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Can liberal American Jews still support Modern Israel? - the country has changed and is not what you think it is anymore.

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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 4:42:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2011, 4:53:17 AM PST
truthsetter says:

Until When...

DVD docs that should help.

If you can play European DVDs I strongly urge the following from Amazon UK

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 5:39:14 AM PST
anne says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 7:25:18 AM PST
C.R. Knight says:
There are easily 600 American officials who belong in jail, but many of them also write the laws! Such as the insider trading deal in Congress. Also how corrupt were we at age 63, in 1839? We still had slavery and few women if any could vote, even locally.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 8:35:32 AM PST
But A, DarthRad is arguing that Israeli society is more restrictive, and more fundamentalist, and more discriminatory. Yet, you are arguing that Israeli society is much more of an open society. And according to DarthRad, Israelis really go after officials, who a suspected of corruption, instead of protecting them, as we do in America. Look at how much news that DarthRad is able to dig up, from Israeli sources, that conform to his worldview. Truly, its proof that his 'crying wolf' routine, about Orthodox Jews (whom he says are no better than Muslims) is untrue.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 8:37:59 AM PST
It's funny how you can recognize an Ilan Pappe fan, in their first sentence, or two. The purely partisan rhetoric, and poor grammer are so typical of them.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 8:40:44 AM PST
C. Renkin,

I love Mark Twain's 'The Gilded Age'. These days, it's practically an American history book, and an American current affairs commentary! It's really disturbing, how little things have changed.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 12:58:51 PM PST
patrick says:
what a spitting rant...

this cracks me up..

"Top that off with an insane warmonger regime that wants to start WWIII with Iran"

all the abuse and threats always come from Iran's direction, not Israel's
and you also talk about an "insane regime" in Israel, and mention Iran, in the same breath?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 7:17:51 PM PST
truthsetter says:
You are so convinced that Iran is insane fine so what then is sane about an Israeli Prime Minister who wants to start a war with them ?!
If you think someone is insane you don't keep baiting them into a fight
that is in itself insane.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 7:25:12 PM PST
truthsetter says:
Judaism is a religion it cannot and should not be used as the basis of a country. Iran should not be an Islamic Republic. You cannot describe a country on the basis of a religion that in Israel's case is colonial apartheid. European Jews have NEVER had any right to Palestine. We
NEVER came from there. All European Jews are descendants of Central Asian peoples at NO time in human history did our ancestors live in Palestine our forebearersw only converted to Judaism in the 9th century
co-opting a religion that mostly was practised by a minority of Arabs.
The entire Jewish mythology is a fiction. There is a real history of Jews that includes Pogrom and Holocaust but that is not the same thing.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 7:27:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2011, 7:30:17 PM PST
truthsetter says:
I hope you do take my suggestions and understand that those fuming with hate against me and the Palestinians who tell you how moral and liberal Israel is show by their own example just how not liberal just how not moral they really are.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 7:54:39 PM PST
Why? I mean, if I am convinced that a lunatic is going to attack me, then why wouldn't I want to fight them, on my terms, rather than theirs? You're a rather shrill one, aren't you?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 7:57:26 PM PST
You don't get a say in whether or not another country should adopt religious or secular values. You only get a say in the social and political form of your own country. Your thinking is a modern form of western style imperialism, in which you believe that the people of other lands should live according to your values.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 7:59:53 PM PST
Yes, I'm sure the Israelis are very immoral, what with them firing rockets into Gaza, making the destruction of the Palestinian state a part of the Zionist charter, and all of the Jewish suicide bombers, and all.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 8:09:32 PM PST
Susanna says:
Don't forget the (dis) "honor" killings! Or the baby decapitations!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011, 11:28:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2011, 11:31:11 PM PST
Aluf B. says:

Poland is run as Roman Catholic Country and so does Mexico and many Latin American countries.
Mexico has separation of Church and State, since Benito Juarez and latter with the battle with the Cristeros, in the 1920s-30s, but the Church has a lot power behind the scenes. For example, If Mexico wanted to reduce its population, the Church complained, so the government called it "Responsible paternity." Amen.And if the Pope has gone twice to Mexico, it is because Protestantism is making an inroad and so are Mormons.
*Israel is the ONLY Jewish country, and of course, we will do things the Jewish way, but as you also know we go secular because the founding father of Israel were socialists. There is very little that the Orthodox Jews have control over the country if you can find pork being sold there too.*

Jews are,sorry to repeat this a thousand times, a religion, a people, a nation. All in one complexity intertwined.

If non-Jews, or American Jews ,who don't like Israel, want to separate these three parts, they are in trouble .......................because the skeins are very intertwined. What is Jewish? Part of all Jews in Israel and the Diaspora, Israel as a nation State and the religion. Sorry if that is NOT understood.

They should leave Israel alone and go to Tibet, Kashmir, and other places that need immediate help.

Rachel :-)

Posted on Nov 18, 2011, 7:16:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2011, 7:23:18 AM PST
truthsetter says:
So you will not believe me eh ? Is there anyone who is deeply critical of Israel that you would
believe. ? Try these guys

Israeli soldiers who with courage risking retribution speak out against the crimes they have been ordered to carry out and the nature of the occupation.

Here is their ABOUT US statement

Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. We endeavor to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population's everyday life.

Soldiers who serve in the Territories witness and participate in military actions which change them immensely. Cases of abuse towards Palestinians, looting, and destruction of property have been the norm for years, but are still explained as extreme and unique cases. Our testimonies portray a different, and much grimmer picture in which deterioration of moral standards finds expression in the character of orders and the rules of engagement, and are justified in the name of Israel's security. While this reality is known to Israeli soldiers and commanders, Israeli society continues to turn a blind eye, and to deny that what is done in its name. Discharged soldiers returning to civilian life discover the gap between the reality they encountered in the Territories, and the silence about this reality they encounter at home. In order to become civilians again, soldiers are forced to ignore what they have seen and done. We strive to make heard the voices of these soldiers, pushing Israeli society to face the reality whose creation it has enabled.

We collect and publish testimonies from soldiers who, like us, have served in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem since September 2000, and hold lectures, house meetings, and other public events which bring to light the reality in the Territories through the voice of former combatants. We also conduct tours in Hebron and the South Hebron Hills region, with the aim of giving the Israeli public access to the reality which exists minutes from their own homes, yet is rarely portrayed in the media.

Founded in March 2004 by a group of soldiers who served in Hebron, Breaking the Silence has since acquired a special standing in the eyes of the Israeli public and in the media, as it is unique in giving voice to the experience of soldiers. To date, the organization has collected more than 700 testimonies from soldiers who represent all strata of Israeli society and cover nearly all units that operate in the Territories. All the testimonies we publish are meticulously researched, and all facts are cross-checked with additional eye-witnesses and/or the archives of other human rights organizations also active in the field. Every soldier who gives a testimony to Breaking the Silence knows the aims of the organization and the interview. Most soldiers choose to remain anonymous, due to various pressures from official military persons and society at large. Our first priority is to the soldiers who choose to testify to the public about their service.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011, 7:31:05 AM PST
truthsetter says:
Here is another Israeli voice

AMY GOODMAN: Human rights groups and Palestinian officials say over 1,400 Palestinians, including over 900 civilians, were killed in what Israel calls "Operation Cast Lead." Israel disputes the figures, claiming less than 300 civilian deaths. The Israeli Defense Forces-led investigation concluded last month there was no evidence of serious misconduct by its troops.

I'm joined now by the renowned Israeli journalist Amira Hass, regular columnist for Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper. She has spent more than a decade living in and reporting from Gaza and the West Bank, the only Israeli journalist to do this, and returned to Gaza this year a few days after the official end of Israel's assault. She spent the next four months living in Gaza, documenting accounts of the war and its aftermath.

She is the author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege and Reporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land. Her latest book, out later this month from Haymarket Books, is a diary written by her mother, Hanna Levy-Hass, of surviving the notorious Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. It's called Diary of Bergen-Belsen, 1944-1945.

Amira Hass joins us in the firehouse studio now.

Welcome to Democracy Now!


AMY GOODMAN: It's great to have you with us. The latest news of the UN delegation, headed by the jurist Richard Goldstone of South Africa, being denied visas, so they're going through the Rafah border controlled by Egypt.

AMIRA HASS: This is not the first delegation and the first investigation committee that has been denied Israeli cooperation. There was one by the Arab League that came in February and also did not receive any cooperation on the Israeli part. And it's very strange. If they didn't have anything to hide, if the Israelis didn't have anything to hide, they would have gladly cooperated and given information to those very esteemed jurists, who have been - who have done a lot of important work dealing with other investigations all over the world. John Dugard led the other delegation, the first delegation of the Arab League. John Dugard is South African, just as Richard Goldstone is. And Richard Goldstone is also a Jew. And it is quite telling, or it is even incriminating, the Israeli refusal to cooperate with them.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think they're hiding?

AMIRA HASS: The truth. The truth that it was not an attack against the military threat, because the military threat that Hamas poses is very minor. Israel, for years, has had the need to exaggerate the Palestinian military threat. It served not only Israeli needs, it very often served also internal Palestinian needs, to exaggerate their own threat to Israel, because that's how they could maybe get more popularity in the Arab world, outside and inside the Palestinian community. So both - this exaggeration served both parties.

And, of course, Israel wants to hide - Israel built a presentation of the reality, not - it didn't allow the reality to come out easily, the reality of indiscriminate attacks against civilians, mostly civilians. I was there for four months. I found it hard to find - I mean, the majority of people that I met, bereft families, people whose houses were destroyed, people whose houses were occupied by the army, people who were victims to missiles, attacks either by drones or helicopters, or bombs dropped, or being killed or wounded by bombs dropped by war jets. I found it hard to find Hamas - direct Hamas activists, let alone combatants or people who are known to be combatants. There is no way to hide this - there is no way that the Israeli figures about casualties is correct.

I mean, I asked the Israeli army to give me their list of - which they say about 700 casualties that they claim, or 1,000 - I don't remember now. They refused to give me their list. I wanted the list to check name by name and then to compare with the list that Palestinian human rights organizations compiled and to see where the differences are. And they said they could not give me the list, because this would disclose their sources. In one specific question about two women who were killed in short - by short range from a tank, I asked, "Are these two women included in your list of casualties?" I didn't get an answer. So, the Israeli refusal to cooperate with information is very telling.

It's true that also Hamas are not telling much. But by being there, of course, you learn a lot. They don't tell much, because I think they don't want to tell that - or they don't want to break the myth that they could stand up against the Israeli army. They could not the Israeli army. And this is not shame. I mean, the discussion is whether one should - whether if you want to get to liberate the Palestinians from the Israeli occupation, whether the armed struggle or the - I call it the symbolic armed struggle, is indeed the way. This is the discussion. They have not - when you look at their abilities, when you look at their - the weapons that were smuggled in, those who sent them weapons did not send them sophisticated weapons at all. And there is no way they could stand up against the Israeli army. And this is something that the Israelis - both the Israelis and Hamas, I think, want to hide.

AMY GOODMAN: And Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, meeting with Ban Ki-moon Monday, saying the UN should investigate Hamas's rockets, not the alleged war crimes by Israel?

AMIRA HASS: I think that they have - I mean, everybody was talking about the rockets, and I think that the - let me ask you, you know the city of Sderot, right? You are familiar with this. Do you know Ben-e Have you ever mentioned in your program the village Bani Suhaila? How many people know about Beit Hanoun? How many people knew about Abasan? All these - how many people know - knew about Zeitoun? All these Palestinian neighborhoods and villages which were a victim of Israeli attacks. We only know about Sderot.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, it's interesting. Journalists could get to Sderot.

AMIRA HASS: Exactly, yes, of course.

AMY GOODMAN: The Israeli military let them get to Sderot, but not to Gaza.

AMIRA HASS: Exactly, and not to Abasan in order to see and not to - yeah. So it's a chutzpah. I mean, really, it's even tiring to discuss it. So, everybody knows about the rockets, Hamas rockets, on the country. People had the impression that the whole thing - that history started with the rockets, that the history of Israeli-Palestinian conflict started with the rockets, which is, of course - which doesn't mean, you know - there is a lot of criticism, internal criticism, within the Palestinian society about the rockets, the use of rockets. It's obvious that rockets did not liberate Gaza, did not liberate Palestine, and they cause more harm to the Palestinians than they even cause to the Israelis.

I asked once two activists of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, of the Hamas armed wing, I asked them, "Why do you do that?" I mean, it was back in 2003, 2004. And they told me, "We want to teach the Israelis a lesson. We want them to be afraid, just as we are, just as - not we, but just as our women and children are afraid." This was very interesting. So it is a competition about who can instill more fear. I asked this time when I was in Gaza, I asked an activist in the Islamic jihad, I said, "So, who is more afraid? You or the Israelis?" And he admitted that in this competition over fear, also the Palestinians are the losers.

AMY GOODMAN: Amira Hass, there's an article in the New York Times that says, "According to [...] newly disclosed data, about 58,800 housing units have been built with government approval in the West Bank [...] over the [past] 40 years. An additional 46,500 have already obtained Defense Ministry approval within the existing master plans, awaiting nothing more than a government decision to build." We're talking about a doubling almost --


AMY GOODMAN: -- of the settlements in the West Bank.


AMY GOODMAN: This as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says there will be no new Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, and illegal outposts there will be dismantled.

AMIRA HASS: Look, all settlement is illegal. So when we use the term "illegal outposts," it's misleading. It's unauthorized illegal settlements, while you have the authorized illegal settlements. This is the real distinction.

And the real problem is not these outposts. They are tiny. Most of them are tiny. And they just distract our attention from the real construction. Yeah, this has been Israeli success. And this is, by the way, one of the things I ask the Palestinians, and that's a problem. Neither the Palestinian so-called armed struggle - I call it symbolic armed struggle - and suicide - and terrorist attacks, both guerrilla and - guerrilla attacks and terror attacks against civilians, both these and Palestinian negotiation strategy have not stopped the settlements. On the contrary, the settlements grew in parallel, in tandem with the Oslo process and with the process of negotiations.

So, actually, Israel - you know, I asked once a Peace Now activist, and it was in '95 or so, I asked him, "Why did you drop the slogan that you had before '91 or before '93, the slogan of `no peace with the settlements'?" And he said, "If the Palestinians accept the settlements, actually, if Abu Mazen accepted some settlements, who are we to oppose him or to say differently?" It's true that with the Oslo agreement, Palestinians gave the impression that they could live with the settlements. And then you had the Geneva - Geneva talks or whatever, not talks, but the convention of some groups, that accepted the existence of two major settlements: Ma'ale Adumim and Givat Ze'ev. So, indeed, the Palestinians gave an impression that they will tolerate these settlements. And we - no, some Palestinians, not all, of course. Others say that it's too late now to dismantle the settlements. So, actually, it is - any solution which is based on the two states is obsolete.

AMY GOODMAN: Your evaluation, assessment of President Obama so far on the Israel-Palestine conflict, as he heads now to the Middle East, first to Saudi Arabia, then to Egypt?


AMY GOODMAN: And then to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

AMIRA HASS: Yeah. My evaluation, it's -- so far I see more hope invested in him than I see real inclinations to pressure Israel. I mean, all the statements that were said so far are encouraging, in the sense that he understands or his administration understands that there must be a way out of this deadlock. But there must be measures taken, such as freeze of sales of arms to Israel, freeze or stoppage of all support, financial support of Israel as long as it continues to build in the settlements. So these things are yet to be seen.

AMY GOODMAN: Amira Hass, I hope this is part one of our conversation this week, that when you come back to New York City, you'll be with us later in the week, because I particularly also want to talk about your mother's book that's out posthumously, Diary of Bergen-Belsen, as President Obama visits a concentration camp, as well. This is Democracy Now!, Our guest, Amira Hass, columnist for Ha'aretz newspaper, renowned Israeli journalist.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011, 8:18:24 AM PST
Clearly, in your worldview, all I would have to do, to turn the entire world against America, would be to post a bunch of things being said by Americans who say bad things about America, and the entire world would be persuaded by this.

Your biggest problem, is that you imagine that people are as dim-witted as you are. And then you wonder why people aren't persuaded by you.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011, 8:31:30 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
I agree completely, Iscah. The purpose of this thread seems to be to lament that Israel is becoming less socialist and less secular and more Jewish, not to say that there are not some legitimate concerns raised, such as how to deal with a growing population of people who live off welfare and don't serve in the military. But to pretend that Israel's problems getting along with Arabs has more to do with Hareidim and Russians than with the murderous actions and attitudes of the Arabs themselves strikes me as little more than willfully ignorant bigotry, as does the wholesale dismissal of halakhah simply because it does not comport with the poster's egalitarian or feminist point of view.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011, 8:33:55 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
You've gone to "Orthodox Jewish"? Had a Bar Mitzvah? Why is your profile laden with Islamic images? Can anyone spell the word "fraud"?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011, 8:57:38 AM PST
truthsetter says:
Whose profile is ladened witbh Islamic images and what images are those ?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011, 9:17:19 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
I wonder if the Rabbi who performed his bar mitzvah knew he was a Muslim.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011, 9:20:13 AM PST
bobby says:
Would like to thank the participants for helping me clarify my views.

Now I better understand that I had acted correctly when I tore up those lovely Certificates for the trees planted in my name in Isreal; and spoke out in front of my People (including 'Pioneer' relatives from Benjamina)
against the Invasion of Lebanon.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011, 9:26:41 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
DarthRad appears to be a fan of Chomsky. Do you need to know anything more?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011, 9:31:46 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
You're confusing people with facts, patrick.
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Initial post:  Nov 13, 2011
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