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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 11 19, 4:55 pm 
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Our policy towards Israel is insane, and Israel holds way too much power over this country. Israel is that drunk friend who always goes around starting [expletive] and then expects his buddies to help when the people he has been taunting want to kick his ass. We need to drop all funding to Israel and tell them it's time to grow up and quit poking the bear or live with the consequences of their actions without our help.


I'm 100% for the Jewish people, I think all Nazi's should die, and no one in America should have to put up with the anti jewish [expletive]. However Israel can go get [expletive].


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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 11 19, 9:38 pm 
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I’m not sure how you adequately confront the pro-Israel lobby or any lobby without talking about money.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 12 19, 10:44 am 
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The other aspect of the Omar situation is that while I'm 99% sure her tweet wasn't racially motivated, I'm 100% sure that most of the bad faith reaction to her tweet is.

A good start is for more white liberals to be vocally against Israel's treatment of Palestinians so muslim representatives don't have to carry that water for them. The situation is fraught enough. White jews, white libs, etc, time to speak up against Netanyahu's policies.

And frankly, as a non-jew, I would hope more jews speak up to shame the way Netanyahu has cozied up to fascism at home and abroad. Jews, of all people, should be deeply ashamed of that.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 12 19, 1:03 pm 
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thrill wrote:
The other aspect of the Omar situation is that while I'm 99% sure her tweet wasn't racially motivated, I'm 100% sure that most of the bad faith reaction to her tweet is.

Don’t know about that. Defenders of American supported Israeli crimes have been labeling all their opponents, including Jews, anti-Semitic for as long as I can remember. It always seemed reckless to me to act so cynically, but I guess they feel it’s worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 12 19, 1:17 pm 
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thrill wrote:
A good start is for more white liberals to be vocally against Israel's treatment of Palestinians so muslim representatives don't have to carry that water for them. The situation is fraught enough. White jews, white libs, etc, time to speak up against Netanyahu's policies.

And frankly, as a non-jew, I would hope more jews speak up to shame the way Netanyahu has cozied up to fascism at home and abroad. Jews, of all people, should be deeply ashamed of that.

Maybe someone has survey data, but in my experience the most passionate American opponents of Netanyahu type policy is already progressive Jews. Of course there’s plenty of supporters too, though this also draws from from apocalyptic type Christians as well as the Always War sect.

But I don’t think there’s a general lack of Jewish opposition any more than you’d say that Americans are failing to speak out about Trump cozing up with fascism.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 12 19, 1:53 pm 
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Omar was correct to mention AIPAC in the same sentence as the NRA. They are both extremely powerful special interest groups that represent a minority opinion. But they do it with a lot of money and very vehemently, so they have a very disproportionate affect on our government policy compared to public opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 13 19, 3:10 pm 
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Israel sucks.



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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 14 19, 9:59 am 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
Maybe someone has survey data, but in my experience the most passionate American opponents of Netanyahu type policy is already progressive Jews

Much like my criticism of Christians and their role in denouncing evangelicalism, I believe progressive jews have to speak louder and work on changing the hearts and minds of the more moderate members of their faith community and make them allies to the cause of what is right based on their own religious teachings.

So I'd never say that there aren't tons and tons of jews leading the fight for freedom and equality for Palestinians and other muslim communities, but I will say I'd love to see more of it. I do feel for those speaking up already as I'm aware that generational divides around zionism is the jewish equivalent of fox news dad who forwards bogus emails all day.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 15 19, 12:07 pm 
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Ilhan Omar and her Israel tweets, as seen by a Jewish constituent

Quote:
This was an exhausting few days to be a progressive Jew.

This is a frequent mood, but the present moment's been especially trying.

I am a progressive Jew in Ilhan Omar’s district, who voted for her, and generally supports her.

But thanks to Omar, there are several things going on at the moment, all of them infuriating. First, there is Omar herself, who continues to be maddeningly tone-deaf on the subject of Israel.

This is not something I should have to concern myself with, as I am an American with no real connection to the state of Israel. In general, I am sure Omar and I agree on a lot regarding Israel. I think Israel deserves abundant criticism for its treatment of its Palestinian minority, and I think AIPAC, like all lobbying firms, should be subject to scrutiny and criticism.

So, I wouldn’t take a lot of issue with her comments regarding Israel... except that Omar repeatedly brushes up against anti-Semitic tropes.

Her short, tweeted messages managed to conjure up an old anti-Semitic bugaboo: a shadowy cabal of international Jews with no loyalty to this country, who wield outsized and sinister influence.

Another tweet just said “AIPAC!,” a reference to an Israeli interest lobbying firm. The first came in response to Glenn Greenwald puzzling about U.S. political leaders spending an inordinate amount of time on Israel. The second was a reply to Forward Opinions Editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, who'd asked Omar for clarification about the original missive.

It’s so few words from Omar. I think a lot of progressive Jews might have said, “Oh, she probably could have phrased that better” and given her a pass, but the tweet came less than a month after Omar apologized for a similarly tone-deaf tweet from 2012 when she'd declared Israel had “hypnotized the world." This also brushes against classic anti-Semitic tropes.

Omar apologized with a statement which she posted, fittingly, on her Twitter account.

I don’t want to pile on Omar overmuch. She has apologized and I think she is sincere. More than that, as a freshman congresswoman, she's been the subject of outsized attention. That has a lot more to do with Islamophobia, anti-blackness, right-wing obsessives, and Israel supporters finding her comments useful as a cudgel against Omar and her political allies. I am far more concerned with the rise of the anti-Semitic right -- which has commited actual violence -- than whether Omar is capable of having a nuanced discussion of a foreign nation without accidentally impugning me and other Jews.

But I do want to invite Omar to consider how much clean-up work Jews had to do because she wasn't careful with her public statements. The flap over Omar's tweets means Jews have found themselves in the middle of a tremendous game of political football -- one few of us asked for, and aren’t enjoying.

Think of the conservative politicos, politicians and commentators who've never been real friends to the Jews who are seizing this moment, jumping at the chance to castigate Omar for anti-Semitism.

I can’t really concern myself with the behavior of those on the right, though it’s troubling that Omar would give them such a golden opportunity to get in some cheap shots. Keith Ellison gave the right even less to work with, and yet he's been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism his entire political career.

My concern is with my own community, the progressive one. They don’t like to have this conversation, but the progressive community really does have an anti-Semitism problem. Usually this takes the form of dismissing Jewish concerns about anti-Semitism -- especially when those concerns are directed at a fellow progressive.

There's a popular talking point, one progressives never should have allowed to even get a foothold, but did. It's pernicious, and has made discussions of anti-Semitism fraught, frustrating, and hard to resolve in progressive communities. This talking point ties into the latest series of Omar tweets. It goes as follows:

Jews use charges of anti-Semitism to shut down criticism of Israel.

I hate to even have to respond to this, but since so many non-Jews instantly shut down the moment the subject's broached, I have to say it: Some of us are guilty of this very thing. There are a few unscrupulous Jews who claim "anti-Semitism" whenever Israel gets criticized, credibly or not.

That doesn't justify dismissing or refusing the discussion. But thanks to the insistence that anti-Semitism is actually just an Israeli dodge, it happens often enough.

There are also a lot of progressives who are comfortable with any charge, any slander at all lobbed at Jews -- no matter how much it rhymes with historically anti-Semitic plotlines -- as long as it's couched as a criticism of Israel. If any Jew balks in response, even just at the language used to express the thought, they're accused of being disloyal propagandists for Israel. This happens regardless of how they feel about Israel.

The problem doesn't resolve easily. Gentiles, by and large, are woefully ignorant about Jews, and our religion, and history, and tend not to recognize anti-Semitic tropes. People don’t want to be confronted about anti-Semitism, and already respond badly when the subject comes up. And now, thanks to the idea that Jews use charges of anti-Semitism to silence legitimate criticisms of Israel, gentiles don't even feel the need to engage in the discussion. Any Jew raising any concern is written off as an agent of a foreign country.

This is the most frustrating and often heartbreaking thing about these past few days. Ilhan Omar couldn’t take the time to phrase her tweets in a way that was unambiguously free of historic slanders against the Jews. So now progressive Jews get to do the work in their political circles to convince people it matters.

The response to this, from all sides, is too often silence, dismissal, or worse. On social media, both right-wingers and progressives will swarm people who are publicly Jewish and progressive and accuse them of some very familiar things: of being dishonest, of being unscrupulous, of being agents of a foreign government, of welding hidden and sinister influence.

That’s what we get to reckon with this week, because Omar couldn’t vet a handful of words.

I don’t think it is too much to expect her to do better. I didn't vote for Ilhan Omar so that I could be press-ganged into mopping up after an ill-worded tweet.


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 Post subject: Re: Israel
PostPosted: February 15 19, 2:00 pm 
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I don't like to play these games about "Were the tweets really anti-semitic?" I will take the person's word that they were. I really struggle with this one though. Jews and Muslims are both oppressed minorities in this country, but the power balance is not even close to being equal. If Jews do not want to be used as a political football, then they need to organize and help us to get our government to stop sending billions of dollars to Israel. We aren't sending billions to Palestine. The right wing has been using this issue as a political football for years, and the Democrats basically conceded all ground on this issue, until basically right now, when Ilhan Omar finally spoke up. I guess we are going to have to figure out how to talk about this issue the right way, because it's not going away.


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