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AIPAC panics over progressives abandoning Israel

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The Israel lobby group AIPAC kicked off its annual policy conference in Washington on the weekend, and speaker after speaker expressed fears that progressive Democrats are abandoning Israel. The speakers urged progressives to stay in the bipartisan fold of support for the Jewish state; they insisted that Israel is a progressive cause. But many also embraced Donald Trump and Nikki Haley– evidence of the rightwing character of Israel support, which is driving the partisan divide in our country.

Here are some of those voices.

Avi Gabbay, head of the Labor Party in Israel, said that Israel’s security is threatened if the Israel lobby fails to keep both parties together in their support.

“We must keep the support for Israel bipartisan,” he said. “This is a strategic asset for Israel’s security, and your work here today is more important today than ever before.”

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog made a similar point. Israel must fight partisanship in the U.S. and “make sure that Jews of all beliefs and all strains and all denominations are working together.”

Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat and former Michigan governor, devoted much of her speech to an effort to maintain progressive support for Israel. She said she had fallen in love with the country on three visits– and cited Israeli government policies that are still progressive causes in the U.S.

“As a progressive, I saw a nation that provides universal health care, a nation that protects women’s rights and LGBT rights,” she said. “It’s a progressive’s paradise.”

Granholm went on that, “I am not blind. I won’t argue that Israel is perfect.” The country struggles to get better every day, she asserted, but she said nothing about occupation or settlements of discrimination against Palestinian citizens.

Jane Harman of the Wilson Center, a former congresswoman, said that Democrats were taking risks for support for Israel by enabling very public fights amongst themselves– witness the “jungle primary” between California Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman in 2012– both of them Israel supporters– that resulted in the loss of Berman from the House.

Former Ambassador Bradley Gordon, Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, and Jane Harman of the Wilson Center, speaking at AIPAC policy conference, March 4, 2018. Screenshot.

Dems need to stay vigilant in support of Israel, she said, to counter the popular “fatigue about all the wars we’re in” — so that Americans “focus on the war we need to be fighting on many fronts, against malign behavior by Iran.” (A militant approach to Iran is the big policy push of the conference.)

Howard Kohr, the executive director of AIPAC, spoke angrily about the progressive defection from Israel, documented in poll after poll. Kohr suggested that anti-Zionists are homophobic and bigoted.

We welcome all who want to be part of this amazing cause, and if someone says to you, you can’t be yourself and a Zionist, if someone says to you that your Zionism makes you unwelcome in any other political movement, don’t be afraid to call that what it is. It’s bigotry, it’s discrimination, and it’s wrong.

And know this: We in the pro-Israel movement, we will ask you to do many things, but we will never demand that you change anything about yourselves. We want you the way you are. So whatever your politics or your struggle, the color of your skin, the language you speak, the faith you hold close, no matter whom you love, we want you.

Kohr spoke after a video featuring testimonials from eight Democratic congresspeople, including at least two women of color. “The best is yet to come!” said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, who represents Wilmington, Delaware.

AIPAC’s new president, Mort Fridman, issued an appeal to progressives.

The Progressive narrative for Israel is just as compelling and critical as the conservative one.

But there are very real forces trying to pull you out of this hall and out of this movement and we cannot let that happen. We will not let that happen.

Fridman is a supporter of an illegal Israeli settlement.

Daniel Gordis, an Israeli author, acknowledged that Israel had failed to treat Palestinians as equals, so that it’s not an easy fit for progressives. The U.S. has a “universalist” political culture, as indicated by the Declaration of Independence, which speaks of mankind. For progressives, Israel is “strange.”

“We are not a liberal democracy, we’re an ethnic democracy… Israel is in the business of perpetuating a certain people and a certain religious community. That’s its goal. That’s its business.”

Progressives are drawn to Palestinians because Palestinians are the underdogs, because of intersectional politics that link Palestinian oppression with oppressed people in the U.S., and because of the “virus” of anti-Semitism, Gordis went on. But focusing on the conflict with Palestinians is a very narrow lens with which to consider Israel, he said. The U.S. has been at war every year since World War II, but progressives manage to put those conflicts out of mind and work at other causes because they have “other fish to fry.” If progressives used the same standard when they measure Israel, he said, they would see that Israel has outstripped the U.S. in many of their dearest causes, including gun control, health care, and women’s rights (where Jews have led a “revolution”), he said.

Many of the appeals to progressives at AIPAC had the air of “pinkwashing” — a strategy of citing gay freedom in Tel Aviv in an effort to get attention off of apartheid conditions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

More than one AIPAC speaker warned that if Israel becomes a partisan issue, the cause will be out of luck when the other party gets into the White House.

The we-are-progressive theme continues this morning at AIPAC.

“I am a progressive and I am a Zionist… working for a just and shared society,” said Rami Hod, the head of a liberal Israeli organization, the Katznelson center. He went on to attack the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which targets Israel for denying human rights to Palestinians. He said, “BDS shrouds itself in social justice language” thereby allowing progressive causes to “mistakenly” support BDS.

Some snark from Ron Kampeas on Hod’s message:

“We should do the exact opposite of what bds supporters advocate, we should provide a space for the multiplicity of voices,” Rami Hod says at @aipac where virtually every progressive breakout is closed press. #AIPAC2018

Even US progressives were on board for AIPAC. “This is this beacon of democracy… in a really tough.. neighborhood,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said of Israel. She ascribed her support for Israel to the attentions of Minnesota advocates for the state who had brought her out to Israel when she was running for the Senate.

Klobuchar deplored the growing partisan divide over Israel. We need to “stop people from injecting partisanship into the Israel-American relationship and push back,” she said. “If you’re a Democrat reach out to Republicans.” To reach young people, she said, Israel advocates should cite the politics of climate change, immigration reform, and standing up for refugees.

Klobuchar voiced no criticisms of Israel.

Thanks to Adam Horowitz. 

About Philip Weiss

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

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85 Responses

  1. eljay
    March 5, 2018, 9:01 am

    … Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat and former Michigan governor, devoted much of her speech to an effort to maintain progressive support for Israel. She said she had fallen in love with the country on three visits– and cited Israeli government policies that are still progressive causes in the U.S.

    “As a progressive, I saw a nation that provides universal health care, a nation that protects women’s rights and LGBT rights,” she said. “It’s a progressive’s paradise.”

    Granholm went on that, “I am not blind. I won’t argue that Israel is perfect.” The country struggles to get better every day, she asserted, but she said nothing about occupation or settlements of discrimination against Palestinian citizens. …

    She’s not blind, just horribly myopic…and her eyes are closed…and she’s facing the wrong way.

    … Daniel Gordis, an Israeli author, acknowledged that Israel had failed to treat Palestinians as equals, so that it’s not an easy fit for progressives. …

    “We are not a liberal democracy, we’re an ethnic democracy… Israel is in the business of perpetuating a certain people and a certain religious community. That’s its goal. That’s its business.” …

    It’s nice of Mr. Gordis to acknowledge the obvious:
    – Israel is “in the business” of Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; and, therefore,
    – Palestinians are treated as second-class citizens.

    • Brendan Burke
      March 6, 2018, 2:31 pm

      I wonder how much support the GOP right wing would give Israel if it knew Israel’s Socialized Healthcare was funded by US taxpayers who don’t even get healthcare themselves ! Tell AIPAC that they lost because ethics & morality matter !!!!

    • Misterioso
      March 7, 2018, 3:30 pm

      Some good news:

      https://www.trendsmap.com/twitter/tweet/963083334929788929

      “WATCH: From Jesse Williams and Rosario Dawson to Angela Davis and Michael Bennett, Black cultural figures are supporting Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi and demanding her release from Israeli prison.”

    • Misterioso
      March 7, 2018, 4:38 pm

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpaV7Ok43aA

      Pro-Palestinian march hits DC as AIPAC kicks off

      Video:
      Published Mar 4, 2018

      “Pro-Palestinian protesters descended on Washington D.C., Sunday, demanding that the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, which has started earlier in the day, be shut down.”

  2. john douglas
    March 5, 2018, 11:04 am

    An “ethnic democracy”. Have there been other ethnic democracies? South Africa pre-Mandela? Or, closer to home, when Donald expresses his preference for fewer Mexicans and more Norwegians? When “white nationalists” excoriate Jews, are they proponents of democracy (with an insignificant limitation or two)? “Ethnic democracy”, it’s not a slippery slope, it’s a bobsled run.

    • LHunter
      March 6, 2018, 12:23 pm

      John – it’s one of those oxymoronic terms like “liberal zionist” or “progressive zionism” that smells of deceit and clever marketing. Desperate times for zionists as they scramble to couch their racism in friendly sounding terms.

    • genesto
      March 6, 2018, 1:00 pm

      “Ethnic democracy” is an oxymoron!

  3. Linda J
    March 5, 2018, 11:09 am

    ” If progressives used the same standard when they measure Israel, he said, they would see that Israel has outstripped the U.S. in many of their dearest causes, including gun control,…”

    Thanks for the laugh.

  4. broadside
    March 5, 2018, 11:20 am

    Always good to have your darkest, direst, most negative opinions of Israel confirmed by Israel’s greatest citizen.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?441970-4/us-israel-relations-middle-east-policy-gideon-levy

  5. festus
    March 5, 2018, 11:31 am

    So tribal loyalty trumps all?

    Morality, ethics, decency, honesty, honor….all meaningless. Must remain loyal to the group no matter what is being done in its name.

    Got it.

  6. Citizen
    March 5, 2018, 1:53 pm

    CSPAN2 is now broadcasting a critical panel review of US-Israel Relations & Middle East. Barry Trachtenberg, Wake Forest U, Jewish History Chair has his segment going at the moment; he details why BDS is right, legislation against it is wrong.

  7. Maghlawatan
    March 5, 2018, 2:10 pm

    AIPAC panics. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.
    AIPAC should have stuck with Hillel.

    • catalan
      March 5, 2018, 3:25 pm

      “AIPAC should have stuck with Hillel.”
      Hillel died on the train to Treblinka. Now we have nukes and you can boycott Israeli mustard. I like these odds.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2018, 4:18 pm

        we? you mean israelis? here’s your israeli mustard: https://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/01/israeli-mustard/

      • Mooser
        March 5, 2018, 4:49 pm

        ” Now we have nukes and…”

        …and Masadadammerung here we come!

        Who on earth could Israel possibly use nuclear weapons against? The anti-Semites in New Mexico?

      • eljay
        March 5, 2018, 5:31 pm

        || Annie Robbins: we? you mean israelis? … ||

        He’s not Israeli, so he must have meant Bulgarians who hail from Spain (they guess) and live in New Mexico.

      • amigo
        March 5, 2018, 5:53 pm

        From your link.

        “BY THE WAY: when an Israeli Jew is asked by a stranger anywhere in the world “what are you?” he always answers: “I am an Israeli”. He will never, ever, say: “I am a Jew”.

        Except the Orthodox.” UriAvnery

        Reminds me of a St Patricks Day party I attended in Oakland some 25 years ago where I was aked by a woman, where I was from , to which I replied , Ireland.I in turn asked the same question of her , to which she replied , “I am Jewish “.I responded by stating I had not asked her what her religion is .She and her friend immediatley walked away.

        Didn,t feel like spending Paddy,s Day with an antisemetic Irishman , I guess.

      • catalan
        March 5, 2018, 8:29 pm

        “he means the sephardic bulgarians have nukes! in new mexico no less.”
        Well, I am actually an American citizen now so that’s all past. But I sense the racism. Anyway Annie, a few months back you said that Ahed Tamimi would be “shortly” released. She wasn’t. Then you said that there will be “hell to pay” if she wasn’t. Where is the so called hell? Your BDS can’t even secure a release of a girl from jail, I can’t imagine what it can do for your more ambitious objectives.
        The nukes matter. They mean that you can shout abuse online but you cannot touch Israel.

      • Maghlawatan
        March 5, 2018, 11:21 pm

        Nukes don’t work against ethics

      • zaid
        March 6, 2018, 2:14 am

        South Africa also had nukes

      • eljay
        March 6, 2018, 7:20 am

        || catalan: … The nukes matter. They mean that you can shout abuse online but you cannot touch Israel. ||

        Threats against Israel: Shouts of abuse online.
        Threats against Iran and North Korea: Economic sanctions, aerial bombardment, devastation, destabilization, regime change.

        The regimes of Iran and North Korea thank you for so eloquently making their cases for nuclear armament.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2018, 1:35 pm

        “Your BDS can’t even secure a release of a girl from jail,”
        catalan”

        You’re very proud of Israel’s ability to keep Ms. Tamimi incarcerated.

      • catalan
        March 6, 2018, 1:57 pm

        “You’re very proud of Israel’s ability to keep Ms. Tamimi incarcerated.”
        You misunderstand. Once I saw that she will become a cause of pressure on Israel, I was pretty horrified. Because that meant for sure that she will be in jail for an indefinitely long period of time. These things always work that way. Had it been approached in a different way, quietly, perhaps with some mediation, with the girl being convinced by someone wise to apologize, I think there was a chance for her to be released. But now she has become a proxy for the boycotts and the pressures. To save face, they have to keep her in jail, just to demonstrate how outside pressure doesn’t work. It’s awful when a human being gets caught up in this foolishness. Note that most commenters, such as yourself, who advocate for the most radical solutions to the problem, have nothing themselves to lose.

      • MHughes976
        March 6, 2018, 2:54 pm

        Proud, perhaps, of the ability to maintain, even after everything that has happened, the traditional ability not to give an inch in the face of international protests.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2018, 4:16 pm

        “To save face, they have to keep her in jail, just to demonstrate how outside pressure doesn’t work.” “catalan”

        Oh, they “save face” by keeping her in jail?

        Are you hoping Israel will “save face” by refusing to extradite you, too? You’re dreaming.

      • catalan
        March 6, 2018, 6:04 pm

        “Are you hoping Israel will “save face” by refusing to extradite you, too?” mooser
        You must have me confused with some other commenter. I am an American. I am not aware of any extradition issues that I am facing.

      • amigo
        March 6, 2018, 7:07 pm

        Catalan are you not the American who thinks all Americans are stupid.lousy at maths .over fed and lazy.

        Cannot imagine why you so readily claim to be part of such a group.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2018, 12:04 pm

        ” I am not aware of any extradition issues that I am facing.”

        Good. Not fleeing to another country will work in your favor when you make a plea deal.

      • catalan
        March 7, 2018, 12:42 pm

        “Good. Not fleeing to another country will work in your favor when you make a plea deal.” mooser
        I am genuinely baffled. Plea deal for what? What is the crime?

      • catalan
        March 7, 2018, 6:52 pm

        “I just wanted to show I am an equal opportuniity illegal immigrant expeller.” amigo
        Well sadly I am an American citizen now. Nonetheless, if I were to ever leave (don’t plan to, but unplanned things happen) I am going to live in Ireland. Remember, I am an EU citizen too. That ain’t so bad plus I can basically be retired there. Nice weather, good people, great education and free healthcare. In fact, I wish I could convince the wife and I would move to Ireland in a heartbeat. See, my options are pretty decent. I speak Italian too so that’s where I would go on vacation.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 7, 2018, 9:01 pm

        Cat:

        “I am going to live in Ireland. Remember, I am an EU citizen too.. ..See, my options are pretty decent. I speak Italian too so that’s where I would go on vacation..”

        Well, my only wish is that till the time you retire, EU has already banned all supporters of the Zionist occupation in I/P to live/enter the area of EU (just like Israel is banning the supporters of BDS).

        With your attitude, it is better you retire in West Bank. I am sure Hebron would be best for you. Then you can see what you have been supporting all along and maybe join the other settlers throwing stones at the Palestinians.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 7, 2018, 9:09 pm

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 7, 2018, 9:13 pm

        Cat, I really wish you watch that video above. The sadist in you must love it.

      • catalan
        March 8, 2018, 9:56 am

        ” my only wish is that till the time you retire, EU has already banned all supporters of the Zionist occupation in I/P to live/enter the area of EU” Kaisa
        Since I am an EU citizen, are you actually suggesting that I be stripped of my EU citizenship? If I am understanding you correctly, you suggest that the EU deprive individuals from citizenship based on what? Posts on social media? A questionaire regarding acceptable solutions to the Israeli Palestinian issue? I am not understanding. This is a pretty dangerous path. Are you going to be taking away the citizenship of anyone else or I am just the worst person in all of Europe? Serial killers, Nazis, they get to keep their citizenship but I lose it because you don’t like a post of mine? Which post? Either way, I am probably staying in New Mexico. You should visit sometime.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 8, 2018, 10:51 am

        “If I am understanding you correctly, you suggest that the EU deprive individuals from citizenship based on what? Posts on social media?..”

        Why not Cat (not deprive from citizenship, but ban entering the area..), that is exactly what Israel is doing with supporters of BDS, even suing them in the court. Why wouldn’t we in EU use the same methods Israel is using??

        I wish you would use your extra energy to make New Mexico one of the best places in the world to live. Much more usefull than write “sardonic” comments about people, who already live in distressing surroundings and under opression.

      • catalan
        March 8, 2018, 12:16 pm

        “Why wouldn’t we in EU use the same methods Israel is using??” Kaisa
        Is Israel stopping its own citizens from freely entering based on BDS affiliation? The law you refer to is aimed at hostile aliens. “We in the EU” includes me – I am a citizen of the EU by birth no less. My citizenship is irrevocable to the best of my knowledge. Are you suggesting that some citizens be prohibited from freely entering and exiting the EU? Because they make posts on the Internet that someone disapproves of? Isn’t that same as stripping citizenship?
        Either way – in actuality, I can live and work anywhere in the EU as long as I am alive. Indeed, I would be curious about getting a government job in Ireland. Perhaps they need my expertise in finance. Wouldn’t that be something?

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 8, 2018, 1:55 pm

        “I can live and work anywhere in the EU as long as I am alive..”

        Well, since you have lived outside EU for so long time and have a citizenship to another country you can be banned entering EU, if so decided.

      • catalan
        March 8, 2018, 2:27 pm

        “Well, since you have lived outside EU for so long time and have a citizenship to another country you can be banned entering EU, if so decided.” Kaisa
        Good to hear. So millions of Bulgarians, Poles, Italians, Greeks and others who have dual citizenship will be banned from returning to their own country. Unless they pass a political test. So when an Italian arrives back from the States he will have to pass a political reliability test and ensure that he has not posted anything on social media which offended the sensibility of someone important. Sounds like a great plan and good to hear that this is the sort of ideas that the EU is moving towards. Straight out of 1984. Depriving citizens of their birthright because they dared to comment. No wonder Britain left. Sounds like Italy might be the next one.

      • eljay
        March 8, 2018, 2:29 pm

        || Kaisa of Finland: “I can live and work anywhere in the EU as long as I am alive..”

        Well, since you have lived outside EU for so long time and have a citizenship to another country you can be banned entering EU, if so decided. ||

        It’s all hypothetical anyway, given that less than a year ago that he wrote:

        … I still have my European citizenship but I never visit and in all honesty may never again go there. …

      • amigo
        March 8, 2018, 3:17 pm

        “Is Israel stopping its own citizens from freely entering ” catalan

        Well I can think of 700,000 people who were ethnically cleansed and are not allowed to return to their homes .

        Don,t even think about moving to Ireland.We have enough guy,s who fail to pay their child support.and we don,t need another deadbeat dad.

      • amigo
        March 8, 2018, 3:37 pm

        ” Sounds like a great plan and good to hear that this is the sort of ideas that the EU is moving towards. Straight out of 1984. Depriving citizens of their birthright because they dared to comment” cataln

        Yes Catalan , bloody awful , aint it .

        Completely different from Israel depriving 700,000 plus Palestinians their birthright just because they are not Jewish.

        Why do you make a fool of yourself every time you open your mouth.

        You wouldn,t get past the first interview for a job in Ireland.Your disconnect to reality would be recognised in a few minutes even if it was working for the Gov.

      • Mooser
        March 8, 2018, 4:01 pm

        ” I speak Italian too so that’s where I would go on vacation.”

        And I sincerely hope your Italian doesn’t indict you the way your English does.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 8, 2018, 4:16 pm

        Dear Cat, spreading hatefull speech about/towards a folk group is another thing than critizing or opposing politics. You are not just opposing BDS, you are simply enjoying the suffering of the Palestinians and that is disgusting.

        Spreading hate speech towards/about a folk group is a crime in EU, so you better stay in your safe haven in the New Mexico. As I wrote to you earlier, you should concentrate on making it even a better place to live.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 8, 2018, 4:31 pm

      • catalan
        March 8, 2018, 5:50 pm

        “Spreading hate speech towards/about a folk group is a crime in EU”. kaisa
        I guess you haven’t heard that in Italy, the foreigner hating parties just won the election. Neo-Nazi marches in Poland, Germany. Various European politicians advocating extreme nationalism. A Senegalese immigrant was brutally killed in Italy just a few days ago. Orban of Hungary talks about a “Christian” Europe. So all that is OK, but somehow my posts on the internet just broke world peace. And you want to change citizenship laws in Europe because of one person – me. Between mooser who wants to put me in jail, and you who wants to change laws because of me, I am starting to think I have, like, global influence. Who knew?

      • Mooser
        March 8, 2018, 6:06 pm

        “Why do you make a fool of yourself every time you open your mouth.”

        Because the all-rightnik invariably becomes the alt-Right nut.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 8, 2018, 7:37 pm

        Catalan:

        “So all that is OK..”

        No it is not ok, and if you knew something about the EU politics, people will be sued, if they are spreading hate speech (also in Germany). F.ex. about Poland and Hungary there have been talked about sanctions since those countries recieve a lot of money from EU, but do not wish to follow certain main values of it. So something will be coming, now when Germany finally got their goverment somehow organized. And remember, critizing immigration policies or other forms of politics, is not a crime, but simply spreading hate speech is.

        And what is really interesting here is, that you are ready to mock and “deride” and laugh at the Palestinians for their limited possibilites and freedoms in their lives and their attempts to oppose the oppressing forces, but immidiately when someone threatens to limit your freedoms, because of your behavior, look how worried you suddenly got.. (Can I almost hear you weeping??)

        I mean, the world is not about you Cat, it is about so many other people. And I really can’t understand why you can’t just be happy and enjoy of what you have got – you keep telling us how much you have already.. Wouldn’t it be time to start sharing instead all of that mockery?? Like what did the Palestinians ever do to you anyway??

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 8, 2018, 7:51 pm

        “And you want to change citizenship laws in Europe because of one person ..”

        No I do not need to change them, they are already there.

    • catalan
      March 5, 2018, 6:41 pm

      “He’s not Israeli, so he must have meant Bulgarians who hail from Spain (they guess) and live in New Mexico.”
      Do you have an alternate theory about the origins of the Bulgarian Sephardic community? Does your theory explain why until recently they spoke and prayed in Ladino (a Spanish dialect)? Why did they cook Spanish food and wrote their grave inscriptions in Spanish? Why the Spanish government provides them (myself included) with automatic citizenship. Are you suggesting that a bunch of Bulgarians decided to do all these things just for fun?
      I am all attention.

      • broadside
        March 5, 2018, 6:57 pm

        Amigo: just yesterday heard (community radio) a person describing her heritage: “My mother’s from Costa Rica, and my father’s Jewish.”

      • Mooser
        March 5, 2018, 7:11 pm

        “Are you suggesting that a bunch of Bulgarians decided to do all these things just for fun?”

        Are you suggesting Israel’s nuclear weapons can do anything about it?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 5, 2018, 7:55 pm

        he means the sephardic bulgarians have nukes! in new mexico no less.

      • amigo
        March 5, 2018, 8:15 pm

        broadside.

        Maybe some of our resident Jewish (zio) historians can explain it to us.

        Next time I am asked where I am from , I will say I am a Catholic. Will they assume I am from Rome or think I am being a smart ass.

      • eljay
        March 5, 2018, 8:30 pm

        || catalan: … Does your theory explain … ||

        My theory? You’re the self-identified New Mexican from Bulgaria via Spain (you guess) who claims to have nukes.

      • MHughes976
        March 6, 2018, 6:54 am

        Noting what you said about the Tamimi case, Catalan, I looked up Tamimi and would agree that the campaign on her behalf is waning, at least for now. It doesn’t have the leadership by really prominent people or the backing of major news organisations or the money that is needed for that sort of thing. There was an article from HaAr from about 4 days ago saying that the credibility of the Israeli publicity machine has taken a blow and that the reputation of Israel for vindictiveness has increased. I think that is a reasonable judgement. Whether there will eventually be enough of these drips and drops to turn the tide against Israel remains to be seen. I’ve never shared the short term optimism in the Palestinian cause that is so marked on Mondoweiss, though I don’t abandon hope.

      • amigo
        March 7, 2018, 1:30 pm

        “I am genuinely baffled. Plea deal for what? What is the crime?” caralan

        A quick scan through your archive will unearth your crimes of the past.

        Illegally entering the USA and not paying taxes-or was that not paying child support or was it both.

        In any event , given your past history , there is every reason to believe you will commit more crimes.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2018, 2:39 pm

        “In any event , given your past history…”

        If no violence is involved, prison time is usually suspended, and restitution along with a period of supervision or probation is considered adequate.

      • catalan
        March 7, 2018, 4:02 pm

        “Illegally entering the USA” amigo
        Actually I overstayed. Either are civil offenses and not crimes. Also I came clean when I got my citizenship. But nice to see the fascist underbelly of the resident progressives. Do you also want to put 15 million illegal Mexicans in prison?

      • amigo
        March 8, 2018, 12:26 pm

        “Nice weather, good people, great education and free healthcare. In fact, I wish I could convince the wife and I would move to Ireland in a heartbeat.” catalan

        I wouldn,t show up in Ireland if I were you as Ireland is a den of Jew haters (so say all zionist propagandists) and we can smell a zionist from a kilometer away and they are not afforded a “Cead Mile Flite”.BDS is not considered illegal or antisemitic here .

        You wont have hoards of zionists here , (they are thin on the ground ) to socialise with so best find a more welcoming enviroment and with a big mouth like yours , it wouldn,t be long before you outed yourself.

        Best find a more suitable loction.Why not Israel –you know , Your HJH.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      March 6, 2018, 4:37 am

      So when Israel talked about a light to shine upon other nations they simply ment ‘we want nukes’?

      • amigo
        March 7, 2018, 5:11 pm

        catalan , are you taking the 5th on the tax evasion and failure to pay child support issues.

        I believe they are criminal offenses .Maybe that is why you ommitted those from your response.

        15million illegal Mexicans—shhhh, dont let Trump know.He thinks there are only 1.8 million.

        There are circa 50,000 illegal Irish immigrants and they should be expelled also.

        I just wanted to show I am an equal opportuniity illegal immigrant expeller.

    • catalan
      March 8, 2018, 8:35 pm

      Kaisa,
      Why spend so much time convincing me? According to most commenters here, Israel is about comply with all the demands of BDS very soon. Also, your EU is a house of cards. Italy wants to get out. Most people thing it won’t last more than twenty years. Then you will start fighting among each other and beg for the Americans to come and save you.

  8. Maghlawatan
    March 5, 2018, 2:16 pm

    Michel Sfard in 24 heures , à Swiss newspaper recently described AIPAC as blindly following the Israeli government

    “Aux États-Unis, les juifs progressistes ont commencé à s’organiser. Ils font entendre une voix alternative à la puissante organisation AIPAC, qui soutient toujours aveuglément les gouvernements israéliens. Le mouvement grandit.”

  9. Annie Robbins
    March 5, 2018, 3:26 pm

    But focusing on the conflict with Palestinians is a very narrow lens with which to consider Israel, he said

    sure, like focusing on the presence of that bull is a very narrow lens with which to consider the china shop.

  10. amigo
    March 5, 2018, 5:00 pm

    AIPAC gets dressing down from a leader of the illegal squatters.

    “Dagan concluded his letter to AIPAC by urging the lobby to “update its talking points.” This would allow AIPAC to participate even more effectively in Israel’s great quest – for survival as an independent, secure, moral, democratic, peaceful Jewish state, benefitting the world in the spirit of Tikun Olam.”.Haaretz

    Read more at

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/settler-leader-blasts-aipac-for-its-support-of-two-state-solution-1.5870160

    No paywall on this.

    The amazing part is , these illegal suatters believe every word they say.Tikum olem , my posterior.

  11. Kay24
    March 5, 2018, 8:24 pm

    Now with Crooked Nutty looking bad, people are going to open their eyes and realize they have been taken for an expensive ride by the zionists. It is the Palestinian people who will continue to suffer.

    • Mooser
      March 6, 2018, 6:09 pm

      ” realize they have been taken for an expensive ride by the zionists”

      And it just may be that even if they enjoyed the ride, they just can’t afford it anymore.

      • Kay24
        March 7, 2018, 2:00 am

        Even if they can’t, the zionists will make sure they live beyond their means. :))

  12. Marnie
    March 6, 2018, 12:13 am

    “Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog made a similar point. Israel must fight partisanship in the U.S. and “make sure that Jews of all beliefs and all strains and all denominations are working together.”

    In other words, the non-jews of the U.S., all 98% of them, just fuck off.

  13. Ossinev
    March 6, 2018, 7:26 am

    @Catalan
    “you can boycott Israeli mustard”

    No don`t tell me on top of the cherry tomatoes , hummus , spaghetti , paella , bangers and mash etc ad nauseam, oh and that great non – culinary invention = democracy, Zraelis also invented mustard !!

    • catalan
      March 6, 2018, 12:01 pm

      “Zraelis also invented mustard !!:”
      They don’t have to invent it to make it. You can boycott Japanese cars; it doesn’t mean the Japanese invented cars. Either way, ponder the absurdity: the belief that by boycotting Feta or mustard you will push Israel to let itself be invaded by 10 million hostile refugees, when you cannot even ensure the freeing of a single Palestinian prisoner.
      The truth is, some of the worst people I know are Jewish. Some of the best are Jewish too. I don’t even particularly like Israelis. But the conviction that you will coerce Israel “into compliance” through the tactics of boycott is a delusion; similar to the “free everything/perfect society” delusion incidentally shared by the same group.

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2018, 1:58 pm

        Gee, “catalan”, I hate to say it, but your belief in the invincibility and inviolability of Israel sounds more like a guy who’s looking to abscond, not make aliyah.

      • eljay
        March 6, 2018, 2:47 pm

        || catalan: … But the conviction that you will coerce Israel “into compliance” through the tactics of boycott is a delusion … ||

        You’ve nailed it once again: BDS isn’t effective and it “singles out the world’s only ‘Jewish State'”. So the world needs to stop fooling around and start getting down to the business of harsh economic sanctions, aerial bombardment, devastation, destabilization and regime change.

    • LHunter
      March 6, 2018, 1:00 pm

      Zraelis invented inventions

      • Mooser
        March 6, 2018, 1:53 pm

        “Israelis invented inventions”

        And specialize in painless irredentistry.

      • LHunter
        March 16, 2018, 8:35 pm

        Mooser – And specialize in painless irredentistry.

        Im often going to the dictionary after reading your comments – i sincerely appreciate that Mosser- thank you

  14. Marnie
    March 6, 2018, 7:29 am

    Photo caption: Clowning for Israel

  15. Ossinev
    March 6, 2018, 9:31 am

    Gideon Levy commenting on the AIPAC conference amongst other things:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQS-_9K5-Dk

    Catalan please listen and learn and do stop playing silly Bulgars.

    • Mooser
      March 6, 2018, 1:51 pm

      “do stop playing silly Bulgars.”

      I can’t understand what “catalan” is doing in New Mexico, a land-locked state. I thought Bulgars covered the waterfront. You know, handling a wherry or pinnace. And singing.

  16. Misterioso
    March 6, 2018, 10:52 am

    Israel employs bounty hunters:

    http://www.newsweek.com/israel-immigration-refugees-asylum-civilians-africans-780941

    “Israel will hire civilians to capture African migrants and refugees”

    By Carlos Ballesteros 1/14/18

    EXCERPT:
    “Israel will offer a cash reward to civilians who sign up to become ‘immigration inspectors’ with the government unit that oversees the deportation of the country’s large asylum and refugee population.

    “The Population and Immigration Authority, the Israeli government’s immigration ministry, published a job notice last week that invites civilians to apply to become ‘inspectors’ for the agency’s asylum request department. The ministry is offering ‘appropriate pay’ as well as a bonus that can reach 30,000 Israeli shekels ($8,700).

    “The ministry says it is looking to hire 100 inspectors by March 2018. Of these, 70 inspectors will be hired for a two-month period to ‘carry out enforcement tasks against illegal aliens and their employers,’ including the need to ‘locate, detain and monitor illegal persons.’ The immigration ministry also wants to hire 40 people to ‘conduct comprehensive questioning and investigation of asylum seekers,’ ostensibly to determine the veracity of their claims.

    “The notice calls for high school education and notes that experience in combat or security is a plus.”

  17. RobertB
    March 6, 2018, 11:07 am

    It’s Time For AIPAC To Register As A Foreign Agent – The Forward

    By M.J. Rosenberg

    March 05, 2018

    “Not only was AIPAC making it hard for the United States to restrain the Israeli government, but it was also weakening forces inside Israel that were trying to do so. The Israeli peace camp needed the United States on its side, but thanks to AIPAC, the United States could not help our natural Israeli allies. Of course, when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was actively seeking peace and an end to the occupation, that was the moment AIPAC chose to separate itself from Israel, resulting in Rabin’s blistering exhortation that it get the hell out of his way. By the time of his death, Kenen was thoroughly alienated from the organization.

    Now is the time to undo Kenen’s mistake. It is time to require AIPAC to register as what it is: a foreign agent. It will still be able to advocate for Israel, but as an Israeli lobby, which admits to getting its marching orders from the Israeli government. What it would not be able to do is direct campaign money to politicians. Let’s see how many vice presidents, senators and representatives show up at its conferences then. Let’s see how many of its Israel-right-or-wrong resolutions pass the House 435-0. Let’s see if presidents are still afraid to say what they think about the occupation and the denial of democratic rights to Palestinians.”

    Click on link below for the rest of the details:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48900.htm

    • Misterioso
      March 6, 2018, 3:38 pm

      Worth noting:

      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623?utm_campaign=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.haaretz.com%2Fopinion%2F.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623

      “Why Young Jews and Democrats Are Waving Goodbye to AIPAC”

      “My generation has only known Israel as an occupier. We won’t back anyone who supports that injustice – including the powerful lobby that is AIPAC”
      By Emily Mayer, March 6, 2018 – Haaretz

      EXCERPT:
      “As a young Jew and leader with IfNotNow who marched, sang, and chanted in the chilly March weather outside AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference last year, I know that the forces pulling progressives out of AIPAC are of the Jewish establishment and the Israeli government’s making.

      “As long as they insist on supporting and maintaining the occupation of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, progressives will turn away from pro-Israel advocacy in increasing numbers — both within and outside the Jewish community.
      Just look at the polling of the future American Jewish community: Support for Israel among Jewish college students in the United States dropped an astounding 32 percent between 2010 and 2016.

      “While the Jewish establishment, anxious to make sense of these numbers, points to assimilation and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, the fact cannot be ignored: My generation has only known Israel as an occupier which denies millions of Palestinians access to water, proper medical care, and the ability to elect their own government. Supporting such a system as dogma is a dead-end to the thriving Jewish future we all want.”

  18. RoHa
    March 6, 2018, 8:57 pm

    “We are not a liberal democracy, we’re an ethnic democracy… Israel is in the business of perpetuating a certain people and a certain religious community. That’s its goal. That’s its business.”

    And that’s what’s wrong with it.

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