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andrew r

Showing comments 178 - 101

  • Organizer of the Great March of Return says protests in Gaza 'must go on'
    • It bends the U.N. to her every whim and controls the OIC and OPEC.

      Like for example UNSC resolution 678 authorizing "all necessary means" to force Iraq out of Kuwait; no UN resolution has ever taken such language with Israel. Or UNSC 1973 which authorizes a "no-fly zone" over Libya; again, the all-powerful State of Palestine can't get that for themselves.

      So basically, you're a crank.

  • You can no more be a socialist Zionist than you can be a meat-eating vegan
  • Falsely accusing Palestinians of anti-Semitism is malicious
    • I can't read the wapo article because of the paywall, but tried to suss out Jill Jacobs' views of the Gaza protests on twitter.

      "Israel has right to defend itself. Every nation does. I pray the government will use non-fatal measures with protestors. Too much Israeli blood. Too much Palestinian blood. Too many grieving. Too many tears."

      "More Naomi Paiss Retweeted Sarah Leah Whitson
      More specifically, shooting unarmed Hamas members is like saying it’s ok to murder settlers because they shouldn’t be there in the first place. Wrong, wrong, wrong."

      Her own tweets:
      "On day on which 45 Palestinians have been killed & thousands injured & a day after right wing marchers reminded us how divided the city is, @netanyahu calls this a great day for peace."

      "Between when this email went out less than an hour ago & now, death count in Gaza has gone from 7 to 16. Need response that avoids live fire, and ultimately, need to make Gaza liveable, including by easing siege."

      It's not that surprising she would draw a line in the sand for acceptable criticism of Israel by Palestinians. Note how she still accepts Israeli power over Palestinians as a given; she simply has a problem with the specific use of that power.

  • Israeli killer gets community service-- and Ahed Tamimi gets 8 months for slapping
    • The fact that the court accepted the lyncher's defense that he mistook the victim for a "terrorist" only reminds me Zionism with its "Jewish" state is hostile to non-Jewish civilians. This ideology oozes down from the founders of the movement to its lowliest rank and file, absolving them of responsibility for the conflict they chose by pursuing a state for their "chosen" people.

  • Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to 'Israel's might'-- Roger Cohen
    • The Jews needed a homeland. History proves that. Assimilation never worked; the Holocaust was no more than a culmination.

      Those apologists for Israel who use the Holocaust as emotional blackmail need to understand that had a "Jewish" state existed in 1939, there's no guarantee it would've saved substantially more Jews than had survived the war in Palestine. Nor is it likely the Jewish Agency leadership would've even made a serious effort. In fact, the immigration quotas imposed by the British were used as a cover for their own policies.

  • Jews have religious commandment to support Israel and fight BDS -- American Jewish Committee
    • Support for a Jewish state and the need for a Jewish majority. It is entirely possible to construct a Jewish state without a Jewish majority. America is a state has strong property protections, the majority don’t own a lot of property but support these protections. A Jewish state at a minimum requires the majority to be at least cooperative with this goal.

      Jeff, you're definitely confusing your personal positions with an intelligent evaluation of the early Zionist movement based on the actual positions taken by its historical figures. Let's start with the "Jewish" majority: Ruppin, Weizmann, DBG, Moshe Sharett and Jabotinsky all explicitly expressed desire for just that in the hypothetical "Jewish" state - I can supply citations if you really need them but I'm pressed for time right now. For his part, Nahum Sokolow (who basically sounded out the French on the idea of a Jewish "national home" and was later WZO president) wanted Jews to be the "predominant people in Palestine" (Schneer, "The Balfour Declaration," 149). That this was a normative aim of the Zionist movement across its political spectrum is a foregone conclusion.

      And it's also an adversarial aim since the presence of any non-Jewish person was an obstacle to its achievement. So to address the remark, "Your claim was the intent was always violent expulsion," that's not my claim per se, but that it wasn't possible to achieve their normative aims without some form of persecution against non-Jewish persons. Even if in their heart-of-hearts they wanted to achieve everything without such, they were still 100% morally responsible for setting themselves on a violent course of action. And they were lucky enough to have the British knock out much of the dirty work.

      Now, to save space, here's a comment I wrote on Disqus detailing the policy of the WZO Palestine Office vis-a-vis the earliest Jewish Yemeni migrants to the New Yishuv (most of it citing from Land, Labor by Gershon Shafir). In short, they were completely barred from the new settlements built by the WZO and even had to sleep in barracks built away from the First Aliyah settlements they worked at.

      Your comments about the Arab Palestinians assimilating into the New Yishuv are completely and utterly risible in view of this information. Yes, Judaism is an inclusive religion, but not the Yishuv built by Ruppin, Weizmann and their fellow travelers. No Arab Palestinian could have joined Degania by converting to Judaism - Mideastern Jews weren't accepted there (in fact Jewish Yemenis were expelled from Kinneret). Had numerous Muslim Palestinians learned Hebrew and expressed desire to convert to Judaism so they could join the Yishuv, they almost certainly would have exposed Zionism as the wannabe white supremacist movement it actually was.

    • I support Palestinians refugees right to return. I don't support expanding this definition to foreign born descendants.

      Now Jeff, this is where you show yourself up as a charlatan. 30-50 years ago, this would be effectively calling for the end of Israel as a "Jewish" state. Most supporters of Israel and certainly all its leading politicians would not view it as such without an overwhelming demographic balance in favor of those considered Jewish under Israeli law (or being the immediate family of a Jewish person, which since 1970 is effectively the same for the purpose of the "Law of Return") . And from that metric allowing the original 1948 refugees from the Palestine War to return would have been self-defeating in as much most of them were still living.

      So it's rather clear from this one position your worldview is conveniently retro-fitted to get Zionism off the hook as a belligerent ideology. The Zionist movement sought a demographic majority in the hypothetical "Jewish" state and those people you now advocate citizenship for were an obstacle so long as they remained in place. Of course now that the State of Israel has outlasted any chance of them being a demographic threat, you can stand on this completely redundant moral highground. It's nothing but snake oil.

  • New York TV stations smear Roger Waters-- who praises BDS as 'one of most admirable pieces of resistance world has seen'
    • p.s. As Hitler rises to power a voluntary / semi-forced migration to Palestine takes place rather than a mass extermination.

      You have a serious misreading of Zionist history if you think a Jewish Agency-ruled Palestine was going to take in enough Jews to forestall the Holocaust.

    • While there is some tension the original Palestinian attitude towards western Zionist settlers remains in place.

      JeffB, we've already gone over two Herzl quotes where he expressed interest in military conquest of Palestine. That in itself is a good indication Herzl's "Jewish" state would have persecuted non-Jewish persons. But he also wrote this gem in his diary:

      “When we occupy the land, we shall bring immediate benefits to the state that receives us. We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country. The property-owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly. Let the owners of immovable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back.

      “It goes without saying that we shall respectfully tolerate persons of other faiths and protect their property, their honor, and their freedom with the harshest means of coercion. This is another area in which we shall set the entire old world a wonderful example. At first, incidentally, people will avoid us. We are in bad odor. By the time the reshaping of world opinion in our favor has been completed, we shall be firmly established in our country,
      no longer fearing the influx of foreigners, and receiving our visitors with aristocratic benevolence and proud amiability.

      “The voluntary expropriation will be accomplished through our secret agents. The Company would pay excessive prices. We shall then sell only to Jews, and all real estate will be traded only among Jews. To be sure, we shall not be able to do this by declaring other sales invalid. Even if this did not run counter to the modem world’s sense of justice, our power would not suffice to force it through.”

      (Complete Herzl Diaries vol I p 88-89, 12 Jun 1895)

      So to get down to brass tacks, Herzl was being a hypocritical ass when he said persons of non-Jewish faith would be tolerated and their property respected, after suggesting the "penniless population" should be spirited across the border by denying it employment. Obviously this policy was going to be aimed primarily at non-Jews (although it's possible poor Jewish Palestinians would've been affected as well), so you can't deny Herzl premeditated persecuting non-Jewish persons in his Zionist state.

      What's more, that last sentence is clearly an admission that Herzl knew he was advocating a policy that would be antithetical to those who sympathized with the plight of the Jews in Europe.

      And as if great minds didn't think alike, what Herzl advocated here became the basis for the WZO-built kibbutzim/training farms (as distinct from those of the First Aliyah) which reserved membership for European Jews only and barred even Mideastern Jews. It was also the aim of the Mapai party that eventually founded Israel to gradually phase out employment of non-Jewish persons in the Yishuv economy.

      So you don't have much of a basis for pretending the New Yishuv and the existing former Ottoman society were going to integrate without the interference of Arab Nationalism. No Zionist leader at the time was even taking that moral highground - they viewed the presence of non-Jewish persons in the hypothetical "Jewish" state as an obstacle, full stop, and wanted to create a separate society.

  • Israeli rightist Smotrich lays out the vision for apartheid
    • You have 650k human beings, mostly children that live in places they consider to be their homes.

      JeffB, I don't know how old you are, but did you raise any objections at all while this was going on? (Ilan Peleg, "Human Rights in the West Bank and Gaza: Legacy and Politics," 2002)

      The Ottoman system and those which followed it, the British and the Jordanian, acknowledged that the land surrounding the village belong to the villagers "as common pastures or for the future development of the village." Miri was land over which the sultan continued to have ultimate ownership but "whose use he has granted to the public under certain conditions." In 1953 the Jordanians removed all restrictions on the possessors of miri land. Similarly, they declared all miri lands within the municipal areas to be legally held by their owners. The Likud policy broke with this long tradition, declaring mawat, miri, and matruke (land for public purposes) to be "state land."

      Boy oh boy, I'll just bet you were biting your nails at thought of several hundred thousand human beings losing their farming and grazing lands and being made destitute.

  • Ayelet Shaked and the fascist ideology
    • "Mass migrations often involve violence."

      Even though this was the major tactic of the Zionist movement, it wasn't the end in itself. They wanted to establish their own state authority over the land they were leading immigration to. That by definition was going to involve violence.

      "I don’t violently attack police officers so even though I understand they are willing to be violent"

      This whole analogy is risible and idiotic because Herzl's remarks about invading "Eretz Israel" weren't conditional on previous acts of violence against Jews in Palestine. He wanted an invasion to happen. I linked to an online copy of his entire diary so if you can find some material to prove me wrong, go ahead. The basic aim of the Zionist movement - a nation-state for a migrant population - was in itself a choice of violence. To say they would have preferred otherwise is inane.

      "That’s how the two people’s become Israelis and not Palestinians and Jews."

      Whatever, if you think this idea can be sold to Israelis and Palestinians, have fun with that. I'm neither, so I'm not the target audience. It probably won't work without Palestinians converting to Judaism, though.

    • JeffB: Because classical colonialism allows for the subject population to be absorbed into the dominant population’s economy it eliminates the incentive for genocide

      Only if you consider genocide killing the subject population down to the last possible individual. The Spanish and Portuguese colonization of the Americas involved both mass killings (maybe even to this day) and inter-marriage.

      That's beside my point, anyway. Apologists for Zionism tend to stand on the moral highground that the Zionist movement was forced into violence because of the other side. Herzl's quotes show he was contemplating violence well beforehand. And if he was willing to instigate a military invasion of Palestine, it follows he would have tolerated civilian casualties. So in the abstract his movement was a threat to those in the prospective "Jewish" state who weren't Jewish. He personally made the decision that Zionism was going to be a movement of violence.

    • And that was the sort of circumstance that calls for such a grave act.

      Jeff, here are two choice quotes of Herzl:

      "In the first excitement I wanted to write to Eulenburg and make proposals in case it was true. Germany would then have to welcome a Jewish settlement on Cyprus with delight. We would rally on Cyprus and one day go over to Eretz Israel and take it by force, as it was taken from us long ago." (Complete Herzl Diaries III 1023 - 4 Jan 1901)

      Remark from Herzl to Nordau:
      "(...) Look at Britain! It pours its excess population into the vast empire that it was able to acquire. Are we then so craven as to be frightened of the offer made to us? Starting from their national base, nations have built colonial empires that have made their fortunes. Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them, we shall launch the conquest of our Homeland. Let the lands between Kilimanjaro and Kenya become those of the first colony of Israel! They, rather than Edmond de Rothschild's philanthropic supported refugees, will constitute the real Rishon le-Zion, the first fruits of Zionism, of the New Israel."

      Zionism was most certainly a threat to the non-Jewish persons of the hypothetical "Jewish" state.

  • Shooting and crying, in 'The New Yorker'
    • JeffB: Jews no longer need fear the mood swings of European elites towards them, because of Israel which is one of the reasons diaspora Jews never give it up

      Jeff, I don't know if you ever saw this comment, but I've pointed out before a live case of Israel neglecting to rescue Jews who were persecuted by an ally state (Argentina):

      If there's ever a time when millions of Jews need to flee their "diaspora" country - and I hope that never happens - they may find out just what being a Zionist state really means.

  • Amazon pulls blank 'History of Palestinian People' -- which aims to dehumanize in order to subjugate
    • New book announcement: A History of Non-Violence in the Zionist Movement. Based on Herzl's published diaries and British and German archival sources, take a tour of the methods employed by the Zionist movement which did not somehow involve the backing of a militaristic European power.

      Okay, there might be enough material for about a dozen pages of actual text. Herzl's offers to bribe the Ottoman rulers may constitute non-violence.

  • 'To live or to perish' -- Norman Finkelstein on the Six-Day-War and its mythology
    • NF: I don’t buy the notion of an inescapable “original sin.” Terrible things happened in ’48. But it wasn’t Israel’s teleological fate to become what it has become. Choices were made along the way. No doubt, the choices were shaped by ideological and material factors. But still, they were choices.

      As much as I appreciate NF's takedown of Israeli talking points, this remark seems to be missing a few crucial details to the point it's almost disingenuous. For one, Native American reservations are some of the most de-developed places on earth. Granted they're US citizens but those who wish to live traditionally have few options and are denied control of their own treaty lands.

      Second, the US eventually conquered all the territory "from sea to shining sea" and brought all American Indians under its control regardless of where they were forced to reside, so sure, after destroying their traditional way of the life they can have the boon of US citizenship. Since Israel only has half of all Palestinians under its control, then, all it can really do is give them two rump ghetto states in "Yesha."

      As I've pointed out in other comments, the Zionists clearly started off as wanna-be occupiers given the agenda of Herzl to link up with Imperialist Powers and Ruppin, Weizmann, et. al's goal of engineering a settler-demographic majority in Palestine. The only way Israel couldn't have gotten worse is to stop being Zionist.

  • Why has the Occupation lasted this long?
    • I don't know if this was Gershon Shafir's intent, but it's hard to read his research in Land, Labor and not come away with the impression that if the WZO could have founded a state at that point based on their cooperative settlement program it would have been segregationist. The conduct towards the Jewish Yemenis in particular makes me err on the side of no sympathy for Zionism.

  • Beyond the 50th anniversary of the occupation: marking the 100-70-50-10 anniversaries with 'Together We Rise' curriculum
    • They also didn't endorse the creation of a colonial-settler majority that the Zionists were deliberately seeking. That said, some British officials like Balfour himself and Herbert Samuel were sympathetic to that aim. The LoN Mandates were built on weasel words and basically set-up for the express purpose of being abused.

  • Map map on the wall, who's most existing of them all?
    • JeffB: the immigration policy whose barriers had just induced millions of deaths

      As I point out in this comment, it makes little sense to claim that had the Yishuv not been constrained by the British immigration quotas, they would have rescued millions of Jews across Europe. IOW, that wasn't their agenda. Zionist propaganda has always hidden the fact of the Yishuv leadership being unprepared and unwilling to rescue Europe's Jews en masse behind British policy and Arab opposition. Ruppin compared a wave of unrestricted immigration to a flood of lava and Weizmann bluntly stated Zionist settlement was about "redemption" for the Jewish people, not a rescue mission.

      Ruppin may not have made it clear in public while he was alive, but he certainly didn't want any given Jew possible to join the colony he was building.

      All immigrants who became ill or were injured irreversibly during their stay in Palestine were forced by the PO and, later, by the Jewish Agency, to return to their ports of origin and for this purpose the authorities even agreed to pay for the ticket and other necessary expenses. From the beginning of the 1920s, those who were forced to leave included the chronically sick, who had already been ill in their countries of origin, victims of work accidents who could no longer support themselves, and also large families whose provider had died or become crippled and who were left with no means of support. By this method, among others, the PO and the Jewish Agency fostered the healthy “elements” and weeded out the weak and the ill, in the spirit of Ruppin’s eugenic planning.

      (Etan Bloom, Arthur Ruppin and the Production of the Modern Hebrew Culture, 260, 304 - can be found on scribd)

      Ruppin in another instance demonstrated his insincerity about rescuing Jews with a plan that relied on the majority of Jews fleeing Germany to assimilate in the US and never reach Palestine... while their currency back home would be used to sell German goods in Palestine to benefit the Yishuv. (In fact 60,000 Jewish Germans emigrated to Palestine before the war, 20,000 of whom actually utilized the ha'avara agreement).
      (Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement, 295, 379)

  • 'Why do I not cry out for the right of return?' -- an exchange between Uri Avnery and Salman Abu Sitta
    • Avnery: Both sides believed that it was an existential battle, that their very life was hanging in the balance. It is often forgotten that ethnic cleansing (not a familiar expression in those days) was practiced by both sides.

      This is why I find discussing 1947-48 in detail with an Israeli Zionist to be a fool's errand. Better to remind Avnery and his ilk that in the latter years of European empires conquering new overseas territory at will, Herzl approached Kaiser Wilhelm to discuss a German protectorate over Palestine.[*] That obviously fell through and Herzl decided direct German rule over Palestine would be a hindrance in the long run.

      Even so, Herzl wasn't done with the idea of using Germany for Zionist aims. Some months later he saw an article suggesting Britain and Germany exchange ownership of Cyprus and East Africa, prompting him to write this gem in his diary:

      ""In the first excitement I wanted to write to Eulenberg [German count who acted as intermediary between Herzl and the Kaiser] and make proposals in case it was true. Germany would have to welcome a Jewish settlement in Cyprus with delight. We would rally on Cyprus and one day go over to Eretz Israel and take it by force, as it was taken from us long ago."
      [Complete Herzl Diary vol. III p. 1023, 6 Jan. 1901
      cited in

      So it's not possible to deny the Zionist movement had the motive for violent conquest. It's only thanks to Britain they were able to defer that step until 1948.


  • Academic boycott campaign is growing fast at Trinity College Dublin
    • "The Israelis want “the rest of us” to move to Israel. Ending the diaspora is essentially the national mission."

      Jeff, I don't know if you're going to see this response but here's a comment I posted some time ago describing Israel's conduct vis-a-vis the Jews imprisoned by the Argentinian Junta in the late 70's.

      For all the flack we give Israel for being a racist state, it proved to be not that much of a "Jewish" state for the disappeared Jewish Argentinians.

  • Israel has had a 'Muslim ban' from the start
    • It is a haven from a world that has on multiple occasions committed genocide against us.

      This is one of those claims about Israel that doesn't hold up to rational examination. During the Cold War, Israel failed the Jews of Argentina in a huge way - Jewish Argentinians were 1/10 those killed in the "Dirty War" while Israel sold weapons to the Galtieri regime. I'd say this article engages in apologetics, but it's still damning enough:

      In the midst of the struggle between left and right, the Jews were accused by the right wing of supporting the left wing. Even though the Jewish community as a whole had no policy on this issue, the basis for these accusations could clearly be found in the anti-Semitism of the Catholic church, which repeated itself in the years 1976-1983 when the military rulers adopted an aggressive policy against leftist activists and Jews. The official reason for the persecutions was their membership in the above leftist underground organizations, although there were more than a few incidents in which detainees were tortured for no reason other than their being Jewish. In this political reality of a military regime that operated under an uncompromising policy and in blatant violation of human rights, the Israeli embassy and Jewish Agency offices had no recourse but to assist Jews who were detained and arrested on the one hand, and to cooperate with the military regime in realizing economic goals on the other. (...)

      The subject of the junta's violation of human rights was laid out in the extensive and professional report of the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP).45 The regime persecuted members of the left and fought its opponents in every way possible, including execution and torture of detainees in military camps and police prisons. There was a high ratio of young Jews among the desaparecidos and detainees. The humiliating treatment they received was extreme, particularly in the military camps, since anti-democratic, anti-Semitic, and Nazi tendencies were the rule among the leadership and junior officers.46 However, it should be emphasized that this negative attitude was individualistic, and was not the case for the Jewish collective as a whole. (...)

      From Israel's perspective, the foreign trade between the two countries served both parts of the Jewish people, that which resided in Zion and that in the diaspora. Conditioning the continuation of the economic ties in general and the military ties in particular on the release of the detainees would not have served the purpose since Israel was not the only or the largest supplier, and its place would have been filled by other suppliers, such as France, for instance.79 Journalist Marcel Zohar, in his unequivocally harsh criticism, claimed that Israel preferred to preserve the friendship over saving Jews. In exchange for this friendship, Israel made a profit of one billion dollars from arms deals over the entire period of the military junta regime.80 Israel claimed that giving up the economic profit would have been folly since this in itself would not have solved the problems of the Jews in Argentina. Furthermore, it would have hurt Israel's economy, causing a financial and economic loss as well as a blow to the country's political and social strength.

      It could well be that Israel would have suffered economically cutting all ties with Argentina, but it only shows that historically Israel has fallen way short of the haven for persecuted Jews that its supporters would sell it as. This is a bonafide example of Israel collaborating with a regime actively hostile to its own Jewish nationals. So really, Israel has proven worthless in fighting anything other than enemies of the Zionist project itself.

  • Tulsi Gabbard's screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement
    • Let's try something productive. Tell me if anything in this article is evidence of a foreign-backed jihadist invasion of Syria. I'd say it illustrates how the govt. started the violence, not to mention those taking up arms against the govt. were solidly Syrian.

      "Until now, the opposition against Assad has taken the form of peaceful protests by unarmed demonstrators, though authorities have claimed, without offering solid proof, that it was being led by armed gangs and propelled by foreign conspiracies. Activists said residents of the towns of Talbiseh and Rastan, which have been under attack since Sunday in central Homs province, decided to fight back with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, and at least four civilians were killed. (...)

      ""The protests began peacefully but the practices of security forces that humiliated the people eventually led to the use of arms,” he said. He said it was common for Syrians to have light weapons such as rifles in their homes, adding that in recent years weapons have been smuggled in from neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Iraq. (...)

      "Monday’s accounts were the first credible reports of serious resistance by residents taking up arms. It is not clear how widespread such resistance might be elsewhere, though there have been some reports of civilians fighting back in the town of Talkalakh near the border with Lebanon and the government and several rights group say more than 150 soldiers and policemen have been killed since the unrest began. (...)

      "The Local Coordination Committees in Syria said Assad’s fighters hit Tabliseh with artillery early Monday and that snipers were deployed on the roofs of mosques. Syrian troops, backed by tanks, have been conducting operations in Tabliseh, Rastan and the nearby town of Teir Maaleh since Sunday."

    • This would make Bashar al-Assad the first head of state in recorded history to lose most of his country to foreign infiltrators without a conventional military invasion, and to boot, while possessing an airforce which said infiltrators do not. Does that sound right?

    • Compared to the imperial Islamists, however, Assad looks pretty good

      Those who haven't been in a coma the last 5 years will notice the US only started conducting airstrikes in Syria in Sept. of 2014 and only against ISIS and JAN, not Assad's forces.

      Where that fits in an imperialist-backed Islamist regime change is a mystery.

      Uncle Sam is the primary culprit not Assad.

      This isn't a chicken-and-egg question. Syria faces a jihadist threat because Assad's repression backfired and lost him control of the country, not the other way around.

      As I said before, if Assad didn't start the conflict himself, he'd still be an incompetent for allowing such a level of infiltration into Syria.

  • Challenging anti-Semitism and the Trump presidency
    • It's when you get to the mischlinge that it becomes a thorny issue. Might want to drag out Himmler's corpse and ask him about that.

  • New Lebanon president says: refugees not welcome
    • don’t you mean coincidence or not?

      So are there anymore instances of US airstrikes killing SAA/pro-Assad militia or not? Based on googling "US airstrike kills Syrian troops" with all the results for the first 10 pages referring to the same incident late in Sept, that would be a no.

      at this point, what difference does it make who started the war?

      I guess you could ask the same question about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over the years we've had many posters explain in painstaking detail how the Zionist movement incremented toward "transfer" based on its desire to possess the land of Palestine, and no one on the anti-Zionist side was asking what difference does it make. Probably because the typical commentator here expects a solution that doesn't leave the Israeli state intact.

      and i don’t know where you come up w/this 2014 date, definitely not accurate.

      The first US airstrikes in Syria were on 22-23 Sept. 2014; guess what govt. forces were not targeted?

      As for the covert aid itself, I'd say the US role in Syria is more akin to the one it played in the Iran-Iraq war: It wants both sides to keep killing each other without a decisive victory. Hence the shipment of arms that are somehow used up quickly and don't include anti-tank or anti-aircraft (That stuff the fighters had to loot themselves from their former military as one article I linked above shows). Compared to the swift reaction to the rise of ISIS and the past two years of involvement in Iraq, it only makes the regime change theory in Syria look more flawed.

    • There are times when the US has backed Islamic extremist movements (i.e. 80's Afghanistan). Syria is not one of them. Nor has Obama pursued any regime change there.

      The US military has committed regime change three times this century. In the case of Libya and Afghanistan, it provided air support to allied local militias who did the dirty work on the ground. By my count, there's one notorious case of that in Syria, with the YPG in Kobane, and not at all with any rebel group while fighting Assad. For that matter, the USAF had no involvement whatsoever in Syria until the spread of ISIS across northern Iraq in Summer 2014, and only killed Assad soldiers for the first time a few months ago (Accident or not, in the preceding two years the US has only ever bombed enemies of Assad in Syria).

      In fact, here's a good indication of Washington's commitment to aiding the rebels. It should be clear to anyone following the situation across Syria and Iraq that the US priority is fighting ISIS, not overthrowing Assad. (And I don't need a reminder that ISIS exists mainly because of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.)

      What's more, most reportage on the early years of the conflict emphasizes the stinginess of Washington in arming the rebels. In line with that, there's a little something that GR article neglects to mention: Ford was barely listened to in Washington and is now persona non grata.

      While people were arguing over Syria in Washington, Ford was in Damascus, telling rebel fighters Americans were on their side. Things were promised but never arrived, though, making it hard for him to develop a relationship with them.

      On the other side of that coin, the US also prevented weapons like MANPADS from reaching rebel groups.

      Also, one thing defenders of Assad need to account for, how in the holy hell was the imperialist-backed opposition able to start the war at all? That Assad allowed foreign jihad groups to infiltrate Syria invalidates the reason he's supported by anti-imperialists. He should be impeached for incompetence. Of course I know the answer: Assad started the conflict by waging military war on his own protesting citizenry, and the jihadists moved in when the opposition started fighting back. There's no third possibility: Assad either started the war himself or he was too inept to protect Syria. Take your pick.

    • Regardless of who they're fleeing directly from, Assad is responsible for starting the war.

  • 'Atlantic' editor says that Israel's 1948 expulsion of Palestinians was not 'a tragedy'
    • As a supplement to Tree's quoted message above, major Zionist leaders expressed reluctance to take in masses of German Jewish refugees, with Ruppin comparing a wave of unfettered immigration to a flood of lava (561) and Weizmann bluntly stating the immediate rescue of Jews and a national project for lasting redemption of the Jewish people were mutually exclusive choices (561-62).

      German Zionist and Jewish Agency figures floated around numbers of Jews they could rescue from Germany which were rather pathetic. Ruppin proposed 200,000 over a decade in 1933 and later in '38 suggested 20,000 a year (565-66) while German Zionists (still active in Germany) gave similar figures. It makes little sense to claim that had the Yishuv been granted independence by '38, they certainly would have rescued millions of Jews across Europe.

      This is before discussing other big elephants in the room, like the British routing the Germans out of Egypt in '42. An independent Yishuv state would have been no less reliant on the British for its defense. That was probably going through Ben-Gurion's head when he remarked, "we'll fight the war as if there's no White Paper and fight the White Paper as if there's no war". Only after the war was over did the Haganah launch a rebellion against the British.

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • It comes from the oil crisis, it comes from terrorism, it comes from a century of war, and it comes from the fact they are non-Christian.

      Would you feel a bit embarrassed at learning the major Palestinian plane hijackers, George Habash, Wadi Haddad, Leila Khaled, were Christians? For good measure so is Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert Kennedy.

      RE: the '73 oil embargo, there's good reason to believe western oil companies colluded with OPEC on raising the price of oil, since they made a huge windfall while small-town gas stations were closing up. Besides that the embargo was a death-knell for OPEC countries using oil as a political weapon against the United States, and even the actual embargo was essentially ineffective at threatening US oil supplies.

      You might be making the point that the average American is too lazy to analyze these situations in-depth, but that doesn't mean you need to exhibit the same laziness.

  • What if the Times had sent Rudoren to Selma in 1965?
    • Uh, Jeff, the British were in the process of invading Palestine when the Balfour Declaration was issued. It was only a month afterward they took Jerusalem and still almost another year before they had the Galilee. And frankly, if Palestine hadn't been occupied by a friendly power after WWI, whatever the Zionists accomplished up until then would most likely have been rolled back. Certainly any further progress would have been dead in the water.

      Also, please read some scholarly material on the League of Nations Mandate system, because while the British did govern Palestine, they did not consider it part of their domain like India.

      Mandatory rule was different from earlier, discredited types of imperial rule, the British liberals and humanitarians who helped to frame it argued, being purely benevolent in its intent and intended to last only for a limited time. It was a transitional form, a
      halfway house between dependence and independence, perhaps even a tool for making those earlier and more exploitative forms of imperial rule obsolete. 5 The first serious scholarly investigations undertaken (often by Americans) in the 1920s tended to endorse that liberal view.
      The mandates system, the American legal scholar Quincy Wright concluded in his massive study published in 1930, was not only a practical and more humanitarian means of administering
      “backward areas,” but was having a spill-over effect as well, as the principles of trusteeship and tutelage on which it was based came to be accepted throughout the colonies.6

    • You got a legitimate complaint, they don’t.

      Got a newsflash for you JeffB: There's a Jewish state in Palestine today because some people who didn't live in the region couldn't mind their own beeswax. You don't get a hair up your ass about the British issuing the Balfour Decl. Ha ha different standard.

      It had the opportunity for happiness and immortality but chose greed and tribalism.

      And in supporting the Zionist movement that's exactly the choice you made. As with opposing the Palestinian refugees' right of return.

    • We don’t consider the descendant’s of the Frank’s hold on France to be a “crime” we consider it to be history. In the case of Jews we consider it to be a crime. That is precisely the problem.

      That's because Israel is a standing threat to the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens in the Green Line as well as those under occupation in the West Bank, Gaza and E. Jerusalem. No citizen of France who might be of Spanish descent is in danger of being expelled, nor apparently does any living person have an outstanding grievance with France on the basis of an ancient Frank-Visigoth conflict. Is anything about that rocket science?

    • JeffB: I addressed a line away from the part you quoted.

      See, that in itself is the intellectual dishonesty oldgeezer was talking about as my entire post, which was only three sentences long, clarified the settlers can disappear from the West Bank (As Salaita wished for) without violence. Their govt. can simply recall them back inside the Green Line and reverse its standing violation of international law by settling civilians in occupied territory. In contrast to the unpublished article Shaked reproduced which unabashedly called for specific actions against civilians.

      The fact is, wishing people who settle in occupied territory would disappear from said territory is not genocidal. It is they who are taking part in what could be a genocidal process. The 4th Geneva Convention forbids civilians of the occupying power from being transferred to the occupied territory because it may be part of the process of destroying the native population.

    • Me personally I’d like to dismiss national claims to land for groups since I think they are racist crap.

      In other words, goodbye Zionist movement and the Jewish state it produced. Why didn't you just say you were against that racist settler movement? Would have saved a lot of people the trouble of arguing with you.

      Edit: Ugh.

    • Let's try a thought experiment - when the German civilian settlers were removed from Poland in the closing days and immediately after WWII, was that genocide? This question pertains only to nationals of the Third Reich who were from Germany or Austria before 1 Sept. 1939 or those from the Baltic states who were imported into Poland, and excludes Polish citizens of German descent.


      Note that Shaked's controversial post was actually quoted verbatim from another writer: This is an article by the late Uri Elitzur, which was written 12 years ago, but remained unpublished. It is as relevant today as it was at the time. (From the Hebrew)

      So we are to believe in the "heat of war" she just happened to find an unpublished rant from 12 years ago and approvingly copied it to her FB. And she spoke hastily in saying it was relevant both now and at the time it was written. Give me a break.

      Edit: Supposed to be a response to Jeff B's first post in this talkback.

    • That's not a genocidal tweet because the West Bank settlers are, well, settlers. They are the ones involved in a potentially genocidal enterprise. Their govt. can subsidize their exit from the occupied territory as easily as their illegal squatting.

  • In support of a just sentence for Rasmea Odeh
    • Also, Rasmea's defense was based on demonstrating the immigration official who interviewed her had a faulty memory and could not reliably recall if she explicitly instructed Rasmea to report a conviction even if it was outside the US.

      She couldn't use the PTSD defense because the judge wouldn't let her mention being tortured. Obvious that's not contradicted by the defense she resorted to.

    • So, question, no one disputes Ms. Odeh's 1969 conviction was based on her own confession. If she lied about being tortured by the Israelis, what made her so honest as to confess in the first place?

  • Muslims are Nazis, 'USA Today' jokes
    • Then you'd concur with likening Nazism to Zionism, an extremist ideology which led to the targeting of civilians to create a religious-racial state. Or Christian European racism which has led to a number of genocides on most of the planet. Not to mention the cartoon is the product of someone who has no interest in analyzing or closely following any of the conflicts the listed paramilitary groups are taking part in. Hamas departed Syria so they would not drag Palestinians into the fighting, though Assad did drag Yarmouk into his own killing spree.

    • If you are determined to join Special Forces and become a sniper, nobody will stand in your way. Good luck, soldier!

      Don't give him any ideas.

  • Finkelstein on Joan Peters's legacy (and Dershowitz's legal troubles)
    • I'm going to do the really fun thing: A blow-by-blow response.

      Take for example his claim (elsewhere in his writings) that there were no Arabs who were open to Zionism. But the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement of 1919 was just one of several counter-examples (link to

      For all intents and purposes, Ruppin was correct on that much. The only Arabs willing to collaborate with or tolerate Zionism were those already in bed with the British. There was a rebellion against the British Mandate which required 20,000 extra soldiers and air power to put down.

      Also bear in mind when reading Ruppin’s writings that he started off as an extreme leftist, being a founder of Brit Shalom, but left the movement after the murderous Arab riots of August 1929. His writings thereafter have a different tone.

      He went from proposing a "parallel Arab colonization" through buying extra land in Syria for fellahin they evicted to "I believe in the transfer of whole villages". Different tone, maybe. Different agenda, no.

      I haven’t seen Palestinian writings stating that they must give up their claims to pre-1967 Israel because it would be immoral to have to drive out the Jews.

      And I haven't seen any Zionist leader from before 1948 remarking they would give up on creating a Jewish state if it meant dispossessing the Palestinians. There are plenty of quotes about population removal and justifying the previous evictions of the peasants, some bandied about in the material I linked above. (Ruppin cite p. 201, Shafir p. 86)

      Precisely! Therefore, the Jews had the right to oppose the colonization of their land without loss of political rights. That we were too weak for so long to physically oppose our occupiers does not detract from our right to restore our sovereignty.

      Remarks like this make your claims that no one had to be dispossessed for a Jewish state rather doubtful in their sincereity. Right here you are casting the farmers and workers, themselves eking out a precarious existence, in an adversarial light. Many of the immigrants to Palestine in the 19th century were refugees from other conflicts in the Ottoman Empire (e.g. the Crimean War). They were citizens of the Ottoman state and it's absurd to portray them as colonialists. And they had more of a right to settle in Palestine than European nationals who usually refused to take Ottoman citizenship (A legal requirement for permanent residence in the Empire).

      The Arab population grew mostly around the growing Jewish population palpably demonstrates how Zionism in practice not only didn’t drive out the fellahin, but actually increased their numbers. Second, those population figures prove that this was much more do to immigration than to the birth rate.

      This in particular is a myth that can't be buried deep enough. One of these days I might skim through From Time Immemorial just to see how Peters could fill up a 600 page book and yet miss this important fact:

      "According to official estimates, the population of Palestine grew from 750,000 at the census of 1922 to 1,765,000 at the end of 1944. In this period the Jewish part of the population rose from 84,000 to 554,000, and from 13 to 31 percent of the whole. Three-fourths of this expansion of the Jewish community was accounted for by immigration. Meanwhile the Arabs, though their proportion of the total population was falling, had increased by an even greater number-the Moslems alone from 589,000 to 1,061,000.* Of this Moslem growth by 472,000, only 19,000 was accounted for by immigration. The expansion of the Arab community by natural increase has been in fact one of the most striking features of Palestine's social history under the Mandate."

    • Robert in Occupied Palestine, I think we're past the point where researching the demographics of 19th century Palestine is going to matter. The real battleground is placing responsibility for the conflict as we know it today, and that falls squarely on the Zionist movement. They conspired to create a political state where settler immigrants would be the majority on land that was already inhabited and cultivated. Even if we reached a consensus on the population growth of 19th century Palestine, you'd still probably argue there was enough room for a Jewish state in part of the country.

      Therein lies the rub: By the time Hoveivei Zion, JCA and WZO settlement activity got underway, very little arable land was not in use (Mainly along the coast north of Jaffa and the Jezreel valley). Ruppin admitted in 1928 it would be difficult to settle new immigrants in Palestine without a mass dispossession:

      Ruppin claimed that there were deep and manifest conflicts of interests between Arabs and Jews, conflicts which would worsen as the Zionists gained more control of the land: “Land is the essential condition for putting down economic roots in Palestine […] wherever we purchase land and settle people on it – its current workers [the Arabs] must of necessity be removed, whether they be owners or tenants […] in future it will be much harder to purchase land, because sparsely settled land is no longer available – what is left is land settled with considerable density” (ibid.). 283 Ruppin to Kohn [30 May. 1928] in: (Bein 1968, III, 149-150).

      So while Israel apologists argue the Arabs started the conflict by opposing immigration, many Zionist figures back then were saying behind closed doors the presence of the fellahin was an obstacle.

      Herzl, Ruppin and Weizmann even came up with plans that were aborted. Both Herzl and Ruppin's plans were almost identical and formed when Palestine was still under the Turkish, to buy land in present-day Syria and pay off fellahin evicted by land purchases to move there. In 1939 Weizmann proposed evicting the Palestinian Druze of the Galilee to Jabal Druze (Syria).

      I think we're better off dwelling on these details than getting caught up in a pissing contest over who was immigrating to Palestine in the 1800's or who attacked first.

      Ruppin cite: (p. 375, 379)

      Herzl's JOLC plan:

      More quotes (Also Weizmann plan mentioned above):

      Background on settlement activity in 1800's Palestine

  • How a culture remembers its crimes is important: A review of 'American Sniper'
    • This description of American Sniper reminds me of Munich, which tried to make a humanitarian point and said a whole lot of nothing apart from "Israelis are nice killers". And likewise, Palestinians in that movie had no character other than jabbering about the liberation of Palestine. We're never going to get any more than this crap from Hollywood.

  • When Hagee vilifies Obama as 'anti-Semitic,' Cruz and Dershowitz don't walk out
  • Yad Vashem
    • Yonah: But in 1881, the primary reality was that of oppression and not the light from the Anglo countries.

      Yonah, I hope you're not suggesting that Zionism was the alternative. While some Germanic Zionists (including Herzl) liked the idea of their Ost brethren populating their own state, the first settlements built by the WZO were rigidly selective kibbutzim. I've cited this before:

      (p. 260, 304)

      All immigrants who became ill or were injured irreversibly during their stay in Palestine were forced by the PO and, later, by the Jewish Agency, to return to their ports of origin and for this purpose the authorities even agreed to pay for the ticket and other necessary expenses. From the beginning of the 1920s, those who were forced to leave included the chronically sick, who had already been ill in their countries of origin, victims of work accidents who could no longer support themselves, and also large families whose provider had died or become crippled and who were left with no means of support. By this method, among others, the PO and the Jewish Agency fostered the healthy “elements” and weeded out the weak and the ill, in the spirit of Ruppin’s eugenic planning.

      While the British placed quotas on immigration, the Jewish Agency was empowered to allocate the entry certificates (There was one unbreakable stipulation: No communists). As Segev revealed in "The Seventh Million", the St. Louis that was infamously turned away by the US-controlled Cuban harbor was also rejected by the Jewish Agency. There are reams of material in that book, the thesis on Arthur Ruppin and other studies that leave no doubt the WZO was not building a refuge for persecuted Jews and took in refugees only as an afterthought.

      To take a more macro view of things, it's common sense that a political movement which was antagonistic to the existing society (the Palestinians, naturally) was not a good way to create a refuge. Those resources used in building settlements in Palestine could have settled Jews in places big enough the local population wouldn't take it as encroachment. That would have been a more credible attempt at saving them even if hadn't worked. Zionism was a pet project whose apologists want to retroactively cast as a rescue mission.

      Finally, many more Jews saved themselves moving to the United States before the quotas were enacted, a fact acknowledged by some speakers at the early Zionist Congresses.

  • In travesty of justice, Rasmea Odeh found guilty despite history of Israeli torture
    • Rasmea deserves to go home to a free Palestine. It's the pogrom state of Israel that needs to be taken out of the middle east. No one believes this is about her technical violation of us law and clearly you don't either.

    • Ugh, that was supposed to be a blockquote. Whatever, here's the EI links.

      Also, her brother filled out her Visa application in 1995 and she filled out her own application for citizenship in 2004.

    • With all due respect, you're full of crap. The judge did not exclude the legitimacy of her conviction: It was presented to the jury as a given.

      As Jebson spoke, the charges Odeh was convicted of by the military court appeared on the screen standing behind his podium. The jury saw each charge, and then, each question she answered incorrectly on her application, zoomed in on in dramatic fashion.

      According to the EI writer, the govt. mentioned the bombings ten times in the closing arugments alone, and 50 times throughout the trial. The govt. played up what she was convicted for, and so the legitimacy of the Israeli military court was at the heart of the govt's case, nevermind the defense.

    • Did you follow the trial at all? The defense wasn't allowed to bring up torture - the judge ruled any testimony on it would not be admissible, and warned Ms. Odeh she could be held in contempt for discussing it. At best, the defense mentioned that she was convicted in a military court.

      Also, while her brother (already living in the US) filled out the application for her, she stated point blank that she thought the question only applied to the US, and that the Immigration official who interviewed her did not specify it applied anywhere in the world.

      Rather than throwing everything against the wall, the defense was heavily circumscribed in what they could use. Much of their case rested on demonstrating the Immigration official had a faulty memory and couldn't be relied on to remember instructing her to report any conviction outside the US.

      It should have been the state of Israel on trial, not Rasmea Odeh. Obviously that's what the judge was trying to prevent.

  • Defending Apartheid: Then in South Africa, now in Palestine
    • When I first found these articles (It might have been Ali Abunimah's twitter feed, but can't remember), I did a double take in case these were satirical. These talking points in favor of apartheid in South Africa and Palestine are straight out of madlibs.

      South Africa Shouldn’t Be Singled Out

      "Why is South Africa so harshly condemned while completely different standards apply to black Africa? Despite human rights violations in Zaire, President Bush applauds Mr. Muboto for his contribution in the Angola talks, while mentioning the atrocities in South Africa.

      "Is it that one form of repression is more acceptable than another, or is it that black/white oppression hits home? Or is it maybe that better conduct is expected of a white-ruled country than from black-ruled Africa?"

      "South African problems defy simplistic solutions put forward by supporters of disinvestment and boycott. Ethnically, the country is diverse. It is not solely an issue of blacks versus whites. There are at least 17 different black ethnics. Several of whom, such as the Zulu and the Xhosa, have a centuries-old history of hostility. Black rule is no guarantee that the mass of South African blacks will be freer and have a higher standard of living. It could mean less, as the history of other African nations suggests."

  • I quit my job at the Jewish Community Center over a pro-Israel rally and they called me an anti-semite
    • Then how do you justify Israel blowing up Palestinian hospitals?” Of course, this person had all the answers; Hamas is allegedly hiding missiles in hospitals.

      Along with the trope that Palestinian children are encouraged to confront Israeli soldiers (and throw stones at them), people who defend Israel assume a moral highground that's on shaky foundation. When the Zionist armed groups - Haganah, Etzel and Lechi - didn't have military bases and had to operate underground, they didn't behave any better than Hamas supposedly does. This writer on 972mag admits she was recruited by Etzel (Irgun) as a teenager and underwent training at a kindergarten (!). The Haganah had a youth organization called Gadna (Youth Battalion) which dug trenches and built fortifications in Jerusalem during May 1948.

      All three paramilitary groups hid grenades, machine guns and mortar shells in schools, synagogues and kibbutzim. (I haven't found any examples of hospitals being used, but put up the links, I'm collecting these.) Lechi used the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv while Irgun stashed rifles in the Hurva Synagogue of the Jewish Quarter (which weren't discovered until recently). Kibbutz Nahalal even invites visitors to look at the big hole in the ground used for an arms cache.

      So I for one am a little tired of hearing about the barbarism of Hamas while people remain ignorant of these facts.


  • Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria
    • I am reminded of the hostage situation in that Kenyan shopping center. Why is it we don’t hear more about the brutality and criminality of the “Kenyan regime”?

      Okay, seriously, I'm starting to think this is a post-modern performance art where we take Zionist talking points that have been refuted and scorned zillions of times here and superimpose them on another situation.

    • As has the Syrian army which has become quite a good fighting force dislodging barbarian hordes from one stronghold after another. Actually, for those who want to follow the Syrian Army progress in cleaning out the islamist mad-men from towns they have eviscerated

      Maybe Israel should elect Bashar prime minister so he can do the same with Gaza. They haven't really had a strong leader since General Blimpman. Seriously though, having Bashar in the government would be a huge PR boost for Israel if comments like this are any indication.

  • Avigdor's triumph: Israel reportedly wants to transfer northern villages into Palestinian state
    • What fascism in letting the Arabs stay at their place and just move the border so that their national state will be also their home?

      Denationalizing and ghettoizing them. Stripping them of citizenship on a racial basis. Of course if Israel ever decides to pull an Operation Barbarossa, Umm el-Fahm will be on the front lines.

  • Cyndi Lauper, the country you are planning to entertain imposes violent segregation, not equality
    • That’s not apartheid that’s just different standards. Separate countries can do that.

      You're an imp. Israelis who cross the Green Line are still under Israeli civil law, while Palestinians are subject to PA law and Israeli military courts. Americans living in Mexico are subject to Mexican law. Is the distinction too fine for you, or what?

    • The West Bank isn’t part of Israel so it is an occupation and any actions are 4th Geneva conventions violations. But the West Bank is part of Israel so Israel is an apartheid state.

      This seems to be you rewriting others' arguments because most anti-occupation/anti-Zionist speakers would not in a million years consider the West Bank part of Israel. However, Israel has created a system where the settlers can freely move across the Green Line as if the West Bank was part of Israel, while Palestinian freedom of movement is restricted within a matrix of checkpoints and roadblocks. Israel wants to have it two ways: treat the West Bank as part of its own territory for the purpose of its own Jewish nationals living there, and defer its final status to some "negotiated settlement" that's never going to take place so it doesn't have to grant the Palestinians citizenship (Which will end Israel as a Jewish state). This is the ABC's of the conflict, Ben Adam.

  • Mahmoud Abbas: Hero of the anti-boycott forces
    • Hannah Arendt’s detailed comparison of the effects of Israeli rabbinical law regarding personal status with the Nazi Nuremberg race laws

      You might appreciate this bit of irony regarding the British Emergency Regulations. (Israeli Land Seizure under Various Defense and Emergency Regulations, JPS vol. 14 no. 2 Winter 1985)

      On Feb. 7, 1946, the Jewish Bar Association convened in Tel-Aviv to protest these regulations. The meeting was attended by some four hundred lawyers. Yacob Shimshon Shapira, a leading attorney who, after 1948, became the Israeli Attorney General and Minister of Justice, described the regulations as follows:

      The regime established in Palestine with the publication of the Emergency Regulations is quite unique for enlightened countries. Even Nazi Germany didn't have such laws, and acts such as those perpetrated at Majdanek actually ran against the letter of German law. It is true we are assured that the Regulations are aimed solely against offenders and not against the entire population, but it will be remembered that the Nazi governor of occupied Oslo, too, declared no harm would befall citizens who would just go about their business as usual. No government is entitled to legislation of this kind.

  • 'It's hard to see why Israel won't follow white South Africa's road to extinction,' says 'Forward' writer
    • By the way, the British would not put the Mufti on trial for treason or collaboration on the grounds he was not a British subject, and the Foreign Office gave a collective *yawn* when the Jewish Agency submitted letters written by the Mufti and hearsay testimony from Rudolf Kasztner about his special relationship with Eichmann. The FO concluded that while he committed acts hostile to the Allies, there was no evidence he took part in any atrocity. (See The Mufti of Jerusalem by Philip Mattar.)

    • Of course, no European power has been willing to share nuclear technology with an Arab state.

      Almost forgot the Iraqi nuclear reactor was built by France. My bad.

    • Why haven’t the Saudis produced a technological society like the Israeli Jews? The Per Capita GDP is West European in amount

      Saudi has to buy technology while Israel receives it as a gift. Since you can only think in half-educated soundbites, that's closer to the reality. Of course, no European power has been willing to share nuclear technology with an Arab state.

      Kuwait is has a $58,000 GDP per capita. Where are its famous universities? Its patents? Its Nobel Prizes?

      If you think Nobel Prizes are a measure of superiority, guess what? Not one Jewish Nobel Prize winner is of Mideastern origin, while two winners (Baruj Benaceraf and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji) are of North African descent. None of the Jewish communities of Syria, Iraq or Yemen have produced a Nobel Laureate.

    • The Grand Mufti was a chief architect of the Holocaust.

      Chalk up yet another poster who doesn't understand why MW has moderation if someone can get by with this steaming pile of fertilizer.

      Great Video on the history.

      The video just gets stupider and stupider by the minute: it claims Hajj Amin al-Husseini founded Fateh (Founded in the late 50's in Kuwait), that he coordinated a terrorist attack with Hasan al-Banna (evidence?), that Hitler and Mussolini sent weapons (Germany had a policy of not antagonizing the British empire in the 30's; no way could the Palestinians get weapons from there), that he organized the Farhud (Not possible; the Farhud took place after the British reoccupied Iraq).

      Also, Wisliceny's testimony has never been substantiated and to anyone half-educated about the Third Reich, the idea they needed an outsider to convince them to exterminate the Jews is so beyond asinine, it should be regarded as Holocaust denial. The Mufti did play a role in recruitment of the Handschar division, but he did not "oversee" recruitment and training. In any case, the Mufti's collaboration was limited to himself; there was no pro-Axis movement in Palestine.

  • Deconstructing Netanyahu's tribute to Mandela
    • Those fatalities may not include the "infiltrators" shot by the IDF border guards during the first half of the 1950's and killed by mines laid along the armistice boundary. Morris estimates in Israel's Border Wars and Righteous Victims (Which duplicates much of that material and is easy to find cheap) that 2,700 to 5,000 Palestinians were killed attempting to reenter Israel (p. 274).

      I think one of the reasons Israel allowed a certain number of Palestinians to remain in the Green Line after 1948 is that at some point it was easier to keep tabs on those deemed less dangerous (The Christians of Illabun and Iqirt, though the latter village was demolished on Christmas day 1951) than to try and expel every last individual. The only reason Israel is 20% Arab today is a logistical failure, not because it has a conscience as that stupid Richard Cohen article in WP would have you believe.

  • Why Israel wanted Arafat dead
    • So am I. No one's forcing you to answer the noxious remarks. That said, there's definitely been a few posters here that made me wish this software had an ignore button, for readability's sake more than anything else.

  • Netanyahu's greatest fear: Linkage
    • The word “Quibla” (direction) is similar to the biblical Hebrew word “קבל” (Koval – in front of) which has connection to direction. The word is not in use today in modern Hebrew but Arabs still use it as “Kabel” (in front of, before).

      Interesting: The same root means receive (קיבל, מקבל) in modern Hebrew. Well, you have to stand in front of someone to receive it...

  • Joseph Massad on how 'Peace is War'
    • Sorry for the off-topic post but since Shmuel posted a Hebrew article I feel prompted to ask:

      מי שיודע בשפה הזאת תביט בספרי ילדים האלה ולומר לי שעברית טוב או לא, וללא בעיות בדקדוק מיוחד? תודה

      Would anyone who knows Hebrew mind looking at these children's books (Which were translated) and tell me if the usage of Hebrew is correct, especially the grammar?
      This one in particular has a line: זה היה מתאים גם לנו
      Can היה be used like that or did the writer want to use יהיה?

  • Nakba in The New Yorker, BDS in Variety
    • And although you are strong and well trained and resilient, you experience some sort of mental collapse. You feel the humanist education you received collapsing. And you see the Jewish soldiers, and you see the marching Arabs, and you feel heavy, and deeply sad. You feel you’re facing something immense that you cannot deal with, that you cannot even grasp.

      Articles like this are going to destroy nakba denial, only to replace it with the traumatized killer genre.

  • Rutgers roiled by fake eviction notices describing demolition of 25,000 Palestinian houses
    • It occurred to me after making that post that Eurosabra might actually be from Algeria before 1962. That would be interesting... for about 15 seconds.

    • "As someone who remembers the “War of the Posters” every night in Algiers"

      And I bet you rode a tank, held a general's rank, when the blitzkrieg raged. You also killed the czar and his ministers. Anastasia screamed in vain.

  • Mubarak says the road to Washington runs through Tel Aviv
  • 'Where Do You Stand?': A 1943 Yom Kippur sermon challenged the American Jewish community on Zionism
    • The way you phrase your arguments is somewhat interesting -- they're not based on factual merit so much as the views of certain people in an ascribed position of moral authority. Nevermind the logistical feasibility of Palestine as a refuge during the late 19th/early 20th centuries, "those who fought in the ghettos" knew better than "these particular American Jews" that Eretz Israel was the solution.

      There's just one problem -- The complete lack of any rational basis for assuming Palestine could accommodate more than a few hundred thousand additional people. During the 1850's, Palestine was an exporter of wheat; starting in the 20's, it had to import, and now Israel imports most of its cereals, fish and beef.[1] As you probably know, an Israel of 1 million people circa 1950's adopted an austerity program.

      Anyone who really does their homework on Zionism would understand the major bodies responsible for settling Palestine never intended to physically transplant the European Jewish communities and wanted to create a new Jewish body from the best elements of the old. The Palestine Office, founded by Ruppin, had a selective policy of placing Jews in the settlements and aiding their departure from Europe, and even sent back those who turned out to be unfit. [2] The idea that Zionism was a rescue mission foiled by the Arabs is propaganda.


      [2]‎ (p. 260, 304)

      All immigrants who became ill or were injured irreversibly during their stay in Palestine were forced by the PO and, later, by the Jewish Agency, to return to their ports of origin and for this purpose the authorities even agreed to pay for the ticket and other necessary expenses. From the beginning of the 1920s, those who were forced to leave included the chronically sick, who had already been ill in their countries of origin, victims of work accidents who could no longer support themselves, and also large families whose provider had died or become crippled and
      who were left with no means of support. By this method, among others, the PO and the Jewish Agency fostered the healthy “elements” and weeded out the weak and the ill, in the spirit of Ruppin’s eugenic planning.

  • A note from Roger Waters to Abe Foxman
  • Yahoo! features Middle East news from Glenn Beck-owned right-wing website
  • Bradley Manning faces 136 years in jail for exposing American war crimes
    • It's a free country, so you only get what you deserve. Yet it's only a free country if you're on the right side of the invasion of other countries. You're invited to join in the plunder or at least keep your head down. When you oppose the war-of-choice, it's not a free country anymore.

  • We gotta get out of Israel, if it's the last thing we ever do
    • Last year I made this post: "In all honesty, Mondo’s hasbara trolls are probably the smartest out there." I now retract that remark and apologize to jon s, yrn and Oleg R for overestimating their intelligence. It's not often I feel compelled to apologize for sarcasm.

  • 'I'm anti-Zionist,' Helen Thomas declared, in twilight of long career
    • Israel as Jewish state has at least as much right to exist as many modern Arab states, whose borders where artificially drawn by European imperial powers during the 19th and early 20th century.

      This is a disingenuous comparison. Israel was created so a colonial-settler group could become the majority within a previously-created colonial entity. The real parallel to the other Middle-Eastern states is with the British Mandate of Palestine. Instead of becoming an independent state like its neighbors, it was partitioned with most of the majority population expelled by force out of the usurped "Jewish state".

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