Commenter Profile

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


Retired middle American.

Showing comments 1200 - 1101

  • 'Where do you want it?': Israeli soldier taunts unarmed Palestinian man before shooting him
    • "Where do you want it?" Chilling. Sadistic. Representative.

      Thanks, as usual, Kate, for reporting the disturbing news. A dirty job, but worth doing. But maybe you need to take more breaks. A steady diet of this can't be good for you.

  • Two women's boats set sail for Gaza in effort to break blockade
  • Read the article on censorship of Palestinian solidarity pulped by a German union publication under pressure from Zionist organizations
    • Good to see such perseverance in the face of such difficulty. It is so ironic that Germany has taken the lead in Europe in welcoming refugees, perhaps even to the point of taking more than can be comfortably handled, but support for Palestinians is such a problem. Of course, the reason for this is clear enough.

  • Amos Oz would never stand in the street in Tel Aviv shouting 'Kill all the Arabs'
    • PS re the domination of the Zionist narrative in the U.S. media:

      We know that this domination exists in many ostensibly "liberal" arenas as well as on the Right, though for most of us it probably seems more outrageous when it is manifest in supposed bastions of free thought and free speech such as UC Berkeley. I, for one, sometimes forget about or discount another niche of our culture and media: the "Christian Zionist."

      Normally I listen to NPR or music in the car, but yesterday I happened to hear a bit of discussion of this episode at Berkeley on the "American Family Network."
      It was an amazingly ugly discussion that seemed to equate any discussion of Palestinians as proof of the worst kind of anti-Semitism and likely terrorism.

      The AFN claims to be a "Christian" outfit. I was reared in a mainline Protestant church, and still feel some connection with it, but I don't recognize the stuff they were disseminating as Christian. I guess I'm out of touch. While the "Zionism" of such groups is clearly not central to the Zionist enterprise, it adds some useful numbers at election time, perhaps more so than I had realized. The phrase "useful idiots" comes to mind, but I perceive their influence to be more actively malign than that may convey.

    • Thanks for the link. Disturbing but not surprising. From DC to the Bay Area, from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach, the Zionist narrative dominates our elites. No other narrative is permitted. I used to be puzzled when Israeli leaders would say things like "there was no Palestine" and "there are no Palestinians." Now I've begun to understand. Juan Cole isn't specifically addressing Palestinians in a recent post about our election, but his comments are relevant:

  • Netanyahu's ghost on 'ethnic cleansing' video is rightwing pollster Luntz
    • Thanks for this background on Luntz. I have seen him appear quite a bit on MSM, mostly on CBS I guess. If background about his was given, it was just to say that he is a "Republican." Without this background information about him, I didn't have the proper context for his comments. I guess it isn't surprising that MSM would feature him, and not describe his biases.

    • @ Kay24 "WHY?"

      Why indeed. A good question. If you read this story from Politico, you might suppose that it is because Obama is on a futile mission to buy the love of his pro-Israel critics with our money. Which begs the question, "WHY?"

  • Paralympic medalist Hossam Azzum on his comeback journey from Gaza to Rio
  • Pro-Israel groups declare 'lawfare' on BDS movement in Canada
    • @ Annie, "is there no end? does the student organization putting on the social justice week get to have a say about what they do or do not perceive as social justice?"

      Evidently not. But I admire and commend their effort.

  • Many leftwing Israelis are leaving the country -- 'Forward' breaks an important story
    • PS: I said "The aid he offered is small and late, but something more than never and nothing."

      That implies that something late is better than never, and something small is better than nothing, but that isn't always true. There is lots of evidence that humans are programmed (whether by genes or experience doesn't matter) to reject offers that are perceived as grossly unfair, even if doing so doesn't seem purely rational.

      From that perspective, I suspect the disproportion between the harm the U.S. did and the aid it now offers to Laos might well prompt some people there to want to reject it. The same aspect of human nature may affect relations between Israel and its neighbors now and in the future. I suspect the sense of outrage that basic human norms of morality have been violated motivates many suicide bombers as well.

    • I agree with some of what you say, yourstruly, but I wonder if it isn't too late. If 9/11 didn't prompt candid discussion 15 years ago, what will? People like Michael Scheuer ( ) have written and talked about it, yet the message never penetrated to the masses, or the elites.

      Or so it would seem, at least. I recall hearing Ron Paul allude to our Middle East polices as a reason for 9/11, during one of the Republican debates. Rudy Giuliani feigned shock and amazement, saying something like, "I never heard that." That ended the discussion on that topic in that debate, and in the election.

      Still, self-interest might be a powerful motivator, if people understood that our policies have not served us well. I for one welcomed President Obama's trip to Laos, and the attendant recognition of the terrible harm we did there. Like so many things we do, done almost thoughtlessly, and quickly forgotten. War crimes and atrocities are things done by others, we like to think. The President did not apologize, but at least he acknowledged. I give him credit for doing more than any of his predecessors. The aid he offered is small and late, but something more than never and nothing.

      This may seem unrelated to your comment. The connection in my mind is that, when it comes to public policy, it seems that compassion, guilt, and other motives for constructive action seem less potent than self-interest.

  • Liberal Zionists see 'window of opportunity' for two states in last three months of Obama administration
    • On "Charlie Rose The Week" Rose interviewed some "consultant" who allowed as how he wouldn't be surprised if Obama recognized Palestine after the election. It wasn't made clear why anyone should care whether this guy would be surprised. As far as I'm concerned, your opinion counts as much as his.

      In any event, it would raise some questions, I guess. What would the U.S. do when Israel grabs more land in occupied Palestine, after we recognized it as a State? Anything different from what we do now? Would Gaza be part of the state? If so, would the U.S. take steps to end the blockade? Lots of issues for the next President. Perhaps the next President would "unrecognize" Palestine?

    • NYT reports that Yahu is flirting with Putin to forestall any November surprise by Obama at the UN. I wonder how the LZ's will feel about this development? I assume hard-core Zionists, Israel Firsters, and such will be pleased. But maybe some of the LZ's will have mixed feelings?

    • @ echinococcus, "The difference between a Zionist and a Liberal Zionist is the consciousness that this kind of criminality doesn’t play well at all in front of the world and may derail the cozy eternal 'negotiations'."

      I take your point. I may have been giving too much credit. To be fair, I have known a few (very few) self-described liberal Zionists who seemed distressed by the Palestinians' plight, but it is hard to know how much of that is actual guilt, or mere embarrassment when with non-Jewish friends and neighbors, or simply strategic calculation, as you suggest. True guilt feelings, if powerful enough, may well push people out of the Liberal Zionist camp into some other category.

      Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis, The Righteous Mind) suggests that liberals (using the term in the American sense, to mean politically left or progressive) particularly value fairness and non-harm. If that is true, one might infer that liberal Zionists would be concerned about how Palestinians are treated. But on that topic, "it is complicated," as apologists for Israel often say. Other factors may come into play. In any event, the term "liberal Zionist" does seem problematic.

    • @ritzl re: "@Boomer I pretty much agree with your observations but draw the opposite conclusion."

      You may well be right. It is interesting how people can see the same things, agree on the picture, yet reach different conclusions.

    • I don't know what the future holds, but I believe that under international pressure Israel would allow a "two state" option, provided that the Palestinian "state" is a tiny pseudo-state without the normal powers of a sovereign government (such as control of its borders, airspace, movement of people and goods, natural resources, defense, etc.). In short, I believe Israel would, under pressure, accept a tiny pseudo-state that that is controlled by Israel.

      I also believe that the U.S. elites would be quick to approve this "solution." That would end the discussion in the U.S. about Palestinians (not that there is much discussion now, except at this site and a few others). Most Palestinians--those who are not now living on the West Bank and Gaza reservations--would continue to live as refugees outside historic Palestine. Eventually, they or their descendants will be permitted to become citizens of other countries.

      In other words, I think the Zionists won long ago. First they "won" the Nakba. Then they conquered the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the U.S. government.

      Given that belief, for me, the moral response for America would be to invite to the U.S. those Palestinians who wish to move here and become citizens. Because the U.S. has done so much to help Israel help itself to the Palestinians' homes and homeland, that seems the least we could do. I realize, of course, that the current political climate makes this unlikely. Still, we took in a million Vietnamese after the war there; we could do the same for the Palestinians. I think they would enrich our society. We would be the better for it.

    • I can understand why Liberal Zionists want Obama to give them this: they would get to keep the Jewish state to which they are attached without any more of that nagging guilt about the dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians. (That nagging guilt, as far as I can tell, is the difference between a Zionist and a Liberal Zionist).

      But I do wonder what is in it for the Palestinians, what will they get? The leftovers? Whatever Israel hasn't taken and doesn't want? A bantustan under perpetual Israeli control? Netanyahu has said that they "can have their flag, their administration, their anthem." That may be the best the Palestinians can hope for. Still, it seems they should have a voice.

      I don't pretend to know what is the best possible outcome. One state or two? It's not up to me. But I don't agree that it should be decided exclusively by debate between the Zionists and the Liberal Zionists. In practice, in terms of political clout, that may be the reality.

      But morally, Palestinians deserve a voice too. And non-Jewish Americans. As one of them, I would like to see an end to our nation's support for the continuing oppression and dispossession of the Palestinians. Beyond that, I'd like to see us do something meaningful to aid them, even though we can't truly compensate them for what they have lost, in part due to our nation's policies.

  • Marc Lynch warns against the U.S. escalation in Syria
  • Trump team campaigns hard for votes one place it stands to do well -- Israeli settlements
    • re: "Use Josh Marshall’s “Trump’s Razor”

      Thanks Mooser, I didn't know about this useful tool. I used to check Marshall's site regularly, but haven't done so for quite a while.

    • I suspect this is more about signaling to U.S. voters and campaign contributors than it is about the American citizens in Israel, though of course every vote helps.

      It is interesting to compare this with Mr. Trump's recent "outreach" trip to Mexico. There are almost certainly more American citizens living in Mexico than in Israel (though estimates do vary quite a bit). Some of them are retirees, others are there for jobs or school or family reasons. Presumably most of them have positive feelings toward Mexico, since they live there by choice.

      And there are far more American citizens living in the U.S. who have strong ties to Mexico. Yet Trump's performance ended up alienating rather than attracting support among these groups. That may have been calculated, I suppose, as a way to solidify support with his base, but I don't pretend to understand his thinking. I'm not a political expert.

      We have become accustomed to the reality that there seems to be a unique relationship between the U.S. and Israeli political and business elites, such that, from the American side, there is no distinction. In the 20th century it became common in some circles to speak of a "special relationship" between the US and the UK. Those who wanted the US to enter both World Wars cultivated that notion. But it seems that in the 21st century the truly "special" relationship is with Israel. Indeed, from the perspective of some U.S. elites, it isn't even a relationship. That word implies two people or entities in relation, but where there is no distinction, no separation, "relationship" isn't possible.

      I see things from an American perspective, of course. I suspect things may look a bit different from the Israeli perspective. It is, after all, dedicated to being "special."

  • Church of Sweden explores BDS as 'only chance to liberate Palestinians and Israeli Jews'
    • @ oldgeezer: "Pure BS"

      That is exactly the right word, oldgeezer, as was discussed earlier in a thread inspired by a column in WaPo, which cited a philosopher named Frankfurt. Excerpt from the prior discussion:

      "But someone engaging in B.S.," Frankfurt says, “is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all . . . except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says.” Frankfurt writes that the B.S.-er’s “focus is panoramic rather than particular” and that he has “more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color, and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the ‘bullshit artist.’ ”

    • Liberating people sounds like a worthy goal, and I wish them well, but it isn't my priority. As an American who isn't Jewish, I would like to see my government stop supporting the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians with U.S. money, military power, and diplomatic clout. Once we stop being complicit we can and should try to make some restitution for the harm we have done. From that perspective, BDS seems like a moral imperative for those who have been, and continue to be complicit, for their own sake (i.e., for OUR own sake). To the extent that it benefits (by "liberating") the perpetrators in Israel, that will be collateral benefit.

  • 'Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong' -- the worldview of Major Todd Pierce (Retired)
    • @ Annie: " if our archives were around and i were not so lazy i’d dig some more stuff up for you."

      Thanks Annie, for the links. You obviously are not lazy, and your memory is really good.

    • @Kay23 "A time when Bill Maher’s islamaphobia did not show."

      Thanks for the clip: it's not that old, and (alas) still relevant. I haven't followed Maher, in part because I don't have cable. So my impression of him is based on a few snips and clips over the years. This makes me think that there is (or was) more substance there than I realized.

  • Occupied Palestinian village coveted by Jewish settlers is dubbed 'miserable' in Washington Post
    • Thanks for the link. The article says the villagers' fate rests with the UN Security Council. Given the fact that Israel has a veto in the Security Council, we can assume that the villagers' fate won't be any more pleasant than their past.

    • re: "How do the American people feel and its government officials feel that the first mission the brand spanking new F-35 JETS gifted to Israel flew, was a bombing and missile attack on the already demolished Gaza Strip…"

      As for the American people, most of them don't know about this. After all, most of them get their news from the U.S. mainstream media. In any event, their feelings don't matter.

    • re "There’s another major problem with the WaPo story,"

      Thanks, Henry Norr, for this relevant information. This is another good example of the deep knowledge provided by some of the commenters. Such knowledge is a reason to wade through the propaganda. "Bad money drives out good," but so far the bad posts haven't overwhelmed the valuable, due in part, no doubt, to the moderators. Mooser helps too.

    • On the other hand, Isabel Kershner has a surprisingly candid article in NYT, under the title "Israel Quietly Legalizes Pirate Outposts in the West Bank." Of course, I don't believe that Israel can "legalize" them, and I don't believe that any of the settlements are "legal." But within the context of NYT's reporting, it is a good piece. It includes a recognition of reality, as well as the standard Zionist-Swiftboat-Vererans-for-Truth-style complaint about their victims doing what Israel is doing.


      "Asked about the legalization of outposts — and the international criticism — Mr. Netanyahu’s spokesman, David Keyes, did not respond directly, but instead turned the question to the Palestinian leaders’ stance that no settlements could remain in the West Bank under a future deal. “The frequently echoed Palestinian demand to ethnically cleanse their future state of Jews,” Mr. Keyes said via email, “is outrageous, immoral and antithetical to peace.”

  • #PayPal4Palestine campaign urges PayPal to serve Palestinians, not just Israelis
    • re: "Are we going to prop up a deteriorating status quo, or are we actually trying to solve the issue?”

      If "we" means the U.S. government, is there really any need to ask?

  • Israeli forces shoot and kill unarmed Palestinian man, 38, for allegedly running toward them
  • 'Democracy' and 'terrorism' and the parameters of thinkable thought
  • Israeli military clears Israeli military of war crimes in Gaza
    • Keith reminds us that:

      "The first Israeli pilot ordered to attack [the USS Liberty] replied that it was an American ship and refused to fire. When he returned to base he was arrested and court martialed and went to prison."

      Likewise, as I recall, Israel concluded that the person responsible for the death of Rachel Corrie was . . . Rachel Corrie.

      So a failure to kill Americans was a crime; killing Palestinians, on the other hand, is something else.

  • Clinton Foundation's 'good friend' Bahrain quashed Arab spring without protest from Sec'y Clinton
  • Let's talk about Russian influence
    • "the vast majority of our commenter archives are gone."


    • re "unelected power"

      Unelected perhaps, but not unpaid for. Earned by extraordinary, coordinated effort.

    • @ Kathleen, "When Obama picked Hillary as his Secretary of State my mind and mouth dropped."

      You were faster and smarter than I was. I foolishly continued to have "the audacity to hope for change I could believe in," etc. For a while. But the "hopey changey thing" didn't work out well for me, or for the Palestinians.

    • re: "Johnson called back the US rescue planes and covered the incident up because he needed Jewish help to remain POTUS."

      That seems the most plausible explanation to me, as well. The implications are breathtaking. This collective ignoring of something so significant in plain sight involved (and involves) the willing participation of multiple actors in the executive branch, in Congress, and in the media . . . at the time and subsequently. It isn't unique, of course, simply the most outrageous. Consider the collective "official" U.S. ignorance of Israel's nuclear arsenal, and America's role in creating it. Recall Helen Thomas's question to Obama, his non-answer, and what happened to her.

    • re: "The first Israeli pilot ordered to attack [the Liberty] replied that it was an American ship and refused to fire. When he returned to base he was arrested and court martialed and went to prison."

      So, Israeli soldiers ARE held accountable, not for war crimes against Palestinians, but for failing to kill Americans. Interesting.

    • Thanks Phil, for your continuing good work and that of the others who create this site. This site is a vital source of information. Recently I spent a week searching major U.S. MSM for news about the Lutherans' resolutions in support of Palestinians. I was surprised and depressed by the amazing consistently (in failure) of the MSM on which most Americans rely. I was aware of the bias and weakness of the media coverage, but only close examination of such cases reveals the extent of the problem.

    • Thanks for the links to Cohen, MRW. I have read a few things by him, but didn't know about broadcasts.

    • @ Walker "One suppressed SNL skit doesn’t mean the public knows. It doesn’t."

      True. I don't think Phil meant it this way, but it is easy to slip into assuming that the people you know are "the people." Thus self-important pundits in DC love to talk about "this town," by which they mean a few hundred people.

    • @marc b "the media has no collective guilty conscience, anymore than there is group fretting over lost virginity in a whore house."

      Nice observation, nice way of expressing it. Amusing in a sardonic way, but sadly true. And sadly true for our political class as well. And our business "elites." Guilty consciences are for losers.

  • I can't stop looking at these great Gawker posts about the Middle East
    • Thanks for this. I didn't follow Gawker because I thought it was about celebrity gossip, sex tapes, and the like. The discussion you link (at iO9) by Mark Strauss of Gilad Lotan's work is really instructive.

  • A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics
    • re: "How can [Israeli pilots] live with themselves?"

      I assume most of them rationalize it as a necessary part of the sacred mission of "building the Land of Israel." Some are probably proud of themselves. Some are honored for their brave exploits in Israel.

      I have the same question about the U.S. politicians who enable this behavior, and the editors of U.S. mass media who let it go unreported. It is a question that arises from my heart. My head knows that most of these people are comfortable with their behavior. Some are pro-Israel partisans like the pilots, while the others are not so concerned as to be willing to risk their comfortable jobs.

  • After Palestinian takes gold in Rio for Jordan, Israelis claim his roots are 'Israeli'
    • re "“Schrodinger’s Palestinians”


    • @ inbound39 "any notable Music star who dies or any famous icon who passes….within an hour Haaretz posts an article showing some flimsy connection to Judaism."

      I don't know much about Haaretz, and I know even less about any deep psychological motivations that may be involved, but it does seem that for NYT, for some programs on NPR, and some other major U.S. media, the choice of people interviewed, books and plays reviewed, and other stories reflects a focus that isn't exactly representative of U.S. society. As I was growing up in middle America, I wasn't aware of this, even after I started reading the NYT regularly. That was in the days before the Internet. The racial divide was obvious and obviously important, but ethnic distinctions weren't salient.

      Only after I moved to New York did I start to understand the extent to which ethnic affinities influence such matters. I've assumed it was more about in-group focus and bias than guilt. I'm not saying there isn't place for this. Someone here has referred to NYT as the "home town newspaper of American Jews." Everyone deserves a hometown paper. And, at least since the 60s, important elements of society have celebrated ethnic and racial diversity by calling for a "mosaic" society rather than a "melting pot."

      But given the role in shaping American society of NYT, NPR, and the other major media corporations, it isn't necessarily a sign of bigotry to be aware of ethnic focus at times, e.g., when discussing U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, a failure to be aware of it can be a problem. Our major media can be so homogeneous that we can be like the proverbial fish who is unaware that it is swimming in water.

  • Dershowitz will play Trump in Clinton's debate rehearsal, WNYC reports
  • The omnipresent hawks-in-waiting of the Clinton administration
    • PPPS: I don't want to hijack this thread with more OT comments, but feel that I should mention that I did finally find a reference (albeit somewhat misleading) to the Lutherans' action in the MSM. I posted details about it in the comments on Annie's report on the evening of August 20. I don't how to link directly to my comments in that long thread, but I hope that Annie and others interested in the topic will find them there.

    • PPS: I don't have ready access to Lexis, but I did try searching at the AP and UPI sites. I did not find any news stories about the recent Evangelical Lutheran resolution that the U.S. make aid to Israel contingent on improvements for the Palestinians, but I did find a golden oldie from 2010 that some people may recall:

      "JERUSALEM, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Israel would forego U.S. economic aid rather than be pressured into prematurely advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, its finance minister said Sunday.

      "Mideast envoy George Mitchell has threatened the United States could freeze aid if Israel fails to advance the talks, reported.

      "Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel was trying to resume negotiations with the Palestinians but would give up U.S. aid if it meant accepting unreasonable conditions.

      "We don't have to use those (loan) guarantees," Steinitz said. "We are doing very well without them."

      "Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday condemned rocket attacks by Hamas fired from Gaza into Israeli territory.

      "Some 20 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel last week," Netanyahu said at the beginning of his cabinet meeting. "The government's policy is clear and any firing of rockets will be seriously retaliated."

    • PS: I know that Google News stopped carrying AP content years ago, due to objections from AP. I suppose it is possible that AP had a story on this which was picked up by some newspapers. I'm not sure how to determine whether that happened. Perhaps one could check that via a paid service such as Lexis-Nexis.

    • re "Have you noticed the distressing pattern in the media these days?"

      There are so many. What you say about Russia and warmongers is certainly true, and has been evident for a long time. Following the course set by our "best and brightest" in the State Dept. and in the media, we meddled in Ukraine, helped to orchestrate things, then were surprised and angered when Russia responded in a predictable way. But it's okay for us to do this, not for them.

      But the depressing pattern in the media that I have been focused on for the past week has been the reaction to the Lutherans' resolution, which Annie reported back on August 12

      Every day I have searched the U.S. edition of Google News to see how mainstream media sources in the U.S.--the kind of news sources most Americans rely on--have treated that development. As I reported in comments to Annie's story, day after day I found plenty of stories in Israeli sources, or those targeting a Jewish readership, but none in major MSM. Until, finally, yesterday, as I reported, I found a hit-piece by Elliott Abrams in the new Newsweek. Newsweek isn't what it used to be, but I suppose it is considered still MSM.

      So, if Google News is representative of U.S. news media, most Americans don't know about the Lutherans' action, and those who do read about it see a ridiculous pro-Israel screed.

      I knew that our media are bad and biased when reporting on Palestine, but I didn't realize just how bad. It is true amazing.

    • The Clintons say that their foundation will stop accepting gifts from corporations and foreign nations . . . IF Mrs. Clinton is elected. I'm not sure whether that will take effect the day after the election, or not until she is sworn in. Either way, now is the time for the military-industrial complex, and all other interested parties foreign and domestic to pay up.

  • The Palestine-Israel language trap
  • The endangered white cucumbers of Battir
  • The politics of Jewish ethnocentrism
    • The video was strange and repulsive. I didn't understand the point of it until I went to the link you provided to Haaretz. While there, I browsed the headlines a bit, and found an op-ed by Uri Misgav. As an American, I find it, like the video, disorienting, rather like going thru the looking glass. It may be off topic for this thread, but then again, maybe it is relevant. It begins::

      "As an Israeli, I Don’t Want a Dime of My Taxes Going to Jews in Diaspora.
      It isn’t that I’m mad at the Jews of America. On the contrary. I don’t nurse any grudge against them. But I also don’t feel any sense of responsibility for them."

    • Annie & Raphael, thanks. I appreciate your efforts. Don't spend more time on it on my account. Don't let this take us away from the issue at hand.

    • Do you have a specific title for Parain? My search turned up mainly items in French, which I can read, but painfully. So I don't want to struggle through the wrong thing:-)

    • Thanks for this. There seems to be little reason to hope for constructive change, but what hope is depends on people like you who are willing and able to point out the problem.

  • The breathtaking arrogance of Alan Dershowitz's 'advice' to Black Lives Matter
    • re: "breathtaking arrogance"

      Yes, indeed. It seems that there should be a word for this. "Effrontery" perhaps? That seems apt. But maybe there are other candidates.

  • The dark secret of Israel’s stolen babies
  • Boycott, from within and without
  • Palestinian family homeless after Israeli military takes home for military post
    • As usual, Kate, thanks for your work. I've no meaningful comment: words fail me. But it is good that you report what the MSM will not.

  • In overwhelming vote, leading Lutheran branch calls on US to cut off aid to Israel
    • Correction: Back on August 13, my first reaction to Annie's story about the Lutherans' resolution was naively positive. I said, "Politicians can no longer easily ignore such calls for justice, or dismiss them as antisemitic."

      I was wrong. Now that I have monitored the U.S. mainstream media for reporting on this for over a week, I must admit that politicians can easily ignore such calls for justice, and dismiss them as antisemitic, as long as the U.S. media continue almost uniformly do those things.

      There were exceptions: WSJ and Otherwise, silence, attack and misrepresentation (Newsweek) or misrepresentation by omitting essential facts, reasons, and context (PBS). But mostly silence. I would be happy if someone finds good coverage that I missed. But unless that happens, the conclusion seems clear and ominous.

    • PS re PBS "Religion and Ethics Weekly" coverage of the Lutherans conference. I had assumed that the text I quoted above was just a summary of a longer discussion, but it actually comprised all that was said about the matter. The program is generally well-intentioned, I believe, but this borders on journalistic malpractice. It does not constitute the kind of coverage that would redeem the MSM on this subject. I hope that good coverage exists, and that I somehow missed it.

      The program also mentioned that the GOP is campaigning in Israel, trying to attract dual citizens eligible to vote in the U.S. election. It said that about 100,000 Israeli-Americans voted in the last election, and that about 85% of them voted Republican. They believe that the potential number of voters there is 300,000-400,000. The announcer said that some Israelis are concerned about anti-semitic statements made by some Trump supporters.

    • Well, finally, on Saturday evening, I tried Google News yet again, and finally found a reference to the Lutherans' resolution in the MSM that isn't an attack. PBS's "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly" mentions the resolution, though the summary text on their website is so truncated as to be misleading. I hope that won't be more fodder for the Zionists:

      "The largest Lutheran denomination in the US approved a declaration recognizing quote “there are no longer church-dividing issues” on many points with the Roman Catholic Church. The “Declaration on the Way” was approved by the 2016 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly held last week (August 8-13) in New Orleans. The declaration comes as Lutheran and Catholic churches prepare to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The ELCA also voted overwhelmingly at the meeting to avoid investments in companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and to call on the US government to end all financial and military aid to Israel."


      As I noted a few days ago, Annie's story here at Mondweiss initially showed up at or near the top of hits when I did a search on Google News, but it disappeared a few days ago. I've tried various excerpts from her story as search strings, but I haven't been able to bring it up at all in Google News. Yet, depending on the search terms I have used, I often get older stories on other subjects. Does anyone know why this would be the case?

    • It's early Friday morning, and once again I checked the U.S. edition of Google News for stories about this action in mainstream U.S. news sources that Americans commonly see. I expected that once again I would find nothing, and (given the passage of time) that I would conclude that nothing could be expected.

      I was surprised, therefore, to see that my search turned up an article from Newsweek. When I was a boy, Newsweek was one of the major elements of the "MSM," and I still think of it that way, though it has had difficulties and gone through several changes in recent years.

      My surprise wasn't a pleasant one, however. The article is actually an opinion piece by Elliott Abrams. That tells you what you need to know. Newsweek titles it "Why Are The Lutherans Attacking Israel Again?" It originally appeared as a post in Abrams' CFR blog, where the title was an assertion, not a question: "The Lutheran Church Attacks Israel, Again."

      Abrams doesn't answer Newsweek's question; he simply attacks the Lutherans, and in a Trumpian way gloats over their decline in numbers. (I'm not sure how reliable his numbers are, but that's not important.) Newsweek "enhances" the piece with a video that, to me at least, seems as if it might be from Israel's press relations office.

      For me, the days since I first read the story here about the Lutherans' action have been a time of reflection on changes in American society during my lifetime. Changes in the MSM, changes in role of the mainline Protestant churches, and many others. Many of the changes are good, of course, but some--for me--are a source of melancholy. That's what happens when people get to a certain age, I guess.

      I've no special insights to offer as a result, except to say, once again, congratulations to the Lutherans, and to all others (including those at this site) who manage similar accomplishments. It is a difficult struggle indeed. I appreciate their efforts.

      Newsweek article:

      source blog in CFR:

      IBT, the new corporate owner of Newsweek:

      more about the new owners

    • Postscript to my comment earlier this morning (Thursday).

      As a sort of test (either of Google News or of the MSM), I did a search on the U.S. edition of Google News on "BDS." I know that the MSM in the U.S. do sometimes have articles that allude to BDS in the context of attacking it. Thus, I learned that Gov. Christie has signed an anti-BDS bill into law. But I learned it from the Jerusalem Post. I wonder how many non-Jewish residents of New Jersey read the Jerusalem Post? I hope they don't violate the law out of ignorance! There were many results for the search on the first page, but they were from non U.S, or Jewish-oriented, or other specialized sources. (Unless you count "Breitbart Jerusalem" as a mainstream U.S. source, but even that was effectively a Ynetnews report.

      Only when I persevered to the second page of results did I eventually find a reference in the WSJ (paywall) and in, which points out that not only Republicans feel this way about BDS. It notes that "The legislation passed with overwhelming support in the Democrat-led state Legislature in June," and that "Obama said in a statement accompanying a trade bill signed in February that his administration "strongly opposes" boycott campaigns directed at Israel."

    • It is early Thursday morning here, and I once again checked the U.S. edition of Google News for stories about the Lutherans' action. Once again I did not find any items in major, mainstream U.S. news sources, the kind most Americans rely on for most of their news.

      There were reports from specialized sources, mostly either Israeli or targeted at a Jewish readership. I saw a few others, such as the "Independent Catholic News," "Mintpress News," and what appears to be a Christian Zionist site.

      I did note one strange omission. Previously when I have done this search, Mondoweiss showed up at the top of the results. Today, I didn't see it at all.

    • @ Annie "jerusalem post covered "

      Sure, and quite a few other Israeli or Jewish-oriented publications, as I noted earlier. Many of them are fine publications, no doubt (e.g., +972), but I'm not counting them as MSM. Most non-Jewish Americans don't read them. Most Americans don't realize that to understand U.S. policy regarding Palestine and Israel--and to know what is happening there--they can't rely exclusively on MSM.

    • It's early Wednesday morning. Another search on Google News came up blank for MSM coverage of the Lutheran resolutions, but I did find a report in "The Jewish Week" that presents the Lutheran action as "balanced" and as an indication that "anti-Israel BDS" forces are weakening. Also, the article notes a recognition of Palestinian responsibility for "progess in the peace process."


      "The Lutheran resolutions, coming two months after the Presbyterian Church (USA) adopted a report that representatives of the Jewish community characterized as more balanced than that denomination’s past resolutions, and three months after a committee of the United Methodists rejected four divestment resolutions, may represent a small move in some Protestant circles away from automatic support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and towards positions that hold both Israelis and Palestinians responsible for progress in the Middle East peace process."

      Full article:

    • @ Marnie "thanks for that link"

      You are welcome. It's early Tuesday, and my quick search via Google News still revealed no MSM coverage, but there is a nice story about efforts to keep the peace in Palestine in the Marquette Mining Journal:

    • re "so sick of the neocons"

      Aren't we all (except for the Zionists among us).

      They are aptly named, in a sense: they're always conniving, and effectively too. I have to give 'em credit. But it's not really a new con. It is the same old con, dressed up in new wrapping paper sometimes, but looking quite familiar once you see what's inside.

    • re "Israel does not object"

      a telling phrase

    • re: "The [anti-BDS] hotline’s primary aim is to preemptively warn the Israeli authorities of such activists’ arrival to Israeli territory so that they can be deported.”

      One wonders what the secondary aims may include. Zionists' activities aren't limited to Israel.

    • @ Marnie: "I've reached the point where I don't look for stories like these to appear anywhere except MW and the like."

      Yes, the consistency of the American MSM on this topic is often amazing. Probably we should wait until Monday or Tuesday to assess the coverage, but I did check again, and only found reports in Israeli or Jewish-oriented sources, such as this:

      On the other hand, in advance of the vote, there was this
      from Rabbi Michael Davis, Dale Loepp and Philip Farah

    • @ Marnie, "I don't think they'll get any play anywhere else"

      Your comment prompted me to check Google News. Nothing yet, but perhaps it is still too early. NYT does have some letters to the editor re BDS, carefully curated for the right "balance," but I didn't see a reference to this development.

    • @ Citizen, re "anti-Semitic" and "rag." Yes, but that tactic may be wearing thin. Back in 2012 there was a letter from some major church leaders calling for limits on aid to Israel until it improved actions re Palestinian human rights. ADL et al. were not pleased, and the normal rhetorical attacks followed. So far, that (and money) has carried the day inside the Beltway, but it didn't stop the Lutherans from doing the right thing. I suspect it won't stop others either.

    • Outstanding! Wonderful news! A significant development!

      Congratulations to these Lutherans, and thanks to them. Politicians can no longer easily ignore such calls for justice, or dismiss them as antisemitic.

      Thanks as well to those who have worked so hard to create and sustain this site, for it has grown to play a significant role in making change possible.

      Some time ago I realized that I daily turn to this site looking for good news, and daily find mostly the opposite. It seemed strange that I kept returning. But this is indeed good news.

  • Sanders-backed candidate in FL says Wasserman Schultz won't 'protect' Israel
    • Sometimes Dick and Jane do notice, but our elites don't deign to notice Dick and Jane. If Dick and Jane try to bring the subject up, they are dismissed as anti-semitic, because they brought it up.

  • Google blames bug for removing 'West Bank' and 'Gaza' from Israel/Palestine map
    • @ James Michie, "In your dreams, Boomer, in your dreams!"

      I'm not sure whether I was too cryptic, or am missing your humor. In any event, for the record, it isn't my dream. According to Darcha, it's where Google locates Palestine for Czech speakers. 0 degrees by 0 would put Palestine in the Atlantic ocean, far from land. Zionists have long complained that the Arabs (or sometimes its the Iranians, who aren't Arab), want to "push them into the sea." Perhaps Google harbors a similar ambition for Palestinians. Of course, it's the Zionists who have been doing the pushing.

    • re "it would cost a mountain of money which it is not clear that anyone has."

      Clearly, he assumes that Americans would pay for it. Actually, as an American, having paid so much to help Israel steal the Palestinians' homes from them and oppress them, I feel that we do owe them something.

    • re "The location is zero degrees south by zero degrees east."


    • Thanks Annie. Your prior discussion and the comments were informative and still highly relevant.

    • I don't know whether one state or 2 would be better, but when I see people advocate one state, they don't always make it clear what kind of state they anticipate. I've never been to Israel, so I don't know, but my guess is that a lot of people there agree with this fellow, who (among other things) says that Israel needs to:

      "Encourage and provide aid for Arab emigration. Instead of the nearly trillion shekels that Israel has invested to date in the Oslo two-state solution, we can invest in an emigration basket to allow the Gazans to relocate with financial security. Financially secure immigrants are welcomed in most countries."

    • I initially mentioned a recent poll in a comment I made about the IRmep lawsuit. When I saw this item about Google Maps, however, I realized it is relevant here. According to this poll, more Americans believe that Palestinians occupy Israeli land than believe the opposite. Clearly, the Zionist narrative has triumphed, if this poll is correct (but only in the United States). Google isn't helping.

      (Note, the lead sentence in the article linked below incorrectly uses the word "majority" instead of "plurality.")

      Gullible Americans Duped into Believing Palestinians Occupy Israeli Land Rather than the Reverse

  • Lawsuit aims to block U.S. foreign aid to Israel as clandestine nuclear power
    • It's late in life for me to realize that DoJ stands for the Department of "Justice." They should teach that in civics class in high school.

    • re article about smuggling uranium to Israel and subverting the U.S. government

      An excellent article it is, inbound39. My impression is that the key elemens of this story have been an open secret in "official" DC since the 60's, which makes it all the more impressive that the pro-Israelites have been able to keep a lid on it for so long. Amazing control of our society.

    • I checked Google News to see what MSM are reporting on this lawsuit. Nothing yet. Maybe soon. Or perhaps after Hell freezes over. I did find something of interest, however. Our MSM may be the reason why more Americans believe that Palestinians occupy Israeli land than believe the opposite. Clearly, the Zionist narrative has triumphed, if this poll is correct (but only in the United States). (Note, the lead sentence below incorrectly uses the word "majority" instead of "plurality.")

      Gullible Americans Duped into Believing Palestinians Occupy Israeli Land Rather than the Reverse

    • Thanks for this report on an important effort. I hope to read about it in the MSM, and to hear about it on network TV and NPR, but I don't expect that to happen. It would be easy to be cynical about the effort's chances, but it is good that some people at least try to uphold the law. After all, it is a good law, and failure to follow it has had bad effects on the U.S. and on the non-Jewish people of the region who have suffered continuing oppression and dispossession enabled by the U.S.

      PS: Normally I don't approve of those who pick nits about grammar or diction in the language other people use in posts here, but it is relevant that a "gag order" is not a "law." Neither the President nor any executive branch agency can "pass a law." An executive order or regulation established pursuant to law is sometimes said to have the force of law, and perhaps that is the case here. In some cases, therefore, the distinction may not be important, but in this case precision of language may be important.

  • Obama Justice Dep't is representing Elliott Abrams against suit by Palestinians opposing settlements
    • re: "“I don’t comment on cases,” he said today"

      Because, of course, what the DoJ does is no business of the American public. (At least not when Israel and its supporters are concerned.)

  • Canadian Greens back BDS
    • re "the origin of Yiddish" etc. Interesting. To me it is a matter of of history, not something that should determine what is correct policy in Palestine today, but interesting nevertheless.

  • Black Lives Matter will defeat the Israel lobby (because the lobby can't debate reality)
  • Out of 1.8 million Gazans, 250 over age 50 are allowed to travel to Jerusalem to pray
    • @ talknic "It’s not a matter for Egypt. Israel is the Occupying Power over Gaza and as such Israel demands Egypt close the Egyptian/Gaza crossings. The Occupying Power decides who what how and when anything goes into or out of Occupied Territories."

      Thanks talknic, for making this vital point. How strange that this reality is ignored by American media and politicians, as well as by apologists for Israel who say that "there is no occupation." How strange, as well, that the U.S. taxpayer has been paying Egypt's military good money to follow Israel's directions since Jimmy Carter was President. And strangest of all, of course, that the U.S. supports and enables the blockage, and all the other aspects of the oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

      Still, it was my impression that before el-Sisi took over, Egypt would sometimes open a crossing for some people, and was not too active about seeking out and closing the covert tunnels. This was hardly a satisfactory situation, but better than nothing. On the other hand, I suppose the current situation at least has the virtue of making Israel's responsibility clearer, albeit at the cost of making its oppression of Gaza more severe.

      Speaking of the blockade:

    • My question about Palestinian emigration wasn't rhetorical. I found an article from 2011 that says the PA put the number then for West Bank and Gaza at about 7,000.

      On the other hand, I found an Israeli source from this year that puts the figure at around 10,000 for "Judea and Samaria." I don't know who they are, or what criteria they must meet to get permission from Israel. Even the higher number seems small to me, under the circumstances.

      I found some other numbers too. I'm not sure that any of them are very reliable, and it appears that some are not comparable, in the sense that they use different methods and definitions. (For example, how to count someone who is studying abroad but has plans to return.)

      [Ironically,while looking for information, I also found Mr. Pipes' sarcastic comment about Palestinians having "among the most exaggerated of ties to the land." It reminded me of Sharon's sarcastic comment comparing Palestinians to salmon who seek to return to their birthplace to die. When I see such comments, I wonder if Zionists are truly blind to the irony and inversion of reality implied, or if they delight in tormenting their victims with such rhetoric.]

      In any event, with respect to Gaza, my impression is that very few manage to get out now. My understanding is that before the military took over in Egypt, some (but not many) Gaza residents managed to get out through Egypt. Now, as far as I am aware, that avenue is largely closed.

      If someone here has better information, it would be interesting to know.

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