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Mosby's Journal
Mosby's Journal
March 6, 2020

'Mensch' Joe Biden sees surge in Jewish support

Many American Jewish leaders may be able to talk about the first time they met Joe Biden – the guy has, after all, been a fixture in Washington for 44 years – but Rabbi Michael Beals’ story is a doozy: He met Biden at a shiva call.

In 2006, Biden was still a Democratic Senator from Delaware, and Beals was the newly-installed spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in that state’s largest city, Wilmington. A synagogue member named Sylvia Greenhouse had died at the age of 83, and her apartment was too small to fit the gathered mourners, so Beals was leading a service in the building’s laundry room, and in walked the state’s senior Senator.

Biden explained to the rabbi that in every election campaign since his first Senate run in 1972, Greenhouse, a retired DMV employee, had sent him donations of $18 – a number that in Judaism symbolizes life. So Biden was there to pay his respects.

“And nobody was covering it, nobody from the press, there wasn’t an assistant,” Beals recounted. “It’s just who he is.”


March 6, 2020

The BDS Faith: Judaism without Zion


Jews don’t know what antisemitism is because they don’t have the right definition of Judaism. Such is the claim of many self-identified progressives who deny Israel’s right to exist. Israel has no connection to Judaism, they say, so therefore anti-Zionism has no connection to antisemitism. William Kolbrener explains why they are wrong.

Those advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement who claim no connection between antisemitism and anti-Zionism have their own definitions of both antisemitism and Judaism. For them, religion, revolves around faith, as it does for Christians, but not the distinctly Jewish conception of nationhood – so that the State of Israel is seen not as a genuine expression of Judaism, but a cynical colonialist grab for power. This is one thing Trump gets right – Judaism is a nation before a religion in the Christian sense.

The refusal of Jewish exceptionalism has a long history. BDS-supporting progressives, wearing the multi-cultured garment of intersectionality, are not unlike most Christians before the founding of State of Israel: both seek to deny Jewish difference. The idea that ‘there is no Jew nor Greek,’ asserted by the apostle Paul, informs contemporary progressive versions of community. Such progressives may bristle at hearing themselves described as akin to Christian universalism, but in their urge to deny Jewish difference, they show many affinities to older forms of antisemitism. Just as they did in relationship to Christianity, today Jews give the lie to universalist claims. Then, as now, the Jew is made the excluded outsider, the one difference excluded from the universalism of difference.

Today, the most obvious expression of Jewish exceptionalism is the State of Israel, and thus the target of antisemitic attack. For those progressives who reject Judaism as defined through peoplehood and practices, mere Judaism as faith does not justify Jewish nationhood, in fact it’s an affront to their sensibility, a betrayal of what real faith should be. But Judaism encompasses every aspect of public and private life – mandating not only laws about diet, sex and work, but laws in relationship to farming, commerce, charity. The latter category of laws also includes ways in which produce of the Land of Israel must be designated for the poor. That is, Judaism imagines itself – in its ideal form – as a way of life and aspires to found that encompassing life in relationship to Jewish community in the Land of Israel. This is the way Jewish peoplehood has been expressed as an ideal in exile for at least two thousand years, and as a lived reality, however flawed, in the current State of Israel. Those who advocate BDS, however, having determined what Judaism is, can go ahead and deny any connection between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, calling out the Jewish State as colonialist because they insist that religion, and therefore Judaism, must be determined by faith alone.


February 28, 2020

In Bay Area, candid Israeli historian Benny Morris sounds off on genocide and politics

Israeli historian Benny Morris doesn’t write to please his audience. “I don’t care about hasbara,” he told J., using the Hebrew word for public-relations efforts to portray Israel in a positive light to the rest of the world. “People who want to defend this or that cause, they work in foreign ministries, they work in other places. I work on history.”

Morris, who has written or edited a dozen books, is considered one of Israel’s preeminent historians. His 2008 tome “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War” earned him the National Jewish Book Award in history. Considered a revisionist, he is one of three so-called “New Historians” who emerged in the 1980s and became known for challenging accepted narratives about Israel’s founding.

In the 1980s, Morris used state archives and newly declassified materials to write “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem,” a seminal work that took aim at the falsehoods underlying both traditional Israeli and mainstream Arab versions of the 1948 war.

The documents he reviewed showed the 700,000 or so Arabs who had fled their homes during what they refer to as the “nakba,” or the catastrophe, “had not done so, by and large, on orders from” Palestinian or Arab leaders, or autonomously, as many Israelis were led to believe. Nor were they systematically expelled as part of a “master plan,” as many Palestinians were taught, he summarized in a piece for the Guardian in 2012.


February 22, 2020

I get these ice spikes in my freezer, this is an unusual one.

They usually are tilted and thin like spears. This one is pretty solid and hefty.

ETA they emerge from my ice cube trays.

February 4, 2020

It was the Zionists.

As stupid as that sounds, this is what happens when a small group of media people build their careers on the I/P conflict and see the world events though their warped perspective.

Not posting the link itself, I know nothing about "the greyzone". Max really outdid himself with this one, he really is a master of innuendo.


January 31, 2020

Why are George Soros and Charles Koch collaborating on a U.S.-bashing think tank?

George Soros is rightly regarded as one of the most consequential advocates of freedom in Central and Eastern Europe. Years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Hungarian-born financier began investing his fortune in democratic dissidents. Once the Berlin Wall fell, his Open Society Foundations rapidly opened offices across the region, providing crucial support to independent journalists, civil-society activists and liberal-minded politicians.

It is this steadfast support for democracy that makes Soros’s latest gambit so confusing. The liberal philanthropist has joined forces with fellow billionaire Charles Koch in founding a foreign policy think tank, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Disparaging “the foreign policy community in Washington” for having "succumbed to intellectual lethargy and dysfunction,” the institute will advocate “a new foreign policy centered on diplomatic engagement and military restraint.” On most issues, the liberal Soros and the libertarian Koch exist on opposite ends of the political spectrum. That they are collaborating on foreign policy may be a harbinger of a new left-right consensus favoring isolationism.


In a recent podcast, Koch explained the purpose of the institute, inaccurately quoting its namesake. “We go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy, we’re the friends of all nations, and allies of none.” John Quincy Adams did indeed utter the first part of that phrase, beloved by noninterventionists. But he said nothing of the sort about America not having allies.

That Koch would impute a distaste for alliances to Adams is revealing. Alliances have been the mainstay of U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II, ensuring more than seven decades of unprecedented peace and prosperity. The alliance structures and partnerships the United States has forged, embodied by institutions such as NATO and bilateral agreements with nations including Australia, Colombia, Japan and India, ensure global order, freedom of commerce, and human rights. Koch also complained about our “over 800 bases around the world,” as if these were agents of aggression and not projections of stability.


You know who loves Western non-interventionism? Vladimir Putin, which is why it's the cornerstone of Russian propaganda efforts.

January 30, 2020

Hospitals need to be nationalized.

Fucking around with insurance, mfa, single payer will never address the underlying problems with cost.

ETA- this is a great example where the capitalistic model doesn't work. Ask yourself why there is such a huge range in pricing.

estimates that a laparoscopic appendectomy (the type that Bates had) ranges from $9,678 to more than $30,000 in Bates' ZIP code. The "fair price" it suggests for the surgery is a little over $12,000 — completely in the ballpark of the $12,944 that Bates and his insurer already paid the hospital. Fair Health, another site that collects claims data, estimates total costs for an out-of-network appendectomy at $19,292 — about $11,000 less than the hospital says Bates still owes.
January 15, 2020


Arbel Kynan, a top Israeli fashion model, wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday that a Lebanese designer refused to have her take part in his runway show at the Haute Couture Week in Paris, which starts on January 20, because of her nationality.

“Truthfully... it’s still hard for me to digest....” Kynan wrote. She then told of how she arrived in Paris a few days ago to be photographed by a “very respectable fashion company,” and was told she would also walk the runway in next week’s show, which is a coveted job in the modeling industry.

“Many times, people ask us where we are from, and on the day of the shoot they asked me where I am from and, of course, I answered with a big smile that I am from Tel Aviv.” The shoot continued as usual, Kynan said, and they finished early. According to Kynan, a few days passed, and then on Tuesday, she says, “I received an email from my agency stating that the client is Lebanese and he does not want me to take part in the show, because I live in Tel Aviv, Israel – this is the content of the email I received.”


January 12, 2020

As protests restart in Iran, demonstrators refuse to trample US, Israeli flags

Protesters gathered on the streets of Iran Sunday for a second day of demonstrations against the regime, prompted by the Iranian leadership’s belated admission that it accidentally downed a Ukrainian airliner last week, killing all 176 people on board.

Hundreds of protesters rallied at various locations around the country, including outside a university in Tehran, social media posts showed.

Video also showed a crowd of several hundred at the university refusing to trample on large US and Israeli flags that had been laid down in the path of the march. Those that did walk on the flags were chastised by other protesters, the Haaretz daily newspaper reported. The video did not identify which university was involved.

“They are lying that our enemy is America; our enemy is right here,” chanted some protesters in Tehran, according to a report from the Reuters new agency.


January 10, 2020

Look at the websites they mention

On the left, when President Donald Trump tweeted an American flag following Soleimani’s death, anti-Israel conspiracy theorist Max Blumenthal replied, “You misspelled the Israeli flag.”

On the far-left website CounterPunch, Jefferson Morley wrote. “Trump has now fulfilled the wishes of Mossad,” the Israeli intelligence agency.

The intensely anti-Zionist Philip Weiss, who runs the website Mondoweiss, said Trump was using the strike to gain campaign contributions from wealthy Jews: “Look who is pleased by the attack, Israel. No doubt Sheldon Adelson, Trump’s biggest donor at well over $100 million to Republican causes, is also pleased by the strike.”

We have complained about linking to these websites for YEARS.

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