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Mondo Weiss

Idiosyncratic and influential anti-Zionist blogger Philip Weiss has a complicated relationship with Israel, American Jewry, and himself

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When Philip Weiss, the Jewish anti-Zionist writer and blogger, compares himself to Theodor Herzl, he’s not being ironic. “I actually am like him in certain ways,” he says. “Herzl said, ‘Anti-Semites made me Jewish again.’ I would say that neo-conservatives made me Jewish again.”

To the legion of Jews that Weiss has enraged, this will sound perverse. It’s certainly self-aggrandizing. But it also gets at the way that Weiss has abandoned a deeply assimilated life for a profound—if idiosyncratic and tortured—engagement with Jewish questions. As the founder of Mondoweiss, a blog that has become a nucleus of anti-Zionist writing, and a co-editor of a new book about Richard Goldstone’s report on Israel’s 2008 invasion of Gaza, Weiss says that he now thinks about Jewishness all the time. In his fierce critique of tribal identity, he’s found his tribe—one he believes is growing.

“I think I was alienated from a lot of Jewish communal life in my 20s, 30s, 40s,” Weiss says. “One symptom of that is the fact that I’d never been to Israel until 2006. I was 50 before I got to Israel.” Now that he is 55, Israel has become the center of his life. He goes to rabbinical conventions and corresponds with left-wing Israelis. “I love what I’ve undergone in the last few years,” he says. “And I love my engagement with Jewish communal life now.”

Of course, much of that engagement comes in the form of relentless criticism. Weiss’ blog is fulsomely, intensely anti-Israel—it’s a universe in which even Noam Chomsky, hero of anti-imperialists worldwide, is criticized for his residual attachment to the Jewish state. His obsessive focus on Israel has come at the expense of a successful career as a magazine journalist. Harvard-educated, he got his start writing for the New Republic and later contributed features to New York, and the New York Times Magazine and wrote a column for the New York Observer. Initially he launched Mondoweiss as a general-interest blog on the New York Observer website. When he started to focus on Israel, his editor warned him that he was becoming a crank.

He didn’t listen, and in 2007 he left the Observer, taking the blog with him. Today it operates under the umbrella of the nonprofit Nation Institute, which allows Weiss to solicit tax-deductable contributions. But its budget comes entirely from donations, and Weiss has to rely on his wife, the writer and editor Cynthia Kling, to help support him.

It’s a little hard to figure out why Weiss threw so much away for a cause that was so new to him. Naturally, he sees a linear moral logic to his journey. He looks at contemporary Israel and is appalled. Because he came to Middle Eastern issues late in life, he has no fond memories of labor Zionism, or maddening recollections of the times Palestinians spurned opportunities for peace, to complicate his anger. As one long alienated from Jewish life, he hasn’t developed the habit, common to many American Jews, of reflexively giving Israel the benefit of the doubt. For him—as it is for many younger Jews—Israel is defined by Avigdor Lieberman and Operation Cast Lead, by Shas and settlements.

Weiss first became interested in Israel in the run-up to the Iraq war. “I felt there was some element of Jewish organizational life that was behind this war because it was good for Israel,” he says. The notion that the neoconservatives spoke for American Jews horrified him, and it imbued him with a sense of responsibility to speak out as a Jew. As he dove into books about Jewish and Middle Eastern history, he came up against what he saw as the essential conflict between Zionism and American liberalism—which, after all, defines itself precisely by its refusal to privilege any race or religion. Liberal Zionists are used to holding these ideas in uneasy tension. Weiss could see nothing but stark dissonance. “I don’t believe in the necessity of a Jewish state,” he says. “Most Jews disagree with me, and that is sort of the heart of my crisis.”

The idea that American Jews might someday find themselves persecuted and in need of refuge strikes him as paranoia. “Temperamentally, I lack a paranoid gene,” he says. He grew up, he adds, hearing that Jews would always and everywhere be in danger. “And my whole experience has been the opposite.”

That still doesn’t quite explain why he jettisoned so much to devote himself to anti-Zionism. But there’s something in Weiss that reacts intensely to disillusionment. Once he rejects conventional wisdom, he’s willing to swing wildly, even heedlessly, in the other direction. In the 1990s, he was a staunch Bill Clinton defender. But when Clinton disappointed him, he began a long flirtation with all sorts of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories. His New York Observer columns painted an image of a menacing cabal of thugs sitting in the White House and snuffing out their enemies. As he wrote in 1998, “Everywhere Bill Clinton goes, he makes Chinatowns.” He was particularly fixated on Vince Foster’s suicide, which he was convinced was part of something larger and more sinister. He has more of a paranoid gene than he realizes.

He regrets some of this now. “I have problems with loyalty in life, and I felt little loyalty to the Democrats when I sensed the small-town corruption that hung around Clinton,” he wrote in 2009. “I wanted to expose it. It was the wrong impulse because as John Homans, my friend/editor, used to berate me, You’re arming people who disagree with you on policy matters. Did I help elevate W? … And would Gore have kept us out of Iraq? Maybe. That’s why I feel bad about what I did.”

Friends have suggested that the same impulse that sent him after Clinton may drive some of his writing about Israel. Though his voice can be reflective, he seems to enjoy pulling wild ideas from the fever swamps and giving them a respectful airing. He’s particularly interested in Jewish power, manifestations of which he diligently catalogs.

“Over and over, American presidents have said they oppose the colonization program; over and over these instincts have been nullified politically because of the Jewish presence in the power structure,” he wrote in 2009. “The Senate is dominated by Democrats, and 1/5 of them are Jews, even though Jews are just 2 percent of the population. The Washington Post has said that over half the money given to the Democratic Party comes from Jews. Obama’s top two political advisers are Jewish, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. The news lately has been dominated by Obama aides Kenneth Feinberg and Larry Summers. And what does it mean that the Treasury Sec’y gets off the phone with Obama to confer immediately with Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman and Jamie Dimon of Morgan (Dimon’s Jewish; Blankfein would seem to be)?” He didn’t say what exactly this did mean, particularly regarding Israel—it was just an invitation to conspiratorial speculation. From there, Weiss went on to list Jewish journalists including Ezra Klein, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Terry Gross, and Nina Totenberg.

Now, it’s fair for Weiss to argue that Jews, owing to their success, are far more secure in the United States than they realize, and that their politics should reflect that, just as it’s more than fair to criticize the pro-Israel establishment for its destructive impact on American foreign policy. What’s outrageous is the imputation of a unified Jewish agenda to all these disparate figures, most of whom have nothing to do with Barack Obama’s Middle Eastern policy, and some of whom are far to the left of virtually all non-Jewish Republicans on Israel issues. Netanyahu has reportedly slurred Emanuel and Axelrod as self-hating Jews; there’s certainly no evidence that they’ve urged softness on settlements.

Not surprisingly, some Jew-haters see Weiss as a native informer, telling the plain truth about the Zionist octopus. “Philip Weiss is a unique American Jewish voice—a Jew without all the usual rationalizations and blind spots–at least most of them,” Kevin MacDonald, a leading anti-Semitic theorist, wrote last May. MacDonald has bandied the idea of taxes on Jews and quotas against them in order to “achieve parity between Jews and other ethnic groups.”

Weiss isn’t responsible for his fans, of course. But when he wrote about McDonald’s embrace, there was something notably equivocal in his rejection of a figure who most American journalists and thinkers would find beneath contempt. “I find a lot of what MacDonald has said elsewhere bracing and bold,” he wrote. “He is alive to important sociological trends that few people are talking about out loud.” Only then did he call him out for his open racism and disdain for Jewish suffering.

Yet Weiss can’t simply be written off as a victim of self-loathing. His ambivalence toward the Jewish world is too complicated, suffused with attraction as well as lacerating anger. When he first went to Israel, he says, he was surprised by his satisfaction at seeing Jews with guns. He was moved by the silence in West Jerusalem on the Sabbath, and by the struggles of young Israeli leftists like those who’ve clustered around the +972 blog. “I am ethnocentric,” he says. “And as much as I’m involved in Palestinian solidarity, I emotionally look to other Jews.”

“I find his writing about Israel to be infused with a real Jewish concern,” says J.J. Goldberg, former editor of The Forward and a friendly acquaintance of Weiss’. “Some people who are associated with him write about Israeli wrongdoing with what seems like glee. He seems to have regret.”

Lately, Weiss is particularly gratified to see a growing number of Jews moving in his direction. “I think there’s going to be a big anti-Zionist moment in American Jewish life,” says Weiss. “I just think it’s inevitable.”

He may be right. Take Lizzy Ratner, for example. One of Weiss’ co-editors on the Goldstone book, Ratner is a former New York Observer writer who was born into New York’s elite Jewish establishment—her father is millionaire real-estate developer Bruce Ratner. Lizzy was 4 years old the first time she went to Israel; during college she spent a semester there and was at the rally when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Her horror led her to get involved in pro-Palestinian work.

“The moment I crossed a checkpoint, 15 minutes from Jerusalem, the world changed,” she told me. “My worldview shattered. You grow up being told ‘they’ want to push us into the sea and we have to do everything we can to stop this evil enemy that wants to kill us and is going to kill us, and then you meet the terrible evil enemy, and not only are they nice, and decent, but they’re actually oppressed.”

Returning from Israel in the 1990s, Ratner looked for a community of people who shared her concerns with the Middle East, and she couldn’t find it. She’d go to Palestinian solidarity meetings, and only three others would show up. Gradually, she drifted away from the issue altogether, until outrage over Gaza inspired her to get involved again. She found a movement to plug into. “Now I look at Phil and Adam’s website”—Adam Horowitz has been Weiss’ partner at Mondoweiss since 2008—“and I look at Jewish Voice for Peace—something undeniable is welling up,” she says.

Meanwhile, as Weiss has become more enmeshed in the world of left-wing anti-Zionist Jews, he’s become at least a little more sensitive to Jewish concerns. “I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes on my site over the years,” he says. “I think in my alienation from the Jewish community, I said stuff that I regret on a number of occasions.” He even has second thoughts about some of more strident attacks on neoconservatives. “The neoconservative thing is a very confusing thing to me,” he says. “I think it’s appropriate to talk about Jewish neoconservatives, but there’s an element of red-baiting. I haven’t come down fully on that issue. I know I’ve hurt people.”

And so his alienation from the Jewish community has been transformed into a new sense of mission within it. “There’s a crisis! There is truly a crisis in the two-state solution,” he says. “That de-marginalizes me.” He’s right, whether that fills you with hope or with dread.

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neighbour says:

And precisely why di Tablet see fit to write a paean to Mondoweiss? Because he’s a conspiracy nut? Because he hates Israel and Zionism? Next week we get a profile of the Neturei Karta Jews who allign themselves with Iran against Israel? Please explain why Weiss is any different.

Let me say first that Phil Weiss definitely crosses the line between dissent and name-calling on a regular basis and warrants no defense. However, this article is the second in the past week to concern me, not for it’s content so much as for it’s tone: the hint of Fox News-style delegitimization, the implication that dissent makes you an enemy of the state. In America, the radical right used this tactic throughout the Bush administration to silence the opposition, claiming that anyone who disagreed with Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib was anti-American. This same tactic gets used by the right in Israel to delegitimize pro-Palestinian Jewish Israelis; that’s nothing new. However, Weiss is right about one thing: there is a growing number of American Jews (young and old alike) who feel that settlements in the West Bank and treating Palestinians as second-class citizens runs inherently counter to the very heart of Judaism. This does not make them anti-Semites, nor anti-Zionists, no more than protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan makes one anti-American. Articles like this one that seek to demonize the “opposition” only further the divide when we need to realize that no divide really exists. Like Ratner or Goldberg, I believe very much in the necessity for a modern state of Israel, but it should be one that serves as a beacon of morality in an unjust world, one that treats the Other with as much respect as it would hope for in return: essentially, I believe in an Israel that is Jewish in more ways than just the genetic ancestry of it’s people. Is that really something to demonize?

One thing that bothers (and intrigues) me is that anyone who studeis the comments left at his posts will discover a hotbed of antisemitism as well as irrational anti-Zionism. They thrive there and feed off each other. And PW doesn’t care, doesn’t intervene, doesn’t chastise. So, where does his loyalty lie?

rlgordonma says:

In recreating that lovely quote from Weiss about the Sec Treas. contacting Jamie Dimon, you should have noted that Dimon is in fact NOT Jewish. Not sure of what significance this has for the profile of Weiss except that he seems to identify Jews by the sound of their last name.

There is always a paying gig in antisemitism. Philip Weiss is interested in nothing more than Philip Weiss, and he took a sure fire-route to attracting attention to himself, damn the price to own people. If he’d immersed himself in nearly any other topic, you would likely never have heard of him and would certainly not be writing him. His popularity is exclusively a function of the hatred he foments.

David Gleicher says:

Rlgordonma is correct. Jamie Dimon is Greek-American.

I agree with fw. Weiss isn’t a self-hating Jew, he’s a holier-than-thou Jew. He puts Israel up against his set of standards (standards that no doubt he does not apply to any other state) and finds it coming up woefully short. Therefore, he’s the hero in a drama of his own making, criticizing Israel because he knows what’s best for it more than it does. Everyone who disagrees with him just shows him how much better he is than them.

It seems to me that Weiss is on a campaign to make himself the warm and fuzzy anti-Zionist you just can’t help but love. He wants to expand out and make the anti-Zionist ‘moment’ happen more quickly. The mea culpa about his many mistakes doesn’t erase the cover he has given to all those anti-Semites who have populated his blog over the years. At least he makes no bones about his desire to make Israel vanish.

Weiss also sees the world through Ashkenazi spectacles. Despite the attempts by his ilk to paint Israel as some colonial Manhattan on the Mediterranean Israel is more than 50% made up of Jews or their descendants who were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries. Personally I think his obsession shows that he has serious mental heath issues. Nothing Israel has done has come close to the USA’s actions over the past 40 years (Does anyone even remember how many innocent civilians were killed in Panama during the US invasion? How about the number of innocent Civilians killed over the past 2 weeks in Afghanistan?). I don’t know how he can stand to live in the USA?

Jamie Dimon is a Greek-American. I’m ninety-nine percent certain he is also a Jewish-American. Ted Forstmann on the other hand, who is sometimes identified on this blog as Jewish, is not.

Bella makes a strong point. It’s absurd for Weiss to try to whitewash years of venomous attacks on Jews–not Israelis, but Jews–as ‘mistakes’ and to try to write it off for the sake of ingratiating himself with a reporter to get some favorable publicity. Hatred of Jews has been the pillar of his writing, not something casual or incidental. There is isn’t an antisemitic canard he hasn’t dusted off and resold under a bogus label of progressivism. And the list of his enablers and collaborators reaches into the most rancid corners of the internet, starting with David Duke.

Gibson Block says:

“Some people who are associated with him write about Israeli wrongdoing with what seems like glee. He seems to have regret.”

To me, Weiss seems eager to use stick at hand to pursue his campaign. When Shlomo Sand came out with his claim that the Jews are not one people, Weiss was wild with glee. For him, it was immediately true. I wonder why?

He was gleeful. He called him the ‘devilish’ Shlomo Sand. I stopped reading him after The New York Observer gave him his walking papers, but I never detected even the faintest twinge of regret about Israel. It is probably worth excavating some of the most repellent things he said in his old position. The Observer appears to have given him custody of his work, but I hope they’ve kept the original archives because I think, on a casual perusal, he may have altered some of it to cover his tracks.

“‘I felt there was some element of Jewish organizational life that was behind this war because it was good for Israel,’ he says.”

Is Weiss that uninformed? Sharon’s then private conversations with Bush are now well known. Sharon advised Bush to stay out of Iraq and warned that Iran was the danger. Bush did not listen. Even at that time, most Jews knew the war would not be good for Israel. Unfortunately, most Jewish organizations remained silent.

Adam Wykle says:

When people don’t have an argument of their own, they usually resort to calling the other names, nasty names to delegitimize and vilify them. As an American Jew, I really do appreciate Phillip Weiss’ blog because I know that I am not in the minority for labeling Israel what it is in the 21st century, a usurping, suppressing, denying and destroying garrison ethnocracy little short of psychopathic.

I am sickened by the unconscionable, mercilous attacks and wanton destruction rained down upon the imprisoned Palestinians confined to a life of ghettoed misery by the Israeli siege machinery and so are many, many other Jews.

Frank Messmann says:

Mr. Weiss is anti-Israel and anti-Zionist. Can he hold such views and yet not be labeled an anti-Semite? I would say yes.

Marc R says:

How can the author write this sentence and claim she’s neutral:

“just as it’s more than fair to criticize the pro-Israel establishment for its destructive impact on American foreign policy”

Is it really that much of a “fact” that the pro-Israel establishment has had a destructive impact on American foreign policy? Isn’t this even debatable or worth an “arguably” or an “allegedly”? My goodness.

dani levi says:

If one has issues with Zionism or the West Bank madness, I think it is wiser to discuss this within a Jewish context and NOT within a “pro” Palestinian context. Reading pro Pal sites it becomes apparent, that these are written by people who have NO idea about Zionism or Judaism. So why, as a Jew, I would join pro Pal movements is beyond me.
One of the problems on the Pal side is that they have no clue what Zionism really is and where it comes from. Judaism and Zionism is so complex and so diverse and so beautiful it transcends anything the PLO, the Palestinians or even frankly most Jews can throw at it. Reducing Israel to the conflict is in itself an admission that you have no f’ing idea what you are talking about. Go home and read some of the writings that were written between 1300 and 1930 before you start mouthing off about Zionism.
If one does not understand the core of the Zionist Truth one can not understand Jewish history. This lack of knowledge, this deep ignorance on behalf of the Arabs is the main driving force behind their inability to accept Israel and maybe even Judaism generally. Hence all the ignorant BS that comes out of the Arab world which masks itself as some sort of political discourse. A society that is unable to teach large parts of the populace to read is lost in the above discussion.

Yishai says:

All I see here is a self-aggrandizing crank who looks for any platform he can to get attention. I don’t see any serious engagement with the truly complex issues of Israel’s internal and foreign policy. He has the chutzpah to compare himself to Herzl? I mean, I’m no Herzl worshiper, but Herzl was actually an acutely aware and talented public figure. This guy is just a pathetic child screaming for attention. Just what we need: another idiot contributing noise to a tragic situation.

Which leads me to the question: why is giving him exactly what he wants in the form of an overly long article in Tablet a good idea? Editors?

mlpomearnz says:

How’s his Arabic?

While I cannot agree with his views,I repect his rights to have them but know that Hitler would have come to get him too no matter how anti he is

Just an example of the expedient nature of Weiss’s politics, here’s an old post of his:

“What Did the Pope Say About Islam?
by PHILIP WEISS on SEPTEMBER 23, 2006
Like 0Retweet 0

Police in Dubai crept up on a couple who were kissing in a car. The 20-year-old at the wheel tried to get away.

[L]aw enforcement officers reportedly opened fire on the suspect’s car…
That was in April. The couple are now married, but charges are pending.

Sources said the couple confessed to their charge.
We’ll keep you abreast.”

If you don’t recall, Weiss was referring to the remarks Pope Benedict made in Regensburg when quoting a Byzantine era dialogue about the allegedly violent nature of Islam, a view Phillip was happy to retail. In fact, his writing for the Observer is almost bereft of any genuine inquiry into Palestinian issues, apart from a snapshot of his trip to Israel that he repeatedly referred to.

At some point, he also said, “People think I’m a liberal, but….”, which I can’t find.

John Brosseau says:

Whether it’s the Nation Institute or a variety of leftist sources,
I am astonished at the constant outrage over Israel and the absolute
silence over the slaughter of minimally 70,000 Tamils in Sri Lanka
by the majority Sinhalese in the last few years. A recent New Yorker
covered this story in detail. Is the New Yorker where one
goes for leftist outrage?

Raymond in DC says:

MF is correct. There was almost wall-to-wall opposition among Israeli analysts to the US war in Iraq. The war was not fought “for Israel”.

What I find curious is the rapidly acquired “understanding” the Jewish anti-Zionist crowd comes to about Israel after some profound “trigger”. For Lizzy Ratner, it was crossing the checkpoint. But does she know that for the first two decades of the “occupation” there were no checkpoints? They started going up only after the Oslo Accords when Arafat and his Tunisian cohorts showed they were less interested in peace than in taking Jewish blood. Not all of them are “nice and decent”, Lizzy.

Or take Weiss who, angry over the neo-cons, “dove into books about Jewish and Middle Eastern history”. But which books? Was he reading (Hillel) Cohen, Gold, Karsh, Oren, and (Lee) Smith? Or was he reading Chomsky, Finkelstein, Khalidi, Pappe and Sand? Moreover, “he came up against what he saw as the essential conflict between Zionism and American liberalism”. Ah, there’s the rub. He is, first and foremost, a liberal, and the Jewish state (but not the Arabs) must conform to his idea of “liberalism” in order to gain his support and respect.

Weiss is little more than a poseur and a narcissist.

Hate is hate; the rest is commentary.

worker ant says:

“What’s outrageous is the imputation of a unified Jewish agenda to all these disparate figures, most of whom have nothing to do with Barack Obama’s Middle Eastern policy…”

But Weiss doesn’t do this. And he IS very clear about what he thinks the prominence of Jewish figures in American political life means: Jews are an empowered minority in the US, so any particular attitudes and tendencies that are prevalent among Jewish Americans–namely, support for Israel, and an endemic low-level anti-Arab prejudice–have an impact on American political & intellectual life. His criticism of Terry Gross was by far one of his most compelling pieces. He criticizes her for being uncharacteristically cold and indifferent towards a Palestinian human rights lawyer she interviewed on her show.

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/06/terry-gross-has-no-empathy-for-palestinians.html

The entire weight of his criticism rests on his admiration for Terry Gross as an interviewer: how her warmth and uncanny ability to engage with her guests, even when she doesn’t see eye-to-eye with them, are conspicuously, tragically absent in this interview. He most certainly is not accusing her trying to implement some kind of covert anti-Palestinian agenda. All he says is that Terry Gross seems to have some hang-ups about Arabs and the Arab-Israeli conflict (is that really so far-fetched?) that prevent her from empathizing with this guest (again, is this really far-fetched?). And that cases like this are multiplied by hundreds or thousands (or whatever) of Jews involved in American political/intellectual life who have similar feelings, to say nothing of those who are stridently anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab or anti-Muslim, and that this anti-Arab bias has consequences. To recognize this fact is not to hold Jews or Israel to some impossible standard.

FWIW, I heard that Fresh Air interview before reading Weiss, and I totally agree with his assessment.

There really should be an end to this talk about a wellspring of anti-Zionism among young Jews. So, there’s Weiss, no spring chicken himself, and this Lizzy Ratner person. And a small group of radicals who have no connection to the mainstream Jewish community. That doesn’t strike me as much of a movement.

Compare that to the thousands of young people who come to AIPAC leadership training every year, and more who come to the policy conferences. Compare that to every poll that states that once young Jews have visited Israel, their support for that country dramatically increases.

Ms. Goldberg (and Peter Beinart, and their even more radical counterparts) should stop her wishful thinking.

worker ant dismisses this snippet of writing, and then goes on to do precisely what it describes, which is to characterize Jews as holding monolithic opinions regarding Israel. He then goes on to ascribe outsize political influence to Jews.

This is the scaffolding of antisemtism; positing as tenets that Jews support Israel without any trace of interest in Arab affairs, beyond the nervous twitch of prejudice.

That is false.

In fact, you can support Israel, and favor and work toward the realization of a separate Palestinian state. This is the opinion and attitude of at least ninety percent of the adult Jews I’ve known growing up in New York, and which Weiss papers over and distorts, since it undermines his claims.

Conspiracy theorists have to assume hidden activity and agendas because their claims are at variance with the plain facts.

Derek says that “Weiss is right about one thing: there is a growing number of American Jews (young and old alike) who feel that settlements in the West Bank and treating Palestinians as second-class citizens runs inherently counter to the very heart of Judaism.”

Change the tone a bit, and most Israelis agree: controlling the Palestinians is definitely a bad thang. OK. So now what? Remember, those of us who live here and routinely pay for their mistakes with the lives of their neighbors or closer, need a resolution that will work, not one that satisfies the squeamishness of some faraway American foreigners who can’t really be bothered to figure out what’s really going on.

The great irony of course is that Phillip Weiss’ pet project is the creation of a single state where the hyper-religious, violently fanatical and ultra-conservative Jordanians would dominate the Jews.

LOL! How would Phillip like living in such a state?

Last year a Muslonazi in the Jordanian Authority made a blog joking about being Allah (the Islamic moon god) and has been in prison since. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/world/europe/16blogger.html If someone in Ram’Allah would even dare think about mocking Mohammed (the Zeus of the Muslonazi pantheon) they can expect an immediate death sentence. Remember the Iraq war and how the hyper-religious, blood cult to Mohammed, Ba’athist polity was called “secular”. That’s the kind of government Phillip wants to impose on the Jews.

No thanks! If Phillip likes subhuman Islamic theocracies so much he free to the Afghani highlands, or Parisian suburb, or Malmo so he can bask in the beauty of Mohammedanism. (See Adam Ghadan, Yousef al-Kattab, etc . . . )

Hey Phillip: here’s a one state solution for you:

* Gaza has no Jews
* Israel and the West Bank has no Muslonazis
* Muslonazis pay the trillions they owe in reparations for their Mohammedan crimes

Jordan killed thousands of Palestinians in Black September, possibly tens of thousands. Syria killed something on the same order of its own citizens at Hama. Saudi Arabia didn’t abolish slavery until 1962. Nineteen sixty two.

And yet Israel is the sole aggressor in the Middle East, according to Phil and his acolytes.

Here’s Hussein Ibish on Weiss’s opinions, and only excerpt from an interesting piece:

“People have a right to be supportive of Hamas’ agenda if they want to, but they must be honest with themselves and others about what is it, in fact, that they are supporting and what this would mean for minorities, individuals, women and governance in general in Palestinian society. I understand that he has visited them in Gaza, but if Weiss can imagine a scenario in which Hamas serves as the vehicle of a “civil rights struggle” then he has simply failed to understand the nature, ideology and agenda of the organization. Palestinians, like all peoples, will have a reactionary religious right in its political life, and for the foreseeable future this will remain Hamas. However, Hamas is not, and must not be allowed to become, the main Palestinian national organization, if the Palestinian national cause is to survive as a viable, independent political movement that is pursuing a just and achievable goal.”

Rather than feature the likes of Philip Weiss, what about offering an occasional piece by an informed critic of Israeli policy like Ibish?

Why does Michelle repeat several times that Weiss “gave up so much” and take at face value Weiss’s self-serving contention that he abandoned a successful career to became a martyr in quioxtic combat with Zionists? Did Michelle examine Weiss’ tax returns to confirm this? Writing occasional magazine pieces culminating in a column at the New York Observer sounds more like a downward trajectory to failure in journalism, not a burgeoning career. From Michelle’s biographical sketch, I could just as easily infer that it was only when Weiss saw his journalism career gradually flat-lining that he took up rabid anti-Zionism (the neo-socialism of fools), following the usual pattern of those failures who fixate on Jewish conspiracies and power.

Eliezer says:

How refreshing to see a journalist and activist admit to making mistakes and to being hurtful and rash in the past. Who has not made mistakes or rushed to judgment? But we hardly ever see journalists admit that. They all seem to be born spouting the absolute correct line having never contradicted themselves. There is no doubt that there is a crisis in Zionism today as its supposed flag bearers in the Knesset and the Israeli government contravene international law and basic democratic values. There are other strains of Zionism that do not clash with democracy. Israel and its supporters need to embrace those. So much of the discussion here is about whether Weiss hates himself, the Jews, or Israel. But little is said about the uncomfortable truths regularly featured on Mondoweiss: the beatings, the senseless arrests, the killings, the wanton destruction of the lands and livelihoods of innocents who suffer only because of the group they happen to belong to. Weiss is repeatedly asking: How can we as Jews turn a blind eye to what is happening? It is a very good question. Keep looking away and Israel will not survive.

Absolutely correct DRW; his book on the Peace Corps bombed, and was taken to pieces by Janet Maslin, in The New York Times:

By JANET MASLIN
Published: June 21, 2004

“The place: Manhattan. The year: 2002. The setting: a coffee bar in SoHo. The meeting: long-awaited. Philip Weiss has been working up to it for years. Readers of his ”American Taboo” have been waiting for 340 pages that only feel like years.

Part of the problem lies with the book’s iffy provenance. It came about because Mr. Weiss, no Tongan himself, with no ties to anyone involved, got wind of this decades-old killing and decided to investigate and imagine all its details. So as ”the smell of ripening guavas filled the air,” and the murder of Deborah Gardner looms closer, Mr. Weiss pictures her dancing. He does it with characteristic overkill: ”Her mouth was open in laughter, her cheeks were dark with color, and thick strings of hair slapped around her face, slicked by saliva, sweat, life juice.” Life juice? ”American Taboo” would have been a much better book if it weren’t drippy with the stuff.

”Why did you feel that you should write a book about something for which my family never sought any attention?” Ms. Gardner’s brother quite reasonably asks Mr. Weiss. Well, the answer has something to do with how attractive Ms. Gardner looks in old photographs. Then there are justice unserved, journalistic integrity to uphold and the apparent hot-stuff marketability of this material.

The moral indignation of ”American Taboo” is accompanied by a comma-happy, affected primitivism that takes the form of frequent run-on sentences. (”Deb dressed modestly, in denim skirts and men’s button-down shirts, still men noticed her big laugh and the way her body moved.”) Such syntax is one more indication that Mr. Weiss would have fared better with a forthright, baloney-free true-crime story rather than one that even regales the reader with the killing of a 1,200-pound moose.

At first I thought, why is Tablet giving this guy any space? But then I realized how much fun it has been to be able to comment about him and read the comments of others, because you can be sure there is very little room for dissent on Mondoweiss.

I think to answer the charge that all of this is name-calling, it’s better to offer evidence. Here’s Philip selling out old friend and editor Peter Kaplan in the white nationalist American Conservative in the June 4, 2007 issue:

“It was clear to me that Peter was afraid of how the Forward story would look at a time when he was working out the separation of business and editorial concerns with a young boss. Tough. The one thing I’d gotten out of the deal was reputation—the Forward wasn’t calling about my dogs’ pictures—and now I was supposed to fall on my sword and negate the attention I was being given, even as The Observer got puffy coverage for its website? When Sanders called the next day, I told him that over many years of often provocative work, Kaplan had never censored me. But every signal I’d gotten about the blog had been less than supportive. I didn’t mention the Holocaust denier bit.”

This came after Philip came to him asking for money, in his words:

“I told Peter I needed money. “How much?” he asked. I said $25,000. He said he needed to check with his boss.

I got my appointment a week later. Closing the door, Peter said, “We’re going to have a grown-up conversation.” He told me that the owner believed in Israel, and so did he. Israel may do a lot of bad things, but it was still a force for good. I interrupted, “My wife said to me the other night, you can’t expect a guy who doesn’t believe in anything you’re saying to give you $25,000 a year to put it out.” Peter nodded, “That’s right.”

To Adam Wykle:

I, too, “am sickened by the unconscionable, mercilous attacks and wanton destruction rained down” on Israel, Zionism, its security needs, etc. by persons, most abominably by Jews, who through their support of Israel’s Arab enemy, ally themselves with an uncompromising, murderous, immoral and obscurantist enemy who they tehmselves wouldn’t want to have in their own neighborhood.

shavit says:

” …. He looks at contemporary Israel and is appalled. Because he came to Middle Eastern issues late in life, he has no fond memories of labor Zionism, or maddening recollections of the times Palestinians spurned opportunities for peace, to complicate his anger. As one long alienated from Jewish life, he hasn’t developed the habit, common to many American Jews, of reflexively giving Israel the benefit of the doubt. For him—as it is for many younger Jews—Israel is defined by Avigdor Lieberman and Operation Cast Lead, by Shas and settlements.”

All i hear from reading this statement is that he doesn’t know/understand history … that, and apparently my sincere, thought-out opinions on my country are “reflexive” [which in this case apparently means 'wrong']

Eliezer,

The problem with the facts regularly reported on Mondoweiss is that most of them aren’t. Facts, that is. They mostly lie somewhere between outright lies and malicious interpretations that are also largely uninformed. This is a problem.

“Take Lizzy Ratner,.. during college she spent a semester there and was at the rally when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Her horror led her to get involved in pro-Palestinian work.”
I guess if she would spend couple weeks in Sderot instead she would become a member of the Lieberman’s “fascist” party – right? Oh, those Jewish “blondes” living in a fantasy world of father’s money – how much harm they could bring because of their ignorance?

dani levi says:

Yes, I checked Lizzy Ratner out, she is a riot! Here she is during fairy tale hour at mondoweiss
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01/lizzy-ratner-and-laila-el-haddad-discuss-the-goldstone-report-on-grittv.html
During discussions on Cast Lead one is never told about the 7000++ rockets/mortars from Hamas&Co.. It usually starts with “…and then Israel just attacked women and children.” for no reason what so ever. I believe in scuba diving this is referred to as ‘perceptual narrowing’.

ChiefTecumseh says:

It’s clear that the negative comments here characterizing Phil’s blog and the comments there are made by people who never read the blog’s articles and their respective comment threads. If you have never read Mondoweiss, I suggest you give it a try for a week or so. Mondoweiss is a rare place to go to see what the American mainstream media leaves out in its coverage of Israel’s activity and the US “special relationship” that enables it. Phil takes the most basic American mandate of “informed consent” seriously. He is a blessing to all Americans and to the world.

Michelle, Weiss is changing the conversation about Israel in America and for this we should all be grateful for it’s a conversation we need to have. I take umbrage with your characterization about what you claimed was Weiss’s “imputation of a unified Jewish agenda” supported by the allegation some Jews are “far to the left virtually all non-Jewish Republicans on Israel issues”. I think you altogether missed Weiss’s point! It is completely irrelevant how left or Dem or Liberal any Jews are (in power or not) if, when it comes to Israel, they vote exactly like the rightwingers on issues pertaining to Israel, and politicians do. Israel is virtually the only issue I can think of that unites the parties, and if that represented the American sentiment we would have no need for a lobby now would we? Weiss is right, “they oppose the colonization program” so why is that not reflected in our politics regardless of who is in power? Is that really your idea of a conspiracy theory? Or just power politics and a very effective lobby?

Aside from dragging in Kevin MacDonald while reminding us Weiss isn’t responsible for his fans (but you couldn’t help jumping for that bait)for the most part I thought if we a decent article. It would have been more interesting had you quoted Weiss chastising MacDonald for “open racism and disdain for Jewish suffering” and paraphrased the boring ‘bold’ part instead of the reverse.

So far 25% of the comments have been from fw, we sure know how he feels. A tad obsessed perhaps?

should have read: “I thought it was a decent article”

worker ant says:

“Jews are an empowered minority in the US, so any particular attitudes and tendencies that are prevalent among Jewish Americans–namely, support for Israel, and an endemic low-level anti-Arab prejudice–have an impact on American political & intellectual life.”

Yup, there you have it – classic “Jew on the Brain Syndrome”. The “empowered minority” and its impact on “American political and intellectual life”. Interesting that the far Left and the radical Right can agree on somethings. This is a sentiment that Pat Buchanan could embrace.

Seriously, what exactly does “worker ant” think should be done to cleanse American political and intellectual life of this “impact”?

Oh well, Purim is around the corner, I recall someone voiced similar sentiments even way back then.

jacobo says:

Phil Weiss is among the increasing number of Jews (myself included) who support justice for Palestine, not out of self-hate, as Zionists claim, but from an understanding (reinforced every Passover when the readings turn to the subject of universal freedom) that a true Jew always sides with the oppressed, never with the oppressor, even when the oppressor happens to be a co-religionist. Zionists will insist, of course, that it’s the Jewish settlers who are being oppressed, but if my memory serves me right there were over 1400 Palestinians slaughtered in operation Cast Lead, but only a dozen Israeli dead. How again, Israel supporters, do those figures translate into the Jewish Israelis being the victims in the I/P conflict? Only if one considers the life of a Jew to be more important or valuable than the life of a Palestinian, that’s how. And such thinking goes againstg everything I learned at Sunday school several score years ago. Face it, Phil Weiss and the mondoweiss community represent the voice of the true Jew, You Zionists are the apostates.

I’ve known Phil Weiss since he was 17 years old. I mostly liked this article, although I think Michelle would recognize on reflection that dwelling on MacDonald’s view is a low blow and not relevant.
She might also have included some recognition of Mondoweiss’s popularity; it has millions of unique visitors.
I agree with ChiefTecumseh just above; some of the other commentators cannot have actually read much of Mondoweiss — which includes passionate Zionists among its regular and outspoken visitors. I invite the curious to come and see for themselves.

Moshe: “Jews are an empowered minority in the US”

Ahhhh, did someone just finish reading David Brooks NYT article bragging about the success of the Jewish community? Will somebody please tell him to shut up, the secret’s getting out!

“Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.

Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction.

In his book, “The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement,” Steven L. Pease lists some of the explanations ……..”

It isn’t Pat Buchanan we need to worry about, It’s David Brooks.

Jacobo says:

“but if my memory serves me right there were over 1400 Palestinians slaughtered in operation Cast Lead, but only a dozen Israeli dead.” Yes, and of the 1400, Hamas admits that 700 were bearing arms.

The 1400 to 12 argument reminds me of another example of specious logic, trotted out by Israel’s adversaries, namely that since the 1967 war ended with Israel having more territory under its control than before the war, Israel must have been the agressor. By the same token, it would seem that Poland must have started WWII, as at the end of the war Poland had enlarged its territory at the expense of Germany….

“Hamas admits that 700 were bearing arms.”

source?

oh my says:

“Hamas admits that 700 were bearing arms.”

source?

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Between 200 and 300 members of Hamas’ armed wing died in Israel’s winter offensive on Gaza, the local interior minister acknowledged in remarks published Monday.

Fathi Hamad told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that “They say it was the people who paid the toll of that war, but aren’t we [Hamas] part of this people?”

He added: “Furthermore, on the second day of the war, Israel targeted police headquarters and 250 martyrs fell and they were affiliated to Hamas and other factions. In addition, about 200-300 members of Al-Qassam Brigades died martyrs as well as 150 security officers; the rest of the victims were civilians.”

The Hamas official also explained that the death toll on the Israeli side was 50, despite Israel’s acknowledged toll of 13, including three civilians and four soldiers killed in a friendly fire incident.

moshe, contrary to your assertions there was nothing in there about ‘Hamas admits that 700 were bearing arms.’ so they blew up the civilian police force on their graduation ceremony! is this your idea of taking down armed hamas? and because ’200-300 members of Al-Qassam Brigades died martyrs as well as 150 security officers’ does not mean they dies fighting.

it was a massacre, there were NO battles, we all know that. not even one confirmed battle, it was a massacre like when israel took out 14 civilians at night when they bombed somebody’s house. doesn’t make them ‘armed’ if they are sleeping.

you’re a bloviator. this is why israel allowed no reporters in. no battles dude, a massacre.

“The Hamas official also explained that the death toll on the Israeli side was 50, despite Israel’s acknowledged toll of 13″

so they only exaggerate on iof deaths and not their martyrs. yeah, right. you’re such a tool moshe.

Bona fide military targets. “Civillian” police? Like the Taliban police? Do you have problems with the current US administration firing missiles from drones into buildings where Al Qeida and Taliban forces are quartered rather than engaging them in “battles”? Before you resort to ad hominem attacks, a sure sign of someone losing an argument, bone up a little on the legal corpus known as the “Laws of War”. BTW – being asleep doesn’t make one “unarmed” or a “civillian”.

arcaneone says:

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Between 200 and 300 members of Hamas’ armed wing died in Israel’s winter offensive on Gaza, the local interior minister acknowledged in remarks published Monday.

Fathi Hamad told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that “They say it was the people who paid the toll of that war, but aren’t we [Hamas] part of this people?”

He added: “Furthermore, on the second day of the war, Israel targeted police headquarters and 250 martyrs fell and they were affiliated to Hamas and other factions. In addition, about 200-300 members of Al-Qassam Brigades died martyrs as well as 150 security officers; the rest of the victims were civilians.”

DEATHS
200-300Hamas armed wing
250 Hamas-affiliated police
200-300Qassam Brigades
150 security officers; equals, according to Hamas, between
800 and 1000 combatant deaths out of a claimed 1400 overall deaths. This acknowledgement is a vastly better ratio than was provided to the Goldstone Commission that was used to flay Israel, and it excludes as “combatants” teenagers used as Hamas’ logistic support forces, “combatants” by any reasonable definition and a war crime thru use of child soldiers(this phenomenon was widely reported during Cast Lead). This is a complete refutation of Goldstone’s main conclusion.

dani levi says:

“ChiefTecumseh says:
Jan 20, 2011 at 10:04 PM
It’s clear that the negative comments here characterizing Phil’s blog and the comments there are made by people who never read the blog’s articles and their respective comment threads. If you have never read Mondoweiss, I suggest you give it a try for a week or so….”

I just had a read at mondoweiss and about the third piece compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto.

Adding to that is Lizzy Ratner’s strange take on the events of the Gaza war, similar to some of the comments in this thread.

Haaretz, recently reported that HAMAS published its numbers of their own casualties and they, HAMAS, came up with between 700-800 HAMAS operatives killed. So we now have people in this very thread denying HAMAS’s numbers.

The sad truth is that from Israel, where I am, the US-pro-Pal camp and the pro-IS-camp are wrong most of the time. I like to believe that to a large degree the perception in the USA on all sides is just BS all the way. I do not know what it is that makes the USA public so badly informed on all sides? Wether it is the BDS/mondoweiss crowd or the die hard pro-IS Jews. It is a mystery to most, but my guess is the atrociously bad “journalism” on frankly all sides. This mirrors the current political stalemate and political culture in the USA as a whole. I can also write that most moderate and well informed Israelis simply shake their heads at the level of discussion in the USA. Even TABLET often falls short on reporting the nuances of what goes on here.
In the USA people often mistake the right to freedom with the right to voice any opinion, regardless how “well “informed they are. The all encompassing ego in the US psyche inflates ones “relevance” in the democratic process. Opinions are like a** holes, every body has got one. A good example being Weiss himself who has the audacity to compare himself to Herzl….and all follows from that.
Shabat Shalom

Is tablet going to be offering it’s pages to others.who are vicious jew haters? Shame on tablet for giving this nazified Jew a place to spread his bile

Jacobo, the “true” Jew is the one whose mother is Jewish or who was converted to Judaism according to Halaha. That is all, nothing else makes person a “true” Jew. The “true” Jews are the ones who perished in Holocaust, who went to Gulags and/or on fire rather than renounce their identity, those who now live in Israel under the constant threat and rocket attacks from your beloved “oppressed” Palestinians. And “true” Jews not always supported “oppressed” people in their struggle against “oppressors” as you ignorantly claim. They did not support, for example, Ukrainians when oppressed Ukrainians were murdering their Jewish oppressors (“true”‘ Jews) on the streets of Lviv in 1941 or during Khmelnitsky revolt in 1648, they did not support oppressed Poles in Kieltse and they did not support oppressed Iraqis massacring “true” Jews in Baghdad in June of 1941. Why do they need to support similarly “oppressed” people in 2011?
I guess you missed a lot in your study of history.

Gay State Girl says:

Personally I am more liberal on Israel, (though not naive about Palestinian Nationalism and Islam) but I have never been impressed with Philip Weiss. It seems like Weiss is clearly exploiting the Israel/Palestine issue to further his agenda (assimilation, intermarriage) and quite frankly to distinguish himself and cement his name in the history textbooks.

Gay State Girl says:

Mondoweiss’s deliberately polarizing positions as well the fair share of “interesting chaaracters” his blog attracts will prove to be more counterproductive than helpful to his cause.

arcaneone says:

dani levi–not sure if you are referring to me. “… Haaretz, recently reported that HAMAS published its numbers of their own casualties and they, HAMAS, came up with between 700-800 HAMAS operatives killed. So we now have people in this very thread denying HAMAS’s numbers…”

Fathi Hamad (Al-Hayat)had no reason to lie when he estimated militant deaths at between 800 and a thousand. At the very least,this implies that the deaths were closer to 800 than 700. Either case,and much more so Hamad’s estimate, shows , under the circumstances, a remarkably benign kill ratio that completely refutes the central charge of the Goldstone Report: wildly disproportionate civilian casualties. At the very least both Hamad and the Haaretz article give the lie to Hamas’ original claim that only a few dozen militants had been killed-not that the lie bothers anyone.

Note that reports of deaths in the “children” category are subsumed into the “civilian” category, although there were widespread media reports of Hamas using underage boys to carry suupplies and build fortifications, and Hamas has for a generation been brainwashing children that their greatest aspiration should be death in jihad. We must assume this propaganda has had some effect.

As for Mondoweiss, a recent i\ssue claimed that Zionists had successfully coerced the NY Times and Guardian to withhold Wikileaks embarrassing to Israel. This claim is so preposterous as to call into question Weiss’ sanity. That is the quality of analysis Weiss brings to the discussion(we are all sophisticated people).

dani levi says:

@ arcaneone
no I was not referring to you.
I was referring to the posters who make up any number, which are then proven wrong by the very fascists they are trying to cover. It is rather bizarre.
The more I read of Mondoweiss the less I understand why TABLET wrote about this website? It is the usual collection of half truths, myths and made up BS that we find all over the internet.
I found a piece laying into Terry Gross, a looong article on how she is biast, and this eight year ago?! WTF.

Another piece refers to Macy Grays upcoming gig in Tel Aviv and her polling of her facebook fans about a possible boycott. Which leads Mondoweiss to write ” a shunning of the boycott ” as if this boycott were a universal truth.

My favorite posts are the pseudo academic and legal rants of the left regarding Israel’s actions and the dissection of supposed arguments and their rights and wrongs. I witness an entire pseudo moralistic culture out there judging Israel’s actions in a free fire zone in which any Jew is a legitimate target. Hamas’s Charter is never touched upon. Islamic Jihad is never mentioned. The moral of suicide bombing inner cities buses and packed cafes at lunch time is never touched. The random rocketing of Israeli population centers is never mentioned. Forty years of PAL terror throughout Europe is never mentioned. The fact that Aza is run via Tehran is of no interest.
Were these commentators to show up in Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi etc. they’d get tortured if not killed, and those are the powers that ultimately support anti Israeli terror. I am lost for words. It is like having a discussion with someone who lives in a parallel universe. And Weiss is a freak, I am sorry to say.
Reading his rants, and that is what they are, him spinning connections from Islamabad to Ankara to Aza and then some? His random posts coming from all directions. He is obsessed, clearly. A neurotic Jew lost in space. Tragic.

Gay State Girl says:

Dani Levi
The problem for Weiss is that while he calls himself an “assimilating jew,” he is quite obsessed with jewishness.
When he hails assimilation as ‘the solution,’ for World Jewry, and celebrates every time a famous jew intermarries, he is treating Jews as if they were a collective entity, and implying that he is connected to these jews on a personal level. The very thing he claims he is trying to get away from.

worker ant says:

fw and Moshe: That was a bit too easy, wasn’t it?

fw: “which is to characterize Jews as holding monolithic opinions regarding Israel. He then goes on to ascribe outsize political influence to Jews.”

So, basically, you completely ignored what I wrote and just said what you were going to say assuming nobody actually read my comment. I’m not the least bit surprised. “90% of Jews”, you say–you know this, because you live in New York!!–strongly believe and work towards a 2-state solution. But to suggest that 60 years of conflict may have poisoned many Jewish Americans’ attitudes towards Arabs, the way they have poisoned many Arabs’ attitudes towards Jews (or at least towards Israelis), well by golly that’s some virulent anti-Semitism right there!

PS: Your shameful abuse of the word “monolithic” just tears up my poor English-speaking heart.

Moshe: “The “empowered minority” and its impact on “American political and intellectual life”….
Seriously, what exactly does “worker ant” think should be done to cleanse American political and intellectual life of this “impact”?”

I’m so tempted to troll and say something like “Why, institute Sharia law, of course!”, but now, are you really (or do you think your readers really are) that dense?

Just in case, by “empowered” I mean “not disadvantaged and in fact even doing a bit better than average”. And what I think should be done is that either Jewish Americans should use whatever leverage they have within Jewish community life to promote more enlightened views on Israel policy (for example, the US should withhold aid and loan guarantees from Israel if it continues building illegal settlements). And/or, other Americans should recognize the importance of this issue and start caring about it more.

Bill Pearlman says:

Its not complicated. He hates Israel. Wishes it didn’t exist. He’s a Jewish anti-semite. And I defy anyone who reads his blog to say otherwise.

BH in Iowa says:

“Conflict between Zionism and American liberalism” ?

In Israel no one goes unrepresented, hungry, uneducated or without healthcare – regardless of gender, sexual identity, religion or ethnicity.

Gay folks can live their lives in freedom and safety. They serve in the military openly.

There is free, public debate along with a loud opposition media which is free to attack the government/politicians in complete safety and without interference or censorship.

Arab have more rights in Israel than in their own countries. They have representation in the legislature, voting, full citizenship, all other rights such as speech and whatnot, and they have self rule in Judea and Samaria.

Compare the above with Israel’s neighbors.

Israel is about as liberal as a country can get.

The Liberalism I remember used to fight the racist, homophobic, mysogenistic, theocratic powers that continuously wage aggression against Israel, with the goal of annhialating an entire indigenous people for living on their historic land. Perhaps that liberalism is only a memory.

BH in Iowa says:

“The idea that American Jews might someday find themselves persecuted and in need of refuge strikes him as paranoia. “Temperamentally, I lack a paranoid gene,” he says. He grew up, he adds, hearing that Jews would always and everywhere be in danger. ‘And my whole experience has been the opposite.’”

The US isn’t the only diaspora community. Has he visited Malmo Sweeden to see how good Jews have it there, or anywhere in Europe or any Muslim country to see how “paranoid” the remaining Jews there are?

Arabs are just as safe in the US yet Weiss doesn’t argue the legitimacy of any of their two dozen homelands and conquered lands.

dani levi says:

Ask the French Jews, and why Tel Aviv is full of them? I guess France did not seem safe anymore to bring up the children. You see what you wish to see Weiss or is it Schwartz ? Like I said, lost in space.

dani levi says:

Good JPost piece on mondoweiss sister site Electronic Intifada, another site that likens Israel to the Nazis and calls for the destruction of Israel.
http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=204794

“The idea that Austrian Jews might someday find themselves persecuted and in need of refuge strikes me as paranoia.” – said in 1924 Austrian author and pacifist Stefan Zweig. He ended his life in 1942 on way to Brazil after escaping nazi occupied Austria.

The problem with people like Ratner and Weiss is that money often can be used as a substitution for the intelligence and knowledge.

arcaneone says:

Multiple non-Zionist sources(Al-Hayat and Al-Haaretz)go unrefuted here in claiming that the militant death toll in Cast Lead was at least half of total Pal deaths and possibly much more. Are we, reasonably sophisticated all, thus in agreement that the central slur of the Goldstone Report–the charge of wildly disproportionate civilian casualties–was false? Weiss aficionados, your credibility is at stake. Put up or shut up.

arcaneone says:

This is without even considering Hamas’ use of child soldiers, a war crime, which also goes unrefuted here. No amount of obfuscation can hide the fact that the Weiss clique hasn’t the face to directly address this issue.

“…Meanwhile, as Weiss has become more enmeshed in the world of left-wing anti-Zionist Jews, he’s become at least a little more sensitive to Jewish concerns. “I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes on my site over the years,” he says. “I think in my alienation from the Jewish community, I said stuff that I regret on a number of occasions.” He even has second thoughts about some of more strident attacks on neoconservatives. “The neoconservative thing is a very confusing thing to me,” he says. “I think it’s appropriate to talk about Jewish neoconservatives, but there’s an element of red-baiting. I haven’t come down fully on that issue. I know I’ve hurt people.”

For what, EXACTLY, is Weiss apologizing? That with his Harvard degree he can’t do any better than depend on his wife’s support while he self-publishes nonsense? That he is a dilettante who has accomplished almost nothing of broad social value? That a major collaborator, Rattner, is another lightweight who would be nowhere without daddy’s money, even as Weiss fulminates against the political influence of Jewish finance? That even Noam Chomsky, an avowed Communist in this day and age, isn’t rabidly anti-Israel enough for him? That he is an associate of The Nation which almost never publishes anything positive about Israel(which in turn was just named by Freedom House as the only “free” country in the Mideast)?

worker ant says:

arcaneone: No, if half (or almost half–200-300) of those “militants” are “Hamas-affiliated” police, that does not make half of the dead militants. “Hamas-affiliated police” just means people who are police officers when the government happens to be led by Hamas–the same people that Israel claims to want the Hamas-led gov’t to use to prevent rocket attacks on Gaza. Nice try with the Taliban-baiting, but Afghan police who happen to be working under the Taliban gov’t are also still just police, as are American or Israeli police when people like Bush or Netanyahoo are in power. The fact that the US or Israel is at war with Iraq, Afghanistan, or Palestinians does not suddenly make police stations in downtown Tel Aviv or New York legitimate military targets.

Richard Z. Chesnoff says:

Your article on the contemptible Weiss is an insult to your readers and a waste of your cyber-space.

Worker ant: You are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts.

Hersh Adlerstein says:

This is an astonishingly ridiculous debate. Of course there are many Jewish alternatives to Avigdor Lieberman (who I find despicable) but Weiss is simply a mirror image of Lieberman (equally despicable) because neither understands Jewish history, and both are equally non-Jewish Jews who came to suddenly see their formerly assimilation as meaningless. So each takes a hate-filled political stand and says “hey folks, I’m a real Jew now”. Weiss may believe he is now a stronger Jew than he used to be, but his invective (does he really believe Noam Chomsky is too pro-Zionist?) is dangerous nonsense.

dani levi says:

@ worker ant.
you have won a life time subscription of Mondoweiss because you are the sort of reader who actually truly believes this nonsense and can empathize with his make believe universe, without knowing anything about Zionism or Israel .
Congrats.

arcaneone says:

“…Jan 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM

arcaneone: No, if half (or almost half–200-300) of those “militants” are “Hamas-affiliated” police, that does not make half of the dead militants. “Hamas-affiliated police” just means people who are police officers when the government happens to be led by Hamas–the same people that Israel claims to want the Hamas-led gov’t to use to prevent rocket attacks on Gaza…”

Worker Ant–Anyone can tell you are grasping at straws. The police were not neutrals in an Hamas government; they were members of Hamas’ armed wing. Hamad himself used the term”affiliated” in the context of a bid to show the world, and resentful Gazans, that the militant groups had suffered severe losses and had not merely left Gazan civilians to their fate, so there is no doubt Hamad meant the police were MEMBERS of Hamas. Had the Hamas police actually worked to prevent rocket attacks on Israel, Cast Lead would never have happened .

I note further that you are avoiding my remarks on Hamas’ use of child soldiers, and what it implies for the civilian/militant casualty ratio. Keep floundering.

arcaneone says:

Hamad’s exact words:”…He added: “Furthermore, on the second day of the war, Israel targeted police headquarters and 250 martyrs fell and they were affiliated to Hamas and other factions…”

Clearly he is not talking about neutrals in a Hamas government.

dani levi says:

interesting link to the target selection process for Cast Lead.
with regards to the Goldstone report and the Israeli view .
http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/site/content/t1.asp?Sid=13&Pid=334

dani levi says:

quote:

During and after Operation Cast Lead police and other security service operatives with double identities were killed. Hamas made an effort to hide the names and identities of operatives killed during the fighting . However, even during the Operation, and more so after it, its efforts were gradually overcome and posters commemorating those killed were issued . Some of them clearly indicated the double identity of the police killed showing them wearing both Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and police uniforms and filling roles in both entities. The posters used terminology characteristic of the Brigades. Additional information shows that internally, as opposed to what is reported in the Goldstone Report, Hamas makes no distinction between Brigades and internal security services operatives, regarding all those killed during Operation Cast Lead as fighters.

from this link ( same as my previously posted link ) :
http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/site/content/t1.asp?Sid=13&Pid=334

To BH in Iowa
How about comparing the freedoms you list to Israel’s neighbors in Gaza and the West Bank? Oh, I forgot. It is liberal Israel that is denying its neighbors those rights.

Shalom Freedman says:

Weiss is a sniveling little loser. His ignorance of the history of modern Israel is astounding. His lack of sympathy for the sacrifices and dedication which helped create and continues to sustain Israel shows him to be a morally faulty human being in the deepest sense.
He is not worthy of the attention this publication is giving him, although I am sure Anti-Semites Radical Left and Islamist Right will be happy for him.
PS Journalists should get their facts straight. Jamie Dimon is of Greek non- Jewish ancestry. He is not at all shy about this and would have informed the journalist had she inquired about it.

Dani Levi says:

@alter
Why don’t you come back here when Hamas calls for new elections in gaza? Or the PA stops arresting it’s citizens for “criticizing” Allah. I could imagine that the culture that makes these above points a reality causes Israel to be weary of any” civil society” processes, which in turn enable non truths like yours to go unpunished in our world. read up a HR report on Hamas before you out yourself here.

A.L. Bell says:

I think the real problem is that Israel is facing roughly the same West vs. Romantic Arab Hothead conflict that France, the Netherlands, various Scandinavian countries, etc. are facing, with roughly the same mix of grace, nastiness and foolishness.

But the Jews actively went into Palestine, because the Russians and Germans pushed them there, so everyone can get up on a high horse and purge anger by getting mad at the Jews for going into Palestine and stirring up trouble.

Israel clearly has huge problems with people with mental health problems turning the Knesset into a crazy puppet, but the fundamental problem — the problem that lets crazy Israelis control the Knesset — is that a significant percentage of Palestinians think it’s cool to solve problems with terrorism.

If Palestinians really got out out of the belt bomb and homemade rocket launcher business, then I think sane Jewish Israelis would get the upper hand and give the Palestinians every sensible, sane thing that the Palestinians want. Where, really, are the sane Jewish Israelis who are violently opposed to peaceful, law-abiding 70-year-old Palestinian refugees retiring in retirement communities in Jaffa?

Where is the sane Jewish Israeli who really wants people in Gaza to eat bad food and go through life without work? I doubt there are even many Meir Kahane types who go through life wanting people in Gaza to eat boring food.

The boring good and the boring lives are the fruit of the belt bombs, not of any demonic Israel plot to make Palestinians miserable.

If more Palestinians traded their Kalishnikovs for Flip video cameras, and fought with touching vignettes instead of belt bombs, the forever war would end in a few months.

Eben Spinoza says:

Beware the self-actualizer who projects himself on others. Mortality is a drag.

BH in Iowa says:

@alter:

Take it up with Hamas and PA.

Barry Meislin says:

So “Philip Weiss has a complicated relationship with Israel”?

Right.

And Goebbels had issues with Jews.

arcaneone says:

WORKER ANT

Merriam-Webster.com

at·ing
Definition of AFFILIATE
transitive verb
1
a : to bring or receive into close connection as a member or branch b : to associate as a member

Herbert says:

By partially agreeing with admitted anti-Semite Macdonald, Weiss demonstrates that his problem is not with Zionism, but with Judaism. He resembles, in a tawdry way, the Jewish hating Jew, Otto Weininger, but lacks the eloquence of Weininger. His site should be called Mondo Scheiss

dani levi says:

Mondo Scheiss it is then. Agreed.

Jake in Jerusalem says:

A while back I followed Phillip Weiss’ site, MondoLies, and found it ridiculous and contemptible. It didn’t surprise me that some Internet safety applications categorized MondoLies as a dangerous “hate site”. That’s what it really is.

As I tried to analyze Weiss’ very odd pathology, I noticed that Weiss and quite a few of his followers are Jewish, half-Jewish, or somehow descended from Jews – and are now very proudly married to non-Jews. Some are even proudly married to Arabs – as if that makes them better Jews somehow or makes the world a better place somehow. They are very disturbed by the Jewish “stain” on their past and are trying to make amends – by distancing themselves from everything Jewish and by accusing Jews of everything possible. Their hostility towards (and ignorance of) the Jewish community was all-encompassing.

Rational argument with these MondoLiars was useless. MondLies afficionados had no interest in truth or facts. They quite happily invented quotes – without any referential support at all – to argue away and blast the “Jewish conspiracy to control the world”.

Phillip Weiss’ editing of comments, to remove anything that might embarrass him or show him and his followers for the malicious liars that they really are, reduced the popularity of his website. Rational debate was not possible at MondoLies, and so it primarily became a magnet for the truly disturbed, the worst of the Jew-haters. MondoLies really is a hate site. People who care about truth, justice or peace or who simply have a less-radical point of view simply found no place at MondoLies. Ultimately, MondoLies, like Phillip Weiss himself, is mostly about making a lot of noise (and some money in the process) and not much else.

Weiss is not the first to try to earn a living by peddling hatred to fools who are easily parted from their money. Besides (trying to) earn some income from his hate site, he really hasn’t convinced many people. I don’t think he ever will.

A poster on mondoweiss with this link to Norman Finkelstein.

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/deutschland-uber-alles/

The post:
Chaos4700 February 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm
Pictures of Israeli soldiers will stand next to pictures of Nazi soldiers in future history books. Whereas today it’s only human rights activist blogs that are brave enough to do it.

Beatrix says:

These upper crust privileged Jews who think that their lives—rich, educated, (Harvard, yet) and privileged—is what being Jewish is all about. And you think that these are the kind of Jews who established Israel. You stupid morons. These are the kind of people the guillotine was invented for.

Come down to the real world filled with Jewish cab drivers, bookkeepers, mobsters, librarians, grocery clerks, policeman, prostitutes, single mothers, deadbeat dads, gas station attendants, burglars, the unemployed, and elderly people on Social Security. People who have lost their jobs and are afraid of losing their homes. People like most American Jews and most Israeli Jews.

Then try living in America before Israel was established. An America where antisemitism was so suffocating that you couldn’t breath. And where you weren’t accused of having an apartheid state, you were accused and accursed for killing G-d.

Israel is a normal nation that was legally established, that won her war after being attacked, and is now stuck with a non-ending occupation because Arafat filled his people with hate instead of the desire for peace, and Abbas knows he’ll be assassinated if he makes peace with the hated Jews.

Israel was the only nation telling Bush that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction because Israel had destroyed them in 1981. In fact, Israel was insulted that Bush thought Iraq was still a threat after Israel had taken care of her.

Ruth says:

Mondoweiss is definitely a hate site. My husband writes on it often presenting (trying to) a moderate pro Israel pro peace stance and recieves incredible insults. It is not a discussion site it is a think like I do and hate Israel site.

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The Hard Left anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic movement that PW is trying to be a central figure in (and just FYI, I think that AZ and AS can be separate, but that’s a rare occasion and certainly not a distinction we can say PW qualifies for, based on his writing and interviews) seems to be dominating the Internet. They don’t seem to be doing much in the real world except being ignored and getting soundly defeated on policy matters. I wonder: is this another case of people who hate Israel trying to create a false narrative to wipe out the real narrative that they claim is false? Also, the McDonald reference was appropriate, just as it would be appropriate to mention the decades of fandom that the WRMEA has enjoyed from Holocaust deniers while also mentioning WRMEA, for all their falsities and faults, aren’t deniers themselves: you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas, end of story.

Ben, WRMEA is not a Holocaust denying periodical. You offer no conclusive or credible proof to lend credence to your specious allegation other than a lot of hot winded bluster and slander. It should also be noted that WRMEA principally concerns itself with the Middle East and not the European Holocaust of the last century.

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Matthew says:

I think the problem with the pro-Israel community is the surrendering of the term “Zionist.” Why have we pro-Israel people given up on the term Zionism?
What is a Zionism? It’s a broad term that can include pretty much anyone who thinks Israel deserves the right to exist and Jews deserve the right to self rule and autonomy. You don’t have to be a gun and bible wielding bigot to believe in that. You don’t have to be anti-Arab, and you don’t have to support the occupation to be a good Zionist. You don’t have to be a cabal of Jewish financiers or some other antisemitic myth to be a Zionist. There are moderate Zionists and extremists who happen to be Zionists. A Zionist is not intrinsically an extremist. Considering that lots of people who oppose the occupation support the right of Israel to exist, I don’t think those people should consider themselves anti-zionist, they’re just moderates who want peace in the middle east, and have been convinced by radical media into thinking Zionism is exclusively a right wing extremist movement.

The radical anti-Israel movement has used spin to ruin the word “Zionism” just like how fox news has used spin to turn “liberal” into a dirty word that represents a minority of crazy people who are out of touch with mainstream society. Thanks to people like Weiss, “Zionism” isn’t something normal healthy people support, and pro-Israel Jews seem to acquiesce that sort of absurd appropriation by such a hateful and ignorant agenda.

Philip Weiss is polarizing and contrarian. His headlines are editorialized and sensational. He endorses only conspiracy theories that support his already established belief system. I don’t think he has fully thought out the implications of his fiery and anti-intellectual rhetoric. If you stick to only one side of a story and refuse to deal with challenging ideas, you’re only lying to yourself and your audience. Weiss has lost his integrity- he deceives himself and those deceptions are taken as truth by his readers.

On his site today, is an article comps ring that ISM tool, Rachel Corrie to Anne Frank. He is beneath contempt

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Mondo Weiss

Idiosyncratic and influential anti-Zionist blogger Philip Weiss has a complicated relationship with Israel, American Jewry, and himself

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