Note to commenters

One of our commenters here, an Israeli-American who anonymously goes by the name of ‘JES’, has been seriously violating JWN’s guideline on discourse-hogging– and others of the blog’s posted guidelines— for quite some time now.
I have therefore decided to ban this person’s from the blog for a period of time.
It is quite possible that this person will find a way round the ban, and he may or may not start posting in a different name. I shall try to delete as many as possible of the comments that I have reason to believe are coming from him during the period the ban is in effect. (Which I have yet to decide. Maybe two weeks.)
I’ve pointed out to JES that if he wants to get his views heard in the blogosphere he can start his own blog. He has no need to be parasitic on our venture here at JWN.

38 thoughts on “Note to commenters”

  1. Sin-bin for two weeks for JES! Sure. See you later, bloviator.
    But hang on a minute. Have you not noticed that whereas the focus of JWN seems much more narrowly Israelo-centric than before, in terms of topics chosen, yet the hasbaras have become less in number? Poor old JES was only compensating and over-compensating for an otherwise unusual lack of hasbaristic volume. Or am I wrong?
    I can’t explain all this, but it appears from where I sit (South Africa) that the sphere around the US/Israeli axis has shrunk, while at the same time it has become self-referential, and awkwardly boring for the rest of us. To stay awake, one has constantly to remind oneself that there are active genocidaires in situ, and nuclear-slaughter devices in play, in Israel.
    Even the hasbaras are wilting.
    A little more variety might actually assist us to concentrate better.

  2. The problem with JES he never come to agree on any one thoughts or points that said about Israel and here behaviors despite piles of evidences either by UN, independent reports, polls, History, he keeps argue that those resources manipulated, not accurate , marginal to what the case.
    Anyway, I don’t think he is “an Israeli-American”?
    May I am wrong, but from my personal experience the ugliest side of those who took stand very aggressive and hatful and arrogant are mostly from East Europe countries.
    I don’t know why such amount of hatred they had in their hearts toward Arab/ Muslims and Islam.
    As far as JES he is less what other Zionists from East Europe in this matter but he had this sound defiantly when it comes to Islam and Muslims and Jews who lived between them.
    What add to my doubt he is “an Israeli-American” his wife from Baku, Russia as he stated in one of his comments he made about a year ago, also he stated that his father/ grandfather came seven decades and bought land in Palestine which most probably form he is from East Europe than US side.

  3. I believe that banning JES detracts from your credibility. You may not agree with him, but it is important for you to be exposed to zionist points of view.

  4. Frankly I didn’t pay too much attention to JES. I’m so conditioned to a low signal to noise ratio, by spam on the internet for instance, that I just glanced at his postings to see if there was anything within then that was unusual.
    Perhaps others do the same for mine.
    JES took up a LOT of room however.

  5. Apologies putting this here.
    This about Iraqi Jews very sad event that happened to them which in the end were pushed from Iraq.
    I keep telling Iraq was under British mandate /Control despite Iraq was Monarchy, but believe it or not, the king of Iraq salary was paid by British as long as he in power.
    There is very famous Iraqi poet support that also.
    Anyway for JES (I believe still watching this space)) he argued about Iraqi JEW and what happen red this:
    There is also a mystery about the law that froze all assets of denationafised Jews. Who
    wrote that taw? Again on high authority, we know that the Iraqi government translated
    that law from English. Did the English draft come from Britain or, as is more likely, from
    Israel? Giladi believes such a law would not have been enacted without a recommendation
    from Israel to provide a set-off for frozen Arab assets in Israeli hands. In March 1951,
    Foreign Minister Musbe Sharett made it clear that in any future settlement of Palestinian
    frozen property, a set-off will be made of frozen Jewish assets in Iraq.

  6. I, for one think this was a wise move. It was obvious that the intent of JES was not to inform, educate or even to argue logically and to correct misinformation, but rather to use hasbara talking points to interrupt the conversation and attempt, usually successfully, to infuriate others so that the conversation would degenerate to name calling. Although many of us occasionally become overheated and lose our sense of mutually beneficial discussion, JES’s transgressions were constant and disruptive. This site is a valuable source of information to me and I appreciate meaningful comments from the other side which often bring up very important facts and points. We all make mistakes and need to reexamine our own views and positions. Helpful, well intentioned and well reasoned argument is useful. But the intent to inform and engage in rational discussion is the key. I look forward to the next two weeks.

  7. Ms. Cobban;
    I for one commend your decision. There will always be individuals who want to only participate in discussions provided their opinions/views supercede all others.

  8. helena, I think banning JES commemts from your blog is not fair. give him a space of free-expressions I am sure it gives a great credibility to your distinguished blog. Now I am in Cairo for a academic Week coincided with Obama visit.

  9. Results 1 – 10 of about 821 from for JES. (0.04 seconds)
    Results 1 – 10 of about 2,250 from for Shirin. (0.05 seconds)
    Results 1 – 10 of about 2,820 from for Salah. (0.13 seconds)

    According to your site archives JES posts about 1/3 as often as some of your other frequent contributors here (these anonymous persons “Shirin” and “Salah”). What specific criterion distinguishes “discourse hogging” from “posting a lot of opinions Helena finds offensive?”
    It would be helpful to those of us branded “hasbaristas” if you posted a list of acceptable and unacceptable topics and/or opinions, as well as a clear cut guideline regarding posting length and frequency that is consistent with the statistics cited above.
    Alternatively, I propose that you implement comment registration, and permit only real names [or even initials] as screen names. I rather doubt that shape-shifting hate-speech enthusiasts like “Muezzin” would feel quite so welcome after that. And then no one could confuse your erratically enforced posting guidelines for a double standard.
    Thanks in advance for allowing this post through unredacted! From your “parasite” analogy server space must truly be precious and the attention span of your readership scarce.

  10. Comment deleted because Vadim also wants to violate the guideline about discourse hogging. ~HC

  11. Voices like JESS dominate the mainstream press and establishment discourse (which I get a sizable daily dose of). I come here because I want something different, something more, something critical and interventionist.
    JESS, it take literally 32 seconds to start your own blog. Bravely enter the blogsphere on your own terms instead of leaching off others.

  12. This is Helena’s home, she can select who she lets enter. If we don’t like it, we can build our own. It only takes 32 seconds!

  13. Why ban him? You can certainly handle him, no? Aren’t you and your readers on the side of peace,truth, justice , and human rights? You are not afraid of a lonely zionist and his lies, are you now?
    I guess you just don’t like what he has to say.
    I read your blog because of JES and Vadim devastating rebuttals to your one sided opinions on the I/P conflict. AS far as I am concerned JES makes total sense. But I guess it is your blog and if you want an echo chamber, that’s your prerogative. Keep the Salahs of this world and Ban JES instead. Way to go, HC!

  14. I thought the quality of JES’ comments declined a lot recently. They used to be heavy and well-aimed. Recently they just became abusive, and increased in quantity.
    I presumed it was either because he was sick, and had time on his hands. Or just retired (and had time on his hands). Or that he was out of work, and had been forced to take the Israeli Ministry of Propaganda hasbara shekel.
    But there is another, more philosophical, explanation. He always showed himself in his comments, to be a Zionist of the old tradition. After all, he told us recently that his grandfather had bought land from a bedouin sheikh in the thirties (that in order to justify that it was a legitimate sale(hmmm…)). I would think that since the invasion of Gaza, life for such a person has become philosophically difficult. He needs to defend Israel, but actually he doesn’t approve of what is going on, and has doubts. So, in order to eradicate those doubts, he has gone to the extreme of violently denouncing those who criticise Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that there are quite a number like that in Israel.

  15. that’s your prerogative. Keep the Salahs of this world and Ban JES instead. Way to go, HC!
    Its very clear that you and your ilk have enjoyed western prerogative for looong time on your own crated lies built on 2000 yeras oooooold dream.
    while you and your ilk denial of others very basic rights as we seen in two wars that open the eyes and shocked people around the world and put you and your ilk naked after long standing beside your lies crated and enjoyed prerogative for decades….
    Remember if today is your day, tomorrow will the others day, its life cycle Ruth.
    Anyway if you still enjoy lies and created stores, there are many neccones/ Zionist blog sites still beat drams harder and harder to let their voices overcome the rightness and the wises voices as human not as people hold 2000 year dreams with massacres for any human who own and lived on land they born, linked and their own land regardless are Christian or Jews for long time and long history.

  16. That was predictable and transparent censorship move by Helena. By now nothing surprises me from Helena, but it is a sad when a mainstream voice from Israel is silenced in a board dominated bi anti-Israel views. One would think that there value in precisely having an authentic view from somebody right in the middle of things, somebody literally threatened by all the poison written by others on this board. Like an accused that is not allowed to speak on his own defense, a banana republic or iranian type of system.
    I know I will be next, even though I am not in Israel. I think I am abiding by the rules, but heck she makes the rules anyways. Shame on you Helena, his words were no match so had to silence him.

  17. Salah,
    What kind of gibberish are you talking about now.
    Titus: Totally agree with you. Yes, it is her blog but she wants to be read, no?
    Alex, you have no idea who Jes is. You have no clue about Israelis and what they think about the current situation. You are just speculating based on your own ignorance and furthermore you don’t want to know either. You are quite happy to get all your news from HC.

  18. Just one final reminder to all commenters, including Ruth, that commenters should speak to the topic of the main post, always be courteous, not get into slamming matches with each other, and not hog the discourse.

  19. Ruth
    I have a pretty good idea how JES thinks; I’ve been reading his comments for around four years now or more. You, on the other hand, are a very recent arrival (a month or two?). So how would you know whether I know Israel or not? Is it perhaps that I just don’t agree with you?

  20. Again, Helena, I think the problem is that the Zionist replies to anti-colonial boilerplate are, naturally, going to be boilerplate, and that the least interesting exchanges are on 1948, ROR, 242, all the places where the positions are most entrenched. In counterpoint to this, you have access to people that no Zionist blog could feature, like Khaled Mashaal, Mahmoud Abbas, Mohammed Dahlan, Zakariya Zubeideh, and Salam Fayed, so your posts on Hamas “foreign policy” (such as it is) are at the forefront of Middle East blogging and most Zionists would do well to keep an eye on your blog. The Left-liberal/Left-socialist perspective is also interesting, because it is obvious to Zionists (unlike your readership, Dominic, Domza, jdledell, Salah, Shirin) that Hamas/Jihad/Fateh are even WORSE suited than Zionist parties to the construction of a Left-liberal or Left-socialist one-state-solution in Israel/Palestine. JES and I have seen the death of the “Hebrew-Palestinian” Left in the Black Panther Party, Matzpen, and MAKI, and the transformation of extra-parliamentary opposition into a voice of the Right, so your South African readership and their preferred solution are 30-40 years too late for an active Israeli Socialism to help towards it. Of course that Israeli Socialism was being demonized at the time and the Palestinians who reached out towards it (Nadj al-Ali, Issam Sartawi) were taken care of by Fateh, as Fateh is now being taken care of by Hamas.
    I would say that most Left-socialist anti-Zionist blogs (Lenin’s Tomb, Jews Sans Frontieres, Magnes Zionist) ban in a way that Islamist and Palestinian nationalist blogs never have to, because Western socialists are mistaken by the Zionist Left as people who might listen to a skeptical-Left-Zionist perspective, the argument that the rights of Israeli Jews should not be abridged by a one-state Islamist solution, whereas Zionists almost never argue on Islamist and Palestinian nationalist blogs. If anything, it is perhaps that you and people like you are considered potential interlocutors, whereas people read “the enemy” with the thought “one day we’ll shut them up”, and the banning is an enactment in cyberspace of the fantasy of eradicating the Other on the ground.

  21. Just adding one thing here most people have forgotten the fact that Helena has offered JES the opportunity to write here and discuses/ explains his views of prospective future of the peace ME in line that he likes to stated or discussed.
    This is very generous offer made by Helena, its highly respectable offer which sadly JES turned down…
    If JES have the well to engaging and discussing his thought on this blog he should took that opportunity abroad bringing his views by doing so I believe will have made this blog more rich and interesting.
    But anyway you should be reminded for the generous Helen’s offer for JES when you defend JES and the ban taken by this blogger owner.

  22. Just read on another website that the Doonesbury cartoon strip has been stigamtized as “antisemitic”.
    A sign of the times in the US! And a reminder that the language one speaks is an exact reflection of the individual’s character and growth.

  23. Well actually Alex, I have been reading this blog off and on for many years. I just don’t post. One of the Israeli blogger, Imshin, linked once to this blog, so I take a look once in a while.
    I really don’t care whether you agree with me or not.

  24. There are plenty of commentors who post more than JES. There are also several abusive and, to put it mildly, discourteous, posters who engage in vindictive and hateful attacks on anyone who dares disagree with them or point out the serious factual flaws in their posts.
    Helena allows these people to soil the discussion board, largely because they hate Israel as much as she does.
    Helena has, in the past, deleted comments that pointed out inconvenient facts for her (like when I pointed out several indicators showing development in the OPTs after 1967, because it interfered and refuted her blathering about “de-development”). But she really outdoes herself by banning one of the most polite and astute posters on her board.
    Is she allowed to? Sure. It’s her house. And right now it’s an immature boy’s treehouse which says “No uppity jooz allowed.”

  25. Israeli Socialism was being demonized?

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”/Blockquote>
    Samuel P. Huntington

  26. Ok, that’s five comments from Salah, many of which are off topic and rattle off mindless conspiracy theories (Israel drafted the Iraqi law confiscating Iraqi Jews’s assets!). Will Helena take action against this discourse hog?
    Of course not. “Discourse hogging” is Helena style newspeak for “discourse enhancing.”
    Just rename your blog “Two Minutes Hate” and be done with it Helena.

  27. Just for the record, Domza is the new Dominic. Domza has actually been my general Internet monicker for years now, so I might as well be Domza here, too.
    The stats that Vadim dug up are interesting. I’ve thought almost from the beginning that Salah is a phoney and a hasbara and I have said so before. Salah is such a crashing bore that he could only be doing it deliberately, in my opinion, as sabotage. Helen does not think so and tolerates Salah for reasons that I suspect have to do with her Quaker principles. We have to respect that, and carry the burden with her, or else leave.
    Shirin’s tally is made up of consistent, concise, succinct and brief interjections over a long period. I would not be surprised if Shirin is not one of very the first commenters on JWN (where are they now? Where is “wellbasically”?)
    Nobody picked up on what I said about more variety. It’s a problem. “Western” discourse is going in ever-decreasing circles, in my opinion, and JWN is circling the plughole with all the rest.

  28. Yes, Dominic, I was one of the earliest regular commenters on the blog. I had been an admirer of Helena’s for years, and was delighted to discover her blog, and even more delighted to be able to add my comments.
    And how pathetic that Vadim was driven to devote time and energy to compiling statistics on the comment section. And how telling that he apparently had nothing better to do with that time.

  29. Shirin, I won’t get into a slamming match with you over who has more time on their hands, although it only took 10 seconds to find those statistics. And in fact I don’t blame you for spending so much time here, or postings as often as you do. But the fact remains that you and Salah each post many times more often (and in Salahs case at greater length) than either JES or myself. So I still have no idea what Helena means by “discourse hogging.” Do you?
    Unfortunately she’s chosen to ignore me while also deleting *my* posts as “payback”. I sure hope this one makes it by the censors.

  30. On Salah:
    Personally speaking, have gained more insight from Salah’s stream-of-consciousness posts than from any others here, including myself. Salah has a very warm, likeable aura about him (or her). The posts always cause me to reconsider.
    However the idea floated by our South African marxist that Salah is really hasbara, is very intriguing. Very. Is Salah a Debkafilist? If so, those tricky, israeli jewish people, Domzi! To what depths will they not stoop?

  31. Hi, BB.
    Salah is at least an acquired taste that I have never acquired, even after 2800 of his (or her) incontinent posts.
    What originally made me suspicious of Salah is that I spend nearly all my time communicating in English with people of all kinds who are not first-language English-speakers.
    Based on this experience, I am quite sure that Salah’s mangled English is as false and contrived as Sasha Baron Cohen’s. In other words I am certain that the “Salah” persona is a phony.
    Of course I may be as wrong as the professor was wrong who thought that Eliza Doolittle was Hungarian. But don’t forget that the professor was at least half right, because Eliza Doolittle was indeed putting it on, even if she was not exactly Hungarian.
    As for whether Salah is actually a hasbara or not, I admit that it is a “cui bono”-type guess. Who else has tried to vandalise JWN on a long-term basis other than the hasbaras? Ergo, my conclusion is that Salah is another hasbara. But maybe he or she is just a common-or-garden hacker.

  32. Interesting discussion here. Discourse ethics, a la Habermas and Art, are something I used to study a bit.
    Also, as a female in a male-dominated society, I certainly know what discourse-hogging is and how it works; and I’ve worked with several women friends to find ways to deal with it in our social circles. Increasing the awareness of (generally male) discourse hogs about the dimension of their hogging, and informing that this violates basic norms of fairness and human equality is certainly one valuable way.
    In my longstanding guidelines for commenters here, which I urge Joshua and all others to re-read (or read for the first time, apparently, in some cases), I wrote this: It is never courteous to hog the discourse. Please limit each comment to 300 words. Try not to comment more than once in every five or six comments in any single discussion.
    By this definition, Salah has done nothing that “hogs” the present discussion. I am surprised that Joshua considers he’s in a position to judge who is and who isn’t a hogger here.

  33. “It is never courteous to hog the discourse. Please limit each comment to 300 words. Try not to comment more than once in every five or six comments in any single discussion.”
    By this definition, Salah has done nothing that “hogs” the present discussion. ”
    By definition, Salah violated the rules twice in this very discussion. Of the four Salah comments, each pair is within five comments of one another.
    I haven’t bothered to do a word count this time, but Salah routinely violates that as well.

  34. Domzi – I should have made it clearer that Salah’s posts always make me reconsider once I have worked out what he is getting at!

  35. Sorry – at the risk of hogging – but if Salah is hasbara he’d be Sephardi wouldn’t he? On the other hand, I’m told Ashekanazi are renowned for being particularly perfidious? Which is it?

  36. “I would say that most Left-socialist anti-Zionist blogs (Lenin’s Tomb, Jews Sans Frontieres, Magnes Zionist)…”
    That attack on Magnes Zionist is hilarious, Eurosabra. If you consider that Jerry Haber, who writes that blog is an Orthodox Jew, lives half the year in Jerusalem, has children who live there as well, and has a career dedicated to preserving Jewish knowledge–I’d say you’re batting about .000 when it comes to characterizing Magnes Zionist.
    Now, if you have that little credibility in everything else you say, I’d say we should ignore you as irrelevant in addition to being an intellectual fraud.

  37. Jerry’s an odd duck indeed, because Avraham Burg is one of his favorite commenters, so he has a surprising affinity for ex-Orthodox Left-Liberals, and he’s a (practical) non-statist Zionist. I don’t usually split hairs, however, because I think non-statism means a one-state, Islamist Palestine in place of Israel, in practical terms. Remember Magnes died as a Wandering Jew in New York, so a “Magnes Zionist” is a contradiction in terms. (Well, so did Jabotinsky, eh?) Jerry is much more of a Zionist than Magnes, but his preferences are still anti-statist-Zionist in terms of their practical effects. He even has settlers there, although he accuses them of a thug morality fairly constantly, so he’s open in a way that Left-Socialist blogs which are truly anti-Israel aren’t. I am generally of two minds about Jerry, however. He’s a utopian non-statist Zionist
    Thing is, Richard, I’m always a bit tickled pink by the vituperation I’m subjected to, because my qualifications in the field of Jewish Studies are pretty good, and I’ve been paid for it at institutions that had a pretty good dialogue across the lines, even with some pretty extreme anti-Zionists in the mix, like Gabi Piterberg, who is in the tradition of Matzpen.
    Distinctions, Richard. I’m a thug, remember? If my boys from the Shalem Center weren’t on top after the election, I’d REALLY be grumpy. As it is, we have a miserable, unsophisticated Right. Beiteinu, indeed. And as schizophrenic as it is, I voted Hadash.

  38. I have taken Helena’s advise and set up my own blog (although it took considerably more that the “32 seconds” suggested by Michelle and Kassandra). You can come and visit at:
    Just a few remarks here:
    Dominic, hasbara is not a person; it’s a thing. I do, however, love your provincial all-knowingness!
    Salah, I can assure you that I am an Israeli-American (please check out my biography on my new blog). My wife is from Baku, which is in Azerbaijan; not Russia. And you are confused. My parents (my mother was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1912) did come to Palestine. The house where I live with my wife was built on land purchased in 1928 (without reference to my family).
    John Francis Lee, did you ever check out how much space you’ve taken up here?
    To all those who supported me – whether we agree in our views or not – thank you!

Comments are closed.