Coming Soon to Shabak Dungeons Near You
The profile of Tikun Olam published yesterday:
Ha-Ir Tel Aviv Magazine – Issue 1557, 6 August 2010 p. 42
Translated by Dena Shunra of http://hebrew.shunra.net/
Coming Soon to Shabak’s Dungeons
The blog published by Richard Silverstein – an American Jew from Seattle – is one of the few places the long arm of the State of Israel has not yet reached. That explains why he was the first to unveil the Anat Kamm case, to publish the full name of “Captain George” [Doron Zehavi], and shed light on many affairs covered by gag orders. For more information about our lives – step into the blog.
by Lital Grosman
Captain George’s New Job: Arab Affairs Consultant to the Commander of the Jerusalem District – read the headline of the news item published in Haaretz last Wednesday. ‘Captain George’ is the alias of a former interrogator [Doron Zahavi] in Intelligence Unit 504, responsible for the interrogation of Mustafa Dirani after the latter had been abducted and brought to Israel.
Years later, in a lawsuit Dirani filed against the state, that same ‘George’ was accused of having sodomized him (inserted a baton into his rectum) and that on another occasion, he had instructed another soldier to rape him. Despite his denials of the claims against him, George left the army following that case, and entered into service with the police. Since then, his name has been gone from the headlines. The trial about him has been going slowly since Dirani was returned in 2004, in the Tannenbaum prisoner swap.
But George’s comeback last week rekindled public interest in him: the day after the news item was published, a complaint surfaced, filed by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) several months ago, relating to a threatening interrogation in his current position. However, despite the fact that this new [police] job is not done under the cover of the same darkness that characterized his previous ones, and despite the fact that the official complaint contained his full name (as did several of the comments on the Haaretz news items) – the publication of his full name was prohibited by three separate gag orders. The violation of such an order could lead to a detention cell.
Richard Silverstein, an American Jew from Seattle who writes the Tikun Olam blog and is not bound by Israeli law, stepped into this vacuüm. In a post that he published that very day he exposes George’s full name. “[T]hank God we’re not bound by any such nonsense,” writes Silverstein at the end of the post, “and [so] we offer (and here he uses the real name of Captain George) to the world in all his glory.”
But that was not the end of the story. A few hours later two additional bloggers, Israeli ones this time, Yossi Gurvitz and Itamar Shaatiel, also published posts revealing the true name of “George”. The path from here to the publication of the full name throughout the Internet was short, which apparently displeased some unnamed people. Several hours after the publication of those posts, a denial-of-service (DoS) attack begin against the three sites…Silverstein’s blog underwent the most intense attack: it was brought down again and again, over a period of several days. As of Monday morning, reports Silverstein in a phone interview from his home, the attack has eased. He adds that despite speculations on the Internet that the attack may have been by establishment persons, he himself believes that it was carried out by readers of Ultra-Orthodox Rotter website’s Scoops forum (Silverstein’s site collapsed a few hours after someone, acting on his behalf, published a link to the post in question in that forum.)
It should be noted in this context that an attack of the type carried out against Tikun Olam does not require extraordinary technological means or knowledge. It should also be noted that Silverstein was not really upset by it. “If you write a political blog about Israel, you have to expect a certain degree of hostility,” he says. A few hours later he would find the following comment on the Rotter forum: “I am for erasing Silverstein from the world, at the hands of a Mossad assassination squad.”
The Last Journalist
Despite the fact that his blog has been in existence for seven years, until several months ago the number of his readers in Israel was small. The turning point was when Silverstein became the first to publish the full details of the Anat Kamm case. As you will remember, when Kamm was arrested on suspicion of security offenses in December 2009, a sweeping gag order was applied to the entire case, which prohibited even the publication of the fact that there was a security case to which a gag order had been applied. That’s how, for months on end, despite hints on the Internet and even graffiti asking “Where did Anat Kamm disappear?”, the details of the case were unknown.
That is, until Silverstein got into the story. “Someone in Israel contacted me, and informed me about what was going on with Anat Kamm,” he says. “He said that there was a gag order, and asked if I wanted to publish it. I believe in the principle of transparency in democracy – in Israel, too, which I see as a partial democracy today – and I think that the public in Israel has the right to know things that are blocked by censorship or by other security organizations. For this reason, I leapt at the chance to do this, although I knew that many powerful people in Israel would be angered by it.”
Details about the case were actually first published on the Indymedia website, but they were soon removed, at Kamm’s own request. On March 14th, Silverstein first published the suspicions against Kamm, the fact that she had been arrested, and her full name (incidentally, he deleted it from the news item after hearing that Kamm did not want it to be made public, but her reinstated it 48 hours later). Several days later the story made it to JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), which published it, and it’s at that point the matter became a massive snowball that would not stop. Eventually, it led to an Israeli court on April 8th, instructing that the facts of the arrest could be published.
Silverstein has worked as a fundraiser for the Jewish community. He holds an M.A. in comparative literature, and his specialty is Hebrew literature. In the past he also started working on a Ph.D. on this subject, for the purpose of which he moved to Israel for two years, in order to study at the Hebrew University. He did not complete the degree.
Doubtless, his role in the Anat Kamm case upgraded his status. The case made it clear to Silverstein that he had a start-up available: a blog which could fight against the Israeli cloak of secrecy, thanks to the fact that he was not subject to local censorship. “For years in writing the blog, most of what I did was to read Haaretz and Ynet in English and reports about Israel in the New York Times, and I’d write my opinions about what they said,” he tells us. “My blog was not original, in the sense that I would not create stories, but primarily respond to them. But now, this has changed.” Today, relying on Israeli sources who contact him, and especially one central contact person – about whom Silverstein is only prepared to say that he is “not a public person, but one who has access to a lot of information, and who wishes to lay low” – is responsible for the exposure of a long line of important cases.
The next “initiative” after the Kamm case was born of a report aired on Channel 2 TV on April 19th this year, on the eve of the Day of Remembrance [Israel’s Memorial Day]. The story was about a Mossad agent [Immanuel Sonino] killed in the line of duty about 17 years ago, whose parents wanted to memorialize him in a school in the city where they lived. “After the story aired, it was disappeared (meaning the link to the news company’s site was removed, as well as the link to it on YouTube). The reason for the disappearance was probably the possibility of identifying the Mossad agent through it, and a sensitive affair he was associated with, despite the fact that his full name was not mentioned – LG). “I saw that as scandalous, and tried to break the seal of secrecy, simply because there was no justification for it. The secrecy in this case was arbitrary and capricious: they do not permit the publication of a news story which wishes to memorialize a person, despite his parents’ explicit desire to do so. So I wrote about it.”
A month later Silverstein again took it upon himself to shed light on a security affair which had been put into darkness, this time, while it was still in progress. The case in question was the arrest of Amir Makhoul, a writer, human rights activist, and member of the Israeli-Palestinian NGO, Ittijah, on suspicion of spying for Hizb’Allah. Tikun Olam’s attention was draw to the fact that since his arrest, on May 6th, Makhoul was isolated for 12 days, without being permitted to see an attorney, while under cover of a gag order (a short time thereafter charges were filed against him, claiming that he had been recruited to the Hizb’Allah by a Lebanese businessman residing in Jordan, Hassan Jajah by name, that he had conveyed a list of six additional potential agents, and had also received software from the Hizb’Allah for use in sending encrypted information. It was claimed that in his interrogation Makhoul admitted to having met a Hizb’Allah agent in Denmark, in 2008, and agreed to collect information about Israel. Makhoul later claimed that the “information” had been extracted under torture.)
“What I found interesting was the claim that Amir Makhoul and Omar Said (who was also arrested in the same case – LG) were allegedly recruited by a Hizb’Allah agent. I invested some research into understanding what the story was about this man, whom the Shabak claimed was an agent (Jajah – LG) and if it made sense the he was. That’s how I found out where he lives and what he does.”
That’s already proper journalism.
“Yes. I had to use the help of many people. Later I also found a declaration by the wife of the alleged agent, in an interview in a Jordanian newspaper, and I translated it [with the help of Rechavia Berman]. We even tried to persuade Jajah to do an interview, but that didn’t work out.
Related to the Prosecution
Another case, whose details have not been made clear to this day, is that of “Prisoner X” – a detainee with no name or identification. An item about his was published on the Ynet [news portal] website on June 13th, but it was removed less than a day later, due to a gag order about the subject. Silverstein wrote a post about it in which he reported the gag order and also discussed the question of the man’s identity, and the background for his arrest. That same day the KamWatch blog published a screenshot of the original news item (which Ynet confirms it had indeed removed due to the gag order.)
“I have no problem with the existence of intelligence agencies, a military, and the whole issue of maintaining secrecy,” explains Silverstein about the limitations that he is trying to pierce, “but I think they should be accountable for what they do. I do not feel that this is happening in Israel. I think they have a blank check to do pretty much whatever they want, and no one thinks that it is important for them to bring forth support for the accusations they make. I may be perceived by certain people as an enemy because I do this, but in a true democracy every person must be accountable for what they do – including spies and the intelligence community. So if the Shabak wants to claim that Amir Makhoul was recruited by Hizb’Allah, let it bring forth its arguments properly, rather than holding him in prison for two weeks, denying him access to an attorney, and extracting confessions under duress. You can talk to the public without revealing secrets. In America, in cases equivalent to the ones that I covered, a great deal more information is presented to the public.”
Do you really think that the situation in the U.S. is much better? Look at how the administration responded to solider Bradley Manning, who leaked documents to the Wikileaks site.
“True, the government is very harsh to him, but he has a certain amount of public support and he has a good attorney. I feel that in Israel, if you want to be Anat Kamm, you have to be prepared to go it alone, with no support network, and to be the target of burning hatred. It’s not that the situation in the U.S. is perfect: it is not. Obama is continuing the Bush polices in many fields, and this is especially jarring in the context of sensitive security issues, such as prosecuting whistleblowers, as in the Wikileaks case. But the difference is that in America there is a system of checks and balances. There are the president, Congress, and the Supreme Court, and they all review each other’s acts, so that even if there is a president like Bush who causes damage for eight long years, Congress can counteract possible harm to the Constitution. In Israel the army stands alone. Who can check it?”
Where do you see this being expressed?
“For example, the inflated number of gag orders and the ease with which the judiciary approves them. In other democracies, the judiciary serves as a check for the security system, and requires that it bring forth proof for its actions. This does not seem to be happening in Israel.
Another example is the first judge who heard the Anat Kamm case, Einat Ron, who had been a prosecutor with the Military Judge Advocate’s Office. That indicates that the relationship between the judiciary and the military is too close. The relationship between the media and the security apparatus is also problematic. The media quotes the latter’s version of events, often without credit and without requiring anyone to be accountable for what they say.
“There were cases of excessive closeness between media and the CIA or FBI in the U.S., too, but many more questions are asked by media about the motivations and action of the agents, not to mention the judiciary’s relationship with these organizations. Gag orders are quite rare here. In the U.S. it is well-known that agents can be fired if they exceed their authority, while in Israel, even if this happens, most likely you wouldn’t even find out about it, but rather might hear some rumor or other.”
I Haven’t Been Subpoenaed Yet
When Silverstein talks about the absence of support networks to aid whistleblowers about security cases, such as in the case of Anat Kamm, he knows what he’s talking about. He has learned it the hard way. Since he started the blog about seven years ago, he has become the target of ongoing defamation, primarily by American Jews who do not like his radical opinions and his harsh criticism of Israel. “Anti-Semite” and “Jew-hater” are only some of the curses he gets in response to his posts. A week ago he even received a death threat, and that was not even on the Rotter site. “Another American blogger had a comment which mentioned my name, along with the statement that I should be killed,” he says. “I think this crossed a line. We alerted the FBI. Considering the world we live in, we can’t ignore the possibility that someone might have the capability and the means to act on this statement.”
“People are also trying to run me out me out of the Jewish community,” he says, “but I do not intend to let that happen. I want there to be room in the community for people with opinions like mine, too.”
Was that the motivation for starting the blog, in the first place?
“I’ve always felt that the Jewish press in the U.S. has not really given attention to alternative views such as my own, and I wanted there to be a place where I could express them. Since the Israel/Palestine dispute has always interested me, and since I enjoyed writing but never worked professionally as one – when I heard about blogs in 2003, I found them very attractive. They let an individual become his own publisher. But still, I treated it as a big experiment.”
Since that time, the blog became the primary occupation in the life of Silverstein, who is married and has a nine year old son. “I consider my blog to be a full-time job,” he says, “despite the fact that this is not a job where I make a full-time salary. It is something I work at very intensively. I spend a lot of time on the blog, investigating stories. I also spend a lot of time on comments in the blog. The comments are very important to me, as this is a community of readers. I also learn a lot from them.”
There is a constant claim in the comments that you receive money from Saudi Arabia
“Then I will have to take this occasion to disappoint the commenters – no-one finances me. Quite the contrary, I would be delighted if a foundation would do so. Not to mention that blogging is not all that expensive, either.”
After your blog went in a new direction, which set off warning lights with the people in charge of keeping [Israeli] state secrets, has anyone contacted you or put any pressure on you to refrain from publishing certain things?
No one has approached me officially and there has been no attempt to discourage me or call me in for a conversation. Nothing like that. I think that they have to be very careful here, and they understand that if they try and do something, they might exceed their limits. That’s part of the delicate balance here.”
But a few minutes later, Silverstein admits that there is actually one thing which does concern him. “I have not been in Israel since I started writing the blog. I did live in Israel in the past, I studied Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University for two years, but my son has already started asking why we don’t go visit. I wonder if when I visit Israel, my fate would be the same as that of other people who were not allowed entry, such as Noam Chomsky. I would actually like to come and discuss politics with bloggers whom I’ve had the opportunity to talk to, but not meet face to face. I’d be glad to do that sometime. I have to say that some of the bloggers who write here in the U.S. travelled to Israel and had no problems, so I don’t assume that they would necessarily treat me badly, but we both know that Israel holds a grudge, and that anything could happen.”
Attorney Shlomi Tzipori, who represents “Captain George”, said that he does not wish to respond. Spokespeople for the Jerusalem [Police] District said that they refuse to discuss the issue. Channel 2 News said about the censored report that they do not wish to respond. No response was available from the Rotter site.
This article originally appeared in Hebrew in the Ha-Ir magazine, Issue 1557, 6 August 2010 p. 42
34 thoughts on “Coming Soon to Shabak Dungeons Near You – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
You’re a brave man, Richard, and I salute you.
Brave for doing what ?
I just hope I never have to test the limits of my bravery in one of those cells & I respect those who have been there.
Indeed you are a brave man Richard.
I would hope that as long as you stay in the US your worries about shabak cells is moot—do you have a reason to believe otherwise? What worries me more in that context is the safety of your sources “behind the rapidly closing iron curtain”.
I believe your braveness is most demonstrable when thinking about the social cost you have to pay within Jewish American society for telling them the truth about their pet project.
I don’t feel any pressure here in the U.S. I would also think anyone supporting my work in Israel shouldn’t face any repercussions as they are not violating Israeli law in doing so. Though the intelligence agencies do tend to make it up as they go along & sometimes try to make perfectly legal acts appear to be nefarious.
A quick question:
How much courage or bravery is required from a man sitting in his house near “the shores of lake Washington” in order to verbally attack a country some 12000 miles away?
I am genuinely curious about the answer for this.
My thoughts: bloggers come and go by the millions. In this day and age, anyone can claim to be a hero behind his computer monitor. No bravery to be found here.
Perhaps if Richard was truly brave, he would go to Israel/Palestine and fight for what he is passionate about. He would help the occupied Palestinians and document their miserable lives. He might even participate in a protest or two and stand face to face with those soldiers and cops that he attacks day and night from his comfy couch in safe Seattle.
If he did that, he would gain a considerable amount of respect from me and others…even though we disagree on almost every one of his opinions.
Brave people take action. Cowards sit in front of computers and complain.
Readers I respect more than you seem to disagree with your assumption. The bravery they note has nothing to do with way you articulate things. It has to do with taking a stand on behalf of a vision of Israeli democracy which I have.
I’m rapidly losing patience w. you & yr attitude. No one here needs to have a debate about whether or not I’m brave. If that’s what you want to spend yr time doing be my guest. But you’ll rapidly wear out yr welcome I assure you.
Blah, blah, blah. Only the 25th or 50th time someone has raised this alleged argument. The problem w. yours is that according to traditional Jewish belief kol Yisrael erayvim zeh ba-zeh. Meaning that all Israel is responsible one for the other. And every Jew has a right to participate in whatever way they see fit in the fate of Israel. Israel recruits the Diaspora for support. Therefore I have every right to offer such support as I see fit. If you or someone else doesn’t like it or find it useful, gey gesunt. It doesn’t interest me.
Which you don’t think I’m doing now? I’ve got a line out the door of Palestinians who say otherwise.
You’re so Old School. YOu think to protest you need to physically be in a place?? You think that in this digital day & age you can’t protest the Occupation outside Israel? How quaint. Have you ever heard of the Internets?
And you think that earning yr respect is something meaningful to me?
That’s a serious comment rule violation. Read the rules. Follow them.
Richard, i do not think you are a coward, however under current conditions at which you are located 12,000 miles away from our shores, you will not pay the price if your promotions effort will be successful. Yes you are right,”kol israel haverim” etc. but there are those who shad blood and there are those who speak loud. the opinion of all Jews residing overseas should be heard, but should not be taken seriously.
That’s nonsense. I don’t need to shed blood to have a perfect right to do what I do. I’m tired of this conversation & won’t explain or defend to you or anyone else my right to do this. If you don’t like it that’s too bad. Get off this subject. If you don’t want to take my views seriously than go somewhere else. The fact that you’re here means either you’re a hypocrite or a liar or simply don’t understand yr own motivations for doing what you’re doing.
Yes, you are brave, and Medawar confesses to a sense of guilty relief that your dwelling is thousands of miles from here.
A well deserved kudos Richard.
Bravo to Richard, Shunra and the righteous Israelis who continue to fight the good fight.
I salute you all.
Perhaps this is not the right thread to be writing this, but I have a general comment regarding this website.
Going over the articles from the last few days, I have seen countless instances of comments being deleted by Richard. The overwhelming majority of these comments are those that oppose the opinions presented by Richard in this blog (for example, those presented by “Objective”). I have not seen any evidence of these comments being exceptionally rude or disrespectful, and for the most part they were well thought and presented valid arguments (as opposed to Richards’ replies which almost never respond to the arguments but rather issue warnings and argumentum ad hominem). Therefore, to an observer from the side, these moderations seem unwarranted.
Now, this is your blog and you can do whatever you want with it. You describe yourself as a “progressive thinker”. This implies that you are open for criticism and discussion, even with those who do not agree with your views. However I and many others are reluctant to put the effort into having a discussion if our comments will just be moderated or deleted.
If you don’t want any discussion than at least don’t claim to be a “progressive” thinker or a person interested in the truth and justice.
I have no interest in discussing, defending or explaining my editorial decisions. I’m a human being & I admit that there are times after reading 30,000 or so of these suckers that yet another dumb-cluck comment that has appeared here in 14 previous incarnations here just drives me over the edge. If that happens I don’t believe in boring myself or my readers w. seeing the same thing a 15th time. 98% of the time I’m very careful about deciding which comments to delete & which commenters to moderate or ban. Of course, there are times when I just get so damn ticked off by a comment or commenter that I may react too sensitively. But that’s why it’s my blog.
I concede I’ve been testy & irascible w. a few commenters who I’ve allowed to provoke me. I prob. should’ve tried to be more tolerant. But I really hate reading the same arguments over & over & get tired of having to deal with repetition ad nauseam.
*How does one put a paragraph in block quote style like you do in many of your comments? If you can edit this please do so…
“I admit that there are times after reading 30,000 or so of these suckers that yet another dumb-cluck comment that has appeared here in 14 previous incarnations here just drives me over the edge. ”
There is no need to attack those commenters personally and call then names. I find this to be a rather juvenile approach.
I also find this claim of yours to be quite ironic, since you are as redundant as many of those commenters. It may be hard for you to admit but many of your posts are just recycled pieces of information and obsessive attempts to bash a certain group/entity/organization. There are countless motifs in your posts that have been chewed to death…so I would be careful labeling others as repetitive and redundant.
98% of the time I’m very careful about deciding which comments to delete & which commenters to moderate or ban. Of course, there are times when I just get so damn ticked off by a comment or commenter that I may react too sensitively.
Interesting. With a very slight variation in those two sentences, it would be a rather accurate description of the shabak/shin-bet (with respect to freedom of speech in Israel).
Maybe you two are not so different after all?
But I really hate reading the same arguments over & over & get tired of having to deal with repetition ad nauseam.
Again, these emotions are shared by many visitors of this blog… but towards your posts.
You can take two approaches regarding this blog, but you cannot dance on both weddings (a Hebrew idiom).
1) This blog is attempting to cater towards progressive thinkers. You want to deal with critical issues in a respectful and mature way and listen to all opinions presented, even those which differ greatly from yours. This will require special attention and patience from yourself in order to assure that all views are presented and taken into consideration.
2) This blog is an Agar plate for Israel policy bashing. Richard and his minions (Mary, Shirin etc…) are welcome to comment freely and all those attempting to refute Richard’s arguments are persona non grata.
The choice is yours. However, please note that if you do pick option #2 you are either a hypocrite or a liar (this is based of your description of the blog and its’ targets).
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall
First, you’re full of crap. Second, I write the blog, I write what I want, I set the rules. If you or anyone doesn’t like what I write, thinks I repeat myself, don’t visit.
So here’s a news flash. You want to discuss the substance of the blog or the issues–fine. You want to mouth off about my choice of subject matter, how I edit the blog, moderate comments…take a hike. And take this “advice” very carefully as I do in giving it to you.
That’s rich. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that I write a blog and they torture people. There’s a small difference. The only rules they follow are ones they make up themselves. They don’t respect freedom of speech by anyone in their sites or custody.
“Many?” And you know this how? I’m only seeing one visitor saying that. And even if there are ten you’re a very small proportion of everyone who reads this blog. As such you’re a statistical fluke.
Richard, just for the record.
The Shabak doesn’t make the rules, The Kneset does.
the Shabak complies with the letter of the law. same as the FBI in the US.
Ho, ho, ho. You bet it does. Every day & in every way. Do you think this is even remotely credible to anyone? And you really wish to contend that the Knesset has any oversight capacity of the Shin Bet? Can you tell me one time when the Knesset has exercised such control in any form to rein in illicit behavior?
can but those incidents are actually classified.
Besides what happened to the great American notion, that someone is innocent until proven guilty? Can YOU provide any evidence to your accusation? And actually specify an incident from the last 20 years at which any shin bet representative broke the law and wasn’t prosecuted for that?
The knesset through one of its committees has full oversight over the shabak. that is how things are done in a democracy, and despite what one may think, israel is a democracy
No, the security services actually like to brag when they foil a terror attack. They’ve done it regularly & I have NO doubt they’d do it if it happened at Ben Gurion.
Donna Shalala was innocent too but she was treated as if she were guilty. So much for racial profiling & Israeli democracy.
There are thousands of incidents in which the SHin Bet has broken the law. Torture is banned under Supreme Court rulings yet the Shin Bet engages in it pro forma. No prosecutions. I don’t care what the Knesset rules say. I want to know one incident in which the Knesset actually engaged in oversight over the agency & prevented it from doing something or reined in some particularly outrageous behavior. Just one incident. YOu should be able to come up with that if the Knesset is engaging in true oversight. Can you?
Israel claims it is a democracy, but isn’t a true democracy. It’s a partial democracy only for Jews–Arabs need not apply.
A progressive thinker will naturally be very upset when he reads ignorant, racist, and nasty comment after comment. Progressives are not impassive, you know. They have strong feelings about justice. Richard has more patience with a lot of these clowns than I would. I have long since given up trying to reason with bigots, and yet I’ve seen Richard post countless rebuttals to ignorant commentors.
As for this “why don’t you go live in Palestine” bullshit, not that it’s worth answering, that’s just a way of trying to shut somebody up. I remember on another forum a poster saying anyone against the war in Iraq should go there and fix things themselves. Naturally that argument makes no sense and neither does this one, but a coward behind his computer can call someone else a coward when he takes a stand and puts all his energy into a very important cause. And anyway Richard does more here in the States from his blog than he could accomplish in the West Bank or Gaza, so it’s important that he stay here and continue to do what he’s been doing.
Congratulations Richard, in an age where true journalism is dying you’re reviving the art. 🙂
Thanks very much. You said it even better than I.
Your 2nd grade reading comprehension teacher should be given a fine for not doing her job.
No one ever asked Richard to move to Palestine:
“Perhaps if Richard was truly brave, he would go to Israel/Palestine and fight for what he is passionate about.”
I don’t even believe doing so would help the Palestinian cause. However, he shouldn’t consider himself a brave person for posting his opinions from the safety of his own house while other truly brave persons are out in the field taking action.
Like you? What are you doing besides carping, whining & shilling in performing pro-Israeli advocacy?
Because of the way you’ve formatted this comment I can’t tell who you’re replying to or what your pt is in the first 2 paragraphs.
So, the cyberfascist attacks resume?
One wonders about repercussions to Lital Grosman and Ha-Ir
nice puff piece
Thanks for the snark. A comment thread wouldn’t be complete w/o at least one example of yr useless nattering.
“Many?” And you know this how? I’m only seeing one visitor saying that. And even if there are ten you’re a very small proportion of everyone who reads this blog. As such you’re a statistical fluke.
but I do not intend to let that happen. I want there to be room in the community for people with opinions like mine, too.”
You want to get your voice heard but you deny the minority group that oppose your views their voice. You want a democracy in israel and want the minority views heard but in this blog you deny it.
you have called me hasbarist, right wing, liar etc. yet I have not sorted in that name calling even thou I think your armuments are extreme. Yet every time I have provided sources that support my arguments and you have ignored them completely.
Like I denied you the right to publish this comment?? Really, can’t you do better than that? Do you know how many THOUSANDS of comments have been published here which disagree with my views?? And yet you have the chutzpah to claim I don’t allow disagreement. Once again, I’m sick & tired of this argument. If you want to whine about how I administer this blog, go somewhere else. The comment threads aren’t the place to do it. If you want to debate about substance, you’re welcome to do so.
This is your last warning. Stay on topic. Talk about the subject of the post.
“Stay on topic. Talk about the subject of the post.”
As I understand this post is also about your motivation for the blog and getting you voice heard, is it not.
“Was that the motivation for starting the blog, in the first place?”
Your views are how I moderate my comment thread are not the subject of this post. So continue on this subject one more time & you won’t be commenting here. If you want to argue for the sake of arguing you can do that somewhere else. I have a very short fuse & you are on a very short leash when it comes to nonsense like what you’re engaging in. So don’t test me. Move on or move out.
Richard, you are on my list of “Most Admired”. Your love of Israel has continued unabated since those days we celebrated the 1967 victory. As a non-Jew, I see the grave peril in Israeli’s policies, but many Jews feel it is better to defend Israeli policies than to take them to task. Israel has lost support throughout the world and among Jews in the USA and elsewhere. Unfortunately, Israeli policies have badly damaged the United States.
Thanks, Richard, for your endless efforts to “call out” Israel to do what is not only best for Israel but best for the Palestinians and Americans as well.
Which reminds me, I must send a contribution for you to continue your work. Many, many thanks!
I wanted to make my points clear. I truly hope for the sake of agreeable argument, and for the future debating I ask that you would tone down your personal attacks. I find it very insulting. My last comment on this thread.
Congrats Richard, it’s what all bloggers aspire to – moving from commenting on, to breaking the news.