Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 28609 (since 2009-07-30 20:11:08)

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

Showing comments 28609 - 28601

  • Iran Deal coalition breaks apart, and J Street looks more and more like AIPAC
  • 'NYT' reporters parrot Israeli claims re cherry tomato
  • To condemn, or not to condemn
    • jon's scrapping the bottom of the hasbara barrel on this one. selling loose cigs on the street probably has less legal impact than rolling thru a stop sign. and he's comparing it to a war crime. worthless trying to counter argue with someone w/such a low integrity bar for false equivalence.

    • But I do believe that the intent of the set of laws is to protect both those under occupation and civilians in the unoccupied areas.

      if the intent of the law to protect civilians under occupation were intended to protect civilians in the unoccupied areas not under occupation they would have mentioned them. oh, they did mention them, they mentioned they were not supposed to be there. therefore why would the law be intended to provide for them?

    • I believe this the point of the law.

      which law are you referencing? the military rule? civil law? international law? law in general?

      It’s not dependent upon obedience by the other side, but rather each side is responsible for their own behavior

      obviously not if one is living under military rule. i'm very confused by this statement of yours. what are you talking about.

      how can one base ones actions on laws when the system one lives under allows the government to abduct you whenever they want with no charges and hold you indefinitely? or maybe you've never heard of administrative detention.

    • talknic, note how jon has changed the focus from 'protected people' to 'legitimate targets':

      “It does not make any sense that any Israeli in Occcupied Territory is a legitimate target”

      note what he's not addressing and what doesn't make sense? It does not make any sense that any Israeli in Occcupied Territory is afforded the status of protected person designed to protect civilians living under a hostile military rule. that's what doesn't make sense. why would a human rights body even consider making rules for the status of people who are not authorized to be there under international law?

      and then to claim israelis have the status of protected people living under occupation and palestinians should have the same status too? it's a little ass backwards.

    • Using your own twisted logic, any terrorist attack on the American civilian population by Iraqi/Pakistani/Afghani/Muslims as a retaliation for the civilian deaths in their countries from American military actions is totally fine and legitimate. In fact they should be commended for their choice of resistance. Am I understanding your views right, Annie?

      close, but unfortunately for you i definitely recognize the application of the particular logical fallacy you've chosen to apply, the strawman argument; by eliminating my conclusions/point (regarding "fault and responsibility" of the event) and replacing it with an alleged opinion (of your own choosing -- talk about twisted!) of the action itself ("fine and legitimate") and attributing it to me, then doubling down with the term "in fact" (which implies factuality or something previously established) regarding your own words falsely attributed to me. and then eliciting an answer from me regarding your made up lie.

      nice try, but a big #Fail on your part 4tec. way too transparent.

      Using the logic applied in my previous statement (the one you copied and pasted), any terrorist attack on the American civilian population by Iraqi/Pakistani/Afghani/Muslims as a retaliation for the civilian deaths in their countries from American military actions is, ultimately, the responsibility of the american government. see how easy that was? however, it most definitely wouldn't be fine with me!!!!

      as for "legitimate" that's probably not for me to either legitimize or not legitimize considering i'm not one of the millions of people killed or displaced in the massive ongoing effort of my government to conquer the middle east via destabilization. and (big and) since our government justifies the killing and displacement of innocent civilians as "collateral damage" when we invade foreign countries i feel it would be hypocritical of me to judge the legitimacy of the tactics of the very people we're imposing our will upon. so i won't.

      and thank you kris and just! my pleasure.

    • and this is rich:

      fully human agents with choices, however circumscribed by the terrible and criminal activity of illegal colonists.

      a couple things, notice how he doesn't say or address "however circumscribed by the terrible and criminal activity of" israeli forces? or the israeli system? or israeli occupation? or zionism?

      try saying that about a prisoner. you are a full human agent with choices, however circumscribed by the chain around your neck. what difference does a persons choice make, in comparison to a free man, when they have limited agency to implement that choice? a 'full human agent' implies an element of freedom. of course palestinians, like all humans, have minds and they can make choices. but if one is in a locked room and their available choices all lead to ones further imprisonment, death, the death of ones child and family -- or any other situation where all options lead to one inevitable gruesome fate --- it amounts to a taunt telling that person (or society) they are "a full human agents with choices" AS IF the available choices could alter their inevitable fate.

      all powerful governmental forces support (in practice, not withstanding what they say or intend) the continued ethnic cleansing of palestine. violent action could escalate that or it could entail the collaboration or pacification of palestinians which could drag out this inevitable action for decades. but palestinians (living under occupation) alone cannot change the balance of power.

      extending oneself to elicit condemnation of the actions of an oppressed people or prioritizing this condemnation as a means to an end (as if it will free those people or create peace in the region or for any so called benevolent reason) is a fools game. as if the condemnations of the left will garner anyone's freedom. it won't. plus, the author of this article claims the deniers of said condemnations have "mangled" responses. perhaps him and tokyobk and anyone else could conflate not condemning the killings means one supports the killings!

      make no mistake, this elicitation is not aimed at discrediting the perpetrators of the crime. it is aimed directly at the supporters of palestinians to discredit us or those amongst us. this is from the fbi website:

      Elicitation is a technique used to discreetly gather information. It is a conversation with a specific purpose: collect information that is not readily available and do so without raising suspicion that specific facts are being sought. It is usually non-threatening, easy to disguise, deniable, and effective. The conversation can be in person, over the phone, or in writing.

      Conducted by a skilled collector, elicitation will appear to be normal social or professional conversation. A person may never realize she was the target of elicitation or that she provided meaningful information.

      why is the left even being asked to condemn this action? because if we don't we "accept that you are led by primitive tribalism rather than principles." please!!! i'll not be dragged into this requirement to condemn. because there is none. i'm not morally bound to condemn the oppressed when their choice of resistance doesn't align with my personal morals or belief system. that's absurd.

    • what i find most telling about tokyobk is the threads and conversations he generally chooses to participate in. it strikes me as a tad theme based.

    • Page: 286
    • violence against advanced settlers and the brutal response is indeed how the west was won.

      iow, the first action is the violence against the settlers. you seriously crack me up. israel just responds to violence? is this how they will take over al aqsa? responding to violence?

    • israel will not be able to coordinate with the PA to apprehend the suspects.

    • The distinction under international humanitarian law with regarding who is and isn’t a protected person goes like this:

      this applies during wartime, not occupation. in occupation rules pertaining to 'protected people' apply to those civilians ruled by the hostile army.

    • I don’t think that because one side commits an act you think is wrong that justifies another from the other side.

      jon, i didn't address "justification", only responsibility. they have 2 different meanings.

      : to provide or be a good reason for (something) : to prove or show (something) to be just, right, or reasonable

      : to provide a good reason for the actions of (someone)

      i'll say it again:

      if the military is shooting civilians then they are responsible if their own citizens get targeted as a result.

      i don't think war is justified. i am also against the death penalty and don't think it's "justified" to kill someone if they are guilty of murder. i don't think if someone pokes your eye out it is "justified" to poke theirs out.

      the responsibility of this ongoing conflict lies on one side and one side only - the aggressor/oppressor - as well as those who support and empower the continued theft of palestine.

    • i recognize there are civilians in israel.

    • I did not condemn I am led by “primitive tribalism rather than principles” – and in reality, I have to confess, that’s true.

      except this isn't a board game where Meitner sets the rules. if you accept the premise that you are led by "primitive tribalism rather than principles" if you do not condemn the deaths then so be it. but i don't accept the premise. i don't think it's tribal to kill people in the act of committing a crime, i think it's normal. i wouldn't do it, but i won't condemn people who do.

      these people were colonists: They were participating in the Zionist colonisation of occupied Palestine. But they were also not taking active part in hostilities

      that's only true is you believe the act of colonization is not hostile. the people killed were actively participating in a war crime. link to

      here's another thing i think Meitner got wrong:

      Their children, thankfully, survived the attack.

      not to get too technical about it but the children were not targeted. they were not attacked.

      I have to say, I’ve seen many within the pro-Palestinian camp mangling their response.

      this is not a war, it's an occupation. in an occupation the "civilians" are the ones occupied under military rule who are afforded protection under international law during an occupation. so when Meitner says

      This is important, because it is the same protection that Palestinian civilians should also enjoy.

      i do not think that is correct. i think Palestinian civilians are the only people who qualify as "protected" here:

      The relevant international conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentaries, and other treaties by military scholars provide guidelines on such topics as rights and duties of the occupying power, protection of civilians.......

      Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare specify that "[t]erritory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army." The form of administration by which an occupying power exercises government authority over occupied territory is called "military government." Neither the Hague Conventions nor the Geneva Conventions specifically define or distinguish an act of "invasion." The terminology of "occupation" is used exclusively.

      the settlers are not "placed under the authority of the hostile army." in fact, israel uses the pretext of protecting their civilians to have such a huge military presents there. plus, the israeli government doesn't punish setters for killing or harming palestinians. this whole "are you going to condemn" this is meaningless. because if those condemnations are not backed by any kind of meaningful actions they are worthless. seriously, i could care less if the israeli gov condemns the duma killings, because no one will pay a price for those deaths. the only reason the targeted assassinations of Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Abu Daher have landed in court was because cameras were rolling. the only reason Mohammed Abu Khdeir's killers were apprehended was because camera were rolling when they kidnapped him. only when the world is watching and they get caught red handed does some sort of retribution come into play and then the killers are deemed mentally unstable or something. so there's no parity in the system. i don't accept adult settlers are civilians. their children yes, the adults no.

      show me the international law that allows a military force to declare war on the people they are occupying. to say the settlers are protected by laws of war is the same protection afforded to civilians in an occupation, i don't think that makes any sense.

      Supporters of Palestine were quick to condemn the burning to death of the Dawabsha family, but fall silent or choose to equivocate when colonists are murdered.

      i think that's because people have a right to resist occupation. i'm not sure there's any protected rights to colonize, that i am aware of.

      And an error made by the vast majority of people from all parts of the political compass – we are more accepting of killings perpetrated by those wearing uniforms or flying an F16 than by those not wearing such uniforms.

      well i would be the odd one out then. because i am definitely not more accepting of killings perpetrated by those wearing uniforms or flying an F16 than by those not wearing such uniforms.

      as far as i am concerned those people lost whatever right they had to call themselves civilians when they actively decided to participate in the theft of occupied palestinian territory.

      if this had taken place inside israel on the other side of the green line, i would consider the slain jewish people civilians.

    • . You seem to be saying that it’s OK to target the civilian population of a country if you are at war with the country.

      no, he was pretty clear on what he was saying:

      "the Zionist government is responsible as the military occupier."

      if the military is shooting civilians then they are responsible if their own citizens get targeted as a result. this is the price you pay as a society by keeping people locked up so you can steal their land and resources. it's israel's fault and responsibility, every death.

      just like when you commit a crime with a deadly weapon the ensuing deaths are considered your responsibility.

    • i read today they got off. the soldiers who assaulted the journalists.

    • nobody knows who killed that IDF officer and the woman next to him, and why, it may well have not been an act of combat

      one thing i noticed in the google translate of this article about the killings link to was the mention of Beit Furik "see the bend Beit Furik vehicle off the road" and i recognized the name of the town from the other day, less that a week ago.

      link to

      Ahmad Izzat Khatatbeh, 26, died from his wounds after being shot three times in the shoulder, chest and abdomen at the Beit Furik checkpoint last Friday.

      .... Khatatbeh’s death Thursday brings the total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the start of 2015 to 26, according to UN documentation. The number does not include Palestinian deaths caused by Israeli settlers.

      and Khatatbeh’s killing happened the day after Hadeel al-Hashlamoun was executed at a checkpoint too.

      a palestinian man, and a palestinian woman both killed by israel. so, it seems (likely) to me these recent murders could have been swift retribution for their deliberate murders. but i thought of this as soon as i heard about the recent killings, even before i read "Beit Furik".

  • Netanyahu's 44 seconds of silence at UN are being widely mocked -- 'pathetic,' 'creepy'
    • a video conference call with ... Obama that ended up coinciding with Netanyahu’s speech.

      funny. what are the chances obama planned the video conference to coincide w/the speech? great i'd say.

    • he's wrong anyway Maximus. the statement isn't something Neo-nazis and white nationalists say, much less "always parrot in the present time about Muslims or Arabs."

    • i'm sure they'll kill several people, that always happens anyway so why would it be different now. they don't say it blatantly, that they'll kill several ever time a jew dies, but that's what they do. it's just their normal MO. it's who they are.

    • they won't be finding the jewish baby killers kay.

      from the article:

      the IDF will surround a number of Palestinian villages in the vicinity of the attack to help the hunt for the terrorists.

      remember how they did that when the setter family was killed. they held a whole town hostage for a month until they got a "confession" from 2 teens. one who had come out of the hospital the night before the attack and could hardly walk, much less walk a few miles.

  • As Palestine's flag is raised at U.N., Abbas dumps Oslo security obligations
    • milx, i thought the statement was bold, it doesn't mean i think abbas is bold or will carry thru. the only statement i made in the article that was cut (aside from things like 'in the rose garden') was 'some people found it surprising, others not so much'. this partly expressed the lackluster nature of my own opinion - but - it didn't make the final cut.

      after presenting msm reactions (we're a news site, what others are saying matters) , i posted segments of the statements (opinions) of three experts i respect. the very first one i presented most represented my own opinion, which is why i chose it first of the 3:

      Rabbani ...

      said Abbas was grandstanding and failed to propose anything other than the same tired policies, just a repeat of what he’s been saying for over a decade. “The boy cried wolf and the sheep died of laughter. As expected, nothing new, at any level.”

      Even though Abbas is not stepping down, disbanding the PLO, calling for new elections, or ending military cooperation with Israel....Want to get serious about fulfilling the aspirations of Palestinian nationalism? Demand that Abbas evacuate security relationships with Israel and suspend all day-to-day municipal activities.

      speaking of bold, that's a very bold statement milx. and i'd even be more impressed with your critique if it weren't already expressed in the article. of course, buttu doesn't use the word "demand" (very bold of you):

      note Buttu:

      no practical significance unless and until he disbands the Palestinian Authority and begins pushing for equality in the form of one state.....immediately press for Israel’s isolation on the international stage and support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement until Israel’s apartheid regime is ended.

      critique Abbas’ ongoing collaboration with Israel

      here's me taking a swipe at that:

      nightmare scenario for Israel, not relying on Palestinians to participate in securing their own imprisonment.

      guess i should have spelled out the word "collaboration" to make it clearer.

      sorry you're disgusted i didn't write more of a (personal) opinion piece. my sentiments were expressed in the article via the experts i chose to quote. and i ended the article quoting erakat (fantastic) to express my personal revulsion towards the actions of my own government.

    • and the web. those were the good ol days for zionism.

  • Palestinian solidarity movement will 'grow and grow and... be impossible to stop' -- Slaughter to Clinton in 2011
    • echin, my point wasn't that it couldn't happen. there is no single nod option by the president that could make this possible or probable. it's going to require the regents of UC to pass the anti palestine policy. please read ckg's links, including greenwald's embed. this is related to a new 'tolerance' policy on UC campuses that has yet to be established. after a new regents committee was formed to write a new tolerance policy for UC campuses, after months the regents rejected that policy too. they sent them back to the drawing board because pressure was applied by advocates against palestinian rights on campuses. they want a policy that specifically targets anti zionism conflating it with anti semitism for the purpose of making political speech against israel as qualifying as tolerating racism which then allows those same groups to sue the college or demand the federal government quit funding the university based on a ruling they allow racism. so it would have to go through several steps, nothing like the blink of an eye. and it would be challenged in courts. if it came to this it would make massive national news. so i don't think it's going to happen -- that's my hunch. but i'm ready for a big showdown over it. there would be massive pushback because of the implications for campuses across the country. even tho the UC system is very large it wouldn't stop there if the regents passed a policy specifically targeting political speech against israel.

    • that advocacy for the Palestinian cause, will soon be exempted from constitutional free speech rule.

      efforts are being made but i think they will fail.

    • i wrote about this today but it's being held til tomorrow i guess. which is a tad of a waste of time because everyone will have read about it already. oh well.

  • UK activists target radio station's 'Win a trip to Israel' contest
    • Conservative aides said the measure was a response to growing concern about the “militant actions of leftwing councils” that they claimed was spurred on by the Labour leadership.

      oh that's rich. why not just ban the politics of the opposing party altogether.

    • do you have a twitter account? it's really easy you know. click on the twitter icon on the left of the article. once you have a twitter account it automatically connects. also, the hashtag for this action is #TragicMagic


      do you know what a hashtag is?

    • awesome activists in the UK as you well know stan ;)

    • i just tweeted them amigo, found their twitter feed googling magic 104.5 twitter. here it is. now bombard them everyone: @magicfm or just go here:

      link to

  • Israeli embassy's attack on Rosengarten just made her stronger
    • LOL. Make stuff up much?

      well what are you going on about then?

      I think I made my point. When you have a pro-Palestinian Holocaust survivor ....

      who called her that besides you? no one is making or "proving" your point.

      I think that the BDS movement never misses an opportunity to highlight Ms. Rosengarten’s past.

      so what? it's extraordinarily common when referencing people who are older to reflect on their past. i mean who says that about older people "why do you bring up their past". older people have stories to tell. they have experience. it's completely archetypal to have wise older people in communities everywhere (all over the world) and to revel older people for all the contributions they've made in their lives and/or experiences they've had. that's just normal. what's wrong with highlighting someones past? you sound envious or bitter hops. do you have a problem with her past?

    • hops, it just occurred to me that if you are in NY ( isn't that where you're based?) you could go to hear Lillian talk about her book next week. i just opened phil's link and it says

      "Lillian Rosengarten, in conversation with Philip Weiss"

      and you could ask lillian or phil these question in person. and/or you could buy the book.

    • of course, sorry! i just thought it was a funny thing to read. you're probably aware 99% of americans only speak one language. ok that's a joke, i know we're not that bad. but it's so not like europe where everyone speaks 7 languages.

      p.s. i have another excuse. sometimes (frequently) i read comments from the back pages where they are isolated, not in context with the conversation. i just found your comment amusing -- rolled my eyes like 'yeah right'. whereas, i should have shut up. my sincere apologies.

    • i didn't make a big deal about it, you brought it up. i also think it matters and have not argued otherwise. go bloviate on someone else hops.

    • You’ve never quite explained why Rosengarten’s survivor background is relevant

      because hophmi is not content to use his own imagination wrt to why Rosengarten’s grandfather and father both committed suicide, he wants the excruciating details about how that might have impacted the author, activist and speaker.

      or maybe he'll grace us with reasons why those suicides might not have had anything to do with the holocaust. or maybe he'll tell us how a lot of survivors got thru those terrible times without killing themselves and therefore those suicides represented weakness in her family. why there's probably so many derogatory ways hophmi can suggest uncomfortable things. all with the presumed aim of confronting phil. you never this and you never that and you never bla bla bla. let us count the ways.

    • not content to give your own opinion, you pretend to know what offends german people and try to squeeze your own narrow vision into theirs and write as tho you embody their mindframe. that would be impossible. no source, nothing. pff

    • what an excellent article. thanks so much Phil. and thank you Lillian, you are such a wonderful wonderful person.

    • a few of us don't speak german.

  • Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen wedding with US weapons, killing 131 civilians
    • this is an excellent report ben, and i appreciate it. one thing that really jumped put at me, that 90 billion figure. i checked the source of the source you linked to and here is what is says:

      . Since October 2010, Congress has been notified of proposed sales to Saudi Arabia of fighter aircraft, helicopters, missile defense systems, missiles, bombs, armored vehicles, and related equipment and services, with a potential value of more than $90 billion.
      Since March 2015, the U.S.-trained Saudi military has used U.S.-origin weaponry, U.S. logistical assistance, and shared intelligence to carry out strikes in Yemen. Some Members of Congress have expressed skepticism about Saudi leaders’ commitment to combating extremism and sharing U.S. policy priorities. However, U.S.-Saudi counterterrorism ties reportedly remain close, and Saudi forces also have participated in coalition strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria since 2014

      not that you implied all of that weaponry was targeting yemen, because you didn't, but since saudi arabia has been our coalition "partner" in syria, and as you point out "rich Saudi businessmen and even members of the royal family fund such groups " [al qaeda, i wonder how many civilians have been killed in all regions of the ME from sales of US weapons, and specifically where.

  • Israeli soldiers can't win war for 'Israel's survival' without American friends fighting with computers and checkbooks
    • How is this dishonest

      there's a difference between dishonesty and phil's term "intellectual dishonesty."

      Intellectual dishonesty is a failure to apply standards of rational evaluation that one is aware of, usually in a self-serving fashion. If one judges others more critically than oneself, that is intellectually dishonest.

  • Anti-WASP tropes in the 'NYT'
    • i've heard jewish american princess (jap) jokes about them having sex. something about filing their nails. are you sure you want to go there yonah? after all, like yours it is sort of demeaning to the male. unless you think it's males/husbands writing those thank you notes.

    • dan, maybe phil's wife meant that in 1990 nobody spoke it anymore, and the woody allen clip is even 20 years older. i didn't hear people talking like that where i was raised, maybe it's more of an east coast thing.

      I don’t know what the Jewish reference has to do with this. I’ve know a few catholic guys who would stereotype “Boston Brahmins” the same way.

      that's not the same thing as seeing it as fit to print, flaunting the insult so to speak. can you find something similar published somewhere as an example?

  • For the 'New York Times,' #PalestinianLivesDoNotMatter
    • link to

      In 1578 King Stefan Batory allowed Jews to settle down in the royal town of Augustow. He granted them the permission for unlimited trade and craft. The permission included the right to sell alcoholic beverages.

      It is supposed the first Jewish settlers came into the town a year before or, according to some sources – as early as 1564. [1.1]. Those days they established the first Jewish colony in the Suwalki Region (Suwalszczyzna).

      The oldest preserved sources confirm the presence of the Jews in Augustow, who mostly dealt with fishing and trade as from 1630. An independent Jewish community that owned a wooden synagogue and mikvah was established in 1674. In the 18th century Augustow became the seat of the “county kehilla” consisting of few surrounding towns and villages.

      In the mid-1760s there were 239 Jews in Augustow whose main occupation was hewing forest, timber floating from Gdansk and trading. Although the Russian government forbade Jewish from settling in the Polish-Russian-border town, that was in force from 1823 to 1862, the number of Jewish population kept increasing during the first half of the 19th century so that in 1860 it reached 45% of the total population in the town.

      In 1840 an impressive classical synagogue called the Great Synagogue (Hebrew: Beit ha-Knesset ha-Gadol) was erected in the corner of ulica Polna and ulica Zygmuntowska. There was also another synagogue, that had been built a bit earlier, operating in the intersection of ulica Zygmuntowska and ulica Szkolna. At the beginning of the 20th century, apart from the two previously mentioned synagogues at ulica Zygmuntowska there were three others that operated in the town - the first one was situated near ulica Mostowa (near the present-day “Albatros” restaurant), the second one – between ulica 3 Maja and ulica ks. Skorupki and the third one, erected in between 1925 – 1928 and called after its founders “Jatke Kalniz Beit Midrasz”, located at ulica Zabia, on the site where these days you can find the right wing of the Internal Revenue Service building.

      In the 1890s small groups of supporters of various Hasidic factions started to emerge in Augustow. Each of them had their own house of prayer.

      At the beginning of the 19th century, the Augustow Jews dealt mainly with craft (food processing, tanning and tailoring), small trade and fishing. Starting from the mid-1820s, some Jewish inhabitants made a living by working at the construction site of the Augustow Canal.

      In the second half of the 19th century a group of rich business people, merchants, tenants and owners of huge factories emerged from the Jewish community in Augustow whose businesses were ran over the local basis creating the financial elite of the town. At the end of the 19th century, almost 98% of all the industrial plants (breweries, brickyards, tanneries, tile works, a mead brewery, soap works, a water windmill, a foundry, sawmill, locksmith workshops) belonged to the Jewish business people. The town’s population included many Jewish shopkeepers, people who sold alcohol beverages and rented houses. Among those there were some who delivered food for the Russian garrison that had stationed there from 1868. In the 1880s and 1890s, Jewish business people set up small textile factories in Augustow. [1.2]. There was also a small group of representatives of the Jewish community worked in the education, health service and administration.

      In the mid-1880s the first Jewish political parties were established in Augustow. The Zionist organization was established there in 1885 and in 1905 – the General Jewish Labour Union “Bund”– the left-wing, secular and anti-Zionist party whose activists participated in the strikes and demonstrations during the revolution in 1905.[1.3].

      During the World War 1 many Jewish inhabitants left Augustow and most of them never returned to the town. It led to the decreasing in the number of Jews there. In 1921, the Augustow Community consisted of just 2,261 members – mainly craftsmen who dealt with tailoring. [1.4].

    • Anna Agustovsky is not a Jewish name,

      link to

      5 LEYBOVICH Meyer Fayvish Son 18 in 1811 Died in 1815
      15 LEYBOVICH Perka Wife 81
      16 SURMANSKY Zundel Iudel Head of household 46
      16 SURMANSKY Gnesia? Wife 35
      16 SURMANSKY Golda Zundel Daughter 4
      17 BERKOVICH Yankel Head of household 35
      17 BERKOVICH Iudesh Wife 31
      18 MALAKH Abel Movsha Head of household 59
      18 MALAKH Movsha Abel Son 30
      18 MALAKH Chayka Wife 60
      18 MALAKH Leah Abel Daughter 18
      18 MALAKH Dobra Daughter-in-Law 25
      19 CHERNOVSKY Mark Fayvish Head of household 30 Came from Ariogala in 1812
      19 CHERNOVSKY Ester Wife 43 Came from Ariogala in 1812
      19 CHERNOVSKY Reyza Mark Daughter 10 Came from Ariogala in 1812
      20 AGUSTOVSKY Chaim Berko Head of household 30 Came from Ariogala in 1812
      20 AGUSTOVSKY Mariasha Wife 30 Came from Ariogala in 1812
      20 AGUSTOVSKY Fishko Berko Brother 33
      21 KREMENOVSKY Leyb Eliash Head of household 50
      21 KREMENOVSKY Yente Wife 45
      22 VILNOVSKY? Movsha Chaim Head of household 25
      22 VILNOVSKY? Minde Wife 20

      google is your friend yonah. that took me all of 3 seconds to find.

  • Israel's UN amb. called for annexing West Bank, tries to delete evidence

    • Hotovely also said that any European country that introduces the labelling of settlement products will be regarded as supporting a boycott of Israel and will remove itself from playing a significant role in the Middle East conflict. She described labelling as a “red line” for Israel and threatened to downgrade Israel’s economic ties with countries that implement it.

      but it's not up to Hotovely or israel to decide who plays a significant role in the Middle East conflict. israel has had its best friend and ally plays a "significant role in the Middle East conflict" for years, and everything has gotten continually worse. and i do think israel should cut economic ties with countries that implement the labeling. i think israel should cut economic ties with every country and other countries with israel. israel should be isolated internationally until it complies with international law.

  • Amnesty: Killing of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun was 'extrajudicial execution'
    • The bombing was strategic and unlike Palestinian terrorist attacks and suicide bombers was not intended to harm innocent civilians.

      shorter mayhem:

      our goals are strategic, we merely want your land therefor we did not harm for harm’s sake by blowing up your home and killing your wife and babies cuz our intent was merely dominion over your land, not intended to harm innocent civilians just because we were aware there were innocent civilians in your home when our bomb we set went off knowing it would kill everything in the vicinity, we did not cause harm for harm’s sake. plus, we made a phone call and told whoever answered the phone a bomb would go off. our intent is merely to capture your land --strategically and by any means. therefore all suggestion of our complicity in your families death is circumstantial because our massacre had strategic purpose. therefore your insinuation that ‘Zionists’ cause harm for harm’s sake is baseless and intended to push your agenda . you willfully ignore our strategic goals that make lies of your claims and assertions.

      sure dude. zzzzzzz

    • The shelter was located in an Arab town.

      duma is an arab town too.

    • "reflect the fact that they felt that they could just wing this one as there was no human face which could be associated with the atrocity."

      i agree. but i wouldn't be surprised if Forensic Architecture studied this case and the condemnations dragged out for a long time. contrary to what commentor Yoni Falic just mentioned, that " soldiers that murdered Hadil should be charged and tried under" international crimes of genocide, i think this crime can be added on to a whole list of others that point directly to the israeli government. and i do think cumulatively it amounts to genocide.

    • I am not a specialist in international law

      well, you were off to a good start anyway. i agree w/piotr

      the responsibility lies chiefly with people in command position who organize, instruct, approve etc. In particular, I feel that there is a huge correlation between hysterical killings like Hadeel case and bouts of hysteria emanating from Knesset and the government.

  • Mental health in Gaza: a subterranean malaise
    • what a great idea katie

    • pam, while i fully agree "alternative" ways to engage people in mental health is highly effective and certainly the most common form of healing (i find working in my garden keeps me somewhat sane), especially when it's integrated and advanced with trained professionals (like drama/improv w/trained therapists) i think ideas like this: anything labeled “therapy” or “psychological” (heaven forbid you say “psychiatric”) carries a heavy social stigma. In the minds of most Gazans, admitting to emotional problems is tantamount to exposing yourself as “weak” , will not remain stagnant and will evolve over time.

      my mom told me once she was way into her adulthood when her father told her he had once had a sister who lived in a closet. she had some severe mental illness from birth and that's just what people did back then. people like that were kept in closets or mental institutions so the world didn't see them, ever. my mom never met her aunt and never knew she existed until after her death.

      but people and societies change over time and sometimes it's radical events that make those changes happen faster. you can't hold back the future. it won't always be that in gaza the idea of seeking treatment for depression, mental health or mental illness will be an anomaly. it might even be sooner than one thinks. in gaza, there's undoubtedly a collective trauma/depression. how could there not be. given their circumstance i could imagine a gazan being the next world leader or innovator in discoveries surrounding mental health. really. their society and culture, they are not stagnant. it won't always be like this. one of the identifying features of depression is the idea it will never change. but nothing remains the same, that's an illusion. time continues and with it people's minds evolve. even in gaza.

    • contribute to We Are Not Numbers
      link to
      link to

      with a specific mention you'd like your donation to fund his projects. or one could directly donate to Maan Development Center in Gaza where he is a therapist.

      link to

      but as pam said because of the stigma, perhaps funding thru We Are Not Numbers it would fund the kinds of theatre projects that could serve the same function.

    • also, speaking of theatre in gaza and the excellent We Are Not Numbers project and Gaza’s Theatre for Everybody, --- the Gaza manager for We Are Not Numbers, Mohammed Alhammami, wrote and excellent article here about a short version of Tolstoy’s classic “War and Peace.” recently performed in Gaza. link to

      really fantastic. i wish they could skype it to the bay area!

    • Pam, thanks so much for calling attention to the radically crucial issue of mental health in gaza. it really astounding to try to comprehend how people are surviving there under these conditions, especially considering many are coping with both mental and physical health problems. for too many children it's all they've ever known.

    • thanks dickerson! they are working in collaboration with PCRF’s Gaza mental health project > link to , which coincidentally i am writing an article about right now.

      Dr. Bahar Hashemi, psychiatrist from the bay area, specializing in children and adolescents (stanford university med center) is volunteering with PCRF for the month. this is also the same project cycling for Gaza raised money for (you might recall the article i wrote about their hague trip last summer)

      check out who they are (their about page > link to ), very impressive.

  • 'NYT' piece on stonethrowing leaves out 'occupation'
    • it's a real battle on US campuses keith, and they're probably using california as a test ground for the nation. also, out here in the west coast, aside fron stanford, the UC system is our ivy league. so this is a serious battle they are waging for years. their aim is to threaten the UC system with cutting off funds which can be done if the school is shown to be violating certain laws. so the attack isn't really against the students, it's against the schools themselves. for one thing the schools have money to fight these battles where students do not. this is a very big deal. but i have confidence we'll win. and yes of course applying the anti semitism label "conjures up the emotional response" but i don't think it will prevail in curtailing freedom of speech.

    • what's are "reverse-zionists"? i googled the term and it was unavailable.

    • thanks keith, it's a great article and a topic i started a post about yesterday and then saw glen's article. the regents meeting was last week and this is an issue that's been going down for awhile involving the UC system here in calif. ben norton wrote an article about it here in july too. plus, we've covered the UC system and all that led up to it in many articles here. the bottom line is, after one failure after another beating down the BDS movement on UC campuses, including investigations regarding anti semitism going all the way to the WH and all of them being dropped -- they are now trying to change the definition in UC tolerance policy (they've already tried to change it in the states legislature). here's some background:

      link to

  • Remi Kanazi will be a poet for as long as the western media is on coffee break
    • proponent of no dialogue (if that is what is implied by the poet...)

      no, it's not primarily what's implied by idea “would Hillel, J street/and university Zionist groups/come to a meeting to dialogue/on whether or not Jews should/have equal rights in America?”

      if you answer the question and then look at why you answered that way, that's where you'll find the point.

  • Syrian and Palestinian refugees can be helped by better representation on TV and in film
    • i know!! sooo awesome

    • ps: i left you another comment earlier (below) which landed in the wrong place.

      With thousands of new (presumably) genuine Syrian war refugees arriving every day, what are Tunisians and Albanians still doing here taking up precious shelter space and participating in gang knife-fights?

      i totally agree people participating in gang knife fights, rapes, anything like that are wasting precious space during an immigrant/ refugee camp crisis situation (at the minimum). kick them out or throw them in jail.

    • hey scott, first off thanks for your link. i found it very interesting especially his link to the AMA on reddit. i read them both for a long time. but i disagree w/your characterization of krauss' comment as "pointing to some of the difficulties Europe has with mass Muslim immigration " and feel very differently about the content/quality of your link and what i think ruffled some feathers here.

      to begin with your link primarily(as far as i could tell) focused mostly on refugees/incoming migrant -- people who were in transition, primarily addressing the current crisis (refugees flooding in). krauss didn't.

      day to day contact with Arabs in general and Arab muslims in particular ......The problem isn’t that they haven’t been exposed to enough people, the problem is that they have and that they don’t like what they see.

      so this remark is not primarily about the current refugee crisis, it's arabs/muslims per se (in europe) and also a sweeping judgement about european opinion in general and their reaction to them.

      and it's a significant overkill. for example, in the section you chose to copy/paste:

      Dutch local governments reveals 80% have no place for migrants, 25% anticipate resistance from local citizens esp. based on fear of competition for subsidized housing


      Majority of Germany continues to believe migrants can be accommodated, but majority shrank over last 2 weeks from 62 to 57 percent.

      the first one, 80% local governments say don't have facilities to deal with the current crisis -- nothing racist there, maybe they are just being honest. and 25% of local govs "anticipate resistance from local citizens based...competition for subsidized housing". that's a far cry from 'europeans don't like what they see when they look at arabs/muslims.'

      can you see the difference? and in germany "accommodating" a huge influx of refugees during a crisis, the numbers drop 5% over the last 2 weeks. so what does that say? it doesn't says those 5% don't like arabs and muslims, it says they don't think they can accommodate so many more people. and even still the majority does think they can accommodate them. it's just a completely different argument.

      then he links to an article in germany specifically about conditions in the refugee camps in a crisis situation , but doesn't mention that, and says this, implying it pertains to the culture at large:

      A lot of girls are at risk of forced prostitution and rape, often from men who have medieval views on women’s rights. These are women who have fled the region and are now subject to the cultural norms of extremists who are in large part responsible for making the Middle East such a toxic place for women and sexual minorities. You think people don’t notice these things?

      apples and oranges. there are more examples where that came from.

      and, super congrats to susan w/$97,263 and 36 hours to go. looks like she'll make her 100k in kickstarters deadline! this is exciting.

    • Follow the link everybody and you will see Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf only has 67 more hours to go on the kickstarter campaign and the goal is $100,000 and it's already at $91,191 !!!!

      that's amazing. i so hope you make it susan.

      link to

    • Thank you Susan. this looks like an incredible project. thanks so much for making this film and posting it here. i'm going to donate to your film and hope you make enough to finish it!


      krauss, how unfortunate (imho) the thread on this amazing article and project have started with your comment.

      That’s only true from an American perspective

      what's only true from an american perspective?

      The problem isn’t that they haven’t been exposed to enough people, the problem is that they have and that they don’t like what they see.

      Just take a look at this:

      i don't think anyone is qualified to determine what "they" like or don't like because i don't think there is a unified opinion of "Arabs in general and Arab muslims in particular" in europe. and your example of muslims (in general) in europe is a refugee facility in germany housing 10 thousand people, many fleeing from war who just arrived. it's an emergency facility krauss. all you need is a few extremists in a densely crowded place like that to wreck havoc on the community. i really don't think it's an appropriate microscopic view of arab/muslim communities in europe in general.

      re your bbc link, did you notice

      Not all cases would have taken place in the past three months - some may have been picked up at routine appointments for other health issues many years after the incidents occurred.

      And the report did not look at whether the cases took place in the UK or abroad....

      And many of the cases recorded by the NHS in the last three months will have not have taken place recently.

      out of 2.5 plus million muslim people in england (roughly 1/2 are women), they've discovered a 1000 cases of female mutilation by health professionals in a 3 month period, which included women who reported it themselves (presumably having heard of the study). however, there's no mention of how old most of these women are. the grotesque practice is now illegal there. but a woman who is 30, 40 or older would have undergone this mutilation decades ago.

      They show nine cases where girls were under 18 when first seen.

      now that's really gross. but i'm not sure in a population of over a million females how representative that is of the muslim population in england in general, given the article omitted informing the reader how large the 'focus group' was ie, how many women and girls had this data recorded? how many clinics or hospitals participated in the The Health and Social Care Information Centre surveys which will become mandatory in october.

      FGM reported by the women and girls themselves and others recorded by clinicians during appointments.

      nor did they mention how many were reported by the clinicians vs reported by the women and girls themselves. all of this information makes a difference in assessing how pervasive this practice is today vs 20,30,40,50, or 60 years ago (or more). lots of people over 40 go to the doctors, so how many women, of the 1000 they discovered were over 30? more that 1/2, at least? or 3/4? or 90%? i'm just not sure this bbc article is proving whatever point you're making about muslims communities in general in europe, or england for that matter. still, it's huge problem but i think it's on its way to being eradicated completely. i hope so anyway.

      The real story isn’t the 3 girls. It’s the increasing reactionary development of the community at large, the advance of Islamists.

      according to the new york times? shocking. you've chosen to highlight a facility of fleeing refugees, a female mutilation study in the UK (highlighting 9 cases of youth some or all of whom could have reported this abuse themselves), and a famous story of 3 girls who ran off to marry extremists. and you're claiming most europeans don't like coming in contact w/muslims (and "arabs in general") based on these examples.

      hmmm. sounding rather bigotted/islamophobic if you ask me krauss.

  • Settlers gawk as Palestinian woman lies dying at checkpoint (Update)
    • wow "i'm jewish from israel, and you're f'ing nothing". i wish they showed even more of that video.

    • sure catalan, why don't you get the oppressive apartheid forces to stop slaughtering people and be nice and then we can use nice words to talk about them. it's human nature when horrible things happen to express yourself. besides, why would anyone want to "avoid the human bias" when innocent people are getting brutally murdered by a military force. any normal person is going to have a bias against that. why would anyone want to force people to use nice language under those circumstances.

      everyone has personal bias anyway. i'm just over prioritizing nazis as the end all end all evil in this world. it's so yesteryear - so last century. i'm holocausted out so to speak. i get enough of nazis in hollywood. i think we should move on. besides, nazis didn't operate a laboratory for cruelty to humans for decades - taking place in ghetto sized cement cages w/humans as lab rats testing modern weaponry on them for their personal profit so they could sell them as field tested a slow motion drawn out genocide the whole world can watched year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year now did they?

      it takes a real special kind of society to keep that up year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year after year now doesn't it? and all their brain washed minions parroting the hasbrat talking points of their masters over the internet for the world to witness, all that's going down in history too. their big time billionaires and their big time lying think tanks designing lying words and catch phrases for the little people like -- you know who.

      the nazis? pf! they'll slide into the dustbin of history like americas genocide of native americans did - and the hypocritical museums cropping up all across the globe will be constant reminders how the victims justified the 21st century battle going on right before our eyes. now won't that be the lesson for the kids! the first ongoing human laboratory that can be witnessed thru modern technology in (almost) real time. make no mistake, this is what's going down in history now zionism (state sponsored terrorism) vs palestine (code for 'mankind'). and future generations, ultimately, will be who's to decide what's worse - cumulatively -- and who's worse --cumulatively -- and what's the greatest danger for the future of humanity in our new world order surveillance society with our police all decked out for 'domestic terrorism' ala israel/zionist style. having fun yet? yeah, it's dirty dirty. and you're protecting the bad guys. so why on earth would we want 'no bias' around here?

      tag you're it.

    • and even if they did an investigation and found out she held no knife it wouldn't make a difference because iof are allowed to slaughter palestinian people at checkpoints if they even sense they could be in danger or for any other reason. it won't make any difference.

      i remember that young boy, he was foraging on his land like he did every afternoon during that season. they lay in wait for him like the hunters they are, under a bush with their faces all painted like a child's game. they slaughtered the boy like an animal as he tried to cross into his land near the fence. a child.

    • i doubt they assign hebron checkpoint duty, or any checkpoint duty, randomly. seriously. and especially on the holidays.

      the Israeli government assigned the most enraged “soldiers” to guard the checkpoints

      or the most racist, unfeeling and/or callous. the kind that would think nothing of pumping bullets into a girl. but it wouldn't have to be an enraged person. it could be the most robotic. some killers don't stress about it. snipers could care less.

    • inexcusable for its unconditional and ongoing support of Israel. It is indefensible and justified by nothing. -

      it's so frustrating inbound. i swear i'd go out of my mind if i let it get to me every moment of every day. and when events like this gruesome murder happen there's no way it doesn't incite people and lead to radical reactions from the community -- obviously including comments. i mean how can you hear about this stuff as a normal person and not just flip out. everyone responds in their own way. when i first heard about it, almost immediately after news got out because people send us tips, my very first reaction was something really horrid (but i happen to think it's true) and not the sort of thing i generally share publicly as we're targeted and some rightwinger would probably write a blog post about it and screenshoot it and every time someone googled my name it would pop up..if you know what i mean, it's happened before. but i did reply in the email -- immediately. something about holidays so you can just imagine.

      i always remind myself however stressful it seems to me, it is nothing compared to what palestinians endure which is like a zillion plus of whatever i experience. sumud -- not being my natural mental habitat, continued harping on nazis could potentially drive me up a wall if i had to read it non stop.

    • I had no idea Palestinian 19 year old students wore the burka

      so what? educate yourself. sometimes muslim women wear burqas, i saw them in palestine, eqypt and lebanon. what difference does it make how old they are? do yourself a favor, google "palestine woman in burqa" by image.

      Correct me here

      Surely every single west bank Palestinian understands checkpoint procedure from a young age…

      no, it's for you to provide some kind of evidence burqas are not allowed at israeli military checkpoints in palestine. if they have a problem with burqas surely there's some policy statement about it like in france. i've never heard of such a thing. or should women in burqas expect to get shot going thru a checkpoint? is the message here?

      Surely every single west bank Palestinian student understands a few Hebrew words…

      a few words? you've got it backwards. the soldiers are in palestine, they should learn a few words in arabic so they can more easily communicate with the people they are oppressing. words like 'stop, turn around' if the chinese set up checkpoints outside your door and started ordering you around are you blamed for not understanding chinese?

    • How do you travel through a checkpoint in a full burqa?

      as calmly as possible.

    • no she did not die quickly. not til the evening many hours and operations later.

    • well, just for the record echin, comparing zionists to nazis per se is not against comment policy here but i'm not particularly fond of reading them. i don't like threads all full of nazi this and nazi that. i don't like clearing comments and having to read a bunch of nazi stuff. it's just yuk. so while you might have a point and think your goal is worthy (harping on it - no if buts etc) i wouldn't advise harping on it all the time here. while i might not trash them, i might scroll right on past them and let another mod clear them or trash them at their discretion later whenever they happen to show up -- like tomorrow. you know how sometimes when you read a thread and might kind of gloss over some people's comments. that's always an option for me too. just saying.

    • settlers in Hebron are a unique brand of scum. Primitive filthy and evil

      i agree completely

    • oh that's creepy lysias

      also, while i am here i thought i'd mention to everyone, i just updated the article by adding this new recently released video at the base. i don't recommend it. just .. so sad.

    • the shadow from the sun in the two photos indicate a significant amount of time has passed between the two photos.

      also, the way the knife lines up with the shadow in the second photo is not convincing

    • keep harping on it ... the Zionists are the new Nazis, no ifs, buts, ... about it.

      i don't agree for a number of reasons.

    • i looked in trash, nothing there from either of you. therefore i would suggest the entire article was replaced for some reason which does happen on occasion for tech reasons (like my nabi saleh 'pallywood' article)

      just try posting again. sorry!

  • Church group condemns cancellation of Rev. Hagler's 'Ferguson to Palestine' speech
    • thanks for the link scutter.

      "When we heard about the threats, we stated the need for additional security and we would not provide it," said Thomas McDade Clay, vice president for institutional advancement at Colgate Rochester. And he said the decision to cancel was made on Friday, after it appeared that Witnessing for Palestine would not provide funds for security.

      what a lame excuse. kowtowing to thugs

  • The Obama administration needs to own up to the quagmire in Syria
    • one the lawyers, said he believed the ruling was also the consequence of the U.S. government’s decision to keep classified evidence that could be favorable to their cause.

      Saudi Arabia probably has intel the US public doesn't have. trying to implicate them might lead to disclosures certain actors(the US gov) would rather remain hidden.

    • i'm sorry you interpreted "but that's over now" as arrogant, dismissive and unnecessary in relation to your concern for accountability (which you had yet to express in our initial exchange). it wasn't my intention to offend you when i wrote it, i was simply stating it as what i thought of as a matter of reality wrt the discussion i (wrongly?)assumed we were having regarding diplomacy. again, your concern for accountability was not even highlighted in your original comment therefore i'm not sure how or why you would interpret my words as addressing that concern kathleen.

      mentioning accountability repeatedly now will not serve to implicate my reference (to past diplomatic opportunities) as being transferrable to your concerns expressed later in the exchange. it may behoove you to consider my intent rather than your interpretation of it regardless of what you deem to be "apparent" when i made the comment.

      but, i will admit, after your insulting backhanded swings about how i reminded you of a excuser of warmongers (speaking of pathetic over reach) and this condescending uncalled for crap; "if your relatives were refugees or dead most would want to know just how this came dire situation came to be" perhaps i have been a little dismissive and arrogant regarding what i perceive as an uncalled for hissyfit. for review, is this all it takes to set you off:

      i don’t think the time for diplomacy is over. do i think he should of done it 5 years ago, of course. but that’s over now. i think there’s an opportunity now.

      again, sorry you interpreted that as rude, it wasn't my intent.

      also, i just noticed the comments you added to the top of the thread on the 27th re "Why not pivot and use the Leverett’s advised strategy from five years ago. " i think that's a great idea.

      i'll let you have the last word here. or several if it pleases you.

      ps, i think were on the same page too and i think your an awesome activist always adding great things to the threads. look on the bright side, i never tried to imply you were morally deficient (excusing war criminals etc)-- to make my point.

    • Annie “But that’s over now” Holding those responsible for creating a devastating human rights issue

      in your dreams. kathleen, please review your original comment i responded to. here's what i responded to:

      the time for Obama to work on a “diplomatic solution” was over five years a bit late in the “diplomatic” approach.

      sounds more (to me) like 'But that’s over now” too late for diplomacy.' too bad you can't retroactively change your opening words, it would be so much easier to put words in my mouth i never said. this is really getting fun.

      i responded "that’s over now. i think there’s an opportunity now."

      and here is the focus of my article, for your review:

      (opening paragraph)

      The crisis in Syria is still in full throttle. ...... the events of this past weekend present a microcosm of how US policy has failed and it’s time for the US president to take responsibility and to change US policy while he still has a chance.

      (closing paragraph):

      There’s only one person at the helm of U.S. foreign policy and that’s President Obama. He’s got another 15 months in office. If the U.S. can be part of a diplomatic solution to bring stability to Syria, this would be the time to do it.

      iow, my focus in this article is what action can take place now, looking forward. the information in the press briefing (2nd blockquote) is that the US may be entering into negotiations w/russia and iran (and others). iow, i see an opportunity to make choices that preference a diplomatic vs military approach/solution for syria. my focus at this time and in my article is not how to hold those accountable for all the death. however, i would strongly urge you to write your own article focusing on, prioritizing and preferencing > how to hold people (including the US) accountable for the destruction and death this far while the civil war is raging. (in fact there are a lot of people who agree with you, they want assad to be tried for war crimes and their focus is on blaming him) thus far if that is what you believe will best serve the situation occurring right now, or for any other reason.

      Sorry it offends you when someone does not fall into line with your opinions

      i am not offended by your pot shots. you can tell me i remind you of obama not holding the Iraq warmongers accountable til the cows come home. heck, you can advocate holding senate hearings on who started this war at this very moment while people are dying left and right. but my point in highlighting the events of last weekend was not to hold those accountable for their crimes. the reason it is "Critical to know just how Syria ended up in the terrible situation it is in" is so it will not be repeated going forward at this juncture. iow, 'take responsibility for what's happened under your watch, don't think you can keep pumping billions into the opposition and saying 'wow, we are just trying to support moderate rebels' without being aware nobody will be buying that hogwash anymore so stop doing it because we're not idiots, we are in a crisis so come up w/a plan NOW that deescalates the violence, immediately. '

      there's no reason for you to "fall into line" with my opinions, in the least. i'm not the one hammering you and guilt tripping you w/bs like "That is what I have always thought Mondoweiss was about." nor am i conflating your position to be the opposite of mine because it's not your primary focus (as in gee kathleen, i always thought advocacy for diplomacy at any junction would be preferable to a military solution, i bet if your relatives were at risk of dying in this war you'd prioritize stopping it now with a diplomatic solution vs pushing war crime trials for obama and dick cheney, or whatever it is you have in mind).

      knock yourself out kathleen. seriously, i'm finding your approach amusing. especially the part implying i support shielding warmongers. just..go for it. alternately you could take a chill pill. the choice is yours.

    • I’m curious on why would rejecting dialogue with the regime stood out for you?

      did you open the link?

      The Damascus Declaration (DD) is a secular umbrella opposition coalition named after a statement drafted in 2005 by numerous opposition groups and individuals demanding a multiparty democracy in Syria. It calls for a gradual and peaceful transition to democracy and the equality of all citizens in a secular and sovereign Syria....

      The Damascus Declaration was signed on October 16, 2005, as an attempt to unite the fractured Syrian opposition.

      because it seemed rather early to rejecting dialogue. there was no 'bombs his own people' in 2005. that was the year cheney's daughter's group started pumping 400 million plus a year into rousting up "fractured syrian opposition".

    • Sounds a bit like Obama at the beginning of his administration when many of us were calling for holding the Iraq warmongers accountable..... Sure that if your relatives were refugees or dead most would want to know just how this came dire situation came to be.

      i wasn't responding to any reference of accountability. i want the killing to stop. that's what i was referencing. sorry my response wasn't to your liking.

    • thanks for getting back to me with a source lproyect. to clarify what i meant by not trusting information i thought i would elaborate. first of all, i trust the writer of this article is being completely truthful wrt what he believes to be true about the information he is providing.

      it appears the only person the author is interviewing in person and identifying in the article is Aidah Tayem, a Palestinian woman from Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus now living in the occupied West Bank village of Beitin near Ramallah. he reports her child is being held by Nusra (hopefully, alive).

      the second source is "The Action Group for Palestinians in Syria, a London-based monitoring organization founded in 2012". iow, they are not in syria. they have a "Monitoring and documentation team in the working group for the Palestinians in Syria". It doesn't say how large this working group is. it could be 20 people, it could be 3.

      according to the NGO, (google translate/my bold), and one assumes "the group" is the "Monitoring and documentation team" working group :

      That made ​​it clear to the group that most of the bodies of the victims have not been handed over to their relatives, and that the connection is only one of the members of the victim's family, to inform him to go to the headquarters of the security and the receipt of belongings that allow detention without asking about his body.

      And the renewal of «working group for the Palestinians, Syria» claim the Syrian regime to disclose the fate of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who are deemed unaccounted for, stressing that what is going on inside Syrian prisons for Palestinians "a war crime by any standard

      - See more at: link to

      the director of the jafra froundation is also a source for this article link to
      by Bureau Chief/Correspondent at Voice of America Sharon Behn from their german website.

      finally, i have no reason to doubt the author spoke to the anonymous person in germany. also, i have no reason to doubt that 3000 palestinians from syria have died in the war.

      none the less, i don't trust the vast majority of information i read about personal stories from syria, because there’s so much lying going on. i have no reason not to believe there is torture going on in syrian prisons, and no reason not to believe there was torture going on at abu ghraib or guantanamo by american forces. no reason not to believe in cia death squads in south america. no reason not to believe lots of things. but do i trust the ngo sources from that particular article? it's a war. lots of people are dying. i don't think there's anything going on in syria, by the regime, that we wouldn't do if we were in charge. nothing i can think of we didn't do in iraq. we bombed places and killed lots of civilians for democracy. lots of moderate rebels died there. we called them insurgents.

    • thanks bandolero, for the new yorker link especially. finally got around to reading it (again) i think i read it when it first came out.

    • everyone plays a role in exploiting the situation to their advantage, through covert and overt means.

      saying something doesn't make it true. not everyone is exploiting the situation in syria to their advantage. and if you think they are why not just start w/yourself and explain how your exploitation of syria works to your advantage.

      the fact that there are fundamental internal issues that are contributing to 80% of the current ordeal in Syria.

      do you have a source for that or are you just throwing the term "the fact" in front of one of your opinions and adding a specific percentage to make it more impressive?

      I suppose an American analogy would be like when the black people express their legitimate grievances against the government through rallies and riots, they are labelled as thugs and their actions as race-baiting.

      not really. black people in this country don't have militias backed and supported by foreign entities/militias. plus, i don't think anyone here is claiming the legitimate syrian opposition (syrian citizens vs foreigners, and/or syrian "moderate" rebels) are thugs or race - baiting. you seem to be ignoring the information of many analysts as well as our own pentagon assessment the most powerful force fighting assad in syria is al nusra (who had joined w/AQ btw). black people in this country are not associated w/ anything like that as far as i know.

      and from a comment below, i decided to place it here:

      For you to paint all of them as simply being terrorists from AQ or Al-Nusra is plainly disingenuous.

      strawman. you're really scrapping the bottom of the barrel for arguments aren't you?

    • kathleen, i don't think the time for diplomacy is over. do i think he should of done it 5 years ago, of course. but that's over now. i think there's an opportunity now.

    • which of course by design! When you are part of an oppressive state that have no qualms of arresting you without charge ..... it’s pretty hard to form a viable political bloc against the ruling party.

      it's also pretty hard when al nusra of AQ arrests you and takes all your weapons or worse (we still don't know what happened to the 50 guys who were kidnapped last summer), which is the case that happened last weekend. the US has spent a lot of energy attempting to put together a syrian opposition they could work with. but apparently those guys keep flipping over. are you also going to blame that on the assad regime?

    • The majority of Syrians interviewed said they believe that the situation is worsening, and only 21 percent said they preferred their life today than when Syria was fully controlled by Bashar al-Assad's regime. Nearly half of Syrians surveyed said they opposed U.S.-coalition airstrikes, and nearly 80 percent said that the war has gotten worse because of the influx of foreign fighters. Yet there is also sense of hope: The majority of Syrians surveyed said a diplomatic solution was possible to end the war, and that Syrians can set aside their difference and live side by side again.

      link to

    • you didn't answer my question. you asked me "I’m curious why a person so dedicated for the pursuit of justice and peace would be so inclined to supporting Assad and his regime. " and i answered "you mean as opposed to the caliphate?"

    • edit. i changed my mind and decided not to buy into your bait and switch lproyect. stop trying to highjack the thread.

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