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Wake-Up Call

The leftist Israeli magazine +972 wants to sound the alarm on a Jewish state it believes is destroying itself

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(Photoillustration Tablet Magazine; original photo Aaron Amat/Shutterstock.)

This past December, as other Israeli publications summed up 2011 by nominating television stars, singers, and athletes as person of the year, the online magazine +972 chose a very different set of honorees: Tawakkol Karman, Asmaa Mahfouz, Razan Ghazzawi, and a handful of other young female activists who helped shape the Arab Spring. The piece—written by Lisa Goldman, the magazine’s cofounder, and heavily reported over several months in Cairo earlier this year—was a perfect reflection of the magazine’s virtues. It was strongly political, rejecting the mainstream Israeli view of the Arab Spring as a potentially disastrous development for the Jewish state. Instead, it celebrated the activists and their accomplishments, faithful to the magazine’s view that democracy is the only long-term guarantee for regional peace and stability. The piece was widely read, receiving copious attention from bloggers and generating traffic on Twitter.

But not in Israel.

Most of those who blogged or tweeted about the piece were residents of Arab countries. And most of these Arab readers neglected to mention that the celebratory piece was written by an Israeli journalist and published in an Israeli political blog. Israelis, on their end, largely ignored the piece, as they do nearly everything +972 does. According to Noam Sheizaf, +972’s editor in chief, only about 20 percent of the magazine’s readers are Israeli, a testament to the growing unpopularity of its progressive politics in a nation governed by a coalition, led by the Likud, of those who place land and faith above all else.

Rejected by the Arabs, ignored by the Jews: This is the reality with which the magazine’s 15 or so writers have to contend, writing, as they do, in English for a largely American audience. The magazine’s name is no coincidence: It is a tribute to Israel’s international calling code and an acknowledgement that, increasingly, any serious conversation about Israel’s policies is to be had outside of Israel’s borders.

Sparking that conversation is +972’s purpose. The magazine was founded last August,
almost by accident, when Goldman, Sheizaf, Ami Kaufman, and Dimi Reider met in Tel Aviv and agreed to collaborate. At the time, all were working journalists—Goldman and Reider were writing on a freelance basis for a host of international publications, Kaufman was an editor at several Israeli newspapers, Sheizaf was a political columnist for the local edition of Time Out, and all had blogs in English that aimed to provide Israeli news and commentary for an international audience. What began by posting each others’ stories on Facebook quickly evolved into a joint platform. From the first, the +972 crew agreed on an unorthodox journalistic ethos: All the magazine’s bloggers have complete freedom to write whenever and whatever they want. The magazine has a top editor, but the bloggers can fire him or her if they please. And whoever comes on board does so gratis. Other writers were quick to join. The website traffic monitor Alexa shows that visits to the magazine have grown exponentially since its inception, more than doubling in the past few months alone.

The magazine’s loose, horizontal structure, however, is not altogether porous: Underlining everything +972 does is a dedication to promoting a progressive worldview of Israeli politics, advocating an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and protecting human and civil rights in Israel and Palestine. And while the magazine’s reported pieces—roughly half of its content—adhere to sound journalistic practices of news gathering and unbiased reporting, its op-eds and critical essays support specific causes and are aimed at social and political change.

“I think there’s still a chance to resolve things,” said Sheizaf, 37, referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “but it’s not going to happen without dramatic pressure from abroad. Left on their own, Israelis will continue the occupation and the current political trends forever.” That’s why Sheizaf caters the magazine to English-speaking readers around the world. “It’s good to internationalize the conversation,” he added. “I believe in this thing we do. I think to bring honest, grassroots voices in English out of Israel, is of the essence.”

Just what these voices might say is unpredictable. Some, like Yossi Gurvitz—a veteran Israeli journalist and former Orthodox Jew—support the one-state solution that would turn Israel and the West Bank into one nation, with equal rights for all its citizens, regardless of their ethnicity. Others, like the American-born Larry Derfner, a former writer for the Jerusalem Post, define themselves as liberal Zionists and support a two-state solution.

“I feel we have a very wide range of opinions [within the left],” said Sheizaf. “If we were more hot-headed, we’d fight each other. But compared to Israeli society and its nationalism and consensus and racism, we’re very focused. This hobby of the left, of having a fierce debate between people standing an inch away in the same ghetto, these arguments are interesting, but not enough to break the package.” And so, while +972’s bloggers often find themselves on opposite ends of their political camp’s most urgent questions, they realize that, for the most part, these differences are nearly invisible to the average American readers.

Plus, Sheizaf added, theirs isn’t an experiment just in politics, but in journalism as well: With traditional media pressed for funds and readers, the magazine’s renown—including frequent mentions in the New York Times—stems in part from its innovative journalistic practices.

Unlike the majority of Israeli newspapers, whose coverage of events in the West Bank is supplied largely by reporters based in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, a number of +972’s contributors are either frequent participants in joint Israeli-Palestinian demonstrations behind the Green Line or are close with the activists who coordinate such protests. In September, for example, a clash broke out between residents and demonstrators outside the settlement of Anatot, not far from Jerusalem. Ynet, the website of Israel’s leading newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, reported that three people were lightly injured after settlers and leftists hurled rocks at each other. Shortly thereafter, Mairav Zonszein, a +972 contributor with deep ties to grassroots civil-rights organizations, provided a far more detailed account, revealing that the number of injured was 23 and that the violence was far from a two-way street: Eyewitness accounts, photographs, and videos all supplied evidence that laid the responsibility for the violence squarely with the settlers. The rest of the Israeli media soon followed suit, correcting the story.

This small victory, and others like it, weren’t enough to keep Lisa Goldman from leaving. Late last year, after 14 years in Israel, she decided to return to her native Canada.

“It became unbearable for me,” she said of life in Israel. “My big watershed moment was Cast Lead [in 2008], and then, over the following months and years, I felt as if I saw everything in 3-D, and it was untenable. I didn’t just know one aspect of the occupation. I knew the spoiled Palestinian brass who grew up in Tunis who were partying hard in Ramallah, and those educated in England. I knew Hamas people and kids from Oberlin who came with their Macs to hang out and help the Palestinians. I knew the journalists, the settlers. I’ve seen every aspect of it. I’ve been working as a journalist since 2005, and I just kind of got PTSD.”

The main cause for her discontent, Goldman said, was a growing discrepancy between the reality she was seeing on the ground every day and her Israeli friends’ unwillingness to confront that reality. “I’d come home from a really horrific day, and I’d drive back to Tel Aviv, and what I’d do is go out for dinner in nice restaurants, but my fuses were popping,” she said. “It’s an incredible transition from the occupation to salubrious restaurants in Tel Aviv. To see an old woman retching up reams of white mucus because of tear gas, and then come home, quickly shower, and have dinner with friends who wouldn’t listen to my politics because I was too radical. I couldn’t take it anymore.”

When she left, Goldman told her colleagues at the magazine that she would still be writing for +972 but won’t be coming back to Israel.

They shared her pain, she said, and respected her decision. Soon, however, the inclement political climate in Israel made life more challenging for all of +972’s contributors, in Tel Aviv and Toronto alike: After the Knesset passed a law last year that made anyone calling on boycotting Israel (the settlements included) into the target of civil lawsuits, +972’s editorial board realized that the magazine, financed largely by readers’ contributions and a few small donations from nonprofit funds like the American-based Social Justice Fund and the German Heinrich Böll Stiftung, would not be able to sustain the sort of lawsuit that, under the new law, could easily be brought against it. “Since we are legally responsible for all content appearing on the website,” Dimi Reider wrote, “this obligates us to erase outright calls” for boycotting Israel or the settlements from the magazine’s comment thread, and disallow any writer to outwardly call for such boycotts.

While some, like Sheizaf, view stirring a global conservation that leads to international pressure on Israel to mend its ways as the remedy for such punitive laws, others, like Zonszein, are focused on the fight at home. After my wife and I co-wrote an essay last month expressing our dismay with Israeli politics, Zonszein replied in a piece of her own, a call to arms of sorts. “The ones who feel rooted here cannot afford to refuse to call Israel home until it embodies their ideals,” she wrote. “Rather they are already here (whether physically or emotionally) embodying those ideals every day in whatever way they see fit. They will not wait around for Israel to get better and cannot disassociate from it until it does. It is their reality, and that in and of itself makes Israel a very different place than the Israel that many are disillusioned with.”

But while +972’s contributors may differ on everything from ideology to strategy, the one thing they seem to share is a sense of urgency. “When Western liberal Jews tell me that they’re so disheartened by the news coming out of Israel but then they started reading +972 and now they feel as if there are still good people fighting the fight, that is the worst thing you can say to me,” Goldman said. “I’m not trying to make you feel better about Israel. I’m trying to wake you up to the fact that things are really bad. We’re near the end. That’s the message I want Western liberal Jews to hear. I want them to wake up and get really involved before the country turns into something they don’t want to be associated with. I don’t see +972 as tikkun olam. I see it as an alarm clock.”

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Marc R says:

“increasingly, any serious conversation about Israel’s policies is to be had outside of Israel’s borders”

What a truly astounding statement. Are we to believe that Israelis are not having “serious conversation” about their policies? They are among the world’s most voracious consumers of news and they are the ones who send their children off to the army and are most closely affected by their government’s policies. Yet they’re really not having “serious” conversations about them?

I think what Liel means to say is that leftist conversations are increasingly outside of Israel’s borders because, unfortunately, those policies were tried (in 2000, 2008, etc.) by Israel and failed.

So Israelis have learned not to be persuaded by those arguments and the proponents of them must move outside Israel in order to pressure the Israelis from the outside to do what they have learned does not work.

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=254240

Muslim Brotherhood site rife with anti-Semitism’

Here is what the Arab Spring has led to. Is there much to praise?

It seems that the hatred of Israel and Jews who do not agree with their political positions, with the demonization of Israel as a state and the support of those who would destroy it, is the commonality of those in +972.

Do they critically evaluate and challenge the political positions and actions of those in the Arab world, in Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, in the Western leftist media and activists, who wish to destroy Israel?

Richard says:

This is a very slanted piece. 972 hosts some of the crassest anti-Zionists in the Israeli press. Be it Gurvitz, ex-972er Joseph Dana or a writer who is active with Zochrot. Zonszeinlike Dana is a media commentator for Al Jazeera. These people are on the hard core left wing fringe of Israeli society. Dana lives in Ramallah and tours the USA with an ISM founder speaking at anti-Israel venues, when he is not having dinner with Max Blumenthal.
Cross checking 972′s reporting often show’s left wing polemics and in Gurvitz’s case an open hatred for Israel by someone who has a remarkable knowledge of the local communist party.
What Liel does not mention are the Tel Aviv buses which were “popping like pop corn” a few years ago. The passenger’s on these buses were the very people who supported to peace process which failed at Camp David II a month earlier. Nobody asks the Tel Avivian’s how they cope with their PTSD ( Thanks for mentioning Lisa Goldman ) after multiple shredded commuter buses on Dizengof.
I used to follow 972 religiously, but it has become another home of the international anti-Zionist far left. Many commenters come straight from mondoscheiss.
It shows a complete lack of understanding of what Israel is about and what the majority of Israeli’s feel and live through when reading 972.
It is laughable. The majority of people publishing at 972 aren’t even from Israel. They either made aliyah and brought their North American sensibilities to Israel ( no IDF service ) or are Arab.

“any serious conversation about Israel’s policies is to be had outside of Israel’s borders”

Really?

Israel is a lively democracy with one of the world’s liveliest media scenes. Newspapers, blogs, even dueling political satire television programs.

Your contention is nonsense.

Sorry, but the hysteria that is expressed by most writers at 972 is anything but an alarm clock. It is one thing to express ones concern for the future of our country and another to diminish the amazing viability and freedom to dialogue about anything that is developing in the social arena in Israel.

We have a healthy social and political system that allows and tolerates extreme opinions regardless of the stupidity that undermines it. I have met Lisa Goldman and while I do not pretend to know why she left the country, to suggest it was because of Israel’s present situation is a bit of a stretch.

She has made a living trashing and demeaning Israel and its people. Writing and criticizing Israel from abroad just doesn’t allow for serious creditability.

To support my contention about Ms. Goldman’s feelings about Israel her quote above says it all.”I’m trying to wake you up to the fact that things are really bad. We’re near the end.”

Sorry Lisa and 972 we are far from “really bad” or “near the end.” We are struggling with apposing ideologies by the left and the right with a center that is being re-born once again to keep these extremists in check.

Canada is a very nice place to live but it is not Israel and crying wolf doesn’t help any. It only enhances the twisted motives of those that prefer to see the elimination of the Jewish homeland.

Baba Wawa says:

Good to know that the overwhelming majority of Jews don’t want to commit suicide like the folks at 972 would like. Am Yisroel Chai!

The reason that only 20% of 972 readers are from israel is that the site is in English. Furthermore, the vast majority of their bloggers are Anglos who grew up in the US and later moved to Israel for the purpose of Activism. It is doubtful that some bloggers such as Joseph Dana would even be comfortable writing in Hebrew.

There is not one Mizrachi/Sephardic blogger neither are there any religiously observant bloggers. As was mentioned, many of the blog posts, such as the ones from Joseph Dana, are near copy and paste jobs from Electronic intifada, promoting Boycotts and Sanctions against Israel until they allow the right of return of millions of Palestinian refugees. Needless to say, these positions have never had any support among 97% of Israeli Jews. .

Some of the blog posts are devoid of serious analysis and make fun of groups such as settlers and Christian supporters of Israel in a highly mocking way. I wonder why any fund would find this a useful way to spend their money.

Some posts display a profound misreading of Israeli culture such as Ami Kaufman’s recent assertion that, “Israelis hate anyone who isn’t white” – although judging from the lack of any sephardic voices on 972 one could forgive Ami for forgetting that the majority of Israelis are about as White as any other Middle Eastern population.

Many of the commenters on the talkback migrate directly from obsessive and viruntly anti zionist and anti semitic sites such as mondoweiss.

For a much better peek at leftism among israelis I recommend Haaretz English as many of their opeds are translated directly from the original Hebrew.

I must add that I do like the 972 bloggers Yuval Ben Ami and Dahlia Sheindlin is not bad either.

QUOTE: “I think there’s still a chance to resolve things,” said Sheizaf, 34, referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “but it’s not going to happen without dramatic pressure from abroad. Left on their own, Israelis will continue the occupation and the current political trends forever.”

???

Of course Sheizaf has the right to his own opinion, and a place in the national dialogue, but WHY are Sheizaf and Co ignored by the Israeli public?

How about the fact that the smaller the far Left-wing gets, the more magazines and protest groups they produce (all with the same readership and the same membership rolls). And the smaller they get, the shriller their accusations become.

The vast majority of Israelis (myself included) have come to the conclusion after the Oslo ‘experiment’ that The Conflict is unsolvable for the foreseeable future and at best, one can only “manage the conflict” not solve it.

Instead of convincing us of the validity of their position winning over skeptics like myself in order to increase their political clout, such writers choose to detour the entire democratic system in Israel, and go abroad to FORCE the Israeli electorate and its democratically-elected leaders to accept their platforms.

Ironically, Sheizaf and Co. view themselves as enlightened people steeped in democratic values…

All the more ironic, these “democrats” seek to delegitimize and silence their critics by branding everyone who doesn’t agree with them as a bunch of intolerant oppressive, hard-hearted xenophobic religious fanatics.

Robert says:

Here is a “classic” Yossi Gurvitz piece
http://972mag.com/israelis’-perverse-support-of-terrorism/

David Fisher says:

I am an American Jew living in Australia. In both countries I have supported an integrated public school sytem, no government funds for religious schools and separation of religion and state. I have come to recognize the inconsistency of my support for that in the US and Australia with my previous support for Israel where there is little separation of church and state. I now am for one state with no discrimination among its citizens on the basis of religion and ethnicity. I recognize that it is impossible to implement at this time, but I hope it will happen eventually.

Lynne T says:

David Fisher:

Australia and the US make poor analogies to Israel, where you have citizens who speak different languages, regardless of religious observance. A better analogy would be Canada, where language and religious minorities are accommodated in varying degrees.

As regards Lisa Goldman, I was never impressed by her “Flesh is grass” blogsite. She gives herself away with her reference to Cast Lead, the proportions of the operation which were fully justied by Israel, with blame for the extent of civilian losses resting primarily with Hamas and the “millitants” who insist there is no political resoltion outside of a binational state and are willing to use Palestinians as human shields/sacrifices to achieve that end.

And you cannot argue for more international pressure on Israel without arguing in equal measure for pressure on the Palestinians for their intransigencies.

I wish Israel would withdraw setters from all settlements deep in the West Bank but not its soldiers and annex those closest to the green line and offer The PA an equivalent amount of Israeli territory when it is ready to negotiate seriously a two state solution.

But this isn’t what 972 is about. They write in the hope of establishing a ideal almost utopic State in Israel. This is unreasonable. Like liberals elsewhere they want people to accept their version of liberalism and nothing else.

Here these writers show that liberalism isn’t dealing with reality but are trying to impose their ideal vision on an unwilling public. Their aim is liberalism but their means are destructively coercive.

What 972 reveals, then, is a crises within liberalism itself.

This is why liberals seem to be talking increasingly to each other and are unable to reach people outside their milieu.

These authors need to ask why is it that liberalism isn’t persuading many voters not just in Israel nut in the West in general.

Correction:

“These authors need to ask why is it that liberalism isn’t persuading many voters not just in Israel nut in the West in general.”

Should read:

These authors need to ask why is it that liberalism isn’t persuading many voters not just in Israel but in the West in general.

I should add that promoting the idea of 972 as an organically Israeli site presents a proudly misleading picture of israel to the uninformed international reader. An American Jew like Joseph Dana moving to Ramallah to write anti-Zionist blogposts reflects absolutely nothing about any aspect of Israeli culture or political discourse. It would be like reading a weekly newspaper published by the American chapter of the international Maoists and calling it “an American leftist site giving the American left perspective on events in the country. Very misleading fkr those truly trying to learn about Israel.

I read +972 regularly everyday. Thanks Liel. Good article.

Ayla Adler says:

Such hostile comments, which I guess doesn’t surprise me since I actually recognize some of the commenters who have been kicked off of 972′s comment threads. Liel–thank you for the excellent article. I love 972 Magazine exactly because it is so hard to live here, in Israel, among a population of people who are generally ignorant about the effects of their own occupation. When I moved here and began to hear stories firsthand from Palestinian friends, I started to seek out information differently. Thankfully, there is 972. Whether Israelis and diaspora Jews people realize it or not, things are reaching a tipping point; the less we acknowledge the truth, the more things are bound to explode.
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Regarding the demographics of 972 writers, by my count, something like half of them were born in Israel/Palestine (and since only 70% of Jewish Israelis were born here, and most of those Sabras are 2nd or 3rd generation, 972 isn’t so far off from representing). Of the 972 writers not born in Israel, they have all lived here for well over a decade (or two), are citizens, and are fluent in Hebrew or Arabic, but/and choose English for the site, which, in fairness to Israelis who aren’t reading, does target a diaspora audience.
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Left wingers who believe that right wing politics are killing Israel, as I do, don’t have the audacity to call those right wingers “anti-Israel”. This, from right wingers against leftists, is shameless. Really, you think these writers are devoting their entire lives to this conflict because they don’t care? Try getting off your couch every now and then. Try crossing a border. Try seeing what they see. Try hearing what they hear. If everyone did so, we’d be ready to talk about what on earth to do to repair what is deeply broken.

Yeah, Jules the resident troll loves 972. no surprises there.
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Goldman’s rose coloured articles, I dare say ignorant, have not come true. Egypt is in political and economic paralyses. The economy is cratering. ‘Yuuuhuuuu embrace the Arab Spring.’
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The one Jew who dared to come back to Tripoli was flown out by the Italian Air Force because they were going to lynch him for praying at his old synagogue.
Syria is marching towards civil war, Iraq is Iraq and Iran is building the Shiite bomb.
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Spring time for fanatical Islamism, winter for Enlightenment.
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But I am happy Goldman, with her anti-Zionist credentials found some dare devil Egyptians who did not boycott her on the spot. Her acid tweet regarding Ilan Grapel’s truthfulness about his Zionism in dealing with his Cairo friends will live in infamy.
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Recalling my trip into revolutionary Egypt, I can write that I was stopped three times by the secret police and asked if I was Israeli. Such open anti-semitism and in typical Arab fashion, bad allocation of resources ( hunting Jews ) sums up much that is missed in 972′s wider publication of facts and the deeper dynamic Israel is up against when dealing with people who “seek peace”. Be it the brain washed Egyptian’s or “democratic” Hamas.

Ayla Adler says:

Dude (nice name)–According to what I heard from their recent U.S. panel discussion, Lisa Goldman would be the first to tell you that Egypt is anti-Israel, and that that often extends itself to anti-Jewish. We don’t have to choose between closing our eyes to injustice against Israel vs. closing our eyes to injustice done by Israel; we can open our eyes to all that’s true.
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Egyptians are not brainwashed. They remember their elementary school being bombed by Israel; they remember their children dying and being permanently wounded. They remember the occupation of Sinai. They feel akin to Palestinians and their occupation. For decades, their bitterness against Israel was silenced, which only made it stronger. Is their hatred disproportionate? I’d say yes. Is there misinformation? Absolutely. But also there is enough selective/misinformation and fear/hatred on our side when it comes to Palestinians to call us brainwashed. Let’s focus on enlightening ourselves and trust it will be contagious.

“Egyptians are not brainwashed. They remember their elementary school being bombed by Israel; they remember their children dying and being permanently wounded. They remember the occupation of Sinai.”

Ayla Adler is of course joking.

An overwhelming number of Egyptians were born after the 1970′s. So what exactly can they remember?

How many Egyptians “remember their schools being bombed” and How many saw their “children dying and being wounded” Ayla?

The Egyptian casualty numbers of the 1973 wars can only be estimated since the government never released any figures. The guess is about 8 thousand (Israel with a much smaller population suffered close to three thousand).

I don’t know who you are Ayla but if your write for that rag you call a magazine I am not surprised so few Israelis read it.

No rational persona wants to be bombarded with lies and propaganda. Israel isn’t a communist country, yet, Ayla.

Lets hope they all follow Lisa Goldman back to Canada. The reason that we ignore the Arab Spring is that it has made life worse for everyone. All of North Africa now belongs to the Islamists, and the 972 crew wants the same for Israel. The people of Israel say no thanks. Six million was enough. I hope the entire 972 crew leaves Israel and engages in productive labor elsewhere

I guess the National Socialist Nasser does not come into the game. Including the strange fact that Aza was never turned into Palestine under Nasser. Minor detail?
Like Nasser, all Arab leaders have failed, and will continue to fail. Anti-Semitism does not create literacy or jobs. Never has.
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Adler and Jules are the living/writing proof that 972 caters to a certain crowd. People who do not understand Israel. That’s why the site is not in Hebrew. Nobody would read it. Correction 2%.
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This whole discussion has been had one million times. 972 does this 24/7.
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It is a freak show, like Berlin anarchist punks, like OWS, like Berkeley vegan’s, like the people who stand outside Melbourne chocolate shops because the shop is Israeli owned.
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Meanwhile Assad has killed 5500 of “his” people, and Turkey continues its war against the Kurds, China its cultural genocide against Tibet. But Palestine is just too sexy to let go…..makes you think….think….think….think…..think…..think….
and another 34 Syrian’s were shot in the street.
Like · · a few seconds ago ·

Ayla, if it is hard to live in Israel, go home to Michigan. Dont slam the door on the way out

The signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty is no fiction, the childish smear and insult aimed at me being some sort of insidious Iranian secret agent most assuredly is.

The treaty was signed on March 26 1979.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt%E2%80%93Israel_Peace_Treaty

The definition of the Palestinian people is the opposition to a Jewish state. Thus, in order to preserve their identity, they cannot compromise on the right of return. They cannot recognize Jerusalem as the capital of a Jewish state, because the entire concept of a Jewish state is anathema. The editors of 972 magazine know this as well, but are frustrated that other Israelis wont follow their prescription, which is eventually a mass migration of Jews out of Palestine. Lisa Goldman has done the honorable thing and followed her own prescription. Lets hope the rest of the 972 staff follow their own prescription. “If I forget thee O Toronto, let my…

Ayla Adler says:

I’m telling you what Egypt remembers, and how Egypt remembers (yes, including people who were not yet born in 1970). I know this from talking to Egyptians. But I can totally understand your disbelief, since Israelis and Jews would never, ever hold a memory of anything that happened to us as long ago as, gasp, 1970 and allow that to affect our worldview. Nor would we ever bring in any bit of history to support or shape our arguments/feelings/beliefs unless that bit of history happened to us (not our mothers, not our grandfathers, not Jews an ocean away) personally, and we could personally remember it. We are a people who just let it go, shake it off and move on! ;)
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Go on refusing to believe things that are true. This is exactly the kind of denial that has us in the state of alarm you also deny.
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If 1970 was so long ago that we can’t even remember it, you might want to consider that Palestinians have been living under occupation even longer.

Ayla Adler says:

and Klang–people who google should use their full names. Where do you live? Not somewhere where you regularly talk to Palestinians, I presume.

jacob arnon says:

Dude, I know Jewish Israelis whose families came from Egypt and who suffered greatly in the 1950′s after Nasser came to power.

It was no picnic even before 1948 but after the Colonel coup it got even worse.

Much has been written about the fate of Jews in Arab countries of North Africa
one of the best articles is this one:

“Une si longue presence: comment le monde arabe a perdu ses juifs 1947-1967″ by Nathan Weinstock, Plon, 2008, 358 pp.

by Lyn Julius

http://dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/article_pdfs/d15Julius.pdf

It’s a book review. The author of the book Nathan Weinstock was a French Communist who supported the Arab cause till he went to North Africa an saw for himself the realities of Jewish life there.

philip mann says:

This is the basic tenet of the left-only we know how to govern,and you poor benighted slobs owe us your loyalties.

If the voters in Israel don`t quite see the point of being sympathetic to the psychos who call themselves neighbours,maybe they have things figured out pretty well.

Jules,see if you can find-anywhere on the web-one single Arab publication that`s sympathetic to the Israeli view. Tell me how that turns out.

Ayla Adler: “Left wingers who believe that right wing politics are killing Israel, as I do, don’t have the audacity to call those right wingers “anti-Israel”. This, from right wingers against leftists, is shameless.”

There are right-wingers who will oppose opposition to any settlement of Biblical Israel. However, there are lines which would force anyone to admit that an argument has ventured into anti-Israel territory. One of those lines is support for the BDS campaign. When 972 needs the threat of lawsuits to declare BDS as off limits, then it is fair to call them anti-Israel or at least tolerant of anti-Israelism.

At best, they are like the Hasmonean family seeking the intersession of Rome to adjudicate which one of them will rule.

Ayla Adler: “I’m telling you what Egypt remembers, and how Egypt remembers (yes, including people who were not yet born in 1970).”

Perhaps an account from S.E. Hinton’s _The Outsiders_ would explain what’s up with that. Ponyboy and Johnny were attacked by Bob, Randy and three others. While Bob was drowning Ponyboy in a nearby fountain, Johnny stabbed him, accidentally killing him, and the others ran away. Subsequently, when Ponyboy was talking with a friend of his, Bob’s former girlfriend, she said she didn’t like Johnny because he killed Bob. Ponyboy responded that were it not for the act which killed Bob, Bob would have killed him and then abandoned her.

Such is the case with the Egyptians. There are things Israel needs to do for peace. However, it is also necessary to break the Arabs of the notion that when a Jew is hit by a Muslim, his only permitted recourse should be to hope a Muslim passer-by takes pity on him and intervenes on his behalf. Your blindness to that is as much a contribution to the lack of progress and the intransigent right.

Ayla Adler says:

Moshe–Do you think Jerusalem was given to us as a capital when we were given Israel as a Jewish State? Do you know Palestinians who define themselves as The People Against a Jewish State (and not as For Themselves)? I don’t suppose you know any Palestinians whose grandfather fled, who has never once been permitted to come back even to visit, who wants this right not as an act against you, but simply because he wants to show his children his home.
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Jules–I’m sorry, but I don’t understand why you’re making this argument, or presenting this well-known information, about the peace treaty.
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Scott–this is my point. Some people feel that divesting from Israel would help Israel become a just Israel, so to us, this is not anti-Israel. To us, the American government’s financial enabling of Israel hurts Israel. I am personally not for boycotts, certainly not blanket ones. As for 972 writers, they’ve made it very clear that they each have different views on the subject.

Ayla Adler says:

p.s. “Klang”–you should put your googling skills to better use. “All of North Africa now belongs to “the Islamists”?” Putting aside your strange use of “the Islamists” (Muslims?), I guess I’ll just take all of the experiences I had traveling in oh-so-Christian Ethiopia, or everything I know from my Christian, Eritrean friends, and discount all that based on your obvious expertise.
*
Scott–though I enjoyed The Outsiders reference, you’re responding to me in a way that has so little to do with me that I wouldn’t know how to begin; you may as well continue having that argument on your own.

I must correct myself in my earlier comment. Israel occupied Egypt’s Sinai peninsula from 1967 (after the six day war) until the peace treaty with Egypt signed in 1979. Israel’s final evacuation of the Sinai peninsula occurred in 1982.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli-occupied_territories#The_Sinai_Peninsula

Nasser was not nor was he ever a national socialist. At which university did you study world history Dude, through some bogus correspondence course? A good education is valuable when attempting to ascertain facts.

jacob arnon says:

Ayla Adler says:
“I’m telling you what Egypt remembers, and how Egypt remembers (yes, including people who were not yet born in 1970). I know this from talking to Egyptians.”

Gee, Ayala, so you were writing metaphorically.

Sorry, but Jews know the difference between an actual memory, an historical memory and a mythic one.

btw: how many and which schools did Israel bomb in Egypt? I like facts and figures.

If you go to Europe (even Spain where Jewish communities haven’t existed for centuries) or South America you will discover many people who will tell you that they “remember” that “Jews killed their lord,” or that Jews oppressed them economically.

What conclusion do you draw from such faux memories?

Ayla Adler says:

Jacob Arnon–that is priceless about my use of the word “remember”. So, by your argument, Jews should stop saying “Never Forget”, unless it happened to us personally, because that’s a metaphorical use of the word “forget”?
*
This (among other experiences) is what Egypt remembers. I’ll bet you can’t find an Egyptian over 18 who doesn’t know of this and have a strong response to it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970_bombing_of_Bahr_El-Baqar_primary_school
*
Goodnight, America. It’s 1:30 a.m. here in the Holy Land. Keep your ears and eyes closed! Don’t learn anything new! Don’t ever be wrong about anything, no matter what! Sweet Dreams!

jacob arnon says:

Jules, “the historian” says: “Nasser was not nor was he ever a national socialist.
At which university did you study world history Dude…”

No? I suppose wanting to establish a super national State of Arab peoples is not reminiscent of National Socialism.

I suppose that Nasser using gas bombs in the Yemen civil war is not reminiscent of National Socialism?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Yemen_Civil_War#Nasser.27s_.22long-breath.22_strategy

At which university did you study?

Peter W. says:

Only those woefully ignorant of Israel’s plight,such as some outside of Israel, or those imprisoned in a blinding ideology, such as extremist Israeli left-wingers, are amenable to +972′s messages.

@Josh – nice job of paraphrasing and spinning a piece. Good job!

jacob arnon says:

“Jacob Arnon–that is priceless about my use of the word “remember”. So, by your argument, Jews should stop saying “Never Forget”, unless it happened to us personally, because that’s a metaphorical use of the word “forget”?”

Ayala, you are veering into irrationality:

It is one thing to claim to have a cultural memory about a national event and quite another to tell people to remember a particular occurrence in that event.
Texans like to say ‘remember “the Alamo” but no sane Texas will say that they personally remember the battle that took place there. Or when the Quebecois say in French “je me souviens” (about the wars with British) they don’t mean that they personally remember. C’est une facon de parler, as they would also say) and not an actual memory).

Egyptians can say that they “remember” the wars with Israel in general it’s quite another to say that they remember a particular incident in that war which occurred before they were born.

Btw: the bombing of that school was an accident of war (in war one foten kills one’s own troops also) unlike the rounding up of Jewish women and babies and throwing them into gas chambers. You should be ashamed of yourself for truing to equate the two events.

Now, Ayala, I am not going to go into the larger issue of your implicit comparison of the Holocaust to the Arab-Israeli wars. But when Jews say “never again” they are not asked to remember specific events in the Shoah but the fact that it took place at all.

Ayala, given the shape (logic) of your arguments I am not surprised that so few people in Israel take you seriously.

What we find here in a variety of paranoid and hostile posts are a mad menagerie of crazy people who are not looking for or striving towards any form of understanding but who by will and design alone are more interested in expending their complete and committed energies to endless fear, war, and hostility.

Jacob, Israel used white phosphorous bombs on the people of Gaza just four years ago. Were you trying to prove that Israel holds some special sainted moral high ground in how it wages war?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_War

In admitting that “only about 20 percent of the magazine’s readers are Israeli”, it seems that he is lending more than simple credence to Netanyahu’s ‘misinterpreted’ (?) remarks about how dangerous Israeli media can be to Israel.

Ayla Adler says:

you know, as a regular 972 commenter, I had never thought of this until now, but one reason I appreciate commenting there is the wide range of commenters and how much I learn from them as well as from the writers. Regularly, there are a few Israelis from settlements, from Kibbutzim, from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv; pretty much all over Israel. There are Palestinian commenters from the West Bank and from refugee families in the diaspora. And of course there are diaspora Jews, from Australia, Europe, the U.S. It’s interesting that on a comment thread in which people are criticizing where readers and writers are from, most of you, it seems, are diaspora Jews. It’s a beautiful, rainy day here in the Negev. I’m on my way to pick up Tahina that my Palestinian-Israeli friend brought me from Nablus, and then I’ll be cooking for Shabbat. Shabbat Shalom, Tablet Readers. If you care about Israel, as I trust you do, please believe me when I say: It’s bad here. There is a lot less democracy for Israelis than there was a year ago, two years ago. We’re ignoring the basic human rights of African Refugees, by legal International (and obvious moral) standards. With the death of the Two State Solution comes despair: how to end this Occupation that is morally corrupting us and keeping everyone on both sides of the line trapped in a hellish relationship? This is not business as usual. It hasn’t been for years. A lot has shifted, and if we don’t acknowledge and respond to those shifts without getting characteristically defensive, we’re in trouble.

jacob arnon says:

Jules, the pro Iranian antisemite is now an expert on people’s “innards.”

Must have gotten his knowledge watching Iranian and Hezbollah press and Al Manar TV.

He is an old antisemitic Bolshevik who is still in shock because the Soviet State is no more.

Michael Lerner says:

Hey Comrades, I am out of hashish. Send me some over fast!

– Mikey Lerner, Tikkun Magazine

Jacob, This the kind of + 972 story a benighted bigot such as yourself cannot tolerate seeing in print and would prefer instead either to ignore entirely, censor, or silence completely as you storm off into a mad tirade of “righteous” anger.

http://972mag.com/thousands-of-ethiopian-israelis-protest-racism-in-jerusalem-march/33345/

Now for what I wanted to write. There are Palestinians who are willing to make accommodations with Israel under reasonable terms. Unfortunately, none of them have any position of power. Abbas is not a partner for any reasonable settlement, and propping him up will only suppress those who are.

If you want to find a reasonable Palestinian, try talking to the Palestinian journalists who flock to Israel to practice real journalism. Try talking to any of the Palestinian academics who would have liked to talk with their Israeli counterparts but had to back out under threats from Fatah. Try talking to any of the leaders of the Palestinian villages surrounding Efrat who regularly meet with Rabbi Riskin. Try talking with any of the villagers there who don’t have a village hospital because their legislator thought Israel’s best contribution to the Palestinians would be to “get out of Efrat then get out of Jerusalem then get out of Tel Aviv,” after the town of Efrat had raised the money to build a village hospital for their Palestinian neighbors.

Yes the occupation is corroding the fabric of Israeli society, I could write about that elsewhere. However, dealings with and capitulations to Abbas are a non-solution. The largest problem that Israel faces today is that there are too few Israelis who recognize both that the occupation is a problem and that working with Abbas is a non-solution.

Ayla Adler says:

Scott–Although I don’t see things as you do–(I don’t think Palestinians are counting on Abbas as a solution/leader either, nor do I think he’s The Problem), and, for example, there are definitely other lenses on what’s happening in Efrat, as plenty of Palestinian property has been destroyed in the interest of Jewish building there (and I have dear friends whose family has been in Efrat for decades, btw; I’ve spent a lovely shabbat with them there)–you sound reasonable, and informed in your way, as I am in mine. I would encourage you to come read over on 972 sometimes, and I’ll continue to read Tablet, though I probably won’t comment, as one commenting addiction is enough for me! Shabbat shalom.

jacob arnon says:

Jules continues to talk to himself.

There are a number of tings that motivates a Jew hater like Jules, but neither love nor a a desire for peace is among them.

Jules doesn’t love the Arabs he just hates Jews, period.

This is why he ignores the millions of Arabs killed by their fellow Arabs.

jacob arnon says:

“The largest problem that Israel faces today is that there are too few Israelis who recognize both that the occupation is a problem and that working with Abbas is a non-solution.”

Scott, you may be right that the PA leadership isn’t willing to make peace, but this shouldn’t be a prerequisite for Israel withdrawing the settlers, but nor the soldiers, from the West Bank.

The soldiers would be withdrawn when the PA and Israel sign a peace settlement.

Those settlement blocks around Jerusalem should be annexed. This is the only way forward for Israel and it doesn’t depend on the PA or on Abbas.

This is why magazines like 972 are part of the problem. They alienate the electorate instead of helping them to see what can be done politically.

Ayla Adler says:

Jacob Arnon–this is the last thing I will say to you: do not take what I made parallel without any stretch whatsoever (you spoon fed my argument) and pretend I made another thing parallel. That’s cheap, and desperate.
*
I’m telling you why Egypt feels how they do about Israel. You can say that’s not fair, or not rational, or not right, or anything else you want to say, but it won’t change the truth in the fact that Egypt, who was in part occupied by Israel for over a decade and whose people feel akin to Palestinians, has many reasons to feel this way that we can not simply attribute to “brainwashing”. I never placed a personal value judgement their feelings or reasons; I merely shared them, as I have learned them through genuine inquiry (a practice I recommend to you). Your head is in the sand, your comparisons (ie Texas), irrelevant.
*
We are brainwashed, too. We really are. How much do you know about Deir Yassin, or any other number of events that live large in the collective Palestinian memory (yes, memory). Not much more than they know about ours. We create each other. We are mirror images of each other. As long as you want to pretend that we have the moral high ground, that we are right and they are brainwashed, you will be contributing to nothing but a waste of your own time and our energy.

jacob arnon says:

“I’m telling you why Egypt feels how they do about Israel.”

Egypt is a country of tens of millions of people and not all Egyptians “feel” the same way about Israel. I have met and talked to many Egyptians and I know that there are a variety of points of view there just as there are in Israel.

Talking about feelings is one thing, talking about official policy, which is what matters, is something else.

jacob arnon says:

“We are brainwashed, too. We really are. How much do you know about Deir Yassin…”

I know a lot more than you think and besides not knowing isn’t the same as being “brainwashed.”

Not agreeing with you is not a sign of being brainwashed.

Ayla Adler says:

Jacob Arnon–I’m back, quite humbly. I just googled you. Are you the Jacob Arnon who escaped Nazi Germany to come to Palestine in 1940? If so, I owe you an apology. I was just moved to tears by your Shoah interview, and by my own ignorance. I have certainly never walked where you have walked. Because you were so reactive with Jules (who, honestly, just seems well-meaning, young, and to be learning things that are fairly common knowledge, ie about Sinai)–I mistook you, too, for someone young and stubborn in your beliefs.
*
I can only suggest that this is, in fact, the key: We need to listen to each other, to know each other’s stories, and to understand that what lives in each of our memories (Palestinian, Egyptian, Israeli, Jewish, etc.), personally and collectively, is part of the Truth of this conflict. I was born a seventh generation American Jew, so in terms of this conflict, I have no personal trauma. I’m also a fiction writer, a novelist, and we, by nature, are a people who tend to have the ability to empathize with everyone–it’s what we do: enter the minds and hearts of other people. As a rule, I don’t believe we have to choose sides, nor do I believe that doing so is what will save Israel. And Israel does need saving.
*
Again, Jacob, I have the utmost respect for you, your experience, and your connection to this Land. Please accept my humble apology. And if you are not the same Jacob, the lesson stands; we must listen to each other, and trust that deep down, nearly everyone wants the same thing: safety, dignity, and freedom for ourselves and our children. Do you live in Israel, still? Perhaps we could have coffee if so. Take care.

Ayala, I do not talk about myself online, so I will not say anything here neither.

I do appreciate your desire to understand one another.

However, when it comes to nations and peoples deciding on issues of war and peace individuals need to make their voices heard within their respective communities.

As I said I would like Israel to withdraw most settlers from the territories but not its soldiers. That next step would come only after a peace deal is signed with the PA.

To achieve this first step you need to engage Israeli voters on this one issue alone.

Talking about perfect understanding and all other such pie in the sky notions will only turn off the average voters.

This is were your magazine is wrong. You seem to write not for Israelis but for Westerners whose views about the sins of Israel you are trying to justify.

This isn’t going to “save Israel,” nor is it going get to lead to greater understanding.

What we need is less hand wringing and more practical solutions like getting Israelis to see tat withdrawing the settlers from the West Bank will make Israel stronger and not weaker.

Ayla Adler says:

Arnon–Much as I oppose the settlements (especially any further building), it seems to me that if we force every settler to leave their homes, to which many of them feel deeply attached for a wide range of reasons, this will be very painful. Also, the most extreme among them, who are quite active in Price Tag Attacks lately, including against the IDF, will die before they leave; we could have a civil war. I’m not suggesting we should make policy based on fear of extremists; only that this kind of surgical removal of humans may not actually be necessary.
*
The military occupation must seem existentially necessary to you for you to recommend it continue. Is this true? When I hear Palestinians talk about what it has been like to grow up under military occupation–and this goes far beyond long waits at a check point–it breaks my heart. Every Palestinian has these stories, and they are the rule, not the exception. Surely the Jewish people did not found a State to ensure our own protection only to keep another people under the inhumane circumstances of military occupation. As you pointed out to me, 1970 was a long time ago in a human life span. I am 45, nearly exactly the same age as the occupation. I’d argue that it’s more important that we deploy our military than that we evacuate the settlements.
*
Israelis and others aren’t able to hear 972 Magazine because they are unaware of the effects of the military occupation. They are unaware of what it’s really like for Palestinians. 972 is trying to wake people up to the actual conditions a few kilometers away. Everyone, on both sides, believes that they are on the defense, the other side on the offense. I think it’s all true, and all unacceptable.

Ayla Adler says:

Arnon–I just want to let you know that I’m going to turn off my internet for the remainder of shabbat. I need a break, and am actually a bit shattered from my realization about you (which, by the way, you can ask the site to remove if you wish) and how I was speaking to you. In fairness to myself, you were being quite condescending… However, it is way too easy for us to judge each other, especially on these comment threads. Let’s try to remember that all of us feel passionate for the same reason; we’re like parents who disagree, vehemently, about what is best for our child’s survival and wellbeing. This is hard. But we must remember our common ground, which, I believe, we share also with our neighbors, and, frankly, all mankind. If you and I make each other the enemy, then wow, we’ve really lost our way.

Ayla, some it seems some are more passionate to one weird degree or another than others.

http://gawker.com/5877892/newspaper-editor-israel-should-consider-assassinating-obama

I remember well the poison passions of one Yigal Amir which makes this story all the more deeply disturbing.

Changing tack here and out of the trench. I encourage to view Adam Curtis’s film on “Oh Dearism”, it is on Youtube.
Also in a similar vain this gem on his blog,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2011/03/goodies_and_baddies.html

In German there is a word for people like Adler and Jules, it is Gutmensch, the adverb being gutmenschtum. Badly translated this is goody goo.

jacob arnon says:

I first want to say to Ms. Adler that I wasn’t bothered by her strong argument against me. I welcomed them. I am not made of butter and I will not melt under rigorous argumentation.

Dude, the problem I have with Adler (Jules’ comment are not relevant) is that she hopes for just outcomes without anyone being inconvenienced. This is impossible.

If we are going to get to a two State solution they only outcome that will guarantee and justice for all sides some settlers will have to be moved and Palestinians will have to give up their right to return to Israel proper and accept either compensation as well as resettlement in a Palestinian state.

This is more than Mizrachi Jews who were thrown out of the Arab States got.

The worst option would be a one State solution in which Jews would become a minority.

In every country were Muslims are a majority they treat minorities as second class citizens. The same will happen in a Muslim majority State in Israel.

Israel is far from perfect, but to try to de-legitimize the Jewish State because of its imperfections is hypocritical since no other country in the world as ever lived up to any utopian ideal.

jacob arnon says:

I would like to add that I am always for compromise, for moderate and not extreme positions.

In political life even pro human rights positions can become extreme and immoderate.

Mahatma Gandhi who dedicated his life to human rights caused the deaths of millions because he refused to accept political reality and didn’t prepare India for the partition that established Pakistan.

Compare this to Martin Luther King in the US who was willing to accept compromise and in the process created a civil rights movement that eventually made it possible for a Black man to be elected President of the US.

In the middle east context it was Ben Gurion who because he accepted compromise led his country to independence.

The Palestinian Arabs on the other hand refused all compromise and we know what ensued.

Had the Begin and not Ben Gurion been the head of the Yishuv I doubt that Israel would have achieved independence in 1948.

Jacob Arnon,
I completely agree with you. I will sign all you say.
It is beautiful to read your crystal words. Especially after the make belief utopia so many cling to at the cost of others.
*
Having monitored some of the 972 crowd. What is shocking is how their content is calibrated to the particular publication they write/speak for at any given time. Be it Monocol one day and Al Jazeera or RT TV the next or twitter. The next day it will be Electronic Intifada or mondoscheiss. Then The Nation or the NYT. It is this utter dishonesty and selling out ones supposed principals that is repugnant.
*
Being of middle age yet having maybe lived through more, politically and historically than most of 972′s (North American) author’s, I sometimes wonder if it is not a biographical ignorance which drives much of the liberal and “progressive” discourse? It is a particular ‘obscene’ political luxury coupled with ideological blindness. This is all the more astounding when one author claims to have studied history.
*
I am often reminded of the Weimar Republic and how the Socialists and Communists were at each others throats thereby weakening their positions. In the left’s vanity and focus on each other the National Socialists slipped by, because a cohesive strategy was not found to stop fascism. Utopia was of greater import than dealing with Hitler until it was too late. Similar to Adler’s esoteric’s which Adam Curtis touches upon in his Oh Dearism.
*
Thank you for sharing some wisdom in this forum. It is called for.
*
Shalom

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

Clearly, in reviewing the development in the Arab Israeli conflict during the past two to three decades, the strategic intent of the Muslim-Arabs, local and regional alike, has been to veil the international legal underpinning of the questions at hand and the way to resolve them. And, some overly eager to reach a “solution” to this intractable conflict, have opted to be manipulated into the make-belief “new paradigm” created by some Muslim-Arab leaders.

Obviously, the “new paradigm” has been only part of the imagination of those eager to achieve peace, thus it has proven unsustainable and two decades since the Madrid Peace Conference we are still dealing with the same fundamental questions that refuse to disappear.

Therefore, why don’t we all return to international law, the most objective method of dealing with disputes and conflicts, and set out to bring about an accommodation of peaceful coexistence (if indeed this what we hope to achieve…) between Arab and Jew, between the Muslim-Arab world and the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel.

A very good place to start is the following document:

http://www.mythsandfacts.org/Conflict/mandate_for_palestine/MandateN2%20-%2010-29-07-English.pdf

Ayla Adler says:

Dude–get a middle aged name (I’d recommend your real one). If you lump me together with Jules, you are not very discerning.
*
Jacob Arnon–I respect all of your views, and of course compromise is necessary on all ends (in fact, there is no possible “solution” in which everyone doesn’t feel that he compromised the most). I’m not suggesting no evacuation of settlements, nor total evacuation, or no or total anything (including Palestinian Right of Return).
*
Regarding 972, since that is the primary subject here, again: we, Jews, in Israel and the diaspora, are generally ignorant to the actual affects of Israel’s military occupation on Palestinians. We simply don’t know. When people hear leftwingers talk about it, they cry Bleeding Heart. But if people truly knew, they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t be able to stand what our country has become while we’ve been so busy defending her and believing so much in our core, Jewish values that we can’t see how far we’ve strayed. Maybe we had good reasons to veer on this course, but today, right now, we are in a very bad place that is not justifiable nor good for anyone, least of all ourselves.
*
Having further considered this thread, I do think that perhaps, 972 writers should consider strongly two things: 1) writing for an israeli audience as well (many of them, such as Noam and Yuval, are already breaking their teeth on English), and 2) Taking their tone more to heart as they aim to persuade reasonable people who simply don’t know, vs. preaching to the choir. I didn’t become the choir by reading 972; I became the choir from living in a bubble within Israel that has Palestinian residents (from Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerusalem), and by becoming friends with Palestinian-Israelis and Bedouin. I didn’t do this via NGO work or activism; they are simply my friends, along with many Jewish Israelis, since I live in the Negev and these are my neighbors, and I’m an American who is accustomed to having a diverse group of friends.

Ayla Adler says:

p.s. Do you think that most 972 writers don’t advocate a Two State Solution? I gather that most of them do, and that most of them are quite upset about what appears to be the death of it. Most of them are not so radical when it comes to solutions (I am more than they are); they’re just trying to reveal the problems so that people will wake up and stop accepting the status quo. Most Israelis would go on living with the Occupation as long as there were no suicide bombings or rockets or etc. That most people see 972 as extreme only proves how ignorant we are about the seriousness of the problems, here, including problems that are only loosely related to Palestinians (freedom of press/speech, treatment of refugees, etc.).

Here is a great TDB piece on the reality of the Egyptian ‘revolution’, that never was, or is. Arab’s just don’t have it in them. It simply is not their time
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/15/can-egypt-s-arab-spring-revolution-produce-great-art.html

Maybe Adler may enlighten us what her Egyptian mates have to say? Enjoy the Kool Aid.
btw, this piece matches the info I am getting oudda Cairo from my bud’s.
Lisa ‘PTSD’ Goldman eat your heart out.

Shalom Freedman says:

The celebrants of the ‘Arab spring’ in Egypt are perhaps popping the champagne corks today when the results of the first Egyptian democratic election are in, and the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists have garnered two – thirds of the seats in the Egyptian parliament. Perhaps the poor benighted majority of Israelis who sensed what the results of the ‘Arab spring’ would most likely be were slightly wiser than the self- righteous ignoramuses of yet another self- hating Leftist publication.

philip mann says:

Ayla;

As a Jew living in Canada, I`m reasonably well informed about what`s going on- I might not know all the details about political dealings,but I get the picture.

From what I see, Israel is holding onto a very hot railing, and that position is very difficult. But, to let go is to invite disater. They tried it twice-in lebanon and gaza-with the worst possible outcomes.

If we were to see any signs of Arab writers taking your position relative to their mainstream-saying that maybe the idea of blowing up pizza joints full of kids was wrong-or that attacking a Seder attended by the elderly was barbaric-maybe there would be hope . Instead,we have streets named after the perpetrators, Arabs dancing in the streets when the news of the attacks comes out,and no sense of any compromise. In my unenlightened view, they have poisoned their own well.

Ayla,
sadly I do not deem it safe to use my real name in these forum’s.
*
Experience has shown that those involved in hasbara are attacked and lied about by the very cohorts you work with and argue for here. One of the method’s Joseph Dana’s co-activists use is public intimidation and the spreading of lies. There is an entire anti-Zionist publishing industry out there which lives of feeding an anti-Semitic frenzy. I have no time for the Ben White’s, Jonathan Cook’s, Max Blumenthal’s and Ali Abunimah’s, Finkelstein’s and the mondoscheiss crew of this world.
*
They like you are best ignored. I have more constructive thing’s to do.
Thankfully.
I create.
They destroy.

Alya–

I have a number of problems with this statement:”we, Jews, in Israel and the diaspora, are generally ignorant to the actual affects of Israel’s military occupation on Palestinians…When people hear leftwingers talk about it, they cry Bleeding Heart.” I couldn’t disagree more with your contention that most Jews, both in the diaspora and in Israel, are ignorant of the affects of the occupation. Just because someone doesn’t share your political agenda, doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of the brutal conditions faced by Palestinians. I also think the Israeli left is far more politically diverse than you suggest. My family lives in Israel and consider themselves left of center. They are fully aware of how harmful the occupation is, but they don’t have any illusions about the Palestinians’ willingness to make the necessary compromises for peace. Several years ago, my Israeli niece went to the “Seeds of Peace” camp in Maine. She spent a month with other teenagers from the Palestinian territories. At the end of the month, I asked her whether anyone’s mind was changed. She said that all the Israeli teenagers changed their views. I expected her to say that the Israeli teenagers were more sympathetic to the Palestinians. But she said they had less sympathy(on a political level). She explained that it was clear to all the Israeli teenagers that their Palestinian counterparts had absolutely no interest in a peaceful two state solution. My niece is still left of center, speaks fluent Arabic, spent time in the occupied territories during her military service, but has no illusions that the Palestinians are ready to make peace with Israel.

Ayla Adler says:

@Shalom Freeman–so you would prefer for Egyptian people Mubarak, a dictator who merely shielded us from the realities of what Egyptians think of Israel? This Revolution (and @Dude–it is (not was) a revolution) is at a very beginning point. Personally, I prefer to deal with whatever is true to a false peace, because the false peace is more dangerous. Rest assured that plenty of Egyptians are upset about these election results. And not on our behalf…
*
@PhillipMann–plenty of Arab leaders speak out against terrorism, and there are loads of peaceful protests going on in the Palestinian Territories daily, right now. Where’s the mainstream MEDIA? Also, Palestinians feel the same way about us when we don’t speak out against our murders of them (and I don’t mean during war). And why don’t we? Because (I hope) we don’t even know about them. Enter 972.
*
@Adam–Your family sounds great (arabic speaking is especially wonderful). I was more of a Seeds of Peace kind of leftist before I moved here (nothing against SOP–just saying). Now I see things as much more dire. The occupation simply cannot go on. I do realize that in settings such as SOP (which most Palestinians are sadly actually against these days), there is much more willingness on the part of Israelis to listen and change than on the part of Palestinians. This is a problem. Palestinians have a much harder time imagining how on earth we could perceive ourselves as the victims, or being willing to see any symmetry whatsoever. Generally, Palestinians don’t want to talk about the peace that is being offered to them (they get no military, no right to return, etc.); they want to talk about justice as they see it: rights. However, they don’t want to obliterate Israel, now or in the future (though sure you can find violent extremists on both sides). They want their lives back. I hope you’re wrong about people really knowing the full affects of the occupation; my understanding is more generous.

jacob arnon says:

I don’t believe that Israelis Jews, or non-Jews are unaware of the effects of occupation.

In every war pacifists like to blame the excesses of war on ignorance. This is far from the truth.

Occupations use force for the simple reason that the occupied resist occupation.

However, that doesn’t make a military occupation wrong or illegal.

The Allied occupation of Germany after WW2 is one such case.

So is the Indian occupation of Kashmir.

In the Israeli case the government has signaled that it is wiling to give up the occupation after a negotiated peace.

Hence both sides are guilty of keeping the occupation going.

The settlements are another matter, they are illegal under international law at would be in Israel’s interest to remove settlers deep inside the West Bank and annex the settlements adjacent to the green line where most settlers live.

I hope that in the coming election this issue will be discussed.

“The soldiers would be withdrawn when the PA and Israel sign a peace settlement.”

I don’t see the PA signing anything that we can rely on. The problem is that officials of the PA will tell the West that all they want is to secure basic rights for the Palestinian people and that they are ready to offer a fair deal to the Zionists in order to secure those rights. However, when they suspect that no Westerners are listening, such as when they go on Al Jazeera, they speak of uprooting all the Jews from the region. There was one time, I saw it a while ago and am not sure how to locate it, when a PA official was on Al Jazeera and assured the audience that his agenda was the elimination of Israel and that his public utterances to the contrary are simply because the West would not accept such aims.

This is a description of the Palestinian National Movement, not the Palestinian people at large. Unfortunately, with the PA exercising total control over education and media, there are fewer and fewer Palestinians whose worldviews are shaped by anything other than justification for this mindset.

If you ask me what to do, I’d say to start by identifying a town of bloc of villages near the border where the leadership is amenable to genuine compromise and offer them independence from Israel and the PA. In the interim, they will require Israeli protection from the PA, but with time it would be possible to train their own security forces and allow Israeli withdrawal. Allow the leaders in this territory to be seen as delivering progress for their people and one of the arguments on the Palestinian side for rejectionism would lose some validity. This would allow the seed of Palestine to grow by annexation as more towns and villages come to accept a role for Jews in their region.

jacob arnon says:

Scott says:

““The soldiers would be withdrawn when the PA and Israel sign a peace settlement.”

I don’t see the PA signing anything that we can rely on.”

Maybe so, Scott, but that is not the point, the point is that there is an international legal procedure in place to end the military occupation.

In any case, this has little to do with the settlements which is a drag on the Israeli economy and puts the lives of many Israeli soldiers at risk.

Ayla: “However, they don’t want to obliterate Israel, now or in the future”

Perhaps the individuals don’t, but the national does. Argue to the contrary if you wish, but don’t tell me what they tell you, the ones from the national movement are sophisticated enough to know that westerners like yourself would not accept their demands. If you find something they say in Al Jazeera or similar media, that would constitute evidence of what you say.

Now the issue is how do you further the rights of Palestinian individuals who do not seek destruction of the Jews without empowering the national movement which sees every concession received as a tool with which to bring the destruction of Jewish sovereignty closer. My immediately prior comment is one such possibility. I’m open to others.

I second Adam,
and again it speaks volumes about Ayla’s pov, this being that of a progressive US Jew. I too have Israeli friends who served in the IDF, drill instructor and what not, a woman who served beyond what was expected of her and her husband seven years in the IDF, true Zionists. They never leave out an opportunity to poke fun at religious Jews and proudly say that they never go to shul. However when asked about withdrawing they say that withdrawing is unthinkable.
If we look at Arab culture and what is said when the microphone’s are turned off we see & hear truth. If the far left would only be willing to face the truth we would not be having this thread. As Jacob has stated, the far lefts motive’s are not peace, but go way beyond that.
The destruction of Israel is spoon fed in most Arabs/Muslim house holds from day one. It is unthinkable to them. They expelled the Jews after 48 and they would like to cleanse them entirely from the ME. All the far left activists like JVP and their sister organization’s aspire to the same goal. If you do a little research about pro-PAL clubs they all see the destruction of Israel as a given.
Ayla is one of many leftists who fails to understand the gravity of the situation, despite the fact that Jacob has outlined the reality here. Israel flourishes despite people like Ayla and Goldman, not because of them.
Looking at how other minorities are treated in Arab countries should be a clear sign of why we are in the situation we are in today. These minorities are the Kurd’s, Ba’hai, the 400.000 animists slaughtered in Darfur and those in Southern Sudan. The Copts and the Berber. Iraq in general. Yemen and Somalia and Afghanistan. How Ayla can argue for peace under this overwhelming negative evidence can only mean one thing. She does not understand what is going on, but subscribes to a make belief world which has no relevance to the seriousness we find ourselves in.

Ayla Adler says:

Jacob Arnon–I agree with this “there is an international legal procedure in place to end the military occupation.
In any case, this has little to do with the settlements which is a drag on the Israeli economy and puts the lives of many Israeli soldiers at risk.” And I’d like to see us evacuate the settlements too, by and large; I just don’t agree that the best strategy is to put all our eggs in that basket. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on the means; we seem to agree mostly on the ideal end.
*
I don’t believe that people know the full affect of the occupation (and how would people claiming otherwise know if they are among those who only have partial information?), but let’s also agree to disagree on that.
*
Scott–why do you think that the Palestinian Governing forces want to obliterate Israel? I know that’s a popular idea. It seems to come from the fact that they won’t recognize us. But the more I learn from people deep inside negotiations (not journalists), the more I don’t believe it’s true. They won’t outright recognize us as a “Jewish State”, but that’s more a matter of rights for Arab Citizens than an unwillingness to accept that we, Jews in Israel, with our Jewish Calendar and Right to Return and historic ties to the land, are here to stay. There’s a lot of posturing going on; its a chess game for rights and land. We’ll need to agree to disagree here, too, but for the record.

“Maybe so, Scott, but that is not the point, the point is that there is an international legal procedure in place to end the military occupation.”

The international procedure is to deal with an “official” representative of the Palestinians, which means either the PA or Hamas. Neither of those is a viable path towards ending the occupation in a way that is safe for Israel. The sooner Fatah is shuttled off the scene, the sooner a Palestinian alternative which would make an honor a just settlement with Israel would have a chance to emerge.

“In any case, this has little to do with the settlements …”

What makes you think I support the settlements? So far, I have said nothing on the topic.

As it turns out, I support the near settlements and limited corridors otherwise (Jordan Valley, Ariel, Hebron). On the other hand, why should Palestine be allowed to insist that their land be judenrein while Israel allows Arabs to live in its midst, even with the shameful discrimination that exists today.

philip mann says:

`They won`t outright recognise us as a Jewish state.`

So what`s the point of the exercise? To simply give in on some hint of acommodation ?They can`t even bring themselves to say `Israel` in a public forum.

As for murders by settlers, there may be cases,but it isn`t official policy, as it is with Hamas and Hizbollah., I`ve never seen a popular movement in from the Arabs saying `This is not the way to go`. Where is some leader willing to go on record and say in Arabic that compromises must be made ?

Ayla Adler says:

@Phillip–I’m not talking about settler violence; I’m talking about IDF violence against Palestinians as a result of the occupation. Hamas and Hezbollah are not the same. Regarding Hamas, since that is Palestinian leadership, when rockets fire seemingly randomly into Israel’s south (and I work within missile range), sometimes it’s a rogue group doing the firing and Hamas is not behind it (though they should have the authority to control this and don’t). Sometimes it is Hamas, but you’re reading about the rockets as if they were the first thing to happen when actually the first thing to happen was Israel performing some military operation in which civilians were killed and Hamas is responding. Sometimes, such as when they fire into Sderot, they are starting it in the name of resisting occupation. I’m just saying there’s always more to these stories than we read. A family member of mine is always sending me lists of things Hamas did that completely exclude the build up to those actions. And we have a bonafide army, so we get to call things “military actions” and claim that we aren’t breaking a ceasefire, even if we kill a child. And no, there was no “human shield” strategy going on. Look–anyone looking to back up any argument in this conflict can do so with evidence. I’m just saying: we don’t have the moral high ground, and neither do they. You might be thinking, Of course they don’t; but they can make just as good an argument for their moral highground as we can for ours. And we also don’t go on record and condemn the children we kill (I can think of several from the past six months), the children we traumatize when we break into their bedrooms in the middle of the night… We have to break out of this idea that we are more Right. At this point, everyone is reacting.

“Scott–why do you think that the Palestinian Governing forces want to obliterate Israel? I know that’s a popular idea.”

Name one thing they have said to their own people in their media that makes you believe they are prepared to live peacably with Israel.

What part of “get out of Efrat, then get out of Jerusalem, then get out of Tel Aviv” makes you believe that they will accept so much as a single Jew in the region who does not accept the strictures of dhimmitude? If you’re going to answer that, defend having Tel Aviv on the list.

If the PA is not intent on destroying Israel entirely, why does the PA mufti, appointed by Abbas, talk about the Muslims’ destiny of killing Jews?

If their goal is not Israel’s destruction, why was the PLO even founded? Remember, that was in 1964, before there ever was an occupation.

If their goal is not Israel’s destruction, why the denial of any connection between the Jews and the land of Israel?

If their goal is not Israel’s destruction, why does every PA map of Palestine extend from the river to the sea?

You’re welcome to your opinions. But all you’ve done so far, at least on the issue of Fatah’s intent, is assert that they are so. I have presented several items of evidence contrary. Any errors or counterevidence?

“Sometimes, such as when they(Hamas) fire into Sderot, they are starting it in the name of resisting occupation.”

Ayla– Gaza isn’t under occupation; if you’re referring to the West Bank, do you think the firing of missiles into Israel by Hamas is a legitimate way to resist the occupation? Do you think the Israeli government is the moral equivalent of Hamas? That’s certainly the sense I get from your last post. Please say it ain’t so.

“And no, there was no “human shield” strategy going on.”

Then what was Mahmoud Abu Rahma stabbed for writing about?

From Khaled Abu Toameh’s latest column, “Abu Rahma’s “crime” is that he dared to publish an article strongly criticizing Palestinian armed groups as well as the Hamas and Palestinian Authority governments for human rights violations and the use of civilians as human shields in the war against Israel.”
*
Also, I found the clip of the Palestinian official on Al Jazeera. You can find it at http://http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=450&fld_id=450&doc_id=5758 . It is of Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki. Among the lines, “Israel will come to an end. If I say that I want to remove it from existence, this will be great, great, [but] it is hard. This is not a [stated] policy. You can’t say it to the world. You can say it to yourself.”

philip mann says:

Whadaya know- a civilised debate on the net. This must be a first.

jacob arnon says:

Scott: “What makes you think I support the settlements? So far, I have said nothing on the topic.”

I don’t mean to imply that you did, Scott.

Ayla Adler says:

@Adam–of course it’s not okay for Hamas to fire rockets into Sderot (or anywhere else, including Be’er Sheva where I teach at BGU, and not in the PoliSci dept ;) ). I’m just saying that we come in on the news (leaving Sderot aside–speaking more to, say, rocket fire into Be’er Sheva) when we’re being attacked, and it never starts there; there’s always a story regarding how things escalated, and Israel’s hands are never clean. It doesn’t go from a bus being attacked in the south (a bus my friends take frequently) to Hamas firing rockets, which is how the pro-Israel emails that go around read.
*
No, I don’t make Hamas and the Israeli government equivalent. They’re different. I’m still learning a lot about both. But when one side has an army and the other doesn’t, it’s too easy to see our actions as legitimate and theirs, illegitimate. I just tried to google links for the ten year old boy killed in Gaza after that bus was attacked (not by anyone in Gaza), or the others I remember from recently. When I typed in the key words, all kinds of other links came up for other kids who’ve been killed (not during war)… Sorry for not taking the time to find the proper links; they don’t seem to persuade anyone, anyway, who believes firmly in our being “the most moral army in the world.” (not you; just people).
*
I was thinking about Seeds of Peace, and how your niece is actually the poster child for why Palestinians boycott it (not saying this is right or wrong–just sharing): they say that if Israelis attend SOP and return and still serve in the IDF, especially in the territories, then obviously SOP isn’t focussed on issues of justice or serious content and is glossing over the real issues.
*
Was it you who said Gaza isn’t occupied? (can’t see comments, now). That’s a meaningless statement, given the reality of their lives and Israel’s control over them.

Ayla Adler says:

Scott–When I first saw your post this morning, I went searching for all the links that show that Hamas and Abbas have recognized that Israel is here to say, but we ignore this because they won’t use the words “Jewish State” (a relatively new demand of ours, actually), but I stopped. The truth is, I’m not very good at this. The arguments you present are typical arguments. They are topic pointed. They represent common beliefs. And they focus on the barriers. Both sides do this. For every link you post of some hateful Islamist, there is one of our extremists being equally hateful. And both sides respond back with topic point answers. You can probably find mine on Peace Now’s website (I know! I know! Anti-zionists!). Of course, I think they’re pro-Zionists, dedicating their lives to Israel, but you say tomatoes, I say TomAtoes. It’s boring. Let’s focus on bridges.
*
So I bring you this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StniTO6GnEo&feature=player_embedded
*
In this video, Aziz Abu Sarah, of 972 fame ;), talks to an american audience about bridges vs. barriers and his own journey putting hate behind him after Israel killed his brother. These are the bravest people among us: Combatants for Peace, Bereaved Families… They are my heroes.
*
the talkbacks on the youtube video I’m sharing are hateful, saying that Aziz shouldn’t even call himself a Palestinian if he wants peace with Israel without justice (they claim). Instead of seeing these talkbacks as proof that we can’t have peace, I’d ask you to see them as a mirror: both sides say we can’t have peace because of Them; what They do. Let’s be visionary. If Aziz can do it, can’t we? For Israel’s sake. For humanity’s sake. And I don’t live in La-La land. I live in Israel. When I made Aliyah, there was a poster that said, “Live the Dream”. I said to the Aliyah man, “I’m 45. I live in Israel. I’m living the nightmare. Now, where do I sign.”

The activists associated with +972 find “any serious conversation about Israel’s policies is to be had outside of Israel’s borders”.

What they mean is the radical forms of left-wing politics they adhere to are not supported by most Israelis. But instead of critically examining why this is the case, they blame the voters. It must be very frustrating.

I understand where they are coming from because it is similar here in the US. Radicals are out of touch with the “American street”. Most of us do not care what the radicals think, whether they are on the far left or the far right. This is a good thing.

As far as the Palestinians, so many Israelis–even some “social justice” libs–are simply tired of hearing about it. The emphasis of more and more of the progressive community has been the internal socio-economic problems in Israel rather than the peace process. The construction of the barrier did a lot of good in that regard. It allowed Israelis to get back to living their lives. This makes the +972 types furious.

Jacob A: There is no Indian occupation of Kashmir. Citizens of the state of Jammu-Kashmir have the same rights as all Indians.

Adam Schwartz says:

“I was thinking about Seeds of Peace, and how your niece is actually the poster child for why Palestinians boycott it (not saying this is right or wrong–just sharing): they say that if Israelis attend SOP and return and still serve in the IDF, especially in the territories, then obviously SOP isn’t focussed on issues of justice or serious content and is glossing over the real issues.”

So, the Palestinians you know believe that mandatory service in the IDF morally discredits any Israeli’s commitment to justice and peace. I can’t think of an example more emblematic of the Palestinian’s failure to negotiate a peace with Israel.

Ayla Adler says:

Adam–they are saying that if true issues were being discussed at SOP, it would have an effect on people’s choices (and they are choices: how you do your service). I didn’t understand until listening to Palestinians–friends I really trust–how they are really treated by the IDF, all the time. If you were raised under military occupation, and you saw your grandparents humiliated, gratuitously mistreated; your children scared, etc., and you only knew the Occupiers in uniform, with guns, treating your people, your family this way, all your life, how would you feel? I also have good friends who serve in the IDF. I’m sympathetic to everyone. But we really need to spend more energy understanding what we don’t already know. Which is so much.

Ayla Adler says:

I guess that in general, it always seems to me that we want them to understand us, and they want us to understand them. We want recognition; they want recognition. They say: don’t say that to me; there’s no symmetry! Jews say to me: don’t say that to me; there’s no symmetry! But there is symmetry. We’re in this together. We create each other. We’re in a constant state of reaction to each other, and we need to take a big step back and aim not to be understood, but to understand. And so do they. At the present time, we are in a position of power; unjustly so. Therefore, we have more responsibility in this matter, at least for a first step. But in the end, everyone has to rise above herself. It’s overwhelming if we think of the big picture. But on a person-to-person level, there’s hope. I tend to think of it like a family, or marriage; everyone has to think of how to best love the other person; how to listen, rather than thinking of how to be heard and loved. The obstacle is fear. It’s less rational than we think, this fear. Theirs of us, and ours of them. Meanwhile, I can hardly tell Jewish Israelis from Arabs half the time. Crazy family, we are. All of us. Take care, everyone! I’m signing off, with respect. I know we all want the same thing. I don’t always love 972s choices in terms of where and how they shine their light, but I share their grief and urgent concern, learn a lot from their experiences on this land, and most importantly, I trust their hearts. Also, I trust yours.

“For every link you post of some hateful Islamist, there is one of our extremists being equally hateful.”

I’m not talking about “extremists,” I’m talking about mainstreams.

Israel has its Baruch Goldsteins as do the Palestinians. When Israel’s do their dastardly deeds, the reaction from up top is “I spit you out from the Jewish people.” When the Palestinians’ do theirs, the reaction up top is to name public squares and children’s summer camps after them.

The example of “get out … of Tel Aviv” was from a legislator who had the authority to force a village leader to decline a substantial gift that could have made a difference in the lives of his villagers.

There are Israeli extremists who call for killing Palestinians, but not senior Likud officials or, to my knowledge, any other personal appointees of Netanyahu.

I will repeat my point: Are there any errors or counterevidence to the evidence I provide? The fact that there are Israelis with little if any influence on public affairs is not evidence that Fatah intends peaceful coexistence.
*
As for Aziz Abu Sarah, if he talks like that to Palestinian audiences as well, I would say that with people like him in the PA that peace would be possible. On the assumption that he is genuine, I’d say what can be done to empower him and those like him? Propping up Abbas and the PA and Hamas media/education systems would not do so.

There is plenty to protest in what the Israeli government does. However, the government should change its behavior because it makes the likes of Abu Sarah odious in the eyes of persuadable Palestinians, not because Abbas is displeased.

“I didn’t understand until listening to Palestinians–friends I really trust–how they are really treated by the IDF, all the time. If you were raised under military occupation, and you saw your grandparents humiliated, gratuitously mistreated …”

I actually agree with you on that. The only restriction I would put on that is recognition of legitimate objectives of the IDF in the territories, such as preventing the movement of potential suicide bombers or other terrorists. Given that, how can those objectives be achieved at the minimum cost to the Palestinians, as measured by the criteria you listed and others that did not make your list? I would suspect that you would go further with general Israeli society with such an agenda than by saying that the answer to IDF abuse of the Palestinians is simply to cease IDF activity in the territories. One further consideration, who would you trust to carry out such a policy of least cost for legitimate objectives, participants of SOP or outpost-settlers?
*
Also, does anyone else notice a parallel with Iraq? Legitimate security concerns addressed by treating the entire population like the enemy with the result that those who weren’t beforehand became as a result. Loose rules of engagement. Indiscriminate roundups. The main difference is that in Iraq, there were AOs that went against that pattern and a subsequent surge that made the ROE in the exceptions the rule for the entire theater of operations.

Ayla Adler says:

Scott–I really am trying to wean myself of this thread, but thank you for taking the time to watch Aziz Abu Sarah’s video. I hope others will as well. His story about his brother is, tragically, not uncommon. There is no due process for Palestinians in Israeli prisons, nearly every Palestinian has a close relative in an prison, and many are coerced, violently, into signing confessions. I know this from listening to video testimony from Israeli judges. Depending on which lists you’re on, you get very different evidence to back up very different stories. I get the activist mail, so I hear a lot of IDF confessions (Breaking the Silence), etc.
*
You’re asking some really fair questions, Scott. I can only say that also I’m not talking about Baruch Goldstein (though there’s a memorial to him in Kiryat Arba where he’s actively celebrated). Israel commits violent crimes regularly, via our army, our system. There’s a lot of gratuitous violence and humiliation. We, too, get a one-sided education that dehumanizes Palestinians. We’ve already built on top of Palestinian cemeteries, homes, schools, and we’re in the process of destroying more and more, and then our Politicians say things like “We build, they destroy”, and yes, some of our officials (Lieberman) say horribly hateful things and win elections. What our officials say doesn’t sound any less hateful to Palestinians than what their officials say sound to us; that’s just really hard for us to realize.
*
I’m not saying it’s all our fault. Neither is 972 (something they’re frequently accused of). I’m saying the occupation needs to end, Now. I don’t know how. I want people to feel this urgency.
*
Aziz Abu Sarah does speak like that to Palestinians. Combatants for Peace and Bereaved Families are full of brave people on both sides doing this work. I wish 972 would cover them more, because once we feel the urgency, we need to feel agency, and we need some hope, and less fear, in order to take action.

arcaneone says:

I have read Tablet since it began, and recognized its apparent purpose as undermining Israel’s position in the world.
The idea that people are strengthening Israel
by vilifying it under any and all circumstances is so ludicrous as to delegitimize the political Left forever. The Left has squandered its moral stature on
anti-Zionism, while the Pals have squandered theirmoral on inter-Arab feuds. If the Left
sees its task as one of convincing the majority to offer its throat to a wolf, it won’t get very far. The Jewish Left has lots of talent, but seems to have no insight at all into the futility of dumping concessions on the Pals. Hint:
based on recent events, the Israeli Left
is deservedly marginal, andhas limited capacity to examine itsaelf or Arab intelocutors. Editor, do you really think your readership is that unsophisticated?

Jeffrey says:

Good blog post and some excellent comments. Thank you all. What little I have read on +972′s web site has disappointed me. I’ve found those pieces harshly condemning Israel as a whole, without any true recognition of the Arab/Palestinian long-standing enmity towards Israel, Jews and Judiasm. Personally, I despise Netanyhu’s politics, the ultra-Orthodox hegemony, and the increased anti-democratic trend in Israel. I also understand that outside (non-Jewish) forces bear significant responsibility for incubating some of the worst of Israel’s excesses. I don’t fool myself for a minute into believing that changes in Israel’s policies will have much of a short term payoff, in terms of Arabs and Palestinians reciprocating. However, that is no excuse for Israel — with the support of Diaspora Jews — embracing injustice a practice and policy.

Interesting exchange that seems to have brought back the dead in the case of Jacob Arnon.

Scott, you are right, but what you don’t mention is the presence in the story of the settlers. This distances Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from the Iraq parallel. (Long-term government policy and a two-tier Israeli legal infrastructure are to blame for their presence there, not the settlers themselves).

The truth is that story and counter-story, myth and counter-myth are no longer the issue. +972 magazine tells you about things you do not necessarily see in the English language press, neither yours nor ours. The reason you do not see them is because they hurt not only the victim, we expect that, but also the perpetrator. And the perpetrator happens to be us if we’re Israeli and you if you happen to be Jewish Israel-firsters. Jeffrey, you find it disappointing; the best way to improve its balance is to add your voice.

For anyone who really wants to know, next time you go to Israel and come up to Jerusalem, walk, by yourself, not with a group that will cloud your judgment, just a little bit further east than your hotel – if you happen to be staying at The Olive Tree, Jerusalem Grand Court or Leonardo hotels each of which looks out over the Umm Haroun compound, it’s exactly two and a half steps away – and visit Sheikh Jarrah. You will be able to witness for yourself both sides of the story, both the proponents of the rise and rise of a hitherto little-known Jewish shrine called Shimon Hatzadik and the plight of the Al Kurd family, just as one example, which has to share its home and yard with Kahanist settlers. Speak to both. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are other walks you could take and other people you could see, but this little excursion alone is sufficient to show you why +972 is there. Thanks to efforts like theirs, we won’t credibly be able to defend ourselves by saying “lo yadanu” (we didn’t know) in years to come.

Fascinating discussion.

I am Israeli and never heard of +972 before. I must admit I did not meet any extreme left wing activist in the last 6-7 years, they almost completely disappeared of Israel so reading Ayla Adler was like reading some crazy alien from outer space. She is apparently very sincere and probably a good person, but displays such a mixture of naiveté, ignorance, and disconnection from reality that I sometimes doubt she is real. But she is apparently. That’s fascinating on some anthropologic level but also frightening to see that some people can be so blind.

Ayla Adler says:

Jojo–as an Israeli, you are not alone in feeling as you do, not by a longshot, and I wasn’t living here during the 2nd Intifada, nor did I grow up here, so I have not walked where you have walked. I think it is, in fact, because so many Israelis feel as you do that 972 is targeting the diaspora to pressure Israel out of the occupation. Rest assured, though: I am not alone, nor am I the most extreme left winger out there by any stretch of the imagination. I have only a few questions for you, and they are utterly sincere (not antagonistic): Have you been to the Palestinian Territories recently (or ever)? And: do you know any Palestinians? If you do know Palestinians, do you know them well enough to have heard their stories? Have you asked? If not, is it not possible that there’s a lot you don’t know, even though you’re Israeli and have probably served in the IDF, about what their lives are like under Occupation? I’ll only add that I sympathize plenty with Israel on plenty of things, and I moved here out of a Jewishly-connected love for the Negev–I just don’t post about that, because there’s a word limit here, and my priority is awakening us (myself included, daily) to what we don’t already know, outside our own narrative, no matter how true some of it is. I believe in simultaneous truths. The arguments that people bring in here are very, very old and stale; they have little to do with what’s happening on the ground today, outside the comfort of our own bubbles.
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I actually wrote this before reading sh’s comment inviting people to Sheik Jarrah. What a beautifully put, poignant invitation. One of my leftist activist friends involved in that movement is a shomeret shabbat sabra who loves Israel deeply. Try not to label so much, Jojo; nothing, no one, is so simple.
*
Jeffrey, I, too, would be grateful to see you on 972′s threads. I learn a lot there, from the commenters as well as the writers.

JoJo,

” She is apparently very sincere and probably a good person, but displays such a mixture of naiveté, ignorance, and disconnection from reality that I sometimes doubt she is real. ”

it’s what happens to many people when you grow up in the West.
“Oh Dearism”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCBG4bvIueA

When you have never seen reality it is much easier to fool yourself.

Ayla Adler says:

Beautiful. On a thread where “Jacob Arnon” doesn’t tell me that he isn’t, in fact, the holocaust survivor I believe he is–that he is commenting under the deceased survivor/zionist leader’s name–when I offer him a heartfelt apology; and “Dude” is such a notorious hasbarist that he chooses that name rather over his own, I’m being given a lecture on “reality”. Maybe I should have taken @Jules more seriously when he referenced Rabin’s assassin in relation to the lot of you.
*
Scott, Jeffrey, Phillip, Adam–you’re welcome over on 972. So far, only Klang of googling “go back to Michigan” fame has shown up, but I trust he’ll do something to get kicked off eventually; unlike Tablet (it seems), 972 monitors.

That’s also something I have witnessed live at 972 , when the lefty’s are cornered in an argument, they just delete entire sections of the thread. No kidding. You simply get banned there for disagreeing in a cohesive manner. Goes to show…

Ayla Adler says:

Dude–read 972′s comment policy and compare them to the deleted posts (I know, hard to do ;), but I saw lots of them before they were deleted. They always get warnings before being banned from the site-it’s all for good reasons having nothing to do with their politics, and they’ve also deleted Palestinians and Palestinian sympathizers for the same reasons. And, there are some right wingers, including from settlements, who’ve been commenting actively there for nearly a year. There’s a regular cast of characters, and they’re from all walks.
*
p.s. JoJo–many of the writers there are Israeli-born. You might be interested to read them. Just for anthropological reasons ;).

Ayla,
How can I read deleted ( censored ) posts?
The point I am trying to make is that I have seen some author’s “lose” a good argument live, with no racism involved and the thread is essentially censored. Please do not forget that it is a blog, so they can do what they like.
The far left’s problem’s in most discussions is that they, in essence, negate the Jewish faith/religion, anti-semitism and the obvious security situation.
I have many Tel Aviv far lefty friends, and can honestly say that when they let their “humanistic” guard down, their attitudes towards anything “Jewish” or even Mizrahi is frankly racist and highly intolerant. Many on the left have such a broken relationship with faith and spirituality that the openly laugh at anything Jewish.
One does not need to be observant in any sense, many of my friends are not. I do however question their motivation when their compassion towards Palestinian’s is greater than towards the Mizrahi or Kiddush ( being seen as a political statement )
This ‘complex’ flows into a general misbelief on the far left of not excepting that many people in Israel and the diaspora identify as a Jew. It is this dichotomy, of living in a productive and beautiful Zionist culture yet failing to empathize as a Hebrew which takes most logic of its hinges. One needs to be familiar with the lefts discourse of the Judenfrage in order to follow my point here. Crudely put, the IL left conflates Judaism in its broadest meaning with racist Kahana, which is of course a dead end. I will not have Bibi define my Judaism, but sadly many in ‘Tel Aviv’ have fallen into that conundrum. This is largely due to their ignorance since some never spend a minute pondering what Judaism is. Gurvitz is a case in point, since he openly hate’s Judaism due to what I assume is an unfortunate childhood as a Haredi and now commie. Not the most balanced pov.
You should look into dhimmi culture & research what the Arabs say when the microphones are not hot.

Ayla Adler says:

Dude–I think we actually found some common ground, in that I find it sad that in Israel, the reaction to the religious right–and their influence over law and policy for all Israelis–is to disengage from Judaism. There’s something profound about a country founded on land that’s holy to Jews that has turned so many Jewish citizens off from that sense of holiness. Then again, my secular Israeli friends know the Torah better than most American Jews, can say the full Kiddush by heart if I ask them to at a shabbat dinner, clean for Pesach; all that is simply cultural, here. For an American Jew, even just hearing everyone say Shabbat Shalom on yom sheshi is an amazing thing at first.
*
Listen–of course there is serious anti-semitism and also anti-Jewish Propaganda, and of course this exists in the Arab world (and Iran, and elsewhere). And of course there are serious security threats to Israel. I’m pretty darn sure that every 972 writer would agree; these are points of fact. It is therefore very easy for us to stay stuck in our position of victimhood and righteousness at the expense of, dare I say our soul. Israel is losing her soul. We must end this occupation. We must stop sleepwalking. While perhaps you are right in saying that it would be good for secular Israelis to ponder Judaism, it can equally be said that it would be good for many religious Israelis to ponder holiness, and what was, and is, truly being asked of us upon entering this sacred land. Not according to the rabbis. We’ve forgotten the Book.

Ayla Adler says:

well, I feel the way about the Post (which my politically moderate Sabra friends find to be pure propaganda), and that particular watchdog org, and the undemocratic idea of making it illegal to donate to certain leftist NGO’s, that you do about 972. As for some of the quotations in that piece by 972 writers (and some of those quoted aren’t even staff writers), I also don’t agree with everything they say, nor does each writer agree with what other writers say. for example, I don’t think direct comparisons between different injustices (the separate roads in the west bank, south africa’s apartheid) work exactly, and I think they usually hurt important arguments. That’s not a reason to find the magazine offensive if, like me, you find those separate roads offensive.

Ayla Adler says:

Dude–the thing is, 972 is covering stories about human rights violations and anti-democracy (also against Jewish Israelis). That watchdog org is concerned with them making Israel look bad. Guess which is more important to people like me: Israel’s image, or the way Israel is treating human beings and the future of democracy in this country? Want to improve Israel’s image? Let’s earn it.

Ayla Adler says:

NGO Monitor, the watchdog org from the piece Dude posts that is blacklisting 972 Mag from donations, has done the same to every organization of brave Israelis and Palestinians working together peacefully for justice, including Combatants for Peace, the organization Aziz Abu Sarah describes in his video I posted on this thread. NGO Monitor is against Rabbis for Human Rights; apparently, they prefer rabbis for spitting on 8 year old immodestly dressed Jewish girls and rabbis for cutting down West Bank olive trees. They are also against Breaking The Silence, in which IDF soldiers voluntarily share the actions they took part in as participants in what many American Jews refer to as “the most moral army in the world”; clearly, NGO Monitor prefers silence. Even if your politics are not aligned with these organizations, consider that attacking democracy and free press affects the whole.

Former 972 Reader says:

972 is offensive because it contains a group of writers who tend to translate many events in the most anti-Israel way possible. There was even one article where the author wished that Israel could be like Egypt with its “Arab Spring.” Talk about upside-down.

Also, unfortunately, 972 authors do not have the courage to allow people who disagree to have a voice on their site. They ban commenters regularly without warning, they ban comments or delete them at will and they ignore solid, knowledgeable comments opposing their views by using the simplistic terms “hasbara” as an epithet.

Lisa Goldman, for example, once argued that Hamas was not at all an Iranian proxy and banned the commenter who made that claim from her channel. A week after this happened, a Hamas official publicly acknowledged the massive assistance given to Hamas in Gaza by Iran. Since Goldman had banned the writer (for no reason other than she was tired of reading his comments on her blog and wanted him to open his own blog), the conversation couldn’t proceed. She never retracted her false assertion, or apologized for banning the person who showed her to be wrong. In 972-land everything proceeded apace: the self-righteous writers continued to write their anti-Israel screeds while claiming their opponents are racist/hateful/war-mongers/hasbaraniks/ignorant/and so on.

I do commend 972 for one thing, they manage to make Ha’aretz look reasonable. They are so far to the left that Ha’aretz looks like some right wing rag by comparison.

Former 972 Reader says:

And Ayla, I’m sorry you think that something justifies lobbing rockets indiscriminately, and not in a time of war, at Israeli civilians, but actually, nothing justifies these acts. And they are almost always launched without any action or provocation by Israel to which they can claim they are responding. And even if they consider an attack on one or a group of their fighters to be a cause for attack, then why are they attacking civilian targets and not military targets?

Robert says:

Former 972 Reader,
you nailed it. Pretty much any stance contra a 972 piece in the threads will be labeled “hasbara” which is a big doo doo. There is a counter revolutionary hysteria present in much of the far left which reminds me of either Iran or the Eastern bloc. The very space they wish to claim for themselves is not afforded in the discourse. Goldman being a good example, again and again, but not the only one.
It is the negating of the home crowd – not worth talking to – and then addressing outsiders who frankly know nothing that smacks of a new alarming elitism/supremacy.
“My free speech is worth more than your free speech”, I therefor can scream you down. It is all to reminiscent of past revolutions, a little “reeducation” may well be next.
Researching some of the commenters names and reading their tweets will quickly separate the men from the boys. We are met by crass anti-semites and the usual Arab loving scene, who see all the evil in “Ziostan” yet when 5000 Syrians/45000 Kurds/400.000 Sudanese get murdered in broad day light there is not a peep, yada yada. At that point it should dawn on the critical reader who feels at home at 972 and why.
Anti-semitism comes in many colours and grey tones. It has had thousands of years to adapt to any environment, any discourse, any culture. One only must want to see it.
Ayla, you claim a holistic approach. I fail to see it.

Ayla Adler says:

Former 972 reader (you sound like RichardNYC, who was removed from commenting there): if you read what I wrote as saying that I justify lobbying rockets indiscriminately (or, frankly, even discriminately), then you’re not a very good reader, which would explain a lot…
*
972 writers are good at discerning dissenting opinions from Hasbara. there is no left wing equivalent of hasbara: people, often paid, very organized, who comment on left or left leaning news sites with the purpose of countering what is said and spreading their Pro-Israel word.
*
It’s a shame that American readers believe there are two Israeli newspapers: left, Haaretz; right, Jerusalem post. In fact, the Jerusalem Post writes exclusively for a diaspora (or american immigrant to israel) audience, as there is no hebrew language (so, Israeli) equivalent.. Haaretz, on the other hand, is an Israeli paper. The biggest difference between Haaretz in Hebrew and in English is the op eds; the news is the same. I understand that if you are right-leaning and you don’t read hebrew, you have no other options, but it’s important to know that you are reading something unlike anything Sabras read. 972 has a higher percentage of sabra readers :).
*
Former Reader–you are very misinformed about Hamas and Iran, but I’m not taking that on. I learn more every day; I’m no expert, and it’s all very confusing (shiites, sunnis, arab world, Iran, Hezbollah…). I know just enough to know that you are very wrong, and Goldman knows more than both of us combined.
*
Robert–I’m so tired of people getting upset about our focussing on Israel’s injustices by pointing out other, greater injustices in the world. As Jews, and Israelis, we are focussing on the injustices committed in our name, and in the name of our holiness. That someone else is doing it too, and worse, makes no difference. We are fighting for an Israel we can believe in, rather than jumping ship.
*
truly signing off now. Take care, all (also truly).

Former 972 Reader says:

Ayla, I’m an excellent reader in Hebrew and English. I read Ha’aretz in Hebrew. Do you?

Speaking of that leftist propaganda source whose publisher whispered in Condee Rice’s ear that USA should rape Israel to force it to end the occupation, here’s Ha’aretz describing Hamas’s troubles because Iran has cut its funding:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/iran-cuts-hamas-funding-for-failing-to-show-support-for-assad-1.379845

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s address what you wrote:

1. “Regarding Hamas, since that is Palestinian leadership, when rockets fire seemingly randomly into Israel’s south…sometimes it’s a rogue group…and Hamas is not behind it (though they should have the authority to control this and don’t). …but you’re reading about the rockets as if they were the first thing to happen when actually the first thing to happen was Israel performing some military operation in which civilians were killed and Hamas is responding. Sometimes, such as when they fire into Sderot, they are starting it in the name of resisting occupation.

I’m just saying that we come in on the news …when we’re being attacked, and it never starts there; there’s always a story regarding how things escalated, and Israel’s hands are never clean.”

So to be clear, you oppose rockets launched at Israel, but you think they are ALWAYS launched because Israel ALWAYS did something. You understand the reason for the rockets and it’s because each side has its own version of events. The Palestinians are merely expressing their version of truth with the rockets and anyway, the rockets follow Israeli actions or occupation which must be resisted.

Did I misstate what you wrote?

From this I gather that you aren’t okay with the rockets, but you understand them. After all, they are always a response to Israel’s nefarious actions.

Except the rockets target civilian centers, Ayla. You do get that this is a criminal act, yes? There is no acceptable excuse.

Former 972 Reader says:

Regarding Lisa Goldman, Ayla, she was proven wrong by me – with links provided and always politely, though firmly – a number of times. It wasn’t an accident I was blocked by her and then from the entire website. You can continue to blame others, but you might actually think about the implications of a group of journalists opening a publication and ensuring that people who know their stuff are consistently banned from the site.

Now you actually write the following, “972 writers are good at discerning dissenting opinions from Hasbara. there is no left wing equivalent of hasbara: people, often paid, very organized, who comment on left or left leaning news sites with the purpose of countering what is said and spreading their Pro-Israel word.”

I’m not paid and never was. I think the term “hasbara” is a joke. Should I call what 972 and its ilk do “Paliganda?” Because that’s what it is, and unlike me, they are paid to publish their paliganda.

There are groups, like CAMERA, that have loyal followers, but they don’t go to 972. The people who tend to comment on 972 to counter the authors’ anti-Israel bias tend to be individuals like myself who know the conflict and its history well and are astounded by the idea that this group is actually trying to foist their deeply biased view of Israel on unsuspecting non-Israelis (why else publish in English?). By going on to their site and debating them (politely, with links and always careful to ensure my information is correct), I am offering a different point of view, not hasbara. Actually, I’m the individual here and they are the collective with the organized goals who are ensuring that my voice isn’t heard at all. Slowly, but surely, by eliminating reasoned debate by banning or labeling everything they disagree with “hasbara,” they’ve turned their site into an orgy of Israel-hatred. Sure, they claim to want to save Israel, but why would anybody want to save the country as it is perceived by them?

Ayla Adler says:

FormerReader: 1) The Palestinian Authority relies on American funds; are they a “proxy” for the United States? Do they *like* the United States?
*
2) Never said *you* were a hasbarist.
*
3) as for everything you said about what I wrote, again, i question your reading comprehension.

Michael Lerner says:

WHat makes you think that the 972 Magazine is anything other than just one more far-leftist treasonous web group pf leftist Jewish anti-Semites?

Former 972 Reader says:

(not sure whether this went through the first time, so I am re-posting in two different comments.)

Ayla,
My comprehension is sound. If there’s something I misrepresented when I quoted you, state what it is. As far as I can tell, you claim that Israel’s hands are always dirty and that people are misinformed if they think these attacks don’t have justification such as “resisting occupation” or response to Israel killing civilians.

I quote you but you claim my comprehension is off. Show where my comprehension fails. My stupid mind thanks you in advance for any clarification.

As for Iranian proxies, here is another Ha’aretz article:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/hamas-all-islamist-groups-will-unite-with-iran-if-israel-attacks-1.2075

“Hamas leader Khaled Meshal warned on Tuesday that Islamist militant groups would back Iran if the Islamic Republic was attacked by Israel, Iranian state television reported.

“All Islamist militant groups will form a united front with Iran against Israel if it attacks Iran,” Meshal told a news conference.

The Hamas leader added: “We are all parts of the same body… We all should fight against the mutual enemy. But how, the leaders will decide based on our capacities.” “

Former 972 Reader says:

If that isn’t clear enough for you, here is Egypt’s foreign minister. I’m sure Lisa Goldman and you know more that he does, but just in case you don’t, here is his take on Iran and proxies:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2009/01/28/us-egypt-arabs-idUKTRE50R4IL20090128

Egypt aired its grievances against Iran, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, saying they worked together in the fighting over Gaza to provoke conflict in the Middle East.

“(They tried) to turn the region to confrontation in the interest of Iran, which is trying to use its cards to escape Western pressure … on the nuclear file,” Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in an interview with Orbit satellite channel broadcast Wednesday.”

Let me know if you still feel any of this is unclear.

Robert says:

Former 972 Reader,

please don’t forget three container ships with around 100 tons of Iranian weapons destined for Arafat and Hamas
the three ships were the

Karina A
Victoria
Francop

Ayla,
you have no idea what you are talking about. Really, no idea.
‘Iran not supporting the Palestinians’ . You actually walk around Israel saying such things? What do your neighbour’s think of you?
Ignorance is bliss. Cringe.

Rabbi Tony Jutner says:

I am a prominant American anti-zionist, and I rely on 972 for headlines that the ziopress doesnt wish to publicize. I think the only solution will happen when zionists exercise their right of return so the Palestinians can exercise theirs. It is only a matter of time until Ayla Adlers well honed sense of morality will come into conflict with the fact that she is currently on stolen land, and she will need to make the same choice that Lisa Goldman did

Ayla Adler says:

Jesus–can anybody read? I did not say that Iran was not supporting the Palestinians. You people really hear things in such black and white terms, which, if you ask me, is our biggest problem, overall.

as for the rest of it former reader, it’s not worth my time or energy. I making a particular point about the way the media covers what happens here, and if you want to take it out of context and put words in my mouth to suggest that I love it when rockets fire and land next to the classrooms in which I teach, fine. spin your wheels, my words (words I already clarified once on this thread to someone much more reasonable than you are).

Ayla Adler says:

p.s. former reader, saying that people are resisting occupation is not the same as justifying rocket fire. Again: something between black and white, people. Palestinians are resisting occupation, and I am against violence, even though we make their peaceful protest nearly impossible by jailing people right and left, killing them (yes–killing people who are protesting peacefully; see Nabi Saleh just last month for one example), intimidating them, using all kinds of gas that keeps me and others–Israeli and Palestinian–from joining them… Even though we pay no attention to their peaceful protests, and do pay attention to their violence, I am adamantly against all violent forms of resistance. The thing is, you all hear things in boxes and categories in which you understand them, so you just put my comments into whichever box or category you feel they belong. There’s a whole world of complexity out there within which we have no choice but to question our own beliefs and views. Stay in your worlds–much more comfortable. Mark my words: not returning to this thread.

Former 972 Reader says:

Dear Ayla, I wrote that you oppose the rocket fire. You see? There’s nuance and not everything is black and white.

—-

You wrote earlier, “Former Reader–you are very misinformed about Hamas and Iran, but I’m not taking that on.”

I’m just wondering whether you still feel that way? Should I pull out more links and articles to show you the obvious?

————

Please note that the “peaceful” Palestinian protests are often marred by violence. This is why when Dana was still writing for 972, he was always careful to qualify that the protests unarmed, not non-violent. And the “peaceful protesters” who are killed are usually throwing rocks at soldiers. Can’t they throw flowers instead? There’s no reason anybody should die…and there’s no reason to attack the soldiers. Complexity and nuance.

———–

Finally, regarding boxes, I suggest to you that your perspective is precisely the opposite of what you claim. You accuse me of putting people in boxes but in reality it is you who can’t comprehend that a person who supports peace and a two-state solution, and who thinks that having an Israeli military presence amidst another population alters Israel’s soul to a significant degree, and not in a good way, can view the conflict in a way that contradicts most of what 972 writers (and you) believe and write.

I always liked to remind Noam Sheizaf and the gang (before I was banned), that they should be expending all this energy they’re using up on foreigners to instead convince the Palestinians to make peace. Most Israelis and their supporters are already on board but the Palestinians are not. All that energy at 972 should be used to convince the Palestinians to come along for the ride.

Be well, Ayla.

Eugene says:

How can Zionist ideals have any appeal to Western liberal thought? When you put aside the “Jewish Homeland” thing, Zionism is a narrow exclusivist ideology and Israeli politics reflects that. The Arab world is lumbering, slowly, clumsily, towards democracy and Israel is regressing into a military theocracy paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

“The leftis magazine”? Shouldn’t we refer to it as the Stalinist one?

The following piece that I posted was not to the liking of the moderators, hence any other post I attempted to send was automatically deleted, despite the fact – and most likely because of it – that all my posts have been full of factually based analysis and observation with the goal of achieving a realistic peace. This, it appears the nature of this publication:

“It (BDS, JBI) uses the treasured tactics… to erase Israel’s character as a Jewish state”, and herein is the racist element of this seemingly innocent movement.

Israel is a tiny liberal democracy and by right the nation-state of the Jewish people. Its right is derived from three elements: historic, ethical and legal.

Israel is the manifestation of the re-institution of the Jewish people’ sovereignty in Eretz Israel (Land of Israrel), the homeland of the Hebrew/Israeli/Jewish people and the cradle of its civilization of 4,000 years: Judaism. Despite all odds, members of the Jewish people have been the only ones who have maintained constant presence in their homeland as Jews for all of this time and have never considered any other place as their homeland. This historic right was appreciated by those who, in the 19th century, recognized the Jewish people’s ethical right.

It is a universally accepted right of all peoples, including that of the Jewish people, to national self-determination and independence in each people’s homeland. This ethical right was understood by the powers that be when the non-violent (not pacifist, mind you) national liberation movement of the Jewish people, Zionism, demanded the right to re-institute Jewish sovereignty and independence in the Jewish people’s homeland of Eretz Israel. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 is an expression of this ethical right.

(to be continued…)

Jehudah Ben-Israel says:

(…continuation)

These historic and ethical rights were then translated into legal right. It was first the San Remo Conference, 1920, that designated “Palestine” – the name of a territory, not a nationality or a state, mind you!! – to be “the national home for the Jewish people”. This language, taken directly out of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was adopted by the League of Nations, 1922, which partitioned “Palestine”, handing over 77% of it to the Arabs who subsequently renamed their part Jordan, and the rest, 23% of it, between the Jordan River to the Med. Sea, to the Jews, who subsequently re-named their part Israel. This legal process was completed when the United Nations, in 1945, incorporated the League of Nations decisions of 1922 into its Charter, Article 80, as an irrevocable act.

Hence, Israel, being the independent “national home for the Jewish people”, i.e. the nation-state of the Jewish people, is here by right: historic, ethical and legal; having been proclaimed as such on 14 May 1948.

Singling out the nation-state of the Jewish people, and therefore, by extension, the people whose nation-state Israel is, is an act of racism, anti-Jewish racism. And, calling for its elimination under such slogans as “one state”, “no state”, etc. amounts to a double insult of not only singling out a people, the Jewish people, but implicitly denying this people’s very first human right, the right to live and to defend one’s life; and the ability to apply this denial of right to Jews, for no other reason but for the fact that the members of the Jewish people are Jews.

Regardless of the amount and colors of feathers used by the BDS members to veil, their words and actions amount to racism, anti-Jewish racism at that!!

(end)

Former 972 Reader says:

Okay, here is a perfect example of the kind of nonsensical banning and limiting of speech done at 972.

http://972mag.com/catherine-ashton-had-it-right-the-death-of-a-child-is-terrible-period/38961/

You will see that a commenter intelligently argues against the premise of the article. At some point the author of the article decides he’s had enough so he warns off the comment writer. Why? No reason, it’s just that he’s had his fill. Then he actually censors the comment-writer’s next message and the comment-writer disappears from the discussion entirely (perhaps banned also?).

Even if the writer isn’t banned, he is now on 972′s watch list. That means nothing he publishes goes on automatically before being reviewed. This is also a form of censorship.

972 is nothing more than a propaganda mill.

jacom says:

fuck you stupid idiots

Kahalani says:

I once posted a comment in Ami Kaufman’s section, when he condemened two Haganah fighters who castrated an Arab child-rapist, whom the British mandatory authorities refused to arrest. I asked Kaufman what he would do if some child he knew was raped and the authorities did nothing. His response was to call me an “asshole motherfucker” and then ban me from commenting on the blog.
Then another author told me how Africans in Israel were there legally on visas, or had visas issued to them once they entered illegally. I pointed out that this is false. At most they get temporary resident status, but no “retroactive visas” and no permanet status in Israel. She refused to publish this comment.

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