Chris Hedges is blackballed by Penn after likening ISIS to Israel

US Politics
on 55 Comments

Chris Hedges was invited to speak at the University of Pennsylvania. Then he likened Israel to ISIS, and got disinvited. At Truthdig (12/21), he reports this latest scandal:

I had been invited to talk next April 3 at the University of Pennsylvania at a peace conference sponsored by the International Affairs Association, but last week after Truthdig published my column “ISIS—the New Israel” the lecture agency that set up the event received this email from Zachary Michael Belnavis, who is part of the student group:

“We’re sorry to inform you that we don’t think that Chris Hedges would be a suitable fit for our upcoming peace conference. We’re saying this in light of a recent article he’s written in which he compares the organization ISIS to Israel (here’s the article in question). In light of this comparison we don’t believe he would be suitable to a co-existence speaker based on this stance he’s taken.”

Being banned from speaking about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, especially at universities, is familiar to anyone who attempts to challenge the narrative of the Israel lobby. This is not the first time one of my speaking offers has been revoked and it will not be the last. However, the charge of Belnavis and the International Affairs Association that I do not believe in coexistence between the Palestinians and Israel is false. I oppose violence by either party. I have condemned Hamas rocket attacks as war crimes. And I support Israel’s right to exist within the pre-1967 borders.

Here’s a portion of Hedges’s December 15th piece titled “ISIS–the new Israel”:

Its quest for an ethnically pure Sunni state mirrors the quest for a Jewish state eventually carved out of Palestine in 1948. Its tactics are much like those of the Jewish guerrillas who used violence, terrorism, foreign fighters, clandestine arms shipments and foreign money, along with horrific ethnic cleansing and the massacre of hundreds of Arab civilians, to create Israel. Antagonistic ISIS and Israeli states, infected by religious fundamentalism, would be irreconcilable neighbors. This is a recipe for apocalyptic warfare. We provided the ingredients.

Bringing the Debate to YouHedges’s banning is a reminder that none of the rules apply when it comes to Israel. Americans are allowed to mock and satirize any country we like– or even make a movie about assassinating a foreign dictator, and the president will stand up for you against efforts to suppress it– but don’t touch a hair on Israel’s chinny chin chin. So Ari Roth is gone from the theater company he built at the DC Jewish Community Center because he dared to broach the Nakba, and at Penn, an intellectual is blacklisted because of his criticism of Israel’s origins in ethnic cleansing and its constitutional failure to separate church and state– a great American principle. This is McCarthyism, on a broader scale than the original in the ’50s. Today on WNYC radio, Brian Lehrer argued that Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 prediction of the end of history has been proven wrong in recent years by the rise of ISIS and radical Islam, also by Iran’s history since its revolution. All these political conditions are a contradiction of liberal democracy, Lehrer said. Well jeez, if you are going to speak about religious states, why not address the one in your back pocket, Israel, which surely has helped to sow the seeds of apocalyptic nation-building in the Middle East. It’s not just the Israel lobby that effects this silence. It’s western guilt over the Holocaust and the Jewish question in Europe that keeps Israel a sacred cow. Major spiritual damage there. So shouldn’t Penn be hosting Chris Hedges to talk about this kind of thing?

About Philip Weiss

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

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55 Responses

  1. John O
    December 26, 2014, 11:47 am

    “Brian Lehrer argued that Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 prediction of the end of history has been proven wrong in recent years by the rise of ISIS and radical Islam, also by Iran’s history since its revolution.”

    Almost laughed out loud at this. Why did anyone anywhere ever take Fukuyama’s absurd notion seriously?

    • Krauss
      December 26, 2014, 12:11 pm

      Nobody seems to have read his original article anymore, people just get a few-sentences summary which is wildly distorted and cartoonish. I didn’t agree with his thesis when I read it quite some years ago but it was a much more reasoned and nuanced take than the cartoon we’ve shown these days.

      And in any event, as misguided as it was, it was still better than Huntington’s supposed reply which went nowhere. The Middle East is the only place that is more religious today than 20 years ago, and even then most of the energy is directed inwards against other muslims and Arabs write large, a far cry from Huntington’s grand civilisational treatise.

      • Philip Munger
        December 26, 2014, 10:06 pm

        The Middle East is the only place that is more religious today than 20 years ago

        1. The rise of Protestant fundamentalism in Brazil is becoming an important political factor.

        2. There are more Christian fundamentalists among GOP US Representatives and Senators than 20 years ago. The GOP has just taken control of the US Senate, and their House leadership is rife with superstitious fundamentalists.

        3. At the state and local level, Christian fundamentalists show no sign of releasing their grip on school boards, city councils, county and state governments, and so on.

        4. Nigeria, where Christian vs. Muslim violence is rising, is seeing more participation in organized religion.

        5. These just off the top of my head.

        Maybe your argument has less to do with politics than with daily life, but I don’t see it as any sort of a slam dunk.

    • traintosiberia
      December 26, 2014, 1:39 pm

      I will focus on the intellectual dishonesty and moral emptiness of Brian and not on some tautological comment of Fukimya . Will Brian ever come close to admitting that his own hope of the end of the history was dashed way back in 1947 Nov at UN by the history’s main players of that decade?

    • traintosiberia
      December 26, 2014, 4:41 pm

      “political scientist Samuel Huntington, was at least honest in acknowledging that: “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion (to which few members of other civilizations were converted) but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”[1]

      http://www.counterpunch.org/2009/01/13/beyond-grief-and-rage/

      My understanding is that he was the mentor of Fukuyama . Mentor’s view should have put his theory (Islam has bloody borders) to rest. It did not.

    • lysias
      December 26, 2014, 7:10 pm

      Didn’t Iran’s revolution antedate Fukuyama’s prediction by 10 years?

      By the way, why would anyone want history to end?

      • Mooser
        December 30, 2014, 2:59 pm

        “By the way, why would anyone want history to end?”

        Well, I was hoping that would stop my hairline receding.

    • Abu Malia
      December 27, 2014, 9:46 am

      “Almost laughed out loud at this. Why did anyone anywhere ever take Fukuyama’s absurd notion seriously?”

      Me too! Sort of reminds me of the fella who proposed to McKinley in late nineteenth century to shut down the US Patent Office because, u know, everything has been invented already! Mind you, this was decades before Al Gore invented the internet itself.

      Some people say Reagan made the whole thing up!

  2. just
    December 26, 2014, 12:00 pm

    My guess is that Max B. won’t be invited to Penn, either. The hypocrisy continues apace. The good news is that MW and others are here to stay, and Chris Hedges can’t and won’t be silenced. In the old days, a “banning” would effectively cut off debate and information sharing. They are being exposed for what they are now…
    Thanks, Phil.

    I’m going to re-post this in case anyone missed it over the holiday celebrations. It’s the gift that keeps on giving to me, anyway. I shared it with many over the past couple of days with resultant peals of laughter and disbelief. From the Dersh:

    “Nobody should be surprised that the dictatorial ruler of North Korea would want to censor a film that offended him, or even that he would feel entitled to break the law by threatening reprisals against the offenders. His actions emulate those of hard-left feminists, radical Muslims, university administrators, and others who seek to prevent the publication or distribution of material they deem offensive.

    I recall an incident several years ago when radical feminists fired bullets through the windows of a Harvard Square bookstore to protest its sale of Playboy Magazine. I also recall being physically threatened by a group called “Dykes on Bikes” – a feminist motorcycle gang – for providing legal representation of alleged pornographers.

    Then there is radical Islamic censorship that has become far more deadly. When some radical Muslims were offended by Theo Van Gogh’s film “Submission,” which exposed Islam’s demeaning views toward women, Van Gogh was murdered in cold blood and his co-producer’s life threatened by a Fatwa. Salman Rushdie had to go into hiding when a Fatwa was issued against him and his book, “The Satanic Verses.” The Yale University Press, fearful of threats of violence, censored the actual cartoons depicting Mohammed from a book about that subject, following violent reaction to the publication of the cartoons in Scandinavia.

    More recently, radical anti-Israel students tried to get SodaStream products banned from Harvard dining halls, because they were offended by the “micro-aggression” represented by the location of the company’s factory beyond Israel’s Green Line. So instead of simply not drinking the product themselves, they tried to prevent everyone else from drinking it or even seeing its name!

    The National Office of Amnesty International recently rescinded an invitation I had received from the Columbia University branch of the organization because they were offended by some of my views. And several universities, including Brandeis, rescinded offers of honorary degrees from proposed recipients because some students regarded their views as offensive. Other deserving candidates have been passed over for fear of offending some.

    We live in an age in which censoring material that is deemed offensive by some is becoming widely accepted, especially among young people on the left.

    There are, of course, major differences between using criminal means (violence, hacking, threats) and using arguably lawful means (speech codes, rescinding invitations) to achieve the censorship of offending material, but the results may be similar: self-censorship.

    In my book “Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law,” published last year, I predicted that “self-censorship that results from fear of violent responses” will give “those who threaten violence an effective veto over what can be published in the United States.” Unfortunately, events since I wrote those words have confirmed their accuracy.

    So why are we surprised when a foreign dictator tries to achieve what mainstream Americans – and indeed mainstream leftists around the globe – are trying to achieve: namely the “right” to be free from being offended.

    This alleged “right” is, of course, in direct conflict with the most basic of rights in any democracy: the right to express views deemed offensive by some, and the corollary right to hear or see such views.

    So if we really want any right to delegitimize what the North Korean dictator is ostensibly trying to do to us, we should begin at home: by delegitimizing the efforts of our own citizens to censor material that they find offensive.

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.633631

    Soldier on, Mr. Hedges~ lots of us have your back!

    • W.Jones
      December 26, 2014, 12:11 pm

      FWIW, Max B. was invited to Penn previously to talk on IP, which he did, and the invitation came from Prof. Ian Lustick. I think the talk was posted here on MW.

      • just
        December 26, 2014, 2:50 pm

        Thanks for that~ that talk was in October 2013, before the latest massacre, and before he and Rania Khalek (iirc) launched JSIL….

      • alen
        December 28, 2014, 5:36 pm

        I think I saw the video a few months ago. I am not sure if I remember right, but Max B graduated from Penn. It was also a success with BDS. So it is not hopeless for the institution.

        Speaking of Max B, he always regards Israel as JSIL.

        I must disagree with you Just, in this case. It is not censorship of dictator’s or foreigners, they exist of course, but are largely irrelevant here. The real censorship comes from a very limiting financial media system, which the internet so far circumvents for the most part.

        As for the North Korean debacle, I won’t defend that cultish regime, but neither will I pretend I believe what Sony and the State department tell us. Especially when every article I read that alleges North Korea took part in the hacking simply allege a rumour and have had no direct quotes or official statements. The only official statement I can see is North Korea denying the hacking and accusing the US government and Sony for lying about it to gain political points. Where have we seen this before?

        Considering North Korea has a poor internet infrastructure and only a few nodes that are bottle necked through China, this is really unlikely for so many reasons. In addition, the hack itself was just a few extremely embarrassing Sony executive emails. Hardly an internet shut down. Sony is simply covering their ass.

        I have to disagree with you on other points as well. The problem is not people “being offended” and therefore censoring, the problem is the media portrayal of such issues. There are a few bizarre cases, but when one delves deeper in each case, there can be a much better and deeper understanding. A good case is the Denmark cartoons. The very newspaper (a right wing Christian newspaper) complained bitterly about a cartoon of Jesus. When they published the cartoon of Muhammad, there were several invitations for the newspaper to debate the issue with Muslims, who did not want to censor the cartoons, but certainly wanted a dialogue. Instead, the newspaper refused and printed derogatory statements. Like Malcolm X stated once “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

      • Annie Robbins
        December 29, 2014, 12:26 am

        They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses

        speaking of this latest NK debacle. did anyone notice the timing…the cyber security bill just passed.

        https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s1353

        S. 1353: Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014

        Introduced:
        Jul 24, 2013 (113th Congress, 2013–2015)
        Status:
        Enacted — Signed by the President on Dec 18, 2014
        Law:
        This bill became the law numbered Pub.L. 113-274.

        http://gantdaily.com/2014/12/18/sony-hack-renews-cybersecurity-push-for-zombie-bill/

        Sony hack renews cybersecurity push for ‘zombie bill’

        Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2014 by CNN in Election
        White House Economic Council Director Jeff Zients pointed fingers at Congress on Thursday for not acting fast enough on cybersecurity legislation, in the wake of news that North Korea was behind the Sony Entertainment cyberattack.

        “We’re doing what we can within the executive authorities of the President to do what we can across the federal government — both protect the federal government assets and to work with the private sector — but in order to take this to the next level we need legislation,” he said at a Politico breakfast.

        The Sony hack attack has breathed new life into controversial legislation often called the “zombie bill” by opponents because of its failure to launch. The proposed cybersecurity bill is intended to help companies and the government work together to thwart hackers through increased data sharing.

        Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said the November attack has increased urgency for the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which failed to make it to the Senate floor in July, despite winning bipartisan committee support. Feinstein, who remains the committee’s top Democrat when the new Republican majority takes control in January, plans to reintroduce the measure.

        “We must pass an information sharing bill as quickly as possible next year,” she said in a statement this week.

        Privacy advocates have opposed the legislation — and it’s House companion — at every turn, since it was first introduced in 2012. They argue the bill’s broad language could breach the public’s privacy and civil liberties.

        “Privacy advocates will be there to steadfastly oppose any privacy and invasive information sharing bills,” said Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst at Electronic Frontier Foundation.

        Every time there is a massive public security breach, the legislation gets a new lease on life, he said, but added there are already measures in place that foster information sharing between the private sector and the government……

        the media is not the only entity with “the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent”. but when the gov and the media work hand in hand, we’re really screwed.

    • Krauss
      December 26, 2014, 12:13 pm

      Good comment. And as for Mr. Blumenthal and Penn, it would be ironic, for two reasons.

      First, he is an alumni of the institution. And second, Amy Gutman(A Zionist and a fervent one) is a classic PEP liberal. She laid down in a recent die-in over protests on the Gardner case. But she still defends Jewish supremacists do the same every single day so long as it is done over across the ocean, in a place where Jews rule.

      The whole PEP syndrome is really fascinating on so many levels.

      • Mooser
        December 27, 2014, 1:12 pm

        Many researchers believe abuse of PEP pilpuls can lead to a full-fledged Ziocaine Syndrome.

      • alen
        December 28, 2014, 5:52 pm

        I am still trying to unravel their pretzel like mental gymnastics they perform to be PEP. My theory is they are self hating Jews that can’t feel any confidence unless they are part of some violent tribal system (or state). I am not kidding about this, Zionists seem to try a bit too hard to establish “how Jewish” they are.

      • Mooser
        December 29, 2014, 10:45 am

        “Zionists seem to try a bit too hard to establish “how Jewish” they are.”

        I’ve heard they use a plastic surgeon to ‘fix’ their noses, so nobody knows they might not be Jewish. What a crazy world, huh?

  3. John Douglas
    December 26, 2014, 12:17 pm

    It’s never correct to object to a mere comparison of one thing to another (“Are you comparing Jesus to Hitler!”). Any two things will have differences otherwise they would be one thing. But any two things (the Pythagorean theorem and the Mississippi River) will have similarities (an infinite number actually), both were discovered more than two years ago, for example. So yes, Israel and ISIS can be compared, they both have killed Arabs and both have women members and both (as Hedges writes) are driven by fundamentalist religious convictions. And yes, Hitler and Jesus were similar, they both were human and both had followers.

    • lysias
      December 26, 2014, 7:19 pm

      The rather famous piece of Nazi iconography (Am Anfang war das Wort [“In the beginning was the Word”] implicitly compares Hitler’s preaching to his followers to Jesus’s. https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A0LEVjpe.p1U9agAWe8PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?p=h.o.+hoyer+paintings&back=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Dh.o.%2Bhoyer%2Bpaintings%26hsimp%3Dyhs-001%26hspart%3Dmozilla%26ei%3DUTF-8&w=1019&h=739&imgurl=images-00.delcampe-static.net%2Fimg_large%2Fauction%2F000%2F119%2F728%2F517_001.jpg&size=146KB&name=517_001.jpg&rcurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.delcampe.net%2Fpage%2Fitem%2Fid%2C119728517%2Cvar%2CH-O-Hoyer-Oberstdorf-am-Anfang-war-das-Wort-Kunst-AK-Adolf-Hitler-ungelaufen%2Clanguage%2CG.html&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.delcampe.net%2Fpage%2Fitem%2Fid%2C119728517%2Cvar%2CH-O-Hoyer-Oberstdorf-am-Anfang-war-das-Wort-Kunst-AK-Adolf-Hitler-ungelaufen%2Clanguage%2CG.html&type=&no=2&tt=119&oid=2edeef542091ec1f031fea2643c7d1ca&tit=Hoyer-Oberstdorf%2C+am+Anfang+war+das+Wort%2C+Kunst-AK%2C+Adolf+Hitler+…&sigr=14f0phr28&sigi=127big84k&sign=10blks78a&sigt=103d1h5lg&sigb=130emhiar&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

  4. Mooser
    December 26, 2014, 12:53 pm

    “Brian Lehrer argued that Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 prediction of the end of history has been proven wrong in recent years by the rise of…”

    The sun on each new day? Didn’t count on that, did you Francis?

  5. Boomer
    December 26, 2014, 3:10 pm

    “don’t touch a hair on Israel’s chinny chin chin” should be “speak the truth”

  6. Citizen
    December 26, 2014, 4:03 pm

    I suggest those having ambiguity here go to YouTube and watch George Carlin’s videos on the religious folks, and the negative contribution of them:

  7. traintosiberia
    December 26, 2014, 4:56 pm

    Freedom of expression is now defined by the same organized public figures and allowed into the public spaces by the same interconnected ideologically similar band of people or group of experts who will express bombastic sadness and improvise impromptu outrages at the behaviors of Sony ( entirely a piece of marketing ? ) and showcase dumb racial portrayal of Islam by Harris and Maher as intellectual activity but will not allow any venture into the arena forbidden by the Zionist or by the warmongers . They will sew the national security and cultural experiences together and claim that both are coming under threat from NK and from Sharia while the mounting dangers and anger to America from wars or from support for Israel are not even allowed any discussion .

  8. lysias
    December 26, 2014, 7:08 pm

    A major part of the reason that Western publics were slow to be willing to go to war against Nazism was guilt over the Treaty of Versailles.

  9. Pixel
    December 27, 2014, 12:18 am

    .
    These days, being blacklisted has become a badge of honor.

  10. tommy
    December 27, 2014, 10:59 am

    Some nations have assassination policies, and assassination bureaus. They are the fascist nations.

  11. Jackdaw
    December 27, 2014, 12:55 pm

    “Antagonistic ISIS and Israeli states, infected by religious fundamentalism”

    The Labor Zionists of Mapai were religious fundamentalists? That’s new.

    Mr. Hedge’s invidious comparison fails to mention that subsequent to the Holocaust, the Zionists had their backs to the sea. It was fight or perish.

    Also, ISIS is running the caliphate as if it was the 7th century. The Zionists, never the fundamentalists, were progressive parliamentarians.

    Mr. Hedge’s is trying to get attention in the worst way, and Mondoweiss is aiding and abetting.

    • Mooser
      December 27, 2014, 5:58 pm

      “Mr. Hedge’s is trying to get attention in the worst way, and Mondoweiss is aiding and abetting.”

      I hope you are keeping track of all the charges (“aiding and abetting”), Jackdaw, so you’ll be ready when you’re called to testify before the Grand Jury, or a Senate Subcommittee!
      Or maybe the Sanhedrin.

      • Jackdaw
        December 28, 2014, 12:13 am

        Typical insubstantial and dim witted Mooser response.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 28, 2014, 12:49 am

        Typical insubstantial and dim witted

        mooser, jack’s jealous. he lacks substance and wit.

        The Labor Zionists of Mapai were religious fundamentalists? That’s new.

        oh jack, had you read the supporting links you’ve had noted the context:

        Israeli leaders, and their supporters in the United States, speak now with naked, unvarnished hatred and racism that are alienating all but the most demented religious fanatics and protofascist Zionists, those who seek to build a nation based on a uniformity of bloodline and religious faith. The old Israel, the one that strove, however imperfectly, to be liberal and democratic, is gone. The new Israel increasingly mirrors the religious extremism of fundamentalist Muslims. The Israeli Cabinet, which has supported a series of discriminatory laws against non-Jews, last month conditionally backed legislative proposals that emphasize Israel’s Jewish character and would damage the rights of 20 percent of Israel’s citizenry, the nation’s Arabs. The new Israel is run by zealots such as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Housing Minister Uri Ariel. It is championed by retrograde billionaires such as the casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, an American who bought a newspaper in Israel to spread messages of intolerance, racism and hate.

        Even Israeli Jews no longer have democratic rights. There is mounting state repression against human rights advocates, journalists and dissidents. Racist language against Arabs has poisoned public discourse—crowds chant “Death to Arabs” at Israeli soccer matches. Right-wing thugs belonging to groups such as Im Tirtzu beat up dissidents, Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and impoverished African immigrants who live in the slums around Tel Aviv. Israeli Jews who denounce the racist cant and condemn the indiscriminate violence the state routinely employs against Palestinians are labeled terrorists or collaborators with terrorists. The settlers, as the newspaper Haaretz pointed out, are the real government of Israel.

        The late Amnon Dankner, a onetime editor of Maariv, denounced “neo-Nazi expressions in the Knesset [the Israeli parliament]” and “entire parties whose tenor and tone arouse feelings of horror and terrifying memories.” David Landau, a former editor-in-chief of Haaretz, called on Israelis to boycott the Knesset “to stand against the wave of fascism that has engulfed the Zionist project.” And Uri Avnery, a left-wing politician and journalist, argues that “Israel’s very existence is threatened by fascism.”

        “Zionism as a force is dead,” the blogger Yossi Gurvitz told Philip Weiss, who co-edits Mondoweiss, in an interview in 2012. “The people who are actually speaking in the name of Zionism are speaking in religious and metaphysical and mystical truths. They are not speaking in the secular Zionist tradition. A poll two weeks ago—about 70 percent consider themselves to be the chosen people. American Jews think we as Jews are chosen to carry out tikkun olam [social justice]. Israeli Jews think something different—we are the chosen people of God, we are chosen to do anything we damn well please. To take people’s land. Take people’s lives.”

    • Mooser
      December 27, 2014, 6:02 pm

      “that subsequent to the Holocaust, the Zionists had their backs to the sea. It was fight or perish”

      Jack, you better sniff your shoes, buddy. You’re stepping in it.

    • RoHa
      December 27, 2014, 6:58 pm

      “the Zionists had their backs to the sea. It was fight or perish.”

      No, it was fight or apologise and start behaving like decent human beings.

    • MHughes976
      December 28, 2014, 8:08 am

      Hedges, as I read him, is saying that an Islamic State and a Jewish State, both ‘infected by fundamentalism’, would be (not are or have been) a dangerous combination. He is referring to his fears for the future, where he sees religious influence growing, rather than making a judgement about the past. His attitude to the Israeli past is quite – indeed unduly – mild, as breakingthesilence remarks below.
      However, it is true that Ben Gurion in particular cultivated an ideology in which Bible and archaeology – both interpreted uncritically or with great prejudice – were mingled amid a kind of religious intensity. Gabriel Piterberg, Returns of Zionism, is good on this point.

      • Jackdaw
        December 30, 2014, 12:27 am

        @kma

        Firstly, the Zionists were never a singular, political bloc, which explains why minority parties like Irgun and the Stern gang attacked the British military rulers while the majority party, Labor Zionists, did not attack Britain. Did you ever hear about the Atalena affair?

        Likewise, Plan D, was a purely military doctrine drafted only in response to the invasion of the Arab States. Plan D does not anywhere advocate for the expulsion of the Palestinians. Quite the opposite if you’ve ever read the document.

        ‘Defenseless indigenous’. Really? You insult the fighting prowess of the indigenous and foreign Arab fighters who took up arms against the Zionists during the War of Independence, and you altogether delete from the historical record the murderous assaults on Jews, some quite defenseless, by the Arabs before and during Israel’s War of Independence.

      • MHughes976
        December 31, 2014, 8:45 pm

        Another interesting feature of Islamic State, aggressively Sunni as it is, is that it seems to render the presumed, much discussed plans of Shia Iran to assemble a grand Islamic coalition against Israel highly impractical and highly unlikely, amid all the schismatic feeling that has been aroused within Islam, to get anywhere at all.

    • kma
      December 29, 2014, 12:25 pm

      Jackdaw: zionists “were progressive parliamentarians”? based on biblical laws !
      You have to be a zionist not to see how funny that is.
      so they had to kill Brits as well as defenseless indigenous people in Palestine (remember which side of WWII the Brits were on?) in order to survive AFTER the Holocaust?
      And for the next 70 years they have to keep killing and removing everyone… who isn’t Jewish. Because GOD said it is so.

      with that kind of logic, the Palestinians have the right to push Jews into the sea since they otherwise will not “exist”. One funny difference is that Palestinians are multi-religious… which is what they were before the “existence” of Israel… Israel is a parallel to ISIS.

  12. breakingthesilence
    December 27, 2014, 4:04 pm

    Chris Hedges, one of the very finest of American journalists, seems to be bending over backwards to be conciliatory when he writes: “And I support Israel’s right to exist within the pre-1967 borders.” Why should a state that brutally stole another people’s homeland and expelled that people into lives of misery, poverty and refugee camps, have any right to an inch of that stolen land? Every inch of that land is occupied Palestinian territory. When someone steals something from another, the thief doesn’t get to keep it. Racist, ethnocratic Israel is an illegitimate entity that must be transformed eventually into a fully democratic state in which the Palestinian right of return is accomplished. Their farms and orchards and homes and businesses and bank accounts were stolen and the thieves should not get a drop of support from any person of conscience. A multi-ethnic genuine democracy must take the place of the racially-supremacist, expansionist, thoroughly criminal and despicable state of Israel.

  13. lysias
    December 27, 2014, 6:22 pm

    Article about the dispute about the Jewish theater in D.C. in today’s Washington Post.

  14. dmm
    December 27, 2014, 8:16 pm

    “It’s western guilt over the Holocaust and the Jewish question in Europe that keeps Israel a sacred cow”

    Well, Phil, it’s also due to the trifling detail that beyond being mind-numbingly brainless, likening Israel to ISIS is just the sort of halfwitted sophomoric leftist bilge calculated to incite hostility… so actually, he got what he wanted.

    • breakingthesilence
      December 27, 2014, 10:23 pm

      Israel was stolen and the populace fled thanks to the savage murder of thousands in hundreds of villages and towns and cities, and thanks to at least 31 massacres, numerous rapes, and the theft of an entire people’s homeland. The savagery and brutality, the slaughter of innocents occurred because all those people were of the wrong religion: they weren’t Jewish. Doesn’t this sound like the Islamic State with its contempt for those who aren’t of the correct religion? And Israel set up an ethnocracy in which 90% of the stolen land is reserved for the exclusive use of the Jewish people and non-Jewish citizens have significantly fewer rights than Jewish citizens. They can’t even bring their children &/or spouses from the Occupied Territories or from other Mid East nations to live with them. Yes, very very much like the Islamic State except of course a thousand times worse, but not a bit less cruel or a bit less racist. The analogy is such an obvious one that only a Zionist, I would imagine, would not be able to understand it (or pretend not to understand it).

      • Mooser
        December 28, 2014, 11:22 am

        “The savagery and brutality, the slaughter of innocents occurred because all those people were of the wrong religion: they weren’t Jewish.”

        “breakingthesilence”, I am very much of the opinion that if every person in Palestine was indeed Jewish, they would have been the wrong kind of Jewish for the Zionists, and may have suffered pretty much the same dispossession and erasure, if not all the visible cruelty.

  15. hmp49
    December 27, 2014, 9:20 pm

    This is the pro-Palestinian camp’s idea of free speech, taking away the right of others to meet peacefully and have a dialog:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w96UR79TBw

    They think they have the right to do anything they want, anytime they want, anywhere they want, but no one else has any rights.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 28, 2014, 1:01 am

      first of all, a foreign ambassador doesn’t have a “right” under our constitution to spew propaganda (or even to speak) at a state funded institution. and claiming students, protesting an ambassador defending a state who commits war crimes, as “uncivilized” (as your video claims) is so steeped in hypocrisy it’s not even worth addressing much less debating.

  16. DaBakr
    December 28, 2014, 1:40 am

    IS sells young girls as slaves, murders Shi’a, Christian and Yazedi in cold blood in front of cameras for PR purposes. Chops heads with reckless abandon -also for PR purposes. IS states clearly they want the entire crescent of the ME to return to a caliphate wiping out all current national governments-good, bad, and in transition. And yet the best hedges can do is twist some clever points into an ‘analogy’ between IS and Israel. One could also make analogies between Napolean and the Spotted Jackass or the US and Upper Mongolia but it doesn’t make any scholarly sense. Hedges deserves to be ‘banned’ for sheer stupidity. He could have easily explained exactly which elements of israeli society he thinks have parallels to IS w/o the broad analogy and have been taken a bit more seriously and with less offense. But I imagine, when it comes to Israel and hedges-offense was exactly the point.

    • Bornajoo
      December 29, 2014, 8:46 am

      @DaBakr
      Can you please tell me exactly what it will take for you to actually be able to criticise the actions of the Israeli government? Holding millions of innocent people in an open prison under a brutal occupation for decades? Dropping 1 ton bombs on apartment buildings and murdering in cold blood women, children and so many other innocent people?

      What is the difference between decapitating, disembowling, maiming and burning people with sophisticated missiles and bombs and cutting a person’s head off with a small knife? And yes all 3 Gaza slaughters were ostensibly for PR and political purposes.

    • eljay
      December 29, 2014, 9:55 am

      >> DaBakreee: IS sells young girls as slaves, murders Shi’a, Christian and Yazedi in cold blood in front of cameras for PR purposes. Chops heads with reckless abandon -also for PR purposes.

      Right, so, IS should follow Israel’s lead:
      – stick to oppression, repression, ethnic cleansing, torture and murder; and
      – hide / whitewash / deflect attention away from its crimes, rather than parade them in front of cameras.

      Good advice.

      >> IS states clearly they want the entire crescent of the ME to return to a caliphate …

      Israel states clearly that they want to create as large a supremacist “Jewish State” as possible in Palestine.

      The existence of a murderer does not absolve the rapist of his crimes; the existence of IS does not absolve Israel of its past and ON-GOING (war) crimes or its obligations under international law.

  17. hophmi
    December 29, 2014, 10:09 am

    “This is McCarthyism, on a broader scale than the original in the ’50s”

    You think that the firing of an outspoken director from the DCJCC and the disinvitation of Chris Hedges from Penn is “McCarthyism, on a broader scale than the original in the ’50s”? Are you kidding?

    It’s another for my book of pro-Palestinian hyperbole.

    • Mooser
      December 29, 2014, 11:56 pm

      “It’s another for my book of pro-Palestinian hyperbole.”

      It’ll never outsell your Mondo comment archive. That’s full of sound and fury!

  18. hophmi
    December 29, 2014, 10:18 am

    And Phil, please. Chris Hedges has no shortage of speaking engagements, and hasn’t in the last twenty years. Guess what. People find the comparison of ISIS and Israel deeply offensive outside of the hardcore of the pro-Palestinian community. As I’ve told you many times, outside of the Blumenthal-Weiss-Abunimah cult, they don’t buy the JSIL nonsense because it’s an antisemitic way of suggesting that mainstream Jews are the same as the most extreme Muslims, and it’s made by people with a piss-poor record of criticizing anything in the Muslim world. People get that it comes from the bad place.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 29, 2014, 1:50 pm

      Guess what. People find the comparison of ISIS and Israel deeply offensive outside of the hardcore of the pro-Palestinian community.

      not all of them. most people don’t get deeply offended if someone insults israel. they might not agree but someone not attached to the state is unlikely to get ‘deeply offended’.

      they don’t buy the JSIL nonsense because it’s an antisemitic way of suggesting that mainstream Jews are the same as the most extreme Muslims

      lol, where do you come up w/this stuff? besides, many mainstream jews support the ethnic cleansing of palestine and support the settlements. just because an idea has gone mainstream doesn’t mean it’s not extreme. in fact, that is probably fanaticism in it’s most dangerous form because it’s allowed to spread unchecked and undetected. for example, tho innocent people are spending years in jail for charitable donations to the same islamic charities USAID funds, ‘mainstream’ jews get tax breaks for donations to illegal settlements. believe me, if that was illegal the way it’s illegal to feed and cloth children in gaza, there would not be hundreds of thousands of illegal settlements in palestine. mainstream jews who support the illegal settlements support extremism.

    • Mooser
      January 1, 2015, 3:56 pm

      “As I’ve told you many times, outside of the Blumenthal-Weiss-Abunimah cult, they don’t buy”

      The three of them formed a cult around a trinity? Why of all the self-hating things, a cult based on a trinity! Why didn’t they include BDS, and make it a foursome, so they could play through?

  19. kma
    December 29, 2014, 12:40 pm

    to Phil: I don’t think the “west” supports Israel’s crimes because of guilt over the Holocaust. I’m not sure how many people alive today feel responsible for it. The things Israel/zionists have that appeal to the west are a lot of white skin and money and, ironically, the ability NOT to feel much guilt over oppression of darker, poorer people.

    back to the real subject: regardless of whether you get offended by people using “ISIS” or whatever the latest US-defined-bogeyman is, this whole event sheds light on what’s REALLY going on. Israel cannot face the truth about its past. Things like this are so clarifying. Thanks.

  20. Jackdaw
    January 1, 2015, 8:11 am

    Sam Harris on low life Chris Hedges. And he ought to know.

    http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/response-to-chris-hedges

    • Annie Robbins
      January 1, 2015, 1:14 pm

      lol,

      shorter harris:
      ‘it’s not worth replying and I’m not “willing to squander my time” responding but it’s “necessary” so i “create a page on my website” to do just that’!

      lol. harris has this penchant for blaming his adversaries for what he’s about to say.

      more shorter harris: “hedges is “most tedious person on Earth” and a liar for accusing me of claiming i advocated a nuclear strike against the muslim world so here’s a blockquote from my book proving i didn’t’:

      the only thing likely to ensure our survival may be a nuclear first strike …. it would kill tens of millions of innocent civilians in a single day—but it may be the only course of action available to us …. It would likely be seen as the first incursion of a genocidal crusade.

      then he goes on to say “That it would be a horrible absurdity” and “perfectly insane” but alas “increasingly likely” but since he’s making the argument we would just have no choice to do it we’re therefore hedges is lying!

      HAHAHA thanks for the link jack.

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