118 thoughts on “Hollywood, Broadway Stars Support Israeli Cultural Boycott – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Performance artists are in the public eye, hence they have a great deal of power to spread information. It is wonderful that they have chosen to take this stand, and in such a substantial number. I hope their courage spreads to others in the industry who will follow suit and stand up for the people of Palestine.

          1. mary says:
            September 5, 2010 at 3:01 PM

            Wow, you just illustrated the point perfectly – that Israel is a fascist state.

            Excuse me, what kind of a moderator are you ? Mary can say things like the above (and she’s not being warned) but when i make a snark comment on the subject i am being warned.

            you are biased and with an agenda, and you treat israelis who write on your blog with very little respect. shame on you.

            and yes i know the drill i have seen it on this blog so many times, i will be moderated and if you will not be able to face the truth i will be even banned from your site.

            and one question before i leave, there is a rumor going around among the readers of the Fresh forum that you actually gave your site password to someone, is that true ? did you willingly gave someone access to all the information on your site ?

          2. Israel is a fascist state.

            Mary, that’s a no-no. You can say what you believe w/o using that over-used term.

            you treat israelis who write on your blog with very little respect. shame on you.

            Gimme a break. I treat Israelis who comment on this blog in a hostile, provocative, insulting, abusive or over-argumentative fashion in one way & I treat every other Israeli who comments here (there are many of these btw) w. the respect they deserve. You’re in the former category.

            And btw, if you find comments that violate the comment rules you’re job as a responsible member of the community is to inform me since I don’t read every comment by every person. You might try informing me in a slightly less obnoxious way since I happen to agree w. you about this comment.

          3. there is a rumor going around among the readers of the Fresh forum that you actually gave your site password to someone, is that true ? did you willingly gave someone access to all the information on your site ?

            I have a fundamentally diff. notion that you & yr other friends at Fresh & Rotter about these issues. In the yrs I’ve written this blog, I’ve collaborated & received critical help in writing this blog fr. people I’ve never known, people who I felt I could trust based on how they presented themselves to me. After the DoS attack several people offered to help. One in particular did so under false pretences and was a liar and a fraud. This apparently is one of yr friends boasting about taking advantage of me.

            As I pointed out to this fraud who undoubtedly was perturbed that I unmasked him here in my blog as someone who masqueraded as a former IAF military intelligence officer offering me inside information on Israel’s coming attack on Iran (supposedly happening on Rosh Hashanah btw). He attempted a form of psy ops in reminding me he had the login info for my blog (which had been changed at any rate when I suspected him of fraud).

            But really I have nothing to hide. There is nothing in this blog that isn’t available for all to see. Unlike Israeli intelligence & its admirers at Rotter & Fresh, I have no secrets. Should someone infiltrate the internal workings of this site they won’t learn anything they couldn’t know by visiting it opening & publicly.

            So you see, this is once again an example of the obsession that certain Israelis have with security, secrecy & penetrating the supposed secrets of the enemy as if they will unlock some key & prove something for the sake of Israel. In reality, it’s all rather pathetic & only reveals the type of Israelis he & you are to be proud of your insincerity, proud of your fakery, & proud of lying. Are you proud of that?

          4. The difference, Elad, is that I’m not being snarky when I accuse Israel of fascism. I’m being straightforward. Why do you feel you must be so defensive of the Israeli military, anyway? Perhaps because of its sometimes reprehensible behavior?

          5. @ Mary
            utter BS.
            you guys are extremely rude to all Israelis that write on this blog. attack them and usually try to silence them.
            the moderator dismiss any claim on the Israeli side as propaganda preventing any type of a meaningful discussion.
            terms as fascist, racist etc are directed only towards Israelis.
            very few of you guys believe that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state, yet you have no problem with Abu-Mazen statment that no jews will be allowed to stay in Palestine (not even as citizens of the PA) it’s enough to see the reactions in the post that dealt with the hamas attack on the settlers last week (in which they killed a pregnant women) and see how the saw called “humanitarians” blamed the victims for being killed, to know who we are dealing with.

          6. you guys are extremely rude to all Israelis that write on this blog.

            No, we only treat Rotter & Fresh members that way. There are scores of other Israelis who have commented here who don’t have an overtly insulting hostile agenda who are treated more nicely than you. Behave like a dolt & you’ll be treated like one.

            No one here calls Israel ‘fascist’ w/o being called out by the moderator (me). Abu Mazen has not said that Jews would not be allowed to live in a Palestinian state. NEVER. In fact, Ahmed Qureia has explicitly invited Jews to do so. Too bad you’re such a fake & propagandist. Get yr facts right for a change.

          7. @ Mary
            Like your other statements this article is utter BS.
            the settelers are not para military settelers they are civilians. some of them are American Jews that never served in the IDF, one of the people who was murdered was a Russian immigrant who i think never served in the IDF.
            in short utter BS of hypocrites.

          8. Do you think the Hebron settlers who kill Palestinian farmers, burn their olive groves, shoot their donkeys, etc. are serving in IDF uniforms? Of course not, they are fully armed thugs who do all this w. virtual impunity. Of course they act in paramilitary fashion (whether or not they served in the IDF). Just they don’t wear uniforms.

          9. @ Mary
            Itzik (Itzhak) Aimes who was murdered last week was 47 years old.
            he immigrated from Russia 14 years ago when he was 35.
            due to his age he never served for the IDF.
            so now what ? it’s ok to kill settlers in general but it was wrong to kill him ?

          10. When you tell me it’s not OK to steal Palestinian land & killed Palestinian civilians which Hebron settlers do w. unsettling regularity then we can talk about the crimes committed against settlers. I’m waiting. BTW, 10 times as many Palestinian civilians have been murdered as Israeli. Did you even know that or do Palestinian lives not matter?

          11. The blog is an interesting viewpoint, especially when it is read as a follow-up to the two Mondoweiss pieces Max cites. BTW, if you don’t know who he is, Max Ajl is a young Jewish blogger who, until a few weeks ago, lived in Gaza. He’s not afraid to write what he sees, and he writes it well.

            The killing of the settlers is not the subject of this thread. If you want to make such comments, feel free to do so on Max’s blog page.

            Jewish settler lives seem to be more important than Palestinian lives, especially in that zionist hellhole, Hebron.

          12. @ Richard
            don’t get so upset i am just trying to understand.
            so he tricked you, and was playing some psychological game with you claiming he has your password and you just verified it ?

        1. @ Richard

          Is an interview to an Egyptian media resource conducted last week while referring to the opening of the direct talks with Israel, Abu-Mazen stated that he demanded gurentees from the americans that Israel agrees to withdraw back to the 67 borders and cease all buildup in the settlements, including Jerusalem. Abu-Mazen further stated that he will never recognize Israel as a jewish state. He also stated the following: I agree that a 3rd party would monitor that both sides are fulfilling their side of any future agreement, this 3rd party may be NATO forces, but I will NOT ALLOW that there will be any JEWS within the monitoring forces and I would insist that no Israelis will be living in the west bank on Palestinian soil.

          http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3928733,00.html (hebrew)

          1. This is Ynet reporting fr. an unnamed Egyptian media source. Sorry, that’s like a bunch of 8 yrs old playing Telephone. Find the original source in Arabic, let’s get it translated & see what he really said. Whether or not Abbas said it, his #2, Ahmed Qureia contradicted him. But again, I don’t trust anything written here unless you can verify & authenticate beyond a shadow of a doubt.

          2. Since I don’t read Hebrew I will leave it to Richard and others to verify your claim that Abbas made the statements you quote.

            I do however completely agree with all of them, with the caveat that having read and heard what Abbas has said many times I think it safe to assume that if in fact he said no Israeli will live as an Israeli in the West Bank, he was speaking of settlers who think it’s OK to be subject to Israeli law. It would of course be unimaginable and unacceptable for Israelis to live in the West Bank without being subject to Palestinian law, since the West Bank is not Israel. Unless we end up with one state, which at the moment seems increasingly likely, Israelis will live in Israel subject to Israeli law, or in Palestine subject to Palestinian law.

          3. @ MHT
            Marry please stop generalizing
            there are extreme settlers who engage in illegal activities, they are being arrested by the shin bet – and that is no picnic. unfortunately there are too many of them. however there are many people that just live their life and are not engage in any illegal activities, of course they need to move out and if the appropriate government decision will be made they will move out.
            and may i remind you please that Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005, and though situation there is hard and they have no work, it’s Israel right not to let Gazaens into Israeli territory. just like people are being denied entry to the US.

          4. there are extreme settlers who engage in illegal activities, they are being arrested by the shin bet

            Oh, you mean like Chaim Pearlman arrested & then released w. no charges filed against him after he’s suspected of murdering Palestinians? And Jack Teitel still not tried yet & suspected of murdering Palestinians & Israeli Jews.

          5. Elad, I have a very good friend who has been to Hebron several times, and I trust his description of what he sees and hears. It’s a hellhole for Palestinians. The Israeli Army has closed off the main thoroughfare to Palestinians, has even gone so far as to weld their doors closed, forcing them to find another way out of their homes. Their shops and businesses are closed. They can’t travel down certain streets. In places where they are able to walk, trash, excrement and stones rain down on them. Armed settlers prowl the streets, and settler kids make a game of harassing and sometimes beating Palestinian children. At night, you stay inside or venture forth at your own risk.

            It’s a hellhole.

          6. Settlers are illegal occupiers. Period. It doesn’t matter whether some are “nice” or not – they’re thieves of Palestinian land and water. They have no right to be where they are.

            How would you feel if a group of people showed up in your town, starting kicking people out of their homes, and came to your house and decided to take over your house, sending you to live in your garage? And would you be happy if you went to your job one day and found that your employer’s business had been forcibly closed down, and both you and he were without money in your pockets and without means to make any?

            What on earth is wrong with you people, that you fail to see the inhumanity in what you do?

          7. First you claimed that Abu-Mazin made a “statment that no Jews will be allowed to stay in Palestine”, which is patently untrue. In fact, no Palestinian leader that I know of has ever made such a statement. On the contrary, righteous Jews have always been welcome to stay and live in Palestine, including righteous Israeli Jews. Now, you try to support that with a unsourced, unsupported claim from YNet Abu Mazin stated that no Israelis will be living in the West Bank on Palestinian soil, proving that either you are a liar who takes us all for idiots, or that you are a fool who does not know the difference between a Jew and an Israeli.

        2. @ Richard
          you are nothing but a hypocrite
          in many posts around here you stated that not all gazans are responsible for firing rockets into israel.
          yet here you make all the settlers one group. do all of them participate in “tag mechir” ? no aboslutley not.
          so maybe its time you’ll stop twisting reality.
          also you claimed you are rude only towards Rotter & Fresh users, yet in correspondence you had here with Dave Boxthorn you called him an idiot.
          so what kind of a hypocritical moderator are you ?

          1. @Ido
            Comparing Gaza residents to illegal settlers in the West Bank is comparing apples and oranges. The major issue with settlers is that they have pitched their tents (or in the case of Ariel, swank homes with swimming pools) on land belonging to Palestinians, and to add insult to injury they have the chutzpah to raise the Star of David and pronounce it Israel. All the Palestinians involved are on their own land.

            In both cases the Palestians are defending themselves against occupation and constant attack by Israeli soldiers and settlers.

          2. You’ve violated the comment rules & future comments will be moderated. Read the comment rules if you care about knowing how to behave yrself here. Don’t & you’ll end up being banned.

          3. here you make all the settlers one group

            Not at all. There are nearly 400,000 settlers including those in E. Jerusalem. Those in Hebron who were the ones I very specifically & explicitly referred to number a few thousand. My quarrel is mainly with the vicious, violent, murderous ones like those in & around Hebron. Of course all settler are problematic. But the ones willing to kill w. impunity & the lowest of the low. And they congregate in the Hebron region.

            If an Israeli comes to this site & attacks me, I respond in kind. If an Israeli comes to this site & disagrees w. me but does so civilly (& there are many who do), then I respond civilly. Rotter & Fresh are only representatives of the former type. But I am sure Israelis make their way here who are not members of these forums & who are insulting or harshly antagonistic. They are treated the same way.

          4. @ MHT
            Mary, not all settlers are evil not even the ones living in Hebron.
            the ones violating the law are being prosecuted by law and punished.

          5. @1
            “Mary, not all settlers are evil not even the ones living in Hebron. the ones violating the law are being prosecuted by law and punished”

            What law are we talking about here? Israeli law for settlers? Don’t make me laugh. Settlers in Hebron are among the worst, including women and children who attack Palestinian children and elderly every day. While soldiers stand by and laugh before arresting the Palestinians.

            How about I bring a dozen or so friends and move into your house? Most of us are pretty nice, and while we will eat up all your food and drink your booze we won’t steal your cars and silverware. Well, a few of us will, but the rest of us aren’t bad people and only want to move into your house because it’s cheap and convenient for us. I’m sure you can find a nice cave or wadi where you and your family can live.

  2. Half of those American actors probably don’t even know where Ariel is. But supporting “peace” and opposing “occupation” is still trendy as hell and gives you bonus points with all sorts of far left nutcases and paints you as a really liberal person.

    Too bad for them and it probably will slightly diminish my enjoyment with their works, just like it was when I found out that Viggo Mortensen signed some stupid petition that called to boycott Israeli movies at Toronto film festival or Stephen Fry, one of the greatest British comic actors of all time, signed something similar concerning the celebration of Israeli Independence Day. But Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Viggo Mortensen and Stephen Fry are great actors no matter what. Too bad they involve themselves in all sorts of questionable petitions.

  3. Thank you Richard. This is absolutely the best news I have read in quite a while. As someone who has lived and worked in the TV and film industry in Hollywood for decades, I found it discouraging that while actors frequently use their voices to support worthwhile causes and raise money for disasters, virtually none has ever been willing to take on the sacred cow of Israel. It just takes a few brave souls to take the risk. I am particularly glad to hear that Mandy Patinkin has given his support to the boycott of Ariel settlement. A great admirer of his artistry and tremendous talent, I had wondered if his conservative Jewish upbringing might have resulted in his being a blind supporter of Israel’s policies. Let us hope others will follow the example of these few but important artists.

  4. I am calling for a boycott of all these actors and their sponsors. I am also calling for a permanent banning of these so called actors and actresses from entering Israel even if they are Jewish.

      1. Well they are a bunch of has beens anyway. With actors like those who needs enemies any way. I say ban them. Richard how are they funded? Ford Foundation, The US Government or Foreign Government through a PR firm? Hard to believe such a small group has a such a large budget

        1. Actually, Saudi petrodollars & Iranian whatever their currency is. They unload it at my home in dump trucks weekly. I spread it like manure in my garden. I harvest a few here & there & deposit them in the bank to finance my extravagant lifestyle. Livin’ large. You should try it.

          1. Well I guess you did not hear of Fenton Communications and that controversy dealing with the flotilla. Also there are other communication and PR Firms paid by some mid east governments to represent their views in the media. Add Ford Foundation, The US Government or Foreign Governments to the mix giving money to anti Israel groups to push a foreign policy objective it becomes pretty clear.

        2. @ Sal Cohn
          Strange, how everybody who decides to boycott Israel suddenly becomes a has been. Viggo Mortensen is a has been ?? Elvis Costello also became a has been overnight, though his concert in Israel was already sold-out when he decided not to perform.

          1. Vanessa Redgrave has been an outspoken opponent of Zionism for many years. I would hardly call her a has-been.

          2. I never liked Elvis Costello and always considered him a Has Been. Personally he should have been sued for boycotting Israel since he reigned on the contract. Viggo who?? never heard of this actor.

          3. By the way Mary never liked Vanessa Redgrave when was the last time she was in a real successful movie. Now I did like Natasha Richardson she was a saving grace for the Redgrave family before she died. Vanessa was a terrorist in my opinion.

          4. Vanessa was a terrorist in my opinion.

            You’re entitled to yr opinion no matter how idiotic it is. But you’re not entitled to continue commenting here since this is not only a stupid comment, it’s an offensive one & an outright lie to boot. This isn’t a place for sloganeering or venting yr prejudices. So find somewhere else to vent. You’re gone.

          5. @Sal Cohen who never liked Vanessa Redgrave.

            I imagine Ms Redgrave will continue to survive very well as both a gifted actress and a remarkable woman of conscience.

            Her Film, Stage and TV credits, by the way, go all the way back to 1958, including 2010. She has won numerous awards, including an Oscar for best actress for her role in JULIA. One couldn’t blame her for cutting back on work, after 52 years, and considering the great personal family losses she has suffered recently. She is apparently still very much in demand and continues to earn accolades for her performances.

          6. @Sal Cohen “Viggo Who?”

            Your admission that you are not familiar with this multi-talented and highly esteemed Danish actor, poet, musician, author, artist and photographer says a lot more about your own limitations than about Mortensen’s broad range of artistic skills.

            I won’t even comment on your remark about Elvis Costello, except that you are making yourself look more foolish with every post.

          7. I …considered [Elvis Costello] a Has Been.

            It’s pretty funny that you don’t see the incredibly blatant logical fallacy in that statement. How on earth can someone have always been a has been?

    1. “even if they are Jewish”

      Such a revealing comment. The right to enter some country or other should not be linked in any way to ethnicity.

      1. I did not say he should be banned because he was Jewish he should be banned even if he was Jewish. It’s done all the time in the UK and the US people are denied because of political beliefs.

        1. You still don’t get it, do you? So let me spell it out for you:

          “Even if” is just as stupid as “because”. The whole point is that IT SHOULD NOT MATTER IF SOMEONE IS JEWISH OR NOT.

          You regard NOT giving Jewish actors preferential treatment as something special. It should not be, it should be NORMAL. You have no clue as to how ethnocentric and backwards you sound.

          1. This ethnocentric focus on Jewishness is nonsensical. Should Jewish actors automatically endorse and support zionism? Be in favor of the occupation? What silly clannishness. When will Israel stop requiring that all Jews be zionists?

      1. i had clicked the links…guess i did it before the entire list was posted

        but i found it on a different site…thx

        must have been really hard to get asner and redgrave to sign…lol

        1. No, the entire list was posted when I wrote the post & linked to it. You typically weren’t thorough or careful in yr reading. They were right there in front of yr eyes.

          Watch the snark. I’m sick & tired of it.

  5. My name is Inigo Montoya.
    You killed my father.
    But, mmm…, well, since you’re a Palestinian – I prepare to die too.

  6. ‘An even deeper irony is that one of the plays to be presented was Bertold Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle.’

    I hadn’t realised, not until I saw your comment today, that my own take on the subject matter bears a close resemblance to the motivation behind the ‘Circle’ and its somewhat unusual outcome.

    If I recall correctly, in the ‘CCC,’ it’s the person who does the unexpected thing, who refrains from too actively participating in the contest that comes away vindicated, having gained both the verdict and the best of all possible settlements.

    http://yorketowers.blogspot.com may aspire to be nothing less than a modern version of The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

    If such it be, then I find myself in good company and must needs delve a little more deeply into the works of the celebrated Mr. Brecht for whatever further insights may be found therein.

  7. Mandy Patinkin disappoints me, but I’ll still watch “Princess Bride” from time to time. (That was made before he became what he is today) It’s not surprising however.
    “Liberals” seem to enjoy supporting anti-gay, anti-female Muslim fundamentalists. The mind boggles!

    1. Princess Bride? That was 20 yrs ago. You’re showing your age, sweetheart. He’s acted in wonderful plays, TV shows & films since then.

      Watch the Islamophobic racism too. It violates the comment rules.

      1. I mentioned “Princess Bride” earlier because it’s what Patinkin is widely known for. The film is considered to be a classic comedy. His Broadway career is much more extensive.

        I’ll agree with you, Richard – why is it that some people use any excuse to bring up their Islamophobia?

  8. 1/ Most of those on the list haven’t made a movie of note in the past 5 years. I mention this just in case they don’t make a movie of note in the next 5 and people claim they’re being blacklisted.

    2/ 2 of the people on the list have a link to Fiddler on the Roof, a musical which celebrated a culture of the past in which Jews didn’t fight even when attacked (remember the pogrom scene near the end), so their signatures make sense.

    1. Here we go again. These are almost entirely Broadway artists. In case you didn’t get the memo, Broadway is THEATER, not film. While some of the Broadway performers do work in Hollywood that’s not the primary focus of their careers. But MANY of these performers have indeed acted in successful films in the past five yrs. I challenge you to examine their filmographies & you’ll find you are wrong. But this is the last comment along this vein for you. MOve on to a diff. subject than proving these artists are irrelevant.

      A desperate attempt by the hasbarists to argue that the signatories are washed up has beens. Someone tried that here with Elvis Costello when he agreed to boycott Israel. I got news for you bud. Between them all, these artists have accomplished enough to fill thousands of lifetimes or ordinary mortals like you. I could go through the various performers & prove you to be nincompoopilly wrong, but what would it prove except that you’re the idiot it’s already clear to everyone here that you are?

      And Fiddler on the Roof? You want to smear even Fiddler on the Roof? How low can you go? Can they even assign any good hasbarists to cover this blog?

  9. As is mostly the case when certain topics are brought up for discussion, the comments here, and elsewhere, tend to polarise along fairly predictable lines. Unfortunately, such polarisation usually has the effect of generating more heat than light and the matter is advanced only marginally, if at all, in the process.

    Let us, therefore, agree to disagree and then look at the problem as objectively as we can.

    There are six, maybe seven million Jews in Israel now
    There are Israeli Arabs who make up approximately 20% out of the whole population.
    There are Gazans living, perhaps only subsisting, just outside Israel proper.
    There are West Bank Arabs who live and work in some proximity to their Jewish neighbours.

    And all of them feel entitled to more of the land around them than present arrangements currently permit.

    Barring major shifting of tectonic plates underneath its surface, the land in question is going to remain more or less where it is. The majority of people on this land are unlikely to move much beyond its boundaries in the next few years, Indeed, current peace talks not withstanding, a goodly number of them seem destined to become permanent fixtures, their location being prematurely six feet under it.

    While a boycott, originally of Irish origin, can draw attention to a situation where injustice and bad feeling exist, as an exercise in power politics, it cannot rectify the matter all by itself. Long after Captain Boycott departed the scene, the British presence in Ireland remained as firmly entrenched as ever. On reflection, it must be said that the British withdrawal from its very first colony was a pretty botched affair, characterised by many blunders on both sides and a general unwillingness to tackle or even recognise the problem.
    Now doesn’t that sound familiar?

    Unless we are all simply content to let history repeat itself in its familiar bumbling, brutal fashion, a way must be found to fundamentally address what is a very serious and extremely lethal set of circumstances.

    Reaction to events, in the form of boycotts and pointing out the deficiencies of so much that has taken place, can be a contributing factor but, with no unifying framework upon which to base an exit plan, this whole business seems destined to be with us for quite some time to come.

    Dear God, we may actually have to THINK our way out of this one for a change. Have things really gotten that bad; no recourse other than to so desperate a measure? If this, indeed, be the case, dare we now contemplate scraping what is generally considered to be the very bottom of the barrel of human endeavour?


    1. “And all of them feel entitled to more of the land around them than present arrangements currently permit.”

      Not the goddamn point. All of them are – not feel – entitled to freedom, human rights and an equal say in the government that rules them.
      Jewish Israelis and Settlers have all this. Palestinian Israelis mostly have it. Other Palestinians have none of this.

      1. Hi there Mr. K,

        Well, in a perfect world, this would undoubtedly be the case. But it cannot have escaped your notice that we do not live in such a world and, as far as I know, we never have. Whether we ever will remains up to us. The world is as it is and, if we would wish to have it otherwise, then we must do more than just complain about its imperfections; we must seek to improve it to the best of our ability.

        For instance, the Tikun Olam blog here is trying to bring down the beast with weight of shot, as it were. Very little escapes Richard’s attention and his blasts against the manifest unfairness of situation are quite unsparing in their delivery. I, on the other hand, tend to prefer the ‘single bullet between the eyes’ method. So much quicker and, to my way of thinking, more merciful in the end.

        Each, I suppose, to his own.

    2. …comments here, and elsewhere, tend to polarise along fairly predictable lines. Unfortunately, such polarisation usually has the effect of generating more heat than light and the matter is advanced only marginally…

      I think that is the goal.

      all of them feel entitled to more of the land around them than present arrangements currently permit.

      So, if someone robs you and takes your money and most of of your valuables, then takes over your house and imprisons you in your bedroom, requiring you to go through checkpoints every time you need to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water you would see the issue as both of you feeling entitled to more of your money, valuables, and the rooms in your home? Seriously?

      1. As I’ve mentioned before, the world is as it is. Attempts to transform it for the better have, more often that not, met with limited or no success. The best we can do is to work with this world, engage with what we understand to be the forces that drive it and then adapt our methods accordingly.

        We all say we want peace and justice in the Middle East. Elsewhere too, if that’s possible.

        But what have we actually done to promote and facilitate that peace and that justice?

        If results over the past sixty years are anything to go by, then we seem to have managed a very poor fist of things indeed. Surely, by now, we should have figured it all out and be busying ourselves with some entirely new project. But no. We still appear stuck in the same old mould, handing it down from one generation to the next and never once questioning the need for it to be the way it is.

        Time, I say, to break the mould and be done with it. Before it hardens to well beyond breaking point.


        1. You have an annoying way of using lots and lots of words and a pseudo-hi-fallutin’ tone without saying anything at all comprehensible or practical.

          1. Shirin,

            Apologies for my impenetrable prose. I am more used to writing technical reports.

            What I want to do here is echo the words a very famous general once said to a very infamous dictator-politician when military successes, previously so plentiful, had become few and far between.

            “Change your methods!”

            The present peace talks taking place, on and off, this month are deemed unlikely to improve the overall situation. Not that I’m advocating refraining from such talks, just stating what appears to be the general consensus. Jaw-jaw is always preferable to war-war as Winston Churchill once observed and I, for one, would be delighted, not to say amazed, if something of real substance emerged from this series of get-togethers.

            As an engineer, not as a politician or someone more immediately caught up in the confrontation, I find the whole business remarkably inefficient. If it were a machine I would have thrown it on the scrap-heap long ago.
            Since it isn’t and, therefore, I can’t, then I feel some thought must be given to upgrading the present model.

            Do we want to see this conflict finally ended, with a degree of certainty and rationale attaching to that ending? Or must we await some apocalyptic event to finally finish it off, the probability being that a goodly number of us will go out with it? Given the choice, mine would be the first one; another Gotterdammerung (or should that be Masada?) doesn’t seem much of a return for all that’s been invested in this enterprise.

            Our options may be severely limited but, still, it would be nice to know that some are left to us

            So, the advice here is ‘Change your methods!’ The ‘very infamous dictator-politician’ did not. And he paid the ultimate price for his failure to do so. Let’s hope we ourselves can avoid being put in that same position.


          2. Apologies for my impenetrable prose. I am more used to writing technical reports.

            I’d be curious as to what kinds of technical reports require impenetrable prose. As someone who does quite a bit of technical writing myself most of the technical writing I have been involved with requires extremely penetrable prose. Rule number one is to use as few words as possible to say as much as possible as simply and clearly as possible.

            As for your main point, are you assuming that the principles in power – i.e. the Israelis and the Americans – want a resolution that will be acceptable/beneficial to all parties involved? If so, I suggest that reexamining that assumption might help you see why they have not and will never change their methods.

  10. This kind of action is going to remain in memory merely as a manifestation of hate.
    But having lists of who is who is a good thing.

    1. Hate??? You’ve got to be kidding. They’re not refusing to perform because they hate anyone. They’re refusing to perform because your settler friends are leading Israel to self-destruction. Boycotting yr precious cultural center is a way of saving Israel from a horrible fate.

      Those who support the Israeli actors are heroes & I list their names to give them the credit they deserve.

          1. Thanks for yr understanding. I think if you’re a settler then anything that potentially damages you is hateful. But the problem is that they make everything about them when it’s really about the fate of Israel.

    2. @ Eliyahu
      “Having lists of who is who is a good thing”.
      Waw, you sound as one of those who during the Vichy-regime in France also made “lists of who is who” and I guarantee you that this wasn’t a good thing.
      That’s why, we cry out loud “Never Again” and “Not in My Name”.

      1. Many of the self hating left bury their hand in the sand and care about non jewish causes more than the well being and social welfare of the Jewish people. This was the same situation back in the 30’s when many German and European Jews ignored the coming danger by Hitler.

        1. @ Sal
          You’re really obsessed about this being “JEWISH” or not being Jewish, aren’t you ?? You’ll stick to a Jewish asshole rather than a Cathilic Mother Theresa, for the only sake of the person’s Jewishness, wouldn’t you ?? Well, between the two of us but don’t tell anyone: I don’t give a s… ! about thoses categories. Sticking to the human race is better in the long run, and my advise to you: Get out of your mental shtetl. There’s a great world out there on the other side of the walls. You might even get to know who Viggo Mortensen is ! But I’m sorry to tell you: he is not JEWISH.
          PS. I’ve read Krauss too, wonder what he would say about Palestine, and the Palestinians are not the Nazis, except in your head.

        2. the self hating left

          A BIG comment rule violation. Make another one & you’re GONE. This is a mindless, vacuous, insulting, meaningless phrase that is asur here. READ the comment rules if you want to make another comment here. And I mean this very seriously.

    3. ‘If so, I suggest that reexamining that assumption might help you see why they have not and will never change their methods.’

      Whether ‘they’ change their methods or not is beside the point. What has to happen is that ‘we,’ the rest of us, the sum total of humanity understand that our methods have to change. Only then can we expect ‘them’ to do likewise. Which they may well do if presented with an option more attractive than those currently on file.

      As an engineer for well over 40 years, I’ve seen quite a few technological changes in my time. Each one has been an improvement on the last, more enabling, much faster, greater efficiency, so on and so forth. There was the era of the relay, valve, transistor, integrated circuit (chip), the microprocessor. Now even light itself is being considered as the next step forward in this type of evolution. Although our technology has evolved in leaps and bounds, we ourselves appear to have remained remarkably moribund in certain fields. We have not evolved fast enough to cope with the demands of an ever-changing world and the problems we now face seem to underscore that fact.

      The case in question.

      The Israel/Palestine dispute has been with us for generations. This month, yet another round of talks has been set in motion to try, once again, to resurrect whatever hopes still exist for some full and final peace settlement.
      And it’s not looking so great, is it?
      Why is that?
      Why can’t we figure it out? Why can’t ‘they’ agree? How much more time do ‘they’ need?
      What’s stopping us from telling ‘them’ that we’ve had enough, we want no more of it and ‘they’ had better get their act together. Or else.

      Of course, it’s that ‘Or else’ factor that’s always been missing. How can you threaten people who’ve been consistently exposed to years of violence, having had to deal with a history of wars and all the sorts of privations that go with them.

      What could be so scary that it must lead to a result, a solid, cast-in-stone, dyed-in-the-wool, permanent deal that would determine the matter once and for all?
      Well, maybe there is nothing like that. But the attempt should still to be made to verify that assumption, to exhaust every possibility.


      Evolve or die. Sometimes things just have to be done that little bit differently. And sometimes, that can be all it takes.

      As Richard has remarked; ‘– I don’t know if stranger things have happened. But peace is possible. Whatever it takes. ‘

      1. To Richard,

        I’m pleased that you respect my longevity. As, indeed, I do yours.

        Coincidentally, I shall be all of 65 years old this coming Sunday and will be retiring from work at month’s end. Now, if only I can overcome the strident objections of my wife to this happy event. She, of course, continues to work.

        On reflection, I rather think longevity has been what all my comments have tried to highlight. This conflict has certainly had a long innings; more than sixty years since any form of complete peace could possibly have reigned in Israel/Palestine. Generations have known nothing but warfare in all that time, complete with all the tensions, tears and anxieties that are part and parcel of it.

        I wonder if the longevity of the conflict could have become a problem in its own right. Have we all grown so accustomed to its existence that we react to it now by merely going through whatever motions seem appropriate? In giving voice to some reproach regarding this incident or that, are we not simply responding in much the same manner as someone sitting down on a thumb-tack? We feel the pain, we jump up but are quite unable to fathom why the offending item is there in the first place. What’s worse, we have no means to stop the process happening over and over again.

        I am reminded of what another famous general once said;
        ‘It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we would grow too fond of it.’

        Have we, indeed, grown too fond of it? Is that one reason why it has lasted so long? Can we not bring ourselves to end it in whatever manner will serve?


        This will end it. Otherwise, it looks likely to end many of us.

      2. John, you are not only consistently opaque in your way of expressing yourself (which, as as I have pointed out is not at all consistent with decent technical communication), you are inconsistent in your message. You constantly remind us to be realistic in our expectations given that the world is as it is, and now you speak of “the sum total of humanity” doing this or that. The world being as it is it is far less realistic to expect that the “sum total of humanity” will change its methods than to suggest that those in power might do so.

        In addition, if your assessment of the current “talks” and the purpose behind them is that the parties are sincerely seeking a mutually agreeable and beneficial resolution, and if your assessment of previous “talks” is the same, then both assessments are quite naive. The Israelis are not now, nor have they ever been interested in concluding an agreement that will give the Palestinians anything worth having. As for the motivation of the U.S. government, with the slightly possible exception of Jimmy Carter’s administration (and Carter has evolved considerably since his presidency ended) it is not now nor has it ever been even remotely interested in acting as an “honest broker”, or in achieving a just solution.

        1. Shirin,

          Technical reports are pretty dry stuff. I have hundreds stored on my lap-top but hardly ever get to read them any more. The only reason I keep them at all is that they’re sometimes useful for compiling my weekly expense claims. I find it’s experience in the field that matters most when problems arise.

          And I’ve noticed one thing over the years. Customers are not much interested in how I fix their machines; most of them have the good sense to be somewhere else while I delve into the innards of their beast. It’s understandable really. They’re paid good money for a contract to maintain their equipment; it matters not whether I need to install a component costing a small fortune or the equivalent of whatever loose change they happen to have on them at the time. It’s all the same to them; the contact should cover everything.

          What does interest them, however, is how long it’s going to be before they get their device back into full working order. One day? Two days? In some cases, maybe a whole week. But sixty years? Now that’s got to cause some comment – and all of it adverse.

          Well, we just happen to be the customers in this particular breakdown; you, me, Richard, his followers on this blog and everyone else who’s out there. We’ve paid all the monthly premiums as they’ve fallen due; politicians and statesmen, as a general rule, do not come cheap. So, why isn’t our machine working? Why is it taking so long to fix? If the problem is really that bad then shouldn’t we be demanding a completely new one, a replacement for this worn-out, broken-down model ? What’s that you say? No more in stock, the manufacturer having made only this single version and no others. What sort of cowboy outfit are we dealing with here? Give us our money back or fix our machine. And don’t take too long about it.

          The problem is, of course, that we are, at one and the same time, both the customer and the supplier in this unfortunate context. And, if neither can command the resources or the expertise to do the job, then the only thing left is to outsource the matter to anyone who happens to believe that they can.


          Throw away the manual, burn the blueprints. Salvage of this wreck can be accomplished; it only requires that we all start playing by a new set of rules.

          1. @ John Yorke,
            Well, you’re right of course. 62 years is far too long, and it’s well past time for a resolution. Unfortunately the Palestinians have too long trusted the world community would step in to stop Israel’s blatant disregard for international law.

            I remember standing in Al Ram, a Palestinian town between Jerusalem and Ramallah a few years ago. Stretched out in a long line along the center of the main road were hundreds of enormous concrete posts. I asked a man what they were, and he said it was for the wall Israel was building. When I asked him which side of the road was Palestine, he smiled and waved his arm and said: “All of it.” I shook my head in disbelief and said “No, they won’t let this happen, somebody will stop it.” But the next time I visited Al Ram the apartheid wall was there, several meters high and many miles long, slicing Al Ram in half and separating its people from each other, from their land, their work, their community.

            You seem to be saying it is what it is and that people should just accept that. I suppose that is what a series of Israeli leaders had in mind when they said they would create “facts on the ground” so nobody would ever be able to remove them.

            Sorry, I can’t subscribe to your idealistic theory which I translate to mean the past is past (even as Israel continues to work overtime to create ever more facts on the ground) and in effect you seem to be saying: “Why can’t we just all get along?” I suggest you direct your question to the settler hoodlums and their supporters who claim all of the land belongs to them because God wills it, and they don’t hide their goal to ethnically cleanse all of Israel and Palestine of “Arabs” whether by transfer or murder.

  11. I like their support, I’m just not sure what it is going to accomplish. When Israeli actors, authors and academics promise to boycott Ariel, that’s one thing (that deserves a separate discussion). An additional American support will do nothing but strengthen the “The World Is Against Us” attitude.

    At least they could have voiced support for Israel in general or better yet, get themselves a plane ticket and announce their support for the boycott in Israel itself.

    Otherwise, their statement won’t have any effect at all on the main stream in Israel.

  12. I wasn’t aware that actors were the beacons of morality of our times. Now, if you were to get 150 auto mechanics to boycott Ariel, you would really be on to something!

  13. @ Ido – who claims all settlers are civilians:

    Not according to “Yossi” during the Rachel Corrie Trial in Haifa.
    “During War there are no civilians,” that’s what “Yossi,” an Israeli military (IDF) training unit leader simply stated during a round of questioning on day two of the Rachel Corrie trials, held in Haifa’s District Court earlier this week. “When you write a [protocol] manual, that manual is for war,” he added.


    1. For all intents and purposes, there are no “civilian” settlers simply because as a rule, they’re all armed to the teeth and are trained in the use of weapons. They’re also very aggressive – ask anyone who dares to walk down a street in Hebron after dark.

      1. I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think all settlers in every settlement are “armed to the teeth.” That doesn’t mean that I like or support any settlements. But there are settlers, admittedly a very few, who understand the problems that settlements pose for Israel and who are willing to leave when their government tells them the time has come. Neither you nor I may agree with their decision to remain until then. But that’s a choice some of them have made. These settlers, at least to me, are not the enemy. Nor is Rabbi Menachem Froman, who lives in Tekoah (a settlement), the enemy or armed to the teeth. He wants to remain in Palestine because his commitment is to the ancient Jewish tradition & land & he doesn’t care who governs him as long as he can honor that tradition by living on the land where Amos trode.

        1. Richard, many of them are, and the most thuggish of them live in Hebron. It’s an atmosphere reminiscent of 1860’s Dodge City.

          1. Mary, I don’t know that the Hebron settlers are necessarily more thuggish than those in other illegal settlements. I have been attacked physically by settlers from Itamar settlement near Nablus and Tekoa settlement near Bethlehem.

            The difference is that in most settlements the armed thugs have to drive their jeeps into the villages or fields in order to attack Palestinians. In Hebron the settlements are in the middle of the city as well as all around it, so these hoodlums are free to prowl at will, menacing and attacking children walking to school, old women shopping, worshippers walking to their mosque. They also attack Israeli and foreign activists and tourists with impunity in broad daylight, while soldiers stand and watch.

            I suppose in Hebron the children of these settlers have a unique opportunity to learn early how to become terrorists by accompanying their mothers and fathers on their daily missions to make life for the indigenous Palestinian population as miserable as possible. I have been part of the morning patrols of CPT accompanying small Palestinian children as they walk to school while being attacked by settler children. These same settler mini-thugs delight in tossing filthy diapers and other garbage over the walls and into the homes of Hebron villagers, many of whom have covered the areas with chicken wire to deflect some of the refuse.

            I suppose the advantage the settlers have in Hebron, then, is that they are able to make these attacks on Palestinians a family affair, and perhaps children taught at such an early age to commit evil deeds do become more proficient by the time they are adults.

          2. Everything you say is absolutely correct, Mary. I think the thuggishness of Hebron settlers stems from their close proximity to the Palestinians, and that their entire culture is one of mindless violence. They’re the shame of the Jewish people, in my opinion. They have created a culture of violence and hate within Hebron that is like a cancer. Hebron is symbolic of the occupation itself.

            I am very tired of this situation being called a “conflict;” a conflict involves two equal parties in a disagreement. This is not a conflict, it is an illegal occupation. And it needs to end. Now.

          3. The people who originally and very deceptively colonized Hebron post-1967 are viciously racist thugs with exactly zero relationship to any of the Jews who had/have a legitimate claim on property there (some of whom have spoken out against them). They still form the ideological nucleus of the colonists in Hebron, and no doubt at all that the people who are attracted to the idea of colonizing Hebron and environs are of a particular ilk, and no doubt their natural propensities are enhanced by the exceptional opportunities to raise their children to be just like them if not worse. So yes, those colonists are as a group and as individuals exceptionally thuggish and nasty people by virtue of the nature of the original colonizers, the types of people who are interested in joining them, and the way they raise their children right from birth to be nasty little racists.

        2. there are settlers…who understand the problems that settlements pose for Israel and who are willing to leave when their government tells them the time has come.

          And not a moment before, which makes one wonder how well they really do understand, or care. One would think if they really understood and cared they would be willing to lead the way out of the settlements rather than wait for the extremely unlikely eventuality of their government telling them “the time has come”.

          And of course it will not surprise you one bit when I point out that the problems the illegal colonies cause for Israel are less than minuscule compared to the problems they cause to the Palestinians whose lives they intentionally destroy, and that I don’t give a flying rat’s rear end about Israel’s relatively very insignificant problems related to the illegal colonies it willfully builds and populates and maintains. I have no sympathy or concern over such self-inflicted problems.

          1. I can’t imagine anything more unlikely than an Israeli settler merely marking time waiting to be kicked out of the West Bank. If they’re not there to settle permanently, why are they bothering? Or do they get some kind of sick satisfaction out of illegally squatting on Palestinian land?

            Shirin is correct; imagine the impact of these settlements on the Palestinian people, who have had their land and water stolen from these squatters. Olive trees destroyed by the thousands, roads re-routed, checkpoints set up to protect these illegal trespassers –

            Netanyahu has no intentions of ever giving up one square inch of land Israel has already stolen and built settlements on. The idea that someday half a million Jews will be made by the Israeli government to pack their bags and get the hell out of the West Bank as part of a “peace agreement” is a fantasy. And the idea that any of these Jews would leave voluntarily is laughable.

          2. I recall reading reports of colonists who are stuck in a no-win situation. They have no ideological stake either way, and don’t care one way or another about the rights or wrongs of it. They bought into an illegal colony because they could get an upscale house at a very low government-subsidized price with a very low-rate government-subsidized loan with all kinds of government-subsidized perks. I remember reports of houses in colonies standing empty because their owners felt compelled to get out, but no one was interested in buying their houses, and others who did not have the means to leave the colonies since they could not sell their houses, and so they were compelled to stay. I don’t know what the situation is today, but I recall that being the situation not too many years ago.

          3. As I think I wrote, I don’t agree with these settlers’ calculations. I certainly would never move to or live in a settlement, & if by chance I somehow ended up in one in 1968, I would’ve left long ago. But these aren’t my calculations. They are theirs.

    2. @ Mary Hughes-Thompson,

      Thanks for your reply. But it appears we both seem to the situation at cross-purposes. And that’s putting it mildly. It’s probably due to my lack of clarity on the subject. See Shirin for confirmation.

      ‘Why can’t we all just get along’ ? It’s patently obvious that we all do NOT get along; the most cursory examination regarding the Middle East provides ample proof of this. What is also obvious is the over-arching need for some kind of peace settlement or the nearest equivalent thereof.

      Real peace only comes with a confident and positive expectation of what the future holds in store. So, I would agree with you that it really is asking too much of everyone concerned just to batten down the hatches and try to make the best of things.

      As for ‘facts on the ground,’ I’m all in favour of them, just so long as each side gets equal opportunity to create their own.

      If you chance to look at http://yorketowers.blogspot.com , you’ll observe there a veritable explosion of ‘facts on the ground.’ The thing to watch out for is this; do not view the concept quite as literally as it is presented. The idea is not to actually have any major transfer or reassignment of land at all. To some extent, that would constitute a failure of the policy. It’s just an suggested framework into which both communities might, one day, find themselves confined. Should violence and anything associated with it still continue, then a penalty far exceeding any perceived benefit could conceivably be extracted from whatever territorial ambitions are retained by either side. It’s a bit like nuclear war but only in a virtual sense, no real conflict actually in operation. However, the consequences of future hostilities then become so devastating that they soon equate to that of a virtual, full-scale nuclear exchange.

      In the event, all those pursuing their ambitions for the region in a violent manner must rapidly wind down their activities. Or be ‘persuaded’ to do so by their fellows. Very few of us have the guts to face down a nuclear weapon, even if it’s only a virtual one. With violence no longer the inevitable prospect it once was, peace itself then becomes a much better bet for all concerned.

      Maybe, in future, virtual weaponry should be standard issue in all further warfare. Not only would it make for a less stressful world, there would also be the added bonus of having the place staying that much tidier.

      And no more walls would go up in towns called Al Ram – or anywhere else for that matter.

      1. @ Mary Hughes-Thompson,

        Sorry, slight omission from the first line.

        Should be:

        ‘But it appears we both seem to see the situation at cross purposes’

        And do we still?

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