25 thoughts on “Social Justice Movement Support in Israel, Wide and Deep – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Muslim fanatics are misrepresented as anti-Semites the same way they are represented as people “who hate freedom”. The same way Palestinians, with their righteous complaint, are now anti-Semites. The same way Iranians who have lived with their Jews far longer than Israel has lived with itself (by 2450 years+) are now anti-Semite.

    The only anti-Semites in the world are those that commit crimes and then say, “HEY, I’M JEWISH” and pull a race card to scape goat everyone else who is Jewish and did not have anything to do with crime. That’s anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is reporting an anti-Semitic act and then getting caught doing it yourself (as was the case with Swastikas in Brooklyn recently).

    Being upset about people subjugating, occupying, bullying and oppressing you like a colonial/imperialistic power, that has nothing to do with Judaism. Does it?

      1. Are you the forum moderator here? Didn’t know Richard had hired someone to act as the hall monitor instead of simply contribute to the discussion.

          1. Do you have anything to contribute to this blog or are you just here to troll the discussion, Bob? Richard can look back at all of these blogs and see your pattern quite transparently. Always disturbing the dialogue and trying to censure others without making any meaningful analysis or counterargument.

            As such, you’re dealing with Richard who has faced his fair share of characters just like you. Good luck.

          2. He is relatively benign to the participants who are accustomed to his contributions. But others reading this blog can conceivably be confused by Bob, which is probably his point.

          3. Well, we agree that he’s benign, but do you suppose this back and forth where we unambiguously voiced complaint towards Bob transparent and more importantly, repetitive and patterned, behavior will cause him to stop henceforth? Especially if we were being hard on him?

            Nietschze wisely stated, “Of all evil I deem you capable: Therefore I want good from you. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.”

            Bob is either the most naive, innocent, information seeking AIPAC echo chamber/ADL style speech suppressor or, as we believe, just a higher grade hasbara. Whether a hired shill or even an ardent and unrepentant supporter of what he authentically feels is a righteous (not strategically self-serving), Bob employs “the playbook” here by trying to control the discussion and otherwise manipulating your kindness to aid the same.

            We wonder how Zionist discussion communities and the like would feel if they were suddenly infiltrated by armies of non-Hasbarists with loopy and cyclical talking points intended to make people pull their hair out and get unfairly treated by moderators. Actually, we know exactly what would happen. And of course they’ve gotten better at surviving your filter 😉

          4. I do agree. Though Bob seems harmless, there’s clearly a pattern in his comments and ‘questions’.
            Recently when Richard wrote about the Mavi Marmara, and used the word ‘massacre”, Bob was very upset about the use of that precise word.
            Richard wrote a three-four line response explaining why he used the word, stating nothing that hadn’t been said hundreds of times before on that topic, and suddenly Bob clearly saw that the use of the word “massacre” was indeed appropriate. That’s close to trolling, in my opinion.

          5. One could argue that ranting about a Sascha Baron Cohen movie might be close to trolling as well, but that didn’t seem to have bothered you at all.

            I would point out that I wasn’t “very upset” about the use of the word massacre. I just asked if it was appropriate, politely explained why I thought it might not be, received a reasonable response, and left it at that.

            In any case, I’d be very happy to redirect the focus away from this nonsense and onto the content of the post itself. Hopefully, you would agree that the findings of the poll mentioned in the article, indicating wide and deep support for the Social Justice Movement in Israel is very good news indeed.

            I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think those numbers suggest about the future of that movement in Israel for the near and medium term and how that will impact both Israelis and Palestinians (both in Israel and the Occupied Territories), if you indeed think it will.

          6. You want me to be real honest ? I don’t care about the social justice movement in Israel as long as it doesn’t address the occupation and the institutionnalized discrimination against Israeli Palestinians. Just I don’t care how the people who took over my family’s house in Akka have settled in, if they changed the furnitures, renovated the bathroom, made a pool in the garden etc. What I’m concerned about is the family members of mine who still live in the vicinity with a view on their old residence, longing and fighting to get it back. If you get the metaphor….

          7. I appreciate the response, and I do believe I get the metaphor.

            That said, don’t you think that it might be a step in the right direction? Were the social justice movement in Israel to continue to grow and gain strength, perhaps it would create a transformation of Israeli society which would lead to the issues of occupation and discrimination being addressed in the way you are describing. Without the leadership of socially conscious Israelis, how do you see the changes you are talking about coming to pass? It certainly does not seem like it is going to happen without such a movement.

          8. To the extent that such protests are spontaneous and immediate, then the social justice protests are valuable. As protestors individually discover what they think about this and that and what their neighbor thinks, there is a very good likelihood that such a movement could become deeper and more conscious of its own role in the larger oppression in the occupied territories. A generation of white civil rights workers became radical in opposition to the war (Viet Nam) and, finally, the “System” in the US at one point. Social Justice could easily mutate to self-determination for Palestinians and to hell with the “settlers.” It is a possibility that the Israeli government will want to curtail early on.

          9. I agree that the J14 movement, in and of itself, isn’t determinative of anything. It is limited in its message and goals. But it is a form of activism and does address social inequities inside Israel (though certainly not all of them). It is part of an effort to reform society. It may not succeed in doing much. But if it causes some to progress in their understanding and analysis of Israeli society, I’m OK with that. The fact that it has caused such a fierce hostile reaction from authorities indicates that it threatens them. ANything that threatens the established order, making it overreact and show its hand & its true colors is a good thing. It will allow some Israeli to understand the true nature of the beast that rules them.

          10. Yes, I totally agree with you here – that was exactly the point I was hoping to make. That is to say that, as you state eloquently, anything that causes some progress inside Israel in terms of their understanding and self-analysis is OK and possibly at least a step in the right direction.

          11. At one time, early on for me here, I struggled to try to “save” Bob for the greater good of this blog and its debate: I toned down my observations and politely opened the door for him. There was no comment thereto at all. And this has happened several times over. No reaction means something. I am confident now that :”Bob” is an agency dedicated to low-intensity disruption on this blog. I consider his remarks, often interesting, harmless overall.

          12. I agree. Someone who never offers a candid opinion but instead keeps producing endless lists of ‘earnest’ questions is not here for real discussion but aims at a low-intensity disruption on this blog, just as you said.

      2. “Sami Michael, in a speech to the Association for Israel Studies said Israel was “the most racist nation in the developed world:”

        Israeli culture is no less toxic than fanatic Islam, and the country’s discriminatory attitude toward Mizrahi Jews and Arabs qualifies it for the title of “most racist state,” prominent Israeli author Sami Michael said on Monday.”

        That’s a false comparative. He is claiming that fanaticism in Islam is a race borne issue. There is no such thing as baseless hatred. It defies logic.

  2. Sami Michael – still an Iraqi citizen – is another author that I have to read again. His “A Trumpet in the Wadi” is such a beautiful story and I read another one of his, on a Jewish family in Baghdad.
    What are we going to cling to the day when all the Mizrahim who lived among Arabs “die out” and we no longer have any direct testimonies left to dismiss the worst propaganda ?
    Daoud and Salah al-Kuwaiti (real name Ezra) were Iraqi Jews, and composed some of the greatest treasures of Iraqi music. When they were ‘transplanted’ to Israel, they were obliged to make a living as musicians at bar-miztvah and weddings in the Iraqi commuity, while back in Kuwait, the Emir came to their house to listed to their new compositions. When the Municipality of Tel-Aviv wanted to name a small street after them, the neighbours protested: they didn’t want any Arabic street names around !
    Tâdînî: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_6_9c3emuM

  3. Sami Michael hit a nail, though there are many more to be nailed down. He accused Israeli Ashkenazi hegemonic power as being racist and immersed in racism. He finds racism on the Left as well as on the Right. Both, he argued, have a long, tainted and twisted relations with Jews who were brought and/or migrated from Arab countries. This is neither the place nor is this the time to document and demonstrate the devastating impact of the ethnic division of labor on Israeli society. That ethnic (and national) division of labor was created and initiated by Jewish Zionist institutions and the Israeli state. Their policies shaped the economy, politics and culture in Israel into its current form and shape: unjust, exploitative and oppressive. It created two solitudes among Israeli Jews: Ashkenazi and Mizachi Jews.

    Sami Michael has done what was required of him for a long time. As the president of the Association of Citizens Rights in Israel and as an acclaimed writer he presented a clear sighted intellectual analysis. Michael held a mirror to the Israeli Ashkenazi hegemonic power. As a result, there is much anger going on in several academic circles in Israel now.

    The Israeli hegemonic camel, being blissfully blind and oblivious to its own hump, it cannot bare to “see” its reflection in the mirror. The Israeli hegemonic power therefore, distorts its reflected image by daydreaming itself to be a beautiful deer. “We are beautiful; we are equality and peace seekers, the troubles are, completely, with our (ugly) oppositions”. Whoever they are.

    Congratulation Sami Michael, you have done a good job. Now you should move on to describe and analyze the material basis of the Israeli Askenazi privilege. Michael has not done that yesterday; nor in his past writings. Hopefully he will be able to tackle Ashkenazi privilege and entitlement to be what it really is: the major threat to equality, social justice and peace.
    He has just touched the tip of the iceberg. Good start.

  4. My only contribution to this is that I wholeheartedly agree with what Mr. Sami Michael (shejechyeh) has said. The first time I see someone saying this. The scary part that I have been thinking about (and praying that this may not happen God forbid) is the comparison with the destruction of our two Temples. We have to turn this tide. Our very lives depend on it. For the sake of “tzedek tzedek tirdof” (justice justice shally you pursue).

    To Mr. OperationRedPill.comStaff: “Being upset about people subjugating, occupying, bullying and oppressing you like a colonial/imperialistic power, that has nothing to do with Judaism. Does it?” I think Sami Michael and Israeli human rights organizations including former soldiers speaking up and there are many groups of them not only Breaking the Silence, say enough. And attacking Judaism is not really the thing to do at all. As much as attacking Islam, Christianity or any other religion for that matter. You can be angry, and justifiedly (pardon my wrongful English here the word escapes me right now) but keep your respect. If you do not know anything about Judaism that is one thing. Don’t insult it. And agents provocateurs i.e. intelligence agencies’ tricks are as old as this world.

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