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Larry Derfner Fired by Jerusalem Post

The subtitle of this post should be: “And then there was one.”   A year ago or so, the Jerusalem Post fired one its few liberal commentators, Naomi Chazan, when the paper ran a disgusting Im Tirzu ad caricaturing her with a rhino horn bursting forth from her forehead.  She threatened to sue the paper and they canned her.  That left only Larry Derfner and Gershon Baskin as the remaining progressives.  And now there is only a single one left.

I just heard a piece of terrible news, which unfortunately doesn’t shock me.  Today, the Jerusalem Post fired one of its only two remaining liberal columnists, Larry Derfner.  He’d written a post in his private blog, unassociated with the paper, about the Eilat terror attacks which expressed understanding for the Palestinian impulse to violence against Israel. This so angered the newspaper’s far-right audience that hundreds cancelled their subscriptions in anger.  And the Post, being that bastion of free speech and journalistic integrity of course fired him to pacify the baying wolves.

I’d suggest people cancel their subscriptions, but who subscribes to that shmateh, anyway?  What, do you do so in order to read the pearls of Shmu Rosner?  Or Caroline Glick?  Or Isi Liebler?  A zoch in vay!  Nonetheless, this day should live in infamy.  Call it the Pearl Habor Day of an Israeli free press.

Aside from the political content of what Larry wrote, there is an extremely important issue related to his being fired for writing a blog post.  While some may argue that what one writes on a private blog when one is a public figure reflects on one’s employer or career, I reject the notion that a blog post should be the cause of a journalist’s firing unless he’s advocated committing a crime or something of that order.

Here are the “offending” passages from Larry’s original column:

I think a lot of people who realize that the occupation is wrong also realize that the Palestinians have the right to resist it – to use violence against Israelis, even to kill Israelis, especially when Israel is showing zero willingness to end the occupation…

This unwillingness to say outright that Palestinians have the right to fight the occupation, especially now, inadvertently helps keep the occupation going.

… If we were to say very forthrightly what many of us believe and the rest of us suspect – that the Palestinians, like every nation living under hostile rule, have the right to fight back, that their terrorism, especially in the face of a rejectionist Israeli government, is justified – what effect would that have? A powerful one, I think, because the truth is powerful.

…We are compelling them [Palestinians] to engage in terrorism.  The blood of Israeli victims is ultimately on our hands, and…it’s up to us to stop provoking our own people’s murder by ending the occupation. And so long as we who oppose the occupation keep pretending that the Palestinians don’t have the right to resist it, we tacitly encourage Israelis to go on blindly killing and dying in defense of an unholy cause.

And by tacitly encouraging Israelis in their blindness, I think we endanger their lives and ours, their country and ours, much more than if we told the truth…

Whoever the Palestinians were who killed the eight Israelis near Eilat last week, however vile their ideology was, they were justified to attack. They had the same right to fight for their freedom as any other unfree nation in history ever had. And just like every harsh, unjust government in history bears the blame for the deaths of its own people at the hands of rebels, so Israel, which rules the Palestinians harshly and unjustly, is to blame for those eight Israeli deaths – as well as for every other Israeli death that occurred when this country was offering the Palestinians no other way to freedom.

Writing this is not treason. It is an attempt at patriotism.

Here Larry further clarifies his position, but alas, the damage has been done (from a right-wing vantage point):

…While I think the Palestinians have the right to use terrorism against us, I don’t want them to use it, I don’t want to see Israelis killed, and as an Israeli, I would do whatever was necessary to stop a Palestinian, oppressed or not, from killing one of my countrymen. (I also think Palestinian terrorism backfires, it turns people away from them and generates sympathy for Israel and the occupation, so I’m against terrorism on a practical level, too, but that’s besides the point.)

Though some of you, had you written this column might’ve written it differently, especially considering your audience, the plain fact of the matter is that no matter how controversial this statement might be for an Israeli Jew, it’s an unpopular view that should be heard in a democracy.  A view that should be published by a free press (if there is one).  What Larry was doing was provoking debate and thought, even uncomfortable debate and thought.  The plain fact of the matter is that as long as Israel refuses to settle the conflict there will be violence against it by Palestinians.  That nothing short of a settlement will stop that violence.  And that, by God, if you don’t realize that Israelis are gonna be killed because of that then you have your head buried in the sand.  And that the only way to stop Israelis being killed is to make a deal.  What’s so controversial about that?  Of course, it will be for the rightists.  But for the pragmatists among us, what’s the big deal?

It should also be noted that Larry took down his column from his blog (which I wouldn’t have done, but he’s entitled) and wrote an apology which was to have run in the Post before they decided to fire him.  In his apology he clarified what he meant by his statement.  But as far as the right was concerned the damage was done and he was toast.

On a personal note, I owe Larry an apology.  Recently, a reader informed me that Larry’s remarks about the dissolution of our blogging partnership were featured on a number of right-wing pro-Israel websites.  This angered me as I felt his words were being used to further tarnish my reputation.  Larry didn’t see it that way.  We had words, harsh words.  I want him to know if he reads this that while we may have had, and still have political disagreements (one of the major reasons our project together broke up), that my portion of yesterday’s interchange was wrong, especially given the context, and I hope he’ll accept my apology.

The Jerusalem Post doesn’t deserve Larry Derfner.  I hope that Aluf Benn, Haaretz’s incoming managing editor has already been on the phone offering Larry his own column there.

 

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • delia ruhe August 29, 2011, 10:53 AM

    Good on ya, Richard!

  • Adam Neira August 29, 2011, 2:21 PM

    The Jpost made the right decision in sacking Larry Derfner. Anyone advocating violence against the good people of the State of Israel must be roundly condemned and shunned.

    • Donald August 29, 2011, 2:25 PM

      How about people advocating violence against the good people in the WB and Gaza?

      • Adam Neira August 29, 2011, 5:00 PM

        I am against all forms of violence in the Holy Land and Middle East. Violoence is not innate. The universe is stable, ordered, benevolent and expansive. If the right command and control structure is installed in Jerusalem peace will unfold in the region.

        • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 6:14 PM

          You weren’t against the violence JPost did against Larry, were you? Nor against the violence by the IDF against Palestinians except in the vaguest sense. You must live in an alternate universe if you believe it’s “stable, ordered & benevolent.” Even the Tanach disproves yr claim.

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 11:45 PM

            You really consider what the Post did to Larry VIOLENT? And you say I do not know how to use words. Words are the only way we have of communicating. Please choose them carefully. Read POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE by George Orwell

    • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 3:00 PM

      No, I’m afraid it’s you who should be condemned & shunned. Larry Derfner has my admiration, you my contempt.

      • Adam Neira August 29, 2011, 5:02 PM

        Be careful who you cast aspersions on…

        • Violet Crumble August 29, 2011, 5:12 PM

          I’d say Richard’s casting his aspersions in completely the right direction in yr case…

        • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 6:12 PM

          You’re in touch w. the Divine? And can arrange for a punishment to befall me?

      • David Willig August 30, 2011, 11:57 AM

        I stumbled on to your blog for the first time this morning while googling Larry Derfner’s firing. I promise not to darken your halls again, but I do want to get back to your original staement. The POST violated some rule in firing Larry Derfner, because Larry Derfner is a friend of yours. It could not have anything to do with Free Speech, as Free Speech is freedom from government regulation, not the obligation of the publisher to print your columns and pay you. If the NY Times could fire Abe Rosenthal, (he ended his career writing for the Daily News) The Post can fire Derfner.
        I am curious what you would do if you had someone like David Mamet writing for you, who was a classic liberal until he turned into a neanderthal conservative. Would you really keep him on?
        What Derfner did is the equivalent of saying, on Dec. 10, 1941, “The japanese have legitimate greivances against the USA and they had every right to attack Pearl Harbor.” Think any columnist who said that would keep his job?
        Well goodby, farewell and thanks for the fish.

        • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 5:22 PM

          The problem with Rabbi Willig (yes, he’s a rabbi) is common to other right wing pro Israel commenters here. They’re not here really to learn anything new. They’re here to work out some sort of personal Jewish identity issues involving Israel. Perhaps a compunction to defend Israel from its supposed enemies. But this isn’t good enough for this blog. Here we want an informed debate based on facts and evidence. This isn’t a place for pro Israel blog tourists to slum their way through the left wing demimonde. If all you want to do is disseminate yr personal pro Israel prejudices, sorry, this isn’t for you.

          But if you want to do some serious reading, learn about the conflict, hear the views of others that are diff. fr. yr own, by all means. That doesn’t seem to be yr interest so I’d encourage you to go somewhere which will reinforce yr prejudices rather than challenge them.

          Free Speech is freedom from government regulation

          You’ve even rewritten the the U.S. constitution turning it into a Tea Party manifesto. Disgusting.

          If the NY Times could fire Abe Rosenthal

          I’ve been a NYT reader all my life & I don’t recall Rosenthal being fired. Do you have a link to prove this assertion?

          Did some research on the good rabbi. He’s an Orthodox rabbi who’s quite adept at getting the public spotlight having been arrested with some of his brethren for blocking the entrance to the UN before a speech by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He also joined his far right Orthodox brethren (no sistren here) in publicly attacking the Justice Dept. for prosecuting that kind, gentle & decent Israel-loving Jewish soul, Steve Rosen. A non-Orthodox rabbinical colleague called him a “Toyota salesman” in the pages of NY Jewish Week. That’s about right, I’d say.

          • duck August 30, 2011, 10:39 PM

            “Rabbi Willig (yes, he’s a rabbi)”

            I’m not surprised. Rabbis need a large pool of twisted information riddled with lies, aswell as faulty logic and poor moral conduct. Willig seems to have that covered.

          • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 11:14 PM

            To be clear, I didn’t mean to say that all rabbis should be expected to hold Reb Willig’s views. Not all do, thank God.

          • Tuvia Fogel September 2, 2011, 2:12 PM

            Actually some of us just drop in to insult you, Silverstein. It makes us feel better.

          • Richard Silverstein September 2, 2011, 4:54 PM

            And I love insulting you you Jewish settler fraud.

        • editorsteve August 30, 2011, 6:28 PM

          Just for the record, Abe Rosenthal (who died about 5 years ago) stepped down from the top editor’s job in 1986, at the mandatory NYT retirement age of 65, but continued to write a twice-weekly op-ed column until 1999. He was gently forced out by the publisher, Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger, at age 78 and went over to the Daily News a few months later — his columns became increasingly conservative over the years both at NYT and the News. Abe’s son Andrew, who spent much of his early career reporting with distinction for the AP (most notably, from Moscow) is now the NYT editorial page editor.

          • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 8:03 PM

            Thanks for that correction or amplification of the good rabbi’s attenuated history of Rosenthal’s career at the NYT. I knew he wasn’t doing it justice as he does injustice to the truth concerning the I-P conflict as well.

      • Tuvia Fogel September 2, 2011, 2:10 PM

        Can you even imagine how many people’s contempt YOU have?

        • Richard Silverstein September 2, 2011, 4:37 PM

          I am pleased to have yours, you settler hasbarist apologist. It’s a badge of honor. The more people like you who hate me the more admirers I have who understand the noxious Jewish ideology/theology you represent.

      • shaun November 2, 2011, 4:29 AM

        Larry justified an attack that included firing an RPG at a public bus! You and he are mad and deserve the next rocket to land on your heads.

        • Richard Silverstein November 2, 2011, 10:44 AM

          You’ve just violated the comment rules & are hereby moderated.

    • Djuli August 29, 2011, 10:53 PM

      Israel is advocating violence. The occupation is violence.
      The occupation must end.

  • UNF August 29, 2011, 3:52 PM
  • hannah August 29, 2011, 4:14 PM

    Hearing that derfner has been fired, has really made my day!
    And you are quite right- he really does belong at Haaretz.

    • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 8:00 PM

      Would you let us know where you work. I’d like to get you fired so you can know the feeling. That would really make my day, you heartless cruel worthless shell of a human being. Have kids? Too bad. Larry does too. You didn’t give a crap about them did ya? Who should give a crap about you?

      • David Willig August 29, 2011, 8:09 PM

        The people killed in Eilat had kids too, some of them were kids. Let’s run a benefit for his kids, but if his paper is out of business because subscribers cancel, he would also be out of work.
        Try to stick to the issue. Does a publisher have the right to determine what goes in to his publication, or does a writer, once hired, have the right to continue no matter what he writes, until he dies?

        • Violet Crumble August 29, 2011, 8:18 PM

          Larry’s original article never appeared in Jerusalem Post. It only appeared on his personal blog. So, it’s not a case of people complaining because JPost did or didn’t publish something. I think what they did was wrong because they sacked him for something that never appeared in JPost and something which Larry himself had already deleted from his blog and written an apology for.

          I’d suggest holding your breath waiting for the hypocrites at JPost to sack the writer of the editorial trying to justify the slaughter of 169 Norwegians a few weeks ago, but it’s a certainty you’d expire due to never being able to take another breath :)

        • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 8:55 PM

          No, no children were killed in Eialt. Where do you get yr information from? You claim to live in Israel & I live thousands of miles a way & yet you make bogus claims about an event that fixated yr country for several wks. w. detailed news rpts about the victims. Yet I know you’re either lying or ignorant or both. Sad.

          if his paper is out of business because subscribers cancel, he would also be out of work.

          Since when would losing even 1,000 subscribers cause JPost to close? And btw, Larry IS out of work.

          Does a publisher have the right to determine what goes in to his publication

          Let’s ask a diff. question: should a newspaper which claims it functions in a land with a free press cave to the demands of the right wing Ziozombies when they clamor for blood at the newspaper’s doorstep? I say no. You say yes. I say that means you don’t believe in a truly free press. You believe in an obedient servile press.

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 10:00 PM

            He fits in at Ha’aretz. Where are the right wing columnists, or even articles, in Tikun?
            The concept of Free Press is the publisher, and/or editor publish what they choose. Free Press means that you and Larry can publish your own newspaper, expressing your point of view, and the GOVERNMENT would do nothing to shut you down. You do understand the difference between government censorship, and the discipline of the marketplace?
            1000 subscribers may very well be the profit margin at the Jerusalem Post. It is a small newspaper. And regardless, it is not your money to be so cavalier about it. And while he IS out of work, the printers, secretaries and receptionists still have jobs, which they would not if the paper closed.
            Could not happen? I remember when NYC had the Herald, the Tribune, which later merged to form the Herald Tribune, the World, the Telegram, and two Suns, which later merged to become the World Telegram and Sun, and the Mirror. They all closed because they did not have enough readers.
            Some people think that people will read whatever is available. They thought that people would listen to left wing talk radio if it was available. Have you heard anything from Air America lately?
            The Jerusalem Post made a decision that carrying Larry Derfner was not in the interests of the newspaper. They could no more afford to keep him on than you can afford to hire him. Whether he was objectively correct or not does not affect that issue at all.

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 10:31 PM

            I never said that children were killed, I said parents were killed. Kids were attacked, and could have been killed. I guess that does not count.

            The attack began with the ambush of Egged bus 392, which runs between Beersheba and Eilat. Gunmen also attacked a car whose passengers included two young children on their first-ever trip to Eilat.

            One of the Egged buses shown on Israeli television had several of its windows shot out and bullet holes on its side. The driver managed to keep the bus on the road during the attack and drove to the nearest Israeli army checkpoint while soldiers riding the bus exchanged fire with the attackers, according to reports.

        • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 8:56 PM

          Larry’s original article never appeared in Jerusalem Post.

          Is that true? I had no idea. That’s even worse. In fact, I’d say Larry might have a good cause of action if that’s the case. While a blog isn’t a purely private communication, it’s certainly separate from his work at the Post.

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 10:01 PM

            Your ignorance of Israeli Law is astonishing.

          • Violet Crumble August 29, 2011, 10:02 PM

            It’s true, Richard. I went looking for it at JPost not long after it appeared on his blog so I could post it at another forum I frequent, and it wasn’t at JPost.

            I don’t know what, if any, unfair dismissal laws exist in Israel, but if there’s some that relate to his situation, then I hope he pursues it.

  • American BDS August 29, 2011, 4:19 PM

    I second your words on Larry Derfner. In order to harm ziostan, he should leave it, (a form of economic boycott by depriving the zionists of taxes), and head up the BDS movement in Europe

    • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 8:02 PM

      You worthless right wing troll. I banned you once & you keep coming back like the Hasbara undead. Anyone know how to rid us of such a foul creature. Drive a stake through his hasbara manual? Worst of all, you’re not even funny. At least if you had a sense of humor we could laugh at you & ourselves.

      • David Willig August 29, 2011, 9:09 PM

        For someone who is attacking the Post for firing Derfner on freedom of speech grounds, to admit to banning someone from a blog because he is a “right wing troll” is hypocritical.

  • David N. August 29, 2011, 4:43 PM

    Richard,

    Larry’s apology (as reproduced on Mondoweiss) says this:

    “Palestinians do not have the right to attack or kill Israelis.”

    In effect, he is saying Palestinians do not have the right to defend themselves.

    This is a complete retraction of the initial blog post. He must have realized he jumped without a parachute.

    • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 7:52 PM

      I’ve always had a lot of respect for Larry regardless of our political disagreements. He speaks & writes from the heart and gut. But I think in this he wrote first and answered questions later.

      I’m sorry he retracted what he wrote. There was a good deal of truth to it, though unlike him I can’t defend terror on either side in any circumstance.

      • David N. August 29, 2011, 9:24 PM

        I would be there with you on the abhorrence of terror if “terror” were defined in absolute terms. As it is now ‘terror’ is something relative and its being relative is what i personally cannot defend. terror is terror.

    • David Willig August 29, 2011, 9:14 PM

      Do you understand the difference between a military target and a civilian? Do you realize that the Arabs consider all Jews Israeli’s? Do you consider yourself a legitimate target?

      • David N. August 29, 2011, 11:10 PM

        Excuse me David, this looks like this comment is directed at me. I am still getting used to the format;)

        If it was, just as an fyi, I am not a Jew. I am a happily converted Shia Muslim of 13 years from a non-elite American WASP background.

        Yes, my identity informs my worldview.

        • David N. August 29, 2011, 11:12 PM

          I realize the name ‘David’ might throw some people off.

        • David Willig August 29, 2011, 11:51 PM

          Again, I ask you: Do you recognize the difference between a military target and a civilian? I do not care about your religion, it is not my business, I believe in Freedom of Religion. But since you bring it up, do you? Do Shiites believe in freedom of religion for Sunni’s? For Christians? For Jews? For Sikhs? For Ba’hai?
          I ask this question honestly and seriously. What would the status of non Muslims be in a Sharia state?

          • David N. August 30, 2011, 12:04 AM

            You appeared to assume I was Israeli, therefore the clarification.

            Yes, I do make a distinction between a civilian and a military target. I was not making the argument the Palestinians have not engaged in terror. My insinuation is that Palestinian terror is caused by Israeli terror which appeared to me to be the thesis of Derfner’s blog post.

            I consider myself a liberal Muslim. I cannot speak for anyone but myself. I believe in equal rights for everyone.

            I am comfortable saying that most Muslims are sincere in our belief that there is to be no compulsion in religion. All oppression is wrong. This belief overlaps well with my liberalism.

      • Vicky August 30, 2011, 8:38 AM

        “Do you realize that the Arabs consider all Jews Israeli’s?”

        In all my time working with Palestinians in the West Bank, I have never met one single person who sees Jews and Israelis as the same thing. Not one. In addition to worrying about generalisations about Jews, you should think twice before making sweeping statements about ‘the Arabs’, as though they are a monolith with a shared brain and shared ideas on everything.

  • editorsteve August 29, 2011, 4:47 PM

    Sorry. No one has the right, under international law or under any moral law, to target civilians. It’s murder. The Palestinians don’t have that right. The Israelis (who have killed roughly 15 times as many noncombatants as the Palestinians since 1988) don’t have that right. We in the United States don’t. War is dangerous. Noncombatants die. But deliberately targeting them, or targeting bad guys when civilian deaths are inevitable, is wrong.

    One can make an argument that adult West Bank settlers are in fact all combatants (although that argument can be disputed). But Israelis living their lives within the 1949 armistice line? Are people to die because of something their leaders do? Are children to die because of something their parents do, or don’t do? Do I as a Jew get blamed for what the crazies at AIPAC want?

    Nuts on the fringes say the ends justify the means. Civilized thinkers should wonder where that leads, what kind of a nation arises from these actions. (Look hard at Israel itself, of course.)

    My wife worked on the 100th floor of WTC2 until a few weeks before 9/11. Her secretary, a gentle, loving soul, was killed. When is that sort of thing EVER right?

    I would have accepted Derfner’s apology, but he was wrong. There is no right.

  • Violet Crumble August 29, 2011, 4:48 PM

    Hi Richard

    I just came from finding out the news when I visited Larry’s blog. Like you, I wasn’t shocked that they’d treat one of their remaining liberal columnists like that.

    Here’s just one indication of the sheer hypocrisy of Jerusalem Post. Remember the revolting editorial that appeared immediately after the Norway slaughter trying to justify it? I read it, and unlike Larry’s article, it was very clear in justifying the attacks. As far as I’m aware, the author (from all I’ve read, it’s suspected to be Caroline Glick) didn’t get their marching orders, nor did they even remove the offending editorial. What JPost did was give a half-arsed apology in a following issue http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editorials/Article.aspx?id=232535

    JPost and the gang of cyber-thugs who contributed to Larry Derfner being sacked have nothing but contempt and disgust from me while I have a high level of admiration and respect for Larry Derfner.

    • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 6:15 PM

      In Glick’s case, JPost didn’t face hundreds of subscribers cancelling their accounts as they did in Larry’s case. When faced w. a hit to the pocket book, JPost loses the few principles it might have.

  • David Willig August 29, 2011, 8:02 PM

    How many conservative columnists does Tikkun Olam have? If you are interested in free speech, I’ll be glad to represent the conservative POV. But it is not about free speech. It is about the survival of Israel as a Jewish State. I am for it. You and Derfner seem to be against it. Violence against the settlements can be defended intellectually. Defending murder in the pre 67 borders means being against Israel’s right to exist.

    • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 8:06 PM

      You’re a liar. Have you even read anything he’s written? Any posts at his website which is easily accessible? Nah, you prefer shooting fr. the lip. It’s easier because you’re lazy. In fact, Larry wrote a post with which I partially disagreed in which he argued he was in favor of a Jewish state. One of my comment rules here is facts, above all facts. Not hunches. Not fliers. Not guesses. But facts.

      • David Willig August 29, 2011, 8:19 PM

        I am not a liar. I am an Oleh Chadash, who loves Israel enough to make my life here. I live in Safed, so I am not a “crazy settler”. Derfner has been offending the readership of the Post for a long time. He should have been careful to say no more than he meant to say. After all, words are a writers stock in trade. Would you hire a doctor who was careless with a scalpel?
        But you did not answer my question. How many conservative columnists does Tikkun have? I would be glad to right a column for you, or you can put Derfner on your payroll to help support his kids. I am sure Larry will have no problem getting a book contract and a well paid speaking tour.
        BTW, the post publishes op-ed pieces from liberal columnists on a regular basis. Does Tikkun ever publish anything defending the settlers?

        • Violet Crumble August 29, 2011, 8:26 PM

          ‘Derfner has been offending the readership of the Post for a long time. He should have been careful to say no more than he meant to say. ‘

          Clearly when writing to an audience of zealoted uber-nationalists, it is vitally important that people remember to aim their writing at the intellectual level of a four-year old…

          “BTW, the post publishes op-ed pieces from liberal columnists on a regular basis. ”

          It had two, now it has only one. Or do you consider Caroline Glick and her ilk liberal, maybe?

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 8:45 PM

            Op-ed columns are written by non staff and published in the Jerusalem Post on a daily basis. I would say the majority represent a left wing POV.
            How many columnists in Tikkun, represent the settlers POV? And if a writer cannot say what he means, he is like a surgeon whose hand has tremors. Get him out of surgery and do not worry about his wife and kids.
            When Larry stuck to reporting he wrote very powerfully. I am very curious as to whether those, like you and Larry. who defend Palestinian violence against civilians, defend Menachem Begin’s Irgun, which targeted only British military and governmental installations.

          • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 9:13 PM

            I would say the majority represent a left wing POV.

            Hopeless. This guy thinks Yisrael HaYom is centrist and Haaretz is Hadash.

            Menachem Begin’s Irgun, which targeted only British military and governmental installations.

            Not quite fella. Once again, you learned yr Zionist history from a diploma mill. Begin killed Israeli Palestinian civilians and a senior UN official who was a Swedish diplomat. He also happened to kill British soldiers. The Irgun and those farther to the right also at times killed Jews when it suited them (as did the early Palmach). History is so much more complicated than some simple minds can comprehend.

          • Kalea August 29, 2011, 9:24 PM

            Willig:

            ” am very curious as to whether those, like you and Larry. who defend Palestinian violence against civilians, defend Menachem Begin’s Irgun, which targeted ONLY British military and governmental installations.”

            Only? Now that’s what I call distorting the facts.

        • Richard Silverstein August 29, 2011, 9:05 PM

          I am not a liar. I am an Oleh Chadash

          You certainly are one & being a new immigrant has nothing to do with it. Go read Larry’s blog post which specifically refutes yr claim about what he believes concerning a Jewish state. Just read fer cryin’ out loud. Then open yr mouth.

          Derfner has been offending the readership of the Post for a long time.

          I didn’t know it was the job of a newspaper columnist never, on any account, to offend. Was that part of the job description? I bet it was. Then it’s amazing he lasted this long.

          Would you hire a doctor who was careless with a scalpel?

          I know a thousand writers who’ve committed gross malpractice w. their words. Larry’s done nothing as bad as sycophants like Jeffrey Goldberg, Eli Lake, Daniel Pipes, etc. They use butter knives instead of scalpels when they write. Imagine what their patients look like when they’re through w. ‘em.

          I would be glad to right a column for you

          First, you have to be able to spel, whch u dont sim able to du. Then you have to be able to write, which I see little signs of in yr prose. Second, you have to be able to know how to read. Ditto. Third, you have to have something interesting to say. Ditto. Fourth, you must not lie or be ignorant or ill-informed, which I’ve seen far too much of in your comments.

          As for this blog, in case you haven’t noticed it’s not a newspaper. It’s a blog. So I represent my own pt of view & that’s why people come. In fact, Larry & I started a blog together because at least initially we wanted to debate & riff off ea. other in ways you appear to be demanding.

          you can put Derfner on your payroll

          Don’t you just love it when people allude to the wads of cash that just flood in every day to support this blog?

          the post publishes op-ed pieces from liberal columnists on a regular basis

          That’s a lie too. It published only ONE regular columnist, Gershon Baskin. One. So don’t tell me what the Post publishes. Of course there may be the odd liberal piece but it is not a regular feature.

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 9:28 PM

            I am just going to hit the last one, not to get into a he said, she said with you. OP-ED pieces are distinct from regular columnists in that they do not write regularly. I think they teach that in Journalism 101. There are OP-ED pieces every day in the POST, the majority expressing a left wing POV. I never said anything about regular columnists.
            But the truly interesting question is does a columnist have tenure, or does the publisher, the man who pays the bills, have the right to publish what he thinks best? Your publication expresses a POV and, kidding aside, I think the world would end before you would publish a piece by Norman Podhoretz or Daniel Pipes, as is your right. So why do you deny that right to the owners of the Jerusalem Post, who have determined that Larry is costing them money? It is one thing to be controversial, a contrarian. Controversy sells papers. It is another to actually drive away subscribers. Someone, as you seem to realize, must pay the bills, and neither Tikun, nor the Jerusalem Post can print money.

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 9:37 PM

            BTW, Bernadotte was assassinated by the Stern Gang, not the Irgun, or did you not know that they were two different groups?
            Begin never would permit the killing of Jews, and, for that reason, prevented a civil war in the aftermath of the Altalena. It was the legacy that prevented civil war in the forced evacuation from Gaza, an evacuation that was followed, not by peace and reconciliation, but by immediate and constant rocket bombardment of pre 67 Israeli targets.

    • Violet Crumble August 29, 2011, 8:23 PM

      David, I’ve been reading Larry Derfner’s blog since it started as a venture between him and Richard, and before that I read a lot of his articles at JPost. While there’s things I don’t agree with him about, the one thing that’s very clear and consistent about him is that he’s very much for Israel existing as a Jewish state.

      Also, while I don’t justify or defend the killing of civilians in Israel itself, I disagree that defending it automatically means being against Israel’s right to exist.

      • David Willig August 29, 2011, 8:59 PM

        Violet, I do not argue that Larry does not want Israel to exist. That would be ridiculous, he lives here, just like I do. What I am saying is if the policies he advocates came about, it would be the end of Israel as we know it, as there would be a constant, nationwide fear of terrorism and rocket attacks, leading to the last one at the airport, please turn off the lights.
        If now the are firing rockets at Beersheva, and attacking civilians in Eilat, where in Israel would be safe, if hamas had a free hand in the West Bank?

        • Violet Crumble August 29, 2011, 10:15 PM

          The thing is that Larry didn’t advocate any policies in his article, let alone anything remotely related to what yr saying.

          Also, in another post in this thread (for some reason the reply button doesn’t appear on some posts for me) you said in reply to me:

          ‘ I am very curious as to whether those, like you and Larry. who defend Palestinian violence against civilians…’

          Stop right there. I most definately do not defend violence against civilians, whether they be Palestinian or Israeli.

          ‘How many columnists in Tikkun, represent the settlers POV? ‘

          Are you talking about this blog? I didn’t realise it had any columnists at all. It’s a one-man blog…

          …’Menachem Begin’s Irgun, which targeted only British military and governmental installations.’

          Since when has Dier Yassin been a British or military installation?? And the bombing of the King David Hotel was every bit as much an act of terrorism as the attack on the Pentagon was.

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 11:31 PM

            I was talking about the magazine Tikun, which I assume is behind this blog. If I am wrong, I apologize, but my point is that publishers control columnists, not vice versa. The NY Times fired Abe Rosenthal when his column did not toe the line. He continued writing for the Daily News.

          • David Willig August 29, 2011, 11:40 PM

            Deir Yassin was an attack by poorly trAinead militiA against a heavily defended town. I spoke to someone who was there. BG was so anxious to demonize Begin, that he made it into a massacre. It was not.
            As far as the King David, the Irgun, at Begin’s order, phoned with a warning, which was ignored, because the British were afraid of looking like fools.
            Please do not misunderstand me. The Pentagon is a legitimate military target in a war. What was not legitimate, even in a war, was the WTC. Whether terrorists can be judged as in a war is doubtful, but the Irgun made no secret that they were at war with the British occupation. The King David was a legitimate target. The British Parliament was not, and the Irgun never launched attacks outside of Israel.
            For the Arabs no target in the world is out of bounds.

          • yankel August 30, 2011, 9:27 AM

            DW’s freedom with facts is pathetic but his reference to the well documented Deir Yassin massacre (“a heavily defended town” etc), borders holocaust denial.

          • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 5:15 PM

            I’d debate the guy, but I just don’t have the cheyshek (“strength”) for it. Such a waste of time.

  • Kalea August 29, 2011, 8:44 PM

    Speaking of the unpopular idea; speaking of heresy and blasphemy; speaking of the truth, actually…

    Neira, Derfner is not advocating violence. Derfner, believe it or not, if you can understand this “pearl”, is advocating COMPASSION. Something most people have no clue about in today’s world especially in Israel!

    In order to feel compassion you have to inhabit someone else’s reality. I guess it was just too much to ask from everyone to stretch their imagination to that point at that timely moment when everyone else had lynching on their mind!

    Richard, I agree, he shouldn’t have written a retraction. I also knew in advance that you would write something like this: “But I think in this he wrote first and answered questions later.” and “though unlike him I can’t defend terror on either side in any circumstance.” (So then why did you say he shouldn’t have retracted?)

    Aside from agreeing on with you regarding the retraction, you’re wrong. Plain and simply wrong. He needed to write this. Someone needed to write this and it’s a good thing that he wrote it from his gut and thought about it later, because his gut was feeling the TRUTH that needed to get out and had he asked the questions, the truth would have remained hidden and silent.

    This is NOT defending terror; this is trying to make people understand what it feels like to suffer indefinitely by asking them to put themselves in the shoes of someone who would resort to violence to avenge his confinement in misery. This is how you wake people up…with heresy, with blasphemy, with the truth. And he spoke the unvarnished truth that no one would dare utter at that specific time when the tragedy was fresh in everyone’s mind. That’s balsy, that’s innocence, yep, innocence. The kind of timely truth children blurt out.

    Why can’t anyone understand that COMPASSION is step number one to achieving healing and then peace? Why do you all continuously look down from the perch in judgment instead of understanding?

    Anyway, I agree with what Derfner wrote and the TIMING, because I was feeling exactly the same thing. While I can’t condone the violent act, while I believe it’s counter-productive; I understand the primal urge for self-defense when suffering and torture is so prolonged. I also understand Derfner’s clarification, and I for one, didn’t need it because I understood exactly what he meant and I SEE. But, I’m really disappointed in his retraction unless it was to save his job; I can’t judge him but he appears talented and should have sided with integrity and the truth and had faith that someone who recognized both his talent and integrity would swoop him up in an instant. Okay, maybe not in an instant in…Israel.

    Despite his retraction, however, he can never take back the truth, the truth has a life of its own, it inhabited him for that instant and used him and now it’s out there…thank God for that! Maybe it shocked a hundred people and woke one more person up. Just that, was worth it.

    • Kalea August 29, 2011, 8:52 PM

      I should have added the texts in caps: by asking them TO LOSE THEIR HYPOCRISY AND put themselves in the shoes of someone who would resort to violence…

      and this: and had he asked the questions AND HESITATED, AS YOU MIGHT HAVE DONE IN EXPRESSING SAME IN THIS CASE, the truth would have remained hidden and silent.

      oops! my bad.

  • David Willig August 29, 2011, 8:52 PM

    Turning the other cheek is in the other guys bible. Our Rabbi’s say when someone sets out to kill you, wake up early and kill him first.
    In case you have not noticed, the only Israeli soldier in Gaza is Gilad Schalit, and he would very much like to go home. Where is your compassion for him? Do you have any idea what a PR coup it would be for Hamas to just let him go, just set him free with no preconditions?
    Think about it and ask yourself why thet do not free Schalit before you start talking about Israel’s need to show compassion.

    • Kalea August 29, 2011, 10:06 PM

      Your Rabbi should find another line of work.

      About the one Israeli soldier held in Gaza:

      Since 1967, 650,000, some sources state 700,000 Palestinians have been detained in Israeli prisons. That’s like an entire city. Oh yeah, I know, you’re gonna tell me all 650,000 of them were GUILTY. But just humor me for a moment and answer this question:

      1. How many Palestinian children have been detained and are detained in Israeli prisons for allegedly throwing stones?

      Your soldier boy is a trained killer. Your soldiers have killed hundreds of Palestinian children senselessly and often like this guy:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/nov/16/israel2

      What would you do, if through no fault of your own, you were born into the Occupation, with a foreign tank and bulldozer on your doorstep and no hope in sight? These children are merely trying to defend themselves against the Occupation by following in David’s footsteps and fighting off Goliath with a stone.

      So I should split my sympathy to include your soldier boy, right? Hmmm…here’s what I’m willing to do: I won’t blame him for all of Israel’s crimes, and I sympathize with his parents, but I’m waiting for them to condemn the Occupation and what Israel is doing to Palestinians.

      • David Willig August 29, 2011, 10:59 PM

        Let us assume that the Palestinians have right on their side, an assumption that I do not share, but I am not going to debate. What is the most productive path that they can take? They can destroy the commercially successful hothouses
        that were left to them when Israel ended its occupation of Gaza, and immediately fire a constant stream of rockets into Israel proper, and kidnap one soldier and hold him incommunicado for 5 years. The result? What you see today.
        For better or worse, Israel is stronger, and can retaliate at will. I maintain that the purpose of the retaliation is to deter, to prevent further attacks in the future. You might differ, you might say that Israel is out to punish, torture, or what have you.
        The point being, what we have is a cycle of attacks and reprisals, and I can tell you, from Israel, the Israeli’s want the attacks to stop, and the reprisals to be stronger, and less concerned about civilians being hit. Beersheva is a major city, and no government can stand that allows rocket attacks on Beersheva. It is like allowing Mexico to lob rockets into Houston.
        Or they could try another approach. They could free Gilad Schalit, unilaterally, unconditionally, as a gesture of good faith to peace. Do you have ant idea how Israel, and the world, would react to that? What a propaganda coup this would be?
        I ask you why they do not try this approach. Free Schalit and go 90 days without rocket attacks. Whatever I think of them, they are not stupid. If they wanted peace, they are smart enough to try this approach. After 90 days, if movement is not satisfactory, they can go back to war. What do they have to lose?
        The truth is, as Derfner and you armchair liberals do not understand is that they do not want peace, they do not want Gaza and the West Bank, they want Beersheva, they want Ashdod, they want Haifa, they want Tel Aviv. They want all of Israel, with the moderates being willing to allow Jews to live in Palestine as second class citizens, and the fundamentalists wanting to kill us all.
        So since Israel is stronger, and since Israeli’s are not willing to be a punching bag for terrorism, the cycle will continue and escalate.
        Continuing the current cycle will only result in a disproporionate amount of pain and suffering among the Arab population, because that is the only weapon at Israel’s disposal. Encouraging the Arab’s in their current path will not help.
        Didn’t any one of you ever hear of Mahatma Ghandi? Martin Luther King? Passive resistance?

        • Kalea August 30, 2011, 12:32 AM

          First I’ll address this:

          “So since Israel is stronger, and since Israeli’s are not willing to be a punching bag for terrorism, the cycle will continue and escalate.
          Continuing the current cycle will only result in a disproporionate amount of pain and suffering among the Arab population, because that is the only weapon at Israel’s disposal.”

          That’s right! Israel is stronger, Israel should know better than to feed this cycle. Israel has the power to obliterate. Therefore Israel should take step one as the Occupier and change course. Israel has the obligation to take step one: Acknowledging the Nakba and the injustice suffered by Palestinians.

          Step two: paying the price for its stupidity: returning occupied land in the West Bank and ceasing the siege on Gaza. Then the Right of Return can be discussed taking into account the suffering of the individuals who lost everything and have so little today.

          “Didn’t any one of you ever hear of Mahatma Ghandi? Martin Luther King? Passive resistance?”

          Yeah, haven’t you heard? This may come as a shock to you but it’s been happening in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the IDF is attacking people with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to the head and breaking down the doors of activists in the middle of the night and harassing and imprisoning cultural resisters as well.

          • David Willig August 30, 2011, 1:08 AM

            Well, if the Arabs enjoy being bombed, that is fine, let them continue. What I said was that any act Israel takes has long term consequences, while the Arabs can free Schalit and maintain a 90 day cease fire with no long term consequences. They would gain an enormous propaganda victory.
            I, and most Israeli’s, do not see Arabs willing to live in peace with Israel. The Arabs can either convince us that they do want peace, or they can continue. They can then cry Nakba.
            It is a Nakba because they did not accept Jews. They have fought and killed Jews who purchased land in what would become Israel starting in 1906. Try Hebron in 1929 for a Nakba. Try the anti-Jewish riots all over Israel.
            Try the 700,000 Jews that were allowed to leave Arab countries in 1948 with only the clothing on their back.
            The Right of Return to pre-67 Israel is a total nonstarter, and even mentioning it is proof positive that you are not interested in Gaza and the West Bank, you want Tel Aviv and Haifa as well.
            We have a saying in the Talmud, when you reach for too much, you end up with nothing. Israel has made countless gestures to peace, each one has been seen as a sign of weakness.
            Keep encouraging Arab intransigence. No one fought for the Jews during WW2 and no one will fight for Gaza tomorrow. If you believe that nothing is better than something, keep up what you are doing. Just let me know where there is any Arab country as free, as healthy, as prosperous, as Israel is today.
            And Israel has not yet developed its gas and oil resources. When it does, the Arab world will lose its economic leverage as well. So Abbas goes to the UN, declares an Arab State, and Israel calls this, justly, a breach of Oslo, and annexes half the West bank, leaving the Arabs with what?
            BTW, what did the Tories do after the revolutionary war? Are they in refugee camps somewhere, waiting to go home?
            Grow up and take what you can get, because you have a losing hand,and you will end up with nothing.
            And when rockets are fired at School buses, killing a child, when Rockets are fired into civilian territory every day, I do not consider that to be in the spirit of Ghandi and MLK.

          • David Willig August 30, 2011, 1:35 AM

            BTW, the land was occupied when Egypt, Syria and Jordan decide that they wanted to push the Jews into the sea. In defending itself, Israel ended up with Gaza and the West Bank. It promptly offered to return them, in return for a peace treaty, only to get the response, NO recognition, NO negotiation, NO peace.
            There are three famous short lists.
            1) Ethics for Lawyers
            2) Polish Nobel Prize Winners
            3) Arab War Heroes
            Rejecting an offer to get back everything you lost is not exactly a smart move.
            Again, Israel is prospering under the status quo. It is up to the Arabs to change the dynamics. Thay have continually tried to do so by violence. When will they try something else?

          • duck August 30, 2011, 3:23 AM

            Get your facts straight.

            Egypt suggested “land for peace”. Israel refused.

            Hamas kept a cease fire many many times. Each time, it was israel who broke it with senseless violance.

            If hamas gives up Shalit, it would be israel who sees this as a sign of weakness. How about israel release a few thousand captives?

            Israel performs daily acts of senseless, horrible violance against palestinians.
            Israel is stealing palestinian lands bit by bit.
            Israel has shown no sign of wanting peace, and has made almost no concession, while the palestinian have given up almost all of their land, and still israel wants more.

            The PA is all about non-violance to the point of collaboration with the oppresor, and what has that gained for them? Nothing, just more occupation.

            Has israel tried anything other than violance? No.

  • American BDS August 30, 2011, 3:41 AM

    I am not a right wing troll. I am just more progressive than you are.You are trying to pose as a zionist when you are not one.All of your heros, ie Max Blumenthal, Gabriel Ash, Norman Finkelstein are awowed non-zionists, while you pose as one. Larry Derfner had the courage of his beliefs and now has suffered for it. You are just an armchair warrior who is afraid to take any risk for a free Palestine

    • David Willig August 30, 2011, 4:11 AM

      This is for Duck, as there is no reply button on his post. As Senator Pat Moynihan said famously, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, no one is entitled to his own facts.
      Fact: The PLO was formed in 1964. There were no occupied territories until 1967. The PLO was, is, and always will be about destroying Israel.
      Fact: Israel pulled out of Gaza completely. The response was a missile barage on Sderot. The only reason PM Sharon did not respond immediately was he had just used in immense amount of political capital in evicting the settlers. He did not want to admit that the move would not bring the peace that he hoped for, so gave it some time. Then he had a massive stroke, and no one else had the prestige to reverse the withdrawal. (Keep firing rockets at Beersheva and Bibi will end this Hamastan terrorist state for good.)
      Fact: Until today, Israel supplies all of Gaza with Electricity, fuel and money. With a flick of a switch, Bibi could leave Gaza literally cold broke and in the dark.
      Fact: There is no Palestinian land to steal, as there never was a State called Palestine. There is private land, which remains in private hands, Israel’s Supreme Court has intervened a number of times for private landowners. Then there is State owned land, which Israel now controls as the governing body.
      Palestinians have made no concessions, while Israel has pulled out of all of Gaza and most of the West bank, Palestinians are still talking about a right of return to pre 67 Israel. What have they given up? The pre 67 borders? But they haven’t given up their claim to that, that is what the right of return is about.
      The PA is about non violence: Please tell thget to the Fuchs family.
      Fact: Israel can wipe out Gaza in 24 hours and not leave two bricks standing on each other. Fact: No one will do anything to stop them. Fact: The reason they don’t is that they try to identify with the stranger, it is part of the religious heritage. Fact: as Oliver Wendell Holmes said. The Constitution is not a suicide pact. Well, neither is religion.
      Opinion: The Palestinians are engaged in baiting the bear, who is restrained and can not reach them. The Palestinians do not understand that the restraints are being weakened, and when they break, the bear will be free to wreak devastation beyond anything you have seen.
      Opinion. Do not bait the bear. If you want peace, prove it. If you want war? Have you seen pictures of Germany after the war that it started?

      • duck August 30, 2011, 6:30 AM

        “Fact: The PLO was formed in 1964. There were no occupied territories until 1967″

        True, but totaly irrelevant. There was a Nakba before 67, and military rule, and violance.

        “Fact: Israel pulled out of Gaza completely. The response was a missile barage on Sderot.”

        Lie! Civilians pulled out, but military presence in and around gaza has been constant since Sharon. People are dying all the time from israeli attacks, gaza is being starved. The west bank is still fully occupied.
        The majority of palestinian factions attack ONLY in response to specific israeli attacks.
        ALL palestinian factions attack in response to ongoing occupation.
        The biggest faction, the PA, NEVER ATTACKS.

        “Fact: Until today, Israel supplies all of Gaza with Electricity, fuel and money”

        Israel is running a siege against gaza to drive it to the brink.

        “Fact: There is no Palestinian land to steal”

        Racist lie. The people of palestine own the land of palestine. Moreover, even if you only count private land, than israel has stolen the vastly overwhelming majority of it.

        “Palestinians have made no concessions”

        Palestinians have agreed to a two state solution, which is giving up most of their ancestral land. They have also given up their right for violent resistance, at least the PA did.

        “Fuchs family”

        I assume you mean Fugel. This family of Itamar bnei mavet has been killed by people NOT affiliated with the PA. Fact.

        “Fact: The reason they don’t is that they try to identify with the stranger, it is part of the religious heritage.”

        Lie. The only thing stoping israel from murdering even more innocents is fear of international reprisal.

        Fact: Israel is a racist state.
        Fact: The palestinians are fighting for freedom.

      • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 10:18 AM

        You have not read the comment rules as I requested. So I’m laying them out to you. Any new commenter here who publishes more than 3 comments per day is going way overboard and monopolizing the threads. Some I’m limiting you to no more than 3 comments per day. If you violate this directive, you may be moderated. Second, do not rehash ancient history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s boring. Third, don’t lie about your alleged facts. If you make historical claims that are wrong this is either ignorance of lying either one of which are not acceptable in debate here. If you don’t know the facts you may either ask for help in getting them or asking for resources or references in learning about them. But you may not make claims that are false.

        So the PLO claim is false. The PLO in 1988 gave up armed struggle & accepted a 2 state solution. This is such basic historical fact that yr counter statement is sheer willful stupidity. If in the rest of your comments I read fr. today there is more of the like I will be moderating you until you can prove you can adhere to the comment rules.

        The Gaza claim is also a comment rule violation. We’ve debated endlessly here the whole Gaza withdrawal claim by the Israeli right. We’re simply not getting into it again.

        The claim that the Gaza siege is acceptable because Israel supplies everything Gaza needs is also a lie and offensive both morally and on common sense grounds. And again, we’ve been through that one endlessly with the right wing.

        There is no Palestinian land to steal, as there never was a State called Palestine.

        This is coming perilously close to denialism which is a hanging offense here whether for the Israel or Palestine side of the argument.

        Palestinians have made no concessions

        A lie.

        while Israel has pulled out of all of Gaza and most of the West bank

        Another lie. OK I’m done. You’re toast.

        I’d urge others to stop replying to him as this seems to be one of his overt or covert goals. This is one of the Ben Gurion hasbara crew coming in for a landing here.

    • Violet Crumble August 30, 2011, 4:56 AM

      fixed!

      ‘American BDS’ said: ‘ I am a right wing troll ;)

      Hey, does anyone know if it’s possible to do html in the comments?

      • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 10:20 AM

        Yes, it is possible. And if you can’t figure it out I can add the html to yr comment for you.

    • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 10:07 AM

      Sure you’re a right wing troll. Only a right wing troll attempting to pose as an anti ZIonist troll would make the mistake of claiming that I’m not a Zionist. Anyone who truly was anti-Zionist would be critical of my Zionist views but never claim I wasn’t one. I see through yr game, bud. Of course there is always the possibility that you’re just someone with incredibly bizarre, borderline nonsensical views. But I think you’re a fake.

      You are trying to pose as a zionist when you are not one

      Lying about my views is a banning offense. As you’ve been banned before you’re banned again.

  • Sasha Levy August 30, 2011, 3:57 AM

    Hi Richard

    You were kind enough to defend my son Ariel a year or so ago, when he got into a spot of bother similar to LD’s. Glad to see your defending LD too, despite your differences.

    Let’s hear it for free speech!

  • Violet Crumble August 30, 2011, 4:52 AM

    @David Willig – Yr reply to me further up doesn’t have a reply button, so I’ll reply here. You said:

    ‘Deir Yassin was an attack by poorly trAinead militiA against a heavily defended town. I spoke to someone who was there. BG was so anxious to demonize Begin, that he made it into a massacre. It was not.’

    Deir Yassin was a village that was attacked by terrorists from the Irgun and the Stern Gang. Over 100 civilians were murdered, including women and children. I’m not sure how anyone could try to justify that act of terrorism

    ‘As far as the King David, the Irgun, at Begin’s order, phoned with a warning, which was ignored, because the British were afraid of looking like fools.

    Please do not misunderstand me. The Pentagon is a legitimate military target in a war. What was not legitimate, even in a war, was the WTC. Whether terrorists can be judged as in a war is doubtful, but the Irgun made no secret that they were at war with the British occupation. The King David was a legitimate target. The British Parliament was not, and the Irgun never launched attacks outside of Israel.
    For the Arabs no target in the world is out of bounds.’

    So all those IRA attacks in British cities weren’t really terrorism because after all they usually called beforehand and gave a warning? Whether or not a terrorist attack comes with a polite warning beforehand doesn’t mean it’s not terrorism. It also doesn’t matter what any terrorist group thinks about who it’s at war with. No-one but them and their supporters care to put up with their convoluted attempts to justify what they do. Anyway, the Palestinian groups who’ve carried out terrorist attacks believe they’re at war with Israel (the same claim Israel makes when it attacks Palestinians) and Israel is the occupier.

    There’s no justification for terrorism regardless of who carries it out or where it happens.

    • David Willig August 30, 2011, 7:24 AM

      Sometimes I wonder if you can do more than string together predigested sentences. The Ira went out of Ireland to attack England. The Irgun stayed in Israel. The Palestinians do not limit their attacks to either military targets or to the “territories, or for that matter to Israeli’s. Any Jew in the world is a legitimate target. Any supporter of Israel is a target. Any citizen of a country that supports Israel is a target. WTC QED.
      Let’s talk about Deir Yassin. April 15th 1948. This background is from the Wikopedia.
      The invasion of Deir Yassin took place after the United Nations proposed on November 29, 1947 (UN Resolution 181) that Palestine be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish one. Jerusalem was to belong to neither state, but was to be administered separately; Deir Yassin lay within the boundaries of the proposed plan for Jerusalem. The Arabs rejected the proposal, and civil war broke out. British rule in Palestine ended on May 14, 1948; Israel declared its independence that day, and several Arab armies invaded at midnight on May 15, triggering the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
      In the months leading up to the end of British rule, in a phase of the civil war known as “The Battle of [the] Roads,” the Arab League-sponsored Arab Liberation Army (ALA)—composed of Palestinians and other Arabs—attacked Jewish traffic on major roads in an effort to isolate the Jewish communities from each other.[7] The ALA managed to seize several strategic vantage points along the highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv—Jerusalem’s sole supply route and link to the western side of the city where 16 percent of all Jews in Palestine lived—and began firing on convoys traveling to the city. By March 1948, the road was cut off and Jerusalem was under siege. In response, the Haganah launched Operation Nachshon to break the siege. On April 6, in an effort to secure strategic positions, the Haganah and its strike force, the Palmach, attacked al-Qastal, a village two kilometers north of Deir Yassin overlooking the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. On April 9, Irgun and Lehi forces attacked nearby Deir Yassin.[8]

      So what the still unborn Jewish State faced was a war to kill it before it could start. The Arabs used Deir Yassin as a base of operations. The Irgun did not wake up one morning and decide it would be fun to kill some Arabs today.
      They sent in a truck with a loudspeaker system to ask noncombatants to leave. The truck was shot before entering the city. The Arab countries wanted to encourage flight, to create the refugee problem. Ben Gurion wanted to demonize Begin. Presto! Massacre.
      The truth is that the Irgun troops were not trained in large unit actions, and suffered heavy casualties in door to door fighting. And that is the true story of Deir Yassin.
      It is one thing to have a legitimate military operation go wrong. Tragic, but it happens. The USA bombed the Chinese Embassy in Kosovo, they hit weddings in Afghanistan. Tragic, but in war mistakes are made. Surely you do not believe that the USA wanted to kill Pat Tillman?
      But targeting schools, school children, Pizza shops, Passover Seders, Olympic Athletes, the list goes on, surely you can see a difference?
      And this is not a recent development out of frustration. In 1929 the Arabs of Hebron massacred more than 60 Jews, including women and children. In 1948 they massacred 77 Doctors, nurses and patients on their way to Hadassah hospital. And so on, and so on, and so on.
      The Arabs of Israel have all the rights of the Jewish citizens. They vote, are part of the national medical insurance plan and benefit from higher education. They serve in the knesset.
      Thye Arabs in Gaza are left alone, to make their own way. The only thing Israel asks of them is to stop the killing. There is no food shortage in Gaza, the stores are fully stocked, the restaurants, I’m told serve wonderful meals. There is a shortage of jobs, as productive work is discouraged. (Remember the commercially successful hothouses that they tore down, upon the exit of the Israeli army?) Israel has nothing to gain by mistreating Gaza. They pulled out expecting peace and instead got rockets.
      I reiterate. Even if you think they got a bum deal ( which I do not) Killing Jews is not going to make Israel go away. Begin wanted the English to go back to England. The IRA wanted England to get out of Ireland. Where do the Arabs want the Jews to go? They (WE) are hear to stay, and until the Arabs accept that fact, there will be no peace, and the retaliatory attacks are going to get stronger and harder.
      Israel can continue. The Arabs must choose do they want a country or do they want to kill Jews? Based on the past 80 plus years, they want to kill Jews, but than God, they are not very good at it.
      With all the Arab wealth and population, you would think they would do better, but like a schoolyard bully, they are great against the weak and helpless, but against the Israeli army, the best they can do is hide behind civilians. What will they do when Israel reaches the point where they do not care where they hide?
      As far as Schalit, I admit he was, as a soldier, a legitimate military target. But the propaganda value they would get from freeing him is far greater than any value in holding him. And having taken him, it is against all principals of war and humanity, to keep him incommunicado for five years.
      Anyway, the Jews are not leaving, the Arabs are not ready to make peace and that is the problem in a nutshell.

      • Violet Crumble August 31, 2011, 12:11 AM

        Sometimes I wonder if you have even the slightest level of knowledge of things yr attempting to talk about.

        You appear to be completely blind to several things, so I’ll lay them out for you

        1. It doesn’t matter where it happens, acts of terrorism are acts of terrorism. btw, there was no country called Israel at the time yr talking about.

        2. Not sure why you think copying and pasting something from Wikipedia giving a lead-up to the terrorist attack achieves. It comes across very much like when Hamas used to try to justify suicide-bombings by pointing to what Israel was doing beforehand.

        3. You clearly hold some very unsavoury views about Arabs. It doesn’t occur to you that the Palestinians have a problem with Israel building settlements in the West Bank, something which is illegal under international law.

        4. Talking about hiding behind civilians, that’s something the IDF has been very skilled at doing. Or doesn’t it matter to you when it’s someone else but an Arab hiding behind civilians?

        5. You, sir, are an apologist for terrorism, and I find that revolting.

        You, sir, are a revolting apologist for terrorism, and dishonest

  • Omar August 30, 2011, 6:11 AM

    As well as firing this chap, they also have a contributor from Jihad Watch…

    One of Robert Spencer’s minions – Raymond Ibrahim – is writing for the Jerusalem Post. This guy blamed Islam for the Anders Breivik massacre.

    What a newspaper.

    • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 5:13 PM

      Ibrahim is a Lebanese Christian Muslim-hater.

      • Omar August 30, 2011, 5:44 PM

        He’s an Egyptian Copt, actually. It’s baffling that the JP should have him write for them. His writing is bizarre, offensive and of no scholarly value (Spencer and his minions are all ‘scholars’ without credentials).

        What’s a peace-minded Israeli or Jew meant to read these days?

        • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 8:08 PM

          I confused him with Walid Phares another darling of the anti jihadi crowd. I think Brigitte Gabriel is another Maronite Christian Muslim hater who’s makin’ hay fr right wing funders.

          • Omar August 31, 2011, 4:02 AM

            Yep and yep.

  • duck August 30, 2011, 6:37 AM

    I would have been SHOCKED if Larry WASN’T fired.

    Truth does not go over well with israeli audience.

    The issue here is not freedom of speech, it’s good vs. evil. Racists don’t take kindly to enlightened people.

    Palestinians have a right for violent resistance for three reasons:

    1) History showed that violance CAN defeat an invader.
    2) Self defense is a human right.
    3) The vast majority of israelis support and enable the occupation.

    Before you ask, I do realize this make me a legitimate target.

    • David Willig August 30, 2011, 7:47 AM

      Yes, violence helped Poland defeat Germany in 1939. It has helped the Tibetans maintain there independence from China.
      But since violence is the way they have chosen, let them go for it. Self defense is a human right. Fire missiles at Israel and Israel will fire back. But Israel’s missiles are deadlier and more accurate. If Wladimir Klitschko hit me, I would have the legal and moral right to hit him back, but if I had any brains at all, I would try to find a different approach.
      The vast majority of Israeli’s would love noting more than to find neighbors that want to live in peace. But they have seen no signs of a desire to live in peace, neither from the politicians, nor from the opiniom polls. The desire that is shown is to kill Jews. See the Ramallah lynching in 2000. See the Fogel family massacre a few months ago.
      Let us say you have a rich uncle who could leave you an inheritance. Do you want to ask him nicely, or do you start to threaten him? And exactly how are you goingb to threaten him?
      Israel laughs at the UN. Declare a state, then what? Keep sending missiles, and sooner or later, Israel will end your capability to fire missiles. Don’t think Israel can do it? In the words of Harry Calahan, “Do you feel lucky?” Arab war heroes are hard to find and suicide bombers do not have a long life expectancy. Most of the trouble the ordinary citizen has is caused by Israeli precautions to keep out terrorists. Many worked in Israel till Israel locked them out to prevent terrorism. Sooner or later the people will throw out their terror loving leaders and there will be peace and prosperity

      • duck August 30, 2011, 10:07 AM

        Are you for real? Do you really have NO idea what’s going on in our country? Are you so blind?

        Does OCCUPATION really ring no bells for you?

        • David Willig August 30, 2011, 11:39 AM

          Last time: We were attacked in 48. We won with the help of God. The PLO was formed in 1964 to reverse that victory. There is no Israel on the PLO maps. It is all Palestine.
          In 1967 we were attacked again. The Press were writing Israel’s obituary as Nasser threatened to push the Jews into the sea. We won again, with God’s help. We wanted to give back the land for a peace treaty. The Arab countries refused to make peace.
          In 1973 we were attacked on our holiest day of the year. We suffered many casualties but again we were able to prevail. Since 1973 we gave back the entire Sinai to Egypt, including oil fields that we developed. We also removed settlers. Do not ever say Israel has shown no willingness to sacrifice for peace.
          We have suffered skyjackings, hijackings and terror attacks. We have attacks aimed at the weak and vulnerable. Every threat has to be defended against, because each time Israel finds an answer for one form of attack, the Arabs find another, sinking lower and lower in their depravity. Do you know they use ambulances to smuggle weapons and terrorists? Do you know they use children?
          Why not give the territories back? you ask. Israel has tries, offering about 95% of the territories under Bill Clinton. Clinton could not believe that Arrafat did not take the deal. He did not want peace, he did not want his own country. He wants to kill Jews. He wants our country, Israel. He wants Tel Aviv and Haifa.
          Don’t you idiots understand that each time there is a terrorist incident in the pre 67 borders, Israeli’s realize that there is nothing to talk about, no one to talk to. Egypt is claiming Eilat, Gaza is bombing Beersheva and there was a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Should we give those back too?
          Israel will not restrain itself for ever. Then you will all scream and cry how terribly disproportionate it all is. Yes, Hamas sent rockets every day, but very rarely did they hit anything. Well if you can’t hit anything, don’t shoot rockets. Those on the receiving end don’t like it. They get scared. And they do hit what they aim at.
          So every time the Arabs strike at pre 67 borders, they make peace impossible, because Israeli’s are convinced that they will never be free from terrorist attacks as long as their is an Israel. So why not strive for as much security as possible?
          Not fair to the Palestinians? As JFK famously said, LIFE IS NOT FAIR. Life was not kind to the American Indian, but eventually they had to give up. They were getting slaughtered. It is possible that the Arabs are the Indians and the Israeli’s are the White men (I would argue that the Arabs have made so many wrong choices over 100 years that they have a good share of responsibility for their plight) Butthe Israeli’s, like the white men, are stronger and not going anywhere. The Arabs can make a deal, or they can hold their breath till they turn blue in the face.
          When all is said and done, they cannot defeat Israel themselves. No one will help them. None of their “Arab brothers will let them in. Just how many generations must sit in these refugee camps before someone decides their must be a better way, a way with a future.
          No one is going home to Tel Aviv and Haifa. They can make a home in Jericho, Hebron and Bethlehem. Is that everything they want? No, but it is a lot better than what they have now which is nothing.
          The clock is ticking. They will not get a better offer. The offers will only get worse. They can go the way of the American Indian. Or, as they declare a state, please ask yourself just how much is a Confederate Dollar worth? Whatever happened to Jeff Davis, who said he had a right to self determination?

          • duck August 30, 2011, 10:35 PM

            “We won with the help of God”

            Logic Fail, there is no god.

            “It is possible that the Arabs are the Indians”

            You are both justifing a genocide and calling for another genocide.

            I have to admit, this is the first time I had an argument with a psycopath.

          • Richard Silverstein August 30, 2011, 11:15 PM

            Or someone whose congregants, if he has any, don’t keep him busy enough to stay out of trouble here.

    • Gabriel August 31, 2011, 12:35 AM

      You are way off. Violence against civilians is never justified. Yes, Palestinians have the right to attack soldiers but the Israeli army also has the right to attack Palestinian militants. By your reasoning, Israel can assume that most Palestinians support attacks against Israel and just bomb every Palestinian and it would be acceptable.. Also, believing that the idea that Palestinians act solely in self-defense is as stupid as people who believe that the occupation has no effect on the conflict.

      Larry’s piece was stupid, but he should not have been fired. Most writers will write a stupid piece now and again.

  • Kalea August 30, 2011, 7:48 AM

    Willig wrote:

    “We have a saying in the Talmud, when you reach for too much, you end up with nothing.”

    I agree 100% with this saying. There will be consequences for Israel’s reach in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. No one has reached for too much as much as Israel has.

    Hundreds of thousands of acres of Palestinian land have been stolen. There are no free lunches. The price for this kind of theft will be steep. The Talmud is no doubt referring to Karma and it applies to everyone, including Jews.

  • yankel August 30, 2011, 8:41 AM

    Regardless of Derfner’s sacking, I’m surprised anyone here expects any free-expression considerations from the JPest, a pathetic mouthpiece with ever dwindling fig-leaves to hide its shame.

    Having said that (and regardless of his text’s truth value), it’s unrealistic to expect any commercial organisation — especially one so dependent on its (conservative) readers’ immediate good-will — to keep a writer associated with a text so offensive to both its readers and its (even more conservative) owners.

  • dickerson3870 August 30, 2011, 3:36 PM

    RE: “The Jerusalem Post doesn’t deserve Larry Derfner.” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: I agree! Decades ago, the Jerusalem Post was a serious newspaper. I remember reading it regularly back in the 1970s.
    Then Conrad Black’s Hollinger media company bought it in 1989 and it went straight to hell without even so much as a handbasket.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA:

    (excerpts) The Jerusalem Post is an Israeli daily English-language broadsheet newspaper, founded on December 1, 1932 by Gershon Agron as The Palestine Post
    …Until 1989 the paper supported the forerunners of the Labor Party. In 1989, the paper was purchased by Hollinger Inc. A number of journalists resigned from the Post after Conrad Black’s takeover and founded The Jerusalem Report, a weekly magazine eventually sold to the Post. The leader of the walkout was David Landau, who founded Haaretz English Edition and went on to become editor-in-chief of Haaretz until 2009.
    On November 16, 2004, Hollinger sold the paper to Mirkaei Tikshoret Ltd., a Tel Aviv-based publisher of Israeli newspapers. CanWest Global Communications, Canada’s biggest media concern, had announced an agreement to take a 50 percent stake in the Jerusalem Post after Mirkaei bought the property, but the deal soured. The two sides went to arbitration, and CanWest lost.[10]…
    …In January, 2008, the paper announced a new partnership with The Wall Street Journal, including joint marketing and exclusive publication in Israel of The Wall Street Journal Europe.[12]…

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jerusalem_Post

  • Norman Shapiro August 31, 2011, 1:21 AM

    I have several issues whith comments about the firing of Larry Derfner, most of which can be attributed to a “difference of opinion”, as it were. However, one point I cannot accept so simply. You say that you “reject the notion that a blog post should be the cause of a journalist’s firing unless he’s advocated committing a crime or something of that order”. But that is exactly what Larry Derfner did. He advocated commiting terrorism by justifying it, and I beleive terrorism is still considered a crime in most civilized countries. On second thought perhaps that is the difference of opinion. Maybe you don’t believe that Israel should even be considered among the civilized countries of the world.

    • Richard Silverstein August 31, 2011, 8:50 PM

      Nonsense. Larry didn’t commit a crime or advocate committing a crime. He merely commented on a terror attack committed by others against Israel & said such attacks would continue as long as Israel refused a settlement of the conflict. C’mon, don’t behave like an utter fool. And if you believe what you’re spouting then please file a complaint against Larry with the Israeli police for incitement to commit terrorism. I’d love to see the State file charges against Larry & I’d personally get him a lawyer & start his defense fund & get him an agent on behalf of the great book he’d write about this.

      Maybe you don’t believe that Israel should even be considered among the civilized countries of the world.

      I don’t know about that, but you don’t appear to be among the more intelligent pro-Israel commentators of the world.

      • Norman Shapiro September 1, 2011, 4:47 AM

        Richard,

        It seems that you feel you are at your best when you attack with name calling, which I have seen from you more than any other commentor on this blog. Perhaps you should look inward when questioning anyone’s intelligence.

  • Johnny S August 31, 2011, 2:42 AM

    “Some Idea’s are so absurd that it take an intellectual to believe in them.” George Orwell

    Freedom of speech/freedom of press is fine. But why should the JPost fund hate speech and inciting to murder of Israeli civilians? JPost made a wise decision in letting this excuse for journalism go home

    • Richard Silverstein August 31, 2011, 9:03 PM

      why should the JPost fund hate speech and inciting to murder of Israeli civilians?

      I don’t know where you live but if you live in most western countries & even in Israel these ideas are heard in the media virtually every day. Those would be truly free media as opposed to JPost.

      • Norman Shapiro September 1, 2011, 4:53 AM

        So it seems you DO agree that Derfner’s blog was “inciting to murder Israeli civilians”

        • Richard Silverstein September 1, 2011, 11:07 PM

          Before you do me the favor of characterizing what I believe (wrongly I might add), one of the comment rules demands that you offer proof of whatever claim you’re making. That means you quote whatever passage you believe allows you to make the claim you’ve offered. If you don’t, you’re wasting yr breath, time & energy.

          • Norman Shapiro September 2, 2011, 3:49 AM

            Richard,

            I do apologize, but since you are the one on the site with the highest intelligence I just assumed you would be able to figure it out. So let me explain:
            1) a post, referring to Derfner’s blog states “why should the JPost fund hate speech and inciting to murder of Israeli civilians?”
            2) your response does not dispute the point that Derfner’s blog was incitement to murder, but rather admits that the worldwide media does the same.
            3) ergo, your reply implies that you DO agree that Derfner’s blog was “inciting to murder Israeli civilians”.

            Was that sufficient proof for you? If not, let me know and I will try to simplify it a bit.

  • KB September 2, 2011, 7:19 AM

    I think many of the readers of the JP who loved to hate Larry will actually miss him. It reminds me of the cartoon episode of Phineas and Ferb where the evil Dr. Doofenshmurtz decides to choose a new nemesis and Perry the Platypus become depressed or in the movie Mega Mind when Metro Man is destroyed and Mega mind has no one to fight with and thus needs to create a new enemy out of the DNA of his old nemesis.
    When people get polarized around an issue (and Israel is probably the easiest issue to get polarized over on this planet) they get easily triggered by their opponent’s button pushing.
    Larry was a button pusher par excellence. He raised a mirror to people. The problem for Larry was that although he was willing to reflect the shadow aspect of the right,he was totally unwilling to recognize the shadow aspect of the left.
    This is not the mark of a person who truly wants to see a peaceful outcome but who wants His truth (which was polarized to the left) to be recognized as The truth.
    No one is immune from their actions, not the pro Israel camp which when it is blind to actions taken by Israel that are not aligned with the Golden Rule,and not the enemies of Israel.
    Israel needs balance between it’s heart (left hand) and it’s will (right hand) in order to set the example for the region, not an easy task for this part of the world.

    • Richard Silverstein September 2, 2011, 1:47 PM

      Larry was one of the most open minded of progressive commentators to the pt of view of the right. If he wasn’t he wouldn’t have been writing for the Post. He’s far more tolerant, forgiving & open minded on that score than many of the rest of us.