The Need for Israel Solidarity Rallies


Working my arse off since the Gaza war began a little more than 2 weeks ago, I have been confronted by many people concerning the abundance, or lack of (depending who you ask), Israel Solidarity Rallies. The organization I work for, StandWithUs (www.standwithus.org), has been on the front lines in organizing or assisting the organizers of these rallies around the world. 

But for what purpose?

Many people have approached me and said, “Dani, what’s the point? What does this accomplish?” I often feel this way as at the rally itself we often see loud, sometimes obnoxiously loud, vocal rally-goers or protesters. Sometimes we have a screaming match between the opposing sides… and sometimes, when all marketing has failed, no one shows up.

And so, even though I often find myself at numerous rallies in support of Israel, I also find them awkward. Is this the best thing I can do with my time? 

After much inner searching and analysis, I’ve come to my conclusion:

YES. We need these Israel Solidarity rallies. 

  1. Today, we live in a world where Jews are so disconnected from Israel. When Israel is in a war for its survival, like it always is, few outside of Israel make noise about it. Namely, it is the same few loud mouths, i.e. myself and the other activists that push out 90% of the information. However, with the rise of the Internet, we are seeing more non-activist types getting in on the action. These rallies give our community a public channel to show our support for Israel. Furthermore, they show the rest of our ignorant community that many of us, in the thousands, choose to spend an hour or two on the street, publicly supporting Israel. This is a morale booster at the bare minimum. 
  2. The Media.      Believe it or not, Israel rallies are a great way to get positive press for Israel, as well as negative press for Hamas, all at the same time. It gives us an opportunity to make some noise, and for people to actually hear it. (We must assume that the rally organizers are providing proper signs, posters, and slogans, to effectively support Israel. People alone won’t do the trick. For effective signs see http://standwithus.org/signs.) At the rally itself, you may not get the feeling that you are making a difference, but you are. Wait a few hours, go home, and watch the local news. Go online. Coverage of your rally to support Israel has just affected thousands or millions at home watching. Maybe we taught some people about Hamas rockets, the plight of Sderot, or the (gasp) worldwide war on terror. 
  3. How awful does it look when anti-Israel forces show up in droves to denounce Israel? They chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!” I don’t mind that they chant this publicly. It shows their true intentions – i.e. to wipe Israel off the map, to have the land Judenrein “Free of Jews”. Their racist chants to “Kill all Jews” (or “Kill all Juice” from the real ignorant racists), are frightening but also an eye opener to us Jews, and lovers of Israel. If we do not stand up for Israel publicly, who will? If we do not show these haters of freedom and democracy that we are not scared of their threats of violence, we will collectively succumb to terrorism, or even the threat of terrorism. It is because of these anti-Israel / anti-Democracy / anti-American/Canadian/British/Australian rally goers that we MUST stand up, across the street, and show our support.
We must get up there and wave our flags, chant down terrorism and Hamas, and show the free world that people still care. 
These past few days and weeks we’ve seen some amazing rallies in support of Israel all over the world. Unfortunately, we are outnumbered by our Arab bretheren who have filled the streets in our urban areas. We must not let this get us down or let it pressure Israel. We must show Israel that we still care. If we show the world we are united, we will prevail. 
To find out where the local rallies are, please visit www.standwithus.org. If you have organized a rally and it is not listed there, please let us know.


41 Comments

  1. Moish

    1/13/2009 at 12:13 am

    You make some very good points. And I agree rallies are important. But a the same time they just don’t make news in the same way anti-israel protests do. Any ideas why this might be so?
    Also why are the rallies ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ Israel? Why can’t jews come out with a vociferous anti Hamas rally in fornt of the Iranian Consulate to the UN, or the Palestinian observer, or even the venezuelen consulate? I realize it sounds better to be pro rather then anti- something. But somehow I feel having an anti- Hamas rally in front of the Iranian consulate, where people are loud, and maybe even a little violent, would certainly cause a stir.

    Your last point is very poignant! I head at hese palestinian rallies the Khyabar chant (“O Jews of Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning). The army of Mohammed is returning to slaughter Jews. This is very scary coming within a city that has one of the largest Jewish populations in the world. This really is no longer about Israel. Having a loud and angry protest (in front of several consulates) against this kind of rhetoric wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

    Just a thought. Great post, thanx!

  2. blip

    1/13/2009 at 1:55 am

    There must be a stronger and better method to show our unity and strength rather then standing in a mob. It does nothing and we can’t try to one up ANSWER and all those fools. We must be smart and change minds, and get our message out through better more effective means instead. You can bus in Yeshiva students to stand around and socialize, or pose for pictures with their protest signs…. but it does nothing. Jews with Zionist politics can not be passive any longer. We must find non-violent means to confront what has become a very scary climate for Jews around the world.

    p.s.. Why does Stand With Us literally just stand? Where are the marches?!

  3. xisnotx

    1/13/2009 at 2:13 am

    “Why can’t jews come out with a vociferous anti Hamas rally in fornt of the Iranian Consulate to the UN, or the Palestinian observer, ”

    the palestinian observer is loyal to the fatah gov’t in ramallah, which is eagerly beating the heads of protestors who demonstrate for gaza.

  4. karen

    1/13/2009 at 2:27 am

    oh my god… what is wrong with you? the shoa was over sooo many years ago… the state of israel was established by an international community eager to show you that you were not alone. yet you persist in the myth that you stand alone in a world that perennially treats you as victim. shame on you… the trouble you are having with hamas and with the plo before them is only brought about by your callous, arrogant zionism that has caused you to treat the palestinian with contempt since 1948. shame on you… you who have endured the shoa and who were given sanctuary in palestine went on to enact a shoa against them and now just like the jews rose up against the nazis in the warsaw ghetto the palestinians rise up against you from the gaza ghetto you have condemned them to. shame on you

  5. themiddle

    1/13/2009 at 4:59 am

    Oh Karen, shut up and learn some history. Or at least go troll elsewhere.

  6. karen

    1/13/2009 at 6:47 am

    my understanding of history is just fine. yours however, like other fundamentalists, is distorted by invented tradition and conditioning and is no longer history but myth… a myth that enables you to arrogantly and callously treat palistinians like sub humans (sound familiar) and commit war crimes with impunity…. shame on you

  7. themiddle

    1/13/2009 at 7:48 am

    No Karen, shame on you. Your knowledge of history, based on your little comment, includes some serious and fundamental errors. Since you don’t know what you’re talking about, it would be prudent of you to shut up and go study a little. Please refrain from doing so on the internet and go get some books out of your library. You will find some with anti-Israel viewpoints but at least you will know more about the history of the conflict.

    As for treating Palestinians like sub-humans, I’d say that people like me treat the Palestinians as full equals. People like me have sought to negotiate and come to a peaceful arrangement with the Palestinians…an arrangement they rejected and continue to reject.

    Regarding war crimes, as far as I can see, Israel has been careful to act as ethically as possible in this dense and populated area. The contrast with the Palestinian leadership which encourages attacks against Israeli civilians couldn’t be clearer. Those are the people you support: people who launch rockets at civilian centers with the intent of harming civilian Israelis; people who send suicide bombers into civilian centers with the goal of hurting as many Jews as they can find; people who hold a POW for two years without allowing a single international representative to even see him. Shame on you.

  8. Chutzpah

    1/13/2009 at 10:52 am

    Rally for Whirled Peace with a song some of you love to hate:
    benjerry.com/i...

  9. ML

    1/13/2009 at 12:52 pm

    Karen and The Middle.

    Do you see the irony in reference to the author’s feelings on the matter?

    If not, please, by all means, continue shouting at each other.

  10. Pingback: Mixed Multitudes - My Jewish Learning: Exploring Judaism & Jewish Life » Blog Archive » Dumb and Dumbererer

  11. JackieBlue

    1/13/2009 at 11:37 pm

    First time poster, long time reader :)

    I found myself asking the same questions. We’ve had a number here already in S. Florida. One did turn ugly and a number of people were arrested. But we’ve had two on Miami Beach at the Holocaust Memorial that were excellent, well organized and very peaceful. 1000s came to each. Many guests spoke, rabbis, congressional leaders (Dem and Rep alike) and in Davie (near Ft. Laud) there was even an IDF commander. Here’s the link from the Herald.

    miamiherald.co...

    But I did find myself asking, “Is it helping?” And I have to say, absolutely it is. I started to remember, back in the 70s, the plight of the Soviet Jews. I was a pre-teen at the time living in a small town in WI with an even smaller Jewish population. I’d have to ask my mother if there were rallies in our town, I don’t recall. There were many across the nation. But for me, every week at services and in Sunday School the focus was on Soviet Jewry. As kids, we wrote letters, raised money, made banners and learned more about our history, our people and immediate families in distress. Maybe as adults we get cyncical about it, but awareness and the grassroots efforts changed things politically. It also servers to strengthen and unify our own communities as well as teach others the truth about this fight. When I see the kids at these rallies, I hope they take away from it the same pride about our people that I did.

  12. Ben-David

    1/14/2009 at 1:21 am

    1) I cannot overstate the impact of pro-Israel rallies on morale here in Israel.

    Coverage of these rallies is the primary way most Israelis learn the opinion of their brethren in the diaspora. Most of the talking head “Jewish leaders” can’t speak Hebrew, so all the official pronouncements and lobbying are not at all visible.

    There is a lingering feeling here that left-liberal American Jews encouraged us to enter the Oslo peace process – partially to cement their own position as liberals – and have now abandoned us when the narrative no longer fits their needs.

    2) We have seen that the war of words and media coverage is almost as important as the physical war – and how media presentation can actually affect the battle.

    It’s very important to counterbalance the anti-Israel rallies. The mainstream media may ignore the protests, but local media NEVER does.

  13. themiddle

    1/14/2009 at 3:54 am

    Hey ML, the irony is finding moral equivalence between my “shouting” and Karen’s.

  14. Hinny

    1/14/2009 at 11:55 am

    guardian.co.uk...
    How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe
    Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state’s legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions
    Avi Shlaim
    The Guardian, Wednesday 7 January 2009
    Article history
    The only way to make sense of Israel’s senseless war in Gaza is through understanding the historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On 2 June 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to the foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by “an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders”. I used to think that this judgment was too harsh but Israel’s vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush administration’s complicity in this assault, have reopened the question.

    I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and brutal military occupations of modern times.

    Four decades of Israeli control did incalculable damage to the economy of the Gaza Strip. With a large population of 1948 refugees crammed into a tiny strip of land, with no infrastructure or natural resources, Gaza’s prospects were never bright. Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic under-development but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. To use the Biblical phrase, Israel turned the people of Gaza into the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods. The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.

    Gaza is a classic case of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Jewish settlements in occupied territories are immoral, illegal and an insurmountable obstacle to peace. They are at once the instrument of exploitation and the symbol of the hated occupation. In Gaza, the Jewish settlers numbered only 8,000 in 2005 compared with 1.4 million local residents. Yet the settlers controlled 25% of the territory, 40% of the arable land and the lion’s share of the scarce water resources. Cheek by jowl with these foreign intruders, the majority of the local population lived in abject poverty and unimaginable misery. Eighty per cent of them still subsist on less than $2 a day. The living conditions in the strip remain an affront to civilised values, a powerful precipitant to resistance and a fertile breeding ground for political extremism.

    In August 2005 a Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon staged a unilateral Israeli pullout from Gaza, withdrawing all 8,000 settlers and destroying the houses and farms they had left behind. Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement, conducted an effective campaign to drive the Israelis out of Gaza. The withdrawal was a humiliation for the Israeli Defence Forces. To the world, Sharon presented the withdrawal from Gaza as a contribution to peace based on a two-state solution. But in the year after, another 12,000 Israelis settled on the West Bank, further reducing the scope for an independent Palestinian state. Land-grabbing and peace-making are simply incompatible. Israel had a choice and it chose land over peace.

    The real purpose behind the move was to redraw unilaterally the borders of Greater Israel by incorporating the main settlement blocs on the West Bank to the state of Israel. Withdrawal from Gaza was thus not a prelude to a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority but a prelude to further Zionist expansion on the West Bank. It was a unilateral Israeli move undertaken in what was seen, mistakenly in my view, as an Israeli national interest. Anchored in a fundamental rejection of the Palestinian national identity, the withdrawal from Gaza was part of a long-term effort to deny the Palestinian people any independent political existence on their land.

    Israel’s settlers were withdrawn but Israeli soldiers continued to control all access to the Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. Gaza was converted overnight into an open-air prison. From this point on, the Israeli air force enjoyed unrestricted freedom to drop bombs, to make sonic booms by flying low and breaking the sound barrier, and to terrorise the hapless inhabitants of this prison.

    Israel likes to portray itself as an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarianism. Yet Israel has never in its entire history done anything to promote democracy on the Arab side and has done a great deal to undermine it. Israel has a long history of secret collaboration with reactionary Arab regimes to suppress Palestinian nationalism. Despite all the handicaps, the Palestinian people succeeded in building the only genuine democracy in the Arab world with the possible exception of Lebanon. In January 2006, free and fair elections for the Legislative Council of the Palestinian Authority brought to power a Hamas-led government. Israel, however, refused to recognise the democratically elected government, claiming that Hamas is purely and simply a terrorist organisation.

    America and the EU shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed with a significant part of the international community imposing economic sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.

    As so often in the tragic history of Palestine, the victims were blamed for their own misfortunes. Israel’s propaganda machine persistently purveyed the notion that the Palestinians are terrorists, that they reject coexistence with the Jewish state, that their nationalism is little more than antisemitism, that Hamas is just a bunch of religious fanatics and that Islam is incompatible with democracy. But the simple truth is that the Palestinian people are a normal people with normal aspirations. They are no better but they are no worse than any other national group. What they aspire to, above all, is a piece of land to call their own on which to live in freedom and dignity.

    Like other radical movements, Hamas began to moderate its political programme following its rise to power. From the ideological rejectionism of its charter, it began to move towards pragmatic accommodation of a two-state solution. In March 2007, Hamas and Fatah formed a national unity government that was ready to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with Israel. Israel, however, refused to negotiate with a government that included Hamas.

    It continued to play the old game of divide and rule between rival Palestinian factions. In the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to weaken Fatah, the secular nationalist movement led by Yasser Arafat. Now Israel began to encourage the corrupt and pliant Fatah leaders to overthrow their religious political rivals and recapture power. Aggressive American neoconservatives participated in the sinister plot to instigate a Palestinian civil war. Their meddling was a major factor in the collapse of the national unity government and in driving Hamas to seize power in Gaza in June 2007 to pre-empt a Fatah coup.

    The war unleashed by Israel on Gaza on 27 December was the culmination of a series of clashes and confrontations with the Hamas government. In a broader sense, however, it is a war between Israel and the Palestinian people, because the people had elected the party to power. The declared aim of the war is to weaken Hamas and to intensify the pressure until its leaders agree to a new ceasefire on Israel’s terms. The undeclared aim is to ensure that the Palestinians in Gaza are seen by the world simply as a humanitarian problem and thus to derail their struggle for independence and statehood.

    The timing of the war was determined by political expediency. A general election is scheduled for 10 February and, in the lead-up to the election, all the main contenders are looking for an opportunity to prove their toughness. The army top brass had been champing at the bit to deliver a crushing blow to Hamas in order to remove the stain left on their reputation by the failure of the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in July 2006. Israel’s cynical leaders could also count on apathy and impotence of the pro-western Arab regimes and on blind support from President Bush in the twilight of his term in the White House. Bush readily obliged by putting all the blame for the crisis on Hamas, vetoing proposals at the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire and issuing Israel with a free pass to mount a ground invasion of Gaza.

    As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim. This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath but the Biblical image has been inverted – a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless and overbearing Israeli Goliath. The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim, “crying and shooting”.

    To be sure, Hamas is not an entirely innocent party in this conflict. Denied the fruit of its electoral victory and confronted with an unscrupulous adversary, it has resorted to the weapon of the weak – terror. Militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad kept launching Qassam rocket attacks against Israeli settlements near the border with Gaza until Egypt brokered a six-month ceasefire last June. The damage caused by these primitive rockets is minimal but the psychological impact is immense, prompting the public to demand protection from its government. Under the circumstances, Israel had the right to act in self-defence but its response to the pinpricks of rocket attacks was totally disproportionate. The figures speak for themselves. In the three years after the withdrawal from Gaza, 11 Israelis were killed by rocket fire. On the other hand, in 2005-7 alone, the IDF killed 1,290 Palestinians in Gaza, including 222 children.

    Whatever the numbers, killing civilians is wrong. This rule applies to Israel as much as it does to Hamas, but Israel’s entire record is one of unbridled and unremitting brutality towards the inhabitants of Gaza. Israel also maintained the blockade of Gaza after the ceasefire came into force which, in the view of the Hamas leaders, amounted to a violation of the agreement. During the ceasefire, Israel prevented any exports from leaving the strip in clear violation of a 2005 accord, leading to a sharp drop in employment opportunities. Officially, 49.1% of the population is unemployed. At the same time, Israel restricted drastically the number of trucks carrying food, fuel, cooking-gas canisters, spare parts for water and sanitation plants, and medical supplies to Gaza. It is difficult to see how starving and freezing the civilians of Gaza could protect the people on the Israeli side of the border. But even if it did, it would still be immoral, a form of collective punishment that is strictly forbidden by international humanitarian law.

    The brutality of Israel’s soldiers is fully matched by the mendacity of its spokesmen. Eight months before launching the current war on Gaza, Israel established a National Information Directorate. The core messages of this directorate to the media are that Hamas broke the ceasefire agreements; that Israel’s objective is the defence of its population; and that Israel’s forces are taking the utmost care not to hurt innocent civilians. Israel’s spin doctors have been remarkably successful in getting this message across. But, in essence, their propaganda is a pack of lies.

    A wide gap separates the reality of Israel’s actions from the rhetoric of its spokesmen. It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It di d so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November that killed six Hamas men. Israel’s objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers. And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a three-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

    The Biblical injunction of an eye for an eye is savage enough. But Israel’s insane offensive against Gaza seems to follow the logic of an eye for an eyelash. After eight days of bombing, with a death toll of more than 400 Palestinians and four Israelis, the gung-ho cabinet ordered a land invasion of Gaza the consequences of which are incalculable.

    No amount of military escalation can buy Israel immunity from rocket attacks from the military wing of Hamas. Despite all the death and destruction that Israel has inflicted on them, they kept up their resistance and they kept firing their rockets. This is a movement that glorifies victimhood and martyrdom. There is simply no military solution to the conflict between the two communities. The problem with Israel’s concept of security is that it denies even the most elementary security to the other community. The only way for Israel to achieve security is not through shooting but through talks with Hamas, which has repeatedly declared its readiness to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the Jewish state within its pre-1967 borders for 20, 30, or even 50 years. Israel has rejected this offer for the same reason it spurned the Arab League peace plan of 2002, which is still on the table: it involves concessions and compromises.

    This brief review of Israel’s record over the past four decades makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that it has become a rogue state with “an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders”. A rogue state habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism – the use of violence against civilians for political purposes. Israel fulfils all of these three criteria; the cap fits and it must wear it. Israel’s real aim is not peaceful coexistence with its Palestinian neighbours but military domination. It keeps compounding the mistakes of the past with new and more disastrous ones. Politicians, like everyone else, are of course free to repeat the lies and mistakes of the past. But it is not mandatory to do so.

    • Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford and the author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World

  15. Kung Fu Jew 18

    1/14/2009 at 1:20 pm

    Two things:

    This is how people outside the Israel rallies see the Israel rallies: alternet.org/s...

    And Israeli news just announced that at the conclusion of all this fighting, Hamas is only damaged and not defeated. Up on NY Times or Haaretz. But Israel and Hamas are now finally settling on their ceasefire. I. Told. You. So.

  16. dumbledoresarmy

    1/14/2009 at 8:41 pm

    I agree – and I’m a non-Jew, a Gentile Christian, living in Australia. It isn’t only Jews who are looking for an opportunity to come out, stand up and be counted! There are a lot of us Gentiles who understand perfectly why Israel has to fight and defend herself against the neverending Jihad. Some of those Gentiles attended the rally for Israel in Trafalgar Square just last weekend and had a great time.

    I don’t live in Melbourne; if I did you can bet I would have been at the pro-Israel rally that was held there. You see, some of us understand that the agenda of groups like Hamas (I’ve read the Quran; I’ve read Hamas’ ghastly genocidal supremacist ‘Covenant’ and the equally jihad-suffused PLO Charter) goes way, way beyond just the destruction of Israel and its reduction to a Muslim sharia theocracy; these people are part of the Global Jihad that intends nothing less than the conquest of the planet, for Islam, Islam uber alles. (See Quran Surah 9, esp. verses 5 and 29, for the program).

    I’d like to see Resist the Jihad! candlelit/ torchlit marches in the embassy precincts of major cities round the world: taking in each of the embassies of those non-Muslim countries that have suffered jihadi violence or are battling jihadist insurrections – e.g. Russia (remember Beslan?), India (Mumbay), Philippines, Spain, Netherlands (murder of Theo van Gogh), Denmark (cartoon rage; plot to kill 73 year old Kurt Westergaard), Thailand, Serbia, East Timor, and finish up at the Israeli Embassy. Messages of support and solidarity to be delivered at each one. In the same ‘tour’, messages of defiance could be delivered to the representatives of such jihad-enabling states as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria…

  17. hinny

    1/15/2009 at 12:18 am

    Read people….with over 1000 people killed in less than 20 days, ignorance can longer excuse ur hate…..read, u might find out that ur the one brainwashed with hate, just like Avi did….

  18. Rabbi Yonah

    1/15/2009 at 12:57 am

    Ah yes, Avi Shlaim claiming to be a big Zionist until the recent war in Gaza. This is so funny.

    As a graduate of Oxford, I know of him well.

    He is a total revisionist anti-Zionist that left Israel at age 22 and identifies more with the Arabs of his native Iraq, than he does of his fellow people and countryman.

    He is absolutely twisted in his analysis of history.

  19. Ben-David

    1/15/2009 at 5:10 am

    Hinny – you must be new at this, dear, so…

    Don’t bother quoting the Grauniad in rational, non-left-wing forums.

    Unless you’re OK with not being taken seriously.

  20. hinny

    1/15/2009 at 8:16 am

    It’s the Guardian dear, and your comment says more about your fascist, narrow-minded, mentality than it does my lack of experience….

  21. karen

    1/15/2009 at 9:07 am

    well said! but sadly trying to break through fundamentalist brainwashing is like trying to break rock with sunshine…. it hates light to be shone onto it… it is a shame because israel will not survive for long NOT because of any of its enemies but because of the arrogance and hard heartedness of its zionist citizens…. judaism suffers because of zionism… the two are very different and the jews of israel will suffer a fate brought about by zionists within her borders unless they finally see that only diologue with hamas not violence against gaza is what will secure israel for the future

  22. Tom Morrissey

    1/15/2009 at 11:14 am

    That arrogance and hard-heartedness contrasts, of course, with the boundless tenderness of Hamas.

  23. Tom Morrissey

    1/15/2009 at 11:28 am

    ….With Jewlicious-endorsed Barack about to bring some sort of change we can believe in, this may be of interest, courtesy the PEW research folks:

    “By nearly three-to-one (55% to 20%), Republicans approve of the military action Israel has taken in the Gaza Strip. Independents, by a smaller margin (44% to 29%), also approve of Israel’s actions. However, a plurality of Democrats (45%) disapproves of Israel’s military campaign, while just 29% express a positive opinion.”

  24. karen

    1/15/2009 at 12:45 pm

    it says a lot about the intelligence of most republicans that they voted into office twice a man thats so dumb he probably doesnt know where israel is on the map and probably thinks hamas is a dip made from chick peas. if you are using republican support to validate your sense of moral correctness concerning israels military action in gaza that is a sorry state of affairs. most ordinary republican americans are fundamentalist christians who support anything israel does out of narrow minded belief that by supporting the jews they hasten christ’s return to earth …. all republican support statistics show you is that the course of action you are on is likely, in their eyes, to bring about armegeddon and bring about jesus christs rule on earth…. something im sure you are thrilled about

  25. Tom Morrissey

    1/15/2009 at 12:53 pm

    Betcha He shows up in Gaza City by Monday at the latest– just in time to head off the Inauguration!

  26. karen

    1/15/2009 at 1:23 pm

    i wouldnt be at all surprised if he did…. maybe someone will have the sense to throw a shoe at him like they did on his goodbye visit to iraq…. i wouldnt be at all suprised if he just cant figure out why anybody in iraq would be mad at him!!! youve got to love him… it takes hard work to be that dumb!!!

  27. Tom Morrissey

    1/15/2009 at 1:27 pm

    Not him, Him, you goof.

  28. The Rationalist

    1/15/2009 at 1:46 pm

    We also need Intact Penis Solidarity Rallies.

  29. Tom Morrissey

    1/15/2009 at 1:51 pm

    That’s off-topic (though undeniably important, at least to this anti-breast implant activist).

  30. Ben-David

    1/15/2009 at 2:00 pm

    From the Guardian Wikipedia page:

    The nickname The Grauniad for the paper originated with the satirical magazine Private Eye. It came about because of The Guardian’s reputation for frequent and sometimes unintentionally amusing typographical errors, hence the popular myth that the paper once misspelled its own name on the page one masthead as The Gaurdian, though many recall the more inventive The Grauniad. The domain grauniad.co.uk is registered to the paper, and redirects to its website at guardian.co.uk.
    = = = = = = = = = = =

    … more to the point – from the same page:

    Editorial articles in The Guardian are generally to the left of the political spectrum. This is reflected in the paper’s readership: a MORI poll taken between April and June 2000 showed that 80% of Guardian readers were Labour Party voters; according to another MORI poll taken in 2004, 44% of Guardian readers were Labour voters and 37% Liberal Democrat voters.

    There are many stereotypes, but perhaps the most prominent is that of the Labour-voting middle-class Guardian reader with centre-left/left-wing politics rooted in the 1960s, working in the public sector or academia, sometimes eating lentils and muesli, living in north London (especially Camden and Islington), wearing sandals, sometimes believing in alternative medicine and natural medicine though more often atheistic or non-religious and rational…. This might be illustrated by Labour MP Kevin Hughes’s largely rhetorical question in the House of Commons on 19 November 2001:

    “Does my Right Hon. Friend find it bizarre – as I do – that the yoghurt- and muesli-eating, Guardian-reading fraternity are only too happy to protect the human rights of people engaged in terrorist acts, but never once do they talk about the human rights of those who are affected by them?”

    The stereotype of The Guardian reader is a persistent feature of British political and social discourse. Doctors have used the “doctor slang” acronym GROLIES (Guardian Reader Of Low Intelligence in Ethnic Skirt) on patient notes.

    The stereotype is occasionally referenced self-deprecatingly by Guardian readers in the newspaper’s letters page, such as opening a response to a surprising claim in a recent article with “I nearly choked on my muesli” or some variation on that phrase.

  31. Tom Morrissey

    1/15/2009 at 2:10 pm

    Read the Guardian for its music critics (John Fordham and Andrew Clements are excellent) and ignore the rest.

  32. themiddle

    1/15/2009 at 3:20 pm

    Tom, that stat was scary. However, if the Dems who were polled were like Karen here, I’m not too worried.

  33. themiddle

    1/15/2009 at 3:23 pm

    BD, what the hell are you doing quoting Wikipedia as if they are authoritative?

  34. Ben-David

    1/15/2009 at 3:35 pm

    That Wiki page seems to have been put up by the publishers themselves.

  35. Texas Jew

    1/15/2009 at 5:22 pm

    “Israel” rallies are pointless the same way that it’s pointless for a rally cheering the New York Yankees to defeat Michigan St. in Baseball. It’s an advanced military waging a war against a captive slave population. This isn’t even like 2006. The majority of the civilized world stands in opposition to a terror state who’s allies are Christian Zionists & U.S. neoconservatives; such great company you keep.

    The only people who’s survival is in danger are the people trapped in Gaza. This isn’t just about the settlements anymore. Now, all Israelis have blood on their hands.

  36. JackieBlue

    1/15/2009 at 7:28 pm

    Hi again. Re that Alternet video, seems most of those “interviews” where cherry picked and last only a few seconds. Those people could have been speaking specifically about Hamas. One man, very clearly specified “Islamic extremists”. There were some that said wipe them all out. Maybe 5, 10? Out of 1000s? And none of them publically displayed those feelings until asked. Compare to the anti-Israeli protests with bloodied children on posters and stomping and burning of Israeli flags. What’s wrong with the “$ for Food, not Kassams” sign? That maybe Hamas could have devoted some of their cash to their infrastructure rather than the destruction of Jews? And now they’re broke. I mean for goodness sake, they sit on the Mediterranean, one of the most prized pieces of property in the world. They could have had a thriving tourist industry, an economy for their people if they simply renounced the violence.

    That idiot interviewer had the nerve to ask why the IDF is “bombing schools and hospitals”. First, the IDF returned fire that came from Hamas firing from the school to begin with! Many people were killed by the traps Hamas set for the IDF in that school. Hamas also hid out in Shifa Hospital disguised as doctors and nurses, a hospital built by Israel, btw. haaretz.com/ha... Even being reprimanded by their OWN people for firing within civilian centers! israeltoday.co... Why does Hamas hide among the sick and innocent, putting them directly in harm’s way?  Why do they bury weapons under schools israeltoday.co... and youtube.com/wa... and keep weapons in mosques? youtube.com/wa... I don’t recall the Geneva Convention allowing any of that.

    But the evil Israelis, after 7 years of this (one could say 60 years give or take some more peaceful times), have the audacity to do something to stop them. Over 4000 rockets and 4000 mortar shells fired into Israel (terrorism-info..., starting at p5) 5000 in Sderot alone, injuring, maiming and killing 100s, multiple ceasefires, all broken by Hamas. Defending Gaza just seems like an immoral stance to me.

    And Mr. Texan, if Mexico was firing rockets at you, it would take you about 3 seconds to think of how to stop it.

  37. LB

    1/16/2009 at 1:17 am

    Texas Jew – the only thing with which I’d agree is that rallies are relatively pointless. Beyond that – all you’ve said is pretty much just drivel. 1 – you clearly have no understanding of what neoconservatism is. 2 – captive slave population? oh please. 3 – all israelis have blood on their hands? if that is your argument, then let’s take a step back – by that logic, all palestinians have blood on their hands. blood from murder, not from any other kind of deaths. so by that logic – no civilians have been killed in gaza – are you comfortable with that conclusion?

  38. MAKOM

    1/17/2009 at 2:02 pm

    As expected, antisemitic attacks are up throughout the world, synagogues are attacked, and Jews on every campus are subject to increasingly fierce hostility. We have been here before. Justified or unjustified, the entire Jewish world pays the price of Israel’s actions, however legitimate they may be.

    Our question is this: Does the Israeli government ever take this into account when making its decisions?

    If the diaspora is expected to take the rap for Israel’s actions, and to come out in support, shouldn’t it also be consulted at some point?

    If there is ‘taxation’, shouldn’t there also be representation?

    Israel excites, alienates and compels. How are we as Jews implicated in Israel’s achievements, mistakes, and challenges? MAKOM invites you to join an ongoing conversation about hugging and wrestling with Israel.

    makom.haaretz....

  39. themiddle

    1/17/2009 at 2:10 pm

    Well, maybe if Ha’aretz toned down some of the drivel from Hass and Gideon Levy, there would be less hatred out there toward Israel. Maybe Ha’aretz shoud consult with diaspora Jewry before publishing the opinions of people who only find fault with Israel and everything it does to a greater degree than even its enemies?

  40. LB

    1/17/2009 at 4:43 pm

    MAKOM – authentic modern Zionism does not recognize such a taxation – all Jews belong in Israel, and as a representative of an Israeli newspaper, I would hope you would hold the same view.

    The Israeli government’s actions should be undertaken in order to protect its citizens. Period. Potential citizens who have not thrown in their lot with Israel need not be a factor as such – but need to be brought home.

    Last, and perhaps most importantly – the diaspora is not “expected to take the rap.” Look at history objectively – has antisemitism truly risen since 1948? No. In fact, prior to 1948 antisemitism was FAR greater than now, so to blame Israel for the rise of antisemitism is just plain wrong.

  41. Pingback: War in Gaza Update #15 « Random Thoughts- Do They Have Meaning?

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