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Total number of comments: 12 (since 2010-08-04 02:38:39)

BillM

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  • Relentless bombing on Gaza continues: Israel kills media worker, 9 people watching World Cup on beach
    • It is disturbing to see how stunningly successful the Israeli attack has been in changing the media narrative. This was the first goal of the war, and it has already been acheived. Hamas' weakness is now drawing Israel into expanding its goals.

      It's hard to say which media outlet is currently winning the prize for most subservient to Israel. NPR made a good play this morning, with Ari Shapiro claiming Israel would trade "calm for calm," despite both Netanyahu and Lapid having said the precise opposite.

      I think BBC might win it here, though:

      link to bbc.com

      The article is titled "What weapons are being used in the Israel-Gaza conflict." It includes 15 paragraphs on Hamas' little artillery rockets, and exactly ONE paragraph on Israeli bombing.

  • 'Kill those who rise up to kill us' -- a prime minister's chilling tweet
    • The last 3 words of the tweet are entirely superfluous.

      Our policy is clear – kill those who rise up

  • European Union ruling: Ban poultry imports from settlements
  • Report: Germany cancels military subsidy deal with Israel following breakdown of peace negotiations
    • Wow, this is massive if true. Germany has been heavily subsidizing Israel's navy for years (in a combination of Holocaust guilt and subsidies to the German arms industry). If Germany is pulling back now, at a time when Israel is in the middle of a major naval expansion, this will have real MILITARY repercussions on Israel (sadly the only kind of repercussions that seem to matter).

  • 'A Painful Price': The escalating war on Palestine solidarity at U of Michigan and beyond
    • Ha!

      Futher it isn’t like Arab or Black students couldn’t google, “What’s the Jewish equivalent of nigger”.

      The idea of racists doing research on the best way to be crudely insulting made me spit up my coffee. I wish Dave Chappelle could do the skit.

      "Internet research suggests 'kike is adequately offensive for shouting in hallways, but we may need something ruder for the flyers."
      "Great, thanks. Now for a report from the crude caricature committee."
      "Our focus group indicates that the noses need to be 20% larger, and unfortunately they found that oversized ears were just confusing."
      "Keep working at it. Now, does the weak-joke-equating-jews-and-money team have anything to report this week?"

  • Netanyahu mentions 'BDS' 18 times in denouncing movement and its 'gullible fellow travelers'
    • Well, this is the same group that applauded when he said Iranian ICBMs (which don't exist, but whatever) are not aimed at Israel, they are aimed at the US.

      My favorite part had to be his rant about Iran's evil: "They execute hundreds..., they throw thousands more into their jails, and they repress millions." If there's a better description of the Occupation, I haven't heard it.

  • Netanyahu seems to put Hitler mustache on Angela Merkel
  • EU Prez Martin Schulz wreaks havoc during speech at Knesset
    • Great piece. You night also note that the second "lie" Schulz told is that Israel is blockading Gaza.

      I find this event very telling. I've long since come to accept that the Occupation is in fact very popular in Israel (certainly more popular than peace), which is why it continues so long and why no serious Israeli peace movement develops. But I hadn't quiet realized the extent to which Israelis block out every sight and sound of the Occupation, and honestly convince themselves it isn't going on.

  • Revealed: Right-wing group StandWithUs' strategy to combat Israel Apartheid Week
    • Way too much work. Just rip some of the zombie horde scenes from World War Z and slap on a label saying "Students rushing to buy Israeli products." We can have the video out in a hour, and then get back to eating that delicious Israeli-invented hummus.

  • Kerry's wingmen Friedman and Beinart praise boycott, to pressure Netanyahu
    • Great article. I'd add a lesser known but still important liberal Zionist, Matt Duss, who comes around to, as the "progressive position," support for boycott of the settlements, but not of Israel itself.

      link to prospect.org

      Duss's article is important because of its target (progressives), but more so because he actually lays out the groundwork well for boycotting Israel as a whole, even while smearing those who actually practice it. He says:

      With Denmark’s biggest bank, Danske Bank, announcing earlier this week that it would no longer do business with Israel’s biggest bank, Bank Hapoalim, over the latter’s financing of settlements, those warnings are already coming to pass. Like the European Union’s announcement last summer of new guidelines prohibiting funding of Israeli organizations located in the occupied territories, these represent long-overdue steps to exact costs for an occupation that has continued for far too long. The aggressiveness of the debate—which is pretty pitched even on its best days—will only increase as the pressure increases. I think a responsible progressive position—which balances values with what is practically achievable—is one that marshals those pressures toward an end to the occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state in its place, alongside Israel.

      This is all absolutely correct, but the point is that the pressures is to "exact costs for the occupation." This is done by pressuring Israel, the decision maker, not by pressuring the settlements themselves (i.e. the decision). This is the way pretty much all boycotts work. When activists boycotted Arizona because of its racist immigration laws, they did not boycott the police enforcing the laws, they boycotted the entire state. When farmworkers picking tomatos pressured Yum Brands (Taco Bell) for decent wages, they did not ask people to order their taco supremes with no tomatos, they called on people to boycott Taco Bell entirely. In every case, the target is the decision maker (in this case, Israel), and the method is economic and moral pressure across all their activities.

      Now that boycotts against the settlements have basically gained acceptance in much of the chattering class, it is important to explain why such a limited boycott does not actually put pressure on Israel to acheive a breakthrough.

  • 'Haaretz' analyst says surging BDS movement may be contributing to falling shekel
    • Great story. This also highlights why the the boycott must target the decision-maker (Israel), and not the decision (the occupation). BTW, Annie, I hope you'll do a take down of Matt Duss's insipid article in the American Prospect (link to prospect.org) on what the proper "progressive" position must be (i.e. a boycott of the settlements, but not a boycott of Israel). A boycott of the settlement products themselves can never be more than a pinprick to Israel, and Israel can afford to absorb that loss (especially given massive US funding). To change the decision-making calculus on any meaningful level (like the value of the shekel, for instance), the boycott needs to target Israel as a whole. No boycott targets just the offending product, it targets the decision maker as a whole.

  • Kerry's framework according to Friedman and Indyk (Updated: Abbas Weighs In)
    • This report leaves out key details I need in order to evaluate the plan. Will Abbas be required to give Bibi piggy-back rides, or will his time be spent shining Bibi's shoes? Will Palestinians be allowed to look up at the settlements in awe, or must they keep their eyes downcast at all times? How can I evaluate the plan without the details?

      The "plan" is a joke of course. But Abbas will agree to it all, and the "negotiations" will drag on for another year until, at the end, we'll discover as always that the plan is something no Palestinian leader could sign ansd survive, and no Israeli leader would ever bother signing since they always know the US will give them more. But it'll at least waste another year.

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