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Casting Jewish-American boycott activists as hypocrites

Israel’s top weekend news show forgets about journalistic integrity when painting American Jewish supporters of the BDS movement as hypocritical, ungrateful and misinformed. 

JVP Boston activists protest the Veolia transportation company for operating bus lines serving settlements in the West Bank. November 14, 2012. (Tess Scheflan/ Activestills.org)

Jewish Voice for Peace activists protest the Veolia transportation company for operating bus lines serving settlements in the West Bank, Boston, November 14, 2012. (Tess Scheflan/ Activestills.org)

Last Friday, Channel 2’s popular weekend news show, “Ulpan Shishi,” ran a report by senior anchor Danny Kushmaro, who traveled to the United States to interview the Jews behind the boycott Israel movement [Hebrew]. Why Jews, specifically? Because Kushmaro believes Jews must have a special connection to Israel.

In fact, the report also included interviews with Israel-loving Jews, as well as a reminder to the viewers that prominent American Jews donate money to NYU, which, of course, is a reason why the university should support Israel. He also speaks nostalgically about the Rothschild family, which was known for its “Jewish philanthropy and investment in Israel.”

But when American Jews’ “special relationship” to Israel turns into a platform for criticism, Kushmaro draws the line. When Alice Rothschild, a Jewish activist against the occupation who lives in Boston, says she does not want to donate to Israel like other members of her family and that she boycotts and criticizes the country, Kushmaro accuses her of hypocrisy for singling out Israel.

When Rothschild says that she cares about Israel and is worried about the direction it is going, Kushmaro interrupts: “You will tell us what the right way is? You, living in the comfort of Boston, will tell us what the right way is?!” It turns out that only a multi-billionaire from the comfort of Las Vegas who funds the prime minister — along with the most widely-read newspaper in Israel and a number of other American politicians — can tell us what the right way is. It turns out that only members of AIPAC, who live in the comfort of Washington D.C. and try to ensure continued U.S. support of Israel can tell Israelis what the right way is.

Why us?

Kushmaro attacks Rothschild and reminds viewers of American support for other countries. Channel 2 even went so far as to create an infographic showing a map of several countries that receive aid from the U.S. Afghanistan tops the list with $13 billion, $1.5 billion goes to Egypt, while half a billion dollars go to South Sudan and the Palestinian Authority, respectively.

But there is something strange about this map: Israel is not mentioned. Why? Doesn’t Kushmaro wants to compare Israel to these other countries, to show that we are all given equal support, which means we should all be criticized equally.

Participants in the Open Hillel Conference, Harvard University. (photo: Gili Getz)

Participants in the Open Hillel Conference, Harvard University. (photo: Gili Getz)

But that’s just the thing. For years Israel has received more aid from the U.S. than any other country, and according to Congressional statistics, it received 55 percent of all U.S. foreign aid (it is unclear which years the statistics refer to, although it is undeniable that Israel has received over $100 billion of aid from the Americans). Today, only Afghanistan receives more aid from the U.S.

But remember, these are statistics from 2014, the year the U.S. (officially) ended its war in Afghanistan, which was also the longest war the U.S. has ever fought. It is not surprising that huge sums of money were spent there. Kushmaro, however, prefers not to mention this.

What does anti-Semitism have to do with it?

Kushmaro’s report is one of many in the Israeli media whose headlines almost always read: “The Jews/Israelis who are behind the boycott.”

These reports all take part in the Israeli media’s original sin: blindness toward Palestinians. Because no matter how sexy and dramatic it sounds, Israelis and American Jews aren’t the ones “behind the boycott.” Behind the boycott stand Palestinians. The same people who live under a military regime in the West Bank, under Israeli and Egyptian siege in Gaza, in refugee camps across the Arab world or as second-class citizens inside Israel. The boycott is a political tool to resist this situation; Danny Kushmaro chooses to ignore this fact throughout the entire report.

Like BDS leader Omar Barghouti recently told +972, the boycott movement is a Palestinian one, but it has an increasing amount of Jewish supporters. And that’s just the thing: they are supporters.

Those same supporters from Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) who appear in Kushmaro’s report, openly state that their Jewish identity and values push them to support justice, equality and peace. These people certainly do not “hate themselves” — they are proud of themselves.

Illustrative photo of BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in Brussels, April 30, 2015. (Photo by intal.be / CC 2.0)

Illustrative photo of BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in Brussels, April 30, 2015. (Photo by intal.be / CC 2.0)

So why does Kushmaro tie them to rising anti-Semitism? At one point, Kushmaro interviews a professor of Jewish studies who explains that there is an increase in anti-Semitism in the U.S., and that Jewish students are forbidden from sitting on student councils in different schools across the country.

Anti-Semitism certainly exists in the United States, and there are anti-Semites who criticize Israel and support the call for boycott. The BDS movement, like nearly any movement, includes racist and ignorant people who hold a shallow, uncritical view of the world. Anti-Semitism must be denounced wherever it is found, and the anti-occupation movement must do all it can to eradicate it. There is no doubt about that.

But what does anti-Semitism have to do with educated, articulate, and knowledgable American Jews (some of whom even lived in Israel) who support the boycott? Are they the ones preventing Jewish students from sitting on student councils? Of course not.

Hasbara disguised as journalism

In one of the report’s more dramatic moments, Rothschild tells Kushmaro about her visit to Gaza after the war, and how she was shocked by the utter devastation she witnessed. Journalistically speaking, this was a special moment. How often does a leading news anchor in Israel get to meet people who were in Gaza? How many opportunities does he have to hear about what happened during the war from the point of view of someone who saw the Strip from the inside?

Channel 2 itself barely showed what was happening inside Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, so much so that the Prime Minister’s Office even called the station and begged it to show more images of destruction, so that Israelis would know that the military was doing its job.

But Kushmaro does not ask Rothschild about her experiences. He does not try to find out how those experiences affected her. He immediately goes on the attack, making sure she understands that “we” never wanted the war, and — like the best of Israel’s spokespeople — does not even stop to think about how we could have prevented it, not to mention minimized casualties. In fact, while Rothschild speaks about the destruction she witnessed, the screen shows Qassam rockets being launched, as if this is the only illustrative photo that befits last summer’s war.

When Rothschild says that parts of Hamas have expressed support for an agreement with Israel based on ’67 borders, Kushmaro makes a face that cannot be described as anything but scornful — as if Rothschild just landed from the moon, while acting as if he himself has never heard about similar proposals by Hamas.

Kushmaro speaks about Israeli policies as belonging to the collective “we.” “You are boycotting me,” he accuses Rothschild, despite the fact that she is doing the exact opposite by meeting with him. This isn’t a journalistic interview by any stretch of the imagination. This is an emissary of hasbara speaking on behalf of the state.

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    COMMENTS

    1. BigCat

      What you should know about BDS

      QUESTION: What is BDS?

      “Boycott is act of hate, not peace”

      – Shimon Peres

      “The BDS movement is anti-Semitic terror of a new type.”

      – Yitzhak Herzog.

      “BDS leaders are ‘out and out anti-Semites’”

      – Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid party leader)

      “All who join the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel “are effectively promoting the dissolution of the Jewish state whether or not that is their intention.”

      – Cary Nelson (Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of English at the University of Illinois)

      The BDS-movement against Israel is a “CULT”, a “GHETTO”, “dishonest”, “silly”, “disingenuous” and “a whole lot of leftist posturing”, whose goal is to destroy Israel, says Norman G. Finkelstein.

      “They don’t want Israel. They think they are being very clever. They call their three-tier: we want the end of occupation, we want the right of return; we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever because they know the result of implementing all three is WHAT? What’s the result? YOU KNOW AND I KNOW – WHAT’S THE RESULT?! THERE IS NO ISRAEL. THERE IS NO ISRAEL – FULL STOP!”

      – Norman G. Finkelstein, who is also a virulent anti-Israel critic!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iggdO7C70P8
      As Pedro X correctly said: “BDS is all about violence and hatred. It seeks to harm Israelis in the belief that somehow if enough harm and hatred is brought to bear on Israelis, Israelis will accept Palestinian demands, such as an unlimited wrong of return, and commit national suicide. Some Palestinians support BDS because it fits in with their culture of hatred and desire to see the Jewish state destroyed and replaced with another majority Arab state as the leader of the Palestinian BDS movement promotes. BDS is simply racist.”

      There you have it.”

      Reply to Comment
    2. Bruce Gould

      “It seeks to harm Israelis in the belief that somehow if enough harm and hatred is brought to bear on Israelis, Israelis will accept Palestinian demands, such as an unlimited wrong of return, and commit national suicide.”

      This stuff isn’t remotely true. BDS seeks to pressure Israel to end the Occupation of the W.B. and Gaza (still occupied as far as international law is concerned). Palestinians understand perfectly well there will be no unlimited right of return to Israel proper (67 lines). There are plenty of people who love Israel and are concerned about it and support BDS the same way the friends of an alcoholic support an intervention.

      Reply to Comment
      • BigCat

        “Free, free Palestine, from the river to the sea, Palestine must be free”!

        That’s right, my good friend, Bruce, you heard that loud and clear, and:

        a) you have to be BLIND not to have seen the above anthem of the BDS-movement chanted by its members.

        b) You have to be DEAF not to have heard the above anthem of the BDS-movement chanted by its members.

        c) You have to be DUMB not to have understood the meaning of the above anthem of the BDS-movement when it is being chanted by its members.

        But I am sure you are neither blind, deaf nor dump. You are just a liar who spreads his little shit around against our country and our people. You have admitted it here:

        “Bruce Gould
        Monday
        June 15, 2015

        (…)

        Yes, I want to de-legitimize Israel as a country owned by one tribe, and I want to re-legitimize it as a modern multi-ethnic democracy.

        Reply to Comment

        Ginger Eis
        Monday
        June 15, 2015

        Watch. And Weep!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcEL-NlxBk0

        Alas, Mr. Bruce Gould, you are an ADMITTED liar and an anti-Semite. Thanks for the admission!”

        Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “There are plenty of people who love Israel and are concerned about it and support BDS”

        Aushwitz had the following sign at it’s entrance…

        “Arbeit Macht Frei”

        That was to fool Jews into believing that it is a labor camp not a death camp. Why? To make Jews more compliant!

        Reply to Comment
      • Electric Avenue

        Bruce, you are either lying through your ass or you have not understood point 3 of the BDS manifesto.

        That means you are either an asshole or profoundly stupid.

        Which one is it?

        Reply to Comment
    3. bar

      Of course the boycott movement is antisemitic. It’s laughable that you deny this. It’s a movement born from Arab hatred of Jews that found new life at Durban where, out of the entire world, only Israel was accused and held responsible for “racism.” And at Durban, only Israel was targeted for boycott.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Gustav

      “Rothschild says that parts of Hamas have expressed support for an agreement with Israel based on ’67 borders,”

      Want propaganda? THAT IS propaganda. Here is a Haaretz article which clarifies what Hamas really said!

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hamas-accepts-1967-borders-but-will-never-recognize-israel-top-official-says-1.361072

      “Hamas would be willing to accept a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, a leader of the militant group, Mahmoud Zahar, told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an on Wednesday, adding, however, that Hamas would never recognize Israel since such a move would counter the group’s aim to “liberate” all of Palestine.”

      Reply to Comment
    5. Ben

      Bruce’s analogy–“the same way the friends of an alcoholic support an intervention”–is apt. Nothing that Bruce has said deserves the hatred and venom flung at him. This kind of attack is an illustration of what Haggai is talking about. Like Netanyahu, too many–the entire country it seems judging from the way the so-called “opposition” in its entirety is rushing to back Bibism and advance their political careers–are trapped in a psychology of fear, persecution and self-righteousnes–or the disingenuous use of same. Suspicious, grumbling and angry. Now that “the Iranian nuclear deal threat” has been removed from play will Netanyahu maybe have to deal with real problems? Without grand distractions? Maybe. But not to worry, Herzog the poodle seems to be giving his master plenty of space and plenty of backing, panting as he is after the Defense Ministry, tail wagging. But as Peter Beinart, another American who apparently has no right to tell Israelis what the right way is while Shel Adelson has every right, has said, American “pro-Israel” activism is moving from an anti-Iran to an anti-BDS platform of justifications. The Iran era is closing and we are entering the age of BDS. Appropriate to the challenges of this era and it’s obfuscations, +972 has produced a recent series of excellently clarifying essays that make a compelling case why forms of boycott and divestment can and do exist that in fact do not single out Israel and are not anti-Semitic while at the same time taking the problem of anti-Semitism seriously. From Ryan Roderick Beiler to Dahlia Scheindlin to Haggai Matar and others, this is a superb body of work by +972 writers. I look forward to more in this series.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Average American

      The reason people are not making blanket acceptance of Israel’s right to exist and similar concepts seen as ‘destroying the nation” is because “Israel” is un-defined. Why say a blanket “OK” to Israel when no one knows what Israel is? We’ve seen that the “nation” of Israel consists of Jews Only. It’s borders are un-defined, but it’s motives are clear, to expand its territory to the unknown thing called “The Land Of Israel”. Why say OK to that?

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        The last two posts demonstrate what Israel is up against…

        Slogans. Lies. And deliberate ignorance of evidence and reality.

        At best (if one is kind), such people treat the I-P conflict as if it is just a sporting contest between two teams. They pick the side that they want to barrack for and they become ‘one eyed’. Everything that their underdogs Palestinians do is ok and everything that Israel does, is against the rules. Why? Because they barrack for their “underdog Palestinian Arabs” – their team.

        To posters such as Benny, it is just a game. He wants HIS team to win. To us, it is real. It is life and death. That is why we WILL win, despite the haters (such as “Average” American) and the deceivers (like Benny).

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          That’s a neat trick. But how are you gonna dismiss Noam Sheizaf and Mairav Zonszein and Haggai Matar? Et al. And Ari Shavit? And Aluf Benn? And thousands of other Israelis? Some of whom I know personally. As you well know but let us remind you, plenty of those folks see the failure to end the occupation in similar life and death terms.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Part 2 of 3….

            HL:”Has anyone ever asked the Catholics of Ireland to recognize the right of Ulster, or Northern Ireland, to exist as a “Protestant state”?”

            This is nothing to do with Catholics and protestants. They have their history and we have ours.

            HL:”Would we recognize the right of any state to exist as a “Hindu state”? As a “Muslim state”?”

            Why not? In fact many Muslim states already exist and are recognized.

            HL:”Just to pose the question is to expose its nature.”

            Just to pose this question is to introduce a red herring and to demostrate the hypocrisy of the writer.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Part 3 of 3…

            HL:”But, maybe we are not talking about “Jewish state” as a state affiliated to the Jewish religion.”

            Yea, now he is talking. The Zionists have always envisaged a Jewish state. And to them (us), being Jewish was an ethnicity not necessarily religion. Although religion is also part of the ethnicity.

            HL:”Maybe we are talking about a state that is defined by the dominant ethnicity. In that case, the position does not get any better.”

            Yes it does.

            HL:”Michael Neumann said it well in his article on the “Case against Zionism” (Counterpunch):

            “When a state is described in relation to the territory it controls, its ethnic character is open. The French state is not necessarily a state for some ethnic group called Frenchmen”

            Try telling that to the French people. Let’s see how they would react to the idea that the plan is to make the ethnic French people a minority in their own state. There is already a backlash against foreign immigration in France and elsewhere.

            And yes, no matter which way the author is trying to spin it, France is recognized as the state of the ethnic French people (heck, the name says it all).

            HL:”just as the Belgian or Yugoslav or Jamaican state weren’t states for ethnic groups of that name.”

            Ditto as per my above comments. Wanna know what happens when ideologues insist in trying to make historic enemies live in one state because they think that the result will be Kumbaya? LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED TO YUGOSLAVIA!!!

            Moreover, not what happened in Yugoslavia which no longer exists. The minority ethnic groups broke it up because they each wanted their own ethnic state. Go figure. Why aren’t they being criticized by the author?!

            HL:”But a Catholic state would be a state run by Catholics;”

            Yea, so what? That does not mean that they would automatically mistreat non catholics.

            HL:”a black state would be a state run by blacks;”

            Yea, so what? That does not mean that they would automatically mistreat non blacks.

            HL:”a heterosexual state would be run by heterosexuals.”

            Yea, so what? That does not mean that they would automatically mistreat non heterosexuals.

            HL:“A Jewish state would, therefore, be a state run by and for Jews. In such a state, Jews would be sovereign. The state would be run in their interests.”
            So far – Michael Neumann.”

            What? One state in this world run by Jews? What a calamity (sarcasm)…

            Where is the uproar about 22 Arab states run by Arabs?

            HL:”Let us recall that Theodor Herzl’s book was called “Der Judenstaat” or the “State of the Jews”. That might have sounded not so terrible at the end of the 19th century.

            But since then, we have had our fill of states whose raison d’etre is to preserve ethnic superiority”

            Excuse me? Who is talking about ethnic superiority?

            England is a majority Anglo Saxon country whose official religion is Anglican, yet minority rights are respected in England.

            Is the author saying that people whose ethnicity is Jewish are incapable of respecting minority rights in a peaceful environment (as in no war)?

            If he is saying that, then he is guilty of an ethnic slur against the Jewish people and he is THE RACIST!

            HL:”and domination. One does not have to refer to the late unlamented “Aryan state”. Within recent memory,”

            Wow!!! Just Wow!!!

            The idea of the Jewish state was born because of religious and ethnic persecution, of the Jewish people in Europe and in Arab lands, for 2000 years. We wanted one place on this earth where we won’t be persecuted for being Jewish. But we are the racists for reacting like that?

            Bizarre!!! Just bizarre!!!

            I’ll stop there because the article just gets stupider and stupider. I won’t waste any more of my time on it. I’ll let our BUGS BENNY to be impressed by it…

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “That’s a neat trick. But how are you gonna dismiss Noam Sheizaf and Mairav Zonszein and Haggai Matar? Et al. And Ari Shavit? And Aluf Benn? And thousands of other Israelis? Some of whom I know personally.”

            As you can see, the powers to be seem to want to publish two out of my three posts because it seems they are a bit sensitive. It seems that the critics don’t like to be criticized…

            So let me try another tack….

            I don’t dismiss ALL criticisms of Israel because like any other people on this earth we are not perfect. I only dismiss robotic, one sided, constant criticism of us which ignores ALL context and the attempt to whitewash the Palestinian Arabs entirely.

            In summary, I dismiss mindless criticism of us. But hey, you know that already Benny, because I told you so before.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            You demonstrate at once a wondrous ignorance of history and of the French concept of French citizenship and nationality, and far right bonafides worthy of the ‘Front National’. For only the far right National Front adheres to anything like a concept of French national ethnic supremacy that would correspond to a concept–your concept–of Israeli national Jewish ethnic supremacy. France, since the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man has quite explicitly adopted an emphasis on assimilation and universal values in defining French citizenship. This is the essence of the French republic since the Revolution. (Jean Marie Le Pen at heart despises that and agitates against that.) France’s historic failures towards its Jewish citizens as exemplified in the Dreyfus affair and in its Vichy regime represents just that: shameful failures, perversions of the French ideal. So for you to invoke Frenchness as akin to Jewishness, when in fact Frenchness is in reality akin to Israeliness (Israeliness inclusive of and encompassing Jews, Arabs and others equally), is quite simply breathtaking. To be French, according to the first article of the French Constitution, is to be a citizen of France, regardless of one’s origin, race, or religion (sans distinction d’origine, de race ou de religion). “France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion.” France in fact conceives of itself as a territory where people are bounded only by the French language (with crucial similarities to Bernard Avishai’s ideal of the Hebrew Republic–anathema to the Israeli right wing) and the assumed willingness to live together (this elaborated in French historian Ernest Renan’s famous 1882 lecture, ‘What is a Nation?’) and since the advent of the third republic in 1871 has not categorized people according to their ethic or religious origins–France’s Census does not gather this data. This is a *non-essentialist* concept of nationality, specified in its constitution, so that being French is defined as a nationality and not an ethnicity. Explicitly. And in practice. Ethnic and racial categorization is avoided. France does the very opposite of what Israel does when Israel insists that one cannot have an Israeli nationality and creates national groups based on ethnicity, dividing its citizens into two kinds, Jews and Arabs, and having some 30 laws that specifically privilege Jews, including in the areas of immigration rights, naturalization, access to land and employment. This could not be less French. Unless you are talking of the France that Jean Marie Le Pen has been agitating unsuccessfully for for fifty years now. I’m not saying Israel must become just like France, or could or should be just like France but to say “France is recognized as the state of the ethnic French people”–obviously drawing a parallel to your cherished idea that the Palestinians simply must recognize Israel as “the nation state of the (ethnic) Jewish people”–is fatuous. It gets at some of the crucial issues, the fundamental, anachronistic awkwardness lurking in the current impasse in 21st Century Israel, and at the current political struggle between left and right about the future evolution of the Israeli state.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Ok then Benny, let’s try a little thought experiment.

            What do you think the French people would say if their leaders would say to them that their aim is to increase immigration to a level which would result in the ethnic French eventually becoming a minority in France?

            How do you think the majority of French people would react to such a proposition?

            Your own answer will tell us wheather you are a deceiver or not.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            What do you make of this, Benny?

            http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/apr/23/france-immigrants-discrimination

            “Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians – Maghrebis – and Africans make up the bulk of France’s estimated 6.5 million immigrants and they do not appear to have things as easy as I do. It is almost impossible to spend a Saturday afternoon downtown here without seeing some of them – individually or in groups – undergoing random ID checks by the police or riot police, and those without adequate ID have been known to be taken into custody with sometimes fatal results. I see at least one such check a week, although I have never heard of a Brit being checked in that manner.
            Perhaps that explains why a group of young Maghrebis I once met were understandably angry to learn that I had never been submitted to an ID check since arriving in France. One of them even tried to force me to show him my ID. It’s a good job his friends calmed him down because, as usual, I was only carrying my driver’s licence.

            There is also a certain reluctance to hire Maghrebis and Africans for better paid and more prestigious jobs. As a translator and English teacher for business executives I have visited hundreds of company premises over the years and have always been struck by the relatively low numbers of immigrants present in company administration, sales and management offices. Things appear more equitable in production facilities and factories. What anti-discrimination legislation there is remains “sporadically enforced” as they say, although the problem is generally acknowledged.”

            Hey, it isn’t me saying it Benny. It is that paragon of leftist newspaper, the Guardian who says it.

            Any comments?!

            Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Everyone who disagrees with you is not a “liar” (2+2…) or a “deceiver.” It is offensive to talk this way.

          “I only dismiss robotic, one sided, constant criticism of us which ignores ALL context and the attempt to whitewash the Palestinian Arabs entirely.”

          You really can’t stand there with a straight face and tell me that if you changed “Palestinian Arabs” to “Israeli Jews” in that sentence that it does not then apply with exactitude to, say, Pedro X? Or Whiplash? Or Eis? Or Jello?

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            “Everyone who disagrees with you is not a “liar” (2+2…) or a “deceiver.” It is offensive to talk this way.”

            Again, let’s see. What do you say about this claim…?

            “Rothschild says that parts of Hamas have expressed support for an agreement with Israel based on ’67 borders,”

            Do you agree with that? Or do you agree with what was written in Haaretz? See my previous post which has a link to Haaretz…

            I have to say, if you don’t want to see the difference and the significance of the difference between the two statements, then I have to call you deceptive. Believe me, that is better than if I would call you stupid…

            GUSTAV:“I only dismiss robotic, one sided, constant criticism of us which ignores ALL context and the attempt to whitewash the Palestinian Arabs entirely.”

            BEN:”You really can’t stand there with a straight face and tell me that if you changed “Palestinian Arabs” to “Israeli Jews” in that sentence that it does not then apply with exactitude to, say, Pedro X? Or Whiplash? Or Eis? Or Jello?”

            You know what Benny? I can sorta understand Palestinian Arabs being one sided and robotic against us…

            By the same token, I can also understand Israelis being robotic and one sided against the Palestinian Arabs…

            Is it right to be like that for either group? Nah! One oughta try to understand a little bit of the other guy’s point of view but not all people are like that when they and their loved ones are involved. I do understand that…

            What I don’t understand though is Israelis who pretend that they are not involved and in fact become more Arab than some Arabs and level constant one sided and robotic criticisms at the rest of us and constantly whitewash the Palestinian Arabs. THAT I just can’t understand… But lets put those people in perspective. Whatever motivates them, they are very much a minority. As you said, they number maybe at most in their thousands. The rest of us number in the millions. And even if some of us admit that we are not perfect we also know that overall, this conflict is not our fault neither historically or now. We were ready to make peace with the Arabs right from the beginning. We never wanted this war but if war is forced on us, heck, then we defend ourselves tooth and nail. Whatever it takes till they give up their aim to destroy our nation state which is the ONLY Jewish state in this world!

            I also don’t understand people like you Benny. You are an outsider. You are neither Israeli, nor are you a Palestinian Arab as far as I know. Am I right?

            So, why oh why are you obsessed by us? And why are you constantly and robotically critical only of us and why do you ignore all context? Moreover, why are you going to such great lengths to constantly whitewash the Palestinian Arabs from all blame?! Nah, I just don’t get why an outsider like you is so obsessive about this topic and so one sided…

            Reply to Comment
    7. Ben

      @Gustav

      — I’m searching in vain for someplace where I said the French people don’t struggle with immigration issues or that I endorsed a final settlement package that included unlimited ROR. Must be a strawman. One that avoids any actual point that I did make.

      — I don’t understand your question about “agreeing with” a statement of fact by Rothschild or how her statement conflicts with the Haaretz article’s statement. Yes, obviously the latter includes the problematic qualifier by A-Zahar but it is Abbas not A-Zahar with whom Netanyahu won’t negotiate in good faith.* Nor do I understand how my lack of understanding your query renders me a “deceiver.” Please clarify.

      — I don’t know who those Israelis are who are “more Arab than some Arabs.” Your sentence seems to implicitly define all Israelis that matter as Jewish and erases 1.7 million Arab Israelis. And I don’t agree with some of the rest of the contentions in that paragraph of yours. That’s neither a crime nor a misdemeanor. Nor are my hands stained with whitewash. Why don’t you just stick to justifying why you think Haggai and Noam and Dahlia and Mairav are people you don’t understand? Then we’d have some context and clarity.

      –To comment on a blog daily (and, may we remind you, in response to your serial gauntlets thrown down challenging me to these duels?) is to show interest not obsessiveness (*you* lecture others on obsessiveness?). What, you think the conflict is so boring and Israel and its occupied territories and its peoples are so boring and insignificant that no non-resident who is not deviant should be interested? And even those with personal and family connections? You should have better self-esteem in regards to your country. It’s a very interesting and vivid place struggling with very interesting and vivid conflicts about which some very interesting writers are writing. Moreover, if you’re so confident of your righteousness why are you so anxious to have people butt out? Another strawman bites the dust in the showdown at the +972 corral.

      _______

      *And this issue needs to be seen in the framework of the truths revealed here:

      http://972mag.com/the-unfolding-lie-of-operation-protective-edge/93605/

      By +972 Blog

      Published July 15, 2014
      The unfolding lie of Operation Protective Edge

      An Israeli leadership truly interested in a peace agreement would not have driven its partner to the point of lacking any leadership authority among his people. But that is exactly the point. Israel is not really interested in peace or in a partner who can bring about peace.

      By Idan Landau (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman)

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        BEN:”– I’m searching in vain for someplace where I said the French people don’t struggle with immigration issues or that I endorsed a final settlement package that included unlimited ROR. Must be a strawman. One that avoids any actual point that I did make.”

        You accused me of Jewish ethnic supremacy because I support the idea of a Jewish nation state. Which is obscene in itself, since the Jewish nation state was created precisely because of racism against Jews. But let’s just gloss over your obscene insult.

        I brought up the issue of immigrants in France to show you that no country would allow it’s ethnic majority to be eroded by immigration, including France. I brought it up because based on your comments and the link that you posted, you are AGAINST the idea of a Jewish nation state even if the non Jewish minority would be treated fairly. The only rights that they would lack is immigration rights which would be to ensure a Jewish majority.

        Now stop pretending to be stupid. You understand my point. Then again maybe you don’t which makes you what….???

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          BEN:”– I don’t understand your question about “agreeing with” a statement of fact by Rothschild or how her statement conflicts with the Haaretz article’s statement. Yes, obviously the latter includes the problematic qualifier by A-Zahar but it is Abbas not A-Zahar with whom Netanyahu won’t negotiate in good faith.* Nor do I understand how my lack of understanding your query renders me a “deceiver.” Please clarify.”

          I didn’t accuse you to be a deceiver JUST BECAUSE of what you said here. I accused you of it because of many things which you said in the past. But even here you are trying to deceive…

          Deception 1 – you claim that Netanyahu won’t negotiate with Abbas instead of the other way around.

          Deception 2 – you pretend that a peace deal is possible with Abbas without the agreement to it by Hamas. But we all know that if Hamas does not like a deal they can easily scuttle it.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”– I don’t know who those Israelis are who are “more Arab than some Arabs.”

            You don’t? Then try and read again what both you and I said. It might come to you.

            HINT: a minority of Arabs express a greater understanding of our position than some of our minority idiots who are Jewish and who only seem to understand the Arab’s position.

            BEN:”Your sentence seems to implicitly define all Israelis that matter as Jewish and erases 1.7 million Arab Israelis.”

            Not really, but in all likelihood, quite a few of your 1.7 million Arab Israelis (not all, not all, by a long shot) side more with their brother Arabs than with their fellow citizens who are Jewish. If so, then they are part of the enemy camp as far as I am concerned. Hey, it is their choice to side with our enemies, not mine.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”And I don’t agree with some of the rest of the contentions in that paragraph of yours. That’s neither a crime nor a misdemeanor. Nor are my hands stained with whitewash.”

            Really? You put ALL the blame on us for the status quo and NONE of it on your Palestinian Arabs, and you don’t call it a whitewash? Well, I do. You don’t like it? Well then do something about it. Develop a more balanced persective. You don’t wanna? Then don’t complain if I express an opinion about it. I am allowed to criticize too, aren’t I? Or are only you guys allowed to criticize us?

            BEN:”Why don’t you just stick to justifying why you think Haggai and Noam and Dahlia and Mairav are people you don’t understand? Then we’d have some context and clarity.”

            That would be like allowing the tail to wag the dog. A few thousand opinions as against a few million opinions. Who should try to understand whom?

            Mind you, if only I would hear some sense, I might actually understand what drives them. But all I hear from your friends is how BAD we are and how GOOD the Palestinian Arabs are. That, and a lot of barracking for the Palestinian Arabs. Did I mention that before? Yea, of course I did…

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”–To comment on a blog daily (and, may we remind you, in response to your serial gauntlets thrown down challenging me to these duels?) is to show interest not obsessiveness”

            If that is interest, then we are not interested in your interest. Does that sound to you like I am challenging you to a duel?

            BEN:”(*you* lecture others on obsessiveness?).”

            Actually I do. Are you calling me obsessive for defending my country and my fellow citizens? But are trying to pretend that YOU who sits in your arm chair thousands of miles away but who has nothing better to do than taunt us every day, are not obsessive?

            Which of the following two people would most sane people label as obsessive?

            a) A brother defending his sibling from constant bullying by a thug?

            Or

            b) A bully bullying someone on a daily basis with constant taunts and inciting others to do the same or worse?

            It’s a no braier isn’t it Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”What, you think the conflict is so boring and Israel and its occupied territories and its peoples are so boring and insignificant that no non-resident who is not deviant should be interested?”

            There is interest and there is obsession. Yours is an obsession Benny. You have no life of your own. You spend all your days here giving us your one sided diatribe. Are you telling me that there are no interesting problems in America? Why don’t you spend at least some of your time trying to solve your own problems, rather than ours?

            Oh and your choice of word of “interesting” and “boring” in relation to our conflict, confirms my earlier diagnosis of you that to you this is just a sport. You picked your team and you are a one eyed fan, barracking for your favorite team, your Palestinians.

            We on the other hand live in the real world in which people suffer and die on both sides. To us it is life and death. NOT “interesting” or “boring”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN:”What, you think the conflict is so boring and Israel and its occupied territories and its peoples are so boring and insignificant that no non-resident who is not deviant should be interested?”

            There is interest and there is obsession. Yours is an obsession Benny. You have no life of your own. You spend all your days here giving us your one sided diatribe. Are you telling me that there are no interesting problems in America? Why don’t you spend at least some of your time trying to solve your own problems, rather than ours?

            Oh and your choice of word of “interesting” and “boring” in relation to our conflict, confirms my earlier diagnosis of you that to you this is just a sport. You picked your team and you are a one eyed fan, barracking for your favorite team, your Palestinians.

            We on the other hand live in the real world in which people suffer and die on both sides. To us it is life and death. NOT “interesting” or “boring”

            BEN:”And even those with personal and family connections? You should have better self-esteem in regards to your country. It’s a very interesting and vivid place struggling with very interesting and vivid conflicts about which some very interesting writers are writing.”

            Yep, you are definitely a sprt’s fan Benny. To you our life and death conflict is just sport. Your own vocabulary betrays you.

            BEN:”Moreover, if you’re so confident of your righteousness why are you so anxious to have people butt out”

            Did I tell you to butt out? Show me where I said that. Ya wanna waste your life here? Be my guest. But then please don’t complain if some of us take the trouble to reveal your true nature. Deal or no deal, Benny?

            BEN:”Another strawman bites the dust in the showdown at the +972 corral.”

            Yep, indeed. You are speaking about yourself, Benny.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BEN;”An Israeli leadership truly interested in a peace agreement would not have driven its partner to the point of lacking any leadership authority among his people. But that is exactly the point. Israel is not really interested in peace or in a partner who can bring about peace.”

            Benny and his cronies at their best…

            In a nutshell, their claim is …

            1. That Israel has a partner…

            QUESTION: who might that be?

            By Idan Landau (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman)

            2. That Israel decides Palestinian leadership.

            Really? Does it work the other way too? Do we have Netanyahu as our leader because successive more moderate Israeli leaders were scuttled by the actions of Palestinian Arabs? Such as the Intifada and ignoring peace offers which crossed long standing red lines?

            Well? If they can claim it, we can claim it too, by the same logic, no?!

            Reply to Comment
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