Stymied in Cairo–still something is gelling among the international marchers

on 98 Comments
Gaza Freedom March delegates in Cairo. (Photo: codepinkhq)

The Egyptian authorities have told the organizers of the Gaza Freedom March once, twice, three times and four that we can’t go to Gaza, but the organizers will go back a fifth, sixth and seventh time, Medea Benjamin promised outside the U.N. offices in Cario here today. Still, it doesn’t look good for our year-end march. The chances are “less than zero,” says a friend.

Yet I have to say that the broken Gaza Freedom March has been a great achievement. How can that be, when we are going stir in Cairo? Well an international conversation over the issue is taking place here among the most diverse collection of people. I keep thinking of ways to convey just how inspiring that is. One minute you are talking with a slim, proper Japanese man. Then a minute later an Egyptian youth is telling you that Gaza thanks you for your moral solidarity. Then a minute after that Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb is saying that she came here to march, and she will march. Borders have fallen away here, and the American frame is gone. On my plane I met a kid from Jersey who had done the free Jewish “birthright” trip a year ago and whose Jewish friends have been angered at his decision to come here, but when I saw him today, he seemed enthralled, transformed, way down the path of education, in a pink scarf.

He had been up most of the night, talking to the French. They are most inspired delegation. 300 of them are camped on the sidewalk outside the French embassy, surrounded by what appear to be 600 Egyptian policemen in riot helmets and black uniforms. The French came here to get into Gaza, they are angry and have taken direct action. They are without water and toilets, and this will be their second night, that is if they are not taken away in the scores of paddywaggons set up across the road, in this police state.Many of them wear t-shirts that call for boycott and show a missile aimed at a baby carriage. “Reminds me a lot of the J Street conference, “Antony Loewenstein joked, after we got into the French camp for a ten minute police-supervised visit.

It was a good joke because it was about the limiting American frame. No one here is talking about the two-state solution or land swaps. They know what the Goldstone report says–those missiles aimed at houses with sleeping children–and they are morally clear on the question. They reflect an international consensus: the end of patience for war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and an ideology of Jewish exceptionalism supported by western governments. Those governments have failed to act so we are speaking out as civil society (Loewenstein again).

I sense something gelling here. We held a protest at the U.N. plaza here today, and Medea Benjamin called up the hunger strikers, eight or ten of them, and, flanked by young men from Syria, Egypt, and Libya, for once it did not matter that Hedy Epstein, the oldest of the strikers at 85, is a Holocaust survivor. In the U.S. that is her principal license to speak: the giant neon over her head, Hedy Epstein survivor. Here it means little; her ultimate status is, She is from St. Louis, USA. Decades ago the Palestinian leader George Antonius said that if he only took the issue to the court of world opinion, he would gain support against an injustice. Well it never happened. Yet now that support is forming, because global activists have embraced the cause, and yes, because the privileged European and American left has accepted the issue and are proud at last to be melding with Muslims and Arabs.

We didn’t do what the brave French did, and try to claim the UN plaza with sleeping bags and tents, but when we left we sang We Shall Overcome, mingling the American civil rights anthem with this international cause. Gaza will be free-ee-ee. No it doesn’t look like we will be getting into Gaza, still we are doing important work in Cairo, to transform ourselves and our presence on the world stage.

98 Responses

  1. aparisian
    December 28, 2009, 4:14 pm

    Vive la justice! vive Gaza Freedom March et Vive la France!

    • Shmuel
      December 28, 2009, 5:16 pm

      Vive la France indeed, aparisian. One of the Italian organisers told me a couple of weeks ago that the French delgation is absolutely amazing – carrrying not only the European group, but everyone, forward. The French group also has big plans to use the momentum of the trip for further Europe-wide campaigning when they get back.

      • aparisian
        December 28, 2009, 5:32 pm

        Here is the Parisian rally that took place yesterday link to

        We also had many rallies in other cities. Things are changing guys i m very optimistic. The lobby is still strong though.

    • MRW
      December 28, 2009, 6:42 pm

      C’est le mot juste, aparisian: “Vive la justice!”

  2. aparisian
    December 28, 2009, 4:18 pm

    BBC is on the subject link to

  3. Scott McConnell
    December 28, 2009, 4:25 pm

    “Many of them wear t-shirts that call for boycott and show a missile aimed at a baby-carriage.”

    Let’s see a photo, please. This sounds like a radical chic commercial opportunity (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  4. David
    December 28, 2009, 4:26 pm

    “No it doesn’t look like we will be getting into Gaza, still we are doing important work in Cairo, to transform ourselves and our presence on the world stage.”

    Now it’s time to do important work in St. Louis, in New York, in Denver, in DC….

    Resources for Gaza solidarity action in the media, with Congress, and in the streets:
    link to

    Gaza solidarity actions near you: link to

  5. James North
    December 28, 2009, 4:27 pm

    Thanks, Phil, for a great post. Let’s see if the mainstream Amereican press carries anything.

  6. VR
    December 28, 2009, 4:36 pm

    The puppet government of Egypt must be proud of itself, helping to oppress the Palestinians and encourage the racist Zionist front. Apparently there is no pride left in this government, they make themselves to be a prime target because of their alliances, only the weakest of slaves would act like this. So rather than securing their position they almost guarantee their demise.

    • potsherd
      December 28, 2009, 6:05 pm

      One thing I wonder is how much blowback is going to strengthen Iran in the ME.

      • Chaos4700
        December 28, 2009, 6:15 pm

        Iran is having its own internal problems right now. The only thing that’s going to strengthen Iran at present is a clear and demonstrated external military threat — like say, Israeli F-16s dropping bombs on “suspected nuclear sites.”

    • Taxi
      December 28, 2009, 7:20 pm

      It’s called ‘Arab Zionism’ in action.

      Practiced most frequently by the governments of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt – and the two-face Janus/ Fatah headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

  7. annie
    December 28, 2009, 4:41 pm

    i’m glad you’re there phil, the more action the better. make noise!

    i’m not giving up hope just yet, i still think there is a chance for you to get into gaza.

    if anyone can swing it it’s ann wright and medea. say hi to soysauce for me if you see her.

    • Danaa
      December 29, 2009, 3:54 pm

      soycause is a she? I guess there’s a bit of a DK reunion going on here (or is it a refuge?)

  8. tree
    December 28, 2009, 4:53 pm

    Yes, great reporting. Thanks Phil. I was heartened to read your call out to George Antonius. I’ve often wondered if things might have turned out better for everyone if he hadn’t suffered an untimely death in 1942.

  9. David
    December 28, 2009, 4:56 pm

    Gaza Freedom March in the New York Times (Reuters and AFP both got it out there, very good news):

    link to

    • Kathleen
      December 29, 2009, 3:39 pm

      Maybe with enough pressure the so called progressive RAchel Maddow who endlessly covers protesters in Iran (no agenda there) and never mentions the funding that Condi Rice was able to push through congress for more Democracy spreading funding in Iran. None of that funding being spent on making sure those protesters have the cameras, cell phones to put those images on you tube so that RAchel can spoon feed them to the public.

      But Rachel has yet to touch the Goldstone Report, the Gaza Freedom March or revisit the Israeli military slaughter of 1400 Palestinians last year and how journalist where not allowed in. RAchel is very selective in her human rights concerns. Very selective

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 3:46 pm

        I would have to agree with your assessment. I continue to be worried that Rachel isn’t aware that her inability to balance her reporting on the Middle East is quite possibly going to leave her in the position of contributing to a US invasion of Iran that many people in high places are pushing for.

  10. tree
    December 28, 2009, 5:24 pm

    From the BBC account:

    The Islamist movement has controlled Gaza since June 2007, and has launched thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel in recent years.

    what you won’t see in the BBC account.

    “The Zionist movement has controlled Israel since May 1948, and had launched tens of thousand of rockets, mortars, gunships, missiles, bombs, tanks and bulldozers into Gaza in recent years.”

    That would be too balanced I suppose, but I fail to see why its necessary to mention the rockets aimed at Israel and not the considerable Israeli armament that has been aimed at Gaza over the years.

  11. Howard
    December 28, 2009, 5:38 pm

    Can one of the more knowledgeable people in this group explain to me, (or refer me to a source) Egypt’s position re Gaza. Why do they support the blockade? Why would they block the march? I am still learning. That’s why I am here. Thanks.

    • Scott McConnell
      December 28, 2009, 5:49 pm

      I asked for some source on this a few days ago, but none was forthcoming. I think possible reasons are: Egypt receives a lot of aid from the US, which might be endangered if it appeared to be helping Hamas, even in a public opinion sense; as a dictatorship, Egypt is threatened by even the appearance of social action in the streets, which would show its own regime in a bad light; Egypt feel threatened ideologically by Hamas, which has roots in the (Egyptian) Muslim Brotherhood, still an opposition group in Egypt. I don’t know the answer, but it is probably one of these or a combination thereof.

      • aparisian
        December 28, 2009, 5:54 pm

        I talked to many Egyptians and they think its because of the US military and economic aids, so i think Muburak got commands from US/Israeli gov to stop the rally.

      • potsherd
        December 28, 2009, 8:03 pm

        I think they are working much too hard for this to be the only reason.

      • Richard Parker
        December 28, 2009, 8:14 pm

        Somebody said (here, or on another thread) that Netanyahu spoke to Rahm Emmanuel, who spoke to Hillary, who gave instructions.

        Certainly, Mubarak (the Great Ox) got his instructions.

      • potsherd
        December 28, 2009, 8:31 pm

        But he is carrying them out with excessive enthusiasm.

    • Citizen
      December 28, 2009, 5:50 pm

      American annual foreign aid to Egypt depends on Egypt sucking up to Israel. The largest chunk of American foreign aid goes to Israel and Egypt–Israel get’s its larger
      dosage no strings attached, while Egypt gets its lesser dosage with that string attached. The tyrannical Egyptian regime depends on these US tax dollars to stay in power over the Egyptian man in the street’s wishes.

      • Colin Murray
        December 28, 2009, 6:03 pm

        Mubarak’s foreign ‘aid’ scheme reminds me of the old Roman patronage system.

    • Chaos4700
      December 28, 2009, 6:08 pm

      I’ll take a stab at it, though other people should feel free to chime in too.

      Contrary to mainstream mythology, Egypt does not, in fact, exercise total control over the border with Gaza. When Israel withdrew in 2005, there was a border agreement which was drawn up between Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the European Union that set the terms that A) no economic traffic could take place along Gaza’s border with Egypt — the only border crossing at Rafah only allows pedestrian traffic; B) the border crossing would be manned by one of Fatah’s militias, overseen by the EUBAM and Israel would be given veto control over any and all traffic across the border.

      Basically, what happened after Fatah started arming up at the behest of the US State Department for a coup, Hamas opted to take control first to keep themselves from being shut out of the government (which to that point, was a unity government between Fatah and Hamas after the elections in 2006. However, because the treaty arrangments put control of Rafah in the hands of Fatah, not the Palestinian government, the EU decided to pull out of its monitoring.

      Today, the border is only open at the whims of both Egypt and Israel, either of whom can have it slammed shut for any reason. While it’s true that Hosni Mubarak has his own reasons to fear Hamas — it is, after all, a popular Islamic movement that succeeded in winning democratic elections, and as such is a natural ally to the Muslim Brotherhood and really, anyone in Egypt who doesn’t like living under a Western-backed presidente style dictator — the media often neglects that Israel needs to give its blessing, or else Rafah stays closed at their whim.

      • Chaos4700
        December 28, 2009, 6:11 pm

        I neglected to include a link to this rather informative Q&A that I came across some time ago, too.

        link to

      • tree
        December 28, 2009, 7:03 pm

        Wonderful detailed information on the lead-up to Gaza and more. Thanks, Chaos. I’m saving that link.

      • aparisian
        December 28, 2009, 7:22 pm

        yes Chaos but why the egyptians are not transparent? why they dont simply make a statement to explain that they don’t control their borders anymore?

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 2:02 am

        Aparisian? Who would listen? The EU monitors are already supposed to be there and they decided to cop out. Who’s going to listen? For all we know Egypt has made statements to that effect.

      • aparisian
        December 29, 2009, 6:43 am

        Yes Chaos but in front of the world, they are the ones who block the aids to Gaza, Egyptians PR people are not good enough?

      • potsherd
        December 28, 2009, 8:08 pm

        This is not entirely true. Egypt can and often does open the Rafah crossing whenever it decides to. The crossing is scheduled to be open for 3 days beginning January 3. If Mubarak really wanted to, he could throw open the gates and there would be nothing that Israel, Fatah or the US could do.

        The situation as it is now suits Mubarak for Mubarak’s own reasons. He is thwarting the march for his own reasons, which is to say he is doing the bidding of the US and Israel for his own reasons.

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 2:02 am

        Potsherd, I don’t believe at any time has Mubarak opened Rafah in defiance of Israel.

      • potsherd
        December 29, 2009, 12:34 pm

        Since Israel wants the crossing never to be opened at all, any opening is in “defiance of Israel.”

        Israel really has no choice but to pretend it doesn’t mind when Egypt lets pilgrims travel through Rafah on the way to Haj.

        Now what I wonder is whether this scheduled opening of the crossing will be canceled as a slap in the face to the marchers.

        Al-Jazeera has an op-ed suggesting that Mubarak’s stance supporting Israel will result in weakening it. link to

        Most Egyptians seem to recognise their country’s humiliation by Israel, widening disparities with other regional powers and its deepening domestic inequalities and tensions. But Egypt’s greatest problem is a leadership that seems oblivious to it all.

        Paradoxically, Cairo’s last desperate act to erect an ‘iron wall’ on its borders with the Gaza Strip to isolate Hamas controlled Gaza, and distance itself from Israel’s own responsibility for Gaza, could instead close the last window of opportunity for the Egyptian regime to play an effective role in the region beyond the theatrics and slogan of reviving a deadlocked ‘peace process’.

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 12:51 pm

        Since Israel wants the crossing never to be opened at all, any opening is in “defiance of Israel.”

        Has Israel actually publically said that? You’re glossing over things too quickly, potsherd. For starters, what would Israel gain by preventing people from leaving Gaza, possibly permanently, through a border that doesn’t face them?

      • potsherd
        December 29, 2009, 4:01 pm

        You might ask Israel that question, since that’s their policy.

  12. aparisian
    December 28, 2009, 5:57 pm

    Hey guys, Netanyahu will be in Egypt tommorow according to AFP link to
    Is there any way to transfer this info to the Gaza Freedom March people?

    • David
      December 28, 2009, 6:27 pm

      Done and done, thanks for the tip…

      • aparisian
        December 28, 2009, 7:23 pm

        Thats lovely David! live the international solidarity!!! :-)

    • potsherd
      December 29, 2009, 12:35 pm

      It strikes me as quite possible that this crackdown on the march may be Mubarak’s message of support to Netanyahu, given the timing of his visit.

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 12:47 pm

        It looks to me like Netanyahu cracking the whip over both Mubarak and Obama, considering how people were treated at the American embassy too,

  13. Larry
    December 28, 2009, 6:49 pm

    Funny (not so really) that to my knowledge Obama’s proxy stooge Mubarak has not gotten a telephone call from said Obama in Hawaii saying simply to said stooge “Let them march.”
    Obama seems deaf to anything Palestinian.

  14. Eva Smagacz
    December 28, 2009, 7:00 pm

    Israel would like nothing better than offload Gaza Strip to Egipt.

    This would complete the separation between West Bank and Gaza, reduce any residual pressure on Israel as occupying country being responsible for civilian population, and at a single stroke sorted out the demographic threat of single binational state.

    Outcome is just as good as ethnic cleansing but much less of a PR disaster.
    Large part of egiptian anger is due to the fact that they been outmanouvered by Israelis. Whatever position they choose, they will loose and the Israel will win.

    • aparisian
      December 28, 2009, 7:26 pm

      true Eva, the best scenario for Israel is to give Gaza to Egypt, expel WB Pals to Jordan and annex the WB to Israel.

    • robin
      December 28, 2009, 7:48 pm

      That would be ethnic cleansing, as I understand it: nonconsensual (political) expulsion. Gazans want to be part of Palestine, whether that means a reformed Israel or a union with the West Bank.

      • Richard Parker
        December 29, 2009, 12:07 am

        Ethnic cleansing is the name of the game, and its entire slow, but relentless progress.

        Gazans may be massacred in toto, or pushed into Egypt proper, and West Bankers expelled to Jordan (which already has a huge Palestinian population, plus a huge number of Iraqi refugees). Then the Israelis will take over South Lebanon as far as the Litani River.

        Nobody will stop them (except Hezbollah in the last case).

        I don’t see Israel ever accepting a non-exclusive Jewish state.

        Their major criminal support comes from the US.

      • Richard Parker
        December 29, 2009, 12:32 am

        The real problem with Israel is US financial help; see:
        link to

        Much of this aid consists of guarantees, which are then forgiven, but the picture is murky.

        It’s difficult to tell the difference between straight cash handouts, loan guarantees, tax benefits to Israeli organisations, and the likes of Bernie Madoff’s operation. (The last two are not included in this chart).

        This will continue until the US runs out of credit itself (which it may do quite soon).

        Then Israel will be left on its own to fight all its neighbours.

  15. aparisian
    December 28, 2009, 7:39 pm

    link to

    The white house think the international community is mentaly disabled? both sides? what the hell the bloody US is talking about? and they are wondering why terrorism never stops? i m so fucken angry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Richard Parker
      December 29, 2009, 12:34 am

      Aparisian – I know you are a frog, but when English or Americans write ‘fucken’ the spell it correctly :)

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 1:50 am

        Hey, maybe he was taught a regional dialect. Where I grew up, it’s properly pronounced “fockin'” ;)

      • aparisian
        December 29, 2009, 6:00 am

        sorry guys :$ i m trying to my best ;-)

  16. Richard Witty
    December 29, 2009, 2:39 am

    What occurred was expected by anyone that thought out what was reasonable for the Egyptian government to do.

    Hopefully the demonstrators in Cairo will be circumspect and not undertake direct action. Most likely can’t read Arabic and are therefore very limited in Cairo, as outside of tourist areas there is very little written in English or French.

    I think it is a relevant question for Phil why the Egyptian government allowed him and organized groups to travel within Gaza to see, but did not allow “mass” demonstrations staged from Egypt.

    Are the Gazans going to undertake their mass demonstration, or is the western 1300 the only game in town, worthy of reporting on?

    • Julian
      December 29, 2009, 9:01 am

      Why don’t these fighters for human rights demonstrate for the Coptic Christians in Egypt who live very difficult lives?

      • Aref
        December 29, 2009, 9:15 am

        Oh yes here comes the diversion!!! When unable to argue in a convincing manner change the subject. Well for one, the Copts are not put in an open air prison, secondly, they have not been bombed to smithereens, their schools, hospitals, and other infrastructures have not been destroyed–in fact those are shared by all Egyptians.
        Yes you are right Copts, like all other human beings must have equal rights. Human rights of all peoples must be respected. The question is are you willing to extend your concern for human rights to the Palestinians whose rigths have been trampled by Israel and its Zionist supporters in plain of view of a largely silent world or are simply trolling?

      • aparisian
        December 29, 2009, 9:16 am

        Julian, I have many coptic friends here in Paris, and i usually asked them about what we read in the international media on the subject.
        According to them, the International media exaggerate, they usually told me that sometimes there are some incidents in small villages, and that there is yet a lot to comply but they live in harmony with their co-citizens. A coptic friend told me copts live more free in Egypt than Muslims in Europe.

        So please don’t distract, classical Zionist technique.

    • David
      December 29, 2009, 9:46 am

      “Are the Gazans going to undertake their mass demonstration, or is the western 1300 the only game in town, worthy of reporting on?”

      Remains to be seen. Would be very risky for Palestinians alone to approach the Erez crossing en masse–it’s a kill zone, and without an international accompaniment presence there, there is not much guarantee that there will not simply be a mass slaughter.

    • Chaos4700
      December 29, 2009, 11:07 am

      Considering, Witty, that Israel doesn’t allow reporters into the Gaza Strip, do you think the rest of the world media, on average, is going to bother covering the Palestinains demonstrating in Gaza?

      But of course, what people like you want, is the media blackout and the isolation of the Gazans from the international citizenry. That way, when Israel claims those 50,000 people were, oh, say “digging a tunnel to kidnap a soldier!” The IDF can slaughter them wholesale and really, who will ask any questions?

  17. Aref
    December 29, 2009, 7:58 am

    Thank you Phil for a wonderful post. It is indeed inspiring and confirms what I have always thought: reliance on governments and international bodies will not bring any meaningful change to anything only a grassroots organizing on a massive scale will. Could this be the burgeoning mass movement? It certainly looks like it and it is our responsibility to make it grow and tear down the artificial borders between people–true globalization.

  18. Citizen
    December 29, 2009, 10:04 am

    Two courageous US congressmen are bucking the odds; trying to get their peers to
    pay attention to Gaza (and informing their local constituency)–but their peers totally ignore them:
    link to

  19. Richard Witty
    December 29, 2009, 10:13 am

    Does anyone have any contact with Hamas people? What do they think of the march?

    And, if the march resulted in a conditional agreement to open the port, conditioned on overtly accepting Israel at 67 borders (not worded as accepting Palestine at 67 borders), and renouncing terror on civilians as a means of dissent, would they do so?

    Historically, they’ve said that they will NEVER accept Israel as a peer and valid state.

    • sammy
      December 29, 2009, 10:21 am

      Why do you continue to parrot these falsehoods? Its not even in Arabic that you can pretend ignorance

      Meshal: Hamas backs Palestinian state in ’67 borders
      link to

      Haniyeh: Hamas willing to accept Palestinian state with 1967 borders
      link to

      Hamas: Ceasefire for return to 1967 border
      link to

      • Richard Witty
        December 29, 2009, 11:43 am

        That is actually a summary of what I stated. I stated that Hamas is willing to recognize Palestine at 67 borders, but not yet willing to recognize Israel at 67 borders.

      • sammy
        December 29, 2009, 11:51 am

        Why do they need to anymore than Israelis need to “recognise” a Nazi Germany?

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 11:54 am

        Wittypocrisy! A double standard so powerfully strong, no amount of logic can possibly wash it away.

        Witty, not even Israel recognizes Israel at the 67 borders.

    • aparisian
      December 29, 2009, 10:29 am

      Witty you are a liar.
      Hamas changed its chart in 2006 and they usually made it clear that they are ready to end violence if there is progress towards a Palestinian state.

      On the other hand side, Israel continued its settlements, killing and ethnic cleansing policies. Israel wants Eretz Israel, and the Zionists long term plan is to transfer Pals to Jordan and give Gaza to Egypt. Israel is taking Hamas as an excuse to continue its plan.

    • Aref
      December 29, 2009, 10:31 am

      Why put conditions? Why is it always about Israel and accepting Israel and never about accepting Palestinians and their right to self determination? Of course I do not expect a Zionist to do otherwise Israel Uber Alles !!!!

    • Chaos4700
      December 29, 2009, 11:03 am

      Yeah well, historically, Zionism has been all about policies of ethnic cleansing and deliberate terrorism and military action against Palestinian civilians. Now watch as suddenly your rhetoric changes to “That was sixty years ago. We should really move on to the future.”

      One set of rules for Jews.
      Another set of rules for everyone else.

  20. aparisian
    December 29, 2009, 11:37 am

    Demonstration in Cairo, Egyptians got the message link to

    the egyptian newspapers talk about the Gaza freedom march on the front page link to

    • potsherd
      December 29, 2009, 4:13 pm

      Egypt could move the trouble out of their own streets by passing it into Gaza.

  21. Richard Witty
    December 29, 2009, 11:45 am

    For Hamas to continue to not accept Israel in earnest, continues the current dance, the war that remains in effect, never renounced by Hamas.

    Don’t go ostrichy.

    • Richard Witty
      December 29, 2009, 11:46 am

      You guys only want “victory”, not success?

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 11:49 am

        What we’d really like, Witty, is for you to stop putting words in our mouths. Maybe you like the taste of sinking your teeth into a straw man, but the rest of us can do without it.

      • Richard Witty
        December 29, 2009, 12:24 pm

        What did I present that differed from your words?

        At some point, I think it is likely that Phil will have an epiphony that is similar to mine.

        My defense of Israel is motivated by the support of the underdog (as odd as that will sound to you).

        In my millieu of the radical world (that had changed from the counter-cultural fantasies of the sixties/seventies. My heyday was in the late 70’s with the anti-nuclear and cooperative movements), I experienced a suppression, a hatred, of Jews and of Israel (intermingled).

        It offended me, and continues to.

        Rather than urge growth, it expressed contempt and urged a walking apology, amazingly paternalistic and vain.

        I don’t know if he experiences that, or if he does how he responds.

        My expectation is that he concludes “I cannot ignore what I’ve experienced or learned. My conclusion must be an expression of what I believe is best, most humane. And, I see that more than one story has validity. It is incumbentent on me to weigh my conflicting experiences, and to responsibly propose feasible just outcomes.”

        It is the story of the Gita, how to understand and to act in the midst of confusion.

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 12:27 pm

        At some point, I think it is likely that Phil will have an epiphony that is similar to mine.

        STOP… back it up… alright, right there is what I’m talking about. Can you see it now? The whole “putting words into other people’s mouths” thing I mentioned? It’s right there, Witty. Look closely. See it yet?

      • Richard Witty
        December 29, 2009, 12:36 pm

        I don’t get your point.

        Do you think Phil regards political correctness as compulsory to him, or do you think that when dissenters express views that differ from his views or experience that he experiences some discomfort?

      • Richard Witty
        December 29, 2009, 12:37 pm

        Didn’t you read further?

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 12:46 pm

        Witty, I think the fundamental problem is, there is a something we don’t agree on.

        You believe that you can predict the future, read other people’s minds and speak for them instead of allowing them to speak for themselves.

        I think you’re full of shit for believing that.

        Does that help clarify things for you?

    • Chaos4700
      December 29, 2009, 11:52 am

      The war remains in effect because Israel is creating the war. Hamas adhered to the cease fire; on the other hand, Israel maintained its blockade. And last time I checked, Israel considers blockades to be acts of war — or at least, that was the rationale with regards to the Straits of Tiran.

      Witty, every time, every time, you enforce one set of rules for Zionist Jews, and another set of rules for Arabs and everyone else. You’re walking apartheid. Hell, you even apply that to yourself — “Israel has every right to defeat Hamas with military force” — “All the rest of you want is ‘victory?'”

      • aparisian
        December 29, 2009, 12:10 pm

        Guys Witty is a waste of time, lets put all our efforts together to do some PR work for Pals, because unfortunately they have nothing left.
        I read in twitter today an American guy saying “Palestians are terrorist occupying Israeli land. And they kill Israeli kids”
        I think we have a lot of work to do guys than wasting our time with a Zionist snake like Witty

  22. Kathleen
    December 29, 2009, 2:09 pm

    I posted at Firedoglake about the Gaza Freedom March this morning and at Daily Kos. I challenged Rachel Maddow’s unwillingness to cover the I/P conflict, the Goldstone Report and now the Gaza Freedom March. But her selective coverage of human rights issues like the Gays in Nigeria issue and Iranian Protesters, how her human rights concerns are very very selective.

    Check out what happened over at Daily Kos

    Daily Kos
    You’ve Been Warned…

    2009-12-29 13:41:12
    Anti-semitic commentary like that in your MSNBC diary is unacceptable at Daily Kos. This will be your only warning.
    I understand the above warning (posting is no longer allowed until this is acknowledged).
    This is only a Preview!

    Msnbc Rachel Maddow’s program Israeli Occupied Territory Hotlist
    by Chess
    link to

    • Kathleen
      December 29, 2009, 2:21 pm

      Hope folks look at the link above at Daily Kos and please tell me if there is anything you would consider “anti semitic” I challenge Rachel Maddow and MSNBC and their lack of coverage on the I/P conflict, the Goldstone report and more recently the Gaza Freedom March. Rachel has focused on Gay human and civil rights issues, Iran protesters endlessly but she has never focused in on the rights of the Palestinians or the Israeli’s based on the 67 border. Nothing.

      check out what the moderators posted at the post. That what was being said about Rachel was “anti-semitic” Is the Daily Kos Israeli occupied territory too?

      link to

      • yonira
        December 29, 2009, 2:37 pm

        Kathleen, you are chess?

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 3:13 pm

        …And this is, incidentally, why Joe Lieberman is still the most powerful Senator in the Democratic Party, without actually being a Democrat. “You can’t kick him out! That would make you anti-Semitic!”

        I’m kind of hoping the Jewish members of this blog are getting a better insight into how damaging that label is and how effective it is at silencing debate.

      • Danaa
        December 29, 2009, 4:29 pm

        DailyKos frowns on any mention of the dreaded “Lobby” word. Especially if it’s called “Jewish” lobby. WM’s book is a taboo subject also. references to congress as aipac zone are forbidden, as true as it may be.

        Your “sin” was referring to the MSM as lobby, or “jewish” occupied. The zionist groupies that populate DK (there’s about 20 of them that I counted, with only 10 or so who are active, basically perusing and policing any diary on the I/P topic).

        Also forbidden – any connecting of “jews” to anything with “money” meaning. Which is why madoff is taboo, and no one touches the treasury revolving door or goldman sachs malfeasance. Even discussions about taibbi article-de-jour or glenn greenwald devolve into a bitch fest. Which is the exact purpose of the censors.

        The one diarist I saw who is somehow able to push through is Tom J. he has written about the Gaza march and handled the ensuing maelstrom well. Must have a gentlemen’s agreement with MB’s.

        BTW, because of these kind of schizophrenic policies (no CT’s, no lobby, soon no jane hamsher) DK is sliding into a poor-man’s msm itself. Many of the best diarist gravitated away, or are posting in DK in addition to elsewhere. Some day, DK will be written about as an anatomy of self-destruct, the progressive version.

        I/P is considered to be, BTW, a huge issue for the netroots and progressive movements probably because there are so many jewish people within it, and a fraction of them are highly conflicted about israel. It has been my opinion, for some time now, that this dicothomy (PEP) plays a role in the relative disempowerment of the progressive base on most issues. there’s a fault line running right through its middle, and jumping over it without acknowledging its presence, swallowed many a good person and cause.

        But don’t worry, you are in good company.

  23. Kathleen
    December 29, 2009, 3:35 pm

    The Daily Kos is a very closed down site

    they have claimed I am “anti-semitic for this post. They will also not allow me to comment further unless I check this box

    2009-12-29 13:41:12
    Anti-semitic commentary like that in your MSNBC diary is unacceptable at Daily Kos. This will be your only warning.
    I understand the above warning (posting is no longer allowed until this is acknowledged).

    link to

    but then they take off this comment by cyclobabe but leave the”anti’semitc” comment or inference by Meteor Blades.

    The Joos control the media, … (11+ / 0-) (this was written by Meteor Blade)

    Recommended by:
    Treg, sofia, blueoregon, zemblan, JeffW, unspeakable, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, ArtSchmart, charliehall, volleyboy1, QES

    …in case you’re unaware of it, Chess, is unacceptable discourse at Daily Kos. You can critique Rachel Maddow. You can critique Israeli policy in Gaza. But this anti-semitic approach to doing so is out-of-bounds. This will be your only warning.

    Don’t tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 10:46:27 AM PST

    “but when on earth can we discuss the media coverage of just about anything? it seems to me that any critique of rachel maddow (and I have many for lots oif reason) leads to a downhill diary. I saw the vitriol heaped on jane hamsher here on DK and was appalled. To me it’s all part of a pattern, first you can’t say one thing (like, heaven forbid – a lobby for a foreign country that’s seems somewhat powerful, to make an understatement), then we can barely mention corporate controlled media or corporate controlled presidency and then we can hardly discuss any foreign affair from all sides (like the war-like escalation in afganistan) and finally, we cannot mention jane hamsher without a diary falling apart.

    To me, all censorship reeks of unintended consequences and collateral damage. Personally, I am known to be a trans-zionist (that’s my definition for my special condition) and no sooner I refer to palestinian human rights and call out the abuse heaped on the palestinians for what it – as well as the abject silence with which it is greeted by the msms – that a posse of self-appointed censors comes out in force. The same seems to be true for the Obamabots who are quick to take offense at mention of even the most glaring failures on the part of this administration, as if the word itself “failure” should bve expounged from the dictionary (except of course for the easy stuff- bashing insignificantpeople on the right).

    Apart from this diary (that admittedly mixed up way too many things into a bit of an unholy goulash), I see major problems with the censorship policy on DK. I understand the reasons for community policing, but it can quickly turn from caution into dictates. And may already have, in some regards.”
    by cylonbabe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:50:25 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    • Kathleen
      December 29, 2009, 3:48 pm

      Amazing the Daily Kos erased the comment by Cyclobabe which criticized the censorship at Daily Kos but allowed the twisted comment by Meteor Blade above

      My point stands Rachel Maddow is extremely selective, biased almost to a point of racism. When she covers gays in Nigeria having serious problems, Iranian protesters but not the Palestinians. Has not covered the Gaza Freedom March. Why?

      Why do people think Rachel Maddow is progressive. I think she is pretty damn status quo

      • Chaos4700
        December 29, 2009, 3:53 pm

        Hmm. She’s progressive on major issues like gay rights, health care and government oversight and regulation, but no progressive is going to have the same exact platform as another. And to be fair, she was on top of the attempts to smear ACORN earlier this year and the recent attempts to smear CAIR, so I wouldn’t characterize her as racist or status quo.

        She is, however, hawkish on issues of national security, more so than most progressives, and that is going to lead her down a road where she is supporting wars where other progressives will not.

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