Calling out Daniel Barenboim on the Israel boycott

In today’s JC, I publish an open letter to Daniel Barenboim on his latest shift on the Middle East, announcing a qualified support for the BDS movement which calls for the economic and intellectual isolation of the state of Israel. What Daniel said was: ‘‘I think the boycott movement BDS is absolutely correct, its perfectly right and necessary with one limitation…’ You can read the full text here.

I believe he has crossed a Rubicon, a point of no return. Among other things, I remind Daniel:

In a maestro milieu where most music directors look no further than the fourth horn, you stuck your neck out for a prickly cause that was always bound to earn you more heartache than acclaim.

I applauded your gumption, your physical courage and your personal commitment to Israel, where you continue to maintain a home. You talked to me once, in Paris half a lifetime ago, of your idyllic boyhood in the young state of Israel, where girls wore no lipstick and men no ties. Something of that naked idealism, that transcendence of spiritual values over material display, is imprinted on the artist you became – one of the foremost classical interpreters of our time, perhaps the only one who commands the attention of world leaders when you speak on great issues of the day….

Read the full letter here.

 

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  • Stop whining about every person’s political right to express themselves about war crimes perpetuated by Israel. You act like an evangelical American wanting to divorce his wife, because others are finally getting their legal right to get married too.
    My point: you make a point where there is totally no point to be made.

  • I don’t have an opinion about the BDS movement, but I wonder what this “Rubicon” is that Barenboim has crossed? Is he now anti-Israel, or an anti-Semite? Has he crossed over into insanity? Is he now an extremist? What specifically has Barenboim done to reach the “point of no return?”

  • Norman, what really nails the point is your statement about BDS members disturbing performances of Israeli artists. I am also in controversal discussion with BDS activists and as long as the BDS demonize Israel in general as an Apartheid State and act absolutely undemocratic against persons who think different against them, it’s for me just an aggressive sect, focused more on anti Jewish actions than supporting Palestinians to establish a State were they can live as free citizens. Barenboim had better waited in giving an answer which would damage his own honorful activities.

    • From a moral perspective, you are comparing the disruption of concerts with illegal settlements of illegally occupied land enforced by violence. Both are wrong, but how would you resolve the moral asymmetry? If there larger considerations that justify the illegal appropriation of land, what are they? If these questions can’t be convincingly answered, it becomes difficult to attack Barenboim’s position. My larger point is that given the moral complexities, it is difficult to define what “Rubicon” he has crossed.

      • That he now is in the same camp as anti-semites. The regurgitated mantra that “legitimate criticism of Israel is not the same as anti-Semitism” is daily more of a lie in the majority of cases, as some of the comments here testify.

        • I would say that Barenboim provides intelligent, differentiated, thoughtful discussion that often stands in contrast to the excessive partisanship and hateful polemic too often found on both sides.

        • This mantra of zionist propaganda doesn’t ever become true, even if repeated ad nausea.

          To not like cheese is always the same as hating cows?
          Flawed reasoning.

      • William Osborne, I don’t compare settlements and disrupting performances because it has nothing to do with each other. Even the BDS doesn’t share this point. I wonder if you find a goal in the BDS agenda that they will stop the boycott against Israel if their goals are fulfilled. I am still searching and this makes this sect very suspicious.

  • To all those who parrot the unsubstantiated claims of “war crimes” committed by Israel, I give you a classic, Nekama’s Troll Hammer:

    1. Are you aware that the Disputed Territories never belonged to the “Palestinians” and only came into Israeli possession as a result of the 1967 six day war in which Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon all massed forces at Israel’s border in order to “push the Jews into the sea”. The Arabs lost and Israel took control of the land. Do you agree that if the Koranimals don’t want to lose territory to Israel, then they shouldn’t start wars? Do you agree that there is justice that Israel, who as far back as 1948 has always sought peace with her far larger neighbors, should live in prosperity – making the desert bloom – while the residents of 19 adjacent Arab countries who are blessed with far more land as well as oil wealth live in their own feces?

    2. Did you know that the “Palestinians” could have had their own country as far back as 1948 had they accepted the UN sponsored partition plan which gave Israel AND the Palestinians a countries of their own on land which Jews had lived on for thousands of years before Mohammed ever had a wet dream about virgins? The Arabs rejected the UN offer and went to war with the infant Israeli nation. The Arabs lost and have been whining about it ever since. Do you agree this is like a murderer who kills his parents and asks for special treatment since he is now an orphan?

    3. Can you tell us ANY Arab country which offers Jews the right to be citizens, vote, own property, businesses, be a part of the government or have ANY of the rights which Israeli Arabs enjoy? Any Arab country which gives those rights to Christians? How about to other Arabs? Wouldn’t you just LOVE to be a citizen of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, or Syria?

    4. Since as many Jews (approximately 850,000) were kicked out of Arab countries as were Arabs who left present day Israel (despite being literally begged to stay), why should Arabs be permitted to return to Israel if Jews aren’t allowed to set foot in Arab countries? Can you explain why Arabs can worship freely in Israel but Jews would certainly be hung from street lamps after having their intestines devoured by an Arab mob if they so much as entered an Arab country?

    5. Israel resettled and absorbed all of the Jews from Arab countries who wished to become Israelis. Why haven’t any Arab countries offered to resettle Arabs who were displaced from Israel, leaving them to rot for 60 years in squalid refugee camps? And why are those refugee camps still there? Could it be that the billions of dollars that the UNWRA has sent there goes to terrorist groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, El Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, or Hezbollah? How did Yassir Arafat achieve his $300 million in wealth? Why aren’t these funds distributed for humanitarian use?

    6. Did you know that the Arabs in the disputed territories (conquered by Israel in the 1967 war which was started by Arabs) and who are not Israelis already have two countries right now? And that they are called Egypt and Jordan?

    7. If your complaint is about the security fence which Israel is finally building in the Disputed Territories, are you aware that it is built solely to keep the “brave” Arab terrorists out so that they can no longer self detonate on busses, in dining halls or pizzerias and kill Jewish grandmothers and schoolchildren? Why are the Arabs so brave when they target unarmed civilians but even when they outnumber their opponents they get their sandy asses kicked all the way to Mecca when they are faced with Jewish soldiers? Why do Arab soldiers make the French look like super heroes?

    8. Please explain why you are so concerned about Arabs, who possess 99% of the land in this region and are in control of the world’s greatest natural resource, which literally flows out of the ground? Can’t their brother muslims offer some of the surplus land and nature’s riches to the “Palestinians”? Or is it true that Arabs are willing to die right down to the last “Palestinian”?

    9. Why do you not exhibit the same level of concern for say, people in Saudi Arabia who are beheaded, subject to amputation, stoning, honor killing etc.? What about women who are denied any semblance of basic civil rights, including the right not to be treated as property for the entertainment and abuse of her father, brothers, or husbands? What about the Muslims in Sudan and Egypt who are still enslaved, or the women there whose genitalia are barbarically cut off? How about the oppression of Shiites by Sunnis, the gassing of the Kurds by Iraq, or the massacre of “Palestinians” by Jordan (Black September)? Why doesn’t this concern you?

    10. Did you ever stop to wonder how much better off everyone in the region would be if Arabs stopped trying to kill Jews and destroy Israel? What would happen if the Israelis gave up their weapons and disarmed? Would they live to see the next day? But what would happen if the Arabs completely disarmed? You know the answer: They would all be AT PEACE! And if there is no war to rile them up, the Arabs would be forced to look at their own repressive, pre-medieval societies. Why would they want to do that when there are Jews to kill?

    11. Have you heard “People who define themselves primarily by what they hate, rather than who they love, are doomed to failure and misery”? Can you see the parallels to the Arabs, who are blessed with land and oil, but still gladly train their children to kill themselves in order to kill Jews? Have you heard Golda Meir’s words to the effect of “There will be peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate ours”? Why do the Arabs hate so much?

    • An intelligent discussion can be had about the merits or otherwise of BDS or of Israel/Palestine more generally. But these comments about ‘Koranimals’, ‘sandy asses’, casually equating Arabs/Muslims to terrorists and about Arabs living in their own feces is the language of the gutter. All of us, but especially those of us who are Jews, should not accept language which reduces this or that group of people to sub-humans. Would we accept references to ‘dirty Jews’ or references to ‘hook-nosed’ or ‘money-grubbing’ in reference to Israelis? Certainly not. Norman, please can you remove Doug’s comment.

      Doug, I’m afraid all your verbiage, racism and unsubstantiated claims simply reinforce the opinion many of us have about the nasty underbelly of Zionism.

      • Bravo Mr. Behrman!
        —–
        To Mr. Lebrecht:
        Something seems amiss on your blog, if simple comments await moderation for hours or even days on end and bigoted diatribes such as the one above by “Doug” somehow “slip past” the moderator(s).

      • What about the nasty underbelly of Islam or is it too offensively racist for you to contemplate the obscenities that are going on in the name of that religion?

      • Two thumbs up for you Simon. It’s incredible that these kinds instigating, racist, hate-promoting comments are allowed on this blog by its moderator. Perhaps Norman himself enjoyed reading them. It is absolutely disgusting to find “people” who can think like this as a way of justification of whatever garbage they have in their tiny heads. I also request to Norman to remove that hateful speech!

      • Simon Behrman, you may complain correctly about the used language but your last comment: “ugly underbelly of Zionism” is on the same level. So, don’t be hypocrite. It’s even aggressive speech but this speech is common sense but much of the comment is correct even without the bad words. There could be Palestinian State since 1948. Why did this not happen and what prevented it till now. Blaming Israel, the Zionists or the Jews only is too cheap. Do you agree in this?

      • Palestinian children are taught that Jews are the descendents of apes and pigs. Would your sensitivities allow you to condemn Arab name calling of Jews or is your bigotry only directed against Israel?

        • Aren’t we all the descendants of apes anyway?
          But seriously, I know some horrible hateful things are said there, but ALL children are taught that, systematically? I don’t think so.
          And I also was under the impression, that a lot of Jewish kids in Israel are quite indoctrinated to look at Arabs as almost animals.
          The pot calling the kettle black?

          Let’s remember a few things:

          “[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs.”
          — Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, “Begin and the ‘Beasts,”‘ New Statesman, June 25, 1982.

          “We must expel Arabs and take their places.”
          — David Ben Gurion, 1937

          “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.”
          — Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969

          “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”
          — David Ben Gurion, 1938

          “This country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy.”
          — Golda Meir, Le Monde, 15 October 1971

          “The settlement of the Land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement, we will not fulfill Zionism. It’s that simple.”
          — Yitzhak Shamir, Maariv, 02/21/1997.

          • Yes, it truly is damning – of poor translation, of taking out of context, of shameless misquoting, and so on. But even if taking these awkward pronouncements verbatim, they are child’s play that ales in comparison with what the other side has been saying and, more importantly, doing for nearly seven decades now. By the way, the last two quotes simply affirm Israel’s right to exist and have absolutely not a hint of anything anti-Palestinian in them. The fact that they are presented and accepted as something that is “damning” speaks eloquently about the strong anti-Israel prejudices of those who read them that way.

  • Here is a very good article that discusses both the pros and cons of BDS. It is similar to the line of thought presented by Barenboim that non-violent means are useful in political struggle, but that they must be carefully considered and executed to avoid unintended consequences. Just as Barenboim, the articles notes that in some cases the BDS movement has been useful, but in others it has hindered Palestinian and Israeli dialog. See:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2015/0612/BDS-Is-growth-of-anti-Israel-boycott-all-good-news-for-Palestinians

  • Yes, I wish Doug, in his passion, had not resorted to demeaning language. BUT, and until the so-called civilized world faces reality, EVERY POINT that Doug makes is historically accurate.

  • Barenboim has aligned with the Palestinian terrorist state and world leftist movement who want to see the end of Israel regardless of negotiations or territorial concessions. Palestinians do not hide their hatred for Jews and openly say they wont settle for anything less than all of Israeli land and the Jews dead. I don’t understand why critics of Israel haven’t heard this Palestinian mantra, it is often openly repeated and never denied. Perhaps people like Barenboim agree with this agenda in which case they should be abandoned.

    • Can you provide a link, or reputable authority as to where the Palestinians call for the death of all Jews? Strange that amongst the many Palestinians who I’ve met and befriended over the years not one has tried to kill me or expressed a wish to do so. By contrast I have unfortunately come into close quarters with real Nazi-types who have said as much to me.

        • As it happens I do wear hearing aids…

          The point is that making sweeping generalisations about what ‘Palestinians’ say is problematic anyway, but what people tend to confuse is an understandable desire to destroy the Israeli STATE and the claim often put about Zionist apologists that this equates to wishing the death of all Jews. I don’t know how many Palestinians you know, but I know plenty and they are all smart enough to understand the distinction.

          So, again, Tommo, can you find a reputable source for your original claim. If anyone who is not deaf or blind can see it, then it shouldn’t be too difficult for you. I suggest that you begin your search with Article 6 of the 1968 PLO Charter.

  • Seems to me that conductors expressing political views just doesn’t work, as Christian Thielemann found out!

  • While I don’t support Israeli presence in the West Bank, why is it illegal? They are not occupying any country. That’s no man’s land. It used be Jordan. The king said that he didn’t want it anymore and now it is up for grabs.

    • UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon Israel to desist from transferring its own population into the territories or changing their demographic makeup. The reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions has also declared the settlements illegal, as has the primary judicial organ of the UN, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The majority of legal scholars hold the settlements to violate international law.

      An opinion by a legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State found the settlements contrary to international law in 1978. On April 21, 1978, Legal Adviser of the Department of State Herbert J. Hansel issued an opinion, on request from Congress, that creating the settlements “is inconsistent with international law”, and against Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. In this matter, Israel is almost entirely isolated.

      • In 1947, the West Bank was designated as part of a proposed Arab state by the United Nations partition plan for Palestine. The resolution recommended partition of the British Mandate into a Jewish State, an Arab State, and an internationally administered enclave of Jerusalem.

        Since 1979 the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly,[24] the United States, the EU, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross] refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as occupied Palestinian territory. General Assembly resolution 58/292 (17 May 2004) affirmed that the Palestinian people have the right to sovereignty over the area. The International Court of Justice and the Supreme Court of Israel have ruled that the status of the West Bank is that of military occupation.

        The problem is that a faction of Israeli society believes that the biblical regions of Samaria and Judea should also be part of a greater Israel. They also belief that all of Jerusalem should belong exclusively to Israel. There are thus efforts to appropriate the land in contradiction to international law.

  • BDS just makes the problem worse. We need to build bridges between Palestinians and Israelis. Isolating Israel won’t improve anything. The more the Israelis fell isolated and ostracized, the more the will vote for the nationalists. BDS has in most part nothing to do with Palestinians, they are just against Israel.

    Barenboim is delusional..

  • Norman,

    As a French citizen I am quite puzzled by this extract from your JC article:

    “What are the grounds for boycott? The BDS states: “For decades, Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights of freedom, equality, and self-determination through ethnic cleansing, colonisation, racial discrimination, and military occupation.” There is no contesting the ugly truth of much of that statement.
    It rings, however, much uglier and much truer when applied Russia in Chechniya and Crimea, Turkey in Cyprus and France in central Africa. So why are sanctions perfectly right and necessary against Israel, Daniel, when there are so many bigger offenders?”

    France in central Africa?
    A “bigger offender”?

    What are you referring to, Norman?
    As far as I know, central African states are all independent and not French colonies anymore…

    • There have been several French military interventions in support of central African regimes, usually with oppressive results for part of the population.

      • Norman,
        I think you comparing apples and oranges here.
        For example, France lead the military intervention in Mali recently, under UN mandate.
        To succeed, it needed air space cooperation from Algeria, for example, so that Rafale fighters could fly direct to Mali.
        Now, I am not sure what kind of UN mandate the Palestinians and Israel respect or enforce…

  • Maybe instead of letting Barenboim suddenly fall out of favour after having cherished him for decades, it would be better to listen to what he has to say. He has a lot of experience in the Middle-East, more than anybody here. He has built up an initially uneasy and courageous friendship with Edward Said, worked with young musicians from all over the region, traveled to many places in the region. Answering with either ‘nuanced’ or outright virulent and racist and in all cases predictable mantras does not serve the cause of the staunch pro-Israeli state adherers here. It mainly confirms the idea that the pro-Israeli-state defense consists of a lot of conditional reflexes. Makes me admire Barenboim so the more. And no, Barenboim is not a dogmatic and fanatic pro-BDS-er. He has a lot of reservations, which could convince those who staunchly refuse to hear anything about it a bit more. The sad racism here and there in the reactions convince me that Israel is spiraling downwards from where at one point it seemingly was.

  • Why attack Barenboim? It appears he is trying to protect Israel against growing political isolation across the world. As Mehta said, “I think that Israel lost Europe already. Now it’s on the verge of losing the United States.” (Israel’s staunchest backers in the US are Tea Party members like Sarah Palin. Where is the future in that?) The issue is no longer whose land it is; its the way the Palestinians live. That is documented and indisputable and the world can see it. Because Israel has failed to do anything about that, they are being pressured and called out by “their own”.

  • I think we need to build bridges. Isolating Israel just makes the situation of the Palestinians worse. Pressing the Israelis against a wall won’t make the Palestinians to have their so deserved State. We need to do just the opposite. We need these two peoples, Palestinians and Israelis, to know each other better and to acknowledge each other’s concerns and despairs. I cannot see how BDS will make this happen.

  • Norman, life is short and one can no longer, in NO WAY, accept what Israel is ‘doing’. The idyllic Israeli life of earlier days has changed dramatically. Bravo to Mr Barenboim for his courage, conviction and persistence. More musicians to follow his initiative!

  • The main reason Israel is in fact truly isolated has little to do with settlements. They are nothing more than a convenient pretext. Unfortunately, the real reason for it is simply the fact that Israel is a Jewish-majority state that dares to keep refusing to be exterminated, which is also the reason for many UN resolutions of the last half century that are unfairly singling Israel out for criticism and even condemnation, when truly horrific crimes against humanity are being perpetrated in many other countries including some of Israel’s deeply troubled neighbors. For several decades, the policy of all Israeli governments has been to agree to virtually any compromises, including territorial ones, if they can lead to safe and secure Jewish state. That is why the entire Sinai was given back to Egypt and that is why all settlers were removed – some of them by force – from Gaza when Israel decided to unilaterally withdraw from that area without any conditions and/or guarantees, which resulted in we all know what: thousand of rockets fired indiscriminately from there into civilian targets in Israel. There is no other country with the combination of disadvatages that are historical as well as geographical and demographical, that is behaving that humanely, while managing to continue surviving in one of the world’s most difficult neighborhoods in spite of constantly facing true existential dangers.

    • “For several decades, the policy of all Israeli governments has been to agree to virtually any compromises, including territorial ones, if they can lead to safe and secure Jewish state.”

      That’s quite a lie, it’s the mother of all lies.

    • Your logic appears to be that if A unlawfully takes the property of B, then we should all laud A when under pressure they give back to B a portion of their property.

      • And your policy, is to attack Israel no matter what and to believe whatever lovely words the Palis say in public. On the other hand, you willingly ignore the rockets they send into Israel on a frequent, sometimes daily basis. Or the suicide bomber, murderers in tractors or up close with knives, the honoring of Pali murderers, using aid money to pay Pali murderers and terrorists in Israeli prisons; the fact that UN-supplied textbooks to the Palis omit Israel from ME maps and indoctrinate the pupils to hatred of Israel and Jews; that Pali schools dismiss pupils early to engage in rock-throwing at Israeli soldiers; and that one can go into practically any mosque, including Al-Aqusa nearly any day of the week and hear rants of hatred, calling Jews the sons of apes and pigs. That’s from the “moderate” PA side. Of course, I’ve not even started on Hamas-ruled Gaza.

        What do all those wonderful, peace-loving Palis whom you met and love so much have to say on these actions? Do they condemn them — or justify them? Don’t be a tool for duplicitous, Muslim haters.

        • Imagine someone looking at this conflict without bias objectively:
          First objective asessment: Israelis have over the decades this conflict already lasts killed about ten times as many Palestinians, as Palestinians have killed Israelis.

          What is the explanation for this?
          It is an asymmetric conflict, for sure.

  • And your policy, is to attack Israel no matter what and to believe whatever lovely words the Palis say in public. On the other hand, you willingly ignore the rockets they send into Israel on a frequent, sometimes daily basis. Or the suicide bomber, murderers in tractors or up close with knives, the honoring of Pali murderers, using aid money to pay Pali murderers and terrorists in Israeli prisons; the fact that UN-supplied textbooks to the Palis omit Israel from ME maps and indoctrinate the pupils to hatred of Israel and Jews; that Pali schools dismiss pupils early to engage in rock-throwing at Israeli soldiers; and that one can go into practically any mosque, including Al-Aqusa nearly any day of the week and hear rants of hatred, calling Jews the sons of apes and pigs. That’s from the “moderate” PA side. Of course, I’ve not even started on Hamas-ruled Gaza.

    What do all those wonderful, peace-loving Palis whom you met and love so much have to say on these actions? Do they condemn them — or justify them? Don’t be a tool for duplicitous, Muslim haters.

  • If commenters such as for example simon bearman read more carefully what I actually wrote, they may be able to better understand what I actually meant.
    My statement about one constant feature of Israeli policies throughout last several decades is based on their various proposals and stated positions.
    The conflict is definitely asymmetric in many ways (e.g. Israel wants to live in safe and secure peace while Palestinians are strongly opposed to that), but the only reasonable explanation for inequality of numbers can be found mainly in the policies of Palestinian leaders.

    • Well, that’s a lot of brainwashed bollocks me thinks. Ben Gurion said it quite truthfully. The land was occupied, the people living there driven out. The rest is consequential and circumstancial. The UN division plan from 1947 was reasonable, but not in accordance with Zionist ideology.
      Zionism is a racist and bigotted ideology, based on blurry mythology, much like the racist ideologies of the nazis. Zionism is also Anti-Jewish by the way, but too much brainwashing has made it difficult for many, to recognize that actually quite obvious truth.

      • By likening Zionism to Nazism, a self-proclaimed annihilationist ideology, you have ruled yourself out of further reasoned discussion of this topic.

    • Sadly, that is very true, because virulent antisemitism is often just under the surface of many comments, and even where it isn’t so obvious, one can see the results of many years of brainwashing by world media most of which are to various degrees quite clearly biased against Israel. Sometimes it manifests itself by using the so-called “evenhanded” approach which imposes a grossly unfair equality of judgement on a country that is simply trying to survive versus its neighbors who are fully dedicated to that country’s destruction.

  • According to such reasoning: since their “desire to destroy” the state of Israel is so “understandable” and therefore apparently innocent, we should all applaud their intentions because there will still be a few other Jews remaining alive in the world and so it is not such a big deal at all; and we should also hurry and start boycotting that country just in case right now, so that it knows how we feel about it before it gets destroyed. Sounds totally logical, justified, and, most importantly, deeply moral to me.

  • I have resisted engaging in this discussion, as addressing the issue itself on this venue is pointless. Reading through Mr. Lebrecht’s posting and the slew of comments, however, I would like to make two observations. One, that the words of anyone branded as ‘pro-Palestinian’ are deliberately twisted and their points farcically misquoted; and Two, the arrogance of those speaking as though Israel were somehow synonymous with Jews and Judaism.

    What has changed for good, however, is that no one can again make the specious argument that no musician ‘of any note’ favors boycott.

    • Your resistance is quite understandable to me because it seems like addressing this issue on *most* venues is becoming rather pointless. For example, both of your “observations” look totally backwards to me: from my perspective, “pro-Israel” comments usually (including here) get twisted and misquoted to a far greater degree than the opposing ones, as demonstrated very vividly by your own complaint about alleged synonimity which no one here in this thread has ever claimed explicitly. Stating that anti-Israel positions are often caused by underlying antisemitism is a valid and easily arguable point that is not the same at all as confusing Jews and Judaism with Israel. Your conclusion however, while certainly fair, is highly unfortunate, because this change is not “for good” at all but is actually extremely sad and grossly misguided.

  • Your resistance is quite understandable to me because it seems like addressing this issue on *most* venues is becoming rather pointless. For example, both of your “observations” look totally backwards to me: from my perspective, “pro-Israel” comments usually (including here) get twisted and misquoted to a far greater degree than the opposing ones, as demonstrated very vividly by your own complaint about alleged synonimity which no one here in this thread has ever claimed explicitly. Stating that anti-Israel positions are often caused by underlying antisemitism is a valid and easily arguable point that is not the same at all as confusing Jews and Judaism with Israel. Your conclusion however, while certainly fair, is highly unfortunate, because this change is not “for good” at all but is actually extremely sad and grossly misguided.

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