Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 244 (since 2009-10-05 22:00:09)

Abierno

Showing comments 244 - 201
Page:

  • Air strikes and rocket fire resume as Gaza negotiations collapse
    • If Abbas steps out of line, he can be expected to suffer an immediate fatal illness or accident, particularly with the Netanyahu government. His successor approved by Hillary, Kerry and Netanyahu is already in the wings - Muhammed Dahlen, ever corrupt, ever ready to toady to Netanyahu. Giving away all of Palestine and Gaza would be ok so long as he gets his cut.

    • Palestinian reports indicate a major shift in the Israeli position at the end of the ceasefire. I wonder if this had something to do with the fact that Netanyahu withheld the longer term ceasefire proposals from his cabinet, who were not informed until Lieberman brought a copy to the cabinet meeting. (Haaretz) A strong number of this cabinet strongly urge the annihilation of Gazans or displacement to Sinai and reoccupation of Gaza sans existing people. They indicate that the area is ripe for development, particularly the seaside areas. Given that the UN and the larger international community appears helpless to intervene in any manner, is this the predictable outcome? Is this the requisite for Netanyahu to retain power? Who in this cabinet have under the table deals with Israeli developers for those - so valuable - waterfront sites?

  • Hillary Clinton's 11th-hour diplomacy
    • Unless of course Elizabeth Warren is the candidate. Also, given the pace of world events, 2016 is light years away and Netanyahu never misses a chance to spiral even the most minor crisis into incitement - Jerusalem and the West Bank are burning with Israeli violence to non Jews.

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 1, ducks question on Gaza, 2, plans trip to Israel, and 3--
    • That poll doesn't exactly say what you imply it says (also has some statistical problems as well) A repost of a former comment:

      @Donald. You are absolutely correct. Most people have forgotten that Gallup is the group that predicted a Romney win in the 2012 election. Nate Silver statistics these are not. The sample size is very small - 1016 people, representing 50 states and DC - about 20 per state. The stratification into age and education groups, if equal (no numbers of group size given) are approximately 250 per group, again stretched across 50 states. You have approximately a consistent 20% of those surveyed stating, "No opinion" this is a high percentage for such a small sample. Trending in this data should be worrisome to Israel given the changing voting demographics in this country - women, nonwhites, individuals under 50 appear to find Israel's actions unjustified. Both independents and Democrats find Israel's actions unjustified by substantial percentage points. Again, group size is omitted. While this wobbly data may not translate into support for Gaza and Palestine, the trend would suggest that there are substantial subsections of the US demographic wherein Israel's "brand" is problematic. It would also suggest that those subsections represent demographic patterns which constitute a substantial part of the electorate.

      Finally, without group size numbers the educational statistics cannot be interpreted with any degree of validity. With reference to post graduate, it would be important to note that Unjustified and No opinion constitute 47% of the responses as compared to 53 % seeing it justified - This could not be expected to produce a strong correlation.

  • Hamas equals ISIS in 'grisly creeds and grisly deeds,' Netanyahu tells a nodding Cuomo
    • I didn't save the links, but I have read in the dark corners of the internet, that ISIS
      is a reincarnation of Al Quaeda (a cia creature) and that al Baghdadi was trained by Mossad. It would be helpful to pull together a summary of these articles, with references. Comparison of Gazan resistance, fighting for freedom in their homeland and fighting to break a genocidal years long siege is entirely different. But then Netanyahu never misses the opportunity to exploit and reexploit a crisis for maximal fear mongering and incitement. His track record on this is exquisitely clear and consistent. The larger question is what price will be paid by our pandering politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Cuomo, etc. at the ballot box?

  • Serving Israel's aim of lowering civilian deaths, 'New York Times' Gaza tally says 15- to 17-year-old's aren't children
    • Readers of this column should refresh their memories of Phil Weiss great column on Ms. Rudoren's New York times article implying Gazans are ho hum about the death of relatives. Gives good context for her stripping away three years from the childhood of Gazan and Palestinian children, while Israeli adolescents do not attain mature, legally mandated adult status until eighteen. I believe this is also the policy or practice in the military courts in the territories. link to mondoweiss.net

  • Tough Hillary Clinton says 'dreadful' pictures of dead women and children make it hard to get at truth-- Hamas is to blame
  • The Greenhouse propaganda—How Gazan history is being rewritten to dehumanize Palestinians
    • Not only has Israel strangled Gaza's agrarian economy but also virtually all other industries. The day after the ceasefire began, Haaretz ran an article pictured with trucks going into Gaza with the headline, "Gaza is big business" (for Israel) who because of the blockade stops any competing products from entering. They also take a hefty tariff off donated supplies and materials and are reported to assimilate appropriated goods to their favorites. Note that, given the 44% of mostly agricultural land Netanyahu has appropriated, imported food prices have been significantly raised, with large profits going to the providers. That Gazans are starving is according to Israel "their own fault." While the US and Europe can airlift medicine and supplies to Iraqis, their planes would be shot out of the air by Israel
      who demands that Gazans be kept on a diet.
      Mr. Schlegel has written an important article - more articles like this one on how Israel has made billions off the blockade to the grave detriment of the Gazan people would be helpful.

  • How the Israeli discourse on terrorism seeks to justify blatant war crimes
    • Netanyahu is one of Frank Luntz' most ardent and skillful students. This article is an important analysis of why, particularly in the US, there is less outrage than one would expect given Israeli war crimes. The tragedy is that the verbal obfuscation actually becomes "real" in the minds of those using it and those hearing it, thereby obscuring their ability to accurately perceive events. Thus - the enemy has no civilians in war, opposing armies are terrorists looking to storm kindergartens with
      machine guns, soldiers who die in battle are kidnapped by terrorists. Netanyahu and his political fellow travelers from Likud and other extremist parties have extended and elaborated the Israeli narrative defined by Sharon and Ben Gurion of a small, beleaguered nation surrounded by a host of bloodthirsty, barbaric, virulently anti semitic neighbors, held off only by the racial, moral and military superiority of the plucky Israel Defense Forces. Given this percept which is reinforced every day by all of the state controlled media, and in a culture which suppresses any dissent, it is not surprising that Israel is country which is best characterized as having a collective psychosis, tragically one which since its inception has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths of innocent civilians, whose greatest crime is that they are not Jewish.

  • 'NYT' is furiously rewriting history of Gaza conflict
    • Wow - as Riyad al-Maliki meets with prosecutors at the ICC, Netanyahu captures a Hamas operative who -confesses to the masterminding of the kidnapping under the direction of his brother in Gaza, who is according to Israel but no one else, a top Hamas operative, who funded the operation. Also, other Hamas international leaders were also in on the plan. How fortuitous an arrest when Netanyahu is under fire in his own country for not being more aggressive with Gaza. This situation kills many birds with one stone - Israel can exit or hardline the negotiations with Gaza/Palestine on "security bases" (Don't second guess me about Hamas), bring the kidnapping back to the forefront for further incitement purposes, and, finally, accuse Hamas of war crimes at the ICC. What a lucky stroke of fate! Hopefully, the tragic deaths of the three young men will erase any international concern regarding the 2,000 (70% civilian, 450 children) deaths in Gaza.

  • Moshe Feiglin's vision of liberating Gaza by driving Palestinians into the Sinai --Updated
    • Herewith from Ma an indication that the buffer zone is has been enlarged from prewar 15 % to 44%.link to maannews.net

    • Perilously close to genocide? Killing all who are perceived as combatants, irrespective of their actual status, and shoving all the rest with no food, water or other resources into mostly uninhabited desert, whose denizens are legendary for their rapacious behavior. See accounts of the asylum seekers of their treatment at the hands of those desert dwellers. This is genocide, pure and simple by any definition. ... and this is from the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. I would underscore that the Palestinians, West Bank and Gaza, are under total political, economic and geographical control by Feiglin and his party, Likud.

    • This is an important article. When Feiglin is represented in US media, if at all, his prime position in the Likud power hierarchy is never mentioned. He is well and truly the voice of Likud. It is to him that Netanyahu apologizes that he cannot act more forcefully because of "international" constraints. The manifesto printed in this article, as the author so eloquently points out, is the roadmap for the Israeli government, the government to which we pay 8.3 million dollars per day, the government which complains endlessly about "security" while murdering thousands
      (in the three Gazan wars over 4,000 people have been killed, the vast majority civilians, including approximately 1,000 children.), and the government which now has ursurped 44% of Gaza territory.

  • The selected writings of Samantha Power
    • Well said. This article is an excellent complement to the Vox article on the ratios of Palestine to Israeli deaths. link to vox.com Also, the whistleblower who reported that many of the civilians deaths in Gaza were revenge has been arrested.

  • Israel, your brand is tanking
    • @Donald. You are absolutely correct. Most people have forgotten that Gallup is the group that predicted a Romney win in the 2012 election. Nate Silver statistics these are not. The sample size is very small - 1016 people, representing 50 states and DC - about 20 per state. The stratification into age and education groups, if equal (no numbers of group size given) are approximately 250 per group, again stretched across 50 states. You have approximately a consistent 20% of those surveyed stating, "No opinion" this is a high percentage for such a small sample. Trending in this data should be worrisome to Israel given the changing voting demographics in this country - women, nonwhites, individuals under 50 appear to find Israel's actions unjustified. Both independents and Democrats find Israel's actions unjustified by substantial percentage points. Again, group size is omitted. While this wobbly data may not translate into support for Gaza and Palestine, the trend would suggest that there are substantial subsections of the US demographic wherein Israel's "brand" is problematic. It would also suggest that those subsections represent demographic patterns which constitute a substantial part of the electorate.

      Finally, without group size numbers the educational statistics cannot be interpreted with any degree of validity. With reference to post graduate, it would be important to note that Unjustified and No opinion constitute 47% of the responses as compared to 53 % seeing it justified - This could not be expected to produce a strong correlation coefficient.
      .

    • @Hopmi. I am a naïf as regards statistics. Could you please cite the documents with the actual statistics numbers, sample size and reference questions. Then, for those of who struggle to match statement to number - it would be very, very helpful if you could attach the actual numbers to your statements. As well as explaining exactly how Mr. Weiss takes them out of context.

      I am deeply grateful for your attention to this matter. I am looking forward to your data-based elaboration of your ideas. Giving the correlation coefficients would also be helpful e.g. "strong correlation between educational achievement and support for Israel." Again, I would underscore my thanks for your help in this matter.

  • Israel calls Obama's tune
    • One would suspect that there is considerable pressure on Israel that is not overtly being discussed. Obama has been known to give his full support to Israel in sound bites, while at the same time authorizing actions that move in the opposite direction. He has certainly had enough experience with Netanyahu to know that pushing him into a corner can be expected to result in his doing exactly the opposite. So Obama gives support and, surprise,
      Netanyahu suddenly discovers he has closed all the tunnels.

      This war is being spoken of in Israel as far worse than the Lebanon war in its execution. Given this perspective, in concert with his extreme rightwing government, Netanyahu cannot afford to come to any negotiating table - he's already lost in the eyes of the Israelis. Also, the unity government continues to stand. Abbas has filed complaints with the ICC and requested that Geneva explore convening a conference of its signatories on Israel's war crimes. Then, Navi Pillay and the UN Human Rights commission have launched an investigation of both Israeli and Hamas war crimes. Only the US voted against this measure. Given the disproportionate death ratio, it is no secret whose war crimes are greater. Finally, Netanyahu's insistence on continuing the siege, makes Israel legally the occupier, with that issue bringing into play even further leverage to the war crimes charges against Israel. All of this moves the demands of Palestinians, in the West Bank and in Gaza from a war negotiated truce to international consideration. This is an arena wherein Netanyahu and the US have been thoroughly discredited by their insouciance to the brutal and devastating carnage of this war.

  • Cease-fire breaks down: Israeli shelling kills 50 after reported capture of soldier
    • Hamas is denying that they captured a soldier. Is this a revisit of the lies that surrounded the abduction of the 3 teen agers? but which "entitled" Netanyahu to tear apart the West Bank? Is this the lie that entitles/justifies the genocide of Gaza. Israel's history would suggest that they have not adhered to any previous truce agreements with Gaza, including the ones negotiated in this war.

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • Just a historical note - when the Japanese began their invasion of China,
      it was on the pretext that the Chinese had captured a Japanese soldier. They then want on to kill millions of people - all in the name of Japanese racial purity. This Israeli action has the same feeling. Do people remember Moishe Feiglin's (Deputy Speaker of the Knesset) Solution for Gaza?link to israelnationalnews.com Do his proposals fit with the Israeli actions during this war?

  • Israeli military announce they will bomb al-Shifa hospital in Gaza
    • ... and is this not a deliberate, provocative war crime? Israel is speaking with clear and direct voice to the entire international community - we can kill, maim and destroy anything within our reach - and we double dare you to do anything. If this is not genocide, what is? If this is not a "holocaust", what is? If the US, Europe and the UN do not immediately sanction Israel, cut all subsidies, close down their access to the US supplied emergency armory, and immediately begin a humanitarian airlift in defiance of the siege, they are all complicit.

      Santayana said those who do not read history and understand its lessons, will live it over and over again. This planet sustained an incredible death toll in World War II
      to stop the crimes of two countries, Germany and Japan, whose political bases were built on racial purity, who carried out crimes of mass destruction and death in the name of that racial purity (while German crimes are in our minds, we should not forget the brutal Japanese occupation of Manchuria, the Nanking massacre wherein tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers, civilians (women, children) were brutally massacred by the Japanese). This act, in the context of Israel's previous actions in Gaza and the West Bank, would suggest that we are facing a similar situation in
      Gaza. This time the international community has an opportunity to act to end this slaughter, to take command of the situation - the choice is theirs. If not today, when?

  • Will 'Protective Edge' galvanize the US mainstream, as 'Cast Lead' galvanized the left?
    • Fortunately for Gaza/Palestine, pictures are worth minimally a thousand words
      and ones such as the deliberate strafing of children on a Gaza beach, at least
      100,000. Frank Luntz dealt only with words and we are very much a visual
      culture. Iconic images overpower even the best of propaganda slogans.

    • Impressive and accurate.

  • With nearly half a million displaced in Gaza, UNRWA head calls on Israel to take responsibility
    • The siege needs to be lifted now! It is pure fantasy to think that the country who put an entire population including children on a "diet" causing chronic malnutrition, are going to do anything. Particularly now that Israel is complaining bitterly about the financial cost of their military operations. The UN needs to realize that Israel's current government has so incited the Jewish population that the majority of them feel all Gaza is Hamas and all Gaza deserves to die. They also need to realize that Gazans have spoken clearly with their death and wounded count, that they would rather be dead than under Israeli occupation, which appears to guarantee a "Cast Lead/ Mighty Cliff" every 24 months. Both Iran and Qatar have offered extensive and deep resources for these beleaguered people: Netanyahu has called for international supervision of Gaza borders - why not take him at his word, place an international protectorate over Gaza and then let these two countries, joining with the many other countries who have volunteered to immediately bring in medics, supplies and temporary equipment and housing. A make shift airport could be constructed in a matter of days; there is a harbor and beaches for amphibious craft. Supplies, personnel and support need to be airlifted (remember Berlin?) and shipped in, owing to the continuing instransigent behavior of both Israel and Egypt. One thing is clear in Gaza's history: Israel, the US and Egypt cannot be trusted to be honest brokers in service of these heroic people, particularly the children. All security issues can be addressed through the international military forces stationed in Gaza. Ultimately, Gaza will need to become a UN protectorate as in East Timor.

  • Blitzer and Rudoren pump Israeli tunnel fears (and AIPAC cashes in)
    • The tunnels are just another vehicle for Netanyahu incitement. There have been several Hamas infiltrations into Israel - with opportunities in each of them for the killing of civilians. Hamas operatives have not killed, attacked or otherwise wounded Israeli civilians, despite being given easy opportunity. On the other hand Israel, has wantonly killed over 1,000 civilians, striking hospitals, clearly marked refugee centers, UN personnel, children, and shoppers during an Israeli-declared ceasefire. This is an important distinction between Hamas and Israel. Hamas' poorly-guided rockets pose little threat, and so little terror, that Haaretz yesterday indicated that Israeli citizens were back in the malls, shopping (a huge distinction here between life in Israel under supposed Hamas threat and life in Gaza.)

      However, Algemeiner and other Israeli press present "fictional" stories of Hamas'
      purported attacks on Nahal Oz and other kibbutz. This, of course, allows Netanyahu
      to state that irrespective of any ceasefire, Israel has the right to continue destroying the tunnels. In the BBC yesterday there was a picture of Israeli soldiers pumping a
      gas of some sort into the tunnels. It would be helpful to know a little more about
      this - like what type of gas is being used and its levels of lethality, and whether this action represents yet another war crime.

  • Slaughter is not self-defense: The assault on Gaza and the corruption of language
  • Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of Rabbis
    • For Naftali Bennett, and his right hand helper, Ayelet Shayet, all Gazans -
      children included (the little snakes), are Hamas and therefore right and proper targets for the IDF and IAF. In assessing the situation, it is important to remember the dictates of the Kings Torah, which are regularly being promulgated to the troops. For the unknowing, this is holy war for Israel and thus all atrocities are permitted, so long the targets can be embraced under the umbrella of Hamas/terrorist. We are privileged to be seeing the Dahiya doctrine in action. And non dare call it genocide . . .

    • Correction: "But if the escalation does not happen, instead we should remember that those who prevented it are three people the Obama administration loathes (?): Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, Benjamin Netanyahu and Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. " (RobertB - Mondoweiss - Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt: Daily Contact Over Gaza)

  • As night follows the day, deaths of 10 Israeli soldiers lead to deaths of 30 Palestinian civilians
    • @SShenfield. Even with these ratios, with percentage of civilians including women and children hovering at 70 to 80%, to the best of my knowledge Hamas has been the party showing restraint as regards civilians deaths. To my count, which may not be accurate, there have been three (two non Jewish Israeli, one of which was a Bedouin who had no place to shelter) from their poorly guided rockets. However, there have been numerous incursions into Israel, several of which appear to be near civilian kibbutz, who could have provided ample target had they been so inclined. But they have targeted solely soldiers. In one case they were reported to have waited a considerable time to locate a military, as opposed to a civilian target. This level of restraint in the face of the devastating massacre of their own families, women and children shows true discipline - as compared to IDF snipers who simply killed civilians in Sujaiya for revenge, sport, to dissipate the boredom.

  • How many would be alive today if Obama had not quashed Goldstone Report?
    • Thanks Robert B for your two posts. The above link is invaluable. One would wonder what levels of support Netanyahu has that enable him to shove a shiv into both Kerry and Obama. Your sources suggest that with Egypt and the Saudis behind him, Netanyahu feels that the US is a country that is "easily lead." Given the current Gallop polls, and the solidarity marches which are larger than those which protested Iraq, one wonders if actions don't have consequences politically. Could Israel's behavior/ the genocide of Palestine become a major issue in the 2016 election cycle? Could the 8.6 million per day we pay this "ungrateful ally" (Robert Gates) become an issue? Given that the majority of the F-16's, Hellfire and Jericho missiles, Merkava tanks are funded by the US, does that create an issue when Israel faces the ICC? Will we still have Israel's back when Security Council members and Geneva propose sanctioning Israel?

  • Kerry is off the Israel bandwagon
    • Thank you Crone. They are all Palestinians and therewith lies one of the problems. If the siege of Gaza is lifted with international (UN) supervision of entrance and egress of people and goods, with all of the territory of Gaza available to its residents and with the economic freedom entailed by trade agreements throughout the world, what can be expected to happen in the West Bank? Not surprisingly, being unified with Gaza they will expect the same opportunities. De facto, Hamas' demands apply not only to Gaza but also to the West Bank. Netanyahu and his cabinet are fully aware of this. The end result is that the years of peace talks through which Netanyahu lied, obsfucated and obstructed, are all for naught if Palestine "wins" through this war, which ironically was started by Netanyahu himself.

      The tragedy of this situation is Gazans, like the people of Carthage, have resolved to die rather than continued under the jackboot of the current Israeli government. Furthermore, as has been well documented, the majority of the Israeli public, politicians and religious establishment, not only don't care about the 800+ civilians killed (150+) children, but openly agitate for the extermination of all Palestinians (Feiglin, Shayet, Rabbi Lior, et. al.) It is also well documented that military rabbis are casting this as a "holy war" with religious obligation to kill the other, be they civilian, women, child or elder. The images of the impact of these "orders" on impressionable adolescent and young adult soldiers armed with F-16's, Hellfire/Jericho missiles, Merkava tanks, mortars and high powered sniper rifles are devastating: Parents picking up the body parts of their children in shopping bags, bedridden patients seared with missile burns, whole families incinerated as they sat down to dinner, shelling hospitals, well marked UN refuge centers strafed. The magnitude of the carnage, in this war with was started with WMD-equivalent levels of deceit by Netanyahu, marks the moral nadir of Israel.

    • Thank you Crone. They are all Palestinians united in one government. Therein lies one of the problems in this situation. If the siege of Gaza is lifted with international (UN) supervision of entrance and egress of people and goods, with all of the territory of Gaza available to its residents and with economic freedom entailed by trade agreements throughout the world, what can be expected to happen in the West Bank? Not surprisingly, being united with Gaza, they will expect the same opportunities. De facto, Hamas' demands apply not only to Gaza but also the West Bank. Netanyahu and his cabinet are fully aware of this. The end results is that the years of peace talks through which Netanyahu lied, obsfucated and obstructed, are all for naught if Palestine "wins" though this war, which ironically was started by Netanyahu himself.

      The tragedy of the situation is Gazans, like the people of Carthage,
      have resolved to die rather than continue under the jackboot of the current Israeli government. Furthermore, as has been well documented, the majority of the Israeli public, politicians and religious establishment, not only don't care about the 800+ civilians killed (150+ children) but strongly urge the extermination of the Palestinians (Feiglin, Sahyet, Edelstein, Rabbi Lior, et. al.) It is also well documented that military rabbis are casting this as a "holy war" with religious obligation to kill all the "other" be they civilian, women, child or elder. The images of the impact of these "orders" on impressionable adolescents and young adults armed with F-16's, Hellfire/Jerihco milssiles, Merkava tanks, mortars, high powered sniper rifles are devastating: Parents picking up the body parts of their children in shopping bags, bedridden patients seared with missile burns, whole families destroyed as they sat down to dinner, shelling of overflowing hospitals with no notice, well marked UN refuge centers strafed. The magnitude of the carnage, in this war which was started as a result of an WMD-equivalent deceit by Netanyahu, marks the moral nadir of Israel.

  • (Updated) In Photos: Worldwide protest against Israeli attack on Gaza
    • I would agree. However, that could take years. This is a more immediate but temporary solution to the massacres occurring in Gaza - see Haaretz article wherein families huddle in one room, waiting for the slaughter, so all die together, leaving no one behind. Two advantages of a protectorate: Palestine can go to the ICC while its citizens are not only safe but enjoying freedoms usually accorded to citizens ( secure property rights , right to movement, right to secure livelihood). Second, they are not subject to the murderous predations of Netanyahu, Bennett, Lieberman, Yalon, Pardo et al. If operation Mighty Cliff is their response to a unity government, what escalation would occur as a result of bringing in the ICC? Israel is not only a facts on the ground country, but also authors the Dahiya and Samson options.

      Palestine needs protection now, as is obvious.

    • @Jaber. This may be slightly off topic to your excellent comment and if so I apologize. Ma an news reports that Abbas has handed a letter to Ban Ki Moon requesting that all of Palestine, now under one government, be put under a UN Protectorate. Not only is the situation in Gaza dire but there are numerous, troubling report of ever increasing Jewish violence to Palestinians, particularly women and children. The concept of UN protectorates was developed by Dag Hammerskjold when he headed the UN. This was a time of considerable post-colonial unrest and the procedures were set up to allow the possibility of by passing the Security Council (for reasons that are clearly in evidence today), for the more democratic General Assembly. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to strip Israel of its occupying powers, to provide safety for the woman, children, elderly and disabled of Palestine, to lift the siege of Gaza and to remove Israeli jackboots from
      the economy. These protests need to not only be against the current Mighty Cliff operation but strongly in support of Abbas, and his unity government's demand for a protectorate. International supporters, activists, diaspora constituents from throughout the Middle East and beyond need to make their voices heard - in the streets, on social media, in the halls of government and on the airwaves. Now is the time for all of those who have called out for an end to the unending Nakban of the Palestinian people to make their voices heard in every politically effective way they know.

  • PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel's assault on Gaza is 'state terrorism' and should be referred to the International Criminal Court
    • Thanks Hostage for the background to the Vanity Fair article. Very
      helpful.

    • @w.Jones. Appraisal of Abbas needs to occur in the context of Israeli, US and Egyptian goals for regime change. Discussion exists among this triumvirate about replacing Abbas and his entourage with Mohammed Dahlan, who was identified by Joseph Massad as "viewed, by many Palestinians, as the most corrupt official in the history of the Palestinian national movement (and there are many contenders for the title.)" The article from which this comes was considered so controversial it was removed from Al Jazeera where it was originally
      published, but resurrected on the Electronic Intifada. Readers who want to know what's waiting in the wings, once Gaza and the West Bank are smashed should read this excellent article link to electronicintifada.net

  • Horrifying details continue to emerge of massacre in Khuza'a
    • Ms. Harf, former spokesperson for the CIA, now representing our state department, can rest assured the US is to our great shame and detriment standing alone with Israel.

  • Hamas mimics Hezbollah tactics, and no one will have stability till blockade is lifted
    • This is exactly what Israel wants to happen. The reason for this war is the Palestinian unity government, which is holding together. It is important to remember that Hamas, a political party, has been designated at Israeli insistence, as a terrorist organization, and thus the US, UK and European countries are prohibited from interacting with them, also at Israeli insistence. Abbas has shown impressive acumen in navigating the treacherous shoals of both Israeli and Palestinian politics. Readers of this site well know that confrontational Palestinians have a habit of unexpected death or imprisonment. He adhered to all of Kerry's requests for the peace initiative, thereby highlighting Netanyahu's consistently instransient behavior - evermore settlements, failing to release prisoners and rampant incitement against Palestinians. After the peace process collapsed, Abbas rapidly moved forward to consolidate the gains made by Palestine being a UN observer state: Appeal to Security Council and UN for protectorate (of which nothing is said), enrollment in the Geneva Conventions and on July 7th signed the paperwork to join the ICC. This has enabled considerable Palestinian leverage in the UN to present their concerns and to maneuver, further calling out the isolation of the US in its full throated support for the genocidal atrocities currently being committed by Israel. Hamas, on the other hand, is providing a sturdy defense as best they can, against the most militarized state in the world. Gazans have spoken clearly that they would rather be dead then under Israeli occupation. While there appears to be little movement among the prime time players (Israel, US, Egypt), the BRICS, the Arab League, SEATO and South America are looking on in horror. The question of political blowback to the US/Israel position is not a question of "if" but of "when."

  • 'No food, no water to revive awaiting certain death...': Horrifying report from Khuza'a village following Israeli attack
    • Then they will simply move on to occupy portions of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and of course, Sinai as well as the Suez canal. This will, of course, be undertaken in the name of security, with the rationale that the existence, integrity and safety of Eretz Israel is severely threatened without these additional territories.

  • The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce
    • @Jon66. "No one seriously thinks Israel is interested in taking Gaza." What
      about the proclamation from Moishe Feiglin, who is Deputy Speaker of the Knesset who called for extermination and expulsion of Gazans - this was featured in great detail in Arutz Sheva news; what about numerous posts across the internet
      regarding Israel's goal to take control of the extensive gas deposits off Gaza;
      what about Israel's repeated and consistent destruction of water and sewage infrastructure so as to make Gaza uninhabitable, thereby available for Israeli
      annexation?
      Finally, what about the military threat to Gaza from Israel? Were all those "peacetime" killings really about security? What is Israel's track record in upholding peace treaties with Gaza? Is it not Israel's mantra, "There are no civilians in war." Hamas infiltrations to Israel have offered them several opportunities to kill unarmed civilians, have they done so? (Just to keep the record straight, the answer is no, even though it has not been in their best military interest.) What about Israel? I believe the civilian death toll is well above 500,
      with a great many being children.

  • Arab reporters come under attack from Israelis
  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
  • Israel is in a pickle
    • First, Hopmi, the Hamas demands that would bring about a ceasefire from their side represent the collective goals of the Palestinian unity government. Please remember that Hamas is a political party foremost and at the current time, represents the democratically elected government of Gaza. A political party which has long recognized the state of Israel, albeit not the state of Israel as solely for the Jewish people. Israel is not only fighting the military wing but splinter groups such as the PFLP, etc. The demands on the table from Hamas represent a fair and just attempt at stabilizing the situation in a manner which will address issues crucial to the health, welfare and political freedom of all Palestinians represented by the unity government.

      Second, Hopmi. I would refresh you memory regarding the occupations of Germany and Japan at the end of World War II. The allied nations realized these political and civic virtues were necessary for effective rebuilding of the belligerent counties:

      "Discipline, moral legitimacy, well-defined and well articulated objectives, a clear chain of command, tolerance and flexibility in policy formulation and implementation, confidence in the ability of the state to act constructively... free from partisan politics (John Dower, 2011)"

      As we all know, the allied countries through the Marshall Plan contributed significantly to the restoration of Germany. In neither country did the allies seek revenge or vengeance although the two wars (Pacific/Atlantic) contributed to a grievous numbers of deaths and unprecedented war crimes. It was the emphasis on economic rebuilding, political respect for the conquered, and assistance in reconstituting those countries as working democracies that reduced to a bare minimum insurgencies such as those which plague Israel.

      I would suggest that you consider the parallels between the occupations of Germany and Japan, which lasted a bare 10 years, and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and de facto occupation of Gaza. What would have been the outcome if Israel had well defined and articulated objectives to move the occupied territories to an economically stable, politically viable democracy? Particularly, in the context of Israel being given unprecedented levels of financial, military (munitions, hardware and training) and political support? The Palestinian treaty goals are fair, just and seek the same end as in the earlier occupations which were so successful.

    • Israel grossly underestimated the resistance of the Gazan people - who have been quoted that they feel they are living death every day. Consider the following: In six years, nearly 2,000 Gazan Palestinians have been killed in three Israeli actions - Cast Lead, Pillar of Fire and now the ongoing Mighty Cliff. The deaths have included large numbers of children - 37% Cast Lead, 26% Pillar of Fire. But these are not the only deaths. Israeli attacks during so-called "peace" time average six per week. Many of these are fatal, random and suggestive of nationalistic motivation.

      These are the data of death, but what about the living? Overall, not surprisingly, the quality of life among the Gazans is lower than that of virtually all other countries. Health facilities were severely compromised by the siege and now are even more so with Israeli F-16's destroying the health infrastructure of the country. Birth defects and infant mortality have been increasing. Israeli missiles have also destroyed water and sewage infrastructures which were badly damaged in earlier incursions. The majority of the population, including children, are food insecure, with considerable fertile land in no-go border areas. Virtually all of the young children, born since 2006, have PTSD, having experienced not just one episode of carnage, but many. Gazans live with high levels of fear - for personal safety, threats to family safety.

      All of these issues are exacerbated by not only the deafening silence from the official governments of the world and the all-controlling UN Security Council. In Israeli, European and, particularly, US media, Gazans are demonized as "terrorists" while the US provides ever more military hardware and munitions to Israel for further predations. The international mantra is "Israel has a right to defend itself." Palestine - not so much, if at all. Given all of this, is it any wonder than in social media we are seeing posts, that Gazans are choosing actual as opposed to virtual death by a thousand cuts. That some sequester themselves, each family, in one room in their damaged houses, waiting for the slaughter, so no one, particularly a child, is left alive and alone. That others, against impossible odds, fight back with all their meager resources, standing up to the fourth largest and best equipped military in the world.

  • Hasbarapocalyse: Naftali Bennett says Hamas committing 'massive self-genocide'
  • 'We are moving from Iron Dome to an iron fist': Israel launches ground invasion of Gaza
    • And the obvious massacre is not only to come, it was prefigured in the 7.13.2014
      article in Haaretz: "Waiting for the Slaughterhouse." T related - "We should all remain together, in one room. If a missile comes, we'll all be killed so none of us is left alive, alone."

      And Israel's actions according to the brightest and best of the beltway do not constitute war crimes? No one in the world, least of which is the UN, will stand up for these people? Is Israel given a license to kill, maim and torture any human - child, disabled, female, elderly, infirm - within their reach? Do Abbas and Arab League requests for protection fall on deaf ears at the UN? Given the commentaries from mainstream US citizens on news sites, blogs and social media sites, I cannot but believe that there will be massive political blowback in the 2014 and 2016 election cycles against both Democrats and Republican politicos who are in full throated support of these actions.

  • Jet Blue incident shifts from anti-Semitic story to anti-Palestinian one
    • @Kay 24, @ Walid. Much of the information being disseminated is from the Kiev
      government, who is claiming that they have a recording of Russian intelligence
      authorizing the shooting. Considerable confusion reigns as to who has the black boxes. (UK Telegraph). Meanwhile, several sources state that the plane was flying in de facto restricted air space and that US and other airlines are avoiding flying over Eastern Ukraine. Wise news outlets are identifying that the plane has crashed but not attributing cause or responsible parties. Obviously, many players in the world scene can be expected to spin this horrific tragedy to their own political
      gain.

  • NBC reportedly orders Mohyeldin to leave Gaza -- after he criticized State Dep't
    • Last night, Nick Clegg, Lib Dem, Deputy Prime Minister of the UK,
      called out Israel for its "disproportionate response", calling their actions
      "collective punishment" and indicating that they should stop the bombing
      since they had "proved their point." It would be hard not to believe that
      this incident was the tipping point, after the destruction of the water and sewage infrastructure, hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, 100's of homes
      and civilian deaths which I believe exceed 200 and include women, children, elderly and disabled. This is a courageous act given the power
      of the British equivalent of "AIPAC".

  • Report: Hamas offers Israel 10 conditions for a 10 year truce
    • @Annie Robbins. Thanks, not only for the correction, but the excellent detail in the context. I always appreciate your insightful writing and posts.

    • I would agree. Peter Beaumont of the Guardian states they came from
      a gunship. He was there. It's also surmised the shelling was deliberate.
      Much easier to say that the children were not deliberately targeted if
      you are thousands of feet in the air as opposed to a few hundred feet offshore. I would think that those on the ground can differentiate between a rocket strike and an artillery shell.

    • While the conditions apply only to Gaza, many appear to be conditions which could also apply to the West Bank. Since Palestine is now a unified country, is this a back door approach to obtaining similar conditions for Palestinians in the West
      Bank, or at least setting a precedent?

    • Walid here is another perspective on these events: It should be no surprise that when Abbas and the Arab League went to the UN, the axis of Blair, Bibbi, Sisi and Kerry hightailed it to Cairo (telephonically) to hammer out a cease fire. Also, no surprise that these august world leaders did not deem it necessary to consult Hamas and, given the circumstances, simply looked to shove it down the supposedly compliant Abbas' throat. As reflected in Haaretz, this was really a direct attempt to resurrect the state of Palestine as two separate countries. Negotiations could be expected to come later, and follow the usual Israeli pathway - endless in time, marred by numerous extra judicial killings, massive arrests. Most important however the Likud/Beiteinu drumbeat of extermination, expulsion and subjugation could be expected to continue. International consensus is that given the massive power imbalance, only an international diplomatic effort can be expected to resolve current issues, particularly those which lie behind this war which actually started 24 hours after Palestine announced a unity government which met US/European guidelines: Headed by Abbas, layered with technocrats who could not under any circumstances be labeled
      terrorists. Hamas ostensibly gave up power, but as is now obvious, retained considerable military and political power in the infrastructure in Gaza.
      This war mirrors the timing of Operation Pillar of Cloud/Fire which was
      initiated just after Palestine went to the UN and received statehood status.
      As numerous non US pundits are pointing out, Israeli violated virtually every agreement contained in that negotiated ceasefire - with not only impunity but also fierce criticism of Hamas of any response to these violations.

  • Palestinian member of Knesset removed from meeting for saying, 'Your hands are covered with blood'
    • That's Miri Regev, a former IDF commander and spokesperson for the military.
      She's the one who was filmed calling African refugees a "cancer" on the state
      of Israel. Other reports of this dust up indicate that she was essentially telling the good doctor that Israel is moving forward on its plans to rebuild the Temple (which by definition requires the removal of the Al Aksa mosque, an act which surpasses the Taliban destruction of the Bamiyan buddhas). Not surprising she is an up and coming, revered Likud politician, embodying the full spectrum of violent racist views affiliated with that mainstream Israeli party.

  • Ceasefire. Tightening the Gordian Knot?
    • The issue of a ceasefire needs to be put in context: Historically, Israel has used the lull surrounding movement to a ceasefire as prime time for targeted assassinations. Readers of this site remember the bombing of the house of Sheik Salah Shehadeh 30 minutes before the ceasefire was
      to take effect. Then, Ahmed Jabari, who was killed while carrying the signed agreements which not only negotiated a cease fire, but also a communication mechanism to prevent further escalation, notably that if Israel intelligence knew of potential rocket launches, they would communicate through Egypt to Hamas and Hamas would squelch them.
      Also, remember Lebanon, wherein the last three days prior to the cease fire taking effect, Israel dropped 90% of the 1 million cluster bombs on South Lebanon. People, including children, are still being killed by these bombs because Israel would not give the UN information as to exactly where they were dropped. People who live these betrayals are slow to forget. In Ma an news, it is reported that none of the many actors in the ceasefire talked to Hamas about it, which is unfortunate since Hamas have put out reasonable demands: These include lifting the siege on Gaza, freeing prisoners who were freed in the Shalit agreement and then rearrested and permanent opening of the portal to Egypt for free egress of the Palestinians. Also, one should remember
      although it's little reported to the press - that Abbas has a request before the UN for a protectorate, as well as requesting that Geneva sanction Israel. In this context, there is much to negotiate, little trust and with Israel a proven track record of bad faith bargaining. Finally,
      despite Netanyahu's most fervent hopes, the unity government is still standing.

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

  • Joining Graham, Schumer calls for end of Palestinian unification for sake of Israel's 'survival'
    • Perhaps the esteemed senator, and his colleagues (Clinton, Cantor, McCain, Graham, Ros-Lehtinen et. al.) should be apprised that internationally pundits
      are referring to the Israeli attack on Gaza as "Operation Battle of Carthage."
      He might wish to review Pliny to fully understand the long term implications
      for both Israel and the "Empire of Chaos" (Pepe Escobar).

  • Israel's message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die
    • Rashid Khalidi reports in an AlterNet article that Netanyahu "slipped" in a
      pronouncement indicating that permanent occupation is the current position
      of Israel. This article is thus very accurate. All of the operations in the West
      Bank as well as Gaza have been long planned, with the goals of arrest, expulsion
      and massacre being the means of significantly reducing the Palestine population,
      annihilating its leaders and, most significantly, eradicating the "little snakes"
      as per Ayelet Shaked.

  • Terror in Gaza: 57 seconds after 'warning,' Israel destroys a house
    • You are absolutely correct Mahane. I have been carefully following the internet
      images of Hamas F-16's dropping bombs on Israeli cities to devastating effect. You can identify them readily by the Red Crescent on their fuselage. I believe they are hitting every four minutes or so. I also saw images of Hamas Hellfire
      missiles as well as Jericho 1 and 2 missiles which have been used with deathly
      precision, killing many women and even more small, helpless Israeli children. The internet is replete with images of their serenity in death. I also noted reports that Hamas has also managed to acquire a few 800 Dolphin class submarines with their Popeye Turbo missiles. These were seen by local citizens as well as the IDF
      prowling around Eilat and other off shore areas of Israeli. Hamas truly has both remarkable and amazing advanced capabilities. How wrong for the international press to infer that they are using bottle rocket level missiles, with no payload, as
      well as sticks and stones. We both know better. You have brought to the readers of this site excellent and important corrective information. I salute you.

  • State Dep't says Israel has a right to defend itself, but can't say the same of Palestinians
    • My apologies for the misspelling, Seafoid. I am not so capable on
      a keyboard.

    • @seafood
      Thanks - I've never come upon this poem by Brecht., which so aptly describes the situation in Palestine and Gaza. As you must well know, the Three Penny Opera accurately reflects the trajectory of the US as well as Israel, with Netanyahu as their own, esteemed Mac the Knife.

  • Contradicting Israeli officials, family of Tarek Abu Khdeir says he was attacked while in uncle's Jerusalem backyard
    • He needs an immediate return to the US for appropriate comprehensive neurological work up - his loss of consciousness as well as his chronic headache
      and occasional disorientation suggest the possibility of significant issues. The
      US consulate should request a compassionate departure to his home state of Florida
      immediately, while the court issues sort themselves out. Given that the US generously compensates Israel to the tune of, is it? 8.5 million per day, this should be an easy request.

  • Child's beating in Jerusalem brings unprecedented coverage of Palestinian experience to U.S.
    • @ can of worms

      You ask good questions about the bodies of the kidnapped Israeli teens. For those of us who get our science from CSI TV programs, it is well known that decaying bodies off- gas methane, sodium hydrochloride and other volatile gases. The smell is extremely noxious and pervasive. That said, ostensibly the bodies were buried under a shallow pile of rocks and a volunteer noticed that the plant life appeared to be disturbed. This occurred outside of Halhoul, a city of about 22,000, about 3 miles from Hebron. Given that Shin Bet says that these teen agers were killed almost immediately after the abduction (July 12th), their bodies were exposed to temperatures in the 90's for nearly 3 weeks. What confuses me - is that despite 100's of IDF soldiers, Bedouin trackers, HRD dogs, civilians in the area, no one apparently noticed this highly distinctive, intense noxious odor. Reports of the volunteer who found the bodies (from Peter Lerner, spokesman for the IDF) stated that it was made by visual identification of disturbed plant life. Perhaps more knowledgeable readers can explain these contradictions.

  • Beating of Florida teen in Jerusalem is getting attention in U.S.
    • Actually, they should view the autopsy photos of his cousin - the intense calcination process which occurred as a result of burning from the inside (as a result of being forced to drink the gasoline) simultaneous with his burning from the outside resulted in the corpse total body weight being 30 kilos. The pain threshold before he died must have been unbelievable. This transcends the verbs "to kill" or "to burn". Hopefully at some time, the American public who so generously subsidizes these settlers can also view the autopsy photos.

  • Please, pray for Palestine
    • Not only is this horrific crime more probably than not the action of Israeli psychopaths but it is also carried out with what appears to be state sanctioned impunity: Police and other agencies had the license plate for the car but they cannot discern whether the crime was criminal or national, meaning Palestinian or Israeli?
      Which group is documented regularly targeting, torturing and killing children (it is reported that for the past several years, a child has been killed every three days).
      Which group has been documented setting houses on fire? Mosques on fire?

      More probably than not, Israeli security agencies know exactly who committed the crime, but in the currently inflamed atmosphere, there is no political will to arrest them since they are probably connected to politically powerful settler groups. Thus, the lesson learned is this: There is no crime too horrific for Israelis' to inflict on Palestianians, particularly children, wherein the perpetrators cannot expect total impunity and immunity from sanction or punishment. That said, given the events of the past weeks, an international campaign for a UN protectorate for Palestine is an imperative. This can be undertaken by the General Assembly and does not need the sanction of the Security Council, wherein Samantha Power can be guaranteed to
      spout the Israeli party line - this was an honor killing of a gay adolescent. In the light of current facts, this attempted cover up is as grisly and horrific as the crime.

  • The Aftermath: Home demolitions and dead Palestinian teen follow Netanyahu call for revenge
    • Barbaric is correct - according to Buzzfeed, he was beaten and burned to death. Other sources report his body as unrecognizeable, with the identification being made by DNA. If this information is accurate, the perpetrators show a level of sadism that is the hallmark of criminally insane.

    • Does Ya'alon's comment imply that Shin Bet not only knew that the 3 teen agers
      were dead, the first day after the kidnapping but also had "reached the unit
      [those] that carried out the attack"? Also is the implication that the two alleged
      kidnappers were executed? If so - the entire duration of the "search" was simply Netanyahu's brutal exercise in political manipulation and incitement to 1) save himself since his coalition was failing 2) eradicate Hamas and the unity government government and 3) build sufficient credibility with the international community to take over E-1, thereby eradicating any possibility (if there ever was one) for a Palestinian state and 4) set the stage politically for annexation of the
      West Bank and invasion of Gaza. As an added benefit, the IDF and IOF were given direct permission to act out their most destructive fantasies upon the civilians of Gaza under the guise of the morality of justified retribution. The aftermath of this incitement is that Netanyahu and his cohorts may find it exceptionally difficult to dial down the effects of the incitement in soldiers,
      settlers and extremists - all of whom have been given impunity regardless of the
      severity of the crime. Thus, could it be unexpected that kidnapping attempts
      for Palestine children are underway, that one has already been effectively carried out. That houses continue to be ransacked and destroyed, that snipers target
      Palestinian teen agers - and at their death, Israeli soldiers, settlers and extremist
      dance in the streets.

  • Change the narrative from 'cycle of violence' to occupation, JVP says
    • As more information is released regarding the timing of Shin Bet knowledge of
      demise of the teens (see articles on this site) as well as the identifies of the alleged
      kidnappers, it would appear that this tragic event was exploited to inflame and incite
      the Israeli public. Be that as it may, when the prime minister of a country and his minions call for revenge (especially a country which identifies itself as the "only democracy in the Middle East) is this not incitement?
      Could I call attention to the massacre at Utoya, Norway wherein Anders Brevik
      killed 77 unarmed teenagers and wounded 300 more who were attending a labor party camp. Despite this essentially exterminating much of generation of politically active youth, soon to be citizens, there were no calls for revenge, for retributive
      justice or for disproportionate response. Max Fisher in his outstanding Atlantic
      article published in August of 2012 describes Norway's philosophy of "restorative
      justice" which focusses not on revenge but sober, dignified treatment. This system
      results in far lower crime and recidivism rates than more punitive systems (such
      as that in the US and Israel.) But these are terrorists, you say. Fisher points out
      that Saudi Arabia, in applying this system to terrorists and violent extremists has
      experienced considerable success.

  • One killed in protests as Israeli army takes control of Ramallah city center for first time since 2007
    • Thanks Annie for the context. The important aspect of the post was suggesting that after Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Fire and Operation Brother's Keeper, that Abbas demand a UN protectorate for Palestine. The issue of Israel's targeting of children as well as violating a multitude of other statutes would suggest the importance of such step. The killing, terror and abuse will not abate without such a protectorate.

      In the tradition of allowing Palestinians to take the lead, I would suggest a Twitter campaign - "#Safe Our Children - #Palestine Protectorate " or
      "#Safe Palestine - #UN Protectorate". These are my poor suggestions, I know they can do it better.

    • +972 reports that parts of operation brother's keeper was planned before the kidnapping. Inquiring minds would wonder about the synchrony of an all out military operation in the territories being planned and the subsequent, fortuitous kidnapping. Is this a warm up for the annexation of the territories, terrorizing the population, mapping the resistance, arresting any who might lead the resistance? More than Hamas leaders leaders have been arrested. Also, Netanyahu and company have done a masterful job of inciting Israeli citizens who chant, "Abduct, expel, liquidate!"

      Reportedly Abbas is going to the Security Council. - he should be counseled, pressured to demand a UN Protectorate for Palestine, noting that the current situation is worse than East Timor or Kosovo - few dispute that the Israeli right is executing a popular mandate for ethnic cleansing, lead by politicians and rabbis, following the dictates of the King's Torah. Just as in East Timor, Kosovo, religiously justified ethnic cleansing.

  • Israeli army enacts curfew near Nablus and raids eight major West Bank cities
    • I'd like to suggest a broader view on the limits of Israeli power: Netanyahu and his allies have painted themselves into a nasty corner,
      as a result of their Iran-o-centric foreign policy. While they have been
      stirring the pot in Iran, making wildly defamatory speeches in the UN, surreptitiously aiding Al Nusra in Syria and beating the drums for a no
      fly zone - they have forgotten that the majority of the 11.6 million Palestinians (East Jerusalem, West Bank, Gaza, diaspora - many in refugee camps) are Sunni! Thus with the emergence of the elusive
      Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, commandant of ISIS, but more important for
      Israel - champion of Islamists and Sunnis. His armies are a union of
      the disaffected - Baathists, tribal leaders, and Sunni in Iraq. He now
      holds large swatches of Syria and Iraq and is moving on Baghdad. His cause is exceptionally well funded owing to "liberating" the banks of
      Mosul of several billion dollars as well as controlling considerable oil wealth. He has moved slowly, with great stealth in building his alliances. He too endorses a brutal, bloody version of the Dahiya doctrine as we have seen in the massacres of Iraqi soldiers. This PhD
      former Sunni cleric is exceptional in his knowledge and execution of asymmetrical warfare, against which more technologically sophisticated countries are vulnerable. His enemies - Assad in Syria, Iran, Hezbollah
      - all entities whom Netanyahu has demonized, bombed or threatened
      to bomb. Netanyahu's foreign policy has the unenviable result of making mortal enemies of both sides of this conflict. Furthermore,
      he has millions of disaffected Sunni Palestinians living under belligerent occupation, who like the Baathists and Sunni in Iraq would have no difficulty in choosing sides between ISIS and Israel. Under these circumstances, is it not surprising that Netanyahu went "crazy"
      when ISIS pamphlets showed up in Hebron?

    • Is this the well planned annexation of the West Bank - timed while US and Europe are otherwise occupied with Syria , Iraq, and Ukraine? Are there not at least 10 bills in Knesset being read to annex West Bank?

  • Kidnapped
    • Replying to LuLu: That phone call is worrisome - Israel has NSA/PRISM level surveillance - thus a phone call on the police hot line is not only recorded but GPS location is also available. But police do nothing for 1 hour, and the military nothing for 7 hours. A kidnapper who allows the victim their cell phone is probably too naïve to remove the sim card or
      other tracking aspects.
      Also, Israel has the capacity to search all previous West Bank cell calls. Finally, in 2011 Israel ordered a large number of Verichips, which are embedded in military persons for tracking. Is it possible that the 19 year old was embedded with one of those chips? Given the exceptional levels of tracking/information available to Israel it is hard to understand the need for house to house searches, massive arrests, lock downs. In an age of technology - particularly Israel which has created many of these technologies for surveillance, data mining and tracking, the lack of information as to the whereabouts of these youth is puzzling. Intelligence
      officials in Jordan and Lebanon are attributing this well timed disappearance of these youth to Mossad.

  • Missing!
    • Adding to your comment - it is know reported in Haaretz that one of the boys called the police hotline at 10:25 to say he had been kidnapped. Parents called later but nothing was done until 7 hours later. Given that police, IDF. and IOF appear to have regular nightly operations in the territories, this doesn't make sense. Gag orders are in place to restrict information dissemination. All of this occurs when Netanyahu has attenuating support from his own party (Rivlen election); is facing a unified , technocratic government in Gaza/Palestine which is adhering to Quartet dictum (and recognized internationally and by US; has over 100. Palestinian prisoners on the verge of death (none of whom have been charged as pointed out by Ki-Moon) and has most recently capitulated to euro dictates to back off on settlement housing. Considerable speculation has been put forth as to how long his government can survive. Across the Internet and in Israel, these questions are being raised in comments.

      Perhaps we will never know exactly what happened. Even the most cynical commentators as do I want to see these young men returned to their families alive and well. However, international as well as Israeli responses leave no doubt that relative to Israeli youth's lives, Palestinian youth and children' s lives are valued far less, if not at a level of no consequence. This only exacerbates the horror of the situation.

  • Settler leader Dani Dayan given yet another platform in the NY Times
    • The issue of property rights, notably the disposition of "stolen" land will make
      a truly equitable one state solution impossible. Inextricably intertwined with property rights are riparian or water rights. Israel has carefully mapped the
      springs, wells and water supply in the West Bank, and housed their settlements
      and closed military areas thereon. So called equal rights for Palestinians is simply
      window dressing for accelerated dispossession and de facto extradition.

  • 'Courting powerful Jewish donors,' Christie calls for aggressive foreign policy
  • Palestinians remain marginalized at the New York Times
    • Not so. The NYT, the Wall Street Journal under Rupert Murdoch and the Washington Post under Lally Weymouth have been thoroughly discredited as a result of consistently biased reporting on both domestic and foreign policy issues. Internationally, the Financial Times is rated highly and domestically favorable ratings are assigned to the Los Angeles Times and the Atlanta Constitution. Even in these papers Palestinian politics are sparsely represented. Be that as it may most of those under forty (or is it fifty?) get their news from a pastiche of Internet websites like this one if they are looking for information on Israeli/ Palestine issues.

  • John Judis's Truman book is a landmark in anti-Zionism
    • "Mossadeqhed" - what a nuanced and appropriate term for the
      US endeavors in the Ukraine, have attempted in Syria, and wish to
      achieve in Iran. Thanks.

  • 'Secret' London conference seeks to link BDS to... terrorism
    • Please look at the next article - The Israeli role in the US serveillance machine
      and the link to Max Blumenthal. Lauder's reference to intelligence on the surface
      appears to reference "capability," but to the cognoscenti, it references human intelligence gathering, sweeping up all communications - phone, text, email,
      etc, of all in the US, even those of politicians, corporate heads, the man or woman
      in the street. When he says follow the money, his group - interfaced seamlessly
      with the Israeli government, can actually identify the bank accounts of those
      supporting BDS as well as a trove of other personal information. This threat goes far beyond lawfare, which actually has to stay within the purview of the legal system, and suggests the possibility of some very troubling actions against those who support BDS.

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • Well stated. The realism of the refugee situation is rarely as well delineated
      your comment. Thank you.

  • Australia opposed Palestinian UN bid because foreign policy was 'subcontracted to Jewish donors' -- report
    • Important article. It appears well understood in the US, Great Britain and Australia
      that with acceptance of Jewish politically-directed financial contributions, comes
      the expectation that the candidate will adhere at above 100% fidelity to Israeli
      expectations as regards foreign policy, particularly as it impacts Israeli security,
      financial and political interests. However, could it be the case, that those
      candidates who choose to side step such heavy handed directives, supporting the
      needs of their own country first, experience the political analogue of the well
      known "Dahiya doctrine" - notably experiencing disproportionate push back (force), inflicting widespread damage (think about smears, lawfare, rumor campaigns, outright sabotage) and punishment to the extent that addressing all of it will demand long (ideally well beyond the election date) and expensive reconstructive processes which may or may no be effective, given the remarkable low level or non existence of investigative journalism in any of the above countries. If this were true, the percentage of money which is relatively low (20%) would not be nearly as persuasive, as the implicit threat of well-funded multi media, McCarthy level tactics, with all those bought and paid for politicos pushed to use the full range of their powers to extend the smears and the punishment.

  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
    • I would agree, giladg; especially where he wrote that "slavery dehumanized the slave and made monsters of the slave owner." Careful reading of the subtext
      of his work would support Brownfeld's assertion that "treating each person
      with human dignity be applied everywhere," is an important moral percept.

  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
    • When compared with effective diplomats who are well attuned to nuance and
      potential for negotiation - think Sergei Lavrov, Vitaly Churkin and Liu Jienj (China) - she is abrasive, shrilly outspoken and incapable of developing positive
      reprocities with key players on the other side. Fortunately for the Palestinian
      requests, she can be expected to alienate any country which has free choice in
      their response to expanding/enhancing the Palestinian presence in the UN and,
      also, to be so overt in her bludgoning of those who are beholden to the US, that
      the blowback is obvious and well reported outside the US media. Her "right to protect" stance, given the situations in Iraq, Libya, etc. has entered the parlance
      as the standard, sarcastic phrase to underscore the hypocrisy of the designated war effort.

  • Both Sides: Anti-BDS concerns on campus vs. life in the occupied territories
    • Of the total budget for University of Michigan, private donations are
      approximately 2%. Could the issue be that such donors are tightly
      politically connected to the governing board? Also, that the forces
      supporting Jewish voices are powerful lobbies - AIPAC, Stand With Us
      and a host of smaller, ever relabeled groups. Then there are the
      federal complaints against the university that can be filed (as in the
      California state universities) which absorb significant resources. Finally, it is my understanding (perhaps incorrect) that there are considerable monies from the Israeli government flowing through some of these organizations as well as directives from the Reut
      Institute. Inquiring minds would like to see a graphic of all the
      organizations, beyond Hillel, contributing political/legal/financial/
      organizational resources to defeat discussion of I/P issues on US
      campuses. From my perspective, it would appear David vs Goliath
      to use a stereotypic trope.

  • It's the borders, stupid
    • Actually, Ms. Power has gone on record with Congress as stating that
      she will do everything in her power to stop the advancement of any
      Palestinian request in the UN. One should remember that these
      requests are for rights to which the Palestine state is entitled to - her
      commitment to blocking their accession to any of the requested
      organizations will have the effect of even more effectively isolating
      the US. The hypocrisy of her position on Crimea and then her position
      on Palestine is breathtaking, but understandable since she is under
      direct supervision by the esteemable Rabbi Boteach (and thus by
      indirection Sheldon Adelson). For those who thought the abrasive
      Susan Rice an inappropriate UN choice, Ms. Power is far worse. One
      wonders if, given the levels of incompetence she has shown in
      executing US foreign policy, she will be welcome back at Harvard
      (or professionally respected) when her tour of duty is over. Shrill
      and hysterical, unable to attune to nuance, and, most important,
      unable to manage effective negotiation processes make her singularly
      unsuited to her position. She weilds a battle ax while her opponents
      are swift and deft with their rapiers. This may be an asset for the
      Palestinians.

  • Not an April Fool's joke: U.S. weighs releasing Pollard to keep Israelis at negotiating table
    • Actually, Netanyahu is playing the US/Kerry/Obama for suckers - he
      refuses to complete his part a supposed "ironclad" agreement, and
      then is rewarded for so doing by being handed Pollard, a demand which
      Israel has frequently made to no avail.

      Kerry's position is heinous given that Netanyahu has not only done nothing to facilitate the peace process but has exacerbated the situation
      by doubling the number of settlements, increasing home demolitions
      by 50% and raised the kill rate for Palestinians to one every 4.2 days
      for 2014. Of course, this does not cover the gratuitous injuring and maiming of Palestinians (think about the football players) which is far higher. It does not cover the daily gratuitous, unchecked violence by settlers. It does cover the regular incitement by IOF/IDF
      nor the regular incidences of hate crimes against Palestinians. The question should be asked that given this behavior, can the Palestinians afford another year of the peace process?

      Freeing Pollard only confirms that the US is Israel's sucker and worse.

    • This was proposed by Abbas, but has gotten absolutely no traction
      since the state department is teeing up Muhammed Dahlan to take
      over for Abbas (who will shortly suffer an unusual accident or disease
      if he does not accept this current offer.) This is a similar situation to
      the Ukraine wherein our state department effects a disastrous regime
      change, in this case one wherein Israel has their own stooge heading
      Palestine. Given all the US hype about self determination, why not
      schedule a referendum in West Bank/Gaza regarding their desires
      regarding leaders, boundaries, one state/ two states.

  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
    • Also Ron Dermer Israeli ambassador was present and spoke. This election can be expected to be a mirror of 2012 with Likud and republican running as a fused party. Many of these machinations will be hidden owing to the machinations of ALEC, lawfare and smears of antisemitic against any who call attention to large sums of out of district monies from Jewish kingmakers (remember the Michael Grim election?), and the refusal of mainstream media to present even a modicum of non biased or accurate information about this process. Mr MacBride your comment is absolutely on the money?

  • Ululating at Vassar: the Israel/Palestine conflict comes to America
    • What is beyond belief is that a fully tenured professor at an
      Ivy League college would not be aware that the participation of Palestinian students in such an exercise would be impossible because
      more probably than not, they would not be admitted into Israel. Also,
      that she would be unaware that the usual procedure for Palestinians
      at Ben Gurion is several hours of intensive interrogation regarding any and all contacts within and without Israel, strip searches (for females in full view of male personnel), downloading of information from all electronics to Israeli computers and then imprisonment for 24 to 72 hours until a flight out can be located. Even high ranking academics and US government personnel have been subjected to such
      procedures. It would be my suggestion that students protesting this
      trip review Vassar's own policies on discrimination and report back how
      this trip measures up. I would suspect that many of Vassar's non discrimination policies are violated in this instance. Perhaps because
      Palestinian students are so few, or were unable to afford such a trip,
      it was decided that it just didn't matter. I would wonder that no participants on the trip (particularly those who have passed through Ben Gurion on their way to Israel and seen the harassment of Arab
      travelers for themselves) raised the issue themselves. This in itself is
      a statement on the status of non discrimination at Vasser, ostensibly
      an elite Ivy league college.

  • 'NYT' reporter treats boycott as immoral and anti-Semitic, reminiscent of Nazis
    • The Four Corners Video should be featured on this web site and preserved in
      the archives, since it can be expected to soon be blocked. It's showing in Australia
      has occasioned not only significant commentary but also significant backlash to
      the current Likud Australian political regime. The severely abusive treatment of children is a well known pathological marker for serious psychiatric disorder.
      In this case, inculcated by political and educational programs which deligitamitize
      even the most fundamental humanity of Palestinians, including their elderly
      and children. That this deligitamization includs Muslims and Arabs, wherever
      (think US policies toward Arab/Muslim), has had/has/will have profound implications for Israeli foreign policy (as well as US foreign policy, for example
      the thousands civilian death in Iraq, the ten thousands civilian wounded, dispossesed; the foreign sponsored jihadi carnage in Syria). When one reprises
      the Dahiya Doctrine (to inflict as much suffering as possible on the other) perhaps
      this has always been a signature feature of Zionism.

  • Gaza residents fear another Israeli military offensive
    • Be very concerned. Netanyahu is caught between his coalition and the US. In such
      situations, it is suggested that he sees it as time to start a war(s) to raise the ante.
      Also, given the instability in Syria, its spillover into Lebanon, the restoration of the
      military dominated autocracy in Egypt, the alliance of Israel with the Saudis, from a the point of view of one of the strongest military forces in the middle east, this may seem an opportune moment to attack on several fronts. All of these factors are exponentiated by the fact that since Lebanon 2006, Cast Lead and Pillar of Fire, Netanyahu knows that Israel can kill as many civilians as they "need" to with impunity from international pressure. At this time, Netanyahu has indicated he is more than ready to go it alone with Iran (hence the need for the Menendez bill to insure US military support). He has most recently not only threatened Gaza with infinite pain but also threatened the civilian population of Lebanon, with the accusation that throughout the country, in the mostdensely civilian populated areas, Hezbollah has placed rocket launchers. He has threatened massive civilian annihalation in Lebanon; it goes without saying this may well be the goal in Gaza. Israel has long been preparing for multi front wars - in his view this may be the time to strike. Such action would be directed to his declared need to greatly expand Israeli occupied territory in the Golan Heights (wherein Israel has recently signed agreements with European oil companies), reoccupation of Gaza (assuming the natural gas deposits off the Gaza coast) and
      southern Lebanon (assuring Israel of significant additional water supplies.) Not only
      would such wars bring financial gain to Israel's 1% but, more important, would
      strongly reinforce Netanyahu as a "powerful" leader, standing up to US interests in
      peace. Since he feels that Israel "owns" our Congress, he expects no blowback
      from the US. All of this rationale is exceptionally worrisome - with the Chinese
      solidly in Iran, with Russian warships in the Mediterranean, his narcissistic warmongering proprosals have all the ingredients necessary for the third world
      war, an event that could prove exceptionally destructive for Israel.

  • Chilean soccer team defies league, retains Palestine on jersey
    • Unfortunately "practicality" is not a legal stricture. Mr. Konrad, many of the Palestinians hold legally recognized (by the UN, International community) documentation of their ownership of properties which in both
      Israel and the occupied territories were expropriated by force, violence
      or legal fiat and handed over, free of charge to Israeli's. These legal rights,
      enshrined in numerous UN documents, must be addressed. It is also the
      case that numerous Israeli laws have been enacted which enable the state
      to destroy the homes and personal property of non Jewish Israeli citizens
      as well as those in the territories. Israel holds no regard for property rights
      of non Jewish persons, their religious artifacts (the Mamilla cemetary with graves from the time of the Crusaders, the Crimesian monastery) or their
      cultural artifacts (Israel carefully sequestered all the books in many fine
      Palestinian libraries during the Naqba; they are not available for perusal
      by anyone and most probably have deteriorated significantly).
      The cultural destruction by Israel of Palestinian books, documents and
      artefacts is fueled by the same all encompassing ferver as shown by the Taliban in the the destruction of the Bamiyan buddhas. All of these issues
      go far beyond "practicality" and must needs be addressed as the two states
      pull away from each other. Unfortunately, Israel has little history in
      the use of diplomacy and negotiation - the metier from 1948 on is violent
      conflict, disproportionate response (the Dahiya Doctrine) and, of course, the Mossad mantra: "By deception, make war." Would you care to estimate the
      cost of the reparations in an even handed settlement of Palestinian issues?
      To support a UN mandated tribunal with participants selected from both
      sides to assist in untangling the competing claims?

  • Why Palestinians don't want settlers in their midst
    • Great article. Unless I missed something, it is also the case that all of those settlements have been built on land that was expropriated from the legal, documented owner-Palestinians on the basis of "security." It will take a UN tribunal to sort out the land ownership (as well as compensation) issues in the separation of Israel from their occupied territories. Although Kerry will never address these issues,
      reparations for those expropriations in Israel as well should also be on the table.
      Although there is considerable attention to refugee's right to return, virtually no attention is being paid to property right/expropriation issues. The expropriation
      starts as a "closed military zone" and then rapidly moves to the building of settlements.

  • Sharon's vision for 2 states was Palestinians' 'total surrender' to a fortress state -- Shehadeh
  • On House floor, Gohmert says Blumenthal is anti-Semitic Jew who'd welcome another Holocaust
    • The fear mongering of MS. Glick and Congressmean Gohmert are deeply troubling. Validating Likud's paranoid world view - that mid east countries, particularly Iran, are hyperfocused on the extermination of the Jewish people of Israel, is akin to validating the delusions of the paranoid schizophrenic. Individuals of the Jewish religion and ethnicity are, in fact, well assimilated into the power structures of most European countries as well as the US. Even the slightest real move toward such an outcome would immediately be met with international military retaliation.

      However, the fear mongering in the above description of Iran actually
      mirrors (projects) the military policies of Israel. The US and European public needs to hear more about these: 1) The Dahiya Doctrine - effectively executed in Gaza and Lebanon, projected for Iran. Deliberate, intense targeting of civilians to inflict as much pain, suffering as possible - hitting the instrastructure such as apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, power plants. Inquiring minds might want to read up on the current news regarding the late Ariel Sharon's policies toward the subjugation and occupation of Lebanon ,not the least of which were the massacres of Qibya, Sabra, Shitila.

      The Daniel Project: Commissioned by Ariel Sharon. Built the justification of "anticipatory and pre emptive strikes" Also, justifies
      strategic "targeted assassinations" such as those being carried out in Iran and other venues.

      The Samson Project, a deliberate strategy of massive retaliation. The
      abandonment of proportionality is the essence of the Samson Option - Israel with its Dolphin class submarines, which are equipped with nuclear warheads will bring down not only the holy places of Islam but also the capitals of Europe and Russia. To quote Martin Crevold, professor of military history, Hebrew University: "Most Europeans capitals are targets of our air force."

      Israel is not a signator to any of the nuclear regulatory treaties. There are no inspections of Israeli nuclear facilities. On the other hand, Iran has no nuclear weapons, has not invaded any other country for hundreds of years, is a signatory to the IAEA treaty and is currently subjecting itself to consistent inspections, even knowing that the information that comes from these inspections appears to make its way to Israel with the resultant assassination of their nuclear scientists as well as infection of their computer systems with viruses such as Stuxnet, a US/Israeli confection.

  • 'NYT' casts Israelis as victims of Palestinians who complain bitterly about oppression
    • Obviously, Ms. Rodoren has not read the internationally, well received study by
      Dr. Nurit Elhanan-Peled (yes, the general's daughter), professor of language and linguistics at Tel Aviv University and David Yellin Teachers College Israel: The
      Representation of Palestinians in Israeili Schoolbooks. It is published in peer revised journals, as a book available on Amazon and as a pdf which can be accessed by simply
      googling the title. It is a well researched, "multimodal analysis of oral, written and visual dicourse" addressing issues of the verbal and visual representation of Palestinians in Israeli Schoolbooks, the representation (or non representation) of
      Palestine in texts, the treatment of Palestinians as "foreigners" in these texts,
      and careful documentaiton of racist verbal and visual discourse. Most important is
      the pushing of non Jewish citizens of Israel to the margins of social consciousness
      and the use of negative stereotypes when they are characterized in Israeli social
      consciousness. This paper also addresses the legitimation and justification of massacres. To quote the conclusion: "Reality is presented in Israeli schoolbooks from the point of view of the dominant Jewish group, who sees Palestinians as a primitive, vile, threatening and undesirable element. The maps conceal Palestinians' existence and show disregard for international laws and decisions. Human caused
      evils are presented as natural processes and the killing and expelling of the indigenous population is legitimized in the name of the highest cause - the existence of the Jewish state... This [Israeli] education is far from encouraging peace and co- existence."

  • Netanyahu: 'There’s a problem the Palestinians are [in the West Bank] . . . I don’t want a binational state, and I don’t want them as citizens or subjects'
  • Avigdor's triumph: Israel reportedly wants to transfer northern villages into Palestinian state
    • These people are all too familiar with what happens when Israel gives up land - the current proposal is simply to create a second Gaza out of the
      west bank: No freedom of ingress or egress, no freedom for imports or
      exports, no freedom for air, rail or highway transportation since there are no
      borders not controlled by Israel, import taxes controlled by Israel, all electro magnetic spectrum owned and controlled by Israel (so no free communications) ,regular incursions, killing, bombing, semi starvation - all occur under the guise of Israel's security. Somehow, this does not appear to qualify as "self determination" as defined in the US constitution or meet the
      qualifications for "their own [independent] state. No one willingly signs on to such a situation.
      -

  • Gaza is the only place the world forgets about (or pretends to forget about)
    • Jeff B says on Dec 27:
      "There is the problem of Gaza, but I suspect that the Israelis plan to use environmental / ecological destruction to resolve the demographic issue mostly and then take it somewhere around 2030. So I don't think I'm being unrealistic in saying the current borders are Israel's final borders. " This
      does sound like "erase Gaza strip leadership (and population demographic)
      from the face of the Earth." Essentially, through the blockade - accelerate the ecological destruction so its no longer inhabitable, rife with starvation,
      orphan disease epidemics with no vaccine, medication or medical care. This is already happening. Thank you Jeff B - yours is the most succinct, eloquent and accurate statement of Israel's intent toward Gaza. Unfortunately for Israel - many of those orphan diseases have airborne vectors so Israel will need not only the barrier fencing but some technological, yet to be invented, barrier for the air.

  • New York Senate leader wants to cut off cash to colleges involved in American Studies Association
    • You misunderstand my point. I have no doubt that Dov Hikind will never be able to move beyond his remarkably hyperfocused point of view. However, despite comments on this thread to the contrary, politicians – even those with gerrymandered "safe" districts are attuned to the changing demographics in this country. In New York state, signing onto Dov Hikind's demand to defund every college in New York state that has faculty members belonging to ASA is not only insane but it also highlights the truth of what the ASA boycott is all about. The essence of what Hikind is proposing is: If we don't like your political speech, we will simply close down your university, fire faculty who refuse to resign from ASA, expel students who fail to fall in line (by defunding their programs). A typical, aggressive disproportionate response in the Israeli tradition of disproportionate, aggressive responses and the Israeli tradition of ignoring, if not actually
      stomping on, human and civil rights, not the least of which is free political speech. Unfortunately for Hikind – this is not Israel and this country has a constitution and a long tradition of supporting constitutionally guaranteed civil rights (Think Judge Brandeis). Citizens of New York state are already attuned to the need to stand up for their political freedoms – the politician who stands with Hikind is simply providing his 2014 opponent
      an outstanding opportunity to say with clear conscience, " I support Israel but in so doing it will be in concert with the civil rights of those constituents of my district – be they student, faculty, university employee, et. al." While Hikind frames the argument -"antisemetic," "either us or "them", the wise politician frames his argument thus: My platform encompasses all the constituents in my district and thus I will support no discrimination against anyone on the basis of color, religion, ethnic background, in my district, my state or in my country. Hikind fails to realize the strength of this country rests with the fact that we are a marvelous amalgam of differing traditions, colors, ethnic and religious backgrounds, a point with Hikind and his Israeli colleagues still fail to understand but which US politicians must, of necessity, take heed of if they wish to continue to be re elected. Finally, Hikind has stepped on the hornet's nest by demanding that university students, faculty and administrators must be aligned with his views of Israel or be targeted as "antisemetic", and expunged from jobs, education and career path. These are articulate, well meaning people – who not only will vote, but among them will emerge the next Frank Luntz, who will build strong and articulate campaigns against Hikind and those who follow him – all carried out through doorbelling, social media and word of mouth.

    • "We cannot encourage our colleges and universities to engage in this type of discrimination against Israel. New Yorkers expect us to reject discrimination in every form, and cutting off the state spigot is the best way of doing that.”

      It takes very little to change this statement to "We cannot encourage our colleges and universities to engage in this type (or any other type) of discrimination against either Israel or Palestine. New Yorkers expect us to reject discrimination in
      every form and cutting off the state spigot is the best way of doing that."

      Giving the political class the space to expand their arguments to a broader, multicultural forum will be important in this "war" - since the above constituents
      stand out as so "1950's white" in this country's amalgam of ethnic, religious and social/economic backgrounds. They may wield considerable financial ,media and
      political power, but the demographics are changing radically. Neither the literati
      nor the young, take their information from the "papers of record" - the NYT, the
      the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. This battle will play out across
      a variety of sophisticated social media forums and many of this country's younger
      citizens will be watching closely, fully aware that the Hon. Hikind advocates significant abrogation of their constitutional rights. People in this country are
      fundamentally against censorship, particularly of their expressed political opinions.
      The effect of broaching an all out war on this issue on college campuses is foolhardy
      since can it only result in further alienating those Jewish youth that Hikind, et. al. want most to return to their religious community. The Jewish ethos is a tradition
      of amazing brilliance, astuteness and is accompanied by a strong sense of social
      justice. Unfortunately, the Hon. Hikind is a less than optimal representative of
      this ethos as are his political hench persons, here and in Israel. The blowback will
      simply heighten awareness of the Palestine narrative; a first amendment court
      battle would be an excellent venue for review of the bases for the boycott as well
      as highlighting Israeli transgressions of Palestinian human rights.

  • Israeli High Court asks Palestinian farmers to drop case against settlers for stealing land
    • "The Iraq war was good for Israel, I don’t think there is much question. They [Israel] are still benefiting from it. 9/11 was fantastic for Israel. A war with Iran would be good for Israel. Just about any USA arab war is good for Israel. The Egyptian Islamicists cracking down on the Copts and alienating them was terrible for the USA but great for Israel. Israel’s natural interests and the USA’s interests like any other pair of countries can conflict pretty heavily. They don’t the majority of the time, but quite often. Because Israel has been a USA vassal the natural conflicts get played down where Israel is able to follow the USA’s lead, the vassal relationship make’s Israel’s broader interests in keeping the alliance not their immediate ends. So, were the USA and Israel to start having deeply strained ties and Israel to be developing a relationship with China its entirely possible that Israel actions would be even more contrary to USA interests than Israel natural ones would be. "

      Can we please place this comment on the front pages of the NYT, the Washington Post and the LA Times. The hubris - 9/11 was fantastic for Israel... a war with Iran would be good for Israel. Any USA Arab war is good for Israel... No reference or understanding of the tens of thousands who have died, been maimed or injured
      or turned into refugees as a result of these events. And on top of that, the threats -
      if you don't dance to our tune, we'll ally with China - to whom Israel has most recently turned over considerable US advanced technology which were received
      in recent purchases from the US. (Arutz Sheva). This comment needs to be in the
      inbox of every Congress/Senate member as we move forward to further sanction Iran, moving ever more rapidly to war with Iran - a war no US citizen wishes. ( If
      one reviews the comments on the Menendez, Schumer, Graham bill on Huff Post
      readers are virtually unanimously against it.) Finally, Sec Defense Gates was right
      when he called Israel and Netanyahu " an ungrateful ally." How many US citizens
      have died, been maimed or injured to provide these "fantastic" results for Israel?
      How much longer will the US pursue these policies which have disastrous humanitarian, financial and international political result for this country? and other middle Eastern countries?

  • Israel's real fear is BDS and 'delegitimization,' says Goldberg
    • Well stated. Not only are the Palestinians delegitimized in virtually all phases of
      Israeli rhetoric, with standard, wildly inaccurate stereotypes, but also Israel contrives to shut them out of virtually any dialogue - even those which have the effect to significantly affect their future. As regards the media -exclusion of crucial information is the rule, with virtually no exception. For example, during this once in a hundred years storm in Gaza, Israel opened the dams alongside Gaza severely
      exacerbating an already critical situation - already existing flooding, no pumping
      equipment on line due to lack of fuel, and freezing temperatures. In any other situation this would spark international outrage and immediate humanitarian response. The story in the NYT - by Ms. Rodoren - mentions the flooding as a wholly natural phenemonen of the storm, with abject silence regarding Israel's taking advantage of already devestating situation (flooded homes, people without heat or light) to further destroy this embargoed community. Nor does she report of Hamas advance planning to mitigate the effects as much as could be expected in an
      enclave wherein sewage floats freely down the streets, wherein potable water is virtually nonexistent and wherein many people are freezing and starving. Again -
      I have yet to find one international agency which is sending humanitarian aide.
      Or indication that Israel or Egypt would relax the blockage to admit international
      aide teams.

  • Freezing and canoeing in Gaza
    • As Walid said - the fuel was funded by Quatar, not Israel. Israel merely
      allowed the fuel to enter Gaza. If it were up to Israel or the PA, there would continue to be no fuel in Gaza and the deaths from thermal exposure - especially the infirm, children and the elderly - would be very high. Again,
      acceptable to the PA and the US. Also, the US Secretary of State is in Israel,
      but has not shown even the most cursory interest in this catastrophe.

    • Not so fast. PA and NJ are above sea level. Jeff, do you not remember a
      major Louisiana city, New Orleans, which is below sea level as is Gaza, being
      flooded? Do you not remember the days and days of stagnant, polluted water going nowhere since water does not freely run uphill? Do you not remember that it took weeks for the US Army Corps of Engineers to finally dry out the ninth ward? Israel has stated that its hydrologists are the best
      in the world - on the strength of this statement, I would assume that they knew exactly what they were doing when they opened the dams. Also, they did it not once but again today opened the dams, which suggests that Israel
      will manage its snow melt floods by sluicing the water into Gaza. A misanthrope might think that "Operation Mowing the Grass" (Pillar of Fire)
      has been succeeded by "Operation Watering the Grass." That misanthrope
      might think that Israel never misses a chance....

    • Just to update. RT reports that Israel - again - opened up the floodgates of the
      dams a second time, even further flooding Gaza. It is obvious that the Israeli
      solution of choice for the snow melt floods will be to sluice the water into Gaza.
      Given this situation, it is absolutely imperative to get international teams on the ground in Gaza to manage the situation.

    • Methane there are several feet of water in central Gaza as far as the eye can see. This coupled with the fact that much of Gaza is below sea level dispersing this water will be very difficult. Further owing to Israel not allowing reconstruction of water/sewage systems much of the water is contaminated with sewage, creating a major public health hazard. Also there is virtually no potable water in Gaza. The un has called the situation a humanitarian disaster of exceptional magnitude. Furthermore, the world is aware that israel exacerbated the crisis by opening the dams allowing even more contaminated water to flow into the central Gaza basin. A few pumps and a few containers of fuel is like a bandaid on a shattered leg. Deprived of food, potable water and medicine, the worst is yet to come.
      If you really want to be proud of your country, urge your political leaders to allow international aide teams to temporarily restore the Gaza air and sea ports so as to bring in the necessary supplies, heavy equipment, water and construction equipment. These teams come from countries who are Israel's allies and thus offer no threat to israel,s vaunted security.

    • link to youtube.com Link to youtube video of damage done in March 2012 when Israel opened same dams,flooding, areas of gaza, creating a situation wherein raw sewage was
      floating through the streets. Given no warning, people were scrambling
      to protect their household, but to little avail. This is "quite a joke?"

    • yrn - please review inormation on the National Water Carrier which delivers
      water to the northern Negev and parts of Arab Gaza: It is an interconnected network of pipes, aqueducts, tunnels, canals - and, yes, dams.

  • 'NYT' and Wash Post won't tell us why Dems are hurting Obama on Iran deal
    • Well said. In the long term, the US and Europe will need the energy assets that
      Iran can offer. The Chinese are already developing some of their major oil fields -
      diplomacy is imperative in this situation. Irrespective of Netanyahu's rants, many
      major oil firms are already lining up, hence the intense rage of AIPAC. If this deal blows up and we follow Israel to war with Iran, you can count on the US looking more like Greece and Spain. Congressional and senate change will be immediate
      when failing banks are bailed out as in Cypress with the assets of the patrons rather
      than the government, when real property assets are sold at firesale prices to private bidders and gas costs $15+ per gallon. Considerations of voting the AIPAC
      line will be the least of congressional worries. We saw a brief glimpse of this when
      war with Syria was imminent. In this case, the calls will be a 1,000 to one, and blow back against "Israel firsters" and Knesset members meddling in US affairs can
      be expected to be intense.

  • 'The Israeli sniper shot my son as if he hunted a bird': Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi, 14, killed while standing outside of West Bank school
    • Nov. 13 Haaretz and Jerusalem Post report Haifa University study indicating that one out of two Israeli children are sexually, physically or
      emotionally abused. The rate for Jewish children is over 40%. This could be expected to have serious implications regarding the mental health of
      IDF soldiers since abused children and adolescents are at high risk to become abusers themselves. Then one needs to consider that many of these children have been indoctrinated in not only their ethnic superiority
      but also in seeing Palestinians as less than human. Given that generally abusers target the vulnerable, the high rates of abuse of children and adolescents by the IDF and IOF is not surprising.

  • Corasanti responds to Abulhawa: My purpose in writing 'The Almond Tree' was to shine a light on Palestinian suffering and help bring about peace
    • Sorry to be so slow in replying. I couldn' make it past the first two chapters,
      the prose style was so poor, the violence so gratuitous, introduced prior to
      any development of characterization, and the plot stereotypic (my personal
      opinions, and I am not well versed in literary criticism). But let me apologize for inappropriately misinterpreting your comments. However, even with reading the first two chapters, the voice of the Almond Tree is
      not the authentic voice of a Palestinian experiencing these events, nor do
      I believe that it represents the author's voice - I read it as artificial and
      in many ways superficial, again comparing the depth of the voices referenced in prior posts. Again, I apologize for misrepresenting

    • First you miss the major theme of Huckleberry Finn -the importance of the human spirit and freedom from the disabling constraints of the stereotypic thinking conveyed by the civilization of the southern US at that time. The novel conveys these as attainable to those most oppressed by southern society -blacks, youth and the poor. The most powerfully and authentic writing in this unevenly written book are the river scenes, perhaps the most authentic voice of Twain. Hostage, these are themes that speak signifîcantly to the Israeli Palestine conflict, and which run through both Corrie and Goliath, which is why the will continue to grow into well studied classics. Such themes are in the tradition of Antigone and the Greek tradition, transcending and subsuming racism. Sorry, The Almond Tree, as Annie so aptly pointed out is at the level of the pandering to the popular as the Hunger Games, both books of no particular literary merit.

    • It doesn't take 100 books written by victims of oppression, one will do. Please reflect on the power of The Diary of Ann Frank, the authentic voice of a child caught in the horrors of nazi Germany and the holocaust. Susan is absolutely correct in her position. Would Michelle approve a similar narrative written by a German who felt themselves privileged to have an understanding because they too lived in Germany and Holland. Also a Harvard trained LA attorney has far more access to publishing houses than any. Palestinian author. And finally when authentic voices do speak, there is unrelenting approbation - think of the play "My name is Rachel Corrie" think of the extraordinary and intrepid Max Blumenthal who speaks in his own voice while honoring other authentic voices as well. The Almond Tree will never becomes the classic that Ann Frank has become nor the classic Goliath is well on its way to becoming.

  • (Updated) Senator Chuck Schumer promises more Iran sanctions, vows to 'defeat' Arab world and Palestinians
    • If Netanyahu were run out of office, those who would fill his place are worse:
      Most probably Naftali Bennett (of the suitcase bomb quote) or Avigdor Lieberman
      (of the threat to bomb the Aswan dam, among others). The insolvable political
      issue in Israel is the fusion of the settlers and the orthodox, all to the detriment
      of the average middle class Israeli, as well as non Jewish Israelis and Palestinians. The coalition approach as well as not allowing voting for particular individuals (the party makes up the roster of Knesset participants), simply gives powerful special interests a choke hold on the government. A more extreme government could be expected to be far more aggressive with neighboring countries, worry little about WWIII and to accelerate the expulsion of the non Jewish from both Israel and the
      territories.

  • Echoing Netanyahu, Ted Cruz slams Kerry and calls on Iran to recognize Israel as 'Jewish state'
    • The larger issue - which is never alluded to in mainstream press is Iran's relations with China. Iran is now China's biggest oil supplier importing 475,521 barrels of crude per day and 40000 million tons of LPG. China is
      boosting Iranian development (much in the oil fields) with 20 billion dollars
      of money not transferred because of sanctions. Oil pipelines through Afganistan and Pakistan will carry crude and LPG to China. Obviously,
      this has the potential to obviate existing sanctions, but more important
      Iran offers the opportunity for critical trade relationships this country,
      impoverished as it is can scarcely afford to pass this up for faux nuclear
      recriminations from a nation to which we seem highly pressured by lobbyist
      forces to support with billions of dollars, weapons as well as engage in in rogue military adventures in other sovreign countries - e.g. Iraq, Libya,
      Syria - with consistently disastrous financial and foreign policy results.
      Congress needs to think outside of teh AIPAC box in which they are
      currently penned.
      i

  • Video shows aftermath of Israeli soldier assault on Palestinian child
    • With reference to the "uninjured ear" - a severe blow to the ear may not manifest with external abraisons but it can break the ossicles (small
      bones in the ear), rupture the ear drum, cause internal bleeding, and
      in some cases concussion. Since all Israeli soldiers are trained in Krav
      Maga they would be well aware of the vulnerability of this area of the head and of the impact of such a blow to the ear. Such an injury is exceptionally painful and to impose such injury on a child is, in western
      countries characterized as abusive, even in police actions, owing to the
      strong potential for long term otological and neurological problems.

  • 'The bra is a security threat': Harassment and interrogation at Ben Gurion airport
    • The dysfunction here described is far from reflecting "dysfunction" - this incident, described in detail, reflects a sexualized humiliation and degredation that has significant voyeuristic and sadistic overtones. I believe I have seen reports of other such incidents on the web as well as a You Tube of a male IOF officer sexually harassing a blindfolded Palestinian woman. One would question whether these reflect an institutionalized pathology.

  • Moments in Palestine
    • The who reviews do not - specifically address access. From a statistical point of view they sum jewish, arab etc. not breaking out the ethnic groups.
      So if Isreal is 76% jewish, if 92% of the samples are urban, there is a problem
      in using the numbers to paint a rosy picture of non jewish public health. Hebrew University is one of two collaborating centers - an email to them should yield an excellent bibliography on the topics of access, mortality,
      for non jewish Israelis. /also there was a conference on this topic at Oxford a few years ago and those papers should be available.

    • You are implying that any Israeli, Jewish or not has equal access to health care - this is simply not true. For example Irin 10.9.2013. Bedouin Demand Access to Healthcare. In real terms, how do you store vaccines in clinics where the generators are turned off after business hôurs as is routine in the majority if Bedouin clinics. You simply do not offer vaccinations. Jewish settlements and villages in the same areas have in house medics and clinics.
      This is not possible for Bedouin because they are not allowed electricity or easy access to water. You might want to review some of the international public health studies on these issues to get a clear picture of access issues. They also cover the West Bank and Gaza where the situation is not only stark but ripe for an epidemic owing to the lack of water, sewage disposal (for settlements as well who dispose of their sewage in streams and on Palestine village land) and public health infrastructure.

    • If I read this correctly, her cousin presents to the emergency room of a major jewish hospital in the throes of a major respiratory episode, is asked for her passport (!) which identifies her as an arab, and told to find a hospital which treats her race. This is from not a soldier, but a triage nurse. I'm sure special cases get treatment in these hospitals but only with special arrangements. It's consistent with the episode of the Palestinian construction worker who had a heart attack and was moved to the sidewalk to die. Or the persistent rumor that only jewish Israeli children are receiving polio vaccinations as a result of live virus being found in sewage. Hopefully UNICEF medics will be let in to vaccinate the children of the
      Druze, Beduoin, East Jerusalem and the West Bank - polio is wicked virulent and none of these areas have the medical resources to treat it.

  • Netanyahu says Palestinians must recognize 'the Jewish state' for peace (and then says even that isn't enough)
    • Well said m konrad, you restate premier netanyahu with perfect, succinct clarity:
      The Palesinians, otherwise known as all non Jewish residents of greater Israel, men, women and children can either leave (infiltrators?) immediately or face a nuclear holocaust - I belive evaporation is your word, incineration would be mine.
      Inquiring minds will wonder why Russia, Europe, the US have not realized before your comment that this is the undying, longstanding position of the Israeli government. I especially liked your comment that any solution offered by the US,
      or Europe would end in their (Palestinian) nuclear annihilation. Of course given this imperative no rational, thinking human could expect Netanyahu to declare his nuclear weapons or sign on to any IAEC agreements. Help me understand - are Syria and Iran also included in this dictum? Perhaps after this holocaust, Israel will have some inclination to discuss a nuclear-free middle east. Again, a well spoken comment. You are to be congratulated for your clarity.

  • The media's double standard on child victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    • While any injury of a child is horrific, the reporting on Noam Glick changes hourly,
      with the most current stating that she saw a masked arab attempting to enter her house. As for Musab, a bullet to the eye will pass through the orbit into the frontal and subcortical areas of the brain depending on the trajectory, so he can be expected to have lifelong cognitive problems as well as loss of vision in one eye.

  • Jewish leader warns Beinart that opening discussion to BDS would be like including the KKK
    • Well said. The conflating of religion, the state and property rights is what enables greater Israel. This was understood at the inception of israel, hence landholding entities that can readily confiscate deeded property rights from any entity who is not Jewish. There will be no peace until this conundrum is solved - nor will the Israeli government even allow the issue to be raised or discussed. Recognizing Israel as an exclusively Jewish state seals the issue and legally allows the continuing appropriation of land and resources. Those who refuse to sign on to this- Palestinians -are then accused of seeking to push the Jews out of Israel which is not only the case, but immediately steers the conversation to terrorism, thereby diverting the conversation away from property rights.

  • Blumenthal talks 'Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel' on Democracy Now!
    • The Prawer plan to ethnically cleanse the Bedouins from their property in order to
      build jewish only villages is "poor treatment?" But Israel has always respected documented property rights of the non jewish muslims, christians, druze, bedouin?
      Israel is/has not sought to ehnically cleanse Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria? There is only one set of laws/courts throughout Israel, the occupied territories, the settlements? As a card carrying Druid, with "lefty" tendencies seeking to reach my teaching position in Ramallah, I can pass through Ben Gurion with the same ease as the jewish family who sat next to me on the flight? Or do all young democracies have these problems? Do any democracies - young or old have these problems?
      Do they conduct their foregn policy with assassinations? nuclear blackmail? Allude
      to massacres of occupied, confined muslims as mowing the grass? Please let me know.

    • A kindle edition exists on amazon

  • In sunlight at last, Israel lobby throws its full weight behind Obama's Syria strike
    • Also thanks to MSM media the gentile constituency is left in the dark. Nowhere do you see reference to Israeli polls indicating 79% of Likud and 99% of Labor/Meretz opposing Israeli involvement but 66% in favor of US/Europe involvement. Many military professionals allude to our military as"broken" due to stop loss policies under Rumsfeld which in combination with overuse of reservists drove out large numbers of professional career soldiers. The question Rand Paul should have asked Kerry "If there are boots on the ground, how long until we have a draft?" With more than one veteran per day committing suicide,broken in body heart and mind, the US public needs to see the true faces of war on the front page of every mainstream paper. If we cannot support our troops who so bravely fought al-quaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan, how can we spend trillions to install them in Syria. This action mocks all our veterans, mocks their tragic losses and those of their families.

  • Former Bush official: Syria resolution could authorize attack on Iran and Lebanon
    • The bots cannot address the issue of Iran without starting World War III.
      Phil is right about oil/gas based geopolitics. Thanks to our Israel blinkered foreign policy, the Russians have/are building a major presence in the Middle East. Thanks to bailing in from the EU, converting Russian oligarch funds to shares, the Russians own the Bank of Cypress, which in conjunction with their restructuring of billion dollar loans gives them a port, an airfield and most probably, first refusal for Russian oil companies in the development of the Aphrodite oil field off Cypress. If
      Assad holds Syria, Lebanon stabilizes and Iran continues to turn east
      thanks to US sanctions., oil and gas will move east to India, China et al
      and Russian dominance of the European gas market will continue. Netanyahu is not concerned about "security" nor is the US. His concern is logistics and markets for his oil and gas finds having offended/threatened war with countries with which he badly needed alliances. Neither Russia nor China will allow their interests/assets in the Middle East to be destroyed by the US on behalf of Israel. Finally the fig leaf of "humanitarian concern" from 1) the country which has used white phosphorus, depleted uranium, dum dum bullets and bullets which on contact split into pieces of shrapnel tearing the victim apart; which is exporting its "colored" refugees to Uganda; which is expelling its own Bedouin citizens from the Negev; which maintains a belligerent occupation and 2) the us, which has with the coalition of the blind created failed states (Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt?) with literally hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded is simply not credible beyond the inner sanctum of this administration. As for Israel's security, as they have been told by virtually every sane diplomat - they need to use diplomacy, not nuclear threats and gun boats.

  • The long war: Syria is at the crux of 'pipeline geopolitics'
    • Israel does indeed have oil - extensive oil shale deposits in the Negev and the West Bank. Inquiring minds would wonder if the deep motive to expel the Bedouin, Israeli citizens, and to emphatically declare their ownership rights invalid is to abrogate their rights to this rich oil bearing land. Also, the rise of the West Bank annexation appears to parallel the discovery of oil shale deposits - hence the rapid settlement expansion as well as rapid expansion of "closed military zones" which no doubt are a cover for organization of the development of this resource. Also, do not forget that Israel has tendered oil leases in the Golan to a company affiliated with Dick Cheney. An excellent Mondoweis article would map
      oil shale and natural gas finds in Israel and tie them to their expulsion of
      indigenous people. Destabilization of Lebanon would no doubt result in Israel's assuming control of those parts of the Leviathon field which by right belong to Lebanon.

  • Illegal. Immoral. Dangerous. Why Congress needs to say No!
    • Norman, you do realize that the rebels 1) captured a chlorine gas factory in Aleppo and 2) were caught in a border town of Turkey with many cannisters of Sarin.
      You will remember that chlorine gas was one of the chemical weapons of choice in World War I. Given that the videos do not show the commonly occurring sequellae of sarin, consideration should be given to the possiblilty of chlorine gas, to which
      the rebels have not only access but the means of production.

  • Rising swell of voices warns against Syrian attack, citing Iraq and Iran concerns
    • Add China to that scenario since they are developing the oil fields for Iraq. So
      not only does Israel attack Iranian nuclear facilities but also the oil fields, killing
      untold Chinese nationals, with the result ...

    • And its not only AIPAC. Mainstream news omit the meeting between the esteemed Susan Rice NSA director and Yaakov Amidror outgoing NSC head for
      Israel. Nor do they present Amidror's background: Columnist for Sheldon Adelson,
      supporter of "greater Israel" including annexation of the West Bank (states Palestine state will never happen), reoccupation of Gaza as well as reoccupation of Sinai. (Israpundit, 3.12.2011) He is famed in Israel for indicating that soldiers should kill anyone who gets in their way and soldiers who refuse should be shot.
      This is only one of a series of meetings between our NSA R2P leader and one of the most bloodthirsty of Israeli rightists. Perhaps Mondoweiss can ferret out more of
      this information as well as what has been discussed/promised in these meetings.
      Given these events, is it any wonder that the US is ignoring ally, international and UN proscriptions against bombing Syria. Clearly, this plays into Netanyahu and
      Amidror's vision of a greater Israel. One cannot forget that Netanyahu has gone on record saying that Israel will undertake a massive blow to Syria if he "detects"
      any possibility of threat to Israel. Sadly, there is no daylight between our foreign policy which is obviously driven by Samantha Power, Susan Rice and Valerie Jarrett (and not Dempsy or Hagel) and that of the Israel right.

  • Obama confidante says Iran would not use nuke against Israel, but 'I still think he will pull the trigger'
    • The US can embargo Iranian oil - ostensibly closing their ports, but any map of oil pipelines would indicate that they are well connected to Pakistan for natural gas and to Iraq for crude. China and Russia are purchasing these supplies and I would doubt, particularly given the Syrian status that they would get behind an oil embargo. Israel on the other hand would have no difficulty in in bombing their oil pipelines and refineries as well as their nuclear resources. This is I believe part of their policy of bombing their enemies back to the Stone Age. However, allowing/aiding or abetting this would create intense confrontation with Russia and China as well as further instantiating them in the region as the major power players. This is another example of where our current foreign policy is not only short sighted but directly conflicts with what is best for the USA. The current Netanyahu government has no considered foreign policy and acts against the best advice of their military leaders
      as does our country.

  • If Kerry fails, Israel will be an apartheid state 'and that didn't work too well the last time,' CENTCOM general warns
    • The basic issue, which appears overlooked, is that the Palestine government which is based on an elected president and a unicameral legislative body doesn't exist. Abbas term expired in January of 2009 - he retains power only as a result of US/Israel insistence. The results of the 2006 elections are unforgettable: Hamas won a landslide number of seats, Bush/Rice/Abrams failed an attempted putsch with Mohammed Dahlen in Gaza and 50 of the 132 elected legislators currently sit in Israeli and Palestinian jails, so even if Abbas decided to call the legislature together (which he won't, having shut it down at US insistence) nearly 40% of the freely elected legislators are unavailable. Abbas and his cronies have been repeatedly called out by our Congress and media for corruption. Given this history, is there anyway that Palestinians will not see these negotiations as a sell out?

      Time is running out but not in the way that Kerry's statement portends.
      Thanks to short sighted policies in Iraq, Libya and Syria, Russian and China
      have become quiet but major players in the Middle East, allying with Iran, Syria, Turkey and Lebanon. On another front, expatriate Palestinians are rising to positions of money and influence all over the world and they are organizing into every strengthening political networks. Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza area calling for new elections, a call which is being
      effectively being suppressed by US pressure. Regime change in Palestine
      will probably entail the rise of considerable third party candidates, and
      Fatah and Hamas candidates who strongly differentiate themselves from current leaders. Look to see far more female candidates. Given the level of
      education - Palestinians are the best educated Arab group in the Middle East
      these new legislators will represent a professional class with impressive
      political tactical skills. They will not be a class of politicians whom Israeli
      extremists can easily accuse of attempting to push Israel into the sea. They will however be vocal, adept and effective in undoing the Gordian knot of
      the Israeli occupation using every local, national and international means at
      their disposal. These people - diaspora and resident, cannot be denied their political structures and rights forever. The corrupt, illegal, US
      brokered Abbas regime is on its last legs.

    • Absolutely correct. Netanyahu in today's Haaretz: "I pulled the Palestinians down from their tree of preconditions" - no building freeze in the territories, no prisoner release and no mention of 1967 borders. Game over.

  • Liberal MSNBC host says Snowden thinks he's in a Spielberg movie and Greenwald is a 'jerk'
    • The elephant in the room as regards media discussion of these surveillance leaks
      is the impact of such all pervasive snooping on the political process, foreign
      policy and corporate decision making. Inquiring minds would presume that since
      the purveyors of this all encompassing surveillance so blatantly ignore any and all constitutional safeguards that there are those among them who will troll this
      river of information for political gain (having access to - all - of your opponents
      telephone, e-mail, fax messages,), for corporate gain (front running takes on a new meaning when corporate power hitters can attain remarkable advantage by snooping into competitor documents as well as those delineating forthcoming political decisions) and to alter and manage foreign policy (did I not read that
      several Israeli companies provide hard/software and expertise in executing this
      surveillance? is this a country with a track record of respecting US privacy? is
      this not what Jonathan Pollard was all about?) My question is this: Given the
      pervasive and all encompassing nature of this surveillance, as well as the
      lackidasical nature of the hiring process for the privatized companies who execute
      this surveillance, could there not be a hundred silent Snowdens selling their information to the highest bidder? Finally, these private companies are dependent upon political good will for these contracts - creating a remarkable
      conflict of interest. To think that this electronic windfall of information is available only to classified NSA personnel and other approved users would appear to simply be yet another media nurtured illlusion.

  • Despite media blackout, Christians not backing down on 'draconian' treatment in the holy land
    • Annie I believe you linked for this - the senior Egyptian ambassadors
      were pulled out of the midnight mass and beaten by IDF/police/IOF.
      Unlike the US (whose embassy is on record as being unable to protest
      US citizens or their spouses being murdered (some say executed),
      Egypt promptly and intensely complained directly to Netanyahu.
      Inquiring minds would surmise if this is the fashion in which senior
      embassy staff are treated from an allied country, the regular and
      ongoing treatment of Palestinian/Israeli Christians can be expected
      to be far worse. This is the predictable outcome of allowing yeshiva
      students, settlers and the orthodox to spit on priests and other Christian holies, to defecate in churches, to deface churches, mosques
      and monasteries without reprisal. In most other countries, such behavior would be prosecuted as "hate" crimes, but in Israel such behavior is tacitly permitted as the actors know that since there are no
      reprisals, "anything goes." In many instances, as in the incidents
      you reference, little is reported in the media, further enhancing the
      perception of the ability to engage in significant criminal behavior
      with impunity so long as it does not involve those of the Jewish
      religion. Perhaps your investigation into this matter, can be tied to
      the UN dictum that Jerusalem be an "international" city, freely open
      to individuals of all the Abrahamic faiths.

  • Walt and Siegman urge Washington to imagine a future without the two-state solution
    • I'm confused. In more recent negotiations, the Israeli immediate issues have
      been riparian rights, access to the natural resources of the disputed territories
      and the tacit ability to ignore all Palestinian property rights, be they in Israel
      proper or the disputed territores. Following that, for "security" purposes, Israelis
      want total control of land, air and sea. Although Netanyahu indicates that Israel
      has no preconditions, all of these are preconditions, in addition to recognition
      of Israel as a state for those of Jewish heritage/religion only. This would seem
      to me to reflect "taking over another people's country" insofar as without legally enforced property rights, access to one's water and natural resources, without
      free entrance and egress of material and persons, there can be no country in the usual sense of that word and the people living in such conditions are far beyond the usual definition of "occupation." The relation is more feudal in nature with the Palestinians living in fief to the Israelis. Thus, is there/was there anything left to be negotiated by the Palestinians? (I doubt that the many states which are Arabic in nature are participating in these so-called negotiations, hence your term
      Arab appears perjorative.)

  • Mainstream turns against intervention, this time (Tom Friedman has spoken)
    • The place to begin might also address that fact that no source has
      indicated that Assad is transferring chemical weapons to Hezbollah.
      Serious doubt exists as to the existence of the missles which were ostensibly in transit. Killing off the elite guard protecting Damascus
      is a direct intervention in support of the rebels, who have already begun to build off this event. Also, as the origins of the Syrian war become less opaque, the consensus is that this is a politically motivated take down of Assad as well as the dismantling of Syria into another failed state such as Iraq, Afganistan, and Libya, so as to destabilize Lebanon, Jordan with the result of a strong path to the destruction of Iran. Who benefits? Who has been consistently threatening to "mow the grass" in Lebanon? Who has been strongly indicating the need for significant additional additions to already held land in the Golan Heights - for security purposes? Who has massed
      troops on the Lebanese and Syrian borders?

  • Palestinian-American boy, 14, locked up in Israeli military jail
    • Thanks for this post. I have yet to see any allusion in any Israeli
      news that these settler children in fact received any punishment - either service or jail time. Their intention, of course, was to incinerate
      the entire family including the two small children, a unusually
      vicious and horrific crime.

  • All that furor over Carter at Cardozo, and who shows up? Jews for Jimmy!
    • And yet, it was Hagel's failure to respond to the provocations, that underlined
      the "disproportionate" responses of his detractors who increased the irrationality of their lies and distortions to the point that it was clear without any comment,
      that the likes of Kristol and company have not only not a shred of decency but
      also no real commitment to the US, save the very comfortable lifestyle they enjoy.
      They and their fellow travelers indirectly espouse what Danaa stated very clearly
      on a previous post: "Democracy is for sissies, " alluding to "American softies" -
      in this case by indirection alluding to such as Hagel, a much decorated American
      war veteran. And how many American softies have died or been grevously injured
      on behalf of existential Israeli fears? How many will again be called upon to give
      hearts, minds and lives in service of a country not their own?

  • Hea culpa: 'New Yorker' editor backed Iraq war because Saddam had WMD and wanted to liberate Jerusalem
    • Harry you are absolutely correct. The Syrian conflict is far from a civil insurrection against Assad. With jihadi from all over the world, including the US, Europe and Great Britain pouring into Syria this is not a local conflict. The use of
      chemical weapons most likely by the jihadi, who captured a chlorine factory in
      Aleppo, as well as the Damascus mosque attack which murdered an elderly,
      beloved and powerful cleric are not the actions of the Syrian people. British police are already raising serious concerns, as should we, about what will happen when these rogues return to back to the UK, US and Europe well trained, heavily weaponized and strongly reinforced by the these powers in violent, disruptive &
      murderous behavior. Talk of arming, training, supporting these non state actors,
      enouraging anti lawful behavior (to put it mildly) is a mistake far beyond Iraq.
      The political actors who support these policies are in truth looking to bring the
      war in Syria, the unrest of the middle east - "home" to the US et. al. FSA does not
      in any real, coherent sense exist - it is simply a rag tag assemblage of ever
      reorganizing brigades who have no accountability of any kind. Note their inability to form a stable, governmental coalition. The Syrian people, approximately 70% approve of Assad, and who have some semblance of democracy, simply want an end to the fighting, stability of the Assad regime under which the country can move to a broadening of democratic opportunity. This will clearly under no circumstances occur under a psuedo FSA coalition. There is considerable police
      and public outcry against Cameron's policies. Hopefully - some one will raise
      similar issues in the US, slowing down the insanity of our foreign policy toward
      Syria.

  • Israeli drumbeat grows for Pollard's release ahead of Obama visit
    • A wise person would test the resolve of Peres, Netanyahu et. al. by requesting
      the prior release of Marwan Barghouti to Gaza as a condition of the release of Pollard.

Showing comments 244 - 201
Page:

Comments are closed.