Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1349 (since 2014-02-14 21:33:31)


Retired middle American.

Showing comments 1300 - 1201

  • Warren and Sanders stand firmly behind Trump officials -- on guess what issue?
  • Once I was lit by moonbeams
    • Thanks for the reference to Hedges' account. I wasn't aware of it. I've been impressed by other things from him that I've read. I don't have much first-hand experience with the rich, but I assume there must be some exceptions, even if the general pattern he describes is accurate. It is striking how one can substitute racial or religious identifiers for "rich" and find the statements equally true (and, again, perhaps equally subject to exceptions). "In group" and "out group" dynamics are similar, though groups can be defined differently.

      For those, like me, who aren't familiar with Hedges' observations:

  • US body on religious freedom rebuffed Palestinian Christians-- and Zogby says group was 'bullied'
  • Trump and the ever expanding Israeli occupation of Palestine
  • Trump and Pence had a Jewish connection before a political one -- and it's steeped in the Holocaust
  • Hasbara-steria: Netanyahu ministers charge NYT with 'journalistic terror attack,' hunger striker with 'suicide terror attack'
  • Israel celebrates 50 years as occupier
    • "Occupation"? What "occupation"? My local PBS station has been running lots of things related directly or indirectly to the Holocaust, nothing about some made-up people called "Palestinians." Nothing about any so-called "occupation" either.

  • The war for 'The New York Times'
  • Bret Stephens's greatest hits
    • re: "Bret Stephens has been hired as an op-ed columnist by the New York Times"

      Sad news, reflecting a disturbing reality in this era of Trump.

  • Passover story on WNYC slams Trump on refugees-- and leaves out Palestinian refugees
    • The US MSM has for years minimized references to Palestinians and to Palestinian refugees, but that is, as you point out, particularly noteworthy now, given all the discussion of Syrian refugees and others. A quick search on Google News does turn up some references, but more in foreign press, or non MSM sources like your post. Among the interesting ones, this from J Post:

      "Taking care of injured Syrians is one thing, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinetz told Israel Radio on Monday. "But to take in refugees is another issue, which could lead to (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) demanding entry of Palestinian refugees in Syria into the West Bank."

  • Sean Spicer needs to go to a Holocaust center
    • Thanks to Keith for the link and to Annie for the embedded video. The MSM is so subject to distraction and misdirection. There is huge uproar over Spicer's disturbing comment (and the disturbing United Airlines incident) while leaving largely untouched more substantive issues such as war.

      Of course, the pols don't help. I did hear Sen. Paul express concern about the President attacking without consultation with Congress. It wasn't to prevent an imminent attack on the U.S. or an ally, or even in Syria, so there was time for consultation. Apart from him, how many other national political figures have expressed concern?

      We live in a more dangerous world when Trump has that power. In this case, I suspect he was motivated more by a desire to distract from investigations of his possible Russian connection, (which his son said was proven bogus by the attack), than by pictures of beautiful children. (Admittedly, with Trump, one never knows what's going on in his head.)

      Many years ago, in a poli sci class, I heard the U.S. described as "an elective kingship,"in form, with the king's power controlled by various checks and balances. It seems that those checks and balances don't always work very well these days.

      PS: meanwhile, hasbara never sleeps. Univision, the Spanish language network, has a team in Israel this week for the pre-Easter observations among the Christian community there. Lots of opportunities to extol the wonders of Israel's technology and contributions to Western civilization. I haven't seen any references to Palestinians as yet, but I haven't watched all the coverage.

  • 'This miracle, this gift, this jewel' -- Obama's ambassador to Israel declares he's a Zionist
  • It's 7-0 against BDS on 'New York Times' opinion pages
    • NYT on Palestine/Israel reminds me of NYT on attacking Iraq. In particular, it reminds me of Bill Keller's long thumb-sucker to justify NYT's war coverage as he left his job, years after we invaded. "Putting aside those who opposed the war from the beginning . . . " he says, as I recall. Naturally, we put them aside, as we assess things with hindsight: they don't matter. Only the VSPs (the "Very Serious People" as Paul Krugman would say) matter. To be serious, one must be in favor of a "muscular" foreign policy. Being serious is more important than being right.

      So it is, for NYT, with Palestine/Israel. To be "serious" one must be a Zionist. Actually, one must be a Jewish Zionist; other kinds of Zionists are useful to have around, but aren't among the "serious." What miracle would change that attitude? It will take more than a burning bush in front of NYT, I suspect. Perhaps a pillar of fire by night and of smoke by day?

      PS: it's OT, but for those who care for a trip down memory lane:

  • Trump's new war has neocons, Clintonites, and Israelis applauding, but left and realists dismayed
    • Annie,

      thanks you and the others here who try to keep the record straight. I have a hard time listening to MSM these days because spin is mostly repeated as historical fact.

  • 'New sheriff in town' Nikki Haley is gonna kick anyone who objects to latest Jewish settlement
    • Thanks for the link to "Das Sheriff." I hadn't seen it. Powerful, a good reminder. But I think that thanks to Trump, the US is destined to be more global clown than sheriff. Of course, a psycho clown can cause some damage.

    • Thanks to Jonathan for this depressing-but-not-surprising report. I understand why you call it "unbelievable," but, unlike so much we hear, it is all-too believable.

      I see little hope for constructive change in US politics until the next election. Perhaps that's why I get diverted with tangential lines of thought, such as the role and meaning of high heels in Republican politics. Recall the excitement over Sarah Palin's footwear choices, for example:

      Continuing the "heel" theme, it may not be totally untimely or irrelevant to mention Jack London's political work, "The Iron Heel," which addressed his concern with the danger of an unregulated capitalism:

  • 'New' Netanyahu policy on settlements promises Trump less building, and Israeli settlers more
    • PS: Indyk said that, based on past experience with Netanyahu, restricting settlement expansion "to parts of the West Bank in or near settler towns and cities" would likely not turn out to be much of a restriction.

    • Thanks for this report. I heard a discussion about this policy on NPR. Not surprisingly, the interview was with the ubiquitous Martin Indyk. They briefly alluded to a comment from a Palestinian representative, but, of course, no actual Palestinians were permitted on NPR.

      Back around 2010 an American liberal Zionist proposal for a "two-state solution" was published based on work done by RAND. They called it "The Arc." It was the last time I was somewhat hopeful for a constructive resolution. I was agnostic about whether two states or one would be best, but--either way--it seemed like a blueprint for how the U.S. could more constructively deploy the billions of dollars it sends to Israel each year.

      Whether it was done in the context of a two state solution or one, reparative investment in projects like the ones described in the plan seemed like a far better use for U.S. taxpayer money than what we do now. We in the U.S. obviously can't control Israel, but I thought perhaps at least we could control what is done with the money we give them. We could refrain from funding more weapons, and fund "plowshares" instead.

      Given the physical and political "facts on the ground" in Israel and DC now, I guess this seems like a mere pipe dream of the past.

  • Palestinian college student on hunger strike after 22 days of interrogation in an Israeli prison
    • I dunno about visiting Hebron/Shuhada St. I had assumed that this program reflects the difficulty some American policy makers have in distinguishing the U.S. and Israel as separate countries, with potentially separate interests. I had assumed that it was also intended to further blur the distinction. The NSA shares raw intelligence on Americans, after all. No problem with that (except when pols like Jane Harman are recorded sharing classified info.) I suppose it might not work that way in practice, as you suggest, at least if you sent the wrong kind of people.

    • Thanks for the link. Yes, there's little doubt that Steves was, as you say, "raked over the coals" for speaking truth.

    • Reviewing Kate's depressing list of reality-based news reminds me of hearing Rick Steve's radio program last week, in which he spoke with Sarah Glidden about her Birthright trip to Israel. "It's a great deal, get a free trip to Israel!" In fairness, there was some discussion of Palestinians, in which they oh-so-gingerly acknowledged that there just might be some problems. It may be informative to see where Steves believes the line for candor is: he knows the score, he goes so far and no further. It's more than most do in the U.S. MSM. I can't say as I blame him for not wanting to be a martyr. There is something to be said for living to fight another day.

    • re: "“U.S., Israeli Navies Launch Exchange Program for Cadets"

      Sad news and disturbing, but not surprising. No need for Israel to join NATO (which Trump seems not to care for anyway). Sort of a "birthright" trip for Jewish-American sailors (no need to join the IDF), and an indoctrination trip for any goys who go along, I guess.

  • Palestinian-American teacher brutally attacked by Jewish Defense League outside AIPAC conference
  • 'US is overwhelmingly partial to Israel,' Pelosi admits at AIPAC
    • re "“White has been a personal minister to Donald Trump who discovered White by watching her TV show.[23] Trump would often bring her to Atlantic City for private Bible studies, and he has appeared on her television show.[3"

      Oh dear. I guess nothing should surprise me when it comes to the Donald, but that is something I didn't know. Maybe they studied "Two Corinthians."

    • re: "It was a mystery to me why US “Christians” were so supportive of Zionism,"

      Obviously, "U.S. Christians" are highly varied. "Mainline" Protestants who dominated the U.S. culture in the first half of the 20th Century were supportive of Israel after WWII, for reasons explained in "Zionism Unsettled," the study guide prepared by a group of Presbyterians. Obviously, the Holocaust had a lot to do with it.

      Most of those churches have moved toward a more critical stance regarding Israel as the occupation dragged on. But the mainline churches have declined in influence while more conservative churches have maintained or grown their influence.

      The "Christian Zionists" I know are people who hear the Hebrew scriptures every week, presented with an interpretation from the pulpit that bears little relationship to historical interpretations and scholarship within the Christian tradition, as I understand it. I see them as victims of poor spiritual teachers. The ones I know are sincere, but sadly hard to persuade to accept an alternative view. There may be some such as you describe, but I don't know any of them.

    • re: " “Foreign aid to Israel is sacred, we know that."

      It has long been evident that modern Israel is sacred to many Jews, especially for those who no longer believe in G*d. Interesting that it has become so for goy pols. I had thought it was just their own re-election that was sacred to them.

      Years ago I heard one of the top three female pols from CA (it hardly matters which, since on this subject they run together) avow to a cheering crowd: "we don't want an even-handed policy regarding Israel and Palestinians, we want a pro-Israel policy." She carefully avoided saying "Palestine," lest parallel construction equate the status of the two.

      Her tone clearly said, "even-handed policy? we don't need no stinkin' even-handed policy."

    • re: "Actually, the demonstrations were NOT against Putin, but rather against Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev,"

      Thanks for the needed information.

  • 'Scariest part' of Trump's draft peace plan promises he will be 'personally involved'
    • re Canning: "the US has foolishly tried to obstruct European efforts"

      US policy had been dictated by AIPAC et al. and by craven politicians seeking their respective objectives, not foolishness. Our leaders have acted with malice aforethought, i.e.,

      "A predetermination to commit an act without legal justification or excuse."

    • re Ossinev "It could be argued that they went along along with the 2 state Oslo charade initially through a mixture of hope with a heavy dash of naivete . . ."

      Perhaps also worthy of note: a lack of superior alternatives

    • Re: "Asked why the U.S. was the leader of the peace process and not Europe, Jahshan answered: “Arrogance… "

      There is plenty of arrogance among the neocons and others who make a living in the think tanks, lobby firms and media outlets of the establishment, but when it comes to U.S. policy regarding Palestine, it's all about the arrogance and power of the Israeli lobby, not the U.S. more generally. The Israel-firsters don't want the EU to play a major role because they find it easier to control the U.S., without having to worry about the EU as well. The EU is hardly anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian, especially these days, but the discourse and politics regarding Palestine are not quite so one-sided as in the U.S.

  • President of settler group who called left-wing Jews 'kapos' confirmed as US ambassador to Israel
    • Another indication of U.S. policy is provided by a good article in WaPo, which begins:

      "The Trump administration is strongly condemning what it calls a systemic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, arguing Friday that U.N. monitoring of West Bank settlement activity allowed by the Obama administration is the latest example." (link to full article is below)

      This may be disappointing, even outrageous and contrary to fact, but isn't surprising from the Trump administration.

      This morning I heard a discussion on BBC World Service about the high level of renewable energy used in Denmark. One person explained that the transition away from oil actually began way back in the 70's, after the Arab oil embargo drove fuel prices higher. This got me to wondering why there was so little lasting response in the U.S. to that event.

      I was young, and living in Texas at the time, when the Internet was just a gleam in the eye of some DARPA engineers, so my exposure to world news was limited. I recall there being some animosity toward "the Arabs" expressed, but I don't recall much in the way of substantive discussion about U.S. foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel. Maybe that happened and I wasn't aware, or have forgotten. If so, perhaps others who know more can say something about it. But if the MSM and the U.S. government back then behaved like they do now, I suspect that the grievances of Palestinians, and the role of U.S. policy was largely ignored.

  • Bearing witness: a review of Alice Rothchild's book 'Condition Critical'
    • Thanks for the link to Washington's correspondence, Mooser. I'd read it before, but it's good to be reminded.

  • The dispossessed
    • So moving, so sad.

      Thank you for writing this, for bearing witness.

      And thanks to Mondoweiss for publishing it, for bearing witness.

  • Towards Better Ally-ship for Palestine: A letter to the US activist community
    • Re: "Here, it has been a successful strategy of liberal Zionists and their “Pro Palestinian” supporters. Find one Palestinian who supports whatever Israel offers and wants, attacks the other 99% of Palestinians as anti-peace, and then talks about common ground, dialog, and reconciliation."

      Sounds like an effective tactic. Zionists have used a variety of effective tactics to win and stay on top.

  • Countering Islamophobia means ending the structural silencing of Muslim voices-- including their critique of Israel
  • The explosion hidden inside the UN Apartheid report
    • PS re UN on Zionism:

      According to the Wikipedia article mentioned above, "Israel had made revocation of Resolution 3379 a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference . . . ."

      Thus, Zionists got something of lasting value from the Madrid Peace Conference. I wonder what the Palestinians got from it? If they received anything of lasting value, I'm not aware of it, but perhaps someone here knows more about that.

      The tactics used by the Zionists seem to have been successful in accomplishing their objectives.

    • As Ben Norton explained in the link you provided, Resolution 3379 was revoked. Perhaps the world would be different today if it had been allowed to stand, but that's an alternative fantasy history.

      See also:

  • Feel-good co-existence story on NPR fails to point out that one side lives under occupation
  • Remembering Rachel Corrie, 14 years after the Israeli military killed her in Gaza
    • re Kay24's comment about Rachel Corrie, who said: "The sad thing is they not only murdered her, but demonized her later on. I have seen the hasbara comments that accuse her of defending terrorists, and that she deserved to be killed. They have this filthy habit of killing and making the victim to be the evil person.I feel so bad for her parents because they have to live with this terrible murder, and that their own country did NOTHING to support their daughter, even after death."

      Well said, Kay. Back then I was still reading, and supporting,Tikkun mag. That was before I realized that Lerner was part of the problem, not part of the solution. I saw the comments there saying that she deserved it, that it was none of America's business what Israel does. Evidently our proper role is to provide financial, military and diplomatic support for the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians, and to keep our mouth shut. That episode was part of my enlightenment, leading me eventually to this site.

      I've seen many complaints about the "good Germans," who--it is said--were morally guilty of the death of millions in WWII. What about the guilt of "good Americans" I wonder? Are we not complicit as well, in the actions of the leaders we elect year after year?

    • "On March 16, 2003, Rachel was killed by an Israel Occupation Force (IOF) armored bulldozer in Rafah . . . "

      Thank you. It is good to remember her courage and sacrifice.

  • UN agency labels Israel 'apartheid regime'-- and Israel likens organization to Nazis
    • Thanks for the warning. I downloaded the summary at least. Perhaps the full report will turn up on Wikileaks someday.

    • re: “Yesterday, the Israeli Knesset voted to ban Israeli Palestinian political parties from participating in future elections."

      Thanks for the link.

    • I see from the Reuters story you linked that "U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, had called for the report to be withdrawn and said on Friday that Khalaf's resignation was appropriate."

      That didn't take long. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. George Orwell wouldn't be surprised either. He wrote before the WWW, but he knew about changing history.

    • There are, of course, good practical, political, and legal reasons why Israel's supporters object to the use of the apt descriptive word "apartheid." But while reading this in WaPo, I wondered if there are psychological reasons as well. There are psychologists here who would know more than I about that. The analysis is ostensibly about the U.S. and Trump supporters, but I suspect it may be more applicable in some other contexts, including Israel.


      "Recently, we explored a psychological characteristic that explains some of the support for Trump’s candidacy: collective narcissism, or an exaggerated belief in an in-group’s greatness, which must be continually reinforced from the outside."

      full article:

    • re: "As of 10:00pm March 15th the msm is going nuts with Israel’s and it’s pet US reaction to this report and no detailed laying out of the reports findings."

      As of mid-afternoon on March 16th, a quick search of Google News suggests that is still mostly true, but there are a few exceptions or partial exceptions. WaPo, for example, has a fairly straightforward story about it, which lays out the case as well as citing the critics. And there's a link to the report. It's good to see that much, at least, enter public discourse in the MSM.

  • 'There is a deep state,' Snowden says, contradicting the liberal press
    • re Geo. Bush Jr. "He’s now being rehabilitated in the public eye now. He’s this wonderful happy little painter guy. He’s like Bob Ross with an accent. No he’s not. He’s a war criminal."

      True, he was the criminal-in-chief, but there were plenty of others who should be on trial with him.

  • Israel detains one activist and deports another, amid int'l outcry over boycott ban
    • "70 books"

      Do you happen to have a link to the list? I'm not doubting what you say, and I do doubt that I'd be interested in reading them, if "officials of Yad Vashem" don't like them, but it would be interesting to see the list.

  • Israel jails Palestinian writer for her novel about occupation
    • " . . . the interrogators claimed that her novel poses a threat to collaborators working with the occupation, saying that the novel reflects her own experiences and aims to warn young people about ways the occupation may attempt to compel them to become collaborators."

      No wonder she's in trouble. I'd say that I look forward to reading her novel, but unless she already has smuggled a draft out to some friendly person in another country, I doubt it will ever see the light of day. Even if she has done that, I wonder if any major publishing house in the U.S. would touch it?

  • Clinton says two-state-solution would have entailed 'a lot of blood, gore, turmoil in Israel'
    • re James Canning -- Counterfactual history is futile, but hard to resist. In "The Pity of War" Niall Ferguson argues that it would have been better if the UK had not entered WWI. Along similar lines, I suspect that it would have been better if the US had not done so. Wilson's choice to go to war may well have been a greater blunder than GWB's choice to invade Iraq.

      I also sometimes wonder what would have happened if the US and UK hadn't engineered the overthrow of a democratically-elected government in Iran. And, though the facts are in dispute, there seems to be reason to believe that the US has a similar track record in Syria. Of course, many actors had an interest in the region, the truth is hard to ascertain, and "what might have been" is unknowable.état

    • "Bill Clinton said creating a Palestinian state would have involved “a lot of blood, gore turmoil in Israel." So he, and all U.S. citizens, have had no choice but to continue providing financial, military and diplomatic support for Israel.

  • 'We are losing the next generation' -- rabbis describe crisis over Israel in their congregations
    • I have nothing to say about rabbis and their congregations, so why am I intruding on the comments here? Because this seems to be the only article by Philip on the front page currently, and because he often comments on NYT's editorial choices. Accordingly, I thought of him when I found this, explaining "How Israel Got It's Supreme Court Right." I was surprised by it. I'm not sure what to make of it.

      I don't necessarily impute similar views to the editors of NYT. Maybe they thought some of their readers would like it. Maybe they thought others would not like it, but should be informed about it. Diversity of opinion on the Op-Ed page is good. Or maybe it should be read as guidance for the US, to get right with the Right. Perhaps some reader here will offer insight.

      excerpt: "The new judicial appointments, Ms. Shaked argued, “reflect the human and legal diversity” that she said had “until now has been so lacking on our highest court.” After decades dominating politics, the Israeli right had finally broken through into this bastion of unapologetic liberalism. Now the right has the opportunity to prove that it can run the country effectively without being fettered by a liberal court."

  • Liberal newspaper Haaretz calls 1937 Palestine 'pre-state Israel,' in article by gov't employee
    • "Pre-state Israel" does at least have the virtue of being more concise than, say, "the land without a people for the people without a land." Though I do wonder how all those buildings got there without people being involved. Divine intervention, I guess. Immaculate construction.

  • In Jerusalem, Cuomo says the more people try to separate NY and Israel, the closer we get
  • Sanders suggests giving Gaza a portion of $38 billion US military aid to Israel
    • I don't see much new here, or much reason to expect change. I just did a search on Google News and didn't find an outpouring of MSM coverage as yet. It may happen later, of course: currently they are all focused on Trump's Tweet Storm (they seem to love saying that) about wire taps. I'd be more impressed if Sanders had made a more forthright statement many years ago. At this point, I don't see much point to it, nor much courage. It would be nice to be proven wrong.

  • Commemorating 75 years of advancing prophetic Judaism, free of nationalism and politicization
    • Thanks for the history lesson. It's good to know. And yet, I wonder, all this wisdom, and what have we got? It's strange how things work out. At least in this universe. I understand that some scientists say there are many alternate universes. So maybe some work out differently.

  • Israel's dependence on lobby's pressure will cause hostility to U.S. Jews, Nathan Glazer warned in 1976
    • @Krendall Mist--thanks for mentioning Alfred Lillienthal. I had to look him up. Though he is gone, his website is still up.

    • @Maghlawatan -- thanks for the link to Glenn Greenwald's analysis of why Ellison lost. Very informative. As usual, Greenwald says things one won't find in the MSM.

    • @YoniFalic -- I second JWalters' appreciation for this information.

    • re "Ellison lost" Thanks for the link. It's not surprising that the Israeli press would emphasize the lobby's role, and not surprising that the U.S. MSM would ignore it. At least, based on the nonscientific sample provided by the coverage I saw during the long contest, the only hint (for the already-well-informed observer) was the concern about Ellison's purported "anti-Semitism."

    • @Maghlawatan, thanks for the link and insights: from a business consultant's context, but useful.

  • Trump is putting the crunch on liberal Zionism
  • 'NYT' runs Israeli's op-ed recommending that Palestinians 'emigrate voluntarily'
  • 'New York Times' on Palestinians sounds like it's opining about 'Negro Problem'
    • Or maybe they would move to the U.S.

    • An example of the greater clarity prompted by Mr. Trump: R. Cohen of NYT, a two-stater admits the the obvious --

    • "It is hard to imagine a more hermetic attitude . . ."

      That's a rather genteel way of putting it, a rather gentle way -- almost oblique one might say -- but certainly true. Nothing new, of course. It's good of you to point it out, good of you to say it. Even now, there are Americans who don't adequately understand the reality of Palestine and America's role there.

      I was one of those Americans until 9/11 prompted me to read and learn. One of the best resources for me was a short course presented by the Palestinian Administration's office in DC. At that time I still looked to Friedman -- and the NYT -- for insight and wisdom on this topic. During the discussion it became clear that the instructor did not share this perspective.

      Like you, she was polite, genteel, restrained, but even so I was a bit surprised, even shocked. I considered myself better-read than the average American: after all I had for years read NYT, WSJ and WaPo daily. This in the days before the WWW transformed how we got news. Could my view of the world be so mistaken? It took some time for me understand just how ignorant I had been.

      It's ironic how Mr. Trump has seemingly elevated the debate on this topic. Not Obama, the thoughtful, cultivated, informed, professorial tool, but Mr. Trump. One honest, off-hand sentence, one "gaffe" in the DC sense of "speaking the truth", creates a crisis among the Zionists. I suspect they will survive, and the Palestinians won't, but at least there is a moment of greater clarity.

  • The day the two greatest salesmen in the world met at the White House
    • @Mooser "Yes, but megalomaniacal delusions are much more convincing when you’ve got 90 million people you can pretty much control and a large country."

      Perhaps a country of more than 300 million?

  • Rand Paul warns neocons will 'scurry in' with Abrams, and Kristol says that's anti-Semitic
    • It's not surprising that a neo-con wouldn't be a fan. After all, as Mr. Colbert observed, "reality has a well-known liberal bias."

  • Why Trump is even thinking about naming pro-Israel apparatchik who opposed him to high position
    • Re: "The sad lesson of the Abrams job interview is that rightwing American nationalism and Jewish nationalism are completely copacetic under Trump, [as long as they don't criticize Mr. Trump].

      BTW: why doesn't NYT use upper case for the "i" in Aipac? Isn't this anti-semitic?

    • An excellent point, JWalters. "The Quiet Coup" was sadly accurate and alarming when it appeared in 2009. I suppose some foolish people (myself, for example), hoped it might prompt a change for the better. After all, Obama promised hope and change. Instead, we have gone from bad to worse. The recent election can be seen, in part, as an ineffective reaction from the Lumpenproletariat, who roused from their passive state to elect a false prophet in clown's clothing, another oligarch.

    • Depressing, but not surprising.

  • Legalizing the theft of Palestinian land has been Israeli policy since Day 1
  • 'Israel receives more US military aid than every other country in the world combined' -- New York Times reveals
    • I wonder if the book or the book review discusses the role of industrial espionage, bribery, and blackmail in the growth of Israel's wealth and military industry? Though I don't know whether that word is appropriate when applied to state-sanctioned sharing, which may well be part of what is going on. We know, thanks to Edward Snowden, that the NSA shares with Israel raw intercepts of American's communications. As summarized by The Guardian:

      "• Secret deal places no legal limits on use of data by Israelis
      "• Only official US government communications protected
      "• Agency insists it complies with rules governing privacy
      "• Read the NSA and Israel's 'memorandum of understanding'

      Of course, Israel isn't the only country that engages in such activities (China and Russia being notable other examples), but it is the only one with such an extensive network of support in the U.S. Government, corporations, and society.

    • I wonder if the book, or the review, mentions the disappearance of hundreds of pounds of uranium from the U.S., in what is variously known as the NUMEC affair or the Apollo affair? I first learned about it from a brief, almost cryptic mention in the New York Review of Books 10 or 15 years ago. Since I regularly read several newspapers back then, and considered myself reasonably well informed, I was surprised that such an event wasn't more common knowledge.

      There have been attempts to exculpate Israel by various means, but these seem unconvincing to me and to many others. There has never been a full public investigation and accountability for the people involved. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists uses the term "theft" in its discussion, which seems reasonable enough, but it seems to me that there may well have been at least a "wink and a nod" tacit approval from one or more U.S. officials somewhere in the Department of Energy. The DOE used private contractors, but they were certainly subject to oversight and regulation . . . or should have been.

  • American Jews will 'divorce' Israel if it is at peace -- Foxman
    • So Mr. Gladstone of Brown University complains that, "the idea that Diaspora Jews, and especially Jews in America, have a right to interfere in Israeli political and court decisions comes from a very problematic culture of American exceptionalism and imperialism," but he doesn't object to using American power to impose dispossession and oppression on Palestinians. I'm not impressed by his logic or his moral clarity.

    • Thanks for posting, Mr. Hess. Excellent, informative, insightful, thoughtful. Thanks for the link to your site, as well. Your post there about Reservations in the U.S. is interesting and informative in its own right (many of us who aren't near Indian Country don't hear much about such topics), with interesting analogies to Palestine.

    • Another good essay, Phil. Did you delete the reference to chuckles? It's a good joke, after all, on Americans. (Palestinians don't get the humor, of course.) It's only natural that you "seize on . . . statements . . . issued in the same progressive space: the famous B’nai Jeshurun, which is dedicated to openness and tolerance." [sic, and sick]. But why shouldn't Zionists control that space? Consider what else they control in America: Congress, the Executive Branch, Wall Street, and the mainstream media, including op-ed pages from WSJ to NYT. Your little corner of the WWW is an exception, of course. May you live long and prosper.

  • Obama 'betrayed' American Jews and Trump is a 'swineherd' -- Bernard-Henri Levy
  • Video: Palestinian activists set up tent village to protest Israeli annexation and Trump plan to move US embassy
  • Obama's failure, and achievement, in Palestine
    • The PBS series "Frontline" recently spent 4 hours reviewing Obama's years in office. It is a good but depressing reminder of what he was up against. Many of us hoped for more from Obama. Whether those hopes were ever realistic or not, I'll leave for others to decide.

      As for whether the recent UN resolution is significant, it isn't clear to me why it should be. Naturally, I hope for the best, but it is sobering to remember the history of such resolutions. It is also sobering to reflect on the current state of knowledge and discourse regarding Palestine in the U.S.

      A recent exchange reported on Houston Public Media was instructive. Dr. Arye Carmon was in Houston for an event. Afterwards, a reporter (Andrew Schneider, a man with two degrees in history and considerable experience as a reporter) had a brief discussion with him. A summary by Houston Public Media follows, with a link to the full interview:

      "Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is sponsoring a bill to block the U.S. from paying its dues to the United Nations. Cruz filed his bill following a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. The U.S. typically vetoes such resolutions. But the Obama Administration abstained, allowing it to pass. News 88.7’s politics and government reporter Andrew Schneider spoke with Arye Carmon about the future of U.S.-Israeli relations. Dr. Carmon, the founder and past president of the Israel Democracy Institute, is currently a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

      "Interview Highlights:

      [Question from Schneider] "This is the first time in my lifetime the U.S. has abstained from a resolution condemning Israel in the UN Security Council. How is this being received in Israel?

      [Response from Carmon] “Andrew, I have to correct you…All presidents who occupied the White House since 1967 opposed settlements in the West Bank. During the Johnson era, the United States abstained seven times when it was brought before the Security Council. Nixon, 15. Ford, 2. Carter, 14. Reagan, 21. Bush Sr., 9. Clinton, 3. Bush Jr. 6.”

      [Question] "So why has Obama’s decision to abstain become such a controversial move?

      “It became a controversial move in the eyes of a prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] who against the president came to speak to Congress at a certain point. So it was very easy to blame the president for doing it. But, you know, I would expect the United States and any other country to be very clear about its position. This would be the only…support toward achieving a two-state solution.”

      [Question] "What do you see as the prospect for a two-state solution at this point?

      “The alternative is a disaster. The alternative may mean the end of the state of Israel. Israel declared itself to be Jewish and democratic. This is our identity. We’re still struggling internally to define what is Judaism and what should be the equilibrium between Jewishness and democracy. But it is unbearable that the alternative to two states will be one state, because in one state, we will either be a democracy and not Jewish or we will be Jewish and not a democracy.”

  • The two-stroke solution
    • re: "And yes– proving that point, all but two or three Democratic senators landed on Obama this week, at the behest of AIPAC, warning him not to take any actions that would pressure Israel."

      I weep for my country.

  • In a world of conflict, peace is celebrated only one day out of the year
    • re "It is the idea of the table, a supposedly equal playing field, that is the problem, and not that ‘there is no partner for peace’."

      Time and time again, cynical American politicians have spouted this line, one way or another. I'm not an artist, but the cartoon I've often imagined would have the U.S. as a teacher watching the schoolyard bully with a club beat a much smaller unarmed kid. "They have to work it out between themselves," the teacher says, while handing the bully a bigger club.

    • @ Kay24, Thanks for the link to Buzzfeed. Sad, but it should not be forgotten.

  • 'Beholden to AIPAC' -- progressive senators Warren, Murphy, Brown sign letter seeking to limit Obama's actions
    • PS: I've sometimes thought that this site is actually about "The War of Ideas in the U.S. about the Middle East," not "the War of Ideas in the Middle East." Reports like this one from the battlefront in DC suggest that it isn't going well: Mordor is winning.

    • re: "The news that many progressive US senators as well as vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine signed on to an Israel lobby letter designed to limit President Obama’s actions against the Israeli occupation, now nearly 50 years old, has been widely reported, but the plain facts need to be stated."

      What a basket of deplorables. Has it really been "widely reported" by the kinds of media most Americans depend on for news? It deserves to be, but this is the first I learned of it. After reading about it here, I did a couple of quick searches on Google News. Not exhaustive, but indicative. I found several reports in publications targeted at Jewish audiences, including some English-language Israeli publications. Also a few websites such as "Mintpress" and "Breitbart" that I don't consider MSM, though others may do so. Your report at Mondo got top billing for the searches I tried. I value this site, so I mean no offense when I say that I don't consider it MSM either. Maybe someday.

      BTW: I'd put the word "progressive" in quotes when describing such signatories. Or maybe "PEP." But that's petty, I suppose.

  • UC Berkeley reinstates Palestine class, rejecting pressure from pro-Israel groups
    • Being designated as anti-Semitic, or as a terrorist or sponsor of terrorism by an agency of the U.S. can have real-world consequences.

    • This is a welcome development, yet the whole episode says a lot about the sad reality of Zionist-dominated discourse in the U.S. elites. It is great that there was an outcry and reinstatement.

      It is not really great that it should have been necessary. Not really great that the course was modified. And not great that it remains framed in many media sources, and thus in the minds of Americans who depend on those sources, as more proof of Arab-Muslim-Palestinian evil in opposition to Israeli Righteousness. And especially not great that the U.S. State Department seems to agree, at least if you read this:

      "Other critics said the focus on “decolonizing” was akin to calling for the elimination of the Jewish state — a stance defined as anti-Semitic by the U.S. State Department."

  • In response to new aid deal, Israeli military firms to bid directly for defense contracts through US subsidiaries
    • re: "A gradual end to local procurement will mean more production in the U.S. and greater collaboration with American companies"

      That's reassuring. As is the promise that Israel won't lobby Congress.


  • US aid deal gives green light to Israel's erasure of Palestine
    • Thanks for the correction, Ossinev. As I told Kay, I checked the transcript at another site (Time) and found this:

      "And surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land."

      As I told Kay, I don't know why I didn't find that in my earlier search at the other site. For me, what he said isn't much better than silence. He seems to blame the Palestinians, while offering nothing more than a statement that is false on its face regarding Israel.

      Israel has been occupying and settling Palestinian land for longer than most of us have been alive. Israel continues to do so with impunity, and is able to do that because of vast amounts of help from the U.S. . . . including help on his watch. He did nothing to stop the attacks on Gaza, for example. Instead, he sent more weapons to Israel to replenish their supply.

    • Thanks Kay, I checked the transcript at another site (Time) and found this:

      "And surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land."

      I don't know why I didn't find that in my earlier search. For me, it isn't much better than silence. He seems to blame the Palestinians, while offering nothing more than a statement that is false on its face regarding Israel. Israel has been occupying and settling Palestinian land for longer than most people have been alive. It continues to do so with impunity, and is able to do so because of vast amounts of help from the U.S.

    • "Erasure" is the right word. Consider it done. President Obama just addressed the UN. He talked about refugees extensively, but didn’t use the words “Palestine” or “Palestinians,” (at least I didn't find them in the transcript provided by Politico).

      link to

  • Powell emails expose depth of media self-censorship re Israeli nukes
    • @ Dmesh "what did we think would happen? BLOWBACK!"

      Sure, but we must not think about that, much less mention it, if it is for Israel. That would be anti-Semitic.

    • @ lysias "Obama protecting his right to get big fees for giving speeches and serving on corporate boards after he leaves office?"

      A plausible hypothesis. In the realpolitik of DC, what's the percentage in committing seppuku for a lost cause? He may like the idea of burnishing his legacy, if he can do so without depleting his bank account. So some words about settlements and 2SS are okay, as long as they don't threaten real change.

    • Like paying taxes, observing the law is "for the little people."

    • PS: correction to my statement that Obama didn't refer to Palestinians. After being corrected on another thread, I checked the transcript at another site (Time) and found this:

      "And surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land."

      I'm not sure this statement is better than silence. Obama seems to blame the Palestinians, while offering nothing more than a statement that is false on its face regarding Israel. Israel has been occupying and settling Palestinian land for longer than most of people have been alive. It continues to do so with impunity, and is able to do so because of vast amounts of help from the U.S. We provide the weapons and diplomatic cover Israel needs. Obama himself has vetoed potentially constructive UNC efforts, while sending Israel more money and weapons. To me, Obama mainly is trying to cover his ass for history. Moralizing while perpetrating.

    • The censorship is as pervasive, if not more, in the political class as in the major media. President Obama just addressed the UN. He talked about refugees extensively, but didn't use the words "Palestine" or "Palestinians," at least not according to the transcript provided by Politico. I didn't listen, so I don't know if he departed from his text. Somehow I doubt it.

  • 'Where do you want it?': Israeli soldier taunts unarmed Palestinian man before shooting him
    • . . . "Without specifying a time, he announced that he planned to visit Israel’s detention center at Ofer Prison as a possible model … “I know as a judge that it is hard to reduce civil liberties,” he said. “But when someone is on the S register [in France], not the 15,000 [suspicious] people, the first few hundred on the list – should we wait for them to act or should we act before them? If you want to insist, you can wait for them to have a lawyer, but in the meantime people are killed. Or you can sacrifice a little of your freedom, arrest them before they act, put them in detention centers to evaluate how dangerous they are.”….

      He may want to visit a certain U.S. facility in Cuba too, as another possible model. France has a few islands around the world it could use for this purpose.

    • "The code of purity of arms (Hebrew: טוהר הנשק‎‎, Tohar HaNeshek) is one of the values stated in the Israel Defense Forces’ official doctrine of ethics, The Spirit of the IDF."

      Good to know. Very reassuring. As I said about Obama's speech at the UN: "Moralizing while Perpetrating."

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