Israel’s ambassador taunts the White House (again) with holiday gift of settlement goods

US Politics
on 73 Comments

Yesterday Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer announced that his holiday gift package would include many products from the illegal Israeli settlements. He tweeted: “This year I decided to send a gift for the holiday that would also help combat BDS.” His accompanying letter on the subject says that the gifts are all products of “Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights,” and that the package is in defiance of European efforts to label settlement goods, which Dermer says are part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

Notice that Dermer calls BDS the latest effort to “eliminate” Israel and says that the European Union is anti-Semitic for wanting to label settlement goods.

Dermer’s provocative letter on BDS and “Judea and Samaria”

“What kind of country taunts the world with the fruits of its crimes?” Scott Roth wrote last night.

Dermer is flipping the bird at the Obama White House, which treats the settlement project as unhelpful, though it will never outright condemn it out of fear of alienating Israel’s many friends in Washington. John Kerry, the secretary of state, regards “the injustice of settlement building in the West Bank” as a major impediment to any peaceful resolution of the conflict.

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This is not the first time that Dermer has flipped the bird at Obama. In fact, he’s done so again and again. It’s a wonder he still has credentials!

Last summer Ron Dermer went up to Capitol Hill to lobby the Congress against the president’s Iran Deal. ” Bolstering the lobbying drive is Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, who has met with more than 60 lawmakers to persuade them to vote against the accord,” Newsweek reported.

The Washington Post said that the move angered lawmakers as an over-stepping.

“Having him come and try to influence the members of the Congress and lobby against what the president was working on set the tenor,” Cohen continued. “Netanyahu should not get himself involved in American politics in the future, and AIPAC played a stronger hand than they should have.”

Other congressional aides pointed out that Israel’s unprecedented direct lobbying efforts against the deal by Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, who once worked for GOP operative Frank Luntz, worsened AIPAC’s position by association.

Dermer worked American Jewish politicians in particular, because of their supposed allegiance to the Jewish state:

“There are a lot of people whose reaction to the Israeli ambassador’s lobbying was not a positive one,” said one Democratic aide to a Jewish lawmaker. “It wasn’t ever a harsh tone or bossy or threatening, but if you are looking at the group of Jewish Democrats, there could have been a better understanding of the nuanced approach those members were taking. Not ‘This is it, take it or leave it, and if you’re on the other side of it, you’re wrong.’ ”

Back in January, of course, Dermer helped arrange Netanyahu’s spectacular speech to a joint House and Senate in defiance of the White House on the Iran Deal. He thumbed his nose at the White House in a tweet then too:

Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, appeared to mock the White House on Sunday when he tweeted “Breaking Protocol, Choosing Sides: Go Patriots” just before the Super Bowl.

White House officials have accused House Speaker John Boehner of committing “a breach of protocol” in arranging for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without first informing the Obama administration.

The opposition goes way back. TPM:

As it was Dermer who reportedly helped organize Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel in the heat of the 2012 campaign, one of the Netanyahu government’s many affronts to the Obama White House

Paul Pillar told TPM that manipulating the US discourse was just par for the course, and the White House was passive in the face of lobbying:

Politico Magazine reported in the days before Dermer became ambassador that the White House and congressional Democrats were already suspicious of him, alleging that he had been undermining the international negotiations with Iran by distributing negative talking points to Capitol Hill offices. According to the New York Times, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, among others, had initially resisted the appointment.

“The naming of Dermer is a statement that manipulation, with a hard-right twist, of American politics is not just something that arises from time to time in U.S.-Israeli relations but instead is the main aspect of the relationship,” Paul Pillar, a longtime CIA analyst, wrote in the National Interest. “It also is a statement by Netanyahu that he isn’t bothered if the relationship is seen that way.”

That’s the bottom line here. Dermer can do these things without any official rebuke because of the power of the lobby. The White House doesn’t want to alienate Israel’s many friends. As another former Israeli ambassador, Colette Avital, said at the Haaretz NIF conference last week:

[Netanyahu] is really doing what he wishes because he thinks that nobody is going to punish him, because he thinks for instance that in America at the end of the day any politician will need the support of the Jewish community, so there is no real pressure of America on Israel.

The potential to backfire is huge. Americans don’t like the illegal settlements. Even HuffingtonPost says that Dermer is “trolling” the White House. Many are saying that the move simply elevates BDS.

Billmon:

Jim Clancy writes:

Israel @AmbDermer hands out war crimes trinkets as Christmas Gifts. #Apartheid #Occupation are NOT American values.

Dermer’s equation of BDS and the efforts to label settlement goods is something that maddens liberal Zionists because Dermer is erasing the Green Line. They oppose BDS but support the labeling of settlement goods as a means of achieving their holy grail, the two state solution along the Green Line. Matt Duss of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, for instance, has defended the boycott of settlement products:

In the United States, the most prominent examples of concrete boycott-and-divestment-related activism in the Israeli -Palestinian arena have fact been focused unambiguously not on Israel but on the settlements and the occupation. These developments are the product of frustration with the failure of diplomacy to bring an end to the occupation, and a desire to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution.

Duss and other supporters of a Jewish state complain that in going after the BDS movement, Israel supporters like Dermer and all his friends in Congress are also going after the boycott tool employed by advocates of the two-state-solution on only one side of the Green Line. For Dermer and for the BDS movement too, that tactic is a distraction; because the Green Line/two-state solution are widely seen as a charade (after 25 years of false promises), which has only produced “apartheid on steroids,” as the Nation put it; and so the conflict is increasingly polarized between advocates for apartheid and opponents of apartheid, and there is no middle ground politically.

Thanks to Annie Robbins for several contributions to this post.

About Philip Weiss

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

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73 Responses

  1. Marnie
    December 23, 2015, 11:17 am

    Settlement wineries see red as Israeli guidebook skips West Bank

    Deputy FM Hotovely condemns new volume, accuses authors of being ‘agents of Palestinian propaganda’

    By Raoul Wootliff December 16, 2015, 11:13 am 16
    Times of Israel

    New guide to Israeli wines is facing criticism over its exclusion of wineries in West Bank settlements, including anger from public officials and local vintners.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Tuesday compared the absence of West Bank wineries from “The New Israeli Wine Guide” to a recent European Union decision to label products manufactured in Jewish settlements.

    “As the State of Israel fights against boycotts of European officials, home-grown boycotters of Israeli products delegitimize the State of Israel,” Channel 2 news quoted Hotovely as saying in response to a report on the book. “Those who take such actions act as agents of the Palestinian propaganda against Israel and we must condemn and remove these elements from our midst.”

    The Samaria Regional Council, which represents dozens of wineries based in the northern West Bank, said it was mulling legal action against the book’s publishers.

    “This book is not worthy of serious consideration if it chooses wineries for political reasons rather than professional ones,” said council chair Yossi Dagan.

    The guide was written by Israel Hayom wine reporter Yair Gat and Gal Zohar, a former wine curator in London who is employed as a consultant by a number of Tel Aviv restaurants. First released in 2014 and offered online for free in both English and Hebrew, the 2015 edition includes over 90 wines from 40 different wineries. Neither edition featured wines from the West Bank. Wines produced in the Golan Heights — which the international community generally considers occupied territory, but to which Israel extended its law in 1981 — are included, however.

    The introduction to the book says that the wines were chosen solely based on professional criteria.

    “Tastings were conducted blind in the strictest and most professional conditions possible and the results are recorded with no embellishment or political tinkering,” reads the introduction to the 2014 edition.

    Speaking to Channel 2, Gat admitted he and Zohar had made a decision not to include West Bank wineries, but said he didn’t want to get into a political discussion and refused to comment further.

    Last month, Berlin’s largest department store pulled several Israeli wines from its shelves following a European Union rule outlawing “Made in Israel” tags on products made in West Bank Jewish settlements or in the Golan Heights. The store reversed the decision and apologized following vehement backlash from Israel’s political echelon, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described the move as a “total boycott.”

    The EU rule on the labeling of West Bank and Golan Heights goods has triggered a fierce backlash from the Israeli government as well as opposition leaders. Netanyahu has blasted the 28-nation bloc’s ruling as “hypocritical” and accused the EU of double standards. One of his cabinet members called the rule “veiled anti-Semitism.”

    Israel captured the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War. It extended sovereignty to East Jerusalem, and extended Israeli law to the Golan Heights, but did neither in the West Bank.”

    Happy Holidays!

    This is marvelous. Especially the ongoing incitement by Hotovely in this juicy bit “As the State of Israel fights against boycotts of European officials, home-grown boycotters of Israeli products delegitimize the State of Israel,” Channel 2 news quoted Hotovely as saying in response to a report on the book. “Those who take such actions act as agents of the Palestinian propaganda against Israel and we must condemn and remove these elements from our midst.”

    Agents of Palestinian propaganda? How did they become Palestinian and not the usual “Arab”? What is the name of this propaganda dispersal unit – AIPAC?

    • bryan
      December 23, 2015, 2:50 pm

      Honesty is the best policy – “New Israeli Wines” is the title; change that to “New Wines from Israel and its Occupied Territories” and you politicise the issue and can be accused of delegitimising Israel by conflating it with an illegal, immoral and evil occupation of another people’s land.

    • JWalters
      December 23, 2015, 5:52 pm

      Tzipi Hotovely and Israel are the modern models of religious intolerance in the Middle East. The “Caliphate” they want to establish is even more ancient and therefore more ridiculous than the Caliphate ISIS wants to establish. The movement to establish an Islamic Caliphate was plainly pushed into existence by Israel’s anti-Muslim bigotry and arrogance.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/memorable-stories-2015

  2. Les
    December 23, 2015, 11:17 am

    This a way for Israel to demonstrate to Obama’s face that it has no intention of ending the occupation.

    • Kay24
      December 23, 2015, 11:45 am

      There is no other way to explain the arrogance of such a disgusting “in your face” act, yet again from the parasites from squatter land.

      I am disappointed that Obama keeps taking the insults, and rude gestures, from Netanyahu and his dirty bunch of zionists, and does nothing to show disapproval for their chutzpah. The zionists have been parasites who have sponged off us, used us, and have shown the world they control us. We have taken the abuse and keep continuing this sick relationship. At least Obama should return the filthy things back to the sender. We do not need illegal goods from stolen Palestinian lands. This must one of Nutty Yahoo’s “brilliant” ideas, carried out by his faithful servant.

      • echinococcus
        December 23, 2015, 12:01 pm

        Kay,

        I am disappointed that Obama keeps taking the insults, and rude gestures, from Netanyahu and his dirty bunch of zionists, and does nothing to show disapproval for their chutzpah

        Disappointed? That’s not the best choice of term.

        Don’t we the people accept any responsibility? Those of us who voted any of the two parties, those of us who are getting ready to do so yet again –no matter the pretext invoked, including the warding off of a “greater [?] evil” are directly responsible of all the results. Including the fact that the US of A is by definition the bitch of a shitty anachronistic colony, and not forgetting the other wars of aggression, war crimes and other crimes against humanity. If I have to limit it strictly to Palestine, that would be enough by itself.
        Those of us who did not ever collaborate are just as guilty, looking at the absence of any result to show.

      • bryan
        December 23, 2015, 3:08 pm

        This year I am guessing that Obama will bite his tongue and ignore these gross insults – but next Christmas, with the election settled, there will be nothing to prevent him properly reciprocating – perhaps with the full release of the suppressed transcipts of the investigation of the USS Liberty incident, documents relating to the Israeli pursuit of WMD and the blackmail over the Lewinsky scandal and other skeletons lurking in the cupboard. Come on Barack, you don’t really need those lucrative speaking engagements, and revenge becomes sweeter the longer it is savoured. You did as much as was reasonably feasible to achieve peace in the Middle East – but you have one last opportunity to change the dynamics of the situation.

      • JWalters
        December 23, 2015, 5:54 pm

        bryan, I completely agree.

      • Kay24
        December 23, 2015, 9:58 pm

        Echinococcus, what choices do we have.? I have yet to see one candidate say that he will stop this insane relationship with Israel and stop giving them the aid, and make a strong stand to genuinely end the occupation and land thefts. It has always been Israel first, and indifference for the suffering of the Palestinians.

      • echinococcus
        December 23, 2015, 10:40 pm

        Kay,

        One choice anyone can make right away is to accept or reject personally becoming a knowing accessory to all this murder and mayhem. Any vote for the dog-and-pony show of the two-party monopoly is complicity, no less. You won’t be thrown in jail for not voting or voting a candidate with a decent, non-imperial program like Dr. Jill Stein, running now, or others who may come as 3rd party candidates (or, who knows, returning oldies like Buchanan, Nader, Ron Paul…) Contrary to what you say, there are candidates who won’t support the Zionist abomination. Again, if you don’t like any of them, not voting at least avoids making one a willing executioner.

        As for the wider choice, that of how to stop the goddam comedy, have regime change in the US, it’s not easy, obviously. More importantly, we won’t necessarily agree, as it depends on our personal political choices that are much wider than just Palestine –Palestine being the only point we are supposed to agree upon in this here Mondoweiss.

      • Kay24
        December 24, 2015, 6:32 am

        Echinococcus, I decided to not vote for anyone after doing so for Obama. The bottom line is, no one is worthy of my vote, and they are all the same.

      • echinococcus
        December 24, 2015, 3:00 pm

        Good luck with step 2, Kay.

    • JWalters
      December 23, 2015, 5:24 pm

      Beware Israelis bearing gifts. Dermer and Netanyahu have the attitude of cops who shoot African-Americans in the back with impunity.
      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/12/occupation-mentality-palestine/

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      December 24, 2015, 11:13 am

      Worse yet when will the US finally say “NO” to these Israeli criminals. As a Jew, humanitarian and one who has broken the silence, I am deeply ashamed. It is not difficult to observe how Israel has created the immense rise of anti-Semitism thru its nationalism and blind racism.

      • Steve Grover
        December 24, 2015, 2:42 pm

        Golani Gewürztraminer is quite nice. I highly recommend it. The first time I tried it was at an Alsatian wine tasting with Alpana Singh. Alpana is a former sommelier at Jean Joho’s Everest.

      • talknic
        December 24, 2015, 6:08 pm

        LOL Poor Steve Grover hopes to provoke with his inane comment.

        However, all he does is show readers that he supports illegal Israeli settlements, the illegal sale of non-Israeli land to gullible Israelis, the illegal exploitation of an occupied territory’s resources for the benefit of the Occupying Power and its citizens, the illegal institution of Israeli Civil Law in non-Israeli territories in contravention of International Law and the UN Charter. Ironically the Jewish State also contravenes the most basic of Judaism’s common sense tenets.

        Furthermore Steve Grover actively supports Israeli Government policies that purposefully endanger Israeli civilians by encouraging them to illegally settle in non-Israeli territories under Israeli occupation in complete contravention of GC IV. A convention adopted to protect ALL civilians including those of the Occupying Power from becoming collateral in the violent consequences likely when occupying another people and their territory.

        One can only wonder what kind of mindless scum actively supports any government whose policies purposefully endanger its own civilians.

      • Steve Grover
        December 26, 2015, 3:29 pm

        Talknic sez:
        “One can only wonder what kind of mindless scum actively supports any government whose policies purposefully endanger its own civilians.”
        Lay off the vegemite and you might not come across so hateful.

      • Boo
        December 26, 2015, 3:29 pm

        “Gewürztraminer”, eh? Haven’t they devised a suitable Hebrew appellation so you don’t have to use a relic of the Holocaust-perpetrators’ mother tongue?

        Perhaps something like היין של הפיראט

      • Mooser
        December 26, 2015, 3:44 pm

        Shorter “Grover”: ‘Talknic frightens me.’

        “I have met and have spoken with Rabbi Kedar several times and I can tell you she despises BDS and the Israel hatred that you – Weiss spews and the Israel hatred that Mondoweiss spews.” “Grover” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/steve-grover?keyword=kedar#sthash.Zgoizu9v.dpuf

        There you go, “talknic”! That’s the kind of moderate, non-hateful speech you should strive for.

      • Steve Grover
        December 26, 2015, 6:32 pm

        Boo,
        היין היפה של ארץ ישראל
        I had the privilege of tasting it. I purchase the wine and serve it with Cevichè. There are several brands and they are all good, but one in particular is outstanding.

        You are correct Mooser. All BDSholes are frightening.

      • Mooser
        December 26, 2015, 7:44 pm

        “All BDSholes are frightening.”

        Have a drink, “Grover”. That will make you brave.

      • James North
        December 26, 2015, 7:48 pm

        Moose: Be careful! You know how he gets after he opens the Manischewitz.

      • Mooser
        December 27, 2015, 2:27 pm

        “You know how he gets”

        But “Grover” himself said:

        “Being shickered up is the only way a reasonable person can fathom an Israel hatin’ Yidlach such as yourself.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/profile/steve-grover?keyword=up#sthash.XQabtl39.dpuf

        So if we go “dry” at Mondo, we will reduce the number of lords a leaping and Zionist voices slurring. (And a partridge, in a pear…oh sorry)
        Maybe the Mods will cut him off when he’s had enough.

      • Steve Grover
        December 27, 2015, 3:32 pm

        Mooser sez:
        “Maybe the Mods will cut him off”
        The little Chihuahua likes to bark loud in a high pitch at opposing views. When he can’t take the heat he calls the moderators!
        ROTFLMZJSAO! (Rolling on the floor laughing my Zionist Jewish Smart Ass Off!)

      • Mooser
        December 27, 2015, 7:56 pm

        “When he can’t take the heat he calls the moderators!”

        Take it easy, “Grovner”. Don’t panic, already. There’s no way the MondoMods can prevent you from drinking as much as you want.

        And I’m sorry, “Steve”. I wasn’t expecting you to take my suggestion seriously.

  3. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    December 23, 2015, 11:30 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: future students of history will marvel to learn how one country (the most powerful on earth) could do so much for another (a minor Asian entity) for so little. So little that is, other than having their soldiers and civilians killed, being spied upon, having their leaders insulted and humiliated and now trolled in front of the world. And just think! All this – and more – can be yours for a meagre $3 billlion a year, and counting.

    And what, exactly, does Israel do for the US other than being an expensive albatross around its neck? How many of America’s many Middle Eastern wars has Israel sent its soldiers to die in? Take the current ‘war on IS’. Nations throughout the Middle East and the West have sent soldiers to that ‘war’ yet Israel has done sweet FA. This, despite being right there in the region, having a supposedly brilliant military and intelligence services, and – or so we’re told – deserving of all that cash because it’s America’s best ally in the Middle East. Really? Can anyone think of a single tangible thing which Israel has done to help the US, or any other of its Western allies, without any benefit to itself?

    • Marnie
      December 23, 2015, 11:38 am

      HELL NO!

      Cue hasbara central to remind us of Israel’s “gifts” –
      cherry tomatoes – nope
      cell phone technology – nyet
      water desalienation technology – nada

      The state of Israel has given the west enemies, lots of ’em. Thanks Israel!

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        December 23, 2015, 12:15 pm

        Oh yes, I forgot the cherry tomato. Sacre bleu! Mon dieu! How could I do that? Where would the world be without the cherry tomato?

        And don’t forget that dead eyed chick in ‘Wonder Woman’ or the washed up knicker model dumped by Leo Di Caprio. Such immense contributions to civilisation.

      • echinococcus
        December 23, 2015, 12:59 pm

        Now, now. Let’s not be so negative, Marnie. “Israel”s immortal gift to the world is the Israeli, aka “New Jew”, as one poster here calls him (the hers are no different, btw.) You know the loud, pushy, insensitive, jump-the-line, in-your-face, militarist, nationalist oaf that’s so ashamed of his parents he won’t even speak their mother tongue? That one. Thank you, Israel!

      • Mooser
        December 23, 2015, 3:47 pm

        “echinoccocus” he New Jew is Israel’s way of showing the world they can’t traumatize us! All that traumatization is over, and we are ready to take our place among the big boys and the big toys!

      • Emory Riddle
        December 24, 2015, 10:57 am

        Soda Stream.

        The most visible product from “the high tech nation”.

        As pushed during the Super Bowl with a really creepy add.

      • Froggy
        December 24, 2015, 2:17 pm

        Marnie :: “water desalienation technology – nada”

        Indeed.

        The earliest interest in desalination was from a fear of dying of thirst outon sea. It was in the year 1791 that the United States was first involved. The first technical report was presented by Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, to describe the results of a simple distillation process. The information was to be printed on the back of all the papers on board ships so that there would be a source of fresh water in an emergency.

        The first conversion units were made so that steam ships could have fresh boiler water. The new devices made the steam ships possible economically. The cargo bay would otherwise be full with fresh water to run the ship. By the second World War hundreds of mobile desalination units were in use and all major vessels had them.

        There was a water crisis after World War II. This stimulated the governmentto find economical ways to make potable water from saline waters. In 1952 the cost became a critical factor. The water had to be able to be used for agriculture, industry, and municipal uses. There was legislation so that moneycould be spent to find new methods with less expense on a large scale.This was a great challenge for the scientists of the time because congress was asking toincrease plant size by at least a hundred times and to cut costs 95%.

        There was a new program established by the Secretary of the Interior, the Office of Saline Water (OSW). There was an initial funding, that was quickly found insufficient, of $2 million by the Saline Water Act of 1952. The law was amended and there was more than $160 million. Since then there has been tremendous progress through research of the government and by private studies. The newest information comes out in a rate of about two reports a week, while the OSW summarizes and distributes an annual report.

        http://www.rpi.edu/dept/chem-eng/Biotech-Environ/Environmental/desal/history.html

        The first desalination plant in Israel, the one at Eilat, was built in the US. In Philadelphia, at Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton, to be exact.

        Israel Firm Reports Successful Test for U.S.-built Desalination Plant
        August 19, 1966

        PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 18)

        The Israel Electric Corp. today notified the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corp., of this city, of the official acceptance of the first million-gallons-a-day fresh water plant in Israel, located in Eilat. J. Pelled, managing director of the Israeli firm, wrote to the American firm, a subsidiary of Armour and Company.

        “The plant has been operating for a two-week test period at its guaranteed output of 1, 000, 000 gallons per day of distilled water drawn from the Red Sea at the Bay of Eilat,” Mr. Pelled reported. Furthermore, during the last two months, the plant was tentatively operated at a constant output of 5 percent higher than guaranteed, with peaks reaching 25 percent, he added.

        He said the average water purity exceeded the purity factor specified in the contract, and noted that Red Sea water is 30 percent saltier than normal ocean water. “We are sure that the experience will be of value for the development of future and bigger plants, both in our country and for other nations in need of fresh, potable water,” Mr. Pelled stated. The Eilat plant is a flash-distillation unit. It is a dual-purpose facility which also produces electricity for the City of Eilat.

        http://www.jta.org/1966/08/19/archive/israel-firm-reports-successful-test-for-u-s-built-desalination-plant

      • Boomer
        December 24, 2015, 8:12 pm

        re “The first desalination plant in Israel, the one at Eilat, was built in the US. In Philadelphia, at Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton, to be exact.”

        Thanks for the history lesson Froggy. Fascinating.

      • Marnie
        December 25, 2015, 12:19 am

        Thanks for the history Froggy –

    • Krauss
      December 23, 2015, 12:34 pm

      Historians will not really come at the central issue – a large section of the U.S. establishment are Jews and the vast majority of them are Zionists – and will instead obfuscate the issue by trying to pretend that CUFI and other Christian Millenial groups had an iron grip over U.S. middle eastern policy.

      Eventually the truth will come out, but in hackned and dislodged bits and pieces and it will be up to the brave to put them back together. Not that it’s complicated. That’s the thing about this: it’s not very complicated at all. It’s just that it requires a lot of bravery to do.

      The moment will be helped by large numbers of anti-Zionist Jews, but ultimately it can’t depend on Jewish support.

      It’s actually quite remarkable how unwilling Israel has been in using its considerable military forces to attack Jihadists and other sworn enemies of the U.S.

      It always boggles my mind how they can be viewed as “the closest ally in the region” considering that they are doing fuck all to actually lift some weight. It’s usually mostly the U.S. and the Europeans. The Saudis and Turks are double-dealing with the Jihadists and Israel wants to do nothing but get more cash in return.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        December 23, 2015, 2:32 pm

        “Historians will not really come at the central issue – a large section of the U.S. establishment are Jews and the vast majority of them are Zionists”

        Actually, I think future historians – who unlike contemporary ‘journalists’, will be free of the fear of being smeared with ‘anti-semitisim’ – will readily acknowledge what as you say is a blindly obvious fact, however un-PC it is to recognise it.

        “t always boggles my mind how they can be viewed as “the closest ally in the region” considering that they are doing fuck all to actually lift some weight”

        The excuse that I always see trotted out is that if Israel gets involved in any US initiative, the Arabs will feel obliged to back out as they can’t be seen to be in a coalition with Israel. To which I’d answer with two points: firstly, the Israelis don’t give a toss about Arab public opinion when their interests are at stake. You never hear them saying that they can’t criticise the Iran deal as this would alienate the Arab dictatorships who also oppose it. Secondly, if it is true that Israel can’t get involved in any Western military project in the Middle East, then what exactly is its usefullness as an ‘ally’? Of course, we’re always told that they help ‘behind the scenes’ with their supposedly outstanding ‘intelligence’ services. But the reality is that most experts belive their much-hyped ‘intelligence’ services are vastly overrated, and cannot be truested anyway, in the sense that they’ll only feed their ‘allies’ with ‘information’ which benefits Israel. Much of the misinformation about Iran’s ‘nuclear programme’ came from the Israelis.

        So to get back to my question: Can anyone name a single tangible benefit which America’s alliance with Israel has given to America?

      • JWalters
        December 23, 2015, 5:35 pm

        Excellent points all. Israel is obviously the most useless “ally” in history. The “special relationship is one of master-slave.

        “That’s the thing about this: it’s not very complicated at all. It’s just that it requires a lot of bravery to do.”

        Yes, the historical facts are readily available. For example, “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

        “It’s actually quite remarkable how unwilling Israel has been in using its considerable military forces to attack Jihadists and other sworn enemies of the U.S.”

        Other people’s money and other people’s combat troops. America even pays for its own enslavement! To give credit where it’s due, it is a remarkable con job.

      • RoHa
        December 23, 2015, 5:42 pm

        “It always boggles my mind how they can be viewed as “the closest ally in the region” considering that they are doing fuck all to actually lift some weight. It’s usually mostly the U.S. and the Europeans. ”

        Hey! The Australians are there to. And some people with beavers.

      • RoHa
        December 23, 2015, 9:53 pm

        What happened to that second “o”? Is Mossad up to its tricks again?

      • Boomer
        December 24, 2015, 8:18 pm

        re: “Historians will not really come at the central issue”

        “Respectable” American historians probably won’t, at least not for a long time, but for people living in many other countries the truth is already obvious.

  4. eljay
    December 23, 2015, 11:33 am

    Like all Zio-supremacists, Mr. Dermer:
    – Anti-Semitically conflates Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel. (Why does he hate Jews so much? Why does he hate the 20% of his country’s Israeli population that isn’t Jewish?)
    – Intentionally whitewashes his country’s decades-long history of terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, occupation, colonialism, murder, destruction and sundry past and on-going (war) crimes. (Israel is a “moral beacon” that is not quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”.)

    And why is that when Israel commands America to “Bend over!”, America – instead of kicking Israel in the teeth – replies “I’ll bend over AND get on my knees, ’cause I aim to please!”

  5. amigo
    December 23, 2015, 11:51 am

    The Obama,s , should send Dermer a copy of the “Arab Peace Plan” and throw in a book on the South African Apartheid Regime.

  6. diasp0ra
    December 23, 2015, 12:01 pm

    Wow. Talk about arrogance and biting the hand that feeds.

    Israel is its own biggest enemy. Like it has been said before on multiple times, Netanyahu has done more to advance and enhance the Palestinian image internationally than the spineless Abbas has.

    By continually spitting in the world’s face and just being honest about not wanting peace, Netanyahu is helping the world get the message. I cannot wait for the paradigm shift in political relations, as the shift in public opinion is tumbling forward.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      December 23, 2015, 12:19 pm

      That’s why I was happy when Netanyahu was reelected. I was really hoping that the ‘moderate’ Herzog wouldn’t get elected to provide the fig-leaf all the libzios were praying for. Netanyahu is on course to be the longest serving PM in Israel’s history. And yet there are still those who hold him up as some sort of aberration or flash in the pan. In all liklihood, his successor – whenever he/she appears – will be even more racist and right-wing than he is.

      • diasp0ra
        December 23, 2015, 12:52 pm

        I agree.

        If Herzog was elected we would have had to go through at least a year or two with the “Well, the government is new give them time to get their things together” excuse. He would have carried out the exact same policies as Netanyahu but would have been able to sell them better internationally and not be as outright arrogant and in your face in his approach.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        December 23, 2015, 1:24 pm

        Exactly. Herzog complained that Bibi was not ‘tough’ enough in last summer’s massacre, and has openly said that many of the ‘settlements’ will remain in ”Israel’.

        However, because he’s polite, ‘moderate’ and ‘left-wing’, he would have been trearted like a Zionist Mandela. I remember Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian practically crying over the fact that he was not elected, as he and all the other libzios had wanted and expected. Their copious tears, of course, had nothign whatsoever to do with the welfare of the occupied people, but with the ‘soul of Israel’ and the ability of libzios to feel good about themselves again. I detest Netanyahu, but I am grateful to him for not giving them that particular pleasure.

  7. a blah chick
    December 23, 2015, 12:17 pm

    This was my favorite part:

    “Of the over 200 unresovled territorial disputes around the world, Europe decided that only these Jewish-made products deserved to be labeled.”

    Got that? The situation in the West Bank is an “unresolved territorial dispute.” Then why are there settlements there? I though Israel already resolved this one and that was the problem.

    It’s a part of Israel except when it isn’t.

    • amigo
      December 23, 2015, 3:33 pm

      “Got that? The situation in the West Bank is an “unresolved territorial dispute.” Then why are there settlements there? I though Israel already resolved this one and that was the problem.”ABC

      In Israel,s mind , it is resolved .It,s just that they cannot get the rest of the world to see it their way. Damn Goyim

      It,s all that antisemitism at work , beating up on the Jews.Enlighten me, how does this effect a Jew living in Dublin or Glasgow or Cancun,

  8. JLewisDickerson
    December 23, 2015, 1:55 pm

    RE: Yesterday Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer announced that his holiday gift package would include many products from the illegal Israeli settlements… “What kind of country taunts the world with the fruits of its crimes?” Scott Roth wrote last night. Dermer is flipping the bird at the Obama White House, which treats the settlement project as unhelpful… This is not the first time that Dermer has flipped the bird at Obama. In fact, he’s done so again and again. ~ Weiss

    JOEL KOVEL (1-20-13):

    [EXCERPT] . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman asumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.
    The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

    SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/israel-nominaton-hagel.html

  9. HarryLaw
    December 23, 2015, 4:18 pm

    The White House should do what Greek politician Theodoros Pangalos did when presented with a gift from the Golan Heights in 2010.
    “The embassy had given the wine to Theodoros Pangalos – MP for the socialist party PASOK and responsible also for co-ordination of the foreign policy and defense committee in the Greek government – as a gift for the Christmas holidays with the wishes of Israel´s ambassador to Greece, Ali Yihiye.

    In a letter sent to the embassy with the returned wine, Pangalos said he was taught not to steal and not to accept products of theft”. http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2010/01/greek-mp-returns-wine-gift-to-israeli-embassy/

  10. xanadou
    December 23, 2015, 4:25 pm

    In Dermer’s lame defence: “gifts” at this level of international relations are decided by the giftor country’s head of state. (end of lame defence)

    The First Yahoo is displaying his ghetto mentality that requires him to defer first and last to his local audience, i.e., the glorified sheepherders in wolves’ clothing, and that includes the First Sheepherder, ignorant of the ways the real world works on the other side of the wall.
    (no offence is given or intended to sheepherders, sheep and wolves.)

    The Obamas might want, in the holiday’s less glorious tradition, to pass the parcels to the local food banks, the contents to be distributed to the homeless with a card from the POTUS that reads, “Merry Christmas from Palestine to the United States”. T’would make for a double whammy, n’est-ce pas?

    Or at the risk of repeating myself: how is this supposed to help Israel and the Israelis into the future?

    One does wonder, however, what did the Israeli ambasadors to EU countries unload on their victims?

    • Mooser
      December 23, 2015, 5:03 pm

      “The First Yahoo is displaying his ghetto mentality that requires him…”

      What’s a “ghetto mentality”? I know where I’ve heard the term, but I’m not sure what it means. Could you explain?
      Could you maybe give me an example of other folks who have a “ghetto mentality”?

      • xanadou
        December 23, 2015, 9:30 pm

        Mr. Mooser,

        Disclosure: the ghetto mentality is something that I have observed over a period of some years while travelling near and far, trying to avoid, even delay joining the mind-numbing 9-5 world, in the absence of any talents that could afford me a life away from the latter.

        From my observations, the ghetto mentality is a reflection of a community whose movements are in a large measure restricted to a limited area, whose members share a history, language, ethnicity, culture, traditions, beliefs, and/or purpose, with infrequent to no direct contact with mixed societies at large.

        The ghetto mentality is fairly common among religious and ethnic communities. Over time there is a polarisation of attitudes whereby parochial, even antagonistic attitudes are exhibited towards members of society who do not share their background and values, and who (the former) correspondingly, develop an very strong bond, even interdependence with people of their own social group to assure their mutual survival.

        Consider the Mormons and their peculiar beliefs, or immigrants, minorities, communities of poor people, etc.

        When perceived to be challenged, people with the ghetto mentality often display hostile, even condescending behaviour that may be a projection of their insecurities and/or ignorance of mores that are foreign to them.

        There is also the issue of the communities’ leadership who all too often have a vested interested in maintaining the separate and superior beliefs to further their own interests, in turn creating an unhealthy interdependence. After all, a small community has a limited pool of individuals with leadership qualities. Too much power in too few hands is, unfortunately

      • Mooser
        December 23, 2015, 10:26 pm

        “xanadou” almost any phrase which has “ghetto” attached to it is usually pejorative against poor and/or minority people.

        “The ghetto mentality is fairly common among religious and ethnic communities.”

        Yeah, just like that.

        Of course, you can tell them it is their fault for being poor and/or a minority, and if anybody gets upset, tell them to lose their “ghetto mentality”.

        “When perceived…/…few hands is, unfortunately

        Yup, yeah, like that.

        Gosh, I wonder why those people go off and separate themselves like that and catch “ghetto mentality”. Maybe some kind of law could prevent them from discriminating against society like that. They’re segregating us! And that’s against the law.

      • Sycamores
        December 24, 2015, 9:40 am

        i’m not sure about ghetto mentality but bunker mentality seems to fit better.

        bunker mentality

        n.
        An attitude of extreme defensiveness and self-justification based on an often exaggerated sense of being under persistent attack from others.

  11. amigo
    December 23, 2015, 5:20 pm

    Pretty lame article from the telegraph–referring to a “Politically loaded message”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/12066796/Israeli-ambassador-gives-Christmas-gifts-of-settlement-goods-to-US-officials.html

    This from the Huff post.

    “WASHINGTON — This year’s holiday gifts from the Israeli embassy come with a politically charged message: the occupied Palestinian territories are part of Israel. ”

    This statement appears at the end of the article !!.

    “A White House spokesman declined to comment on whether they’d received a holiday present from the Israeli embassy.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/israel-gifts-settlement-products_56798d78e4b06fa6887edc5c

  12. lonely rico
    December 23, 2015, 9:18 pm

    Ambassador Ron Dermer and President Obama cozy up,
    lovely gift – tasteful pleasure.

    please don’t mention the on-going,
    macabre,

    MURDER OF CHILDREN IN GAZA

  13. Herchel
    December 23, 2015, 10:49 pm

    Dreamer’s characterization of BDS and the intentions of its supporters couldn’t be more accurate. Kudos to him for having the chutzpah to stick his thumb in Obama’s eye after how poorly he’s treated Israel the past 7 years.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 23, 2015, 11:24 pm

      Kudos to him for having the chutzpah to stick his thumb in Obama’s eye

      i think he’s done wonders for the public image of israel myself, really helped show their true colors and boosted the bds campaign beyond expectations. ever since the scarlett/sodastream fiasco it’s just magnificent. before we could hardly get much mainstream coverage, now it’s all the time — and on israel’s dime. so yeah, i’m pleased too.

    • talknic
      December 24, 2015, 3:02 am

      @ Herchel ” Kudos to him for having the chutzpah to stick his thumb in Obama’s eye after how poorly he’s treated Israel the past 7 years”

      Uh huh. Anytime anyone dares mention that Israel should abide by International Law and the UN Charter they’re treating Israel poorly. Even if they’ve given Israel billions in Military Aid, maintained the UNSC veto and done nothing of any practical consequence against Israel

      From the WHITE HOUSE

      1. A strong defender: President Obama has strengthened Israel’s defense in concrete and unprecedented ways:

      Israel remains the leading recipient of U.S. foreign military financing (FMF), receiving over $20.5 billion since 2009.
      The United States in Fiscal Year 2014 provided Israel with more security assistance funding than ever before. In Fiscal Year 2016, which marks the eighth year of a 10-year, $30 billion Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel, we have asked Congress for $3.1 billion in FMF funds for Israel.
      The President has provided $2.9 billion in funding for missile defense programs and systems. Since 2011, the United States has provided Israel with over $1.3 billion for the Iron Dome system alone, including $225 million in short-fuse funding last summer.
      The U.S. and Israel regularly conduct joint exercises to improve our military capabilities and strengthen our bilateral security.

      2. An international ally: Under President Obama, the U.S. has led global efforts to defend Israel’s legitimacy on the world stage:

      Last year, the U.S. opposed 18 resolutions in the UN General Assembly that were biased against Israel.
      On five occasions last year, the U.S. cast the only “no” vote against unfair anti-Israel measures in the UN’s Human Rights Council.
      The U.S. worked with Israel and the European Union to organize the first UN General Assembly session on anti-Semitism in UN history, held in January 2015.

      3. A proponent of peace: The President has strongly supported Israel in its quest for peace with its neighbors:

      President Obama has repeatedly stood up for a two-state solution that ensures the peace and security of Israelis and Palestinians.
      Under the President’s direction, Secretary Kerry initiated an intensive, collaborative effort to facilitate negotiations for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.
      The President prioritized Israel’s security by asking one of our foremost military experts to help develop security arrangements that ensure a two-state solution leaves Israelis more secure, not less.

      4. An economic partner: Under President Obama, the U.S. has a strong and robust commercial relationship with Israel:

      This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the United States-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was the first FTA entered into by the United States.
      U.S. goods exports to Israel in 2014 were $15.1 billion, up 9.6% ($1.3 billion) from 2013, and up 64% from 2004. U.S. exports to Israel are up 587% from 1984 (Pre-FTA).
      U.S. goods imports from Israel were $23.1 billion in 2014, a 1.1% increase ($242 million) from 2013, and up 58% from 2004. U.S. imports from Israel are up 1,203% from 1984.
      The U.S. continues to invest in the BIRD Foundation, a U.S.-Israeli partnership between private sectors to expand private high tech industries. Since its founding in 1977, the $295 million in grants have been awarded to 800 partnerships, generating over $10 billion in product sales.

      ​5. A support system for refugees and migrants: Under President Obama, the U.S. has invested millions in helping Israeli immigrants:

      In the last 6 years, U.S. humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants travelling to Israel totaled $140 million. This funding is used to help transport eligible migrants to Israel, transitional shelter, intensive Hebrew-language programs that focus on newly-arriving immigrants, or youth programming in Israel.

      Since Israel’s founding, the U.S. has provided Israel with more than $120 billion in bilateral assistance and, under President Obama’s leadership, the U.S. will continue to be Israel’s strongest ally and staunchest supporter in its pursuit of peace and security in the Middle East. https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/03/01/5-things-you-need-know-about-us-israel-relationship-under-president-obama

      WOW!! So poorly treated!! AMAZING!!

      • Kay24
        December 24, 2015, 6:36 am

        Obama, occasionally stands up to Israel, but always becomes the door mat. They have been
        wiping their stinky zionist feet on him, trampling him, and abusing him.
        Israel does some of our dirty work, and they have become indispensable in our efforts to de-stabilize the ME. It is a miracle that Obama halted the bomb Iran project. We do not hear the shrill voices of war with Iran anymore. We are complicit in Israel’s numerous crimes, and most probably ignoring the plight of the Palestinians, the occupation, and the theft of their lands, is one of the perks bestowed to zio land.

    • Froggy
      December 24, 2015, 5:05 pm

      Herchel :: All you’ve succeeded in doing is proving to anyone who reads your comment how petty, crude, boorish, and lacking in class you are.

      Happy Christmas to you. :p

  14. xanadou
    December 24, 2015, 12:11 am

    Mr. Mooser,

    “almost any phrase which has “ghetto” attached to it is usually pejorative against poor and/or minority people.”

    “almost… usually…” Quite.

    Per Merriam-Webster dictionary: “Origin of ghetto
    Italian, from Venetian dialect ghèto island where Jews were forced to live, literally, foundry (located on the island), from ghetàr to cast.”

    Which explains why the word is “usually” pejorative when applied to poor and minority communities.

    Ghetto Israel has inadvertently followed the underlying principles for the creation of medi-evil (sic) Jewish ghettos.
    While intending to lock out the Palestinians behind the walls, the de facto outcome is the opposite.
    The Palestinians are fighting back because their tradition is quite the reverse from that of the Jews cowed into fearful submission. The Palestinians want to be a part of the world, not a community with a perennial “victim” complex, somehow unable to accept that the world is now overwhelmingly an arena where genocidal brutality is no longer a dirty little local secret, but is viewed on billions of screens, instantly, in fully bloody detail.

    • Mooser
      December 24, 2015, 1:27 am

      “The Palestinians are fighting back because their tradition is quite the reverse from that of the Jews cowed into fearful submission.”

      Ah, that explains it, it’s the Jews who are “cowed into fearful submission”, and the Palestinians who immediately adopted every martial technique the West has to offer, along with that “fighting back” tradition.

      Right, got it. Don’t know how I could have been so wrong.

      And thanks for all the socio-political-psychological analysis of “the ghetto mentality”. It was very revealing.

      • xanadou
        December 24, 2015, 11:24 am

        Mr. Mooser, try to read and understand what is in front of you, without projecting your own prejudices that utterly corrupt an honest attempt to communicate, Try to understand what motivates the current Israeli psychosis that is fast destroying the very little that Israel has manged to accomplish in its short history dominated by racism, genocide and contempt for humanity.

        If Israel were to crash and fall, of its own accord, there will be nigh on no one who will care.

        Not least of all, sarcasm is an art form. It should be used in moderation if it is to have any effect beyond invoking contempt.

      • Mooser
        December 24, 2015, 4:05 pm

        “any effect beyond invoking contempt.”

        I’m not worried. I welcome the contempt of anybody who would seriously try to defend the use of the term “ghetto mentality”. And then double-down on it.

        I’m not trying to brag about my mentality.. I’ve got something worse, a suburban mentality.

  15. Katie Miranda
    December 24, 2015, 2:33 am

    Send a Palbox instead: http://www.palbox.org

  16. Ossinev
    December 24, 2015, 6:07 am

    On the bright side one more welcome step on the road to a single openly apartheid state and world wide boycotts of everything Israeli. Even the good old US of A will not be able to duck out of that.

    BOYCOTT UGLY APARTHEID ISRAEL

  17. Talkback
    December 24, 2015, 7:37 am

    Imagine the German embassy whould send US products from Bohemia and Moravia.

  18. Kay24
    December 24, 2015, 9:43 am

    Here is one gutsy newspaper standing up to it’s new zionist owner, the Bibiton.

    “Adelson is best known for launching Israel Today, a free paper that has grown to become one of the country’s most-read newspapers. Its reputation is as an unapologetic supporter of conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    See the most-read stories this hour >>
    Dubbed “Bibiton” — a mash-up of Netanyahu’s nickname Bibi and the Hebrew word for newspaper, “iton” — the daily is seen as so pro-Netanyahu that the prime minister’s political opponents have said it should be counted as a campaign contribution.

    But reporters at Israel Today insist Adelson’s role in day-to-day coverage is overstated. “I have never felt a guiding hand or demands for a certain tone,” said columnist Emily Amrousi, a pro-settlement hard-liner who has sometimes attacked Netanyahu for being too liberal. “I challenge Netanyahu from the right. I criticize him for steps such as a settlement freeze and other policies, and have never encountered any demand or instruction to temper or change my tone, not even discreetly.”

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-adelson-vegas-newspaper-20151223-story.html

  19. The Hasbara Buster
    December 24, 2015, 6:05 pm

    Says Dermer:

    In a Middle East where women are treated as chattel, gays are hanged, minorities are decimated and Christians are decapitated, Israel is proud to have female fighter pilots, Arab Supreme Court Justices, gay pride parades and a thriving Christian community

    Where to begin. In that woman- and dhimmi-hating Middle East, a Jewish woman was appointed as an Arab country’s ambassador to the US, while never, ever, will a Muslim be appointed as the Israeli ambassador in Washington so long as Israel is a Jewish state.

    To speak of Arab High Court justices is an overstatement, as there has been just one (compared to 3,000 Jews who lived openly as Jews and untouched in Berlin during the Holocaust, to speak of other exceptions that prove rules). The fact that not every last Arab is discriminated against in Israel doesn’t mean Israel doesn’t promote hate against Arabs, just like the fact that not every last Jew was killed by the Nazis doesn’t mean that the Nazis didn’t hate Jews.

    As for gay pride parades, they do indeed take place in Israel — but it is the only country where people get stabbed and killed (by religious Jewish, not Muslim, fanatics) in such parades. Also, Israel is the only democracy where an interior minister, Eli Yishai, stated a few years back that gays are sick people whom he wished a speedy recovery.

    As for the Christian community, they thrive because of their hard work, not because they’re in any way loved by Israeli Jews. In fact spitting on Christian clergy is something of a local sport in Jerusalem, as is breaking their crosses or shattering their cars’ windows.

    In other words, Dermer repeats long-debunked lies and false analogies. If the world is incurably antisemitic as he maintains, one wonders why he even bothers to write such screeds.

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