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Total number of comments: 426 (since 2011-02-12 17:07:28)

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  • One week in Jerusalem and -- it's not complicated
    • John,
      in my estimation, eyewitness reports by impartial observers carry great influence in breaking through to folks who are otherwise unaware or indifferent. I love how unfiltered (in a good way!) your recounting of your experience is.

      I have lived in Palestine so seeing it once again through your eyes brought back many memories of how I experienced the occupation the first time I lived there. Shock, anger and indignation, feelings that have only grown stronger with each passing day.

      All I can say is that as much as Palestinians have lots of powerful agendas stacked up against them, they have far far far more friends around the world rooting for them.

      Thank you for sharing your journey with us, and for the links which I will visit.

  • Kahanists attack school after synagogue killings
    • Horizontal,
      I saw your question earlier and it stuck in my mind, so when I came upon this article just now on twitter and read through it, I immediately thought of your question. Even though the article is not directly about the draft, it touches upon how entrenched military service is within Israel society. Hopefully it will shed some light...

      "If you don’t serve in the army, you will carry a stigma for your whole life,” Rahav explains. "Whatever you apply for, you’ll always be asked if you were conscripted in the army, where and in which battalion and the degree you reached. Being an officer is an important distinction and a good business card for any future job."

      link to middleeasteye.net

  • Bay Area activists shut down federal building to protest Rasmea Odeh conviction
    • Posted by @Justice4Rasmea on Twitter (Nov 16):

      Take a moment to write to Rasmea:
      Rasmieh Odeh #144979
      St. Clair County Jail
      1170 Michigan
      Port Huron, MI. 48060

      #Justice4Rasmea

  • Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society
    • Thanks Annie,

      Yonah brings out the best in us :-)

    • Yonah,

      I wonder, do you know who Mulla Nasreddin is?

      For those who read this comment and know the beloved figure of Mulla Nasreddin, I think you will agree with me that Mooser's witty repartees have a certain Mulla Nasreddin quality, wherein, hidden within the layers of his witty responses are morsels of sage advice and moral lessons that try to elevate the consciousness of his audience. I often smile when Mooser uses the sufi/surfer pun - Mulla Nasreddin would probably have done the same if they had surfers in his time.

      So Yonah, you see, Mooser is trying to help you along on your quest to universal enlightenment but you are proving to be rather stubborn and reluctant but he sees the potential in you to elevate your consciousness....baby step by baby step. I can certainly see now why you feel bullied but we still haven't given up on you though, and more importantly, neither has Mulla Mooser!

      For good measure here is one story Yonah that may be helpful on your quest:

      Center of the Earth
      Friend: “Nasrudin, do you know where the center of the earth is?”
      Nasrudin: “As a matter of fact, I know exactly where it is.”
      “Where?”
      “Directly under the right hoof of my donkey.”
      “What! How can you be so sure?”
      “Well—if you don’t believe me, you can measure it for yourself.”

      And here is another, just because we all need a little light-hearted laughter to counter all the sadness of these past few days:

      The town’s new conqueror said to Nasrudin one day, “Hey Mulla, I have a challenge for you. Offend me in a way that your explanation will be a thousand times worse than the original offense.”
      The next day, Nasrudin came to the palace and kissed the conqueror right on the lips.
      “What was that!“ exclaimed the conqueror with great surprise.
      “Oh,” Nasrudin replied, “excuse me. I got you confused with your wife.”

      link to rodneyohebsion.com

  • Overcoming rage through action
    • Teapot - you are not the only one apparently. My cousins in Geneva responded back to my text and they were like: Who? Never heard of him.

      JJ is on twitter though (@jjs110)...I am sure that Ivri is one of his 209 followers.

    • so I took your challenge Mooser and clicked on that link and lo and behold I entered a portal to an alternate universe. What an adventure, I just wish I had brought along my sick bag and smelling salts, I barely survived the rolling fits of laughter. Look what other goodies I bring back from that portal:

      WHO WE ARE
      After bemoaning for years the fact that little seemed to be done to bring balance to the debate regarding the Middle East conflict, Rita Heller and Jean-Jacques (a.k.a. "J.J.") Surbeck (pictured) decided to do something about it and created T.E.A.M. for that purpose in 2008.

      File under: JJ and his phantasmagoric rabbit hole

    • "This person is a very serious and influential person in Switzerland."

      Oh, do tell us all about Ivri. How serious and influential is he in Switzerland? Apart from Surbeck's self-referential bio, on which evidence do you make such claims. I am all ears.

    • I clicked on the Jean-Jacques Surbeck link provided by Katie in the article. Lo and behold, JJ Surbeck was an attorney and also a North American spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Color me skeptic, but Surbeck certainly doesn't strike me as a humanitarian nor specialist on the Geneva Conventions.....more likely, a specialist in how to subvert the protocols of the Geneva Convention. Really ugly stuff.

      J.J. Surbeck is a Swiss-educated attorney who worked for 16 years for the famously discrete International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Swiss private organization which many have dubbed the “Guardian of the Geneva Conventions” (even though its name suggests that it is international in nature, in fact this refers only to its activities). He was the ICRC's P.R. point person for North America from 1984 to 1989, and subsequently served for several years as well with the American Red Cross.

      J.J. is currently one of the few former ICRC officials available on the speaker circuit to give lectures and seminars on the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, also called International Humanitarian Law.

      Recently, J.J. helped create - and is the Executive Director of - a non-profit organization called T.E.A.M. (Training and Education About the Middle East) with a focus on presenting a more balanced image of the Middle East conflict than the one projected by the media and many academics. The T.E.A.M. web site can be found at sandiegoteam.org.

  • Israel lobby stakes claim for Jerusalem at Supreme Court, but Kagan isn't buying
    • "Palestinians are actually under no legal obligation to negotiate and they are under no legal obligation to forgo any of their legal rights if they do negotiate."

      no objection from me on your excellent points....but for purposes of this court case it seems like the State Department's protocols in terms of nomenclature are adhering to internationally recognized standards; in other words, this is a matter that would appear to me to lie outside of the U.S. Supreme Court's adjudication and other countries are in no way bound to respect any U.S. ruling which goes against the International protocols, nor honor the bearer's passport.

    • According to the protocols outlined in the U.S. Department of State's "Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 7 - Consular Affairs", it seems very clear on how this matter should be handled:

      7 FAM 1360 APPENDIX D BIRTH IN ISRAEL, JERUSALEM, AND ISRAELI-OCCUPIED AREAS
      Pages 10 - 12

      a. Background. As a result of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Government of
      Israel currently occupies and administers the Golan Heights, the West Bank,
      and the Gaza Strip. U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian
      territory, and that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final
      status must be determined by negotiations.

      b. Birth in the Golan Heights: The birthplace that should appear on passports
      whose bearers were born in the Golan Heights is SYRIA.

      c. Birth in the West Bank or in the No Man’s Lands between the West Bank and
      Israel: The birthplace for people born in the West Bank or in the No Man's
      Lands between the West Bank and Israel is WEST BANK; Those persons born
      before May 1948 in the area known as the West Bank may have PALESTINE
      listed as an alternate entry. Those born in 1948 or later may have their city of
      birth as an alternate entry. Persons born in the West Bank in 1948 or later
      may not have Palestine transcribed as an alternate entry.

      d. Birth in the Gaza Strip: The birthplace for people born in the Gaza Strip, is
      GAZA STRIP. PALESTINE is the alternate acceptable entry provided the
      applicant was born before 1948.

      e. Birthplace in Israel: Write ISRAEL as the place of birth in the passport if and
      only if the applicant was born in Israel itself (this does not include the Gaza
      Strip, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the No Man’s Lands
      between the West Bank and Israel). Do not enter ISRAEL in U.S. passports as
      the place of birth for applicants born in the occupied territories.

      f. Birthplace in Jerusalem: For a person born in Jerusalem, write JERUSALEM as
      the place of birth in the passport. Do not write Israel, Jordan or West Bank for
      a person born within the current municipal borders of Jerusalem. For applicants
      born before May 14, 1948 in a place that was within the municipal borders of
      Jerusalem, enter JERUSALEM as their place of birth. For persons born before
      May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and
      later was annexed by the city, enter either PALESTINE or the name of the
      location (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation. For persons born after
      May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and
      later was annexed by the city, it is acceptable to enter the name of the location
      (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation.

      g. Birthplace in Area Formerly Known as Palestine: An applicant born in the area
      formerly known as Palestine (which includes the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights,
      Jerusalem, or the West Bank) may object to showing the birthplace. In such
      cases, explain the Department of State (CA)’s general policy of showing the
      birthplace as the country having present sovereignty. The Senior Passport
      Specialist, Supervisory Passport Specialist, or Adjudication Manager at a
      domestic passport agency or center or supervisory consular officer or regional
      consular officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate may make an exception to show
      PALESTINE as the birthplace if the applicant was born before 1948. If the
      applicant was born in 1948 or later, the city or town of birth may be listed if the
      applicant objects to showing the country having present sovereignty.

      h. For a person born before May 14, 1948 in a place that was outside Jerusalem's
      municipal limits and later was annexed by the city, either PALESTINE or the
      name of the location (area or city) as it was known before annexation may be
      used as an alternate entry. For a person born after May 14, 1948 in a place
      that was outside Jerusalem's municipal limits and later was annexed by the
      city, the alternate entry is the name of the location (area or city) as it was
      known before annexation.

      ----> i. If the applicant lists as place of birth on a passport application a jurisdiction
      other than that provided in this 7 FAM 1360 Appendix D, the passport
      authorizing officer should annotate the passport application with the correct
      place of birth code reflected in this guidance. If the passport applicant objects
      to the listing of the current area of sovereignty as defined in this guidance, the
      applicant may elect to list the area or city name as listed in this section.
      However, Passport authorizing officers will advise applicants that foreign
      officials who examine the passport and are unfamiliar with (or object to) the
      area name may question its appearance in the passport and possibly deny
      entry to the bearer.

      Page 12 of the pdf has an easy reference chart outlining the DOS's rules

      link to state.gov

  • As conditions worsen in Gaza, residents ask: ‘Where have all the activists gone?’
    • you may want to connect with the folks at Rebuilding Alliance, they recently had a fund drive and published an article here on Mondoweiss about it.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      You can help. This Wednesday, Oct. 15th, “Clothe Gaza’s Children” is competing for a matching grant in the GlobalGiving Bonus Day, starting at 9am Eastern time. Please go to RebuildingAlliance.org and click GiveNow to receive a 30% match for your donation, while funds last. - See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      Those warm items certainly come in helpful during the winter months when it can get quite chilly in homes and temporary shelters with scarce electricity!

  • SodaStream says it plans to leave West Bank for the Negev, but boycotters promise to not let up
  • Al Aqsa mosque is closed off for first time in 47 years as tensions flare
    • I haven't seen any photos in the English-language media, nor any postings on twitter. And in the reports I have seen only Feiglin has been cited and quoted as a witness to the Glick attempted-murder event. Perhaps in the Hebrew-language media there is more extensive coverage?

    • Witnesses to Moataz Hijazi's execution attest that he wasn't armed....and yet he was killed in cold blood. Wouldn't Israel want him alive to question him on the attempted murder of Glick and to investigate further on who else was involved in this murder attempt? Too many coincidences, too little evidence and a lot of unanswered questions. Unfortunately, we'll never know the truth.

    • having trouble embedding the entire tweet.

      This was FM Wallstrom's response:

      "I'll happily send an IKEA flat pack for Avigdor Lieberman to assemble. He'll discover you need a partner, cooperation and a good manual"

      <<<>>>

    • Sweden FM Wallstrom's brilliant response to the bouncer:

      Sweden responds after Israel’s anger over recognition of Palestinian state. #TheWorldRightNow starts in 30 minutes. pic.twitter.com/Ab0ul01tde— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) October 30, 2014

  • Normalizing occupation, NYT runs whimsical story on time zones
    • Seems this quote by Malcolm X is most appropriate: “If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

  • Shimon Peres gets one tough question -- on illegal settlements -- and Colgate University censors it
    • I"ve never understood why people fawn over Peres. When did he suddenly become a harmless old man who likes to put children on his knees? Did I miss something?

    • It really is pathological how Israel blocks all channels of economic progress and then blames the victims of their inhumane policies for being "backward".

      What else can a sane person do except BDS Israel?

    • A family that BDS's together, stays together :-)

    • Peres:
      Shimon explained that certain people have been able to capitalize on technology, while certain others “just don’t understand it…In the last 50 years the (Arab) population grew five times; the production did not.”

      Funny, I didn't expect a "peacemaker" to disseminate lies. Those "certain others" that Peres refers to live under Israel's draconian apartheid policies that are designed to suffocate any economic growth. LRB just published a short and damning expose on the mechanisms used by Israel to choke any economic development....Organised Hypocrisy on a Monumental Scale - Robert Wade on the Economic Occupation of the West Bank

      These are some of the economic restrictions on "certain others" as witnessed by Robert Wade, an LSE professor of political economy, on his first-time visit to the OT:

      The next day, on a dusty dirt road outside Nablus, with the Israeli security fence on one side and an olive grove on the other, I met two brothers walking towards the town some three kilometres away, where they lived. They had been working on their (ancestral) land on the Israeli side of the fence. The Israelis manned a gate closer to the town, they said, but opened it for only one hour in the early morning, one hour at midday and one hour in the late afternoon. If they wanted to come or go at other times they walked, or sometimes drove a tractor, several kilometres to the next gate, which had more extended opening hours. They also each needed a permit to cross the fence. The permits didn’t last long. The period varied but was commonly about two months. When it expired the men had to apply for another permit, which could take weeks. Last year they applied for a permit to cover the period for harvesting their greenhouse tomatoes, their main source of income. But it took 40 days to arrive, by which time the crop had rotted. They had two more brothers who were not allowed to cross the fence under any circumstances, because years before they had been jailed for protesting against Israeli rule.

      On to a nearby herder community, where fifty households tend several thousand head of sheep and goats on barren land. Electricity lines run overhead, water and sewage pipes run below, but the herders have no access to them. They buy water from an Israeli-owned water depot some distance away. They can pay for an Israeli-owned tanker to bring water to their cistern; but it was cheaper for them to tow their own water container to the depot behind a tractor, fill it, and pull it back home. In 2008 the Israeli authorities confiscated their water container, saying it did not meet standards. Now they pay the extra for the Israeli-owned tanker delivery.

      The Palestinian Hydrology Group, an NGO, has been working for more than twenty years to improve water and sanitation facilities throughout the West Bank. The Nablus office has provided toilets to fifty poor communities, including this settlement of herders. In Israeli eyes the toilets are illegal, because built without a permit. The PHG knows from experience that the chances of getting a permit are practically zero. So, backed by Spanish aid, it built quickly collapsible toilet cabins. With just a few minutes’ notice the components can be spirited out of sight and reassembled when the soldiers are gone. In Area C of the West Bank (more than 60 per cent of the territory) it is illegal even to mend a failing water cistern without a permit – which is rarely given. Solar panels would require a permit, too.

      The same restrictions mean that areas A and B of the West Bank (40 per cent of the territory), where Palestinians have greater scope for self-government, cannot be connected to scale-efficient infrastructure networks for electricity and water. The areas are fragmented (ghettoised) into small enclaves surrounded by area C land, where infrastructure projects require Israeli permits, which are rarely given. This greatly increases the cost of infrastructure services and restricts their supply to most of the West Bank population.

      Israel systematically blocks Palestinian external trade with other countries (70 per cent of the West Bank’s exports are sold in Israel). The only alternatives to Israel’s ports are two land bridges to Jordan. Israel often closes one of them, and the other is often choked by insufficient infrastructure. Israel levies murky forms of protection against Palestinian products, such as health and safety standards that Palestinian producers cannot comply with. Israeli law requires a wide range of products, including pharmaceuticals, to be certified before entering Israel; but Israeli security law also typically prohibits Israeli citizens from performing inspections in the Palestinian territories. Palestinian products subject to these rules therefore cannot be sold to the Israeli market, because they cannot be inspected by Israelis before entering Israel.

      The restrictions that the Israeli state imposes on Palestinians in the West Bank (to say nothing of Gaza, which I did not visit) are most visible in the Wall and security fence, which divides the whole length of the West Bank, including deep intrusions to annex additional land for Israel. But the restrictions also cover the movement of people, the import and export of goods and services, investments, and access to basic infrastructure (electricity, water, sanitation). They are so pervasive and systematic that it almost seems as if the Israeli state has mapped the entire Palestinian economy in terms of input-output relations, right down to the capillary level of the individual, the household, the small firm, the large firm, the school, the university, so as to find all possible choke points, which Israeli officials can tighten or loosen at will. Under these circumstances – which I’m happy to say I have never encountered elsewhere – political and economic development is barely possible.

  • A conversation with Abu Yazan, one of the founders of Gaza Youth Breaks Out
  • Rivlin commemorates Kfar Qassem massacre and speaks of 'equality'
    • He was in such shock at the carnage* that he temporarily lost his power of speech.

      *Rivlin is reported to be a vegetarian.

    • Rivlin is the spokeperson for the milder, gentler Israel. I am sure that Israel put out a SOS call to all the PR firms and of all the RFP's that were studied, they chose this one. I am sure that the Israeli Tourist Board put its stamp of approval on it too. Lots of brainstorming to do more brainwashing.

      PS: I don't doubt that Rivlin believes in these ideals.....hence why he was chosen to play the part. A win-win.

  • UCLA Hillel partners with PR firm to fight BDS movement
    • seafoid,
      not sure if you saw this with regard to McKinsey...it's from Max Blumenthal's article: International Community Promises to Rebuild Gaza ... with Sweat Shops to Exploit Palestinian Workers

      Last year, a Palestinian businessman furnished me with a 14-page paper produced on behalf of the Quartet by McKinsey and Company which outlined the goals of the Initiative for the Palestinian Economy. It was a bizarre document that analyzed Gaza and the West Bank as though they were normal developing nations whose economic performance could be optimized with just a little technical know-how and a few innovative marketing strategies. Not once was Israel’s occupation of Palestine mentioned in the paper.

      McKinsey’s consultants found that the walled-in Gaza ghetto “underperforms on key tourism metrics,” but the brainy analysts couldn’t seem to say why, alluding only to “regional instability” and “low awareness of existing tourism destination sites." Ignoring the Israeli siege, the factor that made literally everything McKinsey proposed a total fantasy, the firm proposed “a range of new hotel offerings…underpinned by aggressive marketing.” If only Gaza could find a winning brand, McKinsey suggested, boutique spas would suddenly blossom along its coastline, providing stunning vistas of Israel’s naval blockade.

      To bring Gaza’s beleaguered economy back to life, McKinsey called for the proliferation of sweatshops that would churn out zippers and buttons for “high-end designers in Israeli clothing markets requiring relatively small, customized orders not handled well by bulk-order manufacturers.” So much for Singapore on the Mediterranean. Under international guidance, Gaza would become an occupied Bangladesh, producing accoutrements for trendy Tel Aviv fashionistas. And perhaps Gaza’s sweatshop workers might even fabricate some zippers for a custom order of Israeli army uniforms when the hipsters of Tel Aviv are called up for the next ground invasion.

      Nearly every construction and agricultural project envisioned by McKinsey has been nullified by Israel’s siege and its accompanying military assaults. Not a single dollar has been pledged to the Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment Project, which was highlighted in the McKinsey document as one of the Quartet’s major achievements. And not one of the affordable housing units McKinsey proposed has been built. Instead, Israel damaged or destroyed at least 18,000 homes in Gaza this summer and obliterated 128 businesses while bombing the strip’s already overtaxed sanitation, electricity and water supply facilities to smithereens. So much for “transformative change” and “greater life-changing opportunities on the ground.”

    • Page: 4
  • 'Jewish students were barred from attending' pro-Palestinian event -- Alterman misrepresents
    • Yonah,
      I just googled the event and the information is still online with regard to admittance. According to the event details, anybody who wished to attend needed to
      1) be on the RSVP list or
      2) be on the waiting list or
      3) be either a student or faculty member of Brooklyn College

      Attendance details for the event are below:

      Thursday, February 7, 2013at 6:30pm in EST
      Brooklyn College E 27th St and Campus Road Brooklyn, NY 11210 Student Center Building PENTHOUSE
      *PLEASE READ CAREFULLY*
      We are sending out emails tonight to confirm the people on the Community RSVP list, waiting list, and Brooklyn College student/faculty list for tomorrows BDS event.
      -Community RSVP, if you receive a confirmation email from us tonight, you are on the RSVP list. (You must bring a photo ID with you)
      - Brooklyn College, the ones that came by our table today and signed their name is guaranteed a seat and the ones that did not sign their name will have to stand on the waiting line. The waiting line will be first come first serve basis. (You must bring your BC ID)
      - Waiting list, if you received an email from us tonight about being on the waiting list, it’s also first come first serve basis. Therefore, you will have to stand on the waiting line. (You must bring a photo ID with you)
      THE ONES THAT ARE NOT ON THE RSVP LIST, WAITING LIST, OR A BROOKLYN COLLEGE STUDENT/FACULTY WILL BE DENIED ENTRY.

      ~ link to facebook.com

      Yonah, did you follow the instructions as outlined above in order to attend the event?

  • Jaffa, indeed, Forever: A review of Adly Massoud Derhally's 'Jaffa Forever'
  • An open letter to Birthright participants past, present, and future
    • "If you take anything away from this letter it is that you should not feel pressured by your religious identity to identify with a geographic plot of land or to discriminate against others. It is important to emphasize that to be Jewish does not mean to be Israeli. That to be Jewish does not mean to be Zionist. That to be Pro-Palestinian does not mean to be an anti-Semite."

      Superb Hannah! But then again, once someone has reached this plateau of morality compliments are probably superfluous :-)

  • Allegations of anti-Semitism used to cover up anti-Palestinian hate crime in Brooklyn
    • jaynot - why shouldn't the Palestine Solidarity Network care about anti-semitism, I'm curious to know your opinion on this.

    • Brilliant Horizontal, that is the only sane way to frame this sordid story! The corruption definitely starts at the top.

    • It doesn't get better than this. Petlakh has been nominated for "emerging leader" award from the Russian-American Person of the Year organization. Voting is currently taking place online.

      According to the website: "Emerging Leader of the Year is awarded to a YOUNG professional who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills with a commitment to local, state, or national cultural communities"

      The takeaway: YOUNG Petlakh has lots more years ahead in which he can continue to abuse and assault people and then claim victimization.

      link to personoftheyear.us

    • Here is Leonard Petlakh's bio at the American Zionist Movement (AZM):

      Vice President Leonard Petlakh received his B.A. from Hunter College and his M.B.A from Baruch College, both CUNY schools. He has served as the Executive Director of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA in Brooklyn since December 2006. The Y is the largest multi-program community center serving thousands of residents of the Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Homecrest, Midwood, Bergen Beach and Mill Basin neighborhoods of Brooklyn with a variety of programs for children and adults of all ages. Recently the Y has grown by adding its fourth location in Windsor Terrace, serving the Kensington, South Slope and Windsor Terrace neighborhoods of Brooklyn with programs for children and families. Petlakh served as the Associate Executive Director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society in NY from 1999 to 2006.

      Petlakh co-teaches an undergraduate Jewish history course at Hunter College and lives in South Merrick, Long Island, with his wife and two sons. The eldest spends his summers at Young Judea’s Sprout Lake Camp and is looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah in Israel in 2013.
      link to azm.org

    • Here is literally an actual example of a student being aggressed and attacked by an adult male, a teacher from the same college attended by the female victim, and I don't see any press releases or public emails from administrators condemning this violence. The hypocrisy is nauseating and only goes to prove that ANY pronouncements made by university administration is not worth the ink it is printed on.

  • 'Another Jew!' Speakers at 'Klinghoffer' rally blame Jews for promoting anti-Semitism
    • Some snippets from Adam Shatz' review in the LRB, "Who's Afraid of 'Klinghoffer'?":

      Still, you could make the case that if The Death of Klinghoffer caricatures anyone, it’s Palestinians, not Jews. The ‘Chorus of Exiled Palestinians’ that opens the opera features a group in Afghan-style clothes, evoking the vanished paradise of pre-1948 Palestine and the Nakba that robbed them of their land and future. Dressed in black and virtually indistinguishable, they’re designated mourners of Palestine, an undifferentiated mass united in suffering and thirsty for revenge. The women are all covered in full abayas, which is unusual among Palestinian women today, and was even more unusual in 1985. The men wear Afghan-style beards that, outside the Gaza Strip, are rare in Palestine. They wave the green flag of Islam, not the Palestinian red green, white and black flag that even Hamas prefers. The effect of the set design is to frame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an episode in a larger clash of civilisations between Islam and the West. The libretto, too, accentuates the ‘civilisational’ dimensions of the conflict. With their incantatory talk about Islam and their love of martyrdom, the hijackers sound more like members of Hamas (which emerged only in 1988) than of Abu Abbas’s secular nationalist PLF.

      I suspect that what disturbs the opera’s critics is that Palestinian suffering is expressed with such eloquence and compassion, not only in the libretto but in the score. Taruskin and others have complained that some of the most stirring music occurs in the ‘Chorus of Exiled Palestinians’. It’s a telling criticism, an example of what Talking Heads called the ‘fear of music’: the anxiety that musical beauty might act on its listeners in transgressive ways, and lead to forbidden forms of pleasure or sympathy. What appears to trouble Klinghoffer’s enemies most is that, through the force of his music, Adams has put Western listeners in the shoes of Israel’s victims.

      Those who are afraid of The Death of Klinghoffer because Palestinians have been awarded some of its most beautiful music haven’t listened very carefully – or haven’t stayed in their seats until the end. The heartbreaking aria that closes the opera belongs to Marilyn Klinghoffer, mourning her husband with controlled anguish. The loss that The Death of Klinghoffer invites us to experience most acutely is personal, not political.

      link to lrb.co.uk

  • B'Tselem video: Israeli soldiers blindfold and detain 11 year old disabled child
    • very astute observation Annie. It is far easier from the IDF/Shin Bet's perspective to put pressure (psychologically and physically) and get information from a child than it is an adult. We know that Bassem al-Tamimi was arrested after they arrested a young boy from his family (nephew, cousin - I don't recall) and coerced "testimony" from the child. That child has to live with that guilt and shame, in addition to the emotional scars from his prison experience.

      During the 1st intifada, parents would warn their children/teens that if they got arrested not to reveal any information, that it would be far worse for them if they were suspected of collaborating....and the lawyers also told them that it is near impossible to secure their release if they admitted to anything. I heard many anecdotes about this, enough to realize it was commonplace, it was a part of children's way of understanding how to behave in their world. That in and of itself is a both a reflection, and indictment, of the draconian system of occupation the Palestinians live under.

    • how would you like your developmentally disabled child being traumatized, arrested, roughed up and thrown into the back of a military jeep by soldiers in helmets loaded from head to toe with weapons and can act at will to hurt you or your family?

      THE FATHER HAD TO PLEA - I REPEAT, THE FATHER HAD TO PLEA - to get his developmentally disabled child released. Can you imagine having to plea to secure your child's safety? How would that affect you, your child, your family? Extremely traumatic.

      I realize that the ziocane may have tampered with the neurons in your brain that release compassion triggers so what I just explained to you is probably pointless. How I would love to be proven wrong!

  • 'Settlement endorsement should be put on a par with racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism' --British pol
    • That quote also left me perplexed. When did the persecution of the Palestinian people ever have a moral basis; and when did it suddenly become immoral?

  • 'I know how the brainwashing works'
    • Ivri, like all racists, associates "western style" with "civility"... the type of civility that recently murdered in cold blood 500 Palestinian children in Gaza, and left an additional 3,000+ children permanently maimed for life. Not to mention the "western-style" state-sponsored Israeli terrorist settlers that ran over little Palestinian girls of just 4 and 5 year old this past weekend in Sinjil.

      That is Ivri's beloved "western style" Israel and for which he sold his little racist soul to.

  • The Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ passes divestment resolution
    • Becca,
      not once have you made mention of the brutal conditions that Palestinians endure whilst living under Israeli occupation/siege/apartheid. Perhaps in educating yourself you may want to start with understanding why Palestinians resist, and why millions globally are advocating for justice for Palestinians.

      We await your contributions with regard to Palestinian suffering, and how best communities can influence Israel to abide by International and Human Rights laws. I would imagine that you too will come to the conclusion that religious institutions that choose to divest from Israel's economy or companies that benefit from occupation are actually making a statement in favor of human rights, peace and justice. Something to think about.

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
    • Parrots are considered intelligent creatures so that is a compliment.

      (PS: It is said that an honest man is like a child...see the video and it will make sense)

  • Islamophobia, liberalism and the dangers of Interfaith ignorance
    • So if you are not referring to any countries, then why did you initially ask:

      "What about the rest of the Muslim world, specifically those countries that have largely escaped Western intrusions? Are any of them legitimately Liberal or Modern?"

      Why pose the question if you already have all the answers wrapped up based on your historically myopic and selective pov?

    • rp1,
      It would be helpful to know which countries you are referring to.

  • Wiesel lauds settlers for 'strengthening the Jewish presence in Jerusalem' -- and expelling Palestinians
    • breathtakingly beautiful. Deeply grateful, Rico, you shared this with us.

      Souad Massi singing "Raoui (Storyteller)" is a perfect accompaniment.

    • Yes, Ivri, do show us your evidence.

      And then why don't we discuss all the instances of abuse anti/non-zionist holocaust survivors have received for speaking out against the crimes of zionism endured by Palestinians.

    • my brain seriously needed a detoxification, thanks for posting this!!

  • Israel and the g-word
    • Incitement to genocide was codified when Golda Meir said:

      There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.

      (As quoted in Sunday Times (15 June 1969), also in The Washington Post (16 June 1969)

      Israel has tried to EXISTICIDE the Palestinians, a form of genocide. Then add Gaza to the mix....and you get a one-way ticket to the ICC.

  • Put a spike in the wheel of injustice
    • right back at you 100x Mr. Just :-)

    • well, can you blame them? Who doesn't want a pied-a-terre in the sunny Mediterranean? Trouble is, they want it guilt-free with no strings attached. Rudoren certainly isn't complaining, hell, she only has to interact with the natives when she needs her laundry cleaning done.

      Who was it that said, for every action there is a reaction? Nevermind.

  • Ofra Yeshua-Lyth and the case for a new Israeli left
  • NY rabbi implores those in her congregation who are joining Israel's enemies to love the country
    • I was just online trying to find some information on Oriana Fallaci's xenophobia/Islamophobia and was struck by this sentence from a 2002 Guardian article:

      "The recent, well-orchestrated campaign alerting opinion to the rise of anti-semitism in Europe camouflages the fact that Jews are not the foremost victims in the carnival of hatred. That dubious honour goes to Muslims, Europe's largest religious minority, numbering over 20 million. "

      link to theguardian.com

      So, either anti-Semitism is a real and present and ever-constantly rising occurrence (may this never be the case, and may we all denounce any & all occurrences of bigotry) or we are always being hit over the head by claims of rampant anti-Semitism so as to deflect and keep zionism safe from condemnation? Of course, it should be noted that the War on "Terror" (principally targeting Arabs and Muslims) is real and has only increased, as past and present facts attest. So I am left scratching my head, which is a greater threat in the present context: anti-Semitism or Islamophobia?

  • Eight hours on Third Avenue
  • If you stand up for Palestine in America, 'you're the devil,' Junot Diaz says
  • Netanyahu lectures Americans on open housing and 'ethnic purification'
    • Netanyahu the Truthteller: "It’s not a settlement. These are neighborhoods of East Jerusalem… This is just a neighborhood in Jerusalem....What they didn’t tell you is that 700 of those units are designated for the Arab residents of Jerusalem."

      Folks, it's all been just one big misunderstanding the past 66 years. We love Palestinians, we want to live with them so much that we demolish their family homes so that they will move into our apartment blocks. We do it for them. But you know, the food ain't so bad either. We cook hummus together and sing around the campfire at night. Our core belief is sharing. All good American values that we receive along with the generous annual check and F-16's.

  • Bill de Blasio ruins the liberal Zionists' glorious hour
    • Horizontal,

      thanks for pointing out Lieberman's rant. He can protest all he wants, preferably on his way to the Hague. And may he have the company of all his fascio-lunatic pals with him.

    • oh yeah, one more thing. As you are fretting and pacing about with your knickers in a twist over the appellation issue for when you call home, consider that your neighbors in apartheid land are also trying to celebrate a religious holiday, Eid-al-Adha*, but are in Yom Kippur lock-down mode thanks to the govt that awards you all sorts of privileges because you happen to have been born into the right religion.

      Palestinian grandmothers and grandfathers won't be able to take their grandchildren to prayer services at al-aqsa mosque ("sorry, closed due to Yom Kippur"), no families visiting each other and sharing meals if that entails checkpoints, and so on. Hope you dedicate a special prayer for their liberation when you visit 31.7767° N, 35.2345° E.

      * This festival commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to God. This festival also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

    • Yonah,
      oh dear stars, who cares what you call it when you are trampling on a people so you can attain your spiritual heights (and in the process debase it given the context). At the end of the day the Western Wall is but a mound of earth on planet earth.

      When you make the call to the states just tell them you are at 31.7767° N, 35.2345° E (Western Wall Coordinates) and be done with it. Everyone knows it is in Jerusalem so not sure why you are fixating on the national qualifier.

      And then ponder this: God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere. Ommm.

    • It's great in theory but the two-state solution is no longer feasible so this recognition or endorsement is DOA. And what kind of state are they recognising anyway? The Swiss Cheese State of Palestine or the '67 borders? And what about Gaza, where does that fit into this recognition equation?

      If Sweden truly wanted to make a constructive contribution it would cut off all trade with Israel contingent upon Israel respecting the protocols of International Law (no settlements, no land grabs, no bombings, no sieges, etc)

  • Read the genocidal sermon a notable Atlanta rabbi gave this Rosh Hashanah
    • I read this essay by the historian Eric Hobsbawm quite a few years ago and since he touches upon many of the same points you are discussing thought you may like to read it.

      link to lrb.co.uk

  • Schumer is obnoxious
    • the best punishment for Schumer is the continued growth of BDS and isolation of Israel as more and more Americans get fed up with how our political system is held hostage by him and his cronies for the benefit of Israel. We have a ways to go but believe me Schumer will be around to see the dismantling of his beloved Apartheid regime.

  • Russell Tribunal finds evidence of incitement to genocide, crimes against humanity in Gaza
    • Ivri,
      if "in principle" you can settle any "empty" (by the zionist's self-serving definition of course) land then why do you need an army to subdue the native inhabitants?

      It pains me how zionists/nationalists/fascists/colonialists abuse and torture the human faculty of logic, notwithstanding morality and common human decency.

    • Mayhem,

      is that what you mean by a "kangaroo court"?

      Virtually all - 99.74 percent, to be exact - of cases heard by the [Israeli] military courts in the [Occupied] territories end in a conviction, according to data in the military courts' annual report, which has been obtained by Haaretz.

      link to haaretz.com

      PS: as always, thank you for the opportunity you provide us to highlight even further Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people.

  • Russell Tribunal on Palestine: Delegitmisation of Israeli apartheid has to happen in the courtroom too
    • FYI: Raji Sourani and Ashraf Mashrawi were denied permission to travel from Gaza to the Russell Tribunal in Brussels...

      Russell Tribunal @russelltribunal · 21h
      Two of our key witnesses Raji Sourani @pchrgaza and film-maker Ashraf Mashharawi will not be joinng us. Here's why: link to russelltribunalonpalestine.com

  • Palestinian babies not included on Israel gov't list of most popular names
  • Yale president's office was involved from the gitgo in blowup over Yale chaplain's letter
    • Shipman and Salaita should go on speaking tours together. More people to those who have been harmed by the tyranny of zionism.

  • Ohio University filibuster: harangue or free speech?
    • if you wish to indulge in false equivalencies then be my guest but don't expect any objective person to be an enabler in your dishonest quest.

    • good, don't, we wouldn't want to be collectively responsible for you harming yourself

    • I didn't notice the carré rouge symbol on Megan, thanks for pointing it out! Further proof of connecting the dots between the grassroots movements against state violence in all its forms.

      Here is more info on the student movement: link to en.wikipedia.org

    • The activist struggle ahead will be long but what I gather from this is that the pro-justice/anti-apartheid voices have won. Every time the pro-Israeli side (re)acts in such an aggressive manner it becomes increasingly clear that they can only resort to raw power now. And the more they use their raw power the greater will be the exposure of their tactics to suppress free speech, and the more sympathy they will lose, Folks indifferent to this struggle will start questioning and working things out for themselves, and many who felt intimidated to speak will find their voices. The zionists are facing a big big mess ahead.

      SJP is holding a conference in October and I hope that they address and formulate a strategy to effectively deal with these types of disruptive and bullying actions on campus. We all know to whom campus administration will side with (as if it was ever different in past struggles for justice and equality that were won).

      PS: Megan Marzec is one very courageous and admirable student.

  • Photo-cartoon making Tutu into Hitler is published then taken down by South African Jewish paper
    • Every single sentence in Reich's op-ed is loathsome, but the fact that he has the audacity to claim

      "The true apartheid is on your doorstep, where people are living in corrugated iron shacks without running water, electricity and sanitation. Nowhere in Israel or the disputed territories are people living like that.

      exposes the sheer lies on which he has built his fealty to the fatherland. This Reich ideologue apparently has never set foot in the "disputed" territories, nor hasn't a clue about the unrecognized villages within '48 Israel where Palestinian bedouin communities reside (no electricity, no running water, corrugated iron shacks abound, etc).

      Lies upon deranged lies, and what sickens me is that as world condemnation against Israel grows, I fear these kind of hateful manifestations and distortions are only just the beginning .

  • Israel surveils and blackmails gay Palestinians to make them informants
    • One of Israel's many talents is that it continuously outdoes itself in its acts of depravity. The bar level is at -10 and plunging lower by the day.

    • Mooser, you're a psychic! :-)

      Bedouin Experiences in Israel courtesy of the ethnic cleansers:

      Sleeping in Bedouin Tents
      The ultimate Bedouin experience is, of course, sleeping in the famous Bedouin tents in the peaceful desert. This experience is becoming incredibly popular for groups visiting Israel, whilst the tents are also being used more and more for celebrations such as weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and birthdays.

      There are a large number of centers in Israel offering authentic Bedouin hospitality experiences
      link to touristisrael.com

      **Cringe-worthy**

  • Freed by Gaza, Spiegelman calls Israel out as a batterer
    • The Thugs of Zion just following orders.

      Mooser,
      simultaneously glad to be made aware and extremely revolted by the violent trampling meted out to anyone who dares protest against Sparta state. All this violence is not about Judaism, this is about colonialist-settlers hell bent on power and control by any means necessary. Very Frightening.

  • Ohio student leader's dramatic act for Gaza
    • "(Is anyone else sick and tired of hearing about Jewish- only ‘pain’? It has cut to the quick all reasonableness and discourse)"

      Affirmatively Yes! The dishonesty in this kind of emotional blackmail really irks me. The audacity of demanding that others not act on their conscience because it disturbs people's ideologies is an act of intolerance, plain & simple. Both sides have every right to protest and voice disapproval but shutting down a discussion, harming people's livelihoods, condoning or threatening harm of individuals is entering into criminal behaviour.

  • Photo of six shoveling secretaries needs a caption
  • Joan Rivers's Palestinian finale
  • Salaita firing turns into a 'catastrophe' for University of Illinois
    • HOPHMI: "There is no greater slippery slope threat to academic freedom than the idea, promoted by the BDS community, that scholars, or academic institutions, may be held accountable for the views of their government. "

      Is that why Israel bombed the Islamic University in Gaza? To punish the people of Gaza for Hamas? And why Israel targeted and arrested Bir Zeit University faculty and students during the first intifada, to punish them for their political activism? And why during the first intifada the IDF sought to shut down clandestine school rooms that were set up to mitigate the effects of curfew and school closures? Yes, slippery slope indeed.

  • Yale Protestant chaplain says Americans must curb Israel so as to curb anti-Semitism
    • Yes I understand, it’s a delicate issue, but people have a right to talk about it.

      That is my conclusion as well, not only because censoring our voice goes against our constitutionally-protected free speech, but also because no one has the right to regulate our conscience.

      I honestly hope that more and more of these cases (Shipman, Salaita, et al) come to the mainstream forefront, it will get discussed, it will get exposure, and more and more will weigh in on it, with the possible benefit of further destigmatising the discourse on Israel .

      PS: was away for a few days and came back to find the furniture all re-arranged here on the MW site! Getting used to the new lay-out but glad to see the content and commentary still as hard-hitting as ever :-)

  • Chancellor Wise, why not accept the scholarly inquiry of your colleagues over the politicized judgment of Salaita's critics?
    • JeffB,
      you seem to be quite the stickler for what is civil, non-malicious discourse (never mind treating Palestinians civilly and non-maliciously).

      Could you provide for us criteria and examples of what is acceptable criticism of Israel and Zionism. Since Zionist is code for Jews, what word should we use in our discourse when discussing an ideological movement that was exclusively reserved for a select religion to settle on land where there were previous inhabitants?

      By the way, did you see this JeffB?
      link to newstatesman.com

  • As Salaita's case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on 'civility'
    • I rarely take JeffB seriously anymore. He has over and over and over again made completely inane statements and has been continuously taken to task for making unsubstantiated and/or outlandish claims.

      The fact that he can state "Academics should not be political activists" is another typical and outlandish JeffB comment that doesn't in any way enrich or further our discussions. It is an absurd statement that defies and denies the historical importance of academic discourse in our political life. One may as well just say people who don't support my political point of view should not be political activists.

  • In Photos: Thousands pack Rafah streets for funeral of top Hamas commanders
    • When did you go to Gaza Jon? Can you tell us about the places you visited. Also, which dialogue group did you participate in?

      I ask all these questions because your hositile point of view toward Palestinians contradicts your alleged actions/visits/encounters with them. So it is very hard to believe you.

    • Jon,
      have you been following Max's Twitter TL? You really should, you will learn a lot, including the fact that he left Gaza, and as Max so astutely phrased it: "I just crossed from the involuntarily walled off ghetto to the voluntarily walled off ghetto. Goodbye Gaza, home of the brave".

      You will also learn that he was welcomed by his Palestinian friends there. Palestinian people, like any people on this earth, are very warm and welcoming if you come as a friend, and not as an occupying army. It's just common sense. Go on and try it, Jon, open up your world to new possibilities and ways of seeing. You will be amazed at what beauty you will discover. I say that sincerely.

    • Jon,
      why do you think we would approve of this? I would like to understand your reasoning behind such a callous statement. Why are you trying to dehumanize us? Just because we are critical of Israeli actions?

      Assuming that they were collaborators why would we cheer their death? Don't you think their death is as much of a tragedy as innocent children being killed by Israeli bombs?

  • Democratic Party leader echoes Netanyahu's new theme: Hamas equals ISIS
    • thanks for posting this Just.

    • Just,
      we must have both missed that part in the history books about Israel offering to embrace Palestinians within their "democracy". Perhaps JeffB can fill us in with more details.

      JeffB: would you be so kind as to tell us when the vote was extended to Palestinians? Maybe the Palestinians didn't get the memo of this generous offer? Perhaps Israel can resend the invitation? You could personally deliver it!

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • So, that’s it. I know your methodology, and that of your fans

      Phil,
      let it be known to Yaacov that I, a reader of and commentator at Mondoweiss, am not a "fan" of anybody, never have been, never will be. I am an admirer of certain things and people, but for Yaacov to label us collectively as "fans" is condescending. I am an independent thinker who has seen first-hand the savagery of Zionist policy so I don't need this Yaacov-come-lately allocating me a role or undermining my views.

      As for his letter overall, it is a very disturbing and revealing portrait of the psychology of a human being who is both the beneficiary and supporter of a system that uses extreme measures of violence as a means to oppress others. It gave me chills.

      signed,
      not your groupie

  • 'I mourn my Jewish community, which seeks to justify these inexcusable acts'
    • thanks for clarifying. I usually don't expend any mental energy on religious mumbo jumbo but that just didn't make sense the way I was interpreting it.

    • is it just me or does the below not make any sense whatsoever??

      from the reuben jacobs comment in ha'aretz: " (and the switch from male to female lineage came about to combat the amount of illegitimate children born after Jewish women were raped by the occupying Roman army)"

    • of course your fellow MW'ers will get first dibs on the IPO! Too too funny.

  • Ceasefire comes to a close -- Mohammed Assaf's 'Raise Your Head High'
    • do Palestinians a favor Jon and stop being their "friend". The Palestinian people have millions of supporters around the world, so they don't need your kind of duplicitous friendship. Is that clear?

      Lastly, DON'T ever again use the noun "friend" to describe your relationship to Palestinians. You are the occupier/supporter of occupation/settler-colonialist/supporter of settler-colonialist ideology. DON'T use Palestinians as a plot device to make a false claim that in no shape/way or form helps the Palestinian cause.

      For your benefit I am posting the definition of FRIEND. Memorize it.

      friend noun \ˈfrend\
      : a person who you like and enjoy being with
      : a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity)
      : one attached to another by affection or esteem
      : one that is not hostile

    • It must really eat away at you, JonS, that so many people around the world stand in solidarity with Palestinians.

      For years your leaders have been telling the world that Israel is the only democracy, the "villa in the jungle", the "civilized" ones......and yet, and yet, no one is really buying it, it doesn't make any difference in how the majority view Israel and its criminal state-sponsored slaughter.

      Does it bother you that you have to buy the politicians for them to stand on your side? Kind of makes their words meaningless no? Whereas we stand with the Palestinians out of our humane convictions and no one has given us a penny.

      It must be the bane of your existence that after all the zionist propaganda that has been spewed forth we still view Palestinians as human beings, and that the world is even more solidly and strongly behind them in attaining their rights. After all these years of dehumanizing, imprisoning, occupying, killing, demolishing, besieging, starving, humiliating and oppressing the Palestinians you still haven't defeated them.

      Do you go to sleep wondering "where have we gone wrong?"

  • More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times
    • Erlanger's usage of orientalist tropes is just another form of hostility and prejudice of islamic culture, ergo: islamophobia. He is so enmeshed within this socio/political construct that he is probably not even aware of how offensive his "analysis" and opinion is.

  • Rob Reiner wants to pick Palestinians' leaders for them
  • UPDATED: Bay Area demonstrators succeed for **fourth** day in 'Blocking the Boat for Gaza'
    • I'm following you guys on twitter.....fingers crossed!!!!!

    • So Hoppo, you recognize that bombing an airport is terrorism? Great, then we agree that Israel is a terrorist nation, afterall, the IOF bombed the Gaza International Airport....

      The [Gaza International Airport] facility ceased to operate in 2001 after the bombing of the radar station and control tower by Israel Defense Forces aircraft during the al-Aqsa Intifada.
      The airport opened in 1998. It is owned, and was operated, by the Palestinian Authority, and served as the home airport for Palestinian Airlines. It was able to handle 700,000 passengers per year and operated 24 hours and 364 days a year. The total area of the airport is 235 hectares (2.35 km2). The airport closed in 2001 after being severely damaged by Israeli military forces. The closest public airport in the area is El Arish International Airport in Egypt.
      The construction of the airport was provided for in the Oslo II Agreement of 1995. The airport was built with funding from Japan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Germany and designed by Moroccan architects (modeled after Casablanca airport) and engineers funded by Morocco's King Hassan II. The total cost was $86 million. After a year of construction, it opened on 24 November 1998. At the time, the opening of the airport was described as evidence of progress toward Palestinian statehood. The airport got international airport codes (IATA: GZA, ICAO: LVGZ).

      The radar station and control tower were destroyed by Israel Defense Forces aircraft on 4 December 2001, after the start of the al-Aqsa Intifada. Bulldozers cut the runway apart on 10 January 2002.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Gov. Cuomo annexes Jerusalem to Israel -- and 'NYT' echoes him
    • I try very hard to understand the mentality of people like Cuomo who sell themselves (cheaply) in order to satisfy their ambitions.

      But what I want to know is: when an individual has sold his/her intellect and integrity, what remains? I honestly would like to know how they can betray on such a massive scale those who suffer and then turn around and justify it. One doesn't need a religion or a codified moral doctrine to know that that is wrong.....our inner voice will tell us.

  • Tough Hillary Clinton says 'dreadful' pictures of dead women and children make it hard to get at truth-- Hamas is to blame
  • 'We are all Palestinian'
    • Ezra,
      how has Israel tried to help the Palestinians exactly? Evidence? Time after time, all Israel has ever done is try to obliterate all iterations of Palestinian resistance to occupation and land theft. Hamas is just the latest iteration.

    • that's a great story!

    • Incredibly moving.....I hope that the Palestinians in Gaza all see this to give them a glimmer of hope too.

  • 'Cooking is my politics': Rawia Bishara's Middle Eastern food is all about spreading culture
    • so let me get this straight Jonny, the Palestinians who have farmed and foraged their lands for millennia and didn't manage to cause extinction of the za'atar plant, now need the Israelis to teach them how to be good land stewards? Oh gosh, who knew! Ok, well, care to tell me why Israeli settlers uproot olive trees? Is this also a benevolent occupation policy that we aren't aware of?

    • Walid,
      when I first heard about that ridiculous law I gave a cynical laugh. The za'atar is in no way, shape or form at risk of being over-harvested in the wild, that plant is so hardy and so tenacious, it would be easier to eradicate weeds in a garden. As you say, the law was solely another malicious Israeli tactic to control the land and distance Palestinians from their heritage. The fact that the za'atar plant has survived centuries upon centuries of being harvested is all that is needed to disprove the premise behind the law.

      In our area of Italy, all the villagers would go to the mountains to forage for oregano. There were lots of regulations even back in the day about what/when to forage for certain plant species to ensure conservation, but no regulations whatsoever concerning wild oregano. Simply because it grows in such abundance, just like the za'atar plant. If you were to tell a villager that foraging of oregano was to be restricted for conservation purposes they would laugh at you.

  • 'Day of rage' tomorrow: Palestinian resistance 'starts with the tongue'
    • I agree 100% that the protest location/logistics is difficult to find unless you are already familiar with the various orgs that usually sponsor these actions. I'm not sure why the BDS movement website isn't providing the resource links that activists and concerned people can get information from, it would certainly help in mobilizing more people.

      The information you have for the NYC rally is correct and can also be found at link to adalahny.org , one of many groups organizing contingencies to the protest.

      The twitter hashtag for the event is #GazaDayofRage, perhaps this may prove helpful. I would imagine that all Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine chapters will also be organizing protests so they may have protest information for their particular locations.

  • 'A blind evil rage that increased forever, day and night' --Mads Gilbert on Operation Protective Edge
    • WOW! WOW! WOW! The analogies that Dr. Gilbert uses to relate the Palestinian struggle will resonate with many many people. He captures and translates it with incredible clarity.

      Has he been interviewed by any MSM outlets in the U.S.?

  • Jodi Rudoren and Abe Foxman mull over 'the Arabs' owning New York hotel
    • They are “very nice Arab guys who do a good job with the cleaning” (laundry).

      The fact that they made this video publicly available really says something about their lack of self-awareness. They think they are being cute and folksy. It is positively revolting. I would hate to imagine what would happen if those "Arab guys" mess up the laundry order.

      PS: kind of says it all, no? ----> RuderMan

  • Steven Salaita-- unremitting in criticism of Zionism and Gaza slaughter-- loses a job at University of Illinois
    • Please indicate your evidence that in the field of Middle East Studies, that there are more pro-Israel professors than there are pro-Palestinian ones, with tenure. I think you know I’m right.

      ---> But Hoppo, I thought the poll results you cited in another post proved that the majority of "educated" people support Israel? I'm confused now, Hoppo, which is it?

      If you don’t have evidence, go back to the barn and continue playing with Mooser and the other dirty animals.

      ---> Ahhhhhhh evidence! Funny you should ask. So let me get this straight Hoppo: you make an unsubstantiated statement that is not backed up by any data whatsoever (sample selection of faculty by school/relevant depts, analysis of books written by faculty, etc) and then you have the audacity to turn around and demand evidence that we disprove your unsubstantiated statement? Right. Well, my mamma didn't make me yesterday, and she also told me not play with dumdums.

  • Where you can donate to help Gaza -- Updated
    • This center does amazing work. Anne Barnard of the NYT did a fantastic feature story about Dr. Hassan al-Zeyada, a psychologist at the Gaza Community Mental Health center, it is well worth the read.
      link to nytimes.com

      Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj, the founder of the center, is a personal hero of mine for his humanitarian work, and this video interview with him shows him discussing PTSD in the children of Gaza, and the struggle for dignity and human rights. link to youtube.com

    • John,
      Many many thanks for putting this information together. It is very useful and I will share it with others.

      Another organization which you may want to add to the this list is Medical Aid for Palestinians, a UK-based organization. link to map-uk.org

  • israel is the golden calf
    • bravo for conveying so forcefully and beautifully, so soulfully and rhythmically, in so few words that which we can't say with 10,000 words. I join the others in applause!

      and G-d is
      a child in Gaza

      Amen

  • Israel, your brand is tanking
    • precisely Steve, privilege and power that doesn't see or understand what suffering is, have never been forced to speak or live within the framework of struggle....and then are caught unguarded by the uprisings & dissent. Same story throughout history.

    • Spot-on analysis! You got to the heart of the matter with this:

      "...their sole interest lies in the analysis, manipulation and manufacturing of the perception....it is an admission that they are aware of the moral bankruptcy of their actions"

    • "...AIPAC will never take the position that Congress should defund UNRWA" - Hophmi

      because then Israel will have to take responsibility for the people they occupy (per International Law)....but once again, someone else is paying Israel's bill.

    • Hophmi,
      I think you are missing a critical factor and that is that Israel no longer monopolizes the narrative, that privilege is long gone. There are more and more people speaking out, there is less and less inhibition to say Israel is acting criminally, and this grassroots shift has already put pressure on the media professionals who, as commercial entities, need our audience but we're pushing back on the way they frame the stories. The media knows that they can no longer parrot the hasbara. And even if here in the States the media remains more conservative with regards to Israel, people can easily turn to other sources of information, e.g. UK media, blogs, twitter, etc.

      All of this has been devastating for Israel because they never operated under conditions in which the average person spoke back. Whether we reached a point of no return I don't know. Whether or not Israel can manage to develop an effective PR strategy to salvage their image, that is to be seen. But right now, and moving into the future, it looks bleak for Israel. I think you need to be honest about these developments and honestly factor them into your analysis, not try to rationalize them into remission. It won't be as easy to play the anti-semitic card, it won't be as easy to intimidate those who challenge Israel. This is the new reality. I just hope that we use these positive developments for a better future, don't you?

    • Brilliantly done! The rest of us get it but the hasbara gang hasn't moved with the times, pathetically they still think that their old talking points will work. They're hasbaring themselves into a corner without an exit.

  • Librarians give New York subway riders a taste of Palestinian literature to protest Gaza assault
  • Seven congresspeople go to Israel on AIPAC's dime-- and one gets defensive about it
    • Hophmi -
      Your concern for the Syrian people is exemplary, your heart is in the right place, with the suffering and displaced population. I underestimated you!

      I am sure that you know there are approximately 500,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria who are caught in a dangerous situation and over half have fled the refugee camps there. Given your humanitarian concern, I am sure that you will want to mitigate their suffering by advocating for their return to their Palestinian villages and cities from which they were forced to flee and prohibited from returning by Israel.

      As a reminder Hoppo, you can make all the arguments you want, you can deflect til the moon howls back, at the end of the day the conflict is always about the injustice created by a colonial-settler state that stole the land and livelihoods of the Palestinians, and all the subsequent crimes and violence against Palestinians in order to sustain the dystopian dream that is zionism.

  • Tariq Abu Khdeir goes to Washington -- and finds surprising support
    • Thanks for sharing that with us. I have the feeling Just that there is a groundswell of empathy and understanding that is just going to overflow. All the images, all the first-hand accounts, it is all becoming too too much to deny that Palestinians have been suffering an unbearable injustice.

  • Evanston Public Library censors Ali Abunimah, saying issue is 'complex' and he'd need to be balanced (Updated)
    • My lord, we have so moved beyond the "balance" approach when it comes to Israel/Palestine. That was like so yesterday. We are in the digital age for heaven's sake. But let the gatekeepers indulge in this fantasy if they think that it will make a difference in obfuscating Israel's criminal record. Go for it, schedule the "balancing" act, the blatant facts that can no longer be hidden will still speak for themselves.

  • Inhuman shield: How 'The New York Times' protects US elites from Gaza's brutal reality
    • It used to be that peddling the Israeli version of events was a career-builder....seems like more and more that is no longer the case. It now makes you a laughing stock among your peers and discredits you in the eyes of many viewers, especially the younger audience .

      PS: regarding the expose Max Blumenthal did on the Rudorens, the Rudorens have now made that video private (the implications being obvious). Not only has she become a laughing stock within the media world, but this reflects really poorly on the NYT. I think the NYT will be forced to do something about it...not sure what their response will be but I don't think they will be able to ignore it. The NYT encourages their journalists to be visible on social media but Rudoren is proving to be a liability.

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • some will never get it Annie. perpetual darkness of the soul and heart. I can't help but wonder at the irony that people such as Mazal can say such inhumane, surreal nonsense and yet the onus is put on the the Palestinians to prove their humanity to the world.

  • 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
    • ah, the beauty of zionist apologists & human rights deniers, they keep twisting themselves into a pretzel at their own hands. Meanwhile, Oleg is still pondering and scratching his head how he (a master race) and bin laden share the same political philosophy. Oleg meet irony. Irony meet Oleg.

  • To my Jewish friend (you know who you are)
    • that was beautiful Linda, and your description of this abode being an "oasis of sanity" is I am sure shared by many who come here to read, learn and comment. It is comforting to know we are not alone, that there are so many who believe in justice. May your journey be inspiring to yourself and others.

  • Statement: Legal experts and human rights defenders demand international community end Israel's collective punishment of Gaza
    • Citizen, if possible please post the link, am sure many would like to show their support. thanks :-)

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