Liberal Zionists (at last) say non-Jews have a right to criticize Israel

US Politics
on 82 Comments
Eric Alterman Center for American Progress
Eric Alterman Center for American Progress

Writes a friend:

In two of the responses to The Josh Block Affair, you can see liberal Zionists at last allowing reasonable non-Jewish non-Zionists to enter the debate. Both these men wave around their ethnicity and Zionism, but at least they exclaim that they shouldn’t have to do this, and non-Jews should be allowed to criticize Israel, too.

First, Eric Alterman, who was smeared by Josh Block as borderline anti-Semitic, writing in the Nation (my bold):
 
Now as part of my “pro-Israel” credential, I could have mentioned that in the context of the Nation readership and many of its writers and editors, I am often attacked as no better than AIPAC and some sort of Zionist fifth-column. And to be perfectly honest, I find myself a little bit shamed by the fact that I rolled off my credentials as a Jew in response to the attack, though I did so as a time-saver. (In a pinch, I can still recite my haftorah if need be.) The fact is my colleagues at CAP who are not Jewish have the very same rights to criticize Israel regardless of whether they have the ethnic standing I  happen to enjoy. And I’ve been, I admit surprised, but admiring that CAP has been willing to try to expand the envelope on this issue. It’s 
a tricky thing. I wish J Street had endorsed Palestinian statehood at 
the UN, though, it might have meant that it had no hope of being a 
meaningful political actor in the near future. But look, these people are bullies. And the only way to stop bullying is to stand up to it and hope that others join in. My tsoris aside, it’s a shame that Politico allowed itself 
to be used this way.
 

Then this University of Chicago public-health professor Harold Pollack, who doesn’t like Mearsheimer, but slips in a hall pass for non-Jews nonetheless:

 
The idea that one might want what is best for Israel and believe some of its current policies set it on a morally and strategically disastrous course seemed beyond Mr. Block’s comprehension. Alterman deserves better. Many non-Jews deserve better, too. There’s enough real anti-Semitism in the world these days, borderline and otherwise. We shouldn’t throw charges around unless they’re warranted.
 

It’s beginning.

Weiss: I would add to this a simple political equation: As this issue becomes politicized, at last, Liberal Zionists Need Non-Jewish Liberal/Realists for Numbers the same way that Rightwing Zionists Need Christian Evangelicals, for Numbers.

And if you extend the principle to Israel and Palestine: Reasonable Israelis Who Want to Fight the Settlers CAN BEST DO SO BY COMBINING with Reasonable Palestinians Who Want to Fight the Extreme Islamists. Together they make up a large majority of their COMBINED societies. And for the sake of peace, those reasonable sides should join, and cashier the wornout ideology of Zionism, and build a democracy. It’s political arithmetic. Beinart knows this.

82 Responses

  1. Krauss
    December 17, 2011, 9:45 am

    As far as I have seen, some of the best and most cogent criticism of the entire situation have been from non-Jews. I’m not just talking about the interior Israeli politics, as this conflict have reverberations far and beyond the region – Walt/Mearsheimers decision to publish the Israel Lobby is a case in point. I highly doubt that these two, or other liberal intellectuals, look upon the belated and grumbling ‘aproval’ from these silent fellow travellers as worth anything.

    This is more symbolism, and it underlines just how far ‘liberal’ Zionists have to come, in order to shed their ethnocentrism and bias and truly look at the situation with clear eyes.

    They have been behind the curve the whole time. Beinart, Friedman and the rest of them(like Remnick) came very late. Goldberg is still out to smear everyone from Max Blumenthal to Steve Walt(he called him a Jew-baiter in a tablet mag piece not too long ago).

    Just like the American South situation was ended against the wishes of Southern Whites, so too will the Israeli situation. It will be a situation full of despair and psychodrama but I do not believe they are able to put aside their subjective ethnocentrism. Although I cannot prove it, I have a feeling even Chomsky is victim of that. Finkelstein is another candidate. The latest Mearsheimer/Finkelstein interview in Amcon Mag was almost delusional.

    Either he thinks, against all odds, that removing the settlers will be very easy or he is bluffing, because he doesn’t want to admit just how far down the apartheid road Israel is.

    Gideon Levy, Joseph Dana and many other Israeli liberals, in comparison to their American counterparts, have been much more forceful – both intellectually and morally.

  2. William Burns
    December 17, 2011, 9:46 am

    I’m not so enthusiastic. Judging from the snippet you posted, Pollack seems to be taking the traditional “It’s OK to criticize Israel from the point of view of saving it from itself, but not OK to criticize it from the point of view of defending Palestinian rights” line. Alterman does this too, with his slam at Abunimah and Palestine solidarity. So different voices are welcomed to the conversation, as long as they all say the same thing.

    • slowereastside
      December 18, 2011, 2:06 am

      That’s right. And you can throw Friedman into that establishment-dissent stew as well.

      (btw: Bolano has a short story with your name. Or did you know that?)

      • William Burns
        December 18, 2011, 7:02 am

        I knew that. It was a very strange moment when I first encountered it.

      • Mooser
        December 18, 2011, 1:38 pm

        Well, Burns, you, if anybody, should know how those best-laid plans gang agley.

  3. Bill in Maryland
    December 17, 2011, 9:50 am

    Thanks Phil and good for Eric Alterman and Professor Pollack. The very good news is that although thoughtful and conscientious people may begin to “date” J Street and its positions, they are not going to be satisfied and will fall into the arms of a fairer and more logical and universalist position like that of JVP/ Rebecca Vilkomerson. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, once you begin to understand the history of Israel’s troubled genesis, you can’t un-know it.

  4. eGuard
    December 17, 2011, 10:09 am

    Weiss: Liberal Zionists Need Non-Jewish Liberal/Realists for Number. For Number? “Need” as in: “Uses”?

    How generous.

    • lobewyper
      December 17, 2011, 3:35 pm

      No, eGuard.

      “Need” as in need to show that more than just “liberal zionists” care about social justice and human rights for Palestinians.

      • eGuard
        December 18, 2011, 9:05 pm

        You introduced “zionists” in the quote yourself.

  5. Dan Crowther
    December 17, 2011, 10:14 am

    The Gentiles are allowed to debate!

    Do we still have to ask for bathroom breaks?

    • Avi_G.
      December 18, 2011, 6:11 am

      Bathroom breaks? No.

      But if you can get a Jew to vouch for you, you’re good to go.

      P.S. — I’ll be selling Vouchers on the 25th of December for any goy interested in purchasing one. Please note that each voucher is good for only one comment/statement. Those wishing to participate in a back-and-forth debate will have to purchase the Freed Man package.

      Declaimer: Vouchers sold by non-Jews are not valid. Any goy engaged in the distribution or production of these vouchers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of Halacha, a violation that carries a minimum sentence of public shaming to a maximum sentence of career destruction and homelessness.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 18, 2011, 9:24 am

        HAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!

        See, your still shaking us down Avi!!! :)

  6. Ramzi Jaber
    December 17, 2011, 10:21 am

    It is the Zionists and the US Christian Zionists who are anti-semites. Effectively, they blend “Jew” with “Zionism” and “Israel” in order to score political points and to advance their agendas. Read what Deborah Lipstadt said in Haaretz:

    link to haaretz.com

    The Palestinian struggle is against the OCCUPATION. That is against “Israel” the occupation force and “Zionism” the occupation ideology. Nothing to do with “Jew”.

    Likudnic Zionists (AIPAC, etc.), US Christian Zionists, and idiotic-ignorant US politicians mix in the “Jew” element since this is the ONLY way to bring the Holocaust into the discussion. By bringing in the “Jew” element, they are shamelessly using the sad and tragic memory of the Holocaust to achieve their current and immediate goals and their not-so-hidden agendas. That is done at the detriment and expense of the long-term position of Jews in the world. Thusly, they fan and enflame anti-semitism across the world by projecting the Palestine/Israel conflict as one against Jews, pitting Jews and Moslems against each other, instead of representing it as it is, a land theft by Zionists and a continuing execution of the Zionist ideology starting with Herzl and on to Ben Gurion and Netanyahoo.

    • dahoit
      December 17, 2011, 11:06 am

      They are moonie loonies gone mainstream.Remember the stories about the loonies in the 70′s and brainwashing?It all came true and we suffer the whirlwind of idiocy.
      They aint Christians.

    • yourstruly
      December 17, 2011, 10:18 pm

      welcome ramzi, for a couple years now i’ve been saying much the same here on mw, and elsewhere for going on 40 years. zionism and its settler-entity israel not only stoke antisemitism worldwide, but foster these perpetual wars that endanger all life on earth.

  7. tommy
    December 17, 2011, 11:03 am

    Critics of Israel need no one’s permission, especially those compromised by their tacit approval of inhumane behavior.

  8. kalithea
    December 17, 2011, 11:09 am

    How magnanimous of “liberal” Zionists! They’re so full of their own hubris they didn’t notice we never asked for their permission. The unmitigated gall.

    • yourstruly
      December 17, 2011, 10:31 pm

      ditto! the arrogance and stupidity of those who actually believe that only their like-minded fellow-zionists can have a say on the p/i conflict, even though potentially every living being is affected by it? yet everyone except israel’s supporters are to stay out of the discussion? screw you, self-anointed gatekeepers, for putting the interests of israel* before that of the great experiment that is life on earth.

      *the entity , not its people

      • teta mother me
        December 19, 2011, 12:35 am

        perhaps Alterman could have a little chat with Jeremy Ben Ami at J Street.

        Every PR blitz/ email blast/ conference J Street organizes ends with the action item: “Tell Obama . . .” or “Tell the US Congress” to do X Y Z for Israel.
        In J Street think, solving the mess that is Israel, “that we all love so much,” is the responsibility of the American administration and legislature, but the American people are not permitted to voice the truth that they see all around them.

        Here are some of those truths:
        1. Israel has flaunted international law since well before 1948,
        2. Israel lies almost reflexively
        3. Israel disseminates so much propaganda, and engenders so much hatred of others — Palestinians, Muslims, Iranians — that nothing that Israel or its advocates say can ever be trusted.

        Israel and its advocates have done so much to engender hatred of other groups within the United States, and to divide Americans against each other, that it’s hard to know how the situation can ever be repaired. It is hardly appropriate to counteract the hatred that so many Americans harbor towards Muslims and Iran by redirecting it to its source — Israel advocates such as the Chernick-funded outfits — but that is where truth lies; that is what the reality of the situation is. If J Street and other Israel advocates do not wish to be hated, and want a better future for Israel, instead of demanding that Obama or the US congress solve their dysfunction, they clean their own house –starting with Chernick, Adelson, Saban and the orgs they support– and stop spreading lies and hatred of others.

  9. American
    December 17, 2011, 11:43 am

    “For me, it’s almost a very black and white battle where, let’s stop arguing about who’s right and who’s wrong, let’s just take sides and start fighting for the human rights and the other rights that the Palestinians should have, and let’s not allow the bully to always win. I mean, it’s time to stop the bully.”

    Kalle Lasn, Adbusters – Non Jew

    “But look, these people are bullies. And the only way to stop bullying is to stand up to it and hope that others join in.”

    Alterman, The Nation – Jew

    Of course non Jews have always had the right to criticize the Zios, Israel and I/P just as they do other other injustices…even though we had some who did everything they could to stop us.
    But lets not alienate the Jews who finally admit that publicly by bashing them for being late to the party.
    They have now joined our offense against the bullies and slurers, instead of being always defensive, so let’s give them some support.
    Don’t make the non Jewish critics circle hostile territory for them.
    Be smart about the real goal. Numbers do count.

  10. eee
    December 17, 2011, 12:32 pm

    “Reasonable Israelis Who Want to Fight the Settlers CAN BEST DO SO BY COMBINING with Reasonable Palestinians Who Want to Fight the Extreme Islamists.”

    Sounds good except the “Reasonable Palestinians” want the right of return which means throwing Israelis out of their homes and the end of a Jewish state. When “Reasonable Palestinians” support the Clinton Parameters or the Geneva Initiative, count me in.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 17, 2011, 12:47 pm

      except the “Reasonable Palestinians” want the right of return which means throwing Israelis out of their homes

      iow “reasonable people” do not support a right of return which means throwing others out of their homes. that’s interesting. double standard much?

      • eee
        December 17, 2011, 3:16 pm

        “double standard much?”

        When the Midwest is returned to the Plains Indians, let me know. Who are you to be talking about double standards? There is a huge difference between something that happened 60 years ago and something that is planned for today.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 17, 2011, 9:22 pm

        There is a huge difference between something that happened 60 years ago and something that is planned for today.

        no there isn’t.

      • RoHa
        December 17, 2011, 9:36 pm

        And it is still happening, too.

      • yourstruly
        December 18, 2011, 12:30 am

        One difference between the Palestinian insistence on their right of return is that it’s part of their struggle to end the Zionist occupation of their homeland, whereas, right now at least, I’m not aware of any demands of the Plains Indians for an end to the U.S. occupation of their homeland nor their right of return. So where’s the double standard if there’s no demand from native-americans for the return of the land that uninvited (by them) European immigrants took from them? Should such a demand (+ a supporting movement) again burst forth without the progressive community joinin in, then the claim that those who support the Palestinian cause have a double standard could gain more credence. And the liberation struggles going on in other places such as Tibet and in Kurdistan? What about support for them? Well, there is an international movement in support of Tibetan independence, but not so much for the Kurds. Not that these struggles aren’t deserving of widespread support, but until they receive more international attention, is the struggle for liberation of Palestine, so close now to success, supposed to be put on hold, lest the charge of double standard be invoked? Nonsense!

      • Annie Robbins
        December 18, 2011, 3:11 am

        unlike palestinians, native americans and kurds are not legally and legislatively marginalized where they reside in relation to other citizens.

      • Donald
        December 18, 2011, 12:26 pm

        “When the Midwest is returned to the Plains Indians, let me know.”

        In the real world the Plains Indians aren’t confined to reservations. There is plenty one can criticize about the US and its Israeli-like policies towards Native Americans, but you picked the wrong example.

      • Mooser
        December 18, 2011, 1:43 pm

        “When the Midwest is returned to the Plains Indians, let me know.”

        Don’t worry, “eee”! We plan to get on that immediately after we solve the I-P issues. So look here pal, if you are concerned about those “Plains Indians”, the best thing you can do is settle the I-P issues which are keeping us from getting to that other, and much less serious problem.

    • eGuard
      December 17, 2011, 1:03 pm

      eee: reasonable Palestinians [...] throwing Israelis out of their [sic] homes.

      What’s wrong with that?

  11. Theo
    December 17, 2011, 12:50 pm

    One may criticise americans, russians, moslems, chinese, christians or even God, but don´t you ever dare to say anything negative about jews or Israel!!
    That unwritten rule is changing, I hope bringing positive results to all sides.

  12. Annie Robbins
    December 17, 2011, 1:03 pm

    As this issue becomes politicized, at last, Liberal Zionists Need Non-Jewish Liberal/Realists for Numbers the same way that Rightwing Zionists Need Christian Evangelicals, for Numbers.

    absolutely, there are so many more of us..why waste the opportunity! and not to toot my own horn but i made this point (again, i have made it several times) in the very thread phil referenced above.

    i think we need a larger american conversation. it’s unrealistic for us to limit ourselves by trying to get them to bend first. while it’s true what you say about that taboo being broken you’ve framed it as a taboo between themselves when really it’s a taboo held over all of us. there are so many more of us and so much more potential there. if we wait until we have influenced or changed the jewish american conscience we’ve wasted too much time. we have to have a conversation with the american people. we have to make sure we communicate in such a way that makes clear that this is a moral issue wrt american support for israel and israeli actions. i think we can do that without instigating a rise of anti semitism in our society. but we can’t limit ourselves wrt who needs to have that conversation. it is all of us.

    so phil weiss, thank you very very very much for stimulating this idea with its very own article. it’s really important. the taboo must be broken for all of us.

  13. Talkback
    December 17, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I don’t need Zionists to tell me who I can critize or not. They’re not my high priests.

  14. seanmcbride
    December 17, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I think Jews and non-Jews can proceed apace as brothers and sisters in arms in challenging Likud Zionists with this one caveat: non-Jews must make extraordinary efforts to beat back any expressions of anti-Semitism that try to infiltrate this effort. Jews are highly sensitive to efforts to turn discontent with Israeli policies into anti-Semitic pogroms and I don’t blame them. There is a great deal of real anti-Semitism out there that could be ignited into a conflagration at any time.

    So be really careful and refine your critiques with the utmost thoughtfulness and precision. And it wouldn’t hurt to keep reminding the world of all the great and positive things that Jews are doing for humanity every day. Contrary to claims from Likudniks, neocons and Christian Zionists, the current Israeli government DOES NOT speak for “the Jews.”

    • yourstruly
      December 18, 2011, 12:41 am

      the current israeli government doesn’t speak for all jews, nor does any previous israeli government, nor any zionist spokesperson in israel, america or anywhere else in the world. they speak for themselves and perhaps for their fellow travelers.

    • Mooser
      December 18, 2011, 1:46 pm

      “non-Jews must make extraordinary efforts to beat back any expressions of anti-Semitism that try to infiltrate this effort.”

      In your dreams, pal, in your dreams. Better steel yourself. If we go your route, the effort to solve the problem will quickly, as it is now, be considered anti-Semitic.
      But if you think the feelings of the Jews are more important than the lives of the Palestinians, that’s your problem.

  15. seanmcbride
    December 17, 2011, 3:31 pm

    I just posted this at Sic Semper Tyrannis and thought I’d drop it here to see if any Mondoweiss readers have some critical insights:

    A great revelation has come upon me. :) Please shoot any obvious or non-obvious holes through said revelation.

    The only solution to Israel’s problems, and to those American problems which are caused by Israel, is to bring Israel fully under the protection of NATO, with these conditions:

    1. The achievement of a Mideast peace agreement *now* which guarantees Israel’s borders and security and those of a Palestinian state.

    2. The declaration of the Mideast as a nuclear weapons-free zone and the strict enforcement of that policy by the international community and NATO.

    The United States and Europe, in combination with enlightened forces within Israel and the Zionist world, should have the power to make this happen if they apply their minds and will to it. We know which forces will bitterly and even violently oppose these policies, but they must be forcefully subdued and overcome.

    Am I mistaken? Dreaming? Is there any sane and viable alternative to preventing an apocalyptic catastrophe in the Mideast that would wreak havoc on the entire world, and especially on the United States?

    • seafoid
      December 17, 2011, 6:03 pm

      Which borders ? Israel has half of the population, 95% of the wealth and 100% of the land.

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 12:13 pm

        The borders that NATO, in consultation with both the Israelis and Palestinians, decides are most fair.

      • seafoid
        December 18, 2011, 5:26 pm

        Do you honestly think the settlers are likely to take NATO seriously ?

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 5:42 pm

        Seafoid,

        Do you actually think that highly motivated NATO forces with unlimited military resources would be intimidated by the settlers? That confrontation would last about a day, max.

      • piotr
        December 19, 2011, 2:17 am

        Highly motivated NATO forces? Sure, admit Iran to NATO …

      • seafoid
        December 19, 2011, 6:00 pm

        How did NATO do in Afghanistan? Economic war is the quickest way to bring Israel down.

      • seanmcbride
        December 19, 2011, 7:57 pm

        The Afghanistan situation is quite different. In this case NATO would be working closely with both the Israeli government and the government of the new Palestinian state, and with the full cooperation of all the Arab nations in the region and the entire world community. Any troublemakers would be easy to marginalize and subdue. They would quickly give up the fight.

        I think this scenario would provide Israel’s last opportunity to survive and prosper as a Jewish state, if that is what it really wants. Perhaps many Zionists these days don’t really have any realistic idea of what they really want. They are hoping that Moshiach will miraculously bail them out.

    • ToivoS
      December 17, 2011, 10:43 pm

      Bad idea. Introducing Nato forces (from former colonial powers) will rekindle old memories and immediately make them targets of every nationalist movement. The best outcome might be an alliance between the WB settlers and Hamas against the new enemy. We should keep in mind that the US sent the marines into Beirut in 1982 in order to keep Israeli and Islamic forces from fighting each other. Remember how that turned out.

      • Avi_G.
        December 18, 2011, 9:34 am

        We should keep in mind that the US sent the marines into Beirut in 1982 in order to keep Israeli and Islamic forces from fighting each other.

        Anyone familiar with Lebanon’s history would find the “Islamic forces” claim to be a bizarre assertion.

        To over simplify the events of 1982, I would say that the parties involved in the violence included Lebanese Christian nationalists, Lebanese Moslem nationalists, Palestinians (Moslem and Christian alike), and Israeli Jews.

        Nowhere in that account do “Islamic forces” fit in anymore than “Christian forces” would fit in as a substitute for “The United States of America”.

      • ToivoS
        December 18, 2011, 1:12 pm

        I knew Islamist forces wasn’t the best noun but couldn’t come up with a better one without a couple of sentences trying to unravel the many factions. I agree with your correction.

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 12:27 pm

        ToivoS,

        If the combined military and economic power of the United States and Europe is not strong enough to lock down and maintain a peace agreement between Israel and its neighbors, what is your solution to this conflict? It seems to me that every other path leads to an apocalyptic catastrophe. What am I getting wrong?

        In the NATO-enforced peace agreement I am proposing I envision offering generous terms to the Palestinians. In fact, I think it would be smart for the Israelis to offer to give most of their current US aid (which in truth they do not need) to help finance the creation of a Palestinian state. Also some kind of financial arrangement could be worked out to repay Palestinians for the injuries they incurred as the result of the creation of Israel.

        Any nationalist or religious extremists who challenged this regime would be facing the full power of NATO. Perhaps peacekeeping forces could even be expanded to include a Russian or Chinese presence. The entire world has a vital interest in preventing the Mideast from going up in flames.

      • ToivoS
        December 18, 2011, 1:33 pm

        Any American and European troops that are sent in will become targets. The voters will not accept more casualties. The only realistic solution is BDS. If just the EU sanctioned Israel it would collapse their economy given that Europe is Israel’s largest trading partner. This will take time so patience is required.

        The notion that China would send in troops in unrealistic in the extreme. I cannot see the Russians doing it either. Both countries must see that the US is caught up in a hopeless quagmire and it does not bother them in the least to see the US being weakened economically and losing influence throughout the world. Without spending a dime they can sit on the sidelines and watch their greatest adversary lose one war after another.

        The only way the ME going up in flames is if Israel decided to go to nuclear war. Not going to happen as long as her opponents continue to employ asymmetric tactics.

      • American
        December 18, 2011, 1:35 pm

        2000
        “In a November, 2000 New York Times news article UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed doubts that a Palestinian request for UN Peacekeeping forces to provide safety and security for the Palestinian people in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 will even be honored. There must first be agreement by Israel, according to Kofi Annan, but Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, has ruled out such a mission. The article further states that while diplomats are divided, it is certain that the US will support Israel.”

        2008
        “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has supported calls for the deployment of a peacekeeping force in the past, but up until recently the Israeli government has preferred not to have a third party involved in the conflict. Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, has said that the EU is willing to deploy a peacekeeping force in the region if both sides request it. EU politicians have also repeatedly called for such a force to be deployed, and the Prime Minister of Italy has promised to contribute troops.”

        2011
        NATO offers peacekeeping troops after Middle East peace dealSubmitted by ian on Thu, 02/10/2011 – 12:14
        in Enlargement & PartnershipsNews BriefsResponsibility to Protect

        NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a security conference in Israel on 9 February that NATO would offer peacekeeping services to Israelis and Palestinians if both sides requested it as part of future peace treaty. He urged a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks amid the “new dynamic” in the region.
        Speaking to the annual security conference in Herzliya, Rasmussen warned “We do not have all the time in the world. There is a new dynamic in the region. We must seize the opportunity to build on it”.
        Rasmussen stressed that NATO was neither involved in the Middle East diplomatic process, nor seeking a role. However, he said that NATO would consider possible involvement if three conditions were met: a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace being reached; both parties requesting NATO help in implementing the agreement; and the UN endorsing NATO involvement. “I don’t have illusions about NATO’s role about providing security in the region,” Rasmussen told the conference participants. “NATO cannot solve all the problems and it never intended to do so.
        Rasmussen also met with Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said that the recent events in the region obligated rethinking long-standing security conceptions, and necessitated thinking “out of the box”. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he and Rasmussen discussed expanding cooperation between Israel and NATO.
        The spokesman would not say if Israel would accept Rasmussen’s offer.
        Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he would agree to have international peacekeepers deployed in a future Palestinian state for a limited time.”

        *BTW…I am not giving a link to the NATO Watch site for the 2011 info, my security program caught a TroganJS/X imbeded there and removed it, but if anyone has doubts about their security avoid that site.

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 5:59 pm

        ToivoS,

        Who would be crazy enough to attack NATO forces that were fired up to take care of business and that were backed up by Israel and every Arab nation in the region? Forget about it.

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 6:08 pm

        ToivoS,

        The key thing would be to get Russian and Chinese diplomatic support for placing a formidable NATO military force in the region to police a Mideast peace agreement between Israel and its neighbors — that should be doable. Line up the entire world behind the project. That would put an end to this interminable mess right quick.

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 6:22 pm

        ToivoS,

        There are other parts to my proposal: Israel gives up its nuclear weapons, Iran gives up its nuclear weapons program, Pakistan gives up its nuclear weapons, all other nations in the region agree to foreswear developing nuclear weapons, and Israel comes under the protection of the American and European nuclear umbrella — any attack on Israel would be considered to be an attack on the United States and Europe. An attack on Israel would be answered, if necessary (as determined by Israel), with a prompt and crushing counterattack by the United States and Europe.

      • American
        December 18, 2011, 1:09 pm

        Yeah we remember. So do the US Marines

        Israel Charged with Systematic Harassment of U.S. Marines

        Donald Neff has been a journalist for forty years. He spent 16 years in service for Time Magazine and is a regular contributor to Middle East International and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. He has written five excellent books on the Middle East.

        By Donald Neff
        Former Time Magazine Bureau Chief, Israel
        Washington Report, March 1995

        It was 12 years ago, on March 14, 1983, that the commandant of the Marine Corps sent a highly unusual letter to the secretary of defense expressing frustration and anger at Israel. General R.H. Barrow charged that Israeli troops were deliberately threatening the lives of Marines serving as peacekeepers in Lebanon. There was, he wrote, a systematic pattern of harassment by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that was resulting in “life-threatening situations, replete with verbal degradation of the officers, their uniform and country.”

        Barrow’s letter added: “It is inconceivable to me why Americans serving in peacekeeping roles must be harassed, endangered by an ally…It is evident to me, and the opinion of the U.S. commanders afloat and ashore, that the incidents between the Marines and the IDF are timed, orchestrated, and executed for obtuse Israeli political purposes.”1

        Israel’s motives were less obtuse than the diplomatic general pretended. It was widely believed then, and now, that Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, one of Israel’s most Machiavellian politician-generals, was creating the incidents deliberately in an effort to convince Washington that the two forces had to coordinate their actions in order to avoid such tensions. This, of course, would have been taken by the Arabs as proof that the Marines were not really in Lebanon as neutral peacekeepers but as allies of the Israelis, a perception that would have obvious advantages for Israel.2

        Barrow’s extraordinary letter was indicative of the frustrations and miseries the Marines suffered during their posting to Lebanon starting on Aug. 25, 1982, as a result of Israel’s invasion 11 weeks earlier. Initially a U.S. unit of 800 men was sent to Beirut harbor as part of a multinational force to monitor the evacuation of PLO guerrillas from Beirut. The Marines, President Reagan announced, “in no case… would stay longer than 30 days.”3 This turned out to be only partly true. They did withdraw on Sept. 10, but a reinforced unit of 1,200 was rushed back 15 days later after the massacres at the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila that accompanied the Israeli seizure of West Beirut. The U.S. forces remained until Feb. 26, 1984.4

        During their year-and-a-half posting in Lebanon, the Marines suffered 268 killed.5 The casualties started within a week of the return of the Marines in September 1982. On the 30th, a U.S.-made cluster bomb left behind by the Israelis exploded, killing Corporal David Reagan and wounding three other Marines.6

        Corporal Reagan’s death represented the dangers of the new mission of the Marines in Lebanon. While their first brief stay had been to separate Israeli forces from Palestinian fighters evacuating West Beirut, their new mission was as part of a multinational force sent to prevent Israeli troops from attacking the Palestinian civilians left defenseless there after the withdrawal of PLO forces. As President Reagan said: “For this multinational force to succeed, it is essential that Israel withdraw from Beirut.”7

        “Incidents are timed, orchestrated, and executed for Israeli political purposes.”
        Israel’s siege of Beirut during the summer of 1982 had been brutal and bloody, reaching a peak of horror on Aug. 12, quickly known as Black Thursday. On that day, Sharon’s forces launched at dawn a massive artillery barrage that lasted for 11 straight hours and was accompanied by saturation air bombardment.8 As many as 500 persons, mainly Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, were killed.9

        On top of the bombardment came the massacres the next month at Sabra and Shatila, where Sharon’s troops allowed Lebanese Maronite killers to enter the camps filled with defenseless civilians. The massacres sickened the international community and pressure from Western capitals finally forced Israel to withdraw from Beirut in late September. Troops from Britain, France, Italy and the United States were interposed between the Israeli army and Beirut, with U.S. Marines deployed in the most sensitive area south of Beirut at the International Airport, directly between Israeli troops and West Beirut.

        It was at the airport that the Marines would suffer their Calvary over the next year. Starting in January 1983, small Israeli units began probing the Marine lines. At first the effort appeared aimed at discovering the extent of Marine determination to resist penetration. The lines proved solid and the Marines’ determination strong. Israeli troops were politely but firmly turned away. Soon the incidents escalated, with both sides pointing loaded weapons at each other but no firing taking place. Tensions were high enough by late January that a special meeting between U.S. and Israeli officers was held in Beirut to try to agree on precise boundaries beyond which the IDF would not penetrate.10

        No Stranger to the Marines
        However, on Feb. 2 a unit of three Israeli tanks, led by Israeli Lt. Col. Rafi Landsberg, tried to pass through Marine/Lebanese Army lines at Rayan University Library in south Lebanon. By this time, Landsberg was no stranger to the Marines. Since the beginning of January he had been leading small Israeli units in probes against the Marine lines, although such units would normally have a commander no higher than a sergeant or lieutenant. The suspicion grew that Sharon’s troops were deliberately provoking the Marines and Landsberg was there to see that things did not get out of hand. The Israeli tactics were aimed more at forcing a joint U.S.-Israeli strategy than merely probing lines.

        In the Feb. 2 incident, the checkpoint was commanded by Marine Capt. Charles Johnson, who firmly refused permission for Landsberg to advance. When two of the Israeli tanks ignored his warning to halt, Johnson leaped on Landsberg’s tank with pistol drawn and demanded Landsberg and his tanks withdraw. They did.11

        Landsberg and the Israeli embassy in Washington tried to laugh off the incident, implying that Johnson was a trigger-happy John Wayne type and that the media were exaggerating a routine event. Landsberg even went so far as to claim that he smelled alcohol on Johnson’s breath and that drunkenness must have clouded his reason. Marines were infuriated because Johnson was well known as a teetotaler. Americans flocked to Johnson’s side. He received hundreds of letters from school children, former Marines and from Commandant Barrow.12 It was a losing battle for the Israelis and Landsberg soon dropped from sight.

        But the incidents did not stop. These now included “helicopter harassment,” by which U.S.-made helicopters with glaring spotlights were flown by the Israelis over Marine positions at night, illuminating Marine outposts and exposing them to potential attack. As reports of these incidents piled up, Gen. Barrow received a letter on March 12 from a U.S. Army major stationed in Lebanon with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO). The letter described a systematic pattern of Israeli attacks and provocations against UNTSO troops, including instances in which U.S. officers were singled out for “near-miss” shootings, abuse and detention.13 That same day two Marine patrols were challenged and cursed by Israeli soldiers.14

        Two days later Barrow wrote his letter to Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, who endorsed it and sent it along to the State Department. High-level meetings were arranged and the incidents abated, perhaps largely because by this time Ariel Sharon had been fired as defense minister. He had been found by an Israeli commission to have had “personal responsibility” for the Sabra and Shatila massacres.15

        Despite the bad taste left from the clashes with the Israelis, in fact no Marines had been killed in the incidents and their lines had been secure up to the end of winter in 1983. Then Islamic guerrillas, backed by Iran, became active. On the night of April 17, 1983, an unknown sniper fired a shot that went through the trousers of a Marine sentry but did not harm him. For the first time, the Marines returned fire.16

        The next day, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was blown up by a massive bomb, with the loss of 63 lives. Among the 17 Americans killed were CIA Mideast specialists, including Robert C. Ames, the agency’s top Middle East expert.17 Disaffected former Israeli Mossad case officer Victor Ostrovsky later claimed that Israel had advance information about the bombing plan but had decided not to inform the United States, a claim denied by Israel.18 The Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. Veteran correspondent John Cooley considered the attack “the day [Iranian leader Ayatollah] Khomeini’s offensive against America in Lebanon began in earnest.”19

        Still, it was not until four months later, on Aug. 28, that Marines came under direct fire by rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at International Airport. They returned fire with M-16 rifles and M-60 machine guns. The firefight resumed the next day with Marines firing 155mm artillery, 81mm mortars and rockets from Cobra helicopter gunships against Shi’i Muslim positions. Two Marines were killed and 14 wounded in the exchange, the first casualties in actual combat since the Marines had landed the previous year.20

        From this time on, the combat involvement of the Marines grew. Their actions were generally seen as siding with Israel against Muslims, slowly changing the status of the Marines as neutral peacekeepers to opponents of the Muslims.21 Israel could hardly have wished for more. The polarization meant that increasingly the conflict was being perceived in terms of the U.S., Israel and Lebanon’s Christians against Iran, Islam and Lebanon’s Shi’i Muslims.

        Accelerating the Conflict
        Israel accelerated the building conflict on Sept. 3, 1993 by unilaterally withdrawing its troops southward, leaving the Marines exposed behind their thin lines at the airport. The United States had asked the Israeli government to delay its withdrawal until the Marines could be replaced by units of the Lebanese army, but Israel refused.22 The result was as feared. Heavy fighting immediately broke out between the Christian Lebanese Forces and the pro-Syrian Druze units, both seeking to occupy positions evacuated by Israel, while the Marines were left in the crossfire.23 On Sept. 5, two Marines were killed and three wounded as fighting escalated between Christian and Muslim militias.24

        In an ill-considered effort to subdue the combat, the Sixth Fleet frigate Bowen fired several five-inch naval guns, hitting Druze artillery positions in the Chouf Mountains that were firing into the Marine compound at Beirut airport.25 It was the first time U.S. ships had fired into Lebanon, dramatically raising the level of combat. But the Marines’ exposed location on the flat terrain of the airport left them in an impossible position. On Sept. 12, three more Marines were wounded.26

        On Sept. 13, President Reagan authorized what was called aggressive self-defense for the Marines, including air and naval strikes.27 Five days later the United States essentially joined the war against the Muslims when four U.S. warships unleashed the heaviest naval bombardment since Vietnam into Syrian and Druze positions in eastern Lebanon in support of the Lebanese Christians.28 The bombardment lasted for three days and was personally ordered by National Security Council director Robert McFarlane, a Marine Corps officer detailed to the White House who was in Lebanon at the time and was also a strong supporter of Israel and its Lebanese Maronite Christian allies. McFarlane issued the order despite the fact that the Marine commander at the airport, Colonel Timothy Geraghty, strenuously argued against it because, in the words of correspondent Thomas L. Friedman, “he knew that it would make his soldiers party to what was now clearly an intra-Lebanese fight, and that the Lebanese Muslims would not retaliate against the Navy’s ships at sea but against the Marines on shore.”29

        By now, the Marines were under daily attack and Muslims were charging they were no longer neutral.30 At the same time the battleship USS New Jersey, with 16-inch guns, arrived off Lebanon, increasing the number of U.S. warships offshore to 14. Similarly, the Marine contingent at Beirut airport was increased from 1,200 to 1,600.31

        A Tragic Climax
        The fight now was truly joined between the Shi’i Muslims and the Marines, who were essentially pinned down in their airport bunkers and under orders not to take offensive actions. The tragic climax of their predicament came on Oct. 23, when a Muslim guerrilla drove a truck past guards at the Marine airport compound and detonated an explosive with the force of 12,000 pounds of dynamite under a building housing Marines and other U.S. personnel. Almost simultaneously, a car-bomb exploded at the French compound in Beirut. Casualties were 241 Americans and 58 French troops killed. The bombings were the work of Hezbollah, made up of Shi’i Muslim guerrillas supported by Iran.;32

        America’s agony increased on Dec. 3, when two carrier planes were downed by Syrian missiles during heavy U.S. air raids on eastern Lebanon.;33 On the same day, eight Marines were killed in fighting with Muslim militiamen around the Beirut airport.;34

        By the start of 1984, an all-out Shi’i Muslim campaign to rid Lebanon of all Americans was underway. The highly respected president of the American University of Beirut, Dr. Malcolm Kerr, a distinguished scholar of the Arab world, was gunned down on Jan. 18 outside his office by Islamic militants aligned with Iran.;35 On Feb. 5, Reagan made one of his stand-tall speeches by saying that “the situation in Lebanon is difficult, frustrating and dangerous. But this is no reason to turn our backs on friends and to cut and run.”;36

        The next day Professor Frank Regier, a U.S. citizen teaching at AUB, was kidnapped by Muslim radicals.;37 Regier’s kidnapping was the beginning of a series of kidnappings of Americans in Beirut that would hound the Reagan and later the Bush administrations for years and lead to the eventual expulsion of nearly all Americans from Lebanon where they had prospered for more than a century. Even today Americans still are prohibited from traveling to Lebanon.

        The day after Regier’s kidnapping, on Feb. 7, 1984, Reagan suddenly reversed himself and announced that all U.S. Marines would shortly be “redeployed.” The next day the battleship USS New Jersey fired 290 rounds of one-ton shells from its 16-inch guns into Lebanon as a final act of U.S. frustration.;38 Reagan’s “redeployment” was completed by Feb. 26, when the last of the Marines retreated from Lebanon.

        The mission of the Marines had been a humiliating failure�not because they failed in their duty but because the political backbone in Washington was lacking. The Marines had arrived in 1982 with all sides welcoming them. They left in 1984 despised by many and the object of attacks by Muslims. Even relations with Israel were strained, if not in Washington where a sympathetic Congress granted increased aid to the Jewish state to compensate it for the costs of its bungled invasion, then between the Marines and Israeli troops who had confronted each other in a realpolitik battlefield that was beyond their competence or understanding. The Marine experience in Lebanon did not contribute toward a favorable impression of Israel among many Americans, especially since the Marines would not have been in Lebanon except for Israel’s unprovoked invasion.

        This negative result is perhaps one reason a number of Israelis and their supporters today oppose sending U.S. peacekeepers to the Golan Heights as part of a possible Israeli-Syrian peace treaty. A repeat of the 1982-84 experience would certainly not be in Israel’s interests at a time when its supporters are seeking to have a budget-conscious Congress continue unprecedented amounts of aid to Israel.”

      • ToivoS
        December 18, 2011, 1:53 pm

        American, thanks for this. We need to be reminded that Western troops really cannot serve as “peacekeepers” in that part of the world.

    • yourstruly
      December 18, 2011, 12:45 am

      all this without consulting the palestinians? isn’t this more of same old same old?

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 12:44 pm

        yourstruly,

        No — I am arguing that we consult with both the Israelis and the Palestinians and offer the Palestinians a very generous offer indeed, one which recompenses them for their past suffering. The difference this time is that the US and Europe, and perhaps the world community as a whole, are going to set a deadline on achieving the deal. After the deadline, the pro-peace coalition will do what it thinks best, using its full military and economic power to enforce its will.

        Yes, there is much to object to in this scenario. But try to come up with something better. We have now endured several decades of bogus negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians that have gone nowhere and which are bringing the entire region close to the brink of a catastrophe.

      • ToivoS
        December 18, 2011, 1:59 pm

        The bogus negotiations were the result of collusion between the US and Israel. Not only am I strongly opposed to the US sending in any more or our troops to act as “peacekeepers” I think we should also get out of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Our involvement only makes things worse. Less is better in this case. To quote our great President Eisenhower that he used during a few crises “Don’t just do something, stand there”.

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 5:20 pm

        ToivoS,

        Do you believe that the US foreign policy establishment, as opposed to Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller and their cronies, understood that the Mideast peace process was a con game from the very start? Do you have any evidence to support that belief? Or were they taken in by the con game? It sure looks to me that Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, George H.W Bush and James Baker were serious about pursuing the two-state solution.

        If you leave the peace negotiations to Israel and the Palestinians without outside pressure, I can guarantee you that Likud will proceed at full throttle to build Greater Israel and expel most or all Palestinians and Arabs from the holy territory. Why would you think otherwise?

      • ToivoS
        December 18, 2011, 6:25 pm

        It sure looks to me that Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, George H.W Bush and James Baker were serious about pursuing the two-state solution.

        I agree, there are many in the establishment that have tried. I cite Eisenhower respectfully because he actually did something in 1956. But right now the lobby is so thoroughly entrenched in the administration, the bureaucracy and Congress that any efforts at diplomacy will be sabotaged to Israel’s advantage.

        The harder Israel works to impose the transfer option the faster the BDS movement will grow. Israel is actively isolating itself right now without any progress on the diplomatic front. Once their economy begins to shrink, internal political pressure will convince the Israelis to reform. That is what happened in S. Africa. I am encouraged by how fast things are moving right now. The Israelis sense it. Why all the hysteria over Iran? It is an effort to distract attention from what is going on inside Palestine.

      • seanmcbride
        December 18, 2011, 6:57 pm

        ToivoS,

        I would add Bill Clinton to the list of American leaders who have been sincere about pursuing the Mideast peace process. And I would name Dennis Ross as the chief villain in sabotaging that process for quite a few years now — he has been essentially a Likud mole inside the US government all along.

        You think that BDS will bring an end to this conflict. I’m not feeling that at all.

      • ToivoS
        December 18, 2011, 9:05 pm

        You think that BDS will bring an end to this conflict.

        That is my hope, it seems the best route but that does not mean it will work.

      • seanmcbride
        December 19, 2011, 12:14 am

        ToivoS,

        I see how BDS is a powerful tool, and how theoretically it could bring Israel to heel, but I don’t feel intuitively that the exercise of this method by itself is going to solve the problem. If Israel feels backed into a corner by the world it will probably lash out in an apocalyptic way without rational regard for its self-interest — everyone will be damaged. We must find a way to provide *real* security and prosperity for both Jews and Palestinians in the region.

        What my intuition tells me is that the U.S. and Europe need to act pro-actively and aggressively now to solve Israel’s problems and to ignore the screams of outrage that are inevitably going to come from some quarters. Even many Likudniks may be relieved, even if they won’t admit it publicly, for a strong outside force to move in and get this mess sorted out in a way that will stick and keep Israel secure and finally out of the eye of global public censure.

  16. seafoid
    December 17, 2011, 5:47 pm

    Israel is a car crash that has become an international issue. When countries are unable to solve their problems internally and these problems destabilise other countries the international community is duty bound to intervene. Israel and the wider Judaism have messed up the Holy Land and the instability threatens the whole region. Neither Zionism nor Judaism have the internal capacity to stop Israel from self destructing. It is patronising in the extreme to say that non Jews have no right to comment.

  17. atime forpeace
    December 17, 2011, 6:15 pm

    Do you remember the movie Johnny Dangerously, well this is a quote from

    ‘Roman Moroni: I would like to direct this to the distinguished members of the panel: You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes… like yourselves.’

    I think this was in a speech to the neocons.

  18. Richard Witty
    December 17, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Thank you Eric Alterman.

    Phil,
    You do remember that a month or so ago, you trashed Eric Alterman?

    • Shingo
      December 18, 2011, 5:32 am

      You do remember that a month or so ago, you trashed Eric Alterman?

      I would ask you for the link to this but it would be a waste of time.

      I recall Phil criticising a Alterman’s opinion. It it was flawed, then it deserved trashing.

  19. atime forpeace
    December 17, 2011, 6:49 pm

    Israel may have been a great idea and the dream of building the nation will always be recognized as a monumental endeavor, but the creature it has evolved into is a nightmare.

    A nightmare with a great potential for good and evil.

  20. mudder
    December 17, 2011, 7:10 pm

    Phil correctly notes:

    Reasonable Israelis Who Want to Fight the Settlers CAN BEST DO SO BY COMBINING with Reasonable Palestinians Who Want to Fight the Extreme Islamists. Together they make up a large majority of their COMBINED societies. And for the sake of peace, those reasonable sides should join, and cashier the wornout ideology of Zionism, and build a democracy.

    Indeed, Israel needs to cashier the wornout ideology of Zionism. And the Palestinians need to cashier the wornout ideology of Palestinian nationalism. Ethnic diversity and inclusion in a society, combined with the procedural need to compromise and agree, are the best guarantors of democracy. My Christian Palestinian father-in-law, a Michigan lawyer, understands this, but thinks any outcome other than a two-state solution is not realistic. He thinks I am an idealist.

    • Avi_G.
      December 18, 2011, 9:51 am

      mudder says:
      December 17, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Phil correctly notes:

      Reasonable Israelis Who Want to Fight the Settlers CAN BEST DO SO BY COMBINING with Reasonable Palestinians Who Want to Fight the Extreme Islamists. Together they make up a large majority of their COMBINED societies. And for the sake of peace, those reasonable sides should join, and cashier the wornout ideology of Zionism, and build a democracy.

      Indeed, Israel needs to cashier the wornout ideology of Zionism. And the Palestinians need to cashier the wornout ideology of Palestinian nationalism.

      Neither Phil nor you have an inkling of a clue (Sorry, Phil, you asked for it).

      Phil would like to pretend that the manifestation of radical Jews in the region starts and ends with the colonists. That’s not the reality.

      Phil also falsely mistakes colonialism for mere religious extremism. Making matters worse for his argument, Phil then throws in so-called radical Moslems as though Hamas’ religious dogma is an obstacle to some just resolution. It isn’t.

      And both you and Phil are confusing religion with nationalism and political ideology. You two might as well throw in a dash of nutmeg and christen your visions a Democracy.

      Worse yet, you are asking Palestinians renounce their national aspirations in the name of some kind of co-existence. It doesn’t work that way.

      But, reading your comment and reading Phil’s comment is so frustrating to the point that I feel like I need a crane to pull me out of this muddy mess you two call “solution”.

      That’s not “political arithmetic”, that’s etch a sketch impressionism.

    • Mooser
      December 18, 2011, 1:56 pm

      “Reasonable Israelis Who Want to Fight the Settlers CAN BEST DO SO BY COMBINING with Reasonable Palestinians Who Want to Fight the Extreme Islamists. Together they make up a large majority of their COMBINED societies. And for the sake of peace, those reasonable sides should join, and cashier the wornout ideology of Zionism, and build a democracy.”

      My God, I hadn’t seen that. That is like the same person who broke your arms and legs standing around criticising you because you won’t get up and go for a jog with them. What truly incredible arrogance and ethno-centrism! If there’s a large majority of “reasonable” Israelis, what the hell is the place doing in the state it’s in?
      And Phil may have come a long way, but he is in no position to tell the Palestinians to eschew any type of religious or social organisation. Where was he when the Zionists justified their violence and fanaticism on the back of Jewish suffering and persecution. Not quite beyond chutzpah, but pretty close. Very disappointing.

    • mudder
      December 18, 2011, 9:32 pm

      Again: Ethnic diversity and inclusion in a society, combined with the procedural need to compromise and agree, are the best guarantors of democracy. Phil is right.

  21. atime forpeace
    December 17, 2011, 7:29 pm

    While numbers is important, cover also comes into play, the israelis play the christians like the proverbial fiddle. They court christians of all persuasions, including Jews for Jesus. Ambassadors and heads of state past and present cruise through these churches. Courting ever courting support and blind faithfulness to the idol Israel

    The christians won’t stay blind forever, at some point they will see that there is no Christ in their Christianity and will then have to decide which road to take.

    ” Rightwing Zionists Need Christian Evangelicals, for Numbers.”

  22. kma
    December 17, 2011, 8:48 pm

    ugh. I read this website because I asked someone (non-jew) where to get news about Palestine. it’s so limited. but it is good on mondoweiss!
    the “jew-vs-jew” fight over I/P is a necessary evil, and go at it, you guys! meanwhile, don’t forget that the US-vs-the-planet and the 99%-vs-trickle-up-capitalism and pretty much everything else going on right now is actually bigger. we don’t hate Palestinians and we have a lot of Jewish friends!
    I think I’m going to skip reading the comments and just read the articles. but it’s been interesting, thanks!

    • Mooser
      December 18, 2011, 1:57 pm

      “I think I’m going to skip reading the comments and just read the articles. but it’s been interesting, thanks!”

      I often wish I did that, too. It’s even worse when I see my own.

  23. RoHa
    December 17, 2011, 9:20 pm

    “they exclaim …, and non-Jews should be allowed to criticize Israel, too.”

    Oh, thank you, Massa!

  24. mudder
    December 17, 2011, 9:26 pm

    For all the effusive blather this week of Hitch’s reported iconic brilliance, I’ve been waiting for his debating nemesis Eric Alterman, who proved right on Iraq not by rhetoric but by history, to nail the coffin shut on this pageant of tears, but Glenn Greenwald makes it unnecessary.

  25. Justice Please
    December 18, 2011, 8:04 pm

    On the one hand, thanks to those reasonable voices like Alterman.

    On the other hand, non-Jews shouldn’t even need some “permission” to criticize anything, least of to all criticizing a government which has killed so many non-Jews.

  26. Kathleen
    December 19, 2011, 12:27 pm

    non Jews/non Zionist have been criticizing Israeli policies for decades. Decades. Not as much coverage of these protest, Rep petitions, group visits to Reps etc etc. Been going on for decades and there was no need to get so called liberal Zionist who have had their mouths glued shut for decades permission. No need for their permission.

    Silence is a war crime

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