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Human Shields in Gaza:

Ha'aretz:

The IDF has made frequent use of what is known as "knocking on the roof": Militants are warned by phone when a residential building used to store arms will be bombed, and told to vacate the premised together with their neighbors. The weapons caches are hit only after the residents leave.

Hamas has tried placing civilians on the roofs of such buildings when the phone call warning comes in. In these cases, the IDF fired antitank missiles near the building, and in a few cases the residents left.

Thanks to reader Nathan Hecht for the pointer.

I've heard of soldiers, including Israeli soldiers, using the other side's civilians as human shields to protect themselves. But it takes a special kind of depravity to use your own civilians as human shields to protect weapons stores.

Barry P. (mail):
Not if the tactic is effective. Maybe the IDF needs to call their bluff one or two times.
12.31.2008 3:45pm
Mike 'Ralph' Smith:
David Berstein is NOT Israeli obsessed!
12.31.2008 4:09pm
Steve:
I kinda wonder what "Hamas placing civilians on the roofs" involves in real-world terms. I mean, do they march someone up there at gunpoint, do they find some idiot and say "hey, there's candy on that roof over there," or what?

By the way, Ha'aretz is hardly a propaganda organ, but all of this sounds just a little too good to be true. Who knows, I guess.
12.31.2008 4:16pm
A Law Dawg:
I've heard of soldiers, including Israeli soldiers, using the other side's civilians as human shields to protect themselves. But it takes a special kind of depravity to use your own civilians as human shields to protect weapons stores.


Though I am generally pro-Israel on this matter, I have to take issue with this statement. If the Hamas civilians *know* they are acting as human shields for the weapons stores and do so willingly, that is far more defensible than making such use of an enemy civilian.
12.31.2008 4:22pm
A Law Dawg:
BobfromFresno, does that include the posts about Obama's relationship with the Jewish constituency?
12.31.2008 4:29pm
Bretzky (mail):
Steve:


I kinda wonder what "Hamas placing civilians on the roofs" involves in real-world terms. I mean, do they march someone up there at gunpoint, do they find some idiot and say "hey, there's candy on that roof over there," or what?

By the way, Ha'aretz is hardly a propaganda organ, but all of this sounds just a little too good to be true. Who knows, I guess.

I suppose that depends on what Ha'aretz means by "civilian." Civilian can take on two distinct meanings when you are dealing with a guerrilla war. First, it has the classical meaning of someone who is not an active member of whatever military or paramilitary force is engaged in fighting. But it also can have a meaning of someone who does not give active support to a paramilitary force. The former meaning is by far the more accepted one.

If the latter meaning is intended though, such "civilians" on the rooftops would of necessity be people forced to go there against their will or duped into doing so. If the more widely accepted meaning is intended, then it would cover the situation under the latter meaning and could also include non-combatants who have volunteered to go on to the rooftop.

In either case, Israel would be well-advised not to blow the buildings up with the "civilians" on the roofs. While it is not impossible to defeat a guerrilla movement by force of arms alone, it is almost so. And when it has been done, it has generally taken decades to accomplish with immense amounts of suffering and loss, both human and economic. Israel has virtually no chance of defeating Hamas and/or Hezbollah on its own. It needs the Palestinian and Lebanese people themselves and the wider Arab world to turn on these groups for it to be able to succeed. And blowing up buildings with "civilians" on the roofs is no way to encourage such an outcome.
12.31.2008 4:36pm
Natan Hecht:
Perhaps it would be more interesting to discuss whether Israel's (or Hamas') tactics here have any influence on views on the legality or morality of their respective actions then to discuss who posted how many times on what.
12.31.2008 4:45pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
The depravity is, imo, outmatched by the people who, although knowing what is going on, insist the Israelis are targeting innocent civilians, laying all the blame on the Israelis.
Of course, you could substitute the US, or any democracy under attack,for the Israelis and the so-called peace activists would do the same.
Bretzky. Your view seems to reward the human-shield folks, and, indeed force the victory to the side most accomplished in using human shields. I may be alone in this, but my idea of the right guys to run something isn't the ones best at using human shields. In fact, I consider it a disqualifier.
12.31.2008 4:46pm
one of many:
I wouldn't say it (Bretzky's view) rewards users of human shields so much as acknowledges the reality of fighting against a force which uses the tactic. While I agree as a general principal he is correct, I also think the occasional "oversight" and "accidental" death of some of the human shields serves a purpose in keeping the users of the tactic honest.
12.31.2008 4:55pm
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
The use of human body armor has been pioneered and developed to a high art by the Arabs in the wars against Israel, and to a lesser extent, in conflicts against the US. (For obvious reasons, human body armor has not been deployed in intramural conflicts.)

This will continue as long as human body armor remains even peripherally effective, and the IDF is assuring that it will be, by issuing the warnings.

That may or may not be the right decision, but it is the decision that guarantees that strikes on warned targets will destroy only 1. materiel that can't be moved quickly enough 2. physical infrastructure, and 3. human body armor.
12.31.2008 4:55pm
Anonymous12345:
"human shields"?

"non-combatants who have volunteered to go on to the rooftop."?

WTF? These women and "children" are combatants. If they want to fight it's their prerogative, but under international law they may be killed. There's no human right to win a war - sometimes you fight a war and you lose. Sometimes you fight a war and you die.

Of course, if they are defending Qassam attacks against Israeli civilians that's a different thing. Then they are war criminals and should be prosecuted for genocide by every civilized nation.
12.31.2008 5:00pm
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
Doesn't matter if they're combatants or not, or volunteers or not.

Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 28: "The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."
12.31.2008 5:04pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I think one thing to note is that Israel has become incrementally more savvy to these sorts of tactics. The basic issue is that they know that propaganda is a big deal, so they have been very careful not to let this sort of thing play into enemy propaganda campaigns.

Given the realities of Gaza generally, it is noteworthy that civilian casualties have been as low as they have been.
12.31.2008 5:07pm
Steve:
WTF? These women and "children" are combatants.

Sarcastro, call your office. Really, putting "children" in quotes just makes it way too obvious.
12.31.2008 5:08pm
Anonymous12345:
Joel - why are they "protected persons"? It seems like the argument by the left is that because arabs fight like buffoonish cartoon characters they are therefore not combatants.

There is no human right to win a war. There's no human right to a competent army.

Sometimes your army is made up of a bunch of buffoonish women and children ululating to their death on a rooftop, and sometimes your army loses a war.
12.31.2008 5:10pm
Hoosier:
bobfromfresno
>If jukebox's numbers are correct, then this post plus the last one would put Mr. Bernstein at 31 Israel-related posts for 2008 versus Greenwald's 9 posts.<

M'kay.
12.31.2008 5:11pm
Anonymous12345:
putting "children" in quotes just makes it way too obvious.

Is an armed 15 year old a "child"?

Is a thirteen year old who chooses to stand guard by a Qassam launch a "child"?

Is a ten year old mujahadeen who blows himself up on a bus a "child"?
12.31.2008 5:11pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Joel Rosenberg:

The use of human body armor has been pioneered and developed to a high art by the Arabs in the wars against Israel, and to a lesser extent, in conflicts against the US.


It is not quite as if Israel is blameless in this regard.

Certainly using ICRC and PRCS personnel as human shields raises it to an art which even the Arabs were unable to match.
12.31.2008 5:31pm
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
It is not quite as if Israel is blameless in this regard. Well, certainly not; the ICRC, the UN, and the PA are all very quick to blame Israel. So what?
12.31.2008 5:32pm
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
As to the question of who posts on Israel more, I think it's clear that Bernstein in point of fact does blog more on Israel than Greenwald does, but Greenwald's awful writing is so painful to try to wade through that it just seems like more. Much, much more.
12.31.2008 5:37pm
Bad English:
bobfromfresno -- you might want to count the number of posts here from that "source" in the past few months, Review their content too, BTW.
12.31.2008 5:46pm
Bretzky (mail):
Richard Aubrey:


The depravity is, imo, outmatched by the people who, although knowing what is going on, insist the Israelis are targeting innocent civilians, laying all the blame on the Israelis.
Of course, you could substitute the US, or any democracy under attack,for the Israelis and the so-called peace activists would do the same.
Bretzky. Your view seems to reward the human-shield folks, and, indeed force the victory to the side most accomplished in using human shields. I may be alone in this, but my idea of the right guys to run something isn't the ones best at using human shields. In fact, I consider it a disqualifier.

No, I wouldn't say that my "view" rewards users of the human shield tactic. This isn't my view, but the position of most people who have studied insurgency warfare, which is essentially the type of war that Hamas is fighting.

Winning a guerrilla war is not about military victory, it's about political legitimacy. The history of counterinsurgency warfare tells us that simply killing the enemy does not work unless you are willing to engage in wholesale slaughter of the people waging the insurgency, which includes civilians rendering both active and passive support to the insurgents.

Israel has the added problem in that its enemy can hide within a population over which it has no real control other than through the use of force. Israel's best chance in beating Hamas is to allow the creation of a Palestinian state and to work with forces within that state that seek the same thing it does: to live in peace beside each other. Despite the violence that has raged intermittently since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, polls indicate that a majority of Palestinians and Israelis want just that. A truly independent Palestinian state can utilize means of control over the Palestinians to wind down the level of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and to rein in the more radical elements within its society.

Such a situation would not happen overnight, and would likely take decades to bring about. However, it at least has the possibility of succeeding whereas Israel's current policy simply does not.
12.31.2008 5:47pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Joel Rosenberg:

Well, certainly not; the ICRC, the UN, and the PA are all very quick to blame Israel. So what?


Funny, I think the ICRC's criticism of Israel has been more or less limited to use of their personnel as human shields, the attacks on the PRCS, and the shift towards more general human shield tactics. I haven't seen ANY criticism by them in this current set of strikes, and little if any before Operation Defensive Shield. The ICRC doesn't generally make a lot of public statements about such things.
12.31.2008 5:49pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Bernstein is way too obsessed. He should stop posting about Israel immediately, after all it's not like there is a war going on in Gaza!
12.31.2008 5:53pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Bretzky:

One of the big issues that you acknowledge is that Israel can simply have no security without a real rule of law within the Occupied Territories. The real problem is that the IDF can't provide an interrim solution, and none of Israel's regional friends (Egypt, Turkey) seem to be willing to help.

However bombing police stations and police cadets is not productive going forward (it may be legal, but it is still STUPID, not that Olmert is a genius or even marginally competent).

So we are left with REAL anarchy in Gaza, and this means no possibility of real peace because, in an anarchy, there is nobody to negotiate with.
12.31.2008 5:56pm
Steve H:
So from the report, all we know is that the Israeli army accuses Hamas of using human shields.

Professor Bernstein, if this were a media report accusing Israel of doing bad things, would you accept it without critical analysis, like you have done here? Would you mindlessly repeat it and use it as an excuse to dehumanize a group of people and call them names, as you have done here?

Or would you stop and consider the source of the accusation, whether the source has personal knowledge of the facts, or has a reason to either lie or skew the facts?
12.31.2008 6:00pm
David Larsomn (mail):
I takes a "special kind of depravity" to be a Muslim--period. The sooner that sinks in the better chance the human race is going to have of surviving the 21st century....
12.31.2008 6:02pm
wfjag:
And the Israelis turned back the boat on which former US Rep. and 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney was on board, denying the opportunity for her to be up on the roof of a building when bombs took it down. This is enough reason to condemn Israel.

Meanwhile, why an I supposed to be surprised that Hamas is putting people up on the roofs of targets? See Column One: The 'realist' fantasy, by CAROLINE GLICK, The Jerusalem Post (Dec. 25, 2008):

Both Iran and its Hamas proxy in Gaza have been busy this Christmas week showing Christendom just what they think of it. But no one seems to have noticed.

On Tuesday, Hamas legislators marked the Christmas season by passing a Shari'a criminal code for the Palestinian Authority. Among other things, it legalizes crucifixion.

online at www.jpost.com

At least Hamas isn't nailing women and children to the roofs of the buildings (yet).
12.31.2008 6:06pm
Order of the Coif:
civilians rendering both active ... support to the insurgents.


No, no. These people (active supporters) ARE also enemy combatants. Rifles, fatigues, and face masks are not a required indication of combatant status.

They are "fair game" to pay the price.
12.31.2008 6:27pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
For the record, the US dropped leaflets on Japan before nuclear weapons were. You can see and even buy an original leaflet here. Translated to English the leaflet reads:
"Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. But, unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America's humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately."
The Japanese were even warned that they were going to get in modern parlance "nuked," as the leaflet goes on to warn,
We are in possession of the most destructive explosive ever devised by man. A single one of our newly developed atomic bombs is actually the equivalent in explosive power to what 2000 of our giant B-29s can carry on a single mission. This awful fact is one for you to ponder and we solemnly assure you it is grimly accurate.
I have known about these warning leaflets for a long time, but several years ago I found that this is not common knowledge.
12.31.2008 6:43pm
Ace (mail):
I think this quote says it all:

"I am certain the world will judge the Jewish state by the way it will treat the Arabs".

- Chaim Weizmann, President of Israel (1949-1952)
12.31.2008 6:54pm
Anonymous12345:
And history will judge the Arabs the way they treat their Jewish minorities.

How are Jews treated in Gaza? In the historically (and future) Jewish city of Makkah? In the historically (and future) Jewish city of Medina?

How are Jews treated in Deerborn, Michigan and Copenhagen?

The little arab Eichmanns will be judged harshly indeed.
12.31.2008 6:58pm
Mike 'Ralph' Smith:

I takes a "special kind of depravity" to be a Muslim--period. The sooner that sinks in the better chance the human race is going to have of surviving the 21st century....


I wonder if Bernstein thinks this crosses a civility line for banning purposes? Or does the civility ban just apply to those expressing opinions he disagrees with?
12.31.2008 6:59pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Interestingly, I believe Arlen Specter was in Syria this week talking with the Syrian president. So at least there is SOME US/Syria diplomacy which may be helpful.
12.31.2008 7:00pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"I am certain the world will judge the Jewish state by the way it will treat the Arabs".

There are at least three problems here.

1. Did Weizmann mean all Arabs, or just the Arabs that remained in Israel?

2. Weizmann could not see into the future and how intransigent the Arabs would prove to be.

3. Although I doubt it, it's possible this means the reverse of what you think it does.
12.31.2008 7:01pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
YouTube removes IDF videos.

The outfit that says "do no evil," censors the IDF. They are removing IDF videos they don't want you to see. See here for commentary and links.
12.31.2008 7:12pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Anonymous12345:

And history will judge the Arabs the way they treat their Jewish minorities.


Sure. But then in 1492, there was a good reason that a lot o the expelled Jews moved to the Muslim areas. On the whole European areas were FAR WORSE. In fact a lot of the fear of Arabs by Israelis is a socially conditioned response from CENTURIES of being arbitrarily killed, expelled, etc. If you are looking for a collective Stockholm Syndrome among the Israelis, look no further than the collective experience in Christian Europe for the root.
12.31.2008 7:36pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Also one thing I would like to point about the Sephardic experience and the question of the recent Iranian Jewish protest in Tehran against Israel's actions. Some say it is because the Iranian gov't put them up to it, some say it is a genuine cultural divide. I say it is some of both. There IS a genuine cultural divide (and the Sephardim don't tend to be the ardent supporters of Israel that the Ashkenazim are), but that people within the Iranian government are exploiting this for publicity reasons.

One thing you have to understand is that, while the Sephardim were kicked out of Spain following the defeat of the Moors, they by and large did not suffer the continuous horrors that their counterparts elsewhere in Europe did. Moorish Spain was a good place to be a Jew, and this traditin continued in the Middle East with very rare persecution (usually when someone like Tzevi got delusions of internationalism). Most of those in the Middle East come from families which have been there since the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Most speak fluent Arabic. And most are not subject to horrible persecution by their Arabic or Iranian neighbors.

There is thus a greater kinship felt often with the Arab in Gaza than with the "European" Israeli. This is a big difference, and the cultures have been shaped by different obstacles. To be a Sephardic Jew in the Middle East is to have the Muslims adopt measures which bolster your ethnicity's separateness (already enforced by kosher diets etc) rather than to be afraid of your neighbors as was common everywhere in Europe prior to WWII.

The Sephardic "insensitivity" to the sufferings of European Jews is not merely a factor of Iran either. Not too long ago, an ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Rabbi in Israel set off a firestorm by suggesting that the victims of the Holocaust were being punished by God. Needless to say, this was not a comment that was well received....
12.31.2008 7:55pm
Anonymous12345:
Einhverfr

You seem a bit confused, buddy, between arab and Muslim. arabs are the barbaric peoples of Western Asia. Islam/Moslem is the religion practiced by some of those barbarians, but also by lots of other people.

After 1492; some Jews escaped to Northern Africa. Northern Africa is not Arab. And at the time it was not Islamic.

That said the majority of the Jewish population in Israel are refugees escaping Islamic persecution and in many cases Arab-Nazi persecution (in 2009 there are still very prominent Nazi Arab parties - they are mainstream in the Islamic world - the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party that still uses a swastika and which is supported by the American Left)

Jews suffered FAR FAR worse under Islamic persecution than under Christian persecution - Maimonides in the middle ages in his Letter to Yemen says that Jews have never suffered as badly as they suffered under Islamic persecution.

Yes, for a few years in the 40's leftists killed million of Jews. But until that time and since Jews have been persecuted endlessly by their Islamic overlords.

Worst to less bad.

Leftists (killed 6 million Jews)
Moslems (exterminated their Jewish populations, constant persecution, vile dhimmi laws, 1500 years of violence and persecution, 60 years of genocidal warfare against innocent Israeli citizens)
Christians (treated Jews like second-tier citizens, pogroms and expulsions in the middle-ages)

Moslems have been far more violent toward Jews than Christians have. Leftists have been the worst of course.
12.31.2008 8:00pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Anonymous12345:

How revisionist can you get?


After 1492; some Jews escaped to Northern Africa. Northern Africa is not Arab. And at the time it was not Islamic.


Where did Issac Luria go to with his following? Certainly not Northern Africa.

A LOT of Jews went to what is now Irael, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq.
12.31.2008 8:05pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I will agree that a LOT of Jews followed the retreating (and Islamic Moors) back to North Africa, but you even assert that North Africa wasn't Islamic at the time, which is without justification, unless you use a different definition of "Islamic" than would be common......
12.31.2008 8:09pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Also the dhimmi laws were a LOT milder than what was seen in Europe.

When my (Sephardic) Grandmother left Judaism in the face of heavy Antisemitism here in the US, that may have been at most equivalent to the dhimmi laws. The random killings, genocides, ethnic clensing, etc, which occurred for many centuries in Europe though was FAR, FAR worse.
12.31.2008 8:12pm
trad and anon (mail):
Christians (treated Jews like second-tier citizens, pogroms and expulsions in the middle-ages)
And the various massacres before, during and after the Middle Ages, though the stuff in the Middle Ages. And I love how "treated Jews like second-tier citizens" is not so bad but the dhimmi laws (i.e., second-class citizenship laws) were "vile."
12.31.2008 8:19pm
trad and anon (mail):
though the stuff in the Middle Ages
Sorry, should have been "though the stuff in the Middle Ages is better documented than the stuff in the Dark Ages since the Middle Ages are better documented generally."
12.31.2008 8:21pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
trad and anon:

As "we" all "know," Europeans and European Jews are GREAT and Middle Easterners and Middle Eastern Jews are VILE. However, the fact is that the Dhimmi laws existed in Moorish Spain too, and the vast majority of Sephardim after being kicked out of Spain chose to go back to Muslim lands.
12.31.2008 8:24pm
EricH (mail):
It's interesting to hear and see leftists (broad strokes, please) get quite upset at scathing commentary directed at Islam but scathing comments directed at Christianity is oh-so-outre and accepted, if not welcomed.

Not really interesting; but you get the point.
12.31.2008 8:26pm
Anonymous12345:
Yah. Some went to the Ottoman Empire (the Islamic Khalifa) where they were viciously persecuted for centuries under dhimmi laws and other persecution. That's why the Sephardic public in Israel is far to the right, and far more anti-peace than the pasty ashkenazi libs.

--B
12.31.2008 8:31pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Anonymous12345:
Dhimmi is the best you can do?

If Dhimmi was so bad, why did the Sephardim mostly move to areas where it was still in force?
12.31.2008 8:43pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Also I don't have problems with scathing criticisms of Islam, I just have a problem with scathing criticisms of Islam which are untrue. If I thought Islam was the best religion in the world, I would have converted already. However we aren't really talking about the deficiencies of Islam here. My views here would be radically off-topic.
12.31.2008 8:47pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Also note that my posts about Christian Europe here are not absolute. I don't see any reason to think Jews suffered particularly badly in Visigothic Spain despite the fact that they were Arian Christians (I am not sure if they ever adopted the Orthodoxy that the rest of Europe had adopted).

However it is pretty funny for people here to minimize the level of antisemitism that historically existed in Europe, as if the Holocaust makes all that just disappear.

Yes, there were persecutions in Islamic areas, but they were not as bad both in degree and in type. They were in fact far more mild, as the Muslims generally just tried to use taxmen to do their religious outreach for them (apostates aside).

Consider that traditional Iranian pagan religions besides Zoroastrianism survived into historical times. Such a thing simply did not occur in Europe with people like Charlemagne forcing conversions at the point of the sword.

Through much of history Muslim antisemitism was to Christian antisemitism roughly what McCarthyism was to Stalinism.
12.31.2008 8:52pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
In case someone makes the mistake of confusing Arian Christianity with something else that sounds like it, the Arian Christianity was named after Arius of Alexandria. The Goths were converted by Arians, and they held a very different perspective on the divinity of Christ, among other things.
12.31.2008 9:00pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
(I would hate to be banned on the basis of a genuine misunderstanding)
12.31.2008 9:08pm
anon522 (mail):
Also one thing I would like to point about the Sephardic experience and the question of the recent Iranian Jewish protest in Tehran against Israel's actions. Some say it is because the Iranian gov't put them up to it, some say it is a genuine cultural divide. I say it is some of both. There IS a genuine cultural divide (and the Sephardim don't tend to be the ardent supporters of Israel that the Ashkenazim are), but that people within the Iranian government are exploiting this for publicity reasons.

One thing you have to understand is that, while the Sephardim were kicked out of Spain following the defeat of the Moors, they by and large did not suffer the continuous horrors that their counterparts elsewhere in Europe did. Moorish Spain was a good place to be a Jew, and this traditin continued in the Middle East with very rare persecution (usually when someone like Tzevi got delusions of internationalism). Most of those in the Middle East come from families which have been there since the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Most speak fluent Arabic. And most are not subject to horrible persecution by their Arabic or Iranian neighbors.

There is thus a greater kinship felt often with the Arab in Gaza than with the "European" Israeli.
What a lot of horse**** disguised as erudition. Just to name a few things: (1) Iranian Jews aren't "Sephardim," their community goes back 2,500 years to the Baylonian exile, and few if any are descended from refugees from Iberia. They refer to themselves as Persian Jews, or, sometimes, Babylonian Jews; (2) Jews thrived for a time in Moorish Spain, but were eventually subject to horrific persecutions, leading them to side initially with the Christians, who treated them well for a time; (3)the idea that "Sephardim" are less Zionistic than Ashkenazim is completely unfounded, as is (4) the idea that Jews from Arab countries feel kinship with Arabs in Gaza, rather than with Ashkenazic Jews. As another commenter pointed out correctly, the Jews in Israel from Arab countries tend to be more "right-wing," and hostile to and suspicious of, the intentions of Arabs than are the Ashkenazim. Not surprising given centuries of persecution by Arab Muslims of the Jews, culminating in the mass exodus of Jews under threat of violence from the 1940s through the 1960s from Arab countries.
12.31.2008 9:09pm
Anonymous12345:
einhverfr:

As they say in Yiddish, genug shoin. Enough with the middle ages. The reality TODAY (not five hundred years ago, not 1500 years ago, not five years ago) the reality TODAY is the Islamic world is violently antisemitic. In Mumbai last month, the Moslem attackers wasted almost 1/5 of their personnel to find a tiny shtiebel to mutilate and kill an anti-Zionist Jewish family.

In New York and Washinton, a couple of dozen American Moslems were willing to kill themselves so that Jews die. And the American Moslem community universally supported 9/11.

And London, and Copenhagen and Bali and Madrid and and and

The reality is that contemporary Islam - MODERN Moslems - are violently antisemitic in a way that would make their heros Arafat and Hitler blush.

Contemporary Islam must be exterminated. Whether it means a campaign of violence against their countries (George Bush's plan) a campaign of violence against their leaders (Israel's stupid plan) or an ideological war (the Right's plan) it must be fought.

The irony, of course, is that where Islam conquers the first up against the wall are the Left. Witness Iran where the Left cheered themselves hoarse in support of the Mullahs, who as soon as they came into power systematically exterminated the Left. Or Gaza, where the Left brought themselves to a frenzy in support of Hamas, who as soon as they came into power systematically exterminated the Left.

That's the real question in all this - why the hell is the Left supporting Jihad? Contemporary Islam opposes everything that the Left stands for absolutely.

Are they so short-sighted as to think that: we, the left, hate the Jews. You the Moslems, hate the Jews - so let's be friends? What do they think Denmark will look like when its Judenrein and majority Moslem? A leftist paradise?
12.31.2008 9:15pm
byomtov (mail):
I don't see any reason to think Jews suffered particularly badly in Visigothic Spain

My impression is that the Jews in Visigothic Spain were in fact persecuted severely, to the extent that they cooperated with and welcomed the Islamic invaders.
12.31.2008 9:23pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
byomtov:

Interestingly, I had missed the part where the Visigoths "converted" the Jews to Christianity in the manner Charlemagne converted the Saxons. I therefore stand corrected. The Visigoths WERE worse.....
12.31.2008 9:36pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Anonymous12345:

Yet the bombings of synagogues in Tunisia and Turkey were quite roundly condemned among the residents of those countries.

However, you seem to want to know what I think of Islam.

LI am not saying Islam is perfect by any measure. Islam suffers from a number of faults which, though not unique to Islam, cause particular problems in that religion by their combination. These include:

1) Secular and sacred law too closely tied together.
2) Secular and sacred authority historically tied together (theocracy) and hence no separation of mosque and state possible to the devout Muslim.
3) The idea that the religion is applicable to all.

Now, one may argue that Judaism suffers from #1 and Christianity suffers from #3, but when you have a religion of law which starts looking at pushing itself on everyone else though a theocratic government, you have problems which don't occur in ANY other religion. The closest example that we saw in Christianity was the brutality of the Dark- and Middle- ages conversions of pagans and heathens to Christianity and the various wars on heretics. However the division of power between the kings and the clergy (though these were very symbiotic in the Middle Ages) meant that such a pattern could not endure perpetually. Islam is different and it has potential for more ugliness than we have seen.

This also leads to hypersensitivity (my favorite example being the anger over the Tayside Police Dog posters), and a certain viciousness inherent in the religion. For example when ancient Iran was being converted, the test of the sincerity of a Zoroastrian convert was for him to torture a dog (since dogs are sacred to Zoroastrians).

However, Islam by its nature is thus a threat to human liberty in a way which other religions are not.

However, we STILL see the persecutions of Jews by Muslims being less than the persecutions of Jews by Christians AT LEAST until WWI. Since then thins have changed.

However, I don't think it is easy to reduce the matter to antisemitism. Islam holds that anything subject to Islam should remain permanently so. Hence Muslims who convert to other religions are subject to the death penalty and Muslims have a duty to take the land of Israel back to Islamic sovereignty.

Does this mean that peace is impossible? I am not yet convinced. For example, the majority of Muslims in India see their religion as compatible with secular government and the same thing is true in Lebanon. But it does make the matter very, very hard. At most, little pieces can be solved one by one. Israel now has lasting peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt, and with luck one will exist soon with Syria (a Netanyahu victory would help there). The last big obstacle will be anarchy in the Occupied Territories, if this is the case.


Contemporary Islam must be exterminated. Whether it means a campaign of violence against their countries (George Bush's plan) a campaign of violence against their leaders (Israel's stupid plan) or an ideological war (the Right's plan) it must be fought.


I HIGHLY recommend reading the International Crisis Group's paper "Understanding Islamism." I personally think that we are engage in an ideological war anyway (one which Wahhabism and Salafism really started), but if we are to fight such a war, the truth is our best weapon. Hence inventing crimes for the Muslims to be guilty of is sort of foolish given the number of problems with the religion ANYWAY.

the way to win such a war is to STRENGTHEN our commitment to our own principles of liberty and rule of law, and HELP countries which seek to strengthen those same principles. Throwing away civil liberties in the war on terror will not help us win the important battles.
12.31.2008 10:00pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
bobfromfresno:

If jukebox's numbers are correct, then this post plus the last one would put Mr. Bernstein at 31 Israel-related posts for 2008 versus Greenwald's 9 posts.


You're off by one. It changes the tally from 29 to 30.
--------------------------------
a law dawg:

does that include the posts about Obama's relationship with the Jewish constituency?


Definitely not. I did a tally of posts about Israel, not posts about Jews. There are quite a few bernstein posts in the latter category, including posts that mention Israel in passing. I excluded them.
--------------------------------
rosenberg:

Bernstein in point of fact does blog more on Israel than Greenwald does


True. And I think this fact doesn't mean much. I attach much more importance to the fact that bernstein issued multiple false denials.
--------------------------------
eide_interface:

Bernstein is way too obsessed. He should stop posting about Israel immediately, after all it's not like there is a war going on in Gaza!


I see no problem with the fact that bernstein writes a lot about Israel. I see a problem with bernstein making a false statement.
--------------------------------
bad english:

you might want to count the number of posts here from that "source" in the past few months, Review their content too, BTW


You might want to see if you can come up with an actual "problem" with something I've posted. Inside of making a cheap insinuation that amounts to nothing but pure wind. Speaking of "content."
12.31.2008 10:29pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
This really doesn't pass the sniff test
12.31.2008 10:38pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Anonymous12345:

the Moslem attackers wasted almost 1/5 of their personnel to find a tiny shtiebel to mutilate and kill an anti-Zionist Jewish family


Chabad is not "anti-Zionist." On the contrary. Some details here and here. And here's an article on their site talking about the importance of combatting "anti-Zionism on campus."

Years ago, they were opposed to secular Zionism. And still are, in certain ways. But it's grossly misleading to describe them as "anti-Zionist."

You might be thinking of certain other ultra-Orthodox groups, which are indeed "anti-Zionist."
12.31.2008 10:44pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Jukeboxgrad:

And the Heredi have the highest birth rate in Israel......
12.31.2008 11:02pm
LM (mail):

It takes a "special kind of depravity" to be a Muslim--period. The sooner that sinks in the better chance the human race is going to have of surviving the 21st century....

Here's how stupid I am. I was enjoying a little guilty schadenfreude at how thoroughly this commenter discredited himself with that obnoxious nonsense, and then it hit me... he's on my side!

Life as a liberal Zionist can be such a trial.
12.31.2008 11:13pm
Skyler (mail) (www):
Bretzky wrote:

The history of counterinsurgency warfare tells us that simply killing the enemy does not work unless you are willing to engage in wholesale slaughter of the people waging the insurgency, which includes civilians rendering both active and passive support to the insurgents.


I really wish more people would see the advantage of this solution. If it were done more often, there'd be fewer of these murderous insurgencies, because the populations would no longer support them for fear of their culture being eradicated. And the side benefit is that these murderous cultures are eradicated. It's a win win.

Instead, we adhere to the abysmally evil westphalian order that tries to separate a government from the people that allow the government to exist, relieving the people of the responsibility of policing their own governments and nations and allowing terrorist regimes to operate with impunity. Just look at Sudan, Lebanon, Pakistan, formerly Afghanistan, and any number of other regimes that have allowed terrorists to control large parts of, or even the entirety of a nation without objection by the people or the "official" government.
12.31.2008 11:34pm
hawkins:
Hamas using Palestinian civilians as human shields?!?! Say it aint so!
12.31.2008 11:49pm
Hoosier:
Fundamentalists everywhere tend to be good at reproduction.

Because fundamentalists reportedly have the most satisfying sex lives.

(I know, I know. I don't get it either.)
12.31.2008 11:58pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Chabad is not "anti-Zionist." On the contrary. Some details here and here.
Both of which support the claim that Chabad is anti-Zionist. One wonders whether JBG doesn't read his own links, or whether he just hopes other people won't.
And here's an article on their site talking about the importance of combatting "anti-Zionism on campus."
Another case in point, illustrating JBG's dishonesty. The article is not "talking about" that. It is "talking about" Chabad's presence at Harvard. It mentions in passing the combatting of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on campus. Still, that might not be a significant distinction, if Chabad were actually talking about that. But in fact it wasn't. The article cited Alan Dershowitz -- who is not a member of Chabad -- as talking about combatting anti-Zionism on campus.

And it's not even as if he's saying that Chabad was combatting anti-Zionism on campus; instead, he's talking about Chabad's methods. Specifically, he's quoted as saying that in order to combat anti-Zionism on campus, we need to learn from the way Chabad has effectively communicated.


Perhaps if JBG would spend less time obsessively-compulsively providing multiple links and instead read a few of them, he wouldn't run into these problems with the facts.
1.1.2009 12:33am
DG:
Chabad is about a zionist as hasidim get - they do draw a strong distinction between their concept of Israel (i.e. messianic) and the existing secular State of Israel, but the late Lubavitche Rebbe was quite pro-Israel, going as far as to note that Israeli soldiers were exempt from shabbat obligations while going amidst their duties.
1.1.2009 1:02am
Bob from Ohio (mail):

heavy Antisemitism here in the US


You keep repeatng this as fact when it is untrue.

Jews have never suffered any serious anti-semitism in the US. Quotas at Harvard and bans from hotels just don't cut it.

No pogroms, not slaves, no denials of the vote, able to hold office, no ritual murder accusations. Other than Leo Frank, you cannot name any serious incidents based on being Jewish.

A Jew was Confederate Secretary of State, for goodness sake.

Jews have always been more free in the US than anywhere in the world. Mild and scattered anti-semitism only, never "heavy".

Your grandmother was ashamed of her conversion and spun you a fairy tale.
1.1.2009 1:18am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Bob From Ohio:

I have generally admitted that antisemitism in the US was not as bad as it was in Europe (Jews here were never expelled, arbitrarily killed by military action, ordered not to live in the capital, or any of a number of other common conditions in Europe). However, my grandmother AND her siblings renounced Judaism in the face of antisemitism between the wars. My grandmother and her two brothers maintained some ties to the Jewish community (she attended some functions approximately once a year).

The fact, however, was that antisemitism in the US was a reality, and that it began to decline following WWII. You can read some interesting accounts in this paper. Among other things, the author relates:

Growing up in the 1950s in Los Angeles, it was not uncommon in public places to be openly called a "kike" or "dirty Jew" by other youngsters, within the hearing of adults who were invariably indifferent. It was well known—a fact that dawned painfully on my sister when she graduated from high school—Jews were not employed by the phone company or other public utilities in Los An-geles. There was a sign on the entrance to a private golf course in nearby Orange County that read, "no dogs, no niggers, no Jews allowed," which was still posted in the early 1960s.


If you want to insult the dead, please do so somewhere else.
1.1.2009 2:19am
eyesay:
Anonymous12345 wrote: "And the American Moslem community universally supported 9/11."

The preferred spelling is Muslim.

Given that the attacks of 9/11/2001 came as a surprise to nearly everyone, presumably the expression "supported 9/11" is intended to mean "after the fact, supported the suicide attacks of September 11, 2001," and surely you don't mean that among millions of American Muslims, not a single one regretted these attacks? What about, for example, the families of American Muslims who died in the World Trade Center?
1.1.2009 2:43am
anon522 (mail):
einhverfr: You are correct that (1) anti-Semitism in the Muslim world was overall less severe than anti-Semitism in the Christian world. Not surprising, given that the Muslims never accused the Jews of deicide. and (2) anti-Semitism was bad in the U.S. in the 1930s, though I fail to see how your grandmother thought she was avoiding it by giving up her religion but still maintaining ties to the Jewish community. She would still have been a "Jew" to anti-Semites. Perhaps you mean that she chose not to pass on a Jewish identity (or name) to her children (or did she change her name?)

As I pointed out previously, however, much of the rest of what you've written here is wrong, including the especially absurd contention that Jews whose origins lie in Arab countries identify more with the Arabs of Gaza than with Ashkenazic Jews. You will find a very few Communist/radical types (really Communist, not an epithet) that take that position, but that's analogous to using Ward Churchill as the representative of American public opinion.
Since you seem interested in the subject, I politely suggest that whatever sources of information you have been reading are not legitimate. If you don't believe me, and live in a big city, find the local Sephardic synagogue and attend the next Israel-related (or any) program, and try out your theory on the congregants. Don't worry, they won't try to reconvert you (and if you're Sephardic grandmother is on the maternal side, they wouldn't even need to!)
1.1.2009 3:20am
Ira (mail):
The Israeli army does NOT use civilians to protect themselves, rather they use civilians to protect the civilian's body and property. When surrounding a house with a known terrorist inside they will sometimes send in a neighbor or relative to convince the terrorist to leave - otherwise the house will be destroyed of badly damaged. But, due to human rights types the Israeli Surpeme Court frowns on this behavior causing unnecessary damage to Palestinian property.
1.1.2009 3:56am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

The article cited Alan Dershowitz -- who is not a member of Chabad -- as talking about combatting anti-Zionism on campus.


Indeed. And it quoted him in a sympathetic, supportive manner. Which is not what Chabad would do if they were "anti-Zionist."

Both of which support the claim that Chabad is anti-Zionist


Uh, no. The passages I cited support the claim that Chabad was anti-Zionist. But that changed (although they still have problems with the secularity of Zionism). The first passage I cited is here:

Schneerson took a very hawkish view of the Israeli-Arab conflict. He maintained that as a matter of Jewish law,[25] any territorial concession on Israel's part would endanger the lives of all the Jews in the Land of Israel and is therefore forbidden. He also insisted that even discussing the possibility of such concessions showed weakness and would encourage Arab attacks, and thus endanger Jewish lives.


The second passage I cited is this:

The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, expressed overwhelming support for the State's military endeavors, and vehemently condemned any transfers of land as against Jewish law. His reasoning, was based on the code of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch [20] which states that the Sabbath must be violated (carrying weapons) by the residents of a Jewish community (in any country) that borders a hostile Gentile settlement, even if they are threatened in the most subtle manner. He viewed the whole of Israel as such a community and that was the impetus for his support. He argued that the safety of the Jewish people was paramount, and the physical presence of so many Jews in the land meant that its borders had to be protected as a matter of course. Nonetheless, he also drew support for his statements from the notion in the Torah that the land of Israel was given to the Jewish people, and that inherent Jewish ownership of the land could not be superseded by mere political interests. Nonetheless, he refused to call the state by name, claiming that the holy land exists independent of any authority that sees itself as sovereign over the land. He further criticized feelings of nationalism connected to the State of Israel, saying that the only thing that unites Jews is the Torah, not a secular state that happens to be planted on holy land.[21]


He had a problem with the secularity of Zionism, but it's extremely bizarre to apply the label "anti-Zionist" to someone who "expressed overwhelming support for the State's military endeavors." But that's exactly what you're doing. Why?
1.1.2009 4:21am
PlugInMonster:
btw, are there any young liberal Jewish lawyers supporting Israel? I'm tired of Alan Dershowitz being trotted out every time.
1.1.2009 4:37am
PlugInMonster:
The Israeli Supreme Court aka "useful idiots".
1.1.2009 4:38am
Anonymous12345:
Jukeboxgrad - one can be simultaneously vehemently in favor of Jewish self-defense and shleimus ha'aretz while at the same time being viciously anti-the left wing zionist cabal that controls that area of the world.

What's locked you into this Zionist world view is the only way that Jews are allowed to live in Western Asia is through a socialist state?

There are lots of people - present company included - who simultaneously vigorously support the aggressive self-defense of the Jewish population of Palestine, while at the same time extremely anti-Zionist. Its like saying that if you support the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it means your pro-Bush. NO! Its a false dichotomy. One can be in favor of exterminating the little arab Eichmanns while not supporting Bush's Centrist an Pacifist world-view; being in favor of exterminating the little arab Eichmanns in Gaza while not supporting the Leftist and Pacifist Zionist world-view.

And Kroman - the Satmer Chussid (Toldos Ahron, actually) - was also killed. They don't even believe in Shleimus Ha'aretz. They, like liberals, believe that Jews must live as a persecuted minority subject to the genocidal whims of their gentile masters. Until the Messiah comes, at which point G-d will take his revenge.

And enough about what happened 500 years ago. Its like saying that the genocidal Left is okay because 50 years ago they used to be in favor of equal rights. Ward Churchill and Cynthia McKinney shouldn't be condemned because 150 years ago liberals believed in freedom.

Or Ahmedinijad is alright because 1500 years ago Persians were cool. Hamas is copacetic because 700 years ago some arab wrote a poem about egalitarianism.

You have to fight today's battles today. And today's little arab Eichmanns need to be fought.
1.1.2009 7:35am
NickM (mail) (www):
Islam in the Middle East under the Ottoman Empire was rather different than Islam in the Middle East today. Antisemitism then was a religious discrimination, similar to the historic Christian antisemitism, but often milder, quite possibly due to the previously-mentioned lack of deicide accusations in Islam.
That was then, this is now.
We no longer have Ottoman Turks (often far more concerned with the good life than with the afterlife) ruling the Levant; we have Wahhabist Arabs who are far more fanatical about Islam. Antisemitism in the Middle East now is a confluence of (intensified) religious discrimination with an pan-Arabist racial discrimination similar in tone to the Nazi platform.

Nick
1.1.2009 7:45am
Eli1:
Anonymous12345
My personal opinion is that Schneersons justifications are just sophistry to reconcile his personal zionism with the old school chabad anti zionist party line. But in any case, whether an aggressive stance on self defense is compatible with anti zionism is irrelevant. "Shleimut ha'aretz" or the policy of not one inch of territorial compromise, is zionistic enough for any entity fighting for territorial compromise, whether it fits the dictionary definition of zionism or not.
1.1.2009 9:32am
Joel Rosenberg (mail) (www):
More on the human shields: the IAF got Sheikh Saruman's successor today; his family was, according to the JPost, warned to leave the house, but stayed.
1.1.2009 10:50am
Orson Buggeigh:
Eyesay writes: "Anonymous12345 wrote: "And the American Moslem community universally supported 9/11."

The preferred spelling is Muslim."

Only by the multi-culti crowd who support the folks like Hamas. Which is precisely why I prefer to use the anglicized spelling Moselm.
1.1.2009 11:07am
eyesay:
Orson: just go to Google and find out for yourself.

about 4,960,000 for Moslem
about 71,200,000 for Muslim
Thus, Internet uses found by Google were Moslem, 6.5%; Muslim, 93.5%. Clearly, Muslim is the preferred spelling, whether one supports Hamas or not.

By the way, I certainly do not support Hamas. In particular, I do not support their terror methods and their goal of eliminating Israel. And I don't know what "multi-culti" means to you; it's a term I would never use. But I do believe that it is good for people to welcome, tolerate, and accommodate others and let them sing their songs, celebrate their holidays, enjoy their cuisines, speak their languages, and wear their garments. If there's a classroom somewhere in America with a boy wearing a yarmulke, a girl wearing a scarf, and a Hindu out for the day because it's a Hindu holiday, that's all just fine. One of the strengths of the United States compared to Japan is that we welcome and they reject the diversity that immigrants bring. If this be multiculturalism, make the most of it.
1.1.2009 12:16pm
Sarcastro (www):
Or just call them "Muzzies" and be done with it.
1.1.2009 12:26pm
eyesay:
Anonymous12345 wrote, "What's locked you into this Zionist world view is the only way that Jews are allowed to live in Western Asia is through a socialist state?"

What's locked you into the view that Zionism="Israel as a socialist state"?

There are forms of Zionism, such as cultural Zionism, that don't say much of anything about what the political economy of the state of Israel ought to be, or even if there needs to be a state of Israel. There are many Israelis who, if asked, "Are you a Zionist?" would say, "Yes, of course," and if asked "Should Israel be a socialist state?" would say, "No."

Israel is far less socialistic than in the past, and it is not a society that lives by "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." Socialism works to narrow the income spectrum, taking from the affluent to lift the poor out of poverty. Israel has a wide income spectrum, with some people living in abundance and many others living in poverty. Over half of Jerusalem children are living in poverty. The Jerusalem Post reports that 24% of the Israeli population and 35.9% of children are living below the poverty line. Israel is not socialist; Israel is not one big Kibbutz.
1.1.2009 12:41pm
Skyler (mail) (www):
Preferred or not preferred, "moslem" is still correct. Just as "inquire," "enquire" are correct. As is "sovereign" and "sovran." One may be more common, but neither is incorrect.

And if moslems are offended by that spelling, then it will have just became MY preferred spelling. But I don't think even they care.
1.1.2009 12:44pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
eyesay:

"Over half of Jerusalem children are living in poverty."

The Haaretz article goes on to say,
Data also shows that participation in the work force among Jerusalem residents is among the lowest in Israel. Maya Hoshan and Michal Korach, the report editors, say the low work-force figures are due to extremely high unemployment numbers among Ultra-Orthodox men and Arab women.
Thus we see that the poverty in Jerusalem is at least partly linked to religious beliefs and practices. This suggests that like the US, it takes two wage earners in a family to make ends meet. If one chooses the more traditional nuclear family arrangement, it has consequences. I should point out that in some ultra orthodox Jewish families, husband does not work-- he studies-- full time. Wife works.
1.1.2009 1:49pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Anonymous12345:

Your comments are milder than Bob from Ohios, and I don't see you as attacking the dead. No offence taken there.

Unfortunately, my grandmother kept her identity as a Jew a relative secret most of her life. I never got a chance to talk with her about the specific experiences that encouraged her to give up Judaism. However, as I think about it, I don't think it was just antisemitism by itself.

The basic issue is that my ancestors, leaving Spain, made a rather foolish mistake and went to the Ukraine rather than the Muslim world. They ended up hiding their Judaic affiliations and eventually becoming deeply involved in the Tsar's army. My great grandfather took a "short vacation" and moved his family over to the US a few years before WWI and never returned.

So I think that antisemitism combined with habitually hiding their identity may have been the combination which caused the "conversion" (though conversion to what is a better question, since it largely amounted to going to the Unitarian Universalist services and eventually Quaker meetings for a while).

Back to the contemporary middle east.....

Once again, I think the International Crisis Group's paper "Understanding Islamism" is very helpful here. They differentiate between the Wahabi and Salafi movements, and I would agree that the Salafist movement is a LOT more dangerous than even Wahabism. Furthermore it is becoming THE dominant interpretation of Sunni Islam.

Salafism is basically the "religious right" of conservative Islam. It espouses a "strict constructionist" view of Sharia Law, and argues for the importance of "righteous deeds." In practice this tends to push for greater importance of mob rule, greater ties between the mosque and state, and so forth from a political Islam perspective (not all theological salafists are political salafists, as some, like Hamas, adopt other methods such as political party formation).

I have lived with non-Muslims in Indonesia and seen the effects of Salafist activism first hand. At one point, the Indonesian parliament was contemplating passage of a bill requiring all schools (Muslim or otherwise, public or private) to maintain a mosque on their premises. The argument was that everyone should learn something about the dominant religion of the country. When a radio station interviewed a local Catholic priest who objected to the plan, the priest was attacked by an angry mob as he left the studio. Also attacks on tavern owners are not that uncommon. (Indonesia is officially a secular state recognizing 5 religions as having legal validity: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.)

(Lest anyone think I am just picking on one group, I have seen pretty detestable behavior from Indonesian Christians too. The big one is trying to use an education system to convert children from other families of other religions, and the idea that one should "use Buddhists as practice for converting Muslims.")

However, I think the struggle needs to be seen for what it is. Muslims in the 20th century came to a problem where Islam and the modern world are not always easy to reconcile. Right now, Salafism as a rejection of the modern world (in the same way the religious right of Christianity is a rejection of the modern world) in favor of an attempt to practice Islam in the way it was during the time of Mohammed. When you combine this with the fact that Islam has what I would call a doctrine of permanent sovereignty which the state of Israel by its existence violates, you have bigger problems.

This is a clash not of two but of four worldviews divided on two axes: Western vs Middle Eastern, Embracing vs Rejecting the modern world. I don't know what the solution is, but I do know that the extremes of the second axis are fundamentally unhealthy. In the end, perhaps, we should recognize the right of other countries to make serious mistakes, to the extent that they don't project dangerous force beyond their borders.

As an aside, one of my favorite topics to argue with Muslims is whether the lack of a prohibition on use of vinegar made by Muslims makes any sense given the fact that Muslims are forbidden to make, purchase, or sell any alcoholic substance (the related fatwas generally suggest the haram wine becomes halal when it turns into vinegar provided that nothing else is added to it in the wine stage, but if you are forbidden from making wine, how can you make vinegar under this rule?) as this discussion shows that although the basic theology of Islam seems more theologically consistent than, say, Christianity, it still admits to VERY absurd judgements.
1.1.2009 2:26pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
BTW, on the Israeli failures, I would point out this article.

A lot of people on the left and right are going to attack me horribly for saying this but this sort of campaign is going to result, long term, in more security problems for Israel because Hamas will regroup stronger than before and will have greater military strength afterwards, just as Hizbullah has done in Lebanon.

Israel has two options here and both are costly. The first is to just blockade Gaza until the rocket fire stops. The rockets are disruptive to normalcy but largely kill (according to one prominent Likud politician) "curious people who don't follow instructions." Blockading Gaza with the exception of Israeli-supplied food and medical aid would effectively put the timer on such attacks without strengthening Hamas too much. However, here the civilians suffer the most.

The second option is one that is more difficult to do and would require use of more international political capital. Israel could invade and occupy the Gaza strip, rebuild the police stations and the police forces and eventually negotiate a hand-over to the Palestinian Authority in a year or two, once real Palestinian police forces are functioning well at with regard to ordinary crime (catching terrorists is a goal too, but that can wait until after the PA handoff).

By choosing neither option, Israel has shown that they are willing to undermine their own security to make a political point. They have chosen to destroy parts of the very infrastructure that is MOST NEEDED in providing them with security-- the law enforcement infrastructure, and the pictures of Israeli bombs and missiles in Gaza will undermine rather than enhance Israeli security without much deeper measures.

As I said, Olmert is an idiot. So is Barak. Neither one wants to do ANYTHING which will get real results. IMO this operation is likely to end as a great Hamas victory as far as long-term political repercussions go.
1.1.2009 2:51pm
billooooh (mail):
Is 31 more than 9?
1.1.2009 2:53pm
Michael B (mail):
Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian Muslim reformer and a medical doctor, writing in the JPost, an extended, revealing excerpt, reflective of so much, emphasis added:

"... I ask myself why the Arab street and its supporters in the West never show similarly strong response against Islamic terrorists who target innocents worldwide and explode markets full of predominantly Muslim civilians in Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, etc. When you consider that the Israeli attack killed some 400 mostly Hamas militant in the first four days, the passive attitude of the Muslim world against the terrorists represents extreme hypocrisy. If it truly cared for Muslims' lives, it should have demonstrated in the same numbers and with equal vehemence against the Islamists who murder hundreds of thousands of their fellow Muslims, not to mention the Hamas slaughter of rival Fatah members - women and children included.

"Another question is why we have not seen a similarly strong reaction against the terrorists who conducted the latest attack in Mumbai. Many Indians, Westerners and Jews were killed. Yet there was no spontaneous eruption of outrage and demonstrations in Europe to denounce the attacks as in the case of Gaza. Are these lesser lives than those of the Palestinians? Where is the organized public fury for the wanton killing of Indians and Jews?

"We have witnessed the burning of churches in Iraq at the hands of jihadists. We also know that thousands of Christian Iraqis have fled because the Islamists imposed on them the traditional Shari'a choice for non-Muslims: Convert to Islam, pay a humiliating tax (jizzia), or be killed. Yet, we have not heard any thing from the Arab street or its supporters. Only stone silence."
1.1.2009 2:57pm
Peter B (mail):
Hamas considers that all of its actions, including using "civilians" (a category they reject in defensive jihad) are legal under the only international law it recognizes: Sharia, which it seeks to impose on everyone starting with the ending of Jewish rule over Israel. Note that the definition of an attack which warrants defensive jihad is conveniently expandable under much Muslim jurisprudence to include someone rejecting dawa (the invitation to become a Muslim; see Ahmedinejad's frequent invitations to foreign officials.)

Discussions over whether second class citizenship under Medieval Islam or Medieval Christianity may be interesting academically, but the bottom line is that the facts do not support the Islam good/Christianity bad meme. In general, cases the good times were due to individual rulers being lenient or lax in their enforcement of Sharia either because that was their temperment, or because they were conveniently bribable.
Anyway, those discussions are irrelevant to todays situation in which a Western civilization whose laws generally grant equal status to all religions and whose institutions generally reflect that is under attack by an Islam whose laws do not grant equal status to non-Muslims and which seeks to bring all humanity under those laws by means ranging from lawfare to warfare.
1.1.2009 3:07pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Michael B:

Is it any different than the Jewish street not professing great outrage at how the Israeli police handled the Arab Riots of October 2000? Or going out of their way to loudly protest Baruch Goldstein's actions?

No Jews I am personally well acquainted with (and would still label as Jews--- I had a conversation with a Kahanist who supported such things, but I withhold the label of "Jew" from her on a number of grounds including the fact that she was praising these things while eating a ham and cheese sandwich. Had I been a little more bold, I would have asked her if she wanted shellfish with it....) are supportive of the use of live ammo on Arab Israeli rioters, or the massacre of Palestinians by radical settler-movement individuals. But they aren't going to make a big political deal out of these either.
1.1.2009 3:19pm
Michael B (mail):
einhverfr,

Yes, it's hugely different. There is no comparison. Your willful blindness is the most salient factor on evidence in your query.

Firstly, there is in fact a massive contingent of Jews, both in Israel and elsewhere, who variously do protest, and they do so within the free and open societies they live in (Israel and elsewhere) and as such are protected with legal due process and with societal and cultural norms as well. That too serves as a stark contrast. They are largely comprised of centrist and hard Left and other left-of-center factions, but are represented in other polities as well.

As to how justified they are in their protests, depending upon each specific situation and set of circumstances, that is a different question altogether. E.g., Hamas, Fatah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, et al. target civilian populations in Israel; by contrast Israel targets militants and is currectly, for example, attempting to secure its borders and its civilian population. Hamas is seeking to kill Jews and likewise is seeking to wipe Israel off the face of the planet.

To make shorter work of this, I've largely said what I've wanted to say here at VC on the subject, once in this thread, once in this thread, and five or six comments in this thread.

And I've cited Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian Muslim reformer and a medical doctor. Though that is secondary, it's the reality and the rational/empirical and cogent quality of his argument that is forceful and more relevant. Advancing a superficial, equivocating rhetoric against that argument serves nothing more substantial.
1.1.2009 4:08pm
wfjag:
Hoosier wrote:

Fundamentalists everywhere tend to be good at reproduction.

Because fundamentalists reportedly have the most satisfying sex lives.

(I know, I know. I don't get it either.)

Hey, Hoos. If you don't drink, don't smoke, don't gamble, don't go to the movies or watch TV due to all the immorality shown, you're going to spend your leisure time how?
1.1.2009 4:15pm
Michael B (mail):
A couple of supportive links.

One more particularly compelling link, reflecting upon the Ramallah lynchings of 2000 and the deep-seated enculturation of anti-Semitic hatreds that permeates those societies and cultures and is fostered - quite literally - from pre-school ages and forward, throughout educational and other institutions.
1.1.2009 4:21pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Michael B:

As to how justified they are in their protests, depending upon each specific situation and set of circumstances, that is a different question altogether. E.g., Hamas, Fatah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, et al. target civilian populations in Israel; by contrast Israel targets militants and is currectly, for example, attempting to secure its borders and its civilian population. Hamas is seeking to kill Jews and likewise is seeking to wipe Israel off the face of the planet.


I am opposed to the direction the current operation is going on practical grounds: Israel is being extremely restrained but is choosing a strategy employing the worst middle-grounds I can think of. Either occupy Gaza and help with nation building or blockade it and send in food/medicines. Striking with air strikes and maybe a short ground campaign will do NOTHING to provide security in the long run and will only contribute to the anarchy that is causing problems for Israel. Israel *should* be developing a longer-term vision for how to encourage Palestinian statehood, sell it to the world, and act in accordance with that vision. This has not happened, and so we will see some air strikes, maybe a short ground campaign, and both sides declaring victory. Hamas will rebuild. In 5 years we will be worse off than we are today.

However, there IS a vigorously pro-Israel political contingent (mostly non-Jewish interestingly) and they by and large don't even acknowledge many of the problems that Arab Israelis face in that state.

For example, do you think that Prof. Bernstein would go out of his way to characterize the Israeli police response in October 2000 as disproportionate (largely as the Or Commission found)? I doubt it. Would he give blog space to attempts to kick Arab MK's out of the Knesset? I doubt it. The hardships that Arabs in Israel face are simply no more important to these folks than the Jewish deaths on bus bombings in Tel Aviv are to pro-Arab protesters. Different venues, but same skews on responses.

The fundamental problem is a group identity which devalues deaths and prejudice against others outside that community. The problem is not structurally different among the more militant or vocal supporters of Israel than it is among the supporters of Palestinians. However, as long as killing as opposed to nation building is what both sides espouse, we will never see either peace or stability.

What I think Israel should do (everyone will attack me for this, I know) is:

1) Evacuate ALL settlements in WB and E Jerusalem.
2) Articulate to the world that the Gaza situation is a major roadblock to the 2-state solution and that Israel intends to do something about it with or without international assistance.
3) Move the IDF into Gaza for a multi-year occupation.
4) Build up police and light infantry units among the Gazans. These are to be used for ordinary crime and such. US, Turkish, and Egyptian trainers should also be brought in.
5) Open negotiations with the PA in the West Bank (not with either Hamas or Fatah, but with the PA as the entity) and have these aim at an eventual PA takeover of Gaza.

Unfortunately, I don't think Israel has the political will to do this. So we will be left with what is ultimately useless killing of Palestinains, only half of whom are confirmed combatants (of the 400 or so killed, approx 200 confirmed members of Hamas, 62 or so confirmed civilians, and the rest are of undetermined status). That would be justified if it were a REAL game changer, but it is shaping up to be another Lebanon 2.
1.1.2009 4:36pm
anon522 (mail):
Why bother engaging with einhverfr? I demonstrated earlier in this thread that he has various half-baked notions about Jews, Israel, etc. that he picked up from who knows where, and that it doesn't stop him from continuing to post, or to even acknowledge that he doesn't really know much. The sum of his knowledge is apparently gleaned from talking to his once-Jewish grandmother and a few Jewish friends, and, I suspect, reading a few websites written by ignoramuses. If he'd simply admit that he doesn't know that much, and make mild observations instead of sweeping false statements, I'd be more sympathetic.
1.1.2009 4:39pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
billooooh:

Is 31 more than 9?


30, not 31. So the ratio is 30:9.

'Is 30 more than 9' is a good question. But a better question would be this: is 9 much more than 30? Because the statement bernstein made is this:

Greenwald blogs about Israel much more than I do

===================
wfjag:

you're going to spend your leisure time how?


Posting here, obviously.
====================
anon522:

Why bother engaging with einhverfr?


Given your track record of evading fair questions, a better question would be, why bother engaging with you?
1.1.2009 6:04pm
Anonymous12345:
einhverfr - huh?

There are lots of other options. Options that are tried and true.

For example, in Gaza, in the mid '00s the Jewish population was "evacuated". The Zionist army came, physically evicted every Jew from their home, and destroyed their communities. Maybe you saw some of the video on TV? The UN and Left cheered themselves hoarse in support. There wasn't even one protest in San Francisco - so we know that liquidation of a population is moral.

Similarly, the Islamic population of Gaza can be evacuated, just like the Jewish population was. As they did to the Jews, the Zionist army should go house to house and physically throw out every Moslem. Evacuate the population, just like they did to the Jews.

Another option would be the forcible conversion of the Islamic population away from Islam. They would be allowed to believe whatever they want, but would be killed if they professed belief in Islam. Obviously, some will refuse and be shot dead. Those 'dem the breaks. (Forcible conversion is totally okay according to the Left - the Left describes the victims of forcible conversion as "unharmed" http://www.nytimes.com/ 2006/08/27/world/middleeast/27cnd-mideast.html)
1.1.2009 6:29pm
Donald Clarke (www):
A. Zarkov brings an interesting piece of history to light:


For the record, the US dropped leaflets on Japan before nuclear weapons were. You can see and even buy an original leaflet here. Translated to English the leaflet reads:

"Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs."


I clicked on the link and took a look; the really interesting thing about this leaflet is that neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki is among the cities listed on the reverse side (the city names are the characters within the circles) as subject to bombing. I'm not trying to start (or restart) any historical arguments here; I just thought this fact was worth noting, since otherwise one might assume (as I originally did) that both cities were listed.
1.1.2009 7:52pm
jr565 (mail):
einhverf wrote:

I am opposed to the direction the current operation is going on practical grounds: Israel is being extremely restrained but is choosing a strategy employing the worst middle-grounds I can think of. Either occupy Gaza and help with nation building or blockade it and send in food/medicines. Striking with air strikes and maybe a short ground campaign will do NOTHING to provide security in the long run and will only contribute to the anarchy that is causing problems for Israel.
I don't see why Israel couldn't wage in air raid attacks to weaken Hamas and then blockade it after softening it up for future operations. Doing one doesn't predicate not doing another. Nor does engaging in bombing of specific targets mean that never again will Israel have to worry about Hamas. But only critics of the bombing are suggesting that it will. If Israel blows up tunnels, destroys weaponry destroys infrastructure and kills leaders of Hamas those are all things that weaken Hamas. New leaders need to step up. New tunnels built. Rockets resupplied. Hamas, despite the arguments from the critics to the contrary can suffer attrition and demoralization and loss of effectiveness like any other army. Why are you suggesting that somehow an attack that decimates but not destroys the enemy is somehow not a blow to that enemy? Maybe it takes them 5 six months to regroup. And what's to stop Israel then from engaging in yet more bombing attacks to decimate them further? The left and critics of Israel and the US apply the same arguments to Hamas and Al Qaeda but never to the US and ISrael. They are not monolithic killing machines impervious to the laws of war. And an attack that destroys or diminishes their ability to attack is a good one even if it doesn't completey obliterate the enemy in one go. And its utterly foolish to suggest that somehow unless Israel does so then Hamas wins.
You are simply saying this because you want Israel to relent and thus give Hamas the chance to regroup or have some antiwar leftist bias that is clouding your judgment.
As to your other suggestions - namely either nation building or blockading Gaza how do those solutions long term destroy Hamas? They don't, they are just as short term as bombing Hamas and will not destroy Hamas outright either. If we were to occupy Gaza that certainly would involve direct ground to ground operations with Hamas that certainly would not reduce violence or chaos, but rather get Israel involved in a ground war. And if you measure cost effectiveness perhaps pounding Gaza targets from on high is less costly then sending in troops. However, as stated bombing targets doesn't preclued sending in troops as well. But didn't Israel give up Gaza already without precondiitions? You'd think that would earn a little bit of free will from Palestinians yet instead its been used to expand Hamas's base of military operations.
In fact I think, in extricating themselves from Gaza it gives Israel even more justifcation to bomb hamas. They, Israel, haven't been in Gaza now for a few years at all yet are being attacked now by a neighboring state which is led by Hamas. Israel, like any other country should have no qualms about defending its borders from those foreign countries deliberately attacking it. But regardless, Israel removed itself from Gaza so as to facilitate a peaceful resolution and remove the rationale for Hamas to continue attacking them. If Israel went back in, it will not be to nation build but rather mop up after they finish their bombs.
You also mention a blockade.Another short term fix. I doubt Hamas would respond to kindly to a blockade but more importantly the more effective one were the more likely it would provoke a confrontation. Further unless a blockade were able to address Hamas;s ability to smuggle weapons through tunnels that are then used to bomb Israel the blockade would not be much of a blockade nor stop Hamas from firing rockets (which would necessitate most likely Israel bombing said tunnels, EXACTLY what's happening now). Further I'm sure we'd have people like you and the apologists saying the blockade was too harsh.

So with all due respect, I think you're engaging in excessively and deliberately biased and dishonest criticism of Israel.Not because you think the bombings wouldn't be effective but because you fear that they would be effective long term. But even if you believe such piffle YOUR suggestions are not long term either nor would they once and for all in a short period of time end Hamas's control of Gaza. So at least be honest that you aren't in fact offering any credible solutions. (and that's assuming that you are not in fact rooting for Hamas to win).
1.1.2009 7:59pm
Fidelity (mail) (www):
Wow. It is really heart breaking to read some of these comments. Half of you, including David Bernstein, need to pull their heads out of their ass. If any of you had a a shred of an idea as to the terror of warfare, you would never advocate it. To read that it's okay to kill their children if they killed yours, and then to call them barbaric, just shows the depth of amoral behavior from anyone who claims it. If you want to be a good nation, then should you start by being better than your enemy? It seems like the more prevailing strategy is just to wait until a few people die on your side before declaring all out war.
1.1.2009 8:13pm
jr565 (mail):
Also to show how unrealistic and short term einhverf alternative solutions actually are (and its kind to actually call them solutions) , didn't Isreal already blockade Hamas again because of the previous rocket attacks? So what makes einverf think that more blockades wouldn't lead to more rocket attacks or that somehow it would ease the tension or make Hamas weaker or make Gaza less chaotic?
1.1.2009 8:19pm
anon2law:
Fidelity, why bother to post such drivel? Should we also give the enemy a flower and hope it blooms into a tree of peace? You have missed it, probably because you only read liberal anti-Israel media reports, but there is all out war upon Israel from Hamas in Gaza. Should they wait until hundreds of their citizens die before responding? This fight has been ongoing for decades and will likely never end. You talk about the terror of war--the Israeli's feel that terror, whether you think their lives are worthy or not. Who should decide how many dead Israeli's are enough for a response to be proper? You? Is there some percentage or number that would ever make an Israeli response justified to the world that hates Israel? Sedrot lives in daily terror and fear of death--just because the people trying to kill them have been less successful doesn't mean they should idly by waiting for more death. Yours is a ridiculous notion of the sheltered and naive. I have lived through war. It is hell. Sometimes it is necessary. There are places in this world I think it is far more necessary (Darfur and the Congo for one, or North Korea, where at least one percent of the population is enslaved by the government) but I do not fault Israel for responding to attacks of war. The world's utter fascination with Israel, and the declaration that Palestinians are innocent sufferers amazes me, as women are raped to death and burned alive in the Congo daily. The world hates Jews, and will always find a way to blame Jews, to persecute Jews, to try to destroy Jews.
1.1.2009 8:39pm
billooooh (mail):

You have missed it, probably because you only read liberal anti-Israel media reports, but there is all out war upon Israel from Hamas in Gaza.

All our war, eh? Last time I checked, the evil Santa Claus that opened fire down in LA killed more people in the past couple of weeks than Hamas did.

Have evil Santa's declared an all out war on the U.S.?
1.1.2009 8:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
anonymous12345:

the Left describes the victims of forcible conversion as "unharmed"


This is how Centanni himself described his condition, shortly after his release:

I'm fine.


Please consider these two statements:

A) Centanni is fine.
B) Centanni is unharmed.

So it's a little hard to tell what you're saying. Are you saying that A is materially different from B? Or are you saying that Centanni himself is part of "the Left?" Or maybe there's some other possibility that I missed. Hopefully you'll point out what it is.
1.1.2009 8:58pm
LM (mail):
jr565,

Nor does engaging in bombing of specific targets mean that never again will Israel have to worry about Hamas. But only critics of the bombing are suggesting that it will.

Critics of the bombing are saying "bombing of specific targets mean[s] that never again will Israel have to worry about Hamas?"
1.1.2009 9:48pm
anon2law:
billooooh-I'm not sure why you think only the last few weeks should count. Yes, Hamas has declared all out war on Israel. Are you really questioning this? Attempts to kill are still acts of war. Hamas is the de-facto government of Gaza, and daily attempts to kill hundreds of Israeli civilians.

Just because they aren't winning the war doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Your analogy is both juvenile and ill-fitting. Many events that are not acts of war have killed more people than actual wars have.

Do people really expect, or actually desire, Israel to allow more of it's own civilians to be killed so the numbers are closer to even? I do not understand such a viewpoint, and I have tried to. Do you think what Hamas is doing and has done since the latest jihad to be no big deal and Israel should just let it continue?

Here is, I believe, a more fitting analogy. If there is an arsonist in your home, who keeps setting small fires--do you keep putting out the fires while letting him run rampant lighting them? Or do you attempt to stop the arsonist so you no longer have to put out these fires? You may not agree with their methods, but Hamas is more than a thorn at Israel's side. If you're looking for more Israeli deaths before you think response should be allowed, this is a bizarre view of defense.
1.1.2009 11:21pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Indeed. And it quoted him in a sympathetic, supportive manner. Which is not what Chabad would do if they were "anti-Zionist."
Dishonest as usual. Just admit you hadn't read the link. It quoted him praising Chabad. It did not express sympathy or support for him; he was neither seeking it nor would it have made sense in that context to do so. Your summary was false, much falser than anything you attacked Judith Miller for writing.

Uh, no. The passages I cited support the claim that Chabad was anti-Zionist. But that changed (although they still have problems with the secularity of Zionism). The first passage I cited is here:
Setting aside that Schneerson is dead (and not the messiah), if "Zionism" merely means support for a state of Israel, then all religious Jews, including nuts like Neturei Karta, are "Zionist." But of course that doesn't make sense as a definition of Zionist in the context of this discussion (or in most contexts today); Zionist means support for the actual state of Israel. Yes, he "had problems with the secularity of Zionism." Which means he had problems with actual modern Zionism. Which made him anti-Zionist. Saying that he wasn't anti-Zionist because he would support a non-secular Israel is like saying that Cuban exiles in Florida aren't anti-Castro; they just dislike the communist aspects of his government.

The second passage I cited is this:
As usual, dishonestly ignoring the parts directly on point in favor of parts not on point. Try boldfacing this:
Nonetheless, he refused to call the state by name, claiming that the holy land exists independent of any authority that sees itself as sovereign over the land. He further criticized feelings of nationalism connected to the State of Israel, saying that the only thing that unites Jews is the Torah, not a secular state that happens to be planted on holy land.[21]
Anti-Zionist.
1.1.2009 11:59pm
Peter B (mail):
The last 3 Lubavitcher Rebbes (may their merit shield us) all strongly opposed the Zionist movement (though approving of Jews becoming farmers and learning trades, an old tradition in Lubavitch) and its establishment of the State of Israel.
The State was, especially in the view of Menachem Mendel Shneerson, the last Rebbe, whose tenure as Rebbe began in 1951 shortly after the State was established, now the means to the necessary end of protecting its Jewish inhabitants and so needed a healthy economy and a strong defense. Since the State was the guardian of the Land that was destined for redemption, he therefore vigorously supported it. He was confident that his campaign for religious observance would both speed the ultimate redemption and help protect the Land and its inhabitants.
It was in the service of all these agendas that he met with many leaders and officials of the State. Pro-Israel? Yes. Zionist? I don't think so.
1.2.2009 1:29am
billooooh (mail):

You may not agree with their methods, but Hamas is more than a thorn at Israel's side.

Because they have killed about as many people in the past few days that might die in a bad car accident?

Would you say they are an existential threat?

That if they continue killing people at this rate then sometime in the year 382,456,217 there won't be any Israeli's left?
1.2.2009 1:41am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

it did not express sympathy or support for him


The Chabad article quotes Dershowitz saying this:

to combat anti Semitism and anti-Zionism on campus … we must learn from Chabad, from the way you have so effectively communicated


To combat anti-Zionism we have to learn from the anti-Zionists? Really?

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for him to say what he said, or for Chabad to happily quote him saying what he said, if Chabad is anti-Zionist. Then again, maybe you know more about Chabad than he does.

Here are some other clues about how "anti-Zionist" Chabad is:

Lubavitchers for the Army: The special relationship of Chabad with the Israel Defense Forces is legendary. "Chabadniks" … will tramp through miles of mud to bring Chanuka or Purim cheer to an isolated, desolate army base. Cherished by the soldiers of Israel, their selflessness and self-sacrifice is seen as a genuine expression of love and unity with these brave men who steadfastly guard our Holy Land.


So there is a group of anti-Zionists that is "cherished by the soldiers of Israel?" Really? There is a group of anti-Zionists that describes the IDF as "brave men who steadfastly guard our Holy Land?" At this rate, Israel would do well if it could turn the whole world into anti-Zionists.

If I told you about a group that was 'cherished by the fighters of Hamas,' and which described Hamas as 'brave men who steadfastly guard Palestine,' would you then claim it's proper to describe that group as anti-Hamas?

Here are some other clues about how "anti-Zionist" Chabad is:

Chabad's on-campus representatives will … meet the challenge of addressing anti-Israel sentiment and have been working to find ways of reinforcing Jewish pride and support for the Jewish homeland.


Because promoting "support for the Jewish homeland" is precisely what we would expect anti-Zionists to do, right? Even though the very definition of Zionism is "the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland."

More clues about how "anti-Zionist" Chabad is:

Operation Cast Lead … Our soldiers are fighting a critical war in defense of our people and our homeland. They will lay their lives on the line for our safety and our survival. Our brethren in southern Israel are demonstrating courageous loyalty to our people and our homeland.


More clues about how "anti-Zionist" Chabad is:

A rather disheartening trend is the growing number of Romanians, who once fled the country to move to Israel, that are moving back to Bucharest … Chabad representatives to Romania would like to see Jews return to Israel. … to their homeland … At Bucharest universities, Chabad has seen more success in its efforts to influence young Israeli students to return to the Jewish homeland


Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of nieporent, where anti-Zionists are the people who are working to provide "support for the Jewish homeland." And where anti-Zionists describe Israel as "our homeland" and describe IDF as "our soldiers." And where anti-Zionists are the ones promoting the idea that Jewish Romanians belong in Israel, not Romania. Even though the idea of ending the Jewish exile from Israel is the essence of Zionism.

Simple question: if these are the ways that one expresses anti-Zionism, how does one express pro-Zionism?

Zionist means support for the actual state of Israel.


When "Chabad's on-campus representatives … meet the challenge of addressing anti-Israel sentiment," please explain how that is something other than "support for the actual state of Israel." Likewise for the other examples I presented, which prove that Chabad does indeed "support … the actual state of Israel."

he had problems with actual modern Zionism. Which made him anti-Zionist


What utter sophistry. That's like saying I have problems with my marriage, so therefore I'm anti-marriage. Or I have problems with the Democrats, so therefore I'm anti-Democrat. Just because one might criticize Israel, or criticize the current government of Israel, or even criticize Zionism, does not automatically make one an anti-Zionist.

Saying that he wasn't anti-Zionist because he would support a non-secular Israel


It's true that Chabad "would support a non-secular Israel." But they also support Israel as it is. It's just that they would "support a non-secular Israel" even more.

You're suggesting that Chabad witholds support for Israel because Israel is too secular. And that Chabad would only support "a non-secular Israel." But you're simply wrong. Of course Chabad wants Israel to become completely non-secular. Nevertheless, it still provides strong support for "the actual state of Israel." This is in stark contrast to groups like Neturei Karta, who recently "joined 1500 people in New York City marching in protest of the bombings and massacre in Gaza." Is Chabad part of that group? Of course not. But they would be if you were correct in describing them as "anti-Zionist."
=========================
peter b:

Pro-Israel? Yes. Zionist? I don't think so.


I suggest that you and nieporent get together and try to reach agreement on some basic terminology. Because he said this:

Zionist means support for the actual state of Israel.


It's hard to interpret "support for the actual state of Israel" and "Pro-Israel" as anything other than exact synonyms. And I think most people also treat "Zionist" and "Pro-Israel" as synonyms.
1.2.2009 1:55am
Peter B (mail):
Not exactly. You might say "I opposed it for religious and legal reasons which continue to be valid and make me fear, every waking moment that there might be divine retribution, but you are my people and I will storm Heaven with my prayers, and work tirelessly to encourage your efforts at keeping the State strong, including working to strengthen religious observance, and doing my best to influence your leaders: The physical and moral strength of the State is the shield behind which millions of my precious people live; of course I want the State to be strong and prevail against her enemies. But when the Moshiach comes, the current structure of the State will wither away, and things will be as they should be."
While all Zionists are pro-the-actual-State-of-Israel, not everyone who is pro-Israel is a Zionist. The two sets intersect but aren't identical.
1.2.2009 7:51am
Anonymous12345:
jukeboxgrad:

Gee! Good to see your vast knowledge of what Chassidus believes and how it is actually lived and the situation in Western Asia comes from that classic seifer - wikipedia. At least you are not relying on some litvisheh propoganda like Google. Good stuff. Look what a well-read and rounded individual you are!

First, a correction above - Nieporent is not chassidish and doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

Neturei Karta and all observant (i.e. "ultra-") Orthodox Jews do NOT support "the" State and do not support "a" State". Its not Israel being secular that's the problem. The problem is that G-d fated the Jewish people to galus until Moshiach comes. While Neturei Karta are the only ones who proactively advocate and rally for the persecution of Jews, ALL frum people believe its better to live as a persecuted frum Jewish minority in Iran, then as a freieh liberal in Israel or the United States.

That said - one can be viciously ant "the" State and anti "a" state - and certainly anti-the filthy Left-wing democracy that Liberal Jews imposed on Western Asia - while still advocating the protection of Jews who live there. Is it pro-EU for Chabad to try to be mekarev Jews in Copenhagen or Malmo? Is it pro-Hindu to bring yiddishkeit to Mumbai? Is it Zionist to bring Judaism (for the first time in most cases) to Israeli soldiers? No - sometimes you go into the heart of enemy territory and risk your life to save Jews. Similarly, sometimes you have to go into the dark ugly heart of the Israeli democracy to save Jewish souls. Even the souls of soldiers.

Now; apart from the wickedness of Zionism and the wickedness of the Zionist State - and someone's personal anti-Zionism - one can simultaneously believe in Shleimus ha'aretz. Present company hates Israel, hates Zionism, but at the same time prays that the IDF does everything it can to deter the Islamic population of Western Asia from continuing their E.U., and Meretz financed Jihad.
1.2.2009 8:07am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Just to clarify, Mr. Anon, I certainly don't claim to be chassisish, nor did I mean to imply that any particular group would support Israel if it were less secular. I realize that moat of those who opose Israel for religious reasons do so because they believe that it is up to Hashem, not Jews, to decide when and how. I've been oversimplifying for the sake of trying to get through to JBG.

(And yes, most of my friends are litvish, not chassidish, but I do have Bobover and Lubuvitcher friends as well.)
1.2.2009 8:59am
Anonymous12345:
Understood David.

But this is not so complicated that the nuances can't be aired.

It would analogous to someone that believes in Xianity and the claims of Divinity by the Prophet of Xianity, and ALSO believes in the slavery of blacks.

You would ask them how they feel about Saudi Arabia. One can simultaneously believe that: (i.) Saudi Arabia is a wicked State, that has no right to exist and is worthy of G-d's wrath because they don't accept that J.C. was the son of god; and (ii.) the Saudi Arabian institution of enslaving blacks is wonderful.

You don't have to acknowledge the legitimacy of a state to agree with their policy. (e.g., someone saying about Russia's Chechnyan policy - Russian has no right to exist, but their policy in Chechnya is commendable)
1.2.2009 9:46am
Crust (mail):
Saudi Arabian institution of enslaving blacks.
Anonymous12345, slavery is banned in Saudi Arabia. (It was one of the last countries in the world to ban slavery. Slavery was banned there in 1962.)
1.2.2009 10:27am
Yankev (mail):
Anon12345, first of all, yasher koach and I am enjoying your posts. But my Yiddish is even worse than my Hebraish -- can yoy tell me why is Google litvisheh and not litvisher? And what about frei yidden who are male -- wouldn't he be frier and not freieh?
1.2.2009 11:13am
Yankev (mail):

It seems like the more prevailing strategy is just to wait until a few people die on your side before declaring all out war.
More than a few have since 2001 when the rocket attacks began, and even more recently. And others have been crippled. But most of the victims have been Jews, so you don't read much about them and the UN doesn't get very upset when it happens.
1.2.2009 11:15am
Yankev (mail):
Anon12345, billooooh has already shown himself to be morally obtuse with his extended discussion of renegade Santas on other threads at VC, and now with his silly comparison to traffic accidents. He is not worth responding to.
1.2.2009 11:17am
Yankev (mail):

Why bother engaging with einhverfr?

I'm starting to agree, and this may be my last attempt.

Can anyone be so unfamiliar with the teachings of the Arizal (Isaac Luria as to seriously claim that he and his followers chose to go to Eretz Yisroel because it was under Muslim rule, and not because they believed that the land had an inherent sanctity?


When my (Sephardic) Grandmother left Judaism in the face of heavy Anti-Semitism here in the US, that may have been at most equivalent to the dhimmi laws.

For a good glimpse at anti-Semitism in the US before and during WWII, read GI Jews. I was born 5 years after the war. I remember suburbs that banned Jews, nasty remarks (and sometimes physical attacks) by Christian kids, being denied service at certain hotels and restaurants (before I became observant but years after such things became illegal) and being subtly "non-considered" for certain jobs, but much less than my parents had to put up with. But here in the US my parents and grandparents could vote, own property, testify in court, own arms, defend themselves against physical attack by the members of the majority religion, wear or build or drive whatever they could afford, sue members of the majority religion in court (or defend against them when sued), attend the same public schools as anyone else, build houses of worship and practice their religion openly, accept converts from the majority religion, pay the same taxes as anyone else, pursue their chosen trades or professions, and invoke the aid of the criminal justice system if attacked or otherwise criminally wronged by members of the majority religion.

These are just a few of the rights denied to dhimmis. And dhimmis can be killed lawfully non-judicially by any Muslim for uttering the slightest word of protest against their situation.


Would he give blog space to attempts to kick Arab MK's out of the Knesset?

einhverfr is posting a hlaf-truth. The attempts are not aimed at all Arab MKs, and not because the MKs are Arabs, but because they have committed treason by supporting those who are working violently to overthrow the State. How long would a US Senator during WWII have stayed in the Senate and out of prison if while the war was in progress he visited Japan or Germany, worked with underground Japanese or German spy groups in the US and advocated an Axis victory?
1.2.2009 11:21am
Yankev (mail):
For those who think Israel has some kind of duty to wait until Hamas kills more Israelis, ynetnews.com reports that Hamas is now believed to possess Iranian missiles powerful enough to reach Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona. JFK took the entire world to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 over a much smaller and less existential threat.
1.2.2009 12:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
peter:

"I opposed it for religious and legal reasons which continue to be valid and make me fear, every waking moment that there might be divine retribution"


I acknowledge and understand the validity of the subtle distinction you're raising. However, in the context of how the term "anti-Zionist" is typically used and understood, it's a distinction that is irrelevant, misleading and meaningless.

=====================
anonymous12345:

Good to see your vast knowledge of what Chassidus believes and how it is actually lived and the situation in Western Asia comes from that classic seifer - wikipedia.


Good to see that you have somehow failed to notice that most of the proof I presented comes not from wiki but rather from chabad's own site.

And I promise that you would be shocked if you knew the extent of my personal experience with "what Chassidus believes."

Is it pro-Hindu to bring yiddishkeit to Mumbai?


No. Likewise, it's not pro-Romanian to bring yiddishkeit to Romanian Jews who have returned to Romania after having emigrated from Romania to Israel. However, it is indeed pro-Israel and pro-Zionist (by any reasonable and conventional understanding of those terms) to tell those Jews that where they really belong is in Israel.

Is it Zionist to bring Judaism … to Israeli soldiers?


No. However, it is indeed pro-Israel and pro-Zionist (by any reasonable and conventional understanding of those terms) to describe those soldiers as "fighting a critical war in defense of our people and our homeland." Because Israel as the Jewish homeland is the essential concept of Zionism.

apart from the wickedness of Zionism and the wickedness of the Zionist State - and someone's personal anti-Zionism - one can simultaneously believe in Shleimus ha'aretz


One can read an interesting article here (pdf) about "SETTLER, SOLDIER, SHLIACH, SHLEIMUS HA'ARETZ ACTIVIST" Danny Cohen. Most people would be very confused to read this article and then be told that Cohen is something other than a Zionist.

==================
nieporent:

I've been oversimplifying for the sake of trying to get through to JBG.


Fascinating. So the incoherence of your statements is my fault, not yours. Why not just blame Obama?

I realize that moat of those who opose Israel for religious reasons do so because they believe that it is up to Hashem, not Jews, to decide when and how.


Trouble is, I have shown that chabad does not "opose Israel." Israel would be very fortunate if it could get the whole world to "opose Israel" in the manner that chabad does.
1.2.2009 1:39pm
Yankev (mail):

However, in the context of how the term "anti-Zionist" is typically used and understood, it's a distinction that is irrelevant, misleading and meaningless.
Oh, I get it. you were using "Zionist" in the Orwellian sense, much like the terms "international law", "human rights", "occupation", "collective punishment" , "proportionate response" and "population transfer" can mean anything that the anti-Zionists of the world want them to, regardless of the actual meanings of the words involved.

you have somehow failed to notice that most of the proof I presented comes not from wiki but rather from chabad's own site.
1.2.2009 2:05pm
Yankev (mail):
Sorry, posted my response to Jukeboxgrad prematurely.


you have somehow failed to notice that most of the proof I presented comes not from wiki but rather from chabad's own site.
You have failed to notice that Anon12345 and others have shown how you have thoroughly misinterpreted or distorted that "proof".


Israel would be very fortunate if it could get the whole world to "opose Israel" in the manner that chabad does.
You mean by giving humanitarian and religious aid to those who live there and those who risk (and often give) their lives to defend her citizens from wanton slaughter, terrorism and genocide, rather than looking for ways to rationalize the genocidal aims and conduct of those who are actively and violently seeking to prevent any and all Jews from living there? Yes, I agree that would be fortunate. But it still does not make Chabad Zionist in any meaningful, non-perjorative sense of the word.

See above re Orwellian use of language. Fee sup -- you were rooting for Humpty Dumpty's in his discussion with Alice, weren't you?
1.2.2009 2:13pm
Yankev (mail):
Okay, after akll tghe typos, this is it for today. "Fee supp" should of course be "fess up".
1.2.2009 2:16pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
What is there to worry about? Come January 20th, Obama will use the force of his personality to cure everything wrong in the Middle East. He ask them to stop fighting and to learn to love each other, and by God the war will be over.
1.2.2009 3:01pm
lucklucky (mail):
What changed from Otoman Empire times was Arabism. Arabism was an European Romantic construction that was seized by British Foreign Office to destroy Otoman Empire, before that Arabs were only those from Arabia. While we in Europe and USA call everyone Arab, if you go to Iraq for example many ressent being called Arabs and use the ephitet depreciatively against Saudis. That is one of the reasons of identity mess in Middle East that is kafkian. There is a lot of dissonance and conflicted identities. While a Egyptian might despise the Arab he might entitle himself as Arab against a Western person while a friend rejects the Arab tag everytime...
1.2.2009 3:09pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
yankev:

You mean by giving humanitarian and religious aid to those who live there


No, that's not what I mean. I am not claiming that because chabad gives "humanitarian and religious aid to those who live there," that this is proof that chabad is Zionist (or at least not anti-Zionist). For example, I suppose that there are Christian groups in Israel who are involved in "giving humanitarian and religious aid to those who live there." But this is not enough to indicate that those Christian groups are Zionist.

The question that's relevant is a different one: does the group promote the idea that Israel is the Jewish homeland, and that Jews everywhere should be encouraged to emigrate to Israel? Because that's what "Zionism" means. And that's not an "Orwellian" definition. It's simple a proper and obvious definition, and one that you can find via many, many authoritative references.

If those Christian groups are promoting the idea that Israel is the Jewish homeland, and that Jews everywhere should be encouraged to emigrate to Israel, then those Christian groups are indeed Zionist. chabad, as it happens, does indeed promote the idea that Israel is the Jewish homeland, and that Jews everywhere should be encouraged to emigrate to Israel. Therefore chabad is Zionist. And not just in some deferred, theological, messianic sense. They support the actual state of Israel today, and they support IDF today, and they support the idea of Jews emigrating to Israel today. What's "Orwellian" is to notice all that, and try to call it something other than Zionism.
1.2.2009 4:03pm
Michael B (mail):
Fort Lauderdale, FL, the USofA, 12/30/2008, Islamic, pro-Hamas, anti-Israel demonstration, "To the Ovens". Excerpt,

It was a demonstration by, say, 200 Muslim immigrants in Fort Lauderdale against the Israeli air strikes over Gaza. Now, the first amendment protects such demos, and I would not for a moment want to curb them. But I ask each of you to pay attention to the details of what was being shouted. Especially by the young women screaming, "Jews to the ovens."

The excerpted link is to the supportive youTube video.
1.2.2009 4:12pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
michael:

the young women screaming, "Jews to the ovens."


Except that the video doesn't show "young women screaming, 'Jews to the ovens.' " It shows exactly one woman shouting that. Actually, what she says is "go back to the oven." It's at 3:25. Is there anyone joining in with her? As far as I can tell, no.

At 1:53 you can see another woman, shouting "nuke Israel," and holding a sign with the same slogan. Is there anyone joining in with her, by shouting the same slogan, or holding the same sign? As far as I can tell, no.

The person who made the video was supposedly inside the crowd for hours. Presumably he shot lots of footage. He posted a 9 minute video. With all that, he managed to find exactly two people making statements that are deeply offensive and noteworthy. What else is there? People shouting "go to hell" and other similar schoolyard taunts. Big deal. When you take the words of one or two people, and imply that they are the words of a group ("women"), your credibility suffers.

Did Jews write "death to the Arabs" on the wall of a mosque? Yes. Do you see a big difference? I don't.
1.2.2009 5:06pm
Michael B (mail):
jukebox_metasneer,

It showed many people, women and men, screaming, praying toward Mecca, exuding hate, exuding bile, exuding venom. It showed one woman shouting "to the ovens". It was one, brief, perhaps five minute snippet.

Using perverse, malignant equivocations, by comparing anomalies or a single instance on one side, versus a systematic and pervasive and broadly enculturated mass hatred on the other side, reflects upon your own "credibility," such as it is.

No one was forwarding some type of manichean view of the world, i.e. pure light vs. pure darkness. Otoh, your perverse and ultimately malevolent equivocation is precisely that - since it fails to acknowledge distinctions that are viable, that are in fact all-important, are crucial, are pivotal, to any better grounded set of moral and intellectual comprehensions.
1.2.2009 5:33pm
mzeh (mail):
JBG,

The question that's relevant is a different one: does the group promote the idea that Israel is the Jewish homeland, and that Jews everywhere should be encouraged to emigrate to Israel? Because that's what "Zionism" means. And that's not an "Orwellian" definition. It's simple a proper and obvious definition, and one that you can find via many, many authoritative references.

Um, don't you think that recognition of the State of Israel is a pretty important component of the definition of modern Zionism? You only hurt your own credibility by cherry-picking parts of a definition and calling it "proper and obvious". Rather silly, actually.
1.2.2009 5:36pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
michael b:

It showed one woman shouting "to the ovens".


Exactly. And "one woman" is not honestly described as "women." But that's what you and your source did.

distinctions that are viable, that are in fact all-important, are crucial, are pivotal, to any better grounded set of moral and intellectual comprehensions


Speaking of "distinctions that are … crucial [to]… intellectual comprehensions," here's one: the difference between an honest statement and a dishonest exaggeration. What you offered is the latter.

===================
mzeh:

don't you think that recognition of the State of Israel is a pretty important component of the definition of modern Zionism?


Yes. And where is your evidence that chabad withholds "recognition of the State of Israel?" When I read about how "Chabad's on-campus representatives will … meet the challenge of addressing anti-Israel sentiment and have been working to find ways of reinforcing Jewish pride and support for the Jewish homeland" I think it's reasonable to conclude that chabad does not withhold "recognition of the State of Israel." The fact that they have problems with the current secular government of Israel does not mean that they fail to recognize "the State of Israel."
1.2.2009 6:06pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

At 1:53 you can see another woman, shouting "nuke Israel," and holding a sign with the same slogan. Is there anyone joining in with her, by shouting the same slogan, or holding the same sign? As far as I can tell, no.

Please note that at 2:23-2:24, a male is holding a sign that says in part "Nuke Israel".
1.2.2009 7:21pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
As already explained to you, JBG, they don't "have problems with the current secular government.". They have problems with the state itself. Your entire knowledge comes from Google, so you don't understand the difference, but it's a big one.
1.2.2009 8:22pm
Working for the Man (mail):
Talk of the middle east always reverts to religion...Boring. The more interesting question is why do people believe displacing natives is wrong?

The argument over Palestianian rights presupposes killing civilians is wrong. They would have you believe every group of civilians is somehow immune from political conflict. The only ones who are immune, are those who are willing to accept the views of a new conquering nation. Those unwilling to conform to the new standards of a society are at odds with the government and have no right to exist within that society.

Is genocide the answer? Clearly no.

Does the world need Palestinians? No, but understand the world doesnt need Americans, Germans, or Chinese either. Societies dont have a "right" to exist. Therefore a society must fight in order to survive. There is nothing wrong with Palestinians firing rockets into Israel, but the full extent of such a belief needs to be ramified.

There is nothing wrong with Israel eliminating Palestine.

The cultural worth of any society is miniscule at best. Wikipedia suggests the earth will support life for another 1.5 billion years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth

Civilizations started becoming complex just over 10,000 years ago. With that kind of time line we could theoretically reach the same level of "cultural" sophistication worldwide 142,000 times before the earth is no longer inhabitable. Does anyone really believe there will be cultural remnants left from any society in 1,000,000 years? 100,000 years?

If the local Arabs want a Palestine...take it. If the Israelis dont like Palestine...eliminate it. The debate over who was where first is worthless when socities are in conflict.

Under the United States Constitution I have a wonderful set of rights. I dont believe for one minute any of those rights exist if the United States were say conquered by Canada, as unlikely as it sounds (J/K much love to the neighbors to the north). What makes Palestinians believe their rights continue under Israeli rule?

Is there a right to life? These questions are way more interesting, and seemingly more on topic with this post.

:)
1.3.2009 12:00am
LM (mail):

Those unwilling to conform to the new standards of a society are at odds with the government and have no right to exist within that society.

That depends on what you think "rights" are, and where they derive from.
1.3.2009 1:37am
mzeh (mail):
I am pleased to see that jukeboxgrad implicitly acknowledges in his response that his definition of Zionism was inaccurate (it wouldn't hurt him to acknowledge it explicitly but I shouldn't get greedy ).

On the second point about Chabad recognizing the State of Israel, I am sure that for someone who appears to live on Google, jukeboxgrad came across the following link which explains the subtlety of the distinction that he just refuses to understand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haredim_and_Zionism
1.3.2009 12:52pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Please note that at 2:23-2:24, a male is holding a sign that says in part "Nuke Israel".


Congratulations on your careful viewing. The way he's waving the sign makes it hard to read. You're right. I missed it. My mistake. Thanks for pointing it out.

It occurs to me to notice that even though the filmmaker was there for hours, and apparently for the express purpose of collecting offensive material, he only found about three people who were being truly offensive. Which means that about 98% of the protesters were not offensive. (Given that words like "go to hell" can be heard at lots of other kinds of rallies, not to mention sporting events, it's a bit selective to suddenly get exercised about that.) I think he would have been smarter to keep the video to himself.

Especially because he himself is more offensive than most of the protesters. For example, he said ominously that this event was in Ft Lauderdale, not Detroit. Huh? I guess the idea is that Arab-Americans shouldn't get uppity and think they have a right to live anywhere in America, or speak publicly anywhere in America.

And speaking of offensive, michael b went out of his way to point out that the video shows people "praying toward Mecca." Huh? Is there suddenly a problem with praying in America? Or is it just a problem with praying in public? Isn't it the GOP that is rabidly, vehemently quick to defend the idea of public prayer? But I guess that principle only applies when the prayers are directed at the proper God.
============================
nieporent:

They have problems with the state itself


Yes, and one can "have problems" with their marriage, kids, job, sports, TV, karaoke and Walmart without being "anti" all those things. To show that you are "anti" something, I have to do more than just demonstrate that you "have problems" with it.

I notice you haven't bothered trying to explain why an "anti-Zionist" group would be working to "meet the challenge of addressing anti-Israel sentiment." (Here on planet Earth, most of us expect that anti-Zionists are a typical source of "anti-Israel sentiment.") Or why they would do that even though "they have problems with the state itself."

Your entire knowledge comes from Google


Since "your entire knowledge" is vastly greater than mine, you should have no trouble addressing the questions I raised. But for some strange reason you're ducking them. Just like you're ducking questions here. I wonder why a person with such great knowledge would be so selfish about sharing their great knowledge.
============================
mzeh:

I am pleased to see that jukeboxgrad implicitly acknowledges …


I am pleased to see that you're making things up. I didn't acknowledge, implicitly or otherwise, what you claim I acknowledged.

I am sure that for someone who appears to live on Google, jukeboxgrad came across the following link


I am sure that for someone who pretends to be paying attention, you've actually read this thread. But it looks like you haven't, since I have already cited that link, here. And there is nothing on that page to clearly establish that chabad declines to recognize Israel. Here's the closest you can get:

he refused to call the state by name


And here is the citation for that comment:

Karasi V'ein Oneh, a compilation of all of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's addresses concerning the Holy Land.


Sounds good, but are we getting a direct quote? Of course not. What we're getting is the interpretation/translation of an unknown wiki contributor. On the other hand, I've cited direct, current quotes from the chabad site, indicating strong support for the state of Israel, and the recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland. Calling a group like this "anti-Zionist" is as Orwellian as it gets.
1.4.2009 12:36am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Silly me. I was looking at lubavitch.com, and ignoring chabad.org, a much larger site, with vastly greater material regarding the chabad position on Zionism. Example:

Our Right to the Land of Israel … Once it is established that the Jews have a valid right to the Land of Israel, then the violence, hatred, and disregard for life that has characterized the Arab position can be judged for what it is.…

What is our claim to the land? G-d's promise in the Torah. … From this perspective the entire Land of Israel not only the coastal region, Jerusalem, and the Galilee, but also Judea, Samaria, and indeed every tiny portion of the land is part of an organic whole, an indivisible and sanctified unity. … The Holy Land, whose boundaries were prescribed by the Holy One, blessed be He, in His holy Torah, was granted to the nation of Israel, the eternal people. Any sacrifice of the Holy Land that was granted to us by G-d is of absolutely no validity. …

The most immediate step to solving the problem is to settle the entire land. Wherever there is open space in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and the Golan, settlements should be established. There is no need to displace Arabs; there is ample empty land. … When the land is settled by Jews, it will become obvious to all that we consider this as Jewish land …

Once widespread settlement becomes a fact, it will impossible to turn back the clock. The Arabs outside Israel will appreciate that the borders will not be moved back. And the Arabs inside Israel will understand that their future exists in coexistence with the Jews and not with struggle against them.


Those ideas are exactly what we all normally think of as "anti-Zionist," right?
1.4.2009 11:15am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
And one more thing about this:

he refused to call the state by name


This is a good example of how wiki can be valuable, but has to be interpreted properly. Who wrote those words? An unknown wiki contributor. And what is the source he cited? This:

Karasi V'ein Oneh, a compilation of all of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's addresses concerning the Holy Land.


Schneerson gave his addresses in Yiddish and Hebrew. So what does it mean that "he refused to call the state by name?" Did he refuse to say "Israel?" But we wouldn't expect him to say "Israel," because that word is English. And anyway, chabad has no problem saying "Israel." On their web sites they use that word to describe the state of Israel, thousands of times.

So what did Schneerson actually say? Did he call it Palestine? Canaan? No. He said "Eretz Yisrael." Which is Hebrew for "Land of Israel." And is commonly translated into English as "Israel."

One of Schneerson's lectures about Israel is here. He said "Eretz Yisrael." The translator presents that phrase, and also presents the word "Israel" (as part of the phrase "Land of Israel," and also by itself). So the claim that "he refused to call the state by name" appears to be false.
1.4.2009 11:36am
David M. Nieporent (www):
So what did Schneerson actually say? Did he call it Palestine? Canaan? No. He said "Eretz Yisrael." Which is Hebrew for "Land of Israel." And is commonly translated into English as "Israel."

One of Schneerson's lectures about Israel is here. He said "Eretz Yisrael." The translator presents that phrase, and also presents the word "Israel" (as part of the phrase "Land of Israel," and also by itself). So the claim that "he refused to call the state by name" appears to be false.
This is a good example of how wiki is useless, if -- as in your case -- one doesn't have the knowledge base to use it.

Eretz Yisrael is the name of the geographic entity, and was considered for, but rejected as, the name for the country. Medinat Yisrael is the name of the country. Eretz Yisrael is the phrase religious Jews use to refer to the place, but not the state.

=====

Those ideas are exactly what we all normally think of as "anti-Zionist," right?
Perhaps not you, since you don't really understand the issues. But the fact that your ignorance leads you not to grasp the difference between supporting the right of Jews to live safely in the place where Israel is located, and supporting the existence of the state of Israel -- or any state of Israel founded by Jews -- does not change the fact that there is a profound difference between them. By your "logic," even Satmar wouldn't be "anti-Zionist."
1.4.2009 1:54pm
mzeh (mail):
JBG,

I stated "don't you think that recognition of the State of Israel is a pretty important component of the definition of modern Zionism?" (A component you left out of your definition which you called "proper and obvious"). You replied "Yes".

It seemed at the the time, and still seems to me now, a clear implicit recognition that your definition was inaccurate. I thought that not even you could spin it differently. Clearly I was wrong. Not only did you spin, but you accuse me of making things up. I am realizing that it is not possible to engage in an intellectually honest debate with you.

With regard to my link, you really should quote the entire critical passage: "He viewed the whole of Israel as such a community and that was the impetus for his support. He argued that the safety of the Jewish people was paramount, and the physical presence of so many Jews in the land meant that its borders had to be protected as a matter of course. Nonetheless, he also drew support for his statements from the notion in the Torah that the land of Israel was given to the Jewish people, and that inherent Jewish ownership of the land could not be superseded by mere political interests. Nonetheless, he refused to call the state by name, claiming that the holy land exists independent of any authority that sees itself as sovereign over the land. He further criticized feelings of nationalism connected to the State of Israel, saying that the only thing that unites Jews is the Torah, not a secular state that happens to be planted on holy land."

You really don't seem to get subtlety, but this paragraph is perfectly consistent with all your hard research off the Chabad website and indicates the distinction between supporting Jews settling in the biblical area and recognizing the State of Israel. This really isn't rocket science and has been explained to you numerous times. If Chabad recognized the State of Israel, you should be able to find an explicit statement by the organization somewhere. Keep looking, Mr. Google.
1.4.2009 2:20pm
Yankev (mail):

Eretz Yisrael is the name of the geographic entity, and was considered for, but rejected as, the name for the country. Medinat Yisrael is the name of the country. Eretz Yisrael is the phrase religious Jews use to refer to the place, but not the state.
David, I was about to point this out but you beat me to it. Let me add though that the distinction between Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael is obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary familarity with the Hebrew language or Jewish belief. Just to confuse JBG, let me throw in a few more terms I'm sure he's never heard -- Am Yisrael (the Jewish people), Klal Yisrael (the entire Jewish community or people) and Kedushat Yisreal (the status of being Jewish).

JBG is trapped in a hopeless loop -- anyone who does not work with those trying to exterminate Israel (as e.g. the Neturei Karta do with the PLO) must peforce be Zionist. By that standard even the Satmar are Zionist -- they encourage Jews to settle in Eretz Yisrael, send money to support Jews who live there, and see Eretz Yisrael as the Jewish homeland (as of course does anyone who believes in the Jewish religion). Let's give him some time to see what Wikipedia says about Satmar being Zionist. I haven't checked, but I'm curious to see.

Then again, why should JBG believe a bunch of Jews about what the Jewish religion says, or believe people who actually have encountered Chabad? Wikipedia is so much more authorative and besides has no reason to lie.
1.4.2009 8:13pm
Yankev (mail):

I notice you haven't bothered trying to explain why an "anti-Zionist" group would be working to "meet the challenge of addressing anti-Israel sentiment."
Gosh, that's a tough one, JBG. Maybe because much of the current anti-Israel sentiment is the direct result of anti-Semitic myths and attitudes? And because it makes liberal use of both? Or because it is used as a tool by those who want to slaughter Jews for the crime of being Jews? And by those who think that it should not be legal for Jews to buy and live on land where they aren't wanted?

Or because Chabadniks don't want to see their fellow Jews expelled, killed, enslaved or oppressed, which at the end of the day is what the various anti-Zionist groups are working in one measure or another to accomplish?

All of these possible motives are facts; the question marks are only because I can't say which of them motivate Chabad. I suspect that in some measure they all do.
1.4.2009 8:21pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nieporent:

Medinat Yisrael is the name of the country.


I'm quite familiar with the terms Medinat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael. As usual, you're simply being evasive.

You are the one who called attention to this claim by an anonymous wiki contributor:

he refused to call the state by name


You are refusing to explain what this could possibly mean, since chabad.org routinely uses the following word to describe Israel: Israel. When they do that, they are indeed choosing "to call the state by name." Why would they do that, if Schneerson "refused to call the state by name?"

the difference between supporting the right of Jews to live safely in the place where Israel is located, and supporting the existence of the state of Israel


You are disingenuously implying that chabad supports Israel only because a lot of Jews happen to be living in "the place where Israel is located," as if there is nothing inherently special about that place, to chabad. But there is. Chabad says God gave Israel to the Jews.

And you are still attempting to claim that chabad does not support "the existence of the state of Israel," despite a mountain of evidence proving you wrong. Here's some more:

Question: Does the Rebbe recognize the State of Israel?

Rebbe:: I write letters to Eretz Yisroel and also receive letters with their stamps. My followers in Eretz Yisroel help guard its borders, pay taxes, serve in the Israeli army, and spread Chassidus. Is that enough to be considered recognition?


When his followers, with his apparent approval, pay taxes and serve in the IDF, how is that not "supporting the existence of the state of Israel?"

Chabad has theological reasons to distance itself from secular Zionism, and to avoid labeling itself as "Zionist." Nevertheless, its activities and beliefs are congruent with the common understanding of the term Zionist, and it's simply incorrect to describe them as anti-Zionist.

Here's another helpful reference:

The Rebbe … modified the Lubavitch stance from anti-Zionist to non-Zionist


Here's chabad publishing an article, with references, stating that Schneerson was not "anti-Zionist." Why are you claiming he was?

By your "logic," even Satmar wouldn't be "anti-Zionist."


It's helpful to understand where chabad and satmar agree, and where they differ. They agree that the Jews will ultimately return to Israel. They agree that it is up to God, not humans, to ultimately return the Jews to Israel. However, satmar actively opposes the state of Israel. They say "we are prohibited by the Torah with a very grave prohibition to establish a Jewish independent sovereignty in the Holy Land." They also say things like this:

Torah Jewry protests at every opportunity against the Zionist rule over the Holy Land, and the Zionist rebellion against the neighboring nations. Torah Jewry has condemned the Zionist oppression of the Palestinians, the land's veteran inhabitants who have been driven from their homes and properties. The Zionists' barbaric and violent deeds are absolutely antithetical to the essence of the Jewish people.

Torah Jewry has never ever recognized the Zionist state. Since the Zionists succeeding in establishing their state, Torah Jewry has continuously announced to the world that the Zionists do not represent the Jewish people, and that the name "Israel" that they use is a forgery.

… Torah Jewry does not recognize the Zionist regime, which Is against the Torah and against humanity. … The Zionists have no right of any sovereignty over even one inch of the Holy Land.


Note that unlike chabad, satmar does indeed refuse to call the state by name.

Schneerson's predecessors may have made some statements like that, but he certainly did not, and chabad currently does not. The statements they make are very, very different. Chabad has definitely not "condemned the Zionist oppression of the Palestinians." On the contrary. Chabad fully supports the IDF.

Satmar are indeed "Zionist" in a very narrow sense: they believe that Jews will ultimately have sovereignty in Israel. But most people use the term "Zionist" in a different sense, to support the idea of Jewish sovereignty in Israel now. And satmar itself accepts that common definition of the term, and therefore explicitly label themselves as "against Zionism."

==========================
mzeh:

It seemed at the the time, and still seems to me now, a clear implicit recognition that your definition was inaccurate.


I don't know what you're talking about. What "definition?"

If Chabad recognized the State of Israel, you should be able to find an explicit statement by the organization somewhere.


If chabad declined to recognize the State of Israel, "you should be able to find an explicit statement by the organization somewhere." A vague paraphrase/translation by an unknown wiki contributor is not "an explicit statement by the organization." Especially when it is contrary to many other "explicit statement[s] by the organization."

And if Schneerson did not "recognize the State of Israel," you should explain why it was apparently OK with him for his followers to "help guard its borders, pay taxes, [and] serve in the Israeli army." Whereas satmar prohibits all those activities, as well as voting.

==========================
yankev:

Just to confuse JBG, let me throw in a few more terms I'm sure he's never heard


It's so entertaining to hear that you're "sure" about what I know, when you actually know nothing about my education and background.

why should JBG believe a bunch of Jews about what the Jewish religion says, or believe people who actually have encountered Chabad? Wikipedia is so much more authorative and besides has no reason to lie.


Oh, the irony. It completely escapes your notice that your pals mzeh and nieporent are relying completely on wiki for the key text they keep promoting. Whereas I am citing chabad directly.

By that standard even the Satmar are Zionist -- they encourage Jews to settle in Eretz Yisrael


Really? How odd to see this:

traditional Jews do not support Zionism (the return to the land called "Israel")


And this:

We pray for our Jewish brothers who have been mislead by the promises of the Zionists and have left their homeland, security, and loved ones to immigrate to the Zionist state only to find that their situation has worsened and they are left without resources to return to their native lands. … Beware of Zionist Promises … If you or a loved one are considering emigrating to the Zionist state, take heed of the facts.


And that's why they promote statements like this:

We are bound by Divine oath to accept the yoke of the diaspora and live in peace and harmony within the nations that Divine destiny has placed us.


Please show your proof that "they encourage Jews to settle in Eretz Yisrael."
1.4.2009 11:08pm

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