Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mondoweiss (Updated)


I know it's likely futile but this blog's public relations director, spokesman and all round public face and good guy, Che Gorilla,  is attempting registration under user name geoffff to comment at Mondoweiss   the US based blog of antizionist leftist Philip Weiss and associates that likes to play the Jew card big time.  

"Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective."
Cool. That's exactly what the world needs. A progressive Jewish perspective. We've never seen one of those before.  

I've never been to young Phil's blog although I've heard of it.  A bit like young Antony's blog over here but with more money to splash around. I get it now. More mouths to feed.

The first post that caught my eye was this one.

The conversion of Joel Kovel (Part 1)

At the annual July 4 weekend picnic held in the Catskills by Michael Ratner and Karen Ranucci this year, Joel Kovel gave me stunning news at the beer table: he said that he had been baptized on Easter, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Harlem.
Born Jewish in Brooklyn in 1936, Kovel is a renowned radical scholar. His latest book, The Enemy of Nature, is an “eco-socialist” polemic against capitalism as the source of global warming. His book before that, Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine, is a classic of Jewish anti-Zionism. 

Wow.  I just love a good yarn about a Jew finding Jesus in a Church of England in Harlem on Passover on American Independence Day. Something like that anyway. You gotta admit you don't see that often.   It's worth a picture.

Kovel baptized
Kovel (r) just before baptism by the Rev Earl Kooperkamp, photo credit Peter Halleck

Because I take Kovel so seriously-- and because the question of conversion is such a fascinating one; consider such influential figures as Heinrich Heine, Annie DillardMuriel Spark, and Bob Dylan -  I asked if I could interview him about his conversion. We met at his Upper West Side apartment on August 22; and I followed up with a short interview by phone on September 2. Our conversation is very long, so I have broken it into two parts. The second part will run in a couple of days.
Like every other life form on the planet within twelve thousand kilometres,  Che Gorilla had never heard of Kovel until taking a sniff at Mondoweiss just now and now that the Gorilla's nostrils have had a twitch or two takes Kovel seriously not at all. Gone like a pebble in a bottomless inland spring.

Kovel is funny.  "Eco-Socialist" ?.  Please.  Give this poor old silverback a break.

Still cool though. Not because "the question of conversion is so fascinating" either because it isn't really unless you are already converted.

It's because the extremist mind is fascinating and a little scary and in that regard Kovel has undertaken no conversion at all and here is why in his own words.

 I came from a good sized family. Each parent had four siblings, and there were many people from the old country, but I can guarantee you that the only one I truly loved was my Aunt Betty, and I knew she loved me. She was my father’s youngest sibling, and the model of a liberated woman. She went out and founded a business, and she was written up in the papers, a Jewish woman going into the world.  She had a visiting nurses service, her own little firm, and she had a son of her own who is now deceased.  And she and I were really close. I loved to be around her, she was very funny, and a model of all the strong women I’ve been drawn to in life.

And then she fell very ill. She had a horrible form of cancer. I was 16 when she started to decline. It was ovarian cancer, one of the worst, and it deformed her very much. She was a big strong person, and she had 6 months of the most hellish descent. It was an awful death. And I went to her funeral, and it was a secular funeral, because she had broken with the Jewish faith. She had never taught me to break with the Jewish faith, I don’t know where she stood on Zionism. I just knew she was an atheist and didn’t want to be part of the Jewish faith.
A horrible thing happened at the funeral. The service was at Riverside chapel near Grand Army Plaza, and it was miserable. A man spoke who didn’t know her at all, and mumbled some platitudes, then we went over to her house. I was a freshman at Yale, and I had come down for the funeral. I went to her house and stumbled around in the most desolate way, then I overheard these women’s voices behind me, three of them, and I listened to what they were saying. They were three of my aunts, I won’t identify them further, and they were saying in so many words, Betty was a bad person in life and a bad person in death, she had showed no sympathy to them, she had showed no respect for the Jewish faith, she didn’t give them the benefit of a proper Jewish funeral where they could mourn as Jews mourn. You see, all she did was die of cancer, a horrible death, and be buried as she wished. But it wasn’t good enough for them. She was 40 years old, and she was the light of my life in many ways, she was very bright, like my father.

Sometimes you can't believe what you read.. What a terrible  story.  Dear me.  What a nasty spiteful family our "something of a public intellectual"  has sprung. .

 Here is his story. He's the favourite son of an affluent Brooklyn family and a Yale brat down for the funeral of a favourite aunt who died tragically..  Up until then his only adverse experience with religion had been a cranky old ratbag rabbi who didn't like Jesus. Just the one?

I should have thought that was pretty good. Wouldn't you?

This is Brooklyn  in  about 1954 for crying out loud. .

Let's put it to the secularists for a vote.

It could have been easily much worse.

What would he have preferred?  A wave  of priests and nuns much closer and common in his life and who loved Jesus for sure but probably hated Jews almost as much and said so and probably hated you as well.and certainly acted as they did often in the most abominable ways.

This is New York 1954 almost immediately before Che Gorilla's most recent reincarnation by extraordinary co incidence. Think Ireland. Think Brittan where appropriately the Anglican brand was dominant. Think Australia.

This now is known. We have all heard it from the survivors.

What is his point?

The Joel Kovel point in his own words :

How did you react to what they said?
Oh it was apocalyptic. It was a great thunderclap, as if the world was coming to an end. I was completely startled. I was barely 17 at the time. [My emphasis - look it up]
Did you say anything?
Not directly. What I did was I left immediately, I bid a hasty goodbye, I said I had to get back to school and I went out.
Did you express your feelings to anyone in your family?
No. I understood she was their close relative, and they hated her because she wouldn’t accept their tribal identity. And I could not share that understanding with other members of my family. I didn’t. I should have.
But what happened to me as a result is that I sealed myself off from my family. From that moment on I was a superficially loyal and cooperative member of the family, but I said to myself on that day, I will have nothing to do with them in re the Jewish faith. I basically broke with Judaism at that point.  

Comment from Che Gorilla

(born around the time Aunt Bettie died)

Maybe I'm her reincarnation? I share a lot of her attributes with all due modesty. 

Dear me Mr Kovel. Their tribal identity?  You  big girl's blouse.

He "breaks" with his religion at 17. So what? No biggie.

Maybe for him but not for anybody else in the secular world and by that I mean the liberal democratic world where law is made by and for men and women and not by superstitious ignorant  and violent men for violent men who say they know the mind of God and don't you dare argue.   

Look at the reason he gives for chrissake! 

Is that  not the most pathetic and spiteful reason for "breaking" with a religion you have ever seen in your whole goddamn life?

You "break" with a religion because it does not offer enough to you or it traumatised you or you drift from it because you move either spiritually philosophically politically or physically.

Or you fall in love. Or all of the above. Right?

 You don't then break from the family and people most of whom would likely be as appalled at the spiteful words of a tiny group of relatives as Kovel so sanctimoniously appropriates exclusively  for himself.

What an affront to his family who he doesn't even give the benefit of doubt. What an affront to  the "tribe"  as well who also don't get the benefit of doubt.

Not to mention an affront to the religion which it goes without saying also doesn't get the benefit of doubt. I almost didn't.

Kovel is some kind of  radical socialist. Therefore all he did was swap one religion for another before he had even reached manhood.  

Joel joined a new tribe before he even grew up.

He is allowed to do that in our societies. He is protected by the law even if he needed protection from anything but himself. 

He is not condemned by the law.

That's the whole point that Joel and the antizionist Christian clerics and communists will never get. And the Jews among them too of course. I almost forgot. For some reason them above all. 


Forty year old Betty who died while Joel was up at school ( there has to be some reason for all that pent up guilt)  had a secular funeral in Brooklyn in 1954. 

Good for her if that's what she wanted. 
Then three nasty relatives, sisters of his parents, full of the stuffiness of their age make comments among themselves not intended for his ears about their sibling they loved  to hate.  Appalling shit from appalling people.

The three ugly sisters.
But ...  but ...  what if he had been at an atheist funeral in Brooklyn in 1954 among relatives whose preists and clergy would likely have included men and women far more malign than a rabbi with a nasty chip and a quick lip..

He leaves his religion because of that? 

What would his three suddenly unbeloved and very unpleasant aunts be whispering among themselves at a Brooklyn wake for their dead sister if they had been deprived of their sacred rituals  for their atheist communist (or whatever) and especially beautiful young sibling?  
And that's it ? One bigoted old cleric  and a nasty little knot of religion obsessed relatives out of a "good sized family"?  

Three in a family where each parent had four siblings. Four counting Joel.
No wonder he's counting his blessings.
He cuts out religion and he cuts out the family. Why? Because he cut out the religion they have to go too? I don't get it. I sense a sad man.
At least the religion didn't cut out part of him.
Or may be that is what this is all about.

I'm going to put this to the vote of the secularists.
He should be counting his blessings twice about all that was cut from him. Perhaps his  partners should be as well.

More on this guy to come. He's got my attention. So has the left of the C of E.

I'm curious about Mondoweiss as well. How is this man's story have anything to do with a blog, in the words of Weiss that is

"devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective."?

Fair Dinkum. A Jew who converted to Communism as soon as he could at the height of the McCarthy era and now nearly sixty years later has become an Anglican and  stay a Communist.

Not for the first time. A "Broad Church" indeed. I shall return to this subject soon


My registration was accepted and password duly issued which surprised me. Maybe their entry hurdle is low. Let's see if they put up my opening comment and link.

 My experience with neo-Stalinists and other hard line leftists and other extremists  and their urgers and supporters with short memories is they have no respect for opinion other than their own and soon work to suppress it as soon as they can. Have you noticed that?

Look at what they refuse to publish comment on:

"Holocaust Denial" or "Nakba Denial"

Seriously I don't think I have ever seen a more disgusting comment moderation rule anywhere in the world in the English language.

Congratulations. Mr Mondoweiss

You made this old gorilla's stomach churn and given the stuff that I've had to eat up over the years that is quite an achievement

You have summed up perfectly what is wrong at the very core of the  leftist mind in a single set of rules.

I can't believe this has not received wider attention. Maybe it has.

We must spit out the Noam Chomsky fur ball preferably within his lifetime.

Anyone who is not convinced of that should go to Mondoweiss.

Further Update

It seems that Mondoweiss has indeed received wider  attention.  As something that even to accept comment from is enough to attract allegations of poisoning the national discourse.

The Atlantic

Philip Weiss has found evidence of Jewish influence and Jewish perfidy in everything from NPR tothe names of the buildings at Harvard University to an innocuous statement by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Weiss has argued that the "Jewish presence in the Establishment" imposes its own single-minded, communalistic interests upon the whole of American and British society. "Don't you see," he wrote in a post also suggesting "Zionists" were to blame for the outbreak of the Iraq war, "the vociferousness and effectiveness of the Israel lobby make this conflict Our Conflict!" Ironically, Weiss also believes that Zionism entails Jewish self-hatred.

etc etc

Kane and Mondoweiss are marginal. Open Zion, Peter Beinart, and Newsweek are not, and neither is their subject matter. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a century-long tangle of ethnic, religious, political, and historic sensitivities, and everything from superpower politics to the 25th chapter of the Book of Genesis has the potential to scramble or intensify it. It's easy to lose faith in the possibility of a rational, humanizing discourse when so many communal and even theological imperatives have been clashing for so long, and when something like the re-opening of a ten foot-wide passageway can spark riots that kill dozens of  people. But cynicism is hardly an excuse for letting the discourse backslide or corrode.
Publishing anti-Semites, or people who work for websites that traffic in anti-Semitic innuendo or conspiracy theories, empowers ideas aimed at obscuring the humanity of one side of an already-violent conflict. Kane's inclusion actually undermines Open Zion's confidence that honest intellectual engagement can contribute to the larger cause of understanding and peace. Instead, it reflects a depressing cynicism about the state of public discourse on the Middle East--a cynicism that believers in peace, and believers in the triumph of ideas over paranoia and bigotry, have both a moral and intellectual duty to reject.

And Che Gorilla will have the last word if you please

As it turned out it was neither futile or a mistake.

I had an opportunity to sniff around the fine institution of Mondoweiss and what a splendid institution it is too.      .I was allowed to stay as long as I liked. I stayed as long as I could. It was as much as a gorilla could bear.

Please feel free to put us on your blogroll.

It brought full circle Father Dave, Sizer, clerical antizionists in general,, Socialist Alliance and  a fluke story about an Anglican baptism in NY on an antizionist  blog. Such interesting company you see.

The Gorilla loves circles. It's about the only religion he believes in.

These people think of the "Jews"  as a "tribe". They think Jews (They define "Jew")  march to a different beat to the rest of humanity. They care about different things. They have different rules for themselves.

This is sinister.

More importantly  I have discovered a set of rules that define the rotten heart of modern Chomsky ridden leftism.

We ban Holocaust day denial but we do so in the same breath as Nakba denial

That's worth a post

Chomskyism  must be sucked from our universities. It must be done soon and hopefully within his lifetime. If he was half a man he would lend a hand.

As for Philip Weiss .  Thanks for your legacy. The only mystery about you mate and those other blokes is who is meeting the payroll.  Hopefully US security is on to that.

I don't really care whether or not you publish my comment but I'll tell you something true. The moderation rules for this blog are pretty low. They wouldn't keep a loose dachshund out of the kids' pet rabbit warren . But mate. You fall well short of what is acceptable even around here. . 

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