UN report on Gaza war is ‘tepid,’ ‘unserious’ and exhibits ‘anti-Muslim bigotry’ — Finkelstein

US Politics
on 88 Comments

Norman Finkelstein went on Reddit two days ago to discuss the UN Human Rights Council report on the 2014 Gaza war. The scholar was at his incisive best. Below are substantial excerpts of Finkelstein’s critique. I’ve rearranged a couple of his answers, and removed the Reddit folks’ questions, unless they’re necessary to grasp Finkelstein’s meaning.

Q. This report seems to be less critical of Israel than the Goldstone report – do you think this report will have more or less of a negative impact on Israel?

Norman Finkelstein: The Goldstone report used more evocative language, came to more definitive legal conclusions, and was more comprehensive in scope. Also, Goldstone himself was a prominent liberal Jew, which meant the report was relatively immune to the usual smears and dismissals. This report reaches rather tepid and conservative legal conclusions. It also, in my opinion, grossly understates what happened. Here are two examples: (1) The BREAKING THE SILENCE testimonies by Israeli combatants emphasized that the D-9 armored bulldozers operated non-stop day and night demolishing Palestinian homes, when there was no military threat. It was just the systematic razing of homes which had no military justification whatsoever. Amazingly, there isn’t a single mention — not one — of the D-9 in the Report. Do a search on your own. Check home many times “D-9” appears in the Breaking the Silence testimonies versus the UN Report. Incidentally, these invaluable testimonies are barely cited in the Report, and the ones that are cited are the least revealing. At one point, the Report breezily dismisses them as “anecdotal.” Yet, Israel’s junk propaganda is constantly cited, as if it contained an ounce of credibility. (2) The Report never makes even one mention of the targeting of mosques, except to quote Israel as saying the mosques were legitimately targeted. 70 mosques were destroyed and another 130 damaged, yet it didn’t pique the Report’s curiosity. Imagine if Hamas had destroyed 70 Israeli synagogues. I don’t particularly like the term Islamophobia. Let’s just call it rank anti-Muslim bigotry.

A huge gap existed between the descriptions compiled in the report and the concomitant legal analysis in each section. The descriptions were graphic and compelling, but the legal analysis seemed to minimize Israel’s accountability. The reader senses that the person writing the legal analysis (probably [Judge Mary McGowan] Davis) was straining to be “fair,” to the point that it became unserious…

Let’s look at the raw data. 2300 Palestinians were killed, of whom 1,500 were civilians. 73 Israelis were killed, of whom 6 were civilians (one a guest worker from Thailand). 550 Palestinian children were killed, 1 Israeli child was killed. 18,000 Gazan homes were destroyed, one Israeli home was destroyed. Israel used 20,000 tons of explosives, Hamas used 20-40 tons of explosive. You get the picture. Yet, in the report, in the last section titled “IMPACT,” 60 percent is devoted to what Gaza endured, 40 percent to what Israel endured. You decided whether the proportions match the reality.

Although the report contains many graphic and compelling descriptions of Israeli atrocities, it grossly understates what happened. I would recommend that you read the Breaking the Silence testimonies instead. The Report keeps repeating Israeli propaganda, usually with sentences that begin, “The Commission notes that Israel said,…” as if this is to be taken seriously. Here’s one example. Israel fired 20,000 high-explosive artillery shells into Gaza. Israel alleges -and the Report quotes it–  with a “few exceptions,” these shells were fired in open areas. First, that’s a documented lie. A study cited by the Commission itself said that, in its investigation, 95% of the artillery shells were fired in or near populated areas. The Report does NOT quote this finding of the study. Second, Israel alleges that Hamas abandoned all open areas at the start of OPE and congregated in populated areas. So, to believe Israel, it fired 20,000 high-explosive artillery shells in empty spaces. Why does the Report give credence to such nonsense? A second example. The Report claims that EVERY rocket fired by Hamas was intercepted by Iron Dome. It’s source? An official Israeli publication. It’s just laughable…

The Report is very cautious in the language it uses regarding Israeli war crimes. Nonetheless, virtually every section of the Report raises the possibility that Israel committed war crimes. If you open up the report, and do a search under “war crimes,” you will probably get at least 20 hits in the Israeli section of the report. In my opinion, Hamas should welcome the opportunity to go before the ICC and make its case. If it recruits talented, principled lawyers such as John Dugard and Alfred de Zayas, I think they could put forth a credible defense, at any rate, in the court of public opinion, which is the only court of importance. The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale…

The Report found that, in the 15 cases of Israel’s air attacks on civilian residences, overwhelmingly Israel gave no warnings. But I still think this is the wrong emphasis. A few thousand homes were destroyed in air attacks or during battle. All told, 18,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable. It’s clear from the Breaking the Silence testimonies that this unfolded not on the battlefield, not in the heat of battle, not by aerial attacks, but just in the course of occupying Gaza’s border area…

There are clearly many instances where Israel targeted civilians (the Report acknowledges this), but mostly it was a terror campaign designed to break the spirits and resistance of Palestinians by inflicting the maximum amount of death and destruction. Another element is, Israel demands the right to fight cost-free hi-tech wars. So, it destroys everything in sight and kills everything in sight to avoid any casualties on its side.

Question re Hamas.

Hamas won parliamentary elections in January 2006. If Hamas is the big obstacle to resolving the conflict, why didn’t Israel end the occupation in the FOUR DECADES before Hamas came to power? If the people of Gaza do not object to Hamas arming itself, or using a tiny fraction of its resources to make these enhanced fireworks called rockets, then I don’t object. For the thousandth time, under international law, peoples struggling for self-determination have the right to use armed force to end an illegal, immoral and inhuman blockade and occupation.

Please Make a Tax-Deductible Donation to Mondoweiss Today

Hi Norman, do you believe that the new report could lead to prosecutions of Israeli officials, or will it change nothing in the real world just like the Goldstone report, and soon will be forgotten?

In order to reach that point, the Palestinians must pass through a thousand procedural hoops. It requires a huge amount of conviction, commitment and conscientiousness to succeed. The Palestinian Authority is unable and unwilling to put in such an effort. It is hopelessly corrupt and compromised. If and when the moment of truth comes, they will do what their American paymasters tell them to do….

The Report says that the blockade of Gaza must UNCONDITIONALLY end. I agree on this point. The most important thing Israel should do is, stop carrying on like a Vandal state. That place has clearly gone over the cliff. Only mass international pressure can drag it back to sanity.

The purpose of the rule of law is supposed to be to replace MIGHT by RIGHT. But, if international humanitarian law dictates that only rich and powerful, countries, which can afford precision weapons, can use armed force, while poor peoples living under a brutal occupation de facto have no right of armed resistance, I don’t see how the rule of law is an improvement over the rule of might. Bear in mind, however, that the Report also denied to Gazans the right of NON-VIOLENT resistance. Look at para 483…

Thanks for all your questions. I’m heading home to finish my second reading of the UN Report.

P.S. Here is paragraph 483 of the Report:

In one case of the bombing of a residential building examined by the commission, information gathered indicates that following a specific warning by the IDF that the house was to be targeted, several people went to the roof of the house in order to “protect” the house. Should they have been directed to do so by members of Palestinian armed groups, this would amount to the use of the presence of civilians in an attempt to shield a military objective from attack, in violation of the customary law prohibition to use human shields. With regard to this incident, the commission is disturbed by the reported call by the spokesperson of Hamas to the people in Gaza to adopt the practice of shielding their homes from attack by going up on their roofs. Although the call is directed to residents of Gaza, it can be seen and understood as an encouragement to Palestinian armed groups to use human shields.

 

 

About Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

88 Responses

  1. just
    June 27, 2015, 11:03 am

    Thanks for this, Phil.

    Donald kindly alerted us to Finkelstein’s reddit the other day.

    Perhaps this is why the report wasn’t presented to the ICC along with the other documents, but probably not.

    “Surprisingly Jabarin indicated the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) report published Sunday outlining “possible war crimes” committed by Israel and Hamas was not included, despite Palestinian leaders stating repeatedly over the past few months that they would courier a copy to the ICC. Even so, the court has the ability to solicit their own research materials including ordering the UN report”. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/exclusive-palestine-apartheid#sthash.Pr8UktCh.dpuf

    I respect his analysis, and especially appreciated this:

    “If it recruits talented, principled lawyers such as John Dugard and Alfred de Zayas, I think they could put forth a credible defense, at any rate, in the court of public opinion, which is the only court of importance. The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale…”

    “The court of public opinion” shifted radically during and after this latest massacre by Israel. I think that Professor Finkelstein is spot- on with the above comment re same.

    (The US was complicit in Israel’s crimes, wasn’t it?)

    • Giles
      June 28, 2015, 10:58 am

      The report said that so many things that Israel did may have been war crimes but they did not deign to speak to us so we cannot know if they have some BS excuse for all these things we did so we don’t really know if they were crimes.

      Pretty sure most criminals who refuse to speak to the authorities get this kind of favorable treatment.

      Well Mr. Manson, since you refuse to talk to us we cannot convict you of a crime since maybe you have some good excuses for why you did what you did. Sorry for the inconvenience.

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 3:29 pm

        Finkelstein did NOT say that “the Lobby plays no role”, you said that. He only said that, in this particular case concerning the events in Gaza, the US would oppose the findings contained in the report, but not because of the Lobby. –

        This is his exact quote. “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale ” –

        I don’t know about you, but when he states “not because of the Israel Lobby” it seems pretty clear to me that he is saying the Lobby plays no role in the US routinely siding with Israel. I don’t see where he adds the qualifiers you have added “in this particular case concerning the events in Gaza,”.

        I think I will take Norman at his word and not rely on your interpretation of what he really means to say. But, let’s say his intent is to limit his comment to this one case where the US backed Israel in its attack on Gaza in 2014. And, to be fair, that is a not unreasonable interpretation. Where is his evidence that the Lobby played no role in this? That’s just plain silly. The Lobby is of course heavily invested in getting the US to protect Israel from ICC prosecution. Why would it play no role in this very important event?

        The bigger point is that even folks like Norm F and Chomsky seem to have an emotional investment in believing and getting others to believe that the role of the Lobby is not as great as other factors when it comes to US blind support for Israel. And this strikes me as plain foolishness. Watch a debate between Finkelstein and Petras on this topic. I believe Petras exposes Finkelstein’s weakness on this matter quite well.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 3:39 pm

        I don’t see where he adds the qualifiers you have added “in this particular case concerning the events in Gaza,”.

        When you encounter words like “because” or “therefore”, you should probably backup and see what they are there for. The phrase “but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale” limits the applicability of his remarks about the certainty of US support to the justifications employed for that military operation.

      • aiman
        June 29, 2015, 4:41 pm

        “What straw men? The failures of the Israel Lobby that I outlined and the citations to the Chomsky article and Finkelstein video are facts and evidence. That’s something that’s missing entirely from your comments. It doesn’t matter whether you claimed the lobby was omnipotent, you both misstated the actual facts about Chomsky’s and Finkelstein’s stated positions on the strength or role of the Israel Lobby and got called out on it. Now you’re engaging not too clever insults and dissimulations.”

        False. Point out where I misstated C’s and F’s stated positions on the matter of the Lobby.

        “I just get tired of hearing people deliberately misstating his positions on the issue of the Lobby, which is actually that: (a) the Israel Lobby is one of the two main factors that determine US foreign policy in the Middle East. I’ve pointed that out to you, and you are still churning out these illogical screeds and ignoring all of the evidence that doesn’t fit your original, false premise.”

        Feel free to point our where I was “deliberately” or otherwise “mistating his positions on the issue of the Lobby”. Give me a quote. It is well known Chomsky never took much interest in the subject of the Lobby till W&M came along. That was before his views began to evolve though they are still stunted with respect to reality. NF for his part closely stuck with Chomsky at first though gives a few grudging murmurs now and then. Those are the facts whether you like them or not.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 8:27 pm

        False. Point out where I misstated C’s and F’s stated positions on the matter of the Lobby.

        Surely, in your very first endorsement of Giles comment (“Professor F is a brave and moral man, a great man, but has a blind spot when it comes to the power of the Lobby.”) on June 28, 2015, @ 11:36 am. You said:

        Excellent point Giles. By that standard, why did the U.S. Govt use Saddam Hussein’s crimes as an example when it has done much worse or the same? Because there was no Iraq Lobby except for charlatans entertained by Bernard Lewis’s school of journalism and politics. As you rightly pointed out and Prof F ruled out, it is the Israel Lobby and I’m afraid it’s not on the blind spot but right in front for the world to see. Chomsky’s pupils will continue to diminish this fact even if as in the case of Prof F they are moral and great persons.

        As I’ve pointed out, neither Chomsky nor Finkelstein deny the power of the Lobby. There’s oddly no mention in your comment about the fact that the US threatened to topple the Provisional Government of Iraq when it tried to ratify the Rome Statute during the US occupation; that the US threatened to move NATO headquarters over a Belgian indictment of General Tommy Franks for crimes he allegedly committed on the territory of Iraq; the fact that Germany and France registered formal protests at the UN over continued US requests from the Security Council for waivers of ICC jurisdiction after evidence of torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison came to light; the fact that DoD Secretary Rumsfled reportedly authored a memo agreeing with the Bernard Lewis school of journalism and politics that described how the USA was going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran; and the fact that the USA insisted on a local tribunal to handle the cases of Sadaam Hussein and the members of his regime in accordance with municipal laws.

        It is well known Chomsky never took much interest in the subject of the Lobby till W&M came along.

        That’s because is was known as “the American Zionist movement” before W&M wrote their book and Chomsky had written all about his own involvement in it. He noted the fact that, unlike its leadership, the rank and file was opposed to a Jewish state and did not officially endorse the idea until 1942.

        NF for his part closely stuck with Chomsky at first though gives a few grudging murmurs now and then.

        I take it that his remarks in the video and in the film that I cited discussing the power of the Lobby and condemning the warmongering members of American Jewry were not obtained either grudgingly or under duress.

        There is no “dialectical pairing”. Let’s not enter into the realm of non-Zionist or anti-Zionist tribal mysticism aka absolute bullsh*t.

        There’s no tribal monopoly on the related dialectical traditions in Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and even Secular Western philosophy. The latest UN report, like the Goldstone report before it, contains a separate subsection on the West Bank and East Jerusalem which fall completely outside the scope of Finkelstein’s logical {because [AND] NOT because} pairing in this instance:

        “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale. ”

        The US has obviously prevented the adoption of sanctions over Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem and its colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, even though “it is not currently doing those same things around the world on an infinitely greater scale”. For example:

        “As I’ve already said, fundamentally I think that’s mistaken,” he said. “The U.S. supports Israel when it’s useful to U.S. fundamental interests. However, and here I have to be a little bit more settled in the argument because that’s what the evidence requires, I do think it’s the case that the U.S. supports Israeli policy in the occupied territories due to the lobby.”

        Finkelstein clarified his statement, saying, “When it comes to broad regional fundamental interests, Iraq, Iran, South Arabia oil, it is U.S. national interests that take priority,” he said. “When it comes to a local question like Israel and occupied territories, there I think it is true that it’s the lobby that is destroying U.S. policy because the obvious question you would ask yourself is, I think, ‘What does the U.S. stand to gain from the settlements that Israel is building?’ The answer quite obviously is nothing.”

        http://sundial.csun.edu/2008/02/finkelsteingivesisraeliamericanrelationslecture/

        Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension knows that NF is discounting the role of the Lobby to put it most politely if not outright denying it.

        I think anyone who has seen the films, video, and controversial statements he made in regard to Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s thesis is that he actually said that: sometimes the Lobby takes priority and sometimes it does not on broader non-regional issues, like US international criminal liability.

      • aiman
        June 30, 2015, 4:01 am

        Hostage: “Surely, in your very first endorsement of Giles comment (“Professor F is a brave and moral man, a great man, but has a blind spot when it comes to the power of the Lobby.”) on June 28, 2015, @ 11:36 am. You said:”

        aiman: ‘Excellent point Giles. By that standard, why did the U.S. Govt use Saddam Hussein’s crimes as an example when it has done much worse or the same? Because there was no Iraq Lobby except for charlatans entertained by Bernard Lewis’s school of journalism and politics. As you rightly pointed out and Prof F ruled out, it is the Israel Lobby and I’m afraid it’s not on the blind spot but right in front for the world to see. Chomsky’s pupils will continue to diminish this fact even if as in the case of Prof F they are moral and great persons.’

        Yes I stated the above.

        “As I’ve pointed out, neither Chomsky nor Finkelstein deny the power of the Lobby. There’s oddly no mention in your comment about the fact that the US threatened to topple the Provisional Government of Iraq when it tried to ratify the Rome Statute during the US occupation; that the US threatened to move NATO headquarters over a Belgian indictment of General Tommy Franks for crimes he allegedly committed on the territory of Iraq; the fact that Germany and France registered formal protests at the UN over continued US requests from the Security Council for waivers of ICC jurisdiction after evidence of torture and prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison came to light; the fact that DoD Secretary Rumsfled reportedly authored a memo agreeing with the Bernard Lewis school of journalism and politics that described how the USA was going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran; and the fact that the USA insisted on a local tribunal to handle the cases of Sadaam Hussein and the members of his regime in accordance with municipal laws.”

        Nor have I claimed that “they deny the power of the lobby”. That’s a straw man. Power, of course, is relative. I wrote they will “continue to diminish this fact”. A lot of difference between “deny” and “diminish”. Diminish or downplaying the power of the Lobby is a Chomsky custom. Even you wrote the Lobby stands at 2 in C’s estimation, a very convenient position like the 2SS. Also it is irrational to expect someone else to offer examples that you presented save by the powers of telepathy!

        The Bernard Lewis school is foremost a Zionist school just so we’re clear. Speaking of example, elsewhere you asked me to comment on three or four cases where the Lobby allegedly didn’t get its way. Well not only do I not believe in the omnipotence of the Lobby nor do I believe that you actually considered that lack of actions in invading Iran for example was due to the Liberal Zionist lobby from which Obama draws his primary support. The Israel Lobby is split into two broad branches atm.

        “That’s because is was known as “the American Zionist movement” before W&M wrote their book and Chomsky had written all about his own involvement in it. He noted the fact that, unlike its leadership, the rank and file was opposed to a Jewish state and did not officially endorse the idea until 1942.”

        What it was called is not the point (see Ilan Pappe’s response to Chomsky’s W&M thesis critique in the aftermath). Where Pappe notes: ‘Chomsky never paid too much and enough attention to the impact of AIPAC on American policy. He identified other factors and grounds, but failed to highlight something which was next door. Nor did he ever write anything of significance of the Christian Zionists. Chomsky also claims that a two state solution is still viable and opposes sanctions on Israel. Interesting positions but hardly ones the invalidate the counter positions.’

        “I take it that his remarks in the video and in the film that I cited discussing the power of the Lobby and condemning the warmongering members of American Jewry were not obtained either grudgingly or under duress.”

        No, NF’s remarks are those of a polemicist. Polemicists are about bang and fury, and can be contradictory, though NF’s most consistent views of the Lobby are best treated as the ideological input of Chomsky himself. Also things of general consideration: who is the audience or what did NF say about the matter subsequently, etc. etc.

        aiman: There is no “dialectical pairing”. Let’s not enter into the realm of non-Zionist or anti-Zionist tribal mysticism aka absolute bullsh*t.

        “There’s no tribal monopoly on the related dialectical traditions in Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and even Secular Western philosophy. ”

        Actually there is Hostage. By you yourself. My response was triggered by your own contention of tribal monopoly when you remarked to Giles: “I would also suggest that you get a translator to assist you in deciphering Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms.”

        Make up your mind: do people need to hire a translator to decipher Jewish verbal gymnastics or there is no tribal monopoly?

        “Finkelstein clarified his statement, saying, “When it comes to broad regional fundamental interests, Iraq, Iran, South Arabia oil, it is U.S. national interests that take priority,” he said. “When it comes to a local question like Israel and occupied territories, there I think it is true that it’s the lobby that is destroying U.S. policy because the obvious question you would ask yourself is, I think, ‘What does the U.S. stand to gain from the settlements that Israel is building?’ The answer quite obviously is nothing.”

        — link to sundial.csun.edu

        “I think anyone who has seen the films, video, and controversial statements he made in regard to Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s thesis is that he actually said that: sometimes the Lobby takes priority and sometimes it does not on broader non-regional issues, like US international criminal liability.”

        No, it just proves NF is inconsistent.

        On the basis of what NF said in this article, I believe the following: Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension knows that NF is discounting the role of the Lobby to put it most politely if not outright denying it.

      • Hostage
        June 30, 2015, 11:33 am

        “I think anyone who has seen the films, video, and controversial statements he made in regard to Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s thesis is that he actually said that: sometimes the Lobby takes priority and sometimes it does not on broader non-regional issues, like US international criminal liability.”

        No, it just proves NF is inconsistent.

        No, that proves that you are not swayed by either the facts or the readily available evidence and are an unreliable source of information and analysis on the subject of his views.

        I think you’ve let your paranoia, to put it most politely, get the better of you. … the idea that the US is not interested in prosecuting Israel because it is itself mired in sins or prevented by law is a common argument on the Jewish Left.

        Bullshit. There was a solid Gentile majority who voted to adopt that very idea when the Congress and the Executive Branch signed the so-called “American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002” also known to the rest of the world as “The Hague Invasion Act”. The law authorizes the use of military force to liberate any American or citizen of a U.S.-allied country being held by the International Criminal Court, which is located in The Hague. Among other things, the statute itself defines “covered allied persons” as military personnel, elected or appointed officials, and other persons employed by or working on behalf of the government of Israel. For a complete listing of US client states, see: TITLE 22 / CHAPTER 81 / SUBCHAPTER II / § 7432, paragraph 3 of the current US Code http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title22-section7432&num=0&edition=prelim

        FYI, I was raised in a secular Jewish household in Kansas by grandparents and parents who were Anti-Zionists and Eisenhower Republicans. I pursued a career in the US military for 21 years. The idea that the US government, US arms manufacturers, and US corporations violate international humanitarian and human rights laws in the same fashion as their Israeli and other allied counterparts is widely shared among government experts and scholars of nearly every ethnicity in the international political science and legal communities. It’s a recurring theme among contributors to online forums that specialize in international criminal law, like the European Journal of International Law Talk!, Lawfare, Just Security, Opinio Juris, Lawgirls, & etc. – including more than a few non-Jewish former White House, DoS, DoD, and Congressional legal staffers.

        So unlike Chomsky, I was never an anarchist or part of the American Zionist Movement and unlike Finkelstein, I was never a fan of Trotsky or Chairman Mao.

      • Hostage
        June 30, 2015, 2:44 pm

        Hostage: “There’s no tribal monopoly on the related dialectical traditions in Greek, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and even Secular Western philosophy. ”

        Aiman: Actually there is Hostage. By you yourself. My response was triggered by your own contention of tribal monopoly when you remarked to Giles: “I would also suggest that you get a translator to assist you in deciphering Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms.”

        Make up your mind: do people need to hire a translator to decipher Jewish verbal gymnastics or there is no tribal monopoly?

        That and the rest of your post is simply more dissembling bullshit. I said that he should get a translator to assist him in deciphering three things “Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms”. There’s no claim of monopoly there, since I assume he would be just as clueless if he encountered almost identical modes of expression in instances of Islamic dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms. There’s nothing exclusive or tribal about it.

    • Giles
      June 28, 2015, 10:59 am

      “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale ”

      Professor F is a brave and moral man, a great man, but has a blind spot when it comes to the power of the Lobby.

      • aiman
        June 28, 2015, 11:36 am

        Excellent point Giles. By that standard, why did the U.S. Govt use Saddam Hussein’s crimes as an example when it has done much worse or the same? Because there was no Iraq Lobby except for charlatans entertained by Bernard Lewis’s school of journalism and politics. As you rightly pointed out and Prof F ruled out, it is the Israel Lobby and I’m afraid it’s not on the blind spot but right in front for the world to see. Chomsky’s pupils will continue to diminish this fact even if as in the case of Prof F they are moral and great persons.

      • Hostage
        June 28, 2015, 11:53 am

        As you rightly pointed out and Prof F ruled out, it is the Israel Lobby and I’m afraid it’s not on the blind spot but right in front for the world to see. Chomsky’s pupils will continue to diminish this fact even if as in the case of Prof F they are moral and great persons.

        {sarcasm on} And of course, that’s why Obama got permission to bomb Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles when AIPAC deployed 300 lobbyists to Capitol Hill to twist a few arms on his behalf and the reason Obama caved-in and put “Jerusalem, Israel” on US passports.{sarcasm off}

        Chomsky and Frankenstein have both publicly stated that the Lobby is powerful, but point out that it isn’t always strong enough to dictate the terms of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East.

      • Hostage
        June 28, 2015, 1:01 pm

        P.S. FYI, the reference to a fictional man-made monster in my comment above was quite intentional;-)

      • Giles
        June 28, 2015, 1:43 pm

        “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale ”

        This is a foolish statement. The Empire does whatever the Hell it wants. If the USA sided with countries because it knew its behavior was worse, then it would side with every country on the planet. The USA sides with Israel routinely solely because of the Lobby.

      • Hostage
        June 28, 2015, 2:10 pm

        The USA sides with Israel routinely solely because of the Lobby.

        Not at all. There are a number of former State, Defense, and Congressional legal counsels who routinely blog about the fact that it’s in the interest of the US to defend Israel from prosecution in national and international courts, precisely because our executive, congressional, and military leaders would be next. They are vulnerable to prosecution on the same sort of charges in connection with US and NATO operations in Africa and Asia.

      • Giles
        June 28, 2015, 2:18 pm

        Hostage.

        1. Apparently the Lobby disagrees with you by their very existence and by the amount of money it spreads around.

        2. Support for the actions of Israel makes American officials far more vulnerable to international prosecution.

        3. If US officials really feared international prosecutions I don’t see how their solution to this problem would be to routinely back Israel no matter what it does. This just exacerbates the problem.

        Your argument makes no sense whatsoever.

      • Hostage
        June 28, 2015, 3:03 pm

        1. Apparently the Lobby disagrees with you by their very existence and by the amount of money it spreads around.

        It only proves that “When you’re No.2, you have to try harder,” not that you don’t exist.

        Re: 2. Support for the actions of Israel makes American officials far more vulnerable to international prosecution.

        Not at all. They are already vulnerable, because they have committed the same crimes for which no statutory limitations apply. Allowing Israelis to be prosecuted would establish or solidify the legal precedents and framework. Speaking mathematically, the statistical odds of anything ever happening are astronomically high, until it happens the first time. Then the odds of it happening again are lowered.

        Re: 3. If US officials really feared international prosecutions I don’t see how their solution to this problem would be to routinely back Israel no matter what it does. This just exacerbates the problem.

        Not at all. It backs the same changes to international law that Israel has demanded. Customary and conventional international law is simply the set of rules that states have adopted to govern the conduct of their mutual relations. The US, Israel, and several of the other great powers are pro-actively seeking exceptions and a new set of rules, e.g.See:
        *Israel Pushes To Change International Laws Of War After Damning Gaza Report
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wires/2009/10/21/israel-push-to-change-law_ws_328024.html
        *The video of Shurat HaDin’s “Towards a New Law of War Conference”, in Jerusalem May 4-5, 2015 http://israellawcenter.org/activities/law-of-war-conference-towards-a-new-law-of-war/

        The Nazis simply outlawed the methods of warfare employed by their weaker partisan adversaries and summarily executed them, while defending themselves with arguments that the Hague rules were somehow defective because they did not envision “Total War”. Israeli and US “experts” do exactly the same thing today, while arguing that the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols do not adequately address the issues of “Non-State Actors,” “Asymmetrical Wars,” or “The War on Terror”.

      • Donald
        June 28, 2015, 3:02 pm

        “Your argument makes no sense whatsoever.”

        Nonsense. I think Finkelstein overstates his case and you are doing the same thing in the opposite direction. Yes, the Lobby has great influence, but it is also true what Finkelstein and Hostage say–obviously the U.S. does not want a precedent set where a Western country’s officials can be held accountable for war crimes. The U.S. is, or so I understand, is legally obligated to investigate and prosecute its own high ranking officials for war crimes and yet we never do this– to American officials the very idea is absurd. The last thing they want to see, short of our own officials being arrested, would be to see Israeli officials being arrested.

        Aiman’s example of Iraq completely misses the point–to the U.S government, war crimes trials for our enemies ( or even former friends now labeled as enemies) are a useful propaganda tool for our foreign policy–the trial of Saddam’s officials could be used as part of the justification for our Iraq invasion. I thought everyone understood this. And the trial of some African dictator not closely tied to us is also fine– it fits in with the propaganda notion of a civilized West holding high moral standards while the tyrants who are either our enemies or at least not out close allies are monsters who need to be brought to justice.

      • Giles
        June 28, 2015, 3:24 pm

        Can I assume that Hostage and Donald are, like Chomksy and Finkelstein, Jewish?

        There seems to be a desperate need among even the most humane and right thinking Jews to discount the power of the Lobby.

        Is it not absurd to think that the Empire routinely supports a tiny nation thousands of miles away for any reason other than the Lobby? Of course it is. That the Empire feels the need to give that tiny nation billions upon billions every year for any reason other then The Lobby? Of course that’s absurd. That the Empire fears international prosecution if it does not routinely support this tiny foreign nation. That’s all transparently ridiculous.

        You guys are deeply in denial of the obvioud

      • Hostage
        June 28, 2015, 4:01 pm

        Can I assume that Hostage and Donald are, like Chomksy and Finkelstein, Jewish? … You guys are deeply in denial of the obvioud [sic]

        I suppose I can assume that you are illiterate. Chomsky has always said that “The Israel Lobby” is one of the two main factors that determine US policy in the Middle East, and I clearly said that “No.2” has to try harder:

        I’ve reviewed elsewhere what the record (historical and documentary) seems to me to show about the main sources of US ME policy, in books and articles for the past 40 years, and can’t try to repeat here. M-W make as good a case as one can, I suppose, for the power of the Lobby, but I don’t think it provides any reason to modify what has always seemed to me a more plausible interpretation. Notice incidentally that what is at stake is a rather subtle matter: weighing the impact of several factors which (all agree) interact in determining state policy: in particular, (A) strategic-economic interests of concentrations of domestic power in the tight state-corporate linkage, and (B) the Lobby.

        Chomsky “The Israel Lobby?” http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20060328.htm

        The idea that Chomsky denies the existence of the Israel Lobby or that he doesn’t agree that it is one of the main factors that interacts in determining US state policy is an urban legend. Likewise, Finkelstein says that US policy on what Israel considers its own local or domestic issues is dictated by “AIPAC”: https://youtu.be/g9noktW9XFc?t=32s

      • Donald
        June 28, 2015, 4:09 pm

        “Can I assume that Donald and Hostage are, like Chomsky and Finkelstein, Jewish?”

        If you are an idiot and a bigot, sure, you can assume that. And it doesn’t speak well of your reasoning abilities if you leap to an ethnic explanation when you see someone disagreeing with you. I’m not Jewish–I guess I needed to say that. Actually, I didn’t, but I just hate to think of you sitting there thinking “Ah, that slippery Donald with his Celtic first name and Northern European last name is trying to weasel out of admitting his Jewishness.”

        Look, it is possible to hold more than one thought in your head at the same time. sure, the Lobby does have great influence and I already said that–they are a huge part of the reason we support Israel. But, and here is where that second idea thing comes in, it Is also true that if Israeli officials are held to account for war crimes, it would set an extraordinary and long overdue precedent because Israel is a country widely perceived as Western, acting with American-supplied weapons and with American support. American officials have also committed war crimes. People have talked about Kissinger for decades as a plausible candidate, but there is also Bush and Obama’s record with drone strikes is also seen as criminal by many. So even without the Lobby, the U.S. Government would be really reluctant to see Western officials tried for crimes not that different from some we have committed ourselves.

      • Giles
        June 28, 2015, 5:07 pm

        I kind of thought we had talked this one to death and I was not going to further comment as I understand I have no chance of changing your minds.

        However, the disingenuousness of your replies has caused me to change my mind.

        “The idea that Chomsky denies the existence of the Israel Lobby ” . Arguing against a point I never made and do not believe.

        “If you are an idiot and a bigot, sure, you can assume that. ” Is it bigoted to assume Jews as a group trend to support Israel and have an emotional investment in not believing the Lobby is the reason the US power structure so fully supports Israel? I expect the non Zionists here on MW to avoid name calling….guess I was wrong on that.

        …but I just hate to think of you sitting there thinking “Ah, that slippery Donald with his Celtic first name and Northern European last name is trying to weasel out of admitting his Jewishness.” No, after these comments I think poor Donald is one defensive, irrational guy, apparently hung up on ethnicity instead of morality.

        Chomsky has always said that “The Israel Lobby” is one of the two main factors that determine US policy in the Middle East “. Exactly. Chomsky totally downplays the power of the Lobby. There is one and only one reason the USA so fully backs Israel — even to its own detriment. And that is “The Lobby” — which include but is surely not limited to the massive pro Israel education and mass media that we are subjected to. There is no second reason.

      • Hostage
        June 28, 2015, 5:50 pm

        However, the disingenuousness [sic] of your replies has caused me to change my mind.

        There was nothing disingenuous about pointing out that hundreds of Israel Lobbyists couldn’t get Congress to okay Obama’s request for an Authorization to Use Military Force against Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile See:
        * AIPAC on an island: ‘Politico’ report says Israel lobby alone in pushing for war in Syria http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/aipac-on-an-island-politico-report-says-israel-lobby-alone-in-pushing-for-war-in-syria ; or
        * That it failed to convince either of the Secretaries of State (Clinton and Kerry) or the President to put Jerusalem on US passports.

        Lets add to that list its abject failure so far to provoke Presidents, including Clinton, Bush II, and Obama into going to war with Iran or moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

        “The idea that Chomsky denies the existence of the Israel Lobby ” . Arguing against a point I never made and do not believe.

        I see that you snipped-off this part “or that he doesn’t agree that it is one of the main factors that interacts in determining US state policy is an urban legend.” You are guilty of perpetuating that myth.

        Chomsky has always said that “The Israel Lobby” is one of the two main factors that determine US policy in the Middle East “. Exactly. Chomsky totally downplays the power of the Lobby. There is one and only one reason the USA so fully backs Israel — even to its own detriment. And that is “The Lobby” — which include but is surely not limited to the massive pro Israel education and mass media that we are subjected to. There is no second reason.

        Oh no, the US military industrial complex would never worry about US service members being indicted by the ICC or their role in supplying weapons for them or other regions in conflict getting them indicted like the leaders of I.G. Farben or Krupp were after WWII. See:
        *Prosecuting Persons Doing Business with Armed Groups in Conflict Areas The Strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court with respect to investigations and prosecutions of persons who finance armed groups in conflict areas or provide them with weapons or ammunition and the Law Enforcement Network (LEN) established for that purpose. http://jicj.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/3/947.abstract

        See also:
        * “US and Israel are accused of manipulating Hague to acquit accused Serb and Croat leaders” http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/accused-manipulating-leaders
        * UK Supreme Court Rejects Jack Goldsmith’s Interpretation of GC IV – Mr. Rahmatullah continues to be detained by the U.S. [in Gitmo] — illegally, as the U.K.’s highest court has now made clear. http://opiniojuris.org/2012/11/01/uk-supreme-court-rejects-jack-goldsmiths-interpretation-of-gc-iv/

      • Donald
        June 28, 2015, 5:48 pm

        It’s bigoted to leap to an ethnic explanation when someone disagrees with you for reasons I’ve explained twice. You brought up the ethnicity. Evidently you are so obsessed with it you cannot wrap your head around the notion that someone might have opinions about American war crimes that tie in with why the U.S. would oppose war crimes trials for Israelis. But I was interested in American war crimes before I knew about Israeli ones. I know, this must be impossible for you to understand.

        And when someone says something bigoted and stupid ( they go together), I think it is a mistake to pretend it wasn’t bigoted and stupid

        And I’m sure that explaining all this to you was a complete waste of time, so this is my last comment on the subject.

      • aiman
        June 29, 2015, 3:13 am

        Disclaimer: Neither Giles nor I claimed the Israel Lobby is omnipotent. So the straw man arguments presented are better consumed by their farmers. Where do we start?

        Donald: “Aiman’s example of Iraq completely misses the point–to the U.S government, war crimes trials for our enemies ( or even former friends now labeled as enemies) are a useful propaganda tool for our foreign policy–the trial of Saddam’s officials could be used as part of the justification for our Iraq invasion. I thought everyone understood this. And the trial of some African dictator not closely tied to us is also fine– it fits in with the propaganda notion of a civilized West holding high moral standards while the tyrants who are either our enemies or at least not out close allies are monsters who need to be brought to justice.”

        Nonsense. Here is Native American/Jewish Winona La Duke giving us the same reason and was ably rebutted by many commenters. I consider your, Chomsky’s, Hostage’s. and La Duke’s argument diversionary. In fact, this argument is not about East/West at all but a simple inability of many Jewish non-Zionist left or those in their circles in facing the facts. In the case of Chomsky’s pupils it is an irrational urge/denial that descends upon all followers of messianic figures. There is no arguing with Hostage on this just as there is no arguing with any other zealot. Logical, eloquent men of letter begin to splutter and stumble and this topic has already been done:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/critical-responses-boycott. When people dig their own graves, there’s no use helping them.

        American Jewish non-Zionist left responses usually fall into three categories on the Israel Lobby:

        1. Silence.
        2. Grudging acceptance.
        3. Chomsky treatment.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 11:43 am

        Disclaimer: Neither Giles nor I claimed the Israel Lobby is omnipotent. So the straw man arguments presented are better consumed by their farmers.

        What straw men? The failures of the Israel Lobby that I outlined and the citations to the Chomsky article and Finkelstein video are facts and evidence. That’s something that’s missing entirely from your comments. It doesn’t matter whether you claimed the lobby was omnipotent, you both misstated the actual facts about Chomsky’s and Finkelstein’s stated positions on the strength or role of the Israel Lobby and got called out on it. Now you’re engaging not too clever insults and dissimulations.

        Nonsense. Here is Native American/Jewish Winona La Duke giving us the same reason and was ably rebutted by many commenters. I consider your, Chomsky’s, Hostage’s. and La Duke’s argument diversionary. In fact, this argument is not about East/West at all but a simple inability of many Jewish non-Zionist left or those in their circles in facing the facts.

        FYI, I’m an Anti-Zionist with way more than 10,000 comments in the archives here at Mondoweiss alone that speak for themselves. Among other things, I’ve repeatedly advocated lawsuits and criminal prosecutions of members of the Israel Lobby as well as lawsuits and criminal prosecutions of US government officials and corrupt US corporations. I’ve gone out of my way to present the material facts, the evidence, and the applicable US and international laws. I’m just curious, what have you done? In this case you’ve only contributed a few false generalizations and ignored the actual facts and evidence.

        I’ve always relied upon primary sources, such as the official US government documentary records of its own invasions and occupations of countries in the Caribbean, the Pacific, Latin America, Asia, and Africa; and US-conducted atrocities and genocides in other countries, as well as right here at home. I’ve almost always managed to do that without resorting to a single reference to any of Chomsky’s or Finkelstein’s published materials on those particular subjects.

        There is no arguing with Hostage on this just as there is no arguing with any other zealot.

        I’m no student or zealot of the positions taken by Chomsky or Finkelstein. In fact, I disagree completely with Chomsky and Finkelstein on the subject of the applicability and pertinence of international law to the subject of the right of return and minority rights in Israel and have said as much on several occasions. In dozens of cases, international courts have ruled that refugees have an inalienable right to return and access properties they have abandoned due to armed conflicts the moment the shooting stops and that states have an affirmative obligation under international law to facilitate restitution and individual compensation without regard to on-going negotiations regarding a final peace settlement between the countries concerned. Here are the links to the latest cases which cite many other earlier precedent setting ones:
        * Chiragov and Others v. Armenia http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-155353
        * Sargsyan v. Azerbaija http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-155662

        I just get tired of hearing people deliberately misstating his positions on the issue of the Lobby, which is actually that: (a) the Israel Lobby is one of the two main factors that determine US foreign policy in the Middle East. I’ve pointed that out to you, and you are still churning out these illogical screeds and ignoring all of the evidence that doesn’t fit your original, false premise.

      • aiman
        June 29, 2015, 3:23 am

        Hostage: “P.S. FYI, the reference to a fictional man-made monster in my comment above was quite intentional;-)”

        Of course, to paraphrase what I wrote elsewhere: even eloquent men of letters like you begin to stumble and splutter when their guru is questioned. All your responses on this topic make no sense and stem from an emotional place. Let’s leave it at that. We all have at least one intellectual/ideological weakness.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 10:34 am

        Of course, to paraphrase what I wrote elsewhere: even eloquent men of letters like you begin to stumble and splutter when their guru is questioned.

        Neither Chomsky not Finkelstein is my guru. I disagree with both men on substantial issues. But I get tired of people misstating their actual positions in order to argue with straw men.

        All your responses on this topic make no sense and stem from an emotional place. Let’s leave it at that. We all have at least one intellectual/ideological weakness.

        If my comments about the failure of hundreds of AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbyists make no sense to you, then the intellectual/ideological weakness are all yours. Feel free to explain the failure of the Israel Lobby to obtain: (a) Congressional approval of Obama’s proposal to bomb Syrian weapons stockpiles; (b) war with Iran; (c) the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem; and (d) the entry of Jerusalem, Israel on US passports.

        I’m no prophet, but I was smart enough to predict the Lobby’s failure to achieve each of those goals.

      • aiman
        June 29, 2015, 3:27 am

        Donald: “It’s bigoted to leap to an ethnic explanation when someone disagrees with you for reasons I’ve explained twice. You brought up the ethnicity. Evidently you are so obsessed with it you cannot wrap your head around the notion that someone might have opinions about American war crimes that tie in with why the U.S. would oppose war crimes trials for Israelis.”

        It is also bigoted to accuse someone of bigotry without proof. On the subject of Israel, the social location, exposure to ideology/thinkers of the writer matters absolutely. It is not at all ethnicity but social location and the history of your comments do reveal your or mine or somebody else’s social location. Growing up in a Jewish background or being located within ideological circles of Jewish writers/thinkers is of paramount relevance given the centrality Israel holds in modern Jewish every day life. It informs biases, sentiments and is well illustrated by the positions people advocate or whose side they mourn more (even soldiers who occupy).

        La Duke’s article that I referenced earlier: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/11/winona-laduke-we-cant-talk-about-israel-because-we-are-israel

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 8:06 am

        “And when someone says something bigoted and stupid ( they go together), I think it is a mistake to pretend it wasn’t bigoted and stupid ”

        I’m not the one trying to sell the idea that it is fear of international prosecutions of US officials and not The Lobby that is the reason for such blind support for Israel.

        Now that’s stupid.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 10:15 am

        I’m not the one trying to sell the idea that it is fear of international prosecutions of US officials and not The Lobby that is the reason for such blind support for Israel.

        Now that’s stupid.

        First we’re disingenuous and now we’re stupid? This is an article about a report that encourages states “To support actively the work of the International Criminal Court in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory; to exercise universal jurisdiction to try international crimes in national courts; and to comply with extradition requests pertaining to suspects of such crimes to countries where they would face a fair trial.”

        That has been the United States’ worst nightmare for decades now. I’ve written more intelligent comments about the political agenda and power of the Jewish and Israeli Lobbies; their 28 billion dollar per year charity industry; and the tens of thousands of Jewish US nationals who have served in the IDF or taken-up housekeeping in the Occupied Palestinian territories than you ever have or ever will.

        None of that can be relied upon as the sole basis to explain the USA’s aversion to the ICC, the exercise of universal jurisdiction, or the UN’s efforts to address crimes and mistreatment of indigenous peoples and minority groups and reparations for instances of invasion, occupation, segregation, apartheid, slavery, and genocide. The USA and the former colonial powers are avoiding responsibility for their own past and present misconduct, not just providing cover for Israel.

        The USA demanded Security Council screening of ICC cases and the inclusion of Article 98 in the Rome Statute. It demanded immunity from criminal prosecution from the Security Council for its military operations in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It conditioned its foreign and military assistance on the conclusion of bilateral agreements, which guarantee that other governments won’t surrender US officials or members of the US armed forces for prosecution in the ICC. It vigorously opposed the ICC 2010 Review Conference adoption of the General Assembly’s “Definition of Aggression” and demanded terms that exclude non-member states and required member states to opt-in to the Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over that crime on their own territories – even after they’ve ratified the Rome Statute amendments. See:
        * US Opposition to the International Criminal Court https://www.globalpolicy.org/international-justice/the-international-criminal-court/us-opposition-to-the-icc.html
        * International Criminal Court – Article 98 Agreements Research Guide https://www.law.georgetown.edu/library/research/guides/article_98.cfm
        * U.S. Policy on the ICC Crime of Aggression Announced
        http://justsecurity.org/22248/u-s-policy-icc-crime-aggression/

        Likewise, the US has demanded that loopholes and immunity for foreign nationals be included in every ICC referral made by the Security Council to date. It isn’t doing all of that for the Israel Lobby, it is covering its own ass.

      • Jackdaw
        June 29, 2015, 9:53 am

        @Hostage

        ““The Israel Lobby” is one of the two main factors that determine US policy in the Middle East, ”

        Hostage and Chomsky got it wrong.

        The main factor that determines US policy in the Middle East is that the American public and officialdom fears, hates and loathes Arabs.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 29, 2015, 10:13 am

        the American public .. fears, hates and loathes Arabs.

        in your dreams maybe.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 11:54 am

        Hostage and Chomsky got it wrong. The main factor that determines US policy in the Middle East is that the American public and officialdom fears, hates and loathes Arabs.

        I was simply reciting Chomsky’s actual stated views, not endorsing all of them. It goes without saying that I’ve commented about the post 9-11 round-up and jailing of Asian-looking aliens and the utterly racist comments of US and Allied officialdom, both present and past, on the issue of Palestine or the Muslim religion notwithstanding their demurrals and public condemnation of “Islamophobia”.

      • Kris
        June 29, 2015, 10:47 am

        @jackdaw: “The main factor that determines US policy in the Middle East is that the American public and officialdom fears, hates and loathes Arabs.”

        Not true, though it’s not from lack of trying by the mass media, much of which is controlled by Zionist Jews. And then there’s Hollywood, where Arabs are the only minority it’s still acceptable to stereotype and vilify. A good book for you to read would be “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People.” http://www.amazon.com/Reel-Bad-Arabs-Hollywood-Vilifies/dp/1566567521

        Shaheen (mass communication, Southern Illinois Univ.; Arab and Muslim Stereotypes in American Popular Culture) has written a meticulous, passionate, and very articulate description of the persistent and prolonged vilification of Arab peoples in mainstream Western movies. Offering primarily reviews of the 900 films he has seen or researched over 20 years, he documents a century of offensive stereotypes and shows how the image of the “dirty Arab” has reemerged over the last 30 years, even as other groups have more or less successfully fought to eliminate the use of racist stereotypes.

      • eljay
        June 29, 2015, 10:51 am

        || Jackdaw: … The main factor that determines US policy in the Middle East is that the American public and officialdom fears, hates and loathes Arabs. ||

        The Protocols of the Elders of Arabia, eh? Mission accomplished.

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 11:09 am

        Hostage has gone way off course.

        Let’s try to clear this up.

        Here is the statement by prof F that I find ridiculous.

        “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale”.

        This is false. Norman’s statement completely discounts the role of the Lobby. Let me repeat the key phrase “…not because of the Israel Lobby…”.

        Now if you wish to defend Norm’s statement and thus attack my critique of it, please do Hostage. But stay on topic.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 12:29 pm

        “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale”.

        This is false.

        And the evidence that the USA has not invaded the other countries that I mentioned, killing hundreds of thousands, destroying tens of thousands of homes, public property and infrastructure; making millions of persons refugees; carrying-out targeted assassinations, deportations, enforced disappearances, renditions, tortures, and wrongful imprisonments; providing weapons and ammunition to various government, rebel, and terrorist groups that routinely commit atrocities; while trillions in revenue change hands or disappears entirely is exactly what – your pitiful and vacuous dismissal of a mountain of evidence to the contrary?

        If that’s the case, then its a pity that you can only be banned from Mondoweiss for denying the Nakba or the Holocaust, but not when the same thing is done in connection with the crimes committed against other civilian populations.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 1:32 pm

        Norman’s statement completely discounts the role of the Lobby. Let me repeat the key phrase “…not because of the Israel Lobby…”.

        Once again, the USA has always been openly opposed to any efforts that would outlaw its own foreign diplomatic and military interventions through the adoption of regional Pan-American codifications of international law; adoption of constitutional, “Calvo Clauses”, the exercise of universal jurisdiction over its crimes by other states, or the establishment of international criminal tribunals wherein it doesn’t enjoy a veto power.

        I’ve commented here about the fact that the State Department’s own archives record the fact that the United States helped invent the methods to circumvent international law and obtain concessions from victim states during a military occupation, like the Platt Amendment, which allowed the USA to dictate the terms of the victim state’s: internal governance, fiscal policies, customs collections, and prohibit foreign relations with other states – all while obtaining permission to permanently acquire and maintain military bases, canals, & key advantages for US businesses. President Roosevelt and Elihu Root were praised and awarded prizes for implementing the rules of international arbitration and the permanent court that could be employed to settle boundary and other disputes among “civilized people,” while retaining their own country’s right to use force against any people that they accused of being less civilized or less “sovereign”.

        You can read pro-Israel, Anti-BDS, pro-Gaza blockade articles by Prof Eugene Kontorovich (who used to be a journalist employed by the Forward) at Opinio Juris, The European Journal of International Law, The Washington Post’s “The Volokh Conspiracy” blog, the Jerusalem Post, & etc. He also submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Zivotofsky for the Louis D. Brandies Center in the recent Jerusalem passports case; is a guest speaker for the JNF; and a knitted kippah-wearing research fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem which advocates for the adoption of the racist Basic Law: Israel the Nation-State of the Jewish People, e.g. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/12/09/the-legitimacy-of-israels-nation-state-bill-i-comparative-constitutionalism/

        By definition, he works for the Israeli Lobby and bemoans the fact that the US and other governments have unfairly employed national and international laws against the State of Israel with regard to labeling goods manufactured in illegal Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem, the West bank, and Gaza, and host of other areas of disagreement.

      • just
        June 29, 2015, 11:15 am

        “Likewise, the US has demanded that loopholes and immunity for foreign nationals be included in every ICC referral made by the Security Council to date. It isn’t doing all of that for the Israel Lobby, it is covering its own ass.””

        Thank you, Hostage. Your posts on this thread are informative as usual.

        They are also crystal clear.

      • Jackdaw
        June 29, 2015, 12:29 pm

        @Kris

        Every time an Arab saws off someone’s head, or immolates a caged prisoner, and than posts the video murder on the internet, the ‘fear, hate, loathe’ factor goes up exponentially, and this has nothing to do with the Hollywood Zionist controlled media.

        Am I wrong, Kris?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 29, 2015, 1:19 pm

        Every time an Arab ..[bla bla bla].. factor goes up exponentially, and this has nothing to do with the Hollywood Zionist controlled media.

        unless you’ve got polls or something to back this up, this is a statement of speculation, not one of fact. where’s your source american racists who hate all arabs are growing exponentially?*
        ie are there any groups whose memberships have expanded exponentially over the last couple of years due to new memberships? why not ask us if you’re wrong after presenting some kind of evidence to back up your speculative assertions first.

        *or do you mean those american racists are just getting exponentially madder vs their numbers growing?

      • Sibiriak
        June 29, 2015, 12:47 pm

        Giles: Here is the statement by prof F that I find ridiculous.

        “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale”.

        This is false.
        ————————-

        What evidence do you have that that statement is false? –i.e. evidence that U.S. support of Israeli actions in the specific case of Gaza derives from Israel Lobby efforts and not from the powerful and long-standing affinity between U.S. and Israel militarism/imperialism.

      • just
        June 29, 2015, 12:50 pm

        +1, Hostage @ 12:29 pm!

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 2:02 pm

        1, Hostage @ 12:29 pm!

        Yes, my son just emailed his condolences for the damage done to my intellect by my Jewish up-bringing. He wondered how I still managed to write so many informative comments about the obscure declassified State Department memos on subjects like the Jewish Lobby efforts to block UN membership of the new state formed by the union between Transjordan and Arab Palestine or the Hackworth and Gross memos regarding the universal and democratic doctrines the US government espoused in the Atlantic and UN Charters that were directly undermined by our support for the Zionist movement and Jewish minority rule in Palestine (and the subsequent role played by our government to block every effort to obtain an ICJ advisory opinion on those subjects on behalf of the Zionist Lobby and Israel)? How could I have been so blind to my blind spot? …;-)

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 1:19 pm

        My point on this thread is, and always has been, that prof F is wrong when he states that “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby..”

        Read my initial post, my most recent post.

        Hostage seems quite incapable of responding to my assertion that prof F is wrong in saying the lobby has no role in the US always siding with Israel.

        What’s up Hostage? Why going off on all these tangents? Can you not agree with my original point which is simple and seems to be to be quite obviously true? Is it that hard for you?

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 2:19 pm

        Hostage seems quite incapable of responding to my assertion that prof F is wrong in saying the lobby has no role in the US always siding with Israel.

        Because he didn’t actually say that, you did. In this case, the US truly would oppose the findings, based upon its own published military and foreign policy doctrines regarding the permissible use of force, with or without any outside political influences.

        What’s up Hostage? Why going off on all these tangents?

        Precisely because the actions of the USA in the armed conflicts in places like Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and in connection with Palestine are potentially just as incriminating for our own officials as they are for Israeli officials.

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 1:43 pm

        “What evidence do you have that that statement is false? –i.e. evidence that U.S. support of Israeli actions in the specific case of Gaza derives from Israel Lobby efforts and not from the powerful and long-standing affinity between U.S. and Israel militarism/imperialism. “-

        And the reason for the powerful and long-standing affinity between U.S. and Israel militarism/imperialism? Not The Lobby? If not The Lobby, then what?

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 2:54 pm

        And the reason for the powerful and long-standing affinity between U.S. and Israel militarism/imperialism? Not The Lobby? If not The Lobby, then what?

        The writings of the leaders of the Zionist movement reveal that they quite consciously adopted and exploited the existing imperial or colonial policies of the US and other great powers. It was a genocidal model of denying the rights of others, establishing tower and stockade fortifications along skirmish or confrontation lines in order to kill or evict the existing local “uncivilized” populations, dictate the location of future territorial boundaries, exploit plundered natural resources, implant settlers, and confine the remaining members of the targeted population to small reservations, while denying them equal protection or self-determination. It’s a great line of work if you can still find it, but 170+ countries have outlawed it by ratifying the Geneva and Hague Conventions and their Additional Protocols, unlike the USA or Israel.

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 2:49 pm

        “Hostage seems quite incapable of responding to my assertion that prof F is wrong in saying the lobby has no role in the US always siding with Israel. Because he didn’t actually say that, you did”.

        Wow.

        Just wow.

        Are you actually denying that Norman F does not say, in this very article we have all just read, “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby..”

        Note that I copied and pasted the quote from this article. I look forward to how you twist this…as I know you will as you are clearly incapable of admitting error.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 29, 2015, 3:00 pm

        hi giles, excuse me for not reading the whole thread an article again before responding, but your wows caught my attention. i’m not quite understanding your point because opining the US will side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby but because of whatever reason norm gave doesn’t mean or imply “the lobby has no role in the US always siding with Israel”. did norm say “the lobby has no role in the US always siding with Israel”?

        because i would disagree the lobby has “no role”. albeit lots of people don’t think they are the over riding feature. that’s not very wowy. it’s par for the course in debating us influence in i/p. i would sort of wow if norm said the lobby had no influence tho. obviously they have influence or they wouldn’t do what they do.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 3:13 pm

        Note that I copied and pasted the quote from this article.

        Finkelstein did NOT say that “the Lobby plays no role”, you said that. He only said that, in this particular case concerning the events in Gaza, the US would oppose the findings contained in the report, but not because of the Lobby. As a person who is still on the US military payroll, and who served in Air Force Departmental major command headquarters staff positions and DoD operational command headquarters staff positions, I can assure you that he is correct about that situation. As a Jewish person, I would also suggest that you get a translator to assist you in deciphering Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms.

      • Kris
        June 29, 2015, 3:05 pm

        Jackdaw, could it be that demonizing Arabs in movies and mass media has created a false stereotype (the “evil Arab”) that is then reinforced and amplified by such gruesome events as you describe? Especially since these events are reported over and over again in our media, as if they were the rule in Arab societies, and not the exception?

        It was because of the dangers inherent in demonizing the “other” that the ADL was started. (“The mission of the Anti-Defamation League is to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike.”)

        Why do you suppose that when Israeli Jews burned a Palestinian teenager to death, the U.S. media mostly ignored and downplayed the story, while when Palestinian rockets land on the ground by Jewish “settlements,” we hear over and over and over again about the fear and psychological trauma experienced by the Jewish “settlers?”

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 3:15 pm

        In response to Anne R.

        Here is Norm’s quote as copied and pasted from the article. “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale.’

        My original comment was that Norm has a blindspot when it comes to the power of the Lobby. In this statement, he denies that the Lobby has any role in the US siding with Israel’s actions in Gaza.

        I am “wowing” because Hostage accused me of making that statement, not Norm F. Which amazes me as to the length someone will avoid admitting his error. Hostage is denying that Norm F made the statement that he is quoted as having made in the very article we are discussing.

        Now to me that is a great comment on liberal Zionists and their desire to downplay the role of “The Lobby” (it is, of course, far more than a lobby; I would call it an organized crime family, professor Petras has dubbed it The Zionist power configuration).

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 3:29 pm

        Now to me that is a great comment on liberal Zionists and their desire to downplay the role of “The Lobby” (it is, of course, far more than a lobby; I would call it an organized crime family, professor Petras has dubbed it The Zionist power configuration).

        Except that I’ve described the special relationship as a “joint criminal enterprise” on numerous occasions and called for lawsuits and prosecutions all around. I have no problem at all parsing Finkelstein’s actual remarks and the implicitly limited scope of context in which they were meant to apply. The remarks he made in the video establish that he has no such blind spot. In Yoav Shamir’s film “Defamation,” Finklestein was talking about the power of the American Zionist Lobby when he said:

        “It’s the best thing that will ever happen to Israel if they get rid of these American Jews who are warmongers from Martha’s Vinyard; and the warmongers from the Hamptons; and the warmongers from Beverly Hills; and the warmongers from Miami. It’s been a disaster for Israel. It’s the best thing if it can ever get rid of this American Jewry. It’s a curse.”

        Now I could cut and paste and claim that he holds all “American Jewry” responsible, and totally lets Israeli Jewry off the hook. But I know that’s not the idea he meant to convey to the intended audience.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 29, 2015, 3:33 pm

        thanks, i was just trying to understand your meaning.

        as an analogy i’d like to offer a child with 2 parents. dad harasses the child continually to study more because it will make him smart, mom harasses the child to study because she wants him to get into a great school.

        if the child says he’s studying more not because his dad says it will make him smart, but ultimately because he wants to get into harvard.

        did the child deny the father had any influence him over this decision.

        did the child say ‘my fathers words did not influence my decision’.

        no, he said i am not studying to get smarter, i am studying to pass the entrance exams and get into harvard. (albeit, the outcome none the less will make him smarter…but i am not sure how that fits into the analogy)

        my point, is the norm did not “deny” the lobby has influence. he merely expressed he didn’t think that influence was the reason the US takes the action it does. that the over riding reasons were because the US routinely does the same thing, only worse. iow, it’s in the US best interest not to confront israel about actions the US takes itself.

        it’s a difference of opinion, but it doesn’t deny influence of the lobby per se.

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 5:11 pm

        What seems pretty clear is that you are ignoring his because/not because dialectical pairing and that you don’t comprehend which one is the first cause in this case.

        That’s one helluva sentence.

        I think I will go by what Norman said. It’s much simpler and straightforward.

        “The US will of course side with Israel, NOT BECAUSE OF THE ISRAEL LOBBY, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale”

      • Mooser
        June 29, 2015, 6:10 pm

        “It is also bigoted to accuse someone of bigotry without proof.”

        Okay, glad we got that out of the way. So now, let’s go ahead and do it, using the most tenuous and tendentious of ethnic insinuations!:

        On the subject of Israel, the social location, exposure to ideology/thinkers of the writer matters absolutely. It is not at all ethnicity but social location and the history of your comments do reveal your or mine or somebody else’s social location. Growing up in a Jewish background or being located within ideological circles of Jewish writers/thinkers is of paramount relevance given the centrality Israel holds in modern Jewish every day life. It informs biases, sentiments and is well illustrated by the positions people advocate or whose side they mourn more (even soldiers who occupy). “

        How much do you know about Hostage and his “background”?

      • Keith
        June 29, 2015, 9:34 pm

        GILES- “Not The Lobby? If not The Lobby, then what?”

        From what I have gathered skimming some of these comments, your implicit definition of “The Lobby,” a vague, ill-define entity, is overly broad. There is a strong pro-Israel bias among segments of domestic concentrations of power. The entire military-industrial complex for one. Additionally, many successful Jews have a strong Israel bias without actually being part of a specific lobby. In other words, to include huge segments of the imperial elite as part of an Israeli lobby is tantamount to saying that the imperial elites are part of the Lobby, hardly a useful definition. Also, the fact that Chomsky apparently perceives much of what you call The Lobby as part of domestic and transnational concentrations of power hardly seems a reason to cause ongoing anti-Chomsky, anti-Finkelstein, anti-etc. animus. No need to create villains where there are none.

      • aiman
        June 30, 2015, 3:13 am

        Mooser: “Okay, glad we got that out of the way. So now, let’s go ahead and do it, using the most tenuous and tendentious of ethnic insinuations!:”

        aiman @ June 29, 2015, 3:27 am: “On the subject of Israel, the social location, exposure to ideology/thinkers of the writer matters absolutely. It is not at all ethnicity but social location and the history of your comments do reveal your or mine or somebody else’s social location. Growing up in a Jewish background or being located within ideological circles of Jewish writers/thinkers is of paramount relevance given the centrality Israel holds in modern Jewish every day life. It informs biases, sentiments and is well illustrated by the positions people advocate or whose side they mourn more (even soldiers who occupy).”

        I think you’ve let your paranoia, to put it most politely, get the better of you. You’ve just called me a “bigot”. I don’t mind mascots running around but don’t suffer gate-keepers gladly. But I’ll try to stick to the point even though I believe your issues are much larger and may have to do with your own self so this is perhaps just an opportunist jab. There is nothing controversial in what I’ve said. This point, regarding the wisdom of even sending a Jewish person to cover the Occupation by NYT for example, has already been debated here. However, I spoke of “social location not “ethnic insinuations”. One has every right to look at ideological patterns and the idea that the US is not interested in prosecuting Israel because it is itself mired in sins or prevented by law is a common argument on the Jewish Left. I came to a fellow poster’s defense because it is not bigoted to make such an assumption.

        “How much do you know about Hostage and his “background”?”

        If Mondoweiss was not the “War of Ideas in the Middle East” but a mentorship program, I may have briefly entertained your own insinuation. I am responding to arguments. My focus is not even American Jews or their identity, my whole drive is the suffering of the Palestinians. If people, whether they are hailed as saints or not, can work with sarcasm, calling others “illiterate”, “bigot” and “stupid”, I can call them out on it by giving them less than polite responses with a hefty dose of reality check. But I must admit it is the sheer disingenuous character of the responses that is most catalyzing, and that includes your own.

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 1:19 pm

        “Growing up in a Jewish background or being located within ideological circles of Jewish writers/thinkers is of paramount relevance given the centrality Israel holds in modern Jewish every day life. It informs biases, sentiments and is well illustrated by the positions people advocate or whose side they mourn more (even soldiers who occupy).” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/unserious-exhibits-finkelstein#sthash.3HMDB3DI.dpuf

        I’m sorry if I have made a mistake. That paragraph does not refer to “Hostage”? If it does, I think you can give him a tad more credit for independent thinking.

      • Mooser
        June 30, 2015, 7:21 pm

        “But I’ll try to stick to the point even though I believe your issues are much larger and may have to do with your own self…”

        Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m a mess, but try and look past it. It’s my Jewish upbringing, you know, and all that.

      • aiman
        July 1, 2015, 9:50 am

        Hostage: “I said that he should get a translator to assist him in deciphering three things “Jewish dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms”. There’s no claim of monopoly there, since I assume he would be just as clueless if he encountered almost identical modes of expression in instances of Islamic dialectics, hyperbole, and idioms. There’s nothing exclusive or tribal about it.”

        Fair enough.

        “That and the rest of your post is simply more dissembling bullshit.”

        A post to which you’ve had no answer essentially but picked and selected to convey your own meaning, and that is true of all your responses. What is “dissembling bullshit” is you turning a simple sentence by NF, what could be penned by any Gentile, into one deserving a translator to unearth some meaning of Jewosh dialectics. The rest of your responses are disingenuous and even dishonest. In the guise of correcting “misstated” views of C and NF you have chosen to misrepresent, go on wild tangents perfectly simple arguments that bear no repeating. Let me just end by saying you need to hire a translator of Islamic and Western with a bit of Taoist dialect, idioms etc. to get what I’m talking about.

      • Hostage
        July 1, 2015, 11:35 am

        A post to which you’ve had no answer essentially but picked and selected to convey your own meaning, and that is true of all your responses.

        No, I’ve responded to the distortions contained in the comments made by yourself and Giles and the readers can decide for themselves. Chomsky and Finkelstein have never denied the power of the Lobby and it is no exaggeration, total diminshment, or negation to point out that purely American priorities have quite frequently prevailed over those of the Israel and Jewish Lobbies and have dictated key foreign policies regarding the location of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv; the decisions not to use military force against Syria and Iran; the decision not to enter “Jerusalem, Israel” on US passports; the decision not to include Israel in the visa waiver program; the Bush Jr decision to offset US loan guarantees by the amount spent on constructing the Wall; the Bush Sr administration decision to tie loan guarantees for Israel to a freeze in settlement construction; the Reagan Administration decision to sell AWACS and F-15s to Saudi Arabia; & etc.

        On the issues of US loan guarantees and foreign weapons sales, the private banks and Wall Street players or the defense industry players, like Citi Bank, Goldman Sacks, General Dynamics, Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, et al have invariably urinated higher on the wall than the Israel Lobby during any political pissing contest between the parties concerned. Mearsheimer and Walt do not disagree with Chomsky on that score, only people who haven’t actually read their book claim that they do so.

        The issue of the role of UN HRC and the ICC in armed conflicts is no different. There are overriding US priorities that would dictate its response, with or without the Lobby.

      • just
        July 1, 2015, 12:09 pm

        “On the issues of US loan guarantees and foreign weapons sales, the private banks and Wall Street players or the defense industry players, like Citi Bank, Goldman Sacks, General Dynamics, Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, et al have invariably urinated higher on the wall than the Israel Lobby during any political pissing contest between the parties concerned. Mearsheimer and Walt do not disagree with Chomsky on that score, only people who haven’t actually read their book claim that they do so.”

        Hostage~ you continue to amaze me with your keen ability to see and convey the truth. It’s been an enormous benefit to me and to those with whom I have shared your wisdom and occasional, but very funny humor, as in the above quotation.

        I read and linked to an article about the HRC in Haaretz this morning… Ravid’s article ends with this:

        “The draft also “calls upon all states to adopt measures to ensure that their public authorities and private entities do not become involved in internationally unlawful conduct by Israel.””

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.663921?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

        The ‘warning’ might indeed be too late, eh? Seems that the US gov’t, Wall Street, and the MIC are all up to their proverbial necks in this. It also seems to be part of the motivation for the State Dept not opposing some BDS:

        “In rebuke to Israel, State Dep’t says it has no objection to BDS aimed at occupation” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/rebuke-objection-occupation#sthash.a73emdKa.dpuf

    • Giles
      June 29, 2015, 3:45 pm

      Still waiting for support for Norm’s statement “not because of the Lobby..”. Wondering why the Lobby apparently stepped aside on this particular event.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 3:55 pm

        Still waiting for support for Norm’s statement “not because of the Lobby..”. Wondering why the Lobby apparently stepped aside on this particular event.

        You’re still trying to draw unsupported inferences from what he said about the US government’s ultimate motivation. He didn’t say the Lobby stepped aside or was standing on the sidelines. He said the USA’s criminal liability for similar operations elsewhere in the world was sufficient enough to serve as the sole determining or decisive factor.

      • Giles
        June 29, 2015, 4:03 pm

        Actually he said “…not because of the lobby”. That seems pretty clear. Don’t believe I need to draw “unsupported inferences from what he said about the US government’s ultimate motivation”.

        “He didn’t say the Lobby stepped aside or was standing on the sidelines.” No he did not. He said not because of the Lobby. Period.

      • Hostage
        June 29, 2015, 4:12 pm

        Actually he said “…not because of the lobby”. That seems pretty clear.

        What seems pretty clear is that you are ignoring his because/not because dialectical pairing and that you don’t comprehend which one is the first cause in this case.

      • aiman
        June 29, 2015, 4:28 pm

        Hostage: “What seems pretty clear is that you are ignoring his because/not because dialectical pairing and that you don’t comprehend which one is the first cause in this case.”

        There is no “dialectical pairing”. Let’s not enter into the realm of non-Zionist or anti-Zionist tribal mysticism aka absolute bullsh*t. Let’s look at the facts, namely what NF actually said:

        “The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale ”

        Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension knows that NF is discounting the role of the Lobby to put it most politely if not outright denying it. The last part is the clincher:

        “…the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale”. NF is offering no context but a present continuous tense “the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale ” so Israel may continuing to do so, too.

        End of the matter. Keep going at it though, Hostage.

    • RockyMissouri
      June 29, 2015, 4:19 pm

      Just to remind: Many Americans do NOT side with the American Government on this..!! I condemn our support of Israel ..militarily and financially…and MORALLY.

  2. Kay24
    June 27, 2015, 11:26 am

    Norm Finkelstein is absolutely right. The details are very clear, and the numbers do not lie.
    How the UN can minimize this massacre is unbelievable, but then any way they say it, the criminals in Israel will get away with murder, with the US defending them. We arm them, protect them, and showing unwavering support every time a precision bomb is sent into a Palestinian home wiping out entire families. Had the situation been reverse, the bully would be making hay and whining about being victims again.

  3. HarryLaw
    June 27, 2015, 11:53 am

    The cost/benefit of of this so called “war” was heavily in favor of Israel, many Israeli Generals have said civilians are being targeted, for instance in the Lebanon war in 2006 Gadi Eizenkot said “that what happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 would, “happen in every village from which shots were fired in the direction of Israel. We will wield disproportionate power against [them] and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases. This isn’t a suggestion. It’s a plan that has already been authorized. Harming the population is the only means of restraining Nasrallah.” There we have it, war crimes are what Israel plans, and carries out.
    I have no objection to armed resistance, but that resistance has to be effective and capable of achieving a political objective. Hezbollah now have the capability to destroy a lot of Israeli infrastructure and have promised to do so when attacked again, that is why Israel will think twice about attacking Hezbollah. Hamas launched 4,000 “rockets” at Israel but caused very little damage, one rocket landed a mile from Ben Gurian airport and closed it down for a short period. One successful rocket, as opposed all those deaths in addition to 8 billion dollars to reconstruct Gaza, means that Hamas [although fighting bravely] need to go back to the drawing board. Closing the airport down for any length of time could have destroyed the Israeli economy, blowing up the desert is futile and played into Netanyahu’s hands.

  4. just
    June 27, 2015, 12:21 pm

    New interview:

    ““The question is just when”: Max Blumenthal on war in the Gaza Strip’s past — and its future
    Author of “The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza” tells Salon what he saw in the rubble of a land under seige”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/06/27/the_question_is_just_when_max_blumenthal_on_war_in_the_gaza_strips_past_%E2%80%94_and_its_future/

  5. HarryLaw
    June 27, 2015, 3:33 pm

    Richard Falk described the Dahiya doctrine thus.. “the civilian infrastructure of adversaries such as Hamas or Hezbollah are treated as permissible military targets, which is not only an overt violation of the most elementary norms of the law of war and of universal morality, but an avowal of a doctrine of violence that needs to be called by its proper name: state terrorism.”
    Then we have another Israeli ‘doctrine’, transferring citizens of the occupier into occupied territory. This is also described by the ICC as ‘a grave war crime’. Once again Israeli state policy is to commit grave war crimes, all with the blessing of the US and Western Europe. And then they wonder why they hate us.

  6. Hostage
    June 28, 2015, 9:37 am

    The US will of course side with Israel, not because of the Israel lobby, but because whatever Israel did in Gaza, the US routinely does around the world on an infinitely greater scale…

    Correction: If you use the criteria that was just employed in the Case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia, then the USA and Israel should both be considered the occupying powers in the case of the former Palestinian mandated territories. Thousands of US Nationals have either served in the IDF or reside in the illegal settlements. The US backed and protected the Zionist colonial project from the very beginning and has provided it with continuous political and military support in direct violation of UN resolutions which have condemned the use of the UN SC veto and US arms deals with Israel.

    http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-155353

    • just
      June 28, 2015, 9:55 am

      “…then the USA and Israel should both be considered the occupying powers in the case of the former Palestinian mandated territories.”

      That feels/sounds right to me.

      • Mooser
        June 29, 2015, 10:46 pm

        Was he really saying that Hostage, of all people, couldn’t think for himself?

  7. just
    June 28, 2015, 10:34 am

    Saeb Erekat in The Guardian today:

    “… Under international law, states have a duty not to support Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. Logic and law dictate that the EU and its member states take active steps towards implementing the two-state solution. Recognising the state of Palestine within 1967 borders is a natural translation of the Palestinian right to self-determination. This right, as stated in Europe’s own Berlin declaration of 1999, cannot be subject to any veto (meaning, for one thing, that it cannot be made contingent upon negotiations).

    Following the EU guidelines relating to prizes and grants, more must be done to ensure that states are not directly or indirectly supporting the occupation, by banning products and goods made on stolen land with stolen natural resources. Furthermore, Israel’s failure to meet the basic conditions of the association agreement with the EU should logically result in that agreement being formally reviewed.

    The PLO’s internationalisation strategy is based on the idea that only by ensuring equality and justice will we be able to achieve a lasting peace. When last Thursday Palestine submitted its first files of evidence to the international criminal court, we sent the same message: justice is a universal concept. Europe cannot be the champion of universal human rights with the exception of Palestine. And boosting relations with Israel while the latter is systematically violating the rights of the Palestinian people is not logical and not in line with the law.”

    more @ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/28/palestine-europe-honour-agreements-israel

  8. Mayhem
    June 29, 2015, 9:27 am

    Not

    one mention of the targeting of mosques

    comes the Finkelstein bleat.
    What about the 80 estimated mosques that the Tunisian government says are operating outside state control, that have been slated for closure as the Tunisian Government struggles to respond to the worst ever terror attack on its soil?
    Israel was in an equivalent bind where it was being attacked by militants from Gaza sheltering in mosques and it gets hammered, but do we hear Finkelstein complaining that the Tunisian government is anti-Muslim? No we don’t because he is a damn, disingenuous hypocrite only interested in targeting Israel.

    • just
      June 29, 2015, 10:31 am

      The above is an article about the “UN report on Gaza war is ‘tepid,’ ‘unserious’ and exhibits ‘anti-Muslim bigotry’ — Finkelstein” It is about the latest Israeli massacre of Gaza.

      The below is an article about the massacre in Tunisia.

      “A British survivor of the Tunisian hotel massacre says brave Tunisians formed a human shield to protect Western tourists.
      “Tunisia terror attack: British survivor says ‘Tunisians formed human shield to protect tourists’

      John Yeoman, who was in the hotel next to the one targeted by the gunman, said the men in the background of a picture taken during the shooting were not stood watching the gunman – but trying to save people.

      The 46 year-old transport worker from Kettering described how the staff at the Bellevue hotel lined up to prevent killer gunman Seifeddine Rezgui from going into the hotel after he opened fire. …”

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/tunisia-terror-attack-british-survivor-5963674

      See how it works?

    • Hostage
      June 29, 2015, 12:05 pm

      The new UN report on the Gaza war of last summer accepts Israel’s rationale for the destruction of 70 mosques in Gaza … What about the 80 estimated mosques that the Tunisian government says are operating outside state control, that have been slated for closure as the Tunisian Government struggles to respond to the worst ever terror attack on its soil?

      You are comparing apples to oranges. Even if we accept your proposition, the UN and Finkelstein are discussing possible violations of the Hague and Geneva rules of warfare and physical destruction by armed force. But you are not discussing an instance of the same thing.

  9. just
    June 29, 2015, 10:41 am

    Mayhem and Jackdaw will undoubtedly appreciate Ya’alon’s lies:

    “Ya’alon: There is no humanitarian distress in Gaza

    The situation in Gaza ‘isn’t pleasant,’ Israel’s defense minister admits, but says that ‘if they decided to export strawberries instead of rockets, situation would be different.’

    …Ya’alon’s words, coming a year after Operation Protective Edge, when according to United Nations figures almost 1,500 Palestinian civilians were killed, including 500 children, and hundreds of thousands lost their homes, contradict a series of international reports on the situation in Gaza. For example, a report published by the World Bank a month ago presented a harsh picture of the economic situation in Gaza and asserted that unemployment in the Strip is the highest in the world.

    The authors of the report claimed that the gross domestic product of the Gaza Strip should have been four times higher than it is, but the wars in recent years, and Operation Protective Edge in particular, along with the continued closure, have prevented that. According to the report, the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007 has caused the loss of about 50 percent of local GDP. Unemployment in Gaza is the highest in the world at 43 percent. Unemployment among young people is even higher, 60 percent at the end of 2014. According to the report, Operation Protective edge reduced Gaza’s GDP by about $530 million from projected estimates. Construction, agriculture, industrial production and electricity suffered the greatest losses, with output in the construction industry down by 83 percent in the second half of 2014, and by about 50 percent in the other industries.

    The report also noted that Gaza residents suffer from a low quality of basic public services, such as electricity, water and sewage. Almost 80 percent of Gaza residents receive some kind of assistance, but at the same time about 40 percent are still living below the poverty line….”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.663546?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  10. lysias
    June 29, 2015, 10:51 am

    RT: Israel intercepts & escorts Gaza flotilla flagship, RT columnist aboard:

    Contact has been lost with the Swedish boat Marianne, which had been leading the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla, after other boats turned back. The IDF announced that they intercepted and searched the vessel which had tried to “breach the maritime blockade.”

    RT’s Nadezhda Kevorkova who is on board the Marianne, the flotilla’s flagship, said by phone that a military helicopter had been flying above the flotilla as well as an unknown military plane “flying very low above the water” near the activists’ vessels.

    According to RT, the Israeli Navy boarded and occupied the boat 100 nautical miles from its destination, Gaza. Which means that this happened in international waters and was an act of piracy (like the seizure of the Mavi Marmara a couple of years ago).

    • just
      June 29, 2015, 10:57 am

      That’s right, lysias. It was in international waters, and some folks are furious. I’m eager to see what Sweden has to say…..

      …”However, the organizers of the flotilla have reasons to believe that the engagement was not as uneventful and non-violent as the navy claims, and that some people on board “might be hurt.”

      “We could not contact the boat or anyone on the boat in the last couple of hours before capture,” a representative of the Freedom Flotilla III media team told RT by phone. “We have no reason yet to believe that the capture was [as] uneventful as the IDF claimed, because the last time they said [that] in 2012, people were tasered and beaten with clubs.”

      Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has praised the navy personnel “for their determined and efficient” actions that allowed for the maintenance of the the blockade.

      “This flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region,” Netanyahu said. “We are not prepared to accept the entry of war materiel [in] to the terrorist organizations in Gaza as has been done by sea in the past.”

      “Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu was cited as saying in an issued statement.

      “Preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General,” the Israeli PM claimed.

      The four vessels which departed from various ports in Greece on Saturday attempted to break the eight-year long Palestinian blockade, a news release on the campaign’s official webpage said. This time, some 70 people were on board, including former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki and Spanish MEP Ana Maria Miranda Paza.

      Israeli officials said on Sunday they would not allow the boats to reach the shores of Gaza.

      “The Foreign Ministry and all other relevant bodies, mostly the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and the Prime Minister’s Office, are fully prepared for the arrival of the flotilla. We are ready for every possible scenario,” the ministry’s spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said on Sunday, as quoted by The Times of Israel.

      “It won’t reach Gaza,” he announced. “The State of Israel won’t let that happen,” the official said, adding that the organizers of the flotilla have themselves declared their aim to be the breakage of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, which Jerusalem says “is legal according to international law.”

      In 2011, a report by a UN investigative committee implied that Israel has the right to stop Gaza-bound vessels, The Times of Israel reported. On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he believed “a flotilla will not help to address the dire situation in Gaza,” but urged Israel to “lift all closures, with due consideration of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.” …”

      http://rt.com/news/270310-gaza-flotilla-israel-blockade/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

      I’ll repeat it: ““Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu was cited as saying in an issued statement.”

      Here’s a screenwipe.

      Ban Ki- moon needs to go. Why does Israel constantly vilify the UN, and then use them when it suits them? Oh, wait…

  11. just
    June 29, 2015, 1:36 pm

    A disappointingly “tepid” piece (imho) in Haaretz by Jimmy Carter and Gro Harlem Brundtland:

    “UN report shows accountability is key to peace in Israel and Gaza

    … Israel regularly complains about perceived bias by the UN and its institutions (notably the Human Rights Council), and other international actors – including, on occasion, The Elders. In such a deep-rooted, protracted and torturous conflict, objectivity becomes a precarious commodity and accusations of bias can be easily deployed by both sides to deflect criticism.

    It is worth noting that Hamas has also rejected the commission’s criticisms. When institutions, be they UN-related or respected NGOs, are loudly criticized by both parties to a dispute or conflict, the likelihood is that they have acted in a spirit of neutrality.

    Ironically, Israel and Hamas both complain that they are being compared to one another in the report. Israel, as a sovereign, internationally-recognized state, objects to any comparison to what it calls a terrorist organization; likewise, Hamas in its self-declared role as a “resistance movement” sees no comparison between its actions and those of an occupying military power.

    These complaints obscure a wider point: The actions of both Israel and Hamas should be measured against international standards of behavior. It is not a question of equivalence, but of equal and fair treatment under international law.

    The commission’s report recommends that the parties to the Gaza conflict should themselves take responsibility for prosecuting and ensuring appropriate accountability for violations of international law. However, it seems that neither Israel nor Hamas can be relied upon to do so. Consistent with past practice in previous conflicts over Gaza, Israel’s own report has exonerated its armed forces from any blame for civilian deaths in Gaza, including four children killed on a beach, attacks on UN schools where displaced inhabitants were taking shelter, and apparently deliberate destruction of civilian homes.

    Hamas claims the report establishes a “false balance” between victims and killers – ignoring those killed by its own attacks. Impunity flourishes in this climate of denial and self-justification, making ordinary citizens on all sides more vulnerable to violent attacks and human rights abuses.

    This is why The Elders support the commission’s main recommendation that “the parties should cooperate fully with the preliminary examination of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and with any subsequent investigation by the ICC that may be opened.”

    The decision by the Palestinian Authority to now submit evidence to the ICC on the Gaza war, illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the treatment of Palestinian prisoners shows this issue will only gain in political salience in the weeks and months ahead.

    The ICC is one of the nearest institutions to objective neutrality that the community of nations possesses. The more it is used and respected, the more effective it will become. It was set up to be one of the principal means of achieving accountability for war crimes and minimizing impunity. Regrettably neither Israel nor the U.S. are parties to the court. In our view, they should be.

    As the commission’s report makes clear, impunity for breaches of international law, including war crimes, has prevailed “across the board” in recent conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians, not least in Gaza. Continued impunity and lack of accountability will greatly increase the likelihood of fresh conflict and further war crimes. Already, diplomats on the ground are grimly forecasting a new, and even bloodier, round over Gaza. …”

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.663582

    I am glad to see President Carter’s byline again, though.

  12. Kathleen
    June 29, 2015, 1:54 pm

    When the report is even whispered about in the mainstream always both Israel and the Palestinians committed “war crimes” Always stated with the false equivalency falsehood…”both sides are guilty” hooey. Always making crimes equal in comparison.

Leave a Reply