Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hatred: The Natural Daily Kos Reaction to Netanyahu's Victory

Michael L.

racist racist everywhere ytn5klAs everyone knows, the people at Daily Kos just love Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jews Zionists.

That being the case, let's take a gander at some of their musings upon Netanyahu's victory, yesterday, in the Israeli election.

Let's start by looking at the comments under this David Harris-Gershon "diary" with the fair and balanced title, Netanyahu's racist incitement against Arabs & rejection of two states lead to a comeback victory.

The first thing to note are the ubiquitous charges of racism against pretty much anyone that they do not like.  In this case all the high-pitched screechings are due to the fact that Netanyahu apparently claimed that anti-Likud operatives are getting the Arab vote out in large numbers and that Likud needs to step up their own get-out-the-vote drive.

That is it.  That is all.  In fact, what Harris-Gershon naturally will not tell you is that within the very link that he directs us towards we read:
Likud MK Gila Gamliel expressed her happiness with reports of high voter turnout among Arab citizens.

"I praise the high voter turnout in the non-Jewish sector. I'm glad. It gives them a sense of belonging and a will to change. Maybe it won't be expressed as support for Likud, but it will make different parties understand they should relate more to this public and put the treatment of Israeli Arabs in the foreground," Gamliel said.
He refuses to discuss this because it flies directly in opposition to his whipping up of hatred toward his fellow Jews and here, for your reading pleasure, is just a small sampling of that hatred.

NM Ray crows, "Racism and Prejudice carry the day in another election for a Conservative ideologue!"

sleipner calls Netanyahu a "racist Israeli war criminal."

environmentalism claims that Israeli policies are "racist and militaristic."

limpid glass is so enamored of Israeli culture that he tells us this:
There is no room for the Palestinians within Zionism. Zionism means: democracy is for Israeli Jews alone. Everyone else goes to the back of the bus.
elwior helpfully reminds us that Netanyahu has a "putrid, racist ass," although it remains rather unclear on just how she is so familiar with the Prime Minister's hindquarters.

Lepanto predicts that Israel is, or will be, a "racist, apartheid state."  

caseynm is so pleased that she thinks that Israel has it coming.  Whatever it is.  She writes, "If Israel elects this motherfucking racist pig then Israel deserves whatever happens to it."  I wonder if she has such strong feeling for, say, Hassan Nasrahla of Hezbollah who famously said, "If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."  Somehow, I doubt it.

PhilZ comes right to the point about Israeli evil when he reasonably argues, "Now that Likud and the other ethnocentric, right-wing parties will again end up at the helm of the Israeli ship of state, the racist, intolerant, dehumanizing dark side of Israel's political soul lays bare for everyone in the world to see."

{I feel reasonably certain that what PhilZ has laid bare is his own political soul.}

PorridgeGun insists that the Netanyahu campaign bombarded the Israeli electorate with "fear and racism."

Needless to say, no one thought to ask for even a single example of this alleged racist "bombardment."

Wildthumb is also a Netanyahu fan who tells us, "This PIG did everything a Republican would do to get elected: scare conservatives, stir up racism, and spread false rumors. I'm sure Palestinians will now feel more radicalized than ever, and this PIG asked for it."

Yes.  Yes.  The Jews deserve whatever beating we get.  We know already.

LeftCoastTom suggests that Jewish Israelis may have liked "the appeal to anti-Arab-Israeli racism."

Whereas Mindful Nature is certain that the Jewish Israeli electorate is "dominated by racists."

DROzone agrees with Mindful Nature when he writes, "Racism wins when voters are racist."

brooklynbadboy also believes that Jewish Israelis are racist.  He writes, "Bibi went hardcore racist and the Israeli people voted for it. Good. Better we know exactlythe sentiment of the Israeli people. This, if we are lucky, can help separate the American people, and eventually the American government, from Israel."

I actually agree that Israel should be more independent from the United States, but this guy clearly wants to see the Jews of the Middle East thrown to the wolves.  If another Holocaust were to take place, so many of these people would simply shrug their shoulders, make "tsk tsk" sounds, and blame it on the Jewish victims and, yet, Jews are supposed to want to support the Left?

Ridiculous.

And this is just some of what we find within a single "diary" on a single day and it's just concerned with the racism charge.

We have not even, yet, considered the "warmonger" charge, nor the "liar" charge.

And let's not even get into Netanyahu's alleged thirst for the delicious and refreshing blood of Palestinian-Arab children... on ice.

The bottom line is that Daily Kos, and writers such as David Harris-Gershon, are involved in a project of whipping up hatred toward the Jewish people and toward the Jewish State of Israel.

In the case of Harris-Gershon it is particularly egregious since he is, himself, Jewish and is (or was) a teacher in a Jewish day school back east.  Harris-Gershon - a man who thought it appropriate to purchase gifts for the children of the terrorist who tried to kill his wife in Jerusalem - flatters himself that he is fighting for social justice.

This is what makes the irony so terrible, because the truth of the matter is that Harris-Gershon's main contribution to the discussion is one of whipping up hatred among non-Jews toward his fellow Jews in Israel, whom he holds in moral contempt.

There are people in the pro-Israel blogospher who think that Harris-Gershon is a fraud.

They think that he is a liar and that he does not care about the well-being of Israel.

I do not know this to be true.

{More is the pity.}

52 comments:

  1. I've always found it striking how ignorant people are willing to open their mouths wide enough to get both feet in. It takes me back to my days at Berkeley. I'm serious.
    People who have a fair amount of knowledge about the subject they're talking about tend to be more circumspect.
    Is Harris-Gershon a fraud? I don't know, but what he is certainly not, is normal. Obviously he's wracked with guilt over what happened to his family. But why should his voice be heard over others who've experienced similar trauma and come to a conclusion 180 degrees from his? Hint: the media.

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    1. I read the guy's book and I thought he was sincere.

      I also think that he does more than his fair share of spreading around unjust contempt.

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    2. I'm less familiar with Harris-Gershon than the rest of you.
      I am aware of the horrific attack his wife was injured in. And of the subsequent book. ( Haven't read his book.)
      Real forgiveness doesn't usually require having to find another party to shift the anger and blame on to. Real forgiveness tends to reduce the amount of 'hate' in the world - not increase it.
      There is an unquestionable tragedy at the heart of his family's experience. However, he seems to have taken a particular path. And one that covers him in a kind of cloak of moral unassailability. While generating a viciously toxic amount of loathing - backed up by ideology and history , of course. Of course.

      It's interesting.
      Something of a psychodrama, in its way.

      There's a notorious article by a highly revered and enormously influential journalist, Robert Fisk. Expert correspondent in all matters Middle East etc. Fanatically anti- American and anti- Israel. Not in any way anti-Semitic, of course. The article describes how he got terribly beaten in Afghanistan. And arrives at the conclusion that, of course, he deserved it. And, so would any westerner. It's gone down in history in certain circles. It's well worth reading.

      http://www.themodernreligion.com/terror/wtc-fisk-beating.html

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    3. Now there's a man who knows how to check his privilege. Somebody should tell him they probably have websites which cater to folks like him, who enjoy being beaten up by young foreign men.

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    4. It is fairly extraordinary.
      There's also a verb which has been named for him. Fisk/ fisking
      You'd have to google it.

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    5. ^^^ Make sure you spell that correctly when googling! LOL

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  2. Highest Arab voter turnout and biggest electoral wins in the history of Israel. Seemingly their comments are not factually correct. In any case the Joint List has already announced they're going their separate ways so the Arab victories will have lasted about 2 days. Also, more women were elected, I think more than ever before. And last but not least, individual Sepharim-oriented parties lost seats but collectively I think the Maghrebi/Sephardi cohort did the best they ever have.

    Also Isaac Herzog is of Irish ancestry. You can't get more whitebread European Azkenazic than that.

    But the best thing is that Obama with all his money and all his petulance is now 0 and 2 with Livni. That's a worse record, relatively speaking that Obama's backing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

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    1. I noticed an op-ed at the J Post that recommended BB reaching out to Obama.

      I simply do not understand the obsequious tendency among so many Jews.

      You know what they say, you can take the Jew out of the ghetto...

      I think that Barack Obama will be fine. Just let him do what he does - whatever that is, exactly - and ignore him as much as possible.

      When it is not possible to ignore him, whisper sweet nothings, and then go back to ignoring him.

      He's a lame uck, and although he will likely cause considerable trouble for both Israel and the Jewish people before he goes, he will be going shortly, nonetheless.

      If we could survive the Babylonians and the Romans and the Nazis, we can certainly survive this particular dimwit... even as he does snuggy up with the Persians.

      Delete
  3. It must have been fixed.

    Gideon Levy and David Harris-Gershon both endorsed the Joint Arab List, and the former even told everybody to vote for them in his column in Haaretz, which is the most trusted and influential newspaper in the world.

    Kossacks know that Ta'al was going to form the next government, immediately disband Israel, and bring instant world peace and global Jew boycotts.

    They've been cheated, and they don't like it!

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    1. The largest party in the Joint List, Hadash is a stand-in for the Communist Party of Israel since the biggest faction in Hadash is Maki - the actuall Communist Party of Israel. Their leader Afu Agbaria is Soviet educated and calls for the entire leadership of Israel to be prosecuted as war criminals.

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    2. So, Israel has political parties that are, essentially, communist and anti-Zionist, running for positions in the Knesset and, yet, soft, arrogant, American "liberals" tell one another that Israel is not democratic.

      The blatant hypocrisy is mind-throbbing.

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    3. Israel's Arabs vote freely and often. When is the next time the Arabs of 'Palestine' will be voting? Preferably, for somebody who doesn't turn his four year term into eleven and counting?

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    4. Levy in Haaretz today called for a, and I quote "A replacement of the Israeli people" for voting for Netanyahu. Goebbels would be proud of Israel's left.

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  4. btw, I have to say that I love the image accompanying this piece.

    So, Buzz Lightyear is enthusiastically pointing out to Woody that Racists are everywhere and that he is ready to go into battle.

    Whereas, Woody is looking up in absolute horror, not really sure if Racists are, in fact, everywhere... or whether it's just Buzz?!

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  5. Mike.. Here are my thoughts on the election. I have no doubt that you and others here will be very critical of this and frankly, that is fine with me.

    However, first off, I would like to say that the Useful (or Useless) Idiot (David Harris Gershon) is a fraud. He is a vile human being who would just as soon cheer on Hamas as he would be happy to be the "Good Aryan" in a similar situation of WWII. The U.I. (as he is known) serves no purpose than to vilify Israel and like Max Blumenthal "Jew wash" every Nazi like comment from the bigots across the Hard Right and Hard Left.

    Anyway, here is what I wrote to my friends in an email:

    Here's how I feel, first and foremost, I will support the existence of Israel because the Jewish people are my people and after thousands of years of getting kicked around I think that Israel needs to exist. Further, it's hard for me to rail on Israel for it's anti-Democratic moves and turn around and advocate for a Palestinian State that would still be far worse than anything the Israelis come up with wrt Democracy.

    At the same time, this election disgusted me and Bibi's outright "race-baiting" and the racism exhibited by the Right down the stretch was downright deplorable. From Lieberman "Chop off the heads of all disloyal Arabs" (paraphrased) to Netanyahu "Shit... the Arabs are voting and Leftist elements are destroying OUR country" (paraphrased) who can honestly defend that except for people that are stone racists? That and Netanyahu basically guaranteed a Bi-National State down the road (or the total ethnic cleansing of the Arabs down the road) and for that I cannot forgive him.

    Not too mention that the Right has and is doing everything to pull the Jewish community apart (as is the Far Left, but they are far less in number and everyone realizes they are just goofy) and make Israel a partisan issue.

    To that end I cannot continue to advocate for Israel because honestly it is becoming a nation that I cannot agree with. How do I advocate for something that I rail on the other side for doing the same stuff? At the same time, I cannot advocate against Israel because honestly the other side is far worse. Even if Bennett or Lieberman were PM and their parties were majority, the other side would still be worse.

    The only thing I can argue for is the continued existence of Israel and against the growing tide of anti-Semitism that will be exacerbated by the actions of Israel. Yesterday's performance was shameful. We always demand that the Arabs denounce their racism.. Well if you do that, then how do you not denounce this obvious example of racism? If you don't, then you are being hypocritical.

    In my opinion, yesterday was a bad day for Israel and for the Jewish people. It's not that Likud won. It's the way they did it and the outright fear mongering. I for one am ashamed of what the Right Wing did there AND here in the U.S. to enable that. I honestly thought, as Jews, we would have learned from our experience over the years that Oppression and Racism don't work in the long run. Again, don't get me wrong. I support Israel - it is an important part of me as a Jew and like it or not , I am associated with Israel (I am actually proud of that). I just don't like what I saw yesterday and the behavior that was rewarded.

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    1. VB,

      I very much hope that this does not sound condescending, but I honestly believe that you are in pain at the outcome of the recent Israeli election.

      Do you remember what it felt like the morning that Bush got elected for a second term?

      :O)

      We were miserable.

      Anyone who has followed your writings knows that you care about the well-being of Israel and of the Jewish people.

      People have told me that I am partisan right-wing, or whatever, but the truth is that I would be happy to front page what you have written above and discuss it in what I hope would be a fair manner.

      But I will leave that up to you.

      I do not disregard your analyses, but I may disagree with them.

      Are you agreeable?

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    2. What do you think about Obama's attempt to interfere? Would you have preferred that way for Israel?

      Identity politics is not pretty. It was perfected elsewhere and is an everyday tool of so-called anti-racists and many progressives, not to mention the Administration, both to impugn and to shield against legitimate criticism.

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    3. oldschool - I don't care about so-called Obama's "efforts to interfere" nor particularly do I care that Netanyahu received 90% of his primary funding from Americans (you know OUTSIDE money) either and that Likud was guilty of the very thing they accused V15 and the Administration. That has absolutely NOTHING to do with anything I wrote. ZERO.. Nada.. .bupkiss... I was/am a supporter of Herzog and every political compass I took had me supporting Herzog, Lapid, or Kahalon so yeah I would like things to have turned out differently. But that too is immaterial to what I wrote.

      I don't care that Likud won. I really don't. That is how the Israelis voted - Kol Ha'Kvod. Great, Yoffee, Mitzuyon, Wonderful. I don't like what I saw during the election and the race baiting and in some cases outright racism exhibited therein. As I said. I support Israel. It is important to the Jewish people, but, will not justify or excuse the bullshit I saw yesterday and try to "whitewash" it.

      Let me say this.. this is not "zero-sum". I still support Israel. But I don't support the Right Wing vision for Israel. I believe those are two very different things.

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    4. Mike - First off... I don't think you sound condescending. So no worries there.

      As for Front-paging what I wrote..Sure... But (Please don't take this as insult - because it is sincerely not meant as one) I don't think it will get a fair hearing here. Mike, this is a Rightist forum. And honestly, that's okay. I know what I am in for. The only thing I ask is that if people respond, that they actually read the thing and respond ONLY to points raised therein. If you think people can do that, then roll it.

      Here is the thing. I don't support the people at DKos or their vision of what they think should happen. Just because I don't like Netanyahu or the Right doesn't mean I am joining Fatah or the racist BDS movement. It just means that I disagree with the Israeli Right.

      Also please understand that I do get the context of Israel's existence and just where it exists. And I understand that the Arab nations are the ones that practice Apartheid and worse forms of government. I get that. It is one of the reasons I also advocate against them (and anyone who knows my stuff on DKos - particularly the later stuff) knows I that stressed just how fascistic the other side is. That said, if an Arab politician was railing on "Jews showing up" or said "Disloyal Jews should have their heads cut off" I would rag on them. How when my side does it, should I sit back.

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    5. VB

      I'm really new here.
      I think a lot of what you're saying is really interesting and important.
      I totally agree with you about what Lieberman said. That made me want to go into a dark room and cry. It was unpardonable.
      All of these things should be discussed.
      It should all be dissected. Properly.
      It would be a good thing to go ahead with that idea. It would not be a situation in which your points are dismissed.
      Or one which deliberately, or otherwise, ends up avoiding them and going off on tangents. I thought the point of this forum was to hear all opinions made in good faith. Not just ' rightwing ' ones, or anything so limiting. It's such a complex situation, it requires complex and diverse thinking. I would always hope to be open-minded. That way I learn more.
      And think more.
      There are things I am conflicted about, too. Discussion is good.

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    6. You wrote about the election and the democratic process in Israel, did you not?

      I asked because I recollect you were so concerned once with the integrity of the Egyptian democracy.

      V15 received US taxpayer money. So it's far from the same thing. An affront to democracy, it seems. Even Democrats have signed off to investigate.

      Of course you care that Netanyahu won. After all, according to your past contributions, he is worse than a cockroach.

      Back to Israel, what will it take to get you to acknowledge Obama's role in creating and perpetuating the division? A few more Malley's? Termination of US support in the International Criminal Court or the United Nations? Sadly, that possibility is no longer far-fetched from the signals that are sent.

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    7. No oldschool.. you are wrong:

      Of course you care that Netanyahu won. After all, according to your past contributions, he is worse than a cockroach.

      First of all... I never said Netanyahu was worse than a cockroach. I said "Bigots are worse than Cockroaches" and they are. I would hope that you can point me to my exact quote where I said "Netanyahu is worse than a cockroach". You should be able to find that, right? After all you did make the accusation.

      And no.. I actually don't care that PM Netanyahu won. In the end that is who Israel voted for. I just don't like the way he did it. I don't like his hard turn right and the tactics he used on the way. You can either accept my answer or not. But you don't get to misrepresent it.

      Second of all, this is not a discussion about PRESIDENT Obama and Israel. I totally disagree with you, but, like I said - that has ZERO here to do with what I wrote.

      Now.. if you would like to discuss the specifics of what I wrote.. dynamite but if you just want discuss the evils of President Obama then I can't help you.

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    8. K -

      Thank you.

      Look at what oldschool is doing. Making things up out of thin air (Me saying "Netanyahu was lower than a cockroach" for instance) and trying to turn this into a referendum on President Obama. That is what I am talking about.

      Lieberman's commentary when he said:

      "Those who are against us, there's nothing to be done – we need to pick up an ax and cut off his head," Lieberman said. "Otherwise we won't survive here."

      Was something that should be roundly condemned and coming from the mouth of the Foreign Minister of Israel and keeping in the context of the actions of ISIS is inexcusable. Just as we ask the Arabs to turn away from their rhetoric (even if it was metaphorical, as I suspect Lieberman was being) shouldn't we not tolerate the same thing?

      All I am saying is that for years in online forums I defended Israel, and my defense of Israel was based around many of the things that make it a great place and how really, when so-called human rights activists argue against Israel that they are total hypocrites for ignoring the behavior of their own side.

      And then our side does it, and we rush to explain it, or make it understandable or even justify it and in our hearts we know that really.. we are doing the same thing we ragged on them for.

      I believe in Israel as a nation. I lived there, I hang out with Israelis on a regular basis. But, I don't believe in some of what it is becoming. That said, I am not siding with the other side in any way, shape, or form. I am just very put off by what I see now.

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    9. For the record, I am not making up ANYTHING out of thin air.

      Perhaps we should discuss how fair and tolerant you and others were at your previous site when it came to discourse on the issues?

      I have ALWAYS been civil with you. I cannot say that you have reciprocated.

      I was not aware that because you did not specifically refer to an issue, it becomes off limits to ask about. I do not accept those ground rules. Sorry.

      Just above in this very thread you called Netanyahu a "stone racist." Is a racist a bigot? Please clarify.

      Do you concede that US tax dollars were involved?

      Do you refute the proposition that Obama meddled in Israel's democracy?

      Since you stood up so strong for the Egyptian democracy under the anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood, I just want to understand when the sanctity of the democratic process matters.

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    10. Volley, I hope you know I echo what Mike says above. And thanks for stopping by. I have a few thoughts, but the main one for now, I'll reply to this -

      "And then our side does it, and we rush to explain it, or make it understandable or even justify it and in our hearts we know that really.. we are doing the same thing we ragged on them for."

      Occasional racism from public figures aside, Israel is not doing what we oppose from the other side. Israel is not calling for the destruction of neighboring regimes, it is not threatening genocide, it is not a global sponsor of terrorism, it is not hanging gay people from cranes and the parties in power do not drag their political enemies through the streets behind motorcycles.

      I don't oppose Israel's enemies because of their racism. I'm not the global moral police. Sure, it's something I point out because it's glaringly obvious and something which so many self-proclaimed 'anti-racists' blatantly ignore in favor of pointing out Israeli racism, as if it's any worse than in any other country. Those people who we used to fight on Daily Kos *are* hypocrites, because they build their entire identity on pointing out the racism of one side, while completely ignoring the genocidal madness and Nazi-style antisemitism on their side. It's not unfair to point that out, even though it's not my main problem with them, or those they support.

      I DO oppose Israel's enemies because of their belligerence and their terrorism and their desire to destroy Israel and commit another genocide against the Jewish people. Just for starters.

      Lieberman said a stupid and hideous thing. No surprise there. Netanyahu's statements might be being blown out of proportion. Is it really horribly racist to call Arabs, Arabs? But I'll grant your point that he may have been fear-mongering, though.

      He's certainly not alone in it, even, or especially, in our fellow democracies.

      Speaking for only me, my criticism of Israel's enemies is not based upon some sort of 'gotcha' that this allegedly exposes, nor do I claim that Israel is a perfect society. No society is perfect, but some are much better than others, Israel definitely amongst the latter, despite the likelihood of a bigot or three in its current government.

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    11. Edit in last sentence -

      "Israel definitely amongst the better"

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    12. Does anyone really believe that Lieberman, despite his foolish rhetoric, would chop off anyone's head?

      I don't like that kind of talk, but I don't believe him.

      Conversely, when some others do likewise in speaking about Jews, I take the words at face value.

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    13. Of course not. And agreed on your last sentence.

      As for what Lieberman said, though, it certainly does make you question his judgment, using such rhetoric at this particular moment in time. Not the brightest words to use, to say the very least.

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    14. VB

      Like I said, I'm new here. Both as a reader, and more recently a commenter.

      I am therefore ignorant of all relevant previous discourse here or elsewhere.

      As a non- American, my interest lies not just with Obama. And his policies and administration.

      There are wider issues. Some internal to Israeli politics, and some to do with the cultural and political treatment of Israel by the International community
      It's interesting here in Europe, for example.
      I have never lived in Israel. I would be interested to talk to someone who has.

      I am hugely concerned with the reality of racism. From any group or person, to any other. One side of my family came from South Africa. One of my parents grew up under Apartheid. They and nearly all their peer group left as soon as they could finish their education and then work to raise just enough money to pay for the boat out. My lot came to London. Others to America. It was ( and always will be) a big influence on me..As it should be.
      One should not be so 'tribal' that one cannot criticise one's own side. That is true of political parties, and of countries.
      Integrity matters. It should.
      Much gets in its way. Sometimes understandably- though not acceptably.

      I repeat: I agree with you on Lieberman.
      ( And in the context of ISIS, it was extraordinary - morally, and politically.)
      Morally counts more. It should.
      I am genuinely interested to talk to you and listen to you.
      There are very big things at stake. We all need to be as informed and as clear as we can possibly be.
      The more debate, the better.
      Mike's idea sounds a good one.
      I hope it happens. And it can only be helpful.





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    15. Jay... that is fair criticism. Well said and all that...

      I think the new government is going to be something different than what we have seen, and I think there are going to be issues going forward.

      I would love to share something from a friend of ours on email (Dr. Mike) but it is a private email. Needless to say he says something very similar to what you said. It's a great email and talks about supporting Israel even in disagreement with the GOI. I can agree with that.

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    16. volleyboy1, I have a couple questions.

      1) You said you care less about Obama's efforts to interfere in the election. Why? As someone from the left, it has always been anathema to interfere in a foreign countries elections. The left decries this all the time about US history, why is it ok NOW, to interfere in ISRAELI elections?

      2) Yes Bibi did go too far, but how much of your anger is because he did it in a "right political" way? And it really wasn't all that r"ight". In USA the right uses things such as voter disenfranchisement, all Bibi did was use an admittedly scare tactic to get out the vote! He didn't suppress anyone's right to vote.

      3) What do you consider right-wing and what do you considered justified in the security of Israel? As a progressive, I am at odds with the so-called progressive view on the issue of Israeli security. What is the lines and where do you draw them. I know from wrestling with that question myself it is very messy.

      Basically for me it boils down to good ideals that I want won't work in this imperfect world, and as such I lean towards a reality where Israel stays strong, even if some of my ideals have to sadly be sacrificed.

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    17. K -

      Again thanks for the kind words.

      I am an Obama supporter and even though I do find fault with aspects of his foreign policy (and I do) I think he is light years ahead of the Republicans on pretty much everything.

      No matter though, I don't think that this is relevant to what I wrote about Israel.

      As for the election, I would be happy to talk with you. Having lived in Israel definitely informs my perspective here. BUT ahead of time, I think you should know that I come from a Center / Center Left perspective. When I was in Israel (a long time ago) I was the foreign student rep. to the Ma'arach (Labor Alignment) which was in opposition to Begin's Likud. I was also a delegate to the World Youth Zionist Conference (Jerusalem 1983 - I believe that was the name of it though it might have been called something different, it was a long time ago and my memory fades a bit), where I got to meet Shimon Peres.

      That coupled with spending time with both Geula Cohen (Tehiya) and Amnon Rubenstein (Shinui) further informs it. That was during a project on the effect of small parties on the Israeli Electoral Process for Dr. Meron Medzini.

      I am a supporter of the Olmert plan of 2009 (I have changed a lot from earlier writing days when I was much more Left). So please keep that in mind when we talk as well.

      I just feel that it is fair to give full disclosure and an honest perspective on where I am coming from on this subject.

      But I would be happy to talk with you.

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    18. Volleyboy1,

      "I am an Obama supporter and even though I do find fault with aspects of his foreign policy (and I do) I think he is light years ahead of the Republicans on pretty much everything. '

      LOL talk about setting the bar low!

      This is why if I were to meet Obama and only talk domestic issues I would shake his hand telling him how awesome he is, but chide him for giving into the insurance companies on the healthcare issue & not holding Wall Street accountable and jailing some of them.

      While if I were to meet Obama and only talk foreign relations/Israel I would probably want to smack him,

      Overall I agree Obama is a good president, but through either ego,naivete, or misguided sympathies, he has been a real disaster in the foreign arena (but still better than Bush..yes that very low bar again - LOL)

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    19. Fair enough Pitt...

      1. As for V15 and the rest. Personally I think it is "Manufactured Outrage" just like Benghazi, just like the IRS. Before I pass any personal judgement I want to know and read more with hard facts to support any complaints. I know the complaint of having President Obama's political advisors involved is so much B.S. because Likud has used and uses Republican advisors and Americans have advised both sides in the past so I think that's really sort of "hooey". IF the President had anything untoward to do with the election and that comes out as something definitive then I will certainly be happy to say that he shouldn't have done it. But to this point I haven't seen anything except nonsense from the Republicans.

      2. You're right that Bibi did not suppress the vote but that was not a claim I made. I don't like the fact that he used outright "race-baiting" to do that. I get that it is a political tactic, it's just not a political tactic I can or will support. I hate it when I see it here in the U.S. ON BOTH SIDES no reason I should like it there either.

      3. Here is what I believe - I published that in the Times of Israel: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/moving-left-to-center-a-personal-journey/

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    20. LOL Pitt...

      I understand - there are sometimes when he just leaves me scratching my head as well, particularly since John Kerry has been SoS. I much preferred HRC.

      But true enough that is setting the Bar Low.. Unfortunately that is what we've got in American politics. To be honest it's a sad commentary on our current state of affairs.

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    21. VB

      I get that you come from a centre/ centre - left perspective. Thank you for the 'disclosure' but it's entirely unnecessary. Everyone I know is on the centre / centre - left. Except for my closest friend, who is a Marxist.
      We have interesting discussions.

      Discussions are interesting if people have a variety of views. And if they argue their points and listen to each other. No one learns anything by only talking to people they already agree with on everything. Groupthink disturbs me.
      I have to be honest and admit that my knowledge of Israeli politics is not good enough to get all your references. But it sounds really interesting.

      Proper debate is the lifeblood of an open society. I find myself agreeing with people I wouldn't expect to on individual issues. That pleases me. I like making points but if someone argues a better case, I am quite happy to change my mind. And have done so.
      I'm sure we have some different opinions, but that's fine. It would be odd if we didn't.
      As far as I am concerned, whether anyone does or doesn't support Obama, is not the main issue.
      On Israel, I am concerned with the entire landscape. Worried on all sorts of fronts. And would always welcome the chance to discuss those issues and swap ideas. I get that it is important to you that the particular points you raised are the things we should look at.

      I am perhaps less tribal than you imagine. I am working things out, bit by bit.

      We both ( all) care about Israel. That, unfortunately, puts us in an ever diminishing group. That, I think, matters most!

      I would enjoy talking to you. Hope it happens.

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    22. Think it's interesting to note that despite the wide range of opinions on President Obama, and his foreign policies, we've got three people here in this very thread who voted for him twice (Volley, myself, and... I think?... Pitt), and at least one more who voted for him once (Mike).

      The posters and most regular commenters here, myself included, may lean right to varying degrees on the particular issues we find facing Israel today (which is, of course, the focus of this blog), but we're hardly a partisan, or right wing, site, by any means.

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    23. I assume there will be no answer to my simple questions.

      Is a "stone racist" a bigot?

      Does the $350K from the State Dept. matter?

      Speaking about identity politics, from Politico today:

      Loretta Lynch nomination fight takes on racial tinge

      http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/dick-durbin-loretta-lynch-back-of-bus-116180.html?hp=t1_r

      When do unfounded accusations of racism, to create division, that we see all the time, turn the accusers into bigots?

      Also from today's Politico:

      Israel's shield no more?

      http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/israels-america-united-116203.html?hp=t3_r

      While Obama officials unsurprisingly say they are taking Netanyahu at his word, the Arab League head is unfazed by Netanyahu’s ‘no to Palestine’ remark.

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/arab-league-head-dismisses-netanyahu-remarks-on-palestinians/

      I suspect the National Security Director’s new point man on Israel, Rob Malley, will help, but in which direction?

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    24. In addition to voting patterns, it is appropriate to say that since this site is not progressive, it is automatically "right wing" to progressives, particularly those that have abandoned liberalism.

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    25. K -

      I share your concern for Israel. I worry about it too.. My Israeli friends tell me that I worry about it too much, LOL. They wonder even why I bother, so then I have to explain to them why Israel means what it does to me and why that is different for them.

      Lately, my "beef" with the Hard Left / and what is creeping into the traditional Left, has been that they seem to ignore the Palestinians and their polity. It's like the Palestinians don't exist. It's just ragging on Israel 24/7.

      To be honest some of their criticisms on the face of them are legit. BUT, what delegitimizes even honest criticism is the fact that their scorn is turned against Israel and only Israel. So while certainly there are discriminatory practices in Israel, Complaining only about Israel while simply brushing aside the same complaints or even worse regarding the Arab Nations and the Palestinian polity renders their criticism hypocritical.

      Personally, I think their criticisms against Israel are motivated by both a certain degree of anti-Semitism as well as antipathy towards the West and Western Civilization. There are some people who are consistent in their criticisms but online they are few and far between.

      It is also my main beef with the Right and their criticisms of other things. But again that is not for this comment.

      The reason I included a "disclosure" is that so you know where I am coming from and what my motives are. I can respect that someone is a Rightst (though I am not saying that of you), but I just want honesty. If one is a Rightist just say so, and then we can have a good discussion. I have a number of Conservative friends (maybe most of them). I may not agree with them on Politics but I can respect their P.O.V.'s because they are honest and don't try to hide what they are.

      Anyway.. I think those points of concern I raised are important and other things too. I don't exclude the context of Israel's situation it's just that I can't do much about that so....

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    26. VB

      I agree with the vast majority of what you said . Am very interested in how you feel about Israel. What it means to you.

      There have been immense changes in the last decades about how Israel is talked about here in the UK And in how Jews are talked about. And in the rest of Europe. There are perhaps many different factors which play into that. Some of which you have mentioned above. It has become extremely disturbing in many ways.
      Being a lifelong Guardian reader, and getting nearly all my news from the BBC and Channel 4, it has been creeping up on me slowly that I am incredibly uncomfortable with their respective stances on Israel / Palestine. And, on Israel per se. That has been very difficult for me.

      You say honesty is very important when discussing with people. I understand that. This might well be annoying for you, but I would have to say that I don't know exactly what box I fit into now. Maybe I don't fit into any box. I used to vote Labour. I found it difficult to vote for New Labour as I thought they had moved too far into the centre. I was a bit 'precious' about it. In truth, it didn't matter as they were going to win anyway. And at that point I had ended up living in one of the safest Conservative seats in the country, so voting is something of a symbolic act round here if you're not voting Tory. That's just how it goes. And many of us wanted to finally see the back of the Tories.
      I will not be able to vote in our upcoming election. I cannot vote for the Labour party now. For many, many, reasons. I could bore you forever on that. I am not a Tory voter. There are some people I like, in public life, who are. And I am happy to listen to them, and sometimes find myself in agreement on particular things. And not others.
      I am more concerned with how far adrift I feel the Labour party has come from its roots, both socially, and in other ways. It has all made me question things a lot, and that process continues.
      I follow American politics with great interest. And see some similarities with here.
      I am not a fan of identity politics. And think it has had a corrosive effect on the political discourse in this country, and in the US. I am a believer in the principles of liberalism. Freedom of speech and expression. Those things seem to me to be being lost. If not abandoned. And, worryingly, mostly by people who still define themselves as the liberal - left.
      These are the things which really disturb me. And anger me. I am not someone who thinks politics is ALL about economics. Partly- but not all.

      On Israel: Last year in the main streets of London, people marched shouting " death to the Jews" and " Hitler was right". This was unreported on the BBC. Similar events took place in most western European capitals.
      At the London rally, Owen Jones, a prominent columnist with the Guardian, and regular on the BBC gave a rousing anti- Israel speech which included the idea that Israelis like killing Palestinian babies. This is now normal. Not just on the mainstream left, but mostly. The hard- left, I have given up on.
      Our Labour party last year tried to pass a motion to recognise the ' State of Palestine '. It didn't pass. They might well be the government in a few weeks.
      That hugely disturbs me.

      I think context when talking about Israel is important. But understand that that is not what you specifically want to talk about. That's fine. ( Maybe some other time?)

      The situation in Europe is probably quantifiably different than in the States. That is partly why I look to the US and what is happening politically there,as it has taken on a new significance for me.
      It would be interesting to talk about some of that. In time. If you would want to. Still hope Mike's idea is something you would like to do.

      Am enclosing link that I posted on March 6. Person who wrote it is very much of the left. Jay found it interesting.

      http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/articlephp?id=1263

      It's re ' criticism of Israel '

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  6. Arabs, generally, are Israel's enemies. Were Americans who railed against Germans, Italians, or Japanese during wartime racists or something else? My guess is something else. This was POLITICS man. Bibi wanted to win. Is he a racist or something else? I'm gonna suggest something else since the preponderance of evidence concerning Bibi's history of dealing with Israel's Arab citizens doesn't say racist to me. If he were a racist he would be acting a lot different than he has.

    So I think Bibi and Zionist Israeli voters were concerned about anti-Zionist voters (Arabs and various leftists/foreign agents) turning a tide and they had just as much right to speak about as the ones hoping to turn that tide did in their action (minus any voter fraud that might have occurred.)

    Commentary explains it well:

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/2015/03/17/why-did-bibi-win-realism-not-racism-netanyahu-israel-elections/

    OTOH maybe Bibi is a stone cold racist. If that's true, I would expect to see compelling consistent historical evidence of that. I don't.

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  7. Here is what the robocall actually said:

    "Voter turnout in the Arab sector is three times higher! The threat is real: Abu Mazen’s calls and American money are getting the Arab vote out. Go and vote."

    In a political quagmire like Israel where no party has ever won a majority and coalitions are strategic things, this is a realistic concern not an American style racist thing where someone might have said, "get out and vote cause the N*****s are coming out in droves."

    Confusing the two are simply trying to put an American template on a foreign reality. That could derive from ignorance OR ideology.

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  8. " the person overseeing the recent election, the Chairman of the Central Election Committee, is Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran – an Israeli Arab."

    Some racism.

    http://blog.camera.org/archives/2015/03/wheres_the_coverage_israeli_el.html

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  9. Calling out efforts to mobilize or over mobilize segments of the opposition is something EVERYONE DOES in every election. For American Democrats to scream and pout about Arabs being mobilized is self serving nonsense. Hello - Chicago? Milwaukee? Atlanta?

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    1. Wait a minute!!!!! Why the F*** are Arabs voting anyway? I thought Israel was an apartheid state.

      ARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I am so confused.

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  10. We should be proud of Israel - as a liberal democracy, in an exceedingly hostile and anti-Jewish part of the planet - that the Arab List took the third slot.

    We should be proud of Israeli democracy and pluralism.

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  11. Gideon Levy in Haaretz today called for a, and I quote "A replacement of the Israeli people" for voting for Netanyahu. Goebbels would be proud of Israel's left.

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    1. Gideon Levy? You mean that dour old f___ who flatters himself as the conscience of a nation? The man who does the thinking for the little people? The one who thought that a violent Arab rapist was someone who was just trying to be human? He's not too arrogant, is he?

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  12. By the By, Obama went all in against the Jews today. He announced 'all aspects' of the relation between the US and Israel will be revisited. I believe that anyone in the US who currently holds dual citizenship will be told to pick one and be expelled accordingly. I further believe that Obama will break all diplomatic relations with Israel, formally recognize a palestinian state, open talks with Hamas and the PLO and Hezbollah and end all aid with Israel. The smart money is on Obama going as far as attempting to stage some sort of coup up to and including political assassinations against Israelis.

    It's time for Israel to end its 'unbreakable' relationship with the US and back out of all military and intelligence sharing right now. Get out of the F-35 agreement and close down the big X-band radar station in the Negev.

    On the other hand liberal American Jews get stupider by the day. They'd vote for an Obama third term as he's building concentration camps for them in Montana or somewhere out there.

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    1. You've actually stated several reasons why those things are not going to happen. I'll add another. The Democrats membership in the House of Representatives is at historic lows under his great leadership. They also lost the Senate. They would like to retain the presidency as well. 70% of Americans favor Israel over the "Palestinians." His own party will run interference for him, but only up to a point. True, he doesn't have to run again, but they do. They like winning elections. What you've described sounds more like a wet dream POTUS had. In fact, I think the Democrats have a problem they are not yet willing to face. My prediction is that partying with Obama for eight years may lead to a Monday morning hangover for the Democratic Party.

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