Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Between hope and despair: A Palestinian woman's journey to Trumpland

A month after Trump’s election I found myself traveling across the United States. Along the way I met with a 103-year-old Jewish journalist, who reminded me that despite the good will of American Jewry, we live in two separate worlds.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. (Marc Nozell/CC BY 2.0)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. (Marc Nozell/CC BY 2.0)

I spent 10 intense days between airports, malls, presentations, and meetings — switching between Hebrew, Arabic, English, and back to Arabic. On the last of my journey to the United States, on behalf of my village, Wahat al-Salam—Neve Shalom, I began losing a sense of time. I felt overwhelmed by the Americans I met, who were only beginning to make sense of Trump’s victory, and who were feeling anxious and helpless as they faced the future. Somehow I found myself crying in the bathroom stall in a fancy retirement home in Florida.

As I made my way to a meeting with veteran journalist Zel Lurie, I was stopped by an old woman who smiled at me and said, “Sorry that I’m stopping you, honey, but I saw you walking around and every time I saw your face I thought my daughter had come for a visit. The same height, the same hair, the same smiling face…but you are not my daughter.”

“I am not your daughter, I am here for a visit,” I responded with a heartbroken smile. She cried in that bathroom, just like I did. We stood next to one another facing the mirror, two women, me in my forties and she in her eighties. Both of us looking for a warm embrace as we faced the cruelty of the world around us.

The person accompanying me didn’t understand why I was crying. “Welcome to America,” he said. “That’s how it is here.”

“They throw your parents into an old folks home? That’s your America?” I asked. He explained that no one “throws” their parents into retirement homes, and that the elderly themselves pay for their stay there, that things are generally nice here, and that the kids spread out across the country, that it’s hard for them to “sustain their parents, you know.”

All of the caretakers at the center were black. The polite man who accompanied me looked at me and without saying anything said, “It’s not what you think! They want to work here.” Yes, sure, they want to work here out of free will. Just like you will hardly find any Jewish caretakers at retirement centers in Israel. Most of them are Arabs or foreign workers — because, of course, that’s what they want. Very quickly he admitted that he had no chance of beating me in an argument over this point, not because I am a better debater, but because I was right.

Israel in the middle

Zel Lurie was one of the first people to donate to Wahat al-Salam—Neve Shalom and its binational school. In honor of his 103rd birthday, the board of directors decided to organize a gathering in his honor at the retirement center where he lives.

Students from Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam clean up the school grounds following a wildfire at the Jewish-Arab village. (Lindsay Stanek)

Students from Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam clean up the school grounds following a wildfire in the Jewish-Arab village. (Lindsay Stanek)

Lurie was born to a Jewish family in New York in 1913. He witnessed two World Wars, major economic collapses, the Nakba of the Palestinian people, the establishment of the State of Israel, various peace agreements, and many wars. In 1935 he began writing for the Palestine Post, which would eventually become the Jerusalem Post; today he is disappointed by the direction the newspaper has taken in recent years. He has lost nearly all of his eyesight, can barely hear, and speaks slowly and with much difficulty. His assistant reads him the news and opinion pieces on a daily basis, including my articles published on +972.

He was very excited to learn that he is sitting with someone who could write an article about our conversation. “I cannot write anymore, so you write now,” he told me. He is truly addicted to this, I thought as I tried to explain the concept of writing articles for free. I don’t think he understood the concept.

At a fancy dinner held at the end of the day, the board of directors sat around the table and shared stories from the life of a man I had never met before. Throughout my journey I took part in countless heated arguments over Zionism as a racist movement, which contradicts the very principles of democracy that Americans worship. Over those 10 days I used all the English I knew for long discussions on my story, the history and story of the Palestinian people, refugee camps, Gaza, a shared fate of the people in Israel-Palestine, and the crisis of the Left. And suddenly, after I had criticized Zionism from every angle, I found myself celebrating the birthday of a diehard Zionist. Not only that: I found that I wasn’t as angry at him as I expected, even laughing at the fact that he was born on the same day as the Balfour Declaration.

One of the celebrants told that one time he asked Lurie whether he thinks it’s possible to “bring back the hope for peace.” Lurie responded, “Sweetheart, I am 95! I don’t need hope. You do.” During the dinner Zel sat between me and my friend. He heard stories of a young Palestinian who was born in Yemen to a man who was the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Gaza, who was expelled from Cairo by Nasser and returned to Gaza during the Sadat years, and whose brother was one of the leaders of the First Intifada.

One his other side was me, a Palestinian from a family of refugees from the village Sajara in the north, who is trying to struggle for Arab women and a shared fate for all living in Israel-Palestine in a state he loves so much — one that does not care for my people. The veteran journalist listened like a small child entranced by fascinating stories and only wants to hear more. When we finished, he spoke: “So I have the Gaza Strip to my right, and Samah is the West Bank to my left, and I’m like Israel — stuck in the middle!” “Watch your metaphors, grandpa,” I responded. “We are two young, opinionated women and you are 103 years old stuck in the middle, you don’t know how this might end.” The entire room erupted in laughter.

All the dreams

At the end of the event Zel invited me to meet him for lunch the following day before my flight to New York. He wanted to hear my thoughts about Democratic Jews in the United States. Of course I came. Trump had won and I could say whatever I wanted about American Jewry. When we met he wanted to hear my life story, about my family and its history, about the village from which we were expelled, about our parents and grandmothers and children. Everything. I told him that my grandmother was buried in the city of Tur’an in northern Israel, but that she was wrapped in soil and stones from our village, according to her will.

+972 blogger Samah Salaime sits with veteran Jewish journalist Zel Lurie, who celebrated his 103rd birthday.

+972 blogger Samah Salaime sits with veteran Jewish journalist Zel Lurie, who celebrated his 103rd birthday.

He tried to explain to me what American Jews think about Israel and Palestine, pointing at the houses dotting the shore of the lake before us. “Everyone is Jewish here, but no one cares about the Middle East anymore,” he declared.

“They have grown tired of it?” I asked.

“It’s not a matter of hope and despair. They were never interested in it. Most of the Jews here don’t care what’s happening over there. Those who were already involved have only become more involved and extreme, that’s all.”

And what about Netanyahu? How will we find a leadership that can replace him, I asked.

“Find yourself another Bibi. Build leadership, on both sides. It’s not as hard as you think — people want to be led, and not everyone has an opinion. I parted ways with Lurie, wishing him many more birthday parties.

News that Ahlam Abbas-Ziyadat had been murdered by her husband, who had staged a kidnapping in the West Bank, reached me as I returned to my hotel to pack up and head for the Big Apple.

I shared a video (above) in which Ahlam’s mother describes a single year in the life of the 21 year old. A year of a cruel marriage to a violent, abusive man. Ahlam (Arabic for “dreams”) was attacked when she was 15 by one of her uncles, who dumped acid on her. The life of one woman have included the horrors and oppression of an entire village. The life of a poor family, a single mother, exploitation, threats, bullying, and violence against women. And all this in the face of a systematic failure by the police, the legal system, and the welfare authorities to do their job in these situations.

On one side of the world, the long painful journey of one young women came to an end, alongside all of her dreams. All while an elderly Jewish man still dreams of a different future in Florida.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

Newsletter banner

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. R5

      “Throughout my journey I took part in countless heated arguments over Zionism as a racist movement, which contradicts the very principles of democracy that Americans worship.”

      Sigh…

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Actually you might want to question your assumptions. When one of your Zionist compatriots was asked if he would find it satisfactory if U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump said “whether you like it or not, a state where the majority of the people are White Christians is a White Christian state,” this person confidently told me that “Actually it would be perfectly ok with me because most Americans ARE christians and I have nothing against a Christian state.” So, you like this conception of America that mirrors “the Jewish State”? I mean, we could always change the name of AIPAC to the White Christian State Jewish State Public Affairs Committee. You like? You like the implications for Jews in America? (I don’t.)

        Reply to Comment
        • R5

          Some countries, with which the US is close allies, have enshrined either ethnic or religious primacy to one group of people in their form of government – UK, every other constitutional monarchy in Europe, Japan, India etc. – if these countries don’t “contradict” America’s values than neither does Israel. So, basically you missed the point. You don’t have to try to try to be exactly like America to deserve to exist as a country.

          Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “You like the implications for Jews in America? (I don’t.)”

          I think Ben is talking about me. So Ben, tell us please. What are the implications of recognising America for what it REALLY is: a majority Christian State, what are the implications of it for Jews? What have you got against reality Ben? And what have you got against Christians?

          Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          By the way, Benny, there are non white Christians in America too. And again: what is wrong with a Christian state? There are literally hundreds of countries in this world which designate themselves as Christian states. What is your problem with Christian states Benny? Are you bigotted or somethin’?

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            R5 and Gustav, this is a strikingly dishonest argument on the face of it. There is NO WAY that the UK or Spain or France has “enshrined either ethnic-religious primacy to one group of people in their form of government” in anything like what Netanyahu means and practices on the ground with his insistence on Palestinians formally recognizing a “Jewish State.” To say so is absurd. That the UK or France preference White Protestant Anglicans or White Catholics, respectively, or just Christians, in anything like the way Israel preferences Jews over Gentiles or intends with “Jewish State” to preference Jews over Arabs–is TOTALLY bogus. I am really shocked that you think you can pass off this obvious flimflam. These constitutional monarchies and official church statuses are absolute way, way more superficial and ceremonial and essentially trivial than is the case in Israel. There is NO comparison. How dishonest can you be?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            R5, you with the professed deep ACLU assistance history, for you to pretend to miss the point and to dismiss the idea you would not be perturbed if Trump declared the USA a “Christian State” is just deeply dishonest. This says all we need to know about how you will say anything other than admit the problem with Netanyahu’s “Jewish State” demand.

            Reply to Comment
        • I live in the UK. In England we have and established church – our own dear Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. It so happens there is a completely different church established in Scotland, and yet another in Wales. Perhaps better not to think of Northern Ireland right now.

          The whole country benefits from freedom of religion and there is no bar (yet) to conversions from the established church to another.

          Most people are perfectly happy to have Christmas and Easter as national holidays and join in the national fun. Sensible people simply book days off work for religious holidays of their own particular faith.

          To add to the fun, the established church is NOT the one with the largest membership. Its churches are struggling to say open and get a minyan (whatever Christian version of that is).

          None of this is incompatible with democracy.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Mark, thank you, you make my point. I can guarantee you that if Israel truly meant and practiced what the English mean by “Anglican Church” or “Church of England” nobody, me included, would care. These folks know that that is simply not the case. They are playing dumb. Thank you.

            Reply to Comment
    2. AJew

      The idea that a Jewish nationalist movement (Zionism) is racist while the Arab nationalist movement is not racist. That idea itself is racist!

      Reply to Comment
    3. Grandpa Frost

      “…Palestinian woman’s journey to Trumpland.” Someone sure likes to wear her victimhood on her sleeve. Actually, that’s an understatement. Here it goes: Someone sure likes to bask in the glory of her victimhood!

      Reply to Comment
      • Carmen

        Basking in the glory of victimhood? Are you 103 too G-Frost? The zionist state is the dream of basking in victimhood realized. So many of the zionist posters here, particularly AJew, are rife with the tropes of the professional victim.

        Thank you Samah for another enlightening post.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          ZIONISM:
          The belief that the Jewish people have the right to live in our own state as an independent free people where we can have self determination.

          WHO ARE THE ZIONISTS:
          As long as people profess the above belief, they are zionists. For example, Hashomer Hatzair was one of the original leftist Zionists st parties. They established Kibutzim in which people lived communaly, to all intents and purposes practicisng Marxism. But they were Zionists. On the other side of the political spectrum the founders of Israel had Herut which was a right wing Zionist party led by Begin. And in between at the centre left and centre right there were all kinds of other kinds of Zionists like Mapai which was led by Ben Gurion.

          Today, the situation is no different except that right wing Zionists dominate Israel because leftist Zionists lost their way and demonstrated to us that they cannot negotiate a peace deal with the Palestinian Arabs without endangaring the well being of Israeli Jews and the very existence of the Jewish state.

          ARAB NATIONALISM:
          The original aim of Arab nationalists was to ensure that ALL of Paelestine would be ruled by Arabs and to get rid of the pesky Zionists whom they viewed as colonialist invaders.

          In the 1960s, with the help of the KGB, the Arab nationalists (the PLO) modified it’s stance. They introduced the concept of the secular democratic state in which Jews and Arabs would live together in bliss and harmony. A nice concept but only if all parties agree to it and mean it. The trouble was that history belied that utopian concept. By the 1960s Jews and Arabs have had a history of decades of bitter and bloody conflict, wars, death and destruction. So we Jews preferred to hold onto Zionism and to maintain the idea of the two state solution. Indeed, had the Arabs wanted to have an independent Arab Palestinian state, they could have established it in the West Bank and Gaza because they were held by Jordan and Egypt respectively, between 1948 and 1967. But the Palestinian Arabs did not seem to mind considering themselves as part of the greater Arab Umma of Jordan and Egypt. They did however mind the existence of the independent state of the Jewish nation of Israel and they swore that they and their Arab allies would drive the Zionists into the sea. Moreover, they made it abundantly clear in their national charter that their mutterings about a single secular democratic state is just a sham to fool gullible westerners and that the evil colonialist Jews have no place in Palestine.

          After their defeat in 1967, initially they still held on to their refusal to accept the two state solution. But by the 1990s, the Arab nationalists changed tack again. At least the PLO changed tack. By then, they had another faction, the Islamists headed by Hamas. Hamas and others like them unabashedly held on to their philosophy of getting rid of the Jews of Palestine and establish a shiny Arab and Islamic state.

          The PLO on the other hand pretended to agree to a two state solution and to recognise Israel. But not Israel as a Jewish nation state. Moreover, despite the promises of their leader Arafat when he said to Rabin “no more terrorism”, terrorism actually increased after Oslo was signed. That’s why Rabin made his famous saying that he will fight for peace as if no terrorism exists and will fight the terrorists as if there is no peace process.

          So in summary, despite the shennanigans of the PLO about peace and the two state solution, it is obvious that they still believe in Arab supremacy. And in Israel’s destruction. They make this abundantly clear by refusing to amend their national charter which talks about Israel’s destruction, despite having promised to do so in written letters to Clinton. They also make it abundantly clear by continuing terror tactics and refusing to sign a peace deal with Israel which would leave Israel as a Jewish majority state. To this day, the PLO insists that Israel must agree to the “return” of millions of descendants of Arab refugees (no mention of course of Jewish refugees).

          So, Carmen. Which side resembles the KKK more in the above story? Hint: since 1948, the Jews of Palestine built a thriving country which has an Arab minority, 20% of it’s population. Some of whom are happy to be Israeli citizens many are not because they side with their Arab brethern in the West Bank and Gaza. But when they are given the choice of becoming citizens of the proposed new Palestinian state without moving or giving up lands or any assets, just by redrawing the borders (the Lieberman plan), they are horrified and say “no thanks”. Would anyone reject such a choice if they would live under an apartheid like rule? Not bloody likely!!!

          Anyway, lady, ya wanna look for KKK? You don’t need to go further than Hamas. And the PLO is no better.

          PS
          I still don’t know why I bothered writing all of the above. I know it is wasted on you Carmen. You prefer to peddle PLO and Hamas lies and to tell us fairy tales. But some good might come of it. Even if one person reads what I wrote and bothers to verify it by reading reputable history books (not Arab or EXTREME leftist/right wing propaganda), some good might come of it. So thank you Carmen for prompting me to go to the trouble 😜

          Reply to Comment
    4. Subway1EightyNine

      Just to sum it up. You went to America and spoke to some old guy about nothing in particular. I hope someone else paid for this trip because it sounds incredibly boring.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Mark

      Palestinians and Israelis are the principle beneficiaries of the much derided Sykes-Picot agreement.

      Sherif Hussein bin Ali launched an Arab revolt with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks, and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.

      No place for an independent Palestine in that! No place for democracy either as far as I can make out.

      Reply to Comment
    6. LanceThruster

      MURDER (immoral and unjust killing)
      as COVER (diversion of focus)
      for THEFT (taking what is not yours)
      and OPPRESSION (bullying people for your own gain)
      is NOT *self-defense* (legitimate force for one’s own protection)!

      It’s a WAR CRIME (with no statute of limitations – one day Israel will be brought to justice)!

      ~ LanceThruster

      Reply to Comment
    7. Ben

      This shows up the whole sneaky idea you’re peddling that what Netanyahu means by “Jewish State” and that he wants the Palestinians to formally recognize is anything at all like what England means by its official church. This shows with crystal clarity the dishonesty of it all. And it is a double edged dishonesty. Not only do you try to pass off the Church of England having anything like the discriminating role the “Jewish State” principle has and is meant to have in Israel, which is laughable, but, (and this simple exercise exposes how bogus this is) if anyone criticizes France or England or the USA no one thinks to say “oh my god you are anti-Christian!” Yet criticize Israel? You are automatically, so the right wing constantly alleges, anti-Jewish. That exposes how utterly bogus is your oh so casual equivalence between the Christian religion in England and “the Jewish State” principle Netanyahu insists on. Actually I have to believe you know I state the truth. Honestly, I read your whole production here as a disingenuous exercise in playing dumb.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “Not only do you try to pass off the Church of England having anything like the discriminating role the “Jewish State”

        Not so fast!!! Hold on there buddy!!! This is not about the Israeli state anymore. Don’t obfuscate. We were not talking about the Israeli state. We were talking about this statement of yours, on another thread BEN:

        “You would see “nothing wrong” with the consequences of your “Christian state,” the analogue of your “Jewish state”? A Christian state where Jews are discriminated against at every turn; ”

        Here, look at your post dated FRIDAY DECEMBER 9 here:

        http://972mag.com/watch-a-new-brand-of-jewish-nonviolence-in-palestine/123416/

        In that post of yours you clearly talked about Christian states in general and you were trying to make the point that the Israeli (Jewish) state are as discriminatory as Christian states would be (ALL Christian states according to you Ben) against Jews.

        Now in response to my post and a few posts by others, you are clearly back pedalling, VERY FAST, and admitting that England (a Christian state) is not discriminatory. And of course it isn’t.

        But you are saying that Israel is not like England. Agreed. Israel isn’t England and I might even agree with you that right now, there is greater discrimination against Arabs in Israel than against Jews in England (I am talking about state discrimination. I am not sure about discrimination by individuals – but I don’t want to debate that right now). What I do want to debate is the fact that comparing England and Israel right now is like comparing apples and oranges. England is not at war. It certainly isn’t at war with Jews. Israel on the other hand is still in a state of war with the Palestinian Arabs. A war which has been going on for nearly 100 years (since before Israel’s creation). And when England was at war, it too was at least as draconian in it’s treatment of citizens who migrated or fled to England from enemy countries. In fact, it was more draconian than Israel is today. It put thousands of those people int internment camps (Jews too) for security reasons.

        Moreover Ben. In making your above post, you proved what a bigot you are. Not just against Jews but against CHRISTIANS because YES, in your earlier post you clearly bad mouthed CHRISTIANS IN GENERAL. You implied that ALL christian states by their very nature are likely to be discriminatory towards Jews.

        We (yes we, those who read all your posts) already know what a bigot you are towards Jews. Those who haven’t read your bigotry against Jews, can check it out on the following thread:

        http://972mag.com/watch-activism-and-spirituality-in-the-palestinian-olive-harvest/123039/

        But now you have managed to show what a bigot you are towards Christians too. Muslims? Not so much, eh Ben? On that other thred, there is a reference to yet an earlier thread in which you made excuses for Muslim marriage laws. You, said they are not as bad as Israeli marriage laws because their objection to intermarriage is based on religious grounds, unlike Israel’s marriage laws which according to you are race based. Yea, right, because Israelis are a single race right Ben? We are not an ethnicity, we are a race, at least according to you. Anyway it is all there on that thread.

        Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “Not only do you try to pass off the Church of England having anything like the discriminating role the “Jewish State”

        Not so fast!!! Hold on there buddy!!! This is not about the Israeli state anymore. Don’t obfuscate. We were not talking about the Israeli state. We were talking about this statement of yours, on another thread BEN:

        “You would see “nothing wrong” with the consequences of your “Christian state,” the analogue of your “Jewish state”? A Christian state where Jews are discriminated against at every turn; ”

        Here, look at your post dated FRIDAY DECEMBER 9 here:

        http://972mag.com/watch-a-new-brand-of-jewish-nonviolence-in-palestine/123416/

        In that post of yours you clearly talked about Christian states in general and you were trying to make the point that the Israeli (Jewish) state are as discriminatory as Christian states would be (ALL Christian states according to you Ben) against Jews.

        Now in response to my post and a few posts by others, you are clearly back pedalling, VERY FAST, and admitting that England (a Christian state) is not discriminatory. And of course it isn’t.

        But you are saying that Israel is not like England. Agreed. Israel isn’t England and I might even agree with you that right now, there are one or two more discriminationatory laws against Arab citizens of Israel while there are no discriminatory laws against Jews in England (I am talking about state discrimination. I am not sure about discrimination by individuals – but I don’t want to debate that right now).

        What I do want to debate is the fact that comparing England and Israel right now is like comparing apples and oranges. England is not at war. It certainly isn’t at war with Jews.

        Israeli Jews on the other hand are still in a state of war with the Palestinian Arabs. A war which has been going on for nearly 100 years (since before Israel’s creation). And when England was at war, it too was at least as draconian in it’s treatment of citizens who migrated or fled to England from enemy countries. In fact, it was more draconian than Israel is today. It put thousands of those people into internment camps (Jews too) for security reasons.

        TO BE CONTINUED

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          CONTINUED FROM BEFORE

          Moreover Ben. In making your above post, you proved what a bigot you are. Not just against Jews but against CHRISTIANS because YES, in your earlier post you clearly bad mouthed CHRISTIANS IN GENERAL. You implied that ALL christian states by their very nature are likely to be discriminatory towards Jews.

          We (yes we, those who read all your posts) already know what a bigot you are towards Jews. Those who haven’t read your bigotry against Jews, can check it out on the following thread:

          http://972mag.com/watch-activism-and-spirituality-in-the-palestinian-olive-harvest/123039/

          But now you have managed to show what a bigot you are towards Christians too. Muslims? Not so much, eh Ben? On that other thred, there is a reference to yet an earlier thread in which you made excuses for Muslim marriage laws. You, said they are not as bad as Israeli marriage laws because their objection to intermarriage is based on religious grounds, unlike Israel’s marriage laws which according to you are race based. Yea, right, because Israelis are a single race right Ben? We are not an ethnicity, we are a race, at least according to you. Anyway it is all there on that thread.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Yes, we know, Gustav, we know how you are. Thanks for the tiresome, bigotizing screed in duplicate. Do you pursue a PhD in “Benny Studies”? “Pursuing Benny—Zionist Strategies of Bigotizing in a Fact Free World: By Reinforcing Mantras by Every Available Means, Innuendo and Slander is Transformed into Fact. NGO Monitor as Role Model.”
            Look, it is just a sight to see the lengths you will go to ‘bigotize’ me. And it is revealing that we are now temporarily moving out of the anti-Semitizing phase of this and into the Anti-Christianizing phase. And why? Because Ben had the temerity to assert something that any American who passed his fifth grade history and civics classes ought to understand instinctively. America would not be America—and I mean the America conceived and fought for by Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Monroe, Franklin and Paine and others, and thousands upon thousands of soldiers who gave their lives for it since—if it officially designated itself “a Christian State” much less demanded it be formally recognized as such. This point is so obvious that I am sending you back to fifth grade but I am not going to teach you myself. You make yourself ridiculous. I need not tell you that Jews used to be greatly discriminated against in the USA, but not nearly so much anymore. Similar things can be said about discrimination against Black Americans although that problem is still alive to a much greater degree. These problems have not gone away but nobody outside of a mental institution would want to take away the constitutional safeguards the Founding Fathers put in place and that enabled the USA to work to resist these things and put these things behind it. Or would want to be fatuous and blithe and pugnacious about these serious issues of political history and say “Oh yeah?! What’s wrong with a Christian State, Do you hate Christians Benny, huh?! Are you a bigot, huh, Benny?!” You can’t have any idea how you sound, to put it politely. You just can’t. It takes that “Why do you hate America?” type punchline to new heights.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Now, with your “not so fast” gambit you are behaving like a lawyer up to no good, trying to narrowly restrict what the judge will grant admissible. What are you afraid of? Again, if you try to equate Israel’s ethno-theological social codes, laws and practices, as we speak, to the way England today situates itself with and deploys the concept of Anglo-Saxon-Christian ancestry, you will not be taken seriously. Now, you have always tried to wiggle out of this box you are in by deploying the “but we are at war” gambit. Well, the “we are at war” gambit (“war” sounds SO much nicer than “fifty year ruthless occupation and land grab,” doesn’t it?) is belied by the way, for example, you treat Bedouin human beings in the Negev, at Umm al-Hiran and elsewhere. These people are not even remotely “at war” with you, but you treat them with utter, ruthless contempt, demanding they move out of their homes because the Jews moving into the area simply can’t bear the thought, in their blessed purity, of living next to them or god forbid, among them. And because the mass of Israelis supporting this simply feel entitled. Don’t try to deny it. Offhand I can find five +972 articles to back it up. So it won’t wash.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Flagrant, transparently bigotizing maneuvers aside, though, however you, as one idiosyncratic individual want to come down on this–your personal ease with a hypothetical lack of separation between church and state somewhere on earth or your professed hypothetical personal ease at living in “A Christian State” or your nonchalance at seeing the United States historically undermined by a hypothetical trashing of its Constitution–is not the issue. Who cares? I am not your political science coach and I am not rooting for to make the Varsity Political Science And Hard Won Wisdom About The Nature of Man Squad. Thoughts by Noam Scheizaf to follow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            In the end, with respect to the matters this blog cares about and that you care about, I side on this issue with Noam Scheizaf. Noam says that “a Jewish state” will always be an exclusive and discriminatory state. And he makes important distinctions. With the following excerpt I abbreviate his argument–readers should should read all of it. To me it’s the definitive word on this subject:

            ‘…However, even if Netanyahu’s demand was genuine and not part of his (non)negotiation strategy, it should be opposed – not just by the Palestinians but also by Israelis. Because a “Jewish” state – as opposed to a state whose culture is Jewish or is “a national homeland” for Jews – will always be a racist, discriminatory state…. Most mainstream Zionists would argue that “a Jewish State” is no different than a German state or an Italian state, or any similar nation-state…. But this argument is only half true…. Jewish identity cannot and does not wish to be inclusive (in my mind, that’s part of the beauty of Judaism – that it never tried to convert the non-believers). A state that sees itself as “a Jewish State” is inherently an exclusive state, because a person cannot become Palestinian-Jewish or Muslim-Jewish….’

            http://972mag.com/why-i-oppose-recognizing-israel-as-a-jewish-state/78751/

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            All of Ben’s stupid accusations about the Jewish state are easily resolved by the statement:

            By Israel as a Jewish state, we mean Israel is a Jewish majority state and has to stay that way. As such, the official state religion is Judaism. But like in England, where the official state religion is Anglican, there can be minorities who are non Anglican (and in Israel’s case non Jewish).

            Aaaaand, yes in Israel too everyone can be Israeli and some Israelis can be non Jews. Just as in England some Englishmen and English women are non Anglican. And yes, in peace time, the Jewish majority in Israel are capable of treating non Jews with respect just like Anglican English people can treat non Anglicans with respect.

            If Benny disagrees and thinks that Israeli Jews are somehow morally more degenerate than English Anglicans, then that reflects more on Benny and his bigotry than on Israeli Jews. And no matter how often Benny disagrees about the fact that Israel is at war, Israel IS at war. Maybe Benny can check what Eva Illouz said about it. Benny has been comfortable quoting Eva on other matters which appeal to Benny’s sentiments of throwing mud at Israel. But it seems that to Benny, Eva Illouz’s clear admission that Israel is in a state of war with the Palestinian Arabs and their allies, is something to be ignored. One has to wonder why Benny is so selective about quoting Eva Illouz? Is it his bias? Is it to do with his hatred and bigotry against Israeli Jews? Ah, who cares. Benny is just dead wrong.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “…Just as in England some Englishmen and English women are non Anglican… just like Anglican English people can treat non Anglicans with respect.””

            What phoniness. What bullshit. What a laugh.

            You clearly can’t mount any convincing rebuttal other than to regurgitate this kind of piffle. “As in England….” plainly nonsense. In every particular. Repeat it as much as you like, it will not make it true. To most people, the absurdity of the comparison makes my point for me. As for “Jewish majority,” that is your business, but you have not countered Scheizaf’s argument one iota, you’ve only assiduously ignored it. You can’t rebut the point I make about your treatment of Bedouin either. These things stand revealed.

            And as you would like us to forget, you are the one who plays selective quoting games. You, not me, leave out Illouz’s crucial point:

            “…Wittgenstein’s analogy was for language but it is an apt one to understand what is at stake here: Israel’s current colonialist regime bears a family resemblance with other evil regimes, even if it does not share overlapping features with them. It is not Nazi, not apartheid, not fascist – yet it belongs to that unhappy family….”
            read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.735303?v=036836DE6B2A2A7743800117B75C4315

            I’m sorry you’ve made such a hash of this. It must be hard to have your cherished “Jewish state” talking point refuted in the space of one week not only by a fellow right winger who dismissed it as a red herring, but by Noam Scheizaf in a flawlessly reasoned argument. Now all you’ve got left in your quiver are little, crooked, bigotizing arrows that won’t fly.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Again Ben studiously avoids Eva Illouze’s admission that the Jews of Israel is (and has been for 100 years) in a state of military conflict with Palestinian Arabs.

            And being the illogical (actually maliciously devious) person that he is, Ben tries to equate the behavior of a people who are in a state of war with a country at peace. Ben pretends that England when it was in a state of war behaved better than Israel. In fact, it behaved worse. He can go back as far as he wants to the past and Ben will find that the English were not always benevolent to “the other” especially when they were in a state of war with “the other”. Yet now when they are at peace, the English are a decent democratic country.

            Aaaaaand Ben pretends that Jewish Israelis are incapable of being decent to “the other” even when in peace with them. That attitude reflects more on Ben than on Jewish Israelis.

            Reply to Comment
    8. AJew

      The following is a direct quote from Eva Illouz whom Ben fondly quotes selectively to throw mud at Israel but not the passage below:

      “whereas the very group that Israel oppresses and segregates, the Palestinians, are also engaged through a system of regional alliances in a military conflict with Israel through its identification with self-declared enemies of Israel as Hamas, Hezbollah”

      Military conflict. Get it Ben? Which bit of military conflict don’t you understand?

      Yet as I said, Ben expects Israel to treat the Palestinians to the same standards as the English treat their “others” in peace. It would be nice if we could but we wouldn’t be ordinary humans then. Instead, we would be angels.

      Ben should look at how the English treated their “others” when they were at war and compare them to us. In that case we would not come out second best.

      What Ben is really trying to say is that we are genetically inferior to the English and that Israeli Jews are genetically incapable of being fair to Arabs even if a formal peace deal would be in place and would be respected. I get what you are saying, Ben. Israeli Jews are genetically inferior to Englishmen. There is a known term which describes your attitude, Ben. And it ain’t flattering.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        ​”…What Ben is really trying to say is that we are genetically inferior to the English …”

        The silliness of this claim is self evident.

        The Illouz passage you quote is antecedent. She goes on to make the statement I quoted. So the silliness of this quotation game you’re playing is self evident too.

        I already pointed out that, for example, the Israelis treat Bedouin people, who are not remotely “at war” with them, shamefully. With stark 18th Century style discrimination. Do you even read +972 Magazine or do you just drop by to bigotize? What is this theory of yours? “We get mad at ‘the Arabs’ over there because they resist our brutal land-grabbing occupation so naturally over here we are compelled to feel we have a right to abuse any Arab person. An Arab is an Arab. It’s only natural”? One of the really convenient things your “English” ploy affords you is carte blanche in your mind to use medieval methods. The layers of Israeli entitlement are remarkable.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          So Illouz does not say that Israel is and has been in a state of military conflict with the Palestinian Arabs, Benny? Yes or no Benny?!

          Do you think that people can’t read? Of course she says that. But you deny it vehemently don’t you Benny?

          Reply to Comment
    9. AJew

      Of course Benny won’t answer my straight forward question. About Eva Illouz’s admission that Israel is engaged in military conflict with the Palestinian Arabs.

      He no longer wants to talk about the English state which has a state religion and yet it is a democracy.

      All Benny wants to talk about is how bad Israel is and how evil we are towards our Palestinian Arab adversaries. Fine, already I am not arguing that point. I am arguing that the English too were evil towards “the others” with whom they were in military conflict. Yet now that the English are in peace, they are a democracy.

      And the point that I keep on making is that Ben has no justification in asserting that Israel as a Jewish state would be incapable of being just as much of a fair democracy if it’s Palestinian Arab adversaries would make peace with Israel. Unless of course Benny thinks that Israeli Jews are genetically inferior to the English in which case Ben is a plain old bigot.

      So how does Ben respond to the above? He responds by repeating his mantra about how bad Israel is towards Palestinian Arabs with whom Israel is in a state of military conflict. Of course according to Ben, the Palestinian Arabs are not bad towards Israelis because “through no fault of their own” they are occupied and therefore they are allowed to do whatever they want to Israeli civilians and none of it can be described as bad because the Palestinian Arabs are occupied… and so Ben goes on and on…

      But has anyone noticed? Suddenly Ben dropped the topic which he started on this thread. His sarcastic comment about someone (he meant me) not objecting to the idea of a Christian state and “how stupid that idea is” according to Ben (not according to me). Now, ben has come to terms with that idea because even he can’t deny the fact that Britain, a Christian (Anglican) state IS a democracy. Ben has now been reduced to repeating the mantra: “Yes but a Jewish state can never become a democracy”. A Christian state yes… a Jewish state no…. ok Benny, we (yes we) get your drift. Bigotry anyone? Comparing apples with oranges anyone? Comparing Christian states which are not in a state of war to a Jewish state which has been in a 100 year military conflict with their neighbor/s, is a fair comparison according to Benny. That says a lot about Benny!

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Israel is not in a state of war with the Beduin people Benny?

        I don’t know whether one can just make a black and white statement like that.

        You are right that some of the Beduin are loyal Israeli citizens yet others are sympathetic to their co-religionist Muslim Palestinian Arabs who also speak Arabic.

        So what did the English do when they were in a similar situation in WW2 with their naturalised citizens of German descent? They considered ALL of them a potential security threat and put them in detention camps. Looking back at that time, was it reasonable to treat Jewish citizens who escaped persecution from Germany the same way as non Jewish Germans? Maybe. Maybe not. Yet the English treated them the same way. Jews of German descent too were put into detention camps. Yet today, in a more peaceful time, there is true democracy in England.

        So again, please explain to us why Israel too would not be capable of functioning better than today when we are in a state of military conflict and security is more of an issue? Tell us Benny. We are all ears. Why are we congenitally incapable of being a better democracy during more peaceful times? Are we a morally inferior people to the English because we are Israeli Jews? How does it work? Do we become immoral through our Jewish mother’s milk? Tell us Benny, I am truly interested why you think that we would not be capable of being more fair to “the others” if we too could live in peace and feel more secure?

        Reply to Comment
    10. AJew

      The English were not in a state of war with Jews during WW2 yet the English put Jews of German descent into detention camps.

      Many Israeli Beduins are loyal Israeli citizens but some Beduin sympathise with fellow Muslims and Arabs. And some have spied for our enemies against us. So it is a bit simplistic to say that we are no in a state of war with the Beduin.

      The British opted not to take risks with their security when it came to German Jews. The bottom line is that we are in a state of war. Period. We don’t really know who are our friends and who are our enemies.

      If you would judge the English based on how they behave during peace times. Then you can’t project how we would behave if we would have peace based on what we do during war. You don’t do that with the Brits so don’t do it with us. If you do, I have every right to call you a bigot Ben. And I do because you do what you do. You compare apples with oranges.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ben

      You really are a most amusing fellow Gustav. Why do you dig yourself into holes like this in public, in broad daylight?

      Ben: “The Illouz passage you quote is antecedent. She goes on to make the statement I quoted.”

      AJew: “So Illouz does not say that Israel is and has been in a state of military conflict with the Palestinian Arabs, Benny? Yes or no Benny?! Do you think that people can’t read? Of course she says that. But you deny it vehemently don’t you Benny?”

      Now, the obvious falsification here by you is so self-evident that we will just let it stand in all its paranoid silliness. I denied your quotation no more than you denied mine. This twist you put on this is, in microcosm, what you’ve done ever since we had the pleasure of meeting. It is so flagrant that all I can do is sit back and marvel. And chuckle. But we are not done yet.

      “They considered ALL of them a potential security threat and put them in detention camps.”

      But, obviously, your patented WWII history distortions aside, the citizens of Umm el-Hiran are not considered any security threat whatsoever. You are not locking them up, and we know you Israelis are not shy about locking up any non-Jewish Israeli (unless they are an American citizen). So this is all bluster and distraction. You are shoving the Bedouin out of their homes for purely racist, supremacist reasons. Period. The analogy to WWII, as always with you, is 100% Grade A Bullsh*t.

      “…Britain, a Christian (Anglican) state…”

      This is the best one of all. This idea, that Britain today, in the 21st Century, not in the age of Thomas More and Henry VIII, is “a Christian state” in anything like what Netanyahu demands in regard to Israel today being “a Jewish state,” is RIDICULOUS. On the face of it. Why do you venture such patent silliness? Even a Leibowitzian judeonazi such as Lewis F. A., or especially Lewis, actually, would have to laugh at this one. Why do you make a fool of yourself like this?

      You have not said boo about Noam Scheizaf’s analysis. Shall I give you the AJew treatment by saying “So Scheizaf does not say that a “Jewish state” is a racist, discriminatory state, Gussie? Yes or no Gussie?! Do you think that people can’t read? Of course he says that. But you deny it vehemently don’t you Gussie?!” Of course, this is not even commensurate. I am being too fair. Because I answered you on Illouz, but you avoided me on Scheizaf.

      Reply to Comment
    12. AJew

      At long last. We are making progress.

      Benny now admits that Israel is still and has been in a state of military conflict with the Palestinian Arabs (in the past, he used to pooh pooh the idea by saying that no, it isn’t a war. It is just an occupation). Oh well, progress is progress 😊

      But there it stops. Ben persists with his practice of judging Israel’s behavior while in a state of conflict and claiming that based on that behavior, unlike the British, Israel would be incapable of dealing fairly with “the other” even during peace time.

      To justify his above stance, Ben again brings up the treatment of the Beduin who Ben claims are not a security threat. But Ben misses the point and on more than one count. Firstly: some Beduin ARE a scurity threat. Some are not. Secondly: It is not even the main issue. If we are talking about the evacuation of Beduin from crown lands and settling Jewish citizens in their place, that decision itself is based on security considerations. The idea of Jewish presence in strategic locations has always been part of Israeli doctrine. The Benny’s of this world or even others don’t have to agree with the validity of that doctrine. But they cannot dispute the motives which drive such a doctrine. The motive is security. A bit like how the British decided to lock up Jewish refugees from Germany whom they could not trust completely even though those Jews fled Germany because they were persecuted in Germany.

      In typical Benny fashion, he readily gives the British a free pass for acting so harshly with Jews too. But when it comes to Israel, Benny’s anti Israel prejudice (even hatred) well and truly kicks in. Benny discounts any security considerations and Benny claims that Israel treats the Beduin harshly out of pure evil.

      And then Benny takes the next leap of faith. And Benny confidently crows. See people? He says. See? Israeli Jews are INCAPABLE of dealing fairly with “the other” even after a proper peace treaty would be signed and respected (as opposed to during a military conflict). Benny says, the British can (presumably because they are of a better stock) but Israeli Jews can’t (presumably because we are made of inferior stock).

      Well Benny. You only convince bigots like yourself. Non bigotted people would at the least be willing to say: Hey Israeli Jews, we are willing to give you a chance to prove yourself that after a peace treaty, that you should run a decent democracy which would although maintains the status of the majority, it will nevertheless deal with the non Jewish minority fairly. At least as fairly as the British deal with their non Anglican minorities. And if you don’t, then we will raise hell, condemn you and if necessary put enough pressure on you to mend your ways.

      But Benny is against all that. He categorically wants to deny Israel the right to run itself along the same lines as the English run themselves, or the Greeks (a Greek Orthodox state) or the Bulgarians (Bulgarian orthodox state) or Tunisia (an Arab Sunni Muslim state religion) and many other similar states. All of them yes according to Benny but Israel neyt, no, non, La according Benny. Because Benny is a prejudiced little bigot against the Jews of Israel.

      As for Noam Sheizaf. I already answered Noam’s equally fallacious arguments when I said that the focus of the idea of a Jewish state is a Jewish MAJORITY state. The fact that the official state religion would be Judaism is no different than the official state religion of Anglicanism, or Greek Orthodoxy or Sunni Islam (Tunisia). At the end of the day, both the majorities and the minorities are equal citizens in all other regards and they can keep their own religions the same way as the majority keeps it’s religion. The main difference being the public holidays. In Britain the official public holiday is Christmas (I think even in the USA it is. At least the holiday dates are. Correct me if I am wrong). In Tunisia it is Ramadan. In Israel Hanukah. Now Benny. If you want more discussion, read the posts in response to Noam’s article in your own link. I saw some very good posts which very ably refuted Noam’s simplistic arguments. I have no inclination to repeat them here unless you take the trouble to tell me specifically what points of Noam I did not address according to you.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “…If we are talking about the evacuation of Beduin from crown lands and settling Jewish citizens in their place, that decision itself is based on security considerations….”
        Hilarious. You just can’t know how you sound and what fools you appear to take us for.

        “…Hey Israeli Jews, we are willing to give you a chance to prove yourself that after a peace treaty…”

        Doubly hilarious. The striking premise is two fold: (1) that Israeli Jews have ever convinced anyone that they are truly after an even remotely decent peace treaty. (2) That Israeli Jews actual behavior in regards to non-Jews under their control would ever leave anyone trusting that they would “be like the British” of all people! Oh my God! So funny! You are deep inside an assumptive world that is a marvel. It is very instructive in regards to the levels of self-righteousness Israelis routinely muster. It explains a lot, if nothing else, why there is no one to talk to, no one with whom a reasonable conversation can be had.

        Scheizaf’s arguments are anything but simplistic and that is why you can’t handle them. You can dismiss outsiders. You can dismiss people you don’t know. But you can’t dismiss Scheizaf or +972 and that is what you hate. You are never going to convince people that the situation with regards to Netanyahu’s “Jewish state” demand of the Palestinians is anything like “Christmas in England.” It is *ridiculous.* Again, if you think you are going to do the equivalent of selling swampland in southern Florida during a time of rising sea levels, you are mistaken. But have at it. We can all use comic relief.

        Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          The two points of Benny, below, fully sum up his bigotted mindset:

          “Doubly hilarious. The striking premise is two fold: (1) that Israeli Jews have ever convinced anyone that they are truly after an even remotely decent peace treaty.”

          Here Benny is saying that Israeli Jews are war mongers. That we don’t want to live in peace. We are not like other people.

          “(2) That Israeli Jews actual behavior in regards to non-Jews under their control would ever leave anyone trusting that they would “be like the British” of all people! Oh my God! So funny!”

          Here Benny is again comparing our behavior during war to the behavior of the Brits during peace times. Apples to oranges again. I’ll say it again. If Benny would compare our behavior to the behavior of Brits when they were at war, we would not come out second best.

          Benny however is unable to force his bigotted little Brain to comprehend such concepts. So there is no one to argue with. And unless he introduces some NEW arguments, I suspect that this conversation is finished because Benny has now gone to obfuscation mode so all that will happen now is boring repetition in which Benny will try to make himself look better.

          PS
          ….anytime soon now I expect Carmen to put her bit in and claim that I am on the retreat because Ben has beat me with his incredibly lucid and logical arguments. That’s what tended to happen in the past. It has turned into a tragi comic ritual.

          Drum roll… Drum roll… Drum roll…

          Reply to Comment
    13. AJew

      The two points of Benny, below, fully sum up his bigotted mindset:

      “Doubly hilarious. The striking premise is two fold: (1) that Israeli Jews have ever convinced anyone that they are truly after an even remotely decent peace treaty.”

      Here Benny is saying that Israeli Jews are war mongers. That we don’t want to live in peace. We are not like other people.

      “(2) That Israeli Jews actual behavior in regards to non-Jews under their control would ever leave anyone trusting that they would “be like the British” of all people! Oh my God! So funny!”

      Here Benny is again comparing our behavior during war to the behavior of the Brits during peace times. Apples to oranges again. I’ll say it again. If Benny would compare our behavior to the behavior of Brits when they were at war, we would not come out second best.

      Benny however is unable to force his bigotted little Brain to comprehend such concepts. So there is no one to argue with. And unless he introduces some NEW arguments, I suspect that this conversation is finished because Benny has now gone to obfuscation mode so all that will happen now is boring repetition in which Benny will try to make himself look better. But instead, he has been reduced to just sneering.

      PS
      ….anytime soon now I expect Carmen to put her bit in and claim that I am on the retreat because Ben has beat me with his incredibly lucid and logical arguments. That’s what tended to happen in the past. It has turned into a tragi comic ritual.

      Drum roll… Drum roll… Drum roll…

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        “Here Benny is saying….” Nice technique. You think people can’t read what I am saying all by themselves without your incessant distortion machine “translating”? They can, my friend, they can.

        Reply to Comment
    14. Ben

      By Noam Sheizaf |Published July 21, 2016
      The Israeli Right still hasn’t internalized that Palestinians exist
      http://972mag.com/the-israeli-rights-palestinian-delusion/120791/

      “Those on the right in Israel will tell you that they don’t oppose the Arabs themselves, just their ideas. That is, of course, feigned naïveté. As long as Israel is defined as a Jewish state, Arabs will always feel alienated from it. An Arab can become Israeli like he or she can become German or American, but he cannot become Jewish, which Israeli Jews wouldn’t want either. That’s the fundamental difference between the Israeli model and the Western democratic model, where even if there sometimes exist symbols of Christianity or some other nation, Western democracies are ultimately based on the idea of “a state of all its citizens.” In Israel, that idea is so terrifying to people that some want to criminalize even advocating for it.”

      Reply to Comment
    15. AJew

      “An Arab can become Israeli like he or she can become German or American, but he cannot become Jewish,”

      Sigh. Ben is playing stupid again. We have been through this already. Let me illustrate:

      An Arab can become British like he or she can become German or American, but he cannot become Anglican.

      Then again, if he or she really wants to, An Arab can become either Jewish or Anglican through religious conversion. Yet does anyone object to Britain being an Angle can state? Or Greece being a Greek Orthodox state? Or Tunisia being a Sunni Muslim state?

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        By the way, Benny’s transformation has been nothing short of miraculous. In his earlier post on this thread (December 9), Benny said the following:

        “one of your Zionist compatriots was asked if he would find it satisfactory if U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump said “whether you like it or not, a state where the majority of the people are White Christians is a White Christian state,” this person confidently told me that “Actually it would be perfectly ok with me”

        He was talking about me and was critical of me for finding nothing wrong with the idea of a Christian state. I also reminded him that there are also non white Christians in America. But Benny issued the following veiled warning to Jews:

        “You like? You like the implications for Jews in America? (I don’t.)”

        Since then of course, after a number of us reminded Benny that England is a Christian state and Jews are no longer persecuted there, Benny has come a full circle about Christian states. But he still feels that a Jewish state is still verboten because Jews of course (oh I should add “Israeli Jews” otherwise Benny will chastise me), Jews are incapable of behaving as well towards “the other” in the same way that Christian states can. And he does not even talk about Sunni Muslim states like Tunisia so one has to assume that Benny thinks that Muslim states are acceptable too. Only a Jewish state is not.

        Benny fully reveals by his selective attitude what a true bigot he is!

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          This tediousness is so evidently confused, purposely twisting real facts and meanings and connections into their opposites, so devious actually, Machiavellian in spirit, that I will just let it stand as another marvel of the writer’s ongoing display of the poverty of his thinking powers or arguments or both. Is that he just truly can’t grasp Noam’s argument? One has to wonder. And honestly Scheizaf’s argument is not that complicated. But the writer here is calling Noam Sheizaf a player of stupid games. For he quotes Scheizaf, not me. Very interesting. I myself would not think it a winning strategy to call Noam Scheizaf a player of stupid games. But we all make our own choices.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Okey dokey. So Benny has been reduced to just generalities and assertions. I’ll give him one last chance to tell me why the quote below by Noam makes a real point:

            “An Arab can become Israeli like he or she can become German or American, but he cannot become Jewish,”

            But Noam’s modified quote by me does not make the same point?

            “An Arab can become British like he or she can become German or American, but he cannot become Anglican.”

            Of course, In both cases, Israeli Arabs or British Arabs can convert to Judaism or Anglicanism if they really want to. And if they do, they become both Israelis and Jews or British and Anglicans respectively.

            Benny can go on protesting in generalities, all he likes but unless he can show specifically where I am wrong, Benny’s protestations are worth nothing.

            PS

            I still say. Benny’s transformation has been nothing short of miraculous. In his post of the 9th of December on this thread, Benny implied that Jews should be afraid, very afraid, of a Christian state. But now, since a number of us pointed out that Britain is a Christian state, Benny has become a full fledged champion of Britain, the Christian state. And he does not seem to mind Tunisia, the Sunni Muslim state either. Benny only hates the idea of a Jewish state because he is a bigot.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            More narrow petty little word chess games. Is this like a video game to you? When Noam Scheizaf says that “An Arab can become Israeli like he or she can become German or American, but he cannot become Jewish” Noam of course means that Palestinians can’t reasonably convert to Judaism to solve their problems (and as he points out, nor would you want them to) any more than you could or should reasonably convert to Christianity or Islam to solve your problem were you living in a Palestinian state. Noam of course did not mean that no Palestinian *literally could not* convert. Your take on this is almost autistic—a doggedly narrow interpretation that completely misses the point! It is the same thing when you imply that I needed it “pointed out” to me that England is “a Christian state,” when the whole point here has always been that however nominally, superficially and essentially trivially England is today “a Christian state,” (a) it is a Christian state in no way close to what Trump would be declaring and implying if he came out and defied 250 years of United States history separating church and state, from its very founding, and declared “The United States is henceforward a Christian State.” Are you kidding me? Did you have *any* schooling in American history growing up? And (b) there can be no serious comparison of England’s trivial “Christian country” status and what Netanyahu demands of both Israeli and non-Israeli Palestinians with his demand that the Palestinians “recognize” a “Jewish state.” You almost autistically ignore these basic distinctions. It is really puzzling. And then to top it all off you say I “protest in generalities” when in fact it is you protesting in dogged generalities devoid of any intelligent distinctions about “Christian states.” Unbelievable. If I didn’t see it I wouldn’t believe someone could be so stubbornly wrong.

            Reply to Comment
    16. AJew

      Never mind about Netanyahu. He is not Israel. Governments in Israel come and go.

      And again. When we (yes we) say Jewish state. We mean Jewish majority state.

      And yes I’ll say it again Benny. You are a bigot because you are ok with other ethnic majority states which have state religions. The only one you are not ok with is a Jewish state which has Judaism as it’s state religion. That is bigotry in anyone’s language.

      (Tunisia is an Arab majority state with Sunni Islam as it’s state religion. England is an English majority state with the Anglican religion as it’s state religion why aren’t you objecting to those states? Jews are less deserving of a state than ethnic Arab Muslims? Or ethnic English Anglicans?)

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “Noam of course did not mean that no Palestinian *literally could not* convert. Your take on this is almost autistic—a doggedly narrow interpretation that completely misses the point!”

        What point am I missing exactly Benny? You are not making any coherent point. You admit that they COULD convert but they don’t want to. So why bring this issue up? For the sake of bringing it up?

        The only point that you clearly are making is that you are a bigot. And that you have no problems with an Anglican, a Greek Orthodox or Sunni Muslim states. Only with a Jewish stae.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          To take just one item in this stream of bullshit, this non-answer:

          “You are a bigot because you are ok with other ethnic majority states which have state religions.”

          This from the guy who tells me that I am an anti-Christian bigot and to calm down because I say I ain’t at all happy with any Trumpian “America is a Christian State” proclamations. At least be minimally coherent in your bigotizing. It’s the least we can ask.

          Reply to Comment
    17. AJew

      That is a lame excuse for bigotry by Benny who considers Trump to be the devil incarnate.

      So Benny is against both a Jewish state and a “TRUMPIAN Christian state” but IS FOR hundreds of other non Jewish non “Trumpian” Christian and Muslim states, but Benny is not a bigot? In his dreams he is not a bigot but in reality he is not just a bigot but he is a hater too. He is a bigot against Jews (Jews are the only ethnic group who according to Benny are not entitled to a state) AND Benny is a hater too because he hates Trump with a passion.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Ben

      ​I’m for hundreds of non-Trumpian Christian and Muslim states? What rubbish. You should be embarrassed. Put “bigot” in your search function and you’ll see you engage in bigotizing over thirty times on this page alone, with a feverish crescendo at the bottom. One-note Charlie blasting on a cracked horn.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        “​I’m for hundreds of non-Trumpian Christian and Muslim states? What rubbish”

        I hate to remind you Benny, but we are up to post number 50 on this thread. I reminded you in quite a few of these posts that there are literally hundreds of Christian and Muslim states in this world. I even gave you examples of them. But not once, not even once did you say that you were against any of THOSE STATES, not once. The only ones you objected to are the JEWISH STATE and the TRUMPIAN CHRISTIAN STATE. And you never made it a secret that you consider Trump to be the devil incarnate. I guess you consider the Jewish state alone to be in the same mould. So I am sorry, but you automatically showed yourself to be a bigot. I need not be the one who says so. But I do.

        And not only are you a bigot. But you are a dishonest bigot. Because you try to compare the Jewish state which has been at war with the brethern of it’s Arab minorities with the English Anglican state which has had over 70 years of peace. You are not comparing the Jewish state to the English Anglican state’s behavior towards it’s minorities when they were at war. During their war/s the English treated minorities way worse than we do. Even while we are at war, our Arab minorities have more rights than most Arab citizens in most Arab countries. And England put English citizens of descent from enemy countries, even Jewish ones who were persecuted in those enemy countries, into detention camps.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Pointless conversation. Every meaningful distinction is either lost on you or you pretend that it is. Bye bye.

          Reply to Comment
    19. Click here to load previous comments

The stories that matter.
The missing context.
All in one weekly email.

Subscribe to +972's newsletter