians, but from Jordan. The Palestinians never controlled the land.

    Also, the rest of the garbage of your poor comprehension astounds me. Where do I say the
    Palestinians are not a legitimate nation with a right to self-determination? Of course they are a legitimate nation with a right to self-determination.

    If I believe they have to earn their country by conceding that Israel may exist in peace, that doesn’t mean I don’t wish they have it. On the contrary, I want them to have their own state or autonomy as soon as possible. It’s just that I also believe they have to be peaceful when they get it.

    As far as you’re concerned, they have rights regardless of motive or history, and Israelis who disagree are Right wing ideologues who breed war criminals. Gimme a break.

    Here is your source from the Jerusalem Post about large numbers of Arabs moving into the “right” side of the fence.

    I’m sure I’ve read similar stories recently in Ha’aretz and Jerusalem Report. Do your own research. Oh, and don’t be so surprised by this desire to live among the Jews, Israeli Arabs consistently reject any suggestion that they should join a future Palestinian state in the West Bank, and Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Arabs consistently have men moving into the wife’s family to marry instead of the commonplace millenia-old practice of the woman moving to the husband’s household. Hmmm, wonder why…

    Next:
    As to your final point about Jews excluding others, with your attendant remarks about Ashkenazis sticking it to the Sephardic or Mizrahi Jews, I have to tell you that since I know of many marriages between an Ashkenazi and Sephardic couples, I laugh at your comment. As I watch the non-Ashkenazy president of Israel shake the hands of the non-Ashkenazy Minister of Defense and former Chief of Staff, I guffaw at your myopia. As I consider the homosexual parades, film festivals, rights granted by the SC and the IDF to same sex partners, not to mention virtually every Eytan Fox movie ever made, I can only shake my head in amazement and smile at your critique.

    Yes, there are Orthodox Jews who reject others, including homosexuals, just as there are many other Jews who don’t. We can leave that for another discussion where you can attack the Orthodox all day long (I’m sure Laya and ck will be appreciative).

    However, Zionism is certainly open to a large range of different cultures. If you would actually bother to spend some time looking at early Israeli art instead of all that time you waste listening to that crappy music you like, you’d see an entire generation of artists that loved the Arabs and sought to represent them in a very favorable light. You will read about the desire to integrate the new Jew of Zionism into the culture of the Middle East. The disappointment that followed notwithstanding, Zionism was certainly interested in being part of the Middle East because it is rooted there.

    Furthermore, you misunderstand Zionism if you think it was intended to close off the world from the Jews. It was intended to open the world to the Jews…but as equals on equal footing instead of subservient guests to hosts who might become hostile at any time.

    As for modern Jewish life and identity, take a look at the number of Jews who are active in all sorts of causes that have nothing to do with Judaism but may contain elements of Jewish ideas. From the corners of the ACLU to the far reaches of the Neo-Conservative movement, you have Jews participating in all sorts of secular movements that integrate them into the larger culture.

    You wish to claim that somehow we Jews absorb surrounding cultures through our own lens and somehow end up with some provincial absorption of these cultures. Somehow, you consider this to be at odds with your version of being a progressive – presumably a cosmopolitan and unprovincial fellow such as yourself galivanting through the maze of modern culture with a broad perspective that crushes your Jewish identity when it comes to, uh, really important social justice issues.

    Right? 😆

    Basically, your entire philosophy, Mobius, seems to revolve around you being some sort of radical modern Jew who rejects those big Jewish institutions and any semblance of big Jewish community life, and has such progressive political ideas such as justice to Palestinian terrorists because they are just like Jewish soldiers in a Zionist army. Wow, you really impress me with your ability to interact with the world and ignore that filter we other Jews cannot replace, thus living on a higher plane where you can knowingly critique the Jewish establishment.

    Hello! We have all been there, young Shin-Kicker, and eventually we grew out of the teenage years and realized the rebel posture got old really fast.

    The accusation that we as Jews look inward and ignore others (at our peril, I’m sure you would add) reflects more the fact that we are a community with a long history and a strong sense of cultural and religious identity in a world that over centuries has not always been kind to us. However, your point remains generally off the mark. While there is truth that many people do process ideas, events and cultural issues and mores through the prism of their Jewish identity, this does not relegate them to some form of provincialism, as you call it. In fact, if I consider Spielberg, Thomas Friedman, Paul Wolfowitz, Diane Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, the Epstein Brothers (wrote Casablanca), not to mention the countless Jewish social workers, teachers, academics, doctors, lawyers and fashion designers who thrive in our current society, I see little provincialism that precludes them from full participation in either North American or Israeli reality. In fact, they often set trends which the larger culture ends up absorbing.

    God, I hope you grow out of the rebel mode soon. Or at least, as the wise Muffti has pointed out…get laid.

  • oh not to mention you completely misunderstood the point i was making about refiltering our experience of the other through our own lens. i wasn’t stating at all that we should abandon our identity nor our particularism necessarily. what i was saying was, that we have marginal ability to view another group’s narrative as they see it and to relate to them where they’re at as to how they fit into our world view. that’s what isn’t progressive. i wasn’t arguing against multiculturalism, i was stating that our multiculturalism fails because we can’t take ourselves out of our own tunnel vision long enough to hear what the other person is saying.

    just like you’re doing to me… and maybe, perhaps, a little bit like what i’m doing to you.

    you think you know what i’m saying better than i do and vice versa. it’s never going to get us anywhere.

    i apologize for wanting to kick you in the shins. if you really wanted me to learn from you, you could be nicer about it. instead you attack me as some strawman stereotypical left-wing self-hating jew. i don’t sit in yeshiva learning gemara 4 hours a day because i hate jews or judaism. i don’t go to shul and dance around the bimah on friday night with a bunch of sweaty payot-wearing man because i hate jews and judaism. i don’t dedicate free hosting and web design services to a countless number of jewish non-profits because i hate jews and judaism. and i don’t take this position against the israeli government and its supporters that i take because i hate jews and judaism. the mere suggestion puts all your remarks in the category of condescending, incindiary and off-mark, because you really don’t get me at all. maybe it’s the failure of my writing. but i think i’ve been pretty consistent and thematic in my writing on jewschool and o.a. over the course of three years to give a solid impression of someone other than who you view me as. if not, i can only try harder.

  • Liked the clip of you whining Aaron, thanks. So I guess you think it’s better not to coexist and just pretend that those unlike ourselves aren’t here (unless of course we need them to turn on the air-conditioner on shabbos, or we need to see a hooker when our wife is in niddah, or we need to charge outrageous prices on poor quality diamonds so our son-in-laws can learn all day)?
    And of course those people who claim to be Jewish but don’t do as we do, they are just posers, right? Down with Ahavas Yisrael and Love thy neighbor!

  • that is a very different type of action than an Israeli unit targeting a terrorist – particularly one who is active in attacks – and doing their best to kill him while minimizing injuries to people around him.

    oh my bad; that’s what they’re doing when they drop a one ton bomb on a residential area. my mistake.

    and when they raze a 300-meter permiter on the rafah border and made 40,000 people homeless (which, you know, did a lot to stop gun smuggling after they handed gaza back) … that too was completely discriminate and justified.

    Furthermore, it’s not as if the Israelis celebrate these attacks, as do the Palestinians with their gory art shows and celebratory parades.

    nope. never. oh and there isn’t a yearly commemoration for the stern gang (except there is). nor is there a martyr’s exhibit at the jabotinsky museum in tel aviv along with replicas of bombs, bombmaking parts, and scale model reproductions of blown-out buildings. except there is.

    but there’s no moral equivalence, because we’d never behave like these animals at all.

    I know you seek to find the equivalence here, but it’s about as stupid as you talking in that street lingo (modern day Jewish white boy patois) to threaten me or to talk garbage to Trotsky.

    i spoke street lingo? hm. hadn’t even noticed. why don’t you just call me a wigger and get it out of the way?

    “lesson one…” first mistake of hip-hop: thinking that only african americans have license to it, as if a jewish whiteboy named steinski didn’t produce the first hip-hop breakbeat mixtape in the 1970s. and as if an israeli named lior cohen isn’t the producer behind jay-z, the first multiplatinum selling hip-hop artist.

    you know why they call you the middle? it’s not because you’re balanced — it’s because that’s the finger you incur.

    You are the one who claimed the Israelis don’t have a legitimate claim to the land, while the Palestinians do because it’s “theirs.” I merely pointed out that according to international law, the Palestinians have no claim.

    no i said under international law that israel doesn’t have a right to enact zoning policy in unannexed territory. i did not say that a palestinian national body has claim to that territory. i do however believe that palestinians have a right to continue living on the land they’ve been on for 600 years, and to have their own autonomy there.

    If they wish to have a legal claim and title, then they have to get a state or even a true autonomy. They choose not to have either and they do this because their ultimate goal is to take over Israel. Look at how they’re fighting to keep Gaza from being called anything but Palestinian.

    they. who is they? is hamas they? is fatah they? is the p.a. they? who is they? who is in control? who are “the palestinians?” a unified front against israel? or a people caught up in the agendas of others with no power to resist?

    Just so you are clear on where I stand: I would like them to live in peace next to Israel, and with much pain even agree they should control most of the West Bank and Gaza. I reject that either area should be free of Jews as the Palestinians would like to have it. Within Jerusalem, I would like the Arabs to have a fair opportunity to live as do all Israeli residents of the city. Many of them already have many of these rights, although there’s no question the state could put more resources into their treatment of Israeli Arabs.

    see, ultimately we agree. i have no issue with that statement whatsoever.

    But why should the Israelis support the Arab ultimate goal of obliterating Israel by giving up land they have come to control through the sacrifice of their own sons? Is Israeli blood that cheap to you? Did the loss of that blood come because Israel sought to have war or because it was in a defensive mode?

    that’s a shitty, underhanded attack. and a strawman. why should germany had to have given anything back? why is there a difference between land acquired in a defensive war and an offensive war? if you’re just fighting to defend yourself, why do you need to take over that land? “strategery” as bush would say? we kicked their asses in six days and without foreign assistance. clearly the borders were defensible.

    If the Palestinians agree to live in peace, they can then begin to demand a share in the land. If they are willing to forego the struggle to uproot Israel, then they can have whatever opportunities to build and live as any Israeli – including Israeli Arabs. But if they’re part of a war – even when they don’t call it a war – don’t expect one side to disarm unilaterally.

    if palestinians could pick olives from their own groves without some crazy kahanist asshole bludgeoning them; or if their pregnant wives could get through checkpoints to deliver their babies; or if children could go to school instead of being kept under curfew; or if they can build on land that they have ottoman deeds for; and so on and so forth; maybe they’d be inclined to believe israelis want peace with them too. as long as you believe that all palestinians want israel destroyed out of a base irrationality, you are doing a disservice to them and to yourself.

    Israel is legitimately there on a temporary basis and will probably have to give up most of the West Bank when the other side complies with 242.

    “and as such, israel is completely justified in knocking down houses and moving extremist settlers onto land it’s going to hand over anyway.”

    huh?

    The Palestinians never controlled the land.

    “and as such should stand to be pawns in the games of foreign powers forever instead of being granted sovereignty.”

    If I believe they have to earn their country by conceding that Israel may exist in peace, that doesn’t mean I don’t wish they have it. On the contrary, I want them to have their own state or autonomy as soon as possible. It’s just that I also believe they have to be peaceful when they get it.

    “and that’s why i support the expansion of maaleh adumim into e-1. because a palestinian state can exist on non-contiguous territory in the west bank and no palestinian is wise to what the israeli government is up to. and they have no reason to fight and kick and scream. they should just shut up and be happy with whatever we give them because it’s not their land, they’re a bunch of killers, and they don’t deserve anything except vengence for the blood of the jews they have spilled.”

    oh i’m sorry. you didn’t say that. you just reek of it. you don’t even realize why you’re a hypocrite! it’s staggering.

    As far as you’re concerned, they have rights regardless of motive or history, and Israelis who disagree are Right wing ideologues who breed war criminals. Gimme a break.

    who’s motive and who’s history? you want to punish all palestinians for the actions of the plo, who they have no control over? collective punishment is a war crime! they dance in the streets at the death of their oppressors and that says it all? ever read the nation‘s article about that army recruiting game, america’s army?

    “As quiet stretches were punctuated by bursts of gunfire, conversation went back and forth between our teammates, all participating in the same virtual battle from their homes, offices or dorm rooms. ‘Take that, you dirty Arabs,’ one player radioed after a successful strike. This sparked a debate among fellow players regarding whether Afghans are actually Arab. The squadron eventually concluded that it doesn’t really matter, since ‘ragheads are ragheads.'”

    did you see the shirts being sold in kiosks in nyc after the afghan invasion began? dancin’… dancin’ in the streets… dancin’…

    As I watch the non-Ashkenazy president of Israel shake the hands of the non-Ashkenazy Minister of Defense and former Chief of Staff, I guffaw at your myopia. As I consider the homosexual parades, film festivals, rights granted by the SC and the IDF to same sex partners, not to mention virtually every Eytan Fox movie ever made, I can only shake my head in amazement and smile at your critique.

    omg you can name two mizrachim currently in government and ignore the fact that the only reason they’re there is because of the israeli black panthers and the mizrachi resistance movement.

    and, um, i guess you weren’t here to know that someone tossed a pipebomb into jerusalem’s sole gay bar here a couple months ago.

    i’m not saying israel is a god awful horrible place that should be wiped off the map. i’m not saying it’s the most horrendously awful society in the world, more glaringly and worseso than any place else. what i’m saying is, israel has issues, and the virtual “israel is a bastion of perfection” lurking beneath your alleged “progressivism” does not help bring attention to the problems needing correction but rather sweeps them under the rug as “overstated” and “non-issues.” your position does a disservice to everyone in this country who suffer from things other than terrorism.

    If you would actually bother to spend some time looking at early Israeli art instead of all that time you waste listening to that crappy music you like, you’d see an entire generation of artists that loved the Arabs and sought to represent them in a very favorable light.

    i personally like these come to the place that doesn’t exist posters. nah, but i know, you mean the stuff like this which i have studied thanksmuchly. again, individual zionists are not the same as the greater zionist movement’s agenda, which took advantage of people as it saw fit to its purpose. just like individual palestinians are not the same as the plo which takes advantage of people to advance it’s wholly seperate agenda.

    Furthermore, you misunderstand Zionism if you think it was intended to close off the world from the Jews. It was intended to open the world to the Jews…but as equals on equal footing instead of subservient guests to hosts who might become hostile at any time.

    zionism embellished the impression of the jew as the alien outsider who did not belong and exacerbated animosity against jews to force emigration to palestine. herzl says it directly in his own journal.

    the rest of what you say is seething blather. you try to pin-point my identity but you still don’t even understand me. you named a bunch of people who don’t even factor torah into their lives in a meaningful sense. not to mention a bunch of them were douchebags i wouldn’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole. if that’s the best you can do for important “integrated” jews with a meaningful jewish identity, we are indeed in trouble.

    God, I hope you grow out of the rebel mode soon.

    ah yes, there’s your answer. “grow up.” here’s mine: invest in fossil fuels.

    Or at least, as the wise Muffti has pointed out…get laid.

    i did get laid. i banged trotsky’s girl. why do you think he’s so spiteful?

  • Hey, Guys, to repeat ck, Rosh Hashanah is next week.
    Please continue to make up.
    We need peace between Jews more than we need peace with our enemies. Hard as it is, mind you.
    And Brother Mobius, if you have a problem with another Jew, take them to a din torah, take them to a Rov. Settle your differences the Jewish way. All those hours of talmud can be put to good use before a Beit Din, if you have a case. And this goes for problems that you have with any other Jew. And lastly, misogyny is definitely not cool. You “make love with” a woman. Woman are not passive objects of lust, but the superior sex. Objectification of women, and self-gratification at a woman’s expense are not exactly cool, progressive, or Jewish.

    Enough of the sermon, wishing you a year of good health, spiritual growth, and peace.

  • Yeah Ck, you make love with a woman, they are superior at sex, just don’t trust them to testify as a witness or to study the Talmud.

  • Chutzpah: I have no objection to female witnesses or women studying Talmud. Women are also free to decide whether or not they wish to make love to me.

  • I just looked at Mobius’s response to my posts. It looked awfully long. Will somebody read it and summarize for me?

    Rabbi Y., of course Rosh Hashana is coming up, and it would be an ideal time for the Young Shin-Kicker to, um, re-evaluate his positions. 😉

  • Okay Mobius, I read it. Phew, that took a while.

    Let’s see: ongoing parades after successful suicide bombings murdering Jewish families versus a personal story about some army age kids in a bar talking big about hoping to kill Hezbollah members. Equivalence?

    Hmmm: A gallery in a Palestinian university depicting the exploding body parts of Jews in a restaurant during a suicide bombing versus a model of a British government building destroyed by the Irgun. Equivalence?

    Or this: A quiet room dedicated to fighters who lost their lives in a fight to build a Jewish state versus parades with announcers praising child murderers and vowing to sow more murder among the enemy while being clear the enemy is any Jew. Equivalence?

    Or this: ongoing campaign to kill as many civilians as possible in as many parts of Israel as possible in as many public places as one can imagine versus one air force attack intended to kill a major leader of these murderers, and after realizing the collateral damage caused, changing strategy to use weaker bombs next time so as not to cause as much harm even if the murderers escape. Equivalence?

    —-

    You need to reread your early post in this discussion where you explicitly state the Israelis have no legitimate claim to the land over which the Palestinians do have legitimate rights. That’s what you said. I’m not going to get into the 600 year business with you because I don’t have the patience for the who-lived-here debate. Jews lived there. So did Arabs. Some of the Arabs living there now have been part of generations of families living there and some aren’t. Same with the Jews. The idea that Israel cannot govern in East Jerusalem, or build in East Jerusalem because of 1948-1967 is absurd. It is particularly absurd in light of the fact the Palestinians are building (illegally) non-stop, and now are moving people into parts of Jerusalem that will remain under Israeli control.

    You ask, “who are the Palestinians” and suggest they are just a poor innocent leaderless people. Okay, whatever. So Israel needs to pretend that from these people a war hasn’t come about? Yes, they are the PA and Fatah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the PFLP. They work together, openly in some cases and with winks and elbow jabs in other cases. They have a national movement buttressed by sophisticated media manipulation (local and foreign), extremely powerful diplomatic and propaganda efforts throughout the world, unified code words and language that would make Karl Rove blush if he could get the Republicans to be as consistent, a cohesive military build-up and strategy that is taking place very clearly and has been for years, and a national strategy to ignore attempts at state-building so as to postpone long enough to weaken Israel.

    You want to see little people suffering? Okay, you do that. I agree with you, there are those who want Israel to survive. But forgive me if I feel sympathy for them but cannot help view their leadership and war efforts against Israel as the dominant issue. I want to protect Israelis first. You might wish to do the same, those people whose files you are sending to the British are those who protect you and help to prevent over 95% of attempted attacks inside Israel. Also, by pretending the Palestinians are this disjointed group of harmless peace-loving folks, you are – AGAIN – providing cover for their violent leaders and members.

    Is there a difference between land gained in a defensive war and an offensive war? You bet. Yeah, yeah, I know that international law – heavily influenced by the Egyptians when it was written, by the way – claims otherwise now, but that was a political maneuver by the Arabs when this law was written. It surely makes a difference and 242 reflects this.

    I’m going to ignore all the other stuff you tried to put in my mouth. I will say that 242 is very logical in allowing Israel to retain part of the territory it won in a defensive war. Yes, I consider the area leading up to Maaleh Edumim to be crucial to the security of Jerusalem as a unified city under Jewish control and E1 should be built. However, you can still have a contiguous Palestinian area, and E1 actually prevents the Palestinians from surrounding an area of Jerusalem. Why does that not bother you? Strategic growth of two Palestinian villages so they cut off Jewish communities is okay with you, but strategic growth of Jewish communities to block off their strategy offends you. Okay, at least you consistently side with the Palestinians, we know that much. I, at least, recognize the nature of the war and refuse to back down.

    With respect to settlers, it would be nice if you stopped pretending that all settlers are these evildoers and all Palestinians have difficulty with their olive groves because of settlers. I whole-heartedly agree that settlers who sabotage the livelihood of others should be jailed and punished. I also think Israel should move back to where the fence is currently and make that its border as per 242. But you once again provide cover for the Palestinians, whom you depict as victims even while you claim they are a disjointed group, while vilifying the settlers, whom you depict as a bloc of people who act and behave similarly.

    That seems a little weak in terms of consistency. Right?

    It also seems weak to me that even as I refuse to lie down and let them attack and destroy us, but still recognize their humanity, their right to live without an occupier, their right to a government of their choosing, your only recourse is to try to paint me as some sort of Right wing loonie. I guess giving them Gaza and wanting to give them 93% of the West Bank, the right to vote for their leadership, and the right to maintain a presence in Jerusalem seems to be unreasonable to you.

    Very weak.

    It’s also not surprising considering that instead of seeing the value of a country that allows gay parades and film festivals that thrive, you only see the attack on a gay person.

    Instead of seeing the impressive positions that Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews have attained, you only see (condescendingly, I might add), people who didn’t make it on their merits in a meritocracy but people who made it because of some political gangs.

    Instead of seeing the hundreds of thousands of settlers who live peacefully and do not wish to harm any Palestinians, you suddenly make them all out to be Palestinian sheep and olive tree killers.

    Instead of identifying the national movement and its power and resonance that is driving the Palestinians forward in a common hope that Israel will be destroyed, you see victims who wander aimlessly under the yoke of the Israelis. Never mind that the Israelis left this population alone and removed its soldiers only to be forced back into Areas A when the bombing frenzy became too deadly. Never mind that the Israelis offered the Palestinians a state. Nope, it’s always the fault of the Israelis according to our brilliant activist, war-crime-accusing, shin-kicking, progressive thinker.

    Israel is flawed, Mobius, and that is something that we cover often on this site, but you’ll note that you can’t find anything positive to say about it.

    Even your point about how we cannot recognize the pain of the other because of the way we filter information is full of baloney (bologna?). That’s why I mentioned the ACLU, not to mention numerous other social justice organizations – including numerous pro-Palestinian organizations – where Jews are very prominent precisely because of their Jewish filter. In fact, these Jews often bring up their Jewish values as a key reason for their social activism.

    But of course you only focus on the fact that many Jews disagree with your views. Since they disagree with your views, of course they must be provincial or blind and cannot see the world first and their Jewish loyalties second. Uh uh, only real progressives are able to do that. And if that means that we “understand” the poor victim Palestinian suicide bomber sent by an entire war infrastructure to murder innocent Israeli civilians, while vilifying the horrible Israelis who have a little settler in all of them (Amira Hass wrote that and on the basis of your attack on me, I have to assume you agree), then so be it.

    It’s a good thing you’re a minority. Your website presents this distortion consistently and it is the reason you keep getting these little jabs from me and others, Mobius.

    I’m sure you’re a good person and you mean well. I’m sure you seek to find justice for people who are hurting. But guess what? You don’t have a monopoly on being a good person and meaning well. Nor do you have a monopoly on seeking justice. There are many of us who seek the same, but view the war we are in for what it is, and recognize that we have no recourse if we lose this war.

    I should also add that your attack on the Jews I listed suggesting that they do not represent Jews in your mind is something you may want to reconsider.

    Oh, and regardless of any claims you make regarding Trotsky’s sister/daughter/mother, you should stop making up pretend women, find a good one and make love to her. Gently.

  • “This is the song that never ends…it just goes on and on my friends…”

    Arguing is fine, but insults? Come on yall, you’re all fairly edumacated people and SHOULD know how to argue without resorting to namecalling and putdowns.

    I mean, we’re going to fight. Let’s at least fight fair, no? I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

    That’s all I got to say. Personally, I’d like to avoid the whole “who’s politics are more Jewish” debate because it’s got a faulty premise no matter what side you spit from.

  • So, Mobius, your basic position is that Zionism is not a response to anti-Semtitism, it is the cause of it?

    This is, of course, just another variant of the “the Jews bring anti-Semitism on themselves because of their exclusivity/race-mixing assimilationism/atheistic communism/capitalsit greed/(insert logically contradictory canard of choice here).”

    And that, of course, is the beginning of the straight, greased, vertically-downhill road to the “the Jews brought Auschwitz on themselves” version of the “Why The Jews Are To Blame For Everything, Including Their Own Genocide And It Seves Them Good and Right, Too” unified field theory of human history.

    And you wonder why people call you a self-hater?

    Cites on the content of Herzl’s journals please. I’l bet your interpretation of his words is just a case of “you say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to”.

  • I just have to day that those were great posts TM. Of course they were futile but that was obvious from the start.

  • Lets back up here dudes.

    first a few different things need to be addressed people need to learn from (and admit) mistakes.

    many things about the war were wrong and they need to be acknowledges without turning a blind eye to them.

    things that were wrong:

    – the war is illegal and was based on fabricated evidence. meaning iraq was no threat to the american people in any way.
    – in leading up to the war alienizing other countries and being arrogant did not help
    – whatever plans that bush had in place to control iraq are obviously not working. this is apparent by the chaos you see in the streets of iraq now and by the number of dead on all sides

    you need to acknowledge the above before we can go on.

    lets pretend you have acknowledged the above.

    do i believe US should pull out? no. US fxcked up by going into iraq but that doesn’t mean they should just cut and run.

    my personal opinion is that those who fxcked things up should be held accountable first before anything else can be done.

    who are the losers in this war?
    (1) the 20,000+ american casualties (this includes the injured with blown off limbs)
    (2) the american people who are losing their tax money in an endless war
    (3) the iraqi people who have to live in chaos and are not far off from a civil war and who are living in a worst situation than before

    who are the winners in this war?
    (1) it has bestowed al qaeda recruits, prestige, and a training ground
    (2) allying the iran government with the shiite majority
    (3) US war industries and bush-cheney cronies who receive no-bid contracts.

    things in iraq are not working out. it is more than obvious. the US needs to get on its knees in the UN and say: “listen, we fxcked up – please help us”.

    they need to bring other nations into the mix.

    bush, the republicans and the spineless democrats should suck it up and admit to their faults and start drawing up a better plan instead of continuing this never-ending conflict which is starting to resemble vietnam more and more everyday.

  • Hey anonymous suburban-egalitarian guy — if you’re going to find “proof” of “canards” in rivals posts, at least don’t bring them from satirical ones explicitly marked as such.

    Do what you usually do. Build your straw man bullshit from serious posts. Not ones labeled “humor” meant to discredit a conspiracy theory, not bolster it.

    I am only explaining this now because I know if I don’t, you will use that satirical post in the future in your unremitting attempts to paint me as anti-Israel and a radical conspiracy theorist.

    You are just as meshugah as the far-Left and far-Right who blames everything on Jewish Neocons.

  • Hhhhh: Well, of course its impossible to prove what you call a human, but you know like its impossible to say whether something is really really dark or black, its easy to determine outright gray from black….

    In any event, this is one protest we can get behind wholeheartedly. They want the jews dead thats what they want .. and whatthey want is all jews dead….

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