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08 May 2014


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Larry Kart

I hate to sound like Clinton but I DO feel your pain. pl


David Habakkuk

See Larry Kart's account of his discussion with an older Jewish person today. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Not just the Arabs, their dead is also being squeezed out of Jerusalem; there is a war of cemeteries as well.

Babak Makkinejad

The Iranian plateau has been the only place on Earth over the last 2500 years with continuous Jewish presence - as far as I know.

Your friend might wish to fly to Tehran and check things out for himself; perhaps a house in Shiraz or Isphahan in case things go south for Jews in US.

Babak Makkinejad

I remind you again that the Commons was almost empty when he made that speech.


Alcatraz hasn't been a prison for 50 years and Andersonville for 150 years. And tours of jazz clubs are not exactly what I was talking about, either. I don't know of the tourist industry of any country, whether the government has anything to do with it or not, whose aim is to show the country in a bad light. Just the opposite.



You are so thorough an apologist for Israeli/Zionism's pervasive political warfare and propaganda that I can only conclude that you are part pf the apparat. pl

Charles I

And equally easy to downplay it per the historicaly trite "We didn't know" line.

I recall seeing the documentary that made me first comment on the Trent Park tapes, I think in a discussion of institutional memory, archives, open sources, and the fluke that it was a social work student as I recall who discovered the transcripts and read some, leading to the shocking truths apparently therein having nothing to do with his studies.

I was gobsmacked and cynical at the same time. After all, Kristallnacht, pink stars, yellow stars, cattle cars to the east, everybody knew more than enough.

I read the Neitzel and Welzer book David cites. Everybody knew. Many more regulars than just a few of "those others" routinely participated in mass murder is the repeated admission.

All the more kudos to the Wehkris commander, all the more shame to those others. Though without a box full of old medals, what does a worm turn on?


And it also occurs to me to that all the U.S. government employees who serve as guides at the White House, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the national parks and national historical and other sites must be given training and talking points, too. And the guides of private tourist companies, I’m sure, receive training and talking points. What do you think would happen to them if they consistently went off message in order to talk about all the things they thought were wrong about the United States? What do you think would happen to the tour guide of foreign businessmen who went off message to talk about all the things that he thought were wrong and evil about American business?

But there is a larger point to be made, too. Any tourist in Israel or sitting in his home in the states or anywhere else in the world who wants to know about everything controversial in Israel has only to read the online English-language editions of Israeli newspapers, including the left-leaning Haaretz, one of Israel’s oldest newspapers. Of how many countries in the Middle East can that be said? It certainly can’t be said of Fatah (the Palestinian Authority) in the West Bank or Hamas in Gaza. That’s because Israel has freedom of speech and of the press and they don’t.


Charles I

"a box full of old medals" you still don't understand us. For soldiers there are no "old medals." They are part of one's soul. As for the Wehrkreis commander, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. My friend's grandfather could have just as easily had the bad luck to deal someone who just didn't want to get involved, especially when the Gestapo was involved. Yup, sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. pl



Is there anything about Israeli conduct and policy that you don't like? pl



I see that you live in or around Gadsden, Alabama. The Reform congregation there went out of business a few years back so I am assuming that you are a Christian Zionist? pl


It shouldn't matter who I am. Just the substance of what I say. And whether its defensible. Same goes for you and everybody else who comments here. Do you grill anti-Israel people about who they are, disclose personal information about them online and inquire whether they are Muslims or not?

Nevertheless, I will respond that I am not an Israeli, belong to no organization and am a complete freelancer. I like to post my opinions on anti-Israel sites to see if they can withstand the scrutiny of bright, well-informed people who have a different point of view. Thus far, I feel pretty good about today's back and forth.

And I am an American Jew who is pro-Israel. If that disqualifies me from participating on your blog, just say so, and I'll go away, but I was led to believe from some of your comments that all were welcome who maintained a certain decorum, which I see from your own example in your last couple of comments to me, does not exclude being snide.



"does not exclude being snide." Attacking me will get you banned. I welcome having you here but it does matter who and what you are. I want to know what I am dealing with. Your political allegiance to Israel forms your judgment. You did not answer my question as to whether or not Israel does anything that you disapprove of. pl



What do you think of Israel's (military and judicial) media censors?



How about Peres' claim that Natanyahu torpedoed a peace deal that he had negotiated with Abu Mazen? Do you believe that to be true? pl


All I know at this point is that the story broke in the Israeli media and is plastered all over the Israeli newspapers, which proves my point.

But I also notice that you are peppering me with questions while ignoring my questions and the points I made. Since you made an issue of my religious identity, I asked you whether you also grilled anti-Israel people about their religious identity, in particular, whether they were Muslims. Its a fair question.

And I made the point that the Palestinian Authority does not allow freedom of speech or of the press and neither does Hamas in Gaza. Please address this issue.

A discussion is a two way street. Its not a framework where I respond to your questions and address your points and you refuse to reciprocate.

And in answer to a previous question of yours, yes, there are things about Israeli policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians that I disagree with. Now a question for you: Are there things that the Palestinians and surrounding Arab countries have done to Israel that you think were wrong or evil? If so, name some. Then, I'll name some of the Israeli policies that I disagree with.



As a polemicist you want both want to debate me and to harangue us. That will not happen. I will not debate you and if it becomes clear that you will answer every point with another argumentative one you will be gone I am not interested in providing a vehicle for hasbara activities. I asked you questions about yourself. you chose to answer them. I do not believe that you are a "free-lance" hasbara. You said that you post comments on anti-Israel websites. First of all this is not an anti-Israel website. it is a website that is not slavishly devoted to Israeli policy as you seem to be. Secondly, this implies a list of websites so imagined. Who made the list? You? You must have a lot of free time. You have nothing to do with the Israeli foreign ministry "information" program or AIPAC's similar activities? As for people's religious affiliations I have asked many and they have told me. Context matters. Lastly, I am not an advocate for any Arab country. None. IMO the Israelis and the Arabs are equally a mess and that is why they cannot solve their problem in a reasonable way. pl


Since we are talking about "old jews" I am one (69) so I guess I should weigh in one this discussion. First, it is impossible to understand Israel unless one has lived there and speaks Hebrew. It is only then that you can understand and be privy to the real feelings of Israelis. The Jews as a tribe follow the "don't air your dirty laundry to outsiders" more than any other peoples I have met. The criticism that the Israeli media prints is just the tip of the iceberg of the criticism that could and should be leveled about Israeli activities.

I am a Israeli dual citizen and I've lived in Israel. I have a family history of movement because of past pogroms. Over the last 300 years my family has moved from Romania to Croatia, to Hungary and finally to France. Along the way we lost many of our family. In 1942, my grandfather sent his extended family to America to live while he went to Israel and joined Irgun. I did not need Benny Morris' book to tell me what went on in Israel during those next 6 years, I have my Grandfather's journals vividly recounting the various horrors he visited on Arabs and the Brits. In the end he was tormented by his actions, considered himself to be a terrorist, even though he felt he was doing the right thing for his people.

I think the existential fear Jews might feel about annihilation is much exaggerated. Certainly most American Jews I know don't feel that way. Most of my relatives now live in West Bank settlements and on my twice a year visits for the Holidays, I do not discern any fears of annihilation on their part even though they are on the front lines. If they have any thoughts about annihilation its most likely for the Palestinians.

For those who take the Jewish tours, how many Arab marketplaces did you visit? Were you able to buy anything from an Arab vendor? Israeli tour guides make sure you buy only from Jews. Did they take you to Acre or Haifa and show you the new beautiful Jewish schools and the falling down Arab ones?

Sometimes on a Christian Tour with a Palestinian tour guide you can visit West Bank sites and get a sense of the occupation and the difficulties it causes. However, this is rare because if caught the Guide will lose his Israeli Guide licence and thus his job.

Israeli Jews make a big deal out of the supposed hatred Palestinians feel toward Jews and their honoring their fallen fighters. If you want to hear the ugliest hatred imaginable, go to shul in Bat Ayin, Kiryat Arba, Itamar and others. There you will hear the most hair raising commentary I've ever heard in my life. Travel on the back roads of the West Bank (don't use the Jewish only roads by the dual use ones) and stop at a checkpoint and watch how Palestinians are humiliated and harassed. As far as honoring fighters, Jews did better than Palestinians, they made two stone cold killers, Begin and Shamir, Prime Ministers.

I consider myself a Zionist who fervently prays for a Jewish homeland in Israel. However, we MUST treat all those who live there with dignity and compassion, Jew and Arab alike. To that end it is obvious we need two states and enough contiguous land must be carved out so Palestinians can have a prosperous dignified existence in their own SOVEREIGN state.



I showed you that you were wrong about Ghetto tours but you won't let that fact into your ideology.

You also said we wouldn't have tours of polluted sites. Wrong again. You can tour the US's most polluted nuclear site--Hanford. And there are other pollution tours.


Israel will not allow a commemoration of the Nabka but here Martin Luther King's birthday is a federal holiday. We show films of police beating civil rights marchers during Black History month and have slave museums. We have national parks dedicated to Indian massacres like the Sand Creek Massacre. We hide nothing behind a wall. You can go where you want even if it is not safe.


As far as I'm concerned, Israel is at least 50 years behind the more advanced and inclusive democracies.



Your eighth grade teacher.


What, "Israel has freedom of speech and of the press and they don’t."

Since Israel is in self perception a necessary place of refuge for the Jews when and if the next wave of annihilationist anti-Semitism arrives, freedom of speech there is, must be, inherently a right limited by national security prerogatives.

Which of course means that for practical and political purposes that Israel has freedom of speech and of the press and the Arabs don’t.

Martin Oline


Thank you for providing the Sand Creek link. It is very interesting.


Babak Makkinejad

The word "Jew" is not the opposite of Arab - it is the opposite of "Christian" or "Muslim" etc.

"Arab" could be the opposite of "Israeli" or "Iranian" or American.

There hundreds of thousands of Arabs who were Jews - until 1948.

Babak Makkinejad

Whether PA does or does not allow freedom of speech is irrelevant to the issue of sovereignty of the Palestinian Arabs - freedom of expression is not a requirement of state legitimacy for by that yard-stick most states in the world are illegitimate - including State of Israel.

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