Livni wants to say “yallah, bye” to Israeli Arabs

Ha’aretz reports that FM Tzipi Livni, addressing a group of students, announced:

“Once a Palestinian state is established, I can come to the Palestinian citizens, whom we call Israeli Arabs, and say to them ‘you are citizens with equal rights, but the national solution for you is elsewhere,’”

Uhm, come again? If I understand her right, Israeli Arabs are not actually Israeli, but rather just temporarily so. Some Israeli Arabs I have gotten to know would be surprised to find out that they are, in fact, Palestinians, despite living their entire life carrying an Israeli ID card and passport, paying taxes to the Israeli government and living their whole life in Israeli cities. I have been taught since the earliest days of my Zionist education that Israeli Arabs identify with Israel, that they are fully equal citizens with equal rights. And yet, their nationality is in flux? Is she then saying that ‘once a Palestinian state is established’ Israeli Arabs will cease to be Israeli? Will those Arabs that desire to continue to reside in Israel be welcome to, or will they rather be forced to emigrate from Israel to Palestine?

I was under the impression that a democracy was a nation made up of its citizens, that the national aspirations of a country is determined by its citizens. Rather, Livni is making the statement that the national aspiration of a country is determined by its ethnicity. This is a perfectly acceptable philosophy if one does not adhere to the philosophies of democracy. The most basic definition of said philosophy is “a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.” Livni, rather, seems to be calling for Israeli Arabs to have their citizenship revoked and perhaps even transferred to Palestine.

I have an extreme right-wing family member who actively financially supports settlements and the settler movement, and he likes to say, “Israel cannot be both a Jewish state and a democracy, and if they pick democracy they are wrong.” This seems to be exactly what Livni is saying, but without being as honest as my cousin. To Livni, apparently, Israeli-style democracy means an enforced majority and the pushing off of Israeli problems to Palestine. The complaints of Israeli Arabs as an underprivileged class in Israel stems from inequality in the system of Israeli governance, not by virtue of their being Arabs.

I fear the day that Israel revoke Arab citizenship, woe to the democracy that dismisses its values. This is the first time in my life that a one-state solution might even sound better than two.

30 Responses to “Livni wants to say “yallah, bye” to Israeli Arabs”

  1. You are being honest Justin. Either there should be one state, or the partition of the land should be along ethnic lines, meaning that the blocs of “Israel” Palestine (the Triangle, East Jerusalem, northeastern Negev) should become “Palestine” Palestine.


    Jonathan · December 11th, 2008 at 10:34 pm
  2. And who taught you that Israeli Arabs identify with Israel more than with Palestine?


    Jonathan · December 11th, 2008 at 10:35 pm
  3. I thought a major argument made by those opposing Palestinian sovereignty is that Arabs in Israel prefer Israeli rule over Arab rule as an issue of competence. Sure this ignores the crap treatment that local Arab governments get in Israel, but seeing the sorry state of many of their Arab-ruled neighbors, I would be inclined to agree with them.

    Guess they have no place to go now.


    B.BarNavi · December 12th, 2008 at 2:29 am
  4. I am under the impression, from my friendships and conversations with Arab-Israelis/Palestinians with Israeli citizenship that they are a complicated and diverse group of people, and there is no one way in which they identify (which is why I used both terms). Some (to my knowledge, most) identify as Palestinian, and some identify as Israeli. Neither of these are totalizing identities. What’s for sure is that no matter how they identify, Arabs living in Israel are not treated as equal citizens with equal rights.

    Unfortunately, most Zionist educations would be unlikely to teach any of these things.


    D · December 12th, 2008 at 4:16 am
  5. Jonathan-
    I’m not saying it’s true, I’m just saying, like BBN, that it is part of the Israeli propaganda that Arabs prefer Israel to other Arab countries, especially the territories. Plus, I’m pretty sure there were recent statistics that most Israeli Arabs would prefer to remain Israeli citizens after a solution is made. The real question is, does a democracy have the right to wholesale exclude ethnic groups from citizenship? I would think the answer is an emphatic, no.


    Justin Goldstein · December 12th, 2008 at 4:44 am
  6. Then I’ll ask you this specificallly, Justin, as I seem to enrage every person who’s ever read JewSchool when I bring this matter up.

    If a democracy has no right to exclude ethnic groups from citizenship, are you opposed to the idea of two capitols in Jerusalem, based on something like the Clinton Proposals? Because such plans would disenfranchise 250-300,000 human beings of their Israeli legal rights.

    And we know for sure that (1) in 1990 (I think,) when the Likud passed a law attempting to strip those Palestinians who had moved to the suburbs of their Israeli status because they weren’t actually in Jerusalem, their was a large influx of people returning to within the city’s limits. (2) After the Camp David talks in 2000 there was such a rush of Jerusalem Palestinians applying for Israeli citizenship that the Mufti, on P.A. orders, gave a religous edict against applying for citizenship. (3) Since Israel has begun construction of the Wall, there is a mass movement of Jerusalem Palestinians to the “Israel” side of the Wall, evident in the overcrowding and sky-high real estate prices in the Arab Quater of the Old City.

    If you’re against two capitols in Jerusalem, that’s your right (I’m for the idea.) Put if you are for it, how can we disenfrachise hunderds of thousand of human beings, as a moral issue, in Jerusalem, but doing the exact same thing in areas not so far from Jerusalem is either rabidly anti-democratic, or egregious racism….it just doesn’t make sence.


    Jonathan · December 12th, 2008 at 1:20 pm
  7. Jonathan, you make an interesting point about Jerusalem, but I think there are approaches other than stripping residents of Israeli citizenship if/when East Jerusalem becomes the capital of Palestine.

    It may be a bit overly optimistic, but any transfer of East Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty should in theory occur as part of a peace agreement. Therefore I would expect the treatment of citizenship issues would be a lot more gentle than, say, the Cold War division of Berlin. One would hope we would also do better than the division of Rafah after Camp David.

    The handovers of Hong Kong and Macau would be one area to look for ideas. Both involved peaceful transfers of sovereignty to a government the vast majority of people identified with, but where people didn’t necessarily want to take sole citizenship. Of course they differ from the Jerusalem situation in that they were not divided as part of the transfers.

    Does anybody know how citizenship issues have worked in other areas that have shifted sovereignty or been divided in recent decades? What officially was supposed to happen (ignoring the ethnic cleansing and wars that actually did happen) in the former Yugoslavia?


    themicah · December 12th, 2008 at 2:19 pm
  8. Read Livni’s comments more closely– she explicitly disavows stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship. She’s talking about the demands of Israeli Arabs for symbolic and educational integration of their national identity within the rubric of the Israeli state– in other words, once a Palestinian state is established, stop asking for changes to hatikva or to the Israeli flag, or for curricula in Arab state schools that tell the story of the Palestinian struggle for national independence from the perspective of the Palestinians. This has been the position of the Israeli political center for years. It may make Israel less of a democracy, but its not the same of stripping citizenship based on national identity– that has been the platform of the right, most notably Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu.

    Livni’s attitude toward Israeli Arabs seems barely distinguishable from the attitude of the French government toward Muslim immigrants to France– “you’re welcome here, so long as you conform to our norms, and don’t demand publicly that your cultural perspective ought to be valued in the public sphere.”

    If Livni is a racist, she’s a garden variety Euro-snob racist, not a particularly pernicious right-wing nationalist racist. Though, of course, you could argue that denying the aspirations to of an indigenous minority to have their national identity recognized by the state is different than doing the same to an immigrant minority…


    Ari · December 12th, 2008 at 4:38 pm
  9. With respect, one can read the Ha’aretz article, and Livni’s statements, more than one way.

    Livni’s argument, I believe, includes these elements:

    * Israel is the state through which Jewish national aspirations are
    to be realized;
    * Palestine – not yet in existence as a free sovereign state – will be the state through which Palestinian national aspirations are to be realized.
    * Once a Palestinian state exists, the PM of Israel [which Livni aspires to be] can say to Palestinian citizens of Israel [`Israeli Arabs'] “you are citizens with equal rights, but the national solution for you is elsewhere” – i.e., in Palestine
    * And once there is a free state of Palestine, the PM of that country can say to the Jewish citizens, “you are citizens with equal rights, but the national solution for you is elsewhere,” – i.e., Israel.

    [Of course if one doesn't accept the basic premises of both Jewish and Palestinian claims to national self-determination through a sovereign state, one comes up with different conclusions.]

    In any event, there’s no reason to think, based on what she reportedly said in that school, that Livni believes that with the creation of a Palestinian state, Arab citizens of Israel would be “citizens with equal rights,” but not before then.
    If and when she becomes Prime Minister – and even before – she has to be pressed to ensure that Arab citizens of Israel are treated as “citizens with equal rights.”
    And groups, parties and individuals working in support of this need to receive support, even if just messages of support, from interested people in other lands; likewise, groups, parties and individuals working to deny Arab citizens of Israel equal rights need to be opposed, even if “just” verbally.

    >> Arieh Lebowitz


    Arieh Lebowitz · December 12th, 2008 at 9:07 pm
  10. Isn’t part of the problem that Livni (and to be fair, it’s not her idea) assumes that most, if not all Israeli Arabs are nationalists? That they care more about the country they live in (or at least the political people in charge) than the personal – the house they built, or the individual community they live in?

    If the Arabs of Uum el Fahem are not very nationlist at all, then what Livni seems to be suggesting is that they either stay in what will be part of Israel and feel like an outsider, or that they give up the personal, and benefit from the communal (i.e., move to what will be Palestine). This is on the assumption that some of these Arab communities in pre-67 Israel will not simply become part of the redrawn borders of the area, and become part of Palestine without them having to move.

    If they are nationalist more than individualists, and the borders are not redrawn to make these communities part of Palestine, what Livni is suggesting is they consider “making aliyah” to Palestine.


    Jason Silberman · December 14th, 2008 at 9:15 am
  11. Justin,

    I am very often critical of Israel. It seems that you look for any and ever excuse to be critical. Twisting ideas around and presenting an uninformed view is not helpful (as when you said that you can’t keep track of Israel’s constantly changing electoral system. You wrote before you realized that once again Israelis do not directly elect the prime minister in a separate vote. News flash: They had a separate vote once only and that was nearly a decade ago).

    You write:Some Israeli Arabs I have gotten to know would be surprised to find out that they are, in fact, Palestinians, despite living their entire life carrying an Israeli ID card and passport

    I won’t doubt this of some you have gotten to know but I can tell you that when I speak of “Israeli Arabs” I generally use the tern “Israeli Palestinians.” I do so as most
    “Israeli Arabs” that I know (and that is not a few) want their culture and peoplehood respected. We have American Israelis (i.e Israelis of American origin) and we have Moroccan Israelis (i.e. of Moroccan origin). So too we have Palestinian Israelis(Israelis of Palestinian origin) and we also have Palestinians who are not Israeli (some by choice and others by force).

    Livni made clear that once there is a Palestinian state that Israeli Palestinians would not be expected to move. She did not call for transfer. They are citizens of Israel. They should be treated with full equality. But their national aspirations would be, most likely, fulfilled not in the Jewish state but in a Palestinian state. That does not mean they must move there or be moves. The national Zionist aspiration of Jews is Israel- but half the worlds Jews choose not to live in Israel.

    You go on to state: . Rather, Livni is making the statement that the national aspiration of a country is determined by its ethnicity.

    Well, the whole point of Zionism is a JEWISH sate (a state for the Jewish people) that allows for non-Jewish citizens who shall be treated as full citizens. If you want a single (not a two state solution) then say so. That could be democratic (although I quite doubt it) but not Zionist. I presume you favor a Palestinian state along side a Jewish state. If that is the case, may I presume that you favor a Jewish State?

    If you do not favor a Jewish State (or a sate for Jews) then how do you understand Zionism? Is Zionism = racism in your view, as the UN once declared?


    Meri Eynaim · December 14th, 2008 at 1:20 pm
  12. Meri Eynaim writes:
    You wrote before you realized that once again Israelis do not directly elect the prime minister in a separate vote. News flash: They had a separate vote once only and that was nearly a decade ago

    Just to get the facts straight, it was three times: 1996 (Netanyahu/Peres), 1999 (Barak/Netanyahu), and 2001 (Sharon/Barak) (though only once that it wasn’t simultaneous with a Knesset election).


    BZ · December 14th, 2008 at 3:02 pm
  13. Thank you BZ. My intent was as your wrote.Only once was it Prime Minister alone. The system was flawed the original way. That is why so many worked to change it. But the change created even greater problems. It allowed a plethora of small parties that either had no chance of getting in or allowed them to get a disproportionate amount in return for their votes.

    The new thinking is to consider regional representation (sort of like congressional districts).

    I would still like to hear Justin’s understanding of Zionism.


    Meri Eynaim · December 14th, 2008 at 3:41 pm
  14. But, chevre…

    If disenfraching people based on national identity is a racist idea, as Ari writes, then are those in favor of diving Jerusalem right-wing racists? I remember clearly Yossi Beilin taking reporters to Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem, after the Camp David talks, and asking what Israel has to do in those places. Clinton himself, when presenting his ideas for Jerusalem, asked why Israel would want to rule over hundreds of thousands of Palestinians (that sounded like a good idea to me.)

    Yet, when politicians–Lieberman being the most vocal–argue to move the border as part of an agreement (because why would Israel want to rule over Palestinians in Uum el Fahem?) that’s considered deplorable racism? (Lieberman also seems to have a good idea to me.)

    What’s the difference? Why is the former a moral, progressive ideal, but the ladder is unthinkable?

    There was life on this planet before and after June 4, 1967. None of the other borders are based on those lines (depending on how we measure the Lebanese border.) Why is that day so sacrosanct when it comes the Palestinians?


    Jonathan · December 14th, 2008 at 4:22 pm
  15. Thank you BZ. My intent was as your wrote.Only once was it Prime Minister alone.

    But Justin’s (incorrect) understanding that you were correcting seemed to be more as in 1996 or 1999 — a prime minister election in parallel with the Knesset election.

    The new thinking is to consider regional representation (sort of like congressional districts).

    How about a bicameral legislature, with one of each?


    BZ · December 14th, 2008 at 6:22 pm
  16. Yet, when politicians–Lieberman being the most vocal–argue to move the border as part of an agreement (because why would Israel want to rule over Palestinians in Uum el Fahem?) that’s considered deplorable racism? (Lieberman also seems to have a good idea to me.)

    What’s the difference? Why is the former a moral, progressive ideal, but the ladder is unthinkable?

    The difference is that, under the Lieberman plan, Israeli citizens would be deprived of their citizenship without their consent and without committing any crime. I agree that the 1967 border is not sacrosanct, and I’d be fine with redrawing it if the affected residents could freely choose between Israeli and Palestinian citizenship (and, if they choose to retain Israeli citizenship, would be compensated for their property and resettled within the borders of Israel, like the Jewish settlers who have been and will be evacuated).


    BZ · December 14th, 2008 at 6:25 pm
  17. So, does that go for Jerusalem as well, BZ?

    And, if so, what are the incentives, on the Israeli-side, to divide Jerusalem?


    Jonathan · December 14th, 2008 at 6:27 pm
  18. ME-
    I think you’re blowing the direct election thing out of proportion a bit; I also reject the notion that my opinion in uninformed because of a simple error. Israeli politics has been a passion and hobby of mine for over 15 years, and hardly a day has gone by in that time that I have not read an Israeli newspaper. I never claimed to be an expert or anything. I am a passionate and interested onlooker. But also, that comment was in a different post, no? On the Likud party? Anyways, I forgot they went back to non-direct elections, and when I said they switched, I knew they switched more than once. I didn’t just make it up.
    Do I take any excuse to criticize Israel? I don’t think I need excuses, Israel does a pretty good job of providing them. I am critical of nation-states, ME, all of them. You name it, I’ll criticize it.
    I absolutely think that Zionism is racism because I think that nationalism is racism. I don’t have an opinion on a one or two-state solution because I am not Israeli and it is not for me to decide. I think that the idea of a Jewish state for Jews is outdated and very 19th century.
    I think that Zionism was, at one point, maybe, if you ignore its diversity, simply the belief that Jews need a place. But it’s not that anymore (if it ever really was, since from day when there were elements that wanted to rid the land of Arabs). It is the notion that Jews have MORE of a right to the land previously known as Palestine that the inhabitants who have lived there since the 7th century, at least, and in large majority. I think that nationalism is racism, in any incarnation. I think that Zionism is a lost cause since it has become incredibly reactionary. I wonder if it has really been such a positive endeavor, in retrospect. Listen, when push comes to shove, I’m an anarchist in my political leanings. So, yeah, nationalism is not a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

    I simply think that after all the violence, pre-state to the occupation, Israel is sleeping in the bed it made. I do not need to find excuses to criticize Israel, but I am not going to praise Israel when they are, hands down, one of the most repressive, violent countries on the planet. They throw guns around and threaten neighbors in the region with war. They deal weapons and are currently restocking Greece’s supply of poison gasses. That’s not a country I have an easy time being proud of. Seeing the state of the territories pre-second intifada, I can’t even imagine what it must be now. So, you know, again, do I really need to twist facts to find excuses? Or, is Israel in league with nations who really need serious reprimand? I think they are. The fact that they are Jewish is not reason to not offer due criticism.


    Justin · December 14th, 2008 at 7:32 pm
  19. Jonathan:
    So, does that go for Jerusalem as well, BZ?

    As far as redrawing the borders, absolutely. If the 1967 borders aren’t sacrosanct, then the post-’67 municipal boundaries of Jerusalem are even less so. As far as citizenship, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem aren’t Israeli citizens, so their citizenship wouldn’t have to be revoked in order to be part of a Palestinian state.


    BZ · December 14th, 2008 at 9:33 pm
  20. Justin Golstein writes:

    “I absolutely think that Zionism is racism”

    and

    “I am not going to praise Israel when they are, hands down, one of the most repressive, violent countries on the planet”.

    Point, Game and Set. You win. Discussion finished. Welcome Noam Chumsky. Israel is bad. Seemingly capable,in your view, of only evil if it remains a Zionist Jewish state.

    Criticism of Israel-yes. Israel bashing by Jews is self hatred.

    Disgraceful! Shame on you.


    Meir Eynaim · December 14th, 2008 at 10:11 pm
  21. really? shame on me? I am not Israel bashing. The fact that Israel created IM technology and has amazing agricultural advancements does not change the fact that they are military occupiers, the world’s 4th most active arms dealer. I never said Israel was only capable of evil. The injustices that Israel commits override, in my mind, and I think according to tenets of justice, other aspects.

    A murderer could love his mother, it doesn’t make him a good guy. Also, just pointing out, I’ve never said Israel=bad, Palestine=good; or that Israel is any worse than other militaristic countries.

    Please don’t accuse me of being a self-hating Jew. All that does is squash the discussion. Please, give me the respect to hold my opinion without slandering me. I am not accusing Israelis as people or as Jews. I am accusing a government to be guilty of crimes that are not secret, but rather displayed for the whole world to behold. So, please, do not accuse me of being disgraceful for not supporting a nation that sells arms indiscriminately, held close ties with Apartheid SA, occupies another people and actively pursues a multi-tiered society by legislating racist policies (i.e., Palestinians and Israelis can’t marry). Shame on me? really?


    Justin · December 14th, 2008 at 11:21 pm
  22. BZ–

    Of course you are correct in that not many Jerusalem Palestinians have full Israeli citizenship. But, the ones who don’t have citizenship are Israeli Permanent Residents. Those Permanent Residents may apply for citizenship, but they may not vote in the Kennesset elections. They can, however, vote in Jerusalem elections, and they have every other right that a full citizen has. The same exact rights!

    Again, excuse the obnoxiousness, but how can it be that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Jerusalem can be stripped of their legal Israeli rights, and that is a progressive cause….yet Palestinians in Uhm El-Fahm cannot be stripped of their Israeli legal rights because of deplorable racism?

    Is the state of Israel really expected to make existential decisions on the basis of such utter legal fictions?

    I guess I just don’t worship on the alter of Jeffersonian democracy the way everybody else here does….fair enough.


    Jonathan · December 15th, 2008 at 12:31 am
  23. Justin–

    Whether you consider yourself a Zionist or not, you come accross as a person who takes much time and care thinking about, and being disappointed in, the Zionist project….are those not characteristics of a Zionist?


    Jonathan · December 15th, 2008 at 12:33 am
  24. Jonathan–
    hmmm… I’ll have to ponder that one :)


    Justin · December 15th, 2008 at 1:24 am
  25. Justin writes: Please don’t accuse me of being a self-hating Jew.

    For years the Jewish community (liberal and conservative) felt ill over the UN resolution equating Zionism with Racism.

    Then you(Justine) write:“I absolutely think that Zionism is racism”

    I thought it anti-Semitic when uttered by the UN.I still think it was anti-Semitic. And no I do not think that well founded criticism is anti-Semitic and I do think that some of your criticisms is well founded. But I do not hold a double standard.

    “I absolutely think that Zionism is racism”

    If the shoe fits…


    Meri Eynaim · December 15th, 2008 at 11:37 am
  26. Justin also writes: “I am not Israel bashing”.

    Yet you state:Israel is, hands down, one of the most repressive, violent countries on the planet”.

    OK maybe that is not bashing but a gentle nudge toward the right direction. My bad.

    And by the way (sorry to knit pick but let’s keep the facts accurate). – Israeli law provides for religious marriage only. No civil marriage yet (I am sorry to say).
    But you are wrong when you state “Palestinians and Israelis can’t marry.” Indeed they may. Jews and Christians,Jews and Muslims, Catholics and Protestants, etc. may not be married in Israel.

    But I know of Palestinians (who are now Jewish but still Palestinian) who have married Israeli Jews.

    As for your being unable to imagine what Israel is like now- it may enable a more informed view, and eliviate the need to “imagine” if you did spend some extended time here rather than gather your information from your daily newspaper.


    Meri Eynaim · December 15th, 2008 at 11:49 am
  27. ME,
    I will simply repeat what I said before. Zionism, like ALL OTHER FORMS OF NATIONALISM (caps for emphasis, not a scream) is racist. Not uniquely racist, as the UN resolution would have the world presume. Nationalism, in my opinion, is inherently racist. Find me a nationalist movement that is not. So, please, before you continue to ANONYMOUSLY (again, for emphasis) spout lashon harah about me, at least have the courtesy to put your real name to it. I question if you’d accuse me of hating my family, friends and people to my face. As I tell my Hebrew school students who resort to name-calling, it is only necessary to use names or curses when you cannot think of something intelligent to say to explain your thoughts. So, rather than resort to name-calling, why not try and explain why Zionism is NOT racist, or why it is acceptable, in your eyes, for a Jewish state (OR ANY STATE) to support Apartheid SA, use cluster bombs on innocent children, sell weapons to China that end up in Iran, actively disenfranchise its minority, not to mention the abuses against the Palestinians that occur on a daily basis, rather than call me an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew. Plus, it would only add to the open-minded discussions that can happen in a place like this blog. Name-calling, on the other hand, only ends the conversation, especially as inflammatory as “self-hating Jew” “disgraceful” “shame” “anti-Semite”. At least tell me how it adds to the conversation to use such communication, kal v’homer (all the moreso) while remaining anonymous.

    So, the nafka mina (bottom line) of what I’m trying to say is that nationalism is a hierarchical structure that breeds militarism and racism; it is so in every case I can think of, without exception. So, again, I would ask you rather than slander me publicly without even revealing who you actually are (an aveirah, transgression, to be sure-and one that deserves strict tochachah, rebuke, in my opinion) rather than slander me publicly, explain why I am wrong using facts and intelligent discourse, not name calling.


    Justin · December 15th, 2008 at 12:02 pm
  28. “But I know of Palestinians (who are now Jewish but still Palestinian) who have married Israeli Jews. ”

    I’m sorry, I overstated the facts. 5 years and memory can be smudgy. Palestinians are excluded amongst all other nationalities from gaining citizenship in Israel if they marry Israelis.

    Sorry. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    FYI, I have spent time in Israel, in fact the last time I went was with a one-way ticket; granted it has been some time since I have last been there, but we are talking politics here.

    And regarding the repressiveness of Israeli policies, is it China bashing to criticize China? Is it Iran bashing to criticize Iran (our current favorite nationalist pastime)? Is it [insert nation here] bashing to criticize anywhere?


    Justin · December 15th, 2008 at 12:27 pm
  29. Justin writes: “Is it China bashing to criticize China?

    On this we can agree. It is not, necessarily, China bashing to criticize China. It is not necessarily Iran bashing to criticize Iran.Although it can be (just watch Fox News).

    As I wrote “Criticism of Israel-yes” and ” I also wrote “I am very often critical of Israel”.
    So it is NOT necessarily Israeli bashing to be critical of Israel.

    As for using my real name – look around. Blog names are the norm. I have nothing to hide from you. But there are times when one may judge another’s word on the basis of his/her title, position, denominational affiliation, citizenship, etc. So anonymity in the blogging world can be a plus.That you use your real name is your right and your choice.

    You can point to all of Israel’s moral failures. I have no problem with anyone who points to them with good motives.

    But for me – and I would think that for many – there is no way to explain away the Zionism = Racism statement as anything but probelmatic at best and disgusting at worst.

    Your motivation may be different than those who passed the resolution at the UN – but the words are the same.


    Meri Eynaim · December 15th, 2008 at 2:11 pm
  30. “As I tell my Hebrew school students who resort to name-calling, it is only necessary to use names or curses when you cannot think of something intelligent to say to explain your thoughts.”

    This is no doubt true Justin, but unfortunately many open-minded, progressive, JewSchool fans don’t agree–just look at the blogs during this past presidential campaign, where the tenor was more or less that any and all supporters of McCain were hate-mongering racists….ezeh chaval


    Jonathan · December 15th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik