Israeli academics consider the academic boycott

A few articles in English.

In Y-net, there’s a piece by Eli Pollack and Mordechai Kedar of Israel Academic Monitor, a site which works to expose Israeli academics it designates ‘radical’. I sympathise with the authors’ outrage at the slants and slogans embraced by some academics, and the eagerness of those academics to sacrifice their colleagues’ international connections. However, their own site is high on names and thin on commentary, presenting events and quotations as if they were de facto evidence of anti-Israel activity. It functions, and backfires, as a kind of blacklist. Moreover, I can’t envisage what their ultimate call for “a committee that would set ethical rules for non-academic activity in order to protect academic freedom against misuse” would look like in my own institution, which actively brands itself radical and recognises many diverse forms of research and research output, including event, social activism or artefact, alongside field work, desk work, paper and book. I think such a committee would be both laughed at and resented, easily roped into some kind of language game. In stable democracies it’s hard enough to laugh and reach cybernetic accommodations; you can only imagine how recent government moves into Israeli academia have been received there in these political times.

Elsewhere, in Haaretz, Tel Aviv University professor of constitutional law, Asher Maoz takes a more sober look at distinctions between freedom of speech and academic freedom:

“A university lecturer calls the naval commandos who raided the Mavi Marmara cold-blooded murderers. Another lecturer refuses to permit a student returning from reserve duty to enter the classroom in uniform. A third tells his students that he does not believe reserve duty in the territories justifies absence from class – but he is prepared to excuse the absence of students who attend a protest at a checkpoint.

Yet another lecturer calls for a boycott of Israel because of the occupation. His colleague calls for an academic boycott of Israeli universities, including the one that employs him. Another lecturer’s students claim he silences them when they disagree with him.

Or the details could be changed: Perhaps one lecturer calls soldiers who evacuate settlers “Nazis.” Another forbids a Muslim student from entering the classroom because she is wearing a veil. A third gives no special consideration to a student called up for reserve duty to evacuate a settlement outpost, but does so for a student who is absent because he went to help thwart an evacuation. And a fourth calls for a boycott on Israel or its universities because the “treasonous” government is prepared to give up parts of the homeland.”

Read on.

This interesting as-a-Jew piece in Ynet by Sarah Reef (not an Israeli academic) is worth linking to again.

A university lecturer calls the naval commandos who raided the Mavi Marmara cold-blooded murderers. Another lecturer refuses to permit a student returning from reserve duty to enter the classroom in uniform. A third tells his students that he does not believe reserve duty in the territories justifies absence from class – but he is prepared to excuse the absence of students who attend a protest at a checkpoint.

Yet another lecturer calls for a boycott of Israel because of the occupation. His colleague calls for an academic boycott of Israeli universities, including the one that employs him. Another lecturer’s students claim he silences them when they disagree with him.

Or the details could be changed: Perhaps one lecturer calls soldiers who evacuate settlers “Nazis.” Another forbids a Muslim student from entering the classroom because she is wearing a veil. A third gives no special consideration to a student called up for reserve duty to evacuate a settlement outpost, but does so for a student who is absent because he went to help thwart an evacuation. And a fourth calls for a boycott on Israel or its universities because the “treasonous” government is prepared to give up parts of the homeland.

What all these scenarios have in common is the pretension that they are protected by academic freedom. But their true common denominator is that they have nothing at all to do with academic freedom. Some of these incidents are protected by freedom of speech, not academic freedom. Others contravene academic freedom.

Let’s take criticism of the government: In a democracy, freedom of expression and criticism must be zealously guarded. But what does this have to do with academic freedom?

49 Responses to “Israeli academics consider the academic boycott”

  1. Jewish Voice for Peace Says:

    We humbly disagree with you. Do we have a right to do so? Does this make us anti-semite Jews as your left bar here implies (precisely like neo-conservative US Jews argue)?

    • Tony Says:

      “We humbly disagree with you. Do we have a right to do so?”

      JVP deleted comments from their website which dared to disagree with their position. So the question needs to be asked if people are allowed to humbly disagree with JVP. ?Apparently not.

      • Jewish Voice for Peace Says:

        Tony,

        The only thing that does not pass is racist material. If you engaged with that then yes it was not publish. If you didn’t – there was NO censorship. You would to back up a little better your accusations. And here are the VOCIES of those Israelis who do believe in Economic activism in order to get us nearer the end of occupation which destroys both Palestinians and Israelis alike.

        • Tony Says:

          You simply deleted all comments (and i don’t believe they were all racist) because you can’t take debate. Even now comments are closed. So you have to come to Engage to comment. Turn on the the comments facility on your website so people can debate. I’m sure you can moderate out any racist comments from extremists on either side. People have a right to disagree with you (as the majority do).

  2. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Sarah Reef’s piece raises issues, apart from the one central to her article. If she felt that, personally, that she didn’t have the right to speak _for_ Israel, then of course she’s right, and for all the reasons she gives. But she always had the right to speak _about_ Israel, but not necessarily “as-a-Jew”. After all, we all reserve the right to comment on the actions of governments of countries of which we are not citizens, for all sorts of reasons.

    Furthermore, lots of other people reserve the right to talk about Israel, for all sorts of reasons, and some of them conflate “Jew” and “Israeli”, for all sorts of reasons, and expect Diaspora Jews to act as though as we _are_ responsible for Israel. We’re not, but that doesn’t stop us talking about Israel.

    After all, we do it all the time on this website.

  3. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    JVP is at the forefront of the US boycott, sanctions and divestment movement. In other words, their fondest dream is to see Israeli academics shunned by their international colleagues, their papers refused entry into journals, their invitations to conferences revoked, their students refused entry to US and European graduate programs.
    They are singling out the only Jewish state and close both their eyes to the terrible violations of Human Rights in Arab societies. One need not be a “neo-conservative” in order to qualify this JVP buch.

  4. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Sorry I meant b u n c h

  5. Blacklisted Dictator Says:

    I find it very depressing how many “Israel” orientated blogs censor comments and close down debates.

    JVP should supply us with examples of the “racist material” that was deleted. And even if these deletions were legitimate on “racist” grounds, there is no excuse whatsoever to terminate the discussion. It is an indication that they subscribe to “the censor knows best” policy.

  6. Blacklisted Dictator Says:

    Karl,
    You write:
    “They are singling out the only Jewish state and close both their eyes to the terrible violations of Human Rights in Arab societies.”

    Let us imagine that Hamas ultimately wins and controls a single state. Would the Palestinians be free? Would their nationalist victory bring forth the kind of society that JVP presumably dream about at when plotting their boycotts?

  7. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @Blacklisted Dictator@ JVP does not care as long as Israel is destroyed. Of course they pretend to do what they do, because they are “good Jews”. They really do not care for Israel or the Palestinians. All they care for, is to be considered “a good Jew” by their antisemitic comrades.
    Their function is to defame Israel “as Jews”. And the Islamist like them very much, despite the fact, that they preach in their mosques the killing of Jews.
    And JVP attack of course the majority of Jews anywhere, who are for the existence of the democratic Jewish state.
    Despicable is their propaganda about Apartheid in Israel. I have seen in Hadassa En Kerem Jersualem, how Jewish and Arabs are in the same room, get the same treatment, by Jewish and Arab doctors and by Jewish and Arab (male) nurses.
    Of course Israel is not a perfect country. But if they want to boycott occupiers, why not start with Turkey occupying North-Cyprus?
    I wouldn’t touch JVP with a barge pole.

  8. Absolute Observer Says:

    Typical of JVP!
    Note the passive agressiveness of the first sentence,
    “We humbly disagree with you.” – “humbly!!” yukky, but typically JVP.
    And then, rather than explaining why they “humbly” disagree” they “humbly” brand Engage with implications that they will be called “anti-semite Jews and akin to neo-con Jews (an odd description of those on the Zionist right in the UK).

    Typical JVP strategy of “humbly” mud-slinging and insinuation and the attempt to close debate whilst masquerading as victims.

    You want to talk, then talk. But, if you do, prepare to be challenged for what you say and, in response, don’t hide behind the mask of victimhood. It really is cheap.

  9. NIMN Says:

    JVP and Muzzelwatch are like JfJ in the UK.
    They appeal to a small percentage of Jewish people and turn off the vast majority.

    Rather than admit that their politics have no purchase and that they have failed to convince anyone (even those who intensely dislike the right of the Jewish community), they bleat on and on and on and on about how they are being silenced, how everthing that happens that they don’t like is evidence of the machinations of some omnipotent lobby and who they think act illegitimately in raising an issue in the first place.

    A simple-minded grasp of politics by those with political simple-minds.

  10. NIMN Says:

    Apologies, I meant to attach this from JVP to my last comment,

    “Pride Toronto reverses ban of “Israeli apartheid”, help them fight backlash
    Whether you agree with the phrase “Israel apartheid” or not, Canadian Israel lobby groups and politicians have no right to pressure Toronto’s LGBTQI community to participate in the banning of two words, especially words used by Israeli academics, elected officials and journalists. Write a letter here. This is an outrageous attempt at censorship.”

    1. No right? Why does a Canadian Lobby Group have “no right”?
    The fact is they have every “right” (unless JVP want a special law for Israel Lobby groups that takes away rights granted to others).
    (And, as far as I am aware, the group involved were permitted their defamatory posters – so much for the omniptience of the Canadian Israel Lobby Groups;
    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/06/24/2739755/israel-apartheid-group-to-march-in-gay-pride-parade

    2. “two words”. Leaving aside the fact that Israel, for all its wrongs and maltreatment of the Palestinians is not an “apartheid” state, the fact is that the tag “apartheid” carries with it severe political implications and consequences. According to UN conventions, a state that is an “apartheid” state is to be excommuned from the comity of states that make up the UN. It is one of the few basis on which a state can be deemed illegitimate.

    So, yes, it is only “two words”. but hardly words that can be brsuhed aside by the vacuity of the phrase, “Whether you agree with the phrase”. Far more is at stake politically and legally than mere semantics; something JVP appear unwilling and unable to realise.

    As I said, a simple-minded grasp of politics by those with political simple-minds.

  11. Jewish Voice for Peace Says:

    Shabbat Shalom NIMN,

    I know that you certainly aren’t an automatic apologist for Israel’s actions (or perhaps you are?). I also know that, like most here, you certainly know first hand and MUCH MUCH better what Apartheid is than, say, Desmond Tutu here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrgGW5Q-f7s

    or here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/1957644.stm or better than former AIC leader Ronnie Kasrils here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6800089246811126963#

    NIMN, together with other caring progressives here, you can of course continue to uphold democratically the position of Martin Peretz (about such anti-semites as Mary Robinson, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu) here http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-spine/jane-fonda-mary-robinson-jimmy-carter-desmond-tuto-theyre-all-back-and-they-are-all-m

    and this is even if you are not a neo-conservative (or perhaps you are?).

    Let us hope that this little post will not be as censored as the one yesterday. (And than you argue that we are the censors. Oh well. By now I heard everything).

    Shabbat Shalom to you

    • Richard Gold Says:

      JVP – The reason i didn’t let one of your several posts through yesterday was because you accused somebody of siding with “Jewish Voice For War”.

      Take care and Good Shabbos.

    • Gilead Says:

      Thanks for the Kasrils quote, JVP. It teaches us that your organization not only views Israel as an apartheid state, but also supports an extremist like Kasrils who has compared Israel to the Nazis. How moderate. Anyhow, since we’re trading quotes, here are a few more, via http://www.israeliapartheidweek.com:

      Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.:

      “Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.” (A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King Jr., HarperCollins 1991, pg. 670)

      South African human rights activist Rhoda Kadalie with editor of New Society: Harvard College Student Middle East Journal Julia Bertelsmann:

      [T]he equivalence simply isn’t true. Israel is not an apartheid state. …

      Whereas apartheid was established through a series of oppressive laws that governed which park benches we could sit on, where we could go to school, which areas we were allowed to live in, and even whom we could marry, Israel was founded upon a liberal and inclusive Declaration of Independence. South Africa had a job reservation policy for white people; Israel has adopted pro-Arab affirmative action measures in some sectors.

      Israeli schools, universities and hospitals make no distinction between Jews and Arabs. An Arab citizen who brings a case before an Israeli court will have that case decided on the basis of merit, not ethnicity. This was never the case for blacks under apartheid. (Z Word, March 2008)

      South African apartheid opponent and editor Benjamin Pogrund:

      Apartheid is dead in South Africa but the word is alive in the world, especially as an epithet of abuse for Israel. Israel is accused by some of being ‘the new apartheid’ state. If true, it would be a grave charge, justifying international condemnation and sanctions. But it isn’t true. Anyone who knows what apartheid was, and who knows Israel today, is aware of that. Use of the apartheid label is at best ignorant and naïve and at worst cynical and manipulative. …

      “Apartheid” is used in this case and elsewhere because it comes easily to hand: it is a lazy label for the complexities of the Middle East conflict. It is also used because, if it can be made to stick, then Israel can be made to appear to be as vile as was apartheid South Africa and seeking its destruction can be presented to the world as an equally moral cause. (From the December 2005 issue of Focus, published by The Helen Suzman Foundation)

      Bedouin Muslim Israeli Diplomat Ishmael Khalidi:

      For those who haven’t heard, the first week in March has been designated as Israel Apartheid Week by activists who are either ill intentioned or misinformed. On American campuses, organizing committees are planning happenings to once again castigate Israel as the lone responsible party for all that maligns the Middle East. …

      My perspective is unique, both as the vice consul for Israel in San Francisco, and as a Bedouin and the highest-ranking Muslim representing the Israel in the United States. I was born into a Bedouin tribe in Northern Israel, one of 11 children, and began life as shepherd living in our family tent. I went on to serve in the Israeli border police, and later earned a master’s degree in political science from Tel Aviv University before joining the Israel Foreign Ministry.

      I am a proud Israeli – along with many other non-Jewish Israelis such as Druze, Bahai, Bedouin, Christians and Muslims, who live in one of the most culturally diversified societies and the only true democracy in the Middle East. Like America, Israeli society is far from perfect, but let us deals honestly. By any yardstick you choose – educational opportunity, economic development, women and gay’s rights, freedom of speech and assembly, legislative representation – Israel’s minorities fare far better than any other country in the Middle East.

      So, I would like to share the following with organizers of Israel Apartheid week, for those of them who are open to dialogue and not blinded by a hateful ideology.

      You are part of the problem, not part of the solution … (San Francisco Chronicle, March 4, 2009)

      Palestinian/Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh:

      The majority of these [campus anti-Israel] activists openly admit that they have never visited Israel or the Palestinian territories. They don’t know – and don’t want to know – that Jews and Arabs here are still doing business together and studying together and meeting with each other on a daily basis because they are destined to live together in this part of the world. They don’t want to hear that despite all the problems life continues and that ordinary Arab and Jewish parents who wake up in the morning just want to send their children to school and go to work before returning home safely and happily.
      What is happening on the U.S. campuses is not about supporting the Palestinians as much as it is about promoting hatred for the Jewish state. It is not really about ending the “occupation” as much as it is about ending the existence of Israel. (Hudson New York, March 24, 2009)

      What makes [these activists] “pro-Palestinian”?

      In their view, inciting against Israel on a university campus or publishing “anti-Zionist” material on the Internet is sufficient to earn them the title of “pro-Palestinian.” But what these folks have not realized is that their actions and words often do little to advance the interests of the Palestinians. In some instances, these actions and words are even counterproductive.

      It is hard to see how organizing events such as “Israel Apartheid Week” on a university campus could help the cause of the Palestinians. Isn’t there already enough anti-Israel incitement that is being spewed out of Arab and Islamic media outlets?

      If anyone is entitled to be called “pro-Palestinian,” it is those who are publicly campaigning against financial corruption and abuse of human rights by Fatah and Hamas. Those who are trying to change the system from within belong to the real “pro-Palestinian” camp. (Hudson New York, Nov. 17, 2009)

      Palestinian journalist Ray Hanania:

      Rejectionist and extremist Palestinians and their Arab allies have launched “apartheid week” to attack Israel. Although they are a minority they have built up a mirage of public support by exploiting the unanswered anger of the majority in the Arab world.

      The word apartheid does not really apply accurately to the Palestinian-Israel conflict. …

      Palestinians who support “apartheid week” do so either out of sinister hatred of Jews, or out of blind, unreasoning anger that simmers because they can’t properly vent. The inability to release pent up anger empowers the rejectionist minority but stems from the failures of Palestinians and Arab leadership.

      When Arabs couldn’t defeat Israel, they turned toward demonization. And when demonization didn’t work enough, they simply exaggerated the truth. Exaggeration is a common trait among Arabs and Israelis, too. …

      Is it “apartheid week?” Or is it really “apartheid weak”? Rather than hold celebrations that fuel a hatred of Israel around an exaggerated word like apartheid, Palestinians should instead organize rallies and conferences that call for compromise based on peace and the creation of two states. (Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2010)

      Sudanese human rights activist and former child slave Simon Deng:

      The State of Israel is not an apartheid state. I know because I write this from Jerusalem where I have seen Arab mothers peacefully strolling with their families – even though I also drove on Israeli roads protected by walls and fences from Arab bullets and stones. I know Arabs go to Israeli schools, and get the best medical care in the world. I know they vote and have elected representatives to the Israeli Parliament. I see street signs in Arabic, an official language here. None of this was true for blacks under Apartheid in Tutu’s South Africa.
      I also know countries that do deserve the apartheid label: My country, Sudan, is on the top of the list, but so are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. What has happened to my people in Sudan is a thousand times worse than Apartheid in South Africa. And no matter how the Palestinians suffer, they suffer nothing compared to my people. Nothing. And most of the suffering is the fault of their leaders. Bishop Tutu, I see black Jews walking down the street here in Jerusalem. Black like us, free and proud. …

      Today, black children are enslaved in Sudan, the last place in the continent of Africa where humans are owned by other humans – I was part of the movement to stop slavery in Mauritania, which just now abolished the practice. But you were not with us, Bishop Tutu.

      So where is Desmond Tutu when my people call out for freedom? Slaughter and genocide and slavery are lashing Africans right now. Where are you for Sudan, Bishop Tutu? You are busy attacking the Jewish state. Why? (The Jewish Advocate, Nov. 16, 2007)

      Professor Robert Wistrich

      The reality is that South African apartheid never had anything in common with Israeli democratic structures, with the ethos of Israeli society, or with its fundamental values. In an apartheid Israel, Muslim Arab voters and legislators could never influence the outcome of elections as they have often done in the past. The country’s literary prize would have never have gone to an Arab. Road signs throughout Israel would not be indicated in Arab as well as Hebrew and English. Nor would the Jewish state open its universities to Arab students, let along permit viscerally anti-Israeli human rights organizations to operate freely within its borders. In an apartheid state, there would never be articles galore about the Zionist project being a failure—some of them written by Arabs as well as Jews. A so-called Zio-Nazi or apartheid state would hardly bother to translate hostile Palestinian authors, such as the late Edward Said, into Hebrew. Nor would such a Nazified state permit its supreme court to consistently defend the human rights of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians against army interventions or considerations of national security. (A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad)

  12. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    JVP Desmond Tutu should be concerned first and foremost with the pogroms against immigrants in his own country.

    On Engage we could read the articles of Benjamin Pogrund himself a former South-African who starts one of his important articles:
    „The analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa does not usually help those who raise it to understand either; generally it functions as a short-cut to the boycott conclusion. Instead of helping us to think through the question of how we can fight for a just peace between Israel and Palestine it offers us a ready made cliché. Of course it is possible for this analogy, as others, to shed light; but in the political world which currently exists the analogy nearly always functions as a way of demonizing Israel. We all know that apartheid was evil and that it had to be defeated; we all know that this was achieved partly by means of an international boycott. If people can be encouraged to think of Israel as apartheid, then it will be thought of as evil and people will naturally believe that Israel needs to be defeated and isolated.“
    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/archives/index.php?id=37

    JVP strives for the defeat and isolation of Israel. I wouldn’t touch JVP with a bargepole

    Shabat Shalom

  13. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    An interesting set of links JVP provides: Ronnie Kasrils who has openly called for a boycott of Israel “as-a-Jew”, _and_ used the apartheid analogy; Jimmy Carter, who played the apartheid card, as well as the nazi comparison card; and I’m certainly not going to start on the bbc’s noted complete impartiality on the question of Israel and the rest of the Middle East. Notice, no effort to _argue_ their case here, just cite the above and regard it as self-evident. And, of course, using the opportunity to be rude to NIMN.

    It appears to have escaped JVP’s attention that we actually approve of argument in favour of a view here, alongside the evidence to go with it. Perhaps this is why they can gain no traction in the US, just as JfJfP can gain no traction in the UK.

    To come back to the heading of the article at the beginning of this thread, “Israeli academics consider the academic boycott”, why should these academics be treated any differently by us than we treat the UCU and its Executive Committee? They are attacking the very academic freedom that allows them to make this attack, and _only_, just like the UCU, on Israeli universities. To attempt an analogy, this strikes me as like a person attacking the behaviour of a member of their own household which they regard as reprehensible, while wilfully ignoring _exactly_ the same behaviour by the people next door and over the road.

    If their attention in drawn to it, they say something like “well, they don’t live _here_”. Maybe not, but their behaviour is just as visible and just (or more, possibly) disturbing.

    As always, double standards are _so_ comforting.

  14. NIMN Says:

    I find your Sabbath greeting in this context, typical of JVP, cloying and cynical not to say offensive. It is the same passive agressiveness that marks your organisation as a whole.

    You may want to reduce Israel to a matter of “identity politics”, but some of us are more sophisticated than that.
    (btw, the implication of much of your mailouts and postings with the image of disapora Jews as ” good” and nationalist Jews as “evil” is, if one looks at the historical record, frankly laughable.)
    http://www.amazon.com/Antisemitism-Part-One-Origins-Totalitarianism/dp/0156078104

    http://www.amazon.com/Anti-Semitism-Before-Holocaust-Albert-Lindemann/dp/0582369649/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279973067&sr=1-1

    You want to play the tlinking game (Yawn) then fine

    http://www.engageonline.org.uk/journal/index.php?journal_id=10&article_id=34

    You want to be rude, then fine.

    I appreciate that the kind of experience and idenity politics you exploit on your mail outs for your own political views privileges “authenticity” and the view that if one is “not there”, then one cannot comment. Unfortunately, that is precisely the same argument used by those in Israel who seek to silence criticism from outside its borders, as well as (increasingly) those within it. Why am I not surprised?

    Could you please tell me where on Engage I or others have said that Carter, Mary Robinson, et al, is antisemitic or are antisemites. You really should stop bandying around such accusations, with the hidden purpose of silencing debate.

    Again, however, you appear to be adopting the same tactics and strategies that you accuse others are doing.

    Of course I do appreicate for a group obsessed with boycott, you find communication and dialogue with others with whom you disagree difficult. Again, the similarity between you and the Israeli right on this point is intructive. Maybe you need to reflect on this point.

    Finally, I notice that in your response you have evaded the point I raised.

    You claim on your webpage that certain groups in Canada have “no right” to oppose the words “Israeli apartheid”.
    Leaving aside for now your belief that Israel is an “apartheid state” (again, bringing into question both your knowledge of SA and Israel), I ask you why think these groups have “no right” when the right to question and to challenge, indeed, to lobby, is a guaranteed legal and political right open to the majority of the population in Canada and, indeed, guaranteed by the Charter of Rights.

    You seem to imply that those who wish to challenge the deligitimising of Israel as a legitimate state should not have the same legal and political rights as other groups. Otherwise, why would you use the phrase “no right”?

    Either you wish to ban groups that question what is being said about Israel (or at least those with whom you “humbly” disagree) or you are using language and words that either you do not understand, or have no comprehension of the consequences of such speech. In other words, you are either malicious or simply do not think.
    Which is it?

  15. Absolute Observer Says:

    So, anyone who diasgrees with JVP is immediately assumed to believe that Carter, Fonda, etc. is an antisemite.

    Just the type of flexibility of thought that is needed at the present time. I guess, JVP thought that George W Bush’s statement that “if you are not with us, you are against us”, is the way to go!

    Why bother listening to others when a straw man is so easily at hand.

  16. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Also indicative of JVP’s extremism is its booklist, which recommends, among works by other fringe anti-Israel activists, four books by Norman Finkelstein, a man who recently told the Iranians that Israel is a “satanic state” from “the boils of hell,” which, by the way, “is committing a holocaust.”

    Thank you James Mendelsohn,
    this website published an interesting article on JVP:

    “So extreme they are, that their newsletters feature essays by Ali Abunimeh, a co-founder of the Israel-bashing site Electronic Intifada, and Ran HaCohen, an activist who’s so dogmatically entrenched against his country that he casts lifelong peace activists like Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua as war-hungry jingoists because they dared to think Israel had a right to respond to acts of war by Hezbollah. He even takes Yehoshua Sobol to task for asserting that Hezbollah is opposed to Israel’s right to exist, though this is something openly and repeatedly admitted by the antisemitic (or “antiJudaic”) terrorist organization.”
    http://muzzlewatch-watch.blogspot.com/2009/02/jewish-voice-for-what.html

  17. Jewish Voice for Peace Says:

    Dear Gilead, Karl, others,

    Nice work Gilead on behalf of Israel’s Hasbara of the occupation. (I would think that you and Engage should ask for a wage. You can certainly make a quid from the funds of the Israeli embassy, provided of course that you aren’t already on their payroll).

    Is it good and illuminating Gilad that you bring such obscure sources to defend Israel’s occupation by hook and by crook. But what can I say, Bengamin Fround and that other guy you cite can not really stand next to Toto and Casrils so far as understanding what Apartheid is.

    The opposition of the former to Apartheid was as impressive as Engage’s opposition to the occupation: a timid lip service due to tactical reasons, yet zero substantive daring critique of racist Zionist Israel. With Fround and the other gut and without Casrils and Toto we would still have today Apartheid in S Africa.

    In the same manner, if we were to leave the struggle against the occupation to Engage, we would have get the same thing we got during the Oslo process: more occupation by the Zionist left (Rabin, Peres, Barak). Engage’s sole mission is to disrupt the work of anyone who opposes the occupation effectively and to do between nothing to little about the occupation itself. Think about it Watson. To paraphrase on my bible (which you do not share, “The voice is the the voice of Israel’s Occupation’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Engage.”
    You fool no one other than yourselves.

    Permit me to conclude by emphasizing again that I am writing “as a Jew” (as you so much like to mention). This whole thesis that you developed would have passed sociology 101 in any American university. The person who developed this thesis is the master of tautology. I’m willing to bet that not even 1% of the people who write here are non-Jews. Let me then ask: are you Karl, Mira, David, Observer, Gilead, NIME Jews? Only cowards are afraid to identify themselves.

    Let me than state so you can at least be happy: I’m not writing as a human, not as a liberal, not as an anti-racist, not as an American, not as a male, not as a humanist, not as a retired person, non as an Ashkenazi, not as the single most sexier 69 years old man you can meet, not as a widower, not as a father, not as a grandfather, not as a religiously observant reform, not as former member of the Anti-Apartheid US campaign, not as a high school graduate and not as a former service person in the US army. NO NO NO: I do not write as all of these. I only write here AS A JEW.

    By the way, this is precisely the case with Casrils and Toto: they too only write AS A JEW and not as anything else.

    And here is again the clip you dutifully censored here 3 days ago. My 20 year old grandson sent it to me AS A JEW (and not – Heaven Forbid, as anything, anything else):

    In god I trust.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      I’m letting the above comment through inspite of the accusations of Engage being paid by the Israeli Embassy and the general insulting nature of the comment. However JVP if you can’t leave a comment without insults then please go away. I realise that you are angry but kindly try and write without the childish insults.

  18. Absolute Observer Says:

    Having read JVP’s latest comment, I can see why they remain an irrelevance, other than to themselves.

    They cite a member of the Communist Party (who they then claim is speaking “only as a Jew” as if it is possible to speak “as a Jew”!) and a theologian as speaking the truth; they accuse Engage of being in the pay of Israel, of doing everything it can to maintain the Occupation; whilst, at the same time, refusing to discuss any of the points critics of JVP raise.

    Reading their comments again, I cannot but help being reminded of the mobs who were so certain of the guilt of Black Americans that they would label anyone who dare doubt their view of the “truth” as a “N****r lover” and who remain blind to any and all attempts at rational conversation.

    If JVP is the representatives of “the voice of peace” in the US, then the Palestinians are in an even worse position than they are already.

    However, my instinct is not to mock those who are so evidently bordering on the paranoid and the mad, but rather, to let them be and to stew in their own hatred.

  19. NIMN Says:

    Oh, dear, the use of capital letters – a common characteristic of conspricacy theory nutters (see; Vodoo Histories) and perfectly in keeping with the defamation of Engage.
    Interesting to note, by the way, that the unhinged idea of the conspiracy theory of anti-boycotters being in the pay of Israel and its embassies was put forward by the insitgator of the academic boycott as well in an interview in the SWP newspaper shortly after a unanimous vote against the AUT boycott.

    As with the AUT and the SWP so JVP, unable to convince anyone of their own point of view, have no other recourse than to the paranoid image of a world made up of secret cabals that act in concert to undermine them.

    It really is quite sad when you think about it. To the extent that I do, I feel a bit sorry for JVP if this type of rot is what goes on in their head and which they think passes for serious comment.

  20. Saul Says:

    Dear JVP,
    Thank you for your comments.
    Engage opposes the boycott; which you evidently think is wrong as a means to seek a just peace for Israel and Palestine.
    However, you then say, that,
    “Engage’s sole mission is to disrupt the work of anyone who opposes the occupation effectively and to do between nothing to little about the occupation itself.”
    It seems that here, you are implying that if one is opposed to the boycott, then one by definition can be seen as supporting the occupation. In other words, that, from your perpsective, there is simply two alternatives; either one supports the boycott or one supports the occupation of what will, one hopes and works for, one day become the sovereign state of Palestine.

    Leaving aside the defamations in your last post, (and here I attach Engage’s founding document and its aims and purposes; https://engageonline.wordpress.com/about-engage/), are you saying that those like the Abraham Fund, the NIF, several Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups, Daniel Barenborm, Amos Oz, etc. are nothing more than than defenders of the Occupation?

    Are you saying that socialist groups like Workers Liberty (http://www.workersliberty.org/taxonomy/term/82) who oppose the boycott, nothing but defenders of the Occupation?

  21. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @JVP@ once in Germany everyone had to have an official document proving that he/she is an Aryan.
    Now those famous anonymous of JVP want us, who are publishing on Engage to produce a document that we are Jewish. In the case of male writers probably they want to look and convince themselves that we are circumcised.

    Let me tell you this, it is absolutely irrelevant if someone is Jewish or not as far as writing on Engage is concerned, as long as what is written is true.
    Of course in the case of JVP which is spreading half-truth and falsification of history it is essential to prove that they are “good Jews”. They believe their rehashing whatever Hamas Islamist propaganda is spreading becomes more credible if they do it “as Jews”.
    This is also the task of Rabbi Weiss and others who suck up to the Iranian Holocaustdeniers. So JVP is in good company. They are token Jews.

  22. Jewish Voice for Peace Says:

    Dear Saul (and Saul alone),

    I apologize for somewhat stepping over the edge in my previous post but all who responded here other than you are (deleted by moderator) whose arguments are hollow and deserve no more of my time. But your post is different so let me explain:

    In rough terms, my answer to your question is “yes.” I do happen to think that activities of all those whom you mentioned are too symbolic and cannot be said to be sufficient given the severe illegal actions of the self-proclaimed “Jewish State” in the OPT.

    However, I personally do not believe or argue that one necessarily needs to support boycott to qualify as “anti-occupation” (although a public endorsement of boycotting everything that comes out of the illegal settlements IS mandatory and without it one cannot qualify as “anti-occupation”).

    The first point Saul is that the founder of this website spends more time with the Zionist right in Israel than with the Zionist left. (Labour which is in the coalition and Kadima (which is Arile’s Sharon’s Likud-light party) do not qualify as Zionist left. (In fact, the Zionist left actually no longer exists as unfortunately Israel’s 2009 elections demonstrated – Meretz shrunk into a 3 MKs existence).

    The second point Saul is this: nearly all participants in this website spend 90% of their time defaming and undermining activities of anti-occupation Jews and non-Jews to the left of them while spending about 10% of their time on criticizing the occupation.

    Now that is a huge problem. I happen to think that 90% of the problems both Israel and “the Jewish people” presently face are a direct a consequence of both the occupation and activities of the the Zionist right. No more than 10% of the problems result from activities by left of all its manifestations and shades. This means that the skewed portrayal of what’s going on by the (Jewish, yes Jewish) website known as Engage serves the agenda of the Zionist right in most cases willingly and in fewer cases unintentionally.

    But I do not expect too many Zionist (deleted by moderator) here to consider my words seriously. They will continue to label Jews like me as anti-semites and this is in the service of Israel’s occupation. These individuals may well fool yourselves with all those (deleted by moderator) devises you created to rationalize your pro-Israel Zionism (such as the “as a jew” stupidity) but – alas – you fool no one else (including members of the Israeli left by the way).

    Live long and prosper, Saul

    • Richard Gold Says:

      I’ve deleted the abusive parts of your post. Try to post without referencing people as “trolls” and “morons”.

      Also try and remember that Engage is here to campaign against the boycott and against antisemitism on the left. I don’t mind you arguing for a boycott, i have no problems with a rational anti-zionist argument. But just try and do it without insulting people.

      Also in fairness to JVP, can you confirm whether you are actually involved in that group or not ?

      • Mira Vogel Says:

        “The second point Saul is this: nearly all participants in this website spend 90% of their time defaming and undermining activities of anti-occupation Jews and non-Jews to the left of them while spending about 10% of their time on criticizing the occupation.”

        Not true. Go back and read. And when we undermine activities of anti-occupation campaigners, it is only those activities which single Jews out, try to set some kind of standard for Jewishness relating to Israel, fail to eject the avid racism they attract or lapse into, or dodge the depth and complexity of this conflict so as to hold only Israelis responsible. It’s a shame that the dominant voices among the anti-occupation activists need to be balanced and challenged, but many do. And that is the limit of what we’re doing here.

        And re your earlier post, I’m wondering whether you are able to think about Israel not as a Jew. So, an exercise in empathy, rather than presuming to speak for a loose group which encompasses ethnicity and religion, as if that group embodied an ideology.

  23. Saul Says:

    Dear JVP,
    Thank you for your comments. I think the term from the Big Bang Theory is “buzzinger”.

    In short, your “arguments are hollow and deserve no more of my time.”
    Your comments about AWL, Oz, et al is vacuous; but at least you went beyond a merely providing a link. An improvement, but not much.

    Do you really think I would spend any time discussing my thoughts and spending my time without someone who claims Engage is in the pay of Israel.

    Do you think I would spend anytime with someone whose whose analysis of antisemitism comes down to laying responsibility with Jews?

    Do you think I would spend anytime with someone who claims that,
    “They will continue to label Jews like me as anti-semites”

    Do you think I would spend anytime with someone who, despite the diversity of the founders of Engage as well as its founding aims, insist in calling it a “Jewish” site and who calls Israel a “self-proclaimed Jewish state”.

    Do you think I would waste my time with someone who thinks that,
    “Engage serves the agenda of the Zionist right in most cases willingly and in fewer cases unintentionally.”

    If you do, are are even more deluded than others have noted.

    JVP, go forth and multiply – the sooner the better.

  24. Mira Vogel Says:

    Also could we not cast aspersions on each others’ sanity. If you really believe somebody is mentally ill, you don’t use it as a stick to beat them with. And if you don’t, then the last thing you should do is use mental illness to make a stigmatising point.

  25. Saul Says:

    In short JVP, you do not have the flexibility of thought and outlook to even comprehend the thoughts of those who do not fit into the worldview of a Manicheanism of “good” and “evil; and, as others have pointed out, makes you nothing more than a direct mirror of the very right that you (and Engage) despise.

    You and the far right have far more in common than you realise. Whilst you try to project your own political inadequacies onto Engage, as is so often the case, the problem is yours, entirely yours.

  26. Absolute Observer Says:

    “No more than 10% of the problems result from activities by left of all its manifestations and shades.”

    Well, whilst others, such as yourself, can look after the 90% in a manner that implies you are prepared to overlook or compromise with the remainder, Engage will look after the 10%.

    Have a good day.

  27. Saul Says:

    To be fair, and in response to the one moment of JVP’s rationaity, I do think it amusing that JVP denigrates the activities of those authors, writers, activists Jewish and Arab in Israel as “symbolic”, whereas a person with absolutely nothing to lose sits in a far away country performing a boycott is somehow considered “serious political action”.

    Is this what the “left” that JVP speaks of has been reduced to?

  28. NIMN Says:

    Dear Mira,
    Whilst I tke your point without reservation about mental illness. and can only speak for myself, my reference to delusion,etc. refers to paranoia as a social concept (rather than as a personal illness) as appears in the work of TW Adorno (a German thinker of the mid 20th century) – that cut off from the reality of the world around them, the social individual compensates by imagining a world populated by mystery and conspricacy and then projects that onto those they imagine are responsilble for their own inadequacies.

    JVP’s vitriol, his inability to engage with anyone’s arguments
    on the rational level of political debate; his reduction of himself to one facet of his social existence; his belief that those who disagree are part of a secret cabal, etc. is more a comment about certain (but, of course, not all, indeed, nowhere near all) approaches to discussions of Israel than JVP’s personal state of mind.

    I hope this clarifies matters.

  29. Jewish Voice for Peace Says:

    Saul – this will be quick and not very edited so I hope that the gentle Karl will cut me some corners.

    The funny thing is that what you proposed is exactly what I do, i.e. go forth and multiply. This is largely thanks to the Zionists’ own acts. Young Jews here can smell what’s you are doing and many no longer want to be part of it. Bless them.

    But I know Sail: truth is always hard to swallow. A person has a flattering self-image and s/he don’t like to be proved that they are, actually, standard white-racists. Fine, my non-friend, I will bother no-one no more here for I do not wish to disrupt the party line of your unified tribe.

    But perhaps I Karl the proper will not censor me and allow me to offer you my concluding observations about the Zionist-Jewish collective calling itself Engage. (And in the very very unlikely case that one of you readers out there is a non-Jew, then step aside (or SHEV BA-TSAD, as I say in Hebrew) and observe the proceedings without uttering a word):

    1. Engage is a Zionist-Jewish website. Dot. His members couldn’t care less about the inflictions of misery on non-Jewish Arabs by both Israeli-Jews and their Jewish and non-Jewish supporters in the West, including many here (and in the Jewish community in Britain for sure).

    2. As is the case with Zionism generally, Engage has a symbiotic relationship with anti-Semitism – a fish and its water. If anti-semitism nowadays hardly exists then rest assured that Zionists generally, and Engage in particular, will do all they possibly can to inflate the little-of-it that does factually exist in order to change the topic of the discussion from the substantive-central to the marginal-pictorial.

    Anti-semitism today amounts to a rush on the forehead of a Jew who is at the same time suffering from terminal brain cancer. This unfortunate state of affairs dictates that 95% of one’s time must be spent on the cancer, and 5% on the rush. Doing, like Engage does, the other way around risks the life of suffering person.

    Yes, Saul, Israel is the main reason for MOST of today’s manifestations of anti-semitism. Most is obviously not all but it is still most. No amount of Zionist spin doctors will convince us that anti-semitism is an apriori ‘natural’ phenomenon.

    3. Luckily, the social and economic position of us, American Jews (and I believe also of you British Jews) has never been better than it is right now. We now constitute the richest Ethnic group in the west (that’s a statement of fact not of an opinion) and, thank god, members of our community occupy great and leading positions in any field one can imagine. That is also the case with the Jews of Engage

    True, few of us sometimes do suffer an anti-semitic rush on our foreheads – especially after (although not always) the “Jewish State” kills non-Jewish civilians. But even this anti-semitic problem of ours totally pales when compared to the host of problems faced daily and consistently by, for example, non-white minorities, roma, and probably even East Europeans living amongST you guys in the UK. Talk about problems of minorities. proportion and a sense of empirical reality never hurt anyone

    When most of you guys (Mira included) walk on the street with your assimilationist names/dress/customs/appearances, then no white racist can even tell that you are anything other than regular white Britons. (That is of course not the case for those among us who wear kipa like me).

    4. But for many of you all of this greta state of Jewish affairs is not enough. No, you also want to be Zionists and whiners. So instead of understanding that the whole system of extra-territorial privileges that the self-proclaimed “Jewish state” Zionistically bestows on you AS JEWS undermines gravely the daily lives and well-being of non-Jewish Arab children in Palestine – you simply couldn’t care less.

    Hey, you say, if I feel like having a beer in Tel Aviv and then getting (only ‘as-a-jew’ though) another second passport automatically – then so be it. what do i care (‘as-a-jew’ or non-jew). i’m a Zionist and I stick to the tribe even if this necessarily means discrimination and oppression of non-Jewish others. I will do my 10 cent work in Engage but I will say that I do it (1) not ‘as-a-jew’ (but as something else) and (2) as an symbolic-tactical opponent of the occupation as I have been since 1967 with those remarkable outcomes that my ways produced. But, hey, what’s the rush? Let the Zionist right colonize more. I’m busy fighting heroically anti-semitism.

    You can fool; yourselves but you fool no one else.

    • Richard Gold Says:

      JVP – Thanks for commenting. I’m sorry you won’t be coming back ” I will bother no-one no more here for I do not wish to disrupt the party line of your unified tribe.”

      If you do decide to come back then perhaps you can back up some of your many accusations.

      Also i note you haven’t answered the question already asked to you – Are you involved in JVP ?

      And one more question – you speak “as a Jew”. What is your religious identification – secular , atheist , Chasidic , Nutori Karta – or what ?

  30. Saul Says:

    “The funny thing is that what you proposed is exactly what I do, i.e. go forth and multiply. This is largely thanks to the Zionists’ own acts. Young Jews here can smell what’s you are doing and many no longer want to be part of it. Bless them.”

    Yes, I read that article in the NYRB as well. It’s probably right.

    “But I know Sail: truth is always hard to swallow. A person has a flattering self-image and s/he don’t like to be proved that they are, actually, standard white-racists. Fine, my non-friend, I will bother no-one no more here for I do not wish to disrupt the party line of your unified tribe.”

    Interesting, some “critics” of Israel claim that one can’t criticise Israel without being labelled an antisemite. Here, JVP answers the criticism of his/their position by smearing them as “white racists”.

    “Luckily, the social and economic position of us, American Jews (and I believe also of you British Jews) has never been better than it is right now. We now constitute the richest Ethnic group in the west (that’s a statement of fact not of an opinion) and, thank god, members of our community occupy great and leading positions in any field one can imagine”.

    Almost true (although I think the monarchy is closed off!).

    “True, few of us sometimes do suffer an anti-semitic rush on our foreheads – especially after (although not always) the “Jewish State” kills non-Jewish civilians. But even this anti-semitic problem of ours totally pales when compared to the host of problems faced daily and consistently by, for example, non-white minorities, roma, and probably even East Europeans living amongST you guys in the UK. Talk about problems of minorities. proportion and a sense of empirical reality never hurt anyone.”

    True again, but anti-racists always look to the antisemites for antisemitism. Likewise, racism is not a zero-sum game, as much as JVP likes to think in numbers. A sensible understanding of racism knows that a society that produces one form of racism produces all forms of racism. Of course, only the racist gains by a heirarchy of racism between groups (and, besides, antisemitism rarely happens in the West when Jews are on the poverty line, but manifests itself in precisely those situations JVP celebrates – but then, of course, one would have to know about antisemitism to realise that).

    “When most of you guys (Mira included) walk on the street with your assimilationist names/dress/customs/appearances, then no white racist can even tell that you are anything other than regular white Britons. (That is of course not the case for those among us who wear kipa like me).”

    “Britons” as a concept does not exist. Some are Scots, some are Welsh, some are English, some are Polish, some are American, some are Canadian some of these people are even Jews “as well”.

    “But for many of you all of this greta state of Jewish affairs is not enough. No, you also want to be Zionists and whiners. So instead of understanding that the whole system of extra-territorial privileges that the self-proclaimed “Jewish state” Zionistically bestows on you AS JEWS undermines gravely the daily lives and well-being of non-Jewish Arab children in Palestine.”

    Not true. But since we don’t think only “as Jews” we place the situation of Israel and Palestine in the real world, and not reduce that world to a conflict between Jews and non-Jews (as does the Settlers).

    Israel is not the only country with a “right to return”, nor need the existence of the state of Israel harm Palestinian children (or adults for that matter). Many countries come into existence at various times and manage to deal with the very problems afflicting Israel and Palestne. JVP is arguing that of all the states in the world, only Israel is illegitimate premised, no doubt, on some notion of “organic nationalism” as if every state and every people is believed to be a fact of “nature”.

    “you simply couldn’t care less.”
    Not true, it is just that, unlike you and the Settlers, we do not see the world as divided between Jews and non-Jews, but see the world as mediated by political and social relations, that is, as a conflict with roots in the real world and not through the existence of what you take to be a “tribe”

    “Hey, you say, if I feel like having a beer in Tel Aviv and then getting (only ‘as-a-jew’ though) another second passport automatically – then so be it. what do i care (‘as-a-jew’ or non-jew). i’m a Zionist and I stick to the tribe even if this necessarily means discrimination and oppression of non-Jewish others. I will do my 10 cent work in Engage but I will say that I do it (1) not ‘as-a-jew’ (but as something else) and (2) as an symbolic-tactical opponent of the occupation as I have been since 1967 with those remarkable outcomes that my ways produced. But, hey, what’s the rush? Let the Zionist right colonize more. I’m busy fighting heroically anti-semitism.”

    Hard to make out here what is being said.
    It would appear that because some Jews can get an Israeli passport, one cannot fight antisemitism other than “as a Jew”,as if the two are related) and that fighting antisemitism means that Israel “colonises” more land (as of the two are related).
    So, JVP seems to be saying that opposing antisemitism is a weapon in the hands of the Zionist right. (The last time I heard this argument was when the Second Internartional claimed that fighting antisemitism was a victory for capital; wrong then, wrong now).

    (btw, for those who are not Jewish or who are but re unaware of the meaning “kipa” – it is the skull cap worn by some Jews)

    And, finally, the idea that it is only Jews who fight antisemitism is possibly one of the most offensive things I have read, and a view that indicates a deep distrust of anyone who does not share that particular identity.

    JVP seems to hate not only the vast majority of Jews, but so too nearly everyone else (and so is not an antisemite nor a self-hating Jew, as much as he would like to be characterised as such by Engage, since he thinks that is what Engage does).

    It must be hard to live like that, but at least it explains the tone of his comments as well as their content.

    Fortunately, however, he does not exhaust the approaches to Palestine and, as such, opportunities for peace remain.

  31. Absolute Observer Says:

    Now that JVP has gone, can anyone tell me what the point was he was trying to make.
    He did seem very angry, especially at Engage) who he seemed to think were all assimilated Jews and somehow the worse for that! and that him boycotting Israel was better than anything any Israeli was doing. But beyond that can anyone actually tell me what the heck he was on about. I couldn’t make head nor tail of any of it!
    Any help, greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

    • Bill Says:

      Well AO, my guess is that JVP and a few of the others like him who’ve come here, do so to validate their preexisting prejudices on the subject, donchathink? If they have to read volumes of invisible text between every line we write (as we’ve seen with other disgruntled visitors), so be it. It makes it easier to walk away than to stick around and realize that we are not all Bibbimaniacs or the like. And if they’re wrong on that, then they’d have to ask what else they’ve gotten wrong.

      Welcome to his bubble.

  32. Guthrie Says:

    JVP,

    As an American citizen, you seem to be doing quite nicely in a land colonised by Europeans, founded on genocide and that still insists on keeping sections of the indigenous populations confined to reserves.

    Of course, I could be mistaken and that you are in the process of ditching your US passport, giving up all rights of residency and returning to the land of your parents or grandparents.

    After all, from what you have said, you obviously could not live with yourself as a citizen of a self-proclaimed “white” republic that you know to be founded entirely on the expropriation of land from those previously living there (including, of course, the British, who were expelled following the War of Independence, whilst those of a different colour remained in servitude and slavery whilst the indigenous population were slaughtered and rotted in camps).

    I assume also that you are calling for a boycott of the US untill that the peoples you dispossessed are allowed to return to their original homes. If you tell us what state and city you live in, we can tell you who exactly what band was living there 200 or so years ago (assuming they have not be entirely wiped out).

    I only mention it since if a Jew (assimilated or kipa wearing; as if a kipa-wearing Jew is not assimllated!) outside Israel is to be held in some way responsible for their potential citizenship, then how much more responsible is a person who actually carries the citizenship of the country itself, in this case, the USA that carried out the massacres.

    For what is right for you “as a Jew” can only be the same as what is right for you “as an American” – unless, of course, you think that their is something “special” about Jews that does not apply to Americans, or any other peoples for that matter.

  33. Guthrie Says:

    To clarify, since, I totally oppose the existence of all illegal settlements (no matter what JVP may think) I am only referring to the US’s illegal settlements and will call off the boycott once the US returns to its 1776 borders; a demand in keeping with my demand that Israel return to its pre-1967 border (again, something I firmly believe in).

  34. Jonathan Romer Says:

    Reading through this thread from start to end, it’s hard to avoid the thought that in any other arena, someone who ranted with the lack of argument and general incoherence of “JVP” would probably be sent away with a flea in his ear, or simply ignored.

    I can’t decide whether it’s a good thing that the people here and others like them elsewhere face down this stuff over and over again, whether it’s a sign of weakness, or whether it’s simply necessary and therefore a mark of how bad things have become.

  35. John Says:

    Thank you JVP for telling thruth

  36. Absolute Observer Says:

    Funny, whenever you read some incomprehensible nonsense from someone or other, there is always someone else who pops in the comment box. “thanks for the truth”. (See, e.g. the comments box in the NYT’s reporting of Oliver Stone’s interview in the Sunday Times (see normblog for the story). Having said that Jews dominate the media, Israel has f****** up US foreing policy for years, etc, etc. someome writes (funnily enough, a person called John) “thanks for the truth”.

    I would bet a dime to a dollar, that every trufer site, every racist site, every antisemitic site, every Princess Diana was murdered by the Queen or whoever site has at least one John who has commented, “thanks for the truth”.

    So, John, thanks for telling the truth.


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