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Why Obama shouldn’t go to Israel

Israel/Palestine
on 200 Comments
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Western Wall guns, part 1
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Western Wall guns, part 2
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Western Wall guns, part 3

I shot the three pictures above in the half hour before Mitt Romney arrived at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Sunday, even as the place was crawling with U.S. Secret Service men.

Everyone who goes into the Western Wall plaza has to go through a metal detector, but presumably these three guys with guns were let in because they’re soldiers, or reservists, something.

The first and third guys are carrying semi-automatic rifles. The guy in the middle, dressed in black, has what looked like a semiautomatic pistol strapped to his hip. I hope you can see it.

Romney arrived a few minutes after I took these pictures.

I don’t want Obama to visit Israel, or occupied East Jerusalem, where the Western Wall is located, because there are too many folks walking around with guns. And a lot of Israelis hate Obama because he made the grave political mistake of calling for an end to settlements and then talking about the 1967 borders.

It only takes one lunatic and it’s just not worth the risk. Remember, an Israeli killed the prime minister in 1995. And two international figures who sought to limit the Jewish/Israeli claims to land in Palestine in the 1940s were also killed by crazed Zionists– Lord Moyne of Britain and Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, who was working for the U.N. All these assassinations worked; they cut down opposition to Israeli expansion (just as the Arlosoroff murder worked in 1932).

A friend tells me that the Secret Service would clamp down for a president in ways that greatly outstrip the Romney security. I don’t know– why risk it?

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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200 Responses

  1. dimadok
    July 31, 2012, 12:42 pm

    I don’t know either-Why to stir paranoia?

    • Annie Robbins
      July 31, 2012, 12:57 pm

      do you know the definition of paranoia dim? are you implying it is irrational or delusional to assume there is a risk of endangerment from obama’s enemies in israel?

      • dimadok
        July 31, 2012, 2:17 pm

        It is irrational and delusional-Obama went to Cairo, and nothing happened, Clinton, who already did far more damage to Israel than Obama may or may not do, had visited Israel several times-nothing either. So, why to bring it up? Agenda or just foolish thinking?

      • MLE
        July 31, 2012, 6:28 pm

        My boyfriend guarded Obama while he was in Cairo. The Egyptian government would never have let anything happen to him.

      • Pamela Olson
        July 31, 2012, 9:18 pm

        Because of racism. These right-wing settler types are accustomed to beating, stealing from, and even killing brown people with no repercussions. Violence against non-whites who threaten their ideology has become normalized. I’m terrified of them, but I’d be ten times more scared if I wasn’t white.

      • dimadok
        August 1, 2012, 8:38 am

        @PamelaOlson That’s a laughable comment- half of the Israelis are brown, 1/10 th are black. You would have to come with saner argument here.

      • dimadok
        August 1, 2012, 8:39 am

        And your boyfriend was from the Egyptian or US team?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 1, 2012, 9:15 am

        half of the Israelis are brown, 1/10 th are black

        it wouldn’t matter if all of them were black. These right-wing settler types are accustomed to beating, stealing from, and even killing brown people with no repercussions.

      • OlegR
        August 1, 2012, 9:35 am

        / These right-wing settler types/
        And this obviously is not inflammatory and generalizing phrase.

        How many “settler types” have you actually met in person ?

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 1, 2012, 10:12 am

        “And this obviously is not inflammatory and generalizing phrase.”

        Yeah, because the biggest issue with regard to these settler bastards and the way they mistreat the Palestinians in the Palestinians’ own land is how we describe the settler bastards.

        “How many ‘settler types’ have you actually met in person ?”

        Who cares? How many pedophiles or serial rapists do you need to meet in person in order to make a judgment about them?

      • MLE
        August 1, 2012, 10:22 am

        Egyptian

      • jon s
        August 1, 2012, 10:33 am

        “Brown People”? What are you talking about, Pamela?

      • dimadok
        August 1, 2012, 11:13 am

        @annie. Yeah, yeah-and all A-rabs and Palestinians are terrorists. You should make more reasonable comments here,Annie. Say-“there are enough fanatics on the both sides” or ” Obama’s lack of coherent foreign policy makes him weak in the eyes of Israelis, therefore there is no need to do anything about him, since his policies in Middle East will be their own downfall”- much better wording.

      • Pamela Olson
        August 1, 2012, 11:20 am

        I’ve met some in person, interacted with dozens of others. The ones I’ve met and interacted with are terrifying, openly racist whiteshirt thugs.

        But don’t take my word for it — read what they write in the New York Times.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 1, 2012, 11:39 am

        “You should make more reasonable comments here,Annie.”

        LMAO. I haven’t read anything this obtuse since Witty complained about the clarity of someone’s prose.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 1, 2012, 11:41 am

        dim , i ask you if ” you implying it is irrational or delusional to assume there is a risk of endangerment from obama’s enemies in israel?”, that is hardly a condemnation of all israelis so i do not know where your parody of all A-rabs and Palestinians are terrorists comes from.

        i noticed you didn’t answer. btw, the definition of paranoia involves irrationality and delusion. there’s nothing irrational and delusionary about a risk of endangerment from obama’s enemies in israel. it’s common sense.

        or ” Obama’s lack of coherent foreign policy makes him weak in the eyes of Israelis, therefore there is no need to do anything about him, since his policies in Middle East will be their own downfall”- much better wording.

        quit diverting. this is not about obama’s policies ‘in the eyes of Israelis’, it’s about the reality of israeli fanatics. they exist. it only takes one and it is an unnecessary risk at this volatile time for obama to travel there imho. besides, he’s not running for prez in israel. why should he travel to israel during the election season. ridiculous!

      • American
        August 1, 2012, 11:54 am

        @ jon

        Are semites brown or white?
        Jews are called semites and Arabs are semites…..so what is the difference?
        Are semites caucasian or white or not?
        If Jews are semites but are considered white people then Arab semites would have to be the same.
        Are some Jews semites and some Jews white ?
        And if so how does that explain the one people notion and use of anti semite against Jews?

      • dimadok
        August 1, 2012, 1:11 pm

        @Annie- I do not think the POTUS WILL travel to any other country beside U.S. during his campaign.
        That would be political suicide for Obama-however I maintain that making the assumptions that IF and WHEN he WOULD visit Israel he might be assassinated-is ridiculous, paranoid and has only one purpose to stir the emotions here in this blog.
        Those “crazy” settlers do not care about any POTUS, since their strong religious convictions place God’s will and their faith far above U.S. politicians and Obama.

      • dimadok
        August 1, 2012, 1:12 pm

        @Pamela.Such as? What kind of whiteshirt thuggish things they’ve told you?

      • dimadok
        August 1, 2012, 1:16 pm

        @Woody.
        Do you have anything to add to the conversation?
        If not, maybe you should think before you type.

      • dimadok
        August 1, 2012, 1:19 pm

        Good for him for doing his job-same goes for the security guards in Israel, they’ll do their jobs as well.

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 2:51 pm

        Annie –

        can you substantiate this statement with evidence? Not evidence that some individuals from the hundreds of thousands of settlers are thugs, but that the thugs represent the larger group in any statistically significant way? I don’t think you can, because your statement is counter-factual.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 1, 2012, 5:05 pm

        dim,
        I’m waiting for you to make your first reaonable comment.
        Perhaps before you come to a knee-jerk defense to your abomination of a state, you should think.

      • piotr
        August 1, 2012, 7:53 pm

        dimadok: I could not find relevant statistics, and many Israelis I know (especially older ones) are kind of splotchy, so it was hard to characterize their color.

      • libra
        August 1, 2012, 7:57 pm

        Winneca: Annie – can you substantiate this statement with evidence? Not evidence that some individuals from the hundreds of thousands of settlers are thugs, but that the thugs represent the larger group in any statistically significant way?

        I think all we need to know, Winnie, is that we never see videos of any other settlers constraining the thugs. At least not in any significant way, statistical or otherwise. So it’s not unreasonable to conclude that the thugs do indeed represent the settlers as whole (if not the State of Israel itself) as their enforcement wing, both in keeping the land they have stolen and in stealing yet more.

        By the way, how did you learn your glib sophistry? Surely not from your PhD studies?

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 3:11 am

        libra: the lack of evidence is hardly proof, especially as it’s not clear where you sought the lacking evidence. But consider the following: the thugs are active in two or three rural parts of the WB. A large majority of Israelis have never seen them in the flesh, and the same is true for a large majority of the settlers themselves, most of whom live in 4 or 5 urban areas not near the thugs. As a matter of fact, a large majority of Palestinians, who are also urbanites, have also never encountererd the thugs.

        This isn’t to defend the thugs, nor the passivity of the Israeli authorities in stopping them. But from that particular issue to the broad generalizations bandied about here, is rather a leap.

    • Shingo
      July 31, 2012, 3:38 pm

      I don’t know either-Why to stir paranoia?

      If they can do it to Rabin, then they can do it to Obama.

    • MRW
      July 31, 2012, 4:53 pm

      dimmy, you bein’ obtuse?

      Some overpasses in Israel were painted with a picture of Obama and a target over his face following his inauguration. I kept a copy but it’s on another computer somewhere.

      • dimadok
        August 1, 2012, 1:15 pm

        It wasn’t a target rather than kaffieh. So what-number of posters showing him as a new Hitler in U.S. pop every Tea Party rally across US.

    • jon s
      August 1, 2012, 12:19 pm

      Phil ,
      A few comments on those assassinations:
      Arlosoroff was murdered in 1933, not ’32. The murder is still shrouded in mystery, but I fail to see in what way it “worked”.
      Lord Moyne was assassinated in Egypt by two LHI men in 1944, and it was certainly detrimental to the Zionist cause. Churchill later wrote that he had been almost ready to support a Jewish State , but he was so appalled by the deed that he backed off. The two killers were tried in Cairo, and one of them , Eliahu Bet-Zuri, used his day in court to present their motives as anti-imperialist, not Zionist, thus eliciting popular support in the Egyptian “street”. They were hanged.
      Both of those assassinations took place before Israel was established, so, again, I don’t see how they impacted Israeli expansion, one way or another.
      The assassination of Bernadotte was carried out in 1948 by LHI diehards who had gone underground. They achieved nothing: the UN appointed another mediator, Ralph Bunche, who continued the negotiations.

      • Ellen
        August 2, 2012, 3:47 am

        Jon s, Phil’s conclusion holds:

        All these assassinations worked; they cut down opposition to Israeli expansion (just as the Arlosoroff murder worked in 1932).

      • jon s
        August 2, 2012, 10:44 am

        Ellen, You haven’t addressed any of the points I made. How exactly did the Arlosoroff assassination have any impact on Israeli expansion, 15 years before Israel’s founding? Especially since we’re not sure who killed him and why.

  2. Annie Robbins
    July 31, 2012, 12:53 pm

    i agree

  3. Abierno
    July 31, 2012, 12:54 pm

    …and what about the purported attempt on Hilary Clinton which rapidly disappeared
    from the news?

    • lysias
      July 31, 2012, 1:55 pm

      Yes, if that report turned out to be false, why not just report that the rumor was false?

      Funny how the thread on the story in Daily Kos mysteriously disappeared.

      • anonymouscomments
        July 31, 2012, 9:13 pm

        i am interested in this event, or nonevent as well.

        phil– being on the ground there, can you chase down the story on the assassination attempt on hillary, first broken on israeli radio i believe?

        maybe you could track down an israeli witness, or israeli reporting on it. or maybe have your israeli friends shake the trees on the issue, and see if anything falls out?

        it would be a real scoop.

      • lysias
        August 1, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Then there’s the other rumor that’s been out there for days now that Prince Bandar was assassinated. Every further day that goes by without Prince Bandar making a public appearance makes that rumor more believable.

  4. yonah fredman
    July 31, 2012, 1:00 pm

    The 1948 assassinations were carried out by a well disciplined militia, FFI, Lechi, freedom fighters of israel. The rabin assassination was carried out by an individual in a large crowd, think George Wallace shot by Arthur Bremer. (True, Sirhan, I mean Yigal Amir had a political motive and had told one or two others, whereas Bremer was just a nutcase trying to impress his girlfriend.)

    I think the Secret Service can protect Obama. I expect him to visit if he gets reelected.

    • Bumblebye
      July 31, 2012, 2:46 pm

      No, Yonah, the assassinations were carried out by self-styled terrorists bent on ethnically cleansing and taking over the territory of another nation, determined to let nothing and no-one get in the way of their goal.

    • Citizen
      July 31, 2012, 2:55 pm

      @yonah fredman
      I wouldn’t take the risk if I were Obama, at least if he cares about America. Imagine Joe “plugs & chicklets” Beiden as POTUS! That would be a gaff bigger than all those he ever made! I say that as an American with 62.5 % Irish roots.

      • MRW
        July 31, 2012, 4:59 pm

        @Citizen,

        Re: an old conversation we had. I found this the other night by accident. It’s the second document; you have to scroll down a bit.
        “The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations, circa 1390”
        http://www.save-a-patriot.org/files/view/precon.html

        The Great Law of Peace was a Tyendanaga Mohawk document.

    • Shingo
      July 31, 2012, 3:39 pm

      The rabin assassination was carried out by an individual in a large crowd, think George Wallace shot by Arthur Bremer.

      Who was allowed to get close enough to Rabin to shoot him – and who was incited by Neyenyahu days earlier.

  5. Bumblebye
    July 31, 2012, 1:02 pm

    Especially not after the attempt on Clinton was deep-sixed. That only serves the right wing/extremist agenda. Reference the ECI ad that came out after that, decrying Obama’s failure to visit the country – it’ll be taken at face value by the millions who are left completely unaware of the very real dangers.

    • Matthew Graber
      July 31, 2012, 4:03 pm

      Are there sources on the Clinton assassination attempt? This is the first time I read about it, and now I’ve checked a few message boards, but nobody seems to have any evidence of it.

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 10:15 am

        All three links go back tothe same single source, which is Iranian. Perhaps that’s the reason no-one reputable is publishing it, and not a Zionist conspiracy to hush it all up.

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 10:13 am

        The only tracable source is Iranian. Hmmm.

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2012, 6:20 pm

        The only tracable source is Iranian. Hmmm.

        Speaking of tracable, still no word on the link of the Burgas bomber to Iran or Hezbollahis there? Hmmmm.

      • piotr
        August 1, 2012, 8:06 pm

        To the contrary, Winnica, there is also “World Mathaba”, which is run by pro-Kaddafi Libyans who carry the torch of the Green Revolution amid the bitterness of exile.

        On the balance, some native speakers of Arabic and/or Farsi understood a Hebrew radio broadcast to the effect that there was an assassination attempt on Hillary Clinton, but that failed to identify the station. That can honestly happen when you drive and dial from station to station trying to catch some decent music, but between the distracting conditions and possible mistakes in understanding Hebrew idioms, that does not seem to be a reliable report.

      • Ellen
        July 31, 2012, 6:51 pm

        Matthew, seems that sources are nowhere to be found. So for now it can only be regarded as an unreliable piece of information, not to be repeated.

        But the story IS out there. Maybe an honest reporter can get the State Department to make a statement on the reports to either put it to rest or to report on the incident.

      • Charles Barwin
        July 31, 2012, 8:23 pm

        It might have just been a warning to Clinton, just intended to scare her/US gov.

      • Egbert
        August 1, 2012, 10:02 am

        Another issue has also been kept very quiet. Some time after the alleged assassination an El Al flight from Ben Gurion to Hong Kong was recalled about an hour after take off. It circled for about half an hour with its transponder off, then returned to Ben Gurion to be met with heavy security and a news blackout. It was allowed to continue to Honk Kong after about 10 hours.

        If the aircraft had experienced a malfunction then that would have been reported – the brave pilot saves countless passengers’ lives etc, etc. If a bomb or suspicious article was on the flight, that would have been blamed on Iran and formed a causus beli. So did the mystery assassin try to escape on this flight only for it to be recalled? Myster upon mystery.

        Richard Silverstein has details. Maybe it is all circumstantial, maybe not. After all, not so long ago, an American who happens to be Jewish said publicly that Israel should kill Obama if doesn’t attack Iran.

        Perhaps Mr Weiss and Mr Silverstein should try to follow these stories up.

      • piotr
        August 1, 2012, 8:22 pm

        It reminds me a story that was actually well reported, of a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Germany that quickly returned back. One of German tourists wanted to use the bathroom during the takeoff and a stewardess was preventing him, so he told that that he must use the bathroom “or the roof will blow off”. That is allegedly how you can say in German that you need to pee really, really badly. What happened later was an amazing proof of stupidity and xenophobia on the part of some American officials: they put the guy in jail for issuing terrorist threats, released after more than 3 months (the judge actually knew German and dismissed the charge on the spot) and THEN he was charged for overstaying his tourist visa.

        In general, during “highest security alert” stupid stuff happens even more frequently than in quiet times.

  6. David Doppler
    July 31, 2012, 1:05 pm

    The Banality of Phil’s Issue, When Debated on the NewsHour

    Phil, one of your longtime goals was achieved last night when Judy Woodruff interviewed Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street and Noah Pollack of the Emergency Committee for Israel on the NewsHour to breakdown the news and controversies arising from Romney’s visit to Israel.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec12/romney2_07-30.html

    It was absolutely great, in one sense (although it could be better, such as with some other voices), and, in another, almost ordinary, not nearly as explosive, controversial, earth-shaking, as one might have imagined it would be. Both were cordial and matter-of-fact, despite drawing deep contrasts between the two perspectives. It was sort of like Brooks and Shields, two opposing intellects grappling with an issue, but working within the good old-fashioned rules of PBS journalism. The sound of the taboo falling was virtually non-evident, although the comments on the NewsHour site haven’t yet been opened up, maybe there’ll be some explosions there. I’m really looking forward to your analysis of it, when you get a chance. There was a war fought to make this happen, and you’re an American Hero who deserves a great deal of credit for service above and beyond the call of duty. I’m sure you’ve got some scars from the campaign. Congratulations on what looks to me like the achievement of one of your major goals.

    • Citizen
      July 31, 2012, 3:09 pm

      thanks for the link, David D

      I just started reading the transcript of the PBS discussion; but I hardly started reading it when I came to this:

      Noah Pollack: “The Obama administration — the Obama campaign challenged Romney to show these points of difference before his trip. And I think he did on Iran, on the issue of Jerusalem and several other things.

      JUDY WOODRUFF: Why do you believe, Jeremy Ben-Ami, that the Jerusalem statement is something that he could not carry out as president if he were elected?

      I’ve yet to read beyond this part of the transcript, but already I note that the PBS interviewer did not pursue precisely what is the difference with the policy on Iran–that is, what exactly would Mitt do different than Obama as to Iran? Given the draconian economic sanctions, what, unless its a green light for war on Iran? Seems to me this is more immediately important for Americans to know than any conflicting policy towards treatment of Jerusalem.

      • Citizen
        July 31, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Also:

        JEREMY BEN-AMI: Well, I would challenge Noah to find one Palestinian, one anywhere in the world, whether on the West Bank and Gaza or anywhere, who would say that the occupation has been good for the Palestinian people or the Palestinian economy.
        I don’t think they view it that way. I don’t think that the Arab world views it that way, the rest of the world or most objective human beings who would view it.

        NOAH POLLAK:
        The fact of the matter is that there’s a reason why Obama didn’t visit Israel. Obama traveled to the Middle East in his first term on several occasions. He did town hall meetings in Turkey. He accepted an award from the Saudis. He gave a big speech in Cairo. And he chose to skip Israel every time. And it was because he pursued a policy, as he told a group of Jewish leaders at the White House, of daylight between America and Israel as a way of trying to gain credibility with the Arabs.
        And it’s a policy that — there was a front-page Story in The Washington Post two weeks ago all about what a failure this policy has been. And I think anyone looking at the objective facts of Obama’s inability to forge peace in the Middle East can see that his policy of being tough on Israel and snubbing Israel in this way has not been a success.

        And:

        NOAH POLLAK: You could imagine a scenario in which Florida came down to a closeness like it did in 2000, in the year 2000, when, you know, it was decided by a few hundred or a few thousand votes. And that, you know, you could imagine after the election people parsing all the numbers and determining that Obama’s decline in support among the Jewish vote cost him Florida, which cost him the election.
        But that’s probably not going to happen.
        JEREMY BEN-AMI: The only problem — the only problem that the president has with the Jewish vote is that there aren’t more Jews.
        When you get 70 percent of the vote in one particular constituency, the only thing you want is more of them.

        Notice how neither the comparatively liberal Jews of J Street, nor the hard-right Jews in America (when it comes to Israel only) discuss the importance of Zionist moneybags like Soros on the Left, or Adelson on the Right, in influencing US policy in the Middle East?

        PBS, of course, does not scratch this AIPAC-managed itch. They know on which side their bread is buttered.

        PBS never furnishes a clue as to how US political direction in foreign policy is decided whenever it comes to anything involving Israel.

      • David Doppler
        July 31, 2012, 7:39 pm

        Yes, Citizen, there’s a lot left out. But Jeremy and Noah were there fighting for the Jewish vote on PBS, with Jeremy getting in the last word claiming Obama’s got the disproportionate majority behind him, which gives Obama room to maneuver, and other journalists room to discuss. It gives non-Jews a basis to ask their friends what they thought of the back-and-forth between the two, to discuss the disagreement between them without necessarily being labelled an Anti-Semite. Someone should write a book about how this came about. I’ll bet it would touch a lot of movers and shakers, all touched to some extent by Mondoweiss. This could be a key moment in the election, and a key moment in the history of Israel. Let it all be for the better.

      • traintosiberia
        August 1, 2012, 9:28 pm

        Noah Pollack from the Chorus-machine is synchronising the goosesteps to manufacture ideas for consumption by inattentive American as expected .So the chorus machine intentionally fails to see that while a visit to muslim lands had generated expectations and hope ,the visit no way changed anything materially other than more drones in Yemen,Somaila, Pakistan,and Afgahnistan and repression in Yemen and Bahrain and increased “kinetic movements” in Libya ,Mali,Syria .It also ignores that a lack of visit has not stopped the free military supplies to Isreal running to tune of billions and ongoing violence against body and souls of Palestininans.The symbolism does not matter unless the (Neo)con artist says so. (Neo) con artist also decides when to term the living and breathing facts as substance-less symbol as they termed US kowtowing to every demands of Israel against Iran and Palestine as nothing but empty gestures from an Israeli hater and visits to the muslim countries are nothing but US appeasement recapturing the messages sent by Chamberlain’s visit to Germany.

      • traintosiberia
        August 1, 2012, 9:38 pm

        Neo cons’s broken records never fail to amaze. If Obama visited Israel instead of Arab countries ,the chorus would have followed him to what the chorus-producing machine would have thought was the legitimate questions i.e: “Why Obama is silent on attacking Iran? Why Obama is not building on the trust that he has laid a foundation of today by visiting Israel? Why he is not questioning the NEI? Why he is not asking world community to come to UN and authorize multilateral invasion of Iran? Why he is silent on the plights of Iranians ? Why he is not asking Iraq to stand down when he Israel takes the bombs to Ayatullahs basement? Why Syria is still blocking peace? Why Iran is against Oslo? Why he is not listening to Israeli intelligence and to nethayahoo who does not think that Oslo has any chance of success in the new reality? Why US is not allowing changes in NATO articles to include the steadfast ally Israel? Why Pakistan is allowed to go scot free on the question of pipeline from Iran? Why US is just offering military hardware to Israel without doing the heavy lifting ? Israel has added to US success in that part of hostile world and has generated business and employments in USA that is unprecedented in the history of ,mankind given the respective sizes of the two countries. Why Obama is silent on the legitimate concerns raised by Horowitz,Geller,Spencer,and Malikin pertaining to the Islam threats against US as per these learned figures , now most succinctly expressed in Park 51? Why obama is supplying Sauid Arab with military equipments that can be used by terrorist against US as they did in 911 attack by coming from Saudi land? Why Obama is silent on Sharia laws taking root in US ? Why Arab countries getting military help will establish diplomatic relation with Israel who is American closest ally? Why Obama is not asking Joe Liberman for advice on the nature of the indoctrination of the young minds in the campus against Israel? Why Jewish are being blamed for possible attack against Iran when it is in the interest of US who often does not know what is best for him ,since Americans are not used to selfishness and opportunism?. Why he is planning to visit Saudi Arab the main culprit in 911? Why obama is asking PLO to come to DC to meet with him about Oslo when it was not supported by Sharon and is not supported by Naethanhoo and by large number of citizen of Isareal who are actually free to express their opinion not like the inhabitants of gaza and West bank? Why he wants to send feeler to Gaza’s administration who don’t support US supported Oslo peace process?” The chorus machine built in Israel would not stop looking for openings and opportunities to extend the possibility to new realms. It is the confirmation of old adage “ give them an inch and they will ask for an yard” Well Isreal is asking the whole continent be ready to stretch itself beyond breaking points of morality, legality, and reality. Obams visit will not suppress the wolves. It will end up offering more meats and more and few more until the alms-giver is silent and not moving.

    • Donald
      July 31, 2012, 3:27 pm

      You summed it up pretty well–it was a big step forward to talk about this at all, but it was also banal and low-key the way you’d expect from PBS. If they really want to open things up they’d have people like Norman Finkelstein or Phil or Ali Abunimah on and of course I don’t mean that those three are interchangeable. To hear a serious discussion they need someone from the left end of the American Jewish community (Phil or Norman, though again those two are not interchangeable) and Jeremy simply doesn’t qualify. And they really need a Palestinian voice.

      But instead we got what one usually gets in the MSM–a watered down discussion between the center and the far-right.

  7. American
    July 31, 2012, 1:08 pm

    I don’t want Obama to go to Israel either. Actually I don’t want ANY US politicians going to Israel.

    • justicewillprevail
      July 31, 2012, 2:16 pm

      Exactly, why should he have to go there to abase himself and his office to the Congress puppet masters and their apartheid ideology? He will only reinforce their nauseating sense of self-importance and their arrogant presumption that they can interfere in US politics and culture with no reprisal.

    • Carowhat
      July 31, 2012, 4:54 pm

      “I don’t want ANY US politicians going to Israel.”

      You nailed it. As long as Obama and Romney are candidates for the presidency of the United States they ought to campaign in the United States. If they want to be president of Israel, then they can campaign in Tel Aviv. But until then they ought to at least pay lip service to the notion that Americans count as much in their calculations as Israelis do.

  8. HarryLaw
    July 31, 2012, 1:27 pm

    The US are now supporting Alqaeda and other Islamist groups in Syria [ our enemies enemy is our friend] they are supporting and training MEK terrorists against Iran, I would not be surprised if Clinton and Rice ran through the chambers of the UN shouting Allah Akbar, F….. Hypocrites.

    • lysias
      July 31, 2012, 5:30 pm

      I remember attending a conference in D.C. a few months before the Kosovo War started where a U.S. Army major spoke up and said he did not want to have to fight on the side of the KLA and bin Laden. I don’t know if the major ended up having to, but a few months later the U.S. Army was indeed fighting on the same side as the KLA and bin Laden.

      Bill Clinton approved that war. And I heard Susan Rice defend it a few months after she and Bill Clinton left office.

  9. GJB
    July 31, 2012, 1:51 pm

    Yes, the idea of Obama visiting Israel at this time is a rather scary prospect. I wish he could visit the West Bank or Gaza, though. It seems to be such an eye-opener for those who actually see the occupation close up, that maybe the experience would give him some steel in his backbone. Besides, it’s probably a far safer place for him to visit.

    • AllenBee
      July 31, 2012, 10:51 pm

      Real men go to Tehran.
      And it’s safer, too (unless, of course, Mossad/MEK get there first).

  10. Winnica
    July 31, 2012, 3:21 pm

    Have you ever noticed how the number of Israelis walking around with fully automatic weapons (which tend to be illegal in the US) is startingly high, and yet Israel has never had a single Columbine- or Aurora-style senseless mass-murder?

    • Shingo
      July 31, 2012, 4:58 pm

      Have you ever noticed how the number of Israelis walking around with fully automatic weapons (which tend to be illegal in the US) is startingly high, and yet Israel has never had a single Columbine- or Aurora-style senseless mass-murder?

      Yeah, so long as you ignore Baruch Goldstein.

      As for senseless mass-murder, that’s a common occurence, though they prefer to do it from the confort of air conditioned F16 cockpits.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      July 31, 2012, 5:03 pm

      Not of Jews, anyway. I suppose Goldstein’s mass murder in a mosque doesn’t count.

    • Woody Tanaka
      July 31, 2012, 5:07 pm

      “yet Israel has never had a single Columbine- or Aurora-style senseless mass-murder?”

      No, israels do that sort of stuff in places like the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

      And while American pathetic lunatics with a drive to destroy others’ lives are driven to commit these crimes, israeli pathetic lunatics simply join the i”d”f and oppress the Palestinians. They get a population to prey on and get paid and official sanction by the zionist government.

    • richb
      July 31, 2012, 5:21 pm

      No the machine-gun-toting settlers are not violent at all. Yeah, right.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/9279499/Israeli-soldiers-seen-standing-by-as-settlers-use-live-fire-against-Palestinians.html

      I live in Colorado and I’ve been to Israel and the West Bank. The settlers there are truly nuts.

    • justicewillprevail
      July 31, 2012, 5:22 pm

      Are you serious? You never heard of Baruch Goldstein? Or the IDF wanton shootings of Palestinian children and civilians? The settlers taking pot shots at Palestinians? Cast Lead? Doh

    • Rob Buchanan
      July 31, 2012, 5:35 pm

      what about baruch goldstein in the cave of the patriarchs? he killed 29 and wounded 125, according to wikipedia. or does that not count?

    • Charles Barwin
      July 31, 2012, 8:30 pm

      Goldstein and the price-tag youth say hi.

      So do the Cast Lead rabbis.

    • Carowhat
      July 31, 2012, 8:36 pm

      I’m surprised you don’t count Baruch Goldstein’s 1994 attack at the Cave of the Patriarch in Hebron where he killed 29 Palestinians and wounded 125.

    • Roya
      July 31, 2012, 8:52 pm

      Are you seriously trying to tell us that Israelis are tame, civil, and harmless? Nice try, take that to Times of Israel. And why would they shed “Jewish blood” and add to the demographic threat when they have 2.5 million Palestinian punching bags to unleash their militant tendencies on?

    • tree
      July 31, 2012, 9:11 pm

      Winnica,

      Have you ever noticed how the number of Israelis walking around with fully automatic weapons (which tend to be illegal in the US) is startingly high, and yet Israel has never had a single Columbine- or Aurora-style senseless mass-murder?

      Did you forget Ami Popper and Eden Natan Zada or Baruch Goldstein? Or is mass murder of non-Jews not important enough for you to note or remember?

      Granted most Palestinian casualties, whether Israeli citizens, or subjects of Israel’s occupation, are murdered by the IDF or police acting in their official capacity, but the 3 above acted outside of Israeli “law” when they mass-murdered. Forty dead victims total. The three deadliest school shootings in the US, the 2007 VA Tech killings, the 2005 Columbine shooting, and the 1966 U Texas massacre killed 59 people total. Considering how much smaller Israel is in population than the US, Israel really doesn’t come out positively in comparison here.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ami_Popper

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eden_Natan-Zada

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Goldstein

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 10:26 am

        tree –

        You are the only one of the ten respondents I got who was able to name more than one case, that of Baruch Goldstein. Good for you.

        I stand by my original statement. Murder is murder is murder, and there’s no defense for Goldstein or Popper or Zada. None, and I’d appreciate if further responders don’t twist my words to sound as if there is. There isn’t.

        My statement was not that in the century-long conflict between Jews and Arabs, there have never been cases of Jews murdering Arabs. Of course there have – tho far fewer than in the opposite direction, and vastly fewer than Arab-on-Arab murders during the same century.

        My point was that although Israelis are armed to the teeth in comparison with any populace in the developed world, and unlike Americans they’ve got widespread access to automatic weapons, still there are no contextless mass murders of fellow civilians, such as are all too common in the US, and happen from time to time elsewhere, too.

        None of the many commenters who responded here brought any facts to refute this statement.

      • justicewillprevail
        August 1, 2012, 1:31 pm

        Psychopathic Israelis with guns don’t need to turn them on fellow Jews when they have the outlet of Palestinians to fire at, with the added bonus of not being held account for it. Your comparisons in order to score points are worthless.

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 2:45 pm

        Tree found three cases in which “psychopathic Israelis” (your term, justice) murdered inoccent Palestinian civilians in cold blood. Over the past century there have been another few cases he didn’t mention. All in all, perhaps 100 victims in the 95 years since the end of WWI. Each death tragic, of course.

        I understand that the readers of Mondoweiss are convinced that Israelis routinely murder Palestinians, for sport, bloodlust or whatever other reason. Meanwhile, the cold facts are that in a century of bloodletting, the number of non-combattant Palestinians to die by acts of Jews is smaller than the number of dead Syrians since last March, and vastly smaller than the number of Arabs killed by other Arabs in the same century. These are facts, not speculation.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 1, 2012, 5:01 pm

        “My statement was not that in the century-long conflict between Jews and Arabs, there have never been cases of Jews murdering Arabs. Of course there have – tho far fewer than in the opposite direction”

        “the number of non-combattant Palestinians to die by acts of Jews is smaller than the number of dead Syrians since last March, and vastly smaller than the number of Arabs killed by other Arabs in the same century.”

        Who gets to define whether a particular dead Palestinian was a “non-combatant? You? The israelis? Who gets to define whether a particular Jew is a combatant? Me?

        And as for your racist nonsense about Jew-on-Arab v. Arab-on-Arab murder, you don’t have to have me list all the ways that the concept you’ve posited are so illogical as to be nothing less than a gross libel on the Arab people. Right?

      • ErsatzYisrael
        August 1, 2012, 11:07 pm

        Winnica says:
        August 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

        “tree –

        You are the only one of the ten respondents I got who was able to name more than one case, that of Baruch Goldstein. Good for you.”

        How warped special must one be in order to be able to reconcile: “You are the only one of the ten respondents I got who was able to name more than one case, that of Baruch Goldstein.”, with “Good for you.”?

        Winnica says:
        August 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

        “I stand by my original statement. Murder is murder is murder, and there’s no defense for Goldstein or Popper or Zada. None, and I’d appreciate if further responders don’t twist my words to sound as if there is. There isn’t.”

        So in the paragraph I’ve quoted above, you affirm your sincerely held belief that “Murder is murder is murder”, implying in absolute terms that you perceive any and all murder to be one and the same…

        Winnica says:
        August 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

        “My statement was not that in the century-long conflict between Jews and Arabs, there have never been cases of Jews murdering Arabs. Of course there have – tho far fewer than in the opposite direction, and vastly fewer than Arab-on-Arab murders during the same century.”

        …except in your next paragraph, which I’ve quoted above, you first start out by further reaffirming your prior absolutist “statement” and stance vis-à-vis “murder”, then you appear to have some sort of brain fart, which causes you to follow this plaintive re-affirmation of the absolute with a string of qualifiers, which effectively renders null and void your prior absolutist “statement” and stance vis-à-vis “murder”.

        Winnica says:
        August 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

        “My point was that although Israelis are armed to the teeth in comparison with any populace in the developed world, and unlike Americans they’ve got widespread access to automatic weapons, still there are no contextless mass murders of fellow civilians, such as are all too common in the US, and happen from time to time elsewhere, too.”

        Poor Whinnyca, you’re actually less than pointless now, you are positively flailing about, as you really are reaching with your pitiful attempts at making some sort of – indeed any sort of – coherent point.

        Still, I expect it takes a very special intellect, Whinny, for someone to be capable of descending all the way from “Murder is murder is murder”, all the way down to Israel rocks and the rest of the World sucks.

        Winnica says:
        August 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

        “None of the many commenters who responded here brought any facts to refute this statement.”

        Perhaps it was this perceived failure on the part of your many detractors which provided you with the necessary inspiration to be able to refute your own statement, and so elegantly?

      • Carowhat
        August 2, 2012, 1:57 am

        Winnica: I understand that the readers of Mondoweiss are convinced that Israelis routinely murder Palestinians, for sport, bloodlust or whatever other reason.

        The “other reason” is to take their land.

      • ColinWright
        August 2, 2012, 2:10 am

        “Tree found three cases in which “psychopathic Israelis” (your term, justice) murdered inoccent Palestinian civilians in cold blood. Over the past century there have been another few cases he didn’t mention. All in all, perhaps 100 victims in the 95 years since the end of WWI…”

        I’d make it more like about 20,000. Of course, I count killers in uniform. Sharon alone personally led several punishment expeditions into Jordan in the late 40’s that must have accounted for at least two hundred randomly chosen villagers.

        Behavior doesn’t cease to be psychopathic merely because everyone in the country is applauding.

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 3:16 am

        Ersatz,

        I think a reasonable person would see my point and comprehend it. Some might even agree. Your need to descend to the pits of invective says more about you than about my line of argumentation.

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 4:08 am

        OK, Colin, let’s add innocent Palestinian victims of indefensible military behaviour. Using standard international criteria, so that the victims of My Lai were murdered, but what the Americans and British call collateral damage at time of war, aren’t. Then indeed Israelis have killed many hundreds. Maybe even a few thousands, tho I’d have to see a detailled breakdown of instances. There is no way the number is remotely near 20,000.
        Now compare those numbers to the exact parallels in the rest of the Middle East since the end of WWI.

      • justicewillprevail
        August 2, 2012, 4:36 am

        You’re right this is not speculation. It is total BS. Your ‘facts’ are not facts, but carefully manipulated figures, the giveaway of course in the phrase ‘non-combatants’. Who defines that? Oh yes, the IDF and Israeli military sources. Easy to define people as ‘combatants’ after you have killed farmers, women and children as in Cast Lead and daily raids. Viewing it through your racist prism of Jew v Jew and Arab v Arab murders is only further proof of your little zionist propaganda fest, as if that was any measurable or coherent criteria, other than a feeble attempt to deflect the fact of the overwhelming use of violence and terrorism by the Israeli state to further their political and ideological agenda.

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 7:47 am

        Heavy on invective, extremely light on facts, Justice. Not a sign of seriousness.

      • ErsatzYisrael
        August 2, 2012, 3:04 pm

        Winnica says:
        August 2, 2012 at 3:16 am

        “Ersatz,

        I think a reasonable person would see my point and comprehend it.”

        Which is precisely your problem.

        Winnica says:
        August 2, 2012 at 3:16 am

        “Some might even agree.”

        Not if they’re a “reasonable person”.

        Winnica says:
        August 2, 2012 at 3:16 am

        “Your need to descend to the pits of invective says more about you than about my line of argumentation.”

        Is “invective” the new anti-semitism? There was no “line”.

    • ErsatzYisrael
      July 31, 2012, 9:27 pm

      Winnica says:
      July 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      “Have you ever noticed how the number of Israelis walking around with fully automatic weapons (which tend to be illegal in the US) is startingly high, and yet Israel has never had a single Columbine- or Aurora-style senseless mass-murder?”

      No, Whinyca, Israelis being the incredibly modest bunch they are, are simply happy to be able to go round murdering goyim by shooting them in broad daylight and at point blank range, without having to suffer any consequences.

      In fact, Whiny, so much of a WHITE light unto the nations is your beloved Israel, that even a lowly shtetl Jew coming all the way from the Brooklyn shtetl can ascend so that he may massacre goyim during their time of prayers and then be idolized in death.

      People think you are good, but you are hard-hearted.

    • ritzl
      July 31, 2012, 11:02 pm

      Uh huh. Goldstein? Or did you Freudian-slip and mean only Jew on Jew senseless mass murder?

      Maybe you forgot, maybe you didn’t, but noobs to this subject should note that in either case this is a classic example of the type of selectivity and/or convenient memory loss that gets folded into this discussion from the zios and other IRoW types, and evaluate info accordingly.

    • ColinWright
      August 2, 2012, 1:05 am

      There was that American who used to go to Israel to kill Palestinians. Got a couple — and the Israeli police at least suspected what he was up to.

      They let him keep coming until he started showing signs of broadening his horizons to kill Jews.

  11. Winnica
    July 31, 2012, 3:25 pm

    You’ve never been in Jerusalem when an American president (or the Pope) is in town, Phil. The place gets shut down.

    • richb
      July 31, 2012, 5:27 pm

      Phil just documented how poor the security was when someone who has even odds of being the next President came to town. Given how your descriptions diverged from my experience when I was there I simply don’t trust you. Rabin was assassinated with a semi-automatic Baretta 84F.

    • jon s
      August 1, 2012, 10:47 am

      My wife was stuck in a huge traffic jam near Tel Aviv this morning: roads were closed because of the visit of Secretary Panetta. I heard one irate driver on the radio who said: ” why are they closing roads? who do they think he is? Stalin?”

    • Djinn
      August 2, 2012, 8:53 pm

      I have, well a VP anyway and while Jerusalem was shut down for anyone of Palestinian background it certainly wasnt shut down for foreign tourists like myself and Israeli Jews. PLenty of both of those groups roamed around freely, if a little more slowly than usual.

  12. ColinWright
    July 31, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Speaking of Obama, the worm may indeed be turning.

    First, there was his decidedly effective ad during the Olympics: I personally saw two inveterate Obama-haters immediately swayed — and my Alabama Christian admitted it gave him second thoughts.

    Now this:

    ” CAIRO — Leon E. Panetta, the United States defense secretary, said on Tuesday that President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt was “his own man,” a strong declaration of American support for Mr. Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood whose future course in Egypt remains a great unknown to the Obama administration.

    Mr. Panetta, who was heading from the Egyptian capital to Jerusalem later on Tuesday, also said his meetings with the Israeli leadership would not focus on any possible Israeli or American military strike on Iran…”

    This can’t be accidental. Romney just claimed that the election of the Muslim Brotherhood was deplorable, and that ‘we would understand’ (or something) if Israel had to bomb Iran. Either Obama is hopelessly incompetent, or he’s decided he will fight.

    • Ellen
      August 2, 2012, 4:14 am

      This, too,may be anecdotal: I got an email from a staunch supporter of the Republican candidate. She is a mother of three young men and was “disgusted” (her words) by Romney’s words in Israel and “vulgar” (her words again) groveling and war mongering. Romney just went way down for her.

      I think she may represent a ton of voters who are now deeply troubled by the US mixing in Israel’s wars and will be pushed to the fence.

  13. ColinWright
    July 31, 2012, 4:07 pm

    I wonder about these guns.

    They seem to be sprouting in photos from Israel like crazy.

    Does their appearance correlate with any actual increase in the likelihood of terrorism — or is it evidence of Israel becoming an openly racial supremacist state? Aren’t these guns primarily a symbol of racial dominance?

    • Carowhat
      July 31, 2012, 5:01 pm

      “Aren’t these guns primarily a symbol of racial dominance?”

      There undoubtedly is some of that. I think more thought it’s intended to instill in the people that they belong to a warrior state for which they may need to fight at any time. Sort of like those high schools where the coaches require players to carry a football in all their academic classes–to make them realize they are football players first and only students as an afterthought.

    • OlegR
      July 31, 2012, 6:47 pm

      These guns are guns that soldiers take home when they are on vacation.
      Civilians in Israel don’t carry guns for the most part.
      The application rules for civilian permits are very strict.

      • Shmuel
        August 1, 2012, 1:56 am

        Civilians in Israel don’t carry guns for the most part.
        The application rules for civilian permits are very strict.

        Unless you’re a settler or regularly go to the settlements for work, or are one of Israel’s innumerable private security guards.

        I was once on a Jerusalem bus (at Tzomet Shmuel Hanavi. for those of you who know Jerusalem), and there was an accident between a police car and a motorbike. Since the driver of the motorbike (lying splattered on the road) was a Palestinian, there were shouts of “pigu’a” (terrorist attack). Out of nowhere, at least a half a dozen handguns appeared on the bus – from briefcases and hidden holsters. All of these would-be Rambos ran off the bus, pistols in the air, to “help” the police.

        These mostly-middle-aged men were not soldiers, and the handguns they carried were not soldiers’ guns.

      • ColinWright
        August 1, 2012, 4:39 am

        “…there were shouts of “pigu’a” (terrorist attack). Out of nowhere, at least a half a dozen handguns appeared on the bus – from briefcases and hidden holsters. All of these would-be Rambos ran off the bus, pistols in the air, to “help” the police…”

        Remind me to write an English-Hebrew phrase book in which ‘pigu’a’ is Hebrew for ‘Taxi!.’

      • OlegR
        August 1, 2012, 5:07 am

        Well yes settlers don’t live in Israel proper so i don’t actually count them.

      • OlegR
        August 1, 2012, 9:37 am

        What year was that btw Shmuel ?

      • Shmuel
        August 1, 2012, 11:55 am

        Well yes settlers don’t live in Israel proper so i don’t actually count them.

        Yes, but unlike Palestinians from that neck of the woods, they are allowed to travel freely throughout the country, so the ease with which they are issued permits and guns means that there are a lot of guns on the street throughout Israel – especially in Jerusalem of course. If I remember correctly, Yigal Amir got a permit for the gun he used to kill Rabin because he had once lived or studied on a settlement, although he lived within the Green Line at the time of the assassination.

        Besides, lots of Israelis live within the Green Line, but travel regularly to the OT – reason enough to be issued a permit – and then there are the myriad security guards I mentioned.

      • Shmuel
        August 1, 2012, 11:58 am

        What year was that btw Shmuel ?

        I don’t remember exactly, but it was probably early ’90s.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 1, 2012, 12:02 pm

        settlers don’t live in Israel proper so i don’t actually count them

        so when you say ‘civilians in Israel’ you are not referencing hundreds of thousands of israelis citizens/civilians who are regularly on the streets of israel.

        when i was in israel i saw people walking around with machine guns regularly. it’s very normal there and perhaps if one lives there one gets used to it but i found it very disconcerting. it’s very glaring/in your face.

      • OlegR
        August 1, 2012, 12:08 pm

        What you saw (if we are talking about Israel proper) were always young soldiers on leave in civilian closes.
        They frequently take rifles with them since there are army regulations regarding safekeeping of the weapons that some times cannot be met
        at the soldiers homes.

        / It’s very normal there and perhaps if one lives there one gets used to it./
        You hit the spot there the problem is with your perception.Move over to Israel and you will stop noticing them as well pretty quickly.

      • OlegR
        August 1, 2012, 12:15 pm

        Since Amir the rules became really strict and they are getting stricter since.
        The numbers of civilians that have permits have dwindled considerably since the 90’s when you lived here.
        In Tel Aviv you almost never see guns on the street for example.
        Jerusalem is different sure and so are the settlements.

      • Shmuel
        August 1, 2012, 12:26 pm

        Oleg,

        People in civvies carrying large weapons are either soldiers on leave or settlers (you obviously don’t get to Jerusalem much). People in civvies carrying handguns are generally not soldiers, but belong to one of the groups I mentioned above.

        Bottom line: Whether they are carried by soldiers, settlers, private guards (even part-time or ex) or those who travel regularly to the OT on business, guns are everywhere in Israel. The fact that civilians who don’t fall into any of those categories may have some difficulty getting a gun license doesn’t change that. Needless to say, permits are only issued to Jews and “relatives of Jews”*. Palestinians need not apply.

        * A term used by demographers to describe Israeli citizens (mostly immigrants from the FSU or their descendants) who are not technically Jewish but are generally considered part of the Jewish-Israeli demographic.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 1, 2012, 12:27 pm

        “You hit the spot there the problem is with your perception.Move over to Israel and you will stop noticing them as well pretty quickly.”

        Unless you’re Palestinian, then you notice every single time they strip you of your human rights, steal your property from you and murder your family member, execution style. Then you notice the bastards every single time.

      • Shmuel
        August 1, 2012, 12:53 pm

        Since Amir the rules became really strict and they are getting stricter since.

        The categories I mentioned (and others) still have no problem getting, keeping or renewing permits. Most of my male relatives (on both sides of the Green Line) have permits to carry guns. Were Amir to have applied today, based on studies or work in the OT, he would still have gotten a permit, although his change of residency might have been picked up a little sooner (or not).

        In Tel Aviv you almost never see guns on the street for example.

        Except for the soldiers and the odd settler (some of them even go to the opera you know). And then there are the guns you don’t see. It’s still a lot of guns. You’re right that most Israelis don’t notice them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I only started noticing them since my daughter (who was not raised in Israel) pointed them out to me and told me they scare her.

        Jerusalem is different sure and so are the settlements.

        Last I checked, West Jerusalem was within the Armistice Line, although if you are suggesting that it should be considered a “corpus separatum” …

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 1:52 pm

        Well, Woody, you might be right. People would remember that. Except that fortunately such things are rather rare, and they don’t reflect more than a narrow part of the reality.

        And even when they’re the total reality of particular families, the decision as to what to do with the memories are still there to be made. Here, for example, is a website of Palestinians and Israelis who don’t seem to share your viewpoint. As I said, it’s a matter of choice.
        http://www.theparentscircle.org/

      • OlegR
        August 2, 2012, 5:38 am

        Shmuel come on.
        Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are the 2 poles on which Israel stands
        with everything in between.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 2, 2012, 9:33 am

        “Well, Woody, you might be right.”

        I am right.

        “People would remember that. Except that fortunately such things are rather rare, and they don’t reflect more than a narrow part of the reality.”

        You’re out of your mind. Half of the population between the med and the Jordan are stripped of their human rights every single day, by a horde of invading zionists. That is the daily reality in Palestinian, whether you’re talking about the part the zionists stole in ’47 or ’67. In the West Bank and Gaza, the occupation is an every day theft of human rights, where people are kept as stateless peons in their own land.

        “As I said, it’s a matter of choice.”

        Yes, and the zionists choose to be evil, as does the majority of the israeli population, making them culpable for the evil done in their name. They should suffer for it until they’ve made complete and total amends to their Palestinian vitims.

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 10:04 am

        “You’re out of your mind”

        Invective, invective, invective.

        The Palestinians I was talking to this morning didn’t seem to be suffering the indignities you claim. It’s not true. There’s a conflict, yes, and much that could be improved, first and foremost that the Palestinians need an independant state besides Israel. But the distance between that reality and your depiction of it is immense.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 2, 2012, 11:39 am

        “Invective, invective, invective.”

        Yes. You get what you deserve.

        “The Palestinians I was talking to this morning didn’t seem to be suffering the indignities you claim.”

        And who were they? Were the ones penned in beyond the apareheid wall? Were they the ones waiting for hours to pass through a “checkpoint?” Where they ones suffering from a random military closure? Or where they among the ones who don’t suffer quite the level of racism that their cousins and brothers and sisters beyond the green line do (but who are victims of official and unofficial bigotry and racism.)?

        “There’s a conflict, yes, and much that could be improved, first and foremost that the Palestinians need an independant state besides Israel.”

        And the primary reason they don’t is because foolish people like you have pretended over the last 50 years that there wasn’t a steaming racist tumor at the heart of your society, while demons like netanyahoo and the settler pigs continued to steal more and more Palestinian land and oppress them further and further.

        Wake up. The 2-state solution is dead. israel killed it. The only thing left is 1) continued (or worse) apartheid, 2) ethnic cleansing/genocidal expulsion, 3) full integration of all the people between the Med and the Jordan, with full voting rights for all, and full human rights and political rights for all, regardless of ethnicity and religion.

        Of the three, which do you favor? Or are you a fantasist that believes that somehow the racists who conceived of the settlement project over the last few decades will suddenly be okay with giving it all to the Palestinians?

  14. richb
    July 31, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Here’s more context on the guns in the Western Wall complex photos. First go to my DailyKos diary I had after my trip to Israel. Look immediately after the orange squiggle.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/15/976225/-We-are-all-Milad-Ayash?showAll=yes

    Now look at your Western Wall, part 3 picture. The private guard in my photos is on the same small stair case. What they are guarding is a door to the tunnels beneath the Western Wall immediately to the left of the sign in your picture. The private guards that guard this entrance are all settlers and are not IDF. (I know because they told me.) They are there even when foreign dignitaries are not in town. The metal detector you mentioned is the worst security on the planet. A pastor friend of mine had a metal hip and they didn’t care about it because he was white. I placed my bag just outside the metal detector on a table and picked it up without anyone inspecting it because I am white.

    Check out the immediately following pictures in my diary. There you will see the model of the Second Temple and another model showing how a Third Temple could be built next to the Dome of Rock. I was also taken to another place in Jerusalem called the Temple Institute where they had solid gold pieces (I held them and they were damned heavy) to be used on the Temple Menorah.

    I swear one way or another those crazy settlers are going to start WWIII.

  15. Stephen Shenfield
    July 31, 2012, 5:08 pm

    Regarding the history of Zionist assassinations, let’s not forget the murder of De Haan, a representative of the non-Zionist Jewish community in Jerusalem, for his efforts to negotiate separately with Arab leaders.

  16. OlegR
    July 31, 2012, 6:44 pm

    You really need to get away from Jerusalem this city tends to get under peoples
    nerves especially in this heat especially when they are looking for it.
    Got to Tel Aviv sit on the beach drink some cool beer.
    Or go to Gaza they have nice beaches as well though i am not sure about the beer.

  17. OlegR
    July 31, 2012, 6:53 pm

    Besides if an American president were to be killed by a Jewish right wing extremist
    it would the best present the Palestinians could ever hope for.

    • ColinWright
      August 1, 2012, 4:34 am

      “Besides if an American president were to be killed by a Jewish right wing extremist it would the best present the Palestinians could ever hope for.”

      Indeed. However, Israel and her supporters do have a habit of doing incredibly self-destructive things. Witness the 2002 Invasion of Lebanon, the Mavi Marmara murders, and ‘Cast Lead.’

      Right now, they’re seriously talking about bombing Iran. I don’t see why they wouldn’t just shoot themselves straight in the head and kill Obama. Seems like a simpler, more economical, and more expeditious route to the same end.

  18. W.Jones
    July 31, 2012, 6:53 pm

    I agree with the warning in this article.
    Didn’t Reuters report an incident with Clinton on the Tel Aviv road a few weeks ago?

    If there is such a risk, it’s sad: I remember watching Jeff Halper speak in a video about what would have to happen to end the conflict. He said basically important public figures would need to go to Jerusalem and reassure people that everything will be OK, give a peace speech, and say that absolutely the settlements must stop. Halper gave examples of Obama speaking in the Knesset and Abbas going to the Wailing Wall.

    Certainly I found these ideas of Obama going to the Knesset and preaching peace to be appealing. Rabin made a big speech too, and the purpose was reconciliation. He was worried that not alot of people would turn out. He brought a famous musician and actually many Israelis came to the peace rally. That being the case, it seems to me Halper is correct, and that a movement in Israeli society is important. But there must also be realism and safety strongly guaranteed for the peacemakers and preachers.

  19. giladg
    July 31, 2012, 6:54 pm

    And what about Batman premiers?

    • Djinn
      August 2, 2012, 9:01 pm

      tasteful giladg, way to attempt to make a point on the backs of massacre victims

  20. Fredblogs
    July 31, 2012, 7:08 pm

    No, he shouldn’t go to Israel because at this point it would look like he was playing “me too” with Romney.

  21. Roya
    July 31, 2012, 8:45 pm

    Well the special relationship would end in a heartbeat if an Israeli killed the US president, so if Obama were to go to Israel, Israel itself would most likely make sure that these stray “reservists” did not come near him so I don’t see the point in this hype about Obama’s safety being endangered if he were to go.

    • Carowhat
      August 1, 2012, 3:47 am

      I’ve often wonder why the US and Israel have a “special relationship” anyway. It certainly can’t be due to common cultural traditions. Israel was created by Eastern European socialists and communists. America was found on a tradition of Jeffersonian democracy. In spite of this all the talk revolves around keeping the countries so close that no light shows between them. In the early years it was all light, as it will be again.

      • Roya
        August 1, 2012, 9:16 pm

        The “special relationship” exists because of the lobby. Take out the lobby and you end the parasitic relationship. This is why we must initiate a nationwide dialogue on whether the relationship benefits the host (hint hint, it does not) and Occupy AIPAC!

  22. yourstruly
    August 1, 2012, 12:16 am

    there is only one acceptable reason for obama to visit israel, namely, to observe close up the brutality of the israeli occupation of palestine. if he goes for any other reason, he’ll be violating the boycott, which could cost him the election.

    • Winnica
      August 1, 2012, 10:33 am

      Yours –

      Millions of tourists travel to Israel every year. Only a tiny (truly tiny) percentage come back with the observations you’d expect them to have. So either they’re all blind, or they’re all hoodwinked, or… the reality isn’t what Mondoweiss says it is.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 1, 2012, 11:54 am

        Millions of tourists travel to Israel every year. Only a tiny (truly tiny) percentage come back with the observations you’d expect them to have.

        the average tourist choosing to travel to israel is there on holiday. the occupation is, by design, hidden from tourists as it is hidden fromthe average israeli. however, it is very easy to be a witness of the brutality of the occupation if one chooses to seek out the truth. most israel supporters (including those on holiday) do not go to israel to seek out the truth. people do not see what they do not want to see, that is not unusual.

        the reality isn’t what Mondoweiss says it is

        if that were the case you wouldn’t bother posting here, there would be no need for hasbara.

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 12:10 pm

        Annie –

        As I have repeatedly said, I”m not here to convince anyone. The Mondoweiss community has its mind firmly made up already, and there’s nothing I could say that will change it. I come here to learn the mindset of the MW community, to understand how its members respond to various statements.

        As someone who is often in Israel and also the West Bank I assure you, Annie, that were the reality anything like what it’s presented as here, people would see it. Instead, they come, say, to Jerusalem, and see Jews and Palestinians mingling freely on the streets, in places of entertainment, in institutes of education, in supermarkets, on public transportation, in the hospitals, in stores, in offices, and so on and on. So when they’re then told about apartheid they raise their eybrows, shrug, and get on with life.

      • ErsatzYisrael
        August 1, 2012, 3:49 pm

        Winnica says:
        August 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm

        “As someone who is often in Israel and also the West Bank …”

        Sure. Just like I’m sure that in your gnat-like perception, each time you’ve been lucky enough to ascend to your cherished ErsatzYisrael, you inexplicably yet inevitably end up spending most of your time and dollahs living it large in the Gaza Strip, where the beaches and shopping are just to die for, quite literally.

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 4:10 pm

        Ersatz,

        When comenting on MW I do my best to be civil and factual. I was once nasty to someone and the moderator blocked me, which I can understand. I don’t think I’ve ever repeated that transgression. You can disagree with me to your heart’s content, but I’d appreciate not to be insulted.

        Especially as you haven’t the faintest idea who I am or what I do, as is the case with most commenters here.

      • richb
        August 1, 2012, 5:44 pm

        Winnica,

        Over and over and over again I asked my guide to show me where Palestinians and Jews were side by side together. He couldn’t do it. Not once. When I talked to Palestinian Christians in Nazareth and Bethlehem they all mentioned the apartheid reality of Israel and the West Bank. I didn’t even know about Mondoweiss until I came back. The reason I’m here is this is the only place that actually describes Israel and the West Bank as I experienced it. Before coming here I posted on Daily Kos where so-called progressives slandered Annie and called this site Mondofront (a slur referring to a neo-Nazi discussion board which I will not name). My own motives were called into question and I experienced first hand Hasbara where anyone with sympathy to Palestinians was hit-reced — to use the DK parlance. (In fact, I experienced Hasbara before I know the term.) Then people were banned from DK while the Hasbarists flourished.

        So yes you will not convince me here for one simple reason. You spout lies. Please move along and leave us alone.

      • Shingo
        August 1, 2012, 6:28 pm

        Instead, they come, say, to Jerusalem, and see Jews and Palestinians mingling freely on the streets, in places of entertainment, in institutes of education, in supermarkets, on public transportation, in the hospitals, in stores, in offices, and so on and on.

        Do they also share in the custom of home demolition and home evicitions in East Jerusalem?

      • Blake
        August 1, 2012, 7:06 pm

        richb: Arab villages are completely segregated from Jewish villages. “Israel” gives 5 cities the label of “Mixed Cities” . These are Akka, Haifa, Jaffa, Lod & Ramleh with the intention of showing Palestinians can live in these towns alongside Jews without any discrimination. In reality they are cities not co- existing but entirely segregated communities.

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 1:44 am

        Richard,

        Since I’m often in Israel and the West Bank, and you say you were here once; and my familiarity with the place includes knowing some of the languages (Hebrew and some Arabic) and requires no guides as intermediaries, I stand by my assertion. Just yesterday I made a shiva visit to a friend at one of the oldest kibbuttzim, and who was sitting there alongside me but one of his Arab friends.

        I stand by my assertion, no matter what your guide told you. It is impossible to spend a day in Jerusalem and not encounter diverse interactions between Palestinians and Israelis. There is no reality of apartheid here, tho of course there are diverse social groups, some better off than others. Even those differences are demonstrably smaller than they used to be, so that the trajectory is positive even if not every single instance is.

        I often notice how here at MW conversations with me eventually end with my interlocuters getting personal and nasty (3-4 times on this thread alone). This puzzles me: surely if one is intereted in facts, the personal is irrelevant? Look thru my comment archives: I don’t think you’ll find a single example where I stooped to use invective against anyone, even though I disagree vehemently with most of what is written here.

      • Carowhat
        August 2, 2012, 2:03 am

        winnica: Especially as you haven’t the faintest idea who I am or what I do, as is the case with most commenters here.

        Why don’t you tell us?

      • ColinWright
        August 2, 2012, 2:19 am

        “…Over and over and over again I asked my guide to show me where Palestinians and Jews were side by side together. He couldn’t do it. Not once…”

        I remember reading about some Arab village south of Haifa that had been overlooked in 1948. Anyway, it had wound up jammed between the freeway and the sea, and things had gotten so extreme that even Israeli planners were forced to admit that yes, it should be allowed to build on some of the fields on the other side of the freeway.

        Some of the Jewish neighbors objected. They didn’t want to live ‘next’ to Palestinians.

        The distance in question would have been something like a kilometer. I’m trying to think of an American bigot so extreme he would care about who lived a kilometer away. Maybe some of those people up around Hayden Lake, Idaho. There’s some sort of White Supremacist retreat up there, isn’t there?

      • ColinWright
        August 2, 2012, 2:25 am

        “…Instead, they come, say, to Jerusalem, and see Jews and Palestinians mingling freely on the streets, in places of entertainment, in institutes of education, in supermarkets, on public transportation, in the hospitals, in stores, in offices, and so on and on…”

        Housing, the army, the police, the cabinet, the Olympic team…

        That reminds me, actually. I wonder if there is any other country on the planet with a national minority that makes up 20% of the population that has not one representative of that group on its Olympic team? I’m genuinely curious.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 2, 2012, 9:07 am

        “I often notice how here at MW conversations with me eventually end with my interlocuters getting personal and nasty (3-4 times on this thread alone). This puzzles me: surely if one is intereted in facts, the personal is irrelevant?”

        And I’m sure there were plenty of southerners in the US in the 1950s who, when they tried to calmly explain to the damnyankees that the blacks and whites got along just fine and that the damnyankees should go back north and mind their own business, found that the response was “personal and nasty.”

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 10:00 am

        Woody,

        I spent the morning at a Jerusalem hospital. There were Jewish and Arab patients, staff members, and physicians, all mixed up, all stiving together for the better health of whoever was there. Such a scene could never have happened in the segregated American South, nor in Apartheid South Africa.

        I stand by my comment. Argue the facts if you will, or present reason to interpret them differently. Hurling invective merely demonstrates that you don’t have any substantial points to make.

      • jon s
        August 2, 2012, 10:39 am

        Blake,
        I live in Beer Sheva and every day I see Jews and Palestinians living together: at the malls, university, hospital, supermarkets and so forth. There’s no segregation. I’m not trying to paint a false , ideal, picture – there are plenty of problems and tensions- but your description is unbalanced.

      • richb
        August 2, 2012, 10:46 am

        My guide was trying to make the same point you were but was unable to do so. I saw many examples of Christians and Muslims living side by side but the Jews were isolated from both of them. It was exactly as Blake describes. I was in the Gallilee on Land Day and I asked my guide about the protests. He just dismissed it. When I talked with a Christian in Nazareth she talked about internal displacement and the Nakba. There is a village called Saffiriya less than 10 miles from Nazareth which was razed to the ground and a forest was planted on top of it by the JNF so they cannot return. (I checked Google Earth and found the forest just as was described.) I later found out that this happened to over 500 other villages. The protesters march to the village where they used to live. The Christian went on to say why Nazareth is now majority Muslim because the Muslims fled the Nakba and sought refuge with the Christians. The Jews took over the land in a process know as judaization and live in isolated high places where no Palestinians are allowed. Nazareth is pinched in by these Jewish settlements. The mayor of Nazareth Illit is a bigot and a Baptist church has to worship underground because Nazareth Illit is to be for Jews only.

        This narrative was also confirmed by the evangelical relief organization World Vision which has been in the Holy Land for decades. Google the former director Tom Getman for his story. The documentary Occupation 101 interviewed him.

        http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/occupation-101-full-movie-in-11-parts/

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 2, 2012, 11:25 am

        “I spent the morning at a Jerusalem hospital.”

        West or East? And how many of these Palestinians came from, say, 5 km due East of Jerusalem?

        “all stiving together for the better health of whoever was there.”

        “whoever was there” is kind of the key, isn’t it. How many of these people, all working together, noticed that “whoever was there” was limited by the fact that the israeli government has penned in huge numbers of people a few km east of where you were to keep them from being among the “whoever was there” because of their ethno-religious background?

        “Such a scene could never have happened in the segregated American South, nor in Apartheid South Africa.”

        Yes, your aparthied is slightly different than theirs was. If either of these states had identified a select group of blacks, numbering no more than 20% of the white population, and gave them special (but still not equal treatment) as the whites, that would not have made those societies somehow not evil.

        “I stand by my comment.”

        Of course you do. As much as you pretend to be open minded, you’re not. You’re completely satisfied with the status quo, as you don’t suffer because of it, and like to pretend that you aren’t just one more cog in a great giant terror and oppression machine. Because to do otherwise would force you to not only recognize your society for what it is, but it might require you to do something about it. But it’s nicer being the lord of the plantation.

        “Argue the facts if you will, or present reason to interpret them differently.”

        The points have been argued many, many times. The Jews in Palestine control the lives of millions of Arabs and have for generations and don’t permit them a say in the government that controls their lives, and has no plan or intention to permit them to have their full civil and human rights. That you want to pretend differently is not a lack of persuasion on my part, it’s a lack of something on your part. (What that thing is, only you could know. You might be stupid, or a bigot, or truely brainwashed or any number of other things.)

        “Hurling invective merely demonstrates that you don’t have any substantial points to make.”

        Nonsense. It may simply mean that I’m a bastard who likes to call people names. Or maybe I come from a culture that prefers salty language. Or I find it fun to taunt people. Or the person I’m talking about deserves nothing but invective. Or I’m a human expressing human emotions at an injustice. There are any number of reasons beyond “lack of substantive argument” for invectives.

        And, really, this idea that the use of invective must mean a lack of substative points is not only wrong in practice, but it is not even right in theory. If the stewardess says to the pilot, “Pull up, dumbass, you’re going to fly us into that mountain!” does her use of an invective says anything about the merits of her statement?

      • richb
        August 2, 2012, 11:34 am

        You seem to think my guide told me all this. It was quite the opposite. I was on a Christian Zionist tour and all the propaganda was in full force. The problem was I deliberately sought out Palestinian Christians to talk to and that shattered the illusion. You ask why so many get the impression that Israel is so wonderful and it’s a combination of two factors: massive propaganda and the people want to see what they want to see. The problem with me was I wanted to find out the truth. If you come with that perspective the propaganda is laughable. The guide would just point to a Palestinian village and tell people how wonderful it was and it was just believed. We were on a bypass road and the guide showed how “peaceful” the West Bank was. As I said previously I kept pestering my guide to show me a mixed city where Jews and Palestinians were side by side and all he could come up with was Nazareth Illit!

        Finally, you have to remember is the people who do not see apartheid in the Holy Land are the same ones who don’t see global warming. Evangelical opinion can best be interpreted in a contrarian fashion to arrive at the truth.

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 11:48 am

        OK, Woody, this conversation has run its course, I think. Here’s my final statement, and whether you respond or not, I’m finished.

        You see the world in black and white. I see it in endless hades of grey. You also see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a clash of good and evil, victims and perpetrators. I see it as a tragic clash between two nations who can’t find the common ground on which to build mutual accommodation. And even that isn’t accurate: while I see no chance for peace between the sides anytime soon, I am convinced that within the Green line Jews and Palestinians are well on the road that could some day bring them to a joint equitable society, and I know Israelis from both sides who agree with me. As for beyond the Green Line – well, if the present functional peace goes on long enough and both sides restrain their worst impulses long enough, they’ll find a way towards mutual reconciliation. Someday. If.

        As for all that stuff about how evil the Israelis are: nonesense. Easily demonstrably not true.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 2, 2012, 12:25 pm

        “OK, Woody, this conversation has run its course, I think.”

        Of course you do. What response can you have in light of the fact that the example of this supposed harmoney that you are using is the net result of the very evil I’m talking about, without you even acknowledging the very foundation of the situation you are discussing???

        “You see the world in black and white. I see it in endless hades of grey.”

        LMAO. Oh, I was waiting for this gem.

        Okay, then. Tell me. Precisely when is it appropriate for a state to hold a few million Jews in defenseless, stateless position, subject to the whim of a military occupation, simply because they’re Jews? When in your “hades” of grey would it be okay?

        Because, yes, there are some things which are black and white in the world. And your “hades” of grey excuse is nothing more than another way of saying, “When they do it to us, it’s evil; when we do it to them, it’s okay.”

        “You also see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a clash of good and evil, victims and perpetrators. I see it as a tragic clash between two nations who can’t find the common ground on which to build mutual accommodation.”

        Of course, a rapist and his victim sees the crime differently, too. The zionist movement has been on the offense for over a hundred years in an attempt to take over and destroy someone else’s land. You’ve come along and benefited from that and want to pretend that it’s all some great tragedy without even being willing to jettison the poisonous ideology that started the issue. What you’re saying is that it’s a shame that the Palestinians can’t just let you get away with it, before you’ve even stopped assaulting them.

        “…the present functional peace…”

        You can’t even come to a decent, humane discription of the fact that your people have beat another people into submission in order to steal their land. What you have is the peace of the slave plantation, where the fear of the lash — and not the justice of the situation — is responsible for the calm. Don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by pretending otherwise.

        “As for all that stuff about how evil the Israelis are…”

        I don’t think Israelis are evil. But it’s beyond dispute that some israelis are, and the israeli public has a bad habit of electing them to office. And I think that israeli policy towards Palestinians for the entire history of israel’s existence has been one, giant, virtually non-stop, putrid mess of evil.

      • richb
        August 2, 2012, 2:07 pm

        That’s why I limited to talking about people behind the Green Line. The crazy distinction between nationality and citizenship allows for systemic discrimination behind the Green Line. Normally citizens are those who are inside a county’s borders and it’s the case for Israel too although these borders are deliberately undefined. Citizenship historically is how people had rights. But this is not the case in Israel. Rights really accrue to those who have Israeli nationality which applies only to Jews and they do not have to be born inside the borders of Israel.

      • Djinn
        August 2, 2012, 9:07 pm

        keep spinning this insane line Winnica, yeah in Israel Palestinians are happy and gay and mix freely with the welcoming Israeli Jews. The occupation is a tiny thing that really effects hardly anyone at all. Sadly for you, many of us posting here HAVE been to Israel, HAVE been to the West Bank and HAVE been to Gaza (although fewer in that last category thanks to Israel’s blockade). We dont need to take your utter and total nonsense word for it.

      • ColinWright
        August 3, 2012, 3:08 am

        “I spent the morning at a Jerusalem hospital. There were Jewish and Arab patients, staff members, and physicians, all mixed up, all stiving together for the better health of whoever was there. Such a scene could never have happened in the segregated American South, nor in Apartheid South Africa.”

        Oh, I imagine it could have. There weren’t separate hospitals for Whites and Blacks in the American South, and I’m sure that while the physicians and nurses you saw were Jewish, the cleaning staff and possibly some of the other more menial hospital workers were Arab — and I would imagine that was the scene in the other racist societies you mention as well.

        Tell us about the Arab doctors you met. Are they permitted to treat Jews?

      • jon s
        August 3, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Colin,
        Sorry, but you’re way off base.
        I was personally operated on (kidney stone) by an Arab doctor, and both my son and my daughter have been treated by Arab doctors , it’s completely normal.
        Incidentally, the General Director of the West Galilee Hospital in Nahariyah is an Arab, Dr. Massad Barhoum.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 4, 2012, 12:30 pm

        “I spent the morning at a Jerusalem hospital. There were Jewish and Arab patients, staff members, and physicians, all mixed up, all stiving together for the better health of whoever was there.

        do jews have to get a permit to go to the hospital? if they did, what if it was life threatening and they couldn’t get a permit? what if you are in the WB or gaza, and needed to be treated at the hospital?

        http://electronicintifada.net/content/how-israels-siege-gaza-killed-my-sister/11550

        The operation was described as “simple” by doctors, yet some of the equipment needed for it was not available in Gaza hospitals. She applied to get a permit to travel to Jerusalem to have it there, but she was denied entry under the pretext of her being a security threat to Israel. My 26-year-old sister was a security threat to Israel. A security threat.

        It took her almost a week to learn that she was denied entry. Poison started to spread in her body through the veins. ……I talked to her a day before I sat my information technology exam. Her voice sounded like that of someone talking from a deep hole.

        It was too late. My eldest sister passed away days later

        all stiving together for the better health of whoever was there

        how many jews are denied access to those hospitals winnica? how many die for lack of permits to those hospitals?

      • Blake
        August 5, 2012, 1:14 pm

        jons: My description is unbalanced? Just quoted what actual Palestinians said actually:

        And why are they segregated at all? That’s apartheid.

      • Roya
        August 5, 2012, 11:13 pm

        Jon s, please do not pull a Mark Regev on us ever again.

        I live in Beer Sheva and every day I see Jews and Palestinians living together: at the malls, university, hospital, supermarkets and so forth. There’s no segregation.

        One little subjective anecdote is supposed to compel us to shed reality? Polls paint a very different picture, particularly when it comes to “living together.” From Haaretz:

        Sixty-eight percent of Israeli Jews would refuse to live in the same apartment building as an Israeli Arab, according to the results of an annual poll released Wednesday by the Center for the Struggle Against Racism.

        The “Index of Racism Towards Arab Palestinian Citizens of the State of Israel,” conducted by Geocartographia, revealed on [sic] 26 percent of Jews in Israel would agree to live with Arab neighbors in the same building.

        Forty-six percent of Jews would refuse to allow an Arab to visit their home while 50 percent would welcome an Arab visitor. Forty-one percent of Jewish support the segregation of Jews and Arabs in places of recreation and 52 percent of such Jews would oppose such a move.

        ….

        “Racism is becoming mainstream. When people talk about transfer or about Arabs as a demographic time-bomb, no one raises their voice against such statements. This is a worrisome phenomenon,” Bachar Ouda, director of the Center for the Struggle Against Racism, said on Tuesday. The report covered the year 2005 and the center will, in the future, present monthly and bi-annual polls.

        ….

        During the course of 2005, 225 racially-motivated incidents directed at Arab citizens were reported to the center or in the media. The center believes that less than 20 percent of attacks or other incidents are ever reported.

        Seventy-five percent of the reports on racist incidents came from institutional sources such as government ministries, government companies or publicly-elected officials.

        The poll further revealed that 63 percent of Jewish Israelis agree with the statement, “Arabs are a security and demographic threat to the state.” Thirty-one percent of Jews did not agree. Agreement with the statement was strongest among Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews and low-income earners.

        Forty percent of Jews believe “the state needs to support the emigration of Arab citizens” and just 52 percent don’t agree with the statement.

        Thirty-four percent also agreed with the statement that “Arab culture is inferior to Israeli culture.” Fifty-seven percent did not agree with the statement.

        Half of Israeli Jews express fear or discomfort when hearing people speaking Arabic. Eighteen percent of Jews said they feel hate when hearing Arabic speakers.

        Responding to the report, Hadash Chairman MK Mohammed Barakeh said racism against Israeli Arabs “is a direct result of official racist and discriminatory policies” dictated by the government.

      • Roya
        August 5, 2012, 11:26 pm

        As someone who is often in Israel and also the West Bank…

        Looks like we have a settler on our hands.

      • jon s
        August 7, 2012, 2:04 am

        Roya,
        I don’t deny the prevalence of racist attitudes here. If anything, I think the poll results are probably understated because a certain percentage feels uncomfortable or embarassed with their true feelings, when asked.

        I just pointed out that in Israel itself, not the OT, there is no segregation in the places I mentioned, and certainly the situation in the hospitals is not like in Colin’s imagination.

        That said, I would be interested in seeing the results of a similar poll among Palestinians , other Arabs, Europeans, Chinese, Japanese…
        The struggle against racism is certainly an uphill effort..

        What do you mean “pull a Mark Regev” ? No idea what you’re talking about.

      • Roya
        August 7, 2012, 5:55 pm

        Jon, Mark Regev is Bibi’s official spokesman for English-speaking countries. He’s on the news here all the time lying about how awesome and free and moral and normal Israel is, so by “pulling a Mark Regev” I meant, well, lying (or grossly exaggerating) about Israel. He replaced Miri Eisen in 2007, if you know who she is.
        While I haven’t been to Israel and haven’t seen the situation through my own eyes, based on footage, interviews, articles, stories, etc. that I’ve seen and read I find it hard to believe that there is hands-down “no segregation” as you put it. I mean, come on, racism/segregation is written in the laws (would you be allowed to marry a non-Jew if you wanted to?) so how am I supposed to believe that there is “no segregation” in Israel?And of course, racism is ubiquitous and can also be found in Arab, European, Chinese, Japanese, etc. countries, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find such blunt, mainstream racism in most other countries. Does 63% of the rest of the world think that their minorities are “demographic threats”? I would say that instilling racist values in the Jewish population is one of the government’s most invaluable tools in uniting the Jewish population–how else can you unite Chilean, Iraqi, and German Jews if not by telling them they have to fight together against one common enemy that wants to drive them into the sea?
        Even if there are not separate water fountains for Palestinians and Jews, and even if there are not separate lines at the airport for Palestinians and Jews (though I have heard that there are), does the country not divide itself in a de facto fashion? Miko Peled was born in and grew up in Jerusalem, but he did not meet one Palestinian until he moved to California in his 40’s! And you may think that Israel is a normal, unsegregated society but what do Palestinians think? The Al Jazeera documentary that Blake posted shows that not even the Palestinian MK’s see Israel the way you see it. You walk the streets in Beer Sheva with your head held high, knowing that the country belongs to you. But do Palestinians?

      • Roya
        August 8, 2012, 5:04 pm

        Also Jon, according to Wikipedia a 2001 census of Beersheba (or Beer Sheva as you would have it) showed the population to comprise of 98.6% Jews and other non-Arabs, “with no significant Arab population.” So really any claims of “no segregation” are utterly and absolutely foolish, as the city where you live has been ethnically cleansed of Palestinians to the point that segregation is a non-issue.

      • jon s
        August 9, 2012, 1:17 am

        Roya,
        Well, I live here, and you’ve never even visited.
        The everyday reality is not reflected in what you read in wikipedia. A great number of Arabs (who are not necessarily official residents who would show up in the census)are in the city evey day: at the supermarket, the bank, the post office, the hospital, the university, the malls, etc. It’s not like we have segregation or apartheid.

      • ColinWright
        August 1, 2012, 2:06 pm

        “…Millions of tourists travel to Israel every year. Only a tiny (truly tiny) percentage come back with the observations you’d expect them to have. So either they’re all blind, or they’re all hoodwinked, or… the reality isn’t what Mondoweiss says it is…”

        We could apply exactly the same logic to the Third Reich of 1933-1939.

        Lots of people came away from visits favorably impressed by that as well. Ergo, it was actually just great?

      • Winnica
        August 1, 2012, 3:02 pm

        I once wrote a PhD about Nazi Germany. I never came across the fact that “lots of people came away from visits favorably impressed etc.” Any source for that statement, Colin?

        On the other hand, large numbers of gullible Marxist-leaning westerners were indeed convinced in the 1930s that the Soviet Union was a much better country to live in than the US. History knows them as “useful fools”, for the way the Soviets manipulated them. Very few of them however, actually traveled tothe USSR, and even fewer roamed it freely. Some, such as Arthur Koestler, did – and came back to tell the harrowing tale.

      • libra
        August 1, 2012, 7:05 pm

        And there still are a large number of “useful fools” in the US, aren’t there Winneca? Luckily for you, very few visit Israel. Though there used to be one here on Mondoweiss who visited once, about 20 years ago. But whilst he made it sound as wonderful a place as you do, he seemed strangely reluctant to go back again. Perhaps not such a fool after all; at heart a decent man he just didn’t want to ruin his Zionist fantasy.

      • Ellen
        August 1, 2012, 7:23 pm

        Winnica,

        You “once wrote a Phd.”..?? Hmmmmm. That gives credibility to your assertion?

        Charles Lindbergh, for one. The father of George Bush Sr. for another. One could go on and on.

      • ColinWright
        August 1, 2012, 11:14 pm

        “I once wrote a PhD about Nazi Germany. I never came across the fact that “lots of people came away from visits favorably impressed etc.”…Some, such as Arthur Koestler, did – and came back to tell the harrowing tale…”

        And others — such as George Bernard Shaw — went on a guided tour and came back talking about how wonderful it was.

        However, that’s the Soviet Union. I actually should research actual contemporary responses to Nazi Germany in more detail. I can’t support my statement beyond stray comments in Graham Greene and the like — but I suspect the contemporary response to Nazi Germany was more equivocal than we now pretend it was. One has to remember that (a) it appeared to be working, when the rest of the world wasn’t, and that (b) parliamentary democracy appeared to be on the way out, and fascism in various forms on the way in.

      • ColinWright
        August 2, 2012, 2:29 am

        “History knows them as “useful fools”, for the way the Soviets manipulated them. Very few of them however, actually traveled tothe USSR, and even fewer roamed it freely. Some, such as Arthur Koestler, did – and came back to tell the harrowing tale.”

        You can read our own Pamela Olsen’s Fast Times in Palestine. She roamed your Zionist paradise freely — and she came back to tell a harrowing tale as well.

      • Winnica
        August 2, 2012, 3:27 am

        Actually, Colin, I agree. There were, of course, people who went to Nazi Germany in the 1930s wth the intention of seeing what they wanted to see and came back reinforced. And you’re right that seen in the context of the 1930s, such a phenomenon isn’t hard to understand.

        My original point here was different. There weren’t millions of normal tourists in Germany in the 1930s, there for their own reasons and unable to see the reality. There were (relatively) very few such tourists, and I’m not aware that they came back saying how wonderful the place was. There are millions of perfectly normal tourists to Israel every year, the majority of them non-Jews from all the continents. Only a tiny minority of them come back with the impressions of, say, Richard (see lower down on this thread) or Annie, or of course Phil Weiss. Annie says that Israel manages to hide the horrendous reality from those millions. I say that the millions are seeing the reality more accurately than the tiny number of activists who come with their preconceptions firmly wedged in their minds.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2012, 7:10 am

        @ Winnica

        RE: ” There are millions of perfectly normal tourists to Israel every year, the majority of them non-Jews from all the continents. Only a tiny minority of them come back with the impressions of, say, Richard (see lower down on this thread) or Annie, or of course Phil Weiss. Annie says that Israel manages to hide the horrendous reality from those millions. I say that the millions are seeing the reality more accurately than the tiny number of activists who come with their preconceptions firmly wedged in their minds.”

        Read the details in the following two articles:

        “This is the face of normalization. It is not pretty. Israel’s normalization project works so long as Palestinians and their life conditions remain invisible, contained.”
        http://www.socialtextjournal.org/periscope/2012/07/normalized-supremacy-dignifying-resistance.php

        On riding the new tram in Jerusalem: http://northernsong.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/riding-the-apartheid-train/

      • ColinWright
        August 2, 2012, 3:34 pm

        “…My original point here was different. There weren’t millions of normal tourists in Germany in the 1930s, there for their own reasons and unable to see the reality. There were (relatively) very few such tourists, and I’m not aware that they came back saying how wonderful the place was. ..”

        I don’t think so. There were, for example, the Berlin Olympics. That drew quite a few foreign visitors. The Nazis energetically exploited pacifist and internationalist sentiment to set up Franco-German veterans friendship associations and the like — and these groups sponsored exchange visits and seem to have been quite substantial.

        Obviously, international travel back then wasn’t on the scale it is now — but I see no reason to think there wasn’t a substantial flow of visitors to Germany.

      • tree
        August 2, 2012, 10:52 pm

        Do you notice how Winnica has subtlely shifted the burden of proof here? He claims that MW commenters can’t know how it really is in Israel because we haven’t been there (although some of us have) and are only going by what we have read in judging Israel.

        However, he thinks he’s an expert on visitors to Nazi Germany in the thirties and what they thought because he’s read up about it. Reading about Germany of 75 years ago and forming an opinion? Right on! Reading about present day Israel and forming an opinion? Bad, bad, bad. What a joke.

      • Ellen
        August 1, 2012, 7:40 pm

        So they are either all blind…?

        Emily Henochowicz came back home to Maryland half blinded after one of her eyes was shot out by the IDF with a canister.

        Her observations were quite keen and sensitive and she paid for it.

        Oh, btw don’t go on about her participation in a protest, blah blah. One she participated because she saw the abuse of Palistinians, and two, the protest group was Emily, a late middle aged woman, an elderly man and a young boy. Emily — who’s parents are originally from Isreal — must have been a big threat to the security of Israelis.

    • Winnica
      August 1, 2012, 11:44 am

      Violating the Boycott? A violation that could cost him an election? Have I missed something?

  23. chris o
    August 1, 2012, 12:46 am

    The allegation that Obama’s failure to go to Israel is some kind of slight is absurd and preposterous. Of course he can’t go to Israel. What would he go for – to celebrate the failure of the “peace process”? Or to bury it?

    I think of George Mitchell. Well there was a lot of hope that something real would come of it as in Ireland but it wasn’t happening, and didn’t happen, the policy failed. How can Obama go to Israel? As the buffoon who was defied and humiliated and now is supposed to prostrate himself further?

    Israel has the land and they have the power so they aren’t giving up any land. The “peace process” is dead. Obama is not going to announce that.

  24. ColinWright
    August 1, 2012, 4:41 am

    “The allegation that Obama’s failure to go to Israel is some kind of slight is absurd and preposterous… “

    Of course it’s absurd and preposterous. How many sitting US Presidents have visited Israel?

    Looking at a list of countries ranked by population, I see that Israel lies between Honduras and Togo. How many times has Obama visited Honduras, and how many times has he visited Togo?

    • ColinWright
      August 1, 2012, 4:57 am

      Looking at a list of the US presidents we’ve had since Israel was founded, it seems that while in office, Nixon, Carter, and Clinton visited Israel.

      Unless I missed an entry, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Reagan, both Bushes, and Obama did not do so while in office.

      • richb
        August 1, 2012, 10:14 am

        George W. Bush visited Israel and the West Bank. From a review of Rice’s Memoir in the New York Review of Books. Note Rice lived through Jim Crow.

        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/dec/22/rocky-ascent-condoleezza-rice/?pagination=false

        On a presidential visit to Israel in 2008, Bush travels to Bethlehem by car rather than helicopter against the wishes of the Israelis because Rice wants him to see “the ugliness of the occupation, including the checkpoints and the security wall…for himself and [because] it would have been an insult to the Palestinians if he didn’t.” The barriers were taken down, the convoy traveled at speed, but Bush got the point, according to Rice: “‘This is awful,’ he said quietly.”

        Sheldon Adelson deliberately was trying to block Rice’s influence during the Bush Administration. Because of the influence of Adelson’s money Bush listened to Netanyahu rather than his own Secretary of State! (I realize this sounds anachronistic since Olmert was a PM at the time but Adelson is not as much pro-Israel as he is pro-Likud and pro-Bibi.)

        http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/06/30/080630fa_fact_bruck

        Last October, Sheldon Adelson, the gaming multibillionaire, accompanied a group of Republican donors to the White House to meet with George W. Bush. They wanted to talk to the President about Israel. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was organizing a major conference in the United States, in an effort to re-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and her initiative had provoked consternation among many rightward-leaning American Jews and their Christian evangelical allies. Most had seen Bush as a reliable friend of Israel, and one who had not pressured Israel to pursue the peace process. Adelson, who is seventy-four, owns two of Las Vegas’s giant casino resorts, the Venetian and the Palazzo, and is the third-richest person in the United States, according to Forbes. He is fiercely opposed to a two-state solution; and he had contributed so generously to Bush’s reëlection campaign that he qualified as a Bush Pioneer. A short, rotund man, with sparse reddish hair and a pale countenance that colors when he is angered, Adelson protested to Bush that Rice was thinking of her legacy, not the President’s, and that she would ruin him if she continued to pursue this disastrous course. Then, as Adelson later told an acquaintance, Bush put one arm around his shoulder and another around that of his wife, Miriam, who was born in Israel, and said to her, “You tell your Prime Minister that I need to know what’s right for your people—because at the end of the day it’s going to be my policy, not Condi’s. But I can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.” (The White House denies this account.)

        Perhaps this exchange contributed to a growing resolve on Adelson’s part to try to force the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, out of office. Adelson and Olmert had been friendly since the nineteen-nineties, when Olmert was a member of the hard-line Likud Party. Olmert became Prime Minister in January, 2006, following Ariel Sharon’s stroke. He, like Sharon, came to recognize the inexorability of Jewish-Arab demographic trends. Olmert declared that a two-state solution was the only way of preserving Israel as a democratic state with a Jewish majority, and he said that he was ready to negotiate with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. Adelson saw Olmert’s actions as a betrayal of principle. He had long wanted to see the Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu returned as Prime Minister, but a revived peace process gave that goal new urgency.

        Adelson opposed both Olmert and the peace conference, which was held in Annapolis in late November. The Zionist Organization of America, to which Adelson is a major contributor, ran a full-page ad in the Times, headlined, “SECRETARY RICE: DON’T PROMOTE A STATE FOR PALESTINIANS WHILE THEIR 10 COMMANDMENTS PROMOTE TERRORISM AND ISRAEL’S DESTRUCTION.” The “10 Commandments” referred to the constitution of Fatah, Abbas’s party. “Osama Bin-Laden and Hamas would be proud of Abbas’ Fatah Constitution,” the ad stated. Two weeks before the start of the conference, a Washington, D.C., think tank that shares office space and several board members with the Republican Jewish Coalition—another organization to which Adelson makes significant contributions—circulated an article on its Listserve which asserted, “Olmert is now chasing peace with the Palestinians at all costs, in a desperate attempt to secure his place in world history.”

  25. richb
    August 1, 2012, 6:34 pm

    A friend tells me that the Secret Service would clamp down for a president in ways that greatly outstrip the Romney security. I don’t know– why risk it?

    My wife’s cousin is retired Secret Service and ran the Presidential Motor Pool. The security for the presumptive nominee of the opposition party would be the same as the President. One key difference is the President shows up unannounced when going to that part of the World. Still, there was an assassination attempt in Kuwait against George HW Bush in 1993. (Former Presidents also get full security retinues.) The bad blood caused by this contributed to our little adventure in Iraq by his son.

  26. notatall
    August 2, 2012, 8:11 am

    Is it the underlying assumption of this column that Obama cares what Phil thinks? It always amuses me to see liberals like Phil and the people at The Nation offering advice to public officials as if the people they are advising were listening to them.

    • ColinWright
      August 2, 2012, 3:41 pm

      “…It always amuses me to see liberals like Phil and the people at The Nation offering advice to public officials as if the people they are advising were listening to them…”

      Well…actually…

      I think it’s technically against the site rules to tell you this…but Phil is Obama. Our leader runs this site incognito. Check Phil’s posts — not one cutting remark about Obama. What do you want? Fingerprints?

      This site is a sounding board for foreign policy proposals. ‘Phil’ floats his latest ideas, and we vet them. It’s sort of like what Franklin Roosevelt used to do with Eleanor. There are a series of these sites, each covering a different arena of national policy. It’s one of several innovations Obama introduced when he entered the White House. Check the founding date for this site.

  27. piotr
    August 2, 2012, 6:51 pm

    traintosiberia identified correct reason: it is hard to see ANY benefit for Obama in visiting Israel.

    There is a sector of Jewish opinion and opinion makers (machers?) that condemns Obama for insufficient amount of respect paid to Jewish nation and its leader, Netanyahu. Those people have very exacting expectations and there is no way that Obama would satisfy them. While on a trip many things can go wrong, and the expectation for President are higher than for a contender.

    Just imagine Romney being under the scrutiny given to Obama. In Jerusalem Romney attributed inferior economic indicators achieved by Palestinians, compared with Israelis, to “differences in culture”. Innocent enough. THEN Romney wrote an explanation, for everybody to see in NRO, what that “culture” is, and that the top characteristic is “freedom”. Suppose Obama wrote it. Enterprising commentators would conclude that Obama insinuates that Palestinians, unlike Israelis, lack freedom and he attributes the poverty in the territories to the occupation, while nothing could be further from truth! His brainwashing performed by Rashid Khalidi shows up!

  28. piotr
    August 3, 2012, 1:44 am

    “Is it the underlying assumption of this column that Obama cares what Phil thinks?”

    That reminds me the times when I was reading columns of Thomas Friedman, who often dispensed advise, and as the follow-up, dismay that the advise was not followed correctly. For example, he did advise to invade Iraq but “provided that it is done correctly”, and Bush the Lesser, alas, botched the thing by failing to grasp more subtle points of Friedman’s writing.

    Given topic at hand, Obama should visit places that are more important, like Ohio or Florida, and perhaps Virginia as well. If running the country leaves him a few more spare days, I would recommend Canada, where the good natured locals are much easier to please, plus, there are actually many voters with roots in Canada. Israeli are much, much grumpier.

  29. Tal
    August 5, 2012, 7:13 am

    I’m surprised to go over the 193 comments to this post to find out that not one of them mentions the fact that the statistically the USA is a much more dangerous place for US presidents http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_assassination_attempts_and_plots

    Also, the racism and hate towards Obama in the USA, among “Tea party” members and supporters seems to exceed the hate of Israelis.

    So yeah, there’s a chance that a right wing fanatic israeli would assassinate Obama if he came to Israel, but I would say the odds are higher if lets say – he visits one of infamous redneck US states

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