Florida Congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 71 Comments
Democratic Representative Kathy Castor

Democratic Representative Kathy Castor

On July 10, Democratic Representative Kathy Castor of Florida’s Tampa Bay area issued an impassioned plea for the protection of endangered manatee whales. At the same time, she remained conspicuously silent about the brutal beating and ongoing detention of one of her constituents by a foreign government.

Tarek Abu Khdeir, a 15-year-old Palestinian-American high school student from Tampa, was brutally beaten in a videotaped July 3 incident in occupied East Jerusalem by Israeli border police. After being thrown in prison, he is now held under house arrest without charges, unable to receive adequate medical care for the extensive injuries he sustained during the beating. (Video of the alleged beating at the bottom of this article)

Abu Khdeir’s family has beseeched their congressional representative, Castor, to publicly call for his release and immediate return to the United States. Though her staff has met repeatedly with the family, she has said and done nothing of substance to assist them.

Tarek Abu Khdeir following his injuries. (Photo provided and published with consent from the Abu Khdeir family)

Tarek Abu Khdeir following his injuries. (Photo provided and published with consent from the Abu Khdeir family)

“If Tarek [Abu Khdeir] was a Jewish American teen, everybody and their mother would be howling for his release,” Hassan Shibly, chief director of CAIR-Florida and the Abu Khdeir family’s legal representative told me. “What we’re seeing here is a clear double standard.”

While sources close to Abu Khdeir’s family say Castor’s staff has treated the family with respect even as they rebuffed their demands, a distant relative who visited Castor’s field office in Tampa to plead for help said she was “yelled out, intimidated, and insulted” by a staffer.

Despite my repeated requests for an interview, members of Castor’s staff have refused to discuss the case with me.

In a private letter issued to Abu Khdeir’s family, Castor pointedly stated that she had not called for the teen’s release and return to the US. Instead, she assured them that she “requested for Tariq to be provided with the appropriate and needed medical care and for [her] to be kept apprised of any plans of his return to the United States.” In a separate letter to the US consulate in Jerusalem, Castor merely stated that she would “appreciate being kept apprised of any plans for the return of Tariq and his parents to the United States.”

Florida Rep’s Bill Deutsch and Ileana Ros-Lehtenin recently embarked on a junket to Israel where they met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, issued statements of sympathy for the three Jewish Israeli teens kidnapped and killed last month apparently by Palestinian militants, and expressed vehement support for Israel’s ongoing military assault on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Neither lawmaker has said a word on Abu Khdeir’s beating and detention, however.

While Florida Senator Bill Nelson has kept mum over Abu Khdeir, another Florida Democrat, Representative Dennis Ross, sent a letter to a member of the Abu Khdeir family questioning whether Tariq Abu Khdeir was actually innocent. “Though all of the facts surrounding the incident remain somewhat unclear,” Ross wrote, “it is widely reported that Tariq was participating in a protest in Palestine in response to the kidnapping and murder of his cousin, a Palestinian teenager.”

In fact, Abu Khdeir was in Jerusalem for a family wedding and denied any participation in the rioting sparked by the news of his cousin’s murder. “[The police] just kept beating him,” Leen Barghouti, a Georgetown University graduate student from East Jerusalem who witnessed the incident, journalist Alex Kane. “It was pretty much an ambush.”

Barghouti added, “It was really crazy. [Tariq Abu Khdeir] wasn’t anywhere near the main street, that’s the weird part. I know they keep saying he was taking part in the demonstration or clashes, but he wasn’t anywhere near the street.”

In CCTV video footage of the beatingaired on international media outlets and disseminated across the internet, Abu Khdeir appeared prostrate, fully immobilized and restrained as two cops gratuitously kicked and pummeled his head and torso. He told reporters that he was beaten so badly he lost consciousness.

After the beating, Abu Khdeir was jailed in the Russian Compound in central Jerusalem, a detention center where Palestinian suspects are occasionally tortured. There, according to his family, he was badly beaten again.

Through their lobbying of the US Embassy in Israel, family members were able to get Abu Khdeir transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was handcuffed to his bed. “I thought I was dead for a second until I woke up in the hospital,” he told reporters. The teen was then taken back to prison.

Only after the State Department called for an investigation into the incident and his parents posted $877 in bail did the Israeli police release Abu Khdeir to his family in Jerusalem, where he remains under house arrest. He has yet to be formally charged for any crime.

Abu Khdeir had been caught in the maelstrom of rioting sparked by the discovery of the body of his cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old kidnapped and burned alive by young supporters of Israel’s right-wing governing parties. A sadistic revenge attack preceded by the killing of three Israeli teens in the occupied West Bank, the murder followed a tide of inflammatorystatements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government.

As Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip intensifies, leaving over 150 dead and more than 1000 badly wounded — almost entirely civilians, according to the UN — the Abu Khdeir family has kept up the pressure on Castor, Nelson, and the rest of Florida’s congressional delegation. After more than a week without action from their representatives, their patience is running out.

Shibly, the Abu Khdeir family’s legal representative, captured the sense of frustration: “The silence we’re witnessing from Castor and the rest of Congress gives the impression that they care more about Israeli police officers than an American teen.”

This post first appeared in Alternet

About Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

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71 Responses

  1. Jenin Younes
    July 13, 2014, 1:39 pm

    “The silence we’re witnessing from Castor and the rest of Congress gives the impression that they care more about Israeli police officers than an American teen”

    of course. sadly, this is no surprise. Israelis always come first in this country; Americans, particularly those of Arab or Muslim origin, come second.

    • Shingo
      July 13, 2014, 4:35 pm

      Americans, particularly those of Arab or Muslim origin, come second.

      Not unless their plight can be used to demonize Iran or Syria. If this had happened in either one of those countries, the outrage would be all over the media and McCain would be calling for bombing.

  2. unverified__5ilf90kd
    July 13, 2014, 1:57 pm

    I assume Ms Castor is afraid to say anything against Israel in case she upsets her irrational, poorly informed and prejudiced Jewish constituents who will then not give her financial support for the next election. This is the problem that the Jews have created all over the USA. What can we do about it ? This affects every politician in the USA including my own representative Cohen here in Memphis.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      July 13, 2014, 2:37 pm

      Do you really think it was “the Jews” that created the problem and not the Zionists?

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 7:22 pm

        Yes, s/he thinks it is the Jews.

        And posting on a site run by Jews that often quotes the growing number of Jews (who btw are disproportionate in the pro-Paelstinian cause meaning more than 2%) does not matter as a fact or even an irony.

        Nor the fact that Christian America is still solidly Zionist for its own reasons of religion and empire. (Though that is changing too).

      • Djinn
        July 14, 2014, 2:15 am

        Do you spend a lot of time whining at the Israeli government for claiming to be the voice of all Jews as if Jewish people were the Borg? For claiming that they are slaughtering Gazans in the name of all Jews?

        Somehow I suspect you don’t.

      • Mooser
        July 14, 2014, 10:34 am

        “Yes, s/he thinks it is the Jews. “

        Tokyobk, if you aren’t used to people having vast misconceptions about “the Jews” you might want to think about taking up another religion. If you haven’t learned a way to explain some of those misconceptions (like their being such a thing as “the Jews” and instead use them to activate your Ziocaine Syndrome, I could almost wish you would, even tho I think there aren’t enough Jews.

        “Yes, she thinks it is the Jews” What, do you get a prize for identifying a possible hint of anti-Semitism? You’re very lucky, I never did.

      • Citizen
        July 14, 2014, 10:52 am

        @ Mooser
        German Lefty yesterday gave us the latest two world polls on whether or not the masses in each country think Israel is a positive or negative influence on the world. If memory serves, three states’ majority population viewed Israel as a positive influence on world events, USA and two African states. All the rest of the world’s states had a majority who saw Israel as a negative influence on world events. Have I identified a source hinting at anti-Semitism? Or have I identified three countries with the least informed citizens when it comes to anything re Israel?

        If memory serves, Ghana and Kenya.

      • Citizen
        July 14, 2014, 11:03 am

        @ Mooser
        For ignoramuses like me:

        Born on December 10, 1822, in Obertse, Russia, Nikolay Danilevsky became a well-known naturalist and historical philosopher. He believed that a series of civilizations created history. His 1869 book, Russia and Europe, encouraged Russia to establish political absolutism and a cultural identity independent from the West. He died in what is now Tbilisi, Georgia, on November 19, 1885.

      • Eric
        July 13, 2014, 7:40 pm

        The vast majority of American Jews are either Zionists or Zionist sympathizers, and the politicians know it. Until that changes Israel can do whatever the hell it wants to any foreign national, American or otherwise. The American political class wouldn’t even stand up for their own military men (USS Liberty) when ruthlessly attacked by Israel, so they’ve been “bought and paid for” for decades. So you expect them now to stand up for a 15 year old kid of Palestinian heritage? Israel doesn’t allow that, and if these traitorous politicians are good little boys and girls, their Zionist masters will let them get reelected…

      • Stephen Shenfield
        July 14, 2014, 7:38 am

        Eric and “Unverified” and Can of Worms: It is not true that “the vast majority of American Jews” are pro-Zionist. It only LOOKS that way from the outside because Zionist intimidation is so effective.

        But even if it were true it would still be counterproductive to frame the problem in terms of “the Jews” because that is exactly how the Zionists want it to be framed! Those who rail against “the Jews” are providing the Zionists with exactly the kind of “enemy” who suits their purposes, which really means not an enemy at all!

        The same applies to the issue of how Israel is defined. The Zionists want to have Israel seen as the “Jewish state” because that makes it seem a normal phenomenon rather than the product of an ideology that can be contested. That is why anti-Zionists call it a “Zionist state” (or “Zionist entity”).

        Objectively, those who blame “the Jews” are supporting Zionism, even though (except for the Zionist provocateurs who hide among them) that is not their intention. They are helping the Zionists unite Jews under their banner against the threat of “anti-Semitism” and undermining efforts to break up Jewish solidarity.

        Other objections can also be made to the practice of blaming “the Jews” but this is the one that matters most.

      • Mooser
        July 14, 2014, 10:44 am

        ” It only LOOKS that way from the outside because Zionist intimidation is so effective. “

        And besides, what possible outlet or organisation or process serves the Jews who aren’t Zionists, or may even be anti-Zionist.

        Judaism isn’t a monolith, with a hive mind! Those Jews who wanted to put Zionism into action went to it. There was no plebicite.
        Nobody owns the word Jewish, and I doubt anybody even looks out for it. Anybody wants to say anything, from an intercourse position to rye bread is “Jewish”, nobody can stop them. There’s no goddam “imprimatur” in Judaism.

        Instead of looking in the Torah or Talmud for Zionism, why not look at oh, Danilevsky? Might there be a clue there, or in so many of the nationalist and self-determining movements of the 19th and 20th century that may have shaped Zionism? (Bold statement, I better go Google and see if I’m right.)

      • can of worms
        July 14, 2014, 12:27 am

        Stephen Shenfield says: “Do you really think it was “the Jews” that created the problem and not the Zionists?”

        tokyobk says: “Yes, s/he thinks it is the Jews.”

        –> Wait a minute. Is Israel a “Jewish State” or is it a “Zionist State”? Which is it? Which title has the state department been pushing Palestinians to recognize?

        So what is the difference between saying – going back to Stephen Shenfield- “the Jews” created the problem [of political taboos] and not the Zionists? and, “the Zionists” created the problem of political taboos? You can’t have it both ways.

      • Citizen
        July 14, 2014, 11:08 am

        @ can of worms
        No question AIPAC and Israel fog things up intentionally by constant reference to “The Jewish State Of Israel.”

        How many times have you heard “Jewish and democratic state of Israel”?
        The US main media never uses the adjective “Zionist.”

        We all know that AIPAC is the corporation that took over from the Zionist organization, but few Americans know this, nor do they know Bobby Kennedy tried to get the original Zionist organization registered under FAFA, just as they do not know when JFK was killed he was in process of making Israel open to investigation for nuclear weapons arming. Do we need to talk about Truman?

    • American
      July 13, 2014, 2:49 pm

      ” This is the problem that the Jews have created all over the USA. What can we do about it ? This affects every politician in the USA including my own representative Cohen here in Memphis”…..unverified__5ilf90kd says:

      Yes it is. People in US have little problem voicing opinons on all identity or special interest in the black problem or white privilage problem or hispanic imigration problem or liberal or conserative or christian or radical feminist or gays or non gays, or catholic non contraception and blah, blah and so forth.
      But too many are hung up on the taboo of the jewish problem.
      Well, jewish politics on Israel are a problem in the US.
      I reject the claim that that Jews cant be criticized ‘as Jews’ when their politics on some issue ‘is based on ‘ their Jewish identity and for their own Jewish interest.
      On issues other than Israel whatever Jewishness in their own minds they might inject or promote in issues isnt usually material in the issue, but it is on Israel.
      Oppose what you oppose within it by saying or doing whatever you would say or do if it was any other group.
      Thats all you can do.

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 7:35 pm

        Yeah fine but that is not what s/he he said.

        There is of course nothing wrong with describing Jewish America as overwhelmingly Zionist or that Jews give a disproportionate amount of funding to politicians (which in itself I don’t think is a odd thing in our system and neither do other groups such as CAIR who are trying to emulate this strategy to influence US foreign policy).

        The Jews however dod not create the problem of candidates risking angering they paying constituents. In fact elections used to be mostly won by chicken dinners which is a feature of democracy that made its a bad word for our Republican founders.

        The “Hey you meant to say Zionist right, right, right,” I read is a side lipped “hey buddy, you forgot the euphemism”

        In the case of many american Jews, sure the issue is Israel.

        Also, they the Jews do this so what can “we” do about it is a problem. Its the Citizen formula: 98% innocent but slightly stupid and uniformed “goyim” (but real 4th of July burger eating Americans) and 2% wily city slicker cosmopolite dual loyalists with a carpetbag full of cash on the ready. That formula sparks the neuron films inside the head of more than just one sad old man nostalgia for the days when the covenant was as high and thick as Israel’s separation wall, but does not really describe the reality where Jews and Christians in the US are mostly Zionist with a growing dissonance based on the first hand imagery supplied by the internet.

        And let me say because 1) it is so outrageous and 2)so that I don’t have to engage in a long OT conversation about how disagreeing with people at MW or being sensitive to the line between Israel criticism and antisemitism is not in fact Zionism* I find this situation outrageous. Indeed if the is was a little Jewish kid anywhere especially the middle east congress would be on a riot.

      • Daniel Rich
        July 13, 2014, 8:23 pm

        @ tokyobk,

        The common media rendering of the Israeli occupation is the story of a complicated bilateral conflict that fails to capture the reality of the unilateral domination of one people by another.

        According to the Ramallah Bureau of Statistics, since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000 to April 2013, Israel has killed 1,518 children, the equivalent of one Palestinian child every three days for 13 years.

        LINK

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 10:50 pm

        Yes, in the American media Palestinian lives are not as valuable or inherently innocent as Jewish Israeli lives.

        But, I am not sure why you are posting this as a response to me or what I have said?

        Is it that you want me to say that the murder from the skies of innocent Palestinians is an indelible stain on the soul of Israel?

        The slaughter of Palestinian non-combatants is something that has haunted me these last weeks.

        I fell less for willing combatants firing into populated areas and think that innocence is always something armies try to enroll as they roll out the artillery. I mean of course both sides of the conflict which as you point out is highly lopsided.

      • tree
        July 13, 2014, 8:32 pm

        Ah, our hero tokyobk strikes again. Six paragraphs about the horror of a new commenter engaging in a stereotype, followed by a short rote recitation tacked on at the end claiming to be horrified at the problem the commenter has spoken about, albeit in less than enlightened terms. Because the real critical problem is not what horrible things are happening to Palestinians in reality, but what might happen in some alternate reality if TBK doesn’t quash every possible “scent” of anti-semitism.

        Next time, TBK, instead of adding your meaningless little “yes, its terrible” coda to the vast majority of your posts that worry solely about how people here vent their frustration why not just shorten it to “Your mileage may vary (YMMV)” or “Member FDIC”. It will mean just as much, especially since you clearly consider commenting on the actual subject of the article to be “OT”.

        Or on the other hand, you could actually try commenting on the subject of some of these reports, instead of just searching for possible anti-semitic comments, and show that your concern is real and not just a protective afterthought.

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 8:51 pm

        Hi tree:

        I have the issues that are important and interesting to me and others have theirs.

        You can poo poo my genuine feeling as an aside or rote but it does not change what I feel (and more importantly do). PS No comment in a comment section is really much of an effort towards anything, you realise that right? I know I do as much or more than most five hour per day people here on this issue, especially the player hater nationalists. I am talking in real life not internet fantasy life.

        And no, i disagree. Measuring the antisemitism line is important and it was specifically bright up here.

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 8:56 pm

        Tree – what is happening to Palestinians is far worse and far more important than anyone’s feelings, Jewish or otherwise. I have said such things many times. Nothing I have ever said should make you infer I think otherwise.

        I still get to comment on what I want to comment on and I still think the anti-semitism line is an interesting and relavent discussion. And, as I said, it was brought up here. The statement was not a slip it is the real feelings of some of the people in this conversation though you are right s/he has not learned the code yet.

      • Newclench
        July 13, 2014, 9:40 pm

        Tree is the tone policeman who must shame all other tone policemen. It’s 100% hypocrisy.
        “how dare you object to a nuance that I find perfectly reasonable!”

      • tree
        July 13, 2014, 9:47 pm

        I have said such things many times. Nothing I have ever said should make you infer I think otherwise.

        The majority of your posts indicate that your primary concern here is sniffing out perceived anti-semitism. Just as your first question to Phil when you invited him to your club was about the possibility of anti-semites latching onto the truth that Phil courageously posted about Israel. Yes, you have issues that are important and interesting to you and its obvious from your comments exactly what they are, and what gets boilerplate instead.

        PS No comment in a comment section is really much of an effort towards anything, you realise that right?

        I understand that but then why the “sniff” crusade on your part? Especially when you say nothing when other commenters post vile stereotypes about Palestinians, or when you yourself imply some sort of conspiratorial “code” among non-Jewish commenters. Isn’t that exactly the same sort of negative trope you are flourishing yourself?

        And then there are the ZIonist commenters here who insist that Zionism is the only natural and acceptable ideology for a “true” Jew. I’ve never seen you dispute their use of stereotypes. Why is that?

        Part of the problem with our Congressional Representatives is a monetary one, but the other part of the problem is that too many in the organized Jewish community are too willing to call “anti-semite” for an elected leader who would defend or help a Palestinian American boy against an Israeli Jewish system of justice that frankly stinks to high-heaven of ugly bigotry. And such an accusation is very difficult to defend against given the current state of the average American’s knowledge of what really goes on there. Unfortunately, the reality is that too many American Jews are overly concerned about what is said about Israel or their support for it and utterly unconcerned with what Israel really stands for.

        The commenter didn’t know the difference between the majority of the organized Jewish community and “the Jews” which implies all Jews and is wrong, even though several in that same organized Jewish community try to imply that in fact what they say speaks for all Jews, or all who count and aren’t “self-hating”. Its not a case of knowing “the code”, its of understanding the reality and not the stereotype, which sadly, many in that same organized Jewish community make easy to fall into.

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 10:36 pm

        Tree — I do distinguish what is interesting to me (and what I don’t see others here commenting about) and what the priorities in the conflict are.

        The second and most important priorities are:

        Peace, security and equality for all people River to Sea, which special emphasis on removing all apartheid and Jim Crow like legal and social barriers to the liberty of Palestinians in Israel and the OT. And, resolving the Gaza situation in a way where all governments are responsible for protecting all people in the region.

        My intellectual interest I freely admit is where to fairly draw the line between criticism of Israel and antisemitism and trying to discern what influence anti-semtism has on this conversation. In this -conversation- the issue I go back to continuously is important.

        I will let you in on something, Tree, though I expect you not to believe me. Phil and Adam and Scott are making a huge mistake, which I have told Phil about without expecting him to believe me or of course to change his mind. Phil’s FB page, as I have told him, is often a screed from the Protocols. He does his cause a disservice.

        Allowing the dissemination on his site of the drivel: 98% innocent Americans 2% interloping Jews (not real Americans) is a huge and costly mistake. It costs him money and influence that he otherwise would have access to. The people bowdlerizing anti-Jewish racism here and elsewhere are actually not his friends nor, imo friends of human rights in historic Palestine. The more American Jews are convinced to see this struggle in rights terms not tribal terms, the happier the resolution will be. One of the several things I like about Ali Abuminah is that he has painted this line brightly.

        That, Tree, really is my agenda whether you believe me or not.

      • American
        July 13, 2014, 10:43 pm

        @ tokyobk

        Let me give you a tip also about theses two statements:

        “”Measuring the antisemitism line is important and it was specifically bright up here.”
        And
        ” The statement was not a slip it is the real feelings of some of the people in this conversation though you are right s/he has not learned the code yet.’

        First, while you are measuring anti semitism a lot of gentiles are measuring the ingraditude and slurs and blame heaped on our country (and us) by many Jews.

        Such as this one..and we see this type of thing constantly….

        ” MJ (Mike) Rosenberg@MJayRosenberg · 51m If u ever wondered how US could turn away Jewish children in 1930’s,condemning them 2 death,look at how we are treating #ImmigrantChildren”

        Second, there should be no “code”, I dont talk in code and there is no reason for people to have to except that they have been slurred and propagandized into thinking they have to use ‘code’ or be accused of Jew hatred if they criticize anything Jewish connected.

      • tree
        July 14, 2014, 12:43 pm

        Phil and Adam and Scott are making a huge mistake, which I have told Phil about without expecting him to believe me or of course to change his mind.

        I totally understand that, and that is the point that I am criticizing. I think it is you and others like you are making a huge mistake. I see the primary problem as bigotry directed at Palestinians and Arabs (and Muslims). Its a big problem within the organized Jewish community and within the greater US community as well. To a very great extent this kind of bigotry is the deadly kind, excusing and even calling for death and destruction based on ethnicity, as well as supporting (monetarily and politically) a militarily strong country that is committing grievous acts against human beings simply because of their ethnicity . Focusing instead on the smaller problem of spoken stereotypes, which is the majority of what is claimed to be some form of Jew hatred when it is not, is a diversion that allows the majority of the organized Jewish community(MOJC) to ignore the log in its own eye, so to speak.

        Its gatekeeping, and its a co-dependent type of relationship to Israel, insisting that the abuser will get better on its own if everyone would stop criticizing it and stop criticizing the co-dependent, which in this instance is the majority of the American organized Jewish community. Yes, some of the criticism is unfair and based on stereotypes, but its a stereotype that the MOJC encourages and indulges in itself. Phil and Adam and the rest are doing something brave and right in their reporting and in hosting this website. For decades the response of the MOJC to the Israeli abuse of Palestinians has been to shun and silence any critic within their ranks and to seek to present a united front in complete support of the abuser, and this only further ingrained and encouraged the abuse. Part of this stems from a profound bigotry on the part of the MOJC that firmly believes that “Jews don’t do that” (assumed Jewish moral superiority), and part of it stems from a similar bigotry that thinks that if anyone within their ranks criticizes Israel, that the greater non-Jewish community will blame all Jews for the actions of Israel (assumed non-Jewish moral inferiority). And so they deny the truth, even when they know it is the truth, but rather than saving the Jewish community they put it in more danger by actually making the community complicit in the actions of Israel, rather than a community that is standing up for justice and equality.

        The MOJC needs more introspection about its own activities and the violent and abusive consequences of its activities in support of Israel, not a hunt to find some spoken stereotype on a website to rationalize their own bigotry. Its a diversion, proven by the fact that they define anti-semitism so broadly as to make it meaningless in their need to justify the unjustifiable.

        I’m sure your feelings on the plight of the Palestinians are sincere, but I think that some of your activities in this regard are counterproductive and not where your energies could best be used to stop the “incremental genocide”, as Ilan Pappe put it recently. I understand that you disagree but want you to know how I view what you are doing here. I’m probably not explaining this to the best of my abilities at the moment because of my anger and frustration that we are focusing on someone on a website making a stereotypical generalization about a real problem within the US while hundreds of people are being slaughtered and having their homes destroyed, yet again. This seems sadly typical of approved discourse in the US. and that is not what is going to stop this ongoing horror.

      • Citizen
        July 13, 2014, 8:35 pm

        @ tokyobk

        “Indeed if the is was a little Jewish kid anywhere especially the middle east congress would be on a riot.”

        Well, at least you got that right at your end. Nobody at MW would disagree with you. Otherwise, are you drunk?

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 10:43 pm

        Not yet, though I do have a nice small batch bourbon ready to go into my sake flask.

      • American
        July 13, 2014, 10:12 pm

        tokyobk says:…

        ” Also, they the Jews do this so what can “we” do about it is a problem. Its the Citizen formula: 98% innocent but slightly stupid and uniformed “goyim” (but real 4th of July burger eating Americans) and 2% wily city slicker cosmopolite dual loyalists with a carpetbag full of cash on the ready. That formula sparks the neuron films inside the head of more than just one sad old man nostalgia for the days when the covenant ……”

        I think you are hyping the ‘what do we do about it ‘ question up more than it needs to be hyped up. And framing it as gentile americans vr jews —which in a way it is of course—- but not in the old- timey scary ‘goys against the joooos ‘ way you make it sound like.
        But as for the actual question of what to do about it among those of us who arent jewish and or zionist and see ‘jewish politics on israel’ as bad for the country all we can do is what I advised.
        What actually should happen is Jews for Israel, lite or uber variety, should listen to what gentiles are saying and trying to tell them about ‘why’ they oppose the US-Isr scheme . And from that Jews should be able to understand the opposition. And that, even though it is fact opposing Jews and Jewish groups—– has nothing to do with actual anti semitism—it is ‘politically’ motivated. It about having any ethnic segment of the US population–particularly one attached to a foreign country –calling the
        shots for the ‘entire nation’ on our policy toward said foreign country.

        The Jews that dont accept this as a legitimate complaint and concern by non jewish citizens are the ones that have been lulled into believing that
        they are owed this special right or entitlement to have their ‘homeland supported or catered to ‘by all countries and all its citizens’ due to their historical victimhood.
        They need to hear the non Jews reasons for opposing this.
        But not many are willing to do that which imo is their mistake.

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 10:40 pm

        I am not hyping that. It is what he said and meant because its how he thinks. And its a problem for this part of the conversation. If I am the only semi regular commenter who brings it up that is probably because many pro-Palestinian rights Jews are not really that attached to Judaism or the Jewish community whereas I am.

      • tokyobk
        July 13, 2014, 10:55 pm

        The goys against the Jews features among Zionists and anti-Zionists, among the latter spoken both in literal terms (we believe it) and as projected onto the imagined Elders (thats what they really think about us).

      • Mooser
        July 14, 2014, 11:39 am

        ‘is based on ‘ their Jewish identity and for their own Jewish interest.”

        Excuse me, but I am an American who is Jewish. Could you explain to me (outside of the possible humanitarian interest) how anything about Israel is good for my “own Jewish interest”?
        Sorry, but the brutal truth is, unless they could have worked out the Zionist project in a much more exemplary and mutual and democratic manner, they don’t do squat for me.

      • American
        July 14, 2014, 12:40 pm

        Mooser says:

        July 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

        ‘is based on ‘ their Jewish identity and for their own Jewish interest.”

        Excuse me, but I am an American who is Jewish. Could you explain to me (outside of the possible humanitarian interest) how anything about Israel is good for my “own Jewish interest”?
        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        Obviously some Jews think it is in their interest to support Israel.
        The dumb ones.

    • can of worms
      July 13, 2014, 5:13 pm

      “What can we do about it ?”
      One of the main pillars upholding the whole ‘jewish state’ project is the system of dual citizenship here, and automatic citizenship there.

      • Citizen
        July 13, 2014, 8:38 pm

        Early critics of Zionism pointed at the problem of dual citizenship. Even proponents of Balfour Declaration scurried to say in print the full citizenship rights of diaspora Jews would not be impacted. The problem has not really gone away, has it?

      • can of worms
        July 14, 2014, 12:08 am

        Dual citizenship is undermining sovereignty as well as of human rights.

        1. Sovereignty. It is a problem of national sovereignty when unelected (appointed) positions in the security, intelligence and judicial branches of US government are filled by dual citizens of any country (not to say an apartheid one that is desperate to hang on to its unsustainable system of separation).

        2. Human rights, because it is a problem when the ‘Jewish State’ allows right of return (citizenship and special economic benefit packages) to Jews while maintaining non-Jewish Palestinians either stateless (bare life) or with 2nd-degree citizenship.

        3. The combination of these two is one of the main pillars of the jewish state.

      • Djinn
        July 14, 2014, 1:30 am

        No it isn’t. Plenty of hardcore Zionists have no dual passport. Plenty of dual passport holders have no love whatsoever for the Zionist state.

        Israel would have a discriminatory attitude toward emigration regardless of the number of dual passport holders in government.

        People supporting colonisation is a problem not what is stamped on their papers.

      • can of worms
        July 14, 2014, 1:53 am

        Djinn says: “People supporting colonisation is a problem not what is stamped on their papers.”

        No, it is a question of legal structure. Surely it is a question of national sovereignty when dual citizens (not to say dual citizens of a country violating a host of international laws) can be appointed to positions such as the head of Homeland Security; or the chairperson of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board; or Deputy Defense Secretary; or Under Secretary of Defense and Policy Advisor at the Pentagon; or Assistant Attorney General at the Justice Department; or elected as members of the National Security Study Group of the Department of Defense; or are sitting on the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board; or are appointed the Pentagon Comptroller.

      • Citizen
        July 14, 2014, 3:58 am

        Anybody notice if tokyobk comments whenever spokes people for Israel demand that Palestinians recognize “the Jewish State of Israel”?

        And what does that mean if not what said state does and does not do?
        And what does it mean to note who supports said state’s activities and slumber?

        Simply by observing, does one rip a screed from the Protocols?

    • belewlaw
      July 13, 2014, 6:11 pm

      Actually, I think Cohen is better than most. He’s been helpful and responsive on some important issues relating to Muslim charities.

    • Pat Nguyen
      July 13, 2014, 6:49 pm

      You may be on to something.
      But given that American Jews disproportionally things in the public shower such as hospitals, universities, the arts etc, how do we wuss that out with the problem in America that Jews cause?
      And what about Jews that you may approve of such as Mr. Blumenthal, Mr Weiss and members of the JVP? Do we allow those. Jews to keep their democratic rights?
      Let me know

      • Mooser
        July 14, 2014, 11:44 am

        “You may be on to something.”

        Gosh, I’d sure like to know how you ended up with the name “Pat Nguyen” and there is a writer here at MW named “Phan Nguyen”

        That’s interesting.

    • Basilio
      July 13, 2014, 9:43 pm

      Jews account for 10% of Florida’s population and in certain areas the percentage is, obviously, a lot higher. And many of the Jews in Florida, let’s face it, don’t care if he is a minor. If Israel claims that he was in a protest, then the IDF could have killed the youth by beating him for all they care. That’s the reality. And she needs the money to be elected. She’s not going to potentially sacrifice her career for the young lad.

  3. oldgeezer
    July 13, 2014, 2:27 pm

    Wow. This is so sick. There is no proof that he participated in the demonstrations or riots. But even if he did. Even if he threw molotov cocktails. It’s a non issue. He is a kid. He was subdued and then brutally beaten and stomped. There is no excuse for that. Nothing justified what those police officers did to him. Nothing. If he participated then they could have charged him after they subdued him. And sentenced to house arrest and fined without a charge being laid? What kind of tinpot justice system do they have.

  4. lysias
    July 13, 2014, 2:31 pm

    There is something wrong with the system of electing representatives. The people elected become professional politicians, who subordinate everything else, including morality, to their being re-elected.

    We need to adopt the ancient Athenian system of choosing representatives by lot, like for our juries. The fact that the system lasted for centuries in Athens shows that it nee not result in immediate disaster.

    And the Athenian system favored the rich about as little as any political system has. They had to pay what amounted to a very heavy property tax (liturgies). Power was in the hands of average citizens.

    • Jenin Younes
      July 13, 2014, 6:42 pm

      it’s an interesting idea but sort of scares me. I know all sorts of people that I am very glad have no chance of becoming politicians, but would under the system you suggest. I think one major problem in our country is lack of education (which seems to be getting worse). In many European countries, representative democracies work just fine where the populace is sufficiently educated. I am particularly familiar with Switzerland because my long-time boyfriend is Swiss, but it seems to work well in the Scandinavian countries, France, Germany, etc. Not that they don’t have problems, but I don’t see the sort of catering to special interest groups and powerful lobbies at play here. From my experience in Switzerland, it’s because the average citizen is simply far too educated to fall for it. Likewise, I think the Israel lobby can get away with a lot here because the average American is too uneducated about the subject to have any idea what is really going on, and sides with Israel for various reasons stemming fro lack of knowledge. So while I am not suggesting the situation is so simplistic it can be boiled down to one single problem, the education system in this country is surely one of the major hindrances

    • Citizen
      July 13, 2014, 8:41 pm

      @ lysias
      Who gets to assert preemptory challenges to the prospective jurors in your suggested system? (I agree nearly anything is better than the current bribery system masked as a campaign finance system).

      • lysias
        July 14, 2014, 12:44 pm

        In the Athenian system, prospective officials and representatives could be disqualified if they had been guilty of certain kinds of misconduct (e.g., failure to support their parents, former employment as a prostitute).

        But I’m not sure that an adoption of this system for the U.S. should allow any kind of disqualification at all. Remember that any objectionable representative will be outweighted by the large number of other representatives. Plus, the beauty of the system is that it would proportionally represent every segment of the population. Allowing any kind of person to be disqualified would make the results less representative. (E.g., remember the disproportionate effect of disqualifying felons on American blacks.)

  5. Kay24
    July 13, 2014, 3:13 pm

    This is not surprising, yet when you read this article it is shocking that these prostitutes (definition: a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money.) for Israel, who we vote for, cannot stand up for one of their own constituents. Ros-Letinen may take those junket trips to keep Israel feel her love, but she does her own nation a disservice, by working hard more for her first love, Israel, than the US. If you look at the list of AIPAC contributions, those who get more, prostitute for Israel more faithfully.
    link to maplight.org
    Shame on Castor for being indifferent to the needs of one of her constituents. I agree that if this was a Jewish American kid, and this happened in a Muslim country, she would be howling for justice, like all the others, including the media.

    • bilal a
      July 13, 2014, 3:31 pm

      ‘One Dollar One Vote’ in a Globalized economy is rule by the transnationals– institutional and individual .

      and they say this dystopia is the end of history.

      • Citizen
        July 13, 2014, 8:45 pm

        @ bilal a
        Sheldon Adelson gives a tad more than a dollar for his votes.

    • American
      July 13, 2014, 11:09 pm

      The Israel and Jewish fetish ( donkeying for jewish political money) becomes more absurd every day.
      No such ‘reward’ was proposed for the US Palestine kid who was assaulted.

      link to jta.org

      U.S. bill would offer $5M reward for capture of Fraenkel’s murderers
      July 11, 2014 6:43am

      WASHINGTON (JTA) – Legislation introduced in Congress would post a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Naftali Fraenkel, the Israeli-American teen abducted with two others and murdered last month in the West Bank.
      Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Co.) authored the legislation concerning Fraenkel, who was abducted on June 12 along with Israelis Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar. Their bodies were found June 30.
      Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) co-sponsored the legislation in the House.
      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Hamas is behind the kidnappings and killings, which were an element leading to the bombing campaign Israel launched this week against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
      “The Israeli government’s recent action against Hamas is a just and appropriate mission to both bring the terrorists responsible to justice, and to degrade their capability to launch further attacks,” Cruz said. “No one doubts Israel’s ability to carry out this mission, but given Naftali’s citizenship, I believe the United States should demonstrate our clear support for Israel by offering a reward as we traditionally have in terrorist attacks involving Americans.”
      The bill would require Secretary of State John Kerry to use the Rewards for Justice program to offer a $5 million dollar reward.”

  6. gapstander
    July 13, 2014, 3:16 pm

    Is anybody but me thinking that Tarek might have been singled out for this attack because he’s American? To push the envelope? As in, “We can beat any Palestinian to a pulp. Let’s see what happens if we beat a Palestinian American to a pulp!” It appears that they got away with it. So who’s next???

  7. Cliff
    July 13, 2014, 3:48 pm

    Arab-Americans are second-class citizens here when it comes to Israel, thanks to the racism and hatred espoused by the organized Jewish community.

  8. Daniel Rich
    July 13, 2014, 5:23 pm

    “Florida Rep’s Bill Deutsch and Ileana Ros-Lehtenin recently embarked on a junket to Israel where they met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, issued statements of sympathy for the three Jewish Israeli teens kidnapped and killed last month apparently by Palestinian militants, and expressed vehement support for Israel’s ongoing military assault on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Neither lawmaker has said a word on Abu Khdeir’s beating and detention, however. ”

    Take Cantor with you and never, ever come back. The Apartheid State Salutes and I despise you. Now, *f* off!

  9. anthonybellchambers
    July 13, 2014, 6:10 pm

    To a European, in London, this total control of your elected congress by an unelected Israel lobby group is completely astonishing! What happened to democracy, the government of the people, by the people and for the people – instead of government for a foreign state?

    You Americans are a strange bunch! Your grandfathers gave their lives in their thousands during WW2 for freedom and democracy and you just throw it away like trash!

    • David Doppler
      July 13, 2014, 7:31 pm

      Provocative comment, ABC. Everyone hates Congress, but nobody does anything about it . . . . yet. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that, in DC, there are several prominent stories of Congresspersons who lost there jobs for crossing Israel, but none – so far – for selling out to Israel. I know many Congresspersons despise being forced to be toadies, being given two alternatives, you’re either with us or you’re against us, but the space does not yet exist for one of them to drive a stake in the ground, say for an investigation into the Liberty, or Rachel Corrie, or this beating of Tarek Khdeir, and a demand that Israel’s representatives be called to account for war crimes on the carpet of some appropriate government office.

      Obama has made Kabuki theater out of his passive-aggressiveness in despising Netanyahu while kissing his ass in public, even while being scolded, earning him Everyman’s contempt. Kerry’s huge investment in the peace process, America’s blaming Israel for the peace melt-down, occasional voices in the MSM distancing themselves from the Israeli right-wing, have all been signs that there might be a change coming. But it isn’t here yet. It could break, at any time, however, as the news continues to loosen up, and as the Israeli right-wing reels from one excess to the next. American politicians believe that there can be no future in challenging Israel, and Israeli politicians believe that there can be no adverse consequences to “mowing the grass,” and other atrocities, and so it escalates.

      But all that could halt in one theatrical episode. “Have you no decency, Mr. Netanyahu? at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

      • American
        July 13, 2014, 11:17 pm

        David Doppler says:

        July 13, 2014 at 7:31 pm

        Provocative comment, ABC. Everyone hates Congress, but nobody does anything about it . . . . yet. ”
        >>>>>>>>>>>

        Well I have suggested _______(not pc) and this_____(frowned on) and this_____( verboten!). But no one seems to want to join me–except maybe the tea party who wants to torch everything any way.
        So I guess we just let the country sink.

      • Citizen
        July 14, 2014, 4:09 am

        @ Mr. Netanyahu, tear down that wall!”

    • Abierno
      July 13, 2014, 8:07 pm

      I whole heatedly agree. Representative Castor, a political legacy whose mother held numerous state political positions and ran an unsuccessful senate campaign, has the political acumen of a gnat. Instead of front running this, stating, ” My constituent needs – immediately – the level of neurological care which is available in Florida ‘s outstanding medical centers and needs it now because of possible deteriorating conditions,” she turned a deaf ear to this twice devastated family. She could have offered to coordinate with the Jerusalem consulate which has had personnel at the families side throughout.
      Removing arrogant, “care not” politicians is not that difficult but it takes political will, ability to meld with groups with conflicting agendas and consistently sounding the drumbeat of ethical, compasionate, constituent-centered politics. This is not the flash in the pan “Occupy” politics but individuals with the political will and savvy to make the rules of the game work for them. Individuals and groups who will not only politically target state representatives and senators but also put on their hip boots and wade into cleaning up the fetid swamps of the state legislatures. If you don’t think this is possible – look at California: Palestinian student groups are running rings around UC regents and chancellors, Stand with Us and all it’s Israeli affiliates and taking this energy into national, state and local politics. Think of Eric Cantor’s defeat as the canary in the coal mine.

    • Citizen
      July 13, 2014, 8:48 pm

      @anthonybellchambers
      Yes, that’s exactly what we did. Fuck Grandpa and Daddy, we love Zionist cash donations!

    • RoHa
      July 13, 2014, 10:16 pm

      Both in Britain and (even more, I think) in Australia the elected MPs are heavily leant on by Israeli lobbies. But at least Britain has Gerald Kaufmann.

    • American
      July 13, 2014, 11:23 pm

      ” You Americans are a strange bunch! Your grandfathers gave their lives in their thousands during WW2 for freedom and democracy and you just throw it away like trash!’ ABC

      Yea its disgusting. I am wondering what its gonna take to piss off my fellow citizens enough to do something.

  10. ckg
    July 13, 2014, 7:22 pm

    The climate towards Arab-Americans isn’t good in south Florida. Check out the comments on this Miami TV station web post about Tarek: link to local10.com Most of the comments are outright hostile. One comment from “Mr Realist” is, I believe, a death threat towards Tarek. Although I complained a long time ago about the apparent death threat, the comment is still visible with 5 likes.

  11. Qualtrough
    July 14, 2014, 1:33 am

    Zionist Playbook 101:

    1. Always identify Israel and Zionism with Judaism. Use them interchangeably as frequently as you can.
    2. Have your leader refer to himself as ‘King of the Jews’ to avoid any confusion.
    3. Viciously smear anyone conflating Jews with Zionists as an anti-semite.
    4. Sit back and enjoy.

    Just take a look at this thread, 50%+ of which (including, alas, my post) are a debate about just this rather than the topic at hand.

  12. Talkback
    July 14, 2014, 9:30 am

    Florida Congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent.

    White trash.

  13. just
    July 14, 2014, 10:05 am

    I like manatees. I like some humans as well. I do not want more innocents to die.

    Thank you Max.

    (where is Netanyahu? in a shelter with Wolf?)

    • a blah chick
      July 14, 2014, 10:21 am

      I can recall an interview he had on CNN during the first Gulf War. He was talking to Bernard Shaw, if memory serves, and then there was an air raid siren. So they put on their gas masks and finished the interview. I wondered at the time did they know how stupid they looked?

  14. Mooser
    July 14, 2014, 10:49 am

    Ah, that have lived to see such an auspicious day for the Jews! Persecuted and suffering for two millinia or so, and now we have emerged into that most privileged of existential sinecures, the ability to have it both ways.
    But I’ve sometimes noted that people who think they can have it both ways often end up getting it, from both ends.

    • Citizen
      July 14, 2014, 11:33 am

      “But I’ve sometimes noted that people who think they can have it both ways often end up getting it, from both ends.”

      Lots of savvy here. I think one would have to be blind not to see Mooser cares about the human race, the whole human race. He was gone for a long time, but I’m glad he’s not given up yet. I’m sure struggling myself.

  15. Citizen
    July 14, 2014, 11:31 am

    In 2010, Castor received $25,000+ directly through AIPAC. Castor is allegedly Presbyterian, however she never has failed to tow the AIPAC/Israeli line.

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