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Sounding Off

Note to some of my fellow progressives: If we can’t argue about Israel without using anti-Semitic tropes, then the debate is lost before it even begins

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The Hitler Test

The strongest evidence that the taboo against anti-Semitism is being eroded is the fact that obvious forms of verbal abuse are tolerated—even justified

At the risk of sounding like the shtetl police, there’s a right way and a wrong way for American Jews to argue with one another. The right way focuses on whose ideas are better—for America, for Israel, for the Jewish community, and for the world. The Jewish left should be right at home with this kind of substantive debate, since I believe those ideas are better than those of our cousins on the Jewish right. But the wrong way, regretfully, is now on the rise among Jewish progressives.

Some on the left have recently taken to using the term “Israel Firster” and similar rhetoric to suggest that some conservative American Jewish reporters, pundits, and policymakers are more concerned with the interests of the Jewish state than those of the United States. Last week, for example, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald asked Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg about any loyalty oaths to Israel Goldberg took when he served in the IDF during the early 1990s. (On Tuesday, writer Max Blumenthal used a gross phrase to describe Goldberg: “former Israeli prison guard.”) The obvious implication is that Goldberg’s true loyalty is to Israel, not the United States. For months, M.J. Rosenberg of Media Matters, the progressive media watchdog group, has been throwing around the term “Israel Firster” to describe conservatives he disagrees with. One recent Tweet singled out my friend Eli Lake, a reporter for Newsweek: “Lake supports #Israel line 100% of the time, always Israel first over U.S.” That’s quite mild compared to some of the others.

“Israel Firster” has a nasty anti-Semitic pedigree, one that many Jews will intuitively understand without knowing its specific history. It turns out white supremacist Willis Carto was reportedly the first to use it, and David Duke popularized it through his propaganda network. And yet Rosenberg and others actually claim they’re using it to stimulate “debate,” rather than effectively mirroring the tactics of some of the people they criticize.

Throughout my career, I’ve been associated with the Jewish left—I was to the left of the New Republic staff when I worked there, moved on to Talking Points Memo, hosted my blog at Firedoglake for years, and so on. I’ve criticized the American Jewish right’s myopic, destructive, tribal conception of what it means to love Israel. But it doesn’t deserve to have its Americanness and patriotism questioned. By all means, get into it with people who interpret every disagreement Washington has with Tel Aviv as hostility to the Jewish state. But if you can’t do it without sounding like Pat Buchanan, who has nothing but antipathy and contempt for Jews, then you’ve lost the debate.

This is tiresome to point out. Many of the writers who are fond of the Israel Firster smear are—appropriately—very good at hearing and analyzing dog-whistles when they’re used to dehumanize Arabs and Muslims. I can’t read anyone’s mind or judge anyone’s intention, but by the sound of it these writers are sending out comparable dog-whistles about Jews.


A bit of background for the uninitiated: Last month, Josh Block, a former AIPAC spokesman, pushed a series of talking points that targeted several liberal writers at the Center for American Progress, a left-wing think tank with ties to the Obama Administration. (Full disclosure: My personal blog was very briefly hosted by CAP in 2008; some of Block’s targets are my friends.) The effect was to suggest that CAP was hostile to Israel because it is to Block’s left. A plain reading of the think tank’s work refutes the accusation.

But buried in Block’s overbroad invective was a kernel of truth. Some at CAP, the liberal watchdog group Media Matters, and beyond deployed the “Israel First” smear, calling the Americanness of their political opponents into question. Predictably, right-wing Jewish writers took their shots at CAP, Media Matters, and the rest—never wanting to miss an opportunity to indict the left. And the Washington Post revived the contretemps last month in an article that effectively asked if CAP was anti-Israel.

The response to this controversy, and related ones, was ugly. Many toyed with the idea that denigrating someone’s American identity wasn’t so bad after all. Left-wing polemicist Philip Weiss wrote that he considered the term “Israel firster [to be] a perfectly legitimate term in a wide-open American discourse.” Time columnist Joe Klein noted that he’s used the term himself before, weighing in on “Americans who are pushing for war with Iran”—as the question of attacking Iran lurks in the background of this entire debate—and who “place Israel’s national defense priorities above our own.”

Even more disappointingly, the term got a nod of approval from the head of a lobbying organization that represents the Jewish left. Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street, the liberal pro-Israel, pro-peace organization that I’ve written favorably about, told the Washington Post he was cool with the throwing “Israel Firster” around. “If the charge is that you’re putting the interests of another country before the interests of the United States in the way you would advocate that,” he said, “it’s a legitimate question.” So, Ben-Ami’s response to years of getting baselessly attacked for not caring about Israel is to turn around and say his attackers don’t care about America? (Ben-Ami later clarified that, “The conspiracy theory that American Jews have dual loyalty is just that, a conspiracy theory and must be refuted in the strongest possible way.”)

If what Rosenberg and the others on the left want is a debate—by which I understand them to mean a debate about the wisdom of a war with Iran, and about the proper role of the U.S.-Israel relationship—great. The left, I think, will win that debate on the merits, because it recognizes that if Israel is to survive as a Jewish democracy living in peace beside a free Palestine, an assertive United States has to pressure a recalcitrant Israel to come to its senses, especially about the insanity of attacking Iran.

But that debate will be shut down and sidetracked by using a term that Charles Lindbergh or Pat Buchanan would be comfortable using. I can’t co-sign that. The attempt to kosherize “Israel Firster” is an ugly rationalization. It shouldn’t matter that the American Jewish right proliferates the term “anti-Israel.” The easiest way to lose a winnable argument is to get baited into using their tactics. I don’t fetishize false civility; bullies ought to get it twice as bad as they give. People disagree, so they should argue. Shouting is healthier than shutting up.

Call me a squish or a sellout or a concern troll. Whatever. But if you can’t be forceful without recalling some of the ugliest tropes in American Jewish history, you’re doing it wrong.

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Bill Pearlman says:

Phil Weiss is only sorry that Rommel didn’t win at El Alamein. cross the Suez. And kill every Jew that he found.

While Block was exposed as a sleazy “man in a gray suit” who demanded an attack on Israel Lobby enemies from loyal journalists, it doesn’t stop said journalists of carrying his instructions even while the task master has been censored as attacker on free speech and unrestricted debate.

Shame to see Spencer Ackerman falling in the lockstep, and shame that he is more concerned about his Jewish community’s image, than about very real question of divided loyalties in people who spend more time thinking about welfare of Israel and pay hardly any attention to welfare of America.

You may very well attack a phrase used to describe the phenomenon of divided loyalties, but it will not make the phenomenon go away.

In Israel, the Knesset passed the law recently forbidding the commemoration of Nakba, as if this shameful period in history of Israel could disappear with prohibition of the word.

Practice of apartheid in Israel has an ideological underpinning in the concept of Hafrada, which, by virtue of being a different word does not make the practice of the hafrada any less ugly than apartheid for those who’s worth as human being is designated to be less valuable by the exercise.

Don’t start forbidding words to control the discussion. It means you have have no arguments to win the debate.

And don’t bring up Anti-Semitism (again!!!!) as a weapon and an end all argument – beware of the story of a boy who cried wolf.

Antisemitism describes those who hate Jews, not those who use arguments (or words) that (some) Jews dislike.

Eva, I’m an American Jew, and I’m concerned about the security of both the United States and Israel. I do not suffer from “divided loyalties.” Would you accuse Armenian Americans of “dual loyalty” when they try to get the US Congress to declare that the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against Armenians? Are Tibetan Americans guilty of “dual loyalty” when they beseech the US to put pressure on China to ease conditions of Tibetans in Tibet?

It is an ordinary part of American politics for people with ties to other countries to seek to influence their Senators, Congressmen, and President in favor of their political beliefs. If Jews do it on behalf of Israel that doesn’t make it extraordinary – except for people who think that doing anything pro-Israel is wrong.

Bill is spreading on the smear and the fear because it is to these two twins to which he most zealously adheres. Pathetic Bill pathetic.

Bill Pearlman says:

Good to hear from Eva. Who is only sorry that her relatives didn’t get their cut of the loot at Jedwebne

Eva Smagacz says:

I have no problem with divided loyalty – it exists, and is not even that surprising with people migrating from country to country. What I find objectionable is the effort to erase certain words from political discussions, because they describe phenomenon that (some) people do not wish discussed.

Note that there is no attempt to subsidize the word for a less offensive one, no – under the guise of word being offensive there is unacknowledged manipulation to stop the discussion about reality.

s Katz\ says:

At the core of this is something else, entirely. It’s not about being a Jew.

It’s about the Likudniks, crazy settlers and other religious AND non-religious right wing extremists vs everyone else, both in Israel and as it is in the rest of the world. They combine in a coalition that feeds on fear, racial and religious stereotypes and use hysteria to incite the population into supporting them. Just like in most other countries in the world, right wing extremism and oppression has one primary purpose: to feed itself and its base at the expense of its own population.

It’s less about Israel the nation, and more about _the control of Israel the nation_, as most of the people in Israel [if given factual information and led by ethical politicians] would desire a course of peace, kindness and fairness, rather than war, viciousness and prejudice. It’s the same thing here in the US, with different labels, the same in Arab countries and in all other nations.

Israel is no different than anywhere else, in this way.

Except that when you look closely, you realize that most facets of modern Jewish identity were, in fact, created and defined by oppressors of the Jewish people.

El Pinko Grande says:

Dog whistle issue aside, “Israel First” strikes me as a poor framing device in general. Can’t we call them American Likudniks or Liebermanites or something? Suppose a Center-Left government were in power in Israel and was pursuing a policy of masterly inactivity towards Iran- the neocons would still be beating the invasion drum with just as much fervor. Hell, they’d probably be badmouthing the Israeli government at every opportunity. Point is, for those who don’t respond to the dog whistle, the phrase “Israel First” concedes rhetorical ground to the Right, ground that we shouldn’t be giving up.


Another concern-trolling, circular-firing-squad developing, contrarian, Slate-style call for unilateral disarmament by “progressives.”

Of course, some of the more McCarthyist (pseudo) Pro-Israel folks also hate Jews and aren’t just using tropes for it. They love “Christian Zionists” more than liberal Jews (the vast majority).

And I don’t see Jennifer Rubin or Dennis Prager telling their ilk to quit the lashon hara.

Dubala says:

Agreed. It’s especially galling given that many of those labeled “Israel firsters” are actually bringing on Israel’s destruction with their right wing politics and support for Netanyahu. We all know these are words meant for political ends not to describe a reality- like the insanity of AIPAC as the “pro-Israel” lobby which has managed to insinuate itself into the media.

I’m curious why the phrase “former Israeli prison guard” is gross, considering that is literally what Jeffery Goldberg did during his time in the IDF. He guarded a prison in Israel.

Lynne T says:

By using the baseless smear — Israeli apartheid — Eva Smagacz gives herself away. Responding to anyone who bandies that term around is a complete waste of time.

When a guy like Haim Saban happily explains to journalists that “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” or when Sheldon Adelson laments publicly that he served in the U.S. military rather than the IDF, this article becomes kind of irrelevant at best, overly stifling at worst. We get it, “Israel-Firster” is not the preferred nomenclature for the political views of certain Israeli-Americans. But they still exist, and I think protecting the ability of journalists and commentators to discuss what that means publicly is more important than finding a name for them that you like.

Bruce Levine says:


Until you read Jeffrey Goldberg’s book about his experience as a young man of about 20 and his decision to move to Israel and subsequent decision to move back home to America, then you don’t understand how silly and mean-spirited the description of Goldberg is that you apparently condone. I don’t know how old you are, really don’t care frankly, but if you believe that it’s OK to characterize Goldberg as a former IDF prison guard in the context of a political discussion, based upon what the guy did back when and then wrote truthfully about it, then you expose yourself accordingly.

Amazing. The author succinctly points out that when you’ve resorted to calling your enemies (because let’s face it, that’s how you see them) Israel-firsters, you’ve lost the debate.

And the response is to double-down on the invective.

Not only have you lost the debate, but you’ve shown there is no debate. There are bitter, angry people who hate Zionists the way some people hate Nazis, and who spend the bulk of their creative hours obsessing over and demonizing this enemy.

What it really shows is that the Israeli peace camp was devastated by the breakdown of the Oslo talks into the Al-Aqsa Intifada. The moderate peaceniks realized the gamble had failed and support for the Israeli left plummeted. What remains are these “anti-Zionists,” the obsessed nut-jobs who exist on the fringes of every political debate.

As often as not, these marginalized characters think in terms of Jewish conspiracies and secret power-sharing cabals that secretly operate behind the scenes.

Now, with the ascent of the “Israel firsters” meme, the “Progressives” or whatever these people call themselves, have shown just where they fall on the spectrum of political legitimacy.

David in DC says:

This attempt to “kosherize” anti-Semitism has been going on for a while. You can see other notable examples from Walt and Mearsheimer of “The Israel Lobby” fame.

I’ve seen a blog post from Steve Walt attempting to sanitize the “dual loyalty” canard. (He prefers “conflict of interest”, and would never, no sir, not ever apply it based on religion or ethnicity, but one wonders what motivated him to make the post in the first place. Dog whistle, anyone?)

His co-author John Mearsheimer endorsed the book of a vicious anti-Semite (Gilad Aztmon), going on to defend Atzmon from the charge on Walt’s blog. For those not familiar with Atzmon, if he’s not an anti-Semite, nobody is. And one can only assume that is the intent. Even solid lefties whom Mearsheimer could count on for automatic support ripped him for this.

Eva argues from the (absurd) standpoint that we shouldn’t forbid certain words from political discussions.

Well I’m sure there are more than a few people that would enjoy being able to freely fling around a certain term for African Americans if they so chose. But that pejorative word has been morally excised from serious political discussions. As well it should have been.

No one is attempting to abridge free speech as Eva implies. They’re just exercising it by pointing out the ugly history of the term “Israel Firster.”

As usual, people like Eva build straw men, and then conveniently proceed to attack that which they themselves have created.

Eytan Keshet says:

Although being in sympathy with MR Ackerman’s comments I believe that he did himself a disservice by slipping in a political statement when he he said: “By all means, get into it with people who interpret every disagreement Washington has with Tel Aviv as hostility to the Jewish state.” The one who understands will understand.

Donald says:

Glenn Greenwald disposed of this piece in his article today–


The same issue used to come up with the conservative Miami Cubans. They tried (with some success) to push our foreign policy regarding Cuba as far right as possible, because they identified with (their version of) Cuba. Obviously there are Americans who wish to push American policy on Israel as far to the right as possible because they identify with their own vision of Israel. Are we not supposed to see this?

The underlying problem here is actually very simple: the middle ground on Israel–and the Jewish people in general–is rapidly disappearing, destroyed by the continued rejectionism of Israel’s enemies in the face of decades of Israeli compromises and concessions.

At one time, it was possible to have one’s cake and eat it, too, being both “progressive” and Jewish/Zionist, and supporting some kind of happy medium between right-wing nationalist Jews and Jew-hating Arab terrorists. But today, when the Likudnik prime minister accepts the two-state solution and dismantles settlements, and Israel’s enemies still bay for Jewish blood, where’s the happy medium?

In Israel, the vast majority of the Jewish population has accepted this collapse of the center, and the “progressive” end of the political spectrum has been reduced to a tiny coterie of radical leftist anti-Zionist (and occasionally anti-Semitic) fanatics. In the US, where assimilation is a more attractive alternative, fanatical anti-Zionism (with its anti-Semitic overtones) is somewhat more popular among Jews, albeit still a minority position.

But in both places, the number of remaining devotees of the “happy medium” is tiny–basically a few confused souls like Jeffrey Goldberg whose view of Israel was frozen in time at some point during the 1980s, when the “happy medium” still seemed possible. Everyone else has by now made the choice, and sides either with Israel or with her bitter, hate-filled enemies.

Resignation says:

To the Jewish left, give up. There is nothing worth fighting for anymore.

The settlements continue unabated, both political parties in the US out do each other to show how much they love Israel and completely connected, the Israeli government is firmly entrenched in a conservative or ultra-conservative party, and any attempt to counter the issues just brings up charges of Anti-semitism or self-hatred.

The biggest protest movement in Israel was on housing and economics, not on human rights.

The peace process is dead. Despite the possibility of action with Abbas and Fayed, there has been no action and they aligned with Hamas. What has the Quartet done at all in the past year to move things forward?

Take your energy and focus it on micro-level actions, but ignore the macro. Or focus your energy on topics where there is actual elite support.

In due time things will eventually rot or collapse, Lieberman has done a great job hastening it.

American aliyot come in and have their vacation for a few years, they will not stay. Those that do are already Haredi or in the process to that conversion.

Ben Gurion is dead, so is hope. Move on.

MethanP says:

Mr. Ackerman; How can an educated man as yourself not reallized that since the end of WW2, Anti-Semitism not Islamic centered has been overwhelmingly from the progressive/left. Indead, there has arisen from the pregressive colleges a frightening wave of anti-semitic rhetoric and action. Increasingly, Jews on campus fear to acknowlege their Jewishness. The need not feel so at any maintream conservative place or event. That the left is now so proudly anti-semitic/zionist should perhaps make you question yourself.

Well, bravo Spencer, for trying to set parameters to the debate that are dictated by civility rather than censoriousness. Our intra-tribal squabbling can be brutal, but it bears remembering that the real agents of intolerance in our society gleefully pick over the diatribes we deliver against one another for snippets of apparently anti-Jewish invective, to be re-purposed maliciously and out of context.

And bravo for trying to reclaim the mantle of anti-anti semitism on behalf of the progressive cause. So many erstwhile liberals have felt profoundly alienated by the willingness of writers associated with the left to stoop to the worst kind of race-baiting when it comes to discussing Jews and Israel.

grichens says:

The debate is secondary.

Mike G says:

Needed saying and well said. I think, though, you leave unexamined a key dividing line between liberalism and leftism that too many people blithely cross over. The essence of liberalism is tolerance– the idea that as much as politics may matter, it’s not all-encompassing; life gets some quarters to be free of its control. That’s the essence of free market theory, of religious tolerance, it’s the essence of democratic socialism– you set things up a certain way but then you let them run as people choose.

The essence of any extreme— whether the leftist extreme of Marxism or, say, a rightist Christian extreme— is that you can’t tolerate alternative centers of power. Which is why the Jews nearly always land in the crosshairs at any extreme. And what we’re seeing now is the leftist extreme in the West feeling its power and flexing against that first most convenient historical enemy. It is not a matter so much of leftist liberals looking at hardcore leftists and seeking to bring them back from the brink of anti-semitism, but of looking at them and seeing the enemy of liberalism revealing its true nature first in regards to the Jews.

Joe Ynot says:

Poor Spencer. You can’t see it can you? You’re looking right at it, and all you can do is deny, deny, deny, and curse your lying eyes…

“…white supremacist Willis Carto was reportedly the first to use it, and David Duke popularized it through his propaganda network. And yet Rosenberg and others actually claim they’re using it to stimulate “debate,” rather than effectively mirroring the tactics of some of the people they criticize.”

“And yet?” There is no contradiction here. Carto, Duke, and Rosenberg are all on the same page. They see Jews as a special sub-human entity that must be denied the rights that human beings enjoy.

Or perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps there is a huge literature of condemnation against England-firsters, Ireland-firsters, South Korea-firsters, Japan-firsters, and all the other countries with whom we see our interests allied.

Maybe there was a huge outpouring of condemnation against Western Europe-firsters during the Cold War and I missed it?

Or maybe the majority of Americans who support Israel whole-heartedly are all really Jewish Israel-firsters?

It’s all quite a mystery, if it’s true.

But it isn’t.

What Progressives really need to do is to simply find an Israeli and smash his [sic] through a plate-glass window!

Alexander the Great says:

The unfortunate dialogue from the far left and the “progressives” keeps shoving folks like me away. I do not have divided loyalties, I support Israel as an American and as a Jew concerned with justice (boy, have I learned to hate that word!). The actions of the far left only serve to reinforce the “circling of the wagons” of those who support Israel and wish to see a resolution to the Palestinian issue. When a person or nation feels threatened, they withdraw into a more maximilist position. If they feel supported, then it’s easier to make compromise.

But I suspect that the far left’s agenda is not the treatment of the Palestinians, it is the existence of Israel itself and is seen as a “colonialist” enterprise usurping Arab land (haven’t Arabs and Muslims moved to Europe and North America and bought land to live there? Well, Jews bought the land in Israel to live there but I digress.)

The far left and the progessives are really the same as the far right.

Shabbat Shalom!

David Pittelli says:

I wonder how many people who are OK with the term “Israel Firster” would also be OK with calling members of the Congressional Black Caucus, “Black Firsters?” I suspect they’d turn purple with rage.

This argument – and especially the degree to which it denigrates left-wing critics of US policy toward Israel – seems to me hugely overblown. The entire “anti-Semitic” smear centers around the use of this single term – “Israel First” – and this article focuses entirely on that one small issue as well. If the term were overtly anti-Semitic, there might be a case to be made, but even at the worst that case is merely indirect and inferential.

I was not aware of the use of the term “Israel First” by neo-Nazis until reading of it above. I doubt most Americans know of it. The term almost certainly harks much further back, to the better known term “America First”, a self-description claimed by jingoes and right-wingers opposed to humanitarian efforts overseas. As a description of often belligerent right-wing self-absorption, it is perfectly apt – when truthful – in application to those who make Israel’s interests their sole political standard. It far more saliently calls out one-sided loyalties than it does some sort of indirect anti-Semitism by way of an association most people have never heard of.

On the other hand, there are, I think two, counterarguments to be made. The first is that, even if the use of the term by actual anti-Semitics is obscure, it should not be overlooked. The second is that “Israel First”, even if it is accurately descriptive, also conjures a much more virulent and better-known anti-Semitic trope, that of “divided loyalties” – a charge that has commonly been laid against pro-Israel Jews indiscriminately.

There are certain terms that, because of their historical associations, cannot be used without offense even if the words themselves are not slurs (“Negro”). Possibly – possibly – “Israel First” has become one of them. But if so, the case for the offensive association has to be made more strongly than it has been. The claim that it is inherently anti-Semitic is absurd, and merely serves a particular, disingenuous political program.

Dan Simon hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly how I see the historical narrative, and it’s a very succinct description of Jeffrey Goldberg’s well-intentioned musings, too.

As for Donald’s assertion that Glenn Greenwald “disposed” of this issue already, Donald just regurgitated more of the same.
Glenn Greenwald has an obsession with Jeffrey Goldberg. Greenwald impugns Goldberg’s loyalty by playing up the loyalty-to-Israel card whenever possible.

Both Donald and Greenwald seem to have confused Goldberg’s very conditional support of Israel with someone who is attempting to “push American support for Israel as far to the right as possible.”

What a delusional load of crap.

Donald says:


I wasn’t aware that the issue centers entirely on Goldberg. In fact I’m aware of Goldberg’s position–he opposes settlements, I think. I don’t like him much, however, since he pushed the Iraq War and a mythical connection between Saddam and Osama in the pages of the New Yorker.

On “Israel first”, I’d be perfectly willing to avoid the phrase if it has Nazi-like connotations and stirs up unnecessary emotions. . But if for instance Adelson is supporting Gingrich because Israel is his top priority and if others also do so, there ought to be some useful little phrase to invoke in order to describe this.

Incidentally, I wouldn’t even care if someone placed another country first in their emotions, so long as that country isn’t violating human rights and we aren’t urged to support it no matter what it does.

“I’ve criticized the American Jewish right’s myopic, destructive, tribal conception of what it means to love Israel. But it doesn’t deserve to have its Americanness and patriotism questioned.”

I would heed that suggestion were it not for the fact that a good many prominent members of that same American Jewish right incessantly and viciously question, demean, and dismiss the “Americanness and patriotism” of those who have the effrontery to view the world through a different lens. So when they openly back a prime minister and party of a foreign country–ANY foreign country–over their own president (a president, by the way, who has solidified closer military cooperation between the US and Israel than any US president since 1948), turning around and whining about having their “Americanness and patriotism” questioned rings just a little hollow.

Robert Sendler says:

As a pro Israel conservative I’ve gotten into many arguments with Progressives where they begin to either sound like neo-Nazis or a Hamas media person.

It’s very weird and I simply don’t understand it.

“I wonder how many people who are OK with the term ‘Israel Firster’ would also be OK with calling members of the Congressional Black Caucus, ‘Black Firsters?'”

I’d be perfectly happy calling Marcus Garvey’s Black Nationalist movement that. It seems kind of silly applying it to the CBC, though – all of whose members actually work for the US government, as representatives of diverse constituencies that include many non-black citizens, and none of whom, to my knowledge, has advocated that the official policies and resources of the US government be devoted to the sole benefit of black people over and against any other people, to officially committing to arming them in perpetuity with greater firepower than any supposed enemy regardless of consequences and at non-black people’s expense, and of allowing them to incrementally annexe and occupy land other people are living on as a means of appeasing their most radical religious elements.

So, not exactly the same thing. Facts actually matter.

I expect black members of Congress representing black constituents to work for the benefit of those constituents, but I don’t expect them to do so exclusively, or to the completely one-sided detriment of any other peoples. To my knowledge, they don’t do so. So I wouldn’t call them “Black Firsters”. I’d apply the label “Firsters” to anybody who does take that stance uncritically toward any particular group of people, especially one they happen to identify with. The question is, to whom does that label apply? Not the CBC, no – but . . .?

I don’t understand this polemic at all. One thing if the objectives of USA and Israel would be opposite and another is when they coincide. If you do something good for Israel then you do something good for USA as well. The opposite is also true. Therefore I cannot understand up until now why Mr. Pollard got such harsh sentence: how could he do so much harm to USA by helping Israel? The question of Jewish loyalty is like a honey to both – to Jew-haters and self-hating Jews: don’t bring it up.

Phil N says:

Ever since Israel has abandoned socialism and propered under capitalism, the Jewish state has become a pariah to the left. The left (to call them progressive is a total misuse of the word) has seen their economic blueprint fail time after time. They have no good ideas left, only name calling.

Bill Pearlman says:

Eva is a classic polish anti-semite. And a big hero over at “mondofront” Home of Phil ( Hitler should have finished the job ) Weiss.

“At the risk of sounding like the shtetl police, there’s a right way and a wrong way for American Jews to argue with one another.”

You sound like the shtetl police. Speak for yourself, Spencer.

Donald says:

“As a pro Israel conservative I’ve gotten into many arguments with Progressives where they begin to either sound like neo-Nazis or a Hamas media person.

It’s very weird and I simply don’t understand it.”

It’s possible that you’ve encountered some fanatics online (or in real life, but online is easier) and it’s possible that you can’t distinguish between very harsh but honest criticism of Israel and neo-Nazism. It could easily be both.

I had never heard the term “Israel Firster” until today and my first thought is that it is incredibly…apt. But wait, like all discussions of Israel that I can remember, here we go down the rabbit hole again. It’s as if conversational countermeasures, like so much verbal chaff, are thrown up to stop the conversation.

I have no idea what David Duke said, verbatim, about anything. He is barely an afterthought in this tale, right? So, how come he is able to conscript and erase from my use, perfectly appropriate words?

Jeffrey Goldberg worked in an Israeli prison. He wrote a book about it that was critically acclaimed. He talks about it all the time. How is this a smear? It’s part of who he was.

Ephraim says:

So “an assertive United States has to pressure a recalcitrant Israel to come to its senses”, huh?

By doing what, exactly? By forcing Israel to give up even more land, force even more Jews out of their homes, and agree to a re-divided Jerusalem, all the while begging and pleading with the Arabs to stop shooting rockets at Israeli school buses while at the same time preventing Israel from fighting back? Yeah, that’ll work.

To what senses is Israel supposed to come, exactly? Anyone with eyes to see has known that ever since Oslo Fatah and Hamas have been playing a “good cop/bad cop” double game, with Fatah threatening Israel with Hamas and redoubled terrorism if Israel doesn’t accede to its every demand, all for the purpose of eventually bringing Israel to its knees.

I submit that Israel has already come to its senses and that is precisely why they have stopped making unilateral concessions. When the Arabs actually come to their senses and decide they want real peace, there will be peace. But not before that.

Anyway, this is a specious article. The idea that Jewish leftists, who want to turn America into a socialist/communist state, think they can establish their bona fides as good Americans by insinuating that “right-wing” Jews are a fifth column is just so laughable I don’t know what to say. At bottom, it is just another example of cowardly assimilationist Jews trying to curry favor with the goyim so that they will not be seen as Jews when the inevitable axe falls.

In any case, anti-Semitism has a long and illustrious history with the left. At the edges, there is nothing to choose from between right and left-wing craziness, at least as far as Jews are concerned.

Chuck Pelto says:

TO: Spencer Ackerman
RE: As If….

Note to some of my fellow progressives: If we can’t argue about Israel without using anti-Semitic tropes, then the debate is lost before it even begins — Spencer Ackerman

Facts ever mattered to ‘progressives’.

You doubt this? Just watch Obama. Or most of the so-called major media.


[Progressive is a one-word oxymoron.]

brantl says:

Goldberg was a guard at an Israeli prison, calling him an Israeli prison guard is descriptive, not erroneous or derogatory.


Question 1: Is Jeffrey Goldberg a “former Israeli prison guard”?

Question 2: If the answer to question one is in the affirmative, why does the publication of this fact about Mr. Goldberg’s past so offensive to you?

I’ll wait.


Almost forgot Question 3: Can anyone, whether on Tablet, The Atlantic, Commentary, or The Forward, question anything Israel does or anything any Israeli leader does or says without being deemed an anti-Semite by you and the rest of the polemicist crowd?

Take your time. I’ll wait, but I do expect a direct answer to the question. Not hasbarah. Not talking points. Not censorship.

A direct answer.

The Pale Scot says:

I have no problem being called an American Firster. Countries do not have friends, they have interests. Other than oil production, what other interests does the US have in the Middle East? None. Why should I care about democracy in the M.E.? Just as for what reason do we still have troops in S.Korea? The ROK’s economy is orders of magnitude greater than the north, they will defend themselves if they’re given no other choice. The same for Japan, Germany etc.

The “war” against Islamist terrorists is the only reason the militarists have to justify a war machine that needs a presence in over eighty countries. The U.S. did absolutely nothing to prevent 5 million deaths in the Congo, so life and liberty of other people obviously isn’t a priority. Just what did the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq do for U.S security? Hell it didn’t even get us access to resources, the Iraqis and Afghanis both are making deals with the Chinese instead. And the greatest beneficiaries of the Iraq invasion are Iran and the Saud family. Doesn’t that sound a lot like the Mossad’s early involvement in the creation of Hamas? All that’s been done is the creation of eternal theater of conflict, a defense contractors dream.

Being against single minded support of a country that has no strategic relevance to the United States doesn’t make one an anti-semetic. Americans have right to be angry about a client relationship where the client calls the shots. If you are devoted to Israel’s security, send your sons and daughters there to join the IDF, invest your wealth in the Israeli stock market, Move there and share in the defense. Just leave the rest of us out of it.

I’m a proud Christian in a family that is overwhelmingly proud Jewish. We are all 100% American.

The interests of America and Israel are almost entirely coincident. Israel is a close ally surrounded by hostile enemies not only in the Middle East but at the UN. Their avowed goal is to destroy our ally Israel.

And guess what! Most of them want to destroy us too! And subjugate us to Sharia.

Only extremely rarely is there a parting of interests. For example it is in the best interests of both countries to get rid of Obama and Clinton and replace them with leadership that builds US-Israeli ties and stops undermining them. An easy call.

It’s only when I hear someone ripping into either country that I suspect divided loyalties — the alternative is plain old stupidity.

“Would you accuse Armenian Americans of ‘dual loyalty’ when they try to get the US Congress to declare that the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against Armenians? Are Tibetan Americans guilty of ‘dual loyalty’ when they beseech the US to put pressure on China to ease conditions of Tibetans in Tibet?”


Perhaps I missed these occurrences, but do the leaders of Turkey, Tibet, and Armenia possess nuclear weapons?

Do Turkey, Tibet, and Armenia feature K Street lobbying groups that publicly boast of their ability to gain the signatures of 70 U.S. Senators and more than 300 members of the U.S. House of Representatives on any piece of legislation by nightfall?

Have the leaders of Turkey, Tibet, and Armenia spoken before the full U.S. Congress?

Have the leaders of Turkey, Tibet, and Armenia received more than 25 standing ovations during their speeches to the full U.S. Congress?

Does the U.S. annually allocate some $3 billion to Turkey, Tibet, and Armenia?


“Until you read Jeffrey Goldberg’s book about his experience as a young man of about 20 and his decision to move to Israel and subsequent decision to move back home to America, then you don’t understand how silly and mean-spirited the description of Goldberg is that you apparently condone.”

Bruce Levine,

We’ve got a litany of Tea Party types demanding that President Obama release his college transcripts. Last I recall, President Obama attended college at roughly the same age one Jeffrey Goldberg served honorably in the IDF. You term “silly and mean-spirited” any reference to Mr. Goldberg in those halcyon days.

Do you believe that anyone seeking President Obama’s college transcripts at roughly the same age is “silly and mean-spirited”?

Do you see a certain validity in that request?

Why is it “gross” to refer to Goldberg as a former Israeli prison guard, he was and also all this Hitler linkage doesn’t intimidate anyone anymore.Try something else.

The Pale Scot says:

“And guess what! Most of them want to destroy us too! And subjugate us to Sharia.”

You are a Nut.

I am friends with someone who’s father was a Calvary officer in Germany during the fifties and sixties. He tells sobering stories about sitting next to his tank waiting for orders during the uprisings in Eastern Europe. He said that if someone had come up to him and said that fifty years later the greatest threat to America would be religious fundamentalists hiding out in Fuckistan he would have disarmed them and had them committed.

And I’m going take a stab and say that proud Christian=Xtain fundamentalist. So in your belief system Armageddon is a feature not a bug. You’re not the guy I going to listen to on issues about the M.E.

MonkFish says:

Incorrect Phil. The left of left has been staunchly anti-Israel at least since ’67 (I situate the demise of the Zionist left as a political force at the ’77 elections although the rot set in before then) and, in many instances, opposed the state’s existence since its inception.

Over here in the Britain, the most grotesquely anti-Israel leftist group is the Socialist Workers Party, a Totskyist outfit, which was founded in 1977 by a Jewish immigrant from Palestine who, during WWII tried to dissuade Jews from enlisting in the British Army to fight Hitler! This Trot was opposed to a Jewish state in any shape or form since the 1940s!

So you see, the reasons for the left’s current loathing and obsession with Israel go back many years and are rooted in the history of Communism in the 20th century. It’s a dauntingly complex story which has as much to do with the highly abstract, theoretical character of socialist ideology as with social and political history. On top of residual anti-capitalist anti-semitism inherited from Marx (slurs against delusions of “Jewish Banking” revived by the financial crisis), there’s a sense that the Jews must shed themselves of their “tribal” loyalties and constitute a vanguard of fighters for working class emancipation. The failure of the socialist project and the success of Zionism shattered the dreams of many such “non-jewish Jews” who instead of blaming their failure on the superficiality and theoretical remoteness of their own ideology transferring all their misplaces messianic hopes onto Israel.

To Lenin, only by merging Jews with the mass of workers could socialism conquer humanity. Now, the inheritors of this red legacy think that only by abolishing Israel can peace on earth come about…

Jewish Marx expert Moishe Postone has a great paper on this subject. I recommend it highly:

Very well stated article. I have always found it peculiliar that amongst all of the injustices occuring in our world, certain people choose to focus on the Palestinian issue. They use this issue as a suttle vehicle to express their anti-semitism.

@Pale Scot
A “Calvary officer”(sic), eh? rofl Which crosses was he in charge of?

Well it’s a real honor to be schooled on military threats by such an intellect. lol

And you got another one of your aed hominems hilariously wrong. My support for Israel and America has nothing at all to do with any kind of beliefs in Armageddon or Ragnarok or whatever foolish stereotypes you want to hide behind. I’d recommend for you a dose of common sense but you’ll find none of it hiding your head in the sand ignoring islamist threats.

mark epstein says:

He’s got it right (sorry for the pun). I am right of centre, I go back and forth in terms of what to do with Iran, as any mindful person would do on the right or left. It is the same argument that should have been proffered when North Korea was attempting to get the bomb and whether the US should have stopped that endeavour. But for the left to say that it is Jews who are pushing the US to bomb Iran, for Jewish self interest which is the long definiton of “Israel Firster”–then they are anti semitic.
The is debate is about Iran and its potential to murder–nothing more. If Jews have an opinion on the latter that you disagree, do not discount it by saying: “you are a Jew, your opinion is one of self interest, an interest different than America’s”. That is the other definition of “Israel Firster”.
And Jews, who cow tow to the left’s anti semitic phrases are the same as the Jewish Capos who ran the camps and ghettos. Who cloak themselves in a Jewish robe to give credibility to their self hating anti semitic phrases, but in reality Jews in name only, who choose to say their Jewish only if it bolsters to their anti Jewish arguments.

MonkFish says:

To all the “America Firsters” and other armchair patriots out there I propose a simple re-formulation of Ackerman’s argument: if you are incapable of criticizing the current American welfare system without railing against those ethnic groups (blacks, Mexicans, Guatemalans) who are most reliant upon it and disseminating crass racial and cultural stereotypes over the net you don’t belong in the conversation. Most likely your prejudice renders any contribution you make not only repugnant but factually false as well.

Likewise, if you can’t partake of the important debate Americans should be having over the nature and future of the US-Israel relationship without impugning the loyalty, morality and honesty of your opponent and tapping into ethnic stereotypes about his or her group and delusions of conspiracy worthy of Henry Ford’s “International Jew” (as a large number of commentators and self-proclaimed “experts” have done) you cannot feign indignation when someone takes you to task for you antisemitism and disqualifies you from participating in the debate.

As to Greenwald, he is a very smart guy. His essays are too long (goes on and on and on) but he is bonkers about Israel — has lost all sense of perspective.

I like and admire the guy — I fear for his sanity as he dwells on so many ugly aspects of our world — but about Israel he is just becoming a kook.

• Sure, is Israel perfect? No.
• Should Israel change policies on a number of matters? Yes.
• Is it rational for anyone to be concerned about Israel — and of course that includes Arabs and leftists — to the exclusion of just about every other issue? Of course not.

This unhealthy, bizarre, macabre fascination about Israel and its flaws — all nations have flaws, just as all people have flaws — is itself an indicator of antisemitism or something unhealthy.

silenceisgolden says:

So let’s get this straight. Pro-Jews on the right are Israeli Favoritors and some on the left that dislike Israel just need to be a little nicer in their critiques.

Okay, got it.

The guy known for his advice to “just call them racist” wants to pontificate on anti-antisemitism? *rolls eyes*

Walter Sobchak says:

Anti-semitism is now the test of whether a man can be a “man of the left”. If you can’t spout anti-semitic slogans without blinking, your membership card will be revoked.

“Quien con perros se echa, con pulgas se levanta.”
[He who lies down with dogs, arises with fleas.]

Geoff Milke says:

“The left, I think, will win that debate on the merits, because it recognizes that if Israel is to survive as a Jewish democracy living in peace beside a free Palestine, an assertive United States has to pressure a recalcitrant Israel to come to its senses, especially about the insanity of attacking Iran”. Wishful thinking! You cannot possibly believe the two points your sentence makes. First, Israel “recalcitrant”? In whose eyes…the Arabs that want to eliminate them…the UN…Iran? Iran deserves that description far more than Israel. Second, the debate over a “war with Iran” will be won or lost by effectively proving or disproving that Iran is an existential threat to Israel, and and security threat to the USofA. Flimsy arguments about Israel will play no part in the actual debate, though they might make “progressives” feel good about themselves while they lose it.

Other than that it was a great post (and that comes from someone as far to the right as you are to the left)

Why are Israelis allowed to be dual citizens, but Mexicans are not? Why are Israeli bonds the only offshore bond that is US federal tax free. Why are all the employees at the State Department’s Middle East division jewish? The problem is the rules are no equal. That is as un-American as advancing the interests of another nation before your own. No more Neocons!

Hanoi Paris Hilton says:

ref: the American Jewish right’s myopic, destructive, tribal conception of what it means to love Israel.

That in itself, especially the “tribal” bit smacks more than a wee smidgen of reflexive antisemitism, or classical Jewish self hatred, as the case may be.

As we used to always say in my native viilage Brooklyn, with friends like Spencer Ackerman, we on the tribal right don’t need enemies.

Chuck Pelto says:

TO: The Pale Scot
RE: Speaking of Nuts….

You are a Nut.

I am friends with someone who’s father was a Calvary officer in Germany during the fifties and sixties. — The Pale Scot

….it’s CAVALRY. Not Calvary. Or is it there is a combat arm named after Golgatha? Do they have spiritual powers for weapons? Can they summon a golgathan $#!† demon?


[I may be a nut, but I’m screwed on the right bolt. — Pastor Hagee]

Ilpalazzo says:

All of this is irrelevant – just as Jesus defied the corrupt, strict Jewish leaders – and subsequently, but in the opposite way, Mohammed destroyed the very wise and peaceful Zoroastrianism – all of the major religions of the world will be knocked down with a strong parental hand, as the new Book comes out this year and starts a whole new religion that embraces everyone – a true unifying text, and only those stubborn, ignorant or outright evil would not be behind it.

So again, all this squabble between Christians, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, etc, will all be corrected this year. Let them have their idealistic, destructive, holier-than-thou attitudes for now, because they’re all about to get a slap of awakening.

Billy The Kid says:

Do liberals ever accuse Mexican Americans with stickers of the Mexican flag on their cars of being Mexican firsters? Of course not. The term Israel firster is pure Jew hatred from bigoted leftwing vermin.

Phillip says:

Ironic coming from the guy who advocates false accusations of racism as a tool against political opponents.

Boo hoo, McCarthy

another Goldstein says:

Poor Spencer. It’s all disappointing…tiresome to point don’t want to risk being called the “shtetl police” or a “concern troll” embarrassing for you, to show concern for Jewish people! You long for this to go away so you can sit around in Williamsburg’s restaurant “Trief” (it’s ok to call it that! It’s ironic!) munching bacon with your progressive friends. But you just couldn’t stomach the antisemitism anymore. I hate to tell you, but this isn’t just about the label “Israel Firsters” will have to be brave and speak out again..and again…and you will be kicked out of the hipster leftist crowd for it. But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Thanks, by the way, for this article.

toyotabedzrock says:

Mr. Ackerman, did you actualy know that it was used in a negative way before reading about it?

Reading through some 70 comments it is outstandingly evident that it is about Israel and Israel alone with not one passing reference to the Palestinians. How is this possible?

bpete1969 says:

As a Native American of the Cherokee persuasion, I can only say why don’t you take your petty “tribal” squabbling bullshite back across the pond and settle it there. American Jews and Israel firsters love to shout support but when it comes time to put boots on the ground usually find a way to avoid the fight.
Any perceived criticism of a Jew, Israel, Zionist or Zionist-Christian is immediately labeled anti-Semitic. I’m not going to scroll back through the crap I just scrolled down through to point out certain statements by certain people but I think it’s safe to say that you cannot say anything against Israel or a Jew. There is no legitimate discussion of any bad aspect of Israel or a Jew in any form. The argument is over the minute someone realizes that you have a complaint and whether the person making it thinks it’s legitimate, does not matter.
We now live in a time where the term Israel-firster gives people heartburn. Seems pretty stupid with all of the abuse leveled on people in this world that we have nothing better to bitch about.
For Jews in America, Israel seems to be a great place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there. If you’re a non-Jew, non Israel-firster in America, Israel seems to be a huge drain on our resources and if we say we want to tie our financial support to cleaning up the way you treat the natives, then we are cursed. Israel loves the Bible thumper’s support until one of them wants to simply covert an Israeli (it’s against the law you know). That in itself is enough for me to call Israel a bunch of hypocrites and wish we could pull the $3 Billion a year we give Israel and spend on the other side of that concrete wall. Imagine what the Palestinians could do with that much money…
You idiots make me sick. And if you want to call me an anti-Semite I really don’t give a damn. I see everyday how a bunch of ungrateful immigrants from Europe trash a neighborhood.

gentile says:

I know there’s nothing I can cite that will be satisfactory, but I still feel it’s worthwhile to repeat it when it’s needed: The world doesn’t hate you for being Jewish.

I read through this whole thread and it depresses the hell out of me. Get out of your bunker!

Retief says:

What’s wrong with just saying Likudnik? Those of whom the sobriquet Israel Firster might be used are hardly putting Israel first if they are supporting right-wing policies. If those being described are supporting those settler lunatics, or a war with Iran, or other such foolishness, they are putting Israel second to their own fantasies. Nothing is more dangerous to Israel’s near-term security or long term existence than the stinking rotten settlers. Anybody who supports settlements can in no way be described as “Israel First”.

Many of us on the left are generally supportive of Israel and are pretty convinced that Israel’s best interests would be served by our policies, not by those of the maximalist, war-mongering cranks that currently run the Israel and many of the American interest groups related to Israel. Our interest in Israel’s success is what drives our disputes with those who might be misnamed Israel Firsters.

another Goldstein says:

breaking news for “gentile” – plenty of people in the world hate Jews just for being Jewish..there’s kind of a history of it, you know. Antisemitism is on the uptick pretty much world-wide at the moment also. But thanks for condescending to tell us what’s “needed.”

JamesPhiladelphia says:

bepet 1969

You repeat the canard of the 3 billion given to Israel every year. You should mention the 2.9 billion given to Egypt. Tthis was part of the peace agreement worked out by Jimmy Carter with Sadat and Menachem Begin. Plus Egypt got back the Sinai.

Any how. Israel GDP is 240 billion. Their military budget is 7 billion. All military expenditures are with USA companies.
Palestinian refugees are supported by UNWRA . Arafat put 6 billion dollars in Swiss banks. Abbas was part of the Arafat gang. Abbab would love to receive more money.
I don’t know if you’re an anti-Semite.
But you are an ignorant idiot.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

bpete 1969.

Why not give the money to native Americans to support their drunkendness in your reservations. Casinos you have , not enough money?

Does my comment makes me an Anti native American?

JamesPhiladelphia, more than a bit of a frothing mad racist – no?

Why are people talking to Jules as if he were a rational debater instead of a rabid antisemite who quotes Iranian and Hezbollah Holocaust denying media sources?

Philip Weiss when he wrote for the Observer claimed that he wasnt Jewish. His whole anti-Israel shtick is about his discomfort with his Jewishness.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

At the risk of sounding like the shtetl police…

Your first sentence.

You should have reread this draft, and canned it.Because that first thought was correct.

Maybe the shtetl police will hand out some fancy badges that will be worth the integrity you just sacrificed? And heck, you got a link from Commentary.

bpete1969 says:

Let me point out a few problems with your defense argument.

The Jewish State’s defense industry in 2002 was the world’s 10th largest. They took in about $2 billion of a $27 billion yearly worldwide market,according to Kuti Mor, deputy director general of Israel’s Ministry of Defense. So now, we are not only subsidizing a major competitor but we are financing the sales to our enemies.
Quote from Joel Johnson, a vice president at the Aerospace Industries Association of America, which represents many of the largest U.S. arms producers. “We give them money to build stuff for themselves and the U.S. taxpayer gets nothing in return.”
In 2001, U.S. surveillance planes flying along China’s coast were threatened by Chinese fighter jets armed with Israeli missiles. Had Chinese fighter pilots been given the order to fire, they could have brought down the U.S. planes with Israeli Python III missiles. Where do you think the technology came from? It came from the sidewinders we sold Israel. Did Israel tell us they sold the missles to China…no.
Israel has sold our technology and intelligence to our supposed enemies for quite some time and we do nothing about it. Israel is the original Israel-firster and they don’t mind shoving it down Washington’s throat.
If you have a problem with Swiss banks then get your cracker representatives in Washington to tell the Swiss to freeze some accounts just like they did to Gaddafi and Mubarak when they were ousted.
You have definitely shown yourself to be not only an idiot but a racist as well.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Jules you are a paid Iranian blogger. Tablet magazine let’s him spill his hatred. He should be reported to the moderator.

But now we have bpete 1969. Spiting anti Jewish anti Israel venom.

Why is tablet magazine not kicking out these vermins?
To. Report:

arnon, I am as much Jew as you but what test do you want to run me ragged through?

JamesPhiladelphia says:

I had before reported Jules as a paid Iranian blogger.

He should be reported again


Calling someone a “racist” and “idiot,” while simultaneously attacking “cracker representatives,” doesn’t do much for your argument. In fact, it makes you just like those you attack. And I’m assuming your use of the word “Jew,” isn’t complimentary either. Based on your tone, I’d call it pejorative. And flinging around the term “Israel Firster,” doesn’t do much for your case, either. As a Cherokee, do you object to pejorative terms flung around about Native Americans?

And speaking of the term “racist”: John Ross and the Ridges owned slaves. Would it be fair to say these Cherokee leaders were racists and hated blacks? Or was that situation a bit more complicated?

And to let you know where I stand, I think Andrew Jackson should be taken off the $20 bill and replaced with John Ross. And I’m a JEW who supports Israel.

Wrap your head around that.

MonkFish says:


I won’t bother getting into an argument with you about the complexities of the US-Israel relationship. Israel was for decades an invaluable strategic partner of the US in countering Soviet encroachment in the Middle East. Recently, cyberwar teams from the US and Israel collaborated to design the Stuxnet virus which delayed uranium enrichment in Iran. Unfortunately, you, like many avowedly hostile to Israel and jews and prone to sweeping, ill-informed characterizations of my people you seem set in your opinions and unlikely to be swayed by rational argument. So I’ll limit myself to quoting a quip by the Sopranos’ immortal Herman ‘Hesh’ Rabkin:

“You’re talking to the wrong white man, my friend. My people were the white man’s nigger when yours were still painting their faces and chasing zebras.” Although in the case of your estimable ancestors it would probably have been buffalo.

If you fall for their lies (just the latest concoction of anti-Semitic rubbish in a 2000 year history of constant jew baiting and killing) you are no better than them. Don’t allow yourself to be enslaved bro. Time for your people to follow our lead and salvage a little dignity the depredations of the Euro-American.


I’m expecting to read one day that Ackerman got his own head smashed face-first through a plate-glass window. His comments on Journolist haven’t been forgotten. He’s made a lot of enemies he doesn’t even know he has. When one of them finally pays him back, he’ll never see it coming.

I’d be very worried if I was him because the person who will put “paid” to his bill could be absolutely anyone. His enemies know him and his picture is on the internet. They get to choose time, place and method. All he can do is wait, knowing it’s coming and hope they don’t choose to hurt his family instead of him.

Ah, well, if one sows the wind…

James you really disgust me. Really. I am an agent of Ahmadinejad? Your are beyond the bounds of common human decency.

bpete1969 says:

Run and report anyone who states an opinion you don’t like. That will sure show ‘em you can debate anything rationally.

If my use of the term cracker bothers you well, get over it. That comment was in reply to the following statements by James in Philly
I don’t know if you’re an anti-Semite.
But you are an ignorant idiot.

and Why not give the money to native Americans to support their drunkendness in your reservations.
Now if you want to take up for tattle tale James go for it, but it only shows the stereotyping is allowed in only one direction here.
What would you like me to call those of the Jewish faith or race Rob? You want me to reach into the bag of already forbidden words like the K word? Choice is yours. The term Israel-firster is what the damned article is about Rob or did you skip over that part just to get to the comments so you could show everyone your astute debating skills? Rob, not only did they have blacks as slaves they had other Native Americans as well so if you want to call them racists go for it. I never said Native American’s weren’t racists and considering what was done to them over the years by white people they have every reason to be as racist as they want. I really don’t care who the hell you want on the $20 bill because it’s worth less than the rag paper it’s printed on. Wrap your head around that.

If you want to get into a serious discussion about the complexities of the U.S.-Israel relationship then by all means let’s go for it. But your statement :Israel was for decades an invaluable strategic partner of the US in countering Soviet encroachment in the Middle East. is the key. WAS for decades is the operative words. The game has changed considerably in the last 20 years. Loyalties on both sides are not as much a given. For the last 15 years the behavior of the hard right Israelis in regards to the Palestinians is a problem that does need to be addressed. But saying that is verboten.

I cannot fathom the blind hatred you have in your heart. Quite frankly it offends and appalls me if that is the intended and desired effect. If indeed it is the desired effect you have won something fabulously grand. Are you very much pleased and happy with this something you’ve won?

McCarthyism is very much thriving and alive and this is the vivid proof of it. And McCarthyism not just with a supple twist of the wrist, soon before long names will be all tallied on a big fat blacklist.

MonkFish says:


Let’s discuss the hijacking of Israeli politics by the Likud party, Shas, YB and the Settler blocks…by all means! Like many Israelis and the left wing press, I am not one to shy away from such conversations. But for a real, substantive discussion to take place certain rules regarding negative stereotypes, logically fallacious inferences and hyperbole have to be laid down and adhered to religiously. Such rules are flouted by the vast majority of self-styled “experts” and commentators on the US Israel relationship. How, for instance, can we reasonably assess the impact of AIPAC on the relationship when the topic is now dominated by a theory that is utterly unfounded in evidence-established fact (W&M conducted not one day of primary research – the entire book rests on a collection of inferences made from secondary sources) and that has become the lynchpin of a grand Judeocentric conspiracy theory? You tell me and I’ll gladly debate with you.

bpete1969 says:

To be honest, I don’t know that that a reasonable assessment of AIPAC’s impact on anything can be determined in today’s climate. Do you approach the subject like how NOW scores politicians and their voting record and then look at any monies accepted by campaigns? Is that a fair way to judge the impact of any lobbying group? A politician’s vote could very well be the best vote they could make for their constituents based on budgetary concerns but also be beneficial to a certain group so which column does it go in?
For starters, any legislator on this side of the pond is going to consider two things when dealing with any lobbyist…1. Time is money and does my time generate campaign money and 2. Is taking any money going to bite me in the butt later when my constituents find out I took it.
I currently live in the southeastern U.S., an area very evangelical and very supportive of Israel. We have a lot of military both active duty and retired in the area. For many of them, support of Israel is a given based on that old model of Soviet encroachment and the only ally we have in the area. The evangelicals are going to support Israel no matter what. It may be considered stereotypical by some but it’s a fact. The Hagee crowd are loyal if for the only reason their salvation depends on it.

bpete1969 says:

And as an aside on AIPAC…I have even argued to some that it’s not so much a Judeocentric conspiracy running the show but a U.S. political machine mandated pipeline for kickbacks for the money sent to Israel to purchase weapons. Would that be a Gentileocentric conspiracy? lol

Thank you. With all of my heart, thank you. When Jews who do not understand the ugly history of these terms and who have taken to thinking the terms are acceptable, their approval of anti-Semitic rhetoric has consequences. Their sanctions of historically fraught terms make it that much harder for the rest of us to convince anyone that these terms and ideas have no place in our discussions.

It is essential that Jews on the left, especially those who can speak to a large audience or readership, do so. Your work is greatly respected and I’m relieved to see more people challenging the status quo. As a Jew on the left who has felt more than uncomfortable with what passes for “Israel criticism,” I can only hope that enough people realize “Israel-firster” and its equivalents are simply not anything but a nod to anti-Semites of eras past.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Pedro why not?

Why don’t you go and look for Jacinto and Jose .

Well I’m greatly gratified to see that most of us in agreement to agree on nothing.

Splendid. Shalom/Salam

xdiesp says:

Criticizing Israel as a state and its politics has nothing to do with anti-semitism. Please spare me from the cliches of people discussing the matter being nazis down below or self-haters when it’s actually jewish literates at universities to speak. They do speak and the matter is too cemented and hot to be disregarded with maccartyte rethoric.

It seems you are covering up the presence of the israeli lobby in the States and I honestly wonder how you could ever think of being able to. They aren’t invisible, you know. That isn’t illegal, but pressure is there and should be aknowledge in all honesty.

If anything now you are watering down the meaning of anti-semitism by including spurious elements which might undermine the core meaning.

xdiesp, well put and well spoken. I’m in complete agreement. The gag must go, when Israel is in the wrong people have the justifications to say so.

Shingo says:

“Responding to anyone who bandies that term around is a complete waste of time.”

Yes, it muct be tought having to face off with Nelson Mandella, Desmond Tutu, and the architect of South African Apartheid, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd, who said in 1961 that:

“The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel like South Africa, is an apartheid state”

I mean, what would these people know about apartheid right?

Shingo says:

“The author succinctly points out that when you’ve resorted to calling your enemies (because let’s face it, that’s how you see them) Israel-firsters, you’ve lost the debate.”

On the contrary, based on the responses such an accusation attracts, it would suggest that such an accusation is a point of embarassment for Israeli firsters.

“There are bitter, angry people who hate Zionists the way some people hate Nazis..”

Intersting point. After all, people hated Nazis because of what they did, so there might be a lesson in that.

“What it really shows is that the Israeli peace camp was devastated by the breakdown of the Oslo talks into the Al-Aqsa Intifada.”

Those would be the same Oslo talks that Netenyahu was caugh boasting about sabotaging on camera correct?

Your argument is compeltely unpside down. The right sabotaged the peace process, because a political settlement would have put an end to the occuation and land grab. And so you are blaming the Israeli “moderate peaceniks” for trying.


Shingo says:

“To be honest, I don’t know that that a reasonable assessment of AIPAC’s impact on anything can be determined in today’s climate.”

If you were honest, you’d ask yourself how the political leader of a foreign country can receive more standing ovations in a speech to Congress than even Ronald REagan ever did, and whether AIPAC had anything to do with it.

“I currently live in the southeastern U.S., an area very evangelical and very supportive of Israel.”

Interestingly, evangelicals are actually the most extreme anti Semites. While they are very suportive of Israel (for purely self serving reasons) their belief states that most Jews will perish during the rapture, and are anxious for this to take place as soon as possible..

“The Hagee crowd are loyal if for the only reason their salvation depends on it.”

Hagee is famous for suggesting the anti Christ will be a Jew and that Hitler was an agent of God.

With loyalty like that, who needs enemies?

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Wrong. The Oslo accords were sabotaged by the Palestinians under Arafat and his gang that included Abbas and Fayad present leaders of the west bank Palestinians so called Palestinian Authority.

Arafat started a wave of suicide bombers killing and maiming thousands of Israeli civilians. Until Sharon stopped these massacres. Sharon was stopped by GW Bush from killing Arafat even when he continued the terror attacks.

Eventually Sharon put Arafat in Ramallah confined to his compound. Arafat became sick and was flown to Paris, France to the hospital specializing in blood diseases. He died of a blood disease kept secret. Arafat died from AiIDS. His brother claims that the Israelis poisoned!!!!

Arafat and his gang robbed their people of 6 billion dollars put in Swiss banks. 2 billion are under his widow who lives in Paris like a queen.


“I really don’t care who the hell you want on the $20 bill because it’s worth less than the rag paper it’s printed on. Wrap your head around that.”

I will as long as you prove to me you don’t spend those worthless $20 bills. On the whole you seem about as open on this subject as Fort Knox is to someone threatening it with a rubber band. Your bile has apparently consumed you. And it’s sad to see.

And I didn’t call John Ross or the Ridges racist. I merely pointed out that they COULD be called racists if one employed the childish characterizations you seem to favor.

And thanks for pointing that you have the term ‘kike’ at your disposal. As to the way you use the word “Jew,” don’t even pretend that’s an objective usage for people like you. And since “those of the Jewish faith” is in your lexicon, here’s an idea: use it. It’s much more respectful (as in “Native American.”)

And another thing, just because someone insults you, doesn’t mean you automatically insult them. It’s, well, childish.

PS – I’m with Hesh.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Israel built the wall stopping Palestinian terrorists from attacks against civilians. The Israeli army has been arresting hundreds of terrorists in the West Bank.

These terrorists belong to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al Aqsa martyrs the operational branch of Fatha belonging to the Palestinian Authority.

Bottom line the Israeli right did not sabotage the “Peace Oslo Accords” . That was done by the Palestinians under Arafat and his gang. The Israeli left, and the international left, keep lying about the facts. It is not surprising that the left has no credibility and are in total decline.

The truth will set you free.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

There was this young native American asking his father from where they got their names, the father answered why do you ask this question broken condom?

This young woman native American disappeared. When she came back she was pregnant and met her father. She said how! The father answered I know how I want to know who !

I have not have such fun since the cayenne pepper hit the fan.

bpete 1969 is the first native American I have encountered in these blogs. He uses good English for his hatred.

bpete1969 says:

Yo Rob,
You want to discuss racism as shown by those of the Jewish persuasion now?
Think about that the next time you hear a fellow tribesman use the term goyim.
You don’t think you need the Hagee crowd? Don’t accept the money they send to the fatherland and tell them what you think of their support.
Now you want to break out your Talmud? We can spend a considerable amount of time discussing the racism contained there. And let’s use the unedited version so there’s no arguing about details.
Next we can discuss current events like men with bad haircuts in cheap suits cursing and spitting on 8 year old little girls because they don’t like them wearing a dress or walking down their side of the street. Then let’s discuss the decision by the U.N. court just yesterday about destroying peoples homes. Then we can move on to bulldozing houses of the natives because they didn’t have a permit because they won’t be given a permit because Israel just doesn’t want them living in a decent house. It’s not Israeli land, this is in the West Bank. You want to discuss Israel’s refusal to set a border? You want to discuss the perpetual hell they inflict on some people? Then lets discuss how Christians and Muslims are treated in Israel. The second class status they’re handed and told if you don’t like it get the hell out.
From there we can go onto depriving people a right to a living, freedom of movement and association.
You want to continue?
Now JamesPhilly is going to have a stroke, screaming this is all anti-Jewish, anti-Israel venom but is it really? It’s a discussion of those things many American Jews like to shove under the rug and not admit take place because it happens over there, not here. They can remove themselves from any guilt associated with these things.
You ready to have that discussion?
No, I don’t think you are and it’s sad to see an entire race so poisoned by their holier than thou attitude.
Peace out my fellow tribesman…

bpete1969 says:


You wouldn’t know truth if it smacked you in the face.

Now go run and tell a moderator….

jamesphiladelphia says:

with defenders like these the palestinians dont need enemies. poor palestinians, always losers. that is why they are good construction workers for the Israelis.

i am sure bpete 1969 is a palestinian.


bpete1969 says:

Interestingly, evangelicals are actually the most extreme anti Semites. While they are very suportive of Israel (for purely self serving reasons) their belief states that most Jews will perish during the rapture, and are anxious for this to take place as soon as possible..

Although many evangelicals feel there will be a rapture and anyone could argue they’re mistaken about the whole “left behind” concept, rest assured that anyone not accepting Christ as the Messiah is toast, not just some Jews. It’s not a racial thing.
And I know of no one that wants it to happen “as soon as possible” even among the most fervent thumpers I know.

Donald says:

“This unhealthy, bizarre, macabre fascination about Israel and its flaws — all nations have flaws, just as all people have flaws — is itself an indicator of antisemitism or something unhealthy.”

Applied to Greenwald this is simply false and probably says something about the rationality of the person who typed it. Greenwald spends most of his time writing about the civil and human rights violations of the US government. He occasionally has a post about Israel, always in connection with how we support it and how dishonestly the issue is discussed. It fits in with his broader concerns about the United States.

And this meme that lefties “focus” on Israel seems to neglect the obvious reason why that happens– American politicians practically fall over each other praising Israel. Rational observers think Netanyahu is an idiot–Congress gives him dozens of standing ovations. Israel isn’t just another country with a crappy human rights record–it’s practically our 51st state. (Except that no governor of any state would be given the rock star treatment Netanyahu got from Congress.)

Donald says:

Using Hitler’s face in this context was contemptible. I’m so used to the pro-Israel side trivializing the anti-semitism charge in this way I barely even noticed. You can’t logically complain about other people’s inflammatory rhetoric and then link them to the face of the most evil man of the 20th century.

“I know there’s nothing I can cite that will be satisfactory, but I still feel it’s worthwhile to repeat it when it’s needed: The world doesn’t hate you for being Jewish.

“I read through this whole thread and it depresses the hell out of me. Get out of your bunker!”


With those two graphs, you just smacked a two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth in game seven to win the World Series. Perhaps some day someone somewhere will convince enough members of the Jewish faith that, contrary to hasbarah, not everyone is out to get them.

In fact, almost everyone doesn’t give a crap if they’re Jewish, agnostic, or a Shetland Pony. (Does the Shetland Pony hold some special symbolic or dietary significance in the Jewish, Muslim, or Christian faiths? I’m not going to waste the time googling to determine this fact.)

And the depression factor of this thread, staring with Spencer “I’ve Retained My Magic Neocon Decoder Ring” Ackerman resides at somewhere around DefCon 1 + Omar’s death on The Wire.

Johnny Mardkhah says:

Actually, is the islamists (the neo-nazis courted by Obama) who are Israel Firsters.
They want to destroy Israel first, so that the way is open to submit the rest of the civilized world.

What’s that that I hear? Islamists are not nazis? Mmh, maybe the politically correct, multi culti are right: islamists are the opposite of nazis.
The nazis wanted to conquer the world and then annihilate the Jews, whereas islamists want to annihilate the Jews and then conquer the world.

MonkFish says:


Hello, I was going to respond to your remarks on lobbying and the political process, but then I scrolled down and my eyes alighted on your very crude and intellectually shallow generalizations about perceptions of non-jews among jews today and Talmud (when an gentile uses the word “goyim” to characterise the complex, fraught and ambivalent attitudes of jews to non-jews over the ages you know you’re dealing with someone only interesting in vilification, not knowledge). The Talmud is a vast and difficult work of exegesis that contains myriad internal contradictions. Of course, you can quote it out of context or mistranslate like any vulgar crack-pot Islamophobe attacking the Qur’an (how good is your 6th century Aramaic I wonder?) and grubbing about for snippets to support his hateful delusions. Two points to consider:

a. in my many years in the Jewish community I have never heard anyone younger that 65 use the word “goy” pejoratively (goy – which simply means “nation” has a neutral connotation in the Bible). “Goy” has largely been supplanted by the old term “gentile” or the new “non-jew.”

b. the Talmud actually builds upon the story of Noah in Genesis to elaborate a set of laws (the Noahide Laws) that, if followed, ensure a place in the afterlife for all human beings, jewish or non-jewish. To my knowledge, neither Islam of Christianity make provisions of this sort for members of other faiths. On the contrary, salvation is contingent on one becoming a Christian or a Muslim.

As for your description of life in the West Bank it is so partial and so far removed from a detailed account of the political conditions that prevail there (such as the failure on the part of generations of Palestinians to mount a challenge to the illegal settlements that is neither terrorist violence nor a denial of Israeli existence) as to merit no discussion at all.

Only through subtly and exacting standards of rationality and conversation can the truth be reached.

bpete1969 says:

I appreciate your thoughtful and coherent reply.
Unfortunately, when a “progressive” journalist calls out left wingers for a term as simple as Israel-firster…you’ve hit the depths of shallowness.
Nothing wrong with blunt, basic descriptions. Turn the conversation around to Jewish racism and people get their knickers in a twist.
As for your description of life in the West Bank it is so partial and so far removed from a detailed account of the political conditions that prevail there (such as the failure on the part of generations of Palestinians to mount a challenge to the illegal settlements that is neither terrorist violence nor a denial of Israeli existence) as to merit no discussion at all.

Tell that to the guy whose house just got bulldozed.
Which reminds me, I need to call my broker and buy another $1000 of caterpillar shares…

The term “Israel Firster” is appropriately applied to American Zionists. The Zionist doctrine is, roughly, that Jews belong in their own homeland and that this homeland can be created by forcing Arabs to give up land and property through war and domination. To be a Zionist in America is to be an “Israel Firster”. The pedigree of the phrase is irrelevant; after all, Duke is right on this, regardless of his own beliefs and commitments. It is not an anti-Semitic trope but a statement of fact regarding the commitment of many American Jews. Let them answer about their loyalties.

Shingo says:

“Wrong. The Oslo accords were sabotaged by the Palestinians under Arafat and his gang that included Abbas and Fayad present leaders of the west bank Palestinians so called Palestinian Authority.”

Sorry, but that’s simply false. Arafat had nothing to do with the wave of suicide bommbings that followed the failure of the Olso accords.

Sharon stopped these fro taking place, Hmas did when they decared an end to suicide attacks in 2006.

“Eventually Sharon put Arafat in Ramallah confined to his compound.”

In which he mysteriously died.

There is no eidence that Arafat died from AiIDS. Sharon’s advisor claims that Sharon killed Arafat.

There’s no evidence of Arafatstaling 6 billion dollars. Afer all, his wife still lives a very modst lifestyle.

Shingo says:

“Israel built the wall stopping Palestinian terrorists from attacks against civilians. The Israeli army has been arresting hundreds of terrorists in the West Bank.”

Both false.

1,500 Palestiniasn are able to climb over, around and through the wall every week, so any deermined suicide bomber could easily get through.
2. The wall was intentionally built to annex the best land and water resources. I cuts into Palestinian land 10miles deep at some points. No explanatino as to why.
3. The Israeli army has been arresting hundreds of children in the West Bank.

When the Oslo accords were first published in 1995, then retired General Matti Peled Bottom declared that they were proof that Rabin did not want peace. Anyone who read them woudl realize they were simply a recipe for the new terms of ISraeli occupation, not peace.

Not satisfied with that, Netenyahu sabotaged the “Peace Oslo Accords” and boasted about it.

Shingo says:


“Although many evangelicals feel there will be a rapture and anyone could argue they’re mistaken about the whole “left behind” concept, rest assured that anyone not accepting Christ as the Messiah is toast, not just some Jews. It’s not a racial thing.”

I didn;t say it was a racial thing, it’s more like a sacrificial lamb thing. Their Bible (fiction) explicitly states that only a handful of Jews will be spared.

These whack jobs believe that re-establishment of greater Israel will herald the return of the Messiah, so they are workign frantically to make it happen – like creating pine forrests in the middle of the Negev.

Jimmy in Philly,

You don’t like me? Really?


Seriously, you really ought to get that room or land the Fox reality show with bpete and just settle things once and for all. Then tell everyone where the two of you are registered and I’ll send a gift.

A cheap gift, in honor of you.

If not the room, then see your doctor and request a 24-hour high colonic. Either the room, the reality show, or the high colonic ought to settle you down a wee bit. Neither one could hurt, son.

(Next, you’ll insult my mother and/or my rabbi.)

Sheldon Adelson has ponied up a total tally of 10 million dollars to put Gingrich in the White House. As a Jew this embarrasses me.

PilgrimSoul says:

Always, always, always, the Israel Lobby wants to debate words. You can use this word, but not that word. Actual human beings who are suffering, and who are going to suffer even more once Netanyahu manipulates us into a war with Iran, don’t matter. It’s an old and tiresome ploy.

Well, hey, how about ‘Israeli fascist’ as the phrase of choice? Or haven’t you heard about the rise of fascism in Israel? Hell no, you are too busy telling us what to think and feel and what words to use.

There are people whose main loyalty is not just to Israel, but to Likud. Those people put Israel first, okay? And the real tragedy is not just that they put the interests of Israel before this country, much as the Stalinists once put the interests of Russia ahead of whatever country they were in, but that they put the right-wing interests of this racist government ahead of universal human rights.

Which reveals their real intent, which is to simply get rid of Judaism, one of this world’s most beautiful religions, and substitute in its place the abject worship of the Israeli state, and its wonderful IDF, its interrogations centers where children are tormented, its nuclear weapons and the OPT where young Israeli Jews can be sent to learn the sadistic arts of maintaining an occupation.

I’m glad there’s finally an anti-apartheid movement in this country, because I’ve listened to the arrogance of the Israel Lobby all my life. It’s refreshing to hear people talk from their hearts rather than spouting the latest party line from the Israeli hasbara-meisters, not to mention the sociopath Netanyahu.

Those who would like to know more about the Jewish struggle against religious nationalism and Zionism should read Rabbi Outcast, by Jack Ross, about the courageous Rabbi Elmer Berger who saw where this brutal, theocratic state of Israel was going to take us, and suggested a powerful alternative.

walt kovacs says:

the one thing that mr ackerman neglects to note is that the hate filled, ultra far left are a tiny minority of both the american and jewish population

let them spew their filth…no one cares

JamesPhiladelphia says:

The left neo-fascists wanted to demonize Bibi Netanyauh from day one.
You see during the Clinton days they dem ionized Bibi. He lost the elections and then we had the Sharon era, then the Olmert era, Lipzni, Ehud Barak. And so on. In those days Bibi was given finance portfolio, and surprising everyone fixed the economy in Israel.

Years went by and in 2008 Obama gets elected in the USA and bibi in Israel. The left neo-fascists headed by The New York Times, tried to run the past scenario against Nethanyauh . Let us demonize the bastard and make sure he is thrown out from power just like in the Clinton days.

Obama was as nasty as he could with Netanyauh at every turn.

Well the Israelis had gone through the defense fencing from Hizbulah/Lebanon , and more recently Hamas/Gaza. All of these attacks defended by the left neo- fascists. Obama with his speech in Cairo and his ignoring of Israelis. All irritating the Israelis. Obama became the least American president liked in Israel. And Netanyauh became very popular in Israel.

There was pandemonium by the left neo-fascists haters of Israel that Netanyauh survived with honors their attacks.

The most recent was when Netanyauh spoke to the US Congress, received multiple standing ovations. We had Tom Friedman rabid antisemitic attack, this coming from a self hatred Jew, accusing Congress, all of them , having “been bought by the Israeli lobby”.

Tom Friedman is well entrenched into the left neo-fascists. All of his columns in the New York Times are rabid anti-Israel diatribes. His credibility is ultra negative. His double chin strangles him.

Yes Israel loves Netanyauh. Yes the USA Congress loves Netanyauh.

The left neo-fascists anti Israel gang have declined into oblivion .


Regarding “every disagreement Washington has with Tel Aviv”. Presumably “Washington” here refer to the capital of the USA and “Tel Aviv” to the capital of Israel” but anybody acquainted with Israel and its supporter should know that Jerusalem is its capital. It happens that a UNGA resolution asks countries to move their embassies to Tel Aviv. That doesn’t affect at all the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Shingo says:


Your posst are infatile and vaccuous.

“their leaders are just a bunch of crooks that disseminate hatred and lies”

That’s amusing seeing as very ISraeli PM since Rabin has been either convicted of ocrruption or under investigation in one way or another.

As for disseminate hatred and lies, need I remind you what Moshe Sharett said, when he came to the conclusion that Israel cannot be ruled without deceit as if it’s

“I have learned that the state of Israel cannot be ruled in our generation without deceit and adventurism. These are historical facts that cannot be altered. . . In the end, history will justify both the stratagems and deceit and the acts of adventurism. All I know is that I, Moshe Sharett, am not capable of them, and I am therefore unsuited to lead this country” (Simha Flapan, p. 52-53).

If Arafat died of AIDS, where is the evidence?

If Arafat, Abbas and Fayad stole six billion dollars, where is the evidence?

If his widow received 2 billion, why is whe living such a modest existence?

“But Hamas is more interested on killing their own people when they attack Israel.”

Israel kill a lot more people han Hamas do.

Shingo says:

“The Sephardic Jews that is the Jews thrown out from from Arab lands a million worth. Have given the religious emotional spirit of Israel.”

Ben Gurion thought otherwise. He displayed utter comtampt for the Sephardic Jews, describing them as uncultured, illiterate and not even knowing how to pray.

BTW. The Sephardic Jews were thrown out from from Arab lands. While a small number were driven out, the vast majority migrated to Israel of their own volition. For example many members of the Egyptian Jewish communities openly claimed that they had been Jewish Zionists and felt no loyalty to Egypt, e.g.

“All together serve in the army giving Israel the power to repel all of Muslims terrorism and violence.”

And when they were not doint that, they were projecting terrorism and violence ie. most of the time.

“Remember 20% of Israelis are Arabs, mainly Muslim, with equal rights and full representation in the Knesset.”

No, they live as 3rd calss citizens under segregation. They do not enjoy equal rights because Israel’s laws explicitly deny them that. While they do have token representation in the Knesset, Arab political parties are prevented from forking coalitions under Israeli law.

Shingo says:

“The left neo-fascists wanted to demonize Bibi Netanyauh from day one.”

Bibbi succeded in doign that all on his own from day 1. After all, he campainged omn a platform of rejecting the creatino fo a Palestinians state, and had already boasted about how he sabotaged Oslo.

As Tzipi Livni observed, Bibi had succeeded in turning Israel into an international pariah.

“Obama became the least American president liked in Israel. And Netanyauh became very popular in Israel.”

Which only serves to highlight how far to teh right Israel has shifted and how beyond reasdon it has become.

“The most recent was when Netanyauh spoke to the US Congress, received multiple standing ovations.”

Yes, from the world’s most expensive rent-a-crowd.

“Tom Friedman is well entrenched into the left neo-fascists.”

It’s amusing to hear these derranged rants about neo-fascists, when Israel’s foreign minister (who wields more power that Netenyahu) is widely recognized as a facsit both withi Israel and internationally.

“Yes Israel loves Netanyauhu”

Are you sure about that?

Why Netanyahu is suddenly unpopular in Israel

“Yes the USA Congress loves Netanyauh.”

At the right price yes.

broangelico says:

Hmmmm. I come at this issue–dual loyalty–from a very different starting point that I hope Mr. Ackerman will think about.

I came to the US thirty years ago, from Jamaica; I’m a US citizen since 2010. My parents are Irish and English. I have several loyalties. My biography of multiple loyalties is that of millions in the US.

I think y’all are utterly free to query which loyalty would prevail in me under which circumstances. The Irish-English one is directly relevant to this discussion about Israel. I have a British passport, but was sympathetic–not a supporter, sympathetic–to the IRA in its struggle with Britain. Today, when Jamaica’s welfare collides with that of the US in some way–e.g. the US’s deportation of criminals back to Jamaica, or US drug policy–I sometimes take the Jamaican, not the US, view. This seems to me utterly natural and utterly permissible.

My view is that Mr. Ackerman’s view ends up amputating not only a valid but a necessary process in our living out our lives in a responsible way. If we like, we could think about such an approach as the reality behind phrases like dual citizenship (allowed in the US) or notions like global citizenship. But I’m afraid that when Israel comes up, and not Ireland or Jamaica–or Puerto Rico or Mexico or Haiti or Cuba etc.-many progressives submit to an old political correctness.

For me, it’s the Greenwalds who are not shy about living in an expanded moral universe, in which my loyalties as someone with several attachments, and those of American Jews, are a fair subject for examination and challenge. It’s a no-brainer to me that American Jews can’t be any less susceptible to finding their emotional and intellectual commitment to one country enough to outweigh their parallel commitments to the US than I can.

Mr. Ackerman is trying to preserve the romantic image of an impossible “integrity” when he wants to foreclose this discussion. I don’t think this is honest!

Moshe Blei says:

Ms. Eva,
Can you comment on the loyalties of Zbig Brzezhinsky, who was ih charge of our security?

Moshe Blei says:

JamesPhiladelphia, well said.

philip mann says:


You asked earlier on ,why no mention is made of the Palestinians. In fact,when it comes to solving the huge mess,no mention is ever made of them They have a free ride,and can do no wrong.

Bomb a pizza joint ? Sure,the israelis are not nice to you. Blow up a Seder ,kill a gathering of unarmed seniors ? We understand,truly.

They are treated,and treat themselves like children,with no responsibilty for what they do. It`s always somebody elses -usually Israel,sometimes Jews in general-blame.

Israel first ? You only have to look here,or practically any discussion,to see how quickly the line is crossed,if it ever existed at all. During WW2,the Jewish community resolutely kept its head down and didn`t lobby ( that word again ) Roosevelt to let in more Jews,do something to help out our people. So,he did nothing,as requested. We learned our lesson.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Let us see how Shingo handles this.

From 1948 to 1967 Jordan controlled the west bank and Jerusalem. All synagogues were destroyed.. Jews were not allowed to pray at the temple wall.

Once Jerusalem and the liberated territories were conquered by Israel. All religions have free access to their places of prayer. The temple mount that is under control of the Palestinians. Hebron where the patriarchs are buried. Muslims can pray freely. And there are many mosques with free access. Not only in the liberated territories but Israel
Proper. Of course Israeli Arabs Moslems and Christians are free to worship.

Shingo is a paid Hamas Iranian blogger. Objective is to plant dishonest information , interfere with the discussion. Incite and insult. I have encountered these individuals in other places like the wall street journa, and the defunct world focus from bps.

They wouldn’t care less about the Palestinian people. How could they when Iran gives them thousands of weapons to attack Israel, and expose their own people as human shields.

But then join the left neo-fascists to demonize the Israeli leaders, and the despicable self hatred Jews like Tom Friedman and Roger Cohen from the virulently anti-Israel new York times.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

philip manN. Very well said.

And the new York times was at the head of them all..hiding the information coming from nazi Europe.

The owners of the new York times Ochs Schulbergs used to be Jews. Now one of them converted.

Anyhow the NYT has been rabid anti-Israel with self hatred Jews Friedman and Roger Cohen constantly attacking Israel..their field reporters equivocate the news denigrating Israel and their leaders.

.this is the sorry picture of leftists that are neo-fascists, self hatred Jews.

bpete1969 says:

Based on your statements and the common knowledge of the entire world, that Hamas was funded by Israel in the earlier years to throw a monkey wrench in the PLO’s works, Israel must not care for either the Palestinians or Israelis targeted by Hamas.
That’s not dishonest information…it’s a fact.

Shingo says:

From 1948 to 1967 Jordan controlled the west bank and Jerusalem. All synagogues were destroyed.. Jews were not allowed to pray at the temple wall.

False. Not all synagogues were destroyed and Jews WERE allowed to pray at the temple wall. Only citizens of ISrael, with whom Jordan was still at war with wee not.

“Of course Israeli Arabs Moslems and Christians are free to worship.”

As they were before 1948.

“How could they when Iran gives them thousands of weapons to attack Israel, and expose their own people as human shields.”

One could argue that Israel uses the residents of Sderot and Ashkelon as juman shieds. In fact, seeing as Netenyahu has argued that the occupied territories serve as a defensive buffer for Israel, all settlers in the illegal settlemtns are also human shield.

“But then join the left neo-fascists to demonize the Israeli leaders”

FYI James. Neo-nazis carry Israeli flags these days.,7340,L-3551269,00.html

Shingo says:


Israel dstroyed the Palestinian economy, so the fact that they employ Palestinian construction workers is a small token. Israel regularly witholds the taxes it collects as collective punichment against the PA.

There’s no need to lie about the Israel acadamic and scientific acheivements. They are outstanding, but hrdly a measure of righteouness or morality. After all Nazi Gemrnay excelled in these fields also, did they not?

Israeli Arabs DO NOT have equal rights. Tehre are at least 20 laws that are explicitly discriminatory against Palestinians. Their elected members in the Knesset are forbidden from forming coalitions so as to ensure they do not gain any significant political power.

“Israeli Arabs would not live in any Muslim controlled country but Israel.”

They chose to live in Israel becasue Israel is their home. The 30,000 strong Iranian Jewish population refuses to live in the Jewishcontrolled country of Israel, preferrign to live in the Muslim controlled country but Iran.

Netenyahu is despised internationally. He is no admired, not appreciated by USA Congress. They are bought. Nor is he an honest leader, as Sarkozy let slip recently.

Why would Obama have pleaded with Netanyauh not to stop giving jobs to the Palestinians? Makes no sense. Obama pleads with Abbas to stop the vitriolic hatred against Israel, but says nothign of the vitriolic hatred against Palestinians and Muslims or against himself for that matter (including calls for him to be killed orremoved from office).

“But what are you going to do when Ahmadenijad like Shingo, tells time and time again that there are no homosexuals in Iran.”

Ahmadenijad is no one’s business but the Iranians. Incidentally, he never said there are no homosexuals in Iran. He said that homosexuality is not a problem in Iran.

Did you know that the Iranian government subsidizes sex change operations?

Shingo says:


“He indicates how Israeli Arabs would never live in any Muslim controlled country. They are quite happy as Israelis. Why? Because Israel is a free democratic country respecting the rights of all it’s citizens. 20% of Israelis are Arabs, mostly Muslims.”

There are tens of thousands fo Jews living in Iran who are quite happy living as Iranians. They have even rejected generous bribes to migrate to Israel. Is that because Iran is a free democratic country respecting the rights of all it’s citizens?

“By the way Ahmadenijad declared today that the USA planted Israel in the ME to control the oil.”

Actually, it was the British who planned that. A British Prime Minister in the late 1800’s (his name escapes me) suggested that Israel should be created to act as a wedge in the Middle East to block Pan Arabism.

“Iran has installed hundreds of missiles in Hamas/Gaza and Hizbullah /Lebanon, and Syria.”

So what? The US has installed hundreds of missiles, hundreds, if F16’s, hundreds of helicopters in Israel.

Shingo says:


“In fact,when it comes to solving the huge mess,no mention is ever made of them They have a free ride,and can do no wrong.”

Settign aside the patrinizing and self serving tone here, there’s a good reason for this. The fact is that the Israelis hold all the cards, and them, along with the Americans have decided that the solution will come down to whatever the Israelis decided they are prepared to give up, not what the Palestinians are entitled to.

“Bomb a pizza joint ? Sure,the israelis are not nice to you. Blow up a Seder ,kill a gathering of unarmed seniors ? We understand,truly.”

Time to update your talking points.

First of all, let’s not forget that it was the terrotist leader, later to become Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, who boasted that he had iontroduced terrorism to the Middle East. The Irgun, Stern adn Hanagnah were bombgin hotels and markets from 1946 onwards.

Secondly, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine took place 4 decades before the first suicide attacks took place. The occupation took place a decade befpore Hamas was even created.

Thirdly, Hamas called an end to suicide attacks in 2006 (which is why they stopped) vbut Israel continues it’s abuse.

“It`s always somebody elses -usually Israel,sometimes Jews in general-blame.”

That’s how it works when you have an absuvie relationship, unless fo course, you believe that the rape victim should share in the repsonsibility of the rape taking place.

philip mann says:


Dennis Ross mentioned in his book,asked why they never tried demonstrations or any kind of peaceful engagement. Their actions speak for them. Trying a good p.r. campaign would have changed things.

Begin also signed a peace treaty with Sadat,one which Hizbollah wants Egypt to abrogate. If a supposedly freely elected government cannot be counted on to follow through,why exactly should Israel be expected to help them with their poor excuse for an economy,any more than the US lets in Cubans who want to work in Miami.

All this being said, we all seem to be going further and further back,seeing who started this ,who did what ,and when. I know that both sides will have to swallow some bitter pills for any real progress to be made.

bpete1969 says:

FYI: All a Cuban has to do is set foot on U.S. soil and he can apply for asylum. If caught at sea they are deported back to Cuba. It’s referred to as the “dry feet” policy.
Shingo nails it when it comes to the rantings of James and James’ rants are but a small echo of the continual talking points by those taking the Israeli side of things for over 60 years.
You have two extremes in the course of conversations on this subject, those than scream “never again” and a small minority that scream “if it did at all”. Most people live in the area in between that agree that “it did” but question to what degree “it did” and if “it” justifies current policies and attitudes.
I am of the group that is getting tired of the debate being started by one offended group that then sets the rules for debate and decides who is allowed to debate and then tries to shame anyone for disagreeing with their position. It’s Cheka time in 2012 and it sucks.

philip mann says:


Right,bad example. You`re also correct about the two extremes.

Here`s what it would take. Sadat was killed for signing the peace treaty. To win any concessions from Israel,a senior leader of hamas ,or Hizbollah would have to very publicly take the same risk-to be seen in a public forum with an Israeli leader- PM,president or such. To put himself on the line.

Time for my meds.

Hi guys ,
Would be allowed to refer to this guy as an “Israeli firster”, or would that be anti-semetic?!
Thank You

You demand that Israel somehow “come to it’s senses” yet you make no equal demand of the PA to end, for instance, it’s comprehensive campaign, through media, mosques, and schools, of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incitement. Where are the demands for democratic reforms in the PA? They haven’t had an election in years. What about human rights in the PA? Freedom of speech? Jailed journalists? Gay rights? Why are there no demands that the PA to meet the standards of a “free and democratic state respecting human rights etc”? Not to mention Hamas?

How in the name of anything rational and in light of the last 20 years can you still say that there is any will on the part of the Palestinians to seriously put down their AK47s, missiles, rockets and the suicide belts and turn their attention inward to building a free and democratic Palestine living in peace next to a free and democratic Jewish state? To take in all their refugees? To guarantee absolutely that it will be the end of the conflict and that there would be NO further demands on Israel? Do you really see any sign of this?

I mean, are we living on the same planet? I am a highly educated, aware and well read person. I hold to no party line. I’m a free thinker. And when I read and think about what I read the only conclusion I can come to is that the Palestinians will never give up their jihad against the Jews. Period.

As far as the left winning on the merits, you must be kidding. In Israel at least the left is a poor shadow of its former self. Peace Now, to which I belonged for many years, is a joke. I am just one more casualty of a left that is completely and utterly morally bankrupt and crippled by a political correctness that allows for no fact or concrete evidence that in any way challenges their utopian notions. Its almost as though when you look at reality what you see is the mirage of your wished for oasis of peace. But what’s really there is something entirely different.

Ber Lazarus

Eva Smegma says:

I am consumed with hate for Israel. I have nothing better to do with my time

Howard says:

It’s funny that the charge of dual loyalty is thrown around as an insult, or heard as an insult. A civilized discourse would acknowledge multiple loyalties. I certainly feel loyalty to the US and Israel, and would like to defend them both against their enemies. More broadly I feel loyalty toward England and English culture. I also feel a certain loyalty toward Palestine and would like to defend it against Israel and its other enemies, because I still believe that if Palestine wins Israel will win, and if Israel wins, Palestine will win. I refuse to accept the zero sum vision of extremists and absolutists and polemicists. My loyalties shift and change between America, Israel and Palestine (and others) depending on the issue at stake, and my judgement of who is truly acting for peace. So I heartily concur with “broangelico”. The problem is not duality or multiplicity… but the very concept of monopoles of loyalty.

By the way, as a practical matter I know plenty of American Jews with Israeli experience who feel “dual loyalty.” What of it? We should own it. It is an expression of our multicultural selves. People who admit to having international affiliations, to being strung between more than one culture/nation, probably aren’t going to rise to the center of political power in the U.S. and those who fetishize such power will find “dual loyalty” to be an insult and an accusation. But in reality, when your life and affections are spread out across the world, what could be more noble than to own the truth of that in your political engagement with the world?

Shingo says, all validly made and sound points.

philip mann says:

Memo to whoever is in charge of monitoring this stuff for Tablet. If the posts go over 100,is there a draw for a toaster,or something ?

To HAckerman, the editor, and/or the moderator,

This reader notices that you’ve been censoring commentary, especially commentary offered by one Jimmy in Philly. I must formally protest.

Sure, Jimmy in Philly is rude, abusive, petty, mean-spirited, oh-so-predictable, adverse to logic, and not all that strong in the areas of presenting arguments valid and respectful negotiation.

But Jimmy in Philly makes this reader laugh. Heck, were in not for Jimmy in Philly and bpete getting into a cat fight, I may not have even continued to return to this post and peruse the comments.

I firmly believe Jimmy in Philly and bpete deserve a reality TV show on Station 1,945,273 of some cable network – for giggles alone. While their points on this issue could not be more opposite and vitriolic (especially in the case of Jimmy in Philly), this pair carries a sort of Marx Brothers ability to highlight the zany and tickle the funny bone.

(No, gang, the Marx Brothers were NOT related to Karl and are NOT Obama’s second favorite policy advisers behind Saul Alinsky.)

So, I respectfully request that you bring back Jimmy in Philly’s nixed commentary and any and all other hasbara that you’ve withheld. When it’s all said, done, and typed, we’ve got to have something to laugh about.


Almost forgot. I asked you three questions some three days go and you have yet to offer a response. Perhaps you didn’t see them.

Here they are again, and I’m still waiting, son.

Question 1: Is Jeffrey Goldberg a “former Israeli prison guard”?

Question 2: If the answer to question one is in the affirmative, why does the publication of this fact about Mr. Goldberg’s past so offensive to you?

Question 3: Can anyone, whether on Tablet, The Atlantic, Commentary, or The Forward, question anything Israel does or anything any Israeli leader does or says without being deemed an anti-Semite by you and the rest of the polemicist crowd?

Jeff_Davis says:

There is only one — glaring — problem with this piece: “dual loyalty” and “Israel-firster” are both weak statements of an underlying truth. American Jewish support for Israel — AT THE EXPENSE OF AMERICA — is unwitting treason.

“Unwitting” is the best that can be offered in the way of mitigation for American Jews. The flood of pro-Israel propaganda combined with Jewish inbuilt tribal loyalty have obscured the truth. Intentionally in the case of the propaganda, and “faux-accidentally” in regards the legacy of tribal bias which (dishonestly) inclines all Jews to bypass any close critical inspection of either pro- or anti-Israel discourse.

“Dual loyalty” really means treasonous disloyalty and “Israel-firster” really means treasonous agent of a foreign enemy.

Sometimes the truth is monstrously severe.

By the way, don’t let the name Jeff Davis fool you. I’m an American and a full-blooded Ashkenazi Jew. I am proud to be both, and love and support my fellow Jews. But Israel is a moral and practical catastrophe, a geo-political crime-in-progress, and needs correction at the earliest opportunity. One can hope for a correction without bloodshed, but five-thousand years of self-inflicted Jewish history suggests that Masada-redux with millions dead in the mideast and across the world is the more likely outcome. No doubt with shrieks of “anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism” echoing before the final silence.


bpete1969 says:

In answer to your questions
1. Yes
2. I would love to see the answer to that myself
Like I said, the Cheka Bolsheviks are back and they’re new and improved.

Shingo says:


Dennis Ross mentioned in his book,asked why they never tried demonstrations or any kind of peaceful engagement. Their actions speak for them. Trying a good p.r. campaign would have changed things.

Dennis Ross (aka Israel’s lawyer) is an Israelli propagandist, who is more than happy to lie for Israel, so I wouldn’t place any credibility in anything he says in his book. Ross believes that peace talks are about what Israel is prepared to gve up as opposed to what the Palestinians are legally entitled to.

Begin also signed a peace treaty with Sadat,one which Hizbollah wants Egypt to abrogate.

Israel have never fulfilled th terms of the peace treaty.

If a supposedly freely elected government cannot be counted on to follow through,why exactly should Israel be expected to help them with their poor excuse for an economy,any more than the US lets in Cubans who want to work in Miami.

So long as Israel insist on maintaining an illegaloccupation that has destroyed their economy, they are morally obliged to make up the shortfall under the Geneva Conventions.

I know that both sides will have to swallow some bitter pills for any real progress to be made.

The Palestinians have been swalling bitter pills for 60 years. The suggestion that they must now make further concessions just as Israel might have to borders on sadistic.

philip mann says:


That`s called an ad hominem attack-you cant`challenge his argument,so say he`s biased. My point remains.

Shingo says:


“You demand that Israel somehow “come to it’s senses” yet you make no equal demand of the PA to end, for instance, it’s comprehensive campaign, through media, mosques, and schools, of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic incitement.”

You need to get with reality Ber. Israel is occupying Palestinian land, has been ethnically cleansing them, killing them, demolishing their homes and evicting them for 60 years. Such policies can only attract one response. Do you really expect the Palestinians to respond with hugs and kisses?

As for democratic reforms, elections, human rights, feedom of speech, freedom of the press, gay rights and meeting the standards of a “free and democratic state respecting human rights etc” that’s the concenr of the Palestinians. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the foreign policy between the two bodies.

How in the name of anything rational and in light of the last 20 years can you still expect the Palestinians to seriously put down their AK47s, missiles, and rockets when Israel is armed to the teeth and demomstrates a wilingness to use those weapons at the drop of a hat? The Palestinians already retired theur suicide belts in 2006 when Hamas called for an end to such tactics.

Israel should also focus on becoming free and democratic Jewish state, as opposed to an apartheid and fascist one.

You migh regard yourself as highly educated, aware and well read, but you display a willful ignorance and bias on this topic and a distinct failure to tink freely. Only an ignoramus, or a willful partisan would come to the conclusion that the “Palestinians will never give up their jihad against the Jews” and that the land theft and illegal settlement expansion is something Israel is implemeting as a temporary measure.

The fact that the left is dead in Israel says more about Israel than it does about the left wing movement. The fact that Israel’s reputation and popularity on the international stage lingers somewhere alongside North Korea’s is not th

Shingo says:

Yes philip,

That was indeed an ad hominem attack and then I went on to `challenge his argument.

I haven’t read Ross’ book, nor do I intend to waste my time doing so. Ross has been central to the failure of the peace process. His position has always been that the Palestinians should accept whatever scraps Israel is willing to throw them.

He is also an Israeli lobbyist who sabotaged and undermined Mitchell. He bears a great deal of responsibility for the reason the peace process has failed.

Arandi Oreno says:


Great Posts!

As a Black activist I have often been on the end of many white jewish racist’s venom from being called a nigger in yiddish to other nasty slurs.. When I was in college during the South Africa aparthied era many of my jewish classmates got upset when we would link Israel to South Africa from arm sales to jews being privledged whites like they were here in America during our Jim Crow era..

The excuses offered up by jewish intellectuals to deflect the relationship between South Africa( many nazi’s fled there after WWI) and Israel was beyond creative it oftened bordered on being criminal. Of course some of those same excuses were made in America as well during our aparthied era….

Of course whenever you are a Black radical discussing jewish racism towards Black folks the venom really gets ugly of course Goodman & Schwerner references are tossed around like bullets but of course I invoke names like Jones, Tayloe, Washington just a few Black marines who were killed in 1983 Beirut Barracks massacre to deflate those ugly references. Far to many white jews have labored under the fiction that eatig fried chicken wirh a few negroes and coloreds during the civil rights movement does not mean Jews created the civil rights movement or jazz or boxing…

Far to many white jews like those in South Africa today in AMerica have ‘negrophobia” they leverage thier white privledge often at our expense and they parrot the contempt for Black folks as WASPS..

This is an old issue in the Black community our leaders MLK, X, and others were often called commies, etc as they sought to combat the inhumanity Black Folks here on American soil…In many venues Black professors are spied upon by jewish special interest groups (ADL Publisheds a list) many of them get attacked foe even invoking terms like the domestic holocausts of America..

In summary it is revealing observing how not much has changed even in this post racial era..

Thanks Bpete for speaking up!!

Shingo says:

One more thing philip,

I am sure you beleive the Ross/Bronner account of Camp David and the myth that the Palestinians said no to a wonderful deal.

Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister no less, has written a book which takes on the Clinton-Ross argument directly, and so have a number of other Israelis who actively participated in the negotiations. In an interview he admited that if he were Palestinian, he too would have rejected the Camop David offer.

The fact that Clinton proposed his parameters after Camp David reveals that he and Barak knew the offer was lousy, so they met again with Arafat at Taba 6 months later.

One never heard Ross mention Taba.

Clinton had little or no independent knowledge about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so he relied heavily on Dennis Ross. Need I say more? When he blamed the end of the Camp David negotiations on Arafat, he was wrong about the facts, not to mention that he broke his promise to Arafat not to blame him if the talks broke down, a promise that was necessary to persuade Arafat to come to Camp David in the first place, since Arafat feared–correctly–that no agreement would be reached.

In short, it was primarily Barak who was responsible for the breakdown. He since has boasted–boasted, mind you–that “he didn’t give a thing” in the negotiations; if anything, he actually hardened the Israeli position on Jerusalem and any shared sovereignty over the Temple Mount/Haram.

That’s not just my opinion–it is that of scholars who have closely examined what actually happened, as well as, to repeat, a number of Israeli officials or diplomats who know what really happened.

At Taba, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were on the verge of an agreement, including mutual compromises over the two most difficult issue , Jerusalem and the right of return. But Barak pulled the rug out from Yossi Beilin, the head of the Israeli delegation. If you don’t believe me, read Beilin’s memoir.

Howard says:

Wow. This sterile trail of comments reminds me why I don’t feel much loyalty to America, Israel or Palestine, although I love people in each of those places and communities. Here’s an object worthy of your loyalty: human beings. What kind of small minded mentality forces you to choose between your loyalty to human beings by selecting one government over another, and accusing you of treason if you do not make their preferred choice? America First was an ugly idea. “Israel First” is also an ugly idea, not because we should all be America Firsters, but because elevating nation states above human beings is what small minded people and soldiers (the ultimate form of human small mindedness… creatures who agree to kill on the say-so of another) do. What mature adults do is form a profound loyalty toward humanity, independent of nationality, and try to keep that loyalty in all circumstances.

I judge Israel to be a reasonable self defense organization for the Jews of the region, and earnestly wish that the Palestinians should have an analogous self defense organization, so that ultimately neither really needs to do much defending. I also support the genuinely defensive activities of the US government. I feel loyalty to these entities to the extent that they defend human beings, and I criticize to the extent that they deny the full humanity of others, and I pray that I will never find myself putting any nation “first” or in any way above the values that it is obligated to defend.

What a cesspool of nastiness is revealed in these comments, on all sides. All the creeps and monsters come out to yell at each other. I’m thinking that online comment forums are not the path to world peace.

Jelperman says:

If a term like “Israel Firster” is not to be used in 2012 because a couple of obscure Jew-haters used the term thirty years ago, then the terms “anti-Semite” and “anti-Semitism” need to be off-limits because they were coined by Wilhelm Marr, the infamous 19th Century Jew-hater.

Well, which is it?

“What a cesspool of nastiness is revealed in these comments, on all sides. All the creeps and monsters come out to yell at each other. I’m thinking that online comment forums are not the path to world peace.”


Agreed. I merely read HAckerman and the comments for laughs. I refuse to take anything on this comment thread seriously.

arcaneone says:

Having slogged through these posts,my
conclusion is that the Jewish political Left is out of its mind with self-righteousness and is deservedly
marginalized in Israel. The only way the
Left could be improved would be if it were
to disappear entirely.

It’s the same old routine of “proud to be ashamed to be Israeli..” For the record,
given Arafat’s slickness it is entirely possible that his exact depredations will never be known, but the estimates I have seen range from $900million to $9billion.
No one is saying that it is minor, and his widow lives like a queen.

To the best of my knowledge, no one of the Left has ever criticized this state of affairs, or virtually any other Palestinian
enormity. The Left’s mantra that “one more concession will bring peace” has been shown to be delusional, and the general
public is entirely correct in rejecting the
losers who brought us to this situation.

The NYTimes was mentioned,and I will close with a bit of an anecdote that may shed a little more light and a little less heat on
the subject. On July 4, 2010, famed Times columnist Nick Kristoff wrote that he was “surprised”
that Israel had been telling the truth in
denying that there was a humanitarian
crisis in Gaza.No apology for having mis-
led his readership. No identification of
the groups who misled him, nor any criticism of them. No explanation of just
how this hoax was perpetrated. Just “surprised”.
Other writings by Kristoff make clear that Kristoff’s informants were groups on the Jewish Left, just as Judge Goldstone was
misinformed by what were probably the same
people. I made up my mind to bring this situation up in every possible forum until
Kristoff identifies these groups that he is inexplicably protecting. They deserve no protection, because the information they
provided was a hoax, as even Kristoff
acknowledges. Am yisroal chai–no thanks to
the Jewish Left.

JamesPhiladelphia says:


Thank you for defending me. I agree with you about everything except the logic.

I am a strong admirer of Netanyauh. He has been a terrific Israeli leader. Lieberman his foreign minister has behaved with extraordinary assertiveness against anti-Israel behavior by Turkey, Brasil , Greece.

Since you belong to the anti-Israel crowd and strongly disagree with me your comments are welcome .

All of my posts are true facts, I am glad you know it. It. Is also true Israel is a free democratic country dedicated to progress in medicine, technology, commerce, agriculture, research and more. That respects and protects everybody. That 20% of the population are Arabs mostly Muslim, they are Israeli Arabs.

But the bottom line is that leftist neo -fascists anti Israel crowd are to be confronted on their demonization of Israel and it’s leaders. These includes self hatred Jews like Tom Friedman Roger Cohen of the anti Israel New York Times.

And you also know that my antagonists bepet, Shingo and Jules just post dishonest counterarguments.

So, I hope this posting will not be erased. And that you will continue enjoying my pro Israel deep feelings. Israel is a light to progress.
After all the USA Congress can not be wrong with their very American love to Bibi Netanyauh.

Mark lechayim to live and the best for Israel and the USA.
United will save the world.

philip mann says:


I read once,a few years ago, Arguing on the net is like running in the Special Olympics-even if you win,you`re still not up to par `( speaking in PC )

To my worthy opponents-this WWF presentation has gone on long enough.

JamesPhiladelphia says:


Congratulations. Your posting is excellent. Thank you.

I will only comment that the left should not disappear, they should become honest and work for a better Israel. They should also try to stop the hatred the Palestinians are subjected by their leaders, against Israel and the Jews. After all the Palestinians are the construction workers in the liberated territories.

I should also mention when the leftists and Palestinians used the canard of the massacre in Jenin. I am still waiting for The New York Times to apologize. Several years have gone by and nothing. Arafat is gone but Abbas and Fayad are still around.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

I just caught the comment by Donald about the Cubans. He does not mention the criminal Fidel Castro.

That says it all.

Shame on Donald. Shame on the left neofascist crowd.

bpete1969 says:

I’m not your antagonist. I am nothing to you. It is your bigoted, racist attitudes that allow for the dehumanization of the indigenous inhabitants of the area formerly know as Palestine and now called Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
The greatest thing you could do for this country is drag your knuckles back across the Atlantic and vent your spleen towards a 20 ft high concrete wall.
Give Bibi a kiss for me when you get there…

JamesPhiladelphia says:


You have lost your cool. Take it easy. Otherwise they will erase your comment. How did Mark call it “vitriolic”?

philip mann

I agree too long.

I agree more than 100 comments, raffle a toaster.

Adios or a bien tot

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Arandi Oreno

Is Barack Obama Black or not?

Did the majority of USA Jews voted for him? Yes.

Case closed.

JamesPhiladelphia says:


I am shocked you don’t take this article and the comments seriously.

That you are just having fun.

Maybe you are the only one having fun. To tell you the truth it pleases me.

Otherwise I don’t know what you would do with yourself.

However bepete is suffering from bitterness. And Eva Smegma is consumed with hatred for Israel.

As they used to say where a grew up, I am not, and Israel is not, a golden coin to be liked, loved, by everybody .

If you are happy you live longer and enjoy yourself.

Love the USA. Love Israel. Amen.

big totti says:

I find that the progressives, including this author, use name calling and ad hominem attacks to the point of exhaustion (the exhaustion being mine).

Your description of “Myopic, tribal, and destructive conception” of what it means to love Israel, are just different words to described “Israel first”.

You say that when the “right wing bloggers” called Media Matters and CAP onto the carpet for using the term Israel Firsters, it was predictable because they never miss an opportunity to smear the left wing.

Their criticism is the same as yours. Your criticism isn’t more justified because you are also progressive. This is identity politics at its worst. The truth is the truth, no matter who is saying it.

MosesZD says:

What the hell is your problem, Ackerman? Jew does not equal Israel. I thought you had brains enough to not conflate them like the assholes at CAP.

Israel is a bad actor and an aparthied state. And your defending the McCarthyites who refuse to allow Israel to be criticized is revolting.

Arandi Oreno says:


What does Jews political driven agenda voting for Obama have to do with Jewish racism towards Black Americans across America??

This shallow thinking does nothing to prevent the racism expressed by to many jews towards Black Americans.

As I noted in my earlier post the levels of “negrophobia” being expressed by far to many jews towards Black Americans is unacceptible and needs to be confronted denial, avoidance and dismissal is perilous for all..


Eva Smegma says:

I applaud shingo and mozesZD for their approach to the zionist entity. The only solution is for the zionists to exercise their right of return so the Palestinians could exercise theirs.

Shingo says:

“The only way the Left could be improved would be if it were to disappear entirely.”

That mentality is very consistent with what extremists in Israel have been saying about democracy altogether. That it has served it’s purpose and that it’s purpose is not do die.

“For the record,given Arafat’s slickness it is entirely possible that his exact depredations will never be known, but the estimates I have seen range from $900million to $9billion.”

Possible, meaning it’s also not possible.

“The Left’s mantra that “one more concession will bring peace” has been shown to be delusional”

The right’s delusion is that Israel has made any concessions.

jamesphiladelphia says:

good morning america. we have the zealots of the left neofascist anti Israel gang spilling their hatred. MosesZD and Eva Smegma. Israel is the villain. The Palestinians are never mentioned, hatred and violence and corruption and constant attacks by Hamas against innocent Israeli civilians are not in their lingo.

They are self hatred Jews a la New York Times, and the Israeli paper Haaretz.

BTW read YNET for fair and balanced Israeli analysis.

Avandi Oreno. That there are some Jews that put down Black Americans does not give you a free pass to condemn all American Jews. Like if there are some bad Black Americans does not give me ,a Jew, to condemn all Black Americans.

What political agenda do you refer to that a majority of American Jews voted for Obama. This is my disclaimer that American Jews vote for a Black President, because the Democrats are for the middle class. Color or non color of your skin has nothing to do
with it.

As Obama has said time and time again, we all are the United States of America.

I would love to see Greenwald’s list of doners who ‘support’ him and his message. I’m curious to see who holds the financial leash on that one.

Arandi Oreno says:


Please refrain from inserting your inferences into my words..I never posted a condemnation of ALL Jews…Your retreat appears to be quite hollow as well..My posts are in regard to the levels of “negrophobia” present in far to many Jewish venues towards Black Americans.

Your retort that the majority of American Jews voted for Obama has nothing to do with my posts nor my theme which is white jewish racism towards Black Americans.

Of course since like the majority of American Jews you are white and privledged so it is easy for you to spout the color of my skin does not matter..Just the nonsense I expect from privledge whites who invoke denial and deflection when this issue is surfaced..

We are the United State of America where According to the PEW study white wealth is 27times that of Black households..Where bias exists in the health care, criminal justice, and others areas of life inour antion based soley upon the hue of one’s skin..

So instead of being defensive have the courage and integrity to confront racism, negrophobia and contempt for Black Americans that exists right now in many jewish venues and interactions betweem our communities..

My premise remains the same RACE trumps everything in America the majority of American Jews are white and as such they express and exhibit the same tragic pathological disdain for Black Americans as WASPS etc..

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Arandi Oreno

When you mention only Jews into your misguided paranoia, and you do not mention exceptions, you are blaming erroneously all of the Jews.

When you feel as a Black to be hated by all the non Blacks, Whites Orientals, Hispanics ( I am one BTW) etc, and this being a bitter burden to your persona with uncompromising demeanor. Our communications are a waste of time. You will always remain bitter and misguided.

Yes Obama is Black, irrelevant for all of those that voted for him. Although he gets the majority of the Black vote.

I repeat because I believe. We all are the USA.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Arandi Oreno.

Time is overdue that you should look at the causes of Blacks non progress.and stop blaming others for your failures.

I came to this country in 1962. I was appalled at the differences between the Black community and the White community.
After all this time the Black community is even worst with all the crime unemployment drug trafficking, young blacks killing each other.

Hispanics have progressed more than Blacks. One reason is they have the family nucleus, and they are Catholics.
Unfortunately the Blacks don’t have the family nucleus. Mothers and grandmothers have to take care of the family. The father disappears from their responsibilities.

Stop blaming your paranoia. The cause of your troubles can not be blamed on the non bllack communities. The sooner you recognize your neglected responsibilities, the sooner you will join the rest of us.

bpete1969 says:


Well said my brother and ty for your post.


JamesPhiladelphia says:

Arandi Oreno

I recommend for you to see the movie Do The Right Thing directed by Spike Lee.

It shows you the real conundrum in your community.

By the way Spike Lee is black, and tells the truth. It will illuminate your false paranoid world. It will not help you misguided bitterness.

The truth hurts more than anything else. I notice bepet has joined you. He is also paranoid.

Blame on others is no excuse for lack of personal responsibility.

Arandi Oreno says:


Stick to posting about arcane issues in the jewish chatterclass YOU are clearly out of your element discussing Black American issues..

You spout the same tired disinformation and propaganda one reads and hears to often from the usual suspects on in conservative venues..

The very idea that you would recommend a fictional film by the great Spike Lee confirms for me your lack of depth and intellectual underdevelopment.

BTW I will reiterate because it does appear you lack the integrity to confront and reply to my core theme which is the level of contempt and “negrophobia? present in far to many white jewish venues..

Given by your shallow depth of knowledge about America’s racial legacy sine you are an immigrant I would recommend you do 2 things: 1. Meet some Black people 2. Take a lot of Black history classes from Black professors BTW not white or jewish ones given thier cultural blindspots..


Bill Pearlman says:

This seems to have struck a nerve with Annie ( who seems to channel Stell Goldschlag, “the jew hunter” ) Robbinns. Not to mention the rest of the scumbags over at “mondofront”

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Arandi Oreno

I am a full pledge USA citizen. Spike Lees movie is not fictional. I live a few blocks of the black neighborhood. Your self denial about the miserable conditions of your slums is pathetic, and wrong.

Take responsibility and stop being a paranoid bitter denier. Go. And work to improve your people. Don’t waste time closing your eyes to reality. Try to find solutions instead of blaming others.

Do The Right Thing by Spike Lee shows it the way it is, while Koreans and Italians progress in the black neighborhood one a grocery store the other a pizza place, the black males sit around talking drinking and doin nothing productive. I have gone to the black neighborhood a few blocks from my place and seen the same scene.

Don’t be into self denial. Be a man, take responsibility, don’t blame others for your ills.

Since your dishonest bitterness won’t go away, I will stop communicating with you. You are a waste of time.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

There is a nightly PBS program hosted by Travis Smiley who is black and is honest. The terrible conditions of blacks are discussed at length. His programs are very good. Arandi Oreno blames non blacks for their ills. He is dishonest and no asset for improving the sorrow situation of blacks.

I went over my promise not to waste more time with Arandi, but I had to mention Travis Smiley which I admire for being very positive and to use his words Keep Up The Fait.

BTW bill Cosby the famous comedian have lectured his black brothers and sisters to do the things I recommend. The nuclear family will save the blacks if they ignore bitter negativity exposed by people like Arandi.

Arandi Oreno says:


Please restrain yourself..’Do The Right Thing’ was a fictional movie made by Spike Lee who also was the author of the script..

Agaain your hollow depth on knowledge about Black Americans is offensive. I have yet to post any comments about Blacks and victimhood.I have yet to post anything about Black shortcomings in America nor have I posted anything about Tavis or Cosby’s misguided laments..

Clearly you are now a defensive angry poster in the chatterclass who really should take my recommendations from meeting some real Black people instead of watching fictional Spike Lee Movies and Tavis Smiley talks shows…You are a pitiful immigrant.

BTW Please stay focus and stop deflecting and as I noted have some courage and integrity to confront jewish racism in your venues and far to many others towards Black Americans..


jamesphiladelphia says:

let us bring black leaders that take the blacks to task i mentioned spike lee, TTavis smiley, bill Cosby . there is cornel west Harvard professor of black studies. we should add reverend Sharpton.
we should add Allen West representative from Florida a true friend of Israel.
these leaders do not go finger pointing to whites and jews

blacks are to be responsible for their future.

Arandi Oreno has to learn not to be dishonest and has to become responsible. is better to be happy than to be bitter .

jamesphiladelphia says:

of course we have Louis Farrakhan the ravishing anti semite head of the nation of islam. that recently lost his sponsor and main money source Quadaffi.

now arandi admires this guy.

get the movie that describes the neighborhood of arandi.

do the right thing by spike lee. 30 yrars have gone and the black communities are worst, because of the absence of the nuclear family. do you know that black youth unemployment stands at a whooping 40%?

no wonder Harvard Professor of Black studies Cornel West.
is very upset with Obama the Jobless President.


jamesphiladelphia says:

i came in 1962. my wife and myself went to college. a PhD and biotechnology degrees we got. Our four children got degrees as two MD’s one engineer mathematician one business administration.

where would we be if I had been whining about the others as you do.

this is a country of immigrants that work hard to succeed. but as spike lee shows in his movie do the right thing, there are the bitter irresponsible guys like you and your associates that are more and more falling behind.

true and sad. you are a lost cause, but the new generation will listen to reason.

Arandi Oreno says:


You have loss all credibility and decency in here.Now you are claiming I admire Farrakhan a raving insane bigot!.

Have you any pride??

You are pitiful the stench your venom and anger is coming into my pc..

Just last week in Israel Black Jews from Ethiopia were treated like 2nd class people by thier own fellow jews!!..AGain as I noted earlier RACE trumps everything ..Your ignorance is amazing are you from Israel? Did you families like you share these bigots vies about Black Jews from Ethiopia?

It is revealing how ignorant you are once the topic is no longer about Israel….You are a pitiful immigrant

jamesphiladelphia says:

if you loose the argument you go into personal insults. well arandi oreno stop being bitter, try as difficult as it is for you to be honest.

work for your people;e do not blame others for your ineptitude. watch spike lee movies, and come back to civilization, the wilderness is not good for you.

how do you call the savage that ate his mother and father? orphan.

Arandi Oreno says:

James are you related to Andrew Adler?? ( Publisher of Atlanta Jewish News which published a commentary seeking the murder of our president).. Do your parents still call Black Americans Negro and Colored??

Have you ever sought the services of Black professionals?

Are you aware of all the Black troops in the middle east that have died defending Israel??

I will admit your ignorance has allowed me to post about the real issues that exist between our tribes..

It is tragic that they level of contempt and ignorance and of course “negrophobia” is so pervasive in far to many Jewish venues..

I hope I have created the impetus for a robust and authentic discourse about this issue between our communities..

Your ignorance scares me in part because you post like a young chatter class type who is a sponge for propaganda and disinformation..


jamesphiladelphia says:

arandi oreno

it must hurt you that you are left further and further behind.

why, because you spend all of you energy blaming others for your lack of initiative, and your desire to be lazy. thanks the lord that you are the exception to the rule. but blacks will overcome these viruses of the humans.

advise go back to spike lee and the truth in his movies. do some or lots of community work. make blacks proud and become a member of the United States of America.

remember Obama was a community organizer.

Arandi Oreno says:


You posted over an hour ago you would not post anymore? You don’t even beleive your own words..

BTW it is revealing how no other jewish posters are posting on ypour behalf..You are an embrassment .. I don’t think no one wants to be apart of your angry prejudices…I have also noted how disjointed and erratic your posts have become…

I really think when you came to our nation you were lacking education and it appears you never sought to improve on your shortcomings…You remain a pitiful immigrant..

Arandi Oreno says:

James do you really live in my country?? Did you ever go to college in the country you immigrated from?

James be honest I will keep a secret..Do you know any Black Americans???

James do you spend lots of time alone? James are you living in your sponsor’s basement?


Good job, Spencer Ackerman,
The thread has long descended into mutterings by the loonies, so there may be no point in commenting on your article. But I’d like to thank you for writing it. Your circle of political friends lost me several years ago – in large part because of its growing acceptance of anti-Semitism. I remember reading you at TNR. Not long after you left there, I stopped reading much from people at your subsequent gigs. Life is too short. Not only are these colleagues of yours losing their argument, they’re losing their audience.

bpete1969 says:

The concept the article was written about was loony to begin with.

Arandi Oreno says:


Ditto….A kum ba ya narrative that was hollow from the word go..

Anti-Semitism will never in America encompass the specter of racism in America..

America experienced 2 domestic holocausts on it’s soil to observe the chatter class punditry getting emotional over this nonsense is revealing and soon to be forgettable…

Jonathan Wolf says:

A superb article making a crucial point.
I have been a liberal Jewish activist for 40 years, have supported virtually every Israeli and American Jewish peace organization (helped create some of them), volunteered in campaigns of Gene McCarthy, Ab Mikva, Clinton/Gore, Jan Schakowsky, Kerry, Obama, and others, fought for Soviet and Ethiopian Jews and agunot, founded Jewish coalitions on homelessness and the environment. But I have always felt that many Jewish leftists’ loyalty to Israel and for that matter to Judaism are flimsy, that the critiques from the Commentary/ Weekly Standard folks of many leftist Jewish writers have a lot of validity. Can’t we be proud liberals, activists, humanitarians, social justice advocates AND Jews and Zionists??!!
One problem in this piece: why refer to Israel as “Tel Aviv”? That’ what the Anti-Semites do! Israel has every right to choose its own capital– especially when King David ruled there 3000 years ago. (Which doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t adopt the Clinton Plan and let Palestinians have THEIR capital in those areas of greater Jerusalem where Arab residents live).

Arandi Oreno says:


Please explain why Ethiopian Jews are under assault in Israel. This is the type of racism that far to many jewish people seek to ignore which confirms my premise.

Internet chatter about Anti-Semitism seems to be a irrevelant issue .

arcaneone says:

Israel has gone to great lengths to bring
Ethiopian Jews to Israel,and more of the scattered tribe are coming every day,especially from India. I can’t answer as
to why this particular group is having a problem.I have seen enough of day-to-day life here to know that the various races
generally work together reasonably well,and a lot of effort is being expended to help
less advantaged groups succeed.

Note that Black Sudanese Muslims and Christians are walking right through Egypt
so they can get to Israel, and for the most part, allowed to stay and get jobs.
What were race relations like in the US 60
years after the Revolution? For that matter,what are US race relations like now?

arcaneone says:

SHINGO–Your puffball response to my previous
post indicate someone who is very unsure of himself. Slurs like “Israel is becoming afascist state,”or “Israelis are the new Nazis,”may help mobilize the useful idiots,but will do nothing to enhance the Left’s reputation among people who are looking at these issues in depth. The Left and Democracy are not the same thing.
You did not deny embezzlement charges against Arafat, yet you cannot bring yourself to admit the harm he has done to the Pals.

You say that it’s the Right’s delusion that
it has made any concessions. Who evacuated Yamit and the Gaza settlements?Did not Ariel Sharon do this, having to turn his back on his previous career for the ephemeral chance for peace? It is surely impossible that you do not know of this,or,
to put it more briefly, you are a play-on-words phony.

Unfortunately, the debate can be won by those who use antisemitic tropes. After all, antisemitic tropes are historically proven to be very effective rhetorical weapons. If they worked for Hitler, why shouldn’t they work for the enemies of Israel?

arcaneone says:

EVA-I know no one at all who actually feels
the divided loyalties you pose. This is speaking as a moderate conservative who put on the uniform of an American soldier and did his(non-heroic) bit to protect this country.

Most of the generalities in the two societies coincide; I fully believe that the co-operation between the two countries will make both stronger.

Unless I simply missed something, the knesset did not forbid commemorization of
the “naqba'; it simply claimed that public funds supplied by the state cannot be used for the commemorization. You are letting your–oh, heart, dare I say it–anti-semitism rule your capacity for honest

Likewise the term “apartheid”. Saying it doesn’t make it true. Ihave personally never seen a racist act here; I have seen
Jews of various races and as well Arabs,all working together to get the job done. This was very evident in Karmiel
(from which I recently moved). You could walk outside virtually any time and see
the various races co-operating and courteous toward each otherand sharing the
load. Why do you consider this apartheid?

arcaneone says:

SHINGO,are your confused remarks typical of
what passes for debate at Mondoschiess?
READER PLEASE NOTE SHINGO’S STATEMENT:”First of all, let’s not forget that it was the terrorist leader, later to become Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, who boasted that he had introduced terrorism to the Middle East. The Irgun, Stern and Hanagnah were bombing hotels and markets from 1946 onwards.”

SHINGO–if you take the above statement as real, you are simply proving your shallowness. You seem to be dating the start of Jewish terrorism at 1946, but the
Pals began large-scale terrorism in 1920,in
Jerusalem, in acceptance of the vile inciting of Mufti Husseini,an explicit supporter of Hitler. This was happening a quarter-century before(as you say)Begin started his career as a terrorist.In 1929,
Mufti Husseini began another orgy of violence. Jews whose families had never fled Roman displacement, were massacred by the score in Hebron, while at the same time,Safad Jews held onto their homes through a remarkable pogrom of phenomenal barbarity.
One percent of the Safad’s entire Jewish population was killed outright, but the Jews refused British offers to evacuate them. One of the many atrocities inflicted
on the Jews was the disembowelment of a woman and stuffing of a dead cat into her abdomen. Abbas has admitted that his family, along with many others,fled Safad before they even saw Israeli soldiers,
rather than face the expected Israeli retaliation(which did not occur). That’s terrorism by any definition, and it occurred 17 years before (so you yourself say)Begin inaugurated terrorism in the Mandate. The 1930s saw years of climactic violence which continued even after Husseini fled to Nazi Germany,again,ten
years before Begin committed the atrocities you cite. Anything to say? Or do you want just to crawl back under your rock?

arcaneone says:

See how simple this is? As a general rule,
if you can control the agenda, you will probably win.
Having a “mark” you can reliably focus on helps. In this context,SHINGO , that would be you. Do the smart thing and crawl under your rock;it won’t getany easier.

BTW—Begin lost more than 20 relatives in
the Holocaust, while Sadat was jailed as aNazi sympathizer. The wonder is that Begin didn’t spit in his face.

arcaneone says:

Are you aware of all the Black troops in the middle east that have died defending

No,I’m not. As I said, I’m a Navy veteran
myself, and have the utmost respect for
Marines. They were not put in an
exposed position because of a request from
Israel,which would
have preferred to hold its own ground and kill Arafat. It was the US government that demanded that Arafat be
spared, and the Marines were pointlessly
put in danger between the Pals and Israelis
The worst aspect of the situation was Marines were to patrol without magazines
in place. When the bomb truck roared through the checkpoint, it was gone before
the sentry could load,and you know the rest.

arcaneone says:

Arani Oreno

Re-the Ethiopians

The Ethiopian Ethnic Center is located in the ben Yahuda market.

Phone #


Hope this is of some use to you.

arcaneone says:

Prep Rally
Pittsburgh basketball game marred by horrible racist banana suited monkey chants
By Cameron Smith | Prep Rally – 10 hours ago


Vile racism raised its ugly head during a boys basketball game near Pittsburgh on Friday when fans of a nearly all-white suburban school ran on the court in banana suits and made monkey noises to taunt the players for their rivals, who play for a school which is predominantly African-American.Prep Rally
Pittsburgh basketball game marred by horrible racist banana suited monkey chants
By Cameron Smith | Prep Rally – 10 hours ago


Vile racism raised its ugly head during a boys basketball game near Pittsburgh on Friday when fans of a nearly all-white suburban school ran on the court in banana suits and made monkey noises to taunt the players for their rivals, who play for a school which is predominantly African-American.Prep Rally
Pittsburgh basketball game marred by horrible racist banana suited monkey chants
By Cameron Smith | Prep Rally – 10 hours ago


Vile racism raised its ugly head during a boys basketball game near Pittsburgh on Friday when fans of a nearly all-white suburban school ran on the court in banana suits and made monkey noises to taunt the players for their rivals, who play for a school which is predominantly African-American.

arcaneone says:

Arani oreno–sorry about the copying glitch.
I should have mentioned ben Yahuda is in Jerusalem.

Here is a summary of a similar article
(J Post)–

Darfurians pool money to reopen TA shelter
By BEN HARTMAN 02/08/2012 23:26
Facility in southern neighborhood houses up to 200 homeless men, costs NIS 12,000 a month.

Jeffrey M. Lang says:

Hi and nice piece but you are failing to recall the larger trends in American History, since the European conquest, which
put all immigrants, refugees or ethnic goups into the loyalty question. It is the reason that American government has carried out the worst atrocities on both it’s own citizens and newcomers. When Earl Warren allowed the Japanese in Calif. to be rounded up and placed in internment/ concentrationcamps the arguments were made that the Japanese were loyal first and foremost to Japan not the USA. We could call them “Japan Firsters,” and we could say German firsters, china firsters etc. etc. One must take into account two of the most recognized facts of America’s social History that: 1) most refugees & immigrant groups harbor the dream that they will return to their country of origin their homeland at least till the second or third generation figures out there stuck here and 2)simple slogans carry the day when it comes to public discourse but in reality are meaningless to serious citizen thinkers. save the whales, no new taxes, black power and yes my friend “Israel Firsters.” Do not pay it much attention as it is a distraction from the daily atrocities being carried out in most middle eastern nations including Israel. Our focus must be on bringing young people of all stripes together in schools and community programs so they can learn what many in our generation have sadly forgotten, “that all human beings are more the same then we are different.” KUMBAYA-jeffrey

Mayson Lancaster says:

Of course, “anti-Semite” is the favorite first retort of the Israel-Firsters, as well as many others on the Jewish right.

S.Schlinger says:

No issue of divided loyalty for me. The America I love supports and defends the state of Israel. The State of Israel would of course come to America’s aid if it was ever necessary. Both countries are joined at the hip, as it should be. We both have the same aspirations.

Yitzhak Santis says:

The term “Israel-firster” was originally coined by the antisemitic group Liberty Lobby whose founder, Willis Carto, was a post-WWII admirer of Hitler. He was also the founder of the Institute for Historical Review, the first Holocaust-denying organization. Carto, perhaps more than anybody else, was responsible for keeping organized antisemitism alive as a viable political movement during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, when it was otherwise completely discredited. Prior to finding Liberty Lobby, Carto was a founder of the Joint Council of Repatriation, whose goal was to “repatriate” African-Americans “back to Africa.”

It is disheartening, to say the least, to see Jews tossing around the “Israel-firster” smear at fellow Jews. Its origination by an avowed white supremacist and antisemite should give everyone who has used this phrase serious pause. Once Jews start adopting the language of antisemites to score points against their political rivals, then we all need to take a time out and rethink our strategies.

Michael says:

Yizhak, the term “Anti-Semite” was coined in the 1870’s in Germany, and all throughout 19th century Europe, it was used as a symbol of pride for various political parties to boast their hatred for Jews. Does that mean that we cannot use the term because of its origin, no matter if it’s true? Of course not! Just like Israel-firster. These people exist, so it is completely fair to label them as such.

A Jew says:

What exactly does the left propose for the US/Israeli relationship? Ackerman makes this crystal clear:

“ assertive United States has to pressure a recalcitrant Israel to come to its senses… ”

Therefore, to the left, Israel is not an ally, but an adversary to be pressured. Not only an adversary, but a “recalcitrant” one. “Recalcitrant” and “pressure” are Ackerman’s words, not mine. Enemies are pressured. Friends are supported.

What type of pressure does Ackerman support? Considering that Israel is “recalcitrant”, then maybe some severe forms are justified. Perhaps boycotts, loss of military assistance, loss of trade, humiliation, or demonization at the UN? Since these are Ackerman’s words, I invite him to define, in specific terms, what constitutes acceptable “pressure” on a “recalcitrant” Israel. How about threatening Israel with a military strike? According to the left, Israelis do not know what is good for them. They need American leftists to weaken Israel, so it will concede to the Arabs against its will, or concede to an Iran that proposes to obtain the Bomb. In order for pressure to succeed, the left must weaken Israel, not keep it strong.

We can now visit the tricky question of name-calling. What words should we use to characterize Jews who advocate pressuring, or threatening to harm Israel? What words should we use to characterize a leftist ideology that proposes to “pressure” and weaken Israel, as a strategic goal?

Remember that term”pressure” can include some rather ugly possibilities. Since Ackerman has defined the left’s position, I invite the readers to suggest some good English words to label its advocates.

I further suggest that branding Israel with the epithet “recalcitrant”, as opposed to the homicidal regimes that surround it, is itself an anti-semitic trope.

I invite Mr. Ackerman’s reply to the points raised herein.

Asher says:

Let’s face it, many Jewish “progressives” are filled with self-hatred & self-loathing. Why should the world resect you if you can’t respect yourself?

JamesPhiladelphia says:

To A Jew says.

Very well said. Congratulations.

Marvin Wasserman says:

There is a wide range of views on Israel/Palestine among American Jews and Israelis. What I can’t buy are the right-wing extremists and those Jews on the left who advocate BDS and Flotillas. They are used as rationale that the BDS movement isn’t anti-semitic, which it is.

Eva Smagacz – you are just a Jew hater.
God is first, not a country, not you, not anyone for the Jew, you got that?

And for Mr. Ackerman; Why cant you GET that ‘progressives’ HATE Israel and the Jews. Why? Because they HATE God.

Just ask Dershowitz, or Horowitz.
These people are *NOT* going to listen to you, they were born Jew haters and will die that way.

Marvin: “Right wing extremists” are WITH the leftists against Israel, period.

And WHY do you all use ‘anti-semitic?’ They are

STOP being politically correct.

It is disheartening, to say the least, to see Jews tossing around the “Israel-firster” smear at fellow Jews.
Says Yitzhak.. COME ON! Karl Marx called religious and observant Jews “Jewish N*ggers”
Read Marvin Antelmans books, Vol 1 & 2:
“To eliminate the opiate”
And, remember Rabbi Kahane, (who, whether you liked him or not) said;

“Every Jew, a 22″

As far as debating these JEW HATERS: You fight fire with fire.
They call US “Israel-firsters?” Tell me WHY all THEY talk about is Israel.

THEY are the ones obsessed.

Ricardo says:

While it’s nice that the author gets much right, he unfortunately does so in an idiotic construct. The “dual loyalty” canard is shopworn and totally incompatible with reality, but for reasons not noted here. ALL humans have MULTIPLE loyalties. Some of those loyalties must be of higher order than others, but to claim that one must adhere to only ONE particular jurisdictional allegiance is fatuous, laughable on its face. This is particularly hypocritical coming from a self-described ‘Progressive”. If we can’t first feel allegiance to humankind, and then assign priorities to various jurisdictional allegiances, what value does the label “Progressive” hold? And indeed, if one is loyal to Progressive values, can he then not ever deviate from those values, however one might define them? While not as precise as geopolitical definitions, there are still lots of opportunities for multiple allegiances. Life isn’t as precisely defined as certain super-patriots would have one believe. Indeed, one great strength of patriotism, of tribal loyalty, is objecting to the unacceptable practices by those various governments to which one feels such great loyalty.

Then the author gets his logic weak and twisted. Just because someone we despise someone who says something, that does not ipso facto make that person’s expression defective, as the author would have you surmise. If David Duke reports that he’s hungry, is he automatically wrong? And if Rosenberg says something, what could possibly make him right?

This series of well-intended observations could stand a considerable enhancement of its logical rigor if it is to be credible. Even though the author’s message should be accepted on its face as valid and valued, it would be far more comforting were his reasoning actually rational.

Jonwards says:

To learn about the stunning religion development that the US Supreme
Court wasn’t able to reveal before June 22nd, Google “Joe Ortiz’s End
Times Passover, Friday, June 22, 2012″ !

fabuloso says:

A good commentary. However, the question of political allegiances is not one that can be suppressed. Why not? Because official, mainstream, Zionist politics are the _origin_ of ‘Israel First-ism’. Zionism is the movement to remove Jews from the Diaspora and resettle them in Palestine, and it has never renounced that outlook. It will never accept that Diaspora Jews live in the diaspora and swear a first allegiance to a non-Jewish state. In view of that, it is correct to point out that Zionism created the Israel-first paradigm, and it is Zionism which should now take the initiative to disown it.

Enemies of Jews/Israel:

– Glenn Greenwald: Guardian writer who will not mention antisemitism unless he can sarcastically snear at it, will not mention Israel unless he can bash it

– Max Blumenthal: Deranged activist who openly calls for Israel to cease to exist via a “one-state solution.” Spends all day and night trying to demonize Israel

– M.J. Rosenberg: Pathetic, ranting, bloated scumbag who rants 17 hours a day on Twitter about how much he hates Israel, rallies hate against any pro-Israel organization or person

These people are not merely “honest critics of the Israeli government,” but extremist hatemongers who should be considered enemies of any Jew or Israeli, whether liberal or conservative.

Also, I should mention that Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal and MJ Rosenberg all actively promote people and organizations that openly call for Israel to cease to exist. These are evil people.

“At the risk of sounding like the shtetl police”
This post and the discussion concerns the relation of Jews to Jews. It’s written in the language of ethnic nationalism no different than the language of followers of Marcus Garvey, who would have no problem calling themselves “Africa Firsters”.
You defend a Jewish State not an Israeli state. The Israeli supreme court declared recently that there is no such thing as an “Israeli people”

A large percent of the Israeli population are not Jewish, and you’re left to make the arguments of the European right. Germany was full of Jews; now it’s full of Turks, and the Germans finally, 60 years after the Holocaust, are getting used the fact that their dark skinned neighbors are German, while you defend the Israel of Blut und Boden. I defend the new immigrants in Germany as I defend the Jews of Germany, and the Palestinians in Israel, though they’re native to the soil.

The future of democracy is multi-ethnic, and the past it as well. Ethnocracy is not democracy. You don’t defend white nationalism in the US. You don’t stand with Pat Buchanan. You defend integration; you oppose anything that hints at Jim Crow, and yet you defend it tacitly, not explicitly, in the land you call your ethnic homeland. If you were born in Alabama but lived in Boston would you defend white rights in the state of your birth and busing where you lived? Would you accept the defense of bigotry by an American defending any other country?

It’s the 21st century and you defend an ideology that was reactionary in the 19th, while claiming the mantle of liberalism and modernity. The last bit is the most important, since Garvey never had that option. Jews are white enough:
“Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man.”

Elizabeth says:

I would like to commend the author for such a necessary article. I have been saying for years that as a progressive, I feel I’m in the diaspora because I can’t swallow the koolaid and see the Middle East in black and white terms. The people I have met in my life who I think are most committed to a peaceful two-state solution are Israelis. The invective and bile I read from commenters on the liberal newssites I prefer leaves me shaking (and when I dare to ask if the posters condemn China, for example, I’m called a “Hasbarah troll” – I had to look up Hasbarah). There is no country that is held to the unattainable standards of Israel, and there is no country that is as much the victim of double-speak as Israel; truly the only democracy in the Middle East (don’t tell me about Turkey unless you want to talk about the Armenians of before and the Kurds of today). When the pro-BDS crowd accuses American Jews of undue influence over global politics at the same time as the anti-Palestinian crowd accuses us of disloyalty, we MUST acknowledge the anti-Semitism present on both sides. It doesn’t make me more right wing, but it does get my back up and fight back.

Mitchell in Oakland says:

There’s more to this issue than the author suggests. As America realizes its potential as a multi-ethnic nation — a State of all its citizens — its interests are increasingly at odds with Zionism, an ideology rooted in ethnically-based nineteenth-century European nationalism, one that conflates nationhood with ethnicity. In the American context, “Jewish democracy” becomes an oxymoron — a pretext for maintaining an ethnosupremacist state, whether by outright repression or by gerrymandering its borders.

In that context, it’s hardly surprising that the most fiercely Zionist neocons have persistently made common cause with Bible-Belt white Anglos who lament the loss of “their” America as a WASP State. The irony, of course, is that (running deeper than their “Second Coming” sideshow, in which the Jews are ultimately scripted to convert or die), these are not the natural or traditional allies of secular American Jews — let alone of America’s best interests.

In fact, Jewish success in the US has been part-and-parcel of the transformation of America into a multi-ethnic society. Secular American Jews aren’t disappearing; we’re aware of our Jewishness — as an ancient and proud heritage tied to an ethnicity — one among many! In Israel, conversely, being Jewish is a horse of a very different color: it’s considered a nationality. (That’s the problem, too, with the sort of cant that considers any prospective transformation of Israel into a US-like multiethnic state an “existential threat” — arguably, at least, crying wolf by inextricably conflating such a transformation with genocide.)

Fortunately, these divergences are emerging under a liberal US administration that enjoys strong support among secular American Jews. If it isn’t sorted out now — with all the dissing of Hollywood and “Wall Street” and the Federal Reserve by our fickle right-wing friends — watch for the pitchforks and torches to come out of the closet, led by the likes of Pat Buchanan & the Tea Party!

All Men Created Equal says:

Anti-semites V Israeli Firsters…..

How did Israel lose the PR game when they invented it?

How did a group with TOTAL media control in the USA end up with so many American’s being disgusted by them?

Answer…..The Internet.

Most smart American’s no longer trust the media after the WMD BS. The ultra pro-Israeli message became so over the top and the actions of the country so disgusting and vile that more and more people started doing their own due diligence on Israel.

Israel lost the game because you can’t force people to like you when you lack compassion for others. Your attempts at playing the ultimate victim while spraying White Phosphorus on injured children would be the best example of a hypocritical agenda. You can’t fake compassion. The victim card is tired and weak. And calling everyone an anti-Semite is as old and tired as the Christian sin/sinner BS.

So Israeli Firster’s are left with only supported by other Israeli Firster’s. And Republican’s but even that is fading as the turmoil with Tea Bagger’s taking over.

Come down from your arrogant Israeli cross, accept your deserved criticism, demand America STOP funding your OTHER country and START funding the one you live in. This BS that American’s have the right to complain about America but NO ONE ON THE PLANET has the right to complain about Israel is not going to work. Not even Wolf Blitzer can make American’s love such a hate filled country.

Great information. Lucky me I discovered your site by
accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

Captn Obvious says:

Israel is very lucky if the geographical location was any other place they would be facing war crimes much like the talks regarding Assad. I also noticed CNN had a conspiracy story about Zionists being behind 911 which they stated had absolutely zero proof. Must be a Jew driven channel because (1)I noticed a ring of Israeli spies being rounded up at the time (2)Mossed Intel and Demolition experts pulled over in a van that dogs sounded on having bomb residue that was tipped off as being Palestinians which screams “Jew Bastards” (3) And my favorite more IDF individuals filming “the event” because that’s what they were sent to do and after they are quietly released from custody they talk about it on an Israel TV show. now it would seem that everyone surrounding these forever god defying people land grabbers happen to be enemies of the US. Jews invented terrorism through their horrendous actions and then pointing the finger at others. they also happen to be the most racist Christian attacking bastards ever… they learned something from Hitler alright the Israeli kids just might tie their shows in little Nazis. in Israel a black man cannot marry a jew and its not about religion as they don’t care if you go or not to a sinalot. So I say to you Israel keep killing civilians as I have seen no Palestinian soldiers carried off. keep attacking \ killing Christians and please don’t grow in size because you’ll need even more than your redickulous amount of financial aid from a Christian majority people.. owe one day Israel will be judged I just pray that is the US that the judge jury and executioner. then i’ll be dancing in the streets on your 911

Captn Obvious says:

its not the Jews its just a few maybe all government officials that are scumbags who in fact were wanted terrorists until the Brits an US imprinted their lips on Israel’s ass…

lets do as Israel does… with Gaza

to remove these few bad seeds we should turn Israel’s into the largest piece of glass so the Palestinians could walk all over them with out fear and make the Israelis really “understand”

Ralph Cinque says:

I just want to read the comments. I don’t want to make one. So, how can I do that? Thank you. Ralph Cinque


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Sounding Off

Note to some of my fellow progressives: If we can’t argue about Israel without using anti-Semitic tropes, then the debate is lost before it even begins

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