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26 January 2011

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batondor

David,

Thank you very much for your initial comment... with which I identify completely. I have not yet read the longer part of your dispatch and cannot do so until later today, but as a Jewish-American born in the 50's, I fully grasp the observations with which you began and will try to respond as soon as possible...

... but I did wish to immediately make clear that I did not believe that your specific arguments in the original piece on how "peace was [perhaps more] close in 2008 [than we had previously known]" were in any way as universally stated as others in the thread seemed to be.

WILL

Thanks for the Alistair Crooke article. He is a former member of MI5 & is always very insightful.


Thoughtful article. a quibble, b/ a few paragraph breaks would have really helped.

Patrick Lang

will

DH wrote it as a "comment" and I don't have time to fool with it. Quibble away! BTW, I think he was n MI-6. pl

J

will,

The Colonel is correct, Crooke's a MI6'er. MI6 is famous (infamous depending on point of view) for playing both sides against the middle. Personally I wouldn't give you a dime for them.

Here's an article critical of Crooke in the 2009 Mother Jones

Like I said, MI6 is infamous for playing both sides against the middle.

J

batonder,

I have a question, why do you identify yourself as a 'Jewish American' instead of an 'American of Jewish extraction' or an 'American Jew? Other fellow Americans of different extractions tend to identify themselves with the 'American' first followed by their particular ethnic/cultural/race extraction. I find your use of it very curious, no disrespect intended.

WILL

my bust, i often confuse MI5 &6. 5 is kinda of like FBI and MI6 is CIA. Or did i screw it up again?

rjj

As a Cracker-American I would like to state my objection to promiscuous Tribo-American hyphenation.

This is not some peevish quibble; I believe it plays into the schemes of the media shit stirrers and political schismatics.

walrus

Thank you very much for your thoughts Mr. Habakukk.

I saw my first bit of "cultured" anti Semitism on the net only recently. It was in response to an article regarding an outgoing treasury under secretary, a Mr. Levi was to be replaced by a Mr. Cohen. The comment: "Only Jews need apply."

I think the basic premise is essentially correct - Israel's abhorrent behaviour is going to re legitimise Anti Semitism.

WILL

All that MI5, MI6 stuff so confusing. Just like that March 8, March 14 Alliance Lebanese stuff- how is one to keep it all straight?

Brings to mind Qifa Nabki on Hitchens in Beirut.


"We walked all along the Corniche first, passing the war-ruined Holiday Inn and the new Dubai-style condo towers of Waffic Sinno: children carrying flagpoles bigger than themselves, old women with faces painted red and blue, teenage girls in blue hats crying “Saad! Saad!”–the name of Rafiq’s son, now the anointed hero of what has come to be called the “March 15 movement.”

"M15, huh? A felicitous slip of the pen? (The impressions throughout the article do have an Ian Fleming-ish cast to them). Aww, who can keep all these Marches straight? I mean, there are two after all."

http://qifanabki.com/tag/christopher-hitchens/

Medicine Man

As Walrus does, I agree with the basic premise. This is unfortunate because I don't think Israel's policies are representative of the global diaspora.

Diane Mason

Will @11:35 -

MI5 = responsible for domestic threats in the UK, including foreign agents. (responsible for finding them, that is, not causing them).

MI6 = responsible for UK agents overseas

batondor

J

I understand your argument completely, so here's my answer: I never even made the distinction until about a decade ago when a close friend suggested exactly the opposite logic that you present and I agreed with him and have held this position firmly for clarity sake ever since; being Jewish-American is no different than being Italian-American or African-American... the qualified attribute being subordinated to the root.

I would respectfully suggest, in that sense, that all of us carry more than one identifying characteristic that may have relative weight when compared to the others... and in that sense, I would argue that only a person who sincerely and consistently puts their religious or ethnic identity on a higher plane than their civic sense of belonging should invert the two; so, for example, the current Pope would be identified as a Germanic Catholic while Sergio Berlusconi is a Catholic Italian.

Does that make sense? This is, of course, just my opinion (and I am open to a correction on the formal semantics behind the question if there is one to be offered... though I must admit that I find the logic of my position compelling).

... and to the argument by "rjj" that hyphenated identities are objectionable, I would humbly suggest that one-dimensional identity is equally illusory and, in fact, is often destructive. Sometimes the complexity of identity is rendered explicitly (as with the hyphen) and sometimes it is implicit but obvious...

J

Medicine Man,

What is really hurting the 'global Jewish diaspora', is that they don't appear to have enough backbone collectively to speak out against Israel's abhorrent behavior, aside from the Ultra-Orthodox Anti-Zionist Jews who do speak out against Israel and its behavior on a constant and consistent basis. Unfortunately for them the pro-Israel crowd labels them as self-hating Jews. Aside from them, where are the outcry's of remaining diaspora? All the world hears are either their diaspora silences, or at the most their diaspora muffles under their breaths. Their silence and not standing up against Israel, is going to bite them in their backsides. And it's a sad situation all around.

J

batonder,

As for myself, I'm most comfortable with being labeled as 'American', the rest is a non sequitur. My forefathers because of their actions (crossing the high seas in squalor conditions aboard sea bound vessels), trying to make new homes for themselves in the 'colonies', BECAUSE OF their sacrifices, today I can say I'm American for better worse just like a wedding vow. I'm thankful for what they did, and I wouldn't have it any other way! I was born 'American', and thankfully I'll die 'American'!

Adam L Silverman

J: I think that you're giving the global Jewish diaspora more blame than it deserves. In terms of American Jewry I think there is clearly a number of different trains of thought on this, some is generationally differentiated with older Jewish-Americans keeping the idea of Israel as a bolt hole to run to if things go bad for Jews in the US. In fact I've heard that one stated on any number of occasions with the "bad" varying from the silly to the substantive, but mostly unlikely. What I think happens in the US, which is I think also the case for a variety of Christian denominations, some ethnic groups, and even for political movements and parties, is that the professionals (for lack of a better term) that we see constantly in the media as speaking on behalf of Jews or about Israel really aren't reflective of what most Jews actually believe politically, socially, or about foreign policy. Without trying to make this personal how many of the Catholic readers of SST really feel represented by Mr. Donohoe and his Catholic League and how many Evangelicals really feel like Reverend Robertson or Reverend Hagee or Dr. Dobson are really representing the reality and spirit of their denominations. Or one step removed the pundits associated with these faiths: the Kristols or Krauthammers or Cal Thomases or Ross Douthats? Just to pull some names out of the air. The same thing with the Democratice or Republican politicos or the Conservative or Liberal commentators? So while it is a problem, perhaps, that Jewish-Americans are worrying about their daily lives and all the same things that other Americans worry about whether they're Christian or Muslim, of African or Asian descent, to think that all are lined up in agreement based on the ramblings of the ones who get on TV or radio or in the papers all the time is to identify the wrong culprits. Sure some support these positions, but an awful lot don't, and from the data I've posted here at SST before the latter definitely outnumber the former. The real issue is how do we leverage that to change the dialogue and the political framing in order go change the policy?

optimax

Euromutt-American is too long and sounds too much like urinemutt.

read an article that convinced me I might be circulating Neanderthal blood, so researching my geneology is out the question.

David Habakkuk

J,

Ever since the fiascoes over intelligence on Iraqi WMD I have been deeply sceptical about MI6 – and subsequent events – including the farcical story of 'The Grocer and Alice's Cat' which F.B. Ali told recently on this site – have not diminished this scepticism. And I am certainly not putting Alistair Crooke forward as some source of Socratic wisdom – I think he is excessively indulgent towards Islamists, and in particular the regime in Tehran. But reportedly he was sacked from MI6, and in recent years he has been attacking, not defending, the activities of his former employees in Palestine.

What the cables have confirmed is what there was reason to suspect already – that MI6 had been intimately involved in building up the Palestinian Authority's security forces and cracking down on Hamas. To do this, while at the same time putting no pressure whatsoever on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, is not a strategy – it is stupidity. On this point at least Crooke is right.

In any case, in the article to which I referred, Crooke is simply reading the Palestine papers through the lens of the argument of Professor Mushtaq Khan that we have misread Israeli security requirements, and accordingly the prospects for a two-state solution, as a result of failure to grasp that what is at issue is not simply preserving a Jewish majority in Israel.

I e-mailed Professor Khan, and he gave me the link to the paper Crooke was quoting, which was given in Ramallah in December. It is:

http://mercury.soas.ac.uk/users/mk17/Docs/Prof%20Mushtaq%20Final%20Transcript%20Sayigh%20Lecture.pdf

The relevant section starts on page 14. While I am certainly not putting this forward as holy writ, it does provide a coherent framework in which both the extraordinary concessions offered by the PA as reported in the documents, and the even more extraordinary reluctance of the Israelis to make any meaningful response to them, makes some kind of sense. The argument that in terms of preserving a society based upon differential rights for Jew and non-Jew, letting go of the West Bank may actually make things worse, not better, certainly deserves thinking about.

walrus,

I saw my first bit of 'cultured' anti-Semitism on the net only recently.

The use of the taboo on anti-Semitism as a means of controlling debate on Israel and on U.S. policy has in my view been extraordinarily foolish, particularly given that the directions in which those controlling the debate want to take U.S. – and British – policy – have commonly been silly. The predictable effect has been to weaken the taboo – and also to produce the kind of festering resentment people to which people are prone to succumb when they feel they have been silenced, and cannot express perfectly legitimate thoughts and feelings.

Adam Silverman,

The real issue is how do we leverage that to change the dialogue and the political framing in order go change the policy?

I would certainly agree with that.

The notion that some kind of unified Jewish 'people' can be led by the heirs of Jabotinsky has always seemed to me patent nonsense. What I however do think is that there have been psychological inhibitions, militating against people actively opposing the disastrous directions in which those heirs have taken Israel, and also making people excessively prone to accept the apologetics of the Israel government.

And I think there is still a lot of resistance to accepting that the two-state solution is dead –and with it the basis for the 'liberal Zionism' which has been the political position of so many Jews both in the United States and here.

J

Adam,

I see so many 'good people' in the Jewish diaspora needlessly suffering all because of the Israeli government and its supporters downright cruelty and bullheadedness. The Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis have said, are saying that the current Zionist State of Israel is presumptuous before Heaven which has ramifications over all Judaism. They say that the current state as it stands because it is presumptuous before Heaven that it needs to be dismantled and left to the Divine hand to create. They say (and it is proving to be true) that the current Zionist State of Israel because of its presumptuous attitude/behavior is a threat to Jews worldwide. I see so many suffering all the way around needlessly (Arabs, Jews, Palestinians) all because of some's cruelty and bullheadedness.


It's like Rodney King said after the LA riots and he was beaten nearly to death, 'Why can't we all get along?' The man's right.

J

Adam,

Just a suggestion, again this is just a suggestion on my part. The U.S. Jewish Diaspora that disagrees with the Zionist Israeli state and its cruel and barbaric behavior need to go after their U.S. financial supporters. Cut their financial legs out from under the ones that control the megaphones (mainstream media) and politicians who are feeding at the feeding trough, and the communication lines will start to clear. This will require much effort and hard work on the part of the Jewish Diaspora that disagrees. The world at large only sees the Ultra-Orthodox Anti-Zionist Jewish Community as the only ones of the Jewish Disapora that objects to the Zionist State of Israel and its supporters barbarism and cruelty. Outside of their voices, all the world hears is deafening silence from the rest of the Jewish Diaspora.

J

David,

I wouldn't give you a dime for MI6 or a plug-nickle for the Israei errant boyz club known as their Mossad. Both do a disservice to their respective nations and the world at large.

I have a personal grudge against the Israeli Mossad, it's their hands dripping with needlessly shed American Military blood that they are directly responsible for. If I was in control of things and had my way, their Herzliya
complex would be a smoking hole tomorrow at the latest. Again that is if I was in control and had my way of things.

Mossad are not professionals, they're low-life thugs.


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