Why are you singling out my posts on Israel/Palestine?

Whenever I post about Israel/Palestine, I get insinuations and complaints about how I’m not posting about other struggles around the world. But when I post about a labor conflict—say, at the University of Oregon—no one asks or speculates about why I’m not also posting about labor conflicts in Tibet. So today I’m starting a new meme: Why are you singling out my posts on Israel/Palestine?


  1. nafnaf November 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm | #

    Historically, people who obsess about things impacting on Jews tend to harbor strong prejudices. So, that would be point one here. You might consider that, to your reader, you are basically asserting that Israel is an evil, one to be overcome. See, in this regard, David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition. The fact that someone is Jewish does not exempt the person from acting in service of that manner of thinking, as Professor Nirenberg notes.

    The assumption that I have is that your obsession suggestions you, in fact, use your anti-Israelism to organize your understanding of the world. And, you see overcoming Israel as involving the liberation, in some sense, of mankind. In that regard, you follow Marx’s often quoted assertion that “[i]n the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.”

    Point two is that it is my impression that you are not well versed either on the region’s history or on Zionism and, on top of that, have no context in your thinking. You see outrages where, by any historical standard, Israel’s sins are quite small. Examining movements in context provides a better understanding. I might suggest you start by studying the Greek liberation movement. Every single thing you could possibly claim about any evil committed by Jews in the region can be said with sharp spades – as in the Greek liberation movement’s behavior was a hundred to a thousand times worse – about the movement to liberate Greece from the Ottoman Empire. Yet, focusing on only one dispute to the exclusion of others causes you to lose the distance that seeing just how normal – in fact, by historical standards, uplifting – the Jewish liberation movement has been and how minor Israel’s sins are, by any normal manner of political or moral accounting.

    The third point is that, among parts of the worlds where there are disputes, focusing on Israel amounts to shutting out any focus on far worse events. Consider, while the world obsessed about Israel, it went nearly unnoticed that the Arab regions were about to explode with revolts. And, because viewing the Arab regions carefully was not occurring, those revolts were misread as imminently pointing to democracy.

    Had people studied the Arab regions more carefully and realized that the political and social ideas flourishing in the Arab regions are abysmal, they might better understand Israel’s situation. So, perhaps, if you showed interest in the horror that constitutes Arab governance and social ideas essentially everywhere in the ME, including in Gaza and the WB – and, since the rule in Gaza and the WB is essentially the same in its horror as exists throughout the ME – you would adopt a more nuance and intelligent understanding of the Israeli and not blame Israel for things that have primarily to do with the bad political and social ideas adopted by Arabs throughout the ME.

    Last of all, because you seem to oppose Israel’s existence – siding with the BDS Antisemites -, focusing your gaze wider might make you notice that, in the Arab regions, multinational or, in that region’s context, multi-denominational political arrangements are not working very well. Lebanon is no example for Israel. Neither is Syria or Iraq. Why would you condemn Israel’s Jews and Druze and Bedouin – i.e., the groups that accept Israel as their homeland – to the horrors that are the norm in the region? I do not get it. And, your obsession with it may well be one reason you fail to get it.

    • Andrew Miller November 23, 2014 at 1:51 pm | #

      Well, that was a steaming load of horseshit.

      • halginsberg1963 November 23, 2014 at 2:17 pm | #

        @Andrew Miller – my sense from this comment and the one that I replied to in the forum on Salaita is that you are unwilling to dialogue with anybody who 1) doesn’t see Israel as an evil to be eradicated or 2) criticizes those who do see Israel as an evil to be eradicated. How sad that you are as unwilling to see humanity in your “enemies” as you claim they are. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

  2. Hal Ginsberg November 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm | #

    Just as Israel’s retaliatory strikes in Gaza and the West Bank and the recent outrage of “home-razing” are grossly disproportionate to the harm inflicted by some Palestinians, your focus on Israel strikes critics as disproportionate to her destructive actions in comparison to what dictators and autocrats in other countries have done.

    • Corey Robin November 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm | #

      But surely my focus on the injustices committed by employers against American workers is disproportionate in comparison to what employers in China, Guatemala, or Bangladesh do to their workers. Why aren’t folks as outraged by my focus on American workers?

      • nafnaf November 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm | #

        But, that is not the point. Your focus on Israel makes no sense, logically, ethically or in any other way. It is a simple obsession, not based on fact.

      • halginsberg1963 November 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm | #

        Because you (and most readers of your readers I presume) are American. I do think workers in Guangdong would be outraged if an expatriate Chinese professor, who had moved to the US, spent all of her time bashing American corporate employers for their treatment of Americans while barely mentioning the significantly worse abuses that the same malefactors visit upon Chinese employees.

      • Adela November 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm | #

        Did you ever consider that Corey Robin’s “obsession” is with Palestinians, and that Israel is unfortunately caught up in all of this?

        • halginsberg1963 November 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm | #

          I don’t believe in psychoanalyzing people who I haven’t met and whose work is uniformly of a high caliber. Professor Robin writes extremely persuasively and innovatively about the conservative mindset, institutional biases in academia, Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinian people, and many other areas. I have no reason to believe that his periodic criticisms of Israel betray an obsession with either that country or the Muslims who live in the region. My suspicion is that they reflect an evident concern for the plight of the exploited, the oppressed, and the impoverished and concomitant anger at those who abuse power.

          That said, Robin asked why he gets criticized for singling out Israel for criticism. As I noted earlier, some critics may claim that Robin is ignoring significantly worse human rights abusers. Moreover, while I think there are legitimate reasons to acknowledge the millenia of anti-semitism when discussing Israel’s persecution of Palestinians, Robin does not or very rarely does this and neither does Steven Salaita whom Robin champions. Related to this factor, is the fact that Jew baiters in Europe, the far east, and the Middle East use Israel’s bad acts to foment hatred and pogroms. Critics who target Israel exclusively or disproportionately give people of bad faith an opening to argue that Jewish leaders and their supporters are inhumane. Finally, I believe there is an unwillingness or inability among many Americans to perceive Palestinians to be as fully human as Israelis.

          None of these factors, most especially the last, should exempt Israel from aggressive criticism. Nor should Israel’s critics contort their reports to acknowledge that there are other bad actors out there. But Robin wants to know why some complain that he “obsesses” unduly over Israeli abuses of power. This is my answer.

    • PAK November 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm | #

      I wouldn’t worry about the home razings too much. Undoubtedly, the PA will compensate the families with a sufficient on-going stipend/salary for the families to build new houses and live in relative comfort—-just like the PA pays salaries to those palestinians locked up in Israeli prisons for committing terrorist acts, that is indiscriminately murdering Jews, non-Jews, and non-Israeli citizens. Note that the PA doesn’t pay salaries to your common everyday Israeli Arab murderer who murdered another Arab and is locked up in an Israeli prison. Just your tax dollars at work.

    • Robin Messing November 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm | #

      Israel’s reckless aggression in burying a potential two-state solution by its constant settlement building could, in a worst case scenario, end up dragging the U.S. into a war that is not in its best interest. Here’s how.


      Fact: Israel’s own lawyer, Theodore Meron, said building civilian settlements in the West Bank would be illegal.





      Fact, the U.S. has been Israel’s sole protector at the U.N. vetoing 42 security council resolutions against Israel.


      Fact, when we have asked Israel to stop building where just about every other country in the world says it is illegal for Israel to build, Israel has in effect, told us to pound sand.

      Fact: when we asked Israel to join us in condemning Russia for its land grab in Ukraine, Israel told us to pound sand. I guess it would be a bit awkward for Israel to condemn an occupation.


      Fact: Israel has been doing its best to goad the U.S. into war with Iran for the past two years. The Nuclear Weapon Free Act was sponsored by 59 Senators. If it had passed it would have turned effective control of when the U.S. went to war with Iran over to Israel.


      Fact: Sheldon Adelson spent over $100 million trying to get Mitt Romney and several Republican Senate candidates elected last year. Sheldon Adelson is a close friend of Bibi Netanyahu. He advocated that the U.S. start nuclear negotiations with Iran by dropping a nuke on an Iranian desert and threatening to drop one on Tehran if we didn’t get everything we wanted.


      The same Sheldon Adelson also seemed to acknowledge that Israel is becoming less and less of a democracy.


      “At the conference, which also featured top Democratic funder Haim Saban, Adelson also said Israel would not be able to survive as a democracy: ‘So Israel won’t be a democratic state, so what?’ he asked Saban, adding that democracy, after all, is not mentioned in the Torah…”

      Fact: Haim Saban was at the same conference that Adelson was at when he pooh poohed Israel’s democracy. Saban is one of the biggest donors to the Democratic party and said he will do anything he can to get Hillary Clinton elected president. He and Adelson threatened to buy the New York Times because he didn’t like the way it covered Israel.

      Fact: There is a growing movement in Israel to remove or destroy the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque to make way for building the Third Temple. So far they are still a minority and Bibi Netanyahu has pledged to maintain the status quo. However, at least two members of his ruling coalition agree with this movement–Moshe Feiglin and Uri Ariel.



      The al-Aqsa Mosque/Dome of the Rock complex is Islam’s third holiest site. Removing or destroying these buildings would likely trigger World War III.

      If Bibi were serious about maintaining the status quo he should signal it by kicking these two out of his ruling coalition.

      Israel’s policies and its influence in Congress has a significant chance to drag the U.S. into a war that is not in our best interest. Not one American soldier should ever have to die for an Israeli land grab. True, the probability of that happening isn’t high–but it is high enough to make Israel a special focus of concern.

  3. freespeechlover November 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm | #

    Your post is a reminder that people don’t like your arguments, because they present Israel as it is and not how they imagine it to be.

    • freespeechlover November 22, 2014 at 2:26 pm | #

      Correction-you present Israel as it is and not how they imagine it to be. People who understand the occupation as existing because of the expulsion of the Palestinian other understand US policy is not neutral in the ongoing destruction of Palestine. The US is a co-belligerent, which is why US citizens have the responsibility to speak out against it. The US and Israel have a “special” relationship, and while the US has alliances, close alliances, with autocrats, it’s the heavily ideological nature of the relationship to Israel that matters. Tony Judt used to point out that lobbying for Israel did more than being for something or wanting to get something. At root it also meant silencing opposition to critics. It’s the demand for silence or heavy management over what is “appropriate” action to take such that you may criticize and act in ways that never actually change the status quo ideologically. Meanwhile, on the ground the status quo of people and land is continuously changing, deepening the occupation. What’s at stake in those who single out your posts is keeping that dynamic going–blocking action toward change, while Israel keeps grabbing more land, displacing more Palestinians, etc. It’s the slow, continuous, persistent, land grab that is being defended.

  4. PAK November 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm | #

    Well, here’s one answer: Because your support of the palestinians, a clan/tribal society just like those in the rest of the midddle east, only helps preclude what should have been a two-state solution years ago with Israel, the only western-type country in the middle east. And because, in many other instances, you are correct to support the “underdog.” Yeah, yeah, I know, you are not buying it. But as we scientists like to say: “If the evidence doesn’t fit the hypothesis, you throw out the hypothesis, not the evidence.” Have you bothered to read http://www.miff.no/Englisharticles/2014/10/04ThebestspeechanIsraelidiplomateverheld.htm Heck, have you bothered to read anything not written by your small circle of friends?

    • PAK November 22, 2014 at 3:34 pm | #

      I should have added that hypothesis = ideology and in this case the ideology that support for the underdog is always appropriate is just wrong. Support for the underdog needs to be placed in context first. If you truly wished to help the palestinians, you would be spending as much, if not more time, criticizing their leadership as you do criticizing Israel.

  5. Dene Karaus November 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm | #

    You have pointed out the essence of prejudice – it’s always invisible to the holder.

  6. Corey Robin November 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm | #

    I see neffer is back. This time under the moniker of nafnaf. He pops up whenever the topic of Israel comes up on this blog (talk about obsessed!) Anyway, pay him no mind. He eventually tires himself out and moves on.

    • neffer November 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm | #

      So, because I point out your shortcomings, I should be ignored. How childish can you be.

    • neffer November 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm | #

      You are certainly correct that I obsess about Israel. I have friends there and my wife has numerous relatives there.

      Unlike you, I do not organize my understanding of good and evil based on branding the Israelis as evil, something that no rational theory can do. Unlike you, I do not embarrass myself by praising people like Judith Butler, who claims that Hezbollah is a progressive movement.

  7. Jessica A Bruno (waybeyondfedup) November 22, 2014 at 2:43 pm | #
  8. s. wallerstein November 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm | #

    I generally support you over Israel, but I guess that you get lots of comments when you blog on the topic, first of all, because your blog’s a space where people can argue the issue in a fairly intelligent manner. I once made a comment in a Youtube debate between Chomsky and Dershowitz, favoring Chomsky and got several idiotic answers from Zionists accusing me of being a traitor to the Jews, etc. So I gave up on Youtube.
    In your blog the level of argument, from both sides, is generally quite decent. So you probably attract people who want to argue the issue rationally, not just insult each other.

    Second, I don’t live in the U.S. and I have very little interest in labor conflicts in Oregon or in U.S. politics in general. I imagine that others who recur to your blog when you speak of Israel may either live outside the U.S. or just not have much interest in the details of U.S. domestic politics.

    Third, Israel is a big debating issue, like free will, for example, on philosophy blogs.
    People debate it a lot and those who like to debate, have a set of prepared or new arguments that they want to try out.

    Fourth, we Jews like to argue and Israel concerns us. Once again, I generally support your positions on Israel.

    • neffer November 22, 2014 at 3:29 pm | #

      The issue, of course, is why Israel is such an obsession, not that it is an obsession. You have no explanation for that. I, by contrast, do. I think it is how some people try to interpret good and evil in the world. By any rational standard, the behavior of the Israelis is normal, their crimes are minor but their ideological enemies make mountains out of molehills.

      That is not to say the Israelis do not wrong. It is to say that people like Prof. Robin exaggerate to the point of describing a fantasy, not the reality.

      • s. wallerstein November 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm | #

        I speak as a Jew and I’m “obsessed” by Israel because of a “not in my name” thing. I think that in ethical terms one has an obligation to get one’s own house in order before one begins to criticize that of others. So while Israel’s crimes are no worse that those of many other nations (including the U.S.), I focus on Israel because I’m Jewish.

      • neffer November 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm | #

        But, Mr. Wallerstein, perfection is paralysis. Israel is not perfect, on your telling, so let’s throw the good out with the bad.

        As a Jew, I am very happy to see Israel acting in my name. I think that by world standards, including those of my country, the US, Israel’s behavior is exemplary. I think, by contrast, that you are judging Israel based on fantasies and irrational ethical theories. The truth is that, judged by the standard of any country faced with hostile enemies, Israel’s behavior is among the best, if not the best, in the world.

        Lest you doubt me, most of us think the US acted for the good in WWII. We do not call for dismantling the US for killing tens of millions of Germans, Italians or Japanese. We note that there was bad behavior. But, we do not say, the US sinned, so let’s fold up shop.

        I strongly recommend that anyone who expects the Israelis to be saints read the book The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe. It is one of the most important books about what it is like to live in a warlike situation ever written, so far as I know. After reading it, if you really think that the Israeli behavior in its fights with the Arabs is outrageous, then you are lying to yourself.

      • neffer November 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm | #

        The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe is by William I. Hitchcock, who is professor of history at the University of Virginia. He is an outstanding scholar.

      • s. wallerstein November 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm | #


        Thanks for the book recommendation.

        I’m not calling for Israel to fold up shop, as you claim, not at all. In fact, I’d say that it’s in Israel’s long-term interests to give peace a chance, prudently of course, but in general, to sit down and negotiate seriously with the Palestinians, to accept a Palestinian state based roughly on the 1967 borders. Otherwise, I fear that things will go from bad to worse.

      • neffer November 22, 2014 at 4:35 pm | #

        Mr. Wallerstein, then you fundamentally disagree with Prof. Robin. He opposes Israel. You want Israel to cede land, if it can reach an agreement with the Arabs.

        Your assumption is that the Israelis have not given peace a chance. I think you are mistaken, factually. I think that the well reasoned perception of the Israelis is that, at this point, ceding land for promises of peace will result in a lot of dead Israelis and no peace.

        Please read, if you have not read it – and I know I like to recommend books, but they are more useful than newspapers – One State, Two States, by Benny Morris. I think you will realize, after reading it, that the Israelis are not really in a position, whether they are conciliatory or not, to impact on the views held by the political class among the Palestinian Arabs. They, please note, have not even come close to reconciling themselves to the idea that Israel will ever be anything other than a temporary presence. And, that is the working basis for their negotiations: i.e., an interim arrangement.

        I might add, the entire history of the region is one where the interim agreement, rather than the peace treaty, is the norm, one supported by the sacred law of the dominant religion in the region. Arabs call it a hudna. But, it is not unique to Islam. Classical Greece had basically the same notion, as is noted in Arthur Eckstein’s stellar book, Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome. There, there was not even a word for a peace treaty. Even in parts of the world where the peace treaty is an accepted form to resolve a dispute, those treaties tend to be violated. But, in the ME, the interim arrangement is not even intended to bring peace. It is intended to allow the weaker side to re-arm so that it can fight again.

        My suggestion is that you look at what is going on all around the ME. The region is in turmoil. Peace is not breaking out anywhere. Disputes are not being solved by reason. That, please note, is how that part of the world currently works. Those problems are likely to get a lot worse before they get better. Why? Because there is a whole generation of young people fed all sorts of garbage in the form of nasty ideologies. So, they are going to kill each other in large numbers.

        Risking allowance of the worst of the terrible political movements in the region, Islamism, a base near Israel’s heart (i.e., in the WB), is something that no Israeli party that has the interests of the country’s population would do. Any country which did any such thing would be considered by its own population to be monstrous. Hence, the reason the Israelis see things so different than you do.

        You and I live at a safe distance from Israel. We do not have to live with the results of their decisions. Hence, to tell the Israelis to risk their own demise, because you say, “not in my name,” is not an ethical stance. That is false moral posturing for your own reasons, not based on an analysis of their situation, and not judged from a reasonable ethical perspective. It is, rather, being ethical for someone else. But, I think I can guarantee if you actually faced the dangers that Israelis face, you would say, no way. The risk, at the moment, is too great.

        How about considering the ME as it is, realizing that the Israelis, most of whom want peace, also want not to get killed. Abbas, the man who accuses Israel of genocide – a huge lie -, who wrote his university thesis on showing that the Holocaust was exaggerated (i.e., the theory held only by very serious Antisemites), might not represent a movement looking to co-oexist with the Israelis. And, his movement might not be negotiating in order to make peace but, instead, to undermine support for Israel.

        But also consider, even if he were a man of peace – which I doubt -, he has no means to compel Hamas, which is overtly not dedicated to peace but to the destruction of the world’s Jews (i.e., not only the Israelis but Prof. Robin, you and me, among many others), to make peace. So, to what end are the Israelis negotiating? Certainly, the negotiations, which cannot deal with the problem of Hamas, are incapable of leading to peace.

      • s. wallerstein November 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm | #


        You make one good point, about whether it is ethical to ask people to take risks when one is at a safe distance seated in one’s comfortable armchair.

        However, it still seems to me that giving peace a chance is the only long-term option for Israel. The Arab world is a complex place and Israel is going to have to begin to seek allies there: alliances, as you well know, are based on mutual interests, not necessarily on affinities of tastes and values.

        Otherwise, Israel is going to end up more and more isolated. Public opinion in Europe, the U.S. and South America (where I’m from) is increasingly turning against Israel (it used to be favorable).

        If you’ve ever lived in a complicated neighborhood (as I have), you have two options, get yourself a bullet-proof car and bodyguards or make friends with your neighbors. In the long-run, it pays to make friends with your neighbors.

    • Matt November 23, 2014 at 12:34 am | #

      I once made a comment in a Youtube debate between Chomsky and Dershowitz, favoring Chomsky and got several idiotic answers from Zionists accusing me of being a traitor to the Jews, etc. So I gave up on Youtube.

      Why? That’s the best part about Youtube.

      • RBJ November 23, 2014 at 2:14 am | #


        The danger is not, as you put it “that, at this point, ceding land for promises of peace will result in a lot of dead Israelis and no peace.”

        The danger is that not being committed for reaching a peaceful solution and not “ceding” (one can’t cede what one doesn’t own by his own admission) will result in one death – of the state of Israel as thr realization of the Zionist dream of liberal democracy homeland of the Jews.

  9. Joel in Oakland November 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm | #

    It’s the old “throw sand in their eyes” rhetorical trick. When you don’t have an adequate response, then complain about something like how the other side isn’t being nice enough, is presenting a view that’s lopsided in some kind of way – anything to distract from the actual substance of their arguments. Anything to change the subject to the side making the arguments and away from the actual arguments.

    I imagine most folks here have heard the old trial lawyer advice that when the law’s on your side, pound the law; when the facts are on your side, pound the facts; when neither are on your side, pound the table.

  10. Roquentin November 22, 2014 at 3:29 pm | #

    These kinds of entries are always something of a circus, aren’t they? It’s not just the usual suspects that make up your commentariat. I don’t say much about Israel, but posts like this remind me that perhaps I’ve made too many excuses.

    If you ask me, they know what they’re doing isn’t right. Just look at these comments. Why get so hysterical over the mere mention of Palestine? That uproar over the opera a month ago was almost too ridiculous to be real. It brings their guilt and shame to the surface. How else could you explain such volatile reactions?

  11. lazycat1984 November 22, 2014 at 3:44 pm | #

    I look forward to all your posts. And scholars generally focus on something. If you’re focusing on labor struggles in the west generally and America specifically and also on the Israel/Palestine conflict this hardly suggests you’re somehow ‘obsessive’ or building an entire worldview around one issue. Anyone who suggests it is trolling or just shilling for one point of view in a complex conflict.

  12. Corey Robin November 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm | #

    Less than three hours, and Neffer’s made eight comments, totaling well more than 1000 words, on a post that was 67 words. (Maybe that’s why he uses multiple identities.) You’ll notice, as the thread goes on, that there’ll be lots and lots more. Lecturing me about my…obsession. Anyway, carry on, Neffer: you’re just proving my point.

    • neffer November 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm | #

      No. I used one identity. I typed it incorrectly, in the first instance. then I switched to neffer, once you noted the shift.

      Be that as it may, you have not even tried to address the issues raised about your obsession. I admit mine, but it is not based on interpreting world by means of depicting the Israelis as worse than they are and then pining for their demise, as you seem to do.

  13. Halima Brewer November 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm | #

    I find it interesting how when something rather horrible gets pointed out, and justifiable anger ensues, that the supporters of the horror, ALWAYS say, “but the other guy is worse”. false equivalencies, and red herrings abound. Israel is committing MASSIVE human rights abuses in the name of its blatantly apartheid system but whatever you do, please don’t mention this, please don’t call it out and by all means DO NOT join some international human rights campaign because you will be called – (seems like the moniker “anti-Semite” is slowing going out of fashion for being recognised as a distraction rather than an accuracy) so now “obsession” will take its place. Much the same way a teenager when asked to clean his room more than twice complains of maternal “obsession” with tidiness.

    • neffer November 22, 2014 at 7:01 pm | #


      I don’t accept your interpretation of Israel’s behavior. And, to understand why your interpretation is nonsense, I point to examples of actual far worse behavior than that which the Israelis are doing but which is considered perfectly moral.

      • sunnylagarto November 23, 2014 at 8:33 am | #

        LOLof course you don’t agree. and yes, you are good at red-herrings and false equivalencies.

  14. Edward November 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm | #

    One could also ask the Zionists: “Why do you support Israel when there is X to worry about?”

    • neffer November 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm | #

      That is a silly question. We support Israel because we believe that Jews are worthy of a homeland and, historically, Jews have been a persecuted people in Christian and Muslim lands and because Israel is under attack by a nasty movement, one as nasty in intent as the Nazi movement was (e.g., ISIL, Hamas, Ikwani, etc., etc.), which believe that Jews should be killed wherever they are until there are no more.

      • Edward November 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm | #

        Really– my comment is silly? Because Corey Robin’s point and mine as well is that Israel’s defenders can’t take their own argument– that you can’t support X because y is worse. And your response is apparently validating our point. Here is what you wrote with “Palestinians” replacing “Israel”:

        That is a silly question. We support Palestine because we believe that Palestinians are worthy of a homeland and, historically, Palestinians have been a persecuted people in Jewish lands and because Palestinians are under attack by a nasty movement (e.g., Zionism), which believes that Palestinians should be expelled wherever they are until there are no more.

        What is wrong with this statement?

  15. Edward November 22, 2014 at 10:10 pm | #

    Actually, a more specific version of my previous comment would be this: “Why is the U.S. giving Israel $3 billion/year when it is a developed country and there are other countries with more severe economic problems.”

    • neffer November 23, 2014 at 12:19 pm | #

      It gives Israel money in order to influence Israel’s policies in the region and to pay for the amount of spying that Israel does for the US and to support the US arms industry.

      • Edward November 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm | #

        Influence Israel’s policies? Are you kidding? Are we talking here about the same Israel that announces a new settlement every time a U.S. official visits there? Israel is such a loose cannon that a U.S. admiral had to warn Israel a few years ago not to drag the U.S. into a war with Iran. This is the same Israel that intervened in our last presidential election and is currently lobbying Congress against President Obama’s Iran policy. This is also the same Israel that recently organized the assassination of Iranian scientists using agents that were posing as CIA agents.

        Israeli spying on the U.S. is so bad that recently, when Congress was considering loosening visa requirements for Israelis, federal agencies testified against doing so, because they feared further exposing this country to Israeli espionage.

        As for supporting the U.S. arms industry, I wish this parasitic industry would go away, In any case, the Israeli arms industry competes with ours and sells our military technology to other countries.

        Wouldn’t it be great if U.S. aid to Israel’s illegal settlement program could be used to solve Detroit’s water problems?

  16. zjb November 22, 2014 at 11:34 pm | #

    Because the other struggles are not as interesting?

  17. BillR November 23, 2014 at 10:04 am | #

    During the Cold War, the term “whataboutery” was coined to refer to Soviet propaganda that reflexively pointed the finger at evils and accidents in other parts of the World to divert attention from what was going on in the Workers Paradise. Lynching of black men in the South was a regular topic dating back to the 30s. Nazis also employed this tactic.


    Now, googling for “whataboutery” pulls up stories about the “Light unto the Nations”.

  18. s. wallerstein November 23, 2014 at 2:43 pm | #
  19. Corey Robin November 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm | #

    Hi all. I’m going away for a week and will be offline. Since I can’t keep my eye on this thread — unfortunately, it’s only on the Israel threads that I have to make sure things don’t get out of hand — while I’m gone, I’m going to close discussion. I’m sure everyone will have lots to say at some point in the future on some other thread. Corey

Comments are closed.