Virtual Talmud

Virtual Talmud


Boycott the Boycotters

Thirty eight reporters are arrested in Iran. The most-watched independent television station in Venezuela is shut down. Palestinians kidnap two FOX journalists and a Palestinian radio journalist. Who does the British National Union of Journalists vote to boycott? Israel: the only Middle East nation with a free press. Ironic? Not any more so than British academics voting to boycott Israeli academics (including the leftists most critical of Israeli government policies) while remaining silent about the Sudan, Zimbabwe, and a host of other human rights offenders.
I agree wholeheartedly with Rabbi Waxman that the British boycotts are outrageously anti-Semitic, in that they single out Israel for approbation, out of all proportion to the criticism leveled (or not leveled) at much worse offenders, including the Palestinians themselves.
What can we do?
First we can support the ADL’s campaign to educate the public, which focuses on contextualizing the boycott to show how unfair it is.
Second, we can consider boycotting the boycotters. The United States can use its considerable clout to suspend contracts and grants to British academics and journalists who support this egregious act of bias.
Third, we have to take a long, hard look at how to stem the growing tendency on the Israeli left to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish State, as Adam LeBor does in his New York Times op ed, “New Lyrics for Hatikvah”. LeBor’s guilt about inequities Israeli Arabs and other minorities face in Israel drives him, and an alarming number of Israelis like him, to think that the only just step is to de-Judaize the Jewish State. His position is dangerous on two counts: he is kidding himself if he thinks our enemies will be satisfied with a secular state in the Middle East where Jewish residents have equal rights. Just look at how Christians are being treated under Palestinian Muslim rule. Second, a Jewish State of Israel is needed now more than ever with world wide anti-Semitism on the rise. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The tragic history of the 19th and 20th centuries proves that abandoning Jewish particularist identity does not guarantee anything but political and physical vulnerability.
Israel must still do a better job at providing more equitable opportunities for its minorities. But it does not mean that the Jewish identity should be removed from the Jewish State of Israel. Even the name Israel is the name of the Jewish People. To think the two can be divorced is self-deception.
As a Jew in America, I know that Christmas and Easter are the legal holidays. The airwaves are filled with Christmas music and there is a national Christmas tree on the White House lawn. I may not like it, but it is part of what America is. Israel is a Jewish State in which there is a public Menorah and the flag has a Jewish star. Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, mentions the Jewish soul, just as our pledge of allegiance mentions God (which is offensive to those who are not monotheists or theists). Israel must treat its minorities as Jews would have liked to have been treated (but seldom were) in other countries. While Israel does a better job than most following the rule of law to protect minority rights, it can and must do better. Nevertheless, Israel should not, and need not, give up its Jewish identity to do so. What Israelis like LeBor need is a little exposure to Masorti Judaism, which hopefully can reconnect them to their Jewish souls so they can understand why there is a place (and a need) for a Jewish State in the world.



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laura t mushkat

posted June 20, 2007 at 12:30 pm


I find this an interesting article.
If anyone thinks that the US will boycott England when we are having problems keeping their friendship on the world stage I think you are wrong.
What would you boycott? Accademics? Seems to me that would be the only thing. They would pay attention. Nobody else would be likely to. Certainly you can not boycott products, since so few are known to come here and be widley used. Even their cars are not seen so often.
Unless the so called accademics have lots of power in England that they don’t have here then maybe we should not even get involved. If you fear they will teach their prejudices to young people, they most likely have already.
To complain about things fact by fact, not boycotting, would be a better answer. The complaining would have to be done in something like a full page ad in a newspaper as an open letter from someone they respect, or in person on news and talk shows on tv and radio.
Laura



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Dave

posted June 20, 2007 at 1:06 pm


There is no ‘alarming’ number of Jewish Israelis who are anti-Israel, but there is a large number of lefty Jews who are anti-Israel. I don’t see any evidence that this is a growing movement.
There were anti-Israel Jews in 1948, and there will be in 2008.



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Yechiel

posted June 20, 2007 at 4:42 pm


It makes sense to boycott states that employ terrorism as a means of policy, so I don’t see any reason not to boycott Israeli products. The best thing for Israel to do would be to start honoring international law and stop committing war crimes like the recent bombing campaign against Lebanese civilians and the long-running illegal occupation of Palestinian land. When Israel stops torturing and otherwise terrorizing others, it may have be able to create enough legitimacy for itself to criticize other nations and factions.



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Scott R.

posted June 20, 2007 at 5:48 pm


There were anti-Israel Jews in 1948, and there will be in 2008.
Oh. Do you mean like Satmar?



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Scott R.

posted June 20, 2007 at 5:52 pm


Yechiel:
Are you going to make the same comments about the Islamist that blow up Jewish children – or that send their own children to be blown up?
If you are an American, would you be willing to send your children to die for a cause?
If no to either point, I suggest you keep your mouth shut.



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Nathan

posted June 20, 2007 at 6:16 pm


I just love it when people use falsities to attempt to make their case (such as: occupation).
All the land that Israel possesses is from one of two sources:
1) the 1948 lines.
2) land acquired during the conflicts that other countries started.
Occupation? LOL. What a joke.



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Yechiel

posted June 20, 2007 at 6:31 pm


Hello Scott,
As a Jew and an American, I am most concerned about the actions of Jews and Americans. I would like to see the United States government renounce the use of terror and I would like to see the Israeli government renounce terror as well.
My responsibility as a citizen of the United States is to work for democracy and to oppose human rights violations committed by the United States. This is a truism: I have a vote in the United States, but not in any other country.
Similarly, for a citizen of Israel: the primary responsibility is to work for democracy (if one values it) and to oppose Israeli terror. The same logic applies to citizens of Arab or Muslim states. Malalal Joia, recently expelled from the Afghan parliament for speaking the truth about her corrupt government,is a good example, as anyone will see who learns her story.
Now, returning to our own responsibilities: Notice that it requires no courage to condemn the atrocities of others. What requires courage is to look ourselves honestly in the eye and to respond with intelligence and compassion to what we see. There is nothing hypocritical about applying the same standards to ourselves as we apply to others. In fact, this is the very opposite of hypocricy.
Scott, I agree with you that the lives of children are sacred. That is one reason the the US-led boycott against Iraq, which killed more than 600,000 children was such a crime. This is also why Israeli torture of young people, well-documented by BTselem and other Israeli organizations, is such a stain on the Jewish soul.
Likewise for the most recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which displaced about one million people; as you know, the state of Israel intentionally dropped tons of unexploded cluster bombs on the ground for children to step on or pick up. Perhaps it is not hard to see that this is not the way to win friends for Israel, Jewish people or the Jewish People.



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Ruthie

posted June 20, 2007 at 7:43 pm


I was born in and lived in England for a long time. My family were originally from Eastern Europe. People are writing about England being anti-Semitic. When was your FIRST clue? Was it the Balfour Declaration?, was it the fact that England was one of the last governments to recognize the State of Israel? I will not live in England again, I am happy that I am living in a country that supports my people. England has done enough meddling in other people’s business for too long. She did more than her fair share after the last War. Yes, lets blockade the shores of Israel so these poor devils, who have survived the horrors of Nazi Germany, are now barred from reaching their home-land. So finally, England, keep your nose out of Israel and concentrate on your own crumbling government and your parasitic Royal family. Why don’t you all go and have a nice cup of tea and leave international affairs to the grown-ups?



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Scott R.

posted June 20, 2007 at 10:35 pm


Yechiel,
When you say
When Israel stops torturing and otherwise terrorizing others
and don’t condemn that blow up our children and their own children as well,
well, Jews don’t think that way.



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brian

posted June 21, 2007 at 10:47 am


As an American and a non-Jew who has followed the plight of Israel for thirty years I have but one thing to say: Isreal knows full well what disease surrounds them and how to best deal with it. As for England, the Second World War was the actual end of their empire, both literally and figuratively. Do any of you think the concepts of ‘human rights’, ‘hypocrisy’, and ‘democracy’ mean very much when there is a war on? So many act and speak as if those self-righteous concepts were some new invention in recent times. Well, they are not. It is just that they have little place when there is a smoldering, insidious conflict that the people of Israel must counter and endure. A war is exactly what has been occurring to and with Israel since 1948 by the madness of the radical Islamist minds which make up the collective face of power amid the surrounding populace. Innocents among them(?) of course, but they are unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time – and wholly undesirious in policing their own lot (a facet of their kind Americans are only beginning to have to accept and deal with). Israel knows their tactics, their psyche, and precisely what is necessary to counter it for their survival – any other perspective is merely a reflection of the widespread naïveté of our spoiled times.
As for those in England boycotting Israel…I wouldn’t give it much credence; those who are a part of it and behind it are simply showing their cowardice in a form reminiscent of Mr. Chaimberlain.



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Dave

posted June 21, 2007 at 11:00 am


1/ Yech proves my point.
2/ Satmar are anti-Zionist. But they don’t give aid and comfort to the enemies of Israel like lefty Jews do.
Its one thing to not favor Israel. Its another thing to side with the destructionists.



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ratonthebeam

posted June 21, 2007 at 1:03 pm


There are two issues for me here – 1) the boycott, which I believe is anti-Semitic, foolish and wrong, and 2) – the Anti-British sentiment and, yes, hatred displayed here for the UK on the basis of what a handful of crackpots believe.
A VERY SMALL MINORITY of academics voted for this daft boycott. They took advantage of the general apathy of the wider membership to rush it through. There are moves afoot to have it reversed.
I am an “academic” (lecturer) and Scottish – oh yes, and a Jew and Israel supporter. I did not agree to this boycott and am doing everything I can to persuade others of the folly in supporting it. A handful of lunatic politicos in a very minor Union do not speak for me. Enough already with the Anti-Brit witchhunt, and quit tarring us all with the same bent brush.



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Scott R.

posted June 21, 2007 at 1:11 pm


Rat,
I am well aware that this is only a small segment of British academia. I also know the majority of Brits are not anti-Semitic.
I am now going to a little tea party in the harbor.:)
~ Clyde



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Yechiel

posted June 21, 2007 at 10:03 pm


Hi Scott,
I invite you to re-read carefully what I have written, so that you can respond to what I have actually said. This method is the essence of rational discourse.
You neglect to notice that I, but not you, state explicitly that I would like all sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to renounce terror. Perhaps you will show that you, too, dislike not only violence committed against Jews or Israelis, but are opposed to all unnecessary violence. Again, it requires zero courage to condemn others for actions we ourselves are willing to take.
Integrity in this regard means a principled stand for justice: If you don’t like terror, than you should not use it. The Israeli High Court has shown this kind of integrity in taking its strong stand against state torture. Thousands of documents demonstrating the use of torture in the Ansar detention centers and other police stations persuaded the Court to take this principled stand. I hope you do not believe that the Israeli Justices should keep their mouths shut in the same way that you desire me to keep mine shut.
I am happy to say, Scott, that you are incorrect to say that Jews do not think as I do. In fact, many Jews, some of them soon-to-be rabbinical students such as myself, do in fact believe that international law should be applied consistently, and not merely as a tactic to use against one’s enemies. Raphael Lemkin, often referred to as the Father of the Genocide Convention, was one such Jew. His writings are available online at Cornell Univerity Law School’s website.
You may wish to familiarize yourself with Rabbis for Human Rights. They’re a good group to connect with for people who do not wish Israel to continue to take on the aspects of a fascist society. RHR can use the help of every well-meaning Jew — and of non-Jews alike — and they are easily accesible both in the US and Israel. A number of holocaust survivors, and survivors of terrorist regimes in Central America are among their members.
In short, abandoning fantasies about Israel’s eminent destruction is especially important today, because Israel’s existence as a state is in no way threatened any longer. Israeli military strategists, including members of their General Staff, have long acknowledged this. Israel is the pre-eminent military power in the Middle East and is backed by the United States, which is the strongest military power in the history of the world. The writings of Benjamin Beit-Hallami are a good place to start. They are an excellent antidote to Jewish self-deception.



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Donald

posted June 21, 2007 at 10:49 pm


I don’t support the boycott, but then I don’t support the boycott on Hamas either. Boycotts usually hurt the innocent.
However, this claim of “antisemitism” is a cheap and lazy way to get around confronting the strongest arguments of one’s opponents. That’s why people do it. Maybe some boycott supporters are antisemitic–whenever the Israeli/Palestinian issue is raised you can pretty much guarantee that the anti-Arab racists on the one side and the anti-semites on the other will be well-represented. But there are plenty of reasons (misguided, in my opinion) why a well-intentioned person could support the boycott.
Here’s an example. (I’m not sure how to do links here, so I’ll just paste the address.)
http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article2611732.ece



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Scott R.

posted June 21, 2007 at 11:38 pm


Yechiel,
Israel commits no acts of terror. They are fighting a vile, disgusting, amoral enemy.
We will not march into the showers again.
Donald,
Where are the boycotts of China?
Sudan?
Saudi Arabia?
Iran?
No, they boycott Jews because they are Jew-haters.



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Yechiel

posted June 22, 2007 at 12:12 am


Regarding boycotts, you may find the following information helpful:
Sudan Boycott:
The Jewish Daily Forward recently reported that,
“Delegates to the annual plenum of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs — 10 national organizations, the synagogue movements and 122 local communities nationwide — passed a resolution this week calling on Jewish communities to end all investments in companies that are “directly or indirectly helping the Sudanese government perpetuate genocide.”
In addition, New Mexico governor and presidential candidate Bill Richardson says he’ll support a boycott of the Beijing Olympics if China fails to pressure Sudan to stop the violence in Darfur. Prominent French politicians, such as Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, and former presidential candidates Francois Bayrou and Segolene Royale have also expressed support for a boycott. This is a short sample among many examples.
China Boycott: Lots of information available at http://www.boycottmadeinchina.org and from Campaign for Free Tibet.
Saudi Arabia Boycott: A Reuters article published today describes one of the boycotts of Saudi Arabia, which is perhaps the most brutal of the Middle East’s regimes and continues to support Islamic fundamentalism on a large scale. The Reuters article is called: Popular Boycott Hits U.S. Exports to Saudi Arabia. It was written by Rawhi Abeidoh.



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Yechiel

posted June 22, 2007 at 1:20 am


Please disregard the reference I just provided to the Reuters article, as that story is actually on another subject.
What I meant to send is this: Exxpose Exxon is perhaps the largest organization of boycotters of Saudi oil. It’s an umbrella group composed of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, Sierra Club and others. Though focused on Exxon as a corporation, the boycott is intende to affect energy polcy and foreign policy more broadly.



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Scott R.

posted June 22, 2007 at 8:55 am


From what I know, Sunoco gets none of their oil fom the Middle East. I only use them.
Citgo gets its oil from Venezuela, but of course that goes into Chavez’s pockets.



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Donald

posted June 22, 2007 at 9:29 am


Believe what you want, Scott. Some people support the boycott because they actually think it might help bring peace to the region. People had the same arguments over South Africa–where were the boycotts of other countries? It turned out the sanctions worked in South Africa, so they were a good idea whether or not one thought other countries were equally bad. I oppose the boycott of Israeli universities because I don’t think it’ll bring peace nor will it cause people to think more deeply about Israel’s role in causing the violence. Rather, it’s a distraction, it’ll probably hurt innocent people without doing any good, and it creates useless arguments like this one. Boycotts are always going to cause harm to innocent people, so you only want to support one if you think it will ultimately do more good than harm, as the sanctions on South Africa did. Usually they are disasters, the ultimate example being the sanctions on Iraq, which were murderous.
It’s why I oppose the boycott on Hamas. Nobody here is arguing about the merits of boycotting Hamas for its atrocities and not Israel for its atrocities. I suspect that at least some of the inconsistency there is because of anti-Arab racism. It’s apparently okay to cause Palestinians to suffer. Or Iraqis. No racism there.



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Yechiel

posted June 22, 2007 at 10:46 am


While money paid at Exxon and BP and Sunoco stations goes into the pockets of executives — Exxon is posting record profits — it is not accurate to say that CITGO’s money goes into the pockets of Hugo Chavez. CITGO is not angelic by any means, but distributes its funds far more widely than do the transnational oil companies. Plus, it’s the only oil company owned by a democratic nation.
Donald’s comment is, I think, instructive. To boycott Hamas, but not to boycott Israel is to play into racist views of Arabs and Muslims. It is fair to say, too, that Israel has a long record of suppressing Palestinian universities. Anyone who opposes a boycott of Israeli uniiversities, if he is taking a principled stand, will oppose a ban of Palestinian universities. If you’re for academic freedom, then you’ll support academic freedom across the board.



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Donald

posted June 22, 2007 at 12:23 pm


I didn’t really catch that part in the post about the Palestinians being “much worse offenders”. That pretty much puts the author in the category of people who minimize the atrocities of the Israelis. I won’t bother to go through some of them. There are also people who minimize the atrocities of the Palestinians, and I think the two groups should get together and compare notes on how to show inconsistency on human rights issues.



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Yechiel

posted June 22, 2007 at 2:05 pm


I didn’t notice the wording of the rabbi’s blog until Donald called our attention to it. I think the reson we didn’t catch her drift is that she didn’t provide any evidence to support her claim, but simply made a dogmatic assertion. Because the rabbi did not specify in what sense she considers Palestinians to be “worse offenders,” her claim can not be substantiated or examined in any reasonable fashion.
Then, in proposing a solution to the boycott controversy, the rabbi recommends we work with the ADL, which, ironically, has been working hard to suppress academic freedom and dissent here in the United States. Perhaps she’s unaware of this history.



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Dave

posted June 22, 2007 at 3:00 pm


1/ Pemex is owned by the democratic nation of Mexico. And since Putin was elected by the Russian people like Chavez was by the Venezuelans…
2/ Exxon’s money goes into the pockets of its shareholders which includes pension funds, mutual funds, charitable endowments including university endowments which help pay the salaries of profs who criticize Exxon.
3/ I’m not sure how an individual can boycott Hamas or even Sudan (not buy gum arabic?), but the Brit Universities are encouraging individuals to boycott Israel.
4/ Of course there are anti-Israel Jews (like RHR). There were in 1948 and there will be in 2008.
5/ I am glad that Yech can read the minds of Israel’s General Staff. I wish he could read the minds of the Iranian General Staff, too.



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Yechiel

posted June 22, 2007 at 4:09 pm


I refer to Venezuela as a democracy because its president was freely elected and because Chavez has instituted more democratic reforms than any of his predecessors.
To learn more about ExxonMobil, you may wish to take a look at the results of recent Exxon shareholders’ meetings and related documents. The company opposes its shareholders on a number of issues, including its funding of ant-scientific “research” institutes. ExxonMobil is, additionally, notorious for its meager contributions to charitable institutions, so you may be looking at old information.
To learn about boycotts against Hamas, you can look at recent issues of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Financial Times. Israeli newspapers are good sources, too. You will find that the boycotts go far beyond anything a few individuals can do.
There is no evidence that Rabbis for Human Rights is “anti-Israel” so perhaps the claim is based on another organization with similar initials. The Rabbis for Human Rights organization I’m referring to is pro-democracy, however, and believes that Jewish people are subject to the same laws as anybody else. Perhaps this is what some people think of as “anti-Israeli,” but this seems to be stretching the meaning of the words pretty far.
It is not necessary to be able to read the minds of the Israeli General Staff. We can look, for example at what General Moshe Ya’alon said to the Jerusalem Post on June 11. He said, “I lose more sleep from the corruption in the country than from the Iranian bomb.”



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Chava

posted June 22, 2007 at 4:17 pm


British Academics boycott Israel! Now how stupid is that? In other words, they are prepared to throw out Israeli technology, computer engineering, medical discoveries, literature, art, music, on and on and diminish their own potential growth. Now that boycott makes perfectly good sense to someone. Even the ant would laugh at. What a joke! Their princes are circumcised because it keeps that “thing” healthier and easier to clean … The throne sits on Jacob’s stone because Jacob used that as his pillow the night he had his vision. DiSraeli was one of their finest ministers who served the Queen but never bowed to her. El Al Israel Airlines has brought passenger safety to a new level. The British Academics would rather travel El Al than any other airlines and these are the “cha-cha-mim” the ‘wisemen’ who boycot Israel. But when push comes to shove and a British Academic’s life can be saved through Israel’s knowledge of stem cell replacement or grafting …. guess who will buy the last seat on the first aircraft flying in that direction? These Academics like to shoot themselves in the foot and if they miss, they aim at the mouth. As the saying goes, always aim higher than you need to because you just might hit the mark.



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Scott R.

posted June 22, 2007 at 5:49 pm


Because the rabbi did not specify in what sense she considers Palestinians to be “worse offenders,” her claim can not be substantiated or examined in any reasonable fashion.
I’m sure you are so right.
Sending teenagers to blow themselves up in Jewish schools and sollege dining halls and Passover seders is absolutely the exact same thing as firing on missile batteries and assassinating terrorist leaders.
Yeah.
OK.
Fine.
I’ll stick with the Israeli logic, just as I would do in this country if we found an Al-Quaida cell…hunt them down.



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Donald

posted June 23, 2007 at 7:52 am


Scott, if you think Israel’s violence is limited to blowing up terrorist leaders then you aren’t trying very hard to understand the conflict. Their forces have deliberately attacked civilians, both Palestinian and Lebanese, and Israel has a long history of torture, outlawed by their Supreme Court in 1999, but it still continues. Israel is a majority Jewish state because of massacres against civilians and ethnic cleansing in 1948.
Both sides have committed terrible atrocities. It is, of course, convenient for partisans of one side or the other to pretend otherwise.



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Scott R.

posted June 23, 2007 at 9:10 am


Their forces have deliberately attacked civilians, both Palestinian and Lebanese
Hamas, Hezbollah et al. have deliberately put their combatents into civillian neighborhoods, so that when Israel fights back, civillians will be killed, and the media will have a field day. And people like you will be turned against Israel.



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Donald

posted June 23, 2007 at 1:22 pm


Wrong again, Scott. There were numerous cases in the Lebanon War where Israel attacked civilians with no militants nearby. They attacked people fleeing in cars. There are Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports on this.
The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has a lot of material on the atrocities of both sides in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I don’t think they cover Lebanon.
If people don’t know about this, it’s either because they aren’t interested or because they don’t want to know.



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Yechiel

posted June 23, 2007 at 3:01 pm


Donald is right on target. And the case of Lebanon example is instructive: In 1982 the Israeli air force killed 20,000 civilians fleeing from its bombing attacks on the city of Beirut. More recently in Lebanon, the air force continued to drop cluster munitions even after a cease fire had been declared. There was, therefore, no possible military use for them; they were aimed at civilians.
“Cluster munitions are unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable weapons when used around civilians,” Kenneth Roth, of Human Rights Watch has stated. “They should never be used in populated areas.”



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Scott R.

posted June 23, 2007 at 8:24 pm


Your facts and your figures are wrong.
Sorry guys – Jews do not treat other people that way. And you should know better.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are notoriously anti-Israel. In fact, my wife, who is not Jewish, cancelled her membership in Amnesty Internation when she read – on her own – just how biased they were.
You will never convince me otherwise, and I will defend Israel to the end. There will always be a Jewish state, we will vanquish or enemies, or, eventually, the entire Middle East. On that you can count.



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Yechiel

posted June 23, 2007 at 10:02 pm


Convenient. No matter what the facts, all you have to do is say: “You guys are anti-Israel.” That way you never have to think.



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Scott R.

posted June 23, 2007 at 11:20 pm


How arrogant.
Just because I don’t come to the same conclusions as you, I don’t think.
Do you also believe the sun rises and sets because of you?
For 1,900 years we were hounded from one side of the world to the next. It’s over. We stand and fight. If we die, then we die Jews, not mulch for the goyim.
Never again!



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Yechiel

posted June 23, 2007 at 11:38 pm


Scott,
This comment by you is very interesting, and I would like to learn more about what you say. What is your source for the “1900 years” that “we were hounded?”
Also, could you define for me what you mean by the word “goyim?” I have only heard it used in a defamatory sense when referring to gentiles, and I am certain you did not mean it this way.
I would appreciate any help you could give me on these matters.
Jeff



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Scott R.

posted June 24, 2007 at 12:28 am


Jeff/Yechiel,
You need to read a history book. Try Paul Johnson’s “History of the Jews” or William Nicholls “Xian Antisemitism”. There’s 1,900 years.
Also, could you define for me what you mean by the word “goyim?” I have only heard it used in a defamatory sense when referring to gentiles.
I mean what it means in Hebrew: “Nations”, eg. non-Jew/Jewish.



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Yechiel

posted June 24, 2007 at 12:41 am


Scott, I am glad to hear you did not mean “goyim” with its Yiddish meaning, which is defamatory. You are the first person I have ever heard use this word in this new sense, which carries no derogatory connotation, and I applaud you for this.
You may continue to claim that I am not Jewish, if you please. To think that I went to all that trouble at my bris and it was all for naught! I guess I belong in the same group as all those other people you’ve designated as anti-Israel — Amnesty International and, by inference, the Nobel Committee that awarded them the Nobel Peace Prize, Human Rights Watch, The General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, and the Israeli High Court. Gosh, it’s getting crowded in here.



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ashok

posted June 24, 2007 at 7:13 am


Everything which does not suits Israel is anti-semitic.And everything that helps Israel is zionism. To hide your sin, your responsibility you simply start making lists of what happening in non-jews world and in that you try to show that you are drwaned in sewage to lesser extent while others are more. But even if you put all bads happening in this world , the sin committed by you is much greater. May be anyone who criticise you is anti-semitic, but that doesnt count much when you are declared to be top-most anti-humanity. Why are you so proud of making millions of people refugee? Why are you happy with masscaring 500 kids in Lebanon? Why are you proud to repeat Beit Hanoun every now and then.
I am happy that my religion, my ancestors, my philosophy, my nation , never direct me to enjoy life while making life of millions of people as worst as hell.
I am also happy that my country does not allow such laws which is bottomline of Israel, the law that ” if you have problem with your neighbour then steal other’s land and make fences. Here if we have problem with our neighbour or their cows or goat we erect fences in our land and taht also without killing anyone, just opposite to what you observe in Israel. In Israel they are making concrete wall on land stolen and snatched from land which are source of food for other people.
Great, keep it up, and keep claming that all these are instructed to you by your God.



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Scott R.

posted June 24, 2007 at 9:22 am


I guess I belong in the same group as all those other people you’ve designated as anti-Israel
Only on this board. In real life, there are plenty that would say the whole lot mentioned is anti-Israel.
But since you’re Jewish…if you get your way, at least you’ll be able to say kaddish at the graves o all the Jews that will die because of it.



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Donald

posted June 24, 2007 at 9:23 am


Scott, Amnesty International gets accused of anti-X bias from every defender of every country or group that commits human rights violations. It comes from all directions. They’re critical of Arab countries and Arab terrorism, but if they say anything about Israel, they’re antisemites. Yeah, whatever. The same is true for Human Rights Watch. Human rights groups are cited with approval when they condemn groups the listener wants condemned–they’re called biased and worse when they criticize someone’s sacred cow.
B’Tselem, no doubt, is also” biased” in your sense of the word.



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Scott R.

posted June 24, 2007 at 10:23 am


Donald,
Israel and the Jewish people are interchangeable. They are not just attacking a state – they are attacking 5.5-6 million family members.
When one is at war, one doesn’t play games – at this point in time, you can no longer criticize Israel beyond how you speak of other nations without being anti-Semitic.
Most of us believe that the Arabs and Iranians, along with most of these groups and most leftist, are not looking for anything less than the destrucvtion of the state of Israel. If most of the Jews who live there died, very few of these people would shed tears – gentiles generally do not cry over dead Jews – the history of the world shows that.
So yeah, that’s where most of us stand. We’re not going to be budged.
There MUST be protection for the Jews of Israel. ThereMUST be an escape route to a Jewish state when the gentiles – even the American people – eventually withdraw the welcome mat for the Jewish people. History also shows us that we are never truly safe in any Xian or Islamic nation.



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Dave

posted June 24, 2007 at 10:43 am


1/ The Yiddish meaning of ‘goyim’ is exactly the same as the Hebrew meaning of ‘goyim’ that is ‘nations’. Further how does a ‘future rabbinical student’ claim he has never seen the word ‘goyim’ used except in a derogatory sense when the word is repeatedly used in the BIBLE often referring to Jews (eg goy gadol).
2/ One Israeli general=the Israeli General Staff?
3/ Not abiding by the wishes of a few shareholders against the majority does = democracy
4/ Shutting down the largest anti-Chavez TV station = democratic reforms?
5/ And BTW what was that Chavez said about ‘the descendants of those who killed Christ?’ Who could he possibly been referring to?
6/ Do tell me how I can boycott Hamas as an individual.
7/ Rabbis for Human Rights not anti-Israel? http://www.lexumc.org/Mar02/ReachingOut.htm and scroll down to ‘Jewish voices’



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Scott R.

posted June 24, 2007 at 11:38 am


So “Yechiel”,
In the interest of fairness, what have you done to help the plight of Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev, and Ehud Goldwasser?



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Donald

posted June 24, 2007 at 12:49 pm


Scott, that comment that says Israel and 5-6 million Jewish people are interchangeable is exactly what I don’t agree with. You’ve set it up so that criticism of Israel is equal to hatred of millions of Jews. No it isn’t. I’m American and there’s a huge amount to criticize about America–in fact, the sins of Israel remind me a lot of the sins of America. I don’t hate Americans, but I do hate some of what we do.
From what little I’ve read, Muslims have the same sort of hypocrisy in their culture. Islam is supposed to forbid attacking civilians, so Muslim terrorists come up with elaborate contortions explaining why what they do isn’t really a violation of this prohibition when it clearly is. Having been around Christians and Jews who do this sort of thing, I think I understand the mentality. People who rationalize the atrocities of their own group seem the same in all cultures, and the funny thing is they are usually acutely aware of the hypocrisy of people very much like themselves in other cultures.
Western countries have their share of this type, who usually claim to uphold noble Western values that are actually best expressed by Western critics. It’s Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, and groups like that which best exemplify what Western countries (including the US and Israel) are supposed to represent.



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Yechiel

posted June 24, 2007 at 3:44 pm


Hi You Guys,
With all the talk of people who are “anti-Israel,” it may be helpful to mention that the State of Israel has had many friends. Idi Amin’s government received military training and logistical support from the State of Israel; the contra terrorists in Nicaragua worked closely with the Israelis and managed to kill approximately 48,000 civilians with Galil assault rifles; the Shah’s internal police trained with Mossad; and the government of Indonesia, which killed approximately 250,000 civilians during the Suharto regime, was a good friend of Israel, as well. Galil assault rifles used extensively there, too.
Dave – I did see your post. I’ll try to get back with you later.



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Donald

posted June 24, 2007 at 5:24 pm


Adding to Yechiel’s point, the government of Guatemala in the late 70′s and early 80s also received Israeli military assistance. This included the period under the born-again Christian dictator Rios Montt, who murdered tens of thousands of Mayan Indians in a genocidal campaign.
I think there was probably some behind-the-scenes agreement between the US and Israeli governments that Israel would do some of America’s dirty work during the Cold War. Certainly that seemed to be happening during the Iran/Contra affair.
Iit is funny to hear my conservative friends talking about Muslim countries and their support for terrorism, given how many skeletons the US and (to a lesser extent) Israel have in their closet.



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Scott R.

posted June 24, 2007 at 6:05 pm


Funny, since most of the democracies of the world don’t have any dealings with Israel…who exactly are they supposed to deal with?
But, better yet – look at the governments the U.S. has dealt with. Should our country be boycotted? Should ourt government be brought down? Maybe we should just hand this country over to the illegal immigrants as penance. The possibilities are just endless.
Hey, maybe this country should just be dismantled and handed over to someone else.



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Yechiel

posted June 24, 2007 at 7:00 pm


Which democracies do not deal with Israel? I know that Great Britain, France and Germany all have extensive diplomatic and economic relations with Israel, so I’m not sure which democracies are being referred to.
I do know of some non-democratic nations and organizatins that have, unfortunately, worked closely with Israel. South Africa’s regime during the apartheid period was a good friend of Israel and modelled some of its tracking systems on the Israeli program in the Occupied Territories.
I know that Israel has been supplying China with weapons, because I was just looking at the Israel Defense Forces website, which calls for continuing that course; and I know from Israeli historian Benjamin Beit Hallahmi’s books that Israel helped Joseph Savimbi’s UNITA group kill about a million people. But these were all fiercely non-democratic nations or organizations.



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Dave

posted June 25, 2007 at 5:52 pm


1/ Should Russia be blamed anytime someone somwhere is killed with an AK-47?
2/ The contras where anti-totalitarian Nicaraguans. When the Sandinistas had elections the contras ended. And with Ortega back in power and (so far) having elections the contras haven’t come back.
3/ Savimbi fought and lost a civil (tribal-based) war with the current non-democratic Angolan government which, interestingly enough is getting rich (the government, not its citizens) off of multinational oil companies. Not quite the Chavezistas there, are they?
4/ The Indonesian government a friend of Israel?
5/ The Shah killed a fraction of the people the current regime has. Do you really think that if Jimmy Carter had not helped Khomeini replace the Shah that the world would have been a worse place? Do you think anyone would be talking about an Iranian nuclear threat?



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Donald

posted June 25, 2007 at 6:07 pm


If the Russian government trains and arms some group which uses that training and weaponry to kill innocent people, then Russia should be blamed.
Simple answers to easy questions.



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Yechiel

posted June 26, 2007 at 1:19 pm


Yes, the Russians are responsible for the predictable consequences of their actions.
Ortega’s government raised the nation’s standards education, health care and distribuiton of wealth, after approximately forty years of terror and torture by the US-installed Somoza government. That is precisely why Reagan, Bush and Carter terrorized the Sandanistas. They wanted to make sure the “cancer” of independence from US-based corporations did not spread.
Savimbi killed about a million people, and he did it partly with Israel’s help. Israelis are responsible for their part in these crimes.
The Shah was installed in 1953 after the United States destroyed the democratically-elected governmment of Iran. What Carter should have done was to pay reparations to the Iranian people and work to prosecute the perpetrators of the coup.
The Iranian nuclear threat, though it is real, is very small. They don’t have a single nuclear weapons. Once the State of Israel introduced weapons of mass destruction into the Middle East and refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it was inevitable that other nations in the region would pursue nuclear weapons. I know we can all agree that Israel should immediately open its weapons facilities to inspections. After all, we the American taxpayers paid for them.



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Scott R.

posted June 26, 2007 at 4:41 pm


Thank God there are more friends of Israel in this country than lefty enemies.



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Dave

posted June 26, 2007 at 7:06 pm


1/ Well then every country on Earth should stop making anything more lethal than a pea-shooter or else they should all be considered evil since all weapons can be used to kill people.
Not holding my breath.
2/ The United States did not have a single nuclear weapon either-until it did.
3/ The Shah came to power before 1953. Mossadeq became his prime minister and started confiscating land (ironically even land belonging to mosques). Naturally the US and Britain considered him an ally of Iran’s then northern neighbour. The Shah then dismissed him (didn’t kill him-he lived long after) which as monarch he could legally do.
4/ The Sandinistas raised living standards during the civil war? Since when do people in countries in any civil war get their living standards raised?



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Donald

posted June 26, 2007 at 7:17 pm


Dave, I assume you’re aware there’s a difference between making weapons, and giving them (along with training) to people you know are going to use them to shoot civilians.
It’s really kind of an easy distinction to make. Though if you’re saying that the entire weapons industry is morally corrupt, I’d be willing to listen. But if so, you’re more of a radical than me. I think we do have the right to make weapons to defend ourselves. We don’t have the right to make weapons, give them to genocidal manaics, train them in their use, and then duck responsibility for it.
Though, heck, in practice people do this all the time and claim to be followers of God. So it must be okay after all.



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Yechiel

posted June 26, 2007 at 11:42 pm


No, Mossadegh was deposed by the CIA. Again, the United States wanted to make sure that Iran’s resources were devoted to American-based corporations, rather than to the people of Iran.
Yes, it’s true. that despite terrrorist attacks on the population by the US-supported Contras, Ortega’s government raised living standards tremendously in almost all important areas. There was no civil war to speak of — there was a mercenary Contra army consisting of former Somoza supporters, and sponsored by the US, fighting against the Nicaraguan government favord by about two-thirds of the population.
This was the period during which the World Court ruled that the United States was committing international crimes against Nicaragua by bombing the harbors.
Elliot Abrams, convicted during this period of covering up evidence of the El Mozote Massacre, and John Negroponte, who helped direct the terror operations against the Nicaraguans, work presently with the Bush Administration.



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Yechiel

posted June 27, 2007 at 1:49 am


Clarification to most recent comment: The World Court ruled against the United States because it was mining the Nicaraguan harbors, not actually dropping bombs.



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Scott R.

posted June 27, 2007 at 9:45 am


Given that there was a cold war at the time, and that the USSR was still seeking the conquering/destruction of the West, any and all acxtions taken against Nicaragua were fully justified.



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Yechiel

posted June 27, 2007 at 2:26 pm


This is the kind of justification given by everyone caught in the act.



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Donald

posted June 27, 2007 at 3:00 pm


Scott, what is your objection to terrorism, then? Apparently it’s only bad when your enemies do it. You seem to think the end justifies the means. A bit of a problem, then, when people have different opinions of what is a good end and they all agree that terrorism is justified.
You get the sort of nasty behavior one actually sees in the world, from all sides.



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Yechiel

posted June 27, 2007 at 3:29 pm


An analogy to Scott’s approach seems to be:
It’s okay if I hit on my brother’s wife, because I’m basically a good guy. It’s only “adultery” if somebody sleeps it with my own wife.



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Dave

posted June 27, 2007 at 7:55 pm


1/ The ‘two-thirds of Nicaraguans’ who supported the Sandianistas voted them out of office in the first elections in which they could.
2/ The contra ‘mercenaries’ included everyone form the impovrished Indians of the Atlantic coast to the female publisher of the leading anti-Somoza newspaper (who was the one elected president after the eclections)
3/ The CIA obviously helped the Shah but did they try to kill Mossadeq like they tried to kill Castro? Did they send in the marines? It was the Shah (who continued to rule for the next 25 years who ‘overthrew’ Mossadeq.



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Scott R.

posted June 27, 2007 at 8:06 pm


This is the kind of justification given by everyone caught in the act.
Caught in the act of what?
Scott, what is your objection to terrorism, then? Apparently it’s only bad when your enemies do it. You seem to think the end justifies the means
I was at the World Trade Center on 9/11 (also in ’93, but far less horrible). Have you ever seen people on fire coming out of windows fire? Do you know what a human body falling from 60 stories or more sounds like on impact? Do you think if you heard that you would wake up every goddamned night for the rest of your life? Do you know what it’s like to lay on the ground while burning metal falls on you and you just wait for something a lot bigger to fall on you? Do you know what it’s like to look around you and see body parts or pieces of chopped meat that you don’t even know what part it used to be? Do you know what it’s like to be laying a few feet from a dead body, stare in its open eyes, and slowly come to realize that your only looking at a head? Maybe if you saw that you’d wake up in terror every night for the rest of your life, do you think?
Maybe you’d mourn that you had a successful career back then, and after that, you can’t work anymore and you can only go into Manhattan every few months – with pleny of xanax (along with the whole assortment of drugs you have to take now just to get out of the house).
Maybe you’d come to realized that, even though you walked away from the WTC, you really died on 9/11 and your body hasn’t figured it out yet.
I don’t have a long time to live, because sooner, rather than later, what happened to me on that day will catch up with me and I won’t be able to make to another morning, and I will have to kill myself, leaving behind a wife and a son. Don’t tell me it won’t happen -I guarantee you it will. Anything that lasts long enough ut of the grave eventually rots away.
So I want to see every last terrorist exterminated. It’s the dead calling out for vengeance.
An analogy to Scott’s approach seems to be:
It’s okay if I hit on my brother’s wife, because I’m basically a good guy. It’s only “adultery” if somebody sleeps it with my own wife.

Your analogy is perverse. Don’t try again.



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Dave

posted June 27, 2007 at 8:18 pm


As to the ‘Independent’ – well of the 4 national broadsheets in Britain (Telegraph, Times, Guardian and Independent) the Independent has by far the lowest circulation, and that’s with trailer loads of Fisk’s columns being gobbled up in the Middle East.
So if huge amounts of Brits are boycotting the ‘Independent’…



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Yechiel

posted June 27, 2007 at 11:24 pm


Dave, you are correct that, after years of terror directed against them by the United States, the Nicaraguans voted for the party they were forced to vote for. The good news for US corporations and their backers in the Democratic and Republican parties is that things are getting back to normal, and the country is returning, to a large extent, to its former status as a police state.
Dave, you are incorrect when you claim that the people you mentioned were all merecenaries. On the other hand, if you were correct, it would mean that they were guilty of war crimes and should be prosectuted by the International Criminal Court. Please take a look at the World Court’s 1986 ruling, which effectively ruled that the United States was engaged in terrorism against Nicaragua, for details. Don’t worry, the US did as any rogue state would do — it decided not to pay any reparations to its victims.
Dave you are correct that the CIA did not kill Mossadegh as they later killed Salvador Allende, the democratically-elected leader of Chile on September 11, 1973.
I agree with you that the United States government does not always murder the leaders it deposes. For example, the CIA did not kill the democratically-elected leader of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz, after ousting him. The CIA did not kill Juan Bosch, the democratically- elected leader of El Salvador after ousting him. The US did not kill Joao Goulart, the democratically-elected leader of Brazil, after ousting him.
The important thing for US policy is not the killing of particular leaders. It’s making sure that democracy does not break out in ways that are troublesome to American corporations.



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Yechiel

posted June 28, 2007 at 2:03 am


Scott,
I would like to forget about all the political things we’ve been arguing about on this blog for now:
I know you may not believe me, but I hope very much that you are not serious about killing yourself. You may not believe, either, that I have done alot of work with PTSD and trauma specialists, and that’s why I trust that you can get through this. I will even tell you the website of one place that has lots of good info: The Trauma Center at http://www.traumacenter.org.
I can proudly say that many of the best trauma clinicians are Jewish and that much of what is known about recovering from psychological trauma has been learned from Holocaust survivors who have bravely worked with the medical community. Rachel Yehuda is one of them who lives in NYC, where it sounds like you live. Dr. Yehuda goes back and forth, I think, from NYU to Yeshiva University.
EVEN IF YOU HATE ME FOR MY POLITICS, PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS ONE THING:
The suffering you are describing is a normal reaction to the sort of traumatic events you have experienced. There are alot of good people out there who have helped people get through the kinds of difficulties you are describing. People in the IDF go through this process, for example.
You said that you died but your body has not figured it out yet. I hope you will consider this possibility, even though you may think I am a bad Jew or whatever: Maybe your Neshamah knows you are alive, but your body has not caught up yet.



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Scott R.

posted June 28, 2007 at 7:55 am


I have been through everything for PTSD. It does nothing. Nada. Nilch.
I’m tired of this.



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Yechiel

posted June 28, 2007 at 1:52 pm


I bet you are tired. PTSD is exhausting, because lots of the time people can’t sleep or wake up with nightmares, plus all the flashbacks and things like that. But if you’re alive now after all you’ve been through, there’s got to be more that’s right with you than wrong with you.



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Dave

posted June 28, 2007 at 4:47 pm


1/ The Nicaraguans where not forced to vote for Chammora. And BTW you may be right about it going back to being a police state since Daniel Ortega was recently elected President again.
2/ How does a foreign intelligence service oust somone without killing him or doing any violence to him, without sending in any Americans soldiers? Can’t be a huge amount of nationals living in that country to be involved can it?
3/ The ‘democracy’ that should be opposed is the one-man, one-vote, one time ( or maybe 2 times, max ) kind. Chavez for example can rule by degree for decades as approved by a Congress 100% made up of his supporters. Is that democracy or dicatatorship?



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Donald

posted June 28, 2007 at 8:18 pm


Scott, I wouldn’t be arguing with you about this stuff if I’d known you were going through that. I had a bad day on 9/11, worrying about people I loved (none died), but I didn’t see firsthand any of the horror.



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jaime Osurman bayaban

posted June 29, 2007 at 4:17 am


I found this article very interesting. It arouse my awareness of the truthfulness of the Word of God. As the Apostle said in the Book of Romans in the New Testament – “They profess to be wise, they became FOOLS” (capitalized mine).” These “boycotters” are the present recipients of the writing of Saint Paul. They pretend to know something, but in fact, they become “FOOLS.” Fools have no common sense; the “boycotters” profess they are wise, but they become FOOLS, so, “boycotters” are fools, therefore, they have no common sense!
In reality, this is what Satan, the enemy of God, wants people do. To act on some crucial issues without making in depth study with the result of attacking Israel as a nation and as a special race before God. When you attack God’s special people. you attack God! You do not have to be a theologian to understand this premise.
Remember the promise of God to Abraham, the father of the Jewish race, “I will bless them those who will bless you; and curse them those who will curse you.” I do believe this is true until this time. We have seen many people and even nation fell because they are anti-semitics. God is faithful to His promise.
Praying that these “boycotters” will learn their lessons early. God bless their souls.



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Anonymous

posted June 29, 2007 at 6:06 am


“In reality, this is what Satan, the enemy of God, wants people do. To act on some crucial issues without making in depth study with the result of attacking Israel as a nation and as a special race before God. When you attack God’s special people. you attack God! You do not have to be a theologian to understand this premise.”
Since Biblical prophesy has been fulfilled for us as Christians, we believe that all people of all nations are God’s people as Isaiah 56 states. I’m just as chosen by God, as any Jew, or any Israeli.



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Yechiel

posted June 29, 2007 at 4:38 pm


Hey Scott,
I don’t know if you’re shomer Shabbos, ,so I wanted to get this contact information to you before the weekend.
There’s a guy at Mount Sinai who works in the same department as Rachel Yehuda. His name is Robert Grossman, M.D. and he’s the Director of the Mount Sinai Traumatic Stress Program.
Address is:
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, New York, 10029-6574
Tel: (212) 659-8824
E-mail: robert.a.grossman@mssm.edu
I know Rachel Yehuda has worked with Arieh Shalev, who’s the IDF’s main trauma consultant, and I think Grossman has, too. Some of the best in the business, as the saying goes. I’m not saying they’re perfect, or anything, but what have you got to lose?



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Kris C.

posted July 1, 2007 at 10:47 pm


BOYCOTTS!!I’ve been “politically active” since I was in High School.Got involved in rallies,demonstrations,sit-ins,boycotts,etc.AND the one thing I’ve found is,that all a boycott does is frustrate you while annoying other people[maybe=because most people don't seem to care or notice].Boycotts sort of seem to be a waste of time and effort.I can tell you scads about racial discrimination.My dad was part Native American Indian [at a time when it was better to be Japanese or Black}my mom was a German war bride who lost most of her german relatives to the Russians and Russian concentration camps,while at the same time she lost her German/Jew relatives to German concentration camps.White people never liked me coz I am mixed blood,Jews have treated me like dirt because my mom is a German who survived the war,Black people don’t like me coz they think I’m white,and Hispanics don’t know what to make of me.I feel bad for the guy with PTSD,but,guess what?Nothing will help him until he is ready to be helped AND wants to be helped.So good luck to him.My point is,people will hate eachother and discriminate against eachother as long as this world exists because it is their nature to do so.Religions were created by “Grandfather” to lead people down the right path and learn how to treat eachother properly.Everyone misses the real point of all religions;which is why all the angels are crying.



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