Tuesday, April 6, 2010

HPW: Rabbi Boteach's "Silence of American Jewry"

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has written another inflammatory article attacking Obama and the American Jewish community for not standing up to the President. Lately the Rabbi has been writing very aggressive articles against President Obama, and not surprisingly the Huffington Post community lashed back at him strongly. When you have any person who is pro-Israel and anti-Obama, that's a good recipe for HuffPo hatred. And we saw some of it here, though not as much as I expected. Most of the comments of note were attacks on Rabbi Boteach or on other posters, though there were the usual amounts of anti-Israel slander.

The fully moderated thread has around 280 posts.

greatscot
Boteach is right about one thing. many Arab leaders are despots, - who are maintained in place by American favors and arms sales! Just about everything else he writes though is pure bunkum. That part about "they hate our freedoms" is straight out of the Bush/Cheney fantasy album, - its so trite I'm surprised he used it.
So Israel is now free to ethnically cleanse & steal Arab Land? Because "they hate our freedoms"?
Linking Americans to israelis just like we are one people who love & admire each other and who share the same love of freedom, etc. is cute. However the Israelis share the love of freedom only with themselves, - certainly not with the Palestinians.
Boteach makes another whopper of a mistake. He castigates American Jews for not blindly supporting Israel. He should peruse the web pages of J Street and he'd find out soon enough the broad spectrum of Jewish thinking on Israel, the occupation, and the especially bad view of the settlers who are causing most of the bad publicity for the other 90% of the population.
Boteach reminds me of that rare animal, - a smart Republican - who has swallowed whole an entire ideology and can now regurgitate it at will. The sentences cohere, the grammar is fine, phrasing is imaginitive, yet the whole parcel stinks to high heaven because it is just plain stupid.
Boteach has gone over the edge and should be discounted henceforth as the source of any wisdom on

CitizenT
Israel should also stop taking American money. Then maybe American leaders wouldn't expect them to act civily.

lbsaltzman
The Middle East is not Europe in World War II. Jews are the oppressors not the victims. If Jews are in danger around the world I put the blame on Israel because of how Israel treats its neighbors, and because of the fact that Israel claims to speak for all Jews. Well many of us don't want Israel speaking for us.

JohnHumphrey
Pointing out crimes and the brutal of the Palestinian people is considered in your opinion anti-Israel, so BE IT! You guys are shameless!

JohnHumphrey
No! I mean the real indigenous people who occupied that land for centuries. I know you hate Arabs and Muslims but you have no right to rewrite history. I also knows that your bigotry is blinding you. What you called Jews in Gaza are really a bunch of Russian Jews thugs who occupied the area. Peace and Freedom to Palestine today not tomorrow!.

batguano
Americans, including Jews, and millions more around the world, are beginning to see the truth of the brutality of Israeli occupation and who the real victim is, and who the oppressor. That President Obama should, according to this writer (and Ed Koch), be "more respectful' to Israeli leaders & policy, and by inference kowtow to Israeli right-wing racists, is a clear view of the Israeli mindset & arrogant sense of entitlement. Israeli agents in America, AIPAC, who work for Israeli goals to our expense, should have their access to Congress limited or eliminated. The contempt shown to our nation’s leaders & efforts toward an end to the Palestinian conflict by Israel is the outrage, not Prez Obama’s response. We are not a wholly-owned subsidiary of Israel, & people of good conscience are increasingly demanding just that. Our integrity & honor have been dragged through the mud of Israeli racism, crimes against humanity, & wars against unarmed civilians, & we are complicit for our unqualified (till now) support/aid.
Obama's actions, after being poked in the eye with the sharp stick of Israeli entitlement, are not an affront to Israel, but sentiments excoriating & abusing our Prez in favor of Israeli policies, such as this gibberish, are. There are numerous excellent comments here in response to this writer that see this squarely as it is. We have been used, & abused, by Israeli extremist/
racist/expansionist policies, & sentiment such as this piece of outrageous propaganda, deflection, and distortion only further expose that reality

Yank in France
Sorry, NTT, but your whole argumentation is classic Zionist claptrap. Let's take a quick look.
You claim neither party has a right to set pre-conditions, but Israel is changing the CONDITIONS on the ground by building more settlements in Jerusalem and other areas, in total violation to the roadmap agreed to with GW Bush!!
Second, it is your "Dear Leader" Kim il Netanyahu who tried to set preconditions on the Palestinians by claiming that they must recognize Israel as a Jewish state before any negotiations were possible. In other words, the previous precondition that Israel's right to exist was no longer enough.
In the meantime, what about the precondition of the Palestinians' right to exist?!
But the funniest part of your Stalinesque comment (so typical of mainstream Zionism in America) is your claim that the peace process has never been so stalled. How much more stalled could it have been than that of the past 8 years!!!
Obama would be wise to tighten the financial screws on Israel and let them "stall" all they want. Many Jewish leaders and leaders who are Jewish are speaking out against the sort of perfidious mentality set forth by the so-called mainstream Jewish organizations in America.
In the meantime, the only people who are profiting from Israel's stalling tactics, which you obviously support, is the Israeli rightwing and al-qaeda!

JohnHumphrey
Lol! You guys are getting desperate. I own a business and I am not against Health Care for all Americans even if I have to pay a little more to secure the best health Care America can provide for my fellow AMERICANS. On the hand, I don't want my money to pay for FREE health Care for the settlers, foreigners and a bunch of racist religious bigots.
 [response: "Bingo! What an excellent response!"]

Yank in France
Squiems, an "objective observer" knows that you use any slimy device to avoid taking responsibility for your "people's" treatment of the Palestinians.

vampbella09
American Jews should be concerned about America, not Isreal. this is becoming a loyality issue for me. America is a secular government and Isreal is not. American ideaology should always question the legitimacy of religous states.

Donatella
As usual Rabbi Boteach and the Jewish leadership are siding with an Israeli politician against our own president and our country. Israel is a foreign country and should be treated as one. This nationalist sentiment for a foreign country by Americans is disturbing.

 JohnHumphrey
You have already made it clear to us that you are an Islamophobe. This is a trait that we American do not tolerate, you want to be a hateful person then move to Israel. America is a melting pot and we proud of our diversity, we are trying to make this country a better place for all of us and the last thing we want is people like you. [How ironic, Tony.]

Theou
I would call it heartening that apart from the usual cheering section: Abe Foxman, Alan Dershowitz, Ed Koch et al. Jews in America have not rushed to condemn the US government when it deals firmly with Israel. If the topic of dual loyalties is ever broached the ADL is quick to scream "anti-semitic canard," [Yeah, I can't imagine why they would do that. It's only a staple of anti-Semitic literature.]
yet they are also prominent in demanding that American Jews spring to the defense of Israel in a show of loyalty to what is, pace Mr Foxman, a foreign entity.

Jay-DC
Oh Arik, thanks for the little tidbit, I will take that into consideration when explaining to people that people are being ill-treated because they are not of a particular faith, and are subjected to the most inhumane conditions any person should ever have to endure.
The occupation and the wall will fall soon...with or without the hapless Canadians. But nice try though

Theou
Arik, you highlight a prime way in which to earn the title of anti-semite orJew/Israel hater.
One merely has to fail to hate Palestinians sufficiently.

Theou
trccommission writes:
Where was Israel in Iraq and Afghanistan?
In the cheering section yelling "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran"

persianadvocate
Squiems,
I highly suggest you do some reading as to the history of Iran. Nothing exists today without precedent. You might as well believe the tag-line the Rabbi used above: "terrorists attack us because they hate our freedom." The whole reason any antagonism exists between the US and Iran is because the US used its intelligence resources to rob the country of oil for some time and oppressed the Iranian people, who revolted. Khomenei was flown in on a CIA jet (this is fact, evidenced and in released classified docs) to Iran and he went rogue, just like Saddam, just like Osama, just like Pakistan is trying to go, and Afghanistan. These people use the US to install them into power and provide them with a security apparatus, and then turn on the US to gain independence. It's not a concept local to the Middle East -- this has happened worldwide and is supported by undisputed evidence. You just haven't read up on it, apparently.
What of the Zionists who continue to commit immoral and inhumane, even murderous, behavior towards non-Zionists using a 60 year old tragedy as their fuel to do so? I suppose you will say that is okay, but not for Iranians to have any reason to think the US is trying to conduct the same subversive activities it did in the 50s. Oh, and nevermind the publicized $80+ MILLION spent by the US govt on espionage to overthrow the Iranian government per year.

Fireslayer
Calling what Israel does to Palestinians apartheid (pronounce apart-hat in Afrifaker) is an insult to the Boors.
What Israel does is far worse. Even that brand of racist sustained their kafirs and valued them as good workers.

hemara
So Israel is now suffering democracy "indigestion" because they bent over backwards to be so good to the Palestinians?
Really I have to say the hasbara crew are endlessly entertaining in their creative rehashing of facts. Truly remarkable how EVERYTHING always ends up being the fault of the Palestinians.
1. Different laws for Palestinian arabs living within Israel
2. Palestinians in annexed East Jerusalem don't have the same rights as the settlers
3. The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories speaks for its tragic self.
Israel is an apartheid state.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_and_the_apartheid_analogy#By_South_Africans

hemara
I'm all for letting AIPAC speak for themselves:
"We make sure that pro-Israel candidates ‘take over’ government"
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/04/aipac-we-make-sure-that-pro-israel-candidates-take-over-government.html [Mondoweiss?]

Yank in France
I don't know if the American Jewish community is turning away from the Democrats, at least, I am not sure that trend has accelerated lately.
It is just that White Jews, like other segments of the White population, are becoming more race-oriented (to put it politely) and more conservative (to be even more polite).
Many Jews do NOT always try to brow beat others, including fellow Jews, about what it means to be a true Jew. What we may be seeing is a migration of the huge war mongers and Arab haters, like Alan Dershowitz, to the Republicans.
Frankly, I say GOOD RIDDANCE!! We don't need such trash in the Democratic Party. What that party does need is more clarity on issues, like on a real change in our generous aid policies to that country!!

Theou
StC wries:
Really? I think what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is practically flawless compared to the atrocities the U.S. is committing in Afghanistan and Iraq.
So, Israel's beating up on Palestinians "is practically flawless" by comparison with the behavior of Israel great patron?
Apart from the fact that the US/UK invasion of Iraq was largely urged on by a group of influencial people with very strong Israeli connections and that US/UK presence in Afghanistan is supposedly a response to 9/11, which itself is connected to US ties with Israel, this is blatant distraction and meaningless as a defence of Israel.

Theou
StC, why do you insist on conflating Zionist Israel with the Jewish people? Or, perhaps you are conflating neo-cons with the Jewish people? Neither position is justified.
Both these statements were labeled antisemitic by Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies"
Dr Rafael Medoff is entitled to his opinion as are you, StC, but it carries no moral weight.
 [Might want to click for context here.]

muck-raker
roblitman...you say that "jerusalem is to big of a subject for the israeli people to deal with" and "Jerusalem is a discussion that should be pointed and addressed not a forced order"......well then lets cut this to the chase....The World has already lost patience with Israel dragging its feet and continuing to slaughter its neighbors FOR 43 YEARS, so it has already come down it is called resolution 242. The rumor is now out We will wait no more if it is SANCTIONS YOU WANT...it is SANCTIONS you WILL GET. my .02
 
lbsaltzman
No Israel continued committing war crimes against Gaza and did everything in its' power to keep the conflict going.

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