We don’t talk about Israel in my family so I have to talk about it here

Everyone in my family holds a different view about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

I used to track my site traffic like Google was my fortune teller. The top three countries for my audience were always US, UK, and Australia. The next few countries changed a lot, but often Israel was number four. My family is so used to fighting about the Israelis that we even fought about the reason for my large Israeli readership.

How do I feel about the Palestinians? I fall on the far end of horrified by how they are being treated. But I have no solution.

Right now over 50% of the world’s Jews live in the US, and 30% live in Israel. The New York Times predicts Israelis won’t let up on Gaza which will lead to a messy breakup between the Israeli Jews and the American Jews. There is precedent for this. The original 12 tribes of Jews broke up 2000 years ago and things were fine. Okay. Well, they were not fine. The two tribes that went back to Israel were fine and the 10 tribes that assimilated outside their homeland were lost. So I guess the New York Times is saying American Jews will be the next Jews to disappear through assimilation — along with the Palestinians in their own diaspora, perhaps.

I get it: I have a hard time telling my kids they have to marry Jews so we don’t all disappear. My kids see that as racist. I try to describe the historical burden of ethnic chauvinism. But it’s difficult. It’s so much easier to be mainstream.

It’s not a radical idea to have Israeli and American Jews break up, because it’s in the NYT and mainstream media is not radical. But it’s a radical idea to get rid of the Jews, which history tells us is close to happening to American Jews, and it’s a radical idea to say that, if it’s true that culture needs a homeland then maybe we need to redefine culture as something that’s not tied to land owning. You won’t find that in the NYT. You’ll find it on John Oliver. Click that link.

My younger son can learn languages very fast. I told him if I were like him I’d learn dying languages because he could preserve a culture by preserving a language. He told me it’s okay for some cultures to die if it’s their time.

My brother does not read mainstream media which means he’s always interesting to talk to. If you get your news from alternative sources you have no sense of whether you have an alternative view of the news. You just have your view. Also my brother does not read anything that has a print cycle faster than a week because he wants to read thoughtful commentary. He finds this favors the Economist. He tells me.

  • No one is running Isreal because it’s caught in a constant election cycle.
  • He thinks it would be easier for Israel to ditch the US than for the US to ditch Israel.
  • No one has a solution to the conflict.

My older son, who adores my brother, finds a video from 1986 where Biden says, “If we didn’t have an Israel in the Middle East the US would have to invent one.”

I took a break from the too-difficult task of parenting teenagers and ran into a protest in Copley Square.

As the anti-Clark Kent, whenever there’s an emergency, I turn into a journalist: I straighten my shirt and combed my hair and asked one of the people holding a sign: “Does this crowd seem younger to you than the crowds in other protests over the last year or so?”

The guy said the only people who know what’s going on are using social media and it’s been very difficult to get the word out because Twitter and Instagram said they had a glitch that deleted posts originating from certain Palestinians or certain Palestinian neighborhoods. He said that particular censorship stopped, but mainstream media is not picking up the stories that are on social media. Al Jazeera calls this digital apartheid. So older people are not feeling the urgency because they are not getting the stories from Palestinians.

We underestimate how big a gatekeeper mainstream media still is. Force yourself to look for alternative news sources. I like Propublica because they are a nonprofit and they tackle large, unwieldy topics. I look for sources that have a perspective you don’t get to hear a lot. I read Al Jazeera, and Reason, and I subscribe to the Economist so I can read the links my brother sends. Otherwise, you become part of the system of gatekeepers. Mainstream media is rarely incentivized to disrupt power structures. And every story we receive is part of the story of why the power structures are in place.

32 replies
  1. Blue
    Blue says:

    Thanks for writing this Penelopy, as you, and as a Jewish person. I felt like I was going to puke when I saw the news building collapse — on social media. It feels like Isreal has become what they hated – but what do I know. I don’t have answers either. Thanks for the additional links, and hugs to you and your family.

  2. L
    L says:

    Bless your heart for talking about this.
    Biden’s comment in 1986 was right. The US needs excuses for its imperialism.
    It is also a fact that the US, Israel, Australia and Canada were all created by historic and ongoing dispossession of the original inhabitants of the land (a process known as settler colonialism) and that is another reason why they support each other in myriad ways. They are legible to each other.

    Your comment to your kids may be prejudiced, but it is not racist. Racism is linked to structures of power, which means that objecting to white kids marrying non-white kids is racist, but wanting your kids to marry Jews is not. Because we all live in a society dominated by white supremacy.

    One more very important thing: Palestine is not in a ‘conflict’. Palestine is occupied. An occupation is not a conflict.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I just learned two really interesting things from this comment: why it isn’t racist to tell my kids to marry Jewish people, and why Palestine is not a conflict. I really appreciate learning stuff like this. Language is so important. It changes how I see.

      Thank you.

  3. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    I can remember when we, in the west, told the Middle East that the “road map for peace” was their last chance from us. They blew it, and then we relented, trying once again to “help.” I wonder if it’s racist to say they need a “western saviour” as if they are not as intelligent as we are. Any help would have to start with saying we respect them as being equal to us.

    Here in the west we “demonize” the way a judge issues a wire-tap warrant, with firm dates: No demonizing before declaring war, no demonizing after the peace treaty is signed. Some occupation troops came home from Japan and Germany with former “fascists” as their wives. I once flew on an armed forces plane to Germany beside a German wife.

    In the Middle East, demonizing is a permanent, peacetime, way of life for them. Cradle to grave. I think we are kidding ourselves if we say, as saviours, we understand this as much as they do.

    • Stephanie
      Stephanie says:

      Sean, thank you for pointing out the irony of our self-righteousness – we are quick to judge when we don’t know what we don’t know.

      It really hit me that Penelope labels Propublica, Al Jazeera and the Economist as non-mainstream. The latter two are only non-mainstream if you don’t pay attention to international news. NYT, the Washington Post, etc. feature Propublica’s stories from time to time.

      But I guess Penelope’s commentary applies in the American context.

  4. Joe F.
    Joe F. says:

    This is one of those messy things that someone behind a keyboard in American would do better to stay out of. How can Americans have a clear view of what is happening? It’s tough enough to know what’s really happening in our own country, never mind an ancient conflict that has never been resolved. The only facts we can bank on are two – we have a strong treaty with Israel, and they’re our largest ally in the region. We will not let them fall, and rightfully so.

    • 4rands
      4rands says:

      ‘We will not let them fall’

      Whatever the consequences?

      I think a relationship with Israel where they know the US will project its superpower status with no strings attached facilitates behaviours within Israel which would be very different if instead Israel required good relations and compromise with its neighbours.
      (This is different to the US protecting Israel’s right to exist and its people’s right to safety).

  5. Peter Varhol
    Peter Varhol says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful commentary. Much to say here. I will limit this to alternative news sources. I have always sought out different topics, and different points of view, but it is difficult for us to tell who is responsible. For example, I think that Al Jazeera has a unique point of view, and is also responsible. The same cannot be said of more dubious sources.

    My teen grandnephew just contracted Covid. My sister (his grandmother) said that if it were up to her, the boys would not be vaccinated, because she read it would make them infertile. Um. this may be alternative, but it is irresponsible.

  6. Windscale
    Windscale says:

    I wish there were some equitable solution to the Israel/Palestinian problem but I can’t think what it can possibly be. The only even remotely workable option I can think of is a single joint secular state of Israel and Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital, that has some sort of mandatory coalition agreement similar to the one used for Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland system has had plenty of problems, and I’m sure there’ll be more to come but, on the whole, the sectarian killings etc. seem to be mostly under control.

  7. Brad
    Brad says:

    Thank you for eliminating any doubt whatsoever as to your mental proclivities. You have proven what an absolute moron you are. I have never hit the unsubscribe button faster in my life. You are not a real Jew and please stop identifying with my religion. We are repulsed by you scum.

    • harris497
      harris497 says:

      Damn Brad, tell us how you really feel – why don’t you…
      Civil discourse is a luxury we all should try to afford.

    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      You can be a Jew and not a Zionist. I applaud her for her bravery to speak out against this apartheid and dispossessing people of their land. I can’t believe people like you try to justify kicking people out of their homes. The truth will come out. People will all know one day what the first Jewish settlers did in Palestine, and Palestine will be free, no matter how much covering up the mainstream media will try to do.

  8. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    As for Al-Jazeera, as I recall the “establishment” in the Middle East dislikes them because they have journalistic ethics, having been trained by British journalists when Al-Jazeera was first formed. So I respect Al-Jazeera, even though they don’t toe the party line of the U.S. (or Arabic) State Department.

    I don’t respect social media because, like a small town gossiper, and like the average person in the street, the folks who compose social media, and the readers who say, “It must be true or my brother-in-law wouldn’t have forwarded it,” are themselves unable to define or explain journalistic ethics. It’s queer that although we live in a “media age” many citizens still don’t know what journalism ethics are.

    I wonder if such ignorance is willful, to keep from making the effort to be ethical at their computers, just as many folks genuinely don’t want to make the effort to be ladies or gentlemen. (Easier to say gentlemen are wimps, or stuck up or “not one of us.”)

    I was at a carpenters union hall one afternoon, for a lecture on how to deal with the media. We were all non-establishment types. At one point someone asked, “Is there a conspiracy?” You could have heard a pin drop. She replied that editors come from the same socio-economic group, so in that sense there is uniformity, but that “They do try.”

    I am currently musing on ways to correct people who believe in social media without being perceived as being judgemental of them. The issue is important to me because of false gossip regarding covid. The Finns believe the Russians have troll farms where they put disinformation into the west.

  9. funkright
    funkright says:

    The Economist is by far the best print and online resource for news available. If I were to chose just 1 resource to get my news from it would be The Economist. Your brother has chosen wisely.

  10. Talitha Gabai
    Talitha Gabai says:

    I agree, the Palestinian people need a solution. It’s the civilians who suffer as a result of terrorist leadership. However, you lost me when you claimed al Jazeera (sharing offices with Hamas) is an impartial news source or that people who are on social media have their finger on the pulse. The average social media user sharing information on the Israel/Palestine issue has no clue about the middle east or its history.

    • andi moradian
      andi moradian says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. As an Israeli Jew I just find it sad that none of these people have actually taken the time to educate themselves on what the real problem is for the Palestinian people – you can be sure it isn’t Israel. This is what happens when people who really have no clue post their opinions which in turn are taken for truths.

  11. harris497
    harris497 says:

    The Associated Press can hardly be considered a biased news source and they were in those offices along with al Jazeera. Is it now guilty by association? That is a slippery slope. The connection to Hamas was dubious at best.
    I agree with you on the average social media user…

    • Talitha
      Talitha says:

      I disagree. The slant towards Palestinian interests is obvious when comparing Al Jazeera reporting vs other news agencies. I don’t think Al Jazeera is unbiased at all when it comes to reporting on Israel.

      • Randeep Mann
        Randeep Mann says:

        I respect your point on news agencies being biased, they all are.

        I prefer to consume different news from different regions as a way of not only having one lens. Al Jazeera is pro-Qatar and Qatar is not one of the countries to yet normalize relations with Israel. But has very serious rivalries closer to home which likely dampens any bias as being pro everything in the middle east exc Israel. Their list of friends is rather limited.

        So I think it’s ok to consume Al Jazeera so long as you consume other news to give different views. I don’t think it’s necessarily an issue or inherently bad for news agencies to be biased. It’s just the truth.

        As to Harris497 point of the Associated Press, do you have a view?

        Mine is, Hamas is a Government that happens to be a terrorist organization. It is both…
        It is likely also corrupt and has its hands in many things and I suspect it would be difficult to rent in an office block in Gaza without some of that money going to Hamas.

        Also, Hamas knows its best strategy to protect against Israel’s airstrikes is to spread it self as thin as possible. So have a small office in every block.

        Does that make every tenant in the block bad? Or is that the ‘cost’ of operating within Gaza.

        Does that mean Al Jazeera openly supports and funds Hamas or is operating within the rules of the local government?

        Hell, I bet Hamas if they have any brains, they tell foreign companies where they can have their offices for their personal financial gain and security.

        • Tiger Princetoncess
          Tiger Princetoncess says:

          Just want to jump in here with support of the necessity of gathering one’s news as a synthesis of the news conglomerates. There is no such thing as “unbiased” “mainstream” media. Read that again. Just look at your small city news. Pick a contentious local topic that you are completely neutral on, and try to discern the actual conflict from both sides only from your local reporters. …it is very very difficult, if not impossible. Now put that microcosmic perspective onto your large global metropolis news sources… and the idea that these media are really news manufacturers becomes a lot lot more disturbingly real.
          If you read The NYT you might as well take a gander at The Epoch Times, just to see the other side of any story before making judgments! Bari Weiss should have demonstrated that a while ago. Shalom.

  12. Louis
    Louis says:

    Wow. You guys are way out of your league and unfortunately woefully ignorant. Over 3000 missiles were shot at civilians, including me in my community, from rocket launchers in residential neighborhoods of Gaza. That’s a double war crime. The only reason we don’t have more damage and deaths here is that we invented an anti-missile system.

    As for the bias of the AP and other “news” organizations, I dare you to read this long, thorough article from 2014 by a former AP journalist.


    • Maureen
      Maureen says:

      You are invaders. You are being attacked because you are settlers trying to make a home in someone else’s country.

  13. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Penelope, I agree with your brother that Israel is caught up in a permanent election cycle, as their parties have been desperately unable to form any majority government for a while.

    This rang a bell for my U.S. watching, because I have been alarmed here at home. It was in 2012 that a British financial writer, resident in D.C., wrote of the U.S. moving more and more into a permanent election cycle, which is bad. His book is “Time to Start Thinking” subtitled “America in the age of descent.” I think he was too tactful to say decline.

    I was alarmed enough to blog about it, so here is a clip from my old blog, QUOTE:

    Happily, I’m sure Luce is not the only voice. Two weeks ago I heard a CBC radio interview with a U.S. professor from New York, an expert on tribalism. The prof said something like, “We joke about how a big part of the U.S. problem with tribal politics is the ‘decline of drinking bourbon.’” He explained that without the excuse of drinking together politicians of the two main parties were no longer socializing together. The cover flaps to Luce’s book note the same problem:

    “In domestic politics, things are also dire: conversation between Republicans and Democrats has all but ceased—Barney Frank call it “the dialogue of the deaf,” and the once noisy Senate dinning room, specifically designed so that members of different parties would be forced to talk to one another, is now empty most lunch hours. No surprise, when the politicians are busy talking to lobbyists and trying to raise campaign funds.”

    I think it is important to remember that an empty lunchroom is not an “airy fairy” opinion: it is stark and measurable, as is the newest fundraising and lobbying… UNQUOTE

  14. Sam
    Sam says:

    NPR has a couple of good shows that take on controversial topics. On the Media, New Yorker Radio Hour, and Reveal

    Sunday nights have pretty interesting stories on my station because of these shows.

  15. Mark L.
    Mark L. says:

    I appreciated the comments to your son about marrying within the community to keep the ancestral lines intact. Wikipedia says we have 7.6M American Jews, and 5.7M American Indians (including Aleuts). Who will intermarry and dilute below 50% first?

  16. Bob Fenton
    Bob Fenton says:

    My first reaction to what has been going on here in Israel was, “what a pain in the ass… another war. This is getting old and tiresome”. I still feel this way and today am a bit encouraged by outcries from the public and religious leaders (not the politicians) for ending the violence between Jews and Arabs. War sucks, people die, and to this day I haven’t seen that any of the wars in my lifetime have accomplished anything. Perhaps it reflects the boiling over of feelings of frustration with the status quo.

    Trying to make sense of what is happening here in Israel is always a challenge, and it starts with two people firmly believing this is their national homeland.

    In the present situation, I can’t look at the situation without dividing up the pieces which include: Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem, and relations between Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel. They have all blown up.

    Most troubling to me is the relations between Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel and what has been happening in Israel’s mixed cities. It is punctuated by four inconclusive national elections which have not brought a clear government, no national budget, a Prime Minister who is being tried for corruption, and a national police force that has lacked a head for over a year and doesn’t have the confidence of the public (unlike the American police). The pain comes from the eroding of the governmental structures that make any society work. A big problem in today’s internal violence has been the police ignoring for years crime and weapons in Arab towns which has led to daily gunfire and violence between various groups in these towns.

    There have been many advances in Israeli since the last conflict between Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Israeli ‘establishment’. Inequality and institutional racism is still very much a part of our society (should I say unlike America or other countries?). The lack of overall government stability has led to political leadership polarizing the country, Jews and Arabs, left and right; feeding on differences for political gain. This has led to a formal declaration of the country as a “Jewish State”, (which no one knows what that means), downgrading Arabic as an official language and other insults added to past injuries that were a part of building the country. As past Jewish-Arab conflict has brought significant changes in the government’s relationship to the Arab minority, I hope the present situation will also bring positive change. That being said, much of the unrest has come from outside agitators, both Jewish and Arab, and extremist views have gained a stronger voice in the country, including members of Knesset, one from the Kahne party.

    Jerusalem is an unresolved problem where compromise is unknown. There are a lot of instigators coming from outside… which justifies nothing.. Israel has consistently made it difficult for East Jerusalem residents, from making it hard to return if they leave to study for a number of years, to not granting permits to build or expand their homes. Add to these endless elections with nationalism as the theme, a police force which lacks leadership, a mentality of power and the results are clear.

    Jews moving into houses in East Jerusalem may be legal, and the homes may have even been legitimately purchased, but many moving in to the area are purposely provoking conflict and the goal is clearly to force out the local population and this is part of this government’s agenda and ignoring the problem has been part of previous governments agenda. What I can say is that provocation and violence is unacceptable.

    An interesting thing that has happened in many places in Israel is that policies making it almost impossible for Arabs to expand housing options have resulted in more Arabs moving into Jewish communities and more of Israel’s cities becoming mixed…. Not sure it’s bad, but it does increase conflict especially when local municipalities refuse to provide services such as schools and community centers for the Arab population. What has changed recently is an increased militancy and unabashed feeling of privilege among some of the Jewish population which is supported by the political powers. This has been happening all over the world; I believe this impacts on all of our future and chances of peace.

    Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem has become politicized by the Arab world, and has become a site for protest. Conflict between the police and protesters at the mosque appears to me more like a cat and mouse game than anything else, however you can’t restrict freedom and opportunity of a people without them having to let out their rage in different places at different times. Respecting the sanctity of holy places is all of our responsibility.

    Gaza… oye…. I can’t help but think that while Hamas was yelling and crying that Israel has closed the borders, they have no water, no food, no medical equipment and are starving to death, they seemed to have enough money to build thousands (not hundreds) of missiles. This is not to mention the high-rise apartments built for their leadership. Hamas has clearly stated its goal is to destroy Israel (Hamas… not Palestinians, and not all Arabs) and Iran is supporting them with this. (I am proud to say that I have been involved with several projects and humanitarian aid in Gaza.)

    With the politicalizaton of ‘Jerusalem’… not the holiest site in Islam, the Hamas in Gaza felt like they had an opportunity to gain popularity as ‘defenders of Jerusalem’, and started firing missiles on cities in Israel. What did they expect would happen? I am fairly sure that our Prime Minister’s responses and planning is influenced by the fact that he is on trial for corruption and is trying to keep his power, and he has succeeded. The attempt to form a right wing government without him and with support of the Muslim Religious Party was to much for him… and I’m not sure it wasn’t to much for Hamas and other Arabs. Commentators and politicians are talking about this war ‘buying five years of calm’, and this is and has been the Middle East approach for to long. Everyone is buying time (Palestinian and Israeli leaders) no one is buying solutions. Death and destruction aside, I have always seen these confects as a chance to change the status quo and create a new and better reality for all sides. I don’t think that has happened.

    The West Bank….. a failure on everyone’s part…. Israel is responsible for a partial occupation and not allowing (or helping ) the Palestinian Authority to grow and develop a strong independent state. The Palestinians are responsible for poor leadership, corruption and inability to negotiate and compromise. (This includes losing the confidence of their people. Elections were put off once again because it was clear that there was no support for the present Palestinian leadership.) The world is responsible for not forcing both sides in an even handed way to compromise and look to a solution. The occupation must end, and the Palestinians must take responsibility for any violence and terror…. Israel must get the settlers out but all this may be too late. No one is feeling optimistic about the possibility of an equitable solution.

    Well… is there a bottom line…? Israel and a Palestinian State both have a right to exist. Israel’s involvement and occupation must end. Israel must struggle and succeed to build a society with equality for its Palestinian citizens. The arming of Hamas (and Hizbalah in Lebanon) to destroy Israel probably won’t stop and despite the fact that I think we are a little too paranoid, there are people out to get us and unfortunately we need an army to stop this. Finally, we do not have the luxury to be too pessimistic nor to ignore the issues that need to be addressed to build a future for all of us who live here. No one is going away!

    War sucks…..and truth is its first victim.

    I continue working to make a difference in this bastion of chaos. On the positive side I have been able to help many projects which have brought Jews and Palestinians together including putting a water generator in a hospital in Gaza and in a local municipality in Gaza; helping an Israeli company working with a Palestinian partner in the Palestinian Authority to develop a contract to build a solar energy field; being part of work with Palestinian and Israeli mental health professional addressing issues of the conflict; being part of a program for up-and-coming politicians in Palestine and Israel increasing understanding of the other, and working with schools where Jewish and Palestinian students learn together. May we all continue to work for peace and equality in the country and the region.

  17. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    I suppose someone is going to say that the U.S. should put it’s actions where it’s mouth is by sending marines into Gaza, and then using precision bayonets and rifles to get to Hamas rocket crews without hurting civilians.

    The problem is that U.S. culture has changed: Besides believing that Elvis is alive, Americans believe that soldiers can take action without any deaths. As few as 19 dead Americans caused the U.S. to abandon the many starving civilians in Somalia. (The war lords were blocking food)

    These days, to avoid a bullet to a G.I.’s right shoulder, the U.S. will use drones in West Asia, despite civilian collateral damage, which pushes away hearts and minds.

    If that is the current U.S. culture, then how can Americans expect the Israelis to be any less soft hearted about their own soldiers? My answer is they can’t.

    • Tiger Princetoncess
      Tiger Princetoncess says:

      Not sure, as much as we want to, that Americans are as interested as they used to be about risking their sons’/daughters’ lives for foreign lives/ lands (and let’s recall that our Armed Forces involve very, very few of Blue States’ sons/daughters), whereas Israeli soldiers would be rightfully defending their own. Nor am I sure what Elvis being dead or alive in people’s minds has to do with anything here. I don’t think this comment was thought-full enough.

  18. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I think most families don’t discuss politics today and especially stay away from issues that are controversial. So your title is not very surprising. My siblings and I don’t discuss politics. However, when my cousin and I get together, we often talk politics which is easy to do as we mostly agree. The challenge is to be able to discuss politics as civil discourse. It can be fun and enlightening if done correctly. Two people discussing politics aren’t going to solve the world’s problems but they can learn from each other if each is willing to listen to the other. I think we have our fair share of political differences but that wouldn’t slow me down one bit as I would argue my case with references and would expect you to do the same. I wouldn’t mind discussing politics with you or anyone with who I may disagree as long as there were no personal attacks. That’s a rule of mine and where I draw the line.
    My politics are conservative, libertarian, and geared to the individual not necessarily in that order. So reading this blog is an alternative news source for me especially when following the links. I also read other sources from time to time that doesn’t comport with my “world view”. I find it’s necessary so I don’t end up in some echo chamber and can’t relate to someone who doesn’t agree with me. What I’ve found to be helpful and the key is to know the source of what I’m reading, listening to, or watching and understanding what is being reported or advanced. It holds true whether it’s an organization or an individual. Also, the actual words of the source are critical as a writer or commentary may be merely applying their interpretation or spin. Two sources of the many of late that I’ve been reading are from The Gatestone Institute and My Jewish Learning. This article today at Gatestone Institute gave an overview and brief background with which I agree – https://www dot gatestoneinstitute dot org/17413/biden-administration-rewards-terrorists-abbas. This category at the My Jewish Learning website has many articles on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a couple of which I’ve read and plan to read more – https://www dot myjewishlearning dot com/category/study/israel/israeli-palestinian-conflict/. There is no doubt the Palestinian people are suffering greatly – especially those living on the Gaza Strip. The money going into the hands of the PA, Hamas, and others isn’t being used to strengthen the economy, build schools, infrastructure, etc. And the terrorists absolutely hate the Israelis and have given them their three Nos since 1967. It is their mission to wipe out the Israelis from the river to the sea. So I don’t see how it’s possible to negotiate under those circumstances. As for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and their social media accounts, I think their sources of information are limited and much of what they know is propaganda. Look up Kasim Hafeez, who was raised a devout Muslim in England. His story is a chilling and sobering account of being led to believe untruths until he discovered the truth on his own. I guess I will never understand this hatred for Jews especially as many of my best friends in college were Jewish.

  19. Mysticaltyger
    Mysticaltyger says:

    I’m not sure I agree with your take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but I’m 100% in agreement with you on the mainstream media. I can’t believe anyone pays attention to them anymore. And I include heavily censored Twitter/Google/Youtube, etc. in that group.

  20. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Wow, I just found a very comprehensive research piece, by the Pew (institute?) that, like my aunt’s book on penguins, tells more about the state of Jewish-Americans than I need to know: https://www.pewforum.org/2021/05/11/jewish-americans-in-2020/

    I was not surprised to see that orthodoxy was more common in the young that in the old. I don’t think that fundamentalism comes from “poverty and despair” the way people claimed after 9/11, because even affluent America has seen a rise in such. Rather, I tend to agree with business guru Peter Drucker who noted, back in the 20th century that as “salvation by society” has failed (my examples include communes, communism, and government social engineering) people have turned to “salvation by religion.”

    Neither is terrorism from poverty, worldwide, since according to an economist in his lectures What Makes a Terrorist, terrorists tend be middle class, relating not to crime but to voting. It follows that if terror-exporting countries have more civil rights they will have less terror. …Too bad that when John Kerry forced Egypt to take a big loan—and I was not the only one who noticed—he didn’t include any strings about not killing protestors, or allowing human rights.

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