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Some Israelis Do the Right Thing, But Shin Bet Dithers

Rabbi Menachem Froman offers Korans to Palestinian governor to replace those burned in Yasuf mosque (Rita Castelnuovo/NYT)

Rabbi Menachem Froman offers Korans to Palestinian governor to replace those burned in Yasuf mosque (Rita Castelnuovo/NYT)

There is hardly sufficient repentance that can repair the damage to Israeli-Palestinian relations caused by the burning of the Yasuf mosque in an act of hooliganism by settlers from the nearby Tapuach settlement.  But some Jews are trying.

In this image, Rabbi Menachem Froman, a founder of the Gush Emunim movement turned Hamas interlocutor, led a group of his followers to the village of Yasuf, where they were promptly turned back by the IDF and Border Police who appeared reluctant to allow Jews to be seen apologizing to Muslims for the violence.

Fortunately, the Palestinian provincial governor of the region met them at the roadblock and graciously accepted the Korans they offered to replace some of the holy books burned by the pogromists.

Bibi Netanyahu released this almost laughable statement given the fact that the Israeli police know where the hooligans came from and likely know who perpetrated the crime, but have not apprehended anyone:

He said he had ordered the security services to try to “apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice as quickly as possible.”

About as quickly as the Tel Aviv gay killer has been apprehended (not yet, months after the attack).

Perhaps the reason for such poor performance has something to do with the kid gloves with which the Shin Bet handles Jewish settler terrorists.  Didi Remez brings word via Haaretz that the intelligence agency which is supposed to monitor and prevent Jewish terror attacks has developed an innovative new tool in its arsenal: the “warning talk.”  Yes, I kid you not:

…Over the past three months five right-wing activists were summoned to warning talks, where they were told by GSS men that they saw them as responsible for the ‘Price Tag‘ events.

Clearly, the gloves are off and with such tough new tactics they’ll crack the terror ring and root it out pronto.  One of those summoned wrote of his palpable fear in the face of his tough interrogators:

But it turns out that even the General Security Service of the State of Israel, comprised of expert psychologists and the best and smartest professionals in the country cannot overcome a simple Jew who believes in blessed G-d!

I tell you, Israeli agents really have their priorities straight.  They beat up non-violent protesters and dislocate the shoulder of a Ben Gurion University lecturer protesting the eviction of Palestinians from their home; and they practically offer a cup of tea to settlers allied with the pogromists who burned a Palestinian mosque to cinders.

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  • Judy December 14, 2009, 3:33 AM

    Doing the right thing would be for the Rabbi to gather his fellow illegal settlers, pack up their belongings, and head back over the Green Line.

    In the big picture, the continued presence of the settlers is far more damaging than the desecration of a single religious buildng.

    • myron joshua December 14, 2009, 4:58 AM

      You are right about the “big picture”..That is why anything that anyone can do in the “little picture” is important.

      More than to put on a show for the world, i know that these people want to change Jewish Israeli perspectives. It is true that some of them seem naive and have an almost mystical belief in the possibility of living in one large state/confederation with open boundaries and no national sovereignty in Holy Jerus.

      On the way though they pave for the possibility of better relations no matter what the specific political solution is..if it ever comes. I do not think that these actions postpone that solution in any way.

      • Shirin December 14, 2009, 11:49 PM

        PS It is very difficult to reconcile the reality that the saintly Rabbi Froman has been associated with the vicious and hateful Moshe Levinger and his gang in Hebron. Not that Gush Emunim in general have ever been a bunch of angels with nothing but good intentions toward the people they have displaced and whose resources they have exploited for so many years. It’s just that Levinger is at the extreme end even of that spectrum of nastiness.

        • Richard Silverstein December 15, 2009, 1:14 AM

          I’ve written a few posts about Froman. He’s quite a throwback to ancient Biblical prophetic archetypes. A pure religious moralist for the good and for the bad. I admire him, but he alternately can drive me up a tree. I don’t think he & Levinger would have much in common now.

          • Shirin December 15, 2009, 9:08 AM

            Has Froman had an epiphany somewhere along the way along the lines of “Amazing Grace” – “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see”? Is he still a leader of Gush Emunim? I ask because I have not followed his career for quite a while.

            It appears that Zionists like Froman – and Myron – are trying to have the Palestinians’ cake and eat it too. I do not trust people who wound with one hand and apply band aids with the other.

    • Shirin December 14, 2009, 11:43 PM

      Doing the right thing would be for the Rabbi to gather his fellow illegal settlers, pack up their belongings, and head back over the Green Line.

      I could not put it better.

  • myron joshua December 14, 2009, 4:54 AM

    Richard, i don’t think i can argue with the general tone and analysis you give..but it seems (that at least for political reasons) the villagers did not want settlers entering. I think this is a valid understandable demonstrative act.

    (see this article from the Maan newsagency. (Palestinian)
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=246526 )

    The fact that area governor was willing to meet at all is commendable and perhaps courageous. (Although Froman is so well known in Palestinian circles..)

    A survey of media coverage points out the sad fact that the Palestinians in any coverage are almost nameless, even if they are the Regional Governor…This is symptomatic of a huge problem.

    • Mary December 14, 2009, 8:37 AM

      “Warning talks”? Are they serious?

      “Shlomo, we called you in today because we think you’re thinking of doing something naughty in the West Bank. Now, you know that’s not very nice, and you will also upset Mr. Netanyahu. You know he doesn’t like to have to make excuses for the atrocities we commit against the Arabs (although he’s very good at it). Look, Shlomo, why not just wait for our president to take care of this silly little Palestinian problem? You’ll even get some money out of it, too. Now, here’s some candy for the kids. I’m glad we had this little chat. Shalom!”

  • The Hasbara Buster December 14, 2009, 6:56 PM

    A very good post. Israeli equivocation is outrageous. Settlers get away with land theft, murder, schoolgirl-stoning and now mosque-burning. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they enjoyed IDF protection as they torched the house of prayer.

    Israel’s investigations that don’t investigate are as farcical as its settlement freeze that doesn’t freeze.

    • Shirin December 15, 2009, 12:03 AM

      Come on, HB! You sound as if you believe that the colonists and the Israeli governments are two different entities with different long-term goals. I am sure you understand better than that. I am sure you know very well that the colonists are helping the Israeli governments (including that of the saintly Yitzhak Rabin) fulfill their long-term goals as laid out in the Alon plan, originally formulated by Yigal Alon just a few weeks after the 1967 war ended (and Israel-apologists are shocked – SHOCKED! – at the suggestion that the Israeli government has always intended to colonize and annex the West Bank and East Jerusalem as if they never heard of Yigal Alon and his plan).

      • Mary December 15, 2009, 6:46 AM

        The Israeli government and ALL of the Israeli people are responsible for the illegal settlements and all that happens as a result of them. They allowed the settlements to be built knowing they’re illegal and are stealing Palestinian land and water. The government assisted by providing utilities and building roads linking the settlements to the towns and cities. It looked the other way when each outpost was built, and despite the Oslo agreement it did not dismantle any of them.

        Shirin, you are absolutely correct; the colonization of the West Bank and E. Jerusalem was planned in 1967. There is no doubt about it now. Netanyahu is going to be pouring money into maintaining these settlements which is the final stamp on their legitimacy.

        For the average Israeli to claim that they didn’t know this, and for them to blame the mosque fire on a few fanatical settlers, is sheer hypocrisy.

  • Andrew December 14, 2009, 8:58 PM

    Fortunately, the Palestinian provincial governor of the region met them at the roadblock and graciously accepted the Korans they offered to replace some of the holy books burned by the pogromists.

    That’s good news to hear. The New York Times article on the incident tried to portray the IDF as protecting the visitors from angry, unforgiving residents.

    An even better idea would be to get a donation going to buy building materials and new korans (hopefully from Palestinian publishers, if some can be found) for the village.

    they practically offer a cup of tea to settlers allied with the pogromists who burned a Palestinian mosque to cinders.

    This is indeed one of the major problems with Israel upholding its own promises and obligations with regards to the Peace Process. The very people most necessary to enforce the rules and stop those who will use violence, if necessary, to violate them, are lukewarm at best towards the enforcement process.

    I do not know what a solution for this would be, other than for pro-Peace Process Israelis to continue putting pressure on those agencies to follow those rules, and if possible to get people into the relevant positions who are supportive of doing so.

  • josh December 15, 2009, 3:08 PM

    Why did the residents of Kfar Yassouf rush to fix the damage? Any investigation is surely hindered by this. I suppose that Jack Teitel will be blamed.

    • Mary December 15, 2009, 3:45 PM

      What kind of investigation? forensics??? Did you think anyone would bother with that, since it’s only a mosque in the West Bank and not a synagogue?? The only investigation is going to be just a few questions being asked, and then the whole thing will be swept under the rug, as usual.

    • Richard Silverstein December 15, 2009, 6:10 PM

      Oh, you mean the non-existent investigation that the Israeli police should have done but didn’t? And wouldn’t have done even if the residents had left the mosque is tatters for yrs. Puh-leeze. Do give me a break.

      Jack Teitel is in prison & can’t burn down synagogues unless he gets off or get pardoned by the next Israeli president as seems to happen to Jewish terrorists oh so often. But there are hundreds of settler shahids lining up to burn down their very own mosque so they can notch it on their belt as yet another victory against the insects otherwise known as Muslims.

  • Don December 17, 2009, 2:28 PM

    No one has incontrovertible evidence that Israelis did the deed. Indeed the Palestinians cleaned up the site before the Israeli police got an opportunity to examine the damage. On another issue where do you come off saying the mosque was burned to cinders by pogromists? A bunch of left wing, Arab loving nonsense. Wake up before your “friends” slit your throats!

    • Richard Silverstein December 17, 2009, 9:24 PM

      No one has incontrovertible evidence that Israelis did the deed.

      Who had motive & opportunity?? If not settler hooligans of whom there are so many who did it? The Palestinians did it to themselves right? Is that like a woman raping herself & then blaming a man she hates? You’re just trying to deflect attention fr. the real culprits who, I should add would’ve already been caught in most other western democratic countries in which terror is fought w/o blinking.

      A bunch of left wing, Arab loving nonsense.

      I don’t so much love Arabs as hate hooligans, vandals & pogromists passing themselves off as good Jews.

      Wake up before your “friends” slit your throats!

      You’re the only one around here talking of slitting throats. What could that mean?

    • Mary December 18, 2009, 6:12 AM

      An Islamophobic bigot joins the party. Welcome, Don. But be forewarned: we do not suffer insults lightly. Some of us here are Muslims, and most of us here don’t accept the kind of remarks you put forth in the last two sentences of your comment. They are unnecessarily antagonistic and hateful.

      The evidence is very strong against the settlers; it is ludicrous to imply that little green men, radical Muslims, Hindu fakirs or frustrated housewives committed this crime. Your implication that the villagers cleaned up the mess in order to prevent an investigation is duly noted, even though they had no reason to believe any Israeli investigation would even occur.

    • William Smart December 19, 2009, 12:22 AM

      Don’s other claims include an inverted blood-libel whereby Palestinians shoot and kill their own children. They’ve never been known to do that or shown any inclination to do it, but nice Israeli soldiers couldn’t have done it and been caught on camera, now could they? No matter how many 100s of times they’ve been known to do it!

  • Don December 18, 2009, 6:39 AM

    Have no fear folks! I have no intention of upsetting your applecart. I just wanted to see for myself what the “political tone” is here and you have answered it. “Torah believing Jews are not verbally tolerated”. Mary, enjoy your “tainted” world. I wouldn’t want to cause you any consternation. By the way, years ago I studied Ulpan Hebrew with a teacher whose family went back several generations in Hebron. Her family was one of the only ones to escape having their throats slit by their neighbors. Wonder who they could have been?

    • Mary December 18, 2009, 7:13 AM

      Still carrying a grudge, Don? Join the party. There are a few million Palestinians still remembering the massacres committed in 1948 and later, first by the Irgun and the Haganah, and then by the IDF. A violent history, no?

      In what sense is my world “tainted”, Don? I am not the one who trolls blog sites and tests their “political tone” by making outrageous statements and accusations. We try to be a better class of people here, not the usual hasbarat losers who think they can turn back the tide against the world’s seeing the truth about Israel.

      You cannot defend what the settlers did to this mosque; it is not possible. It was a despicable act and cannot be ameliorated by your coming here and talking about Hebron and people having their throats slit many years ago. That is a nonsensical argument simply because two wrongs don’t make a right. Mutual death and destruction have wrought nothing but more death and destruction.

      But that is typical hasbara, isn’t it? You hasbarats cry about massacres and wrongdoing by Palestinians yet do not mention that such things don’t occur in a vacuum. For every action there is a reaction; Israel acts and Palestine reacts. No one is innocent. I could say that about Hebron, for sure. And about a whole lot of other things.

      BTW, no one said anything here about not “verbally tolerating Torah believing Jews.” Whatever that means.

      • Don December 18, 2009, 7:29 AM

        One last question, Mary. Have you ever been to Israel and if so in what capacity?

        • Mary December 18, 2009, 8:00 AM

          Yes. The capacity is private information and is none of your business.

        • Richard Silverstein December 18, 2009, 4:35 PM

          “Capacity?” What does that mean?

          • Mary December 18, 2009, 5:21 PM

            I think he wants to know if I traveled there as a human being or as cargo.

          • Richard Silverstein December 18, 2009, 9:28 PM

            Or as a terrorist or perhaps as Queen of Sheba.

          • Mary December 19, 2009, 6:02 AM

            Seriously, I almost said that :)

    • Richard Silverstein December 18, 2009, 4:48 PM

      “Torah believing Jews are not verbally tolerated”.

      That’s a lie. There are many Orthodox Jews who post here & read this blog. Some agree w. me and many don’t. But I have never ever said or written anything of the sort. The only Jews who are not welcome here are those who express overtly violent feelings toward non-Jews or their fellow Jews.

      Her family was one of the only ones to escape having their throats slit by their neighbors.

      I see. So Hebron’s Jews are the only injured party here & no Palestinian has ever suffered a similar fate? Besides, the injustice committed against the Jews of Hebron justifies the heinous abuse & Nazi-like slogans graffitied all over the former central market in Hebron by so-called Jews? Are you genetically wired only to perceive the suffering of Jews? Which gene would that moral blindness be associated with?

      • Don December 18, 2009, 6:21 PM

        I wasn’t going to reply and leave you to revel in your own blindness. However I am going to respond just one more time. I wanted to know if Mary went as a tourist or in some official “capacity”. Now as for myself, here goes. I have been to Israel over 15 times. Between 1977 and 1986 I served as a volunteer dentist on a kibbutz (Gvaram) for a month at a time yearly. I am a past international president of a worldwide Jewish dental organization. Our name graces the entrance to the dental schools at Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University. I am a founding supporter of both dental schools and my organization (Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity) ran and supported dental clinics in Sderot, and Kyriat Malachi. I helped raise over $20,000 to help rebuild the kindergartens of Sderot that your “friends” the Palestinians indiscriminately rocketed for some 8 years. I lost a good friend to your Palestinian friends when last year a rocket landed next to her auto. She was my nurse at kibbutz, a 70 year old widowed grandmother. Sure your friends, they are defending themselves, by bombing and rocketing and wrapping themselves with explosives to kill as many innocents as they can.
        Yes Richard Silverstein I am genetically wired and as an 80 year old Jewish American I find you and your flawed logic despicable.
        Now people you don’t have to worry about an Islamophobe, besmirching your sacred sanctity. I am signing off but tomorrow at Torah study I will pray for your misguided souls.
        Shabbat Shalom or is that out of place here.

        • Mary December 18, 2009, 6:58 PM

          Rockets fired into Israel are not unprovoked, Don. I see you choose to ignore the fact of a 61-year military occupation. I don’t care if you went to Israel as Mother Theresa or Jesus Christ; you are a bigot who also fails to see the suffering of non-Jews under the brutality of this zionist enterprise otherwise known as ethnic cleansing.

          You Zionists stole Palestine, and you can’t understand why there has been no peace all these years? Are you serious?

          The killing of innocents is something Israel specializes in. I suggest you do some research; the statistics are horrifying.

          You lost a friend last year? In Gaza, entire families have been murdered. In Bilin last year, unarmed children were shot in the head at close range by IDF soldiers during protests of the apartheid wall. I have friends whose young cousin, age 3, was severely maimed during the attack on Gaza last year. Imagine being a toddler who will wear a colostomy bag for the rest of her life, unless you can only acknowledge the suffering of Zionist Jews.

          In other words, Don, take your abuse elsewhere, I’m not interested.

        • Richard Silverstein December 18, 2009, 9:37 PM

          your “friends” the Palestinians indiscriminately rocketed for some 8 years.

          Why is it that Jews like you seem to believe that to be a Jew means you only care about other Jews. Not a word in your philanthropic vitae about helping Palestinians either in Israel or the Territories who needed dental assistance. Are their mouths different than Jewish mouths? Or perhaps your dental degree specified you could only perform dental procedures on Jews?

          While I feel sad for your loss of your friend, not a word for the loss of 1,400 Gazan lives during the last futile war. Not a word about volunteering dental assistance in Gaza, huh? BTW, Jews have gone to Gaza so pls. don’t offer exucses or snark about why you couldn’t possibly go.

          I find you and your flawed logic despicable.

          Right back at you bud. Not only is your logic flawed but you appear to be a genetically wired racist. Mazel tov. Quite an achievement for the people who suffered fr. the Holocaust to now inflict desperate suffering on another people by rationalizing & temporizing as you do.

          I will pray for your misguided souls.

          You simply can’t be Jewish to have written such a phrase. Only Christians talk that way. Jews don’t pray for the living in the way you’ve described. Not only that, even if you were claiming to do so you’re a liar. Everyone here knows you’re not going to do any such thing. Nor would we want you.

          I’ll be in shul as well tomorrow. And I won’t give you a single thought as you’re not worth one.

          • josh December 19, 2009, 12:20 PM

            Richard,
            unfortunately, you cannot deny some of the accusations. Going out on a limb to generalize about the people who claim to be Jewish leftist but are not really, they seem to care more about one side (Arabs) at the expense of the other side (Jewish).
            A real pro-Palestinian would care less about what Israel is doing to the Arabs and more about what the Arabs are doing to themselves. The [ongoing] corruption that the PLO/Fatah brought to ‘Palestine’, the Arab ‘militants’ who do not have a problem sacrificing other Arabs in their blood lust to attack Jews/Israelis, Hamas who are youtube documented with throwing opposing Arabs off of buildings and rounding up others and executing them after simple field trials.
            If all the leftists of the world would concentrate on stopping these attrocities carried out by Arabs against Arabs, peace would soon folllow. Until then, there can’t be real peace only more fake peace.

          • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 3:00 PM

            Jewish leftist but are not really, they seem to care more about one side (Arabs) at the expense of the other side (Jewish).

            The ONLY people who ever make this claim are radical right wing Jews like yrself. I don’t support the Arab side more than the Jewish side. That’s a smear which I deeply object to & it even violates my comment rules.

            I care much less about what the Arabs are doing to themselves than what the Jews are doing to themselves. That’s the main reason I write this blog, which is why it is laughable for you & your fellow right wing partisans to accuse me of being an Arab lover.

            The [ongoing] corruption that the PLO/Fatah brought to ‘Palestine’

            Maybe the PLO took lessons from Israeli pols who easily equal their Palestinian brethren in kleptitude.

            Arab ‘militants’ who do not have a problem sacrificing other Arabs in their blood lust to attack Jews/Israelis

            Israeli prime ministers who do not have a problem sacrificing young Israeli boys in their blood lust to avenge perceived military embarrassments (cf. Gaza war) by Arab military forces like Hezbollah in Lebanon & elsewhere.

            Hamas who are youtube documented with throwing opposing Arabs off of buildings

            The IDF who are YouTube-documented tying Palestinian children to the hoods of IDF jeeps, who are documented shooting bullets into the heads of wounded Palestinian girls who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, who are documented throwing a Palestinian teenager out of a jeep speeding at 30 mph & killing him, who are documented shooting a grenade at a Palestinian 10 yr old girl blowing part of her head away & killing her. All documented by the way. And how about that Jack Teitel who bombs an elderly Hebrew Univ. professor, helps with the shooting spree that murdered two Tel Aviv gay teenagers, & kills two Israeli policemen.

            If all the leftists of the world would concentrate on stopping these attrocities carried out by Arabs against Arabs, peace would soon folllow.

            If all the Jews of the world would concentrate on stopping these Israel atrocities carried out by Jews against Jews & Palestinians, peace would soon follow.

          • josh December 19, 2009, 4:29 PM

            Now you are talking weird.

            Even the police admits openly that Teitel is not associated with the Gay centre shooting or the policemen killings.

            As for ‘Jewish terrorists’, it seems that there just is not many of them to investigate. There is not Jewish terrorism, and if the past 15 years have shown anything, there are several Jews who have taken the law into there own hands. If you are looking at it from an Arab point of view, then yes they are screwed and have crappy public relations about their image because all violence carried out by them is automatically considered terrorism, yet it is not rare for the ‘unaffiliated’ Arab to commit an act of violence and get lumped into the ‘terrorist’ label. You pride yourself in your English, but in this case, I do not think it’s fair to be quick to pull out labels for easy stereotyping.

            And if you really did care about the Jews, and be a true leftist, then you’d admit that what is corrupting Israeli and Jewish society is the hijacking of it by the ‘peace camp’ who has forced us into a delirious downhill path to more death and conflict. Bringing Arafat back to legitimacy, bringing the corrupt PLO from Tunisia, giving the Arabs tens of thousands of machine guns, and frankly, rejuvenating their hope that they will get their alleged land back in Sheih Munis, Lod, Ramle, BeerSheva, Sini Ali, etc… The corruption is in the mass media suppressing opposing nationalistic views and making ‘etrogs’ of criminal politicians who are pushing ‘peace’ platforms they support.

            But the Israeli/ Jewish leftist is not a real leftist. Too many Labour and Meretz supporters, too many of my friends who think they are leftist all support racist segregation. They all love the separation fence. Didn’t Barak say, us here and them there? Segregation does not lead to peace, integration leads to peace. If anything, the years of Oslo have corrupted the left-wing of Israel to hijack the knesset into ramming through legislation without due process. A supreme court that gives fish farms in Eilat years of deliberations against a law that would shut them down but gives the residents of Gush Katif a collective two hours in a last minute hearing, completely ignoring their legal rights. That is corruption and a perversion of law that leftists are supposed to worship for the protection of the country’s citizens.

          • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 7:48 PM

            the police admits openly that Teitel is not associated with the Gay centre shooting or the policemen killings

            As usual, you provide no support for yr false claims. In fact, the attack on the policemen is one of the main charges against him in his trial which is currently underway. He is also accused of being the mastermind behind the Tel Aviv gay shootings though not the triggerman. He had a henchman fr. his settlement who did the dirty work. Both of these charges against him are widely documented in the Israeli press. Do you read Haaretz or Ynetnews or even JPost? Obviously not. They’ve all said these things explicitly.

            There is not Jewish terrorism,

            There have been scores of attacks by Jewish terrorists against fellow Jews and Palestinians. I republished a list of specific attacks with the number of dead as a post here. Why I am not surprised at yr moral blindness.

            I do not think it’s fair to be quick to pull out labels for easy stereotyping.

            You mean, it’s not fair to stereotype settlers as terrorists but it’s perfectly acceptable to stereotype Arabs & Muslims as such. Because Jews can’t be terrorists, but Arabs can & are.

            if you really did care about the Jews, and be a true leftist, then you’d admit that what is corrupting Israeli and Jewish society is the hijacking of it by the ‘peace camp’

            If I was a true leftist then I would denounce my own kind. Is that what you’re trying to say? Makes perfect sense to me.

            rejuvenating their hope that they will get their alleged land back

            No one had to “rejuvenate” Palestinian belief in the return of their land. The faith in this has been there since 1948 & will never be extinguished till the injustice is rectified.

            They all love the separation fence.

            Neither Labor nor Meretz are truly left parties. They are liberal parties. And yes many of their members betray true progressive values by supporting such things as the Separation Wall. That’s why I oppose the Wall (at least in its present configuration).

            integration leads to peace.

            If you were true to yr stated views you’d support full integration of Palestinians into Israel by making them citizens. Do you? You prob. define integration as us taking control of them & their land. That’s theft & domination, not integration. Integration is citizenship & full equality.

            I’m glad to know that you reject Israeli democracy by spitting on its Supreme Court. Yr true colors are flying for all to see.

            The occupation has corrupted them.

            The Occupation has corrupted EVERY Israeli political party, not just Kadima & Labor. Likud and the far right nationalist parties & especially the religious parties are all implicated in corruption.

          • Don December 19, 2009, 5:56 PM

            Richard, I don’t have to justify anything I have done, especially to you and or the rest of your group. I am going to end this conversation with a statement that you, Mary whoever she is and the others, but you especially, because you purport to be a Jew, make me sick to my stomach. Mary sounds like a Muslim with her Zionist hate and you sound very much like a Norman Finkelstein, a self hating Jew.

            The truth be told, I don’t have the time to waste, with the “Jew hatred” that manifests itself on this blog. Enjoy yourselves, regale each other with your hatreds of my Jewish people who have every right to be in the “Promised Land” and have had a presence there for over 2,000 years. Believe, as you must, the Muslim attempts to deny the existence of the Temples, and any other presence of the Jewish people. Ignore the long litany of mistreatment of the Palestinian people, by their own so called leaders. You wear blinders and cannot even see the entire landscape. Don’t ever question my motives, ever, because I have done more for my people and others than you could ever do in your little cocoon.

          • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 7:51 PM

            I have done more for my people and others

            No doubt in your own insular way you’ve done good for your fellow Jews. But “others?” I doubt it. You admit you’ve never donated any dental services to Palestinian patients in all the years in which you’ve served in Israel. Why is that?

          • Megat S. Merican December 19, 2009, 6:38 PM

            Don,

            Allow me to explain what intrigued me to Richard’s blog. It is his idea of seeking a peaceful discourse between Muslims and Jews alike arising from the Israeli Occupation (which is internationally recognized as such) and matters relating thereto through dialogue.

            Not to hate nor encourage the hatred of any particular group but to seek and amicably discuss on how best to move forward from the years of endless violence which has brought nothing but so much anguish on both sides of the religious divide.

            As a Muslim I sincerely believe in this and invite you to address all injustices whether from the Israeli side or otherwise with equal measure and determination.

            Let us condemn ALL violence and take our place as a fraternity of humanity it this relatively small blue planet we ALL call home.

            And Don, I can assure you, I do not hate Jews nor wish to be associated with anyone who does. I would not be here if I did.

        • josh December 19, 2009, 12:14 PM

          Don, you don’t have to justify yourself here. At the end of the day, or much before that, it is just a blog. I want to thank you for your continuing efforts to make society a better place and may you have success in instilling that attitude on the next generations.

          • Mary December 19, 2009, 1:09 PM

            Please, Josh, don’t blame the Palestinians’ problems completely on themselves; after all, they wouldn’t have problems with Fatah versus Hamas if they had not been occupied by the Zionists in the first place. There is Arab on Arab violence, but it is dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of the violence the Arabs have experienced under occupation by the Israelis.

            I don’t see much that Don is doing to make “society” a better place, either; hatred and bigotry don’t improve any “society.” If one’s compassion is limited to only one’s own people, it counts for next to nothing. And the world does not need people like him “instilling that attitude on the next generations.”

          • Mary December 19, 2009, 6:36 PM

            Well, I hope this is the last of the smugfest. Don, for someone under such a time crunch, you seem to find the time to come back for several “final” comments, all of which are not much more than angry diatribe against people who see the issues without the bigotry you are so proud of.

            I take profound offense at your extreme rudeness in coming on this blog and calling Richard Silverstein a “self hating Jew.” That is nothing more than a crass attempt to vilify a Jew who is not a lockstep Zionist and unquestioning supporter of Israeli corruption, and it reflects more upon the person making the accusation than upon the intended recipient.

            I never got an answer to Don’s pointless remark about hoping I am not an American. Who I am, including my religion, is not up for discussion here, and I will not be lectured by morally bankrupt bigots disguising themselves as Jews, who seem to think that the only people who support the end of the occupation are Muslims. Maybe Richard is right, I should have said that I traveled to Palestine as a terrorist, would that have satisfied you?

            Yes, there is corruption in the Palestinian government, it is common knowledge. There is corruption in the Israeli government too, everyone who has ever picked up a newspaper is aware of it just a anyone who lives there, or knows someone who lives there. What is your point, Josh? You and Don come here as hasbarat trolls and think you can throw your spittle in our direction and change our opinions that easily?

            An old Jewish dentist who never worked for peace, and a rabid zionist who thinks that all that is needed is to eliminate all the Palestinians – who can take either of you seriously? You piss and moan but what are you doing about the situation? Have you ever gone to a refugee camp and offered to fix some poor kids’ teeth, bigshot dentist? And Josh, have you ever gotten involved in conflict resolution and teaching people how to negotiate for peaceful solutions? That is the kind of stuff that will bring peace. The politicians won’t do it, there’s nothing in it for them, so it’s up to us. As long as you hate Arabs, they will hate you, and nothing will change.

            Yeah, it’s just a blog, but it’s a damned good blog. It will continue to be a damned good blog long after you have left it.

          • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 7:53 PM

            it’s a damned good blog.

            That’s one of the nicest things anyone has said about this blog in quite some time. Thank you.

          • Mary December 19, 2009, 8:05 PM

            You’re welcome, Richard. I’m a voracious reader but your blog is one of my favorites, and I look forward to it. You draw quite a crowd, and that’s because you’re a great writer with wit and wisdom to spare. You’re also one of my most cherished Facebook friends (if you don’t know who I am, I’m the blonde in the red sweater). I should have clarified; actually, it’s a helluva damned good blog. Peace.

          • Megat S. Merican December 19, 2009, 8:21 PM

            Entirely in agreement here.

            I also find this is a good place to improve my English especially in relation to grammar and the many styles of writing.

            On that I tend to vet my writing about a 100 times before posting knowing full well that Mary and Shirin will be monitoring everyone for bad English.

            :)

          • Mary December 19, 2009, 8:37 PM

            Don’t worry, habibi, your English is exquisite. Even more important is your calmness and your well reasoned responses, which I admire very much. I sometimes tend to become a bit snippy, especially when I sense bigotry pop up in the discussions. Shukran, for bringing me back down to earth with your well-vetted words. Aslam alaykum.

          • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 9:54 PM

            I think when someone is humble about their mastery of a language native speakers can be merciful. But when a native speaker is illiterate it is especially galling.

    • William Smart December 19, 2009, 12:29 AM

      Another outright lie from you/your Zionist teacher – hundreds of peaceful, well-accepted Hebron Jews were saved by local Muslims from the riots triggered deliberately by the Zionists in 1929. In some cases the very houses where the Jews were given sanctuary have been seized, and the very families who saved them have been homeless in pogroms since.

      • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 12:57 AM

        riots triggered deliberately by the Zionists in 1929

        I don’t know the history of this particular event well enough to say, but this comment sounds suspect.

        • Mary December 19, 2009, 6:02 AM

          From Wikipedia:

          In Hebron, Arab mobs killed 65-68 Jews[9] and wounded 58. The lone British policeman in the town, Raymond Cafferata, was overwhelmed, and the reinforcements he called for did not arrive for 5 hours (leading to bitter recriminations). Hundreds of Jews were saved by their Arab neighbours, who offered them sanctuary from the mob by hiding them in their own houses[3] while others survived by taking refuge in the British police station at Beit Ramon on the outskirts of the city.

          Also from Wikipedia in the same article:

          On 15 August 1929, during the Jewish fast of Tisha B’Av, several hundred members of Joseph Klausner’s Committee for the Western Wall, among them members of Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Revisionist Zionism movement Betar youth organisation, under the leadership of Jeremiah Halpern, assembled at the Wall shouting “the Wall is ours”.[3] They raised the Jewish national flag and sang the Hatikvah, the Israeli anthem. The authorities had been notified of the march in advance and provided a heavy police escort in a bid to prevent any incidents. Rumours spread that the youths had attacked local residents and had cursed the name of Muhammad.[4][5][6]

          On Friday, August 16 after an inflammatory sermon, a demonstration organized by the Supreme Muslim Council marched to the Wall and proceeded to beat Jewish worshippers and burn Torah scrolls, prayer books[7] and supplicatory notes left in the Wall’s cracks, and returned to attack the next day.[3] Responding to subsequent Jewish protests, acting High Commissioner Harry Luke answered that “no prayer books had been burnt but only pages of prayer books.” The riots continued, and the next day a young Sephardic Jew named Abraham Mizrachi was stabbed at the Maccabi grounds near Mea Shearim, in the Bukharan Quarter, and died the evening of the following day.[8] His funeral was turned into a political demonstration, and was suppressed by the same force that had been employed in the initial incident. A late-night meeting initiated the following day by the Jewish leadership, at which acting high commissioner Harry Luke, Jamal al-Husayni, and Yitzhak Ben-Zvi were present, failed to produce a call for an end to the violence.[3]

          And according to the article, the whole thing was precipitated by an incident where a prayer screen was removed during Yom Kippur by city officials who cited it as a violation of Ottoman laws. Some violence ensued, after which a pamphlet was circulated by the Mufti of Jerusalem among the Arabs claiming the Jews were planning to take over Al Aqsa Mosque.

          Nobody was innocent in this massacre, apparently.

          • Megat S. Merican December 19, 2009, 11:10 AM

            Salam Mary,

            For the benefit of other readers, I hope you don’t mind that I provide the hyperlink to your posting from Wikipedia:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1929_Palestine_riots

          • Mary December 19, 2009, 11:22 AM

            Wasalam Megat and thanks. The whole page is worth reading, actually.

          • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 2:44 PM

            Yes, nobody was entirely innocent. But I can’t see how the Hebron Jews were guilty of much other than being Jews in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      • Shirin December 20, 2009, 1:03 AM

        riots triggered deliberately by the Zionists in 1929.

        I have never seen or heard any evidence of this.

    • Shirin December 20, 2009, 1:02 AM

      Her family was one of the only ones to escape having their throats slit by their neighbors.

      You have an interesting, though historically false, take on the Hebron massacre. In fact, the evidence is that those who committed the crimes in Hebron were not the neighbors, but came from outside. The neighbors, on the contrary, saved the lives of hundreds of Jews at considerable risk to themselves and their families by taking them into their homes and protecting them from the murderers.

      • Mary December 20, 2009, 8:27 AM

        The sad irony is that later, many of these same Arab neighbors who protected the Jews from the mob lost their homes to Zionist settlers.

  • josh December 19, 2009, 12:08 PM

    It’s weird that you doubt that Israel will not open an investigation into the torching and ridiculous that you think that the police or government might choose to not investigate. If you read your newspapers, especially, Haaretz and Yediot, it’s very prestigious to investigate alledged Jewish violence, and even more so to bring them to justice. The media does not ignore. It’s not hard to find more than a handful of right-wingers and settlers who have been harassed by the police, shabak and media for their views and alleged actions. Right-wing bloggers have even been called in to be questioned for ongoing investigations and alleged incitement.

    • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 2:48 PM

      It’s weird that you doubt that Israel will not open an investigation into the torching

      Can you point to one? can you point to any police interrogations or arrests? I didn’t think so.

      it’s very prestigious to investigate alledged Jewish violence, and even more so to bring them to justice.

      Oh, I see. That’s why the Israeli police only found Jack Teitel because he was posting flyers bragging about his terror expoits in public places. That took tremendous investigative skill. BTW, last I checked it wasn’t newspapers who found terrorists but the police, who don’t seem to do jack when it comes to Jewish terrorists.

      Right wing pro settler elements are investigated because they support & perpetrate violence against Arabs. But were they investigated as they should be, there would be a lot more of yr friends in jails & for a lot longer jail terms than there are.

  • josh December 19, 2009, 1:56 PM

    Mary,
    Saying that the Palestinians problems and violence are dwarfed by the Israeli ‘occupation’ is misleading and you know it. I hope you are not American. They have nurtured a culture which accuses one’s environment for any personal problems the individual has. I’m sure you know that the Palestinians would prefer to live as second-class citizens in an annexed Judea and Samaria rather than continue to live in sheer fear for what their corrupt government will steal from them tomorrow whether it’s the corrupt PLO or the not so religious Hamas who claim to represent Allah and restrict freedom like their Iranian supporters.

    • Richard Silverstein December 19, 2009, 3:06 PM

      Saying that the Palestinians problems and violence are dwarfed by the Israeli ‘occupation’ is misleading

      Spoken like the hasbarist you are. Palestinian problems ARE the Occupation. Were there no Occupation Palestinian problems could surely be laid at their own doorstep. But as there is an Occupation that dominates every aspect of Palestinian life those cannot be separated.

      Palestinians would prefer to live as second-class citizens in an annexed Judea and Samaria rather than continue to live in sheer fear for what their corrupt government will steal from them

      You’re a total fabricator. Palestinians want their own state. They’d much rather be ruled by an imperfect Palestinian regime than by a cruel, unjust Occupation. To say anything diff. indicates you live on another planet or even another galaxy.

      If you wish to make further such false comments & claims you will follow the comment rules & support them with evidence. If you make a blatantly false statement such as this & do not provide evidence from credible sources then you will be in violation of the comment rules.

    • Mary December 19, 2009, 3:31 PM

      Josh, I know quite a few Palestinians, and your remarks insult them and insult my intelligence.

      “I hope you are not an American.” Care to explain why?

      • josh December 19, 2009, 4:50 PM

        Mary, I did, please read “They have nurtured…”

        Most nations of the world do not accuse others of the internal problems they encounter but I know that while Arabs of Palestine do that in the English press often, blaming Israel for all its problems, internal discussion is more real.

        I remember why the current war started in 2000 but most don’t remember or care. It was not Sharon going up to the Temple Mount, that was just a catalyst. The summer of 2000, the internal Palestinian conflict was heating up. Israeli shoppers were flocking to Arab markets, villages and cities and spending millions of shekels each week for cheaper goods (and casino chips) but the Palestinians were taking to the streets complaining about corruption and a worsening economy (!?). I challenge you to find a storekeeper in Bidya or Mascha who was not raking in Jewish money but did not having to give a lot of it to multiple Palestinian government/police individuals to stay in business. (I remember a rare burnt out store. It wasn’t Jewish ‘terrorists’.) The protests were getting more popular and louder and the PLO needed to deflect this growing anger and they found it in Sharon’s temple mount visit. [Local] Hamas rising to power in Gaza was inevitable since the [foreign] PLO was corrupt. If it were not for Israel, Hamas would also democratically rise to power in Judea and Samaria as well.

        The West likes dealing with corrupt individuals and Oslo cemented this drunken stupor. Find a bunch of corrupt Palestinians (Arafat, Mazen, Dahlan, Bargouti, etc…) and deal only with them. Ignore the real people on the ground and allow their rights to be trampled by this mafia who enjoyed lots of kickbacks in the new ‘peace’ with Israel in the 90s. In that, I admit that the ‘occupation corrupted’. It corrupted leftist Israeli politicians and many Palestinian leaders as well. Richard, you should take your struggle to Labour and Kadima ( I understand you aren’t a fan of Meretz). The occupation has corrupted them.

        • Shirin December 20, 2009, 1:28 AM

          Most nations of the world do not accuse others of the internal problems they encounter but I know that while Arabs of Palestine do that in the English press often, blaming Israel for all its problems, internal discussion is more real.

          Most nations of the world have not been massively ethnically cleansed and dispossessed, ethnically cleansed again and brutally occupied for more than four decades, had their land confiscated and colonized, been denied all fundamental human rights, had even children arrested, tortured, and detained indefinitely, built civil institutions and infrastructure, only to have them systematically destroyed by the occupying power, and then rebuilt them again, to have them destroyed again and again, had their economy constantly undermined if not downright destroyed directly and indirectly, had their children’s education blocked, as well as their own ability to make a living or effectively govern themselves.

          Apparently you are ignorant of Israeli and U.S direct and indirect manipulation of the Palestinian power structure including Shamir’s nurturing of Hamas which turned it from a non-political religious service organization into a major rival of the PLO, thus setting the conditions for internal power struggles and conflict. And I guess you are ignorant of the part Israel and the United States played in fomenting the more recent civil conflict – some have called it a civil war – between Fatah and Hamas in which Israel and the U.S. encouraged a Fatah coup against Hamas, and provided arms and support to Fatah, and then made Hamas out to be the aggressor when they successfully defended against the coup.

          • Mary December 20, 2009, 6:26 AM

            Also, we should not forget the recent fun and games whereby Netanyahu and Obama sought to destroy what little credibility Mahmoud Abbas had left, by forcing him to to ask the UN Security Council to table the Goldstone Report, then by ganging up on him when Obama and Netanyahu lauded Bibi’s phony settlement freeze. And let’s not forget the hypocrisy of the Israeli government wherein its negotiates with Hamas for the release of one captured (NOT kidnapped) soldier, but refuses to engage with Hamas for peace.

            Both Israel and the US do not want a unified Palestinian people. They would be too strong.

  • Don December 19, 2009, 5:13 PM

    Josh, an intelligent and reasonable commentary. I am certain it will not be “accepted” here because it doesn’t “conform” to the “standards” on this blog.

  • Don December 19, 2009, 7:55 PM

    Megat,

    Thank you for writing and expressing yourself in the manner that you
    did. We are, indeed, all descendants of Abraham, but so far apart.

    In any case I can sense your warmth and desire for accommodation.
    Comments, notwithstanding, I have endeavored to encourage the many inter
    related health programs that I have been involved with. Back in 1998
    when I addressed the first group of Arab dentists participating in
    Bridge to Peace I became friendly with a dentist from Jordan who
    happened to be a Deputy Minister of Health who wanted me to be his guest
    in Amman. It has always been my contention that if we could bypass the
    politicians people in the healthcare professions could probably do a
    better job of bridging the gap to peace.

    In conclusion, if your attitude was more prevalent we could make
    progress. I hope sure hope so.
    *

  • josh December 20, 2009, 11:04 AM

    Mary, I suppose that is wishful thinking.

    And Josh, have you ever gotten involved in conflict resolution and teaching people how to negotiate for peaceful solutions?

    Yes.

    It’s quite judgemental and counterproductive to assume that someone only helping Jews or (I assume in equal standing) someone only helping Arabs is not worthy in your eyes. In this day and age when most people are happy to be couch potatoes and shy away from challenges, we should be happy with anyone who is willing to volunteer time and effort for any good, whether it is a dentist who works only with Jews in Dimona or a pediatrician travelling to work in Jammain.

    Nice job labeling opposing guests here – that does not help conflict resolution at all and not wanting to hear opposing views is another way of making sure that you stay convinved of whatever. It’s nice to assume I want to influence you. Keep that warm though during your holiday season.

    • Mary December 20, 2009, 11:28 AM

      Anyone who involves themselves in conflict resolution would not be so quick to make assumptions about others, Josh. That is the problem I have with you, more than anything else.

      I never said anyone was unworthy, but that is a conclusion you reached based upon your assumptions. My point is the same as Richard’s, that if one truly wishes to help people it is necessary to leave one’s comfort zone sometimes. I spend most of every day of my life working in various ways to help end this occupation and bring peace to Palestine.

      Nor did I label anyone with anything other than what was painfully obvious to anyone reading this thread. If you are uncomfortable with what I say, I am not responsible for that. It is not my job to be polite to people who spread half-truths and make prejudicial remarks. Your atrocious remark about Palestinians preferring to be second class citizens is so blatantly and disgustingly racist that it is just plain breathtaking. Sorry, but I just can’t get past it.

      Yes, I am an American, but I can make no sense of your other silly remark about Americans and so I cannot address it at all. And yes, I am a Muslim. I also have quite a few Jewish friends. I do not draw lines between people and categorize them, but I do recognize bigotry when I see it.

    • Richard Silverstein December 20, 2009, 12:55 PM

      What specifically have you done to promote conflict resolution?

      In this day and age when most people are happy to be couch potatoes and shy away from challenges, we should be happy with anyone who is willing to volunteer time and effort for any good, whether it is a dentist who works only with Jews in Dimona or a pediatrician travelling to work in Jammain

      I completely disagree. In fact, good deeds performed by Jews who refuse to perform similar deeds for non-Jews have diminished value for that reason.

      that does not help conflict resolution at all and not wanting to hear opposing views

      This is beyond lame. Conflict resolution is not the same as losing one’s sense of judgment, justice or critical faculties. A Jew who only helps Jews deserves only as much praise as this limited set of values merits. A Jew who helps Jews and Palestinians is truly fulfilling prophetic values. Conflict resolution is a total non sequitur. As for not wanting to hear opposing views–what do you think I’m doing in reading yr views & responding to them? And why do you think I created this blog & the comment threads? To hear myself talk? Of course I want a debate or there would be no comments here at all. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a free ride or special dispensation.

      Really, can’t you use a bit more brain power to understand how foolish some of the things you say are?

      • Mary December 20, 2009, 1:18 PM

        How does one engage in conflict resolution if one does not go where there is conflict? It’s easy to be, say, a Jewish dentist performing work for Jews, but can you mediate an argument between a Jew and a Palestinian? Can you bring them together and help them to see the humanity of each other and thereby seek common ground? If you never step out of your comfort zone, how can you claim to resolve conflicts?

        This is where peace begins, not in politicians dickering with each other using human lives as bargaining chips but when there is human-to-human contact and an effort at understanding.

        Forgive my harshness earlier, but how do you expect people to react when you make such rash statements as “Palestinians are happy to be second class citizens”? It sounded so much like the old “good n***er” comments from the Old South that this comparison was the first thing that came to mind. It was also a confrontational remark meant to shock and annoy, and it certainly served its purpose. In light of this, Josh, perhaps you should apologize for having made it.

  • josh December 20, 2009, 1:45 PM

    Ah, this is great. Without bothering to tell you what I’ve done in the past, cuz really, no one has to justify anything to you here, we have the host telling us that conflict resolution is only when you are dealing with other peoples besides yourself. Richard apparently couldn’t care less about dealing with internal issues within the Jewish community, and I suppose that he does not have to say anything about Arab doctors only giving time to Arab patients, or a Xian chiropractor coming to Israel but only going to volunteer in Naztrat. Richard, I know that some people like you are so weighted by the diaspora that you feel you need to fix the world before, or at the expense of not fixing your own community. That is too bad. Tikkun starts at home. For that matter, my Muslim friends taught me that Jihad is not only (really) blowing up bombs in school buses and it similarly starts at home and in the community. I look at your type as being Jewish fundamentalists (without the physical violence).

    Really, can’t you use a bit more brain power to understand how foolish some of the things you say are?

    A throwback to my childhood is that I’m quite sensitive and feel slighted again by the continued immaturity of the host.

    On the other hand, I was not insulted by Mary’s troll comment, just never been called that and I’ve been on the net for about 15 years and surfed to many sites. I suppose that someone coming with different views is considered hostile.

    Why so surprised? “2nd class citzens” – there is a line of Palestinians who have married Israeli spouses (Jews or Muslims) who are struggling to get blue identity cards.

    • Richard Silverstein December 20, 2009, 2:25 PM

      no one has to justify anything to you here

      This blog is based on EVIDENCE. If you don’t provide any no one will believe you. Since you bothered to take the time to comment here I would think you’d want people who read yr comments to believe them. If you don’t, then don’t bother supporting any of yr claims & no one will.

      Richard apparently couldn’t care less about dealing with internal issues within the Jewish community

      More utter ignorance on yr part. Why do you think I critique the settler movement & the American Jewish leadership & the Israel lobby? So yes, I care deeply about internal issues within the Jewish community. But if you mean I should care about whether there’s an eruv around Beverly Hills or whether my local supermarket stocks kosher food or whether you’re a kosher Jew because you do or don’t go to shul on Shabbat–then you’re right, those are issues that don’t hold much interest for me.

      Tikkun starts at home.

      Blatantly false. You are a Jewish chauvinist who only believes in caring about Jews. Jeremiah, Isaiah & Amos would disown you & rightfully so.

      A throwback to my childhood is that I’m quite sensitive

      If you’re so sensitive then you ought to try to pay closer attention to what you write and what people write back to you. If you were using yr brain why would you write that I don’t want to hear opposing views when there are thousands of comments on this site including many fr. yrself which oppose my views? Do you think saying something like that shows intelligence?

  • josh December 20, 2009, 1:51 PM

    FWIW,
    I’ve unsubscribed from the two threads I had commented on here so you don’t have to reply. Really, what kind of host insults the guests about there English? C’mon. Otherwise, I’ve seen a few good people posting on this site, it would be good if you left the comfort zone here and went elsewhere. If it seems that I am getting the last word, please accept my apologizes. I’ll probably be lurking in the background. I now give you the last word.

    • Richard Silverstein December 20, 2009, 2:15 PM

      what kind of host insults the guests about there [sic] English

      A host who cherishes the English language & winces when it is abused by mispelings (*!$!).

      • Mary December 20, 2009, 2:27 PM

        As Shirin would say, THEIR. THEIR THEIR THEIR English!!!!! :)

        The thing is, these things, these little misspellings and grammatical gaffes, detract from a person’s credibility.

        As does making unfounded statements, especially with regard to the blog host.

        I define “troll” as someone who surfs the net, comes across comment threads such as this one, makes deliberately noxious and contrary remarks for the purpose of creating meaningless discourse, and then disappears.

        See ya, Josh.

        • Richard Silverstein December 21, 2009, 1:38 AM

          Some define a “troll” as anyone who writes anything opposing their pt of view. We know better.