Chicago hearing looks at the effect of US military aid to Israel

on 95 Comments

Videos from last weekend’s mock Congressional Hearing in Chicago about US policy toward Israel/Palestine have been posted.  Below are two of the most powerful. The first featuers Amr Shurrab from Khan Younis who lost two of his brothers on the same day during the Israeli attack on Gaza in January, 2009. The second features Cindy Corrie who recounts the death of her daughter Rachel and her search for answers and accountability.

95 Responses

  1. potsherd
    April 21, 2010, 11:20 pm

    On their website, they mentioned that they had invited Illinois Congressional reps to join their panel and apparently none had accepted. I asked them if they had the replies from the Congressionals, but they didn’t.

    I would really like to see these.

  2. Avi
    April 22, 2010, 12:27 am

    There are various groups out there that could have a greater impact if they teamed up together, especially on matters related to military spending, weapons manufacturing and US/Israeli complicity in both creating that sector and keeping that sector in business.

    Even though I was reluctant at first to acknowledge some of Haber’s and other people’s valid arguments concerning the same strategy with BDS (in an earlier thread), I was swayed by Keith’s point.

    He reminded me of how comfortable one can get outside the conflict region. I have the luxury of having shelter, food, clothing and freedom that many in Gaza do not have. It’s easy to forget what’s at stake here. It’s easy to put people’s lives, their experiences and suffering on the back burner, while giving ideals higher priority. Suddenly the topic at hand ceases to be about people, about their humanity and becomes focused on cold, abstract concepts. It lacks humanity. It’s either that or my logic-first, emotion-later personality. Although, I do admit I have passion, perhaps too much at times as evidenced by some of my heated exchanges from several weeks back. So, thank you, Keith, for your sobering thoughts.

    Back on track, the panel in the videos above, might/could benefit from working with these fine men (If they’re not already):

    link to

    If there’s a universal commonality between US military aid to Israel and US military involvement in Asia and Africa is that both kill thousands of civilians.

    • MRW
      April 22, 2010, 2:49 am

      Avi and others, you need to read this military monograph. (At least the first few summary pages and his conclusions.)

      This paper was written in April 2008 while Major Brian Stuckert attended the School of Advanced Military Studies, US Army Command and General Staff College in KS. It is a surprisingly refreshing work that I would urge all to read. It has been declassified. This is a keeper.
      Strategic Implications of American Millennialism
      A Monograph by MAJOR Brian L. Stuckert, U.S. Army
      link to

      Stuckert’s monograph strikes at the heart of excessive US support for Israel and the Dispensational Pre-Millennialists who are behind this movement, and who have affected US national and military policy — to our detriment. It urges all military planners to become familiar with this cult-like Christian Zionist movement in order to understand the danger it represents to American national security worldwide and the troops. He carves up the heart of Bush-era military policy with its calls for war against Muslims as spiritual enemies. And covers all the players, like this guy:

      Hagee points to Genesis 12:3 as “God’s foreign policy statement”:127 “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.”128 Hagee sees this as an inviolable requirement to “protect and defend Israel at all costs.”129 There are three prominent policy implications that appear throughout Hagee’s media messages. First, Iran is an immediate threat. Second, there must be “one Jerusalem.”130 Third, war is part of God’s plan.

      It doesn’t mince words. Stucker gives the history of religious interference in American foreign policy from the beginning of millennialism in US history. He says Israel figures prominently in dispensational pre-millennialist eschatology, and notes “Pre-millennialists especially object to UN Resolution 242, which calls for Israel to abandon the Occupied Territories.”. He describes how the Bible was rewritten and altered in the 20th C to accommodate (and create) dispensational pre-millennialist viewpoints.

      The attackers against Stuckert are now out in full force. [As I’ve written elsewhere: good luck with dissing the US military.]

      He warns,

      Pessimism and paranoia are two possible results of pre-millennial influence. This can lead to inaccurate assessments on the part of military leaders and planners. […] millennialism is usually “at odds with the empirical method that goes into appraising reality, based on a determination of means and ends.”192 As demonstrated by American history, millennialism has predisposed us toward stark absolutes, overly simplified dichotomies and a preference for revolutionary or cataclysmic change as opposed to gradual processes. In other words, American strategists tend to rely too much on broad generalizations, often incorrectly cast in terms of ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ and seek the fastest resolution to any conflict rather than the most thoughtful or patient one.193

      • potsherd
        April 22, 2010, 5:37 am

        link to

        Those who will stand with us will be Christian Zionists such as Pastor John Hagee. Some Jews may say the reason the Christian Zionists ‘love’ us so much is more about fulfillment of their own eschatology than genuine love and respect for the Jewish people. While there may be some element of truth to this notion, as a Jew if I have to choose between those willing to stand with us and support our country vs. those who murder our people, wish to destroy our country and believe in a god who curses us, the choice becomes an easy one.

        Do Israelis notice that the only people anymore who will support their racist state are the dregs of the planet? The same populations from which the antisemites have always emerged?

        Do liberal Jews not become uncomfortable in the same bed with racists and fascists?

      • pabelmont
        April 22, 2010, 7:38 am

        The impact of American millennial religious ideas on U.S. Government policy will add to strategic hubris, compel increasingly reckless international action, and continue to over-commit the military in ways the Nation cannot afford.

        (Same essay.)

        Just think of Bush-II making the world safe for democracy through war! Meanwhile, they’ll cut back on medicare citing national debt and never tell us how much we spend each year on Military, “Intelligence”, Debt-Service for borrowing for previous Military and “Intelligence”, as if it were Monopoly Money.

      • Shmuel
        April 22, 2010, 8:11 am

        Donald Wagner’s A Christian Zionist Primer (pp.6-12) offers a good overview of Christian Zionism and US politics.

        From Jonathan Kuttab’s introduction to the Sabeel (Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem) conference entitled Challenging Christian Zionism (see above link):

        Christian Zionism, on the political level, is crassly simplistic and unabashedly biased. It is supportive of the
        most extreme political positions of right wing Israelis,
        and deliberately ignores political realities, and the interest,
        or even existence, of other groups, including Palestinian
        Christians. In its total bias, it also ignores the
        requirements of international law, ethical principles, violations
        of human rights, and the requirements of simple
        justice. It is oblivious to the suffering of non-Jews, and
        the long- term impact of Israel’s suicidal policies, which
        it gives a divine mantle of justification. Christian Zionists,
        particularly in Western countries and the United
        States, translate their theology into concrete political influence
        on behalf of Zionism and the state of Israel, and
        successfully influence the financial, political and military
        assistance given by the United States government
        to the State of Israel …

        These issues rightly should be the concern of all Christians,
        but they are particularly the bane of Palestinian
        and Arab Christians. Christians in the Middle East have
        to contend not only with the theological implications
        of these positions, as they live in the midst of a Moslem
        world reeling from the impact of the demonization of
        Islam and the apparent onslaught of a ‘crusading” Western
        world on them, but also with their political impact
        that they experience themselves in the form of daily deprivations,
        humiliations, loss of land, of rights, of loved
        ones, and of their patrimony. All this is justified in the
        name of their own God and their own scriptures.

  3. Qwaider Planet linked to this.
  4. Sumud
    April 22, 2010, 2:23 am

    I recall an article about Rachel Corrie’s death, written perhaps just 3 or 4 months after the event, and practically crowing that she had been all but forgotten. I hope the author has been paying attention.

  5. Richard Witty
    April 22, 2010, 3:21 am

    The hearing was not particularly effective. It was the same people, speaking to the same people.

    This is more important news.

    Netanyahu rejects U.S. demands to freeze Jerusalem construction

    link to

    Obama will/is losing patience with Netanyahu. Obama is such a patient and kind man, a diplomat. But, this is straining both the appearance of what Israel is, and the objective relationship between the US and Israel (in all respects, governmental, cultural, sentiment primarily, economic.)

    • Sumud
      April 22, 2010, 3:43 am

      “The hearing was not particularly effective.”

      See my comment above RE: the dismissal seven years ago of significance of Rachel Corrie’s murder.

      You are making proclamations about things you can’t possibly know.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 3:49 am

        You didn’t find it repetitious, slanted, no ability to inquire.

        At least when Norman F speaks, there is Q & A.

      • sherbrsi
        April 22, 2010, 3:55 am

        They’re all ‘maximalists’ anyway, Witty. What do you want to ask them?

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 3:58 am

        Why they conclude what they do? What information do they include in their math? What do they ignore?

        Is their logic sound? Is ti compassionate?

        What do they propose? Why?

        What of others’ perspective do they respect, accept?

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 4:03 am

        “Why they conclude what they do?”

        You mean, why didn’t they come to the conclusion you would have preferred?

        “What information do they include in their math? What do they ignore?”

        Why?  To save you having to read it yourself?

        “Is their logic sound? Is ti compassionate?”

        Yes, I can just imagine you asking someone if their logic was sound and them answering NO.

        How do you define compassionate logic Witty?

        “What of others’ perspective do they respect, accept?”

        You mean, would they accept the Hasbara version?

      • Citizen
        April 22, 2010, 7:47 am

        Re: “repetitious, slanted, no ability to inquire”–I find this aptly describes treatment of the I-P conflict and the US role in it on US MSM, and as voiced by US congress people and White House appointees. This decades old manner of giving the US public information needed to be responsible citizens in a democracy follows a perverted trajectory from Bernays-Goebbels-Pravada to AIPAC.

      • Sumud
        April 22, 2010, 8:21 am

        “You didn’t find it repetitious, slanted, no ability to inquire.”

        I didn’t comment on the hearing, I suggested you are a little over eager in declaring it a failure just 72 hours after.

        It reeks of “therefore you should all pack up and go home”, a line yonira is also pushing on the caterpillar lockdown article.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 8:30 am

        A success at what?

        A teach-in for propaganda purposes with the air of academic respectability. Sure, it provided that.

        But not a candid discussion, or even inquiry, into what is going on and why, towards the goal of reconciliation (as is the orientation of the Friends, if not the politicized American Friends “Service” Committee.)

    • aparisian
      April 22, 2010, 5:04 am

      There is witness of War crimes and you feel disturbed, don’t you?
      Witty how dare you you call this “not particularly effective”? if i can spit on your face i would not hesitate, you are nothing than a Zionist complicit of war crimes.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 7:54 am

        Its great self-talk.

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 8:10 am

        Yes, like you have such a massive follwing don’t you Witty?

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 8:15 am

        I speak my truth, which is that reconciliation is the only justice.

        That warring justice is the oppossite of justice, as it creates injustice in the future, which is much much more important.

        What condition do we create by our actions?

      • aparisian
        April 22, 2010, 8:22 am

        maybe its my English but this guy is speaking none sense.

        What reconciliation are you talking about? Israel is committing Nazi crimes against unarmed Pals civilians and you keep repeating the same disclosure?
        Reconciliation starts when the conflict gets an end and with Israel it will never get an end.

      • Judy
        April 22, 2010, 8:30 am

        Witty, you misunderstand the concept of reconciliation. Reconciliation isn’t justice. Reconciliation is a stage in the process of achieving justice.

        In short, reconciliation follows repentance, which requires taking responsibility and CHANGE OF WRONG BEHAVIOR.

        (Add to that, you insanely believe that Palestinians owe repentance to Israel.)

        You can’t have reconciliation while someone is dropping white phosphorus on you (as in Gaza) or has a boot on your neck (as in the WB).

        You truth is nonsense. You don’t even support any meaningful actions to bring about change in the status quo from Israel.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 8:32 am

        And Hamas has committed mass murder over a decade long period.

        It is a conflict, which requires a mediation approach.

        “I understand what your angers and more importantly, needs are. Thank you for understanding ours.”

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 8:36 am

        In contrast, I regard justice as a secondary component of the goal of peace.

        “You can’t have reconciliation while someone is dropping white phosphorus on you (as in Gaza) or has a boot on your neck (as in the WB).”


        And, you can’t have reconciliation while someone is shelling civilian towns.

        It takes dissent from the status quo in both settings, to realize peace, not picking the other as demon.

        That is loyal warring, not change.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 8:37 am

        Its a grave negligence on the part of dissent to pose conflict as oppression only, even as the goals of stopping the institutions of oppression are just goals.

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 8:40 am

        “And Hamas has committed mass murder over a decade long period.”

        Not only did Israel get a jump on Hsmas in that regard by about 5 decades, but unlike Hamas, it continues to carry it out.

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 8:42 am

        “In contrast, I regard justice as a secondary component of the goal of peace.”

        That’s because your team are the predominantly guilty party and have most fear from justice.

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 8:43 am

        “Its a grave negligence on the part of dissent to pose conflict as oppression only, even as the goals of stopping the institutions of oppression are just goals.”

        Yes, it must be hard letting go of the instrument of oppression having grown so comfortable with it.

      • Sumud
        April 22, 2010, 8:43 am

        “reconciliation is the only justice.” “That warring justice”

        Your order of event is mixed up.

        Reconciliation cannot be achieved with one party is pointing a gun at the other. It comes only after the weaponry has been discarded, anyway I doubt that is your intention.

        Seems to me you are looking to have your conscience eased, for Israel to receive forgiveness without penance (the opposite of justice), a sweeping under the carpet of things that make you uncomfortable. Simultaneously you try to append victim status to the half-milllion illegal settlers – who have always knows their position was tenuous.

      • Judy
        April 22, 2010, 8:44 am

        “Its a grave negligence on the part of dissent to pose conflict as oppression only, even as the goals of stopping the institutions of oppression are just goal.”

        Is this Witty-speak for: Palestinians were wrong for fighting back and the owe Israel a BIG APOLOGY!

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 22, 2010, 8:49 am

        In contrast, I regard justice as a secondary component of the goal of peace.
        Ha ha…Nice try..Well no sir! Justice first and then peace or justice WITH peace. No justice no peace! Roll over Beethoven!

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 22, 2010, 8:51 am

        I speak my truth, which is that reconciliation is the only justice.

      • Sumud
        April 22, 2010, 8:51 am

        “And, you can’t have reconciliation while someone is shelling civilian towns.”

        Once again – despite Judy’s most excellent analysis the other day you still refuse to acknowledge the massive power imbalance and the historical colonial trajectory of the situation.

        Are you aware that in the year following the Gaza Massacre not a single Israeli was killed by Gaza action of any sort, yet in the same period (until the death of the thai worker) 88 Gazans were killed by the IDF?

        How does reconciliation occur when one side continues killing with gay abandon?

      • Sumud
        April 22, 2010, 9:03 am

        “And Hamas has committed mass murder over a decade long period.”

        Care to put some numbers on that? The 20 or so deaths from rockets since 2001? The several hundred deaths from Hamas suicide attacks over more than a decade? How does that that stack up with the numbers from the Gaza Massacre, inflicted in three weeks?

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 9:05 am

        Judy’s comment is the most important of the last group.

        “Palestinians were wrong for fighting back and the owe Israel a BIG APOLOGY! ”

        The reality is that both groups perceive themselves as fighting back, and they are both accurate.

        Even if the scale is skewed, and certainly the current Israeli adminstration offers no hope whatsoever without a fundamental revision of its thinking.

        Its the difference between trying to win, and trying to reconcile.

        “Reconciliation cannot be achieved with one party is pointing a gun at the other. It comes only after the weaponry has been discarded, anyway I doubt that is your intention.”

        That is actually not true. Reconciliation in South Africa occurred with guns pointed, if that is your parallel. Reconciliation at Oslo occurred with guns pointed.

        What changed was the will, the intention. “We are looking for a way to not point guns at each other.”

        That is stated by the rabbis that signed the letter. Its not stated here by supporters of BDS. What is stated is “I’m angry, and only angry. I feel manipulated by my own compassionate urge.”

        That is the SAME as right-wing Zionists state, the ones that could be compelled to accept the green line as border, absent the rage and threats.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 9:08 am

        I posted the history of Hamas suicide bombing attacks. It was accompanied by other bombings by Al Aqsa Martyrs, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, others.

        From 2000 – 2004, there were close to two bombings a week. I get how Israelis would think that a wall combined with suppression might be necessary.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 9:15 am

        Gee, Witty, then would you also “get” how Germans might think rounding up Jews into concentration camps was an effective solution to removing them from Germany’s ailing economy and devalued currency?

        Wow, and weren’t they right! Just look how the German economy gained strength after they did that.

        You’re an ass, Richard Witty. And you don’t even understand why your warped ideology is so evil.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 9:15 am

        The least you should derive from that is the predictable affect on Israeli consciousness.

        Murderous actions are responded to harshly.

        In Israel, it is a governmental responsibility to protect its civilians. It need not require cynicism to undertake military means, as that is one of the legal and legitimate tools of states.

        You do remember that the Goldstone report and HRW reports described Hamas shelling of civilian towns, and the escalation of that shelling as war crimes, and that they preceeded Israeli. (I know the next response will be that that was preceeded by Nov 4, and the blockade)

        Nevertheless no dissenter here, not Phil, not Adam, not any solidarity is commenting on those accusations of war crimes as of any import.

        I think that is a negligence, a failure to be honest, a failure to be complete, a failure in dissent, a failure to persuade, a failure to apply any moral standard instead relying only on political.

        Whereas in the states the level of political consciousness and interest is very low, and permanently if a fourty year period is any guide. Its not just Israel. The language of politics and raging justice as primary references appeals only to fanatics in the US, only to the far left and the far right.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 9:18 am

        My “warped” ideology is live and let live.

        You call seeking peace warped. Odd.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 9:18 am

        Murderous actions are responded to harshly.

        You mean like the Nakba? You’re referring to reaction to the Nakba, right?

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 9:20 am

        No, like suicide bombings.

        Murderous actions by Arabs, mass murderous, occurred prior to the Nakba and during.

        If you studied the history you would more accurately note the crimes from just the accusations.

        Take the time. You obviously have plenty of it.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 9:20 am

        You call herding Palestinians behind concrete walls and separating them from their own people and their land “peace.” You call dropping thousands of tons of bombs onto a defenseless civilian population “peace.” You call taking profit from an ethnic cleansing and an elaborate apartheid system “peace.”

        I have no worries about which one of us will be considered aberrant by most people.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 9:23 am

        Oh! A bomb on an Israeli bus is mass murder but the massacre of entire Palestinian villages isn’t.

        You don’t really even consider the Palestinians human, do you? Does it register at all to you that what you and and your ancestors did to wipe out their homes, their history, their livelihoods for your personal gain is wrong?

      • Sumud
        April 22, 2010, 9:31 am

        ” both groups perceive themselves as fighting back, and they are both accurate.”

        No, they are not. Israel isn’t fighting back in self-defence, it’s fighting back to maintain the occupation. A rather large and important distinction. If Israel and Palestine make peace and Israel is attacked by Palestine, hey you betcha, that’s self-defence. This is SO basic and elemental you shouldn’t have to be told.

        ” Reconciliation in South Africa occurred with guns pointed, ”

        No, it didn’t. Black South Africans were largely powerless so the world matched SA’s guns with the gun of BDS. Apartheid collapsed, the reconciliation process followed and is not yet complete. The actual Truth and Reconciliation Commission began in 1995, the year after apartheid ended. Reconciliation and Oslo do not even belong in the same sentence.

        You seem to be confusing reconciliation with a laying down of arms, or even just the thought of it. That’s just a pre-condition.

      • Judy
        April 22, 2010, 9:40 am

        I am coming to suspect that the (liberal) Zionist refusal to allow for Palestinian self-defense comes from deep seated shame for not fighting back (very much at all) against the Nazis.

        They cannot accept it that their victims refuse to submit to their attempts to erase them.

        Anyone who grew up in a working class neighborhood “gets” the concept that “if you are trying to take down, you’re coming down with me.” I remind my kids that lesson time and again: if someone mocks you, picks on you, targets you, make them understand that if they are going to *** with you, there is a price to be paid for that. Make the price too high.


        Are you insane, man?

        WWAD? (what would Americans do? I shudder to think how Americans would respond if placed in a situation similar to that of Palestine — look how we reacted when 2 buildings got knocked down, for crying out loud!)

        How can anyone negotiate or dialogue with people with such deep-seated psychological issues?

        For the record, I don’t support the use of violence against Israeli civilians. I don’t think it’s effective. But I absolutely believe Palestinians have the “right” to fight back.

        I believe that non-violent resistance will work best in the long-run. I believe that BDS, including academic and cultural boycotts are what will ultimately make the price of the status quo “too high.”

      • Sumud
        April 22, 2010, 9:41 am

        “I posted the history of Hamas suicide bombing attacks.”

        That’s not mass murder – unless on that scale you’re willing to describe IDF action as genocide. Check out the numbers:

        link to

        And I see HaMoked are reporting the first deportation under the new permit orders – a Gazan man living in the West Bank for 15 years, deported to Gaza and now permanently separated from his wife and child. Advice RW? How should he reconcile that?

        link to

      • Sumud
        April 22, 2010, 9:44 am

        “My “warped” ideology is live and let live.”

        Oh you are talking about the settlers and the refugees right? Make the status quo permanent and brand it “peace”. Charming.

      • Sumud
        April 22, 2010, 9:58 am

        “Murderous actions by Arabs, mass murderous, occurred prior to the Nakba and during.”

        So back we go to the Hebron Massacre of 1929? Is that why it’s all “the arabs” fault?

        If you were a Palestinian with thousands and thousand of Europeans flooding your land, with the stated aim of taking over entirely, what would you do?

      • potsherd
        April 22, 2010, 11:19 am

        Aparisian, do not mistrust your English. Witty’s pomposity renders him unintelligible.

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 22, 2010, 8:54 am

        You’re talking to a wall. Richard is a wall. Everything will bounce back unabsorbed .

  6. Julian
    April 22, 2010, 5:19 am

    “The hearing was not particularly effective. It was the same people, speaking to the same people.”

    Really dull and amaturish. I couldn’t find any videos of Mearsheimer, any posted anywhere?

    • Chaos4700
      April 22, 2010, 7:27 am

      “Really dull and amaturish.”

      Compared to what? The Bush Administration?

  7. Citizen
    April 22, 2010, 7:11 am

    Interesting compassionate comments from Witty, an adult very concerned about his settler son getting dirty looks for wearing a skull cap, and from Julian, who was bored.
    Pt 6 clip Does US military aid to Israel uphold US values?
    The Chicago Hearing was receiving text messages praise from around the world.
    Josh Ruebener:
    30 Billion dollars for this decade–Why not prioritize US communities instead? E.g., 505 million,852 thousand dollars plus for Chicago residents alone. Or 6,142 low income family affordable housing vouchers each year, or 8,397 unemployed people with jobs training for green jobs, or 14, 957 at-risk kids with early reading; or 409,964 people with access to primary health care service. Look up annual financial cost to your own community at
    Human cost?
    During Bush Jr Adm, according to ( a named) Israeli Org, Israel killed over 3,000 innocent Pals who took no part in hostilities, often with US weapons, and critically injured thousands more, and destroyed billions of dollars of Pal civilian infrastructure with US weapons. This violates US ARms Export Control Act. As you hear eye witness testimony this afternoon, ask yourself if this is legitimate self defense? Put a human face on the cost of US military aid to Israel.
    Average Palestinian witness’s story.
    Mom Corrie’s story.
    Imagine the response by Witty and Julian if those stories came from the mouth of Jewish victims. Think they’d be as dismissive? Notice they don’t
    react at all to the cost in each US community in terms of what could be done there with the money given to Israel for arms to produce stories such as those given by the witnesses to reality shown.

    • Citizen
      April 22, 2010, 7:14 am

      Gives new meaning to Witty’s advocacy of compassion. And he’s the star of the hasbara bots here. Gives new meaning to the Golden Rule, Silver Rule, and Platinum Rule too.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 7:29 am

        Witty has long since established that neither the rule of law, nor the best interests of his actual homeland, will impede his fanatical support for Zionism.

    • Judy
      April 22, 2010, 7:28 am

      I haven’t always followed comments here.

      Is Witty’s son truly a settler?

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 7:31 am

        Admittedly, I’ve only seen it in intimation but from what he’s described in the past and how he behaves, it’s certainly consistent. He may have also stated it on another blog — as some of the other commentators have pointed out, this is by far not the only blog he graces with his presence.

        I wouldn’t expect a straight answer from Witty on the matter at this point though. Or on anything, really.

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 7:44 am

        My son is a new hasidim, ultra-orthodox.

        He has nothing to do with settlements. He has lived in a yeshiva in Brooklyn, and is in transit to a yeshiva in Manchester, England. A student.

        Definitely not integrating, but harming noone, and not asking that anyone be harmed.

        You get straight answers from always, to the best of my ability.

        Chaos has not disclosed an iota of his life, except for a very few elements.

        I am a real person, posting under my own name, candid except where I would violate requests for confidentiality.

        In my morning walk a thought occurred to me about the parallels between Judy’s comments and diaspora Zionist supporters. That is of sympathy that extends to anger.

        Jews that have seen the real pictures of rabbis searching for limbs on the streets of Jerusalem after suicide bombings have a similar anger to your response to abuses by IDF of your family in Gaza.

        I’ve met a number of Palestinians that have said, “enough”. This is stupid. I can’t continue bearing hatred personally. And, I can’t bear encouraging hatred in others.


      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 7:55 am

        Cut the sanctimonius BS Witty. Your only concern with hatred is hatred directed at Israel.

        And as for real names what do you care? Do you think it’s brave of you to tow the pro Israeli line and use your real name?

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 8:02 am

        I’ve been criticized by both the left and the right, everyone that cultivates anonomosity and distrusts the candid, complete discussion of facts and context, to form their impressions and goals.

        Real names are important because they indicate your willingness to stand in real life behind what you present in the blogosphere. Its your right to use a pseudonym, obviously most do. Its a mask though, and there is good reason to distrust those that wear masks in public (you know bank robbers and such).

        I do not tow the Israeli line in the slightest. The current Israeli line is for expansion of settlements, expropriation of territory, suppression of movement in the West Bank, etc.

        I am public record in my own name of supporting 67 borders, full civil rights for Palestinians in Israel (and of Jews in Palestine), and the right of return based on location of birth.

        I am definitely concerned with hatred directed at Israel. That is true, and will remain so. To the extent that you direct hatred at Israel, I will be concerned about your statements.

        I would hope that an actual dissenter, living and speaking on principle, would convey to you that dissent and expression and encouragement of hatred are not equivalent, and frankly have no place in “non-violent” dissent.

      • Shingo
        April 22, 2010, 8:09 am

        “Jews that have seen the real pictures of rabbis searching for limbs on the streets of Jerusalem after suicide bombings have a similar anger to your response to abuses by IDF of your family in Gaza.”

        What’s teh matter Witty? Can’t bring yourself to admitt that Palestinians have been dismembered by the IDF? Still trying to trivialize Palestinian usffering while highlighting Israeli losses.

        You are seriosuly pathetic.

        So your son is Ultra Orthodox and a segregationist. When did he arrive at that descision?

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 8:11 am

        No, commenting on the similarities of anger stimulated by real events that occur in other locales.

        The process of diaspora solidarity.

        The importance of both parts of the “never again” slogan, to both of us. “Never Again” (to our community). “Never Again” (to others).

      • Richard Witty
        April 22, 2010, 8:13 am

        He’s religious. He chooses to study and live in Jewish community.

        Its not segregationist so much as utopian religious.

        When did you get so bigoted against those that live differently than you?

      • Judy
        April 22, 2010, 8:41 am

        Witty, first, thanks for sharing that info about your family. I appreciate our being open about that. And, as a fellow odd-man-out in a mixed family, I extend my compassion to you. If my grown daughter became a fundy Muslim, my feelings would be hurt, as it would be rejection of all that I believe and value. I would be proud of her for making an independent decision, but to choose a lifestyle so different would sting.

        I don’t consider the anger I bear, or that my husband bears, an abstract anger as you seem to suggest. His pain is not that of the refugee whose never seen his village and longs for it in an abstract way. His pain is the IDF has his family living in a concentration camp and he can’t get in to see them. They are old and will die soon. It’s very real and concrete.

        My anger that he can’t go, but you, or or your son can move to Sderot tomorrow is something justified. It is not pathological anger. It’s the kind of anger that energizes and inspires my family to work for justice.

        I don’t “hate” you or fellow liberal Zionosts, or even RW Israelis. Well… maybe I hate the Shin Bet dude who ass-raped my 14 year old brother-in-law, or the soliders who used my older BIL’s neck for an ashtray.

      • Chu
        April 22, 2010, 8:41 am

        David Cronin interviews Gideon Levy
        link to

        DC: If somebody was to call you a moderate Zionist would you have any objections?

        GL: The moderate Zionists are like the Zionist left in Israel, which I can’t stand. Meretz and Peace Now, who are not ready, for example, to open the “1948 file” and to understand that until we solve this, nothing will be solved. Those are the moderate Zionists. In this case, I prefer the right-wingers.

        DC: The right-wingers are more honest?

        GL: Exactly.

      • VR
        April 22, 2010, 8:50 am

        “I would hope that an actual dissenter, living and speaking on principle, would convey to you that dissent and expression and encouragement of hatred are not equivalent, and frankly have no place in “non-violent” dissent.”

        You do not hold the place of “dissenter” RW, you are complicit with the powers that be and their current activity and direction. This is in reality what takes place on every point on this blog with you. Israel has the powers that be supporting it, at any cost to the poor and the weak and rightful owners of Palestine.

        You come on here as if you are the persecuted one, only because this is a truly dissenting site, as opposed to your support and complicity. The mantel you deserve is the supporter of might makes right at all costs, and you whine like all of us are in positions of servitude and persecution – you are a poseur.

      • jimby
        April 22, 2010, 11:38 am

        Judy, I have gotten the impression that Witty is proud of his son becoming a messianic Jew.

      • demize
        April 23, 2010, 12:35 am

        Oh Judy to hear that leaves me inarticulate. Hate is an appropriate response to atrocities such as you describe. This is the mechanism of brutality that encapsulates this entire enterprise.

    • potsherd
      April 22, 2010, 11:21 am

      You think Julian actually watched the presentation before he began to sneer?

  8. Citizen
    April 22, 2010, 7:39 am

    Pt 7 video clip:
    Cindy Corrie–you can see what she’s been put through–you will she’s not strung out because her 23 year old daughter was looked at funny for wearing an orange jacket–or embroidered skull cap. Listen to her details on the murder of her daughter by IDF with US gifted Caterpiller bulldozer (SCOTUS said). I’m sure Hollywood will make a movie about her life. Listen how the US and Israeli governments have handled the Corrie case. Makes you proud to be an American, huh? The home Rachel was protecting was eventually destroyed, and no charges were ever brought against those who lived there; just a tiny part of the Israeli policy of bulldozing Pal homes. Her family was told in 5/2003 that no charges would be brought against the IDF murderers. Two months earlier she was told it was US policy to look into such charges made by US citizens. Reminds me how our government paid attention to the survivors of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, an episode of total coverup unique in US naval history to this day. There is clear evidence as Cindy Corrie reveals (in this video clip) of Israeli government crimes.

    • Chu
      April 22, 2010, 7:59 am

      I assume nothing occurred with the corries recent trip to Israel?
      A dog and pony show…

  9. eee
    April 22, 2010, 8:58 am

    The Corries have accepted the Israeli law and courts as an arbiter. That is good. Perhaps the Corries are not biased. However, I am quite sure that if they win, the Israel haters will use this to bludgeon the IDF and if they lose the Israeli justice system will be attacked. Irrational hatred is irrational hatred.

    • Chu
      April 22, 2010, 9:11 am

      maybe so, but the Corries low-key style and forgiveness of the situation (the soldier) gives me pride, compared to a typical opportunist, in this sad situation.

    • Chaos4700
      April 22, 2010, 9:17 am

      Never mind that, you know, her daughter was murdered, huh. That doesn’t even factor into the picture for you, does it?

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 9:28 am

        Why have you already jumped to conclusions?
        It is in the court’s hands. Let us wait and see. I very much doubt it was murder (premeditated) but I will keep an open mind until the court provides its ruling. The people operating heavy machinery in the IDF are not Mossad hit squad agents.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 9:45 am

        You know, in any other country, the state tying up an investigation into a wrongful death for years on end and obfuscating evidence from the event would be considered a crime in its own right, in addition to what happened to Rachel Corrie.

        Anyway, we already know why you are confident. Even if there is a snowball’s chance in hell that an Israeli court will do anything other than exonerate the people who killed Rachel Corrie, the Israeli government and military routinely disregard the rulings of its own courts.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 10:15 am

        It is just a lie that the Israeli government and military routinely disregard rulings of the courts.

        Give it a rest, you cannot have a developed country like Israel without a sound justice system.

      • Shmuel
        April 22, 2010, 10:45 am

        Just to name two cases, off the top of my head, in which the IDF and Israeli government disregarded court rulings: the separation wall, and targeted assassination. There was a Haaretz editorial a couple of months ago condemning the routine violation of court decisions by the Israeli government and military.

        On the shameful role of Israeli courts in support of the occupation (in violation of international law and their own institutional obligations), see Hamoked’s well-documented Court Watch section:

        The High Court of Justice (HCJ) has abandoned the role with which it was entrusted – justices often choose to side with the position of the state, sometimes without criticizing it. Decisions are based on “classified security material” without providing an opportunity to review it, and, it follows, without the opportunity to challenge it. Through judgments which endorse Israeli aggression, the HCJ allows Israel to continue the occupation under the false pretense of safeguarding human rights.

        The HCJ, whether directly or indirectly, provides a legal seal of approval for the acts of the occupation. Thus, the HCJ has awarded legal and public legitimacy to the establishment of new settlements and the expansion of existing ones; land expropriation; house demolitions; the building of the separation wall deep inside the occupied territory; restrictions on movement inside the Occupied Territories and the prevention of entry into and exit out of them; collective punishment; the siege on Gaza which includes, among other things, the closing of crossing points to people and wares, prevention of patients from exiting the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment abroad and the entry of patients for treatment inside Israel; administrative detentions; targeted assassinations; non-enforcement of the law on the State of Israel and its agents who constantly violate the rights of Palestinians while causing damage to their property as well as mental and physical harm.

      • aparisian
        April 22, 2010, 11:01 am

        “Developed country” i beg your pardon? btw eee why Israel doesnt have a constitution?

      • Avi
        April 22, 2010, 12:50 pm


        Just to name two cases, off the top of my head, in which the IDF and Israeli government disregarded court rulings:

        I might also add, the use of civilians as human shields and torture, especially by the Shin Bet.

      • Shmuel
        April 22, 2010, 1:03 pm

        I might also add, the use of civilians as human shields and torture, especially by the Shin Bet.

        Absolutely, Avi.

      • eee
        April 22, 2010, 1:39 pm

        Since when do two contested cases a “routine” make?
        What Hamoked is saying is just biased bull. They don’t like the Supreme Court’s decision so they criticize them. Show me a clear example where they obviously misinterpreted the law, or didn’t act according to the law.

      • Chaos4700
        April 22, 2010, 1:42 pm

        Building the apartheid wall on Palestinian land? I don’t think any example gets more clear than that. How about the Jews-only highway system used to transfer Israeli Jews into the illegal settlements in the West Bank? Or was the so-called Basic Law repealed while I wasn’t looking?

      • Shmuel
        April 23, 2010, 2:34 am

        Trouble getting my comment published, so I’ll just provide a link that shows that the Israeli government and military routinely ignore Israeli court rulings (at least 8 cases in 3 years – not counting at least 3 of the 4 cases mentioned above):

        link to

      • Shmuel
        April 23, 2010, 2:48 am

        Hamoked’s criticism is detailed and case by case. To dismiss such criticism of the High Court as biased and sour grapes is an attempt at obfuscation typical of hasbarah hacks lacking substantive arguments. Hamoked’s findings are online (link to and can be judged on their merits. No tricks, no lies, no smears.

    • potsherd
      April 22, 2010, 11:27 am

      There is nothing irrational about hating injustice and wanton murder.

      The record of the Israeli courts in prosecuting crimes of the occupation forces is not a record of justice. It is this culture of impunity that leads to more murders, as non-Jewish lives are held to be worthless.

  10. Elliot
    April 22, 2010, 1:46 pm

    Richard Witty is working overtime to make himself the subject of this discussion, which already has a title and a theme.

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