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CNN caves to anti-Palestinian smear campaign

CNN fired commentator Marc Lamont Hill for calling for a free Palestine, after some claimed he meant the destruction of Israel. But his statement is no more a call for the destruction of Israel than the end of Jim Crow was the destruction of America.

By Omar Baddar

Marc Lamont Hill participates in a CNN panel, August 29, 2014. (Screenshot/CNN)

Marc Lamont Hill participates in a CNN panel, August 29, 2014. (Screenshot/CNN)

“All the people that live in the West Bank are Israelis. They are not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian. This is Israeli land.” These were the shocking words of former Senator Rick Santorum in 2012, denying the existence of Palestinians, and endorsing Israel’s illegal annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories. Santorum was subsequently hired by CNN as a paid contributor.

By contrast, prominent commentator and Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill was just fired by CNN for delivering a speech at the UN in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and closing that speech by urging international action “that will give us what justice requires, and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” Could the double-standard be any more glaring?

The backlash to Hill’s comments was instant, reaching the level of deranged hysteria in the case of Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel, who absurdly claimed that Hill was calling for a “Jewish genocide.” Fox News host Ben Shapiro displayed some shameless hypocrisy in expressing outrage at what he deemed an anti-Semitic speech, despite Shapiro himself explicitly calling on Israel to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians (something Hill never even came close to). The right-wing online hysteria proved too much for CNN to bear, so they dropped Hill within hours.

Before getting into the grave consequences of CNN’s decision, it’s important to understand Hill’s comment. Since no honest person could derive anti-Semitism or genocide from a “free Palestine,” I won’t dignify those accusations with a rebuttal. I would simply note that those smears are deliberate attempts to mislead people away from the reality of the injustice Palestinians live today, because this is a debate that opponents of Palestinian rights can no longer win on merits. But because an honest person could read an “anti-Israel” position in Hill’s comment, given that modern Israel is within the “river to the sea” area he refers to, that much is worth addressing.

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Israel was created in 1948 on 78 percent of historic Palestine, at the expense of over 700,000 Palestinians who were driven from their homes, and hundreds of Palestinian villages that were destroyed. Later in 1967, Israel captured the remaining 22 percent of Palestine, and the UN called on Israel to end the occupation of those territories.

Having long fought to restore their entire historic homeland, the Palestinians made a major compromise in the late 1980s, recognizing Israel on 78 percent of the land, as accepted by the UN, and settling for a Palestinian state in the occupied territories. The world rejoiced as the elusive two-state solution finally seemed inevitable.

Except there was one problem: instead of ending the occupation, Israel kept building illegal settlements on Palestinian lands. Today, nearly 750,000 settlers live in the occupied territories, and some of the settlements are major cities. The extent of Israel’s colonization of the Palestinian territories, in violation of international law and to the condemnation of the whole world, made a viable Palestinian state practically impossible. In other words, Israel used force to kill the two-state solution, and guarantee a one-state outcome.

As Israel’s rejection of the Palestinian compromise leaves us with a one-state reality between the river and the sea, the question we confront today is: what kind of one-state should this be? Should it be one where everyone is treated equally or not?

In the one-state reality that exists today, the Israeli government is the primary authority in charge. Jewish citizens of Israel live in a liberal democracy, while Palestinians are divided into many groups: citizens of Israel with partial rights, occupied people in the West Bank and Jerusalem with hardly any rights, and prisoners in Gaza with no rights. Put more bluntly, Palestinians live under Israeli apartheid.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who opposes Palestinian independence or statehood, is further entrenching this one-state apartheid. What people like Marc Lamont Hill object to isn’t the one-state reality that Israel imposed on the land, but the discriminatory nature of that state.

It is true, of course, that a single state with equal rights for all would no longer be a Jewish state. But this is no more a destruction of Israel, as some claim, than the end of Jim Crow segregation in the United States was the destruction of America. We’re not talking about destruction, but simply a transformation of the kind of state we have — and that’s precisely what Hill’s comments referred to.

To oppose Hill’s vision of freedom and equality without simultaneously opposing Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories is effectively an endorsement of apartheid. And what is disturbing is that we live in a political moment where endorsing that apartheid is considered normal in our public discourse, while promoting full equality is considered a taboo deserving of panic, shunning and even firing.

The damage wasn’t just done to Hill’s reputation and career — it goes far beyond that. CNN’s decision to fire Hill chills freedom of thought. It contributes to an already suffocating environment in which commentators avoid speaking honestly about Israel’s abuse of Palestinians because it is so frequently punished in a variety of ways. Suppression of advocacy for Palestinian rights in the United States goes back decades, and the current iteration of this suppression campaign isn’t just about career consequences — there are efforts underway to formalize punishments for Palestine advocacy.

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While boycotts are protected political expression under the First Amendment, Congress is considering a bill to criminalize boycotts of Israel in America. There are also efforts to expand the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel, a transparent attempt to chill campus activism on Palestine. Thankfully, civil rights groups, including the ACLU, are fighting back against both measures, but the battle to speak freely about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains potentially the biggest free speech challenge of our generation.

The United States enables Israel’s oppression of Palestinians by the endless billions of dollars it gives to Israel in military aid, and the unconditional diplomatic cover it offers at the United Nations. We in the United States have a moral responsibility to speak out against this injustice. Defenders of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians scored a point by smearing their way into getting Hill fired from CNN. But it doesn’t end here, because there is a growing movement that will defy these intimidation tactics, and will continue speaking truth to power.

Omar Baddar is the Deputy Director of the Washington-based Arab American Institute. He is a political analyst specializing in US-Middle East policy, with a particular emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Firentis

      min al-nahr ila al-bahr (from the river to the sea) is a common Palestinian expression to express the nationalist belief that all of ‘Palestine’ belongs to Arabs and the Jews and Israel have no place there. The esteemed antisemitic professor and certainly the author of this article know that.

      Calling for a situation where Israel doesn’t exist, and Hill certainly wants that given that he refuses to recognize that Israel exists in the first place, is equivalent to calling for a destruction of Israel. The attempt to pretend this is the same as ending Jim Crow is disingenuous. There was a country called the United States. There continued to be a country called the United States. In this case the desire is to eliminate a country called Israel. Whether you call it destruction or elimination really just depends on whether one believes the elimination of Israel can be done in a peaceful manner. If not, and Hill isn’t dumb enough to think so, then the two are identical.

      The rest of the article is just an attempt to pretend otherwise for gullible foreign audiences. CNN should not employ people that call for the destruction of foreign countries or for that matter antisemites that associate with Louis Farrakhan. And certainly not people that do both.

      The two state solution is alive and well. That the Palestinians continue to reject it doesn’t give them the right to demand the destruction of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Firentis: Many Israeli government officials have been caught on public record saying they will not allow a Palestinian state under ANY circumstances (see Ben White’s “Cracks in the Wall: Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel for a complete list). Also, here are some maps to consider: https://www.btselem.org/maps

        The two state solution has been dead for at least a decade.

        I might add that one of the party lines in South Africa under apartheid was that giving the blacks equal rights would ‘destroy’ the country.

        Reply to Comment
        • Firentis

          What a silly bout of whataboutery. How many of those Israeli government officials are employees of CNN?

          Reply to Comment
          • Bruce Gould

            @Firentis: You said “The two state solution is alive and well.”
            No, the present Israeli government has no intention of allowing a Palestinian state under any conditions, and they say so explicitly.

            Reply to Comment
          • Firentis

            Yep. It was alive and well before the Palestinians even considered it, and it is alive and well even if the current Israeli government is hesitant about it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “it is alive and well”

            Simply an empty assertion, Firentis. No one, Left or Right, who knows anything about what is really going on believes it for a minute. And because it underlies your whole argument like a foundation, and the foundation is rotten, well, there goes the whole shebang. You can’t have it both ways. Right wing Israelis always want to have it both ways. Fifty more years of having it both ways is their mantra and it is what you’re selling, and only fools are takers. 1SS or (genuine) 2SS. Anything else is apartheid.

            Reply to Comment
          • Firentis

            What nonsense. Anyone who is Left or Right that isn’t living in 1987 knows that there are three functioning governments between the river and the sea – Israel, the PA and Hamas. The only thing that prevents a two state solution is the unwillingness of the Palestinians to accept any agreement that permanently forecloses their dreams of destroying the Jewish state. Israel will certainly continue with the current situation until the Palestinians actually accept that the Jewish state is a permanent fact and they have failed to dislodge or destroy it. I am not selling anything. It takes two to make peace. If the Palestinians continue to insist that the only permanent peace they will accept is one in which Israel ceases to exist then it is they, not Israel, that are prolonging the current situation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “If the Palestinians continue to insist that the only permanent peace they will accept is one in which Israel ceases to exist”

            But of course they don’t insist this. Your premise is false. So you’re talking nonsense. Either that, or sharing Jerusalem, giving up Ariel and E1 and other outposts is for you “the destruction of Israel.” If you believe that, then stop blaming the Palestinians for the problem.

            Reply to Comment
          • Firentis

            In that case they shouldn’t have a problem negotiating on the basis of two states for two peoples. But as is the case they do have a problem with two states for two peoples precisely because they would have to permanently give up their dream of eliminating Israel. That is the core issue. Not Ariel, not E1 and not even sharing Jerusalem.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Nonsense. That might sell well to the elderly Aipac aunts in Philadelphia but not to people who really know the story. “Formally recognize a Jewish state” is a fake issue expressly created by Bibi precisely for the purpose of killing a 2SS. Really, Israeli cynicism is unmatched.

            Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        On the contrary, Firentis. Omar Baddar writes an impressively articulate and accurate capsule summary of the conflict and the occupation, followed by an exposé of just the sort of tricks you are up to in this post, and nothing you say counters what Baddar writes, it only exemplifies the kind of hysterical distortion he identifies. The propaganda you are engaged in here takes place on three levels:

        First, you are committing falsifying anti-semitizing for the very reasons Baddar outlines. Go back and read Baddar and you can see that you in fact are committing the very same deranged hysteria and hypocrisy committed by Mandel and Shapiro. (And let me just say that anyone who has lately followed the Washington Examiner’s shameless, serial defense of Donald Trump knows just what sort of publication Seth Mandel is writing for.)

        Second, one sees that in a sense you honestly believe what you write because for you, the peaceful modification of “a Jewish state” into a peaceful state of all its citizens if indeed for you “the destruction of Israel” because for you Israel and Jewish overlordism, with non-Jews as second class persons, are synonymous.

        Third, emanating from the whole thing is the smell of bad faith and dishonesty – because the very same people such as yourself who spin this propaganda are the people who constantly begrudge the Palestinians their own state east of the Green line in a fair 2SS. And peddle blatant falsehoods such as “The two state solution is alive and well…the Palestinians continue to reject it.” You cannot sell this to people who know better. You can’t have it both ways. You can have a 1SS or a 2SS. You can’t have apartheid.

        Reply to Comment
        • Firentis

          The author, like you, are propagandists for a cause. Their job is to spin the narrative. The author’s objective is pretty obvious in the last paragraph of the article. It is to eliminate Israel. It is no wonder then why he would come to the defense of Hill. The author is no fool either. He knows what would happen were the Jews to lose the ability to defend themselves. So the only logical explanation is that he is purposefully dissembling for the cause.

          1) Anyone that can sit with Louis Farrakhan and be blown away by his wisdom is an antisemite. This is regardless of what Hill said about Israel.

          2) There is no peaceful modification. Any realist understands that people do not give up their sovereignty peacefully, and most certainly the Jews aren’t going to be the first. And in the Middle East whoever wants to disarm the Jews (as in by removing the state that defends them) wants to put them in the position of the Yezidis, Christians and other non-Muslim minorities. That is – tolerated at best if they behave well and proclaim their undying loyalty to whatever tyrant is in power, massacred if the Islamists take over. And the tolerated at best part is questionable when it comes to here. The most common response you get from the Palestinians about what would happen to the Jews if they won is that they would throw them all out. Everything else is a sweet illusion that people who are far away from the conflict can embrace because they don’t understand anything about the Middle East or its history.

          3) The bad faith and dishonesty is displayed by anyone like you who chooses to pretend to not understand (2). The Palestinians could have had their own state by now. But they are not interested in two states for two peoples. They are interested, or at best a slight majority is interested in, having their own state while continuing to reject the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East within any borders. The large minority isn’t even willing to pretend to want their own state and states explicitly that their goal is to replace Israel with an Arab Islamic state.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I’ve been around the block a few times and heard both sides for a long time and know the history. When I see you say that Ariel, E1 and Jerusalem are note the core issues I know you are not telling the truth because for the settlers and the right wing and basically the controlling elements of the GOI these are absolutely the heart of the matter, the sine qua non, and the settlers control the government. Nothing about Israeli behavior makes sense without recognizing this organizing principle. (It’s as if someone asked me to understand the natural world without recognizing the organizing principle of biology, i.e., evolution.) So it rings as extraordinarily fake and cynical when I hear someone proclaim that it’s not about territory it’s, preposterously for Israelis to say, about being “recognized as a Jewish state and that is what we need to defend ourselves.” I weigh +972 Magazine generally, and Baddar in this instance, as truthful and cutting through the incessant, tenacious hasbara propaganda that envelops this issue. I read you as both a highly partisan, tribalistic true believer and a person who just thinks power and time are on his side and he can afford to be smug and not give a damn about imprisoning and brutalizing an entire other people. I understand that Bibi and his backers have convinced most Israelis to think this way. I do not think that Israelis can change anything. Your posts are testimony to that.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Bruce Gould

      “All the people that live in the West Bank are Israelis. They are not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian. This is Israeli land.” These were the shocking words of former Senator Rick Santorum in 2012, denying the existence of Palestinians…”

      To amplify on that remark: “Speaking at a conference by UK based Israel advocacy organisation The Britain Israel Communications and Research Center in March 2017, Professor Galia Golan, a former consultant to the Israeli government, acknowledged that ‘Israeli negotiators go into negotiations with the idea that it’s ours. It’s all ours…and that’s a very, very basic attitude”. (page 44, ‘Cracks in The Wall – Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel by Ben White – there is a reference in the notes)

      Reply to Comment
    3. Bruce Gould

      A Philadelphia newspaper picks up the Marc Lamont story:

      http://www2.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/marc-lamont-hill-cnn-fired-israel-palestine-20181130.html

      From Tel Aviv, Marc Lamont Hill’s Palestine comments don’t sound so wrong to me…The area between the river and the sea that Hill is talking about is the home of almost 14 million people — almost half of them Jews and half Palestinians. Of those Palestinians, 4.5 million live in the West Bank and Gaza, without citizenship and under military occupation for decades. In Israel, there are about two million residents who are Palestinian — 21 percent of the population — living as second-class citizens….

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ben

      “Between the Sea and the Jordan There Will Only Be Israeli Sovereignty”
      The phrase that apparently prompted CNN to fire Marc Lamont Hill has a long history in Israel. Not that his critics care.
      https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/marc-lamont-hill-cnn-firing-anti-semitism.html

      ‘In the Likud’s founding charter from 1977, 10 years before the founding of Hamas, the very first paragraph says “between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty.” In 1999, the charter was amended, but the first stanza remains, asserting “the Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.” …Hill’s firing is rash at best and a cowardly, dangerous precedent at worst. It’s disturbing not just as a capitulation to disingenuous critics but also because it’s another step toward recasting all speech about Israel’s brutality as anti-Semitism—or, in this case, a call for “Jewish genocide.” …part of a disquieting, and thriving, effort to shut down criticism of Israel wherever it lives—an effort CNN has now emboldened.’

      Reply to Comment
      • Ido

        False comparison, disingenuous at best.
        The Likud political party was originally against a Palestinian state west of the Jordan, as their old and outdated constitution states.
        Both charters you mentioned (from 41 and 19 years ago) are outdated and no longer relevant.

        this is not about shutting down criticism of Israel, the Palestinian chant of ‘from the river to the sea’ means ‘no Israel’. It’s not attributed to any specific political party or terrorist organization, it’s simply the wish for Israel to cease to exist and for a new Arab “Palestine” to take its place.
        Many Palestinian groups, including the Jihadist terrorist group Hamas, have used that phrase to call for the elimination of Israel.

        the outdated Likud charter does not represent all Likud members not to mention all the state of Israel. The Likud are not the eternal supreme overlords of the Jews and hopefully they will be replaced in the upcoming elections.
        The last updated version of the Likud constitution (there is no ‘charter’) does not include the phrase you mentioned:
        https://www.likud.org.il/images/huka/hukalikud080514.pdf

        The article of course forgets to mention major historic events like the Arab attempts to destroy Israel, the Arabs rejection of the Partition Plan, Israel’s offer to return the captured territories with minor border changes right after the 1967 War and the Arabs refusal to recognize or negotiate with Israel, Referring to the area as ‘Historic Palestine’ as if a Palestinian country existed, ignoring how there were also Jews living in the geographic region known as Palestine, ignoring how the area known as Jordan was also part of the ‘Palestine’ region thus 78 percent of historic Palestine is incorrect,
        claiming the Palestinian leadership recognized Israel, the one state solution which is literally the demise of Israel by turning it into a de-facto Arab state, the use of the word ‘Apartheid’ that is not similar to what Apartheid actually was, etc.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bruce Gould

          @Ido: “Having long fought to restore their entire historic homeland, the Palestinians made a major compromise in the late 1980s, recognizing Israel on 78 percent of the land, as accepted by the UN, and settling for a Palestinian state in the occupied territories. The world rejoiced as the elusive two-state solution finally seemed inevitable…Except there was one problem: instead of ending the occupation, Israel kept building illegal settlements on Palestinian lands.”

          But if you don’t like the word ‘apartheid’, how would you describe a social/political system where half the population of a region has rights and the other half has either no rights or diminished rights?

          Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            How would I describe it ? not Apartheid:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/opinion/why-israel-is-nothing-like-apartheid-south-africa.html

            It’s not what I like, it’s simply an incorrect definition for a situation different than South Africa’s Apartheid.
            You are of course ignoring the reasons for the situation and the Palestinians actions as if it has nothing to do with Israel’s actions.
            Yes, there is separation, for obvious reasons, but that is nothing like Apartheid. Jewish civilians are also prohibited from driving on certain roads and from entering certain PA controlled areas in the West Bank and Gaza by law, so there is Apartheid against Jews ?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            To state the obvious, South African apartheid is of course only one form of apartheid. If Ido were working the counter at a bakery and you asked for an almond croissant he’d tell you “what are you talking about, there is no such thing as an almond croissant, all of our croissants are chocolate croissants and there is no other kind.” (My advice would be to talk to the manager at that point because you are not going to have a reasonable conversation with the guy behind the counter. Before very long the guy would be yelling “why are you a clueless liar about croissants, huh?”)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “South African apartheid is of course only one form of apartheid” -> To state the obvious, Apartheid by definition is a South African racial segregation system. You are looking for the word ‘Separation’.
            You’re choosing the word in Afrikaans specifically for it’s emotional and historical connotation. A favorite among pro-Palestinian propaganda pushers.
            “almond croissant he’d tell you “what are you talking about, there is no such thing as an almond croissant” -> and we have another idiotic unrelated comparison which has nothing to do with what is discussed.
            Then by your very wrong definition there is Apartheid against Jewish civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. It’s not Apartheid, sorry it’s ‘a form of Apartheid’.
            “why are you a clueless liar about croissants” -> I’m more interested in how you elegantly skipped the post where I pointed out how you were wrong about your Likud post above. You didn’t lie, you were simply wrong. The question is if you were purposefully misleading and you knew you were talking nonsense or you were just being your clueless self again.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Apartheid by definition is a South African racial segregation system”

            You are simply wrong:

            International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
            http://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/atrocity-crimes/Doc.10_International%20Convention%20on%20the%20Suppression%20and%20Punishment%20of%20the%20Crime%20of%20Apartheid.pdf

            As for your Likud comments, with which I disagree, I haven’t elegantly skipped this I just didn’t bother with it. Yet. But thanks for drawing the attention from me to it that you seek. Thanks also for inelegantly denying that a croissant is basically a croissant even if it’s not baked in Paris or even if one uses one teaspoon of salt instead of two in the recipe or whole wheat flour instead of refined white.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            This, below, is not the behavior of a state that is maintaining benign “separation” for “security” reasons. It just is not. So your claims are basically bunk:

            https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/how-israel-cleansing-palestinians-greater-jewish-jerusalem-800323791

            How Israel is ‘cleansing’ Palestinians from Greater Jerusalem…Meanwhile, a web of harsh Israeli policies, including late-night arrests, land shortages, home demolitions and a denial of basic services, are intensifying the pressure on Palestinians inside the wall to move out…These measures are designed to pre-empt any future peace efforts, and effectively nullify Palestinian ambitions for a state with East Jerusalem as its capital, said Aviv Tatarsky, a field researcher with Ir Amim, an Israeli group advocating fair treatment for Palestinians in Jerusalem.

            (My thanks to Bruce for the link.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “You are simply wrong” -> nope, I’m not. South African Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation by definition and it’s written very clearly in the document you linked (article II A 1-3, C, D, E).
            Your own link contradicts you.
            “As for your Likud comments, with which I disagree” -> you disagree with a reality based fact ? please by all means show me in the Likud constitution the phrase you mentioned, show me how Likud are the ultimate rulers of the Jews and not a political party. Go right ahead. Your comparison to the call for Israel’s demise was idiotic at best. The post you ignored is right there, are you going to lie again and claim it doesn’t exist ?
            disagree with it all you want, the fact that you were factually incorrect isn’t going to change as my evidence clearly shows.
            “I haven’t elegantly skipped this I just didn’t bother with it” -> I’ll add it to the list of your pathetic excuses not to address my posts showing how you are wrong. Not your best, lacks creativity.
            “drawing the attention from me to it that you seek” -> what ? pointing out how you were wrong again ? what are you talking about ? your modus operandi is ignoring my posts and evidence, followed by hilarious excuses for doing so.
            “inelegantly denying that a croissant is basically a croissant” -> I didn’t, you’re lying. I simply pointed out how your comparison is wrong and irrelevant. You also simply ignored the part about the Apartheid against Jews, which is also ‘a kind of Apartheid’ by your own definition.

            “So your claims are basically bunk” -> You’re bringing me a Qatari funded “News” site, allegedly also associated with members of the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate source and you expect me to take this seriously ?
            And you’re using this example regarding Jerusalem to reflect on everything going on in the West Bank and Gaza ? so all “my claims are bunk” ? also the West Bank wall that reduced the terror attacks in the West Bank to basically zero ?
            right because it’s exactly similar. Your own link shows how the walls are built to protect Jewish neighborhoods, guess from what ?
            “and effectively nullify Palestinian ambitions for a state with East Jerusalem as its capital” -> so the offers to create a new Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem in the negotiations from the last 20 years never happened ? to turn Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem into a new Arab capital never happened ? East Jerusalem (or Jerusalem itself) has never been the capital of the Palestinians, mainly because such a country or nation never existed. It’s not like there are already established borders for a Palestinian national capital. That’s what negotiations are for but as long as the Palestinians
            don’t abandon their dream of Israel’s demise and their refusal to accept Israel’s legitimacy, nothing is going to change and Israel will continue to arrest terrorists and demolish houses of convicted terrorists and continue to defend Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            What a pile. Every line of it. Nichts neues aber noch krasser. To stick in our thumb and pull out a few plums from this pile … “Qatari-based” doesn’t cut it anymore than “Israeli-based” cuts it. The wall did not stop the terror—it was not the causal factor–and it was designed principally to grab land. Isarel does not do honest things in the territories. Read +972. Actually read it. The Jerusalem BS is especially crass. So now apartheid is the punishment for not knuckling under and surrendering? Ok. Where’s the beef, Ido Geller? You’re moving right from Netanyahu to Bennet/Shaked and Eli Ben Dahan. Only we think you were there all along. Except for your profound distress at the price of cottage cheese. I continue to read you as a massive fake. Sorry but we have to call a spade a spade.

            And my own link does not contradict me. But you’d have to see basic shades of grey and not everything concretized in simplistic black and white to understand that. You’d have to not see only what you want to see. The only fudge factor you’ve got going for you is that “racial” is better represented in the almond croissant, I mean the Israeli version of apartheid by the term “ethnotribalreligious.” But “racism” is a fair approximation. But again you have to be not blind, have to be able to see obvious shades of grey, and be able to do nuance. A big if.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            What do I think of your Likud comments (on December 2nd)? OK, well, you asked.

            You may fancy yourself the sharp legal fixer for Likud but in wiggling away from Likud’s declarations and in wiggling away from what Likud incessantly strives for in every practical way on the ground whatever they say in public versus private at this point in time, you also want us to forget that Likud are the conventional *moderates* at this point in the Israeli right wing firmament—a firmament that constitutes the self-styled “overlords of the Jews.” A good part of the rest of the ever-rightward-shifting Israeli government and electorate is enamored of the likes of Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu. Netanyahu is always getting outflanked on the *right* by Bennett/Shaked (Education and ‘Justice’ Ministers respectively) and Liberman and such like.

            And this what you write (“outdated and no longer relevant… does not represent all Likud members, blah blah blah”) strikes us, again, as a subset of the Ido-Principle: “When Jews say something bad it’s, like, OK–cuz, you know, Jews are complex people, subtle humans, individuals, but if Arabs say something either they are telling the horrible fixed damning everlasting truth for the whole seething horde of them or they are lying through their teeth, whichever is convenient for me, cuz, you know, Arabs are implacable terrorist fiends. Everybody knows.”

            (And why would you even use the phrase “overlords of the Jews” instead of “overlords of the Israelis” or at the very least “overlords of the Israeli Jews” unless what you have in mind is that all Jews everywhere owe primary loyalty to Israel and Israel is their “nation” and Netanyahu is the leader of world Jewry—we have gone over why this is a kind of creepy beehive notion of what it means to be a Jew and why it is anti-democratic, neo-fascist (and anti-Semitism-feeding) and thus why Netanyahu, self-styled King of the Jews, is cozying up to Polish and Hungarian and American neo-fascists.)

            Your last paragraph selectively quotes history, invents pseudo-history, denies actual history, and leaves out whole swathes of history and I can’t take it seriously or expend energy refuting the obviously counterfeit no matter how sincerely you believe these things. But you could probably find someone over on JPost to go “Spot on, Ido! You and Caroline Glick are the best!” (Remember your “Go tell the Arabs to reverse their three no’s of Khartoum but don’t mention the API” fiasco? We do.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 1): “What a pile. Every line of it” -> you didn’t even attempt to back up your claims. You again completely ignored my previous posts about how you were wrong with your false comparison. You failed to present evidence for your claims, what you said is written in the Likud constitution, your idiotic
            comparison of the call for Israel’s demise (“Palestine from the River to the Sea”). As usual.
            ““Qatari-based” doesn’t cut it anymore” -> besides it’s obviously a propaganda rag backed by the people who literally pay for Arabs (Hamas) to fight Israel ? well you have in the past believed hilarious blatant lies told by Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Fatah/etc so it’s not a surprise you embrace obvious pro-Palestinian propaganda as fact.
            “than “Israeli-based”” -> really ? so Ha’aretz and this very own news blog is lying propaganda ? good to know that’s what you think.
            “The wall did not stop the terror” -> factually incorrect:
            https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/background-and-overview-of-israel-s-security-fence

            You are simply very wrong.
            “So now apartheid is..” -> nope. And again, it’s not Apartheid no matter how much you really, really want it to be.

            “You’re moving right from Netanyahu to Bennet/Shaked and Eli Ben Dahan” -> you’re continuing to talk nonsense and avoid addressing my posts. Start with the link above.
            “I continue to read you as a massive fake” -> I continue to read you as a classic example of a ‘Useful idiot’ who doesn’t know what he’s talking about as proven over so many pages and posts that it’s beyond ridiculous.

            more to follow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 2): “And my own link does not contradict me” -> what are you talking about ? your own link corroborate what I have been saying about what is Apartheid word for word, contradicting your claim that I was wrong. I even listed the relevant specific definitions of ‘crimes of Apartheid’ from your own link.
            “basic shades of grey” -> Again: Apartheid has a definition, you yourself provided it. You were wrong, obviously so. Not only that, you provided the link proving you wrong so thanks I guess.
            Yes, there is separation, for obvious reasons. You just like to use the word in Afrikaans, no particular reason, right ? nothing to do with the historic and emotional connotation to South African Apartheid, right ? and of course again you ignored the Apartheid (by your definition) against Jews as I explained twice now.
            “You’d have to not see only what you want to see” -> you still need to grasp that Apartheid is something with a definition. Especially after you provided it, proving yourself wrong. Quite an achievement actually.
            ” is that “racial” is better represented” -> um, that’s the core definition of what Apartheid is, as you yourself insisted with your link. Read your own link. I listed the relevant sections with the actual definitions.
            “Israeli version of apartheid” -> say it as many times as you want, it still won’t be Apartheid, no matter how much you really want it to be. You proved so yourself.

            “I mean the Israeli version of apartheid by the term “ethnotribalreligious.” But “racism” is a fair approximation” -> complete nonsense. And even by this hilariously wrong idiotic definition, it’s still not Apartheid which is extra hilarious. Keep moving the goal posts, let’s see where you land eventually if ever.
            “obvious shades of grey” -> oh I see them just fine. It’s the reason I pointed out there is Apartheid by law against Jews, which you of course elegantly ignored again.

            more to follow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 3): “What do I think of your Likud comments” -> it’s not what you think. It’s what is a reality based fact. You were wrong. It’s that simple. Squirm and evade it as much as you like, it still won’t change the fact that your comparison to the call for Israel’s demise was complete nonsense.
            I ask again: by all means show me in the Likud constitution the phrase you mentioned, show me how Likud are the ultimate rulers of the Jews and not a political party. Go right ahead.

            “fancy yourself the sharp legal fixer for Likud” -> what are you talking about ? I’m not and neither am I a Likud supporter, I simply pointed out a fact: you were wrong and your comparison to the calls for Israel’s demise were idiotic.
            “in wiggling away from Likud’s declarations” -> again, what are you talking about ? what wiggling away ? you were factually incorrect about a phrase in the Likud constitution. You tried to excuse the call for Israel’s elimination, turning it from the homeland of the Jewish people to another Arab state.
            “whatever they say in public versus private at this point in time” -> Again: what are you talking about ? I never even said any of this nonsense. Are you actually going to address my post about this ? I asked you to answer 2 very simple things, you still refuse to do so.
            “a firmament that constitutes the self-styled “overlords of the Jews.”” -> the hell ? where do you get this utter nonsense ? is this your pathetic attempt to rationalize your false comparison for a phrase calling for Israel’s demise which is not attributed to one single party or entity but to all those who see Israel’s end as an objective ? just say it. What are you afraid of ?
            “strikes us, again, as a subset of the Ido-Principle” -> um, you were factually incorrect. That phrase doesn’t exist in the Likud constitution. Do you understand ? is this too complicated for you to grasp ? you were wrong. Not correct. You based your argument, which was idiotic in the first place, on a factually incorrect premise. How the hell is this so difficult for you to grasp ?
            “When Jews say something bad it’s, like, OK–cuz, you know, Jews are complex people..when Arabs” -> liar, never even said anything or claimed anything similar. Simply pointed out how you are factually incorrect and asked you to actually back your claim with the Likud constitution which I even linked.
            You’re talking utter nonsense.

            more to follow

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 4): “Arabs are implacable terrorist fiends” -> you are now at the point where you make up things I never said. This is great.
            “And why would you even use the phrase “overlords of the Jews”” -> um, to point out how your comparison is ridiculous ? you didn’t get it ? really ?
            “instead of “overlords of the Israelis”” -> seriously ? you really are reaching now. This is extremely pathetic even by your standards.
            “all Jews everywhere owe primary loyalty to Israel” -> where do you even get this nonsense which I never even touched ? your comparison is wrong. Your evidence about the Likud constitution was wrong. Your squirming and flailing here is really something to behold.
            “Netanyahu, self-styled King of the Jews, is cozying up to Polish..” -> are you having some kind of mental breakdown ? how the hell does any of this has to do with the simple fact that you were factually incorrect ?
            “Your last paragraph selectively quotes history” -> Lie as much as you want, unless you can travel back in time there has never been a Palestinian country or Palestinian nation the way the Palestinian narrative lies about. But what the hell, please present your evidence.
            I did when you made the idiotic claim that a Jewish nation didn’t exactly exist. Remember that hilarity ? provided you with lots of evidence which you of course ignored.
            “denies actual history” -> hilarious.. you’re the one who is re-inventing history here, and you blame me. How adorable.
            “I can’t take it seriously” -> then prove your points. Back up your claims like I did mine. Go right ahead, this should be good.
            “sincerely you believe these things” -> belief is irrelevant. What I said is historic fact no matter how much you refuse to accept it.
            “someone over on JPost” -> nope, it’s very clear in historic evidence. Very. No need for news sites of any kind to point out simple historic proof.
            “Remember your “Go tell the Arabs to reverse their three no’s of Khartoum but don’t mention the API” fiasco?” -> fiasco ? hilarious.. you’re lying about this now again ? how I proved you had no idea what you were talking about and how you lied about what I said ?
            ” We do” -> so do I. You really outdid yourself with the lying and squirming. It was glorious.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            It still has not occurred to you that you give yourself away with the four-part verbosity? That if you really had something intelligent and coherent to say you would not have to cloak it in the conceptual concrete, in the fused amalgam above? Who can even read this? I feel like an English teacher telling you to go back and rewrite this in one tenth of the words (cutting out the mindless ad hominems would get you halfway there, champ) and to use the actual English language as it was meant to be used. And to use punctuation. Oh, but I forgot, lack of clarity is your friend. God help us.

            But the first thing I would tell you if I were your English teacher (they can’t pay me enough) is to tell you to think before you write. Just. Think. First. I mean, what really were you thinking? Or not thinking? ==>

            IDO: ‘…than “Israeli-based”” -> really ? so Ha’aretz and this very own news blog is lying propaganda ? good to know that’s what you think…’

            Just look at this masterpiece of illogic and confused thinking. Walk around and look at it from all sides. I just got done telling you that you can’t denigrate an argument simply by calling it “Qatari-based” any more than you can denigrate an article by calling it “Israeli-based.” Your response? That Ben refers to Israeli-based writing so he must think that Israeli-based writing is lying propaganda! How confused is that? As if The National Enquirer and The Washington Post are both American-based so they must be of equal value. As if Haaretz and Arutz Sheva or the Jerusalem Post are all Israeli-based so they must be of equal value. Really it is a wonder to behold how your mind works. Wow.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 1): “It still has not occurred to you..give yourself away” -> explaining in detail how you’re wrong, how you refuse to address my posts and how you lie is ‘giving myself away’ ? how you provided the evidence proving I was right and how you were wrong yourself ?
            How you still refuse or unable to back up your claims ? see, this is why I love our little chats. You never ceases to amuse me.
            “to cloak it in the conceptual..” -> Again: what on earth are you talking about ? how does explaining how you are wrong, how you lie and how you have no idea what you’re talking about in detail is ‘cloaking in conceptual..’ ?
            why do you lie to yourself like this ? which part was hard for you to understand ? I’ll gladly clear this up for you.
            What can I say, you give me so much material with your clueless nonsense and lying. You have only yourself to blame.
            “use the actual English language” -> so now instead of addressing my posts you address my punctuation ? again: which part was hard for you to understand ? the part where I pointed out the phrase you mentioned doesn’t exist in the Likud constitution ? that your comparison to the call for Israel’s demise is idiotic at best ?
            When I mentioned how you went on a hilarious tantrum that had nothing to do with what I said ? how I asked you to back up your claims about me being wrong which you again refuse to do ? how you again lie about the posts regarding what I said on the ‘3 No’s of Khartoum’ ?
            Please clarify.
            “God help us” -> supernatural imaginary beings are irrelevant to historic fact and the posts you ignored showing in detail how you were wrong. Not only that, you provided the evidence yourself showing how you were wrong regarding Apartheid which was a new level of hilarity. Good job. You of course now just ignored it.
            “think before you write” -> address my posts pointing in detail how you are wrong and back up your claims, which you still refuse to do. Again.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            (part 2): “look at this masterpiece of illogic” -> um, I wasn’t serious, I’m quite aware Ha’aretz and this news blog are not Israeli propaganda sites. I was commenting on your absurd reply on “Israeli based” sites. It wasn’t obvious to you ? seriously ? I’ll dumb down my posts then. Even more.
            Read a bit on the background on the site you linked and the controversy related to it.
            “Israeli-based writing is lying propaganda” -> Jesus Christ.. are you playing dumb again ? or are you really this stupid ?
            “As if The National Enquirer and The Washington Post are both American-based so they must be of equal value” -> you’re repeating my exact point. Amazing.

            “is a wonder to behold how your mind works” -> it’s a wonder to behold how you of course completely ignored everything else in my posts, where I pointed out how you had no idea what you were saying, how you lied, how you were factually incorrect. How you again refuse to back up your claims, not realizing how not being able to do so proves I’m right, etc. You know, the usual.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Blah blah blah. Counters absolutely nothing and deepens rather than clears up your confusion. Deepens the mystery of how your mind works. How do you do that? It’s amazing.

            You, poster child, personify, exemplify the problem Amjad Iraqi articulates:

            “…unequal parameters of permissible thought on the conflict, and the extent to which they remain so ill-informed…”
            https://972mag.com/marc-lamont-hill-black-palestine-solidarity/138929/

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “Counters absolutely nothing” -> Again you simply ignored my posts, this is incredible. You claimed “the wall didn’t stop terror”, your words. Provided you with statistics proving you wrong. Amazing isn’t it ? a wall making it difficult for people who want to murder Jews is actually stopping the murder of Jews ? what a concept! the evidence is right there, you ignored the post as if it doesn’t exist.
            You pathetically try to excuse the call for Israel’s demise by binning a phrase from the Likud constitution, misleadingly so or simply clueless to the fact that you’re using a document from a few decades ago which is no longer valid or relevant. I prove to you how you were wrong by providing the actual Likud constitution, I ask you to point the relevant phrase you based your entire argument on. Nothing. You didn’t even mention this, you went on a rambling tantrum about things I never mentioned, all detailed in the posts above (which you also ignored of course). You then for some reason bring one of my favorite examples of you lying about what I said, regarding ‘the 3 no’s of Khartoum’ and claim it was a “fiasco” of mine. When I mention this and ask you to back up your claim: nothing. You ignore it.
            You again use the word Apartheid without knowing what that actually means. You say I’m wrong calling you out on your mistake and you hilariously provide a document stating precisely what I was saying Apartheid is, proving yourself wrong. I even listed the relevant sections with the definitions. I point that out (after laughing hysterically). Nothing. It didn’t happen if you simply ignore it, right ?
            Then I mention some obvious historic facts about the non-existent Palestinian country and their newly invented nationality. You claim I’m wrong. Now I provided you with enough historic proof for this in the past so I ask you to back up your claims. Prove me wrong. Nothing. You can’t do it, not a single thing. You ignore my post about this again.
            “clears up your confusion” -> how on earth is this not clear to you ? I only repeated this about 3 or 4 times. I ask again: which part is confusing to you ? please by all means, go ahead.
            “the problem Amjad Iraqi articulates” -> yes, ignore the posts and link a glorifying article about a ‘Useful Idiot’ who thinks turning Israel into a de-facto Arab country is a swell idea. This will definitely do the trick.
            You’re a pathetic joke.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Provided you with statistics proving you wrong.”

            Oh please. Yet another gloriously specious Ido-“proof.” You would have us, for propaganda purposes, associate a mere temporal association with causation. I wrote that sentence and then looked at this article and found that Michael Omer-Man agrees: “But we know that correlation does not equal causation.” (You, now, you really should take my advice and actually read +972 Magazine. It would obviate a lot of unnecessary back and forth here.)

            By Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man |Published October 11, 2015
            Wave of stabbings show Israel’s wall isn’t about security
            If the separation barrier neither stops terrorists nor marks an actual border between Israel and Palestine, then what is it actually for?
            https://972mag.com/wave-of-stabbings-show-israels-wall-isnt-about-security/112620/

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “or propaganda purposes, associate a mere temporal association with causation” -> how on earth is the evidence I presented “temporal association with causation” ? where do you come up with this hilarious nonsense ? how on earth is making terrorism more difficult not reducing the number of terrorist attacks ? This is basic common sense. Look at the number of terrorist attacks, look at the number of victims, look at the evidence.
            How on earth is basic common sense backed by very easy to read statistics “propaganda purposes” ? “associate a mere temporal association with causation” ? are you that out of touch with reality that you have to lie to yourself so you won’t have to deal with the fact you were wrong again ?
            Please explain this temporal association with causation, I’m honestly intrigued on how the mind of the ‘Useful Idiot’ works.
            “Michael Omer-Man agrees” -> well then why didn’t you say so ? if so it counters the very obvious evidence I presented to you. How can I take you seriously if you make such a big joke of yourself ?
            you didn’t address the evidence. You, as usual, evaded and squirmed around it. What a shocking surprise.
            “Wave of stabbings show Israel’s wall isn’t about security” -> you bring me an article about the “knife Intifadah” where “lone wolf” attackers stabbed Jews after the rabid incitement of the PLO regarding Jerusalem, and simply ignore the evidence I provided. Look at the numbers, years before the PLO incitement to murder Jews in 2015.
            How many of those were ? how many from areas where there was no wall or barrier ?
            He makes an idiotic claim: The walls are not a 100% method to stop Palestinian terrorism, it simply reduced the number of attacks for obvious reasons, that is what my evidence which you avoid addressing shows very clearly.
            the Wall, barrier, or fence works to substantially reduce terrorist attacks. If you want to bury your head in the sand and lie that it doesn’t, go ahead. Reality indicate otherwise.
            You of course ignored the rest of my posts regarding your other nonsense but hey, I would be surprised if you actually did address them.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            In all of this bluster it is quite apparent that you really do not understand something as basic as the distinction between an association and a causal factor that underlies Omer-Man’s argument. Wow. There is no possible intelligent argument to be had with someone who fails to grasp this or address it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “In all of this bluster” -> what are you talking about ? you again ignored my posts, again ignored my evidence. Same as always.
            “do not understand something as basic” -> I do understand how you again ignored my posts showing in detail how you’re a clueless ‘Useful Idiot’ who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, how you simply ignored the evidence I provided, literally the statistics and documented evidence about how a barrier hindering terrorist organizations from
            murdering Jews actually reduced the number of their terror attacks and instead brought a link from this very own pro-Palestinian news blog about the knife Intifadah, “lone wolf” attacks resulting from the rabid incitement from the Palestinian leadership against Jews which is nowhere near the numbers or severity or belonging to terrorist organizations like Hamas or Fatah, responsible for the error attacks the previous decade which my evidence mentions.
            “Omer-Man’s argument” -> as I mentioned his argument was ridiculous, the wall was never meant to stop the terror attacks but to reduce them, I mentioned this the previous post, the one you ignored. Again.
            “Wow” -> couldn’t say it better myself. Are you going to address the rest of your clueless nonsense and hilarious idiocy I mentioned 4 posts above ? which you of course completely ignored ? again ?
            “There is no possible intelligent argument” -> says the clueless ‘Useful Idiot’ who dismisses evidence without addressing it because he doesn’t agree with it. I’m not sure if this is simply childish immature idiocy or another facet of the ‘Useful Idiot’ persona, not letting facts and reality confuse you.
            “who fails to grasp this or address it” -> I did address it, just like I address everything you said. You, of course, ignored it as always. A classic clueless ‘Useful Idiot’ who clings to his brainwashed alternate reality nonsense and doesn’t let facts or reality confuse him.
            How about addressing the posts you ignored ? they are right there, where they were the first time you simply ignored them.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            This intemperate outburst of incontinent name calling, uncontrolled even for you, does not help your case. I am persuaded by Michael Omer-Man’s argument, and I’m grateful to you for providing me the stimulus to revisit it and showcase it here. I find it educational and logically sound and convincing. You, not so much.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “incontinent name calling” -> the only incontinent thing here is your repeated refusal to process reality and to address posts which you ignore over and over again, pointing very clearly how you have no idea what you’re talking about. Not only that, you actually provided the evidence showing how you yourself are wrong which was extra hilarious even by your standards.
            “does not help your case” -> you refusing to address my posts and address the evidence, as you always do because reality is apparently very uncomfortable to you and your delusions and your refusal to back up your claims as I explained in detail all over this page, does not help your case, rather it reinforces mine.
            How you fail to grasp this is truly a mystery.
            “I am persuaded by Michael Omer-Man’s argument” -> what a shock! you are persuaded by someone who shares your delusions. Remarkable! forget facts and evidence, how his argument is very wrong as I explained. You are persuaded so statistics, numbers and clear evidence can be ignored.
            “grateful to you for providing me the stimulus” -> how about stimulating yourself to address the posts you once again ignored ? where I point very clearly how you are wrong ? how you have no idea what you’re talking about ? how you refuse to back up your claims ?
            “I find it educational and logically sound and convincing” -> you’re a pathetic joke. The posts you ignored and the evidence you refuse to touch are right there above. By the way, thank you for the link about Apartheid where you hilariously proved I was right, I’ll use it myself.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            None of this bluster is true, of course, and depends on deceptiveness and aggressive rudeness, which is why we developed The Test, a rule-based environment in which you have performed poorly and revealingly. A satisfying outcome from my standpoint.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ido

            “None of this bluster is true, of course” -> why on earth are you lying like this when the posts are right there ? the ones you ignored ? the evidence you ignored ?
            what bluster ? pointing out how you ignored my posts again ? how you ignore or dismiss evidence again because you dislike it ? how you were factually incorrect ?
            “and depends on deceptiveness and aggressive rudeness” -> what on earth are you blabbering about ? how does pointing out you were wrong backed by evidence I linked in the same post is “deceptive” ? how on earth is pointing out how you proved yourself wrong with your own link is “aggressive rudeness” ? what are you talking about ? when you ignored it repeatedly I detailed your clueless nonsense again, see 11 posts above for more details.
            Pointing out you’re wrong backed by evidence you refuse to touch is apparently “aggressive rudeness”.
            “The Test” -> ah yes, your latest pathetic excuse to avoid addressing my posts because you now demand I re-post everything with your specific format, the same posts you initially ignored. When I actually did it you, what a shocking surprise, ignored it again.
            See the examples in this thread:
            https://972mag.com/humanitarian-aid-palestinians-time-low/138332/

            For example: from the above linked page, This is what you said, on April 30, 2018, about the Hamas price list for Gaza protesters and I quote you: ““the price list”, What a low level propaganda sheet the JPost is. And allied disinformation troll we have here”.
            Your words. I quoted you back then as well when I refuted your clueless nonsense. not only did I quote you back then when I refuted your clueless nonsense, I just quoted you here again. You called actual fact “low level propaganda” among other nonsense. I literally provided the actual Hamas payments list, proving you wrong.

            “A satisfying outcome from my standpoint” -> you’re a pathetic joke, a gift of hilarity that keeps on giving.

            Reply to Comment
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