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Total number of comments: 24 (since 2009-10-18 23:35:01)

andrew r

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  • 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.

      link to

      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.

    • link to

      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."
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    • 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:
      link to (p. 375, 379)

      Herzl's JOLC plan:
      link to

      More quotes (Also Weizmann plan mentioned above):
      link to

      Background on settlement activity in 1800's Palestine
      link to

  • 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
    • Hagee should be aware this is anti-semitic.
      link to

      "'And they the hunters should hunt them,' that will be the Jews. 'From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.' If that doesn't describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can't see that."

  • 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.

      link to
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  • 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.

      link to

      link to

      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
      link to

      "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?"

      link to

      "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.

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