Israeli Town, Led By Rabbi, Starts Hate Campaign Against Holocaust Survivor Who Rents Rooms to Arab Students December 29, 2013

Israeli Town, Led By Rabbi, Starts Hate Campaign Against Holocaust Survivor Who Rents Rooms to Arab Students

Residents of Safed, a city of 35,000 in Israel’s Upper Galilee, are unhappy with the presence of Israeli Arabs in their midst. So unhappy, in fact, that they’ve started a campaign, led by Shmuel Eliyahu, the town’s head rabbi, to make it a crime to rent rooms to their Arab fellow countrymen.

That makes Eli Tzavieli a potential lawbreaker.

First they threatened to burn his house down. Then they pinned leaflets to his front door, denouncing him as a Jewish traitor. But Eli Tzavieli, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, is defiant. His only “crime” is to rent out his rooms to three Arab students attending the college in Safed, a religious city in northern Israel that was until recently more famous for Jewish mysticism and Madonna.

“I’m not looking for trouble, but if there is a problem, I’ll confront it,” says Mr Tzavieli, a Jew who survived Nazi forced labour camps and whose parents perished in Auschwitz. “These [tenants] are great kids. And I’m doing my best to make them comfortable.”

Notwithstanding the fact that Safed is one of Judaism’s four holy cities, the bigotry is widespread.

“I see the Arabs here wearing gold chains, and it looks like Syria,” says a young woman, who wears a modest headscarf to cover her hair. “This is an orthodox city, and [that] is impure.”

Leave it to the faithful to find the shortest path to strife and hatred.

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  • Richard Thomas

    Such a bastion of freedom and democracy. They probably need more U.S. tax dollars.

  • Bdole

    New rule: Each religion gets ONE and only ONE holy site. Every goddam chunk of sand is some zealot’s nth holiest site.

    I had to laugh a little (paraphrasing): “We’ll burn your house down…or, you know, tack our grievances on your door…which will include some very harsh language.”

    I find men wearing gold-chains annoying, too. Nevertheless, bad taste is a human right. What a role reversal, the Arabs are too liberal for the Jewish-Israelis.

  • Dave

    Eli Tzavilei sounds like a good guy. “The tenants are great kids and I am doing my best to make them comfortable”. He gets my vote for humanist of the year.
    “I’m not looking for trouble but if there is a problem I’ll confront it.”
    And he sounds like a cross between Dirty Harry and The Terminator.
    Go Eli!

  • Lilly Munster

    Zionism IS Nazism. They hate, abuse, persecute and murder exactly alike.

  • Yeah, no. Zionism is just the idea that there should be a State of Israel and it should be a Jewish state.

  • Itay M

    You’re just being offensive against an entire population.

    I’m an Israeli Atheist who completely objects this sort of behavior. This rabbi and his followers are just racist bullies, but they don’t represent the mainstream Israeli opinion, and most of the people I know oppose their despicable actions. This is not the law in Israel, nor it is the law in Safed itself. It is against Israel’s basic laws, and therefore will not hold in any formal court.

    Also, there are dozens of countries that the U.S. chooses to give
    foreign aid. Sure, Israel is one of the largest among them, but only
    Israel gets to be accused as greedy. Same old Jews & money
    accusations. I’m not saying that the foreign aid is justified or not, I
    myself have much criticism against my country policies and its aid
    reliance. However, most of these accusations are highly biased,
    unfair and inaccurate.

    Your comment is an example for such attitude. The way you’re generalizing and stereotyping just makes you a prick as they are. It would be as if I suggested anything against the American nation or the American people based on their abundance occurrences of religious zealotry. Bigots exist everywhere, we just have to deal with them.

  • Richard Thomas

    There are plenty of reasons to object to US aid going to Israel, and none of mine are “the same old Jews & money accusations.” There are also plenty of reasons to object to other countries receiving aid, but that isn’t what this post is about. Nothing in my post should be construed as anti-Semitic.

  • Itay M

    Your comment is not exactly an invitation for a dialog, eh?

    Zionism is the movement to establish a Jewish state for the Jewish nation. I don’t hate no one, I just want to live in peace. I don’t think that everything that Israel do is right, there are a lot of things that are just utterly wrong. Everyone has the right to criticize Israel, whether its justified or not. But the fact that you’ve chosen this comparison, between Zionism and Nazism, is just a plain hatefulness.

  • Itay M

    I never said anything about you being anti-Semitic, just that you are too eager to stereotype. You took one instance in Israel and generalized it. Religion in Israel is a complex issue, already inundated by such fanatical idiots, but there is still a majority for does who stand for Israeli Arabs democratic rights and oppose attempts like the one described in the article. Don’t alienate all us because of these loud racists.

  • Whitney Currie

    Oh yes, I know I just get all weak-kneed for a faith when they threaten 89 year old guys over tenants they don’t like.

    They do know they’re acting like a pair of five-year-olds whining about who gets the last cookie, yes? I mean, I gave up the idea of certain people having “cooties” back when I was about seven, I think. And Israeli Arab Cooties really is a mouthful. No way to sound mature when you’re saying something like that.

  • Spuddie

    There is always one in an online discussion board when the subject is Israel.

  • CottonBlimp

    Zionism is the movement to establish a Jewish state for the Jewish nation.

    That’s so unlike the Nazi movement to establish an Aryan state for the Aryan nation.

    Any movement to create a nation “for” a particular ethnicity or religious group is a horrific one. It is doubly horrible that the “Jewish nation” was forced on a preexisting NOT Jewish nation.

    This is one of the instances where I think people rush to make the issue about religion when it really isn’t. Don’t focus so much on the religion subtext to the story, and it fits perfectly in the history of imperialism – of white Europeans stealing from and brutalizing an indigenous non-white population.

  • Spuddie

    What’s the matter Stephen Walt’s website was too busy?

  • Spuddie

    So the American Revolution was like the Nazi Movement under your definitions.

    As was the effort of the South Sudanese to break off from their genocidal government in Khartoum was like the Nazis. As was the independence movement of Ireland, Bangledesh, East Timor, the breakup of Czechslovakia, the American Civil Rights movement… I can go on.

    You are applying a ridiculous standard in bad faith. Its obviously not your real argument.

  • CottonBlimp

    You jump to take a bullet for the racists and then complain about getting caught in the cross fire.

    When outsiders call America racist, I don’t rush to cry about it – I agree with them. Because as someone who opposes racism, I realize it’s counter-productive to try to make that discussion about me. I care more that people acknowledge problems systemic in our society than whether they acknowledge my existence.

  • I’ve had the honor of speaking to a few Holocaust survivors. They tend to ignore or cut through the bullshit, simply because of the horrors they’ve seen and experienced. They just don’t have the time or patience for that sort of nonsense.

    Now, this could very well be a non-universal trait, because I’ve only spoken to people who were willing to speak publicly about their experiences.

  • CottonBlimp

    So the American Revolution was like the Nazi Movement under your definitions.

    Yes, I’m happy to compare the genocide of the Native Americans to the genocide of people in Europe.

    I assume that’s what you meant by the “American Revolution” in your own confused way.

  • Spuddie

    At least nobody can accuse you of making a reasonable well supported argument.

  • CottonBlimp

    Because the mass murder of countless Native Americans is so much less bad than that other genocide!?

    Seriously, what the fuck is your point?

  • $925105

    This is nothing new, Israel has been practicing apartheid for decades. In towns like Jaffa where Jews and Arabs happily co-existed and worked for each other in the orange groves, the fascists came in and drove many Arabs out by force. Then they made it illegal for a Jew to employ an Arab, Arabs couldn’t repair their homes, Arabs couldn’t rent homes in certain areas in town, etc. etc. And that’s just the less violent persecution.

    Sadly the Israeli government has been taken over by Russian thugs and Zionist fascists. People like Eli Tzavieli have either fled the country or remain the extremely small minority. There are no more liberal political parties in the country anymore with groups like the so-called liberal Labor Party even advocating eradicating all Arabs from the country.

  • Spuddie

    No. What the fuck is your point?

    What the fuck does anything you have said have to do with the article other than it takes place in Israel and you don’t like them.

    You have nothing to say on the topic of this article. You are trolling.

  • Spuddie

    Happily co-existed?
    Have you heard of Orde Wingate?
    The Arab Revolt of 1936-39?
    How about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his role in WWII?

    Hyperbole and Godwin’ing are usually considered bad things People will say the most ridiculous stuff with a straight face when the topic is Israel.

  • UWIR

    Apparently, “one” was an overly optimistic term to include in your post.

  • CottonBlimp

    When a government has, as a core mission, the proliferation of an ethnicity or religion, it becomes tasked with regulating the ethnicity and religion of its citizens. To create a nation “for” Jews is as reprehensible as the multiple worldwide efforts to create nations “for” Christians or Muslims.

  • Spuddie

    In other words you are a self-righteous nutball with a penchant for hyperbole with nothing relevant to say on the topic on hand.

  • Spuddie

    Damn hopeful optimism flying in the face of depressing reality. =)

  • CottonBlimp

    No. What the fuck is your point?

    I was criticizing Itay M’s defense of Zionism. I think I was pretty straight forward.

    At three paragraphs on a Disqus post, I don’t think I can be accused of dropping clearness for brevity.

  • Spuddie

    Yet only Israel is noted in your tirades for such things because they are so special among this sort of thing. Not like every other separatist and independence movement that existed in the post-colonial era.

    I don’t believe that is your motivation at all. You are full of shit and trying to sound like you have something intelligent to say.

  • Itay M

    I’m not taking any bullet for these racist douches. I only argue that the fact that they are bunch of bigots doesn’t mean that a person should roll into the same position of alienating an entire group of people. The same way that I stand against the way that people within my society are demeaning Arabs, I stand against the attempt of others to demonize my society as well.

  • Spuddie

    His criticism was that it was IRRELEVANT TO THE ARTICLE, intentionally inflammatory. The same can be said about your argument. You are a troll.

  • And to create a nation “for” East Timorans is reprehensible, and to create a nation “for” South Sudanese is reprehensible, and to create a nation “for” Pakistanis is reprehensible, and to create a nation “for” Eritreans is reprehensible, and to create a nation “for” Filipinos is reprehensible, and to create a nation “for” Iraqis is reprehensible, and to create a nation “for” Palestinians is reprehensible, and … Never mind that self-determination and independent nationhood is a core element of the United Nations’ founding principles.

    The State of Israel was created so that there would be one place, just one place in the whole wide world, where it was and would always be safe to be Jewish. Just like the nation of Eritrea was created so it would be a place to be safe to be Eritrean, and Pakistan was created so there would be a safe place to be Pakistani Muslim, and Bangladesh was created so there would be a safe place to be a Bengali Muslim, and so on. Why is Israel uniquely bad, or even unique at all, in this regard?

  • CottonBlimp

    It isn’t. Places like Pakistan and Bangladesh aren’t fantastic either, and for exactly the same reason – that the power structures in those nations are based on the supremacy of ethnicity and/or religion.

  • Spuddie

    Because they are Israel and they have to be held to the double standards set by autocratic Arab government media, extreme left academics and extreme right kooks.


  • And yet, somehow, you avoid condemning those nations and many others for their very existence when stories about their wrongdoing come up. Why is that?

    Granted, the people of Safed are doing wrong things. The government of Israel also has many policies that are both stupid and unethical. This does not mean the State of Israel should not exist. Yet somehow, it’s always Israel’s right to exist that gets attacked instead of, you know, just condemning their bad policies.

  • brianmacker

    “You jump to take a bullet for the racists and then complain about getting caught in the cross fire.”

    He didn’t take a bullet for the racists. He objected to the implication that he, and Israel are racist.

    “When outsiders call America racist, I don’t rush to cry about it – I agree with them.”

    That’s ridiculous. Plus exactly the kind of stereotyping he was objecting to. In fact, the US isn’t racist. South Africa was racist, The US is not.

    Pointing out one racist or group of racists breaking the law of the land is no evidence that the country as a whole is racist.

    “Because as someone who opposes racism, I realize it’s counter-productive to try to make that discussion about me.”

    It was about him. There are plenty of anti-semites out there who want to defund Israel. Look at Richard’s comment, “Such a bastion of freedom and democracy.” He was being sarcastic. In fact, Israel is a bastion of freedom and democracy. Arabs and Muslims get a full vote. In fact they have better democratic representation in Israel than in surrounding Arab countries.

    Thus Richard’s fact free sentence showed quite a bit of animus towards Israel. One can show animus with fact or falsehoods. In this case it’s a falsehood which tends to refute any argument that the animus is justified.

    “I care more that people acknowledge problems systemic in our society than whether they acknowledge my existence.”

    Itay more than acknowledged the problem here, he condemned the problem, which is not systemic, which he also demonstrated. These are a minority of religious bigots.

    Do you just spout these buzz words because they sound pretty or do you actually understand what they mean?

    Your attempt to portray Itay as a defender of racists is transparent misdirection.

  • CottonBlimp

    I condemn Pakistan and Bangladesh plenty. Why do you assume I don’t?

  • Do you say they’re like the Nazis? Somehow I sincerely doubt it.

    It’s doubly offensive to say that about the greatest victims of the Nazis.

    Addendum: I’ll bet you’ve never once said that Pakistan or Bangladesh shouldn’t exist as nations. Yet you did say that about Israel. Why?

  • CottonBlimp

    You assume a lot of things and you clearly never learn to stop.

    Seriously, what is your working assumption here? That I hate all Jews and despise any nation that treats them with human dignity?

    Is it so fucking hard to comprehend that I believe every nation should treat ALL people with human dignity, and that Israel, like many nations, falls far short, but unlike any other nation, has a staunch cabal of “well-meaning” liberals leaping to the defense of its apartheid and systemic abuses?

  • brianmacker

    “There are plenty of reasons to object to US aid going to Israel, and none of mine are “the same old Jews & money accusations.”

    No, the ones you stated had to do with sarcastically implying the Israel is not a democracy, it is. That Arab citizens do not have freedoms, they do. Your sarcastic remark more accurately and to a greater degree applies to all the Arab and Muslim countries that recieve US aid but for some reason you chose to focus on Israel. Why is that?

    “There are also plenty of reasons to object to other countries receiving aid, but that isn’t what this post is about.”

    This post is not about aid. You brought that up. You brought it up only with regards to Israel. You brought it up in the context of some false anti-Israel propaganda you provided. You shouldn’t be surprised that someone would object to such a one-sided and warped comment.

  • CottonBlimp

    Yet only Israel is noted in your tirades for such things because they are so special among this sort of thing.

    It objectively isn’t. You might recall asking how I felt about the American genocides with the smug tone of an imbecile setting a trap. You might recall when I stated that Israel is a pretty typical story of European Imperialism.

    In one instance, you’re claiming that criticizing Zionism is irrelevant to an article about Jews trying to kick Arabs out of “their” country. Now your criticism is that I don’t mention the Falklands in a story about Israel.

    You’re clearly floundering with a script that doesn’t fit the conversation. Is it seriously asking so much to take a second to comprehend another person’s view?

  • Itay M

    So compare Israel to Bangladesh. I don’t mind. But comparing a Jewish state with the only movement that deliberately attempted to eradicate all of the Jews from the face of the Earth…. It’s demeaning and disgusting. I don’t believe that you fail to recognize the comparison’s hostility.

  • CottonBlimp

    In fact, the US isn’t racist. South Africa was racist, The US is not.

    What a fantastically stupid thing to say.

  • brianmacker
  • Richard Thomas

    “for some reason you chose to focus on Israel. Why is that?”

    Read the title of the article for the answer.

  • Spuddie

    No, that would be a strawman argument. I am saying that you have nothing to say about the article and are just flinging poo because the news item has to do with Israel.

    I think you are a lying piece of shit who just want to fling inflammatory nonsense about how Israel is the new Nazi Germany. I don’t take your point seriously because it is not only hackneyed trollery but completely irrelevant to the article. Shit like yours gets trotted out so regularly that there is no reason to think it comes from someone making a good faith intelligent argument.

    I am not going to treat you like you have anything intelligent to say or that you have a point of view worth discussing. I will continue to insult your intelligence as well as the lack of originality and honesty of your posts.

  • brianmacker

    There was a context to the Zionists wanting to establish a state. You see, the German’s had been talking about a “final solution” for more than 60 years before Hitler was born. There had been centuries or purges and atrocities against Jews in Christian and Muslim countries alike. They wised up and figured out that to be safer they needed a Jewish country controlled just like Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Shintos, have.

    You need to read this too:

  • Richard Thomas

    Haha I get it, because I disagree with Israeli policies. Good work.

  • brianmacker

    Yeah, including being offensive against the Israeli, Eli Tzavilei, from the article.

  • Spuddie

    Because you are using his arguments. Verbatim. Same nonsense seen online every time there is news item about Israel. Stupid overused bullshit.

  • CottonBlimp

    Addendum: I’ll bet you’ve never once said that Pakistan or Bangladesh shouldn’t exist as nations. Yet you did say that about Israel. Why?

    You bet wrong. The creation of a Hindu India and the expulsion of its Muslims was the beginning of a great number of societal problems in all three of those nations that carry on to this day. A single state with a diverse religious population would have developed more in the direction of secularism and equal rights. Instead, all three states have developed in the direction of ethnic/religious supremacy.

    I also never said Israel shouldn’t exist. I implied it should exist as a secular multi-ethnic state and argued that Zionism opposes this.

    Seriously, I want to fucking know – how many wrong guesses are you going to make before you stop telling me what I think?

  • CottonBlimp

    He said a grand total of one and a half sentences.

    Your sample size blows.

  • Yes, based on your posts, it is that fucking hard to comprehend. You condemn Israel far more harshly than you condemn any other nation, and you do so in anti-Semitic and intensely personal ways.

    Israel falls very short in many ways, as do many nations, as you correctly pointed out. However, you compared the nation built of Holocaust survivors to their tormentors. You specifically questioned the right of Israel to exist as a nation at all. You don’t seem to see Israel as a state with a common ethnicity like any other nation, but rather as some special and far more problematic entity. You don’t acknowledge the difficulty of existing surrounded by enemies as a tiny nation less than 6 miles across at the narrowest point, under constant threat of suicide bombings and rocket launches. Did you know that Syria has launched several rockets over the border, and Israel has thus far not responded? Did you know that Hezbollah in Lebanon does the same? Or that Hamas in the Gaza Strip regularly sends rockets over as well, and has done so with markedly increased frequency since Israel withdrew entirely from that area? What do you think the US would do if there was consistent rocket fire coming from Baja California in Mexico? I assure you, sit by and conduct air raid drills would not be on the US response list.

    So yes. Israel does a lot of shitty things because it finds itself in a shitty situation. And yes, it’s done its own part to make that situation worse, but it’s also tried to make its situation better. Do recall that Israel didn’t start the war that led to it taking the territories in 1967, which it took as a buffer zone, and that prior to that it had fought a war for survival once every decade. Do recall that it was not the Israelis who backed out of the Oslo Peace Accords. What, exactly, do you think Israel should do that would maintain its security and its democratic nature and its nature as the only Jewish nation on Earth?

  • Spuddie

    Troll says what?

  • Spuddie

    So you only read the title and nothing else. That much is pretty obvious.

  • Richard Thomas

    That was pretty clever. Must have taken a while.

  • Spuddie

    Not denying it. I was right.

  • Richard Thomas

    Whatever you say 🙂

  • Richard Thomas

    Did you have a point here, or…

  • You implied that Israel in its current form and as the only place that will always be safe for Jews shouldn’t exist.

    I was raised Jewish. In a lot of ways, I still am, though I no longer believe in any gods. I’m Jewish enough that Hitler would have killed me. I know the history of anti-Semitism in both Europe and the US, and that both are on the rise again. I drove through bomb-proof barriers to get to synagogue, because the US still has people who would do that.

    It’s nice to know that if the tide of history turns again, and anti-Semitism rises to a critical level again, there is a country dedicated to the idea that I should have a safe place to go. The world watched 60 years ago and turned away desperate Jewish refugees because they were Jewish. That should never happen again, and because Israel exists, it won’t. If Israel ever ceased to be a Jewish state, I could no longer state that with any confidence.

    I’d also like to point out that India is a multi-cultural state. While many Muslims were expelled, India still has ~176 million Muslim inhabitants, which comes to 14.4% of the population. To argue that India is a solely Hindu state is as wrong as arguing that the US is a solely Christian state.

  • Spuddie

    Only that you had none. If you did, it had nothing to do with the article. The one you didn’t read but felt the need to chime in on.

  • Richard Thomas

    This argument with yourself must be pretty fun. Enjoy it!

  • Spuddie

    Still not denying it.

    Its right above.

    Feel free to inform yourself on what the actual topic is before you chime in again.

  • Spuddie

    Only to be matched by the next thing you type.

  • Spuddie

    Still didn’t read the article?

  • Richard Thomas

    I read it as soon as it was posted, actually. Your Godzilla avatar is apt, because you call to mind a 5-year-old who stomps and screams when you don’t get your way.

  • nardo101

    I agree that this whole notion of “Holy Sites idiotic; especially in light of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim theologies that hold that God is omnipresent.

  • CottonBlimp

    You condemn Israel far more harshly than you condemn any other nation

    You have no fucking way of knowing this. I’ve demonstrated the exact opposite over and over again in this VERY thread. I got asked point blank if I’d be willing to condemn *my own nation* and I said yes – and yet the script continues. Maybe if it seems I condemn Israel far more harshly, it’s because far fewer morons rush to defend other forms of apartheid?

    I think it much better for the world to have Jewish, Muslim, and Christian neighbors than for there ever to be a Jewish, Muslim, or Christian nation. Stop trying to pin that to some anti-Semitic strawman.

  • CottonBlimp

    And you have the audacity to call someone else a troll.

  • Spuddie

    Yet you still have nothing to say about it?

    Nothing about a holocaust survivor flying in the face of bigotry among his own people?

    Nothing at all? No comments about how similar it is to situations in this country or elsewhere? Nothing there?

    No, just some stupid “Defund Israel!” bullshit that gets trotted out every time a news item takes place in Israel. So you allegedly read it but ignored everything about it to give us that little nugget. Not really very intelligent on your part.

  • CamasBlues

    Because most of those countries you’ve listed contain within them some sort of ethnic and/or religious minorities within their borders (like in Iraq, the Kurds, some of whom are of the Yazidi faith). The state of Israel has not yet found a way to be both ‘a Jewish state’ and be a modern nation-state that contains non-Jewish minorities. Now Israel is far from the only state that discriminates against minorities – this is true in Iraq, in Pakistan (there are Hindus and Christians there & they are not treated well), there is now ethnic strife in South Sudan. It’s true in the USA. Unfortunately with the rise of influence of the ultra-Orthodox it seems that discrimination against Arabs is on the rise. And that’s unconscionable. Hats off to Mr Tzavieli – he’s knows what is right and won’t back down easily.

  • Richard Thomas

    I apologize for holding that gun to your head and forcing you to read my comment, but to be fair, a comment section IS in reality a section where people make comments. You however apparently have a tendency to scream “BULLSHIT, MORON” whenever anyone has an opinion that differs from yours. You accuse people of trolling but you’re the one fitting the description, and I’m done feeding you.

  • CottonBlimp

    I am not going to treat you like you have anything intelligent to say or that you have a point of view worth discussing.

    I know, that was clearly your intention from the beginning.

    You’re quite typical for a moron.

  • Spuddie

    Because frankly, if anyone has not seen your arguments dozens of times online when the topic is a news item in Israel they are ignorant morons. Please stop pretending that you have anything original to say here. Its trite, overused and frankly irrelevant here.

    I just don’t want to give the impression that you are to be taken seriously. Profanity is the best way to do that. I want you to feel insulted because that is more productive than pretending you are just ignorant and misguided. That there is a chance that I could educate you to the contrary. You are obviously not interested in discussing the article and just came here to make a silly irrelevant comment. So why should I bother treating you with the modicum of respect for someone who has something to say here worth reading?

  • Funny, you never said that the US was Nazis. You never said the US had no right to exist in its current form. Condemn away at Israel for the things its done and is doing- there’s a lot to condemn. But don’t claim you don’t judge Israel more harshly, because you clearly do. Don’t claim it’s not more personal, because it clearly is. Would your solution to apartheid in the US have been to destroy the US as a nation?

    Do note that Christians, Jews, and Muslims do live together in Israel. It just boggles your mind that there could be a Jewish majority anywhere. The US is 75% Christian, but that doesn’t stop a lot of other people of other religions from living here too. England is an explicitly Christian nation, yet there are lots of Hindus and Muslims and atheists living there as well. Why do you think having an explicitly Jewish nation means that it can have no diversity or that it’s somehow worse than explicitly Christian nations?

    Yes, of course it would be ideal for everyone to get along and for religion to not matter. However, in the world we actually live in, being Jewish is inherently dangerous. Having a place to go that is explicitly safe for us is essential. You don’t get that. I hope you never will. You’ve never known, in your gut and in your bones, that your ancestors were turned away from safe havens because of who they were and killed for it, that there are people out there who still want to “finish the job”, and that some of those people have political power. The tattoos and the piles of shoes and the golden teeth stripped from skulls? Those were my people. That could have been me. And until anti-Semitism doesn’t exist anymore, the only sure counter to another Holocaust is a state dedicated to the Jews and Jewish survival. Not because Judaism needs to survive, but because people should not be killed over something so stupid and meaningless as which god they worship or who their grandparents were. One of the best ways to prevent genocide is to give the threatened minority a place to escape to. For Jews, Israel is that place.

  • duke_of_omnium

    Another reminder that Judaism, when observed, is as toxic as any other religion.

  • nardo101

    You may have thought you were arguing for Israel as a secular, multi-ethnic state, but you are doing a poor job of i because:

    a) “Zionism” is broad ideological framework that doesn’t inherently support or oppose secularism, you can find many Zionists who want a secular state without official support for Jewish religious institutions. (I’m one of them)

    b) Comparing Zionism with colonialism suggests that you aren’t well informed about the situation. I’d argue that Israel is related to colonialism only insofar as western countries attempted to leverage it like a colony in 1956. The actual Jewish migration to Israel simply wasn’t like other colonial migrations because the economic factors in play were completely different (most of he Jews were refugees). The mutual aggression between Arabs and Jews developed gradually in response to numerous external factors.

    If you want to advocate for peace and mutual respect, you’d be more effective if you aimed your criticism more precisely.

  • Agreed on all points. Especially the rise of the ultra-Orthodox; I really hope Israel can get that religious fringe under control soon. Their rise is terrifying.

    I’m still confused why CottonBlimp and some of the others think Israel is the worstest state evar, though, given all that. And also given that Israel mistreats its minorities significantly less than many other nations (Israeli Arabs are second-class citizens, and they clearly shouldn’t be, but they are not subject to nearly the amount of violence many minorities in other countries are).

    The Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, but rather stateless people living in occupied territory. The situation is complicated and rather horrible all around, but not a situation of mistreatment of non-Jewish minority citizens. It’s something else entirely. Still very bad, of course, but also something different.

  • CamasBlues

    As a Native American I would have to say the American Revolution spawned much misery for our nations…

  • Second reply: Did you ever answer the question, what do you think Israel should do? Given the situation it finds itself in, what do you think Israel’s best choice is? Or is it more complicated than that, not easy, no good choices?

  • Spuddie

    I am an exceptional moron goddammit!

    I wanted to talk about how the article describes how easily religion can be used to promote bigotry but also give a person the motivation to fight it as well. How fundamentalists act alike no matter what their religion is.

    But you just wanted to talk about how you think all Israelis are just new Nazis. What did it have to do with the article, nothing.

    Did you add anything of value to the discussion? No.

    Will you add anything of value to the discussion. No.

    Why bother?

  • Itay M

    20 percent of Israel’s residents are Arabs (excluding PLO and the Gaza strip). Most of them are civilians that have voting rights, and every other civil rights (also, they have 12 MK in the country’s Parliament, the Knesset). There are many problems with the issue of Arabs in Israel, I fully acknowledge it, but it’s far from being the systematic discrimination you imply it is. Also, the ultra-orthodox influence has decreased in the past couple of years… For the first time in many years, there is not a single ultra-orthodox party in the Israeli government. It’s not perfect, there are many things to improve and to change fundamentally, but it’s false to suggests that Israel doesn’t accept minorities within its borders.

  • CottonBlimp

    Funny, you never said that the US was Nazis. You never said the US had no right to exist in its current form.

    It’s like talking to a fucking wall.

    I never said that “Israel was Nazis” – whatever you think that poor excuse for a sentence actually means. I did say, flat out, that the racism and genocides in America were as reprehensible as the Holocaust.

    I never said that “Israel has no right to exist in its current form”. I said that the desire for ethnic supremacy in a nation is inherently evil – I support every possible effort towards making the USA a more racially diverse nation.

    The tattoos and the piles of shoes and the golden teeth stripped from skulls? Those were my people. That could have beenme.

    It could have been me too, you self-absorbed fuck. It could have been everyone on this site. The Holocaust is not a fucking entitlement.

    Not because Judaism needs to survive, but because people should not be killed over something so stupid and meaningless as which god they worship or who their grandparents were.

    And this is the exact argument AGAINST a Jewish or Christian or Muslim state.

  • CamasBlues

    I understand what you are saying Feminerd – a lot of articles I’ve read about problems between Arabs and Israelis have often been between Palestinians who aren’t Israeli citizens and Israelis.

    I fear violence may be on the rise, and not just against non-Jewish minorities. Several months ago I read a series of articles about how some ultra-Orthodox were mistreating Jewish women who did not dress in the manner approved by ultra-Orthodox communities. And of course a lot of Israelis are quite appalled by such bad behavior.

  • Spuddie

    Yes, but is that relevant to the article here? Maybe like this:

    As with the genocide of the Native Americans, the Holocaust caused misery to people like Eli Tzavieli. Yet despite this horrific past, he found the strength to fight to defend other people from the kind of bigotry he faced in his past.

    Besides CottonBlimp is only throwing that out there for the purposes of hyperbole.

  • CottonBlimp

    I’m still confused why CottonBlimp and some of the others think Israel is the worstest state evar

    Hey, here’s a crazy idea.

    What if that’s not what they think?

    Maybe that would explain why they keep telling you that.

  • CamasBlues

    I’m being a smart-aleck which is a time honored Native tradition 😉

    Another tradition is to honor elders – and Mr. Tzavieli sounds like an amazing elder. Seen much, survived much, learned much, and has much to teach. I admire is kindness and his standing firm in the face of bigotry and threatened violence. I hope he has good neighbors in Safed who will look out for him and stand with him.

  • CottonBlimp

    The thing is, if you follow this back to the beginning (if you can even remember that far back) I was criticizing Zionism, not Israel itself. You can say Israel is in a bad position with no easy choices, but it was Zionism that created that situation.

    I think there are a number of choices, and I wouldn’t even single one out. A two state solution, a single state solution – just about anything besides occupying and imprisoning an entire population is preferable.

  • CottonBlimp

    “Zionism” is broad ideological framework that doesn’t inherently support or oppose secularism, you can find many Zionists who want a secular state without official support for Jewish religious institutions. (I’m one of them)

    I can’t help but notice that you omit reference to ethnicity here.

    Was that intentional?

  • $925105

    You bring up a revolution against British colonial rule as an example? Thanks for demonstrating that you have no clue. Looks like you think either people should enjoy occupation and oppression or else they are the unruly types.

    But it’s obvious you are an advocate for apartheid, so you are beyond reason.

  • It was Zionism that created Israel. You really can’t separate the two. Without Zionism, Israel never would have existed. Zionism is just the idea that a Jewish state should exist, and that isn’t wrong.

    It wasn’t Zionism that created the refugee situation in 1948, nor Zionism that caused Arab neighbors to pen in the Palestinian refugees and mine the roads leading out of the refugee camps, nor Zionism that caused Israel to be invaded so often that it felt its best chance of survival lay in taking territory. There’s an awful lot of complicated factors leading into the current clusterfuck, and about half of those factors are not Israeli or in Israel’s control. Blaming Zionism is stupid, one-sided, over-simplified, and stinks of anti-Semitism even if that’s not actually your motivation. Combine that with your rhetoric about Nazis in a reply to a post dealing with a Holocaust survivor, and you wonder why you’re getting the pushback that you are?

  • Spuddie

    Guys like that put most of us to shame.

    I just feel lucky enough I have never been in a situation where I had to put my life on the line for my personal convictions. I only hope that if I am ever in such a situation, I would not be alone.

  • Then maybe their rhetorical choices should reflect that, instead of expecting others to read their minds.

  • Spuddie

    A revolt concerning violent relations between Arabs and Jews in Palestine is not a useful example? It certainly puts lie to the “happily co-existed” line of yours. There is not much of anything resembling a fact in your prior post.

    So now I am an advocate of apartheid for pointing out the factual holes in your recall of history?

    People who correct your grammar are advocates of mass murder.

    If I correct your spelling you are going to say I support military dictatorship. =)

  • Zionism is the movement to establish a Jewish state for the Jewish nation.

    That’s so unlike the Nazi movement to establish an Aryan state for the Aryan nation.

    Any movement to create a nation “for” a particular ethnicity or religious group is a horrific one.

    Care to retract the statement that you never compared Israel to Nazis, or said they were the same?

    As for the argument about who it could have been- could it really? Pretty sure not everyone here is of Jewish or Roma descent. Just being an atheist wasn’t enough, and Hitler didn’t reserve his especial hatred and genocidal rage just for you. The Holocaust isn’t an entitlement. It is, however, a historical fact that reinforces the historical fact that being Jewish can turn unsafe in any majority-Christian nation.

    Why do you think that being a state that identifies as being of a religion or ethnicity means that it’s bad or going to kill people? Do you think a nation of Kurds would be unacceptable because it’s based on shared ethnicity and cultural experience? Or would you support a Kurdish nation carved out of parts of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq based on the historical subjugation of the Kurds, acknowledging that they need their own space to be safe in?

  • Shogunz

    You’re a master of projection, instigation and hypocrisy. You really need to calm down, step back and engage in some introspection. Holy shit.

  • $925105

    It’s pretty obvious you have no idea what you are talking about and the subject is quite simple. It’s either that you’re willfully ignorant or willfully ignorant. You can take your pick.

  • Timothy R Alexander

    I want Bill Maher to do that in a new rule segment.

  • Guest

    “I don’t hate no one”

    So, you do hate people.

    -“The double negative has led to prove positive. I’m afraid you gave yourself away.”
    -“Are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the other guests?”
    -“You don’t need any help from me, sir.”
    -“That’s right!”
    Wadsworth and Col. Mustard, Clue

  • Bdole

    That would mean everywhere’s holy. Would that make things better or worse, I wonder?

  • Malcolm McLean

    The Zionist movement started in the late 19th century, with Jews moving to Palestine under Muslim Turkish rule. Then the British captured the area in the First World War. The Balfour declaration envisaged Jews and Arabs living in harmony, and as the Jewish population increased the economy developed, and there was substantial Arab immigration, welcomed by the British as proof that they weren’t infringing the rights of the indigenous population.

    However it wasn’t a total picture of harmony. Some Jews tried to exclude Arab labour. Then the British appointed a radical to Grand Mufti, hoping to draw him into the establishment and neutralise him. The plan backfired badly, and anti-Semitic Arabs began terrorising moderate Arabs.

    So it’s a more complicated picture. There was and still is substantial Jewish Arab economic co-operation.

  • Randay

    Israel with a population of about 7 million people gets more foreign aid, including military, than any other country except Afghanistan, for obvious reasons. More than India with a billion, more than Egypt Israel gets at least 405 dollars per person(a lot more with private donations included). Egypt gets 18 dollars per person. Indonesia gets all of 1 dollar per person.

    ALL aid to Israel, a developed country, should be ended.

    Decades ago, OECD countries pledged to devote 0.7¨% of their GNP’s to development aid. Only 5 have done so. The U.S. spends 0.2%. USA, USA, USA!

  • MNb

    @ both CottonBlimp and Spuddie: apparently this is wrong.

    “Leave it to the faithful to find the shortest path to strife and hatred.”

  • Malcolm McLean

    They are more religious than racial bigots. Jewish girls wearing UK-style school uniforms with pleated skirts have been spat on in Bnai Brak for violating community norms, which is grey ankle-length skirts.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    The holocaust survivor sounds like a good guy who is standing up for what is right and against religious bigotry.

    Having said that and because this is Israel we are talking about, and there is like a 60+ comment train going on, I just thought I would bring up a quick opinion. While I fully support Israel and it’s right to exist it does bug me that part of the arguments for the existence of Israel is that the idea that because the Jews are originally from there they have a right to the land.

    It bugs me for two reasons. 1) If you accept the OT as historically accurate then the Jewish people slaughtered thousands of people already in the area in order to take over. That is hardly different from the slaughter of native americans to take the land.

    2) The idea that we should give land back to the historical group that it belonged to is one that is both impossible to do and also is rather selective when it comes to the state of Israel. There are thousands of groups that were kicked out of there homeland or had their land conquered and yet there is no movement to give them the land back. In addition, if you accept the idea of Israel because the Jewish people were once there then you have to accept the idea of giving the land back to natives who were slaughtered in the Americas because the land once belonged to them.

    As a last note, while I support the right of Israel to exist I do not like the blind loyalty that we seem to have in our foreign policy towards the nation. A large percentage of American christians seem to support Israel solely because they think it needs to exist for jesus to return. I also don’t like the disregard, in my opinion, that the current Prime Minister of Israel is showing for international law and for the Palestinian people.

  • Octoberfurst

    You’re comparing apples and oranges. In all those places you sited the people were wanting independence. The nation of Israel was formed by TAKING someone elses land and giving it to Jewish refugees.

  • Spuddie

    No. I just don’t take your statements seriously. It is chock full of incorrect generalizations and lacks knowledge of the history of the region.

  • Carmelita Spats

    It depends where the foreign aid is channeled…I was at Hisham’s Palace last year. I was thoroughly disgusted at the USAID sign running right smack in front of the archeological site when my school district is constantly on cutbacks and teachers are at will employees fired on a regular basis due to cuts. Fund science education in the US, not archeological digs on someone else’s overstuffed fantasy land. Fuck that shit. Next time I want a Jesus-high, I’m going to pack it up. Strip the bed, box up the cat, load the U-Haul and head out to a way cheaper, low-maintenance, non-unionized, religiously fanatical wide-eyed Promised Land: The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida.

  • Spuddie

    Thank you.

    At least someone wanted to discuss the topic at hand. =)

  • Octoberfurst

    The problem is that racism is a huge problem in Israel today. There are many Israeli’s who would like to kick out the Arabs in Israel and there have been attacks against Black African refugees that have settled in Israel. And don’t even get me started on Israels treatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. To be sure there are many Israelies like yourself who hate the bigotry but I fear that your concerns are being swept aside. (We have the same problem here in the US with our right-wing spewing racist hate & I sometimes fear they are getting the upper hand.)

  • anon atheist

    I like Israel. It’s a tolerant modern country with a halfway working democracy. But considering that it is currently overrun by religious extremists (the ultra-orthodox will make up half of the population by 2050) and secular Israel is doing jack about it my sympathies are dwindling.

  • Spuddie

    No, its like using pat generalizations to pretend an exception Palestine prior to independence. A partition was planned respecting both Arab and Israeli statehood and rejected in favor of trying to wipe out the nascent nation. The Arabs were hoping to take over the Israeli land but failed to do so after many attempts, spanning decades.

  • JenL

    “Also, there are dozens of countries that the U.S. chooses to give
    foreign aid. Sure, Israel is one of the largest among them, but only
    Israel gets to be accused as greedy.”

    Naw, I hear tons of complaints about the money going to all sorts of countries, especially the ones in the southern hemisphere. The people I hear complaining usually *don’t* complain about money going to Israel.

  • Octoberfurst

    But by what right did Britain have to give the land in the first place? I don’t get why people don’t understand why the Arabs were against this whole idea. They were promised the land but then were told that the land was to be divided up and a group of people who are totally different from them culturally and religiously are going to get half the land. I would be upset if I were in their shoes too.
    Imagine if Britain did this to, say, Kenya. So after years of fighting the British the Kenyan people are told that they will have their independent nation of Kenya. But then the British tell them, “Oh by the way, we’re overpopulated so we are doing to divide the nation of Kenya in half and call one half ‘New Britain’. We will be sending millions of British citizens to live there. I hope you don’t mind.” Do you think the Kenyans would be happy with that? No. Same with Palestine.

  • Spuddie

    When you get people who want to argue against Israel’s existence as a nation at all, it tends to poison the discussion.

    When people start throwing about terms like “apartheid” or calling Israel a “Nazi State” it is intentionally inflammatory and adds nothing of value to the discussion.

    If anything it enables extremists in Israel because it lumps legitimate criticism together with nonsense. Why bother listening to criticism when they are associated with those who want to destroy their nation?

    In the case with this story, rather than use this as an example of why Israel needs to be condemned as a whole, a more fruitful discussion would be about the pernicious effects of religion in a democratic nation when allied with bigoted political interests. Parallels between this story can be seen in events in the US.

  • Octoberfurst

    I agree with your statement that a more fruitfull discussion would be the pernacious effects of religion in a society. In my view religion spoils everything. And religious bigotry is only one step away from racial bigotry. They often go hand in hand.

  • nardo101

    Not intentional, but it’s actually weird because ethnicity is a nebulous term which has no clear definition. Many Zionists of Western-European are ethnocentric, desiring a Jewish majority in Israel, but themselves wouldn’t be “ethnically” comfortable with Mizrahi Jews, who resemble Arabs in most cultural/ethnic characteristics . . . Not to mention the (often economically disadvantaged) black Ethiopian Jews and the Blond, White Russian Jews.

    The harassment that the Safed Arabs face in the article is literally faced by Jews in other parts of Israel. It’s easy to me an armchair critic, but if you look closely, you realize that it’s a difficult and painstaking job to develop a cultural and legal framework to allow all these people to live together.

  • Spuddie

    Except it goes both ways. Much of the aid is military and in the form of SALES to them. Israel is also a net importer for US goods. Economic aid has been phased out for some time.

    We have overlapping interests in the region, they are a reliable buyer of our equipment. They are the only nation in the region where we know the government is not actively encouraging or tolerating Islamicism.

    Since Israel is flanked by nations which still actively work towards their destruction, you cannot say military aid is unwarranted.


  • Spuddie

    Possession and control since 1918. The Middle East was never under Arab control until after the British left the region starting around the same time as Israel’s formation.

    The partition is not much different than what happened in most post-colonial regions. India was partitioned ethnically as well. It lead to disastrous results for the eastern region as Bengalis were under the control of Pakistanis thousands of miles away. Bengali independence led to genocide by the Pakistanis and one of the clearest examples of a humanitarian intervention by India.

    As for your example with Kenya, that sort of thing happened all over Africa. Many secessionist movements formed because national borders did not match with ethnic populations.

    As for sending millions of citizens over there, you constantly ignore the fact there was a well established Jewish population prior to independence. For example Tel Aviv, Israel’s 2nd largest city was founded by the Jewish population there 40 years before independence.

    The thing is when you have people arguing against Israel’s existence, like CottonBlimp, there can be no meaningful discussion. There is no point in arguing against Israel’s existence. It exists. Rhetoric is not going to change that. Encouraging its demise is not a worthy goal. It doesn’t have to be brought up every time Israel is in the news.

  • nardo101

    I agree that the ultra-orthodox are a huge problem, but you have to be careful about extrapolating demographic trends. The most extreme of the ultra-orthodox are heavily dependent on the progressive, welfare state to support their families and they’re counterbalanced, to a degree, by the Muslim-Israeli community. If the Palestinian problem were solved, it would also undermine much of the fear that recruits people to their point of view.

  • Because reconciliation is a terrible blight on humanity and must be opposed wherever it is encountered.

  • The Starship Maxima

    Do these people realize that when Jesus was about to be born, it was only the charity of a random innkeeper that allowed his parents space in the stable, rather than remaining on the streets?
    To condemn a faithful Jew for demonstrating the same sense of charity is bafflingly ironic in too many ways.

  • I pick planet Earth for mine.

  • Carmen

    This is actually becoming a huge problem, in Israel as well as in some US communities with a lot of orthodox Jews. I’ve been following this issue for some time. Many Israelis may be appalled, but it does not appear that anything serious is being done to stop the violence.

  • Artor

    The behavior of the entire Israeli state, composed largely of people who survived the Holocaust, and a few thousand years of persecution & bigotry, is ironic enough to build a fleet of chariots.

  • CB

    The behaviour of many Israelis is indeed ironic, but make sure you don’t conflate the behaviour of the individual with the behaviour of the group.

    … I mean, unless you want to be blamed for everything the American state does. :/

    All men are created equal + slavery much?

  • The Starship Maxima

    I try to make it a habit never to judge the many by the few.

  • Octoberfurst

    It’s quite true that the European empires just carved up their lands into nations without taking into consideration the various ethnic & religious groups that were in the area. This caused civil wars to break out and all other kinds of hostilities.
    But I honestly don’t think that anyone here thinks that Israel should just disappear. That is not going to happen.. People can argue till they are blue in the face over whether Israel should have been created or not. But the fact is it is there and the Israelies aren’t going anywhere nor should they.
    And while I agree with you that there has always been a Jewish presence in Israel the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of Israelies came from outside the area and that immigration to that land was recent—in the last 100 yrs with most of it in the last 60 yrs. I daresay that most of the Jews who immigrated there did not have ancestors from that land but that there people were converts to Judaism from many centuries ago. Just like it is quite probable that many of the current Palestines were former Jews who converted in Islam over 1,000 yrs ago.
    But my main beef with Israel is their desire to annex the West Bank as part of Israel. You have a population of over 2 million Palestinians on the West Bank who have no desire to be a part of Israel. They want their own country—Palestine. But the government of Israel keeps gobbling up Palestinian land and taking over their aquifers and farm land. This is completely unjust especially since Israel keeps talking about an independent nation of Palestine but does everything it can to not make that happen. And if it does annex the land what of the Arabs who live there? Will they be made Israeli citizens? If so then the population of Israel will be 50% Jews, 50% Muslims. The Jewish state will not longer exist. So what to do with them? Drive them out? Ethnic cleansing in other words. That would be a human rights nightmare. The only answer is a Palestinian state on the West bank and Gaza.

  • diogeneslamp0

    “I stand against the attempt of others to demonize my society as well.”

    You sir, have no idea what the word “to demonize” means. Nobody here “demonized” Israel. Several people criticized Israel. By switching to the word “demonize”, you demonstrated you do not have evidence to back up your broad assertions.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Itay writes: “there is still a majority for does who stand for Israeli Arabs democratic rights”

    No, there isn’t. A plurality maybe, but not a majority. If it were a majority, they would give back the land they took from Arabs.

    “You took one instance in Israel and generalized it.”

    Richard Thomas referred to Israel sarcastically as “a bastion of freedom and democracy”, which it is not. The right wing media in America constantly portray Israel as “a bastion of freedom and democracy”, and it is not. This apparently hurts your feelings, so you have yourself overgeneralized, when you accuse Richard of “the same old Jews & money accusations.”

    If Israel were a bastion of freedom, they would give back the land they took from Arabs, rabbis would not be in control of weddings and deciding who’s a real Jew for immigration purposes. Jews from every other distant country, Narnia or wherever, would not have first claim to land taken from Arabs and denied to the Arabs who were born there.

    “you are too eager to stereotype.”

    Richard Thomas did not stereotype– you did. You attacked Richard Thomas with “the same old Jews & money accusations”, connecting him to anti-Semitism. That is you stereotyping.

  • diogeneslamp0

    These categories are not mutually exclusive.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Here we see the moral relativism of Israel’s defenders: “In fact they [Arabs] have better democratic representation in Israel than in surrounding Arab countries.”

    Translation– sure we treat Arabs terribly; but everybody does! “Hey, we’re better than Syria!” Well hooray for you!

    That’s moral relativism. I thought monotheistic religions were based on moral absolutes. If Israelis had just policies, they wouldn’t have to point to other people also doing unjust things.

    Moreover, since when do Arabs have more rights in Israel? Didn’t Bush and the neo-cons invade Iraq at a cost of $1 trillion to establish democracy there?

  • diogeneslamp0

    “One can show animus with fact or falsehoods. In this case it’s a falsehood”

    Actually, you haven’t pointed out a single falsehood in anything Richard Thomas wrote. So you’re the one employing falsehoods.

    You need to actually DEMONSTRATE that Richard Thomas employed falsehoods, not merely claim he did.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Brianmacker: “Your sarcastic remark more accurately and to a greater degree applies to all the Arab and Muslim countries that recieve US aid but for some reason you chose to focus on Israel. Why is that?”

    Duh, maybe because this thread is about an Israeli town? Fuck you’re stupid.

    There are plenty of threads at FA about Muslim countries; go there and pour hate on them.

    I don’t think you’re in a position to engage in psychoanalysis. The US gives more aid to Israel than any Arab or Muslim country. The US media are constantly telling us how Israelis supposedly “share our values” while ignoring Israeli theft of Arab lands. Israel does not share our values. They took land from Arabs and they give that land to Jews from distant countries rather than giving it back to the Arabs born there. Those are not American values, and we’re sick of the US media lying and saying they share our values. They don’t. The US media is so hysterically biased that there’s going to be push-back.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Spuddie: “I want you to feel insulted because that is more productive than pretending you are just ignorant and misguided.”

    Is this not the definition of a troll?

  • diogeneslamp0

    Brianmacker: “That Arab citizens do not have freedoms, they do.”

    Notice how he adds “citizens.” Sneaky that. Israel controls vast swaths of the West Bank. Do Arabs in the West Bank have the right of self-determination? Do they get to decide where Israel puts its fence when it encircles their most valuable agricultural land?

    Do they get to decide which parts of their land are stolen for Israeli condos and gated communities and swimming pools?

    Do they get to drive on the same highways as Israelis? Oh, you decide who gets to drive on certain highways, and Arabs don’t.

  • Spuddie

    Its more counter-trolling. Trolling the troll in the hopes of getting them too fed up to continue.

    In all fairness it seems to have worked. Reasonable discussions have resumed.

  • Spuddie

    “But I honestly don’t think that anyone here thinks that Israel should just disappear.”

    That is being overly optimistic. There are people who definitely make those arguments on a regular basis. They come out of the woodwork on many sites where there are news articles about Israel. The Israel = Nazis people, constant arguing against the existence of Israel are not reasonable arguments. Like CottonBlimp etc.

    You strike me as a reasonable person. You are not making such arguments.Your beef with Israel concerning the West Bank is the same beef many Israelis, Americans and many others with good faith arguments have. I too believe a viable Palestinian state must exist.Settlements in the West Bank have to go.

    Palestinians need to cooperate with Israel if they ever want to have a viable economy for their state. Armed conflict only has made it easier to marginalize the Palestinians. But unfortunately much of their aid from the Arab World is contingent on it. Jordan already considers Palestinians to be enemies of the state (one attempted coup + ethnic cleansing reprisal and relations just all go to hell), if Egypt has wanted them, Israel would have gladly given over Gaza in 1973.

    However most people overlook that a de facto, Israeli free Palestinian state already exists in Gaza, run by Hamas. Hamas terrorizes the populace and keeps an unnecessary conflict going because they do not want to be held accountable for actual governance. Its easier to rule in a state of siege than it is to figure out how to provide for one’s people.

    The situation is messy. But we don’t have to rehash it on every discussion about the country. The article has nothing to do with Palestinians and everything to do with ultra-orthodox Jews taking a page from the Taliban.

  • Christopher

    Let’s take a look at that “Nazi” slur, shall we? What, exactly, is the National Socialist Worker’s Party of Germany infamous for? I would argue it would be demonizing minorities, based on racial and religious grounds, and using the power of the State against said demonized minorities, even when they were sheltered by their own countrymen. Now, why don’t we take a look at some of the things Mr. Tzavieli is dealing with. Threats to have his property burned down (Rings of memories of Kristallnacht), written notices pinned to his door (“Juden”), jeers calling him a traitor to his race and country (What else can you consider the term “Jewish Traitor”, since being Jewish is both a Religious Background and an Ethnicity). Considering Mr. Tzavieli’s time in the labor camps, I’m pretty sure the actions being led against him by his fellow countrymen, simply for the ‘crime’ of harboring a few demonized men of minority status, are making him recall some rather vivid memories, indeed.

    It makes perfect sense to call these tactics “Nazi-like”, as they are, quite comparable to what happened at the beginning of the Shoah. The only difference is that this effort does not have the centralized support of the State (of Israel), and even the Reich did not start from a Top-down structure. It all began with that little, failed, artist when he began organizing at a community level.

    Do not discount the ability of hatred and bigotry to snowball out of control. And especially in a people with the history of the Israeli’s, as Nietzche himself once said, “When fighting monsters, one must be careful, lest a monster one becomes. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes back into you.” No population should heed this warning more, in today’s modern geopolitical climate, I think, than the Israelis. It is a fine line between “Refusing To Fall Victim To a Bully” and “Becoming the Bully Yourself”. Surely the religious aspect is but one aspect of the conflict, but we must not also forget, that, at it’s core, this is also a Political conflict, in much the same way the Troubles between the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Irish Nationalists was not, at it’s core, Protestant v Catholic, but a political battle between Separatists and Loyalists.

  • PaulDouglas1

    Well actually stealing land and giving it to non-natives does have some precedence in America.
    Actually, quite a bit now that I think about it.

  • Spuddie

    “The only difference is that this effort does not have the centralized support of the State”

    That’s a big goddamn difference! A material one if you ask me.

    The Nazis were always top-down in their approach to persecution. They set quotas for rounding people up and executing them, rewards for turning in people, actively encouraged persecution in their media and political speech. They did not tolerate people acting on their own accord without their approval. For the Nazis had a spat with the Croatian fascists concerning their over-enthusiastic persecutions.

    Government involvement is what separates actions like the KKK’s violence against minorities from the all encompassing one of South Africa or for your argument, the Nazis. Continental Europe has plenty of outright racist political groups advocating ethnic cleansing, yet we do not describe their entire nations framed in such terms. Government control and approval is what separates a troubled democracy from a nation like Nazi Germany.

    Even when violence against minorities is not performed by agents of the government, the key factor is government approval. and support [ex. The Interhamwe in Rwanda or the Janjaweed in the Sudan]

    So yes the Nazi slur is inappropriate and in this context overused and associated with people who have bad faith arguments.

    You started off on shaky somewhat inflammatory ground and came back with an intelligent argument. As you mentioned, the problems in Israel are more political, than religious. The irony of a holocaust survivor having to fight against his own people to prevent the kind of tragedy he lived through is more than apparent to everyone reading the article.

  • Spuddie

    …and the entire history of Great Britain and its territories from the Roman Empire to the 1940’s, the history of Ireland prior to 1916, the colonization of every country in the Americas, The “Russification” of central Asia, the spread of Islam to the Balkans…

    Tons of precedent for it. None for giving the land back. It just never happens. The last time someone tried that was when Serbia and Croatia tried to erase Bosnia in the 90’s. Bosnia created by Ottoman Muslims taking territory in the area and settling there. It did not end well.

  • Christopher

    You seem to be under the impression that the Reich had the approval of the German Government from the beginning. Lest we forget, that pitiful little artist’s first attempt to rise to power, the “Beerhall Putsch”, was seen as an attempt at revolution, and rightly so. So no, the Reich did not start as a Top-Down organization, it began as a community effort, with local parties. It wasn’t even originally considered a legit political party, given their criminal actions during the march on Munich.

    This ties back into my warning regarding Nietzche. This type of racism and hatred may not have the support of the Israeli State, yet. However, there’s plenty of racism and bigotry justified by the Israeli State aside from this. Even the short history of Israel, itself, provides examples a’plenty, if one cares to look for them. To give an example you may want to look into, do some research on Ariel Sharon. When the Israeli government enacts racist and bigoted policies against others, is it that far a stretch to assume that your own acts of hatred against the same minorities will not be punished? Personally, I’ll be curious to see how the Israeli government responds to this threat. Will they admonish and penalize those who are threatening Mr. Tzavieli, or, like in the days of Kristallnacht, will they stand silently by, and see if the problem “Sorts itself out”?

    Also, allow me to note, oppression of minorities devolving into genocidal tendencies does not happen overnight. It creeps it’s way into the fabric of the society it is being enacted in, little by little. A work I think will open your eyes a little on the subject, since you seem to under the impression the Reich came to power, and began persecutions, almost overnight, instead of what we call here in the States “Mission Creep”, would be called “They Thought They Were Free – The Germans 1933-1945”, by Milton Mayer.

    And finally…

    >a big goddamn difference! A material one, if you ask me.

    So how was it any different than the gangs of boys that ran around terrorizing Jewish shop owners before the hammer of the German State came down on them? You say it lacks government approval, but I have yet to see any reports of the local or national government rebuffing these actions. In fact, it would seem that the Rabbi in question, is trying to organize the local government AGAINST Mr. Tzavieli. If you’re going to tell me there’s no government support or apathy behind this campaign, you’re going to have to show me something that demonstrates this. From my point of view, it would seem that government IS being used against our friendly Holocaust Survivor. And finally, seriously, I know we’re on the internet, but there’s no need for profanity. We can make our points known without it, I’m sure.

    EDIT: Added author to book reference

  • Spuddie

    I have nothing nice to say about the ultra-orthodox.

    They generally survive off the largesse of their less religious cohorts. They don’t lift a finger towards the defense of the country. They zealously support settlements which do nothing but incite trouble with neighboring Arabs, but do not risk themselves defending them.

    As a political group they are pushy enough to want to dictate how the Israeli government should operate and have little respect for sane democratic principles. Many join their ranks as a way to get out of the universal conscription. Its the liberals and moderates in Israel who are literally keeping these people alive and they get scorn in return.

    If the Liberals in Israel want to drastically reduce the power of the Ultra-Orthodox, they should introduce bills to remove their exemption from military service.

  • John

    If the majority of secular Israel voted for a secular party. The system of favoritism for the Haredim would be over but the cycle just continues eventually leading to economic collapse.

  • Matt Ranson

    Hey, I wear a gold chain you bigot!

  • Matt Ranson

    I take exception to you whining about being offended. As a USA citizen and tax payer I think Americans have every right to criticize our policy of assistance to Israel especially after we practically created your nation.

  • John

    Vote for the Secular Party of Israel.

    That is what I would say if it existed. The Hetz party once existed with pretty strong secular aims but like all similar parties with goals against the Haridem it disappeared.

  • Spuddie

    And now you are back to a bullshit argument.

    All those rallies and speeches given in the early 30’s were sparsely attended. People did not jump to support Hitler when they benefited from it. The state was the prime actor towards persecution. Riiiight. /s

    Gangs did not act on their own accord, they were directed by the Nazi party to act. When it got too troublesome to keep such thugs around and the military complained, the Nazis killed the gang leaders off and disbanded them. So yes top down control was always the distinct part of their persecution actions.

    There is a line from the movie, “Night of the Generals” (with a fine performance by the late Peter O’Toole) which really summarizes their attitude:
    “In the beginning everyone loved Hitler, Germany was winning the war. It was only when the cities were being bombed and they started losing battles that people turned against him”.

    The Reich, once Hitler had declared himself dictator with little to no resistance from the nation. He learned his lesson from the Beerhall Putsch and enlisted the help of the military, churches and industrial leaders to justify his control. Persecution was always from the top down with the Nazis. It was official policy, planned and executed using military and government controlled resources.

    Absolutely different from what has happened in the article. There is a world of difference between the bombing of a church by the KKK and Kristalnacht. The problem is you are applying an analogy to the entire nation when it clearly is full of crap. Unless you can show that the threats against Mr. Tzavieli are somehow government sanctioned and directed, your analogy to the Nazis is pure hokum.

    “This type of racism and hatred may not have the support of the Israeli State, yet.”

    Making it not like the Nazis at all. Which was supported and run by the state. You admit enough to render your analogy silly, pointless and inflammatory by nature.

    “So how was it any different than the gangs of boys that ran around
    terrorizing Jewish shop owners before the hammer of the German State
    came down on them?”

    Easy, the assailants were still committing crimes which could have led to arrest. The fire departments and insurance companies would still be actively working towards the protection of their property and lives.

    How is such action any different from skinheads terrorizing immigrants in Europe? You don’t claim the Europeans as nations are Nazis, that’s the difference. Your standards applied here are hypocritical and phony. What goes on in Israel is not much different from how the French marginalize and attack those of Algerian and African descent, yet nobody accuses the French of being a Nazi state. Somehow Israel is the only nation given such treatment.

    “Will they admonish and penalize those who are threatening Mr. Tzavieli,
    or, like in the days of Kristallnacht, will they stand silently by, and
    see if the problem “Sorts itself out”?”

    You are just assuming nothing will happen. Already predisposed to a point of view and will contort whatever shitty analogies and ahistorical examples you can trump up to make it fit.

  • Spuddie

    Draft the ultra-orthodox. They don’t talk so tough if they have to actually defend their way of life with their own lives.

  • Spuddie

    and now you want it destroyed?
    The aid is mostly arms sales these days. Economic aid stopped a while back.

    Israel is a key strategic military ally in the region who we can trust. The same can’t be said about anyone else the US gives money to in that part of the world.

  • Conuly

    EXACTLY alike?

    Look, I won’t say that everything the Israeli state does smells like roses, but until and unless you can point to a death camp, and I’m pretty sure you can’t, they are hardly “exactly” like the Nazis.

  • Conuly

    I see your Clue and raise you a Pratchett:

    ‘Tell us about this man Keel,’ said the major.
    ‘I don’t know nuffin’,’ said Nobby automatically.
    ‘Aha, that means you do know something,’ said the major, who was indeed the sort of person who liked this kind of little triumph.
    Nobby looked blank. The captain leaned forward to whisper to his superior officer. ‘Er, only under the rules of mathematics, sir,’ he said. ‘Under the rules of common grammar, he is merely being emphat-‘

  • Christopher

    Oh boy, where to begin. I’m not sure if you’re wanting a reasonable discussion at this point (And just failing miserably at being civil), a plant by the ADL, or just an average internet troll. We’ll try this one more time, hopefully I can get through to you without poking a powder keg again…

    >Rallies and Speeches in the early 30’s were sparsely attended

    That’s funny. All I had to do was go onto WIkipedia, and I find two Photos, sourced from 1935 (First image) and 1928 (Second Image), and neither of those random images look very “Sparsely attended”. To continue…

    >Easy, the assailants were still committing crimes which could have led to arrest.

    Have the authorities arrested the Rabbi and his cohorts who are threatening Mr. Tzavieli? As I mentioned before, I will be waiting to see what happens, with interest in the case. Which brings me to my next point.

    >You are just assuming nothing will happen. Already predisposed to a
    point of view and will contort whatever shitty analogies and ahistorical
    examples you can trump up to make it fit.

    I am doing nothing of the sort. I have readily stated that I will be waiting to see what the Israeli’s response to this conflict is. To see whether they will arrest the folks that have decided to threaten Mr. Tzavieli, or let them continue against him. If anyone is “Contorting”, I believe it would be you, good sir.

    I’m not so sure what using a work of fiction to discuss a historical argument is supposed to settle. However, I will note, yes, people in Germany generally jumped behind the Reich. Adolf was a charismatic leader at a time when Germany was being particularly humiliated by the reparation terms of the Versailles Treaty (Whether the terms were too harsh or not is another matter, entirely), and the average German Worker was desperate for work. Adolph put those Germans to work, he gave them a common cause, he gave them hope and pride, and he looked good doing it. Of course the common worker was going to support the Reich, his livelihood depended on it. This is not to defend the means that were used, however. Rest assured, Adolph was a monster. To say Germans did not support this tyrant when it benefited them, is to ignore volumes upon volumes of historical theses, or as you so eloquently put it, “A bullshit argument”.

    Coming to a close here…

    >The problem is you are applying an analogy to the entire nation when it clearly is full of crap.

    I have done nothing of the sort. I have compared this one group’s actions to the Nazi’s (I fail to see where I accused a member of the Knesset, for example, threatening to burn Mr. Tzavieli’s house down) and made a ready distinction that they did not have the support of the Israeli State. This article is not about the French, it is not about Europeans, and it is not about skinheads. This article is about a direct group of community members, led by a member of the clergy, to enact hateful and bigoted actions upon one of their own, because he dared to harbor a demonized minority group. I included a warning, that, unless the Israeli State watches itself and their actions, they could eventually head down the same path Germany did almost 75 years ago. And what’s worse, their own history of being the victim of such tactics could easily blind them to their own zeal of it. (A concept known as “Oppressed becoming the Oppressor”, if you are familiar with Psychology and the mental/behavioral patterns of children that get bullied)

    Finally, it appears that you cannot form a cogent argument without twisting your opponent’s words, and without profanities. It speaks volumes that you cannot form a reasonable counter without such utterances. I will not waste your, nor my own time on this matter any further with such coarse words. I bid you good day, sir.

  • Spuddie

    So now come the ad hominems and the self-reflexi

    “That’s funny. All I had to do was go onto WIkipedia,”

    Sarcasm on my part. My bad for not putting some kind of marker for that. Poe’s law and whatnot. You were too dense to pick up on it or read it in context of my statements.

    I don’t believe over-verbosity is a sign of a well supported argument like yourself. The movie reference was a shorthand for the notion that people in Germany supported Hitler until they started to lose the war. You backed that up with your own response.

    In the end you make the silly analogy between Israel and nazi germany which is both inflammatory, historically bereft and ignored the most material aspect of the Nazi rule, government sanctioned persecution. Something you admitted did not happen here. Therefore you are doing nothing but engaging in nonsense hyperbole. Without state sanctioned support, you have the difference between what went on in Nazi Germany and what goes on in many democratic nations with ethnic/social unrest.

    I mentioned France and other European countries because everything you describe about Israel as Nazi-like applies to them, yet the equivalence arguments are never made with those nations and Nazis. Only Israel gets that distinction. Somehow Israel are the ones singled out for such analysis where no other country is in such regards. So I question your motives here as well. You have been trying to stretch a point in a ridiculous manner simply to make your bullshit inflammatory analogy look like it is something respectable. It isn’t.

    A more apt analogy would be the US in the 60’s and 70’s. There is a social push to legitimize bigotry and a struggle to prevent it. We have that in the US as well. But that doesn’t have the same ring to it nor is it the regular trope of the Anti-Israel set. Less likely to spark a trollish diversion into Godwin that you were looking for.

    No state sponsored persecution = not Nazis. I got to a point in one sentence where you needed paragraphs of contortion to get to one.

  • Christopher

    You accuse me of using ad-hominem attacks, and then use one yourself (“You were too dense to pick up on it…”) immediately before trying to claim the high ground, free of fallacy? That’s cute.

    And now you’re trying to claim that people DID support the Furher, where before, you claim they didn’t jump to support him when it benefited them? (“People did not jump to support Hitler when they benefited from it.”) Make up your mind, which is it?

    I never said the Israili Government, nor the Rabbi and his cohorts were “Nazis”, I said their behavior was comparable to the Nazis. (“No state sponsored persecution = not Nazis.”) You have gone from accusing me of calling the entire nation “Nazis”, to just saying they are not Nazis, which was never my contention. And you have changed your arguments, and points multiple times. Despite my providing photographic evidence, and citing nonfiction, all you have offered is your own twisting arguments and a work of fiction, and you call me the verbal contortionist?

    “But that doesn’t have the same ring to it nor is it the regular trope of the Anti-Israel set.”

    I never said I was Anti-Israel, however, you have seemed to assume I have been from the beginning, judging by your own hyperbolic rhetoric, as well as judged anyone else so that I have seen others countering your points in this thread, despite never mentioning anything overtly against Israel. I don’t have a dog in this fight, aside from my Tax Dollars that consistently go to aid while programs at home repeatedly take cut after cut. Your firebrand rhetoric leads me to believe otherwise, where you are involved. (Hence my comment about the ADL)

    Considering how much your argument has twisted and turned during the course of this discussion, I can only assume that: 1) Your reading comprehension is lacking. 2) You don’t care about having a civil and reasonable discussion in the least. (Leaving any number of possibilities open, from ADL Plant, to Troll, to Forum Slider, to just being an ignorant child) or 3) You are incapable of having a civil debate/discussion without the use of divisory and inflammatory rhetoric. My experience, and evidence leads to believe one of the latter two.

    The only points you have provided a proper rebuttal to, have been rhetorical in nature. When your own claims are countered, you fail to withdraw them or make a proper counter-claim, even when presented with photographic evidence. And the best source you can come up with is a movie produced in, and starring an actor born in, a country that was on the opposing side of the war involving the country being discussed? You have made clear your intentions, through your own accusations of personal attacks (While flinging your own, I will add), your uncouth language, and your own insistence at changing your argument, while accusing me of doing everything you have done in turn (Uncouth language aside. Apparently being civil on the internet, in an age where one provides an example of what they wish to see in return, is not only too much to ask, but a liability to one’s argument as well.)

    I believe the silly one, my good sir, is you.

  • Matt Ranson

    Where did I indicate that I wanted Israel to be destroyed? My point is that the Jewish folk in Israel should be quite grateful for any assistance we provide in current times.

  • Artor

    Of course not, which is why I specified the Israeli State, not the people. My best friend and several of my in-laws are Jewish, (I even let them use my bathroom! /snark) the in-laws from Israel with extended family still there. They all shake their heads in dismay at the actions of Israel, and the pandering to the ultra-orthodox regressives. If my friend had written my original post, it would be much, much harsher than I wrote.

  • Spuddie

    Actually the was the entire point of this conversation was your defense of such slurs and associations. Defense of the slur of equating Israel with Nazis. Now you are trying to parse and weaselwording your way out of it.

    “Make up your mind, which is it?”

    I told you that was sarcasm! You are dense! I apologized for the lack of visual signifiers for that and explained it as such. I went back and edited a little /s for your benefit. Are you happy now?

    It all comes down to this, the analogy is only honest and effective when discussing state sanction persecution. Anything short of that is hyperbole and applies to every country which has ethnic strife.

    Using your definitions:

    Hindu mobs attack Muslims = India is a Nazi state

    A guy shoots up a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin = The US is a Nazi state

    Constant discrimination of Algerians in housing and jobs in France = France is a Nazi state

    You admitted none of this has to do with state sponsored persecution a while ago. Therefore, your analogy is crap, intentionally inflammatory and uses a hypocritical standard not applied to any other nation in such a context on such a regular basis.

    So no, its not like the Nazis. Its more like the US during desegregation. Where people were actively trying to maintain a discriminatory ethnic/racial status quo by all means short of government sanctioned violence.

    I don’t care about a civil conversation with someone who is deliberately being intellectually dishonest and inflammatory for its own sake. Tone trolling is noted on your part. I am a big loud jerk. I use profanity to cut through pretensions. You are very full of pretensions.

    As for your tax dollars, this is more ignorance on your part. Aid to Israel for the most part are military sales. They are paying for our equipment. Mostly out of security obligations between both nations. So much so that their homegrown arms industry has suffered in order to maintain friendly relations with the US. The US benefits from a trade surplus with Israel.

    So in the end unless its state sanctioned persecution an analogy with Nazis is absurd exaggeration for its own sake done for inflammatory effect.

    You are using commonly employed tropes of the anti-Israel set despite your denials such as ridiculous double standards, hyperbole and statements from a position of ignorance.

  • Spuddie

    Cutting off military aid to a nation under constant conflict with neighbors has that implication. It may not be your intention, but it it can certainly be the result.

    They pay us well for the equipment we give them. They are our only reliable intelligence asset in the region. There is a trade surplus with Israel. The relationship goes in both directions.We benefit as much from it as they do.

  • lucky21

    If I remember something about ancient Israel there were laws saying to be kind to the outsider/alien. If this rabbi was obeying the law of Moses then he would have welcomed those Arab students with open arms.Unfortunately sometimes racism trumps following the spirit of the law.

  • Excuse me? Are you seriously claiming America isn’t racist? Go back to Cloudcuckoo Land, dude, America is racist as fuck!

  • Dude, you’re making me cringe. Seriously, time to drop the toy and have a nap. Come back later when you’ve got a clear head.

  • Oh, PLEASE.

    The “Palestinians” (who claim to be from a country that hasn’t existed in centuries) are not “stateless” by anything but choice. They could — and should! — integrate into Israeli society!

    Unfortunately, while the majority of “Palestinians” aren’t terrorists, they do actively support terrorists who take pride in using women and children as human shield. They have, in fact, repeatedly “elected” terrorists as their “head” of “state”.

    Palestinians? Any crap they get from Israel is well-deserved, as it’s rather uncivilised to fucking bomb women and children.

  • Worse — they’re still trying to do so, and on the maps they use in classrooms, Israel is erased.

  • Or the Palestinians pull their heads out of their asses, get civilised, and integrate into Israeli society.

  • Octoberfurst

    Wow, what an incredibly bigoted comment. You clearly have no clue as to what Palestinians are like. And how, pray tell, are they to “intergrate” into a country that doesn’t want them and treats them like dogs? Your comment is as about as appropriate as someone telling southern Blacks in the pre-civil rights days to “get civilized and integrate into White society.”

  • John
  • Hmmm…. I can’t recall a single instance of POC electing terrorists to government, or, for that matter, bombing women and children for just existing. Oh, or trying to utterly destroy the US, because “god said so”.

    Palestinians, on the other paw, do so to Israelis on the regular, and reap what they’ve sown.


    There is nothing “bigoted” about pointing that out.

  • Octoberfurst

    Menacham Began was a terrorist—he helped blow up the King David Hotel—and was elected Prime Minister. Ariel Sharon was convicted of being complicit in the massacre of Palestinians in the Shabra and Shatilla (sp?) camps in Lebanon and he too was Prime Minister. So your comment is untrue.
    And yes Israel bombs civilians constantly. They use fighter jets to bomb “suspected” terrorists and the bombs ALWAYS involve killing numerous civilians. (Imagine if the LAPD was going after a murder suspect and decided to just bomb the neighborhood they thought he was in. Oh sure they might or might not actually kill the suspect but they WOULD kill a hell of a lot of innocent people. Great way to enact “justice” huh?) And yet people wonder why the Palestinians are so angry at Israel.
    As for Hamas the people of Gaza elected Hamas because they were sick of the corruption and ineffectiveness of Fatah. (Desperate people do desperate things.) Immediately after the election of Hamas—which Israel helped created by the way as a buffer against Fatah—they sealed off Gaza and imposed strict sanctions. Nothing leaves or enters Gaza without permission and Israel lets in only the barest essentials. They are doing so to break Hamas but as with every ill conceived plan it backfired. (People don’t like to be told what to do or who to vote for.) Oh and by the way collective punishment is against international law but Israel doesn’t seem to care.
    Oh and you said that the Palestinians need to become “civilized”. If you don’t think that is a bigoted statement against a whole group of people then I feel sorry for you. If someone said that about Blacks would it be a racist statement? Think about it.
    In closing I suggest that you educate yourself on a topic before you spew talking points. Just sayin’.

  • The Starship Maxima

    And he sounds like a cross between Dirty Harry and The Terminator

    The Eli-nator: (extends hand to Arab kid looking for a place to stay) in thick accent Come with me if you want a room.

  • The Starship Maxima

    If I’m reading this right, it sounds like Israel’s version of the Tea Party has run amok.

  • Well, this I disagree with too. Palestinians can’t integrate into Israeli society, because of choices both Palestinians and Israelis have made. Palestinians aren’t Israeli citizens, they can’t move to Israel proper, they don’t really want to be part of Israel, and while Gaza elected Hamas the West Bank elected Arafat (I think calling him an ex-terrorist is probably accurate) followed by Mahmoud Abbas, who has worked very hard for peace. Also pointing out that Palestine hasn’t existed for centuries isn’t a very good argument, since Israel’s claim to a right to exist is based on a country that hadn’t existed for ~2,000 years. Now, one could argue that Jordan is the Palestinian nation and have a lot going for that argument, but it’s kind of moot at this point. Neither Jordanians nor Palestinians would accept that option.

    There’s a lot of terrible things going on from both sides, and also the West Bank and Gaza are not the same. The expansion of the settlements is a dire provocation, it steals land, it kicks people out of their homes … it’s as uncivilized to steal people’s homes as it is to bomb them, in my opinion. This is not a conflict in which any side is innocent, and if I am quite firm in my stance that Israel has a right to exist and to do so as a Jewish state, I am equally firm that its treatment of the Palestinians is and always has been a travesty (which is not to say that the Arab nations around Israel haven’t been equally bad. They have always used the Palestinians as a useful political football, increasing their misery at times in order to gain political points/concessions. They created the refugee crisis in 1948 by not letting in refugees, which was exacerbated by Israel when it took those territories in 1967, but the existence of the “refugee problem” is an Arab creation).

  • Bindar Dunit

    the article mentioned above was PUBLISHED in the UK Independent in November 2010!!…I’d like very much to know what has happened to Mr Tzavieli since that original story….however…and we all well know that the racism and apartheid mentality has gotten far worse than it was as reported then in 2010….please provide for new links if there are any ?? Here’s the original link:
    The Holocaust survivor whose life is in danger again

  • Bindar Dunit

    Artor….your statement is absolutely not correct…it is not composed “largely” of people who survived the holocaust!…20% first off are Palestinians…and at least half if not more of jewish settlers in Israel are “Mizrahi” or Arab Jews who came from Morocco (as did Vanunu’s family) or Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, etc…there is a large percentage who are of American origin of course and western Europe as well. In fact those who were transferred from DP camps in Europe post WW2 are now in their 80s or older and many of them have LEFT Israel to return to Germany for instance because Israel FAILS to support /take care of them adequately…living so meagerly that they cannot afford a taxi to medical clinics…Germany takes far better care of these elders who return to their homeland in Europe!! Yes, there is IRONY enough to go around…for sure.

  • Bindar Dunit

    you are therefore not aware or educated to the fact that the range of INDIGENOUS Native Americans was anywhere from 10-20MILLION PEOPLE…war, pestilence, starvation, by the ‘settlers’ on a ‘manifest destiny’….??!!!

  • Bindar Dunit

    As long as you persist in reading the worst most hyperbolized nonsense (frontpagemag) instead of reading the actual vast selection of HISTORICAL insight you will go off the cliff with your nonsense. Read real histories by historians who used Israel archives and military records not MYTHOLOGY and fantasies CREATED as propaganda…Ilan Pappe, David Hirst, Walid Khalidi, Tom Segev, Simha Flapan, etc all accessible online..can the hasbara!

  • You… you just spent a whole wall of text defending and justifying terrorism.

    Way to go.

  • Spuddie

    Took your advice. Took a nap. Had a cookie. =)

    The thing which irritates me is just the usual garbage trotted out all the time.

    If the story is “The Prime Minister of Israel gets a Migrane”, one can expect the following online comments with unerring regularity:

    1. Israel is a Nazi Fascist State!!!!!!!

    2. US money shouldn’t be going to Israel, just because. (mistaking the difference between foreign economic aid and military sales)

    3. Israel is an Apartheid State!!!

    4. Israel should not even exist

    It gets tiresome.

  • Octoberfurst

    Congratulations! You’ve attempted to totally avoid my points and made a strawman rebuttal. Good for you!
    You know darn well I was not justifying terrorism. I was responding to the errors in your comments. If you don’t want to admit you were wrong that’s fine. But don’t try to get all self-righteous and try to blame me for a point I never made.

  • I hear you on that.

  • Spuddie

    Menacham Begin, (like Gerry Adams) knew when to stop fighting and embrace peace with Egypt. Yitzhak Rabin was also a terrorist in his past, yet he had the sense to try to negotiate with the Palestinians.

    In contrast, Yassir Arafat used suicide bombers as negotiation tools and to maintain street cred with Hamas who still do not want peace.

    Hamas took control of Gaza in a gangland style massacre which makes the baptism montage in the Godfather look like a bake sale. Once they got elected in Gaza they stopped any pretension of democratic rule. They proved to be just as corrupt as Fatah was. You kind of overlooked that part.

    Most supporters of the Palestinians overlook the ongoing civil war between its factions which has been going on for more than a decade. Its beginnings were what ultimately this is what killed the Oslo Peace Accords. That civil war is also becoming a part of the Middle East Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran which has been off and on since 1979.

    Hamas has no intention of ruling Gaza in any fashion other than an armed camp under siege. They terrorize Gazans with Taliban-like edicts and deliberately fire indiscriminate barrages at Israel to provoke responses. They are thoroughly in the pocket of Iran who are using them as proxy soldiers.

    Fatah has become proxies of the Arab League in a more explicit manner than it has in the past. Their leadership however is hapless and corrupt. Somehow foreign aid ends up being the piggy bank for them.

    As for your analogy with Blacks, if 1) Malcolm X was getting arms from the USSR and Huey Newton was getting arms from China and 2) Canada and Mexico had a past history of warfare with the US and still lacked diplomatic relations, 3) The Bloods and Crips were the political parties for the Blacks; then it might be appropriate.

    The problem is right now Israelis have no real hope for peace with the Palestinians. There aren’t even reliable representatives for the Palestinians who could deliver a viable peace if Israel was entirely willing.

  • Octoberfurst

    I agree with most of your analysis. But I do disagree that your point that there are no reliable representatives among the Palestinian people which whom the Israelies could work with. As a whole Fatah is totally corrupt as is Hamas. But I have read about upcoming leaders in the Palestinian movement who give me hope. (I can’t recall their names at the moment.)
    I also disagree with your statement that Hamas shot its way into power. From everything I read the elections were fair and free. It was only logical that Hamas would win given the disgust most Gazan’s had for Fatah. But Hamas does rule by Taliban like edicts as you said. Sad but true.
    But you overlooked the fact that Israel also fires into Gazan territory. They frequent bomb “suspected terrorist” hide-outs which obviously kills many innocent people which in turn causes outrage and calls for revenge. It is quite a vicious circle.
    What is truly needed is for the US to be an honest broker in the Israeli/Palestinian issue. We do give Israel a blank check. We don’t tell them to stop building settlements and even when we make a mild suggestion that they stop doing so they just thumb their nose at us and continue on. This situation COULD be settled if we really cared about doing so. But we do not.

  • Spuddie

    One could hope for moderates to come out, but the climate of factional civil war and gangster politics did a lot to drive most of them out of the region since the late 90’s. I am not as optimistic you are on that one. If I see them and they manage to stay alive long enough, I will be happy. Until then, I am not so hopeful.

    As long as Fatah and Hamas are receiving funding from the Arab league and Iran, they have no real motivation to seek peace. They are well cared for,even if the people they claim to represent are treated like dirt.

    You may disagree with my characterization of how Hamas solidified its power, but it is what happened nonetheless. All of this is well documented and thoroughly reported on in the news. The elections may have been fair, but the aftermath was bloody. They killed Fatah members execution style and even “defiled” Arafat’s apartment in Gaza. They “purged” Gaza of Fatah in every sense of those words. People who support the Palestinians, especially in Gaza overlook these events.

    Peace means having to govern responsibly. Something neither of them have been willing to do. Hamas has a vested interest in keeping a conflict going with Israel. They are in Iran’s employ. Hamas intentionally invites reprisals from Israel because: 1) Gazans are expendable to them (more martyrs) and 2) being in a wartime footing means never having to answer questions about why there is no running water and food is scarce but plenty of RPGs and Katushyas.

    My hope is that responsible leaders don’t end up getting “purged” for opposing the current leadership or “the armed struggle”

  • CB

    There’s the ultra-orthodox in Israel, American Teabagging Dominionists, religious bigots of every shape and size in any number of new fascist parties in Europe from the Golden Dawn to UKIP to the French National Front. There are Hindu Nationalists, Basque and Irish separatists, Bloc Quebecois, and of course the ever-present al Qaeda types.

    The disease of the mind that these groups represent is worldwide.

  • Spuddie

    But we try not to give racism color of law.


    In most situations
    In an explicit fashion

  • CB

    You said the entire Israeli state. That could be interpreted to include people who find the behaviour of the ultra-Orthodox fascists revolting.

    It’s a subtle distinction.

  • Artor

    In my area, the chance of living next door to a Holocaust survivor is about 0.0002%. What is it in Israel? “Largely” is a relative term, and I didn’t use it to mean “over 50%” or anything like that. I’m not sure how anything you said refutes my statement. How am I “absolutely not correct?”

  • Artor

    The distinction between a State and it’s People seems pretty clear to me. I’m not sure what subtle nuances you’re imagining here.

  • Artor

    Somehow, the God of conservatives always seems to hate the same people they do. It’s convenient that way, huh?

  • CB

    Your state invaded Iraq. Did you invade Iraq?

  • Artor

    What part of my statements are you failing to understand? I really thought I was being explicitly plain, but you seem to have a completely different dialogue going on in your head. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can help you, since the words I use seem to mean something completely different to you.

  • brianmacker

    South Africa had state policies supporting racism. The US does not have such policies. So it is a correct statement even if you think it is “stupid”.

  • brianmacker

    The article is about group of people in one town. You started a discussion on a different topic. US aid, and then focused it on Israel. It is no surprise that anti-semites will be attracted to an article with this title.

  • brianmacker

    That’s ridiculous. Arabs in Israel have full rights to vote. Whereas in surrounding countries, in most cases, and for most of the time they had no right to vote. So your claim they are treated terrible in this regard is absolutely false. The fact that you lie about this is bolstering my belief you are in fact an anti-semite.

    This is also not moral relativism (which BTW does not mean what you think it does).

    You are just plain ignorant.

  • brianmacker

    wmdkitty, Really name a racist policy of the Obama administration.

  • brianmacker

    I already demonstrated that Richard Thomas was employing a falsehood on the issue of democracy. He claimed with sarcasm that it wasn’t a democracy. Well it is, and one where Arabs can not only vote but where many have been elected to the Knesset.

  • Oh, let’s see… there’s the entire criminal justice system, wherein people of colour are routinely given longer/harsher sentences for same or similar crimes as committed by white folks.

  • brianmacker

    We stole land from the Native Americans. We didn’t buy the land from them the way the Israelis bought land from the natives when they were colonizing the area. We are not ignoring theft of land. That is illegal. You are apparently ignorant of how some of that land came into possession of Israel, and you who are ignoring the theft of land and property from all the Jews evicted from Arab countries. You really need to read that link I posted, because you have a very naive view of the situation. You sound about as hateful and ignorant as Richard.

  • brianmacker

    That is not at all sneaky if you know the actual history of the area. You have an extremely biased view of the situation. Israel has, over and over, bent over backwards but it is impossible to deal with a group of people who want to exterminate you. Read that link.

  • Neko

    South Africa had state policies supporting racism. The US does not have such policies.

    It did until relatively recently in history. The US sure as hell is a racist country! Movement conservatism thrives on it. Note that the Reagan administration and the conservative revolution it inspired supported the apartheid regime in South Africa.

  • brianmacker

    That was historical insight. Read it, learn it. absorb it.

    Aburish, said Arafat, from Defender to Dictator
    Ajami, Fouad Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generations Odyssey
    Avneri, Arieh Claim of Dispossession
    Bard, Mitchell The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East Conflict
    Idem (1991) Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
    Cohen-sherbok The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Beginner’s Guide
    & el-Alami
    Coopersmith, nechemia Israel Life in the Shadow of Terror
    & simmons, shraga
    Dershowitz, Alan The Case for Israel
    Fischbach, Michael Records of Dispossession
    gilbert, Martin The Arab-Israel Conflict in Maps (1977)
    Idem The Routlege Atlas of the Arab Israel Conflict: 2002
    gold, Dore Hatred Kingdom
    gottheil, Fred “Arab Immigration into Palestine”, Middle East Quarterly,
    X:1, winter, 2003, pp. 53ff
    Hart, Alan Arafat: Terrorist or Peace Maker (Authorized biography)
    Hitti, Philip The Arab Awakening
    Kanaana, sharif “Deir Yassin,” Monograph no. 4, Destroyed Palestinian
    & Zitawi, nihad Villages Documentation Project (Bir Zeit: Documentation
    Center of Bir Zeit university), 1987
    Kanaana, sharif “Reinterpreting Deir Yassin,” Bir Zeit univ. (April 1998).
    Karsh, E. & I. Empires of the Sand: 1789-1923 (1999)
    Karsh, Ephraim Fabricating Israeli History: The “New Historians” 1997
    Idem Arafat’s War (2003)
    Idem “Arafat’s grand strategy”, Middle East Quarterly, 8.3.04
    Katz, samuel Battle Ground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine
    Laqueur, W. The Israel Arab Reader
    & Rubin, B. (Eds)
    Lewis, Bernard The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2000 Years
    Loftus and Aarons The Secret War Against the Jews
    Lozowick, Yaacov Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars
    MacLeod, scott “Inside saudi Arabia”, Time Magazine, 10/15/01 pp 60 ff
    Mandel, neville The Arabs and Zionism Before World War I
    McCarthy, Justin The Population of Palestine, 1990
    Pacepa, Mihai Red Horizons
    Patai, Raphael The Arab Mind
    Peters, Joan From Time Immemorial
    Rees, Matt “Torn Apart”, Time Magazine, 6.18.01 (34ff)
    Idem “The Enemy Within”, Time Magazine, 8.27.01 (30ff)
    Rubin and Rubin Yasir Arafat: A Political Biography
    Rubinstein, Danny The People of Nowhere
    sachar, Howard A History of Israel: Rise of Zionism to Our Time (2003)
    scholch, Alexander Palestine in Transformation: 1857-1882
    shafir, gershon Land , Labour, and the Origins of the
    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: 1881-1914
    shapira, Anita Land and Power: the Zionists resort to force: 1881-1948
    smith, Charles Palestine and the Arab-Israel Conflict
    stein, Kenneth The Land Question in Palestine: 1917-1939
    sufian, sandy Mapping the Marsh (Ph.D. Thesis, Rutgers univ., 1999)
    Walsh, Elsa “The Prince”, The New Yorker Magazine, 3/24/03, 49ff

  • brianmacker

    Prove that claim is true, is caused by the Obama administration, and has been adjusted for confounding variables other than racism. For example, if black criminals refuse plea deals more often than white criminals that would tend to cause them to have longer sentences when they get convicted. Also adjust for the many other variables, like place of residence, income, etc.

  • brianmacker

    It did and could rightly be called racist then. That wasn’t the claim. The claim was about now.

  • Neko

    It’s still both a culturally and government-sponsored racist nation. For example: rollback of civil rights protections and introduction of voter ID laws designed to disenfranchise minority voters.

  • It’s SYSTEMIC, dumbass, and mostly the result of racist policies and societal attitudes.

  • CB

    I understand you perfectly. You have to be careful with your word choice if you don’t want to be misunderstood.

    Did you invade Iraq?

    Would you not be offended if someone said the entire American state invaded Iraq?

    Wouldn’t that include you? Are you responsible for that behaviour?

  • Artor

    Please go back and read what I wrote before. I didn’t use particularly big words, so there is no reason for you to misunderstand me. I am not the American State. The common people in Israel are not the Israeli State. The US is guilty of international crimes, and I fully condemn them, but I did not have any part in making those decisions, nor do I hold the people of Israel accountable for the actions of their government, unless they individually supported and participated in those crimes.
    I thought I had made that clear, over & over, but you keep misinterpreting me. I really can’t figure out what your problem is.

  • CB

    Maybe what you don’t realise is that there is an active anti-Semitism in certain parts of the left-wing on the West Coast.

    I was actually surprised when I first encountered it, but I won’t deny it’s here.

    Both Israel and the USA are representative democracies (to a greater extent than many other places in the world).

    You are a part of the entire American state, just like any Israeli opposed to the settlements is a part of the entire Israeli state. You didn’t make an exception for these people, you simply said their behaviour was ironic… which it isn’t.

    You have to be careful with semantics, or people will think you’re blaming the group for the actions of the individual… which is what the Orthodox fascists do with Palestinians.

  • Artor

    There is active anti-Semitism everywhere. How were you surprised to find it on the West Coast? This is not news.
    I have been very clear with my semantics, and I’m bewildered that you somehow can’t seem to understand the point I have made explicitly clear, over and over.
    No, I am NOT part of the American State. I hold no elected position, and I refused to give Obama my support last election, because of what he did after my first vote for him.
    You seem determined to put words into my mouth, despite my direct denials of your interpretation. I can’t be any clearer if you can’t give up your own deep -seated anti-semantic attitude.
    This thread has gotten to be really, really stupid. Please drop it.

  • CB

    Anti-Semitism is the kind of thing I’ve grown up to think of as associated with illiterate, Right-wing Bible bangers (maybe this is before the whole helping the Jews bring about the rapture nonsense, I dunno).

    I was surprised to find people marching in the streets of SF accusing the state of Israel of doing something it didn’t do! That tenuous grasp on reality is to me more Teabagger-style.

    lol! But you are part of the entire American State! It’s a government of, by and for the people.

    Unless and until you’re chatting with me from the sovereign, independent nation of Jefferson, your logic makes you as ironic in your state’s support for slavery as the Israelis who oppose apartheid are in their state’s support for that apartheid.

    Why did you need to use the word “entire”? What’s the difference between an entire state and a state?

  • brianmacker

    Voter ID laws are to prevent voter fraud. It is not a rollback of civil rights. It is inherently racist to assume blacks are too stupid to get a voter id. Funny how this argument isn’t used with regards to gun registration, which BTW, was in fact initially instituted on racist grounds. Nor is it used with Obamacare which requires ID. The ID is required to enter the DNC convention, vote as a United Auto Worker, .

    Here are some minority opinions on the subject:
    Even Obama is for voter ID, … in Kenya.

  • brianmacker

    You don’ t think I’ve heard the left use the term “systemic” before? Perhaps you don’t understand that word. It is a term generally used by the left when in fact the system does not support racism, and they cannot point to any actual “racist policy”. That’s what they “adjust for variables” talk was about. You are claiming not only that something exists but presuming a cause for it. Perhaps the cause is the “societal attitudes” that gang bangers have towards their victims. Singing about popping a cap in some ho’s ass. When you do some actual adjusting for variables, get back to me.

  • Neko

    Voter ID laws are to prevent voter fraud.

    Nonsense. The incidence of voter fraud in the US is statistically negligible. The voter fraud issue is a manufactured crisis designed to promote legislation making it more difficult for poor minorities to vote. Fraud has nothing to do with it; creating obstacles for voters is the prime motive.

    Red State, the National Review, are you kidding me? Of course ultra-conservatives support voter ID laws; it’s in their interest to do so.

  • brianmacker

    “The incidence of voter fraud in the US is statistically negligible.”

    The levels of people caught is statistically negligible because we have no way of catching them. Which is why it is possible to walk into a voting booth and vote as Eric Holder.

    :”Fraud has nothing to do with it; creating obstacles for voters is the prime motive.”

    Not at all. You are imputing motives to others without any actual evidence. I, for instance, want voter ID to prevent fraudulent voting.

    The rest of your comment is bullshit. Preventing voter fraud is beneficial to everyone, because it makes your vote count.

    If you are too stupid or lazy to overcome the simple expedient of having an ID then I gravely doubt your intelligence or due diligence in actually understanding the things you need to know to vote responsibly.

  • Neko
  • Neko
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