ADC on Anti-Arab remarks of Emmanuel’s father

I just received the following email from the ADC:

The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee urges you to take immediate action by using the contact info below to express your disappointment to President-Elect Obama and Congressman Rahm Emmanuel for the detestable anti-Arab remarks Emmanuel’s father made this past week.

ADC wrote a letter to Congressman Emmauel and President-Elect Barack Obama asking the congressman to publicly repudiate the derogatory comments his father made. Benjamin Emmanuel was quoted by numerous Israeli and American publications as saying  “Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he be? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.”

There should be no place for such demeaning rhetoric and these comments are contrary to the very type change the President-Elect promised he would bring to America. 

Contact President-Elect Obama by fax at 202.228.5417 or through this online contact form .

Contact Congressman Emmanuel by fax at 202.225.5603 or via E-mail at

Here is some language I wrote up the a few days ago that may be useful in formulating a response:

The anti-Arab remark made by Rahm Emanuel’s father is not consistent with the spirit of change and ethnic equality that President Elect Obama promises to bring to the White House. Arab Americans have put great hope in his election. They believe that they have a part to play in building a new and more equal America.

A public statement by Rahm Emanuel explaining that he does not approve of his father’s remark would go a long way in reassuring us that the president elect and new administration value Arab Americans. We all hope to move beyond the divisiveness of the past to create a future of mutual respect. By distancing himself from his father’s remark, Rahm Emanuel will demonstrate that he does not share his father’s opinion of Arabs and will help the new administration act as an honest broker in the Middle East and at home.

Comments (91)

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1. Bill Baar said:

The problem was believing the hype about Obama. He’s a Chicago Pol and out for himself. RE is the kind of heavey hitter he needs over Pelosi and Reid.

Bush was a far better friend of the Arab and Muslim world.

It’s going to take folks a while to figure that out I guess.

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November 11th, 2008, 11:03 pm


2. Joe M. said:

I know this sounds like I am naive to even say, but I am totally disgusted by the double standard. When Mel Gibson’s father had anti-Semitic things to say, it was the top story on the news for months. Mel Gibson is a know nothing actor with no real power or influence. But when the father of the chief of staff to the next president makes comments that are both explicitly racist and also imply policy bias by the next American government, well, there is radio silence in the media. It is an outrage.

If it isn’t enough that Rahm served a foreign military and not even the American one, and that he is most likely a dual citizen, the lowest blow is that no one seems to even give a damn. There needs to be a debate about this. It is a true disgrace that there isn’t.

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November 12th, 2008, 12:25 am


3. Saghir said:


He is not most likely a dual citizen. He “is” a dual citizen.

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November 12th, 2008, 12:49 am


5. sam said:


Do you honestly believe that Bush is a better friend to the arabs than Obama will be? That’s a bold statement, considering there are over 100 million arabs that hate his guts.

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November 12th, 2008, 1:22 am


6. why-discuss said:

After all, under Obama’s direction, Rahm Emanuel may put justified pressure on Israel without the awkwardness and uneasiness of a christian paralyzed by guilt toward the Jewish people. Obama is black and american, Emanuel is jewish and american. That could be an effective team.

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November 12th, 2008, 2:36 am


7. zurich said:

saghir — that article doesn’t say Obama is a dual citizen. It doesn’t mention the issue. Most profiles that I’ve read of Emanuel say that he renounced his Israeli citizenship at 18.

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November 12th, 2008, 4:28 am


8. offended said:

The link to Obama’s online form isnt working.

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November 12th, 2008, 5:13 am


9. Shai said:

Offended, you’re thinking of joining his campaign? 🙂 He won already. He’s the leader of the free world. He’s changing our lives as we speak… Well, not just yet. But soon. Soon, in’shalla.

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November 12th, 2008, 5:29 am


10. Alex said:


Here is the right link

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November 12th, 2008, 5:32 am


11. offended said:

Thanks Alex, Obama has already been notified of my uneasiness about the racist remarks.

Shai, I think we’ve been overwhelmed with the talk about change that we didn’t pause to wonder whether it’s going to be for better or for worse!

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November 12th, 2008, 5:44 am


12. ShaI said:


I just added my request for “clarification” from Obama and his Chief of Staff. Yes, saying “change” is like saying “the chosen people” – neither promises in which direction…

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November 12th, 2008, 5:48 am


13. annie said:

Rambo Emanuel is not responsible for what his father said but he could pressure him into apologizing.

Anyway, his appointment is a bad omen for all of us. How can there be change with people like him in a top position where he will filter anything that comes Obama’s way ?
We had placed so much hope in the man.
Rambo Emanuel is not responsible for what his father said but he could pressure him into apologizing.

Anyway, his appointment is a bad omen for all of us. How can there be change with people like him in a top position where he will filter anything that comes Obama’s way ?
We had placed so much hope in the man.

OTH I read this in the above quoted article
“”Rahm, precisely because he’s a lover of Israel, will not have much patience with Israeli excuse-making,” Jeffrey Goldberg, a writer for The Atlantic, suggested on his blog. “So when the next prime minister tells President Obama that as much as he’d love to, he can’t dismantle the Neve Manyak settlement outpost, or whichever outpost needs dismantling, because of a) domestic politics; b) security concerns; or c) the Bible, Rahm will call out such nonsense, and it will be very hard for right-wing Israelis to come back and accuse him of being a self-hating Jew.””

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November 12th, 2008, 6:00 am


14. offended said:

I hate to sound despondent (or ‘bitchy’), but if these comments aren’t repudiated I don’t see how I can justify placing any more hopes on change.

But bet’s see, it’s still too early in the game and as they say, it won’t be over until the fat lady sings.

p.s. thanks for the support, you are the best!

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November 12th, 2008, 6:07 am


15. Alex said:

Is it me or is Syria missing from the drop down list of countries on Obama’s transition site contact form?

Madagascar is there .. Malawi … Yemen … Togo, Tonga, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia … but not Syria.

Does this mean that citizens of Yemen can ask Obama any question they like, but citizens of Syria are .. too evil to be allowed to bother whoever is the junior, 21 year old student who is screening these messages at the Obama transition team?

I am still hoping it is my tired eyes (1AM now) that missed the word “Syria” and not a deliberate decision on the part of the team at …

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November 12th, 2008, 6:09 am


16. annie said:

Alex, your eyes did not betray you, Syria is not present on the list and neither is North Korea.
I guess they will maintain the Axis of Evil approach.

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November 12th, 2008, 6:29 am


17. Alex said:

Thanks Annie,

But … Iran is there! .. so it can not be the axis of evil thing

And .. Somalia is there .. so it can be about economic significance

And .. Saudi Arabia is there .. so it can not be about democracy …

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November 12th, 2008, 6:32 am


18. Shai said:

Alex, Annie,

I guess it was programmed like this: Contact List = Democracies + (KSA, Sudan, etc.) + ((Axis of Evil) – Syria – N. Korea). It was a difficult algorithm to develop, but it made perfect sense… to someone.

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November 12th, 2008, 6:49 am


19. Alex said:

Shai : )

Since only North Korea and Syria did not make it to that list … hmmm …. could it be that this previouslyjobless man is now working as a programmer for the site?

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November 12th, 2008, 6:59 am


20. Yisrael Medad said:

As far as is known, he never had Israeli citizenship, was born in the US and, like tens of thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish people, youngsters and oldsters and retirees, have done volunteer work at Israeli army bases in a non-direct military fashion shuch as rearranginf storehouses, shining and polishing, etc. As for his father’s reamrk, indeed, it was quite insensible. Of course, having a relative murdered by Arabs in the 1930s, before the state of Israel was even created, simply because he was a Jew and perceived by Arabs to be a legitimate target for their own political violence and terror may have influenced his inconsiderate words.

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November 12th, 2008, 7:09 am


21. offended said:

Alex, since as you know I am a die-hard Somali, I was a bit offended by your reference to the insignificance of Somalia’s economy, however, even Djibouti is there for God’s sake!

I think we should launch a campaign to include Syria in the complaint form.
I am only assuming it’s a complaint form ‘cause that’s how it’s going to be from now on, it’s gonna get nasty.

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November 12th, 2008, 7:14 am


22. Shai said:

Alex, Simo,

Jerusalem as you know has been getting more and more religious over the years. Many secular residents have left the capital, for the center of the country usually. Entire schools have been converted to religious schools, as the religious community grows significantly with each year that passes. And yet, voters still seem to prefer a secular mayor! Nir Bareket, the secular candidate in the yesterday’s local elections, won 52% of the votes, against 43% of his leading religious counterpart.

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November 12th, 2008, 7:36 am


23. SimoHurtta said:

1. Shai said:

Alex, Simo,

Jerusalem as you know has been getting more and more religious over the years. Many secular residents have left the capital, for the center of the country usually. Entire schools have been converted to religious schools, as the religious community grows significantly with each year that passes. And yet, voters still seem to prefer a secular mayor!

Congratulations Shai, that will partly compensate the image stain Israel got (again) from the sharp drop in the World Economy Forum’s Gender Gap rankings.

Let us hope that in future women are not any more beaten in Jerusalem’s buses for sitting in the wrong part.

Israel has barred foreign journalists from entering the Gaza Strip for a week. Will there be something going to happen what Israel doesn’t want the world to witness, or why Shai.

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November 12th, 2008, 11:08 am


24. swerv said:

hi Josh, all:

I’m in Arab. I don’t like being discriminated against or slurred.

But I’m pretty unimpressed with Emmanuel’s fathers remark. To me it is a typical Israeli chauvinism that is to Arabs as the Arab version is to domestics from places like Sri Lanka, Pakistan or the Phillipines. Everyone, it seems, has an urge to piss downstream.

It as repugnant as it is banal.

The Arab version of this chauvinism, the one directed at people from the Indian sub continent, is particularly common in Arabs living in the Persian gulf, including by the way relatively well to do Syrian and Lebanese expats. The domestics are omni present in the lives of these people, and they are frequently illiterate villagers who have sometimes been taken to the gulf under false pretenses.

I know about this because this is how i grew up. I have to tell you that my own mother would frequently make the comment “do you think we are like the Indians and Pakistanis?” when expressing indignation about being asked to do something below her station. The sad joke was she grew up the dirt poor daughter of an alawite widow with ten children, no better off than the people she was comparing herself to.

This always struck me as disconcerting, even then, because i happened to like some of these ‘Indians and Pakistanis’ very much. Some days, I spent more time with out Pakistani driver than I did with anyone else- and we had good times together. One of our, what was called a ‘houseboy’,a ridiculous and repulsive term, had an advanced degree from an Indian university and was a brilliant man whom i loved and admired.

Despite all of that, if my mother (or father), had been quoted in a newspaper talking about ‘Indians and Sri Lankans’ in the way i know she did, and i was asked by committee to publicly renounce my own parents?

i would have to repectfully tell them to, as the saying goes, “yeaklo hawa”.

I’ll bet you dollars to donoughts that rahm emmanuels reaction is similarly couched, but probably infinitely more colorful.

I mean, do we really think that he is going to go on record and denounce his own father and just publicly say,”Hey you guys are right, my fathers an a$$hole.”

Would you do that?

I’m not going to denounce my own parents publicly. I just can’t imagine ever doing it. Neither would any Arab that I know.

Why do we want to put this guy in this position? He’s not going to do it, why start our relationship with the white house chief of staff, who is an important and influential guy, with meaningless theatrics whose only likely outcome is to antagonize someone we need to be able to talk to?

So his dad is an ignorant old man. So what? He’s not a member of the administration, he isn’t getting tax payer money. Leave his dad out of this.

You think he is the only Isreali with a shitty attitude to Arabs? What are we children? Obama get’s elected and we lose our grip on reality?

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November 12th, 2008, 11:28 am


25. What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.” « band annie’s Weblog said:

[…] What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.” ADC on Anti-Arab remarks of Emmanuel’s father […]

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November 12th, 2008, 11:44 am


26. annie said:

The fact that you find racists among Arabs is no excuse for Emanuel’s father – who, because of his son’s position is now in the limelight too – to relegate Arabs to floor sweeping.
Rahm does not have to apologize for his father, his father has to apologize.

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November 12th, 2008, 11:55 am


27. Akbar Palace said:

JOE M. states:

I know this sounds like I am naive to even say, but I am totally disgusted by the double standard. When Mel Gibson’s father had anti-Semitic things to say…

What about anti-semitic things Mel Gibson said?

SAGHIR said:

He is not most likely a dual citizen. He “is” a dual citizen.

Can you prove this or is it just your opinion? (see ZURICH’s post #7)


That could be an effective team.

I agree with your comment.

SWERV said:

I’m in Arab. I don’t like being discriminated against or slurred.

I understand. I’m a Jew, so I don’t like being slurred as well. As I’ve criticized Rahm Emmanuel’s father’s racist remark, I find it interesting that this thread has even appeared here.

If you want to talk about racism, all we have to do is translate the arab media from across the Middle East. It is FULL of racism.

BTW – David Duke was warmly greeted in Syria by the government-controlled media…

So I guess racism exists in every country.

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November 12th, 2008, 12:09 pm


28. Shai said:


Israel doesn’t want the world to see what goes on inside Gaza, not this week, not any week, because the situation there is awful. In fact, this is precisely what I think other nations should do – show pictures of Gaza everywhere. But the real question now, is why Hamas is not releasing such pictures itself? My suspicion is that it is afraid to be seen as not in-control, as not able to protect and provide for its own citizens. But when your people are suffering, your political survival should be amongst the least of your concerns. Written reports, even by eyewitnesses, have had little effect. It is time to show real images, to shoot real video tapes, and to get this out.

Perhaps that will pressure my own government to stop with this cruel and nonsensical policy of collective punishment each time Hamas lobs another $10 rocket at an empty field. I would rather see a total lifting of the enclosure, and massive bombardment in retaliation for every Israeli killed by such rockets (only IF they kill, or injur), than this continuous disproportionate punishment by any standard whatsoever, which is quite clearly achieving the absolute opposite of its intended goals.

Hamas is no less powerful, or determined. The civilians in Gaza are no less supportive of Hamas, or more “understanding” of Israel. But the human catastrophe that is slowly taking place, day by day, is devastating. This slow suffocation is, in many ways, worse than death itself. And the hatred it is and will be bringing upon us, is far worse than we can imagine. Somehow, it seems, these “calculations” aren’t taken into account. Every politician in Israel is leaving these “tough decisions” to someone else, just not himself/herself.

Alia, the way to end it, is not by fighting Israel with power, but instead with words and, most importantly, images. Perhaps it is time for a million-person march in Washington, by the American Muslim community, on behalf of their Palestinian brethren in Gaza. Is there enough of an outcry by Muslims worldwide? I don’t know, but I fear there isn’t. At least not an effective one.

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November 12th, 2008, 12:17 pm


29. Independent said:


Long time no comment!

A lot of Arabs gave a sigh of relief after Obama was elected president. “Here comes a more centrist to left government that will be more fair in the eyes of the Arabs !”

Obama replied with Emmanuel’s nomination. Rahm did his military service in the IDF and served in South Lebanon. He is publicly a staunch Zionist. Even his Rabbi confirmed this.

So the question is here, who is going to be more fair to the Arabs, the Republicans or the Democrats????

Thanks for your web space Josh.

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November 12th, 2008, 12:42 pm


30. SAGHIR said:


During Mr. Emmanuel’s run for congress, his opponent repeatedly charged that he had dual citizenship with Israel and had served in its army. According to many account, Mr. Emmanuel simply shrugged off the allegations and went on to win of course.

This subject matter is a hot topic right now to be sure. To the best of my knowledge, the latest is that Mr. Emmanuel “had” an Israeli citizenship but gave it up when he turned 18. If true, it shows that my statement above was not 100% accurate.

While on the subject, can a none Israeli citizen serve in the country’s army (even though it involved fixing vehicles)?

Let us not forget that David Axilord (Obama’s chief strategist) is also Jewish and is a close friend of Mr. Emmanuel. Axelrod signed the ketuba, a Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel’s wedding, an honor that goes to a family friend or distant relative according to wikipedia.

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November 12th, 2008, 2:26 pm


31. norman said:

Print | Close this window

British foreign minister Miliband to visit Syria
Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:30pm IST
LONDON (Reuters) – British Foreign Secretary David Miliband is to visit Syria as part of a tour of the Middle East next week in an effort to improve relations, his office said on Wednesday.

Miliband will visit Israel, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territories and Syria, a spokeswoman said, giving no details of specific dates.

She said the visit was part of efforts to develop “a strong UK-Syrian partnership based on mutual trust, shared interests and a vision for a stable peaceful and prosperous Middle East”.

The visit follows talks last month in London between Miliband and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem and is the latest in a series of overtures between Syria and European nations, particularly France and Britain, seeking an end to Syria’s strained relations with the West due to its support of Iran.

© Thomson Reuters 2008. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Thomson Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters and its logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Thomson Reuters group of companies around the world.

Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

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November 12th, 2008, 2:32 pm


32. Akbar Palace said:

Perhaps it is time for a million-person march in Washington, by the American Muslim community, on behalf of their Palestinian brethren in Gaza.


With the purpose of what?:

1.) Getting Israel out of Gaza?

2.) Continuing the jihad against the Zionists?

3.) Or making peace with the Zionists?

Please make a pick or write in your own purpose.

As you sometimes like to be the spokesperson for the Israeli people, perhaps you’ve realized your potential to be the spokesperson for the Palestinian people! 😉

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November 12th, 2008, 2:34 pm


33. Shai said:


A non-Israeli cannot serve in the army (but a Christian or Muslim Israeli can, not only Jews). What Rahmbo apparently did, also according to Israeli media, is help out on a base, during the first Gulf War. Each year, there are numerous Jewish volunteers (I believe also non-Jewish) that come from all over the world, and do this sort of “pretty-crappy” work. But, it is helping out, and does give them a sense of contribution I suppose. I wouldn’t call what he did “serving in the IDF”. I doubt, by the way, that he served in the army, because I’m sure Israeli papers would have talked about that a long time ago. The headlines read “W.H. chief of staff is son of Israeli…”

A K’tuba is essentially the wedding “contract”. Signatories serve as witnesses, and may not necessarily be part of the family, or even friends. In my case, two close friends signed our K’tuba.

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November 12th, 2008, 2:41 pm


34. Shai said:


I can’t say it’s with extreme pleasure that I “represent” the Palestinian people in Gaza. I certainly would prefer not to be in the situation where my own people, and my government, show no understanding of the horrific consequences our enclosure policy is having upon 1.5 million people. You think the Occupation in Judea and Samaria is bad? Those poor Gazans would take that instead any day. Now if we lived in a vacuum, and the suffering of the Palestinians did not influence me or my people in the present and in the future, then I could choose, if I wished, to remain simply apathetic, or plain cruel. But since we are paying, and will be paying, for this terrible treatment of the Palestinians, not to mention the fact that my conscience simply cannot accept what we’re doing, regardless of its effect on Israel, I cannot but try to resolve this problem. I turn to my country, but it does nothing. Correction, it does something – it makes things worse.

So what shall I do, accept this as fate, and let things take their course? Or, perhaps, I can recommend to the other side a way, or many ways, to influence my own government to stop. Notice, so that you don’t suddenly get the urge to suggest I’m recommending use of force against my own people, that I specifically said (told Alia above) that “fighting” Israeli policy should NOT be done using power, but rather using words and images. My conscience is not cleansed by so doing, because I know I can do more. I can become an active activist, not a mostly passive one like I am today. But at least I’m doing something, instead of nothing.

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November 12th, 2008, 2:50 pm


35. Brad said:

The omission of Syria from Obama’s list proves two points simultaneously. Syrian regime is a rogue regime and Syria is a marginal country when it comes to real issues of foreign policy. I think these were the exact same conclusion of previous US administrations.

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November 12th, 2008, 2:51 pm


36. AIG said:

Hamas does not show pictures of hungry people in Gaza because there are no hungry people. We have all seen pictures of what hungry children with their bellies look like. That does not exist in Gaza. In fact, because of the extensive aid Gaza receives, the standard of living in Gaza is still much higher than in most sub-saharan Africa.

What is happening in Gaza is totally the responsibility of Hamas. All the countries in the world understand that it is ridiculous to ask Israel to be nice to an entity that wants its destruction. All the people on this blog that expect Israelis to be nice to people who are trying to kill them are just plain antisemites. The collective punishment argument is also a racist one. When any two other countries have gone to war, has there ever been a demand on ANY country that just the regimes in the countries suffer??? How is it possible that the populations do not suffer during war???

Did the Iraqi civillian population not suffer during the Iraq war?
Did the Kuwaitis not suffer terribly went attacked by Iraq?
Wasn’t the Chechan civillain population devastated?
In Afghansitan, in every war, the population suffered.
In Hama did not the civillian population suffer terribly?
What about the bombing war the US waged with Europe against Serbia? The population of course suffered and that is HOW that war was one, because the US was destroying the Serbian economy, they had to give up.
I can give a list as long as you want.

I dare all the antisemites on this blog, give ONE example of an extended war in which populations do not carry most of the brunt. I dare you to give ONE example of a war in which one side gives OIL and ELECTRICITY to the other side while fighting it. The Syrians think it is ok to stop food to Iraqi refugees for political purposes, but for the antisemites here it is the duty of Israel to feed and provide for its enemies.

When I read what you guys are writing, I cannot believe how twisted your logic has become and how antisemtic you are. The double standards for judging Jews is the worst form of antisemitism. There is a simple way to stop the hostilites. Get Hamas to agree to what Russia, the UN, the US and the EU demanded. Very simple demands. Yet, you are not even willing to contemplate asking Hamas about these. Instead you accuse Israel. This is pure blind racist hate.

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November 12th, 2008, 2:55 pm


37. Shai said:


I believe it was George W. Bush’s administration that recently removed North Korea (what you and I would call a “rogue state”) from the Axis-of-Evil. I don’t know when democratic elections are set to take place in 2009, but I believe Kim Jong-Il was about to announce that, before he got ill… 🙂 As for Syria, I think the list was just a “Contacts List”, not a “List of all Nonrogue Nations”.

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November 12th, 2008, 3:01 pm


38. Shai said:


“… expect Israelis to be nice to people who are trying to kill them.”

No, no one expects Israel to be “nice” to Hamas. But 1.5 million Palestinians are not trying to kill us. So now the question is whether the collective punishment is acceptable. I believe it isn’t. This is a very asymmetric war we’re fighting, and one cannot expect 100% of the population of one side, the far weaker side, to suffer like it does. We are not rolling our tanks through the streets of Gaza, killing 120 innocent civilians, and withdrawing 4 days later, like happened in the last operation into Gaza. That, perhaps, could be “accepted” by some court of law somewhere. But here, we are purposely punishing 1.5 million people, of whom 99.999% are innocent, because they are not “controlling” Hamas. You can’t do that. Show me ONE war, where 100% of the enemy’s civilian population was punished in such a way.

This is more reminiscent of a thousand years ago, when armies would surround a city completely, and cut off all contact with the outside world, until the population or their leaders capitulated. They then entered, ransacked the place, and made it theirs. But this is not some medieval “city” with 2,000 people, it’s a stretch of land that is the most densely populated area in the world, with 1.5 million civilians. We are suffocating them. Because you don’t see little African children with hungry bellies in video footage from Gaza does not mean many are not nearing starvation. And even if they do manage to not starve, I can guarantee you they are not eating as well as you and I are. If it was Hezbollah that was cutting off our electricity, gas, basic medical and food supply, to the entire country, at will, in response to $10 rockets we were lobbing into empty S. Lebanese fields, we might refer to their action as something other than “accepted warlike behavior”, don’t you agree?

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November 12th, 2008, 3:17 pm


39. Alia said:


Most people with good thoughts and intentions are not activists, so I cannot in any way blame you. The only people who become activists are the ones who see no other way left for them.

I do not see the purpose of making a march on Washington YET, with the moronic “anti-semite” frenzy that it would provoke and the uncertain position of the administration. I also do not feel that violence is the way. Divestment and isolation are going to be the way for now- as it was for Apartheid South Africa…

As for Emmanuel,

You know what…He is disgusting, no matter what his religious, political affiliation or political agenda is. If we as civilized humans no longer are able to take the measure of a man’s character by his behavior, then we are hopeless. Whatever the content, such is the father and such is the son. Mr. Obama who evidently has been known to insist on a reasonable and propre demeanour has chosen someone who is, by all accounts,ill-mannered, and a highly unstable character to do his dirty work- The whole thing speaks volume about the president-elect himself..fascinating.

None of it will be resolved immediately, but nothing will be lost either.

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November 12th, 2008, 3:34 pm


40. Shai said:


Good evening/morning! It’s the “numbness” or apathy that worries me. What if tomorrow morning, a dirty-bomb with enriched uranium went off in the heart of Tel-Aviv, and 50,000 people died. Suspecting Iran, Israel punishes the Islamic Republic harshly, and sends the entire region aflame, where many more tens of thousands die. And then, a year from now, we all learn that a desperate young man from Gaza, managed to receive this bomb from Al-Qaida, who bought it from someone in Kazakhstan. And then we discover, that the suffering of 1.5 million people was so unbearable, that this drove the young man to do what he did.

What will we say – “we didn’t know it was so bad…”? I remember another people, who 63 years ago said the same, after their nation was completely destroyed and taken over by foreign armies, and the horror of their leaders, and the blind eye of their population were uncovered. In Gaza, we should all know. And if we don’t, we should find out. This isn’t genocide, but it is criminal behavior in every sense possible.


We can blame God almighty himself if we want, but it is still our choice, whether to punish these civilians, or not. We don’t need to reward Hamas, but at least open up supply to the civilians, via Egypt, or the seaport

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November 12th, 2008, 3:45 pm


41. swerv said:


i think we were in agreement. im not sure that you finished reading my post.

i sometimes wonder if you don’t scan the posts quickly in order to make a machine gun response to every percieved line of attack from the posters on the ‘other’ side.

mores the pity. you could find a lot more sympathy by exercising a little more care.

i do agree that the person responsible for the apology ought to be the father. but in that case, we would go after every private citizen for making an offensive remark- which we don’t really do in open societies. we go after public officials.

emmanuels father is not a public official. emmanuel should not be responsible for the ‘sins’ of the father. this should be our line.

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November 12th, 2008, 3:48 pm


42. AIG said:


The conflict has been going on decades and looking at one instant out of context is another form of antisemitism.

The Palestinians voted for Hamas, not all of them, but they certainly bear responsibility for Hamas being in power. In fact, all the antisemites who want to put economic sanctions on Israel support this argument. Since this is collective punishment, they must believe all Israelis should suffer. So why not all Palestinians?

Are you joking asing for one example of war where all the population suffered? Japan and Germany WWII, Vietnam, Iraq, Kuwait, Serbia, Chechnya and the list can go on forever.

Most of the people in the world are not eating as well as you and me. So what? Most other people in the world are not trying to kill me. If we elected a government whose policy was to lob $10 rockets at Lebanese civillain centers, the Lebanese government would have the responsibility of bringing this to a halt including shutting electricity. It is much better than killing people.

To me, the reation to Gaza proves the true extent of double standards antisemitism prevalent in the so called “progressive” movement. They judge Israel in absolute terms and then recommend solutions that are exactly collective punishment. I can’t believe you are buying into this racism.

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November 12th, 2008, 3:50 pm


43. Shai said:


We don’t need to reward Hamas by giving it gas and electricity, if there are alternatives, such as Egypt. Once Hamas decided not to talk to us, after it was elected, Israel should have declared that over the next 24 months, a gradual reduction down to zero in gas and electricity, and basic supplies, would take place. This would have enabled the Palestinians to make arrangements with Egypt, or elsewhere via their seaport. It would have sent a very clear message to Hamas, and I believe internal pressure would have been a thousand times more efficient upon Hamas to speak to Israel, than by collective punishment like we’re doing now, demonstrating yet again how at a click of a button, we can and do control the lives and fate of the Palestinians. This doesn’t make a poor man capitulate – it makes him go out and buy a gun.

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November 12th, 2008, 3:55 pm


44. Alia said:

Good morning/Good evening to you Shai,

The only response to the general scenario is individual engagement. Two wonderful examples come to mind: The first is the exceptional Simone Weil who, in her short life and in her writings, attempted to resolve these kinds of dilemna- she, an upper class well-educated French-Jewish young woman went into the mining communities in England, contracted TB and practically starved herself to death in sharing their lives. Her writing although dealing with the issue on religious terms is magnificent.
And Dietrich Bonhoeffer a lutheran Pastor who engaged himself overtly in the Resistance against Hitler and was murdered for his beliefs.

Briefly, the only way to prevent a universal calamity is by individual engagement, we do not have to wait for the millions to move- One positive act never remains without positive consequences sometimes immediately and at other times in the longer term- Ghandi’s example is still alive and well, nothing else works.

Wishing you and all a good day-

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November 12th, 2008, 3:57 pm


45. AIG said:

You are just so wrong. I am pinching myself trying to believe what you wrote. If we would do what you say, Iran would just ship tons of missiles to the Gaza strip aggravating the situation even worse. You saw it with your own eyes happen in Lebanon and you don’t understand it will happen in Gaza??? How much are you willing to delude yourself??? Already munitions are coming in through the Egyptian border, now imagine what a working seaport would enable. Are you suicidal? In the midst of a war, we are supposed to enable our enemies to arm themselves and be a greater threat??? Give yourself a slap in the face and come back to your senses.

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November 12th, 2008, 4:02 pm


46. AIG said:

The moment you showed your true colors and support for collective punishment of Israelis, you lost all credibility. It seems you are not against collective punishment, just against collective punishment on everybody except Israelis. There are many examples of your peculiar kind of “humanistic racism” in history so nobody is falling for it any more.

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November 12th, 2008, 4:05 pm


47. Shai said:


There is a reason no Western nation or ally supported the U.S. in Vietnam, or Russia in Chechniya. You cannot be held to similar standards, because you are in complete control of their fate. When you decide whether they have electricity in their refrigerators or not, whether they’ll have food that evening or not, whether they can move in or out of their cities or not, whether they can work or not, you ARE held to a different standard. You ARE required by law in fact to be responsible for the wellbeing of that population, even if they hate you, want to kill you, and are antisemitic. Enclosure and suffocation are NOT accepted in any court of law, nor in any court of public opinion, nor by ANY of our allies. AIG, I can rationalize bombing Cairo and Damascus and Amman when their armies are fighting ours. I can rationalize bombing villages in S. Lebanon when Hezbollah uses them to send rockets deep into Israel. But I cannot rationalize collective punishment, ever. And frankly, I am quite shocked that you can.

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November 12th, 2008, 4:09 pm


48. AIG said:

First, the French supported the US in Vietnam because they were the reason the Americans were there in the first place.

Are you denying that we are in a state of WAR with Gaza? So what if we are the stronger party. Thank goodness for that. Just because we are stronger does not mean we should be held to a different standards. The US held the fate of Serbia in its hands because of its superior air power. Yet, it won by COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT and Europe supported that war. Why the double standards????

By law, Hamas is required not to fire rockets at us. What stupid laws are you talking about? Laws that only one side should follow? Isn’t that the ultimate double standards? Collective punishhment is a by product of war. It always has been. But when it comes to Israel you invent different standards with slim excuses that do not hold to any historical example. What is happening to you?

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November 12th, 2008, 4:18 pm


49. Shai said:


You’re really starting to talk nonsense now. Because we CAN block entry to the Gaza port of all ships, we have a right to? Lebanon is a nation that allows Hezbollah to exist within it, to be armed by Iran and Syria, to train its forces, and to be ready for ongoing battles with Israel. We certainly CAN close all shipping entry into Lebanon, yet we don’t. We CAN close Lebanon’s airspace, yet we don’t. We CAN threaten Syria with war if any Iranian ship enters Syrian waters, and if/when our intelligence finds such a case, we CAN bombard Syria, yet we don’t. But with 1.5 million civilians, we DO!!! Do you see nothing wrong with that? When you go to sleep at night, is your conscience clean, knowing millions of people are without heat and electricity on a cold winter night?

What is it with you AIG, are you by definition everything that some liberal isn’t? If I care about innocent Palestinians, you don’t? If I stand up for other’s rights, you can’t? Have you EVER condemned anything Israel does, from its 40 year-long Occupation, to the suffocation of 1.5 million people, to dropping a million cluster bombs in villages of Southern Lebanon, to leveling refugee camps, with innocent civilians underneath?

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November 12th, 2008, 4:22 pm


50. Off the Wall said:

I believe that stern letters will have some effect. But a shock therapy in this case is better. I am very inclind to use my resume, posted on a previous thread. Embarras the Obama team and shame them by showing them the absurdity of the remark. It is easier to read by all staffers including the fax machine operators. If many of us write a simple resume like that and cc it to your democratic representative, and if the Obama team receives thousands of these resumes with all the diverse but true “irrelevant qualifications listed” (keep them short), it will be on the news. It has the effect of “self deprecation”, a tactic that is very much appreciated in the US. I Call it the Ghandi-Maddow approach.

However, Rham is not the COS to solve the Israeli Arab conflict. He is hired mainly to manage the legislative agenda and to manage Pelosi and Reed so that Obama does not have a run-away progressive congress on his hand. This disappoints me, but it is needed nontheless. The democratic congress can reach a little too far, which may give the Palin wing of the republican party some significant gains in the next congressional election in 2 years. The last thing we need is a new contract on americ like the one gingrich did in 1994, and Rham, a rather capable fellow, will be in charge of making such event rather remote. He will try to keep the congress and the white house focussed.

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November 12th, 2008, 4:25 pm


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