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Feb 18 2014

The Israel lobby’s rearguard actions

The Israel lobby in the US has had its hands full recently trying to get its agenda of total US support of hardline Israeli government policies implemented, and is fighting back rising criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as well as of its own role in influencing US foreign policy. In doing so it has become much more visible than it once was and has been subjected to much more criticism.

This is a dramatic switch whose origins can be traced to 2007 and the publication of the book The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy by University of Chicago professor of political science John J. Mearsheimer and Harvard University professor of international affairs Stephen M. Walt, that brought the topic of the lobby out of the shadows and into the open. The predictable smear campaign against them as anti-Semites in order to shut them up not only failed to gain traction, it made the heavy handed-tactics of the lobby itself a focus of discussion. (I have a detailed review of the book here, here, and here for those who do not have access to the book.)

The lobby is still a potent force in US politics but not as much as before as can be seen from recent setbacks. It has failed in its attempts (so far at least) in trying to foment a US attack on Iran. It then resorted to trying to sabotage the P5+1 talks with Iran by trying to get the US Congress to increase sanctions on Iran while the talks were still going on, thus guaranteeing their collapse. But when it encountered strong public opinion against the move and a statement by president Obama that he would veto it, they had to reverse course and persuade their many clients in Congress not to try and ram it through.

The latest setback for the lobby was when the American Studies Association (ASA) in December 2013 voted by a 2-1 margin in favor of a resolution condemning “the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law, as well as in supporting the systematic discrimination against Palestinians, which has had documented devastating impact on the overall well-being, the exercise of political and human rights, the freedom of movement, and the educational opportunities of Palestinians” and that “Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights and negatively impact the working conditions of Palestinian scholars and students”. The resolution called for a ban on “formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions” and that are “a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights and negatively impact the working conditions of Palestinian scholars and students”. The ASA also published an editorial comment along with statements from prominent members.

While not explicitly endorsing the BDS movement, the resolution supported some if its goals. The BDS movement gained wide publicity when Stephen Hawking canceled a visit to Israel to attend a conference. Elizabeth Redden has an article in Inside Higher Ed that explains why academic organizations like the ASA are taking the calls for boycott seriously.

This has resulted in the lobby pulling out all the stops to punish the ASA lest other academic groups get the same idea. They surely do not want to see a repeat of something similar to the academic boycott of South Africa during its apartheid era. Members of the lobby have pushed for the US Congress to pass laws withholding funds from organizations that support the boycott. The New York State Senate passed a bill banning state aid to groups that support the boycott but that seems to have stalled in the lower house as a result of protests against such a move. It is quite extraordinary to try to make the government act against a scholarly association purely for passing a resolution.

But the lobby is active on other fronts as well. When the Modern Languages Association (MLA) ran a panel at their recent conference titled “Academic Boycotts: A Conversation About Israel and Palestine” merely to explain what the BDS movement was all about without even having a boycott resolution before it, they received a barrage of criticism. The president of the organization Marianne Hirsch said, “I became the target of an intimidation campaign that took the form of hate-email blasts, public attacks, personal letters and phone calls, and insistent appeals to stop one of the convention’s 800 sessions before it was held.”

As she says:

The specific resolution on the agenda of the MLA’s Delegate Assembly concerned restrictions on the freedom of travel for American students and faculty members of Palestinian descent to universities in the West Bank. Those restrictions are documented on the U.S. State Department website, and the resolution asked the MLA to urge the State Department to “contest” them.

The messages that poured in from individuals and groups like Hillel and the Israel on Campus Coalition persisted in mischaracterizing, exaggerating, and distorting both the session and the resolution.

She adds:

As a daughter of Holocaust survivors and as someone who has been doing scholarly work on the cultural memory of the Holocaust for over two decades, I was viscerally upset to read these accusations and to see Nazi propaganda images on my computer screen. But I was more disheartened by how American Jewish organizations and their members insisted on violating the painful history of Jews, including that of my parents, to foreclose discussion of the policies of the state of Israel and their impact on Israeli and Palestinian education.

The irony is, as she says, that the MLA is particularly suited to have this kind of discussion.

When it comes to the topic of Israel and Palestine, discussion is curtailed before it begins. In a debate that is structured to allow only two clear-cut sides, words lose their meaning. And logic is twisted to stifle expression. Russell Berman, a professor at Stanford, said at an alternative panel, held off-site during the convention: “Criticism of Israeli policies or Zionism is not necessarily anti-Semitic. But the mere fact that one has anti-Zionist views does not prove that one is not anti-Semitic.”

Some words have become so inflammatory that their mere mention unleashes the extreme reactions we’ve been witnessing. “Boycott” is such a word, and, if we could discuss the constellation of issues to which that term applies, we could also put into historical perspective the call to boycott by Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and non-Jews. We could sort out how limited the practical effects of a boycott of institutions rather than individuals by scholarly associations like the ASA would be. We could sort out the ethics and politics of boycott as symbolic action. And we could explore alternative means of expressing solidarity with Palestinian colleagues, means that might be less divisive.

Many people have questioned the MLA’s right to intervene in politics. But isn’t it precisely our linguistic expertise that could help sort out the irreconcilable meanings of words, their irresponsible deployment, and the practices of silencing that ensue? [My italics-MS]

Hirsch concludes her piece by pointing out that it is role of academic organizations to have these difficult conversations and not avoid them for fear of repercussions.

To create the space for the difficult conversations we need to have now and in the future, we must get beyond the silences imposed in the name of academic freedom. We need our academic leaders, our university presidents, not to condemn our scholarly associations, but rather to protect our right to have and to sponsor those important conversations free from harassment campaigns and pre-emptive threats.

As we can see, there is movement in that direction. Conversations about Israel and the distorting effects of the lobby on that conversation that were unthinkable just a decade ago are now happening even within the formerly closed major establishment media much more frequently and by a much wider variety of people.

73 comments

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  1. 1
    Dunc

    In before colnago80: Everybody Hitler

    YOU and everyone you know is Adolf Hitler, it has been confirmed.

    Researchers found that you are exactly like Hitler in all the important ways, especially your dreadful haircut and your insatiable desire for genocide.

  2. 2
    stephenyeats

    I remember as a young man there was a campaign in Britain to get people to boycott Outspan fruit as this was imported from apartheid South Africa, and (as an example) to buy Jaffa oranges (from Israel) instead. I also remember protesting tours by South African cricketers, and the Springboks (South African Rugby Union). I am not sure if any of this had a major impact on the South Africa apartheid government (or the South African economy), but to take action of this sort certainly felt like making a contribution.

  3. 3
    Nick Gotts

    Dunc@1,

    And what’s more, your name isn’t Hitler at all, it’s Schicklgruber – I mean Frankenberger.

  4. 4
    colnago80

    http://www.stopbds.com/

  5. 5
    Marcus Ranum

    Most important is to call your financial advisor, if you have one, and ask them to make sure not to put your money into anything that benefits any apartheid state or state that is engaging in ethnic cleansing – including Israel. As usual, money talks louder than anything else.

    colnago80 writes:
    http://www.stopbds.com/

    The “Streisand Effect” would like to thank you. The more people who are yelling about “Stop BDS” the more likely it is someone will ask “what is BDS?”

  6. 6
    Marcus Ranum

    it’s Schicklgruber

    Wait, he’s PDQ Bach?

  7. 7
    colnago80

    Of course, Prof. Singham will immediately dispose of his computer if it has an Intel chip in it as Intel has a major facility in Israel, as will the other Israel bashers on this blog. I thought not.

  8. 8
    colnago80

    Of course, anyone using a PC will immediately remove the Microsoft operating system from their computer as Microsoft has a major facility in Israel. I thought not.

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    Of course, Prof. Singham will immediately dispose of his computer if it has an Intel chip in it as Intel has a major facility in Israel, as will the other Israel bashers on this blog. I thought not.

    (eyeroll) they’ve already gotten the money, dumb ass. The thing to do is to call congresspeople and complain about any corporate tax-breaks that those companies are getting as a result of exporting american jobs to an apartheid, racist state.

  10. 10
    Rob Grigjanis

    Thanks for the larf, Dunc.

  11. 11
    Marcus Ranum

    Colnago – it’s a long process. It took a long time to build momentum on South Africa. It’s going to take longer with Israel, because there are a lot of crazed tribalists like yourself who will continue to support Israel’s policies “right of wrong” I think it took 30 years or so for South Africa. The crazier you tribalists are, the worse it looks and the faster the process works. So, what you don’t understand is that you’re a “useful idiot” to help jam the overton window open. It’s not hard to look at someone like you, Mr 15 Megatons, and realize what a bunch of shit the US has been nurturing.

  12. 12
    colnago80

    Re Marcus Ranum

    So the Pennsylvania poopyhead, a road company Don Black, isn’t going to put his money where his mouth is and boycott Intel and Microsoft. I suppose he will also not forgo the use of Google, another corporation with a facility in Israel. Actions speak louder then words.

  13. 13
    colnago80

    Re Marcus Ranum

    I certainly expect that the Pennsylvania pinhead will also boycott all movies directed or produced by Steven Spielberg, starring Scarlet Johansson or Natalie Portman, and will cancel any Facebook account he might have.

  14. 14
    Mano Singham

    I think there was a big impact. The sporting and cultural ones especially hurt especially because South Africans were a cricket and rugby powerhouse and not being able to compete internationally was a blow.

  15. 15
    sailor1031

    slc1 master of the non-sequitur……

  16. 16
    colnago80

    Re sailor1031

    Hey, if you are going to boycott Israel, you can’t just pick on oranges and Sodastream.

  17. 17
    doublereed

    Boycott doesn’t really seem practical. I find it strange to be a ‘dirty word’ though. I’m also a bit confused on who you are trying to punish. I mean unless the companies are actually supporting the apartheid then I don’t see the point. Those could be companies that are against apartheid you are punishing.

    If anything, I would find boycotting American products that support AIPAC to be more practical…

    But preventing aid to organizations that happen to support a boycott? That’s even weirder!

    And what does Steven Spielberg or Zuckerberg have to do with Israel?

  18. 18
    wtfwhateverd00d

    I find the constant attacks on colnago80 to be the purest form of ad hominem.

    If you dislike what he argues, attack his argument.

    Don’t pride yourself on your valued comments that consist only of ad hominem attacks on other commenters.

  19. 19
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Many people have questioned the MLA’s right to intervene in politics. But isn’t it precisely our linguistic expertise that could help sort out the irreconcilable meanings of words, their irresponsible deployment, and the practices of silencing that ensue?

    This echoes a similar question that climate scientists are asking.

    When I was a physics student at a school staffed with Manhattan Project alumni, this was a frequent question. Not just at the school, but in email lists of physicists, engineers, and software developers (pre-Web).

    The sentiment and advice then was that academics, scientists, engineers, doctors, should of course be involved in the continuing education of the public, the press, and the politicians. But they should usually stop short of advocating policy, which was then best left to a conversation between the people and the politicians.

    It sounds a little naive, but the thought was that would make clear that the accuracy and the impartiality of the research came first.

  20. 20
    doublereed

    Sorry, my post is pretty ignorant of all the things that BDS does. Ignore it so I can learn more.

  21. 21
    colnago80

    Re doublereed @ #17

    Spielberg and Zuckerberg are both Jews who support Israel.

    Look folks, if you really think that boycotting Israel is the way to change its behavior, you have to hit them were it hurts. Oranges and Sodastream don’t amount to much. You have to boycott the big guys like Microsoft, Intel, and Google to convince them to pull their facilities out of Israel. That will get Bibi’s attention. The problem is that the Ranums and the Singhams of the world don’t want to be inconvenienced, which they would be if they boycotted firms like Microsoft, Google, and Intel.

  22. 22
    doublereed

    I couldn’t find anything about Spielberg or Zuckerberg and their support for Israeli settlements or Israeli policy. In fact, Spielberg was criticized by Zionist organizations with his film Munich. And I find it pretty disingenuous for you to use the phrase “support Israel” like that. Talk about vague terminology, jesus.

  23. 23
    patterson

    It’s early days yet col, the boycott will likely continue to pick up steam, especially with the crazy reactionary harassment and hyperbole from the nutjobbery. It’s possible that association with Israel will eventually become just too embarrassing to maintain even for companies like Microsoft and Intel. Who the hell would want to be associated with caged children.

  24. 24
    colnago80

    Re doublereed @ #22

    I don’t support Israeli settlements either nor do I support all aspects of Israeli policy and I am on the record as being a non-admirer of Bibi. However, Spielberg has been the subject of the Arab boycott for his support of Israel. The fact that some extremist Zionists claim otherwise is piffle. Spielberg put’s his money where his mouth is.

    http://goo.gl/2SA0Jq

  25. 25
    colnago80

    Re patterson @ #23

    Shorter patterson: The BDS will complete Frankenberger’s work.

  26. 26
    doublereed

    Gosh, colnago. I got you to sound far more sensible in @24 and then you just up and ruined it in @25.

    What don’t you like about Netanyahu?

  27. 27
    Mano Singham

    colnago80 repeatedly says that he is “on the record as being a non-admirer of Bibi” as if that were some sort of badge of honor, a vaccination against the possible charge that he is an unflinching supporter of everything Israel and its lobby does. Being critical of Netanyahu is an extremely low bar to cross that does not prove anything. It is like saying that one is not an admirer of George W. Bush.

  28. 28
    wtfwhateverd00d

    colnago80 repeatedly says that he is “on the record as being a non-admirer of Bibi” as if that were some sort of badge of honor, a vaccination against the possible charge that he is an unflinching supporter of everything Israel and its lobby does. Being critical of Netanyahu is an extremely low bar to cross that does not prove anything. It is like saying that one is not an admirer of George W. Bush.

    What would you have him say?

    “a vaccination against the possible charge that he is an unflinching supporter of everything Israel and its lobby does. ”

    “Possible charge” Are you serious?

    Let’s quote Dunc: “In before colnago80″

    In any thread relating to Israel, members of your commentariat go out of their way to make that charge. They make that charge early, often, and accompanied with ad hominem.

    There is no “possible” about it.

    So how would you have him respond?

    He tells you what his views are, you seem to dismiss that as vaccination. It seems as though in your mind, the charge is not only possible, but he has been convicted.

    I support Israel.
    I believe she is in a tough spot.
    In my interactions with Israelis I find them astute, informed, and insightful and so yes, I often defer my judgment to theirs about how to handle their own security. I figure they know more than I do.
    I think there is a lot of truth to the claim that if the Arabs laid down there arms tomorrow there would be peace, and that if Israel laid down her arms tomorrow, there would be no more Israel.
    And yet, I have long thought the settlements and impediment to peace.
    So no, I am not terribly sympathetic to the foreign policy of Netanyahu either.

    That said, liberal Americans and many liberal American Jews told me the wall was a horrible evil, but fact is, once the wall was built, terrorist attacks were reduced dramatically.

    And liberal Americans and many liberal American Jews told me Sharon was evil. But Sharon gave Gaza back and removed settlements.

    So as a liberal American Jew, I am now a bit hesitant to listen to other liberal Americans tell me what the future holds and what is evil and not evil. And so I often do defer to what Israelis have to say, as expressed through their ballots, as expressed on op-ed pages, as expressed around a beer.

    That’s not vaccination, that’s laying my cards on the table.

    I wish many of us here would have the intellectual honesty to do the same.

  29. 29
    colnago80

    Re doublereed @ #26

    I don’t like Bibi because he is a liar. As Arial Sharon once told him to his face, “you were born a liar”. As former French President Sarkozy was overheard to remark to President Obama, “I can’t stand him (Bibi), he’s such a liar”. Unfortunately, as President Obama replied to Sarkozy, we have to deal with him.

    You might note that my critics haven’t answered my call for a boycott of Microsoft, Intel, Google, Oracle, etc. Speaking of Oracle, CEO Larry Ellison is another fellow who put’s his money where his mouth is.

    http://goo.gl/BMu4d9

    Re Singham @ #27

    And Prof. Singham is an unflinching supporter of Israel bashers like Noam Chomsky, Phillip Weiss, Norman Finkelstein, Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, etc. Why not cite David Duke and Don Black, they don’t like Israel either.

  30. 30
    colnago80

    Here’s another side relative to the mess in Syria, which is a human rights tragedy possibly even exceeding North Korea. In todays Washington Post, two columnists, Michael Gerson and Richard Cohen blast the Obama administration for not doing something about Syria. Well, I’d like to do something about the situation in Syria but I haven’t the faintest idea what can be done constructively, and I don’t think Cohen and Gerson have one either.

    http://goo.gl/DtgmOE

  31. 31
    doublereed

    I recently went to Israel and asked some of the Israelis about politics (I know very little about Israeli politics). It seemed like a pretty bitterly divided state between religious and secular forces. Netanyahu is secular but obviously right-wing, (I got the impression that he’s like John McCain, moderate republican hawk). So he gets reasonable centrist-support. I also got the impression that while young Israelis want peace, they are very cynical about its prospects.

    Also, Americans tend to be fed plenty of anti-Israel propaganda. In general American news always paints Israeli actions as pretty indiscriminate and psychotic, even when they’re more focused and strategic. There are plenty of examples of this, regardless of the very real civil rights issues involved.

    I did see the wall around Gaza. I would liken it to a prison but that would imply that there is a difference between it and a prison…

    And Prof. Singham is an unflinching supporter of Israel bashers like Noam Chomsky, Phillip Weiss, Norman Finkelstein, Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, etc. Why not cite David Duke and Don Black, they don’t like Israel either.

    I have no idea why you think anybody should take you seriously when you compare Noam Chomsky to Don Black.

  32. 32
    doublereed

    Oh, and that’s some pretty weak criticism of Netanyahu. He’s a liar? FFS, he’s a politician. That’s hardly a criticism at all.

  33. 33
    colnago80

    Re doublereed @ #31

    Apparently, doublereed is unaware of the fact that Chomsky is often favorably cited on Don Black’s Stormfront web site. I have also seen at least one favorable citation on David Duke’s web site.

    Re doublereed @ #32

    Bibi is a bigger liar then most politicians, at least in the US and Canada. IMHO, he’s a bigger liar then most Israeli politicians too. He isn’t called Israel’s version of Richard Nixon for nothing.

  34. 34
    doublereed

    I have no idea why I should care about who Stormfront chooses to cite. If Chomsky is citing Don Black then I would care. But the other way around? Nah.

    Again, being a liar is simply not much of a criticism for any politician. If that’s all you got, then frankly I’m disappointed.

  35. 35
    colnago80

    Re doublereed @ #34

    There are liars and then there are liars. Bibi is just a bigger liar then most politicians.

    The fact that Stormfront favorably cites Chomsky indicates that his views as cited and Don Black’s views are in some congruence. This is particularly true of their views on the State of Israel. I have to say that if ole Don were citing me favorably, I would be quite concerned and would certainly reconsider my positions.

  36. 36
    Rob Grigjanis

    doublereed @34: Allow me to explain. I’ve heard that some people want trains to run on time. This puts their views in some congruence with a certain failed Austrian artist of no fixed surname, so they are monsters, by the transitive property of partial congruence. Or something.

  37. 37
    doublereed

    I’m sorry, but that’s a stupid way to use guilt by association. Social Darwinists cited Darwin (At least I assume they did). I’m hardly going to fault Darwin for that. My guess is that those Stormfronters would cite anyone who is critical of Israel, Jews especially, so that they can go “SEE LOOK JEWS AGREE THAT JEWS ARE EVIL!!!” with basically no critical thought whatsoever, painting with a nice broad brush. You know, because these hategroups do that with everything? I’m supposed to care that they do that with Chomsky as well?

    Come on man, this is some really weak stuff you’re pulling here. Not only do I not find it unconvincing, I’m having a hard time believing that you’re convincing yourself with this. You can rationalize better than that, right?

  38. 38
    Raging Bee

    Hey, if you are going to boycott Israel, you can’t just pick on oranges and Sodastream.

    Actually, yes, we can. A partial boycott is at least a little better than none at all.

  39. 39
    colnago80

    Re Raging Bee

    A boycott is presumable supposed to change Israel’s behavior. Boycotting small beer like oranges and Sodastream won’t do the trick. Obviously, the Fairfax finagler thinks that boycotting Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Google et all would inconvenience him and so he prefers symbolic gestures, just like all the other self-righteous commentors on this thread.

    Re doublereed @ #37

    When one gets into the pen with the pigs, one may expect to emerge with a coating of mud.

  40. 40
    doublereed

    Uhm. What? Did you just try to get out of the discussion by saying nonsense?

    My patience is wearing thin. I’m see why people just talk around your posts when it’s about Israel.

  41. 41
    doublereed

    And I would like to point out that if you’re comparing Don Black to Noam Chomsky and Mano is a supporter of Chomsky quoting him all the time, then Mano is guilty by the same reasoning. So I question why you’re on this blog if you think Mano is in the same bucket as Don Black. I certainly wouldn’t hang around Don Black’s blog.

  42. 42
    colnago80

    At this point, IMHO, doublereed and myself will have to agree to disagree, hopefully not disagreeably.

  43. 43
    doublereed

    I don’t even know what we’re disagreeing about!

    You’re acting ridiculous. Someone else can try to make sense of this. I can’t.

  44. 44
    wtfwhateverd00d

    LORETTA: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
    REG: But… you can’t have babies.
    LORETTA: Don’t you oppress me.
    REG: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!
    LORETTA: crying
    JUDITH: Here! I– I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’, but that he can have the right to have babies.
    FRANCIS: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.
    REG: What’s the point?
    FRANCIS: What?
    REG: What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?!
    FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
    REG: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

    – 1979 –

  45. 45
    colnago80

    Re doublereed @ #43

    We are disagreeing as to the relevance of Stormfront republishing articles by Noam Chomsky. I think it is highly relevant in evaluating Chomsky, doublereed thinks it is not.

  46. 46
    readysf

    There are three big problems which will make things even more difficult for the Israel Lobby and its supporters.

    1. The facts are out in the open, not only about the lobby but about what the Israelis are doing. Two new books, one by Avi Shavit and the other by Max Blumenthal, describe in detail the ruthless and immoral behavior by Jewish Israelis towards non-Jews. They have been interviewed on BookTV, so their views are now mainstream. The coverup is over.

    2. If BDS is supposed to work for Iran, then why not Israel? The charge of anti-Semitism has fallen flat through overuse. I am sure there are a few anti Semitics somewhere, but that slander has stopped working.

    3. There is shameless conflict of interest. Suppose the entire Washington establishment that dealt with China was Chinese American? Wouldn’t that be reason to question their objectivity? That is the case with Israel, ambassadors, journalists, everyone is Jewish American, and they often have an Israeli passport as well (such as, the ambassador)! How is this in US interest??

    A little bit of light goes a long ways.

  47. 47
    Marcus Ranum

    . Actions speak louder then words.

    Fool, I just gave $1,000 to http://www.stopthewall.org/donate
    Want to make it $2,000?

  48. 48
    wtfwhateverd00d

    $1,000? A mere piffle.

    You’re a real ITG when you can eclaim an edonate of $10,000 to stopthewall.

  49. 49
    Marcus Ranum

    ? The problem is that the Ranums and the Singhams of the world don’t want to be inconvenienced, which they would be if they boycotted firms like Microsoft, Google, and Intel

    Nice try.
    That’s nonsense. We can’t do everything all at once and there’s no need to do it all at once. The Intel chips in my computer were made whereever they were made – and paid for in the past – and that’s just the way it is. I’m not going to stop using them because some asshole on the internet tells me what he thinks I should do. There are plenty of ways to support BDS and I just showed you one – we can throw money to help the organizations promoting it. And, yes, I’ll call my broker tomorrow and make sure I’m divested.

    Keep it up, asshole. I suppose I could give the stop the wall guys more.

  50. 50
    Marcus Ranum

    when you can eclaim an edonate of $10,000 to stopthewall.

    Knock yourself out.

  51. 51
    Marcus Ranum

    When one gets into the pen with the pigs, one may expect to emerge with a coating of mud.

    Unless you nuke them with a 15mt nuke, that is.

  52. 52
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Heh, I’m no ITG. I’m not bragging about my financial dick size by posting statements of how much I donate to piss off people i dislike. That would seem to be in your bag of tricks though, so I am merely stating my standards for oohing and aahing at your epenis.

  53. 53
    Marcus Ranum

    Chomsky and Darwin’s arguments stand on their own. So, unfortunately for them, do Colnago80s.

  54. 54
    Marcus Ranum

    I’m not bragging about my financial dick size by posting statements of how much I donate to piss off people i dislike.

    No, I’m not arguing about the size of my penis; I was simply responding to colnago80s argument that I was unwilling to do anything, or inconvenience myself. I can choose how and and what I do to act, and so can you.

  55. 55
    Marcus Ranum

    Btw, I thought an “internet tough guy” was someone who said “come over here and I’ll kick your ass” – or whatever. I’m not threatening violence or doing anything “tough” I’m simply donating money to a cause that annoys someone who annoys me. That’s relatively constructive, really. If you’d like to tell me something that you hate I’d be perfectly happy do donate $15 to support it, in honor of your commensurately smaller e-penis.

  56. 56
    wtfwhateverd00d

    I hate these people.

    http://support.operationsmile.org/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1030&pxfid=4840

    For recognition name, I would appreciate it if you were to include “Renee Hendricks” (who is not me, but asked about this a year or so back.)

    I also hate my small e-penis.

    Can you help me buy a penis pump to replace my overpriced medicare penis pump?

    http://nypost.com/2014/01/14/penis-pumps-draining-medicare-of-millions/

  57. 57
    doublereed

    2. If BDS is supposed to work for Iran, then why not Israel? The charge of anti-Semitism has fallen flat through overuse. I am sure there are a few anti Semitics somewhere, but that slander has stopped working.

    3. There is shameless conflict of interest. Suppose the entire Washington establishment that dealt with China was Chinese American? Wouldn’t that be reason to question their objectivity? That is the case with Israel, ambassadors, journalists, everyone is Jewish American, and they often have an Israeli passport as well (such as, the ambassador)! How is this in US interest??

    One thing that raises my brow to Anti-Semetism is the conflation of Israel with Jewish American. It’s actually really disgusting, like how anti-Catholics will say that Catholics “serve two masters, one America and the other the Catholic Church.” This is bigotry. Jewish Americans are some of the largest critics of Israeli policy, and when I see people cast suspicion and question the patriotism of Jewish Americans it really pisses me off.

    I find that when people say that Anti-Israeli sentiment automatically equals Anti-Semetism, I find that to be reeking of Anti-Semetism. Because it treats Jews as a unanimous block rather than a diverse group of individuals.

    Anti-Semetism is still very much a real thing. Anti-Jewish hate crimes make up a strong majority of hate crimes in America (look up FBI stats if you want), with Anti-Muslim coming in second.

    Additionally, we want Chinese Americans to be our ambassadors with China. Of course we do that. What you’re saying it flagrantly incorrect. It’s a good thing, because it means that we have far more influence. Oftentimes other countries will try to claim that we don’t “understand their culture” especially when it comes to human rights. A Chinese American can say “No, I do understand your culture. Human rights are universal.”

  58. 58
    doublereed

    Sorry, that should read “strong majority of religiously based hate crimes in America.”

  59. 59
    Marcus Ranum

    Thank you!

    wtfwhateverd00d, because of your generous gift of $20.00 today, the world is bright with new smiles and new lives. You have truly made a difference and we are deeply grateful.

    I can’t help you with the other thing.

    Here’a a suggestion, though: why don’t you complain about the other people who give to causes they believe in/don’t believe in because of the actions of other idiots that annoy/don’t annoy them. Because that’s kind of how “supporting a cause” is done.

  60. 60
    wtfwhateverd00d

    Here’a a suggestion, though: why don’t you complain about the other people who give to causes they believe in/don’t believe in because of the actions of other idiots that annoy/don’t annoy them. Because that’s kind of how “supporting a cause” is done.

    Hard for me to parse.
    I try to give based on an initiative’s merit.
    I try not to consider how my give will annoy other people.

    Regardless, I acknowledge the hate I feel for you for at this moment for donating to correct cleft palate in children that you made just to piss me off.

    /shaking my fist at you

  61. 61
    Marcus Ranum

    /shaking my fist at you

  62. 62
    Marcus Ranum

    Sorry. I meant to underline that and suggest “do something that makes a difference.”

  63. 63
    readysf

    Doublereed, I disagree with you in the following areas:

    It is AIPAC and other lobbies that conflate Jewish Americans with Israel. This is the basis on which they have annointed themselves.

    If you carry two passports, then you do serve two masters.

    Anti-Muslim is far worse these days than anti Semitism. BTW this is “Semitism”, not “Semetism”!

    It is OK for a few Chinese Americans to link up to China, but to monopolize?? China and Israel have this in common, they both think that global Chinese and global Jews belong to the motherland. Today, virtually all influential voices re: Israel are Jewish. Do you really think this should not matter? Really!!?

  64. 64
    Dunc

    I find the constant attacks on colnago80 to be the purest form of ad hominem.

    If you dislike what he argues, attack his argument.

    I was attacking his “argument”. I said absolutely nothing about him as a person, I merely satirised his repeated assertions that absolutely everybody that he disagrees with is Hitler Frankenburger.

    You apparently don’t know what “ad hominem” means.

  65. 65
    colnago80

    Re Pennsylvania pinhead @ #49

    So then, the Pennsylvania pinhead will immediately stop using Google, buy no more Microsoft products, and disdain to purchase any new computer with an Intel chip in it until these companies pull out of Israel. I don’t think so. I haven’t even touched the surface of high tech companies that have affiliates in Israel. I suggest that Pennsylvania pinhead conduct a study to identify any such enterprises that have affiliates in Israel and stop buying and using their products.

  66. 66
    colnago80

    Bad news for the Israel bashers. Their bashing doesn’t seem to be having much affect.

    http://goo.gl/zNPhqD

  67. 67
    doublereed

    It is AIPAC and other lobbies that conflate Jewish Americans with Israel. This is the basis on which they have annointed themselves.

    Sure. I don’t disagree.

    If you carry two passports, then you do serve two masters.

    You know, not all Jewish Americans are dual citizens. There are practical reasons why you might get a dual citizenship, but Israel and America engage in pretty rough espionage on each other. There are practical reasons jobwise you might not want a dual citizenship. It depends on what you do.

    Anti-Muslim is far worse these days than anti Semitism. BTW this is “Semitism”, not “Semetism”!

    Wrong. From 2011 FBI Hate Crime Statistics (I can’t find more recent years), 63.2% of Religious Hate Crimes were Anti-Jewish, and 12.5% were Anti-Islam. Jews are 1.2% of the population, and Islam is about 0.6%. Anti-Semitism is a far more serious problem than you think.
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2011/narratives/victims

    It is OK for a few Chinese Americans to link up to China, but to monopolize?? China and Israel have this in common, they both think that global Chinese and global Jews belong to the motherland. Today, virtually all influential voices re: Israel are Jewish. Do you really think this should not matter? Really!!?

    You are questioning the patriotism of a group of people based on their religion. The fact that you think this is “common sense” does not impress me.

  68. 68
    readysf

    doublereed I am not not trying to impress you! I am pointing the way things are headed. Zionism is self-destructing, an Israel is on the way to becoming a nuclear loose-cannon. A major reason is unconditional support from the US…called “moral hazard” in other situations. Israel is already a headache, will become more so.

  69. 69
    doublereed

    @68 readysf

    I sure hope you’re not trying to impress me, because if you were that would be sad.

    We weren’t talking about any of that. I was talking about your prejudice against Jewish Americans, which you simply refuse to recognize. You have dismissed Anti-Semitism as not significant. Just because AIPAC and Israeli groups throw around Anti-Semitism for everything doesn’t mean that there isn’t significant Anti-Semitism around. Doesn’t work that way.

    I don’t know where you got the impression that I am for ‘unconditional support for Israel,’ because I neither said nor implied that. But I’m not sure where you got that Jewish Americans unconditionally support Israel as well. You’re just trying to distract me from your prejudice. Not amused.

  70. 70
    readysf

    Doublereed this column is about AIPAC and Israel! Stop trying to distract. It aint gonna work no more.

  71. 71
    doublereed

    I addressed what you said. You were not talking about AIPAC specifically. In fact, AIPAC isn’t all Jews. Your 2nd and 3rd points in post #49 are not specifically AIPAC and say dubious things that I disagreed with. You reiterated several of those dubious points in #63. And swatted your BS away again.

    I can only assume you are just trying to save face at this point. Shrug.

  72. 72
    readysf

    If you see anti Semites everywhere, this is your problem….!

  73. 73
    doublereed

    I have no idea what you’re talking about. I have explained myself more than clearly on what I found troubling in your posts.

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