Additionally


Whether or not Ilhan Omar expressed herself as carefully as she could have, this guy (a 57-year-old former Jesuit Democrat, who represents a D+22 district on the Cali/Mexico border), just gave up the game. For a lot of her critics, anything critical that Omar says about Israel cannot be said, no matter how she phrases it. Also, I’m scratching my head as to why this safe seat Democrat who represents a mostly Hispanic border district wants to weigh in, and the only indication that I can find is that he’s on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which makes me think that Ilhan Omar belongs on that committee, since she might be one of the few with the guts to say anything negative about Israel.






113 replies
  1. 1
    rp says:

    I was somewhat critical of Omar in the previous thread, but that statement is just ludicrous.

  2. 2
    Mathguy says:

    One of the responses to the tweet notes that Vargas has received $22k from pro-Israeli lobbying group over the last year alone. Wonder why…

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    To reiterate my comment at the tail end of the earlier thread, fuck that guy.

  4. 4
    gkoutnik says:

    Could he be an Evangelical Christian? And before we get all stereotype-y, I know some liberal Democrats who are ECs, and are a little nutty on Israel.

  5. 5
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @gkoutnik: I wondered the same. He’s a former Jesuit so I doubt it, unless he took a real turn.

  6. 6
    trollhattan says:

    Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.

    Well that kind of says it all, doesn’t it?

  7. 7
    eemom says:

    just gave up the game.

    @rp:

    I was somewhat critical of Omar in the previous thread, but that statement is just ludicrous.

    For fuck’s sake. Nonsequitur much?

    Yes, of course the second sentence is ludicrous, and fuck this asshole.

    But how does this guy being an asshole negate the issues that many non-assholes have with Omar’s rhetoric?

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    to say anything negative about Israel

    Differentiation needs be made between negativity directed at Israel and negativity directed at Israeli policy.

    As I said in an earlier thread about this, one ought not wear ski boots when walking a tightrope.

  9. 9
    surfk9 says:

    One of the reasons that he might have responded that way is that I believe he is running for Mayor of
    San Diego. I to am appalled that Congressional Democrats got their panties in a bunch over her remarks.

  10. 10
    The Moar You Know says:

    Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.

    It is. On both sides. As Representative Omar is finding out the hard way.

    Wish it wasn’t like that, but it is.

  11. 11
    VeniceRiley says:

    *sigh* They’re all kinda proving her (albeit in-artfully expressed) point. I expect no different. Nothing will change.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    Could he be an Evangelical Christian?

    @gkoutnik: He’s not, and is a pretty solid Dem. But he understands you just can’t go there.

    I believe he is running for Mayor of San Diego

    @surfk9: Had not heard that. I’d be surprised. It would be a step down and pretty doubtful he’d win.

  13. 13
    jl says:

    I’m not biting on this issue, even though people I respect like Josh Marshall are. Though, I am not Jewish, or given genealogical digging by sibling, only 1/64 Jewish. Going after Omar while ignoring pretty much whole of GOP, who ride along with anti-Semitism of the worst and most dangerous sort as a regular campaign gimmick, is deeply hypocritical.

    Omar does, wittingly or unwittingly, put out phrases that are problematic. But, better to point out that she is just wrong on this. Evangelical Christians and a small number of hawkish, neocon Jews do demand allegiance, not to Israel, but rather to a hawkish, corrupt, reactionary, and anti-democratic political faction within Israel. Both groups do this in bad faith, unwilling to state their true reasons for doing so, IMHO.

    Others go along with the Evangelical and neocon Jewish lines, and effectively present it as a question of fealty to a foreign country, for CYA reasons.

    And BTW, we could ask the same questions about Saudi Arabian leadership. And with Trump, Putin and a couple of other cronies, along with Likud and the Saudi leaders.

    Edit: if Congress also mention Steve King, Gohmert, McCarthy and half a dozen other Congressional GOPer vicious loons, and Trump, and write something that explains the differences in the amount of sin attached to their respective statements, I might go along with it.

  14. 14
    eemom says:

    @NotMax:

    Differentiation needs be made between negativity directed at Israel and negativity directed at Israeli policy.

    One would think so.

    But the elephant in this particular room — as evidenced by the BobS comments on the last thread, for example — is that the set of people directing negativity at Israeli policy includes a good sized subset of people who ARE negative toward Israel itself, i.e., the fact that it exists at all.

  15. 15
    Jeffro says:

    This is ridiculous. The entirety of her response should be, “Is there any – any – acceptable way to criticize lobbyists whose sole mantra is ‘Israel can do no wrong’? Should the US support any country 110%, right or wrong, every issue, no matter the interests of our own citizens? Please do explain this to me, sir.”

    Or just a big FU would be fine too.

  16. 16
    sukabi says:

    Wonder what will be more instructive to Rep. Vargas–the dragging he’s getting on that thread or campaign finance support he gets from his benefactors.

  17. 17
    jl says:

    @sukabi: campaign finance reform would be more effective, but in the meantime, we do what we can do.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    @jl

    Omar does, wittingly or unwittingly, put out phrases that are problematic.

    This. The legitimacy of the existence of Israel is always the proverbial gorilla in the room.

    Note I am not saying Omar questions or disputes that (AFAIK), but as a concept it lives and thrives in the undercurrent of discussion and must be taken into account.

  19. 19
    rp says:

    @eemom: I don’t follow. His statement doesn’t negate the issues I have with Omar’s comment, but it makes it far more difficult to make the point that, on the Dem side, criticism of Israeli policy is welcome and that we’re not trying to shut down the discussion.

  20. 20
    surfk9 says:

    @The Moar You Know: The last time I was down there, there was talk of it.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    christ, what an asshole.

    yeah dipshit, i get to question america’s monetary and military support of other countries.

  22. 22

    @eemom:

    But how does this guy being an asshole negate the issues that many non-assholes have with Omar’s rhetoric?

    The problem is that it’s difficult to separate the people who are genuinely offended by her word choice and those who are pretending to be bothered by her word choice and are really using it as an excuse to shut down any opinion critical of Israel. She could obviously do better at avoiding this by being more careful with her language, but tweets like the one above make me think there’s no degree of care she could use in her language that could mollify people looking for a reason to be offended.

  23. 23
    jl says:

    @NotMax: Probably best advice to Omar is to lay off trying to address issues like this on twitter. I agree with people who say some of her phrasing is problematic, but also agree with people who say that the pile on, and outsize notice she receives is deeply hypocritical.

    Omar shouldn’t apologize, IMHO. But she should lay out her position on a better forum. We do need the debate she is talking about. For now, I’ll assume that she is not anti-Semitic, and has some problems expressing herself. And, I think she doesn’t have a good grasp of the real issues in her mind, which is an important issue in and of itself.

    But, really, to make a fuss about this, and not come down on GOPers who have habitually gotten away with much worse on a regular basis, and for vile cynical partisan electoral gain, is just as big and issue as anything Omar has said or typed into twitter.

  24. 24
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.

    Did I miss the memo were Israel became the 52nd state, after the UK?

  25. 25
    chopper says:

    @jl:

    this is true. twitter is a terrible platform for nuance, and in this country criticizing israel (unless you’re in the presence of like-minded) requires a great deal of nuance. it sucks, but it’s the way american culture is today.

  26. 26
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    I have long felt that it is well past time the US normalized relationships with Israel.

  27. 27

    @eemom:

    But the elephant in this particular room — as evidenced by the BobS comments on the last thread, for example — is that the set of people directing negativity at Israeli policy includes a good sized subset of people who ARE negative toward Israel itself, i.e., the fact that it exists at all.

    This is true. It’s also true that a large number of people complaining about Rep. Omar’s language are doing so because they want to shut down any discussion of US support for Israel, and calling someone antisemitic is much easier than defending Israel’s policies on their merits.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    @jl

    I think we can rule her out as Wilmer’s running mate.

    :)

  29. 29
    Ian G. says:

    Fuck this noise. I think Omar’s comments are very problematic. I also think the absurd “special relationship” we have with the extreme right-wing government of Israel (which most Israel cheerleaders like to pretend is indistinguishable from Jewish people in general) is a disaster for both countries.

  30. 30
    Barbara says:

    In the same way that the only safe joke is one where you are the punchline, the only safe way to criticize US policy towards Israel is if you are Jewish — and even then you will be tagged as anti-Semitic. This is a baleful state of affairs that is destructive towards the long term interests of both nations and I shudder to think how awful things will have to get before the status quo shatters. I am not criticizing Rep. Omar when I say that “only Nixon could go to China” is still the operative principle for US relations with Israel. I get that she comes to this from an outsider position that makes her understand that this situation is not normal, but she will never be the one to persuade politicians on how to behave more rationally towards Israel.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    As several commenters have noted, Vargas damns Omar with the same bogus talking point that Omar used against people like him.
    It is like they are trapped in an echo chamber.

    I think Dems are in a dysfunctional OODA loop of just the sort in which cynical reactionary and hawkish factions wish to keep them.

    And the likes of McCarthy and Steve King can go merrily along, damning ‘bad Jews’ like Soros in much more outrageous and dangerous anti-Semitic ways with barely a notice.
    Dems have to break out of it.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    i remember an old israeli roommate of mine back in the day. he spent time in prison in israel when a demo in the west bank against israel’s treatment of palestinians went somewhat pear shaped.

    anyway, he was a real hoot when some white christian american blowhard would get all het about his issues with likud and start tossing around this shit, this ‘you can’t question our relationship blah blah it’s anti-semitic’ and he’d be all “bitch i’m from there. your support of the place is based on your end-times fantasy that my home country is going to get destroyed in a huge war and me and every other jew is gonna die and burn in hell, and i’m an anti-semite?

    shut em the hell up right quick.

  33. 33
    Brachiator says:

    @Ian G.:

    Fuck this noise. I think Omar’s comments are very problematic.

    Whatever. People have spent weeks on her remarks. They need to get unstuck and move on.

  34. 34
    gene108 says:

    Where are these guys on Trump’s threatening the U.K. (arguably, our closest ally for decades) over losing a court case in Scotland, over his golf course and being required to pay back the opponent’s legal fees?

    Where are these guys, when Trump trashes institutions established by the U.S. to prevent WW3, such as NATO and the UN?

    Where are these guys, when Trump tries to topple WTO, which the US helped create?

    Where are these guys, when Trump slapped a steel tariff on Canada citing national security concerns (another country, which is arguably our closest ally)?

    Seriously, Trump has done much worse to our existing allies, who we have been working with, prior to the existence of Israel and not nearly as much outrage and condemnation than a few Twitter comments about Israel.

    Something is out of whack, with regards to our understanding of who are friends are and whose hurting these friends.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    @Brachiator: Did anyone spend weeks on McCarthy repeatedly spelling Soros’ name as ‘$oros’ for his political campaign and general partisan political agitation?

    Show me when that happened and I’ll take this Omar flap seriously. Buying into the way Omar is being criticized at face value amounts to being played for dupe.

  36. 36
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Barbara:

    I am not criticizing Rep. Omar when I say that “only Nixon could go to China” is still the operative principle for US relations with Israel. I get that she comes to this from an outsider position that makes her understand that this situation is not normal, but she will never be the one to persuade politicians on how to behave more rationally towards Israel.

    It’s Democracy, things don’t change unless the shit gets disturbed and Omar is doing just that.

  37. 37
    raven says:

    Since I love to post the rwnj rants from Lang it’s worth reading the post about this on his blog.

    Trump Advisor Calls Congresswoman “Filth” on Fox TV’s Varney & Co By DECAMERON

    Ballabon probably does feel threatened these days. But not as much from the popularity of Democrats like Rep. Omar as by trends in Jewish American views and recent developments in Israel — especially the decision by the Israeli Attorney General to indict Netanyahu and Bibi’s desperate ploy to bring the Otzmah Yehudi (Jewish Power) party, offshoot of the late terrorist leader Meir Kahane, into the mainstream election blocs so that he can hope to survive the April 9th election with an extremist right-wing coalition. AIPAC, the flagship of the Israeli Lobby in America denounced Netanyahu’s embrace of the Kahanistas and the party itself. The American Jewish Committee tweets that the party is “racist and reprehensible.”

    What do the voters of Minnesota think of Ballabon’s diatribe? He doesn’t care. “So what if she’s in Congress?” It matters. This is America. — Decameron, March 4, 2019.

  38. 38
    Betty Cracker says:

    Question for anyone who cares to answer: Is being negative toward Israel itself, i.e., anti-Zionism, perforce anti-Semitism?

  39. 39
    A Ghost To Most says:

    questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.

    Fuck that, fuck him, fuck Israel.

  40. 40
    chopper says:

    @jl:

    don’t forget, gym jordan just tweeted something out about “Tom $teyer”. steyer is a wealthy jewish guy in the same vein as soros.

    crickets over that shit.

  41. 41
    B.B.A. says:

    @Betty Cracker: Absolutely not. Signed, an anti-Zionist Jew.

  42. 42
    jonas says:

    Good grief — why can’t people just be fucking grownups about this. There are antisemitic ways of criticizing Israel and outfits like AIPAC, and non-antisemitic ways of doing so. Some of what Omar tweeted — and then apologized for — skirted the line, but the idea that *all* criticism of Israel is off the table is ridiculous. Its PM, who is joined at the hip with Trump, has just been indicted in a massive corruption investigation FFS. Congress should open a robust investigation of just how in bed these two regimes have been with each other and what the toll has been for the long-term interests of both countries. Remember one of Trump’s first distinguished displays of foreign policy acumen was to blow the lid off a top-secret Israeli mission to infiltrate ISIS in front of the Russian ambassador? There are parties in Israel who would welcome this as well.

  43. 43
    chopper says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    depends on the reasons i would guess. “a jewish homeland is cool but it shoulda been somewhere else” is a lot different from “why do the jews get their own homeland, fuck that”

  44. 44
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Question for anyone who cares to answer: Is being negative toward Israel itself, i.e., anti-Zionism, perforce anti-Semitism?

    Depends. This is one of the problems that the UK Labour Party has. There are anti-Zionist lefties who are also anti-semites.

    Also, what does “being negative toward Israel” mean? You can have problems with the current government and have no problems with the country.

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The problem is that it’s difficult to separate the people who are genuinely offended by her word choice and those who are pretending to be bothered by her word choice and are really using it as an excuse to shut down any opinion critical of Israel.

    Not everyone having an opinion on Israel is acting in good faith, either towards U.S. interests or Israel’s interests, such as the right-wing evangelicals and those in Congress intimidated by or on the hook to AIPAC.

    She could obviously do better at avoiding this by being more careful with her language, but tweets like the one above make me think there’s no degree of care she could use in her language that could mollify people looking for a reason to be offended.

    Since people are acting in bad faith, they cannot be willing to have an honest discussion on U.S.-Israeli relations, and how some areas of Israeli conduct may hurt U.S. foreign policy. There whole position is grounded in dishonesty, from the foundation up.

  46. 46
    Another Scott says:

    @jl:

    Probably best advice to Omar anyone is to lay off trying to address issues like this anything other than puppies on twitter.

    FIFY.

    Seriously, circular firing squads and “lets you and him fight” aren’t a good look for our team. We know that the RWNJs are trying to turn AOC and Omar into the latest version of The Evil Hillary. We shouldn’t help them in that quest by keeping these comments as topics of discussion.

    tl;dr – Twitter isn’t going to solve the issues we have with Israel’s government.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    “Fortunately, only political junkies pay attention to political arguments on Twitter.”

  47. 47
    TomatoQueen says:

    @Betty Cracker: There’s a whole hunk of this question that is better understood as: Israel itself is not one entity, but many selves, including a powerful self that is not Zionist, another powerful self that is Zionist, and a host of flavors in between. These selves overlap with other divisions and backgrounds. It is in other words not at all simple, and not at all what appears on the tv news, and certainly not black and white. Still, after all the reading and observation I’ve done, the only reliable view I come to is Jews need a homeland, Zionism is the only means to that end that has worked, so if you oppose Zionism, you are opposing a homeland for Jews, and that is anti-Semitic. As always, ymmv.

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @raven:

    Since I love to post the rwnj rants from Lang it’s worth reading the post about this on his blog.

    Trump Advisor Calls Congresswoman “Filth” on Fox TV’s Varney & Co By DECAMERON

    I guess we need some hand wringing posts over how his vile language might be “problematic.”

  49. 49
    tobie says:

    @chopper: I think House Dems did issue a demand for an apology from Gym Jordan. I saw it yesterday or today in the news.

  50. 50
    Belafon says:

    The Jewish Community in #AZ05 are upset and angry you say zilch when our temples are marked with hate symbols, Charlottsville etc. How do I know? I am the one who calls our congregation to ease their hearts. How many people have you called? Clean your own house. #FakeOutrage https://t.co/yPB0PwboO1

    https://twitter.com/joangreeneaz/status/1102679410275041280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

  51. 51
    Tony Jay says:

    I commented about this in a half-arsed jokey manner a few days ago but really, it’s not funny at all.

    This isn’t going to go away. What you’re seeing now are the first choreographed steps towards smearing the entire ‘new young progressive’ cache of Democratic representatives as anti-Semitic using Omar as the Face. First come the rapid-fire accusations; it’s anti-Semitic because they say it’s anti-Semitic and that’s all the debate allowed on the topic. Then demands for her to ‘come and talk’ to self-selected representatives of the Jewish community about their ‘concerns’. Refuse and that’s proof of Omar’s guilt, accept and any meeting will be followed by spokespeople for the concerned instantly popping up to brief the media that whatever she said wasn’t good enough and their concerns have only intensified.

    Repeat. Over and over and over again. Each time the accusations become more strident and unhinged, even as friendly media coverage paints them as perfectly reasonable and deserving of serious response. Before you know it the question being asked isn’t ‘is this anti-semitic’ but ‘why is anti-Semitism being tolerated’? Try to raise doubts about any facet of the manufactured crisis and find yourself buried in an avalanche of coordinated attacks for your intolerable assault on the tender sensitivities of your accusers.

    And it doesn’t stop, because it’s not designed to ever stop. There’s no making it go away, no doing enough to win approval or forgiveness, because it’s not about anti-semitism. It’s about putting a narrative in place and hammering every single thing the accused do and say into a pose of sinister guilt. The only possible answer is to do what Omar seems to be doing and tell the accusers to go stick their smears up their arses, but I’ve no idea if that will even work in a media environment where this kind of ‘scandal’ is catnip for the Dems in Disarray mob. Wait until this becomes the first thing prospective Democratic candidates get asked about in every presser and after every speech, won’t that be fun?

    Here’s hoping America handles this smear campaign better than Britain has.

  52. 52
    Barbara says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: But she isn’t doing it from a position of stength. She is easily deflected. Mearshimer and Walt were ostracized and tuned out, and they were vastly less vulnerable. This isn’t something that is going to change because Rep. Omar wants it to.

  53. 53
    rp says:

    @Betty Cracker: No, but I think it’s almost impossible to separate the two.

  54. 54
    eemom says:

    @jonas:

    the idea that *all* criticism of Israel is off the table is ridiculous.

    Of course it is. But my question is who, aside from wingnuts and now this one idiot Dem, actually SAYS that? It is a fair point that support for Israel in general is one of the few things that exists on both sides of the aisle — but that’s a far cry from the existence of a Democratic party line as this idiot describes it.

    Obama, for example — anyone remember him? — took no shit from Bibi. That’s why Bibi hated him.

  55. 55
    PST says:

    Absolutely some of Omar’s critics are cynical hypocrites determined to make criticism of the policies of the current Israeli government look like attacks on American Jews who support the existence of Israel. But she makes it so easy! Words like “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” clearly evoke the dual loyalty charge Jews have faced since the forties. Her naive language scores a completely unnecessary own goal, and as far as I’m concerned, the implications are broader than just Israel. I’m old enough to remember when large numbers of my countrymen questioned whether Catholics could be loyal Americans given their allegiance to Rome, and there are plenty now who openly questions whether Muslims can be loyal Americans. Sure Omar would face plenty of pushback even if she made sure to avoid the dual-loyalty and Jews-control-us-with-their-money tripwires, but she would have company in that case and wouldn’t be playing into Republican hands. Whether we think it justified or not, the fact is that the Democrats are now preparing a resolution in reaction to Omar’s results, and according to the Post,

    Top Democrats are debating whether the resolution will specifically condemn Omar’s remarks, which include suggesting that supporters of Israel have an “allegiance to a foreign country,” or condemn anti-Semitism generally.

    Like it or not, this is only happening because Omar, perhaps due to inexperience, pops off without weighing her words. There was no need for this. I don’t think she’s an agent provocateur, but she might as well be, for all the needless tsouris she is causing her colleagues. She would do herself and her party a favor if she would cool off a bit and think about what she wants to accomplish.

  56. 56
    Barbara says:

    @eemom: More specifically, Obama would not entertain Netanyahu’s bellicose desire towards Iran.

  57. 57
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    The perception of identicality persists, however unfairly. Let’s just say that the Venn diagram for both is not represented by two discrete circles.

  58. 58
    Barbara says:

    @PST: And cultivate allies first. All the stuff that you have to do to create the conditions for political change.

  59. 59
    eemom says:

    @Barbara:

    This isn’t something that is going to change because Rep. Omar wants it to.

    Maybe not, but I do think she’d be more effective if she didn’t insist on trafficking in antiSemitism.

    And as I said on the last thread, it has to be deliberate at this point.

    OTOH, maybe she recognizes and accepts what you’re saying, and is fanning these flames without actually caring whether it’s a constructive way to change policy or not.

  60. 60
    karen marie says:

    @PST: If problems with the formal relationship between the US and Israel are out of bounds, how exactly is anyone supposed to talk about it?

    Are references to Trump’s allegiance to a foreign country also anti-semitic?

    The whole discussion about Omar has zoomed past the farthest reaches of absurdity.

  61. 61
    jacy says:

    Notice that all the old fault lines are being hyped 24/7: abortion, socialism, and now this. The knives are out for Omar and AOC and Tlaib.

    I don’t comment on Israel, because I am not Jewish and it’s a touchy subject and I am not knowledgeable enough about it anyway.. Omar should probably just steer clear of anything that even touches Israel, if only for the reason that they are going to use it tar her no matter what. Not fair, but no reason to give them any opening.

    This is a ploy, even if she said something she could have better worded. EVERY Democrat should treat it as such and not give it any fucking oxygen. The next year is going to be this on steriods.

  62. 62
    B.B.A. says:

    @Brachiator: Israel hasn’t had a left-wing government since 2001. I’ve given up all hope that they’ll ever get a better government, the individual leader or the party name may change but the murderous policies will remain the same.

  63. 63
    eemom says:

    @Barbara:

    That counts as not kowtowing to Israel, like some folks here insist that no elected official of either party in the United States ever has or ever would dare to do.

  64. 64
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Brachiator:
    The mistreatment of Palestinians far predates the current govt. This govt just does it with more glee.

  65. 65
    Barbara says:

    @eemom: If I give her the benefit of the doubt, I would say she strikes me as being naive, and is possibly overestimating the power that attaches to a single member of the House. There are no powerful committee appointments in her future if she continues down this path.

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @PST:

    Like it or not, this is only happening because Omar, perhaps due to inexperience, pops off without weighing her words. There was no need for this. I don’t think she’s an agent provocateur, but she might as well be, for all the needless tsouris she is causing her colleagues. She would do herself and her party a favor if she would cool off a bit and think about what she wants to accomplish.

    You don’t know her motives and certainly don’t know whether she was “hot” when she made her statements and needs to cool off.

    I love all the various machinations about motives and meanings behind words. To this, we could add the implication that she might be an agent provocateur.

    She apologized, but apparently that wasn’t enough. This is largely a non-issue. Or should be.

  67. 67
    PST says:

    @Barbara:

    @PST: And cultivate allies first. All the stuff that you have to do to create the conditions for political change.

    I couldn’t agree more. What she’s been doing does nothing to steer the ship of state in the direction she wants it to go. It’s self-indulgence with no strategy.

  68. 68
    Tenar Arha says:

    @jl: @chopper: But she wasn’t on Twitter. She was on a panel in a bookstore in DC. Here’s the original report in Jewish Insider.

    AFAIK iwhat happened next is her very thoughtful replies to a question then got picked up & misquoted by Chait & used to once again tag her as being anti-semitic.

    In the article here’s the discussion context & the quote that everyone is freaking out about.

    To me, it’s something that becomes designed to end the debate because you get in this space of – yes, I know what intolerance looks like and I’m sensitive when someone says, ‘The words you used Ilhan, are resemblance of intolerance.’ And I am cautious of that and I feel pained by that. But it’s almost as if, every single time we say something regardless of what it is we say…we get to be labeled something. And that ends the discussion. Because we end up defending that and nobody ever gets to have the broader debate of what is happening with Palestine.

    So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.

    The most embarrassing & difficult part of this whole megillah for me is that Rep Omar is being treated much like her loyalties are suspect, just as my Jewish grandparents & great-grandparents were too by Christians who don’t know what they’re talking about & really should butt out bc she wasn’t talking to them.

    ETA and then there’s a subset of Jewish people who know the context and are adjacent to this conversation but are
    bending over backwards to ignore that and feeding the overreaction. And they’re either motivated by a desire to inform people on the history of how dual allegiance has been used to feed antisemism, or I don’t know what else.

  69. 69
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Tony Jay: I’ve thought about that a lot while watching Labour flail around in the face of so much Tory incompetence. I have zero confidence we’ll handle it any better over here.

  70. 70
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    It is. On both sides.

    Only as long as we acquiesce in that bullshit.

    Fact: Israel is an apartheid state.

    Fact: The Israeli Defense Forces routinely violate the international law of armed conflict, by responding disproportionately against the civilian population of Gaza to attacks on Israel launched by Hamas from Gaza.

    Don’t like what I just wrote? I don’t care. It’s true, Truth must be spoken.

  71. 71
    different-church-lady says:

    You know, these squads ain’t gonna circular fire themselves.

  72. 72
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @rp:

    it’s almost impossible to separate the two.

    It’s not that hard. I would hope the actions of Israel towards Palestinians would conflict with their faith.

    Ha. Like that matters.

  73. 73
    Jay says:

    @jonas: @Betty Cracker:

    One cannot have a discussion about Israel without being accused of anti-semitism or having one’s comments “shaded” because there are far too many bad faith actors.

  74. 74
    Lyrebird says:

    @rp:
    @Tenar Arha:

    Hear hear and Ahmein.

    I can disagree with some of Rep. Omar’s comments, and I am waiting for Rep. McCarthy’s apology for his much-worse actions, and I haven’t heard an apology coming from Rep. Jordan either.

    I cringed at some of the comments in the earlier thread, and I cringed a LOT MORE about the recent slander of Rep. Omar in the WVa statehouse. And I called my own Rep. and told him I want him to have Rep. Omar’s back.

    I’ll leave longer treatment of Middle East policy stuff to the OP. And I’ll keep throwing a few bucks at J Street. I hope they work with Rep. Tlaib and bring a bunch o’ Representatives to visit her grandma.

  75. 75

    @gene108:

    Since people are acting in bad faith, they cannot be willing to have an honest discussion on U.S.-Israeli relations, and how some areas of Israeli conduct may hurt U.S. foreign policy.

    Of course it cuts both ways. There are plenty of people who are anti-Semitic but who couch their anti-Semitism in terms of opposition to specific Israeli policies. This is a problem in many places: people who say they oppose only specific instances of something but have never encountered any they approve of. IMO, the best counter is to ask them to specify what they would approve of. If they don’t approve of how Rep. Omar is expressing her disapproval of American political attitudes toward Israel, ask them how she should say what she’s saying. If they don’t approve of the way Israel is treating the West Bank, ask them what policy they would approve of. And so on.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @Tenar Arha: OK, thanks for the info. The link in your comment is bad. Is it this one?

    Reps. Omar and Tlaib: Anti-Semitism charges shut down criticism of Israel
    http://jewishinsider.com/15799.....of-israel/

    This makes me more sympathetic towards Omar, since the critics have, I think obviously, ignored the context of her thoughtful comments, and unfairly picked out her unfortunate concluding sentence. But the whole of her comments reinforces my thought that Omar has the issues somewhat confused. What is really going on is that a cynical reactionary and warlike faction is urging fealty to a like minded political faction within Israel, and dishonestly packaging it as the issue of support for Israel itself, and then tendentiously confusing that issue with anti-Semitism. All the while the GOP gets away with the real thing, with very little comment.

  77. 77
    dmbeaster says:

    @NotMax:

    The legitimacy of the existence of Israel is always the proverbial gorilla in the room.

    Not to pick on your remark, but this basically wrong. Even most of the Arabs are well past this question.

    Without question, there are plenty who just hate Jews and project that onto Israel. But a great deal of the criticism of Israel has nothing to do with this alleged gorilla.

    The idea that criticism of Israel is anti-semitic, or that it is questioning the legitimacy of Israel’s existence, are two similar rhetorical tactics for just sidestepping the merits of the criticism.

  78. 78
    PST says:

    @karen marie:

    If problems with the formal relationship between the US and Israel are out of bounds, how exactly is anyone supposed to talk about it?

    They are not out of bounds and people talk about them all the time. I hear little but criticism of the Netanyahu government and Trump’s slavish support of it among my friends.

    Are references to Trump’s allegiance to a foreign country also anti-semitic?

    No, they are anti-Trumpic. I’m a firm believer in anti-Trumpism.

  79. 79
    zzyzx says:

    @Brachiator: We did. Then she made new ones. Once I can get. The local Jewish community spoke to her for hours and she said she got it. Twice, well the conversation was a few years ago and people can slip. A third time right after she had it explained to her why the last one was bad, and I’m definitely having doubts. And, yes, I hate Likud, I hate the settlements, and I want to punch anyone who refers to the occupied West Bank as Judea and Samaria.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Israel hasn’t had a left-wing government since 2001. I’ve given up all hope that they’ll ever get a better government, the individual leader or the party name may change but the murderous policies will remain the same.

    A lot of people are frustrated. Who knows what may happen in the future with a change in government or attitude.

    @A Ghost To Most:

    The mistreatment of Palestinians far predates the current govt. This govt just does it with more glee.

    The mistreatment of Palestinians by other Arab countries also predates the current government. A lot needs to change.

  81. 81
    encephalopath says:

    Perhaps Rep. Vargas believes he is the one who will deliver the unblemished, pure red heifer to the temple.

  82. 82

    So here’s the thing. I think there are reasonable criticisms of what Omar has said and I think it’s acceptable to argue that she should be more careful with her words in the future.

    But at the same time, I also think the immediate push to label her a bigot is downright deranged. Frankly, I wouldn’t expect a Somali refugee to possess knowledge of every anti-Semitic trope in history any more than I would expect a Japanese immigrant with little schooling in American history to understand why blackface is offensive. I didn’t understand the history behind the use of “allegiance” as a dogwhistle until this blew up, and I’m Jewish.

    I also feel like this idiotic tweet from Vargas kind of proved her point. There are all kinds of reasonable discussions to be had about separating the Israeli people and nation from the policies of their government or specific political parties there (Likud in particular, though several of the other parties haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory), and we should have them. There are also reasonable discussions to be had about how to criticise Israel’s government without lapsing, intentionally or not, into anti-Semitic tropes. But right now, a lot of what we’re having doesn’t look like that. Far too many people are violating Hanlon’s Razor, assuming malice where ignorance is an equally plausible reading. That’s not going to lead to any sort of constructive, educative discussion; it’s just going to lead to personal attacks. And frankly, that’s exactly what some of Israel’s right-wing supporters want. They don’t want constructive dialogue around this issue.

    I’ll also add that Twitter is an awful place to have political discourse. You can’t discuss any issue with any sort of nuance when you’re limited to 280 characters. And yes, people constantly make tweet threads that extend far beyond 280 characters, but as constructive and insightful as many of them are, they’re eyesores and I wish the authors would use some other medium to express themselves. In any case, because many people refuse to read beyond the first tweet, I wish people would stop using Twitter for anything except pet videos and links to news stories. (I’ll allow a special dispensation for AOC, however, as she somehow manages to make Twitter an art form. And yes, I realise this didn’t start on Twitter, as @Tenar Arha pointed out, but it sure as fuck blew up there.)

    Anyway, my view of Rep. Omar is that there are legitimate criticisms of what she said, but I haven’t seen anything to signify that she’s intentionally trafficking in anti-Semitism rather than just ignorant of some of the many forms in which it’s manifested itself throughout history. It’s not like I’m familiar with all of them either, and I’ve even read some of Richard Evans’ The Coming of the Third Reich (not the whole thing; I had to return the book to the library before I had the chance to finish). Until I see something more significant than this, I’m just going to assume ignorance on her part. I hope she has advisors schooling her on this stuff, though, because she seems to lack understanding of a lot of the history of anti-Semitism, and it’s tough to avoid trafficking in stereotypes and loaded language if you don’t even know what the stereotypes and loaded language are.

    …ETA: also from the full context of her remarks it doesn’t look like she’s specifically referring to Jews demanding allegiance to Israel, but to American political factions that do so, many of whom are not themselves Jewish – e.g., the right-wing American evangelicals who are waiting for Israel perish in hellfire so they can be raptured. And AFAIK Vargas isn’t Jewish either. So, y’know. Context.

  83. 83
    PST says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): I don’t think I’ve ever read a better history than The Coming of the Third Reich. It’s full of meaning for our times, and to the author’s credit, he lets us figure that out for ourselves.

  84. 84
    But her emails!!! says:

    I asked this question earlier, but I’m still not getting it. The reason for the outrage is that she ostensibly made use of the trope that Jewish people have a dual loyalty, or a primary loyalty to other Jewish people and not to their country. I have yet to be shown where she actually made use of the trope. The words quoted when looked at in context suggest that it’s Representatives like Omar not Jewish people in the US she is talking about.

  85. 85
    Belafon says:

    @But her emails!!!: That’s what I’m seeing.

    As far as I can see, the attacks on her seem to be on her questioning the default support for Israel of people in Congress and the presidency. And I think they’re legitimate questions.

  86. 86

    @PST: As far as I was able to ascertain, it’s utterly flawless. I’m not a historian myself so I can’t speak to the quality of his research, but his writing is amazing. I think his approach can be compared to J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary technique of applicability (apologies for wasting the rest of your evening with a TV Tropes link) – rather than write his work with an eye on the present day, he simply lets the past speak for itself, using his obviously voluminous research to craft a coherent narrative out of an extremely chaotic time. This probably makes his work stronger overall, since it won’t become dated with time. The book was, after all, published sixteen years ago, but the parallels to the present day are difficult to miss (though fortunately, there are also some contrasts).

    I sometimes wonder who will be the Richard Evans of the Trump era. I don’t know if any present-day journalists would be capable of crafting a historical narrative like that, but if any are, Jane Mayer certainly has strong potential.

    I’m still contemplating writing a screenplay about that time, since it remains poorly understood by the masses. I would certainly use Evans as a major source, and probably my primary one. (There is a nonzero chance that if I wrote a quality screenplay, I could actually get it produced; though admittedly I haven’t been in contact with her for several years, an old school classmate with whom I worked on several plays was co-producer of a little film you may have heard of called Moonlight.)

  87. 87
    zzyzx says:

    If nothing else, if you’ve twice ventured into antisemitic tropes to the point where you’ve been losing political capital, you need to be extra careful because people are going to be looking for it now. Once a narrative starts, it’s hard to move away from it. Right now, if she’s going to discuss Israel, she should have a few people who are more familiar with the tropes tell her how to rephrase.

    Is she getting extra attention for who she is? Of course. But she’s trying to be a major player here and that’s going to expose you to attacks. It’s part of her job to not let there be any.

  88. 88
    Tenar Arha says:

    What’s fascinating is that Mr. Free-Speech-Chait really did subtly misquote Rep Omar in his NYMAG article, but in addition tweeted it multiple times over the weekend. I don’t understand his motives here at all, but his tweets over the weekend are the initial source for the brouhaha.

    And then as usual there was critical pushback, which caused Chait to tweet more rather than correct the record or the piece. Which is kinda his MO. (I’m not sure why Marshall is going on either, except I think he’s letting his inner historian override his journalistic sense).

    @jl: Yup that’s the one. (I think I must have got there via redirect, which could be why the link borked).

  89. 89

    @zzyzx: I don’t see any disagreement with what I wrote, considering I explicitly said I hope she has advisors schooling her on this stuff so she avoids recurrences of events like this in the future.

    However, I also don’t think many of the attacks on her, at least for this remark, are being made in good faith. From the full context of her remarks, it’s clear she was referring to American political factions that pressure people into pro-Israel/Likud policies, and many of these factions are not Jewish. Many of them, in fact, are American evangelicals who are themselves anti-Semites insofar as they want their deranged interpretation of the Book of Revelation to proceed, with all of us perishing in Armageddon and them ascending into heaven. Frankly, I have at least as much concern about those people as I do about Rep. Omar – probably more. When you get down to it, that worldview is downright psychopathic. They’re basically wishing for genocide.

    I see no problem in advising Rep. Omar to be more cautious in navigating this perilous and complex minefield. But at the same time, the current situation risks turning into a Butter Emails sort of situation where it becomes impossible for her to win. The remarks in question look to me to have been taken egregiously out of context, and I don’t see this sort of situation improving. As I said, it’s fine to say non-Jews need to tread lightly when using words like “allegiance” in the context of Israel, but I find it incredibly problematic that so many people are rushing to label as an anti-Semite a Somali immigrant who probably didn’t know the history behind the word. It’s not as if she is even a native English speaker (AFAIK). Her main thought when using the word was probably the Pledge of Allegiance, and indeed, it’s what I first thought of when I first saw her remarks as well. I doubt she had any idea the word had other associations.

    So in short, her statement was kind of problematic, many of the attacks on her are really problematic, and I kind of just want to crawl into a hole until Individual-1 leaves office because I really don’t know if I can take two more years of this.

  90. 90
    Brachiator says:

    @zzyzx:

    We did. Then she made new ones. Once I can get. The local Jewish community spoke to her for hours and she said she got it. Twice, well the conversation was a few years ago and people can slip. A third time right after she had it explained to her why the last one was bad, and I’m definitely having doubts.

    Some of this is almost comical.

    “You are not anti-semitic, and didn’t grow up in America, so we need to teach you all about the history stupidity, coded language and bullshit of anti-semitism in America and the West so that, knowing the lingo and what to avoid, you can avoid the appearance of being an anti-semite. Because there is an approved way of being an anti-semite”

    Another part of this is incredibly condescending. She is expected to sit down and be lectured to. No conversation. No dialog. But the presumption is that whatever she felt or thought or believed was wrong, incomplete or suspect and subject to correction.

    Meanwhile, Trump and his thugs are having white nationalist carnivals, complete with full on unreconstructed racists and anti-semites.

  91. 91
    Jay says:

    @PST:

    “They are not out of bounds and people talk about them all the time. I hear little but criticism of the Netanyahu government and Trump’s slavish support of it among my friends.”

    Friends. We are not talking about Friendspace, but instead, public politics, media and the internet.

    This not the first time that a Politician’s actual words have been twisted and shaded to support charges of anti-semitism, and it won’t be the last.

    Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has been accused of “blood libel”.

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @zzyzx: ‘It’s part of her job to not let there be any.’
    OTOH, there are powerful people in GOP and Dem leadership, and others, who have a vested interest in making sure there will be something to find wrong in anything she says, and will pore over every syllable to find something wrong. We don’t have to react just as they want us to every time that they claim to find an outrage.

    There is a much better chance that Omar has good intentions compared to those of some of her loudest critics. And, as I typed previously, at this point, reading her full comments wrt to the current flap, I suspect more reason to think that she needs to think through the real and professed positions of the various sides of the issue more thoroughly, than worry that she is an anti-Semite.

  93. 93

    @Brachiator:

    Meanwhile, Trump and his thugs are having white nationalist carnivals, complete with full on unreconstructed racists and anti-semites.

    Yeah, that’s the other reason this whole thing is really making me roll my eyes, and we haven’t even gotten into Steve King’s shameful sixteen-plus years in Congress. With that in mind, I can’t find it in myself to get worked up about a Somali refugee who is an ESL speaker using coded language out of what is by all appearances ignorance.

  94. 94
    Amir Khalid says:

    @chopper:
    A big part of the problem is that an occupying colonial power gave these (European) Jews the homeland from under another people’s feet.

  95. 95
    chopper says:

    @But her emails!!!:

    exactly, which is why this whole thing is more tone policing than anything else.

  96. 96
    dimmsdale says:

    @Tony Jay: Tony, thank you for this. Your comment sums up for me the entire overarching dynamic in play here, next to which carping about Rep. Omar’s vocabulary or word choice is (IMO) a waste of time. OUR GUYS GET TO BE WRONG SOMETIMES, that doesn’t mean we throw them to the howling mob of ravenous RWNJs. The right wing in this country is skilled at turning a superficial scratch into an arterial bleed, and that’s what’s happening here. I’m DONE with it.

  97. 97
    sgrAstar says:

    @jacy:

    The knives are out for Omar and AOC and Tlaib.

    The knives are out for *all* of us. We can’t weaken ourselves going into this battle, by allowing our enemies to set the terms of the debate. The trumpists know how important the upcoming election is. We have to set up an impenetrable, unbreakable phalanx of opposition. Let them break us and we’ve lost. That simply cannot be allowed to happen.
    I have a lot of confidence in our Speaker to help Omar and others find their footing, while protecting them as they learn.

    Power to the people.

  98. 98
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator:

    People have spent weeks on her remarks.

    Okay I know I’ve been out of it but…seriously? There’s been nothing new since the Benjamins?

    Some folk just gotta be all about needing to tell this lady how she talks .

  99. 99
    CDWard says:

    Israel:

    – is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Jewish State;

    – has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and
    oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians for over 60 years;

    – refuses to honor its obligations under international law;

    – refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going war crimes; and

    – refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

    See http://www.ifamericansknew.org and http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.....dloss.html for more information.

  100. 100
    zzyzx says:

    I’m just saying that in terms of political skill, you have to know that people are going to go after you. If they’re finding an effective line of attack, you have to stop it. No, it’s not fair, but it’s also the way that the game is played.

    It wasn’t fair that Obama nearly got derailed because of a sermon that a pastor said. However, if he reacted to the Wright issue by saying, “Wright had a great point! I’m going to go to an even more radical church now!” he never would have made it out of the primaries.

    Yeah, there’s a real chance that Omar just doesn’t get the complexities of dog whistles since she was raised in a different universe, but if she continues to make the same mistake over and over again, she’ll make it easy for those who want to destroy her. No, it’s not fair, but that doesn’t make it less real.

  101. 101
    zzyzx says:

    @Yutsano: no, she made new statements the other day that might have been fine on their own, but looked bad after the other flaps.

  102. 102
    eemom says:

    @Yutsano:

    There has been something new. See thread from earlier today.

  103. 103

    @zzyzx: No one is saying she should get even more radical in response to the criticism. But this isn’t comparable to Wright. First of all, Obama isn’t Wright. The criticism of Obama for attending Wright’s church wasn’t about anything Obama said, so Obama didn’t have any direct responsibility for anything Wright said. But secondly, Wright’s words, even in context, look pretty damning to the American public. (I don’t actually disagree entirely with the point he was making, but if memory serves, Wright is a jerk for other reasons.) The problem here is that Omar’s words are literally being taken out of context and twisted to mean something she didn’t actually say. Her defence here, as far as I can make out, is literally “I didn’t actually say that”.

    There’s a legitimate case to be made for picking and choosing one’s battles, but conceding too many battles can run into the strategic problem of allowing opponents to frame the debate. And much as I love Obama, a reasonable case can be made that he did that too much as well. God help the man, he seemed to think there was a legitimate path forward that would allow for bipartisan legislation. It was never going to happen with the modern Republican Party. They’d sooner have eaten their young on live TV. (Metaphorically, they’re actually doing exactly that, what with their support of climate denialism and all.) But the man was an institutionalist to the core. I’m not saying that as a positive or a negative; it is what it is. He believed in working through the system and it’s how he operated throughout his presidency. It accomplished some great things, including the ACA and recovery from the greatest economic crash since the Great Depression, but there were some serious losses as well, particularly at the state and local level (though due to the nature of the American election cycle, I don’t know how much he could’ve done to stem the bleeding there), not to mention the usurpation of the 2016 election and the stolen Supreme Court seat.

    Anyway, it seems like the new Democrats, for better and worse, have no illusions that the Republican Party operates in anything approaching good faith. Just as it wasn’t in Obama’s nature to throw rhetorical bombs, it’s not in many of our new legislators’ nature to accept the GOP’s framing of the debate. I legitimately cannot imagine Omar or AOC or Tlaib responding to something like the Wright sermon the way Obama did. Obama’s reaction worked for him, but part of the reason it worked for him is it was authentic, and people saw that he was reacting sincerely. I don’t think such a reaction would be sincere from many of our younger legislators.

    That’s not to say I think they should fight on every issue. Part of effective strategising is knowing which battles to fight and which ones to avoid. And that’s why, like I said, there’s a legitimate argument that Omar needs better coaching and education on issues like this. But we’re dealing with a group of people who legitimately aren’t treating her in good faith. Anything she says can and will be picked apart and twisted to mean things she has not said. Is it possible that by educating herself better and choosing her words with utmost precision she can perhaps lessen the number of such events? Yes, it is. But frankly, take this too far and it looks a lot like victim-blaming. Her words are being taken out of context, but she’s still being blamed for using a word she presumably didn’t know was loaded. But she’s still being blamed for saying something she didn’t say, even though she’s not the one who distorted her words. Omar is being criticised for this, but why isn’t Chait being criticised for distorting her words?

    So, like I said, I want to crawl under a rock. I don’t know if I can take two more years of this (or God forbid, six more years). I’m so tired of this sort of thing. We don’t need to be a circular firing squad. Sure, help her craft her language better and educate her on the issues where she needs it, but it’s not her fault her words were distorted into something she didn’t say. The bigger fault here is with the people distorting her words.

  104. 104
    BobS says:

    @eemom: Unsurprisingly (like I also said in the previous thread, I’m used to Israel’s apologists arguing in bad faith), you mischaracterized what I wrote, i.e. I hate APARTHEID Israel. It’s puzzling to me why anyone who frequents a site like Balloon Juice wouldn’t.

  105. 105
    whippybear says:

    @Tony Jay:
    And pretty soon young people will associate anti-semitism with standing up against brown people and their kids getting murdered by armed forces, apartheid and racism and it’ll be ok to be anti-semitic.

  106. 106
    BobS says:

    @whippybear:
    And the anti anti-Semites will be the white guys wearing polo shirts and carrying tiki torches marching while chanting “Jews will not replace us”.
    Sounds like something from a Pynchon novel.

  107. 107
    eemom says:

    @BobS:

    Terribly sorry, guess I misunderstood your proclamation that every criticism of Israeli policy has to incorporate the entire 70 year history of the nation of Israel.

    I take it then you’re cool with the concept of Zionism?

    And speaking of bad faith, show me where I was an “apologist” for Israel, you smug ass blowhard.

  108. 108
    Adam Geffen says:

    https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/181449/willis-anti-anti-zionist

    This 2003 essay by the late Ellen Willis was my starting point for thinking about Zionism and Anti-Zionism. I still think it is a fantastic piece. Perhaps some here will find it interesting.

  109. 109
    Adam Geffen says:

    Oh and I also highly recommend the book in which the essay I linked above first appeared:

    Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, edited by Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon (2003).

  110. 110
    BobS says:

    @eemom:
    My “proclamation”? You mean my suggestion that a familiarity with history helps towards understanding and contextualizing the present? Hey, it wasn’t a mandate- if you’re comfortable with your ignorance, carry on.
    Zionism? Given that it’s resulted in quasi-fascism, apartheid, concentration camps, and ethnic cleansing, I guess you can put me down as a no vote.
    Not an apologist? Sorry, when you walk like a duck, and quack like a duck…my mistake, I guess.

  111. 111
    eemom says:

    @Adam Geffen:

    It IS a fantastic piece, and thanks so much for sharing it.

    And though written in 2003, by an author who tragically passed away only a few years later, she could totally have been describing the ignorance on display right here on this day in 2019.

  112. 112
    Jay says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  113. 113
    whippybear says:

    @BobS: It was bound to happen that the right loves israel (at least until they elect a left-winger) and hates the jews and the left has the reverse position. It doesn’t really matter how many “anti”s you put in front of it, the right will support the jackbooted authoritarians using the nazis as a playbook.

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