9 thoughts on “Obama Transition Team Meets With Jewish Peace Groups: ‘Times They Are a Changin’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
task-attention.png
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
 

  1. Richard said:
    ————————————————-
    Getting representatives of 29 groups into one room guarantees almost nothing useful will be said or done
    ————————————————–

    This is, in part, what I was saying when I said that J-Street is not going to accomplish anything if they go around attacking positions of other Jewish groups like AIPAC. If they say “we demand punitive sanctions against Israel because of the settlements in the name of the Jewish people” and another opposes that, also “in the name of the Jewish people”, all they are doing is neutralizing each other.

    If I might pose you a somewhat unrelated question that has been puzzling me for some time….
    When I read “progressives” liike yourself, or MJ Rosenberg or others, like those at TPM Cafe, there seems to be a pretty much unanimous feeling that Bush is the most criminal President of all time (at TPM there was a demand made for a South-Africa or Chile-like Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate Bush’s crimes), largely because of the war in Iraq. For many years, “progressives” wanted the US to run a more “moral” foreign policy, meaning not supporting dictators simply because they take the side of the US, but the US should have worked more aggressively for brining democracy and human rights to other countries.
    Now, there seemed to be pretty broad acceptance in the world that Saddam Hussein was a tyrannical ruler of Iraq. Bush went in and removed him, yet the “progressives” are quite upset about this. What I don’t quite understand is why. After, Bush removed this brutal dictator and there is a government that was elected fairly democratically in power. So what was the problem. Please indicate if it is one of the following:

    (1) It is untrue that Saddam was bad, he should have been left in power
    (2) It is TRUE that Saddam was bad, but the US should never had used military force against him because it would cause casualties to both Iraqis and American forces.
    Thus, war could never be justified.
    (3) It is true that the war COULD be justified, but only because of Saddam’s threats to other countries through his WMD’s. Since Bush “stretched the truth” (or, in other words. lied) about the WMD’s, this neutralized any possible justification for the war.
    (4) It is true that the war could be justified even without WMD’s in order to overthrow a tyrant and to bring democracy, or at least, a less repressive gov’t to power in Iraq, but the war was bungled…the massive anarchy that followed poisoned the attitudes of the Iraqis towards the Americans and the abuses like Abu Ghraib (sp?) destroyed any moral claim to America’s right to intervene in the country (I think this is the shoe-thrower’s claim, after all he is Shi’ite and Bush put his people in power, although I heard that he was a former Ba’athist so that would mean he would have opposed the American invasioni in any event). Thus, Bush’s crime would be the poor planning of the occupation.

    I would appreciate it very much if you could clarify your position on this.

  2. @bar_kochba132:

    If they say “we demand punitive sanctions against Israel because of the settlements in the name of the Jewish people

    You simply don’t have a clue what J STreet is, what it stands for, & how it operates. It is a domestic political group. It is not concerned with internal Israeli politics, at least not directly concerned with it. It will never demand punitive sanctions against Israel because that isn’t part of its agenda.

    As for neutralizing Aipac or other right wing Israel lobby groups–I’m all for it.

    there seems to be a pretty much unanimous feeling that Bush is the most criminal President of all time

    Gee, I don’t know. Most incompetent? Most damaging? Sure all that. “Most criminal?” Perhaps. But we’ve had some pretty bad presidents on that score so I don’t think I’d even consider rating him there. And criminality usually has to be proven so I’d prefer Bush’s “crimes” be investigated by Congress before labelling him “most criminal.”

    George Bush’s father prosecuted a war against Sadaam Hussein that most Americans supported. If younger Bush had tried to prosecute a similar type of war, he might’ve won the support of more of the world than he did. Everything about the way he waged this war was wrong almost from the get go. Though Hussein was a tyrant, Bush became little less than a tyrant in toppling him & making a mess out of everything that happened since.

  3. Richard Silverstein should be ashamed of himself for his grade-school-level attack on ZOA President Mort Klein (who has Tourette Syndrome) for “hissing and grunting.” One would think that a magazine dedicated to repairing the world would show more thoughtfulness towards persons with disabilities which they are born with.

    While Mr. Silverstein was attacking Mr. Klein for having Tourette Syndrome, Mr. Silverstein neglected to mention what Mr. Klein actually said at the transition team meeting. Mr. Klein pointed out that Israel Policy Forum and Peace Now’s claims that all Israeli parties support a Palestinian state were inaccurate. Mr. Klein listed the numerous Israeli parties (including Likud) who, after years of continued Palestinian terrorism, are opposed to a Palestinian State. Many of Israel’s parties understand that such a state would be another launching pad for attacks on Israel. Mr. Klein also listed out other factual inaccuracies with the leftist groups’ statements.

    Israeli adults and children have been subjected to constant terror and rocket attacks for the past seven years. It is a sad state of affairs when a Jews attack other Jews, instead of defending Israel from her real enemies at a time when Israel faces such mortal danger.

  4. p.s. For those who are unfamiliar with Tourette Syndrome, I’d like to recommend a recently televised film produced by the Hallmark Hall of Fame about the life of Brad Cohen, who has Tourette. The film shows Mr. Cohen’s struggle to overcome misunderstanding about his Tourette Syndrome symptoms (involuntary sounds), and the discrimination he had to overcome while working to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a school teacher. Persons with Tourette tend to be highly intelligent, as are both Mr. Klein and Mr. Cohen.

  5. @Elizabeth (Liz) Berney, Esq.: “Hissing & grunting” was a description of his political rejemiads & fulminations against fellow Jews sitting in the room with him and not meant to denigrate his medical condition. Do pls. provide evidence that I attacked Mort Klein “for having Tourette Syndrome.” There’s plenty about Mort Klein to attack w/o having to drag Tourette into it.

    Tikun Olam is not Tikkun Magazine. You’re only the 100th person to have made this mistake.

    Nice to know that Mort’s groupies are monitoring Tikun Olam. Guess it’ll keep me on my toes. COuld you let us know in which district you’re running so I can alert my readers to vote for your opponent??

  6. Dear Mr. Silverstein,

    Even if you only meant to criticize Mr. Klein’s comments at the Obama transition meeting (which consisted solely of Mr. Klein politely correcting the factual inaccuracies of leftist groups Peace Now and Israel Policy Forum), “hissing and grunting” was an extremely poor and insensitive choice of words for referring to someone who has Tourette Syndrome. I thought that you would recognize how insensitive your word choice was, and perhaps, if you were really a mensch, that you would express regret for these inappropriate comments.

    Moreover, even if you only meant to criticize Mr. Klein’s comments at the meeting, your sole depiction of his comments as “hissing and grunting,” and now, “rejemiads and fulminations” (by the way, what is a “rejemiad”?) gave your readers absolutely no idea of the substance of what was said. The substance was as follows: Peace Now and IPF claimed that ALL Israeli political parties, the Israeli public and the American Jewish and non-Jewish public agree that there should be a Palestinian state. Mr. Klein listed the Israeli political parties, both large and small, who are now opposed to a Palestinian state after experiencing years of Palestinian terrorism (both by Hamas rockets and Fatah suicide and homicide attacks) in response to Israeli concessions. Mr. Klein also cited the non-partisan surveys which show that the majority of Israelis, Americans and American Jews are opposed to any further concessions to the Palestinians and opposed to a Palestinian state. The majority has learned, after Israel received “rockets for land” after the Gaza withdrawal, that concessions to the Palestinians have only brought more violence, not peace. Mr. Klein’s comments were applauded by people at the meeting, and Peace Now and IPF said nothing further in response. They apparently realized that Mr. Klein was correct. Immediately following the formal meeting, there were friendly, respectful informal conversations between Mr. Klein and those on the left, which have been described in several articles in the newspapers (“When Diane Met Mort”). No one “fulminated” “hissed or grunted” or “rejemiaded” (whatever that is) at anyone else.

    “Hissing and grunting” is also an unseemly choice of words when speaking about anyone. The cause of civil discourse and reasoned debate is also not advanced by you calling someone who believes that Israel has the right to protect her citizens a “Neanderthal.” I was pleased to see that your rules for posting on your website emphasize “civility” – something which we apparently both agree this world needs much more of. I would hope that you would want to set an example, and that your articles would meet your own laudable standard. I would also hope that you would applaud the sort of respectful discourse between those with different views which followed the transition meeting. Different people have very different views as to how to achieve real peace.

    (Speaking of your website rules, unfortunately, some of your other “rules” for posting on your website stifle intelligent, factual discussion. For instance, your rules categorize MEMRI as “propaganda” and prohibit people from quoting from or relying on material from MEMRI’s website. However, MEMRI merely translates Arab press articles and statements. In order to intelligently and accurately discuss the Middle East, people need to learn what the Arab press and leaders are really saying. Other sources which you prohibit, such as CAMERA, are dedicated to providing accurate factual information. I hope you eliminate your restrictions on open factual debate, while maintaining the importance of civil discussion on your site.)

    Thank you for pointing out that your site is a different entity from Tikkun Magazine.

    I’m sorry to disappoint you, but, to my knowledge, no one has been monitoring your website and no one plans to monitor it in the future. I stumbled across your “hissing and grunting” article by accident and then, thinking that this was the Tikkun Magazine site, I took a look at the rest of your essays. It deeply saddened me that there is not a single essay on your site condemning Hamas for bombarding Israeli civilians and Israeli homes, gardens, schools, playgrounds, day care centers and shopping centers with lethal rockets throughout the past eight years. Your site never acknowledges that the real obstacle to real peace is Hamas’ unremitting brutal attacks on Israeli civilians. Instead, you engage in one-sided condemnation of Israel for merely finally doing what needs to be done to protect its citizens from the eight-year nightmare inflicted by Hamas. Your site also neglects to mention the enormous effort Israel is making to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties, including dropping leaflets on targets (rocket launching sites, rocket storage facilities and terrorist leaders), warning civilians to evacuate.

    I have not yet decided whether to run for office again in 2010. If I do, it will be my pleasure to meet with you and any of your readers in my district (NY-5) who would like to openly and civilly discuss, debate or learn more about my views on the Middle East or any other topic, so that they can make a fully informed decision. They will also be welcome to visit my website. It’s a free country, so you are of course free to tell anyone who shares your views to not vote for me if I run again. Since the majority of Americans believe, as I do, in the “Neanderthal view” that Israel is entitled to defend its citizens, your condemnation of me is sure to result in my receiving many more votes.

    Wishing you and your readers civility and real peace,

    Elizabeth (Liz) Berney, Esq.
    LizBerneyforCongress@gmail.com

    1. Listen, I don’t need lessons from you about what’s polite & what’s not polite. The phrase “hissing and grunting” was not one I created myself. It was conveyed to me by a staff member for a group who shares my views of Mort Klein. I did not know he had Tourette’s until just before you published your initial comment here. I certainly will not apologize for anything I’ve written about Mort Klein including that phrase. He deserves that and more. He is an odious Jew and human being. My views of him are based solely on his political views & not his medical condition.

      That’s “jeremiad” btw.

      Peace Now and IPF claimed that ALL Israeli political parties, the Israeli public and the American Jewish and non-Jewish public agree that there should be a Palestinian state.

      To be charitable, you are mischaracterizing what those groups claimed. To be uncharitable, you are flat out lying. No self-respecting observer of the Israeli political scene would say “All Israeli political parties…agree there should be a Palestinian state.” That’s a ludicrous claim on your part. If they said anything like what you claim, they said all MAJOR political parties agree there should be a Palestinian state (though Likud’s position on this is debatable)

      Mr. Klein also cited the non-partisan surveys which show that the majority of Israelis, Americans and American Jews are opposed to any further concessions to the Palestinians and opposed to a Palestinian state.

      Lying again. There are no “nonpartisan surveys” which find as you claim, though there may be highly partisan surveys which do. In fact, the American Jewish Commmittee annual surveys consistently find American Jews support a Palestinian state. It is the most reliable & trustworthy survey of American Jewish opinion.

      Mr. Klein’s comments were applauded by people at the meeting, and Peace Now and IPF said nothing further in response. They apparently realized that Mr. Klein was correct.

      Lady, I don’t know who you are…but you’re off your nut entirely. Mort Klein is about as correct in his views of anything related to the IP conflict as a broken watch. But to say he’s even correct twice a day as a broken watch is, is probably exaggerating.

      My views about civility are meant for those who are civil. Mort Klein’s views are anything but civil. They are angry, hateful, racist, bellicose, Kahanist. But other than that he’s a swell human being.

      MEMRI merely translates Arab press articles and statements.

      For someone who’s a bosom buddy of Mort Klein of course MEMRI is a dispassionate professional news service. All you have to do is Google MEMRI here in this blog or on the web to find close critical analysis of the propagandistic nature of MEMRI. It does not “merely translate” anything. It chooses carefully what it “translates” to present a jaundiced view of Arab society. It’s translations are also sometimes found to be highly selective, taken out of context & dubious. But again, other than that MEMRI is super.

      people need to learn what the Arab press and leaders are really saying.

      They do. But they won’t hear it from MEMRI. They’ll hear a highly selective, partisan representation of the Arab media.

      CAMERA, are dedicated to providing accurate factual information.

      I know you’re not writing comedy here but some of this passes for it. “Accurate factual information??” From CAMERA? Really. That’s a good one & gave me a good laugh. Once again Google this blog & you’ll find my critiques of CAMERA’s “accurate, factual information.”

      It deeply saddened me that there is not a single essay on your site condemning Hamas for bombarding Israeli civilians and Israeli homes

      Once again you are sadly mistaken. There are many posts and comments here which criticize Hamas. You just haven’t bothered to do any research before making such a claim. But aside from this error: Palestinian militants (that is groups including Hamas, but not necessarily limited to Hamas) have killed a total of 18 Israelis in rocket attacks since 2001. Israel on the other hand has now killed nearly 800 Gazans, at least 40% (possibly higher) civilians in just 13 days. And you wonder why I spend more time criticizing Israeli policy than Hamas??

      Your site also neglects to mention the enormous effort Israel is making to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties

      Again with the comedy. “Enormous effort?” Leafleting and text messaging Gazans to leave their homes? So they can shelter in the “safer” homes of their relatives where they’ll be killed like the al-Samounis? Or so they can take shelter in UNWRA schools where they’ll be shelled by the IDF? Quite the effort the IDF is making. So much effort that the UN has practically accused Israel of war crimes for this cold blooded murder of civilians.

      I have not yet decided whether to run for office again in 2010

      IF you do, pls. drop us a line & let us know who your opposition is so we can know where to send our checks. BTW, if your views are so popular can you tell us why you didn’t win the last time you ran??

      Further, brevity is the soul of wit. Don’t write a gantze megillah here in the comment section. Short & sweet will do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *