65 thoughts on “Blacklisted: Why I am No Longer Welcome in Israel – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Welcome to the black list, Richard. Although they have made a list of 20 organizations no longer welcome in Israel, the Free Gaza movement has been on that list since the day Israeli terrorist commandoes murdered ten of our passengers, hijacked our ships and stole over a million dollars in equipment and money from us. Greta Berlin

  2. The blacklist law has a gaping hole in it.

    According to a Director of the Jewish Agency, the organization which determines whether individuals are eligible to immigrate to Israel, BDS Jews can immigrate to Israel.

    “We will not prevent people from making aliyah based on political beliefs,” said Yigal Palmor, director of public affairs and communications at the Jewish Agency,


    1. That is just because any whitey to fend off the Arab demographic threat is welcome, even lefty traitors. Just shows you how racist the whole Israel project has become…

      1. ‘That is just because any whitey to fend off the Arab demographic threat is welcome, even lefty traitors. Just shows you how racist the whole Israel project has become…’

        ? Seriously? Greta Berlin could emigrate there, for example?

        Can we please be honest? Don’t you mean any JEW can emigrate to Israel? After all, that really is the point of the place — like it or not.

        1. @ Colin Wright: Actually not “any Jew” can emigrate to Israel. There are many examples of Jews whose emigration/citizenship is denied. Either they may’ve converted and their conversion isn’t recognized; or they come to Israel with a non-Jewish spouse (especially if they’re gay). Unfortunately, with the Orthodox running the Interior Ministry only THEIR version of Jews are acceptable.

  3. I have been following this blog for over a year. Thank you ! I have also been following the Seattle Chapter of Jewish Voices For Peace event through Facebook. I formally joined Jewish Voices For Peace today.. I am Episcopalian and have supported our Palestine Israel Network organization – epfnnational.org ( which I believe is aligned with Peace Now etc….) Martin Walters

  4. Why has Israel banned Jewish leftists but not members of Nazi-linked groups?
    ” Israel’s latest step in its self-described “offensive” against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is to include Jewish Voice for Peace, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and the American Friends Service Committee on a list of organizations whose leading members are banned from entering the country. Although the law barring boycott advocates was passed in March last year, the blacklisted organizations only came to light on Saturday. But while Jews who support the boycott movement are now barred from visiting the country, members of Nazi-allied organizations and anti-Semitic political parties continue to be allowed into Israel — including at the invitation of government officials.” https://972mag.com/why-has-israel-banned-jewish-leftists-but-not-members-of-nazi-linked-groups/132268/

  5. ’21 leading international human rights groups ‘

    It would be useful if someone would list these groups along with the appropriate emails so that I could make a donation to each. It’s a rather crude yardstick, but anyone Israel bans can’t be all bad.

  6. You are a proud Jew, who knows his tradition and his scriptures, Richard. That has been the backbone of Judaism for 2000 years. You do not need Israel. (I only hope Judaism will survive this ill begotten, increasingly desperate and violent project.)

    1. Well ,the plan is that Judaism won’t survive.

      Like I said many years ago here,my safta told me most Jews in the Netherlands before WW2 were ardent anti-Zionists.

      She said: ‘Zionism was seen as a political program to exterminate Am Israel.’

      And she had some strong ideas about who’s plan this was,and who are the ones that want to execute it.

      Richard has deleted many of my comments over the years.

      But I’m sure by now he has found out that most of my ‘anti-semitic’ gibberish was not far off.

      If you look at developments over the last hundred years ,the outcome we’re facing was inevitable.

      But the ones who saw it were silenced in WW2,and the ones that still see it are being marginalized ,ridiculed,ignored or worse.

      I’m tired of warning and explaining.

      I still consider myself a Jew,as opposed to millions of Jews that have assimilated over the last 7 decades.

      I’ll take care of my family,including my Jewish kids,but have no trust in Israel and what’s left of current Judaism.

      I’m very disappointed so few Jews are able,or willing to see what has happened (to them) over the last two centuries.

      It’s not just Israeli’s heading for the abyss,the rest of us will be blamed for Zionism and it’s fallout.


      Also this is predictable.

      Because it was planned and executed before ,in WW2 ,and now it’s time for the final stage of this old plan.


    2. “You are a proud Jew, …..”
      Yes but he admits he does not believe in the divine origin of them nor practices the law which is Judaism.

      1. @marty: a typical rookie mistake made by Orthodox Jews who believe they, & their beliefs “own” Judaism. You don’t. There is no halacha saying you must believe in anything to be a Jew. If you have those beliefs you might find the Catholic priesthood more compatible. Judaism believes no such thing. I’m a proud Jew, as was said. I wish I could be as proud of Israel as I am of my Jewish identity.

  7. I’m confused.
    Are you not welcome only since this law was passed or even before? It is unclear?

    And, are you really fluent in Hebrew? If so, why did you choose to speak in English when interviewed on late night show almost a decade ago?

    1. @ Ginger: I don’t know whether I would have been welcome before the law passed. I don’t know if I’d be welcome after it passed. Unfortunatley, the only way to find out is to travel to Israel and find out whether you’re arrested or deported. Not a very attractive proposition.

      Read any post I’ve published here based on a Hebrew article which I often translate from Hebrew to English, and which I’ve done hundreds of times. Then you’ll have the answer to your obnoxious question.

  8. I have not always been a Silverstein fan. In fact, under different names, I’ve been banned a time or two. But I’ve kept reading it, and have come to the conclusion that Richard is not an anti-Semitic Jew, that his positions on Israel are genuine and heartfelt, even if I strongly disagree.

    But on this matter, we stand together. I will not tolerate any Jew being barred from the Land of Israel because of his politics, even if such politics are inimical to the Netanyahu regime, which I’m despising more every day.

    1. The “Land of Israel” does NOT exist, only the state of israel. The fact that you use a biblical name indicates your approval of the state of israel’s racist zionist project that it justifies on fairy tales written by a few pot smoking village storytellers. What concerns you is a few Jews are refused entry into the zionist entity, but you obviously have not quarrel with 100s of 1000s of Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed being refused entry. Double standards & hypocrisy.

      1. “Land of Israel” does exist as an entity in essence not connected to ‘Medinat Israel’.
        There is a ‘sura’ in the Quran which says “Allah gave the “Land of Israel” to the Jews”

        1. @Marty: so it does not exist in reality, it does not exist today in the current constellation of states. The Quran, like the Bible & the Torah, does not have any legal validity in international law.

          1. well for something that does not exist in your definition of reality ,Jerusalem, bought by King David from the Jebusites circa 3000 yrs. ago, seems to be causing a stir around the world for a ‘non-existent’
            as far as ‘international law’ who decided what in this body of law and why must I agree with it?

          2. @Marty: Jerusalem does not constitute the “Land of Israel”. Jerusalem exists as a city, it is real, but the “Land of Israel” does NOT. If it does, please point me to an officially recognised map in active use today where the “Land of Israel” is shown.

          3. On many maps of neighboring countries Israel doesn’t exist either. What does it tell you? And should I care?

          4. [comment deleted: read the comment rules. I make the editorial decisions. If you don’t like them, no one forces you to be here. But it’s my prerogative and not yours.]

      2. Don’t put words in my mouth, Paranam Kid. If I said “Judea” and “Samaria” you might have a point. But I didn’t.

        1. You used the term “Land of Israel” in the comment I replied to, so I am NOT putting words in your mouth, I am holding you to your words & comment. You have not replied to my comment that the “Land of Israel” does not exist.

          1. I have lived in the Land of Israel for close to 50 yrs and you are saying it does not exist?
            Or maybe you are just using the ‘word’ state in the modern sense which has no reality in Jewish law.
            Or maybe you are referring to Nietzsche’s ‘The New Idolatry”?

          2. @marty: actually the concept of the “land of Israel” is a new idolatry which hasn’t ever existed on traditional Judaism. The settlers are fetishists & idolaters who’ve polluted Judaism. You live in the state of Israel. Not the land of israel.

  9. [comment deleted: you have violated the comment rules. If you ever wish to publish comments here you must respect the rules.]

      1. @ marty: Israel as a modern state has nothing to do with the “Old Testament.” God doesn’t give property deeds nor does he create countries. Human beings do that. Oh & while we’re at it, God seemed to have approved of the Israelites exterminating several contemporaneous tribes. Should modern Israel emulate that as well?

        1. Richard, if you believe in the Bible enough to except the stories in it then you should absolutely believe god can do a deed and give land to his chosen people.

          Even as a Muslim, which many Arabs are and very religious, has a lot to say about the connection between Israel and Jews.

          I can’t understand why would you accept the part about 7 nations and amalek but not that?

          1. @ Ginger: First, you must observe the comment rule of not publishing more than THREE in any 24 hour period.

            I don’t know what you mean by “believe in the Bible.” Do I believe in the Bible literally as history or law? No. Do I believe in the spiritual & literary beauty of the Bible? Yes. Do I disagree vehemently or am I revulsed by some of the Bible? Yes.

            The Bible itself makes very clear that God allows the Israelites to live in the land provisionally, based on their moral conduct. If they fail this test, then they lose this right. They are expelled. So no, there is no property deed.

            Do not proselytize here regarding your own faith. That is a private matter and has no place here.

  10. ‘…I only hope Judaism will survive this ill begotten, increasingly desperate and violent project.’

    Indeed. I could expand considerably on the point, but I for one yearn wistfully for the days when I would greet the information that someone was Jewish with exactly as much excitement as I would if I discovered they were Lutheran. Dull disinterest, to be frank. Have at it — but about this lawnmower…

    It’s true. I was musing on my first serious girlfriend — nearly forty years ago, troops. I think she was Jewish — but on the other hand, I have a vague memory of her mentioning her mother’s childhood as the daughter of missionaries in China.

    Hmm. Baffling. The point is that I really just didn’t care.

    Now it’s ‘Jewish — Israel.’ The connection is unwelcome, but inevitable.

  11. It’s gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to read you write “centuries-worth of bonds between Israel and the Diaspora.” but it confuses me.

    You wrote before that Israel was not important for diaspora Jews and that אם אשכחך ירושלים תשכח ימיני doesn’t really means what Zionists said it meant, that Jews craved Israel, kept in contact with it and never lost the hope/faith that one day they will all reunite in Israel.

    So my question is, what was the connection to Israel and Jerusalem then? Just awhole in the ground to throw money into? A storytelling location for glorious days no one wished will come back from exile and fate on a small religion spreaded in Christian and Muslim countries for centuries?

    1. @ Ginger:

      You wrote before that Israel was not important for diaspora Jews

      I never wrote any such thing. I wrote that the Likud believes the Diaspora is not important for Israel.

      But I do believe that the more Israel embraces this new paradigm the less important Israel will become for Diaspora Jews. That won’t be because I want it that way. It will be because the Likud does.

      You confuse Diaspora Jews having a meaningful relationship with Israel with yearning for every Jew to return there. I don’t believe that.

      1. So what exactly is that connection? And why did Jews support the Jewish community in Israel for two millennias and kept talking, dreaming about it in the most important moments of their of their religious practice.
        The Passover SEDER end with לשנה הבאה בירושלים הבנויה and half of Yom Kipur service is about the temple.

        Even the Satmers that are anti Israel don’t just say the connection doesn’t exist only, it’s not time yet. Now if you’re secular and simply don’t care about any of it, fine. But if you do, the connection goes as deep as circumcision.

        1. @ Ginger: I have had many dreams. Very few are realized in real life. Jews have had many dreams including ones about returning to Zion. But I swear to you that the current incarnation of Israel is not one that any Diaspora Jew ever dreamed of. More like a nightmare than a dream.

          You are ranging farther & farther off-topic. I will delete any future comments which stray off topic in this fashion.

          1. “But I swear to you that the current incarnation of Israel is not one that any Diaspora Jew ever dreamed of. ”

            I love it how you think you speak for all Diaspora Jews. And then berate the Government of Israel for doing the same.

          2. @Pingo: good, so show me a Diaspora Jew before Jabotinsky who held a vision of Israel as a fascist state privileging Jews and oppressing non Jews. Hint, you won’t find one.
            When we pray for a return to Zion, it’s not to this mess that Bibi & Co. created, I assure you.

          3. You are talking about an era before all these movements were even invented. Obviously they thought in very different terminology.
            Probably were thinking more along the line of monarchy rather than democracy.

        2. Funny then, that the Jews in the diaspora, even when forced to move (as when they were expelled from Spain and Portugal) went all over the place, but not to the promised land.

          1. Were you aware of the conditions and possibilities available then? There were no planes the and at times the crusades made it impossible to travel.

          2. Marty, please explain how the Crusades, which occurred hundreds of years BEFORE the Edict of Expulsion could have impeded travel to the holy land (but not to many other countries on the Mediterranean)?
            The fact is that a ‘return’ of the Jews is a modern idea, Zionism, not traditional Judaism.

  12. this is an opinion from Mr. David Rothkopf

    i guess i should think twice about going on vacation, i may not be allowed back in.
    and yet the Aipac’s and the like call this A DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
    trump has to go thru congress to shut the FAKE NEWS, here ADELSON AND THE LIKE PUT IT INTO MOTION WITHOUT A HITCH.
    honestly is there any difference between israel and Kazakstan, pakistan, iran or syria. NONE WHATSOEVER
    the us complain that russia stole the elections, what about the local goon that yelled the arabs are coming the arabs are coming.
    they stole my country , and my religion, putin bibi and trump adelson, same peas in same pod

    Opinion Israel Is Becoming an Illiberal Thugocracy, and I’m Running Out of Ways to Defend It

    It's not just the BDS blacklist. In Israel, the basic rights and values underlying democracy itself are being repealed

    David Rothkopf Jan 09, 2018 11:37 AM
    Block me.

    Don’t let me enter Israel.

    I am a Jew. Three dozen of my relatives died in the Holocaust. My father, before he fled the Nazis, was an active member of Zionist youth organizations. By my understanding of what used to be Israel’s "right of return", I was under the impression that I had a standing invitation to visit or even move to Israel whenever I chose.

    But apparently, the ideas and ideals underlying both that right of return and the State of Israel itself are undergoing a reconsideration.
    The vote by the Knesset last March to ban the entry of those involved in boycotts of Israel and the action this week by the Strategic Affairs Ministry to blacklist the leaders of 20 foreign organizations that are seen to support such boycotts suggest that in fact, the basic rights and values underlying democracy itself are being repealed in the country. I know those rights did not exist for millions of Palestinians. I have throughout my adult life been deeply troubled by that fact. The Palestinians fully deserve a state of their own and candidly, having such a state is not only their right and what is right, it is what is in the best interest of the security of Israel. But I have rationalized maintaining my support for the State of Israel based on a few assessments. First, the creation of Israel was in my mind, just and necessitated by history. Next, my sense was that the issue of the rights of the Palestinians would be fairly resolved over time via negotiation – that history takes some time to adjust. Finally, I had that sense that fairness would prevail because Israel was founded upon democratic principles. These meant it recognized that the right of a state to exist depends on the consent of the governed and that the rights of those within its borders to express themselves freely would enrich, inform and ensure the nation’s political and moral health.
    By banning those whose opinions are uncomfortable for Israel – even if those views are essential for Israel to hear and consider – not only weakens the country but it suggests that the reasons for my defenses of Israel are collapsing.
    The fact that Israel’s government is simultaneously systematically blocking the progress of peace, by measures ranging from the expansion of settlements to recent legislation making it harder for Israel to ever concede parts of Jerusalem in negotiations, only compounds this sense.
    The rhetoric of Israel’s hard right and their grotesque revelry in the serial abuse of Palestinians, ranging from a 16-year-old girl to a paraplegic gunned down by Israeli soldiers, suggests that even worse may be in store.
    Prime Minister’s Netanyahu’s government has done little to allay such concerns. To the contrary, Netanyahu has grown more strident and belligerent in passing months. His calls for the end of the UN agency helping Palestinian refugees seems cruel, inflammatory and foolhardy, as was his reported effort to consider how to forcibly deport African asylum seekers. His political heirs within the Likud Party like Gideon Saar are at the same time trying to drive a stake through the heart of the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian issue. Indeed, one cannot help but wonder if Netanyahu is not only blowing with the winds of political change in his own increasingly right-leaning country, but whether he is taking a cue from America’s president Donald Trump, a leader who, like Netanyahu, is under legal scrutiny and who, as a defense, is behaving more and more irrationally and autocratically.Netanyahu has embraced Trump’s “fake news” meme in attacks on free expression in Israel. He has goaded Trump on in his highly unconstructive announcement of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and Trump’s decision to cut funding to the Palestinians. The two are winding each other up with displays of their “very stable genius.” Proposing naming a Jerusalem train station by the holiest site in Judaism after a serial sex-abusing, pro-white supremacist, vulgarian perfectly captures this moment, one that is beyond both parodying and belief
    In short, the Netanyahu administration has done more than ban critics with this latest move and all those that preceded it. It is has turned supporters into adversaries. It has taken one large step in the direction of the illiberal thugocracies favored by the likes of Trump. It has made clearer still the case that Palestinians have been making for decades about the sham of Israeli democracy. And it has done something else. It has broken the heart of those who wish deep within their DNA that Israel would have lived up to be even a shadow of the dreams our fathers and mothers had for it.
    David Rothkopf is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His most recent book is Great Questions of Tomorrow (Simon & Schuster/ TED, 2017). Twitter: @djrothkopf

    1. @ nessim: In future, please choose a portion of an article you wish to highlight (not the entire thing or a long excerpt) and include that here along with a link. Since you didn’t include a link no one can go to the original site and read the article.

      1. haaretz without subscription is blocked, once in a blue moon they allow you 2 item (don’t know how) i didn’t know if the link would be negated with ads or lack of membership, figure this haaretz 2.80 a month the London Times 1 pound,, abusive you said, i get more info from you than from them

  13. Of course, someone brings other countries into the conversation, like Syria or Iran. Can you please leave these other countries out of your lips and propaganda? What you claim is oppressive there are projections as a deflection and distraction of the same propagandists that now reveal their true face in Israel for all to bear. Is Syria penning up 5 million plus Palestinians as a brutal colonizing regime? Has Iran expelled African refugees?

    Or are they just targets of the beastly warmongers?

    1. @ Soleimani Khan: You argue against drawing other countries into the argument, then you promptly do just that. Both Syria and Iran have plenty of warts. But that’s not the point as far as I’m concerned. The point is Israel and its actions regardless of the actions of others. We should keep that in laser focus.

      1. Oh really, Richard? With due respect, that’s the pot calling the kettle black with regards to Israel advocacy.

        It’s these illegitimate side swipes against Iran and Syria that aim to place them in a category with a bad name in which they don’t belong. What country is free of the grievances you’d like to assign these two, which happen to be long targets of a pre-Neocon war agenda?

        Can we stand on a pedestal in America and claim Iran or Syria aren’t free when Americans only gave full voting rights to humans under its umbrella only mere decades ago? Did Iranians or Syrians stick indigenous people and more into reservations, enslave them, and thingify them?

        Did any of these other “deplorables” (sarcasm, but pointed) drop two atomic bombs on HIroshima and Nagasaki?

        Do they have a “chop chop square” like in Saudi Arabia?

        Does Kazakhstan? Why are these countries mentioned in the same breath as Israel.

        “Israel is becoming Iran!” Israel wishes it could become Iran. Then it wouldn’t be such a brutal colonial regime falsifying its intent in the region and the world entirely.

        Maybe if, like America, it would only conform to the paper its ideals (constructed from limitations on government) are drafted upon.

        Israel, if there is any virtue behind the Balfour Declaration, was prohibited from (1) prejudicing the rights of Jewish communities abroad and (2) bringing any harm whatsoever to the indigenous non-Jewish communities in Palestine.

        Truthfully, whenever the injustice is done of placing any country in the same category as one facing a rightful worldwide boycott for its atrocities, one eliminates any notion of credible judgment or nuance.

        No one said Iran or Syria were perfect, but to claim they are the standards for “evil” or whatever is being implied here against which Israel is always compared is laughable if applying the same scrutiny to countless others, especially the countries in which we all sit.

        The message here isn’t turn a blind to others. The message here is “fix thyself”. Just because Israel bars you from the land doesn’t mean you’re not a part of the community.

        Allow Iranians, Syrians, etc. — ones actually living there and not part of funded think tanks/lobbies/pseudo-lobbies — to handle their own domestic issues.

        It is like when Haley goes to the UNSC to prosecute an internal Iranian matter and has a blind spot for all America has done to protesters in recent memory, far worse than anything being alleged against Iran.

        And this double standard has the effect of harming progress in Iran. That’s all I’m saying here.

        1. Have you just starting reading this blog? Richard harshly criticizes his own country, often, so your attack leaves me a bit confused.

        2. @ Soleimani:

          illegitimate side swipes against Iran and Syria that aim to place them in a category with a bad name in which they don’t belong.

          There is plenty wrong with both countries. But that’s not the subject of this blog & you are ranging quite off topic.

          While I find much to admire in Iranians, their culture, art, history, there is little to admire in the clerical regime. That doesn’t mean I support any of the policies advocated by Trump or even Obama regarding Iran. But it is a deeply flawed regime. Syria even more so. Any country which can murder nearly half a million of its citizens in less than a decade is way beyond dysfunctional and certain worthy of a very bad name. Again, that doesn’t mean I favor military intervention in any form or that I favor the policies of any of the countries intervening there.

          What country is free of the grievances you’d like to assign these two,

          In the past century I know of few countries which have slaughtered a significant percentage of their own population. So most countries are entirely free of the grievances I can assign to Syria.

          Did Iranians or Syrians stick indigenous people and more into reservations

          Mazel tov, you’re using precisely the insipid rhetorical strategies of the hasbara brigade. Trying to divert argument by saying: look how much worse your own country is. That’s a losing argument since a) I don’t disagree with you and b) it has nothing to do with Syria or Iran, which must be judged on their own merits. Genocide against Native Americans has nothing to do with genocide inside Syria.

          No one said Iran or Syria were perfect, but to claim they are the standards for “evil” or whatever is being implied here

          Another tactic of the hasbara brigade which I detest: you take a crumb of my actual argument, exagerrate & distort it so it becomes unrecognizable, then say: presto, the distorion is what you really believe. Nothing of the sort. I never said either country were standards for evil. Be very careful about what you attribute to me. I only permit people to attribute to me words & thoughts I really believe. Not what you claim or think I believe.

          The message here is “fix thyself

          That may be YOUR message, but it’s not mine. I don’t need to wait till America is perfect before criticizing Israel, Iran or any other country I wish.

          Allow Iranians, Syrians, etc. — ones actually living there and not part of funded think tanks/lobbies/pseudo-lobbies — to handle their own domestic issues.

          Indeed, we should’ve permitted Serbians to go right on slaughtering Bosnians and Kosovars till they figured out how to “handle their own domestic issues.” We should’ve permitted Hitler to do the same with the Jews & not intervened in WWII. Vietnam should’ve permitted Pol Pot to slaughter the rest of the Cambodian population he hadn’t already massacred before it intervened. Sound advice. Sorry, but I think I’ll pass…

          Do not respond to this comment. It is far off topic as it is & I want to lay this to rest.

  14. Why havnt the various Jewish groups taken this to court? I dont know the law in Israel but I must assume the right of a Jew to visit Israel and pray at wall is sacrosanct regardless of orders from the political office.

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