Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1351 (since 2014-02-14 21:33:31)


Retired middle American.

Showing comments 1100 - 1001

  • Out of 1.8 million Gazans, 250 over age 50 are allowed to travel to Jerusalem to pray
    • re: "The number of Palestinians permitted to worship at Al-Aqsa was reduced by Israel in recent weeks, as Israeli authorities have typically permitted 300 elderly Palestinians from the small Palestinian territory to travel to Al-Aqsa every Friday…."

      How many Palestinians are permitted to travel to other countries, I wonder, whether for education, healthcare, to visit families, or simply to seek a better life, like the thousands of people from other nations who travel to Europe and the United States each year?

      Surely the Palestinians, having been evicted from their homes and their homeland, having been denied citizenship in a state, having been denied so many basic human rights, should qualify as refugees.

  • Reloading comments from April and May 2014
    • Thanks, I appreciate the explanation. For me (and I suspect for some others too), the explanation means more than the pace of the replacement. Keeping the site up and running is the right priority, but it is good to know that the history isn't lost.

  • Former AIPAC official says Israel should get no US aid without ending 'oppressive' settlements
  • Anti-occupation activists stand with Black Lives Matter as Jewish orgs attack movement over Israel criticisms
  • Israel has demolished more Palestinian homes in first half of 2016 than all of 2015
    • As usual, Israel has a green light when a U.S. election is coming up. And there is always another election coming up.

  • Israeli mayor: No Arabs in our pools because their 'hygiene culture is not like ours'
    • The concern about swimming pools does indeed remind me of the Jim Crow era. Such attitudes don't change quickly. Often, they don't change so much as they are replaced, as one generation dies and another takes over. And it can take more than one generation to see radical change.

      It is instructive to be reminded of what a different view of the world is held by many Israelis. But it also true that some American supporters of Israel have strange views. For example, I find it disorienting when I happen to see things like Elliott Abrams' complaints about the vicious "attack" on Israel from the Obama administration. Some excerpts:

      . . . "In his blog “Pressure Points” on Thursday, Abrams blasted the American administration, after State Department spokesman John Kirby released a statement accusing the Israeli government of “systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution,” by engaging in “settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace.” . . .

      "Alan Baker, a former Israeli ambassador to Canada and current director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) [also] wrote a scathing attack on what he called “an outpouring of hostility” against the Jewish state that one might expect from Iran or the EU."

  • For millions of Arab and Muslim American voters, this election is an emergency
    • More Americans are waking up to reality. From WaPo:

      "Dozens of Black Lives Matter organizations jointly released a wide-ranging platform Monday spelling out standpoints on dozens of issues.

      "On almost all of the issues — including education, food insecurity, criminal sentencing and policing — progressive Jewish groups heartily agree. But the new platform’s stance on Israel has angered major Jewish organizations.

      "The platform calls for an end to U.S. federal aid for Israel. By providing aid, the platform argues, the United States is “complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.” Criticizing the construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian areas and the arrest of young Palestinians, it describes Israel as “an apartheid state.”


  • America's iron fist in the Middle East
  • Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry to World: Stop issuing useless condemnations
    • PS re native Americans, for those who continually seem to be confused about their status: they are American citizens. Some are members of tribes with reservations, and are entitled to live there if they wish. They are also free to live and work any place in the country they wish. They vote, they have the same legal protections as any citizen. Many people who post here advocate a one state "solution." I infer that they have something similar in mind for Palestine/Israel.

      Evils there were, and even with good will--even with efforts to change--the evils of the past can leave a legacy "unto the third and fourth generation." It is time for Israel to change, but more importantly for Americans, it is time for the United States to stop supporting this evil.

    • PS: as if justice and humanitarian concerns were not reason enough to change our policies of supporting, defending, and enabling the oppression of Palestinians, there is also the pragmatic reality that our policy is contrary to our own national interest. By our long-standing defense of the indefensible we have squandered much good will among other nations. We have engendered more hostility toward us. The attacks of 9/11 were prompted by our actions (not by "our love of liberty"), including our support for the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians.

      If Obama carried about such matters, he would not approve any aid package until Israel took tangible actions to withdraw from settlements, to open Gaza, etc. Of course, Israel would not. And such action would be reversed by Mrs. Clinton. But at least would make a point, he would go down in history as having done something to address the issue. Such an action on his part probably wouldn't even threaten Clinton's election, since she would likely use it as an opportunity to pander even more, assuring even more support from Zionists here and abroad.

    • re Kay24 "Something is horribly wrong with our policies, and we seem to be spending more on weapons, wars, and supporting a nation that kills and steals, rather than making sure our own people are taken care of."

      So true.

    • WaPo reveals the true situation with typography on the front page of its website. The subheading, in small type, says "State Depart. criticizes Israeli settlement expansion, demolitions." Above that, in a larger font, we are told:


      The article is candid about the politics:

  • Gaza war diary: Bitter reality, bitter dreams
    • Beautifully written, terribly sad.

      Sad for Americans too, for, as we were told in another recent post here at this site, “there is no other place in the world where Americans bear so much responsibility for what happens.”

  • Jerusalem municipality 'taking advantage' of US elections to expand settlements
    • re "The pin, according to online publication Tablet Magazine, was presumably a gift from either one of two representatives from the National Jewish Democratic Council who were in attendance at the DNC.” Jerusalem Post"

      Good catch. Not unprecedented. I recall the picture of a smiling Mr. Obama wearing a Star of David lapel pin at some event. An appropriate sign of loyalty, and one more indication of the strange relationship between the elites of the U.S. and Israel.

    • Sad news, but a good report Annie. I expect the State Department spokesman will express "concern." Not that anyone will be watching.

    • Kay24, I was about to post a link to the same report, when I saw that you had done so. It is certainly relevant to this thread, and worth reading in its entirely. People should click thru. It's not just Jerusalem doing this. It's not just Israel either. It's the United States, or rather our elites who are in control.

      For convenience, here's the link again:

  • 'There is no other place in the world where Americans bear so much responsibility for what happens' --Ehrenreich
    • re "Moreover, as an American, he said, “we are all participants in this.” Because of the enormous amount of aid we provide to Israel, “there is no other place in the world where Americans bear so much responsibility for what happens.”


  • 'Does he believe in a God'? -- DNC leaders wanted to undermine Sanders
    • >Kay24 "will they replace her with yet another pro Israel pro establishment person in the DNC, and will Hillary C. reward her with a plum post in her administration?"


    • Just an observation about the MSM coverage. I've heard quite a bit about this issue on NPR and from the broadcast TV networks, but none of the reports I've heard from those sources allude to issue of Israel, or of "even-handedness" being "disturbing."

      Instead, the network reports I've observed all focus on the lack of "even-handedness" of the Democratic Party apparatus between Sanders and Clinton. To me, that isn't surprising at all. It's barely newsworthy. Obama has been actively supporting Clinton, even saying she was not guilty of any offense worth mentioning before the FBI finished its work. Given that, what else would one expect, even if Sanders had not been complaining about this?

      I suspect that the honchos at the networks don't want the American people to know that supporting a fair deal -- or at least some kind of a deal -- for Palestinians is "disturbing" to those in power. I know a lot of Americans would agree with that, but a lot would not. I suspect most Americans were not even aware that there was any difference between Sanders and Clinton on this. Obviously, those for whom Israel is an all-important issue knew, but those people are a minority.

      Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe the honchos just think the American people would not be interested.

    • There are many definitions of religion [and of God(s)]. To some extent the context determines the appropriate definition. A definition that I often find apt is one proposed by Emile Durkheim: "Religion is society worshipping itself."

    • Blownaway, no apology or deference is needed: we are on the same side, and your feelings are justified. I'm old enough to remember Eisenhower and what he did as President (though my understanding of the world was limited back then.)

      As you say, it is a sad fact that we haven't seen much in the way of even-handedness -- or even attempts at it -- since then. There have been a few modest gestures. George Bush the Elder was probably the last President who tried to do more than utter platitudes.

      Your mother instilled worthy ideals. For those of us who outlive her, the loss of cherished notions about our nation is painful. In part, it may be the loss of youthful innocence, but in part the loss reflects a change in our nation.

    • @ Blownaway: "Ridiculous to worry about evenhandedness that hasn’t been the case for 59 years."

      You refer, I assume, to the time when President Eisenhower forced Israel to withdraw from the Sinai, despite pressure from Congress and the pro-Israel lobby. That took courage on his part. I like to think that Kennedy might have followed a similar policy, but we can only speculate about that: we know what happened to him.

      PS: I don't think it is ridiculous to feel as I do. It may be ridiculous to express such opinions in most places, especially in letters to elected officials. Still, I have sometimes done so, despite knowing that I'll be ignored.

    • As an American, I find it "disturbing" that U.S. policy on this matter is not "even-handed." Indeed, after so many years of enabling the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians, I think even-handedness would imply an equal number of years of favoring the Palestinians: let us send aid to them, not to Israel. I find it disturbing that American foreign policy on this issue is immoral, unjust, and contrary to our national interest. I find it disturbing that our policy on this issue is dictated by a small group with a passionate attachment to a foreign country.

  • Why Trump's revolution succeeded, and Bernie's fizzled
  • Money talks as Trump does u-turn on Israel
    • PS: this article prompted me to look for some MSM reporting on the Republican platform. Thanks to Google I quickly found some, including the story below, which claims that AIPAC worked to keep the parties equally pro-Israel in 2012. Back then, this supposedly meant watering down the Republican language. This time, it will be interesting to see if the Demos can be more effusive than the Repubs.

    • re: “Support for Israel is an expression of Americanism. … We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier. . . . The capitulation was so complete that even the Anti-Defamation League, a New York-based apologist group for Israel, called the platform “disappointing” and urged the Republican convention to “reconsider.”

      Wow. It is not surprising that Trump is inconsistent, and platforms traditionally contain a lot of BS that the candidates will feel free to ignore, but wow. I guess the ADL, like the "liberal Zionists," understands that the end of the two-state charade could create some problems. I hadn't seen or heard anything about this in the MSM I follow. That may be because I have quit following the election news closely, but it may also be that the MSM does not deem this newsworthy. Thanks for reporting it.

  • How your contributions power Mondoweiss journalism
    • @ Annie: "i just donated the equivalence of my monthly paycheck (minus taxes) for the restoration of our archives."

      My word, what dedication. That plus so many hours. I can't say that I'll match you, but I'll be giving more than I was planning on, due to your example.

  • Jordan slams door on Gazans
  • Arab American University in Jenin to host first Palestinian Advanced Physics School
    • re: "Palestine is mere months away from developing a nuclear arsenal with which it will wipe Israel off the map"

      No doubt the usual suspects will be rounded up, their nuclear labs destroyed (and their homes too), etc.

    • Thanks Annie. As I said earlier, "I understand that there is a cost involved in maintaining a website, especially one that comes under attack. If that was a factor, I have to agree that maintaining the current discussions is more important than the archive."

    • They better be careful. We know what happens to physicists in Iran.

  • Iran deal is still imperilled by deep state-- hardliners, Israel lobby, Hillary Clinton
    • Another good article, another good reason to support this site. The "deep state" isn't so deep, in part thanks to your efforts.

      The real threat in what you describe is to America's democratic values and interests, not to Iran. As long as Iran stays away from nukes, Europe will be happy to deal with Iran, to say nothing of Russia and China.

  • Democrats and GOP are in a race to the bottom on Israel
    • @ Henry Norr, "what's wrong with Jill Stein"

      The platform you cite sounds good. I had not paid much attention to her, because I didn't think she would be on the ballot where I live, but I see that I was wrong about that:

    • @ Mooser, commenting on our "ratchet set of condidates."

      "A wrenching choice. Trump, of course, is always ready to crank it up another notch, and as for Hilary, she’s no Ron Pawl."

      When the gallows awaits, gallows humor is the best response.

    • I wonder if any 3rd party candidates have other ideas? Not that it matters: the MSM wouldn't tell us.

  • Israelis take on Facebook 'monster' with claims it knowingly incites Palestinian attacks
    • "Kane found Israel sent 585 demand letters to Facebook between 2013 and 2014, of which around half were honored." . . . "A spokesperson for the Israeli military told Al Jazeera that 59 Palestinians from the West Bank have been convicted of “incitement” on Facebook. "

      Bad news for Palestinians, likely to get worse.

  • Powerful new game 'Liyla and The Shadows of War' dramatizes 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza
  • An Unlikely AMEXIT: Pivoting away from the Middle East
    • There is a lot of truth in this analysis, though its passing references to Israel seem rather benign, rather accepting of the propaganda line that "what's good for Israel is good for America." So much so as to partially undermine the elements of truth. For example, consider the sentence near the end:

      "Additionally, the US Congress has been completely captured by the Israeli Lobby, which puts a high premium on maintaining the American geopolitical engagement so as to share with Israel the burdens and risks associated with the management of regional turbulence."

      "Share." Really? Our relationship is one of sharing? I guess a parasite and its host share resources. So maybe by some definitions it is a "sharing" relationship. But it's not the word I'd pick.

  • Israeli army blows up three Palestinian wells in occupied Hebron
  • 'I Am a Human Being': A visit with Dareen Tatour
  • New York Times's breathless story on landing interview with Netanyahu reads like 'the Onion' on crack
    • @Spring Renouncer, re: “The Last Mughal”

      Thanks for the reference. It looks like an interesting read.

    • @ Mooser: "Light arms and trucks, an RPG or two and some explosives is okay, but let’s not go crazy. No air power, modern communications, or mechanized units allowed."

      I take your point. Those light arms seem to be pretty deadly when used by people willing to die in their own homeland. But they aren't an "existential threat" to us in our homeland, like the pro-Israel folks like to worry about.

      ISIL had some nice American tanks for a while, gifted by us to the new Iraqi army we trained after wisely invading and disbanding Iraq's army, then gifted by them to ISIL. But ISIL couldn't maintain the tanks. And we wisely kept our distance until the tanks were useless.

      And of course our various enemies (who hate us because we are free) don't have any air power. Not even a drone, not even a MANPAD. Think of what would happen if ISIL (or Doctors Without Borders) got their hands on some MANPADs. Maybe Saudi or some other country will arrange that. Or Mrs. Clinton, after she takes over.

      Actually, to continue your point, the last "real war" we won was WWII (and, with regard to Germany, the Russians have the notion that they did the heavy lifting).

    • PS: of course, if they want to see action against an enemy armed with more than slingshots, the U.S. Army (or Marines) would be the way to go. I wouldn't call occupation and "friction action" against a civilian population a "war."

    • re "they serve in wars and we don’t"

      If they want to serve, those American Jews can always volunteer for service in whichever military they want. Most that I know about seem to opt for Israel's. But if they really want to see war, they should volunteer for the U.S., which has several conflicts going most of the time these days.

  • Israeli police initiate 'friction activity' on quiet streets in East Jerusalem
    • Annie, my question about when the MSM would report it was rhetorical, but thanks for responding. Since you took the trouble, I checked Google News again, and again found the exact same results as yesterday. It's true that Google News also said "296 others" under "explore in depth," but when I clicked on that, no additional stories were shown. I don't know what to make of that, unless the 296 were duplicates.

    • @Misterioso, quoting Chris Hedges:

      “Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered…but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.”

      Evidently the soldiers in those other conflicts he saw were not following the proper scriptural instructions:

      "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones Against the rock."

    • Annie, thanks for reporting this. "Friction activity." I would have guessed that was something Roger Ailes wanted. Were it not reported here, I wouldn't have known about this creative term. After reading about it here, I did a search on Google News using the term. Apart from your report and the one in Haaretz that you cite, there were two specialized websites: AntiWar and Middle East Monitor. No MSM.

      I wonder when the MSM will report on this? I wonder when our politicians will say something other than, "Israel has a right to defend itself," as they send more American money and weapons to Israel, and veto Security Council Resolutions that Israel does not like?

  • Israeli rabbi who advocated rape of 'comely gentile women' during war becomes chief army rabbi
    • Mr. Ofir,

      Thank you for the original post, and for your patient subsequent explanation in the comments. Some of the nuances of the original had eluded me, in part because I'm an outsider, and in part because I didn't study it closely. That, in turn, was because I regarded the whole issue as unworthy of serious study by someone in the 21st century. But I was wrong. As you say, there can be real consequences.

      I think that the language barrier is part of the dishonesty you describe. I recall often reading assertions from some Israelis and some advocates of Israel that the "Arabs" are routinely guilty of dishonest double speak: they say one thing in English and another in Arabic. Perhaps that is so at times (I don't read Arabic), though I suspect there is also considerable projection involved. But neither do I read Hebrew. In both cases, I must depend on people such as yourself whom I consider reliable.


    • Well, as long as they are good looking no harm is done: it's good for the gene pool. Is this the origin of the Shiksa Goddess trope? ("Abomination" seems a bit strong, but maybe it isn't intended to be offensive: )

      Probably this part of Deuteronomy was progressive by the standards of the time and region. After all, she gets a month to mourn, plus a haircut and manicure, and if her "husband" isn't happy with her, she can go where she wants. Could have been worse. Probably it was, for the ones who weren't lookers.

      It makes sense. If one is going to cite ancient scripture as the "deed" for the "Promised Land," and as justification for its ethnic cleansing, one has to accept the rest of it too, I guess.

  • Ozick says Obama needs 6-volume history of Jews on his bedside table
    • re: "a link to an old Seafoid comment containing a link to a part of the “Defamation” film"

      Thanks for the link. Another example of the value of comments, at least for those with good memories, or good bookmarks.

  • Jewish entitlement, and Jewish populism
    • Adam, thanks for the explanation. As far as I'm concerned, there's no rush. Obviously you have a lot to do.

    • @BethlehemOlivesRedeem, re:

      "And, silamcuz: Your saying, “I believe most of the older comments in MW contained highly problematic sentiments that are not in line with the true narrative of the conflict, and therefore presented themselves as a liability to the site owners and its patrons.” implies that Phil and Adam intentionally decided to censor the many voices of readers whose presence in this virtual public square are indispensable to Phil and Adam’s journalistic careers. It seems unlikely, to say the least. If anything, the content of the comments — even the trolling snidenesses — lend inestimable value and weight to this site."

      I agree. To me it seems more likely that there is some other reason. But I don't know. It's true, some pretty negative comments slipped in, but that's been part of the territory. We are all adults here.

    • This thread no longer appears on the front page, so I infer that the discussion, including the comments about the archive, is effectively closed without an "official" explanation. If there was one, I missed it. As the poet didn't say:

      “The Moving Fingers write; and, having writ,
      The Server is Wiped: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure the Admin to retrieve half a Line,
      Nor all thy Tears disclose a Word of it.”

    • re Keith: "Mondoweiss doesn’t owe me or any other commenter anything"

      I agree with that much, but I would regret the loss of the archive, if permanent. Hostage's comments, among others, provide a wealth of information that can be hard to find among the misleading propaganda of Zionists. (It would be more useful if organized and indexed, but the search function helps.) Even the often-deplorable Zionist comments provide damning evidence of their attitude.

      Still, I understand that there is a cost involved in maintaining a website, especially one that comes under attack. If that was a factor, I have to agree that maintaining the current discussions is more important than the archive.

  • As occupation enters its 50th year, draft Democratic platform won't say the word
    • @ just, “FBI director recommends ‘no charges’ after ending Clinton email investigation"

      Would the government lie about such matters?

    • @JWalters: "– if a trope is true is it still a trope?" Good question, but in this case, politically incorrect.

      This morning I heard a reference to this tweet on NPR. The discussion then moved on to assure listeners that no charges against Mrs. Clinton are likely. It seems that this is an obligatory statement on NPR whenever her private email server is mentioned. Sometimes the speaker merely asserts it as fact, in other cases it is attributed to unidentified "sources" or "lawyers." I doubt that the career people in the FBI are talking to reporters, so it seems likely that such comments come from political spinners. This isn't related to your point, except as another example of how our media can catapult the propaganda.

    • On the other hand, I've seen discussion of Trump's "Star of David" tweet on WaPo and NBC. I wonder if it was a Freudian slip by a Trump-supporting staffer, a deliberate plant by a Clinton mole in his organization, or a deliberate choice to inject the issue.

    • >lysias, "My comment to the WaPo story, which comment called him a charlatan, has been deleted"

      Not surprising, but good that you made the effort, and let us know about the result.

    • @ Rusty Pipes "Any guess at how much of the next month is going to be dedicated in the MSM to his hagiographies?"

      All month? Oh no! I've already had my fill. The contrast between the "reality" portrayed by the MSM (and by the man himself), and the reality I perceive is so vast.

      I wonder when the U.S. will support, enable, and praise comparable efforts to prosecute aging Israeli perpetrators of terror and crimes against humanity (which term I use as a layman, not to invite hasbaristic legalisms).

  • 'NY Jewish Week' speaks bluntly of 'Israel firsters' in US politics
    • re: Yonah Fredman: "

      Vidal wrote a piece in the nation called “Some Jews and the Gays”.

      Thanks for the link. That brings back memories of the era. For those of us who lived through it, is interesting to reflect on that time, with the benefit of perspective. Yet it isn't only of historical interest: it remains timely. Well worth reading.

    • re "The Spirit of Judaism" by Josephine Lazarus, mentioned by Raphael

      Thanks for the reference to the book. I infer that it has been out of print for some time, but now, thanks to the Web, I find that it is readily available. Thus far I've only skimmed it a bit, but it does look interesting. Dated, yet still relevant. I'm sure that I'll learn something, not only about that era but about the mindset of some people, even today.

      As for transforming America, it's clear that the the huge influx of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe in the decades immediately before and after she wrote did indeed transform American society in many ways. To what extent that transformation relates to an "ideal Judaism" as understood by Lazarus, I don't know, but I look forward to reading the book.

  • Clinton's 'infatuation with war' and neoconservatism stirs misgivings on the left
    • lysias, re media manipulation, secret coups, and the national security state

      Over the years since the events you mention, I think that I've developed a more nuanced understanding of them than I had at the time, but I hadn't really drawn a line from one to the next in the way you seem to imply. On reflection, I guess I can imagine how you do so. If I understand correctly, I imagine the assassination is the most important of those events, sadly enough coming only a few years after Eisenhower's warning.

      I had thought that it was under the junior George Bush that the national security state reached maturity in the U.S. -- after 9/11 -- with Obama, the "constitutional scholar," confirming and perpetuating it. From your perspective, I guess the deep state was already old by 9/11: it merely used new events and technologies to its advantage.

    • David Doppler, re "The Devil's Chessboard."

      Thanks for the reference to the book, it sounds interesting, but probably depressing.

  • Michael Oren, historian, gets US history wrong to score a propaganda point
  • Clinton marshals African-American surrogates against BDS to stop pro-Palestinian influence 'in the public narrative'
    • re: "They can’t hide history forever."

      True, but they haven't hidden sinking the Liberty forever, or for that matter the campaign of terrorism that created Israel. As long as the people with power ignore such events, they don't need to be hidden. Ignore such events until everyone alive at the time is dead, and they become moot, "ancient history," safe and suitable for inclusion in history books that are read by a few specialists.

    • re: "Election campaigns serve a lot of purposes, and it is increasingly obvious that Israel supporters on whom Hillary Clinton is dependent are using her campaign to put the knife in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement."

      Thanks for reporting this. I wonder if any of those "personal" emails Mrs. Clinton deleted traded our national interest for political support.

  • Harvard scholar calls for US-Israel treaty to 'lock in' special relationship before young Democrats end the romance
    • AIPAC should have no problem getting 2/3 of the Senate to approve any donkey-delighting treaty Israel wants. I infer that the only reason such a treaty does not exist (though plenty of legislation supporting Israel's special relationship has become law) is that no president has been willing to propose it. Presumably Mrs. Clinton will have no qualms. It is passing strange that the U.S. should enable oppression and defend the oppressor, despite the cost it imposes on the U.S. I refer not to the financial cost, but to our moral status, to our image in the world, to the terrorism it engenders, etc.

  • 'NYT' reporter who gave us Saddam's aluminum tubes summers at neoconservative thinktank
    • re: "a national security correspondent for the Times"

      We needn't ask which nation's security he prioritizes.

  • 'I was wrong in my presumption that Israel desired peace' --Chas Freeman
    • Mr. Freeman says that he was wrong in his presumption that Israel desired peace. I was wrong in my presumption that the United States did so. Mr. Freeman writes of his disillusionment about Israel. For me, the much more important disillusionment has been about the United States. That knowledge came surprisingly late in life, embarrassingly late. Sometimes one is happier when living in an illusion. The fruit of the tree of knowledge can be bitter.

      "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

  • The view from Gaza: 'The Turkish government has sold us out and wants us to be grateful'
    • re Paul Larudee, quoting me and then commenting:

      " '(so long as it does not get in the way of Israel’s aspirations)' . . .

      "A high priority Israeli aspiration is to complete the genocide of the Palestinian people. A port in Gaza interferes with this aspiration."

      I hadn't attributed a genocidal aspiration to Israel, but I guess that I can't rule it out. Certainly history suggests that ethnic cleansing, at least, is an aspiration. Still, if Israel merely wanted the residents of Gaza gone, it would seem logical that Israel would make it easier for them to escape. So maybe Israel's aspirations do go beyond ethnic cleansing. In that regard, I would also refer you to my reply to Mr. T above, which may have some relevance here as well. Perhaps it isn't a genocidal aspiration, so much as blind, unreasoning fear and hatred that fuel the sadism.

    • re Mr. T on Israel's sadistic Gaza policy: "Most likely because Israel and its supporters in the US, wants Gazans specifically, and Palestinians in general, to suffer for the crime of not kissing Israel’s butt and letting it steal all of the Palestinians’ land."

      As one observes's Zionist rhetoric and actions, that does seem to be a pattern. Thus merely speaking the truth (to say nothing of throwing a stone) is not just unacceptable but unforgivable. Perhaps some of the motivating factors are psychological: projection and repressed guilt. I spent part of my childhood in the Jim Crow South. Even before I read Freud, and before I knew such terms, it was clear to me that such factors were part of what powered the attitudes of many of my fellow white Southerners toward Negroes, which was the more polite word of the era.

      Indeed, I seem to recall Tom Friedman saying as much in "From Beirut to Jerusalem" It was one of the first books I read after 9/11, as I sought greater knowledge of the region. It wouldn't be my first choice now, but despite its weaknesses, it was worth reading. I loaned my much-highlighted and annotated copy to someone who never returned it, and I certainly can't quote it from memory. But as I recall, Friedman says something to the effect that the Jewish Israeli knows the injustice that been done to the "Arabs," (which I believe is the term Friedman mostly used) and he knows the hate and rage he would feel, where he in their place. Accordingly, by an obvious psychological mechanism, this becomes an implacable fear and hatred on the part of the Jewish Israeli.

    • re genesto, "This is a TERRIBLE deal! I was part of the 2010 Flotilla."

      My sympathy to you. I can imagine how you feel: you cared enough to go, and now you witness this result.

    • PS to Annie re Gaza blockade: "it’s a sadistic policy but the US won’t counter israel on this"

      I'm particularly disturbed by US support for the sadism, which should be regarded as superfluous even by Zionist standards. Even if one assumes that Israel is entitled to keep what it has now, even if one assumes that Israel is entitled to exclude Palestinians from Israel, even if one assumes that Israel is entitled to treat non-Jews who live there as second-class citizens, the policy regarding Gaza is unnecessary and sadistic. It shouldn't require a super-hero's courage for American politicians to say this. I am convinced that the American public, if not AIPAC, would support such a politician who explained the facts.

    • Annie, campaign finance reform is not going to happen unless the Supreme Court overturns its own rulings. The Court has again ruled to assure that government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich does not perish from the United States:

      WaPo: "Supreme Court again supports ‘ingratiation and access’ in politics"

    • After years of reading this site, and many more years of reading the news, I understand the realities of American politics. Yet I still don't understand why the U.S., whose leaders have often paid lip service to the notion of humanitarian aid for Palestinians (so long as it does not get in the way of Israel's aspirations) could not open a port in Gaza, under UN supervision, to make it possible for other nations to bring in non-military items.

  • Ozick hagiography in NYT does her the service of leaving out her views of Palestinians
    • re: “a society unlike any other, where hatred trumps bread. They have reared children unlike any other children, removed from ordinary norms and behaviors”

      Projection is routine among Zionists. Also, inversion of facts and responsibility, invective, denial, etc.

  • Presbyterian and UU breakthrough votes on Palestine
  • 'It's a real problem if the thing we get upset about is stones' --Ehrenreich deflects talking points on public radio
    • Good news. I wonder how many people outside NYC hear Lopate. When I listen to the radio, it's exclusively the local public station (though it does carry BBC World Service some, mostly late at night), yet I don't recall hearing, or hearing of Lopate. Still, it's a start.

  • Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen by 'mistake'
    • From an article in WaPo:

      "The Argentinian capital has hosted a zoo for more than 140 years. But that’s coming to an end, Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta announced this week, as he unveiled plans to transform the facility into an ecological park.

      “This situation of captivity is degrading for the animals, it’s not the way to take care of them,” he said Thursday, the Guardian reported."

      Is it degrading for humans? I'd say yes: when it is done unjustly, it degrades the jailor, the prison guard, and the others responsible.

  • Letters to Hillary
    • re "the oligarchy press"

      Nice phrase: more descriptive than the tired old "MSM" that I've seen and used for so long. I may well start using it (probably without attribution).

  • Number of Palestinian refugees in occupied territories has increased by 1 million in the past decade
    • re: "Thanks, Allison~ i’ve never been fully apprised of this. Perhaps it is part and parcel of the root of the problem… this separateness."

      Ditto for me. A special category for a specially oppressed people. Stateless people who are neither citizens nor refugees. People without the "right to have rights."

  • Smile -- it's the Upper West Side
    • Thanks for the excellent and moving report, Ms. Fadil. At least Peled got to speak. So the glass is half full.

      re: "What’s left?" for the Palestinians, especially those in Gaza:

      Perhaps a few can escape, though it seems that Israel, Egypt and the U.S. do all they can to make that impossible. The rest, I guess, are supposed to suffer in silence until Israel mows the grass again, when they are supposed to die with dignity.

      "Double bind" is a good description of what many Americans of good will felt. Reading Mondweiss has feed me from that ignorant, immoral constraint. But in truth, what they felt or feel doesn't matter. The elites agree on American policy regarding Israel/Palestine: public opinion is only relevant when elites don't care, or are split on an issue.

  • Front-page article in 'NYT' exposes the lie that wall is a security barrier
    • re: "Will Palestinians really want the leftovers?"

      Does what they want really matter?

      Is the wall now complete? Is the 93% of 22% definitive, or is it just where things stand now? I've never been there, but from what I've read, I've gotten the impression that there are settlements throughout the 22%, with the possibility of new walls, new restricted roads, and still more settlements and expansion of settlements. Thus, I've been under the impression that Israel is continuing to expand, while land available for Palestinians continues to be reduced.

  • Lawmakers urge Obama to appoint special envoy for Palestinian children
    • >lonely rico "Problem solved."

      Indeed. Or, to quote the MSM, "problem? what problem?"

    • "Isn’t this antisemitic … "

      I think it depends on where the children and their families are located. Also, it depends on whether the person concerned about the children agrees that historical events in Europe give Israel a right to do as it pleases.

    • re: "If he listens and acts"

      Not to worry, Mr. Obama has plenty of time to do that. If he doesn't, perhaps President Clinton will. If not her, then perhaps President Mezvinsky will do so. It's only a matter of time.

  • 'Conquerors of Jerusalem’: March celebrates Israeli occupation with messianic fervor
  • Michael Lerner brings down the house at Muhammad Ali funeral by standing up for Palestinians and against Netanyahu
    • "His job is to make Zionists look nice [at least in their own eyes; feel good about themselves,] and keep whatever they conquered."

    • @genesto, "I’ve known Michael for about 16 years now. We’ve talked about Israel/Palestine on a number of occasions, and I’ve followed him closely as he has, I would say, evolved . . . "

      Thanks for this perspective. Maybe I stopped paying attention to him too soon. Yet the evolution is rather late, I would say, for the Palestinians.

    • @mtorres, re: ". . . he [Rabbi Lerner] stands only against the kind [of racism] that doesn’t affect Jewish supremacy in Israel."

      I had refrained from adding my opinion this thread: after all, my opinion matters not at all. But seeing this comment prompts me to chime in. I don't know as much about the Rabbi as you evidently do. I first read about him during the first Clinton administration, in his role of Mrs. Clinton's "guru," as some called him. At first my opinion was favorable. I subscribed to his magazine, and sent him what was (for me) a good bit of money to support his worthy efforts.

      But over time, I became disillusioned. The worthy efforts never seemed to accomplish anything for Palestinians. The glittering words may have salved the consciences of liberal Zionists, but it seemed that buying time for further land thefts was the more tangible effect.

      I've read his justification of Zionism as "affirmative action" for Jews. It has never seemed convincing to me. Others published in his magazine explained that, after all, there were plenty of other Muslim countries where the Palestinians could go. Also, they pointed out, there never was such a thing as a Palestine, or Palestinians. It was Israel which made the desert bloom. After Rachael Corrie was killed, I read that the U.S. had no damn business being involved (though I don't recall anyone complaining about our financial, military, and diplomatic support for Israel).

      Eventually, I quit looking to liberal Zionists for a solution. I was happy to discover this site.

  • Another Israeli leader says Netanyahu misuses the Holocaust for political gain, but no one in the U.S. can say so
    • @ talknic

      Perfect image, accurate message. Thanks for the link.

    • As yes, you bring back memories: ‘The road to Jerusalem now passes through Baghdad,’ That was a good one. One of the golden oldies from when we decided to "catapult the propaganda," as the junior George Bush put it. I also liked Tom Friedman's version: the war was our way of telling the Arab world to "suck on this." It was (and is) not clear whether Friedman's "our" referred to the U.S. in general, or to the Israeli lobby that was calling the shots.

    • "Connections" abound. BBC World Service has a report on the Israeli attack on the French-built nuclear reactor in Iraq, in June 1981, during the Iraq-Iran war. It was being built openly, with UN inspectors present. Unexplained accidents and deaths in France had delayed the project, but it was near completion when Israel's U.S.-supplied war planes destroyed the site, leaving cluster bombs scattered about as a parting gift. According to the Iraqis interviewed, this attack led to Iraq's decision to begin a covert nuclear weapons program as the only way to defend itself. That, in turn, can be seen as contributing to the generation of wars, death and destruction that has followed. Obviously, one can never know what might have been: counterfactual history is futile speculation. Opinions rarely change. The same people who supported the attack then still feel the same way, I suspect. The cycle continues.

  • With BDS order, Cuomo imports the anti-democratic spirit, from Israel and France
    • AIPAC isn't restricted to executive orders. I see that there is a new bill in Congress to help Holocaust victims and their heirs retrieve property stolen from them. I wish that Congress were equally enthusiastic about helping Palestinian victims and their survivors retrieve what was stolen from them (often with support from the U.S. that helped enable the theft). I wonder why the glaring difference?

  • French premier says 'loathing of Jews' is behind BDS
    • One often sees this strange intensity, this passionate projection, this utter inversion of reality among Zionists. Disturbing at best, especially so coming from the French prime minister. Evil perpetuates itself, if permitted to do so.

      "Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity."

  • Israeli leader's 'extremism' charge makes headlines around the world -- but 10th paragraph in New York Times!
    • "Extremism in defense of Zionism is no vice. Moderation in defense of Zionism is no virtue."

  • Netanyahu-Lieberman deal tears 'mask off face of Israel' -- but 'NYT' keeps the mask on
    • re "keeping the mask on"

      The passing of Morley Safer is much in the news, e.g.,

      The stories all mention his report about U.S. troops burning a village in Vietnam. LBJ was angered, and called the president of CBS to complain about Safer, suggesting he "shat on the flag" and was a communist (a dirty word in those days, for those too young to remember). CBS President Frank Stanton defended Safer, saying that he was a Canadian, not a communist.

      These reports prompted me to have a fantasy about a major U.S. network reporting on the events in the West Bank and Gaza the way they reported on Vietnam. We all know from Kate's compilations what those events include. In my fantasy there are outraged calls to the networks complaining of anti-semitism, which are met by support for honest journalism by the network executives. It's a fantasy, of course, but instructive to consider.

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