Banned from Mondoweiss

I thought it was absurd, but, after posting at length there for three years,  a couple weeks ago I was banned from posting at Mondoweiss.

The process was dictatorial, made by an anonymous committee with no communication either from them or to them possible.

A number of others were apparently banned at the same time, left and right.

There didn’t appear to be any logical criteria of the banning except the political popularity of commentators. I am an unpopular commenter there because I remain a supporter of Zionism, although a critic of the application.

It was strange is all I can say. Too reminiscent of the new left “democracy of the room” process.

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42 Responses to Banned from Mondoweiss

  1. monsieurginger says:

    Have you tried contacting Phil about it?

    • Yes, definitely.

      I’ll post the e-mail that he sent me when I get back to my home office.

      • Richard,
        We announced a new policy today and it was the decision of the mod team to ban your presence on the site as simply contributing to negative back and forth and performing threadjacking. As Im sure you know, I have stood up for you over the years not out of our friendship but because I believe you represented an important segment of the Jewish population in the U.S. I’m sorry in some ways that this went down, but this is social media, I deferred to the judgment of the team here, and the writing was on the wall, the belief on some people’s part that you were in essence a troll. One comment a mod made was that the role of representing that American Jewish segment has been filled by others who more earnestly engage the questions at hand… I thank you for the substantive contribution you’ve made and know that you have developed your skills as an online writer to a faretheewell thru this and other interchanges. So I look forward to seeing what you do in your site and other places over the years.

      • Phil,
        That is a bad sign for your site.

        In two respects. One is that your site has been jacked, that really any deviation from conformity to the party line (BDS for example) is not tolerated. The second is that your group process is apparently of the nature of a secret authoritative committee, that makes its decisions without input from those that are being “tried”.

        You are in error that there are others that post on behalf of any Zionist perspective. When there was a presence of others that articulated anything resembling my perspective, I deferred to them, so as not to “dominate the rap”.

        The very vast majority of negativity associated with responses to my comments were of the negativity of those that bear an anti-position.

        Again, on the question of threadjacking, if you read my posts, the very very vast majority of them are on the topic of the orignal post, not offensive personally or in language, and oriented to the concept that Israel is valid, reformable, and that the method to do so is by electoral persuasion, not by coercion.

        If anything, I am one person that has deeply and consistently engaged the questions at hand, in continuing to speak on behalf of both Israelis’ and of Palestinians’ rights and well-being.

        To ignore that dual “loyalty”, is to ignore reality.

        As I’ve dedicated so much time to your site, this banning represents a “death” to me, and a “murder” to you.

        For me, it was an addiction, a crucible (in which I grew by struggle), and a place to learn.

        I will kick and scream, and get over it. I’m not sure if I will evolve to respect of the process or of the site.

        As I stated in my post by Donald, that my belief is that the site has great protential, as Israel continues to have great potential, but like Israel will cause itself self-destructive stresses if it doesn’t reform.


  2. Koshiro says:

    I don’t think it has anything to do with stifling your opinions per se, almost universally unpopular among most of the other Mondoweiss commenters as they are. It appears that Phil decided he does not want heated, highly polarized discussions anymore – and that your comments were quite often the focus of these discussions. This is what your classification as a “troll” means.
    Note that others who don’t share your opinions were also banned (Jeffrey Blankfort for example.)

    FWIW, I strongly disagree with the decision to ban you.
    a) I object to the quick labeling of people who voice unpopular or polarizing opinions as “trolls”. Considering the topic of the site, the longing for harmony behind these classifications is ridiculous. Israel/Palestine is a polarizing matter.
    b) I object to the silencing of dissenting voices in principle, as long as they are expressed in civilized language – which you did.
    c) I resent the implication that your opinions “provoked” me and others into heated responses. When I attacked your views – and just for the record I still despise said views – it was because I chose to do so.

    P.S.: Now that I think about it, I haven’t logged into Mondoweiss after my recent hiatus. Maybe I’ll find myself banned as well.

    • Thanks for your three points.(except for the “despising of views”).

      Phil indicated in his letter that he was not the primary decider in the process (unless he is not speaking truthfully, which I have no way to discern), that he had deferred to someone. I had originally thought that I knew at least some on the “mod committee”, but I’m not sure.

      As I stated in my post, I was VERY disappointed at the lack of communication, and of the lack of clarity as to conditions of posting.

      I think you are wrong about the basis of my banning as not being ultimately determined by the content of my posting. The description of being a “troll” or “threadjacker” is directly relative to the hope that posts will stimulate a conforming response, and that the result of “open civil discussion” does not result in doubt or of concluded changes in perspective or position.

      The objections were apparently a combination of personal and volume, but again, as I stated in my original post, when there were others that articulated a liberal Zionism perspective, I usually deferred. I explicitly did NOT want the vote count or the gang of the room to determine the process, but the reasoning only.

      They were functionally asked the question of whether they wanted to be a discussion site, or an overt advocacy site, and they chose advocacy.

      On despising my views. I’m sad to say that I consider that absurd as well.

      My views include a severe criticism of Netanyahu and likud, an active effort to unseat likud (to the very limited influence that I could ever have), a respect for Palestinian persons, a respect for Palestinian community, a respect for those that are motivated to dissent from wrongs.

      So, if you are saying that you despise those views, then I hope that you review your thinking.

      I expect that the views that you despise are the questions of weight of extent of responsiblity of Hamas in Cast Lead, on the “legalism” of whether Cast Lead was war crime from day one, or a valid original responsibilty gone cruelly wrong, or on my regarding the forced removal of 600,000 settlers as still a forced removal and desiring to find another alternative to a subsequent cruelty.

      I’ve been challenged by reality to not be a reactionary, meaning to not join likud thinking in my response to the harshly personal attacks by the left and Palestinian solidarity spectrum, to retain my attitude of multiple considerations and “loyalties”.

      • Koshiro says:

        Of course, I cannot say what exactly the powers that be thought when they decided to ban you, but consider this: You have been the most controversial poster. Why? Because in contrast to others expressing unpopular (= pro-Zionist) views, you…
        a) Had a much greater output.
        b) Had much more endurance.
        c) Showed more genuine conviction.
        To explain the last point:
        What separates your views on Zionism from the views of someone like “eee” is that you are apparently firmly convinced that all in all, Zionism and Israel are a force of good in the world. Not just good for the Jewish people, but a net good for humanity. “Eee” and others will pay lip service to this idea, but it’s all too transparent that they are base nationalists at heart – they care what is good for their group and don’t give a damn about others, especially not about Palestinians.
        You, however, are a firm believer in the basically good nature of Zionism and Israel. The problem is that this steadfast conviction is incompatible with the reality I and your other detractors on Mondoweiss live in. This makes it frustrating and ultimately futile to discuss your opinions. On top of that, it makes many of your posts offensive in a passively-aggressive way because your convictions render you oblivious to the idea that Zionists, that the state of Israel can be evil and do evil things – something that is ovious to most of us.
        People like “eee” on the other hand realize that Israel commits evil acts against the Palestinians. They just don’t care or worse: They applaud them. You don’t do that. But you close your mind to the idea that Zionism, which I imagine is extremely important to your sense of self, is not an overall good mystical force, but just another ideology with a nationalist bent – leading to oppression, jingoism and discrimination.

  3. My views are different than EEE, but you missed them.

    You accurately got that I believe that Zionism is a net good in the world, not because Jews or Zionism is God’s gift to the world (ala “white man’s burden”), but because I believe that the transition for the Jewish people from passive and abused to peer and participant is a good, that self-governance is a good.

    As you know, I regard the concept that the Jewish people (those that reside in Israel) should not self-govern as a form of anti-semitism, as a rejection of the right of association of a people.

    That being said, I regard the current application of Zionist ideology as an abuse of the principle of self-governance, as it is accompanied by the denial of self-governance of others, and that a primary effort of the Israeli populace and state, should be to affirm Palestinian self-governance, as a form of fulfillment of live and let live.

    To my thinking, the generalization that Zionism is the root of trouble, is itself a racist theme, in selectively denying self-governance for only the Jewish people.

    It is the root of the question of whether dissent is revolutionary (with the risks of subsequent repression that all revolutionary approaches indulge in, very very carelessly, cruelly so) or reformative.

  4. Bill Pearlman says:

    Rich, you have to appreciate the irony of this.

  5. Bill Pearlman says:

    You and I, both banned from mondoweiss. I was reading the comments about this and they really seem to hate you. Same has me. But like Roosevelt said, “I welcome their hate” you should too.

    • Bill,
      When I stated that I was committed to my convictions, I meant it.

      For me that means a commitment to Israel being a nation (existing), and Israel being a nation whose morality I can be proud of.

      The tragedy of the place is that appropriate dissent on Israel’s policies and practices is needed, and that as currently framed, it utterly fails beyond a self-talking cadre.

  6. Bill Pearlman says:

    I never had a problem with you. I actually thought it was kind humorous that over at mondoweiss your seen has some sort of Stern gang kind of guy. Which is so not the case. Which shows where they are. Seriously though, the problem I have with Weiss and his bunch of psychos is that post Babi Yar, Treblinka, whatever. Israel is the central enterprise if you will of the Jewish people. You can make all the distinctions you want but if your against the existence of Israel post VE day then your against the existence of the Jewish people. And that I take personally.

  7. Mooser says:

    Richard, I might let you know that feelings are running very high at Mondoweiss. Your banning has apparently touched off a mutiny among the commentors, and other long suppressed conflicts and abuses are coming to light in its wake, Phil and Adam have a veritable revolution on their hands. Is that what you intended? If so, you got your wish. Most commentors are indicating they will not be satisdfied until you are re-instated, and given a weekly comment free from any moderation.

    • Mooser,
      I think you are mistaking a few mildly supportive comments, along with much more that are ridiculing, with a “mutiny”.

      Thanks for including the link.

      It did take Phil a long time to declare overtly that I was banned. I didn’t feel that that was particularly “honest” nor “courageous”.

      I generally don’t feel permission to post e-mail correspondence, but in this case the process was Kafkaesque, with Phil only communicating with me to the exent of announcing, and not communicating directly with me.

      That component was part of the Kafkaesque nature of the process.

      I did communicate with the journalists that I correspond with periodically that I was banned, and all that responded did so with sympathy, but not particular outrage.

      I have learned from my interaction on the site that my values and the manner by which I add my multiple concerns and sympathies, is sound, right, and deserve the light of day.

      EVERY liberal writer, thinker, that posts there is attacked. They/we are not respectfully disagreed with. And because of that, because ridicule and contempt is the norm, discussion does not occur.

      Credentialed discussion based on agreement with a platform has a place, but only where it is declared. That is not the stated intention of Mondoweiss. It is and has been a stacked deck, a very negative one, in this case somewhat deceptive (banning not based on clear and overtly stated criteria).

  8. Bill Pearlman says:

    I’ll tell you what I find interesting over there. The constant use of zionist and neocon. Occasionally they’ll lapse into what they really mean. Which is Jew.

    • I think there is some merit in that statement. I was reluctant to allow it.

      I don’t think that it is nearly everybody. There are some overtly anti-semitic posters there that desire that Jews disappear.

      I think there are more (majority actually), that see a wrong and are frustrated at how to right it or heal it, and willingly pendulum.

      Too many have no skin in the “mutual humanization” game, and are insensitive to or devalue the experience, relevance, rights of Jews.

      They see the very slow relentless current Israeli expansion and feel that they would be betraying their moral integrity to passively accept the disenfranchisement and objective harms to Palestinians.

      For others, Israel/Palestine is merely a component of some other ideological construct, either “nativist” (some of the Ron Paul people) that stretches to Lindberghian anti-semitism.

      The moral responsibility of Phil and Adam, that do have the basis to study, understand, know, empathize mutually is greater than they are realizing.

      The fulfillment of their moral responsibility, the Jews there, is to conduct electoral efforts, to persuade.

      Even if they are remote from Israel, and have no citizen’s right to fund and campaign, they do have the right as intellectuals to construct argument.

      They’ve chosen though to adopt BDS, which is structured to be insensitive and to be threatening, rather than persuasive and reconciling.

  9. Bill Pearlman says:

    What BDS does is back the average Israeli into a corner. I’m speaking very seriously here. When a band who I never heard of, ( more of a Sinatra guy myself ) . Is pressured not to play a concert in Tel Aviv then what it allows the most right wing settler in Hebron to say to the most left wing guy in Tel Aviv, look, they hate you too. And no matter what you do they’ll still hate you.

  10. Ed Frias says:

    I’v seen Witty’s comments on different sites.

    To me he would be someone i would compare to Yossi Sarid or Yossi Beilin.

    He’s definitely on the left and would be part of the Meretz party.
    The fact that Philip Weiss bars someone whose leftwing shows what a nut job he is.

    When i tried to post Palestinian Mufti’s calling for the killing of all Jews, Weiss would never allow it on.

    When i tried to post how Abbas in his media is glorifying terrorists who murder Israeli civilians, Weiss barred me.
    When Israel met with the PA a few weeks ago in Jordan, Israel’s negotiator Yitzhak Molcho presented PA negotiator Saeb Erekat with a booklet dealing with Palestinian incitement against Jews.
    Erekat appeared livid and stormed out of the room as if insulted that the Palestinians are supposed to stop glorifying terrorists who murder Israeli civilians.

    So what does the PA do a week later, they put music videos on the state controlled PA station calling a world without Israel.

    The funny thing is, Philip Weiss tried to enter the Aipac conference and was barred from going in.
    He got a taste of his own medicine.

    Join the club. I was banned also from Mondoweiss.

    Philip Weiss is basically the Assad of that site.
    Anyone who rebukes his lies about Israle is barred from the site.
    Weiss is no different then the Arab dictators and the Mullah’s who run Iran.

    • I don’t know what goes on in Phil’s or Adam’s mind, what multiple considerations they weigh in their editorial and moderating choices.

      I had a dream last night, a dream of a dramatist who had dreamed that he was privy to two shattering dreams, one of an Israeli settler dreaming a Palestinian refugees’ deep dream of his relationship to God and of all close relations, and the other of a Palestinian refugee dreaming an Israeli settler’s deep dream of his relationship to God and all close relations.

      Any dogmatic perspective that does not walk in the other’s shoes (soul to context) is missing our point on the planet.

      That adds to live and let live, to finding a way to live as good neighbors.

    • Bill Pearlman says:

      It is a little rich for him to complain about being barred from aipac when he bans a guy like Witty.

      • I didn’t see him complain about being banned from AIPAC. I have heard him speak defensively/aggressively about his being “censored” elsewhere.

        It does strike me as hypocrisy to ban me.

        “This is a proposal that e-mailed Phil and Adam today.

        A more rational moderating criteria proposal.

        1. Clear criteria of commentary that is not accepted. Language like “nakba denial” is too vague to serve as criteria. I would suggest that intentional harrassment of another poster (Like North’s or Chaos’ shadowing me for months), should not be permitted.

        2. Limits of 4 posts per topic, and 10 per day per poster, applied to ALL. (Make people think about their posting, about what is important to say)

        There is then no possiblity of threadjacking by anyone.

        Any other basis of banning will be inneffective towards any valid journalistic effort.

        This one of me will discredit you if continued, even if it is just a “right” of return that I choose to not exercise (or to exercise).


        I haven’t heard a response.

      • I did get a response to the e-mail this morning.

        “but it has made comments section more civil, richard, and made it more thoughtful, actually”

        I guess Phil is a busy man and doesn’t have time to respond fully.

        I responded:

        “And severely limited the range of opinions expressed.

        And, severely limited the options to be considered.

        Silencing those that disagree is always more orderly. I thought you vehemently opposed that logic.


  11. Dan Wilson says:

    Richard I had a dream too, that the Arabs would finally take in the Palestinians they made refugees.
    My dream was reality, the 700,000 Jews forced from the Arab countries were let in Israel.
    Thank Goodness Jews dont keep their own people as refugees for media propaganda.
    Then again, you dont see Jews strapping bombs on their children for 72 virgins.
    I should also point out, Annie who one of the women who posts on Mondoweiss.
    She wrote this thread that claimed a Thai foreign worker commited the Fogel massacre in Itamar last year.
    When it became know it was the Palestinians who massacred the Fogel family and beheaded the 3 month old Jewish baby, Annie refused to recant her story.
    David Samel another racist liar who posts threads on Mondo, wrote that we should understand why Palestinians murdered the Fogel family.
    If this doesn’t show the sickness of anti Zionist Jews, nothing will.
    I remember reading an article in 03 called The Left’s support for Palestinian terror.
    It pretty much describes the posters on Mondoweiss.

  12. Dan Wilson says:

    The Arabs teach, brainwash their children to yearn for martyrdom, then instigate, provoke and confront to get their wish. When they get their death wish they start howling unfair this is and try to blame Israel for the Arabs death cult. The Arabs also fire behind civilians at Israel wanting Israel to fire back to kill these civilians. Psychologists, psychiatrist and mental health professionals ought to study this demented state of existence.

    • I don’t know what “the Arabs” teach. I’ve corresponded with Arabs that teach other Arabs about the holocaust.

      Israelis are BOTH victims and victimizers, sadly. I think adding fuel to animosity is the wrong approach to secure either Israel’s defense or to advance Israel’s reconciliation.

      I agree that BDS, advocacy for single-state, blind support for all anti-Israel resistance, is also bad for Palestinians’ defense or to advance reconciliation.

  13. Dan Wilson says:

    Weiss, Horowitz, Annie, Blumenthal they want Israel eliminated.
    They thought Norman Finkelstein wanted Israel destroyed, but when Finkelstein said the BDS just wants Israel destroyed, Weiss and Horowitz would have banned him from Mondo if he was a poster on there.
    They only want 1 opinion on there. Israel must be eliminated.
    Mondoweiss are nothing but Islamo Fascist supporters.

    • I don’t know what Phil Weiss, Adam Horowitz, Annie (I forgot her last name) or Max Blumenthal want.

      I do wish they invested (emotion, time, money is not that important) IN Israel. In that way, criticism is to make it better, constructive criticism, which it desparately needs.

  14. Richard,

    I wanted to tell you how sorry I was that you were banned from Mondoweiss. I got the boot about three and a half weeks after you after a little spat I had with Hostage. Here’s what happened.

    A commenter named Shaktimann, in an exchange with Hostage happened to mention that the Haganah did not commit the Deir Yassin massacre, which is true; everyone knows that it was done by Stern/Irgun terrorists. Even anti-Zionist historians like Ilan Pappe and all Arab historians all agree on that. Despite this, Hostage then went ballistic on Shakt, calling him a “Nakba denier,” accused him of “publicly condoning, denying, or trivializing war crimes, crimes against humanity, acts of genocide,” and claimed that the Haganah did too participate in the attack—which is not what Shakt said; he said the Haganah did not commit the massacre.

    Hostage was thus conflating the battle that occurred at Deir Yassin and the massacre that occurred after the battle into one event; the massacre occurred after a battle had been fought in the town. I then disputed Hostage’s assertions and pointed out that the very source he cited to prove his assertions in fact contradicts him. He didn’t like that. He was not meant to. He then accused me of “Nakba denial,” and threatened to leave the blog. I then posted a comment refuting in detail his accusations against me and his spurious assertions. After languishing in moderation for 20 hours, the comment was finally posted on the afternoon of Friday, February 17. Hostage posted a reply completely ignoring my arguments, and again threatening to leave the blog if I wasn’t banned. My comment that was posted was then deleted, obviously to please him, and I was henceforth banned from posting.

    As I point out elsewhere, Hostage is unquestionably knowledgeable, but he’s dishonest. Nothing illustrates this more than our latest spat over Deir Yassin, where the full extent of his dishonesty (and cowardice) was plain for all to see. Once again, Lord Hostage got mired in the muck of his mendacity, and bitched and whined like a baby when I exposed him. Instead of responding to my argument in an intellectually honest manner, or, at the very least, admitting he was in error, he took refuge in playing the “Nakba denial” card, three times called for me to be banned, and twice threatened to leave the blog if I was not. He got his way, and now the Mondoweiss Matinee Idol has returned to sing his insufferable disquisitions to his band of fawning admirers without any more interference from the likes of yours truly.

    This was never a fair or honest debate. I had absolute faith in the integrity of my arguments and the validity of my assertions, and I had faith that they would withstand the harshest scrutiny that anyone here had to offer. Hostage, on the other hand, could not honestly debate the matter because he knew that the facts were against him. So he engaged in his “Nakba denial” smears, and pounded the table, just like any other lawyer who knows that the facts and the law are against him. Now he’s at it again here and here where, of course, the voices of dissent have now been replaced with the “Amens” of his fan club, just the way he likes it.

    • I’m also sorry that you were banned. You obviously put a lot of time and thought into your comments.

      I am not as knowledgable about specific historical events or historical legal documents as either you or Hostage.

      I often feel there that I am asked to ignore my own family’s first person accounts of history, and to ignore my own study.

      I wrote a blog post months ago entitled “Into the Mythic”

      The sequence of idealists’ awareness of the political issues there seem to start with passive adoption of the official western narrative, then discovery that the narrative is incomplete and even wrong in important respects, then rejection of the official western narrative (rather than further inquiry).

      At that point, the development of knowledge is filtered for its relevance as an ideological weapon.

      I feel betrayed by that process, that all parties are made into caricatures/types rather than descriptions of real people, real decisions, real goals.

      It clearly becomes a conformist approach, necessarily so for the political goal of the movement, and presented somehow in the name of free thinking.

    • LeaNder says:

      Robert, better than slandering Hostage or accusing him of dishonesty would be to disprove that the document he linked to originally “published by the ‘Maarachot’ the Israel Defense Army Press Tel Aviv 1986”, is are wrong or somehow misleadingly translated.

      I understand that Levitza was one of the heads of Shai, the military Intelligence of Haganah in Jerusalem the at the time.

      If you are the expert you claim it should be easy for you to challenge him instead of calling him a liar.

      • LeaNder,
        I’m glad that you are visiting here.

        However, this isn’t the place for Mondoweiss back and forth. Mondoweiss is the place for that.

      • LeaNder says:

        sorry, didn’t proofread. The very best Richard, although I can’t say I’ll miss made up quotes to prove your point, remember?

      • LeanDer,
        You are mistaken about “made-up” quotes. My ‘sin’ was in putting double quotes around what I remembered, rather than declaring before every single comment “according to my memory”.

  15. LeaNder says:

    Look Richard, I usually wrote, wasn’t it? I was always aware that I could be wrong; I have a very realistic self-image. So I never lost trace of the story. I hate to judge, you know. What I found out is that the “blood in the streets”, or whatever variation, is a back and forth standard between Israel and Palestine. … and in our special case, as I remember without going back to check, originated in Israel. I did a new setup this stuff is in the archives.

    But interesting you mention it. It was on my mind, when I read the “RW-banned-responses”, especially the surprised ones, that couldn’t understand someone as polite, as you could be banned (watch the politeness of Sean McBride’s carefully and ask yourself how it feels), or the ones offered evidential links, reminding me of my own. I always hated to use my “evidential link”. But when you started to use the quote again, it felt like such an immense disrespect for our “collective instinctive distrust” to the quote–even Dan, the realistic dove, immediately distrusted it remember?– I simply couldn’t help myself. It was an absolute slap in the face that you repeated it after a while, as if nothing had happened. I simply couldn’t believe it and my anger was much stronger than my dislike for self-presentation.

    I do not belong to the people that asked for your ban, I never asked for anyone’s ban. And strictly Richard no one can ban you. All you need is a yahoo, google or whatever mail and one of the webhandle’s you dislike. Of course you have to give up your so important and so ethical self. But be careful with “dialog” and don’t write too fast notes when something hits you emotionally. Most won’t, but some may recognize your style.

    • LeanDer,
      There is a real lot in your comment that I just don’t understand.

      You seem to be speaking very emotionally, which I also don’t understand.

      The quote in question that seems to irk you and others is the statement that I repeated (because I thought it was relevant), that Gazan Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials and representatives declared that their cadre “would wipe the Gazan streets with Israeli blood if they conducted another ground operation in Gaza.”

      The quote was presented as a contributing logic to the scope of Cast Lead operations, in the question of whether Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza during Cast Lead, and what was the specific nature of those crimes. The factors that contributed to a larger scope of operation as admissable, was in addition to the continued and continual shelling of civilians from Gaza, was the assertion that Hamas and cadre was well-prepared for an Israeli ground assault, and as a guerilla army would punish IDF troups that were sent on a ground mission.

      I imagine that the specific language would have been considered offensive because of the invocations of ‘Arab brutality’ (a basis of calling me “racist”), and the fear inducing language (rather than more restrained).

      The point of the logic behind an expanded scope of Cast Lead operations remained, substantively uncontested, to this day.

      The very very vast majority of posters at Mondoweiss responded to that inquiry with ‘look at the Goldstone Report’, but failed to address the specific questions of admissable scale of operation of Cast Lead.

      My own published assessment of Cast Lead, was that military actions by the IDF was a responsiblility (not a “right”) of a sovereign state, that an expanded scope of operations (risk-averse for Israeli soldiers) was rational given the history of prior Hamas guerilla responses, prior Hamas use of otherwise inadmissable weapons construction and launching sites (schoole, hospitals, ambulances, etc.), confirmed by rhetorical warnings from the Al Qassam brigade commanders and spokesmen.

      But, that at the point that the IDF discovered that the scope of ground assault was not necessary to achieve the valid military mission of stopping and/or reducing the shelling of Israeli civilians, that that expanded scope became excessive, inadmissable.

      Jerome Slater declared that ANY expanded scope of operations would be inadmissable, on the basis that Israel had neglected diplomatic and policy revisions that might have resulted in cessation of shelling. I found that logic, if I characterized his jist accurately, to be incorrect.

      • On posting again at Mondoweiss under an assumed name.

        I proudly posted under my own name.

        Doing so was important for the honesty and accountability of that transparency, and also to make Phil’s commentary real in the sense of addressing his themes in a real context that was personal to him.

        You know that I know his family personally, and have a personal history with Phil and his family that includes committed political expression.

  16. LeanDer has submitted a couple responses that I rejected, reiterating the claim that I “lied” about hearing and remembering the quote of Hamas/Islamic Jihad.

    He/she’ll just have to accept that Hamas/Islamic Jihad was warning the IDF in graphic terms to not engage in a ground assault approaching Cast Lead.

    If he/she wants to further the communication on this particular point, it will have to be via e-mail.

  17. Bill Pearlman says:

    Rich it really is fascinating to read the comments section over there. And without question mooser is the chief clown, they like his “Step in fetch it” act over there. And he really does hate you.

    • He likes a food fight, and is willing to misrepresent others to see one occur.

      He’s not unintelligent, when he is moved to speak candidly and clearly.

      His or anybody’s ridicule doesn’t change the realities in the world, and it is realities that must be dealt with.

      The food fighting (agitation) does deter the serious discussion towards articulating valid goals to jointly pursue.

  18. Bill says:

    I don’t go to mondoweiss too much anymore because well, I have to work. But I think the per capita number of comments is actually decreasing. And its the same people constantly.

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