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One of the most debilitating and divisive aspects of the discourse surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the way constituencies engage the question of how anti-Zionism relates to anti-Semitism.  Very often, the division on this question is dichotomous and creates a binary of extreme positions that cannot engage with one another.  

One of these sides sees anti-Zionism, and indeed all criticism of what they call the settlement of Judea and Samaria, as anti-Semitism masquerading as political critique and individuals with humanitarian intentions being manipulated unwittingly by anti-Semites.  These folks emphasize how Israel, even when they grant its imperfections, is singled out for disproportionate criticism, that it is inaccurately depicted as the root of all discord in the Middle East and the primary source of tension between the Muslim world and the west.  And even when they grant that criticism of Israel doesn’t have to be anti-Semitic, at least in theory, they argue that it almost always is and must be viewed through the lens of this question.  Israel’s critics must be considered guilty of anti-Semitism or of unwitting and naïve collusion with anti-Semites, until categorically proven otherwise.

The other side, as is so often the case in this ideologically over-determined debate, seems its mirror image.  These folks argue that the accusation of anti-Semitism is a canard meant to silence valid criticism of Israeli policies and that the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza are the primary causes of contemporary anti-Semitism.  Furthermore, they accuse the “Israel Lobby” of manipulating US politics, and thus international politics, to support Israel’s continued repression and exploitation of Palestinians against American interests and values.  This accusation strikes their opponents as all too close to the ugly conspiracy theories emanating from the anti-Semitic forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which depicted international Jewry as the ultimate source of all war and suffering in the world.  

So we have one side that sees the other as driven by anti-Semitism and the other conversely accusing them as driving anti-Semitism by creating hospitable conditions for its germination and providing its rationale.  If both arguments contain some truth, then everyone involved is participating in anti-Semitism in one way or another, some intentionally and some unintentionally.

Clearly, solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not lead to a peaceful utopian Middle East.  Plenty of conflicts in the region are organized around cultural, religious, historical, and even ethnic fault lines that have little to do with Israel and Israelis.  Many of these are exacerbated by unresolved issues emanating from the Western colonial endeavors that shaped the current map.  They also have much to do with the history of the cold war and more recent interventions driven by global economic developments.  

In addition to this, there’s no convincing reason to believe that any solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, even the creation of a single secular democratic republic between the river and the sea or the expulsion of most Jews from the region can bring about an end to anti-Semitism.  Anti-Semitism is a quasi-religious ideology built on a history of slanders and twisted perceptions.  As such, it will never lose its capacity to conceive evidence that corroborates its assumptions.  Many of the Zionists who labored to found the modern State of Israel thought it would both serve in the near term as a bulwark anti-Semitism and haven for its victims and eventually normalize Jewish national existence in a way that would undercut the trumped up fantasies that animated the imaginations of anti-Semites.  Zionism was both a defense against anti-Semitism and would ultimately function as its antidote.  This hasn’t happened.  Many contemporary Zionists have since moved to the position that anti-Semitism does not respond to realities of Jewish life or the ways in which Jews participate in global affairs.  They see hatred of Jews as irreducible, potentially eternal, and anyone who ignores this as ignorant and dangerous, as at best an unwitting accessory to one of the most toxic and violent movements in history.

But granting that a solution to the conflict communities will neither solve all of the tensions in the region nor eradicate anti-Semitism does not undermine the primary rationale for ending the occupation.  An accord acceptable to majorities of Palestinians and Israelis that creates a new reality that will continue to develop positive and productive relations between these national will not satisfy everyone.  Conflicts will continue, but within a framework that may settle them, or at least manage them, in less violent and debilitating ways.  And if this framework operates as it should and as many of us believe that it not only must, but that it can, these conflicts will attenuate both in tenor and in frequency.  Indeed, even though other nations and movements in the region may attempt to disrupt relations, to fan resentments and exacerbate anxieties, if the accord is a functional one and if enough people of good will exercise leadership on both sides, one can expect moments of cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians in the face of regional conflicts.  And if anti-Semitism does not require the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, transforming the relations between Israelis and Palestinians will undoubtedly make it easier to continue the potentially unending fight against anti-Semitic eruptions and canards.  Israel has plenty moral and practical reasons to reengage the peace process energetically and pragmatically for its own sake.  Any benefits to regional stability and to undermining and reducing anti-Semitism are secondary, if extremely welcome benefits.

Blanket, uncritical support for Israel does not equal opposition to anti-Semitism.  Nor does criticism of Israeli policies require one to close one’s eyes to anti-Semitism, especially as it seems to wax in Arabic media and Eastern Europe at the moment.  Jewish individuals and institutions have worked hard to promote Israel and to make the case for its existence.  This is a form of hard won political power.  To paint every criticism of the exercise of that power as anti-Semitic belies an anxiety about its achievement.  Paranoia about the Jew pulling levers behind the curtain seems to mirror anxiety about being painted as the Jew pulling levers behind the curtain.  The more these same individuals and institutions support efforts to reach an accord with the Palestinians, the more effectively they abandon the reflexive conception of Palestinian nationhood as an anti-Semitic plot, the more proud they can be of achieving and exercising political power and the more effective they can be at confronting anti-Semitism.  At the same time, those who want to end the occupation through achievement of an accord between Israelis and Palestinians would do well to stop dismissing and denying anti-Semitism and focus more attention on the way complicates efforts to reach an accord.

As for Israel being singled out for criticism, I single Israel and Jews out in both celebratory and critical ways, because this is one of my primary affiliations.  Just as I focus more attention on achievements and shortcomings of my own children than on those of others, so too I focus more on Israel’s achievements and shortcomings.  And this need not result either in either chauvinistic jingoism or in hyper-critical self-flagellation.  It’s evidence of a productive commitment, one that I still believe can prove even more productive in ways that currently exist only in our most cherished dreams.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A Number Of Years Ago I Wrote An I/P Diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SCFrog, whizdom

    here. Things went ugly in a matter of seconds. I tried to explain that four of my five bosses have been Jewish. I was often a long way from home and they invited me into their homes for their holidays. Most of them confused me to be honest. But I will never forget they gave to me. They were there for me.

    But one thing always confused me. They were always way more liberal on the topic of Palestinian. I mean way liberal.

    I tend to look at the world through these Jews, folks I know, and their world view is different then most.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 02:44:26 AM PST

    •  not entirely clear what you mean (4+ / 0-)

      but 70% or more of Jews are liberal or Democrats. It's just that the loudest voice on the I/P issues that is (wrongly) considered the voice of Jews is the right wing Israel lobby (including AIPAC).  Then we have the very prominent far right Jewish billonaire club. So the minority shouts the loudest, basically, and gets most heard.

      Those Dem Jews most likely don't focus on the I/P issue as much as the smaller percentage of conservative Jews--they probably focus more broadly on the many other issues facing our country and our world like other Dems.

      I met young people in Occupy who thought MOST American Jews were conservative because that is mostly what they hear and see. I've also met many Progressive Jews who work for peace and justice for Palestinians--but their collective voice is not as loud as the Conservatives. Maybe what you mean is that you met Jews like that.

      IT's a great diary, cogent and obviously took a lot of effort. I  share your fear that the topic will degenerate. I've not had luck commenting on these diaries so will try to stay away from the conversation.

      •  The mainstays of the Israel lobby in the US are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ortheother, alain2112

        not Jews but Armageddonist pseudo-Christians. You can tell that they are deeply, viciously anti-Semitic because their plan is for "the Jews" to kill off "the Muslims", with all Jewish survivors converting to Christianity just in time for Jesus to start his thousand-year "iron rod" reign.

        I'm not the one making any of this up.

        I got majorly donutted in my first I/P diary. The bullies who accused me of being a) not a Jew; b) several sock puppets; c) a vicious anti-Semite have all managed to get themselves banned here since, while I got my mojo back in the usual way in short order. One GBCWed just a few days ago after being bojohammered for accusing The Troubador of anti-Semitism and of some sin that I didn't quite understand concerning the Protocols. More than 30 HRs for that one comment.

        However, I prefer not to litigate anti-Semitism and anti-sanityism. There are measures that could move us forward on I/P, and I am engaged in some of them, such as education for children in Palestinian refugee camps via One Laptop Per Child and UNRWA. I have friends who have been working to break the blockade, and other friends working on the racism among some Israelis against non-European Jews. I read today that Israel recently welcomed the Jews of Kaifeng, China, who go back 2,000 years, but suffered greatly under Mao. (Chinese who don't eat pork or shellfish. I wonder where they went for Chinese New Year. ^_^)

        A bit of democracy in Egypt could allow the actual discussion to begin there, although the Muslim Brotherhood and some other anti-everybody Islamists have to be tamped down first. Egypt taking responsibility for Gaza and opening its border just for normal trade and travel would go a long way to help, even if citizenship cannot be discussed yet.

        The best thing that could happen to I/P would be for everybody to stop funding their favorite crazies for various religious and political reasons having nothing to do with helping. I don't know what it would take to accomplish that.

        Major social shifts can take 50 years or more. We have been working on this particular issue since the 1967 war, 45 years. That does not mean that it is time for a solution, but I would say that it is past time for a lot of people to get out of the way.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:02:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone calling me an anti-semite (0+ / 0-)

    at the  drop of a hat, I just return the favor and call that person an anti-gentile. See how that works :)?

    Dissolve Israel; stop distinguishing between jew and non-jew in Palestine.

    by high5 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 03:53:37 AM PST

  •  We need to find a way to talk about it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ortheother, Kane in CA, ubertar

    And soon.  It appears that the President and SoS may be more actively driving movement on a Israeli Palestinian resolution, beginning with territorial issues.  There are discussions now.  The president visits the region in March.  

    We need to find a way to talk about policy options and decisions in a way that doesn't divide us.

    •  In the mean time coalition talks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are focused on the question of legislation to draft the ultra-orthodox into the IDF or some other form of national service, to "share the burden."  How about addressing that burden?

      I wanted Obama to come at this point in his last term.  Wrote a piece entitled "If the mountain won't come to Obama...?" on another blog.  He has no one to talk with, I fear, at least on the Israeli side.  Abbas and the other FATAH leaders in the PA have been using the aftermath of the UN vote to set up a framework for reconciliation with HAMAS that centers on the latter's acceptance of a 2 state solution.  And the new Knesset is squabbling about putting Yeshiva students in uniform.  But, as then, I urge Obama to talk right past the Israeli leadership and address the Israeli electorate.  He needs to reassure Israelis (again?, yes, again) that the US will not stand by and allow anyone thrown into any sea, no matter what.  Then make the case for two states.  He's gotta try to cut through the fear and the hopelessness of  those who would support it if they believed it possible and expose those who hide behind the argument of "impossibility" as using an excuse to prioritize land over people, jingoism over ethics, etc.  I'm glad he finally seems ready to try.

      •  IMO Hamas cannot accept a two-state (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        solution because it goes against the islamic fundamentalist belief that no non-muslim country can exist in a formerly muslim land.  It's difficult for secular people like us to appreciate this belief as a motivating factor.

        •  They can indeed accept a political reality (0+ / 0-)

          even if it never accords with their ideology.  The better and more stable an accord (like the Geneva agreements or the 2011 initiative answering the Arab League) the more difficult it will be for them to muster support for their position as a political platform.  And there is no other way to proceed.  Endless conflict plays right into their hands.  And they aren't about to disappear.  One MUST take the long view and create conditions that undermine their rationale.

          •  Sounds like alot of wishful (0+ / 0-)

            thinking. Again, Hamas ideology is religious, so not subject to what we think they should think or do.

            •  Unfortunately (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zemblan, whizdom, ancblu, Mokurai

              the accusation of "wishful thinking" and "naivete" has been a hallmark of neo-conservative foreign policy debate, most frequently to dismiss evidence based-rationale for promoting progress.

              Khaled Meshaal is the latest in a line of HAMAS leaders to voice support, generally qualified and/or tactical support for some two state arrangement.  This occurred last month.  I promise you, I have no illusions about HAMAS.  Rather, I have experience with them up close and personal.  However, they aren't an abstract political ideology but a movement made up of a broad range of people.  Their support ballooned in response to two phenomena: despair at lack of progress toward Palestinian statehood and frustration with corruption in FATAH.  HAMAS has long held that it would agree to a long-term truce, a hudna with Israel.  They have never, to my knowledge embraced the idea of a permanent settlement, a sulha.  My contention here is that a hudna embraced by a minority of Palestinians in conjunction with a sulha embraced by a majority creates more possibility, and I think plausible possibility, to undermine the conditions that feed support for long-term struggle against the Jews.  As a movement, its support will wax and wane based on how its leaders respond to conditions.  Since HAMAS won't just disappear on its own, the best way forward is to make conditions less hospitable to its supporters.

              There is a minority in the Israeli Knesset that wants to either forcibly expel all Palestinians, or bribe them to emigrate and abdicate their identities.  Under a stable two state solution, the Palestinian government will likely contain a minority that will dream of doing the same to the Jews.  But a stable and productive political and economic reality will ensure that both of these minorities remain marginal and marginalized.

              As for religious ideology, all religious Jews regularly pray for the establishment of the Third Temple.  They will never give up this messianic hope.  But the vast vast majority would never turn that into a political program that includes demolition of Al Aksa and the Dome of the Rock.  One can hold a religious position without articulating it in unethical political ways.  Likewise, every time the Ark is opened in a synagogue to remove and read from a Torah scroll, the entire congregation sings a verse from the Book of Numbers: "And so it was, whenever they took up the Ark (of the Covenant) Moses would say: 'Arise, Lord, and smash your enemies, and cause those who hate you to flee before you.'"  Some fringe right wingers surely imagine Palestinians fleeing at this moment.  But the vast majority of Israelis, even a majority who attend synagogues read this as historically and mythologically and would oppose any religious effort to expel Palestinians.

        •  Everybody said that about the Dutch Reformed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ortheother, alain2112

          Church in South Africa and the Catholic and Protestant factions in Northern Ireland. It is simply not true that the crazies are in the majority among any of these populations. They just have ways of shutting the minority up until they can't any more. Like the attempted murder of Malala in Pakistan for saying that girls should have rights, including education, just like it says in the Qur'an and Hadith.

          The US is going through this with the Southern Baptist Church, which recently elected its first Black President. A Fundamentalist, Creationist, socially-conservative Black President, but it still counts as progress, especially if you look back to the time when the SBC and the KKK were joined at the hip.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:10:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Palestinians are Semites too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

    by Bisbonian on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:13:45 AM PST

    •  Anti-Semitism does not relate to Arabs or other (8+ / 0-)

      peoples who speak semitic languages.  Never has.  It has always connoted hatred of Jews specifically.  Nothing to be gained in trying to obscure the history of the term.

      •  Its been used wrongly. I am not trying to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        obscure that.

        "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

        by Bisbonian on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:27:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's exactly what you are doing, intentionally (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hey338Too, FG, ubertar, zemblan

          or not.  Words are not species of genii to be sorted into this or that etymological class or phylum.  Rather they emerge and function within social and poltiical contexts.  "Anti-semitism" came into use as a term by which those who hated Jews defined themselves.  They used the term "semite" to refer to Jews specifically.  Go jump in a time machine and correct them.  But since that moment, the term has connoted opposition to and hatred of Jews as such.  It has never been used as a term for hatred of Arabs.  

          You want to play self-righteous etymology police.  But your scientistic approach ignores socio-linguistics altogether.  And it doesn't serve to educate but to promote ignorance of history and of contemporary socio-political constructs.  It's fundamentally unhelpful as are all acts that obscure history.

          •  Okay, I read up on the history, and you are right. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I'm not trying to obscure anything...I just find hatred of Palestinians because they are Palestinians to be as objectionable as hatred of Jews because they are Jews.  But we don't seem to have a special word for it.

            "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

            by Bisbonian on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 06:57:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is no special term for prejudice against (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ortheother, alain2112, Hey338Too

              blacks (ie, racism refers to bigotry toward any race of people), yet in the United States we have managed to impose a strong social stigma against overt anti-black prejudice in the last hundred years or so. Bigotry against Palestinians is bigotry against Palestinians. There doesn't have to be a special word for it in order for people to know it's wrong. It's universally recognized on dailykos that the experience of bigotry and persecution is not and never has been unique to Jewish people.

      •  Slight historical correction... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ortheother, alain2112
        Never has.  It has always connoted hatred of Jews specifically.
        Among the Orientalists in the first half of the nineteenth century, for whom the characteristics of language were viewed as analogues of culture, the term "antisemitism" and its variants often did apply to all Semitic language speakers. Lang's use of "antisemitischen" in his Hammelburger Reisen [part 5, 1822] is a clear example of this, as are the academic discussions of and among Steinschneider, Renan, Steinthal, Müller et alii through the 1860s as they described and debated the differences between Semitic and Aryan (Indo-Aryan, Indo-European, Indo-Germanic, depending on the nationality of the author) cultures. By the time Marr came onto the scene in the later 1870s, of course, "antisemitic" had acquired the more restricted meaning that it maintains today.

        No obfuscation intended, but rather clarification regarding the early academic usage of the term. Certainly anyone who contests the contemporary (since the 1870s) meaning of the term is doing so through ignorance or something more malicious.

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:24:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cheers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angry marmot, alain2112

          Thanks for the correction.  I was basing my argument on Rose's history of "Radical Anti-Semitism."  I appreciate you filling in the gap.

          •  You're welcome... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            My comment was basically a footnote, so I hope it didn't distract. The terms "semitism" and "antisemitism" originated in a narrow academic discourse where they were more generally applied, but there's no doubt that when the term "antisemitism" emerged in popular political discourse in the 1870s it held the more restricted meaning. There's a deep history of the terms within late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Orientalist writings and I'm always just slightly taken aback by the frequent claims that Steinschneider coined the word "antisemitism" in 1860. As I say, though, just a footnote.

            Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

            by angry marmot on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:01:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  While I share the diarist's concern that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ortheother, ubertar, zemblan, FG

      legitimate criticisms of Israel's public policies are stifled by baseless charges of antisemitism, the argument that "X can't be antisemitic because X is Semitic" is an unhelpful, overly legalistic assertion that does not reflect any real insight about antisemitism and its prevalence among different populations. The underlying roots may be poorly chosen, but the word "antisemitism" in the English language refers specifically to anti-Jewish bigotry, which is a real phenomenon with real effects, and we should not instinctually jump to deny its existence. This does not preclude us from debating precise classifications of what constitutes antisemitism and what constitutes legitimate criticisms of or disagreements with Israeli public policy or the Israeli or Jewish people, but there's no point in denying its existence over its linguistic roots.

    •  how do you tell someone is an antisemite? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, ubertar

      Well, if you say that "Palestinians are Semites too." you are basically saying hating Jews isn't antisemitism, so it's okay.

      If you think hating Jews is okay, then....get it?

      Saying "Palestinians are Semites too" when the topic of Antisemitism and the ME, it's a flashing siren.

    •  And "homophobia" (0+ / 0-)

      literally means "fear of things that are the same as each other".

      I'm as prescriptivist as the next grammar fascist, but at a certain point we have to acknowledge that words mean what they are used to mean, not what they appear to mean when dissected.

  •  I appreciate the balanced diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aargh, ortheother, ubertar

    It's difficult to separate the nationalistic aspirations of the Palestinian Arabs from the outright Jew hatred of the radical islamists.  

    •  Nearly impossible, actually. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      since the nationalistic aspirations of the Palestinian Arabs involves throwing the Jews out of the Middle East entirely.

      •  I would say this comment is fundamentally (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SCFrog, metal prophet, ancblu, alain2112

        inaccurate.  A majority of Palestinians support a two state solution.  All the FATAH leadership embraces it.  Jibril Rajoub just did an interview where he went as far as affirming that Israel deserves to exist securely, just as Palestinians do.  Either you are accusing a majority of Palestinian nationalists of an enormous collective lie, or you aren't paying attention.

        •  This type of response is exactly the problem... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla, aargh, JamieG from Md
          Either you are accusing a majority of Palestinian nationalists of an enormous collective lie, or you aren't paying attention.
          Hyperbole and ad hominem is a single sentence.  aargh and others can read too.  You really believe that we haven't read a single "throw them into the sea" comment over the last 3 years, 3 months, or 3 days, how about 3 hours?  Why should we believe you, when other more prominent politicians in the Middle East are saying things which directly contradict your premise.

          As for Jibril Rajoub:

          In July 2012, as head of the Palestine Olympic Committee, Rajoub called a request for a minute of silence to remember the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics by Palestinian Arab terrorists in 1972 "racist".

          I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

          by Hey338Too on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 07:51:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, the problem is that people read only what (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ancblu, Mokurai, alain2112

            affirms their positions and hold these statements up as representative, just as you do here with Rajoub.  I'm far from comfortable with everything he's said over the years, or for that matter with everything Abu Mazen has said and done over the years.  You don't make peace with an opponent you are comfortable with.  That person isn't your opponent to begin with.  I do, however, think one can make peace with a the person who was directly involved with drafting the Geneva Accord and who give interviews that cite positions such as he does here:  The fact that I disagree with what you cited above does not suggest he is not a partner for negotiating an agreement.

            As for your accusations of hyperbole and ad hominem, you use both those terms inaccurately.  A clear majority of Palestinians consistently voice support for the two state solution in surveys, particularly those conducted by internationally respected Political Scientist Khalil Shikaki.  Hyperbole connotes the use of exaggeration for effect.  Given this information, there are only two options, either one thinks they are liars or one doesn't know this.  This is clear logic, not exaggeration.  Pointing this out is not an argument against a person's character and integrity, which is what constitutes an ad hominem attack.  To frame my response in ad hominem fashion, one would argue something like "either you are a racist or an idiot."  But that's not what I wrote at all.  I suggested that the only way to justify this comment is through an implicit accusation of duplicity, whether intentional or not, or a lack of information.  Neither hyperbole nor ad hominem.  Rather they address substance.  Though throwing those accusations at me, however, might qualify as both in this context.

            And if you can find statements by Palestinian nationalist leaders (we are talking specifically about nationalists here, not HAMAS or Islamic Jihad) voicing a desire or intention to throw Jews into the sea, please produce them.

            •  My apologies, my response to this is titled: (0+ / 0-)

              "So what are you advocating?"  Somehow it didn't wind up as a response to your comment.

              I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

              by Hey338Too on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:03:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  This comment is factually incorrect, and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ortheother, alain2112

        is of a type that commonly derails actual discussion. It reveals profound ignorance of what Palestinians other than self-promoting apostles of violence and their useless idiot followers say among themselves, and to anybody actually listening.

        As with Blacks in the US and South Africa, or Catholics in Northern Ireland, or Koreans under Japanese rule, or any of thousands of other examples, actual peace makes the crazies fade away. Django Unchained and Glenn Beck notwithstanding, there are no Blacks in the US out for revenge on the South, and hardly any who even think we should pursue Reparations.

        There are, of course, still vicious racists like Beck in the US, but that is because their ancestors lost positions of privilege, not because of any oppression.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:34:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  However, the Crazies are in control. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Look at what's going on in Syria and Gaza. Abu Mazen refused to accept an genuine peace agreement in the weeks before Bibi took over. If What I said is "factually incorrect" and the government of Palestine DID want a two state solution, then they would have taken it, and IP debates would have been a thing of the past.

          •  If Israel DID want a two state solution (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alain2112, whizdom

            Why hasn't it responded effectively to the Arab League initiative that offered full normalization of relations throughout the region for a Palestinian State in Gaza and the West Bank with its capital in East Jerusalem?

            •  When a message was sent about discussing it (0+ / 0-)

              further. The Saudis NEVER RESPONDED. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is. The Saudis never were serious and they proved it.

              •  Wrong again (0+ / 0-)

                You can continue to simply say things that support your view that all Arab political thought on this issue can be reduced to a genocidal fantasy.  But all it does is support your own justifications of rejectionism, which seems to contain its own genocidal fantasy of Palestinian disappearance.

                When the Arab League proposal was published in 2002, Israel explicitly rejected it outright.  The reasons were that they claimed it set out unacceptable pre-conditions for negotiation, among which were unacceptable positions on refugees, borders, and Jerusalem.  Furthermore, the government saw it as one-sided, demanding concessions without calling for a cessation of Palestinian violence.  It may have been right, but there was no attempt to turn it into an opening for negotiation.  Some on the Arab side claim it was misinterpreted, willfully, to avoid negotiation.  This is also potentially correct.  The emergence of the initiative was overshadowed by the bombing of a hotel in Netanya during observance of a Passover Seder that left 20 people dead, making it politically difficult to respond.  

                It wasn't until 2007, when it was renewed, that there was any more meaningful response from Israel.  Both sides dropped the ball here. In 2011, a group of former Israeli generals and security chiefs, led by Yaakov Peri, put forward a meaningful response.  But like the Geneva Accord, this response was formatted by people outside of government.  It also makes concessions I believe you would reject on borders and Jerusalem.

                My point in responding to your previous comment was that both sides have dropped the ball at crucial points.  Leaders on both sides have balked due to fearing for their political standing.  And both have thrown up obstacles in negotiations out of fear and distrust.  This isn't false even-handedness.  Rather these moments are documented.

                But you and I will get nowhere in any conversation as long as you reflexively oversimplify history to support a hyper partisan position, one that makes no attempt to read the Israeli side critically and makes no attempt to understand the range of perspectives and positions among Palestinians.  Your comments here exemplify a disposition I address in the diary, that of supporters of Israel who see the very existence of Palestinians as a sort of anti-Semitic plot, who cannot conceive that anyone on the 'other side' could possibly be sincerely interested in peace and mutual recognition, and who reduce everything about this conflict to the irreducible opposition of hateful anti-Semites vs. peace loving Jews heroically defending their right to exist.  The reality is significantly more complicated than this cartoonish and overly convenient narrative that puts Jews is glowing white kippot and Arabs in sinister black kaffiehs.

                But a more thorough familiarity with the parameters, players, and history of the conflict suggests that this view really is as ridiculous as it seems.

                •  Please chill out (0+ / 0-)

                  This is the second time you have directly attacked this person and not the comment.  You dismiss other individuals below as well.

                  Your diary is around 1200 words long and you act as if it and you are the definitive resource on the IP conflict.  If you just want to publish and only have people tell you how excellent and intelligent you are - then state that in the diary.  If you are posting here and someone disagrees with your comment or has a different opinion, then it is possible to state your point without resorting to attacking the author of the comment directly.  What you have posted here is opinion.  Others have a right to a different opinion, and because you have posted on this site, they have a right to express that opinion without being personally disparaged.

                  I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

                  by Hey338Too on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:38:47 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The only one attacking another's person (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    in this thread is you attacking me.  I'm sorry that you have trouble distinguishing between an argument with the substance of a comment and a personal insult.

                    And there is a different between an opinion that fairly represents reality and one that distorts it.  In all of my responses I add information that the previous comment neglects.

                    Of course everyone has a right to an opinion.  That doesn't mean that they are all equally valid.  The point of debate is to weigh opinions against one another.

                    And what is clear here is that your issue is with my opinion and your sympathy with someone else's.  Perhaps instead of attacking me for refuting an opinion that distorts and/or neglects crucial factual information, you might engage my opinion and point out where its bases are wrong.

                    This is the 3rd time you have commented in this thread by merely reprimanding me without adding anything to the topic.  If I am mistaken about something, if I misrepresent something, please point that out.  Otherwise, it would be best if you desisted from ad hominem obfuscation.  

              •  Here's a link (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                to the 2011 Israeli counter-proposal to the Arab League proposal of 2002 (readopted in 2007).  Once again, it comes a full 9 years after the initial Arab League overture and was framed by an independent group.  Two of its framers - Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid - Lapid's party) and Amram Mitzna (Hatnuah - Livni's party) - were elected to the Knesset last month.  Both parties are likely coalition partners for Bibi.  Neither individual is likely to hold a ministerial portfolio.

                I've checked it against the Hebrew and it's a good translation.


  •  So what are you advocating? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That we only read comments from people you define as "Palestinian nationalists" and ignore any and all comments from any other group purporting to represent Palestinians and their interests?  

    Should we only listen to people from the "Republican party" and completely ignore Tea Partiers or even more extreme elements of the right wing?  We can't do that - as Democrats the forces aligned against us are much broader and we ignore them at our peril.  By listening to what they say and understanding the implications of those statements, we understand how the Republicans will govern.

    The forces of the far right are driving the direction of the Republicans.  There is no reason to think that the same dynamic is not playing out among Palestinian nationalists.  In order for a government to be formed, the far right of the Palestinian movement is going to have to be placated by the Palestinian nationalists - we can't pretend that they don't exist or the words they say are immaterial.

    As for the hyperbole and ad hominem issue.  The comment I referred to was directly aimed at the commenter.

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:58:07 AM PST

    •  The comment was aimed directly at the substance (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ancblu, Mokurai, alain2112

      of the comment and did not exaggerate its context in the least.

      And I think it's important to read in context.  Instead of requesting that you actually follow the thread, I'll recreate it for you here.

      Sandbox: It's difficult to separate the nationalistic aspirations of the Palestinian Arabs from the outright Jew hatred of the radical islamists.  

      aargh: Nearly impossible, actually. since the nationalistic aspirations of the Palestinian Arabs involves throwing the Jews out of the Middle East entirely.

      This is where I intervened.  I think there's something to what Sandbox argues, that it takes in depth work to separate these ideologies, and there are constituencies where they blur.  But aargh argues that doing so is impossible because even the nationalists want to throw Jews out entirely.  That's fundamentally inaccurate.  There's plenty of evidence to the contrary.  I do not advocate only reading nationalists at all.  You might note that in my diary I clearly argue that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Arabic press and that advocates of a diplomatic solution should NOT ignore this for a variety of reasons.  But I do think that when one makes a claim about a specific group, that claim should be evaluated with regard to that specific group.  To suggest that doing so equals advocacy for ignoring any other constituency not only completely misrepresents this interchange, it ignores much of the diary that sparked this conversation.

  •  I am suspicious of and do not support (0+ / 0-)

    any group of people who make the claim that they are favored by any deity or have been "given" any rights to any piece of land by some deity.  Unfortunately the world tolerated throwing people off their ancestral farms and driving them from their homes in order to accomodate a totally unevidenced and arrogant religious claim to property.   So now we are dealing with the consequences of this ill conceived idea and we will be dealing with it for decades to come.   We can't put the genie back in the bottle, but we can at the very least be allowed to criticize all sides in this conflict without being accused of some form of racism.  And if I see Israel as the biggest and most arrogant player in the mid-East right now, I will say it.

    •  I thought Israel was the ancestral (0+ / 0-)

      homeland of the Jewish people. You know, all that archeological evidence, the bible and so on and on. You should read up-take a few classes....

      •  The archeological evidence points to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ortheother, Mokurai, alain2112

        the fact that the major stories of the Old Testament did not occur, so the texts are useless in terms of claims to lands. Most of the debunking has come from archeologists from the University of Tel Aviv.  However, if you want to know more about this, the book The Bible Unearthed is one good source.

        The fact that hebrew/semitic peoples wandered those lands or lived either free or as slaves on them is not a good reason to drive Arab people living on those lands in the 20th century off of them to create a special new country.

        •  Zionism as a movement in the late 19th cent. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kane in CA, Hey338Too, angry marmot

          was predominantly secular--in the vein of the European ethnic-nationalist movements that defined much of the century.  Most arguments for Zionism deal with heritage, the need for a cultural homeland, a place to embrace ethno-religious identity in a realm free from persecution (persecution that characterized Jews throughout Europe during the period--but was much less pronounced in the Middle East.)

          whether or not the biblical stories are true doesn't have much bearing on this.

          (most here would doubt that they are more than folklore/tradition--but as an archaeologist I feel it is very important to understand them--even if they ARE Iron Age documentation of Bronze Age mythology.  I would assume that some of the stories, as with much folklore, have some element of truth to them)

    •  Please note that this diary defends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whizdom, zemblan

      criticism of Israeli policies as not only valid but necessary.

    •  Furthermore, whether one reads (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01, Mokurai

      the Bible literally and historically, or as sacred mythology, one need not accept the idea of "inheritance" and "ownership" simply or uncritically.  The prophet Ezekiel surely doesn't:

      This land you shall divide for yourselves among the tribes of Israel. You shall allot it as a heritage for yourselves and for the strangers who reside among you, who have begotten children among you. You shall treat them as Israelite citizens; they shall receive allotments along with you among the tribes of Israel. You shall give the stranger an allotment within the tribe where he resides—declares the Lord God.  47:21-3
      So understanding one's rights to live in this land clearly does not mean that no one else has any rights.  This text clearly opposes any sort of ethnic cleansing or subjection of non-Jews as second class citizens.  If there were a single, secular, democratic republic here, any Jew could still live a religiously and/or culturally meaningful life here, as long as they were enfranchised citizens of a civil society.  This would be my personal preference.  The reason I support two states is that a majority of both Jews and Palestinians want such a solution and it therefore seems the best and quickest way to end the occupation.  And given that Palestinians aspire to this form of national self-determination and Jews have achieved it here, it seems obnoxious for me, as an Israeli Jew, not to recognize their right to pursue it.
      •  I appreciate your view and the use (0+ / 0-)

        of a quote from the texts to support it.  Howver, it has been my observation that someone will be able to find among those texts a quote that supports an opposite view. This usually renders the texts useless or just puts the whole discussion at a stand still.

        However, that being said, I agree that the two state solution is the most valid proposal on the table and should be pursued.  Bibi Netanyahu and others on the far right of Israel's politics obviously have different plans and seem hell bent on pursuing those.  We may look back and see him and others as the cause of the downfall of the state of Israel, or as the cause of plunging the world into a huge war, at the end of which Jesus will come down from the sky and, among other things, convert all Jews to Christianity.  Thus endeth the problem.

    •  I hope you realize (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, ortheother, zemblan

      that this " claim that they are favored by any deity or have been "given" any rights to any piece of land by some deity" applies equally to each side of this conflict. There are those on both sides who claim both religious and ancestral rights to this land. In my view, neither is the least bit material. Both sides need to deal with what is, not what should be or could be. Israel exists. The Palestinians exist. Neither will disappear. They either learn to live with or next door to each other, or they will have perpetual war. There are no other choices.

      •  Of course there are other religious claims to (0+ / 0-)

        lands in this area, the division of Jerusalem by three groups being just one example.  However, the world sided with the Jewish claims and none of the others, and it's time for the US to move away from its favoritism with the Israeli claims over others.

        The Palestinians and other Arab groups did not have the PR advantages of movies like "Exodus" running in the US to obscure history or influence opinions like Israel had.

        Yes, the world is now stuck with its mistake of creating Israel, but it should not be tolerant of the Israeli government's expansions and resistance of the solution two state solution.

        The US should tell Israel to 1- stop the land grabs and 2- sign the papers to create the two state solution, OR we will pull all financial and verbal support from the US government. But we are too hung up in the "Judeo/Christian" ties and the romanticizing of the whole issue that has always viewed Israel as the poor put upon underdog to act rationally.

        •  None of the others? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          As I've said, I think reliving history is a waste of time. But when Israel came into existence, many other countries concurrently came into existence. Only one of them gave any deference to Jewish claims. All the rest to others, whether religious or secular, and were created without respect to Jewish claims. Your recitation of history is simply inaccurate.

    •  I think you'll find that very few Israelis (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA, ortheother, FG, Hey338Too

      claim that the entire, or even the primary, reason for there being an Israel is Biblical.

      •  Then what is their explanation/justification (0+ / 0-)

        for the taking of lands and homes to create their country?

        •  well, to start with, you are over-simplifying (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zemblan, Kane in CA

          the realities of the pre-state period.  Much of the land was purchased.  Some was not being used.  It makes as much sense to say that the Jews simply came in and kicked the Arabs out as it does to argue that the Jews came in and the land was uninhabited.  Neither extreme is historically accurate.

          Most Israelis don't turn to the Bible to justify their rights to be there just as most Californians don't justify their residency.  But most also find the historical record of Jewish national existence from the first Temple period through today generally credible.  And culturally, this was the place that Jews and the diaspora have seen as their homeland since at least the Second Temple period.

          •  I sometimes feel it is important (0+ / 0-)

            to oversimplify issues in order to be able to find clear and simple solutions.

            There are lots of places in the world that people have felt were their "homelands". But we did not enter into a project of displacement for them to realize their dreams of returning to them.  Lots of native Americans in the US can certainly make the same claims to thousands of spots in the US, but what is our general response to that?  

            I still say that religious beliefs play a huge role in all this and so does the belief that one is a member of a class of "chosen" people by the "creator of the universe". People may not realize that this is what they are playing out because these attitudes are so much a natural part of the cultural identity, but they are even if they claim otherwise.

            The Knesset made it illegal for Arab/Palestinian citizens of Israel living in Israel to commemorate the Nakba. What does this tell you about Israel's ability to understand any one else's claims to land but their own? I just don't see any excuses for this attitude.

            •  And this comment demonstrates the problem (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Flyswatterbanjo, zemblan, FG, Kane in CA

              of over-simplification once again.

              The Nakba Law, which I and many others vigorously oppose, does not make its commemoration illegal.  It enables the finance ministry to withhold funding from groups (including municipalities) that deny Israel's existence.  Anyone and any group can commemorate the Nakba without being jailed or fined.  It's not illegal.  It's a bad law.  But it's important to represent what is problematic about it correctly.  Otherwise one slides further into the gray area between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism.  Your over-simplifications get awfully close to demonizing Jews.  If your intention is to oppose policies or ideologies and their histories, then oppose them accurately.  Exaggerations also undermine the credibility of your critique.

              •  the fact that the Jews were seen in the Old (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zemblan, Hey338Too

                Testament as 'chosen' has really little to do with Zionism.  Those who REALLY believed in this 'chosen' stuff were generally anti-Zionist.  Many (probably most) religious Jews saw the creation of Israel as a political travesty that went directly against the command of God--that Israel should be resettled in conjucntion with the rebuilding of the temple and all requisite signs, etc.

                You also forget the fact that there were both Jews and Palestinians in the region--both groups of whom had ties to the land--and both groups of which played a role in fostering tension and violence.  This vision of Jews as usurpers of land who came solely to kick out poor Palestinians simply addresses one heavily biased view in which the incoming Jews are nothing but oppressors.

                This is a false interpretation.

                •  And "the chosen" (0+ / 0-)

                  except within a tiny minority of Jews, is not a right to anything. It is a responsibility. And that tiny minority came to that view, in an historical sense, very recently.

                •  One of the biggest problems in I/P (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kane in CA

                  discussions is that people don't actually read the comments they respond to, they just use them as diving boards to express what they think they know...about the comment and about the commenter.  This comment is absolutely a case in point.

                  1. 'Chosen' can and does mean a range of things.  Even many of the secular Zionists believed they were both normalizing Jewish existence so that Jews would become "a nation like all the nations" and aspired for the Jewish state to express eternal values of Judaism and become "a light to the nations."  These were always the two, potentially contradictory poles of the Zionist project.  

                  2. Most religious Jews did indeed support the founding of the state.  This is certainly true of the religious Jews in Palestine at the time and the NY community.  One of the earliest Zionist thinkers was Rabbi Yehuda Alkalai.  One of his congregants was Theodor Herzl's grandfather.  Zionism was made particularly "kosher" for most observant Jews by the teachings of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, who was an Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi in the pre-state period.  Many Sephardi and Mizrahi religious leaders also supported Zionism by the time the state was founded.  Only the ultra-orthodox opposed it, and a group within the Haredi community still does.  I recommend avoiding suppositions, assumptions, and generalizations.

                  3. I most certainly do not "forget" the history of the region in the first half of the 20th century here.  I don't even understand what this has to do with my comment.  If you read through this thread, you will find that I explicitly refute the idea that Jews simply came in and kicked out Arabs.  Please pay attention.

            •  "For every problem ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ... there is a solution that is clear, simple, and wrong."

              You do your positions no credit by oversimplifying.

              •  And after reading all these apologetics- (0+ / 0-)

                type comments, I see why we will never come to a solution to the problem.

                The bottom line here is for WHATEVER reasons (justifications, historical events, etc.) the state of Israel was created in a place that had a complicated history already. One of the first things this new state did was begin the process of land grabbing.  It is still land grabbing and as it does the resentments and hatreds grow. Tell me that if your family was one of the 750,000 that was displaced, by whatever method or for whatever reason, that you would not harbor sadness and anger that would be passed down to your children. And what would be the focus of those resentments? Doesn't it make sense that it would be on the people who are now living on your family's old farm or in your family's old house? It's just much easier to deny that this either happened or isn't one of the root causes of the contflict-right?

                Creating the state of Israel was a big mistake. But it is there now and that won't be reversed.  The best way to correct the mistake at the very least is to allow the Palestinians autonomy, freedom and their own state too.  But Israel refuses to do so and the United States and other countries have not taken them to task nearly hard enough on this.  Why does Israel take this tact? I say it is partially because of the arrogant attitudes fostered by the religious beliefs.  People may not agree with that, but it is my view. I really don't care what rabbit this or rabbi that said. Right now all that is irrelevant compared to the emergency that is ready to blow up again in the middle east.

                So pile on some more folks if you wish, but I have said what I wanted to say.

  •  Much depends (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ortheother, Mokurai

    On how the coalition forms up.  A coalition with Yesh Atid would give them a claim to either Defense, Finance, or Foreign ministries.

    They don't want (and really don't really have anyone qualified, anyway) for Defense.

    The former foreign minister, Lieberman says Likud/Beitan will keep foreign inistry, but Likud's base would be horrified at the thought.  Lieberman's position is that peace negotiations are futile, and the conflict can only be managed, not resolved, citing the uncertainties facing Israel due to Arab Spring and Iran's alleged weaponization of nuclear enrichment.

    Yesh Atid  ran on a financial reform platform, and against the concentration of wealth and unequal distribution of opportunity.  Not much on Foreign policy.

    The seem to be soft two staters, for final status negotiations, but for retention of major settlement blocs and E jerusalem,  final borders to be security based.  Jewish press

    •  Yes, with one caveat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mokurai, whizdom

      The first person Lapid added to his list (and ended up in the fifth spot) is Yaakov Peri.  Peri is a former head of Israel's security services and a successful banker.  He's 68 and is one of the primary figures behind the 2011 initiative (that responds to the 2002 Arab League initiative).  Peri supports removal of settlements, borders based on '67 but with 1:1 swaps that equal not more than 7% of the total area of the West Bank, and a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.  Given who he is and what he's done (and how old and rich he is) he wouldn't bother with Lapid unless he thought it might open a real possibility for a settlement.  I remain both skeptical and pessimistic.  But if Peri gets a say in things (and he's not there to draft Hasidim into the IDF) we could see some movement.

  •  Overton window applies here too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ortheother, alain2112

    Anti-semitism used to require people to argue that the Jews were supernaturally evil, that Jewish culture was inherently and implacably alien and hostile to that of its host countries, that the Jews were some sinister cabal out to rule the world and corrupt everything to serve their interests, and that discrimination and violence against Jews was justified.  Now antisemitism is defined by the most paranoid and pugilistic voices in the Jewish community.

    To what extent is disagreeing with someone functionally equivalent to hating them ... because why else would you not respect their viewpoint or want to deny them the things they want?  That's the rhetorical basis of the rightward drift of what is and is not antisemitic.

    Anti-Zionism is a little more complicated, because there's a broad spectrum from "two state solution" to "one secular state" to "Israel should be in Germany" to "drive the Jews into the sea".  All of these have been called anti-Zionism.

    I think it depends on the accuser's definition of Zionism - religious or secular, minimalist or maximalist, etc. - and this is driven by where they think the floor is on Israel: below which a "Jewish state" is no longer sustainable, defensible, or even Jewish.  Security is the wild card, in that it is simply assumed that Israeli military supremacy must at least extend to the range of enemy missiles, not stop at Israel's borders (whatever they are).

    Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

    by Visceral on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:40:16 PM PST

    •  Dazzlingly wrong (5+ / 0-)
      Now antisemitism is defined by the most paranoid and pugilistic voices in the Jewish community.
      Actually, quite wrong.

      What's happened to the antisemitism discussion is the same sort of thing that happened to the discussion on bigotry against African-Americans in the 1960s and 1970s -- the most offensive bits of rhetoric are off the table, but there is plenty that remains in the form of easily identifiable codewords. "Israel-firster" is just another way to assert the old antisemitic claim of dual loyalties. "AIPAC-led congress" is just another way to assert the old antisemitic claim of the shadow Jewish hand that runs the government via payoffs. And so on.

      Just because you don't know the memes doesn't mean they don't exist. They do, and they have a long, long lineage.

      I can't tell you how many times I've seen this played out:

      Person A lets his anti-Zionism slide into antisemitism.

      Person B calls him out for it.

      Person A yells, "See, you're only calling me an antisemite because I've criticized Israel."

      I've seen that play out, here and elsewhere, many many many more times than I've seen the "playing the antisemitism card" tactic you describe.

      •  I don't think that anyone (0+ / 0-)

        is claiming that anti semitism, or anti arabist bigotry,  isn't a factor in the path to finding an US policy to the matter that makes sense and seres the interests of the US, and the desires of the country.

        Elements of both sides seek to mobilize both arguments to discredit the other's argument.

        I think most of us can discriminate between bogus arguments of bigotry, discrediting other's arguments on the basis of bigotry and those who are true bigots.  I suspect there aren't many here.  

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