False Dichotomies

LITERATURE HIP-HOP ISRAEL INDIA LOVE MISCELLANY

Feeling the Hate in Tel Aviv: A Response

“this style of writing [hysterical-realism] is not to be faulted because it lacks reality – the usual charge against botched realism – but because it seems evasive of reality while borrowing from realism itself. It is not a cock-up, but a cover-up.” James Wood, Human, All Too Inhuman, New Republic (30.8.01)

Max Blumenthal is back! The agit-prop journalist who created the already-seminal YouTube documentary Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem has now released the equally sophisticated sequel, Feeling the Hate in Tel Aviv. The original, which received 400,000 hits on YouTube, depicted American-Jewish teenagers (for some reason described by the filmmakers as Israelis) hurling racist obscenities at Barack Obama during a drunken night out in Jerusalem, and caused a predictable storm about authenticity and the morality of airing one’s dirty laundry in public. Now, it’s Tel Aviv’s turn. 

Blumenthal describes the aim behind the video succinctly: “On May 27th, journalist Jesse Rosenfeld and I set out on the streets of Tel Aviv to probe the political opinions of young local residents.” This was a pre-emptive response to criticism he received from Haaretz journalist Benjamin Hartman, who suggested that the Jerusalem video was “circling the internet at a critical velocity on a mission to humiliate the Jewish people,” before suggesting that he go to Tel Aviv to get a more balanced look at Israeli society.

But ha-ha! “Unbeknownst to Hartman,” Blumenthal writes, “I had already filmed my next segment in Tel Aviv.” And guess what’s in the video? More of the same. They began the day at Tel Aviv University, talking to students who had gathered to protest the ‘Nakba Law’ that proposes criminalizing public commemoration of the losses suffered by the Palestinians in 1948. There they found “a group of students who gathered to heckle their Arab classmates and demand their deportation,” as well as two “genial business students” who expressed support for the Nakba Law. [Even these descriptions, by the way, are exaggerations – watch the video and judge for yourself] Later that night, they covered White Night, where “a group of teenagers launched into a virtually unprompted diatribe against Barack Obama, referring to him as a Nazi, a Muslim, and a “Cushi”, which is Hebrew slang for “nigger.” In the Blumenthalian universe, there is little daylight between Israel’s two leading cities.

It would be naïve to argue that Blumenthal’s video does not in some way reflect authentic trends in Israeli society. There is plenty of evidence, anecdotal and otherwise, that Israel is steadily moving in an openly-racist, authoritarian direction, and I see no problem with discussing this issue openly. Feeling the Hate in Tel Aviv, however, is too real, condemned as inaccurate by the dog that didn’t bark. It is impossible that somebody could spend a serious amount of time interviewing Israelis in Tel Aviv (or indeed any other Israeli town) without finding a single voice expressing more progressive sentiments. Israeli society may be moving to the right, but it is far from monolithic.

Blumenthal’s methods are about as sophisticated as Borat’s or Bruno’s. He picks weak targets: in this case, the English of the Jewish interviewees is never more than passable, in contrast to the Palestinians. As one commenter puts it, he puts “smart, articulate Palestinian students…up against drunk arsim,” comparing this to interviewing an “intelligent, liberal professor from Columbia,” and putting him up against “some white trash from Alabama.” He goes to White Night and manages to interview a single group of drunken teenagers. Was there other footage? Why are we not privy to it? He goes to a Tel Aviv University where feelings are likely to be running high, without providing any context, and grabs the most inarticulate passers-by he can find, including one man who is absurdly described as a ‘Jewish-Druze’ (he has clarified this in a subsequent post, but the original caption demonstrates a basic lack of understanding of Israeli society), reflecting the strange description of the subjects of Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem as Israelis. His methods are cheap.

Doing a serious vox-pop in Tel Aviv is not a complicated task: Spend the entire day going from café to café, neighbourhood to neighbourhood, hummuseria to sushi bar, interview people and then edit it in such a way that accurately reflects the multiplicity of voices that you hear. In this case, there is simply no evidence that Blumenthal has bothered to be this rigorous. And the reasons for this are clear. He has long ago drawn his conclusions about Israeli society, and is now simply gathering the evidence to back it all up, rather than going from evidence to conclusion. This is the work of a propagandist – a deeply unserious approach to a deeply serious problem.

Yes there is “crude racism,” “bellicose nationalism,” and “anti-democratic sentiments” in Israel. But there is a lot more going on as well. Blumenthal is doing a disservice to those who want to gain a fuller picture of Israeli society by refusing (and that can be the only word for it) to depict these complexities and nuances in the film. It is very easy to find what you are looking for, and rather harder to be open to being surprised. Blumenthal tells a story about two Palestinians arrested for speaking Arabic on the bus. I have also heard stories of this nature, but I have also heard people frequently speak Arabic throughout Tel Aviv, and I can honestly say I have never seen anyone encounter any trouble as a result. Does this mean Blumenthal is mistaken? Not necessarily. But he has to acknowledge the limitations of the anecdote as a journalist device.

The same applies to interviewing a handful of people in Tel Aviv and calling it a wrap. Blumenthal has taken a single insight and inflated it into a grand theory of Israeli society, a theory far beyond his basic means of analysis. He may be feeling smug about answering his critics with this latest video, but if he has any pretensions to seriousness he should begin to seriously examine his methods.

156 comments

156 Comments so far

  1. Joseph July 14th, 2009 2:31 pm

    Basic dismissive commentary that is to be expected from most main stream thinking Israel. Jerry Haber of the Magnes Zionist left a comment on the original Mondoweiss post that is perfect for this post:

    “Max, no matter what you do, there are going to be people who say, “This is not representative.” These are people either in deep denial or they hang with a fairly liberal crowd. So the guys you interviewed with Arsim. Do you know how many Arsim Israel has? Sure most Israelis don’t say, “Fuck Obama,” but most Israelis don’t like him. And most Americans do.

    So just think of a country that is made up mostly of neocons and liberal hawks (among the educated) and out and out bigots (among the less educated), and you have Israel. It’s not just your video. It’s the polls. It’s the people.”

    Joseph

  2. Alex Stein July 14th, 2009 2:51 pm

    Well that’s the point isn’t it: the film doesn’t show a country made up of neocons and liberal hawks etc etc. It shows the out and out bigots, only. And it’s also important to ask the question of why Israeli society has moved in that direction; the answer isn’t solely one-sided.

  3. Alex July 14th, 2009 2:56 pm

    I’d also ask that readers pay close attention to the quote at the top.

  4. Joseph July 14th, 2009 3:04 pm

    So why dont you ask that question about the direction that israeli society is moving? that is the issue. A seven minute video is not going to be able to address that but it can start a discussion about the worst elements in our society. But did you notice the nice young business students interviewed in the end? Did you understand what they had to say and why that enables the clear racism that governs Israel?

    Yes, clear racism. Racism that is institutionalized in my laws here. How is this able to happen and what effect does it have on society? Why do Diaspora Jews support this behavior? Why do Israelis support these laws not just the proposed ones but the laws governing housing permits for Israeli Arabs, or other patterns of life. I encourage you to read this brief interview about Israeli racism towards Israeli Arabs http://josephdana.com/2009/06/interview-with-ahmad-tibi-of-taal-on-the-west-bank-occupation-and-israeli-activists/

    all the best

  5. Alex Stein July 14th, 2009 3:08 pm

    Well these are important questions and I try to deal with some of them on this blog. But the video is agit-prop, a cheap shot, an attempt to laugh and deride a debased society rather than a serious attempt to think why we’ve got to this point and what steps we will have to take to improve the situation. Because ultimately that will be the task of the peoples living here, nobody else.

  6. Joseph July 14th, 2009 3:11 pm

    “the video is agit-prop, a cheap shot, an attempt to laugh and deride a debased society rather than a serious attempt to think why we’ve got to this point ”

    this is your opinion and furthermore Israel speaks in the name of the Jewish people. Thus whether you like it or not all Jews have a say in this project. I would be happy for Israel to say it does not represent the entire Jewish people. it would be preferable but she is not willing.

  7. Alex Stein July 14th, 2009 3:14 pm

    I broadly agree with what you say but am not sure what the connection is with the quoted sentence, except unless you are implying that Blumenthal shot the video as an way of disassociating himself from what happens here.

  8. Avram July 14th, 2009 3:15 pm

    Joseph,

    I asked you this a while ago – are you going to ever provide evidence about Nefesh b’Nefesh’s ‘push’ (as you claimed) to find homes for immigrants in the territories and that they were getting more money? Or will you just remain siletn?

    Alex,

    I think Phil Weiss said it best when he described Blumenthal, “Sensationalist … Cherry Picked”. I just hope that the idiocy/racism/anger displayed by those he interviewed is still not the majority.

    And I cannot believe people are actually arguing “jewish druze” with me on Tikkun Olam.

  9. Joseph July 14th, 2009 3:18 pm

    all I am is saying is that Blumenthal is a Jew and because of the desire of the State of Israel to speak in the name of all Jews he is more than able to enter into the debate here. Israel can not have its cake and it too. It takes videos like this one to show the problem, the horrible problem of racism that we have here. Racism is a fundamental aspect of the structure of life here.

    To attack the film as a cheap shot or in poor taste is, i think missing the whole point.

    that is all i am saying

    all the best

  10. Alex Stein July 14th, 2009 3:23 pm

    Well of course he has a right to enter the debate, and of course he has the right to highlight the racism. What I’m saying is that he should do it in a serious way.

  11. Joseph July 14th, 2009 3:25 pm

    and what is a serious way, you think?

  12. Avram July 14th, 2009 3:27 pm

    For more analysis on Weiss & Blumenthal’s first video:

    http://sadredearth.com/the-malice-of-mondoweiss/

  13. Alex Stein July 14th, 2009 3:31 pm

    I knew you’d ask that! Now I’m ashamed – don’t you know that deconstructing is far easier than inventing?!? The truth is I still don’t know. But at the moment I’m proceeding incrementally, by process of elimination. Actually, come to think of it, the approach of Ta’ayush, at least as laid out on your blog, seems sensible. Don’t get bogged down in ideological discussions; get down to work. It would just be better if you guys didn’t always start so early in the morning!

  14. Joseph July 14th, 2009 4:41 pm

    you are welcome to join us whenever you would like. I believe in Ta’ayush and that is why I am a part of it. Blumenthal is not an activist though. He is a journalist based in the United States and felt that the incredible amount of racism that he encountered in Israel durning his last month long visit had to be talked about and exposed. I believe that was his rationale and despite his videos drawback he succeed in generating a discussion about these issue. Even Jeffery Goldberg could not ignore it and agreed that we have to talk about the issues that he brought up.

    think about coming with Ta’ayush sometime it is well worth waking up early

  15. Alex Stein July 14th, 2009 4:43 pm

    I want to – but a 6AM start in Yerushalayim means a 4.30AM start in Tel Aviv on the one day of the week I get to sleep in. Which isn’t a very good anti-occupation attitude, but what can I tell you? I contain multitudes! Still, I’ll def make it one of these days…

  16. Avram July 14th, 2009 4:55 pm

    Any answers to my question Joseph?

  17. Mr Pink July 14th, 2009 5:05 pm

    “Blumenthal is not an activist though. ”

    Of course Blumenthal is an activist. Ask him to show you his rushes and you’ll see how he cherry-picked the worse of the worse in order to push his agenda.

    That is not journalism, that’s activism.

  18. Joseph July 14th, 2009 5:57 pm

    Avram,

    I think that the article you sent is a total hack job and is baseless ranting by a group of Americans that know very little about life in Israel and Israeli culture. You are interesting in baseless attacks and living in fantasy world of endless occupation and a Jewish control on suffering. Enjoy and thank you for not living in Israel

    Mr Pink,

    What I do is activism. Visit my blog. I am a peace activist that chooses to engage with the occupation even if that means getting up at 630 on my only day off in the week. Blumenthal is a paid journalist and he was covering important stories. I have seen the footage that he got and it was all of the same quality.

  19. Rankin Mike July 14th, 2009 6:10 pm

    “It is impossible that somebody could spend a serious amount of time interviewing Israelis in Tel Aviv (or indeed any other Israeli town) without finding a single voice expressing more progressive sentiments.”

    Alex, thanks for your instructive critique of Blumenthal’s latest project. Spot on.

    His two videos can in no way can be described as ‘journalism.’ Activism, maybe. Propaganda, certainly. Any self-respecting editor would send him straight back to college. I know mine would.

    I’d like to see Max and Joseph interview folk in Nablus or students at Beit Zir University. Then we’ll see how liberal and anti-racist our neighbours are in comparison to us nasty Israelis.

  20. Alex Stein July 14th, 2009 8:04 pm

    Hey Joseph – that was an unnecessary cheap shot! Anyway, the question is would you do it if it meant getting up at 4.30am. In any case I was out with Combatants for Peace last weeek, they started at a much more palatable hour of 9.30. Avram does live in Israel, btw.

  21. Avram July 14th, 2009 8:14 pm

    Joseph,

    Thank you for refusing to answer my question. I was quoting:

    “These people were giving extra money to immigrants from the United States in order to move to the settlements.”

    From: http://ibnezra.wordpress.com/tag/nefesh-bnefesh/

    “You are interesting in baseless attacks and living in fantasy world of endless occupation and a Jewish control on suffering.”

    I think that’s absolute BS, in fact – ask Alex as he’s known for me the better part of 3 years and he’ll confirm that this is BS.

    “Enjoy and thank you for not living in Israel”

    Let’s have a ‘positive’ bet Joseph. I’ll donate 50 NIS to a charity of your choice if you’ve lived here longer than me. If you haven’t, you’ll donate 50 NIS to a charity of my choice. Deal?

    And next time you reply, please do try and be more respectful … Just because I’m not a Palestinian, or a left winger who’s professor was Magnes Zionist doesn’t mean you have to be disrespectful and rude to me. It’s rather unbecoming of the type of respectful person you’re being in your conversation with Alex.

    Best Regards

  22. amir July 14th, 2009 10:04 pm

    What evidence is there that Israel is moving in an authoritarian direction? I see none. Bibi couldn’t even get his tax on fruits and vegetables passed. The Nakba laws and allegiance laws will never pass, unless in a very watered down version.

  23. Mad Zionist July 14th, 2009 11:29 pm

    I love it when Judeophobic bigots on the left campaign for the destruction of Israel, and then call Jews who disagree “racists”. Classic.

  24. Max Blumenthal July 15th, 2009 12:20 am

    IF you guys won’t leave your keyboards to go out with Joseph and Ta’ayush, then watch my interviews with Palestinians in Nablus and at Bir Zeit and my interviews with left-wing Israelis in Tel Aviv. Don’t accuse me of not doing these interviews without first looking through my archives — I have numerous videos presenting different facets of the conflict. Thanks again for the attention though I wish the commentary here was less predictable.

  25. Avram July 15th, 2009 1:26 am

    Max,

    ‘Left-wing Israelis’ marching in a Chadash/Gush Shalom rally doesn’t really capture the dominant stream within the Israeli left, and that was never your intention as you claim to push this ‘Left’ as “a marginal element in Israeli society” (your quotes).

    Let’s be honest, Weiss himself said your first video (J’lem) was sensationalist and cherry picked … Those words highlight precisely the reason why you made those films unfortunately.

    With regards to your request: “I have numerous videos presenting different facets of the conflict”. Can you point me to a link (as I have browsed your site a few times) that shows you highlighting the similar issues of hatred/racism in Palestinian society towards Jews/Israelis? I have not seen that and would love to see your interviews.

    “IF you guys won’t leave your keyboards to go out with Joseph and Ta’ayush”

    So what Alex has done (as he’s stated earlier) with Combatants for Peace (or many other organizations/tours isn’t good enough because it’s not Ta’ayush?

  26. Gabriel July 15th, 2009 12:35 pm

    “Alex, thanks for your instructive critique of Blumenthal’s latest project. Spot on.

    His two videos can in no way can be described as ‘journalism.’ Activism, maybe. Propaganda, certainly. Any self-respecting editor would send him straight back to college. I know mine would.”

    Full of sound and fury and signifying nothing…

    I find the videos offensive because the intent is not journalistic, it is to get a certain response to prove a political point. Let’s just say I wanted to interview American women about what they think about men? How do I do this in a journalistic way?
    1)The best option is to do a mass survey and interview a couple of people who are at the head of major organizations connected with the topic.
    2) The cheap journalism way is to stand on a street corner and randomly select a variety of women going by.
    3) The Max Blumenthal method is to go find girls who have just been dumped by their boyfriends and are drunk and get them to say that they hate men. Then, you can claim “Women hate men” and have your “proof”.

    “Thanks again for the attention though I wish the commentary here was less predictable.”

    It’s predictable because anybody who is honest will say the same thing. This wouldn’t get past a high school journalism class. It’s not only not attempting to be objective, it’s attempting to be non-objective. This is one of the problems with “citizen journalism”. These people have no real access to people who matter and who know what they are talking about, no power to conduct proper surveys, and no basic training of journalistic ethics. So instead, they just do whatever they want and try to mask it as journalism. If you took these videos to a serious (non-rabidly anti-Zionist) newspaper or TV station or news website, the editor would say “what’s the story? Some random drunk Israelis and American Jews say racist things when on camera? That’s not a story.”

    “But there is a lot more going on as well. Blumenthal is doing a disservice to those who want to gain a fuller picture of Israeli society by refusing (and that can be the only word for it) to depict these complexities and nuances in the film”

    Well, that’s the point. These people see no gray. Israel is evil. Israelis are racist. Palestinians are oppressed. That’s it.

    “Sure most Israelis don’t say, “Fuck Obama,” but most Israelis don’t like him. And most Americans do.

    So just think of a country that is made up mostly of neocons and liberal hawks (among the educated) and out and out bigots (among the less educated), and you have Israel. It’s not just your video. It’s the polls. It’s the people.””

    What an idiotic comment. It implies that Israelis do not like Obama because they are inherently racist. To take this logic further, anybody who doesn’t like Israel, not even anti-Zionist, just doesn’t like Israel, is an anti-Semite . It also completely strips Israel of context. The far left is often justifying or excusing terrorism with “you have to understand the root causes.” Somehow, the fact that Israel has been surrounded by hostile countries trying to destroy it for 60 years, the fact that almost Israeli has had family and/or friends killed by Palestinians is irrelevant. It is part of the racism of the far left. It creates a world where they completely justify say, South Asian Muslims living in Britain attacking British Jews because of a conflict that does not effect them in any way happening on the other side of the world while Israeli hostility towards people who are trying to kill them daily is the height of racism and deserves no contextualizing.

  27. Alex Stein July 15th, 2009 12:42 pm

    Max – I see that my comments about early morning starts with Ta’ayush are being taken with undue seriousness. I do try and get out and about when I can, and am becoming increasingly involved with Combatants for Peace, although I should point out that I do not claim to be an activist, nor do I particularly aspire to be one.

  28. Gert July 15th, 2009 5:39 pm

    The vids are good. Not newsworthy perhaps but blogworthy certainly.

    Criticism of the vids is the usual Ziowhining about ‘balance’, and “We Rock!” Israel doesn’t deserve balance, it only deserves pressure and BDS.

    Israel is a racist society, period. How can it not be? It’s an ethnocracy, fer cryin’ out loud! It’ll get worse and worse and worse as time goes by, of course, an Apartheid state in which even Alex will find a little bubble where even he won’t have to deal with either mouthy Haredim or pesky Arabs.

    You’re worried about Israel’s image? You know what it needs to do to change that. But as long as you keep electing creeps like Netanyahoo and Lieberman, nothing will change in the Bunker. I pity you all, seriously. It’s like watching a train crash in slow motion… ‘The Damned’ springs to mind too…

    Three cheers for Joseph and Max!

  29. Avram July 15th, 2009 5:53 pm

    Thanks for your pity Gert. It’s touching.

    **wonders if he should make some jokes and decides not to**

  30. Alex Stein July 15th, 2009 6:35 pm

    Gert – thank you for singularly avoiding dealing with any of the points I make.

  31. Avram July 15th, 2009 6:47 pm

    Alex – if for ONE minute you’d stop Zionwhining, Gert might pay attention to you.

  32. Gert July 15th, 2009 7:28 pm

    Alex:

    What point did you make? In that long roundabout way that I’ve grown accustomed to when you’ve got your ‘I heart Israel’ hat on, you claim that there are ‘more progressive voices in Israel’.

    But who seriously doubts that? I certainly don’t. The point of Max’s vids is to show that there is serious racism in Israel and that it’s not hard to find. He does that by… showing serious racists in Israel. (How else?) It’s not journalism, you say? Oh, I’m sure he could live with that…

    Do you demand of a journalist exposing the BNP that he shows also the more progressive side of Britain’s working class too? Course you don’t…

    Get over it.

  33. Gabriel July 15th, 2009 7:40 pm

    “Do you demand of a journalist exposing the BNP that he shows also the more progressive side of Britain’s working class too? ”

    No, but I would expect that a journalist wouldn’t make a pseudo-documentary whose basic point was to bend the truth to make every working class person seem like a BNP supporter.

  34. Dana July 15th, 2009 9:15 pm

    The argument here seems to have taken the same turn as the ones on South jerusalem sometimes do (Goren and Haim’s blog – quite good too). The problem i see is that Anglos in Israel who either immigrated there – or have a foot in both world – live, in fact, in a bubble. They may not see the outlines of the bubble because of all the haze generated by their own good intentions and aspirations. Alex takes comfort from there being an “enlightened crowd” in Israel. He even joins them in action now and then. But he fails to see that this “crowd” is not much of a crowd – though it may seem like it to him – since these tend to be the people he most closely associates with. Joseph knows better the truth on the ground because his “crowd” is far thinner (and good intentions are so much harder to sustain when one witnesses the persecution in the west bank for what it is – persecution by the IDF and the settlers they are aligned with).

    Here is another voice for you guys – from one who made reverse aliyah – to the promised land of the US from Israel – and whose view of Israel is not obscured by much wishful thinking (though I admit to certain sentimentalism when it comes to certain beaches – and I admit to living in the cloud when it comes to the [western] US). The israel I find now when I visit is nothing like the israel I grew up in. In fact, many of my then school, college and army mates would have been utterly shocked to witness the kind of responses one hears these days on the streets of the country – or the kind of behavior the IDF is currently engaged in (say in the OT’s). In fact, if anyone has told us then that israeli soldiers can behave the way they do nowadays – quite routinely – we’d have accused them of engaging in blood libel.

    I have written elsewhere about my disappointment with otherwise well educated israelis who continue to claim that “Obama is a muslim” and that “he hates the jews”. Bradley Burston wrote about this as did Jerry Haber. Many a time these comments – and other similarly ill founded and ignorant ones – are coming from members of my own family too. Our discourse has now become quite painful. They accuse me of “not understanding” the “situation” in Israel and of “loving arabs”. Not to mention of being “naive like all californians”. Our meetings, over the years, have become kind of sad and I increasingly find reasons to have fewer of those. We seem to be staring at each other through a walll far thicker than the west bank wall, and just as opaque.

    I do find the racism shown in Max’s video’s so common as to make pleading for “balance” silly. Max can go on many a street anywhere in Israel – notice how he mostly interviews young people – and he’d find similar commentary. The only difference is that there are those who are better able to couch their feelings with better verbiage – and oftentimes these tend to be somewhat older, more seasoned perhaps in the art (artifice?) of appearances. Had he done the whole story in Hebrew the results would be far more damning. At least that’s my experience – and I do get into plenty conversations – with people of all ages – you’ll just have to trust me on this score.

  35. LB July 15th, 2009 9:53 pm

    I only want to make two comments, without getting into this debate. Alex, you remarked that the people in the Jerusalem video were “for some reason described by the filmmakers as Israelis.”

    I don’t think that reason is very difficult to understand. Their agenda is very clear, and it wouldn’t have worked as well if they would have been straightforward with the identity of the people in that video. Somehow, “American Racists… in Jerusalem” doesn’t play out quite as well.

    Second, it was said here that “most Israelis don’t like [Obama].” Not all dislike of a black man has to do with the color of his skin. I deeply dislike the man, and I wouldn’t like him any more or less if he was a green man with a Martian grandfather. Nor did I like Bush – criticism of a Democractic President does not necessarily mean liking all Republicans. Or vice versa. These films, depicting a country in such a split manner – racists and saints – shows a clear lack of understanding of Israel and Israeli society.

    By the way, I am not whining about these films – I don’t really care much about what people think of Israel. Israel should do what is right and best for it, regardless of anyone else.

  36. Alex Stein July 15th, 2009 10:45 pm

    Dana – very interesting perspective, thank you….

  37. Mad Zionist July 15th, 2009 11:01 pm

    I wonder why Blumenthal didn’t wander into any arab towns with his camera and start asking moslem teens how they feel about Jews?

  38. joseph July 16th, 2009 2:09 am

    Alex,

    sorry that you felt I took a cheap shot and I understand how you took it as such. I did not mean anything negative towards you with the comment. I think that your joining combatants is great. I hope that you will not harbour any hard feelings just a simple misunderstanding.

    Dana- Interesting comment and excellent name

  39. Alex July 16th, 2009 8:17 am

    No offence taken!

  40. Gabriel July 16th, 2009 9:42 am

    “The israel I find now when I visit is nothing like the israel I grew up in”

    I am not defending it, but I think the second Intifadah had a lot to do with changing the course of public opinion in Israel. There was a time, when Israelis and Palestinians mixed more and therefore the “other” seemed human. I have a feeling that Palestinian anti-Semitism has risen in the last 20 years too. However, the biggest problem I have with the coverage, and a lot of anti-Zionist coverage in general, is an attempt to make Israel seem unique. Yes, you can go into many Israeli neighborhoods and hear casual racism and that is horrible. However, in Toronto which is probably the most multicultural city in the world and sees itself as a template for multiculturalism, if you ask a group of drunk Greeks or Italians or Chinese what they think of Jamaicans, an average group will say something incredibly racist. (although, they will hide it for longer due to more societal stigma against racism.) And those communities are nothing compared to what you would find in rural parts of North America. And those communities are nothing compared to say, Spain where literally, half the people are racists. Israelis do need to examine their own racism and the society needs to change, but to portray Israel as if the racism is somehow exceptional or even more than most countries is absurd. These films are not meant as a wake-up call to Israelis, they are meant to re-enforce an absurd and dishonest notion of Israel as an exceptionally evil state rather than the deeply flawed and unexceptional one it is.

  41. Gabriel July 16th, 2009 10:24 am

    “Max can go on many a street anywhere in Israel – notice how he mostly interviews young people – and he’d find similar commentary.”

    He interviews young people because older people don’t get shit-faced and feel like they have to fit in with the crowd and yell whatever everyone else does. Again, the problem is that you can go anywhere in any country in the world and find similar commentary. I have heard incredibly racist sentiments in New York and Los Angeles, again two of the least racist places on the planet. Even if the racism in the US is at about 20%, that’s still 1 in 5 people and therefore, not hard to find at all, especially if you find people drunk. There is no European country where the negative opinion of Muslims is under 20% and the antisemitic levels are pretty similar. Therefore, if you wanted, it would incredibly easy to go out on any street anywhere in Europe and find tonnes of people who are bigots.

  42. Avram July 16th, 2009 11:29 am

    Joesph – any response to my comments? Just curious.

  43. joseph July 16th, 2009 12:06 pm

    Avram-

    Not really. I am not interested in having a debate about how long either one of us has lived here. Whether or not you served in the army. I am sorry that I said that you do not live in Israel but the reason was that your rhetoric as displayed in the link that you shared with the discussion is quite strongly American.

    To tell you the truth these little debates with the educated and thinking ‘left’ in the Israeli blogosphere leave me quite pessimistic about the future. The silly defensive positions, the lack at having a real discussion without having an attack, it all does not bode well for the future.

    This is one of the reasons that I choose to write in English. It is hard for me to count on the Israeli public to listen and understand what is happening in the West Bank to Israeli Jewish non settlers. I had a blog in Hebrew that no one payed heed to and only encouraged attack. I hate to say it but we need outside help as we have lost control of ourselves.

    For example, even if you are a right wing israeli you should be upset that the rule of law is applied differently in the West Bank for settlers and non settlers. If a group of proper citizens from Jerusalem want to go and photograph an illegal outpost and monitor its growth (who is paying for it?) we should have the right to do so, right? But what happens every-time? Closed Military Zone order is produced meaning all citizens in the said area must leave or face arrest. Who is forced to leave? Us and not the settlers. That is breaking the law, our laws. Why does no one talk about that? Is that not important for the quality of society in Israel?

    But what will happen? What in the forum… I will be attack. Maybe even by you. It is upsetting, wrong and leading us in the wrong direction.

    In terms of racism in Israel, it is fact and part of our government system and raison d’être. You can attack me about that but it is fact. Who better to talk to about racism then kids that are about to go into the army? Or that just got out of the Army? These are the people that will have weapons and can act on the racism in a profound way if they want. Did you read the Breaking the Silence report from yesterday.

    Well, that is all for now. Good to see that Alex is getting much traffic on his site about the issue that max and I brought up.

    Joseph

  44. Avram July 16th, 2009 3:13 pm

    Joseph,

    I don’t get why you’re unable to answer the question. I am NOT, let me repeat NOT, attacking you. I am just asking you for proof to your statement (“These people were giving extra money to immigrants from the United States in order to move to the settlements.”). If you don’t have the proof, just say so. If you do, please share as I want to know too.

    “I am not interested in having a debate about how long either one of us has lived here. Whether or not you served in the army”

    I wasn’t having a debate. I wanted to make it a צדקה project. Oh well … and I never bought up army service.

    “even if you are a right wing israeli ”

    Have you even asked for my opinions about what I feel is happening there? You straight way assume, Right Wing Jew = <>. Perhaps if you’d have asked me, I would have told you it troubles me greatly what we’re doing, and the effect it’s having on both people. You would have realized I want two states, one for us, one for them (with whatever compromises the leaders decide on, even if I won’t agree with them) where both people can heal themselves and eventually learn to be ‘peaceful neighbors’.

    “I will be attacked”

    Again Joseph, if you feel I’ve attacked you, I’m sorry. When Alex first introduced you to this site (I had already seen your stuff), I asked the same question. So I was just looking for an answer.

    “These are the people that will have weapons and can act on the racism in a profound way if they want. Did you read the Breaking the Silence report from yesterday.”

    I didn’t see this in any stint I’ve had in the reserves, or in proper service. I know you may say, “typical right winger”, but I have doubts about some of the stuff …

  45. Gert July 16th, 2009 6:44 pm

    Gabriel:

    “There is no European country where the negative opinion of Muslims is under 20% and the antisemitic levels are pretty similar. Therefore, if you wanted, it would incredibly easy to go out on any street anywhere in Europe and find tonnes of people who are bigots.”

    You’re grossly over-stating the case for European racism. It exists but is well under control. Israel is far wore: it comes with the territory.

    And everything that that Dana said. This page has been bookmarked.

  46. LB July 16th, 2009 6:53 pm

    “You’re grossly over-stating the case for European racism. It exists but is well under control. Israel is far worse: it comes with the territory.”

    Gert – really now? How many years have you spent in Israel? What is the source of your extensive knowledge and understanding of popular (as in ‘of the populace,’ not ‘looked upon favorably’) racism in Israel?

  47. Avram July 16th, 2009 7:03 pm

    “It exists but is well under control.”

    Ha ha … yes Gert, keep telling yourself that.

  48. Avram July 16th, 2009 7:10 pm

    Here’s two links for you Gert … Now there’s hundreds more about things happening in Poland, France etc but I’ll spare you because it’s probably just Ziowhining or whatever term you have for it:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/18/islam.religion

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/02/17/anti.semitism/index.html

  49. joseph July 16th, 2009 7:10 pm

    avram

    I will have an article coming out soon with Akiva Eldar about the Nefesh B’Nefesh funding to the settlements. We are in the process of a Freedom of Information act for the necessary information.

    in the mean time look at me recent videos on nefesh bnefesh for more information about them

  50. Gert July 16th, 2009 7:11 pm

    Gabriel:

    ” No, but I would expect that a journalist wouldn’t make a pseudo-documentary whose basic point was to bend the truth to make every working class person seem like a BNP supporter.”

    Your call for balance is hypocritical and pathetic: you practically live at a site (Harry’s Place) that bans anti-Zionists like The Hasbara Buster, myself and Tony Greenstein, all the while peddling demonstrable lies about some people, like George Galloway.

    LB:

    How many years have you spent in [insert country of interest]?

    By that reasoning we’re all disqualified to make any pronouncements on any country, perhaps even on any matter.

  51. joseph July 16th, 2009 7:14 pm

    Avram

    since you served in some reserve unit then you know everything that happens in the IDF and what happens in the south west bank.

    please…

    i am checking out of this pointless discussion. Enjoy yourselves

    joseph dana

  52. Madzionist July 16th, 2009 7:25 pm

    It’s ironic how Gert actually does a better job at promoting Zionism than most Zionists. His inability to respond intelligently or logically when cornered provides some fantastic unintentional comedy. It’s almost hard to believe such a one-dimensional stooge is being serious sometimes.

  53. Gert July 16th, 2009 7:35 pm

    LB:

    “In terms of racism in Israel, it is fact and part of our government system and raison d’être. You can attack me about that but it is fact. Who better to talk to about racism then kids that are about to go into the army? Or that just got out of the Army? These are the people that will have weapons and can act on the racism in a profound way if they want. Did you read the Breaking the Silence report from yesterday.”

    Now there’s something you should try and sink your teeth into…

  54. LB July 16th, 2009 7:44 pm

    Gert – you have no experience with Israel (correct me if I’m wrong) and yet you make far-reaching statements about the racism of a society, and do not back them up. Those are the facts. As for the quote, it is ridiculous, and is not backed up by any proof, either.

  55. Gert July 16th, 2009 8:03 pm

    LB, LB, LB:

    Just look at the recent proposals for prohibiting Naqba commemoration, the election of Lieberman, the suggestion of loyalty tests, your Minister of Housing (Attias) recent statements, the treatment of Palestinian demonstrators in Bi’lin and Ni’lin, Blumenthal’s videos, selective house demolitions in East J’sem etc etc and name me a European Country where you can find similar events.

    When in Britain the BNP gains 2 (two!) seats in the European (!) Parliament, we start crapping ourselves about ‘the rise of the far Right’. Israel’s apologists all explain the above away, as ‘exaggerations’, ‘you don’t live here so what do you know about it!’, ‘where’s the prof’ etc etc.

    Get real.

  56. Avram July 16th, 2009 8:48 pm

    “We are in the process of a Freedom of Information act for the necessary information. ”

    Thank you for answering my question Joseph. When you made your original post, you based your statement on what ONE couple told you. While I have no doubt what you film with Ta’ayush is true, here unfortunately you were extremely dishonest. I’ll be surprised if you get the information from NbN – but post the link when the article comes out. I’d be interested in reading it obviously.

    I’ve never been in Southern Hebron with the army, so unfortunately I don’t know much of what you film. I’ve obviously seen a few things that upset me, as I thought they were unnecessary and tachlis, cruel (around Ramallah). Others have seen more, others less.

  57. Dana July 16th, 2009 9:40 pm

    Alex – thanks for acknowledging. For my part, I’ll keep reading here (and comment when the mood is right and time is at hand)

    Joseph – ditto. Agreed on excellence (slight differences notwithtanding…though at least on one occasion I had to refuse the gift of compliment which was actually directed your way….darn…hate to return those). Keep up the good work!

  58. Avram July 16th, 2009 10:02 pm

    Dana –

    I’ll bite on “Obama is a muslim”.

    A few points:

    1) I have no idea how Muslim ‘halacha’ (I don’t know what the correct term is in Arabic) dictates ‘who’ passes on the religion, but if it’s the mother, then he’s a Christian. If it’s his father, he’s a Muslim (as per most reports about his dad).

    2) If he is a Muslim, so what? Let’s say he is for example, who cares? I somehow really doubt his religion, be it Islam or Christianity, dictates his decision making.

    3) People can say he’s a Muslim or a Christian, but I somehow doubt anyone (bar the man himself, his wife and a few other people) truly know how he feels about ‘his’ religion etc … To each his own.

    And while I’m at it, I’ll also bite on “He hates the jews”

    1) I’ve not heard this from any ‘adults’ (ie people with a rational brain) here. I would laugh and ridicule anyone who says this.

    2) His political positions on Israel have nothing to do with the ‘religion’ of most Israels. It’s just a piss poor comparison.

    3) I’m rather certain Obama hates Jews, as much as he hates Christians, Muslims, giraffes and Martians.

  59. Dana July 16th, 2009 10:07 pm

    Gabriel in a nutshell: ” These films are not meant as a wake-up call to Israelis, they are meant to re-enforce an absurd and dishonest notion of Israel as an exceptionally evil state rather than the deeply flawed and unexceptional one it is.”

    nah….not quite….but if you keep throwing parochsims and axioms, perhaps fragments will stick?

    Essence of your “argument”: every place is racist so why pick on us?

    Short answers:

    1. because Israelis are obviously so sensitive about the way they appear to the world that it makes the world think they may just have a reason to prefer fuzzier lighting? as they say (these days), HD is not for everyone.
    2. because chutzpah cannot excuse everything. Sometimes outspoken is not the same as charming….

    Long(er) answer:

    Because in most places (the ones you mention for sure) people are actually ashamed to voice certain opinions aloud, and most would hesitate before they reveal their own racist attitudes (which surely many have) if only because they know it is something best kept hidden. At the very least, many would later insist on being given an opportunity to apologize for gaffes uttered at an inopportune moment. Yes, I know, there was Borat – but the whole point in that movie was to showcase “stupid people who say the stupidest things”. American society took it for what it was – an uncomfortable mirror held up to some of its segments – kind of like a Springer show. Bad statements – and non-PC speech is something for which suitable apologies and contriteness are to be extracted. The only argument is when, where and how often. Now why can’t israel do the same and, say, embark on a modest educational campaign among its overly outspoken young? lectures on ‘think before you speak — at least on camera?” come to mind. Even that would be a start, IMO.

    So here’s a final thought for you – and others who bend out of shape over these videos:

    It’s not the racism – it’s the cover-up and the refusal to take responsibility and have an open discussion about the issues. I may disagree with Alex’s take – but the disagreement is about the extent of the problem. At least he is airing the issue – which to me is a form of societal penance for its wayward members. I’ll be content to just see more of that.

    This will have to be my last entry on the topic for now, alas. got me some new dragons to slay elsewhere….

  60. LB July 16th, 2009 10:42 pm

    “Just look at the recent proposals for prohibiting Naqba commemoration, the election of Lieberman, the suggestion of loyalty tests, your Minister of Housing (Attias) recent statements, the treatment of Palestinian demonstrators in Bi’lin and Ni’lin, Blumenthal’s videos, selective house demolitions in East J’sem etc etc and name me a European Country where you can find similar events.”

    I was going to answer point by point, but I won’t – 1. because it’s a waste of time – you’re wrong on every single point, but will never concede and 2. it’s irrelevant to my point, you’re changing the subject – nowhere in what you said is there any proof that Israeli society is more racist than Europe. I’m not saying it is or isn’t (because I’m not familiar enough with European society to compare the two).

  61. Gert July 16th, 2009 10:56 pm

    Avram:

    “1) I have no idea how Muslim ‘halacha’ (I don’t know what the correct term is in Arabic) dictates ‘who’ passes on the religion, but if it’s the mother, then he’s a Christian. If it’s his father, he’s a Muslim (as per most reports about his dad).”

    As far as I know being Muslim isn’t hereditary: one is a Muslim because one chooses to follow the religion. That parents will influence the choice of their children is a different matter.

    “2) If he is a Muslim, so what? Let’s say he is for example, who cares? I somehow really doubt his religion, be it Islam or Christianity, dictates his decision making.”

    It shouldn’t matter whatever the man’s religion is but it’s wrong to call him Muslim when it’s clear he’s Christian, equally so it would be wrong to call him Christian when actually he was Muslim. The facts matter.

    “3) People can say he’s a Muslim or a Christian, but I somehow doubt anyone (bar the man himself, his wife and a few other people) truly know how he feels about ‘his’ religion etc … To each his own.”

    Here you seem to imply he’s lying about it. Assuming he’s not lying we know that he’s Christian. I see no reason to believe otherwise.

  62. Avram July 16th, 2009 11:05 pm

    Gert:

    “As far as I know being Muslim isn’t hereditary: one is a Muslim because one chooses to follow the religion. That parents will influence the choice of their children is a different matter.”

    Are you sure about that? If that is true, then as I said before, only a few people (Obama included) know what he’s followed (& I lean to it not being Islam, but that’s me).

    “It shouldn’t matter whatever the man’s religion is but it’s wrong to call him Muslim when it’s clear he’s Christian, equally so it would be wrong to call him Christian when actually he was Muslim. The facts matter.”

    Since no one really knows, then is it wrong to assume either? No one honestly knows what the fact is. And to be honest, I don’t think the facts here (ie his faith) are relevant to his position. The only ‘relevant’ fact is how he does his job in the eyes of his citizens.

    “Here you seem to imply he’s lying about it. Assuming he’s not lying we know that he’s Christian. I see no reason to believe otherwise.”

    I’m not implying anything. I’ve never read anything about him saying “I’m a Christian”, or “I’m a Muslim”. As I don’t know what he is, then I can’t really assume he’s lying … I have my ‘feeling’ as I implied earlier in this response but again, I don’t really care – I just don’t think it’s worth worrying about it (like Dana says it does) unless it impaired his ability to do his job well (which I don’t think it does, nor do I think it will).

  63. Gert July 16th, 2009 11:10 pm

    LB:

    “[...] nowhere in what you said is there any proof that Israeli society is more racist than Europe.”

    For one, Israel is based on a racist exclusivist principle: automatic Right of ‘Return’ for Jews, automatic refusal of return for those who were indigenous to the area. Not one single country in the world applies such a principle, not back then, not now either.

    Much of the settlement activity thus exists only so that Yoshua from Brooklyn (who already had statehood, equal rights and guaranteed protection from persecution and discrimination) can act out his biblical fantasies, at the expense of x,000,000 refugees, many of which can actually see from their refugee camps the places they, their parents or their grandparents had been evicted. It doesn’t really get more racist than that. Or infuriating…

    No great surprise then to hear that well groomed Israeli girl near the end of the video demanding that the Arab Israelis should show a bit more gratitude towards Israel!

    You live in a bubble: one in which the settlements aren’t illegal. Thanks for that answer, BTW…

  64. Gert July 16th, 2009 11:19 pm

    Avram:

    “Since no one really knows, then is it wrong to assume either?”

    Sheesh, Avram, you’re hard work today. So you’ve never heard him say he’s a Christian (LOL). Never heard about the kerfuffle with Pastor Jeremiah Wright? Israel now moved to another planet altogether?

    Listen: it matters. Assuming you’re non-homophobic heterosexual, would you not object if someone called you gay? You wouldn’t object because gayness is objectionable but because calling you gay would simply be incorrect. The truth matters.

  65. Avram July 16th, 2009 11:27 pm

    I know quite a few Christians who attend synagogue every week because their spouse is Jewish. Does that make them Jewish? Well? I’m glad we can at least agree on that.

    “The truth matters.”

    Nice slogan, but it’s not really the case in our world most of the time …

  66. Mad Zionist July 16th, 2009 11:45 pm

    The racist British State declared recently that only those who are British would be allowed to become citizens of Britain. One can only become British by birth rite, or properly converting to British by vowing allegiance to the nation and its laws. Those who demand to be given rights of citizenship without following proper legal conversion are rejected. Those attempting to organize mass public rallies calling for the violent destruction of the British State and the British people to be driven into the sea,would be considered enemies of the state and tried for treason.

  67. Gabriel July 16th, 2009 11:57 pm

    “Because in most places (the ones you mention for sure) people are actually ashamed to voice certain opinions aloud, and most would hesitate before they reveal their own racist attitudes (which surely many have) if only because they know it is something best kept hidden.”

    So actually being a racist is not so bad as long as you pretend not to be a racist? Where I have been the most, the US and Canada are the least racist places in the world and are not ethnic-based and to compare Israel to them is a little absurd. (And even there, I have heard so much racism, you wouldn’t believe. The thing is that I doubt you speak Greek, Portuguese, etc…but if you are in those communities. If you did, you would hear their variations on “nigger” constantly all of which are very, very common to hear. I won’t even mention the homophobic comments of these and other communities.) The North American attitude comes from a very English attitude which is to pretend that you aren’t a racist in public which is what you seem to want.

    “Essence of your “argument”: every place is racist so why pick on us?”

    Part of it is, but it depends who is picking on Israel? My argument is this: These people, yourself included are trying to make Israeli racism seem somehow exceptional. It isn’t. That does not mean that Israeli racism is nothing or that Israel should stop working on it, just that anti-Zionists like to work themselves into a frenzy pretending that Israel is evil when it is not. The major racism in Israel is against Arabs which is, while not justifiable, is understandable. You want to pretend that Muslims all live in a war with Israel but Israel lives in a peacetime Europe atmosphere. Hell, the scumbags on the European far left justify Pakistanis and Algerians beating up European Jews , so this is obviously much more understandable than that. The problem is that nobody would ever even think of doing this video in another country. What do you think would happen if you interviewed a bunch of drunk Toronto frat boys about Jamaicans? A bunch of Danish students about North Africans? A bunch of drunk Germans about Turks? Australians about anybody (Never mind sober Arab intellectuals about Jews-another problem with the video and with anti-Zionists in general. Arabs are more anti-Semitic than Israelis are racist but no anti-Zionist would ever want to admit that or show that or not justify it.). The answer is the same. I could go to Orange County and interview a bunch of drunk teens with provocative questions about Mexicans and I guarantee you would get massively racist answers and these are countries that are not in conflict. If you are Israeli and want to make the country less racist, great, I wish you the best of luck, it is a honourable endeavor. If you are Israeli, yes you should be concerned about the racism in Israel and try to change it. If you are not Israeli, look in your own backyard and you will see things even worse. The problem is that these videos are purposefully meant for the Gerts of the world who loathe Israel and want to justify that loathing. Things that are national issues in other countries become international ones in Israel. Israeli attitudes towards black people is a problem in Israel (not its biggest mind you, but a problem). Why should anyone outside of Israel give a fuck?

    “Yes, I know, there was Borat – but the whole point in that movie was to showcase “stupid people who say the stupidest things”

    Which was exactly what these videos were except that they are pretending to be more. It’s as if Borat had pretended to be a serious documentary about the way Americans thought about Blacks and Jews.

    “because Israelis are obviously so sensitive about the way they appear to the world that it makes the world think they may just have a reason to prefer fuzzier lighting? as they say (these days)”

    Why do you think they are sensitive? I’ll tell you why. Because the world is pathologically obsessed with making Israel look bad. Things that would get no coverage anywhere else (and this video would not be watched by more than 5 people if it were made in say, Greece) get massive negative attention is Israel. The world loathes Israel and no, it’s not (mostly not) because of its actions.

    “Your call for balance is hypocritical and pathetic: you practically live at a site (Harry’s Place) that bans anti-Zionists….”

    I practically live at Harry’s Place? Well, Gert, I invite you to go back and see how many posts I have made last week? I think none, maybe one. In fact, I think I have posted maybe 50 comments there in my entire life. And no, I don’t agree with most of the comments there, but the site itself is good. And any site that calls Galloway a scumbag is definitely on the right path. I never call for balance anyway. I call for honesty in arguments.

  68. Gabriel July 17th, 2009 12:14 am

    “Return’ for Jews, automatic refusal of return for those who were indigenous to the area. Not one single country in the world applies such a principle, not back then, not now either.”

    Because they don’t need to. When your population is 90% white Christians in a world that is completely dominated by white Christians, you can have relaxed laws and pretend that it is equality. It’s like people claiming that rich people and poor people should both pay $500 tax when the rich people make the laws. For Gert, this is just because he is rich. If there were say, 15 million more Jews in Israel, then there could be right of return and nobody would care. So, the fact that there aren’t a lot of Jews in the world or in Israel is the reason you claim Israel shouldn’t exist where in fact, the lack of Jews in the world is key to the need for Israel to exist. Every single European country is an ethnic state and virtually all of them have much greater majorities of the dominant ethnicity. This is not unique to Israel. Anyway, why is letting immigrants come because they have a million dollars more moral than letting them come because of their religion? (Anyways, many countries require immigrants speak the obscure native language or whatever before they are let it…hmm, what’s the reasoning for that? Who speaks Danish?) Also, the term “indigenous”, especially when not dealing with a remote island, is almost always bullshit because ethnicity is bullshit. (yes, I know I used it before, but only because this is how people see it.) The Palestinian population now is very different ethnically than the population that used to live in the area. (Same as the Jews, same as every “people” on the planet).

  69. LB July 17th, 2009 1:45 am

    And Israel is not the only country that has naturalization laws for different groups of people – Germany and Japan come to mind without much research. Not to mention that the PA sentences people to death for selling real estate to Jews – I wonder how they would address naturalization applications.

  70. nick July 17th, 2009 5:06 pm

    “Spain where literally, half the people are racists” – a bit off-thread but have you any evidence for this, Gabriel?! I’ve heard shocking casual racism from educated Spanish teenagers and there have been the disgusting episodes in sport, but to smear half the population in such a sweeping way is absurd.

  71. Gert July 17th, 2009 6:20 pm

    Mad Zionist:

    “The racist British State declared recently that only those who are British would be allowed to become citizens of Britain. One can only become British by birth rite, or properly converting to British by vowing allegiance to the nation and its laws.”

    Nice try, numpty.

    Anyone who immigrates to the country legally, regardless of prior nationality, religion, creed, colour or ‘race’ can apply to obtain British citizenship, it requires no ‘conversion’. No one group is systematically discriminated against. I’m not British and have lived here for over ten years enjoying the same rights and duties as an actual citizen, bar the right to vote because I already enjoy that right in the country I’m a citizen of.

    By contrast, expelled Palestinians are barred entry, residence, never mind citizenship in Israel, even if they were willing to sign a loyalty oath.

    Mad Zionist, you really are an insufferable imbecile. And a transferist nut to boot…

    Gabriel:

    “I never call for balance anyway. I call for honesty in arguments.”

    So what’s dishonest in showing some Israeli racists? There was no fabrication or coercion. What you lament is indeed ‘lack of balance’, there’s simply no denying that.

    It’s a theme that runs deep at HP: we’re all ‘hypocrites’ (if not worse of course) for ‘singling out Israel’.

    “Because they don’t need to. When your population is 90% white Christians in a world that is completely dominated by white Christians, you can have relaxed laws and pretend that it is equality.”

    Complete and utter poppycock. The demographics of Britain have been changing for the last 200 or so years. The moment may well come that the ‘indigenous Brits’ (there is no such thing, of course) will become the ‘minority’: it matters not one jot, assuming equal rights for everybody living there remains guaranteed. Do you really think the ‘true Britons’ will somehow prevent becoming dominated by ‘ethnic whatevers’?

    Countries like Belgium and Switzerland have no real ethnic majorities, yet everybody living there, including legal immigrants and legal residents enjoy the same equal rights.

    [...] you claim Israel shouldn’t exist [...]“

    Another wild distortion: I never said such a thing. Israel exists. But its existence created far more problems than it solved. Right to this very day.

    “Every single European country is an ethnic state and virtually all of them have much greater majorities of the dominant ethnicity.”</i/

    Total quatch. Even the British Union is the marriage of three ‘ethnicities’, in origin. France, at its inception, was a country where different regions spoke different languages, today it’s even more multi-ethnic. Italy? Even more so: a loose conglomerate of city states. After the unification one Italian famously remarked: ‘Abbiamo fatto l’Italia, ora dobbiamo fare gli Italiani’ (We created ‘Italy’, now we must make Italians).

    “Anyway, why is letting immigrants come because they have a million dollars more moral than letting them come because of their religion?”

    What on Earth are you on about or smoking???? Most European immigrants come here to make a better life for themselves, not because they’re rich.

    “If there were say, 15 million more Jews in Israel, then there could be right of return and nobody would care.”

    Because Israel wants to maintain the ‘Jewish character’ of the state. For this it applies a racist exclusivist principle. If Israel Arabs ever obtained anything near demographic parity, Israel would have no choice but to start discriminating to avoid losing the majority vote. And it would do so, no matter what…

    An Israel after RoR and ‘one man, one vote’ would be a homeland for Jews too. Being a minority does not exclude one from obtaining power. See e.g. Barack Obama.

    [...] because ethnicity is bullshit.”

    Agreed. And a very poor basis for nationality, especially if it becomes the almost sole basis. As in Israel.

    “And any site that calls Galloway a scumbag is definitely on the right path.”

    Galloway’s just brought a million dollars worth of PURELY humanitarian aid to Gaza, all squeaky clean and above board and you call him a scumbag. What does it say about you and HP? Or about the many American, many of them Jewish, that broke the siege for 24 h? To use your own type of argument, would you say the same if the aid had been delivered to Tibet? Or are the Palestinians sub-Tibetan?

    For all your bluster and the fact I actually agree with you on quite a few things, you’re just another Zionist blowhard for most of the time.

  72. Alex Stein July 17th, 2009 6:29 pm

    Gert – sorry, only just saw your comment. First of all, to clear something up, I’ve always got my ‘I heart Israel’ cap on. Because I do; just so you know.

    The point is Blumenthal isn’t trying to expose the Israeli equivalent of the BNP; he’s trying to expose the entire society. It’s basically the same as Borat or Bruno.

    As I said, I’ve no problem with people showing that there’s serious racism in Israel; I just think that people who genuinely care about what happens to this country are going to have more of an impact in improving it in the long term.

    You couldn’t give a shit either way; whether one-state or two-state, the future of the polity currently known as Israel isn’t really your concern. Which is fine – I don’t ask you to be. But sympathetic critique is always more effective a tool for change than virulent opprobrium.

    Alex:

    What point did you make? In that long roundabout way that I’ve grown accustomed to when you’ve got your ‘I heart Israel’ hat on, you claim that there are ‘more progressive voices in Israel’.

    But who seriously doubts that? I certainly don’t. The point of Max’s vids is to show that there is serious racism in Israel and that it’s not hard to find. He does that by… showing serious racists in Israel. (How else?) It’s not journalism, you say? Oh, I’m sure he could live with that…

    Do you demand of a journalist exposing the BNP that he shows also the more progressive side of Britain’s working class too? Course you don’t…

    Get over it.

  73. Gert July 17th, 2009 6:37 pm

    LB:

    “Not to mention that the PA sentences people to death for selling real estate to Jews”

    Again, a typical conservative for whom root causes don’t exist or are immaterial.

    I’m opposed to the death penalty but considering how much Palestinian land is being frittered away by Israel, I wholly support punishment of Palestinians who want to sell land to Israeli Jews, bar perhaps a few legitimate exceptions. It’s called self-preservation.

  74. Alex Stein July 17th, 2009 6:38 pm

    Gert – do you think that root causes exist in the case of some of the sentiment displayed in Blumenthal’s film?

  75. Mad Zionist July 17th, 2009 7:43 pm

    Gert, being the good German that you really are, perhaps you could for just a moment attempt to remove your National Socialist cap, put aside the straw man foolishness that’s so prevalent in your ranting, and pay attention to logic rather than impulsively cut and paste your spoon fed propaganda.

    If you were capable of introspection and independent thought, you would have comprehended my analogy of Britain to Israel more deeply, and commented intelligently, instead of falling into the dim bulb reactionary trap so predictable and common of Judeophobes.

    You see, the fact that you have no political or voting rights in Britain means you have failed to convert to being British, i.e. have not performed the required process to become British, failed to take an oath of loyalty to the state and its people, and refused to give the required vows of observance of British Law.

    Similarly, becoming Jewish has nothing to do with race, though, predictably, you beg to differ in a way that’s at least loosely based on the so-called “eugenics” ideals to which people of your ilk have long subscribed. For those who are less Judeophobic, it is common knowledge that becoming Jewish has absolutely nothing to do with race at all. Anyone, of any skin color, ancestry, nationality or culture, can become Jewish if they wish.

    Your entire theory of “Jewish racism” is therefore bunk. You want to be a Jewish citizen of a Jewish State and have the right to vote? Fine, than become Jewish or live there like the alien that you currently are in Britain for refusing to become British.

    I do respect people of different opinions when they are reasoned and intelligent, but stupidity coupled with bigotry is a truly revolting combination. Congratulations, Gert, for of this you have truly shown yourself as the poster child.

  76. Gabriel July 17th, 2009 8:23 pm

    ““Spain where literally, half the people are racists” – a bit off-thread but have you any evidence for this, Gabriel?! I’ve heard shocking casual racism from educated Spanish teenagers and there have been the disgusting episodes in sport, but to smear half the population in such a sweeping way is absurd.”

    It is a bit sweeping and I have no idea if it is exactly 50% or more or less, but I do know that it is pervasive.

    This article I found sums up some points..(some others I don’t agree with)
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1243872316732&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
    46% negative attitude towards Jews, 52% negative attitudes against Muslims (which I knew and is where I got the 50% number from). Also, over 50% of kids aged 12-18 said they wouldn’t want to sit next to a Jew in school. That is a major problem.

    Also, as you mentioned-in sports (Basketball and football)

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1176955,00.html
    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/SPORT/football/12/21/spain.fifa/index.html
    http://asianamericanmovement.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/spain-basketball-cp-584-5321.jpg

    And Spain is not at war with blacks, Muslims, or Jews (in fact, in a weird irony, Spaniards are descended largely from Blacks, North Africans, and Jews). This is not a hate that is understandable in any way outside of simply a culture that is accepting of racism. (it’s not just Spain either. There is massive, massive racism all over Europe. Check out what happened with the Roma in NI, the Italian football teams that refuse to buy black players, the way Greeks treat migrants, and so on.) What is so absurd is that Europeans act outraged at Israeli racism while letting their own far less understandable bigotry go ignored. The world outrage when it comes to Lieberman’s views are silent when Nationalist parties are elected all over Europe. The ultra-nationalist Danish People’s Party is consistently around -13-15% popularity, Geert Wiilders’ party was the second biggest winner in the European elections, and other even more extreme parties got seats all over Europe. But really, who gives a fuck, because Yisrael Beiteinu got under 12% of the vote last election which is what really matters in Europe. I, and many Israelis and Jews are just sick of the massive European hypocrisy about virtually everything.

  77. joseph July 17th, 2009 11:10 pm

    avraham
    what I said was not dishonest. it was based on my experience which is not dishonest. NbN has to give up the infomation that is what a freedom of information act is.

    Dana
    thanks for the support

  78. Gert July 18th, 2009 5:51 pm

    Alex:

    Thanks for your response.

    “You couldn’t give a shit either way; whether one-state or two-state, the future of the polity currently known as Israel isn’t really your concern.”

    A little harsh, I feel. I still sport a ‘Support the Two State solution!’ button link on my blog, high up too. But after 20 years of observing, reading, debating, studying indeed, I don’t know what the answer is anymore either. The latest fad is now to describe settlement withdrawal as ‘ethnic cleansing’. Well, let me be clear about this (I’ve said it many times before): to me Jews have the right to live anywhere in the world and that includes the WB and Gaza, if they so wish. The easiest and fairest solution to that problem is one country for two peoples, with freedom of movement, domicile and religion for all and complete and secular democracy. But mention it and even the most liberal of Zionists (like e.g. Gabriel) start crying: ‘Destruction of Israel!’ Well, damned if you do, damned if you don’t, right?

    “Gert – do you think that root causes exist in the case of some of the sentiment displayed in Blumenthal’s film?”

    Of course much of the mutual animosity between Jews and Arabs is similar to, say, British hate for Germans during WW II: it isn’t racism in that sense of the word. And it would be nice if Zionism also recognised that Arab/Muslim opprobrium towards Israel isn’t anti-Semitism in the real sense of the word either. But Israel wants to have its cake and eat it too: the reconquista of Palestine is the result of millennia of yearning, we’re told, nothing to do with anti-Semitism or the Holocaust. And yet Zionism hides behind anti-Semitism and the Holocaust all the time! And so the enemies of Zionism always have to be seen through the lens of the old hatred. (Tony Karon’s got an interesting piece on it).

    And that’s where that other latest fad comes into it: ‘Judeo-Christianity’. Lemmesee, after millennia of European Christian-on-Jewish persecution, so severe and widespread it morphed into almost every corner of the European ‘psyche’, Whitey and the Jooos (note irony) have now finally buried the hatchet to confront the REAL enemy: Bad Moooslims. And in this fight, naturellement, Israel promotes itself as the ‘first bulwark against International Islamic terrorism’. What complete and utter quatsh and how insulting towards the Palestinians: even Hamas have nothing to do with al Qaeda and the other Radical Towelheads, nothing whatsoever. Bin Laden damaged the Palestinian cause more than anything else in this new Century.

    But I digress. In short, yes, the ‘state of war’ that exists between Israel and the Arabs is fertile grounds for sentiments similar to racism. But compounded by an ethnocratic outlook, Israeli Jews are increasingly prone to fall for racist fallacies, IMHO.

    Mad Zionist:

    “You see, the fact that you have no political or voting rights in Britain means you have failed to convert to being British, i.e. have not performed the required process to become British, failed to take an oath of loyalty to the state and its people, and refused to give the required vows of observance of British Law.”

    Sigh… Wrong again.

    I have no wish to become British because it offers me no entitlements I don’t already have. I could obtain citizenship if I wanted too, just like that (snaps fingers).

    You’re whole analogy between Britishness and Jewishness simply doesn’t fly at all.

    You’re trying another ‘atheism is a faith too’ jobbie. That one only worked with Militant Atheists who genuflect at the perceived altar of Darwin.

    Pssst, I’ll let you into a little secret: Britain may soon have a Jewish PM (David Miliband) and a good one too. THAT’s what a multicultural society is about, warts and all, racism and all, even anti-Semitism and all…

    Keep scraping the barrel, Mad Zionist.

  79. Gert July 18th, 2009 6:43 pm

    Alex:

    BTW, I support various, mostly American peace groups (JVP and JStreet most notably) by means of email campaigns or calls to raise funds. Most of these support the Two State solution. For now, that’s probably the choice of the lesser evil: the real evil being of course prolonged statelessness for so many Palestinians, whose ‘nationalism’ really must be seen as a cry for place to live.

    But Partitioning Projects don’t have a good historic track record…

  80. Alex Stein July 18th, 2009 7:53 pm

    Well not damned if you do and damned if you don’t because many supporters of the one-state solution (although not all) don’t support Jews having the right to migrate there.

  81. Avram July 18th, 2009 9:44 pm

    Joseph,

    “avraham
    what I said was not dishonest. it was based on my experience which is not dishonest. NbN has to give up the infomation that is what a freedom of information act is.”

    You based your opinion on one person’s facts. To be honest, I knew that already, I just had to make sure as I didn’t want to call you up on something if you were 100% right. As I said, I know many people who worked at NbN, and their MAJOR push for ‘settlement’ is the North (they openly admit if I’m not mistaking to given more to those who move up North).

    I seriously DOUBT the couple you knew got 30k … Unless something is really up with their finances, or they have major issues.

  82. Gabriel July 18th, 2009 10:30 pm

    “I know many people who worked at NbN, and their MAJOR push for ’settlement’ is the North (they openly admit if I’m not mistaking to given more to those who move up North).”

    That’s 100% true. In fact, I have dealt with NBN recently and nobody once mentioned or even hinted anything to me about going to a settlement. In fact, they don’t push you to one place at all although they do push the north on their website. I have never heard of any single person getting more than say, $5-8 grand. $30 grand I don’t buy for a second.

    “And it would be nice if Zionism also recognised that Arab/Muslim opprobrium towards Israel isn’t anti-Semitism in the real sense of the word either.”

    That’s nonsense. It is anti-Semitism, it’s just that in some cases, it is understandable. The difference though, is this: Israelis, all Israelis have been effected by attacks by Arabs and Muslims directly. This is what leads to the understandability of the hatred. Similarly, every Palestinian has been effected by Israeli and Jewish attacks directly. I can understand why a Palestinian or why someone in South Lebanon would be anti-Semitic. Even the vast vast majority of people in countries like Syria and Egypt who have experienced war with Israel have had almost no personally difficulty brought on by Israel or by Jews. The last war fought between Israel and its neighbours (except Lebanon and the Palestinians) was 1973. The problem goes even deeper. What the far left wants to do is to extend that umbrella of understandability to the ends of the earth. To countries like Libya (Where Jews were stripped of citizenship BTW) and Indonesia where the people have never been effected in any way by Israel, they still justify the hatred of Jews. But, it goes even further than that. People whose ancestors come from these countries that live in the West are justified in being anti-Semitic. (And spare me the nonsense of this “all Muslims are brothers” as it is so utterly and demonstrably false. Russia killed something like 3 times the number of Muslims in Chenchnya than were killed by Israel in its entire history. Do “Russian control of the world” books and DVDs dominate in Muslim countries? Is there constant anti-Russian Propaganda there? And Russia is just one example out of many) So, yes, I can understand a Palestinian being anti-Semitic, but don’t try to justify the anti-Semitism of the entire Arab/Muslim worlds .

  83. Gert July 19th, 2009 6:36 pm

    Alex:

    “[...] because many supporters of the one-state solution (although not all) don’t support Jews having the right to migrate there.”

    You’ve lost me now. Please explain…

    Gabriel:

    “That’s nonsense. It is anti-Semitism, it’s just that in some cases, it is understandable.”

    Anti-Semitism is completely irrational and based on a set of entirely fictitious myths that evolved through the ages. To be an anti-Semite means to believe in one or more of these myths, myths that have been debunked over and over again.

    Critics of Israel and its behaviour use a rational and factual basis for their criticism; they reject the anti-Semitic myths like any rational person would.

    It’s therefore dishonest to dismiss such criticism, assuming it was made in good faith, as an expression of the old, irrational, mythological hatred.

    Of course there exists old fashioned anti-Semitism in the Arab/Muslim world, but much of the animosity towards Israel derives from the simple FACT that the birth of Israel was traumatic for the region and continues to be so. To deny this is akin to other forms of denial.

    How can anyonefor instance reasonably believe that the longstanding occupation of Lebanon (during Leb I) would not leave behind deep scars and feelings of hatred towards the interloper Israel? Hell, even among Maronite Christians Hizb’allah continues to enjoy considerable support!

    “(And spare me the nonsense of this “all Muslims are brothers” as it is so utterly and demonstrably false. [...]“

    People that belong to ANY social group feel a certain kinship, no matter how imaginary that kinship might be. The fact that in reality those social groups are usually also deeply divided doesn’t change that. An attack on one is often seen as an attack on all.

    In the case of Muslims this concept is enshrined in the idea of the Ummah.

    As the old joke goes ‘what do you get when you put two Jews in an empty room? An argument!’, but Jews close ranks too. You support a state that embodies that.

  84. Alex Stein July 19th, 2009 6:51 pm

    I mean that Israel currently has a Law of Return by which any Jew can automatically become a citizen. It is unclear whether supporters of a one-state solution believe this law should continue to hold in the glorious binational future.

  85. Gert July 19th, 2009 8:51 pm

    Alex:

    In a democracy that would be decided upon democratically.

  86. Avram July 19th, 2009 9:53 pm

    “Critics of Israel and its behaviour use a rational and factual basis for their criticism; they reject the anti-Semitic myths like any rational person would.”

    Maybe you do Mr. Belgium (& many others for that matter too), but there are so many who don’t … I think they’re more prevalent in countries that aren’t in the same ‘world’ as England, the US and A etc.

    But the amount of idiots I’ve heard lately speak about the ‘Kol Nidre’ service as a reason you can’t trust Jews & Israelis … Sheesh, at least promise you’ll try to educate them a little.

  87. Alex Stein July 19th, 2009 10:32 pm

    Gert – and how do you think the new one state would vote?

    As for the IDF Vatican stuff, obviously its awful, but it is – despite what some might say – fairly exceptional. Unlike, of course, the conspiracy theories concerning Israel, which are standard fair in much of the Arab world, the Hamas horny chewing gum being the latest example. Needless to say, I doubt Developing your Web Presence will be covering this. Double Standards cuts both ways.

  88. Avram July 19th, 2009 10:54 pm

    “the Hamas horny chewing gum being the latest example”

    That was not a conspiracy theory. I decided to take a field trip into Gaza last night. I obviously had to go by sea due to those Ziowhining soldiers everywhere. I got to Rafiah and I asked for a pack of gum from the only kiosk I could find. He warned, “Beware, that gum does weird stuff.” I got back home safely and gave my pet iguana a piece. Never have I see lovely Matilda that eager to introduce herself to my forearm. It’s true, those bastard Zionists are destroying Gaza’s yooth with gum.

  89. Gert July 19th, 2009 11:00 pm

    Alex:

    The Demographic Nightmare, I know, I know.

    And yet, if the citizens of a country are all equal in the eyes of the Law and without too much racism, those who belong to a minority may still obtain power, if their political message is attractive enough. See Obama for instance. In SA a white female opposition figure got remarkably good results: obviously she had lots of black support.

    The worst case scenario, where in a multi-ethnic country everybody (100 %) votes along ethnic lines, is also the least likely: ethnic blocs aren’t that monolithic. Think coalitions between Jewish parties and Muslim/Christian parties e.g. Good policy proposals can prevail…

    “Double Standards cuts both ways.”</i.

    I brought up the “Benedict – Nasrallah pact” because it’s truly funny, for no other reason.

  90. Alex Stein July 20th, 2009 9:05 am

    And the Hamas chewing gum story isn’t funny? I notice you have a post on your blog about the one and not the other…

  91. Mad Zionist July 20th, 2009 3:58 pm

    Gert: I have no wish to become British because it offers me no entitlements I don’t already have. I could obtain citizenship if I wanted too, just like that (snaps fingers).

    So obtuse…

    Do you really not see how with every comment you unintentionally reinforce my argument? Are you so lost in the sea of bias that you can’t even detect when you are hoisting yourself by your own petard?

    I pointed out how you have rejected becoming British and refuse to go through the legal process of officially demonstrating knowledge of the laws and history of the British people, or pledging loyalty to uphold the laws and become one with the British nation. You counter by saying you have chosen not to pledge loyalty to the state, her laws, or her people, but could do so if you really wanted to.

    I pointed out how one can also choose to become Jewish by going through the legal process, demonstrating knowledge of the laws and history of the Jewish people, and pledging loyalty to uphold the laws and to become one with the Jewish nation. You counter by saying Britain may someday have a Jewish PM.

    In fact, it’s rather dubious to believe you could possibly buy your own disjointed and superfluous arguments. I suggest it’s possible, if not likely, that you don’t and are just using this insufficient rhetoric as a thin veil for Judeophobia.

    The Children of Israel are a nation, bonded by homeland, history, language, religion, laws and traditions. There are those who hate us for an incredibly wide and diverse number of reasons, you being just another small drop in that hate bucket, but this won’t penetrate our common thread. You won’t cause us to renounce our land, our people, our heritage, our laws, our God, our devotion to our people no matter what you might think. Even if you and others of your ilk point to the tiny fraction of self-loathers who have renounced everything as the “true representatives of the Jewish nation”, you will never succeed.

    Your kind has always been around, has always failed, will fail today, tomorrow, and will be doomed to continue to fail for all times in all eras. I feel sorry for you.

  92. Gert July 20th, 2009 5:42 pm

    Alex:

    “And the Hamas chewing gum story isn’t funny? I notice you have a post on your blog about the one and not the other…”

    Aren’t you being a tad paranoid here? The Hamas gum story is funny, of course it is.

    But your double standards accusation leaves me stone-cold. For one, it’s pot and kettle. Secondly, it’s a given that you and I will not report the same things.

    I hope you don’t suffer from the ‘objectivity obsession’: no one is unbiased. I’m with CP Scott: comment is free but the facts are sacred. Both of us will always arrive at a different narrative connecting the same set of facts, i.o.w. even if we agree on the set of facts our interpretations will differ, because inevitably we come from a different perspective.

    You essentially believe in the benevolence of the Israel Project, I can no longer do that (and ask myself how I’ve been able to give it the benefit of the doubt for so long).

    You probably hate Finkelstein’s interpretation but as a narrative of most of the conflict, I find it highly plausible and very satisfactory.

    Mad Zionist:

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

    “You counter by saying you have chosen not to pledge loyalty to the state, her laws, or her people, but could do so if you really wanted to.”

    As in every country I’ve lived, I’m bound by its laws to abide by these same laws. I have no problem doing so because I’m a reasonable person. Britain does not require me to do anything else for me to be able reside here perfectly legally with the same duties and entitlements as those who are citizens.

    But just for you I’m setting out to write ‘I’m a Judeophobe…’ a thousand times and standing in the corner with a dunce cap on for 2 hours. Happy now?

    You remain the resident nutter on this blog. You should join HP, you’d be one among equals.

  93. Gert July 20th, 2009 6:24 pm

    Avram:

    “But the amount of idiots I’ve heard lately speak about the ‘Kol Nidre’ service as a reason you can’t trust Jews & Israelis … Sheesh, at least promise you’ll try to educate them a little.”

    I will but you’ll have to explain what ‘Kol Nidre’ means first. Perhaps that’s an indication of how “important” that part of your argument is?

  94. Mad Zionist July 20th, 2009 7:06 pm

    Gert, how did you vote in the British elections? Oh, wait, you aren’t British and don’t have voting rights…sorry. Apparently, you just are permitted to live there but aren’t considered a citizen. What a violation of human rights it is that the British require you to be be British to vote in matters relating to Britain. Why can’t they just be a land of all peoples, together as one in an open democracy under a banner that applies to all who live there? Why the racism? It must be so humiliating to be living in a country that won’t recognize your political rights. I can imagine how it must eat at you every day to see that Union Jack flying everywhere, forced to live under a flag that rejects you just because you won’t become British.

    Imagine, a good German like yourself, a human of the world, living in the same country that brutally bombed your homeland into submission just 65 years ago, mass murdering untold thousands of innocents without apology, and still not being provided the dignity of citizenship simply because you won’t change your identity to British. The audacity, the cruelty, the inhumanity…

    Thick as a brick.

  95. Avram July 20th, 2009 7:22 pm

    Kol Nidre is a service to annul vows before we make them. That you haven’t heard it means you either haven’t really read comments on Weiss’s blog, or other blogs that he’s linked too. I have, and sadly, take no joy in repeating the same explanation time after time. While I’m sure you don’t feel the same way (it seems as if you don’t know about it), it’s a sad fact that many of these folk are ‘educated’ Europeans and Americans …

    Lastly, do you consider Holocaut denial an ” anti-Semitic myths like any rational person would”? If so, how do you feel about Abbas and his ‘feelings’ towards the Holocaust (quoted from Wiki):

    In 1984, a book based on Abbas’s doctoral dissertation was published in Arabic by Dar Ibn Rushd publishers in Amman, Jordan. His doctoral thesis later became a book, The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism, which, following his appointment as prime minister in 2003, was heavily criticised as an example of Holocaust denial. In his book, Abbas described the Nazi Holocaust as “The Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed.”[38] He also wrote:

    “It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions—fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand.”

    Additionally, he claimed that the much smaller number of Jews which he admitted that the Nazis did massacre were actually the victims of a Zionist-Nazi plot:

    “The Zionist movement led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule to arouse the government’s hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them and to expand the mass extermination.”[42]

    Does that make him, in your words, an unworthy critic of Israel?

  96. Gert July 20th, 2009 7:34 pm

    Mad Zionist:

    When in a hole, stop digging.

    Debating you is like playing tennis with a really bad player: one never knows how high the ball will go this time or how many miles one will have to trot to go and retrieve it from outside the court…

    “Apparently, you just are permitted to live there but aren’t considered a citizen.”

    I choose not to be because it offers me no benefits, apart from the right to vote (which I have anyway). I’m a legal resident.

    “What a violation of human rights it is that the British require you to be be British to vote in matters relating to Britain.”

    My Human Rights are fully respected, including my right to vote.

    “Why can’t they just be a land of all peoples, together as one in an open democracy under a banner that applies to all who live there?”

    They do: but voting requires citizenship. There is some talk of changing that. I’m not in favour of changing it.

    “Why the racism? It must be so humiliating to be living in a country that won’t recognize your political rights.”

    It’s not racism, not even by the most brutal stretch of the imagination.

    “I can imagine how it must eat at you every day to see that Union Jack flying everywhere, forced to live under a flag that rejects you just because you won’t become British.”

    I like Britain. I’d fight for it if it was attacked. It’s my home. Second home, but home nonetheless.

    “Imagine, a good German like yourself, a human of the world, living in the same country that brutally bombed your homeland into submission just 65 years ago, mass murdering untold thousands of innocents without apology, [...]“

    I’m not German, I’m Belgian. Germans have the same right to live here as I do. Plenty do. The War is over: Germany and Britain are allies.

    Give up. Your argument doesn’t fly. If millions of Palestinians decided to convert to Judaism you’d be up in arms. You wouldn’t trust them. The State wouldn’t trust them. A few, yes perhaps. But en masse? To gain RoR? You wouldn’t fall for it. You’re reasoning in bad faith, as witnessed also by your calling of Gabriel (clearly a committed Zionist) a Judeophobe.

    If you had an ounce of honesty you’d also call our host the same. But you haven’t.

    You’re an embarrassment to Zionism, in my book that’s saying something. I’m now completely done with you.

  97. Gert July 20th, 2009 7:48 pm

    Avram:

    “That you haven’t heard it means you either haven’t really read comments on Weiss’s blog [...]“

    I’ll take your word for it. I can’t claim I’ve read every single comment at Weiss (of course not) but I’ve never read the words Kol Nidre there.

    “Lastly, do you consider Holocaut denial an ” anti-Semitic myths like any rational person would”? If so, how do you feel about Abbas and his ‘feelings’ towards the Holocaust (quoted from Wiki):”

    Assuming he’s still of that persuasion, what does it say about Zionism? Holocaust denial is deeply anti-Semitic. Zionism shows to have no compunction to get into bed with anti-Semites when it suits it: see also Christian Phalange (Sabra – Shatilah) in Lebanon, or Christian Zionists like John Hagee and his flock, warmly embraced by AIPAC.

    See also collaboration/alliance with the racists of White Apartheid South Africa. Or Israel’s former alliance with Iran under the brutally repressive regime of the Shah.

    Israel loves Abbas because he’s docile, ineffective and takes American money like hot cross buns.

    He’s not only an unworthy critic of Israel, he’s an unworthy leader of the Palestinian people.

    All this is evidence of Israel’s colonial-settler character.

  98. Mad Zionist July 20th, 2009 8:47 pm

    Allow me to continue your surgical deconstruction, Gert…

    MZ: Why the racism? It must be so humiliating to be living in a country that won’t recognize your political rights.

    Gert:: It’s not racism, not even by the most brutal stretch of the imagination.

    MZ: You have a double standard even in your imagination? Arabs who reject the Israel actually have political rights in Israel (though I contend that’s a huge mistake). Sit in Knesset, too. Yet, a good BELGIAN like you is not afforded such rights in Britain?

    Racism.

    Gert: I like Britain. I’d fight for it if it was attacked. It’s my home. Second home, but home nonetheless.

    MZ: Fighting for the British if attacked despite the fact that you refuse to become British? How noble! In Israel, Arabs are often put to death for collaborating with the Jewish state.

    Gert:I’m not German, I’m Belgian. Germans have the same right to live here as I do. Plenty do. The War is over: Germany and Britain are allies.

    MZ:Interesting that you in the past proudly pointed out your German heritage, but now can’t seem to recall that part of your lineage. Anyway, it really doesn’t matter; now that the war is long over and you have made peace with the British despite all the brutal and bloody civilian bombings who cares? The only sore that must remain open to Arabs and their soul mate Gert is their defeat to the Jews in 1948! Naturally, you are only too happy to support their jihad to exterminate the Jewish State, being such an enlightened man of peace.

    Gert:If millions of Palestinians decided to convert to Judaism you’d be up in arms. You wouldn’t trust them. The State wouldn’t trust them.

    MZ: No, Gert would be up in arms. As Jews, we welcome in all legal converts as equals. If they were born as moslems, mormons, methodists, or atheists it matters not.

  99. Gert July 20th, 2009 8:59 pm

    Mad Zionist:

    “Interesting that you in the past proudly pointed out your German heritage, but now can’t seem to recall that part of your lineage.”

    I have never proudly pointed out my ‘German heritage’, I have no German heritage whatsoever. Not even a single member of my extended family is German. I have lived in Switzerland and Italy, my home country Belgium and now Britain.

    Regards Germany, I haven’t even been there on holiday: I don’t much care for that country. Just driving through it is enough of an ordeal for me.

    Perhaps it’s the Swiss connection you’re confounding with, or my vaguely German sounding name. It’s actually a Dutch name, not uncommon in Flanders, where I was born and raised.

  100. Gert July 20th, 2009 9:02 pm

    The rest of your comment shows you for what you are: a two-bit, third rate blogger and fantasist, of the kind only Amewikah generates.

  101. Gert July 20th, 2009 9:12 pm

    With hindsight, if you’ve been believing I’m German for some time, that may help explain a thing or two about your attitude to me!

  102. Mad Zionist July 20th, 2009 9:55 pm

    Gert, if you are not German than I misunderstood your background from discussions way, way back. It changes nothing about your terrible logic, nor does it excuse your failure to address any of the substantive errors in your arguments that I have broken down point by point.

    Regarding my “attitude” towards you, I have none. I don’t know you personally at all. You may be an incredibly charming and enjoyable man to be around outside of the blogosphere for all I know. It’s your vicious, double standard against Israel and your stubborn, inexcusable rejection of the Jewish people’s right to self determination in the Land of Israel that I take great exception to. It is an irreconcilable difference. I believe it’s fueled not by love for Palestinians but hatred of Jews, for nothing else can adequately explain the demented, twisted libel you’ve dedicated your life to spewing against the Jewish State and the Jewish people.

  103. Avram July 20th, 2009 10:14 pm

    Come on Gert – you didn’t answer my question. But I’ll try to be fair, unlike you, with some of your assertions:

    “Assuming he’s still of that persuasion”

    If he is, I’ll assume you don’t think he’s a ‘valid’ criticizer of Israel

    “See also Christian Phalange (Sabra – Shatilah) in Lebanon”

    I think, if we could do this again, we would think twice about the way we took care of Lebanon I. Begin openly admits he felt Sharon/Dayan screwed him with what they did. We allied ourselves with seemingly good people but we had NO business interfering in that melting pot. It was a mistake but we were trying to solidify another ‘peace nation’ in our favor, we failed.

    “or Christian Zionists like John Hagee and his flock, warmly embraced by AIPAC.”

    You used the most extreme version, very good technique. But while I struggle with the Christian Zionist alliance, I (like you do too I’m sure) understand why we are receptive of their ‘support’ (I put it like that because we both know what they feel will happen to us in their End of Days scenario).

    “White Apartheid South Africa”

    Hmmm let me think, the world is being overly hostile to us – Israel finds a partner who will send all its stuff through her to the rest of the world. Ever wonder how South Africa’s economy got so strong in the 1980s? And how South African products made their way throughout the world? I understand why you think it was purely because of our ‘racist tendencies’ that we became friends. If you look deeper, you’ll see two reasons for this ‘relationship’. The other reason is security based … The PLO was helping the ANC (and other terrorist organizations for that matter), and BOSS & Mossad started working together throughout Africa to track them …

    “Or Israel’s former alliance with Iran under the brutally repressive regime of the Shah.”

    Again, ask yourself why Israel went for this relationship … You’re too smart to ‘play dumb’ Gert. Political gambles don’t always work – and unfortunately this was another bad ‘call’.

    “Israel loves Abbas because he’s docile, ineffective and takes American money like hot cross buns.”

    Or Israel loves Hamas because they see him as a ‘better partner’ than Hamas?

    “He’s not only an unworthy critic of Israel, he’s an unworthy leader of the Palestinian people.”

    I don’t think he’s ‘unworthy’ – I just don’t think he’s capable of being a leader. Much like Olmert was for us, he’ll make some serious errors and I hope for his sake, he gets out of it with his life.

  104. Gert July 20th, 2009 11:25 pm

    Avram:

    “We allied ourselves with seemingly good people [...]“

    Lebanese Nazis (in the narrow sense of the word) you mean. Pierre Gemayel modeled the Phalange directly on the NSDAP. The Christian Phalange was an openly Fascist, anti-Arabist organisation. And Bashir Gemayel’s murderer turned out… not to be Palestinian…

    “But while I struggle with the Christian Zionist alliance [...]“</i<

    If AIPAC had an ounce of integrity it would shun Hagee. If the ADL had an ounce of integrity it would declare his congregation to be anti-Semitic. PERIOD.

    “Hmmm let me think, the world is being overly hostile to us [...]“

    Complete poppycock. To this day, apart from the Arab/Muslim world anyone that counts supports Israel. T’was thus back then as it is now. There are plenty of statements of mutual recognition, respect and kinship between the erstwhile Apartheidists and the Zionist leadership.

    “The PLO was helping the ANC (and other terrorist organizations for that matter), [...]“

    So the ANC was a terrorist organisation too? In your world, Avram, the oppressed must stay happy to stay oppressed. Sounds very, erm… Zionist! Incidentally, many anti-Apartheid activists were Jewish. But not Zionist!

    “Or Israel loves Hamas [you meant Abbas] because they see him as a ‘better partner’ than Hamas?”

    More docile, not demanding, corruptible, weak, easy to fob off: “Good dog. Here, have another biscuit…”

    Abbas is an incompetent.

  105. Gabriel July 20th, 2009 11:32 pm

    “Hmmm let me think, the world is being overly hostile to us – Israel finds a partner who will send all its stuff through her to the rest of the world. Ever wonder how South Africa’s economy got so strong in the 1980s? And how South African products made their way throughout the world?”

    This one always cracks me up. Israel was one of a number of countries (I believe the Soviets and the Chinese among others) who dealt with South Africa for a few years after a world-wide boycott and somehow this is the worst thing in the world, far worse than the fact that South Africa was set up and supported as an Apartheid government by European nations for a century. The common thread with these criticisms of Israel is that it acts with a different intent than other countries. The USSR dealt with South Africa because of political balance. Israel dealt with them because Israel is a racist state. Britain dealt with the Shah because of oil concerns but Israel dealt with the Shah because it’s a racist state. The realpolitik which effects every country in the world, especially those that are relatively fragile, suddenly is missing with Israel. Israel is always assigned malevolent intentions that are applied to no other country. Israel can make bad mistakes without being indicative of some great evil that pervades country.

  106. Gert July 20th, 2009 11:44 pm

    Mad Zionist:

    “It’s your vicious, double standard against Israel and your stubborn, inexcusable rejection of the Jewish people’s right to self determination in the Land of Israel that I take great exception to [...]“

    Small wonder. You create a giant straw man.

  107. Gert July 20th, 2009 11:52 pm

    Gabriel:

    “The common thread with these criticisms of Israel is that it acts with a different intent than other countries.”

    Find me an anti-imperialist/anti-colonialist that doesn’t condemn European dealings with the Shah or South Africa. We condemn it in the same way we condemn Israel’s colonialism and its entirely logical cooperation with those colonialists. We did back then as we do it now.

    It’s the basis for our criticism of Israel, can’t you see that?

  108. Avram July 20th, 2009 11:56 pm

    “The Christian Phalange was an openly Fascist, anti-Arabist organisation”

    So they were self haters? Interesting … His killer was a Syrian stooge, which actually goes right in line with Robert Hatem’s book about Elie Hobeilka and the ‘Syrian hand’ in Lebanon.

    “If AIPAC had an ounce of integrity it would shun Hagee.”

    I don’t think this is about integrity (It’s like me saying, “why would you be such a fan of Weiss’s site in the day when they let daily Anti-Semitic rants go unmoderated?”) . While I personally agree with you, I understand why Israel pursues a ‘strong alliance’ with Christian Zionists.

    “erstwhile Apartheidists and the Zionist leadership”

    So I guess that makes you think what of English and French leadership pre WWII and their lovely statements about Hitler? And there’s plenty of ‘less’ extreme examples, be it about Saddam, or Idi Amin, or Mugabe etc … Get the point? Countries support each other when they need each other …

    “So the ANC was a terrorist organisation too? In your world, Avram, the oppressed must stay happy to stay oppressed.”

    Gert – Grow up mate, seriously. The ANC did take part in many terrorist activities. There is documented evidence that the PLO trained some of their members. I never said, or implied, that the ANC was a ‘terrorist organization’ (Israel helped Hamas – and I doubt you would say, ‘So Avram, Israel is a terrorist organization? … though come to think about it …). The last sentence is also trash … I think you know it as well. Poor form.

    “Incidentally, many anti-Apartheid activists were Jewish. But not Zionist!”

    Yes, and a lot of anti-Apartheid activists were Jewish … AND Zionists! Woooah

    “Abbas is an incompetent.”

    While I lean to agreeing with you, I somehow hopes he proves you wrong and doesn’t blow another ‘Olmert like Offer’ (as per Bernard Avishai) that will come in the next 1-4 years in my opinion.

  109. Mad Zionist July 21st, 2009 12:15 am

    Gert, it’s puzzling why you are still bothering. I have yet to see you seriously address a single comment from anyone here, and yet you keep plugging away as if repeating the same spoon fed trash will somehow turn the argument in your favor. You failed to address Avram on any of his points, you failed to address me with anything besides your lack of German ancestry, you have failed to address Gabriel with anything more than redundant propaganda…

    Honestly, I have never, ever seen someone repetitively lose arguments by using the exact same rote responses over and over again as I’ve seen from you. I am starting to wonder if you are even human, or a just an anti-Zionist propaganda virus that repeats the exact same automated libels over and over again oblivious to the actual context of the discussion.

  110. LB July 21st, 2009 12:48 am

    “It’s your vicious, double standard against Israel and your stubborn, inexcusable rejection of the Jewish people’s right to self determination in the Land of Israel that I take great exception to [...]“

    Small wonder. You create a giant straw man.

    Straw man?
    You are a self-proclaimed anti-Zionist. How do you not reject Jewish self determination in Israel? Binationalism, or non-nationalism in the same area is by definition, not self-determination of the Jews – it might be self-determination of the group of people who happen to live on the land at the time – but it is not Jewish self-determination.

  111. Gabriel July 21st, 2009 1:44 am

    “Find me an anti-imperialist/anti-colonialist that doesn’t condemn European dealings with the Shah or South Africa. We condemn it in the same way we condemn Israel’s colonialism and its entirely logical cooperation with those colonialists.”

    A) You condemn it the same but it isn’t the same. Creating and sustaining is what Europe did and being one of many countries that briefly supported is what Israel did. Those are not the same. It’s like saying “We condemn The U.S. and Denmark equally for the illegal Iraqi invasion.”
    B) Imperialism is not just West on East. Iran right now is one of the most active imperialist countries in the world with financing, training, and influence in Syria, Lebanon, and in the Palestinian territories. Russian objection to the missile defense system in Eastern Europe is one small part of their imperialism. (Who the hell is Russia to tell Poland what to do?). Yet, the criticism only goes one way.

  112. Gert July 21st, 2009 1:59 pm

    Avram:

    “I don’t think this is about integrity (It’s like me saying, “why would you be such a fan of Weiss’s site in the day when they let daily Anti-Semitic rants go unmoderated?”)”

    Of course it’s about integrity. MW in that respect lacks some. Sites like JSF are very rigorously policed against any form of anti-racism. HP for instance cannot really make that claim either.

    “And there’s plenty of ‘less’ extreme examples, be it about Saddam, or Idi Amin, or Mugabe etc … Get the point? Countries support each other when they need each other …”

    And they shouldn’t. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Get the point?

    “Gert – Grow up mate, seriously. The ANC did take part in many terrorist activities.”

    The ANC was up against a formidable apparatus of state that committed horrific crimes against humanity and was attempting grand land theft on an almost unprecedented scale. Please look up the history of Apartheid. That Israel decided to ‘help out’ is actually news to me but says a lot about her. I’ll have to look up that part.

    LB:

    “You are a self-proclaimed anti-Zionist. How do you not reject Jewish self determination in Israel?”

    You keep bandying around the same straw man. I deplore how Israel came into being (still 4.25 million Palestinian refugees today, anyone?). But it exists. I don’t call for its undoing (you missed the statements I made here to that effect). Self-determination should not come at the expense of another people. In the case of Israel it did and still does. Those are HARD FACTS.

    Gabriel:

    “Creating and sustaining is what Europe did and being one of many countries that briefly supported is what Israel did. Those are not the same.”

    It is and I condemn both. Anti-Apartheid movements started as grassroots movements, acting against European state interests. Anti-Zionist movements (in the broad sense of the word) are emerging in Europe and the US, against the foreign policy interests of these countries.

    Mad Zionist:

    Still crazy after all those years. Yawn…

    “Imperialism is not just West on East. Iran right now is one of the most active imperialist countries in the world with financing, training, and influence in Syria, Lebanon, and in the Palestinian territories. Russian objection to the missile defense system in Eastern Europe is one small part of their imperialism. (Who the hell is Russia to tell Poland what to do?). Yet, the criticism only goes one way.”

    Most imperialism/colonialism occurred in two waves (Latin America – Africa/ME) from North to South. Iran was for most of the time one of the victims in all this (meddling in Iran much predates 1953).

    Trust you to pick on Iran when demonstrably the biggest imperialist remains the only Superpower in the world, good ole’ US of A.

  113. Gert July 21st, 2009 2:01 pm

    Oooops, the two lines addressed to MZ were meant for the end of the comment, of course. My bad. Apolos in the mail…

  114. Avram July 21st, 2009 2:59 pm

    Gert:

    “Please look up the history of Apartheid”

    You mean the movement that my dad fought against and almost got deported because of it (oh, and he’s a Zionist … and for a second, I thought you may like him)? Or you mean the country that I was born in? Yah, you’re right. I don’t have any clue what I’m talking about and as usual, only you do.

    Right, thanks for playing.

    “Still 4.25 million Palestinian refugees today, anyone?”

    Is every child of every Palestinian since 1948 a refugee?

  115. Gert July 21st, 2009 4:01 pm

    Avram:

    “I don’t have any clue what I’m talking about and as usual, only you do.”

    Very childish. If your father fought against Apartheid and you still consider the ANC as terrorists then you’re asking for being called ignorant. And how was I to know about your father?

    Your father fought Apartheid and then became a Zionist? As they say in Yorkshire: ‘Nought queerer than folk’… (queer as in ‘strange’, ‘incomprehensible’)

    Now let me look up that collaboration between Israel and Apartheid SA on fighting the ANC, it sounds almost too unbelievable in a certain sense…

    “Is every child of every Palestinian since 1948 a refugee?”

    If your parents are refugees how can your children not be refugees? Where can you go that your parents cannot go? It’s a pragmatical matter, not an ideological one.

  116. Gert July 21st, 2009 4:14 pm

    The Israeli/Zionist tendency to diminish the suffering of its victims never ceases to amaze me. By doing so it tries to alleviate its own guilt.

  117. Mad Zionist July 21st, 2009 4:34 pm

    Gert the Anti-Zionist Virus responds that every child of every child of every arab who lived in Israel prior to 1949 is a “refugee”. Conversely, Gert the Anti-Zionist Virus computes that Jews who were forced out of Israel due to arab violence prior to 1949 are not refugees. It also does not compute that Jewish ancestors of those driven out of Eastern and Western Europe were refugees, nor does it compute Jews who were driven out of arab countries were refugees.

    In short, Gert the Anti-Zionist Virus cannot recognize Jewish claims to Israel, Jewish right to self determination, Jewish refugee history from Europe, Asia and Africa, or the perpetual Jewish longing to return to Zion. The Virus is limited to default responses that were entered by central programming administrator of Judeophobia.

    Here is a partial list of Gert the Anti-Zionist Virus cued responses:

    “Zionist Apartheid”
    “Zionist Colonizers”
    “Zionist Racists”
    “Zionist Illegal Occupation”
    “Zionist Nazis”
    “Zionist Land Grabbers”
    “Zionist Torture”
    “Zionist Terrorists”
    “Palestinian Victims”
    “Palestinian Refugees”
    “Palestinian Land”
    “Palestinian Right of Return”
    “Palestinian Holocaust”
    “Palestinian Freedom Fighters”

    Of course, there are several other entries in the virus default, which will randomly select among the cued selections and enter them in comment boxes. No human thought required, as all responses have been completely automated to populate wherever tag lines for Israel and/or Palestine may appear.

  118. Avram July 21st, 2009 4:38 pm

    Gert … Digging a hole as usual.

    Let’s point out that I said, “The ANC did take part in many terrorist activities. There is documented evidence that the PLO trained some of their members. I never said, or implied, that the ANC was a ‘terrorist organization”.

    Should I repeat that so you can get off your high horse? The ANC did take part in some terrorist activity but were NOT a terrorist organization. Is it clear for you? For someone who earlier preached “Two rights don’t make a wrong”, surely you’re not defending the acts where the ANC killed innocents in their struggle?

    Maybe we should quote Slovo:

    White – These are blemishes, I take it, that you regret when civilians are killed. Is that right?
    Slovo – Absolutely, regret

    White – But, can I ask what is a legitimate target? Is a legitimate target a police station? That is a legitimate target, is it?

    Slovo – I think a legitimate target is the enemy and enemy is basically in uniform, but not all in Uniform. For example in the rural areas, our judgement is that virtually the whole farming community is part of the South African Defence Force.

    (http://www.sacp.org.za/people/slovo/military.html)

    Or maybe I should just quote the ANC apology for killing innocents:

    The African National Congress formally apologized Monday for the killing of civilians by its guerrilla forces during the ANC’s three-decade struggle against apartheid.
    “We regret the deaths and injuries to civilians arising from armed actions. We apologize to the next-of-kin for the suffering and hurt,” said a statement from the ANC to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to investigate apartheid-era abuses and promote reconciliation among South Africans of all races.
    (http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9705/12/safrica.amnesty/index.html)

    That they deserved and should have been in power from Day 1, I won’t argue because we both probably agree. But it’s sad that someone who claims “Two wrongs don’t make a right” can’t see that killing innocents is wrong …

    “Your father fought Apartheid and then became a Zionist?”

    He’s one of many … But don’t let that bother you … If you want, we can talk about where he was born (the Belgian Congo) … I’m sure you’re knowledgeable about that too!

    “If your parents are refugees how can your children not be refugees?”

    So let’s see what the law is …

    “The concept of a refugee was expanded by the Convention’s 1967 Protocol and by regional conventions in Africa and Latin America to include persons who had fled war or other violence in their home country”

    and let’s see the ONLY exception:

    “The major exception is the 4,300,000 Palestinian refugees under the authority of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), who are the only group to be granted refugee status to the descendants of refugees according to the above definition” (http://www.un.org/unrwa/publications/index.html)

    Why the exception Gert? Why two definitions by the UN, one for all other human beings and one for the Palestinians? Care to clear this up for me …

  119. Gert July 21st, 2009 5:02 pm

    Avram:

    “Why the exception Gert? Why two definitions by the UN, one for all other human beings and one for the Palestinians? Care to clear this up for me …”

    Not sure, Avram, but I’m sure it’s all to do with the deeply anti-Semitic UN, right? But you’re right, these Palestinian refugee kids should just bugger off, inflating the numbers like that… Not fair!

    There isn’t one occasion where long discussions between Zionists and anti-Zionists don’t end in Zionists using Gabriel Ashe’s Everything Sucks! argument. Gabriel (HP and Falsedi) does it all the time (Mad Zionist: two self-loathing Gabriels for the price of one!). You do it.

    It’s the ‘everyone does it, why pick on us?’ argument.

    And yet, it’s really all so simple, as rather eloquently put here by Tema Okun

    =========

    On the PLO/ANC collaboration, a quick search unearths a few tangential links:
    Interesting background info here

    Interesting tidbits here:

    “in 1977 Israel traded 30 grams of tritium in exchange for 50 tons of South African uranium and in the mid-80s assisted with the development of the RSA-3 ballistic missile.[8] Also in 1977, according to foreign press reports, it was suspected that South Africa signed a pact with Israel that included the transfer of military technology and the manufacture of at least six atom bombs.”

    So Israel didn’t just start the nuclear arms race in the ME, it almost contributed to starting one in Africa as well?

    And what if Israel is the ANC of the Middle East?. That one’s real funny but Mad Zionist may love it…

  120. Gert July 21st, 2009 5:04 pm

    Avram:

    “Why the exception Gert? Why two definitions by the UN, one for all other human beings and one for the Palestinians? Care to clear this up for me …”

    Not sure, Avram, but I’m sure it’s all to do with the deeply anti-Semitic UN, right? But you’re right, these Palestinian refugee kids should just bugger off, inflating the numbers like that… Not fair!

    There isn’t one occasion where long discussions between Zionists and anti-Zionists don’t end in Zionists using Gabriel Ashe’s Everything Sucks! argument. Gabriel (HP and Falsedi) does it all the time (Mad Zionist: two self-loathing Gabriels for the price of one!). You do it.

    It’s the ‘everyone does it, why pick on us?’ argument.

    And yet, it’s really all so simple, as rather eloquently put here by Tema Okun

    On the PLO/ANC collaboration, a quick search unearths a few tangential links:
    Interesting background info here

    Interesting tidbits here:

    “in 1977 Israel traded 30 grams of tritium in exchange for 50 tons of South African uranium and in the mid-80s assisted with the development of the RSA-3 ballistic missile.[8] Also in 1977, according to foreign press reports, it was suspected that South Africa signed a pact with Israel that included the transfer of military technology and the manufacture of at least six atom bombs.”

    So Israel didn’t just start the nuclear arms race in the ME, it almost contributed to starting one in Africa as well?

    And what if Israel is the ANC of the Middle East?. That one’s real funny but Mad Zionist may love it…

  121. Gert July 21st, 2009 5:07 pm

    Avram:

    “Why the exception Gert? Why two definitions by the UN, one for all other human beings and one for the Palestinians? Care to clear this up for me …”

    Not sure, Avram, but I’m sure it’s all to do with the deeply anti-Semitic UN, right? But you’re right, these Palestinian refugee kids should just bugger off, inflating the numbers like that… Not fair!

    There isn’t one occasion where long discussions between Zionists and anti-Zionists don’t end in Zionists using Gabriel Ashe’s Everything Sucks! argument. Gabriel (HP and Falsedi) does it all the time (Mad Zionist: two self-loathing Gabriels for the price of one!). You do it.

    It’s the ‘everyone does it, why pick on us?’ argument.

    And yet, it’s really all so simple, as rather eloquently put here by Tema Okun

  122. Gert July 21st, 2009 5:08 pm

    On the PLO/ANC collaboration, a quick search unearths a few tangential links:
    Interesting background info here

    Interesting tidbits here:

    “in 1977 Israel traded 30 grams of tritium in exchange for 50 tons of South African uranium and in the mid-80s assisted with the development of the RSA-3 ballistic missile.[8] Also in 1977, according to foreign press reports, it was suspected that South Africa signed a pact with Israel that included the transfer of military technology and the manufacture of at least six atom bombs.”

    So Israel didn’t just start the nuclear arms race in the ME, it almost contributed to starting one in Africa as well?

    And what if Israel is the ANC of the Middle East?. That one’s real funny but Mad Zionist may love it…

  123. Avram July 21st, 2009 5:15 pm

    I’m glad Gert you’ve
    a) Shrunk back from your pathetic “ANC” attacks (I’ll take it as an apology)… and
    b) unable/unwilling to answer my question why there’s two different laws, when there should only be one. Why that is, I don’t know but the fact you shirked from it so quickly is rather telling (I’m just surprised you didn’t throw Zionwhining into it).

    … and before you start jumping on the “Avram thinks the UN is anti-semitic” horse, I’ll say I don’t … Whether or not they’re pro/anti Israel is another question …

  124. Gert July 21st, 2009 5:24 pm

    Avram:

    Killing innocents is wrong you say.

    Agreed but it isn’t that simple. Although I believe the usefulness of Palestinian violent resistance has come to pass some time ago, it can’t be denied that due to the massive power differential between the Israelis and the Palestinians, totally depriving the latter from resisting, simply by calling it ‘terrorism’ (another false dichotomy), means asking them to come to the negotiating table link lambs to the slaughter.

    In the absence of outside support, thereby reducing the power differential between the Israelis and the Palestinians, some Palestinian factions will always be justified in violently resisting. But how? How, with their militia, in the absence of airforce, Navy, air defence, heavy weapons, armour or guided missiles, are they supposed to target the IDF only?

    I’ve always been convinced that if Hamas had just one third of Israel’s military capability, this conflict would have been over by now, ending in a stalemate and willingness to negotiate as equals.

  125. Gert July 21st, 2009 5:35 pm

    “Why that is, I don’t know but the fact you shirked from it so quickly is rather telling [...]“

    No shirking, I just don’t know the answer to your question.

    What should be done with the ‘non-refugee’ refugee kids, Avram? No shirking now…

  126. Avram July 21st, 2009 5:59 pm

    I wasn’t talking about Hamas/Israel, I was talking about the ANC and some, yes SOME, of their operations which killed innocents unnecessarily.

    “No shirking, I just don’t know the answer to your question.”

    I think that’s the 1st time you’ve ever said that. Impressive.

    “What should be done with the ‘non-refugee’ refugee kids, Avram?”

    I assume once an indepdent Palestinian state arises, they’ll be citizens there with full rights. Is there any specific questions you want to ask so I can better answer the question?

  127. Gert July 21st, 2009 6:11 pm

    Avram:

    “Why the exception Gert? Why two definitions by the UN, one for all other human beings and one for the Palestinians?”

    Why not answer the question yourself? It seems important to you…

    I don’t see what other status the kids of refugees can be given, bar some notable exceptions…

  128. Gert July 21st, 2009 6:13 pm

    Do you not think the descendants of Holocaust survivors are entitled to compensation for the loss of property of their parents/grandparents. I think they do…

  129. Alex Stein July 21st, 2009 6:20 pm

    Wait Gert – do you or do you not think it reasonable that all descendants of those who left/got kicked out in 1948 are defined as refugees? If so do you think that all refugees should be defined in the same way? These are eminently reasonable questions and you should be able to answer them reasonably without getting snarky.

  130. Avram July 21st, 2009 6:25 pm

    “Why not answer the question yourself? It seems important to you…”

    You use this line often … and only when you have no answer. Thanks.

    “Do you not think the descendants of Holocaust survivors are entitled to compensation for the loss of property of their parents/grandparents. I think they do…”

    Honestly, I haven’t really thought of that question. But a quick answer, and honestly, is no. The kids will always carry their parents’ sorrow, in one way or another, but what happened in Germany or Poland or Rhodes happened to their parents. Would I like the Greek government to give back my grandfather’s house in Rhodes? Sure, why not. Is it something I can expect or realistically demand? No.

    I would need to give this question far more thought however – it’s something that I’ve never really thought about … Maybe I’ll even blog about it.

  131. Alex Stein July 21st, 2009 6:27 pm

    Apologies – I think I’ve posted this just as the answer came in. So you are saying that all refugees should have an expansive definition. Seems fairly consistent, so no complaints from me.

  132. Gert July 21st, 2009 6:34 pm

    Avram:

    But, Avram, seriously, why don’t you answer it?

    You haven’t got an answer? Then why blame me for not having one either?

    Not recognising Palestinian refugee’s kids as actual refugees would affect their UNWRA entitlements, I would imagine. Would you think it fair to punish those who are even more innocent than their progenitors?

  133. Gert July 21st, 2009 6:39 pm

    Alex:

    “So you are saying that all refugees should have an expansive definition.”

    I’m saying that if you’re a refugee, stranded in a Lebanese refugee camp (for instance) that your offspring is by definition and in practice stranded there with you and that they deserve at least the same protection and entitlements as you do. To me that’s plain common sense, bugger the legal niceties.

  134. Alex Stein July 21st, 2009 6:43 pm

    I’d say that they equally deserve the right to take up citizenship in another country. Would you?

  135. Gert July 21st, 2009 6:48 pm

    The argument is similar for descendants of Holocaust survivors: once they stood to inherit their progenitors’ possessions, why then should they not inherit the compensation for that loss of possessions?

  136. Gert July 21st, 2009 6:55 pm

    Alex:

    “I’d say that they equally deserve the right to take up citizenship in another country. Would you?”

    That’s the business of the country they want to go and live in. Being Palestinian will not give you more rights to residence/citizenship than any other nationality (Palestinians, for the most part, are stateless, of course) but it should not be an impediment either.

  137. Alex Stein July 21st, 2009 7:04 pm

    What do you think it says about the Arab world and its solidarity with the Palestinians that they are generally denied any semblance of rights throughout the Middle East? Surely they could be granted citizenship in some of these countries without it prejudicing the issue of resolving the refugee question in final status issues. Or do you think it’s right that they’re left in limbo waiting for their return to Acco, Haifa, Lod etc?

  138. Alex Stein July 21st, 2009 7:05 pm

    Of course they should be compensated for their losses; the question is should they be allowed to come en masse to the State of Israel.

  139. Avram July 21st, 2009 7:07 pm

    “But, Avram, seriously, why don’t you answer it?”

    Uuuh, I answered it (… I assume once an indepdent Palestinian state arises, they’ll be citizens there with full rights) … Are you feeling ok ole chap?

    “You haven’t got an answer? Then why blame me for not having one either?”

    Sheesh, you are really pulling out all the tricks here, eh?

    I did answer the question, I just wanted a few more specific questions so I could answer the question for you in more detail (if you so wished) –

    “Would you think it fair to punish those who are even more innocent than their progenitors?”

    Who’s punishing them? Going by your logic, I am a ‘refugee’ of Rhodes (or the Belgian Congo for that matter) because my family was kicked out? Should I demand money/property/compensation that was taken away from my family in that world? I guess this is where we differ … I don’t feel I do, ironically though, you obviously think I do.

  140. Gert July 21st, 2009 7:09 pm

    Alex:

    Automatically granting the right to citizenship for Palestinians in other Arab countries would only set a dangerous precedent.

    Country A invades Country B and ethnically cleanses it, by unceremoniously dumping Citizens B across the borders into Countries C, D, E etc. It does that, safe in the knowledge that the brethren from C,D, E will absorb them, no harm done.

    Where does it end? The world’s populations as a form of musical chairs?

  141. Gert July 21st, 2009 7:13 pm

    You’re also simplifying enormously: no one expected the Palestinians to have to wait in limbo for so long. Please don’t blame the Arabs for this (or the Snarkiness will return with a vengeance).

    The ‘Arab world’ doesn’t really exist either, it’s highly divided. Palestinians get the worst treatment by the Lebanese. Guess why: half of that country sees itself more as Christian than Arab or Muslim…

  142. Gert July 21st, 2009 7:17 pm

    Avram:

    I’m not playing games. You answered my question by telling me they should have the right to reside in the Palestinian state, not why the UN makes that difference. I answered honestly. You didn’t. You asked for a reason and answered with a remedy. No hard feelings.

  143. Gert July 21st, 2009 7:22 pm

    Alex:

    “Or do you think it’s right that they’re left in limbo waiting for their return to Acco, Haifa, Lod etc?”

    Don’t be dishonest. If they had citizenship, Israel would simply say: ‘no need for a Palestinian state, no please absorb the rest of them too’.

    Already it’s a popular argument in the blogosphere: they should all bugger off to Jordan. You so disappoint me sometimes.

  144. Gert July 21st, 2009 7:25 pm

    Having said that, dear adversaries, this here hunter-gatherer is now off to the supermarket. Anti-Zionists need to eat too.

    Laters…

  145. Avram July 21st, 2009 7:29 pm

    “The ‘Arab world’ doesn’t really exist either, it’s highly divided.”

    Didn’t you try and argue this the other way with Gabriel earlier in the thread?

    “Palestinians get the worst treatment by the Lebanese”

    And the Kuwaitis … and the Jordanians … and the Syrians … and the Israelis …

    I do sometimes ask myself if you actually read what you post ole chap …

    You said: What should be done with the ‘non-refugee’ refugee kids, Avram?

    I said: I assume once an independent Palestinian state arises, they’ll be citizens there with full rights

    That in no way is a ‘dishonest’ answer, or a ‘remedy’ as it answers your question rather directly. You don’t give me a ‘time frame’ or any issue in particular, you just ask, ‘What should be done?’ … So I said what should be done. I even gave you the option of refining the question more so we could discuss in more depth and you (predictably) said, “why don’t you answer it?”

    No hard feelings ole chap.

  146. Avram July 21st, 2009 7:35 pm

    “they should all bugger off to Jordan”

    It would never work for many reasons … That would be as suicidal as a binational state, it would just take slightly more time (I think)

    Enjoy the supermarket.

    And thank you for that question (re: holocaust) – a really interesting thing to think about.

  147. Alex Stein July 21st, 2009 7:47 pm

    It’s not dishonest: I don’t think they should bugger off to Jordan nor shld it effect the urgent need for a Palestinian state (although I’m currently into the ‘two-state condominum’ idea).

  148. LB July 21st, 2009 8:17 pm

    If you resettle, build a home, house, etc etc – but then, for whatever reason, lose your job/money/etc – UNRWA allows you to re-register as a refugee. I don’t know where this information is available, but it was told to a group of IDF officers and soldiers by the head of UNRWA WB at the time, whose name escapes me at the moment.

    And regarding citizenship in neighboring countries there’s this.

  149. Mad Zionist July 21st, 2009 11:25 pm

    LB – interesting, isn’t it, that in Palestine-Jordan the citizenship of over 70% of its population is being cancelled yet the Anti-Zionist Viruses completely disregard it… the hypocrisy is breathtaking.

  150. Gabriel July 22nd, 2009 3:04 am

    “Automatically granting the right to citizenship for Palestinians in other Arab countries would only set a dangerous precedent.

    Country A invades Country B and ethnically cleanses it, by unceremoniously dumping Citizens B across the borders into Countries C, D, E etc. It does that, safe in the knowledge that the brethren from C,D, E will absorb them, no harm done.”

    Precedent? That’s what has always happened (well, sometimes they get kicked out into another country as well.) The precedent is exactly the opposite. Countries fight, populations get expelled, and they settle elsewhere. I am not saying this is wonderful or should be embraced, just that it’s more of pretending Israel is uniquely evil when it is rather commonplace.

  151. Hank July 22nd, 2009 2:24 pm

    Dana and Gabriel, yours was the most reasoned argument on both sides, and I agree with both. Yes, Israeli racism is blatant and horrifying, but there is an undue spotlight put on it.

    However, I do wish Israel would observe a fakey, American-style pretend-not-to-be-racist attitude; at the very least, I then wouldn’t have to hear it all the time.

  152. Gert July 22nd, 2009 2:48 pm

    As Dame Edna Everage would say, ‘well, possums…’ (snaps out of character).

    As this very long thread seems to have slowly ground to a halt, this is as good a time as any to draw a line under this discussion, at least for now. It’s been lovely and predictably without miraculous ‘conversions’ (which will now have to await a future occasion ;-) ), so until we meet again:

    So long!

  153. Mad Zionist July 22nd, 2009 3:47 pm

    It appears that “MZ Security” has safely removed the Gert Anti-Zionist Virus from the thread. The firewall will continue scanning, as additional threats from various Anti-Zionist Virus mutations are possible.

  154. Alex Stein July 22nd, 2009 3:54 pm

    Good timing Gert – I’m off to New York tomorrow so the site will be on pause…

  155. Gert July 22nd, 2009 4:33 pm
  156. m September 21st, 2009 4:10 pm

    Gert – you are so boring. Yawn.

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