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Retired middle American.

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  • In propaganda coup for Israel, NYT frontpager ascribes Gaza's misery to Palestinian infighting
    • As further evidence of the extent of the "propaganda coup," BBC World Service gave air time to the author of this piece, this story. That was doubly depressing, because BBC usually is better (less Zionist) than NYT on Gaza. But not now. In fairness, many readers and listeners might not perceive the bias . . . which is part of the problem. Poor Israel may have to mow the grass again. And Netanyahoo will reap the rewards.

  • Roger Cohen misses the Palestinian reality
    • re: "This piece was first submitted to the New York Times op-ed page and Letters section, but not accepted for publication."

      How sad.

  • We'll be waiting a long time for Al Jazeera's undercover investigation of Israel lobby
    • re Al Jazeera’s undercover investigation of Israel lobby:

      Thanks for reporting this. It would be interesting to see the documentary, but it probably wouldn't be terribly surprising. Thanks to this site, we have a pretty good idea of what the lobby does.

  • 'NYT' praises Israelis for restraint in attacks aimed at Arafat that killed 100s of innocents
    • re "NYT praises Israelis"

      Thanks for reading it so we don't have to. Gives "fake news" fresh meaning. Ditto "failing NYT"

      Thanks for setting the record straight.

  • Struggle for equal rights for Palestinians is 'right choice,' and will lead to 'significant exodus of Jews' -- Henry Siegman
    • re potential "significant exodus" of Israelis:

      Well, I hope we don't get an influx of more Zionists here. We've got enough of them now. Hopefully the better sort of people, the more moral sort, will be the ones to leave. But you never know how it will work out. People can be surprising. I recall David Brooks writing years ago, after one of his trips to Israel, about how much he loves the country, but how he wouldn't want to live there. The locals make life there unpleasant, compared with home. As some middle Americans (known to the coastal elites as people from fly-over country) are wont to say of NYC, "it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there."

      On the other hand, I do think we owe admission and citizenship to those Palestinians who want to come here, in light of our complicity in helping Israel to take their homes and homeland. I think we should offer the same to the citizens of the Marshall Islands, in light of the nuclear contamination we left there, and our role in flooding them out of their homes in the foreseeable future.

      That's not to say I favor open borders. There is now a considerable social science literature suggesting that there are costs as well as benefits to social and cultural diversity. And population growth also has costs as well as benefits. I think a rational policy implies some limits to immigration.

      It's hard to have a dispassionate discussion of this topic these days. Indeed, after Mr. Trump's "shithole" comment, it may be impossible to so so. My point is that it seems to me that it should be possible, within in the context of a rational policy, to make room for those we have displaced. (I don't expect that our policy will actually conform to my preferences; indeed, I fear that Mr. Trump might well include the groups I've mentioned in his "shithole" category.)

  • The not-so-secret life of Mathilde Krim
    • "sacred terrorism"

      nice turn of phrase, and (alas) widely applicable.

    • re Mathilde Krim:

      A fascinating and important bit of history. Perhaps it was "not-so-secret," but I didn't know about it. Thanks for posting this.

  • Palestinian ambassador reveals details about Trump's meetings with Abbas, accuses the U.S. of 'backstabbing'
  • New Orleans City Council rescinds human rights resolution, igniting the movement for Palestinian rights
  • Abbas confirms Trump tried to sell Abu Dis as Palestinian capital, in 'Oslo is dead' speech
    • re: "has everyone heard trump cut UNWRA funds today. instead of the usual 350mil they are giving only 60mil. nikki haley, barking dog of israel, wanted to give 0. trump thinks he can force palestinians to “negotiate”."

      Yes, I've seen/heard some coverage, mostly on BBC but also US media. US media I've seen mostly focus on the Tillerson vs. Haley palace intrigue angle, or on the weakness of the Palestinians. (WaPo's piece basically says they are screwed, albeit without using that word.) Not much explanation of who they are, why they need aid, and the American role in their plight.

  • Israeli Jews will never accept Palestinians as equals -- Klutznick, chair of Americans for Peace Now
  • Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to 'Israel's might'-- Roger Cohen
    • re: "Privileged American Jews are safe thanks to ‘Israel’s might’"

      Thanks for the hard work you do, Philip, reporting on moral and social pathology. It must be discouraging work. It's odd, but seemingly true, that pathology can be successful, whether in DC, NYC, or Israel. It would be nice to think that Darwinian dynamics would, over time, eliminate such pathology. As we remember MLK Jr. it would be nice to think that "the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice," But despite some claims to that effect, it ain't necessarily so.

    • Thanks for the history lesson.

  • Zionism didn't have to turn out so badly for Palestinians, says Roger Cohen
    • re: 'Zionism didn’t have to turn out so badly for Palestinians, says Roger Cohen"

      If only they hadn't "rejected a generous offer." If only they "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity." If only they didn't exist.

    • re: "Jews are insecure in the west and therefore Jewish sovereignty is a just and necessary answer"

      One wonders, what do they need to feel secure in America? Equal rights and protection under law isn't good enough?

      Re: "Palestinians have had to be exiled to make room for the Jewish state, and it hasn’t been any fun for them since"

      And Africans had to be enslaved to provide workers for colonials in the New World, and Austria had to be invaded to provide room for Germany, and on and on endlessly.

      Roger Cohen gets paid for writing such crap, and an influential place to air it?

  • 'We should exact a price' from Ahed Tamimi 'in the dark,' Israeli journalist says
    • re: The discussion amongst Israelis became all about the humiliation suffered by heavily armed soldiers, from a fearless 16-year old girl and her bare hands. Culture Minister Miri Regev said: “When I watched that, I felt humiliated, I felt crushed”. She called the incident “damaging to the honor of the military and the state of Israel.”

      What a shame that America's leaders support this with our financial, military, and diplomatic assistance. How long will we be complicit?

  • The never-ending crisis of Zionism
    • re: "I find this so dispiriting it is hard to put one word after another."

      Thanks for making the effort, Philip. Your observations prompted several thoughts for me, but I think any comment from me on what you wrote would be superfluous at best. I merely want to express appreciation for your work and that of the others.

  • Trump threatens to cut aid to countries voting against Jerusalem decision at UN
    • re "“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Reuters quoted Trump as saying during a White House press conference."

      Because nothing, nothing, is as important as moving our embassy. No interest is served by our aid that compares. (Wait, our aid to Egypt stems from a deal on behalf of Israel, so one wonders . . . oh well, consistency isn't a problem.)

  • Israeli forces shoot boy in face, arrest cousin for protesting, her mother for looking into it
  • US vetoes UN resolution on Jerusalem, as Muslim states recognize East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital
    • re "U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, called the vote at the Security Council “an insult” that “won’t be forgotten,” according to Reuters. Her dissenting vote marked the first time in six years the U.S. used its veto power. The last instance was in 2011 when the Obama administration struck down a resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlement construction. "

      Some say that we live in an era dominated by partisan politics, but there's a bipartisan consensus among our elites on one topic, at least. It is a shame that it is a consensus that makes us complicit regardless of which party is nominally in power. "Shame" is the operative word.

  • Massachusetts lawmakers to vote on anti-BDS bill after going on free trip to Israel and West Bank settlements
  • HBO chief got his start in hasbara
    • Thanks for the background on HBO's boss. I don't know when (or even if) there will someday be a reassessment of US policy, much less any improvement for Palestinians, but it is good that you document the reality. Both with regard to what goes on the Palestine, and what goes on in our political/media elites regarding it, there are few willing and able to do the job you do.

      BBC World Service has a weekly program and podcast called "Extra" devoted to discussion of one topic each week. The current episode is titled "What Now For the Palestinians." It is a good discussion, but superfluous for anyone who regularly reads Mondoweiss. It wouldn't be superfluous for many Americans, however. There has been a lot of coverage in the US MSM of Trump's decision to move our embassy, but precious little discussion (or concern) about "What Now For the Palestinians."

  • Hamda Zubeidat, 60, dies when Israeli soldiers burst thru her door after midnight, hurling stun grenades
    • re: “The soldiers raided the village after midnight, causing panic and fear among residents, throwing stun grenades at homes,” Wafa reported, adding that “no reason was given for the raid.”

      No reason was given, none was needed.

      No telling how often US troops do much the same, somewhere in the world. I used to think we were the good guys, and I used to trust our government to do the right thing. Now, I'm not so sure:

  • Trump nominee Kenneth Marcus has a career of trying to criminalize campus free speech
  • Genocide and American liberals
  • 'We overstepped in that case' -- David Brooks offers another empty apology for supporting Iraq war
    • re: "‘Everyone had such good intentions, it’s too bad it didn’t work out’ — that’s the message between the lines, too, in Thomas Friedman, David Remnick, and others who took care to dissociate themselves from the politics of Bush and Cheney, but worked hard to legitimate the war."

      Don't have to read between the lines to understand Friedman. He spells it out. "We" [meaning the "elites" who matter] "needed" to tell the Arabs to "* ** *." Warning: may not be suitable for all audiences: contains extreme pomposity, self-importance, self-satisfaction, moral blindness, and condescension.

  • Democrats abandon the resist Trump movement when it comes to Jerusalem
  • Trump's and Netanyahu's Pedagogy of Oppression: A lesson on the nature of facts
    • Thanks for this eloquent essay. Most observers might (if charitable) say that Trump is factually challenged. Which is to say that he has difficulty with facts. He, on the other hand, would say that he is the master of reality. As long as he is President, he at least has might on his side.

      I'm reminded of a long story about Bush Jr.'s relationship with reality. Back then, liberals thought he didn't pay enough attention to facts, and his advisors disparaged that notion. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." Looking back on it, flawed as his contact with reality may have been, it seems at least as good as what we have now.

  • 'My aim is not to resolve the conflict' -- former top Israeli negotiator
    • re: "The Declaration promised “equal citizenship” to its Arab inhabitants, but Israel then played fast and loose with the concept of citizenship, by differentiating between citizenship and nationality. It’s akin to placing a big brown “A” on the lapels of its Arab citizens."

      I've seen this alluded to in various ways over the years that I've been following Mondoweiss. I've never felt that I understood it. I imagine that my confusion reflects the intent of those who created the distinction.

  • 'Will the protesters turn violent?' Deconstructing the media's view of Palestine
    • re "Friedman's reaction"

      That reminds me of his explanation to a fellow member of our media elite of why we "had to" invade Iraq. It doesn't get better with age, but it's good to be reminded from time to time:

    • re: "The original name was Urusalima and was given at around 2400 BCE as a reference to the city as being the “City of Shaleem”, Shaleem being a Canaanite God.Incoming Semitic peoples inc those practicing the cult of Judaism appear to have melded and yes OMG assimilated ! into the existing Canaanite population and the rest is mostly well made up Zionist history."

      So interesting that I looked for more info:

    • Thanks for this. I noticed this pattern, and reacted as you did, when hearing Inskeep's interview with Diana Buttu. He is not as bad as many (e.g., Tom F, pictured above) and it was a good interview, to the extent that she was allowed to talk. But then Inskeep cut her off with a question about whether there would be Palestinian violence that would discredit them. Nothing about Israeli violence. Victim and perpetrator are inverted in Zio land. Only so much reality can make it onto NPR.

      "INSKEEP: Diana Buttu, I just wanted to interrupt. I'm so sorry. Your time is short, and I want you to have time to address one other question because we have some news this morning. A leader of Hamas has been calling for a new intifada. As you know, there are also Palestinian protests going on - some of them peaceful, some of them not looking quite so peaceful. Is there a risk of violence that's going to discredit the Palestinian side here?"

      Full transcript is here:

  • One Palestinian killed, hundreds injured during protests in West Bank, Gaza
    • re: one killed in protests, hundreds injured

      "Aunt Sally asked, 'was anyone killed?'

      "No'm. Killed a nigger."

      "Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt"

  • Trump's thug-power, or does anybody still like Woody Allen?
    • This reminds me of something I read recently about Allen that echoes a phrase I've often seen "good liberal Zionists" such as Paul Krugman employ when the subject turns to Israel's treatment of Palestinians: "it's complicated." There is an echo in the "logic" as well, when the "allegation is apparently still just too complicated, too difficult, too ‘dangerous,’ . . . to confront.” The article quotes Dylan Farrow asking why Woody Allen has been treated differently than Harvey Weinstein, et al. The article concludes:

      "Farrow also celebrated actors like Ellen Page who said she regretted working with Allen on To Rome with Love. “It meant the world to me when Ellen Page said she regretted working with Allen, and when actresses Jessica Chastain and Susan Sarandon told the world why they never would,” she wrote.

      "While Farrow said she is happy to see the culture “shifting rapidly,” she noted, “My allegation is apparently still just too complicated, too difficult, too ‘dangerous,’ to use Lively’s term, to confront.”

      "She added, “It isn’t just power that allows men accused of sexual abuse to keep their careers and their secrets. It is also our collective choice to see simple situations as complicated and obvious conclusions as a matter of ‘who can say?'”

    • re: "I think he [Woody Allen] is more worried about himself."

      So true. I'm pretty sure that his favorite charity favorite is close to home.

  • Trump just 'pushed the two-state solution over the cliff'
    • re: "You must be one of the very few who did not know why the “peace process” has lasted so long."

      Oh, right. "The Palestinians rejected a generous offer." Now that you mention it, I've heard that. And other bull.

    • re: "it is time to ask Israel to grant full citizenship (and the vote for those of age) to all Palestinians now living under Israeli rule and to rescind all laws which limit the Knesset to a Zionist sounding-board. A call for one country for all its people, "

      Isn't that what this site had advocated for years? Seems plausible, but I don't expect to live to see it.

    • re "The Palestinians must share some of the blame"

      Why is that? Did they, like some of Harvey Weinstein's victims, voluntarily go to his hotel room? Did they volunteer to be invaded, dispossessed, and oppressed?

  • 'Violence on both sides' -- 'New York Times' erases the Nakba
    • Thanks to Phil and pabelmont for saying what NYT didn't. NYT's spinning history seems particularly shameful to me because, at this point in history, the Zionists have won. They have nothing to fear from the historical truth. NYT could afford to live up to its asserted ideals of objectivity and honesty without any threat to Zionist dominion.

  • Flynn's plea on Russian influence reveals... Israel's influence!
    • re Mooser "Gee, I wonder if Trump will still want to pardon Flynn after Flynn tells Mueller everything?"

      Well, if he is an honorable man, I'm sure he will want to do the right thing.

    • "As a nominee for a Cabinet position, he was more than a private citizen."

      And, evidently, was doing what Trump wanted. I believe Trump said, when he fired Flynn, that he was doing what he expected, or words to that effect. Whatever else one thinks about this affair, it seems that Trump owes Flynn a Presidential pardon.

    • Thanks for pointing out what the MSM will not. Like Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and so many others did for so many years, this particular emperor can safely walk around with no clothes. That may be changing for some predators, but others can still roam polite society without shame. Our polity has been perverted, and not only by the Russians.

  • Trump administration using unjust US law to pressure Palestinians
  • From DC to Jerusalem: fighting displacement and colonization
  • Israel has more legitimacy than US because the bible mentions Jerusalem, not New York -- says David Harris
    • re: "Last week David Harris, the CEO of the American Jewish Committee, offered a foot-stompin heart-stoppin sermon on Zionism from the pulpit of Temple Shaaray Tefila, a wealthy Reform congregation in Bedford Corners, N.Y."

      This is, in a sense, inside baseball for someone like myself, a non-Jewish American. Still, it is useful information to help understand U.S. culture, policy, and politics. Back in the 1980s I lived near NYC. Many Friday evenings I would listen to services from a Reform congregation in Manhattan, which were broadcast on a local radio station. The language was elevated, as were the sermons: inspirational, even noble. They were more familiar than one might expect. As someone reared in a Protestant tradition, I was accustomed to hearing the Hebrew scriptures, albeit in a different translation and context. Based on that experience, I would have expected Reform congregations to have less Zionistic perspective on Israel, a more compassionate perspective on Palestinians. I infer that isn't the case.

  • Trump administration threatens to close Palestinians' office in Washington DC
    • "A condition in the law which allows support funds to be granted to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, or PLO, and for their Washington office to operate is that they do not request the International Criminal Court, or ICC, prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians."

      Because, of course, Israelis should be able to commit crimes against Palestinians without fear of prosecution. To think otherwise is anti-semitic. It's a good thing our Congress was wise enough to write this into law. It shows good planning.

  • 'Facebook' ads are way more important than the children we slaughter in some poor country
  • The Clinton scandals entailed violent threats against people who knew about his sex life
    • Thanks for sharing. You bring back unpleasant memories. Those too were troubled times. The recent, belated re-examination by some liberals of the credible evidence that Clinton is a rapist shows how cultural norms and perceptions can sometimes shift. Perhaps that will someday happen regarding Palestine and Israel and America's complicit role there. I don't expect to live to see it, except perhaps, like Moses, a glimpse from afar, as from Mount Nebo.

      I spent some time near Mount Nebo (the one in Arkansas, that is) during Clinton's rise to power. I can say that more than a few people there who voted for "Slick Willie" (as he was known, not entirely affectionately) were under no illusions about his probity with women. As is true with some Republicans in Alabama today, politics often took precedence over probity.

      I also spent some time in DC during Clinton's years there. I didn't work anywhere near him, but I was close enough to see how the controversy warped normal judgment and dominated political discourse. His pastor, Philip Wogaman and other pastors opined on his behalf in WaPo. King David, after all, did worse, but wasn't forced to resign. It was a Christian's duty to forgive, not to judge.

      I don't know anything about the deaths you mention, or about the threats. As you say, there was a time when to mention such things in the places like the NYT was taken as proof that you didn't belong there. But having lately learned about some of the methods Harvey Weinstein employed (including ex-Mossad agents), it's not so difficult to imagine Clinton would have been equally active in his own defense.

      And having learned of Harvey's methods, it's hard not to imagine that other powerful men and organizations and interests would do the same to advance their interests. You often write (and rightly so) about the influence of Zionist political donors. But it seems likely that the Lobby's power is also backed by a darker side. In Mexico (and other places too, certainly) the drug cartels corrupt law enforcement with the offer that can't be refused: "take our silver, or take our lead." In DC the threat may be a bit less fatal: blackmail that ends a political life, not a bullet to the head. But it's effective enough.

  • Families as pawns: Israel pressures Palestinians into exile through foreign spouse visas
    • This is just one of the examples of ethnic cleansing Israel practices, some more violent than this. In a recent discussion of the situation in Myanmar on BBC World Service, one reporter said that ethnic cleansing is not a crime. This surprised me, so I looked it up. The discussion I found at Wikipedia leaves me wondering:

      "There is no international treaty that specifies a specific crime of ethnic cleansing.[18] However, ethnic cleansing in the broad sense—the forcible deportation of a population—is defined as a crime against humanity under the statutes of both International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[19] The gross human-rights violations integral to stricter definitions of ethnic cleansing are treated as separate crimes falling under public international law of crimes against humanity and in certain circumstances genocide.[20]

      "There are however situations, such as the expulsion of Germans after World War II, where ethnic cleansing has taken place without legal redress (see Preussische Treuhand v. Poland). Timothy V. Waters argues that if similar circumstances arise in the future, this precedent would allow the ethnic cleansing of other populations under international law.[21]"

  • Liberal Israeli leaders were contemplating genocide in Gaza already in 1967
    • I appreciate Mondoweiss showcasing some of the excellent essays that have been posted in the past, such as this one. There are many that deserve to be remembered, and this certainly is one of them.

      Reading it makes me even more mindful of the irony implicit in my stated view that the U.S. should invite Palestinians who wish to do so to come to the U.S. I'm well aware that doing so would, in a way, simply complete the plan that Herzl and the others advocated. One could say that it would make the U.S. complicit in the destruction of Palestinian culture. That would be true.

      But we are already complicit: our constant military, financial and political support for the Zionist project have made us guilty. I don't see any prospect of constructive change for the Palestinians where they are. I don't see any prospect that the leaders of the U.S. will support sanctions that might force Israel to behave differently. So a humanitarian response of welcoming to the U.S. those we have helped to expel from their own homeland seems the best available option. Even that isn't available right now, of course, given the current politics of immigration. But perhaps that could change.

      Maybe I'm wrong. If I understood him correctly, Mooser has suggested that someday perhaps Jewish Israelis will decide to move to Europe and the U.S., leaving the land to the Palestinians. Perhaps that, or some other future is indeed possible. I don't know.

  • Bret Stephens equates anti-Zionists with white nationalists in the 'New York Times'
    • Thanks for reading and analyzing this crap. It's a dirty job, and I'm not gonna do it. But it's good that you do.

  • Antisemitism bill hearing reflects disagreement in Jewish community over dual loyalty
    • Depressing that this should even be debated.

      "The House Judiciary Committee heard testimonies in support of the bill from individuals representing institutions such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League. Those who argued against the bill were Jewish Studies professors and representatives of advocacy groups."

      Americans who are not Jewish can only hope that our Jewish citizens and members of Congress will reach the right decision.

  • 'Iraq didn't work out, but at least it was a belief in progress' -- David Brooks reflects on a BIG mistake
    • Neocons are as disgusting now as before. When prepubescent boys engage in mock war games, we see normal behavior, not pathology. When neocon pundits team with the military- congressional-industrial complex to deploy American youth in wars of aggression (not their own children, of course), we see evil in action.

  • The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel
    • Interesting. And disgusting. As the judge says, "Summary judgment is appropriate where the record shows there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Citizens can move along now, there's nothing to see here.

    • Fascinating. It wasn't until some time in the 90's that I read something about the diversion of uranium to Israel. Of course, in the days before the WWW, such news traveled more slowly. I've always assumed that there must have been some knowledge, some "wink and nod," at high levels in the U.S. But I haven't ever seen a credible report about that. This book may go some way towards explaining that. But we probably can't hope to know the whole story with certainty.

  • Prince Charles decried White House's failure to take on 'Jewish lobby' over Israel
    • The Prince states an obvious truth, and American Zionists are shocked, shocked. The intensity of their reaction is an indication that they understand some truths must be suppressed in order to maintain their preferred fictions. They have been surprisingly successful with this strategy for a long time. Who knows how long it will continue? Long enough, I suspect.

  • Harvey Weinstein's Israeli spy was music video vixen and Israeli air force officer, with Holocaust backstory
    • re Marnie: "I feel so hurt and so angry that a woman agreed to be part of a deception intent on bringing Rose down. Stella Penn/Diana Filip is as bad as weinstein for participating in such treachery. "

      Both Weinstein and Penn seem to be reaping what they have sown. Sometimes that happens; not always, but sometimes. I appreciate Allison's story about Penn. It's a sad story. It seems that she is among Israel's "best and brightest," which often enough is the how a human tragedy begins. I wonder whether she had qualms about her assignment, or simply accepted it as another day's work. Perhaps, now that her work is exposed, she may have some remorse. Being young, perhaps she will be able to redeem herself. Or not. In any event, there doesn't seem to be much reason for hope for Harvey. One always can hope for miracles, I suppose.

  • The Weinstein effect drags in Israel
    • re: "The publicity is the opposite of those natural disaster stories in which Israel sends out teams of doctors and disaster pros to find earthquake victims or heal children — this time Israeli professionals are helping an alleged sexual predator in his efforts to stifle journalists."

      Still, it's good publicity for another of Israel's revenue producers. Guns are not the country's only export. Rightly or not, "Ex-Mossad agent" has a certain cache. One gets the impression that this is another growth industry, with big demand for Israeli expertise. It seems that this kind of nation-state-style spy craft is being used more by corporations, universities (e.g., Baylor investigating sexual crimes by footballers), and (of course) political groups and lobbyists of all sorts. I don't think this is particularly healthy for our society. It is yet another tool for the rich and powerful to enhance and protect their wealth and power.

      As for Harvey, I'm glad that he says "“I’m an Israeli in my heart and mind." It might seem ungrateful of him to say that, considering the success he found in America, but I won't quibble. I'd rather have him known as an example of some other nation.

  • Jewish leaders seek to shut down anti-occupation movie in MA because it 'sniffs of Nazism'
    • re: "it sniffs of Nazism."

      A telling use of the verb, which in this context rightly indicates that the speaker is describing his own biased perception, not the the film itself. Those who wish to justify the continued dispossession and oppression of Palestinians routinely perceive (or claim to perceive) evil in those who speak the truth and call for justice. "Sniff," verb:

      "1. to draw air through the nose in short, audible inhalations.
      "2. to clear the nose by so doing; sniffle.
      "3. to smell by short inhalations.
      "4. to show disdain, contempt, etc., by or as by sniffing.
      verb (used with object)
      "5. to perceive by or as by smelling:
      to sniff a scandal.
      "6. to inhale through the nose:
      to sniff the air."

  • The Balfour centenary is also the centenary of the Zionist lobby
    • re Citizen: "Won’t hold my breath waiting for NPR (or any TV network or cable TV news show) to allow Phil Weiss on to discuss this subject"

      That would be nice (though I don't have cable, so I would hope it's a broadcast network). Perhaps PBS would do it. I first learned about Juan Cole years ago from his appearance on the News Hour. So sometimes progressive voices slip through the embargo. But even that was focused on other aspects of the Middle East, I think. The embargo on views and news about Palestine remains as tight as ever.

      Facts do come out at times. I recall that Scott Pelley did mention in passing on CBS Evening News during the last slaughter in Gaza that most its residents were people (and their descendants) forced out of what is now Israel in 1948. Of course, Pelley was precipitously pulled from that show.

      I"ve been checking Google News to monitor MSM coverage of the Balfour anniversary in the US. A few mentions, but mostly in sources aimed at Jewish audiences, or from overseas. For example, Giles Fraser has a piece in the Guardian. Excerpt:

      "But having married an Israeli, I now feel more keenly than before the remarkable disconnect between the language we have historically used about Israel and the actual place and its people.

      "Most of those who wrote so enthusiastically about Jews in the 17th century had never actually met any. Jews weren’t so much a people as an idea. Likewise, the Israel that David Lloyd George was won over to through Sunday school was a merger of Christian theological fantasy and British national self-aggrandisement."

    • re: "In fact, Senator David Reed of Pennsylvania later accused Weizmann of prolonging the war for two years by scuttling the Morgenthau Mission (as Weizmann relates in his autobiography)."

      Thanks for the essay. As usual, very informative. I had to look up "Morgenthau Mission." There's so much history to learn. Ignorance of the past doesn't mean that it does not affect us. As Faulkner would say, it's not really past. Still, we can only carry on as best we can.

  • May, Netanyahu celebrate Balfour while Palestinian politicians call for UK to apologize, recognize Palestinian state
    • An informative piece from Israel:

      "Britain's True Motivation Behind the Balfour Declaration
      Why the British thought a vaguely worded statement would galvanize American Jewish support for World War I - and how it became the engine that led to the State of Israel"

      Shlomo Avineri Nov 02, 2017 2:33 PM
      read more:

  • The Balfour Declaration set in motion the ethnic cleansing of Palestine
    • Eloquent. Thanks for sharing. Sadly, those who most need to read and heed this are unlikely to do so. Nevertheless, it is good that you speak out. Those who have eyes to see, let them read.

  • Balfour Declaration's 100th birthday prompts calls on Britain to apologize and recognize Palestinian rights
    • re Mooser: " I takes that Gospel, whenever it’s possible."

      An excellent policy. Most commendable. I expected no less of you.

    • re Mooser: "Not acceptable, on a Biblical basis. We are told by Scripture: “He makes his home in that fish’s abdomen”

      Well, perhaps, if Scripture says so, but

      It ain't necessarily so
      It ain't necessarily so
      De things dat yo' liable to read in de Bible
      It ain't necessarily so

    • Re: "When the Balfour Declaration was issued, Palestine was still a province of the Ottoman Empire. Hence, by viewing “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish peoples,” the Balfour Declaration violated the well established legal maxim, “Nemo dat quod non habet” (nobody can give what he does not possess.)"

      Yes, I've always wondered why the Brits didn't propose establishing "a national home for the Jewish peoples" in Wales. Of course, a few of the folks in Wales might have preferred Scotland as an alternative, or Ireland for that matter.

    • re: " . . . speculation regarding alternative history."

      Yes, exactly. Such speculation is futile, yet almost unavoidable. Most people, I assume, at times wonder--even if briefly--what might have been. In particular, in this context, my counterfactual fantasies are influenced by reading "The Pity of War."

      Ferguson argues that Germany had limited goals initially in WWI, and that Britain erred by not accommodating them. Absent the devastation of the war, there would have been no rise to power by Hitler, no Holocaust. One may or may not find his arguments convincing (it's all speculation, anyway), but it's hard to regard WWI and what came after it as anything other than a vast, avoidable tragedy. One can, by extension, speculate that absent the US entry to the war, it would have ended on terms more favorable to Germany than was actually the case . . . and again there might have been no Hitler in power, no "final solution."

      Of course we can't know what would have happened, if different choices had been made back then. The past can't be changed, and the future can't be known. It's ironic (or so it seems to me) that Ferguson was a big supporter of Bush Jr's decision to invade Iraq. That, to me, seemed and seems another massive and avoidable mistake.

    • As is mentioned, Wilson endorsed it, something I didn't know until I read the Wikipedia article about the declaration. That article says:

      "British officials asked President Wilson for his consent on the matter on two occasions – first on 3 September, when he replied the time was not ripe, and later on 6 October, when he agreed with the release of the declaration.[132]"

      This mistake by Wilson may be secondary to his decision to take American in to the "War to End all War," but it is significant in its own right.

  • Anti-BDS crusader Kenneth Marcus named to top civil rights post in Trump administration
    • "With anti-BDS hysteria billowing nationwide, the Trump administration last week nominated Kenneth Marcus, president of a legal advocacy group that targets BDS, to the top civil rights position at the Department of Education (DOE). "

      Because BDS is the biggest civil rights issue DOE confronts.

  • Texas city drops Israel boycott ban for individuals but says businesses must still reject BDS to get hurricane aid
    • Thanks for this update. It is a step in the right direction, but seems mainly a strategic retreat from an untenable position. The new policy may be more defensible politically, but still isn't legal or moral. The episode again demonstrates the power of the Israel lobby in much of the US, not just in DC, NYC and LA. And it again demonstrates how little attention is given in the US MSM to the plight of the Palestinians (and US complicity), which is the real reason for the BDS movement. Thus, in the MSM, a viewer is often left to infer that the real problem is irrational hatred of Israel and Jews.

  • In order to receive hurricane relief, Texas town requires residents to reject Israel boycott
    • This episode is yet another demonstration of the pervasive power of Zionism in the U.S. It is also yet another demonstration that the plight of Palestinians--and U.S. complicity in perpetuating it--is rarely acknowledged in the U.S. corporate media. This case has garnered some attention about the legality of the restriction as applied in Dickinson, but little is said about the perversion of our political process by a special interest, nor about the underlying reason why some people might want BDS. Based on the coverage I've seen in the MSM, someone who didn't already know the facts might well assume that BDS is indeed prompted by anti-semitism and inexplicable hatred of Israel.

  • The real reasons Trump is quitting Unesco
    • Thanks for this. Many readers here would have been familiar, at least with the basics of this history, but it is good that you memorialized it as you have. Goodness knows, one won't find the corporate media in the US doing so.

  • Leading journalists call 2nd Amendment an anachronism -- but spare Zionism
  • Support for Israel is tumbling-- even among young Orthodox Jews
    • Support is tumbling? I dunno. I don't see much evidence of that in Congress, or in the Trump administration, on in the NYT.

      "In a moment when being Jewish in America suddenly feels threatened in a way it hasn’t in decades, the idea of a distinctly Jewish novel — a concept that has persisted in literature since the turn of the 20th century — has become increasingly urgent. Three fiction writers and one cartoonist ruminate on Jewish identity and its relationship to Israel and the U.S. in 2017."

  • 'NYT' piece on nationalism as a cause for ethnic cleansing leaves out the Nakba
  • As many as 1 million Israelis have left for the U.S.
    • “Can Israel bring home its 1 million US Expats?” was the headline on an article in the Jerusalem Post 3 weeks ago; and it has gotten very little attention, though the article states bluntly that as many as 1 million Israelis are now living in the U.S. [B]etween 750,000 and 1 million Israelis live in the country,” says Israel’s US Embassy, though others put the figure as low as 200,000.] If you walk around the Upper West Side, you know something’s up, from the Hebrew you can hear on Broadway; but this is an important story for two reasons, demographic and spiritual."

      So Jewish Israelis (and Jewish Americans too, for that matter) effectively have two countries, between which they can move freely, while Palestinians have none. The U.S. is complicit in this theft. By the way, it isn't only in the Upper West Side that one hears evidence of this, nor is it limited to liberals. There as several Orthodox congregations in my neighborhood in Texas: they are small, but growing fast.

  • At town hall, Sen. Warren says Israel Anti-Boycott Act 'violates our basic constitution'
    • re Kathleen "So we can assume Warren would have felt the boycott and divestment movement against the apartheid government of South Africa was “wrong” too. A logical conclusion. Although I hope someone ask her directly."

      It would be interesting to see how she answers this. Perhaps she would run away from the question, as she has been known to do.

      BBC World Service has been discussing the partition of India, arranged by the British 70 years ago. A museum is being established in India, with oral memories recorded by the few remaining participants. There is some urgency, as those with living memories to record are now relatively few. I haven't heard the BBC discussing memorials of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, which also took place on Britain's watch. Perhaps they will mention it in passing while memorializing the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding.

      I don't expect to hear anything about the Nakba from Sen. Warren, or any other U.S. Senators. Or from our Corporate Media. The ability of a powerful elite to define reality by suppressing reality--even in our "free society" is amazing. Perhaps it will change, but such things can go on a long time.

      The historian Annette Gordon-Reed has masterfully explained how Thomas Jefferson's children with Sally Hemings were simply ignored by white society and by historians, despite ample evidence, until DNA made the truth impossible to ignore. In the case of the Nakba, the truth is obvious, but as long as it is unspoken and unspeakable by those it power, the truth has no power, no existence.

    • "falling in to line"


      " I think the boycott is wrong."

  • If Trump is serious we may be seeing the most significant step in 20 years of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
  • Trump may want a deal, but Israeli Jews are not interested
    • Thanks Philip, the the candid report. If the American MSM were equally candid, the situation might be more hopeful, at least to the extent that the U.S. might be less of an enabler. That might or might not help the Palestinians, but it would at least reduce our on-going culpability.

  • The US and Israel: 'An integrated political system'
  • Memo to Trump: US won't escape Mideast wars till Israel ends oppression of Palestinians
    • re: "US won’t escape Mideast wars till Israel ends oppression of Palestinians"

      I would say, "US won’t escape Mideast wars till it ends support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians." That's a less ambitious goal, and more within our power. It would be nice if we could do something positive for the Palestinians too: we owe them that, having done so much to help Israel help itself to the Palestinians' homes and homeland. But, realistically, we can't control Israel, only our own actions. Our moral responsibility, like charity, starts at home.

  • DC and Jerusalem reel over Trump disclosure of ISIS plan to-- hush!-- put laptop bombs on planes
    • Even before it was reported that Israel was the source of the intelligence (or claims to be), I inferred that must be the case from all the uproar in DC. The horror!

  • Collective post-traumatic stress disorder – Jews, apartheid and oppression
    • Thanks for this constructive essay. I do wonder about one statement:

      "Healing from collective PTSD would include a painful deconstruction and reconstruction of personal and collective Jewish narratives that strongly rely on fictitious propaganda and a persistent rejection of fear- and warmongering that perpetuate eternal victimization."

      I'm not a psychologist or sociologist, but I wonder if such deconstruction and reconstruction must always be painful? I suppose giving up cherished notions, and seeing one's own actions in a new, unflattering light, is usually painful. Still, if there are ways to make it less so, that would be worth the attempt.

  • Courageous Israeli newspaper is indicted as 'childish' 'contrarian' and 'antagonistic' by the yellowbellied New York Times
    • Iris, I feel much as you do about Haaretz. It is strange but true that today an American who wants to understand his own nation's policies needs to read an Israeli newspaper. I think you use "incredible" in the informal sense of "outstanding." A small point, but in this era of "fake news," perhaps it is worth noting.

    • NYT is protecting itself, as well, not just him. And extending a middle finger to the millions of Americans who are distressed by U.S. policy that enables the dispossession and oppression of Palestinians.

      I subscribed to NYT for many years, and would like to now, but I feel that I can't do so without endorsing its editorial campaigns (invading Iraq, expanding a greater Israel, etc.). If I at least had a chance to dispute crap like this (no matter how meaningless a reader's comment may be), I might be willing to subscribe again, but NYT precludes that.

    • It struck me as odd that this would even appear in an "American" newspaper, much less the would-be "paper of record." There is, it is true, a small minority of Americans who have an intense emotional attachment to Israel, and who are interested in news about it, and U.S. policy toward it. NYT is publishing this for them. That is part of its core mission these days.

  • Pro-Israel group bullies Church of Scotland over its 'sensitive' commemoration of Balfour centenary
    • re: "The period 1890 to.1922 in Ireland was fascinating. In 1910 most Irish were happy with the status quo. By 1918 the cause was lost."

      Interesting; I have never studied Irish history, but had the vague notion that there was a long history of resentment of British rule in the southern part of the island. If it changed so quickly, and the results were tragic for so long, then the history seems worthy of consideration, as a case study in the sociology of cultural conflict. Of course, each conflict is unique: Ireland isn't Israel. Still, there may be some lessons to be learned. Any suggestions on things to read for a thoughtful analysis of the conflict from this perspective?

    • Thanks for this report, Mr. Cohen. You have said what needs to be said very well indeed.

  • Charges against 'Israel Victory Caucus' protest show dissent is being criminalized under Trump
    • Thanks for the information, Misterioso.

    • Ms. Gold, my thanks and respect to you and your colleagues. Until recently, I wouldn't have thought such stories would be possible in the U.S. Now, of course, I know better. You will be vindicated by history, but--alas--it may take a very long time.

      As for the "Israel Victory Caucus," their own words indict them (and our nation for supporting them). They, and our nation, will be found guilty by the judgment of history . . . perhaps years in the future.

  • The 'nation state of the Jewish people' bill is just more Apartheid with a veil
    • re RoHa: "I can't see the veil."

      That is exactly what I said to myself. The veil is visible only to Zionists. Mumbo Jumbo with words won't fool anyone who isn't a Zionist true believer.

  • A Republican plan for peacemaking: 'break the will' of the Palestinians and force them to 'accept defeat'
    • "Break their will" sounds a lot like Rabin's "break their bones" policy. I'm not sure which sounds worse. Neither one implies a sincere desire for peace based on respect for the humanity of the other. Neither phrase implies good things about the morality of the person who uses it. It's sad that our government is controlled by such people. PBS has been showing "The Civil War," a sobering reminder of where we were, how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go. I wonder when, and if, Israel will start that journey to humanity? I wonder when, and if, the U.S. will stop enabling the oppression of Palestinians?

  • 100 senators throw their bodies down to end UN 'bias' against Israel
    • It is a common--and accurate--observation that liberals and conservatives live in different worlds. Research suggests that some of this difference is attributable to innate differences. Of course experience matters too: nature and nurture both contribute to differences. Clearly, when all 100 senators agree, something unusual is going on.

      What's more, what they agree on seems to me (and to many others here, I'm sure), to be a statement contrary to fact. It's akin to stating the earth is flat, or (more to the point) the victim of a crime is guilty of it. There is an Alice-in-Wonderland quality. I, at least, find it hard to know where to begin when trying to counter it.

      Actually, it is pointless to try to counter it, if one is discussing a topic with someone (like the senators), who actively perpetrates it. Either they are "true believers," or they know it is wrong but assert it anyway, for one reason or another. The only audience for which discussion and facts may change their viewpoint are sincere, naive dupes of the factual inversion.

      This inversion of reality seems to be common in Zionist arguments. It isn't unique to them (Karl Rove and Donald Trump come to mind) but rarely have I seen it practiced so consistently and successfully over many years. Its successful deployment over time requires some social power, and reinforces the power of those who wield it.

      I describe it as an "inversion of reality," but I wonder, is there a term in rhetoric or politics for such a technique? I didn't study debate or logic in school. Perhaps someone who did will know the answer. The term "Big Lie" comes to mind, but it is so much associated with Hitler and Goebbels that some other, more general term is needed.

    • Thanks for the analysis and comment. For those who want to get down in the weeds regarding Trump's policy on Israel, NYT has some detail:

  • At PEN festival, Patti Smith honors Rachel Corrie
    • Rachel Corrie deserves to be remembered and honored. It is good that in one small space within American society awareness remains. Mostly, evidence of awareness of the role the U.S. plays in the theft of Palestinian homes and rights is hard to find. I thought of this fact while reading John Dower's essay on "American Amnesia." He writes about "victim consciousness" in Japan and the U.S. He does not speak of Palestine/Israel, but one can see a similar pattern. Zionists cultivate victim consciousness, and the U.S. fully embraces that narrative.

  • 'I'd rather die than live as a servile slave,' Omar Barghouti told his daughter
    • It is not only in France that Zionist power is seen in legal efforts against BDS. The Texas State government is as firmly controlled by Republicans as is the U.S. government, but a similar deadlock exists, caused by disagreements between conservatives and those who are even more conservative. Not much is getting done in Austin, but they can agree to do what the pro-Israelites want. Thus, as reported by the Houston Chronicle:

      "Even lawmakers who are less pessimistic acknowledged that having hundreds of bills awaiting action in both legislative chambers has started the nail-biting. That urgency was underscored by [Gov.] Abbott signing his first bill into law on Tuesday, House Bill 89, that prohibits state contracts and investments with companies that boycott Israel."

      Of course, thanks the the First Amendment, this law won't prohibit criticism of Israel by individuals who don't do business with the State of Texas, but it demonstrates the power of the Zionists in America. And we have seen how notions about "hate speech" can be used to limit speech.

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