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Mondoweiss Breaks Silence Over The Alison Weir/JVP Controversy – Or Does It?

Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir – Adam Horowitz/Mondoweiss 

This summer some in the Palestinian solidarity community have been involved in a debate over Alison Weir of If Americans Knew following Jewish Voice for Peace’s decision to not work with her and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s decision to ask her organization to leave its coalition due to violation of its anti-racism principles. Several readers have asked why we haven’t covered it and the simple answer is that we have devoted our time and resources to other important news stories which we have viewed as a greater priority, the Iran deal and increase in settler violence to name a few. However, we understand that this site plays a role in the Palestine solidarity movement as a place to reflect and debate, not only on the news of the day but on the movement itself. For that reason we are publishing the following three submissions we received on the division within the movement.


Why Some of Alison Weir’s Work is Antisemitic and Why It Matters

By Jennifer Hitchcock

The recent decisions by Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to end their association with Alison Weir and If Americans Knew has reignited a debate within segments of the Palestinian solidarity movement as to whether expressions of antisemitism and other forms of racism should be tolerated within the movement for Palestinian rights.

Even though both organizations tried to deal with Weir quietly and behind-the-scenes, she chose to publicize their actions, thus compelling both organizations to release statements explaining their decisions. Both organizations also carefully avoided labeling Weir herself as antisemitic.

However, I argue that a significant amount of her work does suggest antisemitism and that, along with her troubling associations and choices of interview platforms, this is a problem.

Some of her supporters online have argued that it is “a waste of time” or a “distraction” to deal with such matters at best—and a “Zionist plot” at worst. Some have questioned the intentions and commitment of JVP and US Campaign to the Palestinian cause. Some well-meaning people who have signed onto a letter in defense of Weir may be unaware of her entire body of work and affiliations or misinformed about the reasons for the actions by JVP and US Campaign.

Those who support these recent decisions to disassociate with her have argued that such actions, though regrettable, are necessary to stay consistent with the anti-racist principles of the movement.

While there are some legitimate points of debate regarding this issue, including where to draw the line for bigoted speech and actions and how to most appropriately address such instances, anti-racist principles need to be applied consistently and universally for the sake of the BDS movement’s ethical coherence and potential for continued growth and success.

A Few Bad Apples

The vast majority of BDS and Palestinian solidarity activists are not antisemitic, and many activists are understandably tired of being constantly charged with antisemitism simply for criticizing Israel or supporting BDS. But anyone who had done significant activist work in the Palestinian solidarity movement would have to admit that the movement does occasionally draw a few unsavory characters here and there, including people who come out of the woodwork online, to defend figures like Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir, Greta Berlin, and now Alison Weir.

Many of these people and their supporters don’t seem primarily focused on Palestinian rights and universal anti-racist principles as much as they are on demonizing Israel and Jews. In some cases, they also support “US interests” and can’t seem to see any relation between the settler-colonialism and racism of Israel and the history of the US.

The rare presence of a few of these types does not mean that antisemitism a big problem in the movement or in general. And antisemitism is not as much of a problem in the cause for Palestinian rights as Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, which are clearly much worse in regard to continued Western and US support for Israeli oppression of Palestinians. And fears of antisemitism are often unfounded and overblown.

However, there is such a thing as real antisemitism out there, and the Palestinian-led BDS movement has a unique antisemitism problem.

It’s not that there is a significant presence of antisemitism within the movement, but that the movement frequently has to deal this charge in a way that has not been the case for other similar anti-colonial and civil rights movements of the past. White apartheid-supporting Afrikaners, American Segregationists, and other colonial and civil-rights-denying Europeans did not enjoy the same level of international sympathy and support for nearly as long as the Israeli regime has.

While sympathy for Jews in Europe and the US has decreased in recent decades as Jewish weakness and persecution has been replaced by Jewish acceptance, success, and influence—and as knowledge of the reality of Israeli oppression of Palestinians becomes more widespread—sympathy for Jews and sensitivity to antisemitism still remains generally strong. The history of antisemitism and Jewish persecution, mainly in Europe, also inspired the Zionist project to begin with and continues to undergird most international support for Israel today.

For BDS to be successful, Palestinian solidarity activists must effectively acknowledge and address the history of antisemitism and sympathy for Zionism—a settler-colonial enterprise that also closely mirrors US history. False charges of antisemitism against BDS may be tiring, but their ability to stifle discussion reveals how effective fears of antisemitism are at maintaining support for Zionism and Israeli colonialism.

The Case Against Weir

So was there any legitimate evidence that Weir has espoused or welcomed racist or antisemitic ideas? The US Campaign includes a well-documented list of the evidence upon which it based its decision, so it seems that there is something to the claims against her, despite the vocal protests of her and her supporters who argue that she has been unfairly accused in a “McCarthyist” manner simply through guilt-by-association.

For example, her 2009 article in CounterPunch (a questionable publication in its own right), “Israeli Organ Harvesting,” which was cited by the US Campaign, focuses on a handful of claims that Israel was harvesting organs from Palestinians in custody. She connects these accounts to other Jewish and Israeli instances of possible illegal organ harvesting and trafficking to infer that there is a pattern of Jews harvesting organs. She then addresses “charges” that this is a “new version of the old anti-Semitic ‘blood libel’” by including an extended discussion of a controversial book in which the author claims that “there were at least a few, possibly many, real incidents” of medieval Jewish ritual uses of the blood of Christian children. Weir clearly makes a point to selectively paint this as an Israeli and Jewish problem, ignoring the fact that organ harvesting is a widespread problem around the world, not just in Israel or Jewish communities.

To emphasize how problematic and antisemitic this narrative is, an analogy may be helpful. Imagine if someone had written a story about an alleged recent rash of sexual assaults by black men against white women in the US. The author ignores cases of sexual assault outside of the African-American community and portrays rape and sexual assault as primarily an African-American problem against white women. And, further, the author includes “evidence” that such assaults were a real, valid concern in the South back when frequent lynchings of black men for these claims were a common form of racial terrorism. Notice a problem?

Given the history of this trope’s use in racial terror against African-Americans—including its role in more recently inspiring terrorist Dylan Roof—would we be willing to overlook the racism in such an article? The history of false rape charges leading to whites lynching blacks parallels how the false charges of blood libel led to the deaths of many Jews in Europe.

This article is just one example of many that point to a larger pattern in Weir’s work. In her follow-up pieces on her blog, in which she stands by the validity of the article, along with many of her other writings and speeches, Weir has a tendency to focus on demonizing Israelis and Jews, rather than framing Zionism in terms of other settler-colonial projects throughout history as most Palestinian solidarity activists do. She is careful to usually say “Zionists” instead of “Jews,” and she also occasionally inserts half-hearted and obligatory disclaimers here and there asserting that she is against antisemitism and that not all Jews support Israeli policies, but a pattern begins to emerge when one looks at her body of work.

Not all of her work and associations suggest antisemitism. In fact, much of her work is completely legitimate and useful, but enough of her work is problematic that it rightfully warrants attention. Notice how I haven’t even brought up any of her associations or discussed most of the other examples presented to justify these decisions.

While it is understandable that someone working for Palestinian rights would develop hostility toward Israel and its advocates, activists must be careful to avoid tolerating, adopting, or repeating classical antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories, lest they end up doing more harm than good to the movement.

There are plenty of very real and credibly well-documented hardships and patterns of discrimination faced by Palestinians that activists can focus on without invoking antisemitic rhetoric: ethnic cleansing, land confiscation, settlement construction, home demolitions, curfews, checkpoints, regular night raids, administrative detention (including of children), torture, the siege and deadly assaults on Gaza, and myriad other forms of collective punishment and denial of human rights.

Why Does Any of this Matter and How Should It Be Addressed?

Alison Weir and her advocates have now launched an aggressive campaign on her behalf that includes some harsh counterattacks against JVP and the US Campaign. Some of her supporters have even claimed that JVP is run by ADL-style Zionists and that Josh Ruebner of the US Campaign is a “Zionist agent.” Such attacks are unfortunate. These Jewish allies have been essential parts of the movement. JVP activists have been indispensable at helping to get most divestment initiatives passed in universities, religious organizations, and other institutions across the US. These Jewish allies are not secret Zionists working to undermine the movement. They are essential partners that have fully endorsed the BDS Call and who consciously use their privileged position as Jews in the US to help shield the BDS movement from charges of antisemitism. Jewish BDS activists are also disproportionately represented in the movement.

Jewish feelings and “sensibilities” are not more important than the rights and feelings of Palestinians. But these activists are not people who are overly sensitive to criticism of Israel. Most of them are harsh critics of Zionism and Israel themselves. Thus, it seems unethical, unwise, and ignorant for Weir’s supporters to blow them off so easily and try to tarnish their intentions and dedication to the movement. The vast majority of Palestinian solidarity and BDS activists recognize this.

While antisemitic or racist speech and actions should not be ignored, condoned, or promoted, neither should someone be shunned simply for making a couple of questionable statements, especially when taken out of context. If someone makes an honest mistake or words a statement poorly out of haste or ignorance, then they should certainly not be written off. But people should also be willing and open to listen, apologize, and try to change their behavior to align more with anti-racist values when someone points it out to them.

Perhaps this all could have ended quietly if Weir had respectfully listened to the years of complaints from other activists and made more of an attempt to adjust the way she frames her statements and her choice of interview platforms. If she had, she probably would have been given the benefit of the doubt. But Alison Weir has remained defiant, and her and many of her supporters don’t seem to want to even entertain the notion that publicly associating with openly racist and antisemitic people like Clayton Douglas or publishing assertions about the possible “truth” and “evidence” behind the classically antisemitic blood libel charge might possibly be hurtful to Jewish activists and understandably perceived as antisemitic to most of the world.

The Steven Salaita case at UIUC is a good example of why it is wrong to take a couple of tweets out of context to try to paint someone as anti-Semitic whose body of work clearly demonstrates otherwise. Context is required. That is why JVP and the US campaign looked at context and multiple examples over time to make and justify their decisions, and why Ali Abunimah and Bekah Wolf did their research before calling out Greta Berlin. It is fine to discuss and debate these decisions, but it is more counterproductive and a waste of time to continue supporting individuals who have repeatedly demonstrated an affinity for racist or antisemitic speech than it is to call out such people whose presence will hurt the movement.

While reading Weir’s defense of her position and counter-attack of JVP, one is struck by how much she focuses on herself and how little she focuses on the stated goals of Palestinian activists and leaders. White allies need to be willing to defer to the goals and desired strategies of the BNC and other Palestinian activists rather than focusing primarily on their own agendas and reputations. Palestinians don’t need white saviors. They need white allies who will support rather than undermine the movement.

Not only is universally abiding by an anti-racist platform what Palestinian BDS activists have asked for repeatedly, but it is also more morally and ethically consistent for a nonviolent social justice movement—and ultimately much smarter in the court of public opinion, as most Palestinians are well aware.

Activists can and should debate when and how to most effectively address such instances. It is also legitimate to expect thorough research of the context and content of questionable behavior before taking action. It is, however, unfortunate but necessary to deal with these people to prevent them from tarnishing the credibility of the movement as a whole.

Jennifer Hitchcock has participated in Palestinian solidarity activism in the Washington D.C. area and is currently pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Discourse Studies at Old Dominion University, working on a dissertation analyzing BDS discourse. She also produced and directed the 2011 documentary, Dreams Deferred: The Struggle for Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine.


Learning Lessons

By Susan Landau

This posting is inspired by concern regarding the impact of three recent events on our movement for justice in Palestine: the process which led to the decision by the steering committee and board of Jewish Voice for Peace to sever all ties with If Americans Knew and its Executive Director, Allison Weir, which was then communicated in an internal email to local JVP chapters and also to If Americans Knew; the decision by the US Campaign to End the Occupation to expel If Americans Knew from its coalition; and the action of an ally in our movement, Allison Weir, who took her defense to the public domain, presumably feeling under attack with no other recourse.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I am a longtime member of the US Campaign to End the Occupation and a current member of Jewish Voice for Peace.  Over many years, I have used research and information made available from If Americans Knew in educating others and myself about Palestine.)

I bring to activism a healthy regard for personal relationships, interpersonal and group dynamics, and communication. Life is a series of experiences from which we learn and grow as individuals, with detours and missteps as part of this non-linear process.  So too it is with activism and organizational life.  The synergy in building a movement for social change inspires comradery, creativity, and action emanating from the highest level of being human.  Political connections provide support, meaning, purpose, and fuel solidarity and collaborative work for a better world.

I’m convinced that an appreciation of the impact of one’s words and actions has relevance and applicability beyond my psychotherapy office.  People with different perspectives can build understanding by responsibly speaking and listening with compassion, without blame or judgment. This process helps families, friendships, and couples navigate difficult terrain.  The template is readily transferable to our political groups.

How do we respond when a person or group within our movement does or says something that is seen as irresponsible and damaging to our collective work? All movements walk the fine line of building broad coalitions around shared demands without abandoning the visions of social justice that extend beyond those demands. There is no magic bullet for how to build a movement for justice in Israel-Palestine and promote our universal core values.

As activists, public shaming is a time honored and effective toolkit of choice employed against our external enemies: war criminals, racist cops, greedy corporate bosses, and other unsavory characters. What culture do we create when we use similar tactics on each other?  Is there another way?

Palestine solidarity work is guided by a vision that Jews and Palestinians can eventually live together in Palestine, implement the Right of Return, and create a stable society with justice, equality, and peace. It doesn’t bode well for this outcome when groups doing solidarity work can’t get along

Just as some couples that enter therapy cannot resolve their differences, organizational splits may sometimes be inevitable.   The process of engagement around differences is the heart of the matter here. Individuals as well as organizations have core values, boundaries that define who they are, that cannot be negotiated or violated. The cost paid when people or groups dig their heels in, alternating between criticism and defensive posturing is far reaching and outlives the conflict itself.

We are all familiar with accepted ground rules for taking personal responsibility in difficult conversations.  When individuals or groups create safe spaces for honest engagement, everyone emerges with a deeper understanding of each other’s position, how things got to where they are, what can be changed, and what cannot.   The integrity of all parties is intact.  When splits occur, they are clean.  Hopefully, everyone learns and moves forward with good will and minimal baggage.

Of course solidarity groups should conscientiously and vigilantly monitor and oppose anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia, and racism. That organizations must respond to these oppressive thought structures is unambiguous; how we go about doing this is less clear.

Differences within our movement exist; we stifle them to our peril.

In an attempt to build and protect the integrity of our movement for justice in Palestine, galvanize our collective political power without compromising core values, and to learn from recent events, consider:

By what standards do we judge other solidarity activists?

What criteria do we set for messaging, actions, and collaboration, as well as for how we treat each other?

What are the parameters of engagement with people who don’t share our worldview?

How do recent splits impact the movement in general, and specifically allies who continue to work with IAK?

How do we make our Palestine solidarity activism and our communication nonviolent?

These are real questions.  The urgency to reach, teach, and preach beyond the choir is now.

Let’s really talk to each other.

Lest we implode.

Susan Landau is a practicing psychotherapist who offers workshops on “Difficult Conversations” to both faith-based and secular groups as part of her commitment to educate, organize, and advocate as a non-Zionist Jew for a justice in Palestine-Israel.


Why I think JVP and the US Campaign are making a mistake regarding Alison Weir

By Russ Greenleaf

On June 15, 2015, the national office of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) publicly accused Alison Weir of endorsing anti-Semitism. On July 16, 2015, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO) publicly repeated the same accusation. The accusations by JVP and USCEIO are very similar, so for convenience I will refer them together as “JVP’s accusations.”

JVP’s accusations against Weir echo previous accusations made in two articles by Spencer Sunshine, titled, “Campus Profile – Alison Weir: If Americans Knew” (2014) and “Drawing Lines against Racism and Fascism” (March 5, 2015). Sunshine wrote those articles for the left think tank Political Research Associates (PRA).

Sunshine said the goal of his articles was to explain why “Far Right actors should not be allowed to participate in progressive circles, [and to] suggest criteria regarding where the line should be drawn in defining which politics are problematic enough to take action against.”

His articles are a major attack against Alison Weir, in which he classifies her as a right-winger who should be excluded from progressive circles. His 2014 article contains many of the same accusations JVP is making against Weir, including:

  • She has addressed right-wing audiences.
  • She was interviewed four times on Clayton Douglas’s radio show “The Free American.”
  • She was interviewed once by “The American Free Press” radio show.

Sunshine’s article also recycles several Zionist propaganda attacks against Weir, including one by CAMERA. He says Weir’s focus on “the so-called Israel lobby in the United States” is evidence of her anti-Semitism. He condemns Weir for saying,“Israel’s core identity is based on ethnic and religious discrimination.” He says that statement is evidence of Weir’s anti-Semitism. (By Sunshine’s criteria, JVP would be anti-Semitic.)

JVP’s accusations against Weir seem identical to one of the accusations in Sunshine’s article: that because Weir has given interviews to right-wing radio shows, it means she is a right-wing anti-Semite who should be excluded from progressive circles. Both Sunshine and JVP have looked for reasons to exclude her, and both have decided that guilt by association is a good-enough reason. (In this case, association means being interviewed by a radio show.)

If JVP wants to say that people should only speak to progressive audiences, it has a right to say so.

But unless JVP has hard evidence that Weir has made anti-Semitic statements, it should not join Sunshine and others in accusing her of anti-Semitism, explicitly or by innuendo. I think JVP should not participate in what is clearly a long-running campaign in progressive circles to accuse Weir of anti-Semitism in order to delegitimize her and undermine her effectiveness as a Palestine solidarity activist. (This dovetails with a similar campaign in Zionist circles.)

JVP should be willing to live and let live.

Weir is educating broad audiences which JVP will not reach (including right-of-center audiences that are not racist or extremist.) I have never seen any anti-Semitism in Weir’s talks, writings, or interviews – including the ones that JVP cited as evidence against her. Close inspection of JVP’s evidence reveals no anti-Semitism by Weir.

JVP’s evidence consists of the fact that Weir was interviewed by two right-wing radio shows that air racist views. JVP says that during those interviews it has “not seen evidence that she has disavowed, debated, or challenged the thinking of any of these outlets,” and she “has consistently chosen to stay silent when given the opportunity to challenge bigotry.”

But when one actually listens to the Clayton Douglas interview of Weir that JVP cites as evidence, it is clear that she is speaking up to challenge bigotry. She can be heard cautioning Douglas to not make sweeping negative statements about Jews. She can be heard challenging bigotry and promoting tolerance multiple times throughout the interview.

What is left of JVP’s argument is guilt by association, based on the fact that Weir allowed herself to be interviewed at all. Those interviews are a small fraction of all the interviews Weir has given. The vast majority of her interviews have been given to progressive or mainstream audiences. Weir does not vet the media outlets that ask for interviews. Her stated policy is to talk to anyone who will listen, and to challenge racism when she hears it. That appears to be exactly what she has done.

In reality, Weir marched in the civil rights movement and continues to speak out against racism and anti-Semitism today. JVP and USCEIO have not offered any credible evidence that she has made (or endorsed) anti-Semitic statements. They seem to be repeating false accusations from a Zionist propaganda article.

I think it hurts the Palestinian cause when JVP tries to undermine the efforts of a sister Palestine solidarity activist just because her message and approach are not the same as those of JVP.

JVP and USCEIO are doing to Weir the same thing that J Street did to JVP regarding BDS: spending time and effort to delegitimize and oppose a sister group that is doing something that will help end the occupation. It’s fine to say you don’t share their approach. But it’s not OK to go out of your way to delegitimize them and obstruct their efforts to end the occupation.

JVP and USCEIO should stop, and should make peace with Alison Weir. Their divisive attacks are harming the Palestine solidarity movement and harming the reputations of JVP and USCEIO.

Russ Greenleaf is a Jewish peace activist and writer in Louisville, Kentucky. He started the Louisville Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace and is currently a member of Jewish Voice for Peace of Kentucky.

Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir – Mondoweiss.



  1. Adam’s intro… what a fucking coward!

    To spare themselves any further journalistic embarrassment, MW sooo belatedly publishes a trio of articles addressing the Wier/JVP controversy without themselves stating who’s side they’re on – slyly wiggling out of it.

    Which can only mean that they’re pro JVP’s miserable, gatekeeping tactics.

    I read the MW commentary on MW’s site – it was good to see some posters resisting JVP’s censorship and jackboot.

    Not even a whisper or whimper from Phil Weiss about all that – even a bigger wuss than Adam.

    Annie had good intelligent arguments in support of Alison – yet it was mortifying and deeply disappointing to read her declaring that she is a JVP member. A definite political schizophrenia going on there.

      • I’m not clear on what her reasons are for being a JVP member. She certainly doesn’t need it as far as I can see. By now, she carries her own clout in the activist movement and is in no need of small, wobbly springboards. It would be good to know from the horse’s mouth what benefits she gains from this membership before I can make a fair assessment.

      • clamoring to phil? seriously, do you think phil could cafe less if i was a jvp member? i don’t even know if phil is a jvp member.

        fyi i joined (it costs $18) to go to an annual conference”meeting” held in the bay area a few years ago. it was for 2 or 3 days and had a host of interesting speakers or bds and other things. i like having jvp petitions sent to my inbox because they are simple and effective ways of advocacy (for example it takes all of 2 seconds to send a pre prepared email to my congressperson telling them to support the iran deal. virtually all of jvp’s congressional petitions i agree with. it is very effective and organized activism. no one tells me to do this. it saves me a lot of time writing this stuff and keeping track of it. that’s why i am a member and i think it’s a good reason. i don’t even know if adam and phil know i am a member.

        like any normal person considering the reasons why someone might not be making a statement, please take into consideration logical things like for instance, there may not be one unified site agreement over these actions.

        i have to go, i saw taxis link and was curious. i won’t have time to read all of these comments because i am busy. but phil and adam don’t control me. i signed the petition before i took my name off of it for multiple reasons which i can;t go into at the time. both phil and adam knew i was going to sign it and neither objected at all. not even a hint or suggestion i should not sign it.

        this concept i am an uncle tom is based on ignorance. i make my own decisions and i am not, for one minute, ashamed of who i am or what i say.

        p,s, phil was a speaker at alison’s national interest convention in DC. you might try digesting that thought before magically assuming where his primary interest lies. not everyone fits into neat packages, especially not phil. he is a great friend of mine and a great human being and has never tried to influence my thinking. we get along and have a natural personal affinity, that’s why we work together.

        what a fool thinking i am anyones puppet. and there’s no schiziod-ness going on. i am a member of jvp for practical reasons of activism. they’re organized and effective. it doesn’t mean i agree with everything they do and say.

      • Aren’t there other more honorable organizations that can provide you with “simple and effective ways of advocacy”? Are you more taken by the fancies of JVP’s ‘skilled organization’ than with what they actually stand for? They stand for prejudice, bigotry, bullyism, chosenism and all the other isms that zionism is related to. And Jewish McCarthyism – that’s a nasty behaviorism they’ve evidently exhibited..

        It’s all about israel for JVP – this is the crux of all matter Palestine is an afterthought – a means to an end. JVP are against ROR because it ‘threatens the Jewish state’. WTF is that about? I’m not going to bother to give further examples of JVP’s dubious position on grave issues of Palestine and justice for the Palestinians etc. I think you know very well by now how I feel about JVP and why.

        It’s just puzzling to see you working with people who don’t work for Palestine. And please don’t give me a list of JVP’s goody-goody stuff they’ve done for the cause. That doesn’t wash with me. I don’t care what they’ve done – as far as I’m concerned it’s all fake. It’s all a production and a deception. One hand giveth, while the other taketh away.

        And it means nothing to me how you and Phil vibe and what you mean to each other – it’s your JVP connection that bothers and disappoints.

        JVP have been exposed as gatekeepers – trying now to hide behind their forefinger.

        I urge you to review your activism work with them. There are many other beautiful and worthy activist groups out there doing great work.

        I don’t believe the jews of America can save Palestine or Washington DC from zionism. You try sell that idea around the Levant and you will get a mixture of puzzlement and chuckles.

        There’s not a single American jewish organization that can free Palestine. I’ll bet my farm on that one.

        (Too tired to edit or improve the above right now. G’nite from the Levant, y’all.)

      • you’re welcome c&d, and thank you.

        i came back here because i forgot some important points. i a have a few genuine personal friends i met thru MW who are jvp members. one of them in particular sends me a lot of tips, not all jvp related. she is an amazing activist and a really sweet person. she works (very hard) on initiatives like lobbying unions to divest, g4s, hewlett packard. when the mobilize and action they can get 1000’s of signatures very quickly and those are all separated by regional districts and then they organize to have them delivered. i delivered one once to my congressperson hundreds of signatures from our district alone. (i think like ..700). it all happened very fast.

        during this time no one has every pressured me from the group. no one contacted me about alison. no one contacted me as an employee of MW regarding alison. there are over 100k members in jvp and it would be foolish to assume they all are of the same mind about everything. it’s an effective group and i like them. i have only been to a few meetings. one they asked me a month ahead of time to speak on water issues in palestine. i studied very hard for it and was brutally honest. there was no effort to curtail what i said and they were very appreciative. the rest of the meeting during the time i was there was a tad boring. they were planning actions. at no time during the meeting did i feel like this was anything other than a regular activist meeting albeit a tad boring and extremely well organized.

        the other meeting was when Hatim Kanaaneh spoke in berkeley at his book reading. i brought him and his wife and and introduced him at the event. it went well. before there was an exercise when you stand in two circles one inside the other facing eachother. a reader called out questions and you were asked to give your answer. many of them were regarding misconceptions about palestinian and hamas. they emphasized all the myths people were brainwashed into believing. it was a great meeting. whatever kind of pressure people might feel is not communicated to a person at my level. i am not aware of any activist group in the bay area more engaged with bds with as much reach. i like working with them and over look differences because i believe every group has differences. i am sure i would feel differently if the people i interacted with here in the bay area were different and not so who they are. but i like them. they are my friends. sorry! i think they are one of the most effective activist groups working for BDS in the US. and they are really well organized. don’t have time to read the comments as we are backed up. i just wanted to clarify.

    • RudyM says:

      The claim that they were too busy covering other more important things is unconvincing. Yes, there are more important stories than the Weir debate, and MW has covered some of them over the summer, but MW also periodically makes room for fluff.

  2. Jewish Voice For Peace. That name is such a front and an affront!

    I vote for boycotting all their leaders’ so-called efforts at bringing justice to the holy land. They are nothing but Trojan horses – and nasty ones at that who hiss and spit at real Mustangs.

    They are in the Palestine movement as covert gatekeepers – they’re been exposed as that from every angle. They need to get the fuck out of the pro Palestine movement and change their name to ‘Save Israel From Palestinian Supporters’ – S.I.P.S.

    SIPS is more honest and more apt than JVP.

    • Indeed. Why do they need to fly the banner of “Jewish” over their club, and why would I as a non-Jew (I reject ‘gentile’) join something that so loudly declares its separateness from me. (Why did a non-Jew like Annie?)


      • C&D, fwiw, I think Annie is doing the right thing in the movement sense. She’s being an actual “big tenter” and taking flak for it. Her chosen path in this seems to be the highly philosophically non-satisfying, but nonetheless critical, role of coalition builder.

        She’s the constructive polar opposite of the shunners. She has to belong in order to espouse that position and fill that bridging role. Tough real-world stuff to navigate, imho.

  3. Members of certain JVP chapters who are in support of Alison should burn their JVP membership cards pronto – start their own activist organization under a different and more honorable name.

    JVP’s name is now mud. And blood.

    Keep your membership and forever thus be tainted and suspected.

  4. Pepsi,

    Please stick to the points of the thread and don’t resort to subtle or not-so-subtle personal attacks on other bloggers. By all means attack their quotable ideas regarding the subject matter – but leave the dart throwing out of it will ya!

    If you’d read the MW comments section, like I did, you would have seen that Danaa commented there most intelligently in defense of Alison. Your post looks off the mark next to her MW comment.

    It’s fine that you just don’t like her, for whatever reason, but this is the wrong forum to express your ad hominem and personal irks.

    I am moderating this thread and will be deleting any personal attacks on Plato’s bloggers – regardless of who writes them.

    Thick-handed sarcasm dulls the discourse and annoys the fuck out of me.

    • I wasn’t just talking jive, though you’re welcome to delete whatever you want.

      Here’s Danaa’s conclusion to her comment:

      “May be that’s the basic problem – Allison Weir is just not liberal enough for JVP and like-minded. So her anti-zionism is suspect. And being a prolific writer and commenter I have no doubt that something somewhere in her work will strike a note of dissonance with the jewish audience. And if the ‘something” is insufficiently “liberal” then it won’t pass the infamous ‘smell test” that only some noses are authorized to apply.” – See more at:

      Taxi, there’s 50 shades of Z

      • Pepsi,

        JVP define themselves as liberal – and by zionist standards they are. They’re certainly not liberal by my own standards or yours – but we can’t force our standards on them – all we can do is break it down through coherent argument: show their ‘liberalism’ for what it is: subversive Trojanism.

        There is nothing wrong with Danaa calling JVP “liberal” and in fact I read that line as a subtle, ironic dig.

        I don’t agree with every statement that Danaa says – and I don’t agree with every statement that you make either. But I have observed that you shoot from the hips when it comes to Danaa and Sean and a couple of other ex MW posters. Very nit-picky you are. It’s a waste of time if you ask me. There’s bigger fish to fry out there.

      • I do actually see your point – and I think your point would be seen better by others if… well, you know what I’m talking about.

        I welcome all cool-headed comments by you, Pepsi. You are a very informative poster,

        The idea is to disseminate and share information, not be distracted by jabby-jaws.

    • Danaa says:

      A quick comment regarding the liberal bend of JVP – that is largely true and is one aspect of their attack on Weir, IMO. it’s just one way to look at this sudden snarling at Allison – as part of the general distaste and distrust of any criticism of Israel coming from a libertarian (cf. Ron paul) or America first interest or generic anti-Lobby direction.

      To be sure this is not the only aspect, but other people took up very capably the other issues and reasons for the smear campaign, and there’s a little I could add that would say it better. Henry Norr, Annie, several others whose names I didn’t see before, but who made some mighty cogent arguments. Keith (who is not crazy about Atzmon) made some good points as well. Really the majority of commenters take great umbrage with JVPs pissy actions – and that was very good to see (BTW, many of these JVP critics are probably jewish or kind of)..

      Sometimes, it helps to look at things from all directions. The bolshevik slap probably means little in America this means but in the UK, they obssess about it – endlessly fighting and refighting the old Lenin-trotsky battles (cf. JSF). I find it amusing.

    • I was the Mondoweiss commenter (Giles) who may have set this whole thing off by questioning JVPs bona fides given their blacklisting of Alison Weir and Helen Thomas in a comment I made on their site a couple of weeks ago. This prompted several comments from Annie Robbins defending the JVPs actions. I then posted Ms. Weir’s comments on this matter — which were expunged from the comments and I was chided by Ms. Robbins for not properly attributing the comments (even though I had clearly said they came from Ms. Weir). Shortly thereafter, I found I could no longer log on to the website. After 3 emails to Mondoweiss asking what was going on and the passage of several days, Adam Horowitz got back to me and told me that Phil Weiss had kicked me off due to Holocaust denial. Which was interesting given, to the best of my recollection, there has never been any discussion of the Holocaust on Mondoweiss and I can say with certainty, no such discussion in the past several months. I have since emailed Phil and Adam twice asking them to point to my comments that are alleged to deny the Holocaust. Nothing. I am grateful to see that Mondoweiss felt compelled to post this article and that the majority of comments support the view that Mondoweiss is acting as nothing more than another gatekeeper for Zionism on this matter. I must say I am extremely disappointed in the Mondoweiss crew for their actions.

    • Hey howyoudoin’ Giles?!

      Thank you for bringing your story to Plato’s. Yet more proof of MW’s sad bathos.

      What a shame.

      And coincidentally, I get this inkling that it was Adam who 86’d you, not Phil. Phil carries the pen and Adam carries the axe.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Would Adam Horowitz be willing to engage in an in-depth online debate with Gilad Atzmon over the topics that ruffle the feathers of Mondoweiss and JVP? Would Phil?

      If would be nice to get these issues sorted out in a reasonable and rational way and to see which parties are making the most sense.

      Gilad is confident of his positions, facts and arguments. How confident are Adam and Phil?

      • I think Phil might be a wilier debater than Adam. I can see Gilad stomping all over Adam. And Phil.

        Gilad has been ostracized exactly because they cannot defeat his logic or put out his fire with their spit

  5. Well, I trundled over to MW to read this non-position on Weir. How pathetic! Could they be more noncommittal? Jeez!

    I was glad to see Annie presenting a much more reasoned defense of Weir against the plethora of comments attacking Allison. Mooser’s comments are amusing – and not in a good way. The attack/defense split along tribal lines is pretty evident in the comments section.

    What a totally crappy treatment of a person like Allison Weir! Who died and made JVP and its cohorts at MW judge, jury, and executioner? Somehow they have managed to make the BDS movement into some kind of an exclusive club where they get to decide who joins and who stands outside in the rain? You would almost think that it is by design that JVP chooses to create a divide in the pro Palestinian activist camp, so that gate keeping can continue with more talk and less action. Protocols anyone?

    Well, they ain’t making too many friends by closing tribal ranks against a very popular gentile. My advice to that group would be to wise up and smell the coffee. The times are changing and while they think they are on our side by being all anti-Zionist and all that, they are setting themselves up by creating fissures between American Jews and non-Jews with their actions.

    When the fighting breaks out, and trust me, it will, it would be wise for them not to blur the lines between Jews and Zionists, or be too ‘cuz in the haze of war, it might be difficult for the rest of us to make too fine a distinction. It would be a whole lot smarter to wrap themselves in the American flag and make clear where their loyalties lie – which means you side with Americans rather than your co-tribalists – and you definitely don’t side with those Israel-firsters whose quivers are overflowing with arrows with “antisemite” labels glued on. Get on the right side of this battle while you still have the chance.

    Oh, and a comment on journalism – to start an article called “Round Table” and lead off with some trashy and ill-reasoned post justifying the treatment of Allison, with a couple of other weak posts, without providing any context, is about as cowardly as they come. Sure, JVP may be funding Weiss, in which case, have the goddamned decency to come out with a full disclosure rather than pretending to be unbiased in all this. Kinda hypocritical of someone like Weiss, if you ask me.

    • “Get on the right side of this battle while you still have the chance.”

      Why? They’re all Hophni at heart. That’s why they talk to him all day, every day.

      And Hophni is Kahane at heart. It’s one continuum.

      Even the Alison defenders over there resent her America-firster attitude, apparently.

      • echinococcus says:

        I’m one of those who “resent her America-firster attitude” for a reason diametrally opposed to that of the JVP (and much of the MW) people. I suspect the same can be said for Keith, even though I don’t know him at all: we are just intolerant of nationalism in any shape or wise, even though in any situation dealt us by life we have to work with, and for, the nationalists among the oppressed people. In the case of Palestine, all decisions having to be taken by the Palestinians means working with a lot of understandably nationalist people –including some of our nationalists like, say, Buchanan or Raimundo, in mutual respect.
        The reason the JVP crowd is so destructive is different: JVP only exists because of those guys’ own ultra-nationalism. They see “Jewish” as a nation of some kind, not just a religion –most aren’t religious at all anyway. Their only difference from the Zionists is in questioning the invasion of someone else’s land. But they still belong to the tribe and consider Zionists their family. In fact, as you’ll see in Susan Landau’s self-description they don’t call themselves anti-Zionist but “non-Zionist”, whatever that’s supposed to mean (neutral?)
        What unleashes their Bible-style relentless wrath against Alison Weir and Gilad Atzmon is the fact that these do not recognize the absurd claim of Jews, I suppose defined as “born to a Jewish woman”, being a “nation” –Atzmon, of impeccable biologic-Jewish origin and Israeli-born, being also demonized as “antisemitic”. It’s the same reason that made them start their own exclusive club to participate in the solidarity movement, with no clear borders between them and the Zionist enemy: all they care about is the good name of a phantom “nation” or a tribe. Not Palestine getting rid of its invaders. Especially not getting rid of its invaders. We’ve had 70 years of a relentless shooting war while the Hebrew nationalists are still trying to keep intact their family ties to the Zionists.

      • seanmcbride says:


        Many progressive anti-Zionists are as obsessively ethnocentric as Likud Zionists — simply count up the number of ethnocentric references in their remarks on Mondoweiss. For them these debates are all about tribal infighting concerning the most effective policies to protect their mutual tribal interests.

        Extreme ethnocentrism in this tradition long preceded Zionism — and will long outlast Zionism, if Zionism collapses.

        This is an issue which many progressive anti-Zionists will go to great lengths to try to censor and sweep under the rug because their professed universalism is not quite as universalist as they would like the world to believe.

        For those of us who have many interests outside the problems and conflicts of a single ethnic group, these internal tribal debates can eventually become tiresome. We may care about our respective ethnic interests, our respective religious interests, our respective national interests, humanity at large, and a wide range of issues that have absolutely nothing to do with ethnic or religious identity politics.

        Global warming/climate change is one example. The impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on unemployment and radical wealth inequality is another. It’s a big world out there.

      • ecci, how do you expect Americans to get their country back, aka get self-determination back, without some form of nationalism?

        Surely you can see the HUGE difference between nationalism inside one’s own nation, and nationalism by a 1% minority inside somebody else’s nation.

        We’ve all been raised in this Jewish nationalist dominated country to believe that all nationalism is bad, and that Senator McCarthy was wrong, and evil, and that the Rosenbergs were innocent, that Father Caughlin and Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were evil nationalist anti-semites, and, gasp, ISOLATIONISTS!!!!!

        ecci, where do you suppose we would be if we followed those evil isolationist nationalists, and refused to allow international/transnational Jewish nationalists to take over our country.

        Great Depression
        Pearl Harbor False Flag
        WW2 involvement, fighting alongside the Trotskyite Soviets
        Creation of the Holocaust narrative based on witness testimony and tortured confessions
        Rosenbergs giving USSR our nuclear technology
        Creation of the CIA/National Security Act
        JFK assassination
        Transformation of US culture from one of “citizens” to “consumers”
        Merging of US and Israeli intelligence under HW Bush in the late 70s and 80s.
        IMF and World Bank predation on the entire 3rd world
        Patriot Act
        Endless war for Israel, aka war on terror
        US becoming the world’s pariah, increasingly isolated with Israel.
        “free” trade
        caste system in the US

        ecci, how do you expect to roll some of that back, without some America-first-ism/nationalism?

        JVP/Mondoweiss/Max Blumenthal (research his father and Libya, and Max’s support for regime change in Syria, and support for false flag narrative of benghazi) simply want to be on the record as supporting Palestinian rights and opposing the Israel lobby in the US.

        They prefer that Americans Don’t Know. They prefer Jewish 1.5% domination of the US to gentile 98% domination of the US.

        As much as they kvetch about Israel, and humble-brag about Jewish power, they passionately want to keep ALL of that power. Because Jews are “inevitably elite” in Weiss’s words, and because Jews are a prophetic/tikkun olam culture in Max’s words.

        Nationalism = Democracy, and it scares the shit out of these Jewish nationalists.

        Hence Max and JVP and the ADL viciously attacking Alison Weir.
        Hence mondoweiss being as silent and cowardly as possible as she got ritually sacrificed.

        How do you defeat nationalism within another nation, if not some form of nationalism?

        Nationalism, in some form, is a sign of survival instincts, something the US lost around the time of Pearl Harbor, if not earlier.

        Woodrow Wilson’s cabal of zionist advisors dragged the US into WW1 on behalf of World Jewry, based on a quid pro quo with England to get Israel created.

        The US should have sided with Germany in WW1 if anything, and against the Trotskyites in Russia and England.

        Now, the Jewish Empire can be clearly seen as spanning most/all of Europe, and all of North America, and most of Africa.

        Now, Syria and Iran are the last independent countries standing in the mid-east, and Russia and China are under full assault/sabotage.

        And we’re not even supposed to point out that they control the US.

        Because the generically gentile US Empire is supposed to take the blame for Zionism/transnational Jewish nationalism/empire.

      • Pepsi,

        When I lived in the UK, the Brits regarded nationalism as a slippery slope that led to fascism and xenophobia – that’s because of their experience with WW1 and WW2. I think the word ‘patriotism’ is a word that describes your inclinations.

        Patriotism: Love of and devotion to one’s country. (

        Nationalism: Devotion, especially excessive or undiscriminating devotion, to the interests or culture of a particular nation-state. (

      • That’s a fair distinction with a difference, Taxi, however, I would augment it in that my own “nationalistic” sentiments include the existence of the nation-state as a fire walled entity that shelters and protects us from influences and entanglements, despite my other universalist inclinations, such as the abhorrence of oppression everywhere, even outside our borders, and even those perpetrated by “our” government.

        When I was in Austria, I found that the government had banned all forms of nationalism, including posters that celebrated being Austrian in any shape and form, and this is one of the fall outs from WW2. I am suspicious that this furor over nationalism is one of those contrived linkages to “national socialist” that has become the poster child for the embodiment of evil since WW2, and I put it in the same category as “antisemite” and other red shields that prevent too close an examination of the activities of certain groups for fear of giving offense, however justified.

        It is this assault against nationalism which allows for such constructs as NAFTA, TPP, dual citizenship, uncontrolled immigration, and a host of other such constructs to fear at the fabric of this nation, all at the behest of so-called “patriots” who are responsible for them.

        I would argue that “patriotism” is a sentiment, often the last refuge of scoundrels, to coin a phrase, whereas “nationalism” is the physical manifestation of a desire to protect the nation-state from those that would threaten it.

      • The Europeans are right to disassociate from the word nationalism – they’ve lived under fascism at one point or another so they know about ‘nationalism’ a bit more than most Americans. Americans have not lived under a fascist, militarized state in our lifetime.

        Your definition of nationalism – well, it’s really an aggressive form of patriotism, as indicated by the content of your post. And your belittling of the word ‘patriotism’ kinda goes against your fevered ‘nationalism’ – aren’t you supposed to love the people who love your country? So there’s room for clarity here to be had.

        The skinhead political party in the UK is called the (British) National Front. ‘National, nationalist, nationalism’, all these single-rooted words have much negative political assassinations in the minds of most Brits because all extreme right wingers take up the word and add it to their cause. These Brits love their country and flag as much as British skinheads do, but they just don’t need to use the word ‘nationalist’ to make that point.

        Likewise, you’re mistaken to assume that ‘patriots’ love their country any less than self-described ‘nationalists’.

        A patriot is willing to die for the love of their country. A nationalist is willing to kill. Maybe that’s the difference.

        Same love – different expressions of it.

      • Meeting ran over a bit longer than anticipated. ¬It seems this thread has accumulated an additional 50+ comments while gone. Clearly a topic of great interest to everyone!

        Anyway, back to our conversation:

        And your belittling of the word ‘patriotism’ kinda goes against your fevered ‘nationalism’

        Ah! I can see that my words were not clear. I do not belittle patriotism at all – far from it. I see myself as both a patriot and an America-firster (American nationalist). Let me try again:

        What I was trying to describe (poorly) is the use of the terms “patriot” and “nationalist” in the arsenal of words available to our adversaries in this battle for the soul of this nation. “Patriotism” is an evocative and emotive noun that resonates in our hearts, but scoundrels use those same words to defeat us, because they know that words are powerful instruments, and you of all people are well aware of that. Otherwise, all those verbal manipulators wouldn’t come out with labels like “Patriot Act” for something so un-American, or “Terrorist” for a freedom fighter, or “spreading democracy” for “propping up dictators” and overthrowing “regimes we don’t like”. Politicians perform the most grievous of treasons under the banner of “patriotism”.

        My thesis is that in the grand deceptive charade of the clan of the red shield, “patriotism” is used to manipulate us to act in a certain way or buy into a certain narrative that they have laid out for us, and hence is a cynical motivator. In contrast, “nationalism” is a cynical deterrent, and this time, we are manipulated to not look at certain things or explore certain actions that would prevent them from unfolding their laid out plans.

        In tangible terms, “patriotism” does indeed describe one’s love for their nation, but that is like motherhood and apple pie, and is an abstract concept. “Nationalism”, however, is a very concrete and descriptive manifestation for that same love, in that it is testable against threats to a very tangible entity known as the nation-state. Anything that erodes the perpetuation of that nation-state or threatens the well being of that nation-state and the people that comprise it, falls under the purview of nationalism to thwart and repel such threats. Zionists and their control of the politics and functioning of my nation-state are a clear and present assault to the survival and prosperity of this nation state, and it motivates me to utilize all the instruments available to me to negate that threat.

        I have lived in the UK as well in my youth, and am very familiar with ‘skinheads’. They used the label ‘nationalist’ when a more appropriate term would be “racists” and “ethno-exclusionists”, more akin to the KKK. There are examples of this all over Europe of political parties who would redefine the nation-state along ethnic lines, but that is not at all American. We are multi-cultural, and proudly so, and our nation-state embodies the diversity of our population, and it is that population that I am impassioned to protect from the nefarious activities of the red shield.

        As to fascism in Europe, yes that is to be avoided. However, what began as a movement in Germany in the 1930s, was not fascism – it was, in fact, nationalism of the laudable kind. A dissertation into the rise of German nationalism in the aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles and the humiliation of the German people followed by the economic rape of that country by Zionist bankers is too broad to cover here, but it was a very justifiable response with the nationalistic fervor that ensued. As with all wars, the victors get to rewrite history, and there is much to dispute about the alleged monstrosity of the Nazis, and yes, even questions about the holocaust. As I have written before, the true holocaust is what happened to the people of Dresden at the hands of the Allies, where they were indeed transformed into “burnt offerings”, but I won’t go into debates about the existence of gas ovens here.

        A patriot is willing to die for the love of their country. A nationalist is willing to kill. Maybe that’s the difference.

        I object to that categorization of my nationalism. Would I die for my country? In a heartbeat. Would I kill for my country? That depends. If it would be to protect all those that I love, I would not hesitate for an instant. But, would I go to fight wars in foreign lands that do not threaten my nation-state? Not on your life. Certainly not because “my” Zionist-controlled government decreed that I should.

      • american200 says:

        “Pepsi says:
        August 13, 2015 at 8:19 am this whole charade is falling apart before our eyes. I love it……pepsi

        Yea it is…lol…

      • Cloak,

        ” However, what began as a movement in Germany in the 1930s, was not fascism – it was, in fact, nationalism of the laudable kind. ”

        In the European experience, using the above as an example, ‘nationalism’ very quickly descended to militarized fascism.

        This is precisely why people are cagey about the use of the term ‘nationalist/nationalism.

  6. RudyM says:

    That was one of the first things that jumped out at me: none of the primary Mondoweiss writers were involved here, and in fact I don’t recognize any of the contributors as people who have ever had pieces on Mondoweiss (though for all I know they might have–I haven’t checked).

    • RudyM says:

      Incidentally, not the best place to say it, but apologies for leaving when a previous thread seemed to have been heating up. I got busy at work that day, and then various stressful inter-personal situations started cropping up in my real life and I didn’t feel like coming back to what I suspected had become an online fight. I may go back to that comments thread again at some point.

  7. echinococcus says:

    C&D, Pepsi, McBride, Taxi et al:
    I don’t want to start a discussion on nationalism in general, or different “ethnic” understandings, or the wide world. Our object is Palestinian resistance and getting rid of the Zionist invader, no more: my further politics and yours are only relevant insofar as regards the fight against Zionists. So I’ll go on believing that patriotism and nationalism is the same shit anytime anywhere, that Zionism is a twin nationalist brother of Nazism and that one can very well and effectively work and fight, shoulder-to-shoulder as it is, with nationalists –as long as it is in the service of an oppressed nation. To adapt from otehr well-known discussions, “some nationalists are my best friends”. The only solid fact is that we have been at war, not a make-believe one where one can keep Zionist family, for 70 years: it would be suicidal to let JVP command or monopolize the podium.

    • “it would be suicidal to let JVP command or monopolize the podium.” – echinococcus

      That’s why I recommend boycotting JVP; publicly questioning them; watching them like hawks and utterly rejecting their self-appointed leadership at every given opportunity.

      Palestine doesn’t need narcissistic and pompous back-stabbers.

      • KM363 says:

        I was disgusted by JVP’s actions against Weir. She of all people just does not deserve this treatment. “Pompous and narcissistic backstabbers” is a start.

        And now I must strive not to forget and to honor the good work done by JVP, and to remember that we are all fallible and that schism is for losers.

    • ecci: “Our object is Palestinian resistance and getting rid of the Zionist invader, no more. my further politics and yours are only relevant insofar as regards the fight against Zionists.”

      You/we can’t get rid of the Zionist invaders of Palestine without getting rid of the Zionist invaders/oppressors of the USA.

      You’re pretty tone deaf if you don’t think the USA is an oppressed nation. The standard of living has dropped like crazy, especially during this 30 year rule of Jews only as head of the Federal Reserve. Now Stanley Fischer, the Israeli former head of the Israeli central bank, is the vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve, and probably the next Jew in line for the Chairmanship.

      Are you afraid to talk about Jewish power/domination over the USA? Or do you want to preserve it?

      Does America deserve self-determination, or should we keep taking orders from Tel Aviv?

      What’s your deal?

      • I could be wrong, Pepsi, that I think you may have got your wires crossed on ecci’s point.

        Besides, ecci may be a pro-Palestine Ozzy or a Brit and our congress is but a repulsively craven abstract.

        But yes! There is no political liberation of Palestine without the liberation of Washington DC.

        And should the axis of resistance in the Levant physically free the land of Palestine first – then that would be the end of the powers of aipac on Capitol Hill.

      • echinococcus says:


        As already said, if we are getting together here it’s for the purpose of trying to offer some help to the Palestinian resistance, not convert each other to our own worldview. Whether DC needs to be liberated from Zionist occupation or occupied by the Red Army or taken over by Martians, we can always agree on what we want to achieve before we get to the point where disemboweling each other may become the order of the day. The time seems ripe, at any rate, for a separation from the quasi-or-liberal-Zionists intent on controlling resistance against Zionism.

      • “The time seems ripe, at any rate, for a separation from the quasi-or-liberal-Zionists intent on controlling resistance against Zionism.”

        YES! Siree Bob!

  8. RudyM says:

    Joe/Giles, very interesting. I just saw a comment of yours about this situation, on another website, but you’ve given more detail here. Sounds pretty outrageous.

    I am getting deeply suspicious of the whole MW operation, including Annie.

    • I dropped out of MW when I couldn’t take the frigging duct tape no more – and when I looked into the censorship further, I discovered the JVP donorship connection and that just raised alarms as regards MW’s credibility.

      MW was great till the editors brought in that revolting crowd.

    • Weiss was a rabid Jewhadi right up until the day he started blogging about Palestine.

      He created the narrative that he basically never really heard of zionism, or the israeli occupation, or palestinians up until then.

      It’s a totally bogus narrative, just like the narrative he pushes that it is Jews who are the real, and almost exclusive, leaders of anti-zionism.

      Weiss’s college buddies run the world.

      He went to Harvard for three years with Lloyd Blankfein and Ben Bernanke, in a close-knit Jewish nationalist clique he’s written extensively about.

      Weiss was and still is very close friends with Jim Cramer, the CNBC shyster who Weiss has stood by every step of the way.

      These guys all went to Harvard together, and they were pretty much all mentored by uber-zionist Marty Peretz, who gave Weiss just about his fist job at TNReview.

      And then there’s the rest of Weiss’ Harvard Crimson buddies, who played a huge and key role in selling the Iraq war to the US public.

      The whole mondoweiss operation is shady as hell, as is Max Blumenthal, the pro-regime change son of CIA guru Sid Blumenthal, who was one of the masterminds of the Libya coup.

      There’s a reason mondoweiss never mentions Ukraine, and the coup that the neocons inside the Obama administration carried out last year. Now Ukraine is run by billionaire Jews and neo nazis, but mondoweiss pretends it’s never heard of the Ukraine.

      And Max Blumenthal wants the US to topple Assad in Syria.

      Where does mondoweiss stand on regime change in Syria, and where does mondoweiss stand on ISIS and it’s neocon, Israeli, and Saudi sponsors?

      Probably the same place they stand re: Alison Weir, in quiet support of the Greater Jewish Empire.

      • “Harvard in the 70s, it is the new old-boy network,” says one journalist. “It’s sort of scary, all these media guys who were all there at the same time.” The list does indeed read like some kind of yuppie media Trilateral Commission: Walter Isaacson, the managing editor of Time, was Harvard ’74; Mark Whitaker, the editor of Newsweek, graduated in 1979; Peter Kaplan, editor of The New York Observer, Kurt Andersen, the former editor of New York magazine, and Nicholas Lemann, a staff writer at The New Yorker, all graduated in 1976; Michael Kinsley and James Fallows, former editor of U.S News & World Report, were the class of 1972 and 1970 respectively. “Call it the Trilateral Commission, it’s fair,” says New York Observer columnist Philip Weiss, who graduated from Harvard in 1976. “And for a time Jim Cramer ran it.””

      • RudyM says:

        I started to get into trouble at MW when I posted some links about Jewish players in the Ukraine, especially to sites that would be considered unsavory. I got frustrated with having comments deleted at that point.

        I don’t think the Ukraine intervention is primarily Zionist-motivated though. It is very consistent with the Brzezinski wing of US foreign policy thinking (as is Obama’s effort to moderate US relations with Iran, incidentally). I think the timing for the coup might be the result of Zionists getting on board though, in the wake of Russia’s help in deflecting an all out attack on Syria.

        At any rate, there certainly are a lot of Zionists and Jewish oligarchs helping to execute it, and benefiting from it. I can’t deny that.

    • If any of you guys can still post on Mondoweiss, you may want to ask them if they feel that they are under any obligation to disclose the fact they receive funding from the JVP when they are printing comments defending the actions of the JVP. Seems like a basic rule of journalism.

      • I doubt a question like that would pass moderation, Giles – and even if it did, I doubt that you would receive an answer directly from the editors.

      • I’ll see what I can do, Giles. If not today, then tomorrow. I’m in the Levant and it’ getting late right now and I’m a bit slammed: sneaking minutes here and there on Plato’s with a house full of guests.

  9. RudyM says:

    “No worries, Rudy – no need to apologize for “leaving” – for whatever reason – it’s all good.”


    I do feel a little bad though that I sometimes get involved in (or frankly start) arguments online and then I disappear, usually because there is suddenly some other stressor to deal with (generally health issues). I can be feeling fine and able to focus and then have a flare up of a health problem that just makes me want to retreat.

    If I were consistently conflict-averse it would be less of a problem. The problem is I like it, except when I get overloaded with other stress.

    • Sorry to hear about your booboo – wish you some serious good health there, buddy.

      Virtual reality should always take second place to reality. And one need never apologize or explain that.

    • Cuz a lot of Arab media is zio-free. That’s where Arab media is useful.

      The trouble is that most of the great news outlets are in Arabic so one would have to know the language to completely benefit from their POV and western media’s POV combined.

  10. traducteur says:

    Myself, I’ve made a larger-than-usual donation to IAK, by way of encouragement for AW. The heck with these “liberal Zionists”. There ain’t so such animal: scratch a “liberal Zionist” and you’ll find a genocidal megalomaniac who thinks Jews are the master race, just like a non-liberal Zionist.

  11. Screaming ‘anti-Semitism’ anytime Israeli supporters think their Apartheid nightmare is in danger of being exposed is no longer working.
    People are sick and tired of Israel running and ruining the US government and seeing their kids come home in body bags, fighting wars for Israel.

    • Check out Max Blumenthal argue that liberals who oppose US military invasion of Syria are clouded by their bigotry. He also blames Assad for all of ISIS’s crimes.

      Like father, like son.

  12. RudyM says:

    “While it is understandable that someone working for Palestinian rights would develop hostility toward Israel and its advocates, activists must be careful to avoid tolerating, adopting, or repeating classical antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories, lest they end up doing more harm than good to the movement.”

    No matter how many times people say it, I just don’t understand why its wrong to endorse “conspiracy theories” that resemble antisemitic trope, if you think the evidence is persuasive. So Zionists didn’t organize to achieve political power in the United States? It is just a completely acausal event?

    • traducteur says:

      Happily, Palestine is not a Jewish state, no matter how stridently Zionists call it that. To be sure, they have not abandoned their long-cherished ambition of turning it into a Jewish state by exterminating or expelling all the grunting subhuman goyim, but so far they have not succeeded, and in sha’ Allah they never will succeed. Indeed, to judge from their flapping and squawking over what they insultingly call “the demographic problem”, it’s becoming less of a Jewish state by the day.

  13. RudyM says:

    I feel like what’s at stake here is not exclusively political, at least not in a narrow sense.

    The sort of strictures JVP, etc. are trying to impose conflict with the way many of use sift through information and ideas, particularly in the age of the internet. Why, if I regularly include right-wing, and sometimes possibly antisemitic sites, in the net I cast for information and ideas, should I condemn Weir for appearing in such venues? It also conflicts with the of anti-authoritarian, maybe anti-establishment tendencies some of us have. It smacks of totalitarianism. I lean left, but I lean anti-authoritarian and anti-totalitarian as well, especially when it comes to the flow of information and ideas. On that front, I will take J.S. Mill’s old school liberalism in “On Liberty” over Stalinism, thank you very much.

  14. american200 says:

    To say what I said originally when this happened.

    JVP and so called Jewish ‘left’ have been after Weir because she goes after the core of the Palestine problem–> which is the US Jewish Lobby’s corruption of US government and control of US ME policy.

    None of the ‘Jewish Peace’ groups want the US to end our US aid and protection of Israel. On the contrary they want to keep it at all cost.

    SO…they assassinate anyone like Weir who talks about , informs, writes about and advocates against the ‘special relationship’.

    As for, they are sooooo transparent it’s pitful. 3/4of their posted ’round table’ offerings were condemning Weir.

    • Danaa says:

      Actually, American, a cursory count indicated that well over 80% of the commenters supported Weir and objected to the JVP censorious tactics, some more strongly than others but it’s still the lion share of commenters. And that includes some very strong and cogent and substansive rebuttals from Annie, which I, for one, was very gratified to see . When I subtract the replies from JVP’s JenniferHitchcock – not a MW frequent commenter – the fraction of Weir supporting commentary goes up to a solid 90%. I would say that based on this alone, the MW commenting community is a solid wall against the witch hunters of the JVP.

      Mind you, that’s without people like you or Taxi or CD commenting much on the thread. Or several others whom I have seen before but who did not show up for this party.

      Also, FWIW, I agree with you about the core issue JVP has with Weir. It’s the elephant in the room. A big one.

      • american200 says:

        Danaa, I was referring to how MW posted the pieces condeming Weir as opposed to the 1/4 of the piece that defended Weir. ..they gave the condemners much more space in the post.

      • According to annie, in one of her comments back at MW, what they published were the ONLY submission they had – so it was not exactly ‘selected’.

        But nevertheless, if slim pickings was all MW had at hand, why not pen an original MW article on the subject matter?

      • seanmcbride says:

        One gets the impression that Phil and Mondoweiss have calculated that they can’t afford to offend and alienate JVP without suffering major repercussions. The alternative is to believe that Phil Weiss really thinks that Jennifer Hitchcock and her crew are impressive and compelling thinkers — truly difficult to credit.

        You’ve got to give JVP some credit: they succeeded in clipping the wings of Mondoweiss — in bending it to its will.

        Increasingly one begins to understand that JVP is a limited hangout for the Israel lobby — the pro-Palestinian activism is just window dressing.

        “A limited hangout or partial hangout is, according to Victor Marchetti, former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, “spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”

        How the analogy works here: JVP progressives are admitting that Israel has committed some wrongs, while narrowly circumscribing the discussion about the nature and source of those wrongs. The admission of these wrongs supposedly provides JVP with enough moral authority to dictate the terms of debate about Israel and Zionism — to limit the damage to their interests. That’s the game in play.

      • I believe you guys have misinterpreted Annie R’s posts on MW. She was the one who originally defended JVPs blacklisting of Alison Weir when I raised that issue a few weeks back and did so by posting verbatim JVPs hasbara for why they did so.

        Some of her posts do tend to go on and on and are a bit hard to follow, and in the recent Mondoweiss item that we are currently discussing she does seem to somehow be on both sides of the issue. But in the end, she does state she is a member of JVP, and did not sign the statement defending Ms. Weir.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Annie expended tremendous energy in trying to block a discussion about the connections between the Jewish religious establishment (and Judaism) and Zionism. That appears to be a key component of the JVP agenda and limited hangout — to create a firewall between Zionism and the Jewish religious establishment.

        Of course this is absurd, and insults one intelligence, because religious organizations among the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations rank among the most powerful and influential supporters of Israel and Zionism. They themselves have aggressively conflated Judaism with Zionism, and used Judaism to justify Israeli policies.

        JVPers, on the other hand, have no problem with investigating and challenging the core beliefs of Christian Zionists — their hypocrisy on these matters is flagrant — verging on crazy.

        If the Israel lobby (especially leading member organizations of the Conference of Presidents) is unwilling to critically examine and revise its core religious and ideological beliefs about Israel and Zionism, why would one ever expect it to effectively challenge the policies of the Israeli government?

      • RudyM says:

        OT: Danaa, I finally went back and responded to your response here:

        Sorry for not getting back to it at the time.

        If you are not interested in going back to discuss a post from April that was about a comment you made in passing a while prior to that, I fully understand. I linked to a couple left-wing sites that found the issue of the feds’ handling of the Branch Davidian situation very problematic. (I’m not a libertarian or otherwise on the right side of the political spectrum, by the way.)

        My comment was never meant as an attack on your personally.

        Dropping it now if no further response.

      • american200 says:

        ‘But nevertheless, if slim pickings was all MW had at hand, why not pen an original MW article on the subject matter?….taxi

        They just wanted to see which side their lab rats would take.
        Call it quality control….having to check if any of their sycophants aren’t sycophanting enough and becoming rebellious.

  15. RudyM says:

    From the Mondoweiss thread comments:

    “I phoned Hedy a couple of days ago to extend greetings for her 91st birthday but didn’t reach her the first time. She was off in Ferguson with people gathered to remember the shooting death of Michael Brown a year ago. Hedy recently had her eye removed and can no longer drive or see very well. This doesn’t stop her from speaking out, as the phone call she received from Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP won’t stop her from supporting Alison Weir.”

    . . .the phone call she received from Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP
    the phone call she received from Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP
    the phone call she received from Rebecca Vilkomerson of JVP. . .

    Am I allowed to use the word “bitch” here?

  16. RudyM says:

    “JVPers, on the other hand, have no problem with investigating and challenging the core beliefs of Christian Zionists — their hypocrisy on these matters is flagrant — verging on crazy.”

    I never thought about that particular hypocrisy, but you are right.

  17. seanmcbride says:

    Jennifer Hitchcock and some JVPers remind one of Abraham Ben-Zvi:

    “Israeli Professor: Obama’s Language is Similar to ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’”

    Meanwhile, some mainstream Jewish and Israeli publications in recent months have noted that Sheldon Adelson and other Jewish billionaires who dominate both the Israel and Jewish lobbies have themselves raised the spectre of the Protocols in the public mind.

    The framing of these issues by independent thinkers like Atzmon and Weir has gone mainstream. Reality is beginning to conform to hoary myths. JVP is unable to keep up with real world developments — they are sticking to their programmed talking points.

  18. RudyM says:

    The latest from Jennifer Hitchcock:

    “Maybe the solution is for the movement to split based on target audiences. Weir can go for the older, more libertarian audiences and JVP, ETO, and others in the BDS movement can stick to college students and other more moderate to liberal Americans more interested in social justice and anti-racism. Weir can go her way and do her own events for her own audiences and the rest of us can do our own thing too?

    Both camps working in solidarity for Palestinians but for different audiences? One audience doesn’t mind and is even maybe attracted by antisemitic and white supremacist rhetoric and the other audience is more progressive and antiracist. Would that work?”

    smh especially about that last part.

    • That’s pretty ironic. The Zionists as the people appealing to the progressive and anti-racists? Zionism is by definition racism. And she gets to smear Alison Weir an anti-Semite and white supremacist without actually calling her one by saying that Alison appeals to such an audience. The Zionists just cannot allow any discussion of Israel without dragging in anti-Semitism, can they? What they don’t want to discuss — and don’t want anyone to hear — are all the things Alison has uncovered about Israel and its American loyalists. The last thing in the world Zionism wants is an informed American public. Better to cry ant-Semitism — it has worked so well for all these decades.

      • seanmcbride says:

        JH is a nasty piece of work — and she just did considerable damage to JVP and ETO on MW — emphatically confirming one’s worst suspicions about them.

    • RudyM says:

      And she ends by quoting Dylan. I know that Dylan’s songs serve as an inspiration for a lot of people, even if they don’t agree with all the political statements he’s made over the years, but in the context of Hitchcock’s support of high-minded ideological purity, one wonders how she justifies quoting the person who wrote “Neighborhood Bully” and who belongs to, or at least associates with (it’s hard to say with Dylan, or celebrities in general), the racist Chabad movement. Interestingly, Weir has done a nice expose on Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, for the “questionable” publication Counterpunch.

      Things JVP doesn’t like:

      • It must have freaked out the jewish community mega when Dylan briefly converted to Christianity.

        I used to do my housework to Dylan songs when I was a student in the UK. I stopped of course – doing housework.

        But seriously, folks, I actually met him once back in 1993 at an LA dinner party. I can’t talk too much about our little exchange cuz that would give away too much of my ID, but suffice it to say he was a disappointing smartass.

        He asked around the dinner table what books the guests were reading and when my turn came I said ‘Basho’ (Japanese poet). His ears pricked up at that and he gave a long list of other Japanese writers and poets that he’d read – as a kinda one-upmanship over me. When he made a mistake in describing a ‘Mishima’ novel, I corrected him and the fucking dinner table went silent. Man, just about everyone there was a sycophant, including my friend who dragged me to the dinner party. Dylan’s response to my correction? “You read as many books as I do and you’re bound to get confused”. Well ha dee ha-ha! It wasn’t ‘confusion’ he was suffering from, he simply and clearly had not read the book but was pretending that he had. When it was time for my friend and I to leave, he turned to me and said: “reading is overrated” – all the brown-nosers there chuckled with delight at his (un) wit and wisdom. Then he hugged on me and pulling back, he pinched and shook my ear like I was a schoolgirl and said: “don’t let the alphabets get you down”, to which I replied, “don’t let the bullshit get you down” – everyone chuckled awkward and that was that. Then driving back home, my friend was upset with me in the car: saying that I was rude to “a great man”. WTF?! My reply, “Francis, my mailman, is a great man”. Sheesh, the sycophantic circus that famous people live in!!!

      • Yeah. Intellectual Bully. Zimmerman aught to write a song.

        He used to be my hero in high school, and college too.

        He’s a pretty good conman, like any graduate of Zionist Summer Camp.

        His whole Woody Guthrie/folk prophet/pro-civil rights thing was straight out of the Communist Party USA playbook.

        CPUSA discovered Guthrie in LA, and realized that they could reach more goyim with their message through folk singers like Guthrie, who they hired, and who also wrote a column in the CPUSA newspaper.

        It’s not surprising that Guthrie hired Meier Kahane, founder of the JDL, to teach his son Arlo Hebrew in preparation for Bar Mitzvah.

        Back to Dylan, who’s girlfriend’s parents were CPUSA bigwigs.

        When JFK died, Zimmerman literally supported it, and said he identifies with LHOswald. It would have ruined anybody else’s career.

        So the minute JFK died, and the Vietnam War picked up, Dylan dropped his folk prophet shtik and started his jingle-jangle mumbo jumbo variation of Little Richard phase.

        Awop bop a loobop subterranean homesick blues.

        I think Zimmerman’s Christian Zionist phase was an act, designed to make Christian Zionism cool. It worked, and Regan got elected president.

      • songwriting credits for the big labels is pretty shady, I would imagine. Dylan was Chosen to be the great Jewish folk music prophet even before he started writing his own songs.

        His first album for Columbia was almost all covers, and I know he stole the arrangement of House of the Rising Sun from Rambling Jack Elliot, which ended their friendship.

        So who’s to say Dylan wrote all the great songs on my favorite Dylan album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan? The girl on the cover with him, Suze Rotolo, was very active in communism, and her parents were CPUSA bigwigs and union leaders.

        Columbia Records was owned by CBS and Bill Paley. CBS is the network that defeated Joseph McCarthy, by pretending that communism wasn’t a real force inside the US, and inside the US government.

        The communist sympathizing Elders at CBS probably would have been willing to credit Dylan with songs written by Columbia’s large stable of songwriters, and anybody in the communist movement would have seen the benefit of a marketable Young Jewish Prophet.

        Like, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won Oscars for best screenplay of Good Will Hunting. It made a great story, but it wasn’t true!

        I want to say Leonard Cohen or somebody was rumored to have written some of Dylan’s songs, but his songs could have been written by anybody. The Columbia Elders already decided he was the It Boy, awarding him with a big recording contract before he even wrote his own songs.

        Out of all the folk singers in NYC or Boston, or California, Little Bobby Zimmerman was anointed the face of folk music before writing any songs.

        It must have been his voice.

        BTW, I meant to congratulate you on your dinner party take-down of Zimmerman, and thanks for sharing the cool story.

      • His first album (of freaking cover songs) sold 5,000 copies, a disaster, but somehow led to this:

        “Dylan made his first trip to the United Kingdom from December 1962 to January 1963.[41] He had been invited by TV director Philip Saville to appear in a drama, Madhouse on Castle Street, which Saville was directing for BBC Television.[42] At the end of the play, Dylan performed “Blowin’ in the Wind”, one of its first public performances.[42] The film recording of Madhouse on Castle Street was destroyed by the BBC in 1968.”

        I smell a sophisticated operation here.

        Remember, before the vast zionist conspiracy, there was the vast communist conspiracy. Both neocons and anti-zionists all stem from communist roots, supporting the Rosenbergs 100%.

        It’s also interesting how Dylan cheered the JFK assassination, while his record label’s parent company, CBS, led the JFK cover-up.
        They put a young Dan Rather on the air to tell America that the Zapruder film showed JFK’s head moving violently forward, but America found out years later that JFK’s head actually moved back and to the left. Abe Zapruder himself was a sketchy Jew, as was Jack Ruby, obviously.

      • Pepsi,

        Interesting theories on Dylan songwriting. I don’t know if I can go along with them though as more proof is needed. His is legally credited with writing his songs so I’ll just have to accept that for what it is – till solid proof is provided. But really, either way, I don’t care who wrote what song – means nothing to me.

        And just to be clear, I did not do a “take-down” of Dylan, I was just merely being myself and correcting what i thought was wrong info and I did it politely – I did not say to him that I thought he hadn’t read the book, I simply said: that’s not my understanding of the story because blah blah blah.

        I’m one of these people who just simply does not get star-struck. Ever since I was a youngan, all my heroes were people who were already dead. People like Socrates, Shelley and Rimbaud and Baudelaire and Gerard Manley Hopkins (to name a few) – I simply devoured all literature on them and by them when I was young. Too bad that Socrates never wrote a thing: his disciple Plato did that on his behalf. I originally wanted to call my blog ‘Socrates’ Guns’ but Plato’s Guns rolled off the tongue nicer so I opted for that. When I say ‘Plato’, really, in my mind, I actually mean ‘Socrates’. I don’t even like Plato lol!

      • seanmcbride says:


        Ever since I was a youngan, all my heroes were people who were already dead. People like Socrates, Shelley and Rimbaud and Baudelaire and Gerard Manley Hopkins (to name a few) – I simply devoured all literature on them and by them when I was young.
        END QUOTE

        Shelley, Rimbaud, Baudelaire and Hopkins were all favorite authors of mine in my late teens (along with many others) — which may explain why our minds instinctively connect on some levels (even though we may disagree on some issues).

        You may also understand why I am bit finicky about writing — right words in right places and all that. Bad writing (especially my own) hurts my head.

        (And, no, I don’t think Bob Dylan is remotely in the same class as Shelley, Rimbaud, Baudelaire and Hopkins — the notion is laughable.)

      • Sean,
        Did you know that it was Baudelaire who introduced Edgar Allan Poe to the world – via his translations of Poe from English to French.

        It took a Frenchman to point out an American genius.

      • seanmcbride says:


        Yes, I knew, and you get extra points in my book for knowing as well. )

        Of interest:

        “Edgar Allan Poe in France: Baudelaire’s Labor of Love” (Gary Wayne Harner)

        Think of how much of what is beautiful and valuable in the world has absolutely nothing to do with Israel’s endless vicious wars with everyone. It’s important to keep remembering that — and what is really important.

      • Sean,
        I was bored in LA a back in 2006 and decided to go on a pilgrimage to Baltimore and Philly to visit both of Poe’s houses there – both abodes turned into museums. Of course I was the only visitor there on the day. I had a wonderful time though, especially at Poe’s house in Baltimore – really took my time absorbing all the details by myself. I also went to Walt Whitman’s house in NJ during the same trip – and that was a truly beautiful experience. Again, I was the only visitor at Walt’s and I had the guide all to myself – wonderful stories about Walt I heard from the guide.

      • seanmcbride says:


        With that last comment on Poe and Whitman, you have truly won my heart — your “boots-on-the-ground” devotion to great literature is evident.

        FYI — Walt Whitman is my favorite poet of all time — with Shakespeare a close second. But there are so many great poets to enjoy, thank God.

      • Did you know that Walt Whitman’s house had the first home-installed bathtub in the USA? The dude was obsessed with bathing! It was a philosophy and a dogma for him and he apparently annoyingly preached cleanliness at everybody all the time – aquatherapy: he believed it was preventative therapy and a cure-for-all. He also had this giant metal bathing bowl that lived under his bed – he had used that for years before his European-imported bathtub was plumbed into his bathroom by his plumber brother (or was it cousin?). The home-musuem guide pulled this giant bowl out from under Walt’s bed and let me try it out for size lol! I sat in the giant bowl slumped happy like a tiny rag-doll and twirled and kicked my legs and arms from happiness. The guide also broke rules and for a good half an hour left me alone in Walt’s bedroom where Walt did his writing – big but simple wooden desk, books on shelves and piles of it on floor, period newspapers and rolled up stacks of writings here and there, period nick-knacks and figurines etc. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring it all in privacy but I creeped myself out when I thought to try on one of Walt’s Jackets – I didn’t – too heebeejeebee for me. The guide told me not to tell anyone that he’d given me these privileges cuz he’d lose his job if his bosses knew. Lol! I spent a whole afternoon there with the guide chit-chatting and drinking tea and walking casually around Walt Whitman’s house. The room where they lay the deceased Walt for viewing was weird – it was like a central room with no windows, big black and white pictures on the walls of Walt in state – different angels of dead Walt – head exposed and body covered in what must be the whitest sheet in the universe.

        The house had modest but beautiful wooden furniture – lots of period lace on tables. Paintings by Walt’s artist friends were on the walls. Some of his famous letters placed in sealed glass boxes were hung on walls too. Walt’s famous symbol of his dandyism, his floppy black hat was not there – it’s apparently sitting in some big bastard museum.

      • seanmcbride says:


        What a wonderful comment — so beautifully and elegantly written — thanks for sharing. I savored every detail — and found myself experiencing the powerful and mysterious mind and spirit that inhabited that particular concrete physical space for a brief moment in time.

        You continue to surprise me.

      • Humble thanks, Sean.

        And anyway, as I was saying about Palestine….. oh gaaaawd – I’ve really digressed this thread. I don’t know how it happened lol!

        If you hadn’t mentioned Walt as your fave, I wouldn’t have shared this story. This share is really first and foremost for you, Sean.

  19. RudyM says:

    Sean, I think JH is probably more ignorant and immature than truly nasty. Some of her parting comments on that thread suggest she isn’t very familiar with what the most widely held views are at Mondoweiss.

    • Basho in Japanese means ‘banana skin’. And any poet humble enough to call himself ‘banana skin’ is alright in my books.

      Issa in Japanese means ‘cup of tea’. Oh so very fay.

      But really, they are both different and very brilliant. Basho writes about man drinking saki; Issa writes about gods drinking tea.

      • RudyM says:

        Was just kidding obviously (pseudo oneupmanship) (although I do prefer Issa), but what I remember of Issa is very humanistic and down to earth, not “gods drinking sake” poetry.

      • Issa was a Buddhist monk – he wrote from that head-space: simple, profound observations on the human conditions – higher consciousness lyricism.

        Basho liked to drink a lot of saki – he wrote a haiku once about how when he dies, he would like to be buried under the floorboards of of a saki inn, in the hope that spilled saki from drunkards’ cups would treacle through the floorboards and be caught by his tongue. Heh!

  20. RudyM says:

    I never heard that before about Dylan’s comment on JFK. Pretty bizarre. I’ve never been that interested in him though. I do appreciate some of his music, but it’s most not my cup of tea.

    • seanmcbride says:

      I always had the impression that Bob Dylan’s importance in American and world music has always been vastly exaggerated compared to many other musical artists — much of the praise always felt like cheesy propaganda.

      He was occasionally interesting, but never truly brilliant from a musical standpoint. One can easily think of so many superior artists.

      Regarding his bouts with militant Zionism — and even Kahanism — fascinating.

      • RudyM says:

        I don’t know. I’ve read defenses of his importance that seemed pretty convincing at the time, but I am not interested enough in the question to debate it or dig up anything along those lines.

  21. RudyM says:

    Taxi, that sounds off (re Issa). I knew he had at least one daughter. Scrambling to do some searching, I find that he was a lay Buddhist priest, not the same thing as a monk. He married late in life, three times actually, and fathered at least three children who all died. So he certainly knew and wrote from common human experience, and not just the rarefied experience of monkhood.

    If I were asked to say what I like about Issa, it’s likely I would reach for the word humanistic. Maybe the poetry of his that has struck me the most is all from later in his life? I don’t know that much about him really. But his humanity comes through in his poems:

    Also I get annoyed when drinking is held up as some sort of symbol of regular down-to-earth human experience. I think it’s vastly overrated, but maybe that’s my Methodist roots.

    • You’re so right, Rudy, Issa was a Buddhist priest and not a monk. His “humanism” is his Buddhism, no doubt – he studied and practiced Buddhism after all. I’m not an expert on Issa either, haven’t read any Japanese literature for years now actually, but there was a time when I did read plenty of it, including Issa poems in anthologies here and there – and what I read was sure beautiful – he wasn’t my fave but I did like his poem a lot.

      Rudy, I had my first (experimental) drink at 17 years of age. My second drink was at 34. I’ve probably had about 20-30 drinks in my life. I can’t even remember the last time I took a sip of alcohol, but I just love Basho’s goofy idea on where he should be buried.

      But you’re right, there is a well-established and respected ‘drinky’ tradition in high-brow literature. You see, when a writer has to sit and mentally focus 12-15 hours per day, there are only two things he/she can do at the end of a writing day to relieve the buildup of mental haze and postural stress: go jogging, or go drinking. Hard-core choices either way.

    • RudyM says:

      Actually after going back to your comment, I don’t think I am disagreeing with you much. “Simple, profound observations on the human conditions – higher consciousness lyricism” I can live with. But I still don’t feel that his observations are very far removed from the lives of typical human beings, householders as opposed to monks. One of the things I find attractive about how Buddhism is expressed in Japanese culture is that in a lot of cases I can’t help getting the impression that impermanence ends up being treated as a reason to value certain things and experiences more, which ultimately isn’t far removed from the values at which a non-religious person might arrive. (Maybe that’s already implicit in Mahayana Buddhism generally, with the blurred lines between everyday experience and some sort of transcendence, to paraphrase it in probably crude terms.)

      • Speaking of ordinary things, or speaking of “the lives of typical human beings, householders as opposed to monks”, I was reminded of A Pablo Neruda’s poem:


        I have a crazy,
        crazy love of things.
        I like pliers,
        and scissors.
        I love
        and bowls –
        not to speak, or course,
        of hats.
        I love
        all things,
        not just
        the grandest,
        small –
        and flower vases.
        Oh yes,
        the planet
        is sublime!
        It’s full of pipes
        through tobacco smoke,
        and keys
        and salt shakers –
        I mean,
        that is made
        by the hand of man, every little thing:
        shapely shoes,
        and fabric,
        and each new
        bloodless birth
        of gold,
        carpenter’s nails,
        clocks, compasses,
        coins, and the so-soft
        softness of chairs.
        Mankind has
        oh so many
        Built them of wool
        and of wood,
        of glass and
        of rope:
        ships, and stairways.
        I love
        not because they are
        or sweet-smelling
        but because,
        I don’t know,
        this ocean is yours,
        and mine;
        these buttons
        and wheels
        and little
        fans upon
        whose feathers
        love has scattered
        its blossoms
        glasses, knives and
        scissors –
        all bear
        the trace
        of someone’s fingers
        on their handle or surface,
        the trace of a distant hand
        in the depths of forgetfulness.
        I pause in houses,
        streets and
        touching things,
        identifying objects
        that I secretly covet;
        this one because it rings,
        that one because
        it’s as soft
        as the softness of a woman’s hip,
        that one there for its deep-sea color,
        and that one for its velvet feel.
        O irrevocable
        of things:
        no one can say
        that I loved
        or the plants of the jungle and the field,
        that I loved
        those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
        It’s not true:
        many things conspired
        to tell me the whole story.
        Not only did they touch me,
        or my hand touched them:
        they were
        so close
        that they were a part
        of my being,
        they were so alive with me
        that they lived half my life
        and will die half my death.

  22. seanmcbride says:

    An important comment by irishmoses on JVP and Jennifer Hitchcock here:

    The main question: how deeply has this op infiltrated Mondoweiss?


    I’ve been trying to figure out what’s really going on here. Why was it so important to savage and ban Allison Weir? My answer is that she, along with Gilad Atzon, and Norman Finkelstein share something in common: All three have made dangerous forays outside the limited world of bad Israelis oppressing poor Palestinians, and the only effective way to stop these forays in their tracks is with harem, banishment, public humiliation.

    In other words, they challenged the manipulative limited hangout and firewall constructed by “progressive anti-Zionists” who seem to be playing a double game.

    • seanmcbride says:

      Are the official ringleaders behind the campaign to destroy Alison Weir sneaks and cowards? Why won’t they come out and defend their ideas and actions in response to reasonable questions?

      They have had every opportunity to state their case on Mondoweiss during the last week — but so far, a dead silence. And they left Jennifer Hitchcock to twist slowly in the wind.

      Dictators and tyrants are allergic to debate — they don’t do debate. They issue secretive diktats.

      • I thought as the comments progressed, his penny was sinking in. His tone changed from whacky to surprised to quietly shocked and thoughtful.

        But maybe he changed his mind again towards the end?

        In any case, it doesn’t surprise me. The tribe.

      • seanmcbride says:

        The obsessive-compulsive tribalism and ethnocentrism of many self-professed progressive anti-Zionists and non-Zionists easily matches that of Likud Zionists. They oppose Zionism not because they oppose ethnic nationalism in a principled and consistent way, but because they think it’s bad for their tribe and ethnic interests.

        They are as full of peculiar self-contradictions as liberal Zionists.

      • You nailed it Sean. They do and say what is necessary to ensure that when the moment of reckoning comes, they will be perceived to have been on the right side of the debate, even though, principally as gate keepers, they have done nothing but perpetuate the existence of Zionism and protected it from criticism by making sure the right lines are drawn and guarded from being crossed.

        Maybe this is the result of history not learned. Despite having been expelled from 109 countries, they continue to act as before, with the enhancement of a better-tailored public image, but scratch the surface of that, and you have the same ugly pig, and sad to say, history will repeat itself.

        Should I feel sorry for them as they drown? Should I help them out of the water, or should I push their head under? I kight have chosen one way before, and now I choose the other.

        As for Mooser, I think his primary job is to keep the Hophmi crowd entertained. It used to be amusing at one point, now it is just irritating.

  23. RudyM says:

    I’m not sure what to make of Hitchcock. At the moment, I am feeling very doubtful about my ability to read the minds and guess the motives of people I only know through things they’ve written.

    In the comments thread yesterday, she does strike me as possibly simply getting worn down and perhaps a bit punchy toward the end.

    And I could see her having said: oh, this could be an interesting chance to unpack (allegedly) racist discourse in a real life context (applying the tools she is allegedly learning in graduate school).

    Also, although she’s in her mid-30s, it’s not unimaginable that she has retained some immaturity while in the academic bubble world. (I am actually pretty positive toward academia–a lot closer to Sean’s views, probably, than Taxi’s–but I can certainly see how it can provide a sanctuary for people who want to remain in some fantasy world or other.)

    Or there may be a lot more behind it and she could be a plant of some sort!

    I’m sure I am giving this too much attention but I am just sitting here, sipping iced tea, still waking up.

  24. RudyM says:

    Why didn’t I do more digging? Well here we go, care of Henry Norr:

    I just discovered that the website for “Dreams Deferred,” a documentary film made by Ms. Hitchcock and her husband, is called . I wonder what exactly they mean by the “supportisrael’ part. Has anyone here watched the film?

    JVP’s platform says it supports “the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination,” but even they, as far as I know,, don’t say they “support Israel.”
    – See more at:

    Case mostly closed.

  25. seanmcbride says:

    Three lists I would like to see fleshed out:

    -list; Alison Weir attackers+JVP members
    -list; Alison Weir attackers+Mondoweiss members
    -list; Alison Weir attackers+JVP members+Mondoweiss members

    note: “+” is a Boolean operator (AND): x is BOTH a member of y and a member of z

    note: Mondoweiss member=commenter, funder, staff member or writer

  26. RudyM says:

    I’ve mostly never really clicked with Neruda. I had an Ecuadoran friend who insisted Neruda didn’t work outside of the Spanish original. Unfortunately, I still don’t know Spanish, all these years later.

    (I was very wrapped up in poetry for a time, but that was many years ago. Much of it hasn’t held up for me. I’m still pretty partial to some American poets from the modernist generation, particularly Eliot and Stevens (although I don’t even have any of his books in my collection currently), and late H.D. I think that generation inhabited a sort of sweet spot between the traditional forms that seem too constraining at this point, and the formal slackness of so much of what has come since. A fairly conservative opinion, I admit.)

    • I disagree with your Ecuadoran friend.

      The actual spirit of a poem is not a prisoner of language.

      A sensitive translator of poetry knows not to inhibit the spirit of the piece.

      There are some brilliant translators of poetry out there in many languages. But I can’t really get into this right now, Rudy… Palestine, and other things, wait.

      • RudyM says:

        I think translation can work. Maybe I am just using her comments as an excuse for not loving Neruda.

        I have other things I should be doing like going to Target. How banal.

      • There’s two schools of though on poetry translation, but this will have to be discussed on my new literary blog called ‘Shut Up And Write’ – lol just kidding – one blog is enough work for me!

      • RudyM says:

        Anyway that friend was the same one who said all salsa sounds the same, at which point I shot her a mock-hostile look. I think we were both aware of the funny gringo (a term she hated and did not use, actually) vs. Hispanic role reversal. (I can understand people thinking that, but lots of genres all “sound the same” unless you’ve dug into them.)

      • seanmcbride says:


        Right — it would better to refer to Four Quartets as, perhaps, a work and Leaves of Grass as a poetry collection, but I often refer to them as poems in a shorthand kind of way. (Both works sit on a bookshelf right by me as I type.)

        My favorite passage from The Four Quartets is in East Coker:

        O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
        The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
        The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
        The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
        Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
        Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark,
        And dark the Sun and Moon, and the Almanach de Gotha
        And the Stock Exchange Gazette, the Directory of Directors,
        And cold the sense and lost the motive of action.
        And we all go with them, into the silent funeral,
        Nobody’s funeral, for there is no one to bury.
        END QUOTE

        I read that in kind of a Buddhist way. That really gets to the basics of the human situation (and the situation of all material forms). Everything is mutable. Everything dissolves and disappears. This is why it is a good idea to keep all political situations in context. They too shall pass, like everything else.

  27. RudyM says:

    The politics of truth.
    The politics of free inquiry.
    The politics of free expression.
    The politics of “I read banned books.”

    These are too primary to me to compromise.

    (Never made it out to shop because sleep caught up with me and threw me back into bed for a while. Maybe later.)

  28. Very happy to have stumbled onto this blog after being frustrated with the MW treatment of Alison Weir. All I can do is describe the total lock that JVP has over all “progressive” politics in Portland, and how they have effectively shut down Palestinian Solidarity work here in Portland. It drives me crazy, and yet here it is. In Portland there are a large number of highly articulate Palestinians, whom should be front and center of this movement, instead they have all been deliberately cast aside. Every single “group” in Portland wont make a move without JVP stamp of approval… from the Lutherans to Unitarians, to venues, to the community radio station. Gilad Atzmon has been frozen out as have the activists whom have brought him to Portland now, 4 times.
    Also I was doing background research on the ISO, international socialist organization….. Trotskyite group that has full run of Portland State University. Lots of dirt on this group has they recently purged the “renewal faction” out of their midst, I bring them up because the non-profit corporation that covers the printing house of the ISO is also the non-profit corporation that backs Mondoweis! The cult leaders of the ISO are the ones whom run this non-profit one wonders at the connections.

    • Thanks for this. I recently searched who owns them and wanted to ‘follow the money’ and it seems to be owned by CERSC, a 501(c)3 corp. which lists Amhed Sehery as Principal(?). But I could not find out who are the donors.

      CERSC other projects –
      2 are socialist in nature (ISR & Socialism 2015)
      1 is radical and activist (We are Many)
      1 is social justice (Domestic Worker)
      1 is Haymarket Books

      Searching Sehery brought me to another name Yanowitz:

      Sehrawy, Ahmed: (1 linked in connection)

      but people also viewed:

      Jason Yanowitz (greater chicago area)

      *But Ahmed works for EtiSalat
      (a UAE based telecommunications services provider)

      • I was always wondering about this Ahmed character, clever deflection, par for the course. Here are the overly long essays laying bare the dysfunction and delusion that occupies the center of the ISO/Mondoweis/jvp pyramidal style organizations.
        As I reread these essays I realized that it was Phan Binh’s work that counts.

        Here is the part that talks about CERSC buying Caterpillar stock.

        “What is remarkable about the ISO in this regard is its lack of transparency. Dues are paid, money is raised, merchandise (books, magazines, and newspapers) is sold, but rare is the ISO member who knows that the organization’s 501(c)(3) – the Center for Economic Research and Social Change (CERSC) – bought and sold thousands of dollars in Caterpillar stock in 2010 in spite of the ISO’s support for the Palestinian boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign’s targeting of Caterpillar for selling Israel the bulldozers it uses to demolish Palestinian homes and kill activist Rachel Corrie.

        Whether or not buying and selling Caterpillar stock in defiance of the BDS campaign is right or wrong is not my place to decide, it is for the ISO’s membership to decide, and they cannot do so when they have no clue what the organization’s assets or liabilities consist of and are denied any formal control over CERSC. They cannot discuss and decide how best to spend CERSC’s $1.5 million in yearly revenue on organizing projects when these matters are handled internally as a state secret and questions about them from members are viewed as a sign of disloyalty to socialism rather than what they actually are – a principled commitment to the basic democratic norms working-class people are entitled to in their organizations.”

        Unfortunately for Portland, the ISO is quite prominent in the various movements which includes the completely dead in water BDS/Boycott Israel movement. At PSU if you are active at all it seems like the ISO swarms all over you. They are so imbedded at PSU that the ISO has is general meetings in Smith Student Union, try being any other group and getting a meeting space!

      • I agree about the Ahmed character. Who are the people who make the decisions? People must be curious at MW who makes the executive orders.

        I generally stopped contributing to comments after 2012 with the article from ‘the Donald’ that said their will be no discussion of historical events, as it’s verboten… and even their great tech helper left then (forget his name) – that and the Blankfort banning left me irritated – a lot of people left at that time (or were banned) who made the site what it was- even Witty I could tolerate. He provided great comedic value – his slipperiness and dishonesty were legendary.

        I will send more links tomorrow if I have any more on the CERSC that is relevant. Thanks for the links. I’ll read up on them later.

      • Thanks for the info, Chu.


        If anyone has a mind to write an article on the MW money trail, I will gladly publish it. It doesn’t have to be thick as the Yellow Pages, just a short few paragraphs will do. If anyone out there is so inclined, please leave me a quick note via the comments section and I will promptly email you to discuss it.

      • Here’s a Reddit thread on CERSC:


        Thank you for your well thought out response. I don’t want to waist too much time on this so I’ll pick a few things to respond to.
        The CERSC had a $600,000 profit in 2010. The ISR has a decent income too ($77,000). I don’t want to get into this too much but it look like you’ve actually talked to some of your higher ups about this. I’d ask them again why Haymarket is so profitable and the books still so expensive. I’d also ask them who Jason Yanowitz and Kevin Neel are and why they’ve donated so much money to the CERSC.

    • First, welcome northcascadian.

      Wow man, I had no idea the depth of the monopoly that JVP have over Palestine activism in Portland. I am disgusted! It would be super cool if you can keep us posted with JVP’s dastardly shenanigans in Portland. You’re also welcome to write and submit an article on it here at Plato’s – anytime.

      Plato’s is a sharing platform for “We The People”, not a journalistic outfit. With all due respect to the minority good journalists out there, I’d rather poke my eye with a hot poker than be called a journalist.

      • First here is the most pathetic part.. the anonymous Harem declaration from the allegedly non-jewish Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, and the local JVP. Was it a unanimous vote? Or was it the secret leadership that chose to denounce Alison.

        Home News ​The Movement for Justice for Palestinians is rooted in Human Rights, Justice and Equality

        Friday, 14 August 2015 11:15

        A Statement by Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights (AUPHR) and Jewish Voice for Peace -Portland (JVP-PDX)

        Portland, Oregon – August 14, 2015 – Recently, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace issued statements saying that they would no longer work with Alison Weir and If Americans Knew due to Ms. Weir/IAK not working within the principles of anti-racism set by these organizations. ​ See their statements here and here.

        ​We agree with​ the statements and positions taken by​ both organizations. Anti-racism principles must be a core part of our work if we wish to mainstream our movement and build principled ties to other movements that will lead to mass mobilization in support of Palestinian rights​ and social justice for all communities.​ White supremacists have no place in our work. We cannot fight racism by encouraging racists and feeding and validating a racist framework.

        ​While challenging Israel’s racist system of inequity is a focus for many of us, we cannot forget the wider context of U.S. complicity, ongoing US support for ​non​-democratic​​ violent regimes around the world, home-grown US racism and systems of inequality, and our own settler-colonial and slavery roots. To treat Israel as a case apart blinds us from joining with other movements and ignores the fact that Israel plays a role in furthering longstanding US foreign policy.

        We stand firmly that ​the movement for Palestinian justice deserves its place front and center with all current and historic movements to combat racism, settler colonialism, and dispossession, such as the Civil Rights movement,​#BlackLivesMatter​,​ the Immigrants rights movement, ​​ ​the South African anti-Apartheid movement​. ​ Our movement should be rooted in time-honored universal principles of universal human rights backed by international law.

        Contact AUPHR at

        Contact JVP-PDX at

      • Second response here are the links to the local “Palestinian solidarity groups” Notice the stunning lack of activity, especially from the PSU group. AUPHR has no public meetings anymore….
        The one time that SUPER had a public meeting, during the ritual murder of Palestinian last year, 60 people showed up ready to act. That was the last meeting, nothing since then.
        Over the years I have gone to various SUPER meetings or events, the most notable thing has been the number of Israhellie “students” showing up at the Palestinian Solidarity meetings, and the total lack of Palestinian Students at these meetings.
        I could go on and on, but this one from about 5 years ago is worth linking to. It seems we may be dealing with out and out Mossad agents.

  29. “i like having jvp petitions sent to my inbox because they are simple and effective ways of advocacy (for example it takes all of 2 seconds to send a pre prepared email to my congressperson telling them to support the iran deal.” – Annie

    The “Iran deal” is an attempt by the USA to serve Jewish interests by ensuring that only Israel has the power to wipe out its neighbors using nuclear weapons. Support for the Democrats, like support for the Republicans, is support for Jewish racial supremacy.

    • Hiya Jay.

      Yes, what you say is true, but it’s not the whole and only reason for the “Iran Deal”. Money for USA industries is another reason.

      But how useful are israel’s nukes in the Golan and on the borders with Lebanon – two immediate and acutely dangerous zones for the Apartheid state? My point is, you don’t need to match nuke for nuke for tel aviv to be turned into rubble.

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