Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2213 (since 2010-06-04 05:29:53)

Showing comments 1800 - 1701

  • Why Palestinian rights are not front and center for OWS meta-brand
    • There you go, the story changes all the time, and the cradle has been moved from Africa to Asia as well:

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      see also

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    • As I said, American, I'm keeping an open mind re the genesis and migration patterns of humanity. I don't know what the latest discoveries are regarding old bones and DNA, but how about this:

      New Evidence Puts Man In North America 50,000 Years Ago
      ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2004)

      "Radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant remains where artifacts were unearthed last May along the Savannah River in Allendale County by University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear indicate that the sediments containing these artifacts are at least 50,000 years old, meaning that humans inhabited North American long before the last ice age.

      The findings are significant because they suggest that humans inhabited North America well before the last ice age more than 20,000 years ago, a potentially explosive revelation in American archaeology. Goodyear, who has garnered international attention for his discoveries of tools that pre-date what is believed to be humans' arrival in North America, announced the test results, which were done by the University of California at Irvine Laboratory, Wednesday (Nov .17).

      "The dates could actually be older," Goodyear says. "Fifty-thousand should be a minimum age since there may be little detectable activity left."

      The dawn of modern homo sapiens occurred in Africa between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago. Evidence of modern man's migration out of the African continent has been documented in Australia and Central Asia at 50,000 years and in Europe at 40,000 years. The fact that humans could have been in North America at or near the same time is expected to spark debate among archaeologists worldwide, raising new questions on the origin and migration of the human species."

      I haven't bred any fleas, but I do know that there have been major revisions regarding the long-held view that pulex irritans (the human flea) originated in the old world, co-evolving with humans. There are thousands of flea species, adapted to their animal hosts, and more or less promiscuous re their blood preferences, and fleas are, of course, much older than humanity. The new theory is that all hard evidence points to the fact that the human flea evolved in South America. Which raises the question: how did it get to the old world? The old Viking theory has been thrown into question when the brittle remains of pulex irritans were identified on Egyptian mummies (all literary references to fleas, such as in the OT and countless other sources are useless because they only provide evidence that human feeding fleas such as rat, cat, dog fleas were abundant without identifying the species). If "Adam had them", as the saying re parasites of all kinds goes, where did Adam evolve? Maybe he was a native South American? Maybe some of the earliest humans left the continent in a futile attempt to get away from this new and irritating flea? Just kidding.

    • Nobody denies it , taxi. That's why FIRST NATIONS is a more accurate term than NATIVE AMERICANS

    • "I personally despise the hyphen- American usage..I refuse to call blacks African American. I will call Jews, Jewish -American or duals, Israeli -Americans in ‘political references’ because of their Jewish tribalism. "

      I'm not trying to smear you with the N-word, but Hitler made a similar argument when he turned anti-semite, and when, as you say "it got political". This is from 1919. The NSDAP program also included the point that a Jew could not be a German citizen, but would have the same rights as any other foreigner. He uses 'race' not 'tribalism', but in many of his later remarks it is quite clear that it is tribalism (which he obviously did everything to develop in order to purify and strengthen the German race) he considered as the main problem esp. because it extended, in his view, to 'World Jewry'. The anti-Hitler/Nazi feedback such as the Jewish Boycott(s) of Nazi Germany, among other factors, only confirmed this view.

      "Antisemitism as a political movement may not and cannot be defined by emotional impulses, but by recognition of the facts. The facts are these: First, Jewry is absolutely a race and not a religious association. Even the Jews never designate themselves as Jewish Germans, Jewish Poles, or Jewish Americans but always as German, Polish, or American Jews. Jews have never yet adopted much more than the language of the foreign nations among whom they live. A German who is forced to make use of the French language in France, Italian in Italy, Chinese in China does not thereby become a Frenchman, Italian, or Chinaman. It's the same with the Jew who lives among us and is forced to make use of the German language. He does not thereby become a German. Neither does the Mosaic faith, so important for the survival of this race, settle the question of whether someone is a Jew or non-Jew. There is scarcely a race whose members belong exclusively to just one definite religion.

      Through thousands of years of the closest kind of inbreeding, Jews in general have maintained their race and their peculiarities far more distinctly than many of the peoples among whom they have lived. And thus comes the fact that there lives amongst us a non- German, alien race which neither wishes nor is able to sacrifice its racial character or to deny its feeling, thinking, and striving. Nevertheless, it possesses all the political rights we do. "

      you can read the rest here:

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    • Not intending cruelty here but unless you think Native Americans are a different species they must have come from somewhere else before they started to be born in the Americas. Wiki says:

      "According to the New World migration model, a migration of humans from Eurasia to the Americas took place via Beringia, a land bridge which connected the two continents across what is now the Bering Strait. The most recent point at which this migration could have taken place is ca. 12,000 years ago, with the earliest period remaining a matter of some unresolved contention.[18][19] These early Paleo-Indians soon spread throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct nations and tribes.[19] According to the oral histories of many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, they have been living there since their genesis, described by a wide range of traditional creation accounts."

      But who knows. Maybe their creation accounts tell the truth

  • Psst-- see Palestinian prisoners as human beings, worthy of the same sympathy as non-Palestinian prisoners
  • 'J Street' urges Israel lobby group to sever ties with Elliott Abrams's wife Rachel for 'unhinged hate speech' against Palestinians
    • He was pretty fast after Helen Thomas's infinitely milder anti-Zionist remarks went viral (reminder: she did NOT say 'go back to Auschwitz', neither did the passenger on the Mavi Marmara, as suggested on the fake tape issued by the IDF) In fact, the country was in the grip of a full-scale witch hunt, if I remember correctly. Is HT more important than RA?

      I think this will blow over fast and be handled 'internally', within the Jewish community. Liberal Zionist putting the brakes on off-the-scale Zionist in order not to scare the masses. In the same way, the Dersh sharply criticized the Fox for his bigoted views on the so-called 'Ground Zero Mosque'. It's just damage control

  • World condemns Israel's Jerusalem landgrab, while US says it is 'within the frame of our policy concern'
    • Keith - "What did I say?"

      you said, in reply to DUMVI- “The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions….” that "That is pretty much what the financial elites want- a centralized financial authority to use its financial power to rule over us all", and I objected.

      It's too bad you dismiss Marx because he lived 150 yrs ago. There's plenty of good stuff out there that's even older. What is it with people, and especially Americans, that they think history has nothing to teach us, or that newer is better?

      As for your (amd my) concern about the "fat cats", Islamic banking, which is actually a fairly recent phenomenon, does have significant safeguards against the creation of oligarchies, a phenomenon from which the Islamic world has suffered for a long time, be it created domestically or imposed from abroad.

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    • Well, I'm neither Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or Jewish or any other religion. This Catholic says that the Pope/Catholic Church has by no means called for a 'Central World Bank'. You can follow the links in the article in pursuit of the truth:

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      And you should look into the principles of Islamic banking and finance, esp. wrt to profit/loss sharing vs the Western interest-based system

    • I don't see why everything concerning the Vatican has to be turned into some Illuminati conspiracy theory? Church leadership is marching 'straight into the pits of hell' by advocating an arguably more ethical form of banking?

      Marlowe: Dr. Faustus (period: early Capitalism)

      FAUSTUS. Where are you damn'd?
      MEPHIST. In hell.
      FAUSTUS. How comes it, then, that thou art out of hell?
      MEPHIST. Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it

    • no way, Keith, that's not what the Vatican wants. Looks to me like they've been advocating sharia since the financial crisis. Imagine that. Financial ecumenism, the Pope calling for Islamic banking, what a radical idea. Might be anti-semitic? Again, you should read Marx 'On the Jewish Question' (the passage on hucksterism). All makes sense to me

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    • I very much doubt Netanyahu is running scared. He's busy emptying his prisons, scoring points at home and abroad, and making room for new prisoners. I bet he can't wait for another intifada. For him that just means fewer Palestinians alive or in an open air prison

    • Forget the EU. They are at best playing to their domestic audiences who are sick of the 'peace process' when they voice various degrees of disappointment or frustration at settlement expansion and Israeli intransigence. Then they can say: we tried, but what can we do? It's the Americans who are stalling the peace process.

      The only reason Obama absurdly vetoed his own (and longstanding US) policy on the settlement at the UNSC I can see is that the official policy is just a smokescreen, that the US wants and always has wanted a viable, secure and stable Greater Israel, including aquifers. There is no other explanation for this diplomatic circus. What if he had not vetoed the resolution? Would the sky have fallen? Sure, uproar in the Lobby. But it could and probably would have worked against the Lobby. A gamble. Now he can say: my hands were tied, it's the Lobby - and cash in on campaign donations.

  • 'NYT' features Amy Goodman and her antiwar record
    • how do you know Amy's listeners treat what she says uncritically? You don't know. I have yet to see any of her broadcasts where I think: oh, she's a lefty or whatever. Nor would I care if she was. It's darn good reporting and I certainly would not hold it against her that she has people on the program you don't usually see on MSM.

      Why do you not want to hear anything you don't already know or agree with anyway? That's just self-defeating and close-minded. The whole left-right business is so 20th century anyway

  • The Global War on Halloween (fake head not included)
    • nice, Roha

      "The bees have gone into their clammy cells and shut the door. There are no more fumes of poppies."

      And the drones are dead.

    • "insulting catholic religion per se"

      as I told you earlier, I am not a believer and do not respect or disrespect any religion any more than any other. My interest in religion is purely anthropological, historical, philosophical. If you, as a believer, find this insulting, deal with it. I find it insulting to be told I have to respect Catholic customs and dogmata more than others.

      "All Saint Day is a very serious “holiday” and has nothing to do with a loud and cheerful “celebration”

      As I already wrote above: The ‘Day of the Dead’ celebrations in Mexico are likely the result of a merger of pre-Spanish ritual beliefs and the imposed dogma of the Catholic Church which celebrates All Souls Day. -- Feel free to check any feast days dedicated to the dead in non-Christian cultures and you will see that they were not 'solemn' affairs. This applies to Mexico as well as the Roman Parentalia and Halloween, among many other examples. You can start here:

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      "You obviously follow a lot of sterotypes about many things. Your loss."

      Pot. Kettle. Black.

    • I'm not exonerating anything, I just objected to the suggestion that there is anything particularly Jewish about it. Of course I don't think there's anything particularly Catholic about it either. But since you brought it up...

      And no, it wasn't just the mob cheering the burning of witches and heretics. From the perspective of priests, clergy and the Pope such cruelty was a good thing for both the victim/heretic/criminal and the Christian community. The victim, being tortured to confess and repent would lose earthly life but be restored to the mercy of God, a soul saved by violence. And the community would be saved from the machinations of the devil, with no trace left of the contaminated body. Purification by sacrificial fire. One Italian legal scholar in the 15th century objected to the practice as un-Christian, using the term 'Holocaust'. But again, the Church was no more responsible for this than the secular authorities or the people who often demanded persecution from the authorities, be they ecclesiastical or secular. In fact, where the Church and Inquisition was strong, fewer witches were burned. The lowest conviction and execution rates are reported from Spain and the Vatican lands. The Spanish Inquisition all but called the author of the Malleus Maleficarum, the notorious bible of the witch hunters, a lunatic. The myth that the witch hunts were to be laid at the door of the Church is mostly a myth erected during the Enlightenment period when anti-Catholicism was rife even in Catholic countries like France, and Voltaire led the crusade against superstition with the battle cry: "écrasez l'infâme". Together with his philosophical opponent Rousseau (who defended Catholicism in a famous letter to Voltaire), Voltaire became the philosophical father of the French Revolution, which promptly erased all references to the Birth of Christ and religion in the French Calendar. Needless to say, both the French and Soviet revolutionaries, via the same major distortions of their philosophical father-figures Marx/Engels, believed in absurdities and committed atrocities.

    • "a Roman Catholic, burnt in effigy annually atop thousands of bonfires along with fireworks, across the land"

      Anthropologist Levi-Strauss noted that the burning of Santa Claus, in effigy, in a Cathedral in Lyon on Dec 24, 1951, for the purpose of cleansing Christmas from the encroachments of consumerism unwittingly mimicked the ancient Roman custom of sacrificing the Saturnalian King at the end of the winter solstice festivals, or Saturnalia, which the Christians eventually transformed into Christmas. Exchanging gifts, consumerism and feasting during the Saturnalia was standard pagan practice but such materialism never quite fit the more spiritual idea of Christmas. The celebrations ushered in by the un-biblical Father Christmas were outlawed in the old and new anglo-saxon world by the Puritans, which didn't last either. Still, burning Santa aka Satan in effigy around Christmas time is still the rage in fundamentalist circles. Effigies are available from this source:

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      Favorite comment:

      "Last year, I put up Christmas lights in the shape of a goat's head pentagram, and had a nativity scene with a bobble-head Osama bin Laden taking the place of baby Jesus. I want to be a little more low-key this year, what with the new neighborhood and all.

      Has Hillary officially approved Santa executions and torture scenes for our liberal anti-Christmas operations? I'm thinking that could get me off on the right foot out here in suburbia."

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    • "being raised Catholic I find celebrating any death like that abhorrent"

      I thought celebrating death ordered from above and executed by the contemporary imperial superpower was central to Catholicism? Does 'Good Friday' mark the birth or crucifixion of Christ? Ok, no meat. Some restraint, but only in the case of an exceptionally good criminal and in honor of his great suffering at the cross for the benefit of cleansing humanity from their sins. The 'Day of the Dead' celebrations in Mexico are likely the result of a merger of pre-Spanish ritual beliefs and the imposed dogma of the Catholic Church which celebrates All Souls Day.

      I can think of plenty of examples of Catholics celebrating the death of an enemy: During wars and crusades, on the occasion of gruesome executions of criminals and witches that were public spectacles much enjoyed by the masses in Catholic (and later Protestant) Europe up to the late 18th c. The cheering mob during the French Revolution, watching aristocratic heads roll, and basting their loyal servants in butter, then setting them on fire, in triumphant elation. Poles in Poland or in Germany (East Prussia) celebrating the execution of the 'suitcase or coffin' policy towards Germans at the end of WW II and taking over their houses and lands. I'm sure there were some Catholics among the Americans who celebrated the death of Tecumseh and Geronimo. Hitler's suicide was widely celebrated. I could go on but it would take all day. Let's not be hypocrites and assign such perversion to a 'specific Jewish culture'?

  • As settlers disrupt olive harvest, Israeli officer declares: 'I am the law, I am God.'
    • Yawn. Like their are no other parallels and precedents.

      Who said: "I am the law in Indiana"?

      And what did Stephenson stand for?

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      Apart from the revival of the Klan (is it dead now?), Madison Grant's " The Passing of the Great Race" (1916), dealt with racial hygiene, the racial history of Europe and the supremacy of the Nordic Race. His theories were taught at the Ivy League, and he received a fan letter from Hitler who declared Grant's book his 'Bible'. American Renaissance, German Renaissance, it's all the same idea.

      Do you think the American Revolution has nothing to do with the fear that the British might abolish slavery in the American colonies after a landmark trial in 1772? How did we get from black servants working and living with white servants to black slaves in the 17th c if not to for the purpose to merge the white classes, upper and lower, into one homogenous, patriotic mass of Americans set apart from the other? That's how you build national identity which the Germans/Austrians (Greater Germany) did not really have until the Nazi period. For the same reason, the new Hebrews in Palestine needed the Arab as other to become a nation.

      And while I'm at it, how did Lincoln ever acquire the reputation of the 'great emancipator'? Was he not a racist when he ruled out all free mingling of the black and white race? Mixed marriages? If he believed that blacks could or should be the social equals of whites, why was his preferred solution to abolition either repatriation (to Africa) or colonization (black reservations on US territory). And what other country but the US needed a war, a long and bloody civil war, to abolish slavery? Not one.

      I find it truly bizarre how many here can only think of 'German fascist rhetorics' when they hear "I am the law. I am God". Or that 'American values' such as those fought for during the Civil War should now be imposed on Israel? WTF are American values, other than whitewashed mystifications of history? The Israelis are pretty good at that, too

      The Civil War did not abolish slavery, it extended it to all Americans

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    • Walid,

      "the first rule he announced was that any existing laws that contravene sharia laws, especially on matters of marriage are void"

      I think there's some good thinking behind some central sharia laws on 'marriage'. No doubt it will greatly upset some powerful people in the West who will focus on the oppression of women (and gays) instead. From 2009:

      "The response of Muslim scholars to the global financial crisis so far is that this is what happens when you do not legally 'marry' nominal transaction with real transactions. The legal marriage would require the elimination of riba (usury or interest) from the system, replacing it with an arrangement where profits and losses are shared equitably. This would also require blocking other routes which might potentially threaten the marriage, and, for example,allow people to "sell only what they actually own". One of the many implications is that this prohibits the securitization of mortgages which is one of the major factors blamed for the current financial crisis."

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    • How is "Zionist ideology in a nutshell" different from American ideology in a nutshell, or a great many other national ideologies? On the subject of self-righteousness, as well as the other vices cited, I recommend reading A. J. Nock's piece on the Criminal State, published in 1939. Works just as well if you substitute the ME today for Europe/Asia just before WW II, especially from the American perspective

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  • The Real ‘Theater of the Absurd’: Netanyahu, Givat HaMatos and his endgame in Palestine
  • Muammar Gaddafi captured and killed in Sirte
    • Matthew Rothschild:

      "President Obama crowed that the Libya War demonstrates “the strength of American leadership across the world.” Rather, it shows that might makes right. And the hypocrisy of the U.S. position could hardly be greater. In 2003, the Bush Administration rehabilitated Qaddafi, who became an ally of the United States in the “war on terror.” In fact, the CIA used Qaddafi’s intelligence service to torture detainees that the U.S. sent over to Libya."

      And once again the Nuremberg principle (might makes right) has been upheld. Brief recap: Support dictator financially and diplomatically as ally in the "war on Communism". Switch sides to successfully wage "war on Nazism", thus saving blood and treasure. Support British war effort with lend/lease/loans until they are bankrupt and eventually forced to surrender hegemony over Europe and ME to the US, but maintain Brits (as well as the French, Germans and other Europeans and semi-Europeans) as allies and useful idiots for future coalitions of the willing fighting wars against new Hitlers and crimes against humanity. Stage show trial on unprecedented scale, selectively punishing some Nazi war criminals, then switch sides again. Select top Nazi scientists, engineers, generals and spymasters and give them freedom, including on US soil (the most free of all) and provided they work for US interests. Start Cold War and get ready for proxy wars. Destroy and plunder German economy, demilitarize and defang the entire country. Detach prime agricultural land to be given to recognized victim nations who will not threaten the US economy and end up in Soviet sphere anyway. Then offer generous loans (to be repaid in full, with interest) to destitute Germans to rebuild their country. Within a few years, convince West Germans that it is in their own best interest to remilitarize as quickly as possible, buy American weapons and join Nato to assist their US, French and British liberators in countering the fourth liberator, who, since the Nuremberg trials, suddenly has shown his true colors as a most brutal dictator, tyrannizing the East Germans, Eastern Europeans and his own people. De-nazify Germans into holding, or at least not seriously interfering, with the firm conviction that they were wrong fighting the Soviets when Western Allies supported the Soviets in order to fight the Germans. Manufacture consent, at home and abroad, that Stalin was a dictator and ruthless mass murderer before and after, but not during WW II, or not as bad as Hitler, that the only reason why Western Allies fought the civilized and industrious Germans in the first place was to liberate them from an Austrian barbarian and his fanatical supporters, and to stop the Holocaust, the greatest crime against humanity in human history. Use template (X is another Hitler) to repeat same in ME, under the old banner of 'democratic peace' as the best way to simultaneously protect US interest and security and world peace and prosperity.

      Obama just announced the exit of the US military from Iraq by the end of this year, and a future of mutual recognition and respect between two sovereign countries. Strong American presidents don't say that, or at least they don't really mean it. Tf they do, they are defamed as weak presidents and usually lose the election, depending on the circumstances. Presidential candidate Romney is running on strength and steroids:

      "This century must be an American century. In an American century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world," Romney said. "God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will."

      Substitute 'German' for 'American' and you get Hitler's message and the situation of Germany, after a remarkable recovery of economic, political and military strength. Whether this portrayal of Germany in the late 30s reflected reality is questionable, but many inside and outside Germany believed it did. It was obvious even before Hitler and his Wehrmacht or SS ordered and committed crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity that not only he, but any possibility of a 'German century' on a continental or global scale had to be destroyed. As Hitler put it: There can only be one chosen people

    • "Not a promising start to a new “democratic?” Lybia – killing leader without trial after capture."

      Neither the last Czar of Russia nor Mussolini had a trial. The results were very different. Besides, as others below have already pointed out, killing opponents, be they domestic or foreign, without trial after capture seems to be the new way to go, as demonstrated by the old democracy and superpower.

  • Palestinian citizens of Israel are second class citizens, even in the Prague airport
    • Well done, Avi. This is the common fallacy: many people actually believe that just because they don't personally dislike any particularly ethnic group, and have many friends or family members from that group, that this prevents them from harboring prejudice against members of same group, including their own

    • "After 9/11, a group of young Arab males flying together without women or children is always going to arose suspicion. Better safe than sorry. And of course, you are not forced to fly El-Al. There are many other options. If you think they take security too seriously, fly some other airline."

      How do you like this, eee: "After the assassination of vom Rath at the German embassy in Paris (i.e. on German territory) in 1938, young Jews on German territory naturally arose suspicion. Hence the Nazi order to arrest all young males before, during and after the Kristallnacht (women, children and old men were specifically excluded from the official order). Better safe than sorry. And of course, Jews were not forced to remain on German territory, be they young, male or not. There were many other options. If Jews thought Germans were taking their security too seriously, they could have gone live somewhere else."

      I'm sure you agree that's reasonable? If the situation is different, the argument is the same

    • "Your goverment is paid off, just like ours."

      We know. The Aspers are quite frank about who calls the shots in Harperland, and they don't like criticism of Israel showing up in the Canadian newspapers they own:

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    • "according to US tax laws a US citizen must declare and eventually pay taxes in the USA, regardless where he lives or works."

      Fortunately the law doesn't apply not to me because I'm not American, just to hubby, who is outraged because the law was never applied to American born Canadians so far. You now can no longer travel to the US with a Canadian passport that shows your US place of birth. You either have to renounce American citizenship (which entails settling taxes owed to the IRS) or get an American passport (same thing). So you either never go back visit your family and friends or pay up. Canadians pay higher taxes than Americans already (probably also true for you, depending where you live in Europe). But the new law also requires American Canadians to at least pay a few thousand dollars in fees to establish what they owe. Filing a return is not enough. You pay even if you don't owe anything. Money grab? Extortion?

    • "Yes, foreign armed troops on US soil!!
      Should we not do something about this insult to our national rights?"

      It no different from armed Americans at Canadian airports (and elsewhere) operating under the Pre-Clearance Act:

      "In its submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs which examined Bill S-22, the Canadian Bar Association (C.B.A.) pointed out a number of serious concerns about the bill. The organization stated that it believed the bill "would result in the serious abrogation of the rights of travellers on Canadian soil and a considerable intrusion upon Canadian sovereignty."

      How do you Americans feel about insulting our national rights? Remember we're the bigger country! Should tail wag dog? And why can't you tax your own citizens, rather than go after the diaspora among the loyalists up north?

      From the CBC (September 2011):

      "No taxation without representation" has been a rallying cry among Americans ... from the Boston Tea Party right up to the current Tea Party. But according to U.S. law, the Internal Revenue Service is permitted to dip into the pockets of about a million Americans living in Canada, many of whom haven't voted in an American election in their lives ... choosing instead to live, work and pay taxes here in Canada. Despite that, they are required by law to disclose to the IRS any bank holdings over 10,000 dollars and they may face a penalty of up to 10,000 dollars per year, per account if they don't. There was a time when the IRS didn't appear to be all that serious about enforcing the law. But now, that time is gone. The IRS has given Americans living in Canada until tomorrow to file something called an Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative form. Those who do, hope to walk away with a smaller penalty. Those who don't ... are on their own."

      But seriously, and back to Ruth's post: It's a terrible story. Such experiences have a huge negative impact on how one feels about a country, as a citizen or visitor. The last time I was in Prague was in the late seventies, on a high school trip. I remember how intimidating the border crossings/guards were. High security and weapons everywhere. I remember the Munich massacre and the German Autumn. Apparently it was easier to turn Germany into a police state with special counterterrorism forces than to free Palestine. Then 9/11 and Homeland Security. I have given up traveling to the US, it's just too much security for me. Now my American-born spouse won't go anymore either. Too much money.

      On the topic of security and money, see also Jeff Halper and Naomi Klein. It's not just the Israeli mindset, the history of Jewish persecution. The psychological and geopolitical situation has created a security industry that is central to the Israeli economy and export industry. How does one break that vicious cycle? Boycotting El Al and telling them why may be a good start.

  • More creeping halacha
  • The US media reports: Gilad Shalit swapped for 1000 non-people (per Blumenthal)
    • asherpat and robert

      lets say, for the sake of argument, that you correctly stated the facts. Does that make it the truth? No. I agree that one crime doesn't justify another, it just turns the former victim into a criminal. But even so: if killing one Israeli is the response to 100 or more Palestinians being killed, and a further 100 or more Palestinians are being killed in return, there's still major injustice and a major difference between the criminals. I also agree with Desmond Tutu: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." Nobody can deny that the situation is unjust, and that Israel is the oppressor. So the logical conclusion regarding the truth of the situation would have to be that there has been injustice for decades. In that case, the right to resistance would kick in.

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  • Touring Palestine, you see... Jewish symbols everywhere
    • I'm delivering a no. 4 Poyasny

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    • woody, there lots of pics here:

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      My post was censored (I don't see why?) but my point was that while the SoD has six points and the Pentagram/Red Star five, ambiguity and amalgamation are not unusual in the history of symbolism, especially if they are widely used by different cultural, religious or political groups (also true for the swastika, they don't all look exactly the same either)

      Passage from The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia:

      MAGEN DAVID '(Heb. 'Shield of David'): Mystical symbol consisting of two superimposed triangles forming a star or hexagram; today regarded as a Jewish symbol. Although occurring in the Capernaum synagogue (3rd cent. CE), it was in ancient times predominantly a non-Jewish decorative motif (e.g. on Roman mosaic pavements), and is found in Christian churches in the Middle Ages, while absent from contemporary Jewish decoration and not mentioned in rabbinic literature. The name figures from the 13th cent. in the 'practical Kabbalah,' where it is a magic symbol associated with the pentagram or 'Star of Solomon' (with which it is frequently confused). The origin and period of its adoption as a Jewish symbol is a matter of dispute. It occurs in a specifically Jewish context in Prague in the 17th cent. The M.D. was adopted by the First Zionist Congress (1897) as a symbol, and figures on the flags of the Zionist Organization and of the State of Israel. It was used by the Nazis, in the form of a yellow star, as the Jewish 'Badge of shame.'"

      Merriam-Webster's encyclopedia of world religions states that Jews during the Middle Ages and in the 17th century attached protective powers to the SoD, just as non-Jews had long attached such magical powers to the pentagram. Such pagan practices, however, are incompatible with divine orders:

      'When you enter the Land which Yahveh your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to Yahveh and because of these detestable things Yahveh your God will drive them out before you. You must be blameless before Yahveh your God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you,Yahveh your God has not allowed you to do so.' (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)

      In the late medieval context and during the Reformation, all kinds of magical practices and worship of non-Christian symbols were vigorously persecuted (or at least exorcised by the counter-magic of Cross display), and this witch craze lasted for several centuries. It is as if Christians and Jews somewhat switched sides, with the former literally following tough OT directives (Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live) that quite obviously collide with the teachings of the NT (Christ exorcises devils without submitting the afflicted to the stake). Meanwhile, the latter, not known to be engaged in burning each other or Christians for sorcery, increasingly indulge in outlawed idolatry and carry magical symbols for protection rather than place their faith in God (and without being persecuted for it by the Christian witch hunters).

      The next step was adoption of the SoD as a Zionist symbol on the late 19th c and the Zionist/Israeli flag. Protected by the Jewish state, a secular project.

    • Since when was the Star of David a religious symbol or universally adopted and recognized as a Jewish symbol? 19th century, with a few localized forerunners in early modern Europe. A bit late to claim biblical or talmudic authority. It's no more 'Jewish' than the Swastika is 'German'

      link to

  • Bill Kristol: 'We need to hear' that Obama has gone to war on Iran
    • "Billy the lying sack of dreck Kristol. With losers like this influencing the internal security issues that affect our country it is no wonder we are so loved around the world."

      If it is any comfort my guess is that many if not most people around the world are aware of the fact that Americans are as helpless as they are wrt who runs their governments and foreign policy. It doesn't matter whether one lives in an authoritarian regime or a liberal democracy. The latter may be as bad or even worse:

      "H.L. Mencken described politicians as "men who, at some time or other, have compromised with their honour, either by swallowing their convictions or by whooping for what they believe to be untrue."[1] "Vanity remains to him," Mencken wrote, "but not pride."[2] The Sage of Baltimore had it correct, that to be elected and stay elected in American politics to any full-time position requires the suspension of any ethics or good sense a person may possess. Even those who begin political careers with the best intentions and have measurable abilities that would make them successful in any field soon realize that the skills required to succeed in politics are not those required outside politics. Lew Rockwell explains that, while competition in the marketplace improves quality, competition in politics does just the opposite:

      The only improvements take place in the process of doing bad things: lying, cheating, manipulating, stealing, and killing. The price of political services is constantly increasing, whether in tax dollars paid or in the bribes owed for protection (also known as campaign contributions). There is no obsolescence, planned or otherwise. And as Hayek famously argued, in politics, the worst get on top. And there is no accountability: the higher the office, the more criminal wrongdoing a person can get away with.[3]

      Thus it becomes "a psychic impossibility for a gentleman to hold office under the Federal Union," wrote Mencken.[4] Democracy makes it possible for the demagogue to inflame the childish imagination of the masses, "by virtue of his talent for nonsense."[5] The king can do the same thing in a monarchy but only by virtue of his birth."

      Competition in the marketplace is unlikely to improve quality either, given the sheer insanity of the financial markets and influence of global and domestic politics. There are other arguments and theories ('natural elite'?) in this particular article with which one might seriously disagree. Still:

      "Because democracy is open to any and all who can get elected — either through connections, personality, or personal wealth — it is a social system where leadership positions become a hotbed for sociopaths. Maslow's self-actualizing man won't have an interest in politics. But those stuck on the need for esteem are drawn to it like flies to dung. With leadership in such dysfunctional hands, it is no wonder. "In comparison to the nineteenth century, the cognitive prowess of the political and intellectual elites and the quality of public education have declined," Hoppe writes in Democracy.[11] "And the rates of crime, structural unemployment, welfare dependency, parasitism, negligence, recklessness, incivility, psychopathy, and hedonism have increased."[12] So while the electorate recognizes that they are electing at best incompetents and at worst crooks, the constant, naïve, prodemocracy mantra is that "we just need to elect the right people."
      But the "right people" aren't (and won't be) running for office. Instead, we will continue to have "the average American legislator [who] is not only an ass," as Mencken wrote, "but also an oblique, sinister, depraved and knavish fellow."

      link to

      At the very least, 'the right people' in America will feel like Dante: "I lost all hope of going up the Hill". Horrific wild beasts, lobbyists, journalists and fellow politicians, lurk in every corner. And it may be time to display the famous inscription on the gate to hell in government buildings and voting booths around the country: ""Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate". I think the Italians get it, and are way ahead of other people in Western democracies. Why get rid of Berlusconi? The next occupant will be or become different only in style, and the taxpayer only gets to foot the bill for redecorating offices and private residences. Obama is driving home the message for Americans and non-Americans. I'm not saying he wasn't 'the right man'.

  • Catch the spirit-- how Wall Street occupiers averted eviction
  • Fat lady sings -- Israel announces new E J'lem neighborhod called Givat Hamatos
    • you never know, Walid, what that crazed Harper is up to. I hear his government will spend exorbitant sums to mark the upcoming bicentennial of the glorious War of 1812 in patriotic style. And wasn't that when the Canadians fought off an American invasion/attack, and the British retaliated by setting the White House, US Treasury and government buildings on fire? Oh well, I'll light a candle

    • "Somehow it feels unpatriotic to wish, as an American, for the demise of the American empire. I wonder how many Germans felt that way about Hitler’s (short-lived) empire?"

      Here is one example of how Germans felt, fictionalized by Heinrich Böll, in one of his post-war novels:

      "Do you believe then, that these people who are about to conquer us with their rubber soles and tins of Spam, will ever understand what we have suffered? Do you believe they will understand what it feels like to be showered with their bombs and shells and at the same time to be sullied by this diabolic state, what it means to be crushed between these two millstones? They simply cannot have suffered as much, and since Christ's death there has been a hierarchy of suffering in which we will remain the victors, without ever learning or understanding what it was we felt."

      trl quoted from:

      link to

      Iraqis probably understand, or people in Gaza. Yes, many Germans hoped for the arrival of the allegedly non-racist and fair American liberators, who had promised to restore democracy and freedom. Nazi propaganda painted a different picture of the liberators. Example:

      link to

      You tell me who was telling the truth.

  • Americans believe red herring-- Iran is Enemy #1. Why?
    • "How stupid would we have to be, then, to allow the same gang to lead us into yet another reckless war, one that would be infinitely more deadly?"

      How stupid were you when Wilson lied you into WW I? Roosevelt into WW II? Truman into the Korean War? Did Vietnam ever pose a military threat to the US? or, for that matter, any European, Asian or Middle Eastern country?

      Obviously not. But the scare works every time. Imagine some 3000 Americans could get killed, as in 9/11. That would be completely unbearable. Better kill a few hundred thousand Iranians, or even more, just to be on the safe side. And, as an added bonus, it will rid the US of a whole bunch of Americans who would otherwise be unemployed anyway. That way, they can be celebrated as heroes and martyrs for freedom and democracy. That, too, works every time.

  • Fragile Egypt
    • "snug in your delusions"

      Indeed. It's getting pretty crazy around here. Here's a good antidote that should open a few eyes among both the neocon Churchill or liberal Wilson, FDR and Truman worshippers. And those who like to play the Nazi trump card

      link to

  • Panic and shock sweep Cairo
    • "It must be nice to be the champions of a perfect group of people who’ve done no wrong throughout history."

      Isn't that what the whole world is expected to believe about Jews, a people consisting of nothing but martyrs and heroes?

  • In memoriam: Hanan Porat, an extremist by any other name
    • "To go to the extreme example, I never got Adolf Hitler’s charismatic power. He wasn’t handsome and he looked self-important for no good reason."

      Neither do I. I feel the same about Churchill, though. And Stalin and Roosevelt.

      "The excellent American journalists reporting from Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, people like Edgar Ansel Mowrer and H. R. Knickerbocker, also had trouble understanding Hitler’s charisma. "

      Hello? 20s and early thirties? You need American journalists for that? The NSDAP got less than 3% of the vote in the 1928 elections. If everyone in Germany had been swooned by Hitler, why did he have to build Dachau and 100s of other concentration camps in Germany for political prisoners, as soon as he came to power and seized absolute power under emergency legislation? You guys live in a fantasy world in which only 'excellent American journalists' figure out what's going on. Laughable

  • Operation Enduring Failure: Ten years of war on Afghanistan
  • Kol Nidre in Cairo. Not
    • "The Israeli youngsters are saturated with fear, yet, they are having a good time, you can watch them having a party dancing in a bus all the way to a Auschwitz…"

      And how weird is this?

      "During a class last year, one student set off a cellphone ringtone that sounded like a siren. As a result, the class was cut short and the students went to the sealed room. Immediately afterward, they learned that they would be punished collectively and would not be allowed to travel with their friends on the trip to Poland the next year.

      "It creates a situation in which they turn the trip into a privilege instead of a moral obligation," said one student. "It is something that is important to do and not something to be toyed with and used as prize or extra bonus. It's not an annual class outing."

      His friend added: "I'm eating myself up from inside. And what for? Because of some silly prank from last year? We're kids; we do silly things."

      A girl from another 12th grade class who will leave tonight for Poland said: "They could easily have found out who did this and could have punished just him and not the entire class... The school has a kind of mentality where the perpetual threat is they won't travel to Poland: 'If you cut class, you won't go to Poland,' 'If they catch you smoking, you won't go to Poland.'"

      Another 12th-grader related: "I myself decided not to go to Gadna (Youth Corps pre-army training program ) because I don't support the idea behind it, that military education can take place in the school. They immediately threatened me that I wouldn't get to go to Poland and only in the wake of a letter I wrote did they eventually allow me to go."

      "I just think the principle of punishing this way is simply shocking," said a mother of a 12th-grade student who is going on the trip. "The mere fact that the Poland trip has become a means of deterrence and for every problem this threat is pulled out."

      "A prank is something that must be dealt with, but punishing an entire class in this way is sending an educational message that Poland is a punishment or a prize. This is, after all, an educational endeavor on the part of the Ministry of Education; it's really a delusional idea. It's like saying, 'You won't learn history.' We parents spoke among ourselves; maybe it was convenient for them to drop one class, because they have too many students, otherwise it's impossible to understand such a future punishment for the year to come.

      "They'll probably say now that it's a class of 'troublemakers' and it makes life much easier to label students."

      The Ministry of Education's Tel Aviv District office stated: "In cases where principals decide not to take students on the trip, the ministry relies on their judgment, since a student's behavior is a key consideration when selecting participants to join the trip. It should be noted that the school did not punish the entire class, as it was decided to allow two students from the class to be part of the delegation."

      A statement from the municipality on behalf of the school said: "The Alon High School implements the recommendations of the committee to evaluate the behavior of the youth delegations to Poland and follows the director-general's bulletin with regard to selecting the participants. Instead of the trip to Poland, these students will take part in a unique program and travel in Israel as part of an educational program focusing on the inter-generational effort to get to the land of Israel and Jerusalem, while learning about the period of the Holocaust."

      link to

  • AP: The NYPD spied on its anti-terror partners
    • Wikipedia on Japanese Americans:

      "In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation said that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership".[12] The U.S. government eventually disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned and their heirs.[13]"

      No apologies and reparations for German American and Latin Americans internees

      link to

  • A society coming apart at the seams: Settlers attack IDF in the West Bank
    • "On the other hand, the separate drinking water shenanigans going on Israel does worry me."

      They can always shout 'classic anti-semitic trope' if someone finds out. Jews poisoning wells? Foxman to the rescue. Then again, the early Knesset did actually debate plans to poison German drinking water. Luckily the Germans were worth more being alive and help build Israel than being dead.

    • toivoS, let's hope the weapon developers, frustrated by such complications, come around to recognizing that they've been chasing and defending phantoms.

    • September, 2000: The Project for the New American Century published Rebuilding America's Defenses. The report is available at It mentions biological weapons that target "specific genotypes." "Genotype" refers to race. The PNAC report states:

      "Although it may take several decades for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare . . . will be vastly different than it is today . . . advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool." [32]

      April, 2003: The Washington Post revealed the South African government wanted to develop weapons that would target blacks.

      "More sinister were the attempts - to use science against the country's black majority population. Daan Goosen . . . says he was ordered . . . to develop ways to suppress population growth among blacks, perhaps by secretly applying contraceptives to drinking water. Basson also urged scientists to search for a 'black bomb,' a biological weapon that would select targets based on skin color." [33]

      link to

  • In solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners
    • "So now murderers and terrorists are “living martyrs”? Why don’t you pick one example of a Palestinian sentenced to life in prison and explain to everybody why he is a “martyr” and not a criminal."

      Do you think all Jewish concentration camp prisoners from 1933 - 1945 were 'living martyrs'?

      Is this one a murderer, terrorist, freedom fighter or martyr?

      link to

      Who were the prisoners in concentration camps in the Reich, such as Dachau and Buchenwald? Have a look at the badges:

      link to

      "People who wore the green and pink triangles were convicted in criminal courts and may have been transferred to the criminal prison systems after the camps were liberated."

      Let's take a closer look:

      Green triangle— "professional criminals" (convicts, ofttimes Kapos, serving in exchange for reduced sentences or parole).

      Pink triangle—sexual offenders, mostly homosexual men but rarely rapists, zoophiles and paedophiles.

      Then there were:

      Double-triangle badges resembled two superimposed triangles forming a Star of David, a Jewish symbol.

      Two superimposed yellow triangles, the "Yellow badge"—a Jew
      Red inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish political prisoner
      GREEN inverted triangle upon a yellow one—a Jewish "habitual criminal"
      Purple inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jehovah's Witness of Jewish descent[6]
      PINK inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish "sexual offender"

      So not all green and pink prisoners were liberated in 45. Criminals were treated as they would be in the countries of the Allies. Not that they all agreed what was a crime and what wasn't. The atheist Soviets had no problem with homosexuality, but the Western allies, as good Christians, saw no grounds for liberating the pink triangle prisoners. They were transfered to another prison and served the rest of their sentence. They kept a criminal record after their release, and even beyond the time homosexuality was no longer considered a crime in Germany and elsewhere. They were lawfully convicted by German courts during the Third Reich. No compensation. This changed only recently, and as one of the effects of reunification. By that time, only 2 or 3 former pink triangle prisoners were still alive. Descendants? Not that I know.

      Jewish pink triangle prisoners are a different story. In that case the argument could be made that they didn't receive a fair trial, whether they were homosexuals or other 'habitual criminals'. The same argument was more recently made by Dershowitz when Goldstone fell out of favor. All of a sudden he was an Apartheid 'hanging judge' who allegedly sentenced Blacks to death because they were black, not because they were murderers.

      The Luxemburg Treaty between Israel and West Germany in 1952 declared all Jewish concentration camp prisoners as being entitled to compensation -- regardless of why or whether they were convicted in a criminal court, or political opponents, beggars, converts, vagabonds, forced laborers, partisans etc etc, or simply there for no other reason than being Jews.

      You can argue that murderers and terrorists were a small minority among the Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. But that's my impression, too, when we are talking about Palestinian prisoners in Israeli facilities.

      But according to you and many others here, be they Jewish or not, all Jewish prisoners in Nazi camps, be it in the Reich or in Poland, be it before or after 38 or 41 (as if there was no difference) are "living martyrs". And then you poke fun at people who hold the same view about Palestinian prisoners in Israel? Why?

      I hate double standards.

  • NYT reviewer: Small group of Bush advisers will take real reason for Iraq war to their (restless) graves
    • “The neo-con movement … was almost exclusively Jewish”

      How about the taboo subject of 'Jewish Bolshevism'? I am deliberately, and without apology, linking to a revisionist site blacklisted by the ADL. Everything blacklisted by the ADL is must reading, just for balance, and to keep one's sanity and objectivity wrt what fuels anti-semitism, past and present. Plenty of Jewish contemporaries and Jewish historians are quoted in this article, testifying to the crucial role of Jews in the Russian revolution, the subsequent surge in anti-semitism, and the first legislation to criminalize anti-semitism that followed in its wake:

      link to

    • "Dragging “the Jews” into these proceedings is of course wildly off the mark. Jews are all over the ideological map on everything, and especially on Mideast and Israeli politics. God love ‘em — impossible to pigeonhole as a group, too ornery, contrarian and independent-minded to be herded around en masse. My kind of people."

      So what you're saying is that Israel and Zionism has nothing to do with 'the Jews'. Interesting. Now go to Jerusalem, or pay a visit to the Hilltop Youth and religious settlers, and tell them just that. Maybe one of them, in typical contrarian and independent-minded fashion, will kick you in the groin, or give you the Goldstone treatment. You can then curl up somewhere in a fetal position, have some strongly objecting real Jew come to the rescue, and tell yourself: "My kind of people, aren't they fabulous?" And, of course, 'two Jews, three opinions' does not apply to any other people, such as Arabs, Germans or Christians and Muslims etc. They're just mindless, ideologically mapped cattle, easily pigeonholed. You should add 'Talmudists' to your list of people not having anything to do with "the Jews".

  • 'Ready for a Tahrir moment?' - Occupy Wall Street, the 'Arab Spring' and Israel/Palestine
  • Jewish terrorists strike again, this time in the Galilee
    • "There is a world wide Jewish community trying to figure out what is best for the Jews."

      See, this is what baffles me. Why isn't there a world wide Greek community trying to figure out what is best for the Greeks, to pick just one possible example. Do the 1 million or so Greek Americans support a lobby which is constantly in the face of other Americans insisting on the right of Greeks in Greece not to pay their taxes? Do the 50 million German Americans contribute to some National Fund to resettle Poland with Germans? Do politicians worry about the Polish or Italian vote, or give absurd numbers of standing ovations to the Mexican president? What business do Jewish Americans have in figuring out what's best for Jews in Israel? Why aren't they much more interested in what's best for Jews and non-Jews in America?

    • "It isn’t fair, but Israel IS held to a different standard throughout the world."

      It's perfectly fair. You can't brag about being the only democracy in the ME and keep Palestinians inside Israel and in the OPT/Gaza under the boot, some less so, some much more so.

      You can't complain about German Jews losing German citizenship and being made stateless and then do the very same thing, 10 years later, in Israel, to Palestinians.

      And you can't complain about burning synagogues and then let the mosques be burned down in the OPT, with pogroms included. Germany, btw, was held to a different standard as Russia and Poland as well. There hadn't been any pogroms in Western Europe for centuries, and the world was shocked in 1938. The US, for instance, withdrew the ambassador in response to the Reichskristallnacht. Why should Israel be held to a different standard than Germany?

  • An American Jew who emigrated to Israel is asked if the end of the Jewish state would be a tragedy for her
    • "I am fully aware of the early history of Zionism. And using the same form of argumentation IF there had been a strand of Nazi’s that weren’t anti-semtitic then Nazism wasn’t anti-semitic. It’s great in this imaginary world that might have been, isn’t it?"

      There was no strand of Nazism that wasn't anti-semitic? I find it amazing how many people here have little more than a cartoonish view of National Socialism - all foaming at the mouth genocidal anti-semites, then and now. All Germans, of course. NOT, like Zionism, a multi-facetted movement, supported by plenty of non-Germans, in which different strands gained the upped hand at different times, depending on a variety of circumstances, some of them extreme: Versailles and the threat of Bolshevism revolution in Germany, Wall Street crashing, hyperinflation, the Depression, WW II.

      Otto Strasser is but one example of what I would call, even though the mere suggestion of such a concept upsets Shmuel, a "liberal Nazi". His brother Gregor was one of the victims of the 'Night of the Long Knives" in 1934. Otto fled to Czechoslovakia, where he opposed Nazi policies in 1938, then fled to Switzerland and eventually to Canada. He was denied return to occupied post-war Germany because he was, well, a Nazi, and the Allies had their hands full with denazifying millions of them. The West German government refused his repatriation until 1955 or so. His efforts at returning to politics were unsuccessful. He was then known as a Neo-Nazi.

      His views on the 'Jewish Question' , written in 1940:

      link to

      See also:

      link to

  • Anwar al-Awlaki's extrajudicial murder
    • "And Buddha, ca. 500 BC, the original guy for this phrase"

      I'm certain prehistoric people already made the discovery, even though they didn't write it down on their cave walls

    • blah, blah, blah, hostage. As if the rule of law mattered more in the US than in Israel, and elsewhere. Grave breach of Geneva Conventions and War Crime? Like it's the first time. The Soviets weren't even signatories to the Geneva Conventions in WW II, then smugly sat in judgement over German violations of the Geneva Conventions at the Eastern front. Clever how Nuremberg exxluded breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed AFTER the war, and at the same time the show trials were taking place. The farce of Nuremberg is the 'rule of international law' that has been practiced ever since.

      upsidedownism is perfectly right. Politicians have long known that all you have to do is foster a sense of being threatened, be it real or imaginary, and you get away with just about anything. The Nazis knew that too, and they were not the first either

  • Israeli settlers attack Israeli activists & journalists; 19 injured, 3 hospitalized
    • RJ

      I think the US does treat Israel like any other foreign country, and always has, i.e. from a perspective of self-interest, and that applies to individual politicians and members of Congress as well. If you can't throw Israel to the dogs anyway, as you put it, why not take the money and play along? The Lobby funds campaigns, and provides a lucrative job market for politicians no one would vote for again. Tony Blair, for instance. It's all just political theater, a self-perpetuating deception and self-deception, and deflection from the real problem.

      "The United States decimated North Korea and Vietnam under both Democratic and Republican rule. It decimated Iraq under Republican rule, but the Democrats did not object, nor have they since withdrawn the troops. It started a war in Afghanistan that Republicans bequeathed to the Democrats and that will continue for many years to come.

      Since World War II, the American war industry has never stopped growing. Eisenhower, in his farewell speech 50 years ago when he left the White House to Kennedy, warned against the increasing power of the American arms industry: "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." His prophecy comes true on a daily basis.


      The American economy relies on this gigantic war machine. The policy of peace that some Democrats support is based on a different economics, but the way is long and hard, and it seems it is more difficult to beat China and India on this field. Even the president who became a symbol even before having done anything in office, and received the Nobel Peace Prize simply because he fulfilled Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream, doesn't have a good speech for the data on stagnant growth and unemployment; he has no response to America's decline.

      When a bank chairman is replaced, the bank's investment policy is unlikely to change drastically. The president of the United States is like the chairman of a huge bank, and the differences between him and his political rivals are really dwarfed when they are viewed from the bloody morasses of Vietnam and Iraq, or even our own.

      For years, the "peace camp" has pinned its hopes on an American president who will come and extricate us from the occupation. This folly also reflects Israel's dependence on the United States in general.

      It is convenient to forget that no other country in the world has received a gift of $100 billion since its establishment 63 years ago. It is convenient to forget that for decades, Israel has been the pipeline through which the United States funded the American arms industry: The money it disburses goes through Israel and back to those industries. It is convenient for our gentle doves to forget that the Israeli project is first and foremost an imperial one, through which the United States - whether by stick (bombings deep inside Egypt, the destruction of Beirut, the starvation of Gaza ) or by carrot ("We'll pressure them if you are nice to us" ) - continues to rule the region.

      True, it is sad to see the "liberators of Libya" denying the 44-year-old military dictatorship in Palestine. True, it is sad to compare Obama the symbol - and the hopes it was so easy to pin on him, especially from afar - with the symbol's real meaning.

      But the pro-Americanism of the Israeli peace camp is even sadder. Like beggars at the gate, its members stand there and say to the White House, which is built on so much oppression and horror throughout the world, "Don't be a Lieberman; help us to be righteous."

      link to

      France and Germany are big weapon producers too. Last time Netanyhau and Merkel made up after a row over the German vote in the UNSC (not supporting settlement expansion), Bibi went home with another submarine. Will Merkel or any other German chancellor put equal human rights and justice for the Palestinians above Germany and the EU? Unfortunately, I don't think so.

      The only people who can solve this problem peacefully are the people of Israel. They'd have to wake up to the fact that their friends may be worse than their enemies.

    • Western government ridding themselves of 'the chains the Lobby has imposed on them' won't change a thing.

      First, they will continue to support Israel's security and domestic stability because no one wants to watch and see what would happen to a failed state sitting on a large arsenal of weapons and nukes, potentially falling into the hands of extremists who'd rather blow up the ME than give up on the Jewish state (or accept the Jewish state). You think Merkel is driven by guilt about the Holocaust? That's just the emotional club being used to stifle increasing opposition to pro-Israel policies among the German voters and taxpayers.

      Second, British, American and continental European support (including the Kaiser and Hitler) for Zionism and a Jewish state in Palestine was, among other objectives, supposed to solve the 'Jewish Problem'. No Western country will look forward to re-integrating the 'spoiled children' of Israel at a time of economic crisis and increasing social unrest.

      The Jewish state is here to stay, Lobby or no Lobby. The only question is what kind of state it will be.

      OF course, Western support may not be worth much in the near or distant future. Both the US and Europe are in sharp decline. The best economic performer in Europe is the country that hasn't had a government for some 2 years. Maybe that's the way to go.

  • 'Time' features generational divide over Israel-- when will 92d St Y stage this family affair?
    • joke related by Mark Twain:

      Teacher: Who was the mother of Moses?

      Pupil: Pharao's daughter

      Teacher: No, no, no. She just found him

      Pupil: That's what SHE said

  • Mourning the Jewish New Year
    • "I have zero sympathy for what was done to the Germans. Zero!!"

      Well, what can I say? You're blinded by hatred, just like the increasing number of people who want to blow up Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. I feel sorry for the whole lot of you.

    • "Nowhere in the bible does it say “It’s OK to kill non-Jews.” The Bible contains accounts of the wars fought by the ancient nations of Israel, but there is no such categorical statement."

      Hophmi: surely you are aware of Purim readings, and that the Kingdom was built on strict divine orders to kill all the Amalekites, be they hostile or friendly, aggressive or submissive, together with their entire life-stock. Why is Saul replaced by David? How do their sins differ? See Books of Samuel.

      Yehuda Bauer: "As a Jew, I must live with the fact that the civilization I inherited ... encompasses the call for genocide in its canon."

      link to

    • The people who used white phosphorous in WW II were not put on trial at Nuremberg. In fact, aerial bombardment was not made an issue at all, for obvious reasons. Britain and the US would have looked much worse than the Germans. This and other double-standards continue to feed hasbara central. Here's one example, repeated on countless websites, as one of Netanyahu's finest moments (may or may not be a verbatim quote, and there are in fact different versions of what N actually said):

      "The interviewer asked him: “How come so many more Palestinians have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?”

      Netanyahu: “Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?”

      Interviewer: (Falling into the trap) Why not?

      Netanyahu: “Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the war was caused by Germany’s aggression. And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima. Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children’s hospital, killing 83 little children. Perhaps you have another question?”

    • lli,

      I'm not saying 'you uppity Jews had it coming', just as I would not sanction the view that 'you uppity Germans, or Americans, had it coming'. I reject any rationalization of collective punishment, and I don't confuse revenge with justice. That's why I do find it offensive that members of the early Knesset had nothing better to do than to contemplate the pros and cons of poisoning the water supplies of major German cities for the purpose of killing 6 million Germans (see Segev, The Seventh Million). Such people are psychopaths, and there are plenty of those on MW, such as Wondering Jew telling me that he finds the mere suggestion of Germans as victims 'obscene'.

      "Charon actually says, we’re not really Jews anyway, so the last laugh was on the Germans and their Eastarn European helpers who mistakenly thought they were killing real Jews."

      Well, some of the Germans who were killed for being Germans were actually German speaking Jews during the expulsions of Germans in Eastern Europe. Shall I laugh about you if you mistakenly think they were killing real Germans?

      And what about this?

      "While the Western Allies fought in the Ardennes, the Red Army continued to make good progress on the eastern front, entering Warsaw on January 17, 1945. Locals cheered as the Polish units in the Red Army passed. They did not know that some of the officers they applauded were only pretending to be Poles."

      link to

      I wouldn't be surprised if some of those officers posing as Poles were Jews.

    • “I also have no idea what ‘antidote’ is talking about. Jewish war criminals in Poland? "

      "I assume that antidote is referencing Salomon Morel"

      Yes, Morel is the most infamous example, but there is a lot more:

      link to
      link to

      In most countries, and regardless of circumstances, minorities who greet invading armies with triumphal arches and flower-strewn streets would be suspected of 'dual loyalty'. But that's an 'anti-semitic canard', right? It's what some (not all) Polish Jews did to greet Hitler's Wehrmacht and, some 2 weeks later, Stalin's Red Army. I don't blame those Jews for feeling no particular alligiance to the Polish state. But it's difficult to ascribe the Polish reaction to nothing but anti-semitism.

      link to

    • woody,

      I disagree with your analysis. National Socialism had many different facets and layers, and the supporters of NS, be they German or not, responded to various aspects of the movement. The claim that Aryans had "the right to take the land of another by virtue of racial superiority" was NOT a unique feature of National Socialism. It was just as much, and long before NS, the belief of the anglo-saxon elite in Britain and the US. Churchill, Madison Grant and Theodore Roosevelt are prime examples and merely the tip of an iceberg. Much of NS ideology was inspired by British, American and French attitudes towards racial supremacy.

      "They didn’t try to even paint their conquests of the portions of Poland which became the General Government, Ukraine, Russia, etc., on anything but the right of the strong to dominate the weak.
      All nonsense, of course, but that’s what they proposed."

      Even if that was true: what's the difference compared with other imperialists and expansionists?

    • "The thousands of years ago is a bunch of hooey and where on this planet has there ever been such a claim for a land theft? "

      Uh -- Nazi Germany? All land claims were based on history. Not only in the cases of Czechoslovakia and Poland (recreated at the Paris conference and carved out from formerly German/Austrian/Hungarian and Russian territory), but also going back "thousands of years" to the settlements and kingdoms of Germanic tribes. Israel uses the Bible, Nazi Germany used Tacitus etc. to stake their claim. Modern Germans were considered direct descendants of the Goths and therefore entitled to resettle in the lands of their ancestors, from the Baltic to Ukraine. Same rubbish, different reaction, for obvious reasons. Israel's expansion 'only' displaced a relatively small number of Arabs (and there were plenty of other Arab countries, but only one Jewish - or Polish - state, and the Great Powers, for various reasons at different times, considered a strong and stable Jewish state to be an asset, not a threat to their interests and hegemony. Hence, Nazi Germany is the greatest evil, and Israel the greatest good. Or, as Netanyahu put it to AIPAC recently: "Israel is not what's wrong in the ME but what's right in the ME".

    • "her country hasn’t even begun to review and come to terms with what they did to the Jews"

      true, but Israel hasn't begun to review what Jews did to Poles either. After the collapse of the SU, Israel did offer shelter to Jewish war criminals, and refused to extradite them to stand trial for crimes against humanity in Poland

  • Let's negotiate over how we divide the pizza while I eat the pizza
    • Mhughes - a trivial, geographical point it is surely not. Germany/Austria and the Soviet Union had territorial claims - an old and standard motive for war, and the division of Poland, for starters, reestablished the pre-1919/Versailles borders of the German/Austrian and Russian imperial borders. National Socialism and National Bolshevism defying the dictate of the Western Imperialists, so to speak. Hitler also wanted a piece of the Ukraine, and Stalin a piece of Prussia, among other objectives (extending the Soviet sphere of influence over Eastern and into Western Europe). So Poland and the Bloodlands necessarily ended up in the eye of the storm. And it is in this geographical region where most European Jews, i.e. victims of the Holocaust, happened to live at the time. Would Hitler have attacked Britain or France, and not bothered with Eastward expansion had most Jews lived in Western Europe? Of course not.

    • "he goes out of his way to say offensive things, some of them which could be interpreted as denial and others which make it sound like Jewish behavior somehow explained the German reaction. This is insane."

      what is insane about it? Saying that 'the German reaction' was entirely arbitrary (i.e. not in any way connected to Jewish behavior) turns 'the Germans' into lunatics who act completely irrationally, but in such a consistent way that they actually manage to kill millions of Jews while fighting for their lives on two fronts. You call that a rational, sane argument?

    • "I don’t think Mearsheimer really addressed the issue."

      eee sure did: "This will not end well for Mearsheimer".

      I'd call that a threat: comply with the sanctioned discourse on Jews, or else.

      If you are not a philo-semite, you are an anti-semite.

      If you don't acknowledge our victimhood, we'll do you in.

    • ToivoS

      did you actually read Paul Eisen's article? Just wondering

  • Turkish government releases identities of IDF soldiers who attacked the Mavi Marmara
    • lysias, I don't know the book, but my understanding is that Israel (and many other countries) had issued plenty of warnings to the US - some of them precise enough to have Pentagon generals cancel their flights for the morning of 9/11. You find a list here:

      link to

      To come up with an answer re who did it as fast as the Bush admin did would indicate that they knew who did it before it was done, which raises the question why air defense failed rather than be on high alert, and why the POTUS had nothing more urgent to do than reading children stories in Florida. Warning fatique? Gross negligence? Inside job? One caveat surely applies here: Never ascribe to malice what can be sufficiently explained with incompetence.

    • “Traitor” is the right term for people who believe their own government was responsible for 9/11. "

      The American revolutionaries had all kinds of outlandish conspiracy theories about the British Crown, and the British about them.

      link to

    • "that’s a state thing and a rightwing extremist thing. zionism is embedded in both the state and the rightwing"

      Surely terrorism and assassination is not a 'right wing' phenomenon? Maybe in the US which doesn't have a Left

      link to

      The RAF certainly went in for assassinations. And that's true for the Royal Air Force and the Red Army Faction

  • Blair uses envoy post to support billionaire life-style, TV doc claims
  • Obama's impossible dilemma--and ours
    • "unfortunately the tail wags the dog"

      tail: US
      dog: much of the rest of the world

      tail: Israel
      dog: US

      Reminds me of what some ancient Greek told his people, pointing at his son: "This is the ruler of Greece. Because he rules over his mother, his mother rules over me, and I rule over Greece"

    • "That’s why, unfortunately, it’s appearing more and more to be the case that the only way to defeat the hideous zionist expansionist ideology is to militarily crush it. Then we’ll see what’s left in the ruins"

      Yes, yes, Israel is Nazi Germany and should be treated in the same way, right?
      You are the biggest idiot on MW. God help us from opinion like yours spreading in the US and elsewhere.

    • "But of course for the Chicken Littles on this site, the West Bank is like the Warsaw Ghetto."

      And for the Chicken Littles in Israel, qassam rockets are like cruise missiles and WMDs.

    • "The catalyst for the doomsday scenario will be a strike on Iran. The way Bibi was talking at the UN, such a strike is still on the table. Iran will respond and then the aftermath won’t be pretty as other nations are drawn in. Actually, the best thing Iran could do is not respond. Be the better man and condemn Israel."

      I'm pretty sure Iran wouldn't respond. They've seen the US screw themselves by responding, even though the war zones were far away from the American homeland. The only sane reaction to 9/11 would have been to condemn AQ and deliver the Cairo speech right then and there. Of course, the American people would have been in uproar over such a lame response. Bush would have been denounced as a weak president in the grip of the Saudi lobby, and what not, and the Dems would have beaten the war drums

  • Buttu, Erakat, Dajani, Rabbani and Abunimah respond to UN speeches
    • I agree, tokyobk. Last thing we need. Best thing to maintain the status quo via political theatre at the UN

    • you are clasping at straws, Koshiro. You are also trying to sell me the idea that everyone would come up with the same interpretation as long as they read the same text. In other words: each text has only one valid interpretation. That's what religious fundamentalists think, not I

      Ravid's interpretation is not 'disingeneous', it's at least as valid as yours or tree's (which are quite different).

    • I still don't get what your objection was and where my logic was faulty. Sorry

    • tree

      no I don't find that paragraph 'offensive'. I wasn't talking about my perspective, but the Israeli perspective clashing with Abbas, as pointed out by Ravid. And what do you mean I left out "Ravid's next line"? I left out the entire article except for the passage I quoted. "Divine messages" does not specifically address Judaism, it's neither here nor there. I wasn't talking about Palestinians and Israelis but about how their surely diverse views were represented by their leaders.

      To restate my point clearly: Abbas and Netanyahu delegitimized each other, denying the opponent's main claim to statehood: Abbas by not specifically recognizing a special connection between Jews, Judaism and Palestine, by mentioning Muhammad and Christ, but no Jewish prophet - Netanyahu by denying that the Palestinian claim is backed by international law. Even if the UN would recognize a Palestinian state, Netanyahu doesn't recognize the UN:

      "Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It's the -- the theater of the absurd. It doesn't only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi's Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam's Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.

      You might say: That's the past. Well, here's what's happening now -- right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world's security.

      So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide -- they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory."

      Well, that's not the whole story either, obviously.

    • As long as "Obama is a Muslim!" does not produce any more than shrugs and 'so what?' across the country, I'd say the US is a Judeo-Christian state, whatever you declare it.

    • you know straightline: the hasbarist charge offends me no more than the anti-semite accusation. Water off a duck. Does everyone here have to toe a party-line and be consistently and uncritically on the Jewish or Palestinian side? I am what I am. And shouting 'hasbara' or 'anti-semite' is not an argument

    • I think it's the best, or worst (depending on your perspective), Abbas could have done to 'delegitimize' Israel. Don't you think? It sure hits home. The Jewish homeland. There is a difference between 'Jewish homeland' and 'Jewish state'. I'd be the first to admit that Netanyahu's signet ring business is bizarre beyond belief, nor do I buy into the allegedly unquestionable connection between the ancient Hebrews and modern Jews, no matter how you define 'Jewish'. However, to say that Palestine is not 'holy' to the Jews is off the mark. Even Netanyahu (UN speech) pleaded peace on the grounds that Jews and Muslims should live in peace together on their mutual ancestral land. I don't think he mentioned the Christians, though. What's wrong with either one of them: they can't bring themselves to mention more than two Abrahamic religions? Or is Netanyahu tired of the Christian Zionists and their BS?

      Anyway, Abbas not including Jews can only be understood by the other side as not being wanted, or not being considered legitimate, in the 'Holy Land'. That's not peacemaking. That's putting wind under Netanyahu's sails, no matter how unpopular he is presently: "Better a bad press than a good eulogy"

    • Yes, that's all true. Abbas, however, wasn't totally balanced either.

      Barak Ravid in today's Haaretz:

      "Abbas' speech was unrelenting. A few of the things he said would even make Yossi Beilin or Shimon Peres cringe. When he talked about Palestine as a land holy to several religions, he mentioned Muslims and Christians, but failed to mention the Jews."

      Under the belt. If the UN gives a standing ovation to this, Obama has no choice but to throw his weight on the Israeli side

  • Obama approves secret sale of 'bunker buster' bombs to Israel
    • "a marketing driven amoeba"

      good point, piotr

    • "Now that the truth is out..."

      Just now? I wouldn't hold my breath. Excerpt from "Washington Report on ME Affairs" (Subtitle: "Telling the truth for 29 years"), 1999:

      "New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind from Brooklyn, traveling with Moskowitz, said he had no doubt that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was the right man to support.

      In Hebron, the Moskowitz group was greeted with music and dance by Jewish settlers. “These are people who love us and help us, they are real lovers of Israel,” said Baruch Marzel. “They can’t sleep at night if they don’t give money to Hebron.”

      Israeli Knesset member Yossi Sarid, who leads the dovish Meretz party, said, “The Moskowitz phenomenon is both frightening and disgusting. The very thought that a man who makes his money from betting parlors is also gambling with our fate fills me with apprehension.”

      Accompanying Moskowitz on his January trip to Israel and the occupied territories was out-of-control Congressman Michael Forbes (R-NY), whom the American Task Force for Palestine (ATFP) now calls a “rogue congressman.” AP reported that both Moskowitz and Forbes were heckled by Israeli peace activists as they toured the Ras al-Amoud area of East Jerusalem, where Moskowitz hopes to finance a new Jewish settlement this spring. Said ATFP Executive Director Michael Sanford, “Rather than going to Israel to urge them to abide by their signed commitments, Congressman Forbes has gone to support their violations of them...To call for ”˜coexistence’ by encouraging the building of Jewish-only settlements in illegally occupied territory on land that was confiscated from Palestinians is not only ironic, it’s just plain bizarre.”

      David Tenenbaum, an Orthodox Jewish engineer at the U.S. Army’s plant in Southfield, MI, was investigated for 10 months by the FBI starting in 1997 on suspicion that he had released classified information on armor systems, Patriot missile countermeasures, Bradley fighting vehicles and Humvees to Israel. The government dropped the investigation last July, but now Tenenbaum has filed a lawsuit seeking $120 million in damages from the Justice Department and several officials. His lawyer, Martin Crandall, said Tenenbaum’s Jewish faith might have made him a target in what the lawyer called “an ethnic-oriented persecution.”

      Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who once advised the Israeli government to close the West Bank to the media and suppress the Palestinian intifada “as quickly as possible—overwhelmingly, brutally and rapidly” and suggested early in the Iraq-Iran war that the U.S. should do nothing to halt it, just gets more embarassingly like the Nazis from whom his parents once fled. At a New York fund-raising dinner organized by Ben-Gurion University in late November after the Wye agreement had been signed by Netanyahu and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Clinton’s presence at the White House just in time for U.S. elections, Kissinger advised Israel not to hand over any more territory to the Palestinians pending conclusion of a permanent status agreement. The problem, of course, is that by following the advice, which he did, Netanyahu reneged on the agreement which he had just signed, and also further postponed the beginning of final status talks by calling new Israeli elections.

      If you listen very carefully, you learn that not all members of the U.S. Congress want to bomb Iraq back into the stone age..."

      the rest here:

      link to

  • Breaking: 'Irvine 11' found guilty on two charges for protesting Michael Oren
    • Reality check:

      "Although the act was designed to broadly apply to any foreign agent (and was first used against German Nazi and Soviet propagandists), in practice FARA is frequently used to target countries out of favor with an administration.[3]
      In the 1960s, the American Zionist Council was found to be engaged in massive violations of FARA by being funded by and acting on behalf of Israel and was ordered by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to register as a foreign agent. The DOJ reversed those enforcement efforts under pressure from both the Israel lobby and the Johnson administration during its reelection bid.[4][5] Controversy regarding lobbying on behalf of Israel continued after the American Zionist Council was reorganized as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), with former Senator William Fulbright and former senior CIA official Victor Marchetti calling for registering the lobby. The issue was renewed in 2004 by the AIPAC espionage scandal.[6]
      Even though both AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations lobby for the government of Israel, they still have not been forced to register at the DOJ. [...]

      The Foreign Agent Registration Unit is heavily underfunded despite an increase in the number of foreign lobbyists in Washington, as well as higher spending. In June 2004, the Justice Department claimed that the Unit's database for tracking foreign lobbyists was in disrepair and claimed that much of its data could be lost unless the database was backed up."

      link to

  • Israel's remaining friends rally around flag outside of UN
    • "Pretty sure the American colonies declared independence, unilaterally."

      'and the population got the message that they do have entitlement and the whole situation really spiraled out of control.' Well, not the whole population. Just the colonists (minus the ones who were imported as slaves)

  • Deal in works to save Obama casting a veto, and continue 'peace process' --Guardian
    • Shmuel,

      "Why the hyperbole? Is the reality not bad enough? Are there no other analogies?"

      The short answer is: no. I have to take a raincheck on the long answer (no time right now)


      "I’m afraid no one here really knows German history of the time you’re referring to as we have special historical standards to preserve the NKDV/Hollywood/Churchill/FDR/Zionist mythology."

      I fully agree. And my long answer would have to address and correct the rubbish one reads on MW and just about everywhere else about German history. But I disagree that all books get burned in Germany or elsewhere. Not at all. It's just that most people haven't read them. The truth is out there but the lies persist. It's just like the I/P conflict. "The Arabs attacked", "The Germans attacked", and so on. Very similar. As long as the Nazis are marketed as the ultimate evil, and the Holocaust as the ultimate crime (i.e. the Jews as the prime victims of WW II and history), neither the I/P conflict nor a great many others will be solved.

    • "our fragile experiment in liberty"

      def. LIBERTY (legal dict.)

      "The state of being free; enjoying various social, political, or economic rights and privileges. The concept of liberty forms the core of all democratic principles. Yet, as a legal concept, it defies clear definition.

      The modern conception of liberty as implying certain fundamental or basic rights dates back to the writings of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century theorists such as Francis Hutcheson and John Locke. Hutcheson believed that all people are equal and that they possess certain basic rights that are conferred by Natural Law. Locke postulated that humans are born with an innate tendency to be reasonable and tolerant. He also believed that all individuals are entitled to liberty under the natural law that governed them before they formed societies. Locke's concept of natural law required that no one should interfere with another's life, health, liberty, or possessions. According to Locke, governments are necessary only to protect those who live within the laws of nature from those who do not."

      The reason why the Israeli 'experiment in liberty' is fragile is not that the Palestinians (and a great many others) are 'angry', or because there are and always have been threats to Israel's security. That's just symptoms of the disease: not living 'within the laws of nature' which grants the same rights and liberty to all individuals. The US has the same problem, producing the same symptoms. Well, stick together and love each other as long as it lasts. It won't last. And you won't be remembered kindly.

    • "It’s like Obama can’t even read the tea leaves blowing about in the Arab Spring & his own country’s terrible economic position"

      Yes he can! Who wants economic competition from thriving Arab democracies and economies? What if they start selling their oil to whoever they want? Do they have reason to consider the US or the 'quality countries' in Europe as special friends? Will they embrace the financial system and trust US bankers? I hear G&S saddled Gadhafi with billions of junk stock before the 2008 crash. Well, at least that's a non-violent way to bring down dictators.

    • "ultra-liberal Zionist":

      "I was born in New York, grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Israel in 1985."

      ultra-liberal Nazi:

      I was born in Frankfurt, grew up in Munich and moved to Poland in 1940.

  • New Dem panic: If Obama's such a great friend, why didn't he go to Israel?
    • "can anyone document this security threat to Obama if he would travel to Israel?"

      can anyone document this security threat to Israel if Palestine became a UN member? If the occupation ended?

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