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Originally published at Tikkun Daily

I. Wearing Blinders


I grew up listening to stories of Jewish exceptionalism, stories that were both beautiful and exceptional. These stories I grew up with weren't biblical tales of chosenness, nor were they Zionist visions of Israel.

Instead, they were tales of progressive heroism, tales of American heroism, stories of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marching alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, stories of Gertrude Weil organizing women's suffrage leagues in the early 1900s, stories of Jewish immigrants' integral role in sparking America's labor movement.

They were stories of Jews fighting for the human rights, equal rights and dignity of those oppressed, maligned or ignored. They were stories of progressive activism spurred by Jewish values.

I thought of all these stories this past week as my inbox filled with messages from local and national Jewish organizations, all with a singular message: support Israel.

They were messages of solidarity as Israeli civilians cowered in fear from Hamas-launched rockets. But they were also messages sent as over 100 Palestinians lay dead in the rubble of Gaza, as blockade-depleted hospitals turned away the injured, as entire families were erased by American-made missiles.

They were messages that completely ignored the other side, a Palestinian people brutally oppressed for decades. They were messages that didn't square with the stories I was told as a youth. They were messages that don't square with any notion of American progressivism, with any notion of Jewish progressivism – with the notion that one of our greatest concerns should be for the human rights of the oppressed.

II. The Question



Where is our humanity? It's a question Sara Roy asks in The Boston Globe, a question I cannot get out of my mind.

It's a question she asks knowing that, as the Palestinian Authority prepares for a United Nations vote next week that will upgrade Palestine to a non-member status, America will likely punish the PA with funding cuts.

It's a question she asks, gazing upon the destitution and destruction in Gaza, knowing how long oppression of the Palestinians has persisted (both there and in the politically and geographically separated West Bank).

It's a question she asks after the recent violence between Israel and Hamas, after Israel's military campaign in Gaza that starkly revealed like never before the civilian suffering on both sides. And it's a question she asks knowing how desperate Palestinians are for international relief, for humanitarian intervention:

The current crisis is framed in terms devoid of any real context. The issue goes far beyond which side precipitated the terrible violence that has killed innocents on both sides. The issue — largely forgotten — is one of continued occupation and blockade, a grossly asymmetrical conflict that has deliberately and systematically disabled Gaza’s economy and people.

The Gaza Strip is now in its 46th year of occupation, 22nd year of closure, and sixth year of intensified closure. The resulting normalization of the occupation assumes a dangerous form in the Gaza Strip, whose status as an occupied territory has ceased to matter in the West; the attention has shifted — after Hamas’s 2006 electoral victory and 2007 takeover of the territory — to Gaza’s containment and punishment, rendering illegitimate any notion of human rights or freedom for Palestinians.

Where is our humanity? It's a question she asks of us, as Americans. It's a question I ask of us, as progressives.

It's a question I ask myself, as a Jew.

III. Behaving Like a Jew


Several years ago, I took the esteemed poet, Gerald Stern, out to breakfast. It was on a Sunday morning in the sleepy, North Carolina coastal village of Wrightsville Beach (just outside of Wilmington), where he was living while teaching creative writing at UNCW.

I was his student.

I asked him to breakfast because he is, well, Gerald Stern. He accepted because I was a Jew, one of the few he'd met during his Southern, coastal stint.

So I took him to the local dive, where the food is awful and joint is always packed. And as he scooped over-easy eggs into his mouth from a white, ceramic plate, he asked about terrorism, about my experiences in Israel, about living with violence. I asked him about a poem of his I could not get out of my mind that echoed Stern's post-Holocaust mentality, "Behaving Like a Jew."

Behaving Like a Jew

Gerald Stern

When I got there the dead opossum looked like
an enormous baby sleeping on the road.
It took me only a few seconds—just
seeing him there—with the hole in his back
and the wind blowing through his hair
to get back again into my animal sorrow.
I am sick of the country, the bloodstained
bumpers, the stiff hairs sticking through the grilles,
the slimy highways, the heavy birds
refusing to move;
I am sick of the spirit of Lindbergh over everything,
that joy in death, that philosophical
understanding of carnage, that
concentration on the species.
---I am going to be unappeased at the opossum's death.
I am going to behave like a Jew
and touch his face, and stare into his eyes,
and pull him off the road.
I am not going to stand in a wet ditch
with the Toyotas and the Chevys passing over me
at sixty miles an hour
and praise the beauty and the balance
and lose myself in the immortal lifestream
when my hands are still a little shaky
from his stiffness and his bulk
and my eyes are still weak and misty
from his round belly and his curved fingers
and his black whiskers and his little dancing feet.

I asked him whether or not he felt uncomfortable with the implicit Jewish exceptionalism in the poem, about the narrator's view that, in a constructed rural world of hunting and highways and death, it is the Jew who stops his car, bends down and mourns. It is the Jew who touches the opossum's body and silently weeps for a life once lived.

He looked me in the eyes, set the fork upon his plate, and recited the poem in his gravely, aged voice, emphasizing the words I am going to be unappeased. Upon finishing, he gulped from a glass of sweet tea, slammed the cup upon our wooden bench, and said, "This is not exceptional."

And he's right: Jewish Americans have largely chosen to be unappeased by their engagement in progressive social causes and political issues. And I'm not making an exceptionalism argument here – no human's blood is redder. I'm simply stating what some are afraid to say: Jews, who make up only 1.2% of the U.S. population, are (in my ranging experiences) disproportionately represented in social action and progressive endeavors in the United States.

Why? Perhaps it's Talmudic values. Perhaps it's the shadows of Buchenwald and Auschwitz. Perhaps it's the reverberations of European socialist values. Or, as my Mom would say, perhaps it's because every Jewish mother wants one thing for her child more than anything: that he/she be a mensch (a good person). It's cultural, this unique, American melding in Jewish communities of progressive, humanitarian values and traditional Judaism that occurred (remarkably, perhaps miraculously) in the shadow of the Holocaust.

However, in America, while it's not exceptional to find a Jew championing the rights of an oppressed minority – see the civil rights movement then and marriage equality now (Evan Wolfson founded Freedom to Marry) – what is exceptional today is to find American Jews championing the rights of one particular people: the Palestinians.

For one thing trumps being a mensch in that ever-present shadow of the Holocaust: survival. Which is one reason why AIPAC has grown into one of the more influential lobbying bodies despite its narrow, hawkish positions, positions that, were they transposed onto a different political map or geopolitical conflict, would not receive a plurality of support from American Jews. For deep down, existentially, Jews fear one thing more than any other: being exterminated. And Israel is literally and emotionally entwined (inextricably) with such survival.

And so many American Jews allow themselves to largely be ignorant of or ignore the plight of the Palestinians. Not out of malice. But out of an uber-sensitivity and hyper-focus on Jewish victimhood, on Jewish survival.

However, an increasing number of young Jews are growing up with a greater understanding of the complex realities in Israel and the Occupied Territories. A growing number of young Jews are learning not just about Jewish suffering, but about Palestinian suffering.

A growing number of young Jews are refusing to view the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate as a zero-sum conflict, and some, such as Jewish Voice for Peace, are continuing those stories I heard as a child and applying them to what I consider one of the greatest moral challenge of my generation: the occupation of the Palestinians.

I am a Jew.
I am an American.
And I have chosen not to be appeased.
Not by the criminal violence perpetrated against my people in the name of resistance, nor the criminal violence perpetrated by my people in the name of security.

And those like me are growing.


Author's Note:

A version of this post (selections from part III) appeared two years ago as a separate piece.

Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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  •  Tip Jar (190+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CT yanqui, Tamar, George3, emidesu, daveygodigaditch, Jack K, Glen The Plumber, remembrance, WisePiper, wu ming, Cassandra Waites, dinazina, whizdom, badscience, One Pissed Off Liberal, Jay C, DeadHead, science nerd, ramara, SoCalSal, alguien, chantedor, rasbobbo, janmtairy, RebeccaG, susakinovember, geebeebee, Chaddiwicker, stevej, Batya the Toon, Cat Whisperer, blueoasis, Liberal Granny, Steve Masover, glorificus, tofumagoo, houyhnhnm, Texknight, markdd, Lost and Found, edsbrooklyn, winsock, sometv, Shockwave, bluedust, dotsright, Little Lulu, 1BQ, ThatPoshGirl, Chi, angry hopeful liberal, mrsgoo, Winston Sm1th, ChocolateChris, CIndyCasella, Paulie200, General Hubbub, muddy boots, Zinman, tin woodswoman, social democrat, Celtic Merlin, begone, Jeffersonian Democrat, Anorish, herdsire, AgavePup, Just Bob, WakeUpNeo, YellerDog, Dbug, Valerie, ortheother, Mathazar, Larsstephens, dskoe, sfarkash, montecristo, Overseas, JesseCW, madhaus, camlbacker, liz, Sharon Wraight, codairem, Floande, Newzie, jakedog42, la urracca, outragedinSF, histOries Marko, lotlizard, RJDixon74135, CherryTheTart, newpioneer, kaliope, bently, EJP in Maine, bronte17, elwior, artisan, sydneyluv, MadRuth, NYC Sophia, bostonjay, hannah, isabelle hayes, howabout, claude, buckstop, Jim R, mofembot, TexMex, cyncynical, spooks51, zenox, cv lurking gf, stargaze, ExStr8, CroneWit, aberghuis, jhop7, nsfbr, evilstorm, flowerfarmer, sb, ask, stormicats, GeorgeXVIII, Happy Days, stevenwag, terjeanderson, Smoh, Crashing Vor, MazeDancer, wader, Tyto Alba, US Blues, expatjourno, createpeace, poco, Knockbally, trivium, Aunt Martha, corvo, renbear, letsgetreal, brooklynliberal, Neon Mama, cotterperson, Leslie in KY, Assaf, USHomeopath, JavaManny, semiot, kpardue, Joieau, bibble, SingerInTheChoir, freeport beach PA, rhetoricus, ruscle, mithra, Milly Watt, sofia, DRo, grollen, ruleoflaw, Lefty Coaster, SaintC, StateofEuphoria, Barbara Marquardt, 417els, MarkInSanFran, existential warrior, Sean Robertson, Friendlystranger, Simplify, sfbob, miscanthus, pixxer, Robynhood too, Fire bad tree pretty, IreGyre, Brecht, Flyswatterbanjo, Diane Gee, WattleBreakfast, shanesnana, liz dexic

    I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

    by David Harris Gershon on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:32:35 PM PST

  •  These painful issues would not exist... (13+ / 0-)

    if this country did not have such a voracious appetite for Mideast petroleum over the past 50 years.  We have enriched the Saudis, the Iraqis (OK, for a while, anyway), and Iran, giving them the funds to support terrorism around the world.  Every time you fill your gasoline tank, about 1 cent goes to al Qaeda and its allies.  

    The last sound on earth will be the squawk of an optimist.

    by CT yanqui on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:48:45 PM PST

  •  "what is exceptional today is to find (12+ / 0-)

    find American Jews championing the rights of one particular people: the Palestinians."

    Perhaps because the Gazan's put in power a terrorist organization whose purpose, as outlined in their charter, is the genocide of the Jewish people worldwide?

  •  This is wonderful and gets at the heart of (79+ / 0-)

    what I feel also.
    My husband and I avoided, for many many years, thinking about the plight of the Palestinians. We avoided any knowledge of Gaza.
    Two people opened our eyes --
    Our Jordanian neighbor: our daughters became friends and her parents invited us for a wonderful dinner. We talked carefully around the topics of Israel and Palestine. But finally the father talked to us of Gaza. I was horrified and upset. I came home and did some research and found that what he said was true.
    Our older daughter: taking classes in college in Arab-American studies and called me one day as I walked through a bookstore in Union Station near my work (in D.C.) and asked "do you consider yourself a Zionist?" Well, of course I do! And then as she talked I realized that her view of Zionism and mine were entirely different. Mine stemmed from the post WWII idealism of a socialist, egalitarian country, a refuge for a decimated people, a place where I was always sending dollars to plant trees, where people danced and sang in the kibbutzim. Her view was of a hawkish group who wanted control and even ownership of the lands belonging to the Palestinian people; of a country that unashamedly discriminated against its own Arab citizens.
    My view was from a time that no longer existed; hers from the present.
    And my husband and I were changed.
    I am still not where my older daughter is. I still have a place in my heart for the Israel I believed in in my youth. But my skepticism about the likelihood of peace is growing.
    One thing on the other side of this argument I do have to add is that I watched Richard Engel reporting from Gaza a few days ago -- I view him as a rare fair-minded observer/journalist. And he talked about the utter poverty and terrible conditions in Gaza, but also described the fear of those Gazans who don't support Hamas but are cowed by things like the people accused of collaborating with Israel being dragged by motorcycles through the streets of Gaza; and described the demonstrations with Hamas members screaming their hatred of Israel.
    The ugliness is on both sides of this conflict.
    OTOH, my daughter's 2 months in Israel mainly in the West Bank was a totally different picture of Palestinians -- she lived in Ramallah and didn't hide the fact that she was Jewish and was treated with respect and warmth. And she participated in Palestinian demonstrations, peaceful demonstrations with no hatred, only a wish for the preservation of their land and their lives.

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:54:18 PM PST

  •  "Why? Perhaps it's Talmudic values." (13+ / 0-)

    IMNSHO that is correct. Those values are inconsistent with the laissez-faire that has completely taken over the Republican party and has a lot of support in the Democratic party.

    And a major reason why we American Jews support Israel is that it to a great extent reflects those values as well. See this example of the beliefs of the ideological grandfather of the Israeli right, Ze'ev Jabotinsky:

    http://www.betar.org.il/...

    Israel today has high taxes, a very generous welfare system, draconian regulation of its financial sector (which is why it didn't have a banking crisis in 2008), government control over almost all land, great public transportation, low university tuition, and religious freedom for religious minorities. (Concerning the latter, it is ironic that there is actually more restriction on religious practice for Jews than for non-Jews.)

    The Likud in Israel is quite a bit  to the left of the Democratic party in the US. I know a number of quite liberal Democrats who became Likudniks once they made aliyah. While the treatment of non-Jews in Israel could stand improvement (in particular, the country is terribly segregated), non-Jewish Israels do share that very generous social welfare state. A mere hint that some Arab neighborhoods in Israel might want to be part of a future Palestinian state provoked riots a few years ago.

    And another major reason why we American Jews support Israel is the nature of Israel's enemies. Syria's ruling regime is kept in power via mass murder. Lebanon's ruling regime includes the anti-Semitic terrorist theocratic group Hezbollah. Both have kept Palestinians as stateless refugees. Hamas is similar to Hezbollah in its anti-Semitism and intolerance of progressive values.

    Most political movements in Israel now officially support the creation of a Palestinian state. But that won't happen until the terrorists either change or are put out of business.

    •  What a fucked up comment in this context (13+ / 0-)

      Jabotinsky was an ardent advocate of ethnic cleansing of Arabs at the dawn of the colonization of Israel in 1923:

      Any native people – its all the same whether they are civilized or savage – views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs.

      Compromisers in our midst attempt to convince us that the Arabs are some kind of fools who can be tricked by a softened formulation of our goals, or a tribe of money grubbers who will abandon their birth right to Palestine for cultural and economic gains.

      I flatly reject this assessment of the Palestinian Arabs. Culturally they are 500 years behind us, spiritually they do not have our endurance or our strength of will, but this exhausts all of the internal differences.

      We can talk as much as we want about our good intentions; but they understand as well as we what is not good for them. They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie.

      To think that the Arabs will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism in return for the cultural and economic benefits we can bestow on them is infantile.

      And so 90 years later, is it any wonder that the government of Israel and its apologists systematically dehumanizes Palestinians?
    •  Ridiculous. (7+ / 0-)
      The Likud in Israel is quite a bit  to the left of the Democratic party in the US.
      That's about the most false statement I've read on DKos since VB described a cartoon the other day.

      Likud is right up there with the teabaggers.  They're buddies with Avi Lieberman, who's the closest thing I've seen to a fascist since Mussolini.

      You really should try to refrain from commenting in TD's diaries.  You add nothing and make such ridiculous statements as the one I quoted.

      In fact, I wouldn't blame the diarist if he requested that you avoid commenting on his work entirely.

      Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

      by Celtic Merlin on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:56:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actual defenders of Hamas are few and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sb, corvo, Friendlystranger

      far between on this site.

      Likud enthusiasts abound.

      "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

      by JesseCW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:39:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  From what I've seen, (5+ / 0-)

        I don't think either are very common. The perception that someone is one or the other is quite a bit more common.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:41:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Several of the Likuds supporters have (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, corvo, Smoh

          apparently shuffled off one way or another since I spent much time in diaries having to do with the subject.

          Several are still here.

          "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

          by JesseCW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:47:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do know that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sb, Kane in CA

            several people have been accused of supporting Likud, despite having expressed that they don't. There are a few who support Likud, but the ones I know of have been banned for one reason or another.

            There are people who defend Likud from certain criticisms, but that doesn't mean they support their agenda, just as the people who defend Hamas from certain criticisms don't necessarily suport Hamas' agenda.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:55:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  So you've gone from (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            volleyboy1, mahakali overdrive

            Likud enthusiasts abound

            to

            Several are still here.

            It can't be both. I'm not sure either is correct.

            •  Kane... you are wasting your time (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kane in CA

              These morons think that Meretz=Likud, if they do that, how would you expect that they understand the differences in the Israeli polity? It is completely beyond them. In the non-reality based community anyone who is not part of their group is a full throated supporter of Likud - Betainu.

              There are a few Likud supporters here but, not many. The people they support Likud though are not those individuals. But hey a bit of stupidity never stopped anyone now did it?

              "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

              by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:28:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Here's another quote from your link, charliehall2: (6+ / 0-)
      "Betar -
       The love of the entire land of Israel. Betar supports the concept of a Jewish state with a Jewish Majority in its biblical-homeland. The entire land of Israel as given to the Jewish people by G-d with it's eternal capital Jerusalem. We therefore wholeheartedly support the settlement of all of Israel including Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights, and support the rights of all Jews to live anywhere in Israel."
      Of course, many Jews in American and in Israel do NOT support an ideology that suggests that any people are entitled to any land belonging to others except through negotiation and mutually agreed upon fair compensation.  The so-called settlement practices of the Palestinian territories today simply lack the element of fairness.

       

      “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

      by RJDixon74135 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:37:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a fascinating statement: (6+ / 0-)
      Most political movements in Israel now officially support the creation of a Palestinian state. But that won't happen until the terrorists either change or are put out of business.
      So Israel shows its support for the creation of a Palestinian state by expanding the so-called settlements in the West Bank, destroying more Palestinian homes, claiming more Palestinian resources for its own use, etc.  But in charliehall2's conception, Israel is innocent.
  •  Beautiful, David (27+ / 0-)

    This is such a well-thought-out argument for your point of view (and mine, though I am of an earlier generation) and as usual so beautifully written, while it takes into account the need of the Jewish people for survival that, even after 64 years with a Jewish state, will not go away.

    Thank you.  I'm working on a diary of some of the work of progressives within Israel during the conflict that will complement this.

    Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

    by ramara on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:46:05 PM PST

  •  No, as a minority group, we are not going (4+ / 0-)

    to say that we should be LESS represented in Government. That makes no sense. It is not something we ought to advocate: less Jews in Government. Is that not what civil rights seeks to do, in no small part? In the United States? To support minorities toward obtaining stronger leadership roles, be they African-American, Asian, LGBT, Women, Muslim, or even Palestinian?

    I welcome more Jews into our Government. 82% of American Jews support a 2-state solution, for one thing. I can find the citation if needed, but I've offered it in the past few days.

    If the Israeli Government, and the Israeli lobbies in the U.S., are corrupt, this is its own problem. But it is NOT a problem of minority over-representation in the U.S. of Jewish people. Period.

    I am horrified every single day by what is happening to Palestinians, and with one fell swoop, I would do everything in my power to end this outrageous, inhumane situation. But the solution there hardly -- HARDLY -- lies with Jewish-American Governmental figures (although some of the lobby groups may be an issue, as all lobbyists do influence politics toward their own ends).

    This is not a matter of victimhood or survival. I'm no Zionist. I don't give a flying fuck about my "right of return" or whatever. And yes, I am Jewish as well. And I support two-states that find peace, and I don't like the lobbyists just like I don't like MOST lobbyists. But I don't like the call for LESS minority representation in Government, which is already white dominated (and I don't consider myself "white." I'm Middle Eastern in my view).

    I feel your diary presents a very strange view of things, I'm sorry to say. I am surprised by it. I know you've been through a tremendous deal of personal hardship yourself that I cannot begin to fathom. But this is just not acceptable, anymore than it would be acceptable to say that an African-American President is the core problem for why violence continues in the Congo or some tripe like that. Maybe you can persuade me otherwise, but the stereotyping is unacceptable here, and the cultural psychoanalysis is flat wrong -- particularly and again with 82% of U.S. Jews in support of a two-state solution; these aren't all twenty-two year olds.

    •  And by the way, I would equally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA

      call for more Palestinian representation in our Government on the same note, just like I would more Muslim representation too.

      •  Only Palestinian American politicians I'm aware of (0+ / 0-)

        are the John Sununus, father and son. And I am very glad that they are both retired from politics. As should be everyone on dailykos.

      •  How far would you take this position? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        If you advocate that every minority group should have more representation in Congress, there aren't enough representatives. And what about when you have members of minority groups running against one another?

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:53:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How far would I take this? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Mama, mithra

          Until the playing field is representative of the U.S. public as a whole, I suppose. We're a melting pot, and as such, I like to support as many non-majority persons as possible. There's no magic number here. And maybe I misread, as stated below, although I still don't understand how we are "overrepresented" in any way in the United States. I feel we are represented decently in places. But in many parts of the U.S., there are few Jewish people at all.

          •  The fact is that there are (0+ / 0-)

            a higher percentage of Jews in elected positions, at least at the federal level, than the percentage of Jews in the overall population of the country. I don't see that as a bad thing, certainly, but I don't see a need to call for electing more Jews either. If someone is Jewish and a good candidate, they should be supported. If they are Joe Lieberman or Eric Cantor, they shouldn't, IMO.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:31:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Most are Democrats (0+ / 0-)

              some are openly gay. Most represent a lsmall number of states. Only one Jewish Senator is a woman. Only 2 Jews in Congress are Republicans. At least two (or more) are part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

              •  That's mostly true, but (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, Smoh, sfbob

                I'm not sure I understand what your point is.

                Most Jews are Democrats, so it's not unexpected that most of them in Congress are as well. I'm not going to advocate for more Republican Jews in Congress, or Republican anybody else.

                Most of the states without Jewish representatives are either small or have a smaller than average percentage of Jews among the population. Does it make sense to expect a Jewish representative in Montana? I'm not saying that there shouldn't be one, but I don't think it reflects badly on the state that there isn't. Perhaps you could say New Jersey should have one. Over 4% of New Jersey's population is Jewish, higher than the national average. If they had a Jewish representative, 7.6% of their delegation would be Jewish. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm not sure that in itself would improve the quality of New Jersey's representation.

                There are two female Jewish senators (Feinstein and Boxer), about the same percentage as the number of women in the Senate as a whole. I do think there should be more women in government, as well as more men and women who are not anti-woman, because women have still not reached equality in this area, and because there is a problem with too much legislation that is detrimental to women.

                I don't think there are too many Jews in Congress or anywhere else. But I don't think that means there are not enough, either. And I also don't think there are too many Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans, etc. But, there are a limited number of offices, so if there is more of one group, there will be less of another.

                I do think there needs to be more diversity in our government, but I don't that's just about the identities of candidates.

                "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:19:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  There are two (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, sfbob, volleyboy1

                women Jewish Senators. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. Not sure which one you didn't count.

    •  To be clear about my objection (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA

      it is to this language from the diary:

      I'm simply stating what some are afraid to say: Jews, who make up only 1.2% of the U.S. population, are (in my ranging experiences) disproportionately represented in social action and progressive endeavors in the United States.
      And
      For deep down, existentially, Jews fear one thing more than any other: being exterminated. And Israel is literally and emotionally entwined (inextricably) with such survival.

      And so many American Jews allow themselves to largely be ignorant of or ignore the plight of the Palestinians. Not out of malice. But out of an uber-sensitivity and hyper-focus on Jewish victimhood, on Jewish survival.

      •  But the paragraphs you cite (4+ / 0-)

        don't mention government, and don't advocate that the representation should be less.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:45:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, my presumption then (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kane in CA

          when saying that we are "disproportionately represented in social action," I did presume that meant in terms of our Governmental presence. Which is a better critique to make, I think, then to say we, as citizens, are disproportionately serving as activists? That never even crossed my mind.

          I don't think that there are too many Jewish activists either, and I also don't think that those Jewish activists who exist focus unduly on victimization and a fear of our ontological failure to survive. That seems really silly to me. I'm in my mid-late 30's. I don't feel victimized, nor do I feel like I'm going to be smited (smote?) out of existence by some harsh fist.

          Maybe I read the diary oddly? I don't quite see what this thing about victimization, hyper-sensitivity, and survival has to do with anything one way or another. And I don't like these stamps.

          •  I agree entirely (5+ / 0-)

            I find this bit of psychoanalysis:

            And so many American Jews allow themselves to largely be ignorant of or ignore the plight of the Palestinians. Not out of malice. But out of an uber-sensitivity and hyper-focus on Jewish victimhood, on Jewish survival.
            incredibly offensive. The claim here is that only enlightened Jews think differently. And the rest are are ignorant as a result of an inability to come to rational conclusions, blinded by hyper-sensitivy and victimhood.

            In a different context, these same accusations would be assailed here.

            •  I support a Palestinian State (4+ / 0-)

              and I believe what has happened is flatly atrocious. I have not minced words here, and my record on this is consistent. In addition, I have been an advocate/activist for anti-war, peace, and civil rights for most of my adult life in some capacity or other.

              And I don't like this sort of divisive rhetoric about Jewish people. Is it true that some Jewish people don't support a 2-State solution in the U.S.? Yes. 18% do not. Is that because they are thin-skinned, focused on their victimhood, and essentially being reactive to the Holocaust, which is what is embedded in this line of thinking? I think that's a broad brush to use toward people and falls into "blame the victim" mentality. People have political differences. I can't apply a broad-brush here. I think American Jews don't want to see anyone persecuted, to be honest. If anything, there may be a simple bit of remove from the situation in Israel for some. And like all people, others just don't believe the same things as other people do. There are a huge number of white people who definitely don't give a crap about Palestinians, or civil rights, or deaths, etc. so singling out "Jews" for this, from other Jews, it makes no sense to me to do that.

              But I did initially read it to mean Government (it was the bit about what I said, plus AIPAC, that made me think that, upon re-reading it).

          •  I didn't take the use of the word (14+ / 0-)

            "disproportionate" to be intended as a criticism, but rather a statement of pride that The Troubadour believes that Jews have been involved in social action in numbers greater than our percentage of the overall population.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:38:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hm, that's possible (0+ / 0-)

              but it seemed like it was a condemnation. There's been a ton of talk lately about disproportionate responses lately in discussions of Israel and Palestine.

              If I did read this wrong, understand that there's good reason for that. A quick examination of the synonyms for "disproportionate" reveals, for entry #2 (the first is split between neutral and negative connotations):

              Main Entry:     inappropriate
              Part of Speech:     adjective
              Definition:     not proper, suitable
              Synonyms:     bad form, disproportionate , foot-in-mouth, garbage*, ill-fitted, ill-suited, ill-timed, improper, inapplicable, inapropos, incongruous, inconsonant, incorrect, indecorous, inept, irrelevant, left-field, malapropos, off*, out of line, out of place, tasteless, unbecoming, unbefitting, undue, unfit, unfitting, unmeet, unseasonable, unseemly, unsuitable, untimely, way off, wrong, wrong-number
              Antonyms:     appropriate, fitting, ok, proper, suitable
              As you can see, these words largely have a negative connotation to them.

              As a synonym,  a more neutral "unequal" is a bit lower down at entry #6, below a spate of neutral-negative uses.

              Sorry to play English teacher. I'm not chastising your read, just explaining why that would (understandably) read differently to some. Who knows? Maybe I've read it all wrong and in the wrong light. I believe the intention of the diary was quite good, FWIW.  

      •  MO, it seems you've taken this in a way that (8+ / 0-)

        it was not intended. I never mention government involvement, and note Jews' representation in social action as a positive, not negative, element.

        I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

        by David Harris Gershon on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:25:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I had no idea that 82% of Jewish Americans want (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sydneyluv, sb, corvo, Smoh, mithra, 417els

      Israel and the US to recognize Palestine.

      I learn a lot here.

      "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

      by JesseCW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:48:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  according to exit polls (8+ / 0-)
        Fully 82 percent of Jews support a two-state solution that ends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem if it resulted in all Arab countries establishing full diplomatic ties with Israel. An equal number believe a two-state solution is needed to strengthen Israel security and ensure its Jewish democratic character, and that it is important for America’s national security interests.
        http://www.thejewishweek.com/...

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:20:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I should note that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Simplify, mahakali overdrive, sfbob

          this poll was conducted for J Street.

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:22:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh. An abstract "two state solution" at some (6+ / 0-)

          future date that might happen in some fuzzy sort of way.

          Palestinians have no right to self determination, but if every "Arab Country" will just establish diplomatic ties with Israel (occupied Golan Heights?  What occupied Golan Heights?) then maybe go ahead and say they will be allowed to have a state.  If they behave.  

          Not the actual recognition of two states.

          See, the two are completely different things.

          "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

          by JesseCW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:35:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think a "two-state solution" (4+ / 0-)

            implies two actual states. Yes, that question was phrased in a conditional way. Nothing that says that a majority of Jews believe that "Palestinians have no right to self-determination". What do you think the percentage would be of non-Jewish Americans to the same question? (apart from the large percentage who would answer "don't care")

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:40:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is a difference between paying (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, Smoh

              lip service to supporting something at some fuzzy future date under some bizarre set of unrealistic conditions, and actually supporting something.

              I don't suspect that there's any large difference between American Jews and Americans in general on this issue.  I'm not the one who brought the poll to the table.

              A two state solution requires two states.  Those who claim one of those states only deserves recognition "if" don't actually support it at all.

              "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

              by JesseCW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:47:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I brought up the poll to show the (3+ / 0-)

                evidence for the number that you questioned. I suspect that if they had framed the question to your satisfaction, the number would have been lower, as it has been in other surveys.

                "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:56:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Setting aside all other issues - (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sydneyluv, corvo, Smoh

                  You do understand the difference between "Do you support a two state solution"

                  and

                  "would you support a two state solution in this rather silly fantasy world we've concocted for purposes of this poll"

                  right?

                  I'm really not just talking semantics when I say that one cannot simultaneously argue that Palestinians are a people with a right to form a state in their own homeland....and argue that Israel and the US should deny them that right until they agree to a list of conditions.

                  My whole point was to point out the difference between supporting a Palestinian right to recognition of their State, and supporting efforts to extort Palestinians by denying them basic civil rights.

                  "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

                  by JesseCW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:03:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Supporting a Palestinian state (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mithra

                    implies that the US and Israel should recognize that state when it is established. It doesn't necessarily imply that the Palestinians have the right to the recognition of their state before it is established. In order for it to be established, there has to be compromise, and there will be conditions.

                    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:10:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It has been established. 2/3rds of the world (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sb, corvo, Smoh

                      has recognized it.  It is currently occupied by Israel.

                      "the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared material at these facilities and LOFs."

                      by JesseCW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:12:52 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Recognition by (4+ / 0-)

                        a majority of countries is only part of what's necessary to establish an actual state. Israel has to end the occupation of the areas that will be part of the state, and there will need to be negotiation about at least some of the existing settlements, regardless of their legality, or lack thereof, in the first place.

                        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:34:33 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  What about that "if" clause? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          isabelle hayes, corvo, Smoh, letsgetreal
          Fully 82 percent of Jews support a two-state solution that ends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem if it resulted in all Arab countries establishing full diplomatic ties with Israel.
          Statehood for Palestinians should be recognized as a human right, without conditions, and certainly not dependent on what all Arab countries do with respect to full diplomatic ties with Israel, something not even under the control of Palestinians.

          “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

          by RJDixon74135 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:58:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't see statehood itself as (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kane in CA, mithra

            a human right. It is a mechanism to hopefully protect human rights, but not itself a human right.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:04:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  See the link to Zogby's poll below (0+ / 0-)

            It doesn't have that "if" clause.

            I'm not finding a lot of polls conducted otherwise in the U.S. but there's one other that I'm aware of; I just cannot begin to remember it's name, but it was a large poll. If I remember it, I'll repost it. I think it was more like 70%ish.

        •  Here, Zogby did a poll that is similar (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, sfbob, volleyboy1

          And it has feedback from both Jewish Americans and Arab Americans:

          http://peacenow.org/...

          "Despite heightened tensions and the devastation of continued conflicts in the region, solid majorities of Arab Americans and Jewish Americans are united in their desire an end to the occupation and settlements, and for peace through a two-state solution," added James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute.

          -cut-

          Almost all Jewish Americans (90%) and Arab Americans (96%) believe that Palestinians have a right to live in a secure and independent state of their own.

          So Zogby puts it at 90%. This was in 2007.
  •  I'm a 62-year-old Jew and I am not appeased. (16+ / 0-)

    I do not support Israel in it's over-reacting and open ended occupation and systematic degradation of the human beings in Gaza and the West Bank.  Let these PEOPLE go!  Stop oppressing them now!

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:01:20 PM PST

  •  I do not know what to think anymore. (7+ / 0-)

    My gut feeling right now is that there are folks on both sides of the conflict that feel that keeping it going is going to keep them in power and money. And if that is true, how in hell can the cycle be broken? It has been going on all of my life and the way things look now - it will continue on long past my time on this earth. sigh.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:32:21 PM PST

  •  Thank you for this (11+ / 0-)

    This spells out my feelings so very well, especially the mention about survival and how it feeds AIPAC.  

    Three years ago, my wife and I left our congregation, the year before our eldest daughter's Bat Mitzvah, because of the influence that kind of thinking was having there.  Fortunately, we found a better congregation and her bat Mitzvah was beautiful, perhaps even more so as a result of our efforts.

    Again, thank you for writing this.

  •  This has helped me understand my own feelings (8+ / 0-)

    As a Jew, recent news has left me with very muddled emotions. This really clarifies it all so beautifully and helps me figure out the right next step to try to make things right. Thanks.

    Won't you help me sing / these songs of freedom? / 'Cause all I ever have: / Redemption songs.

    by Valerie on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:57:59 PM PST

  •  You said this so well (11+ / 0-)

    I have always avoided I/P diaries on Daily Kos, not only because I don't want to wade into the inevitable thicket of discord, but also because I can't clearly articulate what I'd like to see done to FIX it.  Or if it can be fixed.  I just know the current system is not just broken, it's, as FishOutOfWater put it in another context, "not even wrong."  Which means worse than being wrong.

    Thank you for explaining this so simply yet poetically.  I appreciate it.  As a completely secular Jew, I don't go out of my way to have a Jewish community, but I always appreciate the opportunity when I run into it.

  •  President Obama maintains the bubble of myths and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, corvo

    … falsehoods surrounding Americans' perceptions of the Middle East.

    This may or may not be prudent politics in terms of domestic kabuki (competition between Democrats and Republicans over which team is more pro-Israel).

    Back in the real world of the Middle East, it's hard to see how any problems can be addressed if the appraisal of them is dishonest to begin with.
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/...

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:12:23 AM PST

  •  For some reason, EuroAmericans are fixated on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, stargaze, corvo

    life and death, permitting abusive behavior to go on apace. So, we put up with child abuse, spouse abuse, immigrant abuse, minority abuse, sectarian abuse -- all kinds of abuse, as long as the victims aren't killed.
    I suspect it's because the living are perceived as potential and proper targets of domination. Domination, albeit not on the basis of race and, increasingly, gender, is still considered a social good, the basis of good order, derived from a ranking of people in a hierarchy. The culture of obedience, because it is essentially the antithesis of individual freedom and human rights, has to be maintained. And maintaining compliance by punishing the non-compliant as exemplars has proved both effective and safe. After all, wholesale repression and punishment almost inevitably sparks resistance. So, if propaganda doesn't effect compliance, punishing whatever group is likely to offer the least resistance comes next. And the people who are least likely to resist are innocents for the simple reason that they do not expect to be attacked.

    "We fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here." Dubya said it. Nobody asked who "them" were and are. Had they asked, his answer would not have been honest. That the people, in general, are the enemy of the rulers is not to be admitted because the rule of the few over the many is, on its face, ludicrous and, yet, a constant ambition. Why?  Because, I have about decided, humans continue to produce a relatively small population of individuals whose practical skills are such that they simply cannot sustain themselves or produce anything that anyone else wants. All they have, if they are lucky, is the gift of gab, an ability to demand for themselves from others what they can't make themselves. Their practical incompetence relegates them to demanding and/or taking. And, indeed, their verbal accuity lets them pervert their own incompence into the delusion that taking is actually making.  Which it is, if one equates "making" with the use of force -- to make someone hand over what he has made with his own hands.

    When you come right down to it, coercion involves the application of force to one's own kind to exact sustenance, what one needs to survive, instead of applying oneself to the transformation of inert and/or organic matter into sife-sustaining substances. Humans coerce their own kind because they are unable to comprehend and manipulate the processes of nature to their own purposes. On the other hand, some humans are so clever that they produce much more than they themselves can possibly use and, as a result, don't even mind sharing. Unfortunately, our insecure bretheren don't understand that and resort to coercion, perhaps even out of habit, because they don't know any better.

    To what extent has Israel become a haven for insecure Jews? In the beginning, weren't they prompted to set up self-sustaining agricultural communes by people who had themselves existed for generations as the producers of art and culture and commerce in urban areas? I don't know. All I know is that when I applied (1962) for a post-graduate Woodrow Wilson Fellowship I was supposed to have an opinion about Israeli kibbutzim. I didn't and, presumably, that's why I didn't measure up to expectations and wasn't awarded a fellow-ship. And, to be honest, Israeli communes didn't strike me as significant then or now. I may be wrong. But, none of the Jews I knew well were into agriculture.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:39:40 AM PST

  •  I apologize for coming to this belatedly (11+ / 0-)

    I write from the perspective of someone who is no longer religiously Jewish, although I have been shaped as much by my Judaic heritage as I have been by my choice to identify as a Friend, a Quaker.

    I do not remember a time when I was not concerned with others.

    In the non-practicing Reform Jewish household in which I was raised, the subject could never be avoided.

    Yes, there were times of specific Jewish concern - 1956 and Sinai for example.  Or as my mother, who from the late 50s served as vice-chair of the Town Republican Committee, explaining why she would vote for JFK rather than Nixon.  First, both she and my father had encountered Nixon in the OPA before WWII and neither liked nor trusted him. But of greater importance were these words shared:  "If  Catholic cannot get elected in 1960, what chance will there ever be for a Jew?"  She was not fond of the Catholic Church of Mid-Century, but she also rejected prejudice in any form against anyone, and I was shaped by those values.  Perhaps it was because her mother and aunts had escaped from Bialystok during a pogram in the early part of the century.

    I suppose my activity in politics and my decision to become a teacher are both a product of that passion for justice which I imbibed starting with my mother's milk.

    Our concern can never be for justice just for ourselves and our own.  Justice denied for anyone is justice denied for all not wielding the levers of power.

    Or, if I may quote from Hillel:

    If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
    And if I am only for myself, then what am I?
    And if not now, when?

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:51:27 AM PST

  •  Tears... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, The Troubadour, US Blues, sfbob

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:49:57 AM PST

  •  Hamas charter, media and public statements (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kane in CA, volleyboy1

    are openly anti-jew, anti-Christian, misogynistic, homophobic and pro sharia law (by force).  Why there is any sympathy for them on this site is beyond me.

    •  I don't understand the support for either of em. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      US Blues, corvo, Mindful Nature

      Isreal is obviously an aggressive, interventionist nuclear theocracy that wont comply with global nuclear weapons control treaties including the NNPT.

      The Palestinians clearly foment and support Hamas, Hezbolah, and other clearly understood terrorist groups.

      Why the United States has anything to do with either of these people is beyond my grasp. Neither of them have anything we need and both of them do nothing but make trouble.

      •  Israel developed and maintains (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1

        nuclear weapons as a deterrent and to defend itself. Considering that so many countries are hostile to Israel, why shouldn't they have these weapons?

        •  Well, international law? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          letsgetreal

          I mean shouldn't they comply with non proliferation treaties? Everyone wants nuclear weapons as a deterrant. But everyone can't have them because of international law.

          But on the issue of deterrance, they aren't on solid ground their either.

          There are no nuclear powers in the region that have ever aimed nuclear weapons at Israel. Secondly, the folks who could nuke Isreal (us..the Russians, the British the French, and the Chinese) have no interest in doing it and they couldn't stop us from doing it if we wanted to.

          And on the conventional front, Israel has already defeated every power that has ever attacked it. Decisively. They never needed a nuclear deterrant to do it either.

          So really, there is no real reason not to comply with the control treaties if there's nothing to hide. You aren't going to stop Hezbollah or Hamas with an ICBM.

          •  International law is not meant to be (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kane in CA, volleyboy1

            a suicide pact.  Iran is developing nuclear weapons and has repeatedly threatened Israel--and given radical islamist ideology--wherein no non muslim state can exist in  a formerly muslim land--it's foolish for Israel to consider giving up it's nuclear weapons.

            •  What is to prevent (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              Israel from joining the international protocols for tracking and accounting for fissile material?

            •  Who said anything about giving them up? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              whizdom, corvo

              The NNPT doesn't require you to not have nuclear weapons. We signed and we have them. The Russians signed it and they have them. In fact, the only countries that have not signed it are North Korea, Pakistan, and Isreal. Good company, right?

              Israeal can submit to normal monitoring by the IAEA just like every other nuclear power that isn't a rogue state. Just like we do and we have far more enemies than Israel. In fact, if Iran gets a nuclear weapon America is much more likely to get hit before Israel is.

              Totally with you on the Iran thing. But that's not an excuse not to comply with international law.

            •  No one said anything about "giving up" weapons (0+ / 0-)

              But Israel has refused to declare how many weapons it has or join a treaty. That's bullshit

              The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

              by LiberalLady on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:41:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  They haven't signed those treaties (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego

            so, no, technically.

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:32:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I should have added the bioweapons and chemical (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          weapons conventions as well. Israel hasn't committed to those either and US intelligence have long published their opinions that Israel has both a biological and a chemical weapons program.

        •  Against whom would Israel (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          protectspice

          use its nukes?  With the exception of Iran, all of the states Israel would be most likelky to go to war against are too close to Israel for the employment of nukes.  Unless Israelis are magically impervious to fallout, and I somehow doubt that's the case.

        •  This is a tired canard (0+ / 0-)

          Jordan is not an enemy of Israel, and neither is Egypt. If Israel can have nuclear weapons as a "deterrent", why can't Iran? Israel should declare its weapons  -- as every other nation with nukes has done.

          The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

          by LiberalLady on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:40:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Israel is no more a theocracy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kane in CA

        than we are. There are theocratic movements, just as in this country, but a higher percentage of Israelis are secular and non-religious, and since it is a parliamentary democracy, that matters.

        Since they are not signatories of the NNPT, they have no legal obligation to comply with it.

        As for the Palestinians, many of them support Hamas, and some support Islamic Jihad and other extremist groups (Hezbollah is primarily in Lebanon). But you are generalizing and painting with a broad brush. Many of them don't support the militant methods of Hamas or other groups.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:35:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  None of it is any of our business in any case. (0+ / 0-)

          They do call themselves a Jewish State. A religious symbol is on their flag. Ones religion is a qualification for citizenship.

          The United States has none of these things.

          Any nantion with nuclear weapons that isn't signing the NNPT is a rogue state. The United States should not be doing normal diplomatic business with rogue states with nukes. Isreal should be kept at arms length much like  Pakistan.

          As for the Palestinians, it is perfectly clear that a significant enough chunk of them support known terrorist organizations to be able to make the safe generalization that these people support terrorism. The Isrealis didn't build massive walls around these peopel for there peaceful demonstrations Ghandi or Mandela style.

           But most importantly, the United States has no major economic or national security interest in what happens in that region, except as it relates to the relative safety of the Suez Canal and our TREATY ALLY Turkey.

          •  Jewish identity is ethnoreligious (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sfbob, mahakali overdrive

            in nature, meaning that there are both ethnic and religious aspects. Zionism was originally a form of ethnic nationalism, like many 19th century nationalist movements. Religious Zionism is more recent, and was not the main force behind the establishment of the State of Israel. The symbol is a Jewish symbol, but it is not explicitly religious, but tied to both a national myth and a religious myth. Nearly 25% of the population is non-Jewish, and a large percentage of those who identify as Jewish are non-religious. The Law of Return is not the only way to establish citizenship, AFAIK, and while the rules defining who is a Jew are religiously based (matrilineal decent, Orthodox conversion, etc.), a person doesn't have to personally subscribe to Judaism in order to qualify.

            Regarding the Palestinians, I think you have a similarly overly simplistic view.

            My point isn't to defend or condemn these things, but I felt that your comment was inaccurate.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:07:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  The best way to dismantle Hamas (4+ / 0-)

      is a durable peace status arrangement.

    •  I think you are wrong to the extent you suggest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA

      that this site is sympathetic to Hamas.

      I share your frustration that -- far too often -- certain people's analyses here seem to completely ignore the fact that Hamas is a vile organization, comprised of Jew-hating terrorist thugs. But the most likely reason is because recognition of this fact wouldn't fit into certain convenient narratives.

      But that is different than expressing sympathy (or support) for Hamas.  

      •  You know... (and livosh you know where I stand) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sandbox, Kane in CA

        after this latest round... I am going to disagree with you regarding the site.

        I agree with your comment here and it appears repeating

        far too often -- certain people's analyses here seem to completely ignore the fact that Hamas is a vile organization, comprised of Jew-hating terrorist thugs. But the most likely reason is because recognition of this fact wouldn't fit into certain convenient narratives.
        While there may not be outright support for Hamas here there is a lot of sympathy for and defense of them.

        "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

        by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:44:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sort of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht

          I think there is great sympathy for all people living under occupation, as there should be. But there is also much denunciation of attacks on civilians -- on both sides. There are more Palestinians than members of Hamas. Half of Gaza's population was under age when Hamas was elected -- therefore unable to vote. Very few on this site who denounce Hamas mention the West Bank at all. Did the rest of Palestinians disappear?

          The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

          by LiberalLady on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:48:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

          This "fellow traveler with Hamas", and pallin' around with terrorists meme has to stop.   It is McCarthyism of our era.  One can be for dignity and rights of labor, without being a marxist.   To make those connections only reflects the shallowness and poverty of the argument for continuing denial of rights.  One can be for self determination and freedom from terror and hunger of an oppressed people and anti-Hamas.  Most of us are.  

          •  Oh bullshit (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            livosh1

            Oh stop with the drama....

            First of all it is not McCarthyism... no one is being, arrested or hauled in front of House Committees. No one is saying you don't have a right to publish your opinions or anything else. So save it:

            One can be for self determination and freedom from terror and hunger of an oppressed people and anti-Hamas.  Most of us are.  
            Amazing... so you one can be for self-determination... and yet people are very quick to deny the self-determination of only the Jewish People, particularly when they talk in terms of the one state solution. Oh wait... people can be for freedom for terror... yet, when hundreds and thousands of rockets rain down on Israeli civilian targets not a word is spoken. No diaries, no nothing. AND when people stand up to that terror they are called Likud supporters. As far as anti-Hamas... Oh really. Tell me, oh oppressed one, WHERE are the anti-Hamas diaries and commentary here. Aside from single throw away lines about Hamas, there is nothing.

            Oh and in a week when Assad forces killed 817 Syrian civilians... Daily Kos went nuts about Israel with nary a word about anyone else. It seems only when Israel or Jews are involved is when people need to get their panties in a wad.

            So please... spare us the bullshit about your great humanity. When you actually give a shit and care about the rights of people of all kinds THEN let us know.

            McCarthyism my ass.

            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

            by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:56:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  OK, we disagree (0+ / 0-)

          Can you show me the examples of stuff here that demonstrates either support for or sympathy for Hamas? I think there is a difference between the "let's shit on Israel" diaries/comments and expressions of support or sympathy for Hamas. Do you think this is a Hamas-friendly website?

          •  To your last question... (0+ / 0-)

            I am not sure about that. I think previously I would have argued that it is not. HOWEVER, I think lately it may be. That however, is just my opinion.

            To refine that, while it may not be "Hamas-friendly", it is certainly "Hamas - Tolerant". Would you disagree with that?

            As for the the first part. Sure, I can. Let me go look at a couple of diaries off the top of my head. We'll see.

            "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

            by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:00:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Umm (0+ / 0-)

              Way, way off topic.   If you and livosh want to discuss whether dkosers are "Hamas tolerant", "Hamas friendly", or whatever --  or not,  why not take it to email, or over to your blog, where I believe livosh is a contributor?  Or write a diary about it.

              I mean of course I can't stop you two from continuing with this line of off-topic,  and of course highly inflammatory discussion in TT's diary, but just because it's now off the rec list it doesn't mean the diary thread shouldn't stay on topic.

    •  That paints all Palestinians with same brush (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, Brecht

      And completely ignores the occupation. The sympathy on this site lies with Palestinians who remain crushed under illegal occupation and colonialist expansion.

      The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

      by LiberalLady on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:38:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What an important, human concept, I wonder at (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, The Troubadour, sfbob

    its depth.
       Closure, acceptance, hierarchical understanding... all stood on their heads, somewhat, by openness to a fully-nerved awareness of what we effect on the world around us.
       Understanding is a very important first step in founding real change in the world.  Not putting on, nor wishing to own the blinders of convention, is a rare ability indeed.

  •  Generational exceptionalism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    Great post, but I might take a little exception with your claim that growing number of young Jews are growing up with a greater understanding of (and presumably greater sympathy for) the Palestinian plight. Especially without offering any evidence to support this assertion, I have trouble accepting it.

    Palestinian suffering is probably increasing because the occupation becomes longer, and also probably harsher in many ways, so there may be more to see. It's also harder to deflect blame over time, because the Palestinian situation cannot still be blamed on their former stateless status under Arab control. So, it might be that awareness of their plight is broader -- and that would be true across generations.

    The thing is, I sense the opposite is more likely true. Israeli politics used to be much more balanced and more hopeful. The Rabin years especially stand out, but it wasn't just confined to those years. That's just when we saw real progress toward peace. Labor and Meretz were competitive electorally and they insisted on working towards a two-state solution. Today, Israeli politics is far more fatalistic and it's hard to find any real mainstream support for a negotiated peace. I haven't talked much about this with my younger relatives in Israel, but they seem similar to their parents -- perhaps a little more questioning of their religious/national identity to begin with, but that is always the province of youth...the kind of thing that evaporates over time., to be replaced by greater cynicism.

    Unless you can point me to real evidence that younger Israelis have significantly different attitudes, I'm inclined to think that you're looking at the youth with rose-colored glasses, if you think they're markedly different than those that preceded them.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:51:35 AM PST

    •  Not younger Israelis, younger U.S. Jews. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, letsgetreal, FischFry, poco

      Several polls have recently shown younger U.S. Jews are both more attached to Israel and more critical.

      Here's one: http://forward.com/...

      I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

      by David Harris Gershon on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:16:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a division in the youts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        almost polarizing.  

      •  Ahhhh (0+ / 0-)

        In which case, I think I have more to add here -- and I distrust any poll that shows US Jews are more attached to Israel. I think those links are clearly fading. While there are some -- especially those in the religious settle groups -- that are getting more attached, I think fewer and fewer American Jews in all generations care as much about Israel as we have before. There are a lot of reasons for this, but I think many of us do not approve of the country's direction, so it is easier to distance ourselves..

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:17:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  While I don't have any evidence (0+ / 0-)

      since it isn't a subject I have much experience with, the reason it seems very plausible to me, is that the youth has a much greater variety of news sources through the internet, than older people do. Thus they are more likely to read things pro palestine than people who read or see mostly traditional news.

      "We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

      by Mudderway on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:44:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beautiful Post (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, The Troubadour, corvo

    Your post expressed feelings I've been having for a long time, in a much more thoughtful and meaningful way. Thank you.

  •  David- you sir are a mensch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    Bringing this perspective to light is essential. The unresolved fear of annihilation left over from the Holocaust has caused Israel to behave towards the Palestinians in much the same way that Jews were treated in Europe. The potential for healing and peace is always present, and will require true bravery on the part of people and their leaders.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:42:52 AM PST

  •  Exceptionalism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    letsgetreal, sfbob, stargaze

    As I've posted before, I'm a Jew who grew up in a small, southern Baptist town in Arkansas (about 25 miles from Memphis). I was involved in the Civil Rights struggle, and later in other political and social movements.

    This is a wonderful diary, and talks about that most important subject, Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. My bro stayed in Arkansas and became a messianic Jew, a Jew for Jesus guy, though he doesn't wholly agree with the approach of Jews for Jesus. There are a lot of messianic Jewish ministries it turns out, and they all differ in their schtick a bit. But I digress.

    He voted for Romney because of two issues. Abortion. And he claims Obama doesn't support Israel. We don't talk a lot about politics, but I know he receives a lot of that bullshit email from his rightwing friends. My bro says God doesn't intend for the Palestinians to have any right to that land, they took it from Israel long ago, and God has finally returned the land to Israel. The Palestinians will either leave or be killed. My bro is a retired doctor, who was very skilled. He's a smart, funny guy. But on this issue, and issues of religion, he manages to wear one of the biggest dunce hats I've ever seen. I can't believe it's the same guy who used to sit on the couch with me reading MAD Magazine and roaring. His idea of Jewish (and Christian) exceptionalism really excludes the rest of the world.

    So for me, I don't support the exceptionalism thing.

    Why? Perhaps it's Talmudic values. Perhaps it's the shadows of Buchenwald and Auschwitz. Perhaps it's the reverberations of European socialist values. Or, as my Mom would say, perhaps it's because every Jewish mother wants one thing for her child more than anything: that he/she be a mensch (a good person). It's cultural, this unique, American melding in Jewish communities of progressive, humanitarian values and traditional Judaism that occurred (remarkably, perhaps miraculously) in the shadow of the Holocaust.
    I also think the "every Jewish mother" or "every anyone" is not the best way to state things, as Jewish mothers--despite what comedians say--are not monolithic in their nature. Fighting monolithic ideas about cultural groups is important in my world.

    I do think that Jews have historically had to look into the societies they lived in mostly from the outside. They were generally kept on the margins. At times, they were allowed to become part of the flow of melting pot societies, but mostly they've lived on the margins. This gives any people an impetus to strengthen cultural ties with one another, for assimilation is not so easy then.

    And I think that any group that views the culture in which the live from the margins, rather than from the center, sees that culture more clearly, and can better analyze and critique that culture. I think that's why European socialist values rang so clearly for early 20th Century American Jews (and they were a big part of formulating those values in Europe).

    Most of my Jewish friends are for a two-state solution. Some of my family are not. Personally, I feel that Israel will not survive if they don't facilitate the Palestinians setting up a viable state where Palestinian children have a decent education and the Palestinian people have a decent access to earning good living and determining their own destiny. As the Middle East continues it's transformation from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century, those countries will get stronger, and at some point the will not tolerate Israel's "exceptionalism", in spite of U.S. support.

    There are wonderful black, hispanic, and Native American poets in America who have also lived in the margins of society, not the center, and they write beautiful poems critiquing the culture too. Not sure if I'm being clear here on what I'm getting at. I guess I just don't like the whole idea of exceptionalism.

    But I very much liked your diary.

  •  Having a blindspot to the plight of Palestinians (0+ / 0-)

    pertains to most liberals of all ethnicities and religions.  

    We are all being brainwashed by the MSM to believe that Palestinians and most Muslims are terrorists from birth, were behind 9/11, and have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction aimed directly at us.  

    There is a consortium of special interests who want to vanquish Muslim nations for hegemony, natural resources, and war profiteering.

    Read up on PNAC, a group that has been warmongering against Muslim nations since the 90s, to see who the ruthless players are.   It is an organization of oil men, far right Israelis who want to flatten Gaza and destroy the infrastructure of Muslim nations, and military industrialists who will all benefit by waging perpetual war against most Muslim nations in the Middle East, not just Palestine.

    They're beating the war drums against Iran now.  Let's hope we all wake up in time to spare yet another country from the shock and awe of depleted uranium bombs that cause not only death and destruction now, but horrific birth defects to generations to come.

    Pure evil.

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:04:29 AM PST

    •  Couple points here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1

      First, PNAC, as a practical matter, no longer exists, though I suspect most of its members and supporters still maintain similar philosophies.

      Second, I've seen many membership lists, and can't remember seeing a single Israeli on the list.

      •  Although PNAC disbanded, members still at it. (0+ / 0-)

        Why are you making this point:

        Second, I've seen many membership lists, and can't remember seeing a single Israeli on the list.
        in response to my comment?

        My comment makes the point:  

        Having a blindspot to the plight of Palestinians pertains to most liberals of all ethnicities and religions.  

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:15:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because your comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          says:

          It [PNAC] is an organization of oil men, far right Israelis who want to....
          And the bolded part is/was factually inaccurate. Irrespective of what they wanted to do, they are/were not Israelis. They were Americans.
          •  You are right to have corrected me on that. I (0+ / 0-)

            didn't spend enough time checking this comment.  I meant to say far right on the spectrum of Israeli politics.

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:02:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Are some of them dual citizens? I have read that (0+ / 0-)

            some of them are dual citizens of Israel and the US, but I can't verify it.

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:15:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The accusation that various American Jews (3+ / 0-)

              is a common one that feeds into an antisemitic theme of dual loyalty. It's partly based on the false idea that all Jews are automatically citizens of Israel. If you have a particular individual in mind, you might ask about that person, but otherwise, it's likely false. And you should pay attention to the biases of the sources you read.

              "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

              by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:54:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  sorry, meant to say (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kane in CA

                "The accusation that various American Jews are dual citizens..."

                "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:55:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yellowcake anyone? All of us should be careful (0+ / 0-)

                  about our sources of news.  Iraq war was based on lies that were  widely reported in the MSM, New York Times, etc.

                  Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                  by CIndyCasella on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:12:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  PNAC members lied us into Iraq War, and they're (0+ / 0-)

                  now trying to "talk" us into a war with Iran.

                  I don't believe anything PNAC former members say.  It makes me absolutely sick how they are on the MSM as "experts" when they were completely wrong about Iraq.

                  They're evil, pure and simple.

                  Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                  by CIndyCasella on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:17:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1

                there was any credible evidence that a single member of PNAC held dual citizenship. It was no more than an anti-semitic slur. That whole "dual loyalty" thing. That's not a defense of PNAC, I can't think of a single policy position I shared with them. But their perspective was uniquely American.

                •  Clean Break whitepaper (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CIndyCasella

                  Commissioned by Netanyahu in 95.  Foreign Policy Options for Israel.  Kristol and Perle wrote it.  a few years later, re-tooled and recycled as PNAC Foreign Policy  strategy for US.  Largely operationalized by GWB.  

                  No evidence I know of any of the authors were dual citizens, and bad ideas are independent of national boundaries or loyalties.  

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  •  And rejected (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    volleyboy1

                    upon submission to Netanyahu.

                    •  Well, the weaning off US Aid part (0+ / 0-)

                      yup, that wasn't working for BiBi, but the rest, looks like the playbook.  

                      •  Netanyahu actually (0+ / 0-)

                        endorsed the idea of weaning Israel off US aid in a speech to the US Congress in 1996.

                        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:59:04 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  OK, then (0+ / 0-)

                          how did he reject the paper on receipt?  Looks like he bought into it.

                          •  I don't know about that, (0+ / 0-)

                            but I do remember the speech. That part of it received a lot of applause from both Democrats and Republicans.

                            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:20:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I recall that speech (0+ / 0-)

                            And he, Netanyahu, pretty much adopted the recommendations in the white paper, except for weaning of us aid.

                          •  I wasn't aware of the paper at the time. (0+ / 0-)

                            But it's clear our memories of the speech are different.

                            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:01:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Found a quote (0+ / 0-)

                            from here, although it's not that explicit.

                            In 1998, when Israeli ESF stood at $1.2 billion, the Israeli finance minister arranged with Congress to reduce ESF by $120 million annually over 10 years while increasing annual FMF by $60 million. This plan went into effect in 1999 so that current Israeli ESF roughly amount to $600 million and FMF to $2.1 billion. The rationale behind this plan was first expressed as Israeli policy in a 1996 speech by then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress. Addressing the future of the U.S.–Israel economic relationship, Netanyahu said that, “I believe that we can now say that Israel has reached childhood’s end, that it has matured enough to begin approaching a state of self-reliance…We are going to achieve economic independence.” In stating this goal, Netanyahu had two major projects in mind: ending U.S. economic aid to Israel and reforming the Israeli economy into “a free market of goods and ideas.”22
                            I do see that economic aid (ESF) decreased, while military aid (FMF) increased.

                            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:07:31 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes economic aid has been almost zero'd (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AaronInSanDiego

                            from WiKi, sort of supports your case in one instance.

                            Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt wrote in their controversial and critical "The Israel Lobby" article of March 2006, published in the London Review of Books that the Clean Break paper
                            "called for Israel to take steps to reorder the entire Middle East. Netanyahu did not follow their advice, but Feith, Perle and Wurmser were soon urging the Bush administration to pursue those same goals. The Ha’aretz columnist Akiva Eldar warned that Feith and Perle 'are walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments ... and Israeli interests'."[14]
                            Sidney Blumenthal criticized the report, writing:
                            "Instead of trading land for peace, the neocons advocated tossing aside the Oslo agreements that established negotiations and demanding unconditional Palestinian acceptance of Likud's terms, peace for peace. Rather than negotiations with Syria, they proposed weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. They also advanced a wild scenario to redefine Iraq. Then King Hussein of Jordan would somehow become its ruler; and somehow this Sunni monarch would gain control of the Iraqi Shiites, and through them wean the south Lebanese Shia away from Hezbollah, Iran, an
                            d Syria."[9]
  •  There are days when DKos is worth (3+ / 0-)

    the time and the trouble.  Thanks to your diary, this is one of them.

  •  The Best Delivery of this Message from a Man Most (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, Aunt Martha, sfbob, Brecht

    qualified to deliver it.

    I have many times thought of writing something like this, but as an expatriate Israeli rather than a home-grown American Jew, I would have trod it too heavily.

    Yours is beautiful and poetic.

    Hopefully it will reach even some in the above-50 mainstream Jewish crowd.

    Thank you.

    ps: republished to Adalah.

    •  I only read this diary when I saw your note: (0+ / 0-)
      Editor's Note: A message from the The Troubadour to the American Jewish community, a message that that community's leaders are long overdue in heeding. -- Assaf
      Thanks, Assaf.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:21:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Once upon a time, our spiritual ancestors called.. (6+ / 0-)

    ....texts such as these:

    A Prophecy.

  •  Cheers, David. (9+ / 0-)

    This is beautiful.  I dream of a day when we can begin to build a Palestine/Israel based on these values.  

    If you need the other side to produce a Gandhi, you are on the wrong side

    by soysauce on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:04:20 AM PST

  •  Thank you. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:16:10 AM PST

  •  Beautifully written - one quibble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kane in CA, mahakali overdrive

    One of the things I love most about Daily Kos is the idea of being a "facts based" community - that we respect the use of facts in arguments, that links to reliable sources (for a given value of reliable, of course) are essential in order to have deep conversations about complex issues without yelling at each other.

    This is why I am concerned about your and other's linking to Jewish Voice for Peace.

    JVP does some good work, and often calls out the Jewish community when it places survival over the humanity of others. However, JVP just isn't a reliable source for information. A good example is to read through their "Israeli-Palestinian 101" page. The page is full of one factual statement after another but has no links to reliable outside sources. JVP is an activist group, not a historical society; their lack of links means that they want the reader to focus on their approach to history.

    Their approach is, unfortunately (a) over simplified and (b) in some places downright misleading. The page is presented in a Q&A style. Here is one example of JVP's approach to facts:

    Q: Did the PLO reject a "generous offer" for peace at Camp David in 2000?
    A: No. In fact, there was no Israeli "offer" at all, in the sense of a comprehensive plan to resolve all outstanding differences between the parties. To the extent that Israeli positions on discrete issues could be discerned, they were not "generous." Finally, while Palestinian negotiators did not agree to Israeli demands, they did not "reject" them, but sought to continue negotiations, and offered solutions based on long-accepted principles of international law and justice.
    Here is the relevant section of the Wikipedia page about this summit. Note that this Wikipedia page has none of the usual tags warning about possible bias or inaccuracies on the page. It is impossible to read this section of the page and come to the same conclusion as JVP without ignoring a lot of the available information that was used by Wikipedia's editors. Instead, the JVP answer in this FAQ essentially parrots what is usually said about the summit by Fatah's own spokespeople which happens to be the perspective on Camp David that paints Israel in the worst light possible.

    What JVP also does multiple times on the page is to challenge the idea that Israel should be a state with a Jewish character or one that serves as a refuge for Jews all over the world. JVP's perspective fits on the extreme left of Israeli politics. By challenging idea like the Star of David on the Israeli flag or the Law of Return (on the same page as linked to above) they also demonstrate how little interest they have in really influencing the larger conversation in the Jewish community at large.

    If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
    If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
    If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

    by A Gutin Daf on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:30:56 AM PST

    •  JVP tries to be too-cute-by-half with respect to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1

      a one-state solution and right of return. They dance around that issue, acknowledging that "some" portion of their membership calls for a one-state solution with the right of return. Indeed, time and again we've seen Israel's sworn enemies also dance around such issues. The bottom line for JVP is that it does not oppose the transformation of Israel into a non-Jewish state with an unlimited "right of return" for all Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

      It is more than clear that no serious effort at a peaceful resolution of the conflict will include consideration of such proposals. JVP's tacit support for such ideas ensures that it will never be a legitimate voice of reason within the Jewish community, and it will never speak for more than a tiny fringe element that has little if any connection to the rest of the Jewish community. Pointing to JVP as a source of leadership on this issue demonstrates a lack of seriousness about the pursuit of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

      •  'More than clear"? (0+ / 0-)

        To whom, exactly?

        •  To the rest of us in the Jewish Community. (0+ / 0-)

          JVP is as relevant as fart in a blizzard. They just aren't. Most of us just don't really take them all that seriously (and we shouldn't).

          Oh yes, we hear that JVP is the fastest growing group in the Jewish polity. I have no doubt about that. I mean when your Jewish membership goes from 100 to 200... that is a pretty big increase. BUT it doesn't mean much.

          If you think they are relevant then you are not out in the mainstream Jewish community.

          "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

          by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:19:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "More than clear" explained (0+ / 0-)

          This is something that I remember from an International Relations class a while ago - some conflicts are so intense that the parties to the conflict have to by physically separated in order for the conflict to calm down. I would say that, given the deep anger from each side that will not subside for at least another generation (if not more) this is one of those situations.

          Also - while the word "apartheid" is thrown around hyperbolically with reference to Israel's treatment of Palestinians and/or Arab Israelis, there is a real risk of an Apartheid type of situation that the Israeli government is trying to avoid. Built into the state's Basic Laws is the idea of preserving the Jewish character of the state while guaranteeing personal rights and freedoms; while an overwhelming majority of the population (about 80%) identify themselves as Jews this is easy to achieve. A Palestinian right of return, depending on how many Palestinians take advantage of this right, would have the potential to make Israel into a majority Palestinian Arab (Muslim with a few Christians) state with a government charged to keep the state Jewish. Either the government would have to give up on the whole idea of maintaining a Jewish character in the state (a conversation for another time) or it would have to make lawn under which the Jewish minority is suddenly imposing limits on the Palestinian majority.

          Two thoughts based on this:
          (1) The people actually negotiating know all of the above and therefore are most likely discussing financial reparations to displaced Palestinians as opposed to an actual right of return.

          (2) JVP, based on their materials and rhetoric, is clearly uncomfortable with the idea that Israel's government wants the state to have a Jewish character. Their discomfort with, for example, the Star of David on the flag is one of the big reasons why they are largely ignored, if not shunned, by the Jewish leaders who exert influence on the peace process.

          If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
          If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
          If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

          by A Gutin Daf on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:35:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm Jewish and I have been called an anti-semite (0+ / 0-)

    by my own mother for calling Bibi Netanyahu a monster.

  •  I wonder if the young see more complexity (0+ / 0-)

    or are less blindly pro-Israel because they did not watch the six day war on TV. They did not hear of the tanks amassed on Israel's border and fear for the life of this fledgeling country - this intended respite for people who had already suffered incomprehensibly much. Part of me is still glued to that black-and-white TV screen, rooting in desperate hope for the underdog. And I'm not Jewish, for the record.

    Don't take this as a rationale for blindly supporting the Israeli government. I agree that the current behavior of the Israeli government is appalling, and indeed, works against the long-term interests and stability of the country. In perpetuating the oppression of Palestinians, it seems to me Israel is fermenting the seeds of its own destruction - which it will not allow, and therefore the conflict will either fester or escalate, but will not be resolved. I merely intend to reflect here on an old memory well-lodged in older minds. Like the words "Birmingham" or "Selma," it will underlie and color the meanings of events for as long as we, who knew these stories in the present tense, live to remember them.

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:12:02 AM PST

    •  Perhaps (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pixxer

      But they may have seen the occupation of Lebanon 1982-2000, the expansion of the settlement enterprise, Israel's repudiation of Oslo, the road Map, the second Lebanon war  2006, Cast Lead 2008,9, the blockade of Gaza, the "separation barrier", and add the growth of the internet as an information medium, we have gone beyond simplistic black and white TV conceptions of oppressor and oppressed, victim and victimizer, strong and weak, top dog and underdog, and some of them certainly are asking "what are my values"? and how are those values challenged by this situation?  

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