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Cannon Fodder

This is a very difficult post to write.  I was hoping that the recent incident that resulted in taking Cannonfire off of our blogroll would go undetected.  But some of our readers, including Joseph Cannon himself, have quickly called attention to the deletion so some of us frontpagers feel we owe our readers an explanation.

First of all, I’d just like to say that as difficult as it is to do this, it is even harder to do it without pointing fingers at anyone.  We don’t want to assign blame or point fingers.  We don’t want to make enemies and we certainly do not wish to further alienate some of our friends who are protesting the frontpage by their absence.  The majority of the frontpagers met online and decided that in spite of the hurt feelings on both sides, we would like to forgive and forget and put the whole incident behind us.  The door is always open to all of our colleagues.  We feel like family who just had a bit of a falling out.

Here’s what happened:  A couple of weeks ago, Joseph Cannon posted on the Israel/Palestinian issue.  His position appears to be very favorable to Palestinians to the point of regretting the creation of the state of Israel.  I confess that on occasion, I too wish that God had chosen a different part of the world for his holy land but usually, I’m just joking when I say it.  Nevertheless, it is difficult to talk this way about the issue without being accused of anti-Semitism.  For the record, those of us who met to discuss the issue have decided that for our purposes, the definition of anti-Semitism that makes most sense to The Confluence is the irrational hatred of Jewish people and their culture which may be expressed as discrimination and violent acts.  When discussing the viability of the state of Israel, a person may or may not be expressing an anti-Semitic opinion.  He or she may be making a political comment.  We are aware that there are some groups, even some Christian groups, that would consider such sentiments anti-Semitic.  These groups may hope to squelch conversation on the subject by claiming political opinions to be anti-Semitic in nature in a manner that is reminiscent of the Obots calling us racists last year because we saw through Obama.  It is a very effective way of silencing one’s critics.

We got ensnared in that problem.  Some of the frontpagers of The Confluence have a very broad definition of anti-Semitism and as a result, they felt that the inclusion of Cannonfire on the blogroll marked The Confluence as being sympathethic to snti-Semitic views.  Some other commenters felt that this opinion was unfair and painted us all with a guilt by association to an accusation that was not proven.  Unfortunately, I did not read Joseph Cannon’s post.  Most of the day I am behind a corporate firewall and all most blogs are off limits to me.  I have read Cannon on occasion and found some of his posts to be well reasoned and insightful and some of his posts to be a little tin-foily for my tastes.  But I really don’t have an opinion on his I/P position except to say that anyone who posts on the topic has got to have balls of steel.  Both sides have legitimate points.  Both have behaved badly.  It is an intractable problem and no one is above criticism.  But if criticizing or losing patience with one side or the other makes us anti-Semitic, then I suppose the whole world is anti-Semitic.  I believe LadyBoomerNYC, our voice of Sophia Wisdom, calmed the waters about the whole problem and said politics is one of the reasons why she became a hippy- it’s a lot less stressful.

Well, the long and the short of it is that some of our frontpagers wanted Cannonfire off of the blogroll.  Normally, I would tell them to take a hike and stop bullying the rest of us.  But seeing as Joseph has asked that other blogs not link to him in the first place, it gave us a cowardly way to put the issue to rest.  Or so we thought.  Unfortunately, that action wasn’t sufficient for some of our frontpagers.  In not so subtle ways, they asked us to denounce Cannon and agree that his posts were anti-Semitic.  This was too much for many of us because it implied that if we like Cannon for other reasons we must be guilty.  Many of us were hurt on both sides and tears were shed by those who were accused.  I don’t think I can adequately express the pain.  It feels like betrayal by people you most cared about and who you would never dream of hurting.  Nevertheless, it is what it is and some of our frontpagers have left for greener pastures.  We wish them well and hope that someday we can get back togehter.  But in the meantime, we just need to let the dust settle and tempers cool.

As to Joseph Cannon, he is free to write what he wants.  I think I speak for everyone who writes for The Confluence that we do not approve of anti-Semitism.  We support the state of Israel but we do hold both sides responsible for the turmoil and unrest in the Levant.  The end doesn’t justify the means for either party.  We would not go so far as to say that we wish the state of Israel did not exist because we believe that the state has done much good that outweighs whatever bad it has done.  But it is time to get its house in order and it is time for the Palestinians to disavow terrorism.  People who have stronger opinions have the obligation to back them up with solutions that will defuse the inevitable conflict that results from implementation.

So, that’s the whole sordid story.  I’d like to thank everyone who has written for The Confluence in the past year.  I have enjoyed all of the posts from each one of those truly talented individuals.  We have removed Cannonfire but may occasionally link to him as the occasion arises.  The persons offended by having him in the blogroll in the first place, however, should not expect an apology.  At this point, the damage is too extensive on both sides of the divide.  We either learn to tolerate each other, respecting our differences in opinion and write together or we go our separate ways.

403 Responses

  1. “…that anyone who posts on the topic has got to have balls of steel.”

    Isn’t that the truth.

  2. ty RD for airing the situation

  3. Thank you RD for such a diplomatic explanation of a sticky situation. In all families, there is a time to agree to disagree…this should apply to blog families also.

  4. I appreciate your sharing the situation with us, RD. It explains the recent conspicuous absence of of some of the front pagers, one in particular whom I will especially miss. I had a feeling the removal of Cannonfire from the blogroll and the absence of some of our prominent writers were related.

    This must be painful for you, but many thanks for explaining it to us.

  5. I am shedding tears for the loss of my blogger friends whose voices I have come to love, respect, and hold dear as a result.

    They will never know how much they have come to mean to me personally and I hope that healing can take place.

    I say this with a heavy heart as to some extent we came to view this blog as “family”. I am truly saddened by the split and hope somehow the differences may fade and we are able to resume our togetherness once again.

    I love them and miss them and hope to see then again.

    • Each one of them has their own blog and we have left them on the blogroll. We have also left their accounts open and they can come back if and when they choose.

      • Lord – I missed a little more than a week and was wondering what happened to some of my favs – I’m an emotional Italian who feels this separation deeply.

        It must indeed have been difficult for you to address this here. Thank you for letting us know the story.

        It is indeed, like a family spat that hurts much but we pray it will be resolved in the near future.

    • The very fact that you are back here shows that time can heal rifts in a most welcome way.

  6. {{Riverdaughter}} This must have been the most painful of all your posts. Thank you for telling the story in such a clear and sensitive way. And for not closing any doors.

    This has been a very difficult time.

  7. How dense am I? I missed all of this. Maybe it happened when I was completely out of it for 2 weeks with a virus, and could only check in through a haze? At any rate, this is a passionate forum, and we often walk a very fine line, trying to express ourselves with principled intensity, and to simultaneously tolerate and allow differences of opinion. I know it must be so difficult for you RD, trying to moderate a balance. I’ve seen people project things on to this site, and leave in a fury before. I, for one, deeply appreciate the respect and openness of this place, snarkiness and all.

    • To be honest, I have to give the frontpagers on both sides a lot of credit for expressing themselves *privately* on the issue. Some of the exchanges were so heated that I don’t think the blog could have survived the fallout. It all went on behind the scenes and I for one appreciate the discretion of all involved. I wouldn’t have brought it up except that I was starting to get a lot of questions about it. I was hoping that no one would be the wiser.

      • That’s too bad but it does show what a classy bunch is/are/were here.

      • we appreciate all that you do, and I’m sorry this has happened.

      • I’m very sorry to hear about this unfortunate turn of events, RD. But as they say, this too shall pass…

      • And here I make my small contribution. Throughout my life I’ve had both key relationships and casual acquaintances with Jewish Americans. I can pretty much comprehend the pain which comes from feeling, as an older male friend told me in the midst of severe depression and copious tears, “I’m just an ugly little Jew. That’s all I’ve ever been.” I can pretty much understand the pain which drove a not especially cerebral or religious Jewish lover to emigrate to Israel as a young man and eventually join the dark side (which shall remain undefined here). I can certainly understand all the preemptive jokes Jews of a certain age have long been given to. Combine this with a long ago phase during which I read a great number of novels and works of non-fiction which dealt with the Holocaust, and my first instinct is to defend Israel. But that’s instinct and not thought, especially.

        Like me, most Americans don’t have the intellectual underpinning to make judgments about the Israeli Palestinian conflict, but we can certainly have the simple knowledge that Palestinians feel their full share of human fear and pain and anger.

        Given the age old shifting sands of the Middle East and contemporary competition for the oil beneath them, combined with the human/tribal survival instinct… is it any wonder that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has coalesced into one big sticky Gordian knot, one which leads thoughtful, even very well informed people to become at least temporarily untied and estranged?

        We’re pretty unlikely to come up with answers to the Mideast mess here at the Confluence, but we can at least keep talking. Maybe not now, but again soon.

      • My respect as well for everyone involved for not blowing this in a public feud. I know how destructive those are. I shall continue to read everyone’s blogs.

  8. Thank you for posting this, RD.

  9. The absence was becoming obvious for some of us who come to this site for the purpose of hearing their voices each day. It was becoming noticeable within the last week or so.

    It must be painful for all concerned. It is for me and I was not involved. Sad.

    • It was and is extremely painful. I’m not sure how to get over it.

      • Perhaps the fact that they have their own blogs and we can visit them will help ease the pain somewhat. But it is painful for everyone involved as it isfor those of us who were not.

        Because we have been together for so long, can recognize the style, the passion, the humor, the thoughts that flow from the words that appear so fluidly on this site, the loss is felt twice as much.

        It is as if the stage went dark and a curtain came down.

    • hard to know what to say, I’m glad RD put it out there while being sensitive to all involved, but i’m still not sure what the outcome will be

  10. WOW.

    I had zero clue this was going on. Of course, I’ve been in hiatus for a couple of weeks.

    I’m so sorry to hear this went down.

    • Same here. I’ve been sick and brain-foggy, so mostly the Confluence has been beyond me. I didn’t notice anything amiss.

      It makes me sad though.

    • Me too (had no clue).

      I haven’t even figured out who is missing yet! I feel like an idiot but am glad the mods sorted it out behind the scene in what sounds like a fair way.

  11. I freely admit that I don’t know enough about the Israel/Palestine conflict to comment on posts about it, so I don’t. Sometimes it’s interesting to read about it, sometimes not. I have that choice, and can come back to the conversation when the topic turns to a subject I’m more comfortable discussing comes up. I can’t tell you how often I’ve wished that more people felt the same way about race. Far too many times I’ve heard/read people who have never been followed through a store or mall, or had to consider travel plans based upon the fear/knowledge that the villager/police/sheriffs/bikers in this little town/hamlet/burg, whatever, that you’ll have to pass through might not be “sympathetic” to your “racial specialness,” shall we say, and not be exactly welcoming. People who would never venture into the racially segregated part of their town if the denizens are black/Hispanic/Asian, etc., see no reason that those people should feel uncomfortable in equally segregated white neighborhoods, yet, merely driving through is often cause for detainment, even arrest. And, that’s if you’re lucky. Unless you’ve ever been the only “one of your kind” in town, you have no idea what it’s like to have to consider the implications of that possibility. This is not to point fingers, as RD says, merely to point out that often tolerance is a two-way street. To have the expectation that people who don’t know or understand your situation because they’ve never experienced or even considered it, will nonetheless be sensitive to it, is to set yourself up for constant conflict. So, when people write that black people should get past their baggage, especially in light of the fact that the election of a black man as president means to them that they and the rest of the nation have, I often choose to let it go. How to explain? What is the point? Some of the front pagers who left undoubtedly feel that some here were being dismissive of their legitimate feelings, and, they just might be right. However, there should be no automatic expectations otherwise. Understanding is a process, sometimes you have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, even when you’re the one “wronged.” There’s a difference between deliberate mistreatment and misunderstanding, especially when it comes to difficult subjects dealing with race and ethnicity. When one knows one’s “abuser” clearly means no harm, it might help if everybody tempered their argument with an extra helping of consideration and deference.
    As a poor analogy, if I say “ouch!” when you step on my foot, the fact that it didn’t hurt you at all makes no difference to me. Though it does make a difference whether you meant to do it or not, I’m probably not going to want to talk to you about it if you don’t jump to an apology. Just like if you accidentally step on my foot on the way past, unless it really did hurt, I’m likely to let it go. You still stepped on my foot, though. And, often people in that sort of situation will apologize anyway, if somebody brings it to their attention, just to avoid the possibility of hurt feelings.
    Just my two cents.

    • cinie ~ I always appreciate the wisdom you bring with your posts and comments.

    • I would just like to point out that both sides feel legitimately misunderstood. It would be unfair for one party to claim to be the only one injured. There were a lot of assumptions made that were very unfair- from both sides. I am not trying to falsely equivocate. I am merely pointing out that neither side had a claim to be more injured ot less understood.

    • And there will be no apology.

      • no one should expect one.R.D. you handled it perfectly.
        we are different.thank goodness,what a dull. dull world it would be if we were all clones..
        variety is the spice of life..

    • I stay out of those discussions for the same reason. It’s just not a topic I know well. It seems to me that both sides are right and both sides are wrong. And there’s no compromise in sight.

      Your comment reminded me of the time a black guy I worked with mentioned being afraid to drive alone whenever he had to travel through “the South.” I’ll never forget the look on his face when I replied: Really? That’s how I feel every day.

      • gxm17, nobody ever thinks about the fact that a woman alone is likely to be uncomfortable to find herself in a deserted parking garage with a strange man of any age or race.

        • that is amazing isnt it ?? I have yet to find a man that gets why a woman alone parks under a light in a parking lot after dark. And even after you explain , some of them still do not get it .

          • I get the same reaction from male colleagues, Swanspirit. They don’t get it.

      • “both sides are right and both sides are wrong. And there’s no compromise in sight.”

        Interestingly, this is how my Israeli friends seem to think of it, too. But they may not be a representative sample.

    • Cinie;
      I deeply appreciate your expression of empathy. My father was Jewish and my mother was Italian catholic .. I “pass” because i am a blue eyed blonde , until I open my mouth . Because my father was a sincere person ( a mensch actualy ) , his children went to catholic schools as promised , and endured being taught hatred of those Jews the ” Christ killers”. I never know where the next bit of antisemitism will rear its ugly head. , even the obtuse remark from people I think are friends.
      So perhaps the feelings engendered by anyone saying someone , anyone, has any or no right to be anywhere at any given time , given the history that we know produced the holocaust, cannot be appreciated by someone who does not walk in the same shoes. No matter how many qualifications are offered with that statement , I promise you it is a statement that produces fear.
      Simply reading Mr Cannons comments here gave me a sick feeling at the pit of my stomach . The only reason I would read further comments by him would be to take his measure on how far he would be willing to go with that “logic” and what he thinks the follow up to that premise might be. I do understand that marginal antisemitism is becoming trendy in this country . I get that . I also know from first hand experience that a great deal of it never went away .

      Native Americans were told they had no right to their own land by the same reasoning . They still are being told that by people who have no right to do so .

      • Must have been difficult for you.

        his children went to catholic schools as promised , and endured being taught hatred of those Jews the ” Christ killers”.

        Having been raised in a staunch Catholic family, never missing a Mass or catecism, I’m shocked. Not once in all those years of the church being such a deep part of my life did I ever, ever hear any words spoken against any other religion. It was the one thing about the Catholic church I found reason to be proud of.

        I do understand that marginal antisemitism is becoming trendy in this country .

        Now, that frightens me. What is marginal antisemitism? If it is disagreeing with a political decision made by the leader of the country, then this country is going to have greater problems with labels. We all disagree with Bush and Obama, so are we marginal anti-american or full-blown anti-americans?

        • I am glad there were catholics somewhere who did not experience being told that the JEWS killed christ …
          I remember that the blatant antisemitism of the RC did not even begin to ease off until the The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council Opened Under Pope John XXIII in 1962
          Closed by Pope Paul VI in 1965

          when a “dialogue” was opened with the jewshttp://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/v9.html

          as for marginal antisemitism , I mean that it begins in on the margins of discussions disguised as political dialogue …

          • Thanks. I was afraid the 2008 campaign use of horrible labels was opening doors to expand prejudices.

            I was raised in the west and was always astonished by how protestants were so openly hateful toward the Catholics since I hadn’t been introduced to that in my own church. We had neighbors who wouldn’t hesitate to insult us for our religion.

          • And let me add, I remember that so vividly , because my baby sister was so proud that it was ok to be part Jewish; and “acceptable” that she went and bought a matching Cross and Star of David to wear on a necklace …. she was so proud …

          • I don’t doubt you at all. As an adult, when the reborn movement became such a popular thing I remember vividly hearing reborn Christian’s actively and openly hating the role the Jewish people had played in the death of Jesus, and I stood very firm against their prejudices. Had that been part of the church I was raised in I doubt I would have fought with them. But, I have learned over the years that attitudes change dramatically by region in this country.

          • Remember Sinead O’Connor ripping up the Pope’s picture on SNL? She explained she did it to protest the Catholic Church’s anti-semitism. Of course her intent got lost in the ensuing brouhaha.

      • I feel for you, becuase some of the comments were very hard to take for those of us with mixed family trees (in this case – protestant and catholic – the reformation lives on). Fortunately, these voices were the minority.

        In our catholic grade school we were encouraged to respect and understand other faiths and often had local rabbis and ministers guest speak in religion classes. In fact it was not unusual to find them just stopping for a visit if the bishop was at the school that day since for several churches, temples and synagogues were in walking distance of the school. We were also taught that Christianity (and therefore Catholicism) were offshoots of Judaism and that we should remember those ancient ties. But there were always a few who felt it was their way or the highway.

        When we hit high school,where students came from numerous catholic grade schools, our classmates were often surprised to find that comparative religion studies and the humanities were to be the norm.

        Our field trips often included visiting the shrines and places of worship of a wide range of religions including many outside the Judea/Christian philosophy. Fortunately, these visits never lead to a major faux pas. Manners always won out in the end. Showing disrespect to elders and/or others in a place of worship seemed to trump all the other cards in terms of being a major NO NO.

    • I have a 1939 World Atlas thathas that whole area labeled “PALESTINE”. Prior to 1947 (by admission to the United Nations) for hundreds of years, there was no state of Israel. There is much literature on the formation and emergence of Israel which conversely diminished and displaced/dispersed Palestinians. Aside from the continuing violence, one major sticking point is compensation for the Palestinian real estate properties appropriated by Israel.

    • Thanks, Cinie – I “got” it a number of years ago when I was going to an event with my friend Barbara who is and African American – she asked that I drive – not a problem but she continued to explain that we were going through an area where the police regularly stopped any AA as they drove through and we would not be stopped if I was the driver.
      That conversation put a lot in perspective for me. It has stayed with me all these years.

  12. I like to come here because it feels like family. We really went through it last year and this blog was for some of us our only safe place.

    I hope that time resolves this like in the past when tempers flared and feelings were hurt… we go away and lick the wounds and then come back home.

    I’m glad the door is left unlocked and a light is on.

  13. The content of the diary posts, the comments that follow, the discussion or debate that more than often takes place, the feeling that you could express yourself as well as the speaker of the piece, this is the magnet that draws.

    We cannot possibly all agree in unison on every issue that is presented, but the underlying qualities of fairness and decency is what makes the blog different. At least from my vantage point.

  14. Throwing around charges of anti-Semitism is as bad as throwing around charges of racism.

    I read Cannonfire on the subject. I used to link to Cannonfire from here, so I was well aware he was gone as a direct result of his comments on I/P. I found nothing in his column to be anti-Semitic, that is, anti-Jewish. It is a legitimately defensible position to be against the State of Israel. I do not agree with Cannonfire, but that guy is someone I would trust in a heartbeat. He knew what was sure to follow. He spoke what he thought anyway. I can’t say much more on the subject or someone will be labeling me – and I don’t cotton to being labeled.

    RD, I applaud you on explaining. I could not believe that you would remove Cannonfire for that column. I don’t know you, but I appreciate your sense of decency and fair play. It wasn’t so long ago that this site was accused of racism. I am so impressed with your intellect and sensitivity. Thank you for explaining and for coming to a painful, but absolutely necessary resolution. Kudos from me, a very old PUMA hippie.

    Now I’ll fade back into oblivion.

    • Well said. His comments were strictly political and not personal. As time progresses, I think TC will find the absence of those who wanted to unjustly label and condemn a positive happening. Joe isn’t the first, but I hope he is the last and the remaining folks at TC are focused on their mission of holding O’s feet to the fire.

  15. I have a beef with Cannonfire because when I attempted to comment, I was accused of being a propagandist for Israel. It is one thing to discuss an issue on a blog and another to stifle dissent by removing comments and by calling commenters who disagree names. I rarely visit Cannonfire any more because his attitude reminded me too much of the Obama-favoring sites I have been kicked off of. It isn’t pleasant when someone is in the tank for anyone, whether Palestine or Obama. On my campus, I see photo walls promoting the issues of Palestine regularly and never see anything comparable supporting Israel. My colleagues are pro-Palestinian. I hear people equating Israel’s interests with conservatives and evangelicals. There is no more balance on this issue than there was during the campaign about Obama. I can’t read a blog like that, even if I am interested in posts on other topics. I’m not a “front-pager” but I do want to point out that this issue involves those who read regularly and comment too.

    • Then I am sure you understand what it is like when someone has a difference of opinion and can’t discuss something without another party insisting on the rules of engagement.

    • I have a beef because it’s so difficult to comment at Cannonfire.
      Although, I enjoy his writing, he does go a bit too far about Israel and has a wee problem with “the ladies.”

  16. Jeez, I didn’t expect to be the subject of a post here. I had asked about this privately. Riverdaughter’s reasons seem fine to me. My only worry was that I had been delisted because I had gotten dull.

    I should clarify my position on Israel even though I seem to have clarified it dozens of times by now.

    I do not view myself as an anti-Semite. My stepfather was Jewish, my friends have usually been Jewish, and most of the people I have greatly admired in history — from Mahler to Jack Kirby — were Jewish.

    Like a lot of people, I’ve given up on the two-state solution to the Israel/Palestinian problem. That solution seemed possible in the cold war world, but not in a single-superpower world. The single-state solution would give everyone ruled by the Israeli government equal voting rights, regardless of race or religion. In a true democracy, everyone would have protection.

    We frequently hear that this would mean the end of Israel — by which is meant, the end of the concept of a Jewish state. Fine by me. The idea of a “Jewish state” is as abhorrent to me as is the idea of an Islamic state or a Catholic state or a Hindu state. It’s a 19th century concept which threatens to destroy a 21st century world.

    I’ve also been unafraid to state the view that no Jew ever had a right to live there — not Solomon, not Jesus, not David Ben Gurion, none of ’em. My reasons for this view will be clear to any non-theist who reads the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges. I also am quick to point out that I have no particular right to be parking my ass on Chumash territory.

    Yet here I am, here we are, right or no right. History has put us where it has put us. The way to make the best of it is to embrace democracy, and to eschew any form of government that permits ethnic cleansing, genocide, or racism.

    The “terrorism” of the Palestinians is insignificant compared to what most Americans would do if a racist foreign power deprived them of sovereignty.

  17. Mr. Cannon, your points would make perfect sense if the Holocaust had never happened.
    But it did.
    A Jewish State was the only atonement the civilized world could make.
    That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t hold Israel accountable for its mistakes and, yes, atrocities.

    • Wrong. The world did not owe Israel a Jewish state. It owed them a state to call their own. They had a choice to make it secular or religious in nature. They made a choice and live with the consequences.

      • I guess I fail to see the difference. I meant a home for Jews and I stand by that.

        • Let’s say you were an atheist and a bunch of busybodies gave your country over to a bunch of fundamentalist Mormons who believed that you had to be a member in good standing of the LDS church in order to be a citizen and told you they were now running all of the governmental institutions. Sort of like the Handmaid’s Tale. How long would it take you to assemble your own secret army?

          • Israelis could make Israel a secular state, today, the Palestinians would still want to “drive them into the sea.
            The eternal conflict is about land, not religion.
            At least, that’s how I see it.

          • God, there are so many misconceptions about what Israel is and is not, what it does and doesn’t do. Which is why it’s very dangerous to have pro-Israel people flee the site.

            I admit that as a Jew who believes in Israel wholeheartedly, emotionally, (and I would prefer that it was some other location, too, since I don’t believe people can ever “know” what God intended, or if there is a God – and if it was near Hawaii or even California I would probably move there in a second, but it’s not and never will be given to the Jews), (sorry long runon sentence), that I don’t know enough about the origins of Israel, either.

            But I do know one important thing. Everyone is free to practice or not practice as they see fit. There are many atheist Jews, and there are Jews who became Buddhists and Hindus, as so many “hippies” here do.
            There are practicing Christians.

            And most important, Muslims who live there are free to practice their religion. That was one of the important tenets Israel was founded on. So I’m kind of shocked that there are so many people who believe there is not religious tolerance. At the beginning they wanted their Arab neighbors to stay and build the country with them. It would be a Jewish country, since most other countries are Christian. And any Jewish person is considered a citizen (right of return), but with tolerance and respect for rights of all other religious practices. And Jews have always lived there. My grandparents spoke about Palestine long after the name changed to Israel, because it was always Jews lived. And it was British. Not Muslim or Jewish. It was British.

      • I was going to wait until I read all the comments to post on a very painful and difficult topic. Part of the difficulty is that there is so much information that both sides are unaware of. First, Israel is a secular state. There are many atheist and agnostic Jews there, and there’s no state religious policy. Beliefs run the gamut, though the right-wing Orthodox group has way more children, as are the Palestinians, so those segments are growing, resulting in more polarization, ugliness, and pain.

        I’m very sad to hear that people have left (I can think of two, I wonder if there are more.) I fear that I’m the only Jewish person left on the site, and wonder if there will be anyone to support me if I post on this topic, though I was glad to read some of the comments that did support Israel.

        First I want to say that I think Israel has been wrong in some of its policies. Because there’s so little clear reporting I’m not sure which ones, but I am clear that I hate to see them responsible for the deaths of innocents, including children. To me that’s not just evil, but also stupid. No nuance there. That has to change.

        Aside from that, Jews have been in that part of the world since before their written history, which began more than 5,000 years ago. Yes, more than 5,000. The start of Islam, which began with the life of Mohammed, was about 1200 years ago, if that much. So just that alone, tells me that someone who says that Jews don’t belong there is anti-semitic.

        And that’s the problem, or one of many. Cricitcizing the policies of Israel is necessary. But most of the criticism is based on false information and hatred of Jews. In the midst of all the pain lately, the fall of the economy, the probable end of the business I’ve supported myself with, the possible end of my fourteen relationship (in big part due to stress about our very conflicting positions on Obama), seeing this growth of ugly and scary anti-semitism on the internet, is equally painful.

        I have always liked cannonfire, it satisfies the radical leftist in me. I stoppped going there after I saw the Israel opinions. I have been even more apalled at Larry Johnson on No Quarter re Israel. His whole tone is so filled with hate, and it seems directed at me. Because it is, and at every Jew, whether he admits it or not. Comparing this to accusations of racism by obamas isn’t the same, because we never spewed hate at anyone but the biracial candidate, never about race.

        This is already way too long. I’ve been holding back writing on this topic, as have everybody else. I noticed this, too, and thought it was a good thing. I would like to hear from the people who left, and know this could open an ugly Pandora’s box. It certainly isn’t the first controversial topic, and appreciate the tact with TC has dealt with most of them. It’s a fine line dealing with any of these topics.

        Maybe that’s why it has to be dealt with, someplace like here. Or maybe not. I’m not sure. But it has to be dealt with somewhere if we want to exist.

        • Thank you, Speaktruth – as a non-Jew surrounded by many caring Jews whom I love as family – I have never understood anti-semitism, or racism either – but then I’ve never been able to deal with anyone who nurtures prejudice of any kind – I guess I just don’t get it.

          I can understand people not “liking” certain individuals but a whole body of people???? I just don’t get it.

          Maybe that’s very naive of me but even at this ripe, old age I still just don’t get it.

    • The problem with that idea is that the “atonement” came at the expense of the Palestinian people who did not commit the Holocaust nor did they receive compensation.

      • That’s true and there lies the hellish connundrum.

      • Precisely. It’s not like the Palestinians put up their hands and said “Ooh, pick us!” While I can understand wanting to provide a homeland as atonement, shouldn’t atonement have something to do with guilt? Or with WANTING to make restitution? Why not make a homeland for the Jews in Wyoming?

        • Iranian President Ahmadinijad said on 60 minutes a few years back that since the Germans were the guilty party in the holocaust, why not cut out a piece of Germany to create Israel? What he says when he’s not denying the holocaust entirely.

  18. Joseph: Well, I can certainly see why some of our frontpagers were offended. BTW, you should see the NOVA episode on who wrote the Bible. There was no “Exodus” or at least not a big one. The Jews have a right to Israel because they were *always* there since time immemorial. And so do the Palestinians. The only ones who don’t belong are the Egyptians. Therefore, it behooves the Jews and Palestinians to work together for the benefit of all Canaanites. I have to agree though that making Israel a Jewish state, no matter what the reasons were, justified or not, was probably a really huge mistake that only made the problem worse. i understand why they felt they needed to do it but if you go down that road, you should understand what you’re getting yourself into. None of the resulting resistance should come as a surprise.
    Of course, the resulting resistance could have been handled better too. Like I said, a pox on both of their houses. Nevertheless, Israel is here to stay like it has been around for thousands of years.
    As for anti-semitism, you don’t have to be the child of a holocaust survivor to know what that is. My own grandfather was forced to reject his jewish heritage by his grandparents who raised him. They made life so hard on him for being Jewish that he never told a single soul until he was over 80 years old. When he went to the hospital as an adult, he refused to take off his underwear in front of medical staff because he didn’t want anyone to know he was circumcised.
    Now, I grew up not ever knowing that I was even an eighth Jewish. When fear of abaondonment and retribution makes you that afraid to say anything, then I think my own American grandfather knew damn well what anti-semitism was. I don’t think I need a lecture on the subject from anyone.

    • Well, I personally would prefer a Jewish state in North America. Hey, why not? Let’s tear some territory out of my own state, California. (If I actually were an anti-Semite, I’d say anywhere else, but I’m not so I won’t.)

      How about all the land between Redlands and the ocean, including the Trinity river? Gorgeous territory. Largely undeveloped. Lots of resources. Water. Timber galore. Plenty of tourist trade. More square footage than in Israel. Total security. Surrounded my a friendly nation on all sides. The people who live there now would probably sell their property for the right price.

      You can’t say I’m not being generous. This is the most scenic part of my home state that we are talking about.

      But the Jews would not take that land even if it were offered. It has to be the land of the Bible. Millions of Palestinians must suffer because Christians and Jews continue to indulge in the pernicious belief in a rather silly and puerile tibal war-god named Yahu.

      Anyways, riverdaughter, I hope you understand that there are no hard feelings. I think you’ve made the right decision.

      In general, I discourage links in order to stave off the people who say “You’re only doing this for the publicity!”

      Oh — and don’t get me started on Exodus. If I had another life, I’d spend a large chunk of it writing a book about that. I tend toward the theory that the Hyksos were Israelites — in other words, they were not “let go,” they were kicked out.

  19. BTW, riverdaughter, what a beautiful painting.

  20. Wow. I get stuck in some real-life problems for a couple of weeks and all hell breaks loose. Well, thanks for taking the bull by the horns and explaining things, RD.

  21. Me, too, an eighth! Since, maybe, Hillary is too, I ‘m thinking that everyone is.
    The pertinent relatives on my father’s side still deny it.
    Funny old word, in’t it?

  22. I mostly lurk here and don’t post often, so thanks for explaining.

    It is a touchy subject…I guess any discussion that has to do with religion is. I remember when I first learned about the creation of Israel…I guess I was about 12 years old. My dad told me it was formed to “make up” for the Holocaust. I guess I just never understood why we didn’t give them half of Germany. They earned it.

  23. Mr. Cannon makes perfect sense. And he is much braver than I.

    Simply put, two wrongs don’t make a right. Again, two wrongs do not make a right. Just because a horrible wrong was done to you does not mean you can inflict terrible suffering on others.

    A Democratic state and a religious state are not, by their very purported natures, compatible.

    Perhaps Israel should have been founded in Germany, you know, the country responsible for the Holocaust. Perhaps this was all a terrible mistake. As far as I can see, there are two possible solutions (but I am not claiming great wisdom here): let everyone in on equal terms and become a democracy or move Israel someplace else where it can remain a religious state. Perhaps the US should “atone” by giving part of its land to Israel.

    One thing I can pretty much guarantee: there will be no solution without open discussion. Is what Israel is doing akin to what we did to Native Americans? Is the plan to kill off all the Palestinians, a hideous war of attrition? How is this better than the Holocaust? We need this discussion – without being labeled. I have no answers, but if we are interested in stopping death, it is time to reconsider conventional approaches.

    • But a “religious” state of Israel would never accept anything other than the land they now occupy because they believe it was given to them by God.

      • I had no problem with them going back to Israel. They had as much right to it as anyone else. I just wish they hadn’t short circuited the democratic process. Maybe they should have returned and had several decades of rule by a neutral 3rd party before they had any elections. Maybe the Palestinians could have been better compensated or encouraged to participate in government. I dunno. There were too many cooks and pots and too many legitimate claims to the place. It was bound to end badly.

        • I guess I’m curious if you have a problem with Tibet having a right to practice their religion (which of course they are currently being denied) or Saudi Arabia having an Islamic state (which has obviously caused some problems, but it seems to be their right). I don’t see that Israel shouldn’t have allowed themselves to make a Jewish state., at least initially. I hope it evolves to be more inclusive, but I understand their rationale. My father was part of a large Sephardic Jewish community in Morocco. His ancestors lived their since the Spanish Inquisition. They all left when Morocco became an Islamic Monarchy again, because they knew things could become dangerous. A large number of them went to Israel, including my aunt and cousins. It was a refuge for them, as it was to many European Jews that either wanted to practice their religion in peace, or at least survive.

          • woops, there, those homonyms again.

          • I was kinda thinking the same thing. It isn’t like in that part of the world Christians aren’t required to “register” and the islamic regions openly embrace different religious beliefs.

      • [Sorry, I’m still getting the hang of this nested comment format–this was posted below but it belongs with myiq’s comment]:

        myiq: the land they now occupy because they believe it was given to them by God

        It’s a little more complicated than that. Originally the land was purchased. Jews moving in could afford to pay a lot more than the going price, and they were desperate to do so as they were fleeing for their lives. So no surprise they were able to buy land. Eventually the inevitable friction started. It always happens when any different groups live side by side, even if it’s just Norwegians and Swedes. The Arabs who sold land to Jews started being ostracized and often publicly denied having sold the land (I think it even became illegal at some point). The Jews were attacked and in turn wiped out those who were attacking them.

        Of course there’ s a lot more nuance to the situation that I have portrayed, and the Israelis are not a monolithic group with all one opinion about why they are there–there are Arab (Moslem and Christian ) Israelis as well–but basically the Jews are in Israel because they want to survive.

        When I was in Jerusalem I picked up a paper and saw a letter to the editor that expressed it well, “My parents were killed in Germany because they were Jews and they are buried in German soil. My son was killed in Israel because he was a Jew, but at least he is buried in Israeli soil.”

        I am always a little suspicious when motives are ascribed to some group that is not one’s own. The least we can do is listen to the people themselves talk about their own motives.

        • Originally the land was purchased

          I’m not talking about individual land ownership, I’m talking about the geographical location of Israel.

          Are you saying that the Jewish people don’t believe that God gave them that land? Maybe I missed something back in Sunday School when I learned about the Hebrews being delivered from bondage and Moses leading them to the “Promised Land”

          Do you really think the Jewish homeland could be anywhere else in the world?

          • As I understand, the way it happened was that individuals started going back on their own, one by one. After the fall of the second temple there was a huge diaspora, but not all of them left. There have always been Jews living in the Holy Land.

            What if someone started killing Danes in America? Would everyone of Danish ancestry started going back to Denmark? Okay, some of us might go to Canada or Mexico, but the ones who really, really wanted to be safe might go back to the Old Country where they could be sure that no one would ever tell a blonde joke again.

            I think Moses is probably an allegory, but of course you never know. According to the archeology of the region, there was a series of migrations that happened over the course of a hundred years or so, but the OT does describe a series of “campgrounds” complete with storytelling as a memory key for the stops. There was an interesting thread on a linguistics blog about it some time back. A powerful geographical meme, to be sure.

            You could make a biblical argument that Israel was given to the Jews from Dan to Beersheba, but also that they lost the right to the land by falling away from the religion, and as a result getting carried off to Babylon–and again after the fall of the second temple. Losing the land was the sign of God’s displeasure with them.

            I have heard the same argument made by Palestinians for why they lost the war and the land–their hearts were not pure because they did not keep faith with Allah.

          • It seems to me that in this discussion there are a series of facts that are willfully ignored

            1. For most of us Jews in disapora, religion has been for an awfully long time a mesn to maintain our cultural identity. Many of our people died for it at the hands of the Inquisition and not only, but we kept it. IN that regard, I believe that being religiously jewish is not quite the same thing as being christian in a country where being christian des not come with mortal peril.

            2. Jews did not leave in disapora because they felt like it after the siege of jerusalem, and to claim so is ignorant if not malicious. We were kicked out, and this continued with adrian changing he name of the land in order to erase our presence there. That’s not the same thing as leaving of ones own accord is it?

            3. If we want to be very honest, we would have to admit that much of the progress of the Western European culture has been at least partially founded on antisemitism and the exploitation of the jewish population. You cannot fault a group that has been killed for sport for 2000 years for wanting a land of their own with no strangers to oppress them.

            4. Not only that, but if we accept that compensation is owed to the african americans for slavery and the progress the USA achieved based on their unpaid work, then the western european culture and its heirs owe a tremendously larger compensation to the Jews.

            5. If the palestinians’ fight against Israel is only based on Israel occupying gaza and the West bank, how come none of the fought against the Egyptians when Gaza was occupied by Egypt in 1948-1967?

            6. Expecting Israel to submit to conditions no other country ever had to submit is antisemitism.

  24. Wow…
    I had no idea there was anything like this going on. This really breaks my heart. And no wonder, because I’ve only been lurking for the past month or so and this was all going on behind the scenes.
    This really upsets me. I am actually very sad right now. Like, this has completely ruined my evening.

  25. Can anyone provide a link or a title for the piece that caused the meltdown?

    I just went through Cannonfire’s March and January archives and discovered the Arab corpse porn, so I’m not at all surprised.

    • I don’t find it particularly helpful to call pictures of Palestinian children who were maimed and killed during Israel’s latest incursion into Gaza “Arab corpse porn.” Do you honestly think that people should not be allowed to see or acknowledge suffering of the Palestinian people? I don’t believe that the true horror of war to ever be censored, no matter who the victim is.

      • Were there any pictures of body parts of Israelis after a suicide bombing?

        • No, DYB, the Israelis are very, very careful that no pictures of their dead ever get out. That has happened in the past and the Palestinians used it for celebratory propaganda. Can you imagine seeing strangers gloating over flyers with photos of your dead children? I’m sure it’s a decision that has cost them politically, but they have made the decision to protect their citizens from that.

          I’m not sure if it’s a really huge difference, but one of the differences between the Israeli and Palestinian government in the past is that when there was any civilian collateral damage from Israeli military action, the Israeli government always issued a carefully worded statement of regret for the civilian causalities. On the other hand, the Palestinian government intentionally targeted civilians, including women and children.

          When I lived in the Middle East, there was one particularly odious example of a suicide bomber who went into a pizza parlor and blew up a mother who was cutting up a pizza for her children.

          • They don’t have many pictures because they’re are so few dead.

            Bombing little children with white phospherous tends to leave a lot of
            decapitated and otherwise mangled little body parts.

            Interesting how you reduce horrible truth to porn. As if this is just a fantasy for you.

            This says a lot about you.

        • Do you have any idea when the last suicide bombing even occurred? Over 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the latest conflict, almost 1,000 of them civilians, compared to 13 Israelis, of whom 3 were civilians. While you are discussing even-handedness, you might want to ask yourself how many Palestinian lives is a single Israeli life worth. Apparently, 1,000 is too few.

    • Huh. So by your reasoning, “Night and Fog” is Jewish corpse porn?

      Racist. Palestinians simply are not human to you, are they?

      • Joseph, I think you are too consumed by your own strong feelings on this matter to rationally understand Nijma’s point.

        “Racist. Palestinians simply are not human to you, are they?”–JC

        How obnoxious. ^

      • That’s exactly right. People with this attitude don’t view Palestinians as people. They see them as vermin.

        Racism at its worse.

        • Worst.

          I’m so angry right now I want to punch my own computer. i can’t believe anyone on this site would belittle murdered human beings by calling those pictures “porn”. I can’t even grasp that kind of callous hatred towards a people.

          • I think you missed the point. The criticism was directed at those who viewed the images for their own aggrandizement.

  26. I too mostly lurk and comment occasionally. Most often, someone has already said what I’m thinking and has said it much better than I could so I am reduced to nodding and agreeing.

    I just want to say that I’m sorry that this happened and that I hope that the wounds will heal and that those who left will remember what brought us all together.

    Hugs to all who are hurt or offended. I hope that everyone will be able to come together again, soon.

  27. Oh, RD, I’m so sorry that this has happened. I too very much miss one of the FP posters who left and I can only hope that she will reconsider and that time will eventually heal this rift. I also feel like a total fool for not figuring out what was going on and for expressing on Cannonfire my doubt that the delinking was I-P-related and my hope that an explanation for the delinking was forthcoming.

    I think you were absolutely correct in not acceding to the demands to denounce Cannon, but I so wish it hadn’t come to this. There is no more fractious political issue than I-P, and it has been dividing the left for decades. I just wish it hadn’t succeeded in causing such division on this site.

    My admiration for the way you run this site could not be greater. After the offensive accusations of racism directed this site, I’m glad that you did not allow accusations of anti-Semitism to be hurled at a fellow PUMA on another site. While many will undoubtedly find Cannon’s views on Israel offensive, he is not an anti-Semite by any helpful definition of the term.

    • This site is a big house that can accommodate many individual voices. It is what made many stay, because of its very nature. We have become like family. There is much more that keeps us here. It will always be a place to come home to after many roads taken. Thanks RD for building and maintaining it.

  28. Thanks, SweetSue. =)

  29. I remember when I first started attending the Unitarian Universalist Church in the late 60’s. We had a presentation about Israel. Afterword we had no dissenting opinion about anything. That never happened before in my church experience.

    I know it’s a sensitive subject. I know that those on either side Israel/Palestine can become very heated in discussing the issues. Having a rift here just underlines my grave concern that a solution lies very very far off.

    I appreciate your explaining this, RD. I have been missing some voices too.

  30. myiq: the land they now occupy because they believe it was given to them by God

    It’s a little more complicated than that. Originally the land was purchased. Jews moving in could afford to pay a lot more than the going price, and they were desperate to do so as they were fleeing for their lives. So no surprise they were able to buy land. Eventually the inevitable friction started. It always happens when any different groups live side by side, even if it’s just Norwegians and Swedes. The Arabs who sold land to Jews started being ostracized and often publicly denied having sold the land (I think it even became illegal at some point). The Jews were attacked and in turn wiped out those who were attacking them.

    Of course there’ s a lot more nuance to the situation that I have portrayed, and the Israelis are not a monolithic group with all one opinion about why they are there–there are Arab (Moslem and Christian ) Israelis as well–but basically the Jews are in Israel because they want to survive.

    When I was in Jerusalem I picked up a paper and saw a letter to the editor that expressed it well, “My parents were killed in Germany because they were Jews and they are buried in German soil. My son was killed in Israel because he was a Jew, but at least he is buried in Israeli soil.”

    I am always a little suspicious when motives are ascribed to some group that is not one’s own. The least we can do is listen to the people themselves talk about their own motives.

    • So can you refer us to where we can hear Palestinians speak about their own motives? I’m honestly curious.

      • Sandra, it helps if you’ve been lucky enough to live with them, but I read the Jordan Times, http://www.jordontimes.com. JT does report everything, even if it’s favorable to Israel, but their editorials have a moderate Arab point of view consistent with the Jordanian government’s interests. They print a lot of guest editorials as well, so you can get a balance of various viewpoints. Many Palestinian refugees from the wars of 1948 and 1967 settled in Jordan; the population of Jordan is 60% Palestinian.

        For some reason I can’t defend, I also liked Leon Uris’ fictional account in The Haj in spite of his insane dislike of Jordan, mostly because he portrays the situation as being complex.

        • You need to remember that per the Balfour Act and the following, Jordan was created as a home for the palestinians displaced in the creation of what was to be the state of Israel. 80% of the former British mandate of Palestine, which conveniently included most of the fertile areas were specifially put aside or the palestinians. Jordan IS the palestinian state as intended, which many people including Mr Cannon seem to forget.

          It is also worth mentioning that the plans for creating a jewish State in Israel precede WW2 by decades.
          People tend to ignore that as well. Wonder why.

          And at the end of it, until those of you living in America take yourselves out of the natives’ land and go wherever your ancestors came from, you have no right to request the Jews to leave Palestine without being antisemitic.
          Clean up your own damn houses first.

          • Jordan was created as a home for the palestinians displaced
            No. No way.
            1) First, where would the water come from? Jordan doesn’t have enough water for itself right now. When I lived in Amman I only had water once a week. My one liter tank was shared with one other family, but some friends in other neighborhoods had to share with more families and lived surrounded with buckets of water. There were also bootleg water trucks that roamed the streets willing to sell a truckload. When I first moved in I had no water in the tank and had to split a truck load of illegally pumped water with another family for $20 each, about a quarter of my monthly income. Where is the water for another million people going to come from?
            2) Jordan was not “created by” the British. It was created by the first king, Abdullah the First, who arrived in a leaderless Jordan with his army after the Arab Revolt and started holding court. The Brits scurried around and sent one of their dudes over the border to see what was going on. The dude, Sir Alec Kirkbride, said nothing but filed a report. Later “Transjordan” became part of the British Mandate, but the borders were never spelled out.
            3) The Balfour Declaration does not spell out territory. The exact words are,

            Foreign Office,
            November 2nd, 1917.

            Dear Lord Rothschild,
            I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
            “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.
            I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

            Yours sincerely
            Arthur James Balfour

            4) Originally the borders of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan extended on both sides of the Jordan River and included the West Bank. Jordan lost the West Bank from its territory in the war of 1967. Originally the British wanted a much larger area for the Palestinians, including the port city of Haifa. In the end, the Brits pulled out of the country abruptly with no clear plan and the result was the war of 1948.
            I wrote about Jordan as a “Palestinian homeland” here:
            An earlier one in a similar vein is in my URL.

            It’s a really, really bad idea.

          • Would someone take my comment out of moderation at 9:53.

          • The links didn’t come through right. I have a new page with Palestine links, in my URL. The “Jordan stops flirting with Hamas…for now” post is about the unfortunate and provocative “Jordan as a Palestinian homeland”.

      • Yikes, I can’t believe I spelled Jordan Times wrong, here’s the link:


  31. OT but I think all of us can agree to be pissed off about this:

    “Insurance giant paying out $165 million in bonuses” (That giant would be AIG)


  32. This is a very delicate subject and I rarely comment when it is mentioned because I don’t agree with the popular opinion.

    Unlike Mr. Cannon, I do believe in the two state solution. I believe it is possible to have a Palestinian and a Jewish state. Apart from that I agree with most of his views on this matter.

  33. Jewish people have been persecuted and killed not because they were of German, French , Polish or of other nationalities but because they were ethnic Jews. A person cannot change his/her biological heritage. That is why the existence of the State of Israel is necessary. Would Joseph Cannon agree with the American Indians if they told us to get out of all the Americas because our ancestors came from other parts of the world?

    I think there is a difference between the radical Islamists saying “death to (all) Americans” (White, Brown, Red, Black and every other skin shade. Catholic, Protestant, Atheist, Hindu.. Young and old, etc.), and saying “death to Israel”, because then they mean ethnic Jews.

    I do not think anybody should wish the disappearance of any ethnic group on this earth.

    To my recollection, over the years, every time those two nations were making good progress in their “land for peace” negotiations, some lunatic Palestinian group would start attacking Israel again, and the negotiations would break down.

    As far as trusting a “one person, one vote” system in the Middle East. perhaps we should ask Mr. Jimmy Carter how could he help them implement it “American Style 2008”. After all, he knows how to supervise “fair” elections, doesn’t he?

    Israel will stay.


    • Amazonia I’m so with you.
      This is really sad.After reading Cannon’s comments on this blog ,I feel invaded,or like I need to take a shower. I have to re-evaluate whether or not I feel at home here. Thanks RD for sharing the story of your grandfather.

  34. I’ve got no dog in this fight, but I will put my two cents in that I stopped visiting cannonfire a while ago because I felt he was anti-Semetic in his I/P stance. I actually don’t think there is a middle ground to take on this issue. I don’t know if anyone here watches The Closer, but there was an episode titled “Serving the King” where Brenda (and her office) were helping the CIA against some radical terrorist group. One of her guys said he didn’t really trust the CIA so why were they helping them. This is what Brenda said:

    “I know, it is a ‘gray area’. I remember once hearing a speech about what it meant to be an officer of the CIA. And the man who gave this speech talked about the struggle to control civilization and how we are always fighting the same fight. And he used the dark ages as an example.

    He talked about how one side you had the pragmatic King who was greedy and power hungry and basically took advatange of people whenever he could. On the other side you had the idealistic church forcing everyone to follow the same rules and believe the same things.

    Neither the King nor the Church was ever completely right. Both sides ended up doing terrible things to get what they wanted. Really terrible things.

    The point of the story was this, that this struggle from the dark ages had been going on forever. That the church and the King might take on different forms and philosophies, but they would always fight each other. Pragmatists and Idealists. And that most times, you are better off standing on the sidelines and letting them duke it out.

    But every once and a while, one side or the other decides it might be better to just blow up the whole world just to get its own way. And when that happens, you can’t stand on the sidelines anymore. You have to pick a team.

    And so for tonight, anyway, we are serving the King.

    IMO, the King supports Israel.

    • I don’t think you can say that one group is all pragmatic and one group is all ideological. Neither group is monolithic either. “Are all the fingers of the hand the same?”

      But for a long time all the financial support has been for the extremists in both camps, suicide bombers and illegal settlers. It’s time for some heavy international money to support the pragmatists and moderates in both countries. That is how you serve the king.

      (I know they do exist on the Arab side; I have seen them.)

  35. As a jew, and a pro-Israel Jew at that, I am often heartbroken at the abject failure of many people whom I consider to be both highly intelligent and compassionate to see what I see when I look at the ‘issue’ of Israel. Imagine having everything bit of personal and real property taken from you, your children butchered, your wives, mothers and daughters violated and then butchered, and seeing your peoples die by the millions and the whole world ignoring it. Then imagine, after many generations, getting a small piece of land to call your own. Then imagine having a ‘holy’ war ensue when another group of people want that land AND this group of people feel that killing you is God’s will and desire and that dying while killing you insures them heavenly eternity at the right hand of God. Then imagine other peoples telling you that you are wrong to defend yourself and your land. Imagine how you would feel after everything. Truly imagine. Anger and sorrow do not even being to describe the feelings.

    I do not believe that Israel has been 100% morally correct in their actions, but I do believe that Palestine has been 99.99999% morally incorrect in theirs. And if I was a jew living in Israel and someone threatened my land, my life, or the life of my children, God himself could not protect that person. God himself.

    Leave my people alone. Just let them live. Just let them live….

    And, to the person who commented that throwing around the anti-semitic label is as bad as the racist label my challenge to you is to show me the world that cares that someone is anti-semitic and at that point I might be willing to hear you, but now all I hear is static.

    Finally, where should Jews go, and why, if not Israel. And why give them 1/2 of Germany as if Germany is wholly to blame for the Holacaust. What about the USA? What about France? What about England? Who is to say that knowing and doing nothing is worse than starting it in the first place….who is to say that Jews do not deserve more than Israel?

    I do not profess to know the answers to these questions, but I do know that blaming Jews must stop. Hitler started this shit and it must stop….

    • Beautifully written Jenni……………..

    • I am sorry for what has happened and sorry if this is insensitive but Jews are not the only group of people to ever be killed, mistreated etc. Native Americans, the race of black people has been killed and mistreated for too long. Please lets not discuss which group of people have had it worse.

      And if I was a jew living in Israel and someone threatened my land, my life, or the life of my children, God himself could not protect that person. God himself.

      But this is what is happening to Palestinians. Should they just let someone else steal their land or kill their children? Don’t they have the right to fight for what they believe is theirs?

    • Thank you for so eloquently encapsulating the feelings of many.

    • Hitler didn’t start this shit. It’s been going on for thousands of years. The holocaust was horrific and we must never forget it. But Jews are not the only ethnic group to experience genocide. At some point in time, we are going to have to stop making excuses. There are two groups of people who have been occupying the same land and fighting for it for 3000 years. Ironically, they are the same people. Literally. They just chose different religions and could never reconcile themselves. Israel isn’t going away. How do we help the Palestinians come to accept the reality? That is the only question that needs to be answered. Let’s stop dragging Hitler into this.
      I’m sorry if that sounds offensive. I don’t want to minimize the holocaust. It’s just that it’s time to move on and stop using it as a crutch.

      • Actually, Hitler kind of did start this particular shit — if WW2 & the holocaust hadn’t have happened there wouldn’t have been a need for the rest of the world to find a place for all those displaced Jews (’cause Lord knows no country — including the US — wanted them here.) Sure, there were Jews & Palestinians fighting before the recognition of Israel as a state, but it didn’t have the same kind of dynamics that it does now as a direct result of Hitler’s actions.

        • Ironically enough many of the Palestinians were outcasts as well.

          It certainly complicates matters that before the Brits sold the Israelis their land that they allowed this

          During the British Mandate, even well into the 1940s, Arabs were allowed into “Palestine” in huge numbers without visa or passport, especially from the Hauran District of Syria, while the British continued to do everything possible to prevent Jews from entering, even down to the last minute when all attempts were made to deny entry to thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis. Only in 1948 were Jewish refugees allowed free entry to their homeland, and that was because Israel had, once again, become an independent nation.

      • @using it as a crutch@? seriously

        you don’t mean to minimize the Holocaust but then you do just that? No wonder they left.

        @There are two groups of people who have been occupying the same land and fighting for it for 3000 years. Ironically, they are the same people. Literally. They just chose different religions and could never reconcile themselves.@

        actually, this is untrue. The modern day Palestinians did not arrive in the area until the 7th century.

        • thank you, that’s just what i was thinking. move on from remembering and taking into account the holocaust…jeez…

      • True enough. There are all the children of Abraham.

    • Thank-you Jennie here here.

  36. Joseph Cannon: The single-state solution would give everyone ruled by the Israeli government equal voting rights, regardless of race or religion. In a true democracy, everyone would have protection.

    No, no, and no.
    Look at your population statistics. The Jewish population of Israel is for the most part fairly Western in its habits and is growing quite slowly, if at all. The Israeli government has opened immigration to groups not traditionally thought of as Jewish in order to prop up their population problem. The Arabs on the other hand have huge families, in my experience double digits, and their population growth is staggering. In a “one state” united Israel/Palestine the Jewish population would be outnumbered. They would quickly be killed by the Moslems. Just like in Germany.

    • You are a racist. You think that Jews are inherently better than the Palestinians. You think that Jews have a right to drive Palestinians off of their land.

      You are also a religious bigot who thinks that Muslims are more violent than other people. Compared to what? Ever pick up a good book about European or American history? Or Israeli history? Have you even bothered to read the relevant works of Victor Ostrovsky, Seymour Hersh, Andrew Cockburn, Norman Finkelstein?

      Look it up. David Ben-Gurion really did say the following (and no, I am not quoting out of context; the quote comes from a book written by one of his best friends):

      “There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country.”

      What part of “we have stolen their country” do you not understand, racist? And what makes you a better expert on the region’s history than Ben Gurion was?

      Despite the propaganda you have heard, Jews lived in the Middle East for centuries, in peace and largely unmolested — except by the Crusaders. A one-state solution brokered and enforced by the US and the world community would guarantee the rights of all Jews who choose to stay. If they choose to leave because, in their arrogance, they cannot tolerate the possibility of a non-Jew being elected to power — I say fuck ’em. Fuck all racists.

      • You know, the WASPs are dying out too. We’re done for. That’s the way it goes. Is that a terrible loss? Gee, if we all had a bit of everyone else’s heritage in us maybe it wouldn’t be so easy to hate “the different.”

        • even the most remote and isolated cultures came from the same birthplace as the rest of us. we all share the same “heritage.” that’s the saddest part of tribal wars.

      • wow. i now see why you offended so many people. i don’t follow your blog, but do you get as angry at misogynists and homophobes as you do at “r@cists”?

        • No, he doesn’t, especially the misogynists- Mr. Cannon has a rather obnoxious tendency to spout his sexist outrage when a feminist site delists him, using strawfeminist arguments to express his ire at women. He has such a post up right now over his hissy fit at being taken off the Confluence blogroll. He barely even mentions the I/P issue but goes on and on with his strawfeminist attack.

          • I don’t think that was Mr. Cannon, was it? I thought that was a guest post… But then, it did have an awful lot of sexist bullshit in it. Ugh.

          • As someone who reads both this site and Cannonfire, I think you are terribly wrong. Joe Cannon has spoken out many times against the misogyny he witnessed in the last election. Here’s just one example. I could come up with more posts if you need them.

          • I believe you may be referring to tamerlane’s How to Sex a PUMA” at Leftist Rapture.


        • Of course, Cannon applied the term “r@cist” to the commenter only after she referred to pictures of children killed and maimed during the latest Gaza assault as “Arab corpse porn” in an earlier comment. I have to admit that I found the use of that term r@cist as well, although perhaps I am missing something. Maybe you can explain how that term is not as offensive as I find it.

      • Ooh, Joseph, but how do you really feel?

        Obviously anyone like me who doesn’t think all Israeli Jews should killed immediately must be a raaaacist. At the very least the Cannon doctrine must demand that all Israeli Jews should be forcibly resettled somewhere–perhaps by train? Perhaps in a camp? Or perhaps they should just be driven into the sea, as the popular saying goes.

        Summon up all the names you can think to call me and all the swear words (ooh!) and the lists of writers, and quotations taken out of context, and the ad hom‘s, but it’s still حكي فاضي , it’s a totally bogus argument.

        Where is the international law that says everyone has to stay exactly on the same bit of land their ancestors have inhabited for generations? It doesn’t make any sense. Migrations happen. Sometimes it’s crop failure, as when my ancestors came to America; sometimes it’s population pressures and war. People have moved. There have been diasporas followed by diasporas. The genie will not go back into the bottle. Deal with it.

        When you buy property in the U.S. does anyone decide whether you can keep it based on whether your ancestors accumulated enough “goodness” brownie points based on some arbitrary standard? Does anyone say you have to accept being assaulted and killed and having your children killed without doing anything about it? Oh, but anyone who doesn’t think Jews should be arbitrarily killed and forced off of lands they have paid for probably thinks Jews are better than everybody else, right? .كلب

        Britain got out of the business of enforcing the peace between the Arabs and Jews long ago, and was quite relieved to do so. I don’t see that the U.S. has the interest (or for that matter, the ability) to enter into that losing proposition any more than the international community does.

        You don’t think Jews would be killed under Arab rule? Based on what, that Arabs protected Jews under the Spanish Inquisition? That Saladin had a Jewish physician? Um, that would be a few years back, wouldn’t it? I’ve got news for you. In Arab countries they kill Jews just for being Jews, since, like, starting in the last hundred years or so. Look at the Jews in Iraq. They’re being killed now, in an area that’s nominally under U.S. protection, and nobody can do anything about it.

        I’m sure your motives are the best, and although you seem to be one of those self-hating Jews, I’m sure the explanation is more complicated than that. Nonetheless, your views are based on the world as you wish it to be and not the world as it really is. The Israelis are not going to be willing to bet their lives that you are right, because if you are wrong, they will be dead.

        • I should not write this, since there’s no point in talking to someone who hallucinates the existence of words which are at a 180 degree variance with those presented in print (or on screen). But here goes…

          I never said all Israelis Jews should be killed. I said that I think that there should be a one-state solution. This would mean the end of Israel as we know it, just as the end of apartheid in South Africa meant an ending — and a new beginning — for THAT country. Most Jews will learn to accept that one state plan, albeit reluctantly, if equal rights are protected and enforced by the world community. Jews who do not accept the plan will come to America. And f they refuse to do THAT — well, screw the arrogant bastards.

          I do think that the Israelis want — in the end — to kill or to expel all Palestinians. It is the Palestinians, not the Jews, who are being “driven into the sea” as the axiom has it. In fact, the plan has been pretty open for some time now.

          You would already know that if you read some of the authors I have mentioned elsewhere. Again, the authors you should start with are Ostrovsky, Finkelstein, Hersch, the Cockburns…

          And if you think that the Palestinians should suffer for the crimes committed in Europe, then yes — you ARE a racist. Admit it: You simply do not think that Palestinian Muslims and Christians are human. You think Jews are human but the Arabs are not. That bigot in the mirror is YOU.

          I never said I was Jewish. I said I had a Jewish stepfather and many Jewish friends. From these contacts, I know that his “self-hating Jew” nonsense is a common piece of emotional arm-twisting Jews use to try to keep their co-religionists thinking the same way. My friends were intelligent enough to laugh whenever a relative tried to pull that gimmick on them.

          (Evangelical Christians have a similar gimmick: “That person is not a true Christian.” Those words are frequently used to damn anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian yet who votes Democratic or supports abortion rights or goes to a Catholic church or whatever. It’s the same story: “Do as I tell you to do or I’ll call you a bad name.” The trick works only on the weak.)

          Well, by your standard, Albert Einstein was a self-hating Jew, since he opposed the creation of Israel, pretty much on the same grounds that lead me to call for the end of that state in its current form.

          “In Arab countries they kill Jews just for being Jews.” Read your history. Read REAL history, not crap history. Historically, Islamic toleration of Judaism was far greater than what one found in European countries.

          If attitudes are different now — well, why don’t you read Ostrovsky’s books and see what the Mossad has done to the Arabs? Did you know, for example, that the Israelis have a center called Nes Ziyyona where they used Palestinian prisoners (and Sephardic Jews!) as guinea pigs in CBW experiments? Is there any country OTHER than Israel which would cause you to rationalize human experimentation on unwilling subjects?

          By the way, Ostrovsky’s second book quotes Ephraim Halevy (a former Mossad chieftain) as admitting that if the world ever found the true story of what Israel had been up to, the world — including Ameirca — would wipe out that country. In other words, the things I have said against Israel are far gentler than the things said (in private) by a Mossad chief. I guess Halevy is now an anti-Semitic Jew in your eyes.

          Anti-Semitism? In point of fact, if anyone BUT Jews controlled Israel and had committed so much unmitigated evil, the place would have been nuked ages ago. The problem has not been irrational hatred of Jews. The problem has been the world’s irrational willingness to allow Israelis to commit horrific acts of racism, torture, military aggression and ethnic cleansing.

          The difference between you and me is that I read EVERYTHING and you won’t read anything that does not favor your preconceptions. Even when the words are placed in front of your eyes, there is a difference between the words that are actually there on screen and the words that you THINK you are seeing. As your own text proves.

          • “In point of fact, if anyone BUT Jews controlled Israel and had committed so much unmitigated evil, the place would have been nuked ages ago.”

            if anyone but jews controlled israel, gaza and the west bank would have been torched ages ago. and any country helping palestinian terrorists would have been nuked as well.

            israelis have shown remarkable restraint…too much restraint, imo. nothing engenders hatred more than jewish success and israel is the finest symbol of that success.

          • I do think that the Israelis want — in the end — to kill or to expel all Palestinians. It is the Palestinians, not the Jews, who are being “driven into the sea” as the axiom has it. In fact, the plan has been pretty open for some time now.

            I agree with you on this. After their last assault on Gaza where 300 children were killed. I truly believe this is Israel’s agenda. They are going to kill them all

        • “Obviously anyone like me who doesn’t think all Israeli Jews should killed immediately must be a r@@@@@cist.”

          What stupidity is this? I stopped reading your comment right then and there.

      • Would someone take my comment out of moderation?

      • Ooh, Joseph, but how do you really feel?

        Obviously anyone like me who doesn’t think all Israeli Jews should killed immediately must be a r@@@@@cist. At the very least the Cannon doctrine must demand that all Israeli Jews should be forcibly resettled somewhere–perhaps by train? Perhaps in a camp? Or perhaps they should just be driven into the sea, as the popular saying goes.

        Summon up all the names you can think to call me and all the swear words (ooh!) and the lists of writers, and quotations taken out of context, and the ad hom’s, but it’s still حكي فاضي , it’s a totally bogus argument.

        Where is the international law that says everyone has to stay exactly on the same bit of land their ancestors have inhabited for generations? It doesn’t make any sense. Migrations happen. Sometimes it’s crop failure, as when my ancestors came to America; sometimes it’s population pressures and war. People have moved. There have been diasporas followed by diasporas. The genie will not go back into the bottle. Deal with it.

        When you buy property in the U.S. does anyone decide whether you can keep it based on whether your ancestors accumulated enough “goodness” brownie points based on some arbitrary standard? Does anyone say you have to accept being assaulted and killed and having your children killed without doing anything about it? Oh, but anyone who doesn’t think Jews should be arbitrarily killed and forced off of lands they have paid for probably thinks Jews are better than everybody else, right? .كلب

        Britain got out of the business of enforcing the peace between the Arabs and Jews long ago, and was quite relieved to do so. I don’t see that the U.S. has the interest (or for that matter, the ability) to enter into that losing proposition any more than the international community does.

        You don’t think Jews would be killed under Arab rule? Based on what, that Arabs protected Jews under the Spanish Inquisition? That Saladin had a Jewish physician? Um, that would be a few years back, wouldn’t it? I’ve got news for you. In Arab countries they kill Jews just for being Jews, since, like, starting in the last hundred years or so. Look at the Jews in Iraq. They’re being killed now, in an area that’s nominally under U.S. protection, and nobody can do anything about it.

        I’m sure your motives are the best, and although you seem to be one of those self-hating Jews, I’m sure the explanation is more complicated than that. Nonetheless, your views are based on the world as you wish it to be and not the world as it really is. The Israelis are not going to be willing to bet their lives that you are right, because if you are wrong, they will be dead.

      • “There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country”

        THEY SEE…not that it is.

        you are the bigot. you are the racist.

        where was your outrage when suicide bombers were a daily occurance in israel, blowing up cafes, markets, buses, and old age homes? where was your outrage at the palestinian dancing in the streets after learning about 9/11? where is your outrage about the thousands of rockets still being launched into israeli civilian populations?

        i suppose i should not be surprised at the world’s double standards. but i am surprised that this blog would tolerate such garbage spewed by cannon…and i applaud those bloggers who left.

        never again.

        • The attacks by the Palestinians have been insignificant compared to the kind of shit your average Texan would kick up if a foreign people were to invade, force the natives out of their homes and to live in daily misery.

          You are a racist. You think that Palestinians are not human.

          In the 19th century, most Americans used rationalizations similar to yours in order to justify the genocide of the Indians. “The Indians dared to react with violence when we stole their lands, so we must kill them all.”

          You’re on the wrong side of history — and although you won’t admit it, deep down, you KNOW it.

          • Mr. Cannon, have you ever heard of the bible? The Old Testament? Moses? Remember the parting of the Red Sea?The Jews were there?
            Remember where Jesus was born? He was Jewish, remember? I can’t believe you are saying that Jews have no claim to that area. Jews have been there for more than 5,000 years. And yes, many tribes lived there, and warred forever over the land.
            My BF, who knows some history there, says one theory is Garden of Eden and beginnings of Jews was in Iraq. Probably Muslims and Jews were descended from same people. There’s no way to know who had first claims, since no one did. Land didn’t belong to Palestinians when Israel began, it belonged to Britain, who took it from varied peoples living there.. T No one has a clear claim there, not Jews or Palestinians.

        • where was your outrage at the palestinian dancing in the streets after learning about 9/11?

          I was in the middle east on that day, living in the midst of Palestinians, staying with friends in a Palestinian refugee camp, and I saw no dancing. I did see the snippet of film that showed a handful of individuals dancing somewhere in the West Bank. The other thing I saw on television was Yasser Arafat in a hospital hooked up to a bunch of tubes–and donating blood for the victims of 9/11. Blood is a powerful symbol in Arab culture. When they have a demonstration and march in the street, they chant “I will give my blood for X” (whatever cause). Yasser Arafat was making an unmissable statement that he would give his blood for the victims of the 9/11attacks. You don’t see a picture of that in the west, but it is just as real as the film of the three people dancing.

      • Mr. Cannon’s response to me shows exactly the kind of dangers in the moderate viewpoint.

        When I commented on the Palestine question over at Murphy’s place someone named “anonymous” sent me the following email:

        “Get off our blog you fucking arab b1tch!

        We don’t need your kind here! Only American PUMA are needed for our cause, not fucking terrorist wh0re’s!

        Long Live Israel!

        When the extremist haters on both sides are flinging the f-bomb at you, you know you must be doing something right.

        • wow, that’s awful!

          • Yes, it’s really bizarre. I didn’t know there were people like that in the world. I should mention they sent it to the email address on my website and not the one I use here, so they didn’t get my addy from Puma. They went to a great deal of trouble to disguise the IP through a proxy service, so it was someone with skilz and it was someone who knew what they were doing was wrong. Perhaps even someone who wanted to discredit either Puma or Israel or both. Gosh, who might fit that description?….

          • probably one of the antipuma jerks trying to do that so they could go back to their little sites and report on our ‘hatefests’

            although it could be any number of haterz out there, so many haterz, so many hell realms for them created of anger, jealousy, pride … just name your poison

      • then start with yourself, mr. Cannon. start with yourself.

      • Joseph Cannon, I’m surprised at the name calling. I haven’t read your blog, so I don’t know your style. However, I don’t think it serves your arguments to call people r@cist when they disagree with you. It is because we value all people (even women) as human that we have these discussions. There is a very real problem. We need the most fair solution that can be implemented. Your arguments seem to devolve into your way or the highway.

        • Exactly my reaction purplefinn. He seems to delight in shocking and being “edgy.” He also accuses others of arrogance if they disagree, but he seems to be quite arrogant in his own opinions himself. He diminishes his arguments with the name calling, and puerile attitude. It becomes difficult to read anything he writes, because of the aggressive and obnoxious tone. No wonder he alienates people.

  37. The eternal conflict is about land, not religion.
    At least, that’s how I see it.

    That is what many forget. It is not about religion but land.

    • It’s about survival of a people.

      • Where is it written that the people in Israel are more important than those in Palestine?

        • Please look at my post above for a partial explanation. It is a very difficult issue and no one is more important than the other.

          • No. It is a very simple issue. People say it is “difficult” because they know that basic morality conflicts with the “Israel ueber alles” position that the teevee teaches every American to hold.

            Israel has no right to exist. The Palestinians are completely in the right. Whatever validity the Israeli position may have had has been lost by their genocidal, unforgivable actions. Decent people — all non-racists — now demand the end to that evil apartheid state, to be replaced by something better — just as decent people demanded the same of South Africa, Israel’s former partner in crime.

            It really is that simple.

            David Ben Gurion: “There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country.”

            What part of “We have stolen their country” do you not understand?

            If you do not think that David Ben Gurion assessed the situation correctly, then what, prithee, are your credentials that I should consider you a better expert than he on Middle East issues?

            Do you honestly believe that ANYTHING that happened in Europe gave Jews the right to steal land elsewhere?

          • Mr. Cannon- I was referring to my 9:48 post above. I have no credentials, and neither do you. There is a very good quotation from Doris Lessing, “Make no judgement where you have no compassion” . There are wrongs on both sides. Our country was founded to allow religious freedoms to some, and in that capacity screwed the Native Americans. I find the I/P situation similar, except for there were few places for many Jews to go at the time. My aunt, for example, could only immigtrate to Israel as my uncle was disabled, disallowing safe passage from Morocco to anywhere else in the world.

          • Isreal has no right to exist? Then you better get in your time machine and stop that UN vote. I do like how you site to David Ben Gurion with no irony given that he was instrumental in founding that state you don’t think has a right to exist.

            I bet you think you aren’t anti-Semetic either.

      • It’s about the survival of people, no?

        • Ironically enough, they’d survive much better if they’d quit bombing the crap out of each other and rolling over each other with tanks.

          I do think RD has it right that at this point it has to be about helping the Palestinians to understand that Israel isn’t going away, no matter how much they may wish it. They need to learn to coexist.

          I hope that our effort to provide aid and essentially compete with Hamas for the hearts and minds of average Palestinians bears fruit. It’s pretty clear that the Israelis running tanks over buildings hasn’t done the job(and yes I realize that you are provoked when a Palestinian lobs grenades in your cafes and kills your citizens).

          Hang tough. You’re right to tell both sides that the issue isn’t black or white and that sometimes you just have to agree to disagree. I disagree with Cannon(mainly because I want to believe that the two sides can peacefully coexist) but my disagreeing with him does not have to mean he is an anti semite. It simply means I disagree with him.

    • And water.

  38. I hope the writers come back. I think Riverdaughter took a wise position. She is a good Mother and facilitator. I am pretty sick of people who try to silence political discussion. If you don’t agree with someone, too bad, not everyone needs to accept your political opinion as their religion. I have been called a troll and banned from commenting on a couple of “feminist” blogs just because I don’t blindly accept their dogma which continues to alienate most young people. It is sad that some people feel there are political topics that are so sacred they can not be discussed openly. That is not the way to progress.

    • The people who left are the ones who silenced discussion. No discussion was permitted even though their demands were met. All of those writers who have left here have blogs of their own that are listed on our blogroll. You can easily click on those links and read their blogs. No one was asked to leave this blog, even after people were attacked with language that left me (I can only speak for myself) shaken, trembling, and in tears.

      • Looking at Cannon’s comments on this post, his calling others r@cists while being quite incendiary, I’m glad he was removed. Talk about shut down discussion, he brooks no dissension.

      • I’m sorry to hear that. I always like your posts, and you strike me as intelligent, good-humored and sensitive. I have no idea what went on behind closed doors, of course, but I’m sorry to hear that feel you were silenced and attacked.

      • ((((BB)))))

        I’m sorry that you were hurt bb. Sometimes when conversations gets heated people just react instead of thinking about the harm words can do.

      • I agree, the people who left are the ones who silenced discussion. I also believe they are intolerant and overly emotional. Of course, I am not sure who left. I find the controlling attitude just wrong.

    • Out of totally off-topic curiosity, I’d be interested to know what feminist dogma in particular you’re referring to…

      Feminism being totally heterogeneous, so there’s plenty that I tend to disagree with, too.

      • Sandra S: I disagree with the way feminists can not handle being part of the rest of the world. I am offended by the “hate crime” concept on two levels, one when the concept was started women were left out of it altogether and hate crimes could only be carried out against gays and men of color, women were an after thought after the idea went no where. Also I don’t believe in special groups of victims a crime is either horrendous or not and rape, assault , murder and harassment are all already against the law re criminalizing them is a waste of time considering there are real feminist issues that need attention. Another problem I have with “feminists” is when they blindly devote themselves to AIDs as a “major killer of women”, according to the CDC it is not in the top 10 causes of death for women and in my opinion the real causes of early female death deserve attention. So yes AIDs is a devastating disease but heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, etc are worse. I also have problems with their need to remove violence against women (which is wide spread and horrible) from a generalized high lever of violence in society (homicidal violence is in the top 5 causes of death for men) and the problem of violence as entertainment. You can not dissect out a problem from the rest of society and come up with a relevant solution. And I am also disgusted with the cataloging outrage segment of “feminism”. Outrage is an extreme emotion and people who harp on it are going after an emotional rush (FOX news is an example) and usually not much else.

  39. Where is the Cannonfire I/P piece?

    • as I recall there were quotes from various pieces

    • You can find Cannonfire through Google. Once you get to the blog, there is a search box at the top left. I recommend typing in “Israel” as your search term. Good luck!

      • Thanks, I found way too much.

        • I’m glad you found it. I didn’t read the articles. I always abstain from I/P discussions whenever I can. I guess that makes me a coward. If so, I embrace cowardice.

  40. As mostly a lurker, and one who doesn’t even know who is “missing,” I wonder if most of the “frontpagers” are women. As one myself, I have noted that often women can’t put aside ‘the person’ from the debate issue. And feelings get hurt instead of arguments clarified. I have always found it difficult to debate issues with some women, not all, because they think you are attacking their beliefs instead of debating an issue. There is no way that even a fairly single issue group can all think alike. There must be room for dissent. I belong to a group that includes a few people who are pro-Palestinian. I can see both sides so sometimes I have to step back and remember that I like these people for other reasons. They are more complex beings than that one issue. Maybe all the frontpagers will grow from this painful experience and come out better over time. Of course, if you are an Obamabot, I have no patience! So we all have our lines that we won’t cross.

    • Once words like “bigot” and “anti-semite” start being thrown around, it’s a little difficult for reasoned discussion to take place.

  41. I do know one thing…Life is too short. My hope is that we can return in whole to this precious gift of commaraderie in an uncertain time.

    • Beautiful SOD.

    • Thank you SOD. I agree.

    • I have to admit that I don’t know enough of about the I/P situation to have a highly informed opinion. I just know it’s been a mess for as long as I can remember. I also know that too many people on both sides die based on boundaries drawn by previous colonial rulers and interests that have more to do with mineral rights than human rights. Many of the arguments have to do with asserting the correctness of one’s invisible friend over another. It just saddens me when people die needlessly.

    • I agree with you 100% about the impossibility to resolve conflict on line. I’m also not engaging in I/P debate because my mind is 100% made up (I support Israel in no uncertain terms) & no one is going to change it. Nonetheless, I will point out that right now in Germany the bad economy is being blamed on the Jews. It seems to me that has happened before in the not-so-distant past.

      • I thank you, angie, and agree with you. I regret speaking up as I did, but some true colors are now apparent. I will refrain from saying anything more, as my heart is broken.

      • Is it? Can you point me at some kind of evidence? It isn’t that I doubt you, it’s more that I don’t want to believe that, because it’s SCARY.

          • Thanks.

          • I think the world of you Angie, but I think you overstate the case when you say that “right now in Germany the bad economy is being blamed on the Jews.” Here in fact is what the ADL report had to say.

            • Germany: Some discussion forums and blogs made casual linkage between the crisis and Jews or repeated anti-Semitic stereotypes of the “money-savvy” and “financially dominating Jew.” One comment on Ariva.de, an independent provider of financial news, stated: “When it comes to money Jews are always in the say.”

            If comments appearing on a few blogs or one out-of-context sentence in a financial report can be said to represent general public sentiment, then we all can be painted in a very ugly light. Yes, anti-Semitism still exists and may well be on the rise in Europe and elsewhere as a result of the financial crisis, and this should be a cause for concern. But it should also be noted that study after study has found anti-Arab bias to be much stronger than anti-Semitism throughout Europe.

            Earlier you said that you had no dogs in this fight and yet now you say that you support Israel in no uncertain terms. That is where I have to disagree, as I cannot support any country “in no uncertain terms.” Every country, particularly one with a strong and aggressive military, is capable of committing immoral acts, and no country should be completely above criticism.

          • I agree with inky. If anything people are blaming Americans for the econ crisis.
            Fringe groups may blame Jews -but they are just that-fringe.

      • angie, I completely agree with you. Thank you so much for expressing your views on this so eloquently. You said it much better than I ever could.

      • I’m sure the same thing is going on here in the U.S. and in Europe. Ethnic hatreds never die, and I have the same gut reaction to always support Israel.

    • That was well-written. I’d like to see that happen.

    • Amen, SOD

  42. Sorry to know there were problems here because of detritis on another blog. Riverdaughter’s post is truly and fair to the sides. Spoken like a true diplomat.

    If you ever change your mind about running for office, any office, I would like to be a donor.

  43. The long and the short of the whole situation is that if the Palestinians wanted peace there would be peace. Period.

    • Wow. That’s more than a little simplistic.

    • The sad thing is you could say the very same thing about the Israelis. I think there are politicians on both sides that don’t want peace because while there is conflict, they have power.

      • Meh

        The Israelis as a whole are usually reacting when they mow down buildings and kill folk(usually to a bombing). I do think that they make matters worse because they seem to take out far more lives with their response(over react).

    • What total crap.

  44. Since this has been made public, I feel I have to let everyone know where I stood on this issue. The reason I would like to let everyone know is for no other reasons except to have my own peace of mind and to have a clear conscience and to make sure everyone knows without a doubt where I stand. Some people will like me for it, others may not. Here it goes anyhow.

    I wrote an email stating that when one says Israel does not have a right to exist, that it crossed the line and it is offensive and that I stood with others who felt the same way and that Cannonfire should be removed from the blog roll.

    Now, previously I had taken a break from the Confluence for personal reasons, but if that had not been the case, I would have taken one anyhow to get my head straight regarding this issue. I have never called any member of the Confluence an anti-semite and I certainly was not using obot tactics to squelch discussion. In actuality I was participating in conversation.

    So, because I have posted front page this past week, I needed to make sure that everyone knew where I was coming from and not deduce what may or may not be my true feelings and stance.

    • comment removed

      • bb, i never used a profane word, and i challenge you to prove it. this is ridiculous.

        • nor did I insult anyone and that is the last of this conversation I will have with you regarding this BB. I am talking about me here not rehashing what you think are profane words or insults. So please just leave it at that.

        • comment removed by boston boomer

          • don’t you get it, leave me alone right now bb. my comment was about me and my need to explain MYSELF, nothing else.

            now leave it alone.

    • I like you taggles!!

    • ((((taggles)))))

      I still like you. I disagree with your position(not on Israel’s right to exist because I agree with that but on removal of Cannon from blogroll based on his I/P position). I hope that after a sabbatical that everyone is able to put their hurt feelings aside and realize that sometimes when conversations get heated and people get passionate about their positions they can forget that they are talking to people whomay feel equally passionate about their viewpoint.

  45. I’m writing this before reading the comments. I’m glad Cannonfire was taken down, for the reasons RD mentions. I remember and commented on Joseph Cannon’s post in question. (Unless there was more than one.) Cannon linked to and partially quoted an anti-Israeli rant by a Hamas leader. And then when I called him on it he called me “disgusting” and went on to explain why he thinks the State of Israel should not exist and should never have been created in the first place. That day was the last day I visited his web-site. And I’m glad his Jew-hating rants are not being linked to anymore.

    • Oh, now I understand… In my above post I’m referring to a post on Cannonfire. But I see Joseph Cannon brought his ideas to TC. Lovely.

    • The vitroile and viciousness exhibited by formerly reasoned people like Cannon and Larry Johnson, are important parts of the difficulty. I don’t like to accuse someone of r@cism or anti-semitism lightly so I won’t do that. However, why this subject brings out so much nastiness and hatred from these two people, even so much EMOTION.

      I don’t think it’s possible to discuss IP without touching on anti-semitism, because they’re inextricably linked. One big way is the double standard, or higher standard that’s applied to Israel, unlike any other country. Another is the reasons for the existence of a Jewish country, which is 100% because of anti-semitism, and the deaths, as r@cial cleansing, which led to the decimation to such a large of the population, with the intention being to wipe out Jewry. And this has occurred throughout history. And it’s the reason so many Jews seem so insensitive or “unfair” when it comes to criticising Israel.

      One thing I had the misfortune of discovering since I moved away from NYC area is that anti-semitism is alive and very well. It usually revolves around money, with terms like “jewing someone down” being thrown about all over the place. I pretty much never came across that in NYC, but hear it lots now, in addition to comments about “cheap or stealing Jews”. Usually from people who are trying to steal from me, and angry when I don’t allow it. Of course, the fact that I’m a woman adds to it.

      • Your experiences outside of NYC are interesting…and not at all surprising.

        I’ve noticed something very similar about homosexuality. I worked on a television show about high school teenagers. There were a lot of interviews conducted with these kids and the word “faggot” is a favorite among them. I’ve also noticed the expression “that’s so gay” come from many NYC acquaintances. They don’t mean it as a compliment. If anyone is waiting for a future generation to make homosexuality more accepted – it’s going to be a very long wait.

  46. Mr. Cannon certainly goes futher than I would go….but what I got from his post was that when a state behaves in a fascist matter , it sets itself up for failure. and is on a course that is self destructive. One can protest Israel’s actions in Gaza exactly because its imperiling itself ….as well as for the sake of humanity and the Palestinian people….

    • I was referring to the original Cannonfire post, not the one on this thread .

      I also was unaware of this conflict and can’t tell who’s missing either, but as Sweet Sue said …….
      SweetSue, on March 14th, 2009 at 9:31 pm
      We all just have to remember the invaluable internet acronym-IMHO.

      Indeed….Alot of wisdom there . The internet is funny because our usual social defenses are down and one can get closer to another on line at hyper speed compared to a face to face mettings ….the the other side of that however is that when conflict comes, it can be so much more devastating. I send blessing to all

    • You’re not wrong. But nobody complained about the years of rocket fire into Israel. I don’t think Mr. Cannon protested any suicide bombings in Israel either.

      • Are you sure he didn’t?

        • In the thread on his blog I participated in he didn’t. When I pointed these things out to him he called me “disgusting.”

          • Well that was rude, I agree. It’s nothing compared to what I was called because I simply said I didn’t know much about I/P, but like Cannon’s writing on other things.

          • I liked Cannon’s writing until his hatred of Jews and Israel became so apparent. I don’t see why saying you don’t know much about I/P conflict should have made you a target of an attack.

          • It was saying I like some of Cannon’s writing that made me a target of an attack. I learned that I am not allowed to have that opinion.

          • I didn’t see the TC thread in question, so I have no idea who said what to whom. But if all you said is that you liked some of Cannon’s writing – I personally have no problem with that and am surprised somebody did.

            One thing I think we always forget is that writing back and forth is not like speaking. The printed word can very often be taken out of an emotional context. The reader will assign a motive that comes from within him/herself, and that sometimes does an injustice to the person who wrote. For example, above BB wrote “Are you sure he didn’t?” when I said that Cannon didn’t object to the years of rocket fire into Israel and suicide bombings. For a moment I looked at that and wasn’t sure how to take it. It seemed like a challenge to prove a negative. The rest of this conversation suggests that BB did not mean anything confrontation by it. But honestly, for a moment I thought you did. Therein lies the risk of having on-line discussions. Perhaps we don’t use enough smiley faces.

          • Sadly, I’m just as confused as you are.

        • There wasn’t any TC thread on this, DYB.

          • Then color me confused about how a post on another blog by a person who has nothing to do with TC managed to do so much damage.

          • Well, I totally abhor Cannon’s views on Israel, in particular his arrogant tone, but I do still like his views on many other topics.

            The two can coexist.
            However, I’m very glad he’s not being linked to here. Though I also think it’s important people like him, Johnson, even, obambots, to see what they are saying – and also to respond. I was glad to see him here today, to reconfirm my take on his position. However, I wouldn’t like to see him here often. Same as I don’t want to hear from Obamabots here.

  47. Wow!!! What a drama!!! I don’t get it. To all the talented writers who left and who are missed: OK, names were called. Gee…. Get a life, get a thicker skin. What do you care what a co-blogger writes. If it is contraversial, so what? Write your own post about the issue. Get a clue. Taking a stand actually means stay your grounds. like in STAY.

    Hope to see you back once the dust settles.

  48. I am not going to comment on the israel – Palestinian problem. I am not bright enough to solve a 60 year old problem.
    I just want everybody back. Everyone of us is part of a whole. We all contribute something.
    There are enough problems here in this country to post about. We are a group who wants democracy back here.
    I know we can not ignore the rest of the world but we can not fix it either. Until the two enemies decide to come together for the good of both no one else can fix it.

    to the posters ” COME ON HOME”



  49. I for one am not offended by discussing a one-state solution. To say someone can’t hold an opinion on this is just plain wrong. But if the only argument the one-staters can come up with is to demonize the other side with a bunch of name-calling and adjectives and profanity, then they don’t have much of an argument for their position.

  50. Oh my. I had no idea this was going on. I don’t recall reading anything here that was throwing insults back and forth so it was all behind the scenes or I just missed it.

    I do read Cannon’s blog and find a good bit of it interesting.

    I recall when he posted several comments regarding the latest Israeli/Palestinian/Hammas(?) attacks. I had the personal opinion that the Israeli response was definitely overkill and needless civilians were injured/killed and that seemed to be Cannon’s opinion also. However all I can do is go by what I see on the network news and read online.

    As best I can recall the state of Israel was created after WWII by the U.N., but there were Jews and Zionists living in the middle East at the time already. The U.N. declaration just gave the Jews a formal state.

    And yes the hatred of the Jews has been going on forever. I recall reading that **some** French king was wanting to make war against someone (Spain? England?) and borrowed from the Jewish Bankers to finance his war. Then when it came time to pay up he conveniently expelled them from France. Nice thing, that.

    And finally, I don’t honestly know who it is that has left. We have such a large number of FPers I’m not sure. I know Gary left some time back but then has been back and commented some. I see he’s stopped again so I don’t know if he’s *one of those* or not. I hope whoever it is decides to come back if that is what she/he wishes.

    • I realize who one of the missing is now. That’s a damned shame.

      • One?

        • BB: I’m going thru my bookmarks and then comparing to the bloglist. Now, I’m seeing a few more. However, some of them didn’t post as frequently as many of you all do so I had to do a little diggin’.

          • As far as I know, no one has been removed from the blogroll except Cannonfire. Several writers have left.

        • I’m not sure why it’s a problem to name “those who left”. I’m glad taggles posted about her position, there’s two others I’m guessing, but I would like to know. I hope they’ll come back and would love to see them post on thei position. As I said earlier, it’s a painful topic because it’s so polarizing, but at this point it’s come out anyway.

          The most disfunction in families is when there are secrets, topics not looked and discussed. One of the both good and bad aspects of Jewish cyulture is that things are discussed, and there are open family arguments. I was brought up with this and have had to overcome my tendencies to let it all hang out. I knew the Israel issue was being avoided and I thought it was probably a good idea. However, at this point, I would like to see a way to debate it, without a meltdown on both sides.

          What I would really like to see is some research and facts about the history. I’ve been trying to learn more for several years, but it’s so complicated. That’s the problem. So many opinions based on the wrong information.

    • Same thing happened to the Knights Templar, but they were monks. They wanted a separate state, too, Cypress or Languedoc, France.

      • I’d like a separate state for reasonable people and atheists. I’m thinking Tahiti would be a good location. Do you think I could convince the United Nations to let Reasonable people have Tahiti?

  51. Agree with JulieS9164
    “If the Palestinians wanted peace there would be peace”

    • I am sure that SOME of the Palestinians would be more than happy to see peace. Sadly, they are not easy to sort out from the ones who don’t and some of the extremists have managed to wrest a portion of control(Hamas).

      I imagine living in portions of Palestine would be like living in a portion of our country controlled by gangs. You’d have innocent folks afraid to speak up out of fear for their family and lives. Couple that with the fact that the extremists over there are benefactors creating hospitals and schools(while the Israelis destroy neighborhoods)and you can almost understand why most of us don’t see the I/P conflict in terms of black and white but in terms of gray.

  52. and also BB, I don’t usually get on here until late in the evening, and sometimes during the day. That means that at times I’ve got 3 to 6 posts to catch up on, and sometimes they don’t get caught up.

    • Well, I’m glad to see you here. You are one of my favorite commenters. I’m not usually up this late, but I’m having trouble getting to sleep tonight.

      • You are one of my favorite commenters

        Awww. I hardly say anything of substance. I usually go for the cheap joke or tawdry remark. 😉

        • Maybe I’m a fan of the cheap and tawdry then.

          • It’s a relief valve for me. The primary caregiver thing is getting to be a bigger and bigger…for lack of a better word-burden.

            And the momster and I had a long talk this evening about what happens when she gets to or beyond the point I can take care of her. I think lately she’s really been testing me and I do believe they do that at times. I’ve been giving her a few simple things to do and she won’t do them, i.e. take her thyroid pill first thing in the morning and give Chloe hers. She keeps “forgetting” and one day pushed her pill behind the salt/pepper shaker. So tonight as I got her set in bed she said” when the alarm goes off I need to take my thyroid pill and give Chloe hers.” I said yep that’l do it.

          • Fredster I look after a 95 year old too, and this blog does help to destress.
            Don’t start thinking your mom is testing you-she isn’t. It’s just the slow progression of her illness.
            Just be as patient as you can and enjoy this part of your lives together.

  53. Joseph Cannon on March 14th, 2009 at 10:29 pm Said:
    You are a racist.

    I knew nothing of this situation, except for RD’s post and Mr Cannon’s various posts here today.

    RD, thank you for providing transparency in what is a complex situation, to say the least.

    It’s surprising that a writer of Mr. Cannon’s caliber would immediately resort to name-calling as he responds to debating points.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  54. Sorry to hear about all of this. I really hope the missing front pagers come back.

    I just wrote four paragraphs on the subject but then decided I didn’t have balls of titanium. Perhaps a subject to deal with another time. I’ll just chime in as one who is for a two state solution. But it seems it will never happen unless it’s pushed by outside parties. And I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  55. As far as I know, no one has been removed from the blogroll except Cannonfire. Several writers have left.

    That’s what I meant but badly phrased. RD said their respective blogs were on the blog roll and I was checking my bookmarks against that.

    As I said in my first comment, we have such a stable of writers here I had to look at that list to see who was on that and had not posted lately.

  56. Frontpagers, your decision was politically correct. I’m afraid that in the future, it will be hard to stand up against discrimination in any form. By the way, it is now the Ides of March, when Cesar paid the ultimate price for “hubris” in being too “kingly”. Even his friends took part. (Et tu Brute).

  57. BB: see my comment at 2:16. We nested that one to the limit.

    • Hi Fredster,

      Yes, nesting has it’s limits–only five levels. I guess you can set it for ten levels or something–I’m not sure what that would look like. I used to take care of my mother-in-law, and I understand what you’re dealing with. She died a couple of years ago at 88.

      A lot of those behaviors are related to cognitive changes that the person really can’t control. The funny thing is now I still miss her, even though she could be a real pain in the butt at times. She was like a second mother to me and was there for me so many times when she was younger.

      I see my dad doing a lot of the same things now. He’s going to be 87 this year.

      • My mother is also 87 and is starting to go downhill slowly….heart problems, falls, etc. It’s very difficult. I try to keep my blog going but there have been times when I thought I would have to bag it, just for my own health.

        Fredster and bostonboomer….we are all under the same stress now….

  58. thank you for revealing this episode with so much diplomacy and understanding, RD. I share your pain from being beaten up over intolerance and as usual admire your ability to sort out what’s really important. I first read Joseph C’s site during the bruhaha about Obama’s birth certificate and was initially not impressed. Since then, however, I have grown to respect and appreciate his insights and courageous stand about the desperate need for democracy in Israel. He can sometimes come off defensive and battered by relations between the sexes but honestly, as we mature through life who ISN’T? How many men can truly understand women and how many women truly understand the life experience of men?? The bottom line is I respect his honesty and desire to understand the world we live in.

  59. I miss our late night “So what’s on your mind?” posts by myiq.

    They were usually good for tons of laughs.

    • Fredster have you managed to work out which frontpagers are missing? (Shtuey, and who else?)

      I agree with you-there has been too much overkill on the Israeli side.

      • Oh Hell, I hate to start naming names but I think also it’s our fave playwright and our legal person from Georgetown.

        I hope they all will reconsider and come back. I may not comment on every post, but as I stated, sometimes I’m playing catch up.

        Oh well, gonna call it a night/morning. It’s been raining here all day and I think it’s to continue into the day tomorrow. How dreary.

        Nite all.

    • Myiq hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s just had some stuff to take care of for a couple of days.

  60. Uh-oh. I’m in moderation at 4:01.

    As i said in that comment I’m calling it a night/morning.

  61. Madamab is missing-oh dear, all those extremely pleasant afternoon posts. 😦

    Earthquake at TC…

  62. I noticed the madamab disappearance a while ago but wasn’t sure if I had missed the reason why. Big, big bummer if the Cannon stuff was the reason for her going.

    Is myiq gone as well? Shit, there go the zombie threads come next election time.

  63. And myiq-sob

    horror 👿

  64. I just visited Klownhaus and the only site he links to is cannonfire….
    Even if he occasionally comments here.

  65. Oh, no, myiq is still here in all his glory, and commenting on this very thread. And he’s still HAWT.

  66. myiq is definitely HAWT! (And that’s coming from a lesbian, if that tells you just how hot he is.)

    I almost wish RD hadn’t said anything. I would have just imagined they were away on vacation or something.

  67. Yup, he’s HAWT, AND he’s very good at taking care of people.

    Hope everything works out swoon.

  68. Maybe between us we can get rid of nesting.

    I liked it to start with but now I think it has really cut back on our real interactions. We used to know exactly when someone had posted. So what if we had to look back a bit to figure out who the response was aimed at – most posters would write who they were commenting to.

    With nesting, I have to click on the recent comments thing on the left to figure it all out. For me, that’s a lot of work. I miss the old days of spontaneity, even though I understand also why people like the nesting thing.

  69. Yes I find nesting an awful time waster.

  70. In fact, maybe I’ll just stop using the nesting feature altogether. I’ll go back to the old way and just bring someone’s attention to the fact that I am responding to them.

    Damn it, I want things the way they were when we all wanted the same thing: Hillary as President!

  71. nesting is ok for people who come really late to a thread.

  72. Yeah, but then nobody else really notices that they arrived to the thread.

    Before there used to be a big, “Hey Laurie! How are you?” kind of thing. Remember that?

  73. Water is flowing under the bridge, scrubs-as they say over here.

  74. Does that mean “it is what it is” like they say over here?

  75. Well-they never really noticed me (except for madamab and myiq 😦 )- but they always said ” hi scrubs!!!!”

  76. Have you been away because of the fires ? scrubs

  77. I always noticed you, Laurie. The others probably did as well – they only said the big “hi scrubs” to me because I was in on all the smut talk with pant-suited loved one, Hillary. You should try her out for a week, Laurie – you would never go back! 🙂

    Pretty soon the day shift will wake up and notice what we are saying. Maybe they will confirm the ones we have noticed as missing.

    A long time ago Carol left. Gary left and came back. Afrocity left and I remember a little bit of uproar about her being a Repub. I’m sure others have left, too, but The Confluence being what it is, I am also sure that many who we think have left are still lurking. myiq – if you are lurking, I have to tell you that “I love ya, man”.

    • Carol left after the election. I miss her. Now that you are naming new defections, my heart hurts. C’mon guys…we can work it out.

  78. No, the fires were way South of here, Laurie. I have just been incredibly busy.

  79. Yes, I missed Carol. Gary had his site -so that was different.
    I have a feeling Afrocity will be back-possibly if elderj starts posting.

    I miss prolix-he was a strong intelligent moderate voice.

    What’s this about “all the smut talk with pant-suited loved one”????? You mean late night regency/little isis? those were fun!!!!

    • ElderJ is still around, with a new name: the commenter.

      We still talk about Pantsuity. We just do it privately. Scrubs would blush crimson if she knew what we said.

  80. Yeah, those nights! When nobody else was awake and we would just go to TOWN being smutty! I remember when RD checked in ’cause she couldn’t sleep one night. It was 3 in the morning and we were totally embarassed that she caught us. I always imagine that she is too busy to read the zombie shift stuff. It got awfully quiet very rapidly that night!

    I miss cheering for a true hero to win. Now we have flim flam empty suit guy as our President. It sucks so bad.

  81. Yes- I think everyone is worried scrubs.

    Anyway it’s 11.50 am here and I must go get lunch ready-bye scrubs, maybe mysteries will be cleared up today.

  82. I think you have taken your eye off the ball….must remind yourselves of why this whole place started.
    It sure wasnt the Israel/Palestine ongoing hatred.

    we now have a President that will say stupid things like this during an visit from Brazilian Prime MInister.

    WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama took a lighthearted jab at Republicans Saturday after a nearly 35-minute press op with Brazilian President Lula da Silva in the Oval Office.

    It came when a Brazilian reporter asked him whether he planned to visit the Amazon. Obama joked: “You know, I would love a trip to the Amazon. I suspect that the Republican Party would love to see me travel through the Amazon and maybe get lost.”

    the ever present lack of humor and the presence of stupidity is at large…I took great offense when I read his comments this am…Can someone call him a little boy trying to do a man’s job? I can, and I will. He seems to never cease to amaze me at his ALL ABOUT ME ignorance. Hey Obama, if you want to be President, then start acting like a man first, maybe then you can take baby steps to understanding this is not presidential dialogue.

    • That is funny although he shouldn’t have said it infront of the Brazillian Prime Minister. I doubt he wanted to hear about Obama’s battles with the republicans.

  83. RD, many times I agree with you, and those times that I do not, I give you the benefit of the doubt. After reading what Mr. Cannon has written here, I feel that many of the things are anti-semetic. I do support Isreal’s right to exist. I understand why some have left. At this point I too am torn.

    • But is it really anti-Semitic? It sounds to me like a political opinion. Before Israel existed, there were people who did not want the state of Israel. The POTUS was one of them. Was he being anti-Semitic for initially refusing his support? (I think it was Truma)( or was he simply being cautious, knowing that there would be a struggle?

      • What I find anti-semetic is how he has expressed his opinions here. That Jews have no claim on the land, saying to give Jews part of California (I found this comment truly offensive – making light of this entire situation), his belief that Palestenians are fighting for their homes and land (its more than that since they want to wipe out Isreal from existence), that and more I find anti-semetic. A one state solution, while not even acknowledging the inherent dangers of having the Palestenians who want to wipe Isreal off the face of the earth, have political control over Jews, is inviting another holocaust. I cannot agree to this and cannot shut my eyes and call it another political opinion. Like Rick Warren, some points of view are not viable political discourse.

      • History suggests that Bess Truman was an anti-Semite. Harry felt that Israel was the right thing to do and so voted; I have never read anything about Harry’s feelings pro or con.

      • considering that these were the same people who did not want to allow Jews to come to their countries during WW2 in order to escape the Holocaust… go figure it for yourself.

      • yes, it really is antisemitic . and even after the horrors of the holocuast were known to the world, there was still enough antisemitic sentiment in this country for the administation; even if they personaly were not antisemitic ; to support the State of Israel being formed “elsewhere” . Why else would there have been a struggle ?

      • I don’t believe someone’s opinions on Israel automatically makes them anti semitic. You can separate criticism of a state with bigotry towards a people.

        BTW, there are a lot of actual anti semites out there who are all for Israel. Some just hate Ps more. Others await the end days but don’t give a damn about the fate of the Jewish people there.

        I think calling people anti semitic because they are critical of Israel’s recent policies, or the two state solution, or even the state’s right to exist is a silencing technique.

        • If one defines Israel as a Jewish state and then states that Israel has no right to exist – then yes, it’s anti-Semitic. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t lump Israel with Judaism and then claim to to criticize the state, not Judaism.

  84. I want all the front pagers back///////////
    I am upset that something that was not posted here and is just one person’s opinion can cause such an uproar.
    If Israel and Palestine can not solve their problem and still keep on killing and hurting each other that is something we can not solve.
    This blog means a lot to me just as it does to many others.
    I feel that these people are friends and listen to each other and help each other. I want that to continue



  85. OT-anyone like to see a photo gallery of furnishings from Gianni Versace’s Lake Como residence, on sale at Sotherby’s?


  86. Good morning. From reading RD’s post and all of the comments to date, I feel more informed. The pain in even “discussing” I/P issues is evident not to mention what happened with the front pagers.

    Hopefully we can learn from each other regarding I/Pas we do from so many other issues.

  87. Very unfortunate turn of events.

    And I understand you position on Israel/Palestine completely. It is in line what many of us think. There is enough blame to go around on all sides.

    I got caught up in this issue years ago while contributing to Buzzflash, simply by linking to a certain site. And, I was pretty much told to stay away from any news from the area. So, this is not a new problem.

    By the way, I had no idea Cannonfire didn’t want to be linked…thanks for the info.

    Now, on to the news….I think Sarah Palin is being undermined by TPTB in D.C., don’t you???

    And remember how the Supreme Court Bush v. Gore wasn’t supposed to be a precedent? HAH….

    The Past Week: March 8-14, 2009 (Alaska Rivalry? Palin/Murkowski; Franken vs.Colemen=Bush vs. Gore?; China Gearing Up for It’s Own Second Stimulus Package; Sen. Gregg’s Parting Shot)


  88. After viewing those pictures from Versace’s home, all I can say is that this is just another example of the acquisition of “things”. Some may view this as spectacular, a tribute to wealth, while I regard this as “ostentatious”. Grabbing, acquiring, and filling an appetite to have as much as one can to demonstrate the ability to own.

    Pity the poor schlub who was hired to “dust” these treasures. Talk about job security!

    • I view it as an aquisition of art , a tribute to some of the finest talents and skills and expressions of beauty of the ages …maybe some those incredible pieces will be acquired by museums .

    • Michael Jackson is also auctioning off his belongings to make some cash. But it’s almost entirely toys and games and arcades and cars. He sure had a lot of crap in that house…

  89. Antisemitism in our culture is not too different than misogyny; some times it goes unquestioned , unrecocognised and even is deemd logical
    this is a direct quote

    Well, I personally would prefer a Jewish state in North America. Hey, why not? Let’s tear some territory out of my own state, California. (If I actually were an anti-Semite, I’d say anywhere else, but I’m not so I won’t.)

    How about all the land between Redlands and the ocean, including the Trinity river? Gorgeous territory. Largely undeveloped. Lots of resources. Water. Timber galore. Plenty of tourist trade. More square footage than in Israel. Total security. Surrounded my a friendly nation on all sides. The people who live there now would probably sell their property for the right price.

    You can’t say I’m not being generous. This is the most scenic part of my home state that we are talking about.

    But the Jews would not take that land even if it were offered. It has to be the land of the Bible. Millions of Palestinians must suffer because Christians and Jews continue to indulge in the pernicious belief in a rather silly and puerile tibal war-god named Yahu.

    lets paraphrase shall we ??

    Well, I personally would prefer an Womens / African American state in North America. Hey, why not? Let’s tear some territory out of my own state, California. (If I actually were a R@cist /misogynist , I’d say anywhere else, but I’m not so I won’t.)

    How about all the land between Redlands and the ocean, including the Trinity river? Gorgeous territory. Largely undeveloped. Lots of resources. Water. Timber galore. Plenty of tourist trade. More square footage than in Israel. Total security. Surrounded my a friendly nation on all sides. The people who live there now would probably sell their property for the right price.

    You can’t say I’m not being generous. This is the most scenic part of my home state that we are talking about.

    But the African Americans /Women would not take that land even if it were offered. It has to be the land of their ancestors . Millions of Non African Americans / non females must suffer because some religions continue to indulge in the pernicious belief in a rather silly and puerile tibal war-god .
    and a link to a lovely and informative little movie

  90. I’m sure the Palestinians would jump at the offer-anything has to be better than living on the Gaza strip.

    • Absolutely !! one would think that the Palestinians would object to their women and children being used as shields by hamas , if they could..

      • I doubt it- they never revolted when they were occupied by Egypt, and there has never been such thing as a palestinian state. IF independence is what they anted, they would have revolted every day for 1300 years or so.

        They only have a problem with the Jews occupying a bit of their desert, not anyone else.

      • Hardy Har Har!

        Exactly what where they being used as shields against, Swan? You mean the recent massive military bombing campaign, which included the use of white phosperous, planned against the most populous, walled in, ghetto in the world? The one that ended in the deaths of thousands of civilians and the maiming of countless others? Civilians the Israelis would not let escape prior to or during the bombings? Oh, and lets not forget how they woudn’t let ambulances in or how they bombed the main UN refugee camp in the process.

        How does one use a human shield against cluster bombs anyway? I hear they don’t discriminate very well.

        • Like the ones hamas has been firing into Israel for 7 years ? ………….so that children could not go to school safely ; and that multiple protests to the UN have resulted in nothing? oh those …. for 7 years …

          • Precisely. Nobody complains about the suicide bombings and the rockets. The UN did what exactly during 7 years of rockets?

            The Palestinian people were badly served for decades by the murderer and thief Arafat. And they are being badly served now by the murderers and thieves Hamas. Ehud Barack, with Bill Clinton at Camp David, was willing to make some pretty big concessions. But Arafat balked because terrorism and death is all he knew. And he went home and started the Intifada. Hamas rode in on his coattails. There has never been a viable peace-seeking Palestinian leader.

            To assign all blame for the situation on Israel and Jews is ignorant and anti-semitic. To call the Israeli government “fascist” is just plain stupid. Compare the lives of, for example, women and gays in Israel to Palestinian territories.

        • by shooting rockets from schoolyards and hospitals, as Hamas does?

  91. Regency, I’m very glad to see you posting!
    I missed reading your comments so I was checking other blogs listed here and found your site “One day a woman will be President”
    I know you’re busy with college work, but please don’t dissappear for too long. Good to see you back.

    Where is Woodiej?

    Fellow PUMA commenters, PLEASE COME BACK. I miss your posts with their distinct flavors and moods, varied and enlightening points of view. Some of the comments/posts are so funny, they make me laugh and make my day; others help us share in the pain of our fellow PUMAs and allow us to lend
    a word of consolation or just “be there” for them. Yet other posts or comments are so informative and have such depth of thought, I’m at awe and feel privileged to be a PUMA and be part of this “family”.

    I don’t ever recall reading here anything that sounded anti-semitic, and I think is all right to express doubts or concerns about any particular topic as allowed by the posting rules. We need to agree to disagree and be respectful of others views even if they are not exactly like ours.

    Mr. Cannon posted in HIS blog his points of view on a certain issue. Let him be. Is his blog. I don’t have to agree with him.

    My Creationist views get beaten up this way, that way, up and down, here and there, but I take it with a grain of salt, knowing that I am free to believe as I choose, and yet be able to come here and read about our beloved Hillary, about the economy, about how to combat mysoginiy, keep an eye on how Betty Jean is doing, Happy to hear that Randy had a birthday. And so on and so forth, sharing our joys, sorrows, knowledge, concerns, calls to action, and even participating financially
    in helping a worthy cause.

    As I said, Israel stays.

    Blessings to all.


  92. The more I’ve read this post and some comments by the other moderators on what went down, the more I feel like we’re not seeing the whole picture on why some front pagers chose to leave.

  93. Let’s take Mr Cannon’s logic apart, shall we?

    He claims that the state of Israel is illegitimate. This implies that all attacks against the state of Israel are legitimate. Therefore it is OK to kill Jews, but not OK to kill palestinians.

    We call that racism.

    If teh state of Israel is illegitimate, then this implies that the UN is illegitimate. Need I say more?

    • Please don’t confuse him with logic.

    • Can you please point out where Mr. Cannon said it was okay to kill Jews?

    • Um…if that’s your idea of logic, you need a basic philosophy class.

      Mr. Cannon does not write for The Confluence either. Like myiq2xu, I suggest you take your criticism’s to Cannonfire.

      • But Cannon brought his views to TC. His writing is all over the thread. Are you saying a response is not allowed?

        • DYB, this thread has been open (and is still open) for over 14 hours. Everyone has had plenty of time to respond to Joseph Cannon’s comments.

          I don’t think it’s too rigid to ask that we return to the actual topic of this post for further comments.

          • There are others here parroting Cannon. If they are allowed to continue speaking, but I and those who agree with me are told to be quiet – I’m beginning to understand exactly what went down between the moderators.

          • DYB, I’m tempted to role my eyes at you.

            There are over 350 comments here and we’ve deleted hardly anything. EVERYONE has had a chance to speak up.

            Joseph hasn’t been here since early this morning so it’s hardly a debate. It’s just repetition and boring.

          • I’m sorry to bore you. You can roll anything you want. The issue is not Joseph Cannon and I’m beginning to suspect it wasn’t the issue between the moderators. But what’s the point. I wouldn’t want to continue repeating myself and bore everyone into a stupor.

        • RD wanted to explain to our readers what happened. She allowed Cannon to say his piece. He is no longer here. He has new posts on his blog. The time has come to follow him over there if you want to debate with him.

  94. Anyone who wishes to debate with Joseph Cannon should do so at Cannonfire.

    The issue here was whether it was acceptable to have him on our blogroll. That decision has been made and his blog was removed.

  95. Joseph Cannon says Jews are r@cists. F@ck em. No no, I get the context. I spent a good portion of last night reviewing his archives. Why would anyone have him on their blogroll. Would be interested in Cannon’s view on the religious motivation of Sinn Fein, or the political history of the LDS Church. I can guess.

    • OK, some of this is getting really over the top. Please take your comments over to Joe Cannon’s blog.

    • Those blogs are on our blogroll, DYB. There is no need to post links to them on an already overburdened post. Again, please take your concerns about Joe Cannon over to his blog.

      • Since Joseph Cannon brought his views this this blog it is not inappropriate to debate him here.

        There are many blogs listed on the blogroll. Some people may not know which blog is whose.

        • Some of the people here who have tried to debate him on his own blog say their comments were removed.

          • To me it’s not even a matter of debating Cannon on his web-site. The point is Cannon brought his comments here. It doesn’t matter how many hours ago that was. And it doesn’t matter that he hasn’t posted in a few hours. Others continue to post the same opinions as he. But those people are NOT being told to take their arguments elsewhere. 3 moderators have now told me and others who disagree with Cannon’s views to stop posting here. And this is not the first time criticism of Cannon was silenced on TC. I had a previous run-in with one of the moderators who criticizing Cannon here; my comments were deleted and I was told to not do it again. This is the moderators’ right. But let us stop pretending about who exactly is silencing criticism.

        • DYB,

          No one is trying to silence criticism. We normally delete rude, attacking comments at TC, but on this thread we have let nearly every comment through. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I asked you to go to Cannon’s blog, because you have been repeatedly asking the same questions and saying the same things, and no one here can answer you because we don’t speak for Joe Cannon and have no clue what he thinks.

          • What questions have I been repeatedly asking?

          • I personally appreciate the opportunity to see what kind of person Mr. Cannon is, in his own words, even though he has chosen to ignore the issues and attack me personally with the filthiest type of language imaginable. I had no idea.

            Please do let his statements stand as he wrote them.

  96. DYB, implying that Joe Cannon is a troll is a case of the pot & the kettle, IMO.

    Further, it would behoove you to remember that Arabs are Semites too, before you start slinging your accusations of anti-semitism. Some of you are as quick to screech “Antisemitism!” as the Obots were to screech “Racism!” and for the same reason, it appears to me: you got nothing else. You can’t defend your position so all you can do is bitch and bully and hurl accusations.

  97. Yikes–Spammy’s got me. I forgot and used the R word without replacing the a with @. Sorry.

    • Finally, I forgot about the nesting, so my original comment–if and when Spammy spits it out–will apparently appear ABOVE the comment from DYB I was responding to.

  98. I went to the departed front pager blogs to see what they were saying. They are not being as kind or generous as RD has been.

    One in particular is obviously not into self-reflection. I recall vividly the effort made to discredit and harm a widely respected blogger. That battle got drug across the internet to every location the victim participated in order to discredit the blogger and gather a gang of supporters to magnify the effort to harm. I’m glad to see that front pager gone and have never quite understood the following.

    When HuffPo swept their membership clean of HRC supporters, I tried Taylor Marsh. That’s where I first became familiar with numerous names here. TM was toxic with fly off the handle outrage. Either that, or I just picked the worst days to read over there.

    I saw it here with those same people, and think TC is going to be the best of the blogs as it settles into its transformed membership.

  99. I think it’s time to close the comments on this thread

  100. Riverdaughter,
    Just wanted to say how much I admire you. The I/P issue is very complicated and I just wanted to thank you for taking a balanced stand. We must have the ability to accept different viewpoints – thats what seperates a civilized society from an uncivilized one. For your courage , I salute you!

  101. RD & Co. I missed whatever has happened. One thing I want to say — I was at a total loss until I met RD’s voice on the page politically last year — people I “met” in the blog world came from “links” I saw she put up. I take it the blog world people along that side roll know each other — and monitor each other?

    I can tell because MIQ2xu talks about it — sometimes here.

    I’m not sure who is gone from the Conf.?

    Some people, like Cinie are brand new voices to me? I met Uppity through NQ —

    So anyway, I’m not sure what just happened — but, I do know this — RD has an honest pen — and the “who” of the voice of the writers here has been emerging over the last year, incredibly so.

    I see the people at this blog as an example of Democrats — a real people’s blog — that way.
    Maybe you aren’t supposed to link to people you aren’t actually reading anymore — or interacting with over at their place?

    I do just want to thank RD for introducing me to writers she has — old and new. Over the past year.
    If I hadn’t met her strength of voice during what happened to Hillary?
    I swear. I would have felt all was lost.

    It seems to me, that dialogue sorts things out — eventually.

    All I know is that this has to be the most stressfull period of American History any of us has EVER lived through. Ever.
    It’s the whole Baby Boom thrown together at once — with all of its issues — we will either work through it — or clash.

    none of us want to see Vietnam redux.
    That’s my angle.

    I love you guys at the Conf. It’s some of the best writing around to me.

  102. I called nijma to translate the offensive arabic words she used to insult Mr. Cannon earlier but she didn’t respond. I am not defending him but I find it odd and kind of cowardly to resort to that kind of language.

    • ownaa,
      the translations:

      it’s still حكي فاضي , it’s a totally bogus argument.
      “empty words”, one of my Arabic tutor’s favorite expressions.

      Oh, but anyone who doesn’t think Jews should be arbitrarily killed and forced off of lands they have paid for probably thinks Jews are better than everybody else, right? .كلب


      There’s always Google Translate http://www.google.com/translate

  103. I come here because I thought we all agreed to disagree from time to time and still be able to converse.

    Wow, last night a read a bit of this and was so depressed I had trouble falling asleep. I still feel as though someone in the “family” is gone – but it is what it is.

    • I feel the same way.

    • Joanelle and BB, I’m feeling the loss now after reading all day. At first I just wanted to understand the issues. Now the possibility of not hearing some wonderful voices is hitting home. I’m just a year into blogging. Having moved from BuzzFlash (not a blog) to TM to Bitter and now The Confluence, I’ve suffered some losses in the process. The ebb and flow of political discourse on a blog does result in a bit of a ride. Makes me appreciate people all the more.

      • You can still go to all of their blogs. I think RD has been pretty consistent. Truthfully our blogroll is completely out of date–the same is true of lots of blogs. Sometimes I wonder if blowups like this don’t come from some other issues like the stress of what is happening to the economy or fear of loss of civil rights. I wouldn’t blame any Jewish person who was fearful right now. Women and GLBT too. When times get tough, minorities and women get lashed out at.

  104. Lately, I haven’t read this blog as much as I used to…so I was unaware of this kerfluffle until today. At my log on there were 361 comments. I read many but not all of them,,,hopefully enough of a sample to get a notion of some of the major issues and peoples’ feelings on them.

    If I understand correctly what RD wrote it seems that the bottom line came down to some front pagers equating anti-Israel editorializing with anti-Semitism. And since Confluence provided linkage to one such blogger, the Confluence by extension was accused of supporting anti-Semitism. So, to keep peace in the upper reaches of the Confluence family (?) that linkage was deleted.

    I feel that it was unfortunate that the parties involved could not agree to disagree…and that some walked away. It reminds me a little bit of Gary’s reaction awhile back…I am forgetting all the details…but it was a gay rights issue and he felt he could not in all conscience continue his posts here. I was sorry to see him leave but could appreciate his walking his talk (and glad when he recently returned).

    This time, for reasons I don’t understand, things went a somewhat different way.The poster(s) walked away AND RD decided to delete Cannon from the blogroll. To me this latter action feels like a form of censorship since it appears to have been done to (1)ameliorate the injured feelings of those who objected to the linkage (but had already walked?) and (2) refute the charge (specious, in my opinion) that linking to that blog was prima facie evidence of anti-semitism at Confluence.

    I respect peoples’ decisions to walk away. I just don’t see that dropping the link is anything other than self- censorship…which is what the fear of being perceived as anti-Semitic does…the very fear which has already stiffled much needed debate on this issue. For example, in my local Sunday paper today Mar 15th is a guest editorial which in the very 2nd sentence includes the accusation that “Jew -haters hide behind their anti-Israel position”. I, for one, have had a gut full of this type of accusation that criticism of Israel equates with anti-Semitism..

    • Salmonrising,

      RD deleted Cannonfire from the blogroll in response to very adamant and strongly worded requests to do so. This was done before anyone “walked away.” I can’t explain why people still left, but you could ask them. They could have showed up to respond right here. BTW, I still have all the e-mails from the “discussion” that went on.

      • BTW, I still have all the e-mails from the “discussion” that went on.

        BB: I hope you keep those to yourself. Whatever was decided was decided behind the scenes by the writers here.

        I tried going around to some of the blogs our writers have but haven’t seen anything yet regarding this blow-up. That doesn’t mean something’s not out there, I just haven’t seen it yet (I’m referencing a comment further up in this thread).

        Regarding my late nite/early a.m. comment about missing myiq’s late night posts I was just saying I missed those. We got a little raunchy (R rated) and they were fun with the late-shift/Aussie time crowd.

        • Fred, one of them made a big headline about having “Left the Confluence” 😦

          • I found it. As I wrote I hadn’t seen anything *yet*.

            We’ll see how things go after some time has gone by.

        • Of course I’m keeping them to myself. Of course I’m not the only one who has them. I miss the late night posts too. I know Myiq is working on a couple of things right now, but he has a real life too (gasp!). Wish I had one of those! LOL!

          • I assumed you would BB. It was just a statement in passing.

            but he has a real life too (gasp!) No he doesn’t. Myiq does real life in between postings here and comments at other blogs. 😆

        • The pantifest was particularly memorable.

  105. I just went out for a walk, I felt I had to so as to clear my mind. I don’t post a lot here because I tend to have a weird sense of things. Sometimes persons agree and sometimes I get stomped down and have sand kicked in my face. I have at times gotten “pissy” with those that have a differing opinion as I am human and have an ego just like everyone else. I always try to apologize if I hurt some ones feelings, I don’t apologize for my views nor do I feel that I should or that I am even expected to. I have a philosophy back ground and so am always fascinated at what causes people to believe differently than I do. It pains me to see all the brilliant people here in a feud over another persons views. I don’t mind differing opinions expressed, even in a spirited and/or heated way. It does distress me to see a rift in the tight nit family that TC was during the primary and post election period.

    I want to say one last thing. I for one don’t consider myself one of the group, but I have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of this site and the many posters and commentators. I speak for myself only although I do believe that their may be many like me out here. I hope like heck that everyone can see past any disagreement that has taken place and swallow their pride and realize the inspiration they provide to the lurkers out here. If as great as everyone here is and they fall apart over a single issue what hope do us little people have, our inspiration will be gone.

    I know you don’t owe us anything and I don’t mean to put the burden of being some ones only hope on you but don’t forget you are an example to who knows how many.

    Sorry to ramble but I had to say it as my heart is heavy about this.

    • Native1,

      I always read and enjoy your comments. Unfortunately things change, people change. There are commenters who have disappeared that I still think about. This is just a blog. It is what it is. I’m just glad that we have usually enjoyed the time we spend here.

  106. This might be of interest to some. Found it in the Jordan Times.

    Literature and War: Conversations with Israeli and Palestinian Writers
    Runo Isaksen
    Translated by Kari Dickson
    Massachusetts: Olive Branch Press/Interlink Books, 2009
    Pp. 222
    In 2002/3, Norwegian novelist and journalist Runo Isaksen travelled to Israel/Palestine to interview writers on both sides of the line about writing, culture and how they see the other side. Isaksen’s purpose was related to the search for peace, yet he circumvented the usual political channels and themes, concentrating instead on literature as a reflection of society and people’s perceptions of others. In his view, “literature can take you through the backdoor to something important, something that the media would have serious difficulties discovering.” (p. 8)


  107. I haven’t found a link to Cannon’s post, so I can’t comment on his alleged anti-semitism. But I do believe that the worst enemy Israel has is the American Israel lobby.

    In Israel, it’s conpletely acceptable to say that the occupation of the West Bank after 1967 was a tragic mistake and should be undone. They probably even blog about it.

    Until an American president is permitted to allow such voices into the conversation, nothing good will happen. Demography is not on the side of the Marty Peretz types, nor is it in the interest of the United States to subsidize injustice forever.

    • Just google “Cannonfire” and put your search term in the search box at the top left of the blog. I suggest the term “Israel.”

  108. RD, I appreciate that you’ve kept this thread open. One of the many reasons why I have respected you and TC as much. But this has to be said, and it is not directed at you. There is a difference between anonymity and deception. When good, decent, well meaning people are deceived, bad things happen, like this awful financial crisis. In life as in work, credibility matters.

  109. If this thread is still open tomorrow after work I’ll try to answer some of the unanswered questions, otherwise I’ll write a post or something.

    I was looking at some of the authors Cannon was talking about, and one of them Finkelstein, rang a bell. I heard him speak a while back, and wrote a post about it (in my URL). it’s quite interesting, all about the Israel lobby, and now I’m thinking that as weird as it is to list a whole bunch of authors like that to make some point that no one can get the point of, maybe Mr. Cannon is trying to talk in some kind of academic code. That doesn’t explain all the swear words of course. But if this is some huge academic exercise then the rules of the game say we have to take Mr. Cannon’s bizarre statements and try to figure out what is wrong with them in order to uphold one end of the public debate. It’s the whole Chomskyesque “thesis, antithesis, synthesis” thing. Mr. Cannon, Finkelstein, Juan Cole, et al, are supposed to be the antithesis.. Anyhow read the post, everything is explained. Or not.

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