Houston Jewish Federation and Hagee End Funding for Im Tirzu
I would like to reach out my arms to dance a intercontinental hora with Didi Remez, the Calcalist, Yossi Gurvitz, and all those others who helped expose John Hagee’s $120,000 gift to Im Tirzu. It seems that both the Houston federation and Hagee have gotten the message that Im Tirzu is not an educational organization providing Zionist training to Israel’s college students, but an outright ideological and highly partisan rightist political group.
One of my Facebook friends and a reader of my blog, Simcha Burstyn, brings this message from Houston federation CEO, Lee Wunsch:
We helped John Hagee Ministries fund Im Tirtzu as part of Pastor Hagee’s annual gifts to Israel. He funded Im Tirtzu because of its original mission of educating young Israelis on Israel’s college campuses about the history of Israel and Zionism. That funding continued for two years. In light of recent events and in my discussions with Pastor Hagee, he will not continue that funding as we both believe that Im Tirtzu has morphed into a quasi-political organization and neither Pastor Hagee nor the Houston Jewish Federation will fund such groups. If any of your friends want to communicate with me about their concerns, you are welcome to forward along this message and/or give them my contact information.
We have won a victory in the fight for decency, human rights and derech eretz in the Israeli political debate. Even as extreme a figure as John Hagee has red lines on such issues. In truth, I doubt Hagee cared enough to make this decision. In all likelihood it was the Houston federation that got cold feet. But whoever it was they are to be commended for seeing reason.
This is perhaps not a big victory and shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. After all, just look at the list of far-right settler groups which Hagee still supports:
Gush Katif, $200,000
Young Israel, $150,000
Shurat Ha-Din, $100,000
Nefesh B’Nefesh, $1,000,000 (settles new immigrants in settlements)
Ariel (settlement), $500,000
Gush Etzion, $150,000
But it’s a victory nonetheless. And in this dark day and age even the small ones count.
Now, I challenge Haviv Gur, the Jewish agency communications director to renounce Im Tirzu as well. If he won’t, will he tell us what redeeming value he finds in the group that the Houston federation missed in declaring it treif? Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall in the phone conversations that will go back and forth between Jerusalem and Houston on this one?
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122 thoughts on “Houston Jewish Federation and Hagee End Funding for Im Tirzu – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Having read a number of your blog posts for the first time, including your hostile and ad hominem attacks on my friend (and true Israeli ‘progressive’) Haviv Rettig, I’m curious: how do you define your “Zionism”?
You write in your “about” page: “I consider myself pro-Israel. However, this term has been hijacked by Israel lobby groups like AIPAC.” In my understanding, AIPAC supports Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and its right to defend itself against those who attack it and its citizens; and AIPAC promotes the strategic relationships between the US and Israel as an inherent American interest – moral, political, strategic and military. How have they “hijacked” the term ‘pro-Israel’?
Moreover, in this post you accuse and delegitimize Nefesh b’Nefesh, Young Israel and Gush Etzion as “far right settler groups” supported by Hagee, when in fact the first is an Aliya-promotion organization; the second a synagogue confederation without political affiliation; and the third a group of Jewish communities (yes, over the 1949 armistice line) including some founded in the early years of the Jewish revival movement called Zionism at the beginning of the 20th Century, on land purchased then and overrun by Arab forces in Israel’s founding war of survival and independence in 1948, and re-claimed after the 1967 defensive war that saw Jews returning to the disputed territory illegally occupied for under 20 years by the new country called Jordan. And – most importantly considering your interest in supporting the ‘progressives’ in Israel! – Gush Etzion is part of the overwhelming consensus in Israel (including the Left) which sees Gush Etzion remaining in Israeli hands in any potential peace agreement.
If these are “far right settler” groups, what are “moderates” in your eyes?
For the record, I’m one of those Israelis (like Haviv) who encourage ‘progressive’ values like freedom of religion, gay rights, women’s rights etc. and who not only don’t negate the legitimacy of Jewish life in the Diaspora but encourage legitimate criticism of Israeli policy from Jews and non-Jews abroad. But I find your language, tone and arguments bordering on – and sometimes crossing into – the realm of the anti-Israel rhetoric so often found among Israel’s enemies and defined by the US State Department and the EU as the “new anti-Semitism”, including your demonization of Israelis, our leaders and the IDF and your holding us to a different standard than you hold others to, let alone your delegitimizing (by inference) our presence in the land and our right to defend ourselves.
Richard: reasonable people can and should debate Israel’s policies, whether in the territories or otherwise, just as they can and should any country’s policies. But your arguments – including your exchange with Haviv – descend not only into the personal, but cross the line into disparaging both the justice of the cause of the Jewish national liberation movement – Zionism – and our connection to the land, and the morality of our very society. There is no “Zionism” here I can see – only hostility and animosity towards the “Zionists” who aren’t living up to your (impossible) standards in a situation where our very legitimacy has been questioned and attacked for 100 years… by many of the people you support.
In this vein, reasonable people – like you perhaps, and perhaps like me and Haviv – can disagree on whether Israel should negotiate with a Palestinian leadership which delegitimizes Israel’s right to exist and glorifies terrorists as “martyrs” and examples of the “best of Palestinian national values” and which is in control over only part of their territory. And reasonable people can debate whether Israel should relinquish territory to which it has legitimate claim in international law – based on the Mandate for Palestine and other international legal instruments as well as the defensive nature of the 1967 war, taught in American law schools (!) as the paradigm for justified pre-emptive defensive strike under the UN Charter – in favor of a Palestinian claim which, while perhaps not as strong, is certainly recognized by the vast majority of the nations of the world.
But here’s the rub: my friends on the Left here in Israel, including leading lights of the progressive community, even while advocating an immediate and full withdrawal from the disputed territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state there, are careful to point out that their political advocacy of such a stance is NOT a validation of Israel’s enemies claim that our presence there is illegal – but rather a major concession in the cause of peace, based on their analysis of the political realities and necessities of the situation. While recognizing the claim by Israel and the Jewish people to Judea and Samaria – political, moral, religious, military and legal as it is – they advocate a political solution to a complex problem, which they believe could lead us to a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
That is much different from the approach you take, as far as I can see.
Please Richard – rather than a knee-jerk response because you think I’m in Haviv’s “camp” or something – which would make HIM smile I think – perhaps review some of your writing with a mind to evaluate just what you mean when you say you’re “pro-Israel”.
The only progressives left writing for JPost are Larry Derfner & Gershom Baskin & Haviv isn’t one of them. He wasn’t one of them when he was at the Post either. It’s oh so easy for Israelis or whatever you are to debase the term “progressive” by allowing everyone & their brother to use it.
In asking yr questions, you’re asking me to regurgitate issues I’ve writtten about many, many times here. And those issues are so complex that I simply haven’t the time or inclination to go over them once again. I suggest that YOU do some work & Google various keywords like Zionism or any others you wish & read my views which are there for you & all to see. If you have specific questions or comments on what you read you can come back & ask quetsions. Or you can comment on issues as they arise in my posts on these subjects.
As for Aipac, certainly it & all the other Israel lobby groups have hijacked the term “pro-Israel.” They are not advancing Israel’s best interests. Often, they aren’t even advancing Israel’s interests since their positions are “more Catholic than the Pope” and go far beyond Israeli gov’t positions.
Go back & read the blog post I linked to which provides background on each of those groups (do yr homework before you comment, follow the links & read the material). First, Nefesh B’Nefesh settles olim in the Territories hence it supports the settler movement. You appear to have stopped following Young Israel somewhere around 1968. To bring you up to date, it now is one of the more rabid pro settler groups in the U.S.
If we consider Gush Etzion as within the major settlement bloc that is likely to be retained by Israel in a future peace settlement then it may be legitimate to claim that Gush Etzion is likely to be part of a territorial exchange in such an agreement. But the fact remains that it is currently not within Israel and is part of territory conquered by Israel, whose continuing settlement is illegal under international law and not recognized by any major world gov’t except Israel itself.
Israel has very few moderate left. And that is just one of the tragedies of contemporary Israel.
Interesting that you call yrself progressive but not a single one of the values you claim to espouse has anything to do with either the Palestinians or Israel’s Palestinian minority. I’d venture to say if we ferreted out yr views on these issues (which you’ve already elucidated in noting yr ardent support for settlements) that your values would appear a tad less “progressive.” REmember, progressive values aren’t merely those current in western societies like those in the U.S. or elsewhere. Progressive also reflects yr values about issues affecting Israel itself & concerning the Arabs your values are right wing, not progressive.
Don’t publish a response to this comment or anything further here till you read my comment rules. You may not call me anti-Israel. I am not anti-Israel and that term may not be used to describe my views. Such a description is a lie and a calumny & has been attempted here so many times I’ve lost count. Terms like “new anti-Semitism” or “anti-Israel” are point scoring demagogic terms that elucidates nothing & serve to smear & debase debate. If you want to use such terms you’re welcome to do so where they’re welcome. They’re not here. Before you use any such terms you will very carefully & precisely defend yr use of them providing very specific proof that the labels apply. You will not throw around these terms like hand grenades to serve a patently ideological purpose. ANd you will not use them to describe my views. Remember, this isn’t the pages of the JPost where you can get away with that shit. This is a different address altogether.
ONce again, this is an issue I’ve gone over & over ad nauseam. But for the 50th time, you don’t know what you’re talking about. If I delegitimize anything it is Israel’s right to conquer and hold territories from the 1967 war. Israel has no right to these territories. Israel has a right to land it held in 1967. So saying I delegitimize your presence in the land is again false & a calumny. And again I warn you I do not allow such lies and smears concerning my views. As for defending yourself. Yes, you certainly may defend Israel within 1967 borders. But you certainly may not assault your Arab neighbors wily nily & kill thousands of them along with Palestinians as well. That is not defense, nor legitimate.
How nice that you trot your hasbara phrasebook out for the leftists showing you know the terms & concepts you think will ravish their heart. Are you claiming that latter day Israel is the embodiment of the Jewish national liberation movement? Are you really trying to make such a claim w. a straight face? Israel as conceived by Martin Buber or Judah Magnes may have legitimately made such such a claim. But the Israel of Bibi and Sharansky & Hagee and the Jewish Agency and Im Tirzu is a travesty of this concept. I maintain there IS an Israel that is a vision of Jewish identity and values. But it is not Likudist Israel. It is an Israel that can only be fully realized after there is a epace agreement & Israel can learn to live within its limits and as a good neighbor in the region instead of the jack-booted aggressor it so often is these days.
Morality? I’m missing something. What morality? The morality that steals the land of a million Palestinians? That dispossess your Bedouin fellow citizens? That allows groups advocating a “Zionist revolution” to call for the firing of entire academic departments at Israeli universities? That kills Lebanese and Gazans in senseless wars? That arrests and tortures your fellow Palestinians citizens for unspecified and unproven “crimes?” That turns Iran into a Nazi Germany despite the fact that your own defense minister denies Iran is an existential threat?
That is not a moral system. And Israel, as viewed by many tens of thousands of yr fellow citizens & myself is not living a moral life.
No, if yours is a settler Zionism then you’re not going to embrace my views as ZIonist. But they are. Just as kosher as yours though different. Israel will eventually transform itself into a country much more like my vision than yours. It will still be Israel and a homeland for its Jewish citizens, but it will be much more than that. And that is where we part company.
Now wait, didn’t you call yrself “progressive” somewhere above?? Are you really saying you don’t believe Israel should negotiate with the Palestinians & calling this “progressive.” Are you blowin’ smoke or what? Please. Don’t take us for fools. You’re about as progressive as a three dollar bill and just as fake.
Oh, gimme a break. Stop the hot air. Your “friends on the left” who deny that Israel’s Occupation is illegal are not really “on the left.” They’re only on the left because you’re so far on the right that they seem on the left. There are hundreds of thousands of Israelis who believe the Occupation is illegal and that Israel has no right to retain the Territories in a final peace agreement. You apparently haven’t met any of these fellow citizens of yours which attests to the insularity of yr views. But they exist I assure you.
A warning–I’m not going to get into a long drawn-out colloquy with you on these issues. I have other issues to deal with here & spending hours engaging in a seminar with you isn’t one of them. So keep in mind that this will have to be short and sweet. Once it isn’t I’ll cut you off whether you like it or not.
Almost no one except Israel and its true believers in the Diapsora accept that Israel has a “legitimate claim” to the conquered territories under international law. Repeating this as if it were yr mantra doesn’t make it true. It merely makes it a claim and a baseless one.
Richard silverstien, besides your long rant covering up your anti-zionism in a diguise of “progressivness”…how do you expect israel to be the national home of the jewish people, whyle being an arab otonomy as well?…what do you mean by “israel is going to be much more”?….without a majority of jews in israel, it is not going to maintain a status of the jewish homeland…either you have no idea what the hell you are talking about, or your long rant is covering up your real agenda – > turning israel into a 23 arab theocracy, in the name of “liberalizm”.
Your comment once again violates my comment rules but it is so inarticulate that I’m persuaded to give you another chance to violate them before I cut you off.
“Almost no one except Israel and its true believers in the Diapsora accept that Israel has a “legitimate claim” to the conquered territories under international law. Repeating this as if it were yr mantra doesn’t make it true. It merely makes it a claim and a baseless one.” –
Well…when the arab league talk about occupation, they are talking about the entire area of israel…after all…have you read hamas and fatah charters lately?…read chapters 11,13,14,15…the arabs have never accepted israel as the jewish homeland and admit they will never will…even in the jhartom confrence, where israel wanted to give the entire disputed territories to the arabs in return for peace, the arabs rejected it…so, giving up the DISPUTED TERRITORIES or not, are not going to change the situation here…even if “pogressive” left-wing liberal naive people belive it will…after all the facts on the ground and the outcomes from peace negociations, have shown that the write-wing in israel predicted acuretaly whats going to be the outcome…wich was always more violents from the arabs and palastinians, and i am saying this as an ex-left winger….yes, i used to be naive like you are…the difference is that i actualy live in israel, and this is not only theoretic for me….like some…
That’s quite a laugh. Even Benny Morris can make a claim that he was an ex-left-winger mugged by one too many Intifadas. But this Irving Kristol like claim is entirely unpersuasive. If your claim is correct & you once were on the left (a claim I put no faith in whatsoever), it is you who betrayed yr former values & you’ll get no sympathy here.
You don’t know what you’re talking about regarding the Arab League. The Arab League peace plan entirely contradicts yr claim about what it really consists of.
Richard has found a pretty niche for himself, a sinecure, where he can make his money and earn prestige among the naive, leftist, and Jew-hating by demonizing his own people or attacking the only Jewish country. And always covers himself with “I am Jewish myself”.”
Western Europe has destroyed itself by allowing huge immigration, both legal and illegal, and particularly by accepting the very immigrants who are most undesirable.
Some of the same things are beginning to happen in the US. Particularly with Muslim immigration.
Im -tirtzu are the only organiztion who stand against the same situation caused by “the new israel fund” and other left-wing progressive anti-israel nut-jobs.
OK, the little claim about all the wealth I’m accruing besides being absolutely stupid & false, earns you banning. Not to mention yr anti Muslim racism.
I don’t “always cover myself with ‘I am Jewish myself.”‘ You must be thinking of someone else you wished to smear.
YOu might want to tell Western Europe it has been destroyed. It will be news to the hundreds of millions who live there in relative peace & prosperity.
Good for Lee Wunsch and the Houston Federation…and good for Pastor Hagee for withdrawing its fund to Im Tirzu. It is good to see that the Houston Federation and CUFI have taken a strong stance against the boycott against Ben Gurion University that Im Tirzu has called for.
new york times item
i hope that lighting the dirty linen will spook some of the donors and finally cut the wing from these whack jobs running lose and pretending to also run the country
Now when will you raise money for the resistance? That could lead to ACTUAL victory.
so according to richard, anyone who is on the right of him in regards to israel…is too far right
young israel is the leading modern orthodox group in the united states…zionists yes…far right…no way…i have davened at many young israels where the rabbis have supported a two state solution
nefesh b’nefesh is the same….dare you to find a far right winger in the lot…unless you consider anyone who makes aliya to be a right winger
hasnt been a gush katif since 05…guess you missed when the idf dragged the people out of their homes and burnt them to the ground….maybe he is donating to the resettlement of those who were removed from their homes, as israel reneged on most of its promises to those people
If you leave out Agudas Yisrael and the Orthodox Union, which are larger & more powerful. Young Israel is stridently, militantly pro settler. You betray yr ignorance by claiming otherwise. Go back & read what I’ve written in the past about Young Israel & the views of some of its leaders.
Nefesh B’Nefesh settles thousands of olim in settlements. I rest my case. I have no problem w. settling olim in Israel proper. But no Israeli gov’t agency should settle olim outside Israel.
I know about Gush Katif you snarkish moron. He’s donating to support the brave settlers who rebelled against their own gov’t & engaged in civil insurrection.
advocate of utopia. And what underlines all advocates of utopias is their inability to accept life. In other words, a death wish. This is why those why try to implement utopias bring distopias.
It is the Israeli far right that advocates a Jewish utopia. My views are entirely pragmatic & realistic.
And once again it is the Israeli far right that has the death wish, which will end in Israel’s destruction if we allow this to go on much longer.
Try a spell checker. It will improve your English.
Agudas Yisrael isn’t “modern”. And yes, NCYI is very pro-settler, even if its constituent congregations are not.
I didn’t think the commenter was making a distinction between modern & haredi Orthodoxy. But my main pt is that Young Israel isn’t the biggest or most important group in American Orthodox Judaism.
if you honestly believe that the former residents of gush katif are “brave settlers”, there may be hope for you yet.
oh, and as pointed out below, the agudah is not part of the modern orthodox movement
and while the ou may have modern orthodox shuls as a part of their overall organization, i would suggest that they are much blacker than young israel
You seem to have missed the irony & sarcasm intended.
So…Aa i understand because IM -TIRTZU are the only group who stood up against the anti-zionist organization called the “new israel fund”, wich is funded by anti-zionist funders…you are stoping the funding?!?…pathetic!
What a scurrilous lie. Lying, whether you believe the lie you espouse or not, is not permitted in my comment threads. The next lie or comment rule violation will result in losing yr privileges.
Richard, I’ll dignify your response with a few last comments and then believe me, you’re not the only one with better things to spend their time on.
You ask me to read you carefully. I did. I stand by my question and my remarks. You accuse me of calling you “anti-Israel”. I did no such thing but I find your knee-jerk reaction typical of your illiberal antagonistic approach to almost everything you write. I specifically did not; I asserted, and stand by that assertion, that your tone and choice of language smacks of the sort of rhetoric used by those who are, indeed, anti-Israel, and which is defined, as noted, as a new form of anti-Semitism by governments you, I presume, respect. Then you suggest I support my contention with specifics, which I did: why don’t you take a careful read over your own writing, rather than jumping on the defensive? As Larry Summers, president of Harvard, said (in reference to divestment from Israel-related investments but in a similar context) – your tone and choice of phrases is “anti-Semitic in effect, if not intent”, and that’s what I’m calling to your attention.
Then you call into question my ‘progressive’ credentials. Gee, I thought progressives were for the kind of values and society I believe in and referred to – freedom of speech, of religion, of the press, women’s rights, gay rights etc. I never knew ‘progressives’ must adhere to a specific political agenda vis-a-vis the Palestinian Arabs. Perhaps then ‘progressives’ must perforce support Kurdish and Catalonian and Basque and even Scottish independence – and I suppose also perhaps Northern Irish and maybe native Alaskan independence!
But that’s actually beside the point – since I support an independent Palestine. You are clearly ignorant of just who is primarily responsible for the vast majority of the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs over the past 100 years – their own and other Arab and Muslim leaders, first using them as pawns in their efforts to destroy Jewish communities in Palestine and then Israel, and then since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as part of the Oslo process by their own leaders’ authoritarian, despotic, anti-progressive repression!
So your hostility towards Israel – not only “the occupation” – shows through in the way you refer to these issues – considering that the ‘occupation’, which brought progressive values to Palestinian Arab society for the first time, a fact (not opinion) acknowledged by Palestinian Arab moderates like Sari Nusseibeh and Riad Malki, has been effectively ended with the establishment, and now re-establishment, of the Palestinian Authority’s rule over 98% of Palestinian residents of the territories.
Your presumption that I refer to Israel’s claim to these disputed territories in order to support the settlements shows also how deeply-invested you are in an ideological battle rather than in really trying to work towards a resolution of our conflict here in the Middle East. Your job is not that easy: things are more complex here Richard and your intellectual laziness can’t be forgiven, nor your use of angry and insulting language towards those giving you the respect of writing on your blog.
Guess what, those Left leaders I refer to are the mainstream, from President Peres to Mossi Raz to Naomi Chazan (and funny enough MK Einat Wilf of Labour who at this very moment is speaking in front of me in a forum to foreign journalists here as I write), and just because we know our history and law (and you don’t) and therefore stand our ground regarding Israel’s right to be present in those territories claimed by the Palestinians and, yes, to build there too, even as we advocate the establishment of a Palestinian state and a withdrawal from most of those territories, doesn’t one iota take away from our “left” or “progressive” credentials.
I’m much more pro-Palestinian than you, Richard. You don’t seem to care what happens to the Palestinians – their women or their gays or their society in general. You just want Israel out of there, because you think Israel has no right to be there.
Just for the record, you’re dead wrong – according to normative interpretations of international law. Why you, as a thinking person, agree to buy in to the propagandistic interpretations of ‘international law’ used by Arab and Muslim Israel-haters and their supporters in Europe and America, calling Israel’s presence in the territories “illegal”, rather than relying on American and European official and formal understandings which are more subtle and in keeping with fundamental principles of int’l law, is beyond me.
You can, as many do, believe that an appropriate political solution to our Arab-Israeli conflict is an Israeli withdrawal – fair enough. I do too. But when you suggest Israel is illegal – and worse, immoral – for being there, you cross that line I pointed out.
But back to the Palestinians and their society and your insulting assertion that I don’t care about them, as a progressive…. I’ve spent over a decade working – with Palestinians who are truly moderate, progressive, and focused on building their civil society and not on destroying Jews and Israel and the free world, to help in the creation of a truly liberal, democratic, free Palestinian society which can form the basis not only of a burgeoning and healthy new state for them, but of a real peace between us. And you? You seem to spend most of your energy battering Israel for its supposed failings – some of which, if criticized from a position of respect and even love, let alone rhetorical moderation, should rightly be criticized and corrected – rather than really promoting freedom for the Palestinians.
I like to think that progressives in Israel and Palestinian society, let alone around the world, could work together towards these ends. But most of you over there are instead focused on attacking Israel – and yes, with your language, supporting those who, unlike your claim to be ‘pro-Israel’, would like to see Israel disappear from the map.
My definition of peace in our region includes two simple concepts – ideas shared, by the way, again, by truly moderate Palestinians: (1) an acceptance of an ancient and current Jewish connection to this land, in addition to an Arab connection to it; and (2) a desire to live together in peace, which stems from (1). When these two principles are accepted by both sides – and they have been, clearly, by Israel’s leaders for almost two decades now, as demonstrated by their words and actions, including the present government; yet they have not been, as proven by their words and actions, by any Palestinian political leader including current president Abbas and former chairman Arafat – then we’ll have real peace.
Peace where I can live as a Jew in Hebron just as my Arab neighbor lives alongside me in Haifa or Jerusalem or Ramle. When a Jew can live there as a citizen of a Palestinian state, with the same full rights and sense of personal security as Arab Muslims have in Israel today – some 1.5 million of them, 20% of Israeli society – or as an ‘expatriate’, like a US citizen lives in Canada but remains a US citizen – (and likewise an Arab can live in Haifa but choose Palestinian citizenship if he prefers)… then we’ll have real peace. And that has very little to do with either ‘occupation’ or a written ‘peace agreement’.
Sorry to say, Richard – you aren’t helping one bit.
As I expected you would engage in a spate of logohrrea, so I’ll be moderating any future contributions so as not to allow you to monopolize the comment threads. As I said, I want to bring this long colloquy to an end. You can if you choose reply to this, but that will be the end of it.
That’s yr problem, not mine. My rhetoric is the same rhetoric used by a significant minority of Israeli Jews who label themselves Zionist, whether they call themselves critical or progressive Zionists. Americans criticize U.S. policy in precisely the same terms as I criticize Israeli policy, yet except for Dick Cheney, George Bush & other such neocons, no one accuses them of being anti-American. SO the problem lies w. you & you’ll have to get used to a Zionist criticizing Israeli policy using the terms that I do. They are not anti-Zionist & I reject the attribution utterly & entirely. So stop doing so. You’ve understood clearly the rules here & I’ve warned you. So if you bother returning here & use the term anti Israel or anti Zionist in any sense relating to my views you won’t comment here.
I could care less whether some apparachik in the U.S. State Dept. under the tutelage direct or indirect of some Israel lobby flack has written a paper on the “new anti Semitism.” THere is no such thing. There is anti-Semitism period. And nothing I said has anything to do with it & I won’t let you smear me even remotely or indirectly with that odious calumny. So the next time you even come close to doing so there will be consequences. Understand me well.
This is a perfect example of Progressive Except Palestine (PEP). You claim to have progressive values on every issue except the Palestinians & then you take umbrage that you should be expected to maintain a progressive view of this issue in order to legitimately call yrself progressive. I’ve got news: in order to call yrself progressive you DO have to have a progressive position regarding the Palestinians. If you don’t as you appear to concede then at best you are a truncated progressive. But I’m not even willing to concede that term to you. You’re possibly a garden variety Israeli liberal who needs to maintain that his politics are more enlightened & humane than they really are.
Yes, if you were Kurdish, Catalonian, Basque or Scottish I’d expect you to have a progressive view on issues pertaining to yr society just as if you are an Israeli or Zionist calling yrself progressive I’d expect you to have a progressive position on the Palestinians. Since you don’t, you’re not. Period.
Saying you support an independent Palestine is meaningless in yr case since you clearly have a deep animus toward the Palestinians & willfully distort the history of the last century. The suffering of the Palestinians was caused by Israel: Nakba & multi decades of Occupation. You can argue about whether decisions of the Arabs contributed to their disenfranchisement or loss of property or expulsion. But that’s secondary compared to the primary agency of Israel is causing such suffering. You are a historically mendacious about Zionist history. What’s worse you know what really happened yet you whitewash Israel’s immoral acts & attribute the worst motives & all blame to the Arabs.
That is a lie. And it is a lie spoken after I warned you to read my comment rules & told you you must be precise & not distort or mischaracterize my views. I am not hostile toward Israel. I am hostile toward Israeli POLICY. The next time, should you comment further, you come remotely close to such a lie you will lose yr comment privileges. I will defend myself fr. any scurrilous characterization of my views by people like you or anyone else.
Now, we’re really done. I don’t mind inanities or things you really believe which contradict my own views. But for you w. a straight face say that the Occupation, the 2nd greatest calamity to befall the Palestinians brought them progressive values is simply beyond belief. You are like Goebbels. If you pronounce a lie that is big enough & outrageous enough & repeat it often enough you & those who hear it may actually come to believe it. But yr views are simply unmoored fr any but an extreme pro-Israelist vantage.
Do pls. regale us w. an exact quotation fr. Sari Nusseibeh in which he phrases things precisely as you have. The very idea that you would make such a claim is preposterous.
No, actually it is you who is mendacious, which is even worse than being lazy which, at any rate, doesn’t describe me at all. You have taken leave of reality & yr senses, while I am the pragmatist. Your views will have no impact or bearing on Israel’s future, and you & those like you will be left in the dustbin of history, while Israelis, Palestinians & Israel’s Arab neighbors will eventually get on w. living & building a region based on peaceful co-existence. The outlines of what Israel will be & what the M.E. will look like would be anathema to you. But you will somehow muddle through or go live somewhere else where the politics is more conducive to you.
You simply define someone as intellectually lazy when they disagree w. you & leave it at that. Virtually all readers of this blog can see right through you though admittedly your bullshit is of the 24 carat variety.
YOU have shown me respect by commenting here? Gimme a break? I offer respect when respect is offered. I offer criticism when I am criticized. That’s the bargain that people accept when they write here. If they don’t like it then they go elsewhere.
Shimon Peres is a “left leader???” What are you smokin’? Peres hasn’t been on the left in decades if he ever was. Peres is only mainstream because he betrayed Labor & joined a center right party, Kadima. Naomi Hazan is not in the Israeli mainstream. She couldn’t get elected to Knesset. And NIF is demonized by yr own gov’t & its lackeys like Im Tirzu. She is on the margins & I say this sadly because if her views WERE more mainstream as you so misleadingly claim, Israel wouldn’t be in the deep shit it is in.
You know of you hasbara. You wouldn’t know a historical fact if it jumped up & bit you on the ass. You haven’t pointed convincingly to a single error or misunderstanding of mine of history or law. While I have convincingly explicated multiple distortions & lies of yours.
Yes, an Israeli “progressive” who defends the Occupation AND the right to build settlements, all of which contravene U.S. foreign policy and international law. You’re a progressive all right. About as progressive as Franco or Jorg Haider.
More bald-faced lies. Do me a favor: ask a single one of your Palestinian friends to come here & confirm that you’re pro-Palestinian & “more pro-Palestinian” than I. If you ARE pro- Palestinian then there should be at least one, maybe Sari Nusseibeh who will vouch for yr pro Palestinian credentials. And don’t name me names or paraphrase someone’s words about you. Have someone come here & in their own words tell us how pro Palestinian you are. And pls. have them do so using a real e mail address so I can confirm their identity & so ensure there is no fraud involved.
Actually, I’m going to tell you the truth: I do care more what happens to the Israelis than the Palestinians. You do too. But you’re lying about yr concern for the Palestinians and I’m not. It’s not that I don’t care about what happens to Palestinians. Unlike you I do. But I believe that the Palestinians have to govern themselves & that the colonial beneficence which you advocated in terms of the progressive values imparted to Palestinians by the Occupation, is pure rot. Palestinians will have to work out among themselves whether the secular Fatah or the Islamist Hamas will predominate. No Israeli colonialist or western do-gooder is going to tell Palestinians how to treat their women or gays. Palestinians themselves will create NGOs and social institutions to support such minorities. And unlike you, I will actually support them. But I will not support fakers like you who use so-called backwarndness in Palestinian society as a whip w. which to beat Palestinians because they aren’t western enough for yr taste.
No, actually the Israel-haters to which you refer are the European nations, the Quartet, Russia, China & even our own U.S. which all label the Occupation & settlements illegal. So nice try associating criticism of the Occupation with the far-left, but it won’t work. You seem to forget. This isn’t the JPost where you can get away with such “intellectual laziness.” This is a blog in which readers have actually read as much about the conflict & Zionist history as you & assimilated history far better than you. That must make you frustrated. But yr bullshit doesn’t pass muster here.
There are no “official understandings” which recognize the Occupation as legal or the entirety of the settlement enterprise as legal. There is one unofficial, unwritten understanding bet. Bush & Sharon (neither of which are in power) which imply that the U.S. would recognize Israeli control of major settlement blocs. That’s it. Not official & not formal as you claim. But nice try again. But our bullshit meter is working well & detects it when you sling it.
Yes, that same line crossed by those hundreds of thousands of Israelis who believe precisely that & who are, by yr standards traitors to their nation. BTW, explain to me how a good Israeli progressive can be anti-Israel when he lives there & loves his or her country as much or more than you & believes the Occupation & settlements are illegal, immmoral enterprises? And don’t lie by trying to claim that these Israelis don’t exist. You know they do. But here’s yr problem. I won’t let you “disappear” these fellow citizens just as I won’t let you lie about my beliefs.
No, that won’t work. Tell us precisely what work you’ve done, w. which Palestinians you’ve worked. What groups have you worked with. What Palestinian communities have you worked in. Then we can tell whether you’re shooting the breeze or not.
Thanks for the hasbara rhetoric circa 1967. So tell me anyone whose views you can legitimately liken to my own who believes Israel “should disappear fr the map” so we can all have a good laugh. And again, be precise, don’t trot out the usual bogeymen like Norman Finkelstein who actually believes in a 2 state solution. I want you to name a single figure who actually has the quaint old fashion belief that Israel should disapper fr. the map, & whose views can legitimately be compared to my own. I’ll await yr answer w. baited breath.
Ah, but that’s not really what you want Palestinians to accept. You want them to accept Israel as a Jewish state, which is a far cry fr. the articulation above. Many Palestinians, even those farther to the left, can accept a Jewish connnection to the land, but they do not accept Jewish domination of the land or creation of a state that disempowers non-Jews. That is a formulation you embrace & they don’t. There are no moderate Palestinians who embrace Israel as a Jewish state. That’s the issue, if you were truthful, that you would address.
You’ve boxed yrself into a corner because the PA has already accepted the notion of Jewish settlers remaining after Palestine exists. But where you’re truly selling yrself short is that you’re accepting 2nd class citizenhip status for those settlers who you say should have the same rights as Israeli Palestinian citizens. What you should demand is a square deal for the settlers who remain & the Israeli Palestinians. They should both have equal rights to the other citizens who are members of the ethnic majority in their respecitve nations. When you’re in favor of Israeli Palestinians having 1st class status, rather than 2nd or 3rd then we can talk. Till then, you’re just blowin’ smoke.
Richard claims to be an expert on the israeli society and Jewish heritage.
the facts are a bit different,
Richard was studying in an Hebrew U program, once in 1972 and once in 1979, his last visit to the state of Israel was 1966 when he led a federation visit there. Richard claims he holds a a BHL in Hebrew Literature from Jewish Theological Seminary. but doesn’t know basic things when it comes to the Jewish religion such as: the difference between Rabinu Tam and Rabinu Gershom, the Difference Between Shmita and Maaser and others. why temple rituals are not being followed etc.
Mr. Silverstien do not believe that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish supremacy state. So in short, do not pay too much attention to his views, he lacks the basic knowledge one needs to even develop a view
this msg will most likely be erased as the bolshvik simply deletes anything he doesn’t like.
Thank You Yuval for the information you kindly provided.
Richard, does any of what he says true ?
If I studied there in 1979 can you tell me how my last visit was in 1966? I actually never visited Israel until 1972, so your dating is a shade off. You actually meant to write 1996. But again, that’s neither here nor there. The plain fact is that I’ve told you that I won’t let you diminish my role or participation in the debate over Israel’s fate & future by impugning my credentials in any way shape or form.
As I already wrote here if you were American & lived abroad & wrote a blog about the U.S. I would have no right to impugn yr observations of America based on the fact that you hadn’t visited here since 1996. I am a Jew. I am a ZIonist. I have written one of the leading progressive Zionist blogs since 2003. Those are my credentials. If they don’t measure up for you, too bad. I didn’t ask you to visit & impugn me. None of my readers cares a whit about yr sniffiness about my bona fides.
Since Yuval is getting snitty, let’s just reply by saying he was one of the Israelis who wrote to me personally intimating he was giving me direct information about Israel’s coming attack on Iran including the code name. He also told me that Mr. X in Ayalon Prison was an Iranian kidnapped by Israel in a Muslim country. Unlike a diff. source Yuval only initmated he had associations with Israeli intelligence. He may or may not. But readers should judge Yuval based on the credibility he’s shown, which isn’t terribly much.
I do have a BHL from JTS. But I’m not currently an observant Jew (though I was once) & Rabbeinu Tam & Rabeinu Gershom aren’t exactly at the top of my current list of Jewish priorities. So yes, I concede I might make a mistake in misattributing a takanah to the one rather than the other. But I would add that Yuval made the absolutely foolish contention that Orthodox Judaism never evolves & never changes its basic halachic approach. He claimed that halacha is rigid and unitary and any reasonable observer of halacha knows this is false.
Yuval also invited me to visit Israel on a ticket provided by his Kibbutz. I guess the offer has been rescinded. At any rate, I don’t go anywhere where I’m called a Bolshevik.
Yuval, it’s been swell knowning you. But you’ve violated my comment rules w. yr intemperance & simply have to go.
Richard, thank you for clarifying that. so last you have been in Israel was 15 years ago ? and why are you ignoring Yuval’s last statement and my question below do you believe that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish supremacy state ?
I would like to know your response to the simple question you were presented here.
provided Israel will go back to the 1967 borders, do you believe the right of the state of Israel to exist as a Jewish supremacy state.
seems to me you are kind of trying to avoid that question.
There is no such thing as a Jewish supremacy state. You & Yuval meant Jewish supremacist state. No, of course Israel has no right if it is to be a democracy to have a Jewish supremacist state. I’ve written about this tens of times before so don’t accuse me of avoiding anything. All you have to do is Google the term at this site & you’ll find numerous references to it.
That being said, even if Israel is a democratic state it can easily guarantee the full rights of both Jewish & Arab ethnic groups. There is no reason Israel cannot be a state for its Jewish & Palestinian citizens w. full rights for each. There need be no diminishment meant of cultural, linguistic, religious or social traditions for either one in a truly democractic state.
Gosh, I thought “supremacy” is a dirty word in today’s political talk. I wish you good luck in explaining anyone outside Israel (save ultra-Zionists and perhaps some Evangelicals) why it should be a “Jewish supremacy state”…
I call it a Jewish “supremacist” state. Yuval meant to use that term because he was trying to quote my views so as not to get into too much trouble by mangling them. But apparently the word is new to him.
“‘occupation’, …… has been effectively ended with the establishment, and now re-establishment, of the Palestinian Authority’s rule over 98% of Palestinian residents of the territories.”
Say what? Cutting through the rhetoric, are you actually claiming there’s no occupation because PA gets to rule all but 2 percent of Palestinian residents of occupied territory? Even if it were true, how do you justify that the PA doesn’t rule 100% of all the people living in Palestine? The U.S. rules all of the people living in the U.S. regardless of their religion or nationality, so long as they live in the U.S. How then is it possible that half a million people live on Palestinian land without being ruled by the leaders of that land, whether or not you or we or they are particularly fond of those leaders?
Even if that were not a completely ludicrous claim, how do you justify that
Good pt. Plus, the fact that the PA has control of the Palestinian population of the West Bank does not mean the Occupation is ended as Israel controls a huge amt of the territory of the West Bank. Sovereignty isn’t just control of people, it’s control of territory and resources as well.
Oh – and yes, this IS the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, and you cannot pretend that the morality of our society – with all its failings, domestic or with regard to our neighbors -is one deserving of admiration and imitation by any other free society on the planet, let alone living up to the highest standards of the values we hold dear, beyond any comparison with others. I say this fully aware of all the legitimate criticism – much of which I myself have – of Israeli policies. And I say it with no trace of arrogance, nor of cynicism. You cannot live here and not be truly, continually amazed at the daily miracle(s) not only of Israel’s existence, but of the vibrancy of our society, its freedom and tolerance, far beyond that of any other in the free world. And that goes – doubly, triply, a hundred-fold – for the unparalleled morality of our armed forces, even if and when there are occasional lapses, investigated and roundly condemned from across the political spectrum, in ways not found in America or the UK or Germany or any other western country. After 17 years of reserve duty in a combat unit, 2 children who completed their military service, and an intimate familiarity with every Israeli military operation since the first Lebanon war, including serving at over twenty (I counted once) ‘checkpoints’ in the territories and on every border, as well as in Palestinian villages throughout the territories… I stand by that statement.
tl;dr: I love Israel, and you, Richard, hate it. And I can out-leftist you, even if my rhetoric doesn’t present itself that way (and is in many ways self-contradictory).
I assume you’re giving a short version of Aryeh’s comment. If so, right on.
And once again… just HOW, by any convention, is Israel’s presence in the shetahim legal under international law? The Israeli mainstream see it as a rather burdensome necessity, but only settlernik right-wingers try to justify the occupation as somehow legal.
“International Law” is an indefensible principle that is only used to delegitimize Israel and attack US military adventurism.
I’ve never voted on any international law. International law has never protected me. Or anyone in my family. Or anyone I know…
The irony is that “international law” is often used as an argument by the same leftists who are cultural relativists and will fall over themselves to try and justify (or at least defend) barbaric third world behavior such as honor killings, executions of homosexuals, female genital mutilation,etc etc
Fine. So if it’s Israel’s territory to have why hasn’t Israel annexed it like the Golan? The truth is that it’s very convenient for Israel to keep the West bank in a limbo state because then it can defend its civilian presence their saying “it’s not occupied territory!” and then when attacked on the lack of civil status for the Arab residents it can say “it’s not part of sovereign Israel! There’s a military rule that applies”. Add to that the Bantustan rule in the PA enclaves and it’s picture perfect for Israel, right?
Well no. This cannot last forever without anybody in their right mind understanding that this is a charade that has to stop. And it doesn’t matter AT ALL what the Palestinian do or don’t do about it. The onus is always going to be on Israel. Because it has exactly three choices:
1. Declare that it’s a military rule over occupied land. Then the settlements are illegal based on the 4th Geneva convention.
2. Get out.
3. Annex the land.
I understand your protestations regarding the relativism of the application and interpretation of international law, but unfortunately for Israel, this is a defense that applies to a countries the size of the US and Russia, where realpolitik always has the upper hand. But in the case of tiny Israel, if your image is tarnished, you’re a goner. This is why all the protestations and evasions buy Israel nothing at the end of the day and so called pro-Israeli flacks cause it long-term damage. Israel’s power on the world stage has crested and it’s beyond the point where Israel could have obtained optimal terms for a peace deal with the Arab world. Unless Israel wizens up real quick it will have to give up the West bank and the Golan for nothing in return—basically Hamas’s terms for a cease fire of 15 years. It won’t get any better than that for Israel.
I thought I’d point out that the Fourth Geneva Convention specifically states that the forcible transfer of population to an occupied territory is illegal. It is considered perfectly legal for a civilian to decide to move wherever they please.
Please read it.
Section III, Article 49.
That is why the traditional argument regarding the illegality of the settlements is considered inaccurate. Now, I’m sure one can try to go ahead and make other legal interpretations because that’s what all lawyers do, but I believe the traditional stance is that as long as the people that move their are not forced to do so, then their presence is considered legal (or at least not illegal).
The background of that section of the convention directly relates to forced population transfer by the Germans after they conquered territory during WWII. It was never intended to limit the ability for someone to choose to move from any place A to any place B of their own volition.
You haven’t read all of the Convention. It also prohibits introducing non-native populations into a conquered territory which is percisely what Israel has done since 1967. No one except you & the hasbara crowd considers the traditional argument regarding the illegality of settlements “inaccurate.” In fact, the settlments & Occupation are universally condemned almost everywhere these days except in Israel (where it is also condemned by many btw), & by the Israel lobby & constituent groups & individuals.
If Israel chooses door number 3, i.e., declare that it has no claim to the West bank, and it’s there only for security reasons, then the international community will not be splitting hairs about what exactly is or is not implied by the Geneva convention. Israel’s excuses at that point would be really weak… The point is, when/if Israel will be forced to make a lasting choice about the future of the WB, such legal maneuvers are not going to cut it with the sources of pressure (this is my gut feeling but maybe I should put more faith in the almighty G-d!).
Arie, let me try elaborate on what Richard believes are.
Richard, thinks that the Palestinians have a right for self determination and a nation.
RIchard doesn’t belive that israel has the right to exist a jewish supremacy state, and belives that after the establishment of the PA state, what ever will be left should be converted to a multi-national state.
No, there’s a real danger in attempting to characterize the views of someone else, esp. when you do so in bad faith or are too ham-handed or dense to get it right. I don’t believe in a multi-national or even binational state. I believe in a state just like the one that exists now, but which guarantees equal rights to all its citizens.
Simple question if i may Mr. Silverstien
assuming a return to the 1967 borders with agreed upon land swaps, do you support the existence of the state of israel as a Jewish Supremacy state ?
and your answer is ?
and please save all of us the BS, though i know laundromat are a great business in the US, i was unaware of the fact that you opened one to wash your views.
This may sound good in Hebrew, but it makes no sense in English. You might want to steer away fr flaunting yr mastery of English idioms. It isn’t terribly competent.
Let’s identify you for all the world to see. You are one of Natan Sharnasky’s proteges and specialize, by your own bio’s acknowledgement, in “hasbara.” So you too are an Israeli PR flack who works for Israel’s leading neocon. For shame, Aryeh. Trying to pass yrself off as an Israeli progressive. Here’s you’re bio at the JCPA website:
So you’ve worked with “moderate” Palestinians for ten years Aryeh? Again, which ones? Which ones want to have anything to do with Natan Sharnsky & your kind?? Sorry to be so naked in my characterization of things, but no Palestinian in his right mind would have anything to do with you or Sharansky unless perhaps there was some financial or personal incentive. There couldnt’ possibly be any political bonds between you & any Palestinian. But do tell.
The way you’ve phrased this says in essence that I can’t pretend that Israel’s morality is deserving of admiration. I actually agree w. that statement. But I don’t think that’s what you meant. You might be more careful & proofread yr comment next time so we don’t make the mistake of thinking you HAVE miraculously become an Israeli progressive.
So assuming what you MEANT to say, yes, I certainly not only “pretend” to believe but actually do believe that almost no free societies admire Israel’s current sense of morality. In fact, I’d contend that the current Israeli regime has no sense of morality whatsoever. As for imitation, you may think Israel is worthy of it by others but can you show me any other nation that actually is “imitating” Israel’s moral code? Certainly, there are others engaging in targeted killings & other immoral, illegal acts first pioneered by Israel, but I wouldn’t think that was the kind of imitation you were referring to.
Yes, I hear from my Israeli Palestinian friends constantly how they marvel at the freedom & tolerance they experience daily at the hands of Likudist apparachiks like you. My Israeli peace activist friends too are wondrously amazed at the freedom & tolerance they experience from the Shin Bet when they gather at demonstrations like Sheikh Jarrah and get the shit kicked out of them. And believe me that wonder hasn’t a shred of arrogance or cynicism associated w it either.
That’s just what Judge Goldstone told me the other day when I had coffee with him (sorry I couldnt’ invite you or Haviv to join us). Just what the families of those 1,400 Gazans murdered by the IDF in Cast Lead said as well. They simply marveled at the unparalleled morality of those soldiers who killed them while they waved white flags & while they sat in mosques & schools sheltering fr. the IDF bombardment. You’re really outdoing yrself. Keep it up. I think we’ll give you the Goebbels Big Lie award if you don’t stop mangling the truth soon.
So you were an Occupation soldier manning checkpoints & you wish to confirm to us that you were indeed a good Israeli soldier upholding all those unparrallele moral values while you maintained the illegal Occupation, harrassing Palestinians in countless petty ways, preventing them fr. accessing emergency media care or visiting family or getting to a job. Mazel tov, you’ve done yr job well. And we accept implicitly every word out of yr mouth since you’ve proven yrself to be fully reliable, credible & honest.
Not a word of hasbara has passed from your mouth in this entire thread. Honest Injun.
Oh & btw, since we’ve had Haviv & now you here in the threads, why don’t you bring out the big guns & let Sharansky have at me. That would be fun & an indication of the seriousness w. which some in the Israeli elite take this blog.
Really?!! Since when Morality is part of the equation of armed forces, fighting, occupied territories & civilians under military administration, different laws?
You forgot Mrs. Pleea Albeck morality interpretation of the law.
Yes, I thought about that when I wrote that phrase. But since Aryeh Green brought up the issue of Israel’s allegedly sterling morality I felt I had to address it on those terms.
Plia Albeck, what a delightful human being. The lawyer who made the Occupation possible & made its trains run on time.
Now you’re making me feel queasy, and I haven’t had my breakfast yet. “Unparalleled morality of our armed forces?” I can only say I congratulate you on your pride in having “served” (my quotes) at over so ‘checkpoints’ (yours) in occupied Palestine
Mary suggests that the thought of Aryeh being proud of serving his country makes her want to VOMIT before eating breakfast?!?
Why shouldn’t he be proud of serving his country? Do you expect that all israelis skip out on the draft and leave their country with no military or defense?
When richard uses hateful language – like suggesting that we lust for arab blood – he invites internet trolls like Mary to tell us that we ought to be ashamed for serving in the only military that Israel has.
I am proud of my service in the IDF (no quotes needed). I agree with Aryeh’s assertion that – for the most part – worldwide militaries ought to use israel as an example of how to behave in difficult situations. One of the most striking parts of my service was experiencing the lengths to which the IDF goes to minimize civilian deaths.
Peter. there you go, putting words into my mouth. Where did I say I wanted to vomit? Feeling a tad queasy before breakfast doesn’t at all make me want to VOMIT (your screaming, not mine.)
Anyway, my queasiness didn’t have anything to do with Aryeh’s serving his country. It had to do with his description of Israel and it’s military, including the following sickening excerpt:
“You cannot live here and not be truly, continually amazed at the daily miracle(s) not only of Israel’s existence, but of the vibrancy of our society, its freedom and tolerance, far beyond that of any other in the free world.”
Yes, sickening to me and I know just as much to all of my friends, including my Jewish and Israeli friends.
And then if that weren’t enough, he continues:
“And that goes – doubly, triply, a hundred-fold – for the unparalleled morality of our armed forces…etc etc etc.”
when few people outside your zionist circle believe a word of that horsepucky.
But the cause of my queasiness was the last part:
“….serving at over twenty (I counted once) ‘checkpoints’ in the territories and on every border, as well as in Palestinian villages throughout the territories….”
At no time did I now or ever criticize IDF for defending their country. But as some former Israeli soldiers who later toured the US told me: “If Israel would just get out of Palestine and back to Israel it wouldn’t be short of soldiers to defend itself.” In other words, you are supposed to defend yourself on your land, not the land of others. Sort of like if you want to build a 28 foot high wall to keep your neighbors out, you build it on your side, not theirs.
Now you have made me feel queasy again, after re-reading what you and your friend wrote.
If you respond again, please read what I write first before you start sounding off.
Mea culpa — a silly typo. I put an apostrophe in my first its.
If only the rest of these god damn Jews were Good Jews like the people you are friends with. There would be peace.
I have very little patience for snark posing as wit. If you want to be witty take yr drinking buddies to a bar & regale them w. yr wit. Spare us.
Peter, I see you have no intelligent responses to make so you use sarcasm.
I realize it was a mistake to even bother answering somebody who called me an internet troll.
At least I am not afraid to use my full name on my posts. No way to monitor your own trolling since you are apparently afraid to use yours.
If I were an Israeli I wouldn’t serve in the Territories and certainly not be proud of serving at checkpoints where the most notorious misdeeds & insults of the Occupation tend to be meted out by IDF soldiers like Green & others. And to tell the truth some of Green’s whoppers do tend to make one a bit queasy in the stomach.
You’re lying when you say I claimed you “lust for Arab blood.” And here’s my warning if you lie about anything I’ve said again you won’t write another word here. And take this warning VERY SERIOUSLY. I don’t suffer liars gladly. If you want to criticize what I’ve said or written you will quote the precise words & not paraphrase since you aren’t to be trusted w. paraphrases.
Thank God they’re not. If they did they’d have imminent nuclear confrontations in more regions than just the M.E.
Did you sleep through Cast Lead? Or were the 1,400 Gazan dead the best the IDF could do in “minimizing civilian deaths???”
Pls. don’t take us for fools. If you do believe the junk you’re spouting here I feel sorry.
Seems to me that this site has been hijacked by the NIF(New Israeli Fund) who is at war now with Im Tirtzu, on the basis, that Im Tirtzu has exposed their vicious activities with supporting Israel’s enemies, and all of this while hiding behind a beautiful facade, while combining the name “Israel” in their name for a better camouflage.
Unfortunately, the NIF is still strong and has influence, still. I can only be sorry for those American Jews who do not understand a thing about Zionism, (otherwise they would be living in Israel), but with their money and support they can influence quite a lot. I am surprised at Pastor Hagee who I respect a lot, that has fallen too in this trap.
so let me tell you something, all of you who are afraid of the NIF: we will manage without your support, and will fight our enemies from within and from outside, because the Lord is with the truth, and with the very few who will not be bribed out. Have a good week, and remember, that victory begins in faith, and not with money.
This is a rant that my readers truly should read to learn a bit about how the Israeli far right thinks & how divorced they are fr. any reality as I know it.
No, I think it is YOU who is afraid of NIF. I actually support NIF & am not afraid of it at all. I am afraid of the crazy true believers like yrself who praise the Lord & pass the ammunition to kill more Arabs, all the while protecting the Jews, or at least those Jews who pass muster.
When people have pointed out that your responses sound hateful – this is *exactly* what they are talking about.
Why are you attributing a desire to “kill more arabs” to Aviram? Do you believe that all Israelis that disagree with you are blood-thirsty war criminals?
Re: “Jewish national liberation movement – Zionism”
From what exactly the “Jewish people” is looking today to liberate itself from? Feel free to answer on behalf of the “Jewish people”. Please also explain why others must pay for it.
First, well done on accurately representing the financial situation in this post.
“Now, I challenge Haviv Gur, the Jewish agency communications director to renounce Im Tirzu as well. If he won’t, will he tell us what redeeming value he finds in the group that the Houston federation missed in declaring it treif? Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall in the phone conversations that will go back and forth between Jerusalem and Houston on this one?”
I fear you missed the key point in the Agency’s position. When it comes to designated giving, we do not decide whether a group has “redeeming value,” only whether it has kept to its contractual and legal obligations.
As we’ve said from the start, if the appointed lawyers and accountants conclude that it has not, we will seek redress for the donor.
On another completely personal note, without any connection to the Agency’s position and without having asked either Houston or Hagee, here’s a thought that comes from the journalist side of my brain:
If the report you bring is true, I’d bet it was Hagee who cut the funding, not Houston. Calcalist has already reported that Hagee is himself a donor to Ben Gurion University. How happy could he be at Im Tirzu’s public call to stop donating to BGU? Whatever his politics, Hagee is invested almost entirely in social institutions – hospitals, universities, etc. – not politics. It can’t be fun to read in the paper about a relatively minor grantee publicly demanding a cessation of funding to another grantee that is a major institution in Israeli society.
But, again, that’s a Haviv supposition, nothing more. Perhaps some working journalist should look into it and put the question to the man himself?
Despite myself Richard, I must congratulate you. I just read the article in Haaretz. Kol Hakvod L’cha. Well done.
Other than calling this blog Tikkun, & confusing it with Michael Lerner’s magazine, it was great.
That’s a back-handed compliment if ever I heard one. Gee thanks…I think.
Look, Richard. I’m not gonna blow smoke where the sun don’t shine. I don’t agree with all of your positions, and sometimes I suspect that your motives are less about what is good for Israel and Jews more about what is good for you. That in of itself doesn’t make you bad. It just makes you human. In this case however, and regardless of motive one way or the other, you did a helluva job and not to mention a public service. You deserve to be commended and I meant it sincerely. Again Kol Hakavod L’cha
What precisely do you think this blog is doing that benefits me particularly?? Fame, wealth, social status? I assure you it’s not working wonders for me on any of those counts.
Aside from this, thanks for yr compliment. I appreciate it.
Sometimes hard to stay out of the crossfire here, but Kol HaKavod to Richard, Didi and the folks who first put out the connections between Hagee, Houston, JA and Im Tirtzu.
Along with the pushback by Israeli university folk, this is about the best (only) good news out there at the moment,
and getting mainstream attention that can’t hurt:
Ron wrote to me about his upcoming report on this. Thanks for alerting me to it.
Richard, your ad hominem attacks on Aryeh Green are ugly and wrong. And it saddens me that the boundaries of your political tolerance are so constricted that you cannot find more common ground with him.
Re Nefesh B’Nefesh — the organization does not settle new immigrants in the settlements. It simply helps new immigrants, regardless of where they choose to live — within the pre-1967 Green Line or in the West Bank. The new immigrants, like veteran Israelis, are free to choose where they wish to live (of course, subject to the restrictions of Israeli law), and in fact the great majority helped by Nefesh B’Nefesh do not live in the disputed, occupied territories.
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/news/not-just-zionism-lousy-economy-pushes-more-u-s-jews-to-move-to-israel-1.263995 quotes Renana Levine, Nefesh’s public relations and communications manager, as saying “Olim make their own choices about where to live in Israel, and in fact less than 3 percent move to areas over the Green Line”. Personally, I suspect that the percentage of olim helped by Nefesh B’Nefesh who end up over the Green Line is somewhat higher. But I’ve seen no evidence that Nefesh B’Nefesh specifically directs olim to the settlements.
And, by the way, despite what you wrote, Nefesh B’Nefesh is not an “Israeli gov’t agency”.
Why should I have any common ground with a Sharansky acolyte??
Regarding Nefesh B’Nefesh we’re having a dispute about what the meaning of “is” is a la Bill Clinton. You say it doesn’t settle olim in the W. Bank. But you concede that it “helps” olim settle in the W. Bank. The diff. being if an oleh wants to settle in the W. Bank Nefesh will gladly “help” them to do that. You can call it whatever you want, but Nefesh thereby aids & abets the settler movement & violates international law in doing so. Further, Nefesh actually does designate & promote areas in which it wishes olim to settle, so your claim about it not settling anyone there is disingenous.
BTW, since Aryeh didn’t reveal his own professional affiliations I’d like you to reveal whether you have any. I don’t like people commenting here w/o being transparent about their interests & allegiances.
Nefesh is a private agency performing a function that was formerly performed by an offical government agency. It is a quasi government agency or acting on behalf of the gov’t.
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Why should you have any common ground with a Sharansky acolyte? The point is that you do; you just don’t see it.
This is about the limits of political tolerance. At one extreme, one looses all ability to join forces and cooperate with others, defining all whose views differ from one’s own, even a little bit, as illegitimate and “beyond the pale”. At another extreme, one looses all critical faculties — everyone and everything is OK. My criticism of you in this thread, and maybe in general, is that you define terms like “left” and “progressive” so narrowly that you alienate some natural allies.
If you see your own views as somewhat outside the Zionist mainstream, then it is imperative to find bridges — people who likewise have progressive instincts and who agree with some of your key positions, but who believe more in working within the system and who can actually influence the powers that be in positive directions. If Naomi Hazan’s Meretz party could serve in the same coalition as Sharansky’s Israel B’Aliyah (and they did), I imagine that you may be able to find some common ground with Aryeh, after all.
What you say about Nefesh B’Nefesh is interesting, and makes me question, if not reject, what I previously wrote. Nefesh B’Nefesh started as a private organization, and its provision of services to new immigrants was initially, I’m guessing, viewed somewhat suspiciously by the government and quasi-governmental Jewish Agency. But I understand that recently, Nefesh B’Nefesh has signed an agreement with the government and/or Jewish Agency that effectively makes it a sort of contractor or concessionaire in the provision of services to olim from North America. So, it may actually be impossible today to make aliya from North America and receive certain government-funded assistance without going through Nefesh B’Nefesh.
As for the correct taxonomy and nomenclature for private organizations and companies that the government has contracted or licensed to provide what are essentially public/governmental services, I leave that to the political science professionals who study such groups and relationships.
Still, I disagree with your judgment that Nefesh B’Nefesh settles olim in the West Bank, or that the help it provides to all North American olim, which some have used to settle in the West Bank, is a violation of international law.
You say “Nefesh actually does designate & promote areas in which it wishes olim to settle”. On its website, the organization provides olim with a database of descriptive information about communities all over the country. While a few of these are in the West Bank, the vast majority are not, and no preference is stated for those that are. The same database likewise describes various communities with a decidedly more Leftist or progressive flavor, such as secular, Reform, and Conservative kibbutzim, moshavim, etc. Does this make Nefesh B’Nefesh a “Leftist” or “far left” group? By your logic, it would, but I hardly think so.
While you may oppose the West Bank settlement enterprise (I certainly do), it is wrong to single out Nefesh B’Nefesh for criticism, labeling it a “far right settler group” when it only gives olim information on the same choices of residence that all Israelis have.
As for “professional affiliations”, I have none, at least not of the kind that you mean. I’ve lived in Israel for 26 years and been somewhat active in a number of Leftist and progressive political parties and extra-parliamentary political organizations — at times, right alongside Aryeh.
Why would I want to “join forces and cooperate” with Aryeh Green or his bosses Natan Sharanksy & Dore Gold? Why?? What would I have in common w. them or they w. me? We’re both Jews? We’re both Zionists? That’s certainly not enough. What do we have in common in terms of moral values? Almost nothing.
Sorry, the way I retain my critical faculties is by distinguishing myself fr. them, not by joining them or dialoguing w. them.
If calling Green, Sharansky & Gold neocons or right wing means defining progressive too narrowly for yr taste, I plead guilty. They’e not progressive, never were never will be. For Green to try to pass himself off as one is like the fox dressing as a chicken to raid the hen house.
Neither Meretz (which is not Hazan’s party as far as I know) nor Yisrael B’Aliyah are my party or conducive to my views. I make an impact on the Israeli mainstream quite as well as I would like. Naturally, I would like to have more impact. But not by compromising my values or principles or toning down my criticism which is what you suggest I do.
I’m virtually certain this is the case, which is why I called NBN a quasi government entity, which makes its settlement of olim in the W. Bank an extension of government policy to settle Israelis in the Territories, which is contrary to international law.
I guess it takes more then a visit to the state of Israel (which took place 15 years ago) to know that Nemoi Hazaen served as an MK on behalf of meretz.
Richard, with such a limited base of knowledge how can you even pretend to be an authority on anything related to Israel ?
With such a limited ability to spell Naomi Hazan’s name how can you even pretend to have a right to criticize my knowledge of anything related to Israel?
She last served in the Knesset in 2003 and to tell the truth her political career & Meretz in general don’t light up my life terribly much.
Maybe you are right, Richard — perhaps your moral values really don’t have anything in common with those of Aryeh Green or Natan Sharansky (how did Dore Gold get into this discussion?). And unfortunately, that doesn’t speak well of you.
I don’t know if either of them would embrace the term “neocon”. Perhaps it fits, perhaps it doesn’t, and perhaps the term isn’t terribly useful. And maybe you somewhat contradict yourself by labeling them in this way and then claiming “They’e not progressive, never were never will be.” For if a neocon was never a progressive, or at least a liberal, what is “neo-” about his or her conservatism? But all that is for a different discussion.
For now, I’ll just say that it looks like you are engaging in silly name-calling instead of dealing of issues of substance.
Richard: “Neither Meretz (which is not Hazan’s party as far as I know)….”
OK, so you don’t know. Chazan, who you claimed “is not in the Israeli mainstream” and “couldn’t get elected to Knesset” was in fact elected to the Knesset — three times — representing Meretz. First elected in 1992, she became Deputy Speaker of the Knesset in 1996 and retained that position until losing her seat in the 2003 election. And for part of the period, she served in the government coalition as Natan Sharansky.
Richard: “I make an impact on the Israeli mainstream quite as well as I would like. Naturally, I would like to have more impact.”
Green has a position at JCPA, Gold’s outfit. DOn’t know if he’s a Fellow or paid staff since the bio didn’t make that clear.
You misunderstood what I wrote about Hazan. Green claimed she was in the mainstream & I was noting that she couldn’t get elected to the Knesset TODAY (not in 1992) to rebut that claim. I know she was once in the Knesset. But you & she know she wouldn’t likely be elected dogcatcher in today’s Israel. And I say this not to disparage her, but today’s Israel. As for her representing Meretz, I thought she was in Labor. What party she served means very little to me.
that’s the best you could do ? hide behind a typo ?
wow. so eloquent.
as for your raincheck, i didn’t expect anything else from you. No real debate, no real solution searching on this site, only Hadash propaganda’s / agenda is allowed on this website. everything else is hasbara right ?
RIchard the number of your bus is very well know, the bus was driven before by Y. Magnes and company, the bus got no where the previous time due to something you are an aware of called reality. the bus will get no where now due to the same reasons.
No, not a typo. You spelled both of her names wrong & there were at least 3 mistakes in the spelling. That’s not a a typo, that’s mangling.
I’m coming up in the world. Usually people like you believe I’m a puppet of Meretz or some such nonsense. Now at least you’re closer to my beliefs, but I actually don’t reflect the views of any party or belong to any. Sorry to upset yr hasbara applecart.
Israel’s “bus” is stuck in a ditch. It may be time to return to solutions that were never given an honest hearing decades ago like those of Buber, Magnes, etc.
first Israel bus isn’t stuck no where, israel is seeing prosperity like no other place in the world, here we do no have to worry about the downturn of our economy, like you have to.
Second, as for her name, you got me, i did so deliberately to belittle Naomi Hazan. Caught with both hands in the cookie jar.
as for Magnes etc. they weren’t relevant then and they are not relevant now, what you don’t see is the long term effect of your deeds. you think that people on your USA would distinguish between jews who live in israel and the ones who don’t ? i don’t think so. and after DE-legitimizing the right of the Jews for self-definition , and self existence, their right for physical existence will be taken as well. we have seen it happening so many times in history, this is the way it started in Germany as well. Your success will be two-edged sword. you think i am hallucinating ? it is already happening look at the provided link:
It never ceases to amaze me that hasbarists come here & introduce arguments that previous hasbarists have touted well before them. It’s like Groundhog Day for me. Only I want to be liberated fr. the endless ad nauseam repetition of the hasbarist themes.
So in short, as for the “Israeli economic miracle” meme: unfortunately it doesn’t benefit the 25% of Israelis who live below the poverty line & the 33% of children who do. They’re not software engineers or weapons designers alas. They’re just poor haredi Jews or Israeli Palestinians or old age pensioners left to dangle in the wind of Israel’s alleged prosperity. Not to mention the credible academic studies which have proven that w/o the burden of the Occupation Israel’s economy would be doing far better than it is.
I didn’t say that. I said that you were an ignorant twit who didn’t care enough about how to spell her name to actually look it up & spell it properly.
If you’re certitude only made it so. Actually, your certitude only proves you to be a vacuous Likudist ideologue & not anyone whose views about Israel need be taken seriously.
Yes indeed, I’m a Jewish posterboy for the annihilation of Israel. YOu know, I’m not taking kindly to the lunacy of yr rhetoric. So you’ll be moderated fr here on & if the lunacy & hateful extremist rhetoric intensifies you’ll face further consequences for yr commenting privileges.
Quoting the scumbag shmatteh, American Thinker here is absolutely pasul. Major comment rule violation–READ THE RULES before you comment further.
A Jewish supremacy state? Statements such as that make you guys who promote such a perspective sound like you are completely out of touch with reality. This is a colonial and completely ethnocentric mindset.
In short, those who support a Jewish supremacy state, do indeed support an Apartheid state, thus rejecting fundamental human rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is an unfathomable and completely racist point of view for a majority of people in the contemporary world.
However, by reading the news, it appears that this is the predominant view among Israelis today. Please, don’t complain that Israel is regarded by an increasing number of people in the world as a racist Apartheid state then, if you subscribe to such racist views.
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Without getting into the details of your comparison between Israel and Syria, you should note that at best, you have proven that Israel is on par with countries from the lower portions of any ranking of democracy in the world. Congratulations. So this is what the “beacon unto the nations” and the “fledgling western democracy” has been reduced into, by its own advocates.
You have to choose what league you want to play in. If you’re in the same league as 3rd world autocratic countries then stop telling Americans that they should spend their hard earned money on the so-called only democracy in the middle east due to the existence of imagined “shared values”.
Yossi, the point is that everyone is talking about the bad israelis, while the same situation exist all over.
i’m sure you know that a principle directed only towards the Jews is defined as antisemitism, and no i am not saying you are, some of you critic is valid. i am talking about Americans / Europeans who critic Israel in the name of H.rights and other BS. thanks for making my point Yossi, regardless aren’t you on vacation ?
and richard where else on this post anyone mentioned the situation in the states surrounding Israel ? this is just your biased way to hide information from your readers, you probably going to kick me out out, but you are a true bolshvik.
No, I don’t see why this true, nor why this is “the point” if it were true. Let’s say that “everybody” is anti-Semitic, what does that imply?
Ronen, the reason Israel gets a disproportionate share of attention in the West is because it blackmails the West to recognize it as a peer country adhering to the same standards of democracy and human rights that are prevalent in the West, and thus to persuade the West it deserves preferential status, while the fairly obvious truth is that, well, it doesn’t pass the test. When Israel will be OK with the US arming Syria to the teeth and swearing to maintain its military superiority because “Americans and Syrians share the same values of freedom and equality” then your rant about “everybody does it” will not sound so hollow.
Why would you go & say something so downright stupid? Do you want to get banned? If so, I’m not going to flatter yr sacrificial victim complex. But you will be moderated. And the next stupid crack like this one & you will go.
First of all, my handle is Terry. I expect you to spell that right if you are going to address me in the future, ok?
The states you mention have not been considered having a system based on Apartheid politics. Why do you think it is so?
Currently, the Israeli state has around 30 laws that discriminate against its Palestinian majority.
The politics in the occupied territories are full fledged ethnic Apartheid, were only Jewish colonies are built, while the indigenous population have their houses demolished and their land confiscated. Do you think that is what happens in the other states you are mentioning?
Obviously, you don’t perceive Israel as being a democracy since you compare it with Egypt and Syria, which are dictatorships, and Iraq which is a warn torn state without any political order.
The so called Jewish democracy that you support, is in fact no democracy. It is an Ethnocracy at best and an Apartheid state at worst, that grants exclusive rights to Jews.
Furthermore, your allegations and implications that I would treat people of Jewish origin different than other people is baseless. I support my commentaries on facts as how an ethnic supremacy state looks like.
None of the countries you mentioned, even though they are authoritarian states, and dictatorships, claim that they are Arab or Islam supremacy states. You can be a muslim without having to be Arab, but you cannot profess to Judaism and get your rights recognized in a Jewish supremacist state, unless you are a Jew.
The idea of a Jewish supremacy state goes totally against the notions of universal human rights, especially when both you and me know that Israel has an Arab population of 20 percent.
Furthermore, according to international law, the Palestinians have a right of return to the homes they were expelled from in 1948 and 1967. At a minimum requirement they have the right to fair compensation of their loss of property during the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
it should say … currently the Israeli state has around 30 laws that discriminate against its Palestinian MINORITY in my statement above.
i do apologize for misspelling your name.
Please quote some of those alleged 30 laws.
just so you’ll know even according to the international law you guys love quoting from, the Arabs residing in the west bank and Gaza do not consider Israelis, they used to live under marshal law when Israel controlled the land, and they live under the laws of the Palestinian authority these days.
as for why the neighboring states do not consider apartheid states ? i guess you don’t know much about the Coptic population situation in Egypt. maybe you should get acquainted with their situation (hint they are being killed and prosecuted etc.)
Let me guess: you have never actually met a Copt or a Syrian in your life, right? Syria and Egypt are far from perfect but the level of instituted discrimination between ethnic groups is nothing like that of Israel. I have yet to meet a Christian Syrian or a Copt who would feel alienated from their respective country due to religious persecution. Quite the contrary, all the “minority” Egyptians and Syrians I’ve met were all great patriots of their countries. Hmm… maybe it’s because they have lived for millennia together? Could this be the cause?
Maybe you should get yourself a bit more educated on the matter
shall i continue ?
Pls don’t. What is this? An anti-Muslim tirade? What do you seek to prove? That Muslim countries mistreat minorities? What does that prove? Just about every country in the world that has minority ethnic groups mistreats them, not just Muslim countries. And if you want to talk about how Israeli mistreats its ethnic minorities (not just Palestinians but Bedouin as well) then let’s talk.
I’m far from being a defender of Egypt’s politics of minorities and of course there exists sectarian violence there but my point was about *institutionalized* discrimination, which does exist there, but at the end of the day you have to ask yourself this question: are Copts proud and loyal Egyptians? Do they get into positions of prominence in business, Academia, government and the army? Do Copts and Muslims befriend each other, study together, open businesses together? The answers to all of the above is in the affirmative.
Trust me, the reality is far less polarized then what MEMRI and its ilk will let you believe.
BTW, it could have been the same in Israel. People have a natural tendency to get along. In Israel, most of the tensions between the peoples have been infused from the top, in the form of institutionalized separationist policies.
I think that Ronen’s point was to see how hypocrite you are.
and for that reason he brought up references to the constitutions of the neighboring countries, which you
and with all due respect Mr. Silverstien, i think that you don’t have a wide enough knowledge base to talk about the ways Israel mistreat it’s minorities, but i will be more then happy to talk to you about those issues any given Sunday.
My Sundays are all booked until I’m dead. Have to take a raincheck.
the truth is you have nothing to say about those issues, you really don’t know anything about it.
you are no more then a pipe who’s being fed by few israelis. who wants to violate gag orders.
that’s about it.
Thanks, I’m honored to be the object of your disdain. That way my readers will know and value me since they will see through yr fakery.
Congratulations on the personal journalistic achievement, but in terms of protecting academic freedoms in Israel, this latest development could backfire. The reason for this being that a main weapon against Im Tirzu was the fact that they were funded by the lunatic Hagee. Now that their association with lunatic foreigners has been terminated, they may resort to raising funds as a grassroots movement within Israel, and they may just be very successful at doing that, because, let’s face it, the majority in Israel is very sympathetic with their cause.
Truth is, if what the Israelis want is a Bolshevik system were academic content is dictated by their government, then this is what they should get. With all due respect to academic freedoms it’s their sheqels at work and they get to decide what to do with them. Of course this is akin to choosing to poke your own eyes out, but hey, they are supposed to be adults responsible for their deeds. No?
Im Tirzu still gets $35K/yr fr. a truly lunatic pro settler group, Central Fund of Israel. So even w. Hagee gone there are still lunatics only too happy to fund them. And who knows, CFI may step up their giving w. Hagee dropping out. They’ve given tens of millions (as has Hagee) for the most incredibly noxious settlement projects. And all tax-deductible of course.
I just read in Yediot that one of BGU’s top U.S. funders has announced that she’s upping her gift in light of Im Tirzu’s attack. So it’s an ongoing battle for the soul of Israel just like Jacob wrestling with the angel. I don’t know who will win. But it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion that everything will work out for the best for Israel.
“They’ve given tens of millions (as has Hagee) for the most incredibly noxious settlement projects. And all tax-deductible of course.” That such donations to settlements in patent violation of international law are tax-deductible is a nauseating example of legal and moral corruption, as is the seemingly symbiotic relationship between Israel and America, which, ironically, I suspect will prove, has indeed already proven, harmful to both.
None of the above firestorm of comment changes the fact that many of the people giving money to this organization, thought it was for education, when in fact it was for political campaigning. 99% of the above comment is about whether people agree with the political campaign or not.
This gives Im Tirzu an awful lot in common with SHAC and NORAID.
Richard what are you and your so called progressive friends going to do and say when you find out left wing Israeli organizations including some of the largest in Israel may be getting CIA funds either directly or indirectly to influence Israeli policy?
Now that’s a good one. Pray do tell. It would be an interesting development & I’d enourage, nay dare you to find evidence, credible evidence of it. Not accusations or flim flam, but real evidence.
Would FOIA be considered credible?
Stop with the hints & feints. Get some evidence & produce it.
To : Richard Silverstein.
This is your site, you are THE KING here, therefore you can say whatever you want, and block all the others who oppose you. very nice (claps), or just insult them.
So let me tell you just one thing: You are a passing episode in history…
and considers my English skills, may be I am not the best spokesman in English, especially nothing considers to you, who speak fluently, yet whatever matters is the content and not the pretty words. in your case, words full of hatred and insult.
for some reason I have a feeling, that you do not really speak anything BUT English. Am I right ?
Regardless of the languages Mr. Silverstein has or hasn’t mastered I don’t think that speaking Hebrew (if you are insinuating something in this direction) is a conditio – sine – qua – non to have a fair and balanced opinion about the necessity and implications of the 40+ years of ethnically motivated opression of the Palestinian people.
Nowadays more and more the contrary seems to be the case…
No, I speak Hebrew fluently. Also fairly fluent in French and marginally fluent in Yiddish with passing study of German & ancient Greek in college.
I’m not making fun of your English. I admire anyone who tries to speak a language not their own. But it was hard to follow yr previous comment. You can publish here in Hebrew as I do understand it if it helps you.
Thanks, Richard. My opinion of Im Tirzu is that they are a bunch of extreme right wing liars. Two things that supports this opinion are their concealment of funding sources and supposed “centrism”. I think you’ve been helpful in this end of funding and I’d like to thank you for that.
Not to mention there’s some irony in the fact that those who threaten to reduce funding of a university have their own funding reduced.
Yacov Quit with the libel. Your interpretation is that anyone right of center is a lunatic. Then I guess the majority of Israelis, and mainstream US Jews are also. I sympathize with Im Tirzu I hope they succeed. by the way they did not lie. Doesn’t NIF do political activity also?
see number 8 on their website FAQ
8. Is Im Tirtzu involved in political issues?
Yes. Zionism is a political ideology that is concerned with the ways of realizing the political goals of the Jewish nation. Therefore, Im Tirtzu is a movement that endeavors to strengthen popular belief in the righteousness of the Jewish people’s cause and of the State of Israel among the Jewish public in Israel and around the world and in order to provide an antithesis to post-Zionist and anti-Zionist trends in Israel and elsewhere in the world.
Libel? The NIF does political activity but contrary to I.T., doesn’t hide it and doesn’t hide the funding sources which are consistent with publicly claimed agenda.
“Zionism is a political ideology that is concerned with the ways of realizing the political goals of the Jewish nation”. Sure, Zionism is a political ideology. However, who’s I.T. to decide what are the “political goals of the Jewish nation”?
Is opposing the occupation against or for the “political goals”? Surely, I.T. has a stance on this question. What about the discrimination of Israeli Arabs? How does this relate to the “political goals”?
Im Tirzu lies morning noon & night. They falsely claimed that NIF was responsible for all the material submitted to Goldstone confirming Israeli war crimes. That’s a lie. They can’t open their mouth w/o a lie coming from it.
Whatever I.T. claims its goals to be it actually is having the precise opposite effect. It is bringing Zionism & the policies of the current government into disrepute & making both the laughingstock of the world. When John Hagee abandons you, you know you’ve truly gone off the rails.
You’re just mouthing platitudes. I have no idea what bogeymen you’re obssessing about. As for Israeli academia, it doesn’t need to be saved by Im Tirzu or anyone else. It does quite nicely thank you. Lord preserve us fr. those who believe their mission in life to save us fr ourselves.
This clearly states that they Im Tirzu does political work again read #8 FAQ Also if NIF can do political activism and get a tax credit why not Im Tirzu supporters. I assume Yackov your for Freedom of Speech and Assembly? So I guess by your note your against Zionism am I correct?
8. Is Im Tirtzu involved in political issues?
Yes. Zionism is a political ideology that is concerned with the ways of realizing the political goals of the Jewish nation. Therefore, Im Tirtzu is a movement that endeavors to strengthen popular belief in the righteousness of the Jewish people’s cause and of the State of Israel among the Jewish public in Israel and around the world and in order to provide an antithesis to post-Zionist and anti-Zionist trends in Israel and elsewhere in the world.
NIF isn’t engaged in political activism. It is engaged in community-building, improving the Israeli social safety net, fighting poverty, promoting women’s rights, religious pluralism, etc. It doesn’t demand the firing of anyone or extort Zionist correctness fr. Israeli universities. It doesn’t even demonstrate for or against anything. It is the Israeli equivalent of George Soros’ Open Society initiatives.
Really How do you explain this that just crossed my screen. Now I don’t belong to any organizations, and this is my opinion but it certainly looks after the Hagee issue like NIF Jstreet and Obama are ganging up on Pro Israel groups. That is certainly against freedom of speech, and will turn the vast Jewish and Israeli public against your organizations if true?
Oh almost forgot I wonder who could be involved. Talk about McCarthyism
J Street calls for settlement funder investigation
July 13, 2010
WH Visitor Logs Suggest J Street Contributed To U.S.-Israel Diplomatic Crisis (PJM Exclusive)
August 22, 2010 – by Lenny Ben-David
Ah, we’re pimping Lenny Ben David are we? One of the scuzziest former Israeli embassy PR flacks known to man. If those are the folks you like to lie down w. you’re surely covered in fleas. But hey,keep it comin’ if you want to make an utter fool out of yrself here. We see through you & you convince no one.
Well he is a more reliable journalist than some out there espousing the Israeli left view who are pricks and Obama lackeys. But based on those three reports I commented on previously there seems to be a smoking gun pointed towards certain left wing groups making false accusations towards Zstreet and Im Tirzu.
Still waiting for that proof the CIA funds NIF. When will you have that?
MY organizations? Wow, you’re truly turning me into a vast left wing post-Zionist conspiracy–& I’m only one person! Sorry to bust yr balloon, but I’m not any of the the groups you mentioned. And I’m not worried about the likes of you turning anyone against them. But you can’t fault a hasbarist for tryin’.